Beating Belial

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Creslin
Shas
Posts: 30

Beating Belial

Post#1 » Apr 08 2014 10:58

Hello ATT!

I am having a great deal of trouble with a friend of mine who runs a Deathwing Dark Angels army, led by Belial. A little background: my list is currently very small, so I usually end up allying with a friend against this DA army, but his list is basically always the same. I have:

Commander w/ drone controller, plasma rifle, missile pod, 2x marker drone

XV8 Crisis Team
2x Shield Drone
4x Gun Drone
Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, TL


XV8 Crisis Team (commander with this unit)
2x Marker Drone
4x Gun Drone
Twin-linked plasma rifle
Missile Pod

Piranha
Fusion Blaster, D-pod (I know no one likes these, but man have they made these guys tank hunting masters for me)

Piranha
Fusion Blaster, D-pod

Basically, my opponent does what Belial does - deep strikes without error right next to my commander and blows him away. Doesn't matter where the commander and his squad is - that dang unit of termies can lay out enough power after deep striking to rip the unit half apart and run rampant in our deployment zone. My other unit of suits usually deep strikes and goes tank hunting, but I have never in a single game managed to take out that unit. Normally I would just ignore it and go after other targets, but it dumps out so much power that it is hard to justify leaving it alone.

Two questions I really have here. First, how have you guys dealt with Belial in small games? I am growing my army, and I sense that my best option may be a Hammerhead or a Riptide to put down some pie plates, but I want to know if there are any tactics or builds that you all have had luck with. Second, he uses a tactic that I am not sure is legal. He splits the ten man terminator squad into Combat squads and has them deep strike without error in two different locations on the turn he designates. Is that allowed? I couldn't find a definitive ruling.

Thanks again for all your input!

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AngryAlbatross
Shas
Posts: 133

Re: Beating Belial

Post#2 » Apr 08 2014 11:32

If he constantly is going after your HQ I suggest you switch to running TE. Throw some iridium armor and stims on a crisis commander and he will be a huge bullet sponge. You could even pair a buffmander (with iridium, stims, c&c node and mss) with a riptide to make him even more survivable. Heck even having a riptide with ewo and Ion accelerator will do some fierce damage to anyone deep striking terminators.

If you don't have the money for said riptide or don't want to convert a gundam as some have done. You could also just give your commanders squad all plasma rifles and early warning overrides. Then as soon as he deep strikes you can waste half his squad. You can even keep both your squads nearby and give them both ewo so you can put even more firepower on him. Maybe have one squad with dual plasma rifles and ewo, throw your commander in here with stims, and give them 6 gun drones. The other squad give them something like m-pods and target locks and marker drones (or gun drones). Then keep your Piranha's armed the same. Then you can handle all targets and wipe out some deep striking terminators. Interceptor on your commanders squad is 20 pts, but the look on your friends face the next time he tries that will be priceless :)

Creslin
Shas
Posts: 30

Re: Beating Belial

Post#3 » Apr 08 2014 01:03

If he constantly is going after your HQ I suggest you switch to running TE.


The more games I play, the more I consider it. I wasn't super fond of the non-suit units when I first started, but as I've played more games and gotten better at painting, I am starting to consider it.

You could also just give your commanders squad all plasma rifles and early warning overrides.


This is brilliant! It would be too bad to not be able to fire the plasma rifles the next turn, but I could still bring the squad down a bit. If I get a Riptide and give it that as well, I could wreak some serious havoc. It's a start!

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timb6ea
Shas
Posts: 485

Re: Beating Belial

Post#4 » Apr 08 2014 03:03

Creslin wrote:He splits the ten man terminator squad into Combat squads and has them deep strike without error in two different locations on the turn he designates. Is that allowed?
Not knowing the rules for Belial I would say probably not. If the deepstrike without error is gained from Belial being attached to a unit, the other half of the squad is not the same unit and would not gain the benefit. If the benefit is an army wide thing, or all terminators or something like that then this would be legal.

