Episode 69: Plagueburst Crawlers Make 40K a Worse Game

And the cycle of me falling into a black hole continues. I know I haven't updated much in the past few weeks, to be honest I lost a lot of enthusiasm for 40K when I started playing the Plagueburst Crawler list. It's just so good that it makes the game boring, there's very little to think about or do. I am really hoping that Games Workshop either addresses soup lists in the update this month and/or has the balls to nerf them to the 190-210pt range they should be at. I firmly believe the list is going to get bigger and bigger since the genie was let out of the bottle at LVO where the horribly overrated Magtarion and Fire Raptor lists couldn't hold a candle to it despite making up most of the Chaos field.

I have played quite a few games with the list over the last few weeks, winning all but one. The game I lost was against an army of nothing but Characters and Obliterators with Mortarion, I was also not playing my usual list since I didn't have all the PBCs I needed so I was down one and a Character to toss some Obliterators in. I got tabled on Turn 6 with my opponent having two Death Guard Demon Princes left, both wounded. I made a major deployment error and several movement errors which got a lot of my Characters killed from my own tank explosions and I went second, if either of those changed I would have won pretty easily which my opponent agreed with. I would have liked to report that game but I forgot to bring my camera. Ugh.

The other games I played were against my regular Salamanders opponent, pretty straight forward win where I lost 4/9 Crawlers to an army with a lot of Lascannons and Melta. I also beat a pure Guilliman Gunline, pretty left behind in terms of the meta, and it was sadly the more boring game of 40K I've ever played. His army wouldn't move so there was no reason for me to waste two turns of getting into range and I just outshot him with Mortars and Heavy Sluggers. The army had 5 Lascannon Razorbacks, 4 Devastator Squads with maxed Lascannons, and a Stormraven. That's probably the best pure Space Marine list that could ever be taken against Crawlers and it really wasn't close, no dice shenanigans either. I did nothing with my Characters for pretty much the entire game since I didn't want them to get Lascannon'd, just a weird and not enjoyable game.

While I'm not bummed out to own the Crawler list I really hate playing it and I think people hate playing against it. Most players don't seem to mind skews since you can use any gun to try and get something done but the Invulnerable, FNP, and Toughness 8 just invalidates so many armies. Some Factions have zero builds that could ever threaten that army, not a one, and most of the builds that have a chance would get crushed by so many other things. For example the Guilliman Gunline would lose badly to any list that's Infantry based, it had barely any non-Lascannon attacks.


In light of that I'm going to go back and try to make Cultists work. I think a mass Cultist list can do a lot of good things in both the current meta and in general. We have to keep the following things in mind:

Ynaari Is Getting Nerfed

If you're out of the loop there are strong rumors from a lot of sources that Ynaari armies are losing the Craftworld Keyword. This would invalidate the LVO army list and make certain synergies a lot weaker. Dark Reaper spam really hurts Cultists because of the Exarchs, I don't think there will be as much of that going around as there was. It's not a world ending nerf but it'll knock things down a bit.

There Is Unlikely to Be a Competitive Infantry Army

A lot of people are holding out for Orks, I expect Orks to be a huge flop. Tyranids have already come through and no one is playing a swarm style. Guard is pretty much a filler right now for other Imperium armies but even pure IG armies seem to be mixed or Vehicle leaning such as the Baneblade spam. Despite people complaining about how good Infantry is since templates were removed and all that it's really just not the thing to do.

These combine to, hopefully, make Cultists valuable. The key is to run them all as Alpha Legion since the -1 to Hit is the biggest survivability bump they can get and nearly mandatory. In the past I've ran Black Legion/Iron Warriors for the Morale immunity and the offensively powerful Trait, however I don't think I need the offensive Trait with this many lasgun shots. I'll definitely miss Iron Warriors against 3+ Saves in Cover but that's what the rest of the army is for.

I was also turned on to running a variety of Sorcerers with the Cultists to keep the defensive Chaos Powers rolling. I think that's a very strong option, they all go off on 6's which is reliable enough and I really like having a lot of Psykers in the current meta. I'll also be taking Abaddon to make everyone immune to Morale even though they're Alpha Legion, he's definitely over-costed but with access to Diabolic Strength he can become a complete house and the weakness of the list is Vehicles/Monsters. Beyond that the list is general Character support to plug those holes, check it out!

Supreme Command Detachment - Chaos

Abaddon (Warlord w/ First Among Traitors)
Poxbringer w/ Shriveling Pox
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta, MoK [World Eaters]

Battalion Detachment - Alpha Legion

Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack, Power Axe, MoK, Combi-Melta
Sorcerer w/ MoS
Sorcerer w/ MoN

40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoN
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoN
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoT

Battalion Detachment - Alpha Legion

Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta, MoS
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta, MoS

40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoT
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS

This is the kind of list that actually gets me excited to play again because it has a lot of room for tricks and skill. Knowing what to do with all the Psychic Powers will change between games, I have access to tons of Strategems but have to balance between offense and defense, and the positional game will be really important.

Alpha Legion really makes the army work as it will force some armies to actually play the game against me instead of sitting back and shooting e.g. Tau and IG. I've also attempted to get as much Vehicle/Monster killing as I can with all the Meltaguns and some solid melee presence. Abaddon and the Chaos Lord can really chop up big targets as the Chaos Lord will have access to the Axe of Blind Fury, other games I can go with Brass Collar of Borghaster. That's mostly for Monsters since Vehicles play in the back but I can get a nice tie up going with all my Cultists, although it would be nice to give Ahriman a Disc or a Jump Pack to one of the Sorcerers to facilitate that more. Of course I also have access to the Alpha Legion Strategem which just ends the game against parking lots, this list can even do it if I go second!

I'm hoping to play a game with this list really soon, I have everything but 120 of the Cultists and one of the Warpsmiths. I'd be really curious to see how it does against a strong field, there's obviously a lot of weaknesses or holes to exploit but within the meta I don't think many of those exist. Probably Custodes Jetbikes but every list has problems.

That's all for now, hope to get back to playing as soon as I get a hold of all these models.....

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to reading your battle reports with this type of list.