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Now, I'll admit, I'm used to playing Imperial Guard. I'm the kind of guard player who tried to cram in as many bodies into my lists as possible. During my games against Marines, my biggest fear was always the humble bolter marine. I mean really, my lasguns hit half the time, wound one third of the time and one third of the time the save was made. So it would take, statistically, 18 lasgun shots to down a single marine. Sure, the missile launchers, lascannons and occasional Stormtrooper Plasma Gun squad would help, but still, Marines were damn tough! Counter that a marine would hit two thirds of the time, and would two thirds of the time means that the average marine double tapping would kill a guardsman a turn. Of course, luck (usually bad on my side and good on their side) made a lot of difference.
So, when I decided to build a marine army, I figured that loading up with a lot of dependable bolter marines would be a good idea! The more tough models on the table, the better, right? Well, I come here and put up a list and I'm told that I have too many meat shields. What? Meat shields? Those towering figures of asskickery who ripped my poor guardsmen to shreds? That could rip apart a Leman Russ from behind with their bare hands (on a six of course, but...)? That could stand there and take a full squad's worth of shooting only to lose a single marine?
I was confused. Surely, the most point effective model in the game (arguably) couldn't be considered nothing more than a meat shield, could it?
So now, I'm coming to the bigger forum to ask the question. Are Bolter Marines just meat shields? Is my experience skewed and Bolter Marines really aren't very useful? Was the reviewer simply of one camp?
It seems the min/max'd squad is a Lascannon, a Plasmagun and 4 "meat shields." I can see the functionality of this unit but it would seem like overkill against my Guardsmen. Would seem like overkill against Orks or 'Gaunts or Guardians or any other of the light infantry. I guess it'd be good against other marines, but aren't there better ways to kill marines? Or am I just inexperienced?
He did mention that there was nothing wrong with my list but the common wisdom said that there were too many bolter marines. I come now to understand better why the common wisdom says this. 'Cause to this old Guard player, the intrepid Space Marine with his Holy Bolter was the scariest part of the other side.
perhaps you could put up a link to your list?
In assault based marine armies the disparity between what you average bolter armed marine and some uber honour guard/deathcompany/blood claw/crusader unit achieves often makes those players see tac marines as little more than meat shields for their heavy weapon support, but it is entirely valid to play shooting marine armies and get good effect from your bolters
Everything you have been told is a lie!
Bolter marines aren't just meat shields. Anyone who gives you that advice probably lacks the experience to appreciate what you truly get. A basic bolter marine has good stats, both shooting and hth, and a quality weapon that can hurt infantry and lighter vehicles (and even the back of heavier ones). It's also important to remember that even a shooty focused squad of marines with 10 models will still be a notable obstacle for all but the most ridiculous HTH opponents. Unlike guard where you can pretty much write off the rest of the squad, even a basic marine can do something productive other than simply die. In my current drop pod list, bolter marines make up the bulk of the list and are usually the most devastating part of it. Many opponents have underestimated the power of rapid firing bolters only to lose the game to it.
Blais's Paint Studio-Getting broken armies good soft scores since 2009
Sure. The Army List! ( Friendly 'Nilla Marines) Now, I don't want to make it seem like my reviewers were saying that 10 man marine squads were useless. They didn't say anything of the sort. However, it was just confusing, coming from a "light infantry" background how they could consider Bolter Marines "meat shields."
Taking a Codex standard list with 6 or 7 marine squad seems pretty typical. So typical that for the new DA codex only lets you have 5 or 10 marines and to get the hvy weapon option, you have to take the full 10 marine squad.
My recommendation when fighting large "swarm" armies ie Ork, Nid Gaunts, Guardsmen w/o armor is to use Hvy Bolters in squad for the larger firepower. A mix of Hvy Bolter weps and Lascannon weps for the 6 troop squad will maximize firepower. Alternately just take ML's and rely on the frag template for the light infantry and the krak penetration for things like tanks and TMC's.
