The Xenos armies of Warhammer 40,000 have a lot to bring to the table. But there are more units below the surface waiting for their chance to shine. Let’s chat.
Yesterday we took a good look at the Sleeper Units of the Imperium. Now we’re going to dive into the Xenos races of 40k and see if we can’t find some gems in the units that have been passed over. Again, we’re only looking at units that we think are actually good but don’t get used often enough – there are plenty of “known” units around. We want to shed some light on the units that can bring the pain but don’t get brought.
Now, before we dive in – we’re probably not going to cover every single unit – there are just too many to go over in one article. But if you’ve got a Sleeper Unit for your Xenos army feel free to drop it in the comments below to help educate the masses!
T’au – Mass Firewarriors
Everyone knows that T’au S’uits and D’ro’nes are where it’s at. But take a step back at look at the humble Firewarrior. Decent shooting stats, powerful weapon (for a basic trooper) with good range, and relatively cheap. If you take a ton of Firewarriors, you WILL pummel an opponent with overwhelming firepower. Bullets – you’re going to use a lot of them.
Necrons – Destroyers
These units are tough, fast, can fly, and can pump out a lot of shots. They are a tad expensive but they are a complete package so we think they are worth the price. But what really sets them over the edge is Extermination Protocols:
Re-rolling to hit and wound for a unit that can pump out the damage for 1 CP is pretty good. You can try to hide, but you can’t out run these terminators of life!
Tyranids – Zoanthropes
Yeah, I know. “But Smite got a bit of a nerf…” Yes, that hurt the Zoans, but you can still take a ton of them on the table. Plus, the more you take better those Smites get. And let’s not forget that sweet, sweet 3+ invulnerable save. They can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag but they can tie-up a killy-unit for a round. I’ve done it on multiple occasions only to have them smite that unit away on the next psychic phase.
And then there is Psychic Barrage:
It’s 1 CP and it will shock your opponent. It takes some setup but if you EVER see a ball of Zoanthropes floating your way, you better be aware this is a thing they can do. That’s why they are a perfect sleeper unit. (And your Flyrants can still use Smite without the -1s that turn, teehee!)
Eldar – Swooping Hawks
Between their Movement shenanigans, grenade trick, and the ton of shots these units can generate, we just don’t know why this unit doesn’t show up more. Maybe it’s because the models are a pain to build and the old metal ones are just that – old and metal. Sure they can die to a stiff breeze, but what in the Eldar army that’s not a Wraith construct or vehicle doesn’t? They are still a Sleeper Unit in a codex filled with tons of other options.
Orks – Mek Gunz
Due to some funky rules interactions, it’s possible to position this unit in a way that will truly infuriate your opponent. You can’t shoot the grots unless they are the closest and the guns are tough to deal with. You can also split these up to make them even more of a pain to shoot at – you’re left with getting bombarded by these all game or you have to commit to killing them instead of the impending Ork Horde.
Drukhari – Talos w/Haywire Blasters
The Talos Horde is a rare sight. But when you do see them you should be just a *tad* concerned. With double Haywire blasters they can pump out the shots that can damage vehicles and they can tear units up in close combat, too. They aren’t exactly easy to deal with thanks to their T6, 5+ invulnerable save, and access to Power from Pain. They are a well rounded threatening unit, so why don’t we see them more often? Beats me – but that’s why they are a Sleeper Unit.
Harlequins – Skyweavers w/Haywire Cannons
It’s debatable that everything in the Harlequin Codex is either a Sleeper Unit or a “Known” unit. But we are solitarily singling out the Skyweavers. They are fast and deadly to vehicles and light infantry alike. They generate a -1 to be hit, have a 4+ invulnerable save, and have all the advance/charge/fallback/shoot tricks in the game. You can’t really pin this unit down (they fly, too) and are just generally a pain in the butt to deal with. If you see a unit of them, prepare to be peppered with Haywire shots and then assaulted for the finishing blow.
That’s our list for the Xenos Armies – there are tons more for sure! So share your favorite sleepers (Rippers anyone?) in the comments below!