The latest, 10th edition of Warhammer: 40,000 kicked off with a bang with the release of Leviathan, a massive two-player starter set pitting the Space Marines against the evil Tyranids. In 2022, we saw a release of a Tyranids Codex for the previous edition, but now that we've got a brand new edition that changes many crucial ways the game is played, it's time for the army to get a revamp. Games Workshop provided us a copy of the Tyranids 10th Edition Codex, and we combed through it to highlight our five favorite aspects of the book!
Tyranids 10th Edition Codex Spotlight: The Lore
Fans flock to Warhammer: 40,000 not just for the fantastic models and cutthroat wargaming, but also for the deep, engaging lore. And while the game boasts a full library of novels set in the 40K universe, some of the best lore can be found at the start of each army's Codex. The Tyranids 10th Edition Codex is no exception, with 33 pages dedicated to telling the story of the terrifying Tyranids and how they conquer star systems.
So who are the Tyranids? They're a swarming mass of biomutant Xenos (or aliens) that stylistically look like a blend between the classic Alien aliens and dinosaurs. Though originally painted in garish reds, blacks, and other colors, their modern color-scheming (as depicted in the majority of the book, though of course you can paint them however you like) is a sickly, milky pale white and purple.
Controlled by a massive Hive Mind, the Codex goes deep into how the Tyranids form an assault, how they work as a sort of massive, single organism, and how they fuel their armadas (it ain't pretty).
Also covered in great detail are the various Hive Fleets of the army, how they travel through the Warp, and the Four Tyrannic Wars, which brings the story of the Tyranids up to the present day. While a lot of the information contained within is well-tread territory, the places where the Codex dives deeper into the lore, and where we get new information, truly shine.
Tyranids 10th Edition Codex Spotlight: Updated Models
In an effort to make the Tyranids appear more deadly, and bring many older models up to modern design standards, several classic Tyranids models have received an updated look (as well as brand new rules). The folks over at Games Workshop released a fantastic article interviewing the designers of the new line of models, and the Codex shows these off really nicely.
The Lictors, Deathleapers, and even mainstay Termagants are just some of the models who received a serious bio-mass glow-up, and their updated rules in the Codex make them all serious threats on the battlefield.
I especially love the Termagants "Skulking Horror" ability, which allows them to move up to D6 inches when enemy units move near them. This ensures that these ranged ravagers are constantly creeping up the battlefield.
Tyranids 10th Edition Codex Spotlight: The Fiction
Along with an impressive amount of lore contained in the Codex, one of the most engaging aspects of the book are the bits of new fiction we get throughout. What do I mean by Fiction vs. Lore? When I say Lore, I mean the text that describes the Tyranids as though you're reading an Encyclopedia entry about them. Fiction, on the other hand, puts us in the boots of those who would attempt to stand against the Hive.
The Codex opens with a two-page account from the governor of a doomed planet. Described as "Testimony of former Governor Jandid Tuhstot of the planet Hüttos, recovered by Deathwatch Kill Team Akritos of Watch Fortress Mortguard" sets the stage. In two short pages of fiction, we learn how the governor ignored the warning signs that the Tyranids were about to invade, and then watch along with him in horror as they turn his planet into a giant boiling puddle of bio-mass.
This, like other fiction scattered throughout the first third of the Codex, sets a chilling tone, and shows us all the weapons and terrible methods at the Tyranids' disposal.
Tyranids 10th Edition Codex Spotlight: Combat Patrol
The new edition of Warhammer: 40,000 has completely reworked the way Combat Patrol boxes work. Previously, a Combat Patrol was a box of miniatures you could use to jumpstart your collection. Now, those same boxes are a new way to play the game, with custom rules built around them to ensure that each box is of an equal power-level to all the others.
The Combat Patrol rules in the Tyranids 10th Edition Codex present us with The Vardenghast Swarm, containing the following units:
- 1x Psychophage Unit (1 Model)
- 2x Termagants Units (20 Models Total)
- 1x Von Ryan's Leapers Unit (3 Models Total)
- 1x Terror of Vardenghast Unit (1 Model)
- 1x Barbgaunts Unit (5 Models Total)
With an entire section of the Codex dedicated to this Combat Patrol, we start with an overview of all units included and the role they play on the battlefield. From there, there's an in-depth painting guide to help newcomers get acquainted with the hobby.
The Combat Patrol section then details the special rules for The Vardenghast Swarm, including their Synapse and Shadow in the Warp abilities, specific objectives for them to complete, and the special, simplified datasheets for all included units. It's an approachable way to get into Warhammer 40,000, and I love that everything you need is included in its own discreet section.
Tyranids 10th Edition Codex Spotlight: New Models
To close out our recap of some of our favorite moments from the new Codex, let's take a look at some of the new models which recently joined the Tyranids range and are featured in the Tyranids 10th Edition Codex! First up are some of my favorite models, Von Ryan's Leapers.
With the Fights First ability, six attacks per model, and the ability to assign them the Heroic Intervention Strategem for 0CP (even if you've already assigned that strategem), these Leapers are absolutely nasty on the battlefield. Add to their razor-sharp talons and special abilities the fact that they have a 10" move, and these units can close the gap and kill in the blink of an eye.
Next up I want to talk about the Neurolicter, a huge psychic boon to an already psyker-friendly army. Now that the new rules for Warhammer 40,000 have removed a psychic phase and folded psychic powers into each unit's suite of attacks and abilities (a brilliant move, in my opinion), the Neurolictor truly shines.
The Neurolictor, along with an impressive 8" move and a strong melee attack, forces enemy units to take battleshock tests near it, and for battleshocked enemy units within 12" of this model, it debuffs their attacks while boosting the damage of friendly units.These are just two of the many new options for the Tyranids army, with special mention going to the Norn Emissary among many others.
All in all, these five aspects that I'm loving from the Tyranids 10th Edition Codex are really just start of why I find the product so engrossing. With new advanced rules for running different Hive Fleets, and detailed, streamlined Datasheets, I can't wait to dive in even further and get lost in the swarm.
The copy of Tyranids 10th Edition Codex used in the creation of this feature article was provided by Games Workshop.