Sunday, May 11, 2014

But If I Were Going to Play an Unbound Army...

So I've already said that the 40K Cabal would probably stick to Battle-forged armies in our games. However, not a day after we had agreed that we would generally stick to the Force Organization Chart, we each started fantasizing about what our Unbound army would look like. It's notable that many of our fantasy builds weren't based on their competitiveness (although some would undoubtedly be powerful), but on a theme that appealed to us.

For example, Sam loved the idea of a pre-awakening Necron army. This would be a force built entirely of Tomb World guardians like Canoptek Wraiths, Spyders, Scarabs, and Forge World's Tomb Sentinel and Tomb Stalker.

My ideal Unbound army came to me immediately. Regular visitors to this blog are surely aware of my fascination with Sternguard/Tyrannic War Veterans (see here, here, here...), so of course my fantasy army ended up being composed entirely of 1st Company Veterans and their support vehicles.

This weekend I assembled the following 2490 point list that made me positively giddy:
  • Terminator Captain (Agemman) w/ thunder hammer and the Shield Eternal
  • Chaplain Cassius
  • 5 Man Sternguard Squad w/ 3 combi-flamers; Sergeant w/ lightning claw and melta bombs
    • Razorback transport with TL assault cannon
  • 10 Man Sternguard Squad w/ 3 combi-gravs; Sergeant w/ melta bombs
    • Drop Pod transport
  • 10 Man Sternguard Squad w/ 3 combi-meltas; Sergeant w/ melta bombs
    • Drop Pod transport
  • Stormtalon Gunship w/ TL lascannon
  • 7 Assault Terminators w/ 3 storm shields and thunder hammers and 4 pairs of lightning claws
    • Land Raider Crusader transport w/ multi-melta
  • Venerable Dreadnought w/ TL lascannon and heavy flamer
    • Drop Pod transport
  • Predator w/ TL lascannon and lascannon sponsons
  • Stormraven w/ TL lascannon, TL multi-melta, and hurricane bolter sponsons
  • Aegis Defence Line w/ Comms Relay
This is very similar to several of my other lists. Obviously the biggest difference is that the Troops section has been filled with Sternguard. Because the Veterans are so much more expensive than normal Troops, I had to reduce the amount of Heavy Support, which usually includes Centurions with a Land Raider and Devastators.

This list puts a lot of points into very few wounds, but it can do some pretty mean stuff. The Math-Hammer shows that three combi-meltas fired under the Ultramarine Tactical Doctrine (i.e., Tactical Squads re-roll fails to hit while all other squads re-roll ones) will explode an AV14 vehicle 68% of the time and an AV13 vehicle 84% of the time. And three combi-gravs and seven bolters firing Hellfire rounds under the Tactical Doctrine will kill a Wraithknight in a single volley more than 50% of the time.

In fact, I liked this list so much that I made a Battle-forged version by tweaking one of the Sternguard Squads and putting it in Elites. I dropped the other two Sternguard Squads and took out Cassius (who was going to accompany the smaller squad in the Razorback) and replaced them with three 10 man Tactical Squads spread across two Drop Pods and a lascannon Razorback. While not as versatile as the Sternguard, the Tactical Squads are equipped to perform similar tasks.


  1. "This weekend I assembled the following 2490 point list that made me positively giddy"

    This is what the game is all about. Let the haters hate.

    By the by, Cassius is not the 1st Company's dedicated chaplain, he is part of the command staff along with Calgar, the librarians, and the various fleet officers and other HQ staff. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Bringing in Cassius sans Tyrannic Vets gives me a big Calgar vibe, in that you'll be seeing him along with Tigurius and Calgar, the big 3 of the Ultramarines. If Agemman is the centerpiece, I would much rather bring the 1st Company chaplain who is unnamed rather than Cassius as although I don't believe chaplains or even Cassius technically outrank Agemman due to being part of a separate command structure (Cassius might, who knows), Cassius definitely detracts from Agemman's leader and centerpiece status, what with being a more prominent character and one with his own model at that.

    That said, it would certainly make a lot of sense and be a nice finishing touch to your 1st Co. to have Cassius himself and a squad of Tyrannic Veterans present. Far be it from me to tell you how to hobby, I just wanted to share my thoughts and point out the 1st Company does indeed have its own chaplain besides Cassius.

  2. You're definitely right about Cassius; as the Master of Sanctity he is not part of the 1st Company. The Veteran Company Chaplain would probably be best represented by the Terminator Chaplain model that I've been putting off for the past year.

    As I understand it, although the Tyrannic War Veterans began as an entity outside of the Ultramarines military structure, once they had proven their worth they were gradually incorporated into the 1st Company. (Whether this happened all at once or happens to each new squad of Tyrannic War Veterans I don't know.)

    Either way, multiple squads in the 1st Company should be composed of Tyrannic War Veterans, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for Cassius to occasionally lend his expertise. It would be even fluffier if I used the Tyrannic War Veteran formation in conjunction with the rest of the army, but the models in that formation are only equipped with hellfire rounds. Until someone in our group starts playing Tyranids, that's a little too specialized a force for me.

    I suppose if I wanted to do a pure 1st Company army, I could take the Terminator Chaplain and put him in the Crusader. I've been meaning to build a version of Agemman with artificer armor, a storm shield, and the Burning Blade. He could accompany the five man squad in the Razorback.

    1. You could use the Master of the Watch model from the Masters of the Chapter set. The model comes with a bald head, some older looking power armor (artificer armor), a massive storm shield, and massive axe (the Burning Blade). That's how I run mine since Agemman was the captain of the 2nd before the first and this is the 'ceremonial' kit, worn by any 2nd company captain. Easy fix, maybe.

    2. The Master of the Watch model is pretty sharp, but I've already set aside armor bits from the Sternguard kit and weapons bits from the Vanguard kit to build him. I'll be using the Mk VIII armor, the fancy legs with the giant aquila on the left shin, a fancy backpack, the large power sword, and a storm shield. I'll be finishing it off with the same three-studded head bit and backpack banner I used on my Terminator Captain.


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