Sunday, 7 August 2011

FW Death Korps of Krieg Army List for Praetorian's?

I received an email a couple of days ago from a regular reader, mk6marine.

I just recently came across the rules for the Death Korps of Krieg Siege Army. Have you ever experimented with the list and ran your Praetorians that way? Considering the limited time between the Zulu Wars and WWI, I don't think it is much of a stretch to think that Praetorians may have adopted the tactics of their brother Death Korps (whom each are patterned after). If you haven't even seen the list, it can be downloaded from Forgeworld. They include some special rules which give +1WS (which i feel caters to a block of Praetorians with bayonets fixed), regrouping under 50% (Rourke's Drift comes to mind), and no negative leadership modifiers in close combat (again, that last man standing mentality). In my mind the Krieg mentality of a lot of infantry with artillery support and maybe some cavalry is perfectly in line with the victorian themed Praetorians. Just curious as to your thoughts. Feel free to post this on your blog to see if there are any fellow Praetorians who may have tried it.

Forgeworld have been good enough to publish an updated version of this army list on their website as a free download, the original having been printed in the Imperial Armour series. You can find the download, and others, at,

The list uses a small group of special rules, which are essentially updated versions of the 4th Edition codex Iron Discipline, Die-hards and Hardened Fighters. These allow units to always regroup when within 6" of an officer, confer the Stubborn USR, and add +1WS respectively. Which in my mind do indeed seem appropriate to the Praetorian theme of an army lead by its officers, with a strict discipline which see's them standing against the odds. Oh - and with a Bayonet. I used the two former rules myself back when we had those lovely Doctrines.

With the list you do lose a few units though, Ratlings, Ogryns, Enginseers, Priests, Veterans, Chimeras, Pyskers, Special Weapon Squads, Sentinels, Valkyies, and all the artillery type vehicles. There are some serious drawbacks amongst that little lot. While they don't scream 'Praetorian', some like abhuman auxiliaries are a nice touch, Priests also fit right in if you've ever seen Zulu (and if not, why not?), and Special Weapons squads are clearly Engineers. More pressingly perhaps, from the perspective of game play ,the loss Veterans, Chimeras, Pyskers and Valkyries especially is potentially acute. These are without doubt some of the most commonly used units in competitive armies, and with good reason.

However, you gain towed artillery, Roughrider Command Squads, Engineers and Heavy Weapons platoons amongst others, all of which are definite boons amongst others for creating a themed list. The towed artillery especially fits in perfectly with the theme of Praetorians, and look every inch the part, both light field pieces like the Thudd Gun (a personal favourite of mine, even if I've never used one) and heavier guns like the Earthshaker carriage. Likewise Heavy Weapons platoons work well for batteries of field guns - though it has to be said regular Heavy Weapons squads work just as well. Roughrider Command Squads are great thematically as well, for leading a massed cavalry charge, warriors on horseback fitting in perfectly with the ethos of the army unlike some other regiments. The Engineers meanwhile, sit in the place of Special Weapons Squads. However, as independent units, even with extras like the Hades Assault Drill, they don't quite fill the gap of Veterans.

I can certainly see the appeal of using this list for Praetorians, the special rules sit nicely, as do the extra units. However, several of these extra units, like the towed artillery, can be used anyway with the regular Guard codex given opponents permission - which you would need to use this list anyway. There are also special rules like the Death Riders bionics save which don't quite make sense for Praetorians.

So the question is are the units which are not available to the regular codex, and the special rules that important to creating a themed army? Modeling aside, is the result when using this list more thematic then a regular codex list, perhaps with some extra units? Further are the restrictions of the Krieg list, the lack of access to some of the Guards 'best' units, worth this?

I've not quite made my mind up yet, but what do you think?


Commissar Dave said...

You do make some good point's, and I have looked at the list myself thinking I would base my Praetorians on it. I do like the idea of having a 40k army in the old imperial style, but decided against it as it would not be a competitive army or very fun to play with. As you would be constantly losing games to army's with small amounts of vehicles.

Plus I didn't like the fact of losing all the vehicles with doing that army list, as the vehicles really enhance the fighting ability of any guard army.

Captain M. Anderson said...

I run a all infantry list with artillery (basilisks though) and this is very old school guard list. It is not the most effective but it is so fun to play. I think it would be great to get more artillery for cheaper that don't move and have less line of sight. But then again movement is nice and still fits my them. I was tempted to do this as I want a pure human list with nothing but foot guard formations. But the pure fact the tournaments and games need permission to use it turned me off. Also this lack of limitations does give me options if i want to take my theme army competitive.

mk6marine said...

Thanks for the comments, keep them coming!! I am still torn about using this list myself. I don't think it will be very competative, but I do think with the whole "leafblower" syndrome, it would shock opponents to see all infantry. That in itself could win the game. It is not very mobile but if your opponent has no scoring units, you can still win. I really think it needs playtesting, but I don't want to invest in a lot of extra artillery models if it is not worth playing. I'm still hoping that there is someone out here who has tried it.

Col.Gravis said...

It is indeed 'uncompetitive', and especially if you play with the appropriate amount of terrain. Its static and very 'shooty army from hell'. The thing is though, you can do just the same with the regular codex without the limitations which keep you from more competitive builds.

That said sometimes something completely in the face of the 'meta game' can work. One of the nastiest lists I've faced is the Ork Kan Wall, backed up by hordes of Boyz, without a Battlewagon or Nob biker in sight. The 'meta game' says no to this, but it works much like a steamroller.

I'm really thinking that the benefits of the special rules don't justify the restrictions, and likewise that these same restrictions do not improve the army thematically anymore then appropriate unit selection and modelling.

mk6marine said...

Hah, how funny is that. My 2500 point ork army is 6 killa cans, a deff dread, Warboss, Big Mek, and 120 ork boyz. It hits hard and works more often than not.

As for the Krieg army, I think I am leaning more toward codex. Besides the overall theme, I really didn't feel like buying a bunch of vehicles for a mech list and thought that if I was going to go infantry heavy, this might work.

Col.Gravis said...

At 2500? Must be plenty more in there surely, or lots of upgrades? The one I play against at 1500 is 90 boyz, 9 kanz, death dread, some lootas, a couple of meks and a unit of grotz. Very nasty list anyhow, deal with the kanz and the boyz get you, deal with the boyz and the kanz do. lol