So its been awhile since my last real post, but such is life sometimes eh?  Even so, I've not been sitting around completely idle.  Been lurking around B&C primarily, with a few other blogs being on my daily reading list.  Kept up with things as best I could, and put in my two cents when it was quick and easy to do so.

In addition to that, I've gotten a few more games down under my belt testing out my Nova Open list.  It has netted me several more wins, however, it has also shown me potential issues that I may come across at the event.  These are things that need to be addressed before I travel down to Virginia.  :)

As I mentioned, I've managed to play a few games since my last article concerning this list.  In addition, several readers have also taken up the mantle and have sent me their battle reports complete with videos and/or pictures.  This has helped immensely in determining my advise to these players, as well as seeing potential flaws in the list against certain opponents.

One of the flaws that I'm coming to see more prevalent is the fragility of the army itself (list #1).  Much of the current list's firepower is based around the Land Speeder Typhoons.  After my playtesting and seeing other player's games, I've decided that I cannot rely so much on such a fragile unit.  If I have the first turn, they are phenomenal.  But if I don't, they get shot to hell because their armor is so weak.  Even though I'm usually sporting at least a 5+ obscure save, all it takes is one shot to go through to silence that vehicle's shots for a turn.  And if my opponent gets lucky, which isn't hard against AV10, both are neutralized.  I do have three separate units of two, giving me some redundancy and saturation, but I don't think its enough.  They need to change.

The next problem that I noticed was that the Dawn of War deployment was one that is not kind of my army.  Because the majority of my forces have to walk onto the board, they are unable to fire to maximum effect, losing precious time to kill what is needed in my opponent's list.  While the Land Speeders don't really have this problem, they suffer from being lightly armored as mentioned in the previous paragraph.  I need firepower that I can redeploy if need be, without suffering too much in lost shots.  And I would prefer that those units be reasonably durable.

Finally, I noticed that it simply was not enough for my Command Squad to act as speed bump.  Their primary mission was to provide long range fire, plus the Marshal's Rites of Battle, but this unit simply did not bring enough to the table.  While they certainly took huge chunks out of the offending enemy units in assault, they certainly did not survive to see multiple combat phases.  Plus, having a single unit on the board is relatively easy to maneuver around, limiting its ability to provide adequate bubble-wrapping for my army. 

While I'm going to miss my army-wide Ld 10 from the Marshal (presents a exploitable weakness in the list), these guys need to go.  Not to mention, I'm growing tired of arguing against player misinterpretations.  A power armored Commander may lead Terminator Command squads.  Lead and attached are different terminology!  It is easier to simply do away with a potential problem in advance, rather than build and paint my list, then show up at Nova just for them to tell me that the list is illegal.

So lets sum up the current flaws in the list.  First, it relies too much on the Typhoons and they are easy to neutralize.  Second, movement causes problems for my firepower potential.  Thus, Dawn of War hurts the army's chances to succeed.  Finally, the Command Squad doesn't quite fit the role they are given.  They are dangerous and durable against shooting, but they cannot be everywhere at once.

I mentioned I got some games in.  Three of those games were against the new Grey Knights codex.  And can I say, those guys can put out some nasty builds.  I assisted a friend build what I considered a competitive GK list and he gave my tournament-tuned list a serious run for its money.  The amount of min-maxed dual Psycannon potential, adding in rifleman Dreadnoughts with Psybolt upgrades, is crazy good.  If you cannot stop them from getting to mid-field, you're likely going to lose.  It was here that I fully realized the need for durable firepower, not something so fragile as the Typhoons.  Those Psyfleman Dreads just punched huge holes in my speeders before I was able to knock them out.  I can only imagine that I'll be facing similar lists at Nova.

As such, I had to take a look at my list and make some hard decisions based on likely potential opponents.  The fact of the matter is, while Ld 10 via Rites of Battle is nice, it isn't a necessary component of the list (especially when the EC is joined with one of the Crusader squads).  Nor are the 3x2 Typhoon setup.  I can get away with a 3x1 setup, but they won't be as effective in their individual shooting phases.  In exchange, we're going back to the very original gunline list's double CML-Terminator squads. 

This gives me 10 Terminators, which is two semi-legitimate speedbump units.  They are relentless and able to redeploy if needed, at no loss in firepower.  This provides me with excellent anti-tank capabilities and decent anti-infantry when firing frags/storm bolters.  Last, but not least:  they are durable as hell when sitting in cover!  I lost 3 Heavy Bolters and a total of 2 Missile Launcher shots (but upgraded 4 ML shots with tank hunters).  With the additional storm bolter shots, the upgraded missile shots, and the greater durability on my really is a wash.  So this is what the new list looks like, though it looks pretty similar to my post-FAQ gunline list.  ;)

* Emperor's Champion w/ Black Sword, Bolt Pistol, Armor of Faith, and the Vow: "Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch." [110]

* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 5 Power Fists, and Tank-Hunters. [265]
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 5 Power Fists, and Tank-Hunters. [265]

* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolters, 1 Plasmagun & 1 Lascannon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons and Searchlights. [192]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolters, 1 Plasmagun & 1 Lascannon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons and Searchlights. [192]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolters, 1 Plasmagun & 1 Lascannon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons and Searchlights. [192]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolters, 1 Plasmagun & 1 Lascannon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons and Searchlights. [192]

Fast Attack:
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]

Heavy Support:
* Predator Destructor w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Side-Sponsons, and Searchlights. [126]
* Predator Destructor w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Side-Sponsons, and Searchlights. [126]
* Predator Destructor w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Side-Sponsons, and Searchlights. [126]

Total Points: [1996]

Have at it.  :)

The thought processes behind how I got to this point can be found in the "Prepping for Nova Open" blog series.  Part One; Part Two; Part Three.


