Ruthless Mini: The Merits of Blob Guard?

You may not think this, but I do actually bother to look at lists that do well in a Hyper-Efficient Setting, so I can take little scraps of it back to the Bryss-Cave and see if I can use it in any way. Total assimilation will be seen as a failure. After the jump, we'll look at Blob Guard and see if I can see any merit in it.

With that in mind, here's Tony Kopach's NOVA 2012 list, taken from Imperius Dominatus and falsified in a few other places:

Space Wolves w/ Imperial GuardNjal Stormcaller
10 Grey Hunters: 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Terminator with Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters: 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Terminator with Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters: 2 Plasma Guns, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Terminator with Power Fist
10 Grey Hunters: 2 Melta Guns, Wolf Standard, Wolf Guard Terminator with Power Fist
5 Grey Hunters: Flamer
Lone Wolf: Terminator Armour, Chainfist, Storm Shield
Lone Wolf: Terminator Armour, Chainfist, Storm Shield
5 Long Fangs: 4 Missile Launchers
5 Long Fangs: 4 Missile Launchers
Primaris Psyker
Platoon Command Squad
Infantry Squad: Power Axe, Melta Bombs
Infantry Squad: Power Axe, Melta Bombs
Infantry Squad: Power Axe, Melta Bombs
Infantry Squad: Power Axe, Melta Bombs
Infantry Squad

I'm assuming it's accurate, although the small GH squad baffles me if it is. Anyway, the Space Wolf stuff is utter double-dutch to me, apart from one thing. Njal using Divination, which is too awesome a Discipline to not use.

The internet reliably informs me that the point of this list is that Njal's Divination and the Primaris' Biomancy chance-buff a giant 50-man Guard Squad, which then distracts the enemy from the 40-odd Grey Hunters running around, plus the two 2+/3++/AP1 Lone Wolves and the Long Fangs. Because this is pre-FAQ 1.0, Njal reliably wrecks air units.

Now then, let's forget about the Wolves. I don't play them and so they can't teach me anything. All we'll take from them is Divination and ATSKNF, which Njal would confer to the blob using the Techmarine Principle (you only need one Space Marine to get it).

We'll quickly address the Primaris. Biomancy has done a lot for this unit, replacing their normal powers with actual useful stuff. However, for the purpose we want him to serve, we want either Endurance (first choice) or Enfeeble (second choice). The first is the most useful, as it gives an extra layer of protection (and lets you fire Heavy Weapons on the move if that's your game). The second is good for making the Lasgun that little bit more effective on T4 targets.

Your allied Diviner will be taken from either Wolves, as mentioned before, or Dark Angels, the only other Battle Brother for Guard that gets Divination. Here, you've got more possible 'good' powers, which I would put in this order from most desirable to least: Forewarning, Prescience, Perfect Timing, Misfortune, Foreboding.

So now we have our buffs sorted, we need to consider numbers. At least 30 seems like a good idea. Taking two smaller blobs might be beneficial to some armies, but it means you can't share buffs. Point is, you're shelling out 180-280 on men alone (including the PCS tax). But men alone aren't enough. No. You need to give your blob some sort of goal.

In Kopach's list, we get Melta Bombs and Power Axes. I totally get the first one, as you're paying a stupidly small amout of points for essentially 1 Chainfist attack that hits on 3s or better, that's easy to hide until the enemy is in poking range. But I don't get the second one. 12-16 S4, AP2 hits at I1, WS3? What will you accomplish with that? If glances are your aim, surely Kraks are better? Likewise for hurting Monsters? But then, I'm not a Hyper-Efficient, so maybe they get something I don't.

I'd likely invest in Krak Grenades across the board, maybe not on one the one squad that will go at the front and be the first to die. I'd also consider Heavy Bolters and Autocannons, because chances are I'll have Prescience and all those Snappy Snaps might add up, or give me duality versus Flyers. I'm not sold on the viability of special weapons here, as the ones I want cost too much.

Overall, I think trying out a Blob Guard unit may bring me some sort of benefit if used correctly. I'll have to play around with concepts before I land on something good, but experimenting with this unit sounds like fun. Except the bit where I have to move all those bloody Guardsmen. That's going to sting.

Black Reach VS Dark Vengeance debuts Monday!


Mark Mercer said…
power axes are unwieldly, mate. They strike at I1.
Master Bryss said…
So they are, silly typing errors. Still not entirely sure of the point, though.