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    Default [Tyranids] FULL unit review (pre-codex) (FW included)

    So we bugs still don't have a proper codex, but we still have a very decent army and options. I'm going to try to make this review as short as possible, considering I'm going to review a LOT of units (even FW ones!). However, I won't give a detailed commentary on the rules and abilities each unit has, but rather how it can perform with different loadouts. This Review assumes you have the rules at hand or know the miniatures yourself!
    Also, Forge World units will have (FW) before their name, but I won't review Lords of War because they suck. Except the very big one. Ask your local club if they allow them! They SHOULD, but they may not.
    For my verdict, I'll use the following grading system:
    A+: Always a boon to your army, regardless of what you play! Some armies may not want one, but when in doubt take one.
    A: A very good option to consider, especially if your army has some good synergies with the unit.
    B: A good unit with some niche use. But unless your army specifically needs those bases covered, you could probably benefit more from an A-class unit.
    C: This is generally not a good option, unless you really MUST play the unit or are on a budget and already have the minis.
    F: Just don't. This unit is bad. Shelve this unit for now. However, this unit could be used to fill your army if you want to play with a handicap. Why is this important? Because playing against, say, kids, you don't want to PLAY poorly (or you'd be teaching bad strategies), but playing less points would just be too much in-your-face. Playing sub-par units, on the other hand, gives them an edge AND teaches them which units are bad (and why).
    X*: Any unit with an asterisk * has the specified grade when covering the role I explain or a similar niche, but is F grade otherwise.

    Disclaimer: 8th is very new so this is mostly an impressions review!

    HQ CHOICES
    All our choices are good or situationally good. We have no real "cheap" HQ, but you'll never feel like a unit from here is a useless points drain.

    BROODLORD
    Genestealers are really good in 8th, and the Broodlord is a great force multiplier. However, unless you are have a lot of Genestealers (at least a unit of 20) I don't think it's worth the points cost. He unfortunately can't ride with a Trygon, and can't join a Tyrannocyte with GSs either, so footslogging is your only option. However, a base movement of 8 and being able to advance and charge in the same turn means that's not a terrible option. I'd almost surely carry him with Catalyst, to try to keep your 'stealers alive.
    Verdict: A*

    HIVE TYRANT
    Thank you for being a character, and having EXACTLY 10 wounds. That makes it much easier to keep her alive, so she's a very solid synapse option. Horror+Catalyst as a powers combo is great on her, and since she can hide behind your other units you can buff the survivability of the rest of your army. Even a naked Tyrant can pack quite a punch, but a Flyrant can get into the enemy's face in record time. I'd walk her if she's a DakkaTyrant or fly her if she wants to melee his lunch. For shooting the Deathspitters are best, and for melee I'd keep her with Scything Talons and wings.
    Also, they have a 5++ save in addition to their 3+. AWESOME.
    Verdict for both options: A+

    (FW) MALANTHROPE
    The cheapest HQ! That alone is worth points, but this guy is NUTS at what he does. He's acceptably durable, you can buy multiple of them in a single HQ slot, and his miasma protects all your nearby units, not only infantry. He has a few extra rules to spice him up, and can defend himself a bit in melee. Note, however, that he does NOT provide synapse, so make sure you have that covered elsewhere.
    Verdict: A

    OLD ONE-EYE
    He's not much more expensive that a standard Carnifex, but BOY does he buff your 'fexes in melee. He also JUST happens to be a 10-wound character, so he won't be the first to fall. If you like 'fexes, you should probably play him. If you play a foot-slogging melee army, you should probably play him too.
    Verdict: A*

    TERVIGON
    This one is interesting. It's a VERY expensive HQ, but a VERY good force multiplier for a very specific build. Namely, if your troops of choice are units of Termagants split between Devourers and Fleshborers. It is also A+++ in open play, but that's another story. Only play him in that scenario, but that's a solid army base.
    Verdict: A+*

    THE SWARMLORD
    I... this is very bad. Simply because everything else is much better. He has 12 wounds, so no character protection. Sure, you can play Tyrant Guard... but why pay for bodyguards when you can just be non-targetable? He's better in melee than a standard Tyrant, but not "pay-100-more-points-and-lose-character-protection" better.
    Verdict: F... and this hurts my soul.

