2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

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2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Telos » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 5:32 am

I'm trying to utilize them more often but having trouble finding an efficient niche for them.

They do well against T1 dedicated melee (for the most part) but seem to trade poorly against other T2 melee and don't really do much against vehicles without their T3 claw upgrades.

They bleed a shit ton trying to get into ranged infantry so it seems more efficient to use gaunts and rippers or upgraded Ravs. They do well as guard units for points and zoans but then so does a Tyrant Guard which seems to have more varied uses as well.

Is it better to only get them if you decide to go Adrenal Gland warriors? Are they the best choice for only certain MU's/situations?
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Sex - Murder - Art » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 2:26 pm

In my opinion, Genestealers are a double edged sword, and their performance depends on '' if '' situations.

They are just savage when they are under synapse and activated Adrenal Rush. You just can't dare to get in there and go toe to toe with them. I don't think we need to talk about how good they are.

But they are just so easy to deal with when they are out of synapse and without their Adrenal Rush. Easy to take out models, and goes down very fast under gun fire. Their main weakness comes down when they are knockbacked from shotguns or other special attacks. When they are knockbacked, enemy gets a few free swings and that's enough to take out models. After loosing 2 models, they just can't survive in there unlike marines or some other squads.

The only situation that they are effective when they are isolated is their infiltration when they stay still. Go after isolated squads and kill them in seconds! This is much easier to happen in 1v1 and pays off very well, done it a few times.

The mod is also aware of their situation, trying to make them cheaper and useful by them selfs.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Oddnerd » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 11:09 pm

They are a melee superiority unit - which is to say that they are there to beat other melee units. This is in contrast to hormagaunts (utterly worthless against melee-competent units because of their low melee skill and hp) which are best at chasing down and wiping ranged units or map control.

You observed correctly when you said they are weak without synapse support - that is a design feature of tyranids, not a mistake. Tyranids are similar to Imperial Guard in the sense that their units have pretty shitty base stats for their cost. The strength of tyranids comes from having stacked support auras and abilities. Genestealers can benefit from capillary towers, basic synapse, melee synapse, improved synapse, damage synapse, and other supports like pheromone cloud or psychic scream. Get those on them, and maybe keep shotgun scouts away with the amazing piercing damage of terms and raveners, and your genes will fuck up just about anything aside from melee walkers.

EDIT - Just some random math:

I don't know if health auras stack additively or multiplicatively, but it's either 439 or 466 hp per model at level 4 for genestealers under improved and melee synapse. Throw in 20% universal damage reduction from basic synpase and now their effective HP is 549 or 582. That is on a squad with 90 ms thanks to melee synpase and a passive heal, and over 200 dps of power or heavy melee. Throw in a capillary tower for good measure and you've got a rape train with no brakes.

You're right, on their own they get shit on, but with the right auras they are probably one of the strongest in the roster.


Follow Brood's advice and don't initiate with them - they are too slow. These guys are there for counter-initiating against enemy melee that tries to threaten your ranged units or commander. If you are on the attack, send in the horms first to soak up some damage and crowd control spells, then send in the genes.
Last edited by Oddnerd on Sat 09 Mar, 2019 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Broodwich » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 11:18 pm

They are melee superiority, but they are also not initiators. Either open with something else to disrupt an army, or use them to guard your ranged blobs. Similar to bloodletters, they have high damage and relatively low infantry hp. Both can be focused down by ranged fire quite quickly, but excel once they are in combat. Synapse is pretty much mandatory for big fights, but melee synapse especially helps them rek. 90 melee skill will throw anything around like a toy with constant specials

Then of course you have their passive infiltrate, which comboed with their high damage, make them great ambushers

Vs a tyrant guard purchase:they are cheaper, faster, and do higher amounts of damage which make them better at guarding. They also can retreat, so that's nice
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Telos » Sat 09 Mar, 2019 4:12 am

Ok, so I think consensus being to only utilize them under synapse and not as the first to engage. And also don't use them near units with activated knockback abilities.

I usually have them near a capi tower but will be sure they stay under synapse from now on. I'll keep them more to the builds where I go AG warriors or HT. They're so fast, it's hard to not think of them as the fight starters, but can use rippers and gaunts for distraction to try and get them in.

