Q3 2024 40K Balance Update – Xenos

This week Games Workshop dropped the largest single update we’ve ever seen to Warhammer 40,000 outside of an edition change. Through a number of FAQs and Errata, points changes, a new Dataslate, and a massive update to the Core Rules, they’ve overhauled the entire game, bringing us to what we at Goonhammer are calling “10.5 Edition.” There is a ton here to talk about and even more to take in, and we’ve split the content across a number of articles to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

This is one of three articles covering the Q3 Balance Dataslate and Munitorum Field Manual – What changed, how each army was affected, and what that means for your games. Some armies got massive updates while others only saw some small tweaks. We’re just going to cover the high-level overview here, talking about lists of changes, winners, and losers.

This article is covering Xenos factions. You can find the others, plus our review of the Core Rules changes and Pariah Tournament Companion, at the following links:

For those armies which changed substantially, like Adeptus Mechanicus, Tyranids, or Chaos Daemons, we’ll also be updating their Faction and Detachment Focuses over the next few weeks.

It’s worth highlighting that a few units now have differently scaled costs depending on how large the squad is, usually where being able to take a single model was particularly handy for whatever reason, or if larger units scale differently in power.

Finally, before we dive in, we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of these changes for review purposes.


Status: Complicated (Netting out to either “Neutral” or “Minor Losers but more Interesting”)

Wings: Aeldari pick up a surprisingly nuanced set of changes here, suggesting that they’re finally in a place where they can get some internal re-balancing done like a normal faction. The most important news is, of course, that we’ve finally got a Balance Update that doesn’t (specifically) nerf Support Weapons. Our long national nightmare is over. Perfection has been achieved. Please ignore the global Indirect change.

Elsewhere many of the units that are currently seeing heavy use in Aeldari builds pick up 5-10pts increases, including:

  • Swooping Hawks +5pts
  • Warp Spiders +10pts
  • Shadow Spectres +10pts
  • Skyweavers +10pts
  • Fire Dragons +5pts
  • Dark Reapers +5pts

Yvraine also gets a fairly weighty +25pts increase, which appears to be to allow GW to tweak the balance on Ravagers a bit, moving some of the price they pay for being great in Ynnari to Yvraine instead.

All that is pretty bad – it’s directly targeted at the most successful builds, though there are also staples that are untouched. However, in compensation for this there are some interesting points decreases that make some units look pretty exciting:

  • Asurmen -20pts
  • Jain Zar -15pts
  • Karandras -10pts
  • Maugen Ra -15pts
  • Voidweaver -10pts
  • Vyper -10pts
  • Wraithlord -15pts

Out of these, Asurmen, Karandras, the Voidweaver and Vyper all feel pretty relevant. Karandras and five Scorpions was already a low-key great thing to ride around in a Falcon, and starts looking like an exceptional bargain at this price, while Asurmen gets enough of a cut that running him around with five or ten Avengers starts to look genuinely real. Jain Zar might also have dropped enough that you think about taking her and five Banshees, but they’re well behind the Scorpions in the queue. Hull-wise, Vypers are a great cheap body at this price, helping keep your drop count up in the face of the Hawk price increase, while Voidweavers are nifty damage dealers. Even the Wraithlord could plausibly get a look-in at this cost, as they’re pretty chunky and help generate a few Fate Dice.

Aeldari also get some FAQ answers, most of which aren’t controversial but two of which do see inconsistent rulings currently.

  • Yes you can use a Fate Dice when you re-roll. I personally hate this, but it’s official now so I guess I should start doing it. This is obviously good for the faction if it was being ruled otherwise in your local area. It is also clarified that if you re-roll a roll, any Fate Dice already used are lost.
  • The very amusing clash between the Yncarne and Space Marine Infiltrators has been covered, and the brain-melting outcome of the Yncarne ending up as close as possible to the destroyed unit but outside 12” of the Infiltrator bubble does happen.


Status: Minor Losers?

