Thursday, August 2, 2007

Notes on Teh Purging

Some thoughts on the Purging of Tartaron Witch Hunters list...

The army really consists of two modules that can separate or stay turtled together, depending on the situation. The main battle line includes the imperial guard infantry and heavy weapons, sister squads, lascannon sentinel, Leman Russ, and exorcist. The mobile elements consist of the two armored fist squads (or at least their chimeras), seraphim, immolator, and the callidus assassin.

All the battles I’ve played against space marines lately included a librarian with fury of the ancients. Especially vulnerable in their massed low T and Ld formations, my guardsmen continue to be randomly picked on and pinned with impunity. Mixing a few sisters squads into their ranks will hopefully grant me more opportunities to nip that in the bud, as any psychic power that includes sororitas units in its effects is immediately nullified on a 5+. It’s something at least. Against troops assaulting the gun line, the guard will hopefully serve as a tar pit with their leadership backed up (or not) by nearby books of St. Lucius. The girls will have time to either move back out of assault range and prepare to fire on stranded foes, or charge in themselves.

I’m experimenting a little bit with the inquisitor’s loadout. I used to run him around with a guard squad packing an inferno pistol, but he rarely ever got a shot off. Now his liber heresius will grant me a 72% chance of table edge choice, 25% chance of rolling off as normal, and a 2% chance of losing the choice before the battle begins. Part of the benefit is being able to pick an ideal side for my own army, but mostly I’m interested in being able to dictate my opponents’ deployment. That combined with the callidus’ “word in your ear” ability could add some valuable confusion to the match. Ideally he’ll also be hammering the witches every turn, (lightly) harassing eldar seers and warlocks, tyranid synapse creatures, any and all Tzeentch devotees, and librarians. For 25 points I could upgrade him to an inquisitor lord, but the power would only be around 5% more effective and I’d also have to give him a small retinue. I’ll probably wait to get my heavy bolter servitor and chirurgeon retinue going before I do that.

The combat abilities of the callidus assassin are a nice little bonus to her “word in your ear” ability. After she emerges, her neural shredder template should try to touch vehicles as well as any troops she wants to assault. It will always shake a vehicle if not stun. In addition to her little poison blades gimmick, she also has a “jump back” move that lets her attempt to disengage from close combat, but in all practicality it's only a 50% chance to get out of consolidation range and requires her to survive 2 rounds of combat, which can sometimes be difficult with only a 4+ save.

The seraphim are twitchy. They can move fast, deal a significant amount of shooting damage, and hold their own in close combat (with help from faith points), but I’ve also seen them fall out of the sky like motherfuckin duck hunt. They can provide a nice little backup for the streaking chimeras and immolator, grabbing cover where they can, jumping out to lay down divine guidanced flame templates, draw charges or (preferably) sweeping advances, then use hit and run to move out and leave the enemy stranded. Between krak grenades and the superior's plasma pistol and eviscerator, they should be able to handle a light vehicle or two. If the birds stay close to the main coop, I need to remember that they add +1 to Ld of all sisters within 6”.

My cannoness also requires some care. She should start the battle in heavy cover, out of LOS if possible, and definitely kept separate from the seraphim to allow them to use hit and run as well as to make acts like the passion or spirit of the martyr easier for them to activate. I think she’s best kept near the main gun line as counterassault.

The infantry, sentinel, and exorcist give me some good anti-tank, which is probably the hereticus' greatest weakness. The Russ is primarily anti-infantry. After enjoying the upgrade so much in my last tournament, I added a dozer blade to the Exorcist and Leman Russ, allowing them to start out of sight, move into terrain to shoot, and be obscured to return fire. They'll likely stay with the main gun line as well.

Interestingly, the GW Armies of the Imperium software suggests that it’s illegal for the inquisitor to not be equipped with at least one weapon, but I can’t find any supporting rule for that. It just says he may be given anything from the armory. It's fuckin lame that he doesn't come with a laspistol/ccw automatically. It also has reduced point costs for inducted guard infantry command squad heavy and special weapons (?), and the heavy stubber is not available for an upgrade to the Leman Russ. I’m going to assume these are all program errors until I can find rules to the contrary.

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