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Lately I had a lot of people tell me that to be competetive with SM your army must ether be shooty or CC not both
I must say that from my own experience this seems to be true Can a balanced army with cc and shooty power be a tournament winning army for SM??? I think in general most Shooty army's do better overall in tournaments
Well, we cannot say what is the best, because any plan gets thrown out the window when you meet the enemy. Its your preference. Would you prefer to eliminate an enemy at range before they get too close, or do you prefer to take the fight to them and purge the xenos?
Balance is key. If you aren't crazy and restrictive of your army like I am then this can work well: Start the game with a solid shooting force (Dreadnought with ML/TL-LC, Devestator Squads, Predator, etc.) then whittle your enemy down and drop pod/teleport in assault squads (Vetrans, Terminator Assault Squads, Dreadnought with Flamer/AC/CCW). This allows you to weaken the enemy's force before having to assault them.
Against shooting heavy armies: Start off the game and you'll be losing to begin with. Their firepower is outnumbering your's, however when your assault squads hit they will mop the floor with them.
Speed: Against speedy enemys you'll have a solid turn or two of shooting then you get assaulted, however you'll be able to assault them from behind with your assault squads.
CC: A few turns of shooting will whittle them down until you can slash through them with your assault squads. Make sure you get the charge.
Mob: You're going to have trouble here. Have your tac squads run up and try and shoot them as much as possible to begin with, this will kill their numbers. Take them down with any high firepower/ordnance/blast weapons you have. Then use your assault squads to take out tougher/smaller units. Don't let them get locked in a combat they cannot win.
Tanks: Shoot them with the big guns, hopefully taking down as many as your can, then powerfist the heck out of them.
Balanced: Shoot the assault squads, assault the shooty squads.
Necrons: Shoot the warriors, assault the warriors.
A youth with his first cigar makes himself sick; a youth with his first girl makes other people sick. - Mary Wilson Little
To me this really depends on the chapter you are playing and knowing how to best utilize the rules given to each chapter. For example, the blood angels are a close combat oriented chapter, thus being shooty there is no good. Additionally, trying to balance the blood angels doesn't work all that well either. (I'll have you note that in Utah Blood Angels players are a dirge for their high win records).
Whereas using the Dark angels would favor shooting styles for armies (The intractable ruling is truly great for shooting).
However, I agree with ArchonofDeath that it is important to be balanced. For example I play dark angels, I have 6 lascannons and 8 missle launchers, and a whirlwind for shooting. However, my HQ and my FA are assault squads. The Assault squads have plasma pistols (3 each) and are stubborn (meaning no fall back). The librarian is a close combat monster as well due to his force weapon (and what many seem to be a waste of point) and his power fist.
The key is knowing how to deal with certain combat situations that may arise on the field. If you are attacking a shooty army, its important to know what the range of their weapons are, what is the tactical field with regard to area terrain and cover saves, then it is also important to know the armor ratings of the vehicles (or squad size if its a heavy weapons squad) andthen choose your targets appropriately.
So... If I am fighting a shooty squad, I doa couple of things, assess the strength of my opponents guns. with lots of weapons I make the following calculations:
1: is there cover for my assault squads, if there is hide them there and out of sight of most if not all of my opponents weaponry in order to reserve the assaultsquads for a turn 3-4 blitz.
2: In what ways can my deployment best facilitate the destruction of my opponents heavy hitters or fast runners? Deploy your heavy guns to deny your opponents fast attack or heavy force elements in turn one and two. Don't rely on first turn to save you on this, instead focus on what needs to be destroyed first and foremost. If your opponent starts charging with fast attackers, and you know your average tactical squad can't handle well in CC then its best to first focus on the fast attackers that are charging to deny them the ability to tie down your squads.
3: How many planes of firing do I have? With my army I always make sure to have at least 3-4 heavy guns in each plane of firing for my army. IE my two devestator squads are on opposite ends of the board, and then my troops with lascannons are deployed in a way to maximize firing planes (also known as murder holes). The key is that if you can chart out where you opponent is likely to go, then you can also clutter those areas with so much firing that the your opponents squads will be decimated upon entering your field of fire.
