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  1. #1
    Member Kheldar's Avatar
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    Lots of questions from a new 'nid player!

    Ok, after some good 10 years spent playing Eldar and lately Kroot Mercs, I decided to go all out and try 'nids!

    I already have my mind set on an army based around 2nd edition Genestealer Cults and am slowly making up an idea on what should be fielded and why, but I still have potloads of questions and where best to find an answer than on the Librarium Online? =)

    The army I am thinking of is HtH centric: a broodlord (patriarch model) as an HQ with 5 simple stealers as ablative wounds (unsure if to have him march up the field or infiltrate/outflank).
    Two other squads of stealers with tendrils and scuttlers to outflank the enemy, shielded by a mass of gaunts (broodbrother/hybrid models) with spinefists and "without numbers", followed by three synaptic and psychich screaming Zoanthropes (magus models).
    Two lictors (broodlord models) to catch unawares static units, objectives or support tanks (smebody told me that in HtH against tanks all hits go on rear armor now, but I still have to look it up on the Br and some scything/rending/leaping warriors (ogre hybrids converted models)for some HtH support where needed.
    And finally a HtH Fex (giant hybrid converted model) to march up towards bigger tanks (like liths and landraiders) or to simply bang in the middle of the field and bother as much as possible.

    So now the questions...

    1) The broodlord retinue: what equip should it have? Kit it out to add max casualties or just put them there as ablative wounds?

    2) Normal stealer units: are two enough or should I squeez in more? And what equip and numbers?

    3) gaunts: the perfect meatshield now that VPs are not an issue anymore, but what numbers should they be fielded at with "without numbers"? Too few and they just keep popping back and doing nothing, too many and the rule is wasted... suggestions? I was maybe thinking of two 10 gaunt broods with WoN and one big 20 gaunt simple brood to hold the centre...

    4) lictors: are they any good? They seem a little overpriced considering how fragile they are. Am I correct in believing they are a support unit?

    5) any comments on my idea are more than welcome, so any remark just shoot away! =)

    - Just love that maki! -

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  3. #2
    Senior Member TamCoan's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome!

    Melee has taken a hit in 5th edition. Plus with the rending nerf, many of our CC units aren't as good as they were before. On the plus side, cover saves are a huge bonus to nids. Plus the changes in assaulting into cover+frag grenades also works out in our favor. So to answer your questions:

    1) I'd give them flesh hooks for assaulting into cover. Maybe +str, +init. The broodlord is usually a high priority target so try to avoid putting too many points into the unit. Giving the broodlord feeder tendrils is also a must to help make up for the rending nerf.

    2) Two is enough. Put in too many and they become a focus of fire and too central to winning the game. Don't pump them up too much, and try to avoid wiping an enemy unit out on the initial charge. The key is to wipe out the unit on their turn, thus avoiding a turn of them standing out in the open and getting shot.

    3) I usually field gaunts in units of 10 for 1000 points. Units of 16-20 for 200 points.

    4) Support unit. I've had mixed results with them. Their usefulness always depends on the roll of the dice and the what they're mixing it up with. One game they may rule the board, the next they may die the turn they pop out. Just don't base your strategy on them and you'll do fine.

    Hope that helps some!

  4. #3
    Member Annoch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kheldar View Post

    So now the questions...

    1) The broodlord retinue: what equip should it have? Kit it out to add max casualties or just put them there as ablative wounds?

    2) Normal stealer units: are two enough or should I squeez in more? And what equip and numbers?

    3) gaunts: the perfect meatshield now that VPs are not an issue anymore, but what numbers should they be fielded at with "without numbers"? Too few and they just keep popping back and doing nothing, too many and the rule is wasted... suggestions? I was maybe thinking of two 10 gaunt broods with WoN and one big 20 gaunt simple brood to hold the centre...

    4) lictors: are they any good? They seem a little overpriced considering how fragile they are. Am I correct in believing they are a support unit?

    5) any comments on my idea are more than welcome, so any remark just shoot away! =)
    Very interesting concept...especially if you actually have all those old models (which would be awesome). You may also want to check out the updated GS Cult list over on bell of lost souls...lots of fun. Anyway, it seems like you are doing a modified Stealer Shock list, the army list section might have additional ideas for you.

    And, on to the questions...

    1) Broodlord should always have tendrils, flesh hooks, and whatever else you like. Putting tendrils on the BL gives the bonus to the entire retinue and will allow you to put hooks on the GS's. This is very important IMHO, as you are going to be assaulting through, over, into cover 80% or more of the time. No point in wasting your I6.....

