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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

Monday, December 26, 2011

IA:8 Elysian Army List Review: Part 1

Dark Knight Curon

After a much needed break following NOVA, I've decided to get back into blogging again. Why a break you may ask? Honestly I, like many in the competitive scene recently, was just burned out from 40K so took a step back. Now to keep some interest alive in the hobby, I decided in October to finally drop some crazy cash and revamp my old IA:4 Elysian army with some new shiny models. It also helped my old models disappeared into the warp storm that is my parent's basement. Oh well.

Anyway, since my army is about 90% put together (and 0% painted) I've decided to re-look the IA:8 army list. Initially back in 2010 I wrote this , but after reading Puppy's recent IA Army List reviews I decided I'd go back and do a more in depth review of the Elysian Army List in IA:8. This will be a two part series. This will be the first part and will detail on HQ, Elites, and FA. Though it may seem random, it's primarily due to the fewer "new" things in these sections as opposed to Troops and Heavy Support which have some new and significant changes.

So without further ado:

Special Rules: I'll knock out these out first, as there are only 3 new Special Rules/Items that are Army wide so I'll cover them first. As it stands every unit in the Army can Deep Strike

- Iron Discipline
makes a return in this Imperial Armor. While fluffy, it's not that impressive of a rule. Basically it allows falling back units close by to an officer to attempt to regroup even if less than 50%. Is it worth like the overall +5pts a unit it incurs? Meh. Not really as you'll rarely ever use it. The two most common lists (Pure AircCav or Deep Striking Drop Troops) won't get much use of it. But hey, it is fluffy.

- Auxiliary Grenade Launchers - These bad boys make a much needed return. Imagine a 12" 1 shot only krak grenade. One that Squad Leaders and Vets can take for dirt cheap. Well worth it.

- Homing Beacon - A new addition this edition, it allows a re-roll of the scatter die. You can put them in Command Squads or Veteran Squads with a doctrine. Not worth the price tag you'll find for it (same as a power weapon), especially if you put it in every Command Squad. Having maybe 1 in an Army may be worth it, especially on a Veteran Squad who can infiltrate forward with it.

HQ: Nothing really new or shocking here as opposed to Codex: IG. Command Squads are +5pts more expensive, get the option for Homing Beacons, but can only get 1 Special Weapon and have no access to Astropaths or Master of Ordnances. They still get Officer of the Fleet and Bodyguards, but the former isn't needed in a Reserve focused army and the latter is just extra padding, and thus are unnecessary upgrades. The other limitation is a fluff related Army one, in that the ONLY heavy weapons they have access to (Army wide) are Heavy Bolters, Mortars, and Missile Launchers. This isn't TOO bad, as Missle Launchers are pretty much de facto AT nowadays. The biggest and most AWESOME change this list brings though, and is first evident with the Command Squad entry, is that you can take Valkyries as Dedicated Transports for the cost of...well a Valkyrie. Yes that's right, I'll say it again. Valkyries as Dedicated Transports. It's that awesome.

Now there's a reason for this. The Elysian Army List has 0 (that's a zero) ground vehicles outside of Tauros variants and Sentinels. So that means no Chimeras, Russes, Basilisks, etc. To make up for it, you get access to more aircraft.

One last thing, and this is model related. While giving a Senior Officer (or any officer for that matter) a Power Fist is a waste of points, the PF arm and actual fist is so well done and one of my new favorite sculpts, I may have to find a way to put it in a list just to show it off.

As for the rest of the HQ section, The Lord Commissar (Drop Regiment) is exactly the same as his vanilla counterpart, except he's +10pts. He has the option to get a Homing Beacon if he wants. Otherwise, nothing new. The big, new standout for HQ is the Ground Scanner Section. It doesn't take up an HQ slot, is limited 1 per Army, is sort of overpriced (50pts for a lone dude and scanner with the option to add more dudes for cheap), but what it brings to the table is power. The Scanner has two modes to be used and the mode must be picked at the start of the game. Long Range Sweep basically gives you a table wide Chooser of the Slain on a 4+. The real winner here though is the Short Range Lock. Basically a unit within 12" of the scanner can re-roll all missed to-hit dice during Shooting. Alternatively if you give a squad a vox, they can be anywhere on the board to benefit from this, not just within 12". Only restriction is it can't be used on Ordnance and Barrage weapons.

Elites: Well there are only 2 options here. Storm Trooper Squads are exactly like their C:IG counterparts, but can take Valkyries as Dedicated Transports. The real winner here are the Drop Sentinel Squadrons. For the same cost as C:IG you lose Scout but gain Deep Strike instead, and instead of a stock Multilaser it comes with a Heavy Bolter stock. Weapons options, as everything in the Codex, are limited. You get Heavy Flamers for free which is cool compared to C:IG, but what makes these guys standouts is you can get a Multi-Melta for +15pts. That's right for 50pts you get a Deep Striking MM. As I'll show you all later, these bad boys are also Platoon attachments, so you could theoretically build a list around Deep Striking MM platforms (I made a quick one and got 7 in there amongst other units). Couple this the Ground Scanner and you can throw some nasty MM around.

Fast Attack: Well first off Vendetta Squadrons are exactly the same so no news there. The first new unit is Tauros Squadron. For 40pts you get a fast, open topped gun truck with a Heavy Flamer and AV 10 all around. You know the ones, those cool little dune buggy looking things from FW. For +5pts you get 36" range, 2 shot Grenade Launcher. It's meh. Matter of fact the Tauros as a whole are a meh choice. They do get two cool rules that help them. All Terrain Vehicle are a free poor man's version of Dozer Blades, only restriction being it only works if you move Combat Speed. The other bonus rule is Galvanic Motors. Basically you ignore Immobilized results on a 4+, which is a nice ability, as with it's inherent Scout ability and ATV ability make it fairly survivable driving through terrain.

Tauros Venator Squadrons are where it's at in the FA section. They're the heavier, more badass version of their light scout version brothers. For +10pts base you get a +1 on Front AV and trade the Heavy Flamer for a twin linked Multi-Laser. The real winner here, is that for +15 more you get a twin linked Lascannon. These guys and the Vendettas are the only real place you can get real long AT ability. Also for the cost of 1 Vendetta you get two of these guys. Yes you lose out of 1 TLLC shot, but you have all the special rules for Tauros' so are prime to move through terrain with ease and get those side shots. Additionally, it's easier for the Tauros' to get 4+ cover saves since...well they like terrain and you'll more often than not have them hiding in terrain somewhere.

The final option in FA is the Cyclops Remote Demo Vehicle. Basically it's a demo charge on wheels....AV10 all around wheels. While fluffy and cool, for 35pts a pop, a one shot slow moving demo charge isn't too hot.

That's all for Part 1. Part 2 I'll go into the Troops and Heavy Support choices in the Army List, as they present many new options which will take more time to get into. I'll also do some Army Lists in Part 2 as well.

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