Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blasts, blasts and more blasts!

It may or may not have gone unnoticed by readers that barrages and blasts have become increasingly excellent weapons choices.

Reasons I have been seeing are:

1.  Higher model counts being squeezed into the same terrain.  Net result:  less spread.
2.  Ranges on many blasts are improved as the new codex's roll out.
3.  Proliferation of more blasts than ever being available in codex;s.  Slaanesh blast masters, Dark Eldar now feature several blasts, the Ion weapons of Tau, the greater number of speeders in DA armies and so on.
4.  The massive increase in the value of barrages as snipers
5.  The way the indirect fire rules now work penalizes them much less when minimum ranges are concerned
6.  Ballistic skill doesn't matter as much when firing Blasts so low BS armies are benefited
7.  Blasts no longer need their center to be over the enemy models!

This is a REALLY big list of reasons why 6E is friendly as hell to blast happy armies.

...Yet...I don't see a lot of these around.  And that's my question really.  Why not?  One could easily see Imperial Guard turning more to this and in fact I have recently faced two artillery heavy Imperial Guardsman armies but this does not seem to be as widespread as one would think.

A Tau army built for blasts can feature three Bombers (or 3 units of Pathfinders bearing 9 Ion Rifles), 3 Hammerheads with Submunitions, 3 Riptides with Ion Accelerators all for about 1697 (or less) points with an Ethereal leading them before you bought the troops.  Now I am not suggesting you go out and do this.  I am simply observing that it can be done!  Woe betide nearly anyone who should be saddled with the job of facing that.

Eldar can field similarly large numbers of blasts and large blasts but they typically don't have nearly as many as they could.  Look at UltraMarines with their death dealing cannons!  I saw them do well at the top table of a tournament in recent memory.

I just wonder aloud here why you don't see these kinds of things more often.  Anyone have an army that's blast heavy that's having success?  Anyone try it and fail?  Insight on this would be interesting to me.

11 comments:

  1. I think you touched upon the three, primary reasons that ordinance/barrage is such a powerful form of attack in 6E:

    1.) Blast template is resolved at full strength

    2.) Wounds are allocated to models under the 'pinhole' of the blast template (rather than from the direction of the firing unit).

    3.) Minimum range is no longer a factor when targeting opposing units.

    The Colossus is really scary: Str 6, Ap 3, ignores cover ordinance/barrage. 3+ delete!

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  2. Sure, but why then have we not seen a bevy of these sorts of forces? Normally the internetz and local metas catch on to these trends rather quickly. Triple Heldrakes was almost immediately a hit at tourneys (Gawd awful expensive but popular) as were Tzeentch Flamers once people understoood their threat (and Fantasy players probably had vivid memories of those). So I think we should post the best blast based armies we can think of here and step back and look at those for a moment. There could be some real value to units like my Dark Reapers, and D-Cannons for example, or other such units that aren't seen as frequently.

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  3. I can think of a couple of reason- and one specific to the Colossus:
    Null-deployment/armies with melta weapons are a threat to backline arty units. Delivered by drop pods, tanks can get wrecked turn one. Fliers can attack these units with impunity. There are more ways now, in 6E, to deny an opponent's units cover saves. My experience with mechanized IG lists were the army's ability to obtain/provide cover by using bubble wrap, or interlacing squadrons.
    The final reason that is relegated solely to the Colossus is cost: The closest 'official' kit costs a whopping 90 bucks from Forgeworld (before shipping). Ouch.

    For this exercise if I were to make an IG list(excluding FW units), my core units would be a Primaris Psyker, three Vendettas with HBs, 2x Colossus, and a Manticore (totalling 930 points)- Everything else to preference. I would prefer vanilla marine allies for null zone Libby and ATSKNF to bolster IG infantry.

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  4. What about missile pods on the Valkyrie? Would you make use of mortars? I have considered mortars a total loss up to this point, but as barrages bcome more useful, and pinning a unit becomes more atractive in the shooting heavy world of 6E, the mortar may well be more viable if not actually attractive. If even just a single one in each unit... breaking up formations and making them more vulnerable to charges and such is part of the deal and the off chance of an occassional pin is impactful.

    This makes me want to jump on army builder and just get blast silly. It just solves so many problems you could have. Oncoming Grey Knights are scary if you're forced to get closer to them but an army full of this kind of stuff might give them serious pause on the come.

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  5. With so many superior options to use against hordes, Valkyries seem lacking to me. I prefer the Vendetta over the Valkyrie for a hard counter against other fliers (including the Heldrake). I wouldn't be opposed to mortars- 5 points for a 48" reach isn't bad.

    What might be interesting is a squadron of Leman Russ'. Plasma cannon sponsons?

