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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elysian List Review Part 4- Troops

Now we're off to the meat of the list, the troops section. This list trims a lot of the fat- yes, I'm looking your direction Conscrubs and Penile Legionnaires.


Some of the trimming got a little heavy handed- anybody else getting visions of a fat butcher in a stained wife-beater cutting a pig up? Just me? Ok, that's the last time I reveal my sexual fantasies to you guys. Again, we lose autocannons and lascannons and what's more, we can't take any heavy weapons in our infantry squads at all. Ouch! There are plenty of other fun changes to make up for this though. Let's stop focusing on what we're losing and take a look at what we're gaining. Wow, such positive affirmations coming from me, who'd have thought.

Elysian Infantry Platoon
This will be the first of two stops on our journey through troop land. The composition for the platoon is similar to codex: IG as you get 1 Platoon Command Squad, 2-5 Infantry squads, 0-4 heavy weapon squads, and 0-3 special weapons squads. Now here's where they Elysian Twist Comes in- you also get 0-1 drop sentinel squadrons. Looks like if you absolutely want those storm troopers, you can still get some sentinels in your army too. You could also abuse this to take a lot of Sentinels if that's the kind of person you are. Most importantly, though, this gives you the ability to spread out your existing Sentinels. If you're taking pairs, like I advised, you can move some individual Sentinels into your platoons to get rid of squadrons, present more individual targets, and taunt your opponent by bringing the most kill points you can to the game.

Platoon Command Squad (PCS)
Same stats as codex: IG for 5 points more. You gain iron discipline and deep strike. Sadly, you also lose heavy weapons teams, although due to some awesome cut/copy editing, I just noticed that their stats still appear in the unit entry- way to go editors.

Options anyone?
  • Platoon Commander can take bolt pistol, lasgun with auxiliary grenade launcher, plasma pistol, power weapon, melta bombs, or a power fist instead of his stock laspistol and CCW combo. This guy sucks more dick than George Michael in a public restroom. Why waste precious points on him? Spend your points elsewhere.
  • You can also add in a Commissar with the same options as the Platoon Commander minus the melta bombs. Hint, this is not a good place to put a Commissar.
  • ONE guardsman can take a special weapon. Blech, no more 4 flamer squads. Well, you get your choice of Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Melta gun, or Plasma. I'm thinking GL if you must buy something, but it hardly seems worth it.
  • You can also pick one of each of the following: vox-caster, Platoon Standard, or lascutter. Everybody can get Krak grenades. Get a vox if you're doing tricks with orders. If you really think it's a good idea to punch a tank, then go ahead and get the grenades and the lascutter. Honestly, though for less points than the cutter you can get melta bombs on your commander, which is better. Too bad the cutter isn't a melta weapon like it should be.
  • You may also take a Valkyrie as a dedicated transport. This could be a good opportunity for you to sneak these guys onto an objective at a decisive moment in the game. It's not like the commander's orders are really going to add that much to your troops anyway. Let him fly around the battlefield like a pansy taking pot shots at infantry, only to claim the winning objective at the last moment, stealing glory from the rest of your army. Man, what an ass. Similarly, this squad could even hide most of the game and jump into a Vendetta at the last second to go scoring.
Bottom line- you have to take these guys if you want an infantry platoon. That doesn't mean you have to invest extra points into them. Use them for their orders or for their ability to score an objective and leave them at that. Without heavy weapons or multiple special weapons they don't bring anything you need to the fire support game.

Infantry Squad
Ahh the lowly grunts. This squad will set you back an extra 10 points versus codex: IG, but you once again get Iron Discipline and deep strike. You also retain the combined squad rules and lose the ability to take heavy weapons. The other slightly bizarre thing is that your Seargeant carries a Lasgun, with no option to switch that for a laspistol. May not sound significant, but losing that extra attack in CC could suck.