    TYRANID PRIME
    The cheapest HQ... that provides Synapse! That alone has merit for some detachments (such as for a Hive Guard Vanguard Detachment). Also, Warriors are pretty good in this edition. Unfortunately, you can't have him ride in a Trygon or Tyrannocyte (just as with the Broodlord), so he can only go along with footslogging Warriors.
    Verdict: A+*


    TROOPS
    Many other armies are better off NOT playing troops... but we have some very interesting options in our arsenal.

    GENESTEALERS
    These are REALLY good. They get an extra attack if the unit is over 10 models, so max bodycount units are good. Catalyst can help them survive enemy fire, since it bumps them up from a 66% mortality rate from wounds to a 44% mortality rate. They don't NEED a Broodlord, since they are just SO DAMN GOOD in melee. But they benefit from having a Trygon or Tyrannocyte to get them close to the enemy. They are fragile, so trying to footslog them will result in mass death from small arms fire. You can give them Scything Talons for free, but 95% of the time AP -1 (or -4 on a 6+ to wound) is better than re-rolling 1s to hit, so no need to mass-convert any minis you already have.
    Also, remember that 'stealers don't need, but benefit from, being in Synapse.
    Verdict: A*, or B for footsloggers.

    HORMAGAUNTS
    Well... I don't think they're worth it. If you want melee troops, a max unit of Genestealers is 50% more expensive than a max unit of Hormagaunts. But Genestealers are more survivable (+1 toughness and 5++ save is better than having 10 more bodies) and are MUCH better in melee.
    All gaunts also pretty much require Synapse, but i'd argue any Tyranid army should have that covered.
    Verdict: C

    RIPPER SWARMS
    Do you need cheap, deep-striking (I'll keep using the old name!), min-bodies units to contest objectives? If the answer is yes, Ripper Swarms are a must in your army. If the answer is no... stay AWAY from them. That's literally all they are good for.
    But seriously, Tyranids can technically get the 3CP from a Brigade Detachment for under 200 points. And it's not a BAD Brigade Detachment, not by a long shot. Just... situational.
    Verdict: A+*

    TERMAGANTS
    Well this is interesting. Termagants with Fleshborers can be revived by Tervigons, so that's good. Devourer Termagaunts (or Devilgaunts) pack a decent punch. Half-and-half units, with a Tervigon nearby, are not easy to kill AND pack quite a punch... all for under 200 points. It's hard to get more than 15 Devilgaunts within shooting range anyhow. If you aren't going to have Tervigon support, I'd still run 50/50, with Devourers and Spinefists. If you are going to drop them via Trygon or Tyrannocyte you can go full-Devilgaunt, but otherwise I think it's best to save the points.
    Verdict: A- since they aren't THAT good.

    TYRANID WARRIORS
    Instant Death is no more. This is HUGE for Warriors, because now S8+ weapons have to roll/deal 3 damage to kill them. Also, they are still very cheap, provide Synapse while still being troops, and are very flexible when buying them. For example, for 100 points you can get 12 T4 4+ wounds spread over 4 bodies, with +1 to advance/assault, with 16 S4 AP-2 melee attacks, hitting on a 3+. Or if you prefer shooty Warriors, for just a bit less you can instead have 3 Warriors, for a total of 6 S5 AP-1 and D6 shots with the same profile that get +1 to hit if shooting at units with 10 or more models. You can carry up to 3x that amount in a unit, so imagine dropping a Trygon/Tyrannocyte... and having a blob of Warriors with 18+3D6 shots. You can even give half of them Boneswords, give them Adrenal Glands for that +1 distance, and have a unit that can shoot someone, inflict terrible pain, and then assault someone else and bring the hurt to them too.
    There are so many good ways to play Warriors now that even without a Prime they are a solid choice.
    Verdict: A+


    ELITES
    These are very hit and miss. Some are great, others are situationally great, and a few would be good... but there are better options in our army. Then there are a few TERRIBLE units, as you'll see.

