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A Horde of Helix


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#1
Rogue

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Here’s another bit of pondering on my ‘What if we take something we can do well, and turn it up as far as we can?’ line of thought. This evening, the Twisted Helix creed. The basic creed gives us +1 strength and +2 advance. Simple, always on, easy to remember. And to my mind at least, more useful on acolytes than on aberrants, even if the big lumps are the poster-boys of the creed – the jump from S4 to S5 matters more than S5 to S6, and +2 advance sits nicely with the Genetic Lineage stratagem.

 

So, lets go for a bunch of hard-hitting, fast moving acolytes. How can we support them?

 

The Clamavus gives a further +1 advance, and +1 to charge. That puts us on +3 and +1 overall, meaning that an advance and charge move covers 10”+3d6, or anywhere between 13” to 28”, and averaging around 20”.

 

A Deliverance Broodsurge offers a couple of perks. Using the Iconward to gain Augur of the Insurgent means we re-roll charges (which already have +1). It also gives access to the First to Draw Blood stratagem for +1 to wound (more on that in a moment).

 

The Primus pushes acolytes up to 2s to hit. With an icon, that’s 2s re-rolling 1s. He also provides +1 to wound against one target. With a base strength of 5, we’re already wounding a lot of infantry on 3s, so the +1 pushes it to 2s. We can also get the same thing from First Blood, and the Helix psychic power, Mutagenic Deviation. Given that S5 wounds up to T9 on 5s, we can probably find one way or another to wound almost anything on 4s or better. And because rending activates on 6+, +1 to wound means it goes off on 5s instead. (Just imagine putting 80 attacks into a Land Raider, on 2s rerolling to hit, and 4s to wound – you’d expect around 39 wounds, of which 20ish would be rending. It might not kill it, but it might not be far off, either.)

 

The Magus brings Mutagenic Deviation, then, but also Psychic Stimulus for a second advance and charge option, and also Might From Beyond (pushing a full block of 20 acolytes up to those 80 attacks). If we make use of the Cult’s Psyche and the Crouchling, we can cast Stimulus on 4s, making it fairly reliable (11/12 to cast successfully before rerolls). A second Magus boosts the first, and gives a third casting option, which is helpful.

 

Here’s how that might all look in a list:

 

BATTALION – Deliverance Broodsurge

 

HQs

Iconward, Augur of the Insurgent

Magus, Focus of Adoration, Cult’s Psyche, familiar, Crouchling

Primus, Alien Majesty

 

TROOPS

20 acolytes, icon

20 acolytes, icon

20 acolytes, icon

20 acolytes, icon

20 acolytes, icon

20 acolytes, icon

 

ELITES

5 aberrants, picks (inc. hypermorph with signpost)

Clamavus

 

BATTALION

 

HQs

Magus

Patriarch, Bio-Alchemist, familiar

Primus

 

TROOPS

5 acolytes

5 acolytes

5 acolytes

 

ELITES

Clamavus

 

Which all comes to 1995 points, and uses up 7CPs (Broodcoven, Broodsurge, Field Commander, Cult’s Psyche, 3 on the second battalion). I also threw in familiars for the Patriarch and my key Magus, to up their output on a critical turn – the Magus can cast three powers once per battle, all at a minimum of +1 to cast. On the other hand, this list isn't overly reliant on the expensive stratagems. Once into the game, it's all about Genetic Lineage, First Blood and maybe Cult Reinforcements, which are all cheap.

 

The aberrants are a luxury, because I like them; but they could be swapped out for another 20 acolyte block with icon although they’d have to be in the second battalion, and wouldn’t benefit from Broodsurge. Or you could use those points to give the current six big blocks three rocksaws each.

 

Tactically, I’d start most things on the table – a wall of 120 acolytes, supported by the two Primuses and both Clamavuses, with the Magi together in the middle (partly for the casting bonus), and the Patriarch ready to hit something or hanging out with the other psykers.

