PDA

View Full Version : Codex Ultramarines



Kahadras
16-02-2006, 19:15
Over the past few weeks I have been reading numerous Ultramarine lists and have been struck by the number of them which ignore the Codex Astartes. Eight man and six man squads seem to be all the rage nowadays and I am mostly OK with this untill it comes to Ultramarine who are ment to stick ridgidly to the teachings of the codex.
Several fluff reasons have been given why the Ultra's are in small squads (losses from previous battles is the main one). What's really odd IMO though is that the squads are alway six or eight men strong and seemed to have been able to hang onto all of their heavy and special weapons.
I am one for always follwing the Codex when I build codex armies so does anybody else agree or am I the only one? I do use fluff when building armies and always get cross when people use fluff as an 'excuse' to field a really broken list and still claim that its OK to use because it is 'fluffy'.
I don't want to start a flame war so the question is...

Should 'codex' Marines follow the codex or not?

Discuss.

Kahadras

squigsnok
16-02-2006, 19:25
I'd assume 6 marine squads must be mentioned somewhere in the Codex, or razorbacks would only transport 5 men...

C. Langana
16-02-2006, 19:27
I'd assume 6 marine squads must be mentioned somewhere in the Codex, or razorbacks would only transport 5 men...
What else would they do with the space? Add a coffee machine?

The Astartes should come in ten man squads which may then be split into five man combat squads. Despite some fluff reasons, generally this ought to be adhered to.

DraXaus
16-02-2006, 19:37
I don't play Ultramarines, but having 10 marines in a squad leaves little room for the whole squad to take cover in.

A resent player did this, and lord behold... two were sticking out form cover, and shot at. One managed to make his save, but the other died. I would think fluff and table wise 6-8 men squads would be more tactically sound.

Guderian
16-02-2006, 19:39
I tend to view the 10 man squads as an upward limit, not a lower limit.

To me, The Indexs Astartes wasn't stipulating that squads must have 10 men, and that can be divided in half. Rather, the maximum number of men in a squad should not exceed 10.

Kahadras
16-02-2006, 20:53
I'd assume 6 marine squads must be mentioned somewhere in the Codex, or razorbacks would only transport 5 men...


I can only assume that they are designated for command squads. Tactical, assault and devestator squads all recieve Rhinos so the Razorbacks must be set aside for command staff and their bodyguard (basicaly the commander and command squad box set.


I don't play Ultramarines, but having 10 marines in a squad leaves little room for the whole squad to take cover in.

A resent player did this, and lord behold... two were sticking out form cover, and shot at. One managed to make his save, but the other died. I would think fluff and table wise 6-8 men squads would be more tactically sound.

Err you do know that cover goes on the majority of the squad so if 8 men are in cover then the whole squad counts as being in cover.


To me, The Indexs Astartes wasn't stipulating that squads must have 10 men, and that can be divided in half. Rather, the maximum number of men in a squad should not exceed 10.

Nah the Index states that squads should be 10 men strong and can be broken down into two five man fire teams. There is no mention of differing squad sizes apart from those chapters which are not codex i.e Black Templar or Space Wolf.

Kahadras

Mojaco
16-02-2006, 20:57
Well, you're right. But can you really expect people to be that close to the fluff? I consider myself to be a fluffnut, bashing my head if I don't have a nice core of basic troops. But I'm really shoehorning my squads in those 1500 pts, meaning a marine less here and an extra one there.

Eventually, it's just a game, and as long as people paint their army and know the rules i'm a happy camper. If you truelly have problems with people ignoring parts of the background, you could always start a gaming club which sets up several houserules to enforce fluff adherence.

Kahadras
16-02-2006, 21:05
Well, you're right. But can you really expect people to be that close to the fluff?

I don't really care whether other people are close to the fluff or not. It was more to see if other people went for the codex approach when building a strictly codex force or 'bent' the rigid nature of the Index Astartes to get a more 'competitve' army.

Kahadras

Asher
16-02-2006, 21:11
I build my squads according to the Codex Astartes and it works out just fine. In some occasions smaller squads would be more practical but on the other hand, a 10 man squad will stay over 50% unit strenght for quite some time.

devolutionary
16-02-2006, 21:14
I run 10 man/5 man squads all the time. The only time I run 6 man squads is when I have Honour Guard (or in my case, 'Veteran Sergeants' since i use a 1st company Ultra army, and so has some traits to replicate this). You have 5 men, you take 1 heavy/special weapon. 10 men, 1 or each. Not hard really. If I take 5 Devastators, I'll take 5 Tactical marines to provide the other half of the squad.

The Codex is my friend, and nobody plays proper vanilla these days. Hell, I'm almost unique in my outlook :D

Mojaco
16-02-2006, 21:30
I don't really care whether other people are close to the fluff or not. It was more to see if other people went for the codex approach when building a strictly codex force or 'bent' the rigid nature of the Index Astartes to get a more 'competitve' army.

