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Tyranid Previews Are Here! (Actually Readable)

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Hey folks!

Spoiler season for the new Nid Dex is in full swing. I've seen a bunch of rumours floating around, but it looks like they're not 100% accurate, so I'm just going to cover official previews here, but feel free to post anything you find! I missed a day, so this will be a big post for the first one. We start with the Hive Mind, the omnipresent Tyranid net of communication and possible gestalt consciousness. It's seen a lot of sway over the years. Presently, it is allowing units within 8 inches of a Synapse creature (12 inches if it's a Hive Tyrant), to ignore morale. If you're within 12 inches, you also suffer -1 to your psychic tests, unless you're a Tyranid as well. These are both very powerful abilities, making Synapse Creatures very effective. Instinctive Behaviour, rather than causing units to run away, forces units to shoot or charge the closest things if they're not in Synapse range. All put together, killing Synapse has always been, and remained, an effective way to try and hold back the swarm.

Well, this has almost all changed, better for the Nids, and worse for their enemies!


Nid Synapse now extends to 12 inches for all Tyranids within range. Does this mean the Hive Tyrant's going to be a base of 16 inch range? This change will allow your non-Tyrant Synapse options be more effective, as they'll be able to space out more and cover greater areas. Anyone in the past that tried to make swarm lists work with the Flyrant knows the difficulties in keeping Synapse control.




Now this is huge. Shadow is the Warp is pretty amazing (making WC 7 powers go up to WC 8 means those powers work less than half the time, which is baller), but was always hindered by its relatively short range. A psyker Smiting you from 13 to 18 inches away was able to smite without worry. Now, with this threat range out to 18 inches, anyone looking to Smite your Synapse will be suffering -1 to their test! Of really special note on this range increase, it is also effectively adding +1 to your deny tests (by taking 1 away from their result), meaning that Smite Spam armies better watch out; the Tyranids are here!



Another seismic in the way Tyranids work, Instinctive Behaviour just got even less punishing. Now, you only need to be within TWENTY-FOUR inches of a Synapse creature to ignore Instinctive Behaviour. A Synapse Creature in the centre of the board will pretty much cover the whole table this way. You'll need to hunt down just about EVER LAST Synapse Creature now to cause Tyranids to suffer this penalty. But even then, Tyranids just suffer a penalty when not shooting or charging the closest targets! If they're the closest, then whatever, you just suffered no penalty.

So, it looks like if you're going to fight Tyranids, you better be ready to kill 'em all!

We've also get SEVEN Hive Fleets to cover for their fleet-specific abilities. Note, unlike Chaos Space Marines or Space Marines, these abilities affect ALL Tyranids, and not just the Troops!



Umm, can I say yes please? Hive Fleet Behemoth tore through the Ultramar sector and nearly killed the Ultramarines, and now you can see why! Rerolling charge ranges, while a neat ability for the Black Templars, is going to be devastating when used by the Tyranids. More consistent charges, especially out of reserves, means fewer chances to shoot. Having just played a game where I had slingshotted a 30-strong group of Hormagaunts across a board to just engage EVERYONE, I can tell you that preventing folks from shooting for a turn or two while the big bugs close the gap is a pretty big deal. Being able to do that more consistently is a seriously big deal.



Hey there Genestealers. You've been riding pretty high lately eh? Well, ride a bit higher. There's a lot of tricks you can do using all the extra moves that close combat gives you, so being able to Fall Back and still charge is going to be fantastically wonderful, allowing so many Tyranid units stay very effective in the mid to later parts of the game. I can't believe this part of the ability is referenced in the rule as almost an after-thought, as, to me, it's way more important than "3d6 pick the highest" advancing. Still, more consistent advancing is pretty great too (no one likes to look at the "1" result when they advance).



I gotta admit when I'm wrong. I didn't think Tyranids would get a 6+ FNP option. Tyranids can put a lot of wounds on a table, so being able to ignore 16% of your lost wounds is pretty fantastic. Interestingly, it looks like they're being more careful about stacking these FNP rules again, pointing out that this doesn't work alongside Catalyst, but even still, this is awesome.



