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Dealing with conscript hoards


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#1
micahwc

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I've been playing around with my spread sheet trying to figure out the fastest way to kill a 40 strong blob of cultists. It's not easy. It takes like 135 bolter shots from a marine, or over 200 from a guardsman equivalent. This is assuming they have good leadership from an attached commissar. I've personally only fought two groups of 20 conscripts in a list, and they were a complete pain in the ass; requiring several turns of concentrated fire to displace.

 

Options:

 

  • Sniper marauders. 40 conscripts is 160 points. A bare minimum unit of marauders with 2x sniper rifles is 34 points. This gives you 4, almost 5 squads for the same cost. You need about 11 snipers to guarantee a kill statistically against a Lord Commisar in one turn of shooting. This is not easy and is certainly impractical, but 40 conscripts are not practical. A vanguard detachment consisting of 6 marauder squads with 2x sniper rifles each, and a Malefic Lord to lead them is 234 points. Assuming no modifications to rolls anywhere, and no command point re-rolls, this detachment can statistically kill a Lord Commisar in one turn of shooting. Once the commisars are gone the conscripts will take a lot more wounds from failed morale saves.

 

  • Heavy Stubber/Heavy Bolter Teams. Heavy bolters are slightly better at killing conscripts than heavy stubbers due to the AP of -1 they get, but heavy stubbers are half the cost. A command squad with a heavy stubber team is 28 points. 198 points will get you a Vanguard Detachment with 6 such teams, led by a Malefic Lord. They will only kill 5 conscripts a turn. Heavy bolters would cost 24 more points and kill 1 more cultist per turn. Heavy Weapon Teams cost 42 points for 6 heavy stubbers, but are BS 5+. They kill only 2.6 conscripts a turn per 6 heavy weapons. 36 heavy stubber teams  costs 252 points and will only kill 16 conscripts per turn. Heavy bolter teams would cost an extra 24 points and would kill 20 conscripts per turn.

 

  • Chaos Cultists: 4 points each and armed with an autogun. Fight fire with fire. Once in rapid fire range a 40 strong unit of chaos cultists will deal an average of 13 wounds per firing phase for the same cost as a conscript blob. The nice thing is that Chaos Cultists have better stats than conscripts, beating them out in ballistic skill. The bad thing is that cultists don't have orders or commisars.

 

Conclusions

 

  1. We don't really have any "good" way to kill mass conscript spam and you shouldn't play against an opponent who wants to bring 100 conscripts regularly unless you are really masochistic and don't love yourself.
  2. GW needs to fix conscript spam in an errata, sooner rather than later. Personally I think they need to lose orders and that would fix a lot of it.
  3. If you need to kill conscripts our best way to do it is probably a combination of cultists spam, with sniper support to kill off the commisars and infantry commanders.

Any thoughts? Are my conclusions accurate? Any debate on this issue? Please write, I like the dialogue.

 


The Codex Astartes no doubt has guidance that covers that kind of situation - long, detailed advice that would essentially boil down to "shoot the choppy ones, chop the shooty ones".


#2
micahwc

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If you need to keep them down for a turn charge them with a rhino. 40 cultists overwatching will statistically maybe do 1 wound to a rhino equivalent. Once they are engaged charge them with something remotely good in close combat. Watch out for the order that lets them shoot after withdrawing. Charge them with the rhino again, before charging them with other things.


The Codex Astartes no doubt has guidance that covers that kind of situation - long, detailed advice that would essentially boil down to "shoot the choppy ones, chop the shooty ones".


#3
HenricusTyranicus

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I

Options:

 

  • Sniper marauders. 40 conscripts is 160 points. A bare minimum unit of marauders with 2x sniper rifles is 34 points. This gives you 4, almost 5 squads for the same cost. You need about 11 snipers to guarantee a kill statistically against a Lord Commisar in one turn of shooting. This is not easy and is certainly impractical, but 40 conscripts are not practical. A vanguard detachment consisting of 6 marauder squads with 2x sniper rifles each, and a Malefic Lord to lead them is 234 points. Assuming no modifications to rolls anywhere, and no command point re-rolls, this detachment can statistically kill a Lord Commisar in one turn of shooting. Once the commisars are gone the conscripts will take a lot more wounds from failed morale saves.

