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Offline Chicop76

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51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« on: August 12, 2012, 04:01:39 am »
I had a debate where in last edition this was a really good tar pit unit. The more I've read six the more I am starting to think this unit is just not as viable as it used to be. Well in 5th this unit was one of the biggest unitsthat gave me trouble. Fearless wasn't bad cause they was taking extra wounds. Guard had stuborn which made the squad stay in combat and not collect extra wounds.

With the power to challenge I can now really mess up this squad synergy. First off one of the sergents is going to take on for the team and protect the comissar. So if I have a bloodthirster and seekers engage with this squad my seeker will fight the squad while I just challenge away. Ideally I want to engage with at most 6 chracters into the squad. If the squad rolls for morale and have to exicute it actually helps you out now cause it lowers the amount of characters in the squads. Bottom line you can kill off all the characters and than engage the squad as a whole.

Why take a boss pole when a character can kill the pole carrier. Nids and Orcs are a bit more scarrier in combat, but the 51 man guard squad seems a lot less so.

I just want to hear what people think about this. Also is I challenge a sarge and he denies does that mean I get to pick the Commissar now and challenge him?

 

Offline Carrelio

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 04:26:02 am »
I can't give you rules or number crunching, but I can provide you with my own personal experience of blob guard in 6th edition.
One of the best games I have had in 6th edition was against a foot guard list.  2500 points.  Base to base gaurdsmen as far as the eye could see (16 square feet of the board actually).  I think it was something like 700 models.
In the shooting phase they were absolutely monsterous.  And against any army that was not custom tailored to take them out, I can see them being very very tough (especially in armies geared towards ranged combat such as my Tau).  Within a couple of turns the only things I had left were some eldar pathfinders in heavy cover (for a 2+ save outside of the range of the lasguns) and the Farsight bomb (8 battlesuits and 14 shield drones takes an absolute ton to take down).  However... while shooting into them was like trying to drink up a lake, combat was mulching through them faster than you could believe.  With Farsight and his retinue alone (not the worst CC fighting force in the world, but certainly not something people typically run away from), once a turn every turn for 3 turns, I would kill a blob of 50 guardsmen without even thinking.  Challenge, no challenge, only getting a couple models from each side into combat, getting all models into combat, overwatch, in cover, no cover, multicharge, charged, charging, full squad, depleted squad... you name it! Those gaurd squads died in a flash, and hardly ever dealt significant damage back (by the end of the game my Farsight unit had only lost 2 suits and the drones... most of which was due to shooting rather than the close combat).
If I had to take anything away from this I would say this about giant guard squads.  They are very effective at range and can be very good at if not clearing an objective, then at least providing so much pressure on a defending force that said force cannot act on attacking the gaurd's objectives.  On the other hand they do not have the close combat staying power to win out against any form of dedicated assault (even by the Tau).

Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 08:40:21 am »
1/ You cannot challenge specific models.  You choose one of your models to issue a challenge and your opponent chooses to accept or deny it.  If he denies it then YOU get to choose a character model for him to not use in this round of combat, either for Leadership or for attacking.  If he accepts, HE chooses which model accepts.  You cannot "challenge a sergeant and then retire the Commissar" - you can only issue a challenge and it is up to him how to respond.

2/ Characters who are not in range cannot accept a challenge, nor can they be retired as a result of refusing one.  As par page 64, this means that if you can keep your Commissar out of reach, he can't be targeted but can still grant the unit Fearless.  With 51 models in the unit, you could put him right at the back of a 15" blob, which would take 5 player turns for him to pile in to combat (with 5 x 3" pile in moves).


The second point means that, in my opinion, blob squads are going to be very effective, but only if you attack from a single direction.  If you can use some kind of pincer tactics then the Commissar will have nowhere to hide and you can challenge to your heart's content.
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Offline crisis_vyper

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 01:36:07 pm »
The second point means that, in my opinion, blob squads are going to be very effective, but only if you attack from a single direction.  If you can use some kind of pincer tactics then the Commissar will have nowhere to hide and you can challenge to your heart's content.

Either that or simple cut a slice of the army in a wedge till you are in sight of the chewy core and the charge through said wedge straight to the chewy core.

