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Techmarine Guide
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Old 14 Nov 2006, 01:23   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 88
Default Techmarine Guide

Ok, everyone... this is something me and Tech-Commander Archive (now just Archive) were working on in the summer. Now that he’s back in school and work/real life is demanding a disproportionate amount of my time, I figured I would finally get this thing out there. Our Techmarine manual began in August, but commitments made it kind of fall to the wayside until I decided to just get it out there.

It’s a bit rough and not totally complete, but I put too much work into this thing not to let it see the light of day. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed working on it! Enjoy!
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The Techmarine: My Favourite Six-Armed Space Marine!
By Scooter the Outlaw and Tech-Commander Archive
Welcome to Scooter and Archive’s manual on the Techmarine. As of now, still incomplete, but this thing needs to get out there eventually. Anybody who wants to help finish up or edit the guide, please, feel free to PM me and I’ll send it to you for editing!

Let’s Get Biz-ay, Techmarine Style
The Techmarine has access to all Space Marine equipment from the Armoury, but even without this, he can be made into a one-man wrecking crew without having to bust out the other stuff. With a huge number of options available straight off his Codex entry, the Techmarine can be all kinds of things; shooting, assault and counter-assault, a greasy repairman with cool armour… whatever you want. Part of what makes the Techmarine so attractive is his versatility.

When you’re examining your standard TM options, it’s important to consider the role your Techmarine will be playing—it’s best to avoid the kind of grand screw-up where your four Gun Servitors and Harness-less Techmarine gets slapped stupid by a posse of thirty Hormagaunts because you left them open for assault, for example. While few players I’ve met will make this kind of fundamental mistake, there are lots of things to consider other than the common-sense basics. And if you’re like me and every now and then your common sense is on strike, this could be helpful for that, too.

The Basic Techmarine: ”Inspector Gadget”

For what you get at his points cost, the Techmarine is barely acceptable. Considering that he has an extra wound, attack and Ld point over the basic Marine statline, Auspex, Signum, a Power Weapon and a single-shot Powerfist, that alone stacks up reasonably point-for-point, but I’d rather have more Marines.

I have never played a Techmarine without using some of his options. Why? Because he’s pretty useless. Sure, you can use him for counter-assault with his power weapon and fist, but you can buy a chunk of a Veteran Squad or a well-armed Veteran Sergeant for the same cost. His save is standard, but he’s still vulnerable to instant-killing Meltaguns, Powerfists, and Wraithlords. He can’t be picked out in shooting, but in assault, he’ll get carved by high-Initiative Independent Characters (Broodlords! Farseers! Chaplains!). You can also try to just use him to repair your vehicles, but without Servitors, it’s pretty helpless—he probably just kicks whatever is messed up and tells the operators to “try it now”. And for shooting… well… let’s not even discuss that.

The basic Techmarine is like Inspector Gadget—he has lots of cool stuff on his person, but without his backup from Penny and the yellow dog, his van/spots car, and the police chief, he would get wrecked post-haste in the thick of things. And when you consider the ‘thick of things’ includes face-eating Tyranids, soul-eating Necrons, and everything-eating Kroot, the Techmarine is a lot more screwed than Inspector Gadget ever was.

Don’t waste the points on an un-upgraded Techmarine, but feel free to have him pace on the sidelines and scream at your guys.

The Servo-Harness: ”It’s like a party on my back and everyone’s getting killed!”

So, the Techmarine by himself is a bit of a mess. You need to get him all fixed-up to really get the bang for your buck. A surly, underperforming Techmarine can fortunately be coaxed into superior performance via his Wargear options.

Punch that Techmarine on the back with the full Servo-Harness! The Techmarine with the Servo-Harness is like throwing growth hormones, beef jerky, and superpower-creating serums/radioactive materials into a blender, slamming it into six syringes and putting them into the Techmarine’s eyes. Note all six arms have a weapon. This alone should give you an indication of what this Techmarine is about: punching people in the face, stealing their chips, burning down their homes and not even bothering to take names as he stomps chumps left, right, and centre.

For the cost-benefit ratio, the servo-harness beats even armed robbery of a liquor store. He gets a lot out of it—a superb save, another powerfist, a flamer, and a twin-linked plasma pistol! This increases the TM’s effectiveness greatly and allows him to liberally distribute wounds in close-range battles. Without other upgrades, this TM makes a worthwhile counter-assaulter. Because he lacks speed, he will be unable to match Assault Marines and Rhinos—but he’s perfect for tying up that charging posse of Flayed Ones trying to get into your end. Basically, stick him with your shooty teams. When the enemy gets uncomfortably close, in he comes, dealing death—or at least making the enemy’s advance costly.

The close combat applications are obvious. His flamer will deter weak, low-save hordes and plasma provides a fair threat to annoying transport vehicles, which can subsequently be assaulted should they survive. However, he retains many drawbacks…

As this TM will be picking fights, be sure to use him as a bully and avoid anything that can take him. Things to avoid include jerks with rending and power weapons and other weapons with superb AP. Huge mobs can also be trouble, because the Marine may not be able to survive the sheer number of dice rolls against him, but he still fares well enough in tying them up. The rules of engagement, similar to my own in real life, make him best at roughing up weaklings and the unprepared. Fire Warriors, Termagaunts, and Space Marine squads strictly oriented towards shooting… you get the idea.

