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  1. #1
    Lord of Shadows CleanRabbit's Avatar
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    Drop your Devvies!

    ((( - Warning, Long post detected! - )))

    I am a RavenGuard player as some of you may know. Heavy support choices for RG-dedicated players have been a problem for as long as i know of. Drop pod assaults, assault squads and scouts seem to be the main stay of most RG lists, which leaves very little option for tank-busting and mass horde clearance. A few missile launchers do make a difference on tactical squads, but its not quite the same as 4x plasma cannons tearing it up, especially against MEQ armies, or 4x las cannons against those tank-heavy lists (eg, a leman russ heavy IG list).

    So, after being annihilated (again) trying to infiltrate and drop troops on a tank-heavy list, I scanned through several other forums then went back to the codex to look more closely at devvie squads, and came up with something.

    Devvies can take a drop-pod as dedicated transport - we knew that. But what is hidden (slightly) is that all devvie models are equipped with a bolt pistol and bolter as standard. When selecting a heavy weapon upgrade, the upgrade only replaces the bolter, so that free pistol is still part of the marines’ wargear.

    Doing a bit of rules lawyering, a model can be equipped with two ranged weapons, it is up to the player to decide which weapon is fired.
    Can you tell where I’m going with this yet?

    Take a 10man devvie squad, optional upgrade on sergeant (at your discretion) and what ever heavy weapons you feel you'll need to take down the enemy.
    Deep strike the devvie squad along with another supporting unit, such as a dreadnought or tac squad (meaning you'll need at least 3 droppod-riding squads to pull this off). You'll want locator beacons on those pods!
    Combat squad the devvie squad, keeping the heavies separate from the other meat shields and on deployment make sure the heavies are least able to be assaulted (hide them behind the meat-shield combat squad or supporting unit or both).
    Keep the sergeant with the heavies - because here is another piece of useful information. Devvie sergeant come with a signum (a what?) a signum, allowing a single model in the sergeant's squad to fire with an increased BS for a single turn, in place of the sergeant shot (obviously only usable in the shooting phase).

    So, there is the deployment. How to use it? Well, the combat squad with the heavies cannot shoot their main weapon on deployment from the drop pod (counts as moving!) but they can shoot those tasty pistols if anything is too close when you deployed! Couple that with rapid-firing bolters from the meat-shield combat squad, and abuse from the supporting unit, and that can add up to a lot of ranged attacks on turn 1. On the opponents turn you'll have the meat shield combat squad and supporting unit to keep the enemy away from assault range of the heavies. Turn 2, you have a heavy support option with (i would hope!) perfect fire lines on what ever units need obliterating. Combined with added cover save for being hidden behind the meat shield combat squad or supporting unit and those heavies suddenly have a greater chance to survive long enough to fire their main weapons =)
    Remember, when it comes to turn 2, use that signum, a bolter shot from the sarge is insignificant to the bonus to hit with a las-cannon or multimelta, and can bring a stray plasma cannon shot back that bit further!

    Naturally, this is all still a risky move when facing a lot of units that use template or blast weapons, however tucking the unit around the pod in the right way can reduce enemy line of sight further if done in the right way, further increasing survivability of those precious heavies.
    If the enemy are everywhere and the only option is a make-or-break dash to the nearest hill, don’t forget about being able to run those men instead of shooting the bolt pistols - it might not hurt the enemy right away, but it could keep them alive long enough to see to their death come next turn!

    As a bonus, if the enemy are far too close to make use of those expensive plasma cannons you took with you (too great a risk of killing your own men!) then fear not!, move, shoot those pistols and assault! Don’t ever, ever, ever let the enemy think they have you pinned because your holding a heavy weapon, heck, even the heavy weapon trooper in a tac squad still has a pistol for those assaults!

    I've lost units in critical games that could have turned the tide with a single bolt pistol wound. I pray you will not make my mistakes knowing what you know now.

    For ideas on a supporting unit for the drop-pod devvies, consider these:
    • A tactical squad with your usual outfit - 10 men can easily cover a 5man devvie squad and add that much needed support come turn 2.
    • A dreadnought kitted to deal with what the devvies cannot - a dreadnought can fire its weapons on deployment, further adding to the destructive power of this assault.
    • A command squad. You can drop pod a command squad without the attached IC if you prefer. The apothecary will help keep the devvies alive, but really, its an expensive unit to be using as a 5man meat shield.
    • A 10man sternguard squad. This option can rattle out a lot of shots that are dedicated to taking down specific units. Very useful to have within rapid fire range, so dropping them with the devvies turn 1 can really help remove anything in assault range!
    • Another devvie squad. Having 8 heavy weapons on the enemies door step is always better than having 4, and further increases the potential destruction on turn 2 - even after sustaining heavy casualties.

    After some considerable play-testing, i found dropping devvies near table edges - although risky - gives up to 300degrees of cover, allowing you to control exactly what can see your squad as you deploy the men from the pod.

    Don’t forget to bring the other deep-striking units on top of the drop pods as soon as possible! Then you'll have a gate-way into the enemy with firepower capable of crippling the opposition at their most vulnerable point - exactly as a Raven Guard commander should.

    C&C welcome.
    Best of luck trying this tactic,

    CR

    PS. Canew, feel free to b1tch slap me for any rule breaking, not that you ever needed my permission in the first place hehe

    Last edited by CleanRabbit; January 8th, 2009 at 02:23.


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  3. #2
    Senior Member crazyrpger's Avatar
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    There is also, of course, the option of deploying the heavy weapons standard and having the second half of the combat squad in the drop pod. Most heavy weapons have long enough range that you don't really need them right in the middle of the field. Unless you're taking multimeltas, I see that as a viable turn on this tactic. Plus, you don't have to change your list to do this. You just decide at the beginning of battle. Flexibility is the new byword for marines.
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    Or

    If you are wotied about tanks and need death from above why not sternguard with combi melta s you could even take a squad of 10 of them and combat squad them after you hit the table. If you are really woried you could take las cannon razorbacks or predators.

