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Why Power Armour troops are mediocre and what can be done?


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#1
Zodd1888

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I hope we all are well aware of the inefficiency of PA troops. When compared to chaff troops often they do not wound as often, or survive as easily as their T-Shirt wearing brethren. Anyone who wants to see an easily digestible read should head to 3++ for some decent articles on the topic.

Now I don't mean this in totality, but I think it's true overall. I'm trying to avoid Dev/Havocs and the like in this topic as their role is pretty clear, deliberate, and effective.

So I got to thinking what's the solution? Points seem to be the easy way, but you'll always see the cheapest option more predominately as a result of need for bubble wrap. This got me thinking of special rules that could apply to PA troops.

Why not steal the Rubric Marines All is Dust rule? All attacks from weapons with damage characteristic of 1 are taken with a +1 to save modifier. You could apply this to terminators also and give them a much needed boost. This rule is both fluffy and effective to give PA/Terminator troops a niche role.

TS will need something new, boost toughness directly as they're living armour without a body, but I think this would be an intetesting development and well worth the inconvenience of a niche army temporarily.

What do you guys think about PA troops compared to chaff? Why do you take them? Is it for game reasons or is it because you've got them painted?

Edited by Zodd1888, 31 December 2017 - 01:48 PM.

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#2
jeffersonian000

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PA isn’t mediocre, it’s just unfortunately the average due to all the PA armies. MEQ, so to speak.

SJ
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#3
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3+ is actually pretty difficult to get through given the number of models you get with PA.

It’s just the proliferation of (non-overcharge) Plasma that wipes them.
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#4
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PA isn’t mediocre, it’s just unfortunately the average due to all the PA armies. MEQ, so to speak.

SJ


It is actually mediocre.
3++ went over it, even when accounting for morale, guardsmen are *tougher* point for point than a marine vs bolters, and of course plasma swings it massively.

And then you look at the damage output for lasguns vs bolters for the points spent, and it gets even worse, before orders.
After orders like FRSR, and it isn't even close.

And GW isn't going to do anything about it, their going to make sure Primaris marines are what's selling.
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#5
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I dislike the 3++ Analysis not that is wrong, but as the author noted and demonstrated point for point Space Marines with Bolter are worse than a Gaurd with a Lasgun.

What is relavent is effective table space. 3 30 Man Gaurdsman Squads take up an effective 52” (assuming that they are not densely packed like sardines and each model has an half an inch of space + base. Squads are vaguely 2 by 5. So 8 by 6.5). A ten man marine squad in contrast has 27” space (1.5” from base and about 0.5 of personal base alotted, 3 by 9)

The are of a table is 6 by 4. During deployment you have assuming standard 6 by 1. Or 864”, 3 Marine Squads take up just over one 10th of your table space or 81”. 9 Gaurdsman Squads take up 468, well over half of your allotted deployment space.

In others words. A Gaurdsman force will never be able to bring to bear all it’s units effectively down upon a single target. The MEQ Units can choose the point of engagement. In addition to the issue of just footprint. Transportation. 3 Rhinos or Drop Pods run 210-240 Points. (And Rhinos put out 8 Bolters Shots in Rapid + 1 Krak Shot Once Game, making a bit worse than a 5 Man MeQ with missile (10 Points Cheaper for making the noodle melee into a glorified staring melee, and the heavy weapon becoming one shot).

Enabling faster redeployment and engagement times compared to the Squads of Gaurdsman Equivalent. (Who if they bought transports to do so, the cost would balloon the cost of the units compared to Tacticals). This all boils back to what Marines all, an issue the GK’s Army has for example is this but only more exaggerated. Marines are a surgical strike force not an attrition one.

If we play the long game, we’ll lose. Instead our focus is force an engagement, where we can be the 300 Spartans. (Through it be should be noted, the 300 Spartans were actually 300 Spartans + several thousands of allied Greeks. The elite force needed body count to survive/for a chance of victory).

The extension of this issue, is while trying to deploy and engage in a manner to force battle on a small front. Is we need the survive past the round one engagement. 5 Man MSU, Double Special while excellent damage per point, lacks bodies needed. If charged by 10 Gaurdsman, they won’t be able to effectively win combat. While a ten men could stay in combat and win. Pistols + Melee attacks over 1.5 turns (or two rounds of combat and one round of shooting) will kill a gaurd squad. An MSU Squad once in combat, will take 2 games rounds and a shooting phase to kill the same unit. (And giving the Gaurdsman two turns to attack and throw more units).

