Tactical Command

A tale of two lists.
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Author:  Verjigorm [ Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  A tale of two lists.

One of the first memories I have of Warhammer 40k is of the epic battles for Armageddon. Though various space marine chapters appealed to me, I always liked both the Orks and their ramshackle, aggressive mode of warfare, as well as the Imperial Guard's serried ranks and overwhelming firepower. So, I've been tinkering with various lists, and solotesting them, just to kind of get a feel for how they work. There have been multiple iterations, but the last few have been pretty similar.

Ghazkull's Horde

Big 350 +2 Nobz(70), +3 Dreds(105), 2 Stompas(150), +1 Boyz

Big 350 +2 Nobz(70)

Big 350 +2 Nobz(70)

Big 350 +6 Big Gunz(150), +2 Odd Boyz /w Soopa Gunz(100)

Big 250
Blitz Br

Big 250
Blitz Br

Storm 150 +4 Deff Koptas(140), +2 Stormboyz(50)

Kult 200 8 bikes, 2 Skorcha, +2 Flakwagon(70)
of Speed

3000 pts, 8 activations

This has actually been pretty consistent: my first list had another warband, which I've since taken out to toss in the Oddboyz and Soopa Gunz. It's a whole buncha boyz, and it doesn't wanna give up. However, I had problems digging out the dug in infantry of the guard, so I dropped a warband to beef up my BTS.

I've learned a few things.

1) Just because you are effectively Initiative 1+ for Engages and Doubles, that doesn't mean you can't Sustained Fire. Even if you fail your sustained fire action test on the 3+., as part of the Hold you can still lob firepower down range. The soopa guns have proven their worth under hold to me for hitting guard units in over watch.

As for the Guard, I've been fielding this

Steel Legion
Imperial Guard

Infantry Company 250 Fire Support Platoon(100), Ogryns(50)
500 Infantry Platoon(100)

Infantry Company 250 Flak(50), Fire Support Platoon(100)
3 Griffons(5)
Infantry Company 250 Flak(50), Fire Support Platoon(100)
450 3 Griffons(50)
Infantry Company 250 Flak(50), Fire Support Platoon(100)

Infantry Company 250 Fire Support Platoon(100)

Artillery Battery 250 3 Basilisks
Artillery Battery 250 3 Basilisks

Sentinel Squadron 100 4 Sentinels
Sentinel Squadron 100 4 Sentinels

Flak Battery 150 3 Hydras

3000pts, 10 activations

Basically, it's like an infantry force. I've honestly been impressed by these lowly infantrymen. They arn't particularly good, but they are very numerous, and they can dish out a lot of fire with sustained fire or overwatch actions. After my first revision, the Guard come off the winner the majority of the time.

The Griffons really impress me with their close support for infantry companies. In fact, that's something my Ork horde hasn't been able to effectively handle: there's 4 separate barrages coming each turn, and that hurt can really add up. I feel like I don't have the ability to postpone an assault or risk getting shot to pieces or position for a good close-combat assault, rather than fire fighting.

I've tried a Gargant, and that was interesting. The Guard lost that one. I've also just assumed that if I fielded a Fight Skwadron or two, I could really work at stopping the Basilisk batteries from pounding me. Even though there's a good amount of flak out there.

Anyhow, just figured I'd ask for some input about this.

Author:  atension [ Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

Can't say I've ever played (with or against) such a troop heavy ork list. Though you may find 8 activations, especially with so many slow lumbering infantry formations, to be quite problematic. Ork fliers are a great way to both cheaply add utility and increase activation count. Personally my Ghaz list is never without a few flier formations. Also IMO Landa's are incredible. It's very hard to deal with a landa full of Boyz air assaulting you.

The guard list lools fine though a Shadow sword is a must for most guard players. Will give you a good way to deal with enemy war engines.

The ork list is quite light on air defence. The 2 Flakwagons are easily supressable and don't have much of an umbrella to start with.

The odd boys with the Supa guns aren't bad but you may also want to include some zap gun odd boys in your blitz brigades. The TK shots are extremely helpful when facing war engines.

Author:  Verjigorm [ Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

Well, These lists were simple stop gaps to get me into using non space marine forces and familiarize with the rules. I wanted to test Infantry Hordes against each other, and I was suitably impressed with the way the scenarios worked out. Lots of first turn assaults, or atleast the possibility of them.