  5. #4
    Lord of Shadows CleanRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justiceisrelative View Post
    If you are wotied about tanks and need death from above why not sternguard with combi melta s you could even take a squad of 10 of them and combat squad them after you hit the table. If you are really woried you could take las cannon razorbacks or predators.
    You may notice i mentioned sternguard as an option for a deepstrike partner to the devvie squad. The problem with combi weapons is the single use of the special weapon - which makes them almost useless against a tank-heavy army - after all, it only takes a couple of misses and you'll have trouble.

    As for armour of my own? Well being a Raven Guard player, its not quite fluffy to play armour. An occasional wirlwind sat at the back isnt so bad, but to stay fluffy needs a lot of assault marines, scouts and drop-pod tacticals =)

    Until i worked out this tactic, i'd relied on meltaguns and power fists on TAC/ASM squads to deal with the odd tank or two until i came across a armour-heavy IG player who has schooled me on the art of leman russ spam =(

    Cheers for the feedback though guys, much appreciated.

    CR


  6. #5
    Son of LO kevin vanrooyen's Avatar
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    How many tanks did this guard player have and at what point level?
    I'm not too sure about dropping my devies in, they have a long range so why not put them in your deployment zone? if you drop them in they miss a turn of firing, and you aren't guarinteed to drop them into cover.
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    well, assault squads now are pretty decent vs tanks w/o meltabombs. krak grenades against av10, as well as 3 swings with a powerfist on the same? works for me.

  8. #7
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    Yep, it works.
    I remember writing up a combat squad (From Dark Angels) before 5th / new dex was even released.

    It went:
    Blah blah isn't it a shame you have to buy a expensive sgnt for your devs? Blah Blah
    Isn't it a shame that your first asault wave almost never survive? Blah blah.
    I know: give the dev sgnt a Combat weapon, and put him in a combat squad (With MultiMelta if desired), then have the other combat squad with *Insert heavy weapons here* deployed in your setup.
    They're likely to die, but they should be able to do some carnage in the meantime, especially if not dealt with properly (a setup with droping 3x heavy bolters, and deploying one lascannon was also proposed)
    It does work, but expect a short life expectancy. The most it tends to do is disrupt the opponent - any opponent worth their salt will turn and kill them immediately if they're a real threat. But it did what you wanted - disruption. Be wary of the extra Kill points given away though - One dev squad becomes three KP's. Ouch.
    I do this with vet's nowerdays with a multimelta (the extra attack makes up for the increased points)

  9. #8
    Lord of Shadows CleanRabbit's Avatar
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    This is by no means the ONLY way to work the devvies, but in my army list (and many of those of Raven Guard), assault squads, dropped tacticals and scouts are practically the only other things we take.

    Dropping vets is effective in assault range/close combat, but sometimes a bit more fire power is needed as either back up to those vets or as the main distraction.

    My usual list includes infiltrating scouts, infiltrating shrike with attached assault squad (and jump chappy if points allow), deep striking a few land speeders and dropping tacticals. As you can see, hitting the enemy hard and fast (Like Brannigans Love - Futurama fans enjoy) is the general style.

    Hitting static firing lines without quality fire lanes from supporting units is dangerous, so dropping those heavy weapons into place opens up whole new ways of dealing with the enemy at close range.

    Naturally, pulling this stunt against an assault heavy army will result in some really fast death for those devvies, so use personal discretion.

    Also, as StaysCrunchy noted, as a distraction they work brilliantly, allowing other deepstriking/assaulting units to get closer without the enemy focusing fire on the assult units.

    Ultimately this little guide/Tactica was only to enlighten folk into another way of using the marines they have. You all will get mixed results from this kind of deployment, but if anyone tries it then I've achieved all I wanted from sharing =)

    Cheers again for feedback.

    CR
    Last edited by CleanRabbit; January 8th, 2009 at 14:25.


  10. #9
    LO's Resident Time Lord Canew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleanRabbit
    PS. Canew, feel free to b1tch slap me for any rule breaking, not that you ever needed my permission in the first place hehe
    LOL you're ok, just watch the language (yeah, yeah, I know, there's a "1" in there.)

    As to your tactic, this is most interesting, but only if you have a lot of drop-podding/deep striking units to distract your opponent. My army probably won't do this, as all I have podding in right now is a dread. Not good odds for the devvies.

    Also, aren't you worried that you're spending too much time maneuvering those tasty heavy weapons into position? Even if the pod arrives on turn one, that still means two solid turns (if you count dashing into cover) before you can use those expensive models. If the pod doesn't arrive on turn one, that's even more of a waste.

    But again, if you have a lot of pods, you could use the special rules to get it into action fast. All in all, very interesting, and food for thought.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Mad Cat's Avatar
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    I think space marine devastators are poor at the best of times. They are expensive and immobile. The game only lasts 5-7 turns so droppodding them is even worse as it tones down your firepower and exposes them to being shot or charged by opponents. Detailing other units to protect them from assault hardly makes this a tactic. Any tactic that says just use 2-3 units in to do one job is hardly inspired.

    My reccomendation would be 5 MM assault bikes. For 250 points they cost the same as 10 devastators with MLs. They are better than devastators for tank hunting being able to move 12" and fire multimeltas. They get AP1 for the tank dammage chart and of course the close range 2D6 penetration is just icing on the cake. 5 assault bikes have the same wounds and T5. They can even turbo boost to keep them around to get a good shot in next turn.
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