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Archangel_Ruined
13-02-2010, 15:16
A point was raised in another thread about the best use of tactical squads in the current codex and ruleset. However, it was raised in a confrontational manner and got the thread closed. It did raise a valid question though, how do you think it best to equip a standard marine troop choice? My personal choice is to use them as special weapon delivery squads, which is why I prefer the chaos and space wolves tactical equivalents. Other than that I think keeping them as basic as possible is preferable. What are the rest of you up to, do you make the most of the combat squad rules, are there any people who still like to run hard as nails sergeants? Rhino, drop pod or footsloggers? What results are you getting back from them? Do you run them for fluff, cool or gaming reasons?

All thoughts welcome, just don't go declaring your choice 'best' and all others 'stupid', it isn't helpful or constructive.

WinglessVT2
13-02-2010, 15:31
I use them to apply mobile pressure, and to tank firepower.
They're not very killy, not very fast, and not very 'tactical,' but they're fairly durable - especially with cover and a rhino.

I dare say, tactical squads have never been as good as they are under the 5th edition marine codex.

naloth
13-02-2010, 15:34
I'm not a SM player, but the config I see most often is a Tac melta/multi-melta squad w/PF under ("I TL everything") Vulkan in a Rhino. It's pretty effective. The other SM (non Vulkan) player jumped ship to SW and uses dual special weapons.

WinglessVT2
13-02-2010, 15:36
Yeah, that's something which bears special mention, actually.
Tactical squads can pack A LOT of melta, for a very reasonable price, and with good accuracy.

samiens
13-02-2010, 15:36
For me it would have to be the standard melta-missile-fist squad in a rhino. They are all about supporting other units and cleaning up in my opinion and the above build is flexible and can handle itslef in an assualt- plus if its within 12" of kantor becomes a decent assault squad.

that said, they aren't the front line fighting unit that say Grey hunters or CSM are- they are all about providing a cheap flexible option that can take objectives. Alone they aren't the best troop choice but the number of bespoke 'solutions' in the marine codex means they work ok if used right.

Corrode
13-02-2010, 15:37
I have an MM/MG squad and a flamer/ML squad. The MM/MG tend to take forward objectives, park up and apply some area denial, or provide clutch anti-tank if it's needed. The flamer/ML squad sits at the back, throws out blast templates and krak missiles as required, and holds a home objective. The flamer is free, and works as a last-gasp anti-infantry measure if it's needed, so why not?

I've considered going with plas/plas, which gives me the same number of blasts (but a better one), better anti-M/TEQ and anti-light-vehicle/MC, and a special weapon which matches range with the bolters better. Haven't tried them out yet, though.

Rhino goes without saying - I don't like footslog Marines and drop pods are too unreliable (though I do like them for Dreadnoughts - nothing like flinging a couple of Ironclads into someone's front line).

Sergeants get fists if possible or power weapons if not - I play CF, so having a bunch of giant red power fists everywhere kinda suits me. In-game the fist rarely does much, but at the very least it threatens nasty things and every little helps.

Balragore
13-02-2010, 15:41
I dare say, tactical squads have never been as good as they are under the 5th edition marine codex.


Except for when they were cheaper (didn't have already included upgrades for example), and more customizable (didn't require 10 marines to get anything other than bolters on anyone but the sergeant for example).

As for the op, I honestly don't know about regular SM, since as soon as the SW codex came out, that is the codex I use. For Tac-Squads using the SW codex I use them with either plasma guns a bit more staticly, or with meltas and assault upgrades and aggresively.

Pyriel
13-02-2010, 15:41
first of all, i apologise if i offended anyone before. i called myself "dumb" exactly so it doesnt come off as if i was calling people names. it failed, so i was a jerk. that is a fact and i apologise for that.

now, about tactical squads...
my opinion is, it depends on the codex. for standard SM codex, i'd think they are forced to take advantage of their boltguns since they cant take multiple special weapons. also, they dont have many attacks in cc, so most of the times rockhard sergeants are unnecessary.

examples :
for rhino/podding squads, the flamer produces more s4 attacks to complement boltgun rapidfire, and a combi-flamer makes the squad cool at anti-infantry roles. such a squad wouldnt even get a heavy weapon if it wasnt for free-since its free, i'd choose a multimelta just to defend vs tankshocks(not that it'll ever shoot). the total cost is just 180 points.
*take a powerfist, however, and in my opinion you ruin this squad, as its supposed to be a pure shooting squad and its cost will explode, reaching 205 points *for no actual bonus*, which imho is too high. so, again imho, no powerfist, at least not in this variant.

for stand-and-shoot squads, i'd go base them on the heavy weapon; the heavy bolter or the missile launcher seem good at complementing botlguns at medium range, and a meltagun would free the squad from tankshocking away from objectives. just 175 points.

there could also be some plasma variant; plasmagun, combi-plasma, plasma cannon. just 195 points, and can take out most heavy infantry in the game.

all this of course is so that each tactical squad will have *one* role, and not suffering from the 'jack of all trades master of none' syndrome so much. my reasoning is, they suck at cc, but are at least moderate-to-good at anti-infantry shooting, so we gear them up for anti-infantry shooting.

Worsle
13-02-2010, 15:43
Sergeants get fists if possible or power weapons if not - I play CF, so having a bunch of giant red power fists everywhere kinda suits me. In-game the fist rarely does much, but at the very least it threatens nasty things and every little helps.

Or you could just save the points and just run away. Fists don't do enough and now you are not going to be tied to combat with a tactical squad you no longer have the need for a fist. If it was a chaos army with its fearless units you would need a fist to stop things like dreadnoughts just eating their way though your squads but marines really don't need that. You even said it your self, tends not to help so why keep it?

As to set up? Meltas of any kind and flamers are both great weapons to take and you need to be in a rhino or razorback. Walking troops are a bad idea in the 5th and SM can make a rather good mech force so mech up.

WinglessVT2
13-02-2010, 15:46
Powerfists are really just life-insurance, and 'don't go near me'-markers.
Characters and damaged monsters go out of their way to avoid tactical squads with a fist-sergeant.

Tacticals can run away when it's smart to do so now, their transports are cheaper, you get all the grenades, some free stuff, a sergeant, and all it cost was one more point per guy.
I don't have much of a problem with this, really, but then again, my marines always cost at least 16 points back then, too, since I took at least frags.

WodenMHC
13-02-2010, 15:58
I really think the Fists on Tactical Squad Sergeants are never going to achieve as much as their price tag (especially in multiple tac squads) warrants. It's often better to simply lose a combat via combat tactics, fall back, rely on And They Shall Know No Fear, and rapid fire/special weapon fire the unit. This is also why I generally prefer Plasma Guns and Flamers over Melta Guns on my tactical squads (when not experimenting with Vulkan). You can easily get faster Melta in lots of places in the Marine Codex. This is especially interesting when giving the Sergeant a combi-plasma. As far as the Fist being a deterrent to Walkers, IC's, etc - It's not difficult to deal with a Walker (of any army's variety) before it get to charging your Tactical Squad (who could simply remain in their transport, Walker blows transport, Marines shoot Walker dead/move). Anything delivering an IC is going to waste your Tactical Squad anyway, and it isn't even that difficult to position assaulting troops and the IC in such a way that the Fist can't target him anyway. Just my two cents. I'm sure I'll have to revisit these ideas when I bring back my 2nd Edition Blood Angels army that contains no Jump Packs (all tacs or assault squads in Rhinos).

Griffindale
13-02-2010, 16:05
Rhino 10 man squad w/ powerfist/PG/Hvy bolter where it needs to go and drop them off. Thats too much firepower for the enemy to ignore.

Dragoon King
13-02-2010, 16:51
I love Plasma Guns, so my Black Legion uses an abundance of them. I tool my AC up pretty good, my Death Guard ones have Powerfists, the rest Power Weapons. I use 2 tac squads with Heavy Bolters, usually try to dump them out of Rhinos into good cover, so they can lay down fire for a WE squad and CSM squad with Icon of Khorne. I foot slog the DG, as they are tough to kill anyways. Chaos tac squads are so versatile, I'm never really at a disadvantage no matter what the mission. On the other hand, the cult troops are very good at what they do, especially the zerks. I do envy combat squads of the loyalists, my buddy uses them to great effect, putting the stabby part of the squad in Razorbacks, and getting the heavy stuff in cover. Very tough to counter, especially in larger games where he can take a lot of Razorbacks. Bare bones or pimped out, both SM and CSM tac squads are nasty if played well. My power armoured fellows usually do better than my termies, almost every opponent focuses on the termies, when really my tac squads should be what they worry about. Personally, I like to put as much pressure on the enemy as possible with everything but the DG, they like to sit back a bit and wait on Droppods, hehe. Everything else is mechanized, usually following behind a speeding Land Raider, and supported by Raptors.

Corrode
13-02-2010, 16:58
Or you could just save the points and just run away. Fists don't do enough and now you are not going to be tied to combat with a tactical squad you no longer have the need for a fist.

I mostly run with either Pedro or Lysander at the moment (like I said, Fists) so my units are Stubborn rather than having Combat Tactics - the chances of me getting to run away from a combat are very low unless I can avoid it altogether. If my Tacs have ended up in a fight, though, that's usually because every last option for getting them away has failed, at which point it's 25pts of insurance against things like MCs and characters.

e: Also, like I said, rule of cool.

Archangel_Ruined
13-02-2010, 17:12
If you're a fists player the rule of cool says they're mandatory, much respect. I've always felt I'd be happier with vanilla tactical squads if they had the option for a heavy flamer. If I could run 10 men, a fist, flamer and heavy flamer in a rhino I'd have a forward objective grabbing unit to be feared. As it is I moved to the space wolf codex so at least I could run 2 special weapons. It cost my assault marines a little but then I gained with my devastators so swings and roundabouts really.

Fallenity
13-02-2010, 17:25
Shouldn't this be in the Tactics section...?

Concerning the topic, I use footslogging ten-man squads with a Heavy Weapon or then a Flamer or Plasma Gun. If they got a heavy weapon, I sometimes separate the squads. All this depends on my opponent, but since I usually play horde armies it's pretty standard.

Archangel_Ruined
13-02-2010, 17:31
I did consider that but it isn't all down to tactics. Some people include things for fluff, rule of cool, gaming or just to use the models they own. I'm interested to see what people are running and why, not the absolute math hammered best combo for x,y and z. Not many people seem to be running razorbacks, I only use them with longfangs myself, it's both fluffy and common sense.

Worsle
13-02-2010, 17:39
Corrode being stubborn would change things around a little, why I don't like it. I must prefer just pulling out and shooting, tacticals are not melee squads and should not be equipped like them either. However if you are going to be stuck in combat like as a fearless CSM units you need a fist to stop things like walkers just walking in and laughing at you.

Razorbacks are good but you normally need them in numbers why you don't see them used much. Some one will try adding one or two to their list find it does not work and stop. Makes sense for people to do that but does miss the strength they have.

WinglessVT2
13-02-2010, 18:07
To be fair, they're not much of a 'shooting troop' for their cost, either.

WodenMHC
13-02-2010, 18:17
I mostly run with either Pedro or Lysander at the moment (like I said, Fists) so my units are Stubborn rather than having Combat Tactics - the chances of me getting to run away from a combat are very low unless I can avoid it altogether. If my Tacs have ended up in a fight, though, that's usually because every last option for getting them away has failed, at which point it's 25pts of insurance against things like MCs and characters.

e: Also, like I said, rule of cool.

Fair enough! Rule of Cool is always good. Also, if you're running troops that are Fearless or Stubborn, a Fist in the squad makes a good deal more sense since the combats are likely to be more protracted. My Space Wolves are in a similar position without Combat Tactics - Some combats I'd like to keep a Wolf Guard with Fist with a Grey Hunter Pack (rough equivalent of Space Wolf Tacticals), and there are some where I'd like to lose the combat and leave. Most often I win combats, however, as the Grey Hunters have more base attacks and other additions. My Wolf Guard look cooler with Combi-Weapons and Powerfists anyway.

bossfearless
13-02-2010, 19:16
I generally don't use Tac squads in most games, since my army's theme does not suit it. Crimson Fists, as I interpret them, have all of their surviving members from the pre-Snagrod era elevated to veteran status by constant fighting and field a disproportionally large number of newbie Scouts to replace losses. That said, Tac squads never seemed all that cost-effective for me but if I when I used them it was usually a combination of Drop Pods and Rhino/Razorback style. I would use the DP to drop a MM/MG squad mid-table and create a defensive strongpoint, combat-squadding as the squad got our so the Sgt and meltagunner could slog up and take objective while the MM squad gave covering fire. This was usually done as the second wave of a drop pod assault, whereas the first wave was usually Sternguard and an Ironclad. A Rhino/Razorback would bring up the Sgt/Special weapon half of another tac squad while the long range element, a ML or lascannon, stayed back and shot from cover. One thing that I can't conscience is the way most players will put a heavy weapon in their Tac squad and then run it around in a rhino all game long, moving every turn and never firing the gun. Even if it was a free MM that counts as TL when you shoot it, it never helps you at all if you never fire the thing.

My problem here is that between the squad and the rhino you have over 200 points that, in my experience, does relatively little. Squad plus PF plus meltagun plus free MM plus Rhino=235, if I have the math right. I could take 5 Sternguard with Combi-meltas in a rhino for 185 and they could do so much more, or I could pay 5 points more and get a Redeemer. I could pay 150 for 10 sniper scouts with a ML who outperform my expectations of them every game, or 145 points for 5 Scouts, Sgt with meltabombs in a Storm with a MM that wipe out half my opponent's armor in the first turn. People tend to freak out when I field my army and claim that I'm cheating in tournaments, saying that I "must have too many points," but the math always checks out. I get to field 2 land raiders, assault termies, 2 HQs and 2 kitted-out sternguard squads in an 1850 game with plenty of Troops support and transports for everyone specifically because I DON'T throw all my points into overpriced and underpowered tactical squads which don't suit my style of play.

brightblade
13-02-2010, 19:27
I use three tacs most times.

i) pwr weapon, rocket, melta
ii) pwr weapon, rocket, flamer
iii) rocket, flamer.

Squads one and two in rhinos. Their versatilty works well for and I love them in a theme sense too.

But then at 1750pts I also take a squad of ten scouts with a HB, four snipers, power fist sergeant and five shotguns (with the five shotgun/sergeant in a Landspeeder Storm) so I am probably not the best for tactical advice.

Here comes the charge of the fun brigade! Ker Boom....:D

Giganthrax
13-02-2010, 19:30
Tac squads are rather inferior compared to most other 5th ed codex troops. They can't hunt tanks very well because they can't take two specials, they can't shoot at range very well because they have only one heavy weapon, they can't assault well, and they aren't any better survivors then every other MEQ out there. On the whole, they're just a support choice.

Their only real advantage is combat squads, which is really nice in objective missions. Combat Tactics aren't very good on tacticals as they're slow and will usually keep running in the consequent turns. ATSKNF is nice but it still requires you to get your ass whooped before you can take advantage of it.

There are, however, ways to make tacticals at least marginally scary. Pedro's aura gives them that one much-needed attack that really goes a long way towards giving them some punch. Vulkan actually makes them highly killy if you give them a combiflamer and a flamer. Librarians's null zone allows tacticals to murder daemons, zoanthropes, etc.




On the whole, however, with the trend of giving newer codexes very powerful troops (IG, Orks, SW, upcoming BA, and even CSM), tacticals are rapidly looking worse and worse. The only newer codexes that, so far as I can see, lack good troop choices are the vanilla dex, and the new nids.

If I was a designer, and it was my job to make tacticals good within the current codex, I would do some or all of the following;

- give them the ability to take a heavy flamer as their heavy weapon
- give them the ability to be able to choose between firing their multimelta either with multimelta or meltagun profile
- give them a special bolter drill rule that allows them to either reroll failed to-hit rolls when rapid firing with bolters, or to enable them to rapid fire 3 shots instead of 2

The way I see it, tactical marines should be THE shooty marine troops. We got plenty of assaulty guys (SW, CSM, and upcoming BA), so it's time to have a marine list that has some highly shooty troops that can really lay down the pain with their bolters. I believe this is both fluffy and unique. :)

Darkangeldentist
13-02-2010, 20:19
My Dark angel tactical squads have endured much over the years, they aren't as good as 'Codex' tactical marines but I find they do pretty well in the game. I generally field two squads in my standard 1500pt list and both it and they have served me well.

10 strong with powerfist and meltagun
10 strong with powersword and plasma cannon

The plasma cannon squad almost always combat squads whilst the meltagun one stays together to help protect the powerfist. This has tended to give me a durable troop base with one unit I can leave on a home objective and two that move reasonably freely around the table.

Tactical squads are modest units, they can take out a wide range of things but crucially they need to focus on the types of unit they can threaten with their bolters, pistols, and fists. The special and heavy weapons I tend to use more as weapons of opportunity than anything more. Against armour I've learnt that krak grenades can upset many tanks and callous use of a combat squad can do wonders for protecting against enemy assaults. (Which leaves the engaging unit nicely vulnerable to counter-attack.) A pistol shot followed by a charge also seems to make the tactical marine at least a competent melee fighter, particularly against foes that don't like combat. Rapid-firing bolters also make for a decent hail of fire.

