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I've been playing IG for a while, and want to do something different. I want something fast moving and hard hitting, and have always loved the idea of SM bikes and the White Scars, so was thinking of the following as a general 1500pt list.
Traits : Swift as the Wind, Trust in Suspicion.
HQ : 8 Marines
Commander, power sword, plasma pistol
1 Vet sarge with Power fist and bolt pistol
7 Marines, 2 with Heavy bolters.
2 x Devastator squads, each 8 Marines, with :
1 Veteran Sargeant, power sword, bolt pistol
7 Marines, 4 with missile launchers
Cost : 225pts each.
2 x Bike squads, each with 5 bikes :
1 Vet sargeant with power fist.
4 Bikes, 1 with melta gun.
Cost : 200pts each
Fast attack :
2 Land Speeders, each with Hvy bolter and assault cannon
Cost : 80pts each
1 Assault squard, made of 8 Marines.
1 Vet sargeant with power fist,
7 Marines, 2 with flamers.
Cost : 218pts
The command squad is a mainly to intercept threats coming towards the dev squads, the dev squads and the land speeders are anti tank, the bike squads are to soften up any unit the assault squad is to go for.
This is my first SM list, and was wanting some advice before going spending the time and money on models and painting. Comments appreciated.
Your traits are good. Swift As The Wind armies rule, and Psykers suck. (Not really true, others might want to hit me in the face for this comment, but personally I really dislike Librarians as they have never achieved anything for me.)
On your army I will make some recommendations and leave you to decide what changes you want to go along with and which ones you will ignore.
Generally speaking I do not like half-half armies. What I am saying is that I prefer to play either a mainly stationary or a mainly mobile army. You have put emphasis somewhat towards mobility, but not quite.
Problems therefore may arise if your army is spread out too much, the assault half of your army charging forward, leaving two large Devastator squads and the Command squad behind. If your opponent is smart he will try to deal with your mobile forces someplace where he can deny your support units their line of sight.
This is a potential source of danger, but nothing to worry about too much. There will be ways to coordinate your forces to work together effectively, and if you master them: good for you! I'm just saying that my personal preference is to go one way or the other and nothing so much in between.
For your HQ -again a matter of taste- I would swap the Commander for a Chaplain. You can give him either a Jump Pack or Space Marine Bike and he will enhance your close combat effectiveness enormously. I personally dislike Command squads and find that Commanders turn out most efficient with shooty armies. As you tend towards close combat (with the exception of your support) I would go for the Chaplain.
Of course you would then still be in need of some kind of countercharge unit to protect your firebase if you drop the Command squad.
If you want to keep your Commander and Command squad that's okay too of course. I like how you equipped the squad, it being able to deal out Heavy Bolter hell until it's time to countercharge. But the Commander as an IC should definitely get some kind of Invulnerable save. (Once again the Chaplain comes in handy and won't be more expensive, even though you'd give him a Jump Pack or Bike. So think about it...)
Your Devastator squad leaders maybe are fluffy, but for points-effectiveness in the game they are overequipped.
Terminator Honors on the Sergeant give you better close combat abilities, higher Leadership and the option of taking equipment from the Armory. Higher Leadership is nice for Target Priority but I find that does not justify the points for the Veteran Sergeant - even less so if you keep the Commander who will transfer his Leadership unto every single unit in the army. Close combat abilities are nice too, but not in fire support units with heavy weapons! They are supposed to be shooting and not engaged in combat. And as such all close combat weaponry from the Armory should not be of any interest to Devastator squads either (the only items I imagine being useful are Auspex and a Combi-Bolter on the Sergeant).
Really: you will be better off leaving your Sergeants without any upgrades - I even go as far as giving him the Bolter instead of the Chainsword and Bolt Pistol combo because your battle plan has really gone bad if your Devastators are locked in close combat. And with the Bolter he can at least help with the shooting (with a single shot at 24" or rapid-fire if things get out of control).
Your Bikes are fine, but I definitely recommend including Attack Bikes in those squads. If you do not know where to take the points from: drop a Bike! The squad is still a Troops choice (as it consists of at least five models).
The Attack Bike can actually be compared to two normal Bikes. Same number of Wounds (well, not against weapons that inflict Instant Death), same number of Attacks (well, one less on the turn you charge), but (a lot) cheaper and they have one Twin-linked Bolter "exchanged" for a Heavy Bolter (more shots over greater distances with bigger impact and better Armor Piercing capabilities).
Believe me: the advantages an Attack Bike has over two normal Bikes overweigh the disadvantages. I always add an Attack Bike to my Bike squads before exceeding the minimum number of normal Bikes in the squad.
Another thing I don't like is Flamers (in your Assault squad). Heavy Flamers can be put to good use sometimes, but the weaker versions are not very useful.
You can only use them if you are in range to assault and you may only assault the unit you have shot at. Of course you WANT to shoot (otherwise the points spent would have been wasted) but more importantly you NEED to get your Assault Marines into close combat.
Now those units who must fear Flamers (5+ Armor saves or worse) are those whom you would obliterate in close combat anyhow. Suppose you flame them, your opponent removes casualties smartly and you suddenly end up too far away to make your assault move. Or you are still close enough, but the templates have killed so many enemy models that you Massacre! in the Assault Phase and then pose in the open in the enemy's turn.
All this is not good. You want to be sure to be able to get engaged. And you want the combat to last two Assault Phases so that your unit comes free at the beginning of YOUR turn. That's why I find Flamers dangerous against those who they are useful against, and -per definition- useless against others.
I reommend -if you want to use upgrade weapons in your Assault squad at all- to buy the cheaper Plasma Pistols instead. They will not take out too many models (so weak units can still be engaged and will keep you busy for a whole turn) on the one hand side, but will be able to do serious damage to tough units (like other Marines) whom you will not so easily destroy in close combat. You will also keep the additional close combat attack for two close combat weapons and gain decent (ranged, that is, the Powerfist can supplement this) tank hunting capability. Beware of Gets Hot! though, but as your Assault squad will not stand back and shoot the pistols twice it should not be that much of a problem. Still you might want to just leave your squad with its basic weaponry.
These are my suggestions which you now are to evaluate and then sort out in order to find a way to integrate the changes you want to make in your list.
To make nails with heads, let me give you a rough idea of one possible "finished" list:
HQ - 1x Reclusiarch with Jump Pack, Terminator Honors, Bolt Pistol (121)
Elites - 0x
Troops - 2x Bike squad with Powerfisted Veteran Sergeant, 4 Bikers, Meltagun, Attack Bike (500)
Fast Attack - 2x Tornado-pattern Land Speeder with Assault Cannon (160)
Fast Attack - 1x Assault squad with Powerfisted Veteran Sergeant, 7 Assault Marines, 2 Plasma Pistols (216)
Support - 2 8man Devastator squads with 4 Missile Launchers (400)
The Reclusiarch would join the Assault squad and stay behind with your Devastators to keep them safe from any trouble at close quarters while the Bike squads and Landspeeders roam the battle-field carefully picking off any units who venture to far from their army. Force the enemy to make a move against you, as your Devastators pack enough long-range punch to keep you happy. He will be forced to do the advancing and then your flanking units (Bikes and Speeders) can be used to great effect, securing Mission Objectives as soon as the battle nears its end.
With the remaining 130+ points you could buy a third Bike squad (take a Bike off your first ones to make 3x 4man Bike squads with an Attack Bike each, if you like), or an Attack Bike squad if you miss the Heavy Bolters from your Command squad.
Or maybe take a Tactical squad with a Lascannon (and maybe Plasma Gun) to enlargen your firebase and long-range shooting power.
Another option for the remaining points -if you can free some more somewhere else- is to hand out Teleport Homers to the Sergeants of your Bike squads and keep a small unit of Terminators with Assault Cannons in reserve. With the mobility of your Bikes you can Deep-strike them virtually anywhere you like and if you deploy them well they will have great impact. [There's been a thread yesterday about what type of army Terminators are to be deployed with where I have posted and gone into more detail on this subject.]
You will quickly find there are many viable ways to compose your army. I hope you will be able to decide upon a configuration that suits you -whatever it may look like- and that you will learn to use it successfully upon the field of battle.
Have fun playing Space Marines! I hope some of my advice could help...
You have the beginnings of a good, fun to play, effective list here. You just need to clean up some of the wargear, and turn those points into guys. My advice for this list would be to use all those extra points on a scout squad with bolt pistals and a Vet Sarge with Power Fist. Make the squad as big as you can with the points you freed up.
If you have placed your unit well you can then engage all your models without having the full remains of the opponent against you. Assuming a strength of 10 (now 7) Bolter Marine models, maybe 2 of them too far away to participate, that is 11 attacks versus 5 before the Power Fist strikes, taking out another enemy model but usually none of yours (you're still unlucky losing a Bike if you fight all of the 7 remaining models).
Then the Powerfisted Sergeant takes out another model and the enemy takes Morale already outnumbered (6 models versus 5, 7 Wounds versus 5). If he passes the fight may take long -as you said- but you should still win it.
Of course this is assuming that the enemy squad has no Powerfist (otherwise you would suffer more serious losses too) and no close combat weaponry, etc. But I haven't even yet talked about enemy units with only 4+ or even 5+ saves, who will be REALLY decimated by your Bikes' shooting before you charge.
I am not saying that you should blast your Bikes into dedicated and tough close combat units like a horde of Khorne Berzerkers (you WILL lose). But anything slow (for example Necron Warriors) or easy to shoot dead with bolters is a viable target. [Of course there may even be cases when there is a need to charge Khornies with your bikes - for example to buy your other units enough time to retreat and blast those Berzerkers from afar once they have torn through the Bikes, but...as a general rule: DON'T.]
As for close combats lasting long and stale-mating your Bikes: Morale will sooner or later end it. It may be you who will fall back, but if it's at the end of the opponent's turn - why not? Perfect, as Bikes usually fall back far enough to regroup. And then you shoot and charge again... or do whatever else you please.
But no, of course: Bikes for themselves are not primarily a close combat unit. But their mobility and tactical range makes them most suitable to speed out of cover and engage in close combat where the melee will block important lines of sight, thus enabling your reinforcements to rush up behind and take the trapped units apart.
To round it up: if you want a maximum-efficiency close combat squad do not opt for Bikes to fulfill this role, no. But Bikes do not "suck" at close combat for a player who knows how to use them. With the speed of Bikes, YOU decide WHERE, WHEN and WHAT you attack. Choose wisely and your Bikes will win your game (and yes, I AM talking about close combat here).
Thanks very much to both of you : that critique was exactly what I needed, and the time spent writing it is appreciated. I have learned a lot there
I've revised it pretty much along the lines you suggested :
1 Jump Pack Chaplain, bolt pistol and frag (122pts)
2 8 man Devastator squads, with 4 missile launchers (total 400pts)
2 5 man Bike Squads, Vet sarge with TA and Power fist, 2 meltas, 1 Attack Bike (total 456pts)
2 Landspeers with A/Cannon (total 160pts)
1 7 Man Assault Squad, Vet Sarge with Powerfist (184 pts total, will be led by Chaplain).
This leaves me approx 180 or so pts to play with, and am torn between :
1 Vindicator, POTMS, Extra Armour, Dozer blades and Pintle S/B. This comes to 175 pts, slightly more than I'm used to paying for Leman Russ demolishers. Is this too much for a single SM tank ? My experience with Leman Russes is they are excellent but they've got better AV's and I tend to field them in groups of 3. I can see it being useful as it'll give my opponents something else to worry about as the assault elements go forward.
The alternative that I quite like is to get a DH Inquisitor Lord and attach him to one of the Dev squads, plus an assassin, likely to be Callidus or Culexus. Either could be useful in supporting the rest of the army as the assault goes in.
Both fit my fluff pretty well and seem effective.
Advice appreciated !
I would not include a Vindicator.
The Vindicator is not a Leman Russ Demolisher, unfortunately. You have already noted both the difference in the armor values as well as the problem that while IG will probably deploy a whole bunch of vehicles all you will have in your SM list is that Vindicator (I rule that LS don't count for this purpose, as they do not require anti-tank weaponry fire to be taken out of action).
I have two ways of dealing with enemy anti-tank:
1) Leave them unemployed. If you do not use tanks at all, the anti-tank weaponry will be stuck with shooting your Marines. While this will cost you some models, these weapons will probably be denied the opportunity to thrive on their full potential and will thus end up being a waste of points. (Bikes can easily get decent protection against high-AP weapons through the TurboBoost rule, so these big guns will be even less effective.)
2) Overburden them. If you use a whole bunch of vehicles, the opponent's anti-tank will not succeed in eliminating all those threats and you will be able to make the best of at least some of your expensive units.
With the single Vindicator in a 1,500 points list you would go neither way and be deliberately taking a very big risk. Tanks can do their part in a battle, but their survivability is by far less predictable than that of a Marine squad, as it may die to the first lucky shot.
In Space Marines armies you should really go infantry, as they are your best bet. Most things tanks can do can also be done by Marines. The exceptions here are mainly the Whirlwind (which is also the only tank I would take as a "stand-alone" vehicle, as at least it can fire from behind cover; and still it is recommended to field it in pairs) and the Vindicator.
But believe me: your Vindicator will probably only come close and survive if you bind your opponent's army in close combat or something, but then you won't have any targets for it to shoot at.
If you could advance him behind some Rhino-shields or something: okay. But... really: I believe all this is too much of a points risk. Your Marines will win the game for you, not coffins on wheels.
The Assassins are a difficult matter. I have always dreamt of using them in my army (and have the painted model waiting) but I've never yet done it. Of course for a reason...
