Here's BrianGeneral's personal guide for the new Space Marines players, or anyone who is intending to start one. Veterans can give some comments for sure, as this guide may not be very good as my first piece of work
It’s certain that I’ll do more updates later, but I’ll post this first right now.
13/9/2005:Added Chapter 4:Special Characters.Also modified many stuff.Chapter 5:Unit tactics is coming soon.
14/9/2005:Finished the remaining updates,now go to Tactics part.
Welcome to join the Adeptus Astartes and serve the Holy Emperor for the Imperium, also the Humanity. Here I’ll present you the usage of each units and items in the armoury, as well as the Chapter Traits for you to customize, or even create, your own chapter.
First, For all the armies in the 40k universe, why choosing Space Marines? Not just because they're hard as nails.
-Wide (though not as wide as Chaos does) variety of units can be utilized
-Balanced in both shooting and close combat
-Good toughness and armour saves
OK, so you’ve got the picture. Space Marines (SM) is one of the most powerful armies in Warhammer 40000 universe, not because they have big guns like Tau and Necrons, or fierce in close combat (CC) like Tyranids and Orks, but they are the combination of both in a balancing way.Not much special about them,but they're well balanced in every aspects.
Chapter 1: Armoury
Part 1: One-handed Weapons
Bolt Pistol: Cheap and good to get a +1 attack in CC. If your characters are in Power Armour then take this, together with Power Weapons they’re scary.
Best for Jump Pack units to keep their points low while you can have some shooting before charging into combat.
Close Combat Weapons: Characters always have something better, pass on this one. But if you want to give something to those who’re intended to die and point-wise (for example, Apothecary) ,then give it to them.
Plasma Pistol: Powerful for hunting light vehicles or heavy infantry,and effective while it can also provides +1 attack in CC. But the risk is sometimes unbearable-----losing a wound by this won’t please you,right? Their costs are just too high to be effective either. (I’ll get flamed by this most likely)
Storm Shield: Although can be effective in CC, it's not needed too much for Characters since they’re most likely armed in Terminator Armour or Iron Halo. For Assault Terminators,however,make wonders when using it as a defensive weapon.4+ Invulnerable save gives you a fairly good chance to stop even a harsh blow from monsterous creatures.
Power Weapon: Cheap and effective. They're more and more popular these days, due to the fact that one can kill around 2 or 3 troops in a turn by only 15/10 points. By the time more SM players emerge these times, slaying more enemies in CC can dramatically decrease opponent’s striking power. If you have more points to spend then just grab 2 Lightning Claws instead, however.
To make use of its fearful power,let a Assault Marine Sergeant get it.10 points for them to kill a lot around the battlefield is really a bargain.
Power Fists: Powerful in taking out enemies, both units and vehicles, but NEVER put those on commanders (see Commander Entry below). Sergeants can take this for CC-cleanup as they’re just 5 points more than Power Weapons and can kill almost anything in 1 hit.Best for Assault Marine Sergeants as an alternatives for fast vehicle hunting.
Lightning Claws: As you only get the +1 attack by taking a pair on this, if you have points to spend, do it on your Commanders (then they’ll become CC monsters) since the Sergeants are most likely to have Power Weapons or Fists to keep the points low.Do best against mass armies.
Chainfists: As your Commanders won’t take Power Fists then they’re quite useless. In Terminator Squads, however, paying 5 points more to rip vehicles apart is quite a bargain.
Thunder Hammer: Just a Power Fist with some special abilities. Commanders can pass on this one, for Sergeants they’re too expensive to use well, but remember to take them in Assault Terminator Squads(reasons in their entry).
Part 2: Two-handed Weapons
Bolter: Pass on this one, your Commanders can get something better since they need to charge on the enemy.
Combi-Weapons: Paying this much for 1 special shot per game isn't a good choice, but if you really want to have some fun for frying enemy vehicles or swarms……
Storm Bolter: Most popular among Commanders, especially for those in Terminator Armour. 5 points for 2 shots of Strength 4, AP 5 within 24” is a bargain.Characters in Terminator Armour should take this one,while the normal Sergeants can get Bolt Pistols instead.
Part 3: Wargear
Artificer Armour: Extremely useless, since most weapons that can pass through 3+ save will pass through 2+ save as well. If you really want to get this then pay another 5 points for a Terminator Armour for the 5+ Invulnerable save, offering some special protections.
Auspex: Good for Sergeants who're at the your table edge since they’re cheap and effective and they can have a whole squad to fire upon the infiltrators. Not much use for Commanders really.
Bionics: A bit inefficient to consider. Most attacks firing at Commanders will cause Instant Death, and in CC they’re most likely to be attacked by Power Weapons or such, so no much use.You'll only have a 1/6 choice to save back the wounds on the other hand,if not the points are wasted,so think twice if taking this. But for a mere 5 points it's worthwhile to take it.
Combat Shield: Intended for Sergeants since HQ units can have something better for protection.Assault Marine Sergeants will find this particularly useful.
Familiar: For CC Librarians they’re excellent,since striking before anyone else means death to them.10 points for +1I,another unit for CC purpose and another 1(or 2) attack isn't a bad choice. A must-have for them.
