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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to build a Rock!

Well, well.... I got 2 requests in 24 hours!

Mordantos, a YTTH reader, read my comment here and asked this:

"Hi, I am contacting you based on your post on Yes The Truth Hurts:

"There's no point in telling me about rocks or deathstars, you probably forget I play BT assault termies at 1500. Rock is my middle name and Foolish is my surname!"

I am building a Black Templar army and if you don't mind, I would really like to hear more about your 1500 BT assault termies. Most advice I read online line indicates that Termies are only viable at higher points."

Well hey Mordantos, welcome to 3++ if you weren't a visitor before. Like I said to you in my initial reply, I'm (slowly) doing a Black Templar review over on Mind War FTW with Messanger of Death. He will hopefully be looking into how to build a competitive list.

The first thing I'd say, is don't ever be put off of building a list you want, just be aware that it will not be all plain-sailing when you come to use it. I don't think I'd play Templars any other way outside of a tournament scenario to be honest. I just love the little guys and the fact that I have to work hard for a win is not a problem, it's just makes me that little bit happier when I do. I'm sure everybody that has played 40k has a list that they will admit is not the most competitive, but they play it purely because they enjoy it. Look at Stelek's BT army or Kirby's Tyranids (I jest).

So anyway, how did I go about making my rock? Well I think there are two ways of going about doing this. One is doing your upmost to balance the list with whatever you have left or go all out and deny your opponent any use of half of his list.

Let's go with the first option, balancing the list. At 1500, this is a really tough deal, but I'll do my best.

Let's start with the essentials,

Emperor's champion - Accept any Challenge - 140

The Rock - Assault Terminators (5) - 3x PoLC, 2x TH/SS, Furious charge - 215
Land Raider Crusader - Smoke launchers - 268

Crusader Squad (5) - 80
Rhino - Smoke Launchers - 53

Crusader Squad (5) - 80
Rhino - Smoke Launchers - 53

So that's 889 down and we only have the absolute bare essentials. The troops will be bulked-out and equipped a bit later, but we need to do our best to balance things first.

For some ranged support, we have two options. Shooty dreads or Preds. I personally take the preds because I think the list needs more hulls, the AV13 trumps the Dreads AV12 and the extra couple of shoots is worth it in my opinion. So we'll have two of these.

Predator Destructor - Lascannon sponsons - 125

Predator Destructor - Lascannon sponsons - 125

Now for some cheeky Speeders. They're almost always an essential in low points Templar. Last minute objective denial and some melta that can hit nice and early. They're nice and cheap and any high str weaponry that is going into them is not going into your rock. We really need the melta for now, but these guys will probably get upgraded at a later point.

Land Speeder - MM - 65

Land Speeder - MM - 65

That's taken us to 1269pts, 231 to play with. We have our rock, 2 basic troops, a bit of ranged fire support and some trouble makers. We've got a few options now. Do we make what we have more survivable, or do we try to put more guns down on the table. Both would be nice, so we'll see what we come out with.

EC - AAC - 140

Assault Terminators 5 - 3x PoLC, 2x TH/SS, Furious charge - 215

Crusader Squad (5) - MM/Flamer - 96
Rhino - Smoke launchers - 53

Crusader Squad (5) - MM/Flamer - 96
Rhino - Smoke launchers - 53

Crusader Squad (5) - MM/Flamer - 96
Rhino - Smoke launchers - 53

Land Speeder - MM/Heavy flamer - 75

Land Speeder - MM/Heavy flamer - 75

Predator Destructor - Lascannon sponsons - 125

Predator Destructor - Lascannon sponsons - 125

Land Raider Crusader - Smoke launchers, Blessed hull - 293

Total - 1495

I've never taken blessed hull to be honest, but it's something I'm seriously thinking about now. The last 2 codices released have contained lance weaponry and I think this is going to something we'll be seeing more and more of - especially with the Dark Eldar codex around the corner. I went with a third troop choice over increasing the numbers of the first 2 as I think that is probably the more sensible thing to do. Marines are not so great in CC, so you're better off using these guys to support your rock rather than attempting be their baby brothers.

The list has 3 MM/flamer bunkers (although you do have a few points to play around with if you fancy something else), two predators that will provide a good amount of fire support and 2 speeders. That's 6 MMs, 4 lascannons, 2 autocannons, 5 templates and a twin-linked assault cannon. The Emperor's Champion runs with the Terminators, just to make it a real rock and to make sure you tear through anything that enters base-to-base with you.

A few pointers before you take it out to play. The rock is exactly that. No matter how attractive a first turn shot is with your Land Raider, don't take it. If you can't get out of line of sight, you should almost always be popping smoke. Old smoke combined with cover, makes these beasts a real pain to deal with. But they need to be there turn 2. I've lost my ride too many times due to a foolish shot in my first turn, it's rarely worth the hassle. Move 12" (or just less if you think you can stay out of melta range) and stay alive. You should be setting yourself up for turn 2 shots on your grounds. Also, don't bother with the scraps your opponent feeds you. Use these boys to go for the heart of your opponent. If they wreck havoc and then die, they've pretty much done their job. Assaulting a squad in midfield because you can is almost always a bad idea. Your CC abilities will leave you in the open ready to be shot up, so make sure you choose your assaults carefully.

Another little trick that many people overlook is in the wording of 'Preferred Enemy'...

"...such troops can always re-roll their rolls to hit in close combat against their preferred enemy."

So, you can even re-roll those successful rolls. This can be a very bad idea in certain cases, but it has saved my guys on multiple occasions. You need to get the numbers correct, but staying in combat will often be safer than feeling the brunt of your opponent fire power. But it can work-out really badly, so think about it before you use it.

Hope that helps and sorry for the delay.

BT Assault Terminator by Dante 77 on Cool Mini or Not

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Yay for Brolo. The BT rock is an extremely potent unit, so supporting it is essential. Keep your enemy from hurting it by suppressing his own armor (with Razors, Preds, Speeders) and use your own armor to block and provide cover.

Kirby said...

It's so much better at 2k though :(.

Brother Loring said...

*hands Chumbalaya a ticket to BroLoCon*

But then it's not a rock! It's just a pebble hidden in shingle! Now two of those units at 2k just makes me all fuzzy inside!

The other option is to go with a fist full of rocks. 2 or 3 LR variants at 1500 can work well against a lot of things, but it is THE definition of a 'rock' list. Melta vets and fire dragons will spoil your day, but beyond that it can be fun and I know somebody that runs EC Chappie & Termies in an LRC, Ven Dread with melta in a DP, Crusader Squad in an LR, Crusader squad in DP. It's not an awesome list, but he seems to do okay with it.

Well... if you're out there Mordantos, your thoughts/feedback would be appreciated!

Mordantos said...

Thanks for the very detailed information. I have many of the pieces mentioned, so will try to assemble my own rock/pebble/sharp stone ;)

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