A not so brief look at HQ’s and Options
This is a compilation of the ideas given by members in the HQ tactica thread. It was compiled by Ezekiel1990.
Wargear / Options
Single Handed weapons:
- Bolt pistol - An extra attack for one point, get this for everyone who isn’t in Terminator armour.
- Close combat weapon – Cheap but worthless. Does not give any bonuses that a bolt pistol doesn’t.
- Chainfist / Thunder hammer / Powerfist – Not recommended for Independent characters, as they fight separately form any squad they are attached to or lead. It doesn’t take much to kill an Independent character before he can switch on his powerfist. Good for non-Independant characters, who cannot be singled out from their squadin the Assault phase.
- Single handed lightning claw – not a good option by itself, you are better off with a pair.
- Pair of Lightning claws – extra attack for +5 points, good for Commanders in Terminator armour or against high-toughness opponents.
- Plasma pistol – Expensive for Independent characters, too risky for non-ICs.
- Power weapon – Moderately cheap and effective. All ICs should have a weapon that ignores armour saves.
- Storm shield – Cheap but not suggested, as you cannot receive an extra attack for 2 Single-handed weapons when you use this.
Ok, the only useful Two-handed weapon is a Storm bolter for models with Terminator armour, but it may be worthwhile to just simply pay 10 more points for an extra attack by means of a power weapon. Everything else is either too expensive or not effective on an Independent character.
Artificer armour – Excellent on bikes, as you can turbo-boost and receive a 2+ invulnerable save. Otherwise, don’t bother. Terminator
armour is a better investment if you want a 2+ save, and the only thing to worry about in combat is power weapons, which ignore artificer
armour anyway. Auspex – Only handy against armies that use a lot of infiltrators, but cheap.
- Bionics – Good points filler, gives you a 1 in 6 chance of ignoring a failed armour save.
- Combat shield – Cheap and useful, seeing as how you should fear power weapons in close combat.
- Familiar – A must for non-Terminator Librarians, Initiative can be a turning factor in assaults, gives you a better chance of killing Independent characters and multi-wound models.
- Frag grenades – Cheap and lets you attack opposing units in coversafely.
- Krak grenades – Say no to Krak, kids! For 3 more points, you are waybetter off with melta bombs, and ICs shouldn’t even assault vehicles anyway.
- Master-crafted weapon – Definitely not worth the same amount of pointsas a Space Marine, Space Marine commanders have a high enough WS thatthey should hit with most of their attacks, and if you want to re-rollhits, you might as well get a chaplain.
- Purity seals – Pointless, especially since Space Marines almost neverfall back.
- Space Marine bike – A worthwhile investment for ICs that do not have a command squad, gives them +1 toughness and the ability to turbo-boost.Stick them with a bike squad, or else just get a jump pack instead.
- Jump pack – Commonly use with chaplains in order to join an assault squad, or for ICs that need to get somewhere quickly.
- Teleport homer – If you have deep-striking Terminator squads, givethese to your main assault units to deliver them safely.
- Terminator armour – Gives a good armour save, an extra attack, theability to deep-strike and an invulnerable save, all for 5 more pointsthan Artificer armour. Give this to guys who you want to lead Terminator squads and deep-strike. Note that you may not perform asweeping advance if you have Terminator armour.
- Terminator honours – Give this to every IC. You need as many attacks as you can get. Think of paying a marine’s worth of points for an attack that does more than the marine could do.
Artifacts and Relics
Each army may only have one of these, and they are generally expensive. SInce I have explained Standard bearers already, I’m only going to explain the others. Ion halo – If you have someone who is loaded with close combat gear and costs a lot of points, you might as well make him more expensive and give him a 4+ invulnerable save. Invulnerable saves are a lot more important on Independent characters because the only things they should fear in combat are power weapons, and Invulnerable saves give you a sense of security. Adamantine mantle – This is a way to give you a sense of security against powerfists and the like. This is a little too expensive for its worth, however, as your Independent characters should be in a command squad anyway, so they couldn’t really be killed by a lascannon, and you can easily keep them away from powerfists.
Librarian Psychic powers
It is important to know how to choose powers effectively. When choosing powers, think of which ones will get their points back the most efficiently.
“Shooty Powers” – I don’t suggest any of these unless you take a second assaultish power. Storm of the Emperor’s Wrath – This power has a very short range of 12”, but since you should be up and close to an enemy unit anyway (to get into an assault), it can be a useful pre-charge attack, to soften up a unit before your initial charge, or to hurt units with a good armour save. Fury of the Ancients – A good power against horde armies, as this doesn’t have a range and can potentially hit a lot of models. However, like all shooty powers. It isn’t going to do very good in an assault. The most potentially tactical part of this power is that squads that take casualties from this must take a pinning test. This could potentially keep opposing units from shooting, giving buying you a turn or so to get into an assault. Vortex of Doom – This is a Necron killer, but against models with a high initiative, this is almost useless. Although potentially you could kill a 250 pt model, most likely, they will have a high initiative, and most models that are expensive and have no initiative are monstrous creatures, which aren’t affected by this power.
