Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Stronghold V tournament- Initial List Thoughts

I have signed up for another tournament at the end of the month- Stronghold V, taking place on 30th April in Glasgow.
The tournament has some interesting restrictions that I think will lead to some very fun games. Some of the restrictions are:
  • Armies are 1250 points.
  • Armies must be must up of a Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) and may take an allied detachment.
  • No more than 325 points may be spent on the allied detachment.
  • Come the Apocalypse allies are prohibited.
  • No ForgeWorld.
  • Selected fortifications are allowed.
  • No named Special Characters.
  • No Gargantuan creatures or Super Heavy Vehicles.
  • No more than 2 of the same unit are allowed in an army.
  • No duplicate HQ characters are allowed.
  • There are also several comp'ed rules for Invisibility, flickerjump, D weapons and warp charge dice. Unpainted models are allowed, but all units get preferred enemy (unpainted) for the tournament.
As you can see, there are a lot of limits on army selection. I like the restrictions put in place, it means you won't be facing many nasty tricks from formations such as a Decurion, Eldar formations or a battle demi company. As someone who regularly runs a CAD anyway, this won't be too much of a change for me.
The restrictions also mean that I won't be facing any Wraithknights or Imperial Knights (though I believe Riptides are still allowed).
The lower points limit of 1250 pts is also interesting. Most tournaments are 1500 pts or, more commonly, 1850 pts. This lower limit means that many choices will be important, as you cannot afford to splash out on all the biggest toys.
Based on these restrictions, I decided to take my White Scars. I would have like to take my Ravenwing, but the lack of formations limits that. I also think I would have struggled to build an army with my Orks or Astra Militarum. The limit on a maximum of two units the same per army I think will penalise armies such as Orks, Guard and Nids, so we may not see too many of them at the tournament. The only downside to my Scars is that I won't be able to take Khan.
Before I started picking my army, I took a look at my tournament army reviews for Blog Wars 9, Rapid Fire 2015 and the 6s to Hit Doubles Tournament to remind myself of the lessons there.

With these thoughts in mind, my proposed first list is:
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and meltabombs
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with power lance and meltabombs
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher
Drop Pod- storm bolter
Attack Bike- Multimelta
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher
Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps

With only 1250 pts in total and my inability to take Khan, I wanted to go for a cheaper HQ unit to lead the army. With that in mind, I chose to take a Librarian.
Mounting the Librarian on a bike was a big success from the recent doubles tournament. It made him much more mobile and a bigger threat. Giving him the Hunter's Eye was a no-brainer. As one of the best White Scars relics (if not one of the best space marine relics in general), this will be very powerful when paired with the command squad. This relic is also useful at giving my Librarian +1BS, improving his chances to hit with psychic shriek (if I take it).
I also decided to give the Mantle of the Stormseer a go. The big bonus for this relic is giving my Librarian Adamantium will. This means that any psychic powers targeting my Librarain (and Command Squad) will be denied on a 4+ (or 3+ if I am higher mastery level) and keep them safe. Very useful for blocking psychic shriek or other such attacks. The addition of the Psychic Maelstrom power might prove useful in the game, though at warp charge 3, the chances of the Librarian killing himself with it are a bit higher. It may be that I never use the Mantle if I don't come up against any psykers, but at only 20 pts, I think it is worth the risk.
I will probably roll on Telepathy. Even with toned down Invisibility (fired at or attacked on BS1 and WS1), it will still be useful to get. If I don't get it, I will probably go for Psychic Shriek and Prescience.
The only issue with the Librarian might be survivability. The lack of an Invulnerable save and only 2 wounds, he may die quite quickly (especially if I get unlucky on the Perils rolls).
Command Squad
I've also taken my bike mounted command squad. This unit features an Apothecary and 4 veterans, all armed with Grav guns, storm shields and meltabombs.
Combined with the Hunter's eye, this unit puts out a lot of firepower that can take out just about any threat on the table. The Storm shields give them a 3+ invulnerable without the need for Jinking so as not to diminish their firepower.

