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Loki has had the biggest overall impact on the MCU timeline to date

  • Stops Thor becoming King of Asgard by allowing a handful of Frost Giants into the kingdom to disrupt the ceremony.
  • Talks Thor into going to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, which leads to a fight that breaks the peace between the Jotuns and Asgard, because of which Odin strips Thor of his powers and Mjolnir and banishes him to Earth.
  • Sends Odin into the Odinsleep which allows him to take the throne of Asgard with Thor banished.
  • Kills King Laufey, his biological father, after tricking him into believing he'd allow him to kill Odin.
  • Kills Thor (in his mortal form) by sending The Destroyer on him. This in turn however makes Thor worthy of his powers and wielding Mjolnir again.
  • Uses the Bifrost to almost destroy the entire Jotun race.
  • In a post-credit scene, he mentally influences Dr. Selvig to want to look at and further analyse the Tesseract when Nick Fury shows it to him, setting in motion the events of The Avengers.
  • Destroys an entire SHIELD base, killing the majority of the agents inside and mind controlling the rest including Hawkeye and Dr Selvig.
  • Forces Nick Fury to activate The Avengers Initiative, bringing all the original Avengers together.
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  • Nearly kills Thor when he tricks him into swapping places within SHIELD's cage and then sends the cage plummeting out of the sky.
  • Kills Agent Coulsen. This also inadvertently leads to the Avengers finally uniting after squabbling the entire movie, thus Loki's actions lead to not only them forming, but also getting on the same page for the first time.
  • Opens a wormhole in space through his possessed agents to unleash the Chitauri army on Earth, which leads to thousands of deaths. He then leads the invasion, decimating New York City. On a more minor note, amidst this invasion he fights with Thor on Stark Tower and they end up ravaging the building. Part of the damage is the destruction of all of the letters in STARK on the tower except for the A, symbolising The Avengers which then becomes an Avengers base for the next few movies.
  • Inadvertently gets his adopted mother Frigga killed when he, seemingly out of spite at Odin imprisoning him, tells Kurse where to go to sabotage Asgard's defences as he leaves the dungeon. Kurse ends up walking into a confrontation between Frigga and Malekith and is able to back up Malekith and kill Frigga just as it looked like Frigga had gotten the upper hand.
  • Helps Thor escape Asgard and guides him to the Dark Elves' realm of Svartalfheim for the central part of Thor's plan to use Jane Foster in order to lure and confront Malekith.
  • Tricks Malekith into drawing the infinity stone out of Jane Foster.
  • Saves Jane Foster's life by pushing her out of the way of the Dark Elves' matter-destroying bomb.
  • Kills Kurse to get revenge for Frigga's death after Kurse had battered and completely overpowered Thor (thus likely saving Thor's life).
  • Fakes his death in Thor's arms, convincing him he's dead for good.
  • Returns to Asgard disguised as a soldier and confronts Odin, banishing him from the throne to be a wandering nomad on Earth.
  • With Frigga dead, Odin banished and Thor successfully fooled into thinking he's dead, Loki is able to finally rule Asgard (in disguise).
  • The sceptre Loki brings to Earth in The Avengers ends up falling into the hands of Hydra who use it to expirement on people which creates Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
  • Trying to track the sceptre is what leads The Avengers to the Hydra base in Sokovia, setting up the entire opening battle.
  • Loki's invasion of New York is what convinces Tony Stark to try and create 'a suit of armour around the world' to prevent future attacks, which accidently leads to the creation of Ultron himself and sets up the primary plot of the entire movie.
  • Leftover alien tech from the Battle of New York Loki led the Chitauri in ends up falling into the hands of Adrian Toomes and his salvage company, which allows him to create the weaponry to become Vulture and fuel the entire plot of the movie as the primary villain.
  • Loki's banishment of Odin leads him to his death which unleashes Hela, the Goddess of Death. This in turn leads to the destruction of Mjolnir.
  • His refusal to engage Hela on Earth sees him summon the Bifrost portal, which allows Hela into Asgard, ensures she gains her full powers, leads to the deaths of the Warriors Three and gets Thor and Loki banished to Sakaar.
  • During his fight with Valkyrie on Sakaar, he taunts her the entire time and ends up triggering her memories of Hela destroying the entire Valkryie fleet, which changes her mind about not helping Thor stop Ragnarok and ensures she decides to become part of his team.
  • He brings the ship to allow the citizens of Asgard to escape Ragnarok, when otherwise they'd have almost certainly all died on the bridge.
  • Fights alongside Thor and Valkyrie to kill Hela's army on the bridge.
  • Gets Hela killed by summoning Surtur at his full power to obliterate her just as she was comfortably defeating Thor and Valkrie. He thus both intially causes and fully fulfills the prophecy of Ragnarok.
  • He takes the Tesseract while in the vault summoning Surter which inadvertently locks Thanos' ship onto theirs and sets into motion the events of Infinity War.
  • Loki stealing the Tesseract at the end of Thor 3 inadvertently leads to the deaths of half the Asgardians seen at the start of the movie when Thanos and The Black Order attack.
  • Him stealing the Tesseract also inadvertently leads to the end of The Hulk, who Loki summons as a hail mary against Thanos only for Thanos to utterly lay waste to him. Hulk refuses to fight again after this and it paves the way for Bruce Banner to eventually 'work out his issues' and become Professor Hulk.
  • He eventually hands Thanos one of the infinity stones needed for his plot to wipe out half the universe.
  • Loki breaks the time stream by cheating death in the past.
  • His stealing of the Tesseract to escape forces Iron Man and Captain America to go back to the 1970s, which allows Iron Man to finally get closure with his father by seeing him a final time and ensures Captain America sees Peggy Carter again, which likely allows him to realise he could return to the past to be with her and sets the stage for his decision to do so at the end of the movie which concludes his character arc.
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Starting Tyranids and Nov 2020 Tyranids Army Analysis