 

The smaller acolyte squads and the aberrants could be in reserve. The aberrants are a candidate for Perfect Ambush, especially if you can land them near a clamavus and/or the iconward; the acolytes can go for line-breaker, or scramblers, or just drop on objectives. But you could also start them on the table too – the aberrants can benefit from Psychic Stimulus for a surprise charge, and the acolytes can sit on deployment zone objectives if necessary.

 

Then the basic plan is to flood up the board, overrun mid-table objectives, hopefully fire off turn one charges, and present a mass of bodies that can’t all be dealt with before they all sweep into combat in turn two. Not subtle, but potentially effective, maybe.

 

If it all works, then we could have a lot of bodies in combat early on, leveraging masses of attacks at 2s followed by 2s and rending (on 5s, if we have any +1s to wound active) to maul through whatever they connect with. And if it doesn’t, then we all die.

 

I’m unlikely to ever run this for real (I don’t have 135 acolytes, for starters, nor the £675 it would cost to buy them), but I am tempted to proxy it at some point (using neophytes and brood brothers to make up numbers. After all, we’re the Helix – if anyone can boost guardsmen up to S5 with rending claws, it’s us).  

 

So. That’s the thought. Feel free to pick it apart (or, you know, tell me I‘m the genius who just saved GSC...). Or, if you prefer, throw your own build into the ring. It's all good.


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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#2
Rogue

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Of course, the Patriarch can also advance and charge. He doesn't get the creed benefit, but moves 8" anyway, so it works out the same. So now I'm thinking you could spend another CP to get him the Amulet of the Voidwyrm and try to charge him into any nasty overwatch threats.

And while we're at it, we could also burn CPs on a 9" clamavus and a double-dipping primus through Heart of the Creed, because why not?

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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#3
brother_b

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I thought about the same things you’ve put down, but not in as much detail. I like the simplicity of twisted helix, I like the idea of strong fast mutants rushing to attack their foe. 
 

The brood surge looks like it was awesome, but those books are no longer supported, and then matched play they are not allowed. I know in friendly games it’s separate, but we usually play matched rules and such I won’t have access to brood surge.

 

if you get some games in with this, please share your experience.

 

Personally I would probably run some neophytes along with the acolytes, and I want the big aberrant to make a showing so I would definitely use them. Your force turned up to 10 with acolytes looks pretty menacing but would have to push enemies off of their objectives because it would be hard for them to hold objectives under any sort of concentrated fire.


Edited by brother_b, 04 April 2021 - 03:07 PM.

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#4
Rogue

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Yeah, I knew Broodsurge was in an odd place, but threw it in because it added to what I was doing with it all. If we take it out again, you gain 3 CPs back (for Broodsurge, Field Commander and the second battalion, which can drop down to a patrol now it doesn't need to accommodate the third HQ) and have 65 points to play with - two more aberrants, maybe (and the CPs to make use of Perfect Ambush or the Helix fight twice stratagem). 

 

And I agree - this army is all about sweeping over the objectives killing everything in their path, and leaving nothing behind to contest those objectives. If it has to stand and fight on equal terms, it's in trouble. (I also worked out the firepower for the acolyte blocks - 120 autopistols means 60 hits, means 20 wounds against marines, means less than 7 wounds after saves. The whole army is likely to not kill a single squad of five marines with firepower, so there really is no plan B. 


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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#5
Rogue

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So, it's not a game with the 2000 point list sketched out above, but it is a game, and with a 1000 point force built along the same principles (but working with the models I have).

 

This particular match-up was against roguechaplain's AdMech force - her entire collection currently comes to just over 1000 points, and is far from an optimised force (she primarily collects to paint, and plays to humour me), so we gave her an additional detachment of marines to even things up a little overall.

