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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-11, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Spanner's Guide to Underrated Units (C:DA) #3 Scouts

OK, so my previous two guides were for Company Veterans and Techmarines, so I thought I might stick with that theme. DA scouts are yet another underrated, underused unit that could be exactly what your list is missing, thanks to their flexibility and efficiency at what they do. Although on paper, they may not compare with the other elites like the ubiquitous Deathwing, or sometimes the Veterans, but I reckon these little guys have a bite much worse than their bite.

Basic Advantages:

OK, so first up let's have a look at their statline. They have the basic S4 T4 W1 A1 core, which is a good start for any infantry unit, seeing as already you are outcompeting those squidgy T3 xenos and guard units. Then you see a decent leadership, although combined with a slightly sub-par 4+ save. But that's OK, because if your scouts are getting shot to pieces before they can do anything then you're using them wrong (duh). Now we get to the nice bit: WS and BS 4. Although this may not seem like much, they can now already outfight and outshoot entire armies (orks, nids/tau, guard), and even specific units like vanilla scouts or sisters of battle. This little benefit costs you only 5 points more at base cost than the vanilla WS/BS3 equivalent.

Now, basic wargear-wise the scouts have a variety of options:
- Bolter
- Bolt pistol and CCW
- Shotgun
- Sniper rifle

These options are nearly all viable in one way or another and makes a scout unit a very flexible option when writing your list. Furthermore, with ATSKNF and F&K nades as standard, you're on a pretty firm footing for a decent core unit.

Basic disadvantages:

The main hindrance of DA scouts is that they cannot capture objectives as they are not troops. Therefore, they must be used differently to vanilla scouts, in that their aim is to disrupt key enemy forces, and support the tactical squads capturing objectives with their specialist role.
The 4+ armour save is something too that immediately springs to mind, as there is a massive armoury of AP4 weaponary in 5th ed. The key is to not expose your units until they have fulfilled their intended role, as scouts area very tactical unit, not just point and fire - THINK.
Lack of camo is an annoyance for scouts as they suffer slightly more from small arms, so make the most of any terrain/cover you can find.
Lack of transport seems to be the greatest limiting factor IMO for scouts, as they have to either remain static (limiting the support they can give), or are forced to cross wide expanses of open battlefield on foot. The key here is deployment, as if you're going long range, make sure your weapons are in range of all areas you think may be needed to be covered. If you're a more CC orientated unit, then start either in reserves and outflank, or infiltrate to a position where you can get at your target, but also aren't too far away from support units to help exploit an advantage.

Key Roles:

1. Long range fire support - Sniper rifles, missile launcher.
Typically this squad will only consist of 5 models (10 is overkill mostly), staying at the back of your deployment and targeting key units early on. Their role is to take out high profile targets that would normally require large amounts of fire power to bring down, or to pin small formations of infantry. The 4+ sniper is brilliant at bringing down MCs, while BS4 means you're hitting at 66% chance, plus the missile launcher for opportunistic anti-tank too.
Targets: MCs, single model units, low AV transports, walkers.
Units to avoid: CC units, flamers, obliterators/long fangs
Strengths: Can take out annoying units early on and can pin threatening infantry units.
Weaknesses: Tend to be immobile once deployed, so can become isolated and are easy prey for CC units or infiltrators.

2. Objective campers/counter attackers - BP/CCW, shotguns
This squad again will usually only consist of 5 models, and are used to defend home objectives and launch counter attacks against squidgy units that get too close. Their role is not necessarily to wipe out the offending unit, but buy time for reinforcements to arrive, and maybe get a lucky ID on a valuable model with a PF. It allows you to defend your objective without necessarily having to allocate a troop to hold it, providing you can give the support it needs if it comes under attack.
Targets: Tarpitting under strength units, taking out squidgier infantry
Units to avoid: Heavy fire power units e.g. sternguard, devvies, crisis suits, as well as hard-hitting CC and HQ units.
Strengths: Frees up troops to move elsewhere, and can tarpit more important enemy units.
Weaknesses: cannot hold its own against dedicated CC units, and cannot capture objectives.

3. Enemy Harassment - BP/CCW
Infiltrate or outflank a unit of 10 scouts tooled up for CC, and use them to target backline enemy units like heavy weapons teams or static vehicles to gain easy kill points and reduce fire support for units moving up to contest objectives. They work well in combo with a HQ such as a company master or chaplain as opportunistic hunter-killers as an underestimated threat.
Strengths: Often more than make up their points and take out key fire support to deny reinforcements.
Weaknesses: Not up to H2H with dedicated CC units
Targets: Tanks (MB), heavy support infantry, troops, infiltrators etc
Units to avoid: CC units, large infantry formations, MCs

4. Mid-board skirmishers - bolters
5 to 10 depending on points level, and are mainly used to target isolated units or provide close-range fire support for advancing troops. CC is an option here, but is more used for wiping out under-strength units or tarpitting incoming reinforcements. Meltabombs again, are a must-have for taking out that annoying land raider or monolith.
Targets: Troops, vehicles, under-strength units.
Units to avoid: CC dedicated units, AP4 firepower
Strengths: for a low cost they can deny reinforcements and get easy kill points
Weaknesses: Have a certain fragility that means they can be wiped out easily in one turn of shooting

TOP TIP: The final option is one for those who are thrifty with their point spending, as it's a hybrid unit. Take 4x BP/CCW models, a sgt with Pf and MB, 4x snipers, and then a ML. When it comes to deployment, simply combat squad into the skirmishers and snipers, saving an FOC slot, and a handful of point in the process, without giving away extra KP and covering more ground.

