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sidcom
21-08-2011, 12:07
Hi guys

Im working on my new Imperial Fists army and Im also making pretty formidable Imperial fortress for them for our next apocalypse game.

I know they should be experts in fortification defense, but Im still not sure how to build SM army around that beyond Lysanders "bolster defense" and "give them some more thunderfire cannons and devastators" .

So, any ideas how to make most nasty SM defensive force which would somehow reflect IF expertise in this?

Also, how does it work for them fluffwise? Do they use any special tactics which helps them during the siege? What is a difference between IF Marine, and, lets say, Ultramarine, defending the walls which makes IF better than UM at it? And do they use lots of IG/Titan Legion support or are they the tough guys who take it all on their own?

Any ideas and suggestion are welcomed :)

EDIT: could be also some new apoc formation to help them with this

Str10_hurts
21-08-2011, 12:14
Counter charging.

- Use cannon fodder (guard and lots of guns). Then as soon as the enemy penetrates counter charge units left in small corridors were its quality over quantity.
- Get some deep striking/outflanking units to take out their most dangerous guns.

Use the LoS of the citadel to your advantage, do not invest to heavy in tanks. Thunderfire guns are great here for slowing the enemies down.

MasterGideon
21-08-2011, 12:15
Linebreakers Squadrons is a must for fortress defence, also ancient assault formations.

Thats my 2 cents, Vindicators + crap load of dreads = fun!

MasterGideon

Lunk
21-08-2011, 12:23
I think fortifications should be based on the amount of time the IF have before the attack. A few hours, then they would have barb wire and perhaps sand bag defense points. If they had a few weeks, the obviously more major improvements would be done, perhaps concrete bunkers and mine fields outside of a very dependable fortification. Perhaps instead of a fort, have them defend a temple, with only IF built defense points.

sidcom
21-08-2011, 15:09
Counter charging.

- Use cannon fodder (guard and lots of guns). Then as soon as the enemy penetrates counter charge units left in small corridors were its quality over quantity.
- Get some deep striking/outflanking units to take out their most dangerous guns.

Use the LoS of the citadel to your advantage, do not invest to heavy in tanks. Thunderfire guns are great here for slowing the enemies down.

I like the idea, my IF army is mostly first company now (50 termies led by Lysander and 20 vanguard atm) and I rely on my friends Dark Angels to fill the gaps with his Tactical marines, Devastators and other units I dont have.

However in a "test game" we played last week, I have tried to keep termies in front of the walls as a speed bump, that didnt work very well as 40 of them died (partly by terrible terrible rolling on my side must say:)) leaving Lysander and few of his fellow faithful brothers do a last "you shall not pass" stand blocking the path for two turns before drowning in a sea of green (it was pretty epic game though)

Sice that game I am more and more inclined to play more defensive strategy, keep the units inside the walls and behind the gates (especialy with Lysander boosting section of the walls to 2+ cover), knowing that oponent has to come through that anyway, wait for him to come close or breach section of the walls and then counterattack, keeping Pedro Kantor close behind to give termies that amazing +1 attack aura. Assault marines and Vanguards should also be good for this as they can jump up and down from the walls.




Linebreakers Squadrons is a must for fortress defence, also ancient assault formations.

Thats my 2 cents, Vindicators + crap load of dreads = fun!


Those dreads sounds like a "must have", especially after I finished reading Battle of the Fang few days ago ;)




I think fortifications should be based on the amount of time the IF have before the attack. A few hours, then they would have barb wire and perhaps sand bag defense points. If they had a few weeks, the obviously more major improvements would be done, perhaps concrete bunkers and mine fields outside of a very dependable fortification. Perhaps instead of a fort, have them defend a temple, with only IF built defense points.

