Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics: Sentinels


Back to some tactics finally!  Well work has been busy lately and closing on the house has taken plenty of time, luckily getting the keys this week and then begin the moving process.  So hopefully next month I'll be back to blogging more, so bear with me.  Today I want to talk about sentinels.  I have always like the models for them, and in the current codex and edition, they are quite good and a solid choice if you want to bring them.

The biggest thing that has improved them is in pts, they both lost some of their previous cost.  The armored benefitted the most, but the scout did as well.  Its base cost may not have dropped, but weapons costs did go down, so kitting them out is overall cheaper and adds up when you start bringing more in. 

Scout sentinels come in at 35 like before, have scout and move through cover, are armor 10 and opened topped with 2 HPs.  Basically exactly the same as before. But they are better in 7th as they can score, and have hammer of wrath.  Not huge sure, but I'll take anything that makes walkers better.  Weapons upgrades are dirt cheap now, they start with a multi laser, or can take a heavy flamer for free.  Missile launcher and AC are 5, and lascannon is 10.  Personally my experience puts me at taking Auto cannons or MLs if I want to shoot at range, with heavy flamers being great if you are outflanking with them.  Camo netting is a good choice for them at well, but at 15pts per it can get spendy quick so make sure you are keeping them in terrain, importantly though camo netting does not require you to be stationary to work.

These guys are best kept cheap, they will not take a whole lot of fire to go down so keep that in mind.  Now if you are interested in using cover, camo netting can be good but at 45 for a squadron, thats another sentinel + so think if this is going to be worth it (it can).  For me the most success I have had with them is just keeping the MLs on them and outflanking them and hitting tanks from the rear and infantry units.  A heavy flamer is great in this role as well, giving you much better anti infantry fire but less anti vehicle.  This can be a great way to pop out and flame an open topped transport and surprise your opponent. 

The scouts are really good at being a flanking unit, either using outflank or sticking to a weak side and peppering the enemy with shots.  BS 3 hurts them when using one shot weapons, so staying away from them is recommended.  Once out there, they will die to any dedicated shooting at them, so plan on using them as a distraction and to draw fire from more important units.  They are pretty cheap, so use them that way.  If they survive or are ignored, then you have a thorn in your opponents flank.  Two squadrons are cheap and give you flexibility in that you can use them as scouts and as flankers and put out enough shots to be worth it.  I like them and have used them well enough that I would consider them in armies still.

Now the Armored Sentinel really got the biggest win here.  He dropped to only 40 pts, and got the same weapons upgrade decrease as well.  He can take the plasma cannon in addition to the other weapons, at the same cost as a lascannon.  Honestly this is a really good unit.  They are not opened topped and have AV12 front armor importantly.  This combined makes them much more survivable.   Their weapon upgrades are cheap and they are just tough enough to weather some fire, especially if given some cover.

Really these guys compete in utility with heavy weapon teams and are better.  They have a higher survivability, are harder to be one shotted, and can move and shoot.  They are more expensive, but really they are worth it.  So if you think of them as up armored, mobile heavy weapons teams, you are on the right track.  If you are looking for a unit that is going to hang back and shoot, these guys are a great choice and something to consider over heavy weapon squads.  The plasma cannon, ML, and autocannons are really the go to weapons for them.  They care the least about BS 3 and have high S to be useful against infantry and vehicles.  For 150 you get 3 plasma cannons, which is a very good price for that.

If you don't mind the risk, plasma is a great weapon for them.  If you don't want to worry about gets hot, then the AC is good as well and will still put out enough shots to do damage.  Their main role is to provide mobile fire support while being able to use terrain to survive.  Keeping them near flanks works very well for them, and though they may not seem like it, they can still move enough to be effective.  Since they are gun focused, they don't really have to worry about trying to get into CC.

And speaking of CC, they actually are a great Tarpit and speedbump unit.  With AV 12 and being walkers, they can be surprisingly hard to remove.  Stay clear of anything with melta bombs, pfists, or any real dedicated anti tank cc weapon.  Krak grenades are not too much to worry about, as they still need 6s, so its unlikely for them to be taken out in one round.  I have used them to hold up a tactical squad for half of a game, as three of them can stick around for a while.  As long as you aren't using them against a CC unit, they will survive long enough to hold that unit up.  It is important though to not go after units that can't hurt them, as they can just fail their check and run out of combat (if not swept) and defeats the purpose of using them to tarpit that unit.  But that can be useful to force a unit like cultists back off of an objective.

Really they are decently cheap all rounders that shoot pretty good, are moderately survivable, and can jump into combat in the worst case.  They don't have a lot of attacks, but they really aren't meant to kill the unit, just hold it up for a few turns to give you some freedom to deal with more dangerous units.

Sentinels of both work well in numbers, and two squadrons of either gives you a good base of fire and either can fill different roles.  Scouts are great for outflanking and engaging infantry and vehicles from behind, and armored can sit back and fire away, as well as intercepting units and holding them back for a few turns. 