Wings: Drukhari receive extremely minimal changes:

  • Scourges +10pts on a small squad, -40pts on a big squad
  • Ravagers -5pts
  • Grotesques -10pts

Ultimately, 5-model Scourge units were probably the best unit in the faction, so +10pts acoss those inevitably hurts a bit, and Ravagers coming down by 5pts doesn’t compensate (though is welcome). Grotesques going down is also interesting, but doesn’t particularly feel like something the dominant Drukhari builds need (though this is the level of drop where it might push something new over the top).

Over in FAQs, Scourges do get a minor compensatory bit of help as it’s clarified that if the opponent has a Stratagem that lets them shoot back at Scourges, the player whose turn it is (i.e. you) gets to choose whether that or Winged Strike resolves first. I wonder which you will choose.

The FAQ/Errata also tidies up Cronos a bit – they get a wording change on their Pain Syphon ability to make it clear that it still works if you’re using a Pain Token to empower multiple units at once, but if multiple Cronos are in range of a unit that’s chomping on a token, you still only get to roll once because it’s an Aura.

Finally, if you’re using Venoms to split a unit, this happens before you join any Leaders to them. I don’t know what the hell nonsense you people were trying to get up to with that, presumably something involving the Court of the Archon, but now you have to stop.

Lowest of Men: I am more optimistic on Drukhari here than Wings. In an army with a billion trash units, nudging one around to fund a 30 point bump for three of your best gun unit is child’s play. The faction has been quietly enjoying the last few months with a much better game into recent meta menaces than the ones on the down, and this slate (broadly) continues the trend of bringing down their nastier predators and pushing people away from that horrible indirect that the dark kin despise so much.

It remains to be seen how the Drukhari interact with the new missions but they’ve always scored secondaries particularly well, and a second consecutive slate of more or less holding ground is very good news for an index that has been shown to be consistently solid in skilled hands. Grotesque drops are interesting – a brawly fight on death unit definitely has a place in a world of nasty flying melee traders, and 80 is pretty cheap for the wounds you get. The Ravager getting cheaper does it no harm either, and I think Drukhari players will find themselves holding their own quite happily in the post-slate world…

Wings: Another point that belatedly occurred – Archons are probably one of the bigger winners from the change on CP tax abilities, as you often want to be ramming them towards the opponent. It also means that multiple Archons can benefit, as their existing ability just gets replaced wholecloth with Lord of Deceit, rather than keeping the Warlord restriction. With that added, I will concede that they’re probably neutral at worst.

Genestealer Cults

Status: Winners

Wings: Now. Look. You have to read this before you get mad at me. Yes, the GSC book feels a bit underwhelming and yes, there are some units that still feel overpriced with these new points (especially Atalan Jackals). HOWEVER, I think that this is mostly about as good as Cults could have hoped for on a first pass, and means the faction should end up landing at playable, particularly using the melee detachments.

TwoHorse: I am, hesitantly, with Wings on this. The book is built to enable a points drop, and while I would have preferred to see GSC points get cut with the same gusto that Sisters got increased, it’s multiple steps in the right direction.

Lowest of Men: As a fun thought exercise, look through the GSC points once, imagining how you’d feel about them if you got to use all the ambush units once per game only. Then do so again, and imagine how you’d assess them if you were getting to bring them all back and use them every match. Emotionally confusing isn’t it? The truth is somewhere between the two, constantly fluctuating, and that’s where the Cults are going to be for a while. Plenty to work with here though and the drops on combat units are especially enticing, which is a welcome change away from the index.

Wings: Anyway, this is functionally a whole new set of points, so go and take a look rather than us listing everything out, but I think the particularly important ones are:

  • Neophytes kept the book cost of 70/140.
  • Autopistol Acolytes go down from the book price to also be 70/140, giving you a nifty cheap counterpunch threat/utility unit.
  • The Sanctus stayed super cheap to fill out your Lone Op slots.
  • Pretty much everything that was higher in the book than the old MFM is down to the MFM cost, some even further (e.g. the Goliath Rockgrinder down to 120pts).

