Thursday, August 21, 2014

Building at 1500 Points

Good news! I played a couple more games of Warmachine last night and won one of them! Third time's a charm. Didn't take twenty games at all! Shoulda won both of them but the damn Troll caster got back up three times in a row on a 5+! No one cares! Moving on!

Several readers have been asking how one might go about constructing a 1500 point list as that is the vogue points total in their area. As I sees it, 1500 points is a tricky level to work at because it favors ranged attacks on mobile platforms very heavily. That is, it is very easy if you have Wave Serpents and Wraithknights and Warp Spiders, to spread out and engage from a safe distance, whereas an assault army has to be located at the same place as its target. Moreover, expensive maulers like Imperial Knights become even more difficult to remove at that points total, yet remain fast and rangy enough to lose nothing.

Chaos doesn't have any mobile shooting platforms to compete with Knights, Serpents, or even grav Bikers, so a lot of your strategy is going to revolve around making sure the objectives get placed close together, even if it means they're all on the other side of the board. You'll need some durability to hang in KP missions, which you can get from several places. You also have the luxury of being able to summon when the need arises. In fact, a summon-heavy list becomes more potent the lower the points cap goes.

The candidates at 1500 don't really change from the usual suspects we're using at 1850, or 2000, or wherever we usually play. Be'lakor, speedy Chaos Lords, Princes with spell familiars, Tzeentch Heralds, Screamers, Hounds (with Khorne Heralds even), Nurgle Spawn, Obliterators, Horrors, Maulerfiends and Grinders. Nevertheless, whatever you pick, you'll have to commit to a strategy.

Here are a few ideas:

Be'lakor
Herald of Khorne, juggernaut, exalted locus, lesser reward
11 Horrors
16 Horrors
20 Flesh Hounds
9 Screamers
9 Screamers

1498

This is pretty much what I ran at last week's team tourney. Be'lakor and the Screamers can deal with Knights, and its fast enough to get around the board and cut off escapes using the Hound blob, which will be invisible a lot of the time. Later in the game, you can summon stuff to the board if needed. Static shooty armies won't be able to stop it in time. It's a match for just about anything in assault. Maybe Serpents and Knights give you trouble. Grey Knights are always rough too, but if you can get invis up in the early going (Eat a perils with Be'lakor and throw six dice at it on the first turn. DO IT NOW!!!1) you can handle them.

Mebbe you no like that one, eh? Perhaps another:

Sorcerer, bike, Black Mace, ML3, spell familiar, meltabombs, VotLW
Daemon Prince, Tzeentch, ML2, wings, armor, spell familiar
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
5 Chaos Spawn, MoN
Maulerfiend, lasher tendrils
Maulerfiend
Herald of Tzeentch, disc, exalted reward, ML3
11 Pink Horrors
9 Screamers

1499

This is a high threat summoning list. It has 10 warp charge, which with a DP and a spell familiar, is enough to get two units per turn reliably. That’s very good at 1500 points. Screamers and Maulerfiends provide your AT, while the Sorcerer and his Spawn are good at hordes, plus whatever Daemonettes you summon. Plus slashing attacks go a long way on that front as well. I would like to put the Mace on the Prince, but his job is to drop units on the board, so I can’t risk him in combat until late in the game.

I made a list with four Tzeralds, 16 Screamers, two squads of Horrors and two Grinders, but it only came out to 16 warp charge, which will still only get you two units per turn. You could add Fateweaver and drop the Grinders for 20 WC to get the conventional wisdom list of full-on summoning with a 2++ save, but I ain't completely sold on it yet. 3 units per turn at 1500 is pretty good, I'll give you that much.

Fateweaver
Tzerald, disc, ML3, grimoire
Tzerald, disc, ML3, portalglyph
Tzerald, disc, ML3, exalted locus
Tzerald, disc, ML3, lesser reward
11 Horrors
11 Horrors
8 Screamers
9 Screamers

1498

Don't let the Grey Knights gitcha with their shunt!

I'm tired from building lists. Time for a picture break!







