I have been avoiding talking Tyranids, simply because I do not play the army, or at least have not since 3rd edition when I had a rather large Tyranid army. So I figured it was time to analyze what my thoughts about how to field the codex, not rather I think its good or bad.

So yes, if you play Tyranids like you were, its going to be very bad. I have watched many upon many battle reports, and I think overall a lot of people are still not adjusting, but that doesnt mean that the codex is good enough to compete with the two latest powerhouses Eldar and Tau.

There are a couple good articles I have read over the past week, and while I am not going to go into their conclusions, there is some good info to be gathered from them. Here they are.

40k Warzone

Frontline Gaming

So lets get right down to the biggest statement about Tyranids I think you can make. Playing Tyranids is about dealing with Synapse. You need to figure out how you are going to handle it. Without it you will disintegrate into nothingness. So I am going to say it again, in the new codex, synapse is ultra important, you must figure out how you are going to deal with it.

With that said, lets break down your synapse creatures and where they lie in the Foc.

Hive Tyrant (can be joined by Tyrant Guard)
Tervigon (can be taken as Troops for every 30 squad of 30 termagaunts)
Tyranid Prime (independent character)

Tyranid Warrior
Tervigon (see above in HQ)


Fast Attack
Tyranid Shrike

Heavy Support
Trygon Prime

This is where I start with the list. The following units are fearless, and have different results and can at times run independently of the hive mind.

OId One Eye

Ripper Swarms


Fast Attack
Sky-Slasher Swarm
Hive Crone
Spore Mine Cluster

Heavy Support

So now that we have that figured out, its the rest of the units that are subject to instinctive behavior often with unwanted results. Not to mention that the most common leadership in the Tyranid codex is 6. There are a few units that can roll well enough to stay in the game with a high leadership like Genestealers, but for the most part you need Synapse for every unit that is not listed above.

As for instinctive behavior, every single one of the die rolls that have to made 1-3 literally sucks, the rest are do not give any benefits but are not game changers.

So we have established that we must maintain synapse or be able to ignore it with tyranids. I begin by looking hard at the units listed above, and seeing which of these that I want to include in my army. There is synapse in every Foc slot, so you need to make sure most of your army is covered. Any other style of list is doomed for fail. When I see reports of games at 1750 or more with only 2 or 3 synapse in it, the game is over before it begins. I am not saying that this is a strong codex, but that if built improperly from the beginning I have seen complete fail in list building that is not that difficult to figure out.

Here is a quick starter list example at 1500pts. Now there is not anti air here, and this is just a building block list that would be added to, or a place to start my list building. The main point I wanted to make is that there is very little here that is vulnerable to synapse problems.

Tyranid Prime 125pts (attached to Gaunts)
Tyranid Prime 125pts (attached to Gaunts)

Termagaunts (30) 20 with spinefists/spike rifle 10 with Devourers 160pts
Termagaunts (30) 20 with spinefists/spike rifle 10 with Devourers 160pts

Venomthrope 45pts
Venomthrope 45pts

Carnifex Brood (3) with Heavy Venom Cannons 420pts
Carnifex Brood (3) with Heavy Venom Cannons 420pts

With this Tyranid codex, you have to make your synapse hard to destroy. That means it has to be joined to another unit, like Tyrant Guard, airborne like a flying Tyrant, or spread out by other means. In this regard, I still like Tervigons, simply because they can become troops sitting somewhere spawning termagaunts and are synapse creatures. They are expensive for what they do though.

It also has to be said that Tyranids must either ignore air, or take the Hive Crone or Harpy. Both are just OK in my opinion, but can be very useful if going second. Of course like always some distraction or surprise is also nice in lists with deep striking or other forward moving units.

One Idea that I was throwing around here at the gaming table the other night, was the dancing Primes. A full swarm army of termagaunts with 4 full 30 model strong units. Keeping them close enough that when needed, your tyranid prime simply jumps ship from his wounded unit and joins the next one that might be at full strength. A full squad of Devourers after all can put out an amazing 90 shots at s4. Its a kill zone that you had better be in a tank to enter. Then throw in a harpy and two hive crones.

That btw adds up to 1655 in points.

Anyhow, just to wrap things up here a little, I thought it was time to talk about Tyranids, and some ideas that might help get people going. These are not meant to be lists to play, but just starting points, and what I would be looking at first if I was playing Tyranids.

So whats your take on how to field Tyranids?

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