04/26/2011 1:07pm

So, how are you planning to use your Crusader Squads? You want a ton of firepower right up front and since you have Razorbacks I assume that you will start them disembarked, but that leads to being slower when it comes to claiming objectives.

I admit that I am trying to find a place for a Marshal but having them on foot means that you could all too easily get shot and lose one guy, then run off the board edge. Or you are far enough away from the board edge and a Close Combat army can get to you more easily. If you dropped a single Lascannon from one of your Crusader Squads you could purchase Extra Armor on all of your Predators which would let them move whenever they cannot fire. The loss of a single slow Lascannon would give you more maneuverability for that squad and your Predators as well as making it that much harder for your opponent to kill your Predators, a large amount of your killing power (besides the Terminators).

You've probably considered this already but I would definitely get a Marshal if your guys are out of their tin cans. On the other hand, if they do start embarked then you won't be able to fire their Lascannons until they are closer to the enemy when exchanging them for Multi-Meltas would be worth looking into for their better chance against heavy armor. You also mentioned your lack of melta weaponry before.

Again, when disembarked you want a Marshal to reduce the chance for failure. When embarked you cannot shoot those Lascannons. That's all I can say about this list.

And, as a side note, you forgot to list Tank Hunter when you wrote up the Terminator Squads. They're in the price but not written down.

04/26/2011 5:25pm

I thought about it long and hard. I play tested it against several different kinds of armies and player skills. I even told several players how to beat me and played them anyway.

What it has all shown me is that while the Marshal's "Rites of Battle" is definitely helpful in ensuring that Crusader squads do not flee (and with KTA) isn't totally necessary. Only three of the four squads are affected by the lack of Ld 10, and while they may be important in objective games, they are not essential to the firepower needs of the list. Even still, they still pass Ld tests 72.2% of the time.

Deployment is absolutely essential. First turn, there should be absolutely no reason why they are exposed to enemy fire if you're using proper Space Marine vehicle layering. Preds in front, presenting AV13. The Razorbacks behind them, getting obscure saves. Then the actual Crusader Squads are behind those horizontally deployed Razorbacks, out of line of sight. And finally, the Typhoons shoot over the top of everything. I'll have to work on getting a picture to show what I mean.

Once its your turn, you move the razorbacks out of the way and open fire. Or if you don't have the first turn, simply refuse flank your opponent. That way if they want to shoot you, they have to move to bring their weapons to bear. Against opponent's like Space Wolf Long Fangs, that is a huge problem. On the other hand, my forces have clear fire lanes and can advance slightly forward if needed to be in range. :)

I'm not saying there is no risk, I 110% agree with you. In this very rare circumstance, I'm willing to take that risk because the need for durable firepower is greater. The disadvantages can be band-aided over with proper deployment and skillful play. You cannot do the same with a fragile army.

I very much want a Marshal in the list to cover those weaknesses. But there simply isn't the points for him without seriously affecting the fragility of the list. My last list was very good, but against opponents such as Psy-spam GK, it is a serious problem to have.

04/26/2011 7:15pm

So, they deliberately targeted the Typhoons as a priority? That is what I see as a weakness in my list also, but you have fixed it by taking the twin Tank Hunting dual-Cyclone Terminator squads.

Ignoring the Terminators is hard to do because they need to be addressed quickly to start whittling them down and that means the Predators should start taking hits next. In the meantime more shots keep flying.

Oh gag, you have 16 distinct 48" shots with that list. True, half of them are hit or miss, but still.

04/27/2011 8:08am

Thought, just because you have slots, you don't have to fill them. Pull one Predator and two Crusaders. This nets you 510 points.

Now, buy four Crusader squads:
Two at 5/0 + Missile Launcher and Bolters
Two at 5/0 + Melta + PF in a Drop Pod
Add in one Typhoon Speeder
This takes 510 points.

You lose 2xTLLC and 2xLC, gain 1xTyphoon, 2xMissile plus a pair of reserved Melta/PF squads.

Logic: You are not going for mobile bunkers anyway, your Lazorbacks are AFVs and maybe last minute transport for late game objective gathering after you have broken the enemy.

You get a pair of 48" foot squads that are good for deploying in DoW plus claim rear objectives. Depending on the course of the battle, the AI of the frag missile option is likely to be more useful than the LC and you still have krak if you have heavy infantry dispersed.

You have also just added two melta squads that can drop on rear objectives. This is not a Pod army so you don't have to get enough numbers dropping to get reliable reinforcements.

Cost: Loss of upfront firepower, but more scoring squads, the ability to strike in the enemy's rear without fear of losing transports + firing from heavy weapon squads + two more scoring units. You do get some of the firepower back in an arguably equal measure because for transport popping krak and HB fire work too, as well as being able to mass kill infantry.

Another way to look at it: You lose three of your 48" shots (dropping you down to 13) while strengthening one of those shots and adding LR duality to two shots.

Should not change your deployment much, you just have a bit less to deploy.

If I had the vehicles, I might try this one myself.

Got a couple of Pods?

04/28/2011 8:20am

Very similar to what I came up with. Basically, we differ in our troop load out, you going extreme firepower, myself going for more versatility at the expense of the firepower. I think the differences are worthy playing and seeing how it plays out.

06/09/2011 1:06pm

Your list will have trouble against Thunderwolf cavalry with storm shields etc. I'd consider taking out a pred and put in a vindi, just to guard your line.


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