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Fellow Tyranid Hive Commanders
I've played Nids for about 2 years, but in the past year I've played a balanced Tyranid list (mixed shooting, powerful CC, and fast CC units) I'm making the transition to build a swarm-oriented army. When you change your list composition, I'm pretty sure you have to alter your thinking. So I'm hoping I can use the forum to get informed but constructive opinions on various topics I may post in the next few months.Right now, I'd like to start a friendly but educated debate on the unit regarding unit size of gaunt squads. Here's an example question to start this debate.
Suppose you have 48 gaunts. Is it better to field
Option A - 6 units of 8 gaunts OR
Option B - 4 units of 12 gaunts.
I spoke with my fellow Hive Commander Mike (aka MVBrandt) and hope he'll cut and paste his opinion in this thread. He recommends option A. I value his opinion because I think its option B, and thus an opposing viewpoint. I hope you'll allow me to defend my reasoning.
I acknowledge that 6 units of 8 gaunts will work better than 4 units of 12 in the deployment phase
Having 2 more units to deploy allows you to place your elite, HQ, and fast attack choices more tactfully. My counter argument is that I prefer using a weighted or refused flank deployment. So once I start putting down 2-3 troops choices, I've already made my decision where I'm deploying the rest of my units. In this case, I'm not sure if having an additional 2 units will help.
I acknowledge that 6 units of 8 gaunts will work better than 4 units of 12 in the shooting phase.
You have more opportunities to split up your shooting to hit more units or concentrate your fire on specific units In addition, you have more opportunities to get better fleet rolls if you're trying to move up the field. To contrast, I also know when being shot at, its satisfying when your opponent wastes its shots killing 3 gaunts or cant shoot past a unit which is in combat with 2 gaunts (since the unit blocks LOS).
The assault phase is where I have a problem with smaller units
I think most people will think that 8 or even 16 gaunts have the potential to loose combat in a particular turn (especially if they are assaulted or assault a major CC unit). Most will probably say say, "well if you're in synapse range, then you'll be fine" and the gaunts purpose is just to hold up a unit to allow your other heavy hitters to move up the field or move for more tactical targets.
And this is where I've run into problems based on games I've played with gaunts.
I know that when loosing combat, Synapse makes the unit fearless, and are now subject to the "No Retreat" rules. I also know that when checking for "No Retreat", each unit makes separate rolls but takes into account all the units in combat; I checked this rule with several GW reps and Rules Boys (in United States) With this rule more defined, allow me to show you two different situations:
In figure 1 above, the Avatar and 3 Dire Avengers wins combat versus a single unit of gaunts (which the original size is 12). The Avatar counts as 10 models. When using "No Retreat", The Avatar and Dire Avengers outnumber this single unit of gaunts 13 to 4, which translates to 3 to 1 on the "No Retreat" Rule. In this situation, I would roll 2 additional saves. If I assume I fail both saves, I'd still have 2 more gaunts holding off this entire unit.
Now in figure 2, the Avatar and 3 Dire Avengers wins combat versus a two separate units t of gaunts (which the original size is Like the previous figure, the Avatar and Dire Avengers outnumber these two separate unit of gaunts 13 to 4, which translates to 3 to 1 on the "No Retreat" Rule. What makes this situation different is that I would roll 2 additional saves for each unit. So if I assume I fail both saves on the red unit AND fail both saves in the gold unit, the Avatar and Dire Avengers have essentially wiped out this unit. In addition, suppose that this happened at the end of the Tyranid phase. Now the units get a free 3" consolidation move before their turn.
Situations like this have happened before in games I've played but with different units and different situations. In this case here its better to have a stronger unit of gaunts (12) than two smaller units (8 each).
SO WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO COMMENT ABOUT, RUDY?
In general I want to know that if I'm starting a swarm oriented army should I be changing my thinking. I'd like to say my example above has validity, but I could be wrong.
