Sunday, July 07, 2013
A case for mechanization
So mech armies are kind of poo pooed on in sixth edition but I can see some really good reasons to bring it back again. Before I explain why I think mech can work I will cover the number one reason why I think people don't want to run mechanized list - First Blood. Okay if you are playing rulebook missions certainly First Blood can be a game winner... Especially with missions like Emperor's Will and The Relic. If you are playing at big events that feature multiple objectives it is not as as important though.
I think mech can work. I had one army in the beginning of sixth edition that had a couple of rhinos for my old Grey Knight Necron army. It didn't work for me and I came to the premature conclusion that mech is more of a hindrance. My next army was Khorne and I used three land raiders... It was really good at that point in time, especially with the dirge caster which cancels Overwatch and is a big FU to Tau. I then lost my Khorne army and started to play Nurgle again after almost a ten year hiatus.
If you follow my blog you know I am not a fan of Typhus and his big zombie blobs. So I thought to myself what are other scoring units available to Nurgle? I really like Death Guard and Plaguebearers. Deathguard are really expensive point wise but a five man squad in a rhino can get the job done and the points are reasonable at this size. So I began to realize if you play missions that feature multiple primary objectives mech can and does work.
For me the primary purpose of mech in sixth edition is to move a large portion of my army to midfield... It's a lot like chess and many people in fifth edition cited this as one of the main reasons to run a mechanized army. We see lots of pictures and batreps on the Internet that feature heavy infantry based armies. Some people really want to imprint this image on our mind. Like I say though you should question everything !
Mech is also a powerful method to protect the embarked units. Transports are not a death trap... You must be a patient hunter and willing to think at least two turns ahead... Again this is similar to chess in that regard. I recently posted a batrep about my first game with Plaguewing versus the new eldar. I did not want to give up First Blood even though we were playing a multiple primary objective so I put my rhinos in reserve to protect them. I was staring down many many mobile eldar guns. In fact I had an Aegis Defense Line with a quad gun but the first two turns I didn't man it - that would have been suicide for whoever was pulling the trigger.
Like I said transports can protect your embarked units for a turn or two. If you can stand up to withering enemy fire power that long then trust me, you'll see some dividends. Armies like the new eldar and Tau can blaze you to death with their guns. It's nothing new - I am basically espousing old fifth edition tactics. Transports are also a major deterrent to the ever notorious and much hated Heldrake... that is a good thing too!
It's important to note that the meta (if there is truly one) is in a constant state of flux with each new codex that is released. I like to field an army with many units that are all synergistically designed to work together. Tau and eldar alike can only deny so much cover... Throw the hardest units you've got right into their grill forcing them to focus on those first thus denying them ability to concentrate on the rest of your army. It works just like a charm.
One of the big things that came about in sixth edition is most every vehicle can move flat out. This enables you to reach midfield with one move and it is huge. So I think that mech will slowly come back again. Heldrakes hate Tau and that's a good thing for most of us. Eldar can also punk out flyers with the use of Guide and Prescience. It's not win win for the bale flamer anymore. Only time will tell but I can say its already working for me. It can work for you too.