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IW against GSC


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18 replies to this topic

#1
Kythnos

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Fellow warsmiths,

in a week's time I will take my Iron Warriors to crush a cult uprising. My latest games against the cult were difficult, so I wanted to if you have some generally applicable ideas to punishing these xenos mutants.

My opponent plays the cult that improves armour saves against AP 0 and -1 and also has one nifty stratagem for their bikers.

The latter ones and the buggies are particularly annoying since they tend to be very effectiv against my daemon engines.

#2
Azekai

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Screen/limit the buggies' mobility with cheap chaff is what I would say. The Iron Warriors can have morale-immune cultists thanks to a warlord trait.

The genestealer cult wants to trade up, using their crappy warriors to kill more expensive elites. Deny them this chance and they will die. Even with an improved armor save their base armor saves are pretty bad. 

You mentioned daemon engines, what kind of list are you taking into these battles?


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#3
Kythnos

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Last time I played a Sorcerer, Cultists, Terminators, a Decimator, a Venomcrawler, an Obliterator and some Spawn (45PL, I think). It felt very much like an uphill battle as I was heavily outgunned.

Those buggies have a long range and cannot really be screened out by cultists, I think. For the bikes that would be an option, but my daemon engines would not be able to use their speed if the cultists have to screen them. And I am not sure if they can manage a shooting duel as long as they are still BS 4+. With his Alphus, all his important guns can easily hit on 3+.

#4
FranK_Oz

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Early distraction is an option. A Heldrake with Baleflamer (AP2) is very scary for your opponent.

Also, when you are outgunned anyways I would consider to exchange your Decimator with a Maulerfiend to have a second option besides the Venomcrawler to be warptimed into the enemy lines in turn 1 or 2.

 

In general I would say ... don't go for the shooting duel. Hide as best as possible and then hit fast and hard from close distance. Daemon Engines can really shine there. And while going forward distracting the enemy, secure the victory points with cultists and termis. The enemy cannot shoot everything at once, so he has to decide

- kill your killers (Heldrake, Venomcrawler, Maulerfiend) or

- kill your victory point gathering units

 

You should be able to adopt to both strategies, let your killers die and win by victory points or go for armageddon and just kill the squishy xenos. ;)



#5
Kythnos

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Thank you for the suggestions. I actually use my Decimator for a forward role as well, so he is a good target for Warptime already.

But the Heldrake is a good option. I will try to fit one in.

#6
Kythnos

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Okay, this is what I am now thinking of for our 50 PL game:

Sorcerer
20 Cultists (1x20 or 2x10?)
5 Combiplas-Terminators
Decimator
Venomcrawler
1 Obliterator
Heldrake
2x1 Chaos Spawn

The Daemon Engines push forward for as much mayhem as possible, while the remaining army supports and scores at the same time.

#7
WatchCaptainNavar

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Greetings Warsmith,

I’ve got both iron warriors and GSC in my collection so here’s my thoughts having had both on the table top.

I wouldn’t worry to much about about the cult creed that gives +1 saves against ap 0 & 1 as at best it brings the buggies to a 3+ and troops to a 4+. To me rather than going with the quality high strength and ap weapons, I’d go for quantity of fire as GSC troops will be toughness 3, the bikes 4 and ridge runner 5. So your humble bolter will be wounding most of your opposition on 3s and 4s.

For your troops this is the one match up where your chaos space marines can work well before the new codex. As you’ll be tougher than the GSC troops, a 3+ save and malicious volleys. Where as chaos cultists will at best be able to keep up with the neophytes and acolytes, but are more than likely going to be outmatched by them and once your cultists are gone the GSC will have more obsec troops than you can deal with and he can sacrifice them to tie up your heavy hitters.

Then on top of using marines I’d find space for a lord for that reroll 1s

I’d second the maulerfiend or even a forgefiend as a powerful unit especially at 50 power / 1000pts.

Be aware that thanks to GSC deployment shenanigans if your opponent is worried about the hell drake he can spend cp to send more units into reserves.

For terminators I like combi bolters as they’re cheap and with hateful volleys there’s a lot of fire. I’d definitely deep strike them so you’ve got a mobile reserve given how quick GSC can be.

If it were me I’d probably use the 1k list I used when I got back into 40k in 8th

Terminator lord
Power fist
Spite spitter

Sorcerer
Force stave
Prescience
Delightful agonies

10 cultists for backfield objectives / actions

4x 5 man csm squads with bolters

1x 5 man terminators, combi bolters and power mauls

Havocs 2x auto cannon & 2x las cannon. I don’t have any of the new havocs but the new mini gun would be nasty against GSC.

Maulerfiend with lasher tendrils. I think a forge fiend with the auto cannons and jaw may be an interesting alternative in 9th.


Make them all mark of slanesh for endless cacophony where needed to up the fire power further.


Hope this is some useful food for thought and good luck!
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#8
Kythnos

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Thank you for the input, WatchCaptainNavar. It hs definitely given me food for thought.