    2) As a Shock list I would say make sure to have scuttlers on everything (including the gaunts). Outflank is great as is the extra move if you dont end up outflanking. My opinion, as noted above is flesh hooks, although tossing in a squad with tendrils and keeping it around your other units wont hurt. Just remember if they charge into cover they go last.....and GS's are not particularly tough when they get hit...
    I am in the extended carapace camp, because while you will probably get 4+ cover saves along the way, once you are in combat the 4+ has treated me much better than 5+. Plus if they do get caught in the open they will get a save against bolters, etc which is very nice.
    Other morphs is up to you. Toxin sacs is fun against MEQ's. Scything talons is expensive, but can easily be worth it. YMMV.
    I like squads of 10, but I have run smaller squads of 8 without seeing too much diffference.
    I would definately try to max out the GS's in your list as they are your main weapon. Gaunts are a good screen but they really dont kill much in shooting and they are horrid in CC now that outnumber is gone....

    3) Guants are good meat sheilds, but remember that kill points 1/3 of your scenarios and Gaunts are basically kill point generators.
    Anyway, WON broods should be smallish. I would say 8-15 per brood. They make great meat shields which come back and can hopefully take or contest an objective in the late game. The biggest problem with gaunts is that they really cant kill anything shooting (never could, but they are only a few points, and what do you expect...) but the big problem is that they are now horrid in CC. You are basically just doubling every wound that you take. I recently had a Fex and a gaunt brood in CC with some eldar....overally the combat was lost by 6. 6 more gaunts died and the 6 hits killed my Fex...very sad....

    4) Lictors can be good. There are two problems....one is that they are overpriced and the other is that the new rules mean they have to take a difficult terrian test when they DS in. I know it makes no sense, but until a FAQ there is little we can do.
    On the other hand they can be good in an outflank sitsuation as you can get another squad on the board quicker with their pheremone trail.
    Also remember they have feeder tendrils.....get them near some gaunt and stealer broods to enhanse them.

    5) Good luck with the list.
    Hive Flee Annoch

    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. -Italian Proverb

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    Member Kheldar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Haven't had time to muck around with the army list as yet, as I've been up to my neck in work this past week, but off the top of my head I was thinking of fielding something like this:

    - Broodlord w/tendrils hooks and carapace + 5 stealers with hooks and carapace

    - 4 units of 8 stealers w/ tendrils, hooks, 3 with scuttlers 1 w/o

    - 2 units of 10-15 gants with spinefists and WoN

    - 2 lictors

    - 3 thropes with synaptic and scream

    - 4 leaping warriors w/ talons, rending and hooks

    - 1 fexi with +1 st, +1 wound, twin talons, scythe tail, tusked and bio-plasma

    This should roughly be around 1500 pts (standard army value for Italy)

    The idea would be to have the gaunts run forward shielding the warriors and 1, maybe 2 units of stealers, hoping to suck up as much fire as possible, while the fex ignorantly charges forward, aiming for whatever tank/unit is too difficult to kill for my other units. Meanwhile I wait for the scuttlers, broodlord and lictors to arrive and surgical strike where it's needed the most.

    I know it's a very basic plan, but I have yet to play using 'nids so I don't have much experience in the field.

    Feedback?
    - Just love that maki! -

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    Member Annoch's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me. After a few games with Nids it's really easy to figure out where you are going wrong and fix it.

    The only two things I will note:
    • You cant have both tendrils and flesh hooks on Genestealers. They are both head biomorphs. The Broodlord can and should have both.
    • You may want to ditch the toxin sacs and possibly the tail weapon on the fex and get the extended carapace. Everyone will be shooting at it and that extra save is extremely important. Toxin sacs arent really needed on a CC fex as I dont know of any normal troops you will encounter where a 10 strength is better than a 9 strength (2+ to wound no matter what). And 2D6+9 armor pen is more than enough for even AV 14. You may also want to consider the +I adrenal gland and the +WS adrenal, possibly toxic miasma at some point also... WS of 4 will allow you to hit on 4's against MEQs and miasma with that lets you hit on 3's. The Initiave is much more important. When you meet anything with power fist/claw you will very glad you are striking on I2 instead of I1
    Good Luck!
    Hive Flee Annoch

    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. -Italian Proverb

  7. #6
    Member Kheldar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great advice guys! Rep for both of you! =)

    Continuing on the subject: tendrils or hooks?

    The rerolling hits seem to good a bargain, but with the new rules I'll be assaulting through cover a lot (it was easier when people just had to be in cover to get the bonus on initiative, but now it's hell!)

