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Armoured Companies
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 03:20   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Armoured Companies

I have a few questions regarding Armoured Companies. First, they are in chapter approved, so I assume that they are official and may be used in tournaments and such?

Moreso than that, I want to know if people think Armoured Companies are cheesy. It really seems like being able to potentially nullify half of an opponents weaponry due to being able to take an entire army of AV 12-14 seems really, really, cheesy. I like the idea of an armoured company but if you go with Russes and maybe Basilisks or Hellhounds all the way through a good portion of any opposing army will be useless (read: firewarriors, gaunts, DE warriors, guardians, most IG infantry, stealth suits, bolter marines, CC marines, etc. etc.). Am I missing something? Are armoured companies cheesy or am I just overestimating the power of that many tanks? Is this just something that you're supposed to be prepared for and deal with the tough luck of most basic units being nullified?

Any opinions welcome!
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 03:46   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

You are definitely overestimating. Tanks can be easily brought down when you figure out how. All you have to do is hit the SIDES and the BACK. Everyone who I talk to about tanks only thinks about the front, and then proceeds to whine about how "cheesy" they think they are.
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 03:58   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Hitting the side or the back is not always as easy as you make it sound. Tanks with 72 inch range or more really have no reason to expose their side or the front. 72 inches is nearly corner to corner on a standard 6 by 4 table. With ordnance ignoring cover there's not a lot you can do against those AP3 battle cannons. And yes, I know, tanks can be brought down, but hardly any army is really prepared for such a large number of tanks. No leadership is needed to target those valuble anti-tank units and with 72 inch range ignoring cover, the only thing those poor AT guys have going for them is a bad scatter. The best thing you can do is deep strike and even then, in one round of shooting you'll at most destroy a single tank, and then proceed to bleed on the armoured companies turn when they decide it's time for them to die.

I still think armoured companies look cheesy. They can be constructed in a non cheesy way, but it is so easy to take battle tanks for troops, vanquisher for HQ and sit back.
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 04:33   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Actually once I faced an AC list and deep struck a squad of terminators right behind them. The then proceeded to shoot me with battle cannons only for them to scatter and hit the other Russ's and basilisk in close proximity. I only lost 1 termie in that turn ;D
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 05:10   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Ordnance ignores cover? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that might be incorrect, at least for most items.

It's true that an Armored Company can literally be nothing more than a massive (and massively painful) firing squad of multi-metric megaton shells, bombarding anything that so much as sneezes in the wrong direction. The trick in battling such a force is to make it play your game, and not his own.

First, take a good look at the strengths of the Armored Company: thick armor, multiple ordnance barrages, reasonable maneuverability.

However, take the weaknesses into account as well: *Very* few numbers, limited flexibility, limited tactical options.

A tank army up against an infantry heavy enemy has its work cut out for it, in all honesty. The key weapon (the battle cannon) is not perfectly reliable due to the nature of scatter. While a tank *can* park and just hurl out gunfire all day, that method of combat will not work well unless the AC is trying to defend an objective... In which case, the tanks' ability to maneuver may be sorely compromised.

Also, the tactical options: The Armored Company can only rarely take advantage of forests, bunkers, and other sorts of infantry-only variety terrain. The only way it can gain access to Deep Strike or Infiltration benefits is to take a unit of Storm Troopers, and (if mounted in a transport) even that might not be a sure thing. Fighting the Iron Fist becomes fairly simple from that point: His battle plan can be predicted almost before the start of the game.

Armored Companies suffer from the classic dificulty in facing infantry: hand to hand combat. Obviously, a tank can't do a lot to stop Private Johnny from marching up with a Krak grenade, planting it on the rear of the machine, and skipping off without so much as a buy-your leave. The same applies to Terminators, Striking Scorpions, Sisters of Battle, and various other kill-crazy Chaos champions. Literally the only defense of the tanks is to kill anything that looks as though it might come too close, and when you have three or four possible charges coming next round, even the titanic firepower of the AC can be overwhelmed with too many targets.

Most infantry weapons will be useless against an AC force, and for good reason; as few in number as the tank corps is, it couldn't possibly survive 150 "maybe glancing" hits from an Imperial Guard Flashlight Salute. On the other hand, those infantry platoons don't have to choose between firing or advancing anymore; they can just march forward and seize objectives, make a nuisance of themselves, and generally be in the way. If the scenario allows, those "useless" infantrymen could be earning Victory Points by the truckload.

