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Ok, so first off I've been playing for only a few weeks. I have several one off matches under my belt now but there has been no rhyme or reason to unit selection, deployment or use and frankly I'm tired of feeling like I don't have a plan. I have all the models from AoBR, as well as the megaforce. This gives me roughly 30-40 tactical marines, 5 scouts, 5 terminators, 1 captain, 3 veteran sergeants, 2 dreadnaughts, 1 rhino, 1 predator, lots and lots of bits.
To answer a few of the comments first and foremost I don't want to go with a specific chapter. I say this for a couple reasons, one of which is I have my own paint scheme I want to use, the second is I want to learn the basics before I specialize, and last and perhaps more important is I like to be a bit more original and not follow the pack.
Things I've seen so far is that the group I play with is VERY Assaulty in nature. 2 Tyranid players, 1 who plays Daemons. I have yet to score even a game completion with the Nid players, often time finding myself without an army left on the board before the end of the 3rd turn. In the short term I believe my games will mostly be against Tyranids, Necron, Daemons and the occasional blood angels army.
So, here is what I'd like, suggestions as to where to concentrate as a beginner. I don't have a "personal style" as of yet, so I'd like to start with something that isn't difficult to learn to use correctly and I'll slowly layer in more and more things as I learn. So where should I start? Assaulty? Shooty? Another army? Should I pick a weapon to work with more than others? Plasma? Melta? Should I be buying something specific?
Against Assault/Mobile armies like Nids and Chaos Daemons, you need high strength/low AP weapons, and blastguns. Favorites for these purposes are Typhoon speeders, heavy weapons teams armed with Missile Launchers, and Vindicator tanks. (all of those units perform both roles quite well)
The other big piece of advice I have is to mech up - get enough rhinos to transport all your units, that extra layer of metal between the angry critters and your marines will often make a world of difference.
Dreadnoughts generally aren't a good option against armies that can table Monstrous Creatures - leave them at home against these opponents. Marines can handle these opponents well enough, but you'll need to adapt your tactics a bit from what you normally hear. Nids and Daemons just aren't your typical opponents.
If you've only been in it a few weeks don't feel bad about getting tabled by turn three. My first army was Necrons 6 Years ago and my first game I was phased out first turn by a dark elder army at 1500 points. Needless to say that short game taught me alot of valuable lessons and you can learn from all your games to. As time goes by you will know what units pose a larger threat to your army then others and will be able to adapt with small variations in your lists.
But as mentioned by watchwood you should get more mechanized, land raider for your termies, vindicator for your heavy support and typhoon speeders are great additions to what you already have.
If learning specifics is what you want then I would suggest small games at around 750 points where your list focuses on a specific unit that you want to play test and learn about. Learning strategy is easy with this game but implementing it is difficult so starting with small point games makes it easier to focus on what you want to learn about.
Do some research on used tactics that involve cover, vehicles, combos and specific units that interest you. there are game demonstrations on youtube and tones of tactica available all over the web. Take some time to check it out and read up on what works for others, this will help you advance quicker and adapt to the armies that you will be fighting.
what you want to learn is how the armys is meant to work.
space marines are a highly mobile shock force that basically revolve around 3 rules, that I read somewhere and have taken them to heart, stick to them and you should be fine.
simple, keep everything mobile.
jump packs are good, drop pods are good, and landraiders are good, but rhinos are usually the best, EVERYTHING should have some kind of transport or improved mobility option of some kind.
Your army will natrually fall into this without even trying, but you should take advantage of this as much as possible, try to max out on things like missile launchers (good against both infantry and vehicles) assault cannons, powerfists, weapons that can fulfill multiple roles allowing you to deal with everything and have some overlapping redundency (this is important, look it up)
and use that flexibilty to your advantage, an obvious example is having a squad of tactical marines near some thousand sons which are good at shooting, why shoot them with your tacticals when you can use your flexability and assault them where they are weak?
using your flexibility to engage your enemies units where they are weak is key.
