Stormbringer Squadron Tactics

Another new formation from the Kauyon book is the Stormbringer Squadron:

-1-3 Units of Land Speeders

-1-3 Scout Squads (must take LS Storms as DTs)

Rules-wise, the Scouts (but not their LS Storm transports) get Objective Secured, the LS Storms get +1 to their Jink saves if they are within 6″ of a regular Land Speeder from the same formation, and the Scouts are allowed to disembark even if their LS Storm’s have moved 12″ (vice the normal 6″ restriction for most vehicles).

Of these, what interests me the most is allowing Scouts to disembark after a 12″ move by the Land Speeder Storms. Combined with a 6″ disembark move and a D6″ run, that gives them a 19-24″ effective range each turn for grabbing objectives, which is further enhanced by their Objective Secured status.

Even better, this 12″ move + 6″ disembark + 2D6″ charge means that Scouts have a charge radius of 19-30″ (with an average charge radius of 25″ using a 2D6 roll of 7 as the “standard”). This means very significant charge distances, including a solid possibility for a turn 1 charge by the Scouts. This can be a game-winner, as the Scouts can use their MB/Krak grenades to take out vehicles or tie up a key enemy shooting unit, thus preventing it from shooting for at least a turn or two. They can also use this extended charge radius to “speed bump” fast-moving enemy Close Combat death stars, such as TWC… even though the Scouts will likely die pretty quickly, if they prevent the Death Star unit from moving for even a turn or two, that allows your own army to shoot and maneuver for a couple of free turns without fear of being assaulted, which can be invaluable.

I think the extended assault radius that the Stormbringer Squadron provides combines very well with a nearby Command Squad equipped with the Banner of the Eagle Relic… imagine 3 Scout squads (with Vet Sgts and Power Lances/MBs) in LS Storms assaulting the enemy DZ turn 1, with a Reclusiam Command Squad (with Banner of the Eagle) in their Razorback moving Flat Out right up behind them. The Banner of the Eagle gives all the Scouts Fleet and Furious Charge and the Chaplain from the Reclusiam Squad gives them all Hatred… that translates into 36 x S5 AP- attacks and 12 x S6 AP3 attacks on the charge (with Fleet to improve their odds of making their charge distance), all with re-rolls to Hit from Hatred… alternately, against vehicles, that is 12 Krak Grenades and 3 MBs, hitting on 3+s with re-rolls to Hit, so dangerous to all but the toughest vehicles.

Aside from the Scouts, don’t forget about both types of Land Speeders. The LS Storms are quite useful, whether equipped with HF, MM, or Assault Cannons, plus they can use their Cerberus Launchers to Blind enemy troops (especially Tau and Necrons). As for the normal Land Speeders, they can be kitted out for anti-tank with dual-MMs, anti-infantry with dual HBs or dual HFs, or a multi-purpose role with HB/TML… they are fragile, of course, but they are relatively cheap and provide plenty of “pound-for-pound” shooting for their points cost, so they are not a wasted “tax” on your army list.

Overall, I think the Stormbringer Squadron formation takes several units that are already very competitive and provides them benefits that make them even more useful, especially for tactical tasks like seizing objectives and assaulting weak enemy shooters.

White Scar Relics (NEW)

Well, White Scars and Raven Guard just got basically “mini-codexes” with the Kauyon Campaign Book, which is AMAZING (i.e. multiple new detachments, formations, WL Traits, Relics, etc.)

One thing that jumps out right away to me is the new White Scar Relics:

(1) – Banner of the Eagle (6 MBs) — Gives Furious Charge and Fleet to all friendly White Scar units within 12″

(2) – The Glaive of Vengeance (6 MBs) — Master-Crafted melee weapon with one profile for charging (S+3 AP2) and one profile for everything else (S+1 AP3)

(3) – The Hunter’s Eye (4 MBs) — Gives bearer +1BS and gives him/his unit Ignore Cover for all shooting attacks

(4) – Mantle of the Stormseer (4 MBs, Librarian only) — Gives Librarian Adamantium Will and free/automatic access to the Psychic Maelstrom Psychic Power (WC3 power from Telekinesis) in addition to any other powers he has (does not impact Psychic Focus)

(5) – Scimitar of the Great Khan (5 MBs) — Master-crafted Melee weapon with S+1 AP3 and +3WS to bearer in challenges

(6) – Wrath of the Heavens (5 MBs, cannot be taken by model with JP or TDA) — Space Marine Bike that can turbo-boost 18″ and “jump over” intervening units when it does Turbo-boost.

