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Codex: Space Marines 101


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#1
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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So a while ago myself and Shadowstalker Grim started on Codex Space Marines 101, a guide intended on telling the basics of the Space Marine army, allowing new comers and veterans alike to have a quick look through what our army has to offer. I intended this to be used in conjunction with Shadowstalker Grim's Enemies 101 article, which can be found here: Enemies 101. I hope you find them informative and instructive.
 

PLEASE NOTE, THIS TACTICA WAS MADE WITH AN EARLIER EDITION IN MIND. THAT EDITION IS NOW PASSED, SO NOT EVERYTHING IN THIS TACTICA WILL NECESSARILY APPLY. REGARDLESS, SOME ASPECTS OF IT MAY STILL HOLD RELEVANCE. READ AT YOUR OWN ACCORD

 

Codex: Space Marines 101


'SPACE MARINES ARE A SHOOTY BASED GENERALIST ARMY' Bartali



[Index]
 

Using the Quick-find system
To get to where you want to go simply find it in the Index below, copy and paste into the quick find function of your browser, and just press enter. With luck you should go right there tongue.gif. If you want to quickly go back to the index simply type [Index] into the quick find function.

[The Low Down]
[The Marine]
[The weaknesses of the Marine]
[The strengths of a Marine]
[Tactics]
['Your game or mine?']
[Making the most of mobility]
[How much is too much?]
[Target Priority]
[Special Characters]

[Chapter Master]
[Honour Guard]
[Captain]
[Command Squad]
[Librarians]
[Chaplain]
[Master of the Forge]

[Tactical Squads]
[Scouts]

[Rhino]
[Razorback]
[Drop Pod]

[Terminators]
[Assault Terminators]
[Sternguard Veterans]
[Venerable Dreadnought]
[Dreadnought]
[Ironclad Dreadnought]
[Techmarines]
[Servitors]
[Legion of the Damned]

[Assault Squads]
[Vanguard Veterans]
[Land Speeders]
[Bike Squads]
[Attack Bikes]
[Land Speeder Storm]
[Scout Bikers]
[Stormtalon]

[Devastator Squads]
[Thunderfire Cannon]
[Land Raider]
[Land Raider Crusader]
[Land Raider Redeemer]
[Predator]
[Whirlwind]
[Vindicator]

[Weapons of the Astartes]

[Building an Army]

[Credits]


[The low down]
An army of any kind uses several things:

HQ: Usually your toughest close combat fighter and best leader in your army, it’ll usually be accompanied by the armies’ best and be a real threat to anything on the field. The HQ will pack a range of gear to use in a variety of different situations and armies.

Elites:
The best your army can offer, whether it be better shooters or better close combat fighters. This unit will pack the ability to really kill of enemy troops fast and will likely be dangerous to the rank and file units.

Troops:
Your rank and file, generally you’ll task them with something at the start of the match, they pack anti infantry weapons with their guns and can in some cases fight effectively in close combat. These guys are your scoring units and so need some protection, but will also be most likely your most numerous bodies. Guard them, but don’t be shy to use them for their offensive abilities.

Fast Attack:
It’s all in the name. These units move faster than regular troops and fill a variety of roles but you can bet these units will be best used to sneak around and move fast through enemy lines and can be a real problem due to the fact they can rapidly respond across the battlefield against your opponents.

Heavy Support:
Again fairly obvious. These units will be your big guns, generally blowing things apart with large guns from a range they offer support in a more static way. They spend their time shooting and not moving, helping your advance with heavy fire and quite often being a tough vehicle. These units can be a real problem for the enemy if used right.

[The Marine]
Ok so let’s look at the basic Marine:
WS 4 BS 4 S 4 T 4 W 1 I 4 A 1 Ld 8 Sv 3+

Now at an Ork Boy:
WS 4 BS 2 S 3 T 4 W 1 I 2 A2 Ld 7 Sv 6+

And a Tau Shas’la:
WS 2 BS 3 S 3 T 3 W 1 I 2 A1 Ld 7 Sv 4+

Now why have I compared these? Well the Ork is a numerically superior close combat army, whereas the Tau is a decent shooting army. The Marine tends to have a better profile than either of these armies, a better shooter and a reasonable fighter, but most of all that 3+ save which is something that commands respect in the world of 40k. Marines pay for this by being numerically inferior in many battles, fielding very small numbers of units overall, but generally each one is a capable warrior whose armour makes them much more survivable.

[The weaknesses of the Marine]
So where do our capable Marines fall down? Ok so they have a good basic troop profile, so what? Generally they are fielded in far smaller numbers than any other army. So the enemy will almost always have two or more troops for every single one you field, which immediately stacks the odds against you. The next problem, marines are generalists, we do a lot well but nothing great, if we focussed on one thing another army would do it better. Then most other armies have a strong focus, Orks will fight you in close combat most of the time and though they pack a terrible shooting skill and poor armour save, they have numbers, both in attack and in number of models whereas Tau would out shoot you with better guns and more numbers. Trying to fight in close combat against numerically superior close combat focussed armies is suicide, trying to outshoot a better shooting army is suicide. We also have some of the most costly troops around to field. So yes that about sums it up, we can’t compete against an army with a prebuilt ideal as we’re already generalists and don’t have the numbers to spare, but in that lies one of our strengths too.

[The strengths of a Marine]
An army isn’t made of up one focus, so what is it that Marines can rely on overall? Marines have a good overall profile and a very respectable set of armour on all their basic troopers. This makes them a reliable unit on the battlefield and easily able to do what the situation requires, whether it is stand and shoot or fight in close combat. The general Tactical squad is a decent squad and can pack lots of gear for lots of scenarios and has special rules which make it very reliable. After all most Marines in your army will have a similar profile, what separates most of them is their wargear and position in the force organisation slot.

We have a good range of units too, some of which aren’t generalists either. For instance an Assault Marine is a better close combat fighter and Devastators are more static shooting Marines. We can use different tools for different jobs which make Marines highly useful, though we can use the same unit for different jobs too making Marines highly flexible.

Generally the basic Tactical squad means you can’t go far wrong, the Sergeant has one more attack and better leadership, making him better in assault than regular troops and improving the overall squad, it also packs a flamer which is good anti infantry and a missile launcher for anti-tank (but can also blow apart squads). Overall a good mix, but you won’t want every squad being generalist; you want to diversify a little so that other squads can do other things. After all each squad packs 8 regular boltguns which can wither enemy infantry how much do you need? A plasma gun can work well against tougher troops, a meltagun can work well on enemy tanks, a heavy bolter is good anti infantry and a multi-melta is even better against tanks, the Sergeant can be given more effective combat gear too.

[Tactics]
Marines have innumerable tactics, simply put. We have a huge number of units do different things. So I’ll break this down into something more simplistic: ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. I break that into, anti-infantry, anti-tank and anti-elite. Marines can do anything, we can specialise in something (using many CC units or shooting units) and against armies that are weak to it may mean a strong capitalisation, but it will suffer heavily against units which are tough against it (assaulting an army that specialises in assault as a focus for example). Marines overall are designed to work together and do a bit of everything. A very useful rule I heard was ‘shoot the choppy ones and chop the shooty ones’ effectively meaning whatever the enemy does best, do the opposite. Fighting scary close combat fighters? Shoot them. Fighting volleys of tough fire? Fight them in close combat. Generally a Marine’s profile will help it do the opposite against the enemy.
The best thing to know is build your army round a solid core of troops, and then tool them up how you like but keep in mind they won’t do as well as other sections in your army, and then fill the rest with units that complement each other. For instance your basic troops are decent, but you may want a tougher unit such as
Terminators to inflict some better close combat than your rank and file troops, or you may want something like a Predator to aid your advance with its big guns.

Redundancy is also a big issue, if you have one good anti-tank unit and it gets wiped out, what are you going to do against enemy tanks? Taking two or three anti-tank units is better and also helps target saturation (the art of giving the enemy so much to shoot at the end up doing nothing useful). Also keep units working together, sending an Assault squad off into enemy territory alone and unsupported is risky and likely to leave it shot down to a weak number and unable to do much at all, using a Tactical squad to support said Assault squad means that you can provide steady fire support and give the enemy more to shoot at giving the Assault squad a better run at the enemy.

[‘Your game or mine?’]
Whatever enemy you face, they are likely to have a strategy for fighting you. If it is a close combat oriented enemy you can expect them to run up to chop you, if you fight a shooty army you can expect them to shoot at you a lot. You aren’t going to win many battles getting into close combat with enemy close combat armies nor are you going to win protracted shoot outs against shooty armies, then that would be playing their game. To win you have to deny enemies their strengths. For instance, Tau can be shooting my army and I could shoot back, but I’ll speed to their front lines and since my Marines fight better in combat than those pansies I can simply assault them and very likely I can win. Balanced enemies are harder and you’ll need to identify key points in their armies to bring them down. Think about this when building your army, does it depend on certain units too much?

[Making the most of mobility]
Whatever units you field, you need them to be mobile. Every element of your army needs to move at more or less the same speed to keep coherency. For instance if you use assault troops that move faster than your support troops you can quickly find the assault troops cut off and in trouble and your support won’t be of much use. Therefore it is vital that squads can be mobilised efficiently (vehicles move at their own speed so you cannot do much about that). Yes Marines can run but this generally isn’t something you want to be doing unless you have to, a better solution is to give every unit something to make them move faster. This means giving units a transport or giving them jetpacks if they have the option, or making use of rules that deploy them further in the field. The options we have are simple: Rhino, Razorback, Drop Pod, Land Raider. These 4 units are what your units will use to move around the field of battle. The Rhino is pretty good, a decent armoured box that can speed your units into place and has room for your 10 man teams whatever they may be. The Razorback has only 6 spaces (making it poor to transport full squads) but for small units such as combat squads or Command squads it is ideal, adding a large gun to the field. The Drop Pod lands your unit in right where it needs to be, but it is going to be walking after that, the Drop Pod therefore is not good for squads that need to relocate but it can help with many aspects of good deployment and even help out in the battle. The Land Raider is a terrifying thing; firstly it has the best all round armour you can get on a vehicle which makes the thing pretty darn safe from most weapons. Next it packs a fierce armoury and is a dangerous tank in its own right, which helps the fact that it can be used for more than just transporting. On top of all that it can transport Terminators who cannot ride in any other vehicle and allows troops to assault out of it which makes it great for taking in your tough close combat troops such as Assault Terminators and getting them right where they need to be. The only problem with this mobile fort is the points. A rhino is 35 and a Land Raider is 250.

Generally your troops will be safe in Rhinos, but do not rely on the Rhino to survive. Any reasonable anti-tank weapon or concentrated fire will most likely bring down your unit, a Land Raider is better for those units that absolutely must survive because it gives it the best chance.

[How much is too much?]
Every single thing you field in the game can be destroyed. From the lowliest Scout to the mighty Land Raider, it can all be killed off. Not nice to hear, but bear it in mind when making army lists. I say that because it is easy to look at a unit and think ‘Wow all those options can make a super killing unit of doom!’ such as the Vanguard Veterans: 10 men with jump packs, plasma pistols, a relic blade, a thunder hammer and power swords for the rest adds up to 655 points. This unit will probably kill anything it assaults. However if anyone were to shoot and kill said marines you would quickly find that each marine is a huge loss of around 60 points a Marine! Three marines is then one whole 10 man tactical squad! But if you were to tone down that squad with less men and less gear it would be a whole lot cheaper and still a threat to enemies. Equally that Land Raider you spent 250 on with extra weapons and armour may still die, wasting 250+ points, be considerate when spending.

The best trick I use is look at a unit and try to make it effective in reflection to other units. For instance Assault Terminators are 200 points for 5 men (and these are probably our toughest CC troops when given thunder hammers and storm shields) and my basic 10 man tactical squad troops are 170. Even a geared up tactical only comes to just over 200 points. Therefore 200 points is a good benchmark, try and keep troops below this marker if possible and especially if it’s less than 10 men. This way if the unit dies or underperforms, it is only a small section of your army that doesn’t do so well. Eg Command squad: Give it a small amount of gear and keep them cheap, they’ll do quite well in assault or at shooting and although they can’t face down tougher squads, you can whittle those down with your own support elements.

That said a unit such as 10 Terminators with 2 cyclone missile launchers and 2 chainfists on foot can really make its impact felt and will draw a lot of fire at 470 points for the unit. But it threatens everything on the field and can be quite hard to shift perhaps allowing the rest of your army to go unhindered.
Army Job-list
Your army will need to split up each unit into being able to do different things. For instance an Assault squad will be tasked with assaulting enemy infantry and a Rhino will be tasked with transporting. The jobs should look something like this roughly:
Anti-infantry,
Anti-tank,
Anti-elite ,
Transports,
Scoring units.

Units can do multiples, for instance a Tactical squad with their bolters are already anti-infantry, with a multi-melta and a power fist they can become anti-tank too. Generally your whole army should be able to hit all categories and with more than 1 unit. This will help you see if you have a key weakness, for instance if you had only one anti-tank unit you may want to rethink how to deal with enemy tanks and add more choices in. You can also pick this apart some more, for instance: Heavy anti-tank, medium anti-tank and light anti-tank. Then give units a way of dealing with big weapons and make sure that smaller ones aim for lighter armour, for instance shooting a missile launcher at a Land Raider won’t get you far, but shooting it at a Rhino might well kill it off, equally that multi-melta attack bike will probably destroy that Rhino, but that Vindicator is much more of a threat.

[Target Priority]
Target priority is probably the most difficult thing in the whole game, especially if you don’t know much about enemy units. The enemy will most likely have units that do more or less the same as you no matter the army. For instance you can expect that every army will have a way to deal with your own tanks and their own form of transportation, even if it is a little different. The question is what to shoot at?

Generally your units should have a task at hand and applying them to that task is the best thing to do straight off the bat. Identifying key units in the enemy army is essential, that way you can see how best to take them apart. The enemy may have key weak points such as small scoring units, which means if you remove them you make life much easier for your own scoring troops and if the enemy is relying heavily on a certain anti-tank unit to get rid of your vehicles removing it gives your vehicles an easier time. One of the best things to do is remove mobility from armies you can, so shoot apart their transports (particularly if it’s an assault unit, so you can shoot it to bits before it reaches you!) If your own troops can use transports and the enemy is walking you’ll have much stronger control of the battlefield. This is effectively an extension of the above section, try to deny the enemy their most effective units by killing them and make sure yours don’t fall into the path of something that will outright butcher them (Marines get slaughtered by power weapons for instance).


[Special Characters]
This really deserves its own section because special characters can change the whole of an army with what they bring to the table, heck that’s why you bring some of them to the table in the first place! Special characters tend to be HQs (though not all of them are) and so are around 170+ points. This isn’t a cheap price tag, but your own HQ will probably cost a fair bit normally anyway so it’s not so bad.

Marneus Calgar, Lord of Macragge: 265 points – A walking titan, as far as stuff goes Calgar is packing a fearsome set of gear which he can rip opponents apart with in close quarters with and afar, is tough to kill, packs up to three Honour Guard and an Orbital Bombardment. But it is his special rule to allow squads to fail morale tests or win them which powerful as it means troops can escape nasty combats and run far enough to whittle down enemies with their guns or remain in fights they are winning. He costs as much as a land raider because he’ll be very hard to put down without real effort and with just a Tactical squad supporting him he’ll probably dominate whatever side of the battle he’s in.

Captain Cato Sicarius: 200 points – Sicarius makes Tactical squads all the better because they are all leadership 10 with him! He also allows 1 Tactical squad to get a special rule from a variety and allows you to reroll to seize the initiative. Combined with artificial armour that allows feel no pain, a plasma pistol and his power weapon he’s no slouch in combat and can even attempt a special one hit kill with his sword.

Chief Librarian Tigurius: 230 points – A very costly character, especially since he only has two wounds, you can find this chap dying in battle quickly. His usefulness comes from his vast array of powers and used well can utterly devastate things on the battlefield; however this requires a little more finesse. He is very fragile as a leader for such a price tag and if used, should be used carefully.

Chaplain Cassius: 125 points – An absolute steal at 125 points, Cassius is a Chaplain that packs great shooting with his hellfire rounds and a flamer which can help close combat where chaplains belong. He also has feel no pain making him tougher to kill. His only downside is that he moves on foot which means he can’t join jump infantry, oh well, he’s still amazing.

Chapter Master Pedro Kantor: 175 points – A character used more for his special chapter rules than his combat profile, Kantor lets you take Sternguard as scoring units. Sternguard themselves are an expensive unit and a very strong unit on the field, with good close combat and an excellent bolter they become even better with Kantor and can take over from Tactical squads so you could field small scout units instead as mandatory troops and leave the Sternguard to cover the objectives! Kantor himself packs a power fist (so he’s a bit slow in close combat himself) and a unique storm bolter. But he also has an attack aura that adds +1 attack to units nearby which means that he can really help units become even more dangerous in close combat. Remember, that as a Son of Dorn he gives Stubborn to the entire army in exchange for Combat Tactics. He also packs Orbital Bombardment and Honour Guard options because he’s a Chapter Master, not too shabby at all!

Captain Darnath Lysander: 200 points – For 65 points less than Calgar and almost as tough in a fight, Lysander is a nasty HQ for any enemy to face. He doesn’t bring great special rules to the table, but he is so survivable that he’ll probably flatten anything he walks into at least eventually without much damage in return. He brings Bolter Drill which is good if he’s with units that use a bolter of some kind and makes your army Stubborn. He’s not a bad HQ for 200 points and is certainly very tough; he does lose you Combat Tactics though.

Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike: 195 points – Equipped with twin master crafted lightning claws that have rending, Shrike will make mincemeat out of most infantry units and with his jump pack does it speedily. He’s best used to plug in with other jump pack units such as Assault Marines and Vanguard but brings to the table some good special rules, Shrike and his squad gain from infiltrating, plus allows the rest of the army to move with the fleet special rule at the cost of Combat Tactics, so Marines can now move faster on foot!

Forgefather Vulkan He’stan: 190 points – A decent close combat assailant, this character is best for his special rule. It twin links all melta and flamer weaponry and master crafts thunder hammers. This means that all your standard flamers and meltas become twice as useful! This alone means that such weapons in number will slaughter infantry and tanks alike making it a very powerful combination. Add a unit of thunder hammer terminators and you’ll smash apart even hardened enemy units. He’s an impressive character and whilst not as formidable as say Lysander, what he brings is definitely worth it.

Kor’sarro Khan: 160 points – On the cheaper end of special characters, Khan is nonetheless pretty dangerous, though he can take his faithful bike Moondraken at a further 45 points. This means that he can either ride around by bike and take a bike army or go it on foot like a regular captain. His bike means he gains fleet and his special sword Moonfang is a power weapon that causes instant death on a roll of a 6! He’s a nice character since he also grants you outflank for the army at the loss of Combat Tactics.

Sergeant Telion: 50 points – More of an upgrade for sniper scouts than a single character, Telion can make the Scouts quite deadly and pick off troublesome units and make that little bit more dangerous. With the most recent FAQ he also confers stealth to the entire unit, so if you can keep him alive there is no need for you to buy camo cloaks for your fragile Scouts. A good investment if you can afford it.

Brother Sergeant Chronus: 70 points – A tank upgrade, he’ll deal some real damage if he crews any tank with increases weapon skill and ignoring crew stunned and crew shaken results, but the more dangerous the tank to start the more likely he’ll get targeted for it. Put him in a cheap tank and combine it with other tanks and with more upgrades and he’ll soon show his worth, he is a tad pricey though.

