Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Issues dealing with gameplay balance.
Woodenplank
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Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Woodenplank » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 11:17 pm

I've started playing Tyranids a lot lately, and it's usually horrible. This is, of course, mostly due to me being bad with them - but I find that my success rate is much, much better if I play Imperial Guard (who I've admittedly had more experience with).
It got me thinking... IG usually opens with (at least) 2 Guardsmen, and Tyranids often get 2 Termagants. These two ranged squads are, in my opinion, also two of the most comparable squads in the game - they're high model, low health/DPS T1 piercing units with a variety of upgrades to help their efficiency. So I figured; why not compare their stats?

Here I'll write the baseline of each unit.
Information taken from in-game descriptions when available, otherwise from Codex pages

------------------------------------------------------------------
Termagants
Models: 8
Model Health: 75
Model DPS: 3.9 Piercing_pvp
Cost: 260 req
Reinforcement Cost: 16 req
Upkeep: 3.825
Totals (without upgrades)
Total HP/Req = 2.85
Total DPS/Req = 0.12
Cost per model-reinforce = 16

Guardsmen
Models: 6
Model Health: 100
Model DPS: 4.12 Piercing_pvp
Cost: 210 req
Reinforcement Cost: 18 req
Upkeep: 2.55
Totals (without upgrades)
Total HP/Req = 2.85
Total DPS/Req = 0.11
Cost per model-reinforce = 18
------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, let's assume the Guardsmen squad gets a Sergeant (I rarely see them without it). And the Termagants get Toxin Sacs at least. The upgraded stats become:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Termagants with Toxin Sacs
Total Cost = 335 req, 15 power
Total HP/req = 1.97
Total DPS/Req = 0,12
Cost per model-reinforce = 16

Guardsmen with Sergeant
Total Cost = 295 req, 0 power
Total HP/Req = 3.18
Total DPS/Req = 0.12
Cost per reinforce = 9
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's DEFINITELY worth noting slow 90% for 5 seconds Termagant debuff, but it's hard to calculate it's value...
But on the other hand; I didn't account for Power cost in the Termagant efficiency... and 15 power is no small price in Tier1

Okay so aside from having spent power to unlock a (very) useful slowing ability, Termagants seem to be lacking. What about T2?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Termagants with Toxin Sacs + Endless Swarm
Total Cost = 385 req, 30 power
Total HP/req = 1.88
Total DPS/Req = 0,10
Cost per model-reinforce = 8

Guardsmen with Sergeant + Commissar
Total Cost = 380 req, 20 power
Total HP/Req = 2.315
Total DPS/Req = 0.135
Cost per reinforce = 6
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again; it's hard to gage the value of the Crippling Poison, just like it's hard to judge how much the Commissars 26.15 melee DPS will come into play...
Similarly, it's pretty hard to "math-out" how good Commissar's Breaking Retreat execution is...
One thing is clear however; the Crippling Poison is useless in a straight shootout between these two units, which is really all I'm gaging here.

Now I do realize there's one big, gaping hole in my comparison: the Synapse bonus that Tyranids can get.
Basic Synapse (available from Hive Tyrant, or a 300/25 Warrior brood) reduces incoming damage by 20%. This is, of course, a tremendous boost for termagants, but I'll argue that they're still not favored because:
  1. Warrior Broods cost a heavy 300 req and 25 power to field; and are initially melee. Meaning they could get split from your Termagants.
  2. Synapse backlash. So whenever a Warrior (or Tyrant) goes down, all 'nids in a radius 25 lose 14% of their max HP (!), and get weapon-knockbacked.
  3. With the Commissar or Lord General, Guardsmen will tend to be buffed up as well - whether it's sacrificing 1 model to get +100% damage, or getting 30% firing rate/ranged-damage reduction/etc.

Ranged Synapse from the Venom Brood is another good bonus - but again; it requires fielding a T2 unit which is actually designed to be Anti-vehicle. And it adds another Synapse Backlash domino-effect to your ranged blob.
Another point worth making is that, while all tyranids have natural health regen, there is no repair function. So your Termagants won't be able to quick heal up your carnifexes, and you won't be able to help repair allied vehicles in team games (that Land Raider sitting on 5% HP will have to take care of itself!)

