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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.