JY2’S ESCALATION TACTICA, PART I – ELDAR

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JY2’S ESCALATION TACTICA, PART I – ELDAR 

A guest Tactica by Jy2! As always, check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles and videos!

First of all, an introduction to Escalation. Escalation is a supplement that introduces Apocalypse units – namely super-heavies and gargantuan creatures – into normal games of Warhammer 40K. It allows you to use what usually are some very powerful units who were designed for much larger games. These units are what the Escalation supplement calls as Lords of War. I shall simply call them titans in this tactica.

This tactica is aimed more towards the competitive aspect of 40K gaming. While titans can be fun to play, they will no doubt also make the game very competitive as well, in most cases to the point that if you cannot kill them, then you will most likely get annihilated by them. I will look into the titans of the various armies and how to make those armies work. I will also go into how to play against these types of armies.

Titans

Titans, or Lords of War units, are very powerful units found only in games of Apocalypse before the supplement came out. However, with Escalation now a part of 40K, you can now bring these behemoths into your games. Titans consist mainly of 2 types – the Super-heavies (SH’s) and the Gargantuan Creatures (GC’s). Super-heavies are vehicles and are further sub-divided into 3 types – Super-heavy Tanks, Super-heavy Walkers and Super-heavy Flyers. Gargantuans are divided into 2 types – normal Gargantuan Creatures and Flying Gargantuan Creatures (FGC’s). The characteristics that both super-heavies and GC’s share is that both are usually very hard to kill and both can cause massive amounts of destruction.

Destroyer Weapons 

So what are Destroyer weapons, also known as Strength D weapons or just D-weapons/guns? They are simply the most destructive weapons in the game today. In many cases, just 1 D-weapon can potentially wipe out an entire unit with ease. These guns break many of the normal mechanics of the game. They ignore armor, cover, invulnerable saves, FNP, just almost everything in the game today (including Reanimation Protocols). They also practically ignore the mechanic of the Hull Point on regular vehicles. With the exception of other Titan defenses, there is almost no defense against Destroyer weaponry in regular 40K. It is mainly Titans with D-weapons that will be the problem for most armies to deal with. It is also the D-weapons that competitive gamers will flock to. Hence, there will be no avoiding it. You want to survive Escalation? Then you better be able to handle the D.

How to Play against Titans?

Elite Armies: 

Unfortunately, you are going to see Elitist armies die away in games of Escalation (or where Escalation is commonplace). Why? Because to a Destroyer gun, a land raider is just as easy to kill as a rhino. Your paladins, seer council and screamer-star are just as easy to kill as a unit of termagants. The 250-pt uber-character is not much more survivable than a normal marine sergeant. Elitist armies in competitive play will slowly phase out in games of Escalation simply because they are very inefficient against Destroyer weapons. Unfortunately, this is one of the side effects of the game that many people will have to deal with. It will render a lot of army builds practically obsolete.

Flyer Armies: 

This will be the golden age of the flyer. Armies with good flyers or flying monstrous creatures will thrive in the age of Escalation. One of the main weaknesses of Destroyer weapons is that most of them can’t shoot at flyers. Currently, all the units in the Escalation supplement who have Destroyer weaponry can only fire blasts. Thus, they cannot even shoot at flyers, at least not with their most powerful guns. Moreover, titans are so expensive that in most cases, one will find it hard to add adequate anti-air as well as troops and other support units in a titan army. The only army who can do it well will be Tau, who unfortunately lack a good titan themselves, and necrons, who just may be the most well-rounded army in games of Escalation. Thus, if your army can dominate the air, then they will have a decent chance against the titans.

MSU Armies: 

Escalation will be the comeback of the Multiple-Small Units (MSU) builds. First off, titans are so expensive that they need the rest of their army to be cheap and efficient. Secondly, more is better when playing against titans. A unit of 10 paladins will die just as easily as a unit of 10 scouts to Destroyer weaponry. Thus, why run 10 paladins when 5 units of 10 scouts (who can then combat squad into 10 squads of 5) is much, much more survivable? Moreover, it takes either Destroyer weaponry or massed firepower to kill a titan. MSU is what will gives you the best massed firepower to deal with titans. So for non-flyer armies, MSU is good both for titan armies and against titan armies.

Drop Pod Armies: 

Drop pod armies are one of the few builds that won’t really change whether playing against titans or regular armies. However, drop pod armies will have the advantage of getting the alpha-strike on a titan. Thus, I see drop pod armies continue to proliferate in the era of Escalation as they have been doing in 6th Edition. The only thing about drop pod armies is that they are limited to Imperial armies, but for those Imperial armies who don’t run super-heavies, you will very likely see them run drop pod armies in games of Escalation.

Daemons: 

Daemons are actually one of the armies that can thrive in Escalation games. They have a hugely competitive build – Flying Monstrous Creatures-spam, or FMC-spam – that will also translate well into games of Escalation (as long as they grab the Portaglyph to shore up their scoring). They also have what may be one of the best weapons against Titans – Be’lakor and Puppet Master. With the advent of the titan, Puppet Master may well become one of the most important psychic powers in the game.

When in Doubt, Hide: 

Yes, this is going to be a common strategy in Escalation. There just is no defense against Destroyer weaponry other than to be in reserves, stay up in the air or to just hide. If you cannot kill the opposing Destroyer titan, then you better find a hole to crawl under or prepare to lose a unit. Oftentimes, you will have little choice but to play the denial game against enemy titans.