Okay finally, psychic light:

Chaos Lord, MoN, daemonheart, sigil, claw, fist, bike, horns
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
5 Nurgle Spawn
Maulerfiend, lasher tendrils
Maulerfiend
Herald of Khorne, lesser reward, exalted locus, juggernaut
Herald of Slaanesh, exalted reward, exalted locus
19 Daemonettes
16 Flesh Hounds
Wall of Martyrs Bunker, escape hatch

1497

Here we come, Ese! The Daemonettes jump out of the escape hatch turn 1 as everything else rushes forth. The Alluress carries a portalglyph to pop out Horrors (at some point), who then throw every single warp dice you roll at Summoning every turn. Or you might choose the Grimoire to protect a Maulerfiend.

It’s a touch weak on the Knight front. The Maulerfiends and the Lord can take one, but two would be a challenge. Just tarpit them with Spawn for a few turns and hope they don’t stomp with 6’s. Better yet, hope don't nobody bring two Knights at 1500.

So there you is. Four very viable Chaos lists at 1500 pts across the whole spectrum of viable builds. How you like the lists I make for you?

28 comments:

  1. List building is fun! Like all those lists. Heres mine. (Mainly from a self challenge to use my new fw dp of khorne with removable wings)

    Primary CAD

    Skarbrand

    TzHerald ML3 exalted gift.

    11 horrors -icon

    3 nurglings


    Second Cad -Crimson slaughter

    Sorceror ml2 jump pack spell familiar meltabombs

    11 cultists
    10 cultists
    5 spawn
    5 nurgle spawn
    5 nurgle spawn
    Mauler
    mauler with Lashers

    Spawn and maulers rush, tie up anything that can threaten skarbrand.
    Horrors aim to summon at least one khorne unit with icon, used to strike skarbrand where he's needed. When he arrives he buffalo the spawn with hatred, then can kill most things with his instant death fleshbane armourbane weapons

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't DS Skarbrand. At 1500 there probably won't be that much that can threaten him if you start him on the board in cover and then switch him to swoop first turn. If you put him in reserve he may not come in right away. Even if he does he comes in in swooping mode turn 2. That means he can come into glide turn 3 and earliest possible assault is turn 4. That's far too much time wasted for something that costs 15% of your army. If he's rushing up with the 2 maulers and 15 spawn I don't think there's much of a risk he's going to get shot out. Even if he does its because he took A LOT of firepower away from the rest of your army.

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    2. Also maybe drop that extra cultist to put the sorc on a bike (if you own a suitable sorc on a bike). Making him T5 is worth more than one cultist.

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    3. Skarbrand doesn't fly, so he can charge turn 3

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    4. Oh whoops, good catch. I was totally thinking of a BT. I never play Skarbrand so I got confuzzled.

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    5. I've never had any luck with him - really hard to get him alive into combat. But glad to hear someone else is using him and getting some results!

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    6. Lol I haven't used him yet! But will do and am optimistic.

      I agree on the bike but dont have a suitable model.

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    7. Oh right, yeah missed that bit! I'd be interested to see if you can make him work. He's so cheap and his rage embodied rule is really nice, I've just never been able to keep him alive long enough to make use of it.

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  2. With the first list vs Tau, would you rush the screamers forward in cover and hope to survive the ignores cover weaponry, or hang them back until the hounds had taken out the majority of markelights in combat?

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    Replies
    1. Everything in their face all at once.

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    2. With allowances for terrain masking of course. But you need a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

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    3. Ok, cheers. I think I'm going to run this list next time I play, although I only own one squad of screamers, so will probably swap one unit either for more hounds, slaanesh furies, or maybe fiends. Or perhaps I'll drop all the screamers and run a couple of grinders instead.

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  3. Can you stomp invisible units? Im at work and cant quite remember cause units that are invisible cant be targeted by templates unless they get hit by accident.

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    Replies
    1. Pretty sure you can. Its a combat attack that doesn't roll to hit.