 

Regarding the standard CSM, my experience in 8th with them has been rather poor, the same goes for the one game in 9th where I used one unit previously. This makes it hard for me to commit to so many units of CSM. But I will give one unit with a reaper chaincannon (the new mini gun you mentioned) a go and see what they can offer to my army. This will decrease my army's model count further, but I feel that is the trade-off with using a daemon engine-heavy list.



#9
WatchCaptainNavar

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CSM are in a bad spot right now, which will hopefully be improved by the new codex and if your still buying and building your army it’s certainly a dilemma, as it’s a safe bet that csm follow the lead of the death guard and will gain another wound and attack but at the same time cultists will probably be likewise limited as they are for DG, so trying to future proof your purchases is a hard one and it may be worth considering waiting on the codex before buying more in case of dramatic point or weapon option changes.

A 5 man csm is only 10pts more than a 10 man cultist unit so you could proxy your terminators as combi bolters for your smaller games to get the extra points and use them as plasma again as you get into the higher power level games. So giving you 5 marines, 10 cultists and your terminators. Or alternatively drop the obitorator as I didn’t realise they were 105pts each currently.

Deamon engine heavy is certainly very thematic and fun (my mauler fiend is called rogal and has eaten so many servants of the corpse emperor) most deamon engines are currently quite cheap points wise so at higher power levels you can fit them and enough obsec troops to have a blast and score points, it’s just the downside of a smaller game that you don’t have enough flexibility to bring everything you need to cover all bases.

What’s in your grand company currently that could be fielded in your next game? as you may already have some hidden gems that the community here can suggest using.
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#10
Kythnos

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Again, thank you for your feedback.

I am actually a longtime IW player, so my collection features most of the available CSM units in our codex, as well as some FW choices. I did sell off most of my units in servo armour in 2019 to update the army to current size standards though. So it is a bit smaller than it was two years ago.

I have also stopped investing in new units until our codex for 9th edition comes around. It is an uphill battle until then, but that is why I am looking for advice such as yours.

To give a bit of additional context: the game is part of our ongoing crusade campaign. So I can change things here and there and also add units, but a complete overhaul will be paid with lost experience and lost crusade upgrades.

So I am not primarily looking for a new list (though the ideas in that direction have already prompted me to do some smaller changes), but more towards generally applicable strategies, useful stratagems and advice to beat the GSC rush.

#11
MegaVolt87

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There is actually something we can do to juke others somewhat in low PL games-

 

Daemonsmith WLT on bubble dark apostle

1-2 forgefiends with with hades autocannons

Terminators

cultists

 

Roll up with bubble autogun cultists screening the forgefiends, use unholy vigour to keep the forgefiends going, while terminators do the rest of the heavy lifting. Use cannon fodder strat to keep termi's safer. With hades shots, I think you have a decent chance to fish for more 6's to proc daemonsmith WLT. 


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#12
Kythnos

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There is actually something we can do to juke others somewhat in low PL games-

Daemonsmith WLT on bubble dark apostle
1-2 forgefiends with with hades autocannons
Terminators
cultists

Roll up with bubble autogun cultists screening the forgefiends, use unholy vigour to keep the forgefiends going, while terminators do the rest of the heavy lifting. Use cannon fodder strat to keep termi's safer. With hades shots, I think you have a decent chance to fish for more 6's to proc daemonsmith WLT.


This is certainly something to keep in mind to challenge our local SoB player. With average CSM lists there is not a lot that feels on equal footing with his army. This list might pose a challenge though.

Obliterators do also work well with a Daemonsmith warlord, but they are more expensive in smaller games...

#13
WatchCaptainNavar

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My apologies for assuming a low power level meant a new army, and good luck at updating your force to the new sculpts as the new csm are lovely models and poses.

If the campaign your in means your constrained on making changes this is how I’d probably run the force you listed earlier, especially if the GSC are similarly constrained making them more predictable.

Deployment and early turns, Hide! Use terrain to keep your forces out of line of sight where possible to avoid the mining laser fire and take advantage of any terrain that will slow there charges.

Take the cultists in two squads of 10 as GSC have a lot of blast weapons available from grenade launchers and mortars through to the heavy mining laser on the ridge runners so I’d want to avoid giving them any opportunity for automatic max shots against vulnerable cultists. Also rather than screening with them I’d try to keep them out of sight and out of mind so that they can grab objectives and preform actions to gain vp as the game goes on. I think your opponent will have enough and diverse firepower to threaten the cultists and deamon engines in a single turn of used for screening.

Spawn and deamon engines- id gather them up in deployment so they can mutually support each other even if it means you have to refuse the flank on part of your deployment zone. On how they spend there first few turns that’ll come down to what the GSC have done in the past, how does he split his force? between his own deployment zone, the fast units and the deep striking ones. As if these are roughly thirds of his army I’d keep the deamon engines back, rather than charging his lines as GSC are quite a short ranged army so if you can use your greater concentrated force to destroy is forces piece meal while they aren’t able to support each other then you can start taking him apart one piece at a time. I.e first turn they sit in your deployment zone and either hide or shoot at the ridge runners, turn 2 they counter his deep striking units and from then on advance to take objectives and destroy his backfield objectives. Key stratagems being deamon forge and the one that lets them use there top profile when bracketed.

