Saturday, February 2, 2013

6th Edition 40K Unholy Alliances

There are bitter enemies in the grim Darkness of the 40K universe, and some are so diametrically opposed that they would sooner kill you than look at you.

There are those commanders willing to trade CERTAIN obliteration at the cost of POSSIBLE obliteration.  Faced with an enemy so immense that they themselves, nor those they might ally with, can possibly survive against, they will create unholy alliances.  The outcome can only be betrayal in the end.  Nonetheless, the slim chance of at least some of their forces surviving is enough for both forces to dance with the enemy.  Better than no chance at all.

I am going to go over four of the most Unholy alliances.  These are not commonly seen but hold devastating possibilities.

Blood Angels with Necrons: 
Blood Angel forces are strong on the Assault but lack long range firepower if they are to maintain their potency in that arena.  Two things make an assault army particularly deadly.  The first is surprise.  If an assault army can safely navigate to its target via terrain or other means, it can be like a tsunami when it arrives.  No amount of Over watch will save you if you haven't whittled the forces of the Blood Angels.  Enter the Solar Pulse.  Coupled with the speed of the Blood Angels attack, and feel no pain, this is a powerful combination.  Spared the usual attrition they would face against anti-MEQ weaponry because of the saves they get from Stealth and Shrouding rules and Feel No Pain, the army can gather its strength and punish the enemy.  The Storm Lord, while expensive, ensures two rounds of this, but just a Solar Pulse is still quite adequate.  The ideal part of this equation is that the Storm Lord really need not be anywhere near the other troops to be effective and thus will not likely trigger the need for the "One Eye Open" rule.  The Necrons can also provide anti-aircraft a little cheaper than the Blood Angels can if you want to handle that duty with Flyers.

Chaos Daemons with Orcs: 
Daemons really want to soften their landing zones.  This is a problem because if they put shooters down, their range is poor and they are squishy.  Flamers are really the one units they can count on but they have to make RISKY deep strikes in order to be at maximum effectiveness.  The combination of Daemons and Orcs gives the crazed Warp beings what they really don't have:  a fusillade of shooting with excellent range.  When in cover, it has enough survivability, plus they somewhat obviate your need for an Aegis Defense line or other anti-aircraft answer.  The Daemons work far forward of their own board edge as a rule, so the presence of the Orcs won't be likely to activate the One Eye Open Rule.  A unit of lootas can do serious damage to soften the landing zones of the important Daemons to come.  Gretchen protect the War boss and can be used as extra wounds, and speed bumps The entire investment here is about 350 points or so and the Lootas can easily replace any shooting unit you would otherwise have used except the Flamers of course.

Sisters of Battle with Tau:  
The Sisters of Battle really only have one weakness:  range.  It is a  pronounced weakness and they take terrible losses in the commission of their holy duties.  Range comes from just two units:  Retributors and Exorcists.  Exorcists are unreliable, though potentially very good at what they do.  The Retributors have just a 36 inch range with no real mobility to it.  Enter the Tau.  The Tau feature both the Command and Crisis units, both of which can carry a good amount of STR 7 long range shooting, and the Broadsides are known the multi-verse over for their obvious firepower contributions.  A command unit of Crisis suits with Missiles can go a very long way towards solving the First Blood and Rhino busting woes of Battle Sisters during the first and second round.  That allows the massive firepower of the Sisters of battle at short range to matter more.  Sisters often sacrifice units to get their enemies into good firing position and those losses are somewhat avoidable if their range were better.  Things like Manticores that terrorize the Sisters of Battle would be quickly dispatched.  Target Locks allow even one unit of Broadsides to be a considerable addition to a Sisters of Battle army and quite reliable at their jobs.  Killing broadsides is nowhere near as easy as killing the tanks either.  With Shield Drones they are very hard to disable in enough time to matter when a wall of Sisters are blocking the way and pressing forward.

Dark Eldar with Sisters of Battle: 
St. Celestine is an asset to any army and she floats happily alone anyways.  her troops are better in general than the alternatives in the Dark Eldar Codex if you have assault covered elsewhere.  So it might seem odd to do, but having a weapon like the Living Saint and some of her troops along is far from your worst alternative.  Her 2+ save can come back again and again to protect her charges if she is not willing to leave them behind, making them rock hard to get off of objectives.   Limited Acts of Faith will have almost no consequence in a sisters of Battle allied contingent and the Seraphim as Jump troops over the Dark Eldar alternative is very far from the worst you can do!  All of this adds up to a versatile addition.  The One Eye Open rule is more likely to come up with this type of Ally and that will have to be a risk you're willing to take but Dark Eldar gain a lot by adding Sisters of Battle to their long list of enslaved servants.  To have broken the will of the Living Saint would be proof to all that your Archon is ready to take on Asdrubiel Vect himself...




10 comments:

  1. Hi there,

    A very nice blog and a very interesting article. I have a question for you though. I am a big themed army player. I currently run with a completely fluffy Eldar Saim Hann Jetbike army and love it but I recently bought a box of grey knight terminators because I like the look of them. This then got the juices flowing about a fully themed Inquisition army made up of Grey Knights and Sisters of battle. I know they are only allies of convenience but that doesn't bother me. Have you any thoughts on how you could come up with a 2000pts list comprised of sisters and grey knights that wouldnt lose painfully all the time? I love the idea of saint celestine and grey knight terminators and retributors in my list but im easy after that. Cheers mate!
    John.

