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    Titan in the Playground

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    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop XXIV: ...And They Shall Know No Fluff

    Kauyon: Space Marine Detachments

    White Scars
    Warlord Traits
    1. 2+ Jink Save is pretty good.
    2. Reserve manipulation is neat.
    3. Monster Hunter and Tank Hunters. Awesome.
    4. Make D3 Hammer of Wrath hits instead of 1. Probably re-roll.
    5. Be a really good Challenge model. Probably re-roll.
    6. Re-roll Sweeping Advances. Terrible.

    There's only one roll on this table that is actually bad (#6). The rest are actually quite good. The problem with the Tables is that like a lot of Tables, it's really inconsistent. The other problem being that if you're White Scars, your Warlord should close-to-always be Kor'sarro Khan, and his Trait is fixed. The other problem being that Fluff should never trump Crunch (except for the times that it does), and Strategic is simply the best Table to roll on, and it's for everyone.

    Relics of Chogoris
    The Banner of the Eagle; Fleet and Furious Charge aura. Not strong. For the same points, that Standard Bearer model could have a Grav-Gun and Storm Shield.
    The Glaive of Vengeance; Every time your model Charges, he'll be S7, AP2 at-Initiative. This is fairly strong, especially in regards to how it combines with White Scars' natural Hit & Run.
    The Hunter's Eye; The best. The model and any unit he joins gains Ignores Cover. This is the best Divination Power, always. Put The Hunter's Eye in a Command Squad with Grav-Guns and you're set. Always take this Relic.
    Mantle of the Stormseer; Always have a S10, AP1 Barrage Power in your pocket, as well as gaining Adamantium Will. Telekinesis is pretty bad, but not when you automatically get the best Power all the time. The problem with Psychic Maelstrom is that while it is fantastic, it's still WC3. The Mantle probably isn't worth it.
    Scimitar of the Great Khan; Pay the five points and always upgrade to the Glaive. You're paying a lot of points for 2 points of extra WS that you don't even need, and you'll only ever get the extra WS in a Challenge anyway, whenever you're not in a Challenge, you've got a slightly okay version of a Power Sword.
    Wrath of the Heavens; A special Bike that counts as a Jetbike when you Turbo-Boost. I don't know why you'd bother. Use the five points for something else. Like Melta Bombs.

    Scarblade Strike Force: The White Scars' alternative to the Gladius. Re-roll Hit & Run, move a little bit extra when you Turbo-Boost, and whenever you Charge an enemy over 8" away, get better Hammer of Wrath. That last one is kind of annoying. Compared to Orks or Blood Angels, whose Detachments only have to roll over their number, and they get their bonus, even if their target is a 2" auto-Charge. Orks and Blood Angels only have to roll their target number, and they get it. White Scars must Charge an enemy unit 8+" or they get nothing. So, if you deliberately move backwards in your Movement Phase just to grab the 8" range, you can do it. Not that that's a hard endeavor on 2D6 with re-rolls, it's just sucky compared to similar things.
    If you aren't interested in free Transports (because buying 8-11 Razorbacks/Drop Pods sets your wallet aflame), and are actually interested in Bikes and Land Speeders, the Scarblade isn't a terrible idea. But, the simple fact is, the Battle Demi-Company is the best place to start, because that's where your Objective Secured is, and you do actually need it. Kor'sarro can still be your Captain for said Demi-Company, and he can still be your Warlord, giving all your Bikes, Rhinos and Razorbacks in his Detachment (i.e; The Scarblade) Scout. So, you're still playing regular White Scars, just with slightly different toys (i.e; Not with free Transports and with more Bikes).
    In addition, unlike the Gladius, you can also grab the Stormlance, Hunting Force, Stormbringer Squadrons and the Speartip Strike Formations from Kauyon to make the Scarblade, in addition to picking up Formations from the Codex (e.g. Battle Demi-Companies) anyway. If you don't want the Gladius Bonus of free Transports, you still get all the toys from the Codex anyway.

    Raven Guard
    Warlord Traits
    1. Holy crap!!1!! This is potentially one of the best Warlord Traits in the entire game. When your Warlord and/or unit is targeted by a Shooting attack, move D6", which can take you out of range of the attack, gain Stealth against said Shooting attack, and even if you are no longer in range/LoS, the enemy unit can't target a new unit. This is amazing... When it works. The word 'potentially' was used for a reason.
    2. All Raven Guard units may re-roll Charges against a specific unit.
    3. Not even its description makes any sense. Pick a turn. Any turn. It's Night Fight...Then suddenly it's not.
    4. An enemy unit takes a Leadership test (not a Morale check), or they can't fire Overwatch against your Warlord.
    5. End the game manipulation. Not great. Can be good. But you wont know if it's good for another 90+ minutes, and even then, it's still random. Re-roll just to be sure.
    6. Once per game, Run and Charge in the same turn. With Raven Guard, that's a near-guaranteed first-turn Charge.

