I had another chance to get my Tyrnaids on the table using the new codex. The game was against Space Wolves at 1,250pts using Dawn of War Deployment and Crusade. My list is below:

Hive Tyrant with wings, Ymargall factor, two sets of talons and old adversary


2 Zoanthropes

20 Gaunts (10 with flesh borers and 10 with devourers)

20 Gaunts (10 with flesh borers and 10 with devourers)

16 Hormagaunt

16 Hormagaunt

3 Shrikes  with rending claws and toxin sacs




Tyranid army

Tyranid army

The Theory Behind the List

For the game I decided to try a new set up on the Hive Tyrant and went for a close combat specialist. I did this as, in the past, I found that my Tyrant did not shoot as much as expected; so the usual twin devourers are not always utilised. To create a close combat Tyrant I added the Ymargall factor and old adversary. With these upgrades the Hive Tyrant could go up to 7 attacks on the charge, or go defensively and gain a 2+ save. In addition the Tyrant can re roll to hit and wound rolls of 1 in combat (aka ghetto preferred enemy).

The rest of my army was actually quite shooty for nids.  The most noticeable shooty units being the two Exocrines, however the gaunts are also set up to be shooty with half the unit containing devourers. The Zoanthropes were added to provide extra fire power and the much needed synapse.

For some combat power to balance the shooty nids, I added Shrikes and Hormagaunt. The Shrikes also provided extra synapse, whilst the Hormagaunts were added to be used as a living shield and tie up the odd opposing unit.

A single Venomthrope rounded the list off . Hopefully the Venomthrope would keep my army alive in a fire fight, or help the assault units reach my opponents lines.

I was happy that I had included sufficient synapse within my army to keep it under control, although the flying Tyrant could possibly be a liability as he can easily over extend himself.


Space Wolf Army

Space Wolf Army

Game Highlights

The Tyrnaid army went first and surged forward, apart from the Hive Tyrant who went from the left flank to the centre of my deployment zone (I wanted to try and keep out of bolter range and get into position to attack the Thunderwolves). The Tyanid shooting was not to impressive and only killed a few marines. 

The Space Wolves fire power targeted the Hive Tyrant and grounded it. Luckily the Venomthrope protected the Tyrant from the worst of the remaining shooting attacks and it only suffered two wounds in total. A drop pod of Wolf Guard with combi-plasma hit the Shrike unit hard, but thankfully two survived (although one was only left with a single wound). The rune priest tried to send one of the Exocrines to the warp with Jaws, but the beast managed to dodge the attack. In the assault phase the Spaces Wolves reacted aggressively by charging the Thunderwolves and Fenrusian Wolves into a combined combat against a Hormagaunt and gaunt unit. The Fenrusian Wolves decimated the Hormagaunts, whilst the Thunderwolves slaughtered half of the gaunt unit. The  Fenrusian Wolves ended up out of combat, whilst the Thunderwolves were locked in combat with the remaining gaunts.


Hive Tyrant in combat against Thunderwolves

Hive Tyrant in combat against Thunderwolves

The Tyranids received  a bloodied nose, but were ready to counter attack. In the shooting phase one of the Exocrine killed a few more marines, but it was otherwise uneventful. In the Tyrnaid assault phase the Hive Tyrant charge into the Thunderwolves, whilst one of the Exocrine charged into the Fenrusian Wolves and the Shrikes assaulted the Wolf Guard. The Hive Tyrant decided not to smash the Thunderwolves, in an attempt to keep them tied in combat. Instead the Tyrant used the Ymargall factor to give it a 2+ save. The combat ended with one  Thunderwolves tied in combat with the Tyrnat and remaining gaunts. The Fenrusian Wolves actually wounded the Exocrine, so won the combat. The Shrikes struggled against the Wolf Guard, so the combat continued.

The Space Wolves that were not in combat shoot up some Hormagaunt and wound the un-engaged Exocrine. The assault phase saw the Hive Tyrant finish off the Thunderwolves. The combat between the Shrikes and Wolf Guard continued, with neither side gaining much of an advantage. The engaged Exocrine managed to see the Fenrusian Wolves off, as they lost combat and broke.


