The question often comes up, “What is a good model or formation to add to my army for Apocalypse.”
OK, so let’s assume a Reaver Titan is out of the question. What can you do for under $ 200? Well, Andrew Lotz, an Apocalypse40K contributor and I took some time to map out different ideas for different armies.
Linebreaker Squadron composed of three Vindicators (approx $150). Gives good destructive power versus either infantry or vehicles. Plus they are fast! This makes this formation more valuable to a Blood Angels player than any other army. Stormravens remain a great flyer and you should have at least three of those. Razor spam is popular with Blood Angels, and while many have talked about why vehicles got tweaked in 40K, in Apocalypse they are a necessity.
Forge World Keeper of Secrets Greater Daemon of Slaanesh (approx $150). Can be played as the named special character from Imperial Armor, which comes in at a whopping 666 points and has some nifty special abilities. Plus, makes a great Apoc-sized centerpiece to the army.
Chaos Space Marines
Always a little tricky, given the variety of Chaos. I’m going to suggest that the move to Apocalypse for Chaos is the moment to go beyond the core theme. Apocalypse is the time when the various Chaos warbands group together for destruction. So adding a contingent of another type of models is the way to go. Suggestion: Kharn the Betrayer, Squad of Khorne Berzerkers, and a Chaos Landraider to cart them about (approx $130). Nice, destructive power in a small package. There won’t be a foe that doesn’t fear this unit, and the Land Raider will make them work to get at them. If you’re already playing Khorne, then I suggest a different faction with their named leader of choice. Abbadon is a must at high point levels, and for formations, check out the Chaos Conclave.
Spoiled for new choices, being the new kid on the block. Here I’ve got to go very vanilla. You cannot beat three boxes of the new Deathwing terminators (approx $180). Whether you vary them out to be a command squad and knights, or keep them all as straight-up models, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. Terminators with Stormshields are a huge asset in Apocalypse because of so many “D” weapons and low AP tank busting death. Always take chain fists and assault cannons. I highly recommend you take as many Knights as you can. The added points are not a factor in Apoc. The basic concept of a balanced force, with Ravenwing as well still goes.
For the Dark Eldar player making the move to Apocalypse, my suggestion is that it is time to consider the Tantaulus from Forge World (approx $150). Finally gives the army something that won’t blow over in a stiff breeze, and gives opponents something to focus upon. As a great centerpiece to the force, it’s also super-effective with the scythevane weaponry at staying mobile but wreaking havoc.
Given that regular Eldar armies are over-loaded with Heavies and Elites competing for attention, I’m going to suggest that the new Apocalypse Eldar player consider a Wind Rider Host–adding troops and fast attack to the force. 4 Eldar Jetbikes, some bitz from aspect warriors kits to make one into an Autarch, and 3 Vypers (approx $150). Kitted out with vehicle destroying weaponry, the Flank March benefit given to the Wind Rider Host models gives you a great way to get up into good firing lines to take out enemy armor while keeping the relatively fragile Vypers safe until then. Revenant and Phantom Titans are very popular and though a little easier to die under the new rules, will still strike fear in your opponent.
So the great thing about Apocalypse is that force organization goes out the window. So for the Grey Knights player looking to move up, it’s the perfect time to acquire the full gang of assassins. Vindicare, Eversor, Callidus, and Culexus (approx $60). They’re solid in the game, usable in smaller games, and just fun to have the full complement of if you don’t already. That’s what Apocalypse is great for: adding in all the cool pieces that you don’t often run at smaller points. Make sure you take some IG allies as well.
Shadowsword or Baneblade (approx $120). That is the first thing a guard player should add to their list. The Shadowsword gives you the Volcano Cannon, which is your first Destroyer weapon. Given that foes on the Apocalypse battlefield are often going to have models with structure points, it’s time to level the playing field with this D-struction workhorse of your own. Baneblades got ridiculously powerful with the elimination of the hole in the template. The pie plate now is S9 ALL OVER and being ordnance you roll 2D6 and take the highest. That is an awesome piece of devastation against large groups of vehicles.
Also, artillery is king! Take lots of Manticores. The most important weapon on an Apocalypse battlefield. Why? Because it is S10 and D3 shots! That is the best way to take down a Titan, especially stripping its shields.
