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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The title pretty much says it all, can the nids be a viable army when the basis is Genestealers?

I'm all about the models and I'm going to build a list around 40+ of them. My question is that I've never played them before and have no idea what their strengths and weaknesses really are and as a result, what other units should I include in my army to balance those weaknesses.

Oh just straight to the point... are Genestealers really that good to play in general or should I just use this as a 'show piece' army?

Thanks
 

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Feasible, maybe. Viable, no.

Genestealers are really squishy in this edition, so it can be really difficult to get them close enough to the enemy to do much. That said, if they do get close to the enemy they can be a lot of fun.

I tend to use them as shock troops to take out key enemy units, and to draw enemy attention away from my more subtle plans with other units...
 

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In 4th, genestealers were disgusting. A whole lot of genestealers with a broodlord, the only problem would be tanks.

Now in 5th, genestealers are cheaper though not quite as good.

Post a list to show us what your idea. a PURE genestealer army(all genestealers and a tyranid prime.) would not be able to harm tanks at all, or most walkers even.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I know a PURE genestealer list would be impossible to really play in 5th. And I'm not too sure about the points, but this is my idea for my list.

HQ -

Swarmlord with 2-3 Guard (I would model the Swarmlord up so the swords look more like claws or whatever to fit the theme and the Guard would just be there to make him survive the first few turns to make use of his ability of +1 reserve rolls and re-roll the outflanking side dice)

Elites -

Podded Zones - 2 or 3 (because I know they are the only way I can be somewhat successful with 5th edition armor)

Ymgarl Genestealers - probably just a squad of 8-10 (stick them in a piece of terrian that I know the opponent will be looking to grab with a shoot squad)

Troop

3-4 squads of 8-15 genestealers with a broodlord in each squad (all of the units outflanking and just making a mockery of whatever they can get thier hands on)

Fast

6 Ravenors (these just go with whats next)

Heavy

Trygon (the whole fluff thing I see with this guy and the ravenors is that they are burrowed underground waiting for the genestealer advance and the Ravenors would ideally come in the turn after the Trygon through the tunnel)

So, other then the Swarm lord, nothing starts on the board and at the core of the list is the Stealers. The podded zones would just be to take out the major armor, the trygon would look to pop up by that nasty unit that seems a bit too tough for stealers, the ymgarl pick off the heavy team in the back, the swarmlord just tries to stay alive and becomes a target and the regular stealers swarm whatever is left.

That is my general idea... and I know its not PURE genestealers, but out of a 60-70 unit army, having 40-50 genestealers would be a high enough percentage to handle the fluff for me :D.
 

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I loved the old codex. Even though I do not play nids. It was so fluffy and I hate it they changed the mutations becuase the stupid kids could not follow the rules for the weapons.

Actually cause enough hits on the rear armour of a vehicle and they will eventually fall. Ymgarl stealers can be useful here with that handy +1S bonus or extra Attack.
 

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Strictly speaking, just gene stealers will not get you far, yeah you get the squad that hides in the terrain piece... yeah they can come in from the side board... but as a space marine player who's played A LOT against tyranids.....
my buddy used to do the almost complete list of genestealers.. and he lost pretty much everytime, unless i make a poor judgement call or got overly aggressive. And how i would win was NUMBERS, in these games at 1k, 1250, and 1500 pts, i would OUTNUMBER him model per model, in one such case I have him out numbered 3 to 1!!! 3 bolters vrs. 1 gene stealer, i am sure you can do the mathhammer on that and figure out who's likly to win lol.

I've seen lots of GREAT suggestions already on this page on what to add, and how to use stealers as SUPPORT not CORE of an army so i won't bother telling you what to do.... you've got lots of great choices already!!

Good Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the suggestions... and I believe the consensus is that a mostly genestealer cult based army wouldn't be too successful.

Now, I guess this is a branch off of that army idea... is there a Nid army layout that can be successful without regular gaunts? Personally, I dont like the idea of having to assemble and paint gaunt after gaunt after gaunt. Warriors to me also seem too expensive to have an army based just off of them as a troop choice only.

I guess the question I have to ask myself is do I want a show piece army or a tourny level army.... tough call... :D
 

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In my eyes, with an army like Tyranids. Make a show piece.

That way you can work around what YOU like, as opposed to what is a competitive army.

This way any idea you have will work.

