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'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 00:04   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Librarians
Librarians, as you may very well be aware, can be a very potent leader for your army. They can negate enemy psychic powers, have a force weapon to kill multi-wounders outright, and possess a wide array of psychic powers to choose from. However, they can sometimes become very expensive and can lead to free points for your opponent. So, this tactica is about how to use them efficiently.

Striking Fear
'Striking Fear' is a term that I've started using that refers to a Librarian who deep-strikes onto the battlefield (or use a similar method, i.e. drop pod) in order to use Fear of the Darkness to its maximum effect. Needless to say, this can be risky, and won't work against some opponents. However, against others, it can be extremely effective. Tau are an excellent example of this. As one of my opponents put it,
Quote:
Then your guy dropped in and went "Boo" and everybody ran off the board.
Epistolary or Codicier
The Epistolary is nearly always the best way to go with this. The extra leadership is an excellent insurance that the power will go off, and helps with enemy psychic hoods and various other Ld hampering rules. In addition, the extra power really helps with his flexibility, as the Librarian is simply too expensive to be a throw-away unit.

How to Equip a Striking Fear Librarian
There are four things which need to be considered: Powers, Transport, Invulnerable Saves, and Offensive Enhancements. In addition, there is a group which is less vital to the Striker's effectiveness, called Additionals.
Powers
Of course, Fear of the Darkness is the trademark of this combo. For Codiciers, this section ends at it. However, Epistolaries have several viable options open to them. Vortex of Doom shall not be included; it is largely too expensive and isn't as viable as usual since you'll be using Fear, in addition to its danger and relatively weak effect.
Fury of the Ancients: This is an excellent cheap power. A Striking Fear Librarian can use this power to its full effect, lining up enemy units to get several units under it. If this power is purchased, purchase it second.
Might of Heroes: This power is excellent for an all-rounder Librarian. Against multi-wounders, this power won't be used, since a force weapon is generally better. However, against swarms of enemies, it really shines. This also can be used in conjunction with a Storm Shield in order to negate its disadvantages.
Veil of Time: This is often too expensive. However, it can be excellent in keeping your librarian alive. If bought, it should be bought first.

Transport
There are three basic options available to the Striking Fear Librarian: Drop Pod, Terminator Armour, and Jump Pack.
Drop Pod: This is the safest method of placement, but since this needs a command squad, this is the most expensive option. However, it does bring more bodies in with the Librarian, protecting him. In addition, a Command Squad is an excellent Pod-squad, capable of bringing along two special weapons to maximize firepower. Finally, it brings along a Veteran Sergeant who can aid the Librarian in hunting characters and wading through MEQs.
Terminator Armour: Surprisingly enough, this is the cheapest. It's not quite as safe as a Drop Pod, but with a Teleport Homer nearby it becomes much more reliable. However, that squad could pretty easily be shot to bits by the time he arrives. This method comes with built-in saves, so in combat it's a bit safer. However, this detracts from some Offensive Enhancements, which shall be covered later.
Jump Pack: This is the most unreliable way to deep strike. It is not always guaranteed to even be useable, and cannot benefit from a teleport homer. However, this can start on the field and retain mobility, so is worth considering.

Invulnerable Saves
A Librarian needs an invulnerable save, no ifs ands or buts. What Librarians go after are often equipped with power weapons, so this is essential. There are basically three options here: Combat Shield, Iron Halo, and Storm Shield.
Combat Shield: Probably the most efficient. It is cheap and holds no penalties. The only problem is that it's a fairly weak save; 4 wounding power weapon attacks should be enough to kill an Epistolary with this.
Iron Halo: The most expensive, but the most functional. It offers the best invulnerable save, and works against shooting attacks. The problem is its expense; a quarter of your wargear allowance. However, it's a good deal better than the combat shield, requiring on average 6 attacks to kill an Epistolary.
Storm Shield: This is the only option available to Terminator Librarians. The biggest problem is that the storm shield denies the Librarian of an extra attack for two close-combat weapons. However, this is largely negated by Terminator Armour's expensive second weapon and the Might of Heroes psychic power. This, although the same cost as a combat shield, offers the same protection as an Iron Halo in close combat.