If the worst case comes and your army simply can't kill the enemy tanks, it becomes a battle of maneuver; if you can't move, *and* can't outshoot him... Well, now you realize how the opponents of Erwin Rommel and George Patton felt!

Good luck in your games. Remember, no opponent is impossible to defeat; strategy can make the difference!

Cheers!
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 05:25   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Zoomer, I checked the rulebook and I believe you are right. It says nothing about all ordnance ignoring cover and as a confirmation, I checked the rules for template weapons where they do specifically state that they ignore cover.

Thank you also, for the good look at the actual effectiveness of an Armoured Company. I hadn't taken into account the extra maneuverability standard infantry benefit from. I don't think this really makes up for what they lose what with no LOS ordnance and whatnot, but it definitely gives me hope for those poor souls.

While I still think that armored companies may have the edge in various games, I bet my negative predisposition of them comes from being a tyranid player where cover and poor AT weaponry is all we've got. But I suppose if the TMCs can make it into combat and a swarm of genestealers can rend the tank to pieces, I may be better off than most!

Well, onto my next question - which would be more effective / fun / challenging / anything; just a broad comparison: an Armored Company, or Standard IG with the Mechanised and Grenadiers doctrines?
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 10:05   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Onle of the biggest perks of the Armored company is having tanks with BS4. This is great for vanquishers exterminators and destroyer tank hunters.

The only real weakness of the AC is its hand to hand deficiency, which is its main similarity to vanilla Guard. However, it actually lacks the firepower and resilience of an infantry heavy list. Infantry armies can absorb casualties, giving your opponent a feeling of success as tehy wipe out 10 guys a turn... wow 60pts. Any casualty on an AC is a significant % of the list. There is also the small problem of every single army having some sort of affordable "tank hunter" ability where every weapon suddenly acts like a can opener on imperial tanks.

AC is at its peak of power @ 1000pts, when the opponent cannot take sufficient tank popping guns and or characters. It is more balanced at 1500, and more or less even at 2000, where its own weakness against elite characters and deep strikers can be exploited more.

As to the mechanised company option: mounting all your troops in Chimeras would make them mobile. Personally, Id say leave that to the Tau. Moving a guard army around denies its true strength- heavy weapon fire. All mechanisation will do is get you into close combat sooner- suicide in most situations.

However, if you can quickly drive your armored fist squads to objectives and set up Heavy bolters and Missile Launchers...
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 19:02   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

I suppose you're right, Weasel. I was coming to that conclusion myself - mobility is fun - but the Tau are just better. I think I may stick to just having mobile storm trooper squads.

And that is the appeal of mechanised - however there is no need for ALL of the infantry to be so mobile. Armoured fists and storm troopers can get there, while the infantry wont have to waste points on transports and can continue to serve as fire support.

Any more opinions on armoured companies and their pro's and cons to IG with lots of mechanised units? Armored companies can do the same thing - taking stormtroopers and armoured fist squads. Would that help balance out the weaknesses of an Armoured Company?

EDIT By the way, nobody answered my original question - Are Armoured Companies tournament legal? I assume they are, they're in chapter approved 2004 but I just want to make sure.

EDIT EDIT
Another question that came to me - can Armoured Companies take doctrines as normal Imperial Guard? I want to say no because a lot of doctrines wouldn't even be usable, but lots of special equipment or a doctrine like grenadiers could be put to use to represent different things.
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Old 05 Jan 2006, 04:37   #9 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Sorry it took so long to reply.


AC *is* tournament legal, though some may make local rules saying otherwise. Armored Companies have their own specific doctrines and special equipment that they may take, and do not use the normal charts or Doctrines of the Imperial Guard unless the AC rules state specfically otherwise.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05 Jan 2006, 08:34   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies

Armoured Companies are much like Marines; no obvious weaknesses at first glance.

However, like Marines, give them to an idiot and they will lose.

AC generals have to know how their tanks work. You have to know what is junk and what is worth it's weight in gold. Don't touch the Doctrines, they are designed to lure the magpies in. Stick with your standard Russ, and remember 165pts; you should rarely need to spend more than that on a tank.
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