Lychguard Deathstar

So, for those Necron players who like to build a super-killy, hard to kill unit, I think a potential candidate is as follows:

-Destroyer Lord with Ressurection Orb, Warscythe, Phase Shifter, and Veil of Darkness

-Cryptek with Chronometron and Solar Staff

-10 Lychguard with Warscythes

So, right out the gate, this unit has 15 x T5 wounds, all protected by a 3+ save (except the Cryptek) and a 5++ against shooting (thanks to Chronometron). They also all have 4+ Reanimation Protocals, due to Cryptek Technomancer rule. Already a very solid unit in terms of survivability.

Now, turn 1, use the Veil of Darkness to “gate” accross the board to your enemy DZ, right in front of the greatest concentration of troops and/or most dangerous units in his army. The whole idea here is to get everything possible to fire at you. Here’s why…. first, use the Solar Staff’s “Solar Pulse” ability to make it so that all enemy shooting at this unit becomes Snap Shots. Second, if required, activate the Ressurection Orb (you can decided if you want to do this, based on if you fail Reanimation Rolls… if not, simply “save” the ability for later in the game).

Between the Solar Pulse and the Resurrection Orb activated, with a little Mathhammering in between, it will on average take the following to cause a SINGLE unsaved wound against this unit:

-216 x Bolter shots

-43 x Plasma, Melta, Krak Missile, or Lascannon shots

-21 x Railgun shots

-40 x Grav Cannon/Grav Amp shots

As you can see, this unit is basically invincible against any kind of shooting for a single turn… the more firepower your opponent pours into them, then better, since they should shrug it off easily and that means less firepower going against the rest of your army.

This also sets you up nicely to make a Turn 2 charge, provided you DSed close enough to your target enemy units. On the charge, this unit can put out 34 x S7 AP2 Armourbane attacks, all at WS4 and I2 with Preferred Enemy (from the attached Destroyer Lord)…. on average, that’s enough to kill 19 GEQs, 19 MEQs, 12 TEQs, or 6 TH/SS Terminators. If any enemy units survive, then they are striking back against T5 with 3+ saves and 4+ Reanimation protocals, which means the Lychguard should take little to no casualties in return against most units. Against vehicles, this unit is even better, especailly if it can multi-charge several vehicles at once and get the most of their S7 AP2 Amourbane attacks (nothing, Land Laiders included, are safe from these type of attacks).

So, as you can see, while quite expensive points wise (the whole formation comes in at well over 500 points), this can an amazing “anvil” unit to crush your opponent and pin his army down for the rest of your Necrontyr forces to maneuver around and destroy at their leisure.

40k Tactical Terminators in 7th Edition

For good reason, many people say that Terminators in general (outside of TH/SS Terminators) are becoming “obsolete” in today’s game and are too easily killed (for their high price tag) byeither torrent of fire or the easily available AP2 weaponry in most armies. So, how can Terminators be used competitively in the current 40K meta?

I think Tactical Terminators are strongest when applied in a role in which your opponent is forced to come to you, vice you having to have your forces hunt down his army. Examples of this include:

1 – When you are playing your primary force as a largely shooty, “gun-line” style army like AM, foot Tau, or firepower heavy Space Marine force:

In these cases, your opponent will often have to come close to your forces, either to try and assault your fire base units or employ short ranged weapons (i.e. melta, rapid fire plasma, etc.) to deal sufficient damage. When this is the case, a squad of Tactical Terminators on foot can play a key role, contributing to your overall firepower (with mass SBs and relentless HWs) while serving as a solid counter assault threat…. will the enemy risk assaulting you AM Blob squad with his Hive Tyrant if he knows that next turn he will be counter-charged by 5-10 Powerfist wielding Terminators? Similarly, will he DS next to your backline Thunderfire Cannons if he sees that he will get shot (and possibly charged) by a Terminator reserve force anchoring your line?