3: local superiority:
basically making sure your army has the advantage in a given area of the map.
a good example is against an imperial guard gunline that streches out across the map, I'm going to focus on one half, or even one quarter of that gunline and send the majority of my army (if not all of it) over there so that in that local area my army has superiority (4 times as much points) and cut my enemy down piecemeal, this is relativly easy to do since space marines arent too numerous (so its easy to fit your army in those small areas) and they are really mobile and can get there.
it gets a little more complex then that against faster armys but you get the idea right?
a few more cool things, twinlinked assault cannons have a higher chance of damaging vehicles of all facings (even 14) then a twinlinked lascannon.
twinlinked assault cannons are the best gun in the army behind the demolisher cannon imo.
rhinos are cheap, very useful and good for spamming.
try to maximise on regular marines, if your losing, its usally because you dont have enough marines, personally in a 2000 point game I like to have at least 3 tactical squads (but usally 4), which are the heart of your army, so dont spare points on them.
give them rhinos, powerfists, and always take the special and heavy weapons.
hope that helps
First and foremost, thank you for all your help guys.
Next, from what I'm reading here it sounds like a huge tactic for the marines is they never walk anywhere. Is that a correct assumption to make? Should I keep a transport next to every unit on the board in order to move them rather than foot slogging them around the board?
Third, points wise do I still pay full price for dedicated transports? The way I'm reading this is that they don't count towards orginazation restrictions but they still cost me points. So at that point does the mobility they provide truly outweigh the points spent to field them? Also, I've yet to have my predator survive turn 1, even the Nid players seem to 1 shot it, based on this and the fact that the players I'm facing seem to be fielding anti-tank units how effective are the Rhino's going to be, or am I just setting myself up to give away points on the Rhino's and then take wounds against the marines due to vehicle destruction?
Last edited by David Scott; July 22nd, 2010 at 19:00.
Yup, you do have to pay points cost for the transports. And it's not just the mobility, that extra layer of metal armour your guys will also contribute to their survivability. Marines easily have the most cost effective transports in the game, take full advantage of this. When you've got more tanks on the table you won't have to worry so much about having the enemy focus fire on a single vehicle - that does seem to be the problem here.
Its hard to keep your only vehicle alive for a long time .The best thing you can do here is use it to play cat and mouse with the anti tank units your enemy has. Keep them moving around and forcing them into open areas will give you a better tactical advantage.
Remember that you have smoke launchers as an option too, save it for the enemy's 2nd Turn when reserves come in. I'm assuming the Nid player is droping zoanthropes down to kill your pred and the other armies your playing against are doing something similar to this. This will ensure that they are only scoring glancing hits at best which should help you in the long run.
Just remember, every turn spent focus firing your tank to death means 1 more turn where those High Str Low Ap shots aren't being directed towards your infantry.
Think of Warhammer like a chess board, sometimes you need to sacrifice your queen in order to take the king.
Oh, no.. you misunderstand.
The Nid player is playing alot of ranged, the only real cc threat I'm facing is the GeneStealers or in the case of the Daemons player they field mostly Daemonettes (I think). No, the Nid player just has a tendency to roll only 5's and 6's and fielded some kind of anti armor shooter(he identified it as a Hive Guard) that has one shot my tank in two seperate occasions.
For the most part my losses to the Tyranids have only taught me one thing.. that if the dice gods choose to abandon you there is no hope.
at first rhinos may seem bad, but trust me dude, they are probably the single best points for value unit in the game.
35 points is not at lot of points, and 1 rhino may die fast.
but 5 rhinos wont, espcially if you get first turn, charge forward and pop smoke (probably not the best idea against nids but it sounds like his CC sucks so it could be valid)
same with preds, the beauty of the dakka pred (autocannon and Hbolter sponsons) is that they are cheap enough to spam.
strength in numbers, when you have lots of preds and rhinos and whatnot it can make things very difficult for your opponent.
and yes you should have a rhino or drop pod for just about everything, mobility is what marines are all about.
From my understanding of things, he's focusing fire just on the Predator until it drops. If there's just a single target that he's shooting at, it'll probably die pretty quick. Especially Predators, as they're really only light tanks, and have nowhere near the survivability of a Land Raider or Leman Russ. You need to field either more tanks, or less (not generally recomended, but it is doable if you're careful)