PART I – ELDAR

I am going to start my tactica with what may arguably be the most powerful army to come out of Escalation – the Eldar. The Eldar (and Dark Eldar) currently possesses the most devastating Titan in the game of Escalation so far – the Revenant Titan. Why is this monster so deadly? Because whereas most of the other titans in Escalation have at most 1 or 2 Destroyer attacks/shots, the Revenant has 4 of those shots. Moreover, they aren’t just shots, they are Destroyer blasts. Yes, the Revenant is the titan most likely to erase 2 units each turn. What also sets him apart is that he is also the most mobile, non-flyer titan in the game thanks to his 36” move and he is the only titan in Escalation currently who has some type of defense against other Destroyer shots with its Eldar Titan Holo-fields (ETHF’s). ETHF’s are so good because they are the only mechanism currently that provides some type of save against other Destroyer weaponry. Moreover, the Revenant can still potentially get other saves on top of their ETHF defense (i.e. cover, Forewarning, Skyshield Landing Pads).

Every competitive Escalation Eldar army is going to include a Revenant. They are just too good.

For each tactica, I will include a sample list for a competitive Escalation army. Please note that the list I offer isn’t the be-all-end-all of competitive Escalation lists. Rather, they are lists that I feel can thrive in games of Escalation. Feel free to use my lists as a foundation, to expand on them or even to ignore them completely.

I will also address some of the weaknesses of each build and how to play against those types of armies. For my tacticas, I will not include elements from the Stronghold Assault supplement. That, I will leave to the discretion of the readers if they want to include it into their Escalation lists.

I will also build 2 lists – one at 1750-pts, which is a common points-level for most tournaments currently, and another at 2000-pts to show how I would normally scale up my lists.

1750 Eldar

HQ:

Autarch – Eldar Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Mantle of the Laughing God

Troops:

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes

3x Jetbikes

Fast Attacks: 

Crimson Hunter

Vyper – Scatter Lasers

Vyper – Scatter Lasers

Heavy Attacks:

War Walker – 2x Brightlance

War Walker – 2x Scatters

Lord of War:

Revenant Titan

2000 Eldar

HQ:

Autarch – Banshee Mask, Eldar Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Mantle of the Laughing God

Troops:

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes

Fast Attacks:

Crimson Hunter

Crimson Hunter

Vyper – Scatter Lasers

Heavy Attacks:

War Walker – 2x Brightlance

War Walker – 2x Brightlance

War Walker – 2x Scatters

Lord of War: 

Revenant Titan

Autarch:

So why an Autarch? Why not a farseer? Imagine Guide/Prescience on the Revenant, Misfortune on the enemy or even Puppet Master on enemy titans. The answer is Reserves. The need to be able to manipulate reserves in this list is greater than the need for the farseer’s psychic powers. One of the main strategies of this list is denial and I do it with reserves. Keep the troops in reserves for as long as possible. If necessary against a good alpha-strike army, I can even keep my titan in reserves and then bring him in on Turn 2 on a 2+. War walkers can outflank on Turn 2 and I can bring in the crimson hunter then as well for a respectable beta-strike if necessary.

One thing to note is that his reserves manipulation ability works even if he himself is in reserves.

Jetbikes:

Windrider Jetbikes are the fastest troops in the game that is not necrons. You need to run a lot of them for this type of list to work. They also provide volume of fire, especially in trying to ground Flying Monstrous Creatures.

Crimson Hunters:

Crimson Hunters are the best anti-flyer weapons in this army. Control when they come in with your Autarch so you can strike at enemy flyers first.

Vypers:

You need something on the board other than the Revenant and troops for the enemy to shoot at and the more units, the better. Also use them to help ground FMC’s and thin out hordes. Their mobility is a plus.

War Walkers:

Good mobility due to outflanking. Good firepower. Another unit that can be used to ground FMC’s.

Overall Strategies:

  • This is basically a denial army. You want to reserve at least half your forces (not counting the Crimson Hunters, which must start in reserves).Usually, at 1750, I will deploy as follows:Deploy:

    Revenant

    Autarch

    2x Troops

    2x Vypers

    Reserves:

    3x Troops

    2x War Walkers (usually outflanking)

    However, if you are going 2nd and are concerned about your opponent’s alpha-strike (i.e. he is bringing titans with Destroyer weaponry as well or he has massed shooting), then you can put your Revenant in reserves (and perhaps your Autarch as well if you can’t hide him from opposing Destroyer weaponry) and deploy your war walkers instead.

