Sunday, December 26, 2010

Caolán's Nipple Torture* (BA Jump list)

Caolán's Angels: Like Charlie's Angels but they're Furverts.
Angels are usually described as descending from heaven to save the favoured that are in peril or those that ask for their intervention. Seeing as Caolán doesn't reckon on the former I figured I'd come as the latter.

I'm not spouting mere gibberish - I'm referring to his Descent of Angels list and the fact he wants to bring 27 models in his 1750 point army that he'll take to the 40k tournament at Warpcon. Or at the very least is considering taking there. That's masochism for you.

So where do we start to correct this deviant behaviour?

First off I'll say that Kirby and Stelek being doing a lot of work on 3++  and YTTH for the for the last while, with Kirby doing *another* one just before this came out. If you're looking for less Caolán-specific advice about BA Jumpers head over to both of those.

Antique_Nova on B&C recommends a simple formula that I wouldn't deviate too far from when it comes to making armies.

500 pts: Troops
Next 250 (to 750): Killy stuff
Next 250 (to 1000): Troops
Next 250 (to 1250): Killy stuff
Next 250 (to 1500): Troops
Next 250 (to 1750): Killy stuff

That would give you 1000 points of scoring units (or thereabouts) in a 1750 list and I'd agree with that based on the fact that 2/3 or missions normally (4/5 at Warpcon) are objective missions and require you to have scoring units to grab objectives in order for you to win the game.

Looking to the Jumper list (with an example from Kirby) that Caolán wants we see that he needs 4 scoring units as they'll come close to the 1000 point mark. It isn't just point cost we're looking at - its the question of survivability. Before we go into this there's a couple of things to suggest that such a list is viable. And others to hold against it.


Speed: This army is highly mobile with every guy there having a Jump Pack giving him 12" of movement although he does have the Difficult Terrain test to worry about. If there is a worry about cover saves you can always elect to move next to terrain and then run into it if there aren't enough targets nearby (rare) or you're willing to sit tight for a turn sucking dirt to take an objective.

FNP: You can make a few bubbles to keep your guys alive by having IC Priests or Honour Guard Novitiates nearby to give your squads that lovely 4+ re-roll to their normal armour. While it doesn't save you from AP 1/2 shots or Power Weapons in combat it'll keep you alive through the storm of shots that some armies can throw out (Eldar S6 Shuriken spam, DE Poison).

Assault weapons: This army is able to fire all of its weapons on the move, including its anti-tank ones so its free to move or Deep Strike and open fire on any big targets nearby such as Monsters or Vehicles that would otherwise drive away and/or cause problems later.

Combat: With the FnP bubble provided to the sheer number of grunts in multiple RAS squads as or having lots of Power Weapon/Fist attacks your units can fight against a variety of enemies and grind them down as long as they're not an out-an-out combat unit (Hammernators, TWC Lords et al).


Durability: FNP doesn't allow for hits from Power Weapons or AP 1/2 shots so if you don't have Shield of Sanguinius or aren't buried in cover you'll have choices to make about units to sacrifice i.e. is it worth losing a killy unit in order to keep a scoring unit alive by giving it a cover save or not?

Multi-wound model trouble: Think Nids and Daemons with multiple 3 to 6 wound monsters. The reason being you need to focus fire to drag such units down and by being forced to load up with Assault weaponry you won't have the high volume heavy weapons to drag them down at range.

Mobility: Speed and Mobility are two different things. In this context it means that after units Deep strike they must spend a turn sitting pretty, possibly getting pummelled by the enemy army and/or being assaulted on the enemy's terms. Surrendering the initative in this way isn't a good thing for a relatively small elite army.