Offline DEF Knight

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 01:53:33 pm »
Quote
With the power to challenge I can now really mess up this squad synergy. First off one of the sergents is going to take on for the team and protect the comissar. So if I have a bloodthirster and seekers engage with this squad my seeker will fight the squad while I just challenge away. Ideally I want to engage with at most 6 chracters into the squad. If the squad rolls for morale and have to exicute it actually helps you out now cause it lowers the amount of characters in the squads. Bottom line you can kill off all the characters and than engage the squad as a whole.

A 50 strong guardsman squad will have 5 sergeants. You can only challenge 1 a turn. You'd tie up a 250+ point monstrous creature stomping 5 point sergeants all game just to get to a 30 point commissar? That in turn to evaporate a squad that costs 280 plus some extra weapons collectively?

That leaves another 50-odd models to fight your seekers. Will they win? Depends on your definition of winning. Each seeker will probably drop about 5-6 points of guardsmen a turn (charging bonuses notwithstanding), but three guardsmen (considering a seeker costs about three and a half guardsmen) will be dropping about 7-8 points of seeker, again, charges notwithstanding. On the turn you mount up, get all your Hammer of Wrath hits and bonus attacks, yeah, sure. After that? You're still stuck tarpitted in with a unit designed to tarpit.

True, if you can wheel around and snag the commissar you might make the squad go poof. Also true, the more special and heavy weapons the squad bears the more viable this tactic would be. But by default you're proposing investing a LOT of points into painstakingly hacking away at a mountain of men, a mountain of men a hundred or so points of flamers has a good chance of routing in one turn simply by making sure the commissar is nearer than the bulk of the men in the squad.

Offline Carrelio

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 02:55:29 pm »
Keep in mind that combat resolution is still done by unsaved wounds not by killed models... so if a monsterous creature with a boat load of attacks gets into a challenge, he might kill you 6 or 7 times over and then (because he's all alone in the challenge) not get any wounds back.  Even with rerollable leadership it's going to be hard to stand up to anything when your leadership has been reduced to 4.

Offline Chicop76

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 04:56:04 pm »
Keep in mind that combat resolution is still done by unsaved wounds not by killed models... so if a monsterous creature with a boat load of attacks gets into a challenge, he might kill you 6 or 7 times over and then (because he's all alone in the challenge) not get any wounds back.  Even with rerollable leadership it's going to be hard to stand up to anything when your leadership has been reduced to 4.

Hince why the commissar must die!

@ MT I looked but it seems to challenge there is no range to it. I challenge and if they not in base contact my opponent places his model in base to fight the challenge.
 
 When the opponent takes a challenge it doesn't matter who I call he can select the char he likes to accept. My problem is when he decline a challenge. The way it reads the model I choose for the fight won't participate and I have full choice on who I want to target due to him declining. That is why I said I will declare a sargent and if he declines I will go for the commissar.

To be honest I do not care if a 300 point squad tarpits a 285 point mc. I care about it killing my Blodthirster and the rest of my army.

Example turn 2

Daemon assault and challenge with Thirster: A. He accepts and I easily kill a sargent, B. He declines and I easily kill a sargent -leadership 10 from commisssar.

Guard turn I challenge again and kill a sargent.

Turn 3

Kill a sargent
Kill a sargent

Turn 4
Kill a sargent
Hey look no more characters to hide behind and I kill the commissar with the guard squad will norale at 6

Turn 5
Fear comes in with leadership 7 if it goes off very easy kill. If it does not than with 45 guys that would be around 14 hits and 2-3 wounds with the Thirster on average taking 1 wound. For good measure this is when I actually assault with another squad and wipe them off the map.

Also another issue what if they get assaulted by 5 chracters like in a Paladin squad. Turn 1 they bypass 45 guys and kill off the commissar and his 5 sargent characters, I mean 6 not 5 Paladins. Anyway next turn if the 45 guys haven't run than it's an easy mop up.

I havn't faced it in 6th yet and in 5th this unit wind up killing half my army off because it simply just stood there. I would win combat every time, but my models would die although I inflicted more wounds.

This edition I can simply sand a thirster in that said unit and just tie it up all game while I destroy the IG army with the rest of my stuff.

 

Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 05:20:04 pm »
@ MT I looked but it seems to challenge there is no range to it. I challenge and if they not in base contact my opponent places his model in base to fight the challenge.