Shadowstalker Grim


Edited by DarkGuard, 20 July 2016 - 10:34 PM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#2
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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HQ

[Chapter Master]
Wargear: Huge selection of melee weaponry and some specialist ranged weaponry normally allowed for sergeants

Purpose: Hardest hitting single unit in our army, useful to either support a unit with extra teeth or better yet head up an assault specialist unit

The Chapter Master is a full 25 points above the captain and has the same identical statline. However he gains access to the formidable weapon of Orbital Bombardment, which is a powerful explosive attack! He also has access to pretty much anything like the captain and the same deadly wargear which means that he favours melee combat and is very deadly there, whilst also having the tough and dangerous shooting ability. Instead of having a Command squad he has his Honour Guard which are quite different, they cannot be unlocked by ANY other unit in the Codex. He cannot get access to biker troops like the Captain however!

Loadouts:
Relic blade, storm shield, artificer armour - Little ranged punch, but with this common load out you'll see a tough Chapter Master with a 2+,3+ which makes him very hard to hurt and with his relic blade he can probably chop up most things!

Paired lightning claws, jump pack, artificer armour - Useful for chopping up rank and file infantry like the puny mortals they are, this guy can take out loads of enemy units happily and sits well with squads using jump packs. Not so strong against tougher enemies without the strong relic blade however.

Relic blade, combi-melta, hellfire rounds - A fast Chapter Master that swings hard with his blade, but also has a very lethal melta shot and tough rounds for anti-infantry. It's fearsome as a combination!

2 thunder hammers, artificer armour, digital weapons - More of a fun build, but something that’s unlikely to be found anywhere else in the army, it doesn't make good use of the Chapter Master’s initiative but he'll certainly have some fun clobbering people and the artificer armour will help him live long enough to smash the enemy!

There are many more however!


Strengths:
The Chapter Master has all the same strengths of the Captain, his fighting capability, number of wounds and his wargear options also mean that he won't be left wanting for the right gear for the job. He can also take ranged gear and often a combi-weapon and hellfire rounds means that he's not likely to go wanting in a gunfight either, although his profile means that he'll probably take close combat as his top priority. He can also access the rather illusive Honour Guard which are fearsome foes, he works naturally with them and with their banner to increase his own prowess and with their tough profiles and power weapons they can form a very hardcore assault unit. He also has Orbital Bombardment which is probably what you pay 25 points for and is a 1 shot super explosion. For the price of a power fist you get something that can probably annihilate anything the template sits on top of!

Weaknesses:
Sadly the Chapter Master has all the weaknesses of the Captain, he cannot support the army as a whole, nor does he buff a squad like the other HQ options. He also loses the Command squad and biker troops options! The bike option then seems slightly out of place and unnecessary really, although he can always ride with regular bikes. This sadly leaves him slightly behind the captain in some regards, the fact that he doesn't really improve on the Captain’s wargear or stat line means that he's left feeling less powerful. The access to Orbital Bombardment isn't amazing either as it can be quite hit and miss.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Honour Guard]
Wargear: Chapter banner, power weapons, artificer armour, auxilary grenade launcher, relic blades AND chance for thunder hammer and digital lasers for Champion.

Purpose: Accompanying the Chapter Master, butchering Infantry, counter charge unit.

The Honour Guard are the elite bodyguards who accompany the Chapter Master. As befits them they come with some hard core gear, every member has a power weapon and artificer armour. They can be likened to a scythe perhaps, cutting into enemies rapidly with a massive number of attacks that is only enhanced by the chapter banner and killing everything before the enemy can even retaliate. This fearsome squad can take some real punishment and whilst their upgrades are few, they are deadly ones found in few other places.

Loadouts:
Barebones: Chapter Champion, 2 members - Smallest possible configuration as the base setup, it's small but hard hitting though won't take long to kill off .

Out of the Box: 2 members, Champion, Banner - The out of the box set up packs plenty of punch and a relic blade on the Champion can make it all the harder, generally it doesn't need to be much bigger to kill off what it hits.

"Idaho" pattern - Similar to the above unit, this unit features additional Honour Guard to the Out of the Box variant, giving greater survivability and greater killing power. When combined with a Master this unit can generate 10 relic blade and 20 power weapon attacks on the charge, something even Assault Terminators might flinch at. Better used as a bully unit, this unit also has a cheap ride in the form of a Rhino or Razorback.

Bigger is Better: 9 members, Champion, Banner - A large squad that weighs in costing a LOT of points, but will probably kill just about anything it hits, and can take quite a few losses before it becomes too weak to continue.

Calgars lot: Same as above x3 - Ok it’s a horrific number of points to field and only Marneus Calgar can allow it, but this many honour guard are sure to make light work of the enemy!


Strengths:
The Honour Guard are a tough unit and with each model packing amazing starting gear its easy to see why! The Honour Guard can expect to make light work of even heavy infantry with their weapons and can take a bit of punishment with their tough armour the upgrades for the unit only help to make them stronger and harder hitting, particularly the Chapter Banner and relic blades! Even a small squad can scythe their way through enemies, killing most, if not all, of them before the Honour Guard get struck back. A unit like this is best off pursuing enemies and killing them, although they can perform well as counter charge units too.

With their large number of attacks thanks to the Chapter Banner and high armour save, this unit can be counted upon to bully hordes, and is remarkably excellent at bullying weaker units. The Chapter Banner also contributes outside of combat, having the same properties as the Company Banner, allowing your nearby squads to re-roll failed morale and pinning tests. What this means is that you're squads are less likely to freeze up or run at a pivotal moment, and more likely to stay in fight. Combined with Combat Tactics, this can effectively give you near complete control on when your squads run and when they stay firm.

Weaknesses:
Honour Guard sadly are going to be few in number as they are a costly investment and are going to have a hard time taking casualties. As the squads are small anyway, they are really relying on killing the enemy before they get chance to retaliate as otherwise the loss of just one or two members can leave the squad without enough punching power to deal with enemies efficiently. They also lose out compared to the Command squad who have access to Feel no pain and whilst they have artificer armour, that can only do so much to protect them. They also cannot take many special weapons beyond melee upgrades and the auxiliary grenade launcher, so they cannot replicate the Command squad's special weapons platform and are much more melee oriented. The squad size starts off smaller too and making additions and upgrades again becomes very expensive very quickly for the Honour Guard.

Another weakness of the Honour Guard is the lack of invulnerable save. Unlike other dedicated combat unit in the Codex, which can take at least one invulnerable save, most being able to take them en masses, this unit relies on its 2+ armour save. while artificer armour is good against the hordes, it folds under the assault of power weapons, resulting in the unit being somewhat fragile against dedicated assault units.
Shadowstalker Grim
DarkGuard


[Captain]
Wargear: Huge selection of melee weaponry and some specialist ranged weaponry normally allowed for sergeants

Purpose: Hardest hitting single unit in our army, useful to either support a unit with extra teeth or better yet head up an assault specialist unit

The Captain is one of the common choices we space marines take and with good reason, with an amazing stat line and a tough selection of wargear. He is through and through one of the toughest fighters (if not the toughest) non special character we have! He has access to some rather special gear to help him join squads, from a jump pack to join jump infantry to the bike. The bike is something that unlocks bikers as troop choices and increases his profile a small amount by increasing his toughness by 1 and adds obvious mobility. The Captain also has access to the built in invulnerable save and has more wounds than our other regular HQ choices which makes him that bit more survivable! The Captain has great skill with both weapons, both melee and ranged - though you'll want to make use of the melee capability more often than not! He also unlocks the Command squad for taking, something that cannot be done by ANY other unit in the Codex for us and combined with them they work exceptionally well together!

Loadouts:
Relic blade, storm shield, artificer armour - Little ranged punch, but with this common load out you'll see a tough Captain with a 2+,3+ which makes him very hard to hurt and with his relic blade he can probably chop up most things!

Paired lightning claws, jump pack, artificer armour - Useful for chopping up rank and file infantry like the puny mortals they are, this guy can take out loads of enemy units happily and sits well with squads using jump packs. Not so strong against tougher enemies without the strong relic blade however.

Bike, relic Blade, combi-melta, hellfire rounds - A fast Captain that swings hard with his blade, but also has a very lethal melta shot and tough rounds for anti-infantry. It's fearsome as a combination and only helped by the support of the other bikers or biker Command squad.

2 thunder hammers, artificer armour, digital weapons - More of a fun build, but something that’s unlikely to be found anywhere else in the army, it doesn't make good use of the Captain’s initiative but he'll certainly have some fun clobbering people and the artificer armour will help him live long enough to smash the enemy!

There are many more however!


Strengths:
The Captain’s main strength is his fighting capability, he’s a really tough guy! He can butcher most enemies before they can even raise their hands! His wargear options also mean that he won't be left wanting for the right gear for the job either and the fact he can take a command squad to compliment him means that he only gets better! He can also take ranged gear and often a combi-weapon and hellfire rounds means that he's not likely to go wanting in a gunfight either, although his profile means that he'll probably take close combat as his top priority. He can access a bike and unlock bikers as troops to score which invites rapid biker armies into play, this can change the whole feel of an army as now your troops are going to be rapidly moving across the field and with a higher toughness and also it eliminates the need for Tacticals or Scouts as our main choice and gives us these rather hyped up speed junkies as the troop choice! The captain is pretty darn scary! Able to work with his Command squad he can also afford to take thunder hammers or power fists which make him slower as his Feel no pain allies decrease the threat to him a bit and give him so help in the fight!

Weaknesses:
Well we know that the Captain is a tough fighter, but that’s more or less where he ends. He cannot support the army as a whole, nor does he buff a squad like the other options. In fact the only 2 things he unlocks are Command squads and (if riding a bike) bikers as troops and the biker Command squad. The option for Terminator armour is somewhat redundant unless he is going to deep strike with Terminators. Also against very hard melee opponents he will probably strike later and get hurt and as with all independent characters he'll be singled out a lot too.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Command Squad]
Wargear: Plenty of special weapons and close combat gear to choose from for this squad, the Apothecary has a narthecium which grants feel no pain to the squad.

Purpose: To act as an accompanying squad to a Captain or operate on their own as an elitist unit, or a counter charge unit.

The Command Squad is something players can only access through the Captain. Without him they cannot be added. This squad weighs in at an unchangeable 5 men, 1 of which is an Apothecary. Together however they form a tough bodyguard unit, or even a tough elite operating unit. They have the stat line of veterans and plenty of wargear to match and the Apothecary that rides with them gives them all feel no pain to boot, which makes them rather tough and hard hitting. They are quite happy taking special weapons and pumping out firepower, or taking close combat weaponry and leaping into the fray. They can also get access to the Company Champion and Company Banner to improve their stat line also. The Company Banner can also ensure that fellow Marine units are less likely to flee, keeping them in place. This isn't where they end however as the Command squad can also ride on bikes for a very fast and deadly (if costly) investment, bringing fast paced death to anything in their way.

Loadouts:
Cheap-and-Cheerful: Company Champion, Company Banner, rest barebones - A cheap squad that has a reasonable profile for engaging with enemies of lower strength, but not effective against anything harder hitting, but also you aren't investing in something that matters much if it dies.

Plasma-power: 4 plasma guns - With 4 plasma guns in one place you might expect at least one gunner to die from his weapon 'getting hot' however the Apothecary brings feel no pain which helps to mitigate this effect a bit, making this squad a very lethal shooting platform for hard core enemy units.

Melta-power: 4 meltaguns – 4 meltaguns can destroy pretty much any tank this squad looks at, regardless of armour value. Also handy against monstrous creatures, Terminators and power armoured troops.

Half-Half: 2 meltaguns, 2 plasma guns - A tough combination to fight off enemies from a range and to threaten a wide profile of enemies, from vehicles to tough infantry.

Combat-rush: Company Champion, Company Banner, power weapon, flamer - This squad is oriented to get into the fray as fast as possible and whacks out with a couple of nice power weapon attacks, whilst the flamer helps it prevent getting bogged down in hordes.

Hellfire: 4 flamers - Perhaps not overly individually, the combined flamers should help make light work of any light infantry and possibly provide enough wounds on tougher infantry to even remove harder units, the tough profile of the squad means that they won't be afraid of the frontline.

Heavy-Hitters: 3 power weapons, 1 power fist, 4 storm shields - A combination that allows the squad a strong defence with the storm shields and to go and smash some faces in close combat with their weapons, the power fist helps against vehicles such as Dreadnoughts, to prevent them getting stuck.

There are more variants and all of them can take bikes making them much faster and slightly tougher too, however these load outs are the main types and generally people will use these or a variant of these.


Strengths:
The Command squad has obvious strengths, its members are tough as nails. Armed with a tough stat line and an excellent inventory of wargear they are indeed a dangerous unit. The real problem for them is figuring out what they are going to do. Often they work best with the Captain and backing up what he does, which is often getting stuck into a fight somewhere and can take plenty of wargear in order to achieve this end. They can also operate alone as a special weapons platform as nowhere else in our army list can we get access to a squad with so many special weapons. They can also operate well as counter charge unit, sitting back in the lines and waiting for the enemy to draw into their assault range, which can help keep pressure of your important shooting units. On bikes they are particularly proficient at any role as they run no risk of having their transport blown away from them!

Weaknesses:
The weaknesses of the Command squad are fairly few really. Weighing in at 115 points for a 5 man squad that has access to an enormous armoury is their problem. Upgrading the squad can get very expensive, very quickly and once you've given each member a piece of kit that member becomes worth an awful lot! There’s much to be said for keeping one guy barebones in case someone needs to take a hit! But also they can only ever be 5 men strong and only 4 can take upgrades, the Apothecary adds to the squad, but cannot contribute in a fight really and if he dies the whole squad loses its feel no pain! The squad will likely need a transport which, because of the cost will probably be a target and more so if it’s been upgraded and the captain is riding with it, unless it’s a biker squad, in which case it becomes massively expensive and has no armoured hull protecting it at all. The squad also can only be unlocked through the Captain which means even if you just want the squad you have to pay at least 100 points for the captain in the first place!
Shadowstalker Grim


[Librarians]
Wargear: Psychic hood, force weapon, with added range options and the ability to take Terminator armour and a storm shield.

Purpose: unit support, ranged, melee and miscellaneous.

It is difficult to define the Librarian as such, since he fulfils quite a few roles and his main strength isn't anywhere specific, but can be defined through choice of powers. With his powers he can carve a path the enemy in combat, blast them apart with powerful psychic powers, or weaken them allowing other units to finish them off, while protecting his own men. And with access to many of the new BGB powers, he's gained even more potential.

The most useful perceived psychic powers are:
The Avenger - AP 3 template goodness takes out anything but elite infantry. You'll basically find yourself roasting your way through even power armour, no cover saves allowed, an excellent power.

Null Zone - one of the best support powers, if not the very best. Rerolling invulnerable saves can be vital when taking out enemy deathstar units. Needless to say, this power needs to be combined with something that ignores regular armour saves, usually a CC unit loaded with power weapons. Remember that this power can be used from within a vehicle and doesn't require any form of LoS. Also, with cover saves being worse now, this can really punish units that rely on an invulnerable save.

Curse of the Machine Spirit - a simple point 'n' shoot power that lets you slowly kill vehicles. Glancing hits are -1HP now, giving this power a lot more potential to be useful, taking away that last HP and so on. Great against armour 13-14 if you need to stop that Land Raider's advance or keep that Vindicator from burning your Terminators. Downside is that the squad the Librarian is working with will have to shoot at the vehicle as well, no matter how slight their odds of damaging it are.

The Gate of Infinity - another support spell, this time for movement. Rapid redeploy can be very effective, both for bringing units in and out of combat (though you can argue if Gate can teleport you out of CC, discuss this with your opponent), and it benefits from locator beacons, which makes the travel much safer. Deep striking is not without its downsides and the risk of scatter needs to be taken into calculations when employing this power.

Vortex of Doom – an incredibly powerful shooting attack, this is a small blast, strength 10 AP 1 weapon that can devastate units and vehicles alike. However, if the Librarian badly fails his psychic test this blast will centre itself on the Librarian, thereby proving to be deadly against its originator.

Common builds: typically ranged options are not taken as the Librarian has fantastic shooting powers, neither is Epistolary taken often as most people design their Librarian to use one power or the other, although there are some exceptions.

Barebones, force sword/stave, the Avenger/Gate and Null Zone: Null Zone is the main power here, with the Librarian using it to help take apart big enemy units. Storm shield Terminators and Seer Councils which before proved unkillable are now much easier to kill, while units that rely on invulnerable saves such as daemons now die in their droves. The Avenger is also a fantastic ranged weapon which is handy to have when Null Zone isn’t needed, while Gate is nice as a mobility tool or backup mobility tool for the unit he's with. With such a model a force sword or stave is preferred due to his weak defence making a force axe a liability.Very cheap at 100 points.

Jump pack, the Avenger and Null Zone: much as the above, although more combat orientated. Typically put in flamer Assault squads to really lay the hurt down against the enemy before assault.

Terminator armour, storm shield, force axe, Null Zone and Avenger/Vortex of Doom: often used to accompany Terminators, works much like the barebones one, although Vortex of Doom is desirable as the Librarian is now relentless, allowing him to make full use of this devastating power.

Epistolary, (jump pack), Might of Ancients and the Quickening: used as a combat unit, this Librarian can hit hard by using both combat powers to give himself strength 6 attacks at initiative 10. Also good for character hunting.

Terminator armour: A great choice for the Librarian, giving him a thing he lacks a lot otherwise: An invulnerable save! This can be even further enhanced by giving him a storm shield as well which turns him from a very fragile choice to a very resilient one. Getting into terminator armour also gives you relentless, which open up for the possibility of using Vortex of Doom. Terminator comes at a price however. With the loss of power armour goes the ability to deploy in Rhinos/Razors which limits the units that the Librarian will be joining up with. The only way of getting your Librarian across the field (where his abilities will be put to best use) is in a Land Raider, which is expensive in itself. However, with 6th being more about foot and hybrid forces, and with the new powers needing to be cast from outside a transport for maximum effect, Terminator armour has lost a lot of its downfalls. The Librarian would likely be in the open anyway, so Terminator armour protects him. Also, with Terminator armour and a storm shield, the force axe becomes a better choice as he's more protected. This lets the Librarian hit harder in assaults, turning him more into a multi-purpose unit.

Jump pack: Gets your Librarian where he needs to be - close up and personal. The problem is that he needs to join a unit with jump packs to be effective. Since you'll be likely to put your Vanguards in reserve to use their Heroic Intervention or in a transport to keep them from getting shot to slag, the Assault Marines seems like an obvious choice. This also limits the units your Libby will be joining a lot.

Bike: Same problem as above, you'll need a biker unit to join. Relentless opens up choice for Vortex again.

Epistolary: Both your psychic powers each turn. If there is a great combo between your powers, you can go for this, but generally it doesn't seem like an optimal choice. You usually only get to use one power each turn (even when considering the use of the force weapon), and the upgrade is by no means cheap. But with the addition of Warp Charge 2 powers like Invisibility this upgrade becomes more tempting. Had Librarians had access to Divination I'd say it was a must take, but they don't.

BGB powers: 6th edition gives Librarians the access to four psychic disciplines - Biomancy, Pyromancy, Telekinesis and Telepathy. This gives the Librarian greater flexibility by potentially getting powers that'll be more useful against certain lists than his Codex ones. Out of the four though, two shine the most. Pyromancy only has one power you'd like, and so isn't that great. Telekinesis has the amazing Objuration Mechanicum (great anti-tank), but this power is similar to Curse of the Machine Spirit. Also, a lot of other powers in there are either not great, or basically the powers we have access to in the Codex.