Reroll 1's to wound on everything during the Fighter phase. You do have to reach close combat to make it work, but you're Tyranids. Again, Genestealers will love this, as will Hive Tyrants, and Carnifexes, and Warriors, and Trygons...


While maybe not as strong as -1 to being hit, this is still pretty fantabulous, In a sense, it's giving Hive Tyrants a 2+ save, because you get this even without cover. Not too sure what tunnelling has to do with this ability, but it's still a welcome addition to your army. This is the shooty-Nids dream!



My personal Hive Fleet, well, it might not be my go-to any longer. This is a pretty cool and fluffy power, but it's only in the Fighter Phase, and it's really only useful for Hormagaunts and maybe Genestealers (if the unit they're fighting is small enough). Given that Hormagaunts already reroll 1's, and Genestealers will almost always have the Broodlord nearby, this isn't much of a buff for them, but still, something is better than nothing! This is actually somewhat interesting for mid-tier Nid units that are looking to go toe-to-toe with big single-model units, like characters. If Lictors can go back to having 1-3 models in their units, this could prove interesting.


Lastly, whom says that Cadians have all the fun? Rerolling 1's to hit in the shooting phase is very powerful, potentially massively increasing the strength of your shooting attacks. Nid shooting isn't the greatest, so this ability is perhaps less useful, but even still, I'm not looking forward to facing down Exocrines and Hive Guard with this ability!

Phew, so that's a lot. Tyranids certainly seem to be gaining a LOT with this codex so far, and they were already a pretty respectable force. Hope to see more of my Tyranid brothers in the weeks to come!

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4 minutes ago, dreadpirate said:

*patiently waits for points drop on swarmlord*

I don't think it will, personally. Having used the Swarmlord in all be one game, I have to say that it feels like an auto-include at the moment. So far they haven't done points drops for anything that was an auto-include (with a few exceptions). The Swarmlord is also going to get some sweet buffs out of some stuff on this list. Rerolling 1's for his to-wound rolls will be very helpful, as will ignoring wounds on 6's, rerolling charge ranges, or having +1 to his Sv. Those are all super sweet :-D

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He's definitely an auto include, they nerfed/left everything so high priced nothing else worth bringing. I base my auto include models off of gulliman and frankly, no one matches up to that in any dex yet lol. My biggest gripe is you absolutely have to take tyrant guard if you are facing even a semi smart opponent to ensure he gets across the board.

So far all nid leaks have been extremely meh for me personally. Sure the adaptations are definitely nice, but quite a few armies get a lot of these benefits just by having a 40-60point model beside them. Ignoring damage on a 6 will be huge if you can save a D6 6 dmg attacvk with 1 6 but that will be few and far between to use reliably. A 6+ to a 5+ due to tunnel networks is nice, but again very situational especially when the units it helps the most (swarmy large units of stealers come with a 5+ invul natively). Sure it will help dakka gaunts and I am not poo pooing a lot of these but realistically these adaptations are just rules that are given freely to characters in other armies. So instead of gaining multi-character support you get to choose one. I mean it's more than we had last edition so I am thankful for that, but even the synapse stuff, maybe 1 out of 5 games i'd find myself in a scenario where I ran into synapse issues (thanks to flyrants ofc lol).

The main thing we need right now badly are points drops across the board and a reason to not rely so heavily on one specific HQ choice. This edition its swarmlord, last edition it was flyrants. 

If some of the leaks i've read are true, we've actually lost a few attacks on things like crones and harpies and 100 point tyrannocytes are back. This is all rumor mill right now and I will wait to pass judgement but for real, we need reasons to diversify our armies and GW is not giving us any reason outside of narrative.

I mean at this point im just whining to whine because what we have is already better than 7th, but compared to the love marines, guard, eldar, dg, chaos, etc.. got, what we've seen so far is very meh.