Correct.  There is no range.  BUT, read the paragraph "Accepting a Challenge" on page 64 of the rulebook, particularly the line, "Characters that cannot fight or strike blows (including those that are not engaged with an enemy model) cannot accept challenges."  Likewise, in the very next paragraph, it says, "If you refuse, your opponent gets to nominate one of your characters from those who could have accepted.  The chosen model...". The Commissar may NOT accept a challenge if he is not in base contact with an enemy (nor within 3" of a friendly, engaged model at the start of the combat) NOR may he be retired as a result.  As long as the Commissar is not in base contact (or equivalent), he cannot be challenged, so you will get tarpitted.


When the opponent takes a challenge it doesn't matter who I call he can select the char he likes to accept. My problem is when he decline a challenge. The way it reads the model I choose for the fight won't participate and I have full choice on who I want to target due to him declining. That is why I said I will declare a sargent and if he declines I will go for the commissar.

It doesn't work like that.  You CANNOT decide whom he has to choose to accept with.  If he declines, THEN you have full choice, from those who could have accepted, to retire one.


Keep in mind that combat resolution is still done by unsaved wounds not by killed models... so if a monsterous creature with a boat load of attacks gets into a challenge, he might kill you 6 or 7 times over and then (because he's all alone in the challenge) not get any wounds back.  Even with rerollable leadership it's going to be hard to stand up to anything when your leadership has been reduced to 4.

There is no overkill in a Challenge; if the Sergeant has 1 wound then the most you will get from killing him, for the purposes of assault results, will be 1.  Check out page 26, "Determine Assault Results", third paragraph, bold sentence.
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Offline DEF Knight

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 06:24:16 pm »
I believe it says on page 64 of the rulebook, in bold letters "only one challenge can be issued per close combat." in addition, on page 26 it states that "If both sides suffer the same number of Wounds , the combat is drawn and continues next turn." additionally, further down the page if one unit causes fewer wounds and in so doing loses, but still passes it's morale check to continue fighting "the combat is effectively drawn and no further account is made of the unit's defeat." That is, a combat only ends when one unit flees or is destroyed.

I couldn't find any actual statement that a continuing combat would allow subsequent challenges after the resolution of the first, only that ending a combat through one side fleeing would allow a new challenge to be issued (as it is a new combat) and that a continuing challenge can be effected by Glorious Intervention.

To that end it would appear to me, according to RAW, that as long as the guardsmen hold in there the Thirster can only challenge then slay one model in combat, and until they break and flee no more challenges are possible, so he's reduced to hacking up random chumps for the rest of the game. I really can't see anything in the rulebook to contradict this, unless it's been FAQ'd.



Not only that, and correct me if i'm wrong here, but even if the commissar DOES NOT fight the challenge so the squad does not get to use his leadership, the squad still receives the benefit of stubborn AND summary execution as those are special rules and the entry for challenges doesn't state the squad no longer benefits from special rules, simply that it does not benefit from the character's leadership. To that end it's still a leadership 7 or 8 squad that won't receive any negative modifiers to leadership and can, at the cost of a sergeant or a guardsman (depending on how many sergeants are still alive), re-reoll a failed morale test. So really, if a Guard player was paranoid he or she could just get two commissars to ensure one always had their leadership available, but even that would just net a leadership of 9 over a leadership of 8.

Ultimately running and hiding seems like the best bet if it's just a single Thirster, if there's a secondary squad sacrificing a sergeant a turn to slow down the Thirster while the main blob fights the secondary daemon unit seems like a big advantage. Really thinking on it more I don't see how challenges are hurting the Guard too much...

Offline Chicop76

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 11:27:52 pm »
With the bloodthirster flying 24" in swoop, 2d6" run after deep strike, or flying 12" and assaulting 2d6 I would say it's not overly hard to get to a character or two. As long as the Thirster strikes a unit that is about 6" from any charcater he can issue a challenge. With every combat with characters moving up 3" twice first over the regular models I would say getting cose to a model to challenge wouldn't be hard.

2. Heck. If he declines you saying I can go strait for the Commissar if he is able to be challenged. Even better.

3. You can issue a challange every round. So you smash one sargent and next go around issue another challenge. The point is you can avoid the squad and the other 6 characters wacking you at once. 6 power weapons is a big issue here. Been there dne that in 5th lots of times. I just avoided the squad in 5th, but it was hard to do and even worst with a priest and or straken. Now I can tie up a blob the stops me attacking other men or vehicles. In the past I always lost to a 50 man squad if my Thirster went in and tried to fight it.

