Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stay Calm and Battle On

Seasons Greetings!

How is everyone doing out there? 

I said, How is everybody doing out there?

So, it is an interesting week in 40K. 

Only one disappointment - the Tyranids Codex did not come out before Christmas. 

Two interesting things happened - Escalation and Stronghold Assault have arrived.

As a blog all about Ultramarines, I am disappointed as Tyranids are the Ultramarines nemesis.  Hopefully they will be out soon, so I can enjoy the huge challenge that Tyranids bring to the game. 

As for Escalation and Stronghold Assault, I'll be looking at a book purchase hopefully tomorrow.  A little Christmas gift to myself.  Overall though, as a Space Marine Player, there seem to be very little in those books directly applicable to Third Company.  After all:

1.  Space Marines attack things.  We are not supposed to be holding ground with forts. Especially Third Company!

2.  The Ultramarines in 40K don't get meaningful super heavy vehicles.  I won't be running out anytime soon to pick up a Thunderhawk.  Third Company uses ground assault, drop pod assault, or a combination of the two.  One thing I have not heard about yet are the "formations" apparently in the book - maybe there is something there for Third Company (like multiple tank hunting devastator squads, but I speculate). The Apox book includes a triple-lascannon Predator formation of 3 Preds which can effectively become D-type weapons everyone is dreading...That might get me off to find more Predators...

So what does it mean for Third Company?  It means list tailoring will be needed to create a force capable of eliminating the rare Superheavy they might run into on the battle field.  It means understanding some of the new fortifications, and figuring out tactics and a list for the rare times I'll run into them as well.

So, as an example, a Baneblade (per the Apocalypse expansion) has Armour 14/13/12, and 9 hull points.  It is a 525 point unit (the cost of two upgraded Landraiders). I currently run a single Sternguard Suicide Pod with 2 meltaguns and 4 combimeltas.  It is possible (adding the Tactical doctrine on the turn the pod drops), for my pod squad to take down that Superheavy, hitting it reasonably 5 out of 6 melta shots, and if side- or rear armor is the target, getting +/- 4 rolls on the damage table (adding +2 to the rolls for melta).  Of these maybe 2 can be explodes, which cause another D3 HPs in damage each.  So, 4 HPs +  D3 + D3. 

Just adding combi-meltas to everyone bumps the squad price higher, but it remains less than the cost of a Superheavy. 

Once that last HP is removed, the Superheavy explodes, potentially in a catastrophic / apocalyptic way.

Interestingly, Revenant (Eldar) Titans would be a different problem, due to their Holofields.  BUT, that bad-boy is 900 points.  Makes me wonder if Holofields are a type of cover save, and if you can strip that away with Perfect Timing.

Necron Vaults are about the same point cost as a Sternguard Sui-pod squad, 6 HPs, and armor 12. 

Overall, the details will be in the Supplement, but what I want you to get from this post is...

Don't worry. 

Game on.

If you have/own/collect these Superheavy items, I'd play you, but be aware I'd need a list that takes your force into account, after all, Third Company can reasonably detect your large tank/beastie/skimmer/flyer before we deploy and then arm accordingly. 

This takes me back to a game a few years back vs. a guy nicknamed Big Nate.  He wanted to play an early version of Apocalypse, and had a Baneblade and other Imperial Guard units, while I had a simple Space Marine list, mostly tactical and devastator squads.  I was not prepared for anything about that game (did not even have the rules), so I was fairly beat.  It was one of those moments where I realized 2000 points has no reasonable chance of beating someone else's 2000 points.  The game was very fun however, with Ultramarines running and scattering through a cityscape hunted by a lumbering huge tank.  I did remove some of its structure points (the precursor to the HP system), but at the end his units had accomplished their missions while my survivors were scattered and still trying to take down his tank.

NOW....I also have the 555th "Triple Nickles" Regiment of Imperial Guard.  Hmmm....maybe they need to acquire a Superheavy....certainly not fortifications.  These guys are to accompany Third Company to distant battle zones and keep mobile....a great big tank might be just the thing for a mobile HQ....

First the book...then the models....

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