Sunday, 26 January 2014

Badab war. Astral Claws Tyrant's Legion 6th edition PDF update musings.

6th Edition update for The Tyrant's Legion...

Forgeworld recently released the 6th edition update for the Tyrants legion list as a free pdf, which is great as I could hardly afford to buy the book again just for the army list..... Cheers FW.

6th has brought in some changes not least the inclusion of chapter tactics for the space marine contingent and two different warlord trait tables depending on whether your warlord is an Astral Claw or an auxillary officer. It also includes a list of lord of war selections so you can bring your super heavies to the battlefield.

As far as the chapter tactics goes, the first gives skimmers scout, which is nice but irrelevant in this list, and bikes the skilled rider USR. I'm not planning on having any bikers but I could see this being very usefull in a bike-centric claws army from codex space marines.
The second chapter tactic is far more relevant for my own little force, gifting your space marines the stubborn special rule whilst losing the ability to fail morale tests. I can see this making my fifteen strong legion cohort quite a formidable block of infantry at the 1000pt level and cements their position as the backbone of my Demi-legion

The list itself has been tidied up with air units split into more focused entries in the list, for example VTOL vultures may still squadron but supersonic lightning interceptors etc cannot squadron anymore.
Old entries with special rules no longer applicable in 6th like the corpse taker apothcaries have been reworked to make them relevant.
 In addition, new units have been added such as the avenger strike fighter but best of all Tyrants legion can now select the Hydra AA tank! 
There are several  changes to wargear as well including a new weapon, the breaching charge, which replaces the traditional demo charge.
As far as I can tell the only entry completely culled from the original book is the option to buy (off table) artillery strikes and bombardments as heavy support, which isn't too much of a hardship really.
Overall I think the update is a good effort, especially as it's free rather than a data slate or somesuch. obviously some thought has been put into tweaking the list and making some minor improvements rather than a simply copy/pasted update, which is something I for one appreciate.

When the book was first out there was a lot of the usual internet whinging about it being a weak list only suitable for fluffy encounters but I don't think this is quite the case, sure you don't get all the imperial guard's or marine's special rules or options but there's plenty in here to give your opponents pause for thought.
There might not be any obviously overpowered, under costed death stars staring you in the face but it's a much more flexible list than is immediately apparent on first reading.
Obviously space marines allied with imperial guard or vice versa will give you a lot of the same (and better) tricks and combos but there are a few cool combos unique to the Tyrant's legion.

In this post I'll look at the troops and heavy support choices... As these are usually are the backbone of your firepower horde archetype army.

For a start you have three solid troops choices.... The first of which is the legion Auxillia, the cannon fodder of the legion and a mandatory selection, a very old school way of doing things but one that makes sense from a background perspective and stops you playing a cheesy list of all space marine infantry backed up by squadrons of cheap leman russes.

Great! you might say... BS 2 LD 5 sub-flak armour and a lasgun, man for man worse than a chaos cultist. Prepare to die - not! 
But hold on, at minimum size (x20) a unit only costs 70pts giving you a cheap 'tar-pit' or backfield objective holding unit that any army will find usefull...many chaos marine forces include a small squad of cultists for the same reason.
Going up to 30 strong will only set you back 100pts and make it quite a lot more survivable. 
Take a big unit and throw in a cheap space marine Centurion to stop them running away with his Angel of death special rule and the Auxillia become quite a problematic unit.

Armsman Cadres are pitched somewhere in between Regular IG infantry minus the platoon structure and veteran squads.
Starting at a mere fifty points, available ten to twenty strong and able to take a wide variety of equipment (although not as wide as IG) these guys are the all rounders of you list.

Whether a gun line squad twenty strong with two Autocannon and a heavy Stubber or a fast objective grabbing strike team wearing carapace armour and mechanised in a chimera this is a really flexible unit entry providing you with many options for a good scoring unit. Note that tyrants legion chimera can take an Autocannon turret as an upgrade - cool.

Lastly is the Legion cohort which has several distinct differences from a tactical squad. Prehaps most importantly is the ability to go twenty strong 30k style (as mentioned earlier, a large squad combined with stubborn could be rather nasty on the tabletop) and also to choose one special, heavy or power weapon per five marines (from a limited selection) a block of twenty marine with four plasma guns, grav guns or missile launchers can engage all but the toughest units and take a lot of punishment in return.
Again flexibility in build is their strong point allowing you to tailor a squad for almost any requirement.

Another point worth mentioning is the 'chapter' support special rule... Allowing you to pick one heavy support slot from the marine codex for every legion cohort in your army.
Again this really opens up your options with everything from land raiders and devastator centurions to thunderfire cannon and stormravens becoming available. To my mind the basic Annihilator pattern predator looks like a bit of an overlooked bargain, sure it doesn't have the fancy-pants special rules but offers reliable bs4 anti tank/MC for a reasonable cost.

When it comes to their own heavy support choices, the legion are spoilt for choice, it really just depends how big your budget is in both points and cash. 

Air power is very well represented with Thunderbolts, lightnings and avengers as single heavy support choices and vultures as a squadron entry....that's a huge choice of air units available.
Ground attack - avenger or vulture...air supremacy - lightning....dual purpose - thunderbolt. And with the vulture available in squadrons you can take up to nine of them! You really can go flyer crazy in this army. The only downside being the first three no longer being allowed to squadron.

For the sadists amoungst you the Arvus lighter is also an option in fast attack, meaning you could field twelve flyers if you were crazy enough, rich enough or had an opponent willing for you to proxy shoeboxes for spaceships!

