Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sad Faced Guard List

Tonight I made an army list that made me sad.  I was trying to come up with a guard list that wouldn't auto-lose to my Jump Blood Angels list (or any 'well constructed' Blood Angels list for that matter), but would also be competitive against everything else.  One thought led to another and I came up with the idea that plasma was key.  Alright, read on to look at the list.

Well, here's the list.

2000 Points of Pure (sad-faced) Win (lol)

Company Command Squad w/ 4x Melta Guns, Chimera w/ HF
Company Command Squad w/ 4x Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Chimera w/ HF

8x Psyker Battle Squad (9 total with the battle leader guy), Chimera w/ HF

10x Veterans w/ 3x Melta Guns, 7x Shotguns, Chimera w/ HF
10x Veterans w/ 3x Melta Guns, 7x Shotguns, Chimera w/ HF
10x Veterans w/ 3x Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Chimera w/ HF
10x Veterans w/ 3x Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Chimera w/ HF
10x Veterans w/ 3x Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Chimera w/ HF

3x Hydras w/ HB
3x Hydras w/ HB
3x Hydras w/ HB

So to recap:

17 AV12 tanks total
69 troops total

36 S7 shots, 75% of which will end up hitting
24 S6 shots
30 close range S7 AP2 shots (which granted, will end up killing 3 plasma dudes/turn)
10 close range S8 AP1 shots
 Lots and lots of small arms fire

Plus the ability to make squads run away if you kill enough of them.

And the ability to make your opponent's squads reroll successful cover saves (with orders).  Which is actually huge.

The idea is to kill lots and lots of power armor, without letting them have FNP.  I'm still not sure it will work against that list in particular, but I do know that that much fire power is overwhelming.  With that many AV12 vehicles to have to deal with, most armies won't really do very well.  I can't even begin to imagine what my Salamanders would do against this.  Or even my Wolfstar.

So... what beats this army every time?  What does this army lose to every time?  Anything?

I certainly can't think of something it's super weak against.  It laughs at Dark Eldar, and mocks Nids.  It even does well against Tau, which have the best ranged way of killing AV12.

The worst thing:  It's never going to be fun to play against this army.  Nobody enjoys trying to kill 17 AV12 vehicles, and then die because the real threat was inside of the things.  I mean, even if 6 guys die in the explosion, the squad's 'essence' is still intact, and can still dish out 7 plasma shots next turn.

I'm not sure if I would ever play (as the general of) this list.  It just seems like the potential for fun for my opponents is zero.  Don't get me wrong, I might be convinced to play it in a big national level awesomesauce tournament, but it would take a lot of talking myself into it first (and by a lot, I mean, I'd need some money to buy the other models, hahaha)

Anyways, it made me sad that lists like this can exist, though that shouldn't stop people from taking them if they want.  I'd still play against it.  Still, it makes me a little sad.  Does it make you sad too?  Let me know!  Feel free to 'improve' on my list, if you think it can be done while keeping the starting goal in mind:  killing FNP marines, while staying competitive.

And please, don't tell me that a squadron of Leman Russes will do well vs. Blood Angels.  So much fail with that line of thinking, it's not even funny.  You made the kitty sad just by thinking it.


Da Masta Cheef said...

There are so many of these cut & paste, all vet, all mech IG lists on the internet that uh yeah...sad face indeed.

No back story or theme (yes I'm in the 'fluff bunny' camp) just kindova soulless WAAC approach to IG that I expect to see @ tournies & intentionally avoid @ the FLGS when looking for a friendly pick up game. These kind of lists are why IG is frequently demonized, and I'm sure will lead to vets going back to elites when the IG get redone many, many moons from now.

At least you've admitted that this would be no fun to play against, gotta give you props for that.

Koppenflak said...

I admit it. I was quietly sitting here chuckling as I read through the sheer number of transports, armour and weapons you just listed.