The forgeworld sentinels can take Multiple rocket pods, but overall this would only work well on scouts, as the armored are the old IG costs and too expensive for what they can do.  Three MRPs on an outflanking unit is not a bad thing, and can bring a lot of large blast love to infantry units.  But really unit its updated in line with the new IG book, they are out dated at the moment and subpar.

Overall I like Sentinels and they are a solid fast attack choice that brings good fire and flexibility and don't cost too much to bring.

GG

21 comments:

  1. I went to a tournament recently and faced an opponent with a large number of chaos hounds. He beat me handily, but told me after the game that he was worried I would charge his hounds with my sentinels as they couldn't hurt them.

    Anyway the next game my opponent had a large squad of lightning claw chaos terminators, and remembering my previous game I charged a sentinel squad into them and locked them up for the rest of the game as they were fearless and couldn't run away. The look on my opponents face when he realised what I had done was priceless.

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    1. And his uber close combat warlord was in the same squad.

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    2. Yeah, its great doing that, sentinels can really throw a wrench in your opponents plan if you know what to throw them at :)

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    3. they're BASICLY a cheap CCWless dreadnought

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    4. Usually they will just slow down a dedicated close combat unit for a turn or two, still quite useful though...

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  2. The early versions of the Sentinels look way different but back then you could have an assault cannon just think of what more we could do with that weapon good for mobs we can dream.

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  3. Plasma blasts and 'gets hot.... Has anyone found a official ruling on that? I just throw a separate die and hope its not a one.

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    1. I don't have the rule book in front of me, but its in the same section as gets hot and talks about blasts. You roll scatter and a separate die, if its a one it gets hot. TL/preferred enemy allows you to reroll if you do.

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    2. That's correct... It also means the blast doesn't go off (much like a one on a plasma gun).

      For a vehicle with only 2 HP, is can easily glance itself to death this way. How often have you run with Plasma Cannons on your Sentinels? Have they had much problem with this? There's no really easy way to give them re-rolls (which would help in preventing the glance) as you typically want them on a flank.

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    3. Its not as bad as 6th, as now you roll again, on a 4+ the vehicle does not lose a hull point. It only happens occasionally, and really hasn't affected me too much. The odds are in your favor. Getting preferred enemy or prescience on them isn't too hard, but isn't really needed either. The risk is worth the reward, they have always done great, and I think I have only lost one to gets hot ever.

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    4. I've always run them as a CC blocking unit, and have been debating the merits of putting heavy flamers on an armoured unit, to kind of further embrace that role. If they are charged, that's 3D3 of S5 AP4 pain that the enemy would be absorbing.

      Considering I don't run that much infantry for bubble-wrapping, these guys are invaluable, an almost auto-include. Battle reports available upon request!

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    5. Wait in 6th I think there also was a rule about 4+ save for the vehicles. It was in the vehicle section instead of special rule section if I remember correctly.

      Anyways, you can always take a kurov's Aquila with a commander in a chimera flanked by plasma veterans, plasma sentinels and plasmacutioners for the ultimate plasma party!

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    6. @ Oakenhawk-
      I'd love to run some battle reports at The House of Paincakes- especially if they feature Sentinel heroics.
      Hit me up at sinsynn@hotmail.com if you'd like.

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  4. I haven't run mu scouts in a while and not at all in 7th, but I use to run them with lascannons and HK missiles. Outflank them and hit a high priority target and hit it hard, before hopefully running off or drawing fire. Use to work well, although they were an easy first blood alot of the time.

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  5. Didnt know where else to post this sorry. I think the link for:( Starting an Imperial Guard Army: Where to Begin) is linking to (Imperial Guard Tactics: Infantry Platoon) in your tactica section

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, It is now fixed!

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  6. Question about Missile launchers in particular. Do you have to pick a specific type of missile and thats it? Or do you have the option to select the type of missile when you fire, like a HW team launcher; and if so would this include Flakk missiles as well? I could see the potential as a decent AA unit with a lot of flexibility if thats the case.

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    1. Missile armed sentinels can fire either ammunition type, but must choose one or the other every time they fire. Sadly, they aren't very effective vs vehicles, so people usually use something different.

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    2. Flakk missiles are not an available option. Unfortunately they run into the issue of being BS3, so three krak shots are not too effective. Unless you are bringing 6-9 missile armed sentinels, its not that effective. Prescience is good on, but really ACs are great and even better with prescience.

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  7. I went with missiles on my trio of armoured Sentinels when I got them (still pretty new to guard here), my logic at the time being "I could be facing anything from Tyranids to Grey Knights, versatility is good"

    ... Have I massively cocked up and should I be reaching for the clippers to swap them to something else? People don't seem to have much good to say about launchers. (I assumed ML in this article referred to multilaser?)

    Also sorry if this doubleposted.

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    1. I did that and suffered from lack of specialization. Plasma cannons are only slightly more expensive for a vastly more effective template. Ignore the gets hot, shit happenes but not that often. Krak sounds good against vehicles, but in practice the ap3 keeps you from getting the juicy one hit kill that a lascannon is capable of.

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