Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Using C`tan by Serpion5

   This tactica was writen by Serpions5 from Heresy online, all credit goes to him! First of all, let me begin by saying that including a c`tan in a game of any less than 1,500 pts is a hefty investment that will probably cost you the game against any good player. That said, they are viable in larger games if you know what you`re doing.

And so I present Serpion`s guide to using the c`tan against the various armies out there. Hope this helps.

Space Marines

Space marines have access to one of the best anti c`tan tactics in the game. The dreaded Sternguard/Drop pod combo, sometimes backed up by a null zone toting librarian. Unfortunately, I have not developed a counter to this tactic.

Barring this, the Nightbringer and Deceiver both have there ups and downs against a typical marine list. Both are all but immune to small arms fire, and even the heavier weapons such as HeavyBolters and meltaguns have a hard time of wounding them. In CC you`re pretty much guaranteed to win against most of what any vanilla marine list can throw at you. That said, be wary of units that tote multiple high strength weapons, such as Land Raiders and Devastator Squads. Such units should be a priority.

The Nightbringer is an excellent choice if you want a blunt object to throw at your enemy`s lines. Get him in CC with a squad of marines/termies/honour guard and use the Gaze of Death ability. Hilarious.

The Deceiver is slightly more flexible in a sense, but these extra abilities are also situational. The Deceive ability is of very limited use given the astartes ability to auto regroup. Dread likewise can be used to assist your necrons that get trapped in CC, but don`t have high hopes of success with the high leadership marines... Of course, the Deceiver is also an effective CC unit in his own right, and the misdirect ability can be used to jump from one combat closer to where you want the big guy to be.


CC based marine variants can be a pain, but more so to the rest of your army than the c`tan itself. Fortunately, none of these armies possess the dreaded sternguard hellfire combo, but nonetheless have their own ways of dealing with your star god.

SW in particular have the dreaded JotWW power. It has happened to me, losing the Nightbringer on turn 1 to this power. Keep this in mind when deploying and moving. Yout c`tan will likely be targeted so make sure he`s isolated to prevent collateral damage.

BA have access to nasty librarian units able to boost their strength AND use a force weapon. I would advise shooting these guys down at the earliest oppurtunity.

BT are not well equipped to deal with a c`tan beyond the usual heavy weapon toting units.

Aside from these little things, the usual antimarine tricks should work. Note that with fearless units, the Deceive ability actually inflicts wounds for a failed test. Worth considering, especially if you can also work pariahs into your list.

Eldar/Dark Eldar

These guys have access to some nasty poison type weapons that render your high toughness moot. Seer councils and those nasty splinter weapons especially come to mind. Some universal tips first, keep out of combat with seer councils! Their ability to wound on 2+ with large units of warlocks is almost as bad as the dreaded hellfire pod. Both c`tan have a get out of CC ability, if you find yourself facing down 10 warlocks, use it! Likewise, anything with a similar ability in these quantities should be avoided.

I`ll be brutally honest, the c`tan is disadvantageous against these armies. That said, the Deceiver can take advantage of their sometimes lower leadership and the other fearless units again.The Nightbringer is less useful, having merely one long range ability and then needing to get into CC with two of the most mobile armies in the game... Good luck.


Firepower and lots of it. You could be facing a horde or mek list with either of these armies, so plan for both. The Nightbringer`s gaze of death is fantastic if you can get him surrounded by little guys who can`t fight back (watch out for powerfists/klaws though). The best CC units of both armies are useless against either c`tan due to the necrodermis ability. Remember, orks want to advance, and for the most part are fearless. Deceive works well, as does aetheric tempest for keeping the orks from advancing.

Dread can turn the tide if you get bogged down in protracted combats without a lith, and both c`tan are good for dealing with dreadmobs in CC.


Every tau gun except for kroot rifles has the strength to wound your star god. Without the ability to teleport or DS in any way without playing a game of Planetstrike you`ll be hard pressed to reach the tau intact, especially given their tendency to take Devilfish transports.

To be brutally honest, thge c`tan is better used as a diversionary unit in this game. Move and run at every turn, making sure to present equally threatening alternative targets in the form of destroyers or a swarm of scarabs. If they`re being largely ignored, or if you don`t have a hope of actually catching anyone, use their special abilities. Deceive can eliminate a unit from shooting effectively for a turn if you`re lucky, and the Lightning arc can take out a battlesuit or a tank with a good shot.

Needless to say, getting into CC should be your priority, especially if you can hunt down a unit of battlesuits. That said, don`t waste your time if it proves to be a useless endeavour.


Much like the standard marine list, the CSM have precious little that can seriously threaten the c`tan.

A squad of furious charging berzerkers may give you concern if there is enough of them, a nurglite daemon weapon may land a couple of lucky strikes, and then of course there are the heavy weapon units such as oblits and predators.

Remember the antimarine tactics, and you should be okay. Units that exploit your army`s weakness (such as defilers and vindicators) are easy meat for the c`tan, so try and divert attention to him as much as possible.


Necrons are afraid of most daemons, so your c`tan becomes a valuable support unit. His ability to negate their invulnerable saves and ignore the vast majority of their attacks makes him a unit to be feared in return. Your necron warriors will be targeted, so keep him close at hand to help out when needed. The etheric tempest ability can keep those annoying daemonettes away, and the deceiver`s misdirect allows him to jump from one combat to a better location in order to dissuade a more powerful unit from attacking elsewhere.

The things to watch out for are boon of mutation, and Epidemius. BoM will turn your god into a spawn if it works, so keep your distance from thusly equipped sorcerer daemons. Epidemius allows Nurgle daemons in his army to become more powerful depending on their kill tally, so a few good combats can turn them from bloated pusbags into uber warlock unit equivalent. And they are immune to the etheric tempest...

Overall, I would not consider any of the Greater daemons likely to best a c`tan in one on one. That said, dice can be fickle (especially where Chaos is involved) so don`t take it for granted.


Only a few units can threaten a c`tan in CC without some form of upgrade. Toxin toting hormagaunts need to be gunned down asap. If they do reach your c`tan, use your tempest or misdirect ability; losing a c`tan to gaunts is utterly humiliating. Not that I`d know.

Other than toxin nids, the ones to watch out for are the swarmlord (ID and forcing you to re-roll invulnerables can hurt) and the parasite of mortrex (again, ID and the possibility of adding to your opponent`s forces) can also be a nuisance.

There is little use for a c`tan`s special abilities other than to escape combat or win combat. Dread and Deceive can work to a limited degree against low Ld units like Raveners and gaunts, and the gaze of death is fantastic if you find yourself surrounded by smaller creatures (provided they`re not loaded with toxins...).

There you have it. Remember, these are my tactics based on nothing but my own experience as a result of an unhealthy amount of wargaming. If you have devised any of your own tactics, I encourage you to share them.

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