“Assault Powers” – Back to my original point, which was that HQs are assault units, these powers enhance our already assault-adept abilities in combat.
Might of Heroes – This power has more tactical potential then you would think. This power (if successful) give the librarian or anyone in the same squad D3 extra attacks. Let’s say that your librarian is doomed, and you know this (say he is in base-to-base contact with his squad against a Wraithlord). Let’s also say that your sergeant is also able to attack the wraithlord. The librarian could double the sergeant’s attacks, which could potentially kill the Wraithlord (although the LIbrarian is doomed). Let’s also say that the librarian is in the same squad with a Master with Lightning claws, and the squad charges a bunch of Space Marines. The best weapon against the Space Marines is the Master’s Lightning claws, so you would give the attacks to him. This power has the most potential to get the Librarian’s points worth back, and it only costs 5 more points than it would cost for a Librarian to have Storm of the Emperor’s wrath. Veil of Time – This power costs a lot, but could potentially save your librarian from a lot of harm. Basically, you re-roll everything for the librarian. That’s like having a chaplain in your squad and LIghtning claws for free in combat, and Armour saves and invulnerable saves. Let’s say that the librarian has a 4+ invulnerable save form an iron halo. You could go from a 50% chance of saving a wound against a power weapon to 75% chance of saving it. However, this power only works in your turn, so I would suggest taking an additional power (like Might of heroes) to use on your opponent’s turn.
Fear of the Darkness – This power can have mixed results. It basically makes enemy units with low leadership to run away. This power is by far most effective when used with a deep striking unit, particularly a drop pod. It is good if there are bothersome units with lascannons or the like near your command squad that you want to get rid of, but could be bad if you scare everything away. If enemy units are scattered too far away to charge them next turn, you are really in
trouble, because you will be vulnerable to enemy shooting for at least 2 turns.
Popular HQ Combos
Here, I will discuss the most popular and effective HQ combos.
Chaplain with Assault squad
Just as it sounds, this unit is a big Assault squad led by a chaplain. The Chaplain (Usually a Reclusiarch) has a Jump pack, Terminator honours, a bolt pistol, and frag grenades, costing 122 (Reclusiarch) or 137 (Master of Sanctity) points. The Assault squad consists of ten men with Jump packs, two of which have plasma pistols, and one of which is a veteran sergeant with a powerfist (costs 260 pts). It is important to have as many men as possible in this squad, because it will probably be shot and suffer at least four casualties before it reaches combat.
If this squad gets to its target without casualties (It should be assaulting infantry), it will first shoot two shots of plasma pistols, and then nine shots from the bolt pistols. If you are doing this to a 10-man Space Marine Tactical squad, this will usually kill about 2 marines. Then you charge. The Chaplain gets 6 power weapon attacks that re-roll to hit (will kill about 2 marines), and the rest of the squad will get 27 S4 attacks that re-roll to hit (will kill about 3 marines). Finally, the sergeant, with 4 powerfist attacks that re-roll to hit, will kill another 2 marines. That’s at least 9 dead marines in one charge (10 if you consider that I rounded the results down).
With a 12” movement and the ability to jump over terrain, this squad is indeed very deadly if used properly.
Chaplain with Bike squad
This squad is very expensive and difficult to use, but if used right, can be even more effective than the chaplain-led assault squad. You basically have a Chaplain (Reclusiarch, Terminator honours, bike, bolt pistol, frag grenades) and a maxed-out bike squad (5 bikers, 2 meltaguns, attack bike, veteran sergeant w/ power fist). The problem is that this squad costs a hefty 397 pts. And at a total of seven models, you don’t want to suffer any casualties.
The main bonuses of this unit is it’s maneuverability, toughness, and firepower. Being able to move 24” and claim a 3+ invulnerable save is good enough as it is, but having +1 toughness will also make this a very difficult unit to destroy.
Because of the bike rules, this squad can shoot all of its weapons as if it didn’t move and still assault. That’s 3 Heavy bolter shots, 2 meltagun shots, and 6 to 12 twin-linked bolter shots, followed by a charge. At least 5 marines will go down there. In the charge, you will get 6 Chaplain attacks that re-roll to hit (2 dead marines), 11 S4 attacks that re-roll ot hit (2 marines down), and 4 power fist attacks (2 more). That’s an average of 11 dead marines.
With the extreme maneuverability and survivability, this squad, if used carefully, can cause some nasty devastation.
Librarian with Terminator squad
This squad can potentially get the most victory points out of the 3 popular squads. You have a Librarian (Codicier, Terminator armour, storm bolter, Fear of the Darkness, furious charge) and a 4-man Terminator command squad (2x Storm bolters, 2x assault cannons), in a drop pod.
Against low Ld armies with lots of models like Imperial guard and Tau, this unit will cause some serious havoc. Because the squad is mounted in a drop pod, you can easily land right in the middle of the enemy battle lines safely. When the squad pops out of the drop pod, the Librarian will use Fear of the Darkness. This will make enemy troops scamper like mad, and with t he right positioning, can make hundreds of points worth of units run right off the board. Any survivors will be
blasted to pieces by the storm bolters and Assault cannons.
