Friday, August 26, 2011

New Meta: The Foot Army Making A Comback

5th edition is cited as being the Mech edition. That is mechanized infantry and armies are king. As such the tournament meta has shifted to very mech heavy armies with tons of anti tank. The local meta at my FLGS has shifted from mech armies to foot armies. After a couple years of tanks and armies rumbling across the field in transports people at the shop have gotten kinda tired of the parking lot the table has become. 

Some would say this is a hold over from 4th edition. It is for players that only have been playing since 4th ed came out. I actually never played 4th edition. Although I play tested codex’s, benefit of working for GW back in the day, that eventually became early 4th edition codexs, I started really playing a lot in 2nd and 3rd edition. Foot armies were the norm. In fact the whole concept of a foot army is not weird to me. With the local meta shifting to foot armies and massed infantry I thought I would cover some different concepts you need when doing a foot army. This goes hand in hand with my Dark Eldar Webway list as I have a whole whopping 2 transports in the army. There are two real solid methods of running a foot list. The horde method and using armies using alternate deployment methods.

To anybody who says the “Green Tide” style of list does not work has obviously never played a real one. The only time I have ever rage quit in a tournament, after the game was over, was the spanking I received by Team Americas Shawn Kemp and his Ghazghul Thraka powered Green Tide list.

The Horde Method relies on massed infantry, and I mean massed. Looking across the table at 50 man blob squads and multiple mobs of 30 boys is pretty disheartening. The main strength of a horde style foot list is its ability to win be attrition. “Green Tide” lists run by many ork players now forgo any truks and battle wagons and field as many boyz as they can fit in the list supported by mobs of lootas or flash gits. OST runs his Deathwing all on foot, ominously marching his terminators forward while the devastator squads pound the enemy from afar. Orks and Tyranids lend themselves well to the horde style. Large numbers of boys or gaunts although not robust make up for it in sheer numbers. I have been experimenting with Horde style Eldar lists. The integral part is of course Guardians, both Storm Guardians and Guardian Defenders.

Running units of 15 to 20 guardians with a warlock works well. The Warlock usually has the conceal power for the defenders to help keep them alive as they march across the table and the Storm Guardians Warlock has the Enhance power to bolster their fighting ability. The real key to running a Horde list with Eldar is long range support. Night Spinners are great for hitting close combat units and pinning them down as well as killing a few in the process. Dark Reapers are effective for getting rid of harder targets and light vehicles. I personally like using Swooping hawks to jump in and deal with vehicles. They can also deep strike in and hit the back field if you opponent was not smart enough to ensure there is no good available landing zone for deep striking units. Taking out hard hitting artillery like manticores and such is essential to foot unit survival. Regardless of how you do it you must support the advancing foot units. Having fast moving units that are capable of dealing with armor are ideal, both for harassing units and contesting objectives.

Using alternate deployment methods is the other effective method of doing a foot list. This is the method I am using with my webway list. It eliminates the need for transports and an excessive amount of kill points. Infiltration, outflanking and Deep striking your whole list can throw your opponents off. They have no idea where you are going to come in. Granted they can guess. When I place my webway portals my opponents know my forces are going to come pouring thru them. I can still come from the board edge though. If you mix deployment styles this can really throw your opponent off. They will either spread out, which makes it easier to divide the army up and kill it a unit at a time, or they will turtle up in one spot, giving you board control.

Even when you have several or one alternate deployment method the goal is victory thru attrition. Having several deployment options gives you flexibility. It also lets you mix up the flow of the game so your opponent can't adjust quickly. It helps you gain and keep momentum which is essential.

I am going to try and get a game in this weekend using my Guardian horde list so I can bring you a battle report as a decent example of a good footdar list. That and I have not had the Craftworlders out for a good romp in a while.

Also thought I would throw in a nice pic of the next half of the court of the archon.  The Slyth and the Lahmean.  I actually like both of them.  I may have to start experimenting with the Archons court and see if they are as horrible as people think they are.

Until then...

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls............... …......WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!


  1. did someone convert the snake looking model or what? I never seen it before and it looks awesome.

  2. apparently its the new Slyth model. I really like the look of it. It bears a little bit of a resemblance to the old Ikore void Coraline models.

    I have been looking more and more at the Court Of The Archon and I may start using it to see what its actually made of.

  3. Do you feel that Wraithlords have a place in the foot-dar list? Or does that just give a focus point for the enemy's AT weapons? I would ask the same question for War Walkers. The level of hell some WW's can crank out would provide excellent support for a walking army. Wraithlords would be more mobile than WW's and could march with the troops lending hard hitting weapons, flamers, and of course the S10+2d6 armor pen factor for bashing things up close and personal. To reroute my inquiry back to its base, do you view the foot-dar as more of an AT denial list or just a non-mech list?

  4. I am a fan of war walkers, they fall into the category of alternate deployment. They can heap on the firepower, that said they make themselves targets so you really have to work to protect them and draw your enemies fire away from them. Wraithlords are good in footdar lists. They draw an undue amount of fire though so they tend to die quick. You really have to have advance untis taking out the heavy weapons capable of hurting them easily.

  5. I agree with you on the Wraithlords. It is a problem of the foot lists that if you bring a big 'un, then all the heavy guns fire at him.

  6. Bring your DE and I shall use them to carry off my craftworld cousins to pleasure and pain!