Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thinking Smaller...

by SandWyrm

Farmpunk and I headed down to Blue Moon Games in Moorsville to Hook up with BlueMoon for the escalation league he was starting. Turnout was good, and he has 25 people signed up. Though some of those won't be starting until after Christmas.

I missed out on some of the opportunity for idle chit-chat, as I locked my keys in my car and had to wait out in the cold for the locksmith to arrive. Talk about boneheaded! I haven't done that in almost 8 years! The locksmiths price was reasonable at least, as he only wanted $35.00. Farmpunk was betting it would cost at least $75.00. And I've paid as much as $120.00 before when I was living on the West Coast.

Anyhow, once I got that taken care of I got to look around the store. They've got a large enough game space for 6 tables, although Blue only had 4 set up. One of those was a VERY nice city table. The gamers were a mixed collection of young newbies and some old vets (us). Though there was a guard player who just might be as crazy as I am. He was running a demo game between his Death Corps of Krieg armored company and his very nicely painted Nurgle Marines. Top notch stuff.

BMG's stock was a little light in terms of choices, but I know he does most of his business through on-line orders. For which he gives pretty generous discounts, especially for members of the league. He was talking 25% off for our first order and 20% off after that.

I think I know where I'll be buying my next Valk.

The night was a little light on gaming. There were 4 new players running 300 pt. games and a couple of guys playing the Krieg/Nurgle battle under experienced supervision. But there wasn't much else. I had brought my Tourney force with the expectation of getting a 1500 pt. (or more) game in. But Farmpunk and I ended up putting together 300 pt. forces so we could play a couple of games vs. the new guys.

Which brings us to the subject of thinking smaller.

How many guard can you get for 300 points? I took a 35-man platoon with meltas (all I had with me) and a Chimera to hide behind vs. an IG gunline with 2 Heavy Bolters and 2 Missile Launchers. I felt like an Ork player pushing that 30-man blob forward and praying that my Chimera made it across the table alive.

It didn't, of course. He immobilized my Chimera on turn 2 and blew it up on turn 3. I was able play some line of sight games around a hill with my infantry blob, coming within 1 model of forcing a LD6 morale test on him. But in the end I died in a glorious single Sergeant charge vs. his last 12 guys.

But that was all practice. The league really starts next week. So I need to come up with a proper 300 point list for my next few games. BlueMoon's rules state that I must have 1 troop choice and a total of no more than 2 Kill Points. The mission will be "Capture the Flag", and we'll each have 1 game as the attacker and one as the defender.

Now, a 300 pt., 2 KP force is easy as pie for Marines to do. You can get there with 1 Tac Squad and a Dread with a few points left for options. Farmpunk is even talking about taking a single squad of 9 Grey Knights to get there. But 2 Guard Vet squads without transports will find it hard to crack 160 points all by themselves.

Option 1: The Platoon Blob

65 - Platoon Command Squad w/Missile Launcher, 2 x Melta
105 - Infantry Squad w/Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Commissar
70 - Infantry Squad w/Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
70 - Infantry Squad w/Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher

Fear the Blob! Autocannons would be a bit better, but the Missile Launchers are already painted.

This force is the most obvious IG build, and probably would be the most effective. But it's also kind of boring. In that I'd just be sitting there pummeling away at someone without much chance to maneuver beyond the obvious "It's turn 4! Quick! Run for the objective!" move.

Option 2: The Wall of Steel

135 - Veteran Squad w/Carapace, 2 x Melta, Flamer, Power Weapon
165 - Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer

This list would absolutely kill at offense, but I'd probably get a lot of dirty looks for bringing an AV14 tank to a 300 pt. game. Although the Demolisher would be "easier" in that it's range is much shorter than a standard Russ.

Option 3: Air Cav

160 - Veteran Squad w/Carapace, Demolitions, 2 x Flamer, Melta, Power Weapon
140 - Valkyrie w/Multiple Rocket Pods, Heavy Bolters

It's the Super Vet Squad of Doom!(tm)

The newbies might shudder in fear, but this is probably the weakest list I could bring. The blob from my first list would shoot the Valk down pretty easily by turn 2. And the SVSOD would fall to massed lasgun fire. Still, I'm tempted by the challenge of it.

