Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Solihull (UK West Midlands)
Space Marine Units-What's Worth Taking?
Hello all. I like to be as blunt as possible so putting it simply. In this series of articles I will detail EVERY unit in the SM codex. However due to my intense dislike of SC I will look at them last. Apart from this I will go through every unit as they appear in the dex.
Finishing that lets look at today's candidate-the Chapter Master:
The Chapter Monster does raise some questions, mainly why he has the same stats as a captain when he is supposedly better than them? I may have thought they deserved better but that is not for me to decide. So moving on the Chapter Master has some very nice abilities such as a wide selection of weaponry and the option of a retinue. He is an all round hero best tooled up for close combat. However despite this he does have some very serious flaws.
Firstly I am not a huge fan of honour guard as I find they are expensive and do not add much in the way of bang for your buck. But however I shall deal with them later. Secondly I believe that the orbital bombardment ability is either a double edged sword or at the very least slightly contradictory. As discussed earlier the Chapter Master is best suited to close combat so why have an attack that requires you to stand still? Lastly with the options listed there does not seem to be any incentive to me to place him in terminator armour. For a few points less he loses relentless (although with a combi-weapon at best this is hardly a big deal) and the ability to deep strike (Although I always find deep striking dodgy since again it requires a close combat suited dude to stand still for at least one turn) but still retain the same armour save, invun and weapon choices (one could argue that in artificier armour he can gain an extra pistol attack).
So in short I find the Chapter Master to be interesting but for 25 points less I would prefer a standard captain any day of the week.
Today we leave off from the discussion of a Chapter Master and see the point of taking a honour guard squad. The verdict-very little.
That is not to say honour guard are crap. They have some lovely options and the fact each comes with artificier armour and power weapons as standard shows they can pack punch. However some options seem pointless (Combat blade when you already have a pistol-why?) and they lack some options that make command squads so awesome such as the ability to be mounted and position for an apothecary. So as a result honour guard are very slow unless you shell out to buy a transport and this will make them target number one.
So to summarise this I find that Honour Guard are a very fluffy and seem a good idea on paper but in reality are just expensive and never in place on the field where they are needed. Next topic will concern space marine Captains.
This next update is for evaluating the usefulness of having a Space Marine Captain.
I find that the Captain has a decent set of stats and is best for those who want a pure close combat monster, especially with a tooled up command squad. He has decent set of stats but some options like terminator armour seem like a complete waste of points. Of interest is that mounting him on a bike allows one to take bikers as troops which is useful for those who love white scars style armies. As a result of this I like the Captain and consider him a good investment. I normally use mine as a close combat deterrant to my gunline army. I also like the option of a command squad as they can be very effective. As such he is always worth more to me rather than a Chapter Master as he is cheaper, more useful and has a better retinue.
Next we shall look at Command squads.
Now I shall examine my views on Command Squads. Overall I find these guys to be well worth the points. They come with a variety of options that can make some enemies squirm (I would like to one day have either a command squad all with flamers or meltaguns to jump out of the razorback and unleash hell) however despite these goodies there are some bad points. One of these is some variety in options mean that the squad itself cannot match the actual captain (I am of course referring to lack of a jump pack or terminator armour options) and the fact it has to have an apothecary meaning that a gunline squad has to at least have one dude just standing there with his narthecium. Although I do love my apothecary to support my captain when he goes into an assault. I also suggest either getting a transport razorback or mount the squad on bikes to increase mobility or they could sit out the entire game doing nothing.
Now lets move on to the other HQ units. Starting next time with Librarians.
Today lets discuss Librarians (not the kind that infest libraries-although having one of those with his head blown off would be funny!) and their uses within the Space Marine structure.
I personally like Librarians as they are tooled up for many uses. Sadly they lack a standard invulnerable save but that is not a major problem. All libbies come with force weapons which means they can take out mosntrous creatures and other hard targets with multiple wounds and no eternal warrior rule. They also have a variety of psychic powers but that is up to decide which ones are best. I personally always consider updgrading my libby to an epistolary if points allow because it allows me to use the power might of the ancients before lating using his force weapon.
The options for him are good. Here is 2 good builds worth taking in games
Monster hunter Libby
Libby-is an epistolary, has might of the ancients, quickening -can wear terminator armour
Assault Squad Libby
Libby-is an epistolary, has the avenger and force dome psychic powers, also has a jump pack.
Also for a bit of fun consider using an epistolary with termie armour with a storm shield armed with the gateway to infinity and vortex of doom powers. He is well protected and can jump around whilst nuking stuff.
Come back later when I discuss Chaplains.
Today's topic is about SM Chaplains. Out of the HQ choices I rank him as joint 2nd in effectiveness with a libby. However it cannot be denied that a Chaplain has the awesome ability to allow one unit he is with to reroll missed hits in close combat, makes them fearless and costs a lot cheaper. Because of this cheapness there is little need to further equip a chaplain apart from a bike/termie armour/jump pack.
Points wise the chaplain comes armed with a power weapon and has an inbuilt 4+ invun save. Pretty good!
My own persoanl choice for chappy is a basic chaplain who accompanies either lightning claw armoured terminator assault squads or an assault squad that has a power fist (to make up for his S4)
So to sum up I think a chaplain is always great, true he does not have many options and many of these like digital weapons are a waste of points but he does bolster a unit greatly, not that bad in combat himself but also is great for low points games since he can be run effectively without any further options. In fact in my opinion he is the cheapest HQ (apart from a master of the forge) available to a marine player.
Next update will look at the eccentric never used HQ choice, a master of the forge.
Today will focus on the oddball and last of the SM HQ choices, the Master of the Forge.
Being honest I like the Master. He might suck in combat for a HQ choice but he does add an interesting leader for a gunline marine army. He comes cheap (The most he should be is 120 points) but sadly has only 1 good option. The others focus on rubbish weapons and close combat tools which is where he should be avoiding. The good choice left is the conversion beamer. An unpredictable weapon that gets weaker as the enemy gets closer. A weapon I like! (Although I always have a soft spot for untrustworthy weaponry) In this regard this can make him a HQ choice and for those who love dreads (I do as you'll find out later) he is a must have. I find it sad that he is not used more often. Maybe hopefully with the next codex they will release a Master of the Forge model with conversion beamer.
With the HQ choices cleared the next update will feature the staple of many SM forces, Its tactical squads. Toodles!
Todays update features a common staple found in most Space Marine armies-the fearsome Tactical Squads!
Joking aside there are plenty of positives to taking a Tactical squad. They have good weapon upgrades even if hampered by having no special or heavy weapon unless they number 10 men-just guess you can't have everything in life!
Sargeants are also pretty cool too. They come integrated into a squad and have some nice options to deal with the enemy in close combat. However I would not bother with these. A lot of players say it is worth getting a power fist for the sargeant in case the unit runs into combat with a dreadnought. I disagree with this because I believe that if the unit is charged by a dread which moves at the same speed as the unit itself then you have either made a bad manouvering descision or your anti-tank fire is failed to do its job.
Weapons wise I always like the free weapons. True the big scary guns like plasma cannons and meltaguns only cost a few points more but if you get the option for free stuff like that I dare you to find a reason not to use the stuff. Tactical squads also in my past have a good chance of success in combat squadding with the flamer and missile launcher being in seperate squads.
To sum up in short I consider Tactical squads to be a worhtwhile investment that are great for objective covering and can also dish more damage out than they receive. A big thumbs up in other words from me!
Next update will feature the benefits and deficits of using Space Marine Scouts, the other staple choice in some armies.
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Last edited by Stephen_Newman; 11-26-10 at 09:49 PM.