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  6. Well, try this:
    Manticore
    DeathStrike Missile Launcher (T minus...)
    Ordinance Battery (1x Griffon for Twinlinked Multiple Barrage, +2 Colossus for ruthless destruction)
    Platoon Command Squad (2xGrenade Launchers and a Missile Launcher)
    20 Infantry (2x Grenade Launcher, 2 x Missile Launchers)
    5 x 3 Heavy Weapons Squads (2 x Missiles, 1 x Mortar each)
    2 x Special Weapons Squads (3 Democharges each)
    2 Vindettas (for the Special Weapons Hit Squads)
    Demolition Veteran Squad (3 Grenade Launchers and 1 Demo charge)
    Chimera
    Primaris Psyker (Never know when you'll need a Force Weapon)

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  7. What if we slimmed down the blob squads, and sacrificed the Griffon in exchange a couple of strong force multiplier(s):

    2000 Pts - Imperial Guard Roster

    Total Roster Cost: 2000

    HQ: Primaris Psyker (1#, 70 pts)
    1 Primaris Psyker, 70 pts

    Troops: Infantry Platoon (37#, 415 pts)
    1 Infantry Platoon, 0 pts
    2 Platoon Command Squad, 24 pts = 2 * 6 (base cost 6) + Grenade Launcher x2 10 + w/Missile Launcher 27
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 25 pts = (base cost 10 + Missile Launcher 15)
    1 Platoon Commander, 6 pts
    7 Infantry Squad, 40 pts = 7 * 5 (base cost 5) + Grenade Launcher x1 5
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 15 pts = (base cost 10) + Mortar x1 5
    1 Sergeant, 5 pts
    7 Infantry Squad, 40 pts = 7 * 5 (base cost 5) + Grenade Launcher x1 5
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 15 pts = (base cost 10) + Mortar x1 5
    1 Sergeant, 5 pts
    3 Heavy Weapons Squad, 80 pts = 3 * 20 (base cost 20) + Missile Launcher x2 20
    3 Heavy Weapons Squad, 80 pts = 3 * 20 (base cost 20) + Missile Launcher x2 20
    6 Special Weapons Squad, 75 pts = 6 * 5 (base cost 5) + Demolition Charge x2 40 + Flamer x1 5

    Troops: Infantry Platoon (37#, 415 pts)
    1 Infantry Platoon, 0 pts
    2 Platoon Command Squad, 24 pts = 2 * 6 (base cost 6) + Grenade Launcher x2 10 + w/Missile Launcher 27
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 25 pts = (base cost 10 + Missile Launcher 15)
    1 Platoon Commander, 6 pts
    7 Infantry Squad, 40 pts = 7 * 5 (base cost 5) + Grenade Launcher x1 5
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 15 pts = (base cost 10) + Mortar x1 5
    1 Sergeant, 5 pts
    7 Infantry Squad, 40 pts = 7 * 5 (base cost 5) + Grenade Launcher x1 5
    1 Heavy Weapons Team, 15 pts = (base cost 10) + Mortar x1 5
    1 Sergeant, 5 pts
    3 Heavy Weapons Squad, 80 pts = 3 * 20 (base cost 20) + Missile Launcher x2 20
    3 Heavy Weapons Squad, 80 pts = 3 * 20 (base cost 20) + Missile Launcher x2 20
    6 Special Weapons Squad, 75 pts = 6 * 5 (base cost 5) + Demolition Charge x2 40 + Flamer x1 5

    Fast Attack: Vendetta Gunship Squadron (1#, 140 pts)
    1 Vendetta Gunship Squadron, 0 pts
    1 Vendetta, 140 pts = (base cost 130) + Heavy Bolter Sponsons x2 10

    Fast Attack: Vendetta Gunship Squadron (1#, 140 pts)
    1 Vendetta Gunship Squadron, 0 pts
    1 Vendetta, 140 pts = (base cost 130) + Heavy Bolter Sponsons x2 10

    Heavy Support: Deathstrike Missile Launcher (1#, 160 pts)
    1 Deathstrike Missile Launcher, 160 pts

    Heavy Support: Ordnance Battery (2#, 280 pts)
    1 Ordnance Battery, 0 pts
    1 Colossus, 140 pts
    1 Colossus, 140 pts

    HQ: Rune Priest in Power Armour (1#, 110 pts)
    1 Rune Priest in Power Armour (HQ) [SW], 110 pts = (base cost 100) + Chooser of the Slain 10

    HQ: Rune Priest in Power Armour (1#, 100 pts)
    1 Rune Priest in Power Armour (HQ) [SW], 100 pts

    Troops: Grey Hunters Pack (10#, 170 pts)
    10 Grey Hunters Pack (Troops) [SW], 170 pts = 10 * 15 (base cost 15) + Wolf Standard 10 + Plasma gun 10



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  8. What is the plan with this variant forthe Space Wolves? I know what they do for the blob (ATSKNF and Psyker defense potentially) but how do they feed into the overall strategy? Prescience?

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  9. Space Wolf Librarians aren't as cheap as Dark Angels, but, their ability to potentially neutralize enemy psychic powers rivals Eldar. The ability to roll on the prescience table is huge, provides some of the best force multipliers for units, in the game. Space Wolves also provide their player the ability to take two HQs as an allied detachment- giving you two force multipliers for your IG forces.
    Jaws is still a nice utility to have in certain matchups, 6th edition.

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  10. Also, in future posts, dont forget to remove the individual points costs. =)

    I agree. Space Wolves are exceedingly valuable as allies in armies that are friendly to them. As the subject is making a blast army happy, prescince seemed like an obvious call, but perhaps not? Jaws is pretty worthwhile.

    One hard counter to Tau is the Psyker Battle Squads. Nuking the FarSun group is important to be able to do. I bringit up just because the army may want to have an answer for that.

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