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ok im my last armie written i have a unit of 24 termies with 1 node and 3 venom cannons. thats a 235point unit with 57points wraped up in cannons. now has anyone tried this? is the 3 36" str 5 shots worth it? the rest of the unit has fleshborers and i dont know if the extra 19 points a modle is worth the extra range and +1str. or if i should just take the extra 8 termies.
ps converted cannon termies look awsome, i just did a few.
Shooty gaunts are almost never a good idea.
Fleshborers have a 12" range, and you cannot FoF if you shoot them. This means that you either cannot charge after having moved into range, or that you have spent a turn less than 12" away from the enemy before you fire them and charge. As a consequence of this, the enemy was able to use his rapid fire weapons to full effect, with one round of rapid fire - or he even charges you. Then he gains one attack/shot per model and you lose the charge attack. That's a very bad deal...
If you want to use shooty gaunts nevertheless, then use spinegaunts. They have the same punch as termagaunts due to their higher number, but since they are cheaper and more numerous they are more resilient - losing a 5pts gaunt hurts less than losing a 7pts one.
If you want S4 guns instead of more numberous S3 ones, then i'd recommend scythegaunts with toxin sacs. For one additional point compared to termagaunts they get S4 in close combat, and AP5.
Nevertheless, the best gaunts are the scythegaunt and the hormagaunt. I wouldn't recommend anything else. Only against non-marine armies venom cannon gaunts have a chance to get their points back, as venom cannon gaunts basically have a BS3 heavy bolter. If you want shooty tyranids, then go for an ALL shooty one - use e.g. only four different species, and mutate a LOT of gaunts. 6 venom cannons in a brood of 24 bugs are nice...
another problem with the venom cannons is if you shoot at one target with these guns then you wont be able to use fleet of claw or if another enemy unit is within 12 the flesh borers cant shoot because the unit has to shoot the same thing.Also if the unit dies that could have been pionts that you could have spent on something that may have lived longer.
overall i only take ranged weapons to give me a little help like terms with devourers and toxin sacs 9pts each but at 12" with 10 terms thats 20 s3 AP6 shots and if you throw enough fire at something, some of it has to stick.
i think im going to drop the cannons into a big unit of spineguants. its so much cheaper and if i get a few shots of with them cool if not its no big deal. i had a game vs dark elder and the fleshbore/cannon unit did really well killed of some wyches and then charged into a unit of warriors and wiped clean off the board so i goign to try it a few more games and see. besides i dont mind loosing if i learn somthing.
Personally i love choppy nids but the idea is nice... you'd need quite a few gaunts in the same squad to protect the mass of points on 3 or 4 weak gaunts, and then those are wasted cos you need to hide them from CC. Shooty gaunts are sacraficial, use them to soften up stuff and get themselves kicked in in combat. Spinefistgaunts are worth it but not in huge numbers and they really need either Bs or S 4.
As Morpheus pointed out in another thread, only your gaunts and Tyrants get the chance to have BS 4, so it's probably a good idea to make use of them like that if you can.
I don't think that not being able to FoF matters so much when you have a 36" range anyway, so go for it. The unit with VCs won't be wanting to run into CC too quickly anyway.