[Brief Shout Out:] One of the great inspirations for me with this codex was an amazing Baal Predator that was featured in one of GW's daily update things. I was, and still am, very impressed with that particular model. I even tracked down some more pics of it. Easily one of the best tanks I've ever seen.
I like the rules, I like the models and I've practiced with an unnecessarily complicated painting technique for the tanks. So I've even bought and (mostly) assembled a Baal Predator.
Time for some list building with which to guide my painting. Thanks to Raffaele Picca and the new kit, I knew that the list would have Baal Predators with heavy bolter sponsons. Thanks to my own obsession with the idea of Predator spam, there would be three of them and 3 regular predators. And that's about all I knew at first.
First thing I did was start looking for inspiration in the lists other people have published. Kirby published a whole mess of stuff early on that got me thinking. Lots to work with there. TKE has some interesting lists too as well as some extremely useful analysis. But... he's not much of a fun of sponsons on Baals. Stelek has finally started to post some useful stuff as well, but nothing that interests me... yet. Chumby's got some good lists too. The list goes on. Lots of
So I've got some ideas, time I started noodling around on my own. With the last couple of armies I resolved to build, I simply cribbed lists off of YTTH. At that point I was waaaay out of practice with the game and didn't want to worry about having to fiddle around with army lists in addition to learning the rules again. Now that I've started playing semi-regularly, I've gotten a bit of the old confidence back. Lets spread my wings and see what I can do. Bonus points to me if I can make a list that combines my particular quirks and 'hobby' outlook with effectiveness.
I'm gonna kick this process off by taking stock of the things I really want to take. Which means 3 predators with bolter sponsons right off the bat. There's a lot of debate on how to best use these guys. To me, much of it is largely irrelevant. I like the aesthetic of the Baal with the sponsons and the auto cannons. Not too concerned with much else. So that's 435 points gone. Good thing I like the model.
At this point, the only thing I know for sure is that I will include 3 regular predators and a librarian for the HQ. The Predators being key to my initial draw to the codex. Deathtron and I popped simultaneous boners over the possibility of 6 Predator lists. And the librarian because he's cheap and flexible.
My first list was simply a modification of one of Kirby's lists. I simply replaced the regular dreads with dakka Predators, flushed out an assault squad and then traded their Rhino for a pod. Pretty good, I thought. But not exactly what I'm looking for - it just doesn't feel quite right for me. The fact that the Librarian dreads don't exist yet is huge problem for me - not too interested in spending a boat load of money to convert them (since I could never bring myself to cheapen out). Same problem I have with the Storm Raven. Back to the drawing board.
With another Kirby list in mind, I meandered over to razorback spam. At this point, I was still hanging onto the idea of dakka Preds and ended up with a pretty boring Lazorback spam list. It looked a lot like some of Stelek's critical mass lists and had a ton of HK missiles. There were a few iterations of this as well as one that involved Sanguinary priests and 10 man assault squads in Rhinos. The razoback list actually some discussion with Dethron who wasn't too much of a fan of Razorback spam and then promptly stole my ideas. Haha. I keed, I keed. He improved on the idea considerably as it turned out. I had also lost interest in Razor spam anyway.
By now, the idea of laser sponsons on the regular Predators had taken hold as an option I was open to. Especially after I saw them in action against my Eldar in a Vassal game. Pretty nasty stuff.
Then I happened across a sample army list article over on GW HQ. All three of the lists are pretty assey in my opinion, but it got me thinking about how I could add some uniqueness and a whole mess of Ecstato-Euphoro-Fun (with patented Hinder 90) to the list. Land Raiders! Of Course! I love tanks and I've always had a hankerin' for painting a Land Raider anyway, so its a perfect fit. At least from a hobby standpoint.
The first attempts were pretty shitty attempts at cramming 3 Raiders and 6 Predators into 2000 points. All the list looked really crunchy and only had 3 minimum sized assault squads as troops. I pressed on, mentally prepared myself for the eventuality of having to drop at least one Raider and finally came up with something I'm comfortable sharing with the world.
Librarian - probably with Shield of Sanguinius and Blood Lance
2x 5 man assault squads with one melta
Deditcated Transport: Land Raider Crusader with multi-melta
3x 5 man assault squads with one melta
Dedicated Transport: Razorback with twin-linked heavy flamer
3x Baal Predators with assault cannons and heavy bolter sponsons
3x Predators with autocannon and lascannon sponsons.
2000 points on the nose.
The idea being that I can slowly, but surely, advance on the other guy whilst shooting the shit out of him. Since parts of the army are likely to be grouped up, the librarian can ride in a Raider and use shield for some Safety Dance action. If need be, I can also move pretty quickly too - get in and out of trouble, zoom on objectives or even dick around with the enemy movement via scouting Baals. I feel like this is a pretty good mix of flexibility, speed and 'oh shit'. Oh, and a butt-load of heavy armor. There are a few things I'm unsure of, but that's why I'm posting the list.
So tear it apart, doodz. Thanks in advance.