Sunday, March 20, 2011

Game Time: Speed Vs. Survivability

Roland over at Kirb your enthusiasm posted an interesting article last month about 1850 Point IG Armored Company lists using the current IG codex and offered several different ways to build such a list. Given my penchant for mechanized warfare, the Imperial Guard and tanks in general - I was intrigued to say the least. My only problem would come in pairing them down to the 1500 point level, but being as stingy as I am, I didn't think it would be a problem.

Currently my lists are exclusively Chimera variants, my heavy support comes in the form of Medusa and Hydra platforms. The list relies on speed, finesse and weight of numbers to push through opposition. However, my lists have gotten bogged down on several occasions by Tyranid Death Star lists and a mutation of a Thunderwolf list.

Company Commander, Medic, 3x Plasma Gun, Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer

Platoon Commander, 4x Flamers, Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer

5x Infantry Squad, Melta Guns, Chimeras, Hull Heavy Flamers

1x Hardened Veterans Squad, 3x Melta Gun

1x Vendetta

2x Medusa

2x Hydra Flak Tank

Reading Roland's ideas gave me new take on attempting to strike a balance between speed and survivability. Dropping the Medusas opens up slots for the addition of Demolishers that will act as an AV 14 shield to get the Chimera into place, maintaining a constant speed will allow the Demolishers to keep pace with the advance of the Chimera’s while also delivering suppressing fire. Additionally this provides a unit that definitely establishes a pace for the army to advance at – far too often I find that I rush my Chimera forward to get their special weapons in range, often without concern for keeping them covered.

In this list the normal infantry platoons are dropped in favor of Hardened Veterans which pack more punch than the infantry squads. This change also takes the troop choices from purely objective seizing units to offensive minded units that will cause an opponent to pause before rushing into them. The Vendetta serves two purposes in this list, first it can stay in reserve for a late objective grab or it can be deployed with the rest of the army and throw out a 'Veteran speed bump' that buys time for the rest of the force to get into position.

Company Commander, 3x Plasma Gun, Medic, Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer

4x Hardened Veterans Squads, 3x Meltas, Chimeras, Hull Heavy Flamers

1x Hardened Veterans Squad, 3x Melta Gun

1x Vendetta

2x Leman Russ Demolisher, Hull Heavy Flamers

2x Hydra Flak Tank

Overall the second list is more survivable, offers increased offensive ability and can still maneuver as effectively as the first list while staying at the same point level. The trade off is a loss of two scoring units, however that can also work for you in games where kill points are involved, an often overlooked number that has come back to bite more than one IG commander in the posterior.

This new list will get its first shot against some Orks shortly, we will see how it does againt the Nob Bikers I know will be there!

How do you balance speed vs. survivability in your own games - or is it not a consideration?




  1. If its not moving its going to get hit in combat. Having said that you don't always have to move closer to the enemy.
    I totally agree vets are better than platoons, for a start you hit alot more. I like autocannons in squads to give you some more long range light tank supression. If you don't like nob bikers try using a psyker battle squad.

  2. Well, with the Blood Angels I can (sorta) have both. General toughness of the marines w/ FnP bubbles, coupled with accurate Deepstrikes, fast transports et all. So Im not one for commenting.

    However, memory escapes me at the moment wether the Vendetta is FA or HS, but would you A: consider splitting the Demolishers into two squadrons, as AV 14 can soak up a lot of damage, and you want an Immobilized result to leave you with a big gun, rather than a lump of scrap...
    and B: would you try and get a hull lascannon on there too? similar reasons to point A, really...

  3. @Crosser, I use the PBS at 1850 and over in points and love it. The problem I was having here was at 1500 points there is little room for the PBS ;)

    @japehlio, Vendetta is Fast Attack - the Demolishers will be off on their own and the 2x Hydra will be a battery together. I loose flexability with the Hydra's shooting but I more than make up for it with the Demolishers not having to stick together.

  4. It's a solid list, but I would drop the medic for a fourth plasma and swap the Vendetta out for a Hellhound with a hull MM. The Hellhound will add some needed cover denial and offer some additional threat to heavy armor.I think that the long range AT from the hydras is adequate.

  5. @Ironweevil, I see what you mean with the Hellhound, I may have to try that a game. Only question would be what to do with the Veteran squad using the vendetta as a ride...