  • The Revenant is the focal point of your offense. You need to keep him out of combat. With his 36” move, he can usually get away from most combats. However, there will be some armies, especially flyer armies, where this may prove more difficult. Moreover, you really don’t have enough units/models to bubble-wrap/screen-out your titan. Against these armies, positioning is very important. Try not to back yourself into a corner too early. You need to use all your resources to down units such as FMC’s so that your Revenant can take them out. Also, don’t get baited by your opponent into getting too close to his units. Even a unit of 10 tactical marines can potentially tie up your titan for a while. His offense is in his shooting and that is what you need to maximize. Combat is the worst place for him to be because every turn spent in combat is a turn that he is not shooting.
  • Flyer armies who prove to be the most difficult armies for Revdar (Eldar with Revenant) army to face. That is one of the main reasons why I chose to go MSU for this army. Against FMC’s, the more units you have, the greater your chances for grounding them. Against a FMC daemon build, his shooting is likely to be weak. If so, then don’t hesitate to deploy almost your entire army. The more guns you have on the ground, the better.Against necron flyers, heldrakes, stormravens and even the Thunderhawk, you have got to play the position game. Against 1-2 flyers, you have a chance to shoot them down, but if your opponent brings massed flyers, drakes or the Thunderhawk, then you are going to have to result to denial and positioning. Against heldrakes, try to reserve all your troops if possible to deny them easy kills. Then use the mobility of your army to try to get into the rear arcs of the flyers. This will force your opponent into making a choice – either fly off the table or go into Hovering mode to try to kill them. But the moment his flyer hovers, your titan will kill it.As for the Thunderhawk, he is arguably the single greatest problem for the Revenant. He is a flyer with Destroyer firepower and he will get the alpha-strike against your Revenant unless you put him in reserves. However, it isn’t as bad as it seems. With Eldar Titan Holo-fields (ETHF), you have a 50% chance to negate his shot as long as your titan moves. You do have to be careful when you move to the Thunderhawk’s “blind spots”. That is because it can always go into Hover mode and the passengers inside can disembark to assault your titan. The best chance against the Thunderhawk is just to focus the firepower of your entire army at it. The Thunderhawk has 2 weaknesses. Its rear armour is only AV10 and is susceptible to massed S6 shots. Also, super-heavy flyers cannot Evade, meaning it won’t have a jink save.
  • As with any game, don’t lose sight of the mission objectives. Your Revenant is the centerpiece of the army and truly a VIP-unit, but in truth, it is just another sacrificial unit. Your true game winners in any mission other than Purge the Alien are your jetbike troops. Never lose sight of that. If you have to, don’t hesitate to sacrifice your titan in order to save your troops, especially when it comes down to the late game (i.e. Turns 4/5). Use him as a fire magnet. Even assault the enemy if you have to, especially if you can secure the win by doing so (and assuming you don’t have the game “in the bag” yet).

How to Play against the Eldar?

What is the best way to play against a deathstar army? Yes, Eldar in Escalation is a Deathstar army, with the Revenant being the Deathstar unit. So what is the best way to beat a deathstar army? There really are 2 ways:

  • Kill the deathstar itself. This will not be easy. You either have to have a huge amount of firepower (i.e. shooty MSU) or a very fast army if you are going for assault (i.e. FMC daemons). In many cases, it is also paramount that you be able to go first as well. Just to sit there and even take one round of shooting from the Revenant can be devastating. Trust me, you don’t want any of that.Also, be aware that killing the titan won’t necessarily win you the game, especially when commandeered by a savvy player. All it does is buy time for his jetbike troops to snatch the objectives near the end of the game and by that time, your army will be too depleted to do anything about it.
  • Kill the support units. This is the strategy I prefer. If I feel that I have a reasonable shot at taking out his titan, then I will go for it. Otherwise, it is almost always a better idea to go after the supporting units instead, especially his scoring units. Now with jetbike troops, this is actually easier said than done. It is the jetbike troops whom makes the army so hard to deal with, especially when the elder player goes with the strategy of denial.While going after the support units may be tough, going after the titan is actually harder. Why? Because then you have to go after both the titan and the scoring troops. After battling it out with the Revenant, in most cases, you won’t have much gas left in the tank to deal with the super-fast bikes. You still need to find a way to stop them from grabbing objectives or from contesting your objectives.
  • Tie up his titan. Again, this is not an easy task. You need a really fast and durable unit in order to do this, but if you can someone manage to do so, then you can focus on the rest of the eldar army much, much easier without a titan shooting down your army. Fast units to use include daemon and tyranid FMC’s or units in flying transports like the stormraven and similar such flying assault vehicles.If you don’t have fast units such as those, then you’re going to have to 1) have a lot of units advancing, hoping that 1 unit may be able to catch the titan or 2) try to bait him into coming into assault range of one of your units. Of course you better hope that the Revenant player prioritizes the wrong target in order to give you the opportunity to catch him.
  • Psychic powers, especially Puppet Master, can be very useful against a Revdar army. Units such as Be’lakor is especially dangerous to an eldar player. Puppet Master and Be’lakor is actually one of the reasons why I’ve designed my Eldar list as a MSU list. This way, the damage caused from a puppet mastered Revenant is minimal due to the amount of redundancy in the list.
  • Flyer armies. Revdar has a tough time against massed flyers/FMC’s due to the lack of anti-air, skyfire units in their lists normally. While the amount of shooting I have in my Revdar list should be able to ground a FMC each turn, it will still have problems dealing with a FMC list running 4-5 FMC’s and possibly a heldrake as well.Massed flyers is another problem as well. The amount of shooting in my Revdar list is respectable, but S6 isn’t very reliable against AV11/12 flyers. The Necron Airforce will especially give the Revenant major problems. They are also probably the only army along with triple heldrake Chaos that can efficiently go after eldar troops.I can also see a Thunderhawk list with 2-3 stormravens and/or stormtalons being a problematic build for Revdar as well. AV12 flyers are a huge weakness of Revdar and the most they can do is to try to position themselves away from the flight path of these flyers.

    Flyer armies, however, need to make sure they have a decent ground presence as well. Otherwise, if they are not careful and emphasize too much on their flyers, they just may end up getting tabled on Turn 1.

