Thursday, April 23, 2009
A Sample List That I Run
HQ: Chaplain with Plasma pistol.
Reason for taking- He reigns in the Death Company marines quite nicely, and adds to their effectiveness on the charge. A nice way to fill that required HQ slot.
Troops: 3 squads of 10 tactical marines, 9 Bolters + Sergeant
Reason for taking- Since BA troops have to pay for their special and heavy weaponry, I don't take them in the squads regularly. Occasionally, if I am worried about armor, I will throw Meltaguns in there and cut points elsewhere. Heavy weapons in tactical squads generally do not pay off for me. These guys are easily split into combat squads to contest objectives, or left whole to be hard rocks upon which my defense is based.
Heavy Support: 1 Predator with Lascannon Sponsons and Storm Bolter
Heavy Support: Devastator squad with 4 Missile Launchers, Sarge has Plasma Pistol
Reason for taking- The predator has an autocannon to deal with unprotected infantry or very light armor, or the lascannon sponsons to tear through the thick armor. I park it on a good lane of fire and don't move it much for the rest of the game, preferably at the farthest possible range I can get away with. The devastators also do not move much. I generally deploy them into cover they can fire from and leave them there, as long as they have good visibility. The missile launchers are versatile enough to take on lightly-armored infantry hordes or crack open lightly armored tanks. The plasma pistol for the sarge is disposable if you need the points, but I like to have a potent short range weapon to help fend off assaults (and unless you are very good, they are likely to get assaulted at some point).
Elite: 10 Veteran Assault marines, 2 with combat shields and power weapons
Elite: 8 Death Company marines plus a rhino with stormbolter and extra armor
Reason for taking- You may be tempted to take squads of assault marines, but don't. The squad of vets costs only 10 points more per squad, and you get 2 attacks instead of 1, plus better weapon options. I take 2 with shields and power weapons, so that each can act as a sergeant if I want to combat-squad the unit. Usually though, I leave the unit whole so they are not as vulnerable to morale checks. Your Death Company marines are gonna soak up fire from the moment they debut on the table if your opponent has ever faced BA before. It helps to A) put them in a rhino for the protection, B)use the rhino to run cover for them, or C) let those overcharged engines rip and charge your DC-filled APC right up a flank or onto an objective. The extra armor is pretty vital to keeping that rhino running as long as possible to get your DC where you want them to be. The extra stormbolter is super cheap, so taking it is smart and increases the amount of 'softening up' you can do with your rhino before you disgorge the DC.
The Army as a Whole:
I like to think of the army in terms of "Assault Units", "Mid-range Units", and "Back-Field Units". All the units listed above can fit into one of these three categories. For example, the Chaplain and his DC (as I always stick them together, hence the DC squad size of 8) belong to the Assault Units category.
I use the Assault Units to attack the soft spots that become available. Veteran Assault Squads (VAS) can deepstrike or bound across the field with their packs, and DC marines can use the rhino to charge into soft spots.
Although the DC marines are tough as nails, and the VAS are quick, the Mid-Range Units are your bread and butter in this list. They are slower than your assaulting squads, but they are vital to taking ground and objectives. Their bolters have a pretty limited range, but full squads of them are pretty fearsome once they are within that range. A single 10-man squad equates to 18 rapid fire shots and 1 pistol shot, all at BS 4. Against lightly armored infantry, the high strength and penetration of the bolts wreck whole squads. Against vehicles its not so good, but it definitely gives you a chance to glance against AV10 or below. Your Tactical squads are your only troop units, so in objective-based games you can combat-squad them into a total of 6 scoring units, which is decent. Granted, they are small scoring units, but scoring units nevertheless.
The Back-Field units are the guys who sit still and shoot. The dev's and the Pred belong here. They are meant to dish out extreme prejudice at maximum range, to soften up the lines before the hammer hits. The pred is mobile enough to move if the need arises, but I don't like relying on vehicles for my Anti-Armor weapons due to the fact that a single penetrating hit is all that is needed to scatter Pred debris across the board. When you consider the availability of meltas in MEQ forces, in land speeders, bikes, and everyday tactical squads, it makes relying on a vehicle a more dangerous proposition. You either add another dev squad in place of a pred if you don't like vehicles either, or you can replace the dev's with another pred. Player's preference. I don't have 2 preds at the moment, so this suffices.
Well, that pretty much covers it. I don't like relying on special characters and such to win, as I feel that those tactics are not in the best spirit of the game. Dante and Corborlo have some awesome abilities, but I prefer good ol'fashioned MEQ horde tactics. I like to swarm the board with 3+ save infantry that have BS 4. That's just me though.
What would you do differently? Let's open the dialogue, and get some ideas on how to further refine my tactics.
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