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View Full Version : How Good are Sternguard and Vanguard?



Lamont Cranston
02-12-2009, 22:02
I am starting SM and I love the models but I hear from people at my local games store that rules wise they aren't good at all. Just wondering what you guys thought?

LonelyPath
02-12-2009, 22:08
Sternguard can be very effective if used right, Vanguard however just cost to many points for their level of effectiveness and are best avoided.

jams86
02-12-2009, 22:12
sternguard are handy as you get the different ammo types. i wouldn't take more than 5 though as they're pricey

Rusty Initate
02-12-2009, 22:35
vanguard are terrible for what they can do they have to pay for an ability that they then have to pay more points to be able to use and its really unreliable need to be within 6 inches to be able to use it which then puts them at risk of mishaping and dieing and that extermely over priced is dead they are proberly one of the most over priced units in 40k


Sternguard seem to be quite good and one of the best units in the space marine codex even though there isn't really much compertition in that codex

Corbulo
02-12-2009, 22:38
as said already they handy for the different ammo types when in crimson fists with pedro kantor they can also be used to grab objectives.

mudir-nahya
02-12-2009, 22:58
Corbulo's got it in one- sternguard with Kantor are awesome! Sternguard in a generic SM army are good, but just as killable as Tactical Marines, so be carefull.

Unless you're using them for fluff, I'd steer away from Vanguard. That being said, I regularly field some in the local gaming group, simply because they are cool models with cool rules. Just be aware that they aren't a competitive choice.

Ozendorph
02-12-2009, 23:01
Fear the face-melting power of the Sternguard AP3 ammo. Those guys are very nice anti-meq, and certainly have their value increased when using Kantor. Vanguard are indeed pricey, but if you're playing big enough games they can provide a nasty surprise.

Bunnahabhain
02-12-2009, 23:29
Vanguard are simply vastly overpriced for what they do. The deep strike is risky, before we consider things like inquisitors and mystics.*

Sternguard are a viable unit, especially if scoring, but do need to be used carefully. They're no harder to kill than normal marines.

* anybody trying to deep strike next to mystic really should know better. I had pointed out the Inquisitor (officer with pointy stick) and pair of mystics ( pair of guardsmen with binoculars looking up). He seemed less than amused to lose the whole unit to rapid firing lasguns....

GrimZAG
03-12-2009, 01:03
I think the Vanguard models look sweet and am considering getting some for just a regular assault marine squad. As said previously they aren't good in a damage/point ratio but for apocalypse the could be worth their weight in some semi-precious material, because the higher the points go up the less it really matters.

and sternguard are most excellent.

primarch16
03-12-2009, 03:10
Vanguard models are fantastic with and without jump packs. Sadly they fail in comparison to terminators.

Sternguard however are much more versatile and effective, definately a lot can be done with these guys. I dont think I'd leave home without a unit of them.

nightgant98c
03-12-2009, 05:54
Good, bad, or otherwise, I plan to use a vangaurd squad to go along with Shrike when I get around to starting my Ravenguard army. Pricey, but fun.

Thud
03-12-2009, 06:43
Sternguard are pretty good, but Vanguard, I'm afraid, are pants.

senorcardgage
03-12-2009, 07:34
Sternguard are pretty good, but Vanguard, I'm afraid, are pants.

I believe this is the general concensus

General Squeek Squeek
03-12-2009, 07:36
My friend runs 10 sternguards w/ Dorn in droppod. They are downright mean as the land next to and kill the biggest threat in their opponents army due to special ammo plus Dorns ability (bolterdrill or something). Then the sternguard act as ablative wounds for dorn who runs around the enemies deployment zone and blows stuff up w/ his str10 thunderhammer.

The Marshel
03-12-2009, 08:09
sternguard meat shields seems a bit silly...

Sternguard are very much worth their points imo. the special issues ammo isincredibly useful, between hellfire rounds taking down anything t5, kraken to deal with the common 4+ (and 30" range at that) anti mech rounds and anti cover rounds, sternguard have the ammo for any job against any foe.

When you use pedro (or a pedro equivalent if you dont play crimson fist) they become increasingly more valuable. Not only are they now scoring, but if you have pedro near them the bonus attack makes them pretty hand in close combat to, able to deal out enough regular attacks and a handful of special ones to really hurt the enemy.

Vanguard seem to be designed to fill a niche not many players need filled. they arn't as good as termies but better then assualt marines. If they had reasonably point cost then people might have made more use of them, but other wise they just arn't that comnpetative. It'd be beter if pedro made them scoring as well, but i don't see this hapening ever.

Corpse
03-12-2009, 08:10
Sternguard.
Drop pod.
Combat Squad split.
Two units with 5 combi weapons at your disposal mere inches from the enemy.

Pop two tanks/units at your pleasure. Don't forget to put the drop pod really close to the enemy and a little ways from the table edge. The 1" distance abuse rule when the pod stops really is a godlike ability. Almost worth 70 points a drop pod, but you pay half for that ability.


I'm still mulling over the army I played 10 times, and sold for half its cost because it was dumb easy. It played itself. It also had 30 sternguard. I really have issues trying to keep a loyalist army so don't take offense to it.

Brucopeloso
03-12-2009, 08:19
Sternguard.
Drop pod.
Combat Squad split.
Two units with 5 combi weapons at your disposal mere inches from the enemy.

Pop two tanks/units at your pleasure. Don't forget to put the drop pod really close to the enemy and a little ways from the table edge. The 1" distance abuse rule when the pod stops really is a godlike ability. Almost worth 70 points a drop pod, but you pay half for that ability.


I'm still mulling over the army I played 10 times, and sold for half its cost because it was dumb easy. It played itself. It also had 30 sternguard. I really have issues trying to keep a loyalist army so don't take offense to it.


I am not sure you can place a squad of 10 in a pod or vehicle and then split them.

In any case I use a squad of 6 with a powerfist in a razorback. Razorback provides mobility and more importantly protection.

marv335
03-12-2009, 08:26
Sternguard, with Lysander can be very nasty.
In a drop pod.
Re-rolling those AP3 shots can cause a world of pain.
plus Lysander is a great deterrent for assault

The Marshel
03-12-2009, 08:26
you can take 10 with a rhino then split as you deploy, giving the rhino to either group (or a razorback)

also, when you deepstrike a unit capable of combat squadding by any means, the choice to combat squad is made when they arrive on the battlefield, so a podding sternguard unit combat squads upon leaving the pod

marv335
03-12-2009, 08:33
I've seen Vanguard used to great effect with Shrike, outflanking with him.
It's very situational though.
Nice for theme, but points wise, they're just too expensive.
If they had Artificer armour as standard (befitting their role) then they'd be worth it.

General Squeek Squeek
03-12-2009, 09:16
The best combo I've seen done with vanguard is taking 10 w/ no upgrades and putting them in a land raider with khan and a chaplain. It rivals ork hordes in attack output and damage potential, but it is definitely a giant point sink. Still 40 rerollable str5 attacks that go at intitive 5 on the charge will hurt just about anybody, just make sure you combi charge for max effectivness.

Narf
03-12-2009, 09:55
sorry am i being odd here but how do the vanguard get Str5 and I5 by being sat with khan and a chaplin?

fearless and rerollable yes
furius charge? que?

The Marshel
03-12-2009, 11:46
yeah furious charge is a plue 1 in strengh and intitive on the charge.

azimaith
03-12-2009, 12:59
Sternguard are quite good, probably too good.

Vanguard are specialist units that must be put into an army designed for them, rather than throwin randomly into another sort of army.

Vanguard excel at armies where you have small bases of firepower combined with locator beacons because they can swoop in and rescue units or intercept armies. If you use them vanilla you might as well use assault marines or terminators.

In my army I use drop pod assault which means that the enemy army can possibly isolate and overwhelm a single drop pods worth of scoring tactical troops, thus my drop pods have locator beacons which allow me to deep strike my vanguard with pinpoint accuracy to bolster any drop pod I so choose not to mention their jump packs still remain of use afterward. No other unit can boast such high numbers of power weapon attacks combined with the ability to appear anywhere and assault on the same turn. Build your army to support vanguard and they'll support you, build your army and throw in vanguard and they'll waste points.

Sternguard are a unit you could throw into basically any army and they'd probably improve it.