On the ground you have battle tank squadrons with the regular battle tank, exterminator and the long discontinued Annihilator (Twin linked Las) available, all standard fare but usefull especially the exterminator.

The siege defence squadron is much like the IG ordnance battery allowing you to pick mixed squadrons of basilisks, medusas and thunderers. I would very much like a thunderer or a basilisk converted to an assault gun for my own army.
Earthshaker and medusa platforms are also available as squadrons, possibly not the best option for competitive play but there's no doubting the rule of cool when it comes to a grimdark '88'

The biggie for me is the new entry, the hydra aa platform. Only 75points and ignoring flat-out and jink cover saves. With every man and his dog having flyers in 6th these are a great choice and will mow down infantry, bikes, jet bikes and trucks with ease when bought in a squadron. You can even have a go at rapid fire glancing heavier vehicles to death plasma style. Many people will prefer an aegis line and quad gun which is fine but personally I'm sick of seeing every army take one and as it's available to everyone and not part of the list as such I'm not going to discuss it as an aa option.

The other choices are rapier batteries which I can't really comment about as I'm not sure about the rules for the laser destroyer array but certainly have the rogue trader cool factor, and Auxillia heavy weapon squads which for me aren't great, three BS2 weapon teams and an NCO, personally I'd spend my points elsewhere.

Here's a quick list I put together of the top of my head... Prob not a very competitive list for all you screamerstar / taudar people but it does have one or two good points... I think?

Example 1500pt Tyrants legion list.


Centurion with power weapon and meltabombs

Centurion with combimelta (warlord)


Retaliators x9 with power weapon and meltagun in rhino 


Armsman Cadre x12 with carapace armour, meltagun and chimera with Autocannon (155pts)

Armsman Cadre x20 with carapace armour, heavy Stubber and x2 Autocannon 

Legion Auxillia x30 

Legion Auxillia x30


Legion sentry gun battery.
x2 sentry guns with multimeltas, searchlights and deepstrike 

Legion sentry gun battery.
x2 sentry guns with multimeltas, searchlights and deepstrike 


Leman russ.
x1 Annihilator w/ hull Lascannon 

Leman russ.
x1 Annihilator w/ hull Lascannon 

Auxillia air defence squadron.
x3 Hydras

TOTAL 1500 points dead!

One of the big points of this list is that you have 92 scoring models. The large Armsman cadre provides a solid fire base of infantry With the smaller mechanised unit giving you a mobile objective grabber.

One Auxillia squad can be used as a speed bump, tar pit, or expendable distraction whilst the other Auxillia squad with the warlord attached can move upfield and hold objectives, though I'd leave the taking of said objectives to other units such as the rhino mounted Retaliators with attached centurion providing your only real melee squad
The Annihilator pattern Russes are your tank/MC hunters. And if your opponent hasn't brought any flyers the multiple auto cannons and heavy bolters brought by the three Hydra AA tanks will make a right mess of his infantry, jetbikes and light vehicles.
Lastly are the deep striking multimelta sentry guns, dropped in the backfield behind your enemies vulnerable rear armour as a cheap and nasty distraction/ambush, they won't win you any games but your opponent won't be able to afford to ignore four multimeltas up his backside, hopefully leaving your other units to do their thing unmolested.

Key figures
92 scoring models across four troops choices
Six armoured vehicles
Six twin linked hydra Autocannon (3 hydras) three Autocannon and four heavy bolters.
Two twin linked Lascannon and two Lascannon
Four multimeltas 

This is by no means an optimised list at all just an idea of an army that fits the background and give you lots of dice to throw (I always found it's easier to get a six throwing a bucket full of dice) you know the old saying if you throw enough s*** some of it will stick!

I'll hope to look at the HQ, Elite and fast attack portion of the army list in a later post, this one is probably enough of a formless stream of consciousness as it is, if anyone bothers to read this far thanks very much, I appriciate it and I'd love any comments, criticism or feedback....especially from any other tyrant's legion players out there it'd be nice to get some badab war discussion going on the blog!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Warp Fiends CSM - 2nd Havoc Squad

The 2nd Havoc squad for my Slaaneshi renegades has finally been completed, this squad is equipped for anti-tank / monstrous creature duties with three Lascannon and a missile launcher for a bit of flexibility, at the 1000pt level I'm aiming for with the warband this squad should be able to pose a serious threat to almost any unit it faces, the major downside being inefficiently expensive per marine  another large proportion of my 1000pts eaten up by six models.

First up the champion, as seen in the original incarnation of my Havocs, he's an old space wolf scout, one of the originals I believe, another of the old survivors that I've owned for nearly twenty years...
Definitely a veteran of the long war!

Icon bearer / regular marine, a quick kit bash of leftover bits and bobs including skaven, space wolf and possessed parts to create a model that May or may not be an icon bearer depending how the finalised list pans out.

Standard Lascannon havoc....

Havoc with old Imperial army Lascannon and skaven tail tentacles....

Havoc built from mainly imperial parts (recent convert) with another old Lascannon....

Missile launcher Havoc, with an imperial head and abbaddon style topknot that's either elder of equine in origin! Not 100% sure!

Apologies for the crummy flash photos, no sunlight outside of working hours at this time of year!

Heavy Support - Havoc Squad
x6 Havocs (88)
Mark of Slaanesh (12)
Power weapon (15)
x3 Lascannon (60)
Missile launcher (15) w/ flakk missiles (10)
Icon of excess (30)
x1 close combat weapon (2)
Total - 232 points