Image by Jon Sullivan
Making the transition from blip to Genestealer
If you open the rulebook, there's a good bit of real estate devoted to converting and placing Genestealers. I don't think I read the whole thing when I bought my first editon years ago and I certainly didn't pay much attention this time either when I opened my third edition. Aside from a cursory glance, how hard could it be right?
There are reasons Genestealer blips convert and place the way they do
That's correct. But is it really that important? Maybe. What do you get if you follow the rules exactly? We all know the Genestealer player is going to place them to his advantage and the Marine player is going to do the same if given the chance. We came up with an even simpler solution to conversion and placement provided you are the Genestealer player... fair warning, Marines aren't gonna like this.
How we convert and place Genestealers
The Genestealer player does everything. The only thing a Marine player can do is force a blip to convert by having line of sight to it. The Marine player gets to do one tiny thing if a specific situation arises, but that comes later. Actual converting works like normal, the Genestealer player can do it whenever he wants before or after moving and is only forced to convert a blip into Genestealers if it happens to come in line of sight of a Marine.
Placement is pretty much the same... pretty much. No matter why the blip is converted (Genestealer player's choice or mandated due to line of sight), the Genestealer player places all the Genestealers. The first Genestealer going on the square that the blip occupied and any additional Genestealers are placed in any free adjacent square and they can face any direction they want.
The Marine player does not place Genestealers... except with one tiny exception
We found that there were times when the Genestealer player would convert a blip and there weren't enough free adjacent spaces to place all the Genestealers. Normally those Genestealers would be "lost" and wouldn't be placed on the board. Hmmmmm.
That seemed like a small way to game the game so we decided to change what happens to the "lost" Genestealers. Instead of them being "lost," the Marine player gets to place them as close as possible to the original conversion point. How lucky is that! Those extra Genestealers make it into the game and they aren't lost! The Marine player even gets to choose which way those particular Genestealers face when they are placed on the board.
So what's the end result of this?
We've found that as the Genestealer player, you're no longer worried about how far apart your blips need to be kept and you can "flood" hallways with an oncoming rush of Genestealers. You can play with more of a hive mind mentality and not concern yourself with every single Genestealer and if they'll have enough room when you convert your blips.