Traitor’s Hate: Terminator Annihilation Force Review

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Howdy Heretics! Today we look at the new CSM Terminator Annihilation Force. Can it win you games?

Dean from Blog for The Blood God here with a new weekly review / Tactical article series for the formations found in the new Traitors Hate Chaos Space Marine Suppliment!

If you have any ideas / tactics you wish to contribute / discuss head over to my Facebook Page and shoot me a message! Without further adue lets get into the fourth installment!

Terminator Annihilation Force

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Units

  • 1 chaos lord, or sorcerer must be equipped with Terminator Armour for free
  • 3 -5 units of Chaos Terminators

Rules

Targeted for Annihilation – Basically pick an enemy unit at the start of the game, your Terminators gain Hatred and the ability to make an additional shooting attack immediately after they arrive via deep strike.

Target Updated – Basically if you destroy they unit markedfor Annihilation you can select a new unit, rinse and repeat.

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Loadouts

First let’s discuss the units, what to take and how to equip them. In my experience Chaos Terminators are ideal suicide squads (and no I don’t mean one of them has to be Margot Robbie for it to work). What I mean is they drop in, unload their combi-weapon payload and then die.

For this reason I suggest keeping the unit as cheap as possible. Stick to a minimum squad of 3 and give them all combi melta or plasma and no other upgrades.

You can find a previous article on chaos terminator tactics here.

As for the Chaos Lord / Sorcerer, there are two ways to look at this. Either equip him with matching combiiweapons and join him to the suicide squad OR equip him however you want and join him somewhere else. Remember you are not forced to join him to a unit from the same formation. He could very easily be used elsewhere and since these Terminators units are suicide squads I think it is best to place the Lord/Sorcerer elswhere.

There is a 3rd and in my opinion superior option. That is to leave the Lord / Sorcerer solo and equip him with the Burning Brand of Skalathrax. The ability to fire this twice at different targets the turn you arrive is brutal, and can be very cheap. A Sorcerer in terminator armor with the burning brand only costs 90pts when taken in this formation.

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Thoughts

So is this formation good? It has potential but also has some major design flaws. Being able to make a shooting attack immediately after arriving from DS is great, but as the only decent shooting Terminators have comes from Combi Weapons you are only getting one round of shots anyway. If you make the squads larger you can add heavy weapons but once you do this for 3 – 5 squads you will end up with far too much of your force in reserves.

There are a few hidden uses to this formation however. An important thing to remember is that the free round of shooting happens in the movement phase, so here are a few ideas to consider.

1. Destroy enemy transport with combi weapons in your free round of shooting, then shoot the occupants with bolters in the shooting phase.

2. Use the free round of shooting to ground Flying Monstrous Creatures in the movement phase so they can be shot at normal ballistic skill in the shooting phase.

3. Fire at Imperial Knights in the movement phase to bypass thier ion shields which are only deployed in the shooting phase

4. Shoot enemy units that might be blocking your movement at the start of your movement phase to free a path for your units.

5. Take squads of 6-8 termies with combis. Deep Strike the first one near the target, and immediately after they’re deployed shoot half of their combis at it. Hopefully the target will die, allowing you to immediately choose another target before Deep Striking the rest. Second unit arrives, does the same thing, then you choose yet another target. Third unit does the same again. Then in your shooting phase, you still have 3-4 combis available per unit to hit other targets in the same turn. This relies heavily on good scatters and blowing up targets with only 3-4 combis, but in the right circumstances can possibly work. Even if you fail to kill the intended targets, you can still think of it like Split Fire.

6. The psychological game, you pick your target before deployment so select an enemy unit, then your opponent is likely to deploy in a way to protect that unit. Then just drop your terminators or deploy them like you would if they were part of a CAD. You can effectively use this formation to “psych out” your opponent.

7. Shooting before your opponent can use interceptor on you, take down that Riptide before it takes down your Terminators.

8. Choose a Sorcerer over the Lord and try to roll up Gate of Infinity from Sanctic Daemonology. Deep Strike every turn 🙂 This also potentially allows 3 rounds of shooting turn 1 as you get one round when you arrive in the movement phase, one when you redeploy via Gate of Infinity and then a 3rd in the actually shooting phase.

