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Hey guys. The lictor has always been one of my favorite units and I have seen it dropped from many peoples armies because of its fragility and because they have used it wrong. Therefore I wrote this tactica to hopefully help some people handling their lictors. If you find any problems with it, see any mistakes or anything you want to add, please post or send me a pm.
In 4th edition lictors got a huge do over. They went from a powerhouse fighter that could take on entire squads in close combat to a much more tactical unit. With the loss of one of its wounds, the lictor no longer is as resilient, but the new deployment rules coupled with the pheromone trail and the feeder tendrils more than make up for it.
Lictors are now very much more tactical units than they used to be. Although they have lost the ability to beat heavier squads in close combat, they are much better for quickly killing specified units. They are also still the psychological weapons they used to be. Some players will make mistakes like keeping their heavy weapon squads or tanks away from terrain where you can get them with the rest of your army easily. Here is a run-down on the lictor’s abilities and how they can be used to your advantage:
• Secret Deployment- There have been some people who have mourned the loss of the old “ambush” deployment rules, but in the grand scheme of things, these deployment rules are much better. The old ones didn’t allow you to change your mind over where the lictor was going to be set up so if your opponent never put the right things in the right places; it limited the usefulness of the lictor considerably. The new deep striking way allows you to strike almost anywhere if you are playing a game with a decent terrain content. Remember though, that your lictor will still die if it lands on another squad like any normal deepstriking. Also remember that all 3 lictors come in on the same deepstrike roll, so that's gonna be a fun turn
• Loner- This is ability is one that doesn’t help you all that much. It does however allow you to be more reckless with the lictor since it can’t score anyway; you don’t have as much fear of losing it.
• Stealth- The stealth is the same as in the old codex and can help a lot. It can make the lictor almost impervious if it is in synapse range and a 4+ cover save area. Just remember that it is still very susceptible to blast or template weapons and you don’t get the better save in close combat.
• Pheromone Trail- This is one of the best things about the lictor. Combined with squads of spore mines, it can allow you a cheap access to a large amount of bombardment early in the game. It is also crucial in any escalation game where you can quickly outnumber your opponent and overwhelm them before they can get half their army out.
• Fearless- This ability is great. Although you don’t get immunity to synapse, you won’t run away and still have the ability to lurk, giving you +1 to your already amazing cover-save. That is a 4+ cover save out in the open.
• Hit and Run- Personally in my experience, this can be a very useful ability. It allows you to move much further at the end of combat, up to 18", and could get you into terrain that you need to survive. Just remember to do it.
• Feeder Tendrils- feeder tendrils are a new addition to the nids. They prove very useful as your lictor will be able to make the maximum “to hit” roll possible versus everything. They also confer this ability to anything within 2”.
Don’t forget that lictors also have rending claws, scything talons and flesh hooks. The benefits for these are very useful and come into play a ton when using lictors. The flesh hooks actually make the lictor a worthwhile choice since many times what it is assaulting is in or near cover.
Now, there are several ways to use a lictor. The main ones are as an assassin, tank buster, troop augmentation, and a bait lictor. First I will go over a lictor as an assassin and tank hunter.
Assassin and Tank Hunter
The lictor’s high initiative, rending ability, deep-striking, feeder tendrils, and number of high strength attacks makes it ideal for killing small squads that pose problems for you as well as tanks. These would include units such as small HQ squads, devastator squads, basilisks and other annoyances. Unless you are playing on a barren field, which at least Â¼ of the map should have terrain, there is usually enough area terrain that you don’t have much of a problem in picking what unit you want your lictor to hit, especially in an urban environment or a jungle. There are several steps to picking the best possible targets though.
1. What poses the greatest threat? If you are running a Godzilla list and your opponent has a squadron of 2 lascannon sentinels, a Lemmon Russ with heavy bolters on every possible place, and a heavy weapon squad of auto cannons, hit the sentinels.
