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Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!
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Old 17 Jul 2008, 10:27   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!

With the advent of 5th Ed, it's about time that the Emperor's Finest unslung our Bolters and started purging the Xeno from the galaxy - again!

As such it's time to analyse the strengths of units and their usefulness in 5th Ed. Considering the changes, I think it's only apppropriate to begin with a unit that will become a mainstay in our armies,
the tactical squad. I'll start by analysing the BA/DA variety.

Tactical squads are like all other marines in that they're tough as nails. Other armies have featherweight troops that can be killed easily, yielding KPs. Not so with tactical squads. But I hear some say "Tactical Squads are expensive - not many scoring units there". LIES! With Combat Squads, that 10 man Tactical squad with Lascannon and Flamer suddenly looks dangerous.

Equipping the Squad

With troops being the only scoring units in 5th Ed, I think it's important to equip Tactical squads for up close action as they'll be the ones seizing the objective. However, considering that Devastator squads are a bit expensive for Lascannons, they'll often be used to pop tanks from range.

The solution? Combat squads of course. I'll be equipping my Tactical Squads with a Lascannon and a Flamer. Split them into two squads of 5(Sergeant goes with flamer). Lascannon hangs in the back, while Flamer heads out into the great beyond to serve the Emperor. Flamer squad runs towards objectives, accompanied by other units for support.

Why take a Flamer? Simple, very few armies have small amounts of heavy units. Orks/Nids/Guard/ Eldar can have hoards of lightly armoured troops that will be decimated by that template(no cover saves, an no partials means the flamer is going to see a good bit of action methinks ) Alternatively, if you're facing some Heavy Infantry, switch it out for a Meltagun or Plasma Gun. Plasma Guns are better than ever thanks to the changes to Gets Hot(previously, I only ran them in my Honour Guard wth Sanguinary Priest).

A powerfist on a sergeant? it's not gone yet lads - with their stunning armour save, Marines don't need to worry too much about the new wound allocation system. Of course, if you're worried about it, ust don't take a Heavy Weapon and you'll have plenty of bodies to spread those wounds around on(I'd personally recommend that if you take a PowerFist, to take it in the 10 man squad with a special weapon). Sure you've lost an attack, but that doesn't mean the powerfist is losing it's usefulness. I'd couple it with a Pl

Now to discuss other Heavy Weapons. The Heavy Bolter is still the business for killing light infantry, but I'm afraid to say that it may be edged out by the Plasma Cannon. The Plasma Cannon may just become the Heavy Weapon of choice for killing infantry. It has a blast template, and no partials in 5th Ed so it'll hurt plenty. Considering that Space Marines have an excellent BS, it won't scatter too far, and it'll almost never miss completely. With it's amazing AP, it kills TEQs/MEQs and even hurts MCs more than they'd like. Plasma is hard to beat!

The Missile Launcher got a slight boost against Light Infantry due to the removal of partials, but it will remain the choice of the general who doesn't know what to expect due to its versatility. It can take out Light to Mid armoured vehicles, but will do very little against AV14. However, the Krak Grenade has the strength to hurt MCs, and the Frag grenade has potential to thin out hordes when needed.
A very versatile weapon and I'd recommend it for a tournament, due to it's cheap points cost.

The Lascannon is a very good tank killer. However, in the Tactical Squad, it should always be split into its own 5 man squad so as not to waste men or shots due to movement.

Taking and Holding the objective

First of all, never send a squad to do something on its own. Just because only troops can hold objectives doesn't mean that the Terminator Squad has nothing to offer by coming along. Your opponent will probably be rushing towards the objective while you are. Do not ignore the enemies units. Have some fire support in the back covering your units and peppering away at the enemies troops. Also, consider having an Assault Squad backing you up. The more units sitting on the objective, th quicker you can destroy enemy units contesting it, and the harder it is to take it off you.

If you have nothing in range, you should run towards the objective. No secrets there.

However, if there is an enemy nearby, either move into Rapid Fire range(handy if you have Plasma Guns) and shoot it, or if you can do that, stay still and shoot it. The Bolter is a holy instrument of the Emperor and should rain death upon his foes. Against most armies troops, it'll murder them, and against Marines, the Plasma Guns burn through Power Armour!

When you're there, reinforce the objective if you can. Have some Assault Squads engage any enemies who are advancing on the objective - at the least, they'll act as a speedbump and prevent the enemy from contesting the objective. Plasma Pistols are handy on them as well.

Edit: Transports

With 5th Ed, transports are no longer dedicated. This is an important detail as now that Rhino/Razorback that lost its squad is useful for more than just ramming! Consider taking a Razorback for ten man Tactical Squads - 5 men with a special weapon can board it while the 5 men with a heavy weapon can provide covering fire. And since it's fairly easy to get cover saves, they'll be fairly survivable!

Of course there's more use to be gotten out of transports than just ferrying the Marines from A to B. They have another use - movable terrain! Since there'll be so much LOS going around(which doesn't mean much in the ways of helping us) we have to find alternatives. A Razorback could easily nestle between a Tactical Squad and it's enemies, allowing them to advance behind the shelter of the vehicle! Additionally, you could deploy the Smoke Launchers to give that Rhino the cover save - so it'll take a decent amount of firepower to destroy it.

Even in assault, transports have their uses. If your squad is assaulting along a flank, chances are that at some point, the combat will end(hopefully in your favour) in your turn. Those marines are stuck in the open, with a squad of Fire Warriors about to unload on them. Rhino to the rescue! - park the Rhino between the two squads and pop smokes! The Rhino takes the hits, your troops will be unharmed, and with the smokes, it has a good chance of still being around when it rolls around to your turn( I'll have to point the finger of praise to JD on this one, as I saw this idea in a post of his in the Chaos Board - one of the few things we can learn from those heretics).

Thanks for taking the time to read this tactica. I hope it helped. C&C welcome.



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Old 17 Jul 2008, 12:42   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!

The only thing i would say is that wound allocation is going to hurt in a squad of five men with two unique characters ( flamer, sergeant).
Other than that a good tactica. Maybe a section on transports though.
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Old 17 Jul 2008, 12:44   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!

I think I'll add that tonight.

It'll probably be more about using them as moving terrain than anything else though.
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Old 17 Jul 2008, 15:13   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!

Great post! +1 earned!
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Old 17 Jul 2008, 16:37   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Space Marine Tactica - Tactical Squads!

Thanks mate! I'm hoping to start a cavalcade of the Emperor's vengeance on this board so that 5th Ed will be the era of Space Marines!

So I'll try to write more tacticas for 5th Ed.
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