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Hi, everyone. I know I've taken a bit of a break from Librarium Online in the last while, but I'm back and with the help of our beloved Adrian in this thread: http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...ad.php?t=91295 (Against Tau) I've come up with the idea to redo the sticky topic http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...ad.php?t=73242 (Space Marine vs- Tactics) because I'm beginning to feel that it's outdated and lacks the depth that it could so very easily include. As such, I've decided that it's time for an update.
Because there are so many different foes for us to face, it's going to take a bit of work. The more people that are included in the re-writing the better. Thus, if anyone feels that they have something helpful to add, they can do so here. Please be sure to make it clear which foe it is that you're writing about by printing their name In Bold at the top of your post. Additionally, do your best to nail spelling, grammar, sentence structure and the like. It makes for easier reading.
Thanks for reading, all.
Last edited by Katie Drake; March 22nd, 2007 at 00:30.
theyak's guide to beating Chaos Space Marines
Hi So, I'm going to evolve my entry instead of adding bits and pieces here and there.
I'll welcome comments via PM. If you see something in my entry that you think is grossly erroneous or think I've overlooked something important PM me, that way there'll be a central point of info for loyalist marine players to get some good info.
Overlook: The Chaos Space marines army is probably one of the most flexable armies in 40k, period.
First and formost, the best piece of advice I can give to ANYONE(not just space marine generals is to pick up the chaos codex and give it a read. With any new army or codex I take some time to read through the codex and familiarize myself with some of their fundamental rules. Knowing what your oponet can and cannot do with the army is even more important here because the chaos codex can be a little confusing and many new(and some veterans, even) accidentally cheat because they misread, or forgot a rule; or simply didn't have the most current codex version(3rd printing, found at the front of the book at the copyright section). Knowing this will help with the feeling of "cheese" that a lot of people feel towards chaos armies, there are things you CAN and CAN'T do, if you get a good feel for it then you will start to understand that for every power they gain, they gain a weakness too(in other ways.. not just in stats etc.... more of that later)
I will go over the different marks in Chaos, khorne, nurgle, slaanesh, tzeench.
*basic concepts* I will talk about "marked marines" to explain most CSMs can be dedicated to a god of chaos. Most chaos space marines can be given the "mark" of one of the gods, or be given a mark of chaos undivided(MoCU). Getting a mark gives them advantages which makes them unique to the patron of their dedication.
Khorne Berzerkers(CSMs eligible for marks who are marked with the mark of Khorne: MoK)
As their name implies these guys are close combat specialists, JUST giving them a MoK makes them on par with veteran space marines in stats, only they are fearless as well. Not only that, but they blood rage, which gives them a chance to lurch forward at the begining of the turn(like blood angels, only more frequently)
Most commonly they are kitted out with the following: MoK, Khornate chainaxe, and furious charge and frag grenades as standard.
This makes them a DEADLY oponent for anything with better than a 4+ save.
For CC, Scouts are a good way of dealing with and tying them up, they don't lose any armor, fight just like regular marines AND they have BP+CCW. If you must CC them try to overwhelm them and kill them off as quickly as possible.
My suggestion to deal with them is to beat them at range, shoot them up, don't let them get into position where they do the best(close combat).
More to come later.
W/D/L Eleventy trillion billion/NONE/ NONE - I am STILL rulezor!
WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!
One of the easiest enemies a Marine army can face, in my opinion.
You will typically be seeing:
- Tons of Fire Warriors
- A Kroot squad or two
- Gun Drones
- Broadside Battlesuits
- A few Crisis Suits
- A squad or so of Stealth Suits
- An occasional Ethereal
With an occasional twist, but those will be your primary enemies, especially the Fire Warriors and Broadside Battlesuits.
A Static Tau army is very easy to outshoot. To take down their infantry, use Bolters (plenty of wounding capability) and Heavy Bolters (ignoring their armour saves, which is a huge plus, and wounding on a 2+). These two weapons will tear the Fire Warriors to shreds and make them ineffective.
Tau are usually weak with AP3 or lower weaponry (most of it is on their Crisis Suits), so you should grab as many Power Armour wearers as you can.
Next area of concern - the Broadside Battlesuits. Not bad, as their primary targets are vehicles and other tanks. Simple enough way to make them a lot less effective - don't take any vehicles or tanks! Lascannons will take them down, especially if they do not take Shield Generators or Shield Drones. Most Tau players will opt to take the Advanced Stabilization System, and occasionally two Shield Drones on a Team Leader. With a few Lascannon shots, you should be able to take the Drones down then the Broadsides themselves. They are now, however, top priority.
A popular squad for Tau, and all the more effective for Static Tau, is the Librarian Terminator Retinue with Fear of the Darkness. They are especially useful in the side role of Ethereal-hunting - toss them a Drop Pod and two Assault Cannons, and if an Ethereal is on the board, get them within 24" (make sure it's the closest target to you!), and shred them to pieces. If an Ethereal is not on the board, the Terminators will still be able to demolish Fire Warriors, Kroot, or virtually any other enemy unit the Tau player can field.
Hope this gives some food for thought.
To fight necrons a marine player needs to understand what Necrons strengths and weaknesses are.