I'm not trying to make out that tactical squads are awesome, they aren't, however they are capable and I find the best way to use them is to make the most of their bolters.

Balragore
13-02-2010, 20:31
That's a damn good point Giganthrax, why the hell can't SMs take a heavy flamer?

WinglessVT2
13-02-2010, 22:57
Because if they could take heavy flamers now, GW would have zero actual improvements to make to them for 6th edition.

shabbadoo
14-02-2010, 01:14
I use them to apply mobile pressure, and to tank firepower.
They're not very killy, not very fast, and not very 'tactical,' but they're fairly durable - especially with cover and a rhino.

I dare say, tactical squads have never been as good as they are under the 5th edition marine codex.

They were just as good in 2E, when they had most of the same unit options with regards to heavy weapons, and could be broken up into combat squads.

Tactical Squads not being very 'tactical'? I'll have to say you are on crack. Definitely on crack.

*They can be deployed in 10-man squads with a variety of special and heavy weapon configurations(no point in listing them all) to suit specific tasks. They can also take Rhino transport for added protection and assault/re-deployment capability.

*They can be deployed in two 5-man combat squads in a variety of wargear configurations(once again, no point in listing them all) to suit many tasks. They can also take a Razorback for just one of the squads for added fire support and assault/re-deployment capability.

There is no other squad in the game that has the level of usage that a Tactical Squad has. It can be fire support, assault support, or even both if you use the combat squad option. The Tactical Squad is the most versatile unit in the game.

librisrouge
14-02-2010, 01:29
I play blood angels currently and I take one tactical squad because some things murder assault marines so the extra bolter shots give me options.

It is - ten marines, one meltagun, and a powerfist
Plenty of bolt rounds, one anti-tank/heavy infantry shot, and a sergeant that means I'm not just wasting time to throw them in with my assault units. NOTE: They don't do things by themselves, that's a quick suicide.

Since it appears that Blood Angels are getting codex marine options, I'll probably through in a Multi-Melta (extra anti-tanks shot, great in a Rhino if they are coming toward me) and I might down-grade to a power weapon on the sergeant since they'll likely have access to furious charge somehow.

Archangel_Ruined
14-02-2010, 12:47
The multimelta could just go back to 2nd ed rules, focussed and broad shots, I'd get my heavy flamer that way, along with nasty AT... No, I can hear the complaints starting now.

Corrode
14-02-2010, 13:15
Yeah, I really wish I could have a heavy flamer. I'd swap the ML for one in an instant, and use it as a proper forward-and-flame squad. Some kind of smaller anti-tank special weapon (maybe the Astartes grenade launcher?) would be nice as well, you could pair it with an ML and have a fairly tactical Tactical squad.

Archangel_Ruined
14-02-2010, 14:44
Heaven forbid! No, I'm with you on that, I think giving the full squad the option of going forward or standing back without penalty would be handy. I just can't see the benefit of a free flamer if you're standing next to a lascannon. I know that's what combat squadding is for but I also feel 5 marines just aren't durable enough to be sent in for close work. I think adding the option of a heavy flamer would get around most of the shortfalls of the tactical squad without rewriting any of the fluffy history. That has to be an absolute win win situation, something that improves the unit and makes Guilleman happy.

Grand Master Raziel
14-02-2010, 16:55
- give them the ability to be able to choose between firing their multimelta either with multimelta or meltagun profile

That would be my solution, too. In addition, I'd give loyalist SM forces the heavy bolter with suspensors, a la the DWKT. That would give them a couple of options for Tac Squads with two mobile weapon upgrades. I doubt Chaos players would complain, because their squads already have the option of taking 2 specials and ubergrit to boot.

I'm also a bit puzzled by the lack of love for Tactical Squads. I think it's because players want units with clearly defined roles, and Tac Squads aren't that kind of unit. Some of the configs you see (melta+MM being the most overt) are, IMO, an ill-advised attempt to turn Tacs into a dedicated-role unit.

As far as how I configure Tac Squads goes, I feel the PF is a must. Yes, if you're playing straight vanilla, you do have the option of trying to leg it out of combat, which does help. However, it's not always a good option. Also, sometimes you may want to pre-emptively attack - jumping on an MC that has only 1 or 2 wounds left, say. Your chances in that fight are way better with the PF than they are without it. Even against fresh MCs, having a couple full squads with PFs dogpile on the thing is a reasonably good way of bringing it down, if needs be.

Rhinos are also a must. To get the most out of Tac Squads, you need to be able to close with them and get into positon more rapidly than they can manage on foot. The name of the game is localized supremacy, and you stand a way better chance of achieving that with Rhinos than without.

Any of the 3 special weapons are good options, but lately I've been leaning towards flamers and meltaguns. At that range, I like to keep the option of charging open, and double-tapping with a plasma gun prevents me from doing that. Depends on what I feel like I need. Flamers have the obvious anti-infantry application, and meltaguns have the obvious anti-tank application. Plus, if you whiff with the meltagun, you can probably charge the vehicle and try and put paid to it with kraks and the PF. Alternately, in this edition if you pop a transport, you can charge the forcibly-disembarked squad.

As far as heavies go, there are two heavies I will never use in Tac Squads: lascannons and multimeltas. I won't use LCs because it's an anti-tank heavy, and using it wastes the rest of the squad's capabilities. Practically begs for combat squadding, and I don't like to do that, either. The MM suffers from the same problem, but it only has half the range and only a 12" optimal range, which you're never likely to get into with a weapon that you can't fire after moving. I feel it's better to take an anti-infantry heavy to take advantage of synergy with bolter fire when applicable. The ML can be used in this fashion, plus has a handy dual-role capability. The HB is specifically anti-infantry, but its performance is kind of underwhelming when not massed. My preference is typically the plasma cannon, which can be used to engage virtually anything, but is particularly good against all sorts of infantry. Very few infantry heavy weapons can gut a MEQ squad with one shot, but the PC can, if they're packed tightly enough, which happens more often than you'd think.

elbigsam
14-02-2010, 19:05
I'm new to the game, bought 2 aobr boxes. Putting together 1000pts of vanilla marines from the 2 boxes.

As far as tactical marines, when can they use combat tactics? I suppose I don't fully understand it.

elbigsam
14-02-2010, 19:06
I'm new to the game, bought 2 aobr boxes. Putting together 1000pts of vanilla marines from the 2 boxes.

As far as tactical marines, when can they use combat tactics? I suppose I don't fully understand it.

Archangel_Ruined
14-02-2010, 20:11
You can split a full 10 man squad into two 5man combat squads when you deploy, they both count as scoring but only take up one slot on the FOC. Some people like it, I'm not such a fan. It worked better back in the olden days when men were men, marines were gods and everything else was scared.

Veloxnex
14-02-2010, 21:09
One of the worst choices in the codex.
170 points is just too much for a squad that meching up nueters. They dont do anything better then any other choice gearing for the same role and normally end up more expensive to boot.
combat squading is all fine and good untill you realise how easy it is too clear away 5 marines.
Dakka preds bring better, cheaper anti infantry, speeders for anti tank, anything else for combat ability.
If scouts could take razorbacks i'd have them over marines, but as it is i have 10 in a pod and 5 in a lazback. the longer in can keep the pod out the better.

Edit:
Just nosed through stats of a recent tournament here, 70 players, no one with 20+ tactical marines ended up in the top half of the rankings. i was the highest marine list coming in a 6th with only 15 scoring bodies.
Your countries meta may differ but mech rules here.

hiveminion
14-02-2010, 21:34
One of the worst choices in the codex.
170 points is just too much for a squad that meching up nueters. They dont do anything better then any other choice gearing for the same role and normally end up more expensive to boot.
combat squading is all fine and good untill you realise how easy it is too clear away 5 marines.
Dakka preds bring better, cheaper anti infantry, speeders for anti tank, anything else for combat ability.
If scouts could take razorbacks i'd have them over marines, but as it is i have 10 in a pod and 5 in a lazback. the longer in can keep the pod out the better.

Edit:
Just nosed through stats of a recent tournament here, 70 players, no one with 20+ tactical marines ended up in the top half of the rankings. i was the highest marine list coming in a 6th with only 15 scoring bodies.
Your countries meta may differ but mech rules here.

Tacticals shine in a mech environment in my opinion. As long as your own army is meched up, their transports (whether razorback or rhino) add supportive armour to whatever else you're fielding. They also do one thing very well that nothing else in your army will do as effectively, CLAIMING OBJECTIVES. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Veloxnex
14-02-2010, 21:48
They cost too much to do it effectively. Scoring razorbacks are about as good as it gets.
i play with the sole objective of wiping the oppositon off the table, doing it 4 of 5 games over the weekend.

hiveminion
14-02-2010, 21:53
They cost too much to do it effectively. Scoring razorbacks are about as good as it gets.
i play with the sole objective of wiping the oppositon off the table, doing it 4 of 5 games over the weekend.

Ah, is that so.

Well us mere mortals will have to settle with winning by claiming objectives with those worthless Tactical Squads I'm afraid.

Archangel_Ruined
14-02-2010, 21:58
Easy does it, easy...

Veloxnex
14-02-2010, 22:26
or, right, you could not and take more killy stuff to stop the opponent scoring and then win.

Simples.

elbigsam
15-02-2010, 00:26
I see people mentioning that codex marines can break away from close combat at will. Is that accurate?

Corrode
15-02-2010, 00:32
I see people mentioning that codex marines can break away from close combat at will. Is that accurate?

Via use of the Combat Tactics rule, yes. There are two similarly-named rules: Combat Squads and Combat Tactics. Squads lets you split a big squad into a small one, and Tactics lets you break away from combat (among other things). Importantly, Tactics is replaced by the various Chapter things, but Squads isn't. Any more than that you'll have to read in the Codex.

Worsle
15-02-2010, 00:34
Pretty much, if the lose a round of combat they have the option to auto fail their LD test. Given pretty much anything that charges a group of SM willingly will beat them in combat then yes you can run away at will. It is a very over looked ability given how much people fixate on Vulkan for how much it gives.

Archangel_Ruined
15-02-2010, 00:37
It's handy, it isn't all powerful though. Losing combat means losing marines, this is a bad thing. Vulkan offers far more than you lose for taking him.

elbigsam
15-02-2010, 00:41
Ah, I didn't understand the logic of anything engaging the unit would defeat it. That helps.

Worsle
15-02-2010, 00:51
Ruined things will hit your guys eventually, you can't expect it to never happen. The ability to pull out at the end of their turn leaving their unit nice and exposed should not be over looked. It also lets you drop fists from your list with some confidence, giving you points you can use better else where. Can do a number on things like stealers, still not a game winner but a tool that should not be forgotten.

The Marshel
15-02-2010, 01:16
Ah, I didn't understand the logic of anything engaging the unit would defeat it. That helps.

perhaps you desperately need to get a heavy weapon shot off next turn. lose combat can brake you off to a decent distance then, ATSKNF can allow you to get off a shot.

certainly not a good reason, but its all i can really think of.

I run flamer mm powerfist most often. I find that the flamer is both effective and offsets the cost of my fist somewhat. mm because frankly i don't make much use of heavy weapons in my tact squads. I find ML and heavy bolters ineffective on their own, and plasma cannons and lascannons are only really worth the points if you purposely intend on firing them frequently throughout the game. I'm not a fan of combat squadding and i prefer sniper scouts for objective holding as they are generally cheaper and more enjoyable. So the MM is the last heavy standing. That said, its a great weapon of opportunity and forces the opponent to actually consider the squad when moving around their heavy armor. A decent guard player is gonna know he needs to keep away from that melta with his russes/helhounds/chimeras etc. not to mention the rare times when you manage to park a rhino in front of something for a turn without it blowing up.

the power fist i find a nice all round combat weapon. I4 S4 attacks are good but anything with a decent save doesn't care overly much, or anything particularly tough. the powerfist does threaten these units, as well as providing ID and reliably threatening tanks. meltbombs are kinda undermined by allowing only 1 attack, which really hurts when the tank has moved. plus, given the norm back armor is 10 its not overly necessary.

If we were to delve into wish listing, I'd love tactical with heavy flamers, but frankly i dont really see it ever happening seems unvanillamarine like in an odd way

Torga_DW
15-02-2010, 01:24
For combat tactics in close combat, my understanding of it is that once they choose to fail their morale test, they still have to escape by way of initiative roll off. So leaving combat isn't guaranteed, it just means they have to risk getting hit with no retreat.

NightrawenII
15-02-2010, 09:40
For combat tactics in close combat, my understanding of it is that once they choose to fail their morale test, they still have to escape by way of initiative roll off. So leaving combat isn't guaranteed, it just means they have to risk getting hit with no retreat.
Thats Hit&Run, not combat tactics.:rolleyes:

Edit:
To add something on topic.:)
MMs broad and focused shot will be nice, HF too. But instead of HB with suspensors, what about StormBolter as the special weapon?

ehlijen
15-02-2010, 10:18
The main value of combat tactics is to stop the enemy from shooting you too much before charging.

If he shoots you enough to cause a morale test, you can say 'I fall back' and gleefully saunter out of his charge range (most of the time anyway). So what it does is make the enemy either shoot or assault you, but rarely both. So either you get to fight with most of your marines in combat (and they're decent at it despite the naysayers) or his assault unit will be caught in the open by your regrouping squad next turn. Neither may save you, but it's better than being savaged by shooting and then having the squad wiped out in combat.

This isn't a guarantee that that always happens, but it seems to be the reason for combat tactics to exist in all the games I've seen.

And yes, falling back from combat using combat tactics isn't guaranteed: first you have to actually loose. Second you do have to pass the opposed I test or be treated as fearless instead.

And I don't think tactical squads need any new gimmicks. The bolter is meant to be the decent default weapon to which you can add a specialist situational weapon or a fire support weapon. Each of their options fulfills a specific role and there's nothing they can't do at least somewhat effectively, as troops units are meant to.

I don't have a preference, but usually it's power weapon and either flamer and lascannon or melta and missle launcher. Sometimes nothing for the sarge and plasma/plasmacannon.

NightrawenII
15-02-2010, 10:53
This isn't a guarantee that that always happens, but it seems to be the reason for combat tactics to exist in all the games I've seen.

And yes, falling back from combat using combat tactics isn't guaranteed: first you have to actually loose. Second you do have to pass the opposed I test or be treated as fearless instead.
:eyebrows:
Then you or I play it in wrong way.:eek:

ehlijen
15-02-2010, 11:20
:eyebrows:
Then you or I play it in wrong way.:eek:

I'm voting you, because I know that I don't play it wrong. All combat tactics does is let you choose to fail a morale test instead of rolling it, otherwise the normal combat procedures are followed.

Corrode
15-02-2010, 11:28
:eyebrows:
Then you or I play it in wrong way.:eek:

It's you, I'm afraid.

NightrawenII
15-02-2010, 12:36
I'm voting you, because I know that I don't play it wrong. All combat tactics does is let you choose to fail a morale test instead of rolling it, otherwise the normal combat procedures are followed.
*Head-desk*
You are talking about Sweeping Advance and ATSKNF! This rolling for Initiative nad fearless thing make me all confused.

Archangel_Ruined
15-02-2010, 12:43
It happens. Falling back to avoid combat is a better idea most of the time anyway.

Hypaspist
15-02-2010, 14:01
Predominantly I play Dark Angels, and at 1750, and in this mix I use two tactical Squads.
(I almost purely make all-comers lists these days, in fact I can't remember the last time I tailored)

Yes there are games where they get *Butchered* (like in the last game, where one squad got caught by a swarmlord in a 3-way game), but I also find games where they are an absolute godsend.

Both kitted out with Powerfists, Melta Guns, and Missile Launchers. (and an obligatory Rhino.)

I find it gives me a nice mix, depending on what I need for the game.
I certainly don't have the sorts of complaints that I am seeing here about them.
They are a good solid choice, capable of taking the fight to most units, and provided you don't waste them, will serve you well.

elbigsam
15-02-2010, 14:47
This discussion has been educational for me. As my list grows I think I will try scouts as additional troops. Having the. Marines fall back allowing pot shots from snipers sounds great.

Pyriel
15-02-2010, 14:52
hmmm... i think the important difference here between players is the following:
some people believe tactical marines are "okay" for close combat,hence they use powerfists to increase it, while others do not.
myself, i consider tactical marines as below-average at close combat, since most competitive armies you'll meet outmatch them*, hence i believe space marines should be built as a nearly pure-shooting army, albeit one that performs best at close ranges. this also takes greater advantage of the army's combat tactics rule, which is cool.

hence, no powerfists, creating a very important reduce in the tacsquad's cost, and as a consequence, its performance regarding to that cost.

* the competitive armies you are going to usualy meet at tourneys are orks, chaos, space wolves, imperial guard, eldar, maybe tyranids. since except for imperial guard, and maybe eldar , all the rest armies will PWN you at cc, fist or no fist, even if squads will charge you at less than full strength (i.e. 20 out of 30 boys or 7 out of 10 berzerkers; no fist will save you even then) the tactical squad can therefore be considered as a VERY BAD cc unit in the current environment, and not an "ok/average" one.

