Monday, May 11, 2009

Single Unit Strategy: Punisher, Part II

For Part I, go here.

Now that we have determined our strengths and weaknesses, let's try and find ways to boost our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses. We will do this by discussing various "variants" of the Leman Russ Punisher, in essence different roles that we want it to play in our army. All of these will be anti-infantry given the nature of the tank, but there are many different loadouts that we can create within that designation.

The first Punisher variant we will discuss is the Punisher Pillbox. This tank is equipped with hvy bolter or plasma cannon sponsons, giving it three weapons that can reach out and touch something at 36". Hvy bolters contribute to rate of fire and cost less, while the plasma cannons enable the punisher to retain effectiveness vs. heavy infantry. This also adds to the overall durability of the vehicle as it now has 4 weapon systems to disable instead of just 2. To add even more to its viability we could throw on camo netting and park it in cover, but at this point we will rival a land raider in price. Still, it will make for an infantry killing machine like no other.

Another variant we can use is the Punisher Surprise. Here we have a pair of standard Punishers given the Scout ability by Creed. The Punishers outflank and proceed to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, chewing up any squishy infantry that the opponent has left to guard his objectives. This variant takes care of the short range and speed limitations by placing the Punishers in close contact with the enemy right from the get-go, and the firepower of two Punishers should easily be enough to slaughter or break most infantry squads.

The final variant that we can use is what I call the Bouncer, and is my personal favorite. Once again the Punisher is simply a standard model (though HB sponsons might be added to increase the firepower if wanted), but this time we pair our Punisher with a chimera-mounted Psyker Battle Squad. One of the strengths that we listed for the Punisher was that it could routinely force morale checks for almost any infantry squad that it fired at. Even heavy infantry like Marines are whittled down enough with good rolling to question their faith in their general's tactics. To make sure that the squad breaks we can lower their leadership using the psykers, almost guaranteeing that they will break and flee. Depending on the unit they may still rally the next turn, but since they can only move 3" after rallying the Punisher wall of fire can steadily drive them back until they can't rally, at which point they will flee the board. Used carefully, two Punishers with two Battle Squads should be able to hold any advancing enemy infantry at bay, keeping them out of standard weapons or assault range of our squishy infantry.

Next time in Part 3: Lists for each of the Punisher archetypes.


eriochrome said...

Not sure if I like the Bouncer idea. The punisher seems to be to kill marines and other heavy infantry. For Codex Marines even if they break and run they can auto rally and act as normal. For CSM everyone pretty much useless fearless cult troops.

Max said...

The Marines rallying is fine- they still can only move 3" (as far as I know) like any other unit when they auto-rally and generally fall back further than that. There the Punisher is more like a big block of rubber: whenever the marines try to wade in, the Punisher knocks 'em back, again and again.

The cult troops (and synapse, and all the other fearless guys) are a problem, but then we can switch from ld reduction to large blast on the psykers. And the punisher... well, it continues punishing.

eriochrome said...

Marines can move as normal after rallying if I remember correctly.

Max said...

*reads codex*

Well damn, you're right. I need to get my Marine playing friend start reading the rules for his army already; it's starting to make me look bad in the eyes of the blogosphere...

Chambers said...

With the Punisher pillbox how do you find the plasma sponsons working out?
The concern that I have would be with the sheer number of wounds that you put on a unit, that the op4 will be able to "stack" plasma wounds onto a single model.