New Tyranid Army of Renown Crusher Stampede Review & Rules!

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crusher stampede

This articles details the launch of the new Tyranid Army of Renown Crusher Stampede!

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, expect for the monstrosities of the Tyranid Hive Fleets.

While Custodes, Genestealer Cults, and T’au players are teased with crumbs in anticipation of new rules, the Tyranids players get another massive present dumped in their lap. Out of left field and with zero fanfare from GW comes one of the most staggering powerful rules drops of 9th edition and it’s buried in December’s White Dwarf Magazine. 

Below we’re going to dissect how the army construction works, the abilities, and some crazy combos. Let’s into it…

Crusher Stampede Army Construction

tyranid army of renown crusher stampede
Hormagaunt – (C)2013 Games Workshop Ltd. by helgecbalzer

Crusher Stampede Restrictions

Like all other Armies of Renown, this formation buffs some of the codex’s units at the cost of removing others. In this case, no little bugs. No models under 3 wounds and no swarms. Also, you must have at least as many monsters as non-monsters. In addition, all units must be from the same Hive Fleet but no models in your army benefit from the Hive Fleet Adaptation.

No Genestealers, Termagants, Ripper Swarms. You don’t get splashing Kraken or Kronos with your Leviathan. And definitely lose that 6+ FNP. That’s rough. So, what do you get?

Crusher Stampede Benefits

crusher stampede
Tyranid hive brood by LordHannu

Army wide 5+ invulnerable save. Yup. The entire army gets demon saves. This is clearly amazing on our big monsters that are missing one but also on Hive Guard and Warriors, who are 3 wounds and thus allowed to tromp around with the big boys.

In addition, all monsters get -1 damage to a minimum of 1. Yup. The entire army gets disgustingly resilient. 18 wound Hierodules now have the 5+ you would’ve had to pay to give them from Dermic Symbiosis and -1 damage on top to make then insanely difficult to shift.

Finally, all monsters count as their remaining wounds characteristic. Yup. Eat your heart out Knights. This becomes truly crazy on big units like the 18 wound Dimachaeron that can easily cross the board with help from his buddy the Swarmlord, kill your Knight, and take your objective unless you have obsec. Fortunately, while the units in the Army of Renown lose their Hive Fleet Adaptation, they don’t lose the keyword so the insane Leviathan stratagems can still be used. So just make that Dimachaeron Obsec for 1CP and then “outnumber” the opponent with your wounds characteristic.

As if that weren’t enough there are 3 Warlord Traits, 3 Psychic Powers, and 7 Stratagems.

Crusher Stampede Warlord Traits

tyranid army of renown
Carnifex – (c) 2103 Games Workshop Ltd. by helgecbalzer

If these had come out before the Leviathan supplement, I would have been ecstatic. They are good but not great but there are some fun uses.

Raging Influence is a 6” aura of exploding unmodified 6s in melee for monsters that sounds great until you realize all your monsters have 6 or less attack so maybe an extra attack per monster and with the base sizes, points costs, and amount of terrain that’s on the board how many monsters are you really going to be able to fit in range? It’s certainly fun but not more competitive than Swarm Leader or Strategic Adaptation from Leviathan.

Savage Intimidation

Savage Intimidation is the obligatory subtract 1 for combat attrition modifier that every rules drop forces on us that no one takes. It does also give -1 to melee attacks for enemies within 3” so you could pair this with Biomorphic Carapace to make a -1 to hit in melee, -1 to wound, 4+ invuln, -1 damage Flyrant, with the possibility of a 5+ Feel No Pain from Catalyst. Flying Bug Squigasaur…

My favourite is Rampaging Beast. +D3 attacks for the Warlord once per fight phase doesn’t sound great but if you pair it with a Flyrant with Murderous Size and Synaptic Hive Blades then you get 6-8 attacks at S7 -3 4 damage that ignore invulns. Add in Voracious Appetite from the Tyranid codex so it rerolls wounds for 1CP and murder pretty much any hard target in the game. 

Crusher Stampede Psychic Powers

crusher stampede psychic powers
WH40k – Mors Imperator by Tanathiel

The Mass Convergence Discipline has only 3 powers and a psyker can’t know powers from both this and the standard Hive Mind Discipline, but you’ll want two of these in every game, so no problem.