The addition of of the heavy is equivalent is to 1 to 1.5 specials (Plas in particular, HvyBolter 3 > 2 > 1.32 > 0.66, LasCannon 1 > 0.66 > 0.55 > 0.46). 2 PlasGuns (2 > 1.32 then 1.1 or 0.88. Post saves, 0.9 or 0.73. 1 Plasma is 0.45 to 0.38). In the case of heavy Bolters about a third or eighth worse. The Lascannon is about the same damage when compare to overcharge (1.575 damage vs 1.8) Plasma Guns.

So your not losing that much by running a ten men over two five men, save better use of command points and more effective melee engagement. All this returns to my basic point with Marines. Marines should not be played like we are an attrition style force. Some Marines armies be can be. Black Templars and Deathgaurd, for example are Power Armored Armies that are built on that basic premise.

Black Templars having FauxBoy Squads, in the form of Crusader Squads (when running a Tide army), allow ablative wounds. While Deathgaurd have in 8th Edition, army wide relentless and their longer weaponry are unavailable on their troop squads, and they have their T5 and FNP.

Both are forces that want their troops units in the midst of things and have the tools to fight the long fight. Grey Hunters in contrast are similar to Crusader and Plague Marines, but lack squad durability.

Which brings us back the original point; Marines are weak per point spent in comparison to Chaff Units and Armies with raw bodies. The difference is that Marines can better bring to bear their weapons on a concentrated platform then a gaurd army could.

That is where 3++ Analysis falls apart
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#6
chapter master 454

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Note: a realisation from typing a response occured about a certain way of running marines that can be done hasn't been mentioned or thought about.

 

So...the tactic is to take a core of tacticals and do something crazy: Give them just bolters. Maybe strap a combi-melta to the sarge but bolters for all. You get 3 ten mans with 3 rhinos. Grab yourself a captain and lieutenant with a jump pack backpack package with their own choice of ranged weapons (I suggest Combi-meltas personally) and if you really want to go ham take a second lieutenant if you want with the same loadout. Your rhinos take double storm plus HK. That set-up (one lieu and one captain) is 896 points and each squad with transport dumps 28 rounds, if you take IF chapter then you ignore cover for your troopers however if you want to bulk up for the crackback then just run Iron Hands. If you however have an issue spreading your captains aura, you can up you points a little and take a second lieutenant of the same loadout and take the ultramarine chapter tactic to allow use of the scions of gulliman stratagem. Can even if you want burn 3 CP from battalion to have the captain a chapter master. You can run this set-up for 993 points in a 1k point game and could possibly be quite a list. the meltas would give you good anti-tank, the bolters would shred most infantry. Just depends on what you face.

 

Might theory this list up, maybe even get some models for this and test it out. Though it may struggle against heavy infantry lists.


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#7
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#8
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#9
ERJAK

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PA isn’t mediocre, it’s just unfortunately the average due to all the PA armies. MEQ, so to speak.

SJ

It is actually mediocre.
3++ went over it, even when accounting for morale, guardsmen are *tougher* point for point than a marine vs bolters, and of course plasma swings it massively.

And then you look at the damage output for lasguns vs bolters for the points spent, and it gets even worse, before orders.
After orders like FRSR, and it isn't even close.

And GW isn't going to do anything about it, their going to make sure Primaris marines are what's selling.

That is the worst conclusion to a data set I've ever seen.

"Cheap troops are better overall than Power Armored troops. It must be an evil GW plot to sell the worst Power Armored troops in the game!"

Intercessors are terrible compared to Tactical marines, let alone guardsmen or termagaunts, or scouts. Hellblasters are devalued by PA being bad and aggressors/inceptors are usuable now after the points decrease but have 0 synergy with competitive SM list.

You're tainting what is overall a very valid point with a silly grudge.

#10
Leif Bearclaw

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Forgive my ignorance but what is 3++?



#11
ERJAK

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Note: a realisation from typing a response occured about a certain way of running marines that can be done hasn't been mentioned or thought about.