I'll put out a part two when I am done with class.
I think a Space Marine army is better off balanced...usually leaning towards one way but balanced is still best.
Assault squads and infiltrators (carrying all sorts of plasma and melta weapons) backed up by two whirlwinds and drop pod dreadnoughts are working for me right now. This way, on first turn I am shooting their critical pieces of the army and don't have to fear an assault too much since the drop pod dreadnoughts can CC almost anything being a walker and all. Whirlwinds are just to help hit troops/meatshields and maybe get a lucky pin.
But having balanced list means you can always adapt to your opponent while CC and shooty armies are limited to their style of combat.
Raven Claws Space Marine Chapter........2500 points
Waagh Rotskrag (in building process)
Member of the Fluffmaster Clan
Here is Part two since I am now out of the constitutional law class
4: Always think about the tactical importance of taking second rather than first turn. There are few situations where this is very viable, however, those situations where it properly utilized are critical. For example, its generally good to go second if you have GREAT cover for your units AND you are playing Recon. ALSO it is good to take second turn if you are fighting a foot slogging army (Necrons or other space marines, or CSM, or shooty guard) and you are playing an Omega mission. Remember most omega missions have concealment or night fighting, both are great for you to utilize second turn. Why? Because if your opponent moves, they lose concealment and still have to roll to see you if they wish to fire at your troops. This also forces your opponent to lose concealment for your first (truly the second half of the first) turn.
5: Never try and use your assault squads hastily. Its okay to leave you assault squads behind for a bit and wait for your opponent to make a move towards you. Also this has a second meaning, when assaulting, and you are confident you can win, always setup the assault situation so that you only kill one person on your turn in assault and then pile in when that person is dead. This sounds odd but it works like this, you setup one person in your assault squad to be within 6" assault range during your movement phase. Because the rules force you to make a full assault move, all your guys have to get into assault, however, if only one model of yours can make it, and you are confident you can win the assault, the chances are that you will not only win the assault but your opponent will also pass his/her LD test for losing CC. When that happens you both pile in (if you positioned correctly you won't be in base to base contact so you can only make a pile in move). This means that on your opponents assault phase all of your models will end up in base to base, meaning that you have maximum ability to destroy your opponent during your opponents turn. When that happens you then get to consolidate and then take your normal moves on your turn. THE KEY is to always attempt to finish an assault on your opponents turn (making your guys impervious to harm since no one can shoot into an assault).
6: Make sure that your HQ is useful. I've seen plenty of games where the HQ unit is completely underutilized. Think about what it is you want your HQ to do. I have mine act as a crazy assault model. He has 6 attacks on the charge, can use the force weapon or a power fist (depending on the situation) has all the bells and whistles (2+ armor save, adamantium mantle, and psychic powers to boot).
7: Always think in terms of the chances your weapons have to destroy a certain amount of models in a unit. For example, if you are fighting tanks and other heavy units, it is very important to think about how many shots you have to sink into a model to ensure it can't fire anymore.
8: always think in terms of chapter traits. Dark angels are intractable meaning that if they fail a leadership test from shooting they stay put and may still fire next turn they also have Azrael who confers a 4+ invulnerable save to units around him from shooting. That means DA armies are built for shooting. While Blood Angels have the black rage which can force them to move forward, they also have the death company which is designed around assaulting quickly. While Ultramines have no special traits per se, they have Tigerius which gives a doubled range for psychic powers (Fear of Darkness has a 24" radius......thats 1/4 to 1/3 of the board if done right). Grey Knights are built to be in someone's face, they are all fearless, they all have nemesis weapons which at the least give a STR 6 statline. Additionally they all have assault weapons and always have 2 attacks in the assault. This means that while they can't truly handle vehicular issues well (save a power fist somewhere) they can handle pretty much everything else in an assault. Always think about what your traits are and exploit them. If you aren't then you're not using your army properly.