Firstly Necrons are tough, damn tough, they can take huge amount of punishment from range so engaging in a firefight puts you at a disadvantage.
Secondly Necron warriors (who are the core of the army) are typically very slow, a necron player has to pay serious points to get them any sort of speed (be it using a veil of darkness or monolith).
Thirdly Necrons do not have difficulty with tanks due to the gauss nature of their weapons they can easily destroy a tank in one round of fire, so unless you take lots of vehicles (be it rhino rush or lots of predators) leave your tanks at home.
Necrons Excel at short range fire, the core of the army (warriors) are only armed with what basically amounts to a bolter and yo uget a lot of warriors, so try to avoid bolter gunfights because you will lose.
Right, we now know what they are good at, so what aren't necrons so good at?
The most obvious weakness necrons have is close combat, although tough and strong like marines necrons have very low initiative so the will strike after your marines 9 times out of 10 (they have a few units that strike at the same time as a marine and and 1 unit that is faster).
So to maximise damage close comabt is a sensible idea.
The key is getting into close combat without taking too much damage, now this can be tricky since all necron weapons have a high rate of fire but they only have average strength. This means you will be taking lots of saves which is the best way to get round power armour.
So, how does one make close combat? Firstly do not send a single squad, even if its a chaplain and assault squad they will lose because they can be taken down piecemeal, of you are going to assault, hit with 3 or more units at the same time, exploit their weakness by overwhelming them.
Now, what does one send into close comabt? The short answer is anything, since only the expensive lords and pariahs have power weapons / warscythes you will always be getting armours saves, thus getting units with 2+ saves into combat is fatal to a Necron player (this is where terminators excel).
Necrons do often teleport out of close combat (usually via a monolith) and rapid fire the unit that just attacked them, while this is powerful a decent size squad should be able to endure it, either way be prepared.
While Necrons have high LD when they break and run they don't get far, so you can easily run down alrge squads due to their poor I.
Right, thats close combat sorted, now what about shooting?
This is where you soften up necron units to make it easier for the assault units. necrons have very few power armour ignoring ranged weapons (namely the monolith's particle whip and heavy destroyers) and both cost a lot of points.
Blanket fire does not work, you aim to cause maximum damage on a unit by unit basis, so turn all your firepowr onto one unit and don't stop unti lthey are all dead, otherwise you may find causing lasting damage very hard.
Plasma cannons are very useful, while they do not deny we'll be back (henceforth known as WB it does deny their armour (which is half the battle) and can cover lots of models. They are very useful if you have them, otherwise you can't go wrong with missile launchers (who are better at taking down units outside of resurrection orb coverage).
Any unit withing the resurrection orb coverage will be very hard to keep dead, so you want to hit them with lots of multiple shot weaponry and / or weapons that deny armour (this is where plasma really excels).
It is also worth noting that necrons have only one ranged attack that can defeat terminator armour, this is mounted on the rarely taken heavy destroyers to using terminators gives necron players all kinds of trouble.
Terminators deserve special mention since they are positively built to take down necrons, they are nigh unkillable and will tear it up in close combat, so it does not really matter if you spend 200+ points on one unit.
Now, a lot of necron players take the monolith because it is a very powerful tank, it is nigh impossible to kill and can deep strike. To stop this beast you need to hit it with lots and lots of lascannon fire, due to its living armour rule you do not get extra penetration (i.e from melta or tank hunters) so it has to be hit with high strength weaponry.
I suggest lots of lascannon in small tactical squads, thats the cheapest way of dealing with it.
If it deep strikes you will need to worry about what it can bring though its portal and its particle whip. In such a circumstance try and maximise cover and aim to either hit the monolith itself with awesome amounts of fire or obliterate whatever comes out of the portal.
Do not worry about the C'tan, they are slow and cost a lot of points, a scout unit with sniper rifles should take one down easily and hitting it with a few lascannon shots wouldn't hurt. Do not try to take them in close comabt, they are very powerful and nothing space marines have stands a decent chance outside of powerfists (which cost a lot).
1) Space marine HQ's are lethal to Necrons when they enter cose combat, stay away from necron lords and aim to do as much damage to the warriors to force phase out.
2) 2+ saves are a pain for Necrons to stop, so a unit of terminators is a great investment.
3) Do not spread fire, pick one unit and shoot it until its all dead.
4) Do not assault piecemeal, you will be overwhelmed, use as many units as you can.
5) Try and destroy the warriors to make phase out easier.
6) Depending on your force it may be wise to eliminate supporting necron units, such as destroyers (both kinds) and tomb spyders.
Now, I am a nid player primerily, however I feel there's some insight I can add in going agianst them. Nids lists can easily be broken down into 2 categories, genestealer\swarm type lists and Nidzilla, I'll deal with each 1 at a time.
Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons and Plasma
Weapons to avoid:
Flamers (if you actually manage to flame a nids army you are a lucky son of a gun, the range on flamers is so short that any reasonable nids player should assault you before you can use it on him).
