Formations tend to be a little more specialised, so we will have to go through the options and see which one fits our needs best while also fitting in the points limit.We found one that seems to fit the mission perfectly. Getting Preferred Enemy against any unit that is controlling the Relic should go a long way to make up for the low Strength of lasguns. We sacrificed some of the resiliency of other Guard builds for mobility in our transports, which should help us play keep-away if we get to the Relic first.
Goal 4 - have Fun!
The Formation idea is to find something that would be good at the mission. Not all Formations are created equally,and some of them are completely unsuitable. 3 of the Guard ones cost more than the 1000 points we have available, and another 2 don't have a lot of room for upgrades. I'm going to build the Emperor's Blade Assault Company. It has a mix of vehicles, infantry and firepower. And as the infantry are Veterans, they have a decent Ballistic Skill.I quite like this Formation, surprisingly. It doesn't have the masses of Infantry I normally favour, but is still fun. Your troops still feel like underdogs versus a lot of the foes you will face. I also may have gone overboard on the upgrades to try and compensate. But that's what makes it fun. A small, elite force of men trying their best.
Goal 3 - Control the Relic
The Emperor's Blade has a core, decent amount of infantry, backed up by transport vehicles. So in a similar vein, speed up to the Relic, jump out of the vehicles to control it, then mount a fighting retreat, using the Chimeras to protect the squads from mass firepower and to channel assault lines.Something I've not talked about yet with the scenario is Transport Vehicles. While only non-Vehicle models can pick up the Relic, such a model can then get into a transport. The vehicle can't move faster than 6", or it ejects the Relic, but that still gives the squad inside an extra layer of protection. Also, Moving Flat Out is 6", while Running is D6". So, it gives you a better chance of getting further away should the need arise.
Goal 2 - Survive opposing firepower and assault
This list has a lower body count than I usually prefer. The survivability on this one will come from careful use of the vehicles to screen the infantry, meaning threats to the vehicles need to be taken out quickly. We should also consider upgrading the infantry to have camo cloaks and carapace armour, and maybe camo for the tanks too.We were able to afford all the defensive upgrades we wanted. Our troops have a 4+ Armour save, which protects against a lot of basic weapons. Then the whole army gets a 6+ Cover save, or improved if they are actually in cover. These two measures will help versus a lot of shooting. Close combat is a weakness, though the Flamers give us a little bit of improved Overwatch.
Goal 1 - Kill opposing models
The Chimera's have decent guns, and the Hellhound is great at slaying opposing infantry. The squads can have 3 special weapons and 1 heavy, so this list can kick out a fair amount of firepower for a small amount of units.I've spread the special weapons amongst the units. This will stop my opponent singling out, for instance, my anti-tank weapons and destroying them before we can bring them to bear. It means that each squad has a decent chance against any foe. Chimera's are great battle transports too. They have 2 decent guns themselves, as well as a decent ability while they have troops inside. 2 models from the transported unit can fire from the top, at a separate unit to the tank. Also the unit can man the Lasgun Array, each array able to shoot at a different target from the models shooting out of the top, the tank and each other. We can engage a wide variety of targets while we are mounted. The Inferno Cannon on the Hellhound is really good against infantry and the Preferred Enemy gives us a boost in this department, plus we still have access to orders. This is an Army that needs to play the mission though, I doubt we can switch to tabling the opponent if things go awry. But achieving missions is what the Emperor's Blade is designed for.
While I'd be happy fielding the previous Guard army, this one is closer to what I'd actually try out. It covers all the bases the mission needs while feeling like a challenge to play. It's a Formation I've been experimenting with ever since the Mont'Ka book it's in came out. It's proving to pair well alongside a CAD build similarly to our previous army. The Emperor's Blade moves out to take forward objectives while the CAD holds our back line and offers long range cover fire. It feels like one of the better ways of building Infantry based Astra Militarum forces, as the core Infantry choice in the Cadian Battle Group is expensive at it's base cost and the upgrades add up quickly. Also with more points you can look at possibly adding Heavy Weapons to the squads and adding more Hellhounds, including their variants.
In the next part, we will look at building around the Triumvirate of the Imperium and then the final part of this series will be exploring the event itself.