Hello Internet! Writing about Tyranids over the last few months has been very interesting as it has given me the opportunity to get in meaningful conversations with a much wider group of Tyranids players. I really enjoy the different perspectives and takes on the army I have now been exposed to.

From this dialogue there are two very common questions that I find being asked of me and others. First, how do I start a Tyranids army? Second, what do you think of unit X? Therefore I have decided to write up my thoughts on the first question and also give a broad army overview, and hopefully in the future I can just link to this article as a response.

Disclaimers: Please keep in mind several disclaimers. First, all of this information can and almost certainly will change as soon as there is a new codex for Tyranids in 9th. Second, I am not and do not claim to be the best Tyranid player out there. This article is just one person's analysis. Third, I like to only base my analysis and thoughts on experience on the tabletop. I think there are already a lot of people on the internet that engage in theoryhammer and can tell you how they think something will work. I want to ground all of my takes on the value of a unit only on what I have learned from playing with them in real games. A perfect example of this is that on paper both a lictor and mawloc are not very good, but I have found that in practice they are key units for me.

Starting Tyranids:

I do like the latest GW trend to start a player off with a 500pt/25 PL force. This is a good introduction to the army. I have two recommendations for a starting 500 point force depending on what kind of player you are. My first recommendation will be for a player that is brand new to 40k and wants to learn the hobby with Tyranids. My second recommendation is for a player that is already familiar with 40k with other armies, and wants to branch out to Tyranids as a new army for their collection. In both cases I recommend buying both the codex and psychic awakening: blood of baal, as the two books combined are what contains all of our army specific rules.

New to 40K Starting Tyranids:
If you are brand new to 40k first I would say welcome! 40k is a deep and rewarding game with many different aspects that can enterain you for years to come. Starting out with Tyranids I would buy two boxes of Tyranid Warriors and two boxes of Venomthropes/Zoanthropes. The Tyranid warriors can be built a variety of ways, but a really good starting loadout is with deathspitters and with lashwhips and boneswords. The six should be built the same, and can be run as a unit of 6 or two units of 3. My suggested list below uses a single unit of 6 to maximize on the free adaptive physiology buff I'm giving them from blood of baal. If that sounds greek to you, don't worry, you can start slow, but use the below list as a reference when you get started.

