Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
2 Leaning towards versatile
4 Leaning towards specialist
Some other option I missed
This is a question on what everyone thinks about versatility vs specialization in a space marine army.
Generally, an all comers list is supposed to be able to handle anything. However, how you go about that is up for debate. Should each individual element (ie each squad or vehicle) in the army be able to handle the different threats, or would it be more efficient to have specialists who are experts at certain tasks?
Of course there are degrees, which I tried to reflect in the poll.
As we all know, simply the fact that we're space space marines naturally would incline the army to be "jack of all trades," or be more on the versatile side. However, the fact that there are different units, with different weapon and wargear options, different point costs, stats, abilities and occupying different FOC slots suggests the potential for a large degree of specialization on an individual squad (or vehicle) level.
As a point of interest: versatility at the squad level appears to dictate versatility at the level of the whole army. ie, an expert anti-infantry squad and an expert antitank squad vs 2 squads that can each deal with vehicles and infantry decently well. The latter would appear to have more choice during a game as to what it will do next turn.
On the other hand, it is generally more than a dichotomy of vehicles vs infantry;
Medium Armour (dreadnought)
Light Vehicles (rhino, landspeeder)
Heavy infantry (teqs)
Medium infantry (meqs)
Light infantry (tau)
Very light infantry (ig)
Mix and match combos: (orks that have toughness but not armour, sisters that have armour but not toughness)
*edit - Monstrous Creatures. don't know how I left this one out
Can anything deal with each threat effectively?
Specialization or versatility; and to what degree?
Feel free to give as much context as you need in answering
The discussion may extend to variant chapters with different codices.
Last edited by Takeda; May 19th, 2009 at 02:23.
I say vesatile because that's what marines were made for being able to kill almost anything that comes there way.
In general, Space Marines tend to be versatile by nature. However, when building each unit, you would generally want to have a role that is the primary focus for the particular squad.
This can be done two ways. 1) Having identically upgraded squads perform 2 different tasks or 2) slightly modifying the same unit type to then perform specific tasks.
For example Scouts.
1) You can have 2 scout squads, kitted out identically, but play two different roles. Say each squad is kitted with Bolt pistols / CC. You can have one infiltrate, scout move, and get into a far reaching objective. The other you can have backing up a devastator squad as a counter charge unit incase something threatens to lock up your heavy hitters in CC.
2) A scout squad of each setup type. A bolt pistol and CC squad, and a squad of Sniper scouts. The sniper scouts can infiltrate into cover with a good firing lane to disrupt the opponents close objective (support). And the CC scouts can outflank and attempt to disrupt an enemy heavy support unit.
In my experience, I would lean on having specialized roles for units, but have them have the versatility to deal with something unplanned for on the way. The standard SM Tactical squad for me does this in all accounts. They can plant themselves, and provide fire support, they can move up to Rapid Fire range and overwhelm an infantry unit, they can even tank bust with a P.Fist on the move or statically with a Lascannon.
Lean on specialization, but know they can handle the small bumps in the road.
You want to be prepared for all possible enemies, but you also want to have a theme, something that makes your army special from all the others. I voted generalist tending towards specialist to represent that.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
I believe in versatility, but how far that versatility is to be interpereted is up for debate. The Codex Astartes states that Space Marines are to be equipped to deal with any enemy, but Space Marine what? Invividual Space Marines, chapters, squads, companies? I think the lack of specification is key here. While balance wins out on anything, balance of what? Balance of versatility or specialization, balance of firepower or manpower, balance of anti-tank or anti infantry? All of this is extremely important to consider.
But enough with semantics =D I currently field three Tactical Squads: two with Plasma guns and Missle Launcher and one with Meltagun and Multimelta. Crowd control with Sternguard with Stormbolters, and counterassault/hq hunting with vanguard. All gloriously drop podded.
Bottom line, I think any good PLAYER and TACTICIAN can win with an unbalanced army list.
I believe in specialization. Here is how I break it down. Specialize a unit for one or two missions, and be very good at those, avoid taking upgrades beyond being good at these primary missions. Don't try to be good at long range tank hunting and close range assaults basically. Have a clear mission but be as versatile in that mission as possible.
On the other hand, it's possible to be too elite at a single mission, examples of these units are assault terminators and 4 lascannon devastator squads.
Here's a few examples of what I mean.
