Oct 7, 2012

Tactica: Chaos Blitzkrieg

So, when I was looking at the different units in the book this tactic occurred to me. It's based around the change to the Dirge Caster which now prevents enemy units within 6" to fire Overwatch. Since sixth edition people have gone on about how Assault is dead thanks to Overwatch and random charges. So here we have an item to remove one of those issues... Now, since the bikers are also super-cheap for what you get in this codex that will be my assault unit of choice for the purposes of this article. I'll discuss some variations later on.

The obvious choice for which vehicle to stick the Dirge Caster on is the Land Raider. You drive up and unload and they don't get to overwatch. That's pretty limiting though, since you can only move the Land Raider 6" if you want to unload - and you have to get the Land Raider to within 6" of your target as well. Meaning that unless your enemy is moving towards you as well or has deployed too close you can possibly not get your assault off until turn 3. And even so, the Land Raider is really expensive for what it does as well.

What other options do we have that are not made of tin (Rhinos)? Enter Predators. The thinking here is that they're AV13 meaning they can take quite a lot of incoming fire without dying. So you build a wall with 2 or 3 Predators and deploy your assault troops behind them. In turn one you just turboboost everything forward and in turn two you position your Predators so that your target is within 6" preventing overwatch and then assault in with the bikers.

The thing is, even if your Predators die before they get to support your assault troops this most likely means your troops haven't been killed before they get into assault themselves. And if they do survive, which is reasonably likely since you have two of them you won't get shot up. So this is designed to deal with those armies that relies mostly on their large number of shots to deny assaults. And you don't pay a big price for it either, as a naked Predator with a Dirge Caster is 80 points. Now, since you're all ready sacrificing shooting with the Predators you might as well tank shock with them in turn 2 - this lets you control how your enemy stands somewhat. You can try to divide his forces or clump them up in the middle. Even against Fearless mobs like Orks, this is nice as you get some control over what will strike back. And since you're all ready going to Tank Shock, you might want to consider adding the Destroyer Blades for an additional 15 points to cause some damage before your assault hits. The thing that's really good with the Tank Shock though, is that it makes sure your Dirge Casters are in range. For some additional durability you might want to consider Daemonic Possession as well, since you're not going to shoot much anyway. But that's almost a bit too expensive.

Now, I wrote that Bikes would be my choice of assault troops. Why? They're probably one of the most cost efficient assault units in the game now. With Mark of Khorne and Icon of Wrath they dish out the same amount of S5 attacks on the charge as Berzerkers for pretty much the same points. And on top of that you get Hammer of Wrath, T5 and bike movement as well as Twin-Linked Bolters and the chance to take special weapons. Totally worth it in my book. You can also do the same with Raptors, for slightly cheaper but not quite the same benefits (no T5 or TL-Bolters).

For some extra support you can then also add a unit of Warp Talons that will Deep Strike behind your target. This is completely optional though. As they can make a unit Blind on the turn they arrive you hope they will arrive in Turn 2, making your target blinded when your assault hits. They get no overwatch, you hit him first and on 3:s and what he has to hit you back with hits on 5:s. I don't think there are many units that can stand up to this onslaught. This is random though, since your Warp Talons might not show up on turn 2, that's not too bad though. If they turn up later you should send them at some Devastators or Lootas or something like that.

So, I would take at least two squads of Bikes and two Predators with Destroyer Blades. That's a total of 710 points (or 750 if you want Meltas on the Bikes as well). Meaning you have plenty of points to spend on scoring units, anti-flyers and HQ. I would definitely consider getting a Lord on a Bike or Daemonic Steed to lead one of the units of Bikers and add some AP2 punch perhaps or support them in some other way where they're lacking a bit. A Sorcerer that can cast additional debuffs (Gift of Contagion or Symphony of Pain perhaps?) might also be useful.

Now, this does put some strain on your Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices, as it's two from each. This is why you might want to consider mixing it up a little bit to free up some slots. You could for example replace one of the Predators with a Land Raider taken as Dedicated Transport for some Assault Terminators. Or you could replace one of the Bike squads with Berzerkers in a Rhino, this does delay your assault a bit though, since you have to turbo-boost in turn 1, move 6" then get out and then assault in turn 3. This might not be a problem though, since it means you get a 1-2-punch - especially if you have Warp Talons arriving turn 2 they can team up with the Berzerkers. You might also give the Rhino a Dirge Caster as well, since it might actually survive since it's coming in behind the Predators - and this way you might get another Dirge Caster to disturb your opponent with in later turns as well.

It's obviously just a concept, and I haven't tried it. But I do believe you can overwhelm someone pretty badly with this, especially since it's not terribly expensive. Just make sure you spend the rest of your points on the areas where you're lacking.

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