Sunday, April 21, 2013

That box has what guns??

After finishing my Word Bearers and sending them off to compete in Chicagoland, I decided to pull out another army and get to working on them again.  Being more than a little burnt-out on Chaos Marines, I had to make the choice of any number of other armies.

The new Tau are beast and downright intimidating, so I thought about jumping on that wagon and riding it from the beneficial side.  But my group has enough Tau players already.  I pulled out my Blood Angels, as you remember from my last battle report, but that army is supposed to be fun and instead is too easy to play.  And that's a big deal with you consider that I'm one of only two people I know that chooses to take Tactical Squads and Rhinos, rather than footslogging Assault Squads in Razorspam.  I remembered that my Dark Angels are just asking to be finished and are already Deathwing-heavy.  But we already have two Dark Angel players in my group.  Ultramarines?  Too much stuff for that; I don't even know where to begin.  Grey Knights, Daemons, and Sisters of Battle collections are all too small to keep my interest long.  Eldar are getting released in a couple of months, so I'll save those.  Which left me with Imperial Guard.

What's that?  Imperial Guard and Tau are both great armies in this new, 'shooty' edition?  Oh yeah!!!  And so I pulled them out.  First off the block was my Death Korps of Krieg (aka, Carrasquillo's Own).  I set up a 1250 point battle with a buddy and played against his tiny Black Templars, and had a blast!  The game was really close in the end, but the conclusion was easy to come to early on.  Here's what we used:

My Death Korps
HQ- Commissar Lord w/Bolter, Power Sword, and Carapace Armor
Elite- 3 Heavy Mortars
Elite- 3 Quad Mortars
Troop- Infantry Platoon Command with Power Sword and Plasma Gunner
  3x Infantry Squads with Plasma Gunners in each
Troop- Infantry Platoon Command with Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, and 2 Meltagunners
  2x Infantry Squads with Meltagunners in each, one Sergeant had a Power Sword
Heavy- Leman Russ with Lascannon, Plasma Cannon Sponsons, and Heavy Stubber
Heavy- Demolisher with Heavy Flamer, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, and Heavy Stubber

His Black Templars
HQ- Master of Sanctity with Plasma Pistol and Holy Orb of Antioch
HQ- Reclusiarch with Jump Pack, Plasma Pistol, and Holy Orb of Antioch
--- Emporer's Champion with 'Accept any Challenge' vow
Elite- 5 Terminators with Thunder-hammer and Storm Shields
Troop- 5 Marines with Plasma Cannon and Plasma Gun(?)
Troop- 5 Marines with Flamer and 2 Neophytes
Troop- 5 Marines with Meltagun(?) and a Neophyte
Fast Attack- 5 Assault Marines with Power Axe
  Normal disclaimer:  I didn't write the army list, so I could be wrong on what he has

The battle started off with Night Fight, which I duly ignored with my artillery (yeah, I broke a rule here, but neither of thought about it and it was too late by the time our resident rules-lawyer intervened) and basically killed off half his infantry.  Then his Marines and Master of Sanctity rushed right at me.  The next turn saw some more artillery and some more tank shooting, and some desperate lasgun-spray by my guys trying to stop his infantry from getting to me.  It didn't work.  Especially when the squad of Terminators showed up.  Then, a turn later, the Assault squad showed up and blew up a Russ.  And onwards the battle went...  Needless to say, the game ended with a Black Templar victory, but graciously only by a single victory point. It was a fun fight, and an expected result.  After all, aren't Space Marines supposed to defeat normal humans on the battlefield?

But, and here's the real point of this post, I found out that the build I had on my Leman Russ was poop.  Just like the lesson I learned with Lightning Claws against Terminators, it was a rule which I knew but was reinforced with PRACTICAL experience.  If you don't know how, let me share:

You see, a Leman Russ is armed with a Battle Cannon.  A Battle Cannon is a terrifying weapon for Space Marines to face.  It's got a strength high enough to 'instant kill' marines, and an AP low enough to ignore their armor.  Better, it's a blast weapon, so the average Ballistic Skill of the human gunner doesn't much matter.  And finally, it's Ordnance, so it's also powerful enough to break open heavily-armoured targets.  And then you get to add other weapons to it.

