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Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis
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Old 04 Dec 2007, 01:46   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 9,460
Default Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis

Edit: I wanted to make a basic comparison of the AB and AC lists without getting to technical. Spawned from one of the other threads talking about them. Feel free to critique and criticize my analysis!

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Armoured Companies v. Armoured Battlegroups: The Showdown of the Century

Cost:

The Armored Company has an obvious advantage here, as it is freely available on the games workshop website (Go to the Guard section and click on “Armored Company” under “Gaming”). The Armoured Battlegroup list is only available in Imperial Armour 1, which will cost you about $100 USD; however, the book is well worth it on its own terms if you can afford it.

Tournament Legality:

Neither list is officially tournament legal, so there is no advantage here. You might be slightly more likely to get a local tournament organizer to let you play the AC list since it is freely available. Either way, you’re going to end up asking permission.

Models::

Since Games Workshop only creates the basic models, you will probably end up spending some money on Forge World Units. You don't have to take Forge World for either list, though you most likely will want to, and the AB list has more opportunities to do so. Either way, you'll end up with lots of good looking guard tanks.

Range of Units:

In terms of the number of units available, the AB list clearly wins out- just in terms of Headquarters, they have four times the number of options. Armoured Battlegroups can take many units that the AC list cannot; such as Sentinel Power Lifters, Thunderer Siege Tanks, Atlas Recovery Vehicles, and the Leman Russ Executioner- the list goes on.

Possible most importantly, the AB list can take air support. If you also purchase IA3 to use the “Death from the Skies!” Rule, the aircraft you can take get even harder hitting. They are capable of striking accurately and hard at any point on the battlefield, even getting valuable rear-armor shots on enemy tanks. They are also nigh-invulnerable, except from dedicated enemy Anti-Aircraft (such as a Sky ray under the Forge World rules and the Hydra). If you aren’t expecting heavy enemy anti-air fire, or have a method of dealing with it (deep strikers come to mind), this isn’t a problem.

There isn’t a single unit the Armored Company can take that the Armored Battlegroup can, and there are numerous ones in reverse. If you want to take many of the famous and interesting Forge World tank models that made the Imperial Armor line popular, then the Armored Battlegroup list is a better option.

The list itself:

The lists are similar, though by no means the same. Both require you to take Command Tanks and Tank Aces (for the AC list) or Company and Squadron Command Tanks (in the AB list). The mandatory tanks for the AC list are more expensive- each has almost twice the base cost compared to their AB counterparts. Even so, the AC Tank Aces have BS4, while the Squadron Command Tanks do not for the AB list. This is partially made up for in the Commissar Tank for the AB list, which still has a cheaper base cost than the Tank Ace. Unfortunately the Commissar Tank is a 0-1 choice.

The “Squadron” format, in my opinion, also helps make the AB list more fluffy- you are forced to buy Squadron tanks, creating squads of three tanks plus an extra command tank (in addition to any support tanks). This occurs in the AC list too, but it has the points drawbacks discussed above. You are also able to take more troops in the AB list, and they are part of the normal Company Command, Squadron Command, and Squad organization, instead of a couple random units of Armored Fist Squads. A real Imperial Guard Armored Group would almost definitely have ground support, it is essential for tanks to be flanked by troops in a urban environment to screen for ambushes. A tank cannot easily capture an objective (in “real” life), either.

In terms of the number of troops that can be taken, the AB list is far superior. Instead of making Stormtroopers Elites and Armoured Fist squads Fast Attack, Armoured Fist squads are Troops and Stormtroopers are Fast attack. This enables you to take more troops than you would be able to in the AC list, if it suits you, and they do not infringe on your ability to take other tanks and vehicles as much. For what it is worth, you can also take Valkyries for your AB Stormtroopers and Heavy Weapons Squads as a Heavy Support choice on the AB list.

Doctrines v. Ace Skills

To me, the most important part of the Ace Skills in the AB list is to personalize your tanks, to give them some character- similar to how some people view doctrines. In terms of raw power, though, the AC list wins out- they are able to take things like Sideskirts, Overcharged engines, and the like, all uch stronger than “Skilled Driver” and “Gung ho! Crew”. This does not mean that the Doctrines are all stronger- a 1st turn double-shot barrage from an armored battlegroup using the Slick Loader skill can be absolutely devastating. Similarly, the “Anti-Tank Rounds” doctrine is made moot by the AB list which enables the user to use the special shell rules.

