I’ve mentioned before that I regularly play in a smallish group, and that the meta in this group has recently been getting out of hand. Monstrous creatures are fast becoming the norm, and one fellow in particular consistently just brings as many riptides as our point limit and his supplementary codex will allow him to. Frankly, we’re all getting a bit sick of it, so I decided it was time to make them a less appealing option.
In the past I’ve had a fair bit of success with a librarian attached to assault terminators, but librarians have lost null zone (forced rerolls of successful invulnerable save), which makes it a less powerful option. It also tend to take too long. A couple turns to close with the riptide, and a few more to actually whittle it down.
During this weekend’s battle, I decided to try a new approach, utilising the new grav guns:
-9 sternguard veterans, 2 with grav guns and the rest with combi gravs
-an HQ meatshield with the armour indomitus (I used a captain this time, but a librarian would be ideal in a bigger point game, as they’re only 135 with the relic armour and a combi grav)
-All in a drop pod.
First turn. Our side went second. The drop pod landed in front of the riptide, and everybody got out. (If the riptide has full interceptor going on, you’d want to use the armour during this movement to guarantee your round of shooting; otherwise save it for the riptide’s next turn, in case this fails.) I used the tactical doctrine (ultramarine successors) to let me reroll 1’s, and fired. 20 shots turned into 14 wounds with no armour saves.
The riptide’s biggest deal in our experience is just that it’s super survivable. He did spectacularly well and only took 3. That said, the sternguard unit did kill it on the second turn. They were the only unit to attack the riptide, and drew pretty much all of the enemy fire in that end of the battlefield until they were wiped out.
Points-wise, this wasn’t a cheap option, and fielding it in a 750pt list seemed a bit ludicrous, but the fact is that it works out okay. It’s expensive, but so is leaving the riptide alive to walk all over your army. This eliminates the riptides in the first turn, and whatever is left afterwards is still sternguard veterans, which is still a serious threat to just about everything on the board (especially against the tau armies that necessitate riptide hunters).
My next riptide hunting expedition will probably involve proxying a large quantity of centurions. I’ll let you know how that turns out.