The only list I can conceivably think of that might have a chance against that monstrosity is an all-guard-footslogger list, with Lascannon and Autocannon crews buried en-masse amongst 50-man blobs under the leadership of Commissars, Camo-cloaked Lord Commissars and company command squads hidden away in the back ranks.

I stress "chance". Last time I brought a Chimera battlegroup to face a Footslogger list, the heavy flamers ripped them to shreds. My opponent however didn't help his own cause by pointing his heavy weapons at all my AV14, leaving the transports effectively unmolested as they advanced.

giles said...

Re Russ squadrons - very true - but at the same time this army would suffer against some russ fire power non?

Zachary said...

makes me very sad

Zachary said...

but... my latest blood angles list has 18 melta weapons,

.1x libby with JP/melta pistol
.1x 2 priests with pw/melta pistol/JP
.5x 10 assault marines with 2x melta,fist, melta pistol

Commander_Vimes said...

Actually the huge weakness of this list is pretty obvious, Land Raiders. The three Raider three Predator BA list I played you with recently would rejoice against only 3 units with melta. At 2k It'd probably have a fourth Predator. I can keep my Preds back so you can only glance the front armor, and you can't scratch the Raiders at range. I can engage you at 24" with the three Raiders so even if you rush a chimera full of meltas at me and disembark, you wouldn't have melta range. Those three Raiders have 3 Multi-Meltas, 2 Assault Cannons and a pair of Twin-Lascannons to pick off the three chimeras with melta-guns inside. Plus one or two Dakka Baal's outflanking on your side armor so you can't hide them in the back very well. Plus two or three Autocannon/Lascannon Predators in my background, that you can at best keep shaken.

It's got the ranged firepower to kill your small amount of melta, and then the land raiders can just ram right through your deployment. The assault marines can pretty much pick their moment to charge out with their 25ish Str 5 attacks, plus powerfist, so they can hit several vehicles at once. Once they're out they'll be vulnerable, so it probably won't happen until near the end of the game.

I think any list with at least 2 Land Raiders would give the Guard a great deal of trouble.

As loathe as I am to give this list tips, it really needs at least one Vendetta full of Demo-vets. It gives you a first turn alpha-strike that scares the crap out of the Land Raiders, and it let's you put guys in melta-range from outside of the Raider's 24" firepower zone.

Xaereth said...

Da Masta Cheef: Thanks for reading :)

Heh, you're right man, there's no fluff to it. I don't really have fluff to any of my armies, at least not anything solid and specific.

I'm into the hobby for competition, generally, though I enjoy the hobby aspect as well (i.e. conversion/painting). Sorry if the list made you angry... it was more of a mental exercise than anything. If you're interested in fluff, there's another guy on this blog who posts almost pure fluff :)

Koppenflak: Yeah... it's a little ridiculous. My friend who plays Dark Eldar saw it and said 'I really don't know how I could ever beat that'. /shrug

Giles: Tough to say man... I'm generally not a huge huge fan of Russes, though with the right rolls, they'd probably do well against this list.

Zachary: Lists similar to yours are the exact reason I made this one. Not 100% sure it would beat you, but hopefully they'd be able to do something to it!

Xaereth said...

Vimes: Eh, I have mixed feelings about bringing vendettas into this list. Whereas it would add another dimension to this list, Alpha Strike vs. raiders is only going to be useful in about 1/3 of the games I play (1/2 the time I go second, and 1/3 of the time it's Dawn of War).

Whereas I think you have a point that Raiders could give this list a tough time, I don't think that the Preds would end up doing a whole lot- the Hydras would essentially cancel out the Preds' impact.

Plus, with chimeras advancing 12" every turn, and the melta ones hiding behind the plasma, I don't think it would take too long to catch up to the Raiders.

We should play it sometime with proxies :)

Da Masta Cheef said...

No I'm not angry, it more of a 'ugh, another one"' kinda thing. No need to apologize, it IS your blog after all...

Joez55 said...

Nasty list, personally I think you will miss lascannons though, vendettas are that good :/.

