Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Trap With Skitarii


The skitarii are a good army with lots of good options, but within those options there is a trap.  Often times we are our own undoing, in that we can't help but take options when we really shouldn't and often don't need too. This will be an issue for skitarii players I suspect when it comes to the squad leaders of the skitarii infantry.

Skitarii leaders have access to quite a lot of things with special issue wargear, ranged and melee weapons, relics and squad specific stuff.  This is a trap!  Don't fall in to it.  We have been indoctrinated by GW to see that squad leaders must have a pistol and cc weapon.  No they don't! It sounds like a good idea, but really what do you gain.  You get an extra cc attack at the cost of short ranged fire and less shots.  This works on a decent CC character, or even on a basic space marine sgt, but skitarii are really just buffed guardsmen, or scions depending on how you look at it.

I will tell you, I wish I could just give shotguns to all my IG sgt's, it would be much more effective than an extra attack.  Now IG you can make use of cc weapons in blobs, simply because there are enough bodies that all the sgts can actually hit home and do something.  This really isn't the case with skitarii.

So what rule of thumb should you apply to skitarii and upgrades?  Less is more.  9/10 times you don't need to give them anything, keep them stock.  Really.  What does a ranger squad gain by having a cc weapon and pistol, really no much and it loses on of it's long ranged attacks.  While its not as bad for a vanguard squad, it still doesn't gain a whole lot in most cases.  The squad will do just as well, if not better with the alpha having his carbine.

There are a few situations though where upgrades are not bad.  For a dedicated anti tank vanguard squad with arc rifles, taking an arc pistol and cc weapon is not a bad choice.  For cc weapon, the taser is a good choice, as its +2 S and can cause a lot of extra hits.  That's the cost effective version, if you are feeling spendy the arc maul is def effective for killing vehicles, but you have to get there to use it, so keep that in mind.

For your warlord's squad, its worth giving some upgrades as well, as he will be a target simply for points.  A refractor field or conversion field are both well priced and won't break the bank.  A decent relic like the phosphoenix is a good plus a cheap cc weapon will give you a decent warlord with some survivability.  If the price is high, go with a basic pistol and it will save you some pts here.

The other thing to consider with upgrades is what to give to the squads.  When it comes to ranged weapons, always consider how they synergize with the squad.  So rangers sit back and shoot at range, plasma calivers are not a good choice for them.  Arc rifles are ok, and really the transuranic arquebes is the best for synergy.  It does cost you though, so you may not even need it.  A stock ten man squad will do their job quite well with an omnispex and thats it. 

Vanguard are better for special weapons as they are going to try and get much closer to the enemy.  You may be tempted to take plasma calivers, but really hold back.  They are so god damn expensive.  They are double the cost of plasma guns, and granted the three shots is nice, you can probably do just fine with one caliver, just one.  Hold back I tell you.  The arc rifle is the bang for buck special weapon, and that should be your main special weapon to go too, as it's still good against infantry and tough targets, and in mass will wreck vehicles.  Again though, just because you can take three in a full squad does not mean you need too.

What I am trying to say, is that add only when it will increase effectiveness that matches the pts spent and what you lose when taking the upgrades.  They are options for a reason!

GG

12 comments:

  1. I have always thought about this "trap" I have seen so many new players fall into it. The box sets don't do them any favours with the way they are portrayed. With marines and "combat squading" its not too bad, but with anything else, don't see the point. My first sgt. I have made for my skittari just has a galvanic rifle, the squad has 2 arbeques and a Omni spex. I have a plan to back up my knights with them.

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  2. To add to what you are saying here (which I totally agree with!), the wargear list for Ranged Weapons reads "A model may replace its ranged weapon with one of the following" but the Melee Weapons list simply reads "A model may take one of the following".

    Thus, you can always take a Taser Goad or Arc Maul without replacing your Galvanic Rifle or Radium Carbine. Sure, you lose one extra attack, but you keep your ranged advantage, and if/when you do get into assault you still have the advantages of the Melee Wargear! I especially like the idea of taking the Arc Maul this way, as your ranged unit can deal with vehicles in assault in a pinch.

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    1. Clever! I didn't notice that!

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    2. Actually I see that being a trap within a trap after all as you say you keep the weapon but do you really need it? the arc maul /Taser goad (love how we get Tasers) will be wasted points if your not in combat saying that though I think the Taser is great on vanguard as my alpha insta deathbed a space marine captain who fluffed in the challenge :)

      I think the way to do it is to buy new units/ unit upgrades before looking at characters we don't have HQ's so stop thinking like we do at least I hope I can practise what I preach I love those Tasers

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  3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't Scions take Taurox Primes and Valks ad fast attack choices? It seems like there would be a lot of synergy between Admech and Scions if you can just take those fast attack choices and stick Skitarii in them. A full 10 man Vanguard squad with plasma doing drivebys sounds effective. Makes the three plasma Cavaliers safer to use, and as long as you drop a handful of termies with them, the points pay for themselves. It'd take a little bit of positioning to fire out of both side hatches, but 9 plasma shots from a fast vehicle is pretty damn nasty.

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    1. You can, as long as you take an HQ and 1-2 troops from scions, depending if you go ally detachment or CAD.

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    2. One Scion Command squad with Volley guns and a suicide 5 man deep striking Meltasquad isnt too bad of tax to pay to snag transports for Admech which could make good use of them. Just theoryhammer though

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  4. I saw new eldar rules. Have you got a idea how to deal with them using guard and/or skitarii?

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    1. Need to see more, codex isn't out. Looks to be a tough cookie though

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  5. Interesting article. I do admit it is hard to train yourself to "not take stuff" just because you can. Like giving shoota boyz a big shoota, it really doesn't make much of a difference at all, and it's nearly the cost of another boy.

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  6. I hadn't really considered your point about IG Sergeants, but now I am tempted to kit out some with Boltguns. While they won't benefit from FRFSRF, the higher strength rapid fire shooting will in most cases be more useful that the extra close combat attack. And if you give them melta bombs as I often do they will only be making 1 attack anyway.

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