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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm probably the last person who should be writing this, as I stopped playing Sisters about 3 years ago (the reward for my treachery is I haven't won a game since, not that I was doing much better before), but the changes to the ally matrix (all imperial armies are battle brothers) and rules for unbound armies got me thinking. Unlike using an allied detachment, with unbound you plunder other armies for what you actually want from them (and for that matter disregard issues with your own army list where there are perfectly good units matched up against other units you want/need). While I know that purists would prefer that GW actually did a real update with new models and units, the rumor mill is always "the end of next year" regardless of what year it is and we all know the old joke about how to make an idiot wait.

One problem that has bedevilled SoB for quite a while (I remember it from the Witch Hunters codex) is that close combat units are some combination of not very good or fragile as wet newspaper, and the changeover to no assaulting out of non-assault vehicles ever did not help this. As much fun as it might be to commandeer trukks or something (have a "Deep South Snake Handlers/Texas Eviscerator Massacare" theme) what I'm actually looking at are Land Raiders and Stormraven Gunships.

The Land Raider was an option for a dedicated transport for an Inquisitor Lord back in the WH days (and apparently its Machine Spirit ran on Windows Vista as unlike Space Marine raiders the second shot was at BS2) - only the basic LR was available (though this may have predated the invention of Crusader/Redeemer variants). I don't really think the Crusader is a particularly good fit either in terms of function (that's either a very large unit of repentia or 4 priests on top of the full sized battle conclave) or fluff. The basic LR gives you accurate long range anti tank, the Redeemer is perhaps more fluff appropriate as like everything else in the SoB list it sets stuff on fire (and I have always resented that the best flame weapons in the imperium were not available to the army most characterized by flamers). A single Land Raider (either standard or Redeemer) as the flagship vehicle for a priory does not seem unreasonable. Question: take it from regular marines or from Grey Knights? I don't have the new GK codex but it occurs to me that the psychic pilots rule would give them the equivalent of adamantine will and you could squint hard and pretend that whatever psyker power the vehicle has is an act of faith.

The storm raven provides something interesting (apart from a flier that is also an assault vehicle): it not only carries a unit of infantry but also a dreadnought. If it can carry a dreadnought I can see no logical reason it couldn't carry a penitent engine. Celestians on their own do not have the best reputation, but combining the celestians' ability to shoot and (kind of) fight (put them with a canoness or priest) with the support of a penitent engine could be a pretty good strike force (or I could just be crazy). Again one could possibly hijack the Storm Raven from GK to pretend the psychic pilot represents adamantine will and acts of faith.

Any other ideas?
 

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With Battle Brothers-level alliances being able to embark in each others transports and you only referencing vehicles that can be taken outside of the Dedicated Transport rule, why go Unbound at all? Objective Secured is a powerful tool in pretty much every mission aside from Purge the Alien. On to some of your questions,

The new GK Codex does not have Psychic Pilot written in as a special rule for Land Raider variants, so it doesn't matter what faction you ally in to get them in that regard. They are, rule-wise, identical between all the Imperium factions (and I play just about all of them :biggrin:). As far as they go, I love playing Redeemers. I have three LR chassis all magnetized up but that's still the variant I prefer.

Stormravens I have been playing non-stop since 5th edition, and as Fliers they're friggin' awesome. Love 'em. Big downside to transporting troops in them is that you're boned if your enemy has decent anti-air. I've lost countless marines to Explodes! results, to the point where I only play them with Dreadnoughts in them or empty. If need be they can relocate a unit across the board, but really I only use them as gun ships. On the topic of Dreadnoughts riding in them, "Dreadnought" is the term used (in the GK 'dex extended to "Dreadnought (or Venerable Dreadnought)") and not "Walker", meaning only those units specifically named "Dreadnought" can be transported. If it makes you feel any better Nemesis Dreadknights are pretty much the same thing and they're not allowed in a Stormraven either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In terms of why I'm considering unbound rather than just an allied detachment, there are a few reasons, largely relating to the required units in an allied detachment. Whether the HQ and Troop requirement is a tax or not depends on whether you actually want the HQ and/or troops from the ally.