9: Always think balance. It is really easy to go to the shop and make a list designed to decimate a specific army. The trick is to make an army that can handle pretty much every army out there leaving the final outcome of the battle to the commander.
10: MOST IMPORTANT THAN ALL OTHER RULES: Close Combat and Shooting armies do not matter if you disagree with your terrain. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS figure out what the terrain is like BEFORE you start a game. If you want a building to count as size 3 area terrain, then make sure you haggle it out with your opponent before hand. Deciding terrain is extremely important. it can mean the difference between winning and losing. Knowing what is dangerous terrain, what is just a cover save, what is models eye view, and what is going to keep your guys out of sight. For example, you can setup your assault marines behind some size 3 area terrain, and NO MATTER WHAT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE you can't lose marines in the assault squad to enemy fire except via barrage (the size 3 area terrain can be only 1" thick but if its 8" long you can hide your assault squad there opponent can't see through it). If you know what difficult terrain is, you know that you can setup some heavy troops there and your opponent will be disuaded from assaulting into difficult terrain (if they don't make it they are pooched). Also don't ever feel bad about arguing over what terrain is what BEFORE the game. If you have to write it all down on scraps of paper.
10: always remember that forcing a target priority check is death for shooty armies. The best defense for your shooters is not only cover but your own men. If your opponent wants to fire at your devestator squad make your opponent jump through every hoop you can force him/her to jump through. Target priority tests, admittedly don't wor often against high leadership forces (Necrons, veteran squads, HQ's) but for the rank and file that are armed with heavy weapons it will severely dissuade your opponent from wasting valuable heavy weapons shots on a chance of passing leadership 7 (IG, Tau, Eldar is 8 (33% chance isn't bad). The real key isn't the math its the psychological problem your opponent faces when you force her/him to consistently run through a gauntlet in order to hit your vital forces.
Here is one last thing I bring with my understanding of WH40k. Don't use vehicles aside from Drop Pods and Whirlwinds for Marines (maybe Dreds, but that is it). Here is why.... Vehicles although they have armor, if ANYTHING causes a hit on a vehicle, at the very least you won't be able to fire weapons from that unit (or you can have machine spirit which means you hit on 5+.... LAME) Meaning that you can pay 140+ points on a predator annihilator with 3 lascannons and the second it gets any damage, the vehicle is locked down for a turn. Whereas you can get an eight man devestator squad with 4 rocket launchers for only 200 points that is guaranteed to shoot most of the time (if you have a captain you reduce the chances of your devestator squads from falling back even more) (and cover works MUCH better for infantry models other than for vehicles). Also think of it like this, for 110 points ( I believe) you can get a 6 man troop squad with a lascannon, which is about the cost you pay for a vehicular lascannon on a dreadnaught. That lascannon, however, has 6 wounds, making it EXTREMELY durable as compared to a vehicle.
THE ONLY exception to this is when you don't want to DS terminators and a landraider crusader with terminators is your next best method of moving terminators. This mainly applies to the Black Templars which use this tactic to GREAT effect and for Death Wing Armies. However, if you ask me, its still smarter to just have two vet sergeants armed with homers run to your opponents side of the map and then roll for deep strike and DS on the Veteran sergeants homer. this logic OBVIOUSLY doesn't apply to other armies, this is specificaly my belief when it comes to Space Marines (particularly the Dark Angels because that is what I play)
Vehicles are indeed rediculously easy to kill compared to Infantry, although fewer weapons can hurt them it only takes a couple of Lascannon to give away 140 v.p's from the Predator as you say.Originally Posted by Remiyo
PotMS works well with Vindicators, BS2 doesn't hurt ordnance weapons in the slightest.
Although 6 Men with a Lascannon are approximatly the same points as a Dreadnought, the Dreadnought does get combat potential, move and fire and a twin linked weapon. Manouverability is important with shooting.
@ The main Topic.
It is my experiance for properly constructed shooty armies with commanders good at target priority and at army construction will usualy do very well, unless the combat army has a serious trick (dozens of DE Raiders using cover etc). Combat armies have to spend turns on te recieving end of fire, get to assault one unit and then, if the shooter has spread out kills a single unit and gets shot some more or possibly counter assaulted.