The Venomthrope box actually can build 3 different models. With it you can build venomthropes, a neurothrope and zoanthropes. A neurothrope is a very good starting HQ for Tyranids that is cheap and tough, you will want to build one of your 6 models from these kits as a neurothrope (it has a little bone spike at the top of its spine sticking over the head). You will want to build the other 5 models as zoanthropes, and take them in one unit of 5.
500 pts, 23 PL
Neurothrope, warlord, resonance barb, psychic scream
6x Tyranid Warriors, deathspitter, lash whip + bonesword (adaptive physiology enhanced resistance)
5x Zoanthrope, catalyst

This army is a good starting point for brand new players for several reasons. First, you are only dealing with 3 units on the board, so you can focus on how each one works rather than being overwhelmed trying to control a lot of units at once. Second, each unit is about as tough as you can get for the Tryanid army, and when starting out it is easier to learn using models that don't die as fast I have found. Third, this list will teach you all the phases of the game. The Tyranid warriors can both shoot ok and fight ok, letting you learn the shooting, charge and combat phases. The neurothrope and zoanthropes also cast psychic powers, getting you a good introduction to the psychic phase. Finally, every unit in this army is a synapse creature. Synapse is a more complicated rule for the Tyranid army that adds an extra layer of complexity for a new player. By taking this force you don't have to worry about synapse which makes the games easier to play, and you also are immune to morale!

The other good thing about this starting force is that it can benefit in some way from every hive fleet except Hydra. This will let you experiment with the different hive fleets with a foundational force while you try and learn the rules and figure out what playstyle and hive fleet fits you as a player.

Branching out to start a Tyranids Army as a second army:
My advice is different for someont that is already very familiar with the current mechanics of 9th edition. For players that have already been playing with a different army but want to start a new Tyranid army, you can look at a starting force that is made up of more specialized units that are a little harder to play well with.

If you are already familiar with the game I would recommend buying two boxes of venomthropes/zoanthropes, a box of termagants and an exocrine. For the venomthropes build them the same way, with one as a neurothrope and 5 as zoanthropes (but you will only use 4 at 500 points). Build the termagants with fleshborers. From this you can build the following list:
495 pts, 25 PL
Neurothrope, resonance barb, psychic scream
10x Termagant, fleshborer
4x Zoanthropes, catalyst
Exocrine, adaptive physiology dermic symbiosis

This list is 4 units with 3 that are all fairly specialized, and this force will have to work together as a team to win. The termagants and exocrine have to worry about synapse, and so you will have to pay attention to your positioning. The termagants are mostly there as a screen and possibly to grab an objective, but will want to stay close to the brain bugs to not run if they take casualties. The exocrine with dermic symbiosis is about as tough as you can make a monster at this points level, with both a 5++ invuln and counting as double wounds for bracketing. The exocrine is very good against elite infantry, which is common at all point levels right now and the exocrine is also a great centerpiece monster for your starting force.

This list has a dedicated psychic unit, a dedicated screening unit and a dedicated shooting unit, and plays to the current strengths of the Tyranid codex. It is more complicated to play with, especially the exocrine where you will have to make decisions about positioning, movement and deepstrike as it has more advanced rules for how its shooting works. However, in skilled hands I think this is a very strong list for the combat patrol level of the game.

You will not be using the 5th zoanthrope you own at the combat patrol level, but your expansion to 1000 pts is already started!

Start Collecting:

The next question I usually get is what do I think about the Start Collecting box for Tyranids. First off it is a cheaper way to get minatures, so from that perspective it is probably the most cost effective way to start. The box comes with a broodlord (HQ), 8 genestealers (troops) and 1 trygon/mawloc (heavy). I want to break down my analysis of this box into two parts, the hobby side and the game side.

