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Alright, after looking through the recent army-list submissions, I noticed that stormtrooper units are generally frowned upon (well, at least ==Me== doesn't like them in every list) so I want to discuss the ways Stormtroopers can be more effectively used to make their considerable cost worthwile.
On the outset, I find the S3 AP3 Hot Shot Lasguns marginally more useful than the stock Lasgun- but the benefits shouldn't be discounted: All enemy MEQ's now MUST be in cover against the Stormies, or else they die on a to-wound roll of 5 with no saves allowed.
Veterans Comparison: 10 lasgun shots, BS4 (of veterans) so approx 7 hit, 2 wounds, and more than likely both saved IN OR OUT OF COVER.
Stormies: 10 hot-shot lasgun shots, approx 7 hit, 2 wounds but 2 will die if they are out of cover, and on average 1 will die if the MEQ was in cover using 4+ save.
At least AP3 alone will make a marine player think twice before charging his way across an open field.
The second benefit of stormies are the missions, which are not random unlike the penal legions. Outflank + pinning with grenade-launchers/flamers on the first attack can be fun against another enemy guard or eldar player. Otherwise I'm not entirely convinced the other missions will have a significant advantage over veterans.
Another bad thing about Stormies is that they occupy an Elites choice, making them unable to capture table objectives..
Any further ideas/debates welcome- I'd like to think that the 3 days I spent to paint my stormies a reasonable investment
I've been playing with various army themes made possible with the new Dex. One of my favorites, if for it's character more so than it's potency, is an skirmishing company sent to the enemies flanks.
Company Command with an Astropath.
An Infantry Platoon lead by Captain Al'Rahem.
A Veterans Squad lead by Sergeant Harker.
Outflanking Sentinels with Camo-Netting.
And outflanking Storm Troopers to add that final bit of umph.
They fit in very nicely, I think! Hellguns (as is misprinted in the Hot-Shot Lasgun description, and thus I'll continue to refer to them as) are fantastic for basic weaponry. No other unit in the game comes standard with AP 3 weaponry. Strength 3 or not, their basic armarment is something to be boasted!
Granted, point for point, Veterans average six points cheaper per model, if given Carapace Armour, or nine points cheaper if chosen vanilla! That is certainly something to boast, if you want a cheap Troops choice with plenty speacial and heavy weapons to boot. But that does not discount the fact that Veterans aren't armed to the teeth with low AP weaponry, firmly securing Storm Troopers with a specific role on the battlefield that, regardless how much more cost effective Veterans may be, they cannot compete with.
AP3 is all well and good, but it's still S3 on a 16 point model.
Stormies are cool, but ultimately Vets are more effective. Stormies have some good bits, BS4, special weapons, and missions, but they suffer from a lot more problems. They don't score, they're expensive and pay for a lot of things that really aren't good (laspistol and ccw, hot shot lasguns, grenades).
You can do a lot worse (Ogryns), but you can also do worlds better.
Oh, now you start bashing Orgyns!
And rightly so, I suspect.. But regardless, I feel their enormous price tag is justified by having T5, 3W, Furious Charge, and 3A. They're like 'umie Nobz, and I doubt much will survive an assault, even from 5 of them.
That does nothing to change the fact that those 5 Orgryns and a Chimera cost 265 points. That's 40 well equipped linemen, or another Russ and a half. But I digress.
How about stormtroopers and veterans? The topic doesn't seem to give that the option.
I don't see why at 1750 you cant have at least 4 squads of vets in valks, or 5 in chimeras, and still have some stormies slotted in.
I have used the stormtroopers to decent successes in 3 games. Every time I've used airborne assault, and two of the games I was facing marines. One time I scattered pretty bad but had enough rolling to take out 3 marines in light cover. The other time i rerolled the scatter to a hit, and rapid fired 5 lasguns and shot two meltas to take out 9 of 10 marines in a havoc squad. The other time they got rolled by a carnifex after doing one wound with a melta, ha.
They aren't bad. And 16 points is still less than a marine, and all that you are losing is a some 4s on the statline that guard don't care about anyway, and you gain some decent special weapon access, high placement opportunity, and a ap3 lasgun.
Oh, and they're flavorful, as well.
If I could field one complaint, its that I can't take a powerfist. I know it doesn't belong, and Me will disagree with combat weapons, but getting charged by the 'Fex and sitting in combat for 2 full turns was annoying.
Air Calv Guard: 3 - 2 - 1
Word Bearers: 23 - 9 - 4
Pfff.... Inquisitorial Stormtroopers rock, and not only because they have acces to special equipment or cause they are only min-max avaible, but because they are too cool not to take them.
Point per average kill from one shot comparison between stormtrooper, regular guardsmen and veteran:
Guardsmen 1 kill every 90 points
Stormtrooper 1 kill every 72 points
Veteran 1 kill every 94.5 points
Of course, special weapons ruin these statistics and the Stormtroopers will lose out against things like Orks and Guants.
I'm not taking a side yet.
If Ogryns didn't cost as much as an Assault Terminator I'd probably end up using them, 35 points or so apiece.
Another thing that relegates Stormies to the shelf, their fancy lasguns do jack squat to Orks and other horde armies. So not only are they overpriced, but they're even more useless against half the armies out there.
I think a single squad of Storm Troopers, backed up by a few cheaper Veteran squads, can be justified. Lets not fall into the trap of trying to argue about STs ability to kill basic troops, that's not what they are for. STs are not at their best trying to kill tactical marines etc.
They are quite versatile. I'm thinking power weapon, meltagun, flamer. Against orks, I would outflank them and attack a squad of Lootas or something in close combat after shooting them up. You can be destructive with them if you are bold and creative.