Thanks for the input @sex - murder - art @oddnerd @broodwich
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby boss » Tue 12 Mar, 2019 7:20 pm

Genestealers only ever had one role melee superiority.
However ever since tyranid av was cut down they become forgotten about then added the fact your only snare is on warriors now melee synapse is out of the window so genestealers become less viable. I been saying this for a while tyranids will need another snare otherwise snare is needed more than melee synapse.

They also didn't do my ideas for how to improve them they did they own ideas and for what I seen in game they not got much better at all, somewhat I even say they got worse but either way you need melee synapse if you ever want them to be truly elite and yea you want to counter initiating that's why they never had a melee change before now silly they even got that.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Telos » Wed 13 Mar, 2019 5:14 am

Yeah, I always thought they were supposed to be melee superiority, but their performance in this role made me question it and whether they were meant for some other purpose. But my experience has always been that they performed this role very poorly against T2 melee (and even T1 melee) if they weren't supported. I've even had a genestealer get wiped out 1v1 by catachans because I thought they could take them (this was awhile back in 2.8). If they have to be under synapse to be effective I'll just keep them to more niche situations.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Atlas » Fri 15 Mar, 2019 5:28 am

So.... why not just go the opposite route and make Genestealers a pretty independent unit? I'm pretty sure in lore they are supposed to venture away from Hives and be lone operators and the like.

In game wise it sounds like they are the total opposite - all but requiring synapse to be worth anything.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby boss » Sun 17 Mar, 2019 11:16 pm

Atlas wrote:So.... why not just go the opposite route and make Genestealers a pretty independent unit? I'm pretty sure in lore they are supposed to venture away from Hives and be lone operators and the like.

In game wise it sounds like they are the total opposite - all but requiring synapse to be worth anything.



Tyranid units need synapse to scale that's how it always been and how it should stay that's how they get balanced around this is not lore mod.
There other reasons why genestealers don't get used much other than the unit I find don't perform well but you did your own ideas and I guess we have to get used to them.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Element » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 12:08 am

From my brief experience having picked up Nids Ravener Alpha

The Genestealer--> Is a Dedicated Elite Infantry Type Assassin Unit.

Meaning they do well>Very well>Astronomically well against Marine Equivalent Factions if supported properly in the right engagement. Some engagements you just can't even take if they are supported correctly. I personally tend to have them supported by a Melee Ravener Alpha with Aura Synapse (Damage) + Capillary Towers + A Tyrant Guard Siege Line Breaker Unit.

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I've found Tyranids unlike other factions lack that 2nd. A.V. type unit option in their T2. almost causing the Tyrant Guard to be somewhat like a staple T2. Unit say making them somewhat predictable, that being said they are still effective.

The Tyrant Guard is meant to bulldoze down every unit which would disrupt the Genestealers from making their way into the engagement without taking major losses. Complinented with one more disruption unit. --> Lictor Alpha with Leap/ Hive Tyrant with Charge/Raveners. I find they tend to do very well. People say disruption is the bane of genestealers before they make their way into some manner of an engagement. Well the same can be said in reverse.

Snipe out the most influential disruption units with ranged/disrupt their- Mobile mitigating factoral units and that leaves you with a few may just be lackluster units which will do some damage, but not as much as all of them together, you can make it up in melee from the life steal mechanic.

All in all, the key is to never just run them upon their own, unless you are using them to assassinate a key unit upon capturing a req point/ wiping a unit making it back out upon the field.

So many people forget that this is a unit which has infiltration for a reason. If you have problems making their way into the engagement at the start. Set them off to the side in a flanking position before the engagement even begins upon having designated the location where the next engagement will take place, initiate the engagement from the front and then pull them in from their flanking position to assassinate the unit which would cause the most problems later.

You may not even be necessarily attacking to win the engagement as much as a remove a problem unit for the next one. A more so critical one, which without the said unit just took out, won't be able to counteract your efforts to push through the next time.