That leaves Biomancy and Telepathy. Biomancy has the better powers (for a normal Libby), in Enfeeble and Endurance. Enfeeble makes killing your enemies easier, while Endurance makes it harder for them to kill you. However, the other powers are either combat based or mediochre shooting powers, so some may not want to run the risk. That leaves Telepathy, which for a normal Libby has only four useable psychic powers, and one good Primaris (best shooting power). As only one of those four powers you roll on is undesirable, that near guarantees you a couple of useful powers, able to make your enemies shoot each other, or stop doing what they want to do, or run away in fear. With the Epistolary table this becomes a must, as you can gain Invisibility for good protection from low AP weapons in a foot force, and/or Hallucination for disrupting your enemies.


Strengths:
The Librarian is a very cheap HQ because he performs so well without any wargear at all. His psychic powers in themself make him a force to be reckoned with and makes up for the lack of an invulnerable save by far. In addition to his powers, the psychic hood provides an effective defence against enemy psykers. Just about half of the time your enemy's powers will simply be disrupted. Your Librarian works great when shooting (ideally roughly within rapid fire range, like most marines), great in assaults (with his force weapon) and gives you utility abilities on top of it all. With access to BGB powers, his flexibility has increased. One can take the desired the C:SM powers, and upon finding them not to great before deployment, swap them out for disciplines that can be more useful.

Weaknesses
No invulnerable save, lacking this means a simple missile launcher sends you off the field, while there is no defence against Perils of the Warp. Furthermore, a lower stat line than the Captain, and no combat skills unlike the Chaplain meaning that the Librarian will not do well in assault, well direct shooting attacks are no more accurate than normal Marines. Two wounds and an initiative of 4 only seek to enhance the Librarian’s fragility in and out of combat, particularly in challenges. Try to keep him with another character to prevent him being picked on by bigger characters.
Validar
DarkGuard

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here.


[Chaplain]
Wargear: Rosarius, Crozius Arcanum, bolt pistol, variety of replacement guns for the bolt pistol and some extras such as terminator armour options, jump pack, bike, melta bombs and digital weapons to supplement fighting ability

Purpose: Buff the squad he joins by allowing re-rolls to hit opponents, which means more damage output! This means he works best in assault units.

The Chaplain is the spiritual centre of the chapter and works alongside units in battle raising their power to new levels with his special abilities. The Chaplain himself is reasonable fighter, he comes with his own power weapon and invulnerable save, but isn't as strong as a captain so somewhat blurs the line between Librarian and captain, as he fights and buffs but not overly on either front. He has the right tools to join just about any squad he feels like and can offer some significant power to that squad, especially if the squad he is joining happens to be an assault based squad.

Loadouts:
Plain - A cheap and cheerful leader that’s pretty basic but useful and comes with a built in power weapon and invulnerable save!

Terminator armour - For when he’s marching with Terminators, he’s got the power weapon and storm bolter and gets tougher thanks to the armour.

Jump pack - Probably one of the most common variants, it means he can fly around and drop a lot of pain on people with a rapid moving squad

Biker Chaplain - Usually taken in conjunction with a biker Command squad and Captain for a very tough and fast close combat command unit


Strengths:
The strengths of the Chaplain are in his buffs really. He packs a reasonable stat line and has access to a modest selection of wargear to increase his power, but generally you'll take him for what he does to a squad rather than anything else. He has the potential to turn a solid squad into a real killing machine! In fact he works in just about any assault unit! In particular he works well with Assault marines, who aren't amazing assault specialists, by making them much more damaging and also he works with units that rely on massed power weapon attacks to kill their targets, like Honour Guard, by increasing their damage output. This means that the squad he works with is going to benefit from his presence and become more powerful, whilst the Chaplain himself isn't left lacking in the fight either thanks to his built in power weapon.

Weaknesses:
The weaknesses of the Chaplain are that he's a bit under par in some ways. His fighting ability is reasonable but not amazing and on his own he can't be expected to kill much, the rather lacking selection of wargear to help him power up means that often he'll be left lacking in a fight. His ability also affects a single unit that he has to join. He works with assault units but, outside of the Command squad and Honour guard (which he works very well with but this is another 200+ points) this leaves Terminators of both kinds and Assault Marines and Vanguard Veterans. Whilst not exactly spoilt for choice it'll be a marginal improvement to the squad that you're paying a 100+ points upgrade for and that can hurt if the squad isn't something you're building the army around. In comparison to the tough fighting captain and the army buffing and psychic protecting all round Librarian the Chaplain perhaps loses out to not being quite as useful.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Master Of The Forge]
Wargear: Servo-harness OR conversion beamer, power weapon of choice, thunder hammer, combi-weapons and bike as possible upgrades.

Purpose: Unlocks Dreadnoughts (any variety) as Heavy Support, Cheap leader, long ranged firepower, Techmarine abilities.

The Master of the Forge (MotF) is the HQ that can perhaps be geared to do more than one thing well. While the rest of our HQs really only one place they want to find themselves -- in the thick of combat -- the MotF is equally at home either in assault or shooting. As a result, his gear options, while few, also allow you to equip him in a relatively wide variety of ways to ensure that you are getting exactly the use out of him that you want (or need). He is also one of only two HQs in the codex that allow Force Organization Chart changes, giving players greater flexibility when building their armies.

Loadouts: Generally speaking, there are two standard loadouts:

Servo-harness, power weapon of choice, digital weapons - This version packs a reasonable close combat punch with three standard attacks plus two power fists from his servo-harness. With the changes to power weapons in 6th Edition, his artificer armor and two wounds means that he is more than capable of standing up to most sergeant-level characters in the game (short of Terminators, of course). My recommendation for his power weapon is the sword, providing at-Initiative strikes that defeat standard power armor. This will allow him to fight challenges against enemies with Unwieldy weapons, striking first and (hopefully) killing them before they can hit back. This version also provides extra shooting power to a squad at close ranges with the weaponry from his servo-harness; add a plasma pistol as his off-hand weapon and he can provide two BS5 plasma shots, one of them twinlinked, which synergizes well with plasma gun/combi-plasma combat squads. Do not forget that his flamer can also be fired on Overwatch to protect the unit he is with.

Bike, conversion beamer - Though he sacrifices his servo-harness for this weapon, he won't need to be anywhere near the front line and instead he prefers to move as fast away as he can and shoot the enemy with his gun to make the hardest of enemies take an exceptionally painful shot. His bike only helps him to keep his favoured distance. Fielding a conversion beamer MotF without a bike, while cheaper, also severely limits his target priority due to the nature of the conversion beamer. If this option is your choice -- it is cheaper than equipping him for close combat -- then he operates best if attached to a scout squad for backfield objective holding, or with mixed-gun Devastators due to his ability to effectively target both armor at long range and infantry at medium range.

Servo-harness, thunder hammer - A rare set-up, this particular melee-centric build is intended for hunting HQs, monstrous creatures, and vehicles. The hammer and harness provide a total of four S8 AP2 attacks -- five on the charge -- more than enough to mulch most armor. This type of MotF wants to be with units that will get into combat, and so he makes for a fine addition to Land Raider-borne Terminator squads or danger-close drop pod units, like Tactical Squads or Sternguard. Again, beware of enemy AP2 attacks since he has no defense against them, and will be striking simultaneously with other Unwieldy weapons and after Smash attacks.

Strengths:
In most cases, the MotF is taken for his FOC-altering ability, allowing Dreadnoughts to be taken as both Heavy Support and Elite choices. This is an especially valued ability in all-drop pod armies due to their general lack of effective heavy weapons, which the Dreadnoughts can bring to the table. It's also important to remember that they can actually be made scoring in 6th Edition; Heavy Support choices are scoring/denial units in the Big Guns Never Tire mission, even if they are vehicles. A MotF equipped for short-range shooting (combi-weapon or plasma pistol) or for close combat can provide plenty of punch to C:SM's notoriously-bad-in-melee infantry units, like Tactical Squads. If used conservatively, he can also use his repair ability to add hull points back onto vehicles, keeping key battlefield elements like Land Raiders and Vindicators in the fight.

Weaknesses:
The MotF's greatest single weakness is his lack of an Invulnerable save, which makes little sense since this is the Space Marine in charge of the Chapter's entire store of equipment. While decent in close combat, that is due more to his artificer armor and combination of power fists and power weapon options. His Weapon Skill and Initiative are no better than that of a standard Space Marine, meaning that if you really want him to be combat-effective in assault, you basically have to invest the extra points in digital weapons and, in a fight with a dedicated close combat HQ, you will lose. The same points-intensity also effects his shooting build, since not only will you need a bike to maintain optimal firing distance, you will also want a unit of bikers for him to attach to to provide ablative wounds so that he isn't sniped out by low-AP fire.
Shadowstalker Grim - 5th edition original
Deus Ex Ferrum - 6th edition update

Edited by DarkGuard, 10 November 2012 - 10:41 AM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#3
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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Troops

[Tactical Squads]
Wargear: Boltguns and bolt pistols, in addition to a variety of wargear for the Sergeant, choice of a special weapon and a heavy weapon if squad is 10 strong, and they can take a transport.

Purpose: A scoring unit, forms part of the 2 core troop choices, can be kitted for a variety of roles in battle.

The Tactical squad is the mainstay of the Space Marine Chapter; they usually appear in their 10 man form and almost always have the heavy weapon and special weapons. They are perhaps the hardest unit in the codex to explain as their roles can vary so greatly. Often their roles will be based on the combination of wargear they get given. Some people prefer to use tiny 5 man squads and ignore the 10 man squad; they do this to fit the unit into a smaller transport or to save points so that they still have their scoring unit and mandatory 2 troops, leaving room for more things elsewhere. The Sergeant of the squad is usually armed as preferred or to compliment the squad’s role, while the transport for the squad often varies.

There are many weapons we can take which are free, or near enough and often the free weapons are an effective choice. Tactical squads are good because they can fill a variety of roles cheaply. Loading them up with costly gear doesn't matter so much with Tacticals because their free weapons are often excellent choices and only 3 models are getting upgrades rather than the whole unit.

Sergeants are best taking combi-weapons to compliment the special weapons or cover a gap, going barebones or taking a power fist. Power fists are an expensive upgrade though and offer some ups and downs, think of them as some extra anti-vehicle and CC power, but don't think of it as a mandatory upgrade. If you want to take one, do it. If not, leave it.

A few well known builds:
Flamer, missile launcher - Perhaps the 'default' build, it works well in both anti-infantry and against light armour, easily combat squadded.

Meltagun, multi-melta - Works primarily to use the meltas for anti-tank duties.

Plasma gun, plasma cannon - This unit is more of a sit back and shoot unit, its weapons help knock out medium-heavy infantry nicely.

Flamer, heavy bolter - The anti-infantry loadout, packs a lot of punch against ground troops, but seldom required as anti-infantry is easily found army wide.

(Any special), lascannon - This is usually taken for the lascannon, often the squad is combat squadded, the lascannon's range is long and by combat squadding the special weapon has a chance to get up close, the lascannon is used for anti-vehicle duties over a great range.

Plasma gun, multi-melta - A midfield squad, really the MM here threatens a lot of vehicles and the plasma gun is a nasty threat to any infantry coming close.

Flamer, multi-melta - Again a midfield squad, this time the squad covers anti-infantry and anti-tank in one package!

Strengths:
A Tactical squad is a very versatile squad with access to a wide range of wargear to threaten a wide range of targets. They operate best at close range fire fights (so shooting NOT fighting) but they are versatile enough to be able to melee or shoot opponents at varying ranges if the situation calls for it or opportunity requires it. Perhaps the most important things the tacticals have is their 3+ save which is something that helps keep them alive.

Weaknesses:
The cost of the squad is probably a big part in their downfall; they will usually form a large section of any army and removes the options for taking more powerful units. Tactical squads are not one of our most powerful units, more of a supporting unit to other things. Also being troops they are required to take objectives and thus we pay a lot of points for a squad that needs to be kept out of danger in order to score.

The squad is somewhat limited by the fact it can only take 1 special weapon and 1 heavy weapon which can make it hard to excel at a particular role however.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Scouts]
Wargear: Scouts can be armed with a host of different wargear, from bolters, to bolt pistols to close combat weapons, all the way through shotguns to sniper rifles. Other wargear includes stealth granting camo cloaks a hellfire heavy bolter and missile launcher. The Sergeant has the same range of options as a Tactical Sergeant does, in addition to normal scout equipment.

Purpose: long or short ranged support, often achieved through using infiltration to deploy themselves in desirable places. It’s also a scoring unit.

The other troop unit without force org customization, the scout unit is often overlooked due to their greater frailty and less combat prowess when compared to Tactical squad units. That being said, they tend to be cheaper, not only in base cost, but also due to lack of need of a transport most of the time. They offer a huge variety of different tactics to Tactical squads, and serve the similar purpose of securing and holding objectives.

Common builds:
5 men, sniper rifles, camo cloaks, possibly a heavy bolter: This unit is primarily used as a home objective camper and fire support. A ruin, plus camo cloaks and going to ground gives you a 2+ cover save, so you can whether a lot of firepower while still claiming that objective. Meanwhile, in a fire support role the heavy bolter helps make up for lack of sniper weapons with it's poisoned 2+ template.

10 men, sniper rifles, missile launcher, Telion: Most people believe that Telion is most effective in big units, where its harder to kill him, and also less risky to stay standing with only a 3+ cover save. Telion gives everyone Stealth, and can knock out special models from enemy units. Furthermore, his ability to fire the missile launcher himself lets you send an accurate krak missile into any vehicle in range, while the large amount of Scouts mean you'll hold onto objectives for a while.

10 men, shotguns, CC weapons, power fist, maybe a combi-flamer: used as a close support and close combat unit. Some people prefer to have all shotguns, or all CCWs, but most prefer a 50:50 split, allowing a decent amount of shooting attacks beforehand, while limiting loss of effectiveness in later rounds of combat. Usually used to take enemy objectives, or back up Tactical squads with a cheap combat unit.

10 men, boltguns, power fist, combi-flamer: budget Tactical squad that can infiltrate or outflank. Is cheaper than a Tactical squad on wheels, but is more fragile and not as effective in either shooting or combat. Still can be a nuisance, and with outflank may be find it easier to reach far flung objectives.

5 men, meltabombs and/or power fist, combi-melta: commonly placed in a LSS with multi-melta, this unit acts as an alpha strike against big tanks such as Land Raiders, often before they have a chance to act. Can later double as a combat and objective taker unit, if they survive the alpha strike action.

Also may I mention including units with Bolster Defences, which, combined with camo cloaks can let your scouts receive a 2+ cover save in certain terrain pieces without going to ground.

Strengths:
Scouts first and foremost are cheaper than tactical squads, while still being scoring units. Their equipment options allow them to deal damage up close through bolters or shotguns, in combat with two combat weapons, or from range with sniper rifles. In particular their camo cloaks and sniper rifles allow them to stay at a range and deal damage when a Tactical squad wouldn't be able to do so, and stay alive.

Other special rules are also valuable, such as being able to infiltrate, move through cover, and having the Scouts special rule. These allow Scouts to be more effective in cover, where they are also more survivable, and also give them greater flexibility in deployment. This can lead them to deploying close enough to the enemy, thereby not needing transport, deploying in good fire areas after seeing where the enemy is, or coming on from the side of the board, catching the opponent by surprise.

Weaknesses:
Scouts, though fickle, are still fragile. While boasting a toughness of 4, they only have 4+ armour saves, meaning that weapons such as heavy bolters and autocannons, which normally bounce of power armour will scythe through their scout armour. Heavy flamers in particular will destroy their armour while ignoring any increased cover save they benefit from through camo cloaks. Also, they will fail more saves than power armour against weapons with poor AP or no AP, although they will die just as readily against plasma weapons and melta weapons.

Also, while Scouts can be equipped for assault and shooting, they pale in these aspects in comparison to regular Space Marines, due to their decreased weapon and ballistic skill of 3. This means that half the time their shooting attacks will miss, while a lot of common enemies will hit them on 3s in combat.

A lack of dedicated transports can also make these warriors more vulnerable towards anti-infantry firepower than mech armies are.
DarkGuard

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here and here.


Dedicated transports

[Rhino]
Wargear - Standard vehicle equipment and storm bolter, extra storm bolters, extra armour and hunter killer missile are notable options.

Purpose - Transporting foot soldiers reliably across the battlefield with a capacity for 10 men.

The Rhino is our iconic transport unit, capable of mobilising our most important units and giving them a safe haven to shield from enemy fire. Obviously it is target for the juicy contents rather than the actual unit itself, but it is quite handily a very cheap unit so if it does happen to explode it won't have cost you much. Of course this also means there isn't much reason not to take them!

Common builds: barebones, any additional choices are generally not needed and are often a waste of points. However, the addition of a dozer blade is generally good, as it allows greater freedom of movement by allowing you to reliably move through cover, while preventing hull point depreciation that could occur there.

Strengths:
Able to carry up to 10 men this will accommodate the vast majority of squads quite easily. Its reasonable armour isn't going to keep it alive forever, but saves the squad from small arms fire and can deploy them rather rapidly. Its biggest strength is that it is a cheap and all round reliable transport which can be taken as a dedicated transport for many of our units. Furthermore, combat squadded unit can now have each combat squad in the Rhino, further increasing its flexibility.

Weaknesses:
The Rhino isn't particularly durable and can collapse quite easily to firepower that can take out armour, especially with only three hull points. It also is unable to be taken for some units. Of course the other thing about this vehicle is that it can only take 10 men, which means if we want a special character in addition to the squad, it cannot run at full strength or in the Tacticals case (which can run up to 12 men) it cannot take the full squad! Furthermore, disembarking from a Rhino isn't great if you want to charge, rendering it useless for Honour Guard, Command squads and Vanguard Veteran squads. Also, if the Rhino is penetrated, there's a good chance that your troops will be debilitated in the next turn, even when they get out.
Shadowstalker Grim - 5th edition original
DarkGuard - 6th edition update


[Razorback]
Wargear: comes standard with normal vehicle wargear and a twin-linked heavy bolter, this may be upgraded to a TL-heavy flamer, TL-assault cannon TL-lascannon or a lascannon/ TL-plasma gun turret. It can be further upgraded with a dozer blade and extra armour a storm bolter and hunter killer.

Purpose: a dedicated transport meant to ferry small units of Space Marines across the battlefield while laying down supportive fire.

Razorbacks are the second dedicated transport in the Space Marine codex, and are normally compared to Rhinos. Coming in at base cost of just 5 more points than a Rhino, the Razorback offers increased firepower and options for decreased transport capacity.

Common builds:
TL- heavy bolter: cheap, and able to threaten the majority of infantry in addition to light vehicles.

TL- assault cannon: more expensive, but able to put out a large amount of accurate, rending shots that can decimate infantry and vehicles alike. Very effective when used with outflanking via Khan or Sicarius. It is also a fantastic midfield unit, if a little expensive.

TL- lascannon: a home base defender, this vehicle can throw out a high powered shot each turn that is very likely to hit the unit it's firing at.

Lascannon, TL- plasma gun: another home base defender, this upgrade is often preferred due to the addition of a plasma gun, which increases its capability against light vehicles and marine armies, while also increasing the survivability of the unit by having two weapons rather than one. Both weapons can also be fired on the move, with the twin-linked plasma gun a prime contender for being used for snap shots. The two different weapons allows it to contribute to shooting light vehicles at range, while being more effective against infantry up close.


Storm bolters may be a good upgrade, as it has the chance to prevent your heavy weapons from being destroyed with the first weapon destroyed result. Likewise, a dozer blade is good for getting through cover.

Strengths:
The standard Razorback with heavy bolter is still a cheap transport, and it can still take small units of Space Marines across the board. Therefore they tend to be the transport of choice for Space Marine units utilising combat tactics or small squads. However, its biggest strength over the Rhino is the superior, more accurate firepower it can boast of, along with increased weapons options, including a TL-heavy flamer, TL- lascannon, TL- assault cannon and a lascannon TL- plasma gun turret. In large numbers the Razorback army can put out a lot of firepower while being scoring with small tactical squads inside.