LonelyPath
03-12-2009, 13:06
Sternguard.
Drop pod.
Combat Squad split.
Two units with 5 combi weapons at your disposal mere inches from the enemy.

This is an illegal manuever. Units have to be split into combat squads before they're deployed, not after. So only 5 would be able to drop pod.

Bob Hunk
03-12-2009, 13:31
This is an illegal manuever. Units have to be split into combat squads before they're deployed, not after. So only 5 would be able to drop pod.

Drop pods are the exception to this, as specifically stated in the Combat Squads rule I believe. :)

devlin
03-12-2009, 13:40
in larger points games i love my vanguard,i take 5 with jump packs,th/ss and a chaplain,then give homing beacons to anybody who can take them,its alot of points but when it works its devastating

azimaith
03-12-2009, 13:50
Teleporter Homers don't work on anything but teleporters. Locator beacons are available only on like two units.

superdupermatt
03-12-2009, 19:34
Forgive me if I am wrong, but the whole Lysander+Sternguard+drop pod tactic is illegal too, seen as though terminators can't use drop pods, and Lysander is clad in a bright yellow one. Or is there a loop hole because he is an independant character?

Kelderaith
03-12-2009, 23:32
Forgive me if I am wrong, but the whole Lysander+Sternguard+drop pod tactic is illegal too, seen as though terminators can't use drop pods, and Lysander is clad in a bright yellow one. Or is there a loop hole because he is an independant character?

Either way I don't think it's as good as people think. Yeah those rerollable special bolter are very nice, but you 10 man strong drop podding sternguard with lysanders cost 500 pts and more, hardly something I would worry excessively about as they were hurt, but rarely make their point back (as they are only normal marine in term of "defence". Also, since you want to shoot when you land, as with any other transport, your models are very very tighly close, as such, it's a stupidly easy target for templates of all sorts, reducing your 500 pts squad to 200 (lysander), very fast.

In my humble opinion, sternguard are exactly like vanguard, a very cool and thematic unit, but hardly worth the hassle of building a purely competitive army around them (they fill the cool fluff theme very well though). I can't really understand how people find them that great when around 90% of the Warseer community think Thousand Sons are "pants" (ok sternguard have more option, but the AP3 shot get the most mention of them all). Thousand Sons get a 4+ invul included in their point cost (and they cost a bit less to boot) and people still think they s*** hard in the new metagame (where cover saves are more abundant, which reduces the performance of both their bolter and their special invul save for point cost effectiveness). But these changes (5th edition cover saves) affect sternguard just as much as Thousand Sons, and a drop pod is good, but hardly that much better than a Rhino (both have their uses, I prefer the rhino except for 1-2 special options, because drop podding unit are mostly sent to their doom and will never make their 200+ point back in 1 turn of shooting.


In my army I use drop pod assault which means that the enemy army can possibly isolate and overwhelm a single drop pods worth of scoring tactical troops, thus my drop pods have locator beacons which allow me to deep strike my vanguard with pinpoint accuracy to bolster any drop pod I so choose not to mention their jump packs still remain of use afterward. No other unit can boast such high numbers of power weapon attacks combined with the ability to appear anywhere and assault on the same turn. Build your army to support vanguard and they'll support you, build your army and throw in vanguard and they'll waste points.

I think Azimaith nailed it. Vanguards are nowhere near as "pants" as people call them, but unlike most unit, you cannot simply include them in any army and let themselves play it out like heroes. They need a plan or a trick for them to be worth it. I think one of the best ways to use them myself is to mount them in a rhino (as without that many special weapons nor jump packs, they are assault marines with +1 attack for 2 pts more, which is quite nice) in a shrike lead army. You use them like Eldar player do with their banshees or scorpions, which means speed ahead, and when you are around 12-15 inches of the enemy, the next turn you disembark, flee (because of shrike) and assault. This is also, like Azimaith mentionned, even better suited as a counter assault unit as their impaired mobility (as opposed to jump packing them) is counter balanced by the fact you are "forcing" the enemy to close you instead of going out for them, the rhino only gives you the adaptability to change as you will never really outgun a tau and force him to assault you... As for their jump pack alternative, I think it can be cool, and POTENTIALLY worth it, but I think that paying 10 pts for their jet pack without any other bonus (either artificier armor or cheap special weapons for example) really makes the squad to be extremely expensive and they are somewhat outclassed by assault termies and the like.