Option 4: Vet Party

130 - Veteran Squad w/3 x Grenade Launchers, Missile Launcher, Forward Sentries
170 - Veteran Squad w/Heavy Flamer, 2 x Grenade Launchers, Forward Sentries, Demolitions

This list was Farmpunk's idea. 2 Vet Squads with Camo Cloaks. One Squad would provide covering fire, while the other advances on the enemy with the Demo Charge. It's not a bad idea at all really.

Option 5: Stormy Skies

180 - 10 Stormtroopers w/Melta, Flamer
120 - Vet Squad w/2 x Grenade Launcher, Autocannon, Forward Sentries

This list would benefit from the ability of the Stormies to either Infiltrate or Deep Strike as needed. They don't have the punch of the Demo Charge. But they do have a 4+ save and AP3 lasguns.

Option 6: Reign of Fire

155 - Veteran Squad w/3 x Grenade Launcher, Autocannon, Forward Sentries, Demolitions
145 - Hellhound w/Hull Multi-Melta.

It's not quite as mean as the Demolisher build, but it would just cream Guard, Nids, or Orks. Marines would probably give me fits though.


I'll thow this out to the Back 40K audience. What's your opinion on these lists? I want to play a force that's interesting with the ability to move around. But I also don't want to be a prick and bring a list that's going to be unfriendly to play against.


  1. I was having this same conversation with John (albino Orks) today at work. I like a Psyker Battle Squad and platoon with mortars and sniper rifles.

    That goes against your idea of not being a prick, but it would definitely introduce new players to some seldom-seen ideas: like pinning, and the importance of leadership :)

  2. sorry, I just realized that you need 2 kp or less...swap the platoon for vets?

  3. Maybe. I don't have any models that would make a good psyker squad though. :(

  4. Well, if I was a noob (which I am) and I was to get my butt handed to me by a more experienced player I would want to face something interesting. Yes the blob would be standard but it may take a while to move around and combat may draw out. Personally I would like to play against the flame tank combo. Cool looking model, Small (for guard) squad with neat rules. Depending on dice rolls could be a quick, decisive battle that could be easily reset and played again. That or your Sentinels, but thats just me, I like Sentinels.

  5. Yeah, I agree with the sentinels. I was thinking of two lists:

    1- one squad of Veterans and a squad of Sentinels
    2- vets and Ogryns

    Either will be fair at 300 points--not easy to kill, but also not impossible to take care of. A Leman Russ, Valkyrie, or Hellhound would be REALLY hard for most new players to deal with at 300 points. Both the Sentinels and the Ogryns will be useful for you, in both shooting and HTH, and can be killed by normal bolter type weapons.

    I think both of these would be fun to play, introduce new players to different types of units, and would not be seen as too 'hard' to use to introduce new players to the game

  6. I Sent BlueMoon these rules, but they're the guidelines I've run esc. league by before.

    must have 1 troop
    no models with more than 2 wounds,
    no 2+ saves
    no special chars
    no vehicles with total armor rating of 33 (front+side+reararmors<=33)

    otherwise, it's pretty rude. I COULD run a Landraider and 5 Stormtroopers. it'd be mean. and not teach a lot. a Squad of Sisters and an Exorcist would also be mean. Which is why I like the no armor over 33 rule.

    I like the double vets, Vets and Stormies, and Vets and Sentinels lists. they're not over the top. These games should be fun for both of you, and still challenging.

  7. Psykers and vets with sniper rifles might be interesting, but the psykers are pretty squishy outside a transport.
    2KP's is kinda challenging as well, esp. when you're used to throwing down inexpensive units with their transports.

  8. "no vehicles with total armor rating of 33 (front+side+reararmors<=33)"

    Correct me if I am misremembering, but didn't the old rules limit the armor value to 32 or less? I am just curious what the extra point allowed in?

    The store I am playing at is also running a esc league, where I am playing Khorne in rhinos. Definitely not the most complex army, but there is something fun about just running headlong into enemy chain axes swinging.

  9. If I was ever actually down in the Area at the correct time I would be very interested in bringing my zebra nids.

    Though I don't know what I could field at 300pts that would be survivable enough. Silly tyranids, surviving is for MEQ.

  10. I looked back at the stuff I had in my 40K file, and I found this stuff:

    The stuff I found on combat patrol from the old Gw site was the same, except for 500pt limit.

    We ran the 500pt Partol clash version, not the 400pt Patrol clash.


out dang bot!

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