Goatboy here again - Today I want to talk about the Assault Phase and if we can still make a heavy "assault" army work.
I still think there is some life in the Assault phase and I want to try out some ideas to see if anything truly sticks.
So with that in mind we have to look at an assault army in two different ways. One is a sustained Assault army and the other is a crushing assault army. A sustained Assault army is the type of list that tries to get pieces of their army stuck in like a tick. They are not designed to kill units but are instead design to hold up the opponents pieces from doing much of anything other then trying to break away from this stalling unit. A crushing assault army is just that - this is design to hit a unit and make it disappear in a flurry of fists, axes, and superior Macho Man elbow dropping power.
I think the sustained assault army is the superior one as it really stretches the idea of board control and turn control. A lot of the time the "better" player will have a good idea about this and try to utilize his abilities to control both of these winning options in order to push an unattainable game into the gold medal territory. You still need some Crushing elements to help remove options from an objective but most of the time keeping your opponent in their deployment zone will at least win you the line breaker and keep that base objective contested.
My idea is to mix the two into a list that might do well enough to be interesting. Interesting is the name of the game and I really want to try and push my desire to utilize less-used units or at least only singleton's of so called "good" options. This way I can create a list with a bag of tricks that will either seduce your girlfriend (or boyfriend) or annoy you enough to allow me to sneak the game away.
I know the real decent assault army list right now is Chaos Demons. I don't want to retread previous articles, topics, and overall internet hate. This army idea is designed to be a stew of nonsense built in a way to allow for multiple levels of play and really cause your opponent to question what Battleforce you bought that allow this nonsense on the table top. So with that in mind - let's begin.
I have decided to use Chaos Space Marine and Chaos Demons to create this assault Frankenstein.
2000 Pt list - Brothers in Arms Fist Pounding to the Beat
HQ: Chaos Lord, Mark of Nurgle, The Black Mace, Chaos Bike, Sigil of Corruption, Veterans of the Long War
HQ: Chaos Lord, Mark of Khorne, The Blinding Axe, Juggernaut of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Veterans of the Long War
HQ: Herald of Tzeentch, Chariot, Boon of Mutation
Troops: CSM X 10, Autocannon, Plasmagun, Veterans of the Long War.
Troops: CSM X 10, Autocannon, Plasmagun, Veterans of the Long War
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Plague Bearers X 7
FA: Chaos Spawn X 5
FA: Chaos Bikers X 10, Plasmagun X 2, MoN, Veterans of the Long War, Power Axe
FA: Screams of Tzeentch X 9
Foritifcation: Aegis Defense Line, Quad Gun
So there are a lot of odd choices in here but really it is designed out to test some ideas of getting involved in the opponents business by turn 2. Let's go over the Assault elements and label them as what I think they are.
MoK Chaos Lord - This guy is designed to get in and start hacking away. Most units won't have much of a chance to survive unless you have a large batch of 1's rolled.
MoN Chaos Lord - This monster is great at clearing out non marine hordes. If he does cause a wound or two look out as he starts to escalate and kill the punks who stole your father from you.
Screamers - We all know what these guys do and if you are not a horde of monsters expect them to kill whatever they hit.
Mauler Fiends - These are an experiment. Versus Vehicles they will just tear a new hole into. Their ability to ignore cover is pretty neat and if you don't have Krak grenades these guys can take a chunk out of you. Look to throw them into tanks and other bits as the game starts to move towards balance and away from the copy and paste options you constantly see in blog posts and battle reports. It might be better to swap one for a Soul Grinder to give you an Armor 13 option. Plus you army then only has one duplicate - the troop option.
Herald of Tzeentch - This guy is designed to go get stuck somewhere and be annoying. 5 wounds is a pain to get through and mix it with a 4+ invulnerable save you can help keep a unit stuck for awhile. His boon of mutation is good as it allows for a degree of character sniping that I know too much about.
Chaos Spawn - These ex chaos super friends are fast and tough. Use them to hold down a unit for a few turns as they try to cut through their wiggling tails, butts, and whatever else Chaos has decided to give the bad touch too. The MoK guy rides with them as he moves the same and likes to have some extra friends to soak up some wounds that might get thrown onto him.
Chaos Bikers - T6 bikers are pretty hot and these guys give you some utility to spread out and survive. You can change out the guns or make them cheaper if you want. I am unsure if Meltaguns or Plasmaguns would work better as losing a guy to a roll of a 1 on a Plasmagun is pretty depressing. A meltagun would have less shots on a flyer but if you hit with that melta - you have a good shot of getting hit by flying debris from your opponent's 50 dollar+ toy.
The troops are there to score and help out as is the Aegis defense line. You can drop that for some Rhinos with Dirge casters if you are afraid of the all mighty 6 on an overwatch. I try to keep my demon numbers in the sacred option phase and hope GW continues that with the so called new demon book that might come out. I just think it adds a bit of - well cool fluff in a way that is less game demanding.
How have you guys thought about using the Assault phase more? Have your games turned into shooting galleries unless you are throwing down with demons? Have you missed throwing dice in hand to hand?