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Author Topic: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?  (Read 2410 times)

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Offline Wyddr

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Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« on: August 31, 2016, 09:28:56 AM »
Hello, friends!

So, I've been noodling around with the Demi-Company (note: NOT the Gladius strike force and not a *double* company). As always, it's an awkward beast in a number of ways, so I was curious to see what you guys have done with it? Anybody have any good builds for the Demi-company to try out? Can it stand on its own in a small game (say 1000-1250 points), or does it need accompaniment? What do you take alongside it?

Curious to see what you come up with.

Offline Aurics Pride

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 10:20:41 AM »
I haven't got much experience with the standard Battle Demi-Company but I have been using the Raven Guard specific one, the Pinion Battle Demi-Company. So far I've just been using it with Drop pod tactical squads (With Melta/Combi-Melta and Plasma/Combi-Plasma), A 10 Man Assault Squad with Captain and A Devastator and Scout Firebase (Scouts can give the Devs ignore cover). It's been ok but not massively effective so far, I find that the damage output from these guys isn't enough to really be able to dominate a game, Objective missions I have done alright with although the lack of Obsec in the Pinion can be an issue.
I'd say to run it on it's own I'd probably run 10 man Tactical Squads with Grav in Rhinos and then a Grav Biker Squad in place of the Assault Marines. It seems that the Key with Demi-Company lists (much like with the Gladius) is to use your mobility and obsec to capture your objectives. I'd certainly also like to hear if anyone has had any real success with it.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 11:14:48 AM »
Yeah, I get that. Kitting full tac squads, though, gets expensive right quick. What I've been trying (at least in theory) is to keep the Tac squads light--6-8 guys, a special/combi or just a heavy weapon--and investing more in the assault/devastator ends of things to up the damage output. Ideally then you'll have points left over for some other small detachment.

You can fit a BDC fairly comfortably inside a 1000 points or so doing this, and then have enough for a Suppression Force (I suppose) for 1250, or something more robust for 1500.

Still, I'm not overly convinced it's better than just taking a CAD. I'm really curious to see if it can be done well.

Offline Areadbhair

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, 01:43:14 AM »
1 Chapter Master(Artificer Armour,Primarchs Wrath) 150
3 Tactical Squads(Veterans, Meltabombs, full Rocket Launchers, Rhino with Dozer blades) 150 each
1 Assault Squad(Veteran, Combat Shield, Powerfist, 2 Flamers, Razorback with TL Heavy Flamer 175
1 Devastator Squad(4 Lascannons, Razorback with Lascannon&TLPlasmagun)225

1,000pts of Marines that can tackle a little bit of everything. Need to make something big disappear? Got 8 ways to do that. Rolling mobs got you down? Some Flamers and a Powerfist have your remedy. Being harassed by flyers? Got 3 missiles with their names on them. And that's not even taking into account specific chapter rules and the FREAKING SPACE CANNON! And its all wrapped up in a nice little bow that guarantees re-rolls 1s or gives twin-linked for EVERYTHING in one turn.

I'd say it can hold its own, don't you?

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, 08:30:19 AM »
The drawback is that it's only squads of 5 guys apiece. They can get seriously swamped or crippled without much trouble. Of course, that's a problem all the time for Space Marines, so I don't know how much that matters here.

I do think the Devs aren't long for the world without some kind of greater threat to target (of which there currently is none). I also very much dislike missile launchers. Even if you run into flyers, a trio of flakk missiles isn't all that concerning for them. You're also putting them in Rhinos, which implies you plan on being mobile, but then you're wasting those all-too-expensive missile launchers.

I dunno.

What kind of lists have you faced with this? Had much success?

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2016, 09:06:36 AM »
I've rarely encountered just Demi-Company... but I have encountered Battle Company many times and found it very challenging to face but also fun. In Maelstrom games or ITC style missions with progressive scoring they can just dominate with all the objective secured and just the immense number of scoring options. But even with just Demi-Company I would imagine as far as army composition and style of play it would be fairly similar, as the tools are the same, just with less transports.

As far as the standard Marines I faced the following: MSU with special weapons and combi-bolters galore in razorbacks, but also drop pods. The Marines are usually rocking Grav or Melta and the Razorbacks either had the standard Heavy Bolters or were upgraded to have Lascannons which was insanely brutal. Either style, whether it be pod, or razorback (typically featuring White Scars chapter tactics) is just blasting at you from all angles, chipping away while the heavy hitters go in and tackle the biggest threats. Their typical assignment is to just go out and score objectives and keep a steady amount of support fire coming at all times.

The Assault Marines are usually a non-factor, but the Devastators have actually been a major factor... as each and every time I've faced them they've been supported by a Librarius Conclave granting them perfect timing and a host of other powers. These guys have done tremendous work taking out my Wraithknight, blowing up my precious Hornets, Warp Hunter etc... all with usually just missile launchers.

The sort of spearhead of the force is usually Centurions in a Drop-Pod or a 1st Company Task Force with Sternguard in a drop-pod,with combi-weapons or grav-galore... or even Skyhammer leading the way.

Occasionally I've faced a list supported by a Stormraven/Storm Talon formation which can be very nasty... because they are just coming at you from all angles, the Talons/Ravens can zip out and dislodge stuff the Marines just can't quite reach... especially if the Alpha Strikers are off on another part of the board.

Basically... my experience is that they send in a nasty Alpha Strike with Pod-Centurions, or 1st Company Task Force, or Skyhammer while the rest of the Battle Company either pods in or rolls forward in Razorbacks MSU-style piling on support fire, racking up VP's in the Maelstrom or just swamping Eternal War objectives with sheer numbers.

Its usually a very bloody game, with huge casualties on both sides which makes for a fun and intense match. Overall I really like playing against it, and there is good room for variety with all the great Marine formations which can be attached to it.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2016, 09:41:56 AM »
Oh, sure, if we're going to be taking tons and tons of stuff in a high-point game, then I can see the Demi-Battle Company's utility for sure. But a full Battle Company (i.e. two Demi Companies) plus something like a 1st Company Task force is going to be a hugely expensive army, clocking in at 1850 minimum, I would imagine (actually not even sure it's possible at that level).

It's worth noting that Razorbacks, while great fun in a Battle Company (when they're free) are not quite as awesome when you have to pay full price for them. That becomes a very, very expensive Heavy Bolter, twin-linked or not.

I definitely agree that Devastators are great (*especially* Imperial Fists ones, which are my favorites) and that Assault Marines are mediocre.

Ran a lone Demi-Company against Orks a few months back ( a bit after I started this thread--check out the bat rep here). Here's what I took and why:

Imperial Fists Battle Demi-Company
Battle Demi-Company, Imperial Fists Chapter Tactics

Captain Troilus w/ Relic Blade, Artificer Armor, Bolter, Auspex, Meltabombs

Tactical Squad Macedon (9 marines w/ 1x Flamer, Sarge w/Combiflamer, Meltabombs)
--in Drop Pod (Deathwind Launcher)

The Captain and the Drop-Tacticals are an awkward beast to remove--a lot of wounds, the Warlord, a little bit of CC punch, the Deathwind Launcher, etc. They are a *magnificent* diversionary unit. Drop them somewhere awkward and your opponent kind of *has* to pay attention to them or start losing things. Now, given the FAQed grenade rules, I'd drop the Meltabombs on the Captain and, against all comers, maybe upgrade the Flamer in the unit to a meltagun, but basically this works as-is.

Tactical Squad Attica (6 Marines w/ 1x Heavy Bolter)
Tactical Squad Delphos (6 Marines w/ 1x Heavy Bolter)
Basic fire support/assault speed bumps. Imperial Fists' Bolter Drill does wonders for these guys. In a higher point game, I'd probably upgrade the HBolters to Grav Cannons and stick them in Rhinos, but that's an extra 120 points that I'd rather save to buy a new unit here.

Devastator Squad Scylla (8 Marines, 4x Lascannons)
I give the Devs the extra bodies, because everyone in their right mind is going to try and blow them up and they need the ablative wounds. Again, these build works to the Imp. Fists' doctrinal advantages, as they can really put down anything with AV, especially at this point level

The Centurions of Rhodes (3 Assault Centurions w/Hurricane Bolters, 1 x Meltagun, 2 x Flamers)
I know, I know--Assault Centurions on foot? Hear me out, though: these guys walk up the field and train their sights on some mid-field objective they expect to be hotly contested. They've got a bubble o' death around them that measures about 12"-18", into which very few enemies are going to want to wander, lest they get blown apart or, worse, assaulted. Granted, lots of plasma on the other side will wipe them out, but that's what cover is for, and they've got Move Through Cover, so it should be okay. Plus more people shooting at these guys (a long term threat) are fewer people shooting at my Tacs and Devs (short term threat). So long as they don't run into a Striking Scorpion Exarch or a Daemon Prince or something, they will do pretty well, I think. They are certainly more useful than a min-sized Assault Marine unit.

Brother Hektor (Dreadnought w/Multimelta, Hvy Flamer)
Dreadnoughts are really good in this edition, and this guy makes an excellent counter-charge unit. He needs a longer range gun, though. Ideally a TL Lascannon, methinks, or maybe a Plasma Cannon (though I have terrible luck with those). Anyway, been taking this guy for long ages (since the dawn of 5th Edition) and he usually pulls his cheap weight.

Now, this list has its disadvantages--it's a trifle slow, for one thing--but it kicks out a lot of firepower for the cost, has a good number of bodies on the ground, and has answers in the Assault Phase if somebody wants to get too cozy. Keep in mind that this is for a 1000 point game, so the range of possible challenges is rather smaller than if this were to be taken as part of a larger force (in which case some of this would change as need dictates). I kinda like this build, but a Combined Arms force allows me to more easily take things like Vindicators and Thunderfire Cannons and other tools I find very useful (such as empty drop pods to transport Assault Centurions!). Is Universal ObSec and the Tactical Doctrine worth those limitations? Not sure.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 09:43:29 AM by Wyddr »

Offline Cavalier

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 11:16:25 AM »
Ah... ok so is 1000 pts your fave points level to play at? Because my buddies and I pretty much only play 1850pts. 1500 on occasion if someone trying out a new army. Thats a big game changer in terms of my advice. But I like 1000pt games... 1250 I think is fantastic. It limits the tools you can bring to bear and thus makes for a lot of interesting in-game decisions.

You may be better served with a standard CAD, but I do like the Demi-Company and the fact that fluff wise its the standard Space Marine force sent to deal with threats makes it really appealing to me. At higher points levels its fantastic and the full Battle-Company is very strong and I really like it.

But as for your 1000pt list as it stands I think its good anti-infantry build (especially for the points level), I like the assault presence of the Dreadnought and the Assault Centurions. I see no problem with running them on foot as I love playing my Wraithblades the same way. A drop-pod would be nice, but not totally necessary. I also like the lascannon team. Its a classic and a great all round tool no matter the points.

The one area I'd tweak in particular is the tactical squad in the drop-pod. If possible I'd definitely experiment with either melta, plasma or grav as special weapon options. The reason being, you've got plenty of anti-infantry rolling up the field in the form of the other tacticals and their accompanying heavy bolters (especially considering they are Imperial Fists). I think having a more specialist weapon whether it be grav, melta or plasma will allow you to uproot what ever your anti-infantry guys(the main core of your force) can't. It'll buy time for your Centurions and Dreadnought to get into CC and clean-up anything your Captain and his retinue didnt but also divide your opponents attention between the Drop-Pod unit and the Devastators... both of which can work in tandem to remove tougher units whether they be monstrous creatures, walkers or vehicles.

Working with only a thousand points can be tough to squeeze those weapons in, but I think it'd be worth it and it'd really round out your force and make taking the Demi-Company very much worth it. Those are just my thoughts.... I know that's what I'd fear with my Eldar especially in low points games. That drop-pod with specialist fire that can wipe out my own high value units.

Anyway great stuff Wydrr and I like all your squad names and your army concept. Very cool! Anyway let me know what you think and if those suggestions would work against the opponents you typically face. Good luck I think its worth it, even at 1000-1250pts!
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2016, 11:32:54 AM »
As I'm usually playing Orks or Eldar, Grav isn't really that handy (and has a distinct disadvantage when dropped in a pod) and plasma is just okay. Mostly the issue is points. I'd love to take a grav cannon, sure, but the squad is going to wind up in assault almost immediately most of the time, so I'd barely get the chance to use it to its full potential.