I have given the squad meltabombs to deal with any vehicle threats the army may face. Given that there will be no Imperial Knights at the tournament, this may be overkill, so I may drop the meltabombs in favour of a power axe for one of my sergeants.

The squad is quite expensive, but should be durable enough to weather a lot of firepower and give a lot of firepower in return.

Bike Squads
These are my go-to units in my White Scars army. They provide good mobility, durability and firepower in the army and are always included.

The missions will be a mixture of objective-based and maelstrom missions, with one mission based on kill points. These units should give me some good utility in all the missions.

With the points left over, I gave one sergeant a power lance. This is a nice thematic addition for White Scars and should give me S5 AP3 attacks on the charge- useful for dealing with tougher bikers. It does go down to AP4 on the second turn of combat though, so I'm wondering if a normal power weapon would be better.

Scouts and Landspeeder Storm
One of my favourite units in my army, the Scouts and Landspeeder storm will probably make an appearance. The unit gives me some close combat potential, as well as the meltabombs on the sergeant for taking on vehicles.

The Landspeeder storm is a great unit for grabbing objectives practically anywhere on the board and the Blind from the Cerberus launcher can come in handy against many armies.

At only 100 points for the unit and transport, they are a great inclusion in a small army.

Attack Bike
A tank-hunting attack bike with multimelta was included as I had the points to spare. Again, with only one shot, the performance of this can be a bit variable depending on whether it hits or not. I assume the attack bike will be a low priority target in the army, so it may even get to do some objective grabbing towards the end of the game.

Another favourite in the army, this gives me a lot of firepower, which can also be used to target other flyers.

Centurion Devastators
I took three Centurions with grav cannons and grav amps, with a drop pod for transport. This unit are hard hitters and a prime target for your opponent's force simply due to the amount of firepower they can put out.
The drop pod should allow them to get where they need to go to cause the most damage and stop them from being wiped out before they get a chance to fire.

For my list I just need to paint up a bike-mounted Librarian. I have ordered the parts for this and should be able to get it completed before the end of the month. If not, my Dark Angels Librarian could sub in for his White Scars colleague.

So that is the proposed army. A lot of firepower and mobility should have me in good stead for most of the missions. The force is small, but with the restrictions of the tournament, I should hopefully not face too many horde armies. What do you think of the army? Any suggestions on changes or tips?


  1. I love list building!

    Here's my thoughts - though I know I mustn't touch your grav command squad, haha!

    1 attack bike as you pointed out can be quite susceptible to fluctuating performance levels. My bigger concern would be it's pretty much a walking (riding?) first blood point, particularly against an army like Tau with lots of S7 shooting.

    Melta bombs - as you pointed out, probably overkill, particularly with the number of grav guns your army brings.

    You seem to be putting a lot of points into the librarian. With a two wound character that doesn't have an invulnerable save I'd probably look to keep him fairly cheap, probably just go with the single piece of wargear. You can probably save enough through taking those things out to get yourself a second attack bike, which not only makes them more reliable, but also makes them a much tougher proposition for first blood.

    1. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - might be worth checking that a libby on a bike actually makes bike squads troops. I know the last codex it was only captains that did that (not even chapter masters) but can't remember if they changed it this edition.

    2. Cheers Nick. I find the attack bike doesn't do much other than be a distraction and grab objectives at the end. Might be worth dropping the Mantle of Stormseer, Meltabombs and attack bike. That would give me 95 points to spend. Maybe go for power weapons on my bike sergeants or a tactical squad?

      As far as I am aware, any bike-mounted independent character now makes them troops choices. A change from the 6th to 7th edition codices.

    3. Hmm, 95 points is not much to spend in the marine codex is it! If you could squeeze 5 more I'd say go thunderfire for gaming potential, but it's not very fluffy. You could probably stick in a small unit of bikes, perhaps with a couple of flamers just to give you a bit of redundancy against hordes if you do end up facing one. If not, they're still a nippy claiming unit.

    4. Unfortunately, I don't own a thunderfire cannon. I also can't take another unit of bikes thanks to the rules of the tournament (max of 2 of each unit).

