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I wrote this tactica for another forum, and it's led to some very interesting discussion. I thought I'd add it here....
Tactica veteran squad
We’ve all seen the entry in codex space marines for the veteran squad, and we’ve marveled at the gorgeous sculpts. Over a year after the CM’s release, then, why do we not see this squad on the field more frequently?
[Removed for copyright]
Generally speaking, the unit’s slowness is regarded as a liability b/c it requires transport. Unless they are transported in an expensive land raider, they may not assault on the turn they disembark. However, does this have to encourage players to opt for other units when considering their army’s force composition? It does not.
Ultimately, one will have to tailor the composition of the squad to take greatest advantage of its choppiness in CC. At the same time, one must also tailor the squad such that it can have a positive impact for the player in turns where it’s outside of charge range or has disembarked from a moving transport. After doing this, we need to look at the cost-efficiency.
I’ve played the classic VS PF, 7 CCW+BP, 1 PW, 1 LClaw squad with FG many times. In the past year, I’ve fielded them when kitted out this way only in 2500+ point games and they’ve invariably had a rhino transport. Their performance was average at best because I simply couldn’t put that devastatingly effective squad into CC where and when I’ve wanted to because it was slow. It would always arrive in the turn following my assault with jump pack-enabled marines, which are twice as fast. I concluded that I’m better off taking an assault squad.
However, in recent games, I started building a very functional and very fluffy veteran squad that takes advantage of its expanded heavy weapon selection and its roots as a tactical squad.
From the perspective of fluff, keep in mind that a bolter is revered as ‘holy’. In its practical application, remember that bolters can rapid fire at 12”, so any squad so equipped that does not assault in it’s turn can put out a high volume of firepower.
So what about this 6” move limitation? Equip your squad with bolters and MG. As you disembark or move forward, you’ve got the ability to lay down a hail of fire in conjunction with the rest of your units.
So what about this alleged ‘choppy cc stuff’? Simple. Equip your veteran sergeant with a PF and equip a PF as your heavy weapon. Then give the unit frags.
I’ve used this for several games, and it’s a real winner. It lends fire support like a tactical squad, and when it comes to supporting assaults, it can go after heavy assault-orients enemy units. And it’s very cheap for what it can do.
A veteran squad equipped as follows costs a paltry 225 points, about 20 points more than a kitted up tactical squad: VS PF, 7 Bolters, 1 MG, 1 PF FG. And if you were to think about the role of the bolter to SM armies, I think marines would equip with some sort of power weapon or bolters before selecting chain swords anyhow. After all, assault marines have those things anyway.
I prefer to transport my Veteran Squad in a drop pod, making the overall cost of the unit 255 points.
I’ve done the entire gamut of activity with this squad, in the same game. I’ve hosed hordes with bolter fire, and then taken down entire squadrons of killa kanz with them. I’ve directed bolter fire onto troop concentrations in support of my army’s advance, then charged into an epistolary and his command squad, killing the epistolary on one turn to insta-killing power fists and loosing just a couple of models in the exchange. Did I mention rapid-firing upon disembarking? This squad can do it all, and not draw much fire because it behaves so similarly to a tactical squad.
I paint these guys up with white helmets just to distract my opponent while my assault marines are bearing down on them. They ask, ‘What’s that?’ My response depends on what my needs are, but I say either, ’It’s a veteran squad with 2 powerfists’ or ‘It’s a veteran squad with bolters.’ If I say the former, he puts fire on the squad, which costs me a coupla bolter marines. If I say the latter, they get ignored. In any case, 7 power fist attacks on the charge ends combats fairly quickly.
I’d suggest proxying these guys with a tactical squad for a few games to see if you like them. Maybe toss an unused sergeant with a PF in as your heavy weapon choice.
If you like them, they offer fantastic conversion opportunities. I no longer use the boxed veteran squad to represent my models. I use assault marine legs and tactical marine arms and bolters. I then add purity seals to every bolter, MG, and Pf in the squad, affix bayonets to the bolters, and paint the helmets fortress gray up to white (I finish the helms by putting a few coats of wonder wash orange on them).
Last edited by Chaosbrynn; February 28th, 2006 at 17:50.