 

My army was a single battalion of Twisted Helix, spending 3 CP pre-games on Broodcoven, Gifts, and Cult's Psyche:

 

HQ

Patriarch (Bio-Alchemist, Amulet of the Voidwyrm, familiar [hypnosis, might])

Primus (Alien Majesty)

Magus (Focus of Adoration, Crouchling, familiar [stimulus, might, mutagenic], Cult's Psyche)

 

TROOPS

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

12 acolytes, hand flamers

5 acolytes

10 neophytes, 2 mining lasers

10 neophytes, 2 mining lasers

 

ELITES

Clamavus  

 

Roguechaplain fielded a battalion of Mars Admech, and a patrol of Ultramarines:

 

HQ

Belisarius Cawl

Tech-Priest (Auto-Caduceus)

Librarian

 

TROOPS

2 x 5 Rangers

2 x 5 Vanguard

2 x 5 marines

 

ELITES

5 ruststalkers

5 infiltarators

 

FAST ATTACK

3 raiders

 

HEAVY SUPPORT

Disintegrator with energy cannon

 

FLYER

Stratoraptor

 

We were playing the Ascension mission (22), with 5 objectives, and points for holding the central one with your Warlord (both of us chose this, neither of us scored it at all).

 

 

I had the first turn, and turn one went exactly to plan. Both of the 10-acolyte teams made charges on the left side of the table, one via Genetic Lineage and one via Psychic Stimulus. They made contact with two squads each, and wiped both out each time (save for one ranger, who then failed his morale and fled anyway). So that was both vanguards, one rangers and one marines gone straight away, and the AdMech removed from one flank almost completely - there was just the librarian left at this point.

 

battle 1

 

I'd committed the Clamavus and Primus to this flank too, but left the Patriarch and Magus in the middle to threaten the centre (and leave the Magus out of deny range). One lot of neophytes sat on my home objective, the others advanced into cover to take the objective on the right flank. At this point, I control 3 (mine, her's, right flank) and  threaten the other two, and she has no way to reach the left flank.

 

The AdMech responded by gunning down one of the big acolyte squads, and then shooting/assaulting the neophytes on the right, reducing them to three. i killed the librarian in combat.

 

In turn two, the remaining 10-acolyte squad assaulted the last marines, wiping them out; and the Patriarch made a long advance and charge into the ruststalkers and last vanguard, killing all the ruststalkers. The 5 acolyte squad dropped into the left corner to deploy scramblers, as did the neophytes in my deployment zone. The survivors on the right flank fell back. The clamavus hid and grabbed an objective, and the Magus moved to stand within the neophyte squad for protection.

 

AdMech firepower (and Cawl's combat skills) removed the last big acolyte squad, the small squad, the 3 neophytes on the right and a few in the centre, who were then charged (ineffectively) by Raiders. Infiltrators dropped in (clearing the neophytes off the right objective), but failed a charge. The Patriarch removed the vanguard squad.

 

battle 2

 

In turn three, the neophytes quit the home objective and went back underground (ready to return in four and deploy the last scramblers). The hand-flamers appeared in the centre and toasted the Raiders, and the Patriarch charged and killed Cawl (just). The Magus and Clamavus sat tight.

 

In return, the AdMech (now a tank, a flyer and infiltrators) shot the hand-flamer squad off the table.

 

in turn four, the neophytes reappeared to deploy scrambers and take the centre objective along with the Magus. Two smites and a Patriarch charge later, and the Disintegrator was gone. By now, the points advantage was massively in my favour, so we stopped there.

 

THOUGHTS

Turn one went exactly as I wanted it to (save having to reroll an advance). That part of the plan works, even with reduced numbers. The problem at this size of game is that I don't really have a second wave to draw fire, so I lost one of the squads straight away to return fire. Fortunately, the second squad and the Patriarch were able to tie up the rest of the infantry in turn two, but the tank was doing a lot of damage until it died, and I never got to grips with the flyer. 

 

Holding the Magus back to avoid any chance of having Stimulus denied worked, but then left him isolated from the rest of the force, and less able to make use of all his psychic potential. The clamavus did his job turn one, and then turned into an objective sitter, which seemed to work. 

 

The neophytes felt less useful, especially the mining lasers. If i could, I'd drop both squads, replace them with two five-acolyte squads for objective holding and scrambers, and use the spare 80 points on a ridgerunner or something. But 'm already maxing out my acolyte collection, so that isn't happening yet.

