Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Musings on 6th Edition - List building

Just to preface this article I've been sitting on it for some amount of time because I simply haven’t had the time to finalise it.

I've also been busy doing lots of other bits and pieces, including a quick foray into Dreadball as well as taking the Dark Angels out for a spin and sorting out my CGK:LRL (Comedy Grey Knights : Land Raider List) for the 3rd Shack Attack in the Hobby Shack, Wicklow

I was reading an article over at Imperius Dominatus, here:
And it was talking about how there are ‘hard’ counters to certain units, plasma for sanguinary guard, for example.

I wanted to apply this in a more general sense and look at soft counters to certain trends that are apparent in 6th edition and slot this into my meta, which is the Irish 40k scene.

I then want to apply this to list building for my armies, I’m looking to have a Take All Comers (from here on it’ll be known as TAC) list built up.

There are a few army types that we can start to look at before getting into the actual units that make up armies as these types have a fairly standard composition.

The Horde Army

This is commonly seen as a big pile of Ork Boyz or huge swarms of Tyranids with the idea of numbers being the key to victory; this is generally countered by template Weaponry, Flamers and Blasts, the larger the better.

Tarpits These are a sort of subset of horde forces, using either numerous or very tough models to hold up something that could cause a lot of damage to the rest of your force. It’s not so much something you need to build your list for but more of a tactical element when playing.

A ‘Mech’ force

An army that consists of Vehicles generally with troops inside. This is less prevalent in 6th Ed than it was in 5th with the ability for lower strength weaponry to glance a vehicle to death. To counter it one needs to bring decent strength ranged firepower, Strength 8 and above ideally.


Flyers are now becoming pretty popular in 6th Ed, with Cron Air being a big player as well as Guard planes and Helldrakes. Dealing with them really requires some Skyfire so an Aegis Line and Quad gun is starting to become a pretty standard piece of kit in most lists. The new Codicies also include Flakk Missile Launchers and the new Daemon Book has a Skyfire Autocannon. Armies without access to these can try with Twin-linking (prescience) and Volume of fire to try and cause some damage.

Edit: The Tau Codex is now out and Brings the option to sling Interceptor and Skyfire onto all of the Battlesuits including Broadsides and the Riptide.

Terminators or Equivalent (TEQ)

This covers all the folks packing a 2+ Armour Save on the field e.g: Terminators. The hardest counter to this is anything AP2, Plasma tends to be the favourite due to weight of fire, a Lascannon is AP 2 but gets 1 shot, Plasma gives 2 at 12” or you have the cannon with a small blast. Another option is a demo charge but they tend to only really show up in the hands of Vets or Marbo. Another tactic for TEQ is just to force saves, volume of wounds onto models.

Marines or Equivalent (MEQ)

This is what most of the 40k Armies are based around, warriors in Power Armour toting a 3+ save, they can be handed by any AP3 weapons although there aren’t too many dedicated commonly found versions. Again, with the TEQ, volume of fire and forcing saves will sort you out.


Armour Value 14 and to a lesser Eextent 13 can be problematic if there’s nothing to take care of it, looking at the below, even if we are packing a Lascannon the chance of scoring a penetrating hit is slim.
Weapon Str

The best bet is a Str10 weapon or anything with the Melta or Armourbane special rule which usually gives Str 8 with 2D6 Armour Pen and even with Average Rolling you are only just getting a Pen.

High Toughness Units or Monstrous Creatures

This includes models starting at toughness 6 and going up to 10, a Str4 weapons only wound T6 on a 6+ and can’t even hurt T8, again High strength weaponry is required to take care of these beasties, I’m looking at you Monstrous Nid’s, (Greater) Deamon (Princes), Dread Knights and most recently Riptides. The latter of the two who are 2+/5++. Poisoned weapons/Fleshbane is a good choice here but unless you’re Dark Eldar there isn’t all that much available.

An Assault Death Star

Death Stars tend to come in the form of a big melee blob loaded up with special characters, a load of wargear and some super nasty combination of other things. Some Examples are; a big Unit of Nob Bikers with Klaws, Loganwing Space Wolves with mixed and matched Terminators and power fists, Some combination of nasty Necron things that never die. Sometimes these units will fall into the TEQ category and can be dealt with, mostly, with Plasma and other AP 1/2 although they usually have some sort of invulnerable save or a mutli-wound Eternal Warrior component. Volume of fire or “more guns!” is always an option.

In conclusion you need the following to build a TAC list:
  • Templates
  • AP 2 or Lots of guns
  • Ranged Str 8
  • SkyFire
  • AP3 or Lots of guns
  • Melta/Armourbane
  • Fleshbane/Posion
Lots of guns

I'd love to hear anyones thoughts on this, add a comment and tell me how wrong I am.