It would be nice to see a pic of this veteran squad. By the way, great thread, nice to see someone thinking outside the box and adding a colorful unit to their army without traits. Nice to see someone that thinks command squads and veteran squads do not need to be CC orientated.
A related topic is that I have 10 days to paint a command squad to follow my master that I am equiping with bolters: sergeant, apoth, 3 marines and 2 lascannons. I modeled the lascannon guys with magnets so the backpack and arms are removeable so I can try 2 HBs as well, like a deathwatch kill team squad. All my sergeants have magnetized arms as well so I can arm them with whatever. I'm either going to give them tank hunters or infiltrate, the jury is still out on that one.
I'm not going to put command squad markings on the shoulders, just some sort of cross kinda black templar thing to differentiate them from tactical squads etc. The reason for this is so that I can use them as a veteran squad as well. I'm also going to paint hteir helmets ultramarine blue to give them the veteran look. Here are sample pics of the paint scheme.
I like the unit you proposed and I'll probably paint up another 4 marines to make the 10 man veteran squad once I make a drop pod or get a good job and just buy a FW one.
...and you will know my name is the lord, when I strike down my vengence upon thee...
Well, thanks for putting it up.
Most of the "tactica" unfortunately just details the information you get from the codex entry or rulebook. In fact, there are no "tactics" to be found. Dont worry, this is a common problem with new authors. There are times when things should be mentioned, like when there is a bit of info that seems to escape everyone. However, listing the options of the squad is unfortunately against the rules(so blatantly anyways listing them anyways), I have removed them from your post.
Good try though and dont get discouraged. If youd like to write more, feel free to do so. If you come up with a good tactica ill link it in the index for you. Remember, these tacticas are written for people who supposedly have a codex already. Its ok to mention things, but listing all options for the squad is definately out, so is, obviously, listing the stats. Anyone with a codex will know what the squad can be equipped with or what options it has. A good tactica will take a few of these combinations and explain how and why it is good along with ways to implement them.
For instance, the following paragrapg:Thats all well and good, but we all know vets can be equipped to deal with this. The important part of this wa sleft out, the way in wich you went about keeping your vets alive to do all this. Obviously you didnt just run them straight up the field into an oposing ork army. This is the type of thing that is important for a tactica. You should explain some concept or some tactic so that when the reader finds themself in a similar situation, they have your experience and opinion to draw upon. As it is now, this isnt so much a tactica, its more of a "Vets arent so bad, give emm a try" post.I’ve done the entire gamut of activity with this squad, in the same game. I’ve hosed hordes with bolter fire, and then taken down entire squadrons of killa kanz with them. I’ve directed bolter fire onto troop concentrations in support of my army’s advance, then charged into an epistolary and his command squad, killing the epistolary on one turn to insta-killing power fists and loosing just a couple of models in the exchange. Did I mention rapid-firing upon disembarking? This squad can do it all, and not draw much fire because it behaves so similarly to a tactical squad.
In any case, I encourage you to write a tactica for veterans. We could use one. Be sure to cover as much as possible including shooty and close combat vet squads, the variances of the special skills, combos between it and other units, good attachments of HQ's, all various transport methods, etc....
If you need some guidelines check out some of the tacticas in the index, you will notice that most of them are VERY long. Especially those that cover an entire entry. A smple concept, such as flamers or powerfists doesnt require as much writing to explain.
Remember though, tacticas review tactics, not entries in the codex
Last edited by Chaosbrynn; February 28th, 2006 at 18:00.
Mentor of Space Marine Commanders far and wide.
Efficiency VS Point Cost VS Ease Of Use - Your best bets:
1) Chaplain led Assault squad - 2 plasma pistols, powerfisted sergeant
2) 8 man Devastator squad - 4 missile launchers
3) Land Speeder Tornado - HB + AC
Veteran squads are interesting, because they have a lot of possible configurations. Maybe we could make this a thread where we all discuss how they could be used and then let someone put it together to a bigger tactica?
An infiltrating multi-purpose* squad could be intresting, something like this:
Veteran squad; 194 pts
#7 Marines, 1x Multi-melta, 1x Plasma gun, 3x bolters, 2x bolt pistol & ccw.
