Friday, September 7, 2012

Really Understanding 6th – List Building

 A certain blue blog is exploding lately because the owner just got back from Nova and finished pretty low. Said author is blaming dice and terrain so far for his losses though that may change as he puts up more batreps but all of it did get me thinking and I decided I was going to put up some of my list building thoughts after playing 13 games in a weekend J Oh, and you’ll be able to read about the mistakes I made that caused my losses on Monday when that article goes live so keep an eye out.

Anyway, onto list building. What do we need in 6th edition? Well, let’s take a look at things that aren’t going to go away for at least a few codex releases. They are out there and we’re going to run into regularly:

-Necron Flyer spam
-Psychic Powers
-Re-Rolling armor save death stars
-Nob Bikers (with allies they score and can slot in to a ton of armies)
-Mass re-rolls to hit (see psychic powers)
-Hordes (yeah, they’re back)
-Flying MC’s
-Mass AP2 (the plasma gun is back too!)

The list is longer I’m sure but these are some of the things you’re going to see out there in tournaments. So how do we build a list to hang with all these things? How do we build a flexible list that can hang with the above?

First thing you can’t do is try to match strength to strength. It’s just not going to happen with all the options that are out there nowadays. You can’t include psychic defense, anti-death star, horde killing firepower, and anti-flyers in 99% of lists even with allies. What you can do though is build a list that can dominate some of the above items but can weather or absorb the rest of them. Also, being able to be aggressive with your list is going to be crucial now.

Let’s look at 3 lists I’m either playing or considering building for 6th at 1850:

IG Primary w/SW Allies

2xPrimaris Psyker
10xInfantry Squad w/Power Axe, Autocannon, Plasma Gun
2xRune Priest
2x10 Grey Hunters w/2 Plasma

Grey Knights

Terminator Inquisitor w/Psycannon, Psychic Power, 3xServo Skulls
5x10 Strikes w/2 Psycannon, Hammer, Psybolt


3xTzeentch Herald on Disc
3x6 Flamers
5x5 Horrors w/Bolt
2x8 Screamers
3x3 Seeker Chariots

Those are 3 pretty different armies. Only one of them uses allies but I’m not one that thinks allies is 100% required. But they certainly fill in gaps if you have them in your codex. Anyway, let’s see how each stacks up to our list:

The IG/SW list has anti-horde firepower in its own horde. Between Divinating Rune Priests and First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire no horde is going to last against that kind of firepower. It has anti-flyer in the form of its vendettas as well as the blob squads. Each blob can eat a death star and still have something left over. Psychic defense is on a 4+ pretty early and it can absorb AP2. And most importantly it can be used aggressively. Seems pretty solid right?

Let’s look at the GK list, one I’ve been playing all month J

It has anti-horde in the form of all the regular firepower from the strikes but more importantly in the DK’s heavy incinerators. It has the volume of fire to drop non-av12 flyers and has enough that it can drop the av12’s if it has too. The dreadknights are excellent blockers for dealing with deathstars and it’s got decent direct anti-psyker defenses but it does fall down on stopping blessings. Sheer numbers should make it resilient to AP2 but after the weekend I’m not sure. But it can be used aggressively as well and I think with proper usage it meets most of our criteria.

And finally the Daemon list.

This one is designed to just endure flyers. And by flyers I mean the Necron flying circus with 5-6 flyers. Anything on the ground will die but the rest of the army needs to survive the shooting which I think it can with over 99 invul save wounds and 9 vehicles. As for deathstars the combination of flamers and screamers should be able to hand them. Anti-horde can come from shooting the warp fire, flamer templates, or the chariots. All the invuls make AP2 mass armies far less effective (they’re paying for stronger bolters). It doesn’t have an ounce of psychic defense though. This is somewhat mitigated by being able to drop in, redeploy, and hopefully engage their psyker in the early portion of the game.

So all of these lists have quite a few things in common. Resiliency, massive damage output, and mobility. Each has some weaknesses but in my opinion, in 6th, every army will thanks to allies. It’s now up to the player, even more than before, to give themselves the tools to fill in those holes.

I’ll have more later, the new FAQ’s just dropped and I’m now distracted J