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I’ve been wanting to get my guard army back on the board for the last 3 months, originally it was a very balanced list relying on drop troops doctrine to claim objectives. Now it seems the only way for a guard army to be competitive is to be all mech.
At first I thought the ‘it’s cold outside’ mech setup (vets never get out the chimera) was excellent but one thing is seriously bugging me and that’s the chimera.
It can be harmed by anything with at least strength 4 in combat, hitting on 4s as you can’t move 12 without sacrificing the vet squad’s shooting phase and you need to get within 12 of the enemy to do any real damage in the first place.
And to make matters worst if your opponents stuns the chimera it will suffer automatic hits the next turn which will do even more damage. The extra armour is just too expensive.
So can someone please tell me the benefits of a veteran mech army and how you deal with this huge akeley's heel? As well as how tips and tactics about how to play such an army?
I've played a Gunline army for years (alright maybe 16) and while i find them alot easier to use I aslo find them incredibly boring.
Sure enemies of Str4 can hurt you in combat. Try and stay out of Charge range if you can is the obvious retort to that but there are other deterants. Units such as the PCS or a Vet Squad armed with 4 or 3 Flamers respectively can deter assalters such as Orks or nids. If Marines Assault my Mech lists and stun the Chimera, My Veterans get out and Flame them or throw a Democharge in their Face.
Look on the Bright side. If they have only stunned your vehicle they havent killed it which means your guys are alive for another turn at least. All this while his unit is now lined up against your vehicle in a firing line set up.
Think of this this way. If your opponent runs up and smacks your Chimera (why did you let him get that close?) then your little guys will spill out. Meaning that the initiative is yours. You can now counter-assault or rapid fire at him because he wasted his turn getting you out of your transport.
If it was only Crew Stunned or something, you can always go back in afterwards.
You should also always have a hull Heavy Flamer on it to deter any horde armies getting too close. But at the end of the day, you need to see the Chimera for what it really is. Just one more layer of protection for your men. It will get destroyed, immobilised and stunned, of course it will. But one turn your enemy spends doing that, is one turn he spends not shooting at something more important. Like your troops, tanks or valkyries.
Use your Chimeras to deny him targets. Tank Shocking works well to push him away from stunned vehicles, you can also "box him in" using vehicles. Use terrain features to your advantage and you can effectively herd him around by blocking certain avenues of movement. Use wrecked or immobilised vehicles as cover for your men and to halt his advance.
This will cause a problem for him: does he destroy the vehicle blocking his path or pursue other tactical goals? Ultimately, either path buys you more time. Not to mention if the vehicle is Wrecked, he can't remove it.
Pull this off right and you can almost dictate your opponent's movement to him, giving you more control of the game.
This is why mechanised armies are so effective, not because it offers you better protection.
I played Mech Grenadiers back in 4th ed very competitivly, but Mech is that much better now.
1> New damage tables make killing vehicles that much harder.
2> Chimeras, while less effective at long range shooting, became a lot cheaper and one of the best transports in the game for the points.
3> We now have Valks/Vendettas! Why not take these uber effective and inexpensive transports?
4> We have some new tanks and tank rules. Gone are sponsons, but you can move and shoot one hull weapon with your battle cannon. Now Hellhounds and their variants are Fast vehicles, oh ya!!!!
5> Mech lets you take the fight to enemy instead of waiting for him to take it to you.
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchil
And remember chimeras have AV12 on the front. I find this a huge advantage as you need at least strength 7 to kill it. Most weapons that are cheaply spammed or have lots of shots are less than this, and this means the enemy has to use dedicated antitank units against them. In my experience AV11 dies alot faster than AV12.
I think it is also worth noting that Meching up also protects you from psychic powers, and from being assaulted by hordes.
Ravendove also hits on an important concept: it gives you two armies on the table in a way. Your enemy has to kill the mechanized army to get to be able to TRY and kill the infantry army inside the transports, while the guys that are getting out of their wrecked transports get a round of shooting at the guys who just killed their ride.
Mech lets you take long range potshots at things while advancing, and greatly increases the survivability of your troops as they move into position to make their shots count. mobility gives you more exacting choices for shot placement, and for denying shots from your enemy.
check out Farmpunk's blog:
the Back 40k
A very strong tactic is to place 4-5 ML/HF chimeras side by side in a line, and then cap both of the ends off with a Battle Tank or Demolisher. This way, if the enemy shoots at you, they have to deal with nothing less than AV12 as you advance (all of the AV10 side armors are covered). If they try to charge you, they are running headlong into a lot of fiery death as well as any weapons the squads inside might have.
I WANNA GET STUCK IN WIT DA BOYZ
What about weapons? I originally was going for mass meltaguns but they seem very risky as I need to get within 12 of the enemy to shoot them but risk being charged in turn?
Meltaguns are popular because of the versatility and tank-busting ability. I tend to use 2-3 squads and I usually take 1 squad of plasma veterans such in case something needs a high-AP rapid-firing.
Other than those two, grenade launchers maybe? Really my favorite two are melta and plasma (maybe only 1 plasma squad per list)
Really I've found the benefits out way the risks with melta. So what if you lose a chimera? The squad can still move around and kill things and if you take multiples, well, no real loss.