The Future of Escalation

Escalation is a major change to the world of 40K. It will take some time to get used to. Escalation may turn some people away, but I think it can be a lot of fun for those who stick around and give it a chance. It is another “flavor” of 40K and adds variety to the game. At the same time, it will discourage some of the variety in the game as well. For the time being, I see Escalation used more for competitive gaming just because most of the casual players just won’t have the tools to deal with most of the titans. But give it some time and I think the Escalation scenery will change. As more and more players get exposed to titans, you will see a shift from more competitive at first, to more mainstream over time. After all, who wouldn’t want to own a titan? They are big and powerful, the models are cool as heck and they make a great centerpiece to any army aesthetically. That should be incentive enough for both the gamers and the modelers to start accepting titans into regular 40K. Now, you can build it, paint it and use it in your games as well.

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46 Responses to “JY2’S ESCALATION TACTICA, PART I – ELDAR”

  1. Fulcrum December 12, 2013 1:19 am
    #

    Pretty much what I saw as the best list, Revenant + as many small jetbikes as possible, fill in with what you like. Reserve control would be great as well.

    Not sure how it works at 2k with the double FOC. Are you still limited to 1 Revenant? Because if not…

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 7:57 am
      #

      You wouldn’t be able to fit 2 Revenants in at 2K double-FOC and still have a viable army. The absolute minimum for that is around 2150.

      Double-Revenants is a scary build after all, but IMO, is actually worse than single Revenants. The reason is you lose balance by putting all your eggs in 2 baskets. For example, how are you going to deal with FMC-spam daemons with Puppet Master? You’ve got practically no way to shoot them down and Be’lakor is going to be using 1 titan to shoot down the other. LOL. Would be a funny game indeed.

  2. Xan December 12, 2013 2:58 am
    #

    You Sir just gave the solution to my Escalation-Problem.
    Shadow Council and Puppet Master all day 4tw.
    So glad I dont have to get a SH to be able to deal with them.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 10:23 am
      #

      Thanks. Yeah, FMC daemons is an anomaly in that it is probably the only list that is strong both in regular 40K and in Escalation as well. It is also a major threat to all titan lists, and a balanced titan list must have the means to deal with FMC-spam lists.

  3. ansacs December 12, 2013 3:08 am
    #

    Very nice article.

    I hope you will be able to browse stronghold assault and go back at the end to cover it. The interaction of being able to start a flyer on the table turn 1 (skyshield landing pad + cheap upgrade) with the blast/template nature of D weapons is huge. Not to mention the ability to void shield or LoS blocking terrain up a large chunk of the table for ~300 pts can change games drastically.

    Your list seems like a good start. Was there a specific reason you used crimson hunters instead of nightwings? Just curiosity.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 10:21 am
      #

      Seems like I’m going to have to get the supplement and add it as an addendum to this tactica.

      I didn’t have the rules for the Nightwing at the time I was writing the article, which was why I mentioned that you can use my list as a foundation and to expand on it if you’d like. It would be very easy to replace the Crimson Hunter with the Nightwing. Just drop a few shuriken cannons on the jetbikes or perhaps a vyper if you really need to.

  4. Painnen December 12, 2013 5:44 am
    #

    Interesting list. I can see this as I of x3 different ways people will create Titan lists. I would call this the “I still think there are objectives besides the Titan” list. Where you are still trying to play the game of 40k, you know, going after objectives, dinking and dunking behind cover, trying to not be tabled…

    I think the second way people will create Titan Lists will be the “I have a Titan on Turn 1 and I’ll still have a Titan on the board Turn 7.” Everything they do will be about keeping the Titan alive. I think it would sacrifice alot of “40k scoring power” to have plenty of anti-flyer tools. Just get everything on the ground and let the Titan sort it out.

    I think the third way people will create Titan Lists will be the “I have a Titan and You soon won’t”. Where they are banking on the meta being SH/GC heavy and they take as many high powered weoponry as they can. Perhaps alot of gimmicks for stealing the initiative as well. Where they are just going to win the game by alphastriking off your Titan and you having nothing to stop theirs.

    All these builds could see the light of day. That’s just lists that are including SH/GC’s. You touched on this above, Necrons have a great chance to be very well balanced when it comes to playing with their SH/GC. I haven’t looked at many besides the Rev, Stompa, and Transcendant C’Tan but I’m sure everyone else will follow suit with a “plan” for their new toy. I purposefully didn’t look at the ‘nid FGC yet as it’s hard to say what else ‘nids will have in another month…

    You also failed to mention anything about Stronghold Assault. It has Voidshields my friend. I sent you a list on dakka by way of PM, and I think that list would give either of these two a run for their money. Adding yet another set of lists to the meta.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 8:16 am
      #

      The lists I am trying to build are TAC (Take-All-Comer’s) Escalation lists. For a TAC list, scoring troops cannot be just an afterthought. Some of the Escalation builds you mention may make your titan harder to kill, but at the same time, they also make the list more unbalanced as well.

      The way I look at it, the Revenant in essence is almost the same as a deathstar build. The Revenant is basically a deathstar unit in normal play. Now how do you play against deathstar builds? You go after the supporting units. Thus, the weaker the supporting units, the easier it is to play against a deathstar build. My rule-of-thumb for a “balanced” TAC deathstar build is that the deathstar itself should never be more than 50% of the cost of the army (give-or-take a few points). Thus, at 1750, the Revenant is right there at about 50% (actually, 51%) of the total army costs. Now the more points you invest in the army to help “buff” up your titan (with the exception of force-multipliers that can benefit the entire army), the more unbalanced it becomes and the greater the chance it is for your army to come up against a hard counter.