Frag grenades: For 1 point to prevent being attacked first isn’t shabby(especially when facing those nasty Fleet of Claw units like Tyranids or Kroot). Too bad they can’t be use by Terminators……
Jump Pack: HQ units should only take this if you have an Assault Squad for them to join with, since attacking by only them is stupid.Other than that it's a cheap way to get your Commander around the battlefield and kill others if you don't prefer the bike or point-wise.
Krak Grenades: Useless. Giving up all attacks in CC for just 1 Strength 6 attack? You choose.They can deal with light vehicles or walkers if you don't have anti-armour weapon around,however.
Master-Crafted Weapon: Intended for Commanders only since those Sergeants are going to die anyway.As Commadners' every hit can kill,if you have 15 points to spare with the Power Weapons or Lightning Claws,get it.
Meltabombs: Jump Pack/Bike units only. They can fry enemy armour like they aren’t there by its Strength 8+2D6 Armour Penetration Value.For this job paying 3 points more than the Krak Grenades are really a bargain.
Purity Seals: Can be useful depending on your gaming style(shooters can shoot more for the shorter distance,while assaultign units can charge at them if you can,and you can set them flee as well), but a little bit overpriced.
Bike: Now your HQ units will become one-man army for the Improved Toughness, 3+ Invulnerable when moving over 12”, can move a quite far distance, Twin-Linked Bolters, etc. The drawback is that they’re quite expensive.
Teleport Homer: Terminator-heavy armies should ahve someone taking this for sure, especially for Scout/Bike Sergeants (if any) in order to call upon Terminators or Drop Pods in the 2nd turn WITHOUT scatter. Nuff said.
Terminator Armour: Great choice for wargear, cheap and useful. Take this if your force have some Terminators (especially Assault Terminators) already,or if you need extra protection for your Commanders from behind.
Terminator Honours: A must-have for all HQ units. +1 Attack for Power Weapons means another casualty.For Sergeants taking them or not is rather questionable,but Assault Marine Sergeants should take this to earn a +1 Attack and gain access for more powerful assault weapons.
Part 4: Relics and artefects
Chapter Banner: Not too useful unless you’re taking Ultramarines Honour Guards. In normal Power Armour Command Squads they’re not as effective they may seem since not all of them can take Power Weapons.
Holy Relic: Again, not too useful for the unit itself. But if you have Assault Terminators nearby and they’re in CC, then pray for the enemies since they’re most likely be slaughtered.
Iron Halo: A must-have for those HQ units who aren’t in a Bike or Terminator Armour, especially those intended to go into CC.It gives you extra (and better) protection from harsh blows.But since they cost the same as Terminator Armour,you'll decide for the 2+/5+ or 3+/4+ saves.
Sacred Standard: Again, not too useful in Power Armour Command Squads, but they aren’t that useless either. For 20 points they can help for result calculation unless you’re fighting against Nids or Orks,in which you're most likely to be outnumbered.
Adamantine mantle: While they’re quite useful as they may seem, they’re just seriously overpriced.
Part 5: Vehicle Upgrades
Before I start I should state that vehicles are expensive and can be destroyed easily, so those upgrades should be useful for keeping them alive.
Dozer Blade: A waste of points if you ask me since you won't have too much chances to use it,but it'll be great for those vehicles which you'll do a forceful breakthrough among the terrain pieces(like Vindicators and Rhinos,for the former you'll deliver fireopower while the latter one will deliver troops).
Extra Armour: A must-have for all vehicles. Even you can’t fire they can still find a place to hide from being shot.
Hunter-killer Missile: Quite expensive to be useful since it has only 1 shot, but sometimes can cause havoc at your enemies’ vehicles (especially those nasty vehicles like Monoliths or Crusaders) if the Dice God bless you on that day. :evilnod:
Pintle-mounted Storm Bolter: A bit overpriced, but certainly add some firepower especially for those anti-infantry vehicles like Crusaders or predator Destructors.
Power of the Machine Spirit: As good as they may seem, they’re still overpriced to be used on normal vehicles. For Land Raiders or Crusaders they can just add some fear to your enemies if the Dice God bless you.
Searchlight: Pass on this one and get something else unless you're playing Night Fighting-heavy games.
Smoke Launchers: Essential for all transports as they'll have to stay a turn under heavy enemy fire before their troops can get out,in which it can't be destroyed. Nuff said.
Part 6: Librarian Psychic Powers
A little trick to get psychic powers in a cheaper way:
SpoilerAs you can exchange a power with Storm of the Emperor's Wrath first,grab the more expensive one at first(for example,Veil of Time),then get the cheaper one(for example,Fear of the Darkness).Count it,if you take FotD first then VoT,it'll be 35 points;but if do this in my way,you'll get 10+15 points=25 points,save you 10 points!
(Doesn't work if taking FotD and MoH/VoD and VoT however.)
Storm of the Emperor’s Wrath: Basic Power, and can be effective in dealing with those 2+ save units.For high Toughness units,however,they'll be hard to deal with if using this power.
Fury of the Ancients: Good on large tables, but you’ll need to be in line of other enemies to have maximum effect, so if your Librarian can move fast then this can be lethal to all enemy troops,and especially those characters who're hiding behind the lines.
