Infiltrate, Isolate, Destroy
Now that I've gotten over Forgeworld deciding that the marines I bought to be Carcharodon Allies for my Imperial Guard wouldn't be friendly, I've got to come up with something else to do with my toys. I got to reading the Space Marine Chapter Tactics a bit and kind of got stuck on the Raptors. They're fairly simple to paint, would look nice next to my soviet Imperial Guard, and have some very interesting chapter tactics.
Raptors Chapter Tactics
The first part of their chapter tactics comes straight from the Ravenguard, which is Stealth on the first turn of the game. It's not huge, especially considering I want a drop pod heavy army, but after a bit of thought, it can make a big difference. Playing a pod army, your'e always mercy to the roll for first turn, generally you always want to go second, which wastes a full turn of enemy shooting in the game, but the flip side of the coin is that if you have anything that was set up on the board, it's quite likely to give up First Blood. Also, should you go first, it does give you at least a little more protection from the enemy shooting that's about to happen. If you're lucky, you can pod onto the board and deploy into reserves, giving you a hefty 3+ cover save if you're stuck going first, or happen to be facing down the barrel of any interceptors.
The second part of their chapter tactics is totally unique to them. Basically, if anyone with a bolter or bolt pistol remains stationary, they can choose to have their boltgun be heavy 1 and rending. Considering that damn near everyone in the army is toting one of these, it can be quite effective! Think about how prevalent high toughness models are becoming, things like Riptides and Wraith Knights stomping around all over the place without a care in the world, well now a few placed bolter shots and you can sheer off a few wounds! This also makes boltguns on scouts pretty worthwhile, you can rapid fire against hordes or rend against monsters.
Okay, seriously, this guy is amazing. He's fairly inexpensive and has a plethora of amazing rules. His equipment is decent, coming with artificer armour, a power sword and a locator beacon, plus a grizzly 30" Salvo 2/4 boltgun.
For special rules, the first two are easy, he has Shrouded and he comes with the Warlord Trait for Outflanking. Those two combined means you can stick Lias with a squad that normally can't get across the board... oh say, like... Grav Centurions. Very nice!
Now his unique special rules are both just amazing. Cunning Strategist lets you re-roll ANY reserves rolls, so if you want to keep a unit off, it's easier, if you want to bring everything on turn 2, you can probably do that too. Additionally, the rule also gives the enemy -1 to their reserves, wowsers! This rule in itself is the combination of a 25 point Imperial Guard advisor and a 20 point Comms Relay. Normally Chapter Masters get Orbital Bombardment, but Lias Issodon does not, instead what he gets is potentially a whole ton better. Before the game, after scouts, you nominate an enemy unit, if they're a non-vehicle, they suffer D6+3 AP- wounds, which can be handy to put a couple wounds on the Swarmlord, or maybe a Wraithknight, but if the target is a vehicle, it suffers D3 Haywire hits! That right there means you have a pretty fair chance to get first blood before the game even starts, especially if they have an HP2 vehicle on the board!
Lias, for a Drop Pod army just seems like a no-brainer. If you can't get first blood with this army, then you're doomed anyhow.
Wanting to use as many fun tricks as I could come up with, I made a 1750 list that I think would be quite enjoyable to play, and potentially even win a game or two!
Chapter Master, Lias Issodon
10 Tactical Squad: meltagun, multi-melta, sergeant with combi-melta, in Drop Pod 10 Tactical Squad: meltagun, multi-melta, sergeant with combi-melta, in Drop Pod 10 Tactical Squad: plasma gun, missile launcher, sergeant with combi-plasma, in Drop Pod 5 Scout Squad: bolters, sergeant with combi-melta, in Land Speeder Storm with heavy flamer 5 Scout Squad: bolters, sergeant with combi-melta, in Land Speeder Storm with heavy flamer
Stormtalon Gunship: skyhammer missiles Stormtalon Gunship: skyhammer missiles
3 Devastator Centurion Squad: grav cannons and missile launchers Thunderfire cannon Thunderfire cannon
Lias outflanks with the Devastator Centurions, the Scouts and Thunderfires start on the board, hopefully with plenty of ruins to bolster (which then go to a 2+ save on turn 1) and the pods should be fairly self explanatory. Originally I had opted for a multi-melta on the Land Speeder Storms, but someone convinced me to just take combi-meltas on the sergeants and give the storm a heavy flamer, probably because it's BS3.