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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tyranid Codex In Depth Review: Part III (Elites, Fast Attack, and Heavy Support)


Lictors - I've always liked these for their ability to get into specific spots and threaten.  With their non-scattering ways, you can position them carefully.  Get in there and wreck some face.  B+.

Venomthropes - Cover saves for your army?  Yes, please!  Float these guys along with the crowd.  Worth an A.

Zoanthropes - You'll need these for some of the only tank killing shots in the army.  A 3+ invulnerable save makes them extremely resilient as well.    A+. 

 Fast Attack

Shrikes - Flying Warriors!  While these aren't bad, I think they're a bit pricey (once upgraded) for a unit that will easily call down a lot of heavy weapon fire.  Not a terrible choice, but you'll need to be extremely careful with them.  I give them a B.

Raveners - Like all deep strikers, you'll have to be both careful and a bit lucky with them.  These guys won't take a round of shooting well at all, so something else will have to be a target when they come in.  B.

Sky Slasher Swarms - Jump Infantry Swarms....more expensive and take up a Fast Attack slot.  Our first C.

Gargoyles - Cheap, fast, and awesome.  Did I mention that these suckers were crazy cheap.  In my opinion, these are the most unappreciated unit in the Codex thus far.  A++. 

Harpy - A flying MC in Fast Attack sounded so cool.  Too bad it's not that great, and can easily be taken down by small arms fire.  B-.

Carnifex Brood

Carnifex Brood - What can I really say that everyone else hasn't?  These guys got crazy expensive for what they provide.  You can get much better units for less or the same cost.  A C-, at best. 

Bio/Pyrovore - Nothing special, again.  In the case of the Pyrovore, just terrible.  C- again.

Trygon - A great choice, and it has real utility in the ability to tunnel other creatures in after it.  I don't know that it will have the same utility against Mech armies, but it's good stuff nonetheless.  B+.

Mawloc - Fantastic choice!  This sucker can wipe out Marine and Terminator squads as it enters the battlefield...and it can do it again and again.  I think long term we'll be seeing a few of these on the field.  A. 

Tyrannofex - Big, scary, and slow.  It'll tear up things like Orks, but I have trouble seeing it take down anything with a 3+ save or better.  B. 


  1. Problem with Venomthropes is that they are not IC like Mekboyz with Kustom Force Fields so they can be easily targeted. With if memory holds like T4, W2, Save 5+ they will not last long. Even if you screen them to get a 4+ cover save they are still going to get killed fast by anyone who wants to shot you up. Need to get a unit of 2 or 3 if you expect the save to last more than the first turn of shooting. Might work out to physically hide them behind MCs but most of the good ones Trygons, Mawlocs, and Flyrants are all much faster/ deepstriking.

  2. That is a real problem. The main thing I see as a problem overall in the book is a lack of high strength, low AP weapons. These guys will chew through Ork, Guard, etc. at range, but against MEQ and Vehicles will have a real challenge. Thanks for the comments!

  3. A couple disagreements on things:

    -Trygon vs. Mawloc: While the Mawloc gets its Terror from the Deep when it enters, remember that your chances of hitting are only mediocre (~1/3), since it's a barrage weapon with no LOS. It also isn't immune to mishaps from terrain and has half the attacks of the Trygon- and the Trygon still gets to shoot when it enters. The three extra attacks (and two WS) plus Scything Talons on the Trygon make up the difference in damage very quickly, so unless you need those Marines dead NOW the Trygon tends to be better. The Mawloc's main advantages are its mobility thanks to Hit and Run and reburrowing. (Cute trick: start deployed, reburrow on T1 = automatic entry on T2.)

    -Harpies work best when haning back at 25-36" and pelting things with heavy weapons fire. They aren't amazing, but small arms fire is a limited threat to them because of their reach. And TL Heavy Venom Cannons are good stuff.