Terminators and oblitorator- I’d keep them in reserve to give you greater mobility and keep them out of danger. From your description above it sounds like the jackal alphus and ridge runners form a fast shooting cohort, to do this the alphus would have to be within 6 of the ridge runners or 12 of the bikes. I’d probably drop the terminators and oblitorator as close as possible to them in turn 2 and use veterans and endless cacophony to shoot up the ridge runners then charge whatever is left as here blast weapons work against the gsc and shut down the heavy mining laser. I’d also avoid overcharging the combi plasma as a terminator lost to overcharge is a heavy blow at this power level and I’d also take the -1 by always firing both half’s of the combi weapon to get more shots off.

For the sorcerer I’d keep him safe and for powers 3 possibles come to mind prescience to buff either the terminators or deamon engines, warp time for extra movement to help grab objectives or gain cover and delightful agonies for that 5++ to make key units more survivable.

As you have a limited amount of shooting and combat attacks your target priorities will be key and be very careful of the GSC trying to bait your shooting if several units deep strike in.
Neophytes have numbers, but there mostly guardsmen equivalents and although they may have multiple mining lasers in a squad if they’re moving and shooting they won’t be very accurate the big risk is them clogging your deamon engines up in combat with more bodies than they can effectively kill, hence my earlier thing about your deamon engines being in a position to mutually support each other.

Acolytes are the bread and butter glass hammer of a GSC deep strike they can be fielded in units of 5 - 20 are strength 4 and WS3 and can have a lot of options. Look out for a big unit with several mining tools and a banner as they are a definite threat to your terminators and deamon engines. They can also be taken with all hand flamers to pop up and burn a unit, if these are present they’re a massive threat to cultists. Finally taking them without upgrades and in minimum sizes to grab objectives from deep strike, these are probably the only acolytes to kill later. Generally kill the big or tooled up units of acolytes first if you get the chance.

Brood brothers- there worse guardsmen without orders and normally the cheapest troops I like to use them for the backfield objectives and actions while the squad hosts a mortar to reach out while being out of sight.

Bikers, a lot of options with them, you can spend a lot of points tooling them up or they could be cheap harassing units if your opponent wants them to draw your fire by charging them up the middle so it depends on how your opponent has used them so far, can they be ignored in the early game?

Ridge runners- they’re the go to GSC unit of the moment cheap, fast, 2x heavy stubber and normally a heavy mining laser plus they can have a 6++. Hide from them early on if possible and then shoot them to bits.
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#14
Kythnos

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Thank you for all these valuable hints and recommendations. This has given me a lot to keep in mind for the game.

It will take place in Friday evening and I will make sure to report back :)

#15
MegaVolt87

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If it were me, I would be doing the build I said earlier, stack the upgrades on the cultists and termi's, then work to adding chaos knights as the armoured support as the PL grows. Fluffy and our knights are decent also.
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#16
Kythnos

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Nah, that would require more list-changing than I would feel comfortable with.

But yesterday's game went well with the list I described above. We played the relic and the daemon engines kept the GSC busy while the Terminators secured the relic.
It certainly helped that the Heldrake (great addition to the roster!) was able to annoy the cult for two rounds, while the rest of my army moved in position and shot the many-armed buggers in droves. It was the first time for my opponent to fight the Heldrake since 7th edition, so I caught him off guard with a few moves ☠️
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#17
Iron Skull Mask

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@Kythnos great to hear of your success! Can you describe the moves you did with the Heldrake? Cheers!


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#18
Kythnos

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@Kythnos great to hear of your success! Can you describe the moves you did with the Heldrake? Cheers!

 

Sure! I had the first turn and surprised my opponent by not moving the Heldrake in my movement phase, instead launching it over his lines via Warptime after he had set up his units. This cost him his pistol character and earned the heldrake the ire of his whole army. When repositioning at the end of the combat, I tagged his Goliath to reduce his firepower coming my way.

In his first turn he concentrated on the Heldrake, but did not have enough firepower on the field to bring it down. A few neophytes were roasted in overwatch while trying to tie down the Heldrake.

 

When my second turn arrived, I left the Heldrakein close combat and let him roast the remaining neophytes with his Baleflamer in the shooting phase. Now free to act independently again, the Heldrake charged his biker character that he had set up too risky. The bodyguard charakter heroically intervened. I could have probably killed both of them, but forgot to activate Daemon Forge and the bonus attack for Hateful Assault. 

 

Nevertheless, he needed his whole army again in his second round to finally kill the Heldrake, which allowed my forces to claim the relic unopposed and kill off other units. This made the Heldrake very imortant in securing the victory.

 

The Warptime trick will probably not work as easily in our next game, but the threat of it will certainly have an impact on myopponent's decisions now that he has experienced it.


Edited by Kythnos, 06 April 2021 - 07:12 PM.

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#19
Iron Skull Mask

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Well done & thanks for sharing! smile.png


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