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"They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 20:17   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

This is a bit of a rant, so feel free to move it to Enclave or something if that's where you think it belongs.

I hate the fact that Space Marines have no weaknesses that can be exploited. They all have tough armor, all of their squads can carry useful equipment, they all have good leadership stats, and they can always regroup and still do bad things to you. Let's look at the things that only Space Marines can do.

They get the Land Raider, which is one of the toughest vehicles in the game. It's not a Fast vehicle, and normal vehicles can't fire if they move at cruising speed. But the Land Raider can because it has Machine Spirit.

You can Assault out of an open-topped vehicle, but not a regular one. Oh, unless it's a Land Raider because it has an assault ramp.

Charging a unit that is in cover is dangerous since the enemy gets to swing first as you pick your way through the rubble. Oh, unless you are playing Space Marines where most of them get frag grenades for free.

Even with most vehicles having only armor 10 in the rear, it's tough to take one down with basic troops that are strength 4 at best. Unless they're Space Marines, who also come with free krak grenades.

You can't launch an assault in any form from greater than 18 inches away unless you are Beast / Cavalry unit or Fleet Jump Infantry. These are both very rare and generally fragile. Unless you are a Land Raider full of Space Marines or Terminators. 12" move, 2" disembark, 1.5" or so width of base, and 6" assault is 19.5" or so, which is more than anything else out there.

They can fall back from any combat safely, and if Calgar is present they can do so by choice. Anything else has the possibility of Sweeping Advance destroying the unit, but not Space Marines. They suddenly become Fearless, but unlike other Fearless units they don't have the disadvantages of taking extra wounds when they lose. They're only Fearless when it benefits them: an advantage without the corresponding disadvantage.

They can always regroup, and they don't even need to roll. OK, if you can give them an escort off the field and stay within 6" of them they can't, but cutting them below half strength doesn't help. Tau Fire Warriors can buy a weaker form of this ability, but it only works if the knife-carrier is alive and they still have to roll the mighty Leadership 8.

They can make basically their entire army scoring. It's not uncommon to find an army composed of nothing but basic troops (tactical squads?), Sternguard Veterans, and Pedro Kantor. That's up to 9 squads of power-armored scoring units, which means you have to all but table them to win in an objective-heavy mission. See above for how difficult that is!

Now, I'm OK with the concept of the Space Marines being Jack of All Trades as long as they are Masters of None, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I've seen them win assaults against ork hordes and I've seen them outshoot the Tau. Bloodletters from the Daemons list will generally beat them in assault, but only if they get there. The Bloodletters are far more outclassed at range than the Marines are in melee, and if the Marines are in cover the Bloodletters probably won't survive the opening swings anyway. So how do you go about beating Space Marines?
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 20:30   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

First off, let it be known by all that this thread is under my protection. I don't want to see any foul play from anyone involved, capisce?

[hr]

Some points of mine:

The drawbacks are the enormous costs associated with many of the tactics you've stated, and the fact it is extremely easy for a Space Marine player to get distracted by the shiny objects in his codex and make his army even smaller and more elite than it already is.


- Land Raiders are 250+ point monsters. AV14 to be sure but lacking no unique shields or cover of the Eldar, Orks, or Tau. A Melta or Railgun should put it in its place quickly. Terminators are also 200 points at a bare minimum. This can easily be over a quarter of an opponent's total points value, even more if you prefer games in the 1000-1500 range, placed into but 6 models.

- Almost everyone gets Frag grenades anymore except for those too alien, those with too dated of a codex, or those who would find it completely contrary to their playstyle.

- I've never found escorting Marines off the board to be hard at all, particularly when you've just bested them in close combat. Many armies possess units fast enough for such a role, or simply don't need such units in the first place. I imagine this is from the point of view from your Tau, who do indeed lack units willing to get within that 6" range and fast enough to get there, but you'll be breaking them from shooting, a rare occurrence anyway.

- Calgar is a very, very, very touchy subject. Personally, I think auto-passing = No Retreat wounds regardless of source. For what it's worth, INAT, and thus many, many tournaments, also follow this definition. And again, Calgar is expensive.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:08   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

Try to fight against 4000 pts Imperial Guard with, say, Chaos Marines. You'll welcome Space Marines back with open arms.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:16   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

To be honest, Calgar doesn't bother me too much. He's a Big Bad Special Character and all that, so getting to be Fearless isn't that big a deal. ATSKNF's ability to only become Fearless when the unit would otherwise be destroyed is the part that bothers me. That applies to the entire army, and it's another removing of a weakness without removing a strength. You're right that I'm speaking for a fairly Tau-centric perspective, and the amount of dust on the Tau rules will color much of that.

