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I write this as a response to a PM questioning the need for/benefit of rending.
Everyone who checks these threads has heard the 'nerf to rending in 5th' comments. So why should you still include it in your lists.
Of the three units that it makes sense to give rending, (warriors, raveners, and stealers) genestealers are the one competitive choice.
This is not because the others are terrible broods. I still immensely enjoy using broods of warriors and raveners and each will teach your opponent a great lesson if they make it to their lines un-harassed. It is simply because genestealers are a troop choice, and IMO our most competitive one.
Outflanking: Three Main uses. Keeping your fragile troops choice off of the board for 2-3 turns and thus out of your opponents cross hairs. Jumping onto the objectives that you have placed near the side of the board...that is where you put them right? And forcing your opponent to alter their deployment in order to not get second turn charged by a unit of stealers. It helps to bring some Boomfexes for their bunched up units.
Rending: As advertised, rending got nerfed. On the charge your stealer brood might kill 1-2 less marines. Boo-freakin-hoo. Give your stealers the one point upgrade of feeder tendrils and they will do just as much damage as in 4th. I cannot stress the importance of rending when dealing with vehicles. Your brood will average 2-3 penetrating hits on back armor ten, 1-2 if the vehicle moved...that is fantastic.
Synapse: Being able to operate out of synapse is another key bonus. The ability to claim an objective without synapse hovering nearby is game-winning.
Synergy with out other best troop: Which is? Small broods of WON gaunts. Why? The gaunts run forward, dying in a myriad of ways, and then reappear to claim your deployment zone's objectives. Then your stealers pop out and rush your opponents. I cant tell you how many times I have ridden this strategy to victory. Generally I like to have 3-4 broods of outflanking stealers and 1-2 broods of WON gaunts.
Warriors + Ravener Tips:
Max out the brood size: At this point kill point denial is the key ability for these units. 12-18 wounds with eternal warrior is not that easy to kill, especially when...
Screened by gaunts: Easy, standard strategy. Warriors have the added bonus of supplying said gaunts with synapse.
Other: A small brood of feeder tendril stealers supporting these units will pay in dividends. I do not recommend lictors because of their cost and circumstantial nature. Do not underestimate the power of a 12" charge to screw up your opponents strategy.
In summation, I see rending as a necessary part of a tyranid army. Genestealers are our best troops choice at the moment and will win games. Raveners and warriors are two of my favorite, fluffiest units. Questions or comments, please let me know.
thanks for the great posting. I have just started with 'nids, so it was useful to read over. You seem to favor a number of soft-armor broods (2 termagants, 4 stealers). I am wondering if you have problems with kill point missions and how you deal with that? Myself I like the idea of having several small (6 man) stealer squads and a few termagant squads, but it seems like it would be hard to win with some many easy KP targets on the board.
Rending is still a great boon to have, it may have been nerfed, but it is still better then nothing. But I do have to ask, under "rending" you wrote that 'your brood' will average 2-3 penetrating hits or 1-2 if the vehicle moves... my question is: How many Genestealers are we talking about? Are they with or without toxin sacs? And what vehicle are we talking about (for the sake of AV... as I can see this with a Rhino, but not so much with a Land Raider)?
Thanks for the post.
1st: If you look hard enough you will find a few of my list floating around the threads.
I don't feel like rehashing all of my tactics.
KP missions take a different brand of thinking. The genestealers still outflank...keeping them out of the enemies crosshairs for a turn or two, and the only get close to the enemy if they WILL kill something. IMO, Several small stealer squads is a good way to lose combat and suffer the consequence. To easy to get shot off the board as well.
The small gaunt broods either hide behind cover for the entire game, or start in normal reserve...once again denying my opponent something to shoot at. I really dont care if my 160pts worth of gaunts don't produce any kills in this situation. Sticking them in cover without synapse is fun as well since: lurking + going to ground + cover = 2+ cover save. You just half to be sure that you can get synapse to them by turn five so that you don't give your opponent a KP anyway.
As for vehicles...lets assume a minimum brood of 8 stealers. And I am talking about anything with back armor 10, Anything. No toxin sacs necessary, as all they do is add 5's glancing.
Walkers, land raiders, and monoliths must be left for MCs.
Genestealer + Str + scythe (+charge bonus) 4 attacks
Target is not moving (auto hit)
AV15 - 0.00%
AV14 - 22.22%
AV13 - 44.44%
AV12 - 66.67%
Target Moved (hits on 4+)
AV15 - 0.00%
AV14 - 11.11%
AV13 - 22.22%
AV12 - 33.33%
Target Moved Fast (hits on 6+)
AV15 - 0.00%
AV14 - 03.70%
AV13 - 07.41%
AV12 - 11.11%
So one genestealer (+str + scythe) on average against a non moving target and AV14 has a 22% chance to glance. So I would suggest taking at least 5 on the target to hope for some damage. (Keep in mind these are glances so not much damage)
Now against AV 12 the outlook is might brighter at 44% for one genestealer to penetrate so you only really need 2-3 to hope for some damage
These are of course averages so you can do better than average or worse depending on how you roll.