While all of these are quite solid, the ones that stand out to me the most are the first four:

a) Banner of the Eagles — This, for a very reasonable points cost, can be a tremendous force-multiplier for any White Scars melee army, especially with their native Hit and Run. For example, put this in with a White Scars Command Squad with Bikes, Power Lances, and an attached Chaplain and you have a genuinely deadly “lancer” unit that can threaten pretty much anything in the game that isn’t T8+ and/or doesn’t have a 2+ save (even MCs, like the new Tau Stormsurge, are in significant danger from 20 x S6 AP3 attacks, all with re-rolls to Hit on the charge).

b) The Glaive of Vengeance (6 MBs) — With +3S and AP2 on the charge, this combines tremendously well with the Banner of Eagles to make your “uber Warlord” devastating on the charge (remember, he has Hit and Run, so he can “rinse and repeat” with ease). Imagine this on a Chapter Master attached to the Command Squad described above (i.e. with the Banner of Eagles and Power Lances and a Chaplain)… the Chapter Master would get 6 x S8 AP2 attacks at I5 on the charge, all with WS6 and re-rolls to Hit from the Chaplain…. that is Marneus Calgar levels of close combat goodness, with the Chapter Master wounding almost everything on 2+s and causing Instant Death to any targets T4 or below, all while striking at full  initiative.

c) – The Hunter’s Eye (4 MBs) — Hands down, this is the best Relic of the bunch, and what I consider insanely underpriced (it could be 10 MBs and still be a steal!). With the ability to give the bearer +1BS, that is already a solid bonus, especially if he a BS4 HQ (like a Librarian) who is rocking a combi-weapon, Grav pistol, or manning a gun emplacement. Giving the bearer and his entire unit Ignore Cover (no Psychic Test, not LD test for Orders like Astra Militarum, nothing!) is just hands down off the chain. Imagine the Hunter Eye on a Librarian attached to a Centurion deathstar, or a Biker Chaplain with the Hunter’s Eye attached to an allied Dark Angel Black Knights squadrons, or a Techmarine with The Hunter’s Eye attached to a full Thunderfire Cannon Battery (i.e. 12 x S6 AP5 Ignore Cover Blasts, all fired at BS6), or a Chapter Master with The Hunter’s Eye attached to an allied Militarum Tempestus Command Squad with 4 Volley Guns and the ability to Twin-Link their shooting via Orders. Needless to say, this is extremely potent and competitive Relic!

d) – Mantle of the Stormseer (4 MBs, Librarian only) — Adamantium Will is a nice little boost, but what really makes this shine is guaranteed access to Psychic Maelstrom. Consider this basically a WC3, S10 AP1 “psychic demo charge” that can be used every turn (vice One Use Only) and which combines VERY well with the Hunter’s Eye above (i.e. Librarian becomes BS5 and gets Ignore Cover for this attack, making it even more deadly). The most risky part of this Relic is that it is a WC3 power, meaning you have to roll a lot of dice to reliably get it off (and so have a high chance of Perils). Based on that, probably the best way to use this is with a White Scar Librarius Conclave attached to another squad in a Drop Pod… the Drop Pod get them within range of their target turn 1 and the Conclave allows the using “Stormseer” to channel WCs on a 2+, making it SO MUCH more reliable (and less dangerous) to channel 3 Warp Charges successfully. Combined with Ignore Cover from either “Perfect Timing” power or The Hunter’s Eye relic and you can nuke strike a unit of your choice turn 1 with a S10 AP1 Ignore cover Large Blast.