So...the tactic is to take a core of tacticals and do something crazy: Give them just bolters. Maybe strap a combi-melta to the sarge but bolters for all. You get 3 ten mans with 3 rhinos. Grab yourself a captain and lieutenant with a jump pack backpack package with their own choice of ranged weapons (I suggest Combi-meltas personally) and if you really want to go ham take a second lieutenant if you want with the same loadout. Your rhinos take double storm plus HK. That set-up (one lieu and one captain) is 896 points and each squad with transport dumps 28 rounds, if you take IF chapter then you ignore cover for your troopers however if you want to bulk up for the crackback then just run Iron Hands. If you however have an issue spreading your captains aura, you can up you points a little and take a second lieutenant of the same loadout and take the ultramarine chapter tactic to allow use of the scions of gulliman stratagem. Can even if you want burn 3 CP from battalion to have the captain a chapter master. You can run this set-up for 993 points in a 1k point game and could possibly be quite a list. the meltas would give you good anti-tank, the bolters would shred most infantry. Just depends on what you face.

Might theory this list up, maybe even get some models for this and test it out. Though it may struggle against heavy infantry lists.


Sorry for double post, but you could do the same list with SoB for cheaper and get Stormbolters instead of bolters, be able to afford a full brigade including Dominions with 5 SB and scout (10 domis with SBs in a rhino is only 195ish pts and dumps out 48 shots instead of 28. You'd lose out on full rerolls but you'd be saving huge amounts of points on characters (canonesses are only 45pts for reroll 1s). Basically the idea is good but SoB do it better, at the low low cost of 800ish dollars.

#12
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Forgive my ignorance but what is 3++?


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#13
chapter master 454

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Note: a realisation from typing a response occured about a certain way of running marines that can be done hasn't been mentioned or thought about.

So...the tactic is to take a core of tacticals and do something crazy: Give them just bolters. Maybe strap a combi-melta to the sarge but bolters for all. You get 3 ten mans with 3 rhinos. Grab yourself a captain and lieutenant with a jump pack backpack package with their own choice of ranged weapons (I suggest Combi-meltas personally) and if you really want to go ham take a second lieutenant if you want with the same loadout. Your rhinos take double storm plus HK. That set-up (one lieu and one captain) is 896 points and each squad with transport dumps 28 rounds, if you take IF chapter then you ignore cover for your troopers however if you want to bulk up for the crackback then just run Iron Hands. If you however have an issue spreading your captains aura, you can up you points a little and take a second lieutenant of the same loadout and take the ultramarine chapter tactic to allow use of the scions of gulliman stratagem. Can even if you want burn 3 CP from battalion to have the captain a chapter master. You can run this set-up for 993 points in a 1k point game and could possibly be quite a list. the meltas would give you good anti-tank, the bolters would shred most infantry. Just depends on what you face.

Might theory this list up, maybe even get some models for this and test it out. Though it may struggle against heavy infantry lists.


Sorry for double post, but you could do the same list with SoB for cheaper and get Stormbolters instead of bolters, be able to afford a full brigade including Dominions with 5 SB and scout (10 domis with SBs in a rhino is only 195ish pts and dumps out 48 shots instead of 28. You'd lose out on full rerolls but you'd be saving huge amounts of points on characters (canonesses are only 45pts for reroll 1s). Basically the idea is good but SoB do it better, at the low low cost of 800ish dollars.

 

 

The contrast is the SoB aren't as durable. The loss of T4 for T3 is a big deal for the crack back, we can't assume our army willl wipe them turn one and must account for return fire and being T3 for return fire hurts, even for 3+ armour save. On top of that while we can't get storm bolters everywhere, however the higher toughness does reduce damage heavily as in the case of charging against guardsman the crackback of lasguns do more (wounding on 4 instead of 5). In the case the two lists face off, the tougher marines can bolter blitz down SoB far better and going into melee the sisters really start to struggle.

 

While back in 5th edition, I do remember one of my tacticals getting bolter blitzed by SoB down to half strength however the return fire from just bolt pistols and charging them had them crushed as being able to wound on 3s was huge. It is only one instance but it sticks for me because I thought my squad was doomed but were suddenly on top of the scene.

 

You may be cheaper but I would think the marine toughness overall would be a massive factor.