Hybrid Jumpers
My normal recommendation for units to take in a list would be like this:


Add any other units to taste. The Devs sit at the back pounding threats to your Troops with Missiles (as they're cheap) and draw fire away from your Jumpers. They provide the long-ranged threat that your Jumpers obviously can't and are relatively low cost for what they bring to the army. While they aren't scoring themselves this isn't a huge problem as you can treat them as expendable while they're blazing away. 2 units of 5 of these with a Priest babysitter is quite hard to shift. This can be doubly so when you add a Techmarine (stop laughing) with a CombiMelta for drop-shots as he comes with Bolster Defences to increase the save of any units in ruins i.e. Devs.

Biker Jumpers
An alternative to this is the Blood-Rodeo that Farseer Dave ran with at Gaelcon:

Bikes/Attack Bikes

3 units of 3 Attack Bikes with Meltas is less than 500 points giving you 1200+ to play with in a 1750 list. That's a tonne of anti-tank already and you can supplement this with 3 or 4 scoring units to float about causing problems for infantry and/or mech. I'm not too fond of regular Biker squads being used as they don't bring enough anti-tank and aren't as durable for roughly the  same points cost although Kirby would probably argue with me. I personally prefer this option as the Attack Bikes are able to fulfil both anti-tank and combat support roles without sitting back and getting isolated. They can both protect and be protected by Assault squads nearby.

Purdy aren't they?
However in this case Caolán has sand in his fanny and is going with Nipplewing (Sang Guard-heavy) as his theme. He wants to include both Dante and Sanguinor and field nowt but Sang Guard and Priests for a 27-man army. Brave. It would be braver if he wore a t-shirt with his nipples showing while he played them. He might distract people and win more as a result...

Dante and Sanguinor are 500 points combined and I'll say straight out that that is simply too much at 1750 points. Seeing as they're both killy units you're looking to spend almost all of your remaining points on Scoring units if you run with the points guide given above. I'd pick one and run with it. I'd recommend Dante and use the remaining points to spread the threats around.

- The Sanguinor is heavier on points
- He isn't a deathstar by any means as he's defensive rather than killy but can't be hidden in a unit. While Dante isn't in his league in terms of fighting potential he does have the ability to get out of combats where he's threatened and also to hide in a unit so he doesn't get damaged on his way in. I will say that his S4 is crap though...
- Sanguinor's buffs aren't as beneficial to the army as a whole as Dante's are.

One approach is to go with an elite army:

2 Priests
4 to 5 units of Sang Guard
Van Vets

Fine, specifics:

2 Priests with Jump Packs
5 units of Sang Guard (3 units with 2 Inferno Pistol/Fist, 2 unit with Fist)
5 VanVets with Claw, Fist, 3 Storm Shields

This army doesn't do long-ranged fighting. It drops or moves into your face asap and gets smashing. The only problem is that it is surprisingly fragile as FNP won't save you from Plasma weapons and you can get stuck in combats where you will eventually be whittled down because of your lower numbers. The worst thing you can do is seperate your units to go after threats because you'll leave yourself strung out and unable to support each other, possibly apart from Dante as his Hit-and-Run move will allow him to jump from assault to assault so he can be in a different combat in each of your turns. He'll also allow you to drop a unit of Sang Guard (probably with Priest too) right where you want them and have your Vanvets land near to ensure they assault within 6", getting buffed as a result.

A real problem you'll have is lack of guns - mech armies with lots of units in transports mean that you'll have to double up on them to destroy them which isn't something that small armies can do well. There's also the problem that you need to land within 3" to get the best effect from the Sang Guard's short ranged guns. Dante's unit is fine but the rest run the risk of mishapping if they want to reliable bag a high priority threat as they have to drop so close.

Deployment and movement of your Priests is absolutely critical to keeping your 40+ point models alive, especially if you get a spate of 1's from a large volume of shots but also in ensuring that they kill enough stuff in combat before it can strike back and ignore your precious nipple armour.

For no reason here's a Stormraven.
Its not impossible to win with this by any means but you will make life difficult for yourself by limiting your army choices so severly.

