Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Colonel Straken

Just a quick shout out for the talk of the IG town these days, iv used him for some time now even before the SW FAQ threw him smack into the spotlight of everyone.

Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken

Mr. Straken is easily one of the more unique options for your IG army, the reason is that he is good at pounding face in close combat!

With an Impressive profile, that still maintains the human side of him with a low Initiative of 3, Straken brings in the highest base strength in the codex.  Coupled with his Furious Charge he swings at a staggering strength 7 on the charge.  Cool you say? well he doesn't stop there, he also ignores all your fancy armor saves, this means he is literally a guard power fist that strikes at initiative, with furious charge tipping the scales even further.  Neat you say? well Straken isn't done yet son, if you happen to be a vehicle then Straken is gonna strike you with an added 2d6 like a melta....add all that up, and he is a very impressive support package at a seriously value price.

Whats all that matter if he dies though, well he's got some tricks there too.  For starters the dudes wearing power armor (or he is power armor? mostly?), he's toughness 4 which is high for a guardsmen and hes got a wheeny 5+ inv save just in case.  It's also a nice trick to let him take as many small arms fire saves as you can with his 3+ save.  But more then any of that, he's not an independent character! so your enemy cant focus attacks on him in CC, and he doesnt have to jockey for position with his squad to get his hits in.  Also take into account that he can allocate his attacks out to any model the squads in contact with, it seems minor but it can really help maxamize his potential in a multi assault.

For instance, say you multi assault a tank and a squad.  Chances are good Straken will do something to that tank.  If he's not in base contact with it, you can allocate say 2 of his attacks to the tank, and 3 to the squad.  This way the tank is likely to be shaken or worse (probably worse considering its 7+2d6 against back amour) and you can still use him to cause a few more wounds on the squad.

Shooting wise hes good enough, BS is good for guard, but at least he's got options with his shotgun or plasma pistol.

Straken is also a very good leader, giving fearless to his own unit, and furious charge / counter attack to friendlies within 12 inchs.  This is the part that brought him into the spot light, its still really amazing even if Furious doesnt work with counter attack, it just takes a little more skill to make sure you assault first =)

While Straken is at home just being plopped into a command squad, if you really want to see him shine you need to pimp him out with all the trimmings.

If you tool him out, its worth investing in something to get him there.  if your useing him for counter assault unit then feel free to leave it out.  Probably my favorite thing is when someone pops the Chimera and feels all good about it, then Straken pops out and says "do i have to do everything myself!?"

Feel no pain and 3+ armour save at T4 and 3 wounds...awsome.  Plus this is for your whole squad, this increases survival so much it just has to be seen to believe.  It's not uncommon for my squad to take 5+ wounds and suffer no casualties.  One note, never EVER take a save on the medic if you can.  He is the single biggest boost to this squad.

-Priest W/ Eviscerator
Rerolling hits is Omazing for this squad, this is number two on the "dont put a wound on it" list behind the medic, not only that but giving it the Evis. means you have a second vehicle killer, she also has a 4+ inv save so if you just took a lascannon round and its priest or Straken or the medic...let the priest say a prayer and take it.  Two down sides though, well three. 1. Independent character means it can be singled out and must be in base to base to attack   2. Its a kill point....   3. Its pretty expensive, nearly anywhere else in a guard army theyre not worth it (large clumps of infantry they might be too)

-Bodyguard (s)
At least one bodyguard is needed, you can double up some nasty wounds on them which is awsome.  They also have 2 attacks base which is nifty as well.  Stupid rules note though, if you bring 2 BG's and try and double up the wounds by placeing one on a BG and one on Straken, which you then bring over to the BG, you roll two saves (or not in most cases of nasty firepower) and will lose both BG's because theyre the same. Its dumb, it makes little sense that one BG can do what two can not, but its the rules for models that are the same in a mixed unit.

-Special Weapons
Dont bring to many, you dont need em.  I usually bring 1 or 2 melta or grenade launchers are good, grenades are good for fireing from the roof of a transport before you actually get there.  Just be careful shooting things right before you assault, dont want to kill the models and leave yourself stranded without an assault.

 Astropath or Master of the fleet work well here, they preform their job for the first few turns then they can take a hit =)  Their also more attacks for the pool.

-Other Independent HQ's
I usually take the Primaris Psyker, his force weapon is nice to have and his shooting attack is pretty fantastic.  Throwing up his defensive power is sometimes good too, but i dont use it to often.  The Commissar is good too and with the squad being fearless you dont have to worry about him shooting Straken.

I would definitely recommend Carapace Armour as well, its a worthwhile investment for sure when you bring BG's and Advisors.  Camo Cloaks are good too, but less useful.


  1. I use this tactic quite a lot, though I put him in an outflanking valkyrie and refer to it as the straken bomb. Sure, I'm losing out on the ability to do orders and his furious charge to friendly units (unless I rush something up in support) but the carnage he can cause running through an opponents backline can be immense.

    On Monday he arrived late (turn 3, and obviously can't assault till turn 4) but still managed to destroy a dread, a predator, a rhino and a space marine squad.

    As they arrive in the valk I tend to give his men laspistols for the extra attacks. I never bother to shoot the enemy really.

    One thing to consider with this - it relies on the right roll on the penal legion squad, and them turning up at the right time and on the right flank, but a charge by penal legionnaires, already at +1 A with rending, given furios charge too... it's a beautiful sight :oD

  2. that does sound awsome with the Penal Legion!

    Once i finish my sentinel conversion project im gonna convert up a rough riders squad or two, they can race behind the chimeras...make a true assault guard army =)

  3. Wow, it's about time I found your blog! I'm from out in Big Lake, but we might have played at the same event at some point or another. I plan on attending Brimfrost this year, so if we haven't played each other yet, then that would be a perfect opportunity. It should be some good IG on IG action!

    I have a blog myself, you can see it if you're interested: http://foxphoenix40k.blogspot.com

  4. Very cool nice to see you! You playin in the team tournie this weekend?

  5. I am not unfortunately, as I am working and can't make it out to Anchorage, nor afford a 15 dollar entrance fee (sad I know).

    I think I might remember playing you now... At a Kingdom Wargames thing at the palmer library? Did you bring grey knights pillboxed into land raiders? Or am I wrong?

  6. Hmm would the bonus from the hunting lance and strakens furios charge stack? That could be lethal! :oP