Summary:
I'm probably missing a lot, and I am a noob. But it seems to be that Termagants simply don't measure up to Guardsmen - I don't know if their upgrades are poorly priced, or if I'm underestimating buffs, or if Synapse backlash is really just too hard on them.
I'm also worried that Tyranids seem to be the least played faction... and I'm sure there must be a reason somewhere.

TL;DR: I think Guardsmen >>>>> Termagants, and I don't like it.

Woodenplank wrote:But pointing out problems is easy... Finding solutions is hard (especially if you're a noob like me). So here's an outlandish suggestion (feel free to bash)
  1. Give Basic Synapse for Ravener and Lictor Alpha as well (compensate the Hive Tyrant some other way, so he'll still feel unique, dunno)
  2. Adjust Wargear for those two Heroes. I.e. Lictor's "Lone Hunter" removes the Synapse bonus, Ravener's "Damage Synapse" could be reworked to "improves basic synapse to increase damage..." and so on.
  3. Possibly reduce the bonuses of Synapse, and then make Synapse Backlash less damning (less damage, smaller knockback radius, etc.)


P.S. Also worth noting: Despite having 25 more HP/model, Guardsmen reward only 3 Red per kill, as opposed to 6/kill for Termagants
Last edited by Woodenplank on Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Torpid
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Torpid » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 11:39 pm

Honestly, stop being concerned about such things and learn how to beat IG with tyranids.

You are forgetting that synapse gives termagants 20% damage resistance, an effective hp boost.

Also guardsmen are designed to beat ay other t1 ranged squad without aoe attacks in terms of cost to cost. This is because the IG race as a whole has no dedicated t1 melee and no jump units in t1 which leaves them with quite a few holes in their comps that really theii higher basic cost efficiency justifies.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Black Relic » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 12:36 am

The OP mentioned that its hard to gauge how much crippling poison is in accordance to cost. I think that's a flawed why to try and ascertain the effectiveness of an ability.

What does the ability do? I don't mean its description only though. You mentioned is slows a target for 5 seconds. But as a player how do you make use of the ability? Well you mainly can use it to stop melee right? That makes 2 termaguants with toxic sacks your built in anti-melee unit since their dps t1 is to joke considering that ability and the support from synapse. What else? You can use it on an enemy that is trying to back off if they started their retreat to soon. Since it is slow you can use it to help hit good AoE abilities or projectile abilities more effectively. Examples are Barbed Stanglers (which crippling poison can also help to defend them if a unit is trying to tie them up) and Bio-Plasma. Could also be used to allow the Zonthrobe to get better hits off (especially if you can use ground attack command effectively). There are more uses with termagaunts and thus more versatile and imo offer more to the tyranids roster. Their red cost could be lowered to 5 imo though.

GMs are your front line damage unit and repair. They are the IGs Backbone and more (include what torpid said here). The only thing I don't like is how little the serg costs but even a 5 req increase is actually a big deal believe it of not. I tired that in my mod and I got frustrated about that cost after 3or 4 games playing a buddy of mine. Atm GMs are unit that IG need to perform at all. Without them you cannot play IG. I don't like that. But that is how they are designed. Not that they were designed well by Relic anyway. I mean they made Catchans literally impossible to kill AND were one of the best unit in t1by far because?? "Relic" and that's the only answer.
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Broodwich
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Broodwich » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 3:46 am

termas are supposed to counter melee units, hormas are supposed to counter ranged units. hormas are high speed and dps, but have very low melee skill, so for the most part you dont want to get them into melee with other dedicated melee units (unless they are under synapse)
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Rostam » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 7:59 am

you gotta rely more on things like barbed warriors and especailly raveners (mb both at the same time)
instead of relying on termigants (although 3x termigants might work if you have support for them)
and in t2 vs IG zoan thrope do the job.

