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Tyranid 6th Edition Codex - Hive Crone Review

Updated on June 22, 2016
Tyranid Hive Crone Review 6th Edition
Tyranid Hive Crone Review 6th Edition

Introduction

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!

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 Review 6th Edition
Tyranid Hive Crone Review 6th Edition

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!

Stats

  • 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!

Weapons

  • 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

  • Fearless
  • 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 Review 6th Edition
Tyranid Hive Crone Review 6th Edition

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

4 stars for Tyranid Hive Crone

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?

See results

Conclusion

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!

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!

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    • profile image

      Virag 2 years ago

      Well put, Dan. That makes me feel even better about my first three years of hntniug, and last year, too. I had four successful years in between and...

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      I still haven't seen a game with the new Tyranid codex yet! I thought I"d get down to the club this weekend, but I wasn't able to make it. Even if the new codex isn't top-tier, I doubt it will make much a difference at the local level. Maybe some areas are hyper competitive, but my area has a lot of players who play with what they have, occasionally buying new units. People around here just don't make the super-competitive lists that you see commonly on the internet. The army mentioned above would be tough for me to beat!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      Where people are forgetting things is in the pricings, a lot of nice MCs have been dropped, as have biovores. So now, I'd say if you spam biovores, termagants+troops tervigons, flyrants, Mawlocs, venomthropes and well placed Carnifexes... We might just have an army on our hands...

    • murphy80 profile image
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      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      I think people are slowly coming around. Notice most of they nay-sayers are comparing Tyranids to Tau... Why aren't they comparing Tyranids to Dark Angels or Chaos Space Marines? Complain about Radom tables and bull crap? Try playing Daemons... we have to be flexible and dump tremendous amount of points into extra options. We still win and CAN be incredibly competitive if we take cheesy lists.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      these reviews are giving me brighter second thoughts about the 'Nids, lots of trickery to be done, lots of confident players to fall from their high horses... Forwards, Great Devourer! Leave none in your path!

    • profile image

      ERRGATS 3 years ago

      no problem, I wish you had write ups for everything! great job!!

    • murphy80 profile image
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      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      errgats, thanks for the correction! I think somebody at the local club had it backwards and I fell for it. Oops! Again, thanks for commenting; I'm editing the article now.

    • profile image

      errgats 3 years ago

      you got the haywire rule wrong. you roll on the haywire chart instead of rolling armor pen.

    • murphy80 profile image
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      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the reads and replies, guys. I'm glad people are seeing the potential of these FMCs. They are fragile to heavy fire, but are capable offensive units. I do think a well timed assault is going to surprise some opponents . . . unless they are reading these comments :p

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      great thing about vector strike is it always does automatic 2 hits at least. using that on a monstrous creature's gonna hurt as well as vehicles and infantry.

    • profile image

      Derre 3 years ago

      I think the vector strike at S 8 is a GREAT ability. Remember you can always smash vehicles in melee the following turn. As such, a hive crone can kill 3+ guys in cover, can kill AV 13- 14 in melee , can hurt fliers, can clean objectives assaulting troops if it must . I think is is a very solid unit for a killy suicide run.

    • profile image

      Derre 3 years ago

      I think the vector strike at S 8 is a GREAT ability. Remember you can always smash vehicles in melee the following turn. As such, a hive crone can kill 3+ guys in cover, can kill AV 13- 14 in melee , can hurt fliers, can clean objectives assaulting troops if it must . I think is is a very solid unit for a killy suicide run.

    • profile image

      Ray 3 years ago

      These FMC are rather good. You get either a infantry killer or a decent anti air option with good ground fire. Love the tentaclids, one of the best fluff rules ever and it works decently.

    • murphy80 profile image
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      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      I agree that I might be overlooking the Crone as a ground attack choice. It obviously can do so, as it's primary weapon is a template that can't target enemy flyers anyway! I hadn't thought about that Str 8 vector striking taking out multi-wound models! Ouch, that would hurt to lose a whole squad of Tau suits! I am liking the Tyranid FMCs more and more . . . if people can keep them in the skies beyond a single turn. We've already discussed that a bit, so I'll leave it there. Thanks for the insight!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      I'm a fan of the ground attack Crone from the battle report in WD, a single vector strike wiped out Farsight's entire retinue of 'suits in one strike, now you can also use this to slaughter Tactical Squads, Dark Reapers and even vehicle squads, fly the crone right in their face, and if they don't ground it, they're losing something valuable; invoking the drawn fire tactic, they don't target it, it rips a unit up, they do target it, and you're leaving the new Fleetfexes another turn to get to your lines.

    • murphy80 profile image
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      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      Slade, those are some good points to think about. I've considered all of those, and it will be a challenge to take out enemy Flyers, but still very doable. As you said, Vector Strike and then shoot one missile. I"ll have to look up the Haywire rule again, as we must have been playing it wrong. Strength 5 wasn't likely to do much anyway :P thank for reading and some corrections!

    • profile image

      Slade1122334455 3 years ago

      Just throwing this out there, but a couple of the rules may lower how good the Hive Crone is. One, the haywire skill does not get its roll along with the normal pen roll. Haywire rule states "When a weapon with this special rule hits a vehicle, roll a D6 to determine the effect rather then rolling Armour Penetration normally." Second, unfortunately, vector strike counts as a weapon fired, as does each missile, and sense a monstrous creature can only fire two weapons period, the best one could hope for is a vector strike, and then a single haywire missile. As a third point, doing vector strike with the Crone on a flying vehicle may not be that easy to do, as they would have to simply place their flyer so that you cannot reach flying over it in the 24 inches, provided both vehicles come in from reserve on the same turn, this isn't too hard to do. The Flying vehicle at that point could easily just outrun the Crone. I do believe the crone is good for ripping open ground vehicles with vector strike and haywire missiles, and limiting where the vehicle flyers can safely move though.

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 3 years ago from Florida

      Yes, people complain about keeping these FMC alive, but at least they wont be one-hit killed like Eldar flyers :)

      And these things are terrible compared to Heldrakes . . . but only because Heldrakes are probably the best unit in the game for their points. Simply put, the Heldrake breaks the game so almost nothing can compare to it :) I purposefully don't use mine as an allied unit to my Daemons because my friends hate it so much.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 3 years ago

      all round good review, but I know you and your Daemons, how does it in your opinion compare to the feared Helldrake? As for keeping these beasties alive, well at least you aren't an AV 10/10/10 HP3 flyer with no defensive upgrades, right, Eldar players?