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Senior Member
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are support squads worth taking or just a waist of points because of the easy target they are. if they are worth it which support squad should I take.
 

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Son of LO
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Support squads are arguably one of the most valuable squads in the entire IG list. They give a commander a highly concentrated firebase that takes a lot of the Heavy Weapon burden off of a regular squads shoulders.

My advice with them is to never mix weapons. If you mix weapons, then you risk losing some of your firepower as sometimes you will want to shoot at a target that one or more of the weapons can't hurt.

For instance, I always take a squad or two of Heavy Bolters. I know that whatever I fire them at, I can hurt. If I mixed in an Autocannon, then I might have to fire at a tank with the Autocannon at some point and then I waste six perfectly good shots.

In the end, the two best Support Squads are Heavy Bolter, Autocannon and Missile Launcher. I personally never put Lascannons in a Support Squad because they are just too big of a target and die very easily.
 

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It really depends which ones.


Fire support squads:

An absolute must for me. a 3x Heavy bolter squad in some cover (particularly with cameleoline) is one of the most effective squads guard can put down. Personaly I don't write an army without one.

Autocannon squads are slightly more marginal, however, they can still be effective. I prefer to mix the more powerful weapons like Autocannons in my squads.



Anti-Tank squads:

Lascannon squads can be a good investment, however, as said above - if possible I keep these in my lines where they have more redundancy, as a Lascannon is a very expensive gun to be putting in a squad with only a 3-man redundancy. 110pts is a lot to loose on a single good round of opponent's shooting.

Missile launcher squads... meh.


Special Weapons squads:

They can have their uses. Best way to get sniper rifles bar ugly and horrible ratlings, and only way to get demo charges, they can be ok - but generaly they aren't worth their increased points. One use they have is in deepstriking armies, as they can be armed with meltaguns - but they are very expensive.


My personal favorite is a FS squad with 3 HBs, never leave home without one!



Edit:

Good advice, hourglass - but personaly I dislike missile launcher squads.
 

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Treadhead with a Chainaxe
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I love my tripple autocannon fire support squad, add sharpshooters and it's a sure deathsentence for any landspeeder, sentinel wartrakk or other light vehicles and because it's a ap4 weapon they're not very high priority targets for MEQ players.

Never really bothered with a tripple heavy bolter squad, among my opponents, the most regular are Ork Speed Freaks, Rhino mounted Death Guard and a Space Marine Army with tons of Landspeeders and Razorbacks and against these armies the Autocannon is just... awesome.

As for anti-tank squads, I usually go with missile launchers - lascannons just draw way to much fire for a squad with only 3 extra bodies to protect the heavy weapons. Missile launchers work great being so versatile. They keep horde armies spaced out so they won't be hit by a tripple blasts and tripple krak missiles will have a good chance of doing damage to most vehicles, not to mention that tripple Krak's are excellent for opening suits of powerarmour.

I prefer to keep my lascannons on Sentinels or in line squads. They're more survivable in line squads because of the nine extra bodies and while not very survivable on a sentinel they're far more manueverable. The ability to move and fire is that makes Sentinels so extremely good to mix into my tank heavy force because then I don't have to worry about my tanks blocking to much line of sight for my lascannons since a sentinel could just move to a new spot and fire anyways.
Sentinels are neatmodels too. I didn't think so at first, it being a walking deathtrap with a gun on it but they've grown on me and now it's rare that I don't have one or two in my army. :>
 

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The Fallen
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OK dicegod, there is not right answer.

Basically the question is where do you put your heavy weapons, in seperate (support) squads or within your (infantry) squads (this assumes you dont do both, in which case you are covering all bases)

There are pros and cons for each side:

Support squads

- concentrated fire (3 shots even with a guardsmans BS is likely to hit) - this is particularly appropriate for single shot anti tank guns
- damage avoidance - ignoring the odd lasgun, you can depoly out of range of most small arms and still be effective
-some targeting defence - because of the range these are generally deployed at the rear and so moral checks are needed toshoot at them

Troop squads
- waste of shots - you got 1 heavy weapon? then you got 8 or 9 las guns, these will be wasted if you are shooting at tanks, more so because to reflect the 3 shots of a heavy weapons squad, you are wasting 24-27 lasguns per turn
-abalitive armour- you can loose 9 guys and still be shooting that las cannon

see, some people prefer one format some prefer others, it is also dependant on what else you got in your army to do the same job,

For anti infantry heavy weapons, in a stand a shoot IG army, then put the weapons in the squads (I dont think anyone will argue with that) and only use support squads if you want more.

For anti tank, it comes down to personnal preference and experiances, there is no right answer.

For the record, to come off the fence, my anti tank in cadian is in the form of sentinals with las cannons and HK missiles, and in my elysians comes in the form of deep striking melta guns, deep striking sentinals with multi meltas and a vulture
 

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I go for heavy bolter squads, simply because a slick gun crew with sharpshooter skill can put down loads of fire and re-roll those pesky 1’s.

Missile launchers are useful against armies with weak unit armour and poorly armoured vehicles such as Orks, as, if required you can switch fire on to a unit and frag them to bits, but also have a decent chance at defeating their armour. Generally I love lascannons though.

Mortar teams are not all that good but I use them just for the fun of it.

Special weapon support squads are good if you can get in close, but I’ve found the most effective role is with snipers.
 

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well i love the support sqauds but i dont have a lot of them becuse my cash flow is on the low end. in any case i hope to have at least 2 mortar squads a heavy bolter team and for the higher point games i may throw in a sentanal squad with multi-lasers just for more kicks.
 

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i agree with those mentioning sharpshooters and also not to mix weapons in the support squads. those are probably THE most important things about support squads
 

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Son of LO
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Good advice, hourglass - but personaly I dislike missile launcher squads.
lol, Honestly, I don't use Missile Launcher squads either. In fact, I only ever include them when the points value goes over the usual 1850 point armies that we use around here.

I always put Lascannons in my Infantry Squads, and Heavy Bolters in Fire Support Squads, and that combination really works well for me.
 

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Shrug, k...
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ok my input; the way i set up my heavy/special weapons throughout my army.

all my infantry squads got a plasma gun and lascannon, a mortar in each of my 3 command squads, and 2 missile launcher squads.

i don't bother with heavy bolters, even though it puts out a lot of firepower, so does the large amount of lasguns i'm firing, same with autocannons, if i'm going to put in heavy weapons, i want at least anti-MEQ capabilities.

as with lascannons and missile launchers, those lascannons are best protected in infantry squads, along with that plasma gun for added anti-MEQ umph. with those 2 missile squads able to lay in extra specialized toward anti-MEQ firepower.... because let's face it, most people i play use marines, and the ones i don't, well i have lasguns for them, and those heavy weapons for their transports/vehicle support.

whatever your preference is that's yours, mine just works for me and went 12-2-1 for all the games i played during my 3 weeks of leave over christmas/post-deployment.
 

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The missile launcher does give you increased MEQ capabilities, Certemplar. But I wouldn't underestimate the Heavy bolters for MEQ killing. You will be getting 9 shots per turn as opposed to 3, and if you take sharpshooting, statisticaly you will be re-rolling 1.5 misses per turn, as opposed to 0.5 with the missile launcher.

For me, the sheer amount of shots it can put down makes up for its lack of AP, and overall the squad is an impressive 15pts cheaper, and despite the reduced versitility in an anti-tank role, if you come up against non MEQs it is one of the most effective weapons in the game!
 

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Heavy bolters do make up for the low ap when going against MEQ's the math has been done hundreds of times. look,

9HB shots= 4.5hits=3wounds=1Dead MEQ for 45pts
3Missle shots=1.5hits=1.25wounds=1.25 dead MEQ's for 60pts

so it retrospect this is what your paying for;

HB = 45pts per dead MEQ
ML = 48pts per dead MEQ

so the extra 3pts u pay for is 12" more range and i guess its pretty close,
and u cant say that against non-MEQ's ML's arent good cause they have a blast.

BUT i do love HB's, theyre so cool
 

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also mathematically sharpshooters is never worth it:sleep:
 

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Son of LO
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Maybe mathematically sharpshooters are not worth it, but when it comes to actual game time, I cant even count on both hands how many times I've rolled more one's than anything else. When that happens, sharpshooters really pays for itself. Heck, I even had three Autocannons come up all ones once and when I rerolled, I hit with more than half, so for me it's worth it.
 

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CowboyAdam512 said:
also mathematically sharpshooters is never worth it:sleep:
I'm sorry, but that's just not true.

Mathematically, sharpshooters costs exactly what it ought to in terms of shot output for a lasgun-equipped guardsman. Draw yourself a little figure that includes:

Conscripts (costs x points, gives 4/12 chance to hit)
Guardsman (costs y points, gives 6/12 chance to hit)
Sharpshooter Guardsman (costs z points, gives 7/12 chance to hit)

Without giving unit point costs, I'm sure you can see that the cost-per-shot output for sharpshooters is right in line with other guardsmen. You can see that the sharpshooter upgrade, which costs one-sixth of a lasgun-equipped guardsman, generates exactly as many additional hits as one-sixth of a guardsman. This is not a bad deal.

The reason people say sharpshooters is not worth it is that it increases hits without increasing wounds, which is a weakness. However, by the same logic, normal guardsmen are a bad deal compared to conscripts, in that they generate the same number of hits per turn per point, while conscripts provide more wounds. The reason guardsmen wind up being better is because of their heavy and special options. Bearing this in mind, sharpshooters is priced *specifically for lasgun equipped units,* which means you get additional hits on special and heavy weapons at below cost. If you have a squad with a lascannon and a plasma gun, you're buying an extra 1/6th of each weapon for 1 point (that's less than half price for additional lascannon hits). In an anti-tank squad, where the points are a little skewed by the small squad size, you're getting 1/2 a lascannon for 7 points, which is a point savings, not counting the premium placed on concentrated fire units.