Even the remaining two relics, basically an enhanced Power Sword that is good at challenges and a Space Marine Bike that can turbo-boost better than average are decent relics, just not as crazy good as these ones. No matter what, I don’t think you can go wrong with these new White Scar relics, especially since you can choose them in conjunction with the “baseline” relics from Codex Space Marines (i.e. it is not an “either/or,” but rather “both/and” choice).

Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship Tactics…

OK, so it is not really new and, in fact, it appears to be completely the same unit as it was in the previous codex. That said, I think the Sky Ray has a whole new lease on life in the upcoming Tau codex, based on the rumors we have seen so far.

The one thing that has changed, and which has a MAJOR impact, is that Sky Rays can be taken in squadrons of 1-3 vehicles and, as long as they have 3 vehicles in the squadron, then their new “Fire Team” rule, which grant them +1BS.

So, what does this mean for Tau Commanders who choose to take a squadron of 3 Sky Rays? Well, since each Sky Ray comes with six Seeker Missiles, two Networked Marker Lights, and a Velocity Tracker “stock,” this means that you can use up a single Heavy Support slot and get the following:

-18 Seeker Missiles

-6 Networked Marker Lights

Due to the Velocity Tracker, every turn you can choose whether to give the Sky Rays “Skyfire” or not. As long as they have three tanks, they all shoot at BS5… this is very important and means that Sky Ray squadrons can absolutely murder enemy flyers and FMCs:

-Against an AV12 flyer (like a Stormraven or a Stormwolf, for example), the Sky Ray squadron can shoot 18 Seeker Missiles out to 72″ with BS5, provided they all did not move. That is an average of 15 hits and 7-8 Glances (or 3-4 Glances, if the Flyer chooses to Jink), meaning you are almost certain to kill the 200+ point flyer (and its cargo) in a single volley.

-Against a FMC (say a Tyranid Hive Tyrant), the Sky Ray squadron shoots 18 Seeker Missiles, gets 15 hits, and gets 12-13 AP3 wounds… even if the Hive Tyrant Jinks, that still average 6-7 wounds, which kills it outright (great way to Slay the Warlord and get First Blood all in one move!)

The same “alpha strike” principle can be used against dangerous ground targets. Take an Eldar Wraithknight for example. The Sky Ray squadrons launches 18 Seeker Missiles, gets about 15 hits, 7-8 wounds, and about 5 Unsaved Wounds after the Wraithknight takes if FNP rolls… that leaves the Wraithknight with a single wound left, on average, which can be easily taken out by the rest of your army… again, enemy Wraithknight dead turn 1, before it can even get into action (also, quite demoralizing psychologically for them to lose their Lord of War Gargantuan creature just as the game begins).

So, Seeker Missiles are One Use Only, so what happens after you launch this glorious Alpha Strike to decimate a selected enemy unit? Well, remember, the squadron still has 6 Networked Marker Lights, all supported by BS5 and the ability to use Skyfire each turn, if required. In other words, the Sky Ray squadron becomes an AV13 BS5 Pathfinder Team for you!

This ability to act as a durable, hyper accurate source of Marker Lights can work in a number of ways:

1) Guaranteed Marker Lights Hits — Since they are shooting 6 MLs at BS5, you should get an average of 5 ML tokens on anything they point themselves at. That means you can pretty much guarantee Ignore Cover and +3BS against that selected target for the turn, which is an AMAZING ability to have in you hip pocket. Alternately, you can make 4 destroyer Missiles from a Stormsurge fire at BS4 and upgrade them to S: D AP1, which can be an equally devastating “killing blow” strike.

2) Cascading Marker Lights – Another way to use the Sky Ray BS5 Marker Lights is to boost the rest of the MLs in your army, making them exponentially more effective. For example, say you move your Sky Ray squadron before shooting (so they can only shoot 3 MLs at full BS) and you get 3 ML hits from the Sky Rays… you can use that to buff up a nearby 10 man Pathfinder squad to BS6, in turn allowing it to go from an average of 5 ML hits to around 10 ML hits… this in turn can “cascade” to give multiple units in the rest of your army “Ignore Cover” when shooting at that selected target, etc. etc.