2 – When your Terminators have the ability get Objective Secured, forcing opponents to come near them to contest critical objectives during the game:

Examples of this include DW Terminators made Troops by Azrael/Belial and GK Terminators. Since typically the only enemy units with the Objective Secured rule are Troops selections, that means he either has to completely shoot your Terminators off the objective (quite difficult, especially if you have any form of cover and/or IC support for them) or send in his own Troops selections to “neutralize” the objective from the Terminators. I would argue that, against 90% of the Troop choices in the game, Tactical Terminators are an ideal “overmatch” unit…. against horde type troops, such as Ork Mobs, AM Blobs, Nid Gaunts, mass Necron phalanxs, etc Terminator shooting can potentially defeat them on its own, or at least critical weaken them. Against more “elite” troops like BA Sang Guard, White Scar Bike Squads, Tyranid Tervigons, Farsight Enclave Battlesuits, Eldar Wraithguard, etc etc, Tactical Terminators are ideally equipped to charge them and beat the stuffing out of them in close combat (15-30 PF attacks on the charge will do a number to any of these examples). Basically, what I am saying is that Tac Terminators, if Troops themselves, can bully most other Troop/Objective Secured units that would try and get close to contest an objective with them.

3 – When Terminators have the mobility to threaten a critical unit or location for the enemy army”

Now, with no upgrades or transports, Terminators normally must either foot slog (not fast enough to catch anything with even moderate moderate mobility), Deep Strike (usually Turn 2 at the earliest, unless you are Deathwing, and danger of scatters/mishaps), or buy an expensive transport (i.e. Land Raider, Storm Raven, various FW options like Caestus Assault Ram, Spartan Assault Tank, etc.) to give them a chance to threaten critical enemy units with any reliability. Well, these can all work, but with the drawbacks mentioned above, other options should be considered for Terminator mobility. Cheap Teleporter homers, Homing Beacons, and/or Servo Skulls can be deployed to greatly increase the accuracy (and decrease the risk) of Deep Striking. ICs with Scout USR or an Inquisitor with the Relic that allows his unit to Scout turn 1 can attach to Terminator unit and get them closer to the enemy before the action even begins.. 6″ Scout, 6″ move, D6″ run and your Terminators are between 6″ and 11″ from the enemy DZ by the end of turn 1 (another unconventional option is to infiltrate Terminators with the Warord Trait of Lias Issadon or outflank them with an attached Wolf Priest with Saga of the Hunter). Finally, and perhaps least used, is Psykic blessings that can increase the Terminators’s mobility…. Levitate from the Telekinesis discipline or Gates of Infinity from the Sanctic Daemonlogy discipline can both dramatically increase Terminator mobility, allowing them to “bounce” accross the board and threaten enemy units with astonishing mobility (an extra 12″ a turn from Levitation and “infinite” extra range from Gates of Infinity, though high danger to your psyker unless he is a GK character.

Sydonian Dragoons and the Shrouding….

Codex: Skitarii is not even out yet, but just looking at the confirmed rumors (i.e. ones where we actually have pictures of data sheets with no-kidding rules), we have the following on the Sydonian Dragoons:

 

Looking through the unit profile, this light walker can be taken in units of 1-6, has 4 x S8 AP- I6 per walker on the charge (so 24 attacks from a full squadron of 6 Dragoons).

More importantly are the following:

-Close Combat –Taser Lance grants an additional +2 hits for every roll of 6+ to Hit (kind of like Necron Tesla weapons). This means that, on average against a WS4 opponent, a 6 walker squadron of Dragoons would have 24 attacks, 12 hits, 4 of which would be 6+s and so generate another 8 hits, for a total of 20 hits on the charge. At S8 and I6, these would wound pretty much anything but Wraithlords/Wraithknights on a 2+ and strike before all but the best close combat units in the game. Of course, the target would get armor saves, but with 20 hits and probably between 16-17 wounds, most targets are going to fail enough saves to take some serious damage. Better yet, at S8, this is causing ID to anything T4 or below, so only a single wound has to get through to take out multi-wound models.

Against vehicles, this gets even better. 24 attacks, hitting on 3+s, means an average of 24 hits (after extra Taser Hits are added in)…. S8 vs the AV10 of most vehicles rear armor (that includes you, Wave Serpents!!) means you are glancing on a 2+, so about 20 glances on the charge. Even if you multi-charge (and so get less attacks, due to Disordered Charge), that should still be enough to kill multiple vehicles at once (again, what a great counter to Wave Serpent spam!). Even AV14 Land Raiders can be glanced to death, with on average 24 attacks, 24 hits, and 4 glancing hits after the smoke settles (so 4 HPs gone, one Land Raider dead). As you can see, a squadron of 6 Dragoons is quite versatile and potent in its damage output against the spectrum of targets (and an entire squadron of 6 Dragoons only costs just under 300 points, so VERY affordable).

