Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 6: Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company

cadian

Hey everyone, Reecius here with another article in our coverage on the Cadian Battle Group. This time up for review: The Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

The Armoured Company is brought to bear when the Astra Militarum needs to break through enemy lines and press into the heart of their army. Leman Russes backed with Enginseers bear down relentlessly on the enemies of the Emperor. Those that aren’t blasted by their shells are crushed under their treads.

LemanRussExecutioner03

Overview:

This formation has some awesome special rules that make it powerful but it comes at a huge price tag. If it weren’t so expensive, this would be a real stand out. That said, if you use it you will not be disappointed, but your list will be starved for points for anything else.

Composition:

  • 1 Tank Commander
  • 3 Leman Russ Squadrons
  • 1-3 Enginseers

Special Rules:

  • Battlefield Doctrines: Enemies shooting at vehicles from this formation within 6″ of the Enginseer roll 2d6 dropping the highest on the pen table which is incredible for avoiding those Explodes! results.
  • Formation Leader: Any Leman Russ from this formation within 12″ Tank Commander has BS4.
  • Steel Phalanx: If an enemy unit is Tank Shocked or rammed by a vehicle from this unit, add 1 to the strength for the ram for each vehicle after the first, or subtract 1 from the leadership check for each tank after the first for the Tank Shock check.

leman_russ_battletank_by_arkurion-d5urlqe

Tactics:

If it weren’t for the massive price tag involved and a 5 tank minimum, this would be an awesome formation. However, 5 Leman Russes is more than most lists want or need. It leaves you too vulnerable to any list that has the tools to deal with armor.

If you do want to play this formation, it packs some slick special rules.  BS4 is a big buff, and for those tanks that are within range to benefit from it, will see a significant increase in their damage output (obviously). Tanks that have multi shot weapons such as Punisher Cannons, benefit most from this upgrade. Specifically, a Punisher with Multi-Melta sponsons at BS 4 is a solid tank for a low points cost of 160pts per model that is a threat to multiple targets. The other benefit is that you can use the Enginseer(s) to grant one of them Power of the Machine Spirit to fire on multiple targets.

The Annihilator or Vanquisher is also a solid choice as the middling BS3 is mitigated and the tank is quite cheap at 135pts base. Slap a Las Cannon on it and you’ve got an affordable, mobile anti-tank/MC Russ at a reasonable price point.

Imperial_Guard_Leman_Russ_Vanquisher

You can’t rely on every tank to remain in the 12″ radius though (however, that is a 24″ bubble) and so taking a tank that can operate without support. The Eradicator is actually a great choice. At a base of 120pts, it’s a bargain and an ignores cover main weapon is always a benefit. Also, as it isn’t ordnance, you can fire it and the other tank’s weapons without having to snap fire.

The Plasmacutioner is a truly powerful tank, and one that can dish out some devastating firepower. However, the threat of overheating is very real and while the Enginseer nearby can mitigate the hull point damage, but still, a way to avoid it in the first place is preferable. To that point, a great combination I have found is to take Pask as your tank commander as he comes stock with the Preferred Enemy Warlord trait for he and his unit. Now, that does mean you have to make him the warlord, but when taken in a Punisher he is a beast as he grants the main gun Rending. That plus rerolling 1’s to hit and wound and BS 4 is a killer combo. As the Tank Commander must (annoyingly) take another tank in his squadron, the Plasmacutioner is a solid choice. Preferred Enemy lets you reroll the Gets Hot! rolls dramatically increasing the weapons’ reliability and reducing the risk of taking damage. And as a further benefit of being in this Formation, the increase to BS4 is solid. The order to split up their targets keeps this unit efficient. Combo the Enginseer’s PotMS and you will reliably be firing on multiple targets, every turn. The only threat is losing both tanks to a single attack.

LemanRussEradicator

The Tank Shock bonus can be great for getting a unit off of an objective, too, which can be game winning.

Kabe’s Herald is a solid consideration if you plan on taking multiple Russes per squadron as it allows you to apply the effects of an order to multiple units.

I’d run this formation with Pask in a Punisher with Multi Meltas paired with a Plamascutioner. For the other three Russes, I’d likely grab an Eradicator, Vanquisher with a Las Cannon and 2nd Punisher with Heavy Bolters or Multi Meltas. That plus the Enginseer runs you 880pts and filling the core requirement in the Cadian Battle Group. Alternatively, take this formation on its own along with an Astra Militarum CAD with massed infantry, giving your opponent only AV14 or T3 models to shoot at.

Interestingly, you can’t take Pask in this formation if you take it as a part of the Cadian Battle Group, lol. On its own, you can, but in the overall “Decurion” style detachment, Pask can only be taken in the HQ section. Go figure. It’s a silly rule, but makes it hard to use this formation as a part of the Battle Group.

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In all, this formation looks fun but really came in too heavy on points. AV14 tanks can be a meta buster (if you can avoid or mitigate Grav weapons) but if it only required 3 Russes instead of 5, it would be a solid two thumbs up from me. It isn’t bad, at all, and can have some great games but in a tournament environment you will frequently find yourself in match-up where you opponent can easily deal with AV14.

What do you all think about the Armoured Company? And remembers, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day!

 

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14 Responses to “Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 6: Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company”

  1. westrider January 22, 2016 5:03 pm
    #

    Definitely one I’m going to be playing around with a bit. Especially since it’s the Battle Group Core Choice that’s actually feasible to field. Probably run it alongside a small CAD of some kind (seriously, why do none of the Decurion-class Detachments have a Fortification slot?) for a VSG to fend off the Grav.

