Hello fellow heretics, today I am going to attempt the impossible, Iím going to show you that Vanguard Veteran Squads can be good. Iíll go through the Good points, the bad points and a couple of effective builds Iíve found. Mind you, this if from C:SM but Iíll add anything else from Blood angels if I can remember from them. (On a side note, don't come in and say Assault terminators are better and such, This is a tactica about Vanguards not terminators.)
First off the bad points:
Veterans are very expensive compared to the other choices in the codex. Just by giving each model a jump pack, Its 25 points off an assault terminator squad. To take the same equipment as an assault terminator squad itís an extra terminator and a half, and thatís just lightning claws! If you are going for tons of lightning claws or thunder hammer and storm shields, Pick terminators over these guys.
2: Numbers and survivability
These guys can not take mass fire very well. Just like every other space marine unit. However, it is costly but you can give them each a storm shield. The problem with this is that it ups the cost and stops them from gaining +1 attack for having two close combat weapons. If you give them jump packs, they can use their special rule: heroic intervention. The bad point though is that if you miss, they are going to die, badly.
3: Range fire power
Well what do you expect from an assault unit? Regardless, they can be alright at it if you give them plasma pistols, but then that leads to cost, Short range and gets hot. But you shouldnít be using these guys for Range anywayÖ
Moving swiftly onto the Good points:
You can customise these guys to your heartís content. You want to give one a power fist, another two lightning claws and the third one a power weapon and a storm shield? Well you can! Because of this fact, you can have these guys built for anything, whether its tank hunting or Mob slaying. On top of that, you can give them ALL Melta bombs. Thatís right for a meagre veteran and a quarter, you can give five of them Melta bombs. If you give them jump packs, you can have them busting the artillery in the opponents back line. The sergeant himself can simply exchange his power sword (he has that as standard!) for a lightning claw for free! You want a thunder hammer for him? Thatís less that a veteran and now he can insta-kill toughness four and make anything above Initiative one to his hearts content!
These guys can pump out an outstanding amount of attack compared to other units in the codex. For there base cost, you can have 16 Normal attacks and 4 power weapon attacks on charge. That isnít bad for five men. Now give each veteran a power weapon, those 16 normal attacks turns into 20 power weapon attacks on charge. Something is going to die from that. And with heroic intervention, you can make sure that you assault the unit of your choice.
3: Shock tactics
I have found that they work as a great shock tactic unit. Give them Jump pack and power weapons, then put them in deep strike. Your opponent has no idea where they are going to go, know that if he/she isnít careful theyíll lose their favourite unit or valued unit. On top of this, once they come down and assault using heroic intervention, Your opponent will either have to put some fire down on them, Leaving your other units unscathed, or ignore them, leaving a power weapon unit of speed wreaking havoc in their back line. Your opponent may even assault them with his own assault units, Meaning that they have been pulled away from your less able units and using combat tactics, leaving them in the open, ready for shooting with your other units.
Vanguard veterans can be very bloody manoeuvrable. They can have a drop pod, a rhino or a razorback for a dedicated transport. If your blood angels and use a rhino or razorback, this means that you can move them 18Ē forwards, pop smoke, then on your next turn, Disembark them to kill some things and use the razorback as support. If you give them jump packs, they can be moving 12Ē per turn and deep striking with heroic intervention, causing them to pick their targets easily. Because they have Jump packs, they can fall back 3D6, meaning that you can safely clear an enemy unit when you use combat tactics, regroup, get some units to shoot the enemy unit, and then assault again! If you use shrike, then they can infiltrate, gain fleet and have first turn assault. With a possible assault range of 24Ē, they can ensure that they kill what they want.
Iíve experimented with a few builds of Vanguard that I have quite liked.
Build 1: Quick striking power squad
Vanguard veteran squad
Four power weapons
Five jump packs
I like this unit very much, but you have to take a risk with them. Put them in deep strike and when they come on, use heroic intervention to strike at an enemy threatening your flank, or taking out a unit hammering your army. This forces the enemy to redirect their attention to a unit that is now munching on their army. This can then make them use more force than necessary to kill them, leaving you with more units to joyfully kill the opponent. If your opponent is foolish and ignores them though, this leaves you with a great opportunity to kill other threatening units, or even contest an objective. A good way of making sure that they hit where you want is to have a drop pod with a locator beacon and a dreadnought inside. While they try to pick them off, you can use that locator beacon to safely deep strike your veterans and start killing other units. This is also a good build with shrike, as you can infiltrate, and nab a first turn assault.
Build 2: The Elite Killers
Vanguard Veteran squad
Four power weapons
Any other power
Lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns
I love this build, as it just takes care of any elite unit (it can even kill HQs!). You can give them jump packs instead of a razorback but you can put down more fire with a razorback and it can also then go tank hunting as such. Move forwards towards your intended elite unit and pop smoke, then on your next turn, Disembark, and use null zone. Those invulnerable saves have now been lessened significantly. Fire the razorback at them, most likely killing a couple of them. Then charge in with the veteran squad. 24 power weapon attacks are lethal when your invulnerable save has now just gone down the drain basically. Against Hammernators, they can kill about 5-6 on average. Good bye terminators!
Build 3: Mass attack Unit
Vanguard veteran squad
Four extra members
No extra wargear
No extra wargear
This build is all about forcing a ridiculous amount of armour saves on a unit or model. Once again, Move 12Ē, pop smoke then disembark and assault. With Chaplinís ability, allowing all members of the unit to re-roll failed to hits, this means that 34 normal attack, 4 WS4 power weapon attacks and 4 WS5 power weapons attacks are going to do some damage. Letís put them up against a Unit of warriors. On charge, you would hit 25-26 times with the veterans, wounding 12-13 times, and killing 2 warriors. Then Chaplin and the sergeant take off 4-5 wounds of another one. That scares the opponent, making him/her focus on the unit, leaving the rest of your army fine and dandy.
Build 4: Demolitions and Late objective grabbers
Five Melta bombs
Five jump packs
This build is all around taking out the artillery at the back or grabbing that last objective. They can Deep strike behind the artillery, then assault (thanks to heroic intervention) blowing the living warp out of it. They can then proceed to jump around the battlefield, destroying anything that has an armour value. You can alternatively use them to deep strike near an objective, assault the enemy unit holding it, and make sure that you have a better chance of winning.
Just remember, don't over do the equipment. It ends up becoming a points dump and bam, you could have spend your points else where. Take small squad, you don't need massive power weapon weilding mobs, Leave that to the terminators. Design the unit for a role and make them fufill it.
If there are any tactics i've missed, Extra blood angel tactics, or another good build. Message me and i'll include it.
Thanks for reading!