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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the problem: I play Ultramarines, and want to find a way to use all 10-man tactical squads WITHOUT using Rhinos or Drop Pods. Tac squads are my core and I used to use 5-6 man las/plas squads, but I want to increase their size for fluff while still making a very competitive force. All ideas welcome!

My current thought is to take three 10-man squads with lascannon, flamer and vet w/ powerfist. They could hold the back line/table quarters and pick out armor targets. When enemy draws near, they can counter-charge to shoot and/or assault. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!
 

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It's certainly do-able. Sensible? That probably depends on a bunch of other factors.

What is the rest of your army doing at this point? Do you have dev squads? Or are your Heavy Support slots taken by a bunch of Preds, or Landraiders full of vet squads heading for the enemy? What are your fast attacks doing?

Probably most importantly, who are you playing? The word 'competative' makes me think, 'tournement', so any army, optimally-configured min-max lists... which might mean you're better off with 6-man las-plas...

But, as a compromise, how about 10-man las-plas? It's fluffy, and just like what you're used to, only it can take more punishment.

(Go Ultramarines!)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, for my 1850 I take three of those 10-man tactical squads, a las/ML dreadnought, a mixed Predator, three heavy-bolter attack bikes, a 10-man assault squad and 10-man scout squad (both with teleport homers) and a 5-man termie squad plus a termie master.

Yeah for me the list I play with friends and at tournament is the same - trying to think if a 10-man squad can be as good as the min-max las/plas squad (which I used to use). I would think one would gain quite a bit in durability and versatility, and the army above still has 5 lascannons, a missile launcher, 5 heavy bolters and two assault cannons for heavy weapons. Plus, each of the five 10-man squads (3 tactical, 1 scout, 1 assault) are lead by a powerfist-wielding veteran sergeant, and the termies nearly all have powerfists.

Thanks for your input!
 

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Well, when the new SM codex comes out for 5th Edition, the you'll NEED 10-men squads for a Heavy Weapon. I think that the las-plas idea is a good one, but I always preferred Missile Launchers. ML are more versatile than Lascannons for armies like Nids', IG, and Eldar. I'd say use less Heavy Support for big tables and less Fast Attack for small ones. It'll give you the points to max out those squads. My army always centered around 10-man units, so the new rules won't affect me much.

-Dirge
 

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Give them a job, and one where all 10 of them get to do something all of the time.

I'm not sure about the lascannon. Clearly if a 10 man squad tooled up with a vet sergeant and stuff stands still and fires a lascannon at a tank, that is hugely inefficient compared to the current 6 man las/plas set up. In fact any heavy weapon that makes you take a choice of whether to fire the heavy wep or do stuff with the rest of the guys is a mistake, in my opinion.

A 10 man squad is most effective when everyone is firing their bolters, ideally in rapid fire range. I think that you therefore want heavy and special weapons that complement the bolters, and put your anti-tank stuff elsewhere in your army. I’d say plasma gun and heavy bolter or plasma cannon – to make the squad scarier against MEQ. The firing from a plasma gun, plasma cannon and 8 bolters would be quite impressive and your squad would be difficult to shift from cover.

The Vet sergeant with power fist is a good idea. A hidden power fist with 10 wounds is always a serious prospect even for the toughest of monsters in 40k.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think you make some great points; the plasma cannon is a great idea, although it is a little Dark Angel-esque. I agree the lascannon would probably not be the best choice. I think, however, I enjoy using versatile squads more than many marine players do.

At a tournament last weekend I think I found my solution: 10-man squad with missile launcher, plasma gun and veteran w/ powerfist. It can shoot at vehicles, all types of infantry, stay and shoot, move and shoot, or assault. And you're also right, it's tough to go through 9 other marines to get at a powerfist. It's a very durable squad and can absorb assaults very well too. The plasma or HB would work well also, depending on what kind of weapon loadout is in the rest of the army.
 

