Friday, August 24, 2012

Team Tournament Lessons Learned

The team tournament was a bit too busy to take the pictures and notes that I normally take, so I won't be doing my normal in-depth battle reports. Also, we didn't do so well and I'd rather not revisit the games in detail. However, I did learn a few lessons that I thought we worth sharing. 

1) Jump infantry have gotten better at covering distance. However, they are a bit better when they can use their packs in the assault phase. Not only do they get extra hammer of wrath attacks, but they can re-roll their charge and make sure they can get into combat. Trust me, jumping 12" and failing to charge tends to leave the squad in a very bad position.

2) Challenges still really hurt squads fighting monstrous creatures as I talked about earlier, but they also really hurt any squad that relies on one character for its hitting power. A naked sergeant can take an Assault squad's power fist mostly out of the fight, which neuters them against any decently tough squads, such as marines. I even had 5 Devastators hold up an Assault squad this way. This makes squads with good hitting power on many members (such as Death Company, Sanguinary Guard, or Terminators) the only real reliable assault forces.

3) On a similar note, putting power fists in Tactical squads is now basically useless. Better to take a bolter and add more firepower or a bolt pistol and chainsword to try and kill an enemy power fist in a challenge.

4) You may need a bit of melta, but not too much. Heavy weapons can wear down vehicles reliably, and meltaguns are difficult to fire at enemy infantry given longer assault distances. I'll be giving more of my Executioners plasma guns.

5) Sternguard are very handy against a multitude of opponents. From dropping Eldar Pathfinders with cover ignoring shots to gunning down a T9 Iron Armed Hive Tyrant with hellfire rounds, they did well this tournament. However, Pedro Kantor, or Tytos Solomon in my case, doesn't really add much to the squad. Scoring Sternguard is certainly nice, but his extra attack aura does very little for them. They still get butchered by enemy assault troops, and they still don't have the killing power to take out anything tougher than Tactical Marines quickly. Kantor is easily removed from combat with challenges and constantly seems to die to power fist wounds. He's not a bad character, but Sternguard are not the place to put him.

6) Vehicles still seem to be fine. The Rhinos held up about as long as I expect Rhinos to survive, and the Predators performed superbly for an 85 point tank.

7) Fliers are a pain, but it looks like they mostly do damage to vehicles. Few have the amount of shots necessary to kill off infantry. That said, a flier heavy list that tries to wear down the enemy for most of the game before dropping troops on objectives has every opportunity to win the game. It's somewhat like the old Eldar skimmer list, being hard to kill but not too dangerous for most of the game before swooping into secure objectives.

7.1) Special mention should be made of Vendettas. They provide 3 twin-linked lascannons at a ridiculously cheap cost, and their armor is almost as good as a Storm Raven's. They were auto-takes when they were only skimmers; as fliers, they are simply amazing. It's easy to fit 3 in a list and their combined fire will annihilate a marine squad every turn. Be very wary of these. 

8) Telion and a Scout squad really are great. They reliably put wounds on any target and can force wounds on specific models, and they take an absurd amount of fire to kill. Also, due to changes in the wording, Telion can give Stealth to a squad with camo cloaks to get +2 to cover saves (just like Eldar Pathfinders).   

I think those are my main take home lessons. Both are my armies need heavy refits in order to compete in the current ruleset, and I'll be discussing specific lists soon. I've got most of the models I need for the Blood Angels, but the Executioners will be getting some more models soon to update them.

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