Army clinic 3, Patient 0: Jonathan

Ironically, I have had this lying around since the beginning of the army clinic project but have never got round to publishing it.

Jonathan is looking for input on a 1.500 points list for a 6-game tournament using each of the 6 missions in the rulebook. He plans on running Eldar with Guard allies, but not the way you’d expect it. Here’s what he said:

Theme of the army is expendable-death of a thousand cuts. Pros are nothing in the army needs to stay alive, cons are nothing can really stay alive so screwed on first blood and kill points.

GW tournaments are won by the team which gets the most points by the end of the 6 games-one of each mission on the BRB. With so many troop units to kill we hope our tactic of taking objectives will balance off against the killpoint mission.

In our first trial game, the shadow spectres massively underperformed so thinking of dropping to a unit of 3, whilst the single imperial guard walker didn’t do much so thinking of moving points into more warp spiders. Likewise the turrets didn’t do much, but then again they were more there to act as cover for the walkers.

And the list:

Autarch (Eldar combat Lord, gives +1 or -1 to your reserves as you wish when rolling for them): Shadow Spectre Suit and Weapons

5 Shadow Spectres including Exarch: Relentless as JetPack Infantry, their guns get better the more guys hit (starting at S6 AP3, you can drop its AP or increase its S by one for each hit). Rules can be found here: http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Downloads/Product/PDF/s/shadowspectres.pdf

4*3 Windriders: 1 Shuriken Cannon per unit –> cheap, fast scorers (48 inches if turboboosting) with a S6 Heavy 3 gun to shoot tanks in the flank or rear

2*5 Warp Spiders: fast firepower and scoring in the Scouring

2*1 War Walker: Scatter Laser, Bright Lance: cheap Support, Scatter Laser either shoots transports with 4 S6 shots and/or twin-links Bright Lance to take out heavy targets. Scoring in Big Guns Never Tire.

 

Company Command Squad: Regimental Standard (lets Guard units re-roll panic and break tests), Officer of the Fleet (-1 to enemy reserve rolls)

Infantry Platoon: Command Squad and 5 Infantry Squads –> in total, this gives you 55 scoring bodies in 6 units. The Company Command and Platoon Command let 3 units use First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! for an extra Lasgun shot, so it can develop a tremendous volume of fire to ping people to death.

Guardsman Marbo: The man needs no introduction and has been in Guard armies since the 5th Edition. In essence, a one-shot demo charge to the rear that might even lives to meltabomb a tank later on.

Sentinel: Multi-Laser –> Jonathan mentioned he was not to happy with it.

2 Vengeance Batteries: Battle Cannons –> the single turret fortifications GW has been selling since Apoc last summer. They are actually quite big and you can hide a War Walker behind them to do the old ‘Move out, shoot, use Battle Focus to hide again’ ploy. As AV14 fortifications, they can take quite a lot of fire, as fortifications have no hull points and thus need to be killed the old-fashioned way. At the end of each of your shooting phases, they shoot a Batte Cannon with BS2 at the nearest target, so I am bit worried that they might end up hitting your own guys if the opponent gets in close, but Jonathan thinks that he can usually clean decoys away with his normal fire and then hit more interesting stuff with them. In essence, think of them as cut-price Leman Russes without engine (so like regular ones or have you ever seen one move?)

 

My thoughts on it were that it brings a lot of mass to the table, whilst have decent anti-tank (Shuriken Cannons, Bright Lances, Warp Spiders and Shadow Spectres) and good anti-infantry (a potential 160 lasgun shots and a ton of shuriken too). It can swarm objectives and use its sheer mass of units to stop people from getting to objectives or block lanes to the scoring units. As a unit can only shoot and charge one target per round, this could become very frustrating by virtue of having too many units. At the same time, it does have enough of a punch to handle most tanks and monstrous creatures unless the opponent brings 5, which might be difficult to do in 1.500 points.

Weaknesses I see are a lack of anti-flyer units and that it probably folds against double or triple Thunderfire cannons, a popular Marine build.

The things I could think of to change the list were:

Drop the Sentinel, buy one Infantry Squad a Commissar: In Purge the Xenos (kill points mission) and the Relic, you probably combine the Infantry Squads into one big unit, in which case a Commissar is extremely useful by making the entire 50-strong unit Stubborn and giving them a re-rollable Ld8 for all tests. If that unit gets the Relic, you can pass it down away from the enemy fairly quickly before handing it over to one of the Windrider units that can then zip away with it. Or reverse it, get it with a Windrider then pass it to the blob and watch your opponent having to get past your skirmish screen or try to shoot 51 guys to get the Relic.

Or alternatively drop it for 7 Grenade Launchers to spread through your troops, thus either trading 3 S6 shots for 7 or dropping 7 small blasts with S3 per round whilst only losing 7-21 lasgun shots. Jonathan thought that a competent player will space his guys out to avoid small blasts, but I still think that even a lasgun using the FRF!SRF! order only produces 1.5 hits on average (3 shots hitting on 4s), which a small blast should be able to match.

Another possibility is using Quad Lascannons on the Vengeance Batteries, giving you a Twin-linked S9 AP2 Heavy 2 Interceptor Skyfire to kill planes, as Dakka Jets and Heldrakes can murder this army. Being Interceptor would also allow you to bypass the restriction of having to shoot the nearest target by forcing you to shoot the nearest visible unit having arrived from reserves this phase instead. But he has a point that BS2 is harsher there than it is with Large Blasts.

 

Now over to you: What would you change  in this list?

 

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