Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fun with Planetstrike (40K)

With a bastion, skyshield and a soon to be painted Aegis defense line, we've got enough specialized terrain in the store to play Planetstrike. It's recommended that each of the special terrain pieces be considered an objective, so 3 objectives is reasonable, along with a bunch of extra terrain that serves its regular purpose. So why should you care? What's wrong with regular 40K? What's the big deal? What am I getting?

Variety. Apocalypse is cool because you can play all your models, but who has all day to do that? I'll probably never get a chance to play with my Baneblade. I've accepted that. Planestrike lets you tailor your army list and play a variety of models based on a much more mailable force organization chart (FOC) with reasonable point limits (whatever you decide). You don't need an epic game to play with six heavy support or six fast attack slots, just the Planetstrike book.

I went ahead and made some quick army lists based on the Planetstrike FOC. I've been fine tuning my mechanized guard list over the last month, so this gave me a chance to try something different, based mostly on the extra models I had gathering dust.

Company Command Squad: 2 snipers, lascannon, and a Master of Ordinance in a chimera
Platoon Command Squad: 4 heavy flamers, plasma pistol in a chimera
Troop 1: 3 squads with plasma pistol in a chimera
Fast Attack 1-3: Scout sentinel with lascannon
Fast Attack 4-6: Devil dog
Heavy Support 1-3: Basilisk
1500 points

Strategy: The CCS in their chimera stays in the back, unmoving with the basilisks, who pound the AV14 buildings with ordinance. The snipers, lascannon and master of ordinance can't do anything if they move and since the defender is likely stuck in his defensive position, he's likely too busy to come out and attack the delicate basilisks and the CCS chimera. Meanwhile, the mechanized infantry follow in the suicidal devil dogs and scout sentinels, designed to take out armor and those stubborn buildings. With the Planetstrike rules, any attacking unit can contest and thereby win an objective, so there's no great reason to bring men other than their versatility. Under the rules, the attacker doesn't have to have any troop choices.

Company Command Squad: 2 snipers, lascannon, and Astropath
Platoon Command Squad: 4 heavy flamers, plasma pistol
Troop 1: 3 squads of guardsmen with plasma gun and lascannon
PCS 2: Al-Raheim, 4 meltaguns, in a heavy flamer chimera
Troop 2: 2 squads of guardsmen with plasma guns in a chimera
Heavy Support 1-3: Demolisher with lascannon
Heavy Support 4: Basilisk
1500 points

Strategy: This is a line guard army with the twist of adding Al-Raheim as mechanized infantry. The goal here is to rely on the defensive terrain for survivability while Al-Raheim's squad does his outflanking maneuver, turning the tide in our favor. Will dividing up the force be disastrous with the objective rules in the attackers favor? Perhaps. If I were to do a more "pure" strategy, I would duplicate the first troop choice and add another basilisk. That's probably a wiser choice, but I want to try this first.

The point is Planetstrike lets me shake things up and try something different without a big commitment. I could play both of these lists in the same day, and even a game with my regular mech infantry list, if I like. This is before we start using strategems and missions, which adds an even richer dimension to the game.

It's also a big incentive to sell you a bunch of heavy support and fast attack choices, along with some really pretty terrain. However, if you're into the hobby, you're always looking for a good excuse.