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Competitive Iron Hands Problems

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#1
FinkleLord

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Hello all! 

 

The past months I have been trying to make a competitive list using pure Iron Hands (no successors) and been having a rough time when playing. Last weekend I went to a ITC style tournament with the L shape terrain pieces in the middle and got stomped pretty good. I was tabled 2 out of the 3 games and won my last game by a single point vs Ad Mech and Knights. 

 

I know people say Iron Hands is an easy win, but I seem to be struggling a lot. I've practiced a lot with the L shape terrain because I know tournaments in my area tend to use it so that's why I went with some units to ignore LOS.

 

I ran something a long the lines of:

 

Bike Captain-Power Fist and Shield

Lieutenants x2

Techmarine

Intercessors x3

Land Speeders x3

Suppressors x2

Leviathan

Mortis Contemptors with Lascannons x2

Thunderfire Cannon

Whirlwind x2

 

Game 1 was vs Harlequins and I thought I had deployed back far enough to avoid T1 combat, but no. Even with all my multi damage weapons I barely made a dent in his list and ended up tabled T4.

 

Game 2 was vs a Ultramarine character bomb where Gman and a bunch of characters rolled up the field. I only managed to kill off the chaff before his bomb hit my dreads. Again I failed to do any wounds to his Characters.

 

Game 3 was Ad Mech with a Castallen and  Gallant and a sprinkling of Ad Mech forces. I managed to score 6 lascannon hits and some hunter killer missiles against the Castallen but he saved all but 1. Somehow when the Gallant charged I did 16 wounds with lascannons so there was that. I never got the Castallen down below half wounds even with all my heavy hitting weapons. 

 

During the course of the tournament the biggest let down was surprisingly my Leviathan who managed to shoot a whole 3 times total. Not even a LOS issue just everything passed it's save against it. 

 

I think my biggest issue comes when deploying my units. Is it best to castle up everyone to negate first turn kills and sacrifice points to score less the first turn? 

 

My second issue is combating close combat armies. I have little experience with them and that seems to be where my weakness is. So should I have more units to help when units get close? Or deploy further back and make them come to me? I would be scoring less objectives that way but it may help in the long run. 

 

I haven't tried Executioners or Flyers a lot, but I think I need faster moving units to go after units in their deployment better. 

 

I don't see many competitive list running Iron Hands as no successors, but I want to try (obviously not trying to win LVO or NOVA or anything like that).  


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#2
Aothaine

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I think my biggest issue comes when deploying my units. Is it best to castle up everyone to negate first turn kills and sacrifice points to score less the first turn? 

 

So, deployment is one of the most important steps in deciding who is going to win the game. It is honestly one of the more complex parts of the game. With the list you mentioned above you will want to have screened out your units. Create road blocks with your units so the Harliquins can only really charge 1 unit and won't be able to pile into your other units locking them up. I really suggest you check out Table Top Tactics. They have some excellent videos that cover deployment.

 

 

 

I haven't tried Executioners or Flyers a lot, but I think I need faster moving units to go after units in their deployment better. 

 

Executioners are really good. Also the flyers that get +1 to target ground units make them hit on 2+ rerolling 1s. They are very good. 

 

Onto the list.

 

Having a TFC and two whirlwinds is overkill. Just run the TFC. Drop the two Whirlwinds and pick up either dev squads or two more dreadnoughts with lascannons. There is also super cheap HS dreadnought with quad autocannons from the forgeworld book I think. Other than that your list is pretty solid.

 

Did you make the Levi a character to help protect it? 

 

Did you buff the Techmarine so he was a master of the forge?

 

The bike captain seems a little out of place. Can you replace him with a primaris captain? To be completely honest you don't even really need him. You would be better off grabbing another Tecmarine for the repairs. 

 

Something else I need to point out is that Iron Hands are strong. They are not an easy win army. The issues people had with the Iron Hands when their supplement was released is that almost no one was building lists to fight against their list style. The meta has shifted now and from what I've heard there is a heavy focus on anti-marine lists now. 


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#3
FinkleLord

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Did you make the Levi a character to help protect it? 

 

I did and gave him the Student of History. He got wrapped to easily as I made the mistake of keeping the techmarine and lieutenant to close to him.

 

 

 

 

Did you buff the Techmarine so he was a master of the forge?

 

 

Sadly I could not as I didn't get the book in time. It would have helped a ton and kept the dreads alive a lot longer than they did. 

 

I am considering dropping the Speeders and Suppressors. The land speeders defiantly did some work, but they are fragile. Suppressors just did not do enough to make a dent in any of my matches. 

 

I will drop the Whirlwinds as I went a little overboard with them. Most of my play testing was against a lot of castling armies who I could never see. 

 

Captain was really there for hitting units and a speed bump, but he also under performed hard. He got into combat with the Harlequin Troupes and I think he killed 2 of them...

 

 

Currently I am looking towards a Executioner and Stormhawks. Though mortis dreads with autocannons near a master of the forge sounds tempting...


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#4
faithonwings

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Good advice here overall although I don't agree 2x whirlwind and a tfc are overkill. Lot's of really strong lists have 3 LOS ignoring support units.

The stormhawk and stortallon are amazing. It really helps to bring the fight to the enemy. But never Just bring one flyer because they are easy targets. Bring 3 min.

#5
FinkleLord

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Good advice here overall although I don't agree 2x whirlwind and a tfc are overkill. Lot's of really strong lists have 3 LOS ignoring support units.

