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Genestealers OP?


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#1 GMGM

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

So I'm running the first mission of The Emperor Protects at the moment and it looks like the kill-team will soon be getting up close and personal with some genestealers. However, looking over the stats it seems to me as though they are horribly overpowered. With the stats given in the book they each have 2 80% dodges per turn. When you factor in the -20 to hit from hard target it really seems a little ridiculous. I've got no problem with the ungodly amount of damage they do, they are stealers after all. However from what I can see it looks as though a single genestealer running in a straight line at a battle brother across an open field has a very good chance of getting around all his fire, matrix style, and tearing him apart, I don't think it's supposed to work like that.

 

On the other hand, a horde of genestealers, not having access to dodge, will fall like so much wheat before the scythe.

 

Has anybody come up with more usable stats? However I run this encounter it looks like it will be unsatisfying. Either the Kill-team gets raped by 5 or 6 individual genestealers or I throw a horde at them and watch the heavy bolter cut it down in one or two rounds. Plus it just seems silly for them to be so much more formidable when not in a horde.



#2 ak-73

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:28 PM

So I'm running the first mission of The Emperor Protects at the moment and it looks like the kill-team will soon be getting up close and personal with some genestealers. However, looking over the stats it seems to me as though they are horribly overpowered. With the stats given in the book they each have 2 80% dodges per turn. When you factor in the -20 to hit from hard target it really seems a little ridiculous. I've got no problem with the ungodly amount of damage they do, they are stealers after all. However from what I can see it looks as though a single genestealer running in a straight line at a battle brother across an open field has a very good chance of getting around all his fire, matrix style, and tearing him apart, I don't think it's supposed to work like that.

 

On the other hand, a horde of genestealers, not having access to dodge, will fall like so much wheat before the scythe.

 

Has anybody come up with more usable stats? However I run this encounter it looks like it will be unsatisfying. Either the Kill-team gets raped by 5 or 6 individual genestealers or I throw a horde at them and watch the heavy bolter cut it down in one or two rounds. Plus it just seems silly for them to be so much more formidable when not in a horde.

 

The stats are like that, whether in TEP or elsewhere. I had to reduce damage by 1d10 for Final Sanction because my players were inexperienced. Flamers and particularly lots of fully automatic fire can help, also frags, I guess. But yeah, it's tough. Remember players to spent fate to heal 1d10 on the spot. Also remember players of Killing Strike. Smite from the Core Rulebook can also help.

 

Consider this: they are probably the foremost melee threat of the galaxy (at least in that size category). They can shred terminators in melee. The smart way is to not give them a fair fight. To delay their arrival, to fire at them from the air or elevated positions if possible, etc. Resolving an encounter easily can feel very rewarding when you know that the alternative would have been a very deadly encounter. It can make the players feel (rightfully) smart.

 

Anyway, if your players long for challenging combat... well, I would give the horde Hard To Hit also. That should mitigate the difference in power levels between hordes and individuals at least a bit. And them not having Dodge as horde means that there are enough in close proximity that you always hit something.
You should also ask yourself this question: 5 or 6 Genestealers... do they translate into a magnitude of... 10? 20? 30? 40? If you choose the appropriate narrative translation, players won't realize the difference between horde and individual rules so much.

 

Alex

 

PS Yes, horde rules in general dont work well on elite level enemies. That's a misconception of the mission here. My suggestion would be allow the players to disperse a huge Genestealer horde easily. But then they have to go in and clear out any remaining, dispersed elements which will lead to successive combat against small, manageable groups of Genestealers.



#3 Adeptus-B

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:24 PM

I used genestealers in the first mission I ran. I thought their DW stats were a bit too beefy to throw at inexperienced characters, so I used the slightly toned down ones from the Dark Heresy sourcebook Creatures Anathema. The PCs mowed genestealers down at range, but once they closed to melee it was a tough fight, and one PC ended up burining a Fate point...



#4 GMGM

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:15 PM

I get that they're meant to wreck face in melee, but I'm pretty sure you're meant to be able to shoot them. Between the -20 to hit and the 2 80% dodges per turn each, you'll need at least three or four battle brothers concentrating fire on a single genestealer in order to kill it before it closes. Really you're chancing it a bit with less than five.

 

I think I will probably use the weaker versions from Creatures Anathema, the lessened agility alone effectively doubles the chance that hits will actually connect, though they do have unnatural toughness. Also toughness works as defence for hordes, unlike dodging, which should lessen the power difference there as well.



#5 Avdnm

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:42 AM

Supressive fire and autofire will do a lot to them. Even with 80% dodge, an autofire hit(+20) from a heavy bolter will hurt them quite good. Even more if you take your time to aim(+20) and let them come closer(at least +10 for range). That makes up the -20 in no time... with a good shot, you might even kill two of them if they are close enough to each other. I won't even bother talking about smiting genestealers...

