40K: Genestealers Infiltration Inbound

Codex: Tyranids is on the prowl and the Genestealers are leading the way…

We’ve our hands on the new Tyranid Codex (it’s soooo good) and we’re going to be covering it all next week! But to showcase some of the changes we’re taking a quick peek at a long-time fan favorite: The Genestealers!

The Genestealers are back and they are bringing some new toys with them. For comparison sake, here’s their Index Entry:

As you can see, they have quite a few more options and rules. They have a couple of new weapon options in the form of Acid Maw and Flesh Hooks. Giving them a Ranged Attack is interesting and seems to fit with some of the old lore. The Acid Maw option means that 1 in every 4 models can come with an attack that is just better at reliably getting through armor.

Extended Carapaces is also interesting as it grants Genestealers the option to stay in their current form as a sleek, quick striker or to bulk-up and get a better armor save. With the right Hive Fleet Adaptation, you could have Genestealers running around with what amounts to a 3+ save…

The big block of text is their new Infestation ability. During your deployment you can place up to 4 infestation nodes anywhere in your deployment zone. You can then opt to deploy your Genestealers “lurking” – they are off the board. At the end of any of your movement phases you can deploy your lurking Genestealers wholly within 6″ of one of the nodes. That node is then removed from the game. However, if an enemy unit ever gets within 9″ of a node it is immediately destroyed and removed from the game. If all your nodes are destroyed before the Genestealers deploy, they are considered destroyed.

It’s risky – but it does prevent them from getting shot off the board in one turn. And the nodes can’t be shot to be destroyed; the enemy will have to commit to moving with 9″ of them. That might put them in a very risky position. On top of that, there is a stratagem named “Call the Brood” that also takes advantage of these nodes. It might be worth it to take a unit of 5 just to play shell games with your opponent. The Hive Mind wages war on many fronts…


What do you think of the new and improved Genestealers? Are you going to give the Infestation deployment option a shot? How about the Extended Carapace?

  • Mario Caronna

    Today i will take a look to my old 1500pt tyr army case… Let see how many of this bugs i have 😉

  • Heinz Fiction

    The infestation nodes only help the Stealers to avoid getting shot if you want to keep them in reserve as a countercharge unit. If you want them to cross the table they give you no benefit. However that rules enables the unit to use the “Pheromone Trail” stratagem which allows to deploy them midfield together with a Lictor.

    • Wampasaurus

      Actually you can use them to move up the field, albeit slower than a normal move for them, because the Infestation Node states you may set up the unit wholly within 6″ of the Node. It does not state they need to be deployed within your Deployment Zone.Therefore you can deploy a Node at the front of your Deployment Zone and then at the end of your movement phase set them up 6″ further up the field towards your enemies. Is it ideal? No not entirely, but it beats getting a unit shot off the table top of turn 1.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Yeah but you can’t move afterwards. Maybe you could still assault in your second turn with this 6″ extra but it’s less likely as if you made a regular move of 8+D6…

        • Wampasaurus

          Yes that was implied, but perhaps not stated well enough, when I suggested that it was not ideal.

          As a side note, this special ability will clearly need a Day 1 FAQ on it. Questions will abound. Do these (up to) 4 Infestation Nodes count during Deployment for purposes of who goes first in the game i.e. Do these count as a deployment or are they made at the beginning, end or anywhere in between? Do they count for purposes of scoring? After all they get destroyed when an enemy unit gets within 9″ of them.

          • Heinz Fiction

            Good questions indeed. Probably would have been better to give them some variation of infiltrate (if necessary with more minimum distance to the enemy and/or for small units only)

      • Bootneck

        I don’t see any point in the nodes tbh. Tyranids always suffer the same age old problem – having to run across the board and get shot to bits before you start.

        Theres only really two effective deployment methods imo for stealers 1. Tranocyte 2. Trygon.

        Gives you potentail for 1st turn charge, or you can spend 2 – 3 turns chasing the enemy down to try and engage them.

        The only purpose it serves is if your using them to guard your back field which itself is a daft idea as there better units suited to that.

    • clbenarius

      I should think its great for disrupting nme lines. Place 1 node in the back field for safety and the others in between nme and u. Force him to come towards you and be (counter) charged quicker or stay back and allow stealers to move forward with a round of shooting less.

  • Loan

    Good questions indeed. Probably would have been better to give them some variation of infiltrate (if necessary with more minimum distance to the enemy and/or for small units only)

  • memitchell

    Infestation seems to have more to do with having something to do with the Infestation Nodes that come with the Genestealers sprue, than an obvious gaming purpose. For a unit that can move + charge from 11″ to 26″ (18″ average), not counting up to two Strategem re-rolls, set up in Reserve is probably superfluous (unless there is no LOS blocking terrain, which is dumb). Even as a backfield counter-charge unit. Plus, the disappearing Node rule has an element of risk. And, keeps pop out Genestealers from becoming too threatening.

    About Acid Maw and Flash Hooks…Worth taking if they were free or very cheap. But, a 1-in-4 GS ranged attack or an extra -1 AP is only OK-ish, at best? Extended Carapace is useful, but not so much at the expense of Swift and Deadly.

    It seems the designers don’t have a solid grasp on the capabilites of Genestealers. It’s like the designers think Genestealers are as good in V8 as they were in V2. Genestealer Cult Genestealers have had two FAQ points adjustments to “pay” for the privilege of rolling on a crappy Ambush table. Again, with an average 18″ charge, not counting re-rolls, why bother? A unit of 10 GS’s can’t reliably wipe out an IG squad of 10. And, if they do, they die to the next turn’s shooting phase. They are good. But, not so good that every advantage needs a counter-balance.

  • Rob brown

    The nodes can work when you’re fighting highly shooty armies have a have a habit of shooting you off the board first turn or deep striking in close to take out your big bugs e.g scions, vets etc.

    There is no roll stating the stealers have to be deployed outside 9” of the enemy so you could potentially protect your back line with one reserve unit. When deploying just place each node 1” within a unit of gaunts so deep strikers can’t wipe them out when they deploy.

    The worst thing that happens is you win first turn and are an average of 4” further back than if you started on the board. Or use a stratagem if you want them further forward that turn. Worth it for the flexibility of deploying the unit.

    • memitchell

      Yeah, the Nodes aren’t useless-ish . Or, you don’t bother. That’s my point. Infestation is one LONG, multi-part rule that accomplishes not a lot. It’s just that everything they give to Genestealers is balanced by something they take away.

      • Rob brown

        Rightly so, as infestation nodes don’t cost points so it seems right that there be a cost in action to use them.

        That said the very act of having flexibility is by definition and extra benefit even if each option comes with a cost.

    • Simon Bates

      You’re right about the absence of the 9″ limitation. The node itself can’t survive being within 9″ of the enemy, but the ‘stealers can deploy within 6″ of the Node and so could theoretically be as close as 4″. That gives the Node a reliable threat range of at least 13″, and puts any enemy units within 18″ at some risk, especially if you’re playing Behemoth. It also synergises somewhat with Extended Carapace, as your unit may be more concerned about Overwatch fire than moving fast.

      There’s some risks here but if you put one or two of your nodes in fairly secure locations and the other two or three in more threatening locations you could get a fair bit of mileage out of one or two small squads.