Razorback spam is to be honest, a very decent way to go about building an army. It is a nominally strong list, to simply get as many razorbacks into the list as possible, throw in whatever 5 many unit you can with some meltas, and proceed to destroy your opponent. Why is this list so strong, and why then do I not every have problems defeating these types of lists?

The Words of Faeit is a weekly post, dedicated to my thoughts on the strategy and tactical side of the game. They are not to be written in stone as "No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength" (or "no plan survives contact with the enemy"). Quoted from Helmuth von Moltke.


The Razorback is a powerful tool in every spacemarine army. They allow you to move and shoot throughout the entire game, firing at a huge number of different targets to disable all but the most sophisticated armoured lists. Here is how they work.

Large numbers of razorbacks with 5 man units. I often see 6-9 razorbacks when I face these types of lists. At deployment the fielder of the Razorbacks is going to set up as many of these tanks with either rhinos or other large blocking units in front of them, to provide these light armoured vehicles the all powerful 4+ cover save. This especially happens when the Razorback player is facing another heavy shooting list and needs the cover.

With so many Razorbacks, normally set up with either las/plas or twin linked lascannons, the razorbacks excel at disabling and eventually destroying opposing armour. Anything too heavy incoming, and those 5 man units (often loaded with the independent characters as razorbacks can carry 6 infantry) are carrying 1 or 2 melta weapons. We all know that mech is tough to destroy, so this many separate individual heavy weapons are just hard to stop.

Hunting in packs, these 5 man melta units do skillfully well on the tabletop. There are so many targets out there, that these Razorback MSU style lists tend to be very difficult to take down.

Razorback spam lists are strong, and I highly suggest using one to people struggling to figure out what type of an army to play. These lists are easy to play (skillful players still do better with them), and pretty durable.

Why do I enjoy seeing these types of lists across the table from me? Mostly because I do not find them hard to beat. Even a year ago when my lists were much less refined, seeing a razorback spam list across from me meant at best a draw for my opponent. I was fielding my heavy armour listed Imperial Guard. Nowadays though, the first list type I take into consideration with my new lists is the Razorback spam list.

Making yourself durable against shooting like this is the key to beating it. Thus going second is not the normal death sentence you have when being gunned down by so many razorbacks. Units like a 30 man infantry platoon with lascannons, when receiving orders is death to razorbacks. Have two of these units in your army, two full compliments of Hyrdra Flak Tanks as the base of your army, and you will start destroying these razorback spam lists pretty fast. Not to mention, that you are extremely durable against their style of single shots.

Easy analogy regarding two units with 3 twin linked lascannons, 30 man unit vs a vendetta. Vendetta does not survive, while the 30 man unit is destroying anything it gets its sights on.

Other units strong against the Razorspam, are Long Fangs (with more than minimum 5 guys ideally for body shields), a massive psycannon list, IG Artillery squadrons (dispersing single shots with cover makes you durable), Typhoon Land Speeders in mass, Deathwing Terminators, and a boat load of other units. Razorback spam is strong against light and medium armour, and other MSU style lists, but generally not as much once you get into a meaty mech/hybrid list.

A list that can take a Razorbacks spams punch, and then return fire with as much full strength as possible is how to defeat these lists. Mech lists were all the rage last year and into this year. However Mech Hybrid lists are on the cutting edge right now, and will be proving their worth in the year to come.

In my last game against a list styled like this, I faced 6 Razorbacks, 6 predators, and 3 furiosos. After 3 rounds, there was only 4 partially functioning pieces of armour left, and 1 completely crippled. After round 4 only 1 survived, and by round 5 not a single piece of armour was left on the table.

I design my lists very specifically to take on Razorback spam. Medium Strength guns are by far my most favorite. For years the Autocannon reigned supreme in my lists, only to be upgraded to the Hydra Flak Autocannon. A nice rate of fire, and heavy punch gives you much duality in a list. Monstrous Creatures and infantry alike do not like the Autocannon.

The point:
Do not forget to take into consideration the Razorback when looking hard at your list. These lists are tough and if your list does not have an answer to them, its time to reconsider what is in it. To beat them, you need to be able to absorb their shots, and return heavy fire. Or simply play another razorback spam list, and hope you go first.

4 Comments:

  1. Great article Natfka,I like that you talked about both the strengths and weaknesses of the razorspam lists.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Care to give couple advices how to beat those as Dark Eldar?

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  3. Me and a buddy have been looking at the DE vs Mech thing, and it seems ot come down to Scourges with either heat lances or Haywire blasters (I like the latter more, but I haven't ruled out the former), jet bikes with heat lances, Razorwings/Voidravens, and Ravagers. There might be a couple more, but those are the ones we find best. Admittedly, with the group I play with there isn't much mech yet (we are all new, and there are two nid armies), so that is an untested theory, but it seems solid to us.

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  4. One reason why Mech Hybrids are becoming more popular is that tournament organizers are moving away from the "hill in the middle, with the rest scattered around the edge" idea of terrain placement. So more BLOS and centralized 4+ cover terrain means shorter ranged firefights and more assaults.

    I actually started to see some of that placement before NOVA locally and it gives a big advantage to the durable, up close & personal type of list.

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