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Hi all, I've been a 40k player since 3rd edition but I really haven't played regularly (at least up til now). Anyways, with the new codex out and all, I've been trying to figure out what the best load-out for Troops in a game of 1,000-1,250 points per side is. Here's the choices I'm looking at:
1. 50 pt. bare bones Infantry Squad (placing the heavy weapons in HWS)
2. Loaded Infantry squads (AC/LC + GL or Plas)
3. Loaded Vet squads (AC/LC + GL or Plas)
4. Other options such as Penal Legion, etc.
Notice that I did not mention anything about transports or include anything with a ton of special weapons. I am poor student and I don't have any Chimeras and I don't know how to get a lot of plasma guns minus buying individual sprues or whatever Sad, I know, although I figure it'd be tough to fit multiple Chimeras in a smaller game like this anyways. But yeah, let me know what you think from either game-time experience or from an opportunity cost perspective. I'm still "new" at the game since I haven't really played much and would like some comments!
HWS are a bad option (unless you are really short on points or other options), they have poor Leadership and die quickly to S6+ fire.
Vets are great (ideally 3 meltas in a chimera), but if you do not have the chimeras, they are a little harder to use effectively (since they die from shooting just as easy as a basic guardsman).
Platoons are still a very solid choice.
Personally I prefer AC/melta, an odd choice but can handle all targets (kills Rhinos at distance and threatens anything that gets close w/ meltas). However, many people have been having success with either AC/GL or AC/PG. It depends on what you have in the rest of your army and what you want your squads to do.
In your situation, I would go with lots of Infantry Squads.
Consider taking Chenkov. Combined with a CCS w/ a Standard, you can give all squads w/in 12" Stubborn/reroll. This allows you to merge squads w/out fear of being swept in a KP mission, or to create a strong firebase that will not crumple (unless you want it to by moving Chenkov away) in objective missions.
Without Chimeras, I'd consider something like this.
2-4 Infantry squads-autocannon and grenade or plasma.
They're cheap, put out a good amount of fire, and threaten infantry and light vehicles.
1-2 Vet squad-lascannon, 3 plasma, forward sentries. Pricy, but 3+ cover and a low of BS4 low AP shots will come in handy to tackle heavier tanks. Meltas are the ideal, but lascannons will at least keep some heads down.
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Autocannons with Grenade Launchers has worked pretty well for me in my infantry squads. The AC brings the firepower to blow apart light vehicles and threaten side armor on heavier tanks. Plus the AC and GL both wound infantry without much trouble.
Also popping Rhinos in a Mech Marine list makes mopping up unconcealed marines easy work for battle cannons. =D
..and there are also big infantry squads held tigh by Commissar, still with limited numbers of special weapons and concentration of PWs.