The stormhawk and stortallon are amazing. It really helps to bring the fight to the enemy. But never Just bring one flyer because they are easy targets. Bring 3 min.

 

 

Flyers are my next step but I currently own two Stormhawks/Stormtalon not assembled. I might try two thunderfire cannons as they are easier to hide behind terrain. 



#6
Black Blow Fly

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TFC with +1 to wound Litany is really good.

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#7
FinkleLord

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TFC with +1 to wound Litany is really good.

 

 

How does that work with the TFC? I thought it needed to be the nearest visible unit. 



#8
faithonwings

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TFC with +1 to wound Litany is really good.

 

 

How does that work with the TFC? I thought it needed to be the nearest visible unit. 

 

You are correct sir. Closest vissible only. So if shooting something with no LOS on it, it doesn't work. Does mean that shooting a sqaud across the board you can see while nothing other in LOS does get you +1 to wound. (I know, it's wierd...)

 

Good on you with the flyers. Both tallons and hawks do work for me, but I prefer the hawks because they are a bit more resiliant at T7 and -1 to hit for units that hae the FLY keyword. Both are realy good for IH though so you can't go wrong.



#9
Black Blow Fly

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As stated as long as it’s the closest visible enemy unit. It can and does happen.

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#10
FinkleLord

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So had a chance to play the other day verse my IG friend. 

 

Rough list was

 

Techmarine (MoF)

Primaris Lieutenant

Librarian

Intersessors x3

Land Speeders (H.Bolter and Missiles) x3

Leviathan

Repulsor Executioner 

Thunderfire Cannon

Thunderfire Cannon

Stormhawks (Assault Cannon, Lastalon, typhoon missiles) x2

 

 Overall the list was OK. I made some horrendous errors in deployment and movement. Half the game I left the Leviathan or Repulsor unsupported by characters so they did mediocre. T1 I flew the Stormhawks to close to his lines so by T2 they had no where to fly and ended up getting destroyed.

 

I somehow managed to squeak out a win mainly because the Leviathan was untouchable once his Lemans were cleared.

 

Things to take away:

 

Position a lot better

Slow down the Flyers. Just because they move fast doesn't mean they should.

Land Speeders die quick

One Repulsor may not cut it. I feel like two would be better 



#11
Aothaine

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Yeah land speeders are a weird one. I'm still going to build my land speeder list but they are quite fragile. You want them positioned carefully to avoid as much fire as possible and with their movement and fly it shouldn't be too difficult to manage. But you have to be super careful with their movement.

 

I would say that 50% of all games are decided at deployment. Practice it a lot! If you have not done so yet you should really check out the tactica series that Tabletop Tactics has. They have a section dedicated to deployment. Really helpful!

 

Practice moving the Stormhawks as well when you have free time. It will help you get a better idea for positioning for the next move so they don't get stuck in future games. :D

 

Did you get any pictures? Have a batrep?



#12
FinkleLord

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Yeah land speeders are a weird one. I'm still going to build my land speeder list but they are quite fragile. You want them positioned carefully to avoid as much fire as possible and with their movement and fly it shouldn't be too difficult to manage. But you have to be super careful with their movement.

 

I would say that 50% of all games are decided at deployment. Practice it a lot! If you have not done so yet you should really check out the tactica series that Tabletop Tactics has. They have a section dedicated to deployment. Really helpful!

 

Practice moving the Stormhawks as well when you have free time. It will help you get a better idea for positioning for the next move so they don't get stuck in future games. biggrin.png

 

Did you get any pictures? Have a batrep?

 

 

Most of the games/tournaments I used Land Speeders they either over performed or under. In this case he had range on them 100% of the time due to mass artillery and battle cannons. I have a love hate relationship with them currently. They can fill out a cheap detachment easily, but they also die easily too. 

 

Sadly no pictures of the game, but I will be playing him again this Saturday so I will try and take some then.

 

My next unit I will be trying more of is Suppressors. On paper they sound awesome with Iron Hands.



#13
Aothaine

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Most of the games/tournaments I used Land Speeders they either over performed or under. In this case he had range on them 100% of the time due to mass artillery and battle cannons. I have a love hate relationship with them currently. They can fill out a cheap detachment easily, but they also die easily too. 

 

Sadly no pictures of the game, but I will be playing him again this Saturday so I will try and take some then.

 

My next unit I will be trying more of is Suppressors. On paper they sound awesome with Iron Hands.

 

Hopefully in a few months I'll be finished with my Land Speeder force. I'll be able to share some insights with them after that. For now though it is mostly just theory crafting.

 

The Suppressors do indeed look to be really good with Iron Hands. Let me know how they work out for you! 

 

Also, if you're interested, check out my list by clicking on the link in my signature for Iron Hands List Ideas. The speeder list revolves around 13 land speeders and 10 Cataphractii Terminators. It is a pretty fluffy list imho and I'm not expecting to win tournaments with it, but it should be a ton of fun to play!

 

Edit: Something else to consider is using two drop pods with 5-man devastator squads with Grav Guns in them. Drop the first on the first turn and drop the second on the second turn and make use of that nice grav stratagem on both turns from 100% healthy units. 


Edited by Aothaine, 24 January 2020 - 05:49 PM.

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#14
9x19 Parabellum

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.....The speeder list revolves around 13 land speeders and ....

 

 

My brain went into meltdown. No way in hell am I painting 13 land speeders.


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