Fury of the Swarm: the 40K co-op open Beta begins

Fury of the Swarm is an attempt at a co-op mode for Warhammer 40,000, in which the players face off against a swarm of Tyranids following instinctive protocols. This week, the open beta launches.

As promised in my announcement two weeks ago [edit: ok that was true at the time of writing, but finding a slot in Goonhammer’s potent river of content has proved challenging, so… as promised, X weeks ago!], today’s the day you can have a go at the initial test version of the Tyranid-filled co-op/solo play mode we’re making for Warhammer 40,000. If you want to see how your army performs when wading waist deep in hungry xenoforms, you’re in the right place.

Just like Theresa May in a wheat field. Credit: Charlie Brassley

If you missed the last post, the plan is to slowly develop this gaming supplement in collaboration with the wider community over the course of the next 18 weeks. Feedback received from players will factor into refinements I make along the way, and over time a greater variety of missions will be added. By the end, you’ll be able to play a co-op campaign with your mates that lets you fight out a Tyranid invasion. Depending on how your armies fare in your campaigns, you might just save your planet, or land yourself in a fetid digestion pool. Hopefully it’ll be cinematic fun either way.

Why are you making co-op specifically versus Tyranids, and not any army?
Obviously the 10th edition starter sets are a major factor, but beyond that, I think a swarm of Tyranids following instinctive protocols feels more thematic than it does for other factions. Secondly, it allows the rules to be much more heavily themed. Thirdly, I know some people (myself included) find Tyranids great fun to fight, but not relatable enough to want to play as them. This, therefore, is an attempt to both have the cake and devour it.

How to send feedback on your games
You can use the feedback form, email contact@goonhammer.com or reach out to me (Charlie) on Instagram. If you’re a Goonhammer patron, I’m @Charlie B on the Discord server.

Why an open beta?
It’s a great idea! And also a silly idea! On the one hand, widening the pool of testers and feedback will undoubtedly be good for the finished supplement (which, to be clear, will be free, and which you can’t play without a copy of the official rules). On the other hand, I’m risking having people burn out on it or dismissing it before it’s been through enough iterations.

I’m taking the gamble that involving other people in Swarm’s development will result in some good community building, and will give people added encouragement to get some paint on all the beautiful new Tyranids Games Workshop are putting out.

A Google Doc? Seriously?
Until we hit Version 1, yes. I need to be able to chop and change rules extremely quickly during these initial phases, and there’s no point messing around with nice layout and pretty pictures until things have settled down a bit.

A little less conversation, a little more Hive Fleet please. Where can I access this thing?
Click here to access version 0.1, or click the image below.


How brutal should Fury of the Swarm games be?
This game mode will sometimes give you a lucky break, but will often throw some meaty six-limbed curveballs at you from unexpected directions. It’s intended to be challenging, since I feel it needs to be somewhat brutal to be rewarding. Your mileage may vary of course, and I’m interested to hear if you think the game’s too punishing (or, indeed, not punishing enough).

In my own games, I’ve won about as much as I’ve lost, but when I’ve lost, I’ve lost hard, and when I’ve won, I’ve done so with a very bloody nose.

Tervigon and Termagants. Credit: Charlie Brassley & Tom Saunders

What’s next?
I’ll be back in two weeks with three new scenarios, one for each invasion phase. That means we’ll be able to start playing the three-phase campaigns that I hope will be central to this whole endeavour.

Thank you to Lupe for pointing out some of my most egregious oversights in the very first draft, and to Tom for being both a sound board and for lending me his Tyranid army to use for testing. You can read more about how his army only exists because of Citadel Contrast Paint over at the Beard Bunker.

Get your Tyranids out!
If you give this a go, I’m nervous but keen to hear how you get on with this early demo version. Again, you can use the feedback form, email contact@goonhammer.com or reach out to me (Charlie) on Instagram. If you’re a Goonhammer patron, I’m @Charlie B on the Discord server.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.