The Imperial Armour indexes aren’t just for the Imperium – there’s also rules available for a range of xenos races. Today, we’re looking at a powerful option for the Tyranids, the Stone Crusher Carnifex; this indomitable war-beast combines the ferocity of an “ordinary” Carnifex with powerful new weaponry. It’s not subtle, but if you need to sweep through hordes of infantry or batter down buildings and Baneblades alike, it’s a choice worth considering.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that the Characteristics of the Stone Crusher Carnifex brood are identical to those of a standard Carnifex, making these brutes are very hard to put down as they combine a good number of Wounds with high Toughness and respectable saves. Similar to Dreadnoughts, Carnifexes of all varieties are notable in that they do not decline in effectiveness as they lose Wounds – yours will keep on kicking, and hard, until the bitter end. Finally, an above-average Move stat of 7″ adds a small but useful boost to the Stone Crusher Carnifex’s threat range.
Where the Stone Crusher Carnifex really shines is in its expanded options for melee weapons. In this case, you have a choice between the bio-flail and the wrecker claws, specialised for anti-infantry and anti-heavy units, respectively.
The bio-flail, as well as looking awesome, functions a little differently from normal close combat weaponry, exchanging a set number of attacks for a hit roll for every model within 2″ of the Carnifex. Given the large base size of the Carnifex, this is going to be absolutely deadly against hordes of infantry and a great way to punish your enemy for bringing larger squads. At Strength 6, you’ll be wounding most of these infantry units on 2s, while 2 Damage gives the flail some extra bite against more elite infantry – each successful blow will easily be enough to kill a Warbiker or a Primaris Space Marine. Traditionally, Tyranids deal with massed infantry by meeting them in kind – with the bio-flail, you’ll be able to focus your army around more monstrous creatures without making yourself vulnerable to getting bogged down in long combats.
The wrecker claws are even more powerful than the crushing claws found on the standard Carnifex; each blow with one of these monstrous weapons hits harder than a Lascannon, with a colossal Strength of 12 and D6 Damage. With rerolls to wound, you’ll be able to reliably stack up damage on even Super-heavy vehicles. Each Stone Crusher Carnifex has at least one of these, and a Stone Crusher Carnifex with a bio flail and wrecker claw will make for a terrifyingly versatile assault unit. Of course, there’s always the option for paired claws – while you may lose out on some flexibility, re-rolls to hit are incredibly valuable given the relatively low Weapon Skill of 4+ on the Stone Crusher Carnifex.The secondary wargear available to the Stone Crusher helps lend it some increased utility; Carnifexes with two wrecker claws will particularly appreciate the thresher scythe as a means to thin out any enemy infantry trying to hold them down in combat. Bio-plasma is always worth considering on a unit that will be spending most of its time as close to the enemy as possible. Meanwhile, the Carapace Chitin Rams function similarly to a Carnifex’s Living Battering Ram but with some extra bite against vehicles and buildings, potentially causing enough mortal wounds to guarantee their destruction in the ensuing combat phase. With Monstrous Brood, you’ll be able to squeeze loads of these brutes into your army even if you’ve filled out your heavy support choices with other units. At a fairly low cost in points and power, it’s easy to squeeze a couple into most Tyranid lists.
Finally, there are several options in the wider Tyranid army that synergise well with Stone Crusher Carnifexes. As well as classic support options like the cover-providing Venomthrope or psychic support from a Hive Tyrant, Stone Crusher Carnifexes pair well with Old One Eye, whose Alpha Leader ability allows him to improve the hit rolls of nearby Carnifexes of all types. Bolder Tyranid players may even want to consider an army consisting exclusively of Carnifexes – a single, and game-legal Spearhead Detachment could consist of Old One Eye and 14 Carnifexes of various types, all for just under 2,000 points. While we can’t guarantee this force would be practical against every army, it’ll certainly make for some memorable games. Whether you’re adding versatility to your own living stampede or you’re wanting a hard-hitter for a more diverse Tyranids force, the Stone Crusher Carnifex is a great option – it’s simple, effective, and a very efficient use of points. You can pick up yours HERE.
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