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Friday, September 3, 2010

Unit types, part 1.

This one is a bit more complicated.

Everything you see on the table can be divided into two very broad, very obvious camps. These are traditionally 'infantry' and 'tanks.'
'Tanks' need anti-tank, and 'infantry' needs anti-infantry. Simple enough.

Not quite so.
A land raider requires much, much heavier anti-tank than a rhino, and a unit of striking scorpions is a lot more difficult to kill than kroot.
Therefore, infantry and tanks - known as 'armor' - are split into several types, depending on threat, durability, and gear.

Light infantry: units that fall into this category are very fragile, have lower than average leadership, and fear bolters. The lightest infantryman in the game is the ork gretchin, with a massive toughness of 2, no armor save, and very poor leadership. That's the lowest of the low, however. More common units of light infantry include kroot, ork boyz, imperial guard infantry in general, eldar guardians, necron scarabs, and pretty much all dark eldar, as well as most small tyranid creatures.
Light infantry is effectively dealt with using your army's small-arms, but large numbers of them require anti-infantry to neutralize.

Heavy infantry: these are a massive step up from light infantry. They have much better protection, higher leadership, usually far better gear, and commonly some kind of special ability. The most common heavy infantry unit is the space marine. The space marine comes in many flavors and colors. He sometimes calls himself grey hunter, grey knight, bloodclaw, sternguard, or vanguard. He's available in pretty much all the colors of the rainbow, and sometimes has spikes. However, that's not important. What is important is that he's a space marine, and you must be able to deal with him.
It's also a fact of life that not all heavy infantry are space marines, and that not all heavy infantry have a 3+ armor save. Other units of heavy infantry include striking scorpions, sisters of battle, necron warriors, stormtroopers, dire avengers, dark eldar incubi, space wolf scouts, genestealers, marine scouts, firewarriors, ogryn, necron tombspider, some smaller monsters, warpspiders, a lot of lesser characters, stealth suits, and more.
Massed small-arms hurt heavy infantry, but torrenting them with anti-infantry is much more efficient, since it leaves your small-arms free for other things.

Elite infantry: this is a very challenging class of units to deal with, because they require serious firepower to kill, and sometimes, you need to torrent them with it. Some units of elite infantry are very hard to engage, and others can absorb an incredible amount of punishment. They tend to bring specialized, devastating gear, have very potent defenses, and cost a premium in points. A squad of elite infantry - or a large monster - is a serious threat on the battlefield, and will hurt you if it's allowed to roam unchecked.
These units include terminators of all colors and shapes, wraithguard, most large monsters, virtuallly all bikes, crisis suits, broadside suits, marine command squads, plague marines, tyranid warriors, the majority of all expensive characters, eldar warlocks, ork nobz, space wolf lone wolves, and more.
Anti-tank is needed to fight elite infantry effectively. Melta should be the tool of your choice, or sternguard with their magical bolters. An alternative to both is assault terminators. Extreme amounts of small-arms will also bring them down, and heavy torrenting from anti-infantry is also an option.

Next up, armor.

13 pinkments:

Marshal Wilhelm said...

*Continuing trolling ~ out of love and wishing to grow, however*

Something else I have never really loved. I have read Blood Rodeo, and StelStels bike articles, so I am open to them. They also suffer from years of dislike [I guess dudes riding bikes in battle used to rankle me, but I like TWC, so I need to stretch my vision I suppose]

Anyway, I have a point.
Although they usually give you little time to deal with them [as the burst from Raiders or assault 18", etc] Bikes and Terminators are not very hardy for their points worth.

18 Bolter shots. 12 hit, 6 wound. 1 Dead Terminator. That is 40 pts of dead, compared to the 32 points of dead Tacticals.

12 hit. 4 wound. 1.33 Dead Bikes. That is 33.25 points of dead Bike.

How are either of these two any harder to deal with than MEq?

Nathan said...

Why would meltas be the weapon of choice for dealing with Elite Infantry? Wouldn't plasmas be better suited since they wound on 2s just the same and either have longer range or fire twice as much? AP1 vs AP2 is irrelevant when shooting infantry.

Only advantage is hitting T4 units that have multiple wounds (Nobs, Warriors) since you pop 'em with the melta and not the plasma.


Sam said...

In regards to wilhelms comment regarding how are terminators and bikes harder to deal with; alot of it comes down to what type of weaponry you are using.

In the examples you provide it is bolters firing at all targets. If we look at some different weaponry, lets say a battlecannon (because it serves my point :p) Presuming a hit (as BS of firer has nothing to do with survivability of target as it is constant against all targets) and lets say it hits 5 marines or 5 terminators. Against the terminators you will be lucky to kill one. against the marines you will kill all of them (perhaps one survivor). In this case terminators are still combat effective while marines are either dead or near enough.