3) Anti-Air Support — Even if you used up your Seeker Missiles early on to take out an enemy ground target, the Sky Rays can still provide you a form of air defense in later turns by using their BS5 MLs and Velocity Trackers against enemy flyers and FMCs… if you get an average of 5 ML hits against an enemy flyer, then you can, for example, buff a nearby Broadside Team with HYMPs to BS4 and Ignore Cover, meaning they can put out 12 BS6 Twin-Linked Ignore Cover S7 AP4 shots against that flyer that turn… doing the math against an AV12 flyer, that translates to 11-12 hits and 3-4 HPs stripped, with NO chance for Jinking/cover saves (Eldar Crimson Hunters will HATE this!) and almost a guarantee for shooting the flyer down.

This first look at Sky Rays for the new codex doesn’t even touch on employing them as part of their new Formation (the Armoured Interdiction Cadre, granting RRs to hit for shooting within 6″ of a designated spot on the battlefield) or as part of the Hunter Contingent (combining shooting with other Hunter Contingent units so give everyone “shared” benefits of special rules and Marker Light hits), but as you can clearly see, the ability to take Sky Rays as a squadron and improve their native shooting to BS5 is quite a potent addition to the Tau Commander’s arsenal.

Shadowstrike Kill Team (New RG Formation)

So, it appears we have leaked rules for Shadowstrike Kill Team (i.e. the new Raven Guard Formation):

http://astropate.blogspot.com/2015/10/nuovo-impero-tau-uscite-della-settimana.html#more

Looking over these, this formation has 2-4 Scout Squads and 1-3 Vanguard Vet squads. With those units, the formation gets the following special rules:

1 – Can choose to automatically fail or pass reserve rolls for Vanguard Vets

2 – Vanguard Vets do not scatter if they DS within 9″ of one of the Scout squads

3 – Vanguard Vets can charge the same turn they DS

Combine this with RG Chapter Tactics (i.e. Shrouded Scouts turn 1, which can be combined with Camo Cloaks and regular terrain for an automatic 2+ cover save; Jump Packs able to be used in both Movement and Assault for Vanguard Vets) and you have a very decent little formation here.

I think the best way this can be employed is to kit the Vanguard Vets out as “Monster Hunters” (i.e. PF, SS, and JP for all models) and then use the Scouts to bring them in turn 2 automatically with no scatter and charge an enemy “uber” unit of their choice, be it Eldar Wraithknight, Tau Ta’unar Lord of War, AM Leman Russ Squadron, Grav Centurion Deathstar, Imperial Knight, Necron Phalanx, Orky Battlewagon Brigade, Nid Hive Tyrant, or CSM Nurgle Obliterators.

Just for an example, imagine a 10 man VV squad charging an Eldar Wraithknight (with Prescience cast on them from a nearby Librarian). WK strikes first with 4A base, causing 0-1 unsaved wounds on average against the SS equipped VVs. With 9 VVs left, that means they strike back with 27 attacks, 20-21 hits, 10-11 wounds, and 6-7 unsaved wounds after the Wraithknight gets its FNP rolls (i.e. the Wraithknight is dead)… the VV still have to absorb any Stomp hits, but with good spacing and use of their Storm Shields, they should be able to economically absorb these hits (especially in exchange for killing the Wraithknight).

Take the same Vanguard Vet squad and have them multi-charge several enemy Leman Russ tanks (remember, no penalty for Multi-charging because of Heroic Intervention rule)… even with AV11 rear armor on the tougher Leman Russ variants, the squad should get 30 attacks, 26-27 hits (with Prescience), and 17-18 glancing hits (or better), meaning that they can easily wipe out an entire squadron of Leman Russes without breaking a sweat. Same logic can be applied to mass Ork Battlewagons (i.e. from the Blitz Brigade formation), except with even better results, since Battlewagons have AV10 rear armor and are open-topped.

Against an enemy Centurion Deathstar with 6 x Grav Centurions and Invisibility cast on it, this same squad gets 30 attacks, about 9-10 hits (6+s to Hit due to Invisibility, with re-rolls from Prescience), and about 8 unsaved wounds (or 4 dead Centurions), which is more than enough to cripple the Deathstar for the rest of the game. Finally, against an Imperial Knight this squad generates 30 attacks, 22-23 hits, and 7-8 glancing hits on average, which translates into one 400 point Imperial Knight destroyed.