As for the genestealer idea, just beacause it says 'Tyranid warrior' doesn't means it has to look like the plastic ones GW make. Genestealer cult? Use converted ogryns/ogres ? Simply bigger genestealers?

Warrior Prime? Big brood lord. Swarmlord? Patriarch/Matriarch Genestealer.

Honestly, middle fingers up to the mould.
 

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Just to add to what others have said in explaining the reasoning. You really have to look at point cost versus abilities in army building and deciding how your units will work together.

Genestealers are great units. But at 14+ points a pop, they're expensive. What do you get for those points? A very capable close-combat unit that can operate independent of Synapse and move quickly, but that only has one wound and a 5+ save.

They're essentially your cavalry, the unit you want to appear once you've engaged the enemy and can rip into them while they're occupied elsewhere. The key though is to keep the enemy occupied until the Genestealers arrive from outflank or emerge from cover. If you invest too heavily in them, there won't be enough other units on the board and your opponent can prepare for their arrival. If the enemy is prepared and gets shots off, you're losing expensive 1-wound models.

That's why most of these Tactica articles suggest using gaunts for cannon fodder. Ideally, they absorb the fire on the way in at 5-6 points a model, allowing you to ram your MCs down your opponent's throat as your Genestealers swoop in from the side. You don't necessarily need a gaunt horde, but you do need something to keep the opponent occupied (and keep them from circling the wagons for an outflank) for that first turn or two while you're marching up the field or waiting on your reserves. A Tyrannofex with a Rupture Cannon, a pair of shooty Carnifexes, Hive Tyrant with guard, etc.
 

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I'm not sure if this would be a lot better than building a bunch of gaunts... but maybe you could use Catachan Imperial Guard with some extra Tyranid bits as genestealer hybrids and have them count as Termagaunts.

I've never seen incomplete Gaunt or Guardsman models (which is odd, since I have one roommate who plays Tyranids and another who plays Imperial Guard) so I'm not sure if modeling them that way would be easier or harder... but the uniqueness might make the effort seem more rewarding at least.

Also, I agree with Orochi on the choice between "show piece" or "tournament." While for some people the fun is in dropping the mathhammer on a codex and playing purely for wins, I think it's safe to say that most people (at least the players I've met) would rather win 1/10 of the time with an army they love than 9/10 of the time with an army they don't. This is a game after all, and games are about fun, so whichever better fits what you consider fun.

Besides, maybe your show piece will look so cool that the dice will be in awe and roll in your favor? If nothing else, using things in a tournament that normally aren't might just throw your opponents off enough to make them do something stupid. Who knows?
 

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Personaly dude i say go for it, who cares if its sucesful or not, from the sounds of it you like the fluff, im sorry but ig you wanted to win you wouldnt use fluff as the basis for the army, not with 'Nids anyway. Im making a DC list, sure they can get lead around the board easily, they cant capture objectives, do i give a damn no, i love the fluff and am working on ways to make my fluff army of death better to use, while sticking to the fluff. Heck im planning to have a squad of 30 Powerfisting Death Company, simply because i love Death Company and because i can.

To be honest i like your idea, just reduce the amount of troop choices to 4 instead of 5-6 since with al the outflanking and what not you will be fine. Personaly i think you should run 2 Trygon Primes or a Prime with a Mawloc (yes i like Mawlocs) Id also throw in a Harpy or a Biovore (or a Tyranno if your up against numerous Mech) since both of them can shoot from decent range, softening up the units for Stealers when they arrive.

So yeah stick with the Stealer theme since if you cared abotu viability and winning you wouldnt use fluff as your basis for an army imo. Hope ive helped :D
 

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In my opinion I say they are too expensive to create an army, and therefore unreliable. I would suggest going a really cheap gaunt army. Its amazing how over reacting many players are against tyranid players with a whole bunch of cheap gaunts charging at them.

I've seen players seriously throw everything they have at guants thinking that they will do some genestealer crap on them. 4th edition has paved the way for tyranid players now a days to have the most redicolously bad models in the game and make their opponents shit their pants.

So basically, as a rich high school blonde girl would say if she played Tyranids... "Genestealers are soo..... fourth eddition. Like omg."

Besides gaunts allow to use all those cool monstrous creatures anyway.
 

