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I was wondering if anyone has any good tips/tactics for the Broodlord. I think he is kind of a hard unit to play, and lots of nid players don't bother with him. I also find it hard to make him work back his points, and I am hoping this thread could give us some collectuive insight. Here's what I think about him:
1. He is powerful! He's packing 5 power weapon attacks on the charge, and he has a nice stat line to back it up. I think he is the second-best deal for his points, stat-wise, we can get. (The Hive Tyrant wins first place).
2. Genestealer Retinue: Give him a retinue with extended carapace, and he becomes a lot harder to take out. This makes a big difference when closing the distance, in terms of suvivability. Not to mention how much we love Genestealers.
3. Infiltration: placing him last means you know exactly what he's got to do. He also hopefully gets his pick of the cover available. And, of course, he gets a nice head start on the race to close combat.
4. He is scary! I think a big part of Tyranid tactics is psychological. Our army plays a lot differently from all of the others, and most opponents suffer due to the big variety of bugs we use: they can't figure out their priority targets fast enough. Now put the Broodlord and retinue on the table, only 18" from the front lines... If nothing else, the Broodlord is sure to make your opponent's seat a little more uncomfortable.
1. He is a huge target: The Broodlord will start the game way ahead of the rest of the swarm, and usually alone (except for his retinue). His intimidation factor works against him here... your opponent is going to concentrate a LOT of fire at him.
2. He is slow: This factor cancels out a lot of the benefits you would expect from infiltrating. Yes, he starts out ahead of the swarm. But his retinue loses their fleet of hoof. This can mean disaster. They are going to have a lot of trouble crossing the rapid-fire zone fast enough. They will also struggle to hop to the next patch of cover... it might be more than 6" away.
3. Very vulnerable to shooting: We all know this about genestealer's. Without carapace, bolters are shockingly effective. With carapace, a few heavy weapons can still do the job. Now take away their fleet of hoof, and they quickly become fish in a barrel. The turn when they finally lumber into rapid-firing range is usually their last.
4. He is expensive: A different way to think about the Broodlord is that he is a brilliant decoy. While your opponent is thrashing him with bolter-fire, he may forget to shoot at that flying hive tyrant hiding behind those bushes. The distraction factor is usually what the Broodlord is best for, but then the question is, was it worth it to spend 200 points on a sacrificial unit? To translate that to Nid terms, those point could have bought you 20 more hormies.
What this all generally means, is the Broodlord is a close combat monster. But getting him there in one piece is tricky. Here's some tactics I use to help him out:
1. Infiltrate in cover! Make sure he starts in the best cover available. If at all possible, make sure he has cover nearby to run to the next turn. Cityfight, of course, is where he does the best. Line of sight blockers galore means he might be able to start 12" away.
2. Infiltrate with a Plan: Consider what units you want him to charge. DON'T put him in the middle of the table, and expect him to take on everything at once. Single out an enemy unit that has strayed too far from the herd. Putting him over on a forgotten flank is best. That way he's a good distance from the majority of the guns.
3. Send him backup: In the time it takes the Broodlord to cross the 18" to the enemy, much faster units (meaning, everyone else in the swarm) will be caught up. A good tactic is to send a batch of hormies (who had been cleverly deployed nearby the broodlord) to rescue him. His synapse helps the hormies, and the screaming mob of approaching hormies may distract the prey long enough for the Broodlord to strike. Gargoyles work well here, too. *Thanks to dragon 252 for this extra tip: if you can manage to infiltrate your Broodlord and retinue out of LOS, it can also help to hide there a turn or two until the hormogaunt/gargoyle reinforcements arrive. This give the added benefit of forcing those morale checks to shoot past the littler bugs at him.
4. Focus your attack nearby: Similar to #3, it is a good idea to generally concentrate the bulk of your assault in the same flank that the Broodlord is in. This usually ends up just being straight down the middle, since the swarm may be too big to squeeze down just one flank, but keep in mind that you want to strike near enough to the Broodlord so any potential threats to the Broodlord will be tempted to focus on other things.
