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Tyranid 6th Edition Codex - Hive Crone Review
Welcome to my second article reviewing units from the new Tyranid Codex for 6th edition Warhammer 40k. Murphy80, here, your resident gamer, writer, and reviewer. Welcome back to another 40k codex review after a many-month absence since the new Space Marines dropped!
If you haven't read my review of the new Tyranid Harpy unit, then you may want to check it out! In that article I included a breakdown of the rules for Flying Monstrous Creatures, which are similar to, but different than the rules for Flyers. I will not repeat that entire section (it was longer than anticipated), so check it out if you haven't done so!
- Tyranid Synapse and Psychic Powers!
- New Tyranid Harpy Review
- New Tyranid Exocrine Review
- New Tyranid Haruspex Review
This article will cover the rules and stats for the new Tyranid Hive Crone. This is literally a brand new unit, both in terms of a physical model and rules! We earlier discovered that the Harpy specializes in taking out ground targets (and can even be handy in an assault!), let's uncover what specialty the Hive Crone will fill.
Tyranid Hive Crone Stats and Rules
I'm just going to come out and say it: the Tyranid Hive Crone is designed to kill enemy Flyers. This is the polar opposite of what the Tyranid Harpy does. You get enough bits to make either/or in the GW kit . . . you see what they did there? They are making you choose because either unit is only good at one thing and is not effective at doing the other. With so many other ways to kill ground troops, I'm willing to bet that the Hive Crone will be the more popular build. Let's take a closer look at it!
- 3's for WS and BS
- 5's for Str, T, and Wounds
- Leadership of 10 (Important if out of Synapse range)
- Armor save of 4+
Flying Monstrous Creature (FMC)
A couple of points that I made in greater detail in the Harpy review (linked to in the Intro):
- Can start deployed on the board in Glide mode - but keep the Hive Crone in Reserve. You want it to hunt enemy Flyers which will NOT be on the board on Turn 1.
- Enemies need 6's to hit you, unless they have Skyfire or are themselves Flyers
- Every time your FMC is hit (not wounded, but HIT) by an enemy unit, it has the risk of being Grounded. This is bad; read details in my Harpy Review.
- Has a 360-degree field of fire!
- When Swooping (aka Flying) it moves between 12" and 24"
- Is still a Monstrous Creature (Smash!) and can Assault if needed.
- Can Vector Strike in the Movement Phase - in fact, this thing is really good at it!
- Drool Cannon - Template Str 6 AP4 Assault 1.
- Four Tentaclid Missiles - 36" Str 5 AP5 . . . Assault 1, Haywire, Seeking. Seeking means you re-roll misses against Flyers or FMC (that are Swooping).
- Scything Talons - just allows it to make melee attacks, no biggie.
- Can purchase one of the following:
- Stinger Salvo - 18" Str 5 AP5 Assault 4.
- or Cluster Spines - 18" Str 5 Ap- Assault 1, Large Blast
Hive Crone Special Rules
- Feed - Instinctive Behavior (attempts to assault closest enemies if out of Synapse range and fails a LD check).
- Raking Strike - Vector Strikes are resolved at Strength 8!! Remember against vehicles this is against side armor.
Alright, let's look at some of the Biomorphs and some tactics!
Tyranid Hive Crone Tactics
First, let's look at the Biomorphs and which ones are worth it.
- Toxin Sacs - Melee oriented; I'd pass.
- Acid Blood - Sweet revenge, but again melee oriented; I'd pass.
- Adrenal Glands - Fleet and Furious Charge; pass.
- Regeneration - Yes, please. Roll a die at the end of each of your turns and on a 4+ you regain a Wound lost earlier.
Hive Crone Tactics
I said earlier that the Tyranid Harpy was for killing ground targets and the Tyranid Hive Crone was for killing enemy Fliers. At first glace, this is odd because the Hive Crone's primary weapon is a Template; which can't even target Flyers. Hmmm. However, it has the Tentaclids!