1) Target priority:
This is not what you think. I'm actually going to tell you to ignore carnifexes, at least for the first 2 -3 turns. A close combat Carnifex won't come anywhere near you in those first 3 turns, and even when it does close you can just start marching 6 inches away per turn. A Dakkafex won't close for at least 2 turns, and once again, walk backwards. The standard sniperfex, while he sounds ugly, is something you're going to be able to deal with in it's own time. He can only really glance tanks and has nothing that pens marine armour.
The only moster that should attrack fire imediately is a flyrant (if your oponent has taken one). These are much more fragile than you might thing, plasma, and las cannons will easily drop him in 1-2 turns before it can get to your lines and do it's thing. Other monsters are slow enough that you can worry about them later.
The real thing for you to fire upon is Genestealers and potentially hormigaunts. Genestealers in particular are the single greatest threat to a space marine army. The have 3 attacks on the charge (which they will get) WS6, I6 and are as strong and tough as a marine. Add rending to that and you do not want to deal with them. Heavy bolters are especially powerful against them, but anything with a template or a number of shots should be pointed their way. Anything but las-cannons should instantly be directed at them, and any squads with that can should focus fire on them first.
Even in the swarm army you will be hard pressed to actually eliminate a sturdy synapse web. An intellegent nid player will bring more than enough synapse to cover every unit that needs it, and shots aimed at warriors are shots that could have gone into thinning out genestealers and other much more dangerous units (such as raveners). If the opponent's web looks very weak (basically if you are highly confident you can take out almost all or all of it on turn 1) go for it, otherwise, it is my experiance that marine players shooting at my synapse are quickly overrun.
What I am going to tell you next will shock you. One of the best things you can do after deploying your forces is to move up. Anything that doesn't have a shot on turn 1 (and if you go first this will be the majority of your army) and doesn't have hormigaunts or a flyrant directly in front of them should advance 6 inches. By advancing you give yourself more room to do the move backward while firing and you bring him into range of bolters sooner than would otherwise be possible. Now, there is one more important thing to remember about advancing on nids. Keep your units at least 6 inches apart at all times. You want to make sure you are always out of massacre range.
I will admit that I am not as familiar with this group as I am with the swarm, however there are certain things I feel would be highly effective against them (and no tactica would be complete without mentioning them.)
Weapon load out:
PLASMA! missile launchers and las cannons.
Also, if possible I would advise using drop podded plasma gunners.
Weapons to avoid:
flamers, heavy bolters.
1) Target assignment:
So your opponent sets down his 8 monsters and all of a sudden you're stuck deciding what to shoot and when. The thing to remember is that every weapon works better against a different target. If you can, focus las cannons on the Flyrant and heavy support carnifexs. These will have 2+ saves and most likely 5 wounds of T7. Focus the big guns on them. Missile launchers should be pointed straight at the Dakkafexes (baby carnies) These have T6 and only a 3+ save meaning missiles deny them their save. Also, these can't hurt you until they're within 18 inches, so you can plink away at them with a missile or two a turn for a bit.
2) Assault is now your friend:
I know it sounds weird, but if you are facing a nidzilla list most likely your oponent does not want to engage you in CC. Almost all zillas (the flyrant being an exception) are going to be geared for shooting and be much weaker in CC. The ever popular hidden powerfist is very effective here as it can plink off a carnifex wound a turn while the thing tries to swat away your units with it's 2 attacks. The best invuln in the nids army is a 6+ (which carnies don't have) so any close combat is likely to go your way (if you have a powerfist or two).
Rappid firing plasma does nasty things to any Zilla. It is very high str and low ap, exactly what you want to go against zillas. Furthermore, in my experience most tac squads have at least 1 plasma gunner in it, and many have 2 (but no heavy weapons). The second type is what I'm going to focus on here. The 2 plasma gunner squads have nothing to lose by advancing on the nids. If they can close to rapid fire range they will be able to do some rather impressive damage against the monsters.
Keep in mind that this is written from the view point of a nid player and what is highly effective against me. It is by no means completely inclusive, nor is it garunteed to be 100% accurate. There are a lot of different varieties of nid armies and so just because these may work (and again, I make no promises) against the ones I've put up is no garuntee that they will work against other loadouts.
~2k of genestealery goodness
~1750points of terminator goodness
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain
more witty remarks to come.
As the great and learned brothers of the Adeptus Astartes well know, the Imperium may turn on itself becuse if a religious schism, upheaval, or just because they may mistake each other for someone they should be fighting rather than the fellow defenders of humanity they are.
As lamentable as it is, the concept of fellow Battle-brothers turning against our own is not beyond consideration. We are a dangerous force to behold after all, and only through knowledge of ourselves are we so great.
The strengths & weaknesses of your foe is to be known before you engage them. So they are listed quickly before tactics are discussed:
- They are only as strong as you, so unless they're doing something extra (Furious Assault) they won't be any better.
- They know this, so will usually (not always) be cautious and thoughtful in considering how to attack you.
- Unless the foe is taking special weaponry, even scouts will manage to use their armour save, so you'll be able to throw more at them by using the younger Battle-brothers.
- Being the Adeptus Astartes, they will not usually have a high number, so every casualty is felt.
So, with this in mind, the tactics are set...
- The armour is powerful.
- The special weapons are common.
- The skills are oft used.
- They are hard to break.
