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Space Marine Drop Army (Tutorial, List and Tactics)

  1. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #1
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    Marines Space Marine Drop Army (Tutorial, List and Tactics)

    Hi there Everyone!

    This is certainly nothing new, but I have decided maybe I could share with you a drop-pod army tactic I have been playing with, and succeeding with quite well.
    Included below is a sligt bit of rules, a slight bit of tactics, and a slight bit of army list construction help.

    Lets start with the army list itself.

    Before we start looking at what were going to put in the drop pods, lets look at command options
    If you want to go my way, I would suggest a master of the forge, as I’m sure your aware this gives you your 6 dreadnaughts.
    There are other options/combinations but lets start with this, for the purposes of this post, I will assume you took a master

    Equip him with a conversion beamer. If you leave him at the very back corner he can dish out some beastie shots.

    Then we need something to go with him. I would say a scout squad. Depending on your point limit I would suggest 5 with snipers (it costs no more). This essentially gives your starting guy on the table edge 5 lives from double toughness weapons (unlikely to die from non-invulnerable attacks with your 2+ save)

    The only purpose of the scouts is meat shield. For drop pod armies, the biggest initial problem is first turn, and who gets it. With your conversion beamer placed at the farthest possible place from the board, (assuming you use a 4x4 foot board) you can avoid 36 inch weapons (heavy bolters) and pretty much all multi shot anti infantry weapons. If possible, place him in the opposite corner from the lass cannons in your opponents army. If your lucky you can push yourself out of their range at 48. the meat shield is for the odd infiltrated sniper squad or the rail guns that could give you problems.

    Now for your drop pods.

    For my example I’m going to take ironclad dreadnaughts. The hammer has a built in meltagun. Which is more then sufficient for dealing with whatever vehicle you drop it next to, and also provides a beautiful extra attack on its profile. On a plus note, that’s 13 armour on the front and sides, with ‘extra armour’ included in there load out as well as smoke launchers, which means short of destruction or immobilisation. Your not gonna stop it.

    Depending on your point limitation, it will directly affect the number you can take.
    The trick with this strategy is to be able to drop all your decent units in on the first turn, as im sure your all aware, on the first turn half rounding up of your drop pods come on the table.

    If I take a 1750 list, I can take my 6 ironclads, I then need to find the cheapest way to fill 5 other drop pods.

    I have seen people drop in 5 man tactical squads and scorned them. (Possibly unfairly) as under the tactical marine list entry, it clearly says the unit must contain 10 men to be eligible for a drop pod (in the same way it does for any special weapons)

    The cheapest way to fill a drop pod is to take a 5 man assault squad, and relinquish them of their jump packs and replace them with a ‘FREE’ drop pod. [/salesman] :P
    Unfortunately this trick only works 3 times due to our friend the force organisation chart.

    This means now we need to find another 2 squads to fill our drop pods if we want to bring our 6 dreads down first turn.

    Unfortunately our FOC is looking a bit packed, and anyone with an observant eye would notice I only have 1 troop choice so far (illegal) so we’re down to tactical squads.

    Much to my frustration (as I stated above) we have to have a full 10 man squad to give them a drop pod. So were looking at 205 points per squad to get our desired effect. So far the 6 dreads, 3 assault squads, the scout and forge master come to 1515 points. At a glance I can painfully see that I’m not going to get all 6 dreads down first turn in a 1750 list.

    This being the case, there’s almost no point in taking a tactical drop pod for the remaining 235 points or whatever are remaining. As it stands I will get 5 dreads down first turn which is an acceptable compromise, with the remaining points we do need another troop choice to be legal. I would pick another 5man sniper squad. The points remaining from this I would personally spend upgrading 2 of the assault squads to Vanguard Veterans, leaving 20 points for wargear.

    Now, for the game.
    This is the fun part. Deploy your scouts and forge master in a discrete corner. Roll off for first turn. Depending on the scenario your playing, don’t forget if you don’t get that first turn you can ‘Seize the initiative’ on the roll of a straight six.