      As for dealing with superior enemy firepower/alpha-strike armies, the build I use resorts to denial. You won’t be able to take down the titan if he’s not on the table. Then next turn, he’ll come in on a 2+ and get his alpha-strike anyways.

      Now this isn’t to say that my Revdar build is the only TAC Eldar Escalation build. I have been considering the Revenant with wave serpents and jetbikes. That build has better anti-air firepower. However, the tradeoff is that it is actually worse against FMC-spam and that it cannot survive enemy Destroyer weaponry as well.

      I didn’t mention Stronghold Assault mainly because I don’t have it yet. I may add another tactica in the future with regards to Escalation + Stronghold, but for now, I’m leaving it out and letting the readers digest that info for themselves.

  5. Thatguyoverthere December 12, 2013 5:59 am
    #

    I’m running 9 void shields in my escalation -lists for 340 points. I can’t see either of these lists being able to chip through 9 void shields before I get a chance to attack the titan. Tyranid FMCs and drop melta will have a shot before the voids go down completely. I realize the crimson hunters will be able to lend their fire and probably drop the Shields the turn they come on but at least I have a chance and don’t have to spend $200-300 to do it.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 10:17 am
      #

      Does the fortification still has a min range for the void shields? I haven’t checked out the new Stronghold rules yet, but in the previous edition of Apoc, there was a minimum range of 12″ for Void Shields to work. If you get within 12″, then you bypass the void shields.

      If that is the case, then one work-around for Revdar is to jump the Revenant inside min-range of those shields and start blasting. However, if the Revdar player is the one with the Void Shields, then that’s going to be too bad for his opponents.

      The one thing that void shields don’t address, however, are fast assault armies like daemons. As a matter of fact, it makes the army weaker when playing against FMC-spam daemons. That’s something to keep in mind.

      • Pascal Roggen December 12, 2013 11:45 am
        #

        there is a min range, however you can stand right on the edge and make it impossible for the titan to actually land inside:)

        • jy2
          jy2 December 12, 2013 1:40 pm
          #

          Well, assuming Eldar is going 1st, titan can deploy on the 12″ line and actually jump and touch the opponent’s deployment edge. So unless there are enough models to completely surround all 3 generators, I’m not sure standing right on the edge can entirely prevent the the Revenant from getting inside. And when I say inside, I believe only a little part of the Revenant needs to be inside the bubble to be considered “within”.

          • Painnen December 12, 2013 7:51 pm
            #

            I was at work theory crafting about this same concept. I felt pretty dejected because I couldn’t think of a fool proof way to keep a rev from coming into the dead zone. This idea is all but busted…I can’t for the life of me think of a way to fill a 36+” zone with enough bodies to keep the rev out. Even if you keep a H2H unit in the bubble , it’s obviously one of the units the rev will melt. You fill the bubble with enough bodies to keep the rev out and you likely have a list full of crap.

            I really didn’t want to see titans ruling the roost unchecked.

  6. Painnen December 12, 2013 9:10 am
    #

    I like you JY2. I think of you as like a long-distance mentor w/out you even knowing who I am but I have to say that this tactica and any lists you are writing about it will be largely invalid if you don’t consider Stronghold along with it. It’s just as broken in that book. Escalation is getting the attention because people hate removing models. I think Stronghold is broken because it has the best way to keep your models on the board. (post Escaltion).

    I sent you the list but for these readers, imagion if you will, you have x3 6x6x8″ impassable LOS blocking av13 buildings that each generate a 12″ sheild that will take all attacks from one unit and make them target 1 shield at a time. The sheild is av12 and if glanced or penned it drops. Now imagion you place those 3 LOS blocking buildings in such a way that you overlap that 12″ bubble they generate to cover all 3 buildings and leaving a nice 11×11″ gap in the middle to place an army. Before anyone would even remove one of your models, they would have to destroy 9 different shields. That’s 9 different units you need that can produce shots >=Str6. If you do all that, then you can start pounding on the army tucked inside. The kicker is if the buidling is still standing your next turn, you can reraise the shield on a 5+. All for the low low price of 340 pts. If I’m not mistaken, you can even add Quad Guns/Comm links to part of the fortification formation. Don’t quote me on that, my buddy has my book.

    Another kicker is that there isn’t a model or picture of these buildings. People can build them to whatever size/shape they want. There is a description of it along with it’s entry but I’m only assuming people will stick to it and use the Bastion as a reference.

    Anything that can absorb x9 units worth of an alpha strike without losing a model is just something you’ll have to plan for. I don’t see any shooty army going without it. Especially when I also gave you an army list that I think the math is sound to drop that Revenant in one turn.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 10:03 am
      #

      That sounds very good. I’m going to have to look into this. I know that before, the void shields only protect units from more than 12″ away. Is that also how it works for the stronghold currently? In any case, if I include elements from the Stronghold supplement, it’ll be in a future date.

  7. Baal Viper December 12, 2013 9:13 am
    #

    My main concern is how doe I take my Grey Knights to a tournament and have a snowball’s chance? I am an elite army be disign. I guess I could take a Thunderhawk of my own but I don’t have the cash for that… As I see it, if this Escalation thing sticks my ONYL OPTION if I want to play GK is to run Coteaz with lots of Henchman Squads and 3 Stormravens… Anything else need not even show up. If the community allows Escalation in tournaments I will be forced to run uni-build, buy my own seprate army (aka a Thunderhawk) or not play… How does this add “variaty to the game?