    Relics of the Ravenspire
    Armour of Shadows; Relic Armour that gives Stealth, and Shroud if you don't move. Really good for Battle Brother-ing into another army.
    Ex Tenebris; 'From Darkness'. Despite it's cool name, it's a Boltgun. Pass.
    Nihilus; You have to pay 10 Points to upgrade your Scout Sergeant into a Veteran Sergeant to begin with, then pay another 15 Points for a Sniper Rifle. It's AP3, so it's not awful, and against Vehicles, it's S6, Armourbane. Not even close to being worth 25 Points in total. Maybe if it was 5 Points, it'd be worth taking.
    The Raven Skull of Korvaad; Crap. When the model dies, friendly Raven Guard within range of the marker gain Hatred and Rage. So, yeah. Get your Warlord killed, and then the Relic gets good. Pass.
    Raven's Fury; Wait, what? Why is it the same points cost as a regular Jump Pack? Whatever. There's no excuse not to take this Jump Pack. Well, unless you want a different Relic from the Codex. The Codex only allows one Relic per model, and then no single model can take a Relic from the Codex and from here. But, it's unclear what happens if you take two Relics, both from outside the Codex where such restriction isn't written (i.e; In Kauyon). Tournament-rulings will eventually make their way into the 'casual' sphere at some point... Point is, there really isn't a reason not to take this Relic because it's the same points cost as the thing that a Raven Guard would want to take anyway. But, even so. Raven's Fury isn't Shield Eternal.
    Swiftstrike and Murder; Not even close to being as good as The Shield Eternal, and you're locked into AP3 attacks. Really bad. Certainly not worth 35 Points. Can I interest you in a Thunder Hammer for less points and better?

    Talon Strike Force: The Raven Guard alternative to the Gladius. Which is fantastic since Raven Guard hate free Transports anyway. Any alternative to the Gladius which doesn't involve en masse Transports is a solid win for the Raven Guard. Anyway, re-roll Mission, re-roll Deployment Zones, re-roll to deploy first. The first two, in tournaments are usually fixed, but re-rolling to go first is still very good. Also, start rolling Reserves on Turn 1, but at a 4+. This is really good, especially if you find a way to jam a Comms Relay into your army somehow (the Talon doesn't have any Fortification slots, unlike Grey Knights who do the same thing). Maybe you just want a poop-ton of Drop Pods to come down on the first turn, ignoring Raven Guard Chapter Tactics? Anyway, first turn Reserves are always good. Then, Raven Guard get to go back to 5th Ed. and choose to fail Morale checks, which is very strong when paired with ATSKNF. But, the simple fact is, the Battle Demi-Company is the best place to start, because that's where your Objective Secured is, and you do actually need it.
    In addition, unlike the Gladius, you can also grab the Pinion Demi-Company, Shadowstrike Kill Team, Raptor Wing, Shadow Force, Bladewing Assault Brotherhood and Ravenhawk Assault Group Formations to form the Talon in addition to picking up Formations from the Codex (e.g. Battle Demi-Companies) anyway. If you don't want the Gladius Bonus of free Transports (Raven Guard definitely don't), you still get all the toys from the Codex anyway.

    Kauyon: Space Marine Formations

    A word on the Battle Demi-Company from the Codex;
    While the Scarblade and Talon Strike Forces are specifically for the White Scars and Raven Guard respectively, the Formations that can be taken within them, are not unique to either Chapter, and can be used with any Chapter Tactics you want. The limiting factor for all of the following Formations is simply that none of them can be used with a Gladius Strike Force, and, if you're playing Space Marines, that's your dominant Formation, or, rather the Battle Demi-Company is simply That Good. The Captain or Chaplain has ObSec, the Command Squad has ObSec, the Dreadnought has ObSec, everything has ObSec. People are enticed by the full Battle Company, and its free Transports, sure. But, even a single Demi-Company should make an appearance in most Space Marine armies, due to the way that the CAD is designed around Space Marines anyway. The only reason to really take a CAD in the Marines book, is if you want Scouts with ObSec.

    Spoiler: Scarblade Formations
    These Formations may be used by any Chapter. The only time they must be White Scars, is when used in the Scarblade Strike Force.