Fear of the Darkness: Most popular one, they can keep your enemies out from CC while you shoot them dead. An excellent defensive power.
Might of Heroes: Intended for those CC Librarians. More Force Weapon attacks means more will fall in CC.
Veil of Time: If the luck isn’t with you then you will want this one. A bit overpriced,but certainly useful for re-rolling EVERYTHING in that turn.
Vortex of Doom: They’re just too costly (and too hard,especially against enemy HQ units) to be effective, although lethal.
Chapter 2: Units
Commander: Most SM players may usually pass on this, for they don’t have the raw power in close combat like another 2------Librarians or Chaplains. I understand this, but actually they can be powerful as well, because they’re fully customizable. You can arm they whichever you like, unlike another 2, so they’re generally fit all conditions.
A good, basic Commander will have a load out like this:
-Terminator Armour, a Pair of Lightning Claws (or a Storm Bolter and a Power Weapon if you want some shooting and point-wise) if you want them to become good CC fighters that can always kill something while he can guard your table edge,and get himself safe at the same time.
-Jump Pack (or Bike, or even nothing if you prefer a transport or point-wise), Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol or Storm Bolter, Iron Halo, Terminator Honours.A pretty cheap(and not so effective) substitute for Librarians or Chaplains.
At this time I’ll state some common faults here:
1. NEVER PUT POWER FISTS of Commanders. 6 Strength 8 attacks on the charge seems to be scary, but HQ units are mostly intended to go into CC and kill a lot first, in which Power Fists will drag them down.
2. DON’T TAKE ARTIFICER ARMOUR. The reason was stated above in the Wargear part.
For Commanders, taking Masters are certainly better than taking Captain,unless you're running low on points. For 15 points more you can have Leadership 10 for ALL LEADERSHIP TESTS (except Psychic Tests) AND a +1 Wound as a bonus are excellent for shooty armies, and for assaulting those nasty units like Flayed Ones or C’Tans.Most veterans will place him at his table edge instead of leading a charge,it's a good move for shooting armies since they need that Leadership 10,but it's your choice of gaming anyway.
Chaplains: Intended for CC, these guys have some punches and some nasty little rules following behind. Grab a Jump Pack or Terminator Armour for them and join Assault Marines or Assault Terminators to make him more dangerous(Don't ever dream that the'll go alone,they're not invincible anyway). Re-rolling ALL failed to-hit rolls on the first round of CC means death to enemy squads, and means EVEN MORE DEATH for Assault Terminators. RE-ROLLING BOTH TO-HIT AND TO-WOUND ROLLS means nothing can stand in your way, really. Just remember that their Fearless status can hurt you in other ways.
Taking a Master of Sanctity is quite pointless here, since your unit that he joins will be Fearless, so no much need for the +1 Leadership.
Librarians: Offensive choice for HQ units. Since their Force Weapons can kill multi-wound models, they’re best at dealing with enemy characters. Their Psychic Powers aren’t shabby either. They can stop enemy psychic Powers as well. Though a bit overpriced, it’s worth it.
An Epistolary will go over Codicier if you intended to take one, since +1 Leadership in Psychic Tests can save your precious Librarians from any “side effects” for miscasting.
--Now we’ll come to a problem that which HQ we should take.
For Shooty armies them Master is always your choice, leaving you another choice of HQ. It’s really your preference, since Librarians and Chaplains have their uses, so just find the way which suit you better.
For Assault armies, on the other hand, you may want Librarians/Chaplains, or both. Assigning them in 2 different squads (Like one in Assault Squad and another in Assault Terminators) and work together, you can get devastating results.
Command Squads: Most likely they’re trying to do well in both CC and shooting, but end up by doing neither job very well. For CC since they can only have about 3-4 Power Weapons,they won't kill as much as other squads(especially Assault Terminators),and for shooting you can grab another Tactical Squad or Devastator Squad instead.Or,in a shooty list,you won't even need the Command Squad to do shooting.The good side for them is that they can give some extra protection for your HQ.(If you have different opinions, feel free to tell me.)
Terminator Command Squads: Unlike normal Command Squads, Terminator Command Squads are far more lethal. By 4th Edition Rules that Assault Cannons now have Rending special rule means that you have a chance to rip even Land Raiders apart, so it’s always better to have 2 Assault Cannons with these guys, as Heavy Flamers aren’t that useful unless you’re facing horde armies. Combining 2 Assault Cannons, Power Fists, can always Deep Strike and 2+/5+ save, these guys will give your enemy a hard match in dealing with them. Just try to keep them out of CC since Initiative 1 means that anything can strike first before you do, unless your enemies can’t even scratch you in CC (like Tau).
Their deployment zone by Deep Strike should be carefully chosen as well,since Plasma-heavy armies,like Tau,can shred your precious squad into pieces if you're not careful.
Terminator Squads (Ts): Identical to Terminator Command Squad except you can take a whole lot of these. Hard-hitting and deadly, but still avoid CC as normal. As a side note, take as less body as you can, not only preventing them to become point-sink, but you can also take more Terminators.
Assault Terminator Squads: One of the best CC unit available in 40k universe, these guys forgo their shooting weapons to be more dangerous in CC, Lightning Claws can re-roll To-wound rolls while Thunder Hammers can knock out even the toughest targets on the charge.
