6th edition started, and immediately it was clear that armour had taken a beating with the new rule set. Immediately there were list after list virtually no armour. I was right there with you, and yes, I loudly proclaimed to just about everybody that I ran into that the mech heavy list was DOA.

Literally dozens of games later, no idea how many, I have done a 180 on the mech heavy list, can say with a lot of truth, that my heavy mech lists are wrecking many an opponent, and that I feel the community has missed out on the opportunity that mech in 6th edition provides.


If you did not catch the last post regarding transports and their limitations, here is the link.
http://natfka.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-strength-of-armour-in-6th-edition.html#comment-form

When it comes to a mechanized list, I want to at first define what that is. It is not a list with 8-12 vehicles in correlation to the point value of the game. A fully mechanized list is 14-20 vehicles on the board.


The Benefits of a Mech Heavy list (the last 3 of course were the same in 5th)
1. More options for efficient Vehicles
2. Much harder to disable a Vehicle
3. Cover is much easier to get
4. Damage tables
5. Lots of flexible firepower
6. Mobility
7. Can easily overwhelm opponents


MSU= Multiple Small Units for those that do not know.

1. In general I tend to play 2000-2500pt games, which immediately opens up 2 focs and double allies with two primary detachments. So with this point level in mind, MSU takes on a whole new meaning. Yes, 12 primary and 4 allied troop choices become available, and with armies like Imperial Guard, Blood Angels, and Grey Knights (even Dark Eldar), new powerful options become available.

Even going below 2000pts, massed mechanized lists are easily available in larger numbers. Ideally with Imperial Guard, just about any army can load up under 2000pts with large numbers of vehicles.

So knowing that these options are available, we can see how easy it is to get choice FOC selections from which we want to get our vehicles. More options, means a better access to efficient armour.

2. Now in 5th edition when you faced a ton of mech across from you, it was a disabling game that you played against them. Meaning it was easy to take a vehicle out of the next round and make it so it was ineffective, and unable to fire or move. With 6th edition, that has changed. Glancing hits no longer slow a vehicle down, and with extra armour on a vehicle, you really can't stop it from firing (albeit snap firing). So vehicles can continue their hail of fire upon the enemy, even while taking damage. This is a huge and critical difference from 5th edition.

3. Now lets add in how easy it is to get cover. Its very easy to get 5+ saves now, and now 1 out of 3 glancing and pens are absorbed.

4. Add in that the damage table is much different now. Without AP2 or AP1 weapons hit, it is more difficult to get a vehicle to explode.

5. The primary strength of MSU, is the number of units, and their flexibility to take on a large number of targets. Shooting efficiency is at its strongest in some of these lists, including the number of heavy weapons that can move and shoot.

6. Very little has the mobility on the board like a vehicle does. Very often in late games, I find my units hoping aboard a transport, to get across to a valuable objective.

7. MSU is really strong in how it can overwhelm opponents. As more and more people move to an infantry based list, large numbers mobile units become something of a challenge.

A lot of people will still consider 3 hull points the final draw that makes vehicles easier to kill, and yes, I do believe armour is easier to kill. I am not refuting these claims. What I am saying though is that while my armour is alive, it is much more effective on the table than it once was. No longer is half my armour not able to fire every round because of heavy weapon suppression (vehicle damage). In 6th my guns are still firing.

I have been fielding 20 vehicles in my lists. I have not lost more than 8 vehicles in a game over the last 7-8 match ups, even against massed heavy support and incredible heavy weapon fire. yes, I know everyone reading this will say, "I can do better than that". Good, I expect it. however, 20 pieces of armour are incredibly hard to take down, even in 6th.

So what if your list takes down 3-4 pieces of armour in a round, even 5. The rest of the army for the most part is shooting at near full effectiveness, and that is the key to 6th edition armour. Don't get upset that you are losing tanks, the ones you got are enough. In a heavy mech list, there is just too much for your opponent to kill.

Now I do think that not every codex is ideal for this. For a razorback spam style list, I truly believe that Blood Angels and Grey Knights do it best. IG obviously do a chimera hull list very well. There are other options as well, like Blood Angels fielding 12 vehicles of AV 13. (6 heavy, 6 elite) + Razors.

My favorite choices for Heavy Mech lists....
1. Grey Knights with Coteaz, lots of Psybacks, lots of dual autocannon dreads and IG allies
2. Blood Angels with Assault Squads without their jump packs for a 35pt reduction on Fast Razorbacks (Las/plas)
3. Imperial Guard. So many different ways to accommodate massed tanks. A great allied force.
4. Dark Eldar. Yes, I said it, Dark Eldar. 18-20 Fast Raiders and Ravagers are amazing on the tabletop.
think Trueborn (3) with 2 splinter Cannons and raider x6, Ravager x6, and lots of raiders with a couple venoms mixed in.

