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Due to a debate in another recent thread, I pose this question:
Is the Armoured Company balanced?
In other words, can a balanced list of any other army have a fighting chance at taking it down, as opposed to needing to tailor their list to fight primarily tanks?
In my opinion, with most armies (note: most, not all), a good player can take a balanced list and take on an Armoured Company with a fairly good chance at winning.
Armoured Company doesn't start to shine until later points, IMO, because of their lack of choices in lower points levels. However, as the points begin to grow, so does the anti-tank ability of the enemy, even just in a balanced list. Many balanced lists contain enough Lascannons/whatever to take down Mechanised lists, which is overkill vs. non-Mech lists but that's what people take these days.
Is that enough to take down an Armoured Company? I think so.
Another few examples are Tau and Kroot.
In a hybrid/static Tau list, they have access to Broadsides (among other things - Hammerheads, Crisis Suits with Fusion/Missile Pod/etc., Seeker Missiles, and the likes) which speak death to a tank-heavy list. Even in a balanced list, there is generally enough anti-tank to go around. In a Mech Tau list, it was proposed that, due to having a lack of Broadsides, it would be much more difficult. I disagree. What the Mechanised list lacks in sheer punching power (Broadsides), they make up for with mobility (Hammerheads, Devilfish, Crisis Suits). Even S5 can penetrate many tanks from the rear, and Tau have an abundance of that, and if they're all running around in Devilfish, they are able to get there with relative ease.
The second example is Kroot Mercenaries, often claimed to be a difficult to use/underpowered list. Most Kroot players take Eviscerators in their Kroot squads, usually numbering what... maybe around 6? This is not counting any on Master Shapers or the Melta Guns used by Shaper Councils. In CC, a Kroot Shaper with an Eviscerator has a fairly decent chance of taking down a tank, and the likelihood that the tank will explode and kill a bunch of Kroot is really not that high.
Besides these armies, you've got the abundance of Dark/Bright Lances, Lascannons, Melta Guns, Assault Cannons, and everything else emerging in balanced lists to counter Mechanised lists, which are very close in build to an Armoured Company.
So, while I am NOT claiming that the Armoured Company army list is balanced, I do believe wholeheartedly that people are exaggerating the toughness of tanks, and it can be taken down by a good player with a balanced list, untailored to take down tanks.
Any other thoughts?
edit: Note: I am not trying to claim it would be a walk in the park, and it would indeed be more difficult for a balanced list to take down an Armoured Company, but I am stating that a balanced list CAN do so without tailoring themselves for it.
The last time I saw an AC enter a tournament it came second last. So I guess it is possible for balanced lists to take them down but as you say it's not going to be as easy as fighting regular armies (where you can guarrantee that all your guns can hurt something), excluding 'Crons of course.
... only triumph could turn pooing his pants into a good thing..
I have an armoured company and its one of the easiest lists to beat, if anything the armoured company is UNDER powered so it suffers to all kinds of lists (unless you an idiot who hates any weapon above str7) so no the armoured company is not balanced, its under powered
With the way armies are being built now, i think that anti-tank is very plentiful. I've been dabbling in a bunch of different armies and all the lists i base off of have atleast 1-2 powerfists, 2-4 melta guns, maybe some autocannon/lascannons. So i think as the armoured companies appeared, balance lists shifted more towards anti-tank. I know that doesn't make sense, but balanced lists now usually have more than adequet anti tank which i think is in response to many mech lists being run now.
The problem with armored company is that many games just come down to who happens to have anti-tank and who does not. Luck can play such a huge role in armored company lists, that it is often not even fun.
"When one man dies it is a tragedy. When thousands die its a statistic."
Some posts in this thread talk about AC lists being underpowered, or beatable and while this may be true it doesn't mean that they are balanced. In fact, I think that by definition unbalanced armies are the ones that lose, because they are unable to adapt to different situations.
I think that balance means having a healthy mix of units, weapons and tactics, so that your army is diverse and flexible, in the units you paint, the tactics at your disposal, and the counter-measures your opponent could take.
Taking a Russ for an HQ, 2 Russes for your troops, and then some Russes for heavy support is not a diverse army, and it is not a flexible army either. Like the poster above me said, it just comes down to luck-of-the-draw: if your opponent's intuition told him to take extra anti-tank, you'll lose. If he took less-than-average anti-tank, you'll win.
An army that is nothing but one type of unit is the epitomy of UNbalance.
Not to say that Armored Company lists aren't fun to use sometimes, especially if it fits in with your fluff, a campaign, or you just really like building Russ models! Just be wary of exactly how un-balanced it is, because this tends to make it an unwieldy army to use.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
Definitely not balanced (I can see arguments for it either being under or over balanced).
They are the ultimate pain in the ass army. Last time I played against em' in a tourney, I was using my thousand sons army and I had one hell of a time. Even though Tzeentch is notorious for not being able to have much in the heavy weapons department (and I didn't), I was still able to just barely squeak out a win though.
If I was able to just barely win with my heavily under-gunned army, I'd hate to see what a balanced army could do.
I think Armored company excels in games in which they can just sit on the back board edge and hammer away at their opponent, but its when they get into objective-based matches (like at tournaments) that they tend to falter in. It sucks when your objective is to get your whole tank column into your enemy's deployment zone while fighting in a dense city-fight scenario with limited LOS for your battle cannons
My 40K Armies:
- Thousand Sons
- Mordian Imperial Guard
- Dark Eldar
My Fantasy Armies:
- Lhamian Vampire Counts
An armoured company can be good until you face necrons. EVERY... LAST...F***ING...WEAPON can kill my tanks. They can take a bolter equivilant weapons, shoot the FRONT of a leman russ and kill it.....................................................wtf?
All good points - I suppose I should have clarified a bit better.
Armoured Company is, as many have said, not a balanced army - however, people usually assume that "unbalanced" is something bad, especially when facing against the army. They think that "unbalanced" means overpowered, where in fact they just don't have the tactical capacity to adapt to a new situation with their own balanced army.
As said, AC is as much underpowered as it is overpowered - I'm willing to bet most games with it are usually either winning by a lot or losing by a lot. Right?
However, if you and your friend play on a table with sparse terrain, don't use missions, and his army isn't designed for anti-tank, then I could see him complaining that AC is overpowered.
But yeah... IMO the *only* powerful armies are the ones that can take on any enemy, in any situation, and for that you need a balanced list.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts