Thursday, July 5, 2012

6th Edition Ruminations: Imperial Bastion: "The New 4th Heavy Support"

Did you ever wish you had one more Heavy Support slot? How about a function for the squad you left behind to cover an objective or table quarter?

Problem solved: Meet the Imperial Bastion. A likely auto-include in many armies in 6th edition:

Let's take a look....

Rules for the Imperial Bastion or HB Warehouse or just "IB" for short can be found in the Big Rule Book ("BRB") on pages 97, 109, 116, and 120-121.

IB's have a plethora of rules; which are all quite straight forward. I will cover why you should take one of these things probably in almost every game.

1. It is an armor 14 building with 4 heavy bolters and 2 fire points front and back, and one HB and Firepoint on sides for only 75 points.
2. For only 50 more points you can add a Quad Gun 48" S7 AP4...wait for it...Heavy 4, Twin Linked, SKYFIRE, and if that is not enough INTERCEPTOR.....125 points or only 40pts more than a TLLC Razor Back.
  • This gives you access to two new rules not found anywhere in your current codex.
  • The ability to shoot flyers with anything other than BS1
  • The ability to (Interceptor pg 38) "at the end of the ENEMY movement phase, a weapon with the Interceptor special rule can be fired at any one unit that has arrived from reserve within its range and line of sight. If this rule is used, the weapon cannot be fired in the net turn, but the firing model can shoot a different weapon if it has one. If model has both Interceptor and Skyfire special rules, it ues its full BS against all targets, unless firing snap shots"
  • Right, a free pop at reserve units in an out of turn sequence of shooting...which happens before they get a chance to shoot at you...nice!
3. What is better than one Bastion?....Two at 2000 points.
4. Perfect unit for your Tac Squad to sit in your deployment zone and cover 1 or more objectives. What vehicle upgrade can you purchase with this kind of firepower and protection? Well, a Land Raider...but it costs 250+ points and you would probably not decided to put just a Tac squad in it.
5. Anytime you can control the board by bringing your own LOS blocking terrain that has it's own guns is win/win.

Here is how you can really maximize some shooting. You could put a Dev squad in the IB...but why when you could put a Tac squad in there. With careful positioning you should be able to get 3 of the 4 heavy bolters facing down field, plus the quad gun...which can shoot 360.

But also you can fire two models out of every window (firing point) and all models can fire when on top.

The model is larger than 6x6 (which hold 10 models); so can hold up to 20 models or two full tac squads. However, you can occupy the inside the IB with a combat squad and the top or ramparts with the other combat squad and fire at separate targets. If you do not "man" the guns the two tac squads and IB can fire at three separate targets. However, an IB's BS is 2. When the IB's guns are manned it fires as BS of model using guns.

The IB is also a very nice place to put your 40 pt Grot squad and for 125pts (with quad gun) shoot 4 HB's and the Quad Gun at a nice BS3..very nice for Orks.

How you arm your occupying squad is up to you...but if you are going to man the guns I would compliment what is already there on the IB versus multi-tasking. Thus, I would take either a HB, plasma gun, or Missile launcher and your choice of plasma or flamer.

Obviously the HB compliments the IB's HB, plasma is up top with Quad gun. The second configuration puts the ML up top to work with the Quad Gun when able and flamer is for when you are assault and enemy is nice and bunched up right outside your door.

You might just want to keep a low budget version in your backfield and man it with two scout squads. One on the inside to fire the HB's...add scout HB here and a camo cloaked squad up top with sniper rifles and ML benefiting from a nice 2+ cover save (3+ for IB, +1 for camo cloaks). This would cost you about 195pts + IB + whatever war-gear you give to your sgts.

Another sneaky trick is to actually put a full 10 man Dev squad in the IB. Again, I would compliment the HB and Quad Gun and try something like this...
  • 10 man Dev squad...2 HB, 2 ML (or LC's if you have the points)
    • HB's and 3 marines occupy and man the front three HB (5HB!)
    • 2 ML (or LC's) up top, red shirt mans the Quad gun...and wait for it...benefits from the sgt's +1 ballistic skill rule for a Quad Gun that will always hit on 2+
      • Hell, you could do this with Telion in your scout squad as well
      • Or have Telion man it himself and use his precision shots to hit who he wants with practically 4 S7 AP4 "auto-hits" due to his excellent BS skill and TL
  • The possibilities are many. Another nice choice is a Space Wolf scout squad...with their better BS skill. Or a fat GH squad with Wolf Guard sporting Cyclone up top and Rune Priest with LL and 2 plasma guns....could go on and on.
  • Anyway if you routinely leave a unit or two (or use the 4+2 method...which is just a reinvented existing strategy) you should strongly consider this versus a vehicle upgrade.
Now you can NOT place an objective in an IB and units will not occupy one as long as they are embarked in an IB. However, just place one or more objectives within 3" to 6" and disembark your turn 5 and your golden...if your IB is not blown before that.