Some of you will get caught up that I am talking about a lot of spam. That is true. However spamming these units is just the starting place for list design. Refinement refinement and even more refinement will move points around, adjust, and swap out. Once you have your base list, then its time for some fine tuning and moving outside the box of straight spam.

Final Points
I do not like to carry my troops around a lot inside their vehicles. I want them out fighting. So the strengths of MSU still apply. Lots of heavy weapons and mobility across the field. So my Warrior acolyte squad with 3 plasma guns with a psyback are out fighting across the board.

Assault vehicles are often rather expensive, and driving in too close the enemy opens you up to easy melta kills. I prefer shooty armies for my mech heavy list. Infantry Plasma guns work great in this style, simply because of their new range increases on the move, and their AP2.

Conclusion: MSU mechanized lists are good. The key though is more. Keep it simple, and keep them efficient (points wise). MSU can be taken with a much better variety of choices in a single army list through double foc and allied forces than 5th edition could ever dream of. This makes a properly tuned MSU Mechanized list a beast on the tabletop.




60 Comments:

  1. What works at 2k doesn't always translate down though. not being able to toss out 6-7 mech threats out there can mean your army goes up like popcorn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Tau for instance cannot run a "true" mech heavy list. Instead they have to run an extreme number of Crisis/Stealth/Broadside Battlesuits, a hammerhead or two, and maybe some overpriced Devilfish.

      Delete
    2. I really can´t see a working Eldar heavy mech list either the serpents might be good n all but costs way to much, and the troops that u can put in em aint effective enough, well should be the Dragoons that is effective in bringing down terminators and everything else. + Dire avengers are not good enough for objective holding and makes to little dmg on powerarmor units and terminator units. Also if you deside to go with falcons for the fire power you will lose em fast because of the low Armorvalue and since the holofield aint as good anymore, the cost is to high to put it on for what it actually does since u now can crash cuz of 3 glancing.

      Delete
  2. Valid comments but the principle reason I am mostly infantry is I real dislike painting tanks. Dreadnoughts are fine but there's just something about painting tanks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spray paint is your friend, either with an airbrush, or various model paint sprays. Tamiya do a great range of small spray cans for modelling. Just don't spray them over an acrylic undercoat. You can have three colors in an effective cam pattern in about 15 minutes, plus drying time between coats.

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  3. Not convinced by Blood Angels - they took a really big hit from not being able to assault the turn they get out of their tanks! Sure being Fast now makes Las-plas backs even more king of the hill (move 12" and still fire both of it's guns at full BS is rude, even if you do risk chipping a hull point off.

    The problem is that guys inside really do nothing at all - sure they can have a meltagun and an infernus pistol, but that's not really reliable enough AT. They're not great in CC, especially now that they very rarely get the charge!

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    Replies
    1. I keep the guys out of the vehicle, and they are not in the list for assaulting. I give them a plasma gun, so they can keep up on the firepower.

      Delete
  4. You do make some very good points. I myself play IG and in 5th loved the fact I could take large amounts of vehicles and pound the enemy when they were not stunned or shaken. So yes tanks are more effective for being able to fire, but my main problem is that vehicles are far to easy to kill. I don't like the fact you can destroy a tank with just glancing hits, I feel GW has got this all wrong. I feel that if a vehicle looses all it's hull points from glancing hits then it becomes imobilised instead, so that a player can still use it weapons. When it has another glancing hit it is counted as being a penatrating hit instead.

    As the rule stands if I field all seven vehicles I have on average I reckon I would loose 5 vehicles a game, which is a little over 50% of my vehicles which is not realistic. I know this is a furtaristic game but even in our modern times you would never loose 50% of your vehicles in modern combat unless you made a tactical error. This is due to the armour and other factors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Specifically for this article and the play style, 7 tanks is too few, unless of course you are playing like a 1000pt game.

      My 1500pt list fields 13 vehicles. 6 psybacks, 2 dreads, 4 chimeras, and 1 Vendetta. (it also has 49 infantry models on the board)

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    2. Natfka, how many plasma guns in that list?

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    3. Only 8. 1 per acolyte unit, and 2 in the Company Command. It is a rough list, and not refined. The platoon is wielding Grenade Launchers.

      Personally if I were to refine this list some, my first thoughts would be to drop one henchman unit to fill in more plasma guns, starting of course with the Company Command Unit because of their BS4, and then working backwards through the Acolytes where the plasmas are cheap. Then finally looking at the infantry platoon.