Nah, I'd probably go with Melta, if anything. A single plasma gun is nothing to write home about.

Quote
Ah... ok so is 1000 pts your fave points level to play at? Because my buddies and I pretty much only play 1850pts. 1500 on occasion if someone trying out a new army. Thats a big game changer in terms of my advice. But I like 1000pt games... 1250 I think is fantastic. It limits the tools you can bring to bear and thus makes for a lot of interesting in-game decisions.

I don't *only* play 1000 (we play a variety of point levels), but we pretty much top-out at 1750 (past there, frankly, things start to get way, waaay too bonkers). I also agree that 1250 is a great level, and I like it a lot. Mostly the purpose of this thread was to explore the *potential* in a single Demi-Company and if it's plausible. 

And also, I do like playing small games. They limit your options a bit, but they also make for a more interesting tactical experience at times. Once you go past 1750, it quickly becomes "Everything Smashes into Everything" and the art of maneuver is somewhat lost. A topic for another thread, though.

Offline MagicJuggler

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 01:09:18 PM »
ObSec is nice but if you're not going full-on Gladius, the other Demi-Company variants have a lot of attractive bonuses instead.

Perhaps the real darkhorse is the Stormlance in a Fist of Medusa Strikeforce. You sacrifice ObSec for move-after-fire tougher troops, combat doctrines for more accurate shooting versus enemy units on objectives, and your transports are no longer free but they move-after-fire, shoot more efficiently, and repair themselves too.
And you get a tough maneuverable Bike Command Squad to pass buffs around, and serve as a buffer against MSU assault too.

I think people saw "fast Vindicators" and drooled but that's a trap IMO.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 10:26:54 PM by MagicJuggler »

Offline Areadbhair

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Re: Thoughts on the Battle Demi-Company?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 06:03:27 PM »
The few games that I've played were against Chaos Marines with a love for Hellbrutes, so I've always had big targets. However, the main point for building the devestators like that was to create a very obvious and scary unit on the board among a number of other obvious and scary units. Between that, their Dual-Weapon Razorback, the Assault Squad in its Razorback AND the Chapter Master with 3/5 Salvo, Mastercrafted, Shred pistol, there is A LOT to be afraid of. All of this to deviate from the Tacticals and their Rhinos. While your opponent is freaking out over what  units he should kill first, The Rhinos move up on their first turn and drop off its passengers at the start of the second (possibly on an objective). As the game goes on, the tacticals creap steadily foward and the Rhinos continue to advance as the opponent prioritises on the scarier units that are whittling away at their army, after all, who cares about a metal box with a rake taped to the front?

The real fun starts after the Rhinos and whatever other vehicles are left get to the enemy lines. The one rule I almost never see people take advantage of in 40K was the Tank rule, allowing you to drive through masses of people to scare the crap out of them and ram the sides of other vehicles to cripple them. I can't express the sheer bliss of watching units fleeing away while a Rhino charges through them to Ram a Hellbrute before delivering it a Coup d'etat. Regrettably, I haven't had the pleasure of fighting a Flying Unit yet, but comparing the Flakk Missiles to the Space Marine Flyers the rolls seem pretty doable. After all, a 4-5 Glance is not that bad when fighting vehicles, especially when you get to re-roll hits. Moreover, a good number of flyers that I've seen tend to be ones left in reserve and retreat from the table to spawn again. Having the three tactical units focus fire on these flyers as they come on doesn't seem like a bad tactic, which plays into their main roll: clean-up. There are sure to be units that slip through my offensive or manage to take down a small chunk of my advance army; it falls to the tacticals to pick up the slack, which is a bit easier if they are controlling an objective.

Is this list perfect? No, I've lost as many matches as I've won and with notable losses to both sides. Is it easy to play? No, there is only so much of the board that you can take care of without having enemies out maneuver you and systematically cut you down. But can you just charge ahead and crush this build under your feet? No, the Devastators cover the Razorbacks by taking potshots at the enemy, the Razorbacks cover the Rhinos by whittling down the infantry and drawing fire and the Rhinos draw fire that was aimed at the Devastators when they smash through enemy lines on the 2nd or 3rd turn. It's hard to pull, but when done right, you have a nice storm of enemies running everywhere without being able to fight back.

 


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