OK, last post on the Stigmatus Coven for a while, I promise!
Last up is a discussion about the two different transport options available to the Coven, either Land Transporters or Traitor Chimeras. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages but both share the advantages inherent in most transports in that they allow the formation to which they are attached to move across the battlefield more quickly, stay protected, and provide some supporting firepower. EPIC really is a game of speed and manoeuvre warfare which is dictated by the importance of objectives and the efficacy of multiple formations supporting in an engagement.
Traitor Chimera: Traitor Chimeras are another exact clone from the Steel Legion list, which is fair enough given that the Lost and the Damned list is meant to represent the full gamut of chaos forces from recently turned Traitor Guard, to wild daemonic hordes of Cultists. Chimeras are a 30cm AV with FF 5+, CC 6+, and a 5+ Armour Save vehicle armed with a Heavy Bolter (30cm AP5+) and a Multi-laser (30cm AP5+/AT6+) and able to transport either two stands of normal infantry or one of things like Big Mutants. A formation must take enough transports (can be a mix of Chimera and Land Transporters if you wish) to transport the entire formation at +25pts a pop for Chimera. This gives it a good amount of firepower at 30cm, which syncs up well with the weapons carried by Cultist stands, as well as giving the formation a faster move / engage range and a better armour save. Another thing to remember is that as an AV, the Chimera can provide the cover modifier to infantry unit touching it, which can be very useful for the lightly armoured Cult formations.
Land Trasporters: Land Transporters are less than half the price of Chimeras at +10pts each, for a significantly worse statline. They have FF 6+, CC 6+ and a 5+ armour save with a 30cm move and a pretty token Heavy Weapon (30cm AP6+/AT6+). The most important thing to notice about Land Transporters are that they are Light Vehicles rather than Armour Vehicles, meaning that they are susceptible to AP firepower, and cannot provide cover for Infantry stands. This Light Vehicle status makes them much more fragile than Chimeras, especially when targeted by artillery which will get to use its AP firepower value rather than the AV value – not great when every transport popped (which will be most that are hit with them only having a 6+ Armour Save…) forces saves on those stands transported in them. I used to think that they would be a good way of getting mechanised formation on the cheap, by taking 2 or 3 Chimeras for a formation and then filling out the rest with Land Transporters. Unfortunately the enemy can just choose to fire AP firepower at them, avoiding having to deal with the Chimera’s armour.
This formation is best used in an engaged, especially when combined with summoned Khornate Flesh Hounds. With the Chimeras the formation has a 50cm threat range (30cm engage move, 5cm dismount move, 15cm firefight range), while the Flesh Hounds with their 20cm move and Infiltrator special rule have a 40cm engage move. This combination allows for a truly frightening engage move which can easily overwhelm the enemy using a combination of Cultists in FF and the Flesh Hounds in CC. Feel free to add up to three stands of Chaos Hounds to the formation to bump it up even more but be aware that it does suffer from being relatively fragile both when approaching the enemy and when taking hits in the engagement.
The inverse of the previous formation (and probably the better of the two), this formation relies on the Mutants for its CC punch, while using summoned Flamers to add a fearsome firefight potential to the formation. The reason I feel this formation is better is tied to why I think Tzeentch Daemons are better than the others (something I will explain in a later post – just wait for it!), but revolves around the way in which engagement mechanics work in EPIC, which tend to favour FF to CC. Feel free to add / replace stands of Mutants with Big Mutants from some more FF and MW CC attacks, as well as boosting the resilience of the formation.
Chaos Marine Aspiring Champion, 6 stands of Cultists, 5 stands of Mutants, 6 Land Transporters, Daemonic Pact – 285pts
A good, cheap, all-rounder formation that can handle itself in CC or FF (at a pinch), while also being speedy. The Daemonic Pact just ups the formations utility, but could be dropped if points were tight or you were not planning on running many Daemons. I have always fancied running a gigantic horde formation of Mutants, Cultists and Big Mutants all jammed into Land Transporters and just running it at the enemy – possibly not a great tactical idea at 570pts, but with 33 stands in the formation it sure sounds fun.
Daemon Prince (give it wings so it can keep up), 6 stands of Cultists, 5 stands of Big Mutants, 8 Land Transporters – 430pts
A sneaky little formation, that looks pretty innocuous on the table top, but packs a massive wallop with 7 decent MW attacks in CC and good FF potential and armour from the Big Mutants. Keep it held back a little and use it as a shock formation to throw at something big the enemy has, and it should make a decent enough dent. While it is a little fragile, although by putting the Land Transporters carrying Big Mutants at the front you can minimise causalities from exploding transports, the formation is fast and can often slip under your opponents notice.