Astra Militarum Report Card: Fast Attack

It’s been quite a while since I picked up this series, but given that I haven’t played many battles lately (life gets busy late-August), I can probably pick-up where I left off:

Hellhound / Banewolf / Devildog

Strengths:  These are the only fast tanks in the Astra Militarum army list, and are surprisingly well protected at 12/12/10.  This means 3 things:

  1. You have a 24″ movement range to capture / contest objectives in a pinch, an important thing to remember in Maelstrom missions.
  2. You can move 12″ and still fire both weapons, giving its S6 AP4 Torrent flamer a 24″+ threat range
  3. It will be extremely difficult to remove via conventional shooting, short of heavy AT assets.  Given my 1,500 point lists typically contain 8+ vehicles at AV12 or higher, this only serves to muddy the waters with respect to target priority.

This makes the standard Hound a psychological terror on the battlefield, and enemy Commanders will go to great lengths to remove it from the battlefield.

You may consider taking the Banewolf if you would like to melt 3+ armour.  It should be noted however that the regular Hellhound can do some good work too simply by stacking up the wounds on those units.

The Devil Dog strikes me as a bit lack-lustre, given that a blast template often scatters off the intended target, and you’re only swinging at BS3.

Weaknesses:

All tanks have problems when assaulted, and this seems to be doubly true for the Hellhound which needs to be up in the enemy’s grill in order to do some damage.  Marines can punch it to death on the rear armour, as well as the Mob of Orkz you just rushed in to vaporize.

Synopsis:

The Hellhound is great as a flanker, or blocking unit.  If you rush it up the middle, you might kill 8-10 Orkz before your 125 point doom-tank is rendered into an expanding fireball.  It is VERY tempting to do this every damned game.  Resist.  RESIST!

Where this unit shines is area denial (psychological threat bubble), late-game objective capturing, and piling BS-independent, near automatic wounds on units at AP4.

You'll see people go to great lengths to make sure this unit departs the table early.
You’ll see people go to great lengths to make sure this unit departs the table early.

I’ve been considering taking two lately to double the panic attack.  =)

Grade: A-  — Won’t kill its point value necessarily, but will certainly make its presence felt on the battlefield, whether it be capturing objectives or generally being a headache for your opponent.

Sentinels

A WIP of the Sentinels.  I've really got to finish them off sometime.
A WIP of the Sentinels. I’ve really got to finish them off sometime.

Strengths:

Sentinels only got buffed with price reductions for 7th edition, and in-so-doing became a much more viable and versatile source of mobile heavy weapons.  Armoured Sentinels got a LOT cheaper, sporting a sexier AV12 on the front which would annoy the hell out of anything S6 and below in assault.

That’s about it really.  These guys bring 3 additional heavy weapons to the table, and are much more difficult to remove from the table than heavy weapon squads.  What more do you need?

Weaknesses:

Their own Plasma Cannons.

Synopsis:

Scout Sentinels appear to be lacking in the durability department, and with the Armoured Sentinels being only 5 points more for a 2 point AV improvement, enclosed compartment, and access to Plasma Cannons, it’s a bit of a no brainer.  You won’t really miss out-flanking them that much anyways.

Nothing’s nicer than bogging down power-fist-less assault marines or beast blobs with these beauties.  If you need to buy Pask one more turn of shooting, consider running them in front of the Leman Russes when Abaddon’s knocking on the door.

SENTINELS DOING WORK.
SENTINELS DOING WORK.

Effective blocking for assault defence is crucial for the Guard, and having a nice group of throw-away units to bubble wrap your important units is absolutely essential.

Grade: A+ 


 

I’m going to leave it here for now… But I’ll start again with the Valkyries / Vendettas perhaps sometime next week.

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