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40k: X vs Y – Tyranid Genestealer vs Tyranid Ravener

4 Minute Read
May 13 2012

Mercer from here. I’ve always liked the gibbly Genestealer and the cool customer, the Ravener. The updated Ravener models are particularly cool. So what’s best, the sneaky one who likes to steal your jeans of that slippery snake fella? Time to find out!


So this guy is apparently the ultimate close combat unit in Warhammer 40,000. To make this animal badass in combat it’s got WS6, I6 along with rending claws, nasty eh? It’s also as strong and as tough as a Space Marine which is pretty handy, but it’s armour save is a bit pants.

As mentioned, the Genestealer has got rending claws which is nasty, but it’s also got brood telepathy which means it doesn’t need synapse which is a huge benefit. Best of all it has infiltrate, which means it can outflank and jump straight into assault, if possible. All of this and the above costs 14 points.

You can make the Genestealer better by taking various bio-morphs. Scything talons give re-roll 1’s in combat, not too bad for 2 points a model. You can take adrenal glands for furious charge, but the Stealer is fast enough already so is it worth just the +1 strength upgrade? What is probably the best upgrade is toxin sacs, these let the ‘Stealers wound on a 4+ against infantry which is cool against monstrous creatures etc, but best thing is because toxin sacs have the poison special rule the Genestealer can re-roll to wound if it’s strength is equal or higher to the enemy models toughness; that means more rending wounds 😉 . 


The Genestealers can take a Broodlord upgrade which is a “super” Stealer. This costs 46 points plus a Genestealer so costing about four ‘Stealers in total. What you get is pretty much +1 to all the Genestealers stats, except some do get a +2 as well. What the Broodlord does have is two psychic powers; aura of despair and hypnotic gaze. The former gives -1 to all enemy leaderships within 12″ and the former works in close combat, a model in base to base contact has a D6 + leadership roll off with the Broodlord and if the enemy model fails then it cannot attack. Both powers are pretty cool, and aura of despair is stackable with multiple Broodlords, though I don’t think it’s worth four Genestealers.


Ah the Ravener, I love these fellas. They cost the same points as a Warrior and have pretty much the same profile just the only difference is LD6 and they’re not synapse creatures. One extra thing they do have over Warriors is the +1 initiative (I5) but they do have 5+ armour save instead, which isn’t all that great.

The Ravener gets two sets of scything talons included which allows it to re-roll to hit, nice. It also has acute senses which is a bit meh, they can also deep strike which is meh, but best of all they have move through cover and are beasts. As you should all know, beasts have fleet and when assaulting through cover they double the distance, these guys could have up to a 24″ assault range! The Ravener also has move through cover btw 😉


Raveners don’t have much for upgrades, though looking at it’s the same amount roughly as the Genestealers. You can get rending claws which are a bargain and make Raveners really nasty. You can get ranged fire power which really isn’t that good because Raveners are made for speed and combat, and if you fire those weapons then no running, which means no long assault distance.


I think I’m going to have to go with the Genestealer on this one. In combat it’s slightly better though both units would probably hit on a 3+, but the Stealer is slightly quicker which means units with furious charge will still go after it (Blood Angels I’m looking at you). Having it’s own unit synapse, being a troop choice and having infiltrate is a massive bonus for the Genestealer.

Raveners are pretty cool, though with a very good assault range and more attacks, but the low leadership level means if they’re out of synapse range they can run off easily if they lose combat, especially if one or two get blown to pieces by a power fist. Keep them in synapse they are fearless, which can also be a pickle itself, this is another bonus the ‘Stealer has over the Ravener. 

Anyone out there have cool lists that are Stealer or Ravenor heavy?  What your tips and tricks for them?

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