Codex Review: Tyranids Heavy Support

Here we go, the Heavy Support sections of the Tyranid Codex. There are monstrous creatures throughout the Tyranid codex, but the Heavy Support is laden with them. In fact, with the Tervigon as an option for a troop choice, every category has a Monstrous Creature option, but the heavy support is meant for them.

The classic option in a heavy support option is the Carnifex. These are the Nid tank killers. I took two of these against two Land Raiders, and while I did suffer a few wounds, the LRs didn’t have a chance. WS3, BS3, S9, T6, W4, I2, A3, Ld7, and a 3+ armour save. You can take three of these in a brood, and they are no longer limited to every Carnifex in the brood taking the same upgrades. If you take the adrenal glands, you get fleet, and +1S on the charge. The Carnifexes get D3 hammer of wrath attack, so you have the potential 3 S9 attacks, and 5 S10 attacks on the charge. Land Raiders may be able to stand up to that, but it is a lot of attacks for a Land Raider to survive. They can also be upgraded with crushing claws, monstrous biocannons, biomorphs, spine banks, bio-plasma, bone mace, and a/or Thresher scythe. And at 120 points base, they are a pretty good value. The Space Marine base Dreadnaught is 100 points, and I think the Carnifexes are easily better, and they only cost 20 points more.

The Biovore Brood comes in at 40 points per model and launches Spore Mine Clusters. There is nothing special here. It’s not even a Monstrous Creature. Sure it can shoot a S4 AP4 large blast that may create a spore mine cluster, but it’s not really all that special.

Next up is the Trygon and the Trygon Prime, two of the big MC’s in this codex. The stat lines for each are WS5, BS3, S6, T6, W6, I4, A5, SV of 3+, and while the Trygon has a leadership of 8, the Prime has a leadership of 10 and is a synapse range. Both have fleet, fearless, deep strike, and subterranean assault. Subterranean assault allows Trygons and Trygon Primes to not scatter on top of another model or impassible terrain. Also, after the Trygon arrived, you mark that area with a marker. In any subsequent turn, any friendly infantry unit can use the Trygon’s tunnel, but one must remember that only one unit can arrive through the tunnel per turn. If a model of the arriving unit cannot be placed within 6 inches of the tunnel, those models are removed as casualties. These MCs are hard to kill, ok in close combat, but a little expensive.

Now the Mawloc, the Trygon’s weird cousin, this is a unit that I have used a couple of times, and I even had a little success with them. Its stat line is WS3, BS0, S6, T6, W6, I4, A3, Ld8 and a save of 3+. The Mawloc’s specials rules are Burrow, Deep Strike, Fearless, Hit and Run, and Terror from the Deep. Burrow and Terror from the deep are what really make the Mawloc. Burrow allows an unengaged Mawloc to move into ongoing reserves. It can’t deep strike and burrow in the same turn. Terror from the Deep allows a Mowloc to attack enemy units from deep strike. When a Mawloc arrives, you mark its placement with the large blast template, and roll on the scatter die. All units except flyers and flying MCs suffer from S6 AP2 hits with the ignores cover special rule. If after removing casualties the model can be placed, the player can do so. If it cannot be placed due to models being in the way, there is another round of hits. If after the second round the Mawloc still cannot be placed, the player rolls on the Deep Strike Mishap Table. The two times this happened to me, my Mawlocs were removed from the game.

The Exocrine is the new Heavy Support option. It comes equipped with a Bio-plasmic cannon and Scything talons. The cannon has two settings, Assault 1, large blast or Assault 6. Both options are S7 AP2 with a range of 24 inches, and this cannon is one of the few Tyranid weapons that are AP2. The Exrocrine also has a unique ability. Its standard BS is 3, but if it does not move in the movement phase, its BS gains +1, but then it cannot charge in the assault phase when it uses this special rule.

The final Heavy Support choice is the Tyrannofex. This MC has the same stat line as the Tervigon (HQ Choice) except that it’s leadership is 8 and its strength is 6. The Tyrannofex has two attacks, Acid Spray, which is a S6 AP4 Torrent template weapon, and a Stinger Salvo, which is S5 AP4 Assault 4. I honestly do not know how I would even use this. It’s not all that great in close combat (other than having AP2 attacks) but you need to get it close to the enemy to really use it. I honestly feel that I the Exocrine is a much better and more useful unit.

I should have dropped the Warlord Traits in the HQ review, but since I didn’t, here seems to just as good. The first one is Nature’s Bane. This allows the player to select a jungle within 12 inches of the warlord and made it a Carnivorous Jungle. Heightened Senses give the Warlord and Tyranids within 12 inches Night Vision. Synaptic Lynchpin, the Swarmlord’s trait, makes the Warlord Synapse range 18 inches. Two victory points are awarded for each Independent Character slain by the warlord in a challenge when the warlord trait is Mind Eater. With Digestive Denial one piece of terrain in the opponents deployment zone has it’s cover save reduced by one (terrain that the opponent purchased cannot be chosen). The last Warlord trait is Adaptive Biology. If the warlord suffers a wound it gains feel no pain (5+) at the beginning of its next movement phase.

The last item I am going to review is the psychic powers available to the Tyranids. Thanks to the rules of the 7th edition, and the fact that Tyranids can only choose from the powers of the Hive Mind, every Tyranid psyker gains the Primaris Power, Dominion. Dominion adds +6 inches to the synapse range of the psyker, including those who do not have a synapse range (thanks FAQ). Catalyst, the power I want the most, gives the psykers unit and one other unit within 12 inches Feel No Pain. The Horror is a malediction that forces one enemy unit to take a pinning test at -2 to their leadership. Onslaught allows a single friendly unit within 24 inches of the psyker to run and shoot in the shooting phase. Paroxysm reduces on enemy unit’s BS and WS by D3. Psychic Scream is a Nova Attack with a range of 6 inches. The player rolls 2D6 and adds 2 for each unit affected and subtracts their leadership. The enemy unit takes the number of wounds equal to the result with no Armour or Cover saves. The final psychic power is Warp Blast. This is a Witchfire attack with two profiles. One is a S5 AP3 blast template with a range of 24 inches. The second is S10 AP 2 lance attack with a range of 18 inches.

And that is it. I’m done with this codex review. I know, I didn’t go into the individual weapons or special biomorphs. But I figure the less I review, the less likely I am to make a mistake.

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