However you slice it, I think this formation is going to be a winner, particularly if used in a role as a designated “titan killer” type unit that is equipped and deployed to destroy enemy super units.

Sicarian Infilitrators and Rending (Librarious Conclave + Misfortune)

Looking back through the Skitarii Codex, something that caught my eye is the sheer amount of shooting and close combat attacks Sicarian Infiltrators can generate when equipped with the Taser Goad/Flechette Blaster option. A squad of 10 Infiltrators can put out 50 x S2 AP- Shred shots and then follow it up with 41 x S6 AP- Taser attacks on the charge (so a net total of 91 shots/attacks against their selected target).

Since these attacks have no AP and, in the case of the Flechette Blaster, are extremely low Strength, the natural assumption is that they are only good for dealing with light infantry hordes or, at best, overwhelming MSU Power Armor squads through sheer volume. While that may be normally true, if you can support them with an Allied Psyker using the Misfortune power (from Divination dicispline), all that changes.

Imagine the following:

-10 Infiltrators with Flechette Blasters/Taser Goads

-Allied Space Marine Librarius Conclave (5 x PML(2) Librarians in TDA, all using Divination)

-2 x Space Marine Fast Attack Drop Pods

Infiltrators and TDA Librarians each ride in a separate Drop Pod. Turn 1, they both arrive, disembark, and Librarians cast Misfortune on the target (say an enemy Wraithknight) and Prescience on the Infiltrators. Infiltrators use their Doctrina Imperatives to boost themselves to BS5. They then shoot with 50 Flechette Blaster shots at the Wraith Knight… with re-rollable BS5 shots, they average 48-49 hits…. these hits wound and ignore armor on 6+s (due to Rending) and the Flechette Blasters allow re-rolls to Wound due to Shred, so that averages about 15-16 AP2 wounds on the Wraith Knight. If the Wraithknight has a 5++ shield save, then that makes for about 10 wounds inflicted, with FNP further reducing that to about 6-7 total Unsaved Wounds. Result, one dead Wraithknight.

Now, you can simply “rinse and repeat” against other targets the following turns, with the added advantage that the Infiltrators can move 9″, shoot another 50 shots, and then charge 2D6 +3″ (average 10″ charge range) with 41 x S6 AP- Taser attacks… with the additionally generated hits due to the “Taser” rule, Prescience for Re-rolls, and the Neurostatic Aura reducing enemy WS by -1, against most units (and vehicles) the Infiltrators will get an average of about 50 S6 hits… with 6+ to rend, they generate about 8  Rending hits on average rolling, meaning that they can handily kill a MC, wipe out a Terminator squad, or even glance an enemy Land Raider to death. Alternately, if they need to take out enemy hordes, then their mass shooting and close combat attacks can easily decimate even the biggest Ork Mob or AM Blob squad.

As you can see, the tactical applications of Misfortune combined with Sicarian Infiltrators and their exceptional volume of shots/attacks are numerous. The biggest weaknesses of this tactic are 1) Needing to roll up Misfortune reliably before the game begins and 2) the Infiltrator’s fragility, since they are T3, 2W, and only have a 4+ save/6++ Invul/FNP. They do, however, have Stealth (i.e. cover is their friend, especially when they first come out of the Drop Pod) and the allied Librarians can potentially give them a 4++ or Invisibility or Shrouded, any of which can make them much better able to survive enemy return fire. Finally, you are not restricted to deploying them with allied Drop Pods, since they have Infiltration organically and they also can move 9″ and run D6+3″ a turn, letting them get upfield very quickly (i.e. basically the same net mobility as Assault Marines) and work hand-in-hand with the Librarians/Misfortune to wreak all kinds of havoc on the enemy force.

Finally, this unit can be utilized as a “deathstar antidote”… imagine a maxed out squad of 6 TWC, all with PFs and Stormshields and led by a Wolf Lord with PF/SS and Runic Armor. That is 16 wounds, all protected by 3++ saves and (in the case of the Wolf Lord) 2+ armor as well, not to mention some VERY dangerous CC capacity!