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    2. But like i said invisible units cant be hit by templates and stomps are templates lol im really hoping be lakor can be my answer to all of lifes problems or an invisible unit of hounds or spawn

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    3. The only restriction is that you have to snap shot at invisible units (and you can't snapshot blasts). If a blast scatters over an invisible unit it is still hit. Since stomp attacks aren't targetted and don't roll to hit, they can still be placed on top of invisible units.

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    4. you don't target them, you just place the stomp blast in contact with the superheavy walker and then additional stomps within 3" of the first.

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    5. Ah gotcha thanks

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  4. Have you also considered a daemon prince of slaanesh as it can provide the necessary anti air when needed. When anti air is not needed you can still go for invisibility.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, however I have never regarded it as worth it. I never seem to roll Iron Army anyway, and if I don't he's nowhere near worth 350 points.

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  5. Do Soul Grinders not fit in well in 1500 points lists? You used to feature them a lot in your lists and I'm a fan of them as well but it seems like 1500 forces you either to choose a 0 summons list (so one with soul grinders) or an all summons list (which soul grinders wouldn't fit into). Here's an idea I had but I'm not sure:

    Daemons (CAD, Primary):
    Tzerald - ML3, disk, exalted reward (grimoire)
    daemonettes x 10
    daemonettes x 10
    Screamers x 9
    Screamers x 9
    Soul Grinder - Tzeentch, Phlegm
    Soul Grinder - Tzeentch, Phlegm

    CSM
    Sorcerer - ML3, bike, spell familiar, meltabombs
    Cultists x 10
    Spawn x 5 - MoN

    1500

    It's got enough speed to get around the board with the Screamers and Spawn. The Soul Grinders are tough to kill and they can kill lots of infantry and weaker vehicles as well as provide some AA. The problem is that you're really hoping the sorcerer can roll invisibility or shrouding or your whole plan might go up in smoke. If he gets invis he can invis one screamer unit and the other can get grimoire. If he gets shrouding, both screamers will have 2+ cover and the grimoire can go on a grinder or something. If he doesn't get either then you'll have to be super careful with whatever screamer unit doesn't get the grimoire. I don't know what to roll on with the tzerald. Daemonology to hope for Cursed Earth or Sacrifice? Or go divi for prescience/4++ for the Spawn.

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    Replies
    1. you're either forced to choose no summoning or all summoning**

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    2. Ain't nothing wrong with that list at all. I'm only going to type up so many though!

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  6. Great ideas here Kevin et al. Any thoughts on what you think is stronger, CSM primary or daemons primary? Dunno if you've seen the new assassin dataslate yet either, but the culexus looks like it could be a pain (although not particularly hard to remove I suppose).

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    Replies
    1. I think a decent unit of screamers can slashattack it off the board in one turn. 5-6 should be enough :)

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    2. Yup, I think that's how I'd do it!

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    3. CSM primary has the advantage of multiple HQs (DPs, lords, and sorcs are all strong candidates) and they can take more than 1 unit of Spawn or Obliterators if you're into that kind of thing. However, you lose the ability to take more than 1 CD HQ, screamer/flesh hound unit, and soul grinders. It also sucks that it forces you to take 2 squads of cultists since CSM troops are garbage. It hurts me to say it as a CSM main player, but I think a daemon primary + HQ/cultists/spawn from CSM is a slightly stronger list currently. Not to say you can't build a strong competitive list with Spawn and Oblit spam but I think I'd rather have extra soul grinders or tzeralds+LoC or multiple screamers/hounds.

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  7. Might be a bit late to get a reply, but how about this at 1500:

    Be'lakor 350
    Heralds of Chaos
    • Herald of Tzeentch: Psyker (Mastery Level 2); Exalted Reward; Disc of Tzeentch 125
    • Herald of Tzeentch: Psyker (Mastery Level 2); Exalted Reward; Disc of Tzeentch 125

    11 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch 99
    11 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch 99

    8 Screamers of Tzeentch 200
    8 Screamers of Tzeentch 200

    Soul Grinder: Daemon of Slaanesh 150
    Soul Grinder: Daemon of Slaanesh 150

    1,498 points

    Another option might be to lose a couple screamers and boost the heralds to ML3. Gives me more warp charge and more shots at cursed earth.

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