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Well, something to consider with a Swarmlord (or Hive Tyrant) plus Tyrant Guard and Catalyst in a Leviathan list;

Hive Tyrant is wounded, gets his 5+ Inv (which, leaks say is going to become a 4+ Inv). If he fails, he gets a 6+ FnP. If he fails, the Tyrant Guard lose a wound. They also get a 6+ FnP. One of those two could have Catalyst on them too, which would replace one of their 6+'s with a 5+ FnP. There might be a Warlord trait too that gives FnP, or you could just take the Rulebook Warlord trait for FnP, which throws in ANOTHER 6+ FnP into that equation 

On average, a 6 damage hit actually results then in just 1.39 wounds :P

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I get what you're saying and on paper it sounds ok, but you're not dealing with 1 6 damage hit on average, you're dealing with 20+ and being 12w, he's easily targeted. Sure it might be ok but none of what you wrote is worth writing home about at all in terms of upgrades. It's a slight bump sure but on the table that FNP ain't gonna save you unless you're rolling hot af.

So basically as it stands for swarmy, hes;

5++(4++ in combat) with a 6+ fnp (fnp rolls damage not wounds).

A squad of las cannons is still gonna blow him off the table by t2 while bolters are gonna mow down your gribblies.

In his current form, i've never been upset that i've brought him in the list, im more miffed at the tyrant guard tax I have to pay to even have hopes of seeing him in combat.

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Another day, another successful operation...

Wait, no, that's X-COM...

But it does mean more previews! Today's GW preview is about our HQ, Special Characters, and Artefacts. One really awesome bit? This nugget:


Tyranids characters, however, do not represent storied or singular heroes from history but particularly distinct bio-organisms employed in every hive fleet. As such, if you’re looking to add the Swarmlord, Red Terror, Deathleaper or Old One Eye to your army, you won’t be restricted by which hive fleet you choose!

Definitely one of the things some previous rumours were suggesting was that Tyranid "characters" were to be locked to specific Hive Fleets, with the Swarmlord showing up in Leviathan. Awesomely, they're staying true to the fluff, and ANY Tyranid Hive Fleet can use the "special character bugs". If you thought people might put Swarmy away in order to get some of those sweet faction-special-rules, too bad.

Also, check this out!


If you’re looking for a points-efficient way to fill your HQ slot, the Neurothrope is a great way to do it, now a separate unit rather than an upgrade to the Zoanthropes!

For players like myself that only had one or two zoanthrope models, big thumbs up. If costed like the index, the Neurothrope could be the most common Tyranid HQ you'll ever see. That's pretty doubtful (it'd be 40 points and able to cast 2 powers? Yeah right!), but even near the cost of a Librarian would make this a solid pick for Tyranids.

Speaking of Zoanthropes, here's the first Warlord Trait we're seeing, though this will be specific to Hive Fleet Kronos (the reroll 1's to hit Tyranids);


If you think you're going to go into a psychic-heavy meta, Kronos might just be worth taking for this ability. Combined with the innate -1 to their psychic tests due to Shadow in the Warp, and your opponent's Smites could very well be doing almost as much damage to themselves as they would do to you (because, of course, you're denying their Smites, right?).

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Continuing the posts... because I accidentally hit post...


Like I theorized, we'd see a "Smite, but different" power. This is a little too on-the-nose. Neat though that there's some more anti-psyker stuff in this book. Remember, all Psykers "know" Smite! So make sure to roll for it when randomly determining which powers they lose. Then again, chances are not fantastic that you're going to beat the Ld, but when it happens you'll almost for sure be glad it did.

CONFIRMATION: Hive Tyrant's Inv save just got better!


As if having a massive monster for an HQ wasn’t cool enough, the Hive Tyrant has got even better! Firstly, all Hive Tyrants have had their Psychic Barrier save improved, now offering them a 4+ invulnerable save and making them considerably more durable against high-AP weapons. 

Take that Clark! Wait, what am I saying? That HELPS HIM!!! Lol, just joking. I play Tyranids too. Still great to see. Almost all other HQ's seem to be rocking the 4+ Inv save these days, so extending that here is much appreciated. Of course, Hive Tyrants, or other certain Tyranid beasties, can also take some of these cool little relics...