Maybe I hadn't realized how prevalent the frag grenades were. Tau don't have them at all, of course, from both alien-ness and age of codex, but my only other army (Daemons) only gets them on Slaanesh units that I consider too fragile to be viable. Maybe I should give them a shot when the new seekers come out. Still, with most armies, it's just the assaulty or Fast Attack troops that get the grenades, isn't it? Space Marines seem to get it on everybody. Give my kroot hounds some frag grenades, and I'll probably go away for a while!

I have to disagree with you on Land Raiders that "A Melta or Railgun should put it in its place quickly". In 4th edition, broadsides had pretty good odds of killing one, but in 5th that doesn't seem to be the case. I ran mathhammer on it a while back, and it's not until the 7th broadside shot where you have a greater than 50% cumulative chance of destroying an AV14 vehicle. (Disclaimer: this does not consider markerlights or the possibility of destroying it with a combination of Weapon Destroyed and Immobilized results.) You really need melta to kill those things, and when they can move 12" and still fire it's awfully hard to get close enough to use a regular melta or fusion blaster. With Extra Armor and Machine Spirit a Land Raider basically can't be stunned enough to ignore it or to get close enough to kill it. Is Extra Armor expensive enough for what it adds to Machine Spirit?

Land Raider at 250ish, terminators at 200ish, broadsides at about 100 each with gear (300 for a squad of 3 with drones). I'll have to dig for more exact numbers, but I think I would put my money on the LR and termies over a similar point value of broadsides at normal deployment distance. In most deployments, the broadsides are only going to get one shot, likely through a smoke cloud, before the assault terminators wipe them out, and that's unlikely to be enough. Spearhead with the broadsides in the back corner might be the only exception.

@Solarius: That's Apocalypse-level stuff where normal rules don't apply and all sorts of game balance issues come apart. I'm talking about regular point values.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:27   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

Who said Apocalypse? I'm saying normal games. Even at 3000 pts this would hold. Is this an abnormal size for a battle?
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Originally Posted by Tak'Ukos
Oh God, not that deamnohunters! :P
Who else would fight Choas with Palasma weapons?

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My Shas'O, I picture as an old grizzled war vet. However, he has a bit of a gung-ho streak. Think Sun Tzu meets Yeosemite Sam
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:31   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

Very, Solarius. A normal game is, at most, 2.5k. You can play more, certainly, but that's hardly common and is going into the realm of mega-battles, Spearhead, and Apocalypse.

Knightperson, all I can suggest is adding some Fusion Blasters to your arsenal for those Land Raiders.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:36   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

Hmm, then I take back everything. Me and all people I play with consider anything smaller than 2500 pts a bar brawl, not a battle (I'm not trying to sound arrogant, it's a matter of preference I guess). Then I can't really say much about SM performance... and should scurry away ASAP...
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Originally Posted by Tak'Ukos
Oh God, not that deamnohunters! :P
Who else would fight Choas with Palasma weapons?

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Originally Posted by Fish Ead
My Shas'O, I picture as an old grizzled war vet. However, he has a bit of a gung-ho streak. Think Sun Tzu meets Yeosemite Sam
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 21:50   #8 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

As an IG player, beating SM for me just means shooting plasma. The amount of plasmaguns that the IG can get for such a low price is staggering. I usually give every squad as many plasma guns as I can and leave my Chimeras, Valkyries, and Hellhounds to be my horde control.

And of course you can't ignore how stupidly broken having some mystics in your list makes you against anything that DS's.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 22:07   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

How do you beat them? You either play spectatularly, not something that can be pulled off all the time, or you join them.


This is all down to a marketing ploy by GW. Space Marines are FOTC (flavour of the century) and because they sell well, they get better rules. Is this right? Hell no. But it will not change.

Marines will consistantly get better rules, better models, and hence sell better in one big circular mess.


So all you can do is play well, play against people who play for fun, not for powergaming, and sit quietly smug with a sense of moral superiority if you play Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar and to a much lesser extent, Guard, Orks and Nids.


Or do what I do - treat marine players the same as dog rapists/witches in MW2, and play something else whilst knowing you are much better, and much more arrogant than they are.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 22:27   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: "They Shall Follow No Rules", so how do you beat them?

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Originally Posted by knightperson
I ran mathhammer on it a while back, and it's not until the 7th broadside shot where you have a greater than 50% cumulative chance of destroying an AV14 vehicle. (Disclaimer: this does not consider markerlights or the possibility of destroying it with a combination of Weapon Destroyed and Immobilized results.)
How are you figuring that exactly? The way I figure it, 4 shots at BS3 Twin-linked should net you 3 hits (though I'll be the first to say, anecdotally, my TL BS3 bright lances never hit a damn thing). Of those 3 hits 1/3 will inflict a penetrating hit. With that 1 penetrating hit, due to AP1, half your results will net you a destroyed result.
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