My friends rarely experiment with their lists just for fun, so I am forced to stick to effective lists too in order to keep up in the games against them. (I hate losing, so I take care not to.) And thinking it through: as you have to take an Inquisitor Lord (who will actually do pretty much nothing for you) -and if I recall correctly you are also required to take a retinue along with him (there go your points)- in order to take the Assassin it will not really pay out.
The Assassins are -if you look closely- not as good as they appear. (Of course a Vindicare rules against armies with lots of one-Wound upgrade characters, or a Culexus Assassin can wreck havoc against psykers, but the occassions when this really comes to bear enough to justify its cost are rare.)
If it fits your fluff and you want to use Assassins - just try them out. I would very much like to do the same some day, and it won't be too long. But my opinion still remains that -in respect to effective gameplay- Assassins are not made to be fielded along with Space Marine armies.
180 points is a whole lot of stuff. You can put those to better use, I believe. Some unit that will earn its points back on the majority of battle-fields, instead of only in rare circumstances or with a lot of luck surviving the approach.
I agree very much that you should not play a single Vindicator, I used to play a single exorcist but it would jsut get destroyed first turn so I added another and now play mechanized with lots of Rhinos (they're not really armour, but they work pretty well)
Also, I very much value assassins, as they fit the missing CC role in non-radical armies (like the ones I play) so let's see if I can't help out a bit here:
This isn't to say, of course, that retinues are worthless. if you build them into your army they're actually pretty awesome. Here's my favourite retinue ever, suited perfectly for ranged anti-infantry (if that fits your style):
=][= w/ Psycannon, CCW
3 Gun Servitors (2 Heavy Bolters & 1 Plasma Cannon)
1 Acolyte w/ Carapace Armour
189 points for some serious firepower and the ability to re-roll to hit.
Or, if you're more into the Close Combat thing, here is one of my friends retinues (This would have to be an allies Witch Hunter's Inquisitor, as Dæmonhunters' Inquisitors can't take Chirurgeons):
=][= Lord w/ Word of the Emperor, Bolt Pistol & Power Weapon
Acolyte w/ Power Armour & Mancatcher
Acolyte w/ Carapace Armour & Power Weapon
Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers & Extra Armour
240 points. When Word of the Emperor succeeds you will be very happy, but if you don't awnt to rely on an enemies low leadership you might also consider Scourging instead at +10 points (or both, I guess, since he already has a Familiar but that starts to become pretty expensive). You could also bump him down to an Inquisitor and drop the Familiar (6 people max) to save 31 points if you swing that way.
for 180 points you can get a bare bones Inquisitor, an Eversor and a Death Cult to Infiltrate with the Eversor and have 23/25 points leftover. I personally think that for your points an Eversor and a Death Cult is better than a Callidus, because although they cost 15 points more you get 2 extra wounds and more strategic flexibility. In the end I'll leave it up to you which you take, but I would definitely read that thread first.
Last edited by honorableSimon; March 17th, 2007 at 15:37. Reason: spelling as usual
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On the plus side, a DH Inqusitor Lord isn't that expensive, doesn't have to take a retinue, and could be tricked out with Psycannon or psycannon bolts, or even a psychic hood (would fit the fluff, and it is a friendly rather than a tourny list) but overall I'd keep him cheap, and provide some CC support to the dev squads - he simply won't be able to keep up with the assault squads.
Thanks v much for the thread pointer though : lots of useful stuff there. I think it'll be a cheap Demon Hunter IQ Lord, plus I'll experiment in different games with the Callidus or Eversor. I'm now pretty pleased with the general shape of this army, it is so much better than the original one I posted !
Oops, my mistake. Inquisitor Lords must take a retinue. Shooty retinue it is then !
Inquisitorial retinues of course can be of quite some use themselves, I guess, but not as allies in a Space Marine force. Powerarmoured models and the range of units we can choose from just seem superior.
Different army - different matter. But I am still not quite convinced that it is a good idea to field an Assassin alongside a Space Marine force. Just think about armour penetration for instance. Where would all the AP4 shots go? As soon as the Henchmen peek out of their cover they're pretty much gone, whereas those shots would be more or less wasted on my Marines. Your opponent will gladly accept that little gift...
I totally believe you, Simon, if you say that Callidus and Eversor Assassins are very effective in a myriad of situations and against a whole range of enemies (thanks for all your input and for pointing to that thread, by the way!), but maybe you can see why I am still very cautious about fielding the Assassin, who will effectively cost me a whole lot of points, a big part of which will be effectively wasted.
If I were playing Daemon Hunters I'd have one in every list, of course!
Anyhow, let me repeat my most important point: I am sure you will have fun playing with an Assassin, dizzyjock! So if you have the opportunity: go and grab it. But be aware that points in a Space Marine army could probably be spent more effectively, if it comes down to serious counting.