USE YOUR COMMANDER
This may be a waste of time in your eyes, but the Brother-Captain or Master is a valuable addition to the force. For the same price as a Chaplain, you get the same stats and equippment (Commander with Power weapon).
Though you may opt to use a lot of Terminator Honours, even the basic Commander is useful, because of the Constant unmodified Ld9 your army gets, he kind of KEEPS the bonus there, even of the Sergeant dies (Vindicare allies or other such things). A Master gives a constant full Ld value, so is great.
He may not be fearless, but he can make sure your Devastators halfway across the board away can target the enemies in the way of his target for close combat, despite enemies being in the way (and the target checks), and he can keep your Brothers in combat when you want them to be.
He is also the cheapest option for the Commanders, so you have more room to select the rest of your army.
Chaplains and Librarians are always the topic of Debate, While the CHaplain is the most effecient, the Librarian is the most effective (with his more augmentable statline).
This age-old debate isn't an easily soved one due to free will being so persistant.
They have their place. The Infiltrating is one thing, and the possibility of being long-range support is another.
Using a group of Infiltrating Command & Veteran Squads is all well & good, but what if you face something you didn't want to (Assault defense walls, for instance)? The Oppurtunity to field a close-by group of cover-hugging Support weapon groups that pin eneies down is great. Also, having a cheap assault squad that starts right near your enemy is a plus. Sure, the special weapons will hurt, but if you move them right, the scouts will be in close combat soon enough, where power weapons/fists are ALWAYS a danger.
Scouts are a deceptively powerful force. Sure, the Astartes can load up on a lot of AP4 or better weapons effortlessly, but in close combat it doesn't count for anything. Scouts either stay out of the guns' way by being ranged specialists, or they ignore them by getting into an early close combat. And 31 S4+ attacks in turn 1-2 is not to be sneezed at.
PLAYING WITH THE RIGHT TOYS
If you have any idea what you're facing, it's good to prepare accordingly. The debate over Plasma or Melta is finished. Both have their Place:
If you're using your men defensively, as a squad that takes out infiltrators or True-gritting it, Plasma is great. You can double-tap, then sit back and enjoy a weakened enemy (True grit loves to do this, use it properly).
If you're gonig offensive: Mechanised, Infiltrating, or Frop-podding, Melta is better as it does more damage, fits well with assaulting, and is able to insta-kill that Independant GLUA Libby.
For hordes, or for charging into assault against Scouts or Devastators (not the other types, as you need a hard-hitting edge with Assault, Some Tactical, Veteran, Terminator, and Command Squads), Flamers are good for that wall of auto-hitting template. Heavy Flamers are good too, as they'll kill off Scouts and wound reliably on any Astartes.
Heavy Weapons to take are a different thing entirely. The most effective and versetile is Missile Launchers, they have range, they have S8 blows that pierce Power armour, and they can opt to blast template you if they feel lucky. But they are, and I stress this entirely, NOT THE ONLY HEAVY WEAPON!
If you take See but Don't be Seen, Devs can Infiltrate. thing: 4 Infiltrating Multi-meltas that have 6 ablative wounds... thing: 2 Plasma Cannons in Defensive Command squads with closer targets armed with Plasma guns or Meltaguns if you fight more desperate enemies... thing: 2 Heavy Bolter & 2 Plasma Cannon Dev squad with Tank Hunters (Honour your Wargear or Suffer not the Works of Heretics).
AN ANNOYED ENEMY IS A STUPID ONE
To use irritating tactics against the enemy, IE: Tactics that shouldn't work but do, will make them make mistakes, wrongly believing themselves to be unstoppable.
I will give 2 examples:
Blood Ravens can be annoying by taking full-size True Grit Dev squads that Infiltrate with a Veteran Seargeant armed with a Powerfist. 1-2 heavy weapons at most, and use them as an assault force. It works, but everybody s it.
Assault Marines with no Jump packs. It serves a purpose. Run in to kill the enemy infiltrators while they set up. They cost less, so you can toy up with the rest of your army.
By doing seemingly pointless and damaging things, you set the enemy up to naturally thing lower of you and make arrogant mistakes. Especially so if you're against Marines.
PUT THE BOOTS ON!
Getting around your own weaknesses are paramount to beating the other Marine players'. The 1st weakness Marine players think of? Low munbers!
Take at least 50 men in any army with 1,500+pts. You'll have around 675pts left afterwards if you take some special infantry (vets and Jets).
This is a big thing. The large amount of infantry you have will offput them a bit, even if they think to do the same, they'll realise you're smart enough to do the same as them so will be cautious. Even if you make infuriating choices you'll make them cautiously angry, so they'll make dumb, SLOW mistakes.
With this in mind, you have to realise that the average Marine vs Marine match is won with this saying in mind: "Victory favours the bold."
Send in the assault troops!
And be smart about it, don't charge True Gritters before whittling their numbers from a distance. They may be shooty but they are evil in combat considering... Charging snipers is silly, just blast them away because they'll probably pin you (unless led by a Chaplain) before you make it, so blast them down before they can, or hug cover.
You can attack Assault troops in their own element of you want, but make sure you whttle them down 1st and/or have some other advantage (like Furious Charge... Oooh!)