On the hobby side of this box I really like the model for the broodlord and the trygon. I specifically think trygons/mawlocs are fun to paint, and there is plenty of interesting stuff you can do to the base of a giant dune worm. I like the patriarch model slightly better than the broodlord, but the broodlord still has its place. I am not a fan, however, of the genestealers. I've been playing Tyranids for 30 years, and I don't think this model has aged well. You will have to deal with mould lines and the miniature itself is really too large and too wide for the base it comes with (25mm). This is annoying in game, but even just in a display case you will find that if your Tyranids shelf gets bumped you are likely to have a whole bunch of your genestealers tip over.

On the game side I think this box is a terrible way to start. The units in this box are very fragile glass cannons that don't even really pack much punch. If you are brand new to 40k and this box is how you try and learn I suspect you will lose most of your early games, maybe without doing much. Using this box on the table will unfortunately get you a very warped view of what Tyranids are like.

Let's first talk about the trygon/mawloc. I really like mawlocs, but both data sheets for this model derive a lot of their power from using deepstrike well. This is not something that a new player normally is very skilled with. The Trygon can hit hard, but both versions degrade very fast. Also, at only T6 and without an invuln save this big looking beast is not very tough and will die quickly. A mawloc will on average at top profile do less damage than a single khorne beserker with a chainaxe and chainsword, and it gets even worse when it degrades. So you have a 125 pt model that has about 20 pts of offense, and is pretty fragile. Now, the ability to show up anywhere is powerful in large games to control score, but just starting out for a new player? Trygons and mawlocs are esoteric game pieces that are difficult to use well for players with lots of experience. They are an awful introduction to Tyranids for a brand new player.

And how about those genestealers? In a unit of 8 they won't be vulnerable to blast weapons, however genestealers are very fragile for their points cost. If you are a new player and you go second, you are likely to lose all of your genestealers before you even move. Or you could try placing them underground with the trygon, but then you are counting on making a 9" charge out of deepstrike, which also almost always fails. And if you are playing against a new codex (marines or necrons) you will quickly discover that your genestealer just doesn't put out enough damage against the new statlines. Marines will easily eat your charge even if you get the first turn and then blow you off the table.

Finally the broodlord. The broodlord is probably the strongest piece out of this box, but is still a terrible HQ for a starting player. A broodlord can cast and puts out an average amount of damage in melee for an HQ. It can also advance and charge so it is fast and it can buff the genestealers. However, in real games the broodlord is typically a counter-attack piece used to finish off weakend units or models. The reason for this is that the broodlord is also very fragile, and will usually die if hit first by enemy characters or melee units. It takes experience to understand how to pick the best spot for a broodlord to commit and charge. Throwing it blindly at an enemy, like many starting players try to do, will typically end in failure.

So the box comes with a difficult to use, fragile monster with an average to poor combat profile, fragile, overpriced troops and a counter-attack HQ without much to act as a durable screen for it to shine. You MIGHT win a game using this box just starting out in the game of 40k, but you probably either got lucky or just have a natural talent at grasping the game. For the average new player this force will make them think that Tyranids are terrible as it is a lot of fragile, expensive, difficult to use pieces thrown together as the "starter" army. I'm sorry to all of you that were introduced to the faction by trying to play with this box. The game of 40k and the Tyranid faction is much better than you think if this was your introduction to the game.

November 2020 Tyranids Army Analysis:

So I have managed to get a good number of games in against the new marine codex, and even several against the new necrons. With the experience of playing our 8th codex against the new books I thought it might be useful to put down what I saw as the strengths and weaknesses of the Tyranids faction at this point in time.

First off, I will say that Tyranids is a medium to high difficulty army to play. The easiest play style (hordes of gants) is still not THAT easy and takes some practice to get used to. The more complicated builds are around the same difficulty to use as grey knights or genestealer cults, two armies I consider to be some of the hardest to play well. If you are looking for an easy point and click faction Tyranids are not there yet.

