As I test my Hive Fleet Kraken deck against Gregory’s Chaos deck, I’ve been regularly swapping units in and out in an attempt to find the right balance of cards to make the deck run consistently. Genogants is one of the units I’ve recently tried and with which I’ve had some success.
Printed in Invasion: Verdicon, Genogants is a fairly unassuming Tyranid swarm unit with middling stats and a command line that, while quite useful, requires a fairly difficult test to pass. The key feature of Genogants, however, is its ability to charge after setup, if you have a Synapse Creature at the sector.
Considering the Hive Fleet Kraken fleet card was released in the same set as Genogants, it stands to reason that you’ll want to be playing a decent number of Synapse Creatures to take consistent advantage of both the fleet ability and of Genogants’ charge ability (although I’m still figuring out the correct number, 20+ Synapse Creatures seems to be a reasonable baseline).
What Genogants offers is tempo: in the “I go, you go” rhythm of 40K CCG’s sector battles, tempo is what allows you to gain an edge on your opponent. By sneaking in additional actions, whether it be through extra BAs or through reactions that let you charge, rally, or assault for “free”, you enact your game plan much more quickly, leaving your opponent less time to respond, and fewer units with which to respond.
How does this apply to Tyranids? As an assault-based army, it doesn’t have as many options when it comes to shooting units. Shooting units are necessary to support your assault units: if you walk into a sector with only assault units, you’re likely to get shot off the table without doing any damage at all.
Thus, with access to fewer shooting units, you need ways to “speed up” your assault units. Troop capacity units are a common way of gaining tempo when charging; reaction-based charging is another option. Then we come to setup triggers like with Genogants.
Although your opponent can react to the Genogants’ pre-battle charge, the upside is well worth it. Having access to an unblockable 3 damage as your first BA can sidestep many messy situations, such as destroying your opponent’s Bunker Complex or Bloodletters before they wreak havoc at a sector. If you manage to stack multiple Genogants at a sector, you’ve essentially taken 2+ extra BAs before the battle has even started, giving you the means to remove key threats with potentially sector-winning assaults.
Other races have access to similar abilities, namely Imperial Guard with their Cadian Chimera and Blake’s Storm Troopers:
Keep in mind that these units, too, are pretty mediocre on paper – perhaps an indicator that the designers were aware of how strong this ability could potentially be. It is definitely a far cry from the extra BA nonsense of other cards, but a potent ability nonetheless.
As far as its stats on paper, Genogants isn’t really that impressive. However, 3 damage applied with the right speed has the potential to tilt a sector in your favour.