Now, I am not saying talonmasters are not good, but I am struggling with seeing the benefit of two, let alone 3. Yes, they are T6 compared to regular speeders, and they are characters to boot, but they are also 188 pts a piece. 3 plus Sableclaw is 764 pts. That leaves 1236 for screening impulsors and the rest of your output