Friday, May 7, 2010

8 on the 8th: Assault on Istvaan XII

Old Shatter Hands scanned the datafeeds as they scrolled across the screens within his battlesuit helm. Energy signatures had been detected in the urban wasteland of the valley below and the Tau scanners had detected air craft high above, just miles from their position. He and his Cadre held positions along the ridgeline surrounding the smoky ruins of this Imperial Sector on Istvaan XII. 

A few yards from his perch, a Kroot Mystic knelt to the ground and placed this side of his head to the earth. The primitive closed his eyes and concentrated, listening for the spirits of Istvaan XII to reveal their secrets. The Kroot suddenly opened his eyes and stood erect quickly. He turned to the awaiting warparty behind him and chipped a great many clicks, squeals and high-pitched notes. The Kroot readied their rifles, checked their packs and ammunition. 

"Warchief!" the Mystic yelled, "A warband is moving through foothills to flank us!"

Fire Team - 6 Fire Warriors in Devilfish, 'Tracker, Pod
Fire Team - 6 Fire Warriors in Devilfish, 'Tracker, Pod
Carnivore Squad - 10 Kroot, 5 Kroot Hounds

Crisis Team 1
Shas'ui with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, 'Tracker
Shas'Ui with Fusion Blaster, Missile Pod, 'Tracker
Shas' Team Leader with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Array and Hard-Wired 'Tracker
2 Gun Drones

Crisis Team 2
Shas' Team Leader with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Array and Hard-Wired 'Tracker
2 Shield Drones
2 Shas'Ui with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, 'Trackers

Shas'El Commander with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Array and Hard-Wired 'Tracker
Shas'El Commander with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Array and Hard-Wired 'Tracker

Fast Attack
2 Piranhas with Fusion Blasters, Arrays and Pods
8 Pathfinders with Shas'Ui and Devilfish, 'Tracker, Pod

Heavy Support
1 Hammerhead with Railgun, Smart Missiles, Pod and 'Tracker
1 Hammerhead with Ion Cannon, Burst Cannons, Target Lock, Pod and 'Tracker
3 Broadside with Arrays, One upgraded to Team Leader with 2 Shield Drones

This list is something I threw together for an upcoming mini-tournament on Saturday. There will be 8 players there, 4 of them fielding Blood Angels Armies. My Cadre is made for being about to knock out both the inevitable Razorback and Sanguianry Priest spam I am likely to face. Plus if Mephiston shows his face around I'll be about negate his save with all that plasma. Fire Knives are preferred at this time in place of Helios as I'll need the missiles to deal with Stormravens, Razorbacks and Rhinos. Pathfinders are there to make sure the Fireknives will be able to hit their targets and negate any cover saves.

Ioncannon is in too, a departure from my usual dual Railheads. It's job is to move up the flank to hit side armor of Predators and hit Marines when needed. Kroot are there for "bubble-wrapping." I'm not fond of it but if the situation calls for it, I'll have that option. Otherwise I might simply outflank them for objectives.

I haven't tried out this list yet so I am open to pointers and suggestions. Questions about the list are welcome, don't be shy if you're a Noob! There are no dumb questions...


MFerek said...

with your kroot shield, be careful about being tank shocked as kroot's leadership isn't too high and they are very liable to run away.

ehemkeh said...

I noticed one group of xv8's has gun drones and the other has shield drones. Was this due to points limitations? Any thoughts on mixing one of each?

I've gone back and forth on shield versus gun drones for ablative wounds and usually end up favoring all shield drones if possible.

Do you run your 2 pirahnas in a squadron or separate?

Old Shatter Hands said...

@ehemkeh, that is a good idea! I think I will split the shield and gun drones up.

I do run my piranhas in a squadron. It helps with reducing stunned to shaken but hurts when I get immobilized results...

James said...

Hey! Have you ever tried running a super tough Crisis Body Guard team?

Iridium Armor plating, Stimulent Injectors and such? Maybe Array's and Trackers?

It could be very expensive.. but I've seen massed bolter fire take out way to many of my crisis teams lately.

DarkSpectre235 said...

If you are going to run the piranhas in a squadron, you might as well leave one of the piranhas unupgraded to act as a bullet catcher and save some points. I highly doubt that both piranhas will survive to fire their fusion guns. I also think you only need one disruption pod to grant the duo a cover save (as technically 50% of team will be in cover... >_>).

I don't think you need a shas'ui for the pathfinder team, as they are incredibly squishy already, and another 10pts for Ld8 to keep them around is wasteful. If they are going to shoot them, it's better for you as they aren't shooting your Crisis Suits and vehicles. You can probably put the team behind the Kroot bubblewrap to give them cover, and since markerlights don't wound, anyone taking hits from the pathfinders won't be making saves. This also gives you another line of assault blockers for your broadsides.

