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Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)
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Old 09 May 2006, 16:33   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

I know a lot of people who say rough riders are never worth using, mainly because the models cost too much for the points. I use a squad of 5 of them on bikes, and Ive never seen a game where they hadn't got their points back. They've killed heroes (necron lords, ork warbosses, Sm masters etc), monoliths, a couple of dreadnoughts and sometimes whole squads of marines. This post is kinda like saying why i use them, possibly tempting you into using them. I'm no expert and any other peoples comments would be appreciated

The Squad

I only use 5 of them, but this is simply because i cant afford to buy more. I equip them like this:

5 rough riders
Veteran Sergeant
Honorifica Imperialis
Power Weapon
Bionics
Melta Bombs
Hunting Lances

This squad cost a little more than 120 pts, fairly expensive for 5 models in a guard army, but easily affordable in 1500 pts

How i use them

My method really depends upon the situation. Generally i use them as counter assault, generally in conjunction with my HSO. I find this particularly effective against speed freaks. I deploy them a small way back, so they generally dont get immediately assaulted.
If i get the first turn, i simply open up every gun in the army, trying to destroy as many of the trucks as i could. If i don't, then i get assaulted straight away, unless i deploy only 9" into the deployment zone (12" setup, 12" move, red ones go faster +1", turbo boost or whatever its called D6", assuming 6 for this because at least one always does, get out of tank 2", Assault 6": total move 39) When the inevitable assault comes, i hope that die hoards and iron discipline will get me through the leadership test, and then counterassault. The counter assault force is the HSO squad and a squad of rough riders.

If i can I'll assault the warboss' retinue, and automatically strike first with the rough riders (I5 with lances) The 4 standard men will get a hit each and wound 2 or 3 times (on average). This squad usually is heavily equipped with decent armour, so this is about 50 points worth. Then the Sergeant attacks and causes another 2 wounds (another 35 ish points). The senior officers squad has one with a plasma gun 3 veterans with cc weapon and laspistol, so on the charge they get 11 normal people attacks, another wound caused and the HSO gets another wound, a total of 6 or 7 wounds, and that kills 3 of his squad. His attacks back kill about 4 or 5 people, but i still win the combat. The next turn i make more counter charges (a guard mass charge is FUN), as even if all his squads get into combat ill still have about 3 squads left unengaged Eventually the last few get dragged down, but it was the first turn that won the combat, and meant he didn't get to pick his targets and charge. Sometimes this tactic fails, but it fits in with my favoured method of fighting, the all or nothing, and its turning up as all more and more.

Sometimes however, this isn't viable, for example, when I'm against tau, or dark eldar, when i dont have the initiative advantage. Another time is when my opponent has a lot of tanks, which is my second tactic, the

Tank hunters
This tactic is exactly what it says on the tin, its about finding tanks, and blowing them. I advance in cover, usually down the flank, while slowly pushing forward with the rest of the force. When i get close enough, i make the potential 18" charge and get into combat. 5 melta bomb attack is usually enough to seriously cripple any tank, even a land raider, monolith etc. Most tanks that they try this on are worth more than 120 pts, and if they take a land raider or a monolith then they have got more than double their points back. Again the all or nothing approach, and i find it pays off.

Claiming objectives
Their aren't many guard players who will happily move a lot of their army around, so in any missions they need something to claim table quarters. The rough riders fill this roll for me, finding a place behind a forest or something like that where they cant be shot, and if someone enters the quarter, try for a charge if shooting isn't working. I find the importantthing here is not to make stupid mistakes. Don't forget that there are a lot of things that cant claim table quarters. Not my favourite tactic, because they don't get a chance to use their assault potential, which admittedly isn't as much as some other squads, but is still reasonable.

Conclusion
Rough riders are really the ultimate all or nothing unit. If they succeed they can change the course of the game. If they don't, then they... change the course of the game. I like this in a unit, so i rarely have a game without them. (it helps that i hardly ever use any other fast attack... although i like hellhounds)

Any thoughts welcome. If anyones interested and i don't get too many people wanting to kill me for this (its my first attempt at a tactica) i might add some statistics.

Thanks for reading
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Old 09 May 2006, 17:05   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

Honorifica Imperialis does not grant access to officer-only items. So no power sword. Other than that, nice writeup.

Personally, I use mine for three things. First of all, I equip mine with laspistol and ccw, not hunting lances, and not shotguns.

