Email help! How to beat IG Mech?

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Heyo Jawa,
Got a few questions for you.  How do you deal with IG?  To give you some background to what happened to me tonight and why I'm asking here's our lists.
Libby  sword/shield
SP power weapon
5 5 man RAS power weapon, meltagun, RB w/ las/plas hk missles
5 man RAS power weapon meltagun rhino
3 baal preds w/ heavy bolters hk missle
2 preds las spons hk missles
command squad with astropath/master of the fleet chimera
4 veteran squads   2 with all 3 meltas  2 with 3 plasmas  I don't remember if they had power weapons because I didn't get anywhere near them. 
2 autocannon weapon squads
2 infantry squads with las weapon teams
2 vendettas
2 demolishers
1 deathstrike missle launcher
He didn't tailor his list to fight me specifically.  He's a guy that's been teaching me how to improve my game to tourney level(along with your help too) and recently just got the army to the point he could play it.  He won first turn and I didn't think to reserve my army.  Even turtling around my libby rhino for SoS half my tanks were stunned/shaken and 1 pred was wrecked.  It was all downhill from their.  I'll admit I've never rolled so poorly in my life but it was unreal how much fire was coming down on me.  I only wrecked 2 tanks and took 1 gun off a vendetta and he nearly tabled me.  I think I had 4 marines left and no tanks.  
Should I reserved even though he's running the astropath if he wins first turn?  Is there some other tactic I could have used.  I his my razor chassis behind my baals to get 3+ covers on them but at the beginning of turn 2 I knew turtling wasn't going to work and tried to push out and press him a bit but I was denied in all regards.   There were 3 paths across the board(we played with about 7-10 terrain pieces), 1 he blocked with 2 chimera squads 1 melta 1 plas and the other 2 were like driving through hell via LC.  
How do you beat ultra competitive mech IG?  Even had I been rolling better I don't think I could have won that game.


Hey Thundrchickn!  With the list you were packing, you were in trouble.  Going up against that list in a tournament is always going to come down to luck.  If you are lucky enough to get first turn, you have a fighting chance.  With your list, I would probably deploy and seize the initiative. A 1 in 6 chance of crippling him is not bad, and I have to say that those are probably better chances than you would have in a gun battle. Just understand that if you fail, you are screwed.  In a recent tournament vs Danny Internets in which he was using a similar list, I deployed and went for the seize. I knew what he was going to do, but I knew that it was my only real chance at beating him.  Of course I failed and he tabled me, but we played a game for fun right afterwards, in which I did seize, and I tabled him.  

So, you have to ask yourself... feeling lucky... punk?  

Extreme luck aside your options are limited.  AV 12 is a surprisingly tough nut to crack. He has a lot of hard hitting guns that can get at your soft parts.  You have two choices.  

He is going to go first. He is going to blast the shit out of you. Just accept that.  Take your losses, and on your turn move every thing up into his face and pop smoke.  All you need is a break and blammo, you are in his lines and popping chimeras with your melta guns and assaulting the boys inside.  The good part is that with your depleted squads you will not slaughter him on the charge. You will beat his boys on his assault, then move onto the next on yours.  Again, with a little luck, you will create a chain reaction where you get to mow him down.  

His cheeze may actually work in your favor.  I can't wait until allies are removed from the game. (I honestly don't know if it is the allies that give the dude that messes with reserves or not, but it does not matter, I threw in this quip here.) But until then you may get lucky and have nothing come on turn two.  That is two turns of him having nothing to shoot at!  The good thing is that you can come on from reserve and fire all your guns.  You are guaranteed to get shots off at his vendettas before losing them.  You are packing 9 Las Cannons.  With a good round of reserves, you can get them on the table and smoke his ass.  Target the vendettas, then try for shots at his crap in the back. Some of those heavy hitting pieces are only AV 12!  All you need is a pinhole and he has to make cover saves. A 50% chance at shaking them is good enough, and all you need to do is shake them.  So shoot them until shaken, then move on.  Move your razors 12" and shoot the las. Bring on your Baals and go for side shots from the flanks.  