A mixed weapon approach for these guys will be the best, since you’ll have a hard time to deal with Dreadnoughts, Wriathlords, Carnifexes or something with high Toughness or Armour Value if you only have Claws, while you’ll have to bless your Armour Saves/Invulnerable saves if you have only Hammers. Ideal size for them will be 6, with a Sergeant,3 troopers with Claws and 2 with Hammers, slap a Chaplain/Librarian into them and kick them into a Crusader, and prepare to kill everyone else on the board.
Dreadnought (DN): Quite fragile for only Front AV12, but unlike its Chaos counterpart, you can deploy them by Drop Pods, thus giving you some mobile firepower. They’re perfect for low-point games since there’ll be little anti-armour weapons can be taken, unless you’re facing Necrons.
--Take “Hellfire Dreadnought” or not?
It’s rather questionable for taking Hellfire Dreadnought (also known as Missile Launcher Dreadnought) or not. Hellfire patterns are intended for fire support by losing their CC power, but the question is, the CC ability is one of the notable features of Walkers. At this point I’m firmly against to take them because:
1. For anti-armour purpose, you can take a Predator Annihilator for its point value plus a bit more, with better armour protection.
2. Hellfire Dreadnoughts will need to be Venerable for extra protections, but as stated above, you can take a Predator for this purpose.
3. Even you’re going to drop it onto the battlefield, they’re still too fragile to withstand from enemy firepower.
4. They’ll be expensive to keep alive while they’re not that effective.
The good points for taking it are listed follows:
1. With the Tank Hunter Veteran Skill they can do well in armour-hunting.
2. They can get some cover,since they're walkers in the end.
3. They can be dropped onto the field if you need it, and where you can place it far from the main line.
--Venerable or not?
Venerable DNs are quite hard to destroy, but is the +20pts really worth it? It’ll be useful if you’re facing Big-gun armies like Tau so that they can be alive before they go into CC, but generally most attacks against armour will do Penetrating hits, thus still 1/2 chance to get destroyed.
All in all, it’s your preference.
Veteran Squads: They’re intended for assaults, but take Assault Ts instead since they have better protection, more Power Weapons available, and their ability to Deep Strike. Unless you’re going to Infiltrate them and charge the enemy with them (which can be dangerous), don’t bother with them too much.
Techmarines: These guys now give me 2 feelings at the same time. On the bright side they can fix those armour, provide some cheap heavy fire from behind and still lethal in CC, but on the dull side they get killed too easily. You can just lay some AP4 weapons onto them and waste all the Servitors before aiming even more AP2/AP1 guns at him. For big point games they can be a bargain since you’ll need lot of things fixed, but for 1.5k below they’re too hard to use well while they’re too vulnerable to attacks.On the other hand,the Full-servo Harness,while being a bit overpriced,you'll certainly want it for the additional benefits and weapons.It's really up to your cohice,however.
For taking Servitors,if you're prepared to fix lot of stuff then grab 2 or more Tech Servitors,they certainly help.If not,you can grab some cheap Gun/Combat Servitors,depending on your list.
Tactical Squads: Bread and butter. They’re the main core of your army unless you want to go for a Scout army. Not much to say really, since they’re straightforward to their purpose……
For the weapon options themselves, Plasma Guns are well all-round killers within 24”, while Flamers and Meltaguns are too short-ranged to be useful. Heavy Bolters are intended to take down troops, while Missile Launchers and Lascannons go for armour, and Plasma Cannons for both. If you really want Lascannons for anti-armour issue then take them in Tactical Squads. Missile Launchers are good all-round killers at far, so for the ideal weapon options will be Las/Missile/PC + Plasma Gun. DON’T TAKE MELTA/FLAMERS + MISSILE/LAS/PC since their range difference is too big. As Heavy Bolters can be obtained somewhere else so generally you can forget it in Tactical Squads,but if you want some extra,multiple (they're Heavy 3,don't forget) anti-troop firepower within 36" then get this.Not a bad choice of weapons for this purpose,really.
Ideal size is 6 or 8, so that you can take more squads by the same point value.
Scout Squads: Good for pinning enemy troops in a place by their Heavy Weapons (Sniper Rifles to be exact). As stated above, giving the Sergeant a Teleport Homer and Infiltrate will create havoc among that part by teleporting in Terminators. Great choice for taking out tanks in place by infiltrating them with Missiles as well. However keep in mind that they’re just little more than Stormtroopers if looking at armour saves, which means they are quite easily to get killed.
A small detachment of around 6 will be enough for the purpose.
--Transport: The role of Transports is to deliver the squad to the destination and start to kill, so forget fancy upgrades, and keep them cheap and fast. Extra Armour is a must-have for them while Smoke Launchers are opitional.
Rhino: Cheap transport, and fast as well. Now it has the nasty Repair rule that can make them continue to run if your rolls are good. However they have VERY WEAK armour,and if you need soem REALLY FAST transport then get Drop Pods,for that they're cheaper than a Rhino.
Razorback: Substituting capacity for firepower. They cost a bit more but add firepower (and also surprise if you take out enemy armour by these) to your squad.Additional firepower for small squads are always good.