I'd run something like:

CCS-3meltas, standard, chimera
CCS-4 plasmas, plasma pistol, chimera
8 psykers, chimera
2x3 plasma vets, chimera
2x3 melta vets, chimera
3 vendettas, HB sponsors
3x2 hydras.

2 hydras are IMO much more flexible than 3 hydras, 3 is just impossible to hide and a big sink just waiting to get assaulted, 2 are much easier to get cover on and only 150 points.

Banner is important in pure vet force, cant have 1/2 your army pinned on an unlucky turn.

Xaereth said...

Joez55: Yeah, you make a good point in that it's going to be hard to put all this on the table effectively. 9 hydras take up a lot of real estate :)

As for the vendettas, the las cannons are nice, but are they worth dropping 12 S7 shots/one of the vet plasma squads? They have the same(ish) damage output of one of those two, but not of the two combined.

It's certainly something to think about though, thanks for the feedback!

AbusePuppy said...

Problems I can see with this list:

1. No good heavy AT guns. Autocannons are awesome, but you don't have a lot of ways to deal with AV13/14 targets.

2. Very limited anti-infantry. An Ork horde or Tyranid swarm would maul your face pretty badly.

3. A lot of your firepower only has 24" range or less. IG dies when the enemy gets into melee- range is one of their big methods of survival.

4. Your army has limited flexibility- you really don't have many solutions to problems.

With all respect to the other posters, complaints about "WAAC," "cookie cutter," and all that other bulls*** can be ignored. No army is inherently more or less fluffy than any other, so if you write some fluff around your army, that is entirely fine. Whether or not the army is fun to play (or play against) isn't something that's necessarily easy to decide, but if you yourself don't think you'll enjoy it, that's a bad sign.

What beats that list every time? Well, drop BA wouldn't actually be that scared of it- come in, melt most of your transports, force a bunch of pinning checks, assault some guys- it would be ugly. A Good Tyranid list would roll it up easy, since you're either immobile or not threating past 12". Most opposing shooty lists would take it apart. I can't imagine why Tau would fear it- they shut down your Autocannons and nothing else is meaningful, because they outrange you.

Drop BA can be fought a number of ways, and one of the easiest is by bubble wrapping important things. Basically, this means putting expendable units (i.e. Infantry Squads) around your tanks/whatever in such a way that it is impossible to land within 6" of them- and hence no double pen with Meltas. A similar version can be used to prevent them from assaulting units, but it's harder because they can "jump" over things in subsequent movement phases.

Careful shooting selection can also make bad times for jumper armies. He will probably only be able to afford ~3 units that generate a FNP bubble, so focusing fire on these targets (presumably 5man squads with a Priest attached) can wipe them out surprisingly quickly, denying him the benefits. You WILL take casualties, since you can't kill everything in one turn, but this cuts down on his ability to shrug off your guns.

Certain IG units are insanely good at killing Marines. Banewolves are AP3 2+ poisoned templates- he'll get FNP against it, but half the squad will straight-up die. Devil Dogs, although less reliable due to scattering, can also vaporize a whole squad in one shot. The Leman Russ Executioner, although often laughed at, can devastate anything that clusters up. Indeed, even a standard Leman Russ is extremely dangerous to them- though, of course, you need to worry about hitting your own guys.

Is this a theoretical exercise, or are you looking for a good army? Because there are plenty of good Guard lists to play against jumpers.

(Also if you're gonna run Plasma on command squads, please take a medic. Losing three or four guys to overheats is not pretty.)

Xaereth said...

Part 1, lol

Abuse: Thanks for the feedback, jeeze that's a wall of text :)

Yeah, this list isn't what I'd call perfect, or even really flexible. I think it makes up for that with sheer firepower, and a way to deal with pretty much everything.

