Saturday, October 19, 2013
Rough Riders...who uses them?
Okay if you haven't been following my blog then you aren't aware that I am not a fan of rough riders. This has nothing to do with their rules or how they play. It is a fluff thing for me, they stopped riding horsies to battle after the poles tried to fight tanks with knights and it didn't work out so well for them. So it's just stupid IMO that the imperium of man couldn't provide, idk bikes for their soldiers, I mean even a man powered one would be better, doesn't need food or crap everywhere. But I digress. The point of this article is a question. Who among you out there use these guys? How do you use them? I have theory hammered these guys and they aren't horrible IMO, but the models are horrible and I just can't bring myself past the fluff part to actually field them. We'll see though, my feudal world is calling and I may be able to bring them.
So first off they have the basic guardsmen profile, nothing special and only one attack base. They are cavalry, being so they move 12", are not slowed by difficult terrain but treat it as dangerous, and have fleet and hammer of wrath. Not bad. Then there is the hunting lance, S+2 AP3 First charge, basically can only be used one their first charge and are at I step 5. So not bad, but here is the issue, they cannot take a laspistol and CCW, only one or the other. This hurts because that one extra attack makes a huge difference especially since they only get to use their lances once. They also come standard with krak grenades. They can replace their lance for a special weapon, normal prices, but I'm not sure if this is really worth it. Maybe two melta guns if you really want a cheap, fast suicide tank killer early on.
What these guys are is decently cheap, double the price of a regular guardsmen, but with double the mobility. They have a decent close combat weapon albeit only one use, which gives a nice initiative boost. They can move, but you have to take a risk when it comes to cover and difficult terrain. If you don't have LoS blockers, then I would say it is worth it unless you are playing tau, then F it and put em as far forward as possible and have at least use them as bait.
The problem they have is that they are still guardsmen, that can move fast, but other than that have no protection. To use them, you have to hop them behind LoS cover until you can get a charge range. If your opponent goes first and you get lucky, you can get a first turn charge off. Using them against targets that take advantage of their lances is key, anything below I 5 and has a 3+ or higher should be what you are looking for. With Hammer of wrath and the I5 attacks, you can kill a lot of the squad before they can respond. Main opponent to watch out for with this is eldar, as many of their units will still swing first and that is all the advantage they need.
The short of it is, these guys are a suicide squad, they have no staying power since they don't have an option to rearm their lances, or have enough attacks or saves to keep them in the fight after they are gone. Also don't let them get charged, as the lances only come into play when they are charging. Now their special character, Kamir, is not bad and here is why, he bring fearless, furious charge, and rage. Rage makes up your lack of attacks on your charge, where you need it most, they aren't breaking, and furious charge ups their strength on the charge, again where you need it most. So he really buffs his squad in the area where it needs it and can guarantee that you aren't running at least. Other than that he is nothing special, gets a few extra attacks, but nothing truly special.
So here is how I see them being used. One: they can be held back for when the enemy comes close and you can ride them forward for that charge. They would make a great tac squad killer, having their attacks before them and being S5 or S6 if you brought Kamir against tactical marines is actually pretty good, plus your hammer of wrath attacks. This holds true of chaos marines and pretty much anything other than eldar with high initiative, if you can't avoid it then charge guardians if possible or something else in that area.
They also can be decent cheap tank hunters. Keep them at minimum and put two meltas in them, they all have krak grenades as well so you can still deal with tanks in CC. Keep them hidden and skirt the flanks, hopping behind terrain till you can get around and close and hit tanks from the rear. This way they are mobile and can at least kill one target before going down. And since they are MSU and cheap, when they die it will be no great loss.
Going second is probably the best for them, keep them hidden and let the enemy get closer, then move them forward into charge range and go for it. Other wise, use them judiciously, keep them hidden as they are weak, till you need them. They can be good counter attackers and plug any holes you have from your opponent's assaulters. They also are a great speed bump, use them to hold up your opponent for a turn, keeping them from where they need to be.
All in all they aren't too bad, nothing great but they don't suffer from the ogryn's flaw of being too expensive. They are a suicide squad, plain and simple, they simply have no staying power or way to stay alive in CC or from firepower. Get them in quick and do a unit trade, yours for his, and hopefully that unit is more important to him than your riders are to you. If you are lucky and get them in a fight against tau and survive overwatch, they might actually have a chance of surviving till they get shot to death. They are a decent CC unit that is throw away and can get to the fight fast. They can also be a sneaky tank hunter if needed, as well as being a cheap one. Pair with Kamir, they really become good for that first charge and can guarantee a win against most basic units and really anything under I 5 and doesn't have a 2+. Another way to use them is with creed to scout them, which is good if you have second turn, as they can charge still, or outflank them. The main disadvantage is not being able to charge out of reserve, which sucks. I would say getting the scout move is better, allowing you to position them where they need to be and if you are going second, a chance to get the charge off.
Now I don't play these guys as already stated, so this is just my theory hammer. Please if you use them, tell me your stories. I want to hear what you have done with them and how they have worked. Also any tactics I have missed that you have found while using them is also much appreciated. I may not like them, but that doesn't mean others don't and that they aren't useful.
They are still stupid horsies though.