While it might seem useless to use this low-mobility counter-assaulter who will perform poorly against most assault units, you’re not quite on the money. The secret lies in the wargear you provide him with—remember access to the armoury. But, generally speaking, the servo-harness is awesome and makes the Techmarine what he should be—a six-armed murder factory. Point-efficient in a tiny package of wrath, never count him out. His variety of equipment makes him capable of a variety of tasks, but obviously he excels in close-quarters.

Cityfights, in particular, are the Techmarine’s element. If you still play Cities of Death format games, a Techmarines stalking the streets and ruins can make an unpleasant surprise for your enemy. The sheer amount of covers gives him the ability to pick fights well, and often he can approach those Devastators hiding in a building with his line of sioght concealed the whole way. Feel free to take advantage of TMs to club guys in the shins all day long in the rubble.

The Techmarine with a servo-harness is a pretty good setup, even without wargear, for protecting your own troops. The TM also has the benefit of drawing attacks. If you hype it up to sound more powerful than it really is, you will likely goad your enemy into wasting an assault phase on it that could have been better used elsewhere—an Assault phase the TM may have the power to turn into a nightmare with his servo-arms. He is also a superb terrorist unit—you can use him (he looks imposing, especially if painted well) to deter your enemy from entering areas of the board you want to keep him away from. In general, there’s a lot more to the Techmarine than first meets the eye.

Other Wargear: This section by Archive... props!
This is a rundown of the other significant wargear options available to the Techmarine via the Space Marine Armoury. Some stuff is certainly better than others, but of course, everything is rather situational.

Single Handed Weapons

Bolt Pistol- The cheapest, and therefore one of the best weapon choices you can make, use it to replace the standard bolt gun. This may sound confusing at first, but hear me out. It has recently come to my attention that the extra attack for having two weapons only applies if both weapons used are classified as one handed, which the bolter unfortunately is not. On the up side, it’s a really easy problem to rectify. Just get one of these, and the problem is solved. If you get nothing else, get this, it’s the cheapest way to get an extra CC attack even if you never use it in the shooting phase.
Post-Script by Scooter: Now that the errata is out, don’t bother with the Bolt Pistol. Your plasma pistol gives you the extra attack. It’s a waste of 1 point now. ...yeah... I know that one point was probably breaking your list.

Stats: Because of the extra attack, an additional .25 MEQ or an additional .44 GEQ will be killed in each CC round.

Close Combat Weapon- Get the Bolt Pistol.

Single/Pair of Lighting Claws- Expensive, but considering the high number of attacks a Techmarine can get, these things can be down right dangerous. I would suggest you pass them up however. Lighting Claws usually see action on higher initiative models than the Techmarine, because they want to be able to do damage without sacrificing speed. Since the Techmarine will be hitting most things at the same time anyway, I’d save the points and look into a Power Fist/Thunder Hammer.

Stats: Instead of the normal power weapon attacks, a single Lightning Claw will get .375 kills per swing, for 1.125 average kills. A pair of Lighting Claws will give an extra attack, for an average kill rate of 1.5 MEQ. GEQ, there will be .556 per swing, for 1.666 kills for the single claw, or 2.222 kills for a pair.

Plasma Pistol- It is also expensive, but one of my favorite choices for a solo/CC servitor Techmarine. It has all the benefits of the Bolt Pistol, but has the added benefits of being stronger and having better AP. It’s also nice because with the Signum Techmarines get standard issue, coupled with the great armor a Techmarine has, you almost never have to worry about “Gets Hot!” rolls. On the turn you charge into close combat you’ll get two plasma shots, and if for whatever reason you can’t make it to CC or choose not to, you can pump out an astounding four plasma shots from one model, provided you don’t move.

Stats: Instead of the flamer attack on the pre-round charge, the second plasma pistol can be fired, doubling the plasma kills. In addition, it acts as a secondary weapon, conferring the same bonus in CC as the bolt pistol.

Power Fist/Thunder Hammer- If you’re trying to be as dangerous in CC as you can be, one of these would be what you’re looking for. After all, what can be more dangerous than six strength 8 attacks? Or if initiative is important, you can always turn off the Power Fist and use the standard issue Power Weapon to attack at normal initiative. The Thunder Hammer is only a few points more, so if you’re finding that your first round of attacks just isn’t enough, you can use it to finish off your opponent. Remember though, cost effectiveness is the name of the game, so I’d only suggest using the Thunder Hammer if you really think you need it.

Stats: Instead of the normal damage that can be done with a Power Weapon and a secondary weapon (see Bolt Pistol,) you can opt to use the Power Fist for .416 per swing for 1.666 kills MEQ. GEQ, there will be .555 kills a swing, and 2.222 kills a round.

Power Weapon- …You already have one…Get the Bolt Pistol.

Storm Shield- See Defensive Wargear

Two Handed Weapons

Bolter- …You already have one…Get the Bolt Pistol.

Combi- - Unless the next two words are Tactical Nuke, you should skip these things. You already have a better way to get both a plasma and flamer weapon, and if you don’t think two Servo-arms and a plasma shot are enough to take down that tank, odds are you’re not going to get it with your one melta shot.

