Thursday, 14 March 2013

Throne of Skulls

Throne of Skulls

Of to Throne of Skulls next week, and I’m taking my bikes. List will be

Captain on a bike, Artificer Armour, Lightening Claw, Power fist

10 man Scout Squad

5 man Bike Squad, 2 Melta Guns, Combi Melta, Melta Bomb

5 Man Bike Squad, 2 Plasma Guns, Combi Plasma, Melta Bomb
5 Man Bike Squad, 2 Plasma Guns, Combi Plasma, Melta Bomb

3 Multi Melta Attack Bikes

Stormtalon, Typhoon Missiles

Stormtalon, Typhoon Missiles.

 Thunder Fire Cannon

Thunder Fire Cannon

The basic plan is pretty simple. Scouts combat squad and baby sit home objectives with the TFCs (hopefully in bolstered ruins). When the TCF dies, the Techmarine joins the scouts and baby sits them. The TFC’s kill light infantry. The plasma bikes kill heavy infantry. The Attack Bikes and the melta squad kill armour and the ‘talons kill flyers.

I played 4 games with a version of it at the weekend. More or less the same but with 2 full squads that I combat squadded.

First game was against CSM, Typhus, zombies, spawn and 2 Helldrakes, kill points. Helldrakes are just silly powerful. If you got cover saves from the vector strike, or it was AP4, or if they hadn’t turned the baleflamer into a turret weapon it might be ok, but as it stands it’s just stupid. having said that, it was closer than I thought it would be. I managed to kill one of the Helldrakes, and pretty much everything else, but the Helldrakes just murdered my bikes.

The only way I can think of countering them is to get my bikes into combat on turn 2, and hope I can  combat tactics out of that combat in my opponents turn…not the greatest of tactics!

Game 2 was against mech elder. Win to me. Realised that the best way to take down armour with bikes is in assault with krak grenades!

Game 3 was against Little Geeks demons. Interesting codex. He’s still finding his way with a new list (thank god the days of screamer and flamer spam are over!), but it looks a lot of fun . Bloodthirsters are horrible BTW, but demonic troops just hate Thunder fire cannons! Win to me.

Game 4 was against Ravenwing. Really interesting game with C:SM bikes against Ravenwing bikes. As you would expect Ravenwing bikes outclass C:SM bikes in almost every way, however, I’m not entirely persuaded they make a better army. C:SM can bring better support I think, and certainly bring better anti flyer (Stormtalons are way better than the DA flyers IMHO). It was a close game (if I had remembered to move a scout squad I would have drawn).

I need to think a bit more about whether I should “retool” my C:SM bikes as Ravenwing (would need some creative story telling to justify their colour scheme!).

List thoughts. The stand out units were the Thunder Fire Cannons. Murdering zombies in game 1, eliminating disembarked space elves in game 2, killing 19 blood letters in  one round of shooting in game 3 (they had just wiped out a bike squad and were all clumped up), and killing almost all my opponents scoring units in game 4.

However, the Captain was also a hero. While not on par with the likes of Abaddon, or Typhus, he’s still pretty hard. In game one he went through 5 nurgle spawn, in game 2 he fisted a wave serpent to death and wiped out the squad inside, in game 3 he killed 3 beasts of nurgle, and in game 4 he wiped out a 5 man squad of Dark Knights (with a little help). And (except on the last one), he did this all by himself! The way I’m tending to use him is as a bullet soak to get a melta squad in close, and then detach him to cause chaos once the meta squad has done it’s job.

The Stormtalons were also pretty useful. In 4 games I only lost one of them. In game 1 they struggled a bit against the Helldrakes, but managed to kill one and velocity lock the other one. In game 2 they mopped up Fireprisims, in Game 3 they took a few wounds off the Bloodthirster, and in game 4 they where great at picking off troops choices late in the game.

The thing that I couldn’t make my mind up about were the bike squads. The option I tried was running 3 squads of 5 bikes with attached attack bike. That didn’t really work very well at all. The problem was you had plasma guns and melta guns mixed with  multi meltas. When you were shooting the multi melta at armour it “wasted” the plasma guns, and when you were shooting the melta guns at armour, you were too close with the squad and it would get assaulted.

The next option I tried was 2 full squads of 8 bikes and an attack bike, combat squading them into 5 bikes with 2 special weapons, and 2 bikes with the attack bike and the Sargent with a combi melta. This was better, as you had one combat squad to deal with heavy infantry, and the other combat squad to deal with armour. The plasma squads in particular worked well. However, the problem was with the melta squads, you had to get too close with the combi melta to get the double dice, which endangered the whole squad.

So the option I’m going to try at Throne is 3 squads of 5 bikes with special weapons, and combi weapon to match (2 plasma and one melta), and a separate squad of 3 multi melta attack bikes.
The idea is that the captain leads out the attack bikes, tanking wounds for them until they are in position to hit their target, and then breaks off to cause mayhem.

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