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I'm getting 2 assault squad boxes for my Ultramarines army, so I have a few questions about them.
1. Which is more effective, a 10 man squad or 2 5-man squads?
2. Should I give my sergeant a powerfist? What about a plasma pistol to go with it?
3. Are the assault marines really all that useful anyway? Can you give me a few tips on how to use them?
By the way, the friends I'll play the most play Tau and Tyranids.
Generally as far as unit size gos units that are going to get up close to the enemy early in the game will be shot alot, so max unit size is probably a good idea.
Giving the plasma pistol to a sergeant is probably also a bad idea. if he rols a one to hit, he could potentially die and then you lose the power fist.
10 man squads, all the way. You're going to need each and every man in there swinging to make the best use of the unit, and to have a chance of wiping out squads and moving on before you waste the whole game. Getting locked for 3 or 4 turns with a big unit just because you simply can't kill them fast enough to knock off the unit only gives the other guy time to slam a new unit into your back while you're stuck. It also gives you plenty of staying power so that one bad encounter with a power sword won't cripple the squad or send them running for the hills.
Powerfists are really handy, and assault squads do quite well with them. Don't ignore the slightly lesser power weapon though - though it does lack the massive strength, it still kills stuff just as dead and it strikes at Initiative 4, which can be very valuable sometimes. (also cheaper, so it's good if you're tight on points.) I keep a few of both on hand for my army just so I have the option.
Plasma Pistols are always useful, but as Agate said, that Gets Hot can pose a risk to a pretty pricey model. You get 2 for cheap in the rest of the squad anyways, so it's not really necessary. I'm usually good with plasma though, so I personally field plasma armed Sergeants - it's your call.
I also feel that I ought to point out to you the crazy cheap meltabombs these squads can take - Land Raiders, look out!
You'll get all sorts of different answers on Assault squad effectiveness, and odds are they're all correct in some way or another. They're not going to go winning the game for you, and they're not going to annihilate anything they touch. (well, they can, but...) Remember that they're no more difficult to kill than any other Marine, so be careful not to leave them open to big guns. The real strength of the Assault squad lies in their Jump packs and the mobility they afford you.
At any given time, an assault squad can move and shoot anything within 24" of their start point, and they can move, shoot and assault anything within 18". This means you can skirt just at the edge of most troops range, but still be able to move up and nail them at close range. Basically, you never have to endure getting double-tapped by rapid fire weapons/pistols, so don't! That changes once you're in combat, but until then, you dictate most of what can and can't hurt your Marines.
Perhaps the greatest strength of Assault Marines is that they effectively ignore terrain unless they land in it (or assault through it). this means you can be hiding from heavy weapons behind a sturdy building at one point, then just casually zip over top of the building and start hurting stuff with effectively no penalties whatsoever. I'll tell you right now that this can make them utterly godlike on a Cityfight board.:w00t:
I love Assault marines, and play them extensively. I'd reccommend fielding a Chaplain or Librarian with a Jump pack to lead your assault squad because these guys, properly equipped, can turn a worrying assault squad into something truly scary for your opponent.
I have bought 2 squads of assault marines 2 weeks ago.And i can tell you thet are beasts!!Trust me you'll feel the same when the tau player says haha!!time for rapid fire and you procide to laugh at him and then own him in cc!!!The set up i always use is the one in a little mods signature.....ok i forget which mod it is!!but still it goes as follows.
1 chaplain-jump pack
10 man assault squad
vet sarge with power fist
2 plasma pistols
And dont forget,although most people forget to mention or disapprove of deepstriking them it can work very well for getting to objectives on big boards or to a hq eg tau aun'shi,
kill'em and watch his army run away!!!
INNOCENCE IS NOT IMMUNITY
1. depends on what you want to use em for, as said above ten man squads survive longer and can hand out a serious hurt on your opponent. Two 5 man squads will make you opponent curl up and cry and will allow the rest of your army to rip him apart. Your opponent will be worrying more about your two squads jumping around taking out his squads then anything else. Tau i would go for 2 5-man squads, nids i'd go with 10 man squad.
2. I usually equip my sgt with plas pis and powerfist, for the ap reasons, and anti tank abilities. Its a risk but so are asslt sqds.
3. Are they useful.........wow.............used right they can cause serious amounts of damage and tie up or destroy key enemy units. Use em as strikers to jump in and out of terrain and harrass your opponent. Use em to get in close and rip em up. Deep strike em and destroy key units..........omg try em out and you will love em. There are so many ways to use em. Your friend that plays the tau is going to hate you for getting them and what you will do to his army. The nid player is gonna think he wants to play with them until he loses key units against them or he tries to swarm em with gaunts and gets slaughtered.
The Codex Astartes calls for ten man squads. Not finding yourself in extenuating circumstances, do you dare defy the imperatives of Guilleman?
That old stick in the mud, but of course!
You know when you are painting stuff and you loose stuff, like 2 jump packs, don't you hate that? Well, let me tell you, it sucks. Now what do I do? Great. It really sucks. That's what I get putting magnets on them, lose parts are bad.
...and you will know my name is the lord, when I strike down my vengence upon thee...
you might be able to find jump pack sprues online.
and yes that sux, i think it is a conspiracy to get you to go buy more units. I think gw reps come into your house when your stuff is drying and take pieces forcing you to go out and buy another squad or too.
I have 2 assault squads in my army and they go as follows:
1 Chaplain with jump pack
10 A.M.s 2x flamers and vet. sarge with powerfist
10 A.M.s 2x plasma and vet. sarge with plasma and powerfist
These squads work really good versing nids. Send the squad with the chappie to the bigger hordes, while using the plasma squads to run interference for them. Deploy them as close as possible to the squad you find to be the biggest threat to the rest of your army, thus tying them up and not allowing them to harm the rest of your army. Usually my squads will last the whole game, but lose the majority of the members if they see heavy resistance. I can usually take out at least one gaunt squad usually one to two stealer squads by the end of the game.