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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm hoping this isn't something that's been asked a million times, but I'm looking to start a 40k army with the intention that it's really competitive at a tournament level.

What thoughts/opinions are out there?

For the record, I won't be collecting Orks, Necrons, CSM, Tau or Dark Eldar....
 

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Well, currently there are a lot of ways to make an army "competetive" but if you want something really high tier here are a few suggestions:

1. You generally can't go wrong with a 6th dex. Even the 2 first ones can throw out some really powerful shit, but their builds tend to be rather inflexible and less powerful than others (As the recipe for DA seems to be Ravenwing and CSM just follows the creed of MOAR HELDRAKES!). So a 6th dex newer than DA is a good way to go.

2. Allies can really take an army's cheese factor up several notches. Anything not too old who can bring in a powerful allied army (or just one it combos well with), especially if the ally is a BB, is good stuff.

3. Some of the most powerful dexes currently (that I know of at least) are, in no particular order:
Tau - Murders planes with ease, retardedly efficient shooting, can ally with fucking everything! Because of this, the army practically has no shortcomings (well, at least I haven't played enough against them to figure them out).

Eldar - Shoots almost like tau, Psykertricks galore and has the most unfair DT of any army. The does seem to have some problems against really fast, agressive armies like Daemons.

Necrons - Cheap and efficient flyers everywhere, Gauss and Tesla is just too good, Quantum Shielding is pretty sweet and the army has tons of tricks in the character department and Wraiths are unfair.

Daemons - For an army relying mostly on CC in a shooty edition daemons can sure bring the pain. Many extremely mobile, "In your face!" units, as many Psykertricks as eldar, lots of strange (and powerful) gimmicks and lots of flying monsters, Daemons are extremely aggressive. The army suffer mostly from an over reliance on psychic powers when it comes to shooting and the fact that GK are still good (and cheats :p).

Grey Knights - These guys still pack quite a punch mostly due to being marines with better EVERYTHING and all their derpy anti-daemons/psyker bullshit makes them excellent at taking on 2 of the other powerful armies on this list. They do however, as always, suffer from low model count and the fact that they were so overplayed in 5th eveybody knows how to fight them.

Imperial Guard - Capable of presenting both ridiculous amounts of dudes or bawkses on the board, excellent shooting and having access to some really nifty allies makes the Hammer of the Emperor still going strong into 6th. Massive blobs of guardsmen with heavy weapons led by Rune Priests really make for some seriously dangerous and tough units. And we haven't even broken out the HS section yet.

Runner ups:
Chaos Space Marines - Otherwise known as Codex: Heldrakes, CSM are mostly to considered top tier because of this 1 unit. But then again, when that 1 unit is the Heldrake, it is very often good enough.

Space Marines - They are getting a new dex shortly. Following GW's 6th edition trends they are will likely have some really strong builds. If nothing else, bringing ATSKNF to guardsman blobs or Tau Farsight/whatshisface Bomb is always powerful.

Dark Angels - As already mentioned, Ravenwing still seems pretty powerful when you know how to play it (duh) seeing as it's a fast, shooty and yet still CC capable army. It does however have a few glaring weaknesses such as low model count, no good flyers and a severe allergy towards Heldrakes.

These are merely my two cents and certainly not worth as much as someone who actually cares for competetive gameplay but it is partially based on discussions I have had with such people mixed with my own observations.
 

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I'd have said that all armies can be competitive, it's just a matter of learning how to play to their strengths.

If you are wanting to build a new army from scratch right now and want to choose between Edlar or GK I'd say Eldar is the way to go as they have a new Codex. Go with Gk and you run the risk of the army heading in a direction you don't like when the 'dex gets updated, which is probably next year sometime.
 

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If you wanted to be seriously, seriously competitive and you don't care much about models or fluff then Tau with Eldar allies looks to be the strongest build right now.

Tau Commander w/ Skyfire
Crisis Suits
Riptide
Fire Warriors
Skyrays/Broadsides

Farseer
Jetbikes
Fire Prism

Quad Gun

Or something along those lines. Has enough anti-flyer to deal with anything short of total spam (4+) and the firepower to put down anything else, with a firebase and fast moving troops in the jetbikes for distant objectives.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Awesome input guys, thanks.

I guess I want to be cheesy but not stupidly so.

I'd probably avoid allies except where it made fluff sense (SM and IG etc)

I might wait for the new SM codex if it's just round the corner. Problem is I do hate their fliers...
 

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Ally IG and take theirs then.
 