5. Keep him Cheap: Keeping in mind that he is going to be in a lot of danger, and unable to retaliate until he gets into combat, don't load him up with upgrades. Same goes for his retinue. I usually give him Toxin Sacs and Flesh Hooks, because they seem the most effective upgrades. His retinue gets Extended Carapace, and nothing else. I don't give them flesh hooks because, in all fairness, not very many of them will survive until the charge.
Biomorphs - Listed from best to worst (according to me)
NOTE: Refer to the 'Keep Him Cheap' section before upgrading your Broodlord. General advice would be to keep him under 100 points. That means no more than 2 or 3 upgrades, tops. Any more than that, and he becomes too juicy of a target. Remember, you want him to go under the radar until he hits close combat.
1. Flesh Hooks: This should be mandatory in my opinion. Its point cost is low, and its benefits are huge. The Broodlord's high initiative is one of his best characteristics, and is often his best defence in combat. Also, being an infiltrator, he may be one of the first units to hit the enemy lines, and needs to be ready to pull them out of their trenches.
2. Toxin Sacs: Against MEQ opponents, the 1 extra strength makes a huge difference. Unless you're tailoring him specifically for t-3 opponents (or t-5), toxin sacs are a good option.
3. Extended Carapace: Not quite as important as the above 2 biomorphs. Not very useful at first, as his retinue will be taking the bullets. But it can save your butt if his retinue gets wasted somehow. It's also helpful in combat. Basically, if you have some extra points and want to pamper your Broodlord a little bit, this is a good option.
4. Implant Attack: The ranking of this biomorph is uncertain. Its usefulness depends on who you're planing to target. If you want your Broodlord to take out HQ's, IC's, or other big nasties, this is the perfect choice. It you're not really planning for it, I wouldn't waste the points.
5. Acid Maw: This biomorph is also only useful if you're planning specifically for hunting powerful targets. Against MEQ's, I think toxin sacs are better, and slightly cheaper. Against t-5 or better, acid maw is better.
6. Feeder Tendrils: this is another luxury biomorph I think, good only for specific situations. It would be good in conjunction with Dragon's tactic of hanging low, waiting for the hormies to show up, and then charging in together. But if him and his retinue are flying solo, they won't need it.
7. Adrenal Glands (I): This biomorph definitely comes in at the bottom of the list. It's cheap, so it's not a huge waste of points, but it seems to me to be very pointless. The Broodlord already has the highest initiative out of all the Tyranids... I have yet to see a reason why he needs 1 more I. But if anyone knows a good reason, let me know.
So, that's all that I have on it. I'll turn it over to the Table of Experts to show me what I missed. Any suggestions on upgrades, deployment, tactics, etc. is welcome
Last edited by Abraham Lincoln; October 2nd, 2006 at 16:38. Reason: Added Biomorph Section
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
one tactic i use with him involves his infiltrate ability:
with most fast assult armies you need to spend points on warriors to give them wings to keep the synapse web up with the troops well the broodlord gives you a "foward synapse base" to run your swarmies to. for this i usually deploy him with out bodyguard and not in cover but behind it so he is not able to be shot at. run a group of genestealers to him and have him join that group, NOW you have a bodyguard group that he can detach from if needed
great tactica abe.
and never thought of detaching the retiune before. I reckon they'd gain back Fleet of Claw.
it seems the Broodlord is not as useless as people make out.
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Quannum, funkin' out in every way. Since 1987.
Also, just to clarify, the set up distances for Infiltration are 13" and 19", respectively.
Dragon, even though he's got to take at least a minimal retinue, I bet he could still lay low like you said. That sounds like a pretty good strategy.