    Stormance Battle Demi-Company: An alternative to the Battle Company. Lose Objective Secured, and gain the ability to be Eldar. That is, you can shoot and Run in the same phase, but only in that order. This is not a good trade. But, the saving grace of the Formation is that any unit in the Formation, can Disembark, Shoot, and Embark again into their Dedicated Transport, taking 'Drive-Bys' to a whole new level, not even Sisters do it this good. But, as the emphasis, each unit, only works with their own Transport. So, you can't disembark and reembark into Land Raiders, and you can't do it with another unit's Transport. Sure, at some point in the game, you can get into any Transport you want, you just wont be able to Do The Thing.
    Is this Demi-Company worth losing Objective Secured? No. Not even a little bit. It's a fun, trick Formation, but it has its limitations.

    Hunting Force: A Bike Demi-Company. This Formation actually isn't even bad. After Deployment, nominate three units in your opponent's army. When attacking each of the nominated units, the Formation gets to re-roll all To Hits and To Wounds - that's better than Preferred Enemy. However, you only get this bonus against one unit at time, and you only get the bonus against the next unit if you have completely destroyed the previous target. In addition, gain Furious Charge against your targets. Also, get extra Hammer of Wrath attacks, because. I guess the biggest drawback to this unit is that if you just take a regular CAD, all of your Bikes would have Objective Secured. Still, it's a solid Formation, especially since unlike the 1st Company Task Force, once the Hunting Force destroys its target, it gets another one, and then another one.
    Due to the poor editing on the Formation, if you're playing White Scars, you can take a Captain and Kor'sarro Khan in the same Demi-Company. That's two Captains leading the same Company!

    Stormbringer Squadron: Scouts and Land Speeders. The Scouts have Objective Secured, but the Land Speeder Storms don't, for some reason. If a Land Speeder Storm is within 6" of a regular Land Speeder from this Formation, the 'Storm gets +1 to Jink, which is bad, because 'Storms should be packing Heavy Flamers, and hate Jinking. In addition, Scouts can Disembark from their 'Storms if it doesn't move more than 12". That's not as big a deal as you'd think. Since a 'Storm is an Open-Topped Transport, the Scouts never need to get out if they don't want to, they've got Boltguns, right? Why would they? But what if you didn't give them Boltguns? 12" move, plus 6" Disembark, and then 2D6" Charge, right? Well, for starters, Infiltrating isn't optional. If you have the rule, you have to Infiltrate, and you can't Charge from Infiltrate. Even then, Scouts aren't even a real Assault unit. Their Melee attacks don't have an AP, they don't have FNP. Because their Land Speeder Storms specifically don't have Objective Secured, but the Scouts do, the only time they'd want to get out, is on the last turn of the game to grab Objectives, which they can actually do.
    At the end of the day, this is a Formation with Objective Secured, which makes it a stronger choice than most for almost any Chapter Tactics - but the Land Speeder is a tax.

    A Battle Demi-Company, and a Stormbringer Squadron, is nearly entirely ObSec, and makes for a great starting point for the Scarblade Formation. Else it's still fine for other Chapters that like having Scouts (e.g; Ultramarines, Imperial Fists), the non-Gladius Demi-Company can still use Tactical Doctrine, they just lose the other Doctrines - and a second use of Tactical - for not being part of a Gladius, which is actually totally fine if you aren't running a full Battle Company.

    Speartip Strike: Land Speeders and Bikes. Each turn, choose one;
    Focussed Suppression; If two units from this Formation shoot at the same unit, that unit automatically takes a Pinning check, at -2 Leadership. You don't even need to remove any models. The unit takes a Pinning check. Even if there are four or more units in the Formation, you can still only target one enemy unit with this ability.
    Harassing Fire; Any unit that takes a Wound from this Formation immediately takes a Leadership test - not a Morale or Pinning check. If a unit fails this Leadership test, they can Go To Ground (i.e; Get Pinned). If they choose not to GTG, they must move as far as possible towards the nearest unit from this Formation. This ability is strong, because unlike the first ability, Harassing Fire affects every unit that gets targeted, while Suppression only affects one unit per turn. But, Harassing Fire only processes if the unit fails the Leadership test. Leadership tests aren't exactly hard to pass - unless you build your list around it. Then, either the unit is Pinned, or must move towards you (i.e; Out of Cover). Unfortunately, the leaving of Cover doesn't happen until your opponent's turn, so you can't pull them out of Cover in your turn and shoot them with another unit. The 'gotch'ya' rule with this ability, is how it effects Fearless units. It's a Leadership check, so, no, they don't automatically pass, and, Fearless units can never Go To Ground, which means that the Fearless unit must choose to be Provoked.
    A reasonable Formation. Not bad. But certainly not great.