#1 Veteran Sergeant w. bolt pistol & power fist (maybe teleport homer if you use termies)
Maybe not very good points vs. effectiveness, but a fun unit to use that should be able to solve any situation at the front lines. It can stand still and fire the multi-melta, 3 bolters and plasma gun at 24", move and fire with everything except the multi-melta, take out vehicles with multi-melta creating a 12" death zone for any vehicle near... or it could assault to help a unit out somewhere. And they deploy close to enemy lines. Alternatively they could replace the multi-melta with a lascannon.
*I know, you veterans hate this, but it is sort of fun to have a non-specialized squad in your army.
Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks
I read your tactica and they're excellent. Far and away better than just about everything that's out there. I dunno if I can write to that standard, but if I'm able to invest the time in doing so, I'll post.
As far as pictures go, I'll post when I get some.
Whats an FGPF and how do you get 7 powerfist attacks from just 2 powerfists.
Only the weak tell tales of how strong they are...
One of them is on a Veteran Sergeant, who would have 4 attacks on the charge, and one of them is a normal Veteran, who would have 3 attacks on the charge, if equipped properly.Originally Posted by Captain_Mito
FG = frag grenades
PF = power fist
Assuming your playing trait marines with the all options open:
The role you have descried by your veterans, drop poding them in, and then using them as a multi roll squad, able to shoot about as effectively as it can assault, depending on opponent.
Example: Orcs rapid firing will kill way more then in CC. While against marines, the power fists will come in handy.
But, youâ€™ve mixed in a lot of equipment that doesnâ€™t make sense.
Frag grenades for example, with 2 power fists in the squad, and the squad deploying via drop pod, it seems unlikely youâ€™d find it necessary to take on an opponent in cover, without deploying behind the cover, and assaulting unmolested or picking another target.
But this begs at a more pressing issue, your most likely going to be assaulted yourself, as any player with his dice knows its better to assault then be assaulted, (except if rare cases such as tau, or a devastator squad) With the choice to use veterans your forcing your men to take a skill. I assume this skill would be furious charge. But your weapons, and deployment hinder the ability to actually use furious charge.
Now Assuming you do get the charge, power fists gain only 1+ strength, almost worthless for them, because they still strike last, and wound on 2+ anyway. While the rest of your marines get a bonus, they are using bolters, and thus only get 2 attacks each, while striking first is nothing to cough at, it could be done a lot more effectively.
However, its far more likely that you will be charged, making your frag grenades and furious charge a waste of points. However, on the bright side, you strike with 8 normal attacks, and 5 power fist attacks. Assuming your fighting space marines:
8 attacks: 4 hits, 2 wounds, 0 kills. In essence, the 8 men in your squad are fairly worthless.
The power fists however: 5 attacks, 2 or 3 hits, 2 or 3 dead, not bad. But for your total combat score to only be 3 dead, it someone disappointing especially when compared to an assault squad.
The point cost you listed, 255, I cant see how your got that number, with 10 marines + skill, 2 power fists, melta gun and drop pod the total cost of the squad is this: 275 points.
However, I have to this sold this squad short, as its true strength is in its first strike capabilities. 7 bolter marines fire + 2 bolt pistols 16 shots, 11 hits, 6 wounds, 2 dead marines, or 3 dead against 4+ saves, or 6 dead against 5+ or worse saves. Very effective.
Now through in a melta pop, and thatâ€™s a third marine. So assuming this squad landed next to an average tactical squad(10 man, 1 power fist), it would take out 3 members, then they would assault, hoping to hurt you with the power fisted Sgt. Now (see above for combat results) you kill 3 more marines, (so youâ€™ve killed 6 of 10)
While the enemy has killed 3, 1 from the normal marines, 2 from the charging power fist.
Although you draw in combat, youâ€™ll win next time.
Lets compare that to what an assault squad can do:
First, they are 260 points, 15 less.
They armed like this: 1 sgt powerfist, 2 plsama pistols, rest have standard weapons.
They move up, and sit hopefully about 3 inches away from the enemy, just to make sure you can charge after shooting.
