I just tried the new 3th list (with a few changes). I had a battle against 2000 Pts of iron Hands.
-Master Tech on a bike with the iron stone
-2 lieutenants with jumppacks
-Chaplain dreadnought (warlord) with targeting protocols and lascannons.
-1 mortis dreadnought with 4 lascannons (he made it a character).
-3 invictor warsuits
-1 repulsor executioner with the big laser cannon
-3x 5 scouts
Like I said I used the 3th list. The only changes I made: I dropped one unit of intercessors for an extra devastator centurion model and switched the chaplain for another captain (with a master crafted fist).
He chose the side and deployment en I got the first turn. The first turn was brutal. My thunderfire cannons killed 2 units of scouts (I did had to shoot an extra time to achieve this), The snipers killed one lieutenant. With the rest of my army and the +1 to wound centurions I managed to destroy the 3 interceptors!
Note: I deployed 2 of the 3 suppressors on the board for the extra firepower.
In his first turn his whole army, after seeing what the centurions could do, shot at them. I popped the once a battle extra armour save stratagem and because they were in cover, had a 0+ armour save. This turned out to make a big difference because he only killed 2 models and wounded a thirth (I did CP re-roll one armour save into a succes). His mortis dreadnought also destroyed one impulsor. I used both of my impulors to block the line of sight of some of his models.
In my second turn the 3th unit of suppressors came in. In that turn I moved the impulsor forward to block his path and destroyed his 3 warsuits. My snipers wounded his master Tech who was still out of line of sight.
In his turn 2 he took some revenge. He killed 1,5 unit of suppressors, my scouts and 3 of the 4 remaining centurions.
In my turn 3 I could target half of his characters and dreadnoughts because I had killed all his warsuits, interceptors and scouts. So I managed to destroy the mortis dreadnougth and his master tech. I also wounded the warlord chaplain dread.
In his turn 3 he marched up and killed all my suppressors, 2 sniper models, my last centurion model. His executioner also killed 1 whirlwind with his main cannon.
In my turn 4 I succeded to kill his last lieutenant and kill the wounded chaplain dreadnought. I charged the executioner with my captain that had the master crafted fist. I rolled bad and really missed my whirlwind of rage, He took only 4 wounds off.
In his turn 4 he fell back with the executioner and shot my captain into a bloody pulp. His thunderfire cannon shot down an eliminator a turn (getting a cover save makes a difference).
Turn 5 saw my 3 thunderfire cannons rolling hot and destroying the wounded executioner! My remaining eliminators took the last 3 wounds of his cannon techmarine and my whirlwind also decided to roll hot and destroy the thunderfire cannon as well. He had nothing left at this point. I won 11 to 3 VP. We played with the objective cards.
What I like about Imperial Fists:
- Not giving cover saves against armies with armour like Space Marines.
- Heavy Bolter devastor centurions are godly with IF. I don't think any other faction can make devastor centurions that good against so many things.
- The extra armour save and the +1 to wound vehicles stratagems. The feel no pain one can be useful to but haven't tried it so far.
- The extra damage from heavy weapon against vehicles is great. Makes so much difference.
What I missed:
- Some combat killing power. I had only one captain that could hurt vehicles. The unit of intercessors with a fist sergeant were killed as soon as they stepped out of the impulsor. Nothing else in the army could really hurt him in combat. My other jumppack captain had the teeth of terra which is great but not so much against armour.
- I got used to having units with Master artisians, whirlwind of rage and the big fists assault centurions have. I did missed these elements. Especially Master artisians on my snipers and characters. But you get other things in return so I guess they did a good job here so you have to choose.
I'm playing with the idee of swapping the traditional IF chapter tactics for Master artisians and something else (maybe stealthy?). The ignore cover is good against Space Marines but against other armies they don't add much. The exploding bolter rule they get is the hard part. I like this on the centurions but perhaps they are better with the other benefits. I really have to think about this. What do you think?