I see some interesting info here,ty for that but I think you gotta learn how to counter IG in t1 without getting concerned too much with GM v Gant :)
btw i think most the worst problem for nids in this mu is t3 tbh nids really struggle vs ig there

PS: nice to see some nid talk!!!
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Woodenplank » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 12:35 pm

I think I've been misconstrued a bit. I wasn't actually saying "I can't beat IG when I play Tyranids". What I meant to say is:
When I play Tyranids I can't really beat anything (my Termagants get out-shot)
When I play IG I can win much more often (my Guardsmen win ranged fights)

I know I made a point of how Crippling Poison is useless in a Termagant vs. Guardsmen, and I think that was a confusing point to make. Sorry.

But the whole Synapse/Zoan support actually just reinforces my point; namely that Termagants need a Synapse unit (which cost Power) to out-perform Guardsmen - but aside from the extra cost to field the new unit, it also comes with the liability of the devastating Synapse Backlash effect.

Whereas Guardsmen can perform top-notch on their own (i.e. don't need Synapse/extra units around), and only become stronger when you have a Lord General or Commissar buffing them up. Guardsmen are all about die-last leaders; so there's no "sudden morale drop," or knockback and lose 14% of your health when a leader goes down or something like that.

(I'm not saying Crippling poison is worthless btw, it's an execellent ability. A Space Marine Force Commander becomes virtually useless when trying to engage 2xToxin Sac Termagants - but the Imperial Guard can get similar results from a Sentinel Ground Pound)
Last edited by Woodenplank on Wed 25 Jul, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Nurland » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 1:00 pm

As already pointed out, GM are a ranged superiority squad, Termagaunts are not, hence they are not as cost effective against other ranged squads. They are decent enough though and melee is what they deal with the best. Crippling poison and bursty damage (makes kiting, stopping, shooting and kiting again easier).

Synapse is an essential part of Tyranid faction design. If you want Nid units to have a synapse level performance without synapse, then you need to give some numbers and ideas on how to make it happen and how it affects different match ups and internal balance of Nids. It would essentially be an entire redesign of a faction.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Woodenplank » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 1:56 pm

Nurland wrote:As already pointed out, GM are a ranged superiority squad, Termagaunts are not, hence they are not as cost effective against other ranged squads. They are decent enough though and melee is what they deal with the best. Crippling poison and bursty damage (makes kiting, stopping, shooting and kiting again easier).

And indeed they do that better than Guardsmen (Guardsmen without Sentinel support that is). But sometimes you're gonna face DAs and Rangers, or just 2xGuardsmen+LG+Sentinel, and you'll get out-shot. A lot.

Nurland wrote:Synapse is an essential part of Tyranid faction design. If you want Nid units to have a synapse level performance without synapse, then you need to give some numbers and ideas on how to make it happen and how it affects different match ups and internal balance of Nids. It would essentially be an entire redesign of a faction.

I just personally don't like the dependancy on Synapse. It means that, unless you play Hive Tyrant, you're forced into buying certain units just for a single ability, even if you don't generally want them.
For instance if you're playing Ravener Alpha, and going for a "ranged blob" trying to dish out the most Piercing damage, you'd typically want Raveners (who have amazing Piercing DPS, on top of setup-team countering). But then you'd find yourself without Synapse, and you feel forced into a 300/25 Warrior Brood - who are melee! And then you'd have to invest another 50/25 to get Barbed Strangler, if you really wanted them to be kept at range.
Or, come T2, I might feel the need for Gene Stealers or a Tyrant Guard - but still find myself pushed towards Venom Brood for the Synapse, despite them being an AV squad that wouldn't do much good for my army elsewise.

There's also the issue of Synapse Backlash's huge liability. Termagants/Hormagants take 14% max health damage, and get knocked down. It's even worse with Gene Stealers who lose 18% (!) of their max HP every time a nearby Warrior drops - and that's on top of the knockback of entire squads.
If your enemy knows to target Warriors, then Synapse creatures can easily become a death trap, rather than a bonus for your army.


