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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Email in: Yet Another Army Question [BA & SM]

"Hey Kirby,

A quick email from New Zealand here. I am just getting into playing 40K and the local GW mainly plays 1k and 500 point games (in contrast to the local clubs which play 1750-1850).

As a result, if I want to get regular game in to develop my play I am going to need at least one 1000 point army, preferably one that can (at least mostly) form the components of a larger force later on. (I'm not even touching the 500 point games, as they seem to be an exercise in exploiting army list quirks). I am hoping for an army that will help me learn the game as well as perform reasonably.

I have a lot of unpainted plastic towards a 2k Blood Angels jump force which is my current project, but try as I might I can't come up with a 1k Jumper list that seems to have what it takes. I just can't fit the 'load-bearing' units like Vanguard into a points pool that small without heavily compromising small considerations like having enough warm bodies and scoring units. So they remain a proprity but they won't help me with this issue I fear.

So I am looking over the other codices I own and have enthusiasm for (no sense picking up something I don't like).

These are Codex: Space Marines, Codex: Orks and Codex: Chaos Space Marines. Yeah, I know.

So I guess my main question is, what do you consider to be the balanced list styles (per the 3++ definition of 'balanced' as 'has the tools to deal with a diverse range of opposition') for Codex marines at 1k?

Special bonus question- does a non-terrible Vulkan He'Stan list exist at this points level? I am thinking of painting my Codex marines as Salamanders due to liking the fluff and wanting a break from red and yellow power armour on my Blood Angels. I realise that they don't have to have Vulkan along to be Salamanders, but I like the fluff and also, if we're honest, the statline seems pretty solid (though I wish he had Eternal Warrior). Geekery aside though, I am very aware that 190 points is a LOT more in a 1k game than it is in a 2k one.


So we've got a couple requests here the main two being scaled versions of 1750/1850 lists for a Jumper list and Codex Marine list. Quick note about 1k, whilst you can take balanced lists at 1k you're going to meet unbalanced lists a lot and they are much more likely to trump you than at higher points. However, with the advent of taking lists that are decent at lower points and scaling them up we can work with both a Jumper concept and either a Biker or Mech SM concept so we'll put lists together for all of them. If you want a Vulkan styled list I'd basically just add him in to the Mech list at 1850+ points.

So Jumper at 1k. Hard to do because of the premium you're paying for FNP/FC bubbles but let's see what we can drag out. We're going to try for a VV squad, 2x ASM, 2x Priests, Libby and an HG squad and this can be scaled up to many lists on this site. Bare bone points are: 165, 235, 235, 75, 75, 125 and 165 for 1075. Over we go rather quickly so let's drop the HG squad drop in LCs on both of the Sang Priests and 3 SS's on the VV. This gives us:

Libby w/Jump Pack, Blood Lance, Sword (or Shield)
2x Sang Priests w/Jump Pack, Lightning Claw
2x 10xASM w/2x meltagun, PFist
5x VV w/Glaive, 3 SS

28 Jumpers @ 1000 points.

Okay so let's now head over to the SM codex. Two lists jump to mind which can scale up from 1000 points a Bike styled list and Mech list. A pure bike list might have issues at this points level as Command Squads are expensive, so let's see if we can get a Hybrid list going for them. 2-3x small bike squads, 2x Dreads, 2x Preds, 2x Typhoons is going to be cutting it close but let's check! 1180 so not really. Dropping the Speeders could put us spot on 1000 points but we've only got 12 scorers then so we'll skip that. Let's check a Mech-style SM list. 2x LasPlas squads, Libby, 2x Typhoons, 2x Preds, 2x Dreads gives us... 1030. So this we can do! Let's drop the 2 Typhoons down to 2 MM/HF speeders which gives us more reach across the table in ability to move into midfield but lowers our long ranged firepower. We still only have 10 scoring Troops but they are least hiding in transport hulls and as you build up points you can add more LasPlas and ranged units + some Terminators for bubble-wrap goodness. So at 1k this looks like:

Libby w/Null Zone & Gate
2x Dreadnoughts w/2x TLAC
2x 5xTacs w/RBack w/LasPlas
2x MM/HF Speeders
2x Dakka Preds

I think the BA list is the better list @ 1k and easier to scale up to higher points though if you wanted to do a Blood Hammer style list (ML Devs instead of VV) I think I'd save it for at least 1500 points. So Travis, these to your fancy? Pop over the sea sometime for a game =D!

7 pinkments:

0range said...

Are you sure FnP is needed at 1k pts? How about adding more bodies instead?

VT2 said...

Marines don't really function below 1500, due to the tactical+HQ tax.

You also don't learn anything at 1000 points, except that orks are 'OMGWTFBQQ! CHEEZE!' and that space marines are 'horrible.'
Get to 1.5k instead.

Marines rely on getting the drop on people with rapid fire, templates, and melta. To achieve this, they need to bring armor, bikes, or deep strike all over the place.

Deep strike has a whole bunch of weaknesses, the largest being that once you drop, your unit is pretty much stuck where you dropped it.
Bikes are great, but too costly for anything below 2k, since you need twin command squads to have a fighting chance.
This leaves us with armor.

At 1k points, you don't have a lot of options, and you still need to maximize the potential power of anything you put on the table: 10 men units of tactical marines to unluck all the free stuff, use sternguard strictly to hose infantry to death, move your predators around, tank shock people with your armor, and etc.

I'd do this at 1k points, but Kirby's list is also acceptable.

Librarian - 100

Sternguard: rhino - 160
Sternguard: rhino - 160

Tactical: 10 men, multi-melta, flamer, rhino - 205
Tactical: 10 men, multi-melta, flamer, rhino - 205

Predator: heavy bolter sponsons - 85
Predator: heavy bolter sponsons - 85


Vulkan doesn't work below 2k.
He's a force multiplier. If you can't bring double hammernators in land raiders, 3 or more land speeders, or a ton of burninating sternguard, he's really not worth his points.

Kirby said...

@Orange; That's essentially 28 2+ save models which @ 1k is hard to remove.

@VT2; I'm sure if we could all magically click our fingers and get to our desired points level, we would but his LGS plays @ smaller points so we have to deal with that until he beats them with a rubber mallet. Problem with the 1k list above is it is going to suffer against the really top notch armies of the 1k era. DE and Tau are really going to have field days in small point environments and you don't have the firepower to deal with those type of lists, etc. The two offered in the post at least offer a semblence of balance, etc.

Keth said...

Thanks for the feedback Kirby. I'll go ahead with a 1k BA list along the lines you suggested and plan my Vulkan/Thunderbubble extravaganza for 2k games.


Evil-Termite said...

I realize that the writer is interested in Marines, Chaos Marines and Blood Angels. But just in case I might spark something I wanted to just throw in that Tau work incredibly well in 1000 point games and the models you bring to that list do scale up to 1500 and 2000 points lists.

Keth said...

Hey Termite,

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered it. But that would involve spending money rather than assembling and painting stuff I've already purchased. So as fun as it sounds (and I do want to do a shooty army eventually) I am going to go with BAs instead, for now.

Kirby said...

The 1k BA list scales up really well as well for when you get into bigger point battles. But yes, Tau & DE can really rock lower point games.

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