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What are IG lacking that I'd want allied SM for?
ATSKNF, Psychic offense, defense and support and possibly some CC support. You could also add some Droppod melta/whatever to put some extra pressure on your opponent. And btw, SM Scouts are pretty decent at hunkering down on objectives (and getting to them due to the Scouts and Infiltrators special rules).
 

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What are IG lacking that I'd want allied SM for?
Unless you want to spend money on Veterans with carapace armor, they're not that resilient. Also they work best with massed lasgun fire if they don't use special weapons (I take three plasmas with every Veterans squad) or overwhelming armor superiority.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm looking at a 1500 pt tournament army, am I going to be able to cram all that in?
 

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I'm not so sure. Well, if we are still talking about IG I suppose it wouldn't be that hard to include the obligatory Command Squad, a massive blob or 2, some HS/Vendetta action and just ally in a small unit sniperscouts and a Librarian as your allies. IG is a solid army on it's own, allies should really only be there to make up for their few shortcomings.
 

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It depends on what you're playing, but at 1500 then allies aren't all that great. But this:

CCS, 3-4 Specials in Chimera
35 Infantry w/ 4x Autocannons and Chimera
Vet Squad w/ Tri-specials
Vendetta
Manticore

Is a great little contingent to add to pretty much any army. Or you could drop the Platoon in favour of another Vendetta with Vets.
 

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What are IG lacking that I'd want allied SM for?
Close combat units, high toughness/good save units and Morale. Very little if anything in the IG codex goes above T4 and 4+ save's. Without commissars and blob squads, it's quite realistic you'll break because the way cover is now (focus fire etc).

You use the IG with a bare-bones command squad and bring tanks and special / heavy weapons and Vendetta's. You use the SM's to bring a close-combat punch and special tricks like Divination to the table.
 

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Close combat units, high toughness/good save units and Morale. Very little if anything in the IG codex goes above T4 and 4+ save's. Without commissars and blob squads, it's quite realistic you'll break because the way cover is now (focus fire etc).

You use the IG with a bare-bones command squad and bring tanks and special / heavy weapons and Vendetta's. You use the SM's to bring a close-combat punch and special tricks like Divination to the table.
For some spice sure, but I don't think ig have holes to fill that can't be found in their own codex. The low save/t is almost a moot point because of go to ground in area terrain + get back in the fight. And the ability to put 70-100 bodies on the table at 1,000 pts means they don't care if something somehow makes it into assault (chances are you won't). This edition heavily favors cheap shooty units hugging cover, and nobody does it better than IG. Except maybe tau.

The old tricks to counter blob builds such as rhino rush or outflank aren't really valid in 6th. At the same time they gained quite a few buffs from the rule set itself. (Rapid fire weapons, random charges, over watch etc). They also don't fear many power units, such as heldrakes, because of the cheapness of hydras, and the general mindset of losing a handful of guardsman hurts alot less than a handful of marines. And generally having triple to quadruple the amount of heavy weapons in a standard list to snapfire in a bind. (In comparison to a marine type list)

Obviously I rank IG very highly for competitive play, mostly due to personal experience and being shot off the table more than once against them. At least with gk and necrons I can pull out wins and actually feel like I'm doing damage during my turns.
 

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For some spice sure, but I don't think ig have holes to fill that can't be found in their own codex. The low save/t is almost a moot point because of go to ground in area terrain + get back in the fight. And the ability to put 70-100 bodies on the table at 1,000 pts means they don't care if something somehow makes it into assault (chances are you won't). This edition heavily favors cheap shooty units hugging cover, and nobody does it better than IG. Except maybe tau.

The old tricks to counter blob builds such as rhino rush or outflank aren't really valid in 6th. At the same time they gained quite a few buffs from the rule set itself. (Rapid fire weapons, random charges, over watch etc). They also don't fear many power units, such as heldrakes, because of the cheapness of hydras, and the general mindset of losing a handful of guardsman hurts alot less than a handful of marines. And generally having triple to quadruple the amount of heavy weapons in a standard list to snapfire in a bind. (In comparison to a marine type list)

Obviously I rank IG very highly for competitive play, mostly due to personal experience and being shot off the table more than once against them. At least with gk and necrons I can pull out wins and actually feel like I'm doing damage during my turns.
All good reasons as to why Imperial Guard are still great. The Hydra was anti-air before anti-air was cool in 40k. One infantry platoon, which is one troops choice slot, will give you between 25 and 127 bodies. All are average (odds wise) at shooting and shoot in enough volume to negate the fact their guns aren't too strong. Our elites suck though :/

Best thing to use Guard for other than armor might be to bring a bunch of bodies to sit on objectives while your more expensive and versatile troops deal with whatever else.
 
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