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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-11, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default The humble tactical squad

I'm still debating the best way to set these up. The basic 5-men+plasmaback for 165pts is obviously a good arrangement. The squad always gets a ride, that is a certainty; beyond that everything has issues.

ML? With what? I think here you go ML/MG+plasmaback, split the squad leaving the ML behind with the MG in the ride.

MM? Okay in a Rhino, but all that stopping and starting takes thought to manage correctly. I think here you go MM/PG+rhino. The range lines up nicely. Ideal targets aren't too disparate. The split is decent with 5x bolters left behind and MM/PG in the ride.

PC? I've no experience of on Tax. Any good?

Some people say avoid HB. I'm not so sure. HB/flamer+rhino gives them an okay anti-horde role. The split is decent. HB stays behind and flamer goes in the ride. Or is that the other way around?

What about combi-weapons? Definitely not. Quite over-costed and far better to use those points elsewhere. Power fists then? Three of them gives you a Tornado. Probably best taken in very low numbers. Power swords? Not terrible. MB? I think you only take MB if you haven't considered how your tacticals work with the rest of your army. Demeching should not come down to needing an MB.

So possibly a PF, possibly a PW. Let's review the above
  • ML/MG+plasmaback gets PF. With the MG it seems to make sense, but then we'll sometimes need to be able to keep the squad together. So make that a rhino. @235pts
  • MM/PG+rhino gets nothing. Marines don't want to get out of their can to fight anything you need MM or PG to shoot at. @215pts
  • HB/flamer+rhino gets PW. We're pretty sure it'll come in helpful against targets we want to flame or bolter. @220pts
  • 5-man+plasmaback. Nothing needed. The value here is all 1+1. @165pts

Feedback welcome. Harsh, damning critique, delivered brutally, also welcome so long as it is honest, right-minded, and intended to be helpful.

Last edited by vonklaude; 05-13-11 at 12:24 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-11, 08:25 PM
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No offence.but this sounds really complicated. Whats Plasmaback dontreqlly understand what your doing apart from which weapon combos & which ones go in rhino

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-11, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChaosDefilerofUlthuan View Post
No offence.but this sounds really complicated. Whats Plasmaback dontreqlly understand what your doing apart from which weapon combos & which ones go in rhino
A plasmaback is a razorback with TL-PG and LC.

My goal is to reduce complication! I was reading and it struck me that in list after list we see the same basic elements, and in competitive lists those tend to be configured in certain 'most efficient' ways. That makes sense, because all lists need to cover the same list of jobs. Something to deal with heavy armour, something for light, something to deal with horde, etc. I noticed that people keep repeating the work of figuring out what configuration is best for each job, when they don't need to. I realised that a simpler approach to list building will be to have preconfigured building blocks. That is simpler, because instead of finely configuring each tactical squad (as an example) you just think about the role you need and slot in the best off-the-shelf unit. This pushes your focus onto the functional army as a whole, rather than repeating work already done to find the best setup for each component. Better still, you can avoid bad picks (there are no bad picks in terms of what you like to field, but bad in terms of efficacy) because the preconfigured element will be very good for its job - having benefited from the vast amount of testing the player pool can do compared to any one person. A simple example, Long-fangs with 4x ML and plasmabacks are one of the most efficient heavy elements SW can take. They appear in list after list. If you don't know about them, some of your SW lists will be less fighty than they could be, and besides, you shouldn't have to redo that thinking process. Your question should be 'do I need that job done, and should it be done in heavy FOC slots' rather than 'I wonder how I should setup my Long-fangs for a ranged support role?'

So this is all leading to a tactica I'll be posting for VSM of basic utility elements. Tactical squads needed some work. I've found two really great configurations from playing/experimenting

5-man, plasmaback 165pts
10-man, MM, flamer, rhino 205pts (but I think this can be improved on)
The first is great for MSU. It maximises your 1+1 picks. The latter is very solid in most lists. It combat squads neatly (MM stays in the rhino), it creates useful avoidance zones that affect your opponent's movement. Or if you keep the 10-man squad together it is very tough to budge off objectives. You can spend more points on either unit, but you have to fix in your mind that those points come at an opportunity cost. The plasmaback squad will not perform much better for having a PF on the veteran sgt: those points can be spent for more benefit elsewhere.

In strict terms of efficiency there really are only a limited number of 'good' configurations of the tactical squad, and a much larger number of bad ones. Knowing those saves you time, meaning you can spend that time on better and more creative lists.

Last edited by vonklaude; 05-14-11 at 10:31 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-11, 03:13 AM
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I've been having a lot of success fielding a tactical squad with plasma cannon and plasma gun in a rhino recently.

