Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Parasite of Mortrex & Rippers - Practical?

The Parasite of Mortrex is a fun little bug, one of two independant characters in the entire Tyranid Codex. Basically he is an insurance policy you take out on your opponent. He transforms what he kills into ripper swarms, Makes your opponent think twice about outflanking and provides a large web of synapse for rippers.

Implant attack make's him a MC's and IC's nightmare since his unsaved wounds cause instant death, Rending Claws combined with 4 WS 5 attacks make him a very large threat. Especially at Initiative 6.

Implant Parasite:
Your opponent Must make a toughness test for each casualty removed because of wounds inflicted by the parasite of mortrex. For each test failed, roll a D6. At the end of the assault phase, place a ripper swarm with a number of bases equal to the sum total of all the dice rolled such that all bases are within 6" of the parasite of mortrex. All bases that cannot be placed due to impassable terrain, enemies within 1" or because you have run out of models are lost.

he is the king of Rippers, spawning them like flies. Ruthless and Efficient.

The Sarge is acting Strangely...
Every enemy infantry unit that arrives using the outflank ability may harbor a squad member infested with ripper parasites. At the end of their Movement phase, one model in each of these units (owning player's choice) must take a Toughness Test. If the test is failed, that model is instantly removed as a casualty and the Tyranid player may place a Ripper Swarm unit consisting of D6 bases anywhere within 6" of the Victim. If the victim was inside a transport vehicle, it is assumed that he staggered out before dying. Any bases that cannot be placed due to impassable terrain, within 1" of enemy models or because you ran out of models, are lost.

Like I said, It's an insurance policy. it Likely will not force a Morale check, but in some small cases, it can.
Against a Korsorro Khan Outflank army this ability can be devistating.

So, we have this "Flying Monstrosity" that can join other units, kill fairly easily, and poop out new Ripper Swarms. Also He can keep Rippers in line fairly easily.

So we'll look at the ripper swarm and then go on to tactics that I would use.

Ripper Swarm
Low WS, Low BS, High Attacks, Medium S and T, 3 Wounds and LD 5.
Basically you do not want these guy's out of Synapse Range, EVER.
So, what do we do?
We join the Parasite of Mortrex to their squad. Not so devious, but can keep him alive almost forever.
They come in swarms of 3-9 Bases each with 3 wounds. Take 9 and that squad has 27 Wounds. Great Fun.
Now their options are a bit odd, Guns (Worthless with BS2) Furious Charge (Can Be Fun, but ultimately not worth the points) Tunnel Swarm (Why Bother?) Toxin Sacs (Invaluable for when attached with the parasite)

Toxin Sacs give them poison 4+ (and don't forget the re-roll to wound vs T3 or less) So yes, you can wound monsterous creatures and High T IC's.

So with a 9 Base Squad with Toxin Sacs, you're looking at 117 Points. Not bad at all for a 27 wound swarm that can and will eat just about everything. Sure at T3 they can be instikilled by a lot, but really, that is fine.
Now add in the Parasite of Mortrex and this unit costs us  277 Points (more if you go with flying Rippers)

You've got an amazing HTH unit that gets 45 attacks on the charge (always wounding on 4+) plus 5 WS5 I5 Rending Attacks that can cause instant death. not bad. Now consider that against marines, those first 5 attacks will all but guarantee 2d6 ripper bases that will be able to charge the same unit (if it's not dead) on your next turn.

To play these, have lots of ripper swarms. LOTS OF THEM. In a combo like this you can easily create a LOT of rippers (think 10-20 D6 Rippers) against most armies.

Now, on to the Synergystic Tactics:

Zoanthropes- Bust your opponent out of his transports. with the S10 AP1 Lance shot you can all but guarantee that they will be jumping for cover just in time for the Parasite's Teethy Swarm to arrive and eat them all.

Hive Guard (Same as Above)

this may seem like a waste to some, but imagine this squad with Feel No Pain. yep, that is a 31 wound squad with Feel No Pain. Ouch.

This squad WILL eat Nob Bikers, SM Bike Command Squads. And anything else it can get into hand to hand combat with. Now, Thundershield terminators will cause you problems as each of their power weapon attacks will instantly kill a base. This does not matter. with a squad of 5 - 7 (have you ever seen more?) they are getting (roughly) 15 attacks on the charge, 8 will hit, 6 will wound. remember they are at Initiative 1. you are at a higher initiative. so with your (if the Termies charge) 40 Attacks you should hit with 18 Poisoned attacks, and 3 Implant Attacks, and cause 10.5 wounds causing 2 deaths. so they're down 2 already. they get 12 attacks back, 6 hits and 5 bases die. next turn they get 2 attacks and 1 base dies. then they're gone and you've lost 7 bases. big loss, but not so big when you realize you just killed 200 points of I Kill Everything Terminators.

Go make more swarms and have the Parasite join the bigger swarm. He replenishes his own retinue.

So, go grow the swarm.

Pics courtesy of the alien movie, and GW (used without permission)


  1. Remember though that swarms are not scoring. Minor consideration. Also remember that without wings rippers are a slow close combat unit without a transport or fleet. Might be an ok place to hide the parasite before he strikes but they will prevent him from causing all the trouble he might with some garagoyles or other flyers.

    Implant attack has different rules now. Now it causes instant death on a to wound roll of 6.

    In your thunderhammer example you forgot to include that you now lost combat by 12 wounds causing another 3 bases to essentially disappear.

    Outflank protection is ok but 1 guy out of every squad having to make a Toughness test is never going to be devastating. Especially to a Khan list since most of those are bikers which are not covered since they are not infantry and not in a vehicle. Vs marine you kill 1 guy per 3 units so you might get one of those thunderhammer termis in the landraider while all the tac squads get by scott free.

    Still Might be a fun unit to run. Just remember to bring anti armor, some scoring troops, and something that will draw attention like a Mawloc.

  2. Thanks, i caught the Implant attack and updated for it. Yeah swarms never score, but can be fun. yeah the wounds from the TH squad can and will suck. Still, It would be fun to play this.

    Anti-Armor (I.E. Zoans and/or Hive Guard) are a must since while they're in their little bunker you can't do anything to them.

    Good point on the bikes.

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