 

Besides, once my KT developed some tactics against Genestealers they are not close to as much of a threat to the KT as I would like them to. By now, I try to get them into close combat instantly because otherwise they don't have much chance to get into close combat with the KT at all :/


Edited by Avdnm, 12 February 2014 - 02:49 AM.


#6 musungu

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:54 AM

The horde / cleanup combo sounds good. Players eventually have to learn that letting a Genestealer close is a very bad idea, you have to keep the combat shooty to stand a chance - you might even throw in an NPC and let them get him first, to illustrate the point. The proposed scenario sounds like a good tutorial for basic combat tactics, new players could benefit from it.

Edit: Huhh, censored. Well, English is not my first language.


Edited by musungu, 12 February 2014 - 07:56 AM.


#7 Visitor Q

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:57 AM

Personally I think genestealers should be that deadly.  I'm pretty sure I remember reading that stealers are the main reason that Astartes now explore space hulks in Terminator armour where possible.

 

Your PCs should be using flame weapons, full auto and maximum use of auspexes so that they don't get into close combat.

 

The Astartes don't feel fear but the players do and they should fear genestealers.


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#8 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:06 PM

In TT, Genestealers are really not that deadly.

 

If they close to melee combat they can churn out reasonable damage, but they are quite squishy.



#9 Bwrighnar

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:15 PM

Las time I played tabletop, it was called Rogue Trader.



#10 ak-73

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:49 PM

In TT, Genestealers are really not that deadly.

 

If they close to melee combat they can churn out reasonable damage, but they are quite squishy.

 

The fact that they are squishy gets overridden by the likelihood that there are hardly any enemies left to strike back after they have attacked on I6. In 5E, they were very deadly on the charge. Better bring Thunderhammer & Storm Shield.

 

Alex



#11 Adeptus-B

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:05 PM

-And don't forget, genestealers in the TT can set up in charge range! If I only wanted to win and didn't care about making a colorful, interesting army, I'd go all genestealers, with a Broodlord as the obligatory HQ. Seriously, what could stand up to that?!



#12 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 10:13 AM

 

In TT, Genestealers are really not that deadly.

 

If they close to melee combat they can churn out reasonable damage, but they are quite squishy.

 

The fact that they are squishy gets overridden by the likelihood that there are hardly any enemies left to strike back after they have attacked on I6. In 5E, they were very deadly on the charge. Better bring Thunderhammer & Storm Shield.

 

Alex

 

 

Well not really. They have 2 attacks assuming no upgrades, 3 on the chanrge. Against SMs they hit half the time, so that's 1/2. They wound on a 4+, so that's 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4. One-six of those will be  Rending hits... hmmm it should take an average of 4-5 Genestealers to kill a tactical marine on the charge, unless my mental guess-math is off. (?)

 

Anyway Genesteakers really aren't superdeathmachines in TT. Actually Eldar Guardians have about the same damage output, at range.

 

EDIT: Broodlords aren't an HQ unit, and if the Great Internet Debates are to be trusted Genestealers in the current codex are generally considered a bad unit due to inabilty to assault through cover (meaning their high Initiative is worthless).


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 13 February 2014 - 10:16 AM.


#13 ak-73

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

Actually they hit on 3+ (WS 6), wound on 3+ with toxin sacs and rend armour on a 6. It  was quite scary to foot marines. But then again noone foot-slogged marines in 5e. :P

 

Alex



#14 Kshatriya

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:04 PM

Rescale them for errata stats. Increase static bonus a little, remove a d10.

 

They can kill an Astartes in a couple turns. Feature, not bug. They're intentionally glass cannons. If hit they will probably go down in 1-2 hits.


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#15 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 06:39 PM

Actually they hit on 3+ (WS 6), wound on 3+ with toxin sacs and rend armour on a 6. It  was quite scary to foot marines. But then again noone foot-slogged marines in 5e. :P

 

Alex

 

Oh right 3+; it's marines who have a 4+ to hit them. I said with no upgrades, so no toxic sacs. ;)

 

Anyway as far as I can tell from listening in to the conversations of people who actually play TT ;), the general consensus seems to be that genestealers, at least in 6th ed., are "not competitive" (= not playable at tournies) due to a) the lack of anything like assault grenades, which means that when assaulting targets in cover they will always go last and b) you can no longer assault when outflanking, meaning that when they appear from reserve they have to stand around for a turn getting shot at.

 

Not that this is directly relevant to this discussion. ;) Though on thinking about it, the stats in MotX are pretty reflective of the TT, though they should probably have a higher Concealment and Silent Move.



#16 Visitor Q

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 04:55 PM

Of course there's always going to be a certain amount of abstraction in the TT that won't translate 100% into the RPG. 

 

GW will be balancing fluff with the commercial aspect of wanting to sell certain types of models vs others i.e If most Tyranid players have already got Genestealers then making them less competitive encourages them to buy newer figures in the Tyranid range. 