One full-size scout assault squad with Teleport Homer then teleporting some Assault Termies in when in close combat makes a good spearhead, them bring in the Jetarines or Bikers, followed possibly by the groundpounders. The thing is to dig deep with the 1st strike. Make SURE that you get as far into their lines as possible with those 1st few, then the path will be cleared and you can fill it, spread, and fuc|< up the enemy.
Note that while you should be assaulting, don't forget to SHOOT!
Line up some big guns to keep the heads down and take away the ones that don't go down. Pinning fire is best of you're after the assault wedge, as they get in freely.
I give this honourable mention as it's the most disrrupting ability as far as making these ploys go. You fight against ranged fighters who suddenly pull out as many attacks as assault specialists!! This is what you do to kill them: SHOOT THEM!
Honest to god, 8 True Grit Veterans with 2 Power weapons (no powerfist) can and often do take out 10 Assault Marines... When the veterans are the ones being assaulted.
This is why you must completely destroy any True Grit Marines you see with , mopping up the remains with assault, but make sure you never get within 18" of them or you will see why I give them honourable mention.
Marines are few in number, so each casualty is felt, yes. But you can use this to your advantage, make a juicy target obvious and make the enemy soak it up (a 190pt Librarian of Doom has taken and survived an entire team's round of ), and use the vacuum of fire to move your REAL prizewinners into the relatively bruise-free.
Throwing Scouts against Dreadnaughts is usually STUPID! But if it's only 5, the real army can move into lanes of fire and be safe. Especially if Said Scouts are given Kraks & Powerfist. You may even kill the damn roid-ridden-R2D2.
Don't use them unless you KNOW what you're doing.
I say scouts a lot because they're cheaper than normal Marines and serve so many purposes. They come in neat little packages and can be given some real stopping power.
An infiltrating unit or two will distract the enemy anyway, but why spend, say 18pts+ per for it when you can pay 13pts+ for a cheap yet effective unit that still locks enemies in assault (and you can't shoot past it, can you?). This is why it's good.
- Assault the CQC specialists, they are now locked and can't move to strike the meat of your force. Only Scouts can feasibly do this early because the Veterans & Commands are off to do some important stuff, so we'll leave this daunting task to the young ones.
- Assaulting the Assault Specialists blocks lanes of fire, and since only a fool would deploy an assaulty Marine squad at the back, you're in for a treat of easy-to-reach targets that deny the enemy theirs.
- YOUR real assault specialists are thus free to lay the smack-down upon the enemy as you see fit.
These things can turn the tide of battle. Be sure to read up on tem and understand how the opponent uses them.
See that? Not how the traits your foe takes work, how he uses them!
Too many Marine players see something and take it too literally, they forget to think how the enemy uses what they have.
Knowing your enemy isn't knowing what they can have, it's that they USE that matters.
Traits are too extensive, with <number-pending> combinations, there's not enough time or space to give an exact way to beat every combination, especially with the different ways to use them.
Coming up soon: Imperial Guard.
Post your army lists in the ARMY LIST section! Not that hard!
:blush: Aww, I'm beloved.Originally Posted by Firedrake28
Give me some time, and I'll whip up a nice "vs. Eldar" for us all.
The Orks are one of Mankindís oldest foes. Humans first encountered the Orks not long after achieving true space travel and have been at war with the Greenskins ever since. Warlike to the extreme, Orks want nothing more out of life than to fight. Far stronger than an Imperial Guardsman and nearly as resilient as the holy Astartes, Orks are truly a terrible threat to the Imperium of Man. Their numbers are so great that it is thought that there are more Greenskins than Men. Due to their vast numbers, the Orks could easily overrun the Imperium were they ever to unite and fight as one dedicated force. Thankfully this has yet to happen as no Ork Warlord has ever been mighty enough to command such a vast horde.
Veteran Sergeant Harkus leaned forward as if walking into a strong wind, bullets and shells constantly striking his ceremite-protected form, deflected by his ancient suit of power armor. Taking aim with his weapon he gave the order to fire. Instantly, the bark of bolters exploded to either side of his head as his squad dealt death to Greenskins that approached.
Harkus watched as the entire front rank of the Greenskin Mob fell, green blood defiling the ground. The Ork advance slowed momentarily as they climbed over their dead comrades allowing the Space Marines to fire again, cutting down even more of the savage beasts. It wasnít enough though, and Harkus drew his chainsword even as a stay shot hit him square in the chest.
Harkus smashed one of the beasts from its feet with a backhanded blow, using his bolter to add weight to the strike. He stabbed with his chainsword, the whirring teeth easily cutting through green flesh. Around him he heard his Battle-Brothers fighting brutally, using all of their skill and ferocity. Some had their combat knives drawn and were cutting and slicing their way through the tide of Orks where others blew chunks off of their foes, firing their bolters at point-blank range.
Blows rained down on Harkus and his squad. A brutal blow with a massive ax sliced deep into his helm and he felt the bite of the blade as it sank into his skin, deflecting off of his augmented skull. One of the other Space Marines gave a great roar of hatred as his arm was hacked off at the elbow. Dropping to his knees, the brave Astartes was soon finished off, hacked to bits by the unrelenting assault of the Orks.