Story for the fortress (still working on the datasheet) is that it is a HH era fort engineered and built by Imperial Fists to slow down advance of Horus legions against Terra, it is placed pretty close to the Eye of Terror so Fists maintain garrison in there to keep watch, keeping contact with rest of the chapter wich would send reinforcements if the grave day would come and Great Enemy appears on plains in front of the fort again (or something like that:))

It is a massive over the top thing with tons of lascanons (around 15 I think) , heavy bolters, rocket launchers, AA hydras,Whirlwind launcher and other weapons mounted on the walls and towers, 6 towers/bunkers made from planetsrike bastions, built in void shields and machine spirit and it all sits on a cliff with few easily defendable acess ramps.. there is a huge cave hangar in the rock under the fortress itself (think of this video, but with fortress on top of the gate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOoBzOzcGr0) big enough to hide Warhound titan and few baneblades with it.. and also a terrain with trenches, bunkers, minefield as well as barbed wire and tank traps , you name it (only thing I didnt do was a moat :D)

The cave is important because if it falls, the enemy will gain acces to the fortress without need to take down the walls and just walk there from the inside

So, it is a fortification worthy of Imperial fists (we valued it for 1500pts in current state after the test game), and only thing I need to solve is actual composition of the defender forces and tactics to use

The_Herald_of_Nurgle
21-08-2011, 16:09
Siege warfare is one of those tricky types of gameplay that will sometimes not translate well to 40k. My friends and I have done a number of games along these lines (nothing with "set" defenses, but we have a VERY large collection of Urban terrain) and we mostly see the defenders having trouble doing anything of much to the attackers before they breach the walls.

Imperial Fists are masters of siege warfare, so their equipment would reflect the close quarter combat you would experience. Tactical squads would have Flamers as a majority for when sections of the line are breached and all those enemies are packed in the holes they have torn in your line. Melta and Plasma guns would be a bit rarer but you would still see them in squads as a "last ditch" to take out enemy siege machines that are closing on your line. Heavy weapons in the tactical squads would, from a fluff standpoint, be the more mobile Heavy Bolters and Missile Launchers, since Lascannons generally would be more allocated to dedicated anti-tank Devastators.

As to tactics used in siege warfare you have a number of options. This mostly depends on what type of enemy you are fighting. Against Horde armies (Foot IG, Orks, Tyranid) you will want to buy as much time to keep your units from being completely consumed in close combat. Having valiant (read sacrificial lambs) hold the walls while the rest of your army sets up in reserve positions ready to pour on the fire can be a very sound tactic if the enemy general doesn't have any way to infiltrate your line. Combat Squad Tacticals with Missile Launchers / Heavy Bolters would be able to pour some fire on the enemy till they are eventually overrun. Also with this tactic, is you can set these "heavy tacticals" up on the outer edges of your defenses, leaving the center open. The enemy then has to decide whether to leave these units alone and concentrate on your main force that is farther back but centered or send units to silence there guns (which will take them out of the main part of the assault for a bit). Your Terminator's should be held as a counter-attacking force to blunt the enemies weakened spearhead and if possible close any gaps they have made in your line. Also, a deep striking squad or 2 can cause the enemies general to lose sight of his goal and will cause him to divert needed resources away from your main host. Thunderfire cannons are also a great form of siege defensive weaponry.

To win in siege warfare in 40k you have to remember that you WILL lose men, but that the sacrifice could mean others will survive long enough to turn the tables on your foe. Imperial Fists are not want to fall back and will stubbornly hold there positions in situations where they would do better to yield some ground. Depending on who you play against though, and what types of enemies they use will greatly alter your tactics. If you give us an idea of what you are against, formulating a strategy to "stem the tide" will be much easier.

sidcom
22-08-2011, 10:23
Those are some very interesting suggestions in you reply Herald_of_Nurgle, exactly types of tactics Im looking for, thank you!

I realize this is more tactically challenging than I expected, it is very much about predicting moves of the opponent and where the (war) hammer will fall strongest (my big advantage is that I actually make a map from scratch)
By nature of this type warfare defenders will always be outnumbered and key units cannot be everywhere at once.
It requires quite different tactics and mindset than standart mission 6x4 game, but it is also very funny :)

About the oncomming apocalypse game, I will have Eldar as an ally and our oponents will be mixed armies of Chaos and Orks.

Our biggest concerns on enemy side will be two Warhound Titans, two Klawstompas and Angrath the Unbound (other than that quite standart Black Legion army and huge mob of around 400 orks of all types)

Warhounds must be priority targets, they will probably work as artillery in this game, they can outrange any guns we have and those nasty D shots will lay waste to walls as soon as shields ar down. They must go down quickly, but maybe Fire dragons can take care for that.