Some things probably need to come down further (Aberrants and Jackals, mainly) but that definitely is a toolbox to play with.

TwoHorse: My detailed thoughts are as follows, starting with Characters:

  • Benefictus debuts at 80. This is a bit underwhelming, but you’ll still take him because he’s the only guy selling lethal hits at range, and for the detachments with non-Primus access to rerolls that can be especially handy for bringing your demo charges back up to a semblance of their former glory. Likewise you may want lascannon shots that aren’t mounted on the back of a Ridgerunner (or because you can only take so many Ridgerunners). I would have liked to see this guy land closer to 65, but we’ll see how it goes over the next few months.
  • Acolyte Iconward up 10 to 60. Meh. He’s still useful.
  • Biophagus down 10 to 50. A discount here is generally nice, and especially where his keyword opens the door to the Broodsurge jank emporium.
  • Kelermorph up 5 to 60. A small price to pay for giving the galaxy’s greatest gunslinger a good datasheet.

On vehicles:

  • Goliath Truck down 5 to 85. This is nice, since getting our t-shirt-clad melee units to the fray means we need affordable metal boxes for them to ride in.
  • Goliath Rockgrinder down 10 to 120. Speaking of metal boxes, this is awesome. Not just because the Rockgrinder is the greatest vehicle kit yet devised by GW, but because at this price these could see use in any detachment. Frankly this is where they should have been from the beginning, but it’ll be great to finally see these on tables in 10th edition!
  • Achilles Ridgerunners stay the same. This is the only non-change I’m calling out, because it’s very important. This is, in my opinion, the most important datasheet in the book. AP buffs are hard to come by, and melee AP buffs were vanishingly rare until this round of Codex releases. These things can stop a melee rush, pop transports at range, and boost the output of everything else in the army. At 75 points each, do not sleep on them

And then the actual units:

  • Acolyte Hybrids with Hand Flamers (and Demo charges) are down 2ppm to 75/150. This is a welcome shift, because they still hit really hard into the right targets. They’re probably not mandatory anymore, but you won’t feel silly for taking them at this price. I would have liked to see them cut back a bit further, but this is okay. ish.
  • Acolyte Hybrids with Autopistols (and Mining weapons) debut at 14ppm or 140 for 10. This is encouraging compared to their silly book price, and is a solid price-point for a midrange melee unit. You can’t end the world with them, but if you fail their Cult Ambush roll the game isn’t over either. Several detachments can comfortably build around this datasheet, and at this price that’s not the only thing you’ll bring.
  • Aberrants down 6ppm to 150/300. Maybe still not enough given the hit they’ve taken to both output and durability, but it’s enough that Broodsurge starts to look good. Five of these dudes bolted onto a shiny new Abominant is a sweet tool that won’t break the bank.
  • Neophyte Hybrids down to the book price of 70/140. This feels rough for a unit that pales in comparison to their former selves, but it’s still 20 bodies that might respawn, and can be juiced to reasonable levels with the detachment tools. These guys are still stuck on the knife-edge of Cult Ambush balance, because at their current price they don’t compare well against similar units from other armies, but respawning big bricks of OC40 can smother your opponent if you’re able to spam them and then roll hot on your Cult Ambush rolls. It doesn’t feel great, but we can work with this.

Overall, these changes don’t put GSC into A+ tier, but I wouldn’t put a supermajor win out of reach. My gut feeling is that this opens the door enough that several detachments will see play and that there is new sauce waiting to be discovered, even if it isn’t obvious at first read. These points create space for MSU go-wide builds that help smooth out some of the worst aspects of Cult Ambush variance, but still leave the door open to the traditional hammers-and-board-control style for anyone who inexplicably isn’t tired of the index style.

Leagues of Votann

Status: Winners

Wings: Thanks to their low centre of gravity, Votann are perfectly balanced and thus get no points changes.

