Saturday, 5 February 2011

You got mail: BA advice from Killswitch

So Killswitch here. Got an email in requesting BA list advice so here are my thoughts:
“Hey Alex.

Im really struggling with creating a BA list which has combat clearing capability. I play a mech army with lots of las/plas razors backed up by Rocket Devs & priests. I keep thinking to myself, my shooting is good but that’s it. I play against a lot of Xenos type armies such as Daemons, Nids & Eldar so shooting isn’t always reliable. I would really appreciate your help in this matter. A brief rundown of my list at the moment:

Honor Guard with 3 Melta in Rhino & Dozers.
5 Assault Marines in Las./Plas with melta
3 Baal Preds with twin–Ass cannons.
2 Units of Devs with rockets.

Cheers, Dan K”
Editor: Ha Ha, you guessed it...snow mobile time! Yoink...stole your thunder! No but seriously, can't go wrong with another opinion... my thoughts in green!
Hello Dan, thanks for the email. I have to say, your list is fairly solid with good fire support, but as you have stated, there’s little to no combat potential. Problem with this is what I call “clearing the contents”. Depends on the contents no? Danny boy asks for help with Xenos...Orks and Nids alike fall to multiple frag missiles and concentrated fire from several units...but I agree...

Say you’ve popped that Transport vehicle causing a wreck on the right side of the board on an objective. The content gets out, staying out of LOS and sits there with a meltagun. You could spend a turn or 2 moving one of those tanks to tanks shock that unit off, but what if its impossible to do so without having that meltagun death or glory? It’s become quite the nuisance does it not? Leaving it there could prove disastrous if the other objectives aren’t easy to get to either. Situational, but a massive pain in the arse. I think the solution is balanced lists? or with my current preference....flame. Lots of it.

Same thing could happen to your own army. True, but his units - LasPlas are best in midfield where the plas can rapid this may lead to agressive movement to begin with, moving onto objectives placed nearer midfield, then once popped, troops are in place to actually do something. More a practical play point than a list one though....

Your transports get popped left right and centre, so now you have to foot slog your way to your opponent (which is viable as some armies lack anti-infantry fire power) and its Killpoints. Is it? oh, right.
Your down 3 Killpoints, up against a Nid army waiting for you to push centre so they counter you with their Hive tyrant or genestealers etc. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Problem you will always face is the lack of duality with your units. Its very 1 Dimensional in terms of, if my transport gets poped early on, this unit can’t really do much except walk around hoping that something would come near or push forward only to get bogged down or ignored altogether. This is why the 'army within an army' concept that mech provides is so useful, the units embarked in a transport should fulfill the opposite role...e.g. LasPlas? Flamer... TLFlamer? Melta inside.

I would suggest the following:
Take some Power weapons in those Las/plas units. This will give you a chance to counter your opponents infiltrating/outflanking units reliably. They can also perform clear ups when you have a problem pushing those Meq’s off objectives in cover. Expensive and still only 5 dudes... ?

Take a Priest for a reliable source of FNP & FC, as I feel the FNP is necessary for keeping those Devs around, or used in certain games as an attacking roll with the razorback units. I agree that babysitter priests can do this for Dev's, but as we read later...this is not the role you assign to the priests is it...and as such those Dev's would get torrented away, maybe why you didn't pick 'em...

I’d like to see a Podding Dread or two, but it's hard to fit without changing the army too much. Lets see what I can do anyways. Have you considering a Hybrid army, with a Jumper unit or 2? I think they would be a gret asset if your not too bothered about not having a fully mech army. It brings a great deterent to push back horde unit, they can DOA to be pushed right into the midst of your opponents gunline, and can re deploy rather quickly. I'm not a fan of Hybrid...I tried it back in April when the 'Dex hit, but I think it has too many inherent weaknesses...let's see what Killswitch throws at us.. blinkers off and open mind open...I'll back off now...
Lets see how we can import them in:
First we will give the Libby a Jump pack and give him Unleash Rage & Fear of the Darkness. This gives him a role while on the move (go away nob bikers/thunder cav - I love rules for crap like this..although arguably IG do it better with Choirs and 'Weaken Resolve') and makes his unit far more threatening.
His accomplice, a Priest with Jump pack & combi-melta give his unit a juicy source of FNP & FC, along with an additional melta shot when needed.

