Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to send out a PSA on the most common Forge World units you will be likely to see in a game and the counter tactics to use against them!
So, as a lot of you likely know, the Las Vegas Open is nearly upon us. It is going to be AWESOME! 3 days of gaming in Vegas with good friends!
We have a ton of great events going on (all of the main events sold out too, sweeeeeeet!) and the event is going to be so much fun, but the main event is the 40K championships. We allow Forge World in our events, and have done so for over a year with 5+ GT level events under our belts in this format. Here is some of what we have learned from that experience and from having played against and with FW units ourselves for quite some time.
There are only a few units you really need to be aware of.
While there are many dozens of FW units out there, you typically only see a handful of them commonly. Most FW units are–quite frankly–under-powered. There are a handful of very powerful or very useful units that you see often. This is not surprising when you consider how expensive FW models are. You want to buy something you will use!
Here are a list of the most common units we have seen at our events and how they are used as well as how to counter them. I am going to group the first into one category as they all share similar characteristics.
- Saber Platforms What is it? A twin linked Las Cannon or Auto Cannon with interceptor and skyfire that has an artillery profile. Very good! Plus they come in at a very reasonable price point, are bought as a Heavy Weapons Squad as a part of a Platoon in the IG codex and are therefore a troop. They can be upgraded to have a Searchlight, but they lose their weapon if they do. You take them for pretty obvious reasons: they’re great AA, AT and AMC (anti-monstrous creature, not the awesome TV channel!). Each comes with a single crewman, but can purchase an additional crewman per gun. These are very common as they are so all-around good.
- Thudd Guns What is it? A relatively cheap artillery piece that fires 4 strength 5, ap 5, barrage small blasts with a -1 to your pin check. That in and of itself isn’t that hot, a T-Fire cannon is much better for example, but you can take them in batteries of 3. That means the battery can put down 12 strength 5 small blasts which is really nasty and can wipe an infantry unit out in a single shot. They come with 3 crew per gun, and you can take 2 additional crew per gun. It is a heavy Support choice. Alternatively this weapon can be given a Heavy Mortar which is the same weapon a Griffon has (Str 6, AP 4, Large Blast, Barrage). Also, quite good. These are very common, often you see one unit for AI duty.
- Heavy Artillery What is it? The same thing as an IG Bassilisk or Medusa, but cheaper, immobile, and toughness based as opposed to having an AV. They have a crew of 4 per gun, and can purchase 4 more per gun in the battery. Alternatively, you can get the same weapons on an immobile, AV10 platform with no crew and the option for a Hydra or Manticore turret, the Manticore additional can take Heat Seeking Skyfire missiles. You see these a lot less though, as they are so easily destroyed. Either type of the Heavy Artillery’s use is identical to normal IG self-propelled artillery: they blow stuff up from a long way away. These are less common than the above units.
- Vulture What is it? A vendetta chassis gun ship that is boss mode! Besides being my absolute favorite vehicle model in 40K, it is also a beast. Twin-Linked Punisher cannon with strafing run (+1 BS and pinning against ground targets), a Heavy Bolter, Extra Armor, a reasonable price point and…wait for it…Vector Dancer. Vector Dancer makes fliers sooo much better. At any rate, this beastie is a murder machine against infantry, most FMCs and many fliers. It can take other weapons but you hardly see them as the Punisher Cannon load-out is not only awesome looking, but really good. It is very common to see a Vulcher in an Imperial list.
- Avenger What is it? Am AV12/10/10 gunship with pretty solid damage output. These aren’t as common as Vultures but still seen fairly frequently mostly I think due to the fact that they are a beautiful model. The Vendetta is straight up better, though, for the points. The Avenger has twin linked Las Cannon and an Avenger Cannon that gives it 7 strength 6 ap 3 shots. That plus Strafing Run makes for a solid gunship at a reasonable price.
- Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought What is it? An AV13 Dread with Skyfire and Interceptor if it holds still. It also has an invul save. Please note, it got nerfed to BS4 in the latest rules. Basically this is a tougher dread that is good against ground and air targets which makes it quite versatile at a good price point. You will typically see it with two, twin Las Cannons, twin Auto Cannons, or Keres Assault Cannons (6 shot Assault Cannons). These are a solid unit and one of the most common we see due to it being both good and good looking.
- Land Raider Variants What are they? Better Land Raiders. Also, very expensive Land Raiders! The Achilles is very hard to kill, with defensive bonuses that make it very difficult to kill. It also has potent offense with a Thunderfire Cannon and two, twin linked Multi-Meltas. The Spartan similarly has Quad Las Cannons and a huge transport capacity (25) that is especially good for Chaos armies.
- Baddab War Space Marine Characters Who are they? Read their rules here. And check out their Chapter Tactics here. There is some super fun stuff in there! Very characterful and adds a lot to the game. However, the only two you really need to be aware of are Severin Loth and Azra Redth. Some of the other characters such as Moloc are cool for example, but the two big dog psykers are the most likely culprits to be encountered.
- Loth is a Mastery Level 3 psyker with a 2+ save, 3 attacks, and BS 5, otherwise a normal Libby. However, he gets to CHOOSE 3 powers from either Telepathy, Telekinesis, or Biomancy (no mixing and matching though, all powers from one school). That is very, very good. He also can expend 1 warp charge (no psychic test needed) and make his 2+ armor save go invulnerable. He is extremely flexible which is why he is so good. However, he still only has 2 wounds, so is squishy, even with Biomancy. I feel Tiggy is better, but, Loth is a very, very close second and a lot of fun to use! Pro-tip: he can’t go to ground due to his Chapter Tactics.
- Redth is also a very cool, fun psyker. He has a normal Libby statline but with I5 and 3 wounds at Mastery Level 2. If he is in your primary detachment, he must be your Warlord but his Warlord Trait is ballin. He grants his unit Interceptor and Night Vision which is very useful. He also has a 5++ and can reroll his first failed psychic check which is really useful. He always comes with Mirage, a power that grants he and his unit or a vehicle they are in shrouded and any enemy unit that assaults them counts as making a disordered charge. For his other power, he has access to Biomancy, Pyromancy, Divination and Telepathy. His Chapter Tactics grant him Move through Cover, Hammer of Wrath, Furious Charge out of terrain and a reroll to seize the initiative. Nice one! Still, not as good as Tiggy for my money, but a great, fun psyker to use.
- Hornet The Eldar Hornet is like a War Walker…but better! They’re very good, AV11, BS4, fast skimmer with scouts, acute senses and the same weapon options as a War Walker plus the option for Pulse Lasers. It can also move Flat Out and still snap fire, which is pretty useful. These are an excellent unit and in the Fast Attack slot for Eldar, coming in squadrons of 1-3.
- Tau Tetras What are they? Tau light skimmers that fire Marker Lights all over the dang place like it’s a dance club! But seriously, these are an incredibly efficient Marker Light delivery unit that puts Pathfinders to shame. They can move and shoot, have Scouts and offer a great way to get those deadly Marker Lights where you want them.