    DEATHLEAPER
    This guy seems dumb, but fun. He'll be awesome against some armies and completely useless against others, so I wouldn't really recommend playing him. Or, if you expect to find mostly shooty specialist armies, take him and have fun.
    See, the enemy has -2 to hit him with shooting (except for Overwatch shots and Flamer shots, obviously). But the fun part is he can deploy at the end of your movement within 6" (but more than 1" away from any enemies) of ONE enemy character you select before the game begins. And then you can assault somebody else entirely, and hopefully tie up an enemy shooty unit in combat. He likely won't KILL anything. But he's fun.
    Verdict: C, not counting fun factor.

    HARUSPEX
    Bad. Why? Because he's expensive, not tough enough for his cost, and not killy enough for his points cost for a short range unit. For his points cost you could deploy 3 Carnifexes, which would give you a total double the wounds (at -1T) and almost TRIPLE the number of attacks. They can also count as a single "drop" when deploying and act independently afterwards.
    Verdict: F-. The model is cool, at least.

    HIVE GUARD
    They are still good. I'd always give them Impaler Cannons, however. That means they have better range, can shoot from 100% behind cover, they ignore enemy cover, have better AP and Strength on their shots, and on average shoot as much. These guys are great, and should remain so for the foreseeable future .
    Verdict: A+ with Impaler Cannons. I'd drop them to B with Shock Cannons.

    LICTOR
    Hmmm no. If you really want a Lictor, the Deathleaper at least has the fun factor. Normal Lictors are cheap... but do nothing.
    Verdict: F

    MALECEPTOR
    This is better than the Haruspex, but still not good enough. Tyranids have much better Mortal Wound sources. HOWEEEEVER... if you tend to face a lot of armies fielding tons of small units he can be... fun. Still not good, but fun.
    Verdict: F

    PYROVORES
    Surprisingly these are pretty, pretty good. Situationally, but I'll take that. See, they can drop on a Tyrannocyte (Trygons only carry Troop choices), deploy more than 9" away form the enemy... and shoot their 10" heavy flamers. You can also play them as an anti-assault units in shooty armies, since it is VERY hard for enemies to assault them without eating 3D6 S5 AP-1 auto-hitting shots. But that's not all: they are also decent in melee combat. Not GREAT, but can inflict mortal wounds even while dying. Their bites, if they ever get to strike back, are S5 AP-3, so yikes. Shoot from afar. They are fragile and have TERRIBLE leadership, but whatever. Synapse or something.
    Also, they are under 130 points for a maxed out unit.
    Verdict: A* or B.

    THE RED TERROR
    Another not-so-great-but-fun named unit. I REALLY miss the Doom of Malan'Tai and the Parasite of Mortrex. Either way, he can try to swallow miniatures whole (easier if they have few wounds), which is hilarious. He also buffs Raveners a bit, but whatever.
    Verdict: B* or C, not counting the fun factor.

    TYRANT GUARD
    Now that Character protection is here they are only useful in melee fights or with the Swarmlord. But Melee Tyrants should fly and the Swarmlord is bad, so convert them into Hive Guard. So mostly a waste of points.
    Verdict: F unless they suddenly become or count as Hive Guard.

    VENOMTHROPES
    These guys would be good except Malanthropes exist. You should play Malanthropes unless you can't get your hands on them... but remember Venomthropes ONLY protect INFANTRY!
    Verdict: C. They are not really BAD, Malanthropes are just SO much better.