 

  •  

The thing is guard tend to have a million command points. When I have to separate my commissars and my 50 man conscript blob, I shrug and resign myself to using 2 of my 10 command points on keeping them there. We've command points to spare, and no unique stratagems to spend them on. It's a bit of an inconvenience. Not really a threat.   


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#4
Akrim

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Im sure something will be done to balance out Conscripts when the AM codex comes out.

But yeah assault them with a vehicle first, then hit them with something assaulty.

#5
bozo69pd

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Powercreep will eventually mow down conscripts. We are already starting to see it literally with the new lawnmower blight drone, and of course Mortarion.



#6
Perigrin

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I would recommend Mortar Teams for sheer stupid cheapness. Quad Mortars if you want a better chance at doing something but less shots.



#7
Azekai

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Hordes don't have a hard counter in 8th. Elite armies do, with mortal wounds/smite spam, hyper-accurate plasma, ect. The only soft counters to sheer numbers are to take lots of other undercosted units and bargain-bin the stupid IG to death.

I don't bother to play conscript spam. It is too good at wasting time and the fact that massed bodies > all showcases one of the significant flaws of 8th.
 


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#8
micahwc

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One of the forgeworld chaos flyers, (hell talon or hellblade, I forget which) has a one use bomb that rolls 1d6 per model in the attacked unit, and seals a mortal wound on 5+, with a +1 to your roll if attacking infantry; so statistically one of these should be a decent counter to conscripts, killing half of them in a single turn.

The Codex Astartes no doubt has guidance that covers that kind of situation - long, detailed advice that would essentially boil down to "shoot the choppy ones, chop the shooty ones".


#9
Kinstryfe

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I use Conscripts regularly when I have to play with the guard codex and honestly, a lot of the time the best thing my opponent can do is ignore them. They're annoying, but against anything with armour they're barely a threat. Throw a chimera into them and watch as they spend 5 turns doing nothing needing 5s to hit and 6s to wound with no AP modifier. If they fall back, ram em again. What you don't want is for them to tarpit an important unit, or get off a frfsrf against a lightly armoured target, and that's unfortunately what a lot of people are still letting them do because they haven't figured out how to handle them or, rather, ignore them.
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#10
Ulrik_Ironfist

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I'd counsel against just ignoring conscripts. Properly supported they can do a lot. Granted that's going to mean officers and commissars at the least, and possibly guilliman to really buff them.

 

That said, I agree with the Idea that the best counter to them is to throw something disposable at them. Or, throw a really choppy unit at them.

 

It's less a matter of Conscripts needing to be nerfed, and more a matter of people needing to learn how to deal with hordes in this new edition.



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#11
Azekai

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That said, I agree with the Idea that the best counter to them is to throw something disposable at them. Or, throw a really choppy unit at them.

 

It's less a matter of Conscripts needing to be nerfed, and more a matter of people needing to learn how to deal with hordes in this new edition.

I make use of conscripts. Last time they murdered a bunch of WE terminators... it took a long time, but the conscripts won out in the end (with a bit of help from Straken's aura).

In 8th, there isn't a good way to deal with hordes. All the things that kill hordes with relative ease are either so shooty or so smashy they would pulp just about anything else, and all of them cost far more than the conscript blob. And even then, if those are the best counters, then they are poor counters.

Conscripts, ork boys, morale-immune fodder in general all need (probably indirect) nerfs. Massed bodies should be good, but not better than everything else on a systemic level. Conventional infantry killing weapons need to do extra damage to big squads or deal true AoE. The fact that a demolisher or Leman Russ cannon only kills a couple of dudes on average is absurd. Face-rolling into what are supposed to be devastating weapons should not be rewarded, and there is no reason why 4 berzerkers should be better at killing conscripts than almost any single piece of artillery.  


Edited by Azekai, 15 September 2017 - 05:10 PM.

Corruption is our armor. Infection is our weapon. Immortality is our reward.
 

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#12
Perigrin

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What we need is something that is Smash:cusser tier durable that can force them to stay in close combat, but i doubt that will ever happen.



#13
micahwc

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A summoned Daemon Lord. Let's see 40 conscripts kill one of them in 6 turns of fighting. They are only like 500 points each.


The Codex Astartes no doubt has guidance that covers that kind of situation - long, detailed advice that would essentially boil down to "shoot the choppy ones, chop the shooty ones".


