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First of all, i am aware that Rough Riders aren't the most competitive choice and the GW models look terrible, but i intend on including them in an army that is a little bit different for more friendly games. I will be getting the Tallarn Rough Riders available from Forge World, they don't look too bad and are riding dinosaur-thingies!
Anyway, what i'd like to know from the LO community is how you use your Rough Riders (if at all). What unit size do you think is most efficient? How do you use them in conjunction with the rest of your army? What loadout do you like to use, 2 Meltaguns or nothing to keep them cheap, etc?
Please, discuss, i have never used Riders before so am interested in what others have to say.
if you want to throw cash out of the window, i'll give you my paypal via pm XD
seriously, i have never used them neither saw 'em used, moreover they stats aren't that appealing (like the 1 shot lance? :/ )
lol, luckily i have plenty of cash to throw away, being an employed student. I do agree though, on paper they look ridiculously bad, like not playtested/GW is retarded bad... . I do have a question though, in their profile it states they are equipped with a Laspistol OR a close-combat weapon. Now, RAW would suggest they don't have both, not granting a +1 attack (after hunting lances have been used of course, if they get that far). Its quite odd it is written like this though, as it seems we can choose to have them equipped with either a laspistol or a close-combat weapon. I dunno about other people, but i'd defo want mine to have a laspistol, as it IS a CCW that can shoot up to 12" away no?
They aren't ridiculously bad at all. I think they are actually pretty cheap (points wise). Sadly for your wallet I think you should take the maximum unit size.
I've got a fluff list I've played a few times now. It has no special characters and takes units I don't normally use, blob squads, there's a priest in there, the master of ordinance, 10 man stormtrooper squad and 10 snipers. I also take a unit of 9 Rough Riders.
I use them in reserve. What they do is assist with my counter-charge once enemy troops get close to my line. They're really good on the charge. 19 power weapon hits at S5 I5 is nothing to sneeze at.
The problem is keeping them alive long enough to use it, hence keeping them in reserve. They trot on my table edge and then run up to 6 inches. If I place them well they can reach almost any point on my side of the board thanks to fleet and the 12 inch cavalry charge.
Yes they are basically a one-shot unit. But so what? They'll kill most stuff pretty dead before it gets to swing unless it has a beefy invulnerable save.
What I really like about them is, due to them being in reserve, it makes my infantry's positions a potential threat zone for the cav. The guard don't have many good CC options and people generally think "oh if I can get in close I will win". That's not the case with Rough Riders. If you're anything short of initiative 6 or a storm shielded marine then they'll beat you up and take your lunch money. For what, 105 points you get 10 rough riders that can nuke most CC units without them even getting to swing back, and beat them in close combat of all things! I think they're awesome!
BUT - do proxy them first. Get a feel for the unit and work out how many you want. As much as I like them I hardly ever use them so when I do I proxy wood elf glade riders(!)
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What Korona said. Put them in reserve and smack anything within 19-24" of your table edge when they come on. Of course, this works better if you have a defensive gunline sort of list.
Go above about 1250 points though, and the threats they need to kill get too big/nasty for them to do much against. 5-man Terminator squads can be taken down reliably, but not 10-man units. Thunderwolf Cav? Forget it.
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If I do decide to take them I just take the bog standard 55pt 5 Riders including sergeant for 11 power weapon attacks at strength and initiative 5. A great counter charge unit, they can clear smaller units near your lines effectively. Handy for killing those stealth suits, small termie or tactical SM squads, can kill a deep striking dread etc, or charge in and clean up a tied combat, freeing up your other units from taking more losses and keeping them on the borad. I also use them as decoy unit, drawing the fire and at 55pts, I don't cry when they die. They can also be used to split your enemy's forces as they head towards you, coming up their flank and forcing a unit to break off.
No I would never consider them competitive, but more often than not they have claimed more than their points worth and done what I wanted them to do. Plus they're great fun. I found I needed a few uses before I got the hang of how to use them (us guard players aren't used to playing with fast assault beasts).
I have never tried it but I recon they might be effective with a couple of melta guns to harass the enemy for use after their lances break, you'd probably want a full squad if you adopt this tactic to keep them alive a bit longer. You could pop them off at MC's before you charge to good effect I recon. Again going up the side of the table using cover towards enemy armor in their backfield will force them to send a unit to deal with them. Or, depending on the unit, a forced move of the armor resulting in 1 less pie plate on your lines next turn.
If used with Creed they can be given the scouts special rule.....I'm sure you can see the benefits of them outflanking with those MGs and maybe the sergeant with Melta bombs.
The benefits of adding Mogul Kamir gives the unit furious charge, fearless and he alone gets D3 extra attacks instead of +1. The downside for me is that he gives them rage special rule. This adds another dimension to them not to your benefit, this unit is so fragile that you need to use you skill in movement to keep them alive and deliver their punch. And for his extra points its not really worth taking him unless you want to for fluff reasons, because when you do get into that first combat, he gives 12-22 Strength and Initiative 6 power weapons! I also would feel uneasy taking him + a full unit for 140pts, I can think of better ways of spending this.
I converted a bunch out of brettonians. Slapped a few spare laspistols (or is it lasguns? No mater) on them, bobs your uncle. There you go, much cheapo roughriders that look half decent.
Thanks for the replies so far, the consensus seems to be to keep them as cheap as possible, which is understandable. For a 500 point list, i was thinking of taking a fairly standard CCS, Platoon + Veteran gunline w/ a unit of 5 Rough Riders and possibly some ordnance, most likely a Griffon. Does this sound workable? I was thinking for 500 points a unit larger than 5 would start to become counter-productive. I would mainly use them as koolgit and Korona have suggested, a counter-charge unit.
Yea I would take the basic 55pt unit for 500pts. This makes up 10% of your army, any more and I feel you would be wasting vital points on a unit that in my experience has ended 70% of games dead.