In a tactical game, the most competitive way to go is reserves. You are playing into his strengths, but it is relying on less luck.  If you want to go for the win... gamble and Seize the Initiative.  I have lost more games than I have won in tournaments to Mech Guard. But I did manage to take down two of them at the Nova Open.  (granted circumstances worked out in my favor for both games)  

Also, it is worth checking out his list.  A couple of medusas in the back, and Russ tanks with Demolisher cannons is an absolute deploy.  He does not have the range or fire power.  He will hurt you with his Vendettas, but your return fire should take them down.  Then pop his Medusas to protect your razors, then eat him up with your marines.  

List help?

Drop a Baal and pick up another ac/lc pred.  The HKs are nice, but you can probably drop most of them too.  Drop down to just missles on the predators.  For what you are paying for all those missiles, you can make a few changes and pick up a chaplain with melta pistol, and/or more priests.  I would increase the size of your rhino squad to 8, and throw in the chaplain and priest with melta pistols.  Give them a fist and melta gun and now you have a killer unit inside an 18" red torpedo. Give it dozer blades.  If you need more points, drop another Baal.  I wrote an article come time ago about Las being King again. It is.  

Good luck!



gundog8324 said...

why did you take hks?

how about dropping the hk's and take corbulo instead of the priest, and xtra armour for your 3 Baals and a standard pred make a wall of your preds facing him with AV 13 in font of your razorbacks Either blocking LOS or at the least giving you a cover save forcing him to either face the higher AV or let you take the cover save

If he takes the cover save you have the unmolested preds in front giving hell if he takes the preds hopefully the xtra armor lets them move out of the way

Corbulo will grant you an extra chance at seizing the initive hich will be huge also he has the 2+ FNP to absorb more xtra wounds floating around

Worst case scenario the Preds die trapping your razorbacks forcing them to reroute around eating up the precious movement you have but he should accomplish less damage as shots will either be saved or require mor to glance/pen

tim said...

hunter killer missiles aren't that bad, that is an extra 10 S 8 shots, which can help take out the vendettas. the problem with 5th edition is that it has become a first turn game. if you took first turn then you could of combined fire and destroyed a demolisher (or two) in addition to a vendetta or two.

Kevinmcd28 said...

Jawa Guard Demolishers can use a small blast template up to 48 inches. look at thier codex describing the tank. (I dont think it is under the demolisher unit but somewhere else)

Michael said...

Reserves are the way to go IMO. Sure the sieze roll wil turn things around completely, but I'd rather run my chances on the reserves than a 1 in 6 on the Seize roll.

Outflanking Baals wreck stuff pretty quickly. I have been outflanking mine in every game I don't go first. They are such nasty killers that the opponent is scared of them coming from the sides and blowing his armor up with side shots, or mowing down infantry on objectives. He then plays conservatively and stays away from the edges. No one wants the assault cannon in the flanks or rear. This way I am controlling his movement, and therefore a significant portion of the game.

It has worked well for me, I'm sure others will agree.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Jawa.

I took HKs because I knew this was going to be a 1 for swap on tanks in the first couple turns and the unlimited range S8 would help considering I can move and still shoot everything. Also everything but 2 tanks had AV10 side/rear armor so a 2 to glance is awesome.

I was just outgunned. He had 6-7 multi lasers S6. 2 LC 6 autocannons 6 TLLC and the teplmates.

During deployment I lined RB behind the Baals and used their scout moved to pop smoke so the front row had 4+ cover, second row had 3+ and side shots had a 5+.

BTW the astropath that screws with our reserves is an IG toy not an ally.

this game was ridiculous and now I have to go apologize to everyone I've done this too.