Kahadras
O, ok. I that case, call me bender :)
I do like to think any army should have a background, a purpose of some sort, and not just kick ass.

boogle
16-02-2006, 21:47
Razorbacks used to only be able to transport 5 models

marv335
16-02-2006, 21:49
i tend to field my marine squads in the classic combat squad of 5/5
basicly
vet sgt leading 4 marines with a special weapon,
std sgt leading 4 marines with a heavy weapon.
the std sgt represents the squad leader.
this represents a 10 man squad split into the two combat squads in the classic codex style.

(i'm fairly sure i remember the razorback holding 6)
the razorback capacity issue is a holdover from 2nd ed (when it was introduced) this allowed a character to accompany a combat squad.

Str10_hurts
16-02-2006, 21:52
Codex astartes = holy
Any other opinion = heresy!

Well thats my view of it, my lists are alway's fluffy and balanced (and win often enough).
But yeah any how you can include 6-7-8-9 marines in non tactical squads if you have enough full strength tactical squads. But then again its pressing heresy, so I do not do it and stick to the index astartes

Call me mad, but...eh...yes I am.

orangesm
16-02-2006, 22:00
I play Ultramarines. I almost have the entire Third Company, meaning I have a mini for every man in the company plus staff and all the vehicles.

My take on this is that there will be battles where squads are understrength. However I also think that a good player may talk about why said assault squad has 6 troops and not 5 or 10, for example the other 4 were casualities in the last battle.

A newly arrived to the warzone Ultramarines force will have largely 10 man squads, which can be broken down into 5 man for tactical reasons, one covering the other as it moves up etc, and maybe one or two understrength squads that could not be brought to full strength in time.

In regards to the razorback, there is nothing that says you must fill it to capacity, you can have just 5 guys in it, that is fine. Or maybe they are accompanied by a character, like the Company Chaplain or Captain.

Herkram
16-02-2006, 23:31
The list that I'm building at this point is an Ultramarines 5th company task force... The three tactical squads are all at full ten man strength, as is the command squad (if you include the commander in the count). I'm also going to be running three squads under-strength at eight men a piece. Two assault and two devastator squads. My overly simplified justification for this comes from Insignium Astartes - That the command squad pulled six men from the "specialist" squads in the task force, to supplement the specialists who form the core of the squad. (Sergeant, Apothecary, and Standard Bearer, in this case)

InquisitorPalpatine
17-02-2006, 00:07
I play Ultra's and I'm in the 5 or 10 men camp. But when you start arguing that someone should follow some ficticous book that changes at the Emperors(GW'S) will and is not actually the codex for your choosen army your going to have problems. Tactically 6-8 squads make some sense and according to the codex(actual rules for the game) your allowed to have squads of that size. It's not something to get upset about either way as far as I'm concerned.
As far as razorbacks go I sometimes like to field a 5 man squad with special weapon and attach an honorguard member to them(kind of spendy though)

Hawkeye
17-02-2006, 00:13
I've played Ultras since 1st Ed, and always take 5-man or 10-man squads when I can.

To me, the great thing about 40k is the depth and richness of the background. It's practically an historical wargame, but just for a history that hasn't happened yet. There's insignia and colour schemes to research, tactical doctrine to explore, and a wealth of 'historical' eras and campaigns to replicate.

Ignoring all of that 'fluff' is tantamount to playing Flames of War (or any other 'real world' historical game) and ignoring the history of WW2.

Tanarin
17-02-2006, 00:28
I think the one thing you all are forgetting is that the 6/8 man combos are more tourney level setups that seem to fully exploit the rules for the cheapest cost.

orangesm
17-02-2006, 00:32
No we arent forgetting that, we are just saying that there are those who prefer to play fluff based arms not nessecarily the tourney level setups.

DantesInferno
17-02-2006, 00:59
Just a quick check of the Ultramarines force chart at the back of the 3rd ed marine codex will show that below strength squads are actually quite common in codex chapters, particularly in the Battle Companies, which see the most action.

Putting a requirement on codex armies to go the 10/5 organisation isn't necessarily that accurate background-wise anyway.

Ardathair
17-02-2006, 01:04
Tanarin said:
I think the one thing you all are forgetting is that the 6/8 man combos are more tourney level setups that seem to fully exploit the rules for the cheapest cost.

No what is being said is that 6/8 man squads, "exploit the rules for the cheapest cost" as you say.

Tom
17-02-2006, 01:11
I frankly refuse to believe that the greatest tactician in Imperial history would write a guide which would severely limit the tactical flexibility and initiative of his battle plans, and that he had so little trust in them that he forced something so rigid on them so that they would never be allowed to deviate from it.

"Sorry, squad Auvicidus. Due to the fact that Brothers Garand and Justis died last week, I can't let you take to the field of battle until we find replacements."

"Er, Sergeant, the lift'll only carry eight Marines."
"Then none of us go."

Kahadras
17-02-2006, 01:25
I frankly refuse to believe that the greatest tactician in Imperial history would write a guide which would severely limit the tactical flexibility and initiative of his battle plans, and that he had so little trust in them that he forced something so rigid on them so that they would never be allowed to deviate from it.