      After-all, with that much disposable plasma, the purpose is to punish any enemy units that get in too close. The Chimeras are equiped with Heavy Flamers.

      Delete
    4. tbh, when i'd see my opponent field that 1500 point list, I'd yawn. I really don't like playing vs boring spam lists. This has nothing to do with the person playing such a list or how efficient it is.

      Because nothing really exciting or surprising will happen in that game.

      Delete
    5. Poor ego whip attempt Craig. Love how players that lack the imigination to build armies that perform always say...that is boring, or call cheese.

      You know you have been excited to see how your armies perform, but then they suck, so you say armies that are better suck.

      Come on folks, you have to start being honest with yourselves about why you hate on other people's ideas. If your not capable, I'll gladly fill you in. Petty jealousy.

      Bellumvinco

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    6. well, I dont really care if an opponent yawns. The list I have mentioned is how I start a list. For 1500pts though, I won't really put in the extra effort to refine a list at that point level much further beyond what I have said. When it comes to a higher point list, its time to get down and really design some of the details of the list.

      Just because I start off with spam, does not mean that it will end up that way, nor will I alter my lists to ignore certain peoples yawn factor.

      If I design it, build it, paint it, and get down to squad designations (which I do), I really don't turn a head at peoples classifications of my lists.

      They generally work, and I have fun putting them together throughout the process, and including putting them on the tabletop. If I have to tone down a list to play some people, i don't mind.

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    7. @Bellumvinco
      stop trolling ... what's wrong with you ? I'm not jealous, and I couldn't care less if I win or not, I just want to have a fun time when playing. And I only said that I don't find spam lists enjoyable to play against.

      It's just my opinion and that's what a blog and comments are about. And if the people stand behind their ideas like Natfka along the lines of "If I design it, build it, paint it, and get down to squad designations" It's totally fine. But I still don't have to like it or play against them.

      Delete
  5. How the heck can you get 14-20 vehicles in 2000 pts??? 12 Rhinos (the cheapest vehicle I can think of) plus 5 marines with no upgardes in each (to allow you to take the Rhinos) comes to 1500 points. So what if all those vehicles are going to be shooting more - it's only 12 storm bolters!!

    Sorry but 20 vehilces in 2000?? BS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coteaz, a cheap inquisitor, 13 plasma acolytes in Psybacks and 5 psyfledreads are 1996 points.
      Trim a bit here and there might squeeze in 2 more vehicles.

      Natfka has been hinting about this plasma acolyte list for a while now.
      The supposedly "retired" but still "under construction" list that is "Too good".

      Delete
    2. Blood angels have assault marines as troop choices and get a discount on xports including razerbavks because they can't use jump packs when taking the xport. In a lot of cases the base vehicle ends up almost free. So yea its possible with the right codex.

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    3. First anon. I have been fielding 20 vehicles in my 2500pt lists, and 17 in my 2000pt lists.

      More can fit easily, but I love fitting in my Stormravens which eat up a lot of points.

      Delete
  6. The killer for vehicles in 6th for me is not the hull points system - I quite like that.

    It's the fact that vehicles can't deny objectives and infantry are more fragile. At 2k plus you can probably start fitting vehicles in, but at lower than that it's all about fitting more infantry in so you have troops sitting around on objectives at the end of the game

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's silly. A 35 pts Rhino will do far more to help the infantry you already have survive than the 2 extra marines you would get by not getting a transport.

      Delete
    2. By hiding in the rhino so they can shoot two guns out the top hatch? Rhinos are ok for a turn one speed boost into midfield and that's about it.

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    3. Also consider this: a Rhino is worth just over 2 marines. Now if you have 6 troops that's 210 points of vehicles. Lots of cool stuff you can get for 210 points...

      My wolves are on foot, skip the 6 Rhinos and I've got 4 more Thunder wolves.

      Delete
    4. Bartali: move into position, disembark, shoot with the squad, Flat Out the rhino in front. Tactics!

      JM: Total waste of the Hunter's combat potental, imo, but suit yourself.

      Delete
  7. 10 rhinos would be 350 pts, 10 raiders would be 600 pts, etc etc. its not hard to do the rest of the math, you can spam that many mechs but it will be limiting if you want to diversify in 2000pt matches. plus think of all the money you spent to even field that many tanks, I cringe at the idea of having to buy even one more ravager to fill up my 6 heavy slots...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also you're obviously fielding the cheapest troops elites or etc that you are buying these things for since the emphasis is on the vehicles not the squads they are for.