Doing the math, if you successfully cast Misfortune on the TWC deathstar and Prescience on a squad of 10 Infiltrators, the Infiltrators can shoot 50 times and then charge with 41 attacks. Shooting at BS5 with Prescience causes about 5-6 unsaved wounds, which means abut 3 dead TWC (assuming the Wolf Lords LoS! the wounds onto the TWC)… the subsequent charge at WS4 (With re-rolls to Hit) versus WS3 (TWC have -1WS due to Neurostatic Aura) generates 41 attacks and, after Taser bonuses, about 50 total hits. Of these, about 8 are Rending, which causes another 2-3 unsaved wounds after SS saves (so a fourth TWC killed)… finally, the non-Rending hits generate about 25 wounds, which means 4 unsaved wounds after the 2+ saves from the WL Runic Armor is used, on average (so the WL is dead, but still gets to strike back, due to I4 vs I4). The remaining TWC attacks back with 8 PF swings, they killing an average of 2-3 Infiltrators… the result, Infiltrators win combat by six wounds, with 7 Infiltrators and 2 TWC left…. next round, the Skitarii melee experts should be able to kill the remaining two TWC before they even get to strike back. As you can surmise, this is a VERY favorable return on your investment against an otherwise quite deadly enemy threat.

Tomb Blades: Utility Skirmishers of the Necron Dynasties

I think more players are beginning to understand what tremendous value Necron Tomb Blades have in the current codex, but there are probably still many people who consider them a “second tier” unit. While not able to put out as much raw damage as, say, Wraiths or Doomsday Arks and not as survivable as Lychguard with Shields and 4+ Reanimation rolls, they are nevertheless an extremely useful all-purpose unit for any canny Overlord to employ.

Consider the following:

-Tomb Blade squad of 10 models, all with:

***TLed Gauss Blasters

***Shieldvanes

***Nebuloscopes

So, for the price of 44 Melta Bombs, you get a unit with a basic MEQ stat line, except that they are I2 and have Ld10 and T5 stock. Additionally, they have 20 TLed S5 AP4 Gauss (auto-glance/wound on rolls of 6+) shots at 12″, they can move 12″/Turbo-boost 24″ (being Jetbike units), and they have access to Jink (4+ cover save) and Reanimation Protocols. This unit can do almost anything you ask of it because of its versatile profile:

1 – Shooting — With TLed Gauss Blasters and Nebuloscopes, Tomb Blades are a threat infantry and vehicles alike. Against light infantry in cover, say the with the standard GEQ profile, 10 Tomb Blades get 20 shots at 12″, about 17-18 hits, and 14-15 AP4/Ignore Cover wounds. This means they can reliably remove pretty much any T3 infantry squads behind cover (i.e. Guardsmen, Cultists, Aspect Warriors, Fire Warriors, etc.), which is great for neutralizing those threats and opening up objectives. Alternately, because they Ignore Cover, Tomb Blades equipped like this can also deal with RW Bikers, Eldar Jetbikes, Tau Stealth suits, Tyranid Venomthropes, Orky Bikerz, Harlequins with Psychic Support, Imperial Assassins, or pretty much any unit in the game that relies heavily on its cover/Jink saves for survivability. Finally, Tomb Blades are also quite good at dealing with enemy vehicles (especially ones that depend on Jinking, such as Eldar/DE Skimmers)… with 20 Gauss Blasters shots and an average of 17-18 hits, their Gauss weapons can strip an average of about 3 HPs from any vehicle they target, be it a AV10 skimmer or an AV14 Land Raider. This versatility really can be the difference in a Necron army’s shooting phase, as Tomb Blades can deal with (or at least assist in prosecuting) almost any unit in an enemy army.

2 – Objectives — With a the ability to displace up to 36″ a turn, T5, a 3+ armor save, and 5+ Reanimation Protocols, there really is no better Objective grabber/holder in the Necron Codex. Even a bare minimum squad of 3 Tomb Blades (costing a mere 11 Melta Bombs) can dash around all game for Necrons and seize objectives while using their armor, Jink, and RPs to absorb enemy counter-shooting (note: it takes 20 BS4 Bolter shots or 5-6 BS4 Plasma Shots, on average, to kill a single Jinking Tomb Blade).

