Saturday, January 8, 2011

Death Company and Death Company Dreadnoughts

Death Company are something of a conundrum. They are a Troops choice that doesn’t score but have a better statline than Veterans and always have furious charge and feel no pain. The downside is that they also suffer from rage. In addition, a Chaplain allows the Death Company to re-roll failed to hit and to wound rolls.

All of this power actually comes at a bargain price as long as the Death Company don’t take jump packs, which are prohibitively expensive. A reasonably large squad of Death Company with a few power fists and a Rhino is not too expensive, and the Rhino allows you to control the squad until they disembark. A drop pod can also be useful, allowing you to drop directly into the enemy army, where rage won’t be much of a problem. Make sure to disembark the Death Company aggressively, in a place where the enemy can’t lead them around with a fast unit.

Note: Death Company are relentless. This means almost nothing to them, as the best firepower they can take are bolters or pistols. However, any models taking power fists or thunder hammers can take bolters and get an extra shot on the charge without losing an attack.

Chaplain Lemartes is an upgrade character for the Death Company. He is extremely dangerous, giving all the benefits of a normal Chaplain as well as becoming strength 5 with 5 attacks when he takes his first wound. Since he’s an upgrade character, he can’t be targeted in close-combat. You can simply allocate wounds to him until he loses his first wound, and then do your best to keep him safe as he butchers his way through anything in his path with 7 strength 6 attacks on the charge. He does have one big drawback: he has a jump pack, meaning that he works best with an absurdly expensive jump pack equipped Death Company. This limits him to a small Death Company, and even then it’s very expensive. Another option is a Stormraven, our only transport that can carry jump infantry. Riding in one, Lemartes can accompany a Death Company without jump packs.

Death Company Dreadnought

This is a big reason to use Death Company. Every 5 Death Company in your army unlocks a Death Company Dreadnought. He lacks the heavier army of the Furioso, but he’s got an extra attack, fleet, guaranteed furious charge, and ignores shaken and stunned results. He is simply a monster in close-combat. His main downside is rage.

Like the Death Company, your main concern with this guy is positioning. You need to place him where he can charge something worth killing and can’t be lead around by something faster than him. A Drop Pod (or Stormraven if you already have one in your force) is mandatory for this. Beyond that, you should take a heavy flamer if you have the points and not really anything else. Blood Talons are an excellent choice here because the extra attack increases their output by a surprising amount. Their only downside is their limited ability to take out armor, which could be a problem. Since he has rage, your enemy can try to force you to charge a vehicle and tie you up there. In this case, Blood Fists give you the ability to take out anything the Dreadnought can catch. 

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