Saturday 11 January 2014

Tyranid codex: Review

I have seen a fair few reviews of this codex saying that they are bitterly disappointed and that the codex isn’t as good as it should be. While I can see why they are saying that, I have come to a rather different conclusion of my own. Granted the codex doesn’t have a big new shiny unit like the wraithknight or the riptide but I believe that the codex has its gems none the less.

The biggest change in the codex is the price drop almost everything receives. This is deserved, and rather it should have happened last codex for most of the big bugs. This allows the tyranids to take a much larger force than they could have last week. Extra models mean more chance of them reaching where they have to go. I have to say the Carnifex is the one who gets the best deal out of this as it makes then roughly the price of an upgraded dreadnaught but so, so much more destructive. It used to be the big scary unit back in 4th, but 5th killed it and 6th appears to have brought it back. I fear the sight of facing 4 of these monsters in a 1500 game plus a lot more.

Unfortunately something has to give when points get reduced, and this time round it’s the bio-morphs. Again we get a big shake up and a few things change. The most obvious is the scything talons, which no longer give re-rolls to hits, they are just ap 6 combat weapons, a shame but that’s what happens. Last whips no longer slow the opponent down, instead they speed up the monster, granting +3 initiative. A few odd restrictions have occurred, we cannot have fex’s with 2 big guns, probably an old hang up from 4th edition where dakka fex’s with 2 heavy guns reigned supreme.  

Something’s have defiantly improved though, regeneration is a lot different to what I expected, it is now you regain a wound on a 4+, I just expected it to give you ‘it will not die’. Venom cannons have finally lost the old artefact of -1 to the vehicle damage table. It’s about time as it was such a stupid rule that made no sense any more, it was fine in 3rd edition when it was introduced as they could still wreck a tank with a penetrating hit, but in 5th and 6th they could only irritate it, now it can actually do real damage.  We have got a few extra bio-morphs as well, acid blood can now be bought, which if the nid takes a wound, the attacking model takes an initiative test or suffer a strength 5 ap 2 hit. AP2!!! That’s amazing for something so cheap. I wouldn’t bother giving it to everything but on a hive tyrant who might get stuck in a challenge, why not?

Let’s look at the new bugs shall we. First the hive crone, this new flyer is meant to be dominate they skys, taking out enemy flyers and monstrous creatures alike. They come with tentaclids, the tyranids version of missiles, and they become twin-linked when targeted against flyers which almost makes up for the lack of BS the tyranid suffer from across the board. They also have haywire, which practically lets them glance a flyer to death, however the strength of them is 5 so it wont be doing much else bar glancing with haywire at that strength. It will let it stand a chance of taking down flyering daemon princes though, but not perfect. It gets a template weapon which isn’t great, but it can vector strike at strength 8, not bad for taking out flyers either.

The Haruspex is a combat monster but I wouldn’t say it was great. He regenerates wounds in combat and gets extra attacks for each kill it gets. For 160 points you get 5 wounds which should get into combat but only 3 attacks, so on the charge it could possibly kill 8 models. The other side of this duel kit is the Exocrine, a 170 point model which has a large plasma cannon on its back, only 24 inches but it can either fire a large blast, or 6 shots. If it stays still it increases its ballistic skill to 4, which helps a lot when you want to fire 6 shots into a tank. I think this is a welcomed addition to the codex as it gives a great ranged way of taking out terminators and light tanks. It’s not great in combat but that’s life.

A big blow to the nids is that they now have their own psychic powers and they aren’t great. Some powers have increased in ability, Catalyst for example now targets both the caster and another unit, which is a great boost as tervigons and other monsters can target itself and a friend, best of both worlds.

Over all I like this codex, and it will take a skilled player to make it a tournament winning book, but it has the potential there, I am sure of it.

What do you guys think of the codex?


  1. Ok in some ways but really bad in others, for starters we are losing the 3 killer tactics, firstly the DoM and/or Parasite (Random one-hit wonder), second is Mycetic spores (No need to run into a wall of fire), and 3rd is the Psychic domination (Using Biomancy)... Boneswords (AP3?, lame) are also nerfed and they were my favourite MC killer... Also your units are cheaper, but cause the biomorphs have been reduced in ability your not really saving much in the long run... Time to evolve in tactics cause its a massive backwards step...

  2. I've played Nids since before the dark millennium box set was released in 2nd ed. All in all I'm not sure and really need to review it more. maybe play around with some lists.
    Overall many of my favorite units have been hit with the nerf bat and while the fex is now costed at a usable points cost I'm not sure if what we've lost and other units going up in points will work any better than the last. Not that I ever had any problems winning with the last one and quite liked it.
    The new gun bug is amazing not sure about the CC one though. May have to have a read through and do my own review once I've grabbed my old codex out of the loft.

  3. Synapse is too easy to break and when it dose you have nothing. You will have 4-5 models that will get focused and then your army scuttles about or kills itself. This book is horribad.

  4. I think the list is fine you just have to adapt, I used the miasma cannon on a tervigon and walked him up the board with 2 tyranofexes with rupture cannons and a venomthrope killing everything on that side of the board and spawning termagants to help, there are tactics there we just haven't had the book long enough to find them yet

  5. I think the Nids might have one of the best anti flyer units in the game, and it is not the crone (though the crone is also a good anti flyer unit). I'm talking about the flying hive tyrant. With the heavy devourer, it gets 6 re-rollable strength 6 shots with a BS of 4. Most enemy flyers have armour of 10 or 11, meaning we get 6 shots to penetrate or glance. The flyrant also gets 2 attempts to roll warp blast. That is a strength 10, AP 2 other anti flyer weapon is so strong. In addition, the flyrant can get a +3 jinx save if it is near a venomthrope. Also, if you give it they ymgarl factor, it can have armour save of +2 every second turn. The ability to shoot 6 strength 6 attacks, plus a strength 10 AP2 attack at BS4 against another flyer in the same turn makes it a great antiflyer