Skyros
15-02-2010, 15:10
I think tactical squads are great at anti infantry and holding objectives, but rather mediocre at antitank work. The one special/one heavy combination can be kind of clunky to use effectively, but combat squadding really helps here.

I'm kind of surprised to see so much hate at the power fists; SW players regularly run WG with powerfists with their squads, and I think WG have the same # of attacks as a sergeant, and the PF upgrade costs the same, I think. of course, SW don't have combat tactics, so if a walker gets in combat with you, there's a good chance you'll be stuck there. And of course - SW squads are generally more melee oriented than normal tac squads - no heavy weapon, one more attack in CC.

It's definitely true though that adding a power first to 3 squads really is a serious points investment...but for those 70 ish points, could you buy something that could save a tac squad in combat with a walker, for example?

WinglessVT2
15-02-2010, 15:14
It's not about 'saving' them, really.
The powerfist is only there to make things not want to get near you in the first place, and it tends to work quite well.

When a walker gets into combat with them, they tend to maybe sorta potentially hurt it a bit, still lose the combat, and then you pull them out with combat tactics.

Pyriel
15-02-2010, 15:15
I think tactical squads are great at anti infantry and holding objectives, but rather mediocre at antitank work. The one special/one heavy combination can be kind of clunky to use effectively, but combat squadding really helps here.

I'm kind of surprised to see so much hate at the power fists; SW players regularly run WG with powerfists with their squads, and I think WG have the same # of attacks as a sergeant, and the PF upgrade costs the same, I think. of course, SW don't have combat tactics, so if a walker gets in combat with you, there's a good chance you'll be stuck there. And of course - SW squads are generally more melee oriented than normal tac squads - no heavy weapon, one more attack in CC.

It's definitely true though that adding a power first to 3 squads really is a serious points investment...but for those 70 ish points, could you buy something that could save a tac squad in combat with a walker, for example?

i can buy something that will save the tacsquad cheaper: 0 points, combat tactics :P if at close combat, run away since vanilla marines realy suck at cc. now if we were talking space wolves or black templars, i'd say otherwise.

EDIT, after hypaspists' post below: i agree. i was thinking we were saying simple vanilla marines. in raven guard sm and templars codex, i do use powerfists. *and of course i dont forget i could be the one generaly mistaken*, just no argument has convinced me that "shooty unit that sucks at cc" (tacsquad) that *can* run away, shouldnt.

Hypaspist
15-02-2010, 15:22
I would say that there is a good argument for any space marine army that is not using combat tactics (SW/DA/BT/Vanilla utilising special character ability) to utilise a Power Fist.
They are costly at the price you pay, particularly for multiple squads, however I would much rather pay for one, and give myself a reliable (Krak grenades do not cut it against Walkers) chance at defending the points already invested (ie being able to damage a Walker/High Toughness MC), than have to write those points off in a situation where they are forced into close combat with an undesireable target.
It is, as stated above, a nice deterrent to IC's without EW as well.

Skyros
15-02-2010, 15:31
i can buy something that will save the tacsquad cheaper: 0 points, combat tactics :P if at close combat, run away since vanilla marines realy suck at cc. now if we were talking space wolves or black templars, i'd say otherwise.

My problem is every time I try this I get 'swept' and take fearless saves and am locked into combat anyway. Usually something that is going to beat me in CC does so via better initiative - or at least similar initiative. I'm usually not trying to fall back from Tau Fire Warriors, for example.

And as noted, PF's do seem to serve as a powerful psychological deterrent.

Pyriel
15-02-2010, 16:47
i totaly understand you skyros: but fleeing has some chances of helping the squad (even if others have 1-2 pts higher init), the powerfist does not... its just not powerful enough for a squad that is supercrappy at close combat. if they were average/ok, i'd agree. but "1 attack" is sucky, "WS 4" is AVERAGE in the current environment, and init 4 is crappy too. they realy have nothing going for them in cc except for toughness, which isnt even so uncommon anymore. the marine statline is generaly used as 'the base'.

so if berzerkers charge you, you lose, even with a powerfist. if boyz charge you, you lose, even with a powerfist. its better to play "cowardly shooty army that is a short-range toug version of Tau", since thats what the rules encourage.

jspyd3rx
15-02-2010, 17:26
I give melt bombs to sargents. Very small points investment

shandy
15-02-2010, 17:42
I play DA and when going with Greenwing will have three tactical squads as a base to build on.
One will have a Sarge with Powerfist and a flamer as well as Rhino. This squad's aim is to be able to take objectives\assault. Rhino is the delivery system and the flamer helps whittle down numbers (along with the shooting) before assaulting in. Powerfist is useful as a deterent as well as dealing with anything tough
One will have a plasma gun and then a missile launcher to sit on an objective or hang back and provide fire support (Rhino is optional).
Final squad is Rhino based and normally will have a melta gun and heavy bolter. Acts as fire support for squad one- occasionally will play around with other heavy weapons.

I find that this tends to give me a good base to build on and is relatively flexible. Occasionally I will put a fist in the final squad but normally just stick to the one.

WinglessVT2
15-02-2010, 17:46
Tacticals fold to pretty much anything, powerfist be damned.
Seriously, it's just there to remind veterans of all the times they lost characters, expensive vehicles, and monsters to them over the years, and it works like a charm keeping those three away from your tacticals, and thus the spearhead and flanks of your army.

Badger[Fr]
15-02-2010, 18:09
Tactical Marines should be able to roll two dice and keep the best result when getting swept. That would make Combat Tactics much, much more powerful than it is now. A slight point drop (10, 20 points at best) would be fine too.

WinglessVT2
15-02-2010, 18:10
Tactical squads should have access to heavy flamers, too, but that's sadly not the case, so we have to make do with what we have.

Raisans
15-02-2010, 23:04
tactical squads are just boring

Oguleth
15-02-2010, 23:42
I'm not a big fan of tacticals; mostly because it's a lot of points for "boring". Most of the time, it feels like I get the most out of em by combat squading them and have 5 with a flamer and some bolter in a rhino and 5 with one missile launcher. The lone meltagun is a bit chancy, and it seem better to leave that kinda thing to something else. And the flamer and 4 bolters can always hurt some xenos or human scum if you manage to blow up their transports. And the missile launchers can always be used on stuff that dont need meltaattention, or add some templates.

I'd really like to try to run scouts or possibly bikes instead of tacs, but as boring as tacs are it doesn't really feel like playing marines without them.

I seldom bother with powerfist on tac sgts, simply because of ws4 and and 2a. If someone wants to tie up 5 marines with a wraithlord, they are free to do so. If able, I'd most likely drive/run as far as possible away from walkers/mcs if they walk aswell, anyway.

Dragoon King
16-02-2010, 01:02
Tactical squads should have access to heavy flamers, too, but that's sadly not the case, so we have to make do with what we have.

Hell, at least you get Plasma Cannons. I'd kill for those in my Black Legion tac squads, lol. And as for tac squads being boring, try Chaos. Field some zerkers, just the psychological impact they have is fun to watch. Watch as your opponents curse at how tough Death Guard squads are, that is until they realize power toys cut em down pretty quick, hehe. It's a balance, you loyalists get nifty things I'd love to have, but then again you don't get AP3 bolters or a bunch of bloodlusting looney zerks either. Of all the units I field, my Zerks and Plague Marines are the most vital, and they soon will be joined by some shooty-bad 1kSons. How can you not love Chaos tac squads (besides the points cost, ha)?

ehlijen
16-02-2010, 01:15
If the iconic marine with a bolter that is meant to embody everything that is good about the space marines is boring, I have to ask, why are you playing marines?

The entire army is built around marines. You have the tactical allrounders (and to be allrounders they have to be ok at everything and not great at anything or else why have specialists), the fire support devestators, the jumping chargers and the super tough terminators. The army is meant to be based around the tacticals supported as needed by special weapons and squads.

Mabd
16-02-2010, 03:05
If the iconic marine with a bolter that is meant to embody everything that is good about the space marines is boring, I have to ask, why are you playing marines?


I'm probably in a minority, but I don't really like lots of vehicles and such (walkers, MC's, Dreads etc) on the table. I love infantry battles with a teeny tiny bit of support. Nothing, to me, signify's the grinder of 40k than a gameboard full of troops in close combat and laying down ranged fire etc.

To that end, I love Tac Squads. Primarily, with 10 members, Asp Champ with PW & Plas Pist, flamer and meltaguns. Not saying it's the best load out, but I have fun.

AngryAngel
16-02-2010, 05:18
I'll be honest I love the Tac marine. Mine don't fold so easily to CC units. Probably because they either fight together or are supported by the rest of the army, as they should be. No unit in isolation with the marines will hold up. Playing as DA has taught me one thing, combined arms is the rule of the realm.

They can really do anything with reasonable chance of success. They are tough as they are marines. I use mine more for shooting then CC, but it will happen sooner or later. If you did you job right however, should be manageable CC's coming your way, as thats why you widdle them down in shooting.

The ability to shoot, or move and take some pistol shots then charging, or simply doing a bit of both is very nice.

I have total faith in my Tac marines, and they have never let me down. Just use your support units to back up your Tac marines, as its supposed to be, and they will work with you just fine.

elbigsam
16-02-2010, 06:48
im feeling fine about tac squads at the moment, i have 2 full tac squads at 1000 pts

i am wondering if i want to add more at 1500 is all

currently i think i want to add in some scouts to my list.

deepstriking terms, plus librarian with gate, plus squads of scouts lets me move some marines around pretty fast with no transports.....maybe.

TheUltima
16-02-2010, 08:02
:/

I find tac squads to be almost a broken unit...
Havent played many games where there cost isnt made back...

My build is simple

10 man. 1 PF, 1 Plasma and 1 Rocket launcher/Plasma cannon
Dedicated transport razorback

on deployment split the squad...
5 man with PF and Plasma get in and charge forward in the Razorback...

The other 5 make a solid objective holders...with a long range threat..

Sure...5 man aint scary in combat... but they can tie most things up for long enough to allow your heavy weapon to let rip..

Its only a bit fail in dawn of war deployment .... as a single squad counts as you two troop choices..

Corrode
16-02-2010, 09:11
If the iconic marine with a bolter that is meant to embody everything that is good about the space marines is boring, I have to ask, why are you playing marines?

The entire army is built around marines. You have the tactical allrounders (and to be allrounders they have to be ok at everything and not great at anything or else why have specialists), the fire support devestators, the jumping chargers and the super tough terminators. The army is meant to be based around the tacticals supported as needed by special weapons and squads.

The problem is that Tactical Marines aren't very Tactical and are rarely very exciting to play with. The heavy/special dynamic means that you have one cool weapon that rarely gets used, either because you're moving all the time or you're out of range all the time. Even if you do use it, it's just the one shot - it's useful, but it doesn't quite have the feeling of playing my Orks where everything I do means throwing a bucket o' dice. If you combat squad, at least one group of 5 dudes is walking, which is not a good position to be in if you're an expensive Marine.

Coming back to the not very Tactical thing, well, it's pretty much what it says. Tac Marines are almost too generic. Sure, they're ok at everything, but with 1 Attack they're pretty much too weak in combat to beat anything that isn't a Fire Warrior, which isn't exactly the GODS OF WAR image that GW put across. At range, they have to be in 12" to really get the most out of them, and that means that if they don't shred what they're shooting they're likely to get assaulted. Marines vs. Marines being such a common match-up doesn't help with this - if you play against Guard infantry hordes or Orks who've left the KFF bubble, bolters are amazing weapons. Most of the time though it's the exciting, '3+ to hit, 4+ to wound, 3+ saves, oh hey I killed a couple of your dudes I guess'. This is all ignoring the fact that to get the kind of bolter volley one needs to get the most out of the weapon, you have to get out of the tank - not a nice prospect for a 170pt squad, which by simply leaving the tank invalidates the heavy weapon, and by firing its bolters invalidates a power sword or fist that the Sergeant might be carrying. T4 and a 3+ save only gets you so far in these days of AP3/2/1 templates all over the shop, and I'm sure I'm not the only Marine player who basically has the philosophy of 'if my Tacs aren't in their Rhino, either I'm about to table him or something's gone wrong.'

The weapon choices somewhat compound all this. I touched on the problem of having short-ranged specials and long-ranged heavies (but only one of each!) in the same squad, but it's really the lack of things which work together. I can take a flamer, which only really matches range with a multi-melta, but even then that means one of them is going to spend the game firing at a non-optimal target (again, unless you combat squad, but that means one of them is walking). Plas/plas or las/plas works alright, and MM/MG is thematic even if the range you have to get to for the MG means that you rarely fire the MM. The missile launcher doesn't really fit with anything - the iconic flamer/ML squad doesn't make much sense when you think about it. Heavy bolters have the same problem, in that it's a 36" 3-shot heavy weapon best suited to anti-light-infantry, its partner in which is the flamer which is a template weapon...

This is why I suggested adding the heavy flamer and the extremely gimmicky and underused (at the moment) Astartes grenade launcher to the line-up. The heavy flamer pairs nicely with the regular flamer, and the grenade launcher can serve double-duty with the missile launcher. Either that or just allow them to take two specials or two heavies. I know a lot of people like the idea that the squad are 'generalists', but very often they're 'general' to the point of not being very good. I'd prefer to be tactical in my gear layout (the squad with the flamers are going to suck if they meet a tank, but I can take a power fist to help with that) and my game choices (frag or krak grenades/missiles, etc.) than because someone decided 20 years ago it would be 'cool' to have the heavy/special dynamic and didn't really think it through.

fluffstalker
16-02-2010, 09:23
Heh. I dont think my tac squads every leave their rhinos. If the rest of my list doesnt handle the opponent, usually the tacs wont help much other than adding some bolter fire on exposed soft targets. Their just there to grab objectives and take up my troop choices. Definitely not as bad as cron warriors, but sometimes, thats what it feels like taking these 200-250 point troop choices.

Giganthrax
16-02-2010, 09:34
Power fists are good on tacticals.

They enable the tacticals to get a few kills/wounds on stuff they would otherwise be unable to even touch. Vehicles, MEQ, and monstrous creatures are great examples of this.

If supported properly, a powerfist gets all the better. For example, with pedro cantor nearby, a powerfist sergeant throws 4 str8 power attacks on charge, which is on average going to kill 2 MEQ. Not at all shoddy.

Likewise, powerfists profit a lot from taking advantage of terrain. You're playing against the new nids or orks without frag grenades? If you're gonna get charged, then you should hug the terrain, so your powerfist gets to strike at the same time the enemy does.

Finally, Independent Characters without EW (the majority, in other words) are going to be reluctant to get within striking distance of your powerfist. Even those 2 attacks on defense will, on average, get a single powerfist wound on an IC, and as dice would have it, I see ICs dying a lot from those single instant-death wounds inflicted by powerfist sergeants.

Powerfists effectively make tactical squads a lot more tactical by giving them a measure of close combat power.



EDIT: As for tac squads camping in their rhinos... That's sadly true. The only times they should leave their rhinos is when you're already winning and it's safe to come out and rapid fire/flame something.

It's just one fact of life for vanilla players - unless we're doing bikes, we got crappy troops and have to accept that and keep it at a reasonable minimum (two tac squads), while saving points for serious killy stuff.

shabbadoo
16-02-2010, 10:05
hmmm... i think the important difference here between players is the following:
some people believe tactical marines are "okay" for close combat,hence they use powerfists to increase it, while others do not.
myself, i consider tactical marines as below-average at close combat, since most competitive armies you'll meet outmatch them*, hence i believe space marines should be built as a nearly pure-shooting army, albeit one that performs best at close ranges. this also takes greater advantage of the army's combat tactics rule, which is cool.

:rolleyes:

Tactical Marines are not below average at Assault or Shooting. They ARE the average. Assault Marines are above average in Assault, but below average in Shooting. Devastators are above average in Shooting, and ever so slightly below average in Assault(due to the lack of a special weapon).

Tactical Squads are one of the most versatile units in the game with regard to the many options one has in how to field them, and to what purpose. They can be fire support, assault support, or even both. The only other units that can claim that are Veterans of some kind, and they are often limited to 5-man squads that are very expensive in comparison. Tactical Squads can also be fully mechanized or only partially mechanized. This is irrespective of holding objectives, which as Troops they can also accomplish. Sounds like a recipe for teh suck to me. :p

Yeah, so if Tactical Squads only had more options than they do now(they are close to the top in the number of options they have among squads across all army lists), then they wouldn't suck. :p

As to the boring bit, I think people either must be playing them in boring ways or building their miniatures to look boring and characterless. I've built a few boring looking Tactical Squads myself, but I've never viewed them as anything but useful. I have never really thought of Tactical Squads as boring, just not very dynamic. Chapter specific bits surely helps, as well as building your models in more interesting ways/poses.