If you need to know I'll eventually will have 120 gaunts. I'm still not sure what types of gaunts but I'm planning a mixture of spinegaunts, termagaunts, and possibly hormgaunts. (The types of guants I should build is itself is another debate, which I'll save for another time)
My time is up. I thank you for yours.
Rudy Wilfred Picardo
Current Record (W/L/D) 143/112/60
Recent Battle - 1500 pt draw vs. IG player (mission: Seek And Destroy)
In regard to the above example, in a flat out combat (and I can't view the figure for some reason), the Avatar's 4 attacks and the Dire Avengers' 3 attacks add up to a maximum of 7 gaunts killed, and that # is highly unlikely to be reached ... you're really going to see more like 3-4 gaunts killed. That would leave you 13-9 or 13-8, no extra saves required.
If you are putting gaunts in a situation where they are heavily outnumbered, I think you are probably misplaying them a little. The VERY rare occasion of No Retreat causing you to lose an excessive number of basically worthless gaunts is - indeed - very rare.
In addition, unless you've got other troops you want to deploy, more squads = better for the following and many, many more:
1) Harder to kill (in close combat, and at range, you must divide attacks between units, limiting ability to bury larger units with torrents of fire)
2) Easier to cover up (it is easier to fit 5 out of 8 gaunts into cover than it is to fit 7 of 12)
3) Fleet redundancy, in case of bad fleet rolls at a time when you desperately need to tie up that shooting unit approaching you
4) Deployment adavantages are huge
5) Easier to hide behind things
6) Easier to spread out within "x" space to avoid damage from blast weapons while still remaining in cover and/or behind cover
7) Think up your flavored scenario of choice
Plus, when you sacrifice one of your units to blunt someone's attack or really whatever, it costs less if the unit costs less. A squad of 8 spinegaunts will soak up fire or a charge as well as 12 spinegaunts, if it a charge or fire that will kill more than 12, which is often the case with the kinds of things you don't want reaching your lines.
Also, against monstrous creatures, I as a Tyranid would never voluntarily engage them unless with a charge from all 6 raveners. It is far easier to gun them down. Same thing with dreadnaughts and the like. I've benefitted across all games / time from the ability to always dictate what engages me and what I engage, and I'm not likely to change that anytime soon.
I question the issue of each unit having to take extra saves, but find it somewhat irrelevant. The rare occurrence of your spinegaunts being outnumbered and taking a couple of extra relatively cheap / meaningless casualties is far outweighed by the other advantages mentioned.
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt
If I play a swarm army I max out my troop choices anyways, I.E. I play the most 32 gaunts regiments I can. now this does make them clunkie to move but they become supremly more survivable. But yeah 32 Spine, 32 Term, 64 Horm (althought I am highly considering switching these to spine so they are cheaper to bring), 12 Genestealer, either 12 more or 10 rippers. Some armies I do well against with this size IG for one and Eldar, but Black Templar SM give me huge problems, Necrons also do fairly poorly vs this kinda swarm. As to ye question I always go for more troops unless it is a small game. So go for the 12 if it works for ye! But I do love the looks on my enemies faces when they see what I bring heh heh heh.
I would think that the four groups of twelve might be a bit better then the six groups of eight. You can take shooting into consideration, except for that few of gaunts, being that close, you have to figure that you are going to go into CC anyway.
With the group of twelve, you at least have a better chance of wittling down the enemy a bit more and surviving CC longer to play there role as a tar pit unit while others get in range to counter-charge.
Plus, you can always add in more gaunts/rippers/'stealers in the last two available slots. I would imagine that this is the point of a swarm army. Lots and lots of little, tarry buggers that overwhelm the enemy in sheer numbers. However, if this is all the models that you are going to work with, then I believe that MVBrandt speaks the truth, as per usual, in his above post.
The numbers seem a bit light for a swarm army, but then again, I don't know how many points you are planning on playing.
My opinion is that the guants are simply a road block. Nothing more nothing less. thinking that they need to win combat is thinking too far into their role for me.
Also, I don't mean to change the subject but are you sure that synapse = Fearless, as i read it you simply pass the morale cheak, no choice. I don't remember any mention of fearless in the rule.
