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Should I include a hive node in my spinegaunts? I'm using them as a meat sheild to my warriors and scything gaunts.
It's generally a rules of thumb to take a hive node with anything that requires instinctive behavior. 5 LD is hard to work around when you warriors and tyrant got blasted off the board somehow, it can be the difference between winning and losing a game.
I'd also take HN for Spines for exactly the same reason... Just in case.
Sure, if the Synapse has been blasted away You're pretty badly off anyway, but having Gaunts able to do what they're supposed to do most of the time can at least help You to score less of a loss, even if not a win! =)
"The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."
If you play an escalation senario you only start with basic infantry, i.e. non-leaping gaunts, stealers and strangely biovores. It would embarrassing to try an make a 5+ morale save to stop half your starting army running off the board. I wouldn't worry about losing your HN. Only special units like Vindicare Assasins and Eldar pykers can specifically target a model. And I would rather loose a spinegaunt HN to a mind war than my Tyrant.
For the very low cost, hive node is perhaps the BEST tyranid mutation. I see no reason why you wouldn't want to use it. Think of it, for a few points, you improve your leadership and make your gaunts a lot easier to handle.
The upgrade of choice for warriors, and TMCs would have to be extended carapace. That improved armor save adds so much life to these heavy units!
I always have 24 gaunts in each brood. Here's what I do:
2 x Spinegaunts (24) 240pts
- 1 x Hive Node each brood 20pts
- 1 x Weapon Beast (Venom Cannon? Maybe) Something like 60pts total
2 x Hormagaunts (or modified sometimes) (24) 240pts (average)
-1 x Hive Node each brood 20pts
-1 x Weapon Beast (Rending Claws) 30pts?
It is kinda expensive, but it works. Once I played with 3 of each (24 spinegaunts per brood, 24 hormies per brood) but I was using paper. The 3 spinegaunts broods had 3 venom cannons. I played against tau, so the hormie's rending claws ripped right through the fire warrior's boxy armour. The venom Cannon shots (2 hit) managed to kill a crisis battlesuit!!! What are the odds??! 2 failed armour saves, and, they've got weak toughness.
By the way, the Hive Node's are a must have. If you run out of synapse Range (definately will happen for leapers when they charge 12" away from your guys.) and you're in cc, you've got a slim chance of living. if you do end up losing the combat against something like Space Marines which is possible, you have 5 for Ld, which is poor, very, VERY poor and will almost always fail unless you are very lucky (not me ) then you roll initiative. If you fail, which is possible, say bye bye to 24 valuable troops. (sometimes even more!
Hive Node is great for situations when you're up against Necrons. They're Ld is also 10, so you put up a good fight against them as well. If you don't have that Ld 10, their Ld 10 is always gonna save them, and, when it counts, you'll lose the test and eventually lose the Initative roll (unlikely with Necrons).
I would definately take it. 10pts is nothing. Would you rather have another pewny hormagaunt or the entire brood's Ld boosted to 10 for most of the game?
"If a ninja does anything anywhere it won't make a sound, but if it does it's probably gonna be the last sound you hear."