    5. I agree with Nick on most points, though at this level I would be tempted to grab another scout unit. Bodies on the table to camp objectives are invaluable I find at lower points games. But even if you took this list as is Mike I think you would do very well with your generalship :)

    6. Flattery like that will get you everywhere Rob.

    7. I agree on the above points, making your HQ cheaper especially. You could bump up that scout squad to 10, give 4 of them snipe rifles and 1 a missle launcher or a heavy bolter and stick those 5 on an objective, maybe on close to your own deplyoment zone that you'd usually have to divert one of your more mobile units too, giving them free reign in turn.

  2. Scout bikes would be a good addition then - the grenade launcher is a lot more useful than its stats indicate, getting in 12" and double tapping then charging in and making use of your HoW can be very effective!

    1. I actually have unit of scout bikers to get painted. Should be able to get them done by the end of the month.

    2. Granted I've been using them with the hunting force but my scout bikers have taken out a devastator squad and librarian against Blood Angels, and a big squad of flesh hounds against a daemon army

    3. Scout bikers were something I was thinking of, too - don't they also have a locator beacon? You could scout them up and drop your grav cents that much more reliable.

  3. I think scout bikes would be better use of points than the attack bike, granted you'd loose an anti-armour unit but you'd get a lot more use and flexibility out of the scouts.

    As for guard armies, I think this set-up does little to restrict them. With platoons and pretty much everything being squadrons there are still lots of options.

    1. Yeah, I think the scout bikers are a good shout and I'll try and get them painted.

      I wasn't sure about platoons, the rules don't specify whether platoons count as a unit or do the infantry squads count as the individual units. Platoons would make sense, otherwise it would be very difficult to build a Guard army.

    2. I would have thought platoons, but even so, a PCS, 2x squads, 2x HWT, 2x Special weapons and a large blob of conscripts is a lot of bodies and dakka.

  4. 1250 can be a really fun Points level. Games go nice and fast, and it just tends to be more light-hearted in my experience.

    Not a whole lot to mention about the list that hasn't already been said, but if you do go with some Scout Bikers, consider a Locator Beacon. Infiltrate+Scout can get them in a good position to bring that one Pod down exactly where you want it (e.g. on an Objective), and there are probably also some possible shenanigans available with that and keeping the Scouts in the Storm in Reserve and Deep Striking them.

    1. Yeah, I'm thinking if I drop the attack bike and meltabombs on the command squad, I can take 3 scout bikers with a homing beacon, meltabombs and a grenade launcher. Will help me ensure the centurions get to where they are needed.

  5. Preferred enemy (unpainted): bwah ha ha ha ha! That's brilliant :o)

    1. You think I can use this rule in my regular games too?

    2. Oh, yeah, forgot to comment on that. There are a couple of events around here that use that, too, and I love it.

    3. Not sure where but I read about that before. On one hand I think it's a cool idea, but then not everyone has a lot of time on their hands to paint everything. We have a few dads in our group as well and I know they find it hard to even find time to assemble their models sometimes. Some people (like me) are also super slow painters - I've gotten back into 40K about 1,5 years ago and only have about 1000pts of painted models. That would still exclude me from most tournaments, which would be sad.

      All that said of course painted battles are so much more fun, just like having a gaming mat and nice terrain!

  6. an interesting set of rules. the only change i would like to see is the allowance of formations, but limited to a point size, similar to the allies. not sure why riptides allowed as they are gargantuan creatures....very odd to pick and choose. sort of like say no super heavies but a stormlord is ok.

    would they be playing maelstrom missions or eternal war?

    as for your list it looks very solid for most missions and i agree with what the others suggest with a squad of scout bikers would be a good addition

    1. The Riptide issue was me wondering, I couldn't remember if they were Gargantuan or not. I thought that they weren't, but if they are, then even better for me!

      There are 4 mission that are two eternal war, one maelstrom and one special one for the tournament (basically a version of the Relic where the Relic does not move and you score each turn you hold it).

    2. Riptides are monstrous creatures, not gargantuan.

    3. ah yes they are. it is the new stormsurge that was gargantuan