Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ymgarl genestealers

By TheGravemind
So 6th edition changes have taken a bit of getting used to, but armies adapt. For Tyranids, Hiveguard used to be the staple of the elite slot. Now with the decline of mech that is changing. I've been replacing my hiveguard units with ymgarl squads. They are the new amazing unit this edition in my opinion. I want to talk about how I've been using them.

I started off using a single 10 man squad, and have progressed to using two full squads. Now that is a full chunk of 460 points, but they have generally been well worth it. The reasons they are worth it is as follows.
  • Arrives from reserves at a set location, doesn't scatter, and get to move and assault afterwards.
  • Init 6 with a 4+ save, the best pair in the book.
  • Mutations that are picked before overwatch.
So they come in, deploy, move out and then assault, all in one turn skipping getting shot at for a full enemies turn first. They also attack first, so the only thing they really have to worry about is overwatch. Ah, but they can also Alter form each round. Bolter rounds (or equivalent) coming at them? Take +T and be T5 with a 4+ against them. This also works when you have to assault through cover and strike last.

If they have high powered shots, heavy flamer or something of that end, then take +A to mitigate any losses you might take. That's 4 attacks on the charge. This is also a viable option if you need to multi-assault to keep a bonus attack.

If they are attacking Vehicles, which can easily be a good idea if they come up in the back field then +S is the best choice. This makes 5s glance most vehicles and 6's even more powerful. This can be good against walkers when needed. While it isn't the best idea, it is better then getting other units stuck in and dead. Now hitting all vehicles on 3+ makes them that much better as well.

The real trick to making Ymgarl work is to pick the proper spot with them and having good support elements.

Using their Dormant special rule, ymgarl can enter play from reserves deployed into a piece of area terrain (which with 6th is now more common and better defined). This piece of terrain is chosen after deployment, so wait to see where your opponent puts his army. This allows you to either attack the weaker side, or to focus and break his main force.

Now the obvious choice would to just pick his back field terrain piece, trying to hit his heavy weapon squad and call it a day. But we've entered into the realm of mind games, so let's play some mental warfare. First lets analyze what we are up against. Are they a midfield/close combat army? Then they may move out of their deployment zone and leave you in the open. Are they a pure shooting force? Then they may bunker up and not give you a spot to deploy, destroying your squad.

Then there are also the options of how you want to play the game, are you going to just use brute force, skirt the army picking off weakest units, feint to one side, double feint? These are more determined by your supporting units, but all things that should be considered. These are also all things your opponent should be worrying about, and fear is a powerful weapon.

If your opponent thought you picked the obvious choice, then he might hold back units to defend or screen, giving you more room to take midfield with gaunts. Or he might abandon that location together, forcing him closer and more exposed to the rest of your army.

No matter what, pick a spot that will be hard to fully block off, and that will let them come in and assault the round they come in. Since I generally run a Hive tyrant with hive commander for the +1 reserves, I often get all of my reserves Turn 2, and there are plenty of choices to assault. Using two units, you can spread them out to tie up large portions of their army to keep them from shooting, or to push one side as hard as you can.

They are one of the few units in the game that can assault the turn they come in. This mixed with their Alter Form rule and hitting vehicles on a 3+ at worst, makes them a great unit. Though they a bit on the pricey side (as most of our army is) they will almost always pull their weight.

How have other Tyranid players changed to adapt to 6th? Any luck using more close combat? or are Hiveguard still needed in your area?


  1. I agree, they have become even better in 6th. When you add the Doom in there, its like a nuclear bomb going off in their backfield. I pretty much always go +1 toughness first...

    1. I've never had that much luck with Doom, I had been trying Death Leaper, but he really wasn't doing that much for me. Probably will just add in a Hiveguard or Zoanthrope support squad.

  2. I have been playing these guys wrong for over a year. I always select their location during my deployment. The fact that it is after greatly of sets some of the limitations for them I foresaw. I will need to give them some serious thought about how they fit into future lists of mine.

    1. Picking after deployment really opens options for them. And the fact that they are so versatile I think is another good selling point. I'm probably never making a Nid list now without at least 1 squad of ymgarl, and probably some biovores as well.

  3. I've starting toying with them as a replacement for my toxin'd stealer squad (which I now worry too much about overwatch to run with).

    They've been a joy. I currently find them both worth the points, but hard to make room for, especially since I've dropped a troop unit.

    On the note of Hive Guard, I have still been running 6 (in broods of 3) at 2k. Seeing less transports may be a thing, but Hive Guard are still one of the best ways to make sure what transports we *do* see don't do their job before they die.
    They're also still great for T4 multi-wound targets (or those pesky T5's after an enfeeble).

    Less necessary for the purpose of popping open the 20+ tanks you'd see every game? Yes. But IMHO, good shooting is still good shooting, and will make it into my lists.

  4. Hmm... I agree with them being a great unit. I think someone said this...LOL. Are you sure you choose after deployment?

    Where has this changed?

    1. Ymgarls have always chosen their hiding spot after deployment.

  5. I thought nothing arriving from reserves could assault the turn it arrived...


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