    Spoiler: Talon Formations
    These Formations may be used by any Chapter. The only time they must be Raven Guard, is when used in the Talon Strike Force.

    Pinion Battle Demi-Company: A Demi-Company, that must take an Assault Squad and Devastator Squad - so no Centurions, or min-maxing with Attack Bikes - and you also take one or more units of Scouts. At the beginning of your Shooting Phase, pick a unit from the Formation, is the unit within 9" of a Scout Sergeant from this Formation? If yes, gain Ignores Cover. This is quite strong, since Ignores Cover is the meta. Unfortunately, the only unit that can really make use out of this is the Devastator Squad. So, max out those Grav-Cannons. Alternatively, pick up some Flakk Missiles and tell your opponent that his Fliers can't Jink anymore. Alternatively, there's nothing stopping you from a Scout Sergeant spotting for another unit of Scouts, which gives you Sniper Rifles with Ignores Cover. The stupid thing about this is, 'spotting' has no limitations. You don't need LoS, the Scouts don't lose their Shooting Phase, you don't even need to declare a target. Seriously. At the start of your Shooting Phase, are you within 9" of a Scout Sergeant? Gain Ignores Cover for the rest of the Shooting Phase, even if the Scout Sergeant handing out the rule can't even see (i.e; 'Spot') the target that the spotted-for unit will be shooting at. Point is, if you have two Scout units - with Sniper Rifles - within 9" of each other, then both Scout units gain Ignores Cover...If you space it right, you can have an entire wall of Sniper Rifles and Boltguns in the middle of the board (Infiltrate/Scout), all of them opening the game with an Ignores Cover fusillade - talk about surprise attack! Did your opponent start the game with a Flying MC on the ground, ready to Swoop on Turn 1? Sniper Rifles that disallow Jink will punish your opponent for that terrible mistake. Maybe FMCs should wait until Turn 2 to come on the board like the rest of us!
    In addition, Scouts from this Formation can Escort other units from this Formation, making one Reserve roll for two units, providing that one of those units is a Scout unit. In addition, units placed in Reserve this way, gain Outflank, providing that the Scouts also Outflank. This is pretty good for Tactical Squads who like Rhinos. But completely useless for the (better) Tactical Squads that like Drop Pods.
    This Formation is fairly strong, provided that you have a first Battle Demi-Company (with the Objective Secured). But, if you're going to take two Battle Companies, why wouldn't you just go with the Gladius? ...Well, you would. Unless you're Raven Guard, in a Talon Strike Force. Because a Gladius with free Transports is bad. Rolling those Outflanking Reserves from Turn 1. However, the kicker from using the Formation in this way, means that the Scouts you're using in the Pinion, can't be used to make up your mandatory Auxiliary Formation - usually a cheap 10th Company Task Force - so you'll have to use something else.

    Shadowstrike Kill Team: Vanguard Veterans with Jump Packs, and Scouts. Vanguard Veterans can Charge after Deep Striking. If they land within 9" of two Scouts Squads - it doesn't even need to be the Sergeant this time, just any model - it wont Scatter either. No-Scatter then Charge. For most Chapters, this isn't great. Because it wont happen until Turn 2, by which point if you've told your opponent what the Formation does, they will have focused down the Scouts or moved into places that make it unfavourable for the Vanguard to land.
    But, if you're Raven Guard, and specifically in the Talon, you get to make Reserves from Turn 1, remember? Then you can choose to pass your Reserve roll, and first turn Charge immediately. Since you're also Raven Guard, and it is the first turn, you'll have Shrouded against any pesky Interceptor and/or Overwatch attacks. This Formation is real strong when used correctly (i.e; Pretty much only for Raven Guard, and only in the Talon). It's also very important to remember your Combat Squads rule, because you're Space Marines. Unlike other Formations, the Scout Sergeants are irrelevant. If you have 10 models in a Scout unit, that makes 2 Scout units, which is what you need to make the Vanguard Do Their Thing. Also, remember that Vanguard are actually good, and ignore Disordered Charges. Max out your Vanguard, and first-turn multi-Charge your opponent's entire army.

