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Having played a small 1k point test game today, I think I can give a reasonable assessment of how these new pods will be put to best use.

The setting of this game was nids vs Astra Militarum with a heavy Tempestus Scions alliance. Mostly infantry, deep striking units and several wyverns providing fire support.

My nid list was two twenty strong gaunt units with fleshborers, one in tyrannocite and the other led by a tyranid prime. A sporocyst, several deep striking spore mine clusters as well as a mucolid spore, joined by two maleceptors.

The overall outcome of the game was inconsequential to evaluating the performance of these units as individuals and as support for one another, so we played a maelstrom of war mission for a bit of extra fun.



The Tyrannocite: Essentially a drop pod for the tyranid list, the tyrannocite is a medium level monstrous creature that deep strikes and brings with it a unit of up to twenty models or one monstrous creature. Given that one cannot assault on the turn it arrives from reserve, it makes sense that the transported unit either be able to fire on the enemy, or be resilient enough to whether a turn of fire from whatever enemy units happen to be nearby. As such, viable options are rather limited to either gaunts, exocrines or pending its loadout, the tyrannofex. A case can be made for tyrants and carnifexes, but on the whole you should probably be avoiding middle weight units like warriors or the maleceptor.

That's for general lists, but if you know your opponent in advance, it's worth considering that zoanthropes can be useful in this scenario if you know your opponent packs a lot of armour, or even Old One Eye if your opponent is lacking in heavy firepower. As for the tyrannocite itself, its low ballistic skill means it has a rather limited potential for damage output on its own. Deathspitters are preferable if you have no greater aspiration beyond its transport ability, as this keeps them at their minimum points cost. The Barbed Strangler can be useful for forcing the odd pinning check. I have few if any practical reasons for the Venom Cannon. My personal preference is to keep to the deathspitter for cheap points cost.

Using more than one? An excellent idea. However this is where it begins to dominate your list. You have a lot of potential for carrying a few damaging units like a pair of exocrines in pods, backed up by a brood or two of venomthropes coming down beside them to give them cover. Once you take such a strategy though, you're relying on the Swarmlord or a Hive Commander to generate that much need 2+ reserve roll on turn 2. Which means tyrant guard, or wings, and then you need to ensure that you have a purpose for them beyond the second game turn.

There's probably a lot more application than this, but all in all I think tyrannocites need numbers to be worthwhile.

The Sporocyst: I don't have a great deal to say on this, but that's not a bad thing. The sporocyst infiltrates, which means at the very least, you have it deployed six inches ahead of your main swarm where it sits and poops out a brood of three spore mines every turn. These things will be hell for infantry armies like orks, guard and even rival tyranids. Spore mines are irritating. Easy to deal with, but that's the thing. A lot of armies have to deal with them. No necron player wants a cluster of six spore mines sneaking up on his warrior or flayed one squads. No tau wants to waste his squad's fire on a few nuisance spore mines when he could be shooting that much scarier ravener brood.

But what happens when they don't? Yea. Boom. Maybe you'll kill a couple in your overwatch, but even one spore mine getting in is going to hurt those squishy units.

Of the two, the sporocyst is my fave, and if you like biovores and harpies with their bombing ability, then this should be your fave too. Take three of them. Hell take four and make a line across your side of the board. Twelve fresh spore mines per turn PLUS what the harpies and biovores are dishing out? Hell yes, you guys have fun with that.

Oh and then there's the mucolid spores they'll put out too... :spiteful:
 
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