I've asked several other people that i game with and they agree (even if theyt hate it). Am i missing something?
If this is in a rule book some where I appologize as i do not have any books with me. A page number is fine if this is all i need.
Army's used: Space Wolves, Tomb Kings, High Elves, Tyranids, Tau and Eldar.
well for me personaly I prefer the 12 model gaunts.
why ? i'll tell you.
Most players during shooting can fire around 5 - 10 shots. SoB's around 10 bolter rounds.
not counting rapid fire atm.
as we all know gaunts perform better in numbers.
and i hate the following situation:
Enemy player turn 2:
moves up, rapid fire's gaunts. from the 8 , 3 survive. gaunts are being assaulted, wiped, consolidation back to their original firing position.
with a brood of 12 this is less likely to happen. it could and certainly will happen sometime but I prefer to avoid it by using the 12 gaunts
my 2 cents though.
although Rudy and MVbrandt have stated great points ( and are know for their "expertise" on nids ) it's all about personal flavor I reckon. this is not something that can be easily translated into cold numbers
Hive Fleet Lucanus : 2000 points
The bigger the better generally. I think at least 10 is a good number for gaunts or hormagaunts.
Also, troops don't just consist of guants. I've found I've gotten the best result with a mix of units.
6 gaunts squads leaves me with precisely no room for genestealers or rippers.. both of which have tactical application which vary to gaunts.
But, that aside, as many gaunts put in as many healthy squads as possible is the best.
LO RulesOriginally Posted by AnonymousOriginally Posted by Cyric
Personally, I abhor genestealers/rippers/hormagaunts for the way my army works, and don't have any free points for any spinegaunts to be termagants. I use the spineys purely to fill out force org, deployments, blah blah blah every reason already stated / point made.
Were I using other troops, I'd probably have more gaunts ... were I using a different army build approach or whatever.
The one thing I would NEVER do is not have 17 force deployments in a 1500+ battle. Raveners can do the Genestealer job pretty well, and are faster to boot ... have I made sure to have 6 or so raveners yet? If so, and I still want genestealers and can afford them, cool. Same goes for every other slot. I'd rather use cheapy troops, since I can get 8 fleet and fearless wounds for 40 points in my troop slot (and you can't instagib all 8 wounds with one shot like you can w/ rippers). If there comes a time where I have a preponderance of points leftover after properly gearing out and purchasing my HQ, Elite, Heavy Support and Fast Attack, where I can still have 6 deployments of troops, but make the deployments larger, I sure will.
Also, as a sidenote, I use 10 spinegaunts per squad in my 2,000 point list.
The honest breakdown is that if you only have spinegaunts (or ANY unit), the more targets you make of them the longer they last, in basically every scenario.
If you put 4 targets up on one wall, 6 up on the other, two identical shooters, and the 6 waller's gotta hit each target once, the 4 waller's gotta hit two of the targets twice, the other two once, you're going to see the 4 guy finish faster and more efficiently every time, b/c two of the times he doesn't have to retarget ... just smack smack, next, smack smack, next.
Last edited by Karmoon; January 11th, 2008 at 14:20. Reason: double post
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt
For me personally I usually field gaunts this way:
- gun gaunts: units of 8-16.
- hormagaunts: usually in units of 16
I use smaller units of gun gaunts for more targets. I use larger units of hormagaunts for the visual effect of "look at us, we're deadly!" Plus it lets me keep my hormagaunts in synaptic range easier.
Generally the gun gaunts get ignored, which is exactly what I want. The hormagaunts become a target and sometimes get wiped out, which is ok. But more often than not I use cover to get them across the board so they still get into combat.
I have yet to play big games (currently capped at 1000p until I manage to paint more and my buddies gets more models), but I must say I prefer 10 in each squad, even in small games. They can take a little more damage and still be of use(survive their assault), but is not too big to move around (and I recently painted 60 spinegaunts, so hey, why not field them?).