The only reason blood angels in UTAH have a decent record is because no body builds shooty lists. Seth's list are 90% static. If you simply outrange him, you can shoot him to pieces (sound familiar?). Blood angels are one of the better shooty marine lists as they get the baal pred. Throw in the fear caused by the death company and how many shots it can absorb, and you get a nice mixed force. But 90% of seths tactics are shooting.
Oh, and you have 2 #10's.
Gotta say though, I totally disagree with your vehicle statement. While certain vehicles aren't always a good idea (LR's vs eldar lance list), the simple fact that they can absorb huge amounts of shooting will draw attention away from your softer troops. Look at Tim's army of IG. Most people focus on the vehicles and let the troops shoot you to heck. If I can get a 200 pt squad wasting their fire on my 50 pt landspeeder, that will still probably live but can't shoot next turn, I just bought myself a huge advantage. Yes, certain targets will draw a ton of attention. A single dread in the middle of the board. But make it venerable and it will earn it's points back from drawing fire away from your plasma/lascannon troops.
Certainly, you offer some good advice, but most of it sounds way too rigid.
As a general answer, having some of both is never bad, just make sure they compliment one another. Having a bunch of assault marines hopping up the board under fire from vehicles with many a heavy bolter is gonna cause problems. Use your shooty troops to knock the vehicles out, and soften up your targets before your assault marines get there.
Look at eldar, having all shooty doesn't get you too far if he has all shooty. CC only-vs nids you're dead. Finding the right mix is all about your playstyle and what you enjoy.
I can make an all guardian army dance, as much as a shooty nid list, or aspect heavy craftworld, or standard marine company. Learn how to use your units in a variety of situations, think ahead, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!
Can't say that enough. Last game I played, it was a nail biter the first two turns, but I started rolling well on turn 3, and he didn't. In the end, had we played it out, I would have crushed him, but the dice could have gone the other way. Either instance we both had a blast. I corrected him when he thought he should try shooting X, he pointed out weakness Y I had missed. Was just enjoyable and helps make us both better gamers.
Stand and shoot marines are effective. Won't argue contrary to that. 100 marines on the board with 3 tank hunter lascannons, and 10-20 heavy bolters, it's an obscene army to fight. But it's not fun. throw in a few assault troops, or a dread or two and now you got the ball rolling. a rhino here or there, or better yet, razorback, and yeeehaaaa!
Anyway you do it, have fun. You'll find things that work well for you. look around in the army list threads, you'll see plenty of feedback there. Will give you ideas on how things can and can't work. But don't be afraid to go against the flow. Many a person has told me 132 guardians isn't effective, and yet my guardians haven't lost a game yet. Several ties (most from me farting around) but all were enjoyable.
16,000+ of Eldar (only need flyers)
7,000+ of Nids (want heirophant)
6,000+ of Space Marines (need rever titan)
4,400+ of Cygnar (all models for the faction)
1,500+ of Legion (just started)
Hahaha its good to see other members from Utah on LO. Ya, my dark angels are simply my style. And you're right I am really rigid with regard to the way I play, aside from my style however, I feel that the main setup points are the most important to take into account, regardless of close combat or range.
Hmm it seems to me that Marines are well balanced in their stats to start with. This means that there are no glaring weaknesses in your typical marine list. This suggests to me that probably the best corse of action would be to be balanced so that you are able to take advantage of your opponents weaknesses. Of course Chapter specific rules often alter the dynamics of the situation.
I am a big fan of balanced lists, I find that it has an leveling affect on your army. Your margin of victory is likely to be smaller for your wins, but it will also usually save you from composition losses (you know those time when there is nothing you could do to win that fight.)
In effect this means that your wins/losses tend to be based more on your stratigic performance, wich is right where I prefer to fight.
(I too am in Utah. . . well at least for the next month or so. . .)
Votewar MKV 2nd place. . .
Back from internet limbo, and glad to be here.