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STORM TROOPERS TACTICA
Storm Troopers are often the subject of debate. Many people tend to label them as “watered-down Space Marines” or “glorified Guardsmen”. As with most IG soldiers it is not so much that they are great warriors who can single-handedly slay 5 Space Marines , but that they are relatively cheap and can bring quite a bit of medium range firepower. The IG was my first army and at first Storm Troopers (Kasrkin version) were more of an ecstatic choice for me since I loved the models. After a couple of games I realized how much potential they have.
Now, many, many games later I would like to share my findings.
Why Storm Troopers?
This is a valid question. Everything in your army should be analysed for its potential, Storm Troopers being no exception. Imperial Guard excel at mowing down everything that moves from a static position. This is also their weakness; they often need to stay put to fire their heavy weapons, which are of the utmost importance. Without the AutoCannons, Heavy Bolters and LasCannons firing holes in enemy targets, you will often find yourself in a position were the opponent gets to close for comfort with a big force. The will need to be shot to pieces by your main line.
This is were the Storm Trooper comes in. The Storm Troopers’ main purpose is to get to a key location and hold it. This can be done in a multitude of ways: infiltrating, deep striking or giving them a Chimera. They will be holding a key location, be it a mission goal or just a great firing position, while the rest of your troops are blazing away. A great factor is that they are cheap: a full squad of 10 with two plasmaguns which infiltrate cost a mere 130 points. For those points you can barely field 10 basic scouts. Now I ask you, what would you rather have 10 Storm troopers with two plasmaguns or 10 barebones scouts?
Another good reason to take them is for a easy second troops choice. You’ll need the grenadiers doctrine for this and they won’t be able to deep strike or infiltrate. This is great for low point games.
Reason enough if you ask me!
What makes a Storm Trooper great, aside from the extra point of BS (which is HUGE) and the additional Ld, is of course their gear. The most obvious piece of equipment is the Carapace armour. This gives the Storm Trooper a 4+ armour save. This is a big difference, because it lets you save pretty much all forms of small arms fire. Secondly you have Hellguns; these are basically Lasguns with AP 5. This should not be taken lightly! There are many models with a 5+ save or worse. (Orks, Guardians, Guardsmen etc.) They also have targeters, which ensure that you that you can hit what you aim at. Lastly they have Frags and Kraks to their exposal. They are very well equipped to say the least.
Each squad of Storm Troopers can carry two special weapons. These add serious punch to your Storm Troopers. These are your options:
Plasmagun: My main choice. It has high strength and low AP, add that it has rapid fire and you have a great tool for hunting heavily armoured enemies, like Space Marines, Terminators and Mega Armoured Nobz. The “Gets hot” rule is less lethal due to your 4+ save
Meltagun: A great tank-hunting tool. 2D6 armour penetration within half its range and AP 1 you can bust pretty much every tank. If there is a character in range (and no tank to bust) it will almost always instant-kill it.
Grenade Launcher: Personally, I find this weapon less useful than the first two. For just 4 points more you can have a Plasmagun, which has a lot more killing potential. So, I say pay those 4 extra points.
Flamer: Why somebody would give one of the few Guardsmen with BS4 a flamer is beyond me. Seriously, its just a waste, so don’t
When to give them a Melta and when a Plasmagun depends on the task at hand. I will breaks down the tasks and what is the gear of choice.
Location occupation squad:
This squad is for claiming of key points on the table. The need to take it and defend it from enemy incursions. This is why infiltrate is the way to go; it will most often put you on (or at least very near) the location. Put your Storm Troopers in cover and let them shoot everything that comes close. This is also why you want no less than 10 men in the squad to ensure survivability.
Because your Storm Troopers are going to be way ahead of your army, you are going to need some serious firepower. Plasmaguns are mandatory and will enhance the threat-level of the squad considerably. This is important because the opponent will be more reluctant to attack them blindly which buys time for support units to come. The Storm Bolter is kind of controversial for some people, but I have nothing but good experiences with it.
9 Storm Troopers
This is cheap tank-busting material. Now I know that you can deal with most threats by kitting out some of your regular Guardsmen with LasCannons but they often can’t get to those nasty hidden artillery vehicles. That’s the main purpose of this squad; you drop in, fire two meltas in the vehicle and hope it’s a smouldering wreck. (which it usually is) This works very well on those hidden Basilisks, Whirlwinds, Defilers and such.
After they are done you can send them out to hunt other vehicles or characters if they are close. There is nothing like instant-killing a 100+ point character with 86 point squad.
