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Thread: Tactical Space Marine Squads

  1. #1

    Tactical Space Marine Squads

    I don't have tons of experience playing 40k, and I'm curious to see what you all think of different organizations for the ubiquitous Tactical Space Marine Squad. We all know what min/max squads do and how they do it, so I was considering different ways of using them.

    In particular, I was wondering how 10 marine squads with a plasma gun and the true grit and counter assault abilities would perform.

    Also, what are some of the most effective ways you have seen them used, either by or against you?

  2. #2
    Chaplain 2841981's Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    i've always wanted to take just a ten man tac squad with no upgrades and try to use them tactifully.

    but i find the best way to field them is with 2 special weapons by taking cleanse and purify

    but if you take two melta guns dont take more than five marines, as its a waste of points for tank hunting

    likewise i would say not to take any AT in tac squads cause your just wasting bolter shots to take a pop at a tank

    so for standard configartions id say either

    10 marines 2 plasma guns (use as anti meq/terminator)
    10 marines 2 flamers, veteran sergeant w/ powerfist combi-flamer and in either a rhino or a drop pod (use to flush guardsmen, and especially eldar pathfinders from their cover)
    5 marines 2 melta's posibly with a rhino or drop pod (anti tank/ anti meq/terminators but plasma's are better for this job)

    thats just my thoughts, i imagine alot of people would prefer smaller squads though

  3. #3

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    I find a 5 man tactical with a PF and meltagun is a very effective tank hunting unit if mounte din a rhino.

    The meltagun and PF can double as both elite killers and tank killers meaning I can still do something useful afterwards. Failing that, they can go after those annoying swarms that always pin my HQs.. *cough* nurglings *cough*

    The only problem with 2 plasma guns is that you stand a good chance of over heating (1 or 2 if you double tap and on 2 guys PER UNIT? That's a LOT of plasma shots..).

    I tend to use flamers and meltas but that's just because I play BA and need to get into combat really. This makes my small tacticals for anti tank a little bit more efficient as I need to have anti dreadnought stuff in all my units basically. PFs FTW!!
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Not sure about True grit and counter-assault. I've played a lot of nurgle armies with it and even with T5 they struggle. Basically, I found that a lot of the time it simply brings more models into the kill-zones of dedicated assault troops and thus simply helps the squad get wiped out faster.

    However, at the most basic level, GW designed marine armies to be used by 70% of the 40k gaming community and around 90% of beginners. They made them very flexible and extremely forgiving. Whatever you decide to do, you can't go too far wrong.

    Personally, I used 87 marines with bolters or bolt pistol/close combat weapon, a captain with a Stormbolter and 2 Landspeeders w/Multi-meltas at a couple of 1,500 point tournies. Did pretty well with them actually. Conclusion? Even without special weapons a marine squad is pretty mean. They have the same stats as most armies' specialist troops...
    Shooting: BS4, T4, 3+sv, Ld 8, Know no fear
    Assault: WS4, I4, S4, T4, 3+sv, Ld8, Know no fear
    ...and basic marine squads don't give up many VPs as it is quite difficult to wipe out an entire squad before it falls back out of harm's way.

  5. #5

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    I'm under the opinion that the best vanilla Space Marine setup is Plasma + Rocket, because you can take out tanks (Krak), and you can take on Infantry (Frag). Plasmas are just good general guns because they're decent light anti-tank as well as slicing through Heavy Infantry like no other weapon. The next best setup is Plasma + Autocannon, but that's IG and Chaos only. Marines' second best is Plasma + Heavy Bolter.
    100 Gaunts on the field to shoot down, 100 Gaunts on the field, you shoot just one, then reload your gun, 99 Gaunts still alive to shoot down
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    Of course an autistic kid would go 3-0 with that list, autistic kids are ******* smart, man. Just don't expect him to talk much during the battle.

  6. #6

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Hard to believe all the Las/ Plas guys have beeen wrong for all this time.

  7. #7
    Chapter Master shutupSHUTUP!!!'s Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    ReveredChaplainDrake, the lascannon is much better than the missile launcher in Tactical Squads I'm afraid. The frag missile and 5 points you save are not worth what you lose (a point of strength and AP). This is really a no-brainer when it comes to points-efficiency.

    The missile launcher outdoes the lascannon for cost in Devastator Squads on the other hand, but in Tactical Squads the viable heavy weapons options come down to the heavy bolter and lascannon.

    The lascannon is just very efficient for it's price in a Tactical Squad (especially combined with a plasma gun), whilst the heavy bolter is cheap and effective at it's role (rather than poor at it's role as with the frag missile).

    I think a plasma gun is the best option for a squad with true grit and counter assault. If you rapid fire the plasma gun and bolters at close range you won't be able to charge. But you'll get the benefits of an extra attack and moving your models in anyway due to the special rules (assuming you get charged).

    It's the best of both worlds with a Tactical Squad since nothing is wasted.
    Last edited by shutupSHUTUP!!!; 15-07-2007 at 02:56.

  8. #8

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    I've used the Missle Launchers vs Orks. Mind you not the heavy armored nobs, but the standard boys with 6+ armor saves. you'd think that the beverage coasters would do more, but i've never once in a game been able to cause casualties with a missle launcher. I feel the lascannon will at least net you a kill every single time, regardless of what it shoots.

    To bolster your point, s.u.S.U., the devastation caused by the rapid fire shouldn't leave much of a threat behind to get charged by.

  9. #9

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    I accept the fact that Rockets aren't the tank-killers that Lascannons are, nor the horde-killers of Heavy Bolters. Provided that you had the squads, you'd be better off taking a Lasplas and a HvyboltPlas and just deploying them somewhat intelligently. However, the fact that Rockets actually are capable of both roles makes them indispensable, particularly when you don't really have the option for both a Lascannon and a Heavy Bolter, for whatever reason. And you'd figure that, with a Tactical Squad, flexibility would be the Aim of the Game, so to speak. (I'm also a DooMer at heart, and nothing blows up the Forces of Hell from afar like a Rocket Launcher.)

    Plus, Rockets tend to have a crippling psychological effect on every army in the game. Have you ever seen a player (particularly of a horde army) space out every model in their army so that their ranks are paper-thin, just because you have a few missile launchers in your lines? Sort of like the effect of a Flamer, only the range doesn't suck.
    100 Gaunts on the field to shoot down, 100 Gaunts on the field, you shoot just one, then reload your gun, 99 Gaunts still alive to shoot down
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firaxin View Post
    Of course an autistic kid would go 3-0 with that list, autistic kids are ******* smart, man. Just don't expect him to talk much during the battle.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Well then, if we're in for braging rights I use 1 squad of 6-10 with V/S P/W and flamer. Another with V/S with combimelta, melta and 3rd with V/S P/W, flamer and rocket.
    No extra skills or crap, and they've shot to pieces SM vet squads time and time again. The whole thing is to support them, they may be tacticle, but they always need the help of the specialists.

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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Always been a fan of six Marines with two Special Weapons in a Razorback.

    Your Heavy becomes Move-and-shoot (*and* twin-linked!) and you get maximum firepower on the ground because you can always move your Squad *and* shoot all your weapons.

    But then *I* think that every army should be Mech or Airmobile.
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  12. #12

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Quote Originally Posted by starlight View Post
    Always been a fan of six Marines with two Special Weapons in a Razorback.

    Your Heavy becomes Move-and-shoot (*and* twin-linked!) and you get maximum firepower on the ground because you can always move your Squad *and* shoot all your weapons.

    But then *I* think that every army should be Mech or Airmobile.
    I'm not a big fan of rhinos/razorbacks because they're just so easy to plink/obliterate. But that's a different story. :-)

    Reading this thread and building army lists is quickly making me a fan of multiple special weapon squads if you're not min/maxing.

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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Yes, but sometimes the mobility is just worth it. Besides every time he shoots at a non-Scoring Transport that's another unit *not* shooting at your Scoring units.