Here are your options for the squad:
  • You can take a Commissar. With the ability to merge squads still this is where you may want a Commissar. LD9 Stubborn blob of guys. Nothing new there, except that you don't have a line of tanks to bubble wrap and you can't create a CC monster squad as easily as codex: IG. You also probably won't be able to deep strke a 30+ strong unit very easily, unless you're playing on a Warhmmer Fantasy table with huge tracts of open, terrainless, space. I guess this would work on a Battlefleet Gothic Table, but regardless if you're playing on a Necromunda table, deep striking is suicide.
  • Your Commissar and Seargent can take up to two of the following: Lasgun with auxiliary grenade launcher, plasma pistol, and a power weapon. The auxiliary grenades could be interesting, but this is the only place in the squad that you can get them. So with a max of two of these in the unit they probably won't do anything. But then again, they might and hell they're only 3 points. Why not?
  • One guardsman can take a flamer, grenade launcher, melta gun, or plasma. GL and flamer are your best options here depending on how close to the action you plan on getting. As always, the others are too expensive to waste on shitty guardsmen.
  • One Guardsman can have a vox-caster and one can have a demolition charge. Voxcaster is a maybe. One would be good in a blob to make sure that they get their orders. The demo charge I have less of an opinion on. If you're foot slogging, this stands little chance of making it to a target. If you're flying or deep striking it could be a nice 'fuck you buddy' to your opponent, but a single shot weapon that costs as much as a pair of meltas is a hefty investment.
  • You can give everybody krak grenades and you can give your sergeant melta bombs. Who cares. Without power fists and lascutters, I don't want to get these guys close to enemy vehicles.
  • Take a Valkyrie as a dedicated transport. Hell yeah! Problem is if you take a lot of these, you may find yourself running out of board space quickly. If my calculations are correct, you can actually fit 99 of these into a list if you really try. If you do take a transport, you become very mobile . Tragically, the only thing you have to deliver to the combat zone is a squad of guardsmen. Woo hoo. We'll cover this more later.
Bottom line- a lot of the standard tricks work here. There are some new possibilities as well, like mass airborne assaults and deep striking. Your best bet is probably still to blob up and tarpit the shit out of somebody and then try and score some objectives.

Heavy Weapons Squad
5 points more than codex: IG gets you he same unit with deep strike and iron discipline. Deep strike? Do you really want to lose a turn of shooting right off the bat? Leave these far from the fight to support your deep strikers as they drop or your flying advance. But, for the love of God, don't deep strike these.

You get a mortar for free (but the pestle will cost ya- sorry) and can upgrade to a Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher. Nothing to write home about here, but I think that Missiles are your best bet again. Sure you're not as good with them as Marines, but they still offer a solidish anti light armor/transport and anti infantry choice.

Now here's the weird part, you can give these guys a Valkyrie transport as well. Not sure why you would want to do that as you're not shooting if you're moving, but whatever. There are also plenty of other places to get Valkyries in the list, so don't bother. Speaking of don't bother, you can also take Krak grenades.

Bottom Line- you don't get reliable autocannon fire. If you need the support, missile launchers will make a decent substitute.

Special Weapons Squad
Same unit as codex: IG with a 5 point surcharge for extra skills, namely iron discipline and deep strike. Well deep strike opens up a lot of options for you and will get you close to where you want to be. With only 6 guys in the unit, you won't be there for long, but hopefully you got to take something down with you.

The options are the same as codex: IG and you still must take 3 special weapons. Snipers get a big meh, because they lose some utility without Psyker Battle Squads. Plasma is still plasma and you still have BS3, so melta is probably best done elsewhere (hint I'm talking about veterans). Flamers or grenade launchers are an ok plan, but odds are you may have a lot of those elsewhere already. Same goes for the demo charge.

You can also give these guys a Valkyrie. I feel sorry for the air traffic controllers during a battle with Elysians. Not sure if it's worth taking this since you can deep strike for free. Depends on what kind of army you're going for really.

