The reintroduction on the Tyranid equivalent of a Space Marine Drop Pod made quite a splash when it was released, as it opens up for new lists and strategies. I’m not a great fan of the Tyrannocyte model but I got it quite cheap off EBay, so what can you do … Normally I try to shy away from models that I don’t like aesthetically but the possibility to drop an otherwise slow and lumbering threat straight into the heart of enemy won out this time.
The Tyranid Tyrannocyte is a massive model. It’s easily over 20 cm from top to bottom as it stands on its big 100 mm round base. Like I said, I’m not a fan. I feel that the model is surprisingly uninspired and bland. Putting it together was no fun at all and I started build it only to quit and leaving it half done for almost two months. It stood there like a guilty conscience. Just like the Drop Pod it’s basically five sides to it, each side exactly the same.
With a vehicle the repetitious and symmetrical design is understandable, it looks smart. But on an organic monstrosity like the Tyrannocyte it just looks and feels wrong. It too stale and fabricated. I mean, just look at the tentacle claw arms – there is five of them, one on each side and they all look exactly the same. That’s just lazy design. Trust me, I’m not the one to criticize Games Workshop a lot, most of the kits that they’ve been turning out the last years have been nothing short of amazing. So please understand my disappointment with this kit.
I would have preferred a more organic and asymmetric design. And some thicker tentacles for legs. Oh well, at least the in-game functionality of the Tyrannocyte is good. Lets take a look at that too.
The Tyrannocyte is a T5/W5/Sv4+ Monstrous Creature that can carry up to 20 models or one MC. It has some Deep Strike guiding help making it quite easy to land but dropping it close to a Lictor is helpful as it is a model with a big foot print. The full rules are available on Games Workshop’s website.
So the Tyrannocyte is durable but by no means unkillable. It will die to concentrated fire. But the purpose of it isn’t survival. In it self it’s a disruption. It scores, it can handle itself in close combat being a MC and it dishes out alot of fire power. It has a special rule allowing it to fire all five weapons each turn, so that’s 15 s5 shot or five s6 blasts or five s4 pinning large blasts. Only problem is that it must fire at the closest enemy, each weapon fires at its closest enemy. Weird rule but it is what it is. At most times all guns will fire at the same unit (remember each gun can fire 360 degrees, it’s still a MC not a vehicle), but at times the fire power will be split.
But lets be frank, the Tyrannocyte is all about what’s inside. So, what do you put in it?
1. Carnifex with two twin-linked brainleach devourers
12 s6 shots on a T6/W4/Sv3+ monster, what’s not to like? A close combat Carnifex is good too (and 30 pts cheaper), but the direct impact of the Dakkafex is brutal.
2. 20 Termagants with Devourers
With 60 s4 shots you are bound to make an impression on the enemy. Rather cheap and probably objective secure.
3. Tyrannofex with Acid Spray and Electroshock Grubs
You drop two devestating templates right were they are needed, and you bring in the super durable T6/W6/Sv2+ Tyrannofex to the enemy’s lines. But the T-fex got a big footprint and it might be a problematic to place it fully within 6″ of Tyrannocyte (if you can’t it’s gone).
There are other builds of course but these are the ones that I think are among the best.