Friday, April 13, 2012

Beating Paladins at 1k

image courtesy of Fritz 40k

So the crew here at LWG has been frantically preparing for Berks Spring Assault 3. A 1000 points hobby-style tournament. I think we have like 8 of us heading up. Should be a great time. Can’t wait. During our prep time, there has been a ton of talk about Grey Knights (no surprise) and how to defeat them. This is not a recipe to defeat Grey Knights. There simply is no fool-proof way to defeat them. They are a VERY strong army with an answer to deal with almost any opponent. And we are VERY likely to see a bunch of these types of armies at the tournament. Today I will be focusing on just one build – Draigo wing. Yes, people WILL be taking draigowing at 1k. and why shouldn’t they? 12 models strong, and a very tough nut to crack at 1k.

The boards for the tournament are 4x4 square. Which, if paladins are placed centrally, means they have range to the entire table. Throw them in some cover with a libby to give them a 3+ cover save. Very tough indeed. And don’t even think about assaulting into that mess. Sanctuary, hood, halberds, force weapons, and draigo. Ouch. Or take the inquisitor grenade caddy and watch your opponent’s forces just melt.

Did I mention that if you plan on bringing a draigo-wing at 1k, bring along some ear plugs so you don’t have to hear your opponent whine because he didn’t prepare himself for such an army.

And honestly, that’s basically where I am standing on this issue. Yes, I do think that Matt Ward went way overboard with the GK codex. It really is silly just how many special rules they have to deal with everything. But if a player prepares himself to deal with Draigo and friends, they can be stopped.

Here are some strategies to deal with the dreaded Draigowing at 1k:

1. Thunder Hammer / Storm Shield terminators – its very simple. I get a 3+ save, you get a 5+ and each unsaved wound I do, it counts as 2 for combat resolution (yeah, been playing fantasy too much). Paladin squad better hope they wipe out my 5 man squad toting shields or they’ll be taking leadership minus about 6 (average), unless they spent the points of an inquisitor to give them stubborn, but at 1k, I doubt it. It literally is hard counter for them. Be careful of the grenades. And always always try to catch your opponent off guard, maybe by chance he’ll have Draigo or a libby in a bad position and they won’t even get to be in the fight. When they are trying to string out their unit to capture multiple objectives, this is quite easy actually.

2. Mobile Strength 8 shooting – yes Dark Eldar I’m talking to you. Ravagers = win. Plain and simple. Stay out of range of their cannons and just pepper them with your lances. Herd them like sheep. Ok, so you play Astartes? You did take speeders didn’t you? With multi-meltas? Good. Sit back and light them up as well. The normal paladins don’t get feel no pain against the str8. draigo does, but statistically, you’ll be doing 2 wounds per volley, which means, draigo takes one and someone else takes the other. Taking down 1 or 2 paladins from shooting is a huge difference. Speeders have enough speed to stay out of range as well. Just keep peppering away, while moving into position to escort of the table if necessary.

3. Mass walkers. I have actually seen paladins not fair so well with walkers. I’m thinking.. Kan walls, Furiousos, even iron clads. All do very well versus these guys. Sure hammers are there. And so are grenades. But I have seen walkers perform very well against paladins.

4. Lash – CSMs are dead? Fear not! Lash and oblits are still VERY effective against draigowing. Here’s hoping they didn’t take a libby. But its still 50/50 at that point. You can place the paladins wherever you want on the field. Keep them pinned in a table corner. Move them away from their cover + shrouding. Hit them with 9x plasma cannons once they are all grouped up. Still a VERY effective list. At 1k it’s a little hard to fill your list with oblits, but again, your opponent will probably only have 1 squad of paladins so you can play the crowd control game.

5. terrain tests – making the paladins take terrain tests can be very effective as well. Making it hard for them to cover ground on the board, the key here is map control and again, herding the sheep. Thunder fire cannons, tremor staves, etc. anything to make your opponent act like they are moving through terrain gives you the edge to avoid the assault and the cannons. Keep them at arms length and you can dictate the fight. Come in late game for the victory.

6. Blessing of the Blood God - Do people actually play chaos demons anymore? If they wanted to hard-counter draigowing they would. Taking blessing of the blood god gives you a 2+ invuln. Against all attacks by a psyker.. meaning.. all paladins, draigo, libby, etc. go ahead, dust of those flesh hounds on your shelf, throw them in a game, see how long it takes those paladins to kill a unit of them off.

That’s it for now. These are not fool-proof strategies by any means. They are however, some ways I have found to be effective against the ‘dreaded’ Draigowing. Do you as a player still have to make good decisions? YES. Do you still have to exploit any and all mistakes your opponent makes in order to achieve victory? YES. Are you still fighting an uphill battle? YES. So fight the good fight, but make sure to equip yourself with the proper tools to be able to handle an army such as Draigowing in case you find yourselves across the table from one.


  1. this is a good article just want to point out one thing for u.... NO ONE gets FNP from multimeltas ever due to them being AP1.... so multimeltas are even nastier

  2. first of all berek, thank you for commenting.

    I will agree with you that multi-meltas are ideal. however, I have found some short comings with trying to use them versus the draigowing. the most profound being, the 24" range. this means, that they can get in range with their 4x psycannons, which usually is not healthy for whatever is toting that multi-melta around. that.. on top of.. draigowing usually has strategies built in to handle multi-meltas. one, being draigo himself. 3+ save. yeah, no fnp, but.. its still a 3+ save. OR you could always throw that wound onto the justicar with warding stave. 2+ save. ouch. or.. they take a libby with shrouding and give all their guys a 3+ save.

    again, yes they can not take a FNP against these, which is usually good for you. but again, I usually try to stay out of range of most of their psycannons for as long as I can. I just haven't found much that can stand toe to toe with 4x cannons.

    can you bait them into a multi-melta den. sure can. should be you doing that? yessir. as much as you can.

  3. You are, however, forgetting about quantity of fire no matter the strength.

    If you've got 40-60 shootas plus lootas and especially flash gitz, as an ork it's not that challenging to beat. Make them take enough saves and eventually they'll fail them, if they assault you, yes, your squad is gone. But the power klaw with them will probably take one or two of them down with him.

    Just don't assault them. That's the secret. :)

    (and don't say this won't work, as i've done it.)

  4. Colin, I will agree that is about best orks can do at this point. Yes I have seen orks in assault do some damage to this block, but I have also seen them just be completely wiped from the face of the planet.

    an important thing to remember is to not feed them units to assault. stay out of range. dont' let them get free movement from wiping a squad or two.

    as paladins can both combat squad (if 10 man) and deepstrike, how do you keep them away from your more vulnerable shooting elements such as lootas?