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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after months of assembling and priming miniatures I finally was able to get my brother to play an actual game of WH40k. I'm sure we played a lot of stuff wrong, but overall it was a lot of fun. We came to a lot of spots where we had some rules problems, but the only question I can remember right now is about scoring units. Do MC count as scoring? I think the game ended up in a tie, after turn six.. with me having a badly damaged sniperfex left and my brother have an emperor's champion and the shredded remnants of an infantry unit remaining. No scoring units either side.

Some things I found out.

1) We were playing a 1k point game and I had a little over 500 points were of gaunts. Half spinegaunts and half hormagaunts. Gaunts suck. Against his crusader units (10 initiates and 5 neophytes) I was killing like one or two for each 8 or so he was killing of me. The whole mixed WS and mixed armor save rules really sucked for me, since the more powerful initiates were in the majority for most of the game. Next time I'll take fewer gaunts.

2) Zoanthropes suck. Or more accurately, warp blast sucks. I had two zoanthropes and they never managed to hit once. Between the low BS and the Black templar's ability to resist telepathy made it tough.

3) I had a dakka tyrant and a sniperfex. They both did more damage in hand to hand combat then shooting. I was surprised that the sniperfex was able to kill the Black templar leader in one hit due to instant death. Seemed really strong to me.

4) I didnt have synpase problems since the Zoanthropes, although sucking at offense, were able to withstand a lot of attacks. Despite this, next time I'm going to try some warriors or maybe some genestealers. I need some sort of "elite" unit, able to deal with the higher toughness and saves of the space marines. I understand that gaunts are pretty much cannon fodder, but my 500 pts of troops were able to take out maybe 150 pts of space marines.

5) I'm vert tempted to make a CC carnifex now. I have a spare, which I was going to make into a second sniperfex, but I don't think the slow speed of a CC fex would be a big issue against my brother's black templars since we're both charging at each other.
 

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Things to consider:

1) yes gaunts are not the best - but they are there to tie-up his units - then the genestealers or tyrants get into the fray later - use gaunt to hold up your opponents army - then hit with the better hitters!

2) well they are not hte best shooters - that is agreeable, but keep them - as you noted later, they are tought to kill, and often get overlooked as well till later in the game - then your opponent finds out that they are nearly as tough as a tyrant (with a better basic save). You might try using psychic scream instead of warp blast - several zoanthropes with scream and a tyrant makes a chior (the negative modifyer stacks up) which can really mess up opponents physcers and send enemy units running in fear (good tactic with gaunt heavy lists)

3 and 5 - careful here - if your opponent work out that they can just make one move and be out of CC range from a fex, rather than charging in - they will - so in the long run a CC fex can be worse off.

Good luck in future games!
 

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Hive Commander Rakur


I have strong and painful memories of my first few games playing with Tyranids, so I can totally relate to any frustrations. I'll address your questions the best I can, but I also encourage that you also read for opinions that differ from my own



Do MC count as scoring? I think the game ended up in a tie, after turn six. with me having a badly damaged sniperfex left and my brother have an emperor's champion and the shredded remnants of an infantry unit remaining.
Monstorus Creatures (which includes your Sniperfex) do count as scoring units, but they must have at least 50% of its wounds to be counted as scoring. So if your Sniperfex had more than 2 wounds, then it no longer is considered a scoring unit.


1) We were playing a 1k point game and I had a little over 500 points were of gaunts. Half spinegaunts and half hormagaunts. Gaunts suck. Against his crusader units (10 initiates and 5 neophytes) I was killing like one or two for each 8 or so he was killing of me. The whole mixed WS and mixed armor save rules really sucked for me, since the more powerful initiates were in the majority for most of the game. Next time I'll take fewer gaunts.
You are correct that gaunts suck, but they're not meant to destroy other units. The main purpose of gaunts is to prevent units from shooting, clogging up fire lanes in combat, and allow your other units to move forward. For example, since Tyranid Warriors are classified as the same size as your gaunts (both are size 2), you can use the combat to screen and protect any warriors that move up the field.

Gaunts aren't as good as your normal marine equivalent (MEQ) unit, which is why they are cheap.



2) Zoanthropes suck. Or more accurately, warp blast sucks. I had two zoanthropes and they never managed to hit once. Between the low BS and the Black templar's ability to resist telepathy made it tough..
Yes, I agree with you here. Warp Blasts, especially when using the STR 10 Warp Blast aren't the best of shooters. Remember that they are the cheapest of the Synapse units (since you can field them as a unit of 1). I'd suggest that you try to deploy them near the center of the board and keep them together. Also when shooting at one unit, use both Zoanthropes. Again this won't make them better, per se, but understand that they're used to provide solid Synapse.