-Mobility — Sydonian Dragoons have the mobility that really all walkers in the game should have (I mean, should a giant Dreadnought be able to move quicker than an infantryman 1/4 its size?). With the Dune Strider special rule, they can move 9″ every turn, then either run D6+3″ or charge 2D6 +3″… combine this with Crusader (which not only helps in winning Sweeping Advances, but allows improved Run rolls), and you should easily be able to move an entire squadron between 15-18″ across the board Turn 1, setting them up for a very reliable Turn 2 charge (which itself has a better threat range, due to the +3″ added on the charge range). Overall, this mobility makes them very good at their job and strong value for their points (it also helps them seize objectives as well).

-Survivability — While only having AV11/11/11 and 2HPs each, the Dragoon’s Incense Cloud rule gives them a permanent 5++ cover save against shooting. This is decent, but still means they are pretty fragile, until you add in another factor… allied Psykers casting Shrouding (from the Telepathy discipline)… this area of effect Blessing means you can buff multiple Dragoon squadrons around the Psyker at once with Shrouding USR, brining their cover save up from a 5++ to a 3++… now, all of a sudden, they are MUCH more survivable and can reliably soak up a lot of fire power while using their high mobility to cross the battlefield, then get off that critical charge on turn 2+. Of course, this is dependent on getting the Shrouding power and then having enough Warp Charges to get it off reliably, but done properly it can make multiple squadrons of Sydonian Dragoons truly a force to be feared.

Draigo and Mephiston… stand by for boarding!!!

With the new and (greatly improved) Draigo in the most recent GK Codex and the new Mephiston as well, I see the possibility of taking the two greatest BAMFs of the entire Imperium and having them tag-team up on anything and everything!

If Draigo joins Mephiston, the entire unit uses the highest Toughness value, so they both tank wounds at T5. If there is a low AP hits coming, Mephiston can Look out Sir them off to Draigo, who uses his 3++ and EW to absorb them. If you are getting a high volume of Torrent of Fire shooting (like say from Tau Missileside Teams), then use Look Out Sir to hand them off to Mephiston if Lord Kaldor starts to run low on wounds. Mephiston is PML(3) and Draigo has The Aegis, so that makes their combined unit very good at Deny the Witch rolls on witchfires/maledictions directed at them. Finally, the unit is Fearless, so it will never run (and it can score, like all units now in 7th edition).

Mephiston should generate his powers from Biomancy of course. Anything he rolls can be a great boon their unit:

1 – Iron Arm — Makes Mephiston T8 (so the whole unit has a majority T8), S8 (S10 with Hammerhand from Draigo), and his attacks become AP2 from Smash USR.

2 – Warp Speed — Mephiston gains +3A/I, turning him into even more of a blender than he already is.

3 – Enfeeble — Lowers the ID threshold for a Target unit and makes it even harder for that unit to wound the already T5 (or T8, with Iron Arm) Draigo/Mephiston team

4 – Hemorrhage — Alright power, combined with Draigo’s Purge Soul, this two man unit can put out some decent shooting damage in the Psychic Phase… one of the least useful options Mephiston could roll.

5 – Life Leach — Great little power, not so much for its damage output (decent against armored troops), but because it can help Mephiston and/or Draigo regenerate lost wounds, making them even more difficult to kill….. talk about frustration for your opponent……… IT……….WILL……NOT………DIE!!! Aaaarrggghhh!!!

6 – Endurance — Ah, the ultimate power ; With this on, Mephiston gains EW (so now you have EIGHT T5 wounds with 2+ saves and EW) and both he and Draigo get FNP(4+), basically doubling their survivability against almost all attacks!

As you can see, you really can’t go wrong with rolling on Biomancy three times with Mephiston (Oh, and he gets the Primaris, Smite, as an extra little bonus).

Now, what does good old Kaldor bring to the duo? As already mentioned, guaranteed Hammerhand, meaning that Draigo will be fighting at S9 AP2 and Mephiston will be hitting at S7 AP3, or S8 AP3 when charging due to Furious Charge (both have force weapons for ID). Additionally, Draigo gives you anti-Daemon abilities (Banishment and PE: Daemons) in case they are fighting a Daemon Prince and the bonus of Psykout grenades when fighting Psykers.

