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I regularly field Guardsman Marbo in my Imperial Guard army, and I have found him to be a very interesting choice. He is brilliant value for his points, and when used effectively, is utterly lethal. However, he does require 'careful handling'. Firstly, he takes up an elites choice. This does mean that you will be ruling out, say, a unit of stormtroopers or Ogryns. My advice to this is to consider the size of the game you are playing. Marbo is very effective in games of 750points to 1500 points. In these sized games, he will do enough damage to make a difference to the outcome. In larger games, stormtroopers for example would probably be a better choice.
Now he's on your roster, lets look at how to use him.
I'm sure you already know that Marbo can appear anywhere on the table. This does give him a massive advantage, as you can put him where he is needed most. However, Don't be tempted to put him next to the most expensive enemy unit for the sake of using his demolition charge. This can be very tempting, but will leave him exposed in your opponents turn. Save the demolition-charge for later.
When Marbo arrives, he cannot assault an enemy unit. To this end, it would be best to put him in cover, preferably towards to back of the enemy lines, and definitely out of line of sight. This makes full use of his cover-save bonus.
Marbo is not indestructible, therefore he has to attack the right targets. Do not bite off more than you can chew.
Top Targets for Guardsman Marbo:
When Marbo assaults an enemy unit, remember to Hit and Run. This means that you can get back into cover as quickly as possible, and reduce risk of reprisals.
- Fire-support weapons: Thunderfire cannons, eldar support-weapons, heavy weapon teams, biovores, Siper-drone spotters.
- Tanks(with no infantry nearby): Anything that is not a landraider, or that can fight back.
- Lone Indepentant Characters/single-man units: Farseers, Ethereals, Big Meks, Zoanthropes.
- Light Infantry/Scouts: Space Marine Scouts, Rangers.
- Fire Support Units: Space Marine Devastators, Chaos Space Marine Havocs.
So remember the basic rules.
- Stay out of Line of Sight.
- Don't bite off more than you can chew.
- Stay in cover.
- Choose your targets carefully.
Last edited by ChadMS; September 13th, 2009 at 11:02.
Very nice tactica. I'm sure it'll help many people. Repped.
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Some good ideas, though I think you put too much emphasis on the fact that he takes up a special. It's because he's there that he's so popular. There are few viable, cheap (money and point wise) options here that can reliably take back their points in a game. Marbo can deliver a demo charge right at the heart of the enemy and put a massive dent in their plans. He is not so much there to survive but to take down as much as he can before this cheap, throwaway unit pops his clogs.
A good point there ArtificiallyEnhanced. You're right about his Demo-charge, and the fact that he can easily earn his points back. The point that I was making was that he doesn't have to be a throwaway unit. The Demo charge is powerful, but a bit unpredictable. I have found that such weapons are best saved for when they are really needed. Marbo could do a whole lot of damage, and still survive. I wrote this tactica to give advice on how to use him to full effect. However, I know he is also effective as a suicide unit.
Thanks for your comment!
I appreciate that, and I do agree that he is a tricky unit to use to that effect. However, looking at his stats, his best punch is the demo. His attacks aren't power weapons so he will probably only take 1, maybe 2 devastators down a trun, then his low armour means that any units worth him assaulting are likely to get a strong strike back at him, killing him anyway.
Also, most of the units you listed as targets (barring the ICs which are often in squads anyway) are small, light, not very dangerous support squads which can be dealt with in other ways. You need to find A target with Marbo and point him at it like a guided missile. The guard army is all about everything having a role, a jack-of-all-trades is often redundant.
attacking only things that don't fight back, namely tanks, is a good idea. every target that still stands after he struck it will most likely kill him. i guess he can finish of lone models with few wounds and low armour save before they even strike at him. needless to say, he is kind of a glass sword. maybe destroy a tank that is separated from his friends and then suicide bomb him into an important unit.
The ideal situation is to have Marbo come onto the board in cover, toss his demo charge on a unit of MEQs in the open, and then go to ground for a 2+ cover save while a disproportionate portion of the enemy's army attempts to kill him with shooting. Assuming he survives, THAT's when you start going after the enemy's armor, snipers, characters, etc. Not so much because he might succeed than because he will continue to frustrate and distract your opponent.