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I'm working on my IG army, and thinking of adding Rough Riders as a doctrine, for some (albeit limited) HtH ability in an otherwise shooty army. Not really for any offensive capability, but hopefully something to stave off the disintegration of an army as the enemy's assault units slam home. I realize conscripts would probably do a better job of this, but yikes, the thought of putting together a potential 50-man unit of conscripts makes my head dizzy. Any thoughts or ideas?
If you do a search on this you will find pleanty of info on Rough Riders. I personally quite like them but never found them to be anything special on the table.
Get a large squad, kit them out with hunting lances, carapace armour and a Heroic Senior Officer and it's probibly the best CC element available to guard... but it is very much a one-shot weapon. After the hunting lances are used they are unfortunatley pretty pathetic. So a bad opening charge, or being charged by another unit can make them a collosal waste of points very quickly.
The other problem is that in order for them to have been worth their points, there has to be a unit on the board of equal or greater points for them to charge, and I didn't find that a particularly common occurance. When I had them they would end up charging a tactical squad or a devestator squad often worth less than them, and then hiding near an objective for the rest of the game :p
Try them out and see how they work for you, I know a lot of people swear by them.
I'm not sure how you can consider Rough Riders to be expensive. An 8 man squad with Lances and a veteran sergeant only comes to 94 points and will strike before Marines when they charge. Even the cheap Las/Plas 6-man marine squad is more expensive than this and most Space Marine HQs regularly run into the 120+ range.
Edit: Not to mention that with a 6" move, D6" fleet, and 12" charge, they can safely guarantee getting the charge against even most armies dedicated assault troops, who typically only have a 12" move and 6" assault.
RR work fine against hard expensive targets as terminators, crisis suits, carnifexes, ork warbosses, assault marine squads. Against low cost swarms, as orks or gaunts, better to use the conscripts.
Anyway never send the RR against something with better I than them, or their precious lance attacks will get wasted.
Usually i get one squad of them with vet serg. and put it in the center, with their total movement range they cover almost all of my deployment zone and act as an insurance against deep strikes and infiltrators.
Example: terminators deep strike and waste my basilisk, next turn RRs waste terminators and should bring back their points cost. Against Tau the danger comes from lone crisis suits, so i reduce the squad to keep the cost proportionate to the target's value.
You're probably right MechCommander, cheaper units are definatley effective, but the cheaper squads tend to have absolutely no sticking power, so if they fail to wipe out a squad (which is still pretty likely scoring an average of 6 kills on a marine squad) they aren't going to stay around to finish them off.
The squad can be made quite a bit more effective by giving them the sergeant with Hornifica and a Power Weapon and giving the whole squad carapace, + I tend to take 10-man squads so my squads tend to end up 72pts more expensive.
It's a good loadout but it puts them at slightly more expensive than your average tactical squad. If you can load them out effectively for around 100 then that would probably be a better way to go, but obviously the loss of carapace and a good character means they loose all staying power they ever had and truly become a one-shot weapon.
If you are happy to field a hit and miss unit like that then it's fine, its slightly more expensive but probably more effective plasma/melta suicide squad and uses a fast attack choice.
Im currently converting up a squad of them with the following in mind;
I have a main phalanx, which includes two infantry platoons, and some heavy weapons, i want to keep my RR close to the phalanx, and hang back a bit. If the phalanx is assaulted, i will bring them around the sides, and use them as counter-assault troops. I dont know how effective it is going to be, but im sure it will be fairly good.
"In dedicato imperatum ultra articulo mortis"
Sounds like you're just using rough riders wrong. You're investing too much in staying power when they are really only going to be good for 1 turn of action. Carapace armor is just a waste, it doesn't help you get to your target as their already good movement more than covers this and the honorifica is really a waste (your paying a HUGE chunk of points for an impressive 1 extra attack). Simply put, if you're gonna use the rough riders you have to resign yourself to a unit with little staying power, lets face it, they aren't worth much after the first assault phase. As for squad size, 8 usually works well enough to tear down whatever I throw them at (if you're facing a full ten man marine squad, your infantry squads are doing something worng).The squad can be made quite a bit more effective by giving them the sergeant with Hornifica and a Power Weapon and giving the whole squad carapace, + I tend to take 10-man squads so my squads tend to end up 72pts more expensive.
Personally, I love my rough riders. They've kept ungodly units of chaos chosen and assault marines at bay for fear of a devastating counter charge. Players that don't know what they do walk right into the trap, and players that do overestimate them to a point that's ridiculous.
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Legionnare, your strategy sounds fine. Rough Riders make excellent counter-assault units. Just make sure you keep them out of LOS, like behind a couple Russes or something, because they will still get shot as easily as guardsmen!
I sometimes like using rough riders in a slightly aggressive way as well. One of the worst things that can happen to the IG is getting stuck in a static firefight against the Wondrous Space Marines... when you're in danger of this happening, a carefully-placed RR charge is a good way to break the stranglehold.
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Cool, so what does everyone use for their RR models? Do they just use the Attilan RR? Or do you guys convert for them?