I also tried out a Gargant once(dropped the Big Warband /w Dreds and Stompas for the Gargant) against the IG list. I can clearly see why a shadowsword or something similar is useful. That Gargant plowed right into the thick of the IG regiment and blow the hell out of it. I also used my Stormboyz and Deff Koptas(Da Deff Skwad) in a supporting assault, with the Gargant providing supporting fire. IMPRESSIVE. He also shook off artillery bombardments like a pro.

I was thinking about replacing my Blitz Brigades with Fighta Bombas as well. As I said, I'm working through the rules here, so I try to ratchet up the complexity slowly. The Fighta Bombas seem like they would be great for launchign a pre-emptive striek on the IG artillery. Even if the guard have pretty heft flak defense, or feel like it. I'll have to try it out.

I can see how the Zzap guns would be useful against war engines. But, since I wasn't fielding any for the IG, I felt that it wasn't a big deal.

What's a decent number of activations to shoot for? A read something asabout 10 or so at 3k, but as you said, 8+ activations with lots of big infantry forces is already a chore. It's especially a chore when you're playing both armies at the SAME TIME! It get's confusing tracking stuff.

Author:  atension [ Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

9 to 10 is good for most army lists. Titan lists you'll be hard pressed to get more than 7 to 8. My Ork lists usually have 11 or 12, it mostly depends on play style though. As you get more experience you'll find that having more activations than your opponent can be a huge asset. It allows you to control the table better and get in a few uncountered moves at the end of turns, especially if your opponent is retaining a lot.

Author:  GlynG [ Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

The normal recommendation is it's optimal to use 3-4 activations per 1,000 points. Though less can work for titan armies.

Author:  Verjigorm [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

How in ze heck do you get so many activations is what I'm curious about. Am I just making the individual units too big? Like I've mentioned, my play experience is mostly limited to playing with myself(...Hehehe...), but it seems like it's pretty easy to break a basic Warband with shooting. My first guard list was similar to the current one, except it had only Three infantry Companies(two with griffons, support platoon and flak, the other with support platoon and flak) and a Regimental HQ with Hellhounds, Flak and Leman Russes, and an additional unit of sentinels.

Sentinels just evaporate too damn fast for me to place much stock in them, other than as a picket line. A unit of Sentinels spread out in front of an infantry company garrison in cover on overwatch is a tough nut to crack. Sure, you can assault the sentinels, who will die, but then the Infantry tear you up with overwatch fire(and 15 AP5+, maybe with a hydra or worse, GRIFFONS*), piling on the blast counters, reducing your numbers, possibly killing those all important grotz, and THEN if you don't wipe out the Sentinels(say one in hiding in the back, or off to a side or whatever), they tear you up with the supporting fire**. I've actually seen the sentinel screen rebuff a big formation or combined assault, though they did usually involve Sentinel Commisars. It is absolutely hillarious when a handful of sentinels sends three ork Formations running through the streets.

However, most of the time, the Sentinels only lasted that first turn.

Am I making my formations too big? I kinda assumed that "350-500" is a reasonable guide line for cost. Should I be fielding more, smaller units?

I'm very attached to the big infantry companies. Dug into cover and on overwatch, they seem to be very capable in firefights.

*Barrages work during Overwatch, right?
** I ASSUME that every infantry unit gets a 5+ attack in firefights, not just the half that have the autocannons?)

Author:  atension [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

*Barrages work during Overwatch, right? 


I ASSUME that every infantry unit gets a 5+ attack in firefights, not just the half that have the autocannons?)


Author:  jimmyzimms [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

Just to note Verjigorm, sometime formations exist simply to take fire off more important things. Also a scout quagmire can stop even the biggest w/e from claiming objectives (a game with ablative marine scouts thrown at my great gargant prevented me from getting ahold of a BTS to mangle it and my t&h objectives for a loss before)

Author:  Verjigorm [ Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

I understand. But am I making my formations too large, and hence limiting my activation options?

Author:  Kyrt [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

In a word: yes.

Sad as it is, upgrades are not too commonly taken except in specific circumstances:
- if it significantly transforms what the formation can do (e.g. provides transport)
- to add a supreme commander or occasional other really good character (inspiring ones)
- flak
- to make your BTS formation difficult to kill
- to use a spare 25 points ;)
Of course this depends on the army, some formations' upgrades are just awesome. But maybe it is a good starting point to think "what specific thing am I going to do with this formation on the battlefield that requires the upgrade?"