Psychic Phase and Mortal Wounds: The Tyranids greatest strength is in the sheer volume of mortal wounds they can inflict. In my opinion Tyranids are the strongest psychic army in the game, and at the very least they do the most amount of damage in the psychic phase. The first reason for this is that every army now has to deal with the escalating cost of smite, where it goes off on a 5, then a 6, then a 7 and so on for each time it is cast in the psychic phase. Previously grey knights and thousand sons got around this so could put out a lot of smites. However, with everyone on the same playing field, even with bonuses to cast and rerolls you are probably only looking at getting off 3-5 smites per psychic phase.

Most armies only deal d3 damage with a smite, or d6 on a super smite. Tyranids can do more damage per smite with zoanthropes, that can do either 2d3 or 3+d3 damage for a smite, and still benefit from super smites. If you only get off 3 smites in a phase another army might only deal 3d3 mortal wounds, where as Tyranids might have just dealt 9+d3 mortal wounds for the same dice rolls. Zoanthropes also have 24" range on their smites, just like thousand sons, but aren't shackled by only doing 1 damage smites.

That is only the begining, however. Tyranids have very few synergies in the codex where HQs meaningfully buff units (outside of the synapse rule). But their strongest synergy is in the psychic phase. Neurothropes give a 6" aura of rerolling 1s in the psychic phase, which effects both them and zoanthropes. Rerolling 1s is very valuable as it almost halves the number of perils you will suffer, as well as being very valuable for low casting cost powers. Many armies don't get access to this ability at all, or it is locked behind a valuable warlord trait. But for Tyranids this is just a power you get with one of your HQ choices. In addition you can also heal your units when you kill with smite.

On top of this you have psychic scream, which is a low casting value (5) targetted d3 you can add in to the mix. Tyranids are also very strong at denying enemy psychers. The Shadow in the Warp rule gives -1 to enemy psychers at 18", 6" more than the similar marine power for psychic hoods. Also, Tyranids have a strat which can force an enemy to only roll 1d6 to cast a power, which for 1cp is stronger than many of the 4+ to deny strats that are out there.

So from a casting perspective you do more damage per smite, get bonuses to casting, can heal from casting, and have strong abilities to stop enemy psychers. This makes this one of if not the best psychic army you can have. The powers that Tyranids have access to are also almost all useful, with low to average casting values. The one downside of all of this is that your psychers are expensive, and while you are better at casting than any other army you pay for the privilege. A psychic heavy tyranid army doesn't have a lot of points left over for much else.

Mortal wounds from casting are great, but for Tyranids that is also just the tip of the iceberg. The army has many, many ways to also inflict mortal wounds on the enemy. Both Mawlocs and Malceptors can do mortal wounds to all units around them. We also have access to many kinds of spore mines that do mortal wounds, often to the nearest enemy unit (with NO range restriction) meaning that if a group of mines overkills what hits them you might start wiping out enemies half way across the board. Not only do spore mines add to the mortal wounds, but we have units which themselves also spawn more spore mines. And we have units that can do mortal wounds when they make the charge.

For a psychic heavy army you might think something like a Culexus assassin would be good against us, but that has not been my experience at all due to our huge array of mortal wound abilities. The last time I faced a cullexes I brought a mawloc up in it's face knocking it down to 1 wound, and then shot biovores at it, that thankfully due to the assassin's powers could only hit on a 6, so constantly missed, allowing me to drop a ton of mines all around the assassin. The thing was dead in one turn to mortal wounds and never had a chance to disrupt my psychers.

Our strong mortal wound output makes Tyranids especially good against elite armies like Custodes or Harlequins, which really cannot afford to take the losses our mortal wounds can dish out. On the flip side, if you build too heavily into dealing mortal wounds with psychers and units in a Tyranids army you might find yourself struggling against hordes. Speaking of hordes....

