Writing a Take All Comers List

100810_giant_swiss_army_knife_1Good morning everyone.  I thought I would talk about one of my favorite parts of the hobby, list writing.  I can spend tons of time writing and rewriting lists.  Some of my lists serve a theme, such as a rapid reaction mechanized force of orks.  Some of my lists are narrative based, such as a 4 ork warboss list to determine who is da best.  I literally kept tract of each war bosses kills to see who was da best.  Most of my other lists are built around the idea of taking all comers.  Thus bringing us to our topic, what all is in a take all comers, or TAC, list

I remember listening to a random podcast (I think it was Imperial Voxcast).  They had Reecius on from Frontline Gaming, and in part of his discussion, he talked about what elements he consider necessary for a TAC list.  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I wished I could find that segment again.  I honestly can’t remember all the elements he put into it, but in trying to remember, it made me think about what I commonly face.

1) Elite infantry – Mostly space marines or chaos marines, but it’s the 2+ armor save variety that is really troubling.  Two options are generally available to me in the armies I play (tau and orks).  Weight of fire/fists or ap2 weaponry.  Seems straight forward, but it is the balance that you have to worry about in the end.  Generally, more ap2 weaponry means less attacks/shots.

2) Hordes of Infantry – Not that common, but still something to keep an eye on.  Generally the best way to deal with them is lots of shots or blast/template weapons.  Generally I prefer blast/template because it will force an opponent to spread those big mobs out.  Then shooting off the front few guys really hurts them, generally it slows there movement down if the front 4 or 5 inches of the unit die to shooting each turn.

3) Heavy Armor – I consider things AV 13 and up heavy armor.  Generally most lists have a way through AV 12 with the standard shooting or combat options they bring.  It’s the AV 13’s and 14’s that really start to present a challenge.  For my orks, they pretty much have to get close and hit is with a death roller or a power klaw.  Tau can try to glance out AV 13 with missiles, but you will need to bring out the fusion guns or heavy rail guns to deal with the AV 14.

4) Monstrous Creatures – Both the unit type and anything with lots of wounds and high toughness present the same problem.  They shrug off most small arms fire and generally are a huge pain in close combat.  Some armies have weapons designed for them (i.e. Gravguns), and if you have one of them, bring it along.  For me, the tau can handle most of these big guys with lots of missile pods.  Massed strength 7 shots will usually whittle these guys down. Orks on the other hand go back to the tried and true methods, power klaws and death rollers.  Much riskier since those monstrous creatures will eat plenty of orks before the klaw swings, but its pretty much there only chance except for lootas (massed strength 7 shots).

4b) Flying Monstrous creatures.  Take them out just like normal Monstrous Creatures; you just have to knock them from the sky first.  Lots of little guns can force grounding checks, and eventually they will fall.  Once they are down, kill them like you would any monstrous creature.  Alternatively, skyfire and other ant flyer options work as well.

2 thoughts on “Writing a Take All Comers List

  1. I think that raises some excellent points. Great summary of the different unit types one might expect to face. Personally, I almost always write balanced (all-comer) lists, unless I am going for a very specific theme.

    The way I see it, a balanced list needs to be good at the following things: long range anti-tank, short range anti-tank, anti-air, anti-infantry, anti-MC and close combat control.

    Plenty of units serve two or more of these roles. The trick is making sure that your lists are not seriously lacking in any of these categories. As an Eldar player, I am especially spoiled in this, because our units have the best overall role-flexibility.

    Why do I need both long AND short range anti-tank? you might ask. It is because long range anti-tank, while more powerful, tend to mean one shot weapons. Yes, you could have three Hammerheads or Fire Prisms. But that means that you are sacrificing FOC slots. What happens when a soul grinder drops infront of you, out of sight of your fantastic long range anti tank? Or what if those vehicles are taken out by flyers or deep striking/outflanking units?

    That is where short range anti-tank comes in, as it is usually more common as well as cheaper. As for close combat control, this just refers to your army’s ability to deal with CC. In the current edition, this does not necessarily mean that you need your own CC unit, though I try to shore up this category with a CC unit. Otherwise I feel like we are skipping an entire game phase. Tau are the best example of the alternative, where you essentially shoot everything before it can reach close combat.

    I think the other categories are pretty self-explanatory. Taking care of flying monstrous creatures is not exactly the same as flyers, but most armies’ anti air will do just as well for both. Usually this means taking your own flyer, but not always.

  2. Pingback: Chasing the Dragon: Reworking My Take All Comers Lists | Twenty First Legion

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