The las/plas Razorback is often considered the better choice when buying a weapons upgrade due its ability to put out 3 high strength, low AP shots at close range, in addition to it having range at the beginning of the game with its lascannon.

Weaknesses:
The Razorback suffers from a small transport capacity, meaning that it cannot take 10 man Tactical squads unless they split down into two separate combat squads. Furthermore, while a standard Razorback is a quite cheap, one with a weapons upgrade is quite expensive. This can be problem as the Razorback still has the low armour and hull points of a Rhino, meaning that they can be easily destroyed and taken out of action. Furthermore, for all Razorback variants apart from the las/plas turret they have no redundancy, meaning a weapon destroyed result will take out their, often expensive, killing power. Also, if you are to upgrade the weapon, then it is unlikely that you'll be able to shoot it if you are using it as a transport, due to moving too fast, and thereby you are wasting points. Therefore, for Razorbacks going forward it is often better to stick with heavy bolters, while the longer-ranged variants are used as base objective holders, making some of the closer ranged weapon options undesirable.

Furthermore, Razorbacks do not have a fire point, unlike Rhinos, and so the troops inside can do little else except twiddle their thumbs until they get out, or are forced out. Therefore, you can't do drive by shootings, making them somewhat undesirable to some as the troops inside have to expose themselves. Again, like the Rhino, combat units don't want to use this as a transport, and it can be detrimental to the unit inside if penetrated.
DarkGuard


[Drop Pod]
Wargear: storm bolter, which can be upgraded to the more powerful Deathwind launcher. It can also be equipped with a locator beacon, which works like a teleport homer except for all deep striking units, and so it is normally taken on Drop Pods being used in the first wave.

Purpose: to transport enemies into the heart of the enemy, letting them bring the full brunt of their firepower to bear, decimating the enemy. They are also useful for deploying your force tactically, reacting to threats that your opponent's force may have made.

The Drop Pod is the iconic transport of the Space Marines, and when they make planet fall their enemies often look to the skies to see several of these hitting their positions. This is Space Marine battle strategy at its finest, hitting the heart of the enemy and tearing it out through precise landings. Several units can take drop pods, from Tactical squads to mighty Dreadnoughts, so Drop Pod armies aren't unusual. A further rule of the Drop Pod means that half of them hit the ground in the first turn, meaning that with lots of Drop Pods a player can get big hitting units into position before his opponent has made a move.

Common builds: with only two options, I will instead mention units that are likely to be in this transport:
MM/HF Dreadnought (sometimes Venerable): this unit is an alpha strike unit, able to drop in and either torch infantry or turn vehicles to slag. Its lifespan, however, is limited, and it will often die in one turn.

MG/HF Ironclad Dreadnought: this unit does the same as above, but has to deploy nearer to get its meltagun in range, although it is more survivable thanks to higher armour.

Sternguard squad: normally packing combi-flamers, combi-meltas and heavy flamers, this unit often combat squads, allowing the combi-meltas to destroy a big vehicle, while the flamers roast a unit. Slightly survivable due to breaking down into two units, they will still take a lot of firepower in the next turn.

Devastator squad with 4 multi-meltas: dropped straight into midfield where they can control the game through the use of their powerful meltas. Also has the ability to combat squad to threaten individual targets.

Tactical squads: dropped onto or near objectives, allowing them to secure far flung objectives early on, or contest/claim objectives towards the end of the game.

Strengths:
The Drop Pod's main strength is in letting units to deploy further up the board then would be possible, allowing them to bring their full firepower to bear. Furthermore, its armour of 12 all-round makes it harder to kill than a Rhino, and say it may stay around longer, enabling it to block line of sight and contest objectives. It can carry a wide variety of units, including Tactical squads, Sternguard, and jump pack units on foot and even Dreadnoughts, meaning that a player can get massive killing power within range of the enemy quickly. Another key strength is its unpredictability; an opponent is not likely to know where you deploy it. Furthermore, if you were to scatter, the drop pod cannot land on units or impassable terrain, and so it is unlikely to be lost through a deep strike mishap. Finally, its locator beacon can make it easier to receive reinforcements in the right place through deep striking.

Weaknesses:
The Drop Pod rarely contributes nothing more to the army except deep striking. Like the Rhino is basic firepower is shocking, and some are unwilling to increase its points cost to increase its firepower. Furthermore, Drop Pods held in reserve could fail to turn up for ages, delaying valuable reinforcements for many turns. Despite the Drop Pod Assault rule allowing half the Drop Pods to turn up first time, this is forced and you can't choose not to in undesirable situations, such as your opponent putting his entire army into reserved, allowing him to dictate the game and react to your deployment. Furthermore, Drop Pods are immobilized on entry, and are also open topped, making them somewhat fragile. While they cannot deep strike mishap due to units and terrain, they can by going off the board, often leading to valuable and expensive units dying inexplicably.
DarkGuard

Edited by DarkGuard, 10 November 2012 - 10:54 AM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#4
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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Elites

[Terminators]
Wargear: storm bolters, power fists, Sergeant has a power sword. One in every five models can take a heavy flamer, assault cannon or cyclone missile launcher (heavy 2 ML), while any model can take a chainfist.

Purpose: heavy infantry who offer all round support in all aspects of the game.

Terminators are the ultimate Space Marine, they can do everything well. They can easily bust a Land Raider with chainfists. They can mow down hordes (not the best use though) with storm bolters, heavy flamers and assault cannons. They can run down and kill more or less any depleted unit with relentless, assault weapons and power fists. They can dispatch elite shooty infantry like Sternguard in close combat. A 5 man squad has 12 power fists and 3 power weapon attacks. Well you might say that they strike at I1? Their 2+ armour means they can shrug off a couple of attacks back, this reinforces the idea of them beating up the depleted units. Equally they can kick carnifexes around with a krak missile or two to soften it up and a few fists to finish it.

Common builds:
5 Terminators, heavy flamer: fast response unit designed to deep strike and kill infantry in one shooting attack.

5 Terminators, assault cannon: similar to above, but unit role is expanded to all kinds of infantry and other vehicles.

10 Terminators, 2 cyclones, (2 chainfists): a big unit that is durable and can put out a lot of firepower. Cyclones can threaten pretty much anything, through krak or frag missiles. The use of cyclones allow maximum amount of storm bolters, further increasing firepower, particularly against hordes.

Strengths:
As has been said before the main strength of Terminators is that they can reliably contribute in every phase of the game and threaten everything your enemy can put out. They might not be as amazing in combat as Assault Terminators, or as shooty as Sternguard, but they can do more things than them. They can outshoot the Assault Terminators and out assault the Sternguard. They have a massive amount of flexibility, and this in itself is one of their major strengths. In shooting they have a lot of shots, and in combat they have a lot of power weapon and power fist attacks. They also have fantastic armour save, which keeps them alive against all but the most powerful of weapons, and they even have a chance of protecting themselves against these weapons. Their Terminator armour also allows them to deep strike, giving them a whole host of deployment options in which to take on and surprise your opponent.

While Terminators aren’t as mobile as a bike squad or unit in a Rhino, but they are mobile in that they can shoot everything when moving due to their relentless ability, something those normal Tactical squads can’t do. This helps them reach out and threaten enemy units from the first turn, while keeping up a high standard of firepower. Furthermore, thanks to their relentless nature and storm bolters they can easily counter charge with a huge amount of shooting and combat attacks, something that other units tend to lack.

Furthermore, the Terminators can add Land Raiders to your force without using up a heavy support slot. This in itself is useful if you want to use your heavy support slots for something, allowing you to several powerful units. Terminators are also pretty big for Space Marines, and can therefore pretty much block line of sight to nearly every other unit in the Space Marine Codex, while they are very likely to grant vehicles cover saves.

Weaknesses:
For all their strengths, the Terminator’s major strength is also their major weakness. They can do everything, but they don’t excel in it. If they get assaulted by Assault Terminators, or get into a shooting match with Sternguard then they will die. Furthermore, while a 2+ save is good, they will lose guys if they have to take a lot of saving throws. If they are shot at by a lot of low AP weapons, they are likely to die. Yes they have a 5+ invulnerable save, but this isn’t a reliable way to keep your guys alive. And while they have a good armour save, they still strike last, so weight of attacks will lead to some guys dying before they can attack. Their shooting while, voluminous, isn’t amazing. After all, most of the guys just have bolt shots, and so they rely on their heavy weapons to do damage. With just bolters, these guys don’t do so well in shooting compared to other units.

One final things is that their Terminator armour prevents them from making sweeping advances, and so if the enemy breaks combat, they will get away and not be run down, allowing them to turn around and shoot them again, this makes them best against units they kill in one combat phase.
LardO’Blood
DarkGuard

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here.


[Assault Terminators]
Wargear: Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields OR Paired Lightning Claws

Purpose: Heavy assault infantry, they get in close and start cracking skulls

The Assault Terminators are a tough close combat unit. They can be likened to either a sledgehammer or a lawnmower based on their loadouts. Their purpose is rather singular and they are solely based on fighting in close combat, with no access to ranged gear. With TH/SS the Terminators are like sledgehammers, resilient and very hard hitting and can be thrown in to combat with just about anything except the faster power weapon armed enemies. Their storm shields keep them safe and the hammers are a fearsome item not found often in our options. With LCs the assault Terminators become more like a lawnmower and can scythe down light infantry rapidly with little fear of retribution thanks to their tough armour.

Common builds:
Thunder hammers and storm shields - heavy hitting resilient infantry, can be thrown at almost anything and have good results. Incredibly hard to shift and hard hitting.

Paired lightning claws - these powerful claws can tear to pieces many soldiers down, but not effective against vehicles or tougher enemies.

Mixed - often ran at a 3:2 ratio of the two weapons (either way), this unit can deal with mass infantry while also being resilient to most weapons due to wound allocation. Not as effective in either role as the others, but more effective through flexibility.

All above builds are assuming 5 men so they can fit in a Land Raider with character.

10 men, TH/SS - often referred to as the "thunder bubble", this unit marches in front of tanks, giving the tanks behind a cover save, while also acting as a counter-attack unit for anything that would want to get close. Often keeps melta weapons out of melta range.

Strengths:
Assault Terminators can pack out a decent amount of death dealing close combat fury effectively. Generally the TH/SS configuration is considered our most effective melee unit. They are capable of killing off just about anything quite happily and efficiently. However with their lightning claws can allow them to tear to pieces light infantry nicely too. Their heavy armour makes their already fearsome output even more scary, whilst being Terminators means that they can deep strike into the fray if need be.

Weaknesses:
Being oriented in close combat they have no ranged weaponry to speak of, giving them a very one dimensional role in a fight. They are also clad in Terminator armour meaning that they must either walk, deep strike (both poor options for something with no shooting at all!) or ride in a Land Raider. Of course taking a Land Raider quickly makes them exceptionally expensive and limits the number you can take. Also the lightning claw versions are largely redundant as the TH/SS versions can do the same job and take on sturdier foes, where elites should be fighting! The other problem for them that they should avoid enemies with power weapons generally as they can cut through their armour, or hordes which will bog them down and drown them in attacks!
Shadowstalker Grim


[Sternguard Veterans]
Wargear: Sternguard are armed identically to tactical marines except in one respect, special ammunition. This special piece of equipment allows them to use different profiles while firing their bolters each turn: Dragonfire, which is a normal bolter that ignores cover saves; Hellfire, which is a poisoned 2+ bolter; Kraken, which is a bolter with 30" range and AP4; and Vengeance, which has the shorter, 18" range and Gets Hot! but an AP of 3.

Sternguard can choose from a range of special or heavy weaponary, including everything the tactical squad can take, in addition to heavy flamers, but unlike the tactical squad, they can take two special, or two heavy weapons, making them easier to tailor. Every model not upgraded in this way can take a combi-weapon for a cheap points cost. The sergeant has the same wargear options of a tactical squad with the notable addition of being able to choose a lightning claw.

Sternguard are the pinnacle of Space Marine shootiness. Veterans of the 1st Company who specialise in engaging the enemy with boltgun rather than blade and pistol, the Sternguard are able to engage the enemy at all ranges, and engage a variety of enemies. Easily customizable, this is perhaps the most flexible unit in the Space Marine Codex, with the ability to be equipped to deal with all sorts of enemies and problems.

Common builds:
It is hard to say too much about common builds, the Sternguard being so flexible. Furthermore, opinion on combi-weapons is varied and some people take different amounts. Therefore, for each common build I shall only state the special or heavy weapons taken, and mention the combi-weapon/s that go well with it.

Dual heavy flamer: sometimes taken with combi-flamers and/or combi-meltas, this unit can put serious hurt on infantry units, decimating them through making them take loads of saves. Vulkan can make this build particularly devastating by twin-linking their main weapons.

Dual meltagun: often taken with a couple of combi-meltas for added effect, some people take combi-flamers as well. This unit doesn't compromise much of it's anti-infantry killing potential while making it more devastating and more of a constant threat against tanks, MCs and Terminators.

Dual plasma cannon: normally taken on small 5/6 man squads, this unit is a cheap Devastator variant, using cheap plasma cannons to form a firebase unit. Sometimes taken with Pedro to allow this unit to camp on objectives.

Dual lascannon: a variant of the plasma cannon squad, but utilises cheap lascannons to sniper tanks from long-range.

Combis: Many people only use combis, preferring to keep their entire squad with special ammo, perhaps the best rule they have access too. This compromises the killing power of some of the more specialized squads while still being a threat to everything on the board.

Many people also take power fists on their sergeants as they are a prime target for combat. In squads being run alongside Pedro or Lysander, lightning claws are better due to the inclusion of a power fist/ thunder hammer already.

Strengths:
The main strength of the Sternguard squad is shooting. With their range of special ammunition Sternguard can reliably threaten every model in the game with the exception of tanks. Their dragonfire rounds take out units that rely on cover, their kraken rounds can lead to them outshooting Tau firewarriors, punching through their saves. Their vengeance rounds make them a viable threat against regular marines, while their hellfire rounds can kill nearly anything by virtue of causing a lot of wounds. Furthermore, they can pick up two specials, causing more wounds at close range, while their bolters can also stay nearly in range of some heavy weapons. Sternguard can also take weapon upgrades even if they number less than 10 men, making 5/6 man squads more viable.

Sternguard are also acceptable in combat, more so than tactical marines. With two attacks each, and the ability for their sergeant to take a special combat weapon they can hold their own in combat against a variety of enemies, save dedicated assault units and MCs. They also have the Marine stat line, and so their armour save and toughness is superior to many other races.

But one of the things that make Sternguard really dangerous are combi-weapons. With access to cheap combi-weapons, which do not override their special ammo, Sternguard can become an either better threat. Combi-flamers help complement their anti-infantry element, while combi-plasmas make them even more reliable against MEQ and allow them to threaten Terminators and MCs a lot more than they used too. Combi-meltas also allow them to threaten the one thing they normally cannot, tanks. All in all, the flexibility of Sternguard can make them a dangerous unit to use.

It is also worth mentioning that Pedro Kantor can make Sternguard units scoring, further increasing their worth to the Space Marine army.

Weaknesses:
One of the Sternguard's main weakness is surprisingly, their Marine stat line. They die just as easily as regular Marines, and with them being such a threat opponent's are sure to divert some attention towards them. Furthermore, they are best up close, leading them to being vulnerable to assault. While they aren't terrible in assault, dedicated units such as Genestealers, Howling Banshees and even Terminators will destroy them. Also, each turn they spend in assault is a turn that they cannot use their special ammo and special weapons against the enemy. Mobility can also be an issue, and they tend to require transport of some kind to enable them to get within maximum shooting range.

A basic squad will also struggle against tanks and walkers, needing to be in assault to even stand a chance of damaging them.
DarkGuard

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here.


[Venerable Dreadnought]
Wargear: A variety of different guns and a close combat arm with build in weapon OR a missile launcher OR a twin linked autocannon, with extra armour option being of worthy note.

Purpose: As an elite choice it picks a weapon from its slot and gets shooting, often works as a mobile weapons platform, and is more survivable and skilled than an ordinary Dreadnought.

This is a lean, mean killing machine. With an added point of WS and BS it is more skilled than the Dreadnought, and its Venerable rule means that it stays alive longer as you can force your opponent to re-roll rolls on the vehicle damage table. Its weapons load out is exactly the same as a Dreadnought, so it can do everything the Dreadnought can, though better. Build your army around them and always take at least 2 if you are going to field them. Consider a MotF for up to 6.

Common builds:
Assault cannon, DCCW, heavy flamer, extra armour: the assault cannon makes the most of BS5, while the heavy flamer is handy before assault. Runs as a vehicle Terminator escort, although more survivable thanks to Venerable.

Multi-melta, DCCW, heavy flamer, extra armour, often in Drop Pod: this unit often works as an alpha strike unit, landing next to that big, horrible tank in the enemy’s army and melting it. BS5 means you’re more or less guaranteed to hit it, while the heavy flamer is handy if scatter next to infantry.

Plasma cannon, DCCW: out the box Dreadnought, which is survivable and able to put down a lot of firepower. Storm bolter may be used to keep range, though a heavy flamer makes it a good counter-charge unit.

Ven Rifleman – 2x twin-linked autocannon: not seen as much due to points cost, this is an even more accurate and survivable version than a normal Rifleman, resulting in him more or less never missing a shot, and being able to throw shots out for longer.

Twin-linked lascannon, missile launcher: some may argue it’s not as effective as the Rifleman, but packs a higher punch and more accurate than its less experienced cousin.

Strengths:
The main strength of the Venerable Dreadnought is its Venerable rule. This allows it to force your opponent to re-roll the first vehicle damage table roll of each shot, thereby allowing you to potentially turn undesirable results such as vehicle destroyed and vehicle damage rolls to crew shaken. Furthermore, as a veteran of many battlefields he has WS and BS 5, thereby making him more likely to hit with ranged weapons and in close combat. His large amount of weaponry can make him versatile allowing him to do a bit of everything, or specialized, raising him and shoulders above everything else in his field.

The extra point of WS and BS makes the assault cannon/heavy flamer build more effective as most of those shots are going to hit, while the WS increase makes him more effective in combat, allowing them to reasonably take on units that don’t have many power fists such as Tyranid Warriors, Honour Guard and Howling Banshees. Even weakened Carnifexes and ICs can struggle against this mighty war machine. More than the regular version the Venerable Dreadnought can outshoot the assaulty and out assault the shooty, while staying alive through the game.

Weaknesses:
The Venerable rule is a double edged sword. While it can downgrade vehicle destroyed results to crew shaken, it can also turn immobilized results and the like to vehicle destroyed. Therefore you need to think carefully about the situation you are in before forcing the re-roll for mid vehicle damage table results. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the Dreadnought will survive, your opponent might just roll another 6 and your Dreadnought is still dead.

While he has increased weapon skill, he only has two attacks base, meaning that even if you hit with all your attacks you’re still not causing many wounds. Furthermore, this Dreadnought will still struggle against Monstrous Creatures, power fist or thunder hammer heavy units (particularly TH/SS Terminators) and other walkers, which are just as capable of killing it as it is of them. ICs can tie him up in combat too as more often than not he’s still hitting on a 4, making him no better than regular Dreadnought for killing them. Invulnerable saves in particular can prove a problem, causing there to be more problems with his low attack count.