Consider adding in a wave of Canoptek Spiders. Again, going with the “add things that give you more options in smaller games” logic, a mass of Canoptek Spiders can let Necron armies engage in some fun monstrous creature spam. Six spiders (approx $180) make for a nasty force, between recycling all your scarab swarms that perish and simply getting into melee and using Smash special attacks to pose serious threat to even the heaviest of vehicles. Make sure you take lots of named characters. It is a big game, get all their benefits!
Another army spoiled by choices on the Apocalypse battlefield. Go for a big centerpiece when making the move to Apocalypse. Get yourself a Baneblade kit (approx $120) and Orkify it. It can either be a Skullhamma Battle Fortress from the main Apocalypse rulebook, or use the Kustom Battle Fortress rules from Imperial Armor 8 to make the thing whatever you wish. No matter what you do with it, it makes a good start. While others might suggest a Stompa kit as the first stop for the Ork player, I’m sticking with this choice as it gives a lot of flexibility–and can always be an over-sized battlewagon in a normal game. THEN get a Stompa! Or two…..
Sisters of Battle
For the Sisters player who has a 2,000 point force, the move to Apocalypse is time to build up an allied Imperial force. Nab an HQ and two troops of whatever other Imperial force you want to paint (approx $90). Until Sisters get better, stand-alone support for their line, they need allies. I always play my Ssters as an allied army to my Marine force. If that’s not your thing and you’re a die-hard Sisters only person, then I’d say add more troops squads of Sisters in Rhino transports–troops are troops.
What do you add to the army that has everything? There is so much variation in what Space Marines can field that no one choice is “best” when adding to get up to Apocalypse. Thus, my suggestion is probably going to be a squad of 5 assault terminators with thunderhammers and Storm Shields in a Land Raider (approx $125). Good smashing power, solid durability, and a couple of twin-linked lascannons for anti-vehicle duty or even sniping flyers in a pinch. It’s not a sexy choice, but for brutal bang-for-your-buck effect on the Apocalypse battlefield, I think this combo cannot be beat.
Now, I ONLY take Land Raider Crusaders for transports, so I give up the two twin linked lascannons and get the ability to put 8 Terminators on a Land Raider. This is key, because my 5 man squads can now be 8 man. I generally run a Chaplain and Librarian with each squad.
After that, get some IG allies and take lots of Manticores.
The poor Space Wolves suffered from timing problems. A codex that came just before the push toward all the flyers, leaves them drooling in envy at a lot of the other Space Marine flyers. Especially when we’re seeing faction-specific flyers for the Dark Angels, Space Wolves players may shy away from adding in the other generic Space Marine flyers to their own force. Thus, my suggestion for the Space Wolves player moving to Apocalypse is to pick up an Imperial Thunderbolt heavy fighter (approx $140). With solid anti-air capability as well as bomb payloads, this nifty little plane can pick up the slack in the force, representing the air cover than the Imperial Navy brings to any engagement in support of the Russ’ chosen Astartes.
Even if you’re battlesuit heavy already, Tau can benefit from more battlesuits. My recommendation is a Rapid Insertion Force from the main Apocalypse rulebook. Led by a stealth suit team, it lets the other suits teleport to the battlefield without error–and their arrival causes such surprise that all their shots are pinning. One stealth team and four XV8 battlesuits should be a good start (approx $130). Split into two Monat (solo) suits and a paired suit team, you can configure the squads to varied tasks and bring a lot of utility to the battlefield.
Plus, get LOTS of Broadsides! Rail Guns are the must have in Apocalypse. S10 and RANGE for those big tables.
Pretty clear choice here. The Barbed Hierodule from Forge World is a clear winner for something to add when heading to Apocalypse level play (approx $150). Until synapse gives Eternal Warrior again, the Apocalypse battlefield is just too dangerous a place to recommend more monstrous creatures to start with. Getting the first Gargantuan Creature gives you something that will draw fire and take hits. The strength 10 bio-cannons help, but the real goal of this guy is to get him in cover and make him a fire magnet for enemy firepower–giving your fragile on the Apocalypse table Monstrous Creatures time to get close to the enemy.
So there you go. A good start at beefing up your force to get ready for Apocalypse! If you want more in depth suggestions, join the Apocalypse40K forums and make sure you check out all the Apocalypse and 40K news at the Apocalypse40K blog.
What was your first major upgrade to play Apocalypse?