Board Control: Tyranids are one of only a few armies that can realistically field several hundred models in an army. They come cheap per wound (termagants or rippers) and can be both fearless as well as having a number of defensive buffs on them, including invuln saves, feel no pains and minuses to hit. Tyranids are one of the very best, if not the best army at covering the board.

Playing a heavy board control army is all about the movement phase and understanding how to force your opponent into specific target priorities. I will also say right up front that this playstyle is not for everyone, as it can be stressful to paint hundreds of the same model and then also it takes a lot of practice to learn how to move that many models quickly. Also, compared to other horde armies I have seen (orcs, nurgling spam) Tyranid hordes don't present much of a combat threat to the opponent. It is all about how long it takes them to die.

Blast weapons are said to be a counter to hordes, but where I'm playing everyone is playing elites and taking anti-elite weapons. Let me tell you, if you have 200 gants you don't really care how many eradicators your opponent brought , but you are hoping they spent a lot of points on them. While there are several good horde armies in the game, Tyranids do the "cover the board for scoring and die slowly" with the best of them.

Movement: Tyranids are an above average movement army. Strats like metabolic overdrive are key to making the army work. Several key units have the ability to advance and charge, and the reason why hive fleet Kraken and the Swarm Lord are popular is because they bring even more movement buffs. On top of this Tyranids have a lot of units that can natively deepstrike, letting you pop up where you are needed in place of raw speed.

All that being said, deep strike is fairly common in some armies. There are some armies out there that I feel still just simply move faster than us (knife ears in general but harlequins specifically). And I've gone against all bike and speeder white scars armies that can put our speed to shame. Still, within the broader scheme of the game we are faster than a lot of armies and generally will have speed as an advantage over an opponent.

Speed is one of the most important facets of 9th edition, as the scoring system rewards board position more than killing. A fast army will often be able to get the board position to win on points regardless of how many units are dying. However, using movement options well takes practice, and is one of the reasons why I think Tyranids are a high skill army to use. Both GSC and Grey Knights and Harlequins, other high skill armies, also rely heavily on movement abilities to be potent.

Shooting: Tyranids are an average shooting army. Shooting has always been a part of the Tyranid identity, and that is still true. From the very start with the weird original pinhead warriors with guns and the hive tyrant that came with a venom cannon and lashwhip/bonesword, to the 4th edition where dakka 'fexes ruled the top tables, to now when exocrines and hive guard can do work, Tyranids have always had access to decent shooting options.

Tyranids right now are in an interesting spot. One unit of hive guard may be close to the most efficient 300 points of shooting in the game, with the ability to shoot twice with strat, shoot ignoring line of sight, and with enough strength, ap (and ignores cover) and damage to threaten basically any profile in the game. The problem with hive guard is that one unit can only do so much, and they get so much value from the strat and psychic buffs that a second or third unit diminish in returns drastically. They can do some damage to tanks but are best against elites.

Similarly the Exocrine is a custom built gun bug designed to take out light vehicles and elite infantry. It is not strong against hordes, and it is not strong against T8 vehicles and knights. But the game right now is filled with people taking lots of elite infantry, so the exocrine benefits from being built to go against the units that are the most common in the current meta. Exocrines were considered bad just two years ago when knights ruled the tournament scene, because exocrines are terrible against knights. But the meta has swung and now the exocrine is money. I worry their current value is temporary when the meta shifts again, though.

The last pretty good gun the tyranids have access to is the venom cannon/heavy venom cannon. These guns are low shot, but doing a flat 3 damage also makes them very good against elite infantry. In addition, I have not played with them yet, but it looks like some of the new forgeworld options also have very strong anti-elite firepower.