Finally, Draigo has guaranteed Gates of Infinity… that means that this little 2 man unit can pop smoke any turn and reappear anywhere on the board (with DS scatter factored in, of course), giving them ridiculous mobility, though they can’t charge that turn. Turn 1 they can “bounce” from your DZ to the enemy DZ in a single move and be completely in your opponent’s face before he has the chance to react at all. Also, since they are just a two man unit, the chances of scattering and having a Mishap are small…. even if they do, 5/6 times they will either go into Ongoing Reserves (to come in next turn) or be placed by your opponent which, fortunately, you can use Gates of Infinity to overcome the next turn (and that is in the worst case scenario). In the best case scenario, you either don’t scatter at all (lucky roll) or you use BA Scouts with Locator Beacons or Stormravens with Locator Beacons to ensure an accurate “bounce” through the warp.

If using Gates of Infinity is still too risky for your tastes (given that this unit costs about the same as two Land Raiders), then you can load them up in a friendly transport (Stormraven, Landraider, allied Chimera, etc), or have them footslog across the board.

If you choose the latter, I highly recommend you invest in a cheap Fortification (like Wall of Martyrs Bunker) with an Escape Hatch… deploy Draigo/Mephsiton in the Bunker before the game begins, then turn 1 disembark them out of the Escape Hatch (which can be anywhere within 12″ of its parent building)… this in essence gives you an 18″ move turn 1, plus whatever D6″ run Draigo and Mephiston can muster…. basically, you are in the enemy DZ and ready to charge him turn 2 without using a transport, Gates of Infinity, or any other crazy combination.

Aside from the very real close combat threat that these two monsters bring to the fight (10 S8/9 attacks on the charge with Hammerhand on, all at WS6/7 and I5/6), the psychological threat is probably the biggest advantage this combo has. Anyone who knows even a little about 40K understand how potent even one of these Heroes is and will likely use most or all of his combat power trying to bring them down. Fortunately, they can really take some damage.

Against BS4 Bolter fire, it would take 27 shots to even cause a single unsaved wound to them (54 Bolter shots if Endurance is cast on them). If Mephiston get Iron Arm off, then they T8 and bolters can’t even hurt them!

Against BS4 Plasma fire (with Draigo tanking the hits), it would take 5-6 shots to cause a single unsaved wound, going up to 10-12 shots if they have Endurance for FNP(4+) and up to 27 Plasma shots to cause a SINGLE wound if they have both Endurance and Iron Arm activated.

Against BS5 Railgun shooting (from Longstrike) it would take an average of 4 shots to generate a single unsaved wound, which Draigo can absorb with EW.

Against BS4 Centurion Grav Cannon/Amp shooting (with Draigo tanking) it would take 4-5 shots to cause a single unsaved wound (that goes up to about 9 shots for an unsaved wound if they have Endurance cast)

Trials of Draigo - The reforged... Titansword? by Michael-Galefire

As you can see, these two can absorb tremendous punishment away from the rest of your army or, if your opponent ignores them, they can rip up his forces quite handily. Very expensive, definitely a Deathstar, but also very potent and potentially quite fun to play!

Warp Talons and Firestorm Redoubt……

While Chaos Space Marines have decent air defense in the form of Heldrakes and their Vector Strikes, they are otherwise pretty limited in their options against flyers and FMCs. They also have some decent options in close combat, but many of their “elite” options (i.e. Possessed, Mutilators, etc.) are decidedly second-tier for their points cost.

One combination available to Chaos Space Marines to mitigate both of these issues is using the much maligned Warp Talons in conjunction with a fortification, like the Firestorm Redoubt. If equipped with 2 x Quad Icarus Lascannons and the upgrade to make their shooting BS3 (which means 4 Lascannon shots, hitting 75% of the time due to BS3 Twin-Linked), this gives Chaos a very solid “base” against flyers, FMCs, and Skimmers, especially since these weapons also have Interceptor to help them engage oncoming Reserves.

So, where do the Warp Talons come in? Unlike vehicles, buildings can embark Jump Infantry and the Firestorm Redoubt can hold 20 models (or 10 Bulky Jump Pack models). Combine this with the ability to upgrade with an Escape Hatch (can be placed withing 12″ of the building before the game and acts as a “free” access point, just without the ability charge when you disembark from it) and you suddenly have the ability to “catapult” 10 Warp talons between 19-24″ accross the board turn 1… i.e. Firestorm Redoubt is placed along the edge of your DZ… Escape Hatch is placed 12″ from Firestorm redoubt, in the direction of your opponent’s DZ… Turn 1, Disembark Warp Talons out of Escape Hatch up to 6″, then run another D6″… that nets yous the 19-24″ in one turn, setting the Warp Talons up for an easy Turn 2 charge using their 12″ move Jump Packs. Of course lack of grenades and terrain is a danger to them, but against the right units (say you gave the Warp Talons Mark of Khorne), you have 41 x S4 AP3 attacks, all with Shred. That will wipe out almost any MEQ or GEQ unit out there and will even do decent damage to TEQs (41 attacks, about 20 hits, about 15 wounds, and 2-3 dead Terminators).