      Delete
  8. Natfka,

    I'm glad some people are starting to figure out tanks are still juuuust fine. Like many, I initialy overreacted. But it has become apparent that my fears were mostly unfounded.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is it a fact that you can use an allies section per FOC? So x2 at 2000k?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fact. One ally for each primary detachment (FOC). So the prereq would be 2,000 pts, 2 HQ and 4 Troops choices to add 2 allies. I think that is a hidden gem that many folks have not uncovered.

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    2. I just think its not been discovered because most places either play less than 2000 or play that dreaded 1999+1 because they are extreme, but not extreme enough for 2 FOCs.

      Delete
  10. vehicles arent worse
    they arent better

    apart from poping in melee like ballons
    being much more fragile towards las melta ap1 stuff
    and haveing lost 2"

    nothing is cheesy about fielding mass Russ or LR
    that wasnt before
    now that everyone is going heavy plas, it just works better :D
    still it wont be comp in tournaments

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  11. such a list will have troubles against necron doomscythe spam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not just doomscythes, guass weapons now destroy tanks because of hull points and them auto glancing on 6's

      Delete
    2. There is no list in existance that would nt struggle again Necron airforce, it's just silly how good it is.

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    3. The necron airforce dies in short order to its guard counterpart. Especially if you allow FW and the guard spam AA turrets everywhere. Vendetta clearly beats anything else.

      Delete
    4. But as a necron player, we can take more flyers(if we must) than guard.

      Besides hydras dont have skyfire so we have to take them first.

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    5. well, necrons can have more fliers, but have less AV . Going from 11 to 12 is HUGE if you consider much of anti air gunfire is st 7.
      Also , vendetta's lascannons are much better aganist vehicles, and you could take an allied flier too, so they are very good aganist other fliers.
      Also if you have many fliers, it makes sense to buy an hydra to protect them from other fliers, and Ccompany command + astropath to field as many as you can from the beginning. So i think it is a close match !

      Delete
    6. The Necron air force is scary indeed. But it does sacrifice a lot of units on the board turn one.

      Sure Gauss can totally annihilate vehicles, but if the Crons are going for Air they will have less Gauss on the ground. They just cannot target enough vehicles turn one to make enough damage.

      And the remaining vehicles should dish out a lot of pain before the Necrons take the air.
      But when they do, you better have those vehicles spread out so that the lines don't cross more than one.

      Delete
    7. Actually since Scythes are dedicated transports, you fill the majority with warriors or immortals.

      Delete
    8. Well that means the Necron is setting himself up for a loss in turn one then... since he will have even less models on the table...

      Delete
  12. I have been considering more Mech in my arimes aswell. It also enables your forces to get up 12" on turn one, which is rather nice.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I disagree with this idea and all it stands for. Without wanting to sound whiny or merely a bad sport, I find that MSU based armies wreck the game.

    The MSU idea in itself is not bad, I even run two squads of five wyches in my standard lists as well as two footslogging darklance trueborn units of 3 men,which is about as small a unit as you can get. Where MSU becomes inappropriate is when it becomes the basis for an entire army.

    At its most basic the MSU army is about finding a unit that deals great damage for points, and spamming it to death. This seems to wreck the theme of WH40K for me, which is about each player's army of individual units, in theory each game should be different because no players' armies are the same. Even more, WH40K can be extremely fun due to the unique exploits of a single squad, a single lychguard squad ripping through an entire army without dying is something fun you can remember.

    By contrast if the 4th 5 man interceptor squad in a plasmaback shoots acts in exactly the same way as the other three (or more) isn't that comparatively dull? There's nothing special or unique about plasmaback No. 4, and given the extreme similarity in most MSU based armies there isn't much uniqueness about the entire army.

    Even worse, the MSU armies are VERY hard to beat with most non-MSU armies, for reasons we all know and I need not go into. This puts pressure on those more interesting armies to conform, and as a result in the grim darkness of the far future it seems that most armies are the same.

    tl;dr
    The MSU tactic robbs the gameboard of uniqueness and a large measure of the game's fun-ness. While I'm not accusing you of being WAAC players yet, I do think we may have sacrificed a large portion of what makes this game great purely for the momentary thrill of winning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't agree with you on this. You extrapolate your own preference to be "what the game is about". Where in the official Warhammer rules does it state that MSU is not intended?

      Considering how powerful some armies are at the moment choosing a strategy that might actually let you compete is in my mind called for.

      Why shouldn't every player be allowed to play to the strengths of his codex?

      I think it is unfair to say that because your find something boring, it should not even be considered.