 

I am not saying this has happened (I haven't played against Tyranids in ages so I couldn't comment on their present army) but the 'meta' (is that what people call it these days?) has to be cosndiered when using the TT as a reference for rules in DW.



#17 Lynata

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 06:19 PM

For a long time, Games Workshop has been employing a neat little trick that allows them to largely maintain consistency whilst still being able to subtly influence the perception of a particular army's or unit's capabilities: subjectivity. Did you notice how much of the fluff these days comes to us in the form of propaganda, legends or individual (and thus potentially exceptional) incidents? As a bonus side effect, this also allows the newer studio material to better fit in with the often more detailed interpretations of freelancing novel writers or, as it happens, outsourced RPGs - not always, of course, but a lot of times.

 

Now, personally I like to look towards the TT for orientation, as the studio fluff has been built around it, and it provides a "fair and equal" framework that treats all units the same, eschewing such twisting effects as plot armour or hero bonus. However, I really don't think this was the intention of the designers when making Deathwatch, and so I would be cautious regarding any assumptions regarding a connection between GW 'stealers and the DW version.

If someone were to be interest in recreating an experience closer to the original material, it may well be necessary to start much closer to the basis, rather than with a single enemy type.

 

On a sidenote: Genestealers were brutal in 5th edition, and I have indeed heard from and read about many people running dedicated 'stealer lists. They do not work so good anymore in 6th, mostly because Overwatch now allows charged units to open fire on assaulting enemies before they hit. Supposedly, some people still successfully play them that way from time to time, but most armies are packing sufficient small arms firepower to just decimate them to a point where they're no longer a real threat.

Perhaps a future Codex will turn the tables once more by giving them some sort of special rule to deal with this, reflecting their sneaky nature. Not that any of this would have changed anything about their description, of course. ;)


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#18 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:31 AM

I do not play TT, but I have studied the rules more than is good for me (woe, the vale of tears that is my life).

 

I think the design idea behind the new Genestealers is that they are meant to be used in conjunction with the Broodlord's The Horror power, which will cause units to go to ground and thus allow the Genestealers to advance without much in the way of opposing fire.

 

Again, I don't play TT, but is Overwatch really that big a deal? It's a 1/6 chance; even in RF with bolters range that's 20 attacks, an average of a bit over 3 hits, which will kill about 1.5 Genestealers. That doesn't seem like much. Sure, special weapons, esp. template ones, increase this, but most squads only have a couple of those.

 

EDIT: I actually think most of the Deathwatch stats have been converted from TT on a roughly one to one basis. You can almost work out a formula.


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 16 February 2014 - 05:33 AM.


#19 Lynata

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:43 AM

I think the design idea behind the new Genestealers is that they are meant to be used in conjunction with the Broodlord's The Horror power, which will cause units to go to ground and thus allow the Genestealers to advance without much in the way of opposing fire.

 

The Horror isn't a Broodlord power, but one of the Hive Tyrant's, and it doesn't cause enemy units to go to ground but to break ranks and fall back. I could see it being useful in conjunction with a Genestealer advance, but I think it's meant more for a massed "zergrush".

 

The Broodlord has Aura of Despair and Hypnotic Gaze - both being used in the Assault phase. The former causes the target unit to suffer a morale (Leadership) penalty, whilst the latter basically holds a single model (in base contact with the Broodlord) in a psychic stun.

 

Again, I don't play TT, but is Overwatch really that big a deal? It's a 1/6 chance; even in RF with bolters range that's 20 attacks, an average of a bit over 3 hits, which will kill about 1.5 Genestealers. That doesn't seem like much. Sure, special weapons, esp. template ones, increase this, but most squads only have a couple of those.

 

Well, I'd say not in a single attack, but if you consider that this happens every single Assault, you're bound to suffer way more casualties than in 5th. Even if you completely crush an enemy squad with your 'stealers on the first Assault, you're almost certain to have suffered losses that impact the unit's performance in the next attack, and it only gets worse from there.

 

There's been some more changes in 6th such as Rapid Fire having been buffed, so perhaps it is more a combination of changes - but for Genestealers I'm tempted to say Overwatch was the most prominent one. Someone who actually plays 'nids themselves might be better suited to answer this question in detail, though. :)


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#20 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:29 PM

I say thee nay. The times they are a 'changin'.

 

The Broodlord does have The Horror (indeed, it is its only power) and it does indeed make you go to ground (take a Pinning Test with a penalty). Aura of Despair and Hypnotic Gaze do not exist in 6 ed.

 

(In other words, it means the target can't get away and can only fire snap shots at the oncoming genecritters).

 

None of the Tyrannid psychic powers make you fall back.

 

So anyway I believe the idea is to use the Broodlord to terrify the target, keeping it from either moving or firing effectively, and then closing to melee combat with it.


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 16 February 2014 - 01:45 PM.





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