So that's the strong part. Here are the weaknesses. Tyranids have very poor pure anti-tank options. Heavy venom cannons and hive guard either don't have the strength or volume of shots to really chew through a lot of high toughness wounds fast enough. The rupture cannon Tfex is terrible. Tyranids also struggle with volume of shots against pure hordes.... like Tyranids can field. You will be hard pressed with a Tyranid army to shoot your way through an enemy Tyranid horde fast enough (although honarable mention to the fleshborer hive Tfex that no one takes, if hordes become the meta you might take three of them).

Also, while Tyranids bring good anti-elite shooting, they are just not going to win a shootout against one of the dedicated shooting armies. Don't go bringing your gun bugs against Tau and think you are winning those trades. You don't have good anti-tank options, you don't have good anti-horde options. And your anti-elite options mostly work when fed cp by strats, so you don't want to lean too heavily into that either. Still, the anti-elite shooting Tyranids can bring is effective at a specific role, and I think is often going to show up in a good Tyranid list at this point.

Melee: Tyranids are one of the worst hand to hand armies in the game. In my experience they are only better than tau, gaurd and admech units in hand to hand. I base this in part on being handily beaten in hand to hand by a thousand sons army, also not an army that is good in hand to hand. I'm guessing this may be a controversial take, so let me try and explain further.

First off, if you take dedicated Tyranid hand to hand troops, and get them into an opponent gunline like you imagine in the fluff, they can still do quite well. But this is a mismatch because you are comparing dedicated hand to hand troops against dedicated shooting troops. Now, given several of our speed options this will still happen in some matches and it is glorious when you get to do it. However, it is not the proper judge of an army's ability in an area if you consider the value only in mismatches.

Where Tyranids are terrible is in their DEDICATED hand to hand units against the DEDICATED hand to hand units of another army. And this is especially bad with the new codexes. I charged a full unit of 20 genestealers into a unit of 10 assault terminators and only killed 3, and then had my entire unit wiped in return. That is, I used the resources to make the charge, I struck first and only killed 120 points of enemy models, then losing 300 points of my hand to hand models in return.

An increase in wounds and armor saves has made our combat statlines laughably bad. If you are just looking at killing power, a swarmlord and 40 genestealers at 870 points will basically never kill 20 assault terminators at 860 points, even if you make every charge. Heaven forbid if they ever charge you. Now, 40 genestealers and swarmy could still win in a game, by using the hive commander ability to run the genestealers AWAY from the terminators to use obsec to grab objectives, but if you are playing that way you are probably better spending your points on hormagaunts instead of genestealers.

Comparing some stat lines can help to show the problem. Let's compare a Hive Tyrant with scything talons and a venom cannon at 190 points to an armiger warglaive at 155 points. They are both t7 with 12 wounds and a 3+ save. They both can get a 4++ invuln against shooting. They both degrade in combat prowess. The thermal spear is lower str but higher ap and damage than the venom cannon, both are d3 shots. Both get 4 base attacks in hand to hand, dealing a flat 3 damage. However, the Hive Tyrant only hits at strength 6, where as the wairglaive can get double attacks up to 8 to hit at s6, or gets it's 4 attacks at strength 12. So the warglaive is about the same or slightly better at shooting, and hits harder in hand to hand, is faster AND is 40 points cheaper. Now, yes, the hive tyrant can cast two psychic powers, but that is a lot of points to pay for that ability. AND warglaives aren't even really considered good, they are just much better at being a hive tyrant than a hive tyrant is.

Or how about a flying hive tyrant against a thousand sons demon prince with wings. Both cast two powers. Both get a 4++ invuln base (although the demon prince has easy access to a 3++). The hive tyrant is 50 points more expensive, but is 4 attacks compared to 8 for the demon prince (with hateful assault) and the demon prince also hits at s7 instead of s6, doesn't degrade and can take advantage of look out sir. I had one TS demon prince claw it's way through three hive tyrants in a game recently.... and the prince was cheaper than each monster it killed! The demon prince is an equal or better caster, is significantly better in hand to hand and is cheaper. To be fair, the hive tyrant can take a big massive gun that the prince doesn't get.... but is that worth 50 points?

