Thursday, May 14, 2009

May Army List Challenge: Poll Open

The entries have been closed and now it's time to vote on the May Army List Challenge for what you consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme". The rules of the challenge can be found here. In short, the challenge was to design a 1500 point army from any codex to take on a numerically superior imperial guard and chaos space marine contingent (totalling 2000 points: 1000 points of Guard and chaos marines each) in a seize ground mission with 3 objectives in a city environment. Use a standard force organization chart. The catch? That all members of the stike team must be capable of deep-striking, infiltration or equivalent (although in the case where some codex selections do not have troops capable of deep striking, that rule may be by-passed).

There are 4 entries: Chris, Suneokun, Elliot, and Erfunk.
Here are their lists:

For my entry I've used Codex: Witch Hunters, hope you like it.

Army background:
Inquisitor Lord Flavian was present on the world of Mordos IV investigating a suspected Slaaneshi pleasure cult amongst the world's nobility, revolving around unknown technological artefacts. Sensing they were close to being exposed, the cult revealed itself and it's influence spread far wider than Flavian had discovered. The planet rose up in revolt, and elements of the loathed Emporer's Children arrived anticipating the debauchery that was to come.

Flavian and his retinue struck as quickly as they could at the heart of the insurrection, located in the planetary capital. Arriving aboard his personal Chimera transport, the Flame of Terra, he sent part of his retinue forward to strike at the enemies leaders. Troops from his household guard were quickly summoned from Flavian's orbital battlebarge, the Emporer's Light, landing behind enemy lines and moving up to support the Inquisitor, anticipating a close range fight. Flavian's call for aid was answered by Canoness Katherine of the Order of the Bleeding Heart from thier nearby convent, who managed to arrive with her contingent of elite Seraphim in time. With thier lighting speed combined with orbital support, Flavian hopes to break the enemy. The list:

Inquisitor Lord Flavian, combi-flamer, auspex, rosarius, melta-bombs
3 Acolytes, combi-flamers, carapace armour
3 veteran guardsmen with flamers
Chimera "Flame of Terra", 2 heavy flamers, dozer blade

Canoness Katherine, jump pack, mantle of Ophelia, eviscerator (105)

3 Death Cult Assassins (120)

9 Inquisitorial Stroom Trooper and 1 Veteran, 2 melta-guns. Veteran has an auspex and combi-flamer (142)
9 Inquisitorial Stroom Trooper and 1 Veteran, 2 melta-guns. Veteran has an auspex and combi-flamer (142)
9 Inquisitorial Stroom Trooper and 1 Veteran, 2 flamers. Veteran has an auspex and combi-flamer (132)
4 Inquisitorial Stroom Trooper and 1 Veteran, 2 flamers. Veteran has an auspex and combi-flamer (82)

Fast Attack:

5 Seraphim with melta bombs, 2 inferno pistols (160)
5 Seraphim with melta bombs, 2 inferno pistols (160)

Heavy support:

Orbital strike: Lance Strike (70)
Orbital strike: Lance Strike (70)
Orbital strike: Lance Strike (70)

Total: 1499

Let me explain some points:

Versatile: Units are armed to take on either armour or troops, as the enemy forces are unknown.
Cover: Attacking an entrenched enemy in cover, Flavian has deployed as many flamers as possible to root out insurrgents.
Jump packs: The Sisters will all enter play via Deep Strike.
Troops and Inquisitor: The Inquisitor is already planetside and so starts deployed, and has landed his troops at the first sign of the uprising.
Auspexes: The enemy deployment is unknown so troops are equipped with short range scanners (this is more fluff inspired than in-game useful).
Orbital Strikes: These are bombardments from Flavian's battle barge.


On looking at this synopsis, I got quite excited - another excellent challenge! ... I'm working on an in depth flanking/deepstriking attack force for the Tyranids (since they lack the open ground firepower of other armies!).

The List

HQ#1: Flyrant (Tlying Tyrant) - Winged, Twin Linked Devourers (6 shots (S5), reroll to hit), Scything Talons and Bioplasma (+2 attacks, 5 in total), flesh hooks (assault grenades), warp blast and toxic miasma (-1WS to enemies) - 173pts.

HQ#2: Broodlord with feeder tendrils (preferred enemy to him and unit) and flesh hooks - 76pts

Genestealer Retinue [8] with Flesh Hooks and Toxin Sacs - 160 pts

Elite#1: 2 Lictors - 160pts

Troop#1: Genestealers [12] with Scuttlers (Scout) and Flesh Hooks - 240pts

Troop#2: Termagants [16] with fleshborers and scuttlers - 128pts

Troop#3: Spinegaunts [16] with spinefist, scuttlers, toxin sacs and flesh hooks - 160pts

Fast Attack#1: Flying Warriors [5] with Devourers, Wings, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs - 215pts

Fast Attack #2: Gargoyles [16] with flesh borers, bioplasma attack and wings - 192

Total price: 1504pts.