    PS great article, and I agree that you can employ the “run and hide” tactic against alot of SH’s but for one that is less a game of Warhammer 40k as it is a game of Hide and Seek, and how do you hide from a unit that can move 36” a turn and shoots 60”?

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 10:33 am
      #

      Unfortunately, that is one of the main drawbacks of the new Escalation supplement. It will stagnate army builds and discourage many of the lists out there. Now, it will become the battle of the titans versus the titan-killers. Escalation will render a lot of the current, normal TAC builds all but obsolete, at least in competitive play. There is almost no way a normal TAC list – with the exception of daemons and perhaps necrons – can handle a titan without being tailored to a degree to play against it.

      It will encourage variety in the armies with titans, but it will discourage variety with all other builds. However, I am fairly confident that GW will increase the number of titans allowable in Escalation in the near future.

      GK’s can still survive against titans, though elitist builds like Draigowing will be all but dead in the water. That’s just the way it’s going to be. However, without the use of titans, GK’s are going to have to go back to MSU (welcome back, Crowe-Purifier-Psyfleman builds) or triple stormraven + MSU builds. Give them the Void Shield strongholds and it won’t be that bad.

  8. Painnen December 12, 2013 9:20 am
    #

    This is also great to back up Reece’s claims that people aren’t ready for this stuff yet. There’s so much to digest.

    This is also great to back up why I don’t think nerfing this, taking this out, playing with this, not allowing this, only using some of this, and banning this and that isn’t good for the game right now either. Case in point, I sat down last night to review some of my lists now that Escalation,dataslates, and Stronghold Assault are out there. It was horrible trying to edit and view them under everyone’s edits to the now comical and current 40k rules. I had lists that were just unplayable (draigowing) under Escalation. I had lists that were unplayable under FoB’s rules. It went on and on. I just stopped and went to bed. I really do wish all the TOs could have come together on this. I’ll move forward from this only talking about broken 40k lists and such. It’s the only constant we have. That’s why I suggest JY2 re-evaluate this tactica to account for everything current, however broken it might be.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 1:44 pm
      #

      I’ll post my perspective of Revdar + Stronghold in this thread after I get a look at the new Stronghold supplement. I’ll probably also post a revised list to account for the Void Shield generators if I think it’ll make the list better.

  9. Painnen December 12, 2013 9:23 am
    #

    Baal, Idk about GK’s in escalation. I thought that they were best with the storm ravens and then allying with BA to get a second one that hits even harder than ours…along with their HQ who can stick his landing with a unit full of meltaguns.

    I was sad trying to figure something out, that was for sure.

  10. Painnen December 12, 2013 9:26 am
    #

    i guess i mean, a fourth Storm Raven and a unit full of infernos pistols/meltaguns.

    • Baal Viper December 12, 2013 10:05 am
      #

      My point is, with the Escalation rules in play, you will never see a “normal” Grey Knights or Blood Angels (my first love as you can probably guess by the name) in the competative scene. It MUST be some wanky, flyer spam or in the case of BA Drop Pod spam list. There is no normal well rounded marine based list that can stand up to this kind of firepower and hope to do more then MSU and slow down the inevitable… I am not ok with this. If the tournament scene goes to this I will not go to rournaments at all. I love to compete but what’s the point, there would still be some skill involved if you play certain armies or had your own super heavies to counter, but otherwise your are simply loosing the arms race and have no chance.

      PS why does Eldar (an already super powerful codex) get the only Titan, and agruably the best super heavy… This all but proves that the supplement is inbalanced.

      • Pascal Roggen December 12, 2013 11:59 am
        #

        I play BA and can see a bunch of normal lists still doing just fine, heck even assault marine spam works. you just tool everything with melta’s[do that already] including two infernos pistols on the sarge, combat squad everything, turn 2 deep strike and melt the crap out of what ever super they have[d6 scatter and 4 melta shots each:P], while reserving as much as possible and hiding the rest. you “might” lose 2 five man assault squads, but with Los blocking terrain, they might even survive with1 guy left.

        Of course you can storm raven spam…which I love doing:P anyway. in fact my list won’t change at all.. but it its odd. you can add a single combi melta stern guard in a pod squad, and those are good against regular lists anyway. Heck veteran vanguards with melta bombs are sweet, but that might actually be tailoring a bit:P

        Tank spam Msu works well, it can only kill 2 tanks a turn.

        heck even nipple wing lists work out, dante and 5 infernos pistol sang guard plus combimelta priest and another unit of 5 melta sanguard work just fine.

        Sure some of these mean you will take casualties but vs a 900 point unit… you kinda should;P

        • Baal Viper December 12, 2013 12:29 pm
          #

          BA do a good job of delivering Melta on tanks off he deep stirke for sure. A Combat Squad of double melta is pretty good at this. But lets be honest, every time I play Tau, Eldar, and Deamons I have a really hard time with BA. BA can tailor a list to kill a Titan, so can most armies, but at that point a regular army will eat your lunch.

          • jy2
            jy2 December 12, 2013 1:50 pm
            #

            Yeah, that’s one of the problems of some of these lists.

            It is really hard to build a good TAC list that can take on titans as well as all the other “regular” competitive builds out there. Some of the armies can do it better (i.e. the newer armies like Eldar, Tau, Necrons and Daemons) but many of the older armies just can’t.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 1:46 pm
      #

      I’m finding it hard to fit in 4 ravens and still have a viable ground presence at 1750. At 2K, yes, but at 1750, probably the most I’d recommend is 3.