3) I had a dakka tyrant and a sniperfex. They both did more damage in hand to hand combat then shooting. I was surprised that the sniperfex was able to kill the Black templar leader in one hit due to instant death. Seemed really strong to me.
This doesn't surprise me too much, as the effectiveness of you units will depend on how you used them. Typically I tend to keep my Sniperfex near the back in cover to shake any vehicles to prevent them from shooting. I'm curious to know how many turns both units were NOT in combat.


4) I didnt have synpase problems since the Zoanthropes, although sucking at offense, were able to withstand a lot of attacks. Despite this, next time I'm going to try some warriors or maybe some genestealers. I need some sort of "elite" unit, able to deal with the higher toughness and saves of the space marines. I understand that gaunts are pretty much cannon fodder, but my 500 pts of troops were able to take out maybe 150 pts of space marines.
This is a possible option and wouldn't think of it as a bad one. If you think you're fine with your current Synapse, I might suggest 1-2 Raveners as well. The Raveners when used alongside your hormagaunts should give them a stronger punch in CC due to their rending ability.



5) I'm vert tempted to make a CC carnifex now. I have a spare, which I was going to make into a second sniperfex, but I don't think the slow speed of a CC fex would be a big issue against my brother's black templars since we're both charging at each other.
If you've kept up with any 5th edition rumors, its hard to disagree with you. I will say however that a Dakkafex or Sniperfex are better units than CC ones. I own 7 Carnifexes and only 2 of them could be considered CC. As of right now I consider the shooting Carnifexes better because I don't move them forward to get them into combat.

The biggest reason is that although they can do serious damage, their low initiative makes it hard to justify their use. I'm not sure if its best to make a decision on a single model just after 1 battle. I usually play 3-10 battles facing different opponents before I make any major decisions on models. Most players will allow you to play with an "armless Carnifex" (that is just the base, legs, torso and head) if you explain to them that you're evaluating it for future development.



I hope I've given some reasonable responses to your concerns, but feel free to use other input and/or play more games to make your own decisions. Also don't hesitate to send me a PM if you have any questions. I'm not the best Tyranid general, but I've played a lot of games and perhaps can give you some advice on what to do next.
 

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The one comment I'm going to make (since other people have covered most of the other issues) is that almost all of your comments are directly related to who you were playing.

Black Templar like to rush at you, and often are lacking in vehicles for your Sniperfex to shoot at. They're tough and have good armour saves which makes it very difficult for gaunts to do a lot of damage to them. Against Marines your best bet is the genestealer, because of rending and the higher statline.

Also, your monsters likely got into combat due to the nature of Black Templar. They do much much better against units like our big boys in close combat than they do trying to light them up with their popguns (bolters and bolt pistols). Against something like Eldar or tau you'll really appreciate having those shooting units for fire support (especially the sniperfex).

A few questions that you can answer to help us give you better advice:

1) what is in your army besides the gaunts (what is their breakdown?) and the monsters? Do you have any stealers, ravenors or warriors?

2) what other armies are you likely to be playing? Just your brother or are you going to be going to local stores or tournaments at some point?

3) are you looking to expand to a higher point value (1250, 1500, 2000, more) or do you want to start replacing units?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Advice

Thanks for the advice/encouragement guys!

My army list was something like this:

Dakka Tyrant w 1 guard

Zoanthropes x2 (synapse/warp blast)

Sniperfex

Spine guant x12
Spineguant x12
Spineguant x12
Hormagaunt x10
Hormagaunt x10
Hormagaunt x11


I made a few tactical errors in the game, but since it was my first time I was expecting that. For example, in the first turn of combat I was able to engage in CC with one unit of Hormagaunts. My opponents troops were organized in two Crusader units of 15 models each, all geared for CC. Needless to say, the hormgaunts not only lost terribly, but were out of Synapse and ran.

**That reminds me of another question we had. If the hormgaunts fall back into synapse range, are they automatically not falling back any more or does the "falling back" state reset itself at the start of my next turn?

Anyways, my Dakka tyrant had a hard time trying to shoot at anything since everyone was in melee. He couldnt hurt the black templar predator or the dreadnaught without charging into CC. The sniperfex I used to shoot at the Predator for like two turns, advancing as I went. I ended up charging his Marshal and killing it. We thought it was going to be an epic dual until we realized how the instant death rules worked. The Hive Tyrant managed to get onto the side armor of the Predator and ended up charging it with the Sniperfex. The two MCs crushed it in one round of melee. The Hive Tyrant was then charged by the Black templar venerable dreadnaught, and they were engaged for about two turns (Reminded me of the scene in Aliens where Ripley in the power loader fights the alien queen) with the end result being the dreadnaught's destruction. The Hive Tyrant ended up getting zapped by a melta gun and dying and the Sniperfex dropped my opponents last Crusader unit down below 50% with some barbed strangler shots.