    I’ll probably roll pretty similarly to what you’ve got at the end there, except I only have one Punisher, so the second will get replaced by an Exterminator or Demolisher without Sponsons or something.

    Also, it kind of amuses me that, once again, GW has included a Rule that literally does nothing, since they already Ram at S10, so that part of Steel Phalanx is completely meaningless 😉

    • abusepuppy January 22, 2016 5:14 pm
      #

      The Decurions lacking fortifications is definitely a really annoying thing, especially with the VSG being so prevalent/necessary.

      They only Ram at S10 if you were smart and bought a Dozer Blade! Otherwise, they are “merely” S9.

      This feels like a pretty decent replacement for the previous “lots of tanks” formation where the tax was a Hydra instead of an Enginseer. Preferred Enemy is definitely better than +1BS, though, so that’s a downside.

      • westrider January 22, 2016 5:21 pm
        #

        Going off of Pg.93, 1/2 of Front Armour is 7, +1 for being a Tank, +2 for Heavy=10 unless I’m missing something.

        And yeah, it feels more or less like a sidegrade from the Steel Host.

        • abusepuppy January 22, 2016 11:46 pm
          #

          Huh, I thought it was only +1 for being heavy. I stand corrected.

        • Survo January 23, 2016 3:48 pm
          #

          Erm…the BRB reads:

          • Armour. Half the Armour Value (rounding up) on the facing that makes impact.

          • Mass. If the vehicle has the Tank type, add 1.

          • Excessive mass. If the vehicle has the Heavy or Super-heavy type, or is a building, add 2.

          >.>

  2. Dakkath January 22, 2016 7:50 pm
    #

    Would you run these guns only or invest in upgrades such as dozer blades, extra armor, or pintle weapons? I’m trying to write up a list for a friend and points run out quick when I start thinking maybe I need some of these.

    • abusepuppy January 22, 2016 11:49 pm
      #

      I would mostly always take Dozer Blades on them; the Punisher variant always, no questions asked, the other ones can potentially get away with not using it (but for 5pts it’s a good deal.) Extra Armor is pretty useless, I feel; a pintle Heavy Stubber isn’t an awful buy for an anti-infantry tank, but hardly an automatic choice either.

      • Dakkath January 23, 2016 1:55 pm
        #

        Noted. How about relic plating? Oh, and recommendations on hull weapons and which if any sponsons to use for various types of russ. Right now the list has an assault company loaded with melta vets and a hellhound, punisher pask with plasmacutioner wingman, and 3 of either eradicators or exterminators to save points.

        • abusepuppy January 23, 2016 3:07 pm
          #

          Relic Plating isn’t bad if you happen to have 3pts; remember you only need it on one model in a unit to gain the benefits for the whole squad.

          Hull weapons can vary a lot. The Heavy Bolter is almost always acceptable, though I would try to find points to give AT versions (Paskisher, Vanquisher) a Lascannon. I often take the Heavy Flamer on 1-2 tanks in a list just so I have some point-defense weaponry, especially on variants that use blast weapons I don’t want to scatter onto myself.

          Sponsons are basically the thing that make Russes valuable- I would virtually always be looking to have sponsons on my tanks. They’re just not that expensive.

          For your list, I might go two Exterminator and one Eradicator, although you could do fine with a Punisher replacing the Eradicator (thanks to the BS4 aura.)

          • Dakkath January 24, 2016 12:26 am
            #

            Sponson multimeltas, I’m assuming. The heavy bolters cost the same and are underwhelming, especially since all the chimeras can have em too. And the heavy flamers would rarely ever get to both fire. Plasma cannons on a wingman for pask, sure, since preferred enemy.

            Also, looks like I have to take the command choice tank commander if I want pask. I’m wondering if at this point it’d be better to just run a CAD.

  3. Maxurugi January 27, 2016 10:18 am
    #

    “Combo the Enginseer’s PotMS and you can potentially fire on 3 different targets.”

    This is easier said than done. You can’t usually use orders and the enginseer to let a single squadron fire at three different targets, because orders are given and carried out at the beginning of the shooting phase, while the enginseer’s buff takes place during the shooting phase. The only way to circumvent this would be giving the enginseer an order that doesn’t prevent him from making a shooting attack (as he is giving the buff instead of making a shooting attack). Since those orders explicitly force the unit to make a shooting attack, I think he would have to have joined a unit, so that a different model of the unit actually fires a weapon and the enginseer isn’t forced to fulfill that requirement himself.

  4. Maxurugi January 27, 2016 10:18 am
    #

    “The order to split up their targets keeps this unit efficient. Combo the Enginseer’s PotMS and you can potentially fire on 3 different targets.”

    This is easier said than done. You can’t usually use orders and the enginseer to let a single squadron fire at three different targets, because orders are given and carried out at the beginning of the shooting phase, while the enginseer’s buff takes place during the shooting phase. The only way to circumvent this would be giving the enginseer an order that doesn’t prevent him from making a shooting attack (as he is giving the buff instead of making a shooting attack). Since those orders explicitly force the unit to make a shooting attack, I think he would have to have joined a unit, so that a different model of the unit actually fires a weapon and the enginseer isn’t forced to fulfill that requirement himself.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 27, 2016 10:28 am
      #

      Well said, and you are correct. I got that wrong.

  5. Kartr_Kana March 16, 2016 10:56 am
    #

    Only… 600 points if you go 5 Eradicators. 1250 points for the juicy aux units, plus plenty of ignores cover