The metagame around the world has converged on high-activation games. This is because of how Epic games are won: objectives. 4 of the 5 victory conditions can be claimed or denied just by moving. So if at the end of turn 3/4 you have a spare activation (even if it's just a single model), it can often win you the game. Also, during the first turn it allows you to "stall" - force your opponent to move all his larger formations, whilst saving your best formations until they have targets to attack.

Author:  Verjigorm [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

Right! So I sat down with it, did some thinkin, and I've come back with this:

Ghazkull Horde 3000pts, 10 Activations

1 Big +2 Stompas, +2 Dredz 350
Warband 570

2 Big +2 Nobz 350
Warband 420

3 Big +6 Big Gunz 350
Warband 2 Oddboyz /w Soopa Gunz 500

5 Kult of 6 Bikes, 2 Skorcha 200
Speed +2 Flakwagonz(70 270

6 Stormboyz +2 Stormboyz(50), 150
+4 Defkoptas(170) 370

7 Blitz 4 Gunwagonz, +2 Flak(+70) 220
Brigade Oddboy /w Zzaap 270

8 Blitz 4 Gunwagonz, +2 Flak(+70) 220
Brigade Oddboy /w Zzaap 270

9 Fighta 6 Fighta Bombaz 300

10 Fighta 4 Fighta Bombaz 200

This keeps the big hordes, though the supporting arms(the blitz brigades) are down in size.

Now, I've been putting my Warlord in the BTS formation, but that isn't always the ideal place, right? The BTS is going to get hammered constantly, I assume. And there's no real reason to stick them in the BTS, now is there? So, in this case, there's the BTS which is obviously a target, but the Gun Bumz put out a lot of firepower with their Soopa Gunz, so it can't be ignored, and then the Warlord is in the other Warband. That should help, I'd imagine.

The two blitz brigades are smaller now, but they also have Zzaap Gunz in them.

Activations are now higher.

Author:  adam77 [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

your list in the builder. doesn't quite add up, maybe i missed something

Author:  Verjigorm [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

I did my math's wrong :). Though there isn't a 4th warband, so that's 200 points free. But not not enough for the odd boyz. Hmm.

Ended up getting this:

Big Warband /w 2 Stompas, 2 dreds
Big Warband /w 6 big guns, 2 oddboyz
Warband /w +3 Boyz and Grotz

Stormboyz /w +2 Stormboyz, +4 Deff Koptas
Kult of Speed /w +2 Flak

Blitz Brigade 4 gunwagonz +2 Flakwagonz, Oddboy
Blitz Brigade 4 Gunwagonz +2 flakwagonz, oddboy

Fighta Skwadron /w 5 Fighta Bombas
Fight Skwadron /w 3 fighta Bombas

2995, 9 activations. :)

Author:  Verjigorm [ Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A tale of two lists.

Weeelp, I tried it out against that ole Steel Legion list of mine. Orks lost. :)

HOWEVER, The Fighta Bombas did GREAT. The 5 strong skwadron on it's first activation blew up two basilisks. The smaller flight... well, it kinda dove into the middle of IG flak and got shot down by five hydras. Learning experience. I think I should've tried to snipe a lone hydra(I'm pretty sure I could have manuevered the fighta bombas in such a way as to only be subject to that one hydra, had I used my brains). But being able to basically fly over and take out a basilisk battery at the begining of the game is useful.

Those Zzap guns are worth it to. They didn't kill anything impresive, but they were good for putting blast markers on enemy formations, and I suppose that's a good thing.

I'm starting to get a handle on the Orks. Just because they have +2 to Engage or Double doesn't mean that's all you do. I'm starting to figure out these: if my Gun Bumz unit(the one with the big gunz) tries to Sustain fire and fails, then as the hold action I can fire an penalized barrage off. That's useful. Also, Supreme Commander is good for ensuring that I get a sustained fire off it it's critical.

The unit with the Stompas and dreds... I'm just not convinced yet. I might end up tossing the Stompas and dreds. The Stompas alone are 150pts, that'd allow me to buff up both Fight Bomba Skwadrons to 6 and 4 strong, and I'd still have 50 points to spend on something else. If I drop the Dredz, then that's 125pts I can free up.

If I drop the Boyz and Grotz from the small warband, that's 200 points, enough to make that a big warband, AND have 50 left over to buff something else.

Or I could bring another formation of something.

The Kult of Speed hasn't really been very useful, yet. It did claim the blitz, but I'm wondering if maybe it should be bigger? It feels awfully fragile.

But yeah, are Stompas worth it?

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