Hey guys, Frankie here to talk about the Troop section of the Tyranid codex. Troops are the backbone to the 40K game, with 5 outta 6 missions require you’re Troops to hold an objective, they’re good to keep alive. So let’s go through what this codex has to offer.
The first guys on our list are a great Troop and personal favorite, Tyranid Warriors. You can take a unit from 3-9. They can take almost all the upgrades in the codex, even wings, but that makes them a Fast Attack unit called Tyranid Shrikes, them I’ll cover in the Fast Attack section. They don’t have a lot in the way of special rules, other than Shadow in the Warp and Synapse Creature. This makes this unit Fearless, and great support for Instinctive Behavior units. But their real value is in their stat line. WS-5 BS-3 S-4 T-4 W-3 I-4 A-3 Ld-10 Sv-4+ these guys are very resilient with their 3 wounds, and when paired with a Tyranid Prime they only get better. Put the toughness 5 Prime in the front of the unit to help make it harder to insta kill the warriors. I strongly recommend taking Deathspitters on them, this S-5 AP-5 18” assault 3 gun is great anti-infantry and for small tanks, and with the Prime making them BS-4 they are amazing. Another thing that I love to do with them is Outflank them with the Hive Tyrant ability Hive Commander, this can be costly, but while also making you’re reserve rolls a 2+ I find its more than worth it. Epically with all of those Deathspitter shots. At 30 points each (35 with the Deathspitters) always a great choice.
Moving on to another good troop, this one is more for assaulting and does its job very well, I give you the Genestealers. These guys are very offensive in combat, true they have no guns but they make up for it. WS-6 BS=0 S-4 T-4 W-1 I-6 A-2 Ld-10 Sv-5+ also having Infiltrate, Fleet and Rending, those 3 attacks on the charge can be devastating. They can take Scything Talons for 2 points each to re-roll 1s to hit, I recommend this, and they can also have Furious Charge and/or Poison weapons for 3 points for each of them. They have an upgrade Character called the Broodlord. This guy is awesome, almost all of his stats are 1 better than a normal Genestealer except Wounds that go to 3, and Attacks that go to 4, BS stays at 0. He's also a Psyker. Being very fast and having a lot of attacks makes him great for challenges. Now I’ll be real with you, this unit was better in 5th edition than in 6th. Not being able to charge on the Outflank really hurts them, they are on the table for a turn or two and anyone that knows this unit will shoot at them, and a normal bolter unit can wipe them out. If you’re going to take them you need a lot. You can take between 5-20 in a unit and are great for hording your opponent with. But you can’t take a small unit and do real good very often. This unit can take a Mycetic Spore (see next in the section) like all the troops can(except Rippers) to Deep Strike, but they can’t take many shots and live. So if you’re going to run any you have to hide them or horde them, and at 14 points apiece, not a bad troop.
The Tyranids have their own version of the Drop Pod, this is the Mycetic Spore. Now to clarify this is not a Dedicated Transport. This is a Monstrous Creature that must come in Deep Strike. It can’t be taken by its self, it is an upgrade. It can carry in up to 20 infantry or a single Monstrous Creature that follow the rules for disembarking when it comes in. It auto corrects scatter in the same way a Drop Pod does, and cannot move once it hits the field. This Fearless monster has a S-6 AP-- 6” assault 6 gun that has to shoot at the closet enemy unit if it’s not engaged in a assault. And the only way that happens is if the enemy charges it. Its stat line is this: WS-2 BS-2 S-6 T-4 W-3 I-1 A-3 Ld-5 Sv-4+ and has Lash Whips, so if they do assault it they will hit at the same Initiative, and don’t forget that all Monstrous Creatures have Fear and Smash Attacks. But this is mainly just a delivery system for units. And at 40 points, I like it a great deal. It can take some gun upgrades, but I don’t usually take those. And one more thing, this is not a scoring unit, however you can claim Linebreaker with it.
This next unit makes for a popular choice in a horde based army, but I prefer to use them differently, they are the Termagants. Now to see why these little dime a dozen foot soldiers are so cool you should go read my Tyranid HQ article where I go over the Tervigon. Which can also be made a troop choice for every unit of Termagants you take. Each Tervigon spawns 3D6 Termagants a turn, and you can field up to five Tervigons in a standard game. That’s A LOT of Termagants! Throw in some Hive Guard and/or some Trygons and you have yourself a nice swarm army right there. I played a few games where I did this for fun and made so many Termagants we started using pennies to represent the huge horde. Ever seen “Star Ship Troopers”? Yeah it’s like that. It requires a ton of models, but it can be fun. Now I personally prefer balanced list over “watch me take six of the same unit and call it skill”. (Dan, I hope you don’t mind me referencing you in here.) So I take a Single unit of ten with one Tervigon. This gives me just what I need for holding on to objectives while my other units clean house. Now the Termagants die pretty easy having toughness 3 with armor 6+. But having a lot of them or forcing your opponent to deal with a bigger threat is a good way to use them. They are 5 points apiece, bring on the horde.
Moving on to the Termagants annoying little brother of a unit, we now have the Hormagaunts. Many immature jokes have been made about their name. (Sorry again Dan.) But that to the side, this unit isn’t worth a whole a lot. Once again we have a unit with no gun, and here are their stats: WS-3 BS-3 S-3 T-3 W-1 I-5 A-2 Ld-6 Sv-6+. They have a cool rule that helps their running and can take Furious Charge and/or Poison, they come with Scything Talons and can have a unit from 10-30, and at 6 points base. Now what makes worse than Termagants? Nothing really, at least as far is the units individually are concerned. Hormagaunts aren’t worthless in an assault, but they are a unit that needs a horde. And at that point there is way better support for the Termagant in ways of hording units. I ended up taking off all their arms to make more Termagants, and used their Scything Talons on Genestealers, I think they look cooler.
Now this last unit isn’t what I would call top tier, however I've seen and used them in some really fun ways, the Ripper Swarms. Now I don’t use these guys in competitive play, but some do, and they make for some fun games. There good sides to them and bad. I like to end things on a good note so let’s go over the bad first. They are Swarms, so they hate all templates. They are Strength and Toughness 3 with a 6+ armor save. They are WS, BS, and Initiative 2. They have a rule that’s called Mindless, this is if they fail their Instinctive Behavior test they take a wound for every point they fail by, so keeping them in Synapse range is a must. I agree, it looks bad for these little dudes. So let’s move on to the good things. They have 4 Attacks base, this is great with poison. And most people disregard them because they don’t find them to be a big threat. This is not true. The unit is sized 3-9 with 3 Wounds each. These guys like having all nine on the table. That’s 45 Attacks on the charge, and with poison that can be nasty. I’ve seen Terminators die to this unit a lot more than once. And they are super easy to hide, when the model is only 7/8 of an inch tall, this very easy. In 5th edition they were fun with Venomthropes. I’ve put a Tyranid Prime with them moving them from combat to combat. They can be fun. They are 10 points a base, 14 with poison; they can also gain Deep Strike for 2 points a model. I feel there are better choices out there, but to each his own.
So that’s it for the Troop section of the Tyranid codex. I hope you enjoyed it and as always please share what you think about the above units and/or how you would play them.
Until next time!