Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pink Horror Tactics

I was recently asked how I generally go about playing Pink Horrors of Tzeentch on the battlefield.

Let's firstly have a glance at what the Pink Horrors have going for them. They are somewhat analogous to a guardsman in the statistics department, except for a worse WS (making them more like Tau), better Ld (fearless) and a 4+ invulnerable saving throw. Their principal weaponry is the warpfire ability: an assault 3 weapon with bolter like strength, better AP and ork like range. They're definitely very shooty, but not as accurate as a marine. But they are also much more survivable than other daemon troops.

This makes them good choices for the first daemon wave. By adding an icon and deploying them in a suitably large squad, they're going to stick around and ensure that further daemons can deploy from the icon that they're carrying. But there are risks with first wave deep-striking. Assuming there are no "teleport accidents", then the horrors will either end up (1) outside their own shooting range of an enemy; (2) inside their shooting range; or (3) inside their range, but also in danger of being charged by an enemy on the opponent's turn.

The first case leaves the commander with little choice. Since they're not in range, they should run during the shooting phase to spread out or seek cover if nothing else. But they should run with a specific goal in mind: either toward an enemy to shorten the range for next turn (keeping in mind wanting to avoid combat and avoiding blasts); toward an objective (if applicable); or simply to spread out to avoid being blasted by long range incoming blast templates.

The other two options are where it could get tricky. Or, more specifically, there are choices to be made. Is it better to run and spread out, thereby reducing the possible hits from blast weapons, or better to shoot at an enemy squad? Usually it is the latter since shooting can potentially clear out a region of the board, especially if the horror squad is a large one. If they're going to get charged next turn, then running a little further away is not likely to prevent that charge: so again, shoot.

Further in to the game (once their icon is not all that significant any longer), the horrors should try to keep away from close combat in order to stay back and shoot at opposing troops. As troops themselves, they can be moved towards objectives to hold them if required as well. They could always be used as speed bumps and sacrifices against other units, but that's what nurglings excel at. With a 4+ save, they're likely to cause a sufficient hassle to most close combat assailants.

What about other options beyond the icon? Well, the bolt of Tzeentch is a powerful choice for 10 points. But it does nothing for the BS of the horror and reduces the horror to only 1 shooting attack. Probably best to save this for a herald, unless you have a spare 10 points to spend and need some heavy weaponry equivalents.

The instrument of chaos is probably not going to do much good for horrors. If they get into combat, then they're probably going to lose to most other troop choices in the game. But it might take a while for them to die off - time enough for a squad of bloodletters to come to the party and help them out.

The Changeling is an interesting choice. Whenever I've taken it, I found it very hard to remember to use it! I'm too used to my solitary action being rolling saving throws in my opponents shooting phase. However, even when it is used, most troops natural Ld score mean that they're rarely going to be shooting on their own. However, at a cost of only 5 points it is very affordable even if it is only going to go off once every couple of games. Plus, you can add in a random model from your collection and call it the Changeling since even the Changeling itself cannot recall its proper form any longer!

Playing against pink horrors should generally follow the stratagem of shooting at them plenty, followed by charging them with a whole bulk of attacks in order that they take so many invulnerable saving throws that they'll eventually fail most of them. They're not that tough, its just their remarkably good saving throw that must be overcome.


Gamers World said...

Like the tactics.

jabberjabber said...

Thanks mate!

RonSaikowski said...

Nice write up, you don't see very many unit specific tactics with Daemon units out there.
Good job comparing them to other army units for people like me to understand just what these guys are like.

jabberjabber said...

Thanks Ron!

Wolf Lord Bill said...

Dood, keep the strat coming> I genuinely plan on running this. I probably won't have it together until 7th edition but you've strengthened my interest. Is it legitimate to run a pure tzeench list?

jabberjabber said...

Hi Bill, yeah: I think a pure Tzeentch army is both feasible and competitive if constructed well. We'd have to have a think about what an army list would look like though.

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