With their Seeker rule, they re-roll misses, meaning you will hit a Flyer 75% of the time. They are also missiles, so you can fire up to 2 in a single round. They are only Strength 5 (which sucks!) but they have the Haywire rule. EDIT: Thanks to commenter, errgats, remember that you roll for the haywire effect instead or rolling to penetrate, not on top of it. I originally commented that you do both!
To be clear, in the side or rear armor of most Flyers, you could glance with the Str 5 of the tentaclid (taking a hull point away) and then get another glance or pen with the Haywire effect. You can fire two missiles in a round, so you could take out a Flyer in a single round of shooting. You only have four tentaclids, so make 'em count!
Let's be clear, here. The tentaclids are not even the primary way that Hive Crones will kill enemy Flyers. Remember their special rule above, where Vector Strikes are resolved at Strength 8! You goal is to line yourself up with an enemy Flyer, move up to 24" to cross over it, inflict d3+1 Str 8 hits against its side armor, and then use your 360-degree arc of fire to hit it with a tentaclid or two.
Once it's primary mission is done, it can still target ground vehicles with its Vector Strike or use its Template weapon to get in close and kill some light infantry. At the very least it could switch to Glide mode, template some infantry, and then assault them as a Monstrous Creature, inflicting a Hammer of Wrath hit and then a few AP 2 hits. With Fearless, it will at least tie up a unit until it dies or kills them.
Update: Quad Guns - The Internet has been ablaze talking about how to keep these new Tyranid FMCs alive. After all, the lowly Quad Gun is Str 7 and AP 4, with 4 twin-linked shots. This gun will wound both the Harpy and Hive Crone on a 2+ and eat right through its armor. Diving will only give you a 5+ cover save at sacrificing most or all your shooting attacks next phase. Solution?
Venomthropes now give Shrouded to any unit within 6". My idea is to move your FMC from reserve and make sure it ends within 6" of a Venomthrope. Now if your FMC is hit and wounded, you can Dive to gain a Jink of 5+ and improve that with Shrouded to make it a 3+ cover save. It's not perfect, but it's a little bit of synergy to buy some time until that Quad Gun is destroyed.
Hive Crone Rating
Is the Tyranid Hive Crone Worth It?
With a new system I can do at this site, I'm giving each of the units or books in my reviews a star rating, from 1 - 5. In my opinion, a rating of 1 or 2 stars means that a unit performs poorly for its suited task or is too tricky to use effectively (Dark Eldar Mandrakes!). A 3 star unit would do its job adequately and compare to similar units in other army codexes. Every codex will have some 4 star units that stand out as great choices for that army, while a 5 star unit is great compared to every army and is almost a must have (Heldrakes!).
Humbly, I am giving the Tyranid Hive Crone 4 stars. It is the best anti-air unit in the Tyranid codex, and without Allies, that means it stands out. It also isn't half-bad at what it's supposed to do, with Strength 8 Vector Strikes and Haywire missiles. Not every Flyer in the game can be a 5th edition Vendetta with multiple twin-linked lascannons!
Agree or disagree? Comment at the bottom of the article!
Tyranid Hive Crone
Which Tyranid Flyer do you prefer?
This finishes my review of both models from the Harpy/Hive Crone dual kit! Personally, I like both models and the rules for each. Neither is overpowered, which is needed in this game, as it is no fun to play with or against units that everyone complains about. Trust me; I feel like I'm cheating when my Heldrake wipes out entire units after my opponent has thrown everything they have it. Invulnerable saves all day, baby!
Remember, if you haven't checked out my review of the new Tyranid Harpy, you can find that review here: Harpy Review.
Also, we have a brand-new Tyranid Exocrine Review ready to go!
What about a new Tyranid Haruspex Review? We have that too!
Otherwise, take the poll at the right, and check out some of many other 40k articles, all for 6th edition!
- Personal Gaming Blog - Forever War - Pictures of my models, etc!
- Heldrake Tactics
- New Space Marine Codex Review
- Flyers in 6th Edition Warhammer 40k
- Apocalypse Review - 6th Edition
As always, thanks for reading! Leave a comment below, if you're in the mind to. How are you liking the articles? I'm sure you have suggestions, corrections, and cheers to give! Murphy Out!