Drop Pods: A good (and cheaper) substitute of Rhino, since they can be dropped if you need and they’re a bit hard to destroy. Taking the Deathwind Launcher or not is opitional, but can be effective against horde armies by the “big pie” attack.
Assault Marines: Cheap substitute of Assault Terminators, and while they’re not as powerful as Assault Ts do, you can still get a horrifying amount of attacks in CC, and they move fast by their Jump Packs. Great for main assault with proper support and can become a main source of kill (especially if you slap a HQ unit into them,for some protection to the HQ as well as additional striking power to the squad), but don’t over-relying on them since their attacks mostly allow armour saves. It’s good to take a squad of them for picking up isolated targets, while Assault Ts go for the main assault.
The options are quite limited, but still good. Flamers are recommended here since you can burn some enemies out before going into assault, while Plasma Pistol + Meltabombs make them dedicated vehicle killers. Like usual, forget Krak grenades.
Land Speeders: These skimmers can pick a lot of punches, especially after upgrading. Tornados with Assault Cannons are excellent for anti-infantry as well as anti-armour, while Heavy Flamer Tornados do well against hordes, and their Multi-Melta will melt almost anything in range. For the Typhoons they’re intended to lay waste of hordes and infantry at far, but except that they’re not really useful in other aspects.3 Assault Cannon Tornados per squad will be the best way to go, since they’re going to kill everyone else by their firepower and protection for being a skimmer.
Bike Squadrons: These are another great choice for Fast Attacking. Nothing much to say really, after slapping in Meltabombs and Meltaguns, together with their speed and protection, they’re most likely to fry any vehicles……
Adding a single Attack Bike here isn’t recommended, since they’re better to be in their squad so that to maximize firepower.
Attack Bike Squadrons: Mobile Heavy Bolters/Multi-Meltas. Nuff said. They’re costly but worth to take at least 2 of them, giving you some mobile (and hard-hitting) firepower.
Scout Bike Squadrons: Just like Bike Squadrons, but weaker armour saves. Other than that they work similar to IG Sentinels with a faster speed and Bike Squadrons.If you need a unit to tear off enemy flanks as fast as possible then they'll do better,since they can move after deployment but before movement.
Devastator Squads: They can pour out a ridiculous firepower, but they have to be in the right position to maximize firepower. As a result, they may need some transport if you’re playing on a big table. REMEMBER to take more bodies in the squad, around 8 or so, to protect your precious Heavy Weapons.
IMPORTANT: Devastators are intended to specialize, so just take same weapons for the squad. For anti-armour Missile Launchers are cheap while their efficiency can match Lascannons as Lascannons are SEVERELY overpriced. For anti-troops just take Heavy Bolters, and that will be enough. Plasma Cannons, like Lascannons, are too expensive to use well. Multi-melta are just too short-ranged to use.
Vindicators: Extremely powerful cannon that can wipe out anything, but requiring LoS means that it’ll be shot easily. Unless you’re sure that others can cover it until it reaches its target,or you can breakthrough a certain terrain piece easily, don’t take them alone.
Predators: Great, great tank. Most of the armies nowadays will take at least an Annihilator for popping out armour, while some may take 2 and take a Destructor for mobile anti-troops platform as well. By Land Raider's cost you can take 2 of these, so they're very useful by their costs, and are bargain. Just to note that don't take too much upgrades, or being popped out too soon.
Note that only get Lascannons for Annihilators, and Heavy Bolters for Destructors. Some players may say that it'll add their versatility, but for vehicles what you'll do is to concentrate on one job.
Whirlwind: Unlike Vindicators they’re pure artilleries, just hide them behind terrain pieces and have fun with them. They’re relatively cheap for frying infantry without being seen, so they’re great for fire support. Just remember that don’t leave them alone, or your enemies may have a present for you……
Vengeance Missiles are the most popular one,but using the Castellan Missiles you can set up traps for the enemy,if you can use them right.
Land Raiders: 250 points with such powerful weapon loadouts, tough armour and transporting capacity seems to be a shock to new players, but usually they'll be the first target on board, since they worth 250pts.Unless you're taking it for fire support behind the main line, it's hard to keep it alive. They try to do a few jobs at once, but for their firepower you can just get 2 Predators, for transporting Terminators……You can just teleport them onto the field. For transporting normal troops then take a Rhino is enough. Overall, they’re quite useless since its role can be done in other ways, and those ways are certainly do better than Land Raiders for the same job.
Land Raider Crusaders: Now they’re being misused or underestimated. Most of the people consider they're as useless as normal LRs, but if in close quarters they're immensely powerful as it can pour out HUGE amount of firepower. Its capacity also allows us to take a squad of Assault Terminators and dash at full speed, disembark, and create havoc. So unlike normal LRs, they’re just concentrate on one job------assault, and they do it quite well. But same as LRs, keep it alive for all times, like slapping on a Smoke Launcher as it'll be useful before the Terminators leave.
Chapter 3: Chapter Traits
Chapter Traits can let you design your own Space Marine Chapter with specialties that you think suits them best. As taking traits are personal preferences according your own thinking, I’ll only put my comment here and you’ll choose if you’ll take them after reading these.