    Bladewing Assault Brotherhood: This Formation has already Comped itself...You can't have more than 30 models in the Formation, which includes the Captain. Once per game the entire Formation can bail out, and gets placed into Ongoing Reserves, even if they're locked in combat at the time, aaand...That's it. This Formation is trash. Any Vanguard you use here, would be better spent in the Shadowstrike Kill Team, and Assault Marines simply aren't that good, and certainly not good enough to justify getting two units of them, especially when the Formation is capped at 30 models. Now, you may be thinking, "This Formation uses Assault Marines, and the Shadowstrike uses Vanguard, why not have both?" Because, simply, Assault Marines just aren't good enough to justify the Formation. The Formation's main bonus is the ability to leave the board. If you play Maelstrom, or tournament-style pseudo-Maelstrom Objectives, this Bladewing's main ability is only a bad thing. ...Just avoid it. If you really, really desperately want Assault Marines, put them in a Demi-Company of some type. Just...This Formation is bad.
    At best, it's a 'free' redeployment for the Formation in the middle of the game in Turns 3-4. Panic Buttons are invented for a reason, I suppose. If this Formation had Objective Secured, it would be stupidly strong. But it doesn't, so it isn't.

    Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force: Not to be confused with the Skyhammer Annihilation Force. Three Tactical Squads in Drop Pods and Land Speeders. At the start of the first turn, put a Marker on the board. Models from this Formation gain Preferred Enemy against all enemy models within 12" of the marker for the rest of the game. Put this on an Objective Marker, or in a terrain bottleneck, or anywhere that your opponent is likely to go. If your opponent puts a model within 12" of that marker, at any time during the game, start Shooting. This Formation makes Tactical Marines not bad at all. While Ultramarines and Imperial Fists probably wont get anything out of it, since they're re-rolling their Boltguns all the time anyway, other Chapters will love this Formation, especially Salamanders, and you can Forge a Narrative so hard with Black Templars. It's also one of the only Formations for Space Marines that makes Land Speeders not terrible. Another - probably unintentional - bonus of this Formation, is that it contains an odd number of Drop Pods, which is perfect design.
    Sadly, the Chapter that hates this Formation most, is Raven Guard, because of the Drop Pods. Unless you're building a Talon, capitalising on the first turn Reserves and spamming Drop Pods, where you automatically get half of them...And then more come in anyway.

    Ravenhawk Assault Group: Like a 1st Company Task Force, but not as good. It's a Stormraven, a single unit of Sternguard and a Dreadnought. Pick a single enemy unit. This Formation gets to re-roll To Hit against that unit. Terrible for Ultramarines and Imperial Fists, barely usable for everyone else. There's probably a Deathwatch Narrative you can Forge with the Formation, but the 1st Company Task Force already does that, but, instead of two more units of Sternguard, the Ravenhawk gets a Stormraven and Dreadnought. Not worth it at all.
    "But what about Raven Guard Talons and first tur-" ...Drop Pods. Just use Drop Pods.

    Raptor Wing: Like a Storm Wing, but cheaper. Two Stormtalons and a unit of Land Speeders, and this Formation automatically comes in on the second turn. ~150 Points less than the Storm Wing, and comes on automatically? Yes please. Every Shooting Phase, one Land Speeder many nominate a target within 18" and LoS, Stormtalons from this Formation can re-roll To Wound, and AP rolls against that unit. This. Is. Amazing. Firstly - and mostly - the 'target' can change every single Shooting Phase, which immediately makes it better than similar Formations (i.e; Ravenhawk Assault Group). Also, due to the wording, even if the Land Speeder that nominated the target dies, the 'target' is still active, you just wont be able to change the target, or get a new one once the target is destroyed. So, yeah. Land Speeders matter now, apparently. Finally. Unfortunately, you can't take this Formation in a Gladius.

    Shadow Force: The units - not models - from Shadow Force Solaq. While you will miss out on the Unique Land Speeder, you gain the ability to not take stupid wargear like Plasma Pistols and Storm Bolters on Sternguard, and if you want to give your entire Vanguard unit Storm Shields, you can! Also, unlike SF Solaq, you're not locked into 5-model squads. Basically, the Shadow Force, is simply Shadow Force Solaq, if Shadow Force Solaq wasn't hamstrung by everything that makes it bad. It's not great, it's not awful. But you probably shouldn't use it all the same.
    Stupidly, the Captain provisions for who may be taken in place of the Captain of the Shadow Force, doesn't include Shadow Captain Solaq. Not that you'd want to take Solaq, over, say, Vulkan He'stan, it's just odd to introduce a new special character and then never allow him to be used.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2015-11-09 at 07:19 AM.
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