I have mine with a tank-busting Lascannon, and Terminator-killing Plasma Cannons.  But wait, I can't possibly fire that many weapons from a vehicle, right?  Yes and no.  A Leman Russ is a 'Heavy' vehicle, which means it can fire all of its weapons all the time.  However, a Battle Cannon is Ordnance, which means all other weapons may only be fired as 'snap shots' if the main cannon is used.  And here's where we get tricksy.  Plasma Cannons are 'Blast' type weapons.  Blast weapons may not shoot in 'snap fire' mode.  Which meant that every turn I planned to shoot, I had to choose which guns I wanted to fire.  It was a conundrum that I hadn't thought about.  Of course, I can blame that on the new 6th edition rules, while this tank was built during 5th...

Having learned that lesson the hard way (or at least been reminded at a very inopportune time), I pulled out the rest of my IG and started looking through the bitz to see what I might want to replace it with.  Not wanting to snap the sponson-weapons off, I looked through to see what I have for new turrets.  Here's what I've got and the breakdown of what they can do:

Vanquisher Cannon:  Very long-range, tank-busting Heavy gun with Armour-bane.  It's not 'blast' and is not meant to deal with Infantry AT ALL, so it's a bit specialized.  But I do like big guns.

Exterminator Gun:  It's a twin-linked, 4 shot Autocannon.  It's made for dropping light vehicles and wounding a goodly number of even heavy infantry.  The added benefit of it is that it can serve, reliably, as a flyer-killer in a pinch.  But this is my least favorite since the dirty Space Wolves claimed it for so long...

Eradicator Cannon:  It's a mid-range, cover-busting, tactical nuclear shell.  It's powerful enough to easily wound even Marines, and has the AP value necessary to ignore all BUT marine and Terminator armour, is a 'Large Blast' type weapon, and additionally ignores any cover.  This one is probably very useful against Tau, but requires a close approach, which isn't always wise.

Finally, the Punisher Cannon:  Who likes giant Gatling Guns?  This guy!  It's a 20-shot, Str 5 gun.  It doesn't penetrate armor at all and certainly can't kill anything more than a car, but it lays down a ton of rounds.  Did I mention I like big Gatling Guns?

And therein lies my conundrum.  I have the turret, and I certainly have the chassis, now I just have to choose a gun.  Knowing that I already have a Lascannon and Plasma Cannons on the vehicle, these are the only options available to take full advantage of the tank.  Which main gun would you choose?

Let me know your ideas and why, and that's the direction I'll go.  I'll even make a blog about it!  Not that I need a reason, it seems...  As always, Happy Gaming!


  1. Get the Vanquisher Cannon. Have your unit and tank do only one thing, but do that thing well. The Vanquisher Cannon and rest of your weapons will make this eat tanks and punch termes. It will flounder against infantry but the Demolisher will take care of them.

    The ideal use if these thank would be mutual support. Vanquisher kills the tanks trying to kill the Demolisher when the Demolisher kills infantry trying to kill the Vanquisher. The arty covers the other side of the board and troops capture objectives.

    P.S. I thought you and the templar player were the rules lawyers. I am still taking the bar exam.

    1. Great thoughts! That may be the way I go.

      And LOL! Nah. I'm the teacher, he's the substitute. 'Rules Lawyer' is usually a derogatory term for those who can't just let people mess up their own games.

  2. Well, there is still the executor plasma turret to just overkill termies and the like, it doesn't even have get's hot rule.

    1. I have an entire Executioner already built and done. That's why it's not on the list. I thought about it and then remembered that I had taken care of that one already.
      Funny enough, my Executioner is built with that weapon loadout. So had I not already gotten that tank done, it would probably be the top option.

  3. Hmmm... A H20 Str5 Gatling gun... You make your opponent roll enough dice and the law of averages says he is going to fail some of them.

  4. When I first started out the Imperial Guard was a consideration as my first army (having read and enjoyed Gaunt's Ghost) but what ultimately put me off was having to paint vehicles. The idea of having to paint vehicles are scary to me ... Black Legion doesn't count cause it's all black!!! =)

    1. LOL! I totally understand. What finally sold me was the drybrushing. IG vehicles are very easy to knock out that way, as long as there's something good on the TV to watch while I drybrush for half-an-hour (necessary to get a proper coat on). But until then, I was exactly the same way.

  5. I'm the Templars player. I'll get a real name to post with later. Just a few things to note. That list is mostly correct. Important notes are that both chaplains had artifice armor which mattered for the close combats vs his power swords. Also, there were six assault terminators. Other than the list it was a very close game like it was mentioned...yes I won but was very nearly tabled. All I had at the end was a terminator and the master of sanctity. If the game had continued I had only one choice...charge his squad with my warlord before he could get linebreaker and tie the game. At that point my warlord had one wound left and if he died the game would have been his. It was a great game...if a very close one.

    1. Quit being so modest. You whooped me! :-)