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Armoured Companies: An Analysis.
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Old 28 Dec 2006, 20:24   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Xenephobic presents:

[size=16pt]Armoured Companies: An Analysis.[/size]

Now I'm not usually one to write something like this, but seeing as I've trawled over the Imperial Guard threads (theres an insanely large amount of stuff on this board) There have only been a few articles on Imperial Guard Armoured Companies. Lots of info on Armoured Battlegroups, but not very much on Armoured Companies themselves.

So for starters I suppose we must answer that most basic question...

What is an Armoured Company?

Well the Armoured Company is a varient Imperial Guard list published in White Dwarf, but now reproduced for us by Games Workshop in a handy .pdf file available on both there UK and US websites (links are below).

Click Here (UK)

Click Here (US)

Now onto the next question: How does this list differ from the Armoured Battlegroups?

The Armoured Battlegroups list appears in Imperial Armour Volume 1 (or IA1) and offers more in the way of flexability and allows you to field an altogether more 'realistic' tank force, however it does suffer some drawbacks - These are discussed elsewhere (see Wargamers article on Armoured Battlegroups)

The Armoured Company is a "Lite" version of the list and is designed for more general play - what's more its free, making it an easy way to start playing with an army of Imperial Guard Tanks!

There are two major differences between the Armoured Battlegroups list and the Armoured Company list.

Firstly there is the list itself:

The List

In the armoured company list you have some fairly simple choices.

[hr]

[size=12pt]HQ[/size]

First you have one HQ choice to take(the Armoured Battlegroups List has 4):

The Command Tank
So what do we get for our points then? Well the command tank has one defining feature - BS 4 - but your paying a premium for that, but considering that a BS4 tank is evil then you get what you pay for. Being rather expensive then naturally you will want to mount him in a cheap tank and lucky for us the two tanks that benefit the most from BS 4 are also the cheapest!

First up we have The Exterminator. Now as anti troop tanks go this is one of the best - In order to maximise its killing potential you have to give it Hull and Sponson Heavy Bolters, and a pintle Heavy Stubber. Why you might ask, should i do this? Well the ability to fire 14 shots a turn is what make the tank truely scary. Deploy one of these and whats squads of men fall like corn before a scythe - its a warm feeling.

However for just a few points more we have the other contender to mount him in: The Conqueror.
Now the Conquerer actually outputs more shots than an exterminator - providing you follow the standard practice of giving it hull and sponson Heavy Bolters and the pintle Heavy Stubber. How might you ask can it do this? Well simple first we get 9 shots from the heavy bolters, then 2 from the coaxial stormbolter, then 3 from the heavy stubber and the single shot from the conquer cannon itself - for a nice total of 15. Also the conqueror cannon should catch on average three models under its blast making this tank the perfect anti-infantry weapon.

Also note that the main guns on these tanks arn't ordnance - allowing them to move 6" and still fire all their guns.

Also a nice little extra is that as the Command tank you can upgrade to the Company Command tank (for no extra cost) therefore gaining the Improved Comms upgrade (for free) as well (did I mention its free?).

[hr]

[size=12pt]Elites[/size]

Next you only have three Elites choices:

The Tank Ace
Well these fellows allow you to get more BS4 shooty death - only cheaper! Whats not to like?
As with the command tank the first choices that leap out are the Exterminator and Conqueror (explained above) however, they have access to two other rather nice tanks:

The Vanquisher: This is the true multi-role tank, its Vanquisher Battle cannon has the option to fire both ordinary Battle cannon rounds, or a special AT shell - think a meltabomb but with a 96" range. The AT part stands for Anti-Tank and that fufills this role quite nicely - plus it has the option to move (if only 6") and shoot this which gives it greater flexability than a standard russ armed with the AT Shell upgrade (see later).

It's a costly beast (the most expensive of all the Armoured Comapany Tanks infact) so your going to be forced to run them cheap.

However for a few points less we have The Destroyer Tank Hunter. This is the true "Sniper Tank" armed with its Laser Destroyer its the death of other tanks on the battlefield - however its quite effective against heavily armoured troops as well (terminators).

