Army clinic: Patient 1, Eric

This is a new feature where I and my interested readers take an armylist apart to see what can be done with it. The aim is to make lists stronger, without however trying to create the Uberlist of Doom. It is also meant as a way of helping newer players get insights into what can be done, but also to get them thinking about their list.   So far, I have 3 candidates, two fine-tuning ones and one train wreck.  But I am not telling you which one is which.

This is a rather standard 1.500 points Imperial Guard army with a lot of tanks and some dudes to hide in. It faces a variety of armies in a casual, but competitive field. Eric describes his basic tactic as:

‘The Commissar and Snipers hide behind the Aegis Lines with the Tanks behind them in cover. The Chimeras flank to force opponents into the tanks’ field of fire.’

So, a traditional but time-honoured plan that shows that he knows what his army is doing and how he expects it to work, which is always a good sign. With no further ado, the list:

Lord Commissar (Warlord)

10 Veterans: 3 Flamers, Chimera with Multi-Laser and Heavy Flamer

10 Veterans: 3 Meltaguns, Chimera with Multi-Laser and Heavy Bolter

10 Veterans: 3 Plasmaguns, Chimera with Multi-Laser and Heavy Bolter

10 Veterans: 3 Sniper Rifles

1 Vendetta: 3 Twin-Linked Lascannons, 2 Heavy Bolters

Leman Russ Squadron: 2 Leman Russ Battle Tanks with Hull Heavy Bolter, 1 Leman Russ Demolisher with Hull Heavy Bolter

Manticore

Aegis Line with Quad Gun

Off the bat, this looks quite good, if a tad boring for my taste. So while I am waiting for Eric’s answers to the questions what armies he has difficulties with and which units perform well or not so well, I am going to make a first appraisal of what I like or don’t like so much. As usual, feel free to destroy my assessment in the comments section.

I like:

Most of it.

I am not too fond of:

The Sniper Veterans

The Leman Russ Squadron

The additional heavy bolters on the Vendetta, though they are only 10 points.

The Flamers in the Veteran Squad.

I would love to see an Infantry Platoon in there just to have a bit of mass.

I think that it has a brickload of firepower, but will fold to anyone who actually gets into melee or who can pop the transports early on. But then again, if these threats are neutralised, it should be able to hold its own. Eric mentioned drop pod armies as part of his regular opponents, so I am curious how this army handles meltaguns raining from the sky on turn 1.

What I would change right now:

Give the Snipers an Autocannon. As they camp next to the Quad Gun with the Commissar manning it, the Rifles seem to be a waste as they have to fire at the same unit as the Quad Gun or the other way around. Of course, with the number of Drop Pods, he might not shoot the Quad Gun that often in his turn. Nevertheless, an Autocannon matches the Quad Gun’s target profile. It also gives the rest of the Veterans something to do. If you drop the Vendetta Bolters, that should be an even trade.

Split the Leman Russes into a squadron of 2 regular ones and a single Demolisher. As they are, they are too tempting a target by allowing a charge on all three without multi-charging, as well as carrying hits over from one to the next if hit by mass meltas. More importantly, firing 3 main guns at one target seems to be an awful waste of firepower. As you have a third Heavy Support Slot open, I would split them. This also means that you can enfilade the opponent by having units from both flanks firing at them, whereas a single squadron can be avoided.

As an aside, how much terrain do you use? A big hill or Bastion in the middle of the battlefield looks problematic for this army.

This would be the first quick upgrade of a strong-looking list as is.

If I went in deeper, I´d probably kick a Leman Russ. Give the Flamer Veterans a heavy flamer if you insist on flamers.  Otherwise give them meltaguns. Swap the Sniper Rifles for Plasma Guns and an Autocannon. Then go full Disco mode and buy an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with 3 Servo Skulls and Mastery Level 1 to get Prescience (Divination Primary). Make him Warlord and hope for his Orbital Strike trait or just plain old Preferred Enemy (Xenos). Attach him to the Veterans and let them rip while the Servo Skulls keep Scouts and Infiltrators off your back. Finally, buy the unit a Chimera, not to get in but to get some extra guns. Alternatively, scrap the Chimera and Inquisitor and just get Inquisitor Lord Coteaz into the Plasma Chimera to shut down all deep striking on that flank and give the Plasma Guns a reroll to hit and thus overheat (Psykers cannot cast Blessings out of a Transport, but can target the unit in the Transport with them).