Otherwise I second Albatros's advice and might also suggest you look into using positional play against this guy. There's an excellent article in the academy about this.
Will Flak'O for food.

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Creslin
Shas
Posts: 30

Re: Beating Belial

Post#5 » Apr 08 2014 03:35

timb6ea wrote:
Creslin wrote:He splits the ten man terminator squad into Combat squads and has them deep strike without error in two different locations on the turn he designates. Is that allowed?
Not knowing the rules for Belial I would say probably not. If the deepstrike without error is gained from Belial being attached to a unit, the other half of the squad is not the same unit and would not gain the benefit. If the benefit is an army wide thing, or all terminators or something like that then this would be legal.

Otherwise I second Albatros's advice and might also suggest you look into using positional play against this guy. There's an excellent article in the academy about this.



I actually have read the positional play article, which is phenomenal, and even used it in other parts of our last game! Had some very frustrated Space Wolves who wanted to charge my ally and had to get through my drones instead. Thank you for the seconded advice!

Does anyone know for sure on Belial? This rule is driving me nuts!

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 755

Re: Beating Belial

Post#6 » Apr 08 2014 05:24

Creslin wrote:
Does anyone know for sure on Belial? This rule is driving me nuts!


I have double-checked the codex and can find nothing special about the rule that would permit 2 units to ever benefit from it. I can only think that the player has mis-interpreted the Combat Squads rule - but it is the standard wording that other Space Marine types get and so if split they are treated as separate units for all purposes thereafter.

The Belial Tactical Precision special rule only applies to the unit he has joined.

On the counter to this tactic I can only emphasis what others have said - EWO is your best friend and you should use it. They are also worthwhile on the Fusion Blaster suits as Belial is T4 without Eternal Warrior.

Nic

tehlegend
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 524

Re: Beating Belial

Post#7 » Apr 08 2014 09:52

The combat squad rule explicitly occurs during deployment, with the only exception being if the unit in question is deploying from a drop pod. Since terminators do not use a drop pod. the squad must be split before the game begins. and since the squad now counts as 2 separate squads during deployment, Belial can only join one. Thus, only the unit he is deep striking with can benefit from his special rule.

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 755

Re: Beating Belial

Post#8 » Apr 09 2014 05:34

One other thing to note is that you are dealing with an expensive unit here. Belial with his terminators is not really that much cheaper than your whole list so if you send half your force off on tank hunting duties it is not really reasonable to expect the remainder to deal with this threat.

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AngryAlbatross
Shas
Posts: 133

Re: Beating Belial

Post#9 » Apr 09 2014 09:27

Nic has a good point. A squad of 10 termies alone is around 400 pts base. Not counting any upgrades or Belial. But a maxed out crisis team with plasma, drones, ewo and a attached commander should do the trick I think without you having to buy extra models. Thats the beauty of this new codex, every strategy is competitive and there's an answer for every problem.

Im racking my brain for other ideas too. You could try throwing your commander in with stealthsuits or just using shadowsun as your commander for the cover save boost.

Side note, I have been playing with the idea of converting some piranhas into razorshark count's as (not a fan of the razorshark models) once I have some money saved up (Why did I buy a house anyway?!!!!). If you ever get tired of using em you could try going that route and they could cover your anti vehicle needs even better. A missile pod and quad ion turret = 6 strength 7 shots on turret mounts :)

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Shadow Strike
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 151

Re: Beating Belial

Post#10 » Apr 09 2014 10:56

Could you give us a bit more information on his list? Is he brining vehicles? How are ther terminators equipped? You have tank hunters listed but if he is running a pure terminator army then those aren’t going to be much use to you. Indeed I see a few other bits in your list that aren’t “doing work” for you. A few points:

1.First and foremost when fighting terminotrs there are two key tactics
a.Force them to rely on their 5++ instead of their 2+
b.Use volume of fire. A common saying is our group is “What kills Terminators? 1’s.” They are a single wound model so forcing them to take numerous invulnerable saves will wear them down quickly

2.Missile pods are wonderful all-around weapons but Terminators laugh them off with their 2+ armor.