 

We spent some time discussing secondaries. Engage worked well for me, scoring points every turn. I got there with scramblers, but felt it took units out of the fight to perform actions. Line-breaker would have been better, I think, as I had two units in the enemy deployment zone in each of the first three turns; but that was largely down to getting first turn. If the Admech had moved forward first, all the fighting would have been in no-man's land, which would have denied me line-breaker points. 

 

And rock-saws are marine killers. With the primus and icon, they hit on 2s re-rolling 1s, wound on 2s, completely remove a 3+ save, and do two damage to take out a marine for every wounding hit. With Might from Beyond active, I've expect just four rock-saws to take out around 10 marines in a single turn. 

 

NEXT TIME

The mining lasers were a waste. One squad advanced, fought, fell back and died, so never fired them. The others fired once (taking three wounds of the tank (which were then repaired)), deployed scramblers, went of the table, and deployed scramblers again. So take the mining lasers out, saving 40 points. And if I take two of the hand-flamers out too (for a squad of 10, not 12), that saves another 22 points. As I was 3 points underspent anyway, I'd have 65 points to drop on five metamorphs. Again, less ideal than swapping the neophytes out wholesale, but it does give me another squad to put in ambush for grabbing objectives, scramblers or line-breaker, for example.


Edited by Rogue, 03 May 2021 - 03:58 PM.

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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#6
brother_b

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Great write up, looks like you pounded them.

 

Against any kind of armored threat though I would think that the mining lasers would be very important. Anyway, I have yet to put in serious time with my cult but stuff like this helps me ponder my army composition. I'm also considering Twisted Helix as I stated above. I really want aberrants to be good though, and worth their points.


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#7
Rogue

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Yeah, that's what I thought about the mining lasers. But in the end, the neophytes were primarily objective-grabbers rather than a fire-base, and it was the patriarch who pulled anti-tank duty. Had the acolytes survived long enough, the rocksaws could have done much the same, I think.

I'd argue that aberrants are good, but far too expensive for how fragile they are compared to most non-Cult units. Talking of anti-tank, I've had the abominant plus squad of 4 picks and a hypermorph go into an undamaged Land Raider and kill it in a single turn, so the potential is there.

But then, I've also had them perfect ambush in, still fail the charge, and then die to bolter fire. Which was painful.
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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#8
Rogue

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Two more games under my belt - both at 1000 points, both against Adroc's Ultramarines. 

 

In the first game, I went with my own suggestion from the AdMech game, and dropped mining lasers for metamorphs:

 

HQ

Patriarch (Bio-Alchemist, Amulet of the Voidwyrm, familiar [hypnosis, might])

Primus (Alien Majesty)

Magus (Focus of Adoration, Crouchling, familiar [stimulus, might, mutagenic], Cult's Psyche)

 

TROOPS

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, hand flamers

5 acolytes

10 neophytes

10 neophytes

 

ELITES

Clamavus  

5 metamorphs

 

Adroc's Ultramarines were:

 

Captain

Master Chaplain

Bladeguard Ancient

5 assault intercessors

5 assault intercessors

3 bladeguard

3 eradicators

3 outriders

dunebuggy

 

We played Rise of the Machines - opposite quarters for deployment, four objectives, a secondary that we both ignored. He went first.

 

1
How things looked once the Cult appeared - or didn't, as they're pretty much all hidden behind the ruins on the left.

 

GAME

This one started well. He mostly hung back, wary of my charge ranges, and his outriders completely fluffed their shooting, killing no neophytes. I was able to sweep one brood of acolytes into the buggy and kill it, but failed to charge the outriders with the other brood. The Patriarch went in instead, but only killed two, which felt below par.  

 

The marines then swung assault intercessors into both flanks (wiping out the acoyltes that killed the buggy, and most of a neophyte squad), and fired eradicators into the other acolytes. Suddenly, I was very thin on the ground. I had reserves to drop in, but the mission rule that prevented my coming in within 3" of objectives really limited my options, and left me down on primary objectives. by turn three, I only had the small squad isolated on one flank, and the flamers and metamorphs coming in from reserves. Sadly, they went in against bladeguard and assault intercessors, and pretty much bounced (and then died). We called it at this point, as there was no way I was coming back.

