Themed Armies: Plasma Gun

I recently decided to write an occasional series here called Themed Armies.  Basically, I'll take a theme and compare and contrast it across two armies.  I want the theme to be basic enough that most armies could create a list, though obviously some armies will do it better than others.

The theme is Plasma Guns.  The armies are Chaos Space Marines and Imperial Guard.

(Click to see the larger view.  I didn't include the pages with no units.)

So, if Competitive is Consistent, how well do these stack up?  Could they be improved?  Can they accomplish what every army needs to accomplish, such as destroying Mech and claiming objectives?

Let me know what you think.


Jwolf said...

Play the first army against the second one. I think you'll find that the absence of long range shooting makes list one very difficult to win with.

List 2 isn't exactly terrible, but it will have trouble with 2+ Land Raider lists, and doesn't appear to be durable enough to hold any objective strongly desired by an MEQ army. The Vendettas are such obvious targets in the list that they will get smacked even moreso than usual - plasmavets don't get the same respect as meltavets, so the Vendettas will be shot until dead in almost every possible case.

Brent said...

Darn it, blogger ate my comment!

I would never use the CSM list but I left it regardless. Frankly, I'm not sure what I'm missing - is the theme possible at all? Would another army be able to pull it off?

Still, the most interesting point is how the Guard wouldn't do well against a Raider Spam.

What are the basic armies out there an army needs to be able to deal with?

Jwolf said...

I wouldn't call 2 Land Raiders spam; there is a reasonable chance to face a couple Raiders even after round 1/2.

Generally building an army to deal with 15 Long Fang ML, maybe a TWC unit, and everything else in shiny metal boxes is a good default opponent to plan for. Because about half the world plays a list like that - the most boring and cost efficient construction from the most boring and cost efficient codex.

Second choice is meltavet chimeras with Vendetta support, probably with at least 1 Manticore and some Hydras. Again, boring, cost efficient, and very common.

Third is a mixed bag of generic / Vulkan SM lists. Figure 2-5 Rhinos and some other transports, lots of scoring units, and guns to touch vehicles all over the place.

After those 3, which will be most of what is out there, you have to consider how you will handle 200 Orks, Tervigon spam lists, and crazy Eldar / Dark Eldar speed lists.

Then worry about Daemons and other oddball lists, if you have the time and energy.

The thing about having 3 Vendettas as all of your AV 14 hitting is that they can't expect to kill 2 Land Raiders in one turn (or even 1 that is held in Reserve while Devastators shoot them down), so they have trouble getting the job done for you.

Evil Homer said...

JWolf is correct. If you can't handle those list archetypes, and neither of those lists really can, then your hosed.

You could run sacrificial melta special weapon squads in the vendettas, do the scout move drop thing but that doesn't answer the issue of reserves.

Maybe run the storm trooper squads with melta and infiltrate them might work.

Ultimately you've turned an army (IG) with the worlds largest selection of long range firepower into a knife fighting army. Playing against type is often (note not always) a recipe for disaster. CSM can play as a knife fighting army but requires balanced weapon selection to do so.

A theme is fine but you have to have the basics or realize your are intentionally hamstringing yourself.

You MUST be able to handle multiple 10-12 vehicles per turn. You must be able to reliably kill AV14. This is why both the SW and IG lists are so good. They have multiple efficient methods of dealing with the most common threats in a conventional manner. They don't have to gear up for or depend on luck to neutralize the most commonly seen opponent lists.

Brent said...

Okay, I'm not entirely unaware of that. So Plasma fails.

I'm not unaware of that either. We had that conversation last week. I just thought it would be an interesting conversation to have.

And I'm not disappointed, either.

Forget theme. The question is what armies can do all those things?

JWolf called them boring. He's not wrong; the lists out there are becoming boring.

Do most 'dexes even have an answer?

Evil Homer said...

IG, SW, SM, BA can all do those things. Tyranids? Probably not they have real issues with mech, heavy mech in particular. Eldar? Maybe but they play a different game than most codexes do.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that your better off playing to the strengths of an individual book rather than trying to shoehorn a given book into the shape you want it.

With BA play fast and aggressive, the book lends itself to that. SW lends itself to a balanced approach with a mix of short, medium and long range shooting and adequate CC, the SM book is the same way.

Guard can very successful that was as well but outside certain specialized builds must avoid CC.

Eldar play the speed game, maybe because the dex is flawed but that is the hand your given and you've chosen to play it so play it well. See the much maligned footdar for reasons as to why speed wins in that book.

CSM is another odd one. I think it plays quite well at the 12-24" range band but suffers outside it. I think it is a knife fighters army and can win alot of games that way despite its obvious issues. I think the CSM book can handle most tasks given it some way but I could be off base. People still continue to have some success with it though.

Tau are another book that can handle the many and varied tasks present and might be able to run a siginificant plasma theme with success as you broadsides and hammerheads to handle the heavy lifting of killing vehicles.

Ilmarinen said...

If you're going for plasma-themed IG, why are there no LR Executioners and armoured sentinels with PCs?

Brent said...

Ilmarinen: That's a good question!

Because I didn't think of it - that's a better route, though.

Ilmarinen said...

I've been thinking about what a plasma-themed IG army might include, because it would be quite fluffy for a pre-heresy Imperial Army army.

It would also need a Stormblade ...obviously! :)

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