Long range units:
Sniper scouts with heavy bolter are both good at killing light infantry with leadership issues, elite heavy infantry, and MCs. What this unit specializes in, is consistently shooting at none vehicles units. The unit is bad at assault and tank hunting, but they make up for it with very effective anti infantry shooting, and thus don't cost many points themselves.
Attack bike with multi-melta. This unit has one mission that it's exceptionally good at, killing battle tanks. It's super cheap and deadly at this mission. It's versitile because if the opponent lacks these types of tanks this unit is not wasted as it can also hunt transports and MCs. Or use it's speed to threaten super weak close combat units.
Predator with heavy bolters and auto cannon: Just a solid pillbox unit. Kicks out 8 upper/medium strength medium AP shots a turn. Perfect for killing enemy space marines and orks alike.
Devastators with 4 Missile Launchers and 8 marines. This is a solid anti medium vehicle unit and MEQ unit, with reasonably good anti MC and horde hunting abilities. Specialized because it does one thing: shoots, versatile because it can hurt a lot of targets very well.
Assault units should be less specialized between the types of opponents they will face. Instead they should just take powerfists. (or a thunder hammer or single lightening claw if given the option)
How you specialize an assault or close range units is the delivery system. They need one. They need some way of getting to the enemy and using their close range weapons other than foot slugging. Jump Pack/Rhino/Razorback/Drop pod
You can further specialize the unit by the selection of special weapons. Flamers indicate light to medium infantry hunting, while melta guns go after heavier targets. Plasma guns conflict with squad mission, as they are rapid fire and prevent assault.
Get it? Basically pick a mission for unit, but pick a reasonably broad mission, stick too it, and don't over upgrade.You realize the RAW does not allow storm bolters to use special ammo right? And that a squad of Grey knights costs the same points per model with far better close combat abilities?Crowd control with Sternguard with Stormbolters,
Or better yet, down grading the storm bolters to normal bolters makes them an even better unit for less points?
I think specialisation is necessary to make sure you get the job done, but you also need a degree of versatility just in case the Grots hit the fan.
I use some Crusader squads with missile launcher/plasma gun to mainly kill infantry.
But I know if their position is threatened by something like a Hellhound or Dreadnought, then they at least have a chance against it.
"But courage which goes against military expediency is stupidity..."
I typically do balanced leaning towards specialist . For example, I take three tactical squads. One squad has a plasmacannon, plasmagun, and combi-plasma/powerfist. It's job is to kill troops. The powerfist is there in case a big nasty comes along. The other two squads are equipped each with MM, powerfist and combi-flamer. The assault weapons are a meltagun and flamer. One is more dedicated to anti-armor and the other for anti-troop, respectively. However, each is designed in it's own right to handle the other, therein lies a certain versatility too.
All in all, I think it comes down to what you want the unit to excel at but not to the exclusion of the unexpected.
"Into the fires of battle, unto the anvil of war!"
-This space for rent-
Salamander project log
I lean towards specialization, but there's always a bit of room for versitility. My Grey Hunters are run with 2 pw, a WGL with a pf, and a meltagun for anything big and nasty that comes too close (or even just to soften up the enemy). Then again, I also run the unit with bolters for true grit, shooting distance, and because I couldn't get any more bolt pistol bits.
With blood claws, on the other hand, I just run them with powerfists and bp/ccw. No meltas or flamers or anything like that.
40K armies: Tyranids (2001), Space Wolves (2008), Sisters of Battle (2011)
Current Rep: 1337
I prefer Versatility as well as Specialization in the sense that I field enough Tactical Marines to cover all grounds. Some Plasma Weapons, a Melta or two, a few flamers, and maybe a few Missile Launchers.
That's what I love about Space Marines though. I love that my Dreadnought... well he can be adapted to kill ANY foe. My Land Raider Redeemer can kill Infantry or Armor just by kitting it out differently, or it can do both. I can focus my whole army to specialize in killing Tau, Orks, Necron, or whatever foul heritical monsters lay in front of my Iron Snakes.
YET... I can still keep them versatile. I can make sure that although I'm fighting Orks which I can normally destroy before they get in Assault range, but if they bring in Trucks - I can ruffle and rouse with a Melta or Missile Launcher.
So I chose Versatility as well Specialization.
ok idk if I just bumped this thread but it shows up on the top of my list but says it was posted on may 19th so maybe sorry for the bump idk whats going on