So, I have recently been making a lot of lists with Penal Legionnaires, and finding them to be very resourcful, though not to be relied on in full. Their Desperado ablities make them perfect for outflanking roles of most types, and being Stubborn, they rarely retreat in close combat, especially with Leadership 8.
And do you want to know some nasty tricks I found with them? Of course you do! That's why you follow this blog - to learn nasty I.G tricks and listen to me, Reds and Requiem rant on our most favourite army in the whole game!
So, as you know, the Penal Legionnaires can get 1 of 3 abilities:
Assault 2 Lasguns from being Gunslingers, Rending and an addition CCW from Knife Fighters, or Fleet, Furous Charge and Counter Attack from being Psychopaths. These are all very good abilities, though I have found less use for the Gunslingers ability.
First off, if you roll Psychopaths or Knife Fighters, put a Munitorum Priest in with them armed with an Eviscerator. This will allow you to outflank with a Strength 6, no armour saves allowed, extra d6 for armour penetration weapon, which in my book, is always a good thing.
Oh yea, and did I mention they can re-roll missed attacks in close combat?
I have 9 Legionnaires, a Custodian, and a Priest. I roll a 5 and they have Rending and extra melee weapons.
My target: a Space Marine Devastator squad set up on my left side of the board.
So, I roll for reserves, and to my gratitude, they arrive on whichever side I want them to arrive on (a roll of 5 or 6). Keep in mind, this will not always happen, so you must be careful, and lucky.
Because you can assault immediatly after arriving via outflank, I move them up to the Devastators as close as I can. I might fire the Custodian's laspistol, but I don't expect it to really do anything.
The following rolls have actually been rolled. They are not the material of Math Hammer at all, but my own dice rolled on my computer desk.
I charge. The marines attack first. There are 5 of them, and the sergeant has a bolter, not a pistol and sword.
to Hit: 5 hits
to Wound: 5 wounds
my Saves: 3/5
End: I have suffered 2 casualties
My Attacks (Legionnaires):
to Hit: 10
W/ Re-Rolls: 15 total
to Wound: 3 Rending, 3 wounds
Marine Saves: 2/3
End Result: I have killed 4 Devastators
attacked 4 times, hit twice, wounded once, no kill
to Hit: 3
to Wound: 3 wounds
No Saves Allowed
So, if the squad was larger, I would have killed 7 MEQ's with only 9 Guardsmen. A very good bargain, I believe.
If you want to be very mean with your Rending Legionnaires, get Colonel Iron Hand Straken nearby, or use Creed to issue the order "For the Honour of Cadia", thus giving your Knife Fighters Furous Charge and Counter Attack, or Furous Charge and Fearless USR's.
Those are the dirty tricks I know and have used to great effect. I hope they aid you in slaying yoru enemies quickly and efficiently