Klawstompas are different type of problem, they are extremely fast, excelent transport for orks inside and IMO best wall breachers in the game for their points (nothing can survive 8 D autohits with 2+ on damage table) and also have huge flamers which are excellent for clearing defenders on the walls and inside bunkers. However there is only one ramp big enough for Stompa to walk up the cliff (an I can block it quite easily) so my bet is they will go against the cave hangar which is on base level. Those must also be stopped as soon as possible, if they reach walls or crowded cave they will make terrible mess

Angrath, on the other hand, does not care about terrain or walls and he can fly where he wants, past the fortress defences and butcher units garrisoned there. This may be a work for the lascannon Devastators in bastions, 4 units with 16 lascanon shots could do the work in turn or two, depends on luck

Erazmus_M_Wattle
22-08-2011, 11:31
I play Iron Warriors. Your opposite number. I like to play by the fluff. As dedicated siege troops they know what they're doing. No right minded Warsmith will give his enemy any advantages at all.

I like to set the terrain with this in mind. Obviously I only get to do this in planetstrike or on some games where we play more for fluff. I like to leave the table quite bereft of any kind of cover giving terrain. I imagine they have gone out with massive bull dozing machines to make the terrain around the fortress as flat as possible. Then I use lots of scatter terrain to slow them down. Lots of barbed wire. Lots of tank traps. Pits and minefields.

When you haveca horde of Orks ploughing towards you, you want then slowed down as much as possible. If you can get all their vehicles immobilised and whittle down their numbers before they reach you you have the advantage.

Imperial Fists would fight in much the same way. You need to be careful to have your own reserves to counter attack where needed.

Your cave us a weakness that no IF or IW would tolerate. The enemy don't even need a mine under your walls. They have a ready made one. You need to make sure it is heavily defended.

Sound like an awesome game.

sidcom
22-08-2011, 13:42
Interesting view from exactly oposite side of the barricade :)

Well, I make some weaknesses intentionally for the fun sake and to make it an interesting game, like that "ramp" broken in rock where vehicles and infantry can move to upper level of the cliff where the actual fortress lies (by fluff it is of course not put there intentionally by IF but more like destroyed rock by weeks of artillery bombardment) because I think there should be always more than just one access route to objectives to make game more interesting, forcing the need to split forces.

For the cave, it has its practical uses. As I decided to go for a rock-face placed fortress, one disadvantage that became immediately apparent was that it very much limited the use of any vehicles, I could either keep them in reserves, place them on the upper ledge (where they would became more or less static defenses) or leave them in the open where they would be eaten by opening orbital barages and first attacker salvoes.

So I got the idea of ground level "garage" big enough to hide a titan and from where I can drive out for counter attacks with Land Raiders and such, hide vehicles and infantry from firestorm/orbital/scheduled bombardment and artillery and also from direct fire as long as the gate and shields will hold, which could give me that precious first round of fire or charge oporutunity as I decide when the gate will open (and there will probably be enemy units on the other side by that time)...

... that, and also the fact that it looks pretty epic and I love the idea of brutal last stand of 1st company holding the cave against impossible odds :D

ChrisMurray
22-08-2011, 14:44
The units you can take have pretty much been covered. But may I offer some ideas for the game\table. If you are going for a very fluffy game you might want to consider having the bulk of the eldar forces starting on the 2nd turn and coming on from the rear of the enemy. I can't imagine the Eldar would sit around waiting for the enemy, they would wait for the enemy to attack the IF and then appear from no where at the rear of the enemy.

As was mentioned above, one of the big problems with a seige\defend game is that the enemy get in close too quick (unless your playing on a super long table without too many units). I would suggest maybe having "gates" to the fortress which have some sort of void sheild or something over them. The shield would be useless with a certain distance (say maybe rapid fire range) but would stop the gate being distroyed by the titans first turn. Then give the door an armor value (maybe even a structure point?). This means that just like a real seige the enemy hase to get up close to the gates and destroy them to gain entry to the fortress.