Finally, this variant’s biggest problem is points cost. Weighing in at about an additional 60 points over the normal Dreadnought, for only an increase WS, BS and Venerable rule, many people don’t see this as worth it. It might be more survivable but enough hits will kill it, while it can only really benefit a couple of the optimal Dreadnought builds, the Rifleman not needing the upgrade. Certainly its harder to fit into an army than normal Dreadnoughts, which does mean you need to build around it as has already been said, and include a few of them.
LardO’Blood
DarkGuard


[Dreadnought]
Wargear - A variety of different guns and a close combat arm with build in weapon OR a missile launcher OR a twin linked autocannon, with extra armour option being of worthy note.

Purpose - As an elite choice it picks a weapon from its slot and gets shooting, often works as a mobile weapons platform.

The Dreadnought is a tough beast and one of our best units, with an excellent array of weaponry and immune to small arms fire it makes for a fearsome foe in battle. Not to mention that all of this comes in a tidy and relatively cheap costing package. As one of our precious elite slots it faces some serious competition in why to take it, but there are many good reasons to. The dread can take heavy weapons and maintain a good speed, getting them in range effectively and avoiding drawbacks that can usually be associated with them. Its main job comes as either a firebase or as a mobile advance element.

Loadouts:
Rifleman – Twin-linked autocannon, twin-linked autocannon: A favoured load out for many, this equipment lets the Dreadnought shoot from a fearsome range at light armour targets. The power of this unit comes from the mass of shots, despite their lower strength and makes it excellent at opening up transports and putting wounds into monstrous creatures, although it is weaker in close combat.

Demi-Rifleman - twin-linked autocannon, DCCW w/heavy flamer: some people prefer to keep the DCCW, allowing the Dread to fulfill a multiple role in assault as well as from range. Keeps some ranged firepower for disrupting tanks while also being able to deal with some units in combat.

Heavy gunner - twin-linked autocannon, assault cannon: this Dread uses its autocannon at range, disrupting enemy vehicles as it closes the distance. Once in midfield it becomes a powerful unit, able to throw out a large amount of mid strength shots that can take apart infantry and vehicles alike.

Assault cannon, Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (DCCW), heavy flamer: An excellent advance unit, this unit is great for mobilising with transports and can open fire with its shorter range assault cannon (which stands a good chance of killing both infantry and vehicles) whilst the heavy flamer and DCCW give it a punch in close quarter fighting.

Twin-linked lascannon, missile launcher: A more expensive rifleman, it stands a better chance of killing stronger vehicles, but has less output. However its combination makes it a fierce opponent. It can put less hurt out, but a better quality of it, the missile launcher gives it a reasonable ability at infantry

Multi-melta, DCCW, heavy flamer: A tough unit that can target infantry and vehicles of all kinds and is quite cheap. The shorter range of the MM means that it benefits from a drop pod to get it closer, but it is by no means a necessity and can work well without them. The AOBR box set Dreadnought is almost the same as this, but loses the heavy flamer which does nullify the anti-infantry output somewhat.

Plasma cannon, DCCW, heavy flamer: Another useful mobile support element, it can drop a painful template on infantry (even mid-heavy) and vehicles and ignores the risks of plasma quite happily making this a generally useful home for it.

These are to name a few loadouts.

Strengths:
The strengths of the Dreadnought are obvious, a mobile heavy support platform that can bring us big guns that are more than capable of ripping to pieces a range of target quite happily and for rather a bargain price. The unit works best alongside other units to support them in their job and can make Tacticals a bit punchier. The fierce loadouts that can be given to the Dreadnought mean that it happily kill of a wide number of targets easily.

Weaknesses:
The weaknesses of the Dreadnought are more subtle, but painful. The first problem is that it is only a single unit. This doesn't seem so bad, but the fact it is AV 12 for the most part means that actually the armour isn't particularly difficult to get rid of with proper anti-tank weaponry. It also means that to avoid the thing becoming a sitting duck it is almost a necessity to take extra armour. Its singularity means that it is rather an obvious target and it draws that anti-tank fire. It is also susceptible to being hurt by hidden power fists and such weaponry which can tear it down in close combat, not only this but the ability to fight in close combat isn't great and indeed it can get stuck in combat with enemies who know they can't hurt it, purely because by the time it fights its way out it'll have done almost nothing toward the games result which will have nearly ended.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Ironclad Dreadnought]
Wargear: Hurricane bolter arm AND/OR chainfist AND/OR seismic hammer Arm AND/OR dreadnought close combat weapon (can take 2 possible arms obviously), Some built in weapons and upgrades, in addition to build in extra armour and normal standard vehicle wargear.

Purpose: An assault Dreadnought, for close range fighting.

The Ironclad is a Dreadnought built solely for fighting up close and personal. It sits a head and shoulders over its brethren with AV 13 for the most part instead of AV 12, which helps it shrug off all but determined firepower. Its wargear selection is adept at helping it kill off enemies in close combat and short range fights, whether they are vehicle or infantry. Generally its lack of long range power means that it can be a little wasted if it walks, but a Drop Pod gets it right into its optimum position for killing and will inevitably draw a lot of fire! This beast of a vehicle is what marines use to get up close and personal with the enemy!

Loadouts:
Seismic hammer, DCCW, built in heavy flamers - often drop podded into the ranks of the enemy and with its armament it can walk straight out and start frying enemy infantry, its DCCW and seismic hammer should make light work of vehicles if catches them and will warrant a lot of firepower at it.

Seismic hammer, DCCW, heavy flamer, meltagun - same as above really, but less focus on the anti-infantry and a bit more anti-tank punch at a range too. The main strength of this build is that it lets him threaten anything when drop podding.

Hurricane bolter, chainfist, hunter killer missiles - able to operate a bit more at a range, it may be viable to walk to the fray. Its missiles give it some decent punch at a range against vehicles, whilst the hurricane bolter handles infantry and the chainfist can take out vehicles.

Strengths:
Generally this Dreadnought is all about the up close and personal, once inside this optimum bracket, it can lay down some serious killing power on a range of targets. Generally though it can be most threatening to enemy backline vehicles when combined with the drop pod, indeed it seems like it was designed to operate in a Drop Pod! Once it lands it tough armour profile keeps it safe from most fire and it'll force the enemy to engage it, or risk severe damage! This is why the Ironclad is so fearsome, it demands enemy attention!

Weaknesses:
The Ironclad has problems operating outside short range fights as its weaponry isn't exactly long ranged. This often means that it can be left high and dry, doing little in a battle if placed badly. Also drop podding in alone will probably see it die a very quick death and is often written off as a suicide Dreadnought. Its weaponry may threaten vehicles, but it can have a hard time catching them on foot and may well spend ages playing catch-up, trying desperately to hit the vehicle with its arms!
Shadowstalker Grim


[Techmarines]
Wargear: Servo arm, bolter/bolt pistol and artificer armour, with options for a power weapon, thunder hammer, bike and combi weapons, plasma pistol and storm bolter. He may also upgrade the servo arm to a servo harness incorporating two servo arms, a flamer and a twin-linked plasma pistol, plus the ability to fire two weapons a turn.

Purpose: Maintaining Space Marine vehicles and close range support or firebase unit.

The Techmarine is a support character designed to repair and maintain Space Marine vehicles in the middle of battle, able to fix weapon destroyed and immobilized results, which his servo harness helps him with. Furthermore, he can be formidable at close range, with a variety of powerful close range weaponry and special close combat attacks, and can unlock servitors. A final ability of his allows him to increase the cover saves of a ruin by 1, making it easier for units inside to survive.

Strengths: The Techmarine is a support character whose main strength is in the Bolster Defences ability, allowing him to increase the cover save a ruin by one. This allows units such as scout snipers to hide in them safely and provide covering firepower while taking few casualties themselves. The Techmarine can also repair vehicles, helping a mech army have more staying power as the vehicles keep on going. Finally, Techmarines can be fearsome up close, with access to flamer and plasma weaponry which can lay waste to many different units. Also, his artificer armour makes him survivable against all but the most powerful weapons. He is also one of the few ways to access servitors, which can bring some cheap firepower and better vehicle repair to the army.

Weaknesses: The Techmarine is still a support character and isn't as amazing in combat as a Captain. He has no invulnerable save, and with only one wound, and a pretty much standard Marine stat line he can easily be brought low in combat. Taking the servo harness increases his cost dramatically, and you can end up spending 100pts odd on a one wound model. Furthermore, unless accompanied by Servitors it is highly unlikely that he will be able to consistently repairing vehicles, and so cannot be relied on for his primary role. His best strength, Bolster Defences can be wasted if there are no ruins in your deployment zone, or if you have no need of them. Furthermore, the enemy may capture the ruin, thereby taking away your advantage and making it their own. Finally, the Techmarine itself faces a lot of competition from other choices for the valuable Elites slot.

Common builds:
Barebones: taken for Bolster Defences and the odd vehicle repairing role, maybe also taken to access servitors.

Servo-harness: taken for better close up support, better at repairing vehicles, and still gives Bolster Defences. May be taken with a power weapon or thunder hammer to supplement close combat potential.

Servo-harness, plasma pistol: has the ability to fire two plasma pistols in one turn, one being twin-linked, proving more dangerous against MEQ, TEQ and light vehicles. His artificer armour save makes it unlikely that he'll die from an overheat.

Servo-harness, bike, thunder hammer: Fast and hits hard in combat. Tougher to kill due to the toughness increase given by the bike. Can also reach stranded vehicles with ease due to the mobility given.
DarkGuard


[Servitors]
Wargear: Servo-arm, with the option of replacing it for a heavy bolter, multi-melta or plasma cannon.

Purpose: Support for Techmarine in combat and repairing vehicles, or long-ranged firebase.

The servitor unit is one of the more curious units in the Space Marine codex. They are incredibly cheap, but can one unit can only be taken for each Master of the Forge or Techmarine in the army and don’t take up a force org slot. Furthermore, they take up an Elites slot, unlike the Command Squad and Honour Guard. The servitors also have the weakest statline in the Space Marine codex and may spend the turn doing nothing. However, at range they can be fearsome, laying down a multitude of firepower.

Strengths:
Servitors start out cheap, and used barebones they can be an excellent way to support and enhance the Techmarine's vehicle repairing abilities. Furthermore, all of them can take a heavy weapon and still be cheaper than an attack bike, while having more variety. This allows them to lay down a fearsome amount of firepower against the enemy. As has been mentioned before, Servitors don’t take up a force organisation chart slot, so you include more firepower without having to go light on Terminators and Dreadnoughts.

Weaknesses:
The Servitors do not have a Marine stat line, rather matching a Guard stat line with a better armour save and leadership. This means that heavy flamers, heavy bolters and autocannons will easily rip through them while they would struggle against power armoured Marines. Despite wielding servo-arms they aren't good in combat with a low weapon skill, toughness and armour save. They also need another choice in order to take them, raising their points cost superficially. Perhaps their biggest problem is the Mindlock rule, which means that unless a Techmarine or MotF is with them they have a half a chance of doing nothing for a turn unless already in combat.

Common builds:
Barebones: used to support the Techmarine in repairing vehicles and in close combat.

Heavy bolters: a firebase squad capable of putting out a lot of firepower against light infantry.

Plasma cannons: a firebase squad capable of putting out a lot of firepower against infantry and light vehicles. Especially useful against Space Marines and Terminators, and the blast rules more or less override their poor BS.
DarkGuard


[Legion of the Damned]
Wargear: Various heavy and special weapons options, 1 heavy and 1 special allowed per squad.

Purpose: Drawing fire and taking enemies off/holding vital points.

The Legion of the Damned are somewhat of an enigma by story standards and indeed by game standards. They start off in reserve and deep strike (reasonably reliably) every game. They can be armed in a similar fashion to a Tactical squad but are comparatively more in cost, though they can take their heavy and special slots in a 5 man squad AND fire them on the go as they are slow and purposeful. They are a tough unit and will take fairly considerable fire to remove them from the field as they have an invulnerable save similar to that of a storm shield (3++).

Loadouts: This tends to be similar to a Tactical squad, though usually any combination is reasonable thanks to slow and purposeful, firing on the go!

Strengths:
Deep striking in where they are most needed this unit is able to start smashing faces the moment it lands and with slow and purposeful it can move around and open fire with its heavy weapons. This leaves the unit able to really cause some threats. The unit having a strong invulnerable save means that they can soak up a good amount of fire and still keep trucking without too much trouble.

Weaknesses:
The major weakness of the LotD is that they are VERY costly for what they do. In effect they are a glorified, stronger Tactical squad that is unable to score. The price sadly makes them hard to utilise effectively as their damage output it smaller than some of the other elite choices, though they do have some decent survivability in trade off! Slow and Purposeful is a double edged sword and will cause the squad to count as if moving through difficult terrain however, which slows the squad dramatically. Forcing them to deep strike also means that they are being used as later game support and they are locked into this role as they cannot deploy conventionally.
Shadowstalker Grim

Edited by DarkGuard, 21 June 2011 - 09:24 PM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#5
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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Fast Attack

[Assault Squads]
Wargear: Sergeant has regular options, every 5 marines in the squad can take either a flamer or plasma pistol, can take jump packs OR a discounted dedicated transport vehicle.

Purpose: An assault oriented sweeper squad, great as a close combat support unit or taking enemies off of objectives.

Assault squads aren't melee specialists as the name suggests and are more akin to a Tactical squad really. They are more like a fighting Tactical squad and use their speed and special weapons to kill enemies off. With plasma pistols they can take out light vehicles nicely, whilst with flamers they excel at killing hordes. Their modest melee capability means that they can easily finish off weakened squads and against weaker enemies they can just tear to pieces whole squads.

Common builds: (all are 10 men with a power fist/ thunder hammer)
2 x flamers - excelling at killing off larger squads and blowing enemies off of objectives it can hurt hordes and the two templates will probably even hurt medium infantry too.

3 x plasma pistols - useful for taking out light vehicles or gunning medium and heavy infantry, though at a risk to the users. The Sergeant takes the third plasma pistol which increases the effectiveness of the plasma in the squad!

Strengths:
The Assault squad combines all the excellent qualities of a marine with a more mobile fighting capacity. Their jump packs mean that they can easily support other squads and react to the changing battlefield. They can swap their packs for a Rhino or Drop Pod for free to give them better protection and maintain mobility. The loadout options they have allow them to take on a range of foes, although flamers compliment them excellently. With a power fist in combination they have even more punching power and threaten vehicles. The squad can also deep strike and are very likely to kill off weaker squads and contest objectives. The Sergeant also has the rarer option of a thunder hammer or a pair of lightning claws, which are harder to find pieces for but are very powerful. The hammer excels against tough foes and vehicles, the claws against rank and file infantry and both compliment the squad well!

Weaknesses:
The weakness of the squad is that it isn't as melee based as it could be, it can't take specialist weaponry and if thrown against other melee specialists they will probably shatter. Even heavy infantry will probably prove too tough for this unit. Also it lacks any form of proper shooting so is forced to take enemies on in the close quarters.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Vanguard Veterans]
Wargear: Various close combat weaponry, jump packs, plasma pistols

Purpose: Close combat oriented squad, engaging enemies in combat or counter charging.

The Vanguard Veterans are the elite fighting units of the space marines. They come with the standard Veteran profile and wargear and start off armed in a similar fashion to Assault Marines, but with different wargear options. They are much more lethal in a close combat fight! Indeed they could even be elite units, but find themselves in fast attack thanks to their jump pack options. They can engage a range of targets, but excel at sweeping infantry units away with their attacks.

Common builds:
Barebones: bolt pistols, chainswords - armed with what they came with, this squad can dish out a nice number of attacks at a more budget price, although it cannot deal with tougher enemies as easily.

Half-Half: 1, with thunder hammer, 2 with lightning claws, 2 with storm shields - a tougher and more resilient squad that can dish out some nasty attacks and still take in some attacks thanks to the storm shields, the few upgrades keeps the squad cheaper too. The thunder hammer helps against walkers, tanks, and MCs, while also being able to insta-kill most ICs. The Sergeant does have the option of taking a relic blade for more high strength attacks at initiative, but this increases the cost more as the thunder hammer must be given to normal man. Usually an 8-10 squad for ablative wounds.

Shooting-Slashing: 2 power weapons, 2 plasma pistols - a more offensive mix than above, it is likely to kill some enemies in the shooting beforehand and then dish out some nasty combat punishment too.

All out: 4 power weapons, thunder hammer - A much more offensive mix, this squad is going to be quite pricey and take a few hits, but it'll deal out some nasty death to enemy units.

UberHellDeathSquad: jump packs, plasma pistols, power weapons for 10 members - fast moving and powerful, this squad will decimate almost anything it wants apart from vehicles. The many plasma pistols stand a chance of opening light vehicles, whilst also being exceptional at puncturing heavy infantry. The weaponry will cleave most enemy units down before any retaliation. Each member is worth around 60 points however!

Strengths:
As befits a close combat squad, the Vanguard excel in fighting. They have options for all kinds of weaponry to help them bring death to enemies in melee, which helps them engage more targets. They have the options for jump packs to help them reach combat faster, although they can just take a regular transport. Their decent stat line means that they can help kill off enemies reasonably and they appear in fast attack, despite their otherwise elite nature. They can also deep strike with jump packs and can use a special rule 'Heroic Intervention' to get straight into the battle! Also their wargear is relatively unique to a unit outside of the Command squad or Honour Guard, no other unit can take this many power weapons!

Weaknesses:
The weaknesses of Vanguard come in their cost. They start at 10 points more than a Command squad and don't get access to the same special rules to make them as survivable. They get expensive quickly as with squads like this and it’s easy to throw upgrades onto them. The squad’s cost is one downside, the other is that they can either take jump packs which are extremely expensive for a whole squad, or they take a transport which can be destroyed. Furthermore, you cannot shoot while using Heroic Intervention, meaning you can’t soften up an enemy unit before assault.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Land Speeders]
Wargear: A standard gun (heavy flamer, heavy bolter or multi-melta), a second gun (same as before, with additional option of assault cannon) when in Tornado pattern or a Typhoon missile launcher when in Typhoon pattern. So one base weapon with the possibility to have an additional weapon or a missile launcher.

Purpose: Rapid moving weaponry to shoot out a variety of targets, primary purpose is rapid response heavy weapon support.

The Land Speeder is something that should be highly valued and carefully used. It is a light platform that packs a fierce bite, carries heavy weapons and a good selection to choose from. Often it can be armed to take out multiple targets with one Speeder making them good if they need to operate alone. Also Speeders can have multiple different loadouts in the same squad to work different elements. They are fragile but powerful and the speed they have makes them so deadly as they can rapidly take out targets of opportunity.

Common builds:
Heavy flamer, multi-melta - for many the grail of combinations as its effective against both vehicles and infantry and so can turn its hand to just about any battlefield opportunity.

Heavy bolter, Typhoon missile launcher - a strong combination that is a decent threat to just about anything, but obviously focuses on lighter infantry and vehicles, but the frag missiles and heavy bolter can both fire on the go as frags are defensive weapons!

Multi-melta - a pure simple and cheap anti-tank platform that can rapidly move to shoot tanks down.

2x multi-melta - for many, the new holy grail of fast melta. the Speeder can move rapidly and still fire both guns, and or deep strike down. Pricier than some options though.

2x heavy bolter - for some, quantity of firepower is the way forward. This variant utilises just that, able to spit out a lot of firepower that can cause massive casualties to infantry and take hull points off light tanks.

Strengths:
The main strength of the speeder is indeed its speed. It can move around and shoot targets of opportunity. Its ability to take out a variety of targets equip itself appropriately means that it is a really diverse unit that can really make the difference on the battlefield. Armed correctly the Speeder can turn its hand to just about anything and will prove a real thorn in the side of an opponent, whilst its speed gives it the chance to bring such high powered weaponry to bear possible, while nearly always having a cover save as well!. It can also deep strike and cut right behind the enemy lines, which means it can deposit a nasty payload and shoot off to fight new targets. They are relatively cheap for what they do and this helps to mitigate the light armour they have. Furthermore, with two weapons it can still move 12" and fire both, increasing it's movement and weapon options.