Storm Bolter- The only two-hander worth considering, I’d only suggest taking it if you were going to take a Gun Servitor retinue. It’s cheap and it’s the only weapon the Techmarine can get that reaches mid range. It’ll give him something to do while he’s playing bodyguard to the Servitors.

Stats: As normal.

Defensive Wargear

Storm Shield- Often overlooked because it requires one hand to use, the Storm Shield gives the best protection per points, making it a viable option. Because of the high rate of attacks a Techmarine will get anyway, the loss of one attack isn’t so terrible, and because you want him to be able to survive in CC, the invulnerable save is invaluable. Personally this is one of my favorite picks for Techmarine gear.

Stats: When used to replace the bolter, stats remain as normal.

Combat Shield- The Storm Shield’s younger brother, Combat Shields give up some protection for the benefit of leaving your hands free. If you want a more aggressive choice than the Storm Shield as your secondary weapon, then this is probably what you’ll use. It’s not much protection, but something is better than nothing, and the Techmarine is too valuable to not have some form of invulnerable save.

Stats: As per the weapon choice.

Iron Halo- It’s got the superior invulnerable save of the Storm Shield, coupled with the hands free usage of the Combat Shield, and can be used both in CC and the Shooting phase. Unfortunately it costs more than twice the shields points-wise, and as a relic only one can be used per army, or none if you have the Aspire to Glory trait. If you want to have the absolute best all around protection you should get it, but personally I prefer the Storm Shield because I have difficulty justifying spending this many points on something that doesn’t make my opponents scream in agony.

Stats: As per the weapon choice.

Adamantine Mantle- It is the most expensive piece of wargear on the list, and with good reason. The biggest problem with the Techmarine is that it’s incredibly expensive, but can’t take things in his own weight class because of the fear of instant-death from high strength melee attacks. This is the piece of gear you need to go toe to toe with everything from Carnifexes to Greater Daemons and beyond, but because it’s so expensive and doesn’t protect from more mundane attacks like Power Weapons or Plasma shots, it can be a huge waste just as easily as it can save the game for you. When you choose this piece of gear you’ll probably also want to get an invulnerable save of some sort as well, which bumps up the price even more. Personally, I’d only suggest it in high point games or if you’re expecting to see several very large very nasty CC units and even then only if you’re using the Scion of Mars trait for that extra wound.

Mobility Wargear

I’m going to keep this section barren for the time being, because it’s pretty likely that there will be an errata fairly soon (i.e. eventually) regarding using Servo-Harnesses and Bikes and Jump Packs. Granted you could use a Techmarine without a Servo-Harness but since my next article will be precisely on that, please forgive the current oversight of these options.

Miscellaneous Wargear

Artificer Armor- You can get it as part of the Servo-Harness package, no reason to get it any way else.

Auspex- The average roll for the Auspex is 14 inches, and infiltrators have to infiltrate more than 14 inches away, and odds are the Techmarine himself won’t have a weapon that can fire more than 12 inches away regardless. Basically what I’m saying is this piece of Wargear won’t see much use in all likelihood. On the other hand its dirt cheap and a unit full of Gun Servitors might get lucky and get a chance to unload on nearby infiltrators. I’d only get it if you have spare points for your shooty Servitor squad.

Bionics- This is the absolute fluffiest piece of Wargear you can get for your Techmarine, perhaps even fluffier than the Servo-Harness. Who has ever heard of a Techmarine that didn’t have at least one body part replaced to become more effective? Unfortunately, on the crunch side of things, Bionics are way overpriced for the measly protection it grants. Personally I’d suggest not taking them unless you feel like injecting some fluff to your army, in which case this would be a solid choice.

Frag Grenades- Most people assume that something as monstrous in CC as the Techmarine has Frags standard issue…Don’t be one of those people. Always, always take these, even if you’re just going to use the Techmarine to baby sit Gun Servitors. It’s dirt cheap and so beneficial it is necessary if you need to charge something in cover. Don’t leave home without them.

Krak Grenades- My advice for Krak Grenades is the exact opposite as for Frags, always leave them at home. Their average armor penetration is 9.5…the same as your two Power Fists. You’re better off just leaving the tank busting to a dedicated squad.

Master-Crafted Weapon/Terminator Honors- Both of these cost the same, and are rather pricey. I’d suggest you avoid both, because just how badly to you need to squeeze out a few extra attacks with someone who already has a bunch anyway? If you just have to though, take the Terminator Honors over the MC, they both basically give you an extra attack, but with the MC, you have to miss to get it, statistically making the Terminator Honors better.

Melta Bombs- Personally I wouldn’t take these, even though they’re better at tank busting than the Krak Grenades, simply because the tank busting should be taken care of by a dedicated squad. The Techmarine is too good at killing infantry to have him chasing tanks everywhere.

Purity Seals- Only take these things on the Gun Servitor Techmarine, because they’re likely to be deployed near the edge of your board and you don’t want them to run off after two casualties. Never take them on CC squads, because if you need to fall back, something has already gone horribly awry.