Heh, I disagree with the medic in the command squad thing :-p People always say that you need it, but what I've found is that they still die pretty often even with the medic, and shooting 9 plasma shots is way better than shooting only 7. 9 can (and normally will, with an order) kill a TMC in a single volly where 7 relies on another squad to finish their work. 9 can (and normally will with average dice) wipe out a 5-man squad where 7 will fail. Lots of reasons to take 9 over 7. If they're within 12" and I'm giving orders (or even if not), their likelihood of dying is pretty good anyways. May as well go all out. Never saw the use for a medic in a plasma squad, since it makes the squad *noticeably* less effective. How many volleys are you planning on shooting with the squad? For a medic to be worth the points and lack of extra plasma gun, you'd have to be shooting with them every turn. I don't realistically see that happening...

Tau should fear this list, because whereas my hydras can just sit there and shoot (and not really be *that* effective vs. Tau), the 8 chimeras are bum-rushing them. There's no way they can take 8 chimeras + the hydras out in a turn or even 2- and the firepower this list would have at short range beats whatever their short range firepower is. Bubblewrap is somewhat irrelevant to stopping this particular list, since I wouldn't be assaulting with it. Hydras kill lines of 9 piranhas trying to stop my advance easily enough :)

Nids I honestly don't see as a problem at all. TMCs need to get close to do much, and plasma makes them dead quickly. Gaunt swarms can't hurt the vehicles bad enough that it makes me nervous (hull heavy flamers make gaunts scared to charge vehicles), and a shooty list with tervigons, tyrranofexes, and hive guard spam lose this particular shooting battle. Guard are allowed to be aggressive and get in people's face too you know, even against traditional 'close combat' armies :)

As to drop BA's... the second you start investing a lot of points in templates is the second he decides to just walk everything on and spread them out. Templates are entirely full of fail vs. spread out jump marines. A russ would need to kill what, 6 marines (which it won't reliably do against a spread out squad) for it to actually be worth the points you pay. An executioner would have to kill an entire squad (which it also won't do). Templates make guard armies worse, if you ask me. The amount of points you pay for them to be redundant/reliable just isn't worth it. Plus, I *do* have one template in the psykers if I need it.

The banewolf- is a good idea for sure :) For some reason, I hadn't even thought of it. It's a good tank, and help Guard a lot with things they can't deal with well (i.e. FNP). Against Blood Angels lists, they would do alright at least, if used correctly. It makes me a little sad that you even mentioned Devil Dogs though :-p

Xaereth said...

I don't think that Las Cannons are very good, to be honest. People always say they rock, but seriously- the 'relevant' high strengths are 7, 8, and 10. S10 insta-deaths things, as does S8. S7 needs to be available in large volume to be good, but provides withering firepower. S9 doesn't do much that S8 and S10 doesn't- it doesn't ID T5 guys, it's overkill on T4 guys (and not nearly as cheap as S8 weapons most times). It pops tanks *okay* but still really really struggles vs. AV13+. Even AV12 is rough for them. And so, I don't think Las Cannons are the solution to guard's 'heavy' shooting. AV12 Medusas aren't either, I don't think, since they shoot once, then die sad, ignoble deaths. Are manticores? Maybe... but then you're sacrificing 3-6 hydras for a couple tanks that might not really have a solid role against some armies, whereas 6 hydras will always have some sort of role.

So I guess I don't see how guard can really have good, reliable shooting from range that kills Land Raiders or Predators from a huge distance anyways. Nobody has that except for Tau, and even then it's not *super* reliable.

Guard can be played as a 'close-up' army- I've done it, and had good results. The key is usually to have good supporting firepower, which I like to think 9 hydras provide :) AV12 is good for protection in getting there, and then you can still play in your bunkers until forced out.

Heh, wall of texted back!

Thanks for the comments, it's interesting to see other people's approaches to the game. You and I for sure agree on the fluff thing :-p

Zachary said...

i have updated my list, stronger against this list and most other things as well

.1x libby with JP/melta pistol
.1x 2 priests with pw/melta pistol/JP
.4x 10 assault marines with 2x melta,fist, melta pistol
.3x predator with AC/HK missle

Preds block line of sight, cover saves, some anti-transport/infantry shots, and tank shocking