So sit back, relax and prepare prepare for your only friend: the end.
It is of utmost importance that you have the following playing while you're reading this:
~Jane Fonda aint got a motor in the back of her Honda- I too am using IA8 as the motivation I need to finish my Elysians. A couple of comments, mostly based on IA3's list, which is what I am used to playing (my IA8 hasn't arrived yet). ~forget everything you know about the IA3 list, it's pretty much just the 4th edition codex with flying stuff. The IA8 is far superior and bears little resemblance to the old one.
1. Don't discount the effect that massed demo charges can have. I intend to model the IA2 list as much as I can, except where I can do better with IA8. ~demo charges are really cool, but for the 90 points I had spent on them, they didn't add much since I have plenty of anti-infantry and anti-tank already. They are all modeled onto my models, though, in case I have a change of heart at any point. Plus they look cool.
2. When you have Vendettas, do you really want to put so much anti-tank fire in things that only hit half of the time (i.e. Sentinels). In IA3, I always took the heavy bolter version of the Sentinel and they ended up supporting my troops fairly well. I don't know if the IA8 version gets the HB or not, but if it does, you just might think about that. They play havoc with FW's :D ~they do get the HB still for free. The multi melta is an upgrade. The reason I've gone melta even though I have some anti-tank elsewhere is a little on the complex side. I need my vets to stay alive to score. Since they can't shoot from their transport, they can only go after lower threat items like transports or things that can't completely go after them. Vendettas and Tauros don't put much hurt on things like Landraiders. They're great for AV 12 or 13 stuff, but can't be relied on to do much to AV14. Thus I need something with meltas that is cheap enough that I can throw it at anything that needs to die but not care if I have to trade units. Thus deep striking melta sentinels. Neither weapon choice really has the duality tat I normally like to see. The melta is a waste against most troops, but the HB doesn't threaten vehicles and isn't very impressive against most infantry either. En masse they could be exciting, but the HB doesn't do anything I need.
3. Hmm, no Vultures. Is that because of available models? When they were flyers in IA3, you could take things like armored cockpit and chaff launcher to give them some durability. Are those options still possible? ~totally agree and want to add vultures at some point. Hell that would use up some of my unused Heavy Support slots. Unfortunately I don't have the models yet and just spent most of my disposable income for the next couple months on some more basic essentials for my list. All Valkyrie based models (including the Vulture) only count as flyers in Apocalypse now. In regular games they are fast skimmers. Vultures can still get chaff and armor, though. One new addition to the vehicle is the ability to take TL Punisher cannons. Not sure if it's worth the price of an un-upgraded Tauros, but the kid in me does like rolling fist-fulls of dice. Any weapons loadout you've been successful with in the past? I've never used these or seen them in action.
4. Playtesting results aside, the rest of your stuff looks fairly solid. ~thanks, but I am worried about not having Chimerae to shoot out of. This is something that's going to be hard to work around. Also, the lack of autocannons is going to be tricky.
5. I got some of the dune buggies (both versions)as well, but I'm waiting to see how they do. I'm currently thinking I'll outfit them more for anti-personnel vs. anti-tank. ~as long as you don't expect them to survive the first couple of turns, you'll do just fine. The way I see the Venator, it is a suicide anti-tank unit. They're pretty cheap and should be able to take some shit down with them. The regular Tauros is all about anti-infantry. I don't know whether the GL or the Flamer would be better on these. My gut feeling is to go GL since getting a AV10 open topped dune buggy close enough to use a flamer might not be the most sound plan :)
I can hardly wait to take these guys for a spin.
Do Venators get Autocannons? AC FTW. ~Marlon Brando facepalm FTW. Seriously dude, did you not read the part where I said it's almost impossible to stick Autocannons into the list? I'm actually enjoying not having the Autocannons a little bit. It gives me the opportunity to think differently and not just copy/paste all the autocannons I can into my army. For your reference the following can have autocannons (all are Heavy Support options)
- Lightning- gets a single Long-barrelled autocannon costs a little more than a MRP Valkyrie. Not a good idea.
- Thunderbolt- 2 TL autocannons and a TL Lascannon and some hellstrikes or hunter-killers. Not a horrible option, but about the same cost as a Leman Russ Demolisher with HB sponsons.
- Vulture- probably the best place for them. They get a single TL autocannon and a HB and some missiles for around the same cost as a Valkyrie with no upgrades. Still not as efficient as HW squads or Hydras, but better than the other options by a long-shot.