Teleport Homer- I can’t see much of a reason to give it too a Techmarine, as there isn't a whole lot of situations where you’ll need both a Techmarine and a Terminator Squad in the same place.
Scooter the Outlaw is offline  
Old 14 Nov 2006, 01:24   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 88
Default Re: Techmarine Guide

Hard Data On Techmarines in Combat:

Casual violence references aside, consider the following: I’ve tried my hand at a little math to show the Techmarine’s value and compared him with equivalent point cost of six Marines with a variety of equipment dependent on the situation. While this isn’t an altogether fair comparison, I figured it should be here for people into this kind of thing. For purposes of the example, I’m using a Techmarine with a full Servo-Harness.

Shooting before charging:
Against MEQs, with the Servo-Harness, the TM is a good charging unit. Including the flamer and plasma pistol (which has high accuracy) increases his killing chances. Given the flame template has a better chance of killing a Marine than the bolt pistol, there’s rarely reason not to use it.

Techmarine:
.23 MEQ kills for every target hit by the flamer.
.69 chance of killing an MEQ with a plasma pistol (keeping in mind the Signum for re-rolls), with a 1.8% chance of wounding himself on an overheat.
Total .92 MEQs plus .23 for every additional MEQ under the template. It just takes one extra target to bump the numbers over the six Marines, and hopefully, you’ll always have at least one extra unit covered.
Marines:
A team of six Marines with Bolters and a Plasma Gun will average 1.11 MEQ kills, with the 5% chance of a Marine killing himself via overheating.
Results:
Even with one extra MEQ under the flame template, the TM starts to win out here.

Charging In:
On the charge, a stock TM with his Servo-Harness and gets 4 power weapon attacks, plus two Powerfist attacks.

Techmarine:
.25 MEQ kills per attack plus .55 MEQ kills from each powerfist strike, for 2.1 kills. This is pretty good.
Marines:
The cheapest equivalent that forms a legal squad, four Marines and a Veteran Sgt. with a power sword, picks up 1.64 MEQ slayings... and costs more points.

Combat Sum-Up:
When the ‘swirling melee’ kicks in and you’re finished the charge, your Techmarine has slain 3.02 MEQs. This is almost half of his points. The more guys you cover with your flamer, the better, and obviously all kinds of other things can influence this outcome. But in the end, I feel that’s a pretty good investment.

In terms of resiliency, the TM suffers in comparison to some units at first glance. With only two wounds and toughness eight, this is a correct appraisal. In the Lascannon and Railgun heavy world of Warhammer 40K, your Techmarine is a lot easier to splatter than a team of Marines. There’s no real way around that. On the other hand, you can hide your single TM in cover a lot more easily than a unit, and sometimes, your opponent will overlook your Techmarine. You can also hide him in a squad for the added protection against shooting.

Things to assault:
- Devastator/Havoc teams: While it may seem obvious, it’s worth noting these squads are almost a perfect example of what you want to attack with your Techmarine. Low number of return attacks, expensive models in low numbers, important to the enemy. If the chance comes, pounce them. The problem is getting to them intact…
- Fire Warriors: Well… you get the idea.
- Obliterators: The Techmarine is good at punishing your local Obliterators. Why? It’s true that the Obliterators can be deadly in CC, and are quite capable of killing your servo-harnessed man in short order in combat. But consider costs. A single Obliterator is not cheap. If you kill two, you have likely paid for your Techmarine—in addition to making your opponent angry, having lost two extremely valuable shootists. Another important factor is that if you manage to keep the Obliterators tied up for even one turn, that’s one turn they’re not shooting your guys in the face with black-hole sized guns.
- Dark Eldar Warriors/Eldar Guardians: There can be a lot of these guys in a squad, but no matter. The Techmarine’s toughness, save, and flamer combine to make any confrontation with these space elves into a severe thrashing after which the Eldar’s broken corpses are casually tossed aside.
- Necron Warriors/Immortals: They aren’t bad in combat, but their low speed ensures that you’ll likely thin out their numbers and thus reduce incoming counterattacks. Additionally, anything that reduces their amount of time gaussing your vehicles is a bonus. But most importantly, if the Techmarine kills a Necron, it stays dead (unless a Resurrection Orb is nearby, in which case, you should be killing that Lord with your entire army).

Things to Avoid:
- Howling Banshees: Good numbers, lots of power weapon attacks, and high initiative. There are few better ways to kill your Techmarine.
- Powerfists: These will ruin your day. Too bad they’re all over the place lately. Stay away from Terminators, two-Fist Veteran Squads, and the like.
- Wyches: I hate these. Of course, when you get to shoot them everything is lovely. But if they get close enough, it’s a beating on par with Drederick Tatum against Moe Sizlack—but there’s multiple Tatum clones.
- Genestealers: What really wants to fight a Genestealer? These will rend the pants off a Techmarine. While the flamer and plasma are good against them as a shooting setup for an assault, you should only use him to augment other shooting attacks being made against the Genestealers. If only a few remain in the brood following a shooting phase meant to eliminate them, then you might as well try to mop them up with the Techmarine—since if you don’t, you’re going to get charged anyway.
- Orks with choppas: Your +2 Save gets busted down to Carapace Armour. A bad scene.

Combat Sum-Up:
When the ‘swirling melee’ kicks in and you’re finished the charge, your Techmarine has slain 3.02 MEQs. This is almost half of his points. The more guys you cover with your flamer, the better, and obviously all kinds of other things can influence this outcome. But in the end, I feel that’s a pretty good investment.

On the return attack, MEQs will wound you once on every twenty-four attacks. That’s a 4.2% chance. Not bad, all things considered, but keep in mind the trouble Powerfists and power weapons will give you! As a result, it’s best to try to avoid the better-equipped squad leaders in the first round, whittling down the enemy by approaching on an angle to reduce his potential number of places to allocate your killing blows before you fight the unit leaders. Optionally, if the leader is in the front and you think you can do it, charge directly into base-to-base with him and try to kill him with Power Weapons, but this is risky at best… if your shooting phase removed enough enemy models, though, it’s viable.

Servitors: Having an entourage makes you important

The Techmarine can choose to be accompanied to battle by a small posse of Servitors—effectively the Techmarine’s groupies. While hardly impressive eye-candy, they are nonetheless supremely loyal due to their lack of ability to decide otherwise, and devote their lives to being useful to your red-armoured wonder. This, in turn, makes them useful to you—when utilized properly.

The different Servitors indicate the role you’ve chosen to assign your Techmarine. A Combat Servitor retinue punches stuff; Gun Servitors provide firearms that would put the Wu-Tang Clan to shame; and Technical Servitors are the Techmarine’s underlings that act as his grease monkeys, diving into hot, still-running machinery to repair them on the Techmarine’s command. Servitor selection based on role is pretty much a no-brainer, but like most aspects of the Techmarine, there is more than meets the eye here.

Generally speaking, many people tend to dismiss the Servitors—unless they’re in Inquisitor Retinues. It’s true that when you put them next to a Space Marine, they aren’t all that impressive. They appear to cost a similar amount of points to an equivalent Marine who is stronger, tougher, faster, and has a better Save. But before you pick up your pitchforks and torches and storm the Techmarine’s sweet 80s-styled pad demanding to kill his Servitors, consider the following.

Servitors will surprise you, if used with caution. The key thing to remember here is they are not Marines! You can’t slog straight towards the enemy’s heavy bolters and rely on your cushy save to get you though; you can’t expect your heavy weapon Servitors to repel assault-oriented enemies for long like Devastators can. You have to be more careful. Servitors are admittedly awkward in a Marine army—this is undeniable. But they also add some nice options that are otherwise unavailable, give your army variety, and I find are generally useful.

Combat Servitors
Let’s examine the Combat Servitor first. This is a close-combat guy designed to bum rush your enemy and beat him up with various construction implements that happen to act as Power Fists (futuristic giant monkey wrench equivalents, no doubt). And who doesn’t like Power Fists? However, this makes for a tactically challenging unit to properly use. All the Servitors will strike last in combat, making survival difficult. And when your toughness and save are lower than the surrounding Marines, the Combat Servitor keeps looking worse… but there’s certainly upsides to these braindead haymaker-throwing quasi-zombies! Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros:
- Point-efficient, for what it is; two Powerfist attacks mounted on a single model. A Combat Servitor costs twenty less points than the average Veteran Sgt. and seven less than a Veteran Squad marine.
- Reasonable WS, enhancing both their survival in battle and ability to hit their targets.
- Great power against almost all infantry—quite capable of quashing them into little piles of goo on a +2.
- Catch-22 for your opponent’s targeting schemes. A complete unit of Powerfists is extremely frightening and may draw a lot of fire, letting your other guys advance or shootists lay waste to the enemy unmolested. On the other hand, if ignored, a full unit of Combat Servitors is deadly on the charge to pretty much anything.
- Protects the real beef of the unit—the Techmarine—from annoying Lascannons and Plasma guns. He can just command one of these poor lobotimized dudes in the way to catch the blast, which is sweet. Losing a triple-digit point value model to some random Guardsman with a Melta Gun sucks.
- Makes your Techmarine look totally important.
- Low initiative is irrelevant, because even the fastest Eldar Exarch on six hits of speed can only use a Fist at the bottom of the attack order.

Cons:
- Low toughness and mediocre save. Makes survival to get those Power Fist attacks tricky against some enemies.
- No ranged weapons means the Combat Servitor presents no threat until within 12” of the enemy, making your opponent free to ignore or dispatch of them at their leisure (or so they believe…).
- Gets pulped by some common weapons with high rates of fire—assault cannons (booo!), heavy bolters, autocannons, and heavy flamers (avoid these like the plague). These all must be avoided at all costs, or destroyed by other units in the army to let your Servitors do their thing.

All things considered, Combat Servitors are at least as useful as having an iron bar under your car seat to deter muggers or would-be carjackers. For their price, they’re not a steal per se, but a good deal. However, the usefulness of these Servitors are more intertwined with the rest of the unit than any other servitor type—so, here we use some corporate buzz-words. The synergy of the Techmarine and his Servitor staffers is critical for the team to reach their maximum achievement potential.

Are these just words used by dumb people to sound smart? Maybe, but here it really means something. If your Techmarine isn’t set up to get stuck in with his boys and start bludgeoning things, then the rest of the team falls to pieces at an alarming rate. Additionally, troops on foot can be slow—so what you want them to do, and who you want them to assault, is important in deciding whether to hook your lobotomized boys and their caretaker up with a sweet ride.