There are a few FAQ updates for them though, mostly around Enhancements and their Detachment rule, and these net out to very slightly reducing their existing power. However, Hernkyn Yaegirs are 80pts, which is absolutely buck wild, and a huge get for the faction.

The key ones here are that you can’t use Ruthless Efficiency to put counters on an enemy unit that’s in a Transport, which can be a little bit of a headache against some Marine variants. In addition, if you pick an Attached unit for this, then if you just destroy one part of it (e.g. the Bodyguard) and the unit splits, it does not count as Destroyed for the purposes of earning you bonus CP. It is at least also clarified that the bonus CP from Ruthless Efficiency not counting towards your cap for the turn means that you can still earn another one from (e.g.) discarding a Tactical Mission.

Yaegirs though. At 80pts I think two units is a lock for every list. Seriously, I was expecting these to be 110pts, maybe 100pts if Votann got lucky. Huge win.

Lowest of Men: The biggest determinant of Votann, ahem, prospects is the generous price point on their new forward deploy heroes, the Yaegirs. Ultimately in the higher levels of competitive play not having access to infiltrating units has been costing Votann dearly, but they pack an impressive alpha strike of their own via Bikers and Sagitaurs when conditions allow, and now they have a much better chance of creating routes across board to enable it. The slate does very little for Votann outside of that, but this is a pretty hefty quality of life improvement for the dwarves!

Curie: Why are Yaegirs 80 points?! Votann’s biggest weakness in their Sagitaur rush build was the enemy bringing a unit with Infiltrators; now we get our own at a bargain bin price? These idiots are cheaper than warriors and arguably better!

There is also a weird rules interpretation that’s now been ruled as “canon” by GW here – when you kill a unit on your Appraising Glare objective with a unit being lead by a character with A Long List, you are then able to allocate a judgement token as if they had a token, regardless of whether they did or not before selecting the objective. Wheee free tokens!


Status: Losers

Wings: Necrons continue to be in the dataslate doghouse, getting a mixture of point nerfs and balance hits/errata that combine to hurt all three of their more powerful detachments.

Points-wise, it’s minimal but painful:

  • Wraiths +15pts/3
  • Canoptek Doomstalker +10pts

GW have noted that the vast majority of successful builds since the last Dataslate have taken minimum two units of each of these and decided the last round of nerfs didn’t go far enough, landing another solid hit, which is especially painful for Canoptek Court (who also lose out from the global weakening of target-prevention Stratagems like Countertemporal Shift). Hypercrypt, meanwhile, gets a small knock in the Balance Dataslate, with Cosmic Precision no longer being usable on Monsters – so no more 3” dropping the Nightbringer to flip an objective and/or eat souls. On a C’tan note, it’s also worth remembering that the value of Transcendent C’tan goes down a bit in Pariah, as they can’t do Actions after teleporting, since that requires them to have Advanced, so they’re less great for ticking off Tactical Objectives in either the early or late game..

Hypercrypt also get hit by an odd ruling on the Monolith, which is that it cannot be used to redeploy a unit that’s on the board turn 1, significantly reducing its value for providing mobility in the early game (though hilariously if you go second it explicitly can be used on a unit that you pull at the end of the opponent’s first turn). A few contextual things soften the blow a bit mind – the change to Twist of Fate in Thousand Sons is hugely helpful to the Monolith, and the change to Tank Shock is really good with its T13. Some small consolation here comes from a buff on the Night Scythe, which now gets Deep Strike, and if you are still on Hypercrypt I can’t recommend that highly enough, as it was already great when you had to deploy with Strategic Reserves!

