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· No Rest For the Righteous
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Cypher, what you suggest is completely right, if you want an extra special weapon the Command Squad is better. As added bonuses, you also get to deploy later and have your HQ as a scoring unit. A cheap command squad is always better than a tac squad as long as the points are equal.

As for upgrading command squads(with term honors, apoths, standard bearers and champions), do this only when the points level of the game is big and the benefits outweigh the risks. If you're sure you can get them into close combat without taking alot of shooting casualties, or you plan to use them as a counter charge, then take them. If you want a powerful shooting unit with extra special weapon choices or want your HQ to be a scoring unit take them. If you want your HQ in a vehicle and you want them to arrive together in escalation, take them.

Do not take them and use them as a frontal assualt unit, they will get destroyed and you will form the same opinion as most players; they suck. If you want a main close combat unit, use an Assualt Squad with a character attached with a jump pack.

Take an Apothecary if you have men with T. Honors in your command squad since whenever he saves one, thats 18 or more points you're saving. Or if you have Terminators, keep them nearby an Apothecary. You'll save yourself 40 points every time a guy is supposed to die.

Take a Champion if you already have a Sergeant and you want another power weapon in there for some reason. Take a Standard Bearer if you need the reliability of leadership or the effects of Holy Relics and Chapter Standards(strong abilities when combined with command squads who tend to have lots of attacks already and wield power weapons/fists).

You can use the Veteran models to represent men with terminator honors since its fitting and looks cool. The veterans have known the Commander for ages and have fought with him often. The command squad acts as a bodyguard and staff for the Commander. How is that not fluffy?

Most players don't use them, but then again most players don't play escalation, or 4000 point games, or use them as shooting powerhouse. My brother is a beginner and fields one in his 500 point Dark Angels list with the upgrades as just two plasma guns and a sergeant with a combi plasma and lightning claw, and it works very well. With the Commander's pistol added in, they can let lose 7 plasma shots in one turn, along with the bolters. Even if the enemy charges them after that, its a done deal.

Yes, Command Squads will always be a big target and sometimes they will die without doing anything(everything does sometimes), but it's up to the player to use them wisely.
 
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