Top 5 Tyranids Tactics Warhammer 40k 9th Edition


If you want to play a threatening, menacing force, look no further: Tyranids might be the army for you. Tyranids are a pestilence of the known galaxy, consuming biomass to grow and expand. Everything they do is based on how they are bioengineered, a process directed specifically by their Norn Queen. And in this guide to the Top 5 Tyranid Tactics we will show you how to take your Norn Queen, devour your enemies, and move on to the rest of the galaxy…

Tyranids consume all biomass (organic life) and aren’t really thinking, feeling or reasoning beings. They’re considered a huge threat to the Imperium and known reaches of inhabited space. 

Tyranids have dubious origins, but we know they originated from far outside of the galaxy. They operate in as a Hive Fleet, or organized forces, which typically seek out biological organisms to obtain biomass and genetic material, but occasionally fight one another over that prized material. 

It isn’t known how many Tyranid species there are, and since they rapidly evolve and change, there’s no telling what the next army of Tyranids might look like (which gives you special liberties when it comes to painting them – imagine a Tyranid army that recently consumed a bioluminescent species, for example.) They drop spores, enter the battle, and collect genetic material, sending it back up to their ships. By the time the Imperial Navy encounters a planet swarmed by Tyranids, there’s often nothing left. 

They come in “swarms” and are generally regarded as destructive parasites; they travel in sub-lightspeed bio-ships.

All About Tyranids Tactics

tyranids tactics

Tyranids attack in waves, throwing themselves at the enemy with reckless abandon. Working their way from drones to warrior variants to larger abominations; then lastly, feeder species such as rippers and malanthropes consume the remaining biomass to deposit into digestive pools.  

One of the brood progenitors, Tervigons, have a command ability to give a unit of termagants +1 to hit with ranged attacks, which you can couple with a key Warlord trait to affect two different units of termagants. This ability, which is repeatable every command phase, can help you get yourself out of a tough situation, apply extra damage – or it may even change the tide of battle in the final hour!

When you build your 9th Edition Tyranid army, we recommend that Tervigons and Gants should be central to the army’s composition.

Zoanthropes and Exocrine lay down great supportive roles as well, to fill in gaps and bolster your army’s damage output, whether it be from adding mortal wounds or just massive blast damage.

The Tyranid army generally performs well against an enemy unit from armies such as Necrons, other Xenos, Guard, and Space Marines. Play against those armies for maximum tension and excitement.

Top 5 Tyranids Tactics Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

devour the galaxy with these tactics

Our expert Jay Crawford, part of our Nights at the Game Table team, has provided the following exclusive tactics for Tyranid 9th Edition armies.

Tyranids Tactic # 1: Two Into One

For this tactic, you’ll want to have two Tervigons feeding into one unit of Termagents. With the Termagents shielding for both Tervigons (use Wall of Flesh ability on the Tervigons), you’ll force your opponent to shoot at them primarily. Then, the Tervigons can return 4d6 models back to the unit. Using a Stratagem, you can then return an additional d3+3, making it a potential 30 Termagents returned in one turn. 

Play your Tyranid army effectively by focusing on the defensive advantages of this army. Remember: they’re extremely resilient – they can come back! Defend strongly, but don’t be shy with strategic attacks because when played properly, you can make a lot of headway in a short amount of time. If you’re lucky, you’ll roll well and get a fair number of reinforcements.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Your main advantage of this tactic is the special resilience of the Tyranid army. Lean into that.

Tyranids Tactics #2: Drop Pod Damage

Swarm your way to Tyranid victory
Credit: WH40kArtwork

With this tactic, you’ll want to use the Tyrannocyte Drop Pod carrying three Pyrovores. While you’re steadily working the first two tactics to ensure resilience and defense with your Tyranid army, you can make some agile moves on the battlefield. To accomplish this, drop in a versatile unit, preferably Pyrovores, so you can punish your opponent’s backline or key targets. Prevent them from mispositioning in their back field, and lower their chances of accomplishing their home objective. Additionally, Pyrovores have two fire modes. Both can devastate armor or infantry.

Advantages and Disadvantages

With this approach, you can turn one alpha strike to soften key back field units. However, the disadvantage is a heavier points commitment to see this through.

