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a Thornback Carnifex

Thornback is a Tyranid sub-species of Carnifex[3] which is the renown master of shock-assault.[4] They appear to be adapted to tear their way through mass infantry formations. They are named for their bristling rows of Chitin thorns.[5]

Thornback Biomorphs are usually short-ranged and with a high rate of fire. As such, it can be armed with Deathspitters, Devourers, Spine Banks, Stranglethorn Cannon, Monstrous Scything Talons and Thresher Scythe.[3]

Previous Editions

In 4th Edition Thornback was a nickname given by Imperial Guard soldiers to Tyranids with large blade protrusions from their carapace. They were often seen charging into ranks of soldiers using pure body mass as their primary weapon and simply impaling any enemies they come across.[1][2]


Tyranid Planetary Forces
Commanders Norn-QueenHive TyrantNeurotyrant (Neuroloid) • BroodlordNeurothropeTervigonTyranid PrimeTrygon PrimeMalanthrope
Elites BiovoreTyrant Guard (Hive Guard) • Lictor (NeurolictorDeathleaper) • LeaperPyrovoreVenomthropeZoanthrope
Troops Tyranid Warrior (Shrike) • RavenerGenestealerGaunt (TermagantHormagauntBarbgauntNeurogaunt) • Ripper (Sky-Slasher)
Monstruous Creatures Carnifex (ThornbackStone CrusherScreamer-Killer) • DimachaeronExocrineHaruspexMaleceptorPsychophageSporocystToxicreneTyrannofex
Gargantuan Creatures CereboreDactylisHieroduleMalefactorMawlocNorn EmissaryNorn AssimilatorTrygon
Bio-Titans DominatrixHierophantViciatorNautiloidVermis
Flying Creatures GargoyleHarpyHarridanHive CroneTyrannocyte
Spores Meiotic SporeMycetic SporeSpore MineMucolid Spore
Unique Tyranids SwarmlordDoom of Malan'taiOld One EyeParasite of MortrexRed Terror