With the introduction of the 6th edition of 40k, new rules brought new life to the game and changed up a lot of things in different codices. Ultimately I really do enjoy the changes that have come about. One such item I think is handy is overwatch. While I do have mixed feelings about the close combat phase in this newest incarnation, I do like that it gives a chance for less choppy armies to survive. Example – Sisters with their preference for flamers make you think twice before assaulting them. D3 flamer hits (per flamer) will give even space marines pause.
Which brings us to the crux of this article. Most of your smaller, crunchier bugs get a 5+ save, so they rely more on cover (psychic powers non-withstanding) for their saves. Assaulting a unit with a flamer is practically D3 dead bugs. And that’s not even including the bolter fire. It’s a mess! And by mess, I mean bug parts everywhere.
I’m not saying that Tyranids are unplayable now. I have seen it done very well. Despite being shot to pieces, Tervigons can just keep making little gaunts. With enough Tervigons, you can just send in enough little guys so that the enemy runs out of bullets. Theoretically.
This isn’t how I like to play Tyranids. I don’t even own a Tervigon. I *adore* the genestealer. I typically ran 3 x 20 strong squads in 5th ed. I kept people on their toes. You could sense the fear when I piled them on the table. (I exaggerate a bit sometimes, y’know) Now though, no one’s afraid. They taunt me and pull my hair and other such schoolyard antics. And then they shoot my genestealers with fire. Well that’s fine. I can bring lots of them too.
There’s an unfairness at work here however. Genestealers get shot and die. Most guns (and flamers) are going to be AP5 anyway, ignoring our armor. I accepted this long ago. Overwatch gives you a second round of shooting at me when we scuttle in. Hitting on a 6, yes, but still, those aforementioned flamers sting with their auto hits. I’m still with it.
But wait, there’s more little Genestealer. You no longer charge a set 6″. It’s now 2D6″. Ok, that kinda evens out on the average. We’re going to change the Fleet rules. You can use Fleet now to reroll that 2D6″. Sounds great! But we are going to no longer allow you to run and assault in the same turn. Awes- Wait, what?
Oh we aren’t done! You also have a BS of 0, so even if you DID have a gun, you can’t use the Overwatch rule that hurts you so bad, especially when they rapid fire (and who doesn’t these days?). Oh, and don’t bother trying to sub out those psychic powers that the Broodlord gets, about half of them (including some of the primaris powers) require you to have a BS to use. Luckily his default powers are pretty handy.
So my sad little Genestealers have gone from a move, run, charge of 13″ minimum to move,
run, charge minimum of 8″ (both max at 18″) and also get NO benefit from Overwatch -which impacts the close combat phase very seriously. To me, that would be worth shaving a few points off or even bumping their armor save to 4+. It just seems like they got hurt by rules changes and didn’t get any benefit from them.
Genestealers have gotten the short end of the stick from early on. The only GOOD thing they’ve gotten was being moved from Elite back to Troops. That doesn’t make up for it though. I remember when they were the ONLY unit that moved 6″. We could outrun everyone and twice as fast as those pesky Squats.
And that’s the REAL reason Squats vanished… No one could see them moving 6″.