Here's an old and boring Dark Angels combat squad I painted around 3E era:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=48409&d=1227006250

And here's an extra boring Blood Angels combat squad by Lamenter (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239189) for you: ;)

http://www.masteroftheforge.com/images/january10/basquadlarge2.jpg

hiveminion
16-02-2010, 10:47
Adding a Heavy Flamer to the list of wargear options would just make Tactical Marines another 'point-and-click' unit. It also really doesn't fit their flexible nature.

A lot of people are bashing on Combat Squads, claiming 5 Marines are too easy to kill and don't kill much themselves, but are simultaneously complaining the heavy weapon is near useless when you're on the move. Yes 5 Marines are easier to kill than 10, but two separate Marine squads of 5 are harder to kill than 10 in one squad.
Will they kill much? Of course not! That's not their purpose. They're Troops so they should be claiming objectives.
Your Heavy Weapons can snipe some armour or infantry while they're guarding their objective, but anything they kill is just bonus. Yes your bolters are doing nothing, but they wouldn't be doing much anyway!
Your Special weapon squad can move out in a Rhino/Razorback and contest enemy objectives, or just add support to your main killer units. They won't be killing much either, perhaps the occasional artillery or weakened infantry squad, but that's it. That's just fine, perhaps they'll draw some fire away from your killer units or survive to contest an enemy objective.

Corrode
16-02-2010, 11:44
Tactical Squads are one of the most versatile units in the game with regard to the many options one has in how to field them, and to what purpose. They can be fire support, assault support, or even both. The only other units that can claim that are Veterans of some kind, and they are often limited to 5-man squads that are very expensive in comparison. Tactical Squads can also be fully mechanized or only partially mechanized. This is irrespective of holding objectives, which as Troops they can also accomplish. Sounds like a recipe for teh suck to me. :p

And yet versatility != generalists. Ork Boyz can run a solid shooting squad or a nasty combat squad in the same unit, simply by swapping sluggas for shootas. They don't need to choose between 3 different specials and 5 different heavies, and yet a mob of Shoota Boyz can compete in both shooting and assault, can bust tanks with the mandatory PK, can fight elite infantry with weight of numbers and light infantry with low-quality high-number attacks and walkers/monstrous creatures with the soak-and-klaw strategy. With pretty much binary options (leaving aside esoteric stuff like 'ard boyz, grenades etc.) they can be much, much more generalist' than Tactical Marines.


Yeah, so if Tactical Squads only had more options than they do now(they are close to the top in the number of options they have among squads across all army lists), then they wouldn't suck. :p

It's not so much about more options as focused options. There simply is no good weapon to pair a heavy bolter with; of the 3 specials, the flamer has the same role but at a completely different range (and requires you to move), the melta has an entirely different role (and again a completely different range), and the plasma gun has a divergent role (both are anti-infantry, but plasma is suited to M/TEQ and light vehicles whereas the heavy bolter is suited to light infantry and shots of opportunity at rear armour and papier-mache vehicles). Missile launchers suffer the same thing, as does the lascannon to an extent (it can be paired with the plasma gun for TEQ/MEQ sniping, but it's more expensive and has a lower potential killing ability than the plasma cannon, plus the 2 strength difference means that it's either overkill for light vehicles or the plasma gun is wasted on MBTs). The heavy flamer and AGL things are basically so that squads can pair up a bit - you still have the option, if you so wish, to take a flamer and heavy weapon and combat squad, but if you'd like to run a more focused squad you can. As I said, there's nothing tactical about sticking two dudes with completely different battlefield roles in the same squad and saying 'lol, well one of you guys better chillax because you're not gonna shoot this game'.

Combat squads is the answer, but 5 Marines on their own really just isn't enough - a good round of FRFSRF can wipe that out, let alone the kind of nasty things that are roaming around.


As to the boring bit, I think people either must be playing them in boring ways or building their miniatures to look boring and characterless. I've built a few boring looking Tactical Squads myself, but I've never viewed them as anything but useful. I have never really thought of Tactical Squads as boring, just not very dynamic. Chapter specific bits surely helps, as well as building your models in more interesting ways/poses.

I think you're wrong on this. Personally, I love the basic Tactical Marine models - I built a new Tactical Squad just the other day, and when I'd finished I looked at it and went 'oh wow that's cool'. I'm looking forward to painting it, which is more than I can say for the Land Raider I have sitting on my shelf. The problem is that playing Tactical Marines in 'boring' ways is the only way to play them. As I highlighted above, they're not killy enough to be one of 'those' units, they're not solid enough to be a lynchpin (like say Plague Marines), they're not numerous enough that I can laugh as I remove them, and half the time they don't even get out of the case. I've played full games before which I won handily without my Tactical Squads ever leaving their Rhinos, and I wouldn't change a thing about how that game was played because it was by far the best thing to do with them.


Adding a Heavy Flamer to the list of wargear options would just make Tactical Marines another 'point-and-click' unit. It also really doesn't fit their flexible nature.

Having stupid weapon options which don't work together is 'flexible'? This is like those posts you see on the GW site, where they talk about how 'cleverly' one of the studio guys has armed their Devastator squad with four different weapons so they can 'take on any threat' - or rather, fail at any task. I know a lot of people dislike 'redundancy', but I like it - both from a gameplay perspective and from an it-makes-sense perspective. This is particularly true of vanilla Marines, who're meant to mirror the kind of disciplined Romanesque legion feel - I don't recall the Romans ever giving 2 of every 10 dudes different weapons to the rest (one of which was a bow, the other of which was a greatsword he couldn't swing without breaking up the formation) because it was 'tactical'.

I also feel that this whole 'flexibility' deal takes away from the idea of Marines as a combined-arms force. The whole point is that it's a small number of elite dudes supported by a bunch of other stuff - so why is it that they have to be 'flexible' in discrete ten-man units and not 'flexible' as a whole force? Rather than have two dudes in different squads with flamers paired up with a heavy weapon which has nothing to do (or gets told to stand at the back of the class), put the two flamer dudes together and get one of the missile guys a weapon which supports his missile-launcher-buddy's function.


A lot of people are bashing on Combat Squads, claiming 5 Marines are too easy to kill and don't kill much themselves, but are simultaneously complaining the heavy weapon is near useless when you're on the move. Yes 5 Marines are easier to kill than 10, but two separate Marine squads of 5 are harder to kill than 10 in one squad.
Will they kill much? Of course not! That's not their purpose. They're Troops so they should be claiming objectives.
Your Heavy Weapons can snipe some armour or infantry while they're guarding their objective, but anything they kill is just bonus. Yes your bolters are doing nothing, but they wouldn't be doing much anyway!
Your Special weapon squad can move out in a Rhino/Razorback and contest enemy objectives, or just add support to your main killer units. They won't be killing much either, perhaps the occasional artillery or weakened infantry squad, but that's it. That's just fine, perhaps they'll draw some fire away from your killer units or survive to contest an enemy objective.

This is just about the most bizarre opinion I've seen here in a while. The whole idea that Troops had to be a burden hanging around a player's neck went away late in 4th edition - Orks, CSM, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, Daemons, all of these codices have good, solid Troops who can significantly contribute to the list's overall power.

Let's take the Space Wolves, a bugbear for a lot of vanilla players and a recent example. Grey Hunters cost the same as a Tactical Squad, but they have the CCW, Counter-Attack and can take two special weapons. Mech Grey Hunters is a strong SW build (or was last time I checked), and Space Wolf forces built around a solid core of Grey Hunters are very competitive. They're very, very similar to Tactical Marines - but unlike Tacs, they can have a focused role, and can actually compete in close combat with units that aren't Fire Warriors or Guardsmen. CSM are much the same way, though they're somewhat overshadowed in their own book by the various Cult Troops.

Let's look at Orks, as well. The basic Ork Boy is a combat monster, and as I said above he can retain a great deal of this combat ability and still make for a worthwhile shooting unit. Orks are in no way boring to play with, and Ork Boyz are well-worth the taking. Relatively few people look at the Ork list and say 'let's just get minimum Troops and then buy cool stuff', whereas the Space Marine list kinda has 500pts set aside for the Tac Marines and then 1000pts spent on stuff you actually want. You're telling me that 500pts of my list should be spent on, effectively, a mobile objective-holding paperweight which can occasionally flame or launch a missile at something? What other list can you think of that works like this at the moment that isn't horrendously out of date?

The point I'm trying to make is that dismissing Troops as 'objective grabbers' is both farcical and disingenuous, because it hasn't been that way for about half an edition now. Ork Boyz can not only hold an objective, but clear it themselves without needing specialist units to do the heavy lifting for them. Same for Grey Hunters, and Dire Avengers, and CSM (both basic and Cult). Guardsmen might need the help, but there's a lot more of them and their IFVs are significant forces in their own right - the Guardsmen might not do much killing, but the vehicle they're in is versatile (there's that word again) and powerful enough to be a serious threat to anything it's near. Compare the Rhino and its storm bolter of plink-plinking doom.

hiveminion
16-02-2010, 12:26
Yes, those "stupid" weapon options that don't work together imply flexibility. Not during, but before the battle. You can choose to keep the squad together, or split them up, giving you both a mechanised and ranged support unit/objective grabber. That's a flexible unit right there.

I would hardly call a unit that can support your army while also fulfilling the actual victory conditions a "burden". You seem to be judging Tactical Squads in a vacuum but you also speak of a combined arms approach. The Space Marine army as a whole is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none army. As such its greatest strength is abusing the opponent's weakness, which in the context of 40k can be as simple as either assault or shoot the enemy. Tactical Squads fit right in there.

Your comparisons to other codexes are completely irrelevant. Orks have nowhere near the support we get from our FA, HS and Elite slots. They need powerful Troops. Your only comparison that comes near to fair is with Space Wolves, and I think we can all agree they have been blessed with an above average codex.
Yes, I would love to have that extra attack in close combat. Would I trade it for combat tactics? Possibly. Would I trade combat tactics for a Heavy Flamer? Hell no.

You dismiss my opinion as as in-depth as a GW "tactica" but as shallow as my approach sounds I'm coping with my Tactical Marines while you feel the need for improvement. Of course you can assume my opponents are all dim-witted idiots, and wait until GW finally gives you a Heavy Flamer option. Or you can treat my opinion with as much respect as you'd like yours to get.

Then again, this is the Internet...

Corrode
16-02-2010, 12:45
Yes, those "stupid" weapon options that don't work together imply flexibility. Not during, but before the battle. You can choose to keep the squad together, or split them up, giving you both a mechanised and ranged support unit/objective grabber. That's a flexible unit right there.

So the only tactical choice I should make with my 'Tactical' Marines is in list-building and immediately before the game? My squad must stop functioning as a squad in order to be 'flexible'? Never mind the fact that for two editions Marines didn't have combat squads, and were simply presented as 'ten dudes who carry these two completely divergent weapons around'.


I would hardly call a unit that can support your army while also fulfilling the actual victory conditions a "burden". You seem to be judging Tactical Squads in a vacuum but you also speak of a combined arms approach. The Space Marine army as a whole is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none army. As such its greatest strength is abusing the opponent's weakness, which in the context of 40k can be as simple as either assault or shoot the enemy. Tactical Squads fit right in there.

Tactical Marines are designated as 'mainline warriors' - the fluff description would have them as the single most useful part of the force, and yet time and time again they're the guys sitting at the back with the Rhino in park whilst everyone else in the army does a real job. I can fully agree that combined arms is the way to go, but as it is the Tactical Marines essentially require a lot of babysitting from other units whilst contributing relatively little themselves. Most often they 'fulfil the victory conditions' by sitting in their metal box on top of an objective, and for the same points I may as well have bought my paperweight and saved my time painting the models.


Your comparisons to other codexes are completely irrelevant. Orks have nowhere near the support we get from our FA, HS and Elite slots. They need powerful Troops. Your only comparison that comes near to fair is with Space Wolves, and I think we can all agree they have been blessed with an above average codex.

They're not irrelevant in the slightest. Space Marines are the only modern code with a mainline Troops choice which is largely unable to affect the outcome of the battle without significant allocation of outside resources. Orks get plenty of support from all over the list, and feel more 'combined arms' than Marines do at times - you have Lootas taking out light armour, the Big Mek providing support, the Warboss to be a hammer, the Boyz to take the bullets and throw some out in return. Trukks are cheap, cheerful and fast enough to get the Boyz across the table and then die explosively, and Battlewagons are threatening enough to be a significant force in their own right. Marines, on the other hand, rely on their Elites in order to do anything at all.


Yes, I would love to have that extra attack in close combat. Would I trade it for combat tactics? Possibly. Would I trade combat tactics for a Heavy Flamer? Hell no.

You dismiss my opinion as as in-depth as a GW "tactica" but as shallow as my approach sounds I'm coping with my Tactical Marines while you feel the need for improvement. Of course you can assume my opponents are all dim-witted idiots, and wait until GW finally gives you a Heavy Flamer option. Or you can treat my opinion with as much respect as you'd like yours to get.

Then again, this is the Internet...

I possibly don't appreciate Combat Tactics as much as others because I usually run with either Pedro or Lysander. That said, it's not as great as is often made out - even if you do get free of the combat, you're likely to keep running the next turn, and to be quite frank I'd rather have the ability to actually put some hurt on the enemy than to rely on running away from them at opportune times.

The word you use for Tactical Marines is pretty interesting - 'coping'. I don't see why it should be the case that one 'copes' with what is supposed to be an iconic unit for the army - I don't 'cope' with Ork Boyz, nor do Chaos players 'cope' with Khorne Berzerkers. Personally I 'cope' just fine, but I'd like them to do more and be more than simply 230ish points of objective-holding Rhino which occasionally gets to fire their bolters.

You can leave off the sly implications that I'm not 'respecting' your opinion, too.

WinglessVT2
16-02-2010, 12:58
They're not tactical at all.
If your definition of 'tactical' is 'sit in rhino, throw a lasbolt/krak missile/salvo of heavy bolter shells at something' you probably need to read up a bit.
Same for 'sit in rhino on top of strategically important thing, which we have no hope of holding should something halfway competent reach us.'

They need an additional template or an additional heavy weapon before I'll take them seriously.
You pay a lot of points for a bunker with a heavy weapon, which can't move if you want to fire.
The cost is fair for what you get - a heavy, a sergeant with lots of options, a special weapon, transportation - but the parts don't mix well.

Gray hunters work a lot better, because they get twin specials, and can actually fight. Blood angels have a fast transport, so can redeploy and support much better.
Crusader squads can stay small, while still packing some support, but can be made quite large if you need to tank through something.
Dark angels don't have to take 10 marines to reach a level of effectiveness. It's the same with gray hunters, too, and crusader squads.

hiveminion
16-02-2010, 13:25
I possibly don't appreciate Combat Tactics as much as others because I usually run with either Pedro or Lysander. That said, it's not as great as is often made out - even if you do get free of the combat, you're likely to keep running the next turn, and to be quite frank I'd rather have the ability to actually put some hurt on the enemy than to rely on running away from them at opportune times.


My bad, I meant combat squads. I'll agree Combat Tactics is generally a useless rule.

The Tactical squad is flexible in that it can function as either one or two smaller units. That isn't at all the same as the tactical value of the unit, just as deployment isn't the only tactical move during the game. It's just a very important one.

I agree Tactical Marines do not fit their fluff description at all; neither does anything else in the Space Marine codex or most units in other codexes. That doesn't mean they're useless on the tabletop.

I still don't agree with your inter-codex comparisons. I find Ork support, despite your examples, worse than Space Marine support. Lootas are great, but static and vulnerable. Orks don't have reliable Melta weapons, let alone mounted on fast units. They don't have multi-purpose tanks like the Land Raider and I'll take Assault Terminators over Nobz anytime.
Elites are an important slot for Marines I'll agree, but saying they need it in order to do anything at all is a gross overstatement. You make it sound like a Tactical Squad can't even put a dent in a piece of butter. They can charge and win combat against a wide variety of units, and demolish vehicles with Krak grenades, even as a 5 man Combat Squad. An important reason why they generally don't work well unsupported is because they usually fold when they receive a charge.

All in all the Tactical Squad is not the best all-around Troop choice in the game but definitely good enough within the context of the codex.

WinglessVT2
16-02-2010, 13:29
"All in all the Tactical Squad is not the best all-around Troop choice in the game but definitely good enough within the context of the codex. "

I disagree.
They cost a lot, and bring tons of special rules, guns, vehicles, and toys, which don't work very well together.

Veloxnex
16-02-2010, 13:46
Yea, basicly between corrode and winglessvt2, that's what i'd write if i could be bothered.
i'd have 2 scout units, only i like the drop pod. and even then...

ehlijen
16-02-2010, 13:46
I disagree.
They cost a lot, and bring tons of special rules, guns, vehicles, and toys, which don't work very well together.

They're not meant to synergise into an uberunit. They're meant to never be caught without an option to use to fight back. Facing genestealers? Shoot them with bolters! Facing stormtroopers? Gut them with knifes! Taking casualites from shooting? Fall back and regroup outside of charge range!

