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Hello. I am new to 40k and working to choose an army. I like the look of the space marines but I do not enjoy building and painting tanks and was wondering if a pure foot trudging army is capable of holding it own from a game play standpoint. If so what units might you recommend on top of the Assault On Black Reach box to get started. Thanks for your suggestions.
I am not sure how well they actually perform, I haven't tried mine out yet, but I love the idea and have written several lists. They do have advantages, such as more scoring units, more models in general and they nullify or severely weaken the opponents anti-tank squads/weapons as these are usually not too effective against infantry. They definitely throw a spanner in the opponents works, which in itself is an advantage.
I say definitely go for it if you are interested, you should not be disappointed. At the very least you will have a different army from everyone else rather than be pretty stock-standard.
As for what units you should be using. I would recommend getting as much mobility as possible without using vehicles, which isn't as hard as it sounds. Assault Marines with Jump-packs, Scouts Infiltrating/Out-Flanking, a Librarian teleporting units around with Gate of Infinity, Termies deep-striking and anything on Bikes are all good options. You can even use a special character (forget which one) that allows every unit in your army to Out-Flank, which would be extremely useful in not getting shot up before reaching the enemy lines.
Last edited by Kronus_Lord; February 9th, 2009 at 09:26.
A pure infantry army is rather viable, albeit you'll obviously run into several drawbacks.
The newer Space Marine codex is trying to get players to move towards a more fluid, mobile Space Marine army that relies more on its ability to suddenly apply pressure on an enemy where he is weakest, rather than the prior codex's earthen style of standing and shooting.
By removing vehicles, you get rid of that ability to move quickly and strike decisively, but in return you get more troops. Unfortunately, the amount of marines gleamed from an act isn't quite nearly as many with the drop in transport values. Despite this, the pure infantry Space Marine army is still quite the contender.
By removing all vehicles, you lose the following units: Rhinos, Drop Pods, Predators, Whirlwinds, Vindicators, Land Raiders, Land Speeders and possibly Dreadnoughts and bikes.
First off, you've obviously lost speed. Thus, you're going to have to start planning on taking objectives from the get go. No more last minute objective rushes. You'll also have to plan for a bit of contingency for your marines, just in case they're wiped out with overwhelming force or are pushed off by a tank shock or orbital bombardment. You can take Assault marines, and bikes if you like them, to make up for this loss, but they're not objective taking units.
Second, you've lost armor. This makes the anti-tank weapons your foe takes somewhat moot, as there are no tanks to hit, but this means they automatically go to the hardest infantry units around: Terminators. This can work for you and against you, it's up to how you play. If you go for the marine rush route, this will work for you, as the expense of these weapons are wasted on foot troops. If you take expensive options, such as Terminators, it can work against you, as all anti-tank weapons go to the next heaviest thing, as I mentioned.
But, in return for these two losses, you gain a few benefits.
Primarily, you gain bodies. Without points spent on vehicles, you can afford to take more Marines. More bodies means more firepower and more resilience.
By resilience, you are less affected by the loss of men. This means more redundancy and greater room for error. The enemy has to work harder to kill that already hard to kill Space Marine. This also opens up the tactic of spending lives, grinding, etc. You can afford to pour men into a threat without worry.
By Firepower, you obviously have more guns. The humble boltgun is a weapon of destruction. While other weapons are bigger, nastier and angrier, the boltgun is what will win games. In addition you can take more special and heavy weaponry. Considering the flamer and missile launcher are free with the squad, you will find yourself ready for most foes. You'll find the infamous melta weapons mostly useless with your Marine horde, as you haven't got the speed to utilize them in any proper manner. While you will have quite a few missile launchers, you'll find that you will need lascannons for reliable anti-tank hunting.
If having a tide of Space Marines fall upon your foe appeals to you, then the footslogging Space Marine army is for you. You will learn to hate certain weapons; the Plasma Cannon, Battle Cannon, Demolisher Cannon and Earthshaker Cannon. These are the bane of any 3+ save army, but in particular for you, as you lack transportation to quickly make up the reach and power they provide.
Thus, I'd first go off and get another tactical squad to expand on your Battle for Black reach forces, giving them the standard missile launcher, and an assault squad, for that added speed.
This will be a small force you can experiment with until you find what you want. You'll probably find the most prudent option is to max out on tactical squads or purchase some scouts. The former for the reasons of more objective taking bodies on the floor, the latter for taking objectives via infiltration. I'd go for six tactical squads myself.
You've got a hard core of 60 space marines at roughly a thousand points. Most folks will find dealing with such a number difficult, which is what you're aiming for.
Next you'll want something to either enhance your stopping power or alleviate your problem of speed.
To that end, I'd get two squads of assault marines and a flying Chaplain for one squad and a flying captain for the other. This would give you a hard spear tip that can take objectives from the enemy while your tacticals run up and consoldate it.