2. What can your lictor fight? If the greatest threat is a squad of guardsman with a heavy flamer and flamer, 1, you are very lucky, and 2, you’re lictor may not be able to take on that amount of guys, especially if it has an advisor attached. A commissar or priest will be able to add a lot of power and could kill the lictor, plus, your opponent won’t take the casualties on his special/heavy weapons or the advisor.
3. What can the rest of your army kill? If there is tank that could pose problems to you and you have 3 zoanathorpes in your hive fleet, why waste your lictor’s deep strike deployment when you could just kill that tank with the thorpes? Be smart as many times striking your lictor may be the only time it will be able to attack something since after that, all fire will pour onto it.
Things to Avoid
1. Squads with hidden power weapons/fists. These are hard for a lictor to beat and the power weapon/fist unit will stay there for a long time.
2. Basic squads of things with high armor saves like marines. The lictor will most likely lose because you will most likely only get one rending roll at most the vast majority of the time and the rest of the attacks are easily wasted and the lictor can’t take them all.
3. Units with a higher initiative than the lictor as well as high saves and a good number of wounds.. These will mostly be HQ units and are better off being taken out by range since the lictor may be taken out before it can even strike. Then its just 80pts down the drain.
Things that are nearly always good targets
1. Lone HQs that provide bonuses to the rest of the army, i.e.: Imperial Guard command squads, tau ethereals, etc.
2. Squads specifically tooled up to kill tyranids, i.e.: Tyranid war vets, Hellhounds etc. Although they may not be able to be taken out by a single lictor, any you kill will help a lot. These squads are dangerous and need to be killed quickly and many times a lictor is the best way to do that.
3. Devastator squads, heavy weapon teams, special weapon teams. These heavy weapons pose very large problems to tyranids, yet they are easy to kill in close combat. They are also are a large point sink for your opponents and the best part is, they are almost always set up in cover so they are easy to get to!
An Additional Guideline for Tank Hunting
1. Always try to get the back armor of the tank. It could mean the difference between destroying the tank and not. You go against the front of a Russ and you may get one glancing or penetrating hit. Against the back, you could get several penetrating hits.
2. Avoid things like land raiders that have an all around armor of 12+ such as Land Raiders. You just don't have a good chance to kill it and you can't rely on rending everytime.
3. Skimmers are the devil! Never try to kill that crazy powerful Eldar Skimmer, you just can't do it. Infact, even low powered skimmers are a thing to avoid. You are just relying too much on luck to hit and then rend.
Tricks and Strategies
Deploy your lictor into terrain that confers a 2+ cover save, including the lictor’s stealth bonus, inside synapse range, out in front of your army. (Remember that if you do set up out of synapse range, you can lurk and get a better cover save from some terrain that could end you up in a better position, but you run the risk of getting instant killed.) This gives you a creature with toughness 4 with a 2+ save that cannot be pierced except by blast or template weaponry and can’t be instant killed. Therefore the opponent’s squads must pass a leadership test before shooting at anything besides the lictor. Since tanks will most likely just shoot at your other units in line of sight, you really only have to worry about grenade launchers, mortars and missile launchers harming the lictor. Viola, a nice little lictor screen to help your other units survive. Then when your other units are going to pass the lictor, you can advance it. Your opponent will most likely shoot it and if not, they may get a face-full of rending.
The main idea behind this is to deep strike the lictor near where squads of poor weapon skill units are going to charge. The feeder tendrils will boost the chance of the gaunts hitting, coupled with their mass amount of attacks, this proves very lethal, especially when you add the fact that you also now have a lictor who can throw his attacks into the mix for clean up or to take out some of the higher power units. This should most likely only be used if you have more than 1 lictor since in every army, there will be something a lictor can kill that will help you out.
Here are a few additional tricks that I’ve used in battles. They can be combined with any of the other strategies and are always good ways to use lictors while or after they have served their main purpose.