Now to answer your question on marines "just" being meatshields or worthwhile themselves, the answer is yes to both. The individual toughness and armor of an individual marine makes large trooper squads tough to take down in a round of fighting. The other part is that marines are effectively armed with the S4 bolter. This gives them flexibility to target different things and still not lose their value.
Of course, I am the guy that posts 60 odd marine lists at the 1500 point level and has 20 odd missile launchers to boot.
One area where this has a challenge is with TMC lists and other "tank like lists". Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire. So be flexible and include armor, termies, or other such attachments, but remember the individual marine is your bread and butter.
When in doubt call in an ordnance strike.
ok well there are bits:
you are underestimating the power of a vet sgt, they give your csquads some close combat smack. As such, since yo dont upgrade the sgts to something powerfull, you give the impression that the squad is all about the special or heavy weaponry, in escence the marines becoem a meat shield
next point, foot sloggers are not brilliant, your command squad has a melta for anti tank but appears to be about getting the vet sgt and HQ in to combat, so again, give the impresion of a meat shield, consider geting it some transport
however all said and sdone, particularly for static armies, there is a theory, popularise by power gamers, called min/maxing, it isnt fluffy, but it does work,
Theory says this:
rather than getting decent squad sizes to fit the fluff (10) I will use the minimum number (or close to as even numbers are always bettter) of people in the suqad and get the maximum numbers of squads, (and thence heavy and special weapons) - sacrificing a marine for an extra missile launcher is a no brainer, so classically, whilst marines with bolters can do damage, marines with plasma guns or missile launchers can do more damage.
As a general rule therefore, whilst they are wrong - the marines are not a meat shield, they are right in that your army would be more effective by taking squads of 6
Bolter marines realy come into their own in drive by or drop in armies, either in rhinos or drop pods, and large squad sizes are really for assault units
Everything you have been told is a lie!
In most cases, it's called mathammer versus real world experience.
Don't sweat it.
Some folks can recognize what you're trying to do with a list and estimate it's effectiveness, some folks scan through a list looking for the "most effective" components and when they're not present, they simply tell you to put them in as their "advice."
In a small game like your list is made for, there's basically two options- take small squads so you can cram in as many heavy and/ or special weapons, or take a couple of large squads for staying power. Obviously, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
I think posting armylists is really, really helpful when you're first starting out or trying out a new army, but after a player gets the basics down, and has played a few games with a particular army, it's pretty unecessary. At best it's a guessing game anyway based on what the other guy brings to the table.
Armylist comp really depends on your playing style. Are you content to sit back and fire the whole game or do you like to slog uptable firing and assaulting? Do you like games that are over quickly win or lose, or do you want to play a balanced list that has a chance against all but the most exotic armies? Once you figure out what you want to do with your army, it gets a lot easier.
We all carry on,
When our brothers in arms are gone.
So raise your glass high
For tomorrow we die,
And return from the ashes you call.
I could see them being referred to as meat shields while looking at the list from a strategic model removal vantage point... since in squads with heavy/special weapons, they would be the first units removed. Lots of people strategically build their lists with model removal in mind. I think the suggestion was geared towards using the points spent maxing that squad to get other units in the rest of the list.
That's what I got out of it anyways...
I looked at your post and the associated link and thought to myself, the poor guy, some ahole just gave him bad info.
With that said, min/max'ers will all ways call bolter marines meatsheilds couse that's how they think. I personnally dont ever want to get so calloused as to just think that way. I try to max out my squads befor going onto another one. Hence I too take 10 man tac sqauads unless I'm putting them in Razorbacks.
breath, sight, squeeze.
now double tap just for grins
and Another One bite's the dust.
A bolter round for all that oppose the Emperor.
I was thinking of the same thing...once!
The only drawback in the bolter marines is that they can't take out most vehicles in the game and especially Tau vehicles... I found out that in the hard way!
But just a bolter marine is by far the best unit in the whole 40k universe!
Thanks to all the people showing faith in me
I sometimes feel that everyone will leave me and they will be on their own...