Farmpunk said...

another way to approach the same tough nut is to shift your own thinking...

you could rhino chassis rush with assault squads backed by your Baal preds with flamestorms.

it's similar to what I do to mech IG with my WH.

a Libby's goign to be your cheapest HQ, give him a jump pack, then take a bunch of assault squads, (I like them to be full Strength for dual melta, it really increases your killability.)

so perhaps at 1500pts:

Libby (sang. sword, shield of sang.) (infernus pistol) 115pts

four of:
Assault squad (Melta) 155pts
SGT (Powerfist)
Razorback w/TL Assault cannon
for a total of 620 pts

two of:
Assault squad (Melta) 155pts
SGT (Powerfist)
Razorback w/TL Hflamer
for a total of 310 pts

3 Sang. Priests (Lightning claw and Combi melta) 225pts

2 Baal Preds w/flamestorm cannon

You'll want the Libby to ride with one of the Ass cannon Razor Assault squads, and probably the Sang Priests to ride with the other 3.
intersperse the priests, to cover as many squads as possible with the 6" grails.

you've got 8 light-medium tanks for the list, and six squads with Melta/combi-melta for popping. The Sarges have Pfists, and the Priests (since they are IC's) have weapons that go at initiative)
some scoff at a lot of light tanks, but the idea with this is to get as many units in his face as fast as possible.
he won't be able to stop everything.
what he does stop, run behind the other tanks.

This might struggle with mobile lists, but you're pretty darned mobile yourself. at Jawa calls the rhino chassis tanks: 18" red torpedoes. plus, they've got angry marines as a payload.

Anonymous said...

no offense farmpunk but I'm sure this would not win even if I were to win first turn and he deploys instead of reserves.

2 reasons

-all your tanks are seriously outranged. The heavy flamers and flamestorms are their AFTER you open their vehicles but the 4 assault cannons have less range and it'd be difficult to get the flamer vehicles out and shooting tanks on first turn which would lead to his next turns shooting lighting me up.

-All your weapons are much weaker forcing those vehicles open. I like having 4 shots but after the initial rush the Las/Plas will be putting 2-3 S7&9 rounds on target.

las/plas just outguns any other weapon choice verse any meq build and its great for killing other marines too.

commanderduskstorm said...


I don't know where you heard that a Demolisher can fire a small blast at 48", but it's nowhere in my codex. I've gone over every entry to do with the Leman Russ, the Demolisher, and any weapons they may use, and as far as I can tell the only small blast the Demo can get is the Plasma Cannon that is 36", and the only 48" weapon I can see is the Lascannon. If I am wrong please post a page number or some other reference so I can better know my army please.

@ Jawa,

As has been mentioned the Astropath is a new Guard toy, though I completely agree about the allies rule and never felt the need to abuse older rules with my Guard army, DOWN WITH ALLIES!!!!!

Terrone said...

I remeber when guard was one of the least powerful armies :D

Anyone who plays leafblower is however wallowing in the cheese

Farmpunk said...


range needs to take into account your movement. remember fast vehicles can move 12" and still fire their Assault cannons.
so from where you start, (like deployed 12" in for a Pitched battle) you move 12", and fire 24"

since the gun on a AC Pred is about 3" back from the front, it's about 9" + 12" + 24" for it's range when it gets to go. I dunno about you, but last I checked 45" is most of the board. If the IG guy's cowering in the corners, you can control the objectives.

and for transports, you can move, disembark 2", and fire. (I don't remember if fast transports can do this moving over 12" or not, I play WH, and we've got no fast vehicles) but, your rhino/razorback can move it's 12", disembark 2", and fire meltas 12", then the razors can still fire their Assault cannons or Hflamers. not bad.
again, I play this all the time with Sisters. Even against Mech IG.

with Mech IG, you don't have to kill the tanks at range. It's almost more of a game of shaking them, until the melta gets there. The benefit of the Light armor brigade is target saturation.

with so many light tanks and marine squads he doesn't want to get near him, he's got some tough decisions, and probably not enough guns to kill everything.