3 – Screening/Melee — While these are certainly not the ideal functions for Tomb Blades, they can still do quite a good job of providing mobile cover to your other units, “bubble wrapping” critical vehicles to protect them DSing melta units, or even tying up enemy shooting units in assault to prevent them from shooting. With their above average survivability and exceptional mobility (especially for their points cost) they can quickly tarpit enemy “fire base” units (Grav Centurions and the new Ta’unar “Titan battlesuit” comes to mind as ideal deathstar shooting units to tie up in combat) in order to allow the rest of your army to operate free of the danger from their tremendous shooting output.

Overall, you can see how many uses Tomb Blades have, whether you use them in minimum squads of 3 or maxed out 10 Bike Squadrons with all the upgrades. Don’t forget, while they can operate very effectively independently from the rest of the Necron army, they also can benefit from synergizing with other units, such as increasing to BS5 if within 6″ or a Triarch Stalker or gaining Preferred Enemy if a Destroyer Lord is attached to them.

Big Game Hunting: The Company Command Squad and the dreaded Cover Save

We are already into the second half of 2015 and it looks like more and more updated 7th edition Codexes are getting buffed with units that have very access to very strong cover saves. Examples of this include pretty much all Raven Guard non-Vehicles Turn1 (i.e. Shrouded + Normal Cover = 3+ Cover Save, even for Centurions, TDA, etc.), Ravenwing Bikers (i.e. Jink + Stealth from Darkshroud + RRs to cover saves = 3+ re-rollable Cover saves), the new Tau XV95 Ghostkeel (i.e. Ghostkeel + Drones + Electrowarfare Suite = 2+ cover saves in the open against anything shooting from further than 12″ away), and Eldar Jetbikes with Warlock Leaders (i.e. Jink + Shrouded from Warlock = 2+ cover save).

These are just as few examples, but as you can see, strong cover saves appear to becoming more and more prevalent in the current meta. So, that naturally begs the question, how do you reliably/efficiently deal with this new threat? One of the better options I can come up with is as follows:

-2 x Astra Militarum Company Command Squads, each equipped with:

*4 Plasma Guns

*Astropath

*Kurov’s Aquila (on the Warlord Company Commander)

– 2 x Transport Vehicle (Vendettas/Valkyries/Chimeras/Tauroxes)

Use the transport to get the two Command Squads into position, the on the same turn have them jump out (staying within 6″ of the Aquila Company Commander for Preferred Enemy). First, both the Astropaths use Psychic Shriek on the selected target(s) to chip off some wounds. Next, have each Company Command Squad use the “Fire on my Target” order on itself to give the Plasma Gunners “Ignore Cover,” then open up with up to 16 x S7 AP2 shots at BS4.

Because of the Preferred Enemy bubble, these shots all hit 77% of the time (vice 66% from normal BS4 shooting) and they re-roll Get’s Hot results as well. Preferred Enemy also gives re-rolls of 1s to Wound, meaning that against anything T5 or worse, the S7 AP2 shots are wounding about 97% of the time. Finally, AP2 and Ignore Cover means that the only saves the target will get is Invul saves and/or FNP, both of which are decently rare, especially on some of the main units mentioned above (i.e. RW bikers, Raven Guard Centurions, Tau Ghostkeel suits, Eldar Jetbikes, etc.).

With this kind of firepower, the Command Squads should be able to reliably kill two small-medium squads a turn or even take down a LOW like a Tau Stormsurge or Eldar Wraithknight, especially with the help of 2 x Psychic Shrieks. Also, if the target is not dependant on Cover Saves but is either a MC or vehicle, you can instead use the “Bring it Down” order to buff the squads damage output against these targets. Finally, if you don’t mind the heretical fluff, you can use Allied transports like Drop Pods or Rhinos or even Land Raiders to deliver the Company Command Squads within Rapid Fire range of their intended targets.