Weaknesses:
Well sadly the fall of these Speeders are that they are fragile. Really fragile! They fall to pieces quite easily as they are only AV 10 all round, and only have two hull points. Effectively this means that although they are fearsome and dangerous they are quite like glass arrows, they fly in and deal the damage but may well shatter to pieces after they do the damage. Of course this means that a savvy player may be able to keep the speeder at arm’s reach and keep it safe, but poorly used it can just fly in and die before it achieves anything.
Shadowstalker Grim - 5th edition original
DarkGuard - 6th edition update


[Bike squads]
Wargear: Everyone goes with twin linked bolters. Even with base 3 bikes, you've got access to two special weapons, either flamers, plasma guns, or meltaguns. It should be noted that when choosing a special weapon, you replace a bolt pistol, and so your special doesn't replace the bike armament: you can choose what to use when firing depending on what you face and range. It should also be noted that your bikes are relentless, so you can use the shooting weaponry at its best and even charge after. Sarge can have a combi-weapon in all flavours and eventually a Fist or a power weapon. You have the option to add an assault bike to your squad, and up to five regular bikes.

Purpose: Difficult to explain quickly. I will divide into two parts:
- Bikes as "suicide" fast attack choice: to keep it simple, tank hunting. See loadouts and further comments.
- Bikes as troops: the backbone of your army. Very mobile troops (that cannot lose this ability early), resilient to anti-infantry fire due to T5, able to turbo boost and benefit from a 3+ cover save when doing so, allowing rapid "redeployment" and survivability under heavy fire. And finally a very important point to remember: excellent shooting troops, and relatively poor (for PA standards) assault troops.
IMHO when properly use and supported the very best troop choice a C:SM army can have.

From now on, I will be in "bikes as troops" mode, because I don't know any people that'll choose bikes as fast melta delivery service in a non-bike army instead of the much more usual assault bike multi-melta squadron.

Common builds:
Regarding Sergeants: being what they are in assault, I say that power fists and power weapons are not a good choice for biker sergeants, as every possible CC gear (only known exception: a full biker squad with Khan on Moondraken. Here you want CC oriented weapons). You should only charge IG or Tau or a really weakened squad to finish it in one assault phase, and you don't need one. Avoid at any cost any power weapon or fist like in assault, and of course MC. If you want to spend points on a special gear for the Sergeant, choose a combi-weapon, but only as a point filler. A combi-flamer is always a good choice for a Bike squad: your mobility guarantee you will position yourself in order to use it, and you can avoid the worst if you know you'll be assaulted by killing as many enemies as possible during your violent short ranged fire before the assault. The other choice is a combi-melta in tank hunting units.

You can take two special weapons, and you have to: without them bikers are not up to what they should always be as troops. Two special weapons + mobility is everything bikers are. As another general note always take an assault bike: this thing is a bike with 2HP, 2A, and a relentless heavy weapon. It adds so much to your squad you can't discard it.

Now here are some common builds:
Tank Hunters: four bikes (including the sergeant), two meltaguns, one MM AB. Simple and straightforward: See a tank, run for it, shoot at point blank melta SR range: kaboom. Next one! ... if you're lucky. These guys tend to be obliterated with furious anger next turn, either in assault or with heavy shell rain. Use survivors to avoid combat and shooting as much as possible, for example turbo-boosting each and every further turns, in order to capture or contest objectives turn 5. Choose this over MM AB squadron; you'll need FA slots for your long ranged firepower.

Troop killers: six bikes (including the sergeant), two flamers, on HB AB. Much trickier to use. If you see heavy infantry or big mob of light infantry, shooting at short range and charging will lead you to an unpleasant and long CC confrontation, that you'll lose, or if lucky, exit with such losses that your squad is now useless. You should do this only when facing:
- really inferior light infantry like Tau Fire Warriors, Eldar Guardians, or basic IG. You can even multi-charge those in order to avoid their fire.
- weakened regular infantry, like half Tactical Squads, mobs of Truk Boyz and the like.
- avoid at all costs: CC specialists, MCs, heavy infantry full squads.
Remember your flamers are optional and flamer equipped bikes can use their TL Bolters at long range.
The Key to success here is to weaken everything before finishing them off, either by mass long range shooting or by "kiting" less mobile troops, that is shooting from 24" single bolter shots, and using superior mobility to avoid contact.
If you plan to face horde armies here the combi-flamer on the Sergeant will shine.

Another choice here is the "elite troop killer" with plasma rifles instead of flamers. Some will say they can also take light transports, but I dislike this loadout: not enough plasma fire to be really effective, plasma just too weak against vehicles, and get hot sucks when you've got few bodies in your squad.

The thing with bikes is that you have neither a really powerful long ranged firepower, neither face bashing CC units. If you've got a shooter mentality, you can perfectly live without the second one... or add TH/SS Terminators in LR to your list, or even a CC biker command squad. On the opposite, long range firepower is mandatory because your bikes will not be able to take out massive mobs of infantry, and be in danger if you pop transports with them, and have to assault the loadout of those transports. That's the reason why you choose troops as tank hunter units: you'll need all the rest of you FOC slots to buy heavy firepower to support your troops. Here the name of the game is: Typhoons, Riflemen dreadnoughts or combi/dakka preds, Typhoons, Vindicators, Typhoons, Whirlwinds, and oh, I'm pretty sure I forgot to mention the outmost importance of Typhoons.

Strength:
1) Mobility without having to count on a transport that can be shot turn one.
2) Versatility in firepower.
3) Toughness on an individual plan.
4) Five bikers have nearly the same bolter fire output at 24" compared to a full tactical squad, and they moved twice as much before shooting. In fact they can be compared to five tactical Terminators.

Weaknesses:
1) To powerful weapons, beware of plasma, AT weapons, power fists.
2) Low body count.
3) In assault, exceptionally when stuck in CC for more than one turn.

Think of your biker squads as light tanks units. They can be everywhere very fast, can shred everything they're designed to take very efficiently and very fast, but they really need C.A.S. and artillery to shine.
Ookami_81

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here.


[Attack Bikes]
Wargear: twin-linked bolters and heavy bolters on a 2 wound Space Marine Bike, and with options to upgrade the heavy bolter to a multi-melta.

Purpose: quick response anti-infantry or tank hunting unit.

The Space Marine attack bike is similar to the Land Speeder in that it is fast, and is one of the ways to mount melta on a fast platform. At a relatively cheap points cost a squadron of attack bikes can prove a big threat to more expensive tanks, turbo boosting close by before pouncing, eradicating the threat with precise melta blasts.

Common builds:
2x multi-meltas: a small, cheap unit designed to take out big enemy transports

3x multi-meltas/heavy bolters: maximum amount of bikers you can take, the multi-meltas ensure tanks are destroyed, while the heavy bolters form a reaction unit designed to destroy units of enemy infantry.

2x multi-meltas and 1 heavy bolter: a unit designed to hunt tanks, using a heavy bolter bike to give some diversity and a bullet shield.

Strengths:
The attack bike is capable of mounting weaponry for either infantry or tanks, and so are flexible when it comes to list building, although they aren't as flexible on the field. With access to cheap multi-meltas, and being a relentless, fast platform the attack bikes can hunt down tanks and destroy them easily. Their high toughness and two wounds enable them to take some punishment, and debris from exploding tanks is very unlikely to hurt them, while T5 means that it's very hard to instantly kill them. They also have two attacks standard, and so can be used to attempt to tie up enemy units in assault if all tanks are destroyed. They will nearly always have a cover save, and they can turbo boost to their target, giving them a good cover save in the process, and due to their low profile are easy to hide.

Weaknesses:
Having to move through terrain can cause wounds, but that is unlikely with their power armour. The main weakness is that once their targets are destroyed, they swiftly run out of utility as they aren't flexible enough to cope with both infantry and vehicles, and they are still vulnerable to being locked in assault and being hurt by small arms fire. Their deployment options are limited, meaning they may have to turbo boost across the open and hope on their cover saves before getting a chance to engage their target. Finally, their mediocre leadership means that if they take a casualty, they are more likely to run away than other units, and with a big fall back move that can take them out of the game.
DarkGuard


[Land Speeder Storm]
Wargear: heavy bolter, jamming beacon and cerberus launcher. Has the option to upgrade the heavy bolter to a heavy flamer, multi-melta or assault cannon.

Purpose: Fast scout vehicle able to transport scouts and disrupt enemy battle strategy.

The Land Speeder Storm (LSS) is a scout vehicle for the scouts in the Space Marine army, able to get in position with ease before launching a devastating attack. Able of equipping an array of different weapons to help support the scouts and defend themselves, the LSS also carries a jamming beacon which disrupts enemy Deep Striking, while the cerberus launcher works to demoralise enemies in assault, giving the advantage to the trainee Marines in close combat. It is also one of only two vehicles in the codex which is open topped, and is the only vehicle exclusive to scouts.

Common builds:
Heavy bolter: default set up and only weapon provided in kit, offer cheapest option of transporting scouts, and can threaten infantry and light armour. Rate of fire somewhat mitigates poor BS.

Heavy flamer: common as an outflanking objective stealer unit. Nearly always with close range scouts in it, it swoops in, clears the objective of enemies and allows the scouts to take it. The heavy flamer completely overrides the disadvantage of a lower BS as it doesn't need it.

Multi-melta: used in alpha strike units, normally carring scouts with a combi-melta and meltabomb. This LSS deploys normally but uses its scout move to get closer to an enemy tank, before using its normal move to land next to it, allowing a double melta shot against the tank and possibly assault if needed.

Assault cannon: not as common as other builds due to expense, but low BS is mitigated somewhat by rate of fire, normally seen on outflanking Speeders so as to get shots on side armour.
Strengths:
The LSS is a fast skimmer, and so can move very fast and claim cover saves. It also has a vast array of deployment options, including the ability to Deep Strike and the scouts special rule. This allows it to either fly into the middle of the board mid game, or either reposition itself after deployment or come in from reserve on the board edges. These deployment options can lead to first turn alpha strikes disabling tanks or crippling infantry formations, or allowing the LSS to make last moment objective grabs and threaten the flanks of the enemy's army.

The jamming beacon makes it hard for enemies to respond to the LSS' attack by preventing Deep Strikers from using homing devices, plus making them scatter more. This can be all that is needed to protect your scouts for one more turn while your own reinforcements arrive. The cerberus launcher is also a handy piece of wargear which allows a group of combat scouts to be more likely to cause the enemy to break in assault, allowing them to run them down in one turn.

The LSS also has huge flexibility in its options, allowing it to threaten infantry, tanks, or both. It's open topped nature allows all scouts inside to shoot out of it, while they themselves cannot be targeted until the LSS is killed.

Weaknesses:
The LSS is still a Land Speeder, and so have armour 10 all round. Furthermore, to compound on this it is open topped, making it even easier to kill. Also, as it is a fast skimmer, if it moves flat out but somehow immobilises itself in the same turn the scouts inside will die. While the jamming beacon can be handy in preventing enemy homers, it also prevents your own from working, although you'll still scatter normal distance. The cerberus launcher is only beneficial in combat, something scouts aren't quite so good at with their lower weapon skill and armour save, and only works if the scouts win combat, which may not occur every time.

The LSS is also crewed by scouts, and so it is only BS3. This therefore most of its weapon upgrades undesirable as you paying many points for a weapon on a flimsy platform that will miss half the time. It also has a limited transport capacity of 5 scouts, meaning that they have little staying power, while if it chooses to outflank there is no telling where or when it will turn up.

However, the biggest problem with the LSS is that it isn't a dedicated transport. Strange though it may be, considering it can only carry scouts, it cannot be taken as a dedicated transport. They are not in squadrons either, and so you can only take a maximum of 3, and this would therefore leave you with no more Fast Attack slots.
DarkGuard

You can also find more comprehensive information about this unit here.

[Scout Bikers]
Wargear: Bikes with built in twin bolters, shotguns, typical scout sergeant gear, cluster mines, astartes grenade launcher, melta-bombs, locator beacon

Purpose: Fast scout support, assist in deploying deep striking units, running interference.

These fabled Scout Bikers take all the benefits of Bikers and Scouts and combine them. They move fast and are great for early harassment and to deploy the reserve units where they need to go. They are more of a support unit than a purely offensive one, but are cheaper than regular Bikers and can fit into a force quite nicely and particularly fit into a Biker list well, but also make excellent support units for characters on bikes if you don't want to put too much investment into the bikes.

Common builds: More or less as they are, but with a few additions to help them in the role people want, usually additions such as locator beacons.

Strengths:
The Scout Bikers are similar to both Bikers and Scouts and combine the speed of Bikers with the stealth of Scouts. They are excellent to use to outmanoeuvre enemies and help to bring in supporting troops on target. This means they bring in their own support; meanwhile they themselves can provide light firepower to the enemy and help harass enemy units. Also their low threat profile means that they can do their job without drawing so much fire!

Weaknesses:
Unfortunately the Scout Bikers suffer the weaknesses of both Bikers and Scouts, resulting in a fragile and weak unit. The unit starts small and, although it can take extra units it is going to cost a lot for a unit that cannot take much fire. Their damage output is also comparatively small and are not dedicated attack units, whilst operate at a shorter range. Furthermore, regardless of whether the Biker Captain is taken, the scouts are still only fast attacks.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Stormtalon]
Wargear: Assault cannon, and then one of: heavy bolter; twin-linked lascannon; Typhoon missile launcher; Skyhammer missile launcher (think autocannon but more shots). It also gets ceramite plating, protecting it from the melta special rule.

Purpose: Rapid moving weaponry to shoot out a variety of targets, primary purpose is rapid response heavy weapon support. Can act in spearhead or interceptor/counter-attack roles.

The Stormtalon is our flier, mobile, fast, and has some interesting abilities that can make it a useful suppression tool. While they are fragile against AA weaponry they have a lot of firepower that they can bring to bear nearly anywhere they want, and are unlikely to be hit by anything that hasn't have Skyfire.

Common builds
Lack options means most builds are common, but these are the most common ones I’ve seen so far:

Barebones: 4 times the price of a Rhino means keeping it cheap can be good. The assault cannon and heavy bolter have similar ranges and are good anti-infantry weapons. This gives you a good unit coming in from reserve to take out infantry who you have disembarked.

Skyhammer: the Skyhammer missile launcher is only found on the Stormtalon, and it turns it into a more mobile assault cannon/autocannon Dread. While the ranges don’t match up it does give it options at operating at long range before more than doubling its firepower up close. The weapons again match up, making it not only good at anti-infantry but also better at anti-tank than the barebones variant.

Typhoon: this adds flexibility and punch, at the loss of rate of fire and range compared to the Skyhammer. Potentially more lethal against tanks while getting more infantry kills.

Lascannon: being able to kill a vehicle 1/3rd of the time you pen it, plus it's high strength and twin-linked fire can turn this flier into a pretty reliable vehicle hunter, although at a loss of versatility.

Strengths:
The main strength of the Stormtalon is speed. Being able to move 36” and fire everything is something that very few units can do, and this is the only one in the Marine Codex. This means you can reposition it and not worry about moving slower, while also being able to quickly get it into range with its assault cannon. The weaponry it can carry is also generally fearsome, giving it a high rate of fire and often some good quality of shots as well; in short this vehicle packs a punch. Its rules also allow it to outflank with other units, bringing it in to get side armour shots, while it can also become more accurate and pin units if it doesn’t move.

Weaknesses:
High points cost and AV11 with two hull points, these are not good things in a dog fight. You’re normally looking at about 155pts for a Stormtalon, as most will try to get the missiles, that's more expensive than a Vendetta! Even with heavy bolters it’s expensive. This means you tie up a lot of points in a fragile flier, which itself is a weakness. If your opponent brings decent fliers or a quad gun, expect it to die quickly. Furthermore, it's not too manoeuvrable as it can't hover, and if it does hover strike to stay still it'll get shot down quickly. This means that sustained fire against one unit is next to impossible. Lack of options also means its roles are largely dictated to it, so it won’t fit every list.
DarkGuard

Edited by DarkGuard, 10 November 2012 - 11:12 AM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

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DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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Heavy Support

[Devastator Squads]
Wargear: Boltguns and bolt pistols, with the ability to take up to four heavy weapons regardless of squad size. The Sergeant can take normal Sergeant wargear in addition to having a signum which makes shooting more accurate.

Purpose: Long-ranged fire support.

Devastator squads carry the big guns of the Space Marine arsenal, laying down a hail of lethal covering fire while their brothers advance on the enemy. Able to take four heavy weapons in the squad, this unit is incredibly dangerous in the shooting phase and can be a very powerful firebase unit. The Sergeant carries a signum, a device which allows one Marine in the squad to be more accurate with their shooting.

Common builds:
Normally, four heavy weapons are put into 10 man squads, while 5 man squad only use 2/3 heavy weapons, allowing the unit to have bullet shields and not lose killing power quickly. Transports are rarely taken for actual transport, given the heavy nature of the weapons.

1 lascannon, 3 missile launchers: this unit looks to destroy tanks, specifically transports and other light vehicles. Missile launchers are more than adequate in this respect, while the lascannon takes advantage of the signum to give a high powered punch. This unit is also good at anti-infantry with 3 frag templates. Furthermore, it can be combat squadded into sergeant and lascannon and 3 missile launchers, allowing split fire.

2-4 missile launchers: like the above, but without the added punch of the lascannon in a trade off to being cheaper.

4 heavy bolters: one of the cheapest configurations, this unit can cause a lot of hurt on infantry, inflicting a lot of wounds. 4+ or worst saves will die to this unit, and even Marines may struggle.

4 multi-meltas: often loaded into a rhino or a drop pod, this unit looks to deploy in midfield and then dominate the area with 4 high strength weapons more than capable of killing anything.

2-4 plasma cannons: deadly unit that can slaughter enemy units with several high strength, low AP templates. Gets Hot! is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the other weapons will fire, meaning the squad will do something.

Devastators are rarely wanted in combat, and the sergeant tends to use the signum, therefore leading to the Sergeant rarely being upgraded.

Strengths:
The main strength of a Devastator squad is the amount of powerful weapons they can take. One squad could drop four plasma templates onto the enemy, or fire a hail of heavy bolter fire, or take a tank out with four lascannons. This unit can dominate the shooting phase, putting out a lot of damage from the relative safety of the deployment zone. Furthermore, they can be specialized to decimate a unit, regardless of what it is, which certainly a plus over tactical marines who can't match that level of specialization.

Also, with the ability to take 10 men these squads can be resilient, especially against weapons which would ordinarily take out tanks easily, and combat squads can also be used in mixed weapons squads, allowing one unit to focus on two different types of units.

Weaknesses:
The strength of a Devastator squad is also it's weakness, and that is the points cost for their powerful guns. With many people preferring to use 10 man squads with 4 heavy weapons, these units can easily cost upwards of 220pts before adding a transport. Furthermore, they are vulnerable to anti-infantry firepower, while assaults can leave them tied up and unable to use their expensive weapons. They are also a Space Marine, and like most small Space Marine squads small fire squads of these will die quickly.

Devastator weapons are also heavy, meaning that in DoW missions, and missions where they've been set up poorly or have blocked LoS they have to reposition, wasting valuable turns of shooting just to reposition.
DarkGuard


[Thunderfire Cannon]
Wargear: The Thunderfire Cannon (TFC) comes equipped with three heavy four blast weapons, one standard, one that ignored cover (but is weaker) and one that slows movement (but is weaker still). The TFC also comes with its own Techmarine with bolt pistol and servo-harness.

Purpose: Long-ranged artillery and fire support, in addition to bolstering ruins.

While field artillery does not mesh well with Astartes combat doctrine, the Thunderfire Cannon's long range, compact size, and multi-use ammunition make is an indispensible tool for bombardments and defensive operations, particularly as the Techmarine has Bolster Defences. It is limited, however, by its lack of mobility, fragile nature, and competition for other Heavy Support slots.

Common builds: TFCs don’t have any options, and so are taken barebones.

Strengths:
The TFC’s main strength is its ability to choose between different shells. Surface Detonation is the standard round, S6, AP5. Airburst is S5 AP6 while also ignoring cover, while Subterranean Blast is S4 AP- while forcing difficult terrain checks for the opponent’s unit next turn. This flexibility allows the TFC to wipe enemy units off the board, whether they are in cover or in the open, or slow their movement down. Furthermore, the weapons are heavy 4, and so the TFC can put a lot of shots out on a unit. Remember its heavy 4, and not a barrage weapon, so you place each template on the most amount of models and roll scatter separately, add the hits and then roll to wound.

The Techmarine gunner allows a ruin to bolstered, making this piece of equipment particularly useful in a Scout army. The Techmarine also becomes an IC if the gun dies, allowing him to fight as normal, join units and repair vehicles. Though the gun can be easily destroyed, its range and increased cover save can make it hard to shift.

Another situational strength is that these models are used rarely, and so your opponent is not likely to know what it can do. This may lead to it being ignored for a few turns, and in later games your opponent may focus on it so much that he leaves the rest of your army alone.

Weaknesses:
The Cannon is fragile, counting as an AV10 vehicle that is destroyed by ANY penetrating or glancing hit. The crewman may have a 2+ save, but he is also only a single wound. Like Elites, Heavy Support choices also tend to be at a premium, so the Cannon probably needs to be an integral part of an army list from the beginning or it will lose out to its bigger, better-armoured brothers. The TFC will also struggle against armour, although in mech armies they tend to do fine as they can do lots of damage against the troops that pile out in template formations.
Deux Ex Ferrum
DarkGuard

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[Land Raider]
Wargear: Two twin-linked lascannons and a twin-linked heavy bolter, options for almost any vehicle upgrades but notably multi-melta, hunter killer missile, extra armour

Purpose: The Land Raider is a heavily armoured tank with a good transport capacity. As with all land raider variants, it is the only vehicle that can take Terminator units.

The humble and original version of the Land Raider, the Phobos pattern, often named 'Godhammer' for the lascannons. Its wargear means that at a range it can shred tanks to pieces happily, whilst the heavy bolters can mulch up light infantry. It's heavy armour make it one of the hardest vehicles in the game to get rid of and its fearsome wargear in combination with that make it a real threat, but in addition it can fire nicely on the move thanks to the Power of the Machine Spirit (PotMS). And after all this, it can also carry troops inside it, but with an assault ramp built in as standard, it means that they can assault right out of the beast!

Common builds: Usually it needs to take nothing extra, though extra armour and multi-meltas or hunter killer missiles are common additions to give it a little more bite.

Strengths: The strength of the Land Raider comes in its AV 14 all round. It has a very hard hide to get through which will shrug off all but the most powerful weapons quite happily. It also packs two twin linked lascannons which can tear to pieces any tank really, though it excels at shooting out lighter vehicles rather than tougher ones. Its bolters also help it fight the rank and file infantry, although a tank shock also helps there. The strength of the weapons is further increased by PotMS which helps the vehicle scoot and shoot without losing any firepower, even if it has suffered some minor damage! This comes in handy when looking at its second purpose of taking troops; this ability lets it take up to 12 regular infantry or 6 Terminators. This in itself means that whole squads can sit inside safely with perhaps the best protection around, but with the assault ramp it can give assault units maximum protection before they get to their objectives and then get stuck right in! Terminators, in particular the assault variety, almost seem like they were born to run out of Land Raiders of any variety. The loadout of the Land Raider means that it compliments a variety of squads quite nicely.

Weaknesses: The flaws in the Land Raider are quite excruciating. First up is the fact it is a costly investment of 250 points, something that is going to take up a massive chunk of army and then there’s the squad inside, usually looking at 400+ odd points in 2 units! Often that will mean around 1/3 of the army! Secondly the Land Raider in this variant is a little confused, it looks like it wants to sit back and use the range of the lascannons to kill off enemies, but the assault ramp wants the Land Raider to charge in and deposit its cargo, which leaves it with a dilemma in what to do. The fact it is AV 14 gives it good shielding but means that it'll be top priority for the enemy’s biggest weapons, especially with a worthwhile target inside.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Land Raider Crusader]
Wargear: Two sponson hurricane bolters and a hull mounted twin-linked assault cannon, in addition to frag assault launcher. It has options for almost any vehicle upgrades but notably the multi-melta, hunter killer missile and extra armour.

Purpose: The Land Raider is a heavily armoured tank with a good transport capacity. The LRC in particular looks to get into the front lines and deliver its often lethal load into the enemy lines.

The Land Raider Crusader (LRC) is a Space Marine assault vehicle of the highest calibre. A variant of the Phobos pattern Land Raider, this variant is distinguishable in having superior anti-infantry, even when on the move, and an increased transport capacity. As with all Land Raider variants, it is the only vehicle that can take Terminator units, although the LRC can hold more men, either 16 in power armour or 8 in Terminator armour.

Common builds: Usually it needs to take nothing extra, though extra armour and multi-meltas are common additions to give it a little more bite.

Strengths: A big strength of the LRC is shared with all other Land Raiders, that of having armour 14 all round, thereby making it impervious to all but the strongest of weapons. Furthermore, this armoured shell not only carries troops but also impressive firepower in the form of six twin linked bolters, a twin linked assault cannon, and the option for more weapon options. As the bolters are a defensive weapon, the LRC can always fire them regarded it doesn't go past combat speed, allowing it to lay down a withering hail of fire on the enemy. Furthermore, even when moving combat speed and firing the assault cannon and bolters it doesn't use up its PotMS shot, and so can use that to fire a multi-melta at a different target. If the LRC wants to move full distance, it doesn't have to worry too much about wasting shots (bolter shots) and can fire the assault cannon. Truly the LRC is a fantastic battle tank in its ability to fire everything on the move.

The frag assault launchers on the LRC further its cause as an assault vehicle, granting any unit charging out of it frag grenades, units being able to charge out of the LRC even when moving due to its assault vehicle rule. Furthermore, you can fit more Terminators in it thanks to its enhanced transport capacity. Also, when taken with its preferred cargo load of Assault Terminators, the LRR doesn't take up a heavy support slot, becoming a dedicated transport instead.

Weaknesses: The LRC is very expensive, especially when you combine its cost with its cargo. It also has no option for a dozer blade or siege shield, and so it could immobilize itself if it tries to go through difficult terrain. If it has assault units in it, the LRC will seek to get close to enemy, and so put itself into melta range, wouldn't prove beneficial to it. It also isn't as destructive as its younger brethren, the Land Raider Redeemer. Like all other Land Raiders there are no firing points, and so a unit inside will have to get out in order to contribute to the shooting phase.
DarkGuard
Shadowstalker Grim


[Land Raider Redeemer]
Wargear: Two sponson flamestorm cannons and a hull mounted twin-linked assault cannon, in addition to frag assault launcher. It has options for almost any vehicle upgrades but notably the multi-melta, hunter killer missile and extra armour.

Purpose: The Land Raider is a heavily armoured tank with a good transport capacity. The LRR in particular looks to get into the front lines and deliver its often lethal load into the enemy lines.

The Land Raider Redeemer (LRR) is a Space Marine assault vehicle of the highest calibre. Based around the older Land Raider Crusader, this variant is distinguishable in having superior anti-infantry and in particular anti-marine firepower, while being cheaper than the other two variants, although it does sacrifice some of the transport capacity of the Crusader variant. As with all Land Raider variants, it is the only vehicle that can take Terminator units.

Common builds: Usually it needs to take nothing extra, though extra armour and multi-meltas are common additions to give it a little more bite.

Strengths: A big strength of the LRR is shared with all other Land Raiders, that of having armour 14 all round, thereby making it impervious to all but the strongest of weapons. Furthermore, this armoured shell not only carries troops but also highly destructive firepower in the form of two flamestorm cannons. Both of these guns are S6 AP3 flamer weapons, thereby meaning they will wound the vast majority of models easily, while bypassing their armour save and disallowing any cover saves. The LRR also has an assault cannon, which is handy for shooting up infantry or vehicles, or just for shooting while on the move. The LRR also has PotMS, enabling it to shoot additional weapons than usual and continue shooting in every turn until it is destroyed or has all its guns knocked off.

The frag assault launchers on the LRR further its cause as an assault vehicle, granting any unit charging out of it frag grenades, units being able to charge out of the LRR even when moving due to its assault vehicle rule. Also, when taken with its preferred cargo load of Assault Terminators, the LRR doesn't take up a heavy support slot, becoming a dedicated transport instead. Furthermore, it is cheaper than the other variants, and those points could make all the difference.

It is worth noting that the flamestorm cannons do something that other units in the Codex cannot so readily do, kill other Marines effortlessly, and this is also a prime strength and reason to take them.

Weaknesses: Despite being cheaper the LRR is still very expensive, especially when you combine its cost with its cargo. It also has no option for a dozer blade or siege shield, and so it could immobilize itself if it tries to go through difficult terrain. However, the biggest weakness of the LRR is the flamestorm cannons which are its strength. Compared to the Land Raider Crusader, the LRR cannot fire every weapon if it moves, having to be content with firing only one or two. Furthermore, the flamestorm cannons require the LRR to be in melta range in order to use them, making it more vulnerable to melta weaponry which tends to easily destroy it. The LRR also has no fire points, so there is no ability for drive by shootings (although its inbuilt weaponry should really be enough).
DarkGuard
Shadowstalker Grim


[Predator]
Wargear: Autocannon OR twin-linked lascannon turret, with the option for heavy bolter sponsons OR lascannon sponsons (or none!).

Purpose: The Predator is a firebase unit for the C:SM and depending on the loadout it can be tasked with anti-infantry and anti-vehicle duties.

The Predator is a very useful tank that sits back and opens fire, depending on its loadout it'll excel at taking out infantry formations or light vehicles with a chance at taking on heavy vehicles with lascannons. It doesn't tend to move much because it loses the options of firing all the weapons it has if it does, although its range means it probably won't have to move much.

Common builds:
Dakka Predator - autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons: useful for taking out infantry formations and light vehicles.

Tri-Las - twin-linked lascannon, lascannon sponsons: a perfect tin opener that can take out light-heavy vehicles but is expensive points wise.

Combi-Pred - autocannon, lascannon sponsons: a powerful variant that excels at taking out light vehicles and hurting monstrous creatures.

Alter-Pred - Twin-Linked lascannon, heavy bolters: an odd load out, but can take out infantry formations and tanks.

Strengths:
The Predator can be armed to take out all sorts of different enemies and does well at the role. Its weaponry is long range and can have a strong effect in battle with a good field of vision. It also has strong front armour (AV 13) and decent side armour (AV 11) so by pointing it at threats can help nullify the danger to the tank.

Weaknesses:
The main problem is that it cannot move around much as it loses the firepower very quickly if it does, so it needs to be careful and remain stationary most of the time.
Shadowstalker Grim


[Whirlwind]
Wargear: Whirlwind multiple missile launcher, complete with two firing modes: one which is a heavy bolter big blast and one which is a flamer big blast.

Purpose: Space Marine artillery, designed to shell opponents who are out of range of conventional weapons are out of sight, and to pin them in place while the bulk of the force advances. It is extremely effective against medium to light infantry, and light infantry in cover.

The Whirlwind doesn't tend to fit into traditional Space Marine warfare as well as the Predator or the Land Raider, but that makes it no more valuable. While it cannot itself advance on the enemy, it can support them by providing covering fire, keeping the enemy pinned until the main force makes contact with them. Furthermore, it is able of redeploying; meaning that if it needs to it can roll up behind the Space Marine advance at some distance.

Common builds: Whirlwinds are often taken with no upgrades, as they rarely have any need for any.

Strengths:
The main strength of a Whirlwind is the nature of its weapon, it's an indirect fire weapon. Therefore, despite its armour being the same as a Rhino, it can hide in cover or out of line of sight and still fire at the enemy. Its shots are large blasts, meaning that when they hit they'll hit a lot of things, and when they scatter they'll still probably hit something! As it is an ordnance barrage, it also causes pinning more readily than other pinning weapons, potentially impeding your enemy's plans by preventing one of his units from doing anything for a turn.

The Whirlwind is also flexible, with its multiple missile launcher allowing it to fire different missiles. One of them has the statline of a heavy bolter, and so can wound and kill light to medium infantry in the open with ease, while power armoured infantry will still take a few saves from a direct hit. Its other firing mode is a little less powerful, but has the ability to ignore cover, meaning that light infantry hiding in cover will often be incinerated. This is incredibly useful for attempting to get those pathfinders off of an objective, or to downgrade a powerful cover save to a more mediocre armour save.

Weaknesses:
The Whirlwind has weak armour, matching that of a Rhino or Razorback, but is substantially more expensive than either. This means that a simple missile launcher or autocannon is likely to knock it out of action if it sees it. Like the Vindicator, is only has one gun, and so your opponent only needs a weapon destroyed result to disable it. While it can mitigate this weakness somewhat by hiding behind cover, its shots are liable to scatter more, and as it has one shot per turn any missed shot can be a big loss and means it has contributed barely anything in the turn. Finally, while its weapon is great for light to medium infantry, it does little to Space Marines and hardly anything to tanks, thereby making its roll somewhat one dimensional.
DarkGuard


[Vindicator]
Wargear: Comes equipped with a mighty demolisher cannon and storm bolter, in addition to the standard searchlight and smoke launchers, with further normal vehicle upgrades, plus a siege shield.

Purpose: Close-ranged fire support and anti-everything.

Described in the codex as a siege tank, the Vindicator really excels in the role of anti-everything, due to the strength of its gun. With its high front armour value as well, many people see its purpose of something as a bullet magnet, taking fire away from valuable units such those in Rhinos, or firebase units. One the most powerful weapons in the Space Marine arsenal, but also one of the, surprisingly, harder ones to use, the Vindicator is very hit and miss, but when it hits it tends to make a big mess.

Common builds: Normally the only upgrades taken are either dozer blades, siege shields, or an additional storm bolter to add further protection to the demolisher cannon.

Strengths:
The demolisher cannon on the Vindicator is its main strength. With it being a S10 AP2 large blast weapon, the Vindicator can lay waste to conceivably any squad in a single shot, either wiping it out entirely or seriously bringing the squad down to size. Cover isn't so great now, and AP2 is more important, helping the Vindicator to excel. It is also an excellent weapon to crack open any tank, due in large part to its high strength as well as the ordnance armour penetration rules, while it can engage vehicle squadrons to some effect as well. The Vindicator also boasts the ability to move and fire this powerful gun, while also having a hefty front armour of 13. Couple this to a points cost that allows you to take two Vindicators to every one Land Raider, and you have a pretty good tank on your hands.

Due to it being so dangerous, many people will focus on getting rid of the Vindicator, and so they are useful in mech builds, as they are able to take away firepower aimed at important units mounted in Rhinos.

Weaknesses:
The demolisher cannon is also the Vindicator's main weakness. It only has one shot a turn, and if that shot misses, your tank has just done nothing. If it does get destroyed, then it's nothing more than a battering ram. Furthermore, it can be easy to kill with side armour AV11. Therefore players have to be extremely careful about positioning, which is made harder still by the weapon only have a 24" ranged, meaning that driving forward is likely expose that side army. It is therefore safe to say that while the Vindicator is powerful, that makes it a desired target and one will normally die quickly.
DarkGuard


[Weapons of the Astartes]
This section looks to quickly overview and detail the common weapons used by the Adeptus Astartes, from flamers to power fists. This is intended to allow the reader to take a quick look at the weapons they feel they will need, and get a feel for what is the best weapon to use in a given situation. Note that at this time this section covers those generalist units that are very common among Space Marine units. Those more specialist and individual weapons, like sniper rifles and demolisher cannons will more often than not be covered in the appropriate unit entry.

Bolters/bolt pistols/heavy bolters- These are our base weapons and they are anti-horde. In fact all of our infantry are anti-horde until you start upgrading them. Against Marines you'll have to rely on special or heavy weapons that fire AP3 or less to bypass their armour. You could also simply pile on wounds with flamers, more bolters, and frag missiles, however, this is less effective if they have higher toughness (from bikes or Plague Marines) or have Feel no Pain(like Blood Angels, Plague Marines, or Orks with Pain Boyz).

Bolt pistols, while shorter range and having a lower rate of fire than other bolt weapons, are useful thanks to their inherent assault status, allowing the user to charge after firing. When in assault, they also give an additional attack if matched with the right weapon, making the user more deadly in assault.

Heavy bolters are prevalent everywhere, and very common and cheap. They have a good range, decent strength and AP, and a very good amount of shots. En masse they can slaughter whole units, no matter how well armoured they are. Singular, however, they are found wanting. The major problem with heavy bolters is that they can only do one job, that of killing infantry. If you want to shoot a tank or Monstrous Creature with it it will struggle.

Flamers - A staple gun, it provides a nice template to scorch enemies, making it a very useful weapon against large numbers of enemies, particularly those who are badly armoured. The major attraction for this weapon is its cheap points cost, and its ability to ignore cover, something that shouldn’t be overlooked in an Edition cluttered by cover saves. While it’s able immolate weak units it’s much less effective against heavily armoured targets like Terminators and to some extent, marines.

The heavy flamer, however, while more expensive and rare, those a better job against these tougher units due to its higher strength, while it’s high AP means that units like Scouts and Fire Warriors will be hurt more.

Melta weapons- S8 AP1 standard means you can kill any vehicle in the game and also ignore armour of Marines/Terminators while causing instant death to the vast majority of Marine characters that are T:4 or T:4(5). Only downside is range and number of shots. Most people put their melta on fast moving units like Land Speeders, Attack bikes, Bike squads, Drop Pods, etc.

The heavy version of the meltagun, the multi-melta, is cheap, and widely available. Stationary squads use it as an area denial weapon, while fast, relentless platforms like Speeders and Attack bikes are perfect to add multi-meltas onto for seek and destroy missions against armour. Such units tend to be cheap, and the trading of a melta attack bike for a Land Raider is one that any general will happily accept.

The main points that make melta weapons deadly against vehicles is their ability to add an extra die to the penetration roll at half range, and the ability to add one to the vehicle damage roll thanks to AP1. This means that penetrating vehicles close up is easy, and even if you glance you can still wreck a vehicle. The downside is that melta has to be close to the enemy to be effective, so expect reprisals against your melta units.

Plasmas - Plasma can be pretty pricey and the user runs the risk of dying. But beyond those downsides this is one lethal gun that can help take out the enemy elite units easily. Basically aim it at anything heavily armoured (Space Marines, Terminators etc), and that unit should melt unless in cover. The major problem with plasma weapons, besides Gets Hot!, is that they are expensive, and only one or two shots. However, exceptions include the plasma cannon in Tactical squads, which is very cheap and also a blast weapon, allowing multiple hits. Plasma guns in a Tactical squad can turn the squad from anti-horde to anti-MEQ, while plasma guns in Command squads slaughter most Marine units.

You shouldn’t also overlook the high strength of plasma, which allows tough units and models like Monstrous Creatures to be wounded more easily, and can also open up light vehicles. Plasma weapons are basically the midpoint between flamer and melta, not able to do either job as well, but can still turn its hand to nearly anything. Furthermore, while very expensive, the plasma pistol still counts as a pistol, and so can be shot before assault and gives another attack in combat.

Autocannons- S7 AP4 Can't reliably kill AV 13 and 14 vehicles. Can't penetrate marine armour or cause instant death. The upside they have 2-4 times the range and double the shots of melta, plus they are twin-linked half of the time. They kill transports and light vehicles of all the Codices but fail to affect infantry that isn't horde. Pretty rare too, only two units in most Marine Codices have them.

Missile Launcher- Krak shot S8 AP3 does what autocannon does but apparently better. Same range, easier to kill AV13 tanks and harm AV14, bypasses Marine armour saves, and causes Instant Death. Cyclones and Typhoons give the same number of shots as autocannon but you will never have them twin linked like a Rifleman. Frag shot S4 AP6, blast gives you a nice anti-horde weapon to go with your anti-horde bolters at no extra cost, making it more flexible than the autocannon, but less efficient.

Lascannons - A long ranged weapon that has a primary use of being a vehicle opener, with its high strength it can threaten any vehicle. However, it’s quite expensive in most places, and it’s debated at how effective it is for its points. It is possible to get a good number to the field when taken with the right units, and an army sprinkled with lascannons will do well at opening vehicles.

Assault cannons- Few weapons have as many shots and it's rending allows it to kill AV14 vehicles better than lascannons and still chew through infantry,ignoring some armour saves. Down side is that it is expensive, and hard to get on infantry, only able to be mounted on Dreads, Terminators, Land Raiders and Razorbacks.


Power Weapons- Powerfists, lightning claws, relic blades, thunder hammers, DCCW etc. They all have different additional rules, but the one constant is power weapons. These are what turn the anti-horde close combat attacks of marines into Marine/Terminator/elite killing units needed if shooting isn't producing enough casualties. If your infantry doesn't have special CC rules like rending attacks, Furious Charge, or even Feel no Pain then you need units carrying a lot of power weapons to overcome more skilled CC armies. However, this opens another problem of transporting them and paying for them, as they get expensive quickly and are prime targets to get shot at. A popular tactic is to only use them against enemy units already in CC with your non CC units. This prevents them from being shot at and can only be attacked if the guys they are saving die or get assaulted by a new unit, this is what vets call Counter Assault units.

Regardless, ignoring armour saves, no matter what strength you are, is a massive plus, especially as most areas are full of Marine armies. No matter whether your power weapon is on a Tactical squad Sergeant or in the hands of a Captain, it will serve you well in assault. Just bear in mind the additional restrictions and benefits of these weapons, explained below:

Power weapon: The standard and cheapest power weapon, these come in many shapes and forms, from swords and axes to maces and glaives. All of them share property of ignoring armour saves. The main thing about these weapons is that you can gain an additional attack in combat if armed with another close combat weapon, such as a bolt pistol. Veteran Marines wielding these weapons can therefore have 4 armour save ignoring attacks on the charge!

The downside? They are still only S4, and this, combined with to hit and to wound rolls will generally result in only one power armoured guy dead per turn. Still, statistics aren’t everything, and en masse or even in a Tactical squad this weapon can do the damage. However, they are limited against high toughness targets such as Monstrous Creatures and vehicles.

Lightning claw: The same price as a power weapon, many consider this superior due to its special rules, the ability to re-roll failed to wound rolls. While this is certainly helpful against the vast majority of targets, turning all your ones and twos into fours is very good, it comes at a price, and that price is forfeiting an extra attack in combat unless you take a pair. Unfortunately, the price to gain the extra attack is the same as the first lightning claw, and many would rather use the points to just add another lightning claw to another model, giving more lightning claw attacks.

The main attraction to lightning claws though is less limited amount of attacks on offer, but rather the fact that pretty much every attack that hits will deal damage thanks to the re-rolls. Though amazing against most infantry, these still struggle against Monstrous Creatures and vehicles.

Power fist: While more expensive than a power weapon or lightning claw, there is a good reason for this. Doubling your strength while ignoring armour saves means that despite losing an additional attack in combat, you can kill most things on 2s, including Independent Characters. Even Monstrous Creatures and vehicles aren’t as big a problem now. The flip side is that all your attacks are at initiative 1, meaning you’ll be striking last in combat. Not so bad in units with lots of models or good armour, like Terminators and Tactical squads, this can be limiting in smaller, more elite units like Command squads. Furthermore, ICs taking this can often be singled out in combat before they strike, losing their initiative as well as their lifes.

Most people therefore prefer to take them in big squads like 10 man Tactical squads and Assault squads, rather than on high initiative models like Captains. Conventional wisdom dictates that every combat unit should include at least one of these, as it allows the unit to deal with all threats, no matter how big or armoured they may be.

Thunder hammer: See the above post on power fists. The only additional effects this weapon brings is reducing models that take a wound and survive will be at initiative 1 next turn (typically Eternal Warriors and Monstrous Creatures). The other effect affects non WS vehicles, where it gives them an additional crew shaken result in addition to any other results you roll. For a minor points increase over the power fist, it is often worth to take this weapon, which is also the signature weapon of Hammernators.

Relic blade: The last weapon, and one that is restricted to only a very few choices, namely the Chapter Master, Captain, Honour Guard, and Vanguard Veteran Sergeant. The same price as a thunder hammer, this weapon is a power weapon that strikes at S6 but with no bonus for two close combat weapons. This results in your model being likely to wound most models on a 2+, and it does a decent job against Monstrous Creatures and light armour. The major attraction of this weapon is that it allows models to hit infantry with the strength of a power fist, but at their normal initiative, something that should never be underestimated.

DarkGuard
DerekLee688
Mysticaria
Shadowstalker Grim



[Building an army]

This is perhaps the hardest part of the Codex: Space Marines. It comes down to many factors, many of which are equally important! A lot of what you might want to use might come from what you have, or what you'd like to have, how you play, strategies you like and other factors like this. Often a good list comes from being assembled around a certain single idea or unit that the rest of the army is constructed around. Other kinds are just hashes of units that people have and these can work well too! The first thing you should really do is think about the core of your army, what do you like and want to see? I'd encourage people to try and take what they like and play for fun than to be obsessed with a few units that perform under par with others in direct comparison and thus ignore them.

As I said the first step usually involves thinking of the idea or unit you want to try and strategize around, whether it be a drop pod army or an army that focuses on making use of Honour Guard, something will probably be the pivotal idea in your list. Special characters usually warrant the list to be designed around them, although a few of them make nice additions to most lists. After this comes kitting out the list to do a range of jobs.

Any list should be able to take on a range of foes, as most armies pack a range of targets. A list that aims to do all things is an all-comers list and should try and cover every eventuality, turning its hand to enemy army. Other armies will aim to attack at specific enemy problems or weaknesses and this generally happens against particular opponents or gamer clubs where the environment forces players to fight certain armies regularly or to improve the odds of winning. The list of things that Marines need to kill come in around 7 easy to remember sections:

Light Infantry (6+, 5+ armour saves) - almost any weapon is good, rapid firing, template and multi-shot weapons are great.
Medium Infantry (4+, 3+ armour saves) - plasma weaponry, power weapons, extremely heavy fire.
Heavy Infantry (2+ armour saves) - plasma weaponry, power weapons, melta weapons.

Light Vehicles (AV10, AV11) - rocket launchers, autocannons, plasma weaponry.
Medium Vehicles (AV12) - melta weaponry, rocket launchers, lascannons.
Heavy Vehicles (AV 13, AV 14) - melta weaponry, lascannons.

Multi-wound models (Monstrous Creatures usually) autocannons, lascannons, melta weaponry, plasma weaponry, multi-shot weapons.

These are actually quite easy to cover and not every army will have an instance of every one of these, I’ve even included some weapons that do well against targets above! Lucky Marines have such an armoury we can turn our hand to most things and have several tools for the same job! Almost everything will be working well against light infantry and a range our weapons can handle light vehicles pretty easily too, its mid-heavy targets we have to worry about and they tend to warrant some more specific guns. It's easy to find many of the weapons we need in our army lists and multiple times, because not everyone wants to use some units and often it’s good to have back up weaponry in case the first one dies!

As stated previously your list should also be making sure it accommodates your scoring units and making sure that as many units can take a transport as possible!

Once you've covered this, really it’s time to get playing! You have your army and strategy and you have the tools for the job! So get out and get killing!

Shadowstalker Grim

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that's it, for now. I hope this proves helpful to all of you out there. For ease of navigation I may go back sometime soon an put in a contents which supports the Ctrl F function, thereby allowing people to find the unit or section they want with ease.

For now, let me start by thanking all those who have helped on this project, and in particular one person who I would have struggled to write this without. Shadowstalker Grim has been fantastic, and give him a lot of credit and thanks to this project, especially so soon after Enemies 101.

I would also like to thank those who took the time to write their own 101s, Validar, LardO'Blood, Deux Ex Ferrum and Ookami_81, and all those who have helped through helpful criticism and comments. Thank you all, I hope you enjoy reading the end result.

[Credits]

Bartali
Chaplain Belisarius
Captain Idaho
greatcrusade08
Captain Juan Juarez
Void_Stalker
Ookami_81
Validar
Deus Ex Ferrum
LardO’blood
DerekLee688
Mysticaria
Shadowstalker Grim
DarkGuard


Edited by DarkGuard, 10 November 2012 - 11:16 AM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#7
Brother Melice

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this is one of the best Tactica Astartes out there, thanks for posting!

Cheers
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#8
DarkGuard

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this is one of the best Tactica Astartes out there, thanks for posting!

Cheers


Thanks Brother Melice. If I may ask a quick question, how did you find the navigation? It is quite long, so would a quick find system be useful in here, or was it fine to find what you needed?

Also, if you haven't looked at it already I'd recommend Shadowstalker Grim's Enemies 101. I kind of made this to go alongside it, and he even helped me a lot on it.

Again, glad you liked it, and thanks :).
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#9
chaplain belisarius

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fantastic stuff! this should be stickied so that all newcomers to the site can read this...:lol:
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#10
Conandoodle

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Comprehensive. As a newcomer to the game (been buying, painting and modelling for over 10 years .. never really played though) this is great. Though I think I got down to Terminators before my head started to hurt. Can't wait to read the rest, I heard the twist at the end is worth it.

Anyway. Great work! A much better read than Harry Potter!

#11
chaplain belisarius

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it turns out that everyone is in the alpha legion! :)

Glad you find it helpful-i do too (i now know how to get the best out of my tactical squads!)
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#12
DarkGuard

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Cheers again guys, although I think that J.K. Rowling has more literary genius than myself :).

After what Conandoodle has said, I'll try and get round to a quick find system some point soon. I just sampled it with 'Terminators' and it took a while to get there. Should therefore make it better in allowing people to more easily skip ahead to what they want to read.

Thanks again, and of course, a lot of gratitude and credit goes to Shadowstalker Grim, without him I couldn't have done this.
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#13
chaplain belisarius

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im glad you guys did though...its like having my own codex astartes! :)
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#14
LardO'Blood

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Cheers again guys, although I think that J.K. Rowling has more literary genius than myself :).

After what Conandoodle has said, I'll try and get round to a quick find system some point soon. I just sampled it with 'Terminators' and it took a while to get there. Should therefore make it better in allowing people to more easily skip ahead to what they want to read.

Thanks again, and of course, a lot of gratitude and credit goes to Shadowstalker Grim, without him I couldn't have done this.

Here is what I use:
To navigate this article, press control + F and type in the corresponding tag. (To use this system you need to replace each unit/section title with the tag. I added an Index and Credits section also. The index section should just root back to the index of tags so don't include a second tag for that.)
[Index]
[The Low Down]
[The Marine]
[The weaknesses of the Marine]
[The strengths of a Marine]
[Tactics]
['Your game or mine?']
[Making the most of mobility]
[How much is too much?]
[Target Priority]
[Marneus Calgar]
[Sicarius]
[Tigurius]
[Cassius]
[Kantor]
[Lysander]
[Shrike]
[Vulkan]
[Khan]
[Telion]
[Chronus]
[Chapter Master]
[Honour Guard]
[Captain]
[Command Squad]
[Librarians]
[Chaplain]
[Master of the Forge]
[Tactical Squads]
[Scouts]
[Rhino]
[Razorbacks]
[Drop Pod]
[Terminators]
[Assault Terminators]
[Sternguard Veterans]
[Venerable Dreadnoughts]
[Dreadnoughts]
[Ironclad Dreadnoughts]
[Techmarines]
[Servitors]
[Legion of the Damned]
[Assault Squads]
[Vanguard Veterans]
[Land Speeders]
[Bike Squad]
[Attack Bikes]
[Land Speeder Storm]
[Scout Bikers]
[Devastator Squads]
[Thunderfire Cannon]
[Land Raider]
[Land Raider Crusader]
[Land Raider Redeemer]
[Predator]
[Whirlwind]
[Vindicator]
[Building an Army]
[Credits]

Edited by LardO'Blood, 06 March 2011 - 04:39 PM.


#15
Shadowstalker Grim

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Sounds a good system! And whilst I contributed a bit, this is a wonderful tactica DarkGuard! You should be proud of it! :P

I'm hoping to produce another new tactica in the near future once I get some spare time!

Edited by Shadowstalker Grim, 06 March 2011 - 05:50 PM.

They misunderestimate me!


DarkGuard's Codex: Space Marines 101



#16
DarkGuard

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Thanks Grim, you did do like over half of it though :P.

And that's a good index system Lard O'Blood, don't mind if I nick it do you? :(.

I'd probably shorten the special characters into one tag though, just to make the list a little smaller. Thanks again, I'll get round to that when I can.
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#17
DarkGuard

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Added the quick find function as suggested by LardO'Blood. Simply added his list to the first post, and then put []s around the title of each post. Quite simply copy and paste where you want to go and you'll be taken straight to the entry. Hopefully that'll prove intuitive and helpful so people can read this post better, either reading the entire thing in one sitting or getting a quick look at the one unit they want to see. Please let me know if this is broken in anyway, like missing out one of the []s or having the names not match up for some reason, and I'll correct it as soon as I can.

Thanks again, and enjoy :confused:.
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#18
Shadowstalker Grim

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Hey DarkGuard, this quickfind feature, I take it that this is using the Ctrl+F feature on web browsers (Or is there another feature im missing?)

But basically i tried a couple of quick searches like [terminators] and [vindicators] and ended up getting the reference in the index and the reference made by Lard O'Blood as the only 2, it seems to skip the whole tactica out! I wonder if this is because the titles are underlined or something? Either way it wasn't jumping straight away for me!


Perhaps there is a way to hotlink the words in the index to reference points in the tactica? Click on the word to take you straight to the relevent part of the page
They misunderestimate me!


DarkGuard's Codex: Space Marines 101



#19
DarkGuard

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Yeah, it's using the crtl+F function on browsers. That is interesting though, what you found, as when I did it on a couple, namely Bike Squads and Assault Squads it was fine. I'll have a look and see if I can work it out, but I don't think it should be the fact that it is underlined that is doing it.

EDIT: OK, I've had a look at it. Using the two examples you gave me Shadowstalker Grim 'terminators and vindicators', I manages to get the former to work but not the latter. If you entered the latter as 'Vindicators' then that would be the problem, as everything without an AV value has been entered as singular, while those which aren't vehicles (except ICs and the Legion) are entered as plural. Kind of confusing, but it looks right to me. Furthermore, it shouldn't be case sensitive.

May I ask what browser you're using, that could be the problem. I'm using Google Chrome, but I can't remember what Firefox was like, and haven't used Internet Explorer in ages so wouldn't know what their quick find function is like. I can't see how the browser would be the problem though.

And thanks for you pointing this out I fixed a problem with Dreadnought, something I wouldn't have seen otherwise, so that's good :P.

Edited by DarkGuard, 08 March 2011 - 12:12 PM.

IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#20
Br.Pat

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While I think that this is a pretty decent guide, I think you could be a bit more critical. For example... tactical squads aren't decent (not for their points cost), they're adequate.

Similarly, I think a lot of the special characters aren't as useful as you make them out to be.

PM me if you need any more information, as I have no intention to further criticise your post and therefore demean it ^_^

#21
Shadowstalker Grim

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You have some valid points and I can really see where you're coming from, but I don't feel its neccessarily useful to a 101 article.

Most (if not all) special characters are well worth their points (more or less, i admit there is some cause for concern there) if used appropriately. It is however debatable that for the points cost taking one or more other units can potentially outperform. For the most part however, you'll probably find that a user of the character can probably agree with its positive outputs onto the battlefield. Instances where this is not the case could be perhaps sgt. Chronus, hes a decent character, but his price makes him a debatable choice. However this isn't to say his impact is therefore negligable.

I also think you're being unduely harsh on a tactical squad, admittedly its not pointed out that 'tacticals are not killing machines' but they are a vital staple and not without some bite to them. Remember that this is a 101, not a critical analysis of space marines in general.

@ DarkGuard

I'm using Inet Explorer! I should probably use something better...
They misunderestimate me!


DarkGuard's Codex: Space Marines 101



#22
DarkGuard

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@Br.Pat: I think Grim has pretty much covered the response to your post. This is a 101, a quick guide on how to use the units in the Codex. It was never meant to be an in depth critical analysis, but rather a place where people could look at an entry, see it's strengths and weaknesses, it's uses and abilities, certain builds to make it more effective or cover different roles, and then take it from there. While I agree with you about the weakness of Tactical squads, I find mine doing a stupid amount of damage at terms, normally when they have combi-flamer/flamer, and definitely when Vulkan is included.

I recall at the beginning of my project stating that every unit is to be given a fair chance and held up on its own merits and weaknesses, not on those of other units in the Codex. Other topics and experience may tell someone that TH/SS Terminators are better than Vanguard, but this 101 is designed to hold them both separately, say what's good and bad, say how to load them out, and then let the reader decide what to include in the list. I look at it as the first stepping stone on the debate, and I'm content to keep it there.

Of course, if you still feel your points are valid I would be more than happy for your to PM them to me. I'll have a look and see if I can't fit them in somewhere ;).

@Grim: that could be the problem, but I can't see why. That being said I've had no troubles of Chrome, but I could be missing something. I'll check it again in the morning.
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#23
DarkGuard

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Have just updated this with a couple of updates to common unit load outs. However, the big thing to shout about is the addition of a weapons section, inspired by an earlier thread discussing the common weaponry that people employ. So far this section only talks about weaponry that is often commonly found on multiple units, if it's found on only one unit it's not covered here, but instead later on. This may change at some point, but probably not in the near future.

I've included the entry title on the quick find system, but for those who like to leap straight into the action it's situated near the end, after the last unit entry but before Shadowstalker Grim's excellent Building an Army section. Let me know what you think, and what I may have missed or got wrong.

Thanks, DarkGuard.
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM

#24
Brother Melice

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please add a section about weaponry... that will be a tremendous help!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry for getting back to you that late, the navigation is a bit uncomfortable because of the amount of info. I printed the articles, and am reading on sections that interest me at a certain time.
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#25
DarkGuard

DarkGuard

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please add a section about weaponry... that will be a tremendous help!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry for getting back to you that late, the navigation is a bit uncomfortable because of the amount of info. I printed the articles, and am reading on sections that interest me at a certain time.


I just did, it's near the bottom before Grim's Building an Army section, it's called weapons of the Astartes :)
IA: Knights Seraphic - Sons of the Lion, Condemners of the Hunt, Knights of the Imperium.
Seraph's Wings - WIP, short story of the Knights Seraphic
Knights Seraphic special characters
Codex: Space Marines 101 - a basic guide to using Codex: Space Marines
Enemies 101 - a basic guide for fighting the armies of WH40K, by Shadowstalker Grim
Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM