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Friday, April 27, 2012

Kill Point Denial: Lists Intro and Space Marines

Before I get to talking about potential for different codices, I wanted to do a little introduction to the type of lists that you will see.  Each list will contain hard to kill units, units which are designed to grab easy kill points, and units which are designed for speed in contesting objectives.

Past that, most of the lists I am going to offer are merely concepts.  I have no clue if they will actually work as I have not played them all.  What I am doing is building lists around concepts, intended to exaggerate useful tactics or points.  If you really wanted to use a specific codex to build a kill point denial list, I would put a lot more thought into it than the little glance I am taking to show points.

Accordingly, I can all but guarantee you that most of the lists I will present here are probably terribly inefficient and also not very good.  To further prove the point, I will point out areas where I see weakness in the list along with strengths.  The idea here is a learning experience (for both you and me, really) not an exercise in providing you with powerful lists, something which I won't even guarantee is possible with every codex.

My path forward here will be to identify some very good choices in each codex and explain why.  Then, using those choices, construct a list that shows concepts, discussing its strengths and weaknesses.

Space Marines

One of the older books, Space Marines has a lot of sneakery that can be applied to kill point denial.  Just at a n initial glance, here are some units which really catch my eye for a KP Denial theme:


Korsarro Khan - He allows you to take bikes as troops and outflank.  First off, troop bikes are awesome because they are both your speed element and potential scorers.  They also bring a decent amount of anti-tank capability for each kill points.  Furthermore, Khan will allow to null deploy and come on where the enemy is weak.  Great choice!

Darnath Lysander - 4 Wounds, 2+/3++, and Eternal Warrior.  For those Paladin fans out there, I see a lot of potential here for a model that can join a unit, and be used to absorb those one off S8 and Ap2 shots.  Not to mention, he's a beast in combat.  A model like Darnath causes your opponent to have to bring something bigger than just an above average assault unit if he wants to dislodge you.  Grey Hunters just won't cut it!  He also has Bolter Drill which could be used in combination with normal terminators for anti-infantry positive kill point potential, and he also brings bolster defenses which can be used to increase cover saves.  All around great choice!

Marneus Calgar -Not as good as Darnath, but again, Eternal Warrior and a beast.

Librarian + Gate of Infinity - Very good choice!  Gate of Infinity could be used to run away from the enemy or used to contest objectives late game.  This package allows you to avoid dying as well as pigeon-hole an objective on the last turn.  The psychic hood doesn't hurt either!

Master of the Forge + Conversion Beamer - Here's a unit that has an incredible range on a weapon that can easily gib a tank.  This is a good thought as we can stay out of enemy range and still potentially pick up an easy kill point or two.


Terminators - 2+ save and ability to carry 2 x Cyclones in a 10 Man squad.  4 Missile Shots are great at picking up easy transport kill points.  Also, combine that with Storm Bolters, and we have a pretty good squad at taking down 5 man infantry squads for easy kill points.  Durable and positive kill point potential.  Throw in Darnath, and you are cooking with grease!

Assault Terminators - One of the major weaknesses of most KP Denial lists is what I call the "Storm Raven Charge".  These are generally GK or BA lists that charge forward to deposit a lot of scary assault units.  Bad if you don't have something to blunt them!  This is that something.


Tactical Squad - 10 men, and a long range tank busting weapon.  Not a bad choice here!  Have a decent kill point potential and ability to run, hide, and score.

Scout Squad - Camo-cloaks + cover = kill point denial at its finest.  Cheap, scoring, go to ground for a 2++.  You can also take a missile launcher for the potential, not great, at killing a transport.

Bikes - Another great choice!  Able to carry a multi-melta that can move!  Able to carry plasma weapons that can move and fire, thus being able to potentially pop a rhino and stay away from the enemy.  More importantly, they can turbo for a 3++ to contest and because they score, even claim!  Probably the best choice.


Bikes - See above.

Assault Marines - Again, 10 men with potential to move fast, stick around in a fight, and potentially grab a transport kill.  Not idea here, but workable.


Devastators - 10 x men with 4 ranged anti-tank weapons.  Great positive kill point potential!