Offensive Enhancements
This refers to anything that helps the Librarian kill the enemy before the enemy kills him. Power fists and Thunder Hammers shall not be included; the librarian should be using his Initiative and Force Weapon.
Bolt Pistol: Unavailable to the Terminator Striker. This is the cheapest way to gain an extra attack, and thusly the best. In addition, if you are charging, it's generally not a good idea to use a power (due to the force weapon and Might of Heroes if you bought it). Therefore, it should always be taken over the close combat weapon.
Plasma Pistol: Unavailable to the Terminator Striker. This is much more expensive (15 times!) than the bolt pistol, but it backs a punch. But due to the danger of overheating and its expense, a bolt pistol is nearly always better.
Combi-weapons and Storm Bolters: These deny your librarian an extra attack for either a one-shot-wonder or fairly useless shooting attack. These should be ignored altogether.
Familiar: Not available to Terminator Strikers. This is a great bonus; I6 puts the Librarian at a faster speed than nearly all of his targets. However, with Jump Strikers, this negates the Librarian's Independent Character advantage, meaning he'll be the target of quite the firepower. Thus, it is best used with a Pod Striker.
Frag grenades: Not available to Terminator Strikers. These are pretty much mandatory; it keeps the Librarian from being killed before he can attack in cover.
Krak Grenades: These are fairly useless. They offer a single attack which isn't all that strong against vehicles.
Master-crafted weapon: This is expensive, but it can really make a difference in the Librarian's output. However, this is secondary to many other upgrades, such as the Bolt Pistol and Terminator Honours. This should not be taken if Veil of Time has already been taken, since Veil can be used to have a much greater re-roll effect.
Melta Bombs: These are really not necessary, but can be a god-send against a perturbed Dreadnought. These should be one of the last things to be bought.
Terminator Honours: Don't let GW fool you; these are mandatory.

Additionals
Artificer Armour: Not available to Terminator Strikers. AA is really too expensive for what it does. However, it can make a large difference against what doesn't want to be in close combat. This should be one of the last upgrades to be bought, if at all.
Auspex: Don't buy this, as you will not start on the board.
Bionics: This is filler really, and will almost never save your Librarian. However, it's a nice upgrade if you've got 5 free points.
Purity Seals: Your Librarian will not be running often, but if he does, it's probably going to be the death of him anyway.
Teleport Homer: Your librarian won't be getting much use out of this; however, this can be great on a Scout Sergeant rushing your opponent's lines.
Adamantine Mantle: This is incredibly expensive, even for what it does. It's best not to buy this one.

Examples
Pod Striker:
Epistolary @172
. Bolt Pistol
. Combat Shield
. Familiar
. Frag Grenades
. Terminator Honours
. Fear of the Darkness
. Might of Heroes
Command Squad @195
8x Space Marines (4x Bolters)
. 2x Plasma Guns
Veteran Sergeant
. Bolt Pistol
. Power Fist
Apothecary
Drop Pod @30

Terminator Striker
Epistolary @170
. Storm Shield
. Terminator Armour
. Fear of the Darkness
. Might of Heroes

Jump Striker
Epistolary @191
. Bolt Pistol
. Frag Grenades
. Jump Pack
. Terminator Honours
. Iron Halo
. Fear of the Darkness
. Fury of the Ancients

Notes: These are just examples of varying costs. For instance, you could give a Pod Striker an Iron Halo, a Jump Striker a Combat Shield, Master-craft their force weapons or many other things. Just remember: when you're hitting 200 points, you've probably bought too much wargear and the Librarian starts to be bogged down and his effectiveness shot.

Basic Tactics
Know thine enemy. Know what will most easily run away and how far it can run.
Placement is everything. Place the Striker where he will do the most damage, so that the most units possible will be run off the field. If you use a Pod Striker, this is easier due to the fact that you can place the pod closer to the enemy without worry of scattering into them. Remember, Fear does not require Line of Sight.
Be careful, though; sometimes, it might be worth it not to get everything to run away to prevent your librarian from being shot to hell. This doesn't go as much for the Pod Striker, since he's got 7-ish ablative wounds before his own, and you want his squad to shoot.