Being assaulted while occupying an IB is risky, but talk about an instant weed-whacker upgrade for a generic Tac/Scout/Grot/Ork Boy Squad...for a measly 125pts?

This does not even go into the tactical applications of being able to place a 10x10x12 piece of LOS blocking terrain anywhere in your deployment zone that you want. Such, would need a second post.

Brilliant marketing by GW of making awesome rules for a poorly selling model.

Pick yours up today, paint it generically, and magnetize various army specific iconography to be able to use it with all your Imperial forces.

Thanks for the read,



  1. Not sure why this has no comments yet, as it's a fantastic post. Love the tips.

  2. that's because my blog is a secret..shhh...can't you tell by the post count?

    Seriously though, thanks much.

    Appreciate the feedback!


  3. I have a question, can the same squad occupy the battlements on the inside of the bastion at the same time? e.g, uncombat squadded tactical squad in bastion, (Missile Launcher marine and 6 regular marines on top, and 3 marines down below on the Heavy Bolters) Or do they need to be separate units?

  4. @Dio

    They need to be separate units to occupy both inside IB and battlements. Though any two squads can occupy the Bastion. One on the inside and one on the battlements. You could combat a 10 man scout/marine squad then put one in each (of course remain combat squads rest of game.)

    Pretty nice to put a LF HB squad inside with a full Long Fang squad with 5 HB's...7 Heavy Bolters that can split fire...8 if you attach a IC...solves the firing arc problem just fine!!

    Thanks for the question!

  5. Thank you for posting this. I was thinking of modelling a Drop Bastion for my Ion Pyrites Space Marines to counter fliers. I think I may well have a go.

  6. Statistically speaking, you're more likely to one-turn kill a flyer with a BS5 Icarus lascannon, which is 15 points cheaper than the quad gun. How do you get a BS5 Icarus, you might ask? Put a Devastator squad in the battlements, and you can use the sergeant's signum. Then, when there's no flyers around, celebrate the fact that you have a 96" lascannon ready to rock the worlds of any non-flyer threats out there. Ditch the big tower-like portion of the bastion so that the battlements are located directly atop the bunker; then, pintle-mount the heavy bolters in the corner to ensure maximum overlap for the HB fields of fire. Then, break a 10-man Devastator Squad with 4 lascannons and someone really nasty attached, like a chapter master, into combat squads, 1 lascannon in one and 3 in the other, and deploy the two combat squads onto the battlements. Two of the regular marines in each combat squad can man the pintle-mounted heavy bolters, and the sergeant and a regular marine can be in base-contact with the Icarus. The chapter master could also be in base with the Icarus (in which case you might split the combat-squad lascannons 2-2, rather than 1-3).

    That leaves the building unoccupied. Unoccupied buildings cannot be targeted. The downside, of course, is that your bunched-up Devastator squad gets a 4+ cover save, which is really no better than an Aegis (unless you can get your opponent to agree that it's really a fortification, but that's on you...). This is better than the Aegis, though, because the combat squads on the battlements cannot be assaulted except through the building. If that kind of threat begins to look imminent, no problem - the Chapter Master (who's already dropped his orbital bombardment) runs downstairs and holds the door shut. Only now can whatever artillery is left on the board be able to engage the bastion itself (with its marvelous AV14), while your Chapter Master easily rides out the storm of Str3 AP- wounds with his artificier armor saves.

    1. Unless, of course, you cannot deploy two combat squads split from the same unit onto the battlements because the Space Marine FAQ only allows two such combat squads to deploy into the same TRANSPORT VEHICLE and a battlement is part of a multiple part BUILDING (although not a building in itself...odd), NOT a transport vehicle, and follows the rules for BUILDINGS.

      In which case the Space Marine FAQ doesn't apply to deploying into buildings and you'd better put one of those combat squads downstairs.

    2. Some good thought there....though I am wary to vary from the GW provided model. Though, the description is vague in the BRB and conversions are common place. You may face a few frowns despite this if you model one for advantage.

      Though, strangely I would not blink twice if a non-imperial army modeled their they kind of have to fend for themselves..I could see such a thing for Orks for example and would not bother me...Just my opinion. Others may differ of course.

      Now you can take a Tac squad or Devastator squad and combat squad it and embark both into the IB to man different heavy bolters and/or fire from different fire points as the IB is treated as a vehicle and you allowed to do such with vehicles.

      Thanks for all the feedback,




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