The first use is to tie up shooty squads, then die as slowly as possible. I'd rather have my rough riders get beat over the head with four missile launchers than have 4 frag templates in my heavy weapons squads or have 4 krak missiles slamming into my tanks, see? The best way is to hit one end of a spread out dev squad. That way, it's 18 IG attacks (6 rough riders) against 2-3 marine attacks. Then the sides consolidate into each other and the marines of course have the advantage...but they'll miss at least one shooting phase, probably two, before they disentangle themselves...and lose a few marines in the process. Generally, the rough riders almost make up their points in marines, killing 4 before they go down. But the 2 turns of devastators not being able to shoot are the real payoff. Of course, against other armies, YMMV. 6 rough riders versus 12 fire warriors is going to be a vicious slaughter. Against khorne, they may not find a target at all.

The second purpose is to lead the enemy astray. Several armies have units that must charge after the nearest enemy. Isn't it too bad when that nearest enemy is faster than you...and moving away from his own lines? In a similar fashion, rough riders can draw fire (through failed tests) away from heavy weapons squads...though it would be foolish to try to screen normal line squads in this way.

The third use is mobility. In "needle in a haystack" scenarios where it's imperative to be the first to discover which of several markers hides the true objective, that 12" move is a godsend. Similarly, when objective markers can move with the capturing unit, rough riders can drag them back towards your firing line. And, of course, they can be held back and protected for use as endgame objective crashers.

I really believe that thinking solely in terms of "quick, sacrifice them for their hunting lances before they get uselessly shot" is...limiting, at best, and only really useful against MEQs. I love it when lances show up against my own IG...
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Old 09 May 2006, 20:16   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

As to the honorifica, rough rider sergeants can take power swords anyway so im safe. Thanks for the ideas.

I can see your point about giving them laspistol and close combat weapon, but i prefer hunting lances and use them as cavalry really are, shock charge unit, but dead if they get tied down in combat
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Originally Posted by Utsujin
Dark Eldar are just not played, but they are doing fine, pirates love to be unseen, plus pirates have parrots.
Nothing in life is forever, but none of your deeds were in vain
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Old 09 May 2006, 20:17   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

Quote:
Originally Posted by march10k
Honorifica Imperialis does not grant access to officer-only items. So no power sword. Other than that, nice writeup.
rough rider sergeants can take them anyways, same as storm trooper sergeants.

i use mine with maxed out squads, melta guns and shotguns. cheap assault soldiers who will always pack a punched before going down.
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Old 09 May 2006, 21:55   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

I don't know about this squad. Every time I see them played they are just easy VP for the opponent. With the 5+ armor save or lack of armor save yet 1/4 more points and their small squad size means they get killed easily.

Thinking about it, I don't think I have ever seen a RR squad actually reach CC but that is my experience
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Old 10 May 2006, 17:03   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

Everyone i play against sees them as easy victory points and, this is the important thing, don't shoot at them.
People are wierd!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsujin
Dark Eldar are just not played, but they are doing fine, pirates love to be unseen, plus pirates have parrots.
Nothing in life is forever, but none of your deeds were in vain
Deep in our hearts you will live again, you're gone to the home of the brave
R.I.P Kangaroo Joe
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Old 11 May 2006, 14:02   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

A unit of 5 rough riders w/ lances costs 55 points. If your opponent kills them, well, ok, you lost 55 points. That's really not a lot. I wouldn't spend any points on the sgt. at all. You get one good charge, and expect to lose them.

The key to using them is to place them wisely. With a 12" charge range (and fleet), you can pretty much keep them behind terrain (or behind a tank) until your opponent gets in range. You should never get charged first, you've got a huge charge range.

You're not playing an assault army. Your goal is not to get into combat as soon as possible, it's to shoot as much as possible. If you're nice and shooty, your opponent will generally try to assault you, to stop your guns. So they'll come to you, which is when the Rough Riders pounce.

Trying to run them across the field as a first-strike won't work. That's not how to use this unit. They're ineffective as a seek&destroy unit. You're playing guard. You have lascannons, why do you need to expose your counter-assault unit to try and slap bombs on enemy tanks, you should be lighting them up at range.

That said, they can be a good first-strike in an assault-army, but I think that's more the case in inducted guard in inquisitional lists, not in pure guard, which really lacks a second-wave to follow up their initial punch.

In my Witchhunter army, my inducted rough riders will often run behind my penitent engines, which, as vehicles, block line of sight to the rough riders. The rough riders get better charge range, so they're generally able to lock up my opponent in assault a turn before the penitents would get there, and then the penitents clean up what's left.
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Old 11 May 2006, 16:13   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rough Riders (kinda tactics but not really)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard
A unit of 5 rough riders w/ lances costs 55 points. If your opponent kills them, well, ok, you lost 55 points. That's really not a lot.
for those 55 points you could almost buy yourself a full guard squad which would last twice as long as the rough riders. in the shooting phase they are nothing more than expensive guardsmen, and you opponent will munch them up. rough riders are gamble. if they charge they are one of the greatest units we've got. if they get charged they're crap, if they end up on the open they are free VPs.
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