Tyranids Tactics #3: The Protector

drop pod of tyranids

Accomplish this tactic by positioning your Tyrant guard out of line of sight to protect a Shooting Hive Tyrant. While this takes some minor set up, if done correctly, you can position the Tyrant Guard out of line of sight – but set it as the closest unit to the enemy from the Hive Tyrant. The Tyrant is then free to shoot at anything within range, but it won’t be hit by return fire. Since you’re not using the “Look Out, Sir” rule, even the sniper rule won’t work against this tactic. 

 Advantages and Disadvantages

The main advantage to this strategy is you’ve created an untargetable “turret” of a Hive Tyrant. However, it takes a heavy points commitment to protect two quality guns, so you’ll have to construct your army carefully with this in mind.

Tyranids Tactics #4: Psychic Bomb Party

by DRedhead

You can do a lot of mortal wounds damage by using Psychic Bomb Maleceptor in a Drop Pod. You can get 15 mortal wounds in one phase on turn one by putting a Maleceptor into a Tyranonocyte and drop it into any needed area to soften your enemy lines. The key here is its enhanced psychic damage ability: this lets you use two psychic powers per phase, and the damaging psychic power that Tyranids have coupled with the universal Smite ability allows you to dish out a massive amount of psychic damage to one or more enemy units.

 Advantages and Disadvantages

A big advantage of Psychic Bomb Party strategy is your ability to drop in anywhere 9 inches away from enemies on the battlefield by using a synaptic character. This can be game winning in its own right. Your big disadvantage is your dependence on the dice. You’ll need to roll high for the psychic checks to make full use of the tactic – this involves some luck and risk.The payoff can be devastating for your opponent, though. 

Tyranids Tactics #5: Biggest Bug Bomb, Baby!

Swarming Termagants -Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
Swarming Termagants -Warhammer 40,000: Conquest by jubjubjedi

Employ this tactic by using Hive Fleet Kronos to make a Scorch Bug Bomb. Here’s how it works: The Kronos Hive Fleet ability allows you to increase the range of your units by 4 inches. That doesn’t seem like much at first, but it has another ability – it increases the AP by an additional -1 when the target is within half range. On a simple weapon like the Fleshborer, it’s increased to 22 inches. Couple that with the Scorch Bugs Stratagem, which further increases the range by 6 inches and strength by 1 for a cost of 2 CP. 

If you select a unit of 20 Gargoyles, you have 28 inch range, a strength of 6, AP -1 at full range, and AP -2 a half range for 20 shots. 

 Advantages and Disadvantages

Unfortunately, this tactic uses 2 CP and you get low damage per shot. But, you get an extremely high number of quality shots, which is a decent trade off.  

FAQs About Tyranids

How Do Tyranid Ships Move? 

Tyranids don’t use the Warp to travel. Instead, they use gravity manipulation with their special Narvhal ships.

Do Tyranid Hive Fleets Fight Each Other?

Yes, and this could make for an exciting game of Warhammer 40K 9th Edition if you and your opponent both have a tyranid army. Usually Tyranid Hive Fleets fight each other over the best genetic material. This creates an exciting narrative for your gameplay.

What is the Norn Queen?

Norn Queen, also known as Splicer-Beast, is a Tyranid bio-form. As part of the hive mind, she commands the swarms, she’s incredibly smart, and she shapes the various evolutionary paths the Tyranids take with the goals of survival and expansion in mind. The Tyranid leader, however, is Tyranid Warrior Prime, or Tyranicus gladius primus. 

Can Tyranids Fall to Chaos?

It’s very unlikely, mostly because Tyranids lack free will.

Can Tyranids Eat Necrons?

There’s some debate about whether Tyranids can absorb Necrons, but one thing is clear: Necrons are NOT the preferred food of Tyranids, who need biomass to survive. Therefore, they have little reason to eat necrons.

How Do I Paint 9th Edition Tyranids?

Our Nights at the Game table tutorial can show you everything you need to know about painting a Tyranid army

Are you excited to play Warhammer 40K 9th Edition Tyranids with Jay’s tactics? Let us know how it works out for you.

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