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Unit of the Week: Mawloc

Tyranids Unit of the Week UotW Unit of the week Tyranids Mawloc

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We have a new unit of the week! This week it's onto the big brain bug, the Mawloc. The Tyranid Super-Burrower, the Mawloc is the natural progression from the original Red Terror, and capable of disappearing and reappearing over the course of a battle. What are you thoughts, and how best would you use these?

  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around? Will the beta rules affect your list(s)?
  • What size unit? Will you be running multiple units?
  • What Hive Fleet Traits, Adaptations and Stratagems do you prefer and how much does it depend on the above choices?
  • Are you buffing this unit? If so, how?

Over to you.

Edited by Xenith, 12 April 2021 - 07:22 AM.




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The Mawloc is a super fun, disruptive unit that gained some reliability from Blood of Baal. While squishy, the Terror from the Deep rule is what you get it for. It's one of the few (only?) units in the game that can deepstrike within 2" of an enemy unit, causing mortal wounds as it does. Normally you get ~1 MW from it, but the strat Unexpected Incursion adds 2 to this roll, meaning you get between 2 and 5 MW depending on dice roll - enough to finish off that last Marine sitting on an objective at the back. 




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I've encountered Mawlocs a few times on the other side of the table, though that was a while ago now. The disruption is the main use as you'd expect as while it's not the biggest or baddest unit around it is more of a deal than most deep striking units. Being able to get in real close and flinging some wounds around is certain to get your opponent's attention. Theoretically he's in a good spot to start causing mischief with your opponent's backfield units that will usually perform poorly in combat but practically he usually eats a lot of shooting and dies... Not many units can boast that level of bullet magnet :lol:


There is merit in drawing such fire though as with anything where you can predict/encourage your opponent's actions. For example timing it for when you have a critical phase where other larger units must be more exposed in order to get into a juicy charge position. Your opponent must then decide whether to focus fire for more reliable results or split it and risk being too ineffectual. The more decisions you impose upon your opponent the more likely there are to be bad ones so it's never a bad thing msn-wink.gif

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Arson Fire

Arson Fire


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They're often used for objective denial. As commonly people may leave a backfield objective held by something like a single vehicle or character. The mawloc can appear back there and contest it.


Another common use is movement blocking.  Their base is fairly big, and since you can place them just about anywhere you can block off a gap between some ruins or something that enemy vehicles might be about to move down.


3 mortal wounds isn't going to threaten an undamaged character, but they can be useful for picking off a damaged one that's trying to hide out of line of sight somewhere.


A trick is that you can use a barricade (terrain with the Defence Line rule) to deepstrike them into combat, due to it extending the range in which they can make attacks to 2", while their minimum deepstrike distance to enemy units remains 1". Although they're wildly ineffective in melee due to having mostly AP- 1D attacks, so it doesn't make much difference. Still something to bear in mind though for the odd occasion where it comes up.

Edited by Arson Fire, 29 March 2021 - 10:15 AM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Tyranids Unit of the Week, UotW, Unit of the week, Tyranids, Mawloc

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