Part 1: Advantages
Be Swift as the Wind: Taking Bikes as Troops are fun to play with, but will be expensive and the army will be quite lack of bodies. They can do some blitzkrieg attacks upon the enemies, however.
As Elites they can really benefit from the Tank Hunters skill together with the Meltabombs,but then they're really expensive and hurt you significantly when some of them is dead.
Blessed be the Warriors: For those assault maniacs they should love this by pouring out tons of CC attacks, but first consider that Assault Ts will perform generally better in CC. (You can take 6 squads of Assault Marines for their own benefits anyway.)
Cleanse and Purify: one of the most powerful traits available. Though it costs more for another Assault Weapons, the return is excellent. For 2 Plasma Guns in a squad you can take down any heavy infantries, while 2 Meltaguns will certainly fry anything, together with Drop Pods, and 2 Flamers works best against horde armies.Match perfectly with Drop Pod-heavy armies,but relatively useless for stationary shooting.
Heed the Wisdom of the Ancients: 6 DNs in an army with a maximum 4 Venerable DNs, combining with Drop Pods, they’re just matter-exterminators considering their striking power,just to note that not to give your enemy easy points so easily since DNs are still a bit fragile in the end.
Honour your Wargear: Works best if you take “Flesh over Steel” Drawback, since you can take 6 Devastator Squads, all with Heavy Weapons, which all can lay waste to the enemies from far.Elite Devastators can deal even more powerful blow to the enemy either by taking either skills available,for Infiltrators you can deliver harsh blows at a shorter distance,while Tank Hunters can kill armour lots easier..
Never Despair: Depends on personal preferences for taking this or not, really.Giving a chance to get an additional turn for gaming can be good for certain type of missions.
No mercy, no respite: This army is even more dangerous if combining “Take the fight to them” or “Blessed be the Warriors”, and then it’ll be one step away from the fierce Blood Angels,as ANY Assault/Tactical squad can take Furious Assault skill.
Purity above all: Good to keep a number of Apothecaries around if you're going into assault,but that'll be quite costly together with other upgrades you got for them.
Take the fight to them: Obviously an assault-oriented army, they’re just as dangerous as Assault Marines since every Tactical Marine can get 3 Attacks on the charge for no cost.
Scions of Mars: Want to take a load of Terminators? Then take this trait.The Techmarine HQ option isn't worth too much by the high cost,by contrast to the lower-point Terminator Armours.
See but don’t be seen: Infiltrating “Cleanse and Purify” Marines and Devastators will not please your opponent.Really a bargain by the low cost.
Suffer not the alien to live: For themed armies, take this if your theme suits in fighting those xenos or playing them frequently in your store.Not much to say really.
Suffer not the Work of Heretics: Intended for increasing Devastators’ shooting power,or increase Tactical Squad's dangerousness to the vehicles(Plasma Guns can now have a chance to glance AV14,if I'm right).
Trust your Battle-brothers: Again, assault-oriented,but taking 2 skills by a same amount of points added. Considering point cost they're relatively a good choice.
Uphold the honour of the Emperor: This advantage can bring some protections to your army,however it benefits too little men to be useful.If you take those men then it'll certainly help.
Part 2: Major Drawbacks
Aspire to Glory: Losing Assault Terminators,Terminator Armour AND T Command Squad will definately decrease your combat effectiveness.0-1 T squad OR DN,NO artefects from armoury AND 0-1 Veteran Squad will hurt you even more.You choose.
Eye to Eye: What you'll lost is the Fast Attack choices, and where you can still take a squad of Tornados.Seems to be least blow to your army,but certainly it'll decrease your abilities to perform blitzkrieg attacks.
Flesh over Steel: In order to scare your opponent by the number of men then take this, but be warned, you’ll need to do more work on taking more anti-armour units,since the decent armour-killer can't be used.You'll find a hard time to deliver troops as well since this trait will limit your usage on transports,AND the inability to use LRCs,one of the best assault transport.
Part 3: Minor Drawbacks
Death before Dishonour: Converse of "Never Despair",but now you'll give a chance to your opponent for another turn.Its damage to you depends on the mission and its situations,in which it may lead to your defeat,so you choose.
Die Standing: If you’re intended not to use any Drop Pods then it won’t affect you anyway.If not,you'll have to find other ways to transport your troops fast.
Faithful unto Death: This can dramatically decrease your force’s combat effectiveness due to the loss of slots, but have fun for taking this according to your armies' theme.
Have faith in suspicion: Cannot take Librarians means that you’ll lose some ability to kill enemy characters, so watch out for this.
Have pride in your colours: Depends on personal preference, but the usefulness of Scouts,or the damage to the enemies by infiltrating troops may urge you to reconsider before taking this.
We stand alone: If you’re a Dark Angels player originally then you should have no problem of using this drawback. The rest may have to find a way to solve the problem for lacking others’ support.
Chapter 4:Special Characters
Shrike:By his RENDING Lightning Claws and those nasty veteran skills HE and his veteran squad can tear almost any infantry apart,howvere the squad itself is a huge point-sink.
Lysander:Meant primarily for Terminator-heavy armies.4 Terminator squad landed upon the enemy at once with 8 Assault Cannons mean death to infantry and vehicles,if placed properly.
Cassius:Not much difference with a normal Chaplain,except the Preferred Enemy and re-roll Leadership test within 6".A bit overpriced.
Tigurius:His ability to choose power AFTER deployment lets you to modify your tactics according to the plan after deployment.His Hood of Hellfire makes him more powerful as well.Make your effort to keep him alive.
Tyranic War Veterans:Their Heavy Bolter's special round are excellent choice for killling,due to its 2+ to wound.Other than that they're still a bargain for their veteran skills,special attack of Krak Grenades against Nids,etc.
Ultramarines Honour Guard:Lots of Power Weapon attacks,good for CC.But the 2 basic characters,Ancient and Chapter Champion,are overpriced since the Artificer Armour on both of them aren't needed.The squad itself is Vulnerable to shooting as well,since none of them have Invulnerable saves.
Marneus Calgarefinately a bargain for his cost and his cool abilities(if you add up the points from a normal Master you'll find this),but still bemember that he'll go last in CC.Give his some protections and attacks first,such as accompanying Assault Terminators.
Chapter 5:Unit tactics
Most obvious choice for HQ units will be equiping them with best CC weapons available(Commanders),slap him into a squad and rush at the enemy.It really depends on your gaming style,but if you're going to play a shoot 'em all game,then take a Master,give him some protections and keep him as far from the main line as possible.Generally speaking Commanders don't perform any better than Librarians or Chaplains,only because they're customizable,so just leave the bloody work to the Librarians and Chaplains,and have fun in shooting by the Leadership 10 for Target Priority checks.
Only go into CC with him if you really need him to do so,otherwise just leave him ALONE (that is,don't let him attached to ANYTHING).On the bright side,you can just give him an Assault Squad and let them travel among your table edge,slaying any intruders nearby.
Librarians and Chaplains,on the other hand,even they're deadly in CC,SHOULDN'T go into CC alone.They should grab a squad (Assault Marines/Assault Terminators/Bikes depending on your choice) and go together,in order to kill more and give some protection to our mate.Sending them alone is suicide.
It may be obvoius but,use Librarian powers if possible.SM Librarians have some cool psychic powers that worth to use all the time(like FotD ot FotA),just check that if your enemy will be affected by this(for example,FotD will be no use on Fearless troops).
The Power Armour Command Squad can be quite hard to use,since their CC efficiency isn't as good as other units available do.But if you intend to grab a Special Character/CC Commander in Power Armour then the Command Squad can offer some extra bodies for CC,if not then just leave them alone in the box,since they're not too useful.
T Command Squad is the most obvious.Drop when you can,and shoot all dead.Power Fists give them some punches when attacking vehicles or something big,but they're gotta get some,or even all killed in CC since they strike at I1,so just keep them move and shoot.
Best drop at the flanks,where you'll face least firepower from the enmy and while you can mow them down with your Ass Cannons.
Normal Ts are just like T Command Squads.
Assault Ts are powerful,as I had said before.What you really need to do is to choose how they enter the fray.2 Best ways available:
2.Use LRC as transport.
The first will be the safest way to get them into the table,but you should be really careful about where they should Deep Strike.Don't make them vulnerable to attacks at this point!
The second method,while being expensive and dangerous(the LRC can get blown off) to do so,it gives you much better mobility.
Either than this,you can attach a HQ unit into them and go for the kill.There's nothing to say really,since they're straightforward to their purpose......
Veteran Squads,if you take them as cheap substitutes of Terminators,are encouraged to take Infiltrate skill in order to go into CC quickly with the enemy when you're holding *quite a lot of* Power Weapons.Other than that you can use TRansports,but this adds your cost.
DNs,depends on which type you're taking,have different purposes.
Normal DNs should take a Drop Pod (since they'll die soon if you send them walking),land near to the enemy and unlease their firepower.The Heavy Flamer is really opitional for this type of DNs.Once it's able to move,charge.
Hellfire DNs are more obvious.
1.Sit back and shoot.
2.Get a Drop Pod,drop once you need them (eg,close up fire support/send the enemies at your table edge back home from far,far away).
Techmarines can take a Transport,and drive him to the broken vehicle and fix it.Simple.
Or,if you need thir heavy fire,just find a safe position and unleash their firepower.
Tactical Squads,as they've named,will do different things in different times.For example,
if infiltrated/transport+CC type,then charge with them.
If infiltrated/Drop Pod/transport+Cleanse and Purify,give them hell by moving towards them and shoot.
If in an assault,they can give fire support,either long-ranged or short-ranged.
Tactical Squads are quite flexable,and you can find tons of ways in using them,so try it.
Scouts:They work best with infiltration+heavy weapons,either Heavy Bolter/Missile+Sniper Rifle will ave chances to pin enemy in a place while you're hard to being shot at.They're even decisive to your victory if you give the Sergeant a Teleport Homer,and those Terminators come without scatter.
For a basically CC unit(look at what they'd armed originally) they can even try to tie up enemy units in CC while they can hold their own,unless you charge them to a monsterous creature or something big.
Transports:Their jobs is to deliver troops quickly.Drop Pods are the fastest and cheapest,obviously.For the rest of the Transports,they should always go by their max speed.If you have problems in breaking through enemy lines,give your Rhino/Razorback a Dozer Blade and do some assault by passing terrain pieces.They may fail,they may not,but if you succeed then your men can deliver harsh blows a lot easier later on,just to keep in mind that their armour is quite thin.