Concept List: (2000)

Darnath Lysander
Korsarro Khan + Moondrakken

8 x Assault Terminators w/ TH/SS
10 x Terminators w/ 2 x Cyclones

5 x Scouts + Camo Cloaks + ML
5 x Scouts + Camo Cloaks + ML
8 x Bikes + 2 x Plasma Guns + Combi-Melta + Attack Bike + MM
8 x Bikes + 2 x Plasma Guns + Combi-Melta + Attack Bike + MM

Kill Points: 8

Positive Notes:

- You can potentially null deploy the whole army to deny your opponent many rounds of shooting.  Deep striking terminators, whole army outflanking, walking on, etc.
- Darnath goes with the normal Terminators most of the time.  He can absorb one off wounds.
- Khan and Bikes can outflank.  Come in via reserves, mostly outflank.  Bikes can take pot shots at transports at 24 inches to earn easy kill points, or turbo around terrain to stay alive.  Great for late game contesting!
- Khan can also break off late game to turbo-contest by himself or be used to wreck a small 5 man squad on a back-field objective!
- Scouts are great for holding your own objectives if needed and have a 2++ if they go to ground.
- The assault terminators are there to protect you from a "Storm Raven Charge" or very fast moving assault army.
- The normal Termies have 4 missile shots for easy transport killing and a lot of storm bolter shots.

Negative Notes:

- Against a very fast moving assault army, or drop army, you may find yourself in trouble as you have little to hold them back with.  This would be a case where you need 2nd turn and to null deploy.
- Against an army that brings a tremendous amount of anti-infantry, this type of list doesn't quite have the durability I would like to see.  It will be durable against most lists, but there will be some to which it is not.
- Won't play well against another KP Denial style list.

General Feelings:

Not a very good list!  It does point out some very useful tactics though!

One that is really worth mentioning is the idea of using Khan to break off an late game contest.  Using ICs for this capacity is generally great because it creates another unit you can contest with.

You can also combat squad your bikes if you feel like you can survive enemy fire to add even more contesting potential.

Many KP Denial lists have a "fire base" that needs to be protected from fast moving assault.  Your assault terminators and Darnath are there for this reason.  Your normal terminators will be a fire base (not bad in assault either!) and will need some amount of protection against certain list styles.


  1. Neil,

    Personally I enjoyed reading this article, as I play a kill point denial list very effectively and it frustrates the hell out of my opponents. At Adepticon, all weekend I lost a grand total of 12 (4+2+3+3) kill points (out of a possible 11 x 4 = 44kp) in four games. Needless to say, I won all of the kill point requirements in my games.

    You do have some very solid concepts in here, but taking practically 20 terminators =/= a kill point denial list in my mind. Yes you will intimidate people from coming in and trying to assault you, but then you are sacrificing other units which would make this style of list amazing.

    What are my problems with the list?

    1) No long range anything
    2) No ability to get kill points while denying them from your opponent
    3) Too many points invested in a unit which will be doing nothing all game (Assault Terminators)
    4) Though both special characters are cool, you don't need both of them

    I'm not sure what else you have in mind for this article series, so I look forward to it developing, but my personal suggestion is to not overlook underused units in this style of army building as they can prove to be essential in a KP denial army.

  2. I recently finished putting together a Deathwing army and I have been following the series closely. I think Deathwing is interesting in that it is close to being both MSU and Kill Point Denial.

    My 2k list:

    Belial - TH/SS

    Upgraded DW Squad
    TH/SS Apoth.
    TH/SS Banner
    2x TH/SS

    2x DW Squad
    4 x TH/SS

    DW Squad

    2 x DW Squad

    2 x Ven Dread

    9 total kill points, all infantry w/ the exception of the Ven Dreads. Between the dreads and the CMLs, popping light armor is pretty easy. The only weakness/divergence from your paradigm is the lack of speedy contesting elements. I have tried to satisfy this by using Deathwing Assault, however the only kill points I tend to give up are from deep-striking squads who are not supported by the other elements.

    Anyway, would be interested in your thoughts.


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