Gorgon HQ's (the reroll 1's to-wound in close combat bugs) will get a bit tougher the first time you wound but don't kill them. Is that really that good? Well, this next bit will help explain that...


Yeah, it's good. Going from T6 to T7 isn't a big deal, since most things hurt you on the same amounts (though, importantly, Plasma weapons go from wounding on 3's to wounding on 4's), but going from T7 to T8 is HUGE, as suddenly boltguns wound only on 6's, plasma on 5's, and even missile launchers on 4's. Lascannon, still 3's, but hey, this is still a big jump due to this artefact.

Not enough? You want a better Warlord Trait?


Hey, let's see you overheat those Plasma Guns on me now! The trick here is somehow to get your big guy wounded but not killed.

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Wow, so many goodies today, I'm making a third post! Have you ever had trouble against Daemons? No? Not in 8th? Hmm. Well, how about Harlequins? GW may have pointed out the warp denizens as being in trouble against this next Artefact, but I really think it's our pointed-ear friends that are going to be more worried than they already were before:


See that last line? No Inv's against this. Armour saves yes, invuls no. Daemons are really going to hate this for sure, especially with that nasty S7, 36" range (very high for Nid range!), and D6 shots that hit even better against squads of 10 or more... like almost all Daemons squads are. And note, this is on Kronos, so reroll those failed to-hit rolls of 1 if you didn't move!


Okay, 6 shots, S7, AP-1... that's pretty respectable. Carrying around an Autocannon, that's not a bad thing. Rerolling failed wound rolls? That's a much better thing. Unfortunately not a Kronos model for the rerolls to-hit.

And now a classic!


The Miasma Cannon. New and VERY MUCH IMPROVED! First, 36" range is, again, quite rare for Nids, so seeing that is quite nice. The fact that it AUTO HITS when within Flamer Range is amazing, meaning this is useful against charges, regardless of how far away they're charging from, but extra sweet up close. Lastly, S9, AP-2, and 3 damage makes this thing UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. Like serious, why take any other Artefact (yet, from what we've seen). This is going to be an auto-take!

Well, let's see what tomorrow brings! That's it for today!

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More Tyranid creepiness and scariness today! Some delicious stratagems.







Some of these are pretty snazy, but the one that tickles my particular itch is the very first; Feeder Tendrils. So far, each army has had ways of gaining more Command Points during battle, often by rolling a die and getting back Command Points on a certain roll. Certainly Astra Militarum and Ultramarines got the best versions so far, as they get back their points 1/3rd of the time, and Astra Militarum can even get points off of your points with the right relic. Others haven't received quite the effectiveness, with Death Guard getting theirs back 1/6th of the time, but can claim them back using an Elite choice rather than HQ (and no relic or warlord trait, leaving those open), and Eldar having two 6+ means of getting some back (Autrarch when you spend them, and Ulthwe at the start of each turn).

Well, the Tyranids are showing us that GW doesn't mind going somewhere different. Against certain armies that field a lot of characters, Feeder Tendrils are going to be terrifying. At the very least, you get back the 1CP you spent on it, but the other 2/3rds of the time you'll get back more! With the right list, this means you should get back, on average over the course of the game, 1 command point per turn. But any time you suddenly go from 2CP up to 4CP (spent 1 to use it, gained 3), you'll feel the Tyranids get another boost in strength.

Pathogenic Slime is NOT a stratagem to forget about! Sending an Exocrine from 2 to 3 damage for each of its shots is insanity, easily able to crumple just about any vehicle it shoots at. However, in certain lists this will be even more insane, especially lists like Kronos where you're rerolling failed hit rolls of 1.

Lastly, the Deepest Shadow Kronos stratagem is death to any psyker that's trying to get a power off within 24", and lord help them if they're within 18". Psykers beware, you're in for a scare!


Otherwise, the list of things here are cute, ranging from mildly effective (Hyper-Toxicity), to really strong at just the right time but really it'll never happen (Psychic Barrage). The really curious one is going to be Caustic Blood. It only triggers on rolls of 6, but it causes MORTAL WOUNDS. For just 1CP, you could take a sizeable chunk of wounds off a Wraithknight because it decided to Stomp your Hormagaunts.

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Okay, here's my last post for the week, despite there likely being more previews tomorrow!


Zoanthropes positioned near a Neurothrope can re-roll 1s on their Psychic tests, so getting off a key Smite – or a more costly psychic power – is much easier.

There we go, Neurothrope is now more useful than before. Rerolling 1's is fantastic for psychic powers. Rolling double 1's for a Perils sucks, but now you'll just reroll those away! It also means that you're far less likely to fail a Smite test.


Venomthropes are a key part of any Tyranids battleline. As before, they force an enemy’s attacking units within their shrouding spores to suffer -1 to hit, but unlike in the Index, larger broods of Venomthropes can shroud Monsters and other <Hive Fleet> units too!

W00t w00t! Looks like another of my predictions is coming true, even if it requires larger units to do, -1 to hit is a big deal, and protecting your bigger stuff is super important. Will gladly be using these guys still!


Genestealers are already a great Troops option in any Tyranids list; they hit hard, they move fast, and their invulnerable saves are always welcome when hunting characters with high AP. In the new codex, Genestealers can be equipped with new biomorphs to further improve them; acid maw, for instance, allows you to give one Genestealer a powerful close combat weapon, while extended carapaces forces Genestealers to give up Swift and Deadly, but improves their save to a 4+.

Okay, so Genestealers are going to remain a good option for sure, but this hints that some units are going to be getting a bunch of biomorph options! Genestealers with 1 dude with a powerfist like attack maybe? That's cool. If Extended Carapace sees play, it almost certainly won't be on Genestealers, who use that Swift and Deadly rule a LOT.


Lictors have received a small but significant change that makes them far easier to use in any Tyranids army. Lictors (and Deathleaper!) no longer suffer from Instinctive Behaviour

I don't have any Lictors (I can find) at the moment, so I didn't realize these guys had to obey Instinctive Behaviour! However, not sure this is a big deal, as the range on ignoring Instinctive Behaviour just went up 100%.


The Thornback is the master of shock-assault. In addition to causing mortal wounds to nearby models when it charges, this beast hits on a 3+ (going up to a 2+ if Old One Eye is around). Both the Thornback and the standard Carnifex can take enhanced senses, a new biomorph that gives them a BS of 3+. What’s more, this increase in Ballistic Skill is accompanied by an improvement to devourers with brainleech worms, which have their shots doubled to Assault 6. In short, the famous “Dakkafex” is back – and particularly powerful in a Hive Fleet Kronos army.

Screamer-Killers, on the other hand, have a more insidious purpose. In addition to deadly scything talons, these guys have a lethal bio-plasmic scream that’ll tear enemies apart at range, while their mere presence forces your foes to add 1 to their Morale tests.

All Carnifexes benefit from a new biomorph called spore cysts, an upgrade that forces enemies to subtract 1 from their hit roll, simulating the effects of a nearby Venomthrope. Of course, if you’d rather give your Carnifexes even more shooting power, the spine banks add 4 more shots at Strength 5.

I had to include this all, because it's all good! Getting 2+'s to hit with Carnifexes is going to be amazing, and BS3+ is going to be fantastic for Carnifexes of all stripes! Having the Screamer-Killer reduce people's Ld is actually handy, resulting in an extra Ld death to Infantry Squads, and putting 5-man Space Marine/Chaos Space Marine squads on notice! Want to be really sinister? Have this Screamer-Killer nearby when you roll to see if your opponents forget their Psychic Powers from Psychic Scream. Lastly, the -1 to being hit is AMAZING. Will it work alongside Venomthropes? I sure hope so! Otherwise, those Venomthropes won't have much reason to take bigger squads.

See you all with my Nids shortly!

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