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The Legion of the Damned


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#1
Seahawk

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After many games using my Legion of the Damned, I feel pretty confident with continued usage and a firm idea on tactics and such. So I will write up a halp thread! Here we go...


The Good
The Legion of the Damned is a unique unit to the Space Marine codex, and it is almost never used by players because of both its high point and financial cost. I think this is a shame because they offer a marine player more options than otherwise. They come with a bucket of handy special rules: relentless, reroll the deep strike, invulnerable saves, fearless. They even have an extra pip of Attack each without needing a second close combat weapon. Lastly, their sculpts are all AMAZING. They are such beautiful marines to drop onto the table (not literally! eek!).

The Bad
Slow and Purposeful, have to arrive via Deep Strike.

The Ugly
They are all metal models? High point cost.


Discussion
To many, they are simply a glorified Tactical squad that are prohibitively costed. Well sure when you look at the end result, but sometimes you have to think outside the box. For instance, take into account some of their special rules. Being able to deepstrike, for a Tactical Squad, means to buy a drop pod. This also means another KP to give to your enemy. That 3+ inv save? That's the equivalent of a storm shield on each dude.

Take my squad of dudes:
10 Legion - plasma pistol, power axe, flamer, multi-melta (385 points)

This is the second most expensive way to equip them; the most expensive is to swap a power weapon for a power fist, bringing it up to 395. Still, when you start to factor in bonuses it doesn't seem half bad. Take the standard costs listed in units and subtract them from the total (drop pods and storm shields are easily found):

385 - 35 (drop pod) - 150 (storm shields) = 200

This is then the equivalent of a basic Tactical Squad with sergeant upgrades. How about that, the flamer and multi-melta (despite looking crazy points) are actually free! Not only that, but you still get Fearless, Relentless, reroll the scatter, and an extra attack for free too (oh, and the sergeant is WS 5 too)! The happy is off-set by two things though (three, if you count Fearless as a negative): Slow and Purposeful and the fact they don't have Combat Tactics to be swapped out or used. These can be a downer, but if you find you rarely use Combat Tactics (and as an Ultramarines player you shouldn't have any alternative Chapter Tactics to lose anyway ;)) then it's not a big loss. All in all, the points are truly not as high when think of it this way; you've just taken all the pimp upgrades (that a Tactical squad can't take) as part of their base cost.

Their closest equivalent, the oft used hammernators, cost more and have no ranged weapons while getting a better armor save and more smashface in close combat. I think I prefer to be able to meltface at 25-30" every turn instead.


Putting them to Use
So far I've played against the following armies with them: Imperial Guard x2, Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, Space Wolves, and Dark Eldar. The game they have been least effective in was against the Chaos Marines (see the battle report vs them and the DE and SW here), and most effective against Imperial Guard. Arriving on the second turn they proceeded to, in the following order: meltakill a Banewolf, a Leman Russ, assault and wipe Ratlings holding an objective building (it was Cities of Death), then meltakill a speeding Vendetta and wipe out the carried squad in close combat. 5 unit kills, 5 turns. Then, with still 5 members left they held the building to win the game.

I use them as a hard-to-remove mass of bodies and bolters that will always do their job. They will never abandon their objective and hold it til the end. In objective games they're always landing on or near the enemy's, with support if necessary (it usually isn't). The Legion can land in terrain with little to no fear, for if you fail the 2+ (statistically low) then you still get a 3+ to avoid a messy end. They can also stomp through it without penalty, as they are already Slow and Purposeful, though as a side affect you'll usually always want to land near their endgame target because they are sometimes so slow.

They can be used to contest and tarpit and stand happily in the open in the face of battle cannons, due to their 3+ inv save. Rampaging carnifexes and daemon princes are often brought low or stopped in their tracks. Being able to shoot to full effectiveness all the time gives them so many more options; rapid fire and assault, ping lightly armored targets farther away, simply assault with the effectiveness of an assault squad, etc. They are what a Tactical Squad should be, in my opinion; the true Swiss Army bolter that can take on any opponent (well, not walkers or Wraithlords in combat). Just remember, you can't make them fall back on a whim and weight of fire will kill them as easily as Tactical Marines.

Loadout
For my squad, the Flamer has come in handy all of twice...as in I've shot it only twice haha. Preferably, I'd like to have a Plasma Gun. I think a Plasma Gun would have been more helpful in all my games against MEQ armies than the flamer, as well as against the Dark Eldar. It has a nice range that matches the rest of the unit's weapons, allowing them to potentially wreck any vehicle while on the move. The flamer is quite useful against horde-like units of course. It's really up to the user's preferences, and of course there is no plasma gun model yet for the Legion...I really hope they make the rest of the special weapons but we'll see.

