Friday, December 3, 2010

"Hobby List of the Week": Crimson Fists

This week, I'm gonna do my personal favorite Space Marine Chapter, Crimson Fists.  This has been my favorite chapter of marines since I learned about 40k.  In this case I don't think the fluff pulled my in(because I didn't know what fluff was at the time), but the color scheme.  I like the striking blue with red fists colors.  I always wanted to paint a sweet army like this.  Sadly, while I have built a giant force of marine, the above terminator is my only painted one.  Oh well, I get them done before I die.

Now that I know the story behind the colors, I want my force to be post-Rynn's World.  This means I want a force consisting of staunch veterans that made it through that tragedy, while also including many scouts.  The scouts are part of the rebuilding process and are there to learn from the vets.  This means I don't take any tactical squads, only Sternguard and Termies as the veteran side.  I still get plenty of scoring units thanks to Pedro.  On with the list.

Pedro Kantor

Terminators x 10 - 2 with Cyclone Missile Launchers, one other with Chainfist

Sternguard x 10 - 3 with Combi-meltas, 2 with Missile Launchers, 1 with Powerfist
Dedicated Transport - Razorback with twin-linked Lascannons

Sternguard x 10 - 3 with Combi-plasmas, 2 with Missile Launchers, 1 with Powerfist
Dedicated Transport - Razorback with twin-linked Lascannons

Scout Squad x 10 - Heavy Bolter with Hellfire, 9 with Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks

Scout Squad x 5 - Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, meltabombs, teleport homer

Scout Squad x 5 - Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, meltabombs, teleport homer

Land Speeder Storm #1 - Multi-melta

Land Speeder Storm #2 - Multi-melta

Scout Bike Squad x 3 - Grenade Launcher - Power weapon - meltabombs

2,000 pts
12-16 killpoints
5-7 scoring units
57 models
All Units in army Stubborn

This army doesn't really offer a multitude of conversions to make the army standout as some of my Chaos counts-as armies do.  Decorating the veterans in the army with medals, purity seals, etc would certainly add to the look.  This army relies on a cohesive color palette to carry the look that you would be going for.  

Now for how they would perform on the table.  This army doesn't rely on any gimmicks or tricks, just solid elite choices with backup fire provided by the scouts.  Personally, in most situations I would combat squad the Terminators and both units of Sternguard.  

One unit of the Termies would have both Cyclones and Sergeant while the other would include the chainfist and four powerfists.  The unit with Cyclones would be a mini-devastator squad, setting up in cover and firing, while protecting an objective holding unit of scouts or Sternguard.  The one with Chainfists drops to a position, hopefully close to enemy using teleport homers on scout squads mounted in Storms.  They are more of a "deal with me now" unit or face 5 termies walking around ripping up your armor.  

The Sternguard combat squad with one unit consisting of the powerfist and combi-weapons.  This unit hijacks the Razorback and does its thing.  Its thing is sit back and fire the lascannons early, then move out seeking objectives and targets laters.  One of them also picks up Pedro.  Ideally, I would keep both Razorbacks close together for the Pedro "attack aura" and so there are more than 5 dudes in one place.  The two other halves of the Sternguard pick up the two missile launchers and also become mini-devastator squads, though these are scoring, so they can camp an objective.

The Scout squad with the snipers usually infiltrates(or not) and camps on an objective you hopefully placed in cover.  They will just be really annoying with great cover saves and handing out pinning checks each turn.  It would be good to keep the Cyclone strapped Termie squad near this unit for support in close combat should the enemy close.  The other two scout squads zoom up in their Land Speeders to be annoying and make sure the Termies drop in a good location.  The Storms also have multi-meltas, so if you have first turn, you can scout forward 24" before game, then pop whatever you choose in the first turn.  Of course, make sure you stop the scout move near cover and drop off scouts in this before moving out in the first turn to get within 12" of target.  This leaves the scouts with some support(the cover) and hopefully stay on the table long enough for their teleport homers to bring in the terminators.  The Scout Bikers are in the list, because they look cool.  They can outflank, I'm pretty sure, so they could come in and rear shot tanks with grenades and be a general pain in the arse.