It is so easy to use this squad effectively and safely that his strategy can almost never go wrong.
Other HQ Combinations
With all the options available, the combinations of HQ are almost limitless. Now I’ll go over some of the other combinations that can be effective or suicide.
Chaplain led Terminator Assault squad in LRC
This squad is right on the verge of suicide and effectiveness. It is rarely the latter of the two. Basically, you have a souped up Chaplain in Terminator armour (130-160 pts) that is attached to a 7-man Terminator Assault squad with Lightning claws and furious charge in a Land Raider Crusader. The good
thing about this squad is that if used successfully, you will charge with 28 S5 I5 Power weapon attacks that re-roll to hit and wound, along with the chaplain’s attacks. I don’t care what you say, nothing is gonna survive this, C’tan, Carnifex, whatever.
The bad news is that the whole unit will generally cost around 700 pts. So why use this squad? Well, mostly, you shouldn’t bother. With a
few Lascannon shots, the LRC will get blown apart and the passengers will get shot to crud. Your opponent will know that this is a huge points investment, and will usually do whatever it takes to get rid of it.
In order to have the least amount of harm done to this squad, you need to use it where it is less of an investment in your army and less of a threat to your opponent: in huge games. I’m talking about 2,500 point mega battles, where 700 points is nothing. Also, the bigger the game, the more for them to kill, and the more effective it will be.
HQ in Power armour with drop pod and Command squad
This squad can be used well with any HQ; LIbrarian, chaplain, or commander. All you need is equipment for attacks and a deadly command squad. The best way to do this is to give the HQ model a bolt pistol (plus it’s mandatory power weapon), terminator honours, and some form of invulnerable save to keep it alive in combat (Iron halo, 4+ save is free with chaplain). This will cost between 110 and 150 pts. He goes with a 9-man command squad with 2 meltaguns and a veteran sergeant w/power fist.
When you deep strike, you will have enough firepower to take care of any immediate threat with the meltaguns and many bolters. When you get into combat, you will probably kill at least 6 marines.
This squad is relatively cheap (300 pts) and effective.
Crazy souped up Terminator command squad
This squad is definitely suicide. The basic idea is to have all 3 character types with Terminator armour with a Terminator command squad. It will be very good at shooting and assault, and can deep-strike, so will probably get close to your enemy.
The problem is that your opponent will throw everything he’s got at this squad, because it will cost over 750 pts, and a few Plasma cannons are death to this squad. This squad is an ideal unit to charge with the Chaplain-led Assault Terminator squad.
Although this will probably look cool and will scare your opponent, it will never get those 750 points back. Leave this unit where it belongs: on the display shelf.
Chaosbyrnn’s Crazy Bike And Artificer Armour Command squad
This squad is very, very complicated. You have 2 HQ guys on a Bike with Artificer armour, the veteran sergeant, apothecary, and champion on Bike with Artificer armour, and the infiltrate skill. What does this do? A few things, really. First, it is very difficult to destroy. If you add 2 regular marines with Plasma cannons, you can rest assured that they will be alive for a long time, since the hits in shooting will go to the 2+ save bikes with toughness 5 first. Secondly, psychological warfare! Your opponent will be scared ****less while deciding whether or not to put an unproportional amount of shots into this squad, or assault it, both of which are difficult to do well!
Of course, the downside is that it costs about 800 pts, so it suffers from the same weaknesses as the Chaplain-Terminator squad, and 2 plasma cannons aren’t going to do much for 800 pts.
Chaosbyrnn’s (other) Crazy Terminator command squad
First, let’s get something straight: No where in the SM codex does it say that non-ICs can not take Terminator armour from the armoury.
Therefore, your characters in a regular command squad could take Terminator armour. Let’s say that the 4 characters and 2 attached ICs take Terminator honours. That’s basically six Terminators in a command squad that can infiltrate!
If you take this squad, you might as well take the trait scions of mars, which reduces the cost of terminator armour to 15 points for single wound models. However, even if you do this, the squad will cost over 600 points, so don’t bring these to anything under 2000.
Some final notes:
- Assault. Despite what people say, your HQ units have the best potential for assault than anything else. So equip them that way.
- Movement. Your squad needs some conventional way of moving, so that it can get into assault. Since Rhinos can be blown up with a measly 2 missile launcher shots, I suggest not using these rollingcoffins. Drop pods and bikes are the only ways to go.
- Shooting. Despite being built for assault, HQs can still have an enormous shooting potential. It could be assault cannons, meltaguns, or even two plasma cannons with Chaosbyrnn’s Crazy squads.
- Don’t use artificer armour, unless the model is by himself and turbo boosting, and give him an invulnerable save. When in an assault (which you should be!), the artificer armour isn’t going to do much against power weapons.
- Don’t spend too much on HQ! Even though your HQ can turn out to be devastating souped up units that can cause severe devastation, your opponent will know this and devote a lot of his firepower to wiping it out. In larger games, your squad will seem like less of a threat, so will be ignored more. If it’s very small, you HQ can still cause a lot of damage and be passed as a minor threat.