Hive Tyrant

Hive Tyrant

In  the shooting was saw both Exocrines concentrate their fire-power and kill of one of the other  Grey Hunter unit with the rune priest (which was the Space Wolf warlord). In the assault phase the Tyrant was free to charge a large unit of Grey Hunters, which did not last two long.

The game was wrapped up quickly after this, with a victory to the Tyranids.

View from the Other Side

Read my opponent blog here to get the Space Wolves point of view.

After Game Thoughts

The more I play with the new codex, the more I like it. I feel that the codex plays more like the fluff describes Tyrnaids, as they fight in a unrelenting horde.  I also like how the whole army is aggressive, rather than relying on a few “alpha strike” units (like the Doom or Ymargalls) to do the damage.  However the largest drawback seems to be that synapse is tricky to fit into list.

I have faced Space Wolves on numerous occasions and have always struggled with their Long Fangs and Rune Priest killing of monstrous creatures, whilst the grey hunters slaughter gaunts. To top it off the Thunderwolves and Fenrusian Wolves provide a strong assault element of the army. I noticed several differences with the new codex. First off Jaws of the World Wolf failed to kill any of my monstrous creatures, this is was mainly due to the Exocrine having a decent initiative of 3. This is very different from the staple monstrous creature from the last codex, the Tervigons which used to have an initiative of 1! The Long Fangs inflicted far less damage than usual as the Venomthrope protected my army well. In addition the Tyrant, their primary target, is difficult for the Long Fangs to hit until he is grounded.

The Grey Hunters saw a reverse in fire-power as the Exocrines clearly had the shooting advantage against them. The Thunderwolves and Fenrusian Wolves are still deadly. Only the Tyrant provided a match for the Thunderwolves, so if I had lost the Tyrant early they would have run through my army. Thankfully the Tyrant survived, mostly because he used cover from the Venomthrope and was positioned so that if grounded would fall into cover (a nice tip for anyone using flying monstrous creatures!). The Fenrusian Wolves proved they could kill of gaunts with ease, so I was lucky that the Exocrine is still formidable in combat (it’s still a monstrous creature after all!) as well as an amazing shooting beast.

Hive Tyrant

Hive Tyrant

For me, the Hive Tyrant was the “man of the match”. This is not too surprising, as without any real anti-air fire power the Space Wolves struggled to attack him. As a close combat Tyrant, I  think the Tyrant could have been just as effective without the Ymargall factor. The potential for a 2+ save could be really useful in some situations, but a lot of the time the Tyrant will easily kill what it faces, or it’s opponent is likely to have an ap2 (like another monstrous creature). As for the Tyrants load-out in general the loss of devourers did not hinder him, as he reached combat quickly. However I did miss the flexibility of being able to shoot if required. I will probably add devourers back to the Tyrant in future games.

The Exocrine were really deadly, especially against the large foot-marine units. I especially liked the fact that I did not have to charge across the battlefield (like when I use Trygons) in order to cause damage. That said, in hindsight, using two Exocrines was not very sporting. I probably should have tried one Mawloc and one Exocrine instead.

The Zoanthropes were really useful as they cast Catalyst throughout the game, as well as shooting the odd warp blast out. I think Zoanthropes are really useful as they are multi-functional, providing anti-tank, anti-marine, support psychic powers and that all important synapse.

The Venomthrope was very effective at keeping my army alive, although I had LoS blocking terrain to hide behind. In other games I may not have this luxury! I would definitely take Venomthrope in almost all future list, the only decision to make is how many I should use!

The gaunts with devourers were not as impressive as I had hoped, but I will give them another go. After all the unit is really cheap considering how much fire-power it can kick out. Against weaker armed models they could be devastating.

The Shrikes provided mobile synapse and performed well in combat, even after taking a shed load of plasma hits!

The Hormagaunt provided a fast and cheap screen and were quite distracting to my opponent. I can see using many broads of these in the future!

I am looking forward to the next game with my Tyranids, although I might have to mix it up and play some Infinity first!