Now, while I am waiting for Eric’s reply, it is your turn to comment away. Please be advised that I have to approve comments, so don’t worry if they don’t appear straight away.

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6 thoughts on “Army clinic: Patient 1, Eric

  1. Jonathan says:

    The only thing that immediately struck me about the original army is the lack of long range anti-tank firepower starting on the board. Perhaps it is because I generally face orks, spacewolves or black templars, but I have never found metla veterans to be worth their points whilst battlecannons lack that ability to counter armour 14.

    To get the vendetta on the board turn one, the Aegis could be turned into a skyshield with the upgrade to let the vendetta start on the board, this also protects it from interceptor shots and lets you start popping tanks turn one. Now this would make you lose the quad gun, but if you swap the commissar around for a standard HQ and fleet officer you can at least reduce the pain from enemy flyers. Having the skyshield will also reduce the effectiveness of drop pod lists against you, as long as you don’t leave space for that one pod to fit on top of it!

    I certainly agree with splitting the tanks up to divide targets, although there is nothing cooler looking than a guard tank squadron! Also I would agree that the heavy bolter upgrade is a bit of a waste on a vendeta as t doesn’t suit the battlefield role.

  2. Skyshield is a good idea, but you lose the cover for the tank unless you manage to park them under the Skyshield (never measured it and have no Skyshield to check).

    I kinda like Melta veterans, but I would definitely run two units in that case and drop the Flamer vets.
    I would also add some autocannons because they are a bargain at 10 points.

    I also thought about adding a Command Squad, but given that only the Command Squad itself and the one unit of Veterans without a Chimera can get orders, it seems less useful than one or two Inquisitors.

    Reflecting on my initial suggestions, you might wish to replace the extra Chimera I suggested with Marbo. Having a Demolition Charge that can be placed anywhere on the field seems to be useful. But I have a Feeling that I am going to suggest the Inquisitor to all Imperial armies and Marbo to all Guard armies as they are far too good for their points not to take.

  3. Skyfield shmyfield.
    No defensive list is complete with a Quad Line of 4 tl-shots S7 that skyfires and intercepts. Make the Aegis into two or three little patches of an interconnecting defensive line to get save from Drop Pods and keep a Melta Veteran squad nearby, that should help.

    I am not really into the point calculation of those umpteen Leman Russ variants you can have, but I still think the Plasma Russ is top-notch (though he’s pricy). One Plasma Russ easily dominates a table quarter without lots of assistance. Unless you face flanking terminators (looking at you, White Scars), that is. Also I’d give the Flamer Veterans no entry for the recall and would send them home.

    When it comes to Imperial Guard, an Inquisitor is nice to have – just as Pintchen pointed out.

  4. The Plasma Destructor is ok, but really expensive. That might be Eric’s call. It also depends on how much he wishes to outlay to get another tank model. Oh well. Other than that, we seem to have ironed out the most obvious weaknesses.

    However, there is still the main Guard problem of having to actually get to an objective and get out of the tank at some point. Don’t know how to do anything about that. In the Scouring, you could get some Rough Riders to score, as they are the bee’s knees with Mogul Kamir for one charge of death. Big Guns Never Tire is not a problem with 3 Heavy Support slots, but for the other missions, there is not much you have to score. But I guess that is just the Price you pay for playing Guard.

  5. pikshow says:

    Well… first off: thank you for your suggestions and ideas.
    What I mainly take with me into my next battle is:

    1 – Splitting the Leman Russ squadron.
    I do have the Plasma Russ but Pintchen already mentionned it: he is really expensive.
    2 – Adding more autocanons. I give it a try. I have 3 teams somewere in a box.
    3 – Flamer Veterans …. I love them …I mean, if you drop with your pod I burn you. If you deepstrike I come an burn you. With that squad I manage to do a lot of wounds. Although it’s purely anti-infantery. BUT I replace them by meltas an try how 2 squads withs meltas in chimeras work out.

    For Inquisitor Lord Coteaz I first have to check out the rules of him 😉

    Another idea I’m working on is about adding 1-2 drop pods, in order to put more pressure on my opponent. They may be used to take objectives as a second role. What do you think?

    I’m working on that new list and going to post it asap.

    Thanks

    • Coteaz is functionally identical in Codex Grey Knights and Inquisition. He just becomes a Battle Brother for all Imperial armies in Codex Inquisition and can take Divination powers (just like in Grey Knights after the 6th edition FAQ)

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