3.Fusion weapons have the ability to double out Belial, but Belial can simply “Look Out Sir!” those shots. Besides he still has in invulnerable save to fall back on that you can’t negate. Since he is most likely looking to get into close combat he is probably wanting to deepstrike as close as possible. With all of this in consideration I would take plasma rifles. You’re going to get double the shots that are forcing him to rely on his invulnerable save instead of his armor.

4.Shield drones have a purpose but unless you letting yourself get caught by a unit of Thunder Hammers then you’re probably better off switching them to gun drones. They’re still an ablative wound but put out twin-linked S5 shots.

5.Fusion Piranhas are great for a lot of things, but killing terminators is not one of them. Due to their single low AP shot and middling BS.

I would humbly suggest something like this:

Commander
-Iridium Armor, Stims, drone controller
-Plasma Rifle
-Plasma Rifle

Crisis Team 1, three suits
-1 Gun Drone per suit
-EWO
-Plasma Rifle
-Plasma Rifle

Crisis Team 2, three suits
-1 Gun Drone per suit
-EWO
-Plasma Rifle
-Plasma Rifle

Pathfinders x9

Taking the path finders and placing them near your commander is going to send a strong signal to your opponent: “Kill these or face a lot of BS5 plasma.” And will force him to make som tough choice on where his shots go. It can either pull some heat off of your commander, or let you unleash an unholy amount of invulnerable saves.

Again, the name of the game in beating Deathwing armies is to force them to take an overwhelming number of invulnerable saves. Plasma and pathfinders allow you to do this far more efficiently than fusion and missile pods will. Plasma still wounds everything on a 2+ like fusion while providing more volume of fire to roll saves against.

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nic
Kroot'La
Kroot'La
Posts: 755

Re: Beating Belial

Post#11 » Apr 09 2014 06:10

Just to expand on my earlier comment, Deathwing terminators are 10% more expensive than standard terminators and Belial is one shield generator more expensive than Farsight. Given that these terminators are blowing away half a crisis unit when they arrive - and the crisis are overloaded with drones - I am guessing that they have the full weapons upgrades rather than relying on their standard storm bolters which makes them even more expensive.

It costs as much as a full Farsight bomb. How that fits into a low point game I do not quite know. The rest of the DA army must be paper-thin or the army you fight alongside must be pretty substantial in which case I think we are giving advice from ignorance because we do not know what your friend brings to the table.

It would help to know what upgrades the terminators have as well, just one Storm Shield can pretty much negate the value of EWO so a smart DA player will often have one or two even in a shooty squad.

Creslin
Shas
Posts: 30

Re: Beating Belial

Post#12 » Apr 10 2014 10:53

Thanks for all the great responses everyone!

Could you give us a bit more information on his list? Is he brining vehicles? How are ther terminators equipped? You have tank hunters listed but if he is running a pure terminator army then those aren’t going to be much use to you. Indeed I see a few other bits in your list that aren’t “doing work” for you. A few points:


Yes I can, and you are likely right about my list.

For a little clarification, there are four of us who play, and we often do mixed armies to offset that we all have different sized armies. For example, the last game we played was 2k vs 2k, but my team was ~1200 of CSM and ~800 of Tau vs ~1k of DA and ~1k of Space Wolves. I apologize that I don't have point totals precisely, but his list was basically as follows:

The unit with Belial, split into combat squads, armed with (I believe) storm bolters, power fists and an autocannon.
Devastator squad with plasma and lascannons.
Tac squad in a Rhino


... The first thing I am noticing as I am writing this out is that I don't think he followed the force org chart. He is not always the best with following the rules perfectly, so I will need to remember that in the future. But even if he replaced the Dev squad with a Tac squad, it's still the Termies that cause me indigestion.

