The standard profile of Plasma Rifle, Nanopulsar, and Monofilament Close Combat Weapon gives the Anathematic terrifying weapons at medium to short range. In addition profiles with a Spitfire, Sepsitor, and EI Hacking Device can be purchased at an additional SWC cost, though these replace the MonoFilment CCW with a Shock CCW.
Though it has a Monofilment CCW the Anathematic should try to avoid being in melee when possible. With CC 17 it is not likely to win against any decent CC specialist. You should generally only try to attack an Immobilized target. If you do need to kill something in CC, don't forget about Suprise Attack, which applies a -6 to your target's CC stat.
The Anathematic has Thermoptic camouflage allowing it to be deployed off the table and apply a -6 modifier to enemy BS attacks. should this fail it, high armor and BTS provide some assurance of safety, and 2 wounds and V: NWI will keep you alive against all but the heaviest of attacks. With identical BS and PH the Anathematic will often be better of dodging in ARO against attacks from further than 24" Finally, if all else fails, you have G: Gnemonica, which will assure that your specialists get a nice WIP buff if someone does bring him down.
It may seem obvious but bears mentioning, the Plasma Rifle can enter Suppressive fire and can chose burst or hit mode when doing so. This can allow you to fire burst 3 teardrop templates in ARO which threatens a goodly portion of the board, especially when most opponents will also face a -12 to shoot back. Sepsitor can be used with Intuitive attack through smoke at your WIP 16 to avoid difficult face to face rolls. You gain access to both Surprise Attack and Surprise shot with the Anathematic. Learn when each is useful for stacking modifiers. With G: Gnemonica, you can use the Anathematic's ghost (after it dies) to buff any friendly trooper with cube or Autotool. This can really help a Shrouded FO or an Umbra Hacker to dominate the field, but it is also surprisingly effective on a Unidron FO or on the M-Drone that can then Sat Lock on 13s.
Knowing there is an Anathematic on the field is a big part of playing against one. If your opponent has a large hole missing from their force, you can get suspicious. There are a lot of other things in Combined that could account for that though, so look for the tell-tale signs: Lots of support pieces but no other heavy hitters or a combat group of only nine models. Much in the Sphinx article applies to the Anathematic too. The high BTS means hacking is less effective on this model, but it is still one the of the best shots you have to take it down. Beyond that, attacking it with troopers with MSV 2 (especially through smoke) is effective, as is anything that burns off the TO camo such as flamethrowers. Usually though, you wont get much warning until the Anathematic is ready to strike. Don't get discouraged. Remember that this one model represents more than 25% of your opponent's army. Burn off its camo, or target it with visors and bring it down if you have the chance. Another strategy is to go for their Lieutenant. A turn of LoL really blunts the Anathematic's effectiveness. If you can't effectively attack it: Focus on the mission and win on points.
The Anathematic is very expensive and likely the centerpiece of any list that features it. It is good to pair it with a safe Lieutenant option such as the Asuwang or Noctifer Lt. that can start the game hidden in camo. Savy opponents will try Alternately, if you bring an Anathematic LT, bring along the hacking support it needs to prevent it being isolated. It is also good to bring along the Med-Tech Obsidion Mechanoid or another engineer in case the Anathematic gets hit with ADHL or isolated.
Since you can start in Hidden Deployment, consider where the shortest approach to the enemy is via cover without considering the cover in your own deployment zone. You can place the Anathematic 8" away from total cover in the midfield, knowing that even if it gets discovered after appearing, it will end out of sight. If going second, consider leaving it out on a clear approach from your opponent's side to bait them to bring models up the "unguarded" approach, then appear with a Sepsitor or Nanopulsar late in their turn. Most opponents do not have the resources to take one of these monsters down when they only have 2-3 orders left in their turn.
Active Turn Role
The Anathematic is here to kill. It wants to kill anything without a visor or a flamethrower, and if it is far away from the Flamer it will kill that too. The Anathematic wants to get to mid range, and make use of it's deadly weapons to prevent the enemy from taking it down. This means diminishing links with heavy weapons, taking our melee specialists, and depleting the order pool. Alternately, it can go for the throat and try and kill the enemy lieutenant to prevent a coordinated response. In either case, save2-3 orders to fall back and recamouflage your Anathematic. It is too risky to leave them out in enemy territory.
The best ARO for the Anathematics is no ARO. They should try and remove a few pieces, then retreat to cover and camouflage up to avoid a fight when you can. When the Anathematic has to hold ground, putting them in suppressive fire will make a headache for troops to dislodge as you apply at least a -9 when shooting at them, possibly more. ' Don't get too trigger happy though: often the best choice is still dodge or engage to get you out of harm's way.