Ultra Vulkan Painting

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Pincer Maneuver

Well, the pincer maneuver is one I hope to soon begin exercising with my 1500 point raven guard.

With the drop pod dreadnought, command squad in razorback and infiltrating assault terminators led by Shrike, that should provide just the distraction I need to keep the enemy at bay. As I do this, I hope to fly down the flanks with the two 6 man assault squads led by a power fist sergeant (again, Shrike grants them fleet, so they have a threat rage of 24"). Im very interested to see how this tactic works out. I know there are some armies (such as Orks) that will give my strategy a run for its money. In the case of a mech-ork army, ill have to play a much different style (pop the transports, assault the boys).

Now, while this strategy sounds good, ill have to see how it will actually work on the battlefield. Ill report back!

As for playing games, I played for the first time in about two or more months last week with a store army. I pulled of a tie with a marine army against a nasty eldar force.
I ask you this, how would you beat the army I was facing? Lucky it was the game type with 2 objectives, otherwise I would have gotten creamed (if it were annihilation I think I would have lost 8 to 1 or 2).

-a boat load of wraith guard with their stupid strenght x guns (which took out my land raider in a blink - it never fired a shot)
- 3 squads of 3 war walkers, each with 7 strength 6 shots (I dont know how they were equipped, but it was a wicked shooty), meaning each squad had 21 or so strength 6 shots. thats 63 s6 shots!
-an avatar
-striking scorpions
-jet bikes
yadda yadda yadda

No matter what I did, I just got shot up like something fierce. I couldnt get close enough to assault, and then I was just about there, in came the avatar to tie thing up or wipe them clean.

Build me a marine army to beat the force above! I was thinking drop pod dreadnoughts or deep striking speeders, and just a lot of marines to concentrate on the objectives. It only had 2 scoring units, which was its one weakness, which I think will prevent it from wining alot of objective based games.


Dverning September 21, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

Ah, sounds like you ran into a Wraithwall force! Most likely I'd be the one running said force rather than facing it, but maybe I can give you some insights. The hard part is going to be focusing on how to beat it rather than how to improve it... The force doesn't sound like it's as tough as it could be.

Downside? The type of player who can successfully run a Wraithwall and do well with it is not going to be your average bear. It takes some serious practice and skill.

Two Troops is also a false weakness. I can attest that Wraithguard are as good as 3-4 lesser units when used correctly.

The big trick is you really need an idea of what to target and how:
1. It sounds like the Walkers were armed with one each of Shuriken Cannons (24", S6, AP5, Heavy 3) and Scatter Lasers (36", S6, AP6, Heavy4). I feel it's better to go with a straight load one way or the other, but c'est la vie. His loss can be your gain. These units are excellent at popping light tanks (Speeders, Dreads and Rhinos) or side armour of medium tanks (Preds or Vindies). It's also decent against Marines on foot just due to mass amount of shots. They also have Scout, so it can move after deployment or Outflank.
Weaknesses: The biggest problem with this build is that the Walkers can't do anything to AV13+. Your Land Raider is immune to they when closing.
As to taking fire... AV 10 and squadron rules! Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons and Autocannons eat these for lunch. They're also vehicles and can be Shaken or Stunned. The trick is to hit them before they hit you. Deep Striking Speeders, Land Raider Crusaders, Dakka-Preds, even Drop Podding Tac squads with Bolters can drop them like flies.

2. Jetbikes. What *kind* of Jetbikes? You didn't scream in outrage about them, so likely they weren't Jetlocks or Shining Spears. They're probably just Guardian Jetbikes. With an Avatar and Wraithguard, I'm guessing the 2nd HQ was a foot Farseer rather than a Jetbike Seer. So with these in mind... GJBs real purpose is speed and Scoring.
Weakness: These guys have the same T and Save as a stock Marine. They also have crap Leadership and run 3d6". With only a 24" range, they're not going to do much damage either. If they're Turbo-Boosting to get a 3++, then only shoot them up if you can get a nice Rapid Fire in. Otherwise, you can pretty much ignore them until they're a good target or because you have nothing better to do. Assault is a great way to clear them off too.
Just remember that they have a 24" move that can jump over your guys. Don't let them steal objectives late in the game by parking a tank or squad on it.

