🔨 Warhammer 40k
Tyranid Army (9th)

Updated at 2022-02-07 17:15

Basic tips for a Warhammer 40,000 Tyranid army around the 9th edition.

9th edition is all about objectives and securing objectives requires various roles. All units should be evaluated according to the role they fill in your army, not according to the raw values per point.

I'll use slightly modified Age of Sigmar terminology to simplify things.

Generally, you have three major roles or types of units in your army:

  • Anvils: Units that charge in, cap objectives and stay alive.
  • Shields: Units that protect anvils and allow them to generate points.
  • Hammers: Units that try to get around enemy shields and kill hammers or anvils.

A single unit pick can work for multiple roles but they will generally fulfill a single role as a result how you play and how the game unwinds.

What the different roles need from the unit:

  • Anvils must have Objective Secured (obsec) and be a tough unit to kill.
  • Shields must be tough to kill, and either physically block the enemy from getting to objectives or pose such a threat that the enemy has to focus on them.
  • Hammers must be able to focus and kill virtually any individual enemy unit at will. Hammers don't necessarily need to be tough.

Whichever the role, cost efficiency is the key thing you are looking for.


TL;DR: Take between two and five units of Termagants or Tyranid Warriors.

These go to objectives and stay there. You should use resilient units that have "Objective Secured."

They don't need to have offensive power. Having offensive power is not the job of these units so you can choose to simply take the best cost-to-survivability -ratio units to simplify things.

You effectively have two options; Termagants or Tyranid Warriors. Gargoyles and Hormagaunts are also potential but slightly more expensive than Termagants without any added survivability; but they get maneuverability.

  1. Termagants (close to 30 models per unit) are a common choice.
    • Pick these over Tyranid Warriors if you like hordes more.
    • Rush Termagants to the middle of the board.
    • Don't add any offensive upgrades as they are not there to deal damage but to swarm the objectives. If you want to also deal some damage, take Tyranid Warriors.
  2. Tyranid Warriors (3-6 or 9 models per unit) are a common choice.
    • One Tyranid Warrior costs more than 4 Termagants but they have +2T, +2W, a better save and better weapon options.
    • Many people do like to take "Venom Cannon" for some 8S blast damage.

Note: units spawned by Tervigon are not part of a detachment so they don't have obsec

Hormagaunts are also less optimal for this role as they are more expensive than Termagants but equally tough.

Gargoyles are more expensive and less durable. Anvils must be cheap and tough. You could take a small unit of Gargoyles for large games to do some sneaky objective grabbing by flying.

There are special cases where a non-troop unit can gain obsec:

  • If you select Territorial Instincts as your Lurk Biomorph, Monster units are obsec and count as 5 models if they have +10W. Good if you go for a Monster heavy army.
  • Swarmlord can make one Core unit in link range obsec once per round.
  • Warlord can get Alien Cunning trait making them obsec that counts as 5 models.


TL;DR: Always include some variant of the Hive Tyrant.

After that, pick some mixture of Maleceptors, Pyrovores and Carnifexes.

Divert focus away from the objectives. Either fast movement or deep strike so they can get between the objective and opponent battle line. These units must be in the face of the enemy.

Protectors don't need to be tough individually, a horde of cheap units that will block or draw fire can be enough for this role.

The best motivator for your enemy to focus them is danger. These units should be able to cause a lot of havoc if not dealt with.

Some units to consider:

  1. Winged Hive Tyrant
    • A big, fast model that must be dealt with.
  2. Foot Hive Tyrant
    • A big, tough model that must be dealt with.
  3. The Swarmlord
    • A big, dangerous model that must be dealt with.
    • Less versatile than the basic Hive Tyrants as a named character.
    • Once per turn, can make one Core unit in link range Objective Secured.
  4. Maleceptors
    • Deadly, tough, a psyker and reasonably fast.
  5. Pyrovores
    • Deadly and tough but a bit slow.
  6. Carnifexes
    • Very versatile and always tough.

Hormagaunts are annoying little buggers to throw in the mix but don't expect them to do much. They can block movement well as they consolidate extra.



  • Add one Neurothrope to your HQs.
  • Fill elite slots with Zoanthropes.
  • Fill fast attack slots with Raveners.
  • Fill heavy support slots with Exocrines.
  • Fill flying slots with Harpies.

These give board control and give capping units more time.

  1. Neurothrope you should always include one.
  2. Zoanthropes are your go-to resilient unit killers if there are no hordes blocking you. Go for those Smite mortal wounds.
  3. Exocrines continuously apply pressure on targets that have 8T or less.
  4. Raveners are versatile.
  5. Deathleaper and Parasite of Mortrex are sneaky little bugs.

Army Composition

Best value units for each slot, without thinking the whole roster too much:

  • HQ: Any Hive Tyrant > Neurothrope > Broodlord
  • Troop: Termagants > Tyranid Warriors > Gargoyles
  • Elite: Zoanthropes > Maleceptors > Deathleaper > Pyrovores > Haruspexes
  • Fast Attack: Parasite of Mortrex
  • Heavy Support: Exocrines > Carnifexes
  • Flying: Harpy

Hive Fleets

TL;DR hive fleet tiers:

  1. Leviathan for Synapse unit defense
  2. Kraken for speed, Behemoth for melee, Jormungandr for general defense
  3. Kronos for shooting, Hydra for hordes, Gorgon for hordes

Psychic Powers

Psyker units can choose psychic powers before the game. Your top picks are:

  • Catalyst bless an unit with 5+ FNP save
  • Onslaught bless an unit to ignore advance penalty with Assault weapons, ignore movement penalty with Heavy weapons and allow charging after advancing
  • Psychic Scream deal wounds to the closest unit and, if it's a Psyker, it also forgets one psychic power
  • Neuroparasite deal wounds according to the number of models to an unit

Warlord Traits

Each warlord can choose one trait. Your top picks are:

  • Synaptic Tendrils on a Neurotrope for double Warp Siphon
  • Adaptive Biology on a Hive Tyrant for extra defense
  • Alien Cunning on a Deathleaper or a Parasite of Mortrex for capturing objectives


You can give one relic equipment to an unnamed character. Your top picks are:

  • The Reaper of Obliterax on a Hive Tyrant with Monstrous Bonesword equipped
  • Shardgullet on a Hive Tyrant with Heavy Venom Cannon equipped
  • Resonance Barb on a Neurothrope

Adaptive Physiologies

You can upgrade your non-character monsters with unique boosts. Your top picks are:

  • Dermic Symbiosis on anything for 4+ invulnerable save
  • Voracious Ammunition on any shooting monster to do extra wounds by shooting
  • If Leviathan, Synaptic Enhancement to turn any monster into a Synapse unit.


You basically have two roster stratagems that you should use before each game:

  • Rarefied Enhancements give a non-reliced character a unused relic
  • Hive Predator give a non-warlord character a warlord trait

During play, the ones to keep in mind are:

  • Overrun allow a move after fighting if charged and not engaged
  • Indomitable Monstrosity make a monster ignore all wound rolls of 1-3 for the phase
  • but there are a lot more that can be come relevant

General Strategy

Focus on the primary objectives.

Try only to match your opponent's secondaries. You will probably win the primaries so no need to hard deny enemy secondaries. Just make sure you don't fall far behind.

Get your obsec units on the objectives. And just sit there.

Keep your units in Synapse range to avoid morale losses.