Even so, the Doctrines of the AC list win out generally for a purely competitive list. Both can be played effectively and competitively and can be made into characterful and interesting armies.

Overview:

Both lists have their benefits and drawbacks, and might be better for different people and your concept of your army.

Advantages of the AB list:
  • More Unit Choices
  • Ability to take Air Support
  • More Troops Avalible
  • Cheaper Tanks

Advantages of the AC list:
  • Much cheaper for the codex
  • Poweful Doctrines
  • More powerful basic tanks (Tank Aces)

I personally favor the AB list, though some may disagree- and that is fine, in fact it’s good! The point is not which list you take, but rather that you’re a good upstanding IG treadhead interested in legions of tanks to crush the enemies of the Imperium
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Old 04 Dec 2007, 17:19   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis

I agree with almost all of that, except the comparison between the Armoured Company 'AT rounds' doctrine and the Armoured Battlegroup's AT shell. The two cannot possibly be considered on a par with one another. The 'AT rounds' doctrine virtually turns Leman Russes into Vanquishers, whereas the Armoured Battlegroup's AT shell just rolls to hit on the tank's BS and uses no template. The two are most certainly not alike and I think it's one of the most important and battle-winning doctrines in the Armoured Company's army list. Heavy Bolters can obliterate swarms, battle cannons can slaughter MEQs, and with the 'AT rounds' doctrine, enemy tanks become easy prey too. I suppose an Armoured Battlegroup could take a similar number of true Vanquishers, but that would be entirely unfluffy what with the Vanquisher's rarity. But whether you think it's cheesy or not to have that many tank slaying cannons on the table, it's unreasonable to dismiss the 'AT rounds' doctrine with the passing comment that the Armoured Battlegroup can do more or less the same thing with its free AT shells, because it just ain't so. :-\
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
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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Old 04 Dec 2007, 21:41   #3 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis

I see your point. However, you can't move with AT rounds, and since you are using BS to hit on the AB shells rules you can make it a mobile platform, in essence.

Sure, you get to roll 2D6 with the AT rounds, with an average Armour Penetration of 15 (8+(3.5*2)=15). With a Highest-Of-Two, I'm not sure, but I think you get an average penetration of around 13. Since you roll with the Ordnance Damage Table on both, almost any penetrating hit will be killing. Since most vehicles you'll face will be AV13, I don't think that the AT rounds provide that much of an advantage, especially considering their high cost. It is still a strength of the AC list, though.

Note: Glad to get a repsonse!
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Old 04 Dec 2007, 22:01   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekyGator
I see your point. However, you can't move with AT rounds, and since you are using BS to hit on the AB shells rules you can make it a mobile platform, in essence.

Sure, you get to roll 2D6 with the AT rounds, with an average Armour Penetration of 15 (8+(3.5*2)=15). With a Highest-Of-Two, I'm not sure, but I think you get an average penetration of around 13. Since you roll with the Ordnance Damage Table on both, almost any penetrating hit will be killing. Since most vehicles you'll face will be AV13, I don't think that the AT rounds provide that much of an advantage, especially considering their high cost. It is still a strength of the AC list, though.

Note: Glad to get a repsonse!
The drawback of having to remain stationary to fire an Armoured Company AT round hardly offsets the disparity in overall effectiveness, especially given that an Armoured Battlegroup AT shell can't actually score a penetrating hit against AV14. Rolling 2D6 for penetration is far superior than merely picking the highest.

Also, there is no greater chance of inflicting lethal damage on the Ordnance penetrating hit table than on the standard penetrating hit table; there's just a greater chance of a more dramatic death! ;D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
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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Old 04 Dec 2007, 22:45   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Armoured Battlegroup v. Armoured Company: An Analysis

Really? Hmmm... I need to re-read my rulebook :-\ I don't think AV 14 is really that much of an issue- the only armies with a good amount of AV14 are other AC/AB's, Raider Black Templars, and Vehicle Heavy guard.

I still think that movement is important- but thats also an element of play style.
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