Tyranids: Well now that there's a model...


So unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the Tyranids have finally switched on the birthing sacs full of Tervigons and Tyrannofexes.  While most Tyranid players have converted Tervigons in one form or another, not many have been making Tyrannofexes.  This is probably because it's both a difficult conversion, and because they don't have nearly the perceived value of a Tervigon.  Since I'm sure Tervigons don't need any further convincing, today I'm going to tell you why you want a Tyrannofex.

The Weapons

Each one of these behemoths comes armed to the teeth with a primary weapon, thorax swarm and a stinger salvo or cluster spines.  The later two are usually going to be for close support anti-infantry, but the big gun is really what separates them.

Rupture Cannon

This is probably the most common weapon for the Tyrannofex.  Boasting an impressive range and high strength, the Rupture Cannon is the Tyranid's only means of long range anti-tank.  Generally, this is my default weapon, as it gives me a chance to hurt Monoliths, Landraiders and Leman Russes before they get a chance to do a lot of damage.  Since it has 2 shots, you're usually going to get at least one hit, and at it's high strength, you should have a decent chance to penetrate.  Alternatively, if the big tanks aren't a huge threat, or there is something lighter and faster, this guy will pretty much automatically cause some serious damage to lighter transports.  I wouldn't fire this at infantry ever, so it's very important to keep in synapse range, or it may end up lurking and firing at a worthless target.

Acid Spray

I really enjoy this weapon, it's basically a S6 heavy flamer with an extra 12" range.  Since it is Strength 6, it could be used against light vehicles, but you're pretty much always going to be firing it at infantry.  Because of it's short range and preferred target, I don't find it nearly as useful as a Rupture Cannon, but it is still fun to use, especially with the Thorax Swarm and Cluster Spines, allowing you to deliver a ton of saturating fire to a close enemy.

Fleshborrer Hive

No, just no.  For 100 points you could get the same amount of firepower out of termagants, or you could get 26 devourer armed termagants for the same cost and be shooting 78 shots at a longer range.  Sadly, I love how the model looks with this, but you'll never see me take it in a game.

Thorax Swarm

There are three different options for what to use here, all use the same flamer template: (Electroshock) S5 AP5, (Desiccator) S1 Poisoned 2+, and (Shreddershard) S3 AP3 rending.  Personally, I prefer the wounding on 2+, though I can see the utility of the rending, in either situation, this is usually closer than I like my Tyrannofex to be.

Stinger Salvo and Cluster Spines

The Stinger Salvo gives you 4 shots at 18" with S5 AP4, in itself, it is a respectable weapon, and if you're only going to be firing against vehicles, possibly the better option of the two, but personally, I prefer the Cluster Spines, which is giving me a large blast at the expense of AP.  Combined with the Thorax Swarm, you have a lot of short ranged area saturation, which could be useful in dire situations, though I prefer to keep my Tyrannofex out of combat if possible.


Your Tyrannofex boasts a strong T6 and W6 to keep it alive, along with it's 2+ save.  You wont usually be putting Catalyst on a Tyrannofex because anyone who really wants to take this guy down is going to have to focus AP2 weaponry on it.  Since the model is so large, it will be very hard to hide, but if you build your list as a walking blob of bugs, you may be interested in a couple venomthropes to help out.

In combat, this is still a monstrous creature, though it is limited to 3 attacks.  If your target has a pocket power fist, you will probably lose, and with initiative 1, you wont make it very far.  That said, if you have the ability to get into combat with a unit lacking a fist or equivalent (Agonizer!) then charging into combat really wont be that dangerous, it takes a lot to get through all that armor, toughness and wounds.


Overall, I'm a fan of the Tyrannofex, adding long-range hitting power which doesn't require deepstriking 2 kill points at the enemy and aren't going to have their effectiveness cut by enemy wargear (Zoanthropes in pods), helps an army which is vulnerable while marching across the field.  I plan on picking up a few of these when the model comes out.