The new books have really upped the wound count. Units also lots of times have a higher toughness. The new storm shield rules means there are a lot of units with effective 1+ armor saves. The ap1 and 1 damage of a s4 genestealer just is not good against the new statlines, whether that is lychguard, terminators, gravis, etc. Opponents can be getting 2+ saves against your attacks and you don't have access to bonuses to wound or rerolling wounds with your "combat" troops. Genestealers struggle to kill the generalist statlines of the new books, and are completely destroyed in hand to hand against the beatsticks.

In general, Tyranid hand to hand units have very low strength for dedicated hand to hand units and are also easy to kill for their points cost. If you are a monster usually add to that list of negatives low weapon skill and a low number of attacks. They either need drastic points reductions to perform their role against the new books or new statlines.

I took an army of hive tyrants, carnifex and genestealers against thousand sons and was easily beaten in hand to hand by scarab occult terminators and demon princes.... and they don't even have the buffed statlines yet. I've taken hand to hand tyranid armies against white scars, necrons and blood angels and the games were laughably onesided against me.

My personal theory is that the reason why Tyranids are always ranked low in power rankings is because when people think of Tyranids they think of our hand to hand units, which are currently average to terrible, and cannot win in a fight against the hand to hand units of other books. Playing melee 'nids right now is a losing battle against almost every army with what you get for your points in my experience. And even necrons will pretty handily beat you in hand to hand with their new rules and statlines.

If you want to play a Tyranids army and mostly want to hit things, play GSC. Seriously. Or at least ally them in. But Tyranid forces are in my experience in 9th, and especially against the two new codexes, not good in hand to hand. This is important because more and more armies are including a strong hand to hand contingent in their army.

Allies: Speaking of GSC, I consider allies to be another strength of the Tyranid army. The two biggest weakness of the Tyranid army is ranged anti-tank and hand to hand ability. Two areas that GSC can cover well is ranged anti-tank and hard hitting hand to hand troops! Game on.

Say you live in a world where it is full of T4, 2W, 3+ save units. Then let's say you could take a unit that hit at s8, ap 4 and flat 2 damage. Sounds perfect, right? Now what if that unit could also get buffs to charges, hit rolls and wound rolls.... things that Tyranids struggle to get access to. Well that DOES exist, in the happy acolyte with rocksaw.

GSC has some really powerful abilities. A unit of naked acolytes can deep strike natively, perform actions and is cheaper than a lictor. So if you don't like lictors, I would encourage you to take min squads of acolytes to perform your scoring.

If what you feel you are lacking is anti-tank, ridge runners and neophytes and a whole host of units can take a heavy mining laser to deal out some pain.

The biggest problem with GSC is they can be quite fragile and rely on their movement tricks a lot. They also struggle to bring ranged anti-elite firepower. But they are fantastic in combination with Tyranids, who can bring toughness either with their hordes or with their psychers, but who lack the heavy hitting punch on their own. Also Tyranids excel at the kind of shooting GSC struggles at, anti-elite firepower.

So Why Play Tyranids?: I mean other than they look awesome. Tyranids are a very strong psychic army that can excel at board presence, movement tricks and are backed up by competent but not overwhelming shooting phase. Their main weaknesses are in hand to hand and ranged anti-tank, both of which they can cover with access to their only ally in GSC. They are a moderate to high skill army, but once you master them they can be one of the toughest armies in the game to beat. For the Hive Mind!

Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think!

Links to my previous battle reports and article, if so inclined.
Initial 9th Edition and Tyranids Analysis:
Tyranids vs Custodes:
Tyranids vs Iron Hands:
Tyranids vs Knights and Admech:
Tyranids vs Daemons and Death Guard:
Tyranids vs White Scars:

Tyranids go to an RTT:
RTT Round 1 vs Custodes:
RTT Round 2 vs Creations of Bile
RTT Round 3 vs Black Legion
submitted by Stormcoil to Tyranids