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.

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