They were losing. Even as Harkus thrust and parried and dodged, felling opponent after opponent, his unit as a whole wasnít holding up. Another Space Marine fell, dirty rusted weapons finding the weak points in his armor. Outnumbered more than three-to-one, the Astartes refused to give ground and paid with their lives as any loyal servant of the Emperor should.
A great warcry rang out cutting through every sound. The Orks on the rightmost side of the combat were suddenly hacked to pieces as Veteran Sergeant Namnen and his Assault Squad crashed into the foul Xenos, pistols blazing and blades flashing.
Realizing that they were outdone, the Orks turned to run. Leveling his bolter, Harkus fired his weapon into the backs of the retreating Orks. The survivors of his squad followed suit, blowing what remained of the Mob to pieces.
Ork armies use a number of Army Special Rules
This rule allows units of Orks that have begun to Fall Back to join Mobs behind them, thus allowing the fleeing Orks a second chance to fight.
Power of the Waaagh!
The Power of the Waaagh! allows units of Orks to double their Initiative on the turn they charge if they can roll under the current squad size on 2D6.
Mob Size Check
When forced to take a test to Fall Back, Ork Mobs roll as normal. If they fail, they may roll again and try to roll equal to or under the number of models remaining in the Mob. Thus, units that are at least 12 strong are immune to most Morale checks (though heavy negative modifiers may cause them to fail).
A three-step program to rid yourself of those Orkish problems!
Ork armies are most commonly seen as a horde of green in the opposite deployment zone. Equipped with brutal close combat weapons called Choppas, Orks are excellent at fighting in close combat. With four times the number of attacks of a normal Space Marine when charging, Ork players tend to roll a ton of dice in the assault phase. Orks arenít only good in close combat, though. Despite the fact that they miss more often than they hit when firing ranged weapons, Ork armies have the ability to throw a lot of lead (or Grotz) at their foes, and the number of shots fired ensures that at least some of their shots count. If one of your units comes under fire from multiple units of Orks at the same time, expect to take casualties.
Many new players expect the Greenskins to rush their lines purely on foot, but itís important to have a means to deal with their fast transports, Trukks. Able to outrun even Land Speeders (when given the Red Paint upgrade, that is), Ork Trukks can deliver their payload of brutish Boyz surprisingly fast. If youíre ever caught off-guard by a unit of Trukk Boyz, prepare to lose a unit or more.
Thankfully, despite all of their strengths, Space Marines are still easily the superior of an Ork horde when led correctly. Using the proper tactics, a force of Astartes can best the Orks nearly every time. There are a few key things to consider when facing Greenskins.
1) Standing shoulder to shoulder we will defeat our foes! Ė Chapter Master Seth to his assembled forces
The number one rule of fighting Orks (or indeed any enemy that seeks to enter close combat with your troops) is to keep your units close to one another so that if one unit comes under attack, there are several others nearby that can lend a hand. If you fail to keep this in mind, you may find one of your units bogged down in a protracted combat, which not only ensures that your unit is eaten alive by the superior numbers of the Orks, but also blocks your line of sight to enemy troops.
2) Though the artifices of the enemy are many, a bolter round kills just as assuredly! Ė Codex: Space Marines
- Veteran Sergeant with bolt pistol and power fist
- Tactical Marine with plasma gun
- Tactical Marine with missile launcher
- 7 with bolters
This is a fairly standard (fluff-wise) way to equip a unit. It has all of the essentials (a specialist close combat weapon, plus a special and heavy weapon backed up by several Battle Brothers armed with bolters). With an even ten models, this unit is able to threaten (if not defeat) almost anything that it comes across.
Now letís take a look at the average unit of Orks that one can expect to see.
- 16 with sluggas and choppas
- 2 with rokkits
- 1 with burna
- Nob with power klaw and slugga
For the cost of only 32 points extra, the Orks can outnumber your units two-to-one. If this unit managed to reach the Space Marine Tactical Squad detailed above without suffering any casualties, it would be a sad day for the Astartes indeed, as they would be overwhelmed in a single round of combat and chopped to pieces. Since the Orks will outnumber you by so much, itís in your best interest to spend at least the first two turns pouring as many shots as possible into them as they approach. Weapons that fire multiple shots (heavy bolters, assault cannons, etc.) or use blast/ordnance or flame templates (frag missiles, flamers, Vengeance missiles, etc.) are a godsend against the horde of enemy models that will no doubt approach. By thinning out their numbers, you can help ensure that your superior fighters can come into conflict with an equal number of foes once combat is joined while making it difficult for the Orks to get the benefit of their Power of the Waaaagh! ability.
Thus, your aim in the Shooting Phase is to inflict casualties on units like the Mob shown above to avoid being so massively outnumbered. Remember, one-on-one a Space Marine is better than an Ork. Seek to avoid fair fights where you can!
3) Faith is your shield! Ė Codex: Daemonhunters
Despite all of this talk about making sure to shoot up units of Orks, remember, you command the best warriors in the galaxy! Donít be afraid to get up-close and personal when the time and place is right. One of the best ways to throw Ork players off-guard is to aggressively assault them instead of standing back and pouring shots into their units. There are a number of benefits in doing so other than surprising the Ork general, though.