Or you could go the more shooty route and take Devastators or Sternguard. Sternguard are nice, flexible units that are a bit costly, but I wouldn't take them with so many tacticals for the reason of so much flexibility that I'd like some specialization. The Devastators on the other hand I would probably kit out for anti-tank with las-cannons or heavy anti-MEQ with Plasma Cannons.
EDIT: Terminators. I forgot Terminators. Deadly little buggers they are. Heavy as crap and worth crap tons of points. Terminators in my opinion are walking tanks, barring their older brothers, the Dreadnoughts. They have the potential to be dead fast with Deep Striking, but that comes with a whole host of problems. Without a teleport homer, the possibility of your Terminators scattering horribly becomes a very, very, very likely possibility. To that end, I believe the only worthwhile way to get your Terminators on the field is through the use of Scouts with Teleport Homers. Have a scout squad infiltrate on what you believe to be the most vital objectives and have the Terminators deep strike in support. Unfortunately, Terminators come with their own set of problems. With that incredible save you'll find every gun aimed in their direction. And I mean every; from the lascannon to the lasgun, everything will be shooting at them. While for small arms this can be weatherable, it's against the anti-tank weapons that no longer have tanks to shoot at you have to worry about. I'm not a big fan of terminators unless the list is built around them; difficult to use and difficult to keep alive. Don't get me wrong, whatever you have them attack will die, and their bullet magnet status means that the rest of your army can move unmolested, but taking a sizable number of Terminators means sacrificing other parts of your army.
As for the subject of Dreadnoughts and bikes, it all depends on you. The Dreadnought comes with the Assault on Blackreach set, so you may like to use it. To that end, I'd recommend leaving it at home. All anti-tank fire will be firing at vehicles, and the Dreadnought is unfortunately the only vehicle on the field. Even if you take multiples, they are still only armor value 6+6, and negate a few of the benefits taking pure infantry have. If you do take them, make the venerable and trick them out for anti-tank. TLLC/ML would be a very effective manner of making your dislike of vehicles known. I actually kind of prefer Venerable Dreadnoughts over Devastators for a single, yet fun reason: Their BS 3+2. Their Missile launchers and Lascannons will probably hit. Less to worry about.
Bikes on the other hand are a completely different kettle of fish. They're still infantry but the great thing about these lads is that a captain on bike will turn them into troops. Which means they can capture objectives and move lighting fast, as well as move and shoot. Great, but I don't know if you'd like them or not. Taking fast units in a mostly slow army will put you into the long learning process of hiding your bikes until they can afford to be let out. Otherwise they'll die as most armies tend to shoot the fastest/closest thing.
Thus, I'd say your primary tools will be the infamous Marine subcategories: The Tactical, the Devastator and the Assault.
The tactical reacts and takes. The Devastator reaches out and eliminates the most vital and most deadly of your foe. The Assault removes so your tactical can take.
As for tactics, I'd go a little something like this:
Split all your tacticals into combat squads, one has the missile, the other has the flamer/sergeant. The missile squads are stationary; they find a point to overlook and they aim for hard targets, such as tanks. Your flamer/sergeant squad on the other hand is on objective taking duty, marching there with a fire in their belly. These lads should stick together in pairs or triplets, depending on the situation, as five marines aren't quite enough to defend against most threats. The missile tacticals should move when there are no longer any targets in sight and it isn't necessary to deny the position to the enemy by line of sight.
The assault squads on the other hand lurk about, hiding, waiting. They strike against foes holding objectives or bail your tacticals out of jams. If against a shooting army, they move with all haste to get into the assault against the "lynchpin" unit; the unit capable of inflicting the most casualties. They are the scalple which removes the most dangerous tumor, whilst the rest of your army acts as the chemo therapy, killing the supporting forces.
Devastators occupy a position of supremacy that overlooks the entire battlefield. Barring that, select a position where you can hit that which only your Devastators can kill with ease, such as a Leman Russ or a Land Raider.
In the end, the entire army supports the tacticals. The assault squad will rush into a headlong charge, if it means letting a tactical squad reach an objective and hold it for the rest of the game. The Devastators will shoot the Terminators or Vindicator troubling the tactical squads rather than shoot at the Khorne Berserkers or Terminators that are preparing to charge.
As for special characters, I think combat tactics is the best possible ability for a foot slogger army, followed by maybe stubborn. If you take the Khan or Shrike, you'll be capable of out-flanking/fleeting respectively, but that comes with more tactical problems and solutions. First, you lose combat tactics, which is very useful for this type of army. In addition, out-flanking is unreliable and your units lack the speed to take advantage of such a sudden appearance. Fleet on the other hand is only really useful for jump squads.
Personally, my list'd be the following:
1 Captain/Jump pack/Relic blade or Thunder Hammer
1 Chaplain/ Jump Pack/ Power Fist
4 Tactical Squads W/Flamer/Missile Launcher/Power Fist
2 Assault Squads W/ power fist
2 Devastator Squads W/ 4 Las-cannons
In my head that's 2000ish points, probably a bit more, maybe a bit less. Looking back, it looks quite a bit like a 4th edition list. I think there'd be just enough points left over to add a 5 man tactical squad, if my mental math is somewhere correct.