Comments and criticism are always very welcome.


+1 Karma awarded - Stam
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 15:09   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Heya,

Boo-Libbies are a mainstay. They're oh-so-yummy good. They're even good against enemy Marines! As much as people like to whine that so much is fearless in our game, not everything is fearless. Just to point out a few places where Boo-Libbies work:

Non-Fearless

Chaos Space Marines - Normal CSM are not fearless, and are Ld9. It can work on them. If they're marked though, it becomes significantly difficult (undivided), or impossible (other marks). Daemons will take a nasty instability test with this (killing some of them probably!). Cultists are not fearless. Mainly it's the daemons that this can really put a hurting on.

Daemonhunters - Elite Inquisitors and Storm Troopers are not fearless. You can boo them away.

Dark Eldar - Everything is roughly Ld8 and only the Talos is Fearless. You can boo them right off the board. Saying `Boo' to wyches? Hah, what a way to go in October.

Eldar - Pretty much everything is Ld8 on average, with only the Wraithlord and Wraithguard being fearless. What a great way to send Howling Banshees howling the other way... hah. `Boo!'

Imperial Guard - Unless they have some seriously tight vox networks and Commissar advisers, you can send a large clump of these Emperor's Finest right back to the barracks.

Necrons - Everything has high leadership, but not much is actually fearless (oddly). So a nice `Boo' can disrupt a large number of Warriors and other massed up Necrons. Sure, they may still pass, but Ld8 tests do fail. Almost 1 in 4 checks will fail.

Orks - Orks are not fearless unless they have a huge mob size pretty much. That's great because once you pop a few, or if you take advantage of a few small squads who were trying to be sneaky, you're going to slam them with Ld5 tests all around. That's ugly when you're an Ork, so without mob checks, they're going to run from the mighty `Boo' as if Gork told them straight up that it was bad voodoo.

Space Marines - People don't always think about it, but Marines are not fearless. They can fail morale. Unless they have a Master on the Board, or are in the service of a Chaplain squad, they are going to be testing at Ld6 and Ld7 normally. They will fail half of these and make their fall back moves. Sure, they automatically regroup. But hey, you can end a shooting phase and really mess up a turtle who's thinking he's got it made in the hills over there.

Tau Empire - Tau aren't fearless at all. Well, with an Ethereal they are but only that one squad that he joined. You can kill them anyways. But everything else is going to test at about Ld8 typically. That's a lot of Ld6 tests and Ld5 for Kroot typically. More than half of them will fail this test and flee. Remember all those snazzy jetpack units have 3D6 fallback, right off the board edge sometimes as the average fallback distance on 3D6 is something like 10" or so. That's their deployment zone almost. `Boo-bubye!'

Tyranids - Tyranids are not fearless unless they're in Synapse. Units that don't need Synapse, are fearless. You're not going to get a lot of leg work out of the power here. But, if you can rip Synapse away from some Gaunts, you can easily nearly guarantee that they fail their pitiful morale. Sure, they can choose to try to come back to Synapse, but it won't happen until next turn. So you can at least break up the Swarm a tad if you can rip out Synapse within 12" of the units who are not fearless. Not really a common thing in a game, but at least it's possible.

Witch Hunters - Witch Hunters are not fearless. Only a few things are, and they're mostly Elites and the Lords. The rest are all hovering in Ld8 and Ld9 area. The only exception is that Books of St. Lucius nullify the modifier of Fear of Darkness, so it's less effective on an army full of Sisters of Battle who carry books in every single squad. It's a good idea to pay attention to who you `boo' too (oh that was nice sounding, no?); you don't want to `boo' a squad of Repentia, who when then fail morale, and then jolt 2D6 inches right then and there and go into assault with you for doing it (on your turn no less).

-- That's just to say, most armies generally have instances were Boo will work. There are a lot of armies that build upon Fearless models, and it will be useless against them; but they are not the entire codex typically. They require specific armies (like a Cult army in Chaos, not just normal Chaos). Anyhow, you get the point. It can be useful even against the odds that you may see fearless units.

* Just to give you a quick guide on expected rates of failure for common leadership values:

Ld10 models - Effected by `Boo' will test at Ld8 typically. Ld8 has a success rate of 72% to pass. That means, 28% of the morale checks will fail here in general. That's close to 1 in 4.

Ld9 models - Effected by `Boo' will test at Ld7 typically. Ld7 has a success rate of 58% to pass. That means, 42% of the morale checks will fail here usually. That's nearly 1 in 2, nearly half!

Ld8 models - Effected by `Boo' will test at Ld6 typically. Ld6 has a success rate of 41% to pass. That means, 59% of the morale checks will fail here usually. That's more than half.

Further Equipment

One really good piece of equipment was not mentioned, so I'll add to that. When it comes to Delivering `Boo' the Drop Pod is usually the way to go, because it safely delivers the Librarian pretty close to the enemy, without scattering into them. That's great, because we'll get the most out of our range with that. However, what if you do not want to buy a near 150~200 point character just for `Boo?' And what if you don't want to buy a command squad? And what if you don't have Drop Pods? That doesn't leave you a lot options except for Terminator Armor, for deep striking, which is not safe. And the alternative, is a Jump Pack, which moves only fast enough to effectively use `Boo' around turn three typically. Sure, you may get it off on turn one sometimes, against infiltrators or something. And you may get it off on turn two, if you had an easy route that was safe. But without a safe way to get close, you risk the librarian to the shooting phase. He can join up with an Assault squad, but that just means he could possibly take a shot from something powerful and you don't want that. He's better if he can use independent character status, and simply follow something, even a humble rhino, or infiltrated scouts already up ahead of the force. But, due to 12" movement, he can only go so far, and requires that his comrads be around for him to stay safe. This is why, reliably, turn three would be a little more expected. By then, well, half the game is up. More importantly though, is that any method that uses Reserves, will be up to the dice to see if you even get to use it fast enough. 4+ on turn two is a gamble. 3+ on turn three is better. But sometimes, it will be turn three and four before he finally arrives. By then, much has changed and we may not even have a good place for `Boo.' That brings us to the piece of equipment that was left out:

Space Marine Bike - Biker Libbies are terror on wheels. Literally. `Boo' can travel at lighting T5 speeds with up to 24" of movement. This gives you a great chance to perform boo on turn two more often. The toughness value added, allows you to survive a bit longer if you do get caught with your pants down. When you turbo boost on turn one, you can join up near any infiltrators, or get behind some area terrain, etc, and you'll have a nice 3+ invulnerable save in case someone does see you. Bikes do not begin the game on the board in Escalation matches, nor do Jump Packs (just to note). When playing Escalation, a Drop Pod is going to be a little more attractive if you are already buying into the expensive HQ and command squad. However, if going cheap, in escalation, I would suggest the Bike over the Jump Pack to get a faster start to get towards your opponent, using independent character rules and other units already on the board, or cover of course.

- Personally, I like the Drop Pod the best. Safe Libbies within a Command Squad are a better way to conserve a mighty chunk of victory points, should your opponent get a clear shot at a Librarian on his own, with a Jump pack or Bikes.

* Final mention of Boo goes to Tigurius. He can choose Fear of Darkness after deployment and can have a Command Squad for delivery. His other power is free as well. And of course, his psychic powers have doubled ranged. Just for a note at least.

Great write up Montyr!

Cheers!