By charging units of Orks the benefits are:
- You face less shots in the Ork shooting phase (Orks tend to use a lot of Pistol and Assault weapons which can be fired before charging which can cause your units to take damage before anyone swings a weapon come the Assault Phase)
- You rob them of any chance to get a Power of the Waaagh! bonus.
- You deny them their +1 attack for charging and take it yourself.
For all of the advantages that charging gives you over your enemies, it must be done at a good time. If you charge headlong into a unit of 15 or 20 Orks, donít expect to come out of the combat in good condition (or alive at all). Orks are incredibly tenacious and WILL hurt you back. The best time to charge is when the unit is only a few models strong and/or when itís right about to charge you/Mob Up, or when youíre rushing in to support a friendly unit thatís Locked in combat (see 1).
Hopefully thatís helped in your efforts to contain and destroy the brutish Orks. Iíll return later with a guide to defeating the special types of Ork armies Ė the Feral Orks and the Kults of Speed.
The fickle and enigmatic xenos known as the Eldar can prove to be very difficult for a marine army to face. This is shown through the two armies varying methods. For instance, marine armies are designed to be able to handle anything thrown at them, the squads able to change tasks upon the whim of the commander, whereas Eldar armies have very specific units that have very narrow-minded objectives, and canít change gears easily. So, how can such a well rounded force defeat such a dedicated one? It all begins with unit selection.
Which units should I bring?
When facing the Eldar, you must understand that the specialization that the Eldar sits comfortably in comes at a price. Their most specialized units, the Aspect Warriors generally come in at a higher cost than the basic Marine. This means that the enemy will have no more units and models than you should, unless they bring a guardian heavy army, but Iíll get to that later. Letís focus on the Aspect Warriors.
Avoid Expensive and Small Units
Against a specialized, compact force, itís good to bring as many Marines that you can fit. So, try to avoid bringing units such as Terminators and overly expensive HQís and Command Squads. They can be nice, but in this situation, unless youíve got points left over, or theyíre going to have a very specific task, leave these guys in the box. Their specialized units will easily take down small squads of heavy infantry, whether through shooting with Fire Dragons, or superior assault with Howling Banshees.
Instead, try larger units, and hit the units whose specialty is opposite of yours. Attack Dark Reapers with your Assault Marines, and shoot Howling Banshees with Devastators or shooty Tactical Squads. This simple method takes apart the opponents strengths and exposes their weaknesses.
Weapon Choice is Key
One of the biggest mistakes Iíve seen, and Iím guilty of this too, is treating the enemy like a marine force, such as using a lot of special weapons, and high strength, low AP heavy weapons. Not only is this foolish, but youíre overestimating your enemy. While the Eldar are certainly not pushovers, misjudging your enemy is a major mistake. So, what do you need to remember?
The enemy has only an average toughness. This makes your chances of wounding much greater, even with your basic bolter. Their average armour means that the more wounds taken, the more kills your likely to get. This is where the larger unit idea really comes into its own. An assault marine squad charging a small unit of Dark Reapers or Fire Dragons will usually equate to a fair amount of wounds and kills. Full size Devastator or Tactical Squads shooting a unit of Howling Banshees will be able to whittle down their numbers to the point where they arenít nearly as effective when they get to your lines. So, letís look at weapons choice.
Try to avoid pricey special weapons, such as Plasma guns and meltaguns. Iíd only recommend them for HQ hunting, instant-killing that pesky autarch or Farseer. The bolter is sufficient for units like Aspect Warriors, and especially for Guardians, whose meagre armour cannot stop the holy bolter. This also points out the most beneficial weapon to combat the Eldar: the Heavy Bolter. With an enhanced strength and a lower AP, coupled with good BS and high rate of fire, these heavy weapons will make mince meat of pesky Aspect Warriors like Howling Banshees and Dire Avengers. A full Devastator Squad with 4 Heavy Bolters will make an excellent Fire Support unit that can protect your other units from harm. A Predator Destructor also makes a fitting choice.
Lastly, I suggest that you bring a Librarian. This one is fairly simple; the psychic hoodís influence is there to negate the powerful psychic abilities.
Now, I hear you asking: ďAdrian, what about those pesky Eldar skimmers?Ē Yes, the Eldar skimmers can prove to be very difficult to take down, especially the Wave Serpent with its Energy Field. So, I suggest that you use the Missile Launcher more. No Eldar Vehicle has an AV greater than 12, so that means youíll damage any vehicle with at least a 4+. Sure, you could use that Lascannon, but itíll do no better against a Wave Serpent than a Missile Launcher. So, I suggest you stick with the less expensive option.
Another thing I also hear is: ďZOMG, Wraithlord!Ē Well, the thing to realize is that it is a monstrous creature with wounds, not an armour value, so itís a little easier to take down. This is where you can utilize your Lascannons. With AP 2 and superior strength, a focused volley can bring down a wraithlord with ease. Plus, the Missile Launcher has a decent chance, and will ignore the armour with an AP of 3.
What Tactics should I use?
One thing to realize about the Eldar is that every part must work together in order for the army to perform well. So, taking out key units and disrupting movement and assaults can really make your job a lot easier. Letís take a look.
