Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Spartan Steamroller

I snagged this Spartan photo from White Dwarf Daily.
I'm not super familiar with Forgeworld stuff, partially because I'm a relative newcomer to the game (I started playing the week the Dark Eldar codex released).  The wide push to integrate Forgeworld into grand tournaments this year motivated me to do some research into what's available, if only to help me learn what to expect from my opponents.  I haven't found much that merits inclusion in competitive armies, but a few gems stand out so far:
  • Hyperios Platforms cost the same as most devastators, and are better in almost every way.  In a standard marine army 140pts will buy you 4 platforms with a better chance to hit ground targets and flying targets than typical marines, with the additional benefit of toughness 6 and two wounds.
  • Predator Executioners seem to be pretty fantastic.  They're essentially a three-shot plasma cannon that doesn't get hot.  I'm not certain that they deserve sponsons, since they're not fast even in a Blood Angels army, but a couple of these should be able to hammer infantry units or bundled tanks pretty savagely.
  • The Spartan Assault Tank is incredibly good.  For 55pts more than a standard Land Raider you get two more twin-linked lascannons, an extra hull point and a 25 model capacity.  
I've always wanted to paint a Blood Angels army, and I figured this was a good chance to build something fun and competitive.  Here's the list I came up with:

This isn't my model, but I wish it was.
  • Librarian with Shield of Sanguinus, Unleash Rage
  • 24 Death Company, 5 power mauls
  • 5 Assault Marines, Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
  • 5 Assault Marines, Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
  • 5 Assault Marines, Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
  • 5 Assault Marines, Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
  • 5 Assault Marines, Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
  • Spartan Assault Tank, no-melta-for-you-upgrade
The total cost on this list is only 1745pts.  I had a chance to test it out tonight against James, a Chaos Daemon player with the following list:

This actually is James' Nurgle Daemon Prince, as featured on BoLS.
  • Epidemius
  • Great Unclean One
  • 7 Plaguebearers
  • 7 Plaguebearers
  • 9 Flamers of Tzeentch
  • 9 Flamers of Tzeentch
  • CSM Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Power Armor, Wings, Black Mace, Psyker Mastery 3, Spell Familiar
  • 15 Cultists, Mark of Nurgle
  • Aegis Defense Line, Quad Gun
We played a Bay Area Open scenario with Purge the Alien as the primary mission (4pts) and the Scouring as the secondary (3pts) in Vanguard Strike deployment.  I deployed in a brick right up against the line with the Librarian and Death Company in the Spartan, two Assault Marine squads in Razorbacks and three more Assault Marine squads in reserve.  James stuck his Daemon Prince in a ruin for a 2+ cover save (since Daemon of Nurgle gives him Shrouded) and put his Cultists on the defense line.  

I went first and didn't accomplish much aside from putting a couple of wounds on the Daemon prince and one on the autocannon.  James got his preferred wave and ran right into my anti-Daemon spread of Razorbacks, scattering a squad of Flamers and Epidemius into mishaps.  He repositioned his prince as a counter-charge unit against my impending Death Company assault and it was my turn again.

Turn two I managed to immobilize my Spartan, but only after moving five of the six inches I was planning to.  I disembarked my twenty-five Angels, repositioned my Razorbacks, and proceeded to wipe James' poor Daemon Prince with the Spartan's quad lascannons.  The Death Company handled the Cultists with ease and officially cleared the opposing backfield for me, and at that point the game was pretty much finished.  James' Flamers couldn't get a great bead on my Death Company because I shielded them with Razorbacks, and even if he could've their Feel No Pain and the huge number of models I had on the board would've made for an uphill battle.  We called the game after he lost a squad of Flamers to a round of shooting and the other rolled a mishap and I placed them in the far corner of nowhere.

Overall I'm incredibly happy with the Spartan.  For 55pts more than I would've paid for a Land Raider I was able to transport a 25-man bomb unit across the board and throw four twin-linked lascannons at the Daemon Prince each turn.  The increased number of lascannon shots was a big deal, since moving the Land Raider 12 inches on turn one meant that I had to snap fire -- the two extra shots meant four more chances to roll a hit, and put a wound on that nasty Nurgle prince.  Sixth edition games tend to reward armies that can control the midfield and pressure the opponent's deployment zone, and the Spartan really delivers in that regard -- it's nearly impossible to destroy and delivers an absolutely beast close combat unit.  

1 comment:

  1. Love the blog, like the style and it was well written. The presentation was nice but would like more attention in the background. Always nice to get shout outs on the web so I hope that continues. I hope there might be some battle reports posted, it would be a cool little extra.

    -James Ratto