 

REVIEW

I played this one badly. I over-committed my assault troops early, leaving them exposed to fire and able to be easily counter-charged. I also went after the wrong objective - rather than heading towards the clockwise neutral objective, which was nearer to me than him, I went for the other one, leaving my neophytes way too close to the marines. Had I gone the other way, he'd have had to work quite hard to get round obscuring terrain to target them, and I've been safe for a while at least. With the mission limiting where ambushes could happen, I should maybe have started more stuff on the board than usual too. 

 

The Patriarch massively under performed. in part, i rolled low (both times he attacked, his six attacks hitting on 2s saw me roll 3 1s), but equally, I was constantly torn between charging him in and leaving him massively exposed once I did. Which leads into this thought - at this scale, where I'm putting in maybe two of three charges at best, the counter-charge stratagem really hurts. pretty much all the marine targets here could easily wipe out any of my squads, meaning that charging both acolyte broods in is effectively sacrificing one of them for no gain. the same applies to the Patriarch - he could go first and live, or let the acolytes go, and then get counter-charged to death. But with no shooting, I didn't have any other real options.

 

New plan needed.


Edited by Rogue, 04 June 2021 - 12:04 PM.

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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#9
Rogue

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For game two, following on from my post-battle musings, I decided to drop the Patriarch and the metamorphs in favour of a Leman Russ tank. because guns. Oh, and the spare points meant an icon and bonesword for the flamer acolytes too.

 

HQ

Primus (Alien Majesty)

Magus (Crouchling, familiar [stimulus, might, mutagenic], Cult's Psyche)

 

TROOPS

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, hand flamers, icon

5 acolytes

10 neophytes

10 neophytes

 

ELITES

Clamavus 

 

HEAVY

Leman Russ

 

Adroc mixed his list up too, and went with

 

Tigurius

Master Chaplain

5 intercessors

5 assault intercessors

3 bolter aggressors

3 outriders

dunebuggy

redemptor dread

 

As it happened, the deployment map was almost identical to the first map (corner deployment, 4 objectives), but this time the secondary involved moving into a quarter and scanning it (as an action) for 3, 6, 10 or 15 points. I took that, along with Engage and WWSWF (Russ, rock saw acolytes twice). Part of my self-inflicted problems in the first game was a poor choice of secondaries, largely because I'd just repeated what worked well in the game against the AdMech. This time round, I felt that these were better choices.

 

4

 

Adroc went first again.

 

2
The Red Brotherhood breaks cover to occupy the ruined cathedral (lower right) as the Ultramarines move against them - the outriders are under the blue dice on the left side
 
3
The Marine lines
 
5
Three squads of cultists and their leaders lurk in the shadows...
 
6
... as more acolytes and the Russ secure the flank
 

GAME

With almost everything I had covering up behind terrain, he pushed forward his bikes onto one neutral objective, and the buggy onto the other. In return, I once again charged in, but more carefully. On the short flank, acolytes hit the bikes, killed them, but were able to consolidate into obscuring terrain (and hold the objective). On the other side, I had hopes for the tank killing the buggy, but it only took one wound off (battle cannon, heavy bolter, pair of overcharged plasma cannons). I'd advanced up my other acolytes to take the objective, but charging into the buggy would put me in range of a long counter charge from the assault intercessors next turn. But if I didn't, the buggy was going to gun me to pieces. So I punched it to death with rock saws.

 

Turn two saw the aggressors charge in to avenge the bikers, killing most of those acolytes. On the other flank, the assault intercessors didn't risk the charge, instead falling back to prevent me easily advance/charging them next turn and sweeping onto the their home objective. I made use of the 'get back d6 troops' stratagem to boost the damaged acolytes back up, and finished off the aggressors in my turn. It meant the acolytes weren't really going anywhere, but they weren't being shot and held an objective, so it was all good. On the other, quieter flank, my acolytes moved into cover and scanner, as did the neophytes on my home objective. the other neophytes advanced up behind the engaged acolytes, ready to scan next turn. And the five acolyte team dropped in to hold an objective.

