I'm going to try post a few of my thoughts, builds, and mini-reports as I go. I dont have the chance to game as much as Id like living in Beijing now, but Im still managing every now and then.
I've been toying with variants on a brigade theme - just playing with different units.
The most recent version was this:
Smashy Cap (Hammer of Baal, Shield, Death Visions, Gift of Foresight)
1x5 Tacticals - Melta, Hammer
2x5 Scouts - CCW - Pwr Swrd
1x5 Scouts - shotguns
9x DC - Hammer, 2Swrds, bolters
8x VanVets - Hammer, 2swrds, 5shields
Sang Ancient - banner
2x Rapiers - quad mortar
1x Dev - cherub, 2las, plas
I start off with 2 less CP (so 10) on account of the 2nd Relic. I'm debating the use of the banner at the moment. It has come in handy, but I'm not entirely sure its the best choice for me, yet.
Mephy and Lemmy are there as the heavy hitters- Lemmy just puts out so much damage for his cost, and the associated buffs to the DC are too good to not have him.
Captain Smashytank is great. The 3++/5+++ is really beneficial given that he can solo without the need for the Ancient around for his FNP. Also means that Meph and him have annoying 5+++'s.
I didnt find I missed the priest, and felt his smashyness to be more beneficial than the priests buffs (although, losing the ability to heal wounds was missed).
The Tarantulas are just there for cheap FA slots, as are the Rapiers- which also provide some solid non-los shots from afar. I'd love another squad of Devs, but the points are an issue- and I prefer the no LOS shots from the rapiers.
The DC are almost auto-include on account of the Lemmy combo and Forlorn Fury options. I want to try find a way to get them to 12 men strong, but am too nervous to increase them much higher as their low LD when not near Lemmy means that if the squad is targeted heavily and they lose, say 7 men, any die roll will see losses. Theyre just very tactically flexible with a chunky squad.
The vanvets are another autoinclude for me. High damage output, and with the shields, theyre even more survivable than the DC. I will test a 2nd build with no DC and no Lemmy just to change things up.
The troop selection is stock standard for 5 units (the scouts and inters). I love the intercessors in support roles. They're very slow, but really tanky and provide some solid back/mid-field roles.
The scouts are a necessity. I will not play competitively without at least +-15 of these guys (maybe 2x7/8 or usually 3x5). Their ability to mitigate alpha drops is just completely a requirement in any serious play imo.
Unfortunately, they rarely, if ever see combat, so I'm slowly gravitating towards bolters again...unsure though. More thoughts from community welcome here.
The Tac squad is usually either a las-caddy squad, or in the case of a pod list, usually a melta/melta unit. I went for a hammer just to try things out. I dont think i'll waste the points there again, though.
Finally, i tried out Inceptors for the first time. They did reasonably well in this game (underutilised, but I can definitely see their potential). I think I would try always run them as a squad of 4 with the bolters, though, the potential for killy, killy death and plasma is still floating around my head. They also synergise beautifully with Wings of Fire. I think my tactic will try be to play them as mid/later game units, and keep them out of LOS from most, rather than shock troops getting in the thick of things. Almost like Tau/Eldar tactics?
OVERALL THOUGHTS (Game vs Tau).
I played a game vs Tau - basically a test list -nothing too optimised. There was a LOT of LOS blocking terrain, so that changed things considerably in my favour, i feel. Also, the Tau were spread out across the long table edge, rather than castled heavily, so i could engage ranks at a time. I fluffed most of my first turn charges (mephy aside) - but made up for it by getting everything i needed into combat in turn 2, and smashing the back of the army.
Using the triangle lock in tactic I was able to stay in combat too- and its now my favourite BA tactic to use.
I've learned the following:
1. Declare charges on multiple units - even ones far away - even if it opens you up to more overwatch. WHY?
This way you can not only consolidate in AND attack that unit (whereas before you could maybe trap them in, but not fight) but more importantly you could use Honour the Chapter on that unit.
MORE IMPORTANTLY - you can attack one unit, ignore the other, and then lock yourself in to the unit you ignored using the tri-lock. (Imma call it tri-lock from now).
2. If opponents are bubble-wrapping - and doing it with units close - dont shoot the primary bubble wrap.
This is because you reduce the amount of models you can tri-lock AND more importantly, wiley opponents will remove those locked models after bad morale. Rather wipe those units out in the next round of combat.
3. If you're relying on a 9" charge - I believe you're wasting your time. When you "rely" on something that is has a higher chance of NOT happening than happening, you're looking for trouble. Stack your odds. Use Descent of Angels - and if you can use it on something with rerolls (even better). This
4. Always* keep your DC in reserve.
We've mentioned this in a few threads, but, for the first time since the new dex, I was deployed my DC. I deployed them because conditions were right. Dawn of War, and +1 to go first for me - AND, limited no LOS shots from the Tau.
I still lost the first turn, so I had to burn 2 CP not to move them closer, but to essentially run them backwards and behind a ruin :/ I felt it was a 2CP(/3CP) gamble -and at the rate that BA burn CP, I'm not sure it was a gamble that is worth it. (I say 3CP because you will then need to Wings of Fire them, rather than a support character).
Worst case is they take fire and you lose X number of DC that you didnt need to lose in the first place. If you're playing a CP mining army with an IG commander, then maybe you can make this gamble.
This was best case scenario, and still...so, yeah. I think I will only try this on the rarest of occasions. Basically when its all or nothing, and when I know I can protect the DC from incoming fire. Otherwise, you cant co-ordinate your assaults with the vanguard (see point 3!). Vanvets doing the 3d6 and DC doing the Lemmy Reroll. (With mephy doing the pod hop).
That's all for now all. Will add to this thread as I play. Thanks.