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Old 13 Oct 2006, 18:33   #3 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Brilliant tactica, bud. I'm seriously considering upgrading my thuggish Terminator sergeant to represent a librarian. I could joke that such is the fear he instills in the enemy that many flee rather than fight him. I also like to kid that he has 'nuclear' bolter shells...I could actually represent it with 'Storm of the Emperor's Wrath'! The force weapon thing could easily be represented by his hammer. There needn't be anything 'special' about it; he's just so hard he can kill big beasties with one blow anyway! ;D

A couple things I'm unclear on though:
  • In what way does a familiar negate a librarian's IC advantages in an assault squad?
  • Why can't a deep striking Termie Librarian take a familiar?
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 18:41   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

A fine sum up of the FotD Librarian tactic.
I use it in my Deathwing force, with 1-2 libbies. Wreaks havoc every time.
(Sooo, looking forward to the new DA Models ;D)
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 21:48   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Tom,
As I understand it, a Familiar forms a squad with the Librarian, similar to followers with Chaos. However, double-checking the description, it's only the conclusion I came to. It doesn't actually say they form a squad, but I believe it's heavily implied. So, the Libby could be shot at. Just something to watch out for.
Familiars cannot be taken with TDA, as they do not have a 'T'.

MalVeauX,
That's an excellent list of what Fear can effect. As for the bikes, my tactica deals with one specific type of Librarian; those that use deep strike (or drop pods) to get the best place for Fear. Thus (Deep) 'Striking Fear' (of the Darkness) Librarian.

Also, I'd like to make an addendum to my tactica based off of your list of where Fear will work, if it would be ok with you.

As for Tigurius, he's probably one of the best Lbbies to use Fear, with the doubled range. However, the tactica was meant to be general useage and not Ultramarines or special characters.

And I'm very much looking forward to the new DA models... They'll always have a place in my heart (never forget your first, eh?).

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 22:22   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Quote:
Originally Posted by O Y Montyr
Also, I'd like to make an addendum to my tactica based off of your list of where Fear will work, if it would be ok with you.
My house is your house Feel free to use anything that you find useful.

Quote:
And I'm very much looking forward to the new DA models... They'll always have a place in my heart (never forget your first, eh?).
Me too. I love the hooded serg models. I use them as squad leaders whenever I can. They're great for Inquisitors too! :P

Cheers!
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Old 13 Oct 2006, 23:46   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Quote:
Originally Posted by O Y Montyr
Tom,
As I understand it, a Familiar forms a squad with the Librarian, similar to followers with Chaos. However, double-checking the description, it's only the conclusion I came to. It doesn't actually say they form a squad, but I believe it's heavily implied. So, the Libby could be shot at. Just something to watch out for.
Cheers, O Y Montyr. So If familiars are considered to be the Librarian's squad, can they then join another squad as normal? I dunno...I don't buy it; Familiars are nothing but a bit of wargear with a stat line and a model to represent them. There's neither a rule nor a logical/fluffy explaination as to why you should be able to single them out all of a sudden just because there's a floating skull bobbing about in the squad.
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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 14 Oct 2006, 00:11   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Well, then they could target the Familiar, since it's a model. In addition, the Familiars would then not have to be with the Librarian to give them the bonus.

Basically, there's just so much that's not told. And since someone might pull it in a tournament setting, it's probably a bad idea to keep him as a loner (+familiar). However, an Assault Squad puts the problems to bed.
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Old 14 Oct 2006, 01:35   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Heya,

The familiar is actually an annoying little bit of Wargear. Other older codices which use these kinds of things have rules, called `Follower' (Tau drones on I.C.'s follow a similar rule). They don't stop you from joining other units, but you form a unit with them still. It's kind of strange (and still exists in 4th). Anyhow, the SM familiar here is a workable model. It can be killed; and worse yet, if killed, your Libby loses his initiative bonus. The faq literally states "It's a separate model that moves at the speed of the libbie." But they're still bizare. They don't take up space in a vehicle, yet they can be killed and have separate attacks in combat and are a separate model. Now, the rules do not state that the Libbie forms a unit with the Familiar. This is the critical part.

Read as written in the 4th codex, Space Marine codex and latest SM FAQ, nothing states he forms a unit, nor joins the Familiar in any way. So without some kind of FAQ from GW (beyond the latest which did not even address this other than saying its a separate model), you could argue that it doesn't break his independent character status.

So, take that as you will.

Cheers!
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Old 14 Oct 2006, 01:48   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 'Striking Fear' Librarian Tactica

Right, that's what I thought. Cheers, Mal.
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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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