No matter what the enemy does, the tactical squad has access to a viable counter. That's what their flexibility is meant to give them. A devestator squad finding iteself outshot doesn't have other options than hoping they roll better. Assault squads facing fiercer fighters can't try and snipe them off as they close.
Trying to shoehorn tacticals into one and only one role is what's killing the game and giving cause to all those saying 40k has no tactics. The strenght of tactical squads is not to have to engage the enemy in his chosen field but being able to exploit his weakness no matter what it turns out to be.

WinglessVT2
16-02-2010, 13:48
"They're not meant to synergise into an uberunit. They're meant to never be caught without an option to use to fight back. "

Strange.
All other newer books give you troops that do.

"No matter what the enemy does, the tactical squad has access to a viable counter. " No, they don't.
Stop hyping them to the highest heaven.

ehlijen
16-02-2010, 13:59
I'm not. I'm simply not trying to proclaim them rubbish simply because they actually stand in the gap between firesupport and fast attack units.

What exactly do they not have a counter to?

Melta and las vs armour
plasma vs MCs and elites
flamers and heavy bolters vs infantry
special CCWs against enemy shooters
meltabombs and kraks vs walkers
bolters vs enemy combat gribblys

And as for all those newer books: They're not Codex Space Marines (and therefore different) and usually give those units weaknesses as well.
Grey hunters: Can't get any firesupport weapon and needs to use an elite slot to gain a ld boost.
Nids: Every single of their troops units is worse at something compared to tacticals. Hormies and stealers can't shoot at all, gaunts are poor fighters and warriors cost more for the same bang.
Guard: pay for any extra firepower they bring with paper armour and low ld. Even veterans will succumb to tactical marines unless they both get and overachieve with their first volley.

WinglessVT2
16-02-2010, 14:34
They have one gun with a short range, and one with long range.
Everyone else has guns with medium range.

Now, this is fine. Really, it is - it's how most units in the game work.
Guardsmen, for instance.

The problem: guardsmen don't cost 170 points.
For 170 points, I expect something good. Not a unit with mixed weapons, or a complete lack to focus on any particular task.

This is why I don't use more than two tactical squads.
170 points is over 10% of your army at the 'regular' points level. You cannot afford to buy units that expensive, yet have no clear role.

For 170 points, I get a small unit of sternguard, with combi-weapons. They have a clear role, and can actually do many different jobs, thanks to their equipment.

That's a bit unfair, I realize, since they're elites, while tacticals are troops, but that's just how it goes.
Marines aren't blessed with troops that are killy, or choppy. They're durable, yes, but not numerous. "BUT, BUT, BUT! COMBAT SQUADS!"

Two five-man units don't last long, and compromise your leadership.

Orks get their boyz. Imperial guard get their guardsmen. Space wolves have gray hunters.
Marines get to pick between units that can't hit, can't really fight, and don't come in large numbers, or units that can sorta fight - but not too well - and sorta shoot - but not too much, or too well - and cost a bit more, so you can't put down a lot of them on the field.

No, tacticals aren't tactical, and they're not good.
That's why you hide them in rhinos or land raiders, as opposed to space wolves, who put their gray hunters on the field.
Tau do this, too, and their troops are considered outright bad.

borithan
16-02-2010, 14:46
Never mind the fact that for two editions Marines didn't have combat squads, and were simply presented as 'ten dudes who carry these two completely divergent weapons around'.While it was missing from 3rd and 4th the idea has been a long established one. That is partly what the whole Heavy Weapon/Special Weapon thing is based on (it really making no sense otherwise). Now, for whatever reason they did away with in 3rd, moving towards the idea of them as 10 man squads, but the unit background wise remained one which was meant to be able to deal with a variety of threats, so would have mixed weapons. Not a prime move gamewise, especially due to the loss of being able to split fire ("What? The guys with small arms might fire guns at something other than the same target as the anti-tank gun?"), but it is part of the background.

Personally I use standard tactical marines as infantry killers using their boltguns. Then I have usually had some totally out of place special weapon to provide anti-tank functionality (usually meltaguns). With the previous codex I used the "two specials" route, but I would happily play Heavy/Special now they have combat squads.



I possibly don't appreciate Combat Tactics as much as others because I usually run with either Pedro or Lysander. That said, it's not as great as is often made out - even if you do get free of the combat, you're likely to keep running the next turn, and to be quite frank I'd rather have the ability to actually put some hurt on the enemy than to rely on running away from them at opportune times.Not had a chance to use Space Marines since the latest codex (don't get much opportunity to play 40k) but it is an idea I actually quite like myself.

Skyros
16-02-2010, 17:57
I would actually much rather do something like 7/3 than 5/5 split. The heavy weapons guy and a buddy or two can hang back and lay down covering fire. Having half your squads bolters hanging back with the heavy weapon rather cuts into your potential volume of fire.

Corrode
16-02-2010, 18:54
I'm not. I'm simply not trying to proclaim them rubbish simply because they actually stand in the gap between firesupport and fast attack units.

What exactly do they not have a counter to?

Melta and las vs armour
plasma vs MCs and elites
flamers and heavy bolters vs infantry
special CCWs against enemy shooters
meltabombs and kraks vs walkers
bolters vs enemy combat gribblys

But they can't have all those counters at once - you're presenting it as if Tac Marines can whip out a melta and lascannon to blast a tank, and then turn around and flame another squad the next turn before engaging in heavy hand-to-hand. As it stands, players are expected to pretty much guess in advance what weapons to bring, judging mostly by meta. Because it's so general and so few things sync up properly, this is harder than it sounds - sure, a big part of 40k is bringing a sufficiently balanced list to handle any eventuality, but with Tactical Marines it's made harder because of the heavy and special thing. Let's examine some other lists first:

Orks: When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Shoota Boyz are versatile anyway, but to be honest the solution is pretty much the same whatever the opponent - drive up, shoot things, then hit them in the face really really hard. Occasionally you might have to forego the shooting (against vehicles, for example) but the same general idea works in pretty much all cases. Your support elements are discrete units with their own roles.

Space Wolves: The double special thing means that you can more easily focus your units, and the fact that Grey Hunters are genuinely handy in combat means you can rely on them to have a role even if their particular special weapons are ill-suited to the task at hand. If I give my Tactical Marines a melta and a lascannon and I run into an Ork horde, they're suddenly looking at firing off a bolter round before getting their faces pounded in combat. Grey Hunters with double melta can still handle themselves well enough in combat to be a credible threat.

Imperial Guard: Guardsmen can end up in much the same situation as Marines, with relatively divergent special weapons in Infantry Squads. The difference in this case, though, is weight of numbers. Even taking the most expensive options possible (las/plas), I can have two Infantry squads for the same price as a single, absolute-basic Marine squad. For the price of my two Tactical Squads I can have nearly a full platoon, which brings 4 lascannons and 4 plasma guns, and for cheaper than meching up both squads I can blob the whole Guard group up and make them Ld9 Stubborn. Throw in a lascannon on each Marine squad and you can get a PCS with another lascannon. The Guardsmen might die in droves, but they're meatshields - they cost barely any points, I can quite happily sit them at the back of the board and not feel like I'm losing out on any effectiveness. They simply add to the overwhelming firepower of the rest of the army, and if anything gets into range the blob's contributing 80 or 120 lasgun shots - enough to wipe out the combat squad running at them with a flamer.

Now this isn't to complain about OMG TEH OTHER ARMIES HAS TEH BETTER TROOPS, but to point out the fact that in most other modern armies Troops are good, viable choices, either by virtue of cheapness or ability (in the case of Orks, both). Only in the current Marine book do Troops still seem to labour under the assumption they're supposed to run up and grab objectives whilst never firing their guns unless there's absolutely no risk at all to themselves.

To address the other point, i.e. that Marines have a counter to everything, well it's just not true. Sure, they can assault - but any halfway-solid unit isn't going to fall over. Fire Warriors might, and Guardsmen might, but almost anything else is going to see them bounce off. They can shoot - but unless they catch Eldar or Guardsmen out in the open, a single round of bolter fire isn't too impressive, and they're left facing the fact that either their special or heavy weapon isn't up to much (most often the heavy). They can bust a tank, but a single missile or melta shot per turn just isn't very much, and unlike Guard who can have 4 of the things in a squad which is designed to do little else but die for the gun, the Marines have 2 and firing the heavy invalidates everything else the squad can do.


And as for all those newer books: They're not Codex Space Marines (and therefore different) and usually give those units weaknesses as well.
Grey hunters: Can't get any firesupport weapon and needs to use an elite slot to gain a ld boost.
Nids: Every single of their troops units is worse at something compared to tacticals. Hormies and stealers can't shoot at all, gaunts are poor fighters and warriors cost more for the same bang.
Guard: pay for any extra firepower they bring with paper armour and low ld. Even veterans will succumb to tactical marines unless they both get and overachieve with their first volley.

I absolutely agree that other Troops choices aren't some invincible be-all end-all of the game, and that they have weaknesses too. It's still true, however, that many of those weaknesses are negligible - Grey Hunters have relatively poor Leadership, but they're still Ld8, and I'd argue not having a 'fire support' weapon is a strength, not a weakness (especially in a list which can have the ever-so-tasty Long Fangs).

Each individual Nids Troops choice is worse at something than Tacticals, but they're often better in another area. Hormagaunts and Stealers can't shoot, but they'll shred the Marines in combat. Termagants will get knocked over in combat, but they're cheap (free with a Tervigon!) and plentiful. Warriors are pretty weak, but they're still T4 W3 models. It's swings and roundabouts, but I'd say that in a game where specialisation often rules (look at Eldar - most of their units are good at a single thing, but they're really, really good at that one thing) being a 'good generalist' is not so amazing. The thing with Tactical Marines is that they trade having no real weaknesses for having no real strengths, which makes them 'ok' but rather boring and, as I've said, they feel something like a 500pt tax on the Marine player - they're 'good enough' rather than 'good'.

I'd also like to question something I've seen come up repeatedly in this thread - the business of 'fire support' and the apparent value people place on the single heavy weapon shot per turn. I appreciate that a well-timed (and occasionally lucky) single shot can really turn the tide, but I wonder if it's something that we can rely on. If there's one thing I thing of when it comes to Tactical Marines it's reliability, but the number of single shot weapons they pack makes that much less of a factor. Let's take the missile launcher - assuming the game lasts 5 turns, and that it has line of sight and range to a useful target the entire game, it'll fire 5 times, miss 1 or 2, fail 33/66 against AV11 and 50/50 against AV12, and maybe do one useful thing in the entire battle. In that time, another 4 or 9 Marines have stood around doing absolutely nothing - 170 or, if meched, up to 250pts of nothing, which can be swept away the first time a tetchy squad of Grey Hunters rocks up, fires their two meltas (one of which is likely to hit, against a Rhino's AV11 it's a tiny chance to fail, and then wrecks it on a 4+), and assaults with their 3 attacks each, for the same or less points. That isn't fun or exciting, nor does it sound like a worthwhile use of the points you've paid.

RedeyeX
16-02-2010, 22:25
Hey folks,

I play space marines and started out with 4th edition. I noticed that everyone is comparing units of different codexes but I think the issue with tacticals is a combination of changes.

I think the problem is in combination with the cover rules. In the games I play against experienced players my tacticals never get to shoot at any unit without them getting a cover save. This greatly reduces the effectivness of the bolter against IG, gaunts and the like. This has as result that usually to many survive and get the tacticals in problems. Either in the next shooting fase or in cc. Tacticals are a troop choice so killing them is a game winning tactic.

The answer is, as said by others, the Rhino camp. Just keep them in the bus because if they get out they die. They die for two reasons. One is that a lot of the new codexes can get a lot of marine killing power. IG comes to mind. For instance a squad with 3 mg in a chimera can really hurt. Two, against horde armies there are simply to many units that can engage your tactical squad. Three IG squads firing at a single marine tac squad hurt and elimanates the tac squad as a combat unit. Afterall it is only one of the few troop choices you have (I use two tac squad of 10 marines as the basic building block of my armie) and you have to be carefull with them.

It is this combination that makes me rely on other units, my predators, Vindicator or bikes. Which I regret. I like to see tactical marines on the table. They are afterakk very nice models.

Redeye

Archangel_Ruined
16-02-2010, 23:34
I think corrode is pretty much on the money as far as the weapon loadout goes. The 4th ed codex was widely criticised for allowing marine players too much leeway with equipping our tac squads. You had people running 6-man las plas squads, where the unit was small enough to sit back and put the pain out at range. People like me ran 2 special weapons in each squad, allowing a large unit to advance without penalty. This flexibility led, inevitably, to abuses and as such the options were taken from us. What we got was much closer to the 2nd edition marine codex. The only problem here is that marines in 2nd were nails, in 5th they're the very definition of average. 5 marines on a hill are now sitting ducks, in 2nd they were a massive risk to armour and troops (I wish we could still split fire, that would also make a tac squad something to be feared). It's tough being a marine these days...

WinglessVT2
16-02-2010, 23:59
I never felt that tiny, wimpy squads of 5, with a lascannon and a plasmagun were a problem, but then again, I ran mine with 6 dudes, plasmacannon, and a sergeant, all inside razorbacks.

Archangel_Ruined
17-02-2010, 00:23
Sadly, any player who knew their business didn't run squads of 5, even numbers allowed you to take another wound before a morale test or removing a weapon you cared about. One of the many cheeselets that crept into common usage under the 4th ed list. Razorbacks were pricey too, I stuck to dreads for armour.

Worsle
17-02-2010, 00:32
I think a lot of you are selling short the ability to take a heavy weapon compared to the two special weapon configurations. Tactical squads are the marines objective takers and once you are sitting on that objective (in your rhino) that heavy weapon becomes a lot more useful than a second special. The extra range on your multimelta is rather important, it is a lot harder to get close to them and you don't have to shift your self of that objective.

Might not be the best unit in the game but they have a solid role in marine armies. Being a scoring unit is its own strength in the 5th edition after all.

Archangel_Ruined
17-02-2010, 00:37
I'd still take 2 plasma guns for camping out on objectives, effective to 24", devastating with 12". I always assume, once I've gotten onto an objective, that somebody else is going to try and change this, with that in mind the reduced range is acceptable if it allows me to advance effectively to claim the objective.

Worsle
17-02-2010, 00:44
I would not even take one plasma gun as its role has been some what undermined these days and so it is just not worth the cost. Flamers, meltas and multi meltas have served me a lot better and don't try to kill either for that matter. Plasma is not horrible it is just I would rather have something with real tank stopping power to make people think twice about putting their vehicles near me and my objective.

Archangel_Ruined
17-02-2010, 00:50
These days, perhaps, but this was 4th and plasma was still plain mean. Tanks feared it and so did everything else.

Worsle
17-02-2010, 00:56
Tanks where nothing special in the 4th and the game as a whole was quite different. Changes have been on the most part for the better since the 5th so I try to keep my comments on the here and now. The extra threat heavy weapons add to tactical squads makes them much better objective holders than grey hunters in my mind. Sure hunters can take a charge better but against most units that matter (ie not things like ork trukkers) they still wont win out. They should not be sold short that is all I am saying.

Archangel_Ruined
17-02-2010, 00:59
I agree, it's just tough defending them against their loyalist equivalents or scouts in terrain. If you're objective camping a heavy weapon can be useful, it's just a pain in the bottom having to march the thing there.

Worsle
17-02-2010, 01:07
March? Surely you mean drive? If you have a unit of tacticals without some sort of ride you are doing it wrong. The extra layer of survivability the rhino gives you is a must, marines are very much a mechanised army. Scouts also don't stand up to well to cover removing units.

ehlijen
17-02-2010, 01:17
They have one gun with a short range, and one with long range.
Everyone else has guns with medium range.

Now, this is fine. Really, it is - it's how most units in the game work.
Guardsmen, for instance.

The problem: guardsmen don't cost 170 points.
For 170 points, I expect something good. Not a unit with mixed weapons, or a complete lack to focus on any particular task.

This is why I don't use more than two tactical squads.
170 points is over 10% of your army at the 'regular' points level. You cannot afford to buy units that expensive, yet have no clear role.

For 170 points, I get a small unit of sternguard, with combi-weapons. They have a clear role, and can actually do many different jobs, thanks to their equipment.

That's a bit unfair, I realize, since they're elites, while tacticals are troops, but that's just how it goes.
Marines aren't blessed with troops that are killy, or choppy. They're durable, yes, but not numerous. "BUT, BUT, BUT! COMBAT SQUADS!"

Two five-man units don't last long, and compromise your leadership.

Orks get their boyz. Imperial guard get their guardsmen. Space wolves have gray hunters.
Marines get to pick between units that can't hit, can't really fight, and don't come in large numbers, or units that can sorta fight - but not too well - and sorta shoot - but not too much, or too well - and cost a bit more, so you can't put down a lot of them on the field.

No, tacticals aren't tactical, and they're not good.
That's why you hide them in rhinos or land raiders, as opposed to space wolves, who put their gray hunters on the field.
Tau do this, too, and their troops are considered outright bad.


You have the option of having one gun with short range and one with long. You don't have to take either (and in fact can take a better medium range weapon instead of the short range one). Or if you take both you can split the unit and keep the two with long range in the back together while the two short range ones move up together.

And those 170 points get you alot more than just a special and a heavy. They also get you 7-8 bolters (aka guard killers), 10 suits of power armour, frags, kraks and a good statline.
10 guardsmen have less firepower and resilience than 10 marines and are far worse in combat. Of course they cost less than marines.
You're hung up on the marines being worthless without special gear. But it's the good basic stats and decent basic gear that's their strenght.

Why are Tau troops bad again? Pulse rifles are very good weapons.
I use both tactical squads and Firewarriors a lot (often without transports) and I find they perform quite well, thank you very much.

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 01:23
They're free, as they should be, thanks to the squad's cost in points, and happen to be superior to the bolter for any role.
The problem is that you can only take one of each, not two of either.

Bolters don't scare people, because 5th edition is coverhammer.

Tau troops are bad because they cost a lot of points, yet do very little for the cost.
For instance, a 'standard' unit of 12 firewarriors, mounted in a default transport, costs more than 4 crisis suits with plasma rifles, missilepods, and multi-trackers.
This is why people who win with their tau against good players no longer take that unit, and give their mandatory 6 firewarriors their pathfinders' ride.

Too expensive, too little effect on the battle.
Same as tactical marines, versus sternguard, or assault terminators.

Both tacticals and firewarriors end up hiding inside their transports. If they get out, the gray hunters and ork boyz kill them dead.

"10 guardsmen have less firepower and resilience than 10 marines and are far worse in combat. " My tactical squads cost me 240+ points, complete with rhinos.
Now, I may not play imperial guard these days, but I've read their latest book a whole bunch of times. It tells me that a squad of guardsmen isn't 240+ points, but close to a fifth of this.
This means you're going to have 50~ guardsmen, versus my rhino, one heavy gun, one special weapon, sergeant, and 7 other marines.

A more likely scenario is you brought 3 units of guardsmen, with autocannons for all three, and a small command squad with 4 meltaguns or flamers, plus a commissar.
My tactical squad is completely inferior to this, in all ways possible.
You're more endurable, can give yourself a grand coversave that beats my armorsave, launch a million shots, hit a million times after I swing, destroy my rhino with your autocannons, and you'll remain a scoring unit far longer than my tacticals.

ehlijen
17-02-2010, 01:51
Better than bolters in all cases? Wow, I missed the bit where heavies can shoot on the move, meltas can fire twice, plasmas don't overheat and flamers have a 12" range and are not tied into the number of enemies for their effectiveness.

If 5th ed is indeed cover hammer than the cheap, basic, potentially multishot weapon is what should scare people. Yet you're saying they need more fancy specialty gear?

And I'm not sure what you're math is there:
12 FW + devilfish come to 200 points to me (unless you're counting voluntary upgrades as 'basic') and those 4 crisis suits come to 67 points a piece to me. They also use up 2 elite slots rather than 1 troops and can't score.
I am a person who wins with Tau and I like my firebase of 36-48 firewarriors without DF.

Maybe you need to deploy them better if they don't have the desired effect for you.

If you have to count the rhino as part of the tac squad, than you should also count a chimera as part of the guard squads. And that then leaves you with 25 guardsmen no upgrades and 2 bare bones chimeras for your one super tac squad (basic platoon at 130 points + 110 for the chimeras). Sounds like a much fairer fight. Or maybe two bare bones vet squads with basic chimeras for 10 points more than your super tac squad?

Your described unit also cannot move as fast (or at all if they want to keep their firepower) and yields 4 KP to your 2. You could also land in their midst in turn one in a droppod and blast one of their units apart from behind their cover and then use the pod to shield you from the other heavies.

In a straight up slugging match the guard will beat the marines, because the marines aren't using their strenghts (ie the ability to pick the kind of fight). Those guardsmen can shoot and that's it. The marines can also move and fight.

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 01:55
Range 12 bolters for rapid fire.
These aren't gray knights we're talking about, here, and both are very expensive, but the gray knights don't get rhinos to hide in.

Boo hoo, stationary guardsmen 'give up' killpoints.
When, exactly?
When I try to fire at the first unit, which promptly goes to ground with a fat cover save, then get destroyed by thousands of lasers?
Maybe they give up killpoints when I charge them, which most likely brings a lot of units into the mix, and sees my marines cut apart by several sergeants wielding powerswords, and commissars?

No, wait, I've got it! They 'give up' killpoints when they shower my rhino with their autocannons.

I don't use drop pods, and no, you can't land 'in their midsts' - it scatters to the very edge of the blob, which is going to go to ground, then I get destroyed by lasers after killing most of a ten man unit with my bolters.

Occulto
17-02-2010, 02:01
Oh dear...

I think we've reached that point in the debate where the guy trying to prove his point that unit X is bad, starts bringing out the worst case scenarios to show it. :p

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 02:05
You got that right, and it was so stupid, I completely missed how stupid it really was.

I know this forum has a reputation for not encouraging real competitive players to post, but this is pretty ridiculous.
Are you telling me you're magically going to plonk the huge drop pod down in the middle of a guardsman blob, without it incurring the 'inertial guidance' special rule?

This really isn't going to happen.

Well, unless they're, like, surrounding this hill with a flat top, doing so in a nice, big ring, and you, like, deep strike right onto the hill, in a totally not open and obvious fashion.
Even then, the guardsmen are still going to go to ground. They're STILL going to lose most of a ten man unit, and you're STILL going to get destroyed by lasers.

On top of that, you're surrounded by guardsmen.
Repeat that after me.
You're surrounded by guardsmen.

What were you thinking!?

On the topic of 'guardsmen not moving,' yes, they can move, and they can do so very fast, because they get special orders that let them run many dice, and pick the highest.
Then they pin themselves, and stay motionless like fish while you throw bolter shells into them.
The next turn, they unpin themselves, and destroy your ten marines.

Or they just stay there, and hose you with autocannons, which have a range you cannot compete with, except using two out of all your potential guns.
One of these two guns cost enough points to allow the guard to field one more dude.

Let's leave it at that.

Tactical marines cannot compete with guardsmen.
It cannot be done - let it go.

Occulto
17-02-2010, 02:14
You got that right, and it was so stupid, I completely missed how stupid it really was.

I know this forum has a reputation for not encouraging real competitive players to post, but this is pretty ridiculous.

When someone starts using the phrase: "get destroyed by thousands of lasguns" to describe their situation, then I know they're just exaggerating.

What I do I know this forum has a reputation for, is a lot of supposedly good players demonstrating an amazing inability to win whenever they want to prove something's bad.


Tactical marines cannot compete with guardsmen.
It cannot be done - let it go.

Oh yes they can (and I've seen it happen many times) - but as people have been saying, they compete when they work as part of a SM army - not some isolated comparison.

fluffstalker
17-02-2010, 02:16
If you mean taking objectives after the FA/elites do all the killing and drive-by-shooting bad players who leave GEQ troops out in the open, then yes, they certainly can compete as part of the SM army.

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 02:17
You counter exaggeration with more of the same, while painting up the most ridiculous, stupid, and silly scenario possible.
The verbal battle above was merely an arm's race of silly things, and the 'drop pod in their midsts' sealed it.

Either way, and regardless of guardsmen versus tactical squads, this is about tactical squads in general, and I find them very bland, and poor value for their points, yet I take them anyway, since you need at least two troops, and the other 'real' alternative is scouts - which are significantly worse.

As said above, it really does feel like a tax.

Occulto
17-02-2010, 02:29
If you mean taking objectives after the FA/elites do all the killing and drive-by-shooting bad players who leave GEQ troops out in the open, then yes, they certainly can compete as part of the SM army.

Soften the squads up with long range firepower or fast attack, then send in the tac marines to mop up and hold the objectives. It might not be glamorous but it wins games.

Oh but I forget. GEQ players get enough terrain so they can always be in cover. :eyebrows:

They can skip from one side of the table to the other without ever having to put their delicate feet in the open.

And SM players never take those useless weapons like flamers and whirlwinds.

Oh wait, they do, but because we're trying to prove the point that SM are crap, they magically don't get the same benefits of cover. They happen to occupy the one place on the board where every unit in the opposing army can draw unimpeded LOS, then proceed to roll perfectly so the SM player's got his army back in the case in under 2 turns.

If my experiences don't reflect that then obviously the people I game with are obviously just bad players. :angel:

Occulto
17-02-2010, 02:31
You counter exaggeration with more of the same, while painting up the most ridiculous, stupid, and silly scenario possible.
The verbal battle above was merely an arm's race of silly things, and the 'drop pod in their midsts' sealed it.

Actually, no my angry little friend. I didn't mention drop pods at all. Cast your eyes to the left of this post, and see that my name is not ehlijen. :p

Darkangeldentist
17-02-2010, 02:52
The tactical marine is a unit without clear purpose. That is all that is wrong with it.

Most other units in the game either have a clear use, purpose and ability in a certain area or are cheap enough to perform as a support unit for other elements of the army. Troop units generally seem to fall into the category of support but some can be made reasonably effective at one or more things.

The tactical marine has since 3rd edition mostly been bought because you had to buy some troops and with that in mind people mostly focused on making best use of the options available. The basic marine has generally been regarded as a necessary but useless part of the army unless equipped with some toy. This to me is why tactical squads underperform and people seem to always complain about them.

Too much attention is paid to the special and heavy weapon. Fine they're free but if you're not going to get any decent use out of them why bother? Or worse if you waste the unit trying to use the extra kit. Bolters are ok guns and in volume do pretty well. Marines aren't so expensive that you cannot field a decent number of them.

If you treat tactical marines as a necessary evil then you might as well just buy a small unit, have the sergeant carry the 'toys' and use the extra points on a razorback. A 5 man unit with powersword/bolter and lascannon razorback costs 180pts and performs much the same role. It's not much different in price and will do the job of objective holder well enough. There is little point taking advantage of freebies if to get those extras you spend even more points.

Full tactical squads with specials and heavies are ok and I am not suggesting that they are useless but they are also not the only way to field them. In fact I prefer to field 10 man units. Combat squads is useful enough and taking a heavy has less impact on the squad if you do split. Most of the time opponents don't bother pointing guns at my tactical marines until they've dealt with the other parts of my army.

DemonMonkey
17-02-2010, 02:58
The tactical marine is a unit without clear purpose. That is all that is wrong with it.


Sorry but this is whats right with it. A tactical squad is a multi role squad by its very nature

Its only real purpose is to hold objectives but during the course of the game it can fall into different roles depending on the situation

Its not anchored like a Dev squad. It can dish out more firepower than an assault squad

It can do some good in an assault if you give the sarge some goodies

I prefer them over most other choices if i had to pick a squad for a mission.

Darkangeldentist
17-02-2010, 03:17
The issue is that people seem to be unable to see a role for them because of that multi-purpose nature. They want them to do a task better because other armies units can. (See space wolves, chaos marines as several people have moaned about.)

Thus that rather obscure role means people focus on pushing them into roles based on the special or heavy weapons they choose as oppose to planning around what the basic marine can deal with and using the special/heavy as a contingency.

Most of the rest of my post you quoted tried to elaborate on this.

DemonMonkey
17-02-2010, 03:44
i was agreeing with you

borithan
17-02-2010, 09:45
I would actually much rather do something like 7/3 than 5/5 split. The heavy weapons guy and a buddy or two can hang back and lay down covering fire. Having half your squads bolters hanging back with the heavy weapon rather cuts into your potential volume of fire.Hmm... like splitting a pre-fire team real life section then? The squad support weapon hangs back with a loader and leader, while the rest goes forward. Well, the Imperial Guard could do that in 2nd, and in 1st you could do the same (though it was time consuming), but GW has always had something about splitting groups into fire teams... even if the units are not equipped like fire teams (two largely identical sub-units). They just did away with the possibilities of doing this when simplifying the game, and I think it is unlikely it will return... I wouldn't mind it though.


The tactical marine is a unit without clear purpose. That is all that is wrong with it.Hmm... I have always liked generalists.

NightrawenII
17-02-2010, 11:08
The tactical marine is a unit without clear purpose. That is all that is wrong with it.

Most other units in the game either have a clear use, purpose and ability in a certain area or are cheap enough to perform as a support unit for other elements of the army. Troop units generally seem to fall into the category of support but some can be made reasonably effective at one or more things.
Agreed. I know this is little off comparison, but I think it belongs here. In RPG the jack-of-all-trades characters are ALWAYS the worst(read hardest) character to play. Why? Because anyone and their mama can do your job better than you, the ONLY case when you are valuable(more or less) asset is when your character support the another specialist. ie. your bard add more buffs to the priests, add more damage to mages spells and when necessary bring another sword into melee.

Now, the tactical marines are such character. Which brings a WTF moment in army-building, because ya'know, the FA, E, HS are there to support tacticals, not the other way around.

What a Corrode want, and some people here too, isnt jack-of-all-trades unit on table, but jack-of-all-trades unit in army-builder. Which, for me, is more tactical than this "chance-catcher" unit right now.


Most of the time opponents don't bother pointing guns at my tactical marines until they've dealt with the other parts of my army.
... which is either ridiculous and sad.

Fixer
17-02-2010, 11:13
The issue is that people seem to be unable to see a role for them because of that multi-purpose nature. They want them to do a task better because other armies units can. (See space wolves, chaos marines as several people have moaned about.)

The issue is not that they're a multi-purpose unit, it's that they're a multi-purpose unit that doesn't do it's job particularly well.

Back in 4th edition my marines were configured with powerfist, 8 models and two special weapons in a drop pod. That was 210 points for a pretty badass unit (while Rhinos were still relegated to coffin status). It did the job well, was cheap enough to have a few of while still fielding army specialists in a good number and was versatile enough.

I've played with my tactical marines in various configurations since 5th released and effectively the drop pod unit is dead. Not only is the unit itself weaker and subject to Drop Pod assault rules but the overall metagame has changed. Orks, lash and mech forces now force tacticals to bunker in transports or risk instant death.

The fault lies mostly with the heavy weapon option in the tactical marine squad. Heavy Weapons have long since gone out of style in preference for move+shoot weapons and the combat squads rule that's there to allow you to use them with out sacrificing an entire unit basically puts you with two substandard units and can't really be used in kill point scenarios.

Secondly that tacticals make a poor choice for dislodging enemy units from objectives since they lack the same melee offensive capability of many other competetive armies.

With so many other choices in the list which are simply better at doing the things tacticals should be able to do well people are now cutting back on them as much as possible. This has all lead to Tactical marines being relegated to rhino mounted objective cappers while the specialists of the army knuckle down to the real work. My own list has moved from three tactical squads, to one tactical and two storm mounted scout units. I found that these more mobile and dangerous squads combined with a shiny new land raider from points savings simply much more effective.

Tacticals marines with their ATSKNF special rule for to not running away if possible have one real job in a current marine army. To try not to die, if they manage to do any damage on the way through then so much the better.

With the unit supposed to be a powerful and flexible squad, having them endlessly go to ground on an objective in hopefully fortified terrain or hide in a transport all game fearing for their lives should it be destroyed doesn't match the player's expectations or justify their points cost.

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 13:18
I took heavy bolter razorbacks with 6 guys, plasmacannon, and a plasmagun, or twin flamers, because it was the easiest and cheapest way - money-wise - to field somewhat fast and shooty troops, that could actually redeploy.

Then I got my hands on lots of sniper scouts, which didn't need to ever redeploy, and stopped using tacticals.

NightrawenII
17-02-2010, 14:29
If you treat tactical marines as a necessary evil then you might as well just buy a small unit, have the sergeant carry the 'toys' and use the extra points on a razorback. A 5 man unit with powersword/bolter and lascannon razorback costs 180pts and performs much the same role. It's not much different in price and will do the job of objective holder well enough. There is little point taking advantage of freebies if to get those extras you spend even more points.
*after some thinking*
Actualy you have good idea here.
The Razorback is much better way to bring a heavy weapon to the tactical squad. Sadly I cannot take special weapon with only 5men (Combat squad doesn't count, because you have two heavy weapons).

Secondly, where the idea of versatility = special/heavy weapon came from? I know this was the mark of Tacts for ages, but current explanation; "It's versatile!" is rather lawyering of bad design choice, than anything else.

Look at these tactical squads and tell me, what is difference between them:
#1 10men, flamer, meltagun
#2 10men, heavy bolter, lascannon
#3 10men, flamer, lascannon
I will tell you, what is the difference. #1 is aggresive, objectives-grabing unit; #2 is static, objective-holding unit; #3 look silly in comparison to the two before.
"But... but you can combat squad!" Im hearing, yes you can combat squad, but ya'now for the #1 and #2 it's viable choice, instead of forced choice and Im not compromising my Ld, when I want use both my weapons.

hiveminion
17-02-2010, 15:55
Look at these tactical squads and tell me, what is difference between them:
#1 10men, flamer, meltagun
#2 10men, heavy bolter, lascannon
#3 10men, flamer, lascannon
I will tell you, what is the difference. #1 is aggresive, objectives-grabing unit; #2 is static, objective-holding unit; #3 look silly in comparison to the two before.
"But... but you can combat squad!" Im hearing, yes you can combat squad, but ya'now for the #1 and #2 it's viable choice, instead of forced choice and Im not compromising my Ld, when I want use both my weapons.