The Multi-melta is a true winner. Slagging tanks on the move is so awesome, and extremely useful in any situation. It also cuts through any infantry too, though only one at a time.

Giving the sergeant special weapons is important too, allowing them to do assault most lighter fair and coming out on top.


Conclusion
The Legion of the Damned takes a little getting used to and usually works independently of the rest of your forces, but then the abilities they have allow them to do so without much trouble. In almost every single game they've given me the victory where a different unit would not have been able. They do have their drawbacks, but to me they are nothing compared to what they have to give in return.

Edited by Seahawk, 02 June 2011 - 05:01 AM.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

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#2
Freakiq

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Great little review of one of the more overlooked units in the codex. ;)

Been meaning to try them out once I've summoned up the courage to have a go at converting my own.


What I don't understand however is what you mean by:

The Legion can land in terrain with little to no fear, for if you fail the 2+ (statistically low) then you still get a 3+ to avoid a messy end.

What is that 2+ you are referring to?

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#3
Seahawk

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When you land in difficult terrain it's a Dangerous Terrain test. On a 1 you take a wound, so inversely (I think I'm using that term right...) it's a 2+ to not take a wound; failing it makes you take the wound.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

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#4
Brother Captain Ed

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A good read.

What sort of list do you use to support them? They are pretty durable, admittedly, but surely they don't just flap out in the wind? Curious to see what synergy you have cooked up!
Though I travel into the eternal darkness of the Void, I shall fear not, for my Emperor is my Light.
Though I tread amongst the Heathen and the Xenos, I shall concern myself not, for the Emperor is my Guide.
Though I march into the fields of battle, I shall worry not, for the Emperor is my Protector.
Though I journey from this world to the next I shall falter not, for the Emperor is my God.

QUOTE (KhorneHunter57x @ Mar 23 2011, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And these blast points. Too accurate for Blood Angels or Space Wolves. Only Imperial Ultramarines are so precise.

#5
Iron Father Rik

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I agree that is a good read, and quite thought provoking. Your comment regarding them as an alternative to assault terminators has got me thinking about the viability of using them in place of my hammernators. I think that has decided the course of my evening now - taking a closer look at LotD and reviewing my army list!





#6
Seahawk

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If you give my linked Battle Reports thread a read (it's also long, and thorough) you'll see that mainly the Legion went out with pretty much no support. They planted themselves in an area and either killed everything in that area or held the enemy from getting the objective. Their poorest performance (ie, the only game in which they've died) against the Chaos Marines still killed off a Daemon Prince and some Plague Marines.

I think they really work best when you have larger amounts of infantry in your army. That way the weight of small arms fire is spread around, and they take little more than any other unit in your army. I like to build my armies around mainly bodies/guns, with one or two hard assault units. The Legion count as one because of their extra attack and invulnerable save.

To be honest, I have actually not really come up with much synergy, other than throw them into the middle and have the rest of the army make a lot of noise as distraction. I suppose a drop pod army would well benefit from their usage, as like I said it's one less drop pod/kill point to bring.

@ Iron Father Rik - Well, as far as durability goes from AT weapons, the Legion outshine hammernators because of their cheaper cost. They can't take on the same juicy targets in close combat, like monstrous creatures and such, with nearly the same efficiency. What they do is shoot all to betsy, and with a couple weapon upgrades that makes it a scary proposition. They can assault the same lesser targets any assault squad can.

The main thing though is that they'll hold their ground, forever. Fearless makes them stand and die instead of flee, and when you have it squatting on your opponent's objective and he tries all he can to pin/flee etc, it pleasantly doesn't matter.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

LPC Vow: A full-on Warhound Titan. Groip! Completed! Here.
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#7
Captain Idaho

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Just about to read the battle reports but so far I am actually close to being inspired to take them as a regular in my army! They are a thorn in the sides of opponents as aren't easy to kill and are offensive in today's "meta game". I would go plasma gun with the Multi-Melta and have the capacity to slag vehicles which are everywhere now. Oh and I'd definitely go power fist so even Walkers are threatened by them.

Nice read.

#8
Brother Dvorn

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I have always wondered about them being included in my army, but you also have to factor in, when confronted by torrent fire, they are as survivable as a tactical squad, whereas terminators have the 2+ normal save. Another problem that could occur, is since their only save is invunerable, grey knights and there invurnerable save ignorig weapons chew right through them.

Otherwise nice going, haven't seen LOTD for a while.

#9
Seahawk

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I did consider the torrent of fire against them and included a blurb in the OP.

Grey Knight weapons, certain ones of them, do indeed ignore invulnerable saves and thus these "astartes daemons" are vulnerable. Currently there are few players, and in a month there might be many. We'll see if that ability changes or stays the same with the new codex.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

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#10
Captain Idaho

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I did consider the torrent of fire against them and included a blurb in the OP.

Grey Knight weapons, certain ones of them, do indeed ignore invulnerable saves and thus these "astartes daemons" are vulnerable. Currently there are few players, and in a month there might be many. We'll see if that ability changes or stays the same with the new codex.


I thought Grey Knights weren't ignoring all those invulnerables anymore? Oh well we will find out I guess.

I have always wondered about them being included in my army, but you also have to factor in, when confronted by torrent fire, they are as survivable as a tactical squad


Although true, 10 "normal" Marines aren't that easy to kill with torrent of fire. After all, they have a decent save and toughness and if a player dedicates his firepower to removing 10 Legionaires I'd imagine it would free up the rest of your list from being shot to pieces. Except against Eldar whose Warwalkers have sickening firepower for cheap...

#11
waaanial00

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For me its got to be something other than the Flamer. They have the ability to bolter then charge, which for me is far more effective than the flamer anyway. Also by taking something like the plasma you get something which is taking advantage of your relentless.

Have only seen a unit of LotD played twice. I would run them however I have far too many modelling projects on the go at the moment and I dont want to just buy all the models (which are so good that I would probably scratch my eyes out before subjecting them to my sub par painting skills).

I think if they were brought back to a little more of a reasonable cost then they would be used more. However their rarety is probably their greatest strength, unless your opponent is used to playing Daemons then they are going to be quite off put by their refusal to die. That and the fact that they will probably end up taking so much more shooting than they deserve.
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#12
greatcrusade08

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i really like the flavour of LotD, its been said a couple of times they would fit my army well.. and if the sterngaurd dont work as my command squad (at a push :D ) i may guve them a spin...
using some proxies at first of course :D

Edited by greatcrusade08, 08 March 2011 - 12:41 PM.


#13
Brother Mojonir

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Great to see such a good write up for such an underused unit, thanks Seahawk.
I had considered using them to represent an Exorcists force with scouts for troops and LotD for full brothers. In such a list I was going to run a squad led by Lysander and a squad led by an epistolary in TDA, I assume it is ok to deploy the ICs attached to the LotD as they are capable of deepstrike, do you think the unit would still benefit from "Aid Unlooked For" when deploying ?

(Edit: Post 69 "bow chikka wow wow")

Edited by Brother Mojonir, 08 March 2011 - 08:01 PM.


#14
ShinyRhino

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The Legion would lose the 'Aid Unlooked For' rule if joined by an Independent Character.


I've wanted to build a couple of squad of LotD for a while now, and field them alongside Tigurius and some basic Marine units to make a Scouring of Boros army.
-- "To locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, and to repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat."

#15
Seahawk

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Well, the special rule is not conferred upon the IC that joins them, but it isn't lost by the LotD either. An argument can therefore be made for both cases: No they can't because one model in the unit doesn't have the ability; Yes they can because the majority have it. Both cases are neither solid nor weak enough to approve or deny, so in these cases I go with what is most fluffy: No they can't use it, unless you paint up the character as a LotD character, in which case yes you can.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

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#16
Battle Brother Fischer

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im sold. quick question though. I understand that a plasmagun and multi melta are great for smoking vehicles on the go, but how would a unit of 5 with a flamer, heavy flamer, and sergeant with combi flamer do? Obviously it would depend on the opponent but would all that barbeque be worth a try?

fish

#17
greatcrusade08

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tbh you could do that with sternguard for cheaper, the LotD have relentless so you could use heavy weapons like the mulit-melta on the move.

the tri-flamer LotD is not without its uses, but think of it like this.. what type of opponent does it excel against... hordes!
against hordes a 3+ save is a 3+ save whether its inv or not.

every unit has its uses, i feel the LotD is a more elite unit, used to counter more elite units, units with PWs and the like, for this your better off with plasma and melta

#18
DarkGuard

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Sounds good, and they become my next modelling project. I'm thinking, if I'm able to convert them, a squad with MM, plasma gun, power fist, and maybe combi-plasma. Sit at 24" range and take out tanks and MEQ, more effectively than plasma pattern Tactical squads as I can move and fire! Certainly thought provoking and tempting to try.
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#19
Seahawk

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The LotD is a highly mobile tactical squad, in that they can always shuffle along and fire to full effect. Since they aren't slouches in CC they won't be afraid to get in close too. They don't need to sit back; they can move to counter objective-grabbers and such.

"Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.

 

LPC Vow: A full-on Warhound Titan. Groip! Completed! Here.
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#20
greatcrusade08

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The LotD is a highly mobile tactical squad


i suppose this is a simple way of putting it, but the truth is they occupy a different role than all theor competitors..
they have relentless and extra attacks over tac marines
they dont have the sepcial ammo of sternies but again relentless helps sooth that pain.
plus they have the inv save of assault termies but the reach to give someone a bloody nose from a distance.

I think it comes down to whether or not you can use a unit like that, there is no other that can fulfill the same role

#21
Battle Brother Fischer

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Sounds good, and they become my next modelling project. I'm thinking, if I'm able to convert them, a squad with MM, plasma gun, power fist, and maybe combi-plasma. Sit at 24" range and take out tanks and MEQ, more effectively than plasma pattern Tactical squads as I can move and fire! Certainly thought provoking and tempting to try.


the serg is the only one that can have a powerfist or a combi weapon, therefore you have to choose. MM, plasma, and powerfist. MM, plasma, and combi. but still great idea

#22
DarkGuard

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Sounds good, and they become my next modelling project. I'm thinking, if I'm able to convert them, a squad with MM, plasma gun, power fist, and maybe combi-plasma. Sit at 24" range and take out tanks and MEQ, more effectively than plasma pattern Tactical squads as I can move and fire! Certainly thought provoking and tempting to try.


the serg is the only one that can have a powerfist or a combi weapon, therefore you have to choose. MM, plasma, and powerfist. MM, plasma, and combi. but still great idea


The sergeant can take both a power fist or a combi-weapon. Codex says he can only swap out the boltgun, but FAQ says in Errata that he can swap either his boltgun or bolt pistol, so he's fine to take power fist/combi-plasma.

The one thing I don't understand is why the meltagun and flamer is so expensive. I can understand the plasma gun because of relentless making it more effective, but the former two don't need relentless, perhaps it's because of the deep strike accuracy?
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#23
by_any_other_names

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Make your own Damned Marines, paint regular marines black. Then paint flames around their legs with blue, orange and yellow.

Legion of the Damned are inferior to Terminators.

Use Terminators over legion every time. Terminators are cheeper and shoot/assult better (depending on what they are kited for)

Terminators have 2+ as their primary save, Legion of Damned saves are 3+

#24
greatcrusade08

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Make your own Damned Marines, paint regular marines black. Then paint flames around their legs with blue, orange and yellow.

Legion of the Damned are inferior to Terminators.

Use Terminators over legion every time. Terminators are cheeper and shoot/assult better (depending on what they are kited for)

Terminators have 2+ as their primary save, Legion of Damned saves are 3+


i cant agree with this statement.. not one bit
shooty terminators may have a 2+ basic, but only have a 5+inv, they cost more per model (especially with upgrades) than the legion too.
terminators cannot sweep in combat.
the legion can re-roll a poor scatter roll

legion has better upgrade options, in terms of heavy and special weapons, the terminators DO have powerfiswts but with a 5+inv most will be killed by PW before they get to strike

#25
DarkGuard

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Make your own Damned Marines, paint regular marines black. Then paint flames around their legs with blue, orange and yellow.

Legion of the Damned are inferior to Terminators.

Use Terminators over legion every time. Terminators are cheeper and shoot/assult better (depending on what they are kited for)

Terminators have 2+ as their primary save, Legion of Damned saves are 3+


How can you be inferior to something if you don't fulfil the same role as it? If you're charging LotD into combat hoping them to have the same effect as Assault Terminators then you'll be dreadfully disappointed.

Very few units in the Codex do exactly the same job as each other. I can only think of a few, MM ABs and MM/HF Speeders and Typhoons/combi-preds/Rifleman Dreads. All of these do the same job, are good choices, and come down to personal taste. Apart from that, different units do different things depending on their inherent abilities and the weapons you give them. Are you saying then to people like Seahawk who have made good use of LotD to scrap them in favour of a Terminator squad which is more expensive and does things differently to what he wants the LotD to do?

And do bear in mind that next time you claim Terminators are cheaper that LotD are actually 10pts cheaper, on a model per model basis. And if we're taking upgrades, do remember that their upgrades will be cheaper than two cyclones and two chainfists, or indeed the massive, pointy Land Raider transport that Assault Terminators need.
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Sternguard: a Tactical Analysis - a comprehensive guide on using Sternguard Veteran squads in C:SM




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