9. Finally you could go balls to the wall with 1 unit, bulk it out to 10 Terminators so you can take 2 Reaper autocannons and use it to obliterate units of infantry. It is a huge points sink to target infantry though.

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Weaknesses

This formation, as with all formations has some glaring weaknesses. Other than those mentioned above this formation also struggles with reserves, and scatter rolls. These two combined can spell doom for your Terminator squads so I suggest taking a Bastion or Aegis Defense Line with a Comms Relay – this will help your reserves. If you want to protect against mishaps check out this advice on deep strike placement.

 

Conclusion

~So what are your thoughts on this formation? Have i missed any fantastic uses? How would you equip them an what tactics would you use?

Chuck some comments below or join the conversation on Facebook. Lets show the false emperors lackies what the power of chaos can do!

-Dean Sinnbeck

  • Mike X

    Wow, all those typos on that statistics image…

  • The Rout

    Drop and charge would have been nicer, if a unit has triple hatred and is CC focused giving them shooting rules is a bit counter intuitive. Good for popping them transports though.

  • Hrudian

    Are we supposed to read what’s on the right side of the coloured circle?

  • nurglitch

    I like the Gate of Infinity idea.

    • Blight

      Deploy by deepstrike may invalidate that trick. Though it doesn’t mention deepstrike reserves.
      Still a bit iffy.

      • nurglitch

        Re-reading the rule it doesn’t seem like the Gate of Infinity would work, since the movement phase target is declared prior to deployment. You don’t just land and declare a target.

        • Daniel Lee George Zimmerman

          true, but you get to pick a new target once the old one is destroyed, how is the power worded?

          • nurglitch

            Another good point. I needed to lay off the cough medicine.

        • Walter Vining

          gate just uses the deep strike rules, it is not deep strike reserves

          • nurglitch

            Yeah, I was concerned with the target designation being done prior to deployment, but once that target is destroyed the formation selects a new target.

  • jeff white

    “Remember you are not forced to join him to a unit from the same formation. He could very easily be used elsewhere and since these Terminators units are suicide squads I think it is best to place the Lord/Sorcerer elswhere.”

    yeah. no. that is obviously not the intention.

    • Orodruin

      Then there would be a rule indicating as much, as in the Black Legion book formation, for example. There isn’t.

      • jeff white

        there shouldn’t need to be a rule.
        the obvious intent of this entry in the codex is that it operates as a unit.
        frankly, i cannot understand some people, and why they do the things that they do. i guess a lot of people just like breaking things and looking for loopholes rather than making sense …

        • Orodruin

          I totally respect your point of view and desire to play the game that way. Nothing wrong with it. Nor is there anything wrong with playing it differently. It’s just a game, perhaps best not taken too seriously.

          • jeff white

            right. sometimes you have to kick the rats to remind them that they are rats.

          • Orodruin

            You’re just a ray of sunshine.

        • Aezeal

          Sorry this is just whining.

          • jeff white

            uh huh… no. this is me telling you that there is mature, and thoughtful, and realistic, and honest, and there is rules lawyering card gamers. i don’t play with the latter, so go away.

        • Malisteen

          If the formation was meant to operate as a single unit, then it would form the various pieces into one unit, or require some sort of proximity for its rules to function, or at the very least ensure they all arrived from deep strike on the same turn. None of that is the case.

          • Walter Vining

            ^This

          • jeff white

            you need to read between the lines and stop trying to game the system…

          • Malisteen

            I’m not trying to game the system. This formation not only isn’t one unit, but literally isn’t allowed to operate as one.

  • nurglitch

    So the Gate of Infinity idea doesn’t check out. Reaper Autocannons into the unprotected rear of a Knight could work well to strip hull points.

    • Malisteen

      maybe if reapers were still 1/3 models instead of 1/5. As it is, the autocannons are far too much points investment for far too little return.

      • nurglitch

        I like ’em.

      • nurglitch

        Actually, if the GoI pans out, having a S7 Heavy 2 twin-linked firing three times in a turn seems kind of handy.

        • Malisteen

          300 points for 6 strength 7 shots, even ignoring the fact that you’re relying on rolling and successfully casting a particular psychic power to make it work, isn’t exactly inspiring. When you add on an extra 200 points for the two extra 3 man termi squads the formation requires, you come out costing more than a trio of tri-las predators. Heck, you could get a dual-gattling-cannon + rocket pod renegade knight for less, both of which can be shooting from turn one, are tough enough to get to shoot in more than one turn, and put out significantly more firepower per turn as well.

