Hey, Tsumugi here.
During this outbreak, I was lucky enough to be trapped in a place where I could play 40K on daily basis. For the past three months, I’ve played about 40-50 games with Tyranid and GSC.
Today I would like to share some of my thought regarding the current status of Tyranid in 2020.
So let’s talk about the good ol’Stealer slingshot. I know this might raise some eyebrows, as the slingshot tactic has been repeated and explored so many times, but I think the Blood of Baal’s new stratagems actually changes how I look at the slingshot.
In case you are new to Tyranid, here’s how it works. The traditional slingshot tactic involves using a Swarmlord’s Hive Commander ability to allow a Genestealer unit to move again during shooting phase. Combining with their 8″ movement and Kraken’s “3D6 pick the highest result” advance, as well as using Opportunistic Advance in the movement phase* to double their advance roll, you can toss a ‘Stealer squad really far away, like, 30-34″ before charge.
*Keep in mind you cannot pop OA during Hive Commander, only in movement phase.
Now, what I used to do with this trick, is to either
A) Eliminate key unit that is deployed poorly.
B) punch a giant hole in my opponent’s defense line so my Hormagaunts can come through.
Both of these uses are pretty one-dimensional, Genestealer goes in, kills stuff, get killed, done.
While you can (and should) use Pile in and Consolidate to hold enemy unit “hostage”, but it still doesn’t stop your opponent from shooting at the rest of your army. However, with the new Blood of Baal Stratagem “Savage Distraction”, Genestealer’s existence suddenly becomes more interesting.
After successfully killing a unit, you can pop this stratagem. Any enemy unit that is within 6″ of this squad will suffer -1 to their hit roll when they shoot at the rest of your army. Pay close attention to the wording here, it says “…against another unit from your army”. That’s right gentlemen, not only this is not <HIVE FLEET> locked, it will work on any unit from your list, be it Kronos Hive Guard or GSC Neophyte. Combined with the traditional combo (Multi-charge, Overrun, Adrenaline Surge, etc), the possible unit that Genestealer’s Savage Distraction can influence are quite stunning.
Imagine this, an Astra Militarum gunline castle in a tight corner. You slingshot in, kills one of their Guardsmen, then pile in and consolidate into another squad to hold them hostage. Since everything is so tight together, you then pop Savage Distraction. Congrats, now all the AM’s gunline get –1 to hit, and since they cannot shoot at Genestealer that’s holding hostage, they can only eat the modifier and shoot with their 5+ BS (even 6+, if you got Venom/Malanthrope in the back).
I must say though, this new type of slingshot need quite a bit of tactical fineness and experience to pull off. On paper it seems easy enough, but in reality, there are a lot of factor you need to consider. For instance, which unit to charge? which unit to hold hostage? Do you pop Adrenaline Surge or Overrun? What enemy unit(s) you are trying to apply the –1 to hit to? Is there any character that can heroic intervene? The list goes on.
My biggest takeaway here, is that Slingshot is no longer a shoot and forget action you perform without thinking and planning. Learning to read the formation of your opponent’s deployment, set up a plan to penetrate, extend your Genestealer so you can get the most use of your Savage Distraction.
That’s it for me today, I hope you’ve learned something or gained new inspiration after reading this. Thanks again to Hostile Galaxy for sharing this, I will continue to share my insights on Tyranid from time to time.
From the Hostile Galaxy Team: Special thanks to Tsumugi for the article today! He posts frequently on social media and has some very helpful videos on his YouTube account. Be sure to check him out! And if you enjoy articles like this one, please consider becoming a Citizen of the Hostile Galaxy at this link to support us and all our friends who contribute here! Thanks again!