Thursday, January 5, 2012

Imperial Guard Fast Attack Choices: Rough Riders again!

Written During 5th Edition.

I never see Valkyries, nor Rough Riders played.  I see HellHound variants on occassion, but really, never these two Fast Attack choices.

I play tested a 30 Rough rider army.

The plan:  Rough Riders are cover nearly the same distance as a Land Raider charge (6" + 3.5" + 12" = 12.5"), especially with the move move move order

Since you have an answer to charge happy armies, the rest of the army needs to account more for gunlines and long range enemy types, and of course armor.

For my part I added 3 full LasCannon teams and Creed.  Commander Creed seems the ideal Commander for Rough Riders because he can give them the move move move command, and can help the Lascannons hit their target with Bring it Down, which helps the innate weakness the horsies have against getting to the "meaty parts inside".  The opponent must "take a chance" on their movement, hoping that they stayed out of range of the charge, yet fearing to stay too far away lest the LasCannons get extra turns of shooting in.

For Troops I first chose, and recommend, at least one 40man squad with 4 Meltaguns (with Grenades) and commissar.  Creeds order to Bring it Down or Fire on my Target make the Melta Hedgehog particularly potent.  For The Honor of Cadia turns a humble offensive melee threat into a fearless furious charging reasonable one.  The Rough Riders are helped a great deal by the scout move this blob unit can make, more quickly softening the countercharge units the Roughriderswould otherwise face.

Knight Commander Pask mounted in an anti-armor vehicle makes sense for this list, given the Rough rider inability to handle tougher armor.  The 9 LasCannons are good, but cover can get in the way and you want accuracy early on.

Deployment:  I found that deploying 1 and reserving 2 units worked best.  The 1 unit would be placed generally where it could flank (center left or center right).  Given its speed, there was often not a reason to go centrally nor engage immediately.  Impatiently charging forward was not always the best idea.  Besides, the reserves could do that anyways, if needed, and the enemy is sure to come for you in most cases.  It was better to defend the LasCannons or given the right matchup, move to a foreward "ready" position for the inevtiable charges.

The blob scouts to the 18" line in most cases to cut off the enemy scouts and infiltrtaors, makes deep striking very difficult around them as well as bringing them into immediate firing range round 1.  Also gives more room for later reserve deployment. behind them when it makes sense to do so.  You will find you need it more often than you thought initially.

The enemy OFTEN fired on the Las Cannon teams to Instakill the bases, and cover only goes so far.  Having a bigger more accurate threat takes some pressure off them and rewards the enemy for doing so a lot less!

This isn't meant to be a complete list, but just some ideas on what is working when playing the Rough Riders.  Many "themed" Space Marine lists attempt to be "Cheap scoring anti-tank platforms", which is not a bad way to go when backed up by anti-personell fire.  Melta veteran armies are just Space Marine armies of the same ilk played with different models (but usually the same kind of anti-personell backup and similar tactics).  The Rough Rider lists is sort of the reverse of all that, asking for a lot of backup antitank fire and featuring a frontal assault that "escorts" the insignifianct troops to their objectives unmolested in lieu of armored transports.  The Rough Riders sort of dare you to focus on the troops, whereas other builds make troops the obvious choice.

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