The Techmarine that rolls with Combat Servitors is with a tough crowd. You don’t assign an IT specialist to team up with a bunch of drunken hooligans looking for some quality looting, and the same logic applies here. The bare minimum your Techmarine needs is a Servo-Harness. This adds substantially to the team’s assault value. Getting this ball rolling, give the Techmarine some kind of invulnerable save—because he’s an Independent Character, any enemies will single him out with nasty weapons. This can work in your favour—if enough of these attacks are absorbed by his sexellent 2+ save and invulnerable save, your Servitors will continue to beat down whatever is ignoring them. The Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol for the extra attack is a huge must, though the Flamer is often nice to fire before charging to soften up the enemy. Now that your Techmarine is wired for close ranged battle, your whole unit’s stock rises dramatically.

The next question depends on the role you want them to play; do you provide the Techmarine and Servitors with a transport vehicle? This depends.

I find the assault-team Techmarine has two roles—counter-assault and search and destroy. Keeping a stack of Powerfists around your shootier units is a good deterrent. However, I find this setup works better running around the board bullying your opponent’s weaker units and stealing their lunch money. If your opponent is trying to get at your rear lines, the troops that are coming will likely be equipped to make your initiative-one posse look embarrassing when they hit (Deepstriking Gray Knights, infiltrating Kroot, Chaos bikers).

If you plan to send your Techmarine and crew hunting for weak enemy units and generally cause havoc, a transport is a must. This is detailed more in the ‘Transports’ section.

In closing, I like the Combat Servitor a lot. The allure of twelve Power Fist slaps on a charge is hard to ignore. Sure, they aren’t Marines. But they are still fine for their points cost, and as part of the Techmarine’s entourage they mesh well. For an assaulting Techmarine, there are few better accessories. Not only can they absorb wounds aimed at him, they can certainly dish out the pain themselves. If you’re serious about turning your Techmarine into a unit of brainless guys more feared than any zombies before them, then the Combat Servitor is a must.

My personal setup with Combat Servitors:
Techmarine with Bolt Pistol, Iron Halo and Terminator Honours.
Four Combat Servitors.
Rhino with Extra Armour and Smoke Launchers.

Gun Servitors
The Gun Servitor is often put down because in many people’s view, the Devastator Squad is better. And I’m not going to argue with that. They’re different—that’s the only thing that’s for sure here. Similarly to the Combat Servitor, it seems like you’re buying an inferior model for only slightly less points. And in the case of Gun Servitors, this is totally true, unfortunately. That makes them highly suspect in some armies—you can always deploy some Devastators who don’t require an expensive Techmarine to lead them.

So, now that our Gun Servitors are crying (or, at least, trying to figure out how to cry), we better let them know we love them—even if we don’t, just for the sake of cruelty. Let’s follow the pervious format and examine pros and cons.

Pros:
- Five points cheaper than the equivalent Devastator Squad Marine if you’re using Heavy Bolters.
- Attached to the Techmarine, meaning improved Leadership, built-in counter assault capability, an Auspex, and a Signum—which is very handy with the multi-melta or plasma cannon.
- An Elite unit, meaning you get to place it considerably later than most things you might want to target, as opposed to placing it down extra-early like the Devastators. It lets your gun servitors basically laze around listening to sweet jazz music and blast all day without having to get up from their lawn chairs. This alone makes a considerable case for the Techmarine with Gun Servitors—considering you want to be firing as many of these huge guns every turn as possible, the ability to have them start in a desirable position is a superb plus.
- Specifically for Black Templars—you can’t use Devastators, so here’s what you’re stuck with.

Cons:
- Devastators are faster, stronger, can have larger numbers and more weapons, essentially making the Gun Servitors obsolete.
- The Techmarine isn’t necessarily a great guy to have hanging out in a gunnery team if he’s mostly built for close encounters, leaving him standing around doing nothing and encouraging him to start trouble with those idle hands—all of them.
- The small numbers, high cost, mediocre saves and toughness, and powerful guns combine to practically draw a neon-pink bulls-eye on the squad for any player with a Leman Russ, Vindicator, or Monolith and an Ordinance Template.

Generally speaking, my experience with Gun Servitors has not been as favourable as the Combat Servitors. The existence of Devastators hurts their chance of being fielded badly, and when they are fielded, they go down to a lot of the weapons that are normally directed at a fire support squad. As a result, they often look like hundred-pound nerds trying to play football against the trucks from Maximum Overdrive.

They aren’t useless by any means, but as long as a Devastator squad exists, I really see no reason to use these. Even if you don’t have Devastators because, like the Black Templars, your Codex doesn’t contain them, you’re likely better off with a Predator or even Veteran squads and Tactical squads with heavy weapons. That’s just how it is in my experience.

Speaking of my experience, this is the Gun Servitor unit I found the most success with in-game.

Techmarine with Storm Bolter. [Kept cheap and shooty, still reasonable at fending off assaults… for half a turn!]
Four Heavy Bolter Servitors. [Releases a disturbing number of bolts, but dies pitifully when the enemy fires back]
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Old 14 Nov 2006, 01:24   #3 (permalink)
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Technical Servitors:
Oh, gee whiz. The Techmarine’s grease monkeys. These are like the summer temp workers sent to your man in red to do all the hard work while he hangs back and yells at them for not working hard enough. The Technical Servitor is the cheapest of the Techmarine’s entourage options with good reason—he’s by far the least useful. This, to me, is obvious.

