Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thinking outside of T6; Troops take 2

By TheGraveMind

I actually know a place that sells this starwars poster, I might have to buy it. Back to the topic at hand, Tyranid troop options. I've talked about using warriors instead of Tervigons last time I talked about troops. I think it is time I covered other options.

Now I recommend reading the other article, just so you know my opinion on it. I think in any real competitive list, your core troops are going to consist of either tervi-gaunts or warriors. Both of these are good choices for performing the role of troops. They support the rest of your army well, and are survivable enough to hold objectives. But that shouldn't fill up all of your troop options, so lets see what we can take to support our supporting units. As I see it, anything else I take I am taking for a certain role and them being scoring troops is just an added bonus.

CC Warriors
Now I covered warriors in great detail already, but I didn't really cover a build that was brought up in the comments. I had heard about it before, and had dismissed it as overpriced and not worth it. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to give them a try.
Bonesword warriors.
The basic layout is Dual boneswords, toxin sacs and then either scything talons or a gun. Base devourer is still decent and the gun I would recommend to keep the price down. Mathhammer wise it takes two full rounds of shooting to cause as many wounds to MEQs as having scything talons on the turn of an assault. So if you think you'll have time to shoot alot, or if you face less MEQs, then gun over talon. And honestly, at that point consider just the basic deathspitter warrior.

Now the basics of these choppy warriors is that with 4+ poison power weapons they are pretty much killing anything they touch. Against T4 they are rerolling to wound, against MCs they are still wounding on a 4+. The 3d6 instant death chance is an added bonus I wouldn't count on, but still hope for. These are the tyranid version of Terminators. Terminators 2+ means statistically it takes 6 shots to kill one terminator. W3 4+ warriors also take 6 shots to be killed. We are of course talking about basic infantry shots. S8 Ap3 really shows the difference, but we hope our TMCs will be sucking up those shots, and if not, get some cover. For five points more per model, these warriors can go toe to toe with SS/TH terminators.... on the charge. They can kill about 3 terminators on the charge, and probably lose 3 warriors in return. Don't count purely on them, so soften up the terminators with mass fire first.

CC warriors fill a completely different role than shooty warriors. Gun warriors sit mid-field and provide much needed synapse and fire support. Close combat warriors bring forward synapse, while charging head long into the fray. While they will probably kill everything they touch, they will surely die in doing so. They are deadly sacrificial units, they are like a trygon running at the enemy, they will be targeted and destroyed eventually. The tricks to making them work are to cause target saturation, giving them as much cover as possible, and give them FNP if you think they are going to get hit hard. A prime with lashwhip bonesword can help take down ICs and MCs easily by dropping them down in initiative. He can also take missile shots.

I honestly lost interest in these guys when the book first came out. It seemed I was in the minority of people who upgraded their armor to 4+ and gave them flesh hooks last edition. Though they dropped in price, they lost their effectiveness and role in my army. Now they might have found it back.
I'll need to play more games to get a better idea of their new potential, but I've gotten them working again. I've been running two squads of 10. My basic concept is to always infiltrate them. I can deploy them in cover, just off to the side of my forces. This allows for more board control, and flexibility of attack angels. Keeping them in cover is good because it vastly reduces the effectiveness of shooting at them, especially if they go to ground. And few units really want to assault into genestealers.

In spear head deployment, they can really put the pressure on the opponent. You can put them in the unoccupied corners, or pile them into one side to keep them away. It is 20 genestealers you can place near anywhere on the board. I have yet to try out the broodlord. I've heard a lot of people swear by him, but I'm not sold yet. He definitely has his merits, but we'll see how he plays out. The main difference between how I run genestealers and how most people recommend them is having toxin sacs or not.

It seems everyone thinks genestealers have to have toxin sacs. Yes 4+ poison is great, and yes rerolling to wound with rending kills a lot. But you just added 30 points to the squad that will die extremely easily if not used right. That is two more stealers that could have been added to the squad. Maybe it is me, but I remember when they didn't reroll to wound and were still considered deadly enough.

