Out of the Ice

Preview a Tyranids Warlord from The Great Devourer Expansion


“Never have I faced a tide of foes that can alter both strategy and flesh to hasten our downfall. Swift as these beasts adapt, we must be swifter, for if we fail, the Tau Empire will drown in its own blood.”
–Shas’el Vorcah of Kel’shan

The Tyranid Hive Fleets slice towards the heart of the galaxy, devouring everything in their path. The Tyranids take no sides and make no alliances. They cannot be reasoned with. Their hunger is insatiable. They will keep fighting until the last termagant falls. Now, this fearsome threat has come to the Traxis sector.

With The Great Devourer, the first deluxe expansion for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, the Tyranids faction arrives in full force with two new warlords and a host of ravenous units that challenge you to embrace new tactics. You’ll use synapse units to coordinate your attacks and infest planets that fall to the Tyranid threat, all the while devouring those who oppose you. Today, we’ll explore one of the new Tyranids warlords introduced in The Great Devourer and one of the Tyranids’ most potent tactics!

Old One Eye

The Tyranids are commanded by the synaptic link of the Hive Mind, but certain Tyranid creatures are given more autonomy. One such creature is known by the Imperium as "Old One Eye" (The Great Devourer, 1). “Old One Eye” has been presumed slain dozens of times, but this monster seems designed to recover from even the most grievous wounds. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, this strange resilience is represented by the warlord’s Reaction. After “Old One Eye” readies, you may remove half of the damage from it, allowing it to heal in the midst of a battle. If this healing ability wasn’t enough, “Old One Eye” can also benefit from the aid of any synapse unit, like other Tyranids warlords. We’ll explore synapse units in much more detail in a future preview!

The signature squad that accompanies “Old One Eye” invites you to take full advantage of this warlord’s regeneration. The signature squad begins with four copies of the Lurking Hormagaunt (The Great Devourer, 2). This unit offers a high ATK and a command icon for only two resources – its weakness is its low HP. However, the Lurking Hormagaunt offers an ability to mitigate your opponent’s attacks. Whenever the Lurking Hormagaunt is assigned damage, you may reassign up to two damage to your warlord instead. Essentially, “Old One Eye” offers additional resistance to your Lurking Hormagaunts, forcing your opponent to expend more powerful attacks to defeat them. 

Of course, as damage naturally accumulates on your warlord and other units, you’ll want to put that damage to good use. You can accomplish this with the two copies of Ferocious Strength (The Great Devourer, 4) included in this signature squad. This event grants the Brutal keyword to your warlord or synapse unit until the end of the combat round, which grants increased ATK equal to the amount of damage on the unit. By playing Ferocious Strength, you could easily increase this warlord’s ATK beyond that of any other warlord.

You can continue to make the most of damage on “Old One Eye” by equipping Great Scything Talons (The Great Devourer, 5). This attachment grants your warlord one additional HP, but more importantly, Great Scything Talons’s ability reads, “Reaction: After damage is removed from attached unit, it gets +X ATK for its next attack this phase. X is the amount of damage removed.”  By combining increased ATK with a higher HP, Great Scything Talons can transform “Old One Eye” into a biological killing machine.

Despite the regenerative power available to “Old One Eye,” it is possible that your opponent is about to bloody your warlord before “Old One Eye” has a chance to ready. Fortunately, you can counter this with Awakening Cavern  (Core Set, 3). Not only does this support let “Old One Eye” to trigger his ability whenever you wish, it readies the warlord for another attack. You can always use Awakening Cavern on another unit as well, allowing that unit to strike twice in a single combat round, greatly increasing the damage you deal in a single round.

Infest the Galaxy

As you lead the Tyranids and ravage the Traxis sector, you may choose to infest planets along the path to conquest. Whether you lead the Tyranid hordes with “Old One Eye” or another Tyranids warlord, infesting planets can be a key part of your strategy. 

Planets are infested through a variety of card effects available to the Tyranids. You may play the Scything Hormagaunts (The Great Devourer, 21), which infest whichever planet they deploy to. You may sacrifice the Virulent Spore Sacs (The Great Devourer, 20) to damage each enemy unit at a planet and infest the planet. Alternatively, you can spread your infestation by playing Predation (The Great Devourer, 35) to infest a planet adjacent to an infested planet. It’s easy to infest planets with these and other cards, but your opponent will likely try to remove the infestation as soon as possible. Whenever a non-Tyranids player wins a battle at an infested planet, he may choose to remove the infestation.

Infested planets offer no inherent benefits to your forces, but once you’ve established a foothold by infesting a planet, some Tyranids units become much more effective, while other cards use infested planets to return your Tyranids from the discard pile. You can play Spore Burst (The Great Devourer, 37) as a Deploy Action to put an army unit into play from your discard pile at an infested planet. By bringing your Tyranids back into play with Spore Burst, you can keep your Hive Fleet moving deeper into the Traxis sector. 

Other Tyranids units become much more dangerous to your opponent at infested planet. You may play the Shrieking Harpy (The Great Devourer, 32), a Flying unit with a crippling ability. After the Shrieking Harpy is declared as an attacker at an infested planet, you can exhaust each enemy non-Elite army and token unit at that planet! In effect, as long as the Shrieking Harpy strikes first each combat round, you can prevent the bulk of your opponent’s armies from striking at all. The Flying keyword makes it more likely that your opponent will be unable to kill the Shrieking Harpy before it strikes. You can enhance the Shrieking Harpy even more by attaching a Noxious Fleshborer (The Great Devourer, 41). This Biomorph attachment increases a unit’s ATK and HP while the unit is at an infested planet, and if you win a command struggle at that planet, you can infest the planet! A Shrieking Harpy equipped with a Noxious Fleshborer could hold a planet almost single-handedly.

Devour the Galaxy

The Tyranids have come to the Traxis sector. You can harness the regeneration of “Old One Eye,” infest the planets that stand in your way, or devour entire armies to add more biomass to your great Hive Fleet. Join us in our next preview as we examine the other Tyranids warlord included in this expansion!

Prepare for the Tyranid onslaught and pre-order The Great Devourer at your local retailer today.


Warhammer 40,000: Conquest: The Great Devourer © Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2015. Conquest, the Conquest logo, GW, Games Workshop, Space Marine, 40K, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, 40,000, the ‘Aquila’ Double- Headed Eagle logo, and all associated logos, illustrations, images, names, creatures, races, vehicles, locations, weapons, characters, and distinctive likenesses thereof, are either ® or TM, and/or © Games Workshop Limited, variably registered around the world, and used under license.  

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