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Thanks for all of the suggestions... and I believe the consensus is that a mostly genestealer cult based army wouldn't be too successful.
now now, dont let that train of thought consume you :grin:

Everybody has given tons of useful information, so I wont bother talking specifics, but I am one of those people who dont like gaunts, and Ill give you a few tips if I can :)
-You dont need to take broodlords in everysquad, I know it sounds really nice, but the points build up to fast, and you only need a couple in the list you are trying to build.
-Contrary to popular belief genestealers dont need upgrades when taken e'mass (is that a word?). Of course if you want to give them scythes or adrenel ect.... that's fine and good, however when taking that many genestealers, its best to cut down on points.
-If you love a genestealer heavy list then two units stand out in particular, first the swarmlord is a great asset as the rerolls to outflanking and the +1 to reserve is really essential. Second, ymgarl genestealers are great fun, a unit of 6-10 of them can throw off a players tactics, and unless your luck is horrible, then the unit it can first make contact with is generally a dead unit :biggrin:

Heres the list I have been tampering with... It hasnt lost so far (a tie or two, the rest were wins), and I have played against some tough people and came out on top (thankfully :))
By the way, it isnt point for point and has o upgrades so forgive any holes in points, its just a general run down of what i take:

-Swarmlord or Hive tyrant (mine is a shooty tyrant with venom cannon and devorers, but a cc tyrant would work too)
-4-5 units of genestealers (generally of a squad size of 9 or 10, and only 2 broodlords)
-Trygon Prime
-Mawloc (or another trygon if you could fit it)
-x3 Hive guard
-x3 thropes
-elites get a bit tricky depending on what you want, but I either take, the doom of malantai (for a competitive kick), ymgarl stealers (I think these would suit you best), or the deathleaper. Of course if you wanted to play for more of a "fun" game then something like lictors or whatnot would be good too.

anyways that list generally goes around 2k points, but you could tinker with it till it was at any point value pretty much

lol, sorry for the ramblings, hope this helps.
and remember: a list with mass genestealers CAN and DOES work :p
 

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Genestealers are best used when outflanking, as this allows them a good chance of getting close to the enemy. Personally I'd take one or two units of them depending on your points limit, backed up by gaunts (either will do) and some of the bigger beasties. If your looking for a competitive angle then Trygons are probably a good bet as having them show up at the same time as your Genestealers will prove devastating against your opponent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone, very informative. To put it in a metaphorical term, the Tyranids as a whole is like a sandwich. To be good and tasty, you need bread, meat and sauces/spreads. The Gaunts are the big pieces of bread that incases the Big Bad MCs which are the meat and the most tasty part of the army. The elites are the sauces / spreads that give the whole sandwich flavour and make it tasty. Genestealers are like a fancy french baget. You can make a sandwich out of it but you can't have as much meat in it as its too small. Its still possible to make it a tasty sandwich, but you have to use the right mix of sauce and special fancy meats to make it great.

I'm still early in the makings of my army, so I have yet to buy much. All of these suggestions will come into play, but I can clearly see that a Swarmlord and Trygon Prime is a 'must' pick for this army, regardless of how many genestealers I end up using.

Now, one question that since 5th is all about mech and Nids have no mech, what is the best way to deal with armor? Hordes of cheap MCs (fexes)? Podded Zones? Hive Guard?
 

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but I can clearly see that a Swarmlord with Tyrant Guard and Trygon Prime is a 'must' pick for this army,

Now, one question that since 5th is all about mech and Nids have no mech, what is the best way to deal with armor? Hordes of cheap MCs (fexes)? Podded Zones? Hive Guard?
FIXED, Swarmlord is awesome but since unlike the Tyrant he cant take wings he has to footslog and he NEEDS the Tyrant Guard otherwise he drops quickly.

And regarding the anti meh its about right, Podded Zones for the heavy armour, Hive Guard for the light skimmers/transport, MC are nice although i prefer using them for other things. Tyranno is also nice, even though you really have to justify the points when using him.
 

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as said, hive guard freaking rock, took out a blood angel librarian dread first turn before it could do anything XD

trygons can and will pop tanks, however they are such large units that you should try getting them into cc with infantry/walkers.

genestealers are also very reliable for popping light tanks I find, but make sure you have something to protect the squad and that can get into combat that turn if you can, unless the unit inside is cc based.

thropes are great of course, but if you find it difficult to get something to work for your spod, then you should know that they still work great foot slogging (specially if you put them behind a infantry screen.

happy to help in any way
 
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