3. Wraithguard: Ah, Troops Wraithguard... T6, 3+ Save and likely a FortuneSeer around to give them a re-roll to save. Cover or Conceal also makes them have an Invulnerable. They are the penultimate bullet sponge. And to top it off is the Wraithcannon, capable of dropping even the heaviest targets.
Weakness: Shooting these guys is a waste of time... it's what your opponent wants you to do. With only a 6" range and a 12" gun, they have to get close to you to be a threat too. You can basically ignore them at range.
Where these guys fail is in Assault, especially if you have multiple Power Fists or Thunder Hammers.
Assault Termies (TH/SS) in a Land Raider are pure anathema to Wraithguard. You can assault from 21" out (22-27 with Shrike), placing you well outside their 18" threat radius. Once in assault they may wound you on a 3+, but you save on a 2+. In turn you wound on a 2+ and they get no saves. Result: Dead Wraithguard.

Dverning September 21, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

...and the second 1/2. Had to split it due to length. :-p

4. The Avatar. Okay, he's a brute, especially if Fortuned. Yet unless their 2nd HQ is Eldrad, it's a choice of Fortuning the Wraithguard or the Avatar. He's a beast in CC with WS 10, S6 and Monstrous Creature. He also creates a Fearless bubble, is immune to melta and flame weapons, and packs a meltagun.
Weakness: T6, but only a 4++ save. Even Fortuned he's only ignoring 3/4 of wounds. How do you limit Fortune? A Psychic Hood. A Ld 10 Librarian will stop 43% of Eldar casts within 24", even if he's in a tank. The power that forces re-rolls of successful Invulnerable Saves is also great, though risky if their Farseer is still alive and has Runes of Warding.
Similar to the Wraithguard, the Avatar only has an 18" effective range. Similar to the War Walkers, massed fire (Heavy Bolters) is more effective than quality (Lascannons). Massed CC attacks can also drop him, but tend to be a bit riskier unless you have good Invulnerable saves. Don't let your Characters get into CC with him unless they have Eternal Warrior.
Added bonus: Get him involved in a multiple assault such as with T-hammer Termies and Wraithguard or Scorpions. No Retreat wounds will likely do more damage to him than your guys.

5. Striking Scorpions. Harlequins would have been a better choice, but whatever. These guys are no threat at range and only vexing in CC due to speed and number of attacks. They also have decent saves.
Weakness: T3. Only bother with them at range if you don't have the Walkers or Avatar to drop. Even Rapid Fire bolters will quickly put the hurt on them. Power weapons or AP3 will certainly help clear them faster, but probably aren't needed.

As long as you have an Assault Termie squad in a Land Raider and a Librarian, you've got a major leg up on this guy. Add in your preferred flavor of Commander and some Troops. Hide them in Drop Pods or behind Rhinos until those Walkers are gone. Then fill up on some Speeders, Predators, and other tanks of choice. Dreads will get wasted by the Wraithguard, but dropping a Venerable or Ironclad of to a side isn't a bad call either.

Cheers and hope this helps. Feel free to comment back or e-mail me if you have any questions. (I may be betraying my Eldar by helping you like this, but I console myself by thinking that it will force him to become a better player and rely on his Walkers less.)

Ultra Vulkan September 22, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

Awesome feedback! This analysis will soon prove to be helpful. As mentioned, I was playing with a store build army, so my options were limited. I didnt have have access to any transports other than a razorback, and no dreadnoughts, tanks (other than 1 LR) or drop pods.

If you wish, you can take a look at my 1500 point list, ill have to leverage your strategy in a battle royal.

And yes, the jetbikes were just standard jetbikes. The farseer was the 2nd HQ choice.

The games were ~2000 points (I usually don't play more than 1850)

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