brightblade
03-12-2009, 23:39
I believe this is the general concensus

True. But I have used a five man (sergeant has dual claws) vanguard in a razorback. Only used them twice, I admit, but they have killed over 50 models in two games. (20guard multiple charge in one and a 30boy squad plus remains of 10shootas in another) I quite like them but as soon as your opponent realises how 'killy' they are they do not last long. But, by God, are they a good distraction.;)

I also have a ten man sternguard with 2xheavy flamers and pwrfist for larger games and they have never let me down. However the Lysander/pod deal is a bit eggs in one basket for me and sternguard, as pointed out earlier, die as quick (or as slow) as tac marines. Tricky. for 1500 point games I use 7 sternguard. Works ok. :D

Giganthrax
04-12-2009, 03:54
Sternguard are awesome. They're, IMHO, one of the best choices in the entire codex, and on par with the assault termies as an elites choice.

Vanguard could've been great, but their points cost is just too prohibitive. Simply put, whatever you want vanguard for, assault termies can do the same thing better for fewer points.

Jackmojo
04-12-2009, 05:35
I've seen Vanguard used to great effect with Shrike, outflanking with him.
It's very situational though.
Nice for theme, but points wise, they're just too expensive.
If they had Artificer armour as standard (befitting their role) then they'd be worth it.

Or at least the Jumppacks, so they can, you know, use their main special rule out of the box.

Jack

Wicksy
04-12-2009, 13:25
Sternguards with combiflamers or combi meltas are fun. I never forgot the look on my mates face when they dropped at the flank of his guard force and melted two leman russes before i got pie'ed to oblivion.

marv335
04-12-2009, 14:33
Forgive me if I am wrong, but the whole Lysander+Sternguard+drop pod tactic is illegal too, seen as though terminators can't use drop pods, and Lysander is clad in a bright yellow one. Or is there a loop hole because he is an independant character?

I forgive you, you're wrong ;)
Terminator squads don't have the option for drop pods, That's why they can't use them.
There is nothing stopping an IC in terminator armour getting into a drop pod.


This is an illegal manuever. Units have to be split into combat squads before they're deployed, not after. So only 5 would be able to drop pod.

The Drop pod rules specifically allow this action. It is legal.

borginator
04-12-2009, 16:05
In my army I use drop pod assault which means that the enemy army can possibly isolate and overwhelm a single drop pods worth of scoring tactical troops, thus my drop pods have locator beacons which allow me to deep strike my vanguard with pinpoint accuracy to bolster any drop pod I so choose not to mention their jump packs still remain of use afterward. No other unit can boast such high numbers of power weapon attacks combined with the ability to appear anywhere and assault on the same turn. Build your army to support vanguard and they'll support you, build your army and throw in vanguard and they'll waste points.


Azimaith, deep striking via jump packs do not benefit from locator beacons. They only work if you are deep striking via teleporting, ie only models wearing terminator armor. Therefore you can't receive that "pinpoint accuracy" from vanguard veterans.

marv335
04-12-2009, 16:34
Azimaith, deep striking via jump packs do not benefit from locator beacons. They only work if you are deep striking via teleporting, ie only models wearing terminator armor. Therefore you can't receive that "pinpoint accuracy" from vanguard veterans.

Wrong, I'm afraid.

A Teleport Homer, only works for deep striking via teleport, such as Terminators
A Locator Beacon, works on anything deep striking

borginator
04-12-2009, 16:42
Wrong, I'm afraid.

A Teleport Homer, only works for deep striking via teleport, such as Terminators
A Locator Beacon, works on anything deep striking

Doh, you're right. Just re-read the codex.

Havock
04-12-2009, 20:31
Sternguard are awesome. They're, IMHO, one of the best choices in the entire codex, and on par with the assault termies as an elites choice.

Vanguard could've been great, but their points cost is just too prohibitive. Simply put, whatever you want vanguard for, assault termies can do the same thing better for fewer points.

Except for charging stuff 19-24" away.
7 guys: Sergeant carries a thunderhammer, 2 powerweapons, 2 stormshields.

I use two of those. Probably not the best choice, but regular assault squads are too wuss for my taste ;)