People may not necessarily see it, given how D.o.W. II is not a Total War game, but a wave mentality to grind down your oppoenents forces really helps with this faction. Objectively being inclined to take a priority unit which is keeping your from pushing through. If there is one action you dont want Tyranids to be able to carry, that would be breaking your line enabling them to base lock your units, because they can do it. with Zoans reinging in artillery shots from just outside range of your base. That's definitely not where you want to be.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Telos » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 6:42 am

Atlas wrote:So.... why not just go the opposite route and make Genestealers a pretty independent unit? I'm pretty sure in lore they are supposed to venture away from Hives and be lone operators and the like.

In game wise it sounds like they are the total opposite - all but requiring synapse to be worth anything.


I'm not opposed to this idea, buffing Genestealers but making them unaffected by synapse, or perhaps making them affected by synapse for a limited time as an activated ability (if such a thing is possible).

But I think if you want to see more Genestealer play then it's important to identify what their role is supposed to be and how they do that better than other units in the roster? So far, the biggest niche I've found for them is to counter initiate enemy jump troops which can cause a lot of problems for nids. So melee superiority against jump infantry. The thing is, Tyrant guard can also do this (if it's not needed for other things), or a Hive Tyrant (same as TG), and neither will be disrupted either. But better than anything in the nid roster to counter jump troops seems to be raveners. Whether they burrow away to bleed units from a distance, or get EMC to fight in melee (with a great stun option) they seem to work far more efficiently when supported like Genestealers need to be, but are also effective outside of synapse.

But I was just wondering if there was something about them currently that I'm missing. Don't want to turn this too heavily into a balance discussion. It seems straightforward to me that they're still in a rather niche melee role.

boss wrote:Genestealers only ever had one role melee superiority.
However ever since tyranid av was cut down they become forgotten about then added the fact your only snare is on warriors now melee synapse is out of the window so genestealers become less viable. I been saying this for a while tyranids will need another snare otherwise snare is needed more than melee synapse.

They also didn't do my ideas for how to improve them they did they own ideas and for what I seen in game they not got much better at all, somewhat I even say they got worse but either way you need melee synapse if you ever want them to be truly elite and yea you want to counter initiating that's why they never had a melee change before now silly they even got that.


Well, I think the problem with Genestealers is that the meta has shifted to emphasize getting Zoans. You usually only really want to get out max 2 T2 units before you start thinking about T3, otherwise you'll get outscaled and nids only answer to T2-3 units of most enemy factions are fexes or Neuro. So Genestealers don't really fit into a lot of roles that can't also be filled by Guard or EMC ravs imo. They do have some situational niches, but so far it seems more efficient to try to fit other units into the role of melee superiority.

Element wrote:People may not necessarily see it, given how D.o.W. II is not a Total War game, but a wave mentality to grind down your oppoenents forces really helps with this faction. Objectively being inclined to take a priority unit which is keeping your from pushing through. If there is one action you dont want Tyranids to be able to carry, that would be breaking your line enabling them to base lock your units, because they can do it. with Zoans reinging in artillery shots from just outside range of your base. That's definitely not where you want to be.


Dunno if this is different in 2.9.1 yet with the upkeep changes, but adopting an attrition mindset with nids will only get you outscaled in most cases. They bleed far too quickly to adopt that position until they can reach deathblob levels by mid-T2 and steamroll most armies, or just lose if the deathblob fails. I kind of hate synapse for constraining the nid strategy to this but it's really the most efficient thing to do with the way they're designed.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby PhatE » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 11:45 am

Probably to mince anything that comes close.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby Atlas » Mon 18 Mar, 2019 7:22 pm

Well if Genes became more synapse-independent you could actually have them solo lane very effectively on top of being a counter-initiator. Could maybe expand their infiltration aspect a bit as well.
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Re: 2.9.1 What is the current role of Genestealers?

Postby boss » Tue 19 Mar, 2019 10:00 pm

Atlas wrote:Well if Genes became more synapse-independent you could actually have them solo lane very effectively on top of being a counter-initiator. Could maybe expand their infiltration aspect a bit as well.



Zzzzzzzzzzzz you already buff infiltration to where you only need 2 secs no more buffs to that pls they can already be decent without melee synapse but with it you get elite melee. I don't see what wrong with them, rather you did my ideas for them but you did your own now stop messing around with them and give them more time before you do other changes to them.
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