To accompany these two, we will take a 10 man Assault squad with Packs, 2 melta, fist & Infernus Pistol. This is a lot of points, coming to 250pts, but I believe it to be very capable and shrugs all but the most dedicated shooting, which therefore would be ignoring your mech.

To back these up we now need fire support. 4 Las/Plas’backs with meltas. These are self explanatory. Long range support, melta support, tank shocking roles & plasma for anti-termies etc. So far we have spent a whopping 1120pts. So what shall we do for a little more fire support whilst still keeping the theme you’re looking for?

I feel 2 Rifleman dreads would bring a lot to the table to give you some suitable dakka and the capability of dragging down Blood crushers and the like which can otherwise hurt your assault squad. How you ask? Charging those units which can’t hurt AV 12 in combat can give you a chance to react to such a threat, or ignore it completely. Charging a unit of, lets say 6 Blood crushers, means that he has to sweep in and cover your dreadnoughts base. By doing this, he cannot assist his crusher unit, and for the rest of the game they can be completely ignored. 2 of them brings our total to 1370pts.How do we, the supporting unit in the backfield, taking advantage of our extreme range, actually get into a position to CHARGE bloodcrushers? wtf! But I get the point... lol.

Fill out the Heavy support with a Predator, 2 Las & Autocannon variant. Why only 1? Im hoping it will either be ignored or draw a lot of firepower away from your Razorbacks. AV 13 isnt easy to dent, and I feel the additional shots over 4 razorbacks will be needed. It brings your str 9 total to 6 shots a turn which I feel is mandatory. If you feel otherwise, try out a Dev squad with 4 rockets to sit with your las/backs for 5pts more
Now we need to look at something which will be able to assist your assault squad clearing out transports or little critters loitering on the pesky objectives. I think the best unit for this is Flamestorm baals. 2 of these with Dozer blades make them fairly reliable in keeping up with the assault squad.

The list should look like this now:
Librarian Jump Pack
Fear & Rage
1 Priest
Jump Pack & Combi-melta.
4x Assault Squads
Las Plas’Backs & Meltagun.
10 Assault Marines
2 Meltaguns, Power fist & Infernus Pistol.
2x Baal Preds
Flamestorm & Dozer Blades.
Autocannon & 2 lascannons.
2x Riflemans
Total: 1745pts

5pts to play around with (such as swapping the pred for a Dev squad).

Plenty of mech, but with more of a punch unit. I don’t consider it a Deathstar (nor would I by a long fucking way) as you can still combat squad it to perform multiple roles or to simply push and sweep your opponents lines with DOA.

I really love this new list, and I hope it fulfils the look you were looking for.
If anyone else has any questions or looking for a chat about their list etc, hit me up on
....And I promise not to snow mobile everything Killswitch posts lol!


  1. lol always nic to have an added touch there Ven ;)

  2. lol...just another opinion... ;)

  3. Just to express charging of crushers, I tend to keep my Riflemans behind my razorbacks when play daemons. This pushes crushers further away, and if they do come close to assault a 12 inch moving tank, my dread counter charges them to hold them up for the rest of the game :D

  4. Cool.. I take it you are seeing quite alot of demons on the tourney scene then? just to be forced to develop such ideas..

    I play one dude regularly with demons, but have yet to see them at a tournament...sure that'll change with x-legion...

  5. I don't really get the list. SW do this kinda thing better and it's not really 'fluffy'.

    An 85pt investment to give a 10 man assault squad FnP/FC (and they can't charge on the drop), an extremely mediocre character and a single-shot melta seems a bit silly to me... yes it's nice, but that nice, and in this list...?

  6. They wont always be dropping :) 85pts for fnp/fc & an extra melta shot, whats wrong with that? Would you rather not see any FNP for the assault squad? Well the email was asking for a BA list but yes, Wolves can do similar lists.

    As for fluffy, I don't know where you got that from, never said it was fluffy D:!

  7. I read posts like this to hear the reasoning, the lists themselves are rarely exciting, I don't usually happen to have all of the models...

    But to read about how people arrive at an army list is fascinating. Cheers.