      Delete
    2. I can see where you're coming from. You're not wrong. But these days vehicle spam (5 grey knights in razorback style) has become THE tactic for every army. It's actually a rarity to face anything else, at least in Perth. The lists I see all the time are:
      Venomspam
      Grey knight razorspam
      Blood Angels razorspam
      Nightscythespam

      See any similarities? I don't actually mind MSU vehiclespam, my problem is the fact that EVERYONE seems to be doing it. It's almost to the point where I don't need other people to play, as I can pretty-much make their identical lists and tactics and play against myself. How boring is that?

      Delete
    3. Its not like that in most places.

      Delete
  14. Many vehicle spammers don't like when they are told to follow the rules - don't pivot into your own units. It's interesting how that mobility can fall apart when you strictly apply the movement rules to the game. Most people deploy their vehicles too close to each other, and are way too lenient when they start to move things around. Don't allow that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is not as widespread as you think. It is something that newer players do, but its been a while since I have seen someone do this.

      Delete
    2. lol, so be stricter. Mech users will just play it the right way, space out their vehicles properly... why is this an argument against mech?

      Delete
  15. Armored sentinal spam with missile launchers in front of leman Russ and a squad of vendettas......you know I kind of like this theory of yours.

    What about penitent engine spam with rhinos leading the charge for cover? Sisters ftw

    ReplyDelete
  16. First off and foremost, great article. I always enjoy what you bring to the table naftka. I wanna hear someones thoughts about a mech heavy DE list. I run dark eldar, and loooove running as many HS along with DT as possible. I currently only have 4 raiders 4 ravager 3 venoms and some other coolness, but lack much more do to prices, although I buy another vehicle whenever I get a chance. Any savage Evil twin eldars out there that can chime in?

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. So as a purely theoretical excercise. what about this at 1850 for blood angels:

    Libby - shield, lance, melta bomb, combi melta.

    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)
    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)
    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)
    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)
    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)
    5 ass, plasma - razor - assault cannon (or twin plas/las)

    Bastion - quad

    Baal, heavy bolters
    Baal, heavy bolters

    Pred, auto, heavy bolters
    Pred, auto, heavy bolters
    Pred, auto, heavy bolters

    ReplyDelete
  19. Question? you said that you need like 14 vehicles or more to be effective. What if I am playing DE at 1500? How many then?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not only is the game balanced around 1500, but games above 2000, especially at 2500 and double FOC, are very imbalanced.

    Further, all the strategies here are not even possible without an army like GK due to Coteaz and IG due to low costs.

    I won't call it cheese, but it's clearly very efficient and looks monstrously effective at placing down lots and lots of vehicles, but it's simply not viable for most armies. You are basically saying vehicles are good...if you play double FoC and have access cheap transports and MSU.

    If someone is playing, say, 1500 Space Marines, he's SOL. For that player, vehicles AREN'T as good as this article purports. Or rather, vehicles suck, until you start playing an opponent who subscribes to this article's strategy. In that case, prepare to be tankfucked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon.
      Sorry but I believe it to be just the opposite. 1500pt games are more rock/paper/scissor events, while at higher point levels, especially 2000-2500 you find much more balanced lists, and even a poorly designed list will have a chance to compete.

      Delete
    2. Also I don't attest to that point of being tank f'd. Its very possible to play most codices now with allies using the tactics subscribed to here.

      Some codices do not have units that fit into these categories, space marines work just fine.

      Delete
  21. Personally I think it is worth distinguishing between different types of Mech.
    For example, as a Tau player, all my mech has a 3+ cover save at > 12" range. this immediately makes it all much more survivable.

    And when it comes to killing mech, I find that AV10-11 dies as soon as I look at it. Even if I don't penetrate it, I glance it to death.
    AV12 is about the same as before and is usually operational for a bit longer, but again, I can glance it to death in a turn.
    AV13-14 however has, IMO, benefitted greatly. One lucky shot is unlikely to kill it and glancing won't cause it to do nothing next turn, so there I have to work much harder at stopping it.

    But currently, with my usual 1750 list, I can kill or at least severely damage 4 Rhino/Razorbacks per shooting turn, and I do so very consistenly.

    I wouldn't say Mech is dead, but someone who uses it needs to consider what they're doing very carefully...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I play tank heavy Necrons at 2000 pts with no fliers (don't like or have the flying pastries of the night). Though I do not have enough to count as a mech list of your definition, but mine works thanks to the abundance of Quantum shielding and jink.

    D-Lord and 6 Wraiths
    Triarch Stalkers x2
    10 warriors in Ghost Arks x3
    2x5 Immortals
    Monolith (gate to act as a transport)
    Annihiltion barge x2

    So only 8 vehicles, but all of them are 13 13 11 or better. and the arks are open-topped for fun guass flayer drive-bys.

    ReplyDelete

 
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