In my experimental games with Technical Servitors, I found them fairly useless without fielding an absurd number of vehicles—and even then, the Techmarine was rarely in the right place at the right time to use that Blessing on the correct vehicle. Furthermore, since you can’t repair a destroyed vehicle and reverse a Crew Shaken or Stunned—the most frequent problems by far involved with vehicles—the usefulness of these guys goes way down.

Interestingly, however, Technical Servitors can have hilarious and quasi-useful (in a “I’m pretty good with a bo-staff” kind of way) applications. They essentially give your Techmarine an extra wound against shooting attacks. They can act as a grease-covered meat shield to protect your Techmarine from assaults. You can give them funny personalities and have them talk to each other during the game. They are extra bodies in an assault, and thus, add to your chance of incurring leadership penalties against the enemy should you win the combat.

Another interesting point is the fact that if you take these Servitors, you’re obviously not looking for a unit of steroid-pumping linebacker-esque assault troops. As a result, by not using a servo-harness for the actual Techmarine, you can almost afford a full unit of four Technical Servitors. This is a cheap unit. Whether it’s ever worth using is another issue, of course. But it might be fun to try in extremely causal games. I tried it and didn’t think so but maybe you’ll be into it.

In the end, I’m not kidding anybody. These are the worst of the Servitors, and you’ll probably never use them. End of story.

…so, having examined the Servitor options, what else can your Techmarine use? Well, it’s certainly worth noting sweet rides for getting your Techmarine around the field.

”If the Rhino is so bad, why don’t you just walk?”: Transports
Much has been written on the subject of both the Rhino and Razorback, the transports available to the standard Techmarine. So much, in fact, that I feel there’s little I can say that will add to already-accumulated knowledge of other members of the community. For some intruging discussion on Rhinos and Razorbacks in general-purpose application, search for the threads.:

But, to examine the Techmarine’s case, specifically, only one thing fits the bill; the Rhino. Why not a Razorback? Well, gather around and listen...

The answer is simple: the role of the transport. Why do you take a Transport? To move around the map. If you’re taking it attached to the Techmarine’s unit, this is what I’d assume, anyway. So, when you’re moving into your college/university dorm, what do you use?

a) A car with machine guns on it like Twisted Metal games.
b) Your feet; possibly a unicycle.
c) A vehicle suited to the task like a mini-van or U-Haul trailer (if you like having your stuff destroyed in a poorly-maintained trailer’s disintegration when you hit 90 kilometers per hour).

The answer is c, although having a team of ninjas move your stuff would be awesome. The same logic (ninjas and all) applies to the Techmarine and his team. You want the Rhino because it’s all you need, and for your purposes, it’s essentially the same thing as the Razorback for twenty less points. You need to get your Techmarine and his zombie-guys (preferably Combat Servitors) from a to b, post-haste. Tracks squealing, a Rhino fits the bill. It doesn’t break your army list as an immense point sink, it carries the whole unit at higher speed than walking permits, and protects your more fragile Servitors from many weapons they die to with undue ease. Razorbacks are poor for this role (I hear they don’t even have really loud mufflers, spoilers, or sound systems!). They cost too many points for a weapon that is too easy to destroy. And in the role this transport will be playing—driving into the heart of the enemy to dispatch a cargo of deadly lobotomy-men—it’s very likely the Rhino will be thoroughly thrashed by the end of the game.

Again, much has been written on the Razorback-and-Rhino subject. In the end, you’ve probably made up your mind and there’s not much I can say to convince you to take a Rhino if you like Razorbacks enough. And if you’re leaning towards Razorbacks because it seems like the perfect time to use them—after all, you can only fit 5 guys in anyway—I hope you don’t. It just isn’t worth it.

I generally use a Rhino with Extra Armour and Smoke Launchers—just enough to help it survive to the target area. Anything more is too many points put into a vehicle that will never use them. If your Rhino gets your boys into combat, it’s made up its points. If it’s still alive, even better. Roll up doing a sweet, Miami Vice-esque (pastel suits not required or included) squealing-tracks stop, dump out your guys, and go wild; drive around blocking line of sight on your Techmarine, parking in front of enemy counter-assaulters to let the Techmarine and his Servitors get biz-ay on weak, helpless units, and Tank Shocking (this is fun to do to the enemy right after dropping off your guys).

It’s worth having a special little section on the use of Tank Shocking the enemy after dropping off troops. It can be difficult to set up, but if it goes well, the result if fabulous. The trick here, I find, is to drop off your Techmarine and his entourage where you want them—already 12” away from your assaulting target, with luck—and then drive off into a more threatening or counter-assaulting unit. If you do it right, you win no matter what the result. If your enemy falls back like little schoolgirls because of the cardboard chassis of a Rhino, not only may you laugh at your opponent for being a wimp (and maybe punch him in the shoulder or something), the unit becomes a virtual non-threat for a turn. If they succeed their Morale check and just scatter around the Rhino, it’s all good—the Rhino still hopefully obstructs line of sight or forces the enemy to run farther to assault you. And finally, if they Death or Glory and blow up the Rhino, that’s cool, too—the wreckage makes a great obstacle for hindering their counter-assault.