      • Painnen December 12, 2013 2:43 pm
        #

        I find it completely uncomfortable to write lists w/out void shields and have any hopes of them surviving more than a turn or two.

        I do like how coffin boxes are now like life rafts toward eminent doom.

  11. Adam
    Adam December 12, 2013 10:46 am
    #

    One thing to consider about his lists is that they’re 2000 points. Most games, at least in tournaments, are played at 1750-1850. That makes a ton of difference for scoring and other support units. At 1750 when the Revenant only leaves you with 850 for everything else (especially anti-air), you’re going to struggle to make as balanced of an army.

  12. Painnen December 12, 2013 10:56 am
    #

    The first one is 1750

    • Adam
      Adam December 12, 2013 11:55 am
      #

      Ahh, formatting threw me off… While that list has some anti-air, I’m not sure if it has enough to counter what may end up getting thrown at the Revenant.

      • jy2
        jy2 December 12, 2013 1:54 pm
        #

        It doesn’t. Most of the titan lists don’t. What they basically are are deathstar builds, with the titans themselves being the deathstars. Such armies always have weaknesses that can be exploited. The lists that I suggest try to shore up on these deficiencies, but it won’t eliminate them completely.

        Probably the titan army that is also the most well-rounded army as well will be necrons, but I will talk about them in my next Tactica.

  13. North December 12, 2013 12:24 pm
    #

    So first I want to say thank you for broaching this subject and getting the ball rolling. Now I want to address a few things. The first is that I feel this idea that LOW and D weapons break the weapon and that standard TAC lists cannot handle them is incorrect. If you are actually playing a flexible TAC list you have …
    1. Anti Armor
    2. Anti High-Tough
    3. Flexible Deployment Options
    4.Some amount of mobility
    5. Anti Air or Air yourself
    The two most important here are 1,2, and 3 preferably combined together. Alot of players through together lists with a few tacked on metlas an counter assault element and call that TAC. It is just not the case If your army is TAC you have all the above because otherwise you cant TAC. That being said, the primary way for armies not using void shields or their own LOW to defeat something like the revenant titan is to use your reserve and transports as shields against the d weapon alpha strike. Since its blasts are all fired at the same time if you have a primary anti-tank units turtled in a building or vehicle (or in reserve) Your oponent will wont be able D weapon the models inside before destroying the vehicle. Additionally having your anti tank unit come in from reserve really puts a damper on d-weapon shenanigans.

    The last point I want to mention is that an issue I am constantly harping on to my play group. Every model, every unit is a resource. This game isnt the game of how long can I keep my models alive, its the game of when the game ends are my models placed better than his (other than kill points). If a super heavy can remove units at a time that can be used to your advantage.

    In the end the revenant is a very scary, non scoring, non denial, av12 9 hull point walked that costs just a thunderfire less than 4 landraiders. So in the end it will ignore 50% of your hits and you really need like 3-4 pens so your need 8 pens or 18 glances or a combination of the two. To me it sounds like serpent spam, loots, anhilation barges, broadsides, centurions, and spy cannons can all will kill it just like they kill everything else.

    • Gordy December 12, 2013 6:13 pm
      #

      The thing with a TAC list is that you’re not a specialist. So when your opponent drops a Str D blast on your two anti-heavy units turn 1 and auto kills them. Turn 2 he takes out your semi-threatening assault unit with melta or whatever. You now have virtually nothing that can hurt him. Game over.

      There are very, very few lists that actually have the tools to reliably handle a superheavy with Str D. If you’re lucky enough to play Drop Pod Marines, you can dump a bunch of melta into it T1 and laugh. If you play a Flyer spam list, you can ignore it and kill the rest of his army. But there’s not a whole lot else out there that can actually handle it while still being a TAC list.

      • jy2
        jy2 December 12, 2013 11:29 pm
        #

        Agreed. It takes the more extreme TAC builds like Shooty MSU, spam-armies and fast FMC-spam daemons to deal with titans. Normal TAC armies usually cannot handle it all that well.

        • Rawrgyle December 12, 2013 11:50 pm
          #

          That leads me to the question of, why is this good? Top lists for armies just got narrowed down to one or two builds, maybe a different unit here or there, and IT STILL becomes, who has the better SH on the table?

          I get how you are trying to get the ball rolling with making this an easier transition for everyone. But there is the point. Everyone has just had thier armies invalidated, outright. For the relative few who have titans and have played them in the past, you probably already play more games than the standard 10 other wargamers. You are looking for something new, this may be good for you.

          I personally see no fun in this list, basicly zero tactical choices, and now everyone gets to play this way. But first you have to rebuild your entire army.

          I mean seriously: “…{a new} flavor” of 40K and adds variety to the game”…

          How the hell is there variety when every single match up is going to be against a SH, and how to kill or outlast (because you can’t ignore) that single model.

          you took wave serphants instead of jet bikes? Well you still have the smae deathstar – your other units barely matter, especially against my SH with a D gun… lets roll and see who goes first… and pretty much wins the game.

          Instead of tactica, lets get some batreps.

          • jy2
            jy2 December 13, 2013 12:09 am
            #

            I agree with you. It’s not good, at least not for the majority of the players whose armies are going to be invalidated by the supplement. Frankly, I am of the opinion that Escalation should be an optional supplement that would require the permission of the opponent to play, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. GW isn’t concerned anymore about game balance and competitive tournament play. They just want to see more models and have a positive balance sheet. And I really can’t say I blame them. They probably have their backs against the wall and if they don’t make money, they may possibly fold (pure speculation on my part). That’s the only explanation to me that makes sense with regards to why they’re doing the things that they’re doing.