    Now depending on how your enemy is laid out, you going to want to clump your dreadnaughts together so they can support each other. Remember you can’t assault out of your drop pod, so with the meltagun you’re going to want to be popping vehicles on your first shooting phase.

    First order of business is to fire your conversion beamer. Use it to try and eliminate the (if any) vehicle farthest away from your dreadnaughts (the one that will be likely to shoot your dreads on its turn) don’t forget it’s a blast weapon and scatters. Although you minus your BS of 5 from the scatter distance, it’s the hole that does the damage, if its off the vehicle its half-strength.

    Next take your meltaguns for a spin. Eliminate the vehicles left in the deployment zone corner you dropped them.

    Once your through the first turn, the rest is all up to you, however here are just a few things to remember.

    Seize the initiative! Don’t let first turn slip by.

    Deepstrike Mishap chart! 5th edition does not have your drop pods ‘destroyed’ for falling off the board edge, be sure to remember it! (and the inertial guidance system)

    Walker Close-Combat.
    People striking your dreads in CC, always hit your front armour.
    You cant shoot a dreadnaught if its in combat with infantry! It locks in like normal infantry

    Initiative test
    If the enemy fails and runs, your dread has an initiative of 4, so you could well wipe them out. But this is a mixed blessing, as it opens you up to fire after your d6 consolidation

    People using grenades against your Dreads, ONLY hit on 6’s, (even meltabombs and pulse grenades, wipe the smile of that Tau players face :P)


    I hope you find this documentation useful. Below I will provide my 2000 point list open for your criticism, thanks for taking the time to read.

    2000 List

    ---HQ---

    Master of the forge
    Conversion Beamer

    ---Troops---

    Tactical Squad
    5 More marines
    Meltagun
    Multimelta
    Drop pod

    Tactical Squad
    5 More Marines
    Meltagun
    Multimelta
    Drop Pod

    Scout Squad
    Sniper Rifles


    ---Fast Attack---

    Assault Squad
    Removed Packs & Drop Pod
    Combat shield

    Assault Squad
    Removed Packs & Drop Pod

    Assault Squad
    Removed Packs & Drop Pod


    ----Elite & Heavy Support---

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod

    Ironclad Dreadnaught
    Heavy Flamer replace Storm Bolter
    Drop Pod



    Total: 2000 Exactly

  2. #2
    ok ill just do a quick one, not much time

    i am not a fan of too many iron clads, id advise taking at least one dread with some anti, tank weapons (Multi melta) as its cheaper plus it will be better against IG and other tanky armies
    apart from that upgrade ur troops, sm's and scouts can take melta bombs, or just special weapos for sergeants

  3. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #3
    Do You Even Lift? Mantaray's Avatar
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    there's no particular point in upgrading the scouts with meltabombs when there in the far back corner attached to the master of the forge, if your moving him and not firing then your doing something rong...

    and why would i want a dreadnaught with a multimelta when all of my ironclads come with built in meltaguns anyway? besides. my tactical marines come in (second turn hopefully) with multimeltas and meltaguns too.

    i was literaly left with 75 points for upgrades. spent 60 on replacing the pathetic storm bolters with heavy flamers, then the 15 points went 10 on 2 meltaguns and 5 on a combat shield.

    tank heavy armies are going to suffer with this list, being able to chuck meltaguns on their tanks potentially first turn. your going to be ditching about 3/4 pretty quick.

    i have an armoured company. and this list scares the hell out of me. to deal with that many armour 13 contacts on my first turn knowing that if i don't, i loose half of my army, or worse if that stuff comes in first turn i WILL loose half my tanks first turn, because there's no point on him shooting infantry when you cant assault out of a drop pod.

    dont forget ironclads get +1 on the vehicle damage table in CC with the hammers.
    thanks for the feedback,

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