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What would be more effective at holding an objective, 10 guardians with a scatter laser or 5 rangers?
the rangers would be better at range, with 5 shots that are pinning, but the guardians have the scatter laser, and if the enemy does get close, the guardians have (potentially) 20 str 4 shots to help.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's just that yours is stupid.
It all depends on if the objective is in cover. It it is, I'd say the pathfinders would be a better choice as they'll get their 2+ cover save. Plus they get almost 2 guaranteed wounds per turn at 36" range.
However, if the objective is not in cover, I'd go with the guardians. They can duck in and out of line of sight and still shoot their scatter laser. And, like you said, if the enemy comes close then they'll get a good round of shooting off before being assaulted.
All in all i'd still go with rangers - most of the time objectives are in cover and your enemy can waste a lot of firepower trying to take them out at range. Just make sure that you have some cc threats in the vicinity otherwise they'll probably get assaulted by the enemies fast attack by turn 2/3
As a person who has had both instances occur in the same game, (give or take warlocks and squad sizes), i must say the guardians held down the fort a little better than the rangers. At range, the 4 S6 shots from the Scatter Laser had about the same effect as the Ranger Long Rifles, and no matter who you play, pinning isn't gonna factor in well. Most games i play with my rangers I dont even pin a single squad! The rangers are also percieved as a higher threat level due to the fact that they can pin (at least around me they are), so the opponent is going to send a decent CC squad against them, whereas opponents may balk at the guardians and take pop-shots at them never really pulling time away to actually take them out unless they need to.
I agree with cheart on the CC threat thing. Keep a scary unit nearby either way, so they have to think twice about assaulting your objective. Striking Scorpions always work well for me, but don't fear the Shining Spears either. they'll have terminators wetting thier armor in fear.
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I have to say that it does depend on the location of the objective. For objectives in cover and close to the players deployment zone rangers are priceless. Especially if they are pathfinders. If the objective is one you will have to walk to guardians will probably be a better pick because they are allowed to move and shoot all weapons. I would say take at least one squad of rangers and one to two squads of either guardians or Dire Avengers.