Tying up Squads
You can have up to 3 lictors in your army. Many armies don’t have the power in their basic troop squads to overcome a lictor in cc for at least 2 or 3 turns. Now a normal squad or Fire warriors or Imperial Guard will probably cost around 90-120 pts unless the IG player is running bare bone troops. Both of these squads can put out huge amounts of fire power but can be tied up in close combat for a very long time. This means you may be able to effectively remove up to 3 squads of troops from the format until other units get there.
Spore mine bombardment
I don’t have many ranveners and am on the verge of getting enough gargoyles to make an effective squad, so I normally use spore mines for fast attack. I have found that with lictors, you can usually deep strike them the 2nd turn, allowing for some massive bombardment. I once took out 2 tanks with 3 clusters of bio-acid mines, which allowed me to then hit other things with my lictors. With the lictors I killed an Imperial guard HQ, a chimera, pinning the passengers inside and then tied up a squad. This left very little else for my army to take out, all by the 3rd turn.
Last edited by Warrior47; July 18th, 2007 at 20:32. Reason: minor proof reading
Originally Posted by The Paint Monkey
wonderful, beautiful exciting.
one thing, feeder tendrils extends the preferred enemy rule to all broods within 2" not 1".
I'll vouch personally for using it to enhance gaunts and hormies in CC. Hitting spac marines on 3+ is great.
Last edited by Karmoon; October 22nd, 2006 at 20:59.
Nice tactica warrior. Especially since I'm using a lictor for the first time in a couple days.
I have one question though - you say he's still in danger of being destroyed by landing on the opponent. But he is always deployed within his terrain. It makes sense if both him and his prey are in a forest or something. But say the foolish guardsmen are hiding behind a scrap heap, you deploy in the scrap heap, but scatter right on top of the guardsmen. Normally, you would be killed outright. Do you instead just deploy at the edge of the scrap heap closest to the scatter result? Or do you die anyways?
I can see that being a grey area that might cause prob's.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
You deploy as close to the scatter dice's end location without any part of the lictor's base leaving the terrain piece.
The guard squad next to the cover/terrain piece is going to get a rude shock.
The guard squad IN the cover/terrain piece is going to give a rude shock to the Lictor.
2 dumb questions.
first, what if the guardsman is touching the edge of the cover in the exact place the scatter die points? Do you lose the lictor or place him inside the terrain touching the edge, or outside the terrain/touching the edge/slightly behind the guardsman?
2nd. I thought the prefared enemy rule give you 3+ hits. but warrior states 'your lictor will be able to make the maximum “to hit” roll possible versus everything' Does this mean you get 2+ to hit? and does this apply to stealers with tendrils too?
Thanks for your replies guys.
Karmoon, thanks for pointing that out.
Abraham Lincoln, personally I haven't had this come up. While logical sense would tell us a lictor wouldn't die from landing on or near something since it was technically already there. Sadly this wasn't cleared in the faq so you still have to play the lictor like a normal deepstriker for landing on a unit. For your circumstance I don't think anyone would immediatly say, "that lictor has to die now, ha, ha, ha." so I don't think it would be much of a problem. It really is sad that GW hasn't clarified such an annoying rule.
Macewind, 3+ is the maximum to hit roll in cc. Even an avatar going against a conscript has to hit on a 3+
Originally Posted by The Paint Monkey
Minor repetition error.Spore mine bombardment
I donâ€™t have many ranveners and am on the verge of getting enough gargoyles to make an effective squad, so I normally use spore mines for fast attack. I have found that with lictors, you can usually deep strike them the 2nd turn, allowing for some massive bombardment. I once took out 2 tanks with 3 clusters of bio-acid mines, which allowed me to then hit other things with my lictors. With the lictors I killed an Imperial guard HQ, a chimera, pinning the passengers inside and then tied up a squad up a squad. This left very little else for my army to take out, all by the 3rd turn.
God, Karmoon, do you have to find every typo that I make:rolleyes:
Macewind its fine, I've asked a lot stupider questions before.
Originally Posted by The Paint Monkey