My way of looking at those squad set-ups is:

- If I want my army to stay back and shoot, squad #1 is useless
- If I want to move forward and assault my enemy, squad #2 is useless
- Squad #3 offers me the choice to do either or both of the above, and loses roughly 50% of its ranged damage output for that flexibilty.

Personally, I think that's a pretty good trade, especially since I usually won't need the additional damage output to out-shoot or out-assault the opponent I'm facing (I don't need two flamers to overcome a Guard platoon, for instance).

Combat squads isn't a forced choice at all. If I want to engage the enemy in combat, I'll happily drag my free missile launcher along without ever firing it for the extra combat strength those 5 Marines give me.

Corrode
17-02-2010, 16:16
My way of looking at those squad set-ups is:

- If I want my army to stay back and shoot, squad #1 is useless
- If I want to move forward and assault my enemy, squad #2 is useless
- Squad #3 offers me the choice to do either or both of the above, and loses roughly 50% of its ranged damage output for that flexibilty.

This is essentially what Nightrawen is getting at, though. You'd rather that your squad do two things badly rather than one thing well, and call that 'flexibility'. I call that 'being purposeless', and I'm not sure that the two points can be reconciled very well. For myself, I would rather that the flexibility of my list come from the combination of parts, rather than having a bunch of squads that are 'ok' at everything.

Interestingly I am a fan of MM/HF speeders and Dreadnoughts, for exactly the flexibility that I am decrying here. I'm not sure why this is - perhaps because the two things bring so much else to the table, and are so cheap compared, and in the case of the Land Speeder have the speed to redeploy and bring either weapon to bear in appropriate situations (unlike say the flamer/ML squad which either has to split up or consign one or other weaopn to being a fancy decoration).

Grand Master Raziel
17-02-2010, 16:24
For myself, I would rather that the flexibility of my list come from the combination of parts, rather than having a bunch of squads that are 'ok' at everything.

This being the case, I'm going to offer the opinion that you're playing the wrong army. You might be happier playing Eldar, because they're designed to work that way.

Corrode
17-02-2010, 16:47
This being the case, I'm going to offer the opinion that you're playing the wrong army. You might be happier playing Eldar, because they're designed to work that way.

I'm not unhappy playing Marines - I just think the current dynamic is a little off. I think perhaps examining the larger Marine list might give this some context:

Several players have posited that Tactical Marines are intended to be part of a 'combined arms' force, and that they do not work in a vacuum but are supported by the rest of the army. Let's take a look at the 'rest of the army':

HQ: Almost entirely consists of combat characters, with the exception of the Maste of the Forge (who can still handle himself alright in melee). These are powerful on their own and in the case of most special characters tend to be force multipliers. One of these accompanying a Tactical Squad might seem logical, but they're most often much better used accompanying a more specialised squad which can work with the combat focus - never mind the fact that Tactical Marines at full strength are unable to ride in a Rhino and include the character, and at half-strength (allowing the use of a Razorback) are unable to take either their heavy or special weapon.

Elites: A nice mix here. Sternguard are shooting specialists, able to bring real pain with their bolters whether via AP3, 2+ to wound, an extra 6" of range or ignoring cover. Combi-weapons also allow them to serve a dual purpose, or even multiple dual purposes via combat squads. On the other hand we have Terminators, who have the more effective Storm Bolter and can bring serious pain to tanks with Cyclones, power fists and chainfists, or can be anti-infantry/light vehicle with assault cannons or, at a stretch, heavy flamers. Moving to combat, we have Assault Terminators, which are melee heavyweights (particularly with the addition of combat characters).

Fast Attack: Again, plenty of options. Stuff in Elites most often focuses on anti-infantry of some kind, with a side order of anti-tank. Fast Attack on the other hand has some amazing anti-tank choices in the form of Attack Bikes and Land Speeders, and Speeders can be truly versatile in the MM/HF configuration. These are genuinely flexible - fast enough to get in the right position quickly, cheap enough to take in multiples, with a weapon loadout which can do a lot of things well. In particular, being able to move and fire a multi-melta (giving it an effective 36" range and a 24" short range) makes it much more useful than the squad-based version.

Heavy Support: Lots of good stuff here. Land Raiders most often get taken as Terminator taxis, but Vindicators, Predators and Whirlwinds all have useful roles, and you can mix them up depending on your own list. Devastators are expensive, but if you really want to take them they can again take a focused role which supports the rest of the list. Thunderfires are adaptable on their own, with the different kinds of shots fulfilling different roles.

This is a very brief analysis, but I think the main thread is obvious. The various different slots allow one to tailor a list to a specific goal, or to write up a balanced, synergistic list where the various parts support each other well. It works as a whole - your Assault Terminators ride up and batter the enemy's keystone units, whilst your Vindicators lay down a barrage of pain on your enemy's equivalent TEQ. Sternguard lay waste to infantry of all kinds, and can perform clutch anti-tank, anti-TEQ or anti-horde if needed. Whirlwinds can allow your Land Speeders to focus on blowing holes in tanks rather than dealing with the mass of supporting infantry. A well-designed list contains a bunch of units which support each other and allow each individual unit to perform its own task to maximum effect - and in many cases, units have dual roles which DON'T compromise their overall ability (Vindicators make good anti-MEQ/TEQ, can serve as clutch anti-tank and do well against horde, for example).

At the centre of all this is the Tactical Marine. He watches as the rest of the army works in concert to achieve a goal. He can see the thunder of the Vindicators, the charge of his Chapter Master and crack Terminator bodyguard. He can see all this because he's sat the back, with 500pts of his mates, plinking away with a missile launcher and contributing little or nothing. If he gets out, the enemy's heavy weapons will obliterate him. He and his squad can drive forward onto the objective, and sit there firing off their one missile or one flamer shot per turn. Anything which reaches him is likely to end him, and his 250pts worth of squad is relatively unable to do anything about it.

Put simply, I am absolutely fine with lists being built around Tactical Marines and having to support them with the rest. I like that kind of combined-arms approach and for the majority of the list it works well. My problem is that the Tactical Marine takes so much supporting to acheive anything, whilst contributing little or nothing in return except to be an objective-claiming paperweight - a role which Sternguard can also fill in the right circumstances, or which Scouts can do for less points and with the ability to actually fend for themselves (or take a fast skimmer transport and be fast enough to have a decent chance to get to an objective in the dying turns of the game).

Decius
17-02-2010, 17:33
I say this with a sense of trepidation, like a minnow telling sharks how to hunt, but what if the Tactical Marine Sergeant came with a signum (or could buy one), and a signum allowed one model in to unit to get either "twin-linked" or "relentless"? This would representing the sergeant feeding tactical information or perhaps lending his experience to a single member of the unit. The "relentless" rule on a single heavy weapon would prevent it from slowing the unit down. If you don't need to move anyway, you can twin-link it for improved fire support. In this way, the "mandatory" heavy weapon would feel more like a heavy duty special weapon.

A flamer/missile squad could fire a template and a blast at close range, or just a twin-linked template. A squad with a meltagun and a multimelta could do some really nasty anti-tank work. A heavy bolter would feel more like a SAW. The lascannon and sergeant could sit back for long range anti-tank while the other half of the squad moves in with the flamer or plasmagun or what have you.

Of course, this all depends on the sergeant staying alive. And I have no ideas for close combat support other than the sergeant's power sword or fist or what have you.

... said the minnow. :p

WinglessVT2
17-02-2010, 19:21
I'd rather GW stops screwing around, and just give us the choice of two guns from the full range of weapons available to tacticals, and add the heavy flamer.

This would solve so many problems, so it's a given that it won't ever happen.

4th edition was very unusual, in that you could make tactical useful, and they got to play a role if you wanted them to.
I rarely saw the las/plas that everyone's complained so much about, but instead I saw twin flamers, twin plasmaguns, or twin meltaguns.

Archangel_Ruined
17-02-2010, 23:06
That will never happen, you're right. If my tac squads could take 2 missile launchers then there would be uproar.

Occulto
17-02-2010, 23:50
If he gets out, the enemy's heavy weapons will obliterate him. He and his squad can drive forward onto the objective, and sit there firing off their one missile or one flamer shot per turn. Anything which reaches him is likely to end him, and his 250pts worth of squad is relatively unable to do anything about it.

I'm confused. I must be doing something wrong because my opponent's tactical squads are rarely destroyed that easily.

Coincidentally, I must be doing something right, because my tactical squads rarely die that easily.

Quite a conundrum.

Oguleth
18-02-2010, 00:01
I don't mind flexibility - shoota boyz (and grey hunters, and csm and others) have it, for example. The difference is that Tacs are expensive bad flexibility. They end up hiding in transports (and only go out if its sure the universe won't splat them if they do), and you pay a premium price for it. Being able to take two specials would help, shaving off a few points (like 13-14 per body instead) or something would do a great deal. The whole idea of "average" troops that costs a lot is a rather weird notion...

Giganthrax
18-02-2010, 00:07
Seriously though, if tac squads could take two heavy weapons, that would not only make them too good, it'd also be against the spirit of space marines (who are an elite force that does it shooting in medium range, and should also rely on assault) as it would create virtual gunlines.

I mean, I'm the first guy who would probably get tac squads with dual plasmacannons each, and then proceed to camp the objectives as usual while shooting both plasmacannons from my rhino.

carl
18-02-2010, 00:09
I'm going to stick my inexpirianced craw in here and make an observation:

Combat squads is best used with large numbers of foot slogging infantry.

Imagine 6 ac squds, no upgrades, ML's and lamers. Split them all. Add in a cheap captian, (140Pt's or less) with jump Pack, take 3 Thunderfire Cannon, 2 10 strong Assualt squads with thunder hamer seargents and 1 5 man squad with the same sarge and you've got:

A) a lot of warm bodies, it's going to be no easy task taking them all out.

B) all your specials and heavies are firing, baringa failed LD test your foe has to wipe out all of each combat squad to really nueter them.

C) a whole bunch of special and heavy wepaon weilding units working in conjunction, 1 5 man combat squad isn't very dangerous, 2 or 3 working in conjunction with the threat of a couple of sections of assuallt marines is.

D) target saturation, he's got no les than 20 units to shiot at, (3 of which at least should be in good cover because of bolster the defences). And not one of them can be eaislly and reliably wiped out by most oppopnnent without massivlly overkilling the unit and leaving himself open to a counter strike.

E) you make his target priority very tough as he has a mixture of long range units pounding him and short range and assuallt units advancing on him.


The only downsides i can see are:

A) Thunderfire cannons are realisticlly a littile fragile for this duty.

B) really heavy AT is lacking.

C) extreme skill and good ebnemy move anticipation would be neeed to take full advantage.

Both A and B would fall away at 2500Pt's though IMHO as you could swap them out for things like vetran squads or similar.


The idea of combat squads is that it gives you 2 unit, both of which are too much troubkle to kill and too much trouble to leave alone. In small numbers this dosen't work well as you can't target saturate him, but if you really mass the infantry and leave the mech's hom you can give an opponnent a real hedach as he tries to figure out how to allocate his force to the threats facing him.

Corrode
18-02-2010, 00:14
I'm confused. I must be doing something wrong because my opponent's tactical squads are rarely destroyed that easily.

Coincidentally, I must be doing something right, because my tactical squads rarely die that easily.

Quite a conundrum.

Guard can bring enough AP3 templates to blow a Tactical Squad off the map. Any serious CC unit (and by this I mean literally anything from Ork Trukkers upwards) will slap Marines silly. The large number of templates or high-rate-of-fire weapons kicking about means that any opponent who wants a Tactical Squad dead can get it dead in a hurry. Marbo, outflanking units, much more forgiving Deep Strikes, all these factor into making it so Tacticals are rarely safe in the 'home quarter', especially out of a tank. A single Leman Russ with plasma cannons (which comes in at 190, a comparable cost) can entirely obliterate a walking Tactical Squad from 36" away. This isn't to whine about Guard - I rather enjoy playing against them, and I certainly don't feel like it's omg teh b0rken list. I rarely find Tactical Marines playing much of a role though, and especially not on foot, because if they're out of the tank that means an opponent has the perfect target for that mass of templates, or that hardcore CC unit, or hell even that mass of lasguns.

Archangel_Ruined
18-02-2010, 00:29
Marine hordes are very hard to deal with, people tend not to expect 60 marines at 1500pts, so how to deal with that becomes a real issue. A problem here is that the tac squad isn't that effective at lower numbers of marines. Bunkering up in rhinos, or in the best lists land raiders, is a simple way to protect these remarkably fragile units (seriously, the MEQ metagame has hurt the tactical squad more than anything else, it's equivalents got tricks and upgrades that counter some of the downsides of being T4 with a 3+ save. Also, what's happened to the world if being a marine is a bad thing?). Two heavy weapons would damage the marine fluff, however much I want to put that many missile launchers on the table. Two special weapons wouldn't, but then vanilla marines would lose that 'codex' feeling. There are a few ways around this, combat squads is one, offering a heavy flamer or broad spectrum multimelta is another, suspensors on the heavy bolter would be fantastic or going back to 2nd ed and allowing the heavy weapon to target another unit (not great, you'd still get the penalties for moving). Perhaps we'll see something like this in 6th ed marines, it would be a good way to further distinguish the codex chapters from the divergents, as it stands I always feel they're missing out on cool stuff in comparison, lets have a reason to take them without resorting to characters.

Occulto
18-02-2010, 00:32
I know about those things Corrode - I'm just pointing out that my experiences don't back up the theory.

Templates scatter, tanks get shaken/stunned, assault troops don't always make combat, units get cover or can hide, and most importantly target priority can make it suicidal to go after the tacs while there are other nastier things on the table.

Sure, tac squads aren't indestructible (although sometimes it can seem that way) but neither are they so paper thin that they're useless.

I've seen enough tac squads tarpit units long enough so the assault specialists can get there, or prevent some shooting to know that they have their role. Unfortunately, (as I said before), it's not a very glamorous role and people prefer to go for the toys.

No they're not going to carve through units in combat, neither are they going to mow down entire units - but they'll help the specialists do those things.

NightrawenII
18-02-2010, 09:45
My way of looking at those squad set-ups is:

- If I want my army to stay back and shoot, squad #1 is useless
- If I want to move forward and assault my enemy, squad #2 is useless
- Squad #3 offers me the choice to do either or both of the above, and loses roughly 50% of its ranged damage output for that flexibilty.
:)
Thats the point, I sacrifice edge in one area to get edge in other. They have role. Im bringing guns, which I want to use, not just because they are free and in most cases invalidate each other.


Personally, I think that's a pretty good trade, especially since I usually won't need the additional damage output to out-shoot or out-assault the opponent I'm facing (I don't need two flamers to overcome a Guard platoon, for instance).
Why two flamers?
flamer/plasma = GEQ & MEQ killers
HB/ML = GEQ & Tank killers
etc. etc. See multi-role unit.


Combat squads isn't a forced choice at all. If I want to engage the enemy in combat, I'll happily drag my free missile launcher along without ever firing it for the extra combat strength those 5 Marines give me.
Yes, it is. If I want use both of my weapons I payed for (price is included in Tacts price) Im forced combat squad. If you have ML just because its free, not because you want to use it, then it's bad choice in my opinion.

If you want your special/heavy configuration so badly, why dont use Razorback? Your squad is mobile, can shoot the heavy weapon on the move and it's assault too.

Seriously though, if tac squads could take two heavy weapons, that would not only make them too good, it'd also be against the spirit of space marines (who are an elite force that does it shooting in medium range, and should also rely on assault) as it would create virtual gunlines.

I mean, I'm the first guy who would probably get tac squads with dual plasmacannons each, and then proceed to camp the objectives as usual while shooting both plasmacannons from my rhino.
Increased prices for heavy, so you will be forced to think twice before taking two heavies.

Giganthrax
18-02-2010, 10:40
Increased prices for heavy, so you will be forced to think twice before taking two heavies.
Even if weapon prices were at devastator squad level (horribly overpriced, in other words) they'd still be an absolutely great option to have.

That being said, I don't want tac squads to have two heavy weapons per unit. Not even IG veterans have that, and tactical marines certainly aren't the type of unit to sit back and play devastator squad role.

hiveminion
18-02-2010, 10:45
:)
Thats the point, I sacrifice edge in one area to get edge in other. They have role. Im bringing guns, which I want to use, not just because they are free and in most cases invalidate each other.


Why two flamers?
flamer/plasma = GEQ & MEQ killers
HB/ML = GEQ & Tank killers
etc. etc. See multi-role unit.

But as I said that role is invalidated depending on the foe you face. When you're up against Tau or Imperial Guard, are you going to keep your heavy weapon squads back and blast away? They're going to get annihilated, or at least won't even come close to the threat they'd be if they were advancing towards the enemy to get into assault. If you're up against Tyranids or Khorne followers, are you going to close range and fire your flamer/plasma gun into their face? You'll similarly get slaughtered.

You say the weapons invalidate each other, which is generally true when you look at the level of a single game, but if you play the same list a couple of games against a variety of foes, I'll put in the claim they complement each other in that they make the Tactical Squad a threat (even if it is a mild one) against multiple enemies.



