Tyranids 9th Edition Codex

Reviewing the new Tyranid codex for Warhammer 40,000!

Greetings and welcome to today’s article where I’ll be reviewing the new Tyranid codex for 9th edition in Warhammer 40,000. Before we get into things, thanks goes to Games Workshop for providing these items to review for free. As always I am to be honest, impartial and constructively critical. With that all out of the way, time to get on with the review!

Tyranids were my 3rd 40k army (after Eldar and Black Templars) so I was overjoyed to be given the chance to review their new update. I played them extensively in tournaments during 5th to 7th edition and were oddly the largest army collection I fully painted up as I have around 4,000 points of Tyranids. In yellow! Today I’ll be covering the new codex and miniature too!


Tyranids are a monstrous xenos race of infinite number from outside the galaxy. As they have drifted in towards the center of the galaxy and even Terra itself. Even after the expansion of the great rift, the Tyranids continue their quest onwards to devour the galaxy as they strip worlds of all life to fund their gigantic hive fleets.

The Codex

The codex is your standard 9th edition codex, thick and full of content. Narrative content remains good although I still miss the timeline and it feels lacking compared to older codexes. New Hive Fleets are expanded more upon which is always good. Plus you still have the beautiful miniatures showcase.

Stages of planetary invasion are explored on in detail as well as more demonstrations of various Hive Fleet colour schemes.

As for army special rules, you get the continual expansion brought on with 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000. Hive Fleets and their idiosyncrasies have been expanded upon even more. What I like about these changes is how they represent Hive Fleets on their own as a mass organic beast while still retaining unique traits to represent tendrils or unique mutations. For example with bio-artefacts and adaptations.

It’s a little complex at first but makes sense after a few readings, you even get tools to build your own custom Hive Fleets. However, I still like that you can take a main Hive Fleet and slightly tinker it to suit your own playstyle or narrative. It’s a real neat touch and helps reflects how the Tyranids operate as a whole.

As with other codexes you have a lot of stratagems, probably too much although that’s a problem with 9th edition as a whole. They offer a lot of effects as always although also are previous datasheet rules that are now stratagems. There are a lot of combinations to pull off in here and my favourite is probably the psychic shenanigans you can do.

Narrative rules are really vast and expansive. What I like most about these for the Tyranids is how it reflects a planetary invasion and digestion. Super thematic and fun, perfect for those Nid players looking to reenact global digestion!

General special rules remain the same, mostly. You have Synapse and Shadow in the Warp as well as the new Swarming Massess rule that basically allows your mass swarm units to fight more easily in combat. It’s a nice rule that all Gaunt/Gant players will love.

Finally you have the new Synaptic Link rules. These represent the powerful effects of positioning your Synapse creatures near each other to make a powerful Synaptic web that can span the entire table. It’s a complex but nice rule that encourages you to take more Synapse creatures and appropriately powers up all your Tyranids within its range. Each Synapse creature also has a special rule you can use once per game each turn to buff all Tyranid units within Synapse range. Thematic but powerful, I like it.

Finally you have your updated datasheets. My favourites have to be the Swarmlord and Warriors who have become even more important units for a Tyranid force. It’s just nice to see these units become better, more encouraged to take while also not being overpowered. The same applies to pretty much all the rules changes. I love how all monstrous creatures are now appropriately feared melee or ranged threats. It’s something I’ve been asking for since 5th edition!

Parasite of Mortrex

I was also given the Parasite of Mortex! While I wasn’t able to get it painted in time for the review, the miniature is great to have back since the 5th Edition codex. I really like how it updates the Tyranid aesthetic yet still sticks to the Tyranid hallmarks. My favourite part has to be the Xenomorph-style head. It’s just so, well, alien and feels perfect for this Tyranid monster. It even goes together fairly easily as well and it’s rules are pretty good too.


Overall, I really like this update to the Tyranids. While a little biased as a Tyranid player myself, it’s just a neat codex update. It also feels pretty strong but balanced although there could easily be some killer combos I’m missing. The only real downside is the increased complexity of the rules. Sure, I understood after a few reads but I can totally see other players getting overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take in and remember, along with all the stratagems too. Still, it’s a great thematic update that really feels like a true Tyranid invasion force in your hands.

If you want to, you can get all the Tyranid stuff directly from Games Workshop. You can also do so via my affiliate link at Element Games which will net you a 15% to 25% discount at no additional cost to yourself while helping to support me, so check it out if you can.

That’s pretty much it for me now. I hope you enjoyed this Tyranid review and remember, even in space you can still roll and eat crits!

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