    ZOANTHROPES
    Does your army need cheap, durable Synapse options that can ALSO dish out Mortal Wounds? Then Zoans are good for you and your army. Are you only looking for a source of Mortal Wounds? Then Biovores are better. It's really that simple.
    Verdict: A*


    FAST ATTACK
    I honestly think Outrider Detachments can be A Thing Tyranid Armies Should Consider(tm). There are some very juicy things to look for here!

    (FW) DIMACHAERON
    This is like, a super-Lictor...ish...thing. Search for "Dimachaeron Awaken Realms" on google if you want to fall in love with a miniature and a paintjob. It's also actually a decent miniature for what it does. And the special rules can be surprisingly relevant in some tables...
    Verdict: B, or A if you'll be playing somewhere with lots of walls and buildings to hide behind and leap over. Like GEESH this gal can be powerful in the right tables.

    GARGOYLES
    Termagants wish they were this cool. Gargoyles are FAST, cheap, and... not very killy. But they are cheap, and useful to tie up enemies quickly until more killy units come for the kill.
    Verdict: B. They just won't kill much of anything, but it's hard to kill them back!

    HARPY
    Dakka Flyrants are a bit more expensive, but SO much better.
    Verdict: F

    HIVE CRONE
    If you are having to fight lots of enemy flyers, A Dakka Flyrant and three Hive Crones can be a very nice Outrider Detachment for just over 650 points. As in, very tasty. A 12-wound unit that can Fly, but is not limited by 90║ turns like mechanical flyers are? Yes please! Also, 10-30" movement is nothing to sneeze at. As for attacks, they all include: a D6 attack, S6, AP-1 flamer. 4 S5 AP-1 18" shots. 2 S5, 36" shots with +1 to hit flyers, that deal a MW on a 4+ when wounding or D3 MWs on a 6 (in addition to the normal wound... if they manage to wound with S5). Then on melee it has 3 S6 AP-2 D3 damage attacks (rerolling 1s to hit), and a S8 AP-3 D3 damage attack. If they all gang up on a flyer until it is dead, you can realistically bring them down.
    Verdict: A*. It's one of those units you SHOULDN'T need... but I'm glad it's a tool we have.

    MEIOTIC/MUCOLID SPORES
    If these could drop directly on an enemy they would be awesome. But since you can't, and they die if you sneeze too hard, they're bad. Not even as a points sink.
    There is a very fun, very dumb exception. Take an Outrider Detachment. Your HQ is a Flyrant with Monstrous Rending Claws and Deathspitters. Your three Fast Attack Options are three Mucolid Spores. This Detachment is just over 250 points. Take 7 of these detachments. Then take another Outrider Detachment with a Tyrant (no wings) with a Stranglethorn Cannon and Rending Claws, and the Mucolid Spores. This is just under 2k points, and is tournament-legal.
    All Tyrants are characters, so the enemy has to shoot first at the spores if they are closer, and even if there are no closer spores they can only shoot at the nearest Tyrant. Also, since Tyrants are HQs and not filling Flyer battlefield roles, they won't table you if only your flyers are remaining.
    Verdict: F. A+++* With the combo all-in list. Most of it due to it being HILARIOUS.

    RAVENERS
    Shrikes are only slightly more expensive and so much better.
    Verdict: F

    SKY-SLASHER SWARMS
    Like Ripper Swarms, but they can fly instead of Deep Striking. Ripper Swarms are good because they can pop up the turn you need them to pop up, and they are troops for the few missions where that actually matters. But these guys are a decent replacement. They also cost exactly the same.
    Verdict: C+

    SPORE MINES
    Like, stop already. Get Biovores or something.
    Verdict: F.

    TYRANID SHRIKES
    They are slightly more expensive than Warriors. They move twice as fast. So better. But not troops, if that's important for whatever reason (such as riding with Trygons or filling Battalions).
    Verdict: A because footslogging is for plebs.