Bikes have the added durability of their movement. It is unlikely that an enemy will get alot of short range (rapid fire) shots into them as they have the mobility to stay at the range that they want until they get the charge, thereby avoiding shots. While they both have 3+ saves the bikes have the ability to turboboost giving them that save against high AP weaponry along with the speed required to get out of LOS of high threat targets.

Now marines have the protection of a metal moving box in the majority of occasions but this is unlikely to last the whole game and in a killpoint mission becomes a liability (albeit a minor and necessary one)

As for melta guns being the best option, although i dont fully agree, i think what the author is getting at is that these are guns that serve multiple purposes and will be in your army anyway to deal with vehicles while plasma are not as versatile. I play as guard so unlike alot of armies i can bring both and i find, with the exception of multiple wound models, that plasma does the job better and demolishers even more so.

- Roundbaps

VT2 said...

Elite infantry tends to have multiple wounds, or accompanying characters, or otherwise use silly wound allocation, OR be fast and generally hard to catch up to to.

Melta instant-kills most of them, and means one wounders can't pass it on to a character and laugh, like they do with plasma, and since melta is assault, you can launch one of your own after shooting it, should you feel like it.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's opened fire with plasmaguns on black templar terminator command squads, and see them assign tons of wounds to attached characters.

Some elite infantry tends to ride in land raiders, and those are immune to plasma.

Plasma is also not something marines are likely to field in large numbers, because melta is so much more useful.
While plasma gives you a good chance to hurt almost all targets, you pay a premium price for this, and you don't get the full package of instant-killing deadly things, wounding pretty much all monsters on 2+, penetrating all armor easily, and your gun not hurting you.

There's one important exception to this, but that will be touched upon later.

Txt44x said...

Nice set of articles there VT2.

I see plasma these days only with Chaos or Raz Las/Plas builds, that's it. In fact except for me I can't remember the last game I had with someone else using it. Melta is just too ubiquitous!

Behemoth said...

"Melta is just too ubiquitous! "

Funny thing, its generally cheaper than melta too.

Old Shatter Hands said...

I was excited about these articles but they seem kind of basic. Let's step it up a bit here.

BTW, fire warriors as heavy infantry? not so, not so. T3, 4+ save, Ld 7, how does that make them heavy at all? Light infantry for sure.

"Anti-tank is needed to fight elite infantry effectively. Melta should be the tool of your choice, or sternguard with their magical bolters. An alternative to both is assault terminators" LOL, Is there anything that Assault Termies aren't good for?

VT2 said...

They are very basic so far.
In order to properly educate people, you have to go through everything in order, starting with the basics. You'd be surprised how many people are learning tons from the basics.

Kinda like taking everybody back to grade school, and slowly moving up to college.

Firewarriors have a 4+ save. That's really all.
You could consider them to be between light and heavy infantry if you want. Either way, they're awful.

GreyICE said...

@Old Shatter Hands - if you read the note on the first one, this was a giant compendium of Marine tactica that Kirby split. I love it. Really, there's such a thing as new players (okay, not really, but... I hear they exist) and it's not bad if VT2 writes things for them AS WELL as experienced players.

Kirby said...

Finally read this :P. I'd honestly want another category between heavy and light (aka medium! lol) infantry. As OSH points out, things tend to fit a bit between the two.

Old Shatter Hands said...

I've read farther and I would say this is getting much better. Really makes me want a space marine army. Thanks for posting further, just read the tactical dilemma...good stuff

VT2 said...

Marines are very rewarding to collect and game with, because you can make so many varied builds, and the army as a whole is very flexible and future-proof,

Marshal Wilhelm said...

I though you BAed?

My measuring stick:
For something to be Light infantry
sv 5+, less than t5, single wound.

Heavy Infantry needs t4, sv 3+ [basically MEq]

That means Medium Infantry is:
Sisters t3
Fire Warriors
Gun drones
Stealth suits t3
Ard boyz sv 4+
Flash Gitz sv 4+ [though perhaps multi wound changes this....]
Incubi t3
Dark Reaper t3
Dire Avenger
Fire Dragon
Howling Banshee
Striking Scorpion t3
Swooping Hawk
All lesser daemons bar Plague bearer
Tyranid Warrior [though multi wound might change this....]
Storm troopers
Ogryns [though multi wound might change this....]
Marine Scouts


Medium infantry has an odd characteristic to it. You can't just mow them down with bolters, as they *normally* save on a 3+ or 4+.
That also gives them an odd resilience in close combat, as something may well outclass them, but with solid saving throws, they just don't go down as easily as you'd like.

ap4 stuff bounces off MEq like Bolters do Medium infantry. Yet ap4 rips through sv4+ [obviously].
The problem is ap3 or better weapons have a low Rate of Fire, so MEq die at a slower rate [though they cost more....]
ap4 weapons usually have a high RoF, and so Medium infantry get scythed down by it.
Assault cannons and Heavy flamers take a heavy toll

There are a lot of sv3+ things in my medium list. There low toughness often makes wounding on 2s or 3s, making them take many saves that *will* fail, just by saturation.

What do you all think?

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