I didn't really have a negative experience. the game was a lot of fun. I was just surprised, I guess, by some of the unit performances. I knew that gaunts weren't great. I just never realized how really ineffective they were. So my 1000k pt army list in essence consisted of a Tyrant, a Carnifex, and like 600 pts of filler.

Next time I'll try to replace a few gaunts with some genestealers. I still like the concept of a swarm army, but I guess I was hoping the swarm would be more important and not entirely rely on the MC to do stuff.
 

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Remember that gaunts are weak. But even the weakest unit can pack a punch if you have the numbers. A 2+ armor-save will eventually fail given enough rolls. I once charged a unit of 10 space-marines with enough gaunts to give me around 90 attacks. Needless to say there were no marines left after.

And, as said above, gaunts are used to tie up other units.

With regards to a CC-fex, I think it was already mentioned above that it's pretty easy to avoid these lumbering beasts. There's nothing more frusterating than trying to get a full CC-fex into combat for 6 turns. Give em guns and let em do something.
 

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I knew that gaunts weren't great. I just never realized how really ineffective they were.
Yeah, charging a unit of 10 CC marines with only 10 hormagaunts will get you slaughtered every time. You simply can't do enough wounds before they attack back and kill you. There's two things you need when attacking with hormagaunts, assuming your goal is to actually kill enough of the unit to mitigate the attacks back.
1) numbers
2) initiative

If you're lacking both of these, you're screwed. ;)

Additionally, if you have a unit that's 16-30 hormagaunts, it's way easier to keep them in synaptic range. You simply leave a "tail" of gaunts trailing back to synapse.
 

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If the hormgaunts fall back into synapse range, are they automatically not falling back any more or does the "falling back" state reset itself at the start of my next turn?
Hive Commander Rakur

I think the hormagaunts are considered falling back until the next Tyranid turn, even if they're within Synapse range, since the check isn't made until the beginning of the turn.


Next time I'll try to replace a few gaunts with some genestealers. I still like the concept of a swarm army, but I guess I was hoping the swarm would be more important and not entirely rely on the MC to do stuff.
I think it just depends how you use the swarm. Try this out the next time you deploy your troops - deploy using a weighted flank formation. That is deploy all your troops on one side of the board. You probably want your fastest units near the front (hormgaunts), then your Hive Tyrant, Zoanthropes, Carnifex. The finally put your gaunts in the back. You want your hormgaunts to strike 1-2 units very quickly to hold up fire lanes. Your gaunts which will "outrun" your Synapse creatures, should then be able to reinforce any units that might be using. This should make way for your slower MC units to either use supporting fire against infantry and/or tanks.

The overall deployment will differ from mission to mission and army to army. However, I always try deploying them together so you can maximize your attacks.
 

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After looking at your list I'd say you lack killing power (probably already stated in the thread, but hey, who doesn't like redundancy). My suggestion would be to max out on dakka even more (another dakkatyrant, dakkawarriors etc) and skip the hormagaunts in favour of spinegaunts. Of course, a strategy based around devourerstorming the opponent boils down to being able to charge units that are really fast (assault marines etc) and dangerous with spinegaunts to avoid getting to CC with your valuable units, and keep them there until the end of their turn (-> let all your spinegaunts die in their turn, by making sure some stay out of the kill radius during your charge) and making sure that your valuable units are more than 6" away (massacre moves). The slower enemy units that are not in CC gets hail after hail of devourershots hurled at them, stopping them dead in their tracks, thus hindering the enemy from advancing with things that are strong, and letting him advance with things you know you can kill . I get into CC with my tyrants only if it's really necissary.
Just thought I'd add my two cents, suggesting how you could use tyrants and spinegaunts.


You could go with genestealers to bring the pain, or choose dakka to deal with your opponents, either way they'll be shaking in their boots

On a different topic:
I just can't believe people doubt zoanthropes! They are really good at providing synapse, gets to deploy first (push back the opponent's deployment zone in certain scenarios), gets a small blast with AP3 - Which might be really good only because my opponents tend to not concider them the biggest of threats, and forget spreading their MEQs out. Sure, their weapons are hit/miss, but compared to a beefed up sniperfex (which gets 2 VC shots and a BS shot) they can target 3 separate targets - and are 3 separate targets - (with the same BS and amount of shots!) and with different variations to fit different situations. They only lack in range - but they are supposed to move towards the enemy to support your troops with synapse, so that drawback is - though not nullified completely - not a massive one.
 
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