 

Which didn't last long, as the redemptor, denied other targets, blew them away with just the storm bolters. We didn't even roll for the big guns. Elsewhere, the intercessors went in after the fallen aggressors, and finished off those acolytes, whilst their assault brothers found themselves tied to the home objective, unwilling to concede it to the enemy.

 

In my turn three, the flamer acolytes dropped in using perfect ambush, flamer one intercessor to death and charged the rest. On the other flank, the other acolytes (with saws) advance/charged the assault intercessors. Between rock saws on one flank, and Might from the Magus on the other, both intercessor squads were reduced to just the sergeant on one wound. At this point, with just two wounded sergeants, Tigurius, the chaplain and the redemptor left, Adroc conceded. 

 

THOUGHTS

This one went much better. i remembered some of my stratagems (getting acolytes back, including a rock saw and the icon, was amazing), and more importantly, didn't try to just refight the previous battle. Having split up both my neophytes squads and rock saw acolyte squads last time, I insticntively wanted to avoid doing that this time; but in this game, splitting the acolytes was the right move - nailing the buggy early gave me control of a whole flank and its objective.

 

I also hid a lot more. My deployment zone helped with that, but I was also more cautious, and happy to arrive somewhere slightly later if it meant I wasn;t fired at on the way. 

 

The tank was useless. It put one wound on the buggy, and then had to hide from the redemptor to try and score WWSWF points. had the game gone on long enough, it would have died to the redemptor's big plasma thing. But even without the WWSWF points, I'd gained a lot through the other secondaries an the primary, so maybe having it as a threat/decoy combination was useful in itself. it may get dropped next time. Maybe.

 

Overall, I think my primary lesson was that, just because you can use Stimulus and Genetic Lineage to land first turn charges, doesn't mean you have to. Using them to project a massive threat bubble is also very effective, and means that anything within 28" is potentially at risk, and anything within 13" can definitely be hit. Using that to control the board rather than just piling in and dying to the counter feels like a good way forward.


Edited by Rogue, 04 June 2021 - 12:11 PM.

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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#10
Rogue

Rogue

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Got another game in yesterday, against necrons. My list was pretty much as before, except the Russ was out, and aberrants and metamorphs were in. Like this:

 

HQ

Primus - Alien Majesty

Magus - Crouchling, Cult's Psyche, Hypnosis, Stimulus, Might

 

TROOPS

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, icon, 4 saws

10 acolytes, icon, 9 hand flamers

10 neophytes

10 neophytes

 

ELITES

Clamavus

5 aberrants, picks, signpost

5 metamorphs, lashwhips, 4 hand flamers

 

(The missing hand flamers on an acolyte and a metamorph are to land me on 1000 points)

 

The Necrons were Szarekhan, and looked something like this:

 

Overlord

Chronomancer

10 warriors

10 warriors

10 warriors

5 flayed ones

2 heavy floating destroyers

gun on legs

Hexmark

 

We were playing Raid, and I went for Engage, Banners and the mission secondary (which involves holding objectives in the enemy deployment zone). Necrons went first.

 

The game only lasted two turns. In part, this was because my friend had to leave (and we spent too much time talking rather than playing). But it was also because by that point, I held five of the six objectives, and he was down to 10 warriors, the big gun, an anti-tank destroyer and his reserves (flayed ones and the hexmark), whereas I'd only lost 10 neophytes and half a squad of acolytes. In part, I rolled well and most things I tried went off. But I also felt that I'm getting the hang of this army, and how to throw it into battle well.

