You Took That? - Codex Space Marines
Welcome to my new article series "You Took That?" which much like my Underplayed & Overlooked series is going to perform reviews of units that you don't see on the table much (or ever) but this time focusing on actual unit choices instead of Unique characters. Lets begin.
Legion of the Damned
- Cost: 1
- Offense: 3
- Defense: 3
- Support: 3
Looking them over the Legion is vastly over costed. A squad of five LotD Marines with nothing but Bolters is only 15 points less than a full 10 man Tactical Squad that has a variety of free special and heavy weapons to choose from. To make a 10 man LotD squad that has a Flamer and a Missile Launcher would cost a whopping 340 points!
Offensively they are not much better than regular Marines. For Ranged Attacks they have the same output as a regular Tactical Squad. A variety of Bolters combined with an Assault Weapon and a Heavy Weapon all hitting on 3+. In Close Combat they do fare better than regular having 2 Attacks base but again nothing spectacular.
One nice ranged Offensive boost they have is that they are Slow & Purposeful which means that they are Relentless. As they Deep Strike in as they means of getting on the board this means that if you had a Heavy Weapon in the squad you could fire it on the turn you touched down. Furthermore a squad of 5 with a Multi-melta and a Meltagun (205 pts) might be considered for useful for tank hunting.
Defensively they do have a 3+ Invulnerable Save. This is a very good save especially for a Marine but they do not have multiple Wounds or Eternal Warrior. Furthermore they lack even a regular Armor Save meaning any attack that ignores Invulnerable Saves and Wounds them kills them outright.
For Support they are Fearless which is helpful in keeping them around. They also Deep Strike onto the board and can re-roll the scatter dice if you done like the first result which adds a degree of reliability in their arrival. They don't bring much else to the table to be honest which is sad given how cool these guys once were.
Vanguard Veteran Squad
- Cost: 2
- Offense: 4
- Defense: 4
- Support: 3
Comparing them with regular Assault Marines would seem to show that they don't actually seem to be over costed all that much. In fact in my opinion if you are taking an Assault Squad anyway and don't mind losing the Flamer option and paying a point premium so that you can potentially charge into Assault if you Deep Strike close enough than it is worth it. Also for those points you also get the ability to completely customize your squad which has some nice potential. But they score a 2 because for some reason they have to pay points to have a Jump Pack which adds a 10 point premium to every Marine in the squad.
Offensively for Ranged Attacks they lose out on the ability to take the Flamer but otherwise can do everything an Assault Squad could do and more. You would never see it but each member can take a Plasma Pistol for starters. But more likely you would focus on the Close Combat aspect of the squad which is where all the fun is.
Defensively every Marine can take a wide variety of wargear which is cool on its own but the important piece that bears mentioning is the Storm Shield. Each member has access to one and this is pretty big. The ability to take this as much as you can afford means you can add considerable longevity to the unit. But they do cost an arm and a leg and when you compare them to things like a squad of Assault Terminators you start to see the shortcomings in terms of points cost.
They are very average from a Support perspective and neither help nor hinder the army directly. Like most Marine units they can operate autonomously and these guys are no exception.
Scout Bike Squad
- Cost: 3
- Offense: 3
- Defense: 3
- Support: 3
Looking at the cost first it seems they are fairly costed. Not a bargain but not a hinderance. They cost 5 points less than a regular Space Marine Biker and they lose a point in a few stats but gain some useful Special Rules and wargear so in my opinion this is a fair cost.
Offensively for Ranged Combat they each are armed with a Shotgun and a Twin-Linked Bolter from the Bike for base wargear. This is actually a strange configuration because you will never ever use the Shotgun. It is made entirely superfluous by the Twin-Linked Bolter which is better in every way. A Shotgun is an S4 AP - Assault 2 weapon. The Bolter because it is on the Bike platform can fire a 24" and at 12" can Rapid Fire thus equalling the Shotgun and it is AP 5 and of course all the shots are Twin Linked which really helps with their BS 3.
In addition they can take grenade launchers which is pretty unique for any Marine army. Those who have been playing 40k for a really long time may remember Marines with Grenade Launchers but for most it was an interesting new addition. It brings two profiles of shooting to the table. (Note the weapon is Rapid Fire so double these within 12") The first is a S3 AP6 Blast which is the Frag mode and is pretty weak but the S6 AP4 Krak mode is much more useful. In addition the range of 24" keeps the threat ranges the same as the Bolters which helps make planning easier.
The long and the short of their Ranged output is that they are a very decent infantry suppression unit. This same role is covered under their Assaulting capabilities which is lackluster. These guys are not meant to charge in the fray especially given their WS3 and 4+ Armor Save compared to regular Marines on Bikes. They could tie up a unit for a turn or two depending but it is a sacrificial move in almost every case.
For Support they have Infiltrate and Scout which gives them a high degree of mobility and threat range. When combined with a Locator Beacon (which acts just like a Teleport Homer) you can then Infiltrate a squad far forward and drop those Pods without scatter nearby or help bring in Deep Striking Reserves safely.
In addition they have an ability to buy Cluster Mines which then turn a piece of area terrain chosen by you (before deployment) into a trap for infantry. Any models moving into the terrain take 2D6 S4 hits which ignore Cover Saves. In addition vehicles are hit automatically on the rear armor which could threaten a Transport. For only 10 points if you are going to take this unit it seems like an obvious upgrade.
Come see us next time when we take a look at Codex: Chaos Space Marines.