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The Tiger Roars
Guest Commentary: Da Orcboy Pays Up

Being Different, Example 1: Orcboy’s Alpha Legion  (Third of 11 articles)  by Ken Lacy

With 80 Cultists armed with hand-to-hand weapons, backed by Chaos Marines and daemons, this looks like a “swarm” army, comparable to Tyranids but with fewer “big guys” and without the Fleet-of-Claw rule. However, this army actually makes use of Approaches A, B, and C of Being Different (see previous article).

Composition

  • Demon Prince w/ wings, lightning claws, various other mutations
  • Six Chosen (two w/ melta guns)
  • Three Obliterators
  • Twenty Cultists of Chaos Undivided, including leader w/power sword and icon
  • Twenty Cultists of Chaos Undivided, including leader w/power sword and icon
  • Twenty Cultists of Chaos Undivided, including leader w/power sword and icon
  • Twenty Cultists of Chaos Undivided, including leader w/power sword and icon
  • Twelve Daemonettes
  • Eight Bloodletters
  • Three Bikes (two w/ plasma guns)
  • Predator w/ autocannon, two lascannons, Daemonic Possession
Total: 1850 points

Design
The Alpha Legion is your basic Chaos Marine list with a raft of limitations...and the addition of a special “Cultists” unit. Very few people actually realize just how ineffective Cultists are at anything. Those few who do are often mystified by my seeming reliance on such useless units. After all, 80 useless dudes is a lot of useless dudes...if I have so many, then they must be good for something, right?

Here’s the trick: my Alpha Legion list makes use of two unusual features: the Icon of Chaos Undivided, and the Infiltrate special rule. The first makes all nearby units Fearless so long as they have the Mark of Chaos Undivided. This means that my 80 nearly-worthless Cultists just became an 80-man block of unbreakable models, complete with four daemon-summoning icons of their own. 

Second, there’s Infiltration. By itself, this isn’t much of an ability. But when virtually your entire army has it, that gives you enormous strategic flexibility. With the exception of the Predator, which I generally keep stationary, everything else in the army is mobile or summoned. That means that the most unwieldy part of my army is those 80 walking Cultists. In missions with Infiltration, however, I can not only set up the infiltrators closer to the enemy, but I can usually also set them up LAST—after my opponent has set up his forces already! I can thus set up the bulk of my army in response to my opponent’s set-up, which effectively negates the Cultists’ lack of foot speed. I’ve even been able to “bait” my opponent into a lopsided setup with my Predator and other units, then infiltrate the rest of my army into his weak flank.

I have a built-in “dirty trick” with this list that involves my Daemon Prince, who I consider deadly but largely expendable. With wings and Infiltration, he can assault carelessly exposed units on the very first turn! I rarely actually do this unless the rewards are worth the risk, of course, but just the potential to do so will greatly affect how my opponents set up—again, to my advantage.

Daemon Prince
Above: Alpha Legion Daemon Prince

Tactics
My tactics are pretty straightforward: the Cultists are a delivery system and speed bumps (because they’re Fearless). The units in my army that actually do damage are my daemons (20 of them in total), the Daemon Prince (when he’s not being expendable, of course), and the shooting from my “support units”: Bikes, Obliterators, and Predator.

Ideally, what I do is use my shooting to cripple enemy transports (their mobility), as well as units that can hurt my daemons without really being threatened by them in return, like Dreadnoughts, for example. Then I summon the daemons onto what’s left, taking advantage of the ability to summon them on the flank I most need them (it helps having four icons spread out amongst my Cultists). I have a huge squad of Daemonettes (12 models) that get assigned primarily to high-Toughness targets, while my squad of Bloodletters can generally handle most other things.

Supporting each other and backed by the Damon Prince, and with enemy units unable to effectively counterattack and get rid of those daemons because Fearless Cultists have tied them up in close combat, the daemons usually romp merrily through unit after unit. I’ve more than once completely annihilated my opponent as a result.

Result
Distracted by the attempt to wipe out (relatively cheap) Fearless Cultists, opponents are caught off-guard by the concentrated 1-2 punch of accurate ranged support fire and loads of daemons hitting their weakened flanks. All that’s left is to roll the line and clean up the enemy survivors.…

Next page: Being Different, Example 2: Orcboy's Exodites 
 

Related Pages


Posted July 2004. Used with permission.
 

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