4. I recalled that multiple challenges can happen. I have to wait to the 25th to be able to double check, but I re called more than one challenge can happen.

5. Execution works for me to be honest. It just means less characters I have to chop to get to the Commissar.

6. I will just assault with my Fateweaver issue a challenge to keep him in the unit and keep blasting the commissar with boon of mutation. Once the commissar is mutated I just assault with my screamers and wipe of the squad.

 

Offline Arguleon-veq

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 10:26:24 am »
I still don't think you are getting how a challlenge works so I'm going to break it down and assume the theoretical guard player knows what he is doing;

Thirster charges in,
Thirster issues a challenge,
Guard player declines,
You get to choose 1 character from the whole unit, he now can't fight,
No challenge happens.
Thirster makes his attacks,
Guardsmen and all other characters get to strike at Thirster if in range.

Despite that, the 'blob' squad isn't as good as it was. Cover is worse for them, which is an issue. Sure its nice that they can move around whilst keeping a heavy wep stationary and still fire it and lasguns got a little better but that commissar is so easy to kill now. Remember your characters have precision strike, in shooting and in combat so any 6 to hit will be on the commissar. Plus they have to remove closest models so if you are mobile just charge in as close as you can to him. I think the squad now needs multiple commissars to be viable and even then its not as good as it was.
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Offline Chicop76

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 10:37:03 am »
I still don't think you are getting how a challlenge works so I'm going to break it down and assume the theoretical guard player knows what he is doing;

Thirster charges in,
Thirster issues a challenge,
Guard player declines,
You get to choose 1 character from the whole unit, he now can't fight,
No challenge happens.
Thirster makes his attacks,
Guardsmen and all other characters get to strike at Thirster if in range.

Despite that, the 'blob' squad isn't as good as it was. Cover is worse for them, which is an issue. Sure its nice that they can move around whilst keeping a heavy wep stationary and still fire it and lasguns got a little better but that commissar is so easy to kill now. Remember your characters have precision strike, in shooting and in combat so any 6 to hit will be on the commissar. Plus they have to remove closest models so if you are mobile just charge in as close as you can to him. I think the squad now needs multiple commissars to be viable and even then its not as good as it was.

I can't look now, but when I read the decline part is said you can't challenge the person who can't attack, but you will be able to challenge another character if able.

So if there is just one character that would be true. If there is 2 or more you would strike a character. When I get back on the 25th I will quote from it.

 

Offline Cammerz

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 11:21:56 am »
I still don't think you are getting how a challlenge works so I'm going to break it down and assume the theoretical guard player knows what he is doing;

Thirster charges in,
Thirster issues a challenge,
Guard player declines,
You get to choose 1 character from the whole unit, he now can't fight,
No challenge happens.
Thirster makes his attacks,
Guardsmen and all other characters get to strike at Thirster if in range.

Despite that, the 'blob' squad isn't as good as it was. Cover is worse for them, which is an issue. Sure its nice that they can move around whilst keeping a heavy wep stationary and still fire it and lasguns got a little better but that commissar is so easy to kill now. Remember your characters have precision strike, in shooting and in combat so any 6 to hit will be on the commissar. Plus they have to remove closest models so if you are mobile just charge in as close as you can to him. I think the squad now needs multiple commissars to be viable and even then its not as good as it was.

I can't look now, but when I read the decline part is said you can't challenge the person who can't attack, but you will be able to challenge another character if able.

So if there is just one character that would be true. If there is 2 or more you would strike a character. When I get back on the 25th I will quote from it.

The Bloodthirster challenges the guardsmen unit, the Guard player then selects 1 character who is within combat range of the Bloodthirster if he wishes to accept the challenge. If the Guard player declines then the Chaos player selects one guard character who could have accepted, that character can strike no blows in this combat phase.

Offline Warptide

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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 02:32:26 pm »
Keep in mind the commisar or sgts could be sniped with barrage or precision fire. That being said, overwatch would be pretty brutal. Even hitting on 6's, with 100ish shots you'll be killing a few models.


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Re: 51 man guard squad is it still viable?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 03:23:41 pm »
Give the squad as many flamers as possible and watch Berskers and guants flee before it. :P