NOTE: I had half written this post when I decided to go in a different direction. In the odd chance that someone might find my reasonings helpful, I have not changed what I had already written.
I’m going with a Command Squad and a Tank Commander as my IG HQs (probably Pask), with a slotless Priest thrown in. My HQ choices from Dark Angels is a Techmarine w/ Servo Harness and Power Field Generator and Azrael. In order to take 2 IG HQs, I have to give up on Azrael’s Warlord Trait and the ability to take Deathwing and Ravenwing as troops. This is a difficult decision that I may change later. Let’s take a look at why this is a tough call.
On the DA side:
Having Azrael as my warlord gives me the option of taking whichever Dark Angels warlord trait I want. The first three aren’t very interesting, but Furious Charge on a blob of 40 Guardsmen is definitely something to consider. Reserve manipulation shenanigans are always good for the Vendettas and Feel No Pain on a guard blob is also awesome. Ravenwing troop choices would also be a great way to add that element of mobility that the guard lacks.
On the AM/IG side:
Only taking one HQ choice means that I lose either the ability to split fire my tanks or I lose Senior Officer orders. It also means that I have to choose between tanks or artillery if I move those tanks to the Heavy Support slot. It’s great that guard can cram so much into those slots, but doing that really messes up your ability to use all that fire power effectively. If I take 3 high powered tanks, I have to shoot them all at one target. In many cases that will be a waste of firepower. The Command Squadron’s split fire order allows you to bring all your firepower to bear when you really need to hit something hard, like a Knight, or split it when you have multiple targets. The loss of the Senior Officer Orders is an even larger disadvantage. Bring it Down! (Tank Hunter and Monster Hunter) and Fire on My Target! (Ignores Cover) are frankly just too good to give up.
Let Me Pask You a Question:
Another question that comes up is whether or not to use Pask. Knight Commander Pask is a 40 point upgrade over the vanilla Tank Commander. What does that give you? It gives you Preffered Enemy for the squadron against the codex of your choice (if you want it), de facto Tank Hunter, and a buff to whatever tank you place him in. Is it worth 40 points? I think so. The best place to put Pask is probably in a Punisher, which gets Rending for it’s 20 shots. However, I think I am going to put him in an Executioner instead. 5 Tank Hunting Strength 7 blasts are going to be trouble for medium vehicles and 5 AP2 blasts that re-roll to wound against T5 and lower is also pretty awesome. The biggest thing swing thing towards the Executioner over the Punisher is the extra foot of range. For the rest of the squadron, I am thinking Eradicators with Plasma Sponsons. So if I decide not to split fire, I will drop 2 Str 6 AP 4 Ignores Cover Large Blasts and 9 Str7 AP2 small blasts on a target of my choice. I am paying a lot for this privilege, but it’s a impressive amount of firepower that also gives me a way to keep my other HQ out of sight.
Stone Cold Aquilla:
Another question that came up was whether or not to use Kurov’s Aquilla. At first glance I thought it was a good idea. A Prefered Enemy bubble sounds pretty good, even if it is a bit expensive. Since the tanks can get Prefered Enemy by making Pask the warlord, this becomes a question of how effective Prefered Enemy is on the average guardsman. The thing is, when you do the math, getting to re-roll hits and wounds for Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 3 shots just isn’t that great. Your chance to hit goes up by about 8% and your chance to wound goes up about the same against T3, and even less against T4. Even dodging Get’s Hot is mitigated by the 4++ save, so I decided to leave KA out of the list for now.
A Sudden Change in Direction:
I mentioned in my last article that cheap and easy Prescience is gone. Twin Linking your weapons by means of Psychic Powers is a lot more difficult now. The rest of Divination is still pretty good though. Unfortunately, 50 points for a rather squishy level 1 Psyker isn’t so great. If only there was a way to add a few 65 point, Fearless, Power Armor Wearing, Leadership 10 Psykers without haveing to pay a troop tax.
Enter the Conclave:
I’ve decided to use the Dark Angesl Conclave of Librarians Formation. The Formation gives you Ezekiel and two Dark Angels Libbys kitted out however you wish. If they are within 12″ of each other, the Psykers can cast Mind Worm at 24″ and can also share powers under the condition that only one Psyker can cast that phase. That’s not all, if they share powers, successful warp charges are gained on a 3+. That’s a significant increase in the chance of successes. Add in the 4++ from the Power Field Generators and I’m sold.
So far the list looks like this:
Pask in an Executioner (Warlord)
Company Command Squad
Infantry Platoon with 4 squads
2x Wyverns (there was some money in my cushions after all)
2x Dark Angels Librarians (Level 2 w/ PFGs)
The combination of Orders and Divination should give this list tremendous firepower. The only thing that worries me are Flyrants, but if neccessary I can roll all my guys on Telepathy and try to Psychic Shriek them to death.