Synaptic Barrier is just a 4+ invulnerable for a select model, no big deal. Obviously not great on units then but when you want to toss some brutal beast stacking this and Catalyst can make it nigh unkillable.

Aggressive Surge is an additional D3 attacks for a select model. Once again, not unit, so you can’t make blender Warriors but putting this on our assassin Flyrant to give him 7-11 attacks if frankly apocalyptic. 

Infused Energies allows a unit to reroll its melee hit roll. Not bad but doesn’t come close to the effectiveness of the other 2 powers when Warriors can give +1 to it and they are your only troop choice. With how many good psychic powers Tyranids have this just doesn’t make the cut for me.

Crusher Stampede Stratagems

mother of god tyranids are powerful

Insert “Mother of God” meme here. This is where things get spicy, and a little broken.

Thunderous Impact

Thunderous Impact is just your standard +1 to hit, +1 to wound and +1 to the damage roll strat for monsters in melee. No big deal. It’s fine…we all wanted potential 7 damage Dimachaerons. Throw an extra D3 attacks on a Haruspex, use this strat, and watch it go off. Now this rule is odd because it says “+1 to the damage roll”. I don’t know of any other ability that specifically boosts a damage roll so after discussion with a few other players, I’m going to play it as +1 damage if you have to roll for damage. Which is still a healthy amount of Tyranid melee weapons.

Terrifying Charge

Terrifying Charge is another monster specific one used in the morale phase. You apply a -3 leadership to a unit within engagement if your monster charged. Nice niche tool but not one I expect to use a lot.

Unbreakable Chitin

Unbreakable Chitin is a transhuman available for anything, but it gets more expensive for units above 4 models or 9 wounds. This is great for Warriors and Hive Guard but not as valuable for big monsters since your already high toughness anyway. Great if maybe someone is sending a Volcano Cannon your way. 

Death Surge

Death Surge is crazy. It’s a fight on death for non-character monsters where you fight at top bracket and can fight even if you already fought. Pump up your beatstick monster, murder an enemy target, then fight again IF they can kill you. This means your opponent is just never safe when in combat with your big scaries.

Breaking Through

Breaking Through should be renamed breaking the game. Take your monster’s remaining wounds and roll that many dice when you charge. It works on a 3+ if your strength exceeds an enemy’s toughness, 4+ if its equal, or 5+ if your strength is lower than their toughness. Deal a mortal wound per success up to a maximum of 6 mortal wounds. Goodbye characters. This is broken on every monster in the army except Carnifexes. It’s essentially automatic 6 mortal wounds since your monsters have tons of wounds, are massively harder to damage, and will generally be stronger or equal to their target.

Rapid Adaptation

We return to normalized strats with Rapid Adaptation which pregame lets you give one unit of Warriors a 2+ Weapon Skill and 3+ Ballistic Skill. Cool but considering the absolutely nuts strats you otherwise have access to using CP on Warriors as anything but objective holders or screens will be playing sub-optimal.

Enhanced Brain Functions is a start that turns your Warriors into monsters for the purposes of shooting into combat and this gets more expensive the bigger the squad is. I feel similarly about this as I do about Rapid Adaption. If these last two weren’t in this Army of Renown they’d be much better but the options for offense in the monster army isn’t your infantry.

Tyranid Army of Renown Crusher Stampede Post Rule Thoughts

crusher stampede full review
The Last Days Of Ector – (c) Games Workshop Ltd. by helgecbalzer

The stacking of Leviathan rules on these makes for the strongest army in the game. Tyranid monsters were already offensive power houses and got scarier. Hierodules, Dimachaerons, Maleceptor, Exocrines, Tyrants and the Swarmlord were already seeing competitive play at top tables. Now they’re insanely difficult to remove and if you kill them in combat you’re getting dragged down too. In addition, they are all scoring units now. This list will almost always outnumber opponents on objectives unless the enemy is playing horde. You can pick up most obsec units easily or give it to yourself with a strat. If the opponent is playing horde, you have your Scythed Hierodules with auto hitting 18” 3D6 flamers at S6 -2 1 or the Dakkafex with 24 S6 0 1 shots. 

The Harridan is beyond broken with these rules and I implore you to communicate this to your opponent before playing a game. A base 5+ invuln and -1 damage with the ability to increase its attacks, make it do 6 mortals on the charge, give it a 4+ invuln on top of the old tricks means there is a good chance most armies in the game have zero play into a unit that’ll kill 3-5 units a turn (2 in shooting, 1 in charge, 2 in melee with fight twice) if you have the CP. I recently won a tournament with a Harridan and can expertly say the new rules in addition to prior tools are how you create negative play experiences if an opponent isn’t expecting it. 