 

We were playing with a short-edge deployment, with 24" between us. The Necrons had first turn, and moved up towards the mid-line objectives, but didn't take either. I was able to hide everything, and with no charges, that was the Necron turn. Between the small deployment area, and the desire to hide, I ended up with a lot of units clustered together in one ruin. So on my turn, when I moved the clamavus across to join them, I was able to have almost everything benefiting from his aura, and could throw both acolyte saw squads and the metamorphs up the table (along with the Primus), landing 25 models on one of the mid-line objectives. And with thagt flank held only by 10 warriors, a destroyer and the chronomancer, I went all in and charged both the warriors and the destroyer with the acolyte squads. The ones fighting the warriors had Might, the destroyer with a nasty anti-infantry gun was Hypnotised, and both units were shredded.

 

Now, I'm aware that this could easily have meant losing both squads of acolytes to return fire, but I had a back-up plan. Both the metamorphs and aberrants were in position to make counter-charges in turn two. And because I now held three objectives to the Necrons' two (so they'd only get 5 primary points), they were going to have to come after the objectives as well as trying to hit my acolytes. 

 

So in the end, he held off with his reserves, left one squad of warriors holding a rear objective out of sight, and jumped the others onto the far flank, where they gunned down the neophytes holding one of my home objectives. His heavy weapons mauled one acolyte squad, but didn't finish them off (being better suited to blowing up tanks, so there was tons of overkill going on). [We reflected on this afterwards, and think he should have dropped the Hexmark in, even into his own backfield, to deal with one acolyte team, and moved the warriors up from the objective to kill off the other lot. Yes, he'd lose a useful reserve piece, and yes, he'd have given up 5 primary points, but killing off my two workhorse units would have made it worthwhile, I think.]

 

The speed of the acolytes meant that I was able to cross the board to take on the flanking warriors with the intact squad, and surround the chronomancer with the others (boosted by Cult Reinforcements - so useful). I also brought in my own reserves, the flamer acolytes, to resecure the objective recently cleared of neophytes. The acolytes all went in again, and took out the chronomancer, the warriors and the Lord (who'd jumped with them). Again, neither of my elite units needed to engage, but remained safely mid-table, ready to threaten the remains of the Necron force next turn. And as I said earlier, by this point I held five objectives, had a lot more stuff left alive, and was so spread across the board that his reserves were limited to appearing deep in his own deployment zone.

 

The Magus is the key figure here. I used the familiar to get three powers off in turn one, which meant I could advance and charge twice (once with Stimulus, once with the stratagem), power up one squad to ensure they wiped the Necron warriors in one go, and prevent the destroyer from overwatching or interupting. It needed a command reroll, but that's what the CPs are for in this set-up. When the Magus works, he's a massive force multiplier.

 

The Primus was lower key, but again, the option to advance and gain and extra 3" (Helix and clamavus), plus Alien Majesty, means I can put him almost anywhere I like, and boost combats wherever they happen. 

 

The thing I was happiest with was the layering that went on - a first wave of acolytes, the threat of a second wave of aberrants and metamorphs, and a third 'wave' of neophytes holding home objectives and quietly scoring Banners. It's not always going to go my way as much as this one did, but I feel like there's some capacity here to take hits and still make it work.


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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult


#11
Rogue

Rogue

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I forgot to say before, but one of the recent FAQ changes makes a big difference for one of our psychic powers. Which is why my Magus now has Mass Hypnosis back on his list.

With the fight phase being clarified as fight first, fight normally, fight last, and with fight last no longer able to use counter-charge, Mass Hypnosis gains extra value.

Now we can drop it on an enemy unit, charge them and something else, then fight the something else knowing that the hypnotised unit can't jump the queue and hit our second squad before they can act. That's very useful.

Alternatively, we can preemptively drop it on an enemy unit we can't charge, but that is likely to charge us in their turn. Now Hypnosis acts to cancel out the fight first bonus of charging - the hypnotised unit fights normally, which means we have an opportunity to hit it first without having to expend CPs - in effect, a free counter-charge that still leaves open the option of using the stratagem elsewhere as well.
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Painted this year: jackal alphus, kellermorph, hypermorph, three jackals, five acolytes, ten neophytes; gravis captain

I have a very small Cult/math-hammer blog here: https://redbrotherho...ixsite.com/cult





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