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I'm of the opinion that plas/ml is a very cool and useful squad. I like having versitile squads too, because versitile doesn't have to mean "doing everything badly". Some combos are good - plasma guns can go up against troops or armour, ML can fire frag or krak, so both are good general weapons, and therefore ideal for a "flexible battlefield role" (ie, the point of a tac squad), or just, generally, shooting at anything.

Other combos are not so good. Flamer=assault support, against low-armour hordes (orks or nids, really); almost no use v tanks or termies etc. Lascannon=tankbuster, well overpowered for taking out lightly-armoured troops. Putting them together would be a tactical mistake. They can't hit the same targets, so you can effectively never fire them both together. Not that you would put a flamer and a lascannon in the same unit, I'm sure... :wink:

 

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Discussion Starter #8
LOL! Yes, there's flexible, and then there's just useless... even thinking outside the box has its limits.
 

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One of the guys in my area runs three 10 strong Tactical Squads at 1500 points with his Ultramarines, and I've never beaten him in a game.

A lot of people will tell you that one of the main strengths of the Space Marine army is their infantry - a standard Space Marine is probably one of the best models for its points in the game. Looking from a bit further back, a Tactical Squad is an excellent choice, as you have lots of options. You can do the usual las/plas for cheap fire output, or you can take bigger units with transports that are meant to advance forward and capture ground.

Thus, I think it's great that you're interested in using full Tactical Squads. One of the best layouts I've seen so far is as follows:

Tactical Squad

Veteran Sergeant
- Bolt pistol
- Power fist
9 Tactical Marines
- flamer or meltagun
- heavy bolter or missile launcher

I've never been a fan of plasma guns for a few reasons. First, they tend to overheat and kill my models far too often. Secondly, they prevent me from assaulting afterward. The above configuration ensures that you have a way to make the most of any or all of the 3 phases of the game. Taken in large numbers, these units can sweep everything they come across from the table, supporting one another if a powerful foe approaches.

One thing that works is to have one or two of these units advance, while the other hangs back and gives support with its heavy weapon. If there is a target that's either a) a huge threat or b) extremely resilient, it may pay to have two squads remain still to fire. On the other side of the coin, if there are no worthwhile targets around, it may be wise to advance with all of your units. There's no sense in standing around for no reason!

Good luck,

Katie D
 

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I'd agree that a lascannon is probably not the greatest weapon choice for a tactical squad. Missile launchers or heavy bolters tend to be better picks since they're more cost-effective and, in the missile launcher's case, more versatile. If you're not mounting up in Rhinos, then I'd distribute plasma rifles to each squad-- the better range offsets the risk the weapons pose to the Space Marine carrying them, in my experience, and 24'' is nothing to sniff at. You might also consider a plasma cannon somewhere. I've found the most effective semi-static Tactical Squads are those which are equipped to fight Space Marines or the like, as they tend to have high-strength heavy and special weapons with low AP, but still retain some threatening close combat ability. A veteran sergeant with a power fist is probably a must.

Admittedly, I tend to field my Tactical Squads in Rhinos for the added mobility (and ultimately cover that the destroyed vehicle provides), and I use the Trust Your Battle Brothers trait, but my Tactical Squads are generally equipped as such-- even without True Grit, it's quite effective:

Lions Rampant Tactical Squad Assault Configuration
-Sergeant armed with a power fist and boltgun
-Eight Astartes armed with boltguns and close combat weapons
-One Astartes armed with a meltagun
-The entire squad has frag grenades, True Grit, and Counterattack
-Rhino APC with extra armour, smoke launchers

When I get the urge to hang back a bit more, I tend to still give the squad True Grit/Counterattack and frag grenades, purely because you never know what's going to happen and since you have so few models on the table, it's good to be prepared. Instead of the melta, I'll usually issue a plasma rifle and either heavy bolter or missile launcher. Either way, the squad is still highly flexible, which is ultimately what you need from Tactical Squads.
 
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