Well, there's my "lot longer than I expected" tactical thoughts on this army.  This army would definitely take some practice to play well.  And there are lots more options on the tactical side that I didn't mention.  In general, this army could be played many, many different ways without changing any models.  With lots of practice, you could develop different tactics for different situations, scenarios, opposing armies, etc.  Ideally, this is what I want in all my armies.  I want the same army list to be capable of handling many different challenges without changing the list.  It keeps the boring part out of the picture and keeps opponents(even regular ones) guessing at what you will do this time.  This list isn't just a spammed army of the 2 best units in a given codex, where the only tactical changes you can make are "Should I reserve" or "Should I not reserve".  

This kinda starts another topic of how to build great "all-comers" lists.  A great "all-comer" lists doesn't have to include flamers for hordes, melta for tanks, tanks for mobility, psykers for anti-psyker work, you get the idea.  A great "all-comers" list just needs "adaptability".  The great thing about adaptability is that GW is now building this into their new codexes, you just have to know where to look.  This means using some special characters to open up new abilities, using units that can change there setups from game to game without changing the army list, i.e. combat squadding, units that have special rules like scout and infiltrate that allow moving forward before game, setting up outside your deployment zone or coming in from reserve on board edges.  This is adaptability.  But this type of army will require lots of practice so you can hone your skills at using the right special ability at the right time.  Otherwise, you could look like a fool with an army consisting or all different units that have no idea how to work together to achieve a common goal, this goal being winning.

Okay, I'm gonna stop rambling right there.  You may have picked up a little bit of my thought process that goes into writing army lists that I would actually want to build and play with for a while.

Wow, just checked the preview and that is one helluva text wall, good luck and thanks for reading the blog if you got this far.


  1. I read it, and I use a very similar list. I usually drop the Terminators in lieu of more Sternguard. Here's the list that I played with last weekend:

    HQ: (300)
    Pedro = 175
    Master of the Forge w Power Axe, Combi-Plasma = 125

    ELITES: (910)
    10 Sternguard w 2 Missile Launchers - 5 combi-meltas, Rhino w HK = 330
    10 Sternguard w 2 Missile Launchers - Lightning Claw, 5 combi-plasma, Rhino w HK = 355
    6 Sternguard w 4 combi-melta, 1 Heavy Flamer, Razorback w HK = 205

    TROOPS: (235)
    -5 Scouts w PFist = 100
    -5 Scouts w Telion, Sniper Rifles, ML = 135

    FAST: (170)
    LSS w Heavy Flamer = 60
    3 Scout Bikers w 3 Astartes Launchers, Cluster Mines = 110

    HEAVY: (385)
    Dakka Pred = 85
    Dreadnaught w MM, SB, Drop Pod = 140
    Dreadnaught w Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod = 160

    Total = 2000

    Basically, I wanted maximum levels of Veteran status on scoring marines. Pedro and MoTF ride in the Rhinos providing decent firepower (3 BS5 & 2 BS4 plasma shots from the top of a Rhino is really nice.) The Dreads drop down for distractions/striking weak targets early, as to allow the other forces to get into position. The LSS with Scouts does the same, generally destroying something first turn, or reserving as appropriate. The Dakka Pred provides cover and a good firing base when coupled with Telion and his crew (who loves to snipe Sanguinary Priests, etc.) The cluter mines and Scout Bikers are more useful than you'd think. Oh, and the HKs on the Rhinos/Razorbacks are for a quick early strike.

    Overall, it shows off all 3 different ways to field Scouts, and only has Veteran Marines as Troops. It has a couple Dreads to show a consolidated force of experienced veterans, and requires some smart decisions and threat assessments to win. It's a really fun army, and fluffy to boot.

  2. I like this list too. There are countless ways to make lists for the same army fluff. And with multiple ways to deploy each unit, this will keep the opponent guessing every game. This shows how versatile the Space Marine Codex really is.

    And I love me some podding Dreadnoughts. They give an immediate threat that must be dealt with. Also the first turn salvo of HK plus rest of army does make for a harder hitting initial strike.