          • nurglitch

            So 95 points for 3 Terminators, 62 for two extra bodies, and 25 for the Reaper. Comes to 180 for the squad. Three are 540, plus 60 for the Sorcerer.

          • Malisteen

            A level one sorcerer with no familiar isn’t going to get you gate of infinity any thing like reliably. Add another 50 points for psychic powers, and another 15 for the familiar, and now you’re up to 295 for just the one reaper squad and sorcerer (the 300 i initially rounded to). Plus another 180 for the two extra termi squads before you even add anything to them. If you’re running three reaper squads, we’re talking 650+ points, in reserve, and all that effort to get, what, 14 reaper autocannon shots off if everything goes well? And that’s assuming everything arrives on turn 2, nothing mishaps, etc?

            No. the points just do not add up on this. You can’t be reserving upwards of 700 points for a handful of S7, AP4 shots, in units that are rightfully described as suicide squads because they just do not have survivability proportional to the investment you put in them.

            Now, if you roll two of those squads up into one squad of 10, ditch the lousy reapers for some combi weapons, ditch the other squad for another pair of sorcerers, stick them in a warband formation for objective secured to force the enemy to come to you, aim for soulswitch instead of gate of infinity as a movement power to threaten first turn charges with enough psychers to reliably make it happen while simultaneously working as pseudo hit-and-run to keep the squad from getting tied up, stick abaddon in the front to wall any potential challenges, maybe put a mark of tzeentch on those termies, and you start to have a chaos terminator oriented strategy that looks a lot more solid than whatever the annihilation force formation is trying and failing to achieve.

          • nurglitch

            Well, I hope it works for you.

          • Malisteen

            If it doesn’t, there’s always a renegade knight or two.

        • Malisteen

          for 180 points on the squad? Plus another 115 points on the sorcerer? and that’s assuming no upgrades apart from the reaper and standard psychic kit for the sorcerer – without which GoI is a pipe dream? And even then only a 50% chance of drawing gate of infinity? And no guarantee that any of the terminators will land on time or on target? I’m sorry, I just can’t see that working out.

  • Daniel Lee George Zimmerman

    knight one doesn’t work, the knight deploys their shield when placed and then redeploys it every shooting phase,

    • Cail

      So you drop in and shoot one of the 3 other non-shielded facings with your combi-meltas/reapers…

      • Daniel Lee George Zimmerman

        correct, so knowing what you are playing, why would i leave my knight exposed?

        • Walter Vining

          because the unit shooting the the movement phase after deploying via deep strike, you wouldn’t have a chance to move your shield until the shooting phase, so you would have to use bubble units to protect the knight from a rear drop shot

    • Walter Vining

      the knight starts the shield in the front, and the shield only moves in the shooting phase

      • Daniel Lee George Zimmerman

        correct, knowing what i was playing, why would i leave my knight exposed?

  • Malisteen

    I would have been happy with just scatter mitigation. ‘name a target before the game starts, the units don’t scatter if they deep strike within 12″ of the target’ would have been great. Shoot twice in a turn – with combi weapons which can only shoot once per game regardless – is a non-benefit. Even shooting twice with a burning brand on the IC loses its luster when you remember the brand could have been on a bike-mounted character or winged prince shooting from turn one instead.

  • SupraGenius

    This is actually a pretty good formation. Just don’t deepstrike ALL of the units of terminators at once. This will let you keep a decent flow of firepower throughout the match. Drop one or two squads in and annihilate a target, then name a new target and DS in with another squad. Rinse and repeat. The worst thing is that this is going to eat a LOT of points up. It should be pretty killy, though.

    • Painjunky

      You don’t have that choice. they drop when the dice say they drop.

  • Painjunky

    Close but still a fail.
    Relies heavily on luck to get them when and where you want them.
    Extra shot is not good. They only get 1 good shot from combis then they are just shooting bolters.
    Nobody is afraid of a few bolters.
    Too many pts in reserve.
    Termis are just not good in the current game.

  • weeler

    The only benefit I saw to this formation was the free terminator upgrade to the HQ.