If I was using IG as an ally I'd probably not care because I'd want an infantry platoon because masses of warm bodies for cheap and long ranged weapons from heavy weapon squads are part of what I would want from allied guard, and IG HQs are both inexpensive and directly helpful. As I am currently looking at taking space marine (of whatever flavor) vehicles, the question is do I want a space marine HQ and troop unit and the answer is largely no, both for fluff and mechanical reasons.

Mechanics wise, I don't see a tactical squad or scout squad as especially helpful, being essentially a battle sister squad with somewhat better stats and corresponding cost increase. An argument could be made for a crusader squad being relatively good at assaulting (for troops) but if I'm talking about getting a land raider to put a battle conclave in I may as well not have the battle conclave and just put the crusaders in it. I don't have the blood angels or space wolves book (both give me hives) and can't comment on what their troop types bring to the table. Grey Knights (used to, is this still true?) have terminator troops, so having a 5 man terminator squad and a terminator captain or something is not a terrible idea but its still a fair chunk of points. In terms of HQs, I'm not really sure what I'd even do with a space marine captain or the like - I almost invariably fight orks and most space marine HQs are instakilled by nobs with power klaws just as easily as a canoness - I am not seeing a lot of scenarios where, added to a SoB army, a space marine HQ would really prove his worth.

Fluff wise I'm at the moment thinking of this as de facto expanding the SoB list to include a few extra space marine vehicles, so having a bunch of actual marines around undermines the concept somewhat (this is not to say that there is anything wrong with having marines allied, it's just not quite what I'm trying to achieve). SoB already use most of the same equipment as Marines and their pilots have the same BS of 4 so it doesn't seem a stretch - paint the land raider or stormraven in the approriate colors, call it the priory's command vehicle and there really isn't anything to say otherwise.

I probably don't value "objective secured" as much as most people do because of the specific way I have been losing. This is a story for another day, but by and large flipping an objective from "contested" to "mine" would not generally have helped.

Also, commentary I've seen about a couple of armies has suggested that they have force allocation slots where they have clumping issues - that given units are not bad, but if forced to compete with other units in the same slot for a limited number of places they lose. The reviews of the SoB Edex, for example, talk about how hard it is for other HS choices to compete with exorcists for the heavy support slot. I get the impression from the comments that if penitent engines, for example, were elites you might see more of them because taking them doesn't (apart from brute point cost) interfere with taking however many exorcists you want/need.

In terms of the Stormraven, while I suspect the writers just didn't consider the possibilty of using it to carry non space marine walkers (I kind of wish they'd be more proactive about faqs this edition - looking at my regular marines dex it isn't entirely clear to me whether it allows venerable or ironclad dreads to ride), I suspect your interpretation of the rules is probably correct, strictly speaking (unfortunate).
 

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A Space Marine Captain on a Bike with accompanying Troop Bike squad would give you a ton of mobility, close combat ability (Hit & Run is a blast here), and surviviability with all the models being T5. Plus you get your Land Raider HS slot to carry your SoBs in. With a Grey Knight detachment, you can take a Librarian (up to Mastery Level 3) and a 5 man Terminator squad that can Deep Strike T1 on a 3+ if you want and again still get your Land Raider. Both options would definitely help you out, but it's your army ultimately. If you can't think of a fluff excuse in a science fiction setting isn't that kinda telling of your imagination? :biggrin:

Scouts have won me more games than they have lost me but my games are often hard fought and down to the last point. Very useful squad option from the Troops category, but don't expect them to do anything more than hold that Objective. The sniper rifles I play get me a killed sergeant/special weapon marine every now and again, but it's nothing to write home about.

Adding a Space Marine HQ to your SoB army has no use for you borrowing a bunch of vehicles...what about a Master of the Forge to hold those vehicles together? He could join whatever squad is inside the Land Raider and repair as necessary, though that does depend on the size of squad you want to embark. Keep in mind he doesn't have to disembark with the squad, too.