You can also drop one for the rides for the firewarriors, and have them use the pathfinder's ride when they walk on (assuming you are reserving them of course).

Also, do you need a target lock for the Ionhead? I don't believe that splitting the BCs and the IC is advisable (both should probably firing at the same target). The Railhead, with the SMS, should take a TL however. Of course, you can also drop the SMS, and, after all these tweaks, you should have around 150pts total to fiddle with to your hearts content (another kroot team, moar suits, moar piranhas, etc.)

coyote1066 said...

I'm still curious about the suit choices. After yesterday's post you mentioned Burning Eye was looked down upon.

Here's what I don't get. If someone goes with a mixed weapon layout (like your Team 1) they're spending essentially ~394 pts (not counting drones but accounting for Pathfinder support w/DF to reach BS5). The Burning Eye with TA (all three suits) costs ~200 (not counting drones). Besides points the Mixed squad on average will kill 4.85 MEQ while the pathfinders last (assuming marker lit up to BS5), 2.91 once the PF are toast (what? round 2-3?). The Burning Eye will kill 4.86 MEQ and needs no support.

Plasmas only penetrate armor 1 less than a MP plus you already have ionheads on the board for soft armor.

Guess I don't see why fireknife is the way to go. To me those PF are essentially dead after turn 2 so it seems the points could be better spent elsewhere...not a big fan of them.

coyote1066 said...

One other are Forgeworld units received in your gaming circle? I'm in love with TX42s and Fusionheads. Both make SM killing so much nicer. :)

Gus said...

That sounds like a good list, I'm not really sure what to do differently. With three Broadsides AND a railhead I'm pretty sure you've got anti-tank covered. Good luck!

And no dumb questions huh? Well how do you think triple Ionheads would fare against a marine biker army? Someone at my local games store "challenged" me to a game against what I assume is a bike heavy marine army. He claims that they have a 48" total movement range using fleet, and extra for the assault. From reading your blog I figured a mechanized army would be best to swing around and steal an objective. I was also planning some Helios perhaps for instant kills. His plan is to steam roll me. I'm pretty confused though, any ideas?

Shas'O D'Narb said...

I like the list and it's actually something I would be reasonably comfortable running, although I've now grown to prefer running my FireKnives in two full Command Squads now so that I only need 2 markerlight hits on a unit to have all my FKs' ballistics maxed out.

Anyway, I also like the inclusion of the fusion blaster in your Crisis Team 1, even though it doesn't seem optimal. More than any other suit weapon, I still contend that the FB is our best deterrent weapon. Based solely on that, I don't think it's a bad choice. Plus, it gives slightly more choice for wound allocation, for what it's worth.

PS wow @ 4/8 playing BA!

Old Shatter Hands said...

@James, I used to run a Crisis Bodyguard with the fireknife config and targeting arrays for BS4. IMHO, the iridium armor is not worth it. I like the keep units streamlined for more points elsewhere. Bolter fire is a concern but I've tried to make my Crisis units with enough uniqueness to spread out the wounds.

@Dark Spector, thanks for pointing out that I do not need that Lock on the 'Head. It was removed and 'locks were added to my commanders. so they could join units and fire at different things.

@Coyote1066, You make a good point. I love twin-linked weapons as much as the next guy and I've been considering adding a burningeye team to my arsenal. However the new Blood Angels have fast rhinos/razorbacks and FNP marines. The combination of missile pods and plasma allows me to deal with both ubiquitous units. Missile pods for the rhinos, plasma for the FNP marines. and unfortunately Forge World is still relegated to Apoc in our circles. Unless its a friendly game. but I mostly play in tournaments nowadays, as its the only reliable way to play (i.e. they are scheduled well in advance so I can make sure to make time for them).

@Gus, Don't be worried about SM bike armies. Tau eat them BEFORE breakfast as an appetizer! LOL! Seriously though, you might lose your first game against them but you'll quickly find that through torrents of plasma, missile pod and even burst cannon fire, you'll be whittling them down to nothing. Just remember to protect your troops units for the win. Fish of Fury Tactics work great against bikes as they are normally smaller units that move right into range for you.

@D'Narb, one thing I learned from you that's been working well is putting target locks in my XV88 and XV8 units. This list doesn't show it but I tweaked it a bit and got some spread around. It made a significant difference! Thanks for sharing that gem of Puretide teachings...

Shas'O D'Narb said...

Good to hear @ TLs. One thing that hasn't translated as well from theory to tabletop is the inclusion of BFs. Just wondering how often the issue has come up for yourself in that regard...