Monday, April 25, 2011

Reader E-mail: IG Army List Question

Tallarn, I posted an army list over on (a forum to remain nameless) that's been collecting mothballs, and was wondering if you could take a look at it and add some input. Fair warning- it's a little long. Here's the copy/paste from (forum of Erudite intellect that can't muster one reply in 14 days...):


Company Command Squad: 3x PG, Carpace, Medic, Chimera
Company Command Squad: 4x Melta, Chimera

Ratlings: 10x Ratlings
Psyker Battle Squad: 9 Psykers, 1 Overseer, Chimera

Veterans: 3x PG, Grenadiers, Chimera
Veterans: 3x Melta, Demolitions
PCS: 4x Flamers, Chimera
Squad A: ML
Squad B: ML

Fast Attack:

Heavy Support:
Leman Russ Demolisher: Lascannon, Extra Armor
Leman Russ Demolisher: Lascannon
Leman Russ Battle Tank: Plasma Sponsons, Lascannon

Total 2000

*All Chimeras are of the ML/HF configuration.

Ok, so the general strategy I've got in mind for this is as follows:

Chimeras with the Platoon Command Squad, Vets, and 2x Company Command Squads will deploy in a rough column behind the two demolishers.

The Hellhound and Vendetta will deploy to one of the exposed flanks of the column, while the Battle Tank and PBS Chimera deploy in cover on the opposite flank.

The infantry squads will deploy in cover protecting the PBS and LRBT, or on objectives depending on the game type. The Ratlings will likewise deploy in cover somewhere where they and the PBS share similar LoS.

The Vendetta will scout move across the board and prepare to melt some armor on turn 1.

The Demolishers and the Chimera caravan will creep forward, with the demolishers dropping 5 inch death on any elites out in the open or tough armor targets like Land Raiders. The Chimeras will fire at targets of opportunity with their multilasers, preferably transports like rhinos/razorbacks.

As the column moves up, the PBS will attempt to nuke the leadership of any nearby Psykers or scary assault units, protecting the column along their side of the board. The Ratlings will target whoever has had their leadership popped and force some pinning checks, hopefully making any advances by infantry against the column slow and painful.

On the opposite side of the board, the hellhound will attempt to lay down fire (no pun intended) on assaulters coming towards the column from its side of the board. This is the weak spot, though, and the hellhound will need help from the chimeras and their embarked troops- especially against MEQ's.

Meanwhile the infantry squads hold down their objectives/ protect the LRBT and PBS with their bodies, dropping ML shots where needed. And of course, the Battle Tank is dropping pain all over the board from its little corner- also helping out the HH as needed.

And it goes without saying, the Vendetta deploys vets on something big and meaty and hopefully asplodes it on the first or second turn- if either the Vendetta or the vets are still alive, they'll generally be charged with wreaking havoc as best they can till killed.

This list has got three russes, 6 chimera chassis, and one vendetta, along with 75 warm bodies, many of which have a crunchy outer shell of AV 12 or 10.

Sorry for the long post, any comments?

Ok, so here we go: I think the Carapace armor in the company command squad with the medic is a bit overkill, I would say pick one and go with it, either the carapace or the medic, doubling down is a bit redundant to me and a waste of points you could use in other places.

I like the double command squad idea, if you are using it for something, I don't really see what the purpose is if they are all going to be in a guard conga line. Unless I am completely wrong, which does happen on occasion, you can't issue orders to guys in other vehicles, you can issue from a vehicle to dismounts, but not to another unit embarked in a vehicle. So I don't see the point in spending the points on the command squad when you can get the same thing with more hate sponges (IG troopers) from a veteran squad for the same points. (in the section on orders is specifically states that orders cannot be given to embarked squads) So without the benefit of orders, I think you should go with more veterans.

PBS and ratling combo is a good idea, however I would use the demolisher fire to force the checks given they are ordnance weapons and pump those 100 points into something else. Now, im not going to try and force you into some sort of 'net list' so if you want to play them, go for it, ratlings are great fun. But at the end of the day I think you will arrive at the same conclusion, the demolishers can accomplish the same thing and save you the 100 points.

PBS is great fun, just keep it where it can take full advantage of vehicle cover saves from the demolisher, a smart player will be trying to get that unit neutralized. Having to crack the armor and a cover save will make them much more survivable.

The two infantry squads that are on foot without a transport should be able to get to an objective, just make sure that you are not counting on them supplying any missile launcher fire until turn 3 or so, when they reach an objective and set up camp. Also, you might consider platoon command squad with 5 sniper rifles in it to accompany the objective takers, it may seem silly but at only 5 points per rifle it might give you that pinning check you need in a pinch if you take out the ratlings. It also gives you the ability to give them some orders to move the squads in position faster (move, move, move!), and increase their volume of fire a bit (first rank fire second rank fire). Have to try it and see!

The lone hellhound will be a sitting duck, my old rule with Leman Russ' apply to hellhounds as well: 1 is a target, 2 is annoying and 3 is a problem. I would suggest you take the points from the ratlings and carapace armour on the command squad and use them as a down payment on a second hellhound, if you really want to be brutal put multi-melta's on them (remember that hellhounds are fast so they can move 12 inches and still fire their multi-melta) this gives you a 36" range multi melta shots. The enemy will be splitting his fire between those russ rumblin towards him and the hellhounds flanking him, the chimera with troops inside will escape at least the first 3 turns without taking any fire.

On your heavy support I would drop the plasma sponsons to get the points for the mult-imelta's on the hellhounds. I know you are trying to be ready for 2+ saves with those but you need to use the command squads for that. Besides, the Russ' will be using their main cannons, not their sponsons. Keep the lasannons so if you get a weapon destroyed its not the end of the world and you can still do some damage, just remember that tank shock works great - many people can attest to the power of the humble Rhino tank shock turning a game.