Lastly, Awakened suffers from the reversal of the rulings made in the last FAQ about Lokhust Destroyers and Protocols of the Conquering Tyrant. Both these rules have a condition for re-roll 1s to hit and an additional condition that grants full re-rolls. The previous ruling was that you only had to meet the additional condition to get the full re-rolls. This was a very strange ruling that confused a lot of people, but it was very good news for Awakened Dynasty. This has been changed via a Core Rule FAQ to the much more sensible version where you need to hit both conditions for the full re-rolls, which weakens both rules. Awakened does get a bit of upside from the reversion of how Stratagem discount rules work, as although you can’t now be re-rolling shooting hits at full range all the time via an Overlord, any time you’re out of range a free Reanimate is a very good consolation prize. Obviously other detachments could theoretically make use of this as well, but the toolbox factor is nowhere near as great for them, unless this unleashes some sort of dark horse Obeisance Phalanx build (which, to be fair, someone did go undefeated with just this weekend).

All this sums up to have a real impact. After a bit of a wobble after the previous Dataslate, Necrons have returned to performing strongly, particularly with Court, so they clearly did need further changes, but I’m painfully aware from my own experiments that you already feel right on the edge of being able to squeeze in enough stuff in any non-Court build, so this is fairly painful. There are still playable Necron builds (especially as the new deployment maps are great for the Tesseract Vault), but it would have been nice to get something to support some weaker strategies, particularly the Annihilation Legion.

My honest main worry is that Necrons end up back in the boring place they were in 9th where spamming Monoliths with the Silent King is your best bet – there are other good builds, but this might top them, especially in the short term since the Monolith is (literally and figuratively) one of the biggest beneficiaries from the issue the new pivot rules have with round-based Vehicles being able to squeeze movement out of them. That will, presumably, get dealt with fairly swiftly, but even afterwards you might still find that going over the top with big boxes is the play.


Status: Losers

Wings: Newly joining Necrons in the sin bin are Orks, who receive fairly heavy hits to the Green Tide Detachment and Meganobz.

Green Tide gets three nerfs. First up, the Detachment rule loses the re-roll 1s clause, and now only affects Boyz, providing a 6+ Invulnerable Save or 5+ if there are 10+ models in the unit. This honestly kind of sucks, and I don’t like it as a change, particularly removing any and all applicability to units outside Boyz. Yes, the Raucous Warcaller combo on Meganobz was very silly and shouldn’t have been put in, but I would rather have just excluded Mega Armoured models from the Enhancement than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Two Green Tide stratagems also get hit, Tide of Muscle now providing a flat +1” to Charge and a re-roll if you’re at 10+ models, and Go Get Em! Now providing a distance re-roll rather than an automatic 6” if above 10 models. Green Tide has been performing very well, particularly in the last few weeks, and it feels like these changes are designed to tone down the inevitability of it a bit – with the automatic 6” Go Get Em! and (near) automatic charges out of Da Jump for a second wave with Tide, it could be functionally impossible to pull yourself out from under the swell. This (plus a couple of points changes targeted at the build) will definitely weaken them, and if I had to put a marker down I’d say it probably goes too far..

The other unit getting a balance change is Meganobz, who now only get a 5+ Feel No Pain in Waaagh rather than a 4+. Realistically, Games Workshop should just stop putting 4+ Feel No Pains on models with more than 1W, it never ends well. This would be reasonable in a vacuum, but Meganobz also catch a fairly massive points increase, jumping 10pts per model. That combination of hits is definitely too much, and I expect this point change to be flat out reverted in the next Dataslate.

A few other units catch some point increases too, specifically:

  • Boss Snikrot +10pts
  • Weirdboy +10pts
  • Painboy +10pts
  • Painboss +10pts

Snikrot probably was too cheap, the rest are clearly intended to apply an additional hit to the best Green Tide builds, most of which ran two Weirdboys and three Painboys.

As a final kicking, the somewhat counterintuitive and controversial ruling that a Warboss who is in a Transport at the time the Waaagh gets called does not benefit from their extra attacks has been confirmed, which is a genuine hit to the ability to safely stage them.

Not a great day to be green, overall, but not a knockout blow to the faction either – I’d expect the main outcome to be a lot of people giving War Horde another go, and probably more use of Squighogs in various builds.

T’au Empire

Status: Winners

Wings: The new T’au codex had a somewhat slow start, but has begun putting up some decent results in the last few weeks. That’s perfectly timed from a Dataslate point of view, because they pick up a set of buffs that feel like they have a pretty decent chance of being a bit over the top.

There is one nerf among them – Hammerheads go up 15pts to 145pts, which is a hit as they were used in most lists. Like other similar effects, the Kroot Trail Shaper redeploy also gets normalised to happen post roll-off without any points cut, which is a bit sad.

However, everything else is very good news, specifically:

  • Coldstar Commander -15pts
  • Enforcer Commander -10pts
  • All three Crisis units -20pts
  • Broadsides -20pts/model for one or two models, -10pts/model for three models.
  • Strike Team -5pts

Broadsides are also huge winners from Devastating Wounds going back to inflicting Mortals thanks to their Advanced Armour providing a 4+ Feel No Pain against those.

These changes open up army building for the faction a lot. We’d already seen some decently successful Retaliation Cadre builds using mix and match Crisis/Commander setups, and knocking 30-35pts off each of those units both amps those lists up and makes Crisis teams uch more appealing in Kauyon and Mont’ka, which till now have mostly stuck to the suite of tanks and solo suits. Meanwhile, Broadsides in Mont’ka should be legit, as Assault throughout the early game allows them to roll up the board unleashing hell, newly resilient to enemy counterpunches. It should be an exciting summer for gundam appreciators.

Curie: Something amusing was pointed out to me – the Puretide Engram Neurochip was not updated in the same way as the Skitarii Marshal. As the Puretide Engram Neurochip’s sole purpose is doubling up on stratagems, and this is not permitted now, it is a functionally useless enhancement.


Status: Winners

Gunum: Codex Tyranids hasn’t been doing so hot lately, and I feel that GW has seen our faction floundering and has decided to come to the rescue with some impactful changes. From point changes, data sheet adjustments, and detachment changes, we have a new bug world to explore.

Starting with the point changes, we will see some points reflecting the new out-of-line-of-sight shooting rules and some point hits to units that have become staples.

Our unit point changes are as follows:

  • Biovores -15pts
  • Mucolid Spore -20pts
  • Neurolictor +10pts
  • Ripper Swarms +5 to 25pts for a single model, unchanged for 2 models, -10 for 3.
  • Tervigon -15

And that’s it? Wow. Exocrines, Malceptors, and Hive Tyrants really luck out here. Biovores going down to reflect the indirect changes, as well as the OC 0 adjustment, not unexpected. Neurolictors get hit, which is not surprising with how common we are seeing them in lists. Rippers getting a slight touch, with the large squads going down, is fascinating. They can’t take actions, they can’t do much but hang out, so I was a bit confused about this direction. Finally, the Tervigon going down a significant 15 will help our top-performing Endless Swarm lists.

Looking at the dataslate changes, we see some massive changes in how our army performs in general. Our first two changes are with the Synapse army rule. Currently, it gives units taking a Battle-shock test within 6” the ability to roll 3D6 when we take those tests. Well, GW felt that wasn’t good enough and decided to give units within Synapse range +1S to melee attacks. This is *pretty cool* when we are thinking about units as small as Hormagaunts going to S4 to bigger guys like Hive Tyrants getting to S10. Even the Norn Assimilator going to S10 and S13 with its Harpoon provides many new options. Speaking of Synapse, we have a couple of new additions to the Synapse family. As beneficial options, we now have the Neurolictor and the Broodlord gaining the Synapse keyword. These units were already in the melee, so you can now deliver +1S right to the front lines.

The next substantial Keyword change affects the Vanguard Invader detachment. Mawlocks, Raveners, and Trygons all gain the Vanguard Invader keyword. There are some pretty heavy implications here regarding this detachment, as most of its stratagems are not locked to infantry. How about having Mawlocks arrive turn one, then picked up at the end of your opponent’s turn for a nearly endless cycle of their mortal wound aura? How about Trygons that appear to get turn one actions done? There are some heavy options out here.

