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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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Battle Force Question

I thought this would be a fun exercise where others can chime in:

"Hey Kirby
I'd just like to say that I'm a massive fan of what you and the other guys at 3++ do, been following for about a year now.

At my local club, in the frozen wastes in the north of Scotland, we are organising a summer event/tourney.
Everyone entering has to supply a 1000pts list for 40K but theres a catch.
You have to use all the models in one of the battle force box sets that GW sells and what ever you see fit to make the 1000pts.

What do you think would be the best battle force to start with and what units to add to that army??

Thank you very much for reading this e-mail :)


Let's look at each Battleforce and see what we get.

Blood Angels -

10x Tacticals
5x ASM
5x DC

Pretty horrid really but it does give you 20 Marine models with up to 10 Jump Pack and 20 foot options - certainly room to work with there if you grab some extra Jump Packs from a bitz site or Rhinos/Razorbacks to put small ASM squads inside.

Chaos Daemons -

20x Bloodletters
10x Daemonettes
10x Pink Horrors
5x Seekers

Ugh - you'd at best be using the Letters and Horrors from this if you were trying for something halfway decent and the Seekers just drag it down. Not much one can do with this as there's too many directions at once.

Chaos Space Marines -

15x CSM
8x Beserkers
5x Possessed

Again, a terrible mix of models though like the BA, at least you have the option of using just the bare bones Marine model. Unfortunately Chaos are over-costed throughout their book and unless you use these as Chosen + Zerkers and then go buy some Plagues & more Rhinos... and even then, no ranged fire support to speak of.

Dark Eldar -

10x Wyches
10x Warriors
3x Reavers

Getting better - Warriors are easily converted into Trueborn and with a few extra vehicle purchases (i.e. Raider + Venoms) and a couple extra infantry squads (more Wyches, pad out the Reavers) and you've got something you can work with and which would scale nicely to larger point values.

Eldar -

10x Guardians + Support Weapon
5x Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent
War Walk

Could potentially make a Hybrid Eldar from this but its not going to be great. The units bar the Guardians are decent enough but can be hard to work together into a solid list. Running the Guardians as Storms and grabbing more Wave Serpents is possible and then use the War Walker as cheap fire support/outflanking annoyance.

Grey Knights -

Don't get one. Nananana.

Imperial Guard -

20x Guardsmen
5x Command Squad
3x Heavy Weapon Team

Pretty decent actually - a couple of Chimera + heavy tank purchases and you've got the basis of most Guard lists. Altneratively, you could go a foot route with Sentinels providing some extra mobility/outflanking and as you go up in points add in the mech elements required.

Necrons -

20x Warriors
5x Immortals
5x Scarabs
Ghost Ark

Too many Warriors at this level. Making a Warrior block at higher levels can work but it'll chew up half your points early on and there aren't enough points to run them as MSU. Potential to split them into 2x10x and grab more firepower (i.e. Barges) around them but greater potential at higher points.

Orks -

20x Boyz
3x Warbikers

Not a lot there - grabbing more Boyz & Trukks would be a start and then one could run that with Loota support & Warbikers + Warboss on a bike. Not great without the support of lots of Orks though or the backup provided by the extra FoC slots such as Heavy Support and Fast Attack.

Ravenwing -

6x Bikes
Attack Bike
Land Speeder

This is a pretty decent set, particularly if you can use it for a Space Marine Biker force. One can simply buy a couple of these and have an army out of the box ready to go for SM or DA.

Sisters of Battle -

Don't get one. Sad face.

Space Marines -

15x Marines
5x ASM
5x Scouts

Same deal as the Blood Angels one really except less codex options with cheap, scoring ASM units. This hurts the mass of power armored guys you get in this force a lot. Running the minimum scoring (Scouts + Tactical squad) and running the other Marines as Sternguard and the like would be the best way to get the most out of this at low points - add in Dreads/Preds/Speeders as usual and scale Troops up with points total.

Space Wolves -

10x Grey Hunters
10x Blood Claws
5x Wolf Scouts
Drop Pod

Not bad if you can convert the Blood Claws to Grey Hunters - grab a couple Rhinos and something for the Pod to go with (MM Dread?) with some Fang support and like Imperial Guard you have the basis of many larger armies for Space Wolves.

Tau -

12x Kroot
12x Firewarriors
3x Stealth Suits
Crisis Suit

Minimal number of Crisis suits and multiples of Stealths isn't a great start nor is the larger number of Fire Warriors. Excess baggage puts this box on the back foot when trying to make a good Tau list and with Tau being older, they can't carry the weight of it.

Tyranids -

16x Termagants
16x Hormagaunts
8x Genestealers
3x Warriors

Too many little guys without any anti-tank or big MCs though they are pretty cheap. Filling these out with some medium sized gun critters and one or two big critters could get a decent Tyranid force out there but not taking advantage of their ability to put a lot of T6 wounds on the table even at smaller points.

Overall thoughts:

Most of the 5th edition battleforces are decent starting places unsurprisingly but even then, the majority of them (particularly the Marine ones) require some sort of cross use of the models (i.e. Blood Claws as Grey Hunters). The parts are usually supplied for this but this may be frowned upon within the confines of the competition mentioned by the emailer.

With that in mind I'd probably be looking at the Ravenwing, Dark Eldar or Imperial Guard battleforces as being the best options to not only make the basis of a smaller army but also be useful as a stepping stone to larger point totals. If such swapping is allowed I'd chuck in the BA one as well and potentiall the Space Marines but the Drop Pod holds the Space Wolves back.

What are others thoughts?

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