Tactics: Everything in Reserve (kinda the point). Broodlord, Genestealer and Gaunts hit the flanks. If the enemy targets the Stealers/Broodlord - go to ground and then assault with the gaunts (see lictor buff below) ... the Broodlord squad is S5 acorss the board and rending so will concentrate on squads, but also capable of killing tanks.

Flying Tyrant, Warriors and Gargoyles deep strike with menace. The combined units pump out 6 S5 attacks and 24 S4 (all with reroll to wound), allowing for ultimate pre-charge carnage.

The Lictors are included as anti-tank ambush units or alternatively as 'lictor-buff' units. Effectively the lictor deep-strike adjacent to the rear of a friendly unit and gives 'preferred enemy', this turns spinegaunts into a very effective assault unit and makes Tyrant/Warriors/Gargoyle lethal.

See: For Details.

The challenge really brings to mind Planetstrike coming up. This is just my go at it.

Tau Deep Strike
During Apocalypse, the battlesuit rapid response cadre was certainly the way to go, not only gaining the benefit of surprise and a superior weapons platform, they also had some radical shock and awe special rules. The potential for these to lay waste to even MEQ units and to whittle down even TEQ units is what we should bank on.


Exercise, exception 3, since as Tau we require at least one Firewarrior squad. This we can say are their secondary pathfinder squad in a sense, being the first ones in to the city. Minimize their profile in comparison to the army down to 6. Equipping them with carbines and giving them a team leader with a markerlight would be thematically nice.

[289] Flexible Squad
Shas'el Crisis Suit
AirburstFragProjector, Plasma Rifle, HWMultitracker, HWDC: x2 Shield Drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, HWMultitracker, Targeting Arrays

[286] Marine Hunters
Shas'el Crisis Suit
Missile Pod, Cyclic Ion blaster, Multitracker, Stimulant Injector, HWDC: x2 Shield Drones
2 Bodyguards with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, HWMultitracker, Targeting Arrays

Firewarrior Squad
6 Man Fire Warrior Team, with Team Leader + Markerlight

(2x) 12 Kroot Carnivores and 5 Kroot Hounds

[160] Infantry Killers
3 Man Crisis Suit Team
TL Flamer, Missile Pod, Team Leader HWDC; x2 Shield Drones

[244] Horde Support and Tank Surprise.
(X2) 3 Man Stealth Suit Team, w Drone Controllers, 1 Fusion Blaster
1- Networked Marklight Drone

Fast Attack
6 Man Pathfinder Squad
Devilfish with, Flechette Launcher, Sensor Spines Targeting Array, Multitracker, Disruption Pod, 2x Seeker Missile


Each of the Crisis Suit Teams have a specialized purpose of taking out the heavier troop clumps. Taking careful use to JSJ to stay out of range of any assaulters while whittling the enemy down.
Lacking a Hammerhead, the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector is the next best thing. This team is primarily going to want to go in and prevent the hordes of infantry from advancing towards our troops with the threat of doom at ranges of 24" from the AFP, while taking on MEQ troops.
Similarly, but more empowered to do so, the Marine Hunters will be solely tasked with going after MEQ troops employing plasma and the CIB.

Kroot infiltrate in with two groups, there's a good chance that there'll be a squad near an objective if one ends up on either side of the map. Assault in necessary, but the goals are primarily to get to the objectives killing potential IG if there are any holding those points.

With only one vehicle, it's probably a good idea to have it patrolling the streets, taking up the entire roadways. Letting the drones create a temporary barricade on one side, while it maintains a good vantage point to call down the 4 battle suit teams allowing for re-roll of scatter die. After the reinforcements are down, it can help to shuttle the firewarriors/pathfinders to objective and create some moving cover for the TL Flame Crisis suits.