#14
Azekai

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A summoned Daemon Lord. Let's see 40 conscripts kill one of them in 6 turns of fighting. They are only like 500 points each.

Hah! I can't tell if you are kidding or not
wacko.png


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#15
CrimsonReign

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marauder snipers are great, not only do you get the 2 snipers, but the squad is bs3+, can be -1 to hit in cover, and get a 3+ save in said cover
and they're pretty reliable with their leadership rule

renegades for me have never been about anything elite, its about the numbers of good value things you can bring as an answer

recently tested snipers vs magnus, ended up with half the sniper squads left and a dead magnus (malefic lords do this much better, taking only one turn)



#16
Akrim

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marauder snipers are great, not only do you get the 2 snipers, but the squad is bs3+, can be -1 to hit in cover, and get a 3+ save in said cover
and they're pretty reliable with their leadership rule
renegades for me have never been about anything elite, its about the numbers of good value things you can bring as an answer
recently tested snipers vs magnus, ended up with half the sniper squads left and a dead magnus (malefic lords do this much better, taking only one turn)


Say what? How many sniper squads are we talking here?

#17
Tamika

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I presume it was equal points worth of Magnus for the tests?
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#18
sanityimpaired

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Since the reduction in chaos cultist point cost, it's pretty obvious that R&H troops are overcosted.  I've suggested to FW reduce cultists to 4 pts each and militia/mutants to 3 pts each since they're pretty close to conscripts anyway.

You could house rule it that way while waiting for FW to actually do the FAQ.


There may not be Deamons in 40k, but there are certainly Deacons.
I'm also pretty confidant that make up exists in 40k, so there have got to be Rouge Traders out there as well.

I play Necrons, Dark Eldar, and Chaos Space Marines.  I have a big pile of Orks as well, but haven't gotten around to doing anything with them yet.


#19
CrimsonReign

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yeah equal points - i think it was 12 squads of marauders (needless to say it was proxied for testing purposes, i only have 2 converted squads for them)


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#20
Not 1 Step Backwards

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I've been reading your posts and thinking about this.  I'm seriously considering using Nurglings to just tarpit the Conscripts + Commissar Combo.  My reasoning:

 

1. They're surprisingly resilient against small arms/regular close combat - their invuln save and new Feel No Pain thing works under those conditions

 

2. They're infiltrators - let's them get in the Guard Horde's face early, hold them there for as long as possible, needs no transport, they're just there

 

3. They're pretty cheap wounds - even with the above saves and infiltration, they're really the cheapest points-per-wound option.  Cheaper in the Death Guard codex.

 

This is just a tarpit, though, very little damage output.  They're there to hold-the-line.  I mention this, of course, because of the Chaos Faction, etc.



#21
Azekai

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Tarpitting conscript blobs doesn't work too well. The conscripts can fall back and then blaze away if they are given the order to 'Get Back in the Fight.' Even if the conscripts aren't given any orders, they can still fall back and let something else with damage shoot the nurglings, on the rare occasion dealing with the tiny daemons is even necessary.

Assuming the conscripts aren't in danger of being wiped out, it might be fine for the guard player to just let them fight. When I use conscripts, I tend to have them stand in front of things that I don't want to reach my tanks or elites. If they start fighting other chaff, I don't really care, they are still doing their job as a screen.
 


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#22
Perigrin

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There is no way to tarpit in 8th. My group has been considering establishing a house rule that if you fall back the units you are falling back from get free overwatch shots, which is just lovely for me and my renegade obsession. This would make backing hordes out a bit more dicey against a lot of things.


Edited by Perigrin, 26 September 2017 - 11:44 PM.


#23
bozo69pd

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There is no way to tarpit in 8th. My group has been considering establishing a house rule that if you fall back the units you are falling back from get free overwatch shots, which is just lovely for me and my renegade obsession. This would make backing hordes out a bit more dicey against a lot of things.

Sounds like a fun homebrew stratagem.



#24
Azekai

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There is no way to tarpit in 8th. My group has been considering establishing a house rule that if you fall back the units you are falling back from get free overwatch shots, which is just lovely for me and my renegade obsession. This would make backing hordes out a bit more dicey against a lot of things.

Technically, you just have to surround enemy units to prevent them from falling back... and the easiest way to do that is with piles of cheap guys. As if crushing numbers of chaff weren't good enough down.gif

By the same token, there aren't many things that can block a conscript blob from falling back...


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