On the whole though its best to keep your Aces cheap and mobile - so I would recommend equiping then in Exterminators or Conqueror's.

Techpriest Engiseers: Well two options are open if you choose to take a servant of the Machine God -
  • Use him as a firebase - give him Heavy Bolter armed servitors and upgrade his Chimera to have a Heavy Bolter Turret and Hull - allowing for a lot of shots.
  • A mobile mechanic - give him 4 technical servitors and let him wonder around in relative safety behind your tanks, patching them up as and when they get broken.

Storm Troopers: Ahhh the only real infantry in an Armoured Company, useful for taking objectives but suffer from the only thing that the rest of your army doesn't - they arn't in tanks (apart from their Chimera) so once their out then they can be shot up - and seeing as the vast majority of guns out there can't touch your tanks then these elite (yet squishy) warriors will soon be targeted. However they have BS 4, so can throw up some fairly acurate firepower - unfortunately its not as effective as what your tanks tend to be armed with.

[hr]

[size=12pt]Troops[/size]

Now for the Troops....Tanks!

For every Command Tank or Tank Ace you take, you are entitled to take up to 2 "basic" Tanks. These come in three flavours, the first two are covered above where as the third (and proberbly best choice for troops) is covered below:

Leman Russ: Ahhh the mighty Russ, what can I say this is the Guard tank. Solid and dependable, its a multi-role tank - well suited in either vaporisng squads of infantry thanks to the Battle Cannon, or Armour (again thanks to is Battle Cannon or hull mounted lascannon) this tank is the mainstay of your force.

I recomend equiping it with sponson heavy bolters, as in an armoured company its the volume of firepower that you can bring rather than quality. Loose the Battle Cannon and you revove one of its roles, however if its got sponson Heavy Bolters and a hull mounted Lascannon its still able to fufil those roles.

The Golden Rule of the Armoured Company: Sponsons MUST be taken.

[hr]

[size=12pt]Fast Attack[/size]

Well what does Fast attack have to offer us?

First up the ever dependable Sentinel.

Sentinals can be configured for a variety of roles, but in an Armoured company they only have one real role to fill and that is Anti-Tank.

Equip them with Lascannons and then let them start the hunting. Using your sentinals in this way allows for your tanks to conentrate on the thing that they do best - Killing Infantry.

As lets face it, given a choice of hitting that squad of marines - or the tank next to them, your going to want to fire that Battle Cannon at the marines nine times out of ten.

Recon tanks covers a small variety of "fast" tanks.

First up The Hellhound: This is the torch tank, leathal against infantry thanks to that Inferno cannon that they all carry around. It can move up to 12" and still fire this monster, meaning that its reach is long and the ability to place that template makes it a thing to be feared - plus its no longer an open topped vehicle!

I would say if your going to take one then take three - then laugh as you B.B.Q your opponents infanty from half way across the board.

Next is the Salamander: Speedy and Cheap (for a Tank) these can be used as a nice replacement for Sentinels and they are quick! As a Fast vehicle they can zip forwards 12" and still shoot that Autocannon of theirs - making them perfect for getting around terrain to capture objectives or target weak rear armour.

Finaly under Recon we have the humble Chimera: The back bone of the transport tanks, better than a Rhino or Razorback, they have a wide variety of options ranging from light Anti-Tank (multilaser) or Anti-Infantry (heavy bolter/heavy flamer turret and hull) Cheap - but you get what you pay for - a cheap tank.

Final choice under Fast Attack is the Armoured Fist Squad.

Essentially a cheaper option than the Storm Troopers - they do what Storm troopers do, only worse but for less points (but not much). Use to capture objectives, hold them back till turn 5/6 then rush them forward to capture/contest.

[hr]

[size=12pt]Heavy Support[/size]

So in an army of mostly tanks what comes under Heavy Support?

We have two options:

Support Tanks: Of this there are three types - of these two are covered above.