Storm Trooper Sergeant
5 Storm Troopers
This squad is mainly for intercepting heavily armoured infantry. They need a Chimera for the mobility, so they can soar towards their target and give them something the lack: heavy weapons! So drive them to their high priority target and shoot the snot out of them. (it couldn’t be easier!) Rapid firing plasmas make short work of most infantry.
Especially 2+ units hate Plasmaguns and your other weapons have trouble breaching such armour. Nothing like killing 3 Termies in one turn; Than you already have 120 points of kills. You’ll need those extra troops to keep them alive when the enemy retaliates.
Storm Trooper Sergeant
7 Storm Troopers
These are great or low point games. If you just started playing IG and want to make a starting army of around 500 points than this is a good option. For 80 points you have a decent second compulsory troops choice. This means you can spent the rest of your 420 points on other stuff, which is nice on such a tight budget. Aside from that they still pack a punch and should hunt the most heavily armoured units.
Storm Trooper Sergeant
5 Storm Troopers
The Storm Trooper is a flexible unit that can serve in multiple roles. I never play the Guard without them. I hope this helps some of you guys out there or at least gave you some insight. They are worth the doctrine in my book.
Yes, storm troopers are a versitile and powerfull selection, but i have a few counter points to add here.Actually the difference is only 2 points, so even more power to your argument here.Grenade Launcher: Personally, I find this weapon less useful than the first two. For just 4 points more you can have a Plasmagun, which has a lot more killing potential. So, I say pay those 4 extra points.I can think of 1, and only 1 case where it makes sense. I designed an armoured company once that was kitted out for city fighting. I wanted some troops, but couldn't take armoured fist squads because the fast attack was dedicated to hellhounds( the only reason i would have prefered to go with armoured fist squads would be to free up elites for tank aces), so i took storm troopers as elites to function as troops. Since in a city the save to beat is the cover save, and i wanted to be able to fire on the turn i assaulted a building with those handy frag grenades, i put flamers on 2 of the 3 squads, however i did give 1 squad plasma to hold the building with.Flamer: Why somebody would give one of the few Guardsmen with BS4 a flamer is beyond me. Seriously, its just a waste, so don’t
I would prefer to have a veteran squad for this with 3 special weapons, a heavy weapon and the same BS as storm troopers. If a point has tactical importance it typically has cover that you can use so the reduced armour save isn't as bad.
sgt, 4 vets, 3 melta guns, drop troops doctrine - total 75 points
This squad is 11 points cheeper than your tank hunting squad and has 1 more melta gun just to be sure that the job is done right. They may not have the survivability of storm troopers, but hey, you killed a tank with a 75 point squad.
This one is a toss up between storm troopers and veterans. Either would be a smart choice here.
No arguments here! These also leads to a powerful elite guard list style that i have seen around a bit. Grendadier troops and veteran elites together.
It is my opinion that the veteran squad makes a better elite choice in most circumstances. There are some situations where the storm troopers are better, and if you know you will be facing them then by all means use storm troopers. I would like to see storm troopers get buffed up a bit in the next edition, not much, just enough to put them on a level field with veterans.
With the location occupation squad the armor save is handy because you're going to get assaulted if you have lack of support (early game) which grands some extra protection. That 4+ save makes all the differance for me. I have had situations were my Storm Trooper could hold the enemy long enough at bay for the support to arrive. Were as Vets would have died already.
I agree with you that Vets can tank-hunt very well, but I don't that I have to pick "Drop Troops" just for that. I would be short on doctrine points, so this is a great fix to do the same thing. It works very well to.
As for interceptors, well the 4+ save makes them longer lived than Vets. This is a big deal anyway you slice it. The AP 5 can be important here to.
I do not dislike Vets, I just use them differently. I usually have them in a forward firing position, were they have great LOS and are far away from the enemy (around 24") and have them kill stuff with the LasCannon. This also makes it easier to support them to counter their lack of heavy armour.
Storm Troopers can fill a multi-purpose roll. In a tournament, I always include 10 stormies, 2 plasmaguns, deep strike, vet. sgt with power weapon and plasma pistol. Plasma can really hurt termies or carnis, and it fills a variety of rolls. They can even hurt a dreadnought in close combat with their free krak grenades. They can also assault pooer close combat armies like the tau, with better ws, initiative, same armour save, frag grenades and optional 4 attk on the charge vet. sgt with power weapon. I ALWAYS reclaim their points value and more. Once, I killed a 5 man deathwing squad deep striking right next to them. SWEET.
Prittstift you have the start of a good article here and you make some good points about Storm Troopers, but I think you also lack some balance and detail in your article.
I would go into more detail about the options available to them. Infiltrate, Deepstrike and Veteran sergeants are not mentioned outside of your squad descriptions. What options are available to them and how do they influence the roles they are performing. Also discuss the advantages of the 5 points worth of wargear they get rolled into their cost in reference to their various tabletop roles.
You also fail to give any balance in your article. Veterans can take infiltrate and deep strike for free, take more weapons and get an upgraded sergeant with officer options for free. Why shouldn't we be taking these instead?
I also disagree with most of your squads, Veteran sergeants do not get +1Ld, so I find them generally worthless unless you take advantage of the fact they get access to a Power Weapon, the way you have taken veteran sergeants and the places you have put them tend to defy conventional thinking. While they may work for you, I wouldn't recomend sergeants like this to other players.
You have a good basis for an article here, but you need to go into much more detail about what options they get and how they effect the roles they can perform, and how they compare to the other options an Imperial Guard player has available to them.
As a final note Prittstift, Storm Troopers are an excellent unit who's underestimated wargear options have got me out of many a difficult situation, and I'm glad to have another proponent on my side!
Of course, if you want that deep strike, you're right.
But in my opinion, Storm troopers are too expensive overall.
Sure, all their equipment and stats is well worth 10 points, but it is more an or this or that situation in my opinion:
If you want to go tankhunting, you give them plasma or melta, which will rip through armour, but what is the use of krak then? on low armour targets, chances you won't get through with plasma/melta is very slim and on high armour targets, you're chances with krak are marginal. Also, if tankhunting is their role, frag grenades are a waste.
If you want to pick on high armour infantry with them, the krak grenades are without use and the hellgun too.
If you want them to occupy an important location, they do have the advantage of better armour, i fully agree on that. Though you'll have some useless stuff again: frag grenades (since you are defending in cover), probably krak grenades too (since you want to stick to your location and you're not their to hunt the back of tanks) and you have to pay for the infiltration skill.
Specializing them in blasting out the kidneys of low-armour targets might give you the best return, since it uses the hellgun at full potential. (but even then, krak grenades are wasted and probably the frag grenades too)
So i think you should not specialize ST for a certain role too much. Or at least not stick too hard to that role, because they aren't built for that.
They are great all-round troops though who are very flexible and i think that if you want to use them, that is the perfect role: no matter what army you have on the other side of the battlefield, ST will have something in their gear to handle it, so they can help a great deal in facing a specialized army. (let me give an example: if you have a balanced army and the other guy is coming with ubersaves all the way, they can go after those walking 3+ saves, if you see vehicles no matter where you look, they can rip open the armour, do you see a big mob, they can mow them down without granting those weak armour saves etc.)
Imo, to optimize them to handle anything that your force is opposing, plasma guns are the way to go (and i like the power weapon on a veteran sarge), since it gives you range, rapid fire and great anti-armour. (infiltration or a chimera may add up to their flexibility)
But i may have it all wrong, since i'm not experienced at all concerning 40k. This is the way i look at those ST though.
CQ2 addict inside.
I can see points for both sides however Grenadiers Doctrine allows 3 ST squads as Troops and 3 as Elite. Where as you can only take 1 VT squad as elite or a maximum of 3 with Veterans Doctrine.
Veterans can only infiltrate they can't deep strike unless you take drop troops doctrine.
ST squads get carapace armour, frag and krak grenades for +2 pts per model
VT squads have to pay +3 for frag and krak +20pts per squad for carapace armour with the doctrine
I see ST as having more postives than Hardened Vets (Tho I like idea of Shotguns)
Just a minor point. I used to use a squad of vets and a squad of stormtroopers (2 plasma, vet sarg power weapon) to take and hold objectives. Now I use neither, as they cannot hold objectives. This removes most of the point in my opinion, perhaps when the new dex come out I'll consider rolling them out again.
Currently I use vets to anchor a point in my line as a fire support squad (autocannon 3 plasma), and don't use my stormtroopers at all. Turned to using armoured fist squads for objectives. Less effective undoubtedly, but necessary.
Inquistion force WIP. Pics on posts 17 and 23.
I will admit Melta-Guns often penetrate armor. However, I am notorious for rolling poorly on the armour pentration table and there's a 50% chance, (factoring in a penetrating hit and the Melta-Guns +1 on the damage table), to roll a Crew Stunned, Immobilized, or Weapon Destroyed result, but what's the good in those, you want Tanks dead, which is where Krak grenades come in handy to finish the job.
Last edited by counterwavecounter; August 28th, 2008 at 23:08. Reason: MadLarkin's Corrections to my original Logic
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