Here it is, the last post in the "Thinking outside of T6" series. Here is a list of the past articles. As stated in past articles, this is not theory-hammer. These are things I've used, tested and played. Topics may be biased towards my experience, but it's my perspective.
In the constant fight against Mono-build tyranids, the elite slot is the most rigid of the contenders. Most competitive lists will contain at least one unit of Hive guard, if not two. They are just good. What we are considering is that golden Third slot. I've already covered zoanthropes and Death leaper.
And so that brings us to Ymgarl Stealers. Yealers are a great force to have in your army. But they are just expensive gene stealers! Wrong! They are Stealers, but so much more.
4+ armor save. This is huge as it allows them to survive bolter fire and other basic infantry fire.
Changing stat line. Combat is often a static affair with numbers shifting the scale in one's favor. Being able to increase T for a turn giving them extra survivability is huge. +1 attack is like charging again.
Dormant deployment. This is the big one. You gain huge board control with this and brings some psychological warfare to the game. This is what Lictors are supposed to be like.
Almost 10 points more than a normal gene stealers they are pretty heft unit to be throwing around. 5-10 man squad size is a decent choice, but bringing 10 yealers into the table can be hard, and thats 230 points that need to be used correctly.
If you can't get dormant state deployment, they are far less effective. Some people do not play with any area terrain, or only one piece. Then they are just like other stealers running along the board.
General stratagies for them are as follows.
1. Assault mediocre units. Use +1 T when assaulting, hope to stay in combat. On their turn choose +1 attack for the follow through and win combat, hope they die or run. This leaves you free to assault again on your turn.
2. Assaulting a dangerous squad. Take +1 attack for 4 attacks a piece on the charge and hope you deal significant damage. Following turn take T5 to keep them tied up in combat longer. On your next turn they are stuck there to be followed up with another assault if needed.
Here is a new trick: I've been letting one of my buddies play my Nids lately since I've moved away from playing them for a while. He has been using the Swarmlord and yealers to great effect. The Swarmlord has an ability to grant a unit within 18" preferred enemy or furious charge. So he has it so that they hide center board if possible. When they pop out (thanks to SL's reserve bonus) the move out 6" gain swarmlord's ability, fleet and then assault.
So now furious charge and +1 Strength means 30 attacks at S6, Ws6 I6.
Or you can charge with +1 attacks and preferred enemy. 40 attacks with rerolls to hit.
Lets combo it further and charge with S6, following turn give them +1 attack and preferred enemy (cause he can give it to units in combat).
These are all things to consider. I'd be using it more often if the Swarmlord unit didn't cost 400+ points. Non the less I've been using 2x2 Hive guard and 10 yealers pretty regularly.
I'm not really going to cover Venomthropes, as they are less adding to an army, as building an army around them. I hope you all have enjoyed the series and has helped you build an army that has good board control and some more surprises than just T6.
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