However the other tank available is what many Guard players love, The Demolisher.

This tank is the true heavy weapons platform - its Demolisher cannon throws out a pie plate that can and does literaly remove what you place it on. And should your opponent manage to remove this fearsome weapon, then its sponsen weapons arn't to be laughed at either - the best configeration is plasmaguns - giving the tank all round AP 2 death.

Finally we have the Artillery Tanks.

These come in two types:

First we have the mighty Basilisk: The Artillery tank, nothing beats shelling the hell out of the enemy from across the board....behind a hill....on the other table. Yes its mighty Earthshaker can be used to lob shells over miles of board - literaly, but as an offensive tank its not to be laughed at - true its not got much in the way of armour, but give it an armoured crew compartment and it will still make a mess of something....for a turn or two at least.

But lets face it - if your opponent has anything left after two turns of shooting from an armoured company then either - hes the jamiest git ever - or your luck went out down the toilet.

And lastly we have the cheaper (but still to be feared) Griffon.

This is a tried and tested infantry killer, although slightly weaker than most other ordnance weapons - its still an ordnance weapon - and one that for its cost can still remove squads of troops without breaking sweat from across the board and behind a hill. And should you be lucky enough to be playing a battle that has bunkers then these little babies come with Siege shells - or "Bunker Busters".

Fire a few of those off and there won't be anything left of those bunkers other than a smoking crater.

As you can see the list itself gives you a few choices (but not as much as the Armoured Battlegroups) concentrating on the most "common" tanks of the Imperial Guard - the rarer tanks are covered in IA 1.

[hr]

However the most noticable difference between the lists are the Doctrines:

[size=12pt]The Doctrines[/size]

Now as any Guard player will tell you the Doctrines give them the flexability to customise there forces to their hearts desire - and its no different in the Armoured Company List either.

The Armoured Company list follows the same format as the Imperial Guard Codex with its Doctrines, in that you only can make five choices.

Firstly we have Rare Troops.

Now where the List itself offers you all the options to take these wonderful tanks, you can only take them if you first expend a choice to do so. Now this can either limit your choice or grant you a very wide one depending on how many Doctrine points you want to spend - fairly straight forward yes?

Under Rare troops we have:
  • Techpriest Enginseers
  • Salamander Scout Vehicle
  • Destroyer Tank Hunter
  • Vanquisher
  • Exterminator
  • Conqueror
  • Griffon Mortar

Up next are the Organisational Doctrines. These effect the selections that you can make in the list (Essentially changing what kind of Armoured Company you will be fielding.) These come in two choices:

The Siege Regiment: What you have here is basically Artillery....lots of Artillery. Your command and Tank Aces loose their choice of tanks swapping them instead for Chimeras, but in return you can take Artillery tanks (Basilisks or Griffons) as Troops.

The other option is Heavy Armour.

This allows you to take lots - and I mean lots of tanks - by sacrificing the ability to take all of your fast attack or artillery tanks you in turn can take basic tanks in those slots. Quite literaly an armour heavy list.

[size=12pt]Skills and Drills:[/size]

Unlike the IA1 counterparts the skills and drills open to an Armoured Company can be used more than once (unless stated in the description) and allow you a lot of choice - however if you choose to take them then you need to ensure that you spend an equal amount of points on your Command and Ace Tanks (Aces High special rule) so if you want to give your basic tanks 30 points of skills then you would need to give your commander and Ace tanks 30 points of skills also. Sounds good yes - so lets look at those skills in more detail.

Choices available to you include:

Evasive Driving: Every tank will invarably get assaulted by something during the course of a game, however with this skill if your tanks was moving in your last turn, then this can hurt - or if your lucky kill a few of the assaulting unit - by crushing them under its tracks!

Usefull against assault based army, but it's 10 points better spent elsewhere.

Ace Sponson Gunners: If your tank gets assaulted your sponsen gunners will open up on the attacker at I 10. So before any blows are struck you shoot them with the sponson. Usefull on demolishers but not on much else - unless combined with the Improved Sponson weaponry upgrade. 10 points per tank.