I also refuse to believe that battle casualties always leaves six marines left in a squad that is designated for fire support and eight designated for Rhino transport. On top of this no heavy or special weapons are lost from the support sqaud or if they are more lazcannon and plasma guns are always on hand. Its very rare not to see the vet sergeant of a transport squad without a powerfist; they must come as standard kit with the Rhino.


"Sorry, squad Auvicidus. Due to the fact that Brothers Garand and Justis died last week, I can't let you take to the field of battle until we find replacements."

"Luckily we have the seventh company backing us up on this campaign we can call for reenforcements at any time. We won't bother though as we think the eight of you can get the job done where ten would be far better."


"Er, Sergeant, the lift'll only carry eight Marines."
"Then none of us go."

"Damn battlefields, always littered with these eight man lifts!!!!!!!"

On a more serious note the Codex was restrictive for a purpose. It was designed to impose order which had not been present before (which led to the Horus Heresy). Ten man squads are fine tacticaly speaking (not in tournaments players eyes though). It has to be noted that the Ultra's are obsessed by the codex as much as the Dark Angels are with finding the fallen. They will probably go to quite extreme lengths to preserve the teachings of the codex (amalgamating squads etc). If the Ultramarines do have any flaw it's overreliance on the teachings of their primarch.

Kahadras

20th Century Boy
17-02-2006, 01:32
I'm playing Ultramarines, and follow what is layed down in the Codex Astartes - just what you say - to a t.

I had a kind of hard discussion about that a few weeks ago, look at this (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22295) thread, especially this (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=430363&postcount=23) post, where I lay down my reasoning - beware, it's long.

Oh, and the sixth space in a Razorback is for a Commander - would do bad for Command squads not being able to use an armed transport...

warprat
17-02-2006, 01:45
The Space Marines chapters are built upon the old Roman Cohort. One thousand men, divided into 10 companies, or centuries. The head of century was called a Centurion. And the best soldiers went into the first century. Ten Cohorts formed a Legion. Just the same as Space Marines...

If you look at Roman history, the Legions were almost never at full strength, except rarely, as in the prime legendary First Legion, where many of the elite soldiers of the empire were gathered, or a Legion allowed to rest and gain strenght.

Most of the time, they were lucky to be at 80%. I rather think the newer Space Marine codexs borrow on this type of historical fluff as well.

I believe that the 2nd Edition 5 and 10 man squads were meant to match up with the once very popular Epic system which used stands of 5 men apiece. But with the fall of Epic, the need for the artificial limit has ended.

My own chapter fluff, is built around the battle weary 8 man squad, as I see a full strength chapter to be unreasonable and un-fluffy. Tactical squads are assigned to various roles, based on their current strength. Some squads might even borrow a couple of the newer men to beef up for close combat, at the expense of other squads that then become minimised.

The alternate method would be to disband some squads so as to fill all surviving squads up to the 10 man level. Say, 8 squads in a company, instead of 10, this means that the experienced core of some squads would be disbanded, (at least temporarily). But I think disbanding the core of a unit is a bad idea. Soldiers get used to working together, and you lose their synergy if you break them up too much. I have noticed this effect in my own experience.


Battle losses and personnel issues are a part of life, to expect Chapters to be at 100% is unrealistic. ***** happens... or your not playing Marines.

Warprat ;)

Kahadras
17-02-2006, 02:10
The actual basis behind the Space Marines is the fact that they only have 4 companies that they commit to regular fighting; basicaly their four battle companies (two through five). Companies six through nine are concidered support and are used to replenish losses from the four 'battle' companies. Therefore the front line companies are nearly always at full strength as they have a constant flow of fresh Marines from their 'reserve' companies to replace casualties. It makes a lot of sense IMO as it means that the full chapter is never fully engaged and the companies that are are always at as near to full strength as they can possibly be.

Kahadras

Tanarin
17-02-2006, 02:23
Ok well one thing I stil wonder about is how exactly is 1st company formed, are they also in one of the battle companies or is it a whole seperate company with 100 men of their own? (Sorry still somewhat of a newb so I am still wondering about the fluff.)

Kahadras
17-02-2006, 02:28
They are usualy broken up into squads and distributed around much like the tenth company. A battleforce may include a battle company, a support company, a couple of squads of scouts and a squad of first company along with all the necissery supporting vehicles and personel.

Kahadras

Ian
17-02-2006, 02:44
The only time i dont stick to rigid codex organisation is with my honour guard, just because five isnt enough and ten costs too much. None of my other marines are tough enough to join (well, thats how i justify it anyway, the big bunch of fairies)

InquisitorPalpatine
17-02-2006, 03:27
I think one of the things that contributes to this cookie cutter army list problem is that the more experienced and tournament players comment on individuals army lists in a methodical, points conservative, unit performance type way(which when your playing in a tournament and to win is ok). That's why we see a lot of 6-8 man squads, las/plas tact squads, and other common weapon combos and squad usages. There's nothing wrong with this when your trying to maximize what you get for the points, but I do believe in playing for fun and trying wierd or seldom used squads and weapon combo's. I believe it adds to the fun win or lose. I must say that I have never played in a tournament to date.

Ardathair
17-02-2006, 04:25
This post is why I do, and think other players should, think about how the larger Chapter (Regiment, Craftworld, etc...) is comprised. If you are trying to represent a Chapter or other organization try to keep it right, other wise wh don't you just say, "I'm playing Blood Angels but everyone except the Death Guard is Dead. Thats my fluf."

devolutionary
17-02-2006, 04:32
Agreed. People need to decide if they're playing Ultramarines or Bluemarines. I play Ultramarines, despite the traits in my list representing my company's options, and I pay dearly for everything I have to justify it (honour guard are very expensive when created from Vet Sgts).

TWB
17-02-2006, 05:35
Whilst an Organisation, like a Chapter needs strict ranks and organisation, the simple fact of war is that flexibility allows you to survive, It's just an issue of expediency, The Marines are a strike force and if they can push an advantage, they will, rather than stand around kicking their heels until Reserve Brother Aguvilus shows up, or until Brother Grarilan's Bionic Arm is fitted. Squads will be loosely re-assigned inbetween battles as needed (which could be a matter of minutes for a Marine Commander, rather than next week at Dave's place), if one squad is reduced to three fighting members those members will be re-assigned to other squads OR members of other squads assigned to bring that squad to fighting strength (guard Players will be familiar with this concept from the "Remnants" unit). I find it more likely that any Marine army that isn't making it's first engagment with the enemy will have below max strength units.

The Ultramarines might well be strict adherents of the Codex Astartes, but the existance of Tyranic War Veterans, shows that Even the Ultramarines realise that sometimes one must apply the rules differently.

I Also think that it's quite likely that Special and Heavy weapons will be take up from fallen comrades, where these weapons will supply the additional Range/punch/firepower needed to ge the mission completed. I was an advocate for a squad size based limit on special/heavy weapons, I agree that there can be a problem with Mini/Maxed squads BUT I don't think that Background info does anything but support the under strength squad, Codex or no.

stjohn70
17-02-2006, 07:41
I blame 4th Edition.

In prev editions it was better to have a 5 man squad than 6. In 3rd it was common to have 5-man battle squads and either 9 or 10 man units (9 was just as strong, tactically - but it was just one more marine to get the full 10).

But lets face it too... the whole reason the CA was written for 5/10 man squads was because GW sold marines in 5/10 packs.

Captain Ardias
17-02-2006, 10:10
I play ultramarines and For now I only use ten marines in a squads, and it works great, unless a goddamn battle cannon shoots at one squad and kills seven bloody marines:mad: in one shot.

Kahadras
17-02-2006, 10:22
I Also think that it's quite likely that Special and Heavy weapons will be take up from fallen comrades, where these weapons will supply the additional Range/punch/firepower needed to ge the mission completed.

The problem here is the fact that people don't take into account that the weapons may be lost with its bearer. If brother Lucius did not survive that battlecannon shell then I don't think his lazcannon would either; brother Julio's plasma gun just overheated and the plasma coil is fused solid, its going to take a long time for the Techmarines to fix etc. IMO if you are going to take min/maxed squads then really you shouldn't bother trying to justify it via fluff and the same goes for a lot of other fluff breaking ideas like the 3 Wraithlord combo. Stating that you are taking 6 and 8 man squads (optimised) because of 'battlefield casualties' is not really true. Better just to say that you are fielding a competitive army and have done with it. If someone was simulating battlefield losses then I would expect a lot more. Randomly sized squads that may contain 9 or 7 members, missing special and heavy weapons, missing sergeants, damaged wargear, damaged vehicles etc.
At the end of the day the Ultramarines may not always field ten man squads but due to their adherance to the Codex they would probably attempt to get as close as possible with the forces that they have available. In the fluff we see examples of Ultramarine commanders unable to 'think outside the box' as it were due to their unswerving belief in the teachings of the Codex. I don't mind to much with successor chapters as folk's can make up their own fluff (squad size is not a problem with their chapter) but I have always seen Ultramarines draw back as being their devotion to the word and spirit of the Index Astartes.

Kahadras

Yoghurt
17-02-2006, 10:40
As an Ultramarines player, 3 of my 4 Tactical squads are 10 man, the other is 6 man, for two reasons.

1.) A friend gave me a combat squad box and I didn't have enough models to bring the squad up to 10.

2.) I explain it as if the 4 men from that squad (who ride in a razorback and carry a Meltagun for hunting tanks, not especially effective but kind of a cool image) are the pilots/drivers/gunners of either my two attack bikes OR (once they're finished) my two landspeeders.

I also have a 9 man Assault squad, because I gave the last jump pack to my chaplain and cannot be bothered getting another.

In general I believe that the Ultras are fanatical enough to insist on 10 man squads wherever possible, but I'm sure they would rather field a nine-man squad than no squad at all.

As an aside, this obsession the Ultramarines have with the numbers 5 and 10 borders on obsessive compulsive. :D *looks over shoulder, expecting flames of retribution to descend*

20th Century Boy
17-02-2006, 11:38
.. As an aside, this obsession the Ultramarines have with the numbers 5 and 10 borders on obsessive compulsive. :D *looks over shoulder, expecting flames of retribution to descend*
You're... - absolutely right :D

As I explained in another post, my opinion on fielding 5/10 has nothing to do with expecting it to be close to in game reality, or tactical prudence or similar. I do it because there are strong suggestions of these being mentioned in Codex Astartes, and because I want to have my Ultras look different from the bulk of fielded Codex chapters. And in my opinion the more symmetrical and painstakingly ordered the Ultra. But I don't flame anyone who follows another road of thinking - I just ask why they play Ultras then ... Honour Guard, Nid Hunters ... - scratch the last remark :p

Vanger
17-02-2006, 12:59
I'm pleased to see, that there are other 5/10 nutts, like me :D

But to get OT. What about Ultramarine Honour Guard? The Codex says that they are spread through the companies, so there is always some of them remaining on Ultramar. But. Do they count towards the 5/10 squad limit imposed by the CA?

(Who said that UHG are expensive? For all that wargear they carry, they are cheap...)

Astromarine
17-02-2006, 13:44
I view the 5/10 man more of a logistical constraint than a tactical. It's a matter of organization, and of allowing units to work independently of central command with both effectiveness and discipline. In books, for example, there are plenty of examples of Space Marines (which are the "movie version" in print, obviously) working alone, in pairs, or whatever, supporting a Guard assault. Let's face it, if we forget the game for a moment, and think only of fluff, there would be *millions* of situations when a sargeant would take his squad and split it into 3 or 4 detachments so he could have multiple approaches, etc.

The end result of all this is that I'm not opposed to variable-sized squads no metter the chapter, but personally I prefer to make a list to represent a "logistical order of battle" rather than a tactical consideration.

orangesm
17-02-2006, 15:40
In my opinion honor guard members are drawn from the ranks of the company, so they do count against the 100 marines plus the commander and his staff. So a member of the honor guard may normally be part of 5th squad 3rd Company. However it may be possible that they are not in honor guard gear when away from Ultramar. I have an Honor Guard in my company, but I will still have all 100 standard marines, the other possiblity is they are to be veteran sergeants or veterans and the 1st company can not take anymore, so they are given an special duty. My one Honor Guard is protecting the Company Standard, now here is a question, should Ultramarines take company standards or scared standards for their forces?

warprat
17-02-2006, 19:04
The actual basis behind the Space Marines is the fact that they only have 4 companies that they commit to regular fighting; basicaly their four battle companies (two through five). Companies six through nine are concidered support and are used to replenish losses from the four 'battle' companies. Therefore the front line companies are nearly always at full strength as they have a constant flow of fresh Marines from their 'reserve' companies to replace casualties. It makes a lot of sense IMO as it means that the full chapter is never fully engaged and the companies that are are always at as near to full strength as they can possibly be.

Kahadras

Yes, but when this happens is the key...

Do the Reserves just hang around waiting for thier chance to fill in for thier fallen brothers? I think for any given major engagement a reserve company would be available. But, I also think that reserve companies, being made up of a valuable resourse are probably not just sitting on thier hands. If nothing else, they are probably pulling garrison duty on a Death world, or being used somewhere else to distract the enemy from the real target.

And it might be months before reserves can arrive, if the reinforcement need is miscalculated, due to any number of unforseen factors.

I think this is borne out in the 3rd Ed Marine codex. Look at the composition of the Ultra Marine strike forces on missions. See any reserve troops assigned to them?

I just don't think any military force, even Marines, is good enough to predict the outcome of every battle before it happens, and the composition of reserves needed to support those losses. Nobody can do that...




The problem here is the fact that people don't take into account that the weapons may be lost with its bearer. If brother Lucius did not survive that battlecannon shell then I don't think his lazcannon would either; brother Julio's plasma gun just overheated and the plasma coil is fused solid, its going to take a long time for the Techmarines to fix etc. IMO if you are going to take min/maxed squads then really you shouldn't bother trying to justify it via fluff and the same goes for a lot of other fluff breaking ideas like the 3 Wraithlord combo. Stating that you are taking 6 and 8 man squads (optimised) because of 'battlefield casualties' is not really true. Better just to say that you are fielding a competitive army and have done with it. If someone was simulating battlefield losses then I would expect a lot more. Randomly sized squads that may contain 9 or 7 members, missing special and heavy weapons, missing sergeants, damaged wargear, damaged vehicles etc.
At the end of the day the Ultramarines may not always field ten man squads but due to their adherance to the Codex they would probably attempt to get as close as possible with the forces that they have available. In the fluff we see examples of Ultramarine commanders unable to 'think outside the box' as it were due to their unswerving belief in the teachings of the Codex. I don't mind to much with successor chapters as folk's can make up their own fluff (squad size is not a problem with their chapter) but I have always seen Ultramarines draw back as being their devotion to the word and spirit of the Index Astartes.

Kahadras

And about playing fluffy randomness...

So if your ten man squad takes four wounds, your going to roll randomly to see who is hit? As in real life? I think not!!!

Your going to play the squad heroically, which means veteran sarges, heavy and special weapons are the last to go.

And there is nothing wrong with assigning battle losses, and smaller squad sizes, if this same "heroic" principle is used in the formation of your battle force.

It's a two edged sword your wielding Kahadras... If you are going to apply randomness and reality to one, you must apply it to all.




That being said, I am not a supporter of tournament armies made up entirely of six man Las/Plas squads and Assault Cannons. And I would agree that such forces have no basis in Ultra Marine fluff, or any other fluff for that matter. Unless your going to create a twisted chapter to support a clearly power player type army. Such "Mauleed" type armies, are in my mind, a real disgrace to the hobby.

Warprat ;)

Kahadras
17-02-2006, 21:27
It's a two edged sword your wielding Kahadras...

I fail to see what you are getting at exactly. Firstly the reserve companies are present in the theatre were the battle companies are. They are far from months away, more like a Thunderhawk trip from their battle barge in orbit. Hell they can even drop pod in reenforcements. There will be marines on station to work exactly as they are ment to i.e reserves. They can go at the drop of a hat to support the battle companies it would be stupid to sugest that the chapter dedicates all its resources to the opening blow while holding nothing back in case the first attack bogs down or something untoward happens.
Basicaly after each battle the Space Marines will call down reenforcements from the battle barge/strike cruiser in order to replace their casualties, damaged equipment and knocked out vehicles bringing the unit back up to full strength.
Secondly I am not talking about battlefield randomness but if you want to use fluff then use good fluff. Go to town on your conversions, drop the odd heavy/special weapon, have some squads led by normal marines instead of a sergeant etc. Don't use the casualties excuse to justify taking optimised squads.

Kahadras

warprat
18-02-2006, 00:31
I fail to see what you are getting at exactly. Firstly the reserve companies are present in the theatre were the battle companies are. They are far from months away, more like a Thunderhawk trip from their battle barge in orbit. Hell they can even drop pod in reenforcements. There will be marines on station to work exactly as they are ment to i.e reserves. They can go at the drop of a hat to support the battle companies it would be stupid to sugest that the chapter dedicates all its resources to the opening blow while holding nothing back in case the first attack bogs down or something untoward happens.
Basicaly after each battle the Space Marines will call down reenforcements from the battle barge/strike cruiser in order to replace their casualties, damaged equipment and knocked out vehicles bringing the unit back up to full strength.
Secondly I am not talking about battlefield randomness but if you want to use fluff then use good fluff. Go to town on your conversions, drop the odd heavy/special weapon, have some squads led by normal marines instead of a sergeant etc. Don't use the casualties excuse to justify taking optimised squads.

Kahadras



If the whole chapter is assaulting one target/planet then I agree with you. But I see that as not being the norm. I think the chapter is usually on multiple smaller missions. I guess I see more smaller task forces being used, with the nightmare of logistics that creates. At least this is how it appears from the 3rd Ed codex.


The Tyranid invasion invasion caught the Ultras flat footed, and they barely held on with the First Company before they could gather their forces for a counter defense. Reinforcements take time to move into position.

When the First Company was wiped out. It would be rebuilt from the best men of the Battle Companies and to a lesser amount the reserves. That would at the very least, leave the Reserve companies understrength. When you add in the further losses in retaking their home world, your talking some real loses. And it's not like you can just pull whatever you need out of the Scout Company. Scouts are a necessary unit for most missions. Marines don't grow on trees, losses are going to be felt.

I suppose you could have a situation where a company at 75% strenght could have 5 squads of 10 men, and 5 squads of 5 men. So I will give you that. But it doesn't feel right to me...

Part of my objection is the real life efficiency of using the right number of people to preform a task. Too few, and the task takes forever, too many, and the people get in each others way. There is a perfect midpoint that provides a balance of force beyond the some of it's parts. Synergy...

This is not rocket science, using the right amount of people to do the job. And this is not lost on the military mind, where resources are always scarce. I think it would nor be lost on the Ultras either.


I think that reduced chapter strenght creates the situation where a Commander must assign understrength (based on 10) to perform certain assignments. Clearly, a commander would use a 5 man unit of men to shoot a Rocket Launcher/Las Cannon from a distance than use a squad of 10. That squad of 10 should be used for assaults if needed. I would hope that you would agree with me here...

So is it such a big streach to see where there might be some assignments where a various amount of men would be optimal, in certain situations? If you have squads of different sizes, you assign them to the task they are best suited for.

This is not an excuse for losses. It just seems more fun and fluffy to me. Sure if the Battle Company has rested and resupplied, then 10 man squads, even for long range fire, might be the norm.

I guess it all depends on how you envision warfare. I see it as a dirty business where heroic actions take place on a regular basis, and there are never enough troops to do what you would like. The losses have to be felt somewhere. And I don't believe that the reserve units are always available at a moments notice. Some, yes. All, no...

To my mind, you envision some kind of "A Team" Marines where no one dies, and the wounded are heard to cry out "I'm OK!" when their rhino blows up. I'm sure that's not true, but that is what I think of when you belittle the chapter losses I believe in.

So, I don't see it as a excuse. Now, if someone uses multiple squads of 5/6 man Las/Plas, as in a "Mauleed" power army, I could see your point, and agree with you. If, on the other hand, someone wishes to take a 6 man squad, a 8 man squad, and a 10 man squad. I see that as fluffy and appropriate. And the codex supports it. The codex that Ultras are built on... without being unorthodox in any way, (as in choosing advantages and disadvantages).


As for the two edged sword. You were suggesting that losses would be needed to be taken in a realistic nature, and that certain weapons would not be available because of that. I was attempting to point out that the heroic nature of game is played taking the most valuable people last. This is unrealistic of course, but fun. If you were to play the game realistically, you would have to give up much of the heroic fun element. Hence my two edged sword comment.


Warprat ;)

Kahadras
18-02-2006, 01:40
I think that reduced chapter strenght creates the situation where a Commander must assign understrength (based on 10) to perform certain assignments. Clearly, a commander would use a 5 man unit of men to shoot a Rocket Launcher/Las Cannon from a distance than use a squad of 10. That squad of 10 should be used for assaults if needed. I would hope that you would agree with me here...


I think the probelm here is translating game tactics into essecialy 'real life' situtions. A Marine captain does not think to himself 5 man laz plas squads are the way to go. He sees a tactical squad that needs to be proficent in every aspect of war. Remember that the five man laz plas squad becomes next to useless when it is force to clear out buildings for instance or perform a drop into the heart of an enemy stronghold. The ten men set up is there to give the flexibilty that a commander would need in every situation hence the idea of tactical marines. Devestators are the ones that hold back and provide supporting fire not Tactical squads. Its a good example of how the gamers have altered the perception of the reality of the 40K universe.
It's the same with the old Wraithlord idea. In the rush to fit them into their army people tend to forget that Iyandan is really the only craftworld to really use Wraithlords due to the fact that they are forced to by lack of living Eldar that can fight. The probelm is that we now view the universe through the eyes of a gamer (5 man laz plas squads make sense due to their cost but fail to fit very well into the fluff)


If the whole chapter is assaulting one target/planet then I agree with you. But I see that as not being the norm.

It still works if you have only a part of a chapter. Say three companies a best. The second, fourth and seventh company. The first two are battle companies so would be commited to the battle straight away. The seventh is held back to replenish casualties from the second and fourth company and to provide support that is needed. This IMO is a more realistic view of how the chapter fights (comming from the fluff way back in Space marine/Titan Legions)


To my mind, you envision some kind of "A Team" Marines where no one dies, and the wounded are heard to cry out "I'm OK!" when their rhino blows up. I'm sure that's not true, but that is what I think of when you belittle the chapter losses I believe in.


Yes and no in a way. Marines can take far more punnishment than a normal human can. They can lose a limb and keep on fighting where you or I would die from shock or bloodloss and they can heal far faster as well. They also rarely engage in open warfare prefering rapid strikes and suprise assaults. This leads to a fast, mobile kind of warfare that minimises casualties for them. On top of this they also have orbital reserves to call upon (see above). Again remember that we are looking at 40K through a gamers eyes. Space Marines rarely engage in the type of battles that we fight on the table top.
Taking all this into account the only times you would see very badly depleted squads is when the company is literaly on its last legs with no outside support to call upon.

I think our main difference comes from our view on how a Marine army fights. I personaly see them as a rapid reaction force. They don't engage in slugfests if they can help it and resupply regularly (after every mission). This leads to a small amount of casualties (most of the enemy were dead before they could even think about resisting) and plenty of time to draft in a few renforcements when needed.

Kahadras

Ardathair
18-02-2006, 05:34
To my mind, you envision some kind of "A Team" Marines where no one dies, and the wounded are heard to cry out "I'm OK!" when their rhino blows up. I'm sure that's not true, but that is what I think of when you belittle the chapter losses I believe in.

Concidering that Space Marine metabolism is supposed to be super human. Their ability to heal is supposed to be legendary. Between battles many who were knocked down would be able to fight again a few hours later.


They don't engage in slugfests

IG are for slugfests lasting months or years easily. Space Marines are rapid strike, in and out quickly.

One other point. If you never, or rarely field 10 man squads how can you say the smaller squads are due to combat loses?:confused:

hootier
18-02-2006, 09:00
I don't subscribe to the need for 5/10 squads. Why should Ultramarine players be limited in their squad sizes simply because their army is one of the most fluffed-out armies there is?

I don't see anyone complaining about the size of necron squads or fire warrior squads. And I'm sure that in the fantasy world in which we game, some Shas'O has written extremely detailed rules on how many fire warriors should be in a squad and some necron lord has calculated the optimum squad size based on very complicated algorithms. The only difference is that there isn't a pile of fluff on necrons and tau and there is fluff on Ultras.