I would humbly suggest something like this:

Commander
-Iridium Armor, Stims, drone controller
-Plasma Rifle
-Plasma Rifle


Can I take Iridium Armor? I thought the Signature Systems list for Enclaves wouldn't allow it. Believe me, if I can take it, I absolutely will.

if you send half your force off on tank hunting duties it is not really reasonable to expect the remainder to deal with this threat.


That is a really great point. The first few games we played there was always a Land Raider on the table, but there hasn't been in a long while - I think I need to re-spec to a more balanced build.

I have double-checked the codex and can find nothing special about the rule that would permit 2 units to ever benefit from it. I can only think that the player has mis-interpreted the Combat Squads rule - but it is the standard wording that other Space Marine types get and so if split they are treated as separate units for all purposes thereafter.


Excellent!

Creslin
Shas
Posts: 30

Re: Beating Belial

Post#13 » Apr 10 2014 11:17

Okay, I usually put up about 800 points, so this is my new proposed list:

HQ:
Commander
2x Plasma Rifle
Drone Controller, EWO
2x Marker Drones

Troops:
XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
2x Plasma Rifle
EWO
6x Gun Drones

XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
2x Plasma Rifle
EWO
6x Gun Drones
Commander w/ this unit

Heavy Support:
Broadside Team (x2)
Twin-Linked Smart Missile System
Twin-Linked HYMP
EWO
2x Missile Drones


With the absence of anything heavier than a Predator on the field (and an ally with other heavy weapons to deal with it), I feel a lot more comfortable with the weight of fire with this list.

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AngryAlbatross
Shas
Posts: 133

Re: Beating Belial

Post#14 » Apr 10 2014 11:44

That list looks pretty good!

I would drop the marker drones on your commander. Since you don't have a target lock on him he has to shoot whatever they shoot, so if you put him in a squad, then only your second team or broadsides would benefit from their marker's. If you want markers, put 4 of em on the broadsides with target locks instead of ewo. they can marker up your enemy units from afar. If you want some sweet synergy maybe attach your commander to the broadsides with his drone controller and give him missile pods instead of plasma. The broadsides/drones can tank wounds for him and he could make their drones bs5. EWO spam is all well and good. But you don't need it on every unit :)

Also it might be a good idea to switch one guy in each squad to double fusion/target lock or just have one full squad be fusion/plasma with ewo. Then you have something to deal with heavy vehicles but don't have to sacrifice too much firepower.

The list would look like this then. Should be the same points.

HQ:
Commander
2x Missile Pod
Drone Controller, Target Lock

Troops:
XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
2x Plasma Rifle
EWO
6x Gun Drones

XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
Plasma rifle, Fusion Blaster
EWO
6x Gun Drones

Heavy Support:
Broadside Team (x2)
Twin-Linked Smart Missile System
Twin-Linked HYMP
Target Lock
4 x Marker Drones
Commander w/ this unit

Eurieus
Shas
Posts: 2

Re: Beating Belial

Post#15 » Dec 26 2015 07:56

Belial , beside his DS buff, is quite a weak choice for a DW player. In terme of HQ, Interromancy librarians are what bring the nastiness in a DW ( and pretty much every DA list really ). Shutting down your riptide/broadside with aversion can be a hard blow to your force.

Obviously Riptides/Broadsides/suits packing plasma, all with EWO is a must vs DW, but also you should consider deployement. With the DW strike force, they can run and shoot in any order the turn they deepstrike. They can nullify your interceptor by deepstriking into cover and then running to shoot your dudes with a LOT of twin linked shots. if you can deploy in a place where you can get cover but denying him LOS blocking terrain, you're good to go.

If he brings a ravenwing attack squadron formation, they come with a teleport homer bubble of 12", giving him incredible precision for his DS. They should be your top markerlight priority on the first turn, rerollable jink saves are nasty.