Let me know what you think,



  1. I agree with the Carapace+Medic being overkill. I'd keep the Medic and toss the CCS carapace.

    For the second CCS, I think you'll find 3 meltas do the job just fine at BS4. I'd get rid of the fourth melta and add in a Regimental Standard, just in case.

    With the remining 15 points, you can toss a multi-melta on the Hellhound.

    Personally, I don't even put carapace on my Plasma vets, not after all 3 of my carapace armored vets burned themselves up anyway. So if you wanted to save some points there is 30 points from those vets. I also run only hull heavy flamers on my Russes. I used to run lascannons, but that is an automatic 15 point tax added to my russes. You could free up another 45 points if you get rid of them, for a total of 75 extra points you can play with. You're getting close to being able to being able to upgrade a Company Commander to Straken.

    You could also put a Commissar in your infantry squads, and combine them for a nice home objective camper.

    Just some thoughts.

  2. If you must use them, why not give the plasma sponsons to a demolisher?

    I say this because (1) it'll give it more ranged options, (2) it's slightly tougher and therefore has slightly increased longevity (3) it'll cause even more pain to whatever it hits!

  3. If you're going second I would suggest putting the vendetta and the Hellhound in reserve. I realise that these then might not show for a while but they will still have a big impact whenever they show due to their good movement and scouting outflank. Otherwise their light armour combined with being one off's tends to leave them shot up early game.

    Army list wise:


    I agree with Tallern and BoxerSaint that the carapace armour seems too much, anything that shoots these guys that you need to worry about will have AP better than 4 or shoot so many shots it will make little or no difference having the 4+ that you can probably get from cover in most games. If they're ever in combat they're dead already. I would also not put the grenediers upgrade on the plasma vets for the same reason.

    Heavy Support:

    I love a lascannon on my Leman Russ, its handy. I don't run sponsons because I keep mine on the move but I can see why the plasma cannons are in your army although i suspect you might find that with all the demolisher and battlecannon fire you might not need them.

    I would swap the extra armour on the one tank for a multi melta on the hellhound(both 15pts) so it has something to do 'til transports are broken open, if just one russ has extra armour they'l just shoot the other and its too pricey to start giveing to all your tanks.


    Ratlings: I see no reason why these shouldn't be run as two units of 5, one more unit to contest objectives and a possible (if unlikely!) double pin.


    Squad A and B could benefit from a flamer, no rolls to hit helps buckets with BS3 and double flaming troops coming to grab your objective late game can definately win the game for you. Even if it seems counter intuative to put a short range flame weapon on a back field squad remember the one extra lasgun wasn't going to do anything anyway.

    I prefer autocannons to 'Miss'-ile launchers, with the BS3 it helps on hits. Your army has lots of AP2 so the loss of the 2Krak missiles doesn't seem huge and with the extra hits they can help threaten transports alot better, plus they're five points less each so pay for that flamer I suggested you add!

    I would be tempted to put one of these squads in a Chimera(using the points saved from the CCS carapace armour, the vets grenediers upgrades and one less flamer than I just suggested on one troop squad) so its harder to remove. Also its increased mobility then allows it to chase objectives and tankshock if your troops in the mid field all get shot up and you suddenly need more guys upfield, less time moving into position means more autocannon fire too.

    Sorry that was alot of text for just minor suggestions, its just my two pence but hopefully at least I've explained why I'd make those choices even if you don't agree! I hope all our varying advice is helpful and shows theres no right answer to army building just build and play to your personal style! At the least you got some replies!

  4. This is my list, thanks for all the input fellas, definitely a lot of food for thought. I am set on the ratlings for now, although like Tallarn said that could change over time. Cutting them into two squads could be productive, especially given their tendency to run and get pinned with that low Ld.

    Cutting the melta CCS for a vet squad does have admittedly few drawbacks, so I think i'll do that as well. Not to mention cutting out the carapace on the Plasma CCS and grenadiers on the vets.

    As far as the Plasma sponsons are concerned, they're actually there mainly because I have no leman russes without sponsons at the moment. (I really do need to start magnetizing...) If I can I will take them off and give the hellhound a MM. I'm know I've failed to address a dozen different suggestions but I thought these were some of the big ones, please know I am thinking about all the rest as well!



  5. @ Wrath - I thought I recognized that list...

    @ Tallarn - You made me look up a word you biological cross between different breeds, groups or varieties! :P

    I'll be in my corner... straightening out a mess left by a mutual friend.


  6. Wrath, if you like something, keep them in! If you have a unit that you like, apent time over and find fun to use, you should (in my own, non uber competetive opinion) always keep it in.
    Take my Blood Angels. They are in no way a net list army, I include every single model in the army for two reasons (three).
    One: It was fun in some way, either building or painting
    Two: It had a spot on my display board
    Three: It was a Tac Squad and I had to have one.

    Which reminds me, you have to continue with the Cadian Sappers idea, the hammer dude looks absolutely ace man!

  7. Japehlio: I'm so glad I'm not the only person in the world who runs a (two or three actually!) tactical squad in my BA's :D Take THAT society!

  8. Can't argue with that Jape, I do love those ratlings and think I'll be keeping them. As for the sappers, it'll be another two weeks (yay finals) but there will be more.

  9. Crosser, one look at my Bangle army and some things will be immediately apparent.
    1: It has clearly never heard of "MEQ/MSU"
    2: It was not built to be a tournament army

    but I love it, sure i'll add to it and it will grow and expand, but the core values wont change. And im not going to get rid of something I love using...