Observe your enemy
This is obvious, just analyze your opponentís army and units and see where heís placing the brunt of his army. As long as itís WYSIWYG, then you can see what is kitted, otherwise, just ask politely what each unit contains. But anyway, is he advancing his howling banshees with two squads of Guardians in front? Is the Farseer moving in the direction of your character? Has your opponent bought multiple Fire Prisms? Simple things like this can be taken for granted, but are nonetheless important. If you can see this and counter appropriately, then you can counter effectively.
Counter your enemy
For instance, you could tie up those Howling Banshees by sending in a unit of CC scouts, who are very likely to die, but if timed right, that can leave them wide open for shooting from your Devastators or Predator. By shifting your units around, you can force your enemy to have to move in accordance, and that can only benefit you. As the cardinal rule says, make your opponent react to you.
Target choice is important.
Letís use the Guardian screen and Howling Banshees example again. You could use your Devastators and Predator to take out the Guardians and expose the Banshees. This is nice, and it does make things a bit easier. But, this is exactly what the opponent wants. The Guardians are inexpensive and are intended to die, but that means the Howling Banshees now have easy access to an assault. Or, instead, use the tactical in front of your devastators to shoot up the guardians, and the Devastators focus on the Howling Banshees. Target choice and order can be the difference between surviving and death. Itís as easy as that. Plus, with the enhanced Leadership of the Space Marines, hitting the target that you want shouldnít be too difficult.
While this is paramount to any army, a compact force such as the Space Marines facing an army with many low AP weapons, this becomes almost necessary. Moving assault specialists behind cover can help them get to tie up the shooty units without being too hurt. For instance, Assault Marines can be torn to shreds by Reaper Launchers, but moving them behind cover will keep them relatively safe. Simple enough, but I see a lot of people neglect this, and lose very expensive units. Using cover also applies to shooty units, as the opponent will no doubt try to remove your heavy bolters to protect their units. So, either stick them in suitable cover, or put them behind cheap bolter tactical squads for lots of ablative armour.
Wow, Iíve put quite a bit into this. So let me finish with a summary, and an example list.
ü Avoid small, expensive units. The Eldar specialists can easily tear through Terminators, and command squads with a large amount of points sunk in can take away from the rest of your army
ü Bring the right weapons. Heavy Bolters and Missile Launchers can really take apart your enemyís formations. And have a powered weapon on each of your assault specialists, itíll only help you get through the superior armour of things like Striking Scorpions, Warp Spiders and Dark Reapers
ü Observe your enemy. This simple tactic will ensure that there are no surprises, and proper observation can help you counter your opponent.
ü Counter your opponent. Use your assault specialists against shooting specialists, and shooting specialists against assault specialists. Moving units around can confuse your opponent and force them to move accordingly, exposing themselves.
ü Target choice is important. Shooting the right units with the correct weapons can really make things a lot easier for your army. Timing is also pivotal.
ü Use cover. Simple enough keep your units alive to better counter your opponent.
Now, Iíll provide a list. It may be tailored to Eldar, and will be frowned upon by some, but Iíll write it to give you ideas to include some anti Eldar units to use in a tournament setting. Iíll also give an explanation for what each unit is designed to do.
1500 Codex Space Marines
Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol
Heís here to give a leadership boost to the army, and will provide some nice assault support should the Eldar assault specialists hit your lines.
Force Weapon, Bolt Pistol
Fear of the Darkness
Heís here for the psychic hood, to counter any Farseer powers that show up. Iíve given him fear of the darkness, so that he can possibly help stave off assaulters for a turn or two.
Tactical Squad (5)
1x Heavy Bolter
Tactical Squad (5)
1x Heavy Bolter
Simple use, anti infantry.
Tactical Squad (5)
1x Missile Launcher
Anti Wave Serpent. It can get under the Energy field and can prospectively damage them.
Tactical Squad (5)
Use for anti Wraithlord, or other tanks, such as Falcons, Vipers, and War Walkers.
Tactical Squad (10)
Tactical Squad (10)
These are a handy screen, used to intercept advancing specialists, and tie them up, potentially exposing them to shooting.
Assault Squad (10)
Powerfist, Bolt Pistol
2x Plasma Pistols, CCW
7x BP + CCW
This is used to attack the encamped shooters, such as Dark Reapers. The plasma pistols can help whittle down their numbers, making them easier to defeat in assault. The Powerfist can also be used to hit Wraithguard, making them easy to defeat.
Devastator Squad (
4x Heavy Bolters
More anti infantry, particularly large Aspect Warrior squads. This should be screened by the Tactical Squad, as this will be a prime target of opportunity.
Devastator Squad (
4x Missile Launcher
The ever ubiquitous anti tank squad. This can easily deal with Wave Serpents and other tanks. Perfect for taking out tank squadrons, such as Vypers and War Walkers.
Turret Mounted Autocannon; Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Some more anti infantry, but can be used against tougher targets, like Wraithguard, Vypers, and War Walkers.
2 characters, 56 marines, 1 tank.
Well, that should do well against an Aspect heavy army; so, you should change units to better suit the opponent.
I hope youíve enjoyed my tactica. Tell me what you think.