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  2. I think Highly of the idea on several fronts. First, it is fluffy. Secondly, BOTH are good armies. And thirdly, that combination took second place at NOVA and continues to get good results in the general arena of tournament. I have many tournament wins with Sisters of Battle and Grey Knights do fine. I will work on a list tonight for you, but i don't think you need to fear that the list will lose. The question in all lists you build is, "how do I USE what I have here?". So I will give you the list, but will include some tactics with it. I think that's th more critical issue in wins and losses anyways, not the list. As you can see in past posts, or if you know people who I have fought, I have used some unusual things to great effect. Check back late in the day tomorrow as I will need some time to work on it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a million mate I really appreciate it :) yeh I just find fluffy armies so much more fun to play. When I use them or play against them it offers a very cinematic experience and I come away from the battle very happy. The Eldar army I have usually finishes around mid table at some of the tournaments ive been to here in ireland but I wonder will an Inquisition themed army fair better? I recon it would :) looking forward to checking out what you come up with.

      John.

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  3. Yes, Cult Review is in the works!

    John:
    Bastion (Quadgun)

    DreadNought (Dual Auto Cannons)

    7 Retributors (1 x Meltabomb, 4 x Heavy Flamers, Simulacrum Imperialis)
    Rhino (HK Missile)

    10 Sisters of Battle (1 x Meltabomb, 2 x Flamers)
    Rhino (HK Missile)

    10 Sisters of Battle (1 x Meltabomb, 2 x Flamers)
    Rhino (HK Missile)

    Inquisitorial Henchmen(2 x Crusaders w/ Axe's, DeathCult Assassin, 2 Weaponsmiths, 3 Acolytes w/Flamers)
    Chimera (multilaser+Hvy Bolter)

    8 Sisters Repentia

    St. Celestine

    Uriah Jacobus

    Inquisitor Coteaz

    10 Dominion (4 x Flamers, Meltabomb, Simulacrum Imperialis)
    Rhino (Searchlight, Dozer Blade, HK Missile)

    10 Dominion (4 x Meltas, Meltabomb, Simulacrum Imperialis)
    Rhino (Searchlight, Dozer Blade, HK Missile)

    Points: 1997
    Kill Points: 17
    Armour pieces: 8!

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  4. The Sisters of Battle "protect" the Bastion, providing violent suppression fire against the approaching enemy and punishing those who would Deep strike against them or attempt to take their valuable objectives. Their Rhino is dontaed to Sisters Repentia. The second Sisters of Battle unit will likely be a reserve unit in all but the Relic missions.

    Attacking at range is the Dread, cycling its cannons into the enemy armor with help from the Quadgun and providing vital Psyker defense. Next to or around it will be the second Pillbox, The Chimera with the two Lascannon wielding Weaponsmiths inside, possibly assisted by their Psyker master. They are defended ably by their bodyguards against charges and capable of winning a close combat as well! The Crusaders and Deathcult Assassins are potent in the first round of combat and of course overwatch will be painful for any enemy, what with three flamers floating in the unit. it is a multipurpose unit for sure.

    Note that all the Rhinos are armed with First blood Seeking Missiles (my name, nothing official), giving the first round a solid punch at the enemy and a good chance of opening up enemy armor or just high priced units like Honour Guards, Dark Angel Biker Squads and their damnable Teleport Homers and so on. If not needed they may also be vital last ditch tools to kill Aerial attackers.

    Sisters Repentia are there to defend against DS, then to advance on the enemy if necessary. They hide behind or in rhinos. Which brings us to....

    The Dominion form the spearhead and are accompanied by the Retributors. These two squads can singlehandedly win you the Relic mission, and they can outflank when going second if they need to in other missions. These units are easily the best weapons in your arsenal here, especially if all the firepower in the midfield can be successful in forcing troops out of their shells. If there are no shells, all the better for you.

    St. Celesting is a unit unto herself. She can lead the charge or defend the Sisters Repentia! Her 2+ armor and ressurrection ability is truly awesome. HINT: Going second means you will always get a chance to avoid "Slay the Warlord!". So while not optiimal to go second, it's something to keep in mind. Taking her up one side and keeping eyes on her is a diversionary tactic that I think you will find draws much more fire than is actually healthy for the enemy. Who can resist little old her all alone in the wilderness...

    Uriah really helps the army and geneerally goes with the Sisters Repentia. On rare occassion when the Retributors are necessary later in the game, I may put him in their unit to keep them alive, but I find the Sisters Repentia to benefit the most from his presence.

    Try it. This gives more reliable long range shooting than the Exorcist, gives you anti-aircraft ability, First Blood is easy to get when going first, Saturation is good and the enemy cannot focus on any one thing and cripple you. No component is so necessary to the overall strategy that you can't afford to lose it.

    Questions?

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  5. I have to say I really like this list and thank you for taking the time to do up this for me. It looks like a really fun army to play and u dont see any sister's of battle so it will catch many people off guard. Thanks again!

    John

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  6. You're welcome, and correct. I am the only Sisters of Battle player here locally, and have won a great deal with them in both editions. If you go through previous posts, you will find a number of other articles o nthe Sisters of Battle that might also give you some perspective.

    This force I just detailed gives you SO much flexibility in deployment, a lot of speed and the firepower is probably obvious to you. The more elite the enemy is, the better it does because elite armies cannot handle the attrition like we can and their attacks mean less to us. they simply aren't chipping away at our offense fast enough most of the time even though we take losses readily. Kinda like orcs only with Power armor. =).

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  7. Nice article. A personally favourite of mine is what I like to call "Pulling a Vect" or "Vect Surprise". It basically involves running Dark Eldar with either a space marine or space wolves allies in a drop pod. The single drop pod always comes down turn 1 in your opponents face forcing him to deal with it. The same way Vect took over Commorragh by crashing a salamander battle cruiser into The Dark City just on a smaller scale. I allow myself a rare smile whenever pull this trick off. :)

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