Veteran Squads
At last we come to the poster boys of the Guard army. As you probably already guessed these guys cost 10 points more than codex: IG, but you get Iron Discipline and deep strike in exchange. Did they lose anything? Well with no Chimerae to hide in yes they lost a lot. You'll miss those if you try and use these the same way as you do in a regular IG army. You'll also probably lose the game.

Are you ready for some options?
  • Serageant gets laspistol and CCW. He can take a shotgun, bolt pistol, power weapon, plasma pistol, or power fist. Maybe give him a shotgun if you're going assault heavy, but the rest of the options are a big fat points sink.
  • Any veteran can get a free shotgun or upgrade to an auxiliary grenade launcher. Either of these is good. If you're flying or dropping near enemy lines the assault options you get from these are priceless, provided you have ways of getting troops out of their transports first. Either weapon will be able to do some heavy damage to anybody that you want to assault. Obviously the grenade launchers are better, but regardless this will give you less troops to deal with in an assault which is a good thing.
  • you can also take a vox-caster and a lascutter. If you're using your mobility to the fullest, you shouldn't ever be able to make use of the vox. The lascutter is a personal preference, but you get a lot of assault and ranged anti tank options in this unit already. Does one more really matter?
  • Up to three guys may take a flamer, grenade launcher, sniper rifle, melta gun, heavy flamer, or plasma gun. Good times. This is still why we like you. Now, without a chimera mobile bunker to shoot from these guys will need to be used a little differently. Rather than rushing forward at will to melta tanks, you really need to make a run for the flanks or areas where the enemy can give the least resistance. Let your Tauros, Sentinels, Vultures, and Vendettas worry about the heavy stuff and soak up a lot of fire. Since you have to get out of your ride to shoot, you don't want to be near anything that can threaten your lives. These are scoring units, after all. So meltas are still going to be the standard for these guys, but you might want to consider adding a flamer or even heavy flamer (since you don't have a hull HF backing you up any more, although you may have rocket pods). This will give you some nice flexibility without taking much anti-tank firepower away from you.
  • Two veterans may become a heavy weapons team with a mortar, heavy bolter, or missile launcher. Are you flying or deep striking? Then don't take these, idiot.
  • Then you can also take a doctrine. They're the same as codex: IG, but forward observers also gives you a homing beacon. Demolitions is really the standout here. You get a good package against vehicles and infantry. To be honest, though if you're working with Valkyries in support you may not find this necessary. Use your meltas to pop a transport. Rocket pod and multilaser contents of said transport to death. Assault the survivors. Aggressive? Yes. Reckless? A little, but you the important thing is that you wouldn't really gain anything from melta bombs or demo charges.
  • You can also take a Valkyrie. If you're not deep striking you'd be a fool not to take one of these. I think this is a better option than deep striking as it gives you much more precision as to where you're delivering your troops and you can be in your enemy's lines on turn one if they didn't reserve all. I don't mind deep striking things that have decent ranged weapons, like Sentinels, but when you have a 12" melta with a 6" super fun range, you can't rely on fate and the scatter dice to drop you near enough to your target to be helpful.
Bottom line- Still a great unit, just don't be too stupid with them. You need to be absolutely focused since you don't have a Chimera covering your ass anymore. There's no room for error. Aim for the flanks and try to stay out of harm's way as much as possible while going after easy vehicle/transport targets. Work closely with Valkyries and you've got a very efficient way to kill.

3 comments:

SandWyrm said...

You're complaining about losing the laspistol on the Infantry Squad Sergeant? I WISH I could trade his laspistol for a lasgun.

Not sure why you're excited about the assault options for Vets. I can count the number of assaults my Vets have won on one hand.

Dethtron said...

Vets can totally win assaults if you soften up your target enough. So you know, like break open their transport, hit your target with some rocket pods, maybe shotguns, grenade launchers, etc. and then charge in to mop up what's left.

I never said I didn't have a bit of a suicidal bent when it comes to gaming.

SandWyrm said...

More likely, you charge the lone surviving Marine, lose combat, and in so doing allow him to move around as he likes on his turn. :P