As a DA player myself, i really think Tau are a hard counter to everything i can put on the table, and Deathwing, being the least "competitive" aspect of our a codex, is especially weak against them. You don't need to kill as much terminators as possible the moment they land on your backfield, you must/need to force the DA player to deploy his deathwing in a more conservative way, basically denying him his alpha strike, and the poor model count and mobility will do the rest :)

Good luck to you !!

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Tau Tactician
Shas
Posts: 68

Re: Beating Belial

Post#16 » Dec 26 2015 09:24

Seems to me your friend is going for point via kill the warlord and the Hunt warlord trait. If I were you I would take advantage of that.

Creslin wrote:Okay, I usually put up about 800 points, so this is my new proposed list:

HQ:
Commander
2x Plasma Rifle
Drone Controller, EWO
2x Marker Drones

Troops:
XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
2x Plasma Rifle
EWO
6x Gun Drones

XV8 Crisis Team (x3)
2x Plasma Rifle
EWO
6x Gun Drones
Commander w/ this unit

Heavy Support:
Broadside Team (x2)
Twin-Linked Smart Missile System
Twin-Linked HYMP
EWO
2x Missile Drones


With the absence of anything heavier than a Predator on the field (and an ally with other heavy weapons to deal with it), I feel a lot more comfortable with the weight of fire with this list.


Pull the drones off everything, remove the drone controller from the commander, and drop the broadsides. Add XV-01 Drone Network make them Marker Drones and when he DSs hit him with all 4 units get 8-9 marker lights on his 650+ point unit, proceed to strip cover and shot at BS5 even 14 PR shots will cripple his unit.

Note :if you do as suggested you will have 108 points left to spend.

Lothrian
Shas
Posts: 17

Re: Beating Belial

Post#17 » Dec 27 2015 12:12

Are you restricting yourself to 800 pts?

Do you have a shadowsun stand in?

If no to pts and yes to shadowsun,

1030 pts.(FSE)
commander
2X plasma rifle
Drone controller
EWO

Shadowsun (stealth suit should do as stand in, or a terminator as same Base and model size)

2 crisis teams
3x suits
2X plasma rifle & EWO

2X piranhas with dpod & fusion (squad)

Drone formation
Drone net vx1 - 0
4x 4x marker drones.

No ruling about shadowsun & farsight on same army any more.
High ml quantity & many ap 2 or 1 shots at high bs due to ml hits.

Deploy with suits in centre and Drone net surrounding them as barriers to the enemy. Any rending hits from assault cannon get cover saves from intervening models.

When belial arrives intercept with markers from formation then boost bs and slay the termies.

If this fails prey to the dice gods and leg it. Your suits should be more mobile and if they survive until your next turn watch him squirm as his death star dies.

tehlegend
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 524

Re: Beating Belial

Post#18 » Dec 28 2015 01:05

The one important piece of gear everyone has already suggested is EWO. Mixing with plasmas or ion accelerators will scare the heck out of him and can easily force him to deploy conservatively. For example, having riptides positioned so that his only safe spot is a building with spots out of LOS, or ruins that force dangerous terrain checks but offers him a 4+ cover. If you have the firepower to wipe out all his alphastrike elements with interceptor alone, he will be forced to deploy in a way he can maximize the number of units.that can hit later with.

The second piece of advice is to go MSU. Kauyon has given us amazing MSU synergy and aside from.first blood and kill points, makes it very difficult for his large terminator squads to eliminate the large numbers of small squads and rack up victory points. This makes it also worth considering cutting down on markers just for ignoring cover purposes and drones for protection purposes, and simply adding in more dakka with more Interceptor.

Another thing to consider is using the retaliation cadre formation to protect your warlord commander (potentially meaning you'd need to bring 2 commanders...) and also give twinlinked and relentless deepstrike to crisis and broadside suits. By forcing a guaranteed turn 2 arrival with increased damage potential, you need only ensure you deploy units such that you can survive the turn 1 alphastrike so that you can counter.

Using these in tandem,

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