Making a Catachan Army Fluffy and (Semi-)Competitive? - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
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    Making a Catachan Army Fluffy and (Semi-)Competitive?

    Hey everyone,

    I realized the other day that I have literally *never* seen a Catachan army in person... ever!! I've been to a fair amount of FLGS tourneys and I read up battle reports and tournament reports online, but all I've ever seen are Cadian models, Armageddon Steel Legion, Elysians, etc. etc. I found this fairly surprising considering there is a whole range of Catachan models and GW seems to think that Catachans are worthy of being a major IG force! Personally, I love their lore and think the models look great, but when I started playing IG I decided to purchase Cadian models at the time (they look more "official" like a real standing army). However, about a year ago I bought a box of 10 Catachan Guardsmen that has been collecting dust with the thought that some day I would turn them into Veteran Squads for my Cadian army. This got me thinking... is it possible to make a fluffy, yet somewhat competitive Catachan list for 1,500 points and under?

    I came up with a couple restrictions/guidelines based on previous codexes and a few personal preferences:
    1. No lascannons, unless mounted on vehicles (4th edition doctrine rules)
    2. No flying vehicles (bye bye Vendettas/Valks!)
    3. I *will* allow mechanized vehicles besides just Sentinels. I know prior lore has somewhat discouraged treadhead mentality with Catachans, but I think it is totally fine considering Catachans can be deployed in large war zones as well. As part of a compromise on this position, the vehicles have to be painted in camoflauge and be short-ranged threats (think close-ranged jungle fighting, which would include Hellhounds, Sentinels, Leman Russ Demolishers).
    4. Wherever possible, add in flamers and/or mortars! (typical Catachan weapons)
    5. I'm open to the possibility of allowing Chimelta squads in a Catachan army, which of course greatly increases this idea's competitive potential.

    I'm curious to hear what other restrictions or guidelines people have, and then based on these restrictions/guidelines what kinds of lists they could come up with. For 1,000 points, I'd envision something like a CCS in a Chimera, a Chimelta squad, 1-2 PCS Chimelta/Chiflamer squads, 1-2 Infantry Platoons (possibly with Mortars or Heavy Bolters, even though they suck), 1 SWS with flamers and/or Demo Charge, outflanking Sentinels, a Veteran Squad with Gunnery Sergeant Harker, and a Leman Russ Demolisher (just because I refuse to ever run a list without a Demolisher, which is the coolest vehicle ever). Okay, so that's a lot of stuff in there, but you get the point.


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  3. #2
    LO Zealot Korona's Avatar
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    My approach to Catachans was to combo Straken and Chenkov to allow you to take multiple small squads of guardsmen and still have them do pretty good in close combat (without breaking the bank on commissars) thanks to stubborn from Chenkov and counterattack/furious charge from Straken.

    With tanks, my feeling is if you're taking 2-3 you may as well take none since most armies have enough AT to deal with full mech lists. Such small numbers will be shredded in just a turn or two and their effectiveness is basically nil.

    Having said that, outflanking scout sentinels is pretty nice, 3x blocks of 3 with some searchlights would be a good option. That would let you illuminate Necrons hanging out in the backfield if you have to fight those guys. You'd need an astropath for that though because regular outflanking is too unreliable but it gives you speed (or pseudo-speed) so that you can get into the backfield despite having foot troops.

    The main force would be a mix of infantry and veteran squads. You can take as many flamers as you want but I'd also advocate meltas. Heavy weapon teams with autocannons (and maybe missile launchers if you must) can hang out in the back field to give you fire support.

    Harker plus vets with 3x GLs can work well in this list, floating about in the midfield in cover giving you a great harrassment option.

    Other vet squads with meltas, shotguns and a power fist give you great anti-MEQ capabilities.

    Obviously, Marbo is a must-take.
    Debatably you could take some penal legion but TBH the real strength of the list is massed gunfire.

    Although it's tempting to take all vets and penal legion the regular infantry squads give you the ability to mob-up for killpoint games or if you're facing Stormlord Necrons where multiple small units is more undesirable.



    Overall it'd play a bit like regular blob guard with two important improvements:

    Multiple small squads is much more flexible, you can send out a screen, sacrificing one or two squads to absorb the enemy charge before counter-charging with the rest of your guys (plus Straken).
    Secondly it's much more aggressive. You want to be pushing forwards and trying to engage the enemy. If you're facing blood angels or something then fine, let them run at you, but if it's a more balanced/shooty army you can happily walk your guys up and beat it around the chops.
    Straken with bodyguards and a medic is a complete terror. Giving him a company banner and keeping your men within 12 inches of him and Chenkov will make them equivalent to having commissars but without the summary executions.
    Last edited by Korona; March 7th, 2012 at 17:15.
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    i'd advise you to not remove the heavy tanks from your list. 3 av14 are a serious threat to any opponent!
    I don't use Vendettas or Valks...if Guardsmen were meant to fly, the Emperor would have given them wings. (343rd Mordian)
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    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    Why prohibit skimmers? VTOL aircraft are incredibly useful in jungle environments. It would make more sense to ban Chimeras; there's no way Catachans would field a mechanized formation aside from air cavalry.

    I agree with Korona: use Straken as a base for your army. In fact, the two rules "Bring Straken" and "No Chimeras" is pretty much all one needs to do for a fluffy Catachan list. Additional handicaps would only crush its competitiveness.
    "My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard

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    LO Zealot Korona's Avatar
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    I keep meaning to test the concept out. I'd do it this week if I had suitable proxies for the scout sentinels but I only have 3 and I think you'd need all 9.

