Tyranid player have been having a surprising bit of love from GW, in the form of the Toxicrene/Maleceptor and even the eagerly awaited spore pod (now known as a Tyrannocyte). In fact we have received a spore pod kit with even more options, as it can alternatively create a massive spore mine (Mucolid) as well as a Tyrnaid fortification (well sort of!) known as a Sporocyst.

To top it off the rules for the new duel MC kit have been given away for free! This is a very refreshing change for GW and one that I hope is the start of more to come. In particular I think Forge World would do better to give there rules away for free. This maybe because I am now used to playing other game systems that give all their models stats and main rules away for free and even provide an online army builder. I am hoping GW takes note and starts doing the same.



I am a massive fan of this sculpt. The tentacles on the arm and face look fantastic and give this model an otherworldly appearance. As for the rules, first off the Toxicrene is in the hotly contested heavy support section and priced around the same cost as an Exocrine so has tough competition. Unfortunately for all of it’s funky rules I think the Toxicrene falls into the slow combat MC category, much like the Haruspex. This is certianly not a healthy category to be in in the 40k universe! The 4+ save does not help the Toxicrene survivability either, although at least having shrouded will. I don’t think the Toxicrene will get a lot of game time based on it’s rules, but the model is so nice that you will still want to field it every now and again!


The Toxicrene kit can alternatively be used to make a Maleceptor, least I think that’s the best way to think about it! The Maleceptor model is cool, but in my opinion it’s not as good as the Toxicrene. In fact I dislike one aspect of the Maleceptor, which is the exposed brain. I suppose this is why it only has a 4+ save!

As for the rules, well things don’t get better. You would think that the Maleceptor would be a super Zoanthrope with a  nice 3++ save warp field and an extra nasty warp blast. Well it kind of has these abilities, just not overly effective. For starters the beast only has a 5++ save, which won’t give it a lot of extra protection. Secondly the Maleceptor has a very strange psychic power that can potentially glance vehicles and kill of characters and other high priority targets. Unfortunately it does not work very well as it’s let down by the Maleceptors average BS of 3. To top it off the model is more expensive than a Trygon. Unfortunately I have little good things to say about the Maleceptor other than it’s a synapse creature and a nice (although not amazing) model.



Now with the Tyrannocyte things start to get more interesting! the first thing that struck me about the models is how absolutely massive it is. Next was how I think the design is well thought out, as after all making a spore pods look good is very tricky. I am glad they went down the route of an intact pod, rather than a half exploded pod (which always looked wrong to me). Overall I think the Tyrannocyte is about as good as a spore pod could look and I think is a very characterful model.

The Tyrannocyte also has exciting rules, as it allows Tyranid player to put absolutely every unit into it. Ok you might be restricted on unit size, but the option to put everything from a gaunt to a Tervigon into a pod opens up a lot of options. The  Tyrannocyte is also a very safe way to drop units onto the table and allows them to spread out 6″ from it so that you have a lot of control where your model(s) inside will end up.

So the big question is, what do you put inside a Tyrannocyte? Well it’s worth noting that you can decide this during deployment, which means that the Tyrannocyte is very flexible.  This is especially useful in tournaments, where you often have only one list. I think units that look good to put into a Tyrannocyte are mainly the shooty ones, such as devourer gaunts, Hive Guard, Zoans and Exocrine. The ability to drop these units into positions to take advantage of weaker frontage of vehicles or simply get in range of their preferred  target could be amazing.  I am also intrested to see if Tyrnat guard (without the Tyrant) could make good use of a Tyrannocyte, as they are very resistant but often too slow to make it into my list.


Interestingly unlike the Space Marine drop pod, after unleashing it’s cargo the Tyrannocyte is not merely a kill point to be had. The Tyrannocyte has a decent amount of firepower, which can be further upgraded if you want (although personally I would not), but more importantly it can float over to objectives and force your opponent to deal with it. The Tyrannocyte is fairly resilient as well, so will take some punishment to kill off.

The real downside to the Tyrannocyte is it’s cost, which is over twice as expensive as a Space Marine drop pod. This will certainly reduce how many you are likely to take. I personally would say that the Tyrannocyte is worth it’s points as it has a high transport capacity and can be useful even after it has drooped of it’s cargo. Still I wounder if GW have been overly cautious with it’s paints value, mainly because of it’s ability to carry any Tyrnaid unit. Ultimately there are certianly a lot of options to play with, so will be very interesting to see how many Tyrannocytes tyrnaid players use and what they place inside.


In the trend of having one part of a kit that is very exciting, there is the other shunned part… Ok that might be overly harsh, but the Sporocyst seems to lack lustre to me. Sure the model looks cool on the table and I can see that it has a role of being plonked onto an objective and forcing the enemy to deal with it. It also can produce a lot of spores, which thankfully you get with the plastic kit. However it ultimately a defensive model in a very aggressive army and those two don’t seem to fit well in my head.

Perhaps it’s main shining light is that the model is massive, so perfect for hiding Venomthrope and/or a lone Zoanthrope (for synapse support) behind it’s bulk. The second option is made even better by the fact that the Sporocyst adds 6″ to the synapse range of synapse creatures within 6″. This means a single Zoanthrope using dominion could have a 24″ synapse range and be very hard to target. Still it’s a lot of points to put into a model that does not add much to your armies offensive abilities. I am interested to see how other Tyrnaid players get on with the Sporocyst, as it might have more to offer than I think.


On the plus side if you do make a Sporocyst, you also get to make a Mucolid. To me Mucolids are not game changers, but they are a very nasty distraction unit. They will go down very quickly to even moderate firepower, but it’s hard to ignore a model that blows up with the force of a battle cannon! As they are only the cost of a few gaunts I would expect to see any free fast attack slot filled with a Mucolid, ready to distract the enemy firepower from the ever approaching horde of Tyrnaids (in theory anyway!).


What’s Next?

It’s also interesting to note that images of the new plastic Zoanthrope and Venomthrope are circulating the web. There is even images of a new Neurothrope, which rumors suggest is an upgrade to a Zoanthrope unit. This basically brings the Doom back, which gives me hope that one day I will get my Ymgarl Genestealers back as well!

To me it looks like GW have taken steps to reincorporate a lot of models that were lost from the last codex. In fact with the addition of the new MC kit, there are even new models to paly with. Again I must give credit to GW for doing this. Part of me would have liked to see all these models in the original codex, but I suspect they would have been if it was not for the whole copyright issues GW had with other miniature companies. The free rules is also very welcomed. It would have been really nice to be more excited about the MC kit, but at least the Tyrannocyte looks interesting so I can’t complain!