And Caluin, are you sure about the distances? My rulebook says "more than 12 inches", which I took to mean 12.0001 inches was okay. Was there a Q&A that said they meant 13"? I know you're not one to make mistakes, but that 1 inch would mean everyone would have to wait another turn before being able to assault... that would seriously change things.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
You're right that you could indeed deploy 12.001 inches and still be "more than 12 inches." However, since the most you could move is six inches, plus a six inch assault move, that leaves you with .001 inches short of finishing the assault move. That .001 inches might as well be an entire inch, since models don't move in fractions of an inch.
That's why I say "13 inches." Hopefully it makes sense.
Of course, you can always play a gentlemen's agreement and fudge the last little bit (I've been known to both do it and let others do it).
To expand it you could rate the broodlord biomorphs.
My Personal favourite Broodlord setup is: 93 pts. with Ex.Carapace, Toxin sacs and fleshhooks; with a smallish retinue of stealers with Ex.Carapace and Fleshhooks.
Ahh i apologize seems i did miss the part about the broodsize including atleast some genestealers. so i guess i need to well.. umm not do that at my gaming club anymore but yes the stragety is still sound with a small retinue just deploy the unit behind cover and let the army run to you.
Per Innuitfireman's suggestion, I added a biomorph section to the frst post. I put in dragon 252's tactic also (except for the part about not taking a retinue)
Last edited by Abraham Lincoln; October 2nd, 2006 at 16:37.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
While all your points are valid, the broodlord's effectiveness goes down the toilet if infiltration is not allowed. I still feel that another Hive Tyrant is a better buy than a broodlord.
Several problems with your tactics:
Infiltrating into Cover: Odds are the "cover" around where you want to infiltrate will also be blocking LOS so you can infiltrate 12". So you must either choose between infiltrating in cover 18 or more inches away in cover, which may or may not help, or 12 or more behind cover.
Infiltrating behind LoS can be helpful as it'll cause your enemy to HAVE to move in order to shoot at it (assuming they get first turn, which they always seem to do for me). Of course, him being that powerful means that just about everyone will be shooting at him completely. Heck I've had half of an entire Tau army shoot at the broodlord...twice! It was a sad day for the Tau as the rest of my swarm arrived.
Infiltrate with a Plan: This is a good idea...if not every army fighting the tyranids didn't play the same ie sit back, in cover, and shoot as much as possible before losing horribly because they don't seize any objectives. This means that every broodlord deploys pretty much the same--as close as possible to the enemy in order to get into close combat and relative safety. Now, when fighting a fairly mobile assault oriented army (like orks and umm errr...other tyranids?) I suppose it might be useful to infiltrate around objectives or fire lines to ambush enemy troops and vehicles.
Well, how I use the broodlord is a very, VERY expensive...fire magnet. Honestly, that's all I really see it as. If you play someone who's never played against tyranids before, the broodlord might get into combat. However, anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of a genestealer enema will focus fire quite a large amount of fire on them and probably wipe them out on turn 1. Which means you get, basically, a freebie turn to move and shoot your own.
It being a relative weak tank unit means it's not very effective at holding objectives and such (and, of course, the broodlord's IC status sucks).
Also, the broodlord is fairly useless against some armies especially if they go mechanized. Tau are fairly annoying because all their vehicles have those annoying skimmer qualities and their suits can do the double jump thing. Heck, the only thing that a broodlord might catch is a broadside battlesuit!
And, of course, Dark Eldar Wyches are a big no-no for close combat, even for the broodlord.
Add into the fact that, without infiltrate, the broodlord is less than useless. A 114 point close combat carnifex can absorb more punishment than a 200+broodlord and retinue.
So, all in all, the broodlord is a good unit to use occaisionally. I happen to like it, but I just can't stand its uselessness. That's what I have my warriors for But really, a shooty tyrant is good in every situation as is a winged tyrant.
And remember, don't ever take a broodlord is you're playing random missions--you might not get infiltrate, eep!
"Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away." Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children