As a foot slogger, you are the defender. Always the defender. You aim to pound your opponent from afar with as much bolter as you can spam. Then, when the inevitable assault comes, your foe is weakened by his long trek, your forces feign retreat so you can shoot him once more, ending with a counter assault of your own. If you are facing another defender, then begin to move. Always keep moving to take and hold objectives; you don't have the luxury of going for a last minute grab. Your entire battle is based around getting from point A to point B and staying on point B. You are aiming to out last your foe, it's a test of endurance.
I find this earthen style of play a bit boring, but undeniably effective, if shooty Ork armies and Imperial Guard are any proof of this.
But hey, it's up to you.
My Two Kidneys.
Love, Sayomi Akimoto
Last edited by Sayomi Akimoto; February 9th, 2009 at 10:05. Reason: Added in Terminators and some other tidbits.
Thank you for the feedback. It seems like it will be a challenge yet doable. I think I will concentrate on using tactical, assault, and devastator squads.
I wouldn't call rhinos tanks. They are mobile cardboardboxes.
All infantry usually does not exclude the concept mechanized infantry. And with the changes to the cost of rhinos in late 4:th and 5:th you really have no excuse not to run a rhino with every squad you take (they are almost free after all )
Mechanized infantry is very very effective and with all the big guns available to you on troops you really don't need any proper tanks. but as usual you run alot of tanks (12+ AV ) or you run no tanks to overwhelm/underwhelm AT guns.
I have seen some very nasty all infantry lists and with the dex available you can really have the cake and eat it.
Drop pods, rhinos, razorbacks, bikes and thunderfires are all the kind of things a light infantry formation would use. You could even stretch it to Landspeeders. None of these things are 'armour'.
I, as well, won't use anything with an Armor Value specifically because I hate painting vehicles. I won't use a Dreadnought because, being the only thing on my side of the table with an Armor Value means it will get blown off the table on Turn 1 every time.
As Sayomi touched upon, the lack of having to pay for vehicles means more bodies on the table. There is some loss of mobility, but that is mitigated somewhat by the new Run ability.
A Deep-Striking Terminator Squad, a Librarian Gate'ing people, Infiltrating Scouts and Assault Troops means that the loss of speed is not all that dramatic.
Ultimately, though, the designers gave the Marines many excellent vehicles for a reason, and if I were going to design a tournament-competitive list, there's no way it would be without Armor.
WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons
I realize this will be a bit of a digression, since I field space wolves and not codex marines.
However, I fall into the footslogging category. How viable is this? Well, I've never lost or tied a game before. In fact, the closest anyone has ever come to beating me was a few weeks ago when i played all mech orks (speed freaks i think?) in the first game since a 4-5 month break from the hobby (due to school). I won, 13 kill points to 6 in annihilate.
At 1500pts, I was facing 9 vehicles and about 50 orks. I had 69 infantry (meq's) and a sw ven dread. that's right, I had a marine army that outnumbered an ork army.
13 KP to 6 is the closest game, you might ask? his heavy support, something with a large blast AP3 - the ork equiv of a demolisher cannon blew chunks out of my massive army. His only hope of winning this game was killing my army to a man. And it could very well have happened if I had played worse.
The points is, if you know what you're doing, footslogging is deadly. However, you need to make sure you have the weapons to down vehicles - especially anything with large blast, low AP.
at 2000 points, which I am currently expanding to, my army will have an even 100 meq's and a sw ven dread.
I also hate fielding vehicles and/or modelling them. Although I do love killing them. at 2000, I'll have 13 footsloggin meltas (and 7 meltabombs that enter the battle from the opponent's table edge. it's a wolf scout special rule)
I want to play drop pod army 2 librarians/6x5 sternguards/tacticals rest.
Also scouts/termies may be interesting.
SM have good armor (predators, crusaders..) but other races have better (leman russ, eldar fire prisms, chaos deamonic engines etc.)
Advantage of space marines are versatile armored troops, so if you use them without armor it possible way to go. But in my opinion you really need mobility, so if you don´t use classic transports, you must infltrate, teleport etc.
My brother plays an all infantry marine list and has a fair amount of success with it too. He normally runs
Chapter master with everything under the sun (total points of about 225 i think.
Counts as Cassius
5 termies 1 heavy flamer
4 full tactical squads with upgraded sarges and many upgraded heavy and special weapons
10 vanguards on foot 1 relic blade a power fist a couple power weps, basically everything
5 devies 4 missile lauchers
5 devies 2 lascannons 2 multi meltas
Thi is 2000pts.
IG Best Gen 1st overall of 10 DE 4th overall of 6
Eldar 3rd Overall/Best General of 26--2nd Overall/Best General of 7--1st Overall/Best General of 11