I would recomend creating choke points\kill boxes (this was a common tactic used by the IW, so I would imagine the IF would do the same.). Also have a read of the IW short story in Age of Darkness as this gives alot of details of how the IW built their fortresses and contains many fun ideas that you could house rule into your apoc game. Also Salamander has an IW fortress (although a little less sophisticated) in it. All good inspiration for seige games.

sidcom
29-08-2011, 10:15
just for the record, here is a picture from our yesterdays game I was talking about (fortress is still wip though)

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/2204/dsc0531wj.jpg

PS: The killzone was pretty killy in the end :evilgrin: (although I could use much more minefields, tanktraps and barbed wire )

Starscream24
29-08-2011, 13:46
Sadly the current Space Marines Codex doesn't reflect the Siege Specialist nature of the Imperial Fists (likewise, the Iron Warriors in the Chaos Space Marines codex).

The 4th edition Codex did a good job under the Traits system.

The Imperial Fists had a positive trait but countered with the negative trait (which refects their stubbornness);

.................................................. .................................................. ..............
SUFFER NOT THE WORK OF HERETICS:
Any Tactical or Devestator squads may take the Tank Hunters skill at +3 points per model.

DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR:
At the end of the game, the opposing player can request an extra turn be played.
On a 4+ the extra game turn is played.
.................................................. .................................................. ..............

Prior to that, the Index Astartes 2 book had some interesting rules.

.................................................. .................................................. ..............
BLIND TO THE RISK:
In a mission with a variable game length, the opponunt may choose an extra turn be played.

SIEGE MASTERS:

Fortifications:
Siege Masters have +1 Armour Penetration against bunkers and their own bunkers have Armour Value 14

Hidden Set-up:
When moving over a minefield Siege Masters only trigger a mine on 6+

Obstacles:
A Siege Masters tank trap has an Armour Value of 12

Preliminary Bombardment:
When resolving a preliminary bombardment, Siege Masters are better able to direct their supporting fire. They receive one extra roll for every 500 points being used....

Stubborn Defence:
When occupying fortifications in missions where they are defenders, Siege Masters are treated as being Stubborn.
They will automatically pass any Morale checks even in situations where they would automatically fail.
They may never use the Voluntary Fall Back rule, but test for Pinning as normal.
Outside fortifications and on fortifications built by the enemy (ie, when attacking) they get no benefit.
.................................................. .................................................. ..............

I don't really like the army themed Special Characters in the current codex (Lysander, Kantor, Shrike, etc).
You have to spend extra points to theme your army rather than gain the traits (good and bad), and the character may not be all that great anyway.

Maybe it's just me, but the idea of Lysanders 'Bolter Drill' seems a bit daft on a model with no guns, but kitted out for close combat!

Putting him with a Heavy Bolter Devestator squad would be awesome, but his close combat skills are completely useless... and it costs 200 points?!
A Sternguard Veteran squad would be better, and at least he could have some effect in battle!
Oh, but if you're shooting Bolters, you can't charge!

You'd think he would give the army Tank Hunters and Stubborn relected in previous books.

As it is, given the choice, I'd rather have (almost) an extra Land Raider in my army list! ;)

The_Herald_of_Nurgle
29-08-2011, 14:07
I agree with the whole idea of Chapters being "special" from choosing traits to help bolster them. My old army was Imperial Guard, with Regimental Doctrines. I almost started playing Imperial Fists (favorite codex Army) when they released chapter traits, but I couldnt get away from my lovable guardsmen. In the end, they took away much of that customization for simplified codexs.

Have any of you read Storm of Iron? It is a very good book and gives you a great idea of siege warfare in the 41st Millenium from the eyes of both sides. I plan once school is done to construct a very large table like the battlefield from that book.

sidcom
29-08-2011, 17:14
Storm of Iron is one of my favourite books from Black Library, it gave me lots of ideas, as well as Battle of the Fang and Dead sky black sun (now I just need to make huge ramp like in that book :)

As for Lysander, putting him in shooting squad looks like a waste to me, he is CC monster, I use him for "bolster defense" skill (although I just recently noticed that skill is only for ruins and not buildings and fortifications, but we houseruled that), he destroyed stompa by himself (twice!), charging in head of 50 terminators, that is where I like his place :)

Npf6
29-08-2011, 21:21
Auto cannon dreads and vindicators, terminators and lysander