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now i know i dont see very many lists that include grotesques that are for serious gaming but i want to know how you guys would use them. i would mount mine in a raider with a lord and have them act as a meat shield maybe, but the only thing i dont like about their current rules is there feel no pain effect. sure ignoreing most shooting is good but they are usually in raiders right? so i find they should give them ACTUAL feel no pain and a 5+ armor save as then they will have some better uses rather then having a wasted effect that the raider saves them from shooting anyway. also they cant seriously shield our troops from attacks even in a footslogger list as the enemy can just target other units and take a LD check and ignore the grotesques as i find that their not worth their points if this is all theyre going to do. so how would you guys use these things?
The only thing I can think of that's really usable with the Grotes at the moment, is their making units run away automatically, which could be exploited profitably with a Wych Dracite or Archon or something.
Also... you can stick a Haemy in the middle of a big group of them, and have him flame stuff without hurting the Grotes or without getting directly charged (he can flame through them without harming them).
I think they need mega revision too... they just don't work synergetically with the rest of the DE army that well, and that makes them all-but-useless.
I use my grots as a retinue for my Haemonculus. I run them on foot and typically deploy them as far forward as possible. The Heamonculus usually has a WWP.
I had a game against deathwing recently, i deployed 12" from the edge, moved 6" in my turn, he moved EVERYTHING forward in his. In the second the portal was down and most of my stuff was out thanks to some good rolling...Boy did the ravagers royally screw his precious terminators over.
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Aussie Bogan: Beer Drinking, Steak Eating, Thong Wearing Maniac!
For the most part, I don't really use grotesques. They're a niche unit. Most armies can unload enough high-powered weapons to kill them quickly if necessary, although they can be a VERY nasty surprise if someone doesn't know they're coming.
I used some against a friend who plays tau. He unloaded a shooting phase of upgraded stealth suits into a medium-sized grotesque squad being escorted by an archon, inflicted over 10 wounds, and when I made two 2+ invulnerable saves for my shadow field and said nothing happened, he looked at me like I'd turned purple. I showed him the rule, and he immediately turned heavier firepower onto them, and killed nearly all of them. The rest charged his stealth suits and broke them.
However, where I'd actually field grotesques, and specifically a lot of them; is against necrons. Necrons have very little high-strength weaponry, and are terribly vulnerable to sweeping advances at initiative 2. Even grotesques are faster. Against necrons, since we have no really good answer to the monolith, I'd simply kill every destroyer and heavy destroyer, and then walk grotesques up with dracon/archon support in the squad. The punisher-wielding archon and dracon can inflict heavy casualties, and the grotesque special rule will make the rest run. Sweeping advance, those ones can't even come back with a WBB roll, and continue on. The necrons have no choice but to fight against grotesques in close combat if they're using mostly necron units and their destroyers dead.
*responsible DE player*
Giving you the forum "mantra" (and being a responsible armchair archon) I have to first say that they are not "orthodox" and say you are probably better off not using them without experienced supervison.
*/responsible DE player*
Now for the unorthodox opinion - they have a good role to play in a wwp list, otherwise in Cult and Raider Rush lists I just do not use them.
Grotesques have to be looked at in a different way than the other elite units. Every unit has an offensive quality and a defensive quality. If you can get past the possible offensive output that most players seem to place so heavily on a unit you will start to see the little things that a unit has to offer. Lets take a look at them:
Offensive - 2 base strength 4 attacks (3 on the charge) and a special rule of auto-breaking non-fearless units. Worth twice as much as 2 warriors or even 1 wych? Not bad that a full squad of grotesques can deliver 30 strength 4 attacks on the charge (better than mandrakes, warriors or even warp beasts). This unit is typical of the army design as a glass hammer or (shock troop). Unless they pull off a strong decent charge - they will be eventually lose in a prolonged CC battle. They must win combat or deliver enough wounds (using the "death-by-armor-save" tactic) as to render the enemy ineffective in striking back.
So compared to other units in offensive capability beyond the charge they are rather weak - their success lies in the charge, period.
Defensive - ignores strength 5 or less gunfire (meat-shield) and has 2 wounds. No armor save in cc is rather bad so I think their strength lies in ignoring basic gunfire like a sponge. Somewhat psychological and may cause every gun to be trained on them (like the talos) like a fire magnet.
With both the offensive and defensive qualities its obvious that they would do poorly against marine equivalents (MEQ) armies and well against non-MEQ's in close combat. I would also throw in "non-fearless" armies as a bonus item as auto-breaking can be a huge advantage as in the case of Necrons especially.
How do I play with them? In just about every non-wych cult wwp list I use a squad of them. I dont use them in "Raider Rush" style lists so if you are not using a wwp then I really dont see a need or a good role for them to play in.
Using above benefits and drawbacks I gave them a role that can change depending on who I am playing. Their first primary role in all situations is as a "meat-shield" for the portal carrier which is always a Haemoculus. The Haemoculus allows the grots to ride in a raider and the Haemy gets an awesome meatshield - almost a gaurantee he will live to drop the portal in the first 2 turns. Here's how I use them:
The raider with the grots and Haemy (and even 2 Haemys) deploys on the 12" deployment zone and their destination is a prime, aggressive spot for the wwp. They move 12" forward and the grots and haemy disembark in a defensive pattern as to prevent the wwp haemy from being the closest so he cant be targeted and to prevent any infiltrators, scouts or fast attack units from charging the wwp carrier. When I play with 2 Haemys in this raider one stays with the grots and the other with the wwp separates from the squad behind the grots and even may fleet to get that perfect spot. This role is the same no matter who I play - it can be defensive against a MEQ list or they can advance to fight in a non-MEQ game.
Now, the wwp Haemy may drop the portal in the 2nd without fear. If everyone disembarked into cover then I enjoy a cover save against str.6 gunfire and even if the grots and haemy do run from bad morale the wwp haemy still gets to open the portal regardless unless there is a huge amount of indirect fire or lack of cover and they are seen by everyone.
If I lose first move and this raider gets hit and crashes then I am gauranteed to have at least half my grotesques and a haemy survive. They would be entangled but they are now enjoying a 4+ cover save and still get to deploy the portal in the second. In my experiences, once the raider goes down and the grots are entangled the enemy usually doesn't bother with them. Sure, my portal is sitting on the 12" deployment zone but if the enemy gets too aggressive and comes closer to where I am putting the portal then all the better.
As for using this system without a raider (on foot). You lose the aggressive portal placement but now you are gauranteed that in an escalation type mission the grots and haemys get to start on the board. They still get to move 6" and the advantages of having units come out of a portal 18" deep instead of the board edge is huge.
I used to use the grots as a retinue for lords - it was basically a "launch pad" that catapulted the lord by moving 12" in a raider, disembark for 2", separate and fleet for d6" and then 12" charge the lord solo. I've done this a couple times with good success. Sure, the grots are useless after that but usually I can drop them off near a loot counter and just use them as claiming the objective (playing the mission). I don't do that much anymore however this unit would be awesome against Necrons as the DE Lord is surely going to dish out enough wounds to ensure winning the close combat round (and once Necrons are "swept" there is no wbb roll, they are gone!).
So it comes down to how you want to use them. The role I use them is primarily a defensive one utilizing the "feel no pain" special rule for deploying the wwp. It has been a flawless system thus far and I have always been able to drop the wwp regardless.
As for coven lists, I use 2 to 3 squads of them so I do love their fluff and think they are fun to use (but this is for another thread, a project I am working on).
You wanna post that in our new tactica thread that has been sadly neglected? *Rep*
Nice work, I like your ideas on the use of grot retinues, especially against necrons and claiming objectives.