War Zone Nachmund Faction Focus: Tyranids

The first competitive season for 40k has arrived, with War Zone: Nachmund giving us new points, missions, secondary objectives, and rules to contemplate. These rules represent a major shake-up for competitive 40k and to help you make sense of it all, we’re going through each faction and talking about how things have changed for them and how they might compete.

Faction Overview

Tyranids have had a resurgence in the last few months with both Combined Tyranids/Genestealer Cult and Crusher Stampede lists taking down events off the back of the new Leviathan Supplement in War Zone Octarius: Rising Tide. I’d expect to see a bit of a hit to the raw power of Tyranid Lists coming into War Zone: Nachmund, but not so much so that we won’t still be seeing them at the top end of the competitive spectrum. Current Tyranid lists are providing a strong board control core with either high damage infantry or resilient monsters, all supported by the ever-consistent Swarmlord and Hive Guard core. None of this is likely to change going forward.


The Points Changes

Tyranids saw 2 major points increases and 4 points decreases on lesser seen units.

The Dimachaeron has increased 25 points, which reflects its power in the Crusher Stampede Army of Renown. Expect to see less of these even in those lists, where it is now 45 points more expensive than a Scythed Hierodule and 5 points more than a Barbed Hierodule. Its mobility will still keep it in the running for some use, but the high cost makes it less able to eclipse all other options.

Hive Guard have increased 5 points per model, or 30 points for a full squad of 6. In conjunction with the limiting of the <Hive Fleet> keyword I’d expect to see far fewer full skew lists running 17-18 Hive Guard as they have lost both the efficiency of Leviathan/Kronos and also nearly 100 points of scoring. This definitely won’t kill the unit; it’s just a reversion of last year’s points decrease, after all. Games Workshop has designated Hive Guard the workhorse of the Tyranids faction and little has changed there. One unit is still nearly mandatory and I would not be surprised to see two often, though the Tyranids list will lose some tools to do it.

The Haruspex, Exocrines and Tyrannofex each came down 15 points. Whether this will be enough to bring them into the limelight remains to be seen. My inclination is that it will not – even the Crusher Stampede doesn’t need mediocre offensive monsters. The Exocrine is the closest to relevance, and might find itself replacing the Barbed Hierodule due to being almost half the cost of the Forge World unit. 

Lastly, Raveners now don’t need to pay for their weapons, meaning a loadout of Rending Claws and Deathspitter will afford the unit AP in combat as well as S5 AP1 shooting on infantry that can be taken in normal Leviathan lists or a Crusher Stampede. I think we’ll see some experimentation with both minimum size units (MSU) and bricks of 5-9 Raveners as they have reasonable all-rounder profiles at 20 points for a 12” move infantry model with native deep strike, which is well-suited for the new missions. 

Overall I don’t think these points changes will significantly hurt Tyranids as a faction, but might bring some lesser-seen options up to speed with the current builds. Dimachaerons and Hive Guard are still great units, and raveners had seen some use already but now just do more when included. On the whole this is a good set of changes that hurt the faction’s spammiest builds and encourages a bit more diversity.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


The New Missions

The new missions have a much higher focus on fighting for the center, with 6 of the missions having a central objective. This is something Tyranids can greatly benefit from. The army’s mobility with options like the Swarmlord’s Double Move can allow you to take the center early and contest your opponent swiftly, or play off to a side where you can limit the amount of counterforce your opponent can apply to you. As an army that can sometimes struggle to stand units in the open and hold primary objectives, moving some of that component into mini games allows Tyranids to score more on aggregate, though their ability to deny opponents primary with fast Objective Secured is similarly curtailed.

Bring It Down will now generally gives more points when taken against Tyranids, as units like Dimachaerons and Hierodules give up 3VP now, and the change from Retrieve Octarius Data to Retrieve Nachmund Data is a nail in the coffin of the Lictor, taken before its time. Overall the core secondaries are a net nerf to Tyranids. Notably also, the number of missions where you can raise 3 banners on turn 1 is much lower, which also hurts armies like Tyranids, though this isn’t an exclusive issue and doesn’t unduly nerf Tyranids in comparison to the rest of the field. In my practice I haven’t been playing Crusher Stampede with Lictors, and the noticeable lack of an easy third secondary has helped it feel much weaker. I’d expect the secondary changes to hurt that build of Tyranids more than the standard Leviathan Build.

Tyranids did get a faction secondary; it’s umm, okay. Killing models with 3+ wounds with Synapse Creatures is certainly doable, and it’s much better in Crusher Stampede than something like To The Last in the same category when you’re running Tyrants outfitted for combat. I wouldn’t expect to see it in Traditional Leviathan builds, and it does little to change the faction’s viability.


Building A List

I’ve been focussed on Crusher Stampede lately, and I’ve been running a list that aims to leverage as much of the objective control tools as possible along with the usual Hive Guard/Swarmlord core to push its power. I’ve added the new tool of Raveners to help with some scoring options and also some anti infantry damage output from their discounted Deathspitters

Hive Fleet Leviathan Battalion Detachment – Army of Renown: Crusher Stampede

HQ: The Swarmlord – 240 Psyker (Aggressive Surge, Synaptic Barrier)

HQ: Neurothrope – 95 Warlord (Swarm Leader), Alpha-Leader Beast (Strategic Adaptation), Relic (Adaptive Neural Lobe), Psyker (Onslaught)

HQ: Hive Tyrant with Wings, 2x Twin Devourer with Brainleech Worms, Monstrous Boneswords, Adrenal Glands – 230 ++Relic (Synaptic Hive Blades) ++Adaptive Physiology (Murderous Size) Psyker (Catalyst, Paroxysm)

TR: 3x Tyranid Warrior, 6x Scything Talon, Adrenal Glands, Synaptic Link – Bioweapon Bond – 69
TR: 3x Tyranid Warrior, 6x Scything Talon, Adrenal Glands, Synaptic Link – Bioweapon Bond – 69
TR: 3x Tyranid Warrior, 6x Scything Talon, Synaptic Link – Bioweapon Bond – 66

FA: 3x Ravener, 3x Rending Claw, 3x Deathspitter – 60
FA: Dimachaeron – 280

EL: 6x Hive Guard, 6x Impaler Cannon – 300

HS: Stone-Crusher Carnifex, 2x Wrecker Claws – 125
HS: Exocrine – 155

FL – Harpy, 2x Stranglethorn Cannon – 155
FL – Harpy, 2x Stranglethorn Cannon – 155

Final Thoughts

Tyranids continue to move from strength to strength and I don’t think the War Zone: Nachmund changes will be able to knock them from the top of the pack, that’s Drukhari’s job after all. Expect to see Tyranids in and around your top tables for the next wee while. The Harridan is still flying around, and with only two Dawn of War missions in the new pack it’s as agile as ever, and Hive Guard are still around every corner and ruin. Definitely an army that shines brighest in the hands of an experienced player, and with a book that’s 4 years old, theres plenty of Tyranid experience to go around.

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