I've been looking forward to running the 82nd again, and I have been observing what works well from the local Guard players (particularly Jon's Mayhem winning Catachan list, and Dave's Bane Hammer buffing antics from Friday).
My list comprised a Battalion Detachment:
- 2 Company Commanders (Col Staysback and the freshly promoted Captain Flasheart)
- An Astropath
- 3 Infantry Squads with a mix of plasma and grenade launchers
- 1 Scion Squad with 2 plasma guns
And a Spearhead Detachment (Emperor's Fist Tank Company)
- Leman Russ Tank Commander with Battle Cannon (Hammer of Sunderance)
- 2 Leman Russ Executioners
- 2 Mortar Squads
(The Mortar Squads are the only unpainted models in the list, and have found themselves jumped up the painting queue!)
The Emperor's Fist Tank Company specialist detachment is worthy of some commentary; it's one (of several) options from the Vigilus Defiant Campaign book which allows an Imperial Guard detachment to be "upgraded" at the cost of 1 CP. This gives access to a new Warlord Trait, Relic, and a couple of new Stratagems.
The Warlord Trait is fairly uninspiring (re-roll failed Overwatch attacks), but the Relic is very strong (as I think most Guard players know); The Hammer of Sunderance is a Battle Cannon with flat 3 Damage (as opposed to D3). Combine this with the Cadian Tank Order to re-roll the number of attacks a turret weapon can generate, and it's a very capable weapons.
I used the CP farming Warlord Trait (Grand Strategist) with very limited results in the game. I'm going to try Old Grudges next as re-rolling failed wounds against a key target (particularly with the high strength Battle Cannon or Plasma) should provide redundancy against awkward 1s!
The Emperor's Fist Stratagems are a mixed bag:
- Steel Phalanx allows a Leman Russ to potentially deal Mortal Wounds if it charges. This is *very* situational!
- Unyielding Advance allows a Russ to move it's full distance and still shoot it's Turret Weapon twice a'la Grinding Advance; a great way to maximise both mobility and fire power.
|The weird white disk is a wound marker|
The majority of the other Vigilus Guard Detachments are fluffy, but not necessarily powerful:
- The Emperor's Blade Assault Company allows a Guard Commander to issue Orders from a Transport, and has a Stratagem to let a squad disembark from a transport *after* it has moved. Good for getting some extra movement instead of sacrificing shooting to Advance.
- The Emperor's Conclave Infantry Company is all about Guard units smacking up stuff in the Fight Phase. Pretty good for a Catachan force with their S4 base Guardsmen.
- The Tempestus Drop Force combines Scions and Valkyries to create a Paratrooper force. I quite like the Grav Chute Commando Warlord Trait (adding +1 to hit when units drop in around the Warlord); very thematic, but I think the detachment is quite limited and I'd rather just drop Scions in via their inbuilt Deep Strike ability.
The stand out Detachment is the Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company; at the low points level I typically play (1000 to 1250) it adds a lot of utility to a Detachment even with a single lowly Wyvern:
- Good Warlord Trait (6+ To Wound rolls for Emperor's Wrath units near the Warlord proc -1 AP; very similar to the Space Marine Storm of Fire).
- Good Relic (an Emperor's Wrath Unit Ignores Cover). Not sure I'd give up the Hammer for it though!)
- Two excellent Stratagems:
- Suppressive Fire which removes Overwatch from an enemy Infantry unit, and halves it's Move stat.
- Pounding Barrage which allows an Emperor's Wrath Unit to fire twice!
Earlier in the post I mentioned picking up a few cheeky tricks from other Guard players, and I managed a couple of them today;
- Applying the Jury Rig Stratagem to bring a damaged Leman Russ back up to it's top damage profile
- Bringing the cheap as chips Astropath for the Night Shroud power; making a Tank -1 to be hit is very annoying!
That's it for this post; in the final reckoning of today's battle the 82nd reigned victorious and Staysback made it back to the Mess in plenty of time for Tea and Medals. For Cadia! For Glory!