    From the fluff angle, I think Vietnam is really the place to go for inspiration but there are two ways to do it.
    One would be to copy the US forces. Heavy air cav but also tanks and some other heavy equipment for fighting on the plains and in the cities.
    The other approach is more of a Vietcong style. Not so much the real Vietcong but the idealised version of the A-symmetric jungle fighters. Basically an army of Rambos. I can think of reasons why either would make sense. It's all about which appeals to you more I guess. Personally I think the most distinctive would be the 100% foot list with light weapons and sappers.

    In my head it works but without playtesting it's hard to really know for sure. It probably comes down to cover. On a dense board that slows down enemy movement you can abuse positioning more easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    Why prohibit skimmers? VTOL aircraft are incredibly useful in jungle environments. It would make more sense to ban Chimeras; there's no way Catachans would field a mechanized formation aside from air cavalry.

    I agree with Korona: use Straken as a base for your army. In fact, the two rules "Bring Straken" and "No Chimeras" is pretty much all one needs to do for a fluffy Catachan list. Additional handicaps would only crush its competitiveness.
    I guess it depends on your concept of what a Catachan army truly "is" or how it should operate! My initial impression was dense jungle, meaning that air extraction would be somewhat impractical...but I suppose by that token I'm defeating my own notion of having treaded vehicles like Chimeras roaming the jungle since the foliage is so thick. Sentinels, flamers, and meltas all sound good.

    Regarding Straken/other special characters: I am totally down with Straken, however, my only concern is that it may be difficult to fit him in in smaller point missions (I had originally indicated 1,500 points or less). I've heard of successful Ard Boyz lists (or any list from 2,000 to 2,500 points really) rocking Straken to great effect, and even as a Catachan he stands out as being utterly awesome - I just don't know whether he would fit in a 750, 1,000, 1,250, or 1,500 point list! On the other hand, I think Marbo and Harker would be great for smaller games; Harker in particular intrigues me because for 155 points (the same points as a Chimelta Squad), you can get a Veterans squad with 3 Meltaguns, Infiltrate, Move through Cover, and Stealth. Plus you get a FNP special character with Relentless and a Heavy Bolter! It's not *better* that a Chimelta squad by any means, but it seems like you can have the Catachan-fluffy equivalent of a Chimelta squad with Harker

    An all-infantry (plus Sentinels) list does sound very intriguing and worthy of a playtest. I agree on the above-point about having an Infantry blob squad firebase with Autocannons - in the first two tournaments I ever played in (and won both!) they were by far and away the MVPs. When I get time I'll cobble together a list with 1-2 Blob squads, Sentinels, a few SWSs, a few HWSs, a Harker squad, Marbo, and see how it turns out in a game

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korona View Post
    I keep meaning to test the concept out. I'd do it this week if I had suitable proxies for the scout sentinels but I only have 3 and I think you'd need all 9.

    In my head it works but without playtesting it's hard to really know for sure. It probably comes down to cover. On a dense board that slows down enemy movement you can abuse positioning more easily.
    I'm curious to hear how your playtesting goes, Korona.

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    LO Zealot Korona's Avatar
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    In Vietnam they used daisy cutters to enable air-cav to operate even in dense jungle:
    DAISY CUTTER -- EXTERMINATION ON THE MOVE - YouTube

    The thing with the infantry list that makes it special is the addition of Chenkov to gain that 12 inch stubborn bubble. That plus a regimental standard gives you the benefits of a blob squad + commissar without the downsides of a giant squad. You should be able to squeeze a lot more efficiency out of multiple small squads to compensate for the addition of expensive characters at the lower points level.
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    I'm going to hang on for this as well. I've a bucket of Cats in two companies of CHQ/4 x melta and three platoons PHQ/4 x melta and 2 squad each with flamer. I mob up the squads in KP games and screen my HQ meltas' advance-to-contact. Three Basilisks fire the whole lot in from a corner. It's all rather silly but it's a cut-price throwback to a really good fourth ed list and I've been desperate to improve on it without spending another £120 on Sentinels. It does actually work-the enemy is forced to rush me to stop the pie-plate madness coming their way, right into my massed shooting dice. I can afford to throw a few speedbump squads away, but I usually fall down against well balanced Marines or Sisters with massed flamers. Nobody really seems to know what to do against this sort of list as theirs usually isn't tailored to getting repeatedly shot at every turn; assault-or-die stuff wins.

    I'll be watching to see if and how I can improve on the weaknesses in my list.
    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

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    My Imperial Guard started in 3rd Ed. with Catachans and I haven't changed it since

    Using the old codex (3rd Ed Catachans codex not the 4th ed doctrine heavy IG dex) as a basis for the fluff I use the new codex to create the deathworld veterans army

    First up every unit of Troops is a veteran squad, NO TANKS ALLOWED except Sentinels with flamers, I do take lascannons though as you can buy catachan heavy weapons teams with them and the old dex is lacking big AT guns. No commisars either, besides that Marbo is a must just cause I like hime and alot of flamers

    It works well againt Infantry armies when using cover before assaults but I get shrerdded by Tau and some well focused firepower from marines can send me runnin but I also don't use Straken.... yet.

    Anyways if you go by deathworlds armies its basically like this:
    1- All veterans wherever you can get them
    2- No tanks only sentinels
    3- No lascannons
    4- Definately no Commisars (They "Go Missing" on Catachan)
    5- Flamers and Mortars everywhere
    6- Abhumans are A-O-K by Catachans standards, if you wanna take Ogryns and Ratlings go for it (I personally use either a 10 man squad or 2 ten man squads of ratlings snipers, especially against Eldar)
    I have heard oof Stormtroopers (or Kasrkins) being trained on Deathworlds so their always fun to throw in there if you want them

    well thats my 2 cents anyway

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