I ran a Dante themed list at 1750 before:

2 units of Sang Guard with Fist each
2 Priests with Combi-Melta, Jump Pack
2 x 10 RAS with 2 Melta, Fist each
2 Storm Ravens with EA, Plasma Cannon, MultiMelta

I'm sure that was it anyway. The RAS could be thrown in people's faces (i.e. tanks) to draw fire while the Ravens boosted across the field. Both Sang Guard went in there but only 1 Priest went with them as the other one had to keep the RAS' alive. I had Inferno Pistols on the Sang Guard originally but it was a waste as the RAS and Ravens did tank busting and with Combat squads I had a unit with 2 Meltas and a unit with a Fist to take out tanks. Coupled with FNP I was often able to swamp a target area and when one unit got destroyed the other was able to mop up by assaulting. If something wants to shoot you it has to stay still or move less than 6" which means you hit it on a 4+. Coupled with multiple S5 attacks and most tanks being rear AV 10 you can batter them with 5 guys, 1 being the Sarge with Fist, quite reliably.

DofA Jumper
For this list sticking to this theme I'd suggest:

Libby with JP, Blood Lance, Shield
2 Priests with JP, CombiMelta
2 Sang Guard units with Fist, 1 squad with 2 Inferno Pistols (Dante can drop with these guys in case you're wondering about the guns)
2 x 10 RAS with 2 Melta, Fist each
6 VanVets with 4 Storm Shields, Claw, Fist

Here you have 4 Scoring units across 30 bodies all of whom should be getting FNP. Each unit that drops should have a Melta shot apart from the vets and 1 Sang Guard squad. Dante and the Sang Guard with Pistols drop to take out a threat while the other squads land nearby. If combat squadding I'd probably recommend putting a Priest and the Libby with a 5-man unit with Fist so that you still have 2 S8 shots with them. With another 2 units having the 2 Melta shots and Dante's squad you can potentially open up 4 tanks or drag down a scary MC (Tervigon) in a turn. Use the firepower to create gaps for your VanVets to get stuck into or to weaken things they want to drag down. Don't forget that Dante's gimp mask should be dropping Psychic Hoods by 1 point of Ld to make it more likely you'll get your powers off.

If you weren't going with Dante I'd recommend a 2nd Libby with Lance and the other powerpower should be Shield or Rage (a cover save from lots of low AP shots is useful but so are re-rolls to hit in combat although with this kind of list I'd go with Shield as you'll be stuck for a turn before you can use Rage).

If you want to run with a non-Dante list I'd go with:

Libby with JP, Lance, Shield
4 x 10 RAS with 2 Melta, Fist
3 x Priest with JP
10 VanVets with 5 Shields, Fist, Claw or 10 VanVets with 4 Shields, Fist, Claw and 5 Meltabombs

The beauty of this army is that it can DofA in your face or bounce across the board using cover and FNP to keep it alive with its 40 or so warm bodies keeping it moving. I had a 2nd Libby but dropped him so that I could get the 3rd Priest and buff the VanVets. The RAS and Priests make use of cover rather than rely on the Libby and the Vanvets combat squad - all of the Shields act as a tarpit while the other 5 go after support units like Long Fangs and Lootas. You can always split them up differently if you need to but they should focus on taking support units and letting your RAS get on with countering the enemy Troops. The 2nd option is for the Vanvets to load up on Meltabombs and send them after vehicles that remain static or move little.

So Caolán, there's your fecking BA Jump list options open to you. This isn't comprehensive by any means but it should give you a few ideas about what to take to Warpcon in a few weeks and prevent you from public humiliation. Unless you're into that kind of thing. In which case you go ahead and ignore all of the above and enjoy the nipple torture.

*Sorry if the first half of the title disappointed you but there'll be no pics of R v Brown style fun nor will it be involving scantily clad women beating up men with strange habits so to make up for it here's a link to Sorrowshard's blog with lots of gimp masks.


  1. If it were me I would use the First DoA Dante list as for me it has the right balance of CC punch as well as scoring + anti-mech with the 9 melta weapons + lance.

  2. Funny thing about that stormraven. It actually looks good.


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