So you're saying that all this fluff, which I might or might not care for, have access to, be able to afford, or even be able to read because it's not printed in my native language, should limit the way I build my army? Screw that.

20th Century Boy
18-02-2006, 11:00
Feel free to, just consider it a suggestion :) No on says Ultramarines have to be built that way, it's just an offer to those seeking a more distinguishing concept. Just on a note, that perceived "limitation" is far less limiting than people think. I never had any problems being competitive with my lists.

warprat
18-02-2006, 19:11
I think our main difference comes from our view on how a Marine army fights. I personaly see them as a rapid reaction force. They don't engage in slugfests if they can help it and resupply regularly (after every mission). This leads to a small amount of casualties (most of the enemy were dead before they could even think about resisting) and plenty of time to draft in a few renforcements when needed.

Kahadras


Yes, I think your right. This is how I view Marines also... but I see the Imperial forces as being so thinly streched, that the Marines are forced to fight many more battles than they would like to. In more difficult situations, sometimes desperate, then they would like to.

Most everytime they prevail handily, but the toll of mostly wounded, with a few dead adds up. It takes a long time to train up a Marine. If the attrition rate exceedes the training rate, gaps will occur. As long as this is confined to the Reserve companies, then there is little problem. When the Reserve companies become unviable as companies, due to depletion, it becomes an issue.

And I really feel the Reserve companies play more of a role than simply waiting thier turn to fight. I admit that I don't have a perfect understanding of this role, but fients and defense seem viable stategic options. The First Company remained on Macragge for home world defense, lesser Reserve companies have roles to play too.


My own chapter has a complete organizational chart, like the Ultra Marine one found in the 4th Edition codex. My army lists are based on my 3rd company, which is a Battle Company. I know how many squads of assaults, tacticals and devestators I can deploy to any single mission, and the support they can draw from. There are limitations... I add a futher limitation, by imagining my Battle Company to be sporting some losses. I like the 8 man squad as an average squad to build my lists. That means If I beef up one squad, I must take away from another within the company. This gives me a greater sense of the worth of each squad. I find myself assigning weapons to the sqaud, after I have determined the squads role. I am forced to base my lists with this contraint in mind.

I think this is different than the power gamer approach of selecting the weapons, and then the amount of men to match. Duplicating the 6 man Las/Plas in a non fluff manner. I have nothing against Las/Plas, or Assault cannons, I just think the weapons should fit the men, and not the other way around. My system forces me to moderation, without the less flexable constraints of the previous 5/10 system.

Warprat ;)

Kahadras
19-02-2006, 02:24
And I really feel the Reserve companies play more of a role than simply waiting thier turn to fight.

I don't think they just sit there and wait for the battle companies to take casualties. I see them more as back up; there to counter the enemy's moves. Say the battle companies drop on what is suspected to be the enemy's HQ and find out that it was a decoy site. The reserve company could drop on the real HQ at a moments notice rather than going through the task of retriving the battle company and ferrying it to the real HQ which may be a great distance away.

Kahadras

warsmith si
19-02-2006, 11:43
I'm currently building the 7th company of Ultramarines at the moment :D

I feel that the reserve companies would be used in 2 ways: either to fight battles on their own but also used to bolster battle companies fighting.....

If there is a siege against a heavily fortified target why would the 9th company (all devastator squads) not be sent in on its own?

If you want a rapid drop strike against an enemy why not just send in the 8th company, as 100 assault marines must be pretty powerful in a close assault situation......

The reserve companies can also be used to strengthen the battle companies for example whenmore assault troops are needed for an engagement.

I dont think they would sit around on their hands all day and probably see active duty almost as much as the battle companies. :)

jesusjohn
19-02-2006, 16:17
I always take My Red Crescent Marines in squads of ten. I'm fluffy.

warprat
20-02-2006, 18:24
I'm currently building the 7th company of Ultramarines at the moment :D

I feel that the reserve companies would be used in 2 ways: either to fight battles on their own but also used to bolster battle companies fighting.....

If there is a siege against a heavily fortified target why would the 9th company (all devastator squads) not be sent in on its own?

If you want a rapid drop strike against an enemy why not just send in the 8th company, as 100 assault marines must be pretty powerful in a close assault situation......

The reserve companies can also be used to strengthen the battle companies for example whenmore assault troops are needed for an engagement.

I dont think they would sit around on their hands all day and probably see active duty almost as much as the battle companies. :)




In 2nd Edition Epic, you could do that. Sometimes I would take the 9th company and hope for lots of buildings. When it went my way, they were very impressive.

I've pretty much got a whole Epic chapter of them... the 8th Assualt Company was fun to use too. Especially when you had three Thunderhawks to drop them where needed most.



Ah the old days... too bad Epic isn't in style any more...

Warprat ;)

brother_fandango
20-02-2006, 18:34
my only reason for taking a 10 man squad is for the fluf of my army, and thats to make them a suicide squad and make em enticing to enemy units. works like a charm.