So what do these two units bring to the table? Both are very deadly units, that even at half strength scare most basic units. They can cause some serious target priority problems for your enemy, and they create pockets of table control through virtue of their assault range and support capabilities.

So that covers the major troop options. I've left hormagaunts out because I feel they are completely outclassed by gargoyles this edition. As both shock troops and a screening unit gargoyles far surpass hormagaunts. I feel it is a good mixture of units that will allow Tyranids to be flexible and adaptable enough to deal with most threats in the competitive environment. What do you guys think? Had any experiences to share?


  1. I wouldn't count out ubergaunts quite so fast. They're statistically slightly slower than Gargs (and 25% more expensive), but even hitting MEQ on the charge they can bring a lot more pain. Once someone has seen them in action (the look on your opponents face when get a brood of 20 into someone and pick up 60 dice to attack is priceless) they'll end up drawing a lot more fire than gargs; which adds to the very important target saturation factor of a list. Sure, they're the epitome of glass hammers-- but you also don't have to worry as much about them getting out of synapse range.

    I like toxin sacs on my stealers just for the extra rends.

  2. I don't play with or against tyranids and cannot comment on your assessment of these units. However, I would like to comment on a great article. Very well written, balanced, and pleasing to read.

  3. I used to use Warriors and I would find something like a Manticore would blow them up without any problems. Also configured for combat (mine were claws and toxin sacs) I would find they wouldn't make it, so just used shooting only, they had deathspitters btw. I did run the Warriors with scything talons and deathspitters and they did ok.

    Stealers I use in small squads of 7, I outflank and tackle transports and annoying units. They have worked well so far. Obivously they do better against infantry, in one game they killed two full strength assault squads and a Dev squad. Toxin sacs is a fair comment, 'Stealers are annoying as it is and toxin sacs makes them expensive at 17 points per model. If you're using them as a cheap anti tank unit then toxin sacs aren't needed.

  4. I think the poster is cool, but I play or play against nids to know the 2nd part

  5. @vapor; by ubergaunts you mean hormagaunts with both toxin sacs and adrenal glands? why pay 10 points when for 8 points you can have gargoyles with both tox sacs and adrenal, and they move faster. Sure they don't have that extra attack, but their blinding venom rule all but makes up for that.

  6. I'm with you on 'stealers and upgrades. I've yet to run them with any, but I am considering giving toxin sacs a whirl. If you can keep them from being shot (somehow), I'm certain they're worth their points...

  7. I love Blinding Venom. It tends to do as many wounds, or more, than the gargoyles themselves. Granted, this is against Marines, and other tough IC's. In short, I loves it, I loves it good.

    Though I run all my gaunts stock. To me they're cheap fodder, and still pretty effective for the price. Basic hormagaunts hitting a standard Marine squad *still* do damage, believe it or not, and a decent amount for the low cost of the unit. This way, it's also not complete overkill against, say, any other army you face. Go figure.

    On the note of genestealers, I think the people who hate (or at least dislike) them now were the ones putting more upgrades on, namely the 4+ save. As I maybe took it once in all of 4th, I really don't miss access - they don't play any differently than they used to for me.

    Well, that's not completely true. They play better.

    Taken stock, they're about on par with any of the previous incarnations in terms of killiness. And with the ability to infiltrate/outflank now back in for free (in fact, at a reduced cost) they're playing their sneaky sneaky mind games + scary assault unit well.

    Yes, they need to hug cover, and yes, no grenades hurts a lot... but it hurts my DE Incubi, too. If everything had grenades, it would be boring. If every assault unit had grenades, even... I mean, who cares if your devastators go at I1 charging through cover? Not that they would... blasted marines... but the point it, at that point you're either laughing, or praying. Maybe both. But I digress...

    The simple truth is that the current 'stealers with toxin sacs are *the most killy* incarnation of stealers, since the 3rd ed rulebook. In terms of points per facemelt, they win. Hands down. By a good bit, actually. None of that half of a third of a percent more crap. By real numbers. They're hurtful to enemy face.


out dang bot!

Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites