Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Reinvigorating Rough Riders!

Image of Bayeux Tapestry, Curtosy of Wikipedia

The Demise of the Rough Rider and my plan for a rejuvenation.
By Suneokun

Rough Riders have had it, well, a bit rough in the last 10 years. Glancing through the new GW website (and boy is it spanking!), the rough riders are the same attilan models I bought 10 years ago for about £2.50 each. The only significant change is the price tag, at £7 each these beauties outperform even the Orgryns in overpriced.

That means a squad of ten will set you back £70! Which is at least three Hellhounds - which are bang for the buck a better buy... except - and this is a big except - Rough Riders have some very nice bonuses.

Ponies are peanuts: While not cheap to buy in the shops, your roughrider is only 2 pts more than a normal guardsman. Even with a explosive maypole he only tops 11pts - which isn't a much considering what you can get.

Explosives: back in 1998 when I bought my first Rough Riders for £2.50 each from a Games Workshop store (yeah, I will keep saying it until you are sick!) The RR's came with a lance based power weapon. Since then some cheaty, crafty, jammy elves on jetbikes have stolen all the stock of power weapons and given them to some woofters called 'Shining Spears'. As usual the Guard just have to make do with whats handy - explosives. This means that while the price per model of roughriders is deflated, their usefulness is seriously hampered.

They only hit on the first turn of the first close combat (GW IG Ed.5 FAQ), but boy do they hit. 2A's each at I5 and S5 with a power weapon will make any self respecting space marine think twice. Be assured that they won't survive the counter attack but imagine the devastation of 10 of these boys (at 110pts) fielding 21 S5 power weapon strikes against 10 terminators. That's an average 4.67 terminators dead - They just made their Christmas bonus!

Pause for thought: what does 0.6 of a dead terminator look like - answers on a postcard to.

When the Termies respond, you will lose 5.56 RR's (Which is 5 RR's and a horse) and you'll probably rout - but good, cause those termies won't catch you either due to their slow and purposeful nature leaving you to consolidate and go on the offensive again, but this time for alternative targets!

Special Somethings: It's a tough choice but sometimes sacrificing a couple of exploding pokers can give you another angle - Melta-mundo! You've attacked the Termies, halfing their numbers and more than paying for the unit, the next thing to go looking for - tanks!

Tanks are a worthy option with roughriders, after all the enemy has just driven them off from their Terminators/Striking Scorpions/Warp Spiders or Obliterators and is happy to see them send packing. Only for the models to turn about and pop a tank at close range. Secondly, the meltagun, as an assault weapon can add extra qudos to subsequent assault and gives your RR's continuing threatening behaviour.

Bomber Run: My personal feelings are torn, while I like the idea of meltagun toting RR's, I'm hard pushed not to simply allocate some meltabombs to the squad and be done with it. It might cost 40 points across ten, but they won't be so 'scary' once denuded of their lances, and then they can strike.

Sergeant Major: another questionmark hangs over the sergeant. Do you simply plug for the 3 I5 S5 attacks of the hunting lance, or do you play the long game and buy him a powersword at 5 pts (he has special dispensation, alongside vets and stormies) - My personal feeling is that it depends on the army you're facing. Eldar and Tau, yes. MEQ's, no. He might be able to kill on a 5,6. But you are better off hitting first time with everything you've got.

Movement: Ok, so fleet of hoof sucks. Getting that extra D6 inches before the charge is ok, but it ain't the advantage it was. Luckily for cavalry there's another advantage. They can move 12" on the charge. That means that an all Hunting Lanced group goes between 19" and 24" on the charge - Tallyho!

Downside: They are tall, they will poke up ridiculously over most 'level 1' scenery. So liek jetbikes, they will attract the firepower. However bet on two things: your enemy will underestimate them and go after your hellhounds, your enemy will think them useless after they have run away and go after anything else.

Conclusion: So my MEQ killers are going to be 10 strong with lances all and a few meltabombs in the mix - that should keep the enemy busy, and at between 110 and 150 pts - its also fairly frugal. Normally this would set you back a gut twisting £70, but just like Baldrick "I have a cunning plan!"

WFB Conversion #2: Following on from the success (ok, they're not quite finished but I'm getting there) of the WFB Ogres as Orgryns, I'm implementing a similar tactic for the Rough Riders to make "Cadian Style" rough riders. It follows the following logic:
  • Buy two packs of Empire Pistolliers @ £9 each (Gifts4Geeks)
  • Buy one Cadian Storm Trooper boxset @ £13.50 each (G4G again)
  • Buy 10 lances @ 40p each (that's £4 for those who can't add up.)
And you have 10 Cadian style rough riders for a kinder price of £3.55 each!

Final, Final Conclusion: When facing Eldar, Orks and Tyranids then the Hellhound is the ONLY Fast Attack option worth considering for the Imperial Guard. 3 Hellhounds are terror incarnate, but for the ultimate MEQ leveller - it's got to be Rough Riders.

The Prosecution case rests. Rough Riders will Rock!

While researching I also found the following superb work done on this message board: CADIAN ROUGH RIDERS