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  1. #1
    Senior Member Blackadder's Avatar
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    Drop Pod Assault Lists - How viable are they?

    As title really - How viable do you find all drop pod lists to be? I just find the idea of dropping down from orbit to destroy the enemies of the Imperium very cool - but have never made a list based on it for fear that it just wouldn't work.

    Also, which units are best used in Drop Pod assault lists?

    I may as well ask too, which chapters do you think would do it most often, and even if it's not the ones I'm thinking of (Ultras/fists/ultras & fists working together on the same mission) would other chapters make use of it.

    Cheers.


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  3. #2
    Double Clutching Weasel Klajorne's Avatar
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    The main thing I hear about a drop pod list is that it's a one-trick pony. If your opponent has never faced such a list, you can really throw them for a loop and put a damper on their day. Getting in their face right off the bat lets you get that alpha strike that starts the whole battle on your turn.

    Unfortunately, once you land, you're just another foot-slogging army and you still have half your models in reserve and are not sure when they're coming in. And if your opponent has faced a drop pod army before, all he has to do is start off the game with all his units in reserve, and suddenly you have an alpha strike army with nothing to alpha strike against (ie: it's real easy to counter your primary tactic).

    Which is not to say that it's an invalid army build, it just tends to be either really strong (if your opponent has never faced a drop pod theme before) or a little hard (if your opponent knows how to counter you).

    Generally, though, I like the MotF/Dreadnought drop pod lists, if only because you can then add some shooty to your list, and in a worst case situation, you can properly position your dreads for the optimum use of their dakka. Other units that go well in drop pods beyond dreadnoughts (of all flavours) are sternguard with h.flamers & combi-weapons.

    Beyond that, though, I'm usually of the mind that if you're running drop pods, either run 3 (2 suicide dread/stern and 1 tac squad) or run your whole list around them.

    For specific chapter examples... well, I think it's pretty safe to assume that everybody uses drop pods fairly often. It's about as commonly used by marines as power armour. Shy of some chapters that use alternative methods (jump packs for blood angels, raven guard infiltration, etc), every chapter would have a solid stock of drop pods to get them into the fray quickly.

  4. #3
    EWOP adamwelton's Avatar
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    SM Drop armies are dynamite in my experience. I've been on the receiving end of a mate's Vulkan Melta drop list that wasted a third of my army by shooting on arrival, then next turn melta-shot and assaulted me, tabling me by turn three. I had nothing but Guard infantry and wiped a couple of squads out but his firepower was overwhelming and would have done well against hordes and weak infantry lists like Eldar. I think he came unstuck against 3+ save armies where they could withstand his massed shooting then his assault, mobbing him back next turn. Another example is a current Space Wolves army owned by a good mate who takes it to tourneys and cleans up ninety percent of the time (unless his dice fail him) by a layered deployment of six small but nightmarishly hard assault squads covered by drop Dreads. You shoot the dreads-the squads get you. Shoot the squads-the dreads get you. Mental. He can put some evil firepower and assault capability anywhere he likes, and there's nothing you can do about it.

    Both shooting and assault drop lists work well if you equip the units correctly and have a plan for when you put them in. An uncoordinated drop with squads doing a muddle of everything doesn't work at all. On the other hand, Terminators Deep Strike as do Landspeeders and Assault squads, so they're something else to consider (they are fairly inaccurate mind you-and if you use Scouts to call them in the Scouts often get cleaned up before the rest turns up, then you've had it). Drop lists are very fluffy for SM players and are also well respected and often feared, but they are easy to cock up, as many single-minded Marine players find. They assume that SM are godlike and will do everything they're put to, but that's not true so you will have to work hard to get it right. Once you succeed however the list pays dividends. Even experienced players can come unstuck against them because they're never sure what you're going to be dropping or where.
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    LO Zealot watchwood's Avatar
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    It depends on if Forgeworld items are allowed. If they are, then Lucius and Deathstorm pods mixed into the normal list make for an army that's actually pretty good.

    If not, it's too easily countered by basic deployment tactics.