Anti-tank rounds: Equip your basic tanks (or any tank with a Battle Cannon) with a vanquisher's AT shell - however your at reduced range (Battlecannon) and have to be stationary to fire it. Might be usefull if your facing lots of other armour or can't afford to invest in a Vanquisher. 20 points per tank.

Ace Driver: Now at first this might not seam a usefull skill, the ability to ignore dificult terrain if moving up to 6" or reroll it if over 6". But at 15 points its vital to a "Cavalry tank" - by that I mean Exterminators or Conquerors and a much better investment than Rough Terrain Modifications.

Crush and Grind: Always disliked how usless that Tank shock skill was? Well for 15 points per tank, your tanks now do what tanks should do when they tank shock....Crush infantry! D6 S4 hits on the unit before it can choose to react to the tankshock. Unfortunately its limited to one unit per turn per tank - no running over units i'm affraid - that takes at least two turns - after all the driver has to reverse over the unit at least once!

Ace Gunners: Ahhh now we come to the most expensive "skill" and weighing in at 25 points per tank - it is expensive - however you get the sharpshooters skill....for a tank so all in all your more accurate (you can even re-roll the scatter dice on ordnance! - just scatter not distance.) So take it if your ablity to roll ones is becoming famous.

Thats it for the skills, some are quite usefull others arn't as - however you can use them more than once, which makes them better value than the ones in the Armoured Battlegroups list.

[size=12pt]Equipment Doctrines:[/size] Much like the Guard Codex they give you access to alternative equipment - but for Tanks.

Improved Sponson Weaponry: At 5 points per standard leman Russ - this seams to be quite a usefull upgrade. Basically give all your standard leman russ tanks, demolisher sponsons - however the cost will soon mount up especially with the more powerful weapons choices.

Overcharged Engines: 15 points allows your tanks to move an extra 6" after a difficult terrain test - however if you do you can't shoot, or disembark troops. Not really worth it to be honest.

Forge crafted is up next - After rubbing some extra strong oil into the tanks armour and for 20 points you get the ability once per game to force an opponent to re-roll the damage dice on your tank. Again not realy worth it.

Side skirts: Having bolted on extra armoured plates creating essentiall a shield arround the side of your tank you can for 15 points, add +1 to the armour value on the tanks side armour - but only against shooting attacks. Possibly worth it, should you find your tanks dying to often from that sneaky missile to the side.

Machine Gods Blessing: At the fairly expensive cost of 25 points per tank, you essentially remove the ability for lance weapons to hurt you as much. Very good against eldar, not very good against anything else.

Anti-Mag: Ever seen that bit in Saving Private Ryan, where the soldiers soak their socks in grease and fill them full of explosive, so that they stick to tanks tracks? Well so has the crew of this tank - for a mere 10 points, they have sprayed the entire tank in non stick oil, meaning that no grenade or meltabomb will sitck to the tank, allowing you a 4+ save against them.

Reinforced Ceramite Armour Essentially Anti-Melta paint. For the pricy cost of 30 points per tank you are immune to the melta effect - so no additional penatration dice are rolled should you be within half distance (includes meltabombs).

[hr]

Now while the above are usefull, you will find that they rarely make an apperance...why might you ask?

The answer is quite simple - Cost.

The Armoured Company list, like the Armoured Battlegroups list is expensive. After all your looking at a minimum of 140 points for your basic battle tanks (the meat and veg of the Armoured Company - after all its a tank army!), But you will find that in 1500 points your fielding on average 9 - 10 models.

Upgrades are expensive - but in most cases needed (sponsons are a prime example - always take them) and the more you have the less points you have to spend on Tanks.

Doctrines and Upgrades are really only viable in larger games (1850-2000+) when you have a larger buffer of points to use. However some can prove really usefull to take (Ace Driver on your Command and Tank Aces in Exterminators or Conquerors for example) make them worth taking in smaller point games.