    Sometimes it's about making noise and looking scary over *here* while the work gets done over *there*.
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  14. #14

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Basically you'll want to field the squad larger if your going to risk getting into CC. A heavy and a special isn't a bad choice if ya pick the right heavies. Afterall even if ya move and waste a couple rounds doing such and not letting your lascannon fire. Afterall you may only need a round or two to take out a pricey tank, so don't be afraid to move when the option is good.

    Though I usually go..a heavy and a melta gun..then just in case they need to up close tank hunt they can. As well it's one non overheating instakill shot on most things.

  15. #15
    Chapter Master Krootman's Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Also, what are some of the most effective ways you have seen them used, either by or against you?
    Well since you said space marine im going to assume you mean codex sm.

    So a few rules when making a space marine squad that everyone should follow imo.
    1) even man squads if you can help it, 6, 8 (I prefer 8) or 10
    2) if you take a Vet a powerfist is almost always better then a power weapon
    3)if you are making an all commers list, weather heavy assaulting or shooting, its always useful to put heavy weapons in your squads. At the very least take a heavy bolter, its only 5 points and you never know when it can be useful. Worst comes to worse you don't use it....but its only 5 points so its really not a big loss.
    4) At the end of the day, the best marine armies are the ones that are the most tactically flexible. The ones that can react to anything and can improvise on the fly. So with that in mind try to make your squads the most flexible as possible, of course their are expections, but try to make a squad able to do everything if possible.

    Some squad combos I like are

    1) 8 man scout squad with bolters, a missile launcher, and a vet with a p fist
    this squad can do everything from counter infiltration to tank busting to close combat to hoard control when up close. For 142 points imo its a steal.

    2) taking the traits cleanse and purify and purity above all lets you take a 8 man squad with 2 plasma guns with a vet apoth armed with a p fist in a rhino.
    Take these squads in groups and put them in rhinos and watch as they do damage. They are made for close range firefights useing the rhinos as cover and once you are close to your opponent the rhino wrecks can double as a 4+ cover save to hide your squad in. The powerfist lets you hold your own in combat as well.

    When put close the apoths really keep your marine squads up and running alot longer then they should and they also are a safeguard vs plasma overheating. Not only that but they help with the morale checks and make them a **** to break.

    Yea apoths make your vets about 100 pts...but if you think about how many marines they can save over the course of a game there is no reason to take them.

    Finally in a dev squad always make sure you follow these rules
    1) at least a 2:1 ratio, 2 marines for every heavy weapon (can be more if you want)
    2) Only guns worth taking in a dev squad are heavy bolters and missile launchers, if you want lascannons take missile launchers with tank hunter. (if you need monolith killing get the lascannons from your troop squads its cheeper that way)
    3) Only take a vet if you plan on them getting charged otherwise its not worth it.

    Just my 2 cents, hope it helps
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    Chapter Master Krootman's Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    ReveredChaplainDrake, the lascannon is much better than the missile launcher in Tactical Squads I'm afraid. The frag missile and 5 points you save are not worth what you lose (a point of strength and AP). This is really a no-brainer when it comes to points-efficiency.

    The missile launcher outdoes the lascannon for cost in Devastator Squads on the other hand, but in Tactical Squads the viable heavy weapons options come down to the heavy bolter and lascannon.

    The lascannon is just very efficient for it's price in a Tactical Squad (especially combined with a plasma gun), whilst the heavy bolter is cheap and effective at it's role (rather than poor at it's role as with the frag missile).

    I think a plasma gun is the best option for a squad with true grit and counter assault. If you rapid fire the plasma gun and bolters at close range you won't be able to charge. But you'll get the benefits of an extra attack and moving your models in anyway due to the special rules (assuming you get charged).
    Your 100% right here couldn't have said it better

    I'm not a big fan of rhinos/razorbacks because they're just so easy to plink/obliterate. But that's a different story. :-)
    I lot of people who play me on a regular basis, don't bother shooting at my rhinos unless they can first turn, if they cant they won't even try to kill them untill turn 3 at the earlest because they know that once my rhinos get into position (turn 3 at the longest) I would prefer that you blow them up. Rhinos in the hands of someone who knows how to use them are really scary imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryAngel
    Why did ya pick the name krootman ? You a kroot supporter by chance ? I just ask because everytime I see ya post I think of a rather intellectual kroot wearing glasses debating something.

  17. #17
    Chapter Master shutupSHUTUP!!!'s Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    However, the fact that Rockets actually are capable of both roles makes them indispensable, particularly when you don't really have the option for both a Lascannon and a Heavy Bolter, for whatever reason. And you'd figure that, with a Tactical Squad, flexibility would be the Aim of the Game, so to speak.
    Well the missile launchers versatility can work for you... in Devastator Squads. They aren't bad weapons but I'd say the lascannon is even more versatile because it is actually good at the roles it serves (rather than mediocre).

    I ran two Devastator Squads with 4 missile launchers each once and killed about 20 Orks in a single turn as well as destroying vehicles etc, they can be effective (in niche circumstances). The problem with the frag missile is it only works when used in bulk and then only against certain enemies (Tyranids, Orks, Kroot). The fact that you can fire the krak missile the rest of the time makes it a good option nontheless. The 5 points price difference is not enough though, neither is the 10 points difference in Codex: BA or DA for that matter.

    Plus, Rockets tend to have a crippling psychological effect on every army in the game. Have you ever seen a player (particularly of a horde army) space out every model in their army so that their ranks are paper-thin, just because you have a few missile launchers in your lines? Sort of like the effect of a Flamer, only the range doesn't suck.
    Yeah it really benefits you to make the enemy space his troops out for numerous reasons. I'm not sure a handful of frag missile in Tactical Squads would achieve that effect though, a Whirlwind or some plasma cannons would be better at this role and more effective at their main roles.

    I lot of people who play me on a regular basis, don't bother shooting at my rhinos unless they can first turn, if they cant they won't even try to kill them untill turn 3 at the earlest because they know that once my rhinos get into position (turn 3 at the longest) I would prefer that you blow them up. Rhinos in the hands of someone who knows how to use them are really scary imo.
    Indeed, nothing is more annoying than parking a rhino in front of your opponent's firebase and waiting for him to blow it up, creating a size 3 wreckage he can't shoot though.
    Last edited by shutupSHUTUP!!!; 15-07-2007 at 15:29.

  18. #18
    Chapter Master Krootman's Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    Indeed, nothing is more annoying than parking a rhino in front of your opponent's firebase and waiting for him to blow it up, creating a size 3 wreckage he can't shoot though.
    I even made wrecks for my speeders because depending on who im playing I will sometimes send my tornado up to go for a lucky rend and then if it dies It still works cauase I juse f's my opponents firebase.

    Oh and dont forget the wreck gives who ever is in it (meaning the squads that deployed behind the rhinos) a 4up cover save when they move into the wreck

    Yeah it really benefits you to make the enemy space his troops out for numerous reasons. I'm not sure a handful of frag missile in Tactical Squads would achieve that effect though, a Whirlwind or some plasma cannons would be better at this role and more effective at their main roles.
    eh idk about the plasma cannon, the ww def...but the plasma cannon well....its kind of a waste especially vs hoards Imo I would stay away from the plasma cannon at all costs these days. They cost too much and there is only a few circumstances where they are actually usefull.
    Last edited by Krootman; 15-07-2007 at 16:27.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryAngel
    Why did ya pick the name krootman ? You a kroot supporter by chance ? I just ask because everytime I see ya post I think of a rather intellectual kroot wearing glasses debating something.

  19. #19

    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    bah dont insult the mighty plasma cannon krootman, i dont leave home without four!!

  20. #20
    Chapter Master shutupSHUTUP!!!'s Avatar
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    Re: Tactical Space Marine Squads

    eh idk about the plasma cannon, the ww def...but the plasma cannon well....its kind of a waste especially vs hoards IMO I would stay away from the plasma cannon at all costs these days. They cost too much and there is only a few circumstances where they are actually usefull.
    In a Tactical squad the plasma cannon is very dubious. In the new BA and DA codexes however, plasma cannons have gown down in price by ten points in Devastator Squads which makes them much more viable I think.

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