Friday, 10 February 2017

LVO Genestealer List Analysis

So some thoughts on the list I took to the LVO

General observations

·         First Turn is pretty significant. Obvious I know, but going first and rolling a bunch of 6s can devastate your opponent (Game 6 and 7)
·         However, being seized on when you deploy for cult ambush is crippling – hard to come back from that.
·         Learning how to play a game, when you go second will I think be key to success with the cult. Essentially, you reserve the Brood Cycle, infiltrate the SubTs to cover objectives, use first turn shrouding to protect yourself, and whip most units back off the table on your turn, to come in via Cult Ambush on turn 2.
·         The army has some very difficult match ups. So far, Intercepting Tau, War Con and Flying Demons have proved problematic. Unless you go first, and roll a bunch of 6s, Intercepting Tau and War Con are pretty much auto losses. I reckon I can play around FMC demons, but it’s a hard game.
·         Servo Skulls – LVO played it that Servo Skulls do not affect Cult Ambush, but the FAQ now says they do, although only when using CA at the infiltrate stage. So, learning how to win while (effectively) going second will become even more important. 
·         Bubble Management. Making sure you get your Iconward and Primus in the right place is really important. While it’s tempting to put the Primus in a hard hitting unit, looking for a 6 on his 3d6 rolls on CA, I think he’s better deployed back from the front line buffing multiple units. 

Specific Observations on my List, first what worked.

·         The SubTs with Metamorphs were fantastic. Rolling 2 dice on CA is golden, and metamorphs roll over most units.
·         Metamorphs. The balance I had on the units worked pretty well. Having 4 “naked” metamorphs to eat overwatch worked well. Don’t think I ever lost more than 4, but regularly lost 2 or 3.
·         Metamorph Claws. Having +2 strength at I4 is strong. What I’ve noticed is Acolytes have no problem hitting (WS5 from the Cult Icon, and/or rerolls from hatred) but often struggle to stack wounds .
·         Genestealers. A block of 20 ‘stealers worked really well. With I6 and S5, rending on the charge, you can pretty much throw them at anything and they will come out the other side. They are also reasonably resliiant (very, resilient with endurance and an Iconward bubble). 

Next, what didn’t work optimally

·         Metamorph Whips. Being able to hit at initiative 7 is great, no doubt, but isn’t as strong as wounding at strength 6. Claws are better than whips.
·         Rock Saws. I’m not convinced it’s worth paying 100pts for Rock Saws. I only really used them once (on a knight), but I could have used 2 units of Claws instead.
·         Brood Cycle. I’m beginning to wonder whether Brood Cycle, and the Cult Insurrection Detachment is the way to go. In the Brood Cycle, the neophytes are pretty useless. Also, the need to take 5 Genestealers pushes you towards taking a 20 man unit in Brood Cycle rather than the First Curse,. Even when First Curse is better. Finally, taking 3 units of Acolytes, and a unit of Metamorphs that only roll 1 dice on CA, rather than 2 in the SubT, isn’t optimal.
·         Sword of the Void’s Eye was a complete waste of points. Because I used my Primus in the “second line” rather than in the front line with the assaults, I don’t think he swung with ti all tournament.

So with that in mind, what changes would I make? 

If I was looking to make minimal changes to the list I would take out the Rock Saws and swap lash whips for Claws. I might also be tempted to add Metamorph Leaders with Boneswords and Lashwhips into the Claw units. This would give them 5 attacks on the charge at I7 with AP3. That would probably be enough to give them the edge at a higher initiative, and they could challenge out anything with a 3+ save and no invulnerable (not that there are many of them to be fair).

If I was being more radical, I might ditch the Cult Insurrection Detachment altogether, running with a CAD, First Curse and 2 SubT’s, where I’m allowed to run 4 detachments (e.g. in ETC based events), or just a CAD and 2 SubTs, where I’m not (e.g. ITC). That would free up a about 200pts to invest in in more Hybrids(probably). The question is whether I can use those points effectively to make it worth losing the benefits of the Detachment.

More radical still, is going back to the idea I discussed earlier and allying in some guard artillery. I’ve been toying with the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company from the Montka book. One of the things I’ve noticed is that almost all my opponents Castle in a corner to minimise the damage from being charged from deep strike, and that can be very effective. However, a Manticore ordered to ignore cover and a couple of Wyverns (which ignore cover anyway) would punish that tactic severely, and if it forced  my opponent to spread out, it makes them more vulnerable Cult Ambush. In particular, because I can stop FMCs taking off (by simply flooding the board), the Manticore might just be the answer to that list.

I’ll do a couple of posts in the near future discuss these idea more fully.

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