But pointing out problems is easy... Finding solutions is hard (especially if you're a noob like me). So here's an outlandish suggestion (feel free to bash)
  1. Give Basic Synapse for Ravener and Lictor Alpha as well (compensate the Hive Tyrant some other way, so he'll still feel unique, dunno)
  2. Adjust Wargear for those two Heroes. I.e. Lictor's "Lone Hunter" removes the Synapse bonus, Ravener's "Damage Synapse" could be reworked to "improves basic synapse to increase damage..." and so on.
  3. Possibly reduce the bonuses of Synapse, and then make Synapse Backlash less damning (less damage, smaller knockback radius, etc.)
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Forestradio » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 2:18 pm

Woodenplank wrote:Whereas Guardsmen can perform top-notch on their own
lol
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Woodenplank » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 2:27 pm

Forestradio wrote:
Woodenplank wrote:Whereas Guardsmen can perform top-notch on their own
lol

Yeah that came out wrong. I meant they don't need Synapse, or similar buffs from other units (A Lord General helps, but he's obviously not mandatory in the way Synapse is)
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Nurland » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 2:46 pm

I mean if you face DAs + Rangers or LG + Sent + GM your Terma only blob should get outshot. There is no problem there.

Termas are not a ranged superiority unit. They do not counter other ranged units without support. Termas are countered with ranged firepower.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Crewfinity » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 10:44 pm

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you should be posting this in the strategy section rather than the balance section - you're struggling in a particular matchup and dont have a full understanding on why you have more trouble with nids.

You did a nice analysis of their base statistics and characteristics, but rather than assuming that is the end-all-be-all and requesting some balance changes based on that, you should outline your feelings in the strategy section and gather some feedback from more experienced players! We would be happy to explain the ins and outs of why termagaunts are inferior to GM in a straight up firefight, alternative strategies that nids have to counter IG, and overall details on that matchup and those races :)

But when you post in the balance section without a full understanding of the units and matchup, it tends to get more confrontational responses as we explain why those are bad balance requests, and shoot down your thoughts and ideas rather than supporting you with alternative viewpoints on strategies!

I don't want to discourage you from posting or coming to your own conclusions in any way, but I think you should make posts in the strategy section first to gain more information and feedback from other players, and then posting in the balance section if you still feel strongly that something needs to be changed :)
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Rostam » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 11:16 pm

...
Last edited by Rostam on Thu 26 Jul, 2018 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Codex » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 10:21 am

Forestradio wrote:
Woodenplank wrote:Whereas Guardsmen can perform top-notch on their own
lol


Guys the rules are very clear.

If you don't have a valuable post to add, don't post it. If you want to argue a point, make it and justify it.

Rostam wrote:Agreed
thread better be moved there


This is backseat moderation. First warning for both of you.

Follow the rules if you want to post in the balance section. Thank you.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Woodenplank » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:23 pm

Crewfinity wrote:you're struggling in a particular matchup


I am not struggling in a particular matchup. I compared IG to Termagants because I felt the units were similar (I'm beginning to see that I'm wrong on that account), and follow similar army composion (2x Termagants + Hormas --- 2x Guardsmen + Sentinel).
I'm stating that my IG play (against any race) is far more succesful than my Tyranid play (against any race).

Any way, I thought it belonged in Balance section because I was comparing the raw stats of opposing units, and not exactly asking for advice on how to use them (which I probably should've first, but that's a different issue).
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby Dullahan » Fri 10 Aug, 2018 11:38 am

Comparing units in a vacuum is often misleading.

The armies around them are very different.

I'm not a fan of 2x termagant builds either. 2x Hormagaunt with a tactical termagant for snare works a lot better for me.
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Re: Termagants vs. Guardsmen

Postby lolzarz » Thu 04 Oct, 2018 2:09 am

Guardsmen should be better than termagants in ranged combat because the Imperial Guard is a shooty army. Blasting the enemy off the field in a hail of fire is kind of what the Imperial Guard does. What kind of balance would it be when the Tyranids have the same ranged firepower as the Imperial Guard while also having massive close combat advantages in comparison?
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