            BTW, I will be playing against Reece (or maybe someone else there) in a rematch against his Revenant. But this time, I am bring my necrons w/titan.

          • jy2
            jy2 December 13, 2013 12:11 am
            #

            * sell more models and have a positive balance sheet.

            Sorry, typo.

  14. Painnen December 12, 2013 2:36 pm
    #

    I still believe lists are going to end up rock/paper/scissors lists. I’m banking on revenant a (the D) list to counter other SH/GC’s as well as scare the crap out of (blank)star lists of early 6th, and then there being an anti-SH build that dominates the SH matchup.

    Rev > SH/GC/Deathstars > anti-rev/gun line/MSU

    I think there is plenty of room in there for some all comers with GCs as long as they think they can handle the D. A lot of my hopes rely on the Rev pushing out deathstar lists early on after people make escalation legal…as well as the D regulating some of the GC builds.

  15. Gordy December 12, 2013 6:09 pm
    #

    “Unfortunately, you are going to see Elitist armies die away in games of Escalation (or where Escalation is commonplace).”

    And this is why I will never play Escalation. I play Grey Knights, and I play them because I like elite, low model count armies. Escalation ruins everything that I actually like about 40k. Even my Eldar lists tend to be low model count, with lots of War Walkers, Hornets, etc (though not Serpent Spam, really).

    • jy2
      jy2 December 12, 2013 11:34 pm
      #

      Sorry to hear that. That’s one of the drawbacks of Escalation. There are people who love their army and don’t want to be forced to have to change. Unfortunately, many of those armies – armies which they’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours building and lovingly painting – are just unplayable in games of Escalation and so they don’t play it. In the more extreme case, some of these players get pissed and will even leave the hobby.

  16. James Carmona
    kontraktkiller December 12, 2013 7:55 pm
    #

    The only thing I can think of for taking down those revenants with my CSM is reverting back to termicide. I don’t know if it would be cost effective though. The one thing that does stand out is that I’ll actually get use out of elite slots again to done degree.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 13, 2013 12:01 am
      #

      Actually, I like CSM’s chances against Revdar. They actually match up alright. Strategy for CSM is to kill all the supporting units and to try to outlast the titans.

      At 1750, I’d go like this:

      Be’lakor
      Typhus

      Fateweaver

      20x Zombies
      20x Zombies
      11x Zombies
      11x Zombies
      11x Zombies
      10x Pink Horrors (or Plaguebearers)

      2x Heldrakes

      Void Shield Generator w/2 Extra Shields

      Helturkeys go after jetbike troops. Be’lakor uses Puppet Master to make the Titan kill his own troops. Zombies sit on objectives and just try to survive. Titan or Fateweaver then try to get into assault with the Titan if possible.

      • James Carmona
        kontraktkiller December 13, 2013 12:59 am
        #

        That does look like a Damn decent list. Boring…. but totally viable.

  17. jy2
    jy2 December 13, 2013 12:15 am
    #

    Ok, I’ve looked over the new Stronghold Assault supplement and I think the Void Shield Generator is worth taking in games of Escalation. Thus, I am going to edit my 2 lists to fit it in:

    1750 Eldar

    HQ:
    Autarch – Eldar Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Mantle of the Laughing God

    Troops:
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

    Fast Attacks:
    Crimson Hunter
    Vyper – Scatter Lasers

    Heavy Attacks:
    War Walker – 2x Brightlance
    War Walker – 2x Scatters

    Fortification:
    Void Shield Generator – +2 extra Void Shields

    Lord of War:
    Revenant Titan

    2000 Eldar

    HQ:
    Autarch – Eldar Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Mantle of the Laughing God

    Troops:
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon
    3x Jetbikes – Shuriken Cannon

    Fast Attacks:
    Crimson Hunter
    Crimson Hunter
    Vyper – Scatter Lasers

    Heavy Attacks:
    1x Vaul’s Wrath Support Battery
    War Walker – 2x Brightlance
    War Walker – 2x Scatters

    Fortification:
    Void Shield Generator – +2 extra Void Shields

    Lord of War:
    Revenant Titan

  18. Jankmaster December 13, 2013 12:50 am
    #

    I am actually on the fence about all this, but overall this thread has encouraged me that the game will not necessarily be SH v SH, or an arms race where everyone needs to rush out and buy a Titan. (Even though they will clearly be the main focus either way.)

    Anyway, I think that Sisters and Immolator Spam will do ok here. Plus a TAC list will do ok because their relatively cheap PA troops will allow them the flexibility to take tools for other TAC lists, while still have tools for “handling” SH/GC.

    That said, I may be deluding myself…anyone want to wake me up? 🙂

    • jy2
      jy2 December 13, 2013 9:31 pm
      #

      Titans without Strength D guns aren’t so bad. I actually don’t mind them in regular play. It’s the ones with the Stength D guns which aren’t balanced at all for normal games. Honestly, I don’t think we will actually see a lot of the big nasty D titans in normal play because people just won’t want to play against them. So don’t worry too much about it. If you play against someone and all of a sudden, he takes out his D-titan without telling you about it beforehand, you can just say, “oh, no thank you. I’ll pass if you’re going to bring THAT titan.”