The Armoured Company list can be used in any game of 40k, quite happily - but it can be quite a shock to take out that many tanks....however the best games are against another tank company!

Xen.

[hr]

Edited to allow a more complete analysis.

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Old 29 Dec 2006, 11:39   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Erm...I'm not really sure what to say about this one. I didn't know the Armoured Company list was any different to the Armoured Battlegroup list until I read this, so thanks for that, the doctrines could make for some interesting Armoured Companies...but other than that, you've not really given us any extra information, tactical advice or insight.

I mean, comments like "Anti-Mag - Them sticky bombs don't stick" doesn't help us very much. We need to know whether it's worth paying for Anti-Mag and against what opponents it is most worthwhile. We can all determine exactly what an upgrade does and how much it costs by taking a look at the army list, but the army list doesn't give us any insight into an option's actual value; that's what we need you for.

A good tactica should take you through the main strategies available to the player and then explain what units and upgrades work best to support such a strategy, and in what capacity. Do you see what I mean?
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Old 29 Dec 2006, 14:56   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Erm...I'm not really sure what to say about this one. I didn't know the Armoured Company list was any different to the Armoured Battlegroup list until I read this, so thanks for that, the doctrines could make for some interesting Armoured Companies...but other than that, you've not really given us any extra information, tactical advice or insight.

I mean, comments like "Anti-Mag - Them sticky bombs don't stick" doesn't help us very much. We need to know whether it's worth paying for Anti-Mag and against what opponents it is most worthwhile. We can all determine exactly what an upgrade does and how much it costs by taking a look at the army list, but the army list doesn't give us any insight into an option's actual value; that's what we need you for.

A good tactica should take you through the main strategies available to the player and then explain what units and upgrades work best to support such a strategy, and in what capacity. Do you see what I mean?
Yeah i do - unfortunately i sort of started it with gusto then it lost momentum - well it was late and i'd been at work all day lol - anyhow i'll fix it over the next few days - as i'm about to move house - fun fun fun.
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Old 29 Dec 2006, 15:04   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Yes that's pretty nice doh will be cool some tactics, use and direfenr pros and cons agains certain armies.

I say this cause my self, i'm interested on an armored company list, witch i had started with 3 lemas russ and 1 chimera at the moment (and keep growing ) to make my first AC list.
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Old 29 Dec 2006, 23:18   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

i currently have a 1000pt ACompany.

i have to say, although a little bit cheesy, its very effective!

as i dont have any troops whatsoever in my amry (i,e no armoured fist squads) it gets annoying due to not having many models on the board, but the joy of annihilating a landraider in the 1st turn with my vanquisher is just pure joy!
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Old 30 Dec 2006, 11:56   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

armoured companies remind me of the7th panxer division "the ghost division"
i love them..only problem is,...
THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE!!
aproximate 11 tanks for 1500points?,possibly more..
tanks are too expensive where i'm from...sadly..
around $50 for a leman russ!
sigh...too expensive for me.. :'( :'(
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Old 01 Jan 2007, 14:41   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

May have to try this out.
Should give my opponents a bit of a shock.
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Old 02 Jan 2007, 11:42   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warped_one
May have to try this out.
Should give my opponents a bit of a shock.

and thats the drawback...finding an opponent.

i intend on selling all my IG infantry, so i can afford to bolster up my ture AC army (no foot troops!) but so far all my usual opponents have said "no" to playing the ACarmy as they see it as to cheesy
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Old 05 Jan 2007, 09:20   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Updated with a more complete outlook - still had to shave some of the fat (20,000 words are to easy to fill)

But should provide a more true analysis.
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Old 05 Jan 2007, 16:36   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Armoured Companies: An Analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenephobic
Updated with a more complete outlook - still had to shave some of the fat (20,000 words are to easy to fill)

But should provide a more true analysis.
Do you actually use your Basilisks as tanks then, in the conventional sense? Ie. rumbling around shooting at things? I wouldn't dare risk my artillery in such a fashion; I wouldn't have thought they were sufficiently protected for that sort of thing.
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When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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