The Mawloc is a solid choice in a Tyranid army. Lots of wounds, cheap point cost, reasonably tough for the points, and it is a reliable source of mortal wounds. In fact, Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal gives us the stratagem Unexpected Incursion to add 2 to the roll for mortal wounds when using the Terror from the Deep ability! While this is certainly handy, we will actually be looking at another potential use for the Mawloc that Blood of Baal has given us.
-Hive Fleet Kronos
-Adaptive Physiology Synaptic Enhancement
Next up, we need stratagems!
-BoB stratagem Psychic Fissure
-Kronos Codex stratagem The Deepest Shadow
The Psyker Bomb
Terror from the Deep allows a Mawloc to arrive from reserves anywhere that is more than 1” away from enemy units. When it arrives, you roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 2” of the Mawloc and, if you use the Blood of Baal stratagem Unexpected Incursion, you will deal between 1-3 mortal wounds to that unit. The +2 to your roll means you will get 3 mortal wounds on a roll of 4+. If your opponent is bunched up, this is probably a very solid option by itself but that’s not the part we are looking at here.
For this tactic, we want to use the Mawloc to get as close as possible to the psykers in the enemy army. Synaptic Enhancement means you now have Shadow in the Warp so enemy models within 18” of the Mawloc get a -1 to their psychic tests.
Now that’s you’re close to the enemy army, you can hopefully fit most (if not all) of their psykers into your 24” bubble for The Deepest Shadow. This forces your opponent to take psychic tests on a single die. Between this and Shadow in the Warp, they are likely to not pass any psychic tests that they attempt.
But what’s preventing them from trying anyway? Well, this is where we use the stratagem Psychic Fissure. This means that when they fail a psychic test within 12” of the Mawloc (or any other Kronos Synapse unit), they take D3 mortal wounds!
Sure they have a movement phase to try and escape the bubble you laid out but that is likely to force them into bad positions, especially if you take that into consideration when bringing out the Mawloc. The fact that the psychic phase comes before shooting or charging means your opponent is limited to using movement to avoid the effects of these psychic penalty bubbles.
How Useful is it Really?
Admittedly, this is not a tactic for every game or against every opponent. Many armies (like Tau) won’t have any psykers at all. But when you come up against a psyker heavy army like Thousand Sons, this could be absolutely brutal! Many Chaos and Aeldari armies rely on psychic powers to buff their units and this could really put a kink in their plans. Sometimes shutting down just one key psyker could make all the difference in the world.
If shutting down psykers isn’t your thing, that’s fine. You still have a tough frontline synapse creature to support the advance of your faster units that may have outpaced some slower elements in your army like Neurothropes or Malanthropes. You can use the Mawloc to help keep those Genestealers and Gargoyles in line!
I feel like this tactic would be most effective in a tournament setting where you use the same list against a wide variety of opponents. It doesn’t cost you any extra points to use the Mawloc this way but it does give you an option to completely shut down an opposing player’s psychic phase for a turn in a very unexpected way if/when you need it!
Besides that, if you’re taking a Kronos Spearhead detachment for that incredible Kronos Exocrine in a Tyrannocyte (you did read that article, right?) then why not help fill it out with a cheap Kronos Mawloc that helps you do mean things to psykers?
The option to use this tactic comes at the cost of using one of your Adaptive Physiologies to give a Mawloc Synaptic Enhancement. If you desperately need that second Adaptive Physiology, this may not be the tactic for you. But if you can spare it, it could be very handy in a tournament setting. And when it comes up, it can pay off in big ways.
What do you think? Is this something you would consider doing? Please let us know in the comments below!