Monday, August 31, 2015

Combined Arms Detachment VS Gladius Strike Force

I've been playing games with my Executioners using the Gladius Strike Force, trying to figure out what's the best way to use the new Space Marine Formation. While I really like the bonuses given by the GSF, I keep finding it very restricting. This mostly comes down to the Auxiliary Formations. Many of them are quite expensive to include, and prevent you from adding a single unit of a given type (mostly Elites or vehicles) to your army. Instead, you have to really commit and add a bunch of each type. This is great for theme, but not so much for a well-rounded army.

This got me thinking about whether each Chapter Tactic works better with a Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) or Gladius Strike Force (GSF) as far as building an army to maximize their strengths. Of course, if you are taking two Demi-Companies to receive the Battle Company benefits, then the free transports more than make up for the restrictions. My discussion will be limited to the much easier to field single Demi-Company backed up by one or two Auxiliary Formations.

To review, the benefits of the GSF are the ability to use all three Combat Doctrines once per game, and a 2nd use of the Tactical Doctrine to benefit just the Demi-Company. In addition, the Demi-Company is entirely Objective Secured. With the CAD, only Troops are Objective Secured, and you get to re-roll your Warlord Trait.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Executioners Terminator Chaplain

Here's the latest addition to my Executioners, Death-Speaker Oraz the Wise of the First Company. I've always loved this model, and I picked him up the last time I made a direct order from Games Workshop. I didn't really need to add him to my army, but I just wanted to paint the model. Months later, I finally got around to it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Picking up a new game: X-Wing

I've been struggling with picking up a second game for a while. 40K is definitely my first love when it comes to gaming, but we all know that it's easy to get burned out on one game, especially one as time consuming as 40K. Unfortunately, I haven't had much success.

I tried to get back into Fantasy first, but it's just as time consuming as 40K, so I never gave it the time that was necessary. I've also tried both Warmachine and Dropzone Commander. I'd still like to play both of those games (especially Dropzone. I've got very high hopes for that game!) but they don't have much in the way of followings in my area. It's quite difficult to convince 40K players to pick up another game that requires collecting and painting a lot of miniatures. However, one game has taken off among quite a few of my 40K buddies.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Executioners Sternguard

These Sternguard are the latest addition to the Executioners. The more I run Sternguard, the more I want some extra flexibility with their armament. A couple of combi-meltas are handy but I really haven't had good luck with my heavy flamers. They're great for overwatch, but in most situations, I'd rather have the Sternguard fire their snazzy bolters. So I painted up a few more Sternguard with bolters so I can field full squads without upgrades.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 3

The Armored Task Force is a large but flexible Formation. It includes a Techmarine, 0-3 units of Thunderfire Cannons, 3-5 units of Vindicators, Predators, or Whirlwinds, and 0-1 Sergeant Chronus. It's the only way to add Thunderfires and most of these tanks to a Gladius Strike Force, though it can be made large enough to be an army in its own right. Unfortunately, you can't just drop in a tank or a Thunderfire to a Gladius Strike Force.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thunderfire Cannon

Having finished a few more special and heavy weapons for my Executioners, there was only one more model I needed for a CAD list I planned: a third Thunderfire. I used another GW kit that I had been given, so I wanted to differentiate this one of my first Thunderfire. I decided that this Techmarine would be a bit more showy than the others and would make heavy use of gold on his Thunderfire. I also used a white starburst as a marking on this one, which used to be a common symbol for Marine Heavy Supports. I put a red skull in it to tie to to the Executioners.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 2

The 10th Company Task Force includes 3-5 Scout squads and Scout Bike squads, along with Sergeant Telion if you're playing Ultramarines. The only restriction is that Scout Bikes must be armed with cluster mines. The units benefit from Concealed Position, which basically grants them Stealth until they move in any way. In addition, The Trap is Sprung gives all units Precision Shots for the first game turn.

At 165 points for 3 base Scout squads, this is the cheapest Auxiliary Formation. The special rules are quite handy for Scouts, and Concealed Position stacks with the bonus from camo cloaks, meaning that a Scout squad deployed in ruins can easily get a 2+ cover save as long as it stays still. The only real downside is that Scouts taken as part of the Task Force don't get Objective Secured, which they would as part of a CAD. I think it's a fair trade, and your Gladius Strike Force should have enough Objective Sceured from the Battle Demi-Company. Overall, it's a good way to add lots of cheap yet durable infantry to your army. However, it definitely is at its best in a Gladius Strike Force since you must take at least one Auxiliary Formation anyway.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Auxiliary Formations Part 1

You must take 1+ Auxiliary Formations in a Gladius Strike Force in addition to the Battle Demi-Company. Beyond that, these Formations can also be taken individually to supplement your army. This is perhaps the most valuable way to use these, as it allows other Space Marine Chapters, such as Blood Angels, to take some of the newer Space Marine units that aren't included in their codices.

The Anti-Air Defense Force requires a unit of Hunters and a unit of Stalkers, and there have to be at least two Stalkers in the unit. With a minimum cost of 220 points, it's a cheap way to add anti-air defense to your army (hence the name). The Formation special rule is Skyspear Autotargeting, which states that if the Hunter hits a Flyer, the Stalkers get +1 BS when firing against the same target for the rest of the Shooting phase. It's a useful perk if you remember it, but it doesn't add that much. The big advantage of this Formation is that it provides the cheapest way to add anti-air to your Gladius Strike Force, as well as to other Imperial armies that lack affordable anti-air options. For just slightly more than the price of a Stormraven, it gives you a much better chance of downing enemy flyers early on and I suspect it will be a popular Formation throughout the Imperium.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Executioners Marines

Having completed a bunch of Blood Angels and some Dropzone Commander models, I decided it was time to do some work on the Executioners. My first stop was to paint 4 more Marines with lascannons for my 9th Company Devastator squad. I originally built the squad with missile launchers, but the advent of super heavies has made me want some heavier firepower. My Devastator squad with lascannons has always performed well, so another could only be better.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Space Marines in 2015: Command Formations

Command Formations can be taken as normal Formations, as well as included in a Gladius Strike Force. The first option is Strike Force Command, which just allows you to take one named characters, Captain, or Chaplain, accompanied by Honor Guard, a Command Squad, and an Emperor's Champion as you wish. This doesn't give you any special bonuses. It just gives you some flexibility in HQ choices in your Gladius Strike Force. 

The Reclusiam Command Squad is Chaplain and Command squad that must be mounted in a Razorback. The Chaplain must join the Command squad and can't leave it during the course of the battle. The squad gains Crusader, which is always a nice bonus for a combat unit, and the Chaplain gains Stirring Rhetoric. This grants re-rolled failed to hit rolls to all Space Marine units within 6" of the Chaplain, so essentially, he gas a Hatred aura. This seems like a pretty good benefit for assault armies, but the weakness of this Formation seems to be the Razorback. It's not a good transport for an assault unit, and is easy for the enemy to neutralize it. If your enemy can kill the Razorback and keep the Reclusiam Command squad from supporting your assault units, then you aren't getting any benefit from it. You're better off just adding a Chaplain directly to your assault unit.

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