Shorereaper here, bringing you part two of my Tyranid Codex Review. And today I move on to the troop choices.
I am going to start with the Warrior Brood. Warriors are the only troop choice that has a Synapse Range and Shadow in the Warp. Well, that’s not exactly true, but I will come to that later. The unit is 90 points for three, and up to six more at 30 points a model. The basic upgrades for warriors are Toxin Sacs, Flesh Hooks, and adrenal glands. The can also be upgraded with Basic Bio-Weapons and Melee Bio-weapons. This unit is not a bad option if you feel like you need more synapse to sure up you battle lines. I will cover the actual upgrade in more depth at a later date. The down side to the three wound Warriors, is that they have a lower save, and a certain weapons can easily kill them in one shot. I haven’t used them in 7th, but I do have a plan to use them soon.
The second unit listed in the Codex is the Genestealer brood. This brood is expensive coming in at a cost of 14 points per model, but they can be used effectively. They have rending claws, fleet, infiltrate, move through over, and outflank. Honestly, I would never use the outflank rule. It’s bad enough that they have to take a turn getting shot at, but to risk them not coming in, or coming in in a position where they cannot help, I would rather infiltrate them if I am going first. And if not, just deploy them.
You can field them in units of 20. They start with 2 attacks base, but for 4 more points, you can equip them with talons, giving them another attack. Again, like most of the Tyranid army, Adrenal glands and toxin sacs can be added, though I do not know if those upgrades would be worth it in this case. They have a high initiative (6) meaning that they will kill a lot before they die, and with a WS of 6, most units will be hitting on 4s or 5s.
The final upgrade for the Genestealers would be the Broodlord. For 60 points, you get a S5, T5, W3, I7, A4 super Genestealer with a WS of 7. He also is a level 1 psyker with Horror (forces opponents to take pinning test on -2 Ld). He also knows Dominion, at least according to some debates, but it is one I agree with. I usually field Genestealers in small groups and infiltrate them forward, and I never take the broodlord. This is not a unit that can be ignored by my opponent, and while the enemy is concentrating on these guys, I can get the rest of my army in place to wreck havoc.
The next unit to come up in the codex is the Termagant brood. This is the staple of the Tyranid army, and at a cost of 4 points a model, they are very cheap. However, with how weak they are, their standard weapon (the Fleshborer), and their BS, it is a good thing that they can come in large units of 30. The have a very low save of 6+ so you want to keep them in cover. However, if you can get a unit of 30 on top of an objective, and keep them in synapse range, It will take a lot to move them off of that objective (and objective secured comes into play here).
The other great thing about 30 Termagants is that you can now have a Tervigon as a troop choice. Having a T6 monster with 6 wounds and objective secured parked on top of an objective almost guarantees you that one objective. Plus, while it is holding the objective, it is spawning more units with objective secured. There is down side, which I did not cover in the HQ review, and that is that if the Tervigon does actually die, he can take a lot of termagants with him. When slain, each friendly unit of Termagants within 12 inches of the Tervigon takes 3D6 S3 AP- wounds with no cover saves allowed. Still, this is a troop unit that I very much recommend. And while it has gotten more expensive to field a Tervigon as a troop unit, it is still very much worth it. The old codex did not have a minimum Termagant troop requirement, as long as you had a unit. Now you have to have a full unit of 30.
Of course, if I talk about Termagants, I have to talk about Hormaguants. These are the close combat versions of the Termagants. They cost an extra point, and I am not really sure if they are worth it, but for some reason I like them. I just don’t use them as much as I want to. Again, you can field them in a unit of 30, but they are very weak and have almost no armour save. WS of 3, BS of 3 (what can they shoot?), S3, T3, W1, I5, A2, and a leadership of 6. If you can get this unit into close combat, and keep them in synapse range, they can tie up a unit for a whole game, and may even kill a few in the process. On the charge, that would be 90 attacks (if everyone can get into combat).
The Hormagaunts also have a special rule called Bounding Leap. Hormaguants are allowed to run an extra 3 inches. So, their base run will be most other unit’s average run on 1D6. They also have fleet, almost guaranteeing that they will run much more than 4 inches. Other upgrade possibilities include adrenal glands, but since they already have fleet, they only gain Furious Charge. They can also take toxin sacs, giving them poisoned attacks. But at 2 points per model on the Adrenal Glands and 3 points per model on the Toxin Sacs, I am having a really hard time justifying the cost. Not only can I not justify the cost of the upgrades, but also of the unit itself. Sure, it has objective secured, but you need to use them in close combat, or they are completely useless. What is the point of picking this unit just to have them sit on an objective? You have to rush them towards the enemy.
The final troop option in the Tyranid codex is the Ripper Swarm. This is a unit that I have taken in the past, but I have yet to take it in 7th edition. Every time I have taken the Rippers, I just had fun. They are weak, easy to kill, they can’t hit anything, but there sure are a lot of them. As per usual, the maximum number of models that can be taken is nine, but with that nine you get 36 attacks, possibly 45 if you can get the charge off. Their save is as good as the Termagants (in other words, nothing), but with the swarm rules, one failed save may kill the whole model. On top of the Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs, you can buy the Deep Strike rule and Spinefists. And seeing 9 of these marching across the field and then tying up units that are so much more expensive always brings a laugh. For the first round at least, after that your opponent may start to get frustrated that little bugs are holding up a key part of his army.
In conclusion, the Tyranids bring with them a decent choice of troops. Sure, their armour saves are not the greatest, but there can be a lot of them. And as long as they are within synapse range, the opponent may need to kill 30 of them just to get them off of an objective.