Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Retrospective: 6-8 August 2010 Counteroffensive VII (Intro)

You can also read coverage of this event at the Jungle, from the perspective of Sho-T (Pat) and Justiciar (Bryan):
I had been very excited about this particular counteroffensive event, and put together no less than four (!) army lists for the event, based on any number of crazy 40K army ideas that have been percolating over the years.  The Usual Suspects had agreed on 1750 point army lists, and so I brought along:

(A) A Space Marine Dreadnought Bash.
(B) A Slann (space lizard!) army list, using Tau rules.
(C) A classic-miniature Tyranid Warrior list.
(D) My "Swinging Sixties" Sisters of Battle list.
(A) First up is a Space Marine Dreadnought Bash, with an alternate list using some of the Spearhead rules that had recently been released.  This allowed me to put to use the many marine and dreadnought bits that had been hiding away in my bits collection for many years, and with a few other selections (and conversions) to fill out the list, I had the following for 1750:
  • Master of the Forge w/Conversion Beamer
  • 3x “Rifleman” Dreadnoughts with double twin-ACs
  • 3x “Support” Dreadnoughts with twin-LC and Missile
  • 2x 10-man Tactical squads with Missile/Flamer, and Sgt with Combi-flamer and meltabomb
  • 2x Razorbacks with Lascannon/twin-Plasma
  • 2x Typhoon Landspeeders with Multimelta
  • 1x 5-man Scout Snipers with Camo-cloaks and Missile
 All in all, a fairly shooty, fairly mobile list that is pretty high on the “fun factor” and not too nasty.  Ironically, despite being the army list with the highest “fun factor” for both me and opponents, this list never saw use at this particular Counteroffensive event.

(B) Next is a Slann (space lizard!) army list, using Tau rules.  I’ve been playing and painting this army for many years, and this particular incarnation finally uses the piranhas and kroot that I’ve been avoiding converting and painting for a long time (despite having the models for many years…and despite the fact that the kroot conversions were the VERY FIRST THING that got me into this list!).  Finally, no more excuses, I thought!  Here’s what I had for 1750 points, using Tau names for units:
  • Shas’el with plasma/missile/target array, HWMulti, HWT-lock
  • 2x 3-suit Crisis teams with Missile/Plasma and Multitracker
  • 2x 2-suit Broadside teams with Target array, Leader with HWT-lock, HWBlacksun, 2x Shield Drones
  • 2x 8-man Pathfinders with Ld8 upgrade, in Devilfish with D-pod
  • 2x 6-man Fire Warriors
  • 2x 10-man Kroot, with 4 Kroot Hounds each
  • 1x 2-vehicle Piranha squadron, each with Fusion, D-pod, Target array, Flechette
Not quite as streamlined and optimized as Tau can get, but pretty close to min-max glory for the army codex, and definitely brutal for opponents who don’t know what to shoot at first – the Pathfinders in particular make cover vanish, which can be nasty for units or vehicles at the receiving end of Tau heavy-weapons fire that accompanies that ability.

(C) A Tyranid Warrior list, fielding all the old-school plastic Tyranid Warriors I’ve collected over the years – and supplemented with some Zoats (as Hive Guard) and Cthulhuoid monsters (as Zoanthropes), and a few other conversions here and there.  Although mostly put together as a “fun” list, it has the potential to be really quite nasty, as the swarms of Tyranid Warriors are somewhat difficult to put down, because almost nothing is Monstrous (and thus can easily find cover), and because virtually every unit in the army can put a hurt on light transports and infantry squads.
  • 2x Tyranid Primes with twin-Boneswords, Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands
  • 6x 3-model Tyranid Warriors, Rending Claws, 2 with Deathspitter, 1 with Venom Cannon
  • 1x 3-model Zoanthropes brood
  • 1x 3-model Hive Guard brood
  • 1x Deathleaper
  • 1x Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon, Regeneration, Cluster Spines
 Although the army probably would struggle against heavy Armor Values, this isn’t anything different from most Tyranid lists.  Other than that primary weakness, though, there’s an awful lot of crunchy.

(D) My "Swinging Sixties" Sisters of Battle list, using the infamous ‘Immo-spam’, and probably one of the nastier army lists I’ve ever used (and certainly in this current 5th edition of the game).  I’ve been playing this list on-and-off for several years, including in tournaments – and found it can be extremely brutal when it works well, but can fall apart and turn into a long slow (losing) slog if I make mistakes in deployment or the initial phases of the game.  Sisters are a little too tough to completely fall apart, but that tends to result in a losing game for me that lasts for many turns longer (with no victory in sight!) than other army lists I’ve fielded. 
  • 1x Demonhunter Inquisitor Lord w/Hammer of Witches, Psychic Hood, BP/CCW
  • ……with Retinue of Chirurgeon, and 3 Meltagun veterans
  • 1x Palatine with Book, BP/CCW, with one unit of Celestians as retinue (see below)
  • 4x 5-model Celestians (2 Meltaguns, and Leader with BP/CCW), in Immolator w/Ex-Armor, Smoke
  • 2x 5-model Dominions (2 Flamers, and Leader with Brazier/BP), in Immolator w/Ex-Armor, Smoke
  • 2x 5-model Adeptus Arbites (IST’s with 2 Meltaguns, 3 shotguns)
  • 3x empty Immolators w/Ex-Armor, Smoke
  • 1x IG Platoon (Lt with AC, 2 Snipers) (2x Squads with AC) (1x HW team with 3 ACs)
Definitely an unfriendly list, and one that will no longer be entirely legal (due to the Demonhunters ally and allied Imperial Guard) after the White Dwarf update to the Sisters of Battle comes out this summer 2011.

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