Yes, it is. If I want use both of my weapons I payed for (price is included in Tacts price) Im forced combat squad. If you have ML just because its free, not because you want to use it, then it's bad choice in my opinion.

If you want your special/heavy configuration so badly, why dont use Razorback? Your squad is mobile, can shoot the heavy weapon on the move and it's assault too.



Perhaps I gave you the wrong impression, I've chosen the missile launcher because it's free and I intend to use it. You're giving up a single bolter shot for it, how is that a bad choice? I can suddenly engage enemies up to 48" away rather than 24", and can even threaten armoured targets.

The Razorback, if you have a special weapon in the squad, does force you to combat squad. Because of that I personally find the Razorback only preferable for bare 5-man Squads. It's a good unit, but in my opinion it's not better than a 10-man squad in a Rhino, it's just different.

WinglessVT2
18-02-2010, 11:26
The reason marineplayers don't complain about this is because we've never before had tacticals that were this good without silly shenigans, such as traits.

That, and the book gives you a lot of really good options - which is also new for marines to have - so we're willing to close our eyes when it comes to stuff like tactical marines.

Fixer
18-02-2010, 11:44
I'm not sure how you can say that WinglessVT2. You've already shown that you don't even know what options a 5th ed Tactical Marine squad can take:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4403743#post4403743

I think the litmus test for the current tactical squad would be this though:
If you had one Marine Codex which allowed two special weapons in a squad (but no heavy weapons) and one Marine Codex that's got them as they are now.

You are allowed to pick one and have to stick with it forever. Which do you choose?
For the sheer majority it will be the former simply because assault weapons are a much more useful buy in the current mechanised transport dominated metagame.

WinglessVT2
18-02-2010, 11:46
You're kinda slow, aren't you?
We were discussing the fourth edition tacticals, with traits, and the ability to take heavy and specials even if you didn't have 10 marines in the unit.

bringerofdecay
18-02-2010, 12:03
i play BA and use them as cheap troops (5 man squads, no extra equipment), usually to provide mobile lascannons/heavy bolters in the form of razorbacks.

then i can use them for lightning assaults, as a gun line, in defence of objectives, in spearheading the capturing of objectives or even as a screen for my death company if needs must.

Fixer
18-02-2010, 13:21
Marine hordes are very hard to deal with, people tend not to expect 60 marines at 1500pts, so how to deal with that becomes a real issue.

Actually Marine Hordes aren't that much trouble to deal with if you have the right tools at hand. I recently dealt with a Space Wolf horde army that by all accounts is a much more daunting prospect than a similar army built with regular codex: Marines. I utterly rolled over the Space Wolves with a Redeemer, Assault Termies + Vulkan and blasting away at them with a Thunderfire cannon from afar. Against reg marines that would be the same except I wouldn't be taking 3 attacks per model back when I charged them, and there would be less models to face. Any decent Ork, Chaos, Demons, or Mech guard would do the same.

Tactical marines, for all their vaunted toughness, are priced so that conventional fire-power thrown at them in the open is going to be killing the same points in models as you would guardsmen, Orks or even Tyranids. However in cover those other units get a much improved save against practically all firepower while Marines get only an additional advantage against AP3+ weapons with only template weapons really starting to excel.

Additionally, in close combat there are a hell of a lot of opponents which will kill and take wounds from marines as if they were guardsmen. I was fielding my Nids against Raven guard a couple of weeks back. One Trygon with Regen managed to eat it's way through two Tactical squads on opposite sides of the board without breaking a sweat and the ATSKNF only gave a benefit for the 10 strong unit lasting long enough and sticking in combat so that they Trygon couldn't be shot. A 30 strong unit of guard with a Commissar + powerfist is one hell of a daunting prospect for a Tyrgon though.

The amount of things that can insta-kill tact squads out there with a charge or shot is extremely high. So much so that having a tactical squad within charge range of any of them is close enough to having it dead already.

Str 6 AP3 ignore cover ordnance? Lash and Obliterators on the field? A tactical squad within 15" of a Rhino with Beserkers in? 21 of a Land Raider with an assault unit in? Within the fairly wavy threat range of Orks or fleet units? CC Monsterous creatures? Most demons... That tactical squad's only hope of survival is that your opponent has a more important target to kill instead.

So you have to hide in Rhinos so that you don't get lashed into plasma template or so the Rhino's tin foil armor can try and withstand a charge from the enemy so you can get out and do some work after. Since you can buy 6 Rhinos for the same cost as a basic tac squad with powerfist it's the obvious and pretty much the only choice for fielding them in a 'take all comers' list.

borithan
18-02-2010, 13:24
Space Wolves get 3 attacks for roughly the same cost as normal space marines? Really?

LostTemplar
18-02-2010, 13:27
Plasma + Lascannon + Power fist. Versatility ftw!

Fixer
18-02-2010, 13:31
Space Wolves get 3 attacks for roughly the same cost as normal space marines? Really?

Not really. Space Wolves are cheaper.

You can take the wolf banner that allows them to reroll all 1s for a turn though, that brings them up to the same cost.

borithan
18-02-2010, 13:42
So they get 3 attacks for less than a normal Space Marine? Erm... how was that justified in any way what-so-ever?

Looking at the GW website all I can find suggests they would get two attacks (bolt pistol and close combat weapon), which still seems unfair, but isn't 3. Where do they get 3 from?

Fixer
18-02-2010, 13:49
Because they are Drunk Werewolf Vikings in space!

They gain an additional one for CCW/BP just like Chaos. The additional attack after that is countercharge which means one model gets 3x the attacks when receiving a charge should they pass their Ld Test.

Makes facing Grey Hunters a nightmare with Tyranids.

WinglessVT2
18-02-2010, 13:56
They're cheaper and better because GW realized they screwed regular tacticals up.

Gray hunters are very deadly, and people who run space wolves don't think twice about putting down 3+ units of them, all loaded with twin meltaguns or flamers.

Souleater
18-02-2010, 14:20
The SW list just seems so much more flexible than Vanilla. To me it feels the way the 'nilla codex should. Good flexible troops who can be given a range of gear with the option to nuts with gear if you wish

NightrawenII
18-02-2010, 16:42
Even if weapon prices were at devastator squad level (horribly overpriced, in other words) they'd still be an absolutely great option to have.

That being said, I don't want tac squads to have two heavy weapons per unit. Not even IG veterans have that, and tactical marines certainly aren't the type of unit to sit back and play devastator squad role.
Well, then we have scouts to hold objective and trash enemy at range.:chrome:

But as I said that role is invalidated depending on the foe you face. When you're up against Tau or Imperial Guard, are you going to keep your heavy weapon squads back and blast away? They're going to get annihilated, or at least won't even come close to the threat they'd be if they were advancing towards the enemy to get into assault. If you're up against Tyranids or Khorne followers, are you going to close range and fire your flamer/plasma gun into their face? You'll similarly get slaughtered.
Yeah, that's the plan... What is wrong with it?:cool:

gitburna
18-02-2010, 17:01
My experiences with Tactical Marines are skewed very much by the fact that I tend to meet "extreme" armies most regularly. For instance, my most regular opponent plays a rushing daemon bombing plague marine army.

As a result, my Tactical squads are really up against it. i'm paying 200 points each for a plasma cannon or missile launcher, occasionally a plasma gun or meltagun shot and thats all. My bolter fire does completely naff all, while in the inevitable assault, they are carved up by pretty much whatever they come up against.

The same army against Necrons, guard, eldar etc, i've found, fares much better, because the bolters can actually do something (and i am more effctive in assault too). I am able to go on the attack with them. I could stay at the back shooting a single missile launcher or combat squad them but i find that its more effective to advance the whole squad into short range, open up with the bolters and deal with the enemy at my preferred range.

I think you have to look at the Marines as a Force multiplier very much in the vein of that "famous" Way of the Water Warrior tactica which is prmarily based on Grey Knights. - they can go on the attack (but will need a breaker unit to provide assistance) or they can shoot (but will need assistance from tanks or devastators) for everything to work just as you want.

Because of the combination of weapons you can never truly optimise for one role and i think that's what irks everyone so much - It has given me cause to tear my hair out against Plague Marines because i am completely outmatched. Yet I know the same tactical marines taken against a different opponent can fair much better and i can actually compete and compete well.

That said, i had two/three ideas to improve tactical marines next time around (which i was pleased to see have popped up independently in this very same thread)

Sergeants give bolter drill - basically reroll any 1s to hit with boltguns - I wouldn't give it to devastators or terminators or sternguard or whatever - just tactical marines. Reasoning that these are the marines who will be seasoned fighters who have trained with boltguns for a very long time, and led by veteran fighters of many campaigns.

Heavy bolters can have suspensors making them assault 3 range 18". I wouldn't change any of the other weapons, they'd all stay heavy. I just dont think a single heavybolter adds anything to the squad as it stands. I think that multimeltas are good enough as they are, i know they're hard to mauver into range and so on but i think making them count as meltaguns or heavy flamers on the move (two other suggestions ive seen) would make them almost ubiquitous.

Zombie Savant
18-02-2010, 17:24
Hello. I haven't read every post in this thread, but I've read more than a few of them and thought I'd like to add my opinion to the pool. I started this game with Witch Hunters, moved to Guard with Inquisition allies under the old codex and have maintained this through 5th edition.

Just recently, I've started a marine force for the first time. It's a very different ball game, and perhaps in the context of the game the Marines are meant to be a mechanized, fast assault force, but thematically, that has little appeal to me. I like soldiers trudging along, emptying their rifles into the enemy and dieing and killing in droves. That is how I typically played my guard, though perhaps with a more assaulty bent (Iron Hand Straken, etc).

For the marines, I'm kind of doing a variation of that theme. No transports, or not yet, at least, all foot-slogging marines, and a large number of dreadnoughts. It is, suffice to say, a different animal, and here are some things that I would like to say.

Do not overrate cover. Cover is completely different and more accessible, than it used to be, true, but if you're still dealing with 25% of a table being covered in it, it rapidly becomes hard for a horde force to capitalize on it. It can be difficult to have even a a 20 man combined squad hug it and still get where it needs to be.

Playing with a Marine's stat-line is a HUGE change here. You can afford to have most every unit in cover due to a lower model count, less worry about "congestion," and that makes a big difference. Moreover, 3+ saves are such a radically different beast than 5+. I have not fought template-heavy guard yet with my new army, and I am certain that efficacy drops significantly in that case, but likewise, how would guard fair against 3 Thunderfire Cannons? The risk you take with a specialized list is coming up against something tooled to defeat you.

5th edition has somewhat mitigated the Anti-MEQ environment that, to this point, has been dominant. Flamers and Meltas are now the heavy weapons of choice, not Plasma. This, in addition with an increasing number of viable non-MEQ armies, has I think made Tac squads better than they have ever been in the past.

I also tend to feel that the Vanilla dex is one that reilies heavily on synergy. Foot slogging marines, to this point, have complimented my dreadnoughts quite nicely. Squads can use the advancing dread for a cover-save, while also making anyone looking to charge ending up having to engaged both a marine squad and a Dreadnought. If the squad suffers casualties enough, it can Combat Tactics away while the Dreadnought holds the line, allowing them to re-deploy, move on, or charge again on their turn for extra punch.

I am also of the opinion that MSU is in general the most favorable approach to the game. Combat Squads allow this to be accomplised, at will, in the two game types where it will be the most useful, and basically allows for a 10 men worth of marines to be deployed with the weapons you want where you want them. People constantly say that 5 marines aren't going to do anything. Of course they're not. Combat Squads allow you to deploy a full "10 men" with two 5 man halves, which, while may be a minor liability as you'll have to take more checks on your marines (excellent) leadership, you will be for all intents and purposes more survivable, can screen one unit with another, achieve better spread to avoid templates, and if positioned correctly, minimized engagement in unfavorable assaults.

For instance, a unit of substantial power will be overkilling a give 5 man combat squad most of the time. Perhaps you'll be able to fall back, or perhaps you'll be sweeped and killed via No Retreat with only five models in the squad. The moral of the story is, maybe you get away, now have a partially effective remnant in addition to 5 unscathed soldiers. Rapid Fire, or re-charge, or do what you need to do. The flexibility is amazing compared to guardsmen, if charging, for instance, have to orchestrate their timing very carefully, lest they shield the enemy during their own shooting phase, or if stubborn, can't break away at all.

I do not think that a 10 man marine squad is the best thing you can buy for 170 points. But I think it's pretty, flexibile, durable unit that can accentuate the strengths of your army.

quilly18
18-02-2010, 17:50
I like to combat squad them, take a heavy weapon and then a melta or flamer. putting them in razorbacks is how I roll

borithan
18-02-2010, 18:21
Sergeants give bolter drill - basically reroll any 1s to hit with boltguns - I wouldn't give it to devastators or terminators or sternguard or whatever - just tactical marines.It would definitely fit with my preferred thing of having squad leaders actually changing how units work (ala current Exarchs). Hell, the Devastator sergeant allows a heavy weapon to shoot at BS 5. Why not allow the Tactical sergeant do something?

Killswitch<>
18-02-2010, 18:29
Tactical squads, point for point, are awful! They have limited "tactical" finnese compared to their pts cost and their name..tactical.

The grey hunters of the space wolves are the epitone of what marines SHOULD be!

What is the use of a 16 pt marine who cant even get 2 attacks in combat when bieng charged, when a measly ork gets 2 basic....its heresy!!!

EmperorEternalXIX
18-02-2010, 19:06
Tacticals shine in a mech environment in my opinion. As long as your own army is meched up, their transports (whether razorback or rhino) add supportive armour to whatever else you're fielding. They also do one thing very well that nothing else in your army will do as effectively, CLAIMING OBJECTIVES. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Someone mentioned this earlier, but I just have to point out that if the objective is in or near cover, a Scout with a camo cloak is more likely to outlive any Tactical Marine.

Telion + 5 Scouts with Sniper Rifles and cloaks is a very good "stay at home" unit; thus, in my lists anyway, there was never any reason to use Combat Squads. I see all the marine special rules as desperation tactics, things I should not and would not want to risk if I can avoid it.

Combat Tactics is not that useful, only because running away from combat often isn't the final result. Even if you do get away, however, bear in mind that you are going to fall back 2D6; the average on 2D6 is some variation of 7. So mostly, the enemy can use his consolidate move to easily breach your safe zone and make your marines continue falling back. If you are near the board edge these guys will be walked to oblivion; if you aren't near the board edge, you've doomed them to be out of the game for at least one (if not more!) turns.

I find a much better use of it being to run away after taking an unpleasant volley of shooting. You are more likely to survive, you will likely avoid any impending assaults, and generally it throws the other player off his game quite a bit as he has moved into position to hit you with things based on the idea that you are unlikely to change position during his phases.

The Power Fist is a tough issue for me. I've used them in all my traditional 3x tac squad lists. But you know...75 points is a fresh scout squad or a decently geared speeder in the SM codex, and it's almost a predator or whirlwind too. It's very hard to justify "just in case" weapons in the Space Marine army, because firstly, it won't save you a lot of the time. I lost combats all the time even with my power fists...it is easy to get overwhelmed and 2-3 attacks won't save you. I could understand the fear of getting locked in combat with a Walker, but odds are you are going to be trying to use Combat Tactics to auto-break anyway, and whatever losses you take go in initiative order and so having the power fist wouldn't really prevent that painful charge's casualties anyway.

The other thing about the power fist is, to put it bluntly, you really don't use it that much. You aren't going to be in combat for roughly half the game regardless, and that's the case in virtually EVERY game. And with 1 attack each, a Tactical Squad is something that should be avoiding combats wherever possible. Yeah a fist might help you turn the tide in your favor...but as it is, I don't think it's worth it.

It was a very rare thing, in my experience, that I would think "Thank god I brought that power fist!"


What is the use of a 16 pt marine who cant even get 2 attacks in combat when bieng charged, when a measly ork gets 2 basic....its heresy!!!Actually most orks with sluggas and choppas get a base of 3 attacks.

Killswitch<>
18-02-2010, 20:12
My point was on their base statistics. readinf lfuffy books, you see marines single handly combat off hordes, and they train more in hand to hand combat than aiming weaponary, makes you think why they only have 1 attack standard O.o!

EmperorEternalXIX
18-02-2010, 20:38
Especially when you consider that they have supposedly already been an Assault Marine.

Mini77
18-02-2010, 21:57
I like to combat squad them, take a heavy weapon and then a melta or flamer. putting them in razorbacks is how I roll

How do you do this when Razorback's only carry 6 models?

WinglessVT2
18-02-2010, 22:01
He said he combat squads them.
That means he gets to split ten marines into two units of five marines each, so he can put one in his razorback, and leave the other standing around with their heavy weapon somewhere.

Mini77
18-02-2010, 22:10
He said he combat squads them.
That means he gets to split ten marines into two units of five marines each, so he can put one in his razorback, and leave the other standing around with their heavy weapon somewhere.

Ah. For some reason I assumed if the unit took a dedicated transport they were deployed on the table inside it, but they could only be made combat squads after they had deployed.

Thanks for the clarification.