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While cruising through the Army Lists, I've been noticing a large amount of people taking the five/six man CSM squad with a single Lascannon unit. And I have to wonder what is the reasoning that people use to justify the unit.
This is the typical set up -
1x Lascannon; 4x Bolters
Often times there will be added things, such as the MoCU or Infiltration, but that's the core of the unit. Sometimes it'll be six men, for scoring purposes, but let's just talk about the five man unit for the moment. The unit listed above costs 85 points.
So what does that 85 points get you? Essentially, it gives you a single Lascannon at BS4. Assuming the squad lives the entire game, that's an average of four hits. However, you have four other squad mates that are doing practically nothing, since their Bolters won't harm a tank. You could turn your firepower upon other units, but four bolters and a Lascannon isn't especially menacing, and there are other, more versatile units that could be had at that price.
I guess I'm asking - why do people take such a unit, what roles do they assign to it, and are there any changes you might make to increase it's potential? How do you justify spending 90+ points on what is essentially a single Lascannon, when you can't bring yourself to pay for a Missile Launcher to Lascannon upgrade in a Havoc squad?
For instance, some people like to add a Plasmagun to the unit. Others infiltrate to get a good fire lane. When I used them, I would swap out the Bolters for BP/CCW so they retained a measure of close combat prowess if they were ever assaulted.
One of my latest ideas was to run a unit of eight to ten men, all armed with BP/CCW and a decked out Champion, and just splash in the Lascannon. It only costs me the +1 attack and the extra special weapon choice I could've taken, but offers an amount of versatility that's hard to find. The worst part is that if I fired the Lascannon, the unit wouldn't be able to assault that turn.
A unit that is maxed out for combat and tank hunting is spending half the game waisting half its potential. Sure a 5 man squad is just an expensive lascannon, but if it can take out a single tank its made its points back.
Now the same might go for this bigger squad, but it might have to kill other stuff to make its points back also. On the same train of thought the points on combat stuff you have in the lascannon unit, could of been spent on another seperate combat unit, which could of been doing what it does best the entire game, combat.
I look at it like putting a plasma gun and melta in the same unit, seems like a good idea, but generality isnt going to work as well as a unit being specific to one goal.
Hope most of that makes sense, though i'm sure you thought about all of that before thinking up this squad, it id a tempting choice though,
He's coming for you...
To tell you the truth, with as much infiltration that CSM allows getting within deadly range with a Plasma/Melta gun is pretty easy. Plus the plasma gun can double tap which can just tear apart elite squads. Equip an AC with a Power Fist and the rest with BP/CCW or Bolters then have them all infiltrate and you've got a pretty menacing squadron there. If I take Plasmas instead of Melta guns I like to equip the AC with Melta bombs just for that added last ditch effort.
Ah, but you're thinking of it backwards. It's not a shooting squad with CC elements, it's a Close Combat squad that just happens to have a Lascannon thrown in for extra versatility. Instead of taking that second Meltagun, you pay the five point increase and take a Lascannon instead. The Lascannon is just added insurance, but the squad operates as a normal CC unit most of the time.Originally Posted by MasokisticAngel
However, this brings up all kinds of mobility issues, weapon stacking problems and the like, which is why I've never seriously considered doing it. Just a thought to kick around.
I understand what you're saying. Instead of the Lascannon CSM squad, I run a six man, 2x Plasma squad with no champion. I find that particular unit indespensible, and much more reliable and deadly than a single Lascannon.
Hmm, I too have wondered why they're so popular on these boards. . . Nobody I know uses them.
Thinking about it I do see some draws:
1) cheap troop choices: I've seen this squad setup often in lists maxing out on elites/fast attack/heavy support. I've also seems to be a near univeral fixture in blood angel armies I've seen on the board. Useful when you want to max your number of squads, or spend your points elsewhere.
2) Troop based Anti-tank: handy I guess if your heavys are spent on anti troop stuff.
3) Inexpensive unit that is potenially ignored. These squads seem to have a high chance of survial simply based on the fact that it's 5 wounds to get rid of one gun, I personally would spend my attention first on more dire threats.
That said, I highly doubt that I would ever use them. I too am a fan of the double plasma shooty squads, and I find the utility of powerfists & melta guns in CC squads to be plenty of Troop based anti-tank should my dedicated anti-tank get taken out.
Conversely I am quite the fan of doing pretty much this for LatD traitors, but circumstances are different. . .
Also it's my impression that this is far more common among space marine players. Anybody else notice that, or am I wrong?
Last edited by JORMAGI; June 24th, 2006 at 03:20.
Votewar MKV 2nd place. . .
Back from internet limbo, and glad to be here.
Have you had much joy with this formation?Originally Posted by Caluin
LO RulesOriginally Posted by AnonymousOriginally Posted by Cyric
I always assumed that the 5 man + lac cannon squad was a durability/cheap combo. While it is costly for one las cannon, you can park that squad anywhere you want, in front of anything you want and not really worry about what can shoot at it.
For instance I love oblits, but I would never put them in a shoot out with a 3 las cannon pred by choice, while I wouldn't hesitate to toss a 5(6) man squad with a las cannon maybe in 5+ cover in front of said pred.
I agree that the 2 plas squad is much more versitile, mobile, and powerful, and can be quite effective at tank hunting, so long as you arn't fighting a demolisher. I can't actualy remember when I last fielded a las cannon on a CSM.
I think this is a popular squad for several reasons.
Speaking from my point of view I would rather spend points on unit types that I like to play, namely raptors and bikes.... so the fewer points spent on decking out troops squads allows me more fast attack/elite/heavy choices. I do understand that this concept is kind of well, dumb because typically troops win battles.
A strategic reason to take this type of squad is typically your enemy won't view it as a threat and most times ignore it until it is too late. Statistically the squad may/will not perform as well as a decked out havoc squad with autocannons and tank hunters, but the point is both squads CAN kill the tank.
Also even in small 1000 pt games the unit is <10% of your points total points so even if they dont make their points back it would not cost you a game victory points wise, and it gives you another scoring unit to claim objectives. If they do take something out, typically it'll be a huge point swing for you.
Just my 2 cents
I see this used alot in Space Marine squads. 4 Marines and 1 Lascannon. Hella sick of it, I am.