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    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    How viable do you find all drop pod lists to be?
    My own Pod army can hold its own against all comers, with the one exception of Tyranid Godzilla lists. I don't use any Forge World stuff, either. It does take a lot of skill, though; you have to know what your men can do and adapt your tactics on the fly.

    if your opponent has faced a drop pod army before, all he has to do is start off the game with all his units in reserve, and suddenly you have an alpha strike army with nothing to alpha strike against
    An example. I would counter this by infiltrating my beacon-Scouts onto his home objective, placing my 2-3 Pods in a solid wall and then deploying the passengers on my side of the wall. Now, the enemy must spend the rest of the game shifting my forward base off his doorstep! He won't get that objective until even the empty Pods are dead.

    which units are best used in Drop Pod assault lists?
    You'll be using Dreadnoughts, Scouts and other Troop units almost exclusively. The more Pods you bring, the more options you have, so there's a strong disincentive to anything else. (A small fire support element of shooty Terminators, Devastators, Speeders or such is about the limit.) My typical 1500 list has four Pods; a 2000 list might have seven.

    I recommend using the Blood Angels Codex for several reasons:

    - Assault squads in Pods are near-perfect Pod troops.
    - Death Company. They're excellent first-wave fodder. Using Pods negates Rage's movement penalty.
    - Descent of Angels. Though Pods cannot use it, other jump infantry (like Vanguard) can land nearby without beacons.
    - Large selection of Dreadnoughts. Librarians moving as jump infantry is remarkably useful.
    - Dreadnoughts are spread throughout the Org chart with no need for an unlocking character.
    - Red Thirst is a free (if unreliable) leadership buff. I lose games when Pod infantry break & run.


    Reasons for vanilla Codex:

    - Vulkan, Lysander and Shrike have good synergy.
    - Options for Sternguard and bikers as troops.
    - Ironclad is better than Furioso.
    Last edited by Intrepid; January 24th, 2012 at 02:16.
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    Son of LO Polaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    My own Pod army can hold its own against all comers, with the one exception of Tyranid Godzilla lists. I don't use any Forge World stuff, either. It does take a lot of skill, though; you have to know what your men can do and adapt your tactics on the fly. An example. I would counter this by infiltrating my beacon-Scouts onto his home objective, placing my 2-3 Pods in a solid wall and then deploying the passengers on my side of the wall. Now, the enemy must spend the rest of the game shifting my forward base off his doorstep! He won't get that objective until even the empty Pods are dead.
    In my experience the biggest weakness of Drop Pod lists is that the advantage you get from Deep Striking your pods is easily countered by any mechanized enemy by them deploying nothing and simply arriving from reserve.
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    Senior Member Blackadder's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone They've been very helpful - I'll be using the Vanilla Marine list initially (might give Blood Angels a whirl, but I really don't want to because it will mean a massive climb down for me against my friend who plays Blood Angels and who I mock because I find them very effeminate haha - plus I don't like the fluff anyway, put simply saving face trumps practicality!)

    I do have another question, regarding the Drop Pod Assault Rule - you have to deploy HALF your drop pods Turn 1 correct? But what if I want to deploy more than that? Am I able to?

    Cheers.

  9. #8
    LO Zealot Col. Dracus's Avatar
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    You have to deploy half your pods (rounding up) turn 1, and the reset are held in reserve. If you want more stuff on the table turn 1 you can deploy the units that would normally be in a Pod on the table (if the deployment allows) and drop the pod later in the game empty. So if you wanted you could have your entire army on the table turn 1 except for half your pods (that are empty).

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    LO Zealot watchwood's Avatar
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    The other down side is anti-deepstriking options. Grey Knight Strike Squads with Warp Quake can do terrible things to any deep strikers that try to land within 24" of them, if memory serves.

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    Senior Member Blackadder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Dracus View Post
    You have to deploy half your pods (rounding up) turn 1, and the reset are held in reserve. If you want more stuff on the table turn 1 you can deploy the units that would normally be in a Pod on the table (if the deployment allows) and drop the pod later in the game empty. So if you wanted you could have your entire army on the table turn 1 except for half your pods (that are empty).
    Hmmm, that does complicate things, but surely if I wanted to (say I have 3 pod units and the rest are deep-strikers) I could drop the 3 of my pods in on turn 1, and then bring the rest in as reserves?/Deep-strike?

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