Supposing you could field unlimited support squads for ease of comparison: You can get six lascannon Sharpshooter AT squads for 720 points, or seven lascannon AT squads for 770 points. Statistically, they provide the same number of hits. You get extra wounds out of the non-sharpshooters, but you pay fifty points for those wounds, which is an inflated per-wound cost in the Guard.

That's mathematically sound use of sharpshooters.
 

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Also, I think the numbers are a little off on the HB-to-ML comparison. You can't price the weapons in isolation, so you'd have to compare unit-to-unit.

A 3 HB support squad runs what, 80 points? Vs. 95 for a similar unit with 3 MLs?

This means the comparison should be 80 points per dead marine per turn for HB vs. 76 points per dead marine per turn for ML, in the context of six-man support squads. So ML have both range and efficiency in their favor.
 

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I'm not a huge fan of missile launchers, I only use them because I don't have enough lascannons and autocannons. :(

I've never been able to see the dual purpose of the missile launcher, because unless the enemy are packed in like sardines, you'll kill one per turn. woo hoo! And my enemies never pack themselves in that tightly, because I take lots of ordinance weapons and hellhounds. Therefore, the ml for me is just a crappy version of a lascannon. The lascannon on the other hand is ap2, which is great for games against my GK friend, who worships terminators. I also like heavy bolters because of their ork slaying capacity (I play regularly against 2 ork armies) and because firing en masse is the easiest way around relatively low ballistic skill. Autocannons are also great just for the fact that statistically they should always land at least 1 hard hit, and therefore and wonderful for popping light vehicles like that.

As far as sharpshooters, it and my basilisks are the only thing I never leave home without. Seriously, I can't tell you the sheer joy I get from rerolling the 6 kajillion one's that seem to show up every time I rapid fire my guardsmen at something. Even if it doesn't make up it's points on every squad (I put it on my whole army) enough squads' heavy weapons miss then hit on the reroll, and blow up that battlefortress that's been houding me the whole game. It's at the very least very psychologically fulfilling.

Back to the main discussion, I'm not a big fan of taking seperate heavy weapons support squads. I'd rather space them all out, because I play against people who would be intellegent enough to realise a clever way to wipe that squad before it could fulfil any real purpose. It sucks playing against people who aren't retarded :wacko: Anyway, I like putting them in squads also because then they're virtually unmovable. It takes a LOT of focused fire to wipe out a heavy weapon, whereas 6 hits from a bolter will wipe out heavy weapon support squad. And if they're focusing that much fire, you've probably already wiped them out anyway. And it's not as if a typical guard army doesn't have numerous squads in which to embed these weapons... I usually have at least 6 in a 2k point game, along with a conscript shield.
 

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I usually take between 2 and 3 Lascannon Support squads (my basic infantry squads have mostly anti-personel weaponry). They are by far my most valuable units.

I ALWAYS put them in the heaviest cover I can find, while still giving them good firing position. Much to my suprise, they usually take less casualties than the rest of my troops. My army has a lot of high threat targets (such as two hellhounds and two basilisks) that tend to take some of the heat away from my heavy weapons squads.

I highly suggest taking support squads, and I highly suggest not mixing weapons. When you make a support squad, design them for a specific role, and commit to it (for instance, if you want a squad to focus on tank busting, then only put lascannons in it. If you want an anti light infantry squad, only put heavy bolters). The only exception to this would be the missile launcher, as it can be used as an effective anti-tank weapon OR an anti-personel weapon (either way though, I'd suggest going either all out on lascannons or all out on missile launchers)
 

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CowboyAdam512 said:
so the extra 3pts u pay for is 12" more range and i guess its pretty close,
and u cant say that against non-MEQ's ML's arent good cause they have a blast.

BUT i do love HB's, theyre so cool
I have to disagree here. Most players I face see a Russ (or any other kind of blast template) go down and immediatley space out their infantry 2". Meaning a blast template is going to be getting 1 direct only. A direct and 2 partials at best (averages as 2 directs). For a Str4 AP6 profile there is absolutley no comparing the missile launcher to the Heavy Bolter, so IMHO frag isn't worth looking at.
As far as versatility goes, the HB may not work in an AT role, but it is one of the best weapons in the game for non-MEQ troop killing, and you certainly can't say that about the the missile launcher.

If you know you will be facing MEQs only from the word go - leave your HBs at home. However, I don't know about anybody else - but even when I know who I am facing in advance I never field tailoured armies.

also mathematically sharpshooters is never worth it
Actualy, as IGFreely rightly pointed out - mathematicaly it is. You are paying exactly the right amount of points for your models to be BS 3.5. It is only tacticaly that it becomes a question. I would say that in an infantry squad, 1pts per model is never worth it to uograde a lasgun. However, when you are talking about a Heavy Bolter squad where 9/12 shots are heavy weapon shots, I just don't see how you can justify your statement. The only reason I wouldn't take it would be because I generaly don't have the available doctrine space.
 
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