Objective Secured is a lot like a condom, I've found that it's a lot better to have and not need than to need and not have. With the whole unlimited detachment thing I've gotten very abusive of Battle Forged armies.

As for the Stormraven, it was in the Grey Knight codex since its inception and has never been able to carry Dreadknights, which sets a solid precedence for the exclusion of non-Dreadnought walkers. They have always co-existed with the SR's rules and it hasn't been allowed, I believe very intentionally by GW staff. There's even pictures of how a Dreadnought fits into clamps in the rear area of the SR's seating :laugh: It is unfortunate, but definitely by design. The reason why the stipulation is represented in the GK Codex is because they are separate entries, whereas in the Space Marine Codex Venerable is an upgrade to the Dreadnought unit selection. Ironclads would be a tough sell to someone who's a stickler for the rules, and Pentient Engines would be totally off limits. Ultimately it matters what your opponent thinks though, as not everyone gives a fuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Food for thought, all. The biker squad with biker captain was something I'd considered at one point (can't remember whether it was as allies for SoB or IG) but I dropped the idea because, there was some point where I thought the captain had to be in the primary detachment to allow bikes as troops (I think it was between the beginning of 6th and the release of the 6E codex) and it didn't really register that it's allowed again.

I hadn't thought of a master of the forge - I'm accustomed to vehicles with 10 back armour and having the vehicles quickly destroyed in assaults, but for a Land raider regenerating hull points is potentially huge because most foes will struggle to even inflict hull points.

With grey knights, a terminator hq with a terminator troop squad is certainly an option - I'll have to take a look at the new 'dex as I actually already have almost all the models I'd need.

Back to the storm raven, I never thought it should carry a dreadknight (I used to call it colossal before wraith knights and Riptide suits) and I suppose it doesn't actually have the connections to carry a sentinel (not that this would ever be likely to be done for a variety of reasons). In any event, as I have only one regular opponent I have the ability to ask in advance, and will simply refrain if I get into a situation where I can play more regularly against more people.
 

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So long as your Captain is on a bike, bike squads of 5 or more can be taken as Troops choices. It's awesome, and something I'm definitely doing once I get some serious painting accomplished. Kit your Captain with a Power Fist, Artificer Armour, and a Storm Shield, and prosper from the outcome.

I do currently run a Master of the Forge in my Imperial Fist army, but I don't put him in my Redeemer because it's capacity is maxed and I just never want to play a Crusader.

I also run a Grey Knight detachment (called a Nemesis Detachment, from their new codex) that reduces the standard Force Organization Chart's compulsory Troops choice by one. It can be your Primary Detachment and any unit coming in from Reserves via Deep Strike can come in Turn 1 on a 3+. As a side note, I don't think this can stack with a Comms Relay as the rule specifically states that "they will arrive from Deep Strike Reserve turn one on a roll of 3+." My set-up is a Mastery Level 3 Librarian with Terminator armour and a Nemesis Force Hammer, and a 5 man Terminator squad with three Nemesis Force Halberds, a Nemesis Force Hammer, a Nemesis Force Stave, and an Incinerator. Whole thing comes out around 350 points, it's friggin' good times.

The reason that I keep bringing up the Dreadknight is because it's a non-Dreadnought Walker. The name and model is semantic, it means that further clarification past the Walker unit type has to be made to qualify for transport. Blood Angels have some nasty Dreadnoughts that can jump out of Stormravens very effectively, though you've said you have a distaste for them. Even your opinion aside, Blood Angels can't take Land Raiders of any variant as a Heavy Support choice but only as a Dedicated Transport. Granted every unit in the Codex has the option to take one, but at the beginning of the game it can only carry the unit it was selected for. Optionally you could deploy it empty with the squad you want in there behind it and just Embark first turn then move the tank, but this could potentially leave the squad vulnerable if you're going second and the enemy has Barrage weaponry.
 
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