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Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?
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Old 07 Dec 2006, 16:04   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

I want to start a Space Marine army that is uber powerful and good at melee combat. This would be in contrast to the shooter oriented Tau army that I have.

I thought about using the Space Wolves or the Daemonhunters.

Are the Daemonhunters good at melee combat?
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Old 07 Dec 2006, 16:58   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Grey Knights are pretty good in close combat, Grey Knight Terminators are just plain terrifying. But they cost too much and though you may win early skirmishes when your forces are at full strength, attrition will get the better of you very quickly.

Space Wolves are good, but you really ought to consider Blood Angels. A big Death company equipped with jump packs and led by a Chaplain, while cheesy, is a horrifying force of flying killiness. You'll also have access to a couple highly coveted unique units; the Furioso dreadnought and Baal Predator.
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Old 07 Dec 2006, 18:13   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Grey Knights are really a shooty force IMO. They can do cc but attrition will win the day eventually, even against Firewarriors. The GKs are just too expencive.

However for pure combat armies of marines there are two that shine above in my experience.

Space Wolves: Lots of bodies, lots of power weapons, strength 5 power weapons at that, more HQs than normal, basic infantry all geared towards cc and that are relatively good at it. You have both quality and quantity and can mix and match the two as you see fit. Mobility is the issue however. To help negate this you can do 13th Company instead, they can also be geared heavily towards close combat and with mass infiltrating you can get close, quickly.

Blood Angels: 2 Chaplains and lots of small squads with a 50% chance of each squad sending at least one man do join the death company and 6+2D3 from the chaplains, all with jump packs and their special rules is absolutely nasty where close combat is concerned. However the Blood Angels rules can make them very unrelaible and the cheese factor is certainly there should you chose to play this way. The Baal Predator is sweet but the Furioso is likely to be shot apart before it gets into combat. Mobility is not an issue here however with the ability to take 70 assault marines or more should you chose, thats just nuts. Jump Pack armed honor guard and characters, veteran assault marines and normal assault squads with jump pack death company, if you like jump infantry the Blood Angels can do that very well.

So it comes down to the choice of whether you want lots of footslogging infantry and perhaps armor to shield them relying on numbers over pure skill or would you rather prefer fewer, very fast and deadly assault elements backed by a more shooty core of troops and support units.
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Old 07 Dec 2006, 18:35   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Wasn't there an FAQ a while back that said if you take 2 Chaplains in a blood angel army that you don't get 2 DCs? Maybe they FAQed the FAQ since then but I think they said something about this in the past
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Old 07 Dec 2006, 20:58   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Oh as far as I know concerning that you do not get 2 death companies, only one company and only one chaplain leading it as I understood it however each chaplain still adds the 3+D3 death company so you have a minimum of 8 and thats just from 2 models.
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Old 08 Dec 2006, 01:03   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Personally I think that you could make a better assault based army using the DIY traits in the back of the space marine codex. Now the only reason I say this is because the blood angels basic marines only have the option to take bolters, which reduces the number of attacks that they could potentially have.

Granted they get a death company, but doing so reduces the strengths of the rest of your army. Add to that you can only ever get one death company ( buying two chaplains forces them to join the same squad) and that the only way for death company to have either power weapons or power fists is to take the veteran sergeant (meaning you have to upgrade your basic units to having veteran sergeants in the first place) You are definitely giving up a lot of power to have a single powerful unit.

Now lets say you take the traits that allows you to infiltrate your troops and the one that allows you to take bolt pistol/close combat weapon. You now have a very effective assault based army, that with proper placement can take care of 70% of the other units in 40k (don't try against genestealers, not a pretty sight). And the best part being you don't have to take that whole blood rage test. Much more tactically sound.

Now, just to make it perfectly clear, vampires in blood red suits of autoreactive armor is cool as all get out. But insanity when defending the emporer and the imperium of man is not.
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Old 09 Dec 2006, 23:30   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Black Templar. They are the current CC beatsticks... Although I have not seen enough of the BA to determine their coolness.

GK: There is no one better for the job. Unfortunately, there is no one with that many points to spend on an equivalent army.
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Old 10 Dec 2006, 04:16   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Well you could play Raven guard as well. Shrike's Wing is as fearsome a melee unit as you will find. The army is designed for CC. Be aware though that most armies that cater to heavily to one aspect ( CC in this case ) have problems. A balanced force s generally better and you can always take a Chappie w/ assault squad for that extra CC punch.
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Old 10 Dec 2006, 12:35   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bebe
Well you could play Raven guard as well. Shrike's Wing is as fearsome a melee unit as you will find. The army is designed for CC. Be aware though that most armies that cater to heavily to one aspect ( CC in this case ) have problems. A balanced force s generally better and you can always take a Chappie w/ assault squad for that extra CC punch.
The Raven Guard are simply a vanilla marine army with traits and a single special character. Space Wolves, Blood Angels and Black Templars are really the only way to go for Space Marine close combat killiness. Grey Knights are an option, but in my opinion they're too expensive to make an effective army.
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Old 10 Dec 2006, 14:59   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Space Marine Chapter for Melee Combat?

aside from sticking with the standard codex, there are three main assault themed Space Marine chapters.

Grey knights, as cool as they are don't rate. they've got a pretty dodgy codex, and while str6 weapons rocks, having a squad of 5 with just bolt-weapons isnt. stay away from them.

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to be serious, your first army will be Space Wolves.