    HEAVY SUPPORT
    There are some heavy hitters here! Also some lightweights, but you can't have everything.

    BIOVORES
    Do you want to inflict Mortal Wounds at very long range? These are your unit! Costing just under 110 points for a full squad, they deal 0-9 Mortal Wounds per shooting phase (average 1-2, which is actually about the same as Zoans). But even if their shots miss, you can place spore mines which can really mess up enemy movement. In fact, sometimes you may want to move them so their heavy weapons miss more and you can place more Spore Mines! Sometimes.
    Verdict: B. Note, however, that they are better in multiples. A Spearhead Detachment with 3x3 Biovores and a Prime for Synapse is just under 430 points, and I'd give this detachment an A.

    CARNIFEX
    They are OK. However, they are now S6, so they are much worse as melee options than before. Using Claws means you need 5+ to hit, so that's not really a solution. As for shooting, Tyranids have come a long way and we have better options now.
    Verdict: C

    EXOCRINE
    Speaking of better shooting... if he stands still he has 12 S7 AP-3 D2 shots at 36", hitting on a 3+. This guy has a few more wounds than a Carnifex, costs about twice as much as a Dakkafex, but is MUCH better at shooting. Three of these close to a Malanthrope are fun times, and are a Spearhead Detachment that stands under 800 points.
    Verdict: A

    MAWLOC
    There are better options out there. Cheaper than a Trygon, but MUCH worse in melee. It deals some Mortal Wounds when it pops up, but it cannot assault that turn. Then in Melee it only has AP0 attacks. It is, however, acceptably durable and cheap (slightly over 100 points), so it's an acceptable substitute to Biovores as a source of Mortal Wounds. It loses score since it can't burrow the same turn it escapes from melee combat, so it can be tied down. It's mostly useful to hurt things like Devastators or similar high-firepower-low-model-count units.
    Verdict: B, or A if you know you'll be fighting many good targets.

    (FW) STONE-CRUSHER CARNIFEX
    Oh hell yes. Forget standard 'fexes, these bad boys are the real deal. Slightly more expensive, but you get to re-roll all failed hit and wound rolls against Vehicles and Buildings? and don't have the -1 penalty normal 'fexes have for using double strength weapons???? This is where it's at! You can even deck them out for anti-infantry at the expense of not re-rolling to hit versus tanks.
    Verdict: A

    TOXICRENE
    This unit is unwieldy because it has SO MANY TONGUES. But it's good. It always fights first, can hurt stuff for hitting him, can hurt stuff for standing close to him, can shoot stuff (TONGUES) to things even if they are in melee (with him or someone else), and is acceptably durable. It's like a better, much cheaper Haruspex.
    Verdict: B+

    TRYGON // TRYGON PRIME
    Not quite Stone-Crusher Carnifex levels of good in melee, but he can get there in a turn AND carry a troops option with him. For a couple more points you can PRIME him to give him Synapse and double his shooting.
    Verdict: A+, he should ALWAYS carry troops.

    TYRANNOFEX
    If he stands still he shoots twice, so the 18" weapons ALMOST feel like a waste. But the Rupture Cannon only really hurts if both shots hit (if you stand still and shoot twice that's two rounds of two shots), so it's a Command Point sink, since it only hits on a 4+. I can't help but shake the feeling that the Exocrine is better as a heavy hitter, but barely so. The Rupture Cannon is very swingy, it either wrecks what it hits (with two S10 AP-4 D6 damage shots) or slightly tickles (with a S10 AP-1 2 damage shot). On average an Exocrine will deal around 4 wounds to a tank (max 24), whereas a Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon is closer to 3 (max also 24). Exocrines are also much better against elite units thanks to hitting on a 3+ and having a greater volume of fire.
    Play Exocrines instead.
    Verdict: F
    Last edited by Lemt; 08-10-2017 at 05:59 AM.

 

 

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