Below are 2 Lists, one that maximizes the new tools, and another that doesn’t use any Forgeworld models and could probably still win an event.

Crusher Stampede Army: Obliteration 

2000 points, 9CP

HQ

Hive Tyrant

  • Warlord Trait: Swarm Leader, Alpha Leader-Beast: Strategic Adaptation, Relic: Adaptive Neural Lobe, Psychic Power: Aggressive Surge, Psychic Power: Synaptic Barrier

Swarmlord

  • Psychic Power: Onslaught, Psychic Power: Paroxysm

Troops

3 Tyranid Warriors

  • Synaptic Link: Bio-Weapon Bond, 2 x Scything Talons

2 x 3 Tyranid Warriors

  • 2 x Scything Talons

Elites

6 Hive Guard

  • Impaler Cannons

Maleceptor

  • Synaptic Link: Focal Essence, Psychic Power: Catalyst

Fast Attack

2 x Dimachaeron

Heavy Support

2 x Scythed Hierodule

This list blasts through you with the rerolling Hive Guard and launched Dimas at you. One of those Dimachaerons will be double moving and have obsec with likely a 4+ invuln, and 5+ FNP on top of its -1 damage. It’ll take your home objective and not die.

The Hieros will rip through light vehicles and infantry with their shooting and knights with their melee. They will likely sit on middle objectives, and you won’t take them unless you can kill them off because their bases can essentially cover the objective and they can be obsec in the command phase before scoring.

Once you break through the 4 bigs, you’ve got the Swarmlord and another Hive Tyrant that will be recycling your CP to power our broken strats. This list WILL outscore you and out kill you. 

 Crusher Stampede: No Forgeworld, No Problem 

1998 points, 9CP

HQ

Hive Tyrant with Wings

  • Warlord Trait: Rampaging Beast, Alpha Leader-Beast: Gestalt Commander, Relic: Synaptic Hive Blades, Psychic Power: Psychic Scream, Psychic Power: Onslaught, Monstrous Boneswords, Monstrous Rending Claws, Adrenal Glands

Hive Tyrant with Wings

  • Relic: Biomorphic Carapace, Psychic Power: Aggressive Surge, Power: Synaptic Barrier, 2 x Monstrous Rending Claws, Adrenal Glands

Swarmlord

  • Psychic Power: Catalyst, Psychic Power: Paroxysm

Troops

3 Tyranid Warriors

  • Synaptic Link: Bio-weapon Bond, 2x Scything Talons

3 Tyranid Warriors

  • 2x Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands

3 Tyranid Warriors

  • Deathspitters and Boneswords, Adrenal Glands

Elite

6 Hive Guard

  • Impaler Cannons

Lictor

Maleceptor

  • Synaptic Link: Focal Essence, Psychic Power: Catalyst

Heavy Support

Carnifexes

  • 2 x Carnifex w Enhanced Senses, Spore Cysts, 2x Two Devourers

Carnifexes

  • 2 x Carnifex w Tusks, Spore Cysts, 2 x Monstrous Scything Talons, Bone Mace, Adrenal Glands

Mawloc

  • Toxinspike

This list some of the same concepts with different tools. The Mawloc steals an objective while it and the 4 Carnifexes are just not efficient to kill. No rerolling hits for the Hive Guard means you can choose between plus 1 to hit or rerolling damage and extra AP.

The Flyrants and melee Fexes will both enjoy the Maleceptor’s buff. The Lictor can be used as an early trading piece or deepstrike on an objective later. The assassin Flyrant will absolutely trash everything it touches and forces your fire into it. After which the Swarmlord and the Flyrant handing out d3 extra attacks will cause problems for any opponent being joined by angry beatstick fexes while the Hive Guard and Dakkafexes do what they do.

Final Thoughts on the new Renown Review

This is an incredibly competitive set of rules on top of Leviathan’s incredibly competitive set of rules. I expect this army of renown to show up on top table and win multiple events. It’s great to see new life breathed into Carnifexes, Mawlocs, and some of the other amazing and cool models that Tyranids have but I worry about the impact that the already competitive monsters will have. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Army of Renown and how you’d tackle it.

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