Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Space Wolves and the Aegis Defense Line

Where, oh where to begin. Its been a month or so since my last blog post and there are bunches of things floating around in this little skull full of mush that sits atop my neck. Needless to say I won’t be going into them all today. One thing I would like to talk about is fortifications. Now, ill be the first to admit, when I first saw the fortifications I scoffed at them. Who needs these silly little things I asked, pure rubbish. Then I ran head long into the difficulties of trying anything mechanized in 6th edition and contemplated a different solution.

Adapt or Die - its pretty simple!

40k is a shooting game. We all have read this, we all acknowledge the foundation of the concept – yet may of us, myself included, thought we were smarter than that. Laughing at others we decided we could make it work and forged ahead with our 5th edition lists only to get blown off the table by foot lists of shooty spammy dewm. My only consolation was that Drop Pods became much better than before and all that practice I got in 5th edition with them put me much farther ahead of the game when 6th rolled around. Going back to the drawing board I was forced to take a hard look at how to improve the survivability of my Grey Hunters at range.

Sure the 24” range of bolters is better now, but many armies out there are getting their wins with sheer volume of fire, Tau and Necrons in particular. In order to compete its not enough to be able to deal out punishment, you need to be able to absorb it as well – and while the 3+ armor save is awesome, when you have to make 20 of them it quickly gets chewed up. Going back to the fortifications I found that the standard Aegis Defense line with its 4+ cover save and large size might be well suited to filling my requirement. My standard 1850 army list had two Razorbacks in it and so bringing in an Aegis was a very simple swap for me. Now it’s a squad of terminators (with a Rune Priest and Arjac) in a pod, 2 squads of grey hunters in drop pods, a large 10 man Grey Hunter squad with 2x Plasma, 2 more 5 man Grey Hunter squads to camp objectives, another Rune Priest, 2 squads of Missile Fangs and the Aegis Defense line with an Icarus Lascannon.

What it lacks in creativity it makes up for in sheer redundancy. The list has 5 scoring units that can all take the fight straight to you along with a hate sponge of terminators and long range fire power. It’s hard to take it completely apart and even harder to eliminate all the bits that can hurt you. Accepting the fact that the Razorbacks are useless gave me 80 points to play with, a wargear change on the Terminators made room for the Icarus Lascannon. The army breaks up into two pieces, the Hammer in the form of the Terminators and two Drop Pods full of Grey Hutners – and the anvil in the form of a fire base wrapped in a defense line and filled with Grey Hunters, Long Fangs and a Rune Priest.

When an enemy tries to focus fire on a unit to destroy it I can simply go to ground and gain a 2+ cover save. Even if I go to ground I can still hold objectives behind the wall and I can snap shot at things if necessary. What this creates is a rock hard anvil that absorbs fire all day long and takes stress off of my hammer units. Broadside Battlesuits? Good luck, ill take my 2+ in the fire base while my Drop Pods come crashing down on your head. No terrain on the table? No worries – I brought it with me. Enemy Drop Pod coming to crash my party? I have 5 units all intermingled, you will get off a disorganized charge at best and I have 35+ dudes in there that are all getting 2 attacks – see how long that squad holds up. 
What's this picture?! Does it matter?

What’s the point in all this? Well the point is if you haven’t tried out the Aegis Defense line you should give it a shot, its not for everyone – but it creates a firebase that you can set up anywhere, regardless of terrain. Believe me, I was the first guy to say ‘screw that piece of garbage, I am sticking to my tanks’ only to get shot off the board and watch my precious 3+ saves get decimated by volume of fire while my transports were glanced to death. 6th edition takes an entirely different way of looking at things and fortifications are one of the things you might want to consider.

still practicing_ (even with new fangled fortifications!)


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