Sergeant options:
Power fist - a must have for skirmishers and harrassers, though counter attackers would benefit too. used for insta-kills and combatting vehicles and walkers. A bit pricey at low levels, but almost always worth it.
Power weapon - nice if you can't afford the fist, you fight lists without much mech (a rarity these days), or you're up against low initiative armies like crons
Meltabombs - compulsory for all types except snipers for the lucky land raider kill, and almost guaranteed kill points against static vehicles.
Plasma pistol - not often worth it, but can get lucky vehicle kills or knock wounds off CC nasties

Missile launcher - great for the sniper squad, but not much else seeing as you probably want to move every turn
Heavy bolter - same as above, but less useful without hellfire shells. Generally avoided.

HQ buffs:
Company Master - goes well with skirmishers and a Lightning claw/power fist to provide some unexpected CC benefits
Librarian - mostly avoided due to cost and poor powers, but unlimited psychic hood means it can camp with snipers and absorb ML shots etc with Force Barrier
Chaplain - again, skirmishers but the CC benefits are sort of wasted due to the lack of punch. Better at low points levels.
Special characters - mostly a no-go with scouts, though the 4++ from azzie does provide some hilarious results in friendly games.

List examples:

At 500, scouts are used as a way of taking out troops, and mostly run with the HQ:
- Chaplain - 100
- Tactical - 150 (rhino, PW, melta)
- Tactical - 150 (rhino, PW, melta)
- Scouts - 100 (PW, MB)

At 1500, they can either be the core of the list, or support units:
A)
Company master - 125 (lightning claw)
tactical - 220 (rhino, melta, multimelta)
tactical - 220 (rhino, melta, multimelta)
tactical - 150 (rhino, flamer, PW, MB)
scouts - 100 (snipers, ML)
scouts - 110 (PF, MB, BP/CCW)
scouts - 165 (10 bolters, MB, PW)
vindicator - 125
vindicator - 125
ravenwing - 235 (6 bikes 2 meltas, PW)

B)
I. Chaplain - 120
Deathwing - 220 (CF, 3x DLC, 2x TH/SS)
Land Raider Crusader - 265 (EA)
Tactical - 220 (rhino, melta, ML)
Tactical - 220 (rhino, melta, ML)
Tactical - 150 (rhino, flamer, MB, PW)
Scouts - 165 (8x bolters, PW/MB)
Scouts - 165(8x bolters, PW/MB)
Ravenwing support - 75 (TML, MM)
Ravenwing support - 75 (TML, MM)
Ravenwing support - 75 (TML, MM)

And at apocalypse (4000) you can really go to town:

Belial - 130 (DLC) + apothecary and standard bearer
Interrogator Chaplain - 130 (MB)
Scouts - 175 (BP/CCW, PF, MB)
Scouts - 175 (BP/CCW, PF, MB)
Scouts - 175 (BP/CCW, PF, MB)
Deathwing - 240 (CML, 4x TH/SS, CF/SB)
Deathwing - 240 (CML, 4x TH/SS, CF/SB)
Deathwing - 240 (CML, 4x TH/SS, CF/SB)
Deathwing - 250 (AssCan, 4x PF/SB, CF/SB)
Deathwing - 250 (AssCan, 4x PF/SB, CF/SB)
Deathwing - 250 (AssCan, 4x PF/SB, CF/SB)
Land Raider Crusader - 250
Land Raider Crusader - 250
Ravenwing Attack Sq - 320 (6 bikes, Ab w/ MM, 2x M, PF & MB)
Ravenwing Attack Sq - 320 (6 bikes, Ab w/ MM, 2x M, PF & MB)
Ravenwing Attack Sq - 320 (6 bikes, Ab w/ MM, 2x M, PF & MB)

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-14-11, 09:14 PM
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Probably the most in-depth tactic I have ever seen for a single unit, drawing with one on OBLITERATORS. + rep

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(Unless it blows off both your legs)

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-11, 05:30 PM
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so you would take a elite choice instead to whatever else, just to harras other units and give away vital victory points?

also giving your sargeant a PF just invites problems, the chance that you will get near a tank (especially if your using WYSIWYG) that has no infantry support or hasnt moved in the recent phase is very slim.

also if you give them a company master, it just invited more firepower to that unit, who are quite easy to kill and then the master will be left on his own, usually (if your using them for harassment) very close to the enemy, set up for a counter charge or alot of firepower ?

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-12, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrone forever View Post
so you would take a elite choice instead to whatever else, just to harras other units and give away vital victory points?
The point of that unit is that a) it is better than most infantry units anyway so can hold their own, particularly in assault, and b) They're a distraction unit designed to draw focus away from the rest of your army.
also giving your sargeant a PF just invites problems, the chance that you will get near a tank (especially if your using WYSIWYG) that has no infantry support or hasnt moved in the recent phase is very slim.
When infiltrating, then scouting, you can assault a tank T1, where the power fist will easily make up its points. Moreover, it's uselful for lucky IDs on expensive models and provides defence against walkers.
also if you give them a company master, it just invited more firepower to that unit, who are quite easy to kill and then the master will be left on his own, usually (if your using them for harassment) very close to the enemy, set up for a counter charge or alot of firepower ?
The company master idea is merely an idea that has worked on occasion when your opponent doesn't expect your scouts to pack so much of a punch. Realistically it would probably only work in friendly games, but if you use them right (cover, assaults), you can avoid a lot of firepower and get to where you want to be quite quickly.
Sorry, didn't see your post until very recently. The point is you have to look at scouts from a non-linear perspective as they don't work like normal units. They have to be planned and considered rather than the standard point and shoot ones.

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