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#14
Ishagu

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They aren't inefficient per say. Gw simply hasn't balanced disposable hordes correctly.

The cheap, disposable troops can be fielded in such numbers that you literally don't have enough shots or attacks to clear them out. They also have a big presence on the the tabletop.

We've seen GW already starting to address this with the conscript nerf. Brimstones will likely follow
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#15
Moonreaper666

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They aren't inefficient per say. Gw simply hasn't balanced disposable hordes correctly.

The cheap, disposable troops can be fielded in such numbers that you literally don't have enough shots or attacks to clear them out. They also have a big presence on the the tabletop.

We've seen GW already starting to address this with the conscript nerf. Brimstones will likely follow


Don't Bolter shots kill more than one person in the Tabletop?

Between the sharpnel, organ-liquifying explosion and the fact that Bolter rounds can go through multiple people, a single Marine should be able to kill over a dozen Guardsmen in a single turn

Provided they aren't in cover


Doesn't Power Armor increases the strength and speed of the individual?


How many shots of the Plasma rifle does it take to kill somebody in Power Armor in the Tabletop? In the lore?


Maybe add a rule in which you can target and destroy the plasma gun. Killing the owner and nearby units


Add fatigue to the tabletop for some units?

The longer the battle goes on, the more tired units become. Power Armor mostly negates this

#16
Cryptix

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They aren't inefficient per say. Gw simply hasn't balanced disposable hordes correctly.

The cheap, disposable troops can be fielded in such numbers that you literally don't have enough shots or attacks to clear them out. They also have a big presence on the the tabletop.

We've seen GW already starting to address this with the conscript nerf. Brimstones will likely follow


Don't Bolter shots kill more than one person in the Tabletop?

Between the sharpnel, organ-liquifying explosion and the fact that Bolter rounds can go through multiple people, a single Marine should be able to kill over a dozen Guardsmen in a single turn

Provided they aren't in cover


Doesn't Power Armor increases the strength and speed of the individual?


How many shots of the Plasma rifle does it take to kill somebody in Power Armor in the Tabletop? In the lore?


Maybe add a rule in which you can target and destroy the plasma gun. Killing the owner and nearby units


Add fatigue to the tabletop for some units?

The longer the battle goes on, the more tired units become. Power Armor mostly negates this

 

That's getting to 2nd ed levels of detail mate. Doesn't work for battles on this scale.


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#17
Gentlemanloser

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The larger problem is the CP discrepency.

Armies with cheap troops and other throw away units in other slots can easily run brigades for 9CP.

Other armies are limited to battalions at best for 3CP.

There needs to be an Elite to Horde trade off for CP.

Or army specific Detachments...

Edit. Also the S v T change favours hordes over elites as well.

It's generally better to get more attacks at a lower S than less attacks at aslightly higher S.

Then you get 90 S4 shot Gant units. That are immune to moral and have a strat to shoot twice...

Edited by Gentlemanloser, 01 January 2018 - 08:12 PM.

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#18
kombatwombat

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I’ve thought for a while that an effective solution might be to simply give all Astartes (of any flavour, loyal or no) the Primaris statline of +1 Attack and Wound.

It gives them the extra bit of staying power to feel more like an elite army, and helps prevent them being bogged down in combat by Cultists. 3W/3A Terminators might actually be effective. The Characters probably don’t need the extra wound, but they’d need the extra attack so Vanguard Sergeants don’t have more attacks than Lieutenants or similar issues.

Primaris units would then be distinguished by having better wargear, but less customisability within a unit. If they really, really have to be Space Marines+1 (I don’t see how GW could fail to foresee that being an unpopular idea with existing fans), something like +1 to Move/Advance distances might be enough to distinguish them further.

This would certainly necessitate points increases. Without having playtested any of this, at first blush I’d put your basic Tactical Marine at 15 points, with their Bolter staying at 0, and a Primaris Intercessor also being 16 due to its higher speed but the Bolt Rifle being 2. This keeps the Primaris Marine at the same 18pt cost is currently has, but the Tactical Marine saves 3 points by losing a point of range, AP and movement. I’d give every Character a 3 - 5 point increase for gaining an extra attack, but keep Terminators the same cost or slightly more expensive (they need the boost).