It is good against hordes due to the plasma template and the number of shots at close range.

ok against MC's. I've only really played against mephiston and the nightbringer with this squad, I ignored the nightbringer as there were far too many tasty targets on the board that would go down a lot easier. With mephiston I have been able to get a few plasma shots from inside the rhino as he comes in. on the first turn of combat he usually destroys the rhino, but then he has to take 16 bolter shots and 2 plasma shots afterwards. I have considered taking either a power weapon/fist or a combi-plasma just to make this squad a little more effective against this type of CC powerhouse.

good against TEQ, ap2 and a blast template 'nuff said.

good against MEQ, see 'good against TEQ'

can be used to pop light vehicles, but I'd rather other elements of my army concentrated on that

useless against heavy vehicles, but I have landspeeders and other melta units to deal with those, I'll just keep on shooting the stuff that this squad is equipped to deal with.

All in all, this is a very useful multi-purpose squad, but it does require support from other units.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-11, 04:47 AM
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i give mine:
plasma gun
missile launcher
sergeant with plasma pistol and powersword

if i have the spare points... meltabombs!

as you might guess, the plasma gun and sarge go with 3 other marines and shoot at MEQs while the missile launcher shoots at APCs to have their contents be spilled out and shot up by plasma, possibly assaulted with the pwr sword.

honestly, i think youre going far too into detail about this. i dont even use APCs with my setup and they usually do okay. just make them multitaskable and youre good to go, maybehave them give each other fire support, like mine do.
(miss launcher fires at APC)
(APC explodes, unloading marines)
(marines die to ap2 plasma and powersword)

Last edited by MidnightKid333; 05-15-11 at 04:50 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-11, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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So far then

10-man PG/ML, PP, PW @210pts
10-man PG/PC, rhino @220pts
10-man MG/ML, PF, rhino @235pts
10-man PG/MM, rhino @215pts
10-man flamer/HB, PW, rhino @220pts
5-man plasmaback @165pts
Looking them over I think my flamer/HB is a mistake. I'm paying +80pts to get an HB that can fire OR move, when I could just pay +5pts for a bolterback. I also think my MG/ML, PF is a mistake. The PF is nearly as expensive as upgrading to a plasmaback, but not on the field as shaping to the fight. Once we're in a plasmaback we're not shooting, so the free flamer is a better pick than MG.

10-man PG/ML, PP, PW @210pts
10-man PG/PC, rhino @220pts
10-man flamer/ML, plasmaback @245pts
10-man PG/MM, rhino @215pts
5-man bolterback @130pts
5-man plasmaback @165pts
Now is it a good expenditure of 80pts to go from 5-man plasmaback to 10-man flamer/ML plasmaback? A devastator squad with 4x ML costs 150pts. A typhoon with effectively 2x ML costs 90pts. I think I'd rather see

5-man plasmaback @165pts
Typhoon @90pts

For +10pts we've gained additional long range fire on a fast platform. Consider that against 10-man PG/ML, PP, PW @210pts. They fight as two five man squads. So

5-man PG, PP, PW @130pts
5-man ML @80pts


5-man PP, PW @120pts
Typhoon @90pts

It's not too bad. Being rapidfire though, that PG has an asynergy with PP, PW. Those two weapons are all about close combat. Rapidfire is all about near range shooting. I think in play it will be better to have 2x ML on a mobile platform than 1x ML static and 1x PG in asynergy with your SGT picks.

Therefore I feel like we have so far

5-man PP, PW @120pts
10-man PG/PC, rhino @220pts
10-man PG/MM, rhino @215pts (better as flamer/MM @205pts?)
5-man bolterback @130pts
5-man plasmaback @165pts
Now you have to ask, is it going to be stronger to have 5x bolters and a bolterback at +10pts than 3x bolters and a PP and PW? The answer partly depends on understanding the overall list. My general analysis is that it is the job of other components of your force to demech opponents. Not of every individual squad. That PP then is only gaining us mild threat to Teq/Meq for 15pts.

I think here I'd prefer to see

5-man, PF @115pts

What do others think, and does anyone have other configurations that they've liked to add to the list?!

Last edited by vonklaude; 05-15-11 at 09:56 AM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-11, 10:13 AM
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Arrite, standard configuration is 10 man with a flamer and ML. First off a ride is mandatory, be it a rhino, razor or DP. Personally I prefer the rhino due to capacity and fire points. I only use a DP in all DP lists, or if I need melta behind enemy lines (CM, MG, MM), and a razor if I need antiMEQ (PP, PG PC).
For the sgt it tends to be a PF as the PW underperforms, plus then you can insta-gibb things and get out of walker or MC assaults.
There are 4 basic combos I use in tax:
- PF, F, ML, rhino is anti-horde
- PF, PP, PG, PC plasmaback is anti-MEQ/TEQ
- PF, MG, MM, rhino is antitank
- PF, MG, ML, rhino is all rounder

avoid the HB as it's needed in large numbers to be effective. It is also less flexible than a ML.
The PC is win for anti-TEQ/MEQ as it ignores armour, especially against deep strikinh termies.

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