Sunday, 26 February 2017

The bridge over Kavor Gorge

Last week saw a bunch of players in the Scarborough area attempt an 8000pt 4v4 event at the local gw. Each team had to control the bridge by turn 5. The chaos teams were fortunate in that we had a lot of fast or mounted units. The imperials did have two knights and a lot of ordanance.

 My role in the plan was simple. Deep strike all my terminators, and sow confusion amongst the imperial lines.  The typhon would blast anything close enough, the rubrics would roll up in a convoy with all the other apcs.

Chaos won the roll to go first. Most of turn one involved moving as fast as possible. The typhon, land raiders and sicaran lead the charge,  with a sea of rhinos following behind. All, that is, apart from the plague marines, who managed to get immobilised on a chunk of pipe.

The imperial a followed suit, and a sea of leman russes,  rhinos, chimeras and the two knights rolled on. A basilisk shell struck the frankly unmissable horde of chaos tanks,  but only managed superficial damage.

Turn two saw most of the chaos reserves arrive. Three heldrakes,  obliterators, and two units of scarab occult.  The scarab occult took the most risky deployment, opting to land right in enemy lines. The warlord trait of the Thousand sons meant no scattering, landing peffectly vehind a manticore.  The other squad opted to scrap the basilisk. The warlord used his psychic might to summon forth three flamers of tzeentch, who incinerated a whole unit of repentia in a single volley of mutagenic flame.  The warlord's unit weren't so lucky, and failed to kill the missile tank.  The other scarab occult successfully destroyed the basilisk, taking out a key long range gun.

The imperial line faltered, with a large chunk directing fire on the newcomers. The banewolf's chemical cannon melted a couple, whilst the grey knights make short work of one squad.

The warlords unit survived a few more turns, long enough to summon even more flamers, which were great at griefing local units and somehow managing to destroy the manticore in combat!

On the other side of the battlefield, the typhon was finally in range. Loosing a massive shell, the blast vapourised a chimera, damaged a land raider and stripped a hull point off the closest knight. The knight took further damage from a scatrering of lascannon fire. By this point the chaos forces had an early lead, with almost a dozen tanks either on the bridge or reaching the on-ramp.  The heldrakes flew above,  scorching sisters of battle, mechanicum footsoldiers and more.

The imperials retaliated, sending a barrage of ordinance towards the chaos horde. Several raptors were torn to shreds, and the maulerfiends were badly hit, one of which was destroyed by the firing line. However, some shots went wide. A few clipped the onager dunecrawlers,  and a few even damaged the bridge.  If that fell the team who caused the destruction of it would loose instantly. A few choice words amongst the imperial generals ensured no further ordanance would target units on the bridge.

Near the defence laser, the dunecrawlers made short work on the Iron Warrior obliterators, but we're now in the line of fire of the typhon. Another enormous she'll hurtled towards them. Once the dust settled, one dunecrawler was nothing more than singeddit limbs, the second badly damaged. A final shot from the Typhon's lascannons finished it off.

The surviving maulerfiend got in close to the knight, managing to bring the severly wounded walker down. The explosion damages nearby vehciles and killed a few guardsmen.

After another devastating turn, and with the rear lines in chaos, the imperial pushed on ahead, if they could at least destroy either the land raider or spartan at the front of the bridge,  there maybe enough space to contest it. Alas, the Emperor was not with them today. No imperial unit could make it to the bridge, it was truly in the hands of the dark gods.

Overall it was a fantastic game. I had mixed luck with the terminators  but they did cause a lot of distress at the back, and the summoned flamers easily made the points back of the scarab occult (total kill count fro  teo free squads of flamers was 14 repentia, one manticore, about 7 skitarii and a hullpoint from a hydra. The typhon did quite well too, taking out a chimera, two dunecrawlers, and a handful of terminators and guardsemen, plus collateral damage from the massive blast templates.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

40k analysis: Scarab Occult

The top warriors of the Thousand Sons, the Scarab occult are the elite terminator guard of Magnus the red. But how do they stack up in the tabletop?

Let's start by comparing them to vanilla Chaos terminators. Starting at a hefty 250 points for 5, they are 100 points more expensive (compared to a squad of 5 vanillas) and because they have a minimum unit size of 5, they are a bit less flexible, so tactics such as termicide are less viable.

For your extra 100 points, you get an improved invulnerable save, fearless and ap3 bolters as standard, and and a mastery 2 psyker as a unit champion. When you factor that in, it starts to sound like good value. Let's look at it this way instead:

  • 4 plain terminators will cost 120 points
  • A sorcerer in terminator armour,  with an appropriate mark, and mastery 2, is 125 points

So that's 245 points already, factor in the mark of tzeentch for the other 4 guys, ap3 bolters, fearless and free votlw, you're looking at a hidden bargain. It also saves you a hq slot, meaning you can enjoy another option, such as Ahriman or an exhalted sorcerer.

If you take a thousand sons detachment, you get the added blessing bonuses, making this unit as durable, if not more so, than thunder hammer/storm shield terminators , with the added bonus of a round of shooting.

The options are far more limited, with no access to the combi weapons and other combat options (barring an extra sword for the sorcerer). You do get access to some very powerful special weapons instead:
  • Hellfyre rockets, a two shot krak missile launcher
  • Heavy warpflamers, ap3 heavy flamers with warpflame
  • Soulreaper cannons, an ap3 assault cannon with 1 less strength

The few options you get can greatly improve the units offensive abilities, the flamer and cannon can mince infantry up to and including space marines, whilst the hellfyre rockets give you a solid anti tank/monster option. As well as this, the sorcerer can choose from a wide range of disciplines,  giving you tscticwl flexability (heretech is ideal for an anti tank unit, and pyromancy for hordes, whilst divination could make the unit very deadly assassins that'll rarely miss their mark).

These guys made for a great bodyguard for your chaotic lord. With good saves and ap3 weapons, units will have a touch them getting close. Whilst expensive, if you have the points they are are good alternative to plain-Janew terminators.

The other option is to run are Sekhmet Conclave. Units that are within 6" of two units units benefit from +1 toughness,  making them much more durable. Combined with other abilities and powers, such as flesh metal hide,  can make them incredibly durable, ideal for holing objectives and tanking shot after shot. 

  For a thousand sons player they are a great addition to the army, but can quickly eat into your army'so available points. One unit can greatly add and support your force, whereas a Sekhmet Conclave is a force to be reckoned with.