Saving the best for last, we have four more really great changes. The Neurotyrant gains a new unit to lead, the Zoanthrope, giving one of our strongest shooting units +1 to hit and +1 to wound vs Battle-shocked units. Speaking of shooting units, Exocrines and Tyrannofexs gain some buffs as well. Exocrines go up to S9, so we can finally wound Rhinos on 4’s. The Tyrannofex goes from a casino gun to a more of a sure thing. Keeping their two shots and putting on a Tau hammerhead cosplay, their Rupture Cannon changes to 6+d6 damage. Pretty rad. Suddenly, this unit that we aren’t seeing that much on the table, becomes a real option as it can begin to threaten the targets it’s supposed to be hunting for. The final datasheet change is for walking Hive Tyrants to gain Lethal HIts. This is massive. We were already seeing Hive Tyrants in a lot of lists due to being a source of free stratagems and delivering assault to armies. Now, giving lethals literally anywhere we need them, is a huge deal.

The final thing the dataslate gives us is a detachment update for Crusher Stampede. We’ve seen two small changes here. The first one is +2OC for our Tyranid Monsters that are at starting strength. This is a neat upgrade when combined with Trygons, especially, giving us a sudden deployment of 6OC wherever we need it. The final change is to the Untrammelled Ferocity strat. This currently allows our monsters to go through units as though they aren’t there. This is all levels of movement, so Advances, Normal moves, and Fall Back moves. The other change on the main stratagem is also allowing our monsters to move over 4” over less terrain. Finally, the big change is that we can now move through terrain features that are 4” or more in height. If we do move through the terrain, we have to roll a dice and if we roll a 1, we are battle-shocked. This suddenly becomes a very useful stratagem, the only issue here is that it does not call out charge moves. So if you want to charge somebody, you gotta be facing them down like the monster you are; no hiding behind walls.

Speaking of Monsters, I want to have a quick conversation about Keyword sharing. As some of you may know, when you add a character to a unit, it becomes a CHARACTER unit. When you add infantry to a mounted unit, it becomes INFANTRY. When you add a monster to a unit, it becomes a MONSTER. 

Well, with Neurotyrants being able to join Zoanthropes we now have our instance of a Monster conferring Big Guns Never Tire to an infantry shooting unit. What does this mean? Well, let me tell you dear reader: It means that our Zoanthropes can shoot into and out of combat with no real penalities. The rules for Big Guns only require you to be a MONSTER unit, not model, except for the -1 to hit when shooting into and out of combat which only applies to models. “But Gunum,” I hear you saying “Doesn’t this feel like a stupid exploit? Something overlooked?” I say no! This is unique to the game. Feels kinda intentional? And to be honest, I think Zoans need this kind of support. Turning their lascannon profile into a pistol is awesome, and I wont be taking any questions.

Wings: These changes seem incredible, and push Vanguard in particular up to being extremely strong, as they benefit from getting full support for some great new units and can make the exactly one unit of Zoanthropes they like to run extra potent. On the flipside, it is worth highlighting that the Unending Swarm detachment, one of the best performing till now, takes a major hit from only being able to respawn one unit per game.

The other thing I’d highlight is that the general balance change around discounting/taxing Stratagems is phenomenal for Tyranids, as Hive Tyrants get one of the best versions of the discount ability, and the Swarmlord is perhaps the single biggest winner from swapping in Lord of Deceit for the old cost increase ability, as it rewards you for slamming him into the middle of the enemy’s best stuff, and can make it quite tricky for some melee builds to take him down.

Wrap Up

Even if you’ve never painted either a smooth or spiky Space Marine in your life you might still want to check out the rest of today’s reviews – there are big changes all over the shop that you’ll want to know about before you next hit the tournament tables.

Have any questions or feedback? Have a change you really love or hate? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.comAnd if you’d like to support the site, get access to our Patreon and other exclusive content, or just view the site ad free, support us on Patreon.