Coteaz has been expecting you to read this . . .
Iíve spent a lot time thinking and play testing how to use Coteaz most effectively. He has a great set of special rules, solid stats, and a Daemonhammer for a very low points cost. Finding a balance of using those special rules most effectively is tricky and Iím still not satisfied. Somewhere the ultimate combo exists. But for now, Iíll share what Iíve come up with.
Basically, I like to use Coteaz for area denial and alpha strike defense using his ďIíve Been Expecting YouĒ special rule (if that rule is ever removed or nerfed, the anguish of thousands of mini-Coteazís will create a new Astronomican). Naturally, he by himself would do little damage. I like to combine him with a pair of Servitors armed with Plasma Cannons (is their a cheaper way to get plasma in the game? I rather doubt it), a pair of Jokaero, and a Psyker (adds another Warp Dice to your pool for cheap, might even get to cast a power at some point in the game).
Letís pause and discuss Jokaero for a moment. They are pricey but suitable for many occasions. Long range sniping with Lascannons? Check. Short range melta death for vehicles? Check. Heavy flamer for dealing with mobs closing in? Check. One by himself (?) is literally hit or miss but a pair of them can make their presence felt. Also, those heavy flamers are pretty nice when youíre being assaulted, causing 2-6 S5 AP4 hits automatically in overwatch. Plus some of their Customizations can be pretty nice. 60Ē range lascannons? Rending heavy flamers, lascannons, and plasma cannons? Yikes!
For various reasons, such as Ultramarine chapter tactics granting Relentless for one turn per game, Iíve looked at using Space Marine Devastators instead of this gang of henchmen. There are advantages such as higher BS and Armor Save but they also cost more and lack the versatility of the Jokaero. Also, Iím currently using Iron Hands as allies so Ultramarines are right out.
There are other heavy weapons teams which are worth considering as well, Iíd be interested to read what others have tried. The main point is that now there is a whole lot of powerful shooty being directed at each and every unit that arrives from Reserves within 12Ē of Coteaz. Drop pod arrived? Point and click with melta and stuff. Stern Guard pour out of the drop pod? Point and click with Plasma Cannons and stuff. Rinse and repeat for each drop pod within range.
This unit also makes a pretty good medium-long range firebase.
That all sounds lovely but a couple of Wyverns or Thunderfire Cannons will chew through that Turn 1. These guys need protection! Hence a fortification. Letís go over the main ones.
The most common one I see and read about is the Aegis Defense Line. It has two main advantages: itís dirt cheap and you can add fun stuff like a quad gun or comms relay. For Coteaz, you have the added benefit that heís out in the open and you can use his psychic abilities to their fullest. But thatís the problem. Heís in the open. Wyverns and Thunderfire Cannons (amongst other things) donít care if you have a cover save. I donít recommend this option.
An uncommon one which I would also discount is the Void Shield Relay. Since the shield projects out 12Ē, itís quite possible for Deep Strikers to land within the shield thus granting you no protection from them if they survive your free round of shooting. Also, a savvy player would knock the shields down Turn 1 with mid to high strength weapons and then follow up with Wyverns/TFCs. And personally, the rules seem kind of futzy. I donít like futzy rules slowing down the game.
A good option is the Imperial Bunker or the Imperial Bastion. Both are AV14 and can take nice things like comms relay or a quad gun (although someone has to be standing by it get a higher BS, otherwise itís BS2 and shoots at the nearest target) plus other handy upgrades. I like the Ammo Store. This allows you to re-roll ones when shooting, making your henchmen about as good as Spehsmarines and your plasma cannons less likely to self destruct. I also like the Void Shield Generator. This one simply covers the building and anyone you (or they I suppose) have on the battlements. Basically an ablative HP which can regenerate each turn.
Their are several advantages to the Bunker and Bastion. AV 14 protection. The foot print of your area of denial is substantially larger. Coteaz could be anywhere in there! Running around, peeking out windows looking for things to blow up. Upgrades as listed above.
The disadvantage is that only Witchfire psychic powers work from within a building. So no Prescience or Perfect timing. Youíd have to get out or climb up on the battlements to use those. And later in the game, it might be worth it to increase your damage output.
There are differences between the two. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The Bastion is taller (better line of sight to targets and you can hide things behind it, like Dreadknights) and comes with a heavy bolter on each facing. But it costs more and two of the sides only have one window for two of your guys to shoot through. The Bunker is shorter and only has one facing as far as shooting goes but costs less and up to 8 guys and galls can shoot that direction. The Bastion youíre more likely to place more forward to get maximum area of denial while the Bunker you want to back into a corner so the enemy cant Deep Strike behind or beside it.
One of the reasons I've considered changing to Ultramarine Devastators is that once per game they gain Relentless. If something absolutely had to die, I could move them to the battlements and still enjoy their full ballistic skill while finally using Prescience and hopefully Perfect Timing from Coteaz and/or the Psyker. Maybe Misfortune as well to add some Rending. Disadvantage here is that they're much more exposed for at least a turn. Might be worth it though.
Another option for giving some protection while granting mobility to Coteaz and friends while still allowing them to shoot is to stick them in a Rhino or Chimera. Only two guys can shoot from the Rhino at a time but the Chimera in the Inquisition codex is still the old version where 5 guys can shoot out from it. Iím not too fond of this by itself since both are easy to explode. You could put them up on a Skyshield Landing Pad to give them a 4++ Invulnerable Save. That would increase their survivability (and their line of sight improves) but Iím not sure itís enough to protect your investment. Bunker or bastion seem to be better options.
All of these options should allow you to camp on an objective and be pretty hard to chase off of it. Also, Coteaz can start safely (well, pretty safely for 40k) on the board so you can use his re-roll for Initiative without argument. If only you could cast blessings from within buildings . . .