Space Wolves are the "smart" combat army. they fight with cunning and guile. as to how they work, they are, weirdly, with the current rules a defensive type of army, what with counter attack, and true grit making them an ideal counter attack force. Other special rules that help out are things where they never count negative morale modifiers from being outnumbered in cc. rules-wise, they're geared towards hitting stuff.

and they hit it hard!

Space Wolves have a weird system where you must take 1 HQ per 750pts. now, one of those will be an almost obligatory venerable dreadnought, who is more than capable of stomping most things. the second can be your wolf priest, rune priest or wolf lord. you get no litanies of hate or anything, but SW HQ characters automatically come with terminator honours and get access to str5 power weapons. Its pretty straight forward here. Wolf Lords and junior-wolf guard battle leader smack stuff, wolf priests smack stuff and can heal things (herbs - ignore first failed save) and the Rune Priests smack stuff and call down a 5+ cover save on their squad with stormcaller.

troops wise, you've got grey hunters and blood claws. grey hunters are your ideal defensive fighters. what makes SW troops rock solid here is GH packs get thier special weapon, as well as up to 2 plasma pistols and up to 2 power weapons/fists. now, thats up to 6 buried power fist attacks if they charge, and its pretty sick. Marines do well in combat because of vet sergeants with power fists. SWs do better because they've more of 'em. your other troops choice are blood claws. crazy little buggers that each get 4 attacks when they charge. and with 1 power fist/weapon per 5claws, you can be dealing up to 12 power fist attacks a turn, as well as some more power weapon attacks from a wolf guard squad leader, and maybe a rune priest joining them. blood claws hit stuff hard. they're brutal little things and all SW players love 'em to pieces.

space wolves aso have wolf scouts. 3 words. behind enemy lines. they come in on the other guys deployment zone, so you get to charge the back armour of whirlwinds, defilers, or charge broadsides. kit them out with a few power weapons, and a wolf guard pack leader with a thunder hammer and they'll carve through a lot of stuff.

elites are as standard with the equivelant of a terminator command squad for your HQs. unfortunately they cost almost 50pts each, which needs to be rectified with the new codex.

Anyway, for fast attack, you've got blood claw bikers. they're pricey for what they do (240pts for 8) or else swap the bikes for jet packs(30pt assault marine - too much) but you can load them out with powerfists and they smack stuff very well. they just cost a whole heap!

Now, Space Wolves are not an ideal assault army. its not that they're slow, but they tend to be mechanised. a typical SW army is loaded in drop pods, or rhinos and razorbacks. third ed it was grand. you charged straight out of the transports. now, you can't do that, so they're not as uber as they used to be. so you've just gotta play smart. move up, use cover, disembark, run along a bit and then charge. hence, the "smart" combat army. you've gotta think with 'em. or else load up 15 blood claws in a land raider crusader and charge. a further rpoblem is with mechanisation, wolves armies tend to be fairly small. you'll rarely see more than 40 guys on the field, which can be a pain.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________

Now, if space wolves are the smart army, the blood angels are the frothing mad berzerkers. the phrase "blood for the blood...angels!!!skulls for the... golden throne!!!" comes to mind! blood angels have a few rules that make them pretty nasty to assault.

free furious charge. +1 str and i when they charge. so they'll probably go first. and wound on 3s. nasty.
"on a 1 i go faster". its got a proper name, but thats what it does. load up on assault marines, roll a 1 and they fleet, essentially. nasty, and allows a quick combat.
the death company. nothing more needs to be said here. it'll cost you 500pts for a fully kitted out death company, but very few things will stand in their way, bar leman russ pie plates of course!!

Now, where space wolves are the mechanised cunning army, these guys like their assault squads. go nuts and take a couple. they're brilliant. back them up with some tac squads and devestator squads. just hope the fire support dont roll 1s! now, other than that, you've furioso's. nothing nastier drop podding into your army. h.flamer. meltagun. back armour of a tank. fire warriors. cleansed and burned.... baal tank. daka dakka dakka.

blood angels can be pretty geared to combat. it used to be a case of "which is better - BA or SW?" but both have their strengths and weaknesses.

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third option are black templars. they're pretty nifty in combat. they get their powerfists, they get their emperor's champion, they get thier crusader... they've got vows to always hit as though at str5 and such... they also get righteous zeal. kill a guy in a squad, they pass a ld check and they run towards you. its nuts. so, they can be very, very mobile. again, kit it out like a close quarters army. a few assault squads. some tanks and dreadnoughts for fire support and you've a rock solid close combat army.

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now, which is better? its up to you. all have strengths and weaknesses. the death co. is balanced out by 13 blood claws with 3 p.fists, WG pack leader with lightning claws and rune priest with frost blade charging out of a crusader (12 power fist attacks, 5 str5 power weapon attacks, 4 re-roll wound str 4 power weapon attacks and then 40 regular attacks....) I'm not gonna tell you, but they're all pretty solid and they can all be really nasty.

check out the codices and decide for yourself!


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"What warriors of men can stand beside the Space Wolves! The Sons of Fenris they are, hardened in the forge of their harsh world, eager for battle and honour. They are the grey warriors, ashen like the wolf, whose greatest joy is to hear the clamour of steel amidst the din of war. None can step before them, they are the first, proud in their strength and jealous of their renown. Through the storms of the warp they come, upon the very tides of terror, but of such dangers they are uncaring. They are the Space Wolves, the Undefeated, the bane of the Emperor's foes."
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