He's got enough firepower to deal with a number of tanks at range. If you press the advance, and your dice don't completely abandon you, you can push into him hard. When he destroys a transport, now he's got to deal with the troops. Use them aggressively, and make him kill every last one.

of course, I normally advocate a mixed force style of force, with some long range support, but I think BA's get good advantage from Charging, and moving forward even after their transport is wrecked.

Mech IG is one of my most frequent opponents:

I do primarily play mixed WH though. Light armor company is still pretty good though.

SandWyrm said...

The tank with the small S10 blast you're all thinking of is the Medusa with Bastion Breacher shells. :P


Farmpunk is entirely correct. You're not going to win against IG by trying to out-shoot them from across the table. Instead you need to play to your strengths by getting assault troops across the table and into his lines with meltas and flamers.

Here's the list I would take:

100 Librarian w/Shield of Sanguinius, Blood Lance

165 5 Assault Marines w/Melta, Razorback (Twin-Linked AssCan)
165 5 Assault Marines w/Melta, Razorback (Twin-Linked AssCan)
165 5 Assault Marines w/Melta, Razorback (Twin-Linked AssCan)
165 5 Assault Marines w/Melta, Razorback (Twin-Linked AssCan)
225 10 Assault Marines w/2 x Melta, Rhino
225 10 Assault Marines w/2 x Melta, Rhino

Fast Attack
145 Baal Predator w/Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer Sponsons
145 Baal Predator w/Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer Sponsons

If you go first:

(For Rhinos) 12" deployment + 18" move + 2" disembark + 6" 2D6 melta range = 36" threat. Which means dead Chimeras up to his 10" line.

(For Razorbacks) 12" deployment + 12" move + 24" range = Assault Cannon death nearly anywhere on the table. Statistically, AssCans beat Lascannons on anything but range. Blood Angels have that range with their fast vehicles.

(For Baals) Scout these into the best positions to block his movement and hem him in.

If you go 2nd:

Reserve Everything. Outflank the Baals into his sides. When the troops come on, move 18" and pop smoke. Next turn, you can move 12", disembark, and unleash hell with your meltas and AssCans. Anybody who loses their ride uses the wrecks and live tanks for cover. As a Mech IG player, I've won plenty of games where I lost all or most of my tanks. Cover works!

Lox said...

I take a completely different approach to using BA's. We have really awesome troops and characters, and I like to capitalize on that as much as possible. Although tanks are nice, especially when they are all fast, they are really susceptible to getting popped early. I run with NO armor of any kind, and it makes all those dedicated anti-tank weapons all but useless. Here is what I roll with for my 2k list:

Libby with jp

Chaplain with jp
3 priest with jp's, power swords

Sang guard with chapter banner (this is INCREDIBLY awesome, +1 attack for every friendly unit in 6") (PS: dante lets me roll the guard as troops not elite)
x3 10 man Assault squads, x2 melta, powerfist

5 man vanguard vets, jp's, 5 SS's, 3 powerfists

To make this work, you are gonna have to play smart. Heavy flamers, ass cans, ANY templates, or basically anything that shoots a lot of shots, are your priority number one. (land speeders are a big problem, they have the option to go with all of that stuff) With this list, you need to get close to the enemy armor to do much damage, but two melta's and a fist per each assault squad should help. Depending on what you are facing, i would change your libby's powers to suit but in general go with blood lance and strength ten weapon. Also, with three power fists, your vanguard vets are going to be your dedicated tankbusters. Make sure you protect them, because if they go down, you lose a large portion of your armor penetrating power. On that note, keep your army together. Don't deep strike, and keep your men so that they can get too far away from each other or you will be ground up piecemeal. I would stick a priest with each assault squad, so most of your army gets FNP. I would also stick the libby and the chaplain with different assault squads, giving them a nice meatshield. Dante goes with the guard, and everybody makes sure they hide from the enemy's LOS.

Im still tweaking this list, especially with the vanguard vets. As a final note, it is quite possible that one of your opponents will build a list to play you and it will probably hurt a LOT worse than normally.

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