If you’re going to say this will make them overpowered, I’d ask you to consider this: are you afraid of 2W / 2A Intercessors? Are they that hard to kill? I’ve had a quick look at the raw Mathammer of shooting at 15pt 2W Tactical Marines vs 4pt Guardsmen. The Marines are a bit more durable per point against AP0 weaponry, but with the exception of a few anti-light/medium infantry weapons most other weapons are still more points efficient against Marines. And obviously, all multi-damage weapons are more efficient against 2W Marines than Guardsmen.

It’d take a whole new Edition with all new Codexes to do it, but I think it’d be a nice solution to make Marines feel like Marines.
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#19
Trevak Dal

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This is going to sound childish and naive, but I just sort of "believe" in my power armor guys and try to put them in the best situations I can for success.
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#20
DuskRaider

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Chaos Cult MEQ Troops should not be included in this, they're much better than anything the filthy Loyalists can drop on the table.

 

Edit: And by the way, it all comes down to the new 8th edition wound rules so many covet that have made Marines weaker.


Edited by DuskRaider, 02 January 2018 - 04:36 AM.

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#21
toaae

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Edit: And by the way, it all comes down to the new 8th edition wound rules so many covet that have made Marines weaker.

 

I'd think it has to do with a lot more changes than that. Certainly, regular marines haven't been a force in several editions, as even the 3++ articles points out that aside from the Battle Company in 7th, your base Tactical marine hadn't been good for years.

The change to the AP system has a bigger overall affect on comparing durability of a guardsmen to a marine, since prior to 8th, bolters ignored the armor of the IG, while a marine had a 3+ until hit with heavier weaponry. And the change to Plasma, not overheating all the time, has made it more desirable, not to mention the easy access of re-roll 1s making even overcharging not the risk the weapon experienced in previous editions.

But, more than anything, as far as the article is written and the premise of this thread is based on, the issue is the current points cost. If guardsmen were 7 points, they would be inferior to a marine against anything less that plasma.


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#22
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PA isn’t mediocre, it’s just unfortunately the average due to all the PA armies. MEQ, so to speak.

 

That's what mediocre means. 


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#23
totgeboren

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Basic Guardsmen are as said much tougher point for point than a marine, while also dishing out much more damage point for point than a marine.

From a mathematical point of view, the two units would be about on par if the guard was 4 like now, but marines dropped to 8 pts per model.
Or if guards were raised to 7 pts per model. The discrepancy both in defense and offense is huge.

I wouldn't call basic marines/csm "mediocre", they are simply bad for the points.
Or perhaps it's the horde guardsmen that are too powerful for the points? I think the problem problably lies more with horde units, and them being under-costed.
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#24
Finkmilkana

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While I do agree that tacticals are too expensive, simply looking at the damage/survivabilite on paper is a bit misleading. Put tacticals into cover for example and their survivability against ap 0 doubles, something that guardsmen can’t do. Also morale, cost of transportation, auras/orders, the common availability of -1 to hit (reducing tactical damage by 1/4, but guardsmen by 1/3), board footprint etc are all more or less soft factors that favor Marines but are not visible in simple calculations.
Guardsmen should probably all things considered cost 4.5 (I.e. 45 for a squad), but not 5 (compared to everyone, not just marines). With pricing per model that sadly is not possible though. Maybe it could work to make officers more expensive instead.
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Charlo

Charlo

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I've not played a lot of 8th, but the thought of a Heavy Bolter being awesome now both scares and excites me. Guardsmen get a 6+ while a marine is reuduced to a lowly 4+... Seems weird, right?

 

All is dust is a quality rule and one that would fit Marines & Terminators well, the problem is as an army-wide rule it's a touch cumbersome (though I realise 1KSons already deal with it, how do you sorcerous lot cope with it currently?)

 

As people have said the obvious route is to make marines cheaper, but then I think we move too far away from the fluff.

 

Again as people have said, horde armies getting easy CP is the other major issue compared to marines. One look at the BA forum will tell you that we are list-hammering like maniacs trying to find the balance between cool assaulty units & troops to fill our battallion/ brigades so we can pull off our crazy Rip'n'Tear shenanigans without sacrificing any power. Currently, MSU Scouts are (depending on how you look at it) the only real option we have.






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