Flight of Valkyries

Imperial Guard (Parent list)
Senior Officer: Heavy Flamer, 3 Flamers, Astropath (115)
Veterans: Gunnery Sergeant Harker, Plasma Gun, Meltagun (165)
Veterans: Plasma Gun, Autocannon, Forward Sentries (140)

Air Support
Vendetta: Squadron of 2 (260)
Vendetta: Hellfury Missiles, Heavy Bolters (140)
Vendetta: Heavy Bolters (140)

Sisters of Battle (Allied list)
10 Sisters: Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Veteran w/ Brazier of Holy Fire, Book of St Lucius (161)
10 Sisters: Heavy Flamer, Meltagun, Veteran w/ Brazier of Holy Fire, Book of St Lucius (161)
7 Seraphim: 2 Hand Flamers, Veteran w/ Eviscerator, Brazier of Holy Fire, Book of St Lucius

Ok, so there's no actual Valkyries in the list. I think the Vendetta is simply better. The premise here is that everything arrives from reserve, either in a Vendetta or otherwise. With the Astropath they all receive a +1 to the roll and can reroll outflanks. The Vendettas can deep strike, if required, but outflanking is preferable as they can deliver their cargo to almost 2/3 of the board on the turn they arrive.

The squadron of 2 Vendettas carries the 2 squads of Sisters, who in conjunction with the Act of Faith called Divine Guidance can shred power armor very effectively. Sisters need to work in packs to be effective, so it's ok that their transports are a squadron. Ideally they outflank and deliver the Sisters 6-12" in, meanwhile punishing enemy armor with the lascannon fire. They don't have Heavy Bolters as they're not likely to stop moving for long enough to use them, as they can effectively tank shock the CSMs into nice flamer template shaped piles for the Sisters.

The Vendetta with Hellfury Missiles carries the Command Squad, and is geared to punish infantry. It can deepstrike if need be and still fire most of it's weapons on the turn it arrives. Alternately it can outflank, and would still be effective if it ended up separated from the Sisters. But it's an ideal support to escort the Sisters as they roll up an enemy flank, with the Senior Officer issuing orders to force the enemy to reroll their successful cover saves.

The Veteran squad with Harker in it gains Infiltrate, Stealth, and Move Through Cover. And Harker himself is Relentless and has a Heavy Bolter! Like the Command Squad's Vendetta, they can choose their deployment. They can infiltrate, if early anti-tank shots are needed, but this exposes them as the only target on the board for 1-2 turns of enemy fire. More ideally they outflank as well, coming in on foot to help the Sisters and Senior Officer mop up a flank. They provide a solid unit to stay behind once a forward objective is claimed as they can sit on it taking 24" Plasma and 36" Heavy Bolter (from Harker himself) shots, with Stealth and the option of going to ground to keep them hanging in.

The Seraphim are the thing I think is the most awkward in the list. To meet the requirements, they have to deep strike which isn't ideal. But once they're on the board they are pretty killer. Long reach from being jump infantry, 2 Flamers plus the 1 shot from the Brazier, hit and run, and an Eviscerator stacks up well. And with the Spirit of the Martyr act of faith it allows them to safely tie up a dangerous CSM squad for a round with their invulnerable saves before HnR'ing out and shooting it up.

The last Vendetta is the static objective-holding element. It comes on from the back-edge, or can deepstrike, and hovers in place laying down anti-tank punishment. The second veterans squad can either shelter inside it firing out the 2 hatches, or can be deployed to utilize their camo-cloaks from Forward Sentries. They're geared for long range shooting, but if need be they can easily flee from advancing foes in their Vendetta before rushing back to reclaim their own objective later.

In fact, the whole army is in theory as mobile as any other skimmer-based transport list (minus star engines). This combined with outflanking means you can outmaneuver your foe and minimize how much of their army you face at once. Leave their short range units stranded on the other side of the board, chasing you. Drop straight into their long range forces. With the number of flamers in the army, the long range elements of the Guard shouldn't last. With the number of meltas and the 10(!) twin-linked Lascannons on the Vendettas it shouldn't be hard to cripple their armor (nor to get side-shots when you arrive). All this should combine well to mitigate their 500 point advantage and to claim enough of the 3 objectives to win. Not to mention, all of the troops either have power armor or the Stealth USR. And the Sisters can turn their armor invulnerable, reliably even once they've lost a few, and provide a 6" bubble of LD 9 Stubborn.

Overall, I'm not completely pleased with the list. It's not that I think it won't perform, it's just that it wasn't quite what I set out to try to build initially. The overhead of the Guard and Valkyries proved steeper than I anticipated for an airborne Sisters list, so I gave up and committed to making it predominantly Imperial Guard. I think it could easily support a larger contingent of Sisters at 2000 points. But in the meantime Faith points will require careful management.

1 comment:

Gothmog said...

I say erfunk because those Valkyries and vandettas can bring in flanking Sisters. Flanking fantatical power armoured sisters.

And the Vendettas can eliminatre armour with ease. I was going to post on the merits of allies and dula force orgs soon and may basean example off his list.

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