More importantly, it puts signficant turn 2 pressure on the enemy DZ and also allows you the opportunity to snap up objectives with the Warp Talon’s great mobility. Of course, this combination is not going to hold up all by itself, but it can really round out the rest of your CSM army, providing anti-air, close combat, and mid-field control options all in a solid package.

Double CAD Chaos — Massed Maulerfiends

Given the option to take multiple detachments in 7th edition (including multiple Combined Arms Detachments), I think one particularly strong option for Chaos Space Marines is as follows:

-Take two CADs, each with 2x Warp Smiths as a HQs
-In each CAD, take 3 Maulerfiends (for a total of 6 Maulerfiends)
-Use Cultist mobs for your required Troops slots and to get/hold Objectives (attach a Warp Smith to each Cultist mob to make it Fearless and give some very solid melee punch, with his 6 x S5 AP2 attacks on the charge)
-Take a few Heldrakes for anti-flyer support (i.e. Vector Strikes) and their amazing S6 AP3 Torrent shooting.
-Add in fortifications (i..e. say two Vengeance Weapon Batteries, for a total of four Battle Cannons) and a Chaos Biker Squad for snapping up hard-to-reach objectives and you should be set.

So, what does this double CAD force provide? Well, number one, target saturation. With 6 x Maulerfiends moving 12″ a turn, your opponent will be hard-pressed to appropriate his firepower against them effectively before they are in his DZ and putting out some serious close combat damage. The Cultist mobs should be free to move up and get Objectives as the Maulerfiends take on the other army’s attention, thus leaving the Heldrakes free to come in and provide critical support starting turn 2+.

Overall, this is kind of a Min-Max type list, but it kind of plays on the same principles that made Tyranid “Monster Mash” lists so fearsome back in the day (i.e. 4th edition)…. use cheap, throw-away troops with so many fast moving, deadly close combat “monsters” (in this case, actually walkers) that your opponent can’t deal with all the threats and gets overwhelmed. The Heldrake air support really adds to the whole synergy of this force, as does the Vengeance Weapon Batteries with their 4 x S8 AP3 Ordnance pie plates a turn (very solid against Hordes, MEQs, and even medium-light mechnized lists). Finally, the fast moving Chaos Bikers are relatively affordable and can turbo-boost around all game as your Objective Claimers and QRF (Quick Reaction Force) if any of the Maulerfiends need a hand.

While some armies, like Dark Eldar Lance-heavy forces, can give this battle-group trouble, against most All-Comers lists I think this should do quite well and provide Chaos players with an alternate way of playing that is more melee-centric that there usual options.

Zagstruk and Da Vulcha Boyz…

So, this is quite an interesting formation in the Waaagghhh Ghazghkull Supplement. Basically, you take Zagstruk and three Mobs of Storm Boyz, with the option to merge them all into a single, “uber” formation (which gives up multiple VPs if destroyed). Additionally, the formation has special rules that makes it only scatter D6″ when deepstriking and giving all members the shred USR for their Hammer of Wrath attacks.

So, how can this formation be used? Well, if you combine it with a Warboss with Waaaggh! and the Stormboyz ability to run 2D6″, you can potentially get Zagstruk and 30+ Stormboyz accross the table and into combat as soon as turn 1. While this is good for getting some early close combat damage against the enemy, what it is REALLY good for is when you use a giant formation like this to pull of a turn 1 multi-charge and tie several enemy units in close combat at once. That means, of course, that those enemy units are not shooting, which buys invaluable time for the rest of your Ork army, whether foot-slogging or mechanized, to get accross the board with minimal damage get stuck in.

This tactic would work especially well with a Green Tide style list, since it disrupts the enemy DZ, reduces his shooting, and allows those green hordes to get accross the table-top while you “hold” the enemy in place with the gian Vulcha Boyz mob. Put another way, you are limiting your opponents ability maneuver and shoot (i.e. reducing his options) while increasing the options for your own army. In this way, aside from any damage they do themselves, Da Vulcha Boyz formation is an excellent “force-multiplier” unit for many different Ork army styles, enabling the rest of the army to doe their jobs better, even in a competitive, tournament oriented all-comers list.