2 plsama pistols, score a hit, a kill. 8 normal pistols score 5 hits, and 2 or 3 wounds, for 1 to 0 deaths. Call it 1.
Now they assault: 27 attacks: 14 hits 7 wounds: 2 dead.
Against, 9 attacks: 5 hits, 3 wounds, 1 dead.
Assault squad gets 4 power fist attacks, that hits and kills 2 more space marines, there combat score is 4. 6 total in the turn
3 counter power fist attacks, which will kill between 1 and 2 marines. Call it 2. So they get a score of 3.
As you can see, the assault squad scored the same number of kills, for 15 points less.
Now, your drop poding marines are a good idea, but the simple tactical squad is all you needed to use, with the trait cleanse and purify, if you want to also kill tanks.
Normal: 10 marines, 1 melta, 1 sgt, powerfist + bolt pistol. Drop pod: 220 is the total cost.
2 Meltas: 10 marines, 2 meltas, 1 sgt, powerfist, + bolt pistol. Dro pod: 235, excellent tank hunting unit, with great firing and good CC abilities.
3 of the above squads will make your opponent very unhappy, 4 is game over.
These squads are simply the point effective vision of what you had created above.
There is ordnance in the game that can rival bombing the enemy with space marines!
They simply need some fire support: 2 or 3 LST + a dev squad with 4 MLS, and a chaplain led assault squad (using your second trait) give the assault squad furious charge, for ridiculous destruction) Select Aspire to glory as the major disadvantage.
More on veteran laterâ€¦
I like your analysis.
I play Blood Angels. Before I got into using veterans this way, I had a tactical squad deploy from a DP. Pretty nasty, actually, b/c I would drop it at the leading edge of my line. Not so much to block LOS, but to get another unit in the enemy's face that they have to worry about. A basic saturation attack. I'd try to whack armor on landing. if it got shot and assaulted, great, it took pressure off of my dedicated assault units. Typically, I could either shoot or assault wit hthe unit on the following turn just because there were higher priority targets nearby (assualt squads, death company, rhino-mounted tacticals that were still loaded, etc.).
Anyhow, the use of this veteran squad sharpened my edge considerably, especially against chaos armies. I mentioned in my pseudo-tactica (lol) that I went with bolters and MG to cover for when I was outside of assault range in a turn. Basically, it gives the ability for the unit to have a positive impact in turns where it can't charge. Works for me because I go combined-arms in my army composition and don't like to have a single center of gravity in my force composition.
what do I mean? Well, for BA, the Death Company can get a PF or PW if the player selects the vet sarge to fall to the Dc. I leave my sarges in my squads--all the time. the DC is still pretty nasty with chainswords and a chappy equipped with L-Claws..so why loose capability in my squads in exchange for a a marginal benefit... Also, I'm troop-heavy and most of those troops can either infiltrate or are mobile. So I field alot of models.
You can see by my army building philosophy that on the assault side, everything has some capability. As far as the tactical squad in the pod went, the heavy weapon was used less then 1/2 the time b/c I tended to move and shoot with that squad. I eventually dropped the HW from the squad, going for another bolter. The PF is a heck of alot more useful, obviously.
After a few games, I decided to actually replace 2 rhino tactical squads that look like this:
VS PF, 7 Bolters, MG, HB...
...with the vet squad I described above.
The drop podding squad is now a tactical squad that looks like this:
Vs T-Hammer, 8 bolters, MG
the intention of the rhino tactical squads has always been to support my assault squads, asusming I'm playing offensive in that particular game. Having 2 vet squads fulfill this role works beautifully. Defensively, it doesn't work as well b/c I don't have a ranged heavy weapon in the squad, but it's still quite cost-effective.
Anyhow, once the squad departs the transport, I'm shooting. At least some of my dedicated assault units are assaulting, but usually not all of them. In the following turn I've got the vets and the rest of the assault units either maneuvering and/or assaulting, and it works out pretty well.
it didn't occur to me to mention that the veteran squad is used in a combined arms style army. That would probably have helped the tactica. Also, I think the squad's composition could be useful to any SM army, so I didn't see any relevance mentioning I was using it in a BA army.
Again, great post.