Thursday, 6 September 2012

The new look Skull Reapers

After another less than successful outing for the Skull Reapers under the Black Templar codex, I’m coming to conclusion that the build I was using at the end of 5th edition doesn’t cut it in 6th. Last night I played against an Eldar / Blood Angel army list and was basically torrented off the board by his 3 units of 3 Warwarkers. It exposed that even though I have 5 troop choices. They are each only 5man units and have a survivability issue. I made mistakes, I forgot to interceptor fire my Quad Gun when the Blood Angels deep strike onto the board, didn’t play the range game with my Cyclones and spread out across my board edge which is never a good thing against Eldar, I should have bunched up a little more. So I’ve decided to move codex with the Skull Reapers, and although I think Space Wolves would be a strong army in the current meta, I’m going to a team event at the end of Sept and the Space Wolf slot is taken, so I’ve decided to move to Vanilla marines.

So stuff that a 6th edition army needs to compete and what can the Marines bring to the slot. First off are flyers. You need a tactic for dealing with flyers, I thought the Black Templars could adopt the “ignore them” tactic with their Terminators shrugging off the fire, however Flyers either have high AP weapons, Las Cannons and the like which WILL hurt Terminators or a lot of shots. This tactic just didn’t work so I need to think how to deal. However not all armies have flyer and I need to ensure that what I take to deal with them isn’t rendered useless with a non-flyer army. If the rumours are to be believed then Missile Launchers are going the way of having Krak/Frag OR Flak, hence making the unit pretty useless against a none flyer army if you upgrade. Not sure I agree with that, but it’s not in the codex yet so it doesn’t matter. The first tactic to deal with flyers is Aegis defence line with gun emplacement. First choice is Quad gun vs. Las Cannon. The second part of this tactic is crewing the gun. In the marine codex there is an obvious choice, Sergeant Tellion. He has a really high BS means the hit is pretty likely. Add to this that his scouts will be behind the defence line, with Cloaks and Tellion’s stealth which now confers to his squad they’ll get a 2+ cover save, making them hard to dig out. If my opponent has no flyers there’s still a good scoring unit which will be hard to shoot off an objective if it’s in cover.

One anti-flyer unit screams “shoot me!” The gun emplacement can be targeted and taken off the board so I don’t want to rely solely on it. The other option for dealing with flyers is your owns flyers. For Space Marines this mean Storm Talons. They can take on flyer on their own terms and with Str6 (rending) and Str7 multiple shots they can take down the typical AV12 flyers. If the enemy has no flyers they can harass smaller enemy units with a torrent of fire.

Another trick in 6th edition is wound allocation. There are a number of builds out there which use the LOS roll to manipulate the damage, stacking the hits on either the 1 model in the unit with the better saves, or distributing hits across several multi-wound models. There are two ways to deal with this, the first is precise shot, you can allocate the hit, not the opponent. Tellion already brings this to the game and by upgrading the scouts with Sniper Rifles they too will be able to pick their targets on to hit roll of 6. The other option is negate this is changing the direction the shots are coming from. Barrage is one special rule which allows for this as the wound allocation works from the centre of the template rather than the direction of the unit. For Space Marines this means Whirlwinds, however I’m still not sold on them so I’ll leave that. The other option is to simply get units out of position so their shots come in from directions the unit is not set up for. One option is highly manoeuvrable unit who can quickly out flank and fire into the unit, the Storm Talons fill this role nicely once they’ve finished dealing with enemy flyers. Another option is deep striking units so they land out of position for their target’s preferred firing direction and hit them in the side or backs. The Marines have a number of options for this, Drop Pods, Terminators, Jump infantry all have deep strike. I’ll be taking drop pods for two of my troop choices, I’m taking two despite the fact that I’ll probably leave one empty and deploy the unit on the board. That way I can choose to bring down the occupied pod at either turn 1 or leave it for reserves.

Looking over the common lists I’m hearing from there is also another big thing, the T5 FnP units (mostly bikers) I want to combat them too, so I’m going to give a Vindicator a try to use its Str10 pie plate to ward off the big units coming too close. I’m also taking some assault troops as a counter attack unit and also a potential tank hunting unit. Now that vehicles are WS1 even then they move means you hit fast moving tanks on a 3+ add in the extra hammer of wrath attacks from assaulting with jump packs they should be fairly good at hunting and killing the AV10 rear armour tanks. Round the army off with a number of 10man tactical squads to give some bulk to the force and there you have it. My Army list is going to be

HQ – Librarian
Troop1 – 10man Tactical Squad, Missile Launcher, Plasmagun, Power Sword, melabomb
Troop2 – 10man Tactical Squad, Missile Launcher, Plasmagun, Power Sword, melabomb, Drop Pod
Troop3 – 10man Tactical Squad, Multimelta, Meltagun, Power Sword, melabomb, Drop Pod
Troop4 – 5 Scouts with Tellion, Camo Cloaks
Elite1 – Terminator Squad, Assault Cannon, Chainfist
Fast1 – 10 Assault Marines, Power Weapon, Meltabomb
Fast2 – Sky Talon, Talon Missile Launcher
Fast3 – Sky Talon, Talon Missile Launcher
Heavy1 – Vindicator
Formation – Aegis Defence Line with Lascannon

It’s a fairly balance list with counters to most 6th edition tricks I know of. I think it will struggle against someone who massively spams a single tactic, so 6 flyers etc. but who knows. What it does mean is once against I’ve got a hell of a lot of painting to do in the next 2 weeks before Northern Warlords.

1 comment:

  1. I like the concept of dropping down and plasma-firing vulnerable models out of squads. I think a combi-plasma would gain you more for your tacticals in pods than power weapons or meltabombs - either 2 S7 shots into rear armour or 2 AP2 shots at whatever unit is going to assault you next turn. I may have to give that a go with my BA, running 3x plasma and a Libby with Prescience on the Deep Strike.

    Rifleman Dreadnoughts are reasonable answers to flyers that aren't useless against non-Flyer units, but we really need to see what happens with Flakk missiles before a clear winner can be chosen.