Monday, 17 February 2014

Cult Status: Part 1

Well, the escalation league has been going on for a couple of months now and, although I haven’t yet played my second month games with my 750 force, I have messed around with various units I want to add.  The final version of my list (due to be reached in November) is definitely beginning to take shape and should prove to be quite fun.  As I said in an earlier post, I’m building this list on a vague storyline and with a definite focus on theme rather than sheer efficiency or competitiveness, although I don’t think it’ll be bad in that department.  I’ve maintained for a while that you can make lists that are strong on theme whilst still being decent in and of their own right.  It’s what I do with my lists; hit on a story, theme or character and then figure out how to make it functional, possibly even good.

So that’s the mentality I’ve used with building this list. It’s narrative driven (my favourite) and centred round a Khornate Chaos Lord.  I’m weighing in heavy with the Blood God here and trying to focus on what Khorne does best: assault.  However, I’m not forsaking shooting entirely (flyers are kind of hard to get rid of in pure assault), so there will be a little bit of dakka going on.  As I mentioned in my Dissolutions post, I’m not going to be allying in Daemons this time.  I know.  But I’ve played the old Daemon/CSM mashup for quite some time and wanted to go to another codex.  One that I hadn’t touched in a while.  I also wanted to use some models I’d never had time for previously.  The results of this is that I am now allying in Imperial Guard.

You see the backstory of the army is based around the cult that the Chaos Lord leads, and, like all decent cults, it should have a tonne of cultist bodies for the meat grinder.  Cultists are all well and good for this (and I do have a decent-sized squad of them), but the IG have a ready supply of cheap and relatively well-equipped (for their price) bodies to field.  It also allows me to use my autogun-armed cultists.  I’ve been wanting to use these for quite some time, but have never been able to justify them.  I mean, regular cultists are very useful as a meatshield and point-holder, plus ablative wounds for a chaos lord.  They’re crap, but they’re cheap crap and they make for some exceptionally annoying tarpits.  But giving them a lasgun equivalent gets rid of an extra attack in close combat, jacks their points up (only by 1 point each, but still!) and turns them into a poor shooting unit.  That said, they’re not unusable by any stretch.  They are a very cheap scoring that are easy to slip under the radar to grab some points at the end of the game.  You could argue that this makes them better than the assault versions because they can hang around at the back and avoid attention, whilst the assault guys have to be in the enemy’s face and can be wiped out in one bad assault phase.  Fair enough.  I always stick a Lord or Apostle in with my cultists, so they’re fearless anyway though.

However, the clincher is that for the price of one gun-cultist, I can have a Guardsman.  They have identical stats and guns (bar the name of course), but the guardsmen have a better armour save, more weapon options, access to orders and assault grenades.  There is very little to bring the cultist above the guardsman for the same price.  I’m not ragging on the cultists though.  Internal balancing and all that.  Cultists are priced above the baseline due to their lack of equipment but in their codex, they’re a damn bargain.  Once we switch over to using the Guard dex though... that’s a deal I can be getting along with!  They also form a very nice sizable mob when you combine the platoon squad.  And that’s what I’ve done.  I’m going to be fielding a big ol’ squad of 30 to get a decent mob look going.  As I’m recycling the cultist models, the flamer cultists will match in perfectly and also complement the somewhat unconventional tactics I’m looking to employ.  More on that news as it develops, later in the week!

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