    Maybe a mix of the two?
    - Just love that maki! -

  8. #7
    Senior Member TamCoan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kheldar View Post
    Thanks for the great advice guys! Rep for both of you! =)

    Continuing on the subject: tendrils or hooks?

    The rerolling hits seem to good a bargain, but with the new rules I'll be assaulting through cover a lot (it was easier when people just had to be in cover to get the bonus on initiative, but now it's hell!)

    Maybe a mix of the two?
    Hooks on the stealers. Hooks/Tendrils on the broodlord. The broodlord gives the bonus from the tendrils to the stealers. Fleshhooks lets you attack into cover in initiative order. So the whole unit gains from both rules.

    IMHO: flesh hooks are required if you're doing an assault army. You lose one of the few remaining benefits to nid assault if you can't attack at a higher initiative.

  9. #8
    Member Kheldar's Avatar
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    I was actually thinking of doing half and half, so that the unit with the tendrils could enhance the one with the hooks.

    Although thinkig twice about it, I risk finding myself with tendril units having to assault on their own and losing their initiative if assaulting through cover... darn! I liked the idea of rerollable to-hit-rolls! >_<

    I'll just have to stick lictors near them for the enhance =)
    - Just love that maki! -

  10. #9
    Senior Member lLonginus's Avatar
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    I'm surprised I have yet to comment on this thread, I apologize for the tardiness. You've been getting pretty good advice so far, I'll just throw in my two cents to reinforce any opinions.

    Your broodlord squad should have flesh hooks on the squad and flesh hooks and feeder tendrils on the broodlord. Upgrades after that are typically up to you, but I highly recommend an implant attack on the broodlord as he'll likely be seeing combat with multiple-wound models. The broodlord confers the preferred enemy special rule to his retinue and any friendly models within range of the effect. Don't take initiative upgrades on Broodlords and Genestealers, you're rarely, if ever, going to need more Initiative.

    I wouldn't take feeder tendrils on your Genestealer Troops, you're planning on taking Lictors who wield feeder tendrils and can be used to confer their bonus to nearby units as well. Genestealer troops are good in a variety of flavors, experiment and find out what works for you.

    You may not need Flesh Hooks on your troops genestealers if you field enough WoN gaunts. I tend to field 4 squads of 16 WoN Gaunts with Spinefists as a screen for my entire army. They'll absorb a ton of firepower, and may even be wiped out by the time your army reaches your enemy's lines, however, if your spinegaunts manage to hold the enemy in close combat for a turn, then the following turn your genestealers will be able to assault the unit. Even if the unit is in cover, it doesn't count the cover bonus for striking first because the unit is locked in an ongoing combat already, making the need for flesh hooks nonexistent. Taking squads of 16 gaunts gives them a good amount of survivability, and the ability to hit the enemy lines, however once they hit the enemy lines they are certainly going to die. And then you have an option. If you read carefully, you'll see that WoN gaunts MAY be brought back onto the board when they are wiped out. This means that you don't HAVE to resurrect them! In a Killpoint scenario you can opt to not get these units back on the board, not giving your opponent any kill points. If you're in an objective game, though, these squads will resurrect around turn 3 or 4, and you will have plenty of time to move and fleet onto the objectives you've cleared.

    You are correct in believing that Lictors are a support unit, however they are also useful for stopping a round of enemy firepower. Deepstriking a lictor into a piece of terrain and then assaulting a hidden or defensively placed heavy weapons vehicle or squad can cause the vehicle to be disabled (or at least unable to shoot for a turn, which is all you should really care about) or the lictor can assault the heavy weapons squad and potentially cause the squad to break, even run them down in a sweeping advance! Lictors are designed to designed to interrupt the enemy's shooting you plan, and if they're fortunate enough to survive and stick around for the following assault phases they can amplify your units close combat abilities.

    Now for the carnifex. Many upgrades on a carnifex are a bit wasteful. Bio-plasma attacks don't ignore armour saves, scythe and mace tail need to see the carnifex fighting 5 or more enemy models in close combat, and tusked only gives a bonus attack on the charge. Your carnifex is going to get stuck in and sit around for a while, so it needs to be durable. If you're going to give it a lot of upgrades, give it the two scything talons, reinforced chiten, enhanced carapace, bonded exoskeleton and regenerate. He'll be nigh impossible to kill and will slowly tear your opponents apart (though I would recommend both adrenal gland upgrades and toxic miasma as well).

    Hope this helps,
    -lLonginus
    My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.

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    I think the Bio Plasma is very useful vs Vehicles. It hits on a 4+ when you're going against a skimmer or vehicle that moves at combat speed constantly, a 4+ hit is better than a 6+. It's relatively cheap too.

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