The Rhino is only really necessary with a close-combat Techmarine followed by a posse of drooling Combat Servitors. It provides an otherwise slow-moving assault unit means to manoeuvre into a decent position to sneak in their attacks and also gives you an extra piece of terrain to block line of sight.

When it comes to equipping and using the Rhino, there’s a surprising amount to consider. In any case, it’s true the Rhino’s durability is roughly on par with a Styrofoam clown car that caught fire in 1983. But it’s the best choice you have, and I must say from my experience, it works pretty well if you’re careful. In particular, in Cityfights, I find Rhinos become much more viable. Another note about Rhinos is many players assume that you’ll avoid difficult terrain with it for fear of becoming immobilized. This provides a potential advantage to you—utilize Dozer Blades. At a low point cost, it can really open up your lanes of movement—and hence, increase your chances of getting the attack in.

Otherwise, the Smoke Launchers and Extra Armour are mandatory, as always. I don’t think any other wargear is really worth using—you can always find something more useful, even if you’re only trying to pump a few extra points into your list to meet the agreed-upon point cap.

So, to wrap up:
- The servo-harness makes your Techmarine worth taking for close combat.
- Not using the harness makes your Techmarine sub-par and expensive, only worth using to access his Servitors.
- If you want a beast of a Techmarine, be careful not to go overboard with wargear—and use a Bolt Pistol!
- The Combat Servitors are likely best point-for-point, in a four-strong group with the Techmarine leading the charge.
- Gun Servitors are useless if you have Desvastator squads, unless you’re desperate to seem different from other people.
- Technical Servitors can provide entertainment and useful household repairs but little else.
- Use a Rhino over a Razorback, and keep the upgrades minimal.

All said and done, my personal Techmarine (provided my opponent demands adherence to a certain errata) setup is as follows:
Techmarine with Servo-Harness, Iron Halo and Terminator Honours.
Four Combat Servitors.
Rhino with Extra Armour, Dozer Blades and Smoke Launchers.

I use a Dozer Blade because I play a lot of cityfights, hence, difficult terrain is abundant. Additionally, the Servitor’s Initiative 1 is virtually negated by the fact that the enemy I assault is almost always in defendable positions, leaving me striking last regardless. Otherwise, the setup is totally normal. This unit is a lot of fun to play, and is actually pretty effective—I’ve used it to destroy Carnifexes, Hive Tyrants with Tyrant Guards, and other similarly troublesome units. I highly recommend trying it if you’re looking for something different!

If my opponent is ok with waiving the quasi-errata that disallows Techmarines from having Space Marine Bikes, I break out this bad boy. As a note, I’m a Black Templars player, so that’s where the Orb’s from:
Techmarine with Servo-Harness, Iron Halo, Space Marine Combat Bike and Holy Orb of Antioch.

Not points efficient in the least, but man is it fun to play with.

Closing Comments:
The Techmarine is a fun model. I would never consider it competitive. That said, if you take it for what it is, you’ll certainly enjoy it. It’s also definitely one of the most attractive models in the GW line, if you ask me. A well-painted TM will turn heads and give your army a nice shot of flavour. I really recommend trying it out, if you have the money and time to afford to him. I love my Techmarine and constantly get comments about how my opponents who are often veteran gamers are surprised by how good he is. You might be too!

Post-Script:
After writing this, the newest errata came out and I don’t remember seeing anything on disallowing Techmarines on Space Marine Bikes, even when there was the welcome clarification their plasma pistol counts as an extra weapon in close combat!

That said, the previous ruling was pretty official but I’ve never met an opponent who denied me the pleasure of putting my Techmarine on a bike. If your opponents are ok with it, I highly recommend trying it! It’s awesome!
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Old 14 Nov 2006, 02:19   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Techmarine Guide

Black holes are tiny, like smaller than a speck of dust tiny. Oh, and one section of BB code is broken.

Aside from that, perfect article.
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Old 14 Nov 2006, 09:00   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Techmarine Guide

Nice Guide on the Techmarine!

(+1)

Maybe this will motivate people to use them more.

Also where is Archive? Can he post here?
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Old 14 Nov 2006, 19:30   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Techmarine Guide

Awesome guide! And funny too. I'm not a Marine player (yet... <_&lt but I've loved the look of the servo-harness Techmarine ever since it came out and I'm always stunned by how few people use it. With this tactica floating around, there are no more excuses.

I hve just one question: What about a Techie with a jump pack? There's nothing in the rules I've seen that expressly prohibit it; am I missing something? A combat-Techie in harness with a jump-pack would be uber-deadly.

Extra hyphens,
- DM
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Old 15 Nov 2006, 18:03   #7 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Techmarine Guide

Good looking article.

One minor note, a techmarine comes equipped with an auspex automatically.

Also I'd never considered giving him a plasma pistol before, but now the thought of a techmarine w/ servo harness, 2nd plasma pistol and bike is really tempting. He'd be one hell of a nasty opponent for your enemy with 12" movement and what basically amounts to TWO twin-linked plasma pistols (we love you signum!)
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