Razorbacks,while classified as Transports,should shoot if possible since its guns are big enough to kill anything as well(and,they're cheap).
Assault Marines:The most obvious way to use them is to move them across the table,but now you can choose them to deploy by Deep Strike.Same as Assault Terminators,you'll need to plan carefully if you choose to do so.
Their job can be killing off isolated units(and it'll work in most situations),or do some armour hunting by arming Meltabombs.If you intend to use them in main assault,make sure that you've enough firepower to level most enemies,or have another squad of Assault Marines/Assault Terminators as backup before they go in and kill since they're vulnerable to get shot(everyone knows that what they're using for),and they're not that powerful in CC in the end.
Bikes:Both normal Bikes and Scout Bikes can tear off the flanks of the enemy (and Scout Bikes will do better since they can move after deployment) by both their firepower,speed and protection,and go on the bombing run upon enemy armour.Given that they'll get 3+ Invulnerable save when moving 24",they're almost unstoppable,or being stopped too easily.Once all the armour were blown up,you can now harness enemy by their speed,and drawing off enemy firepower before your main bodies come.
Attack Bikes:For Heavy Bolters you can just wander around and shoot.For Multi-melta you can move them fast and fry enemy back armour.Simple.
Land Speeders:Always move 12" by these!As all their weapons are classified as Defensive weapons(other than the Multi-Melta),they can still fire them even they move 12" to gain advantage of being a skimmer.For Multi-Melta Squadrons they should move as fast as possible from the flanks and fry enemy armour.(They can still shoot with their Multi-melta by moving 12".)
Devastators:Like Tactical Squads,you can use them in many ways(though less than Tactical Squads'),depending on your army.
Tank Hunters-Sit back and shoot,or go mobile by taking a transport.
Infiltrators-Give them hell at that place.Excellent for troop/armour killing.
Vindicators:Break through enemy lines by force,like adding a Dozer Blade to it and move through terrain,and fire the Demolisher.As this thing isn't cheap,so prepare for follow-up support/breakthrough once it arrives at the position.
Predators:They're obvious for their roles.Annihilators go for armour,and Destructors for troop-killing.Not much to say more,just remember that they're vulnerable to get shot,especially Annihilators------They're just too costly.
Whirlwind:Hide behind hills,and start the barrage.Don't place them in open,as they're usually get shot first.
Land Raiders:Fire support/transport.For both job you won't need this,but if you really want this armour then go for Fire Support role,it'll do better.
Land Raider Crusaders:Fire magnet+assault transport.they'll draw a lot of enemy fire,but if your passengers are in position then it doesn't matter.Just move at masx speed first,drop off passengers,and go for infantry-killing nearby.
Little sum up for their best roles,and where to do:
Commanders:Stay behind of the line and *maybe* wandering.
Librarians/Chaplains:Go assault with 1+ squads' support,while they're leading one.
Power Armour Command Squads:Keep your Power Armour CC HQ units/Special Characters safe when in CC.Otherwise stay out of the game.
T Command Squadrop at flanks and shoot enemies,avoid CC if possible.
T Squads:Same as T Command Squad.
Assault T Squadseep Strike in a safe location/got transported inside a LRC before they go into assault.
DNs:Normal type-drop and assault,Hellfire-sit back and shoot/drop and give some fire support.
Veteran Squads:Infiltrate/got transported and charge into CC.
Techmarines:Fix stuff/fire support from behind.
Scouts:Infiltrating,use teleport Homers to call downs Terminators without scatter/pin enemies by their guns/hold enemy units in CC.
Transports:Always deliver troops at max speed.Razorbacks should shoot if possible.
Assault Marines:Go for main assault with backups.
Bikes/Speeders:Tear enemy flanks apart and blow up everything,starting from there.
Attack Bikes:HB-Mobile troop killer,MM-fry armour by max speed.
Vindicators:Breakthrough enemy lines directly with proper fire support/follow-up attacks.
Predators:Annihilators-kill armour,Destructors-kill troops.
Whirlwinds:Stay behind,and blow up enemies by barrages.
LRs:Best as fire support.
LRCs:Assault Transport,go for the main assault.
Main part, done.
1. Don’t take too much wargear/vehicle upgrades, you’ll make them a point-sink and become more dangerous to make you lose the game. Just take an optimal amount will be enough, thinks like Bionics, Artificer Armour, Mantle or Krak Grenades are usually not needed.
2. Keep the squads small in size. This let you to take more units that you originally have, and thus you can have more scoring units on the board. The most obvious reason for doing this, is that you can have more guns to deal with the enemies.
3. Don’t give up when you find a way doesn’t suit you. Do more experiments in army building and gaming, until you find a way that you feel good enough to play with.
4. Don’t forget that it’s a game, so don’t be too serious in playing games
5. Last but not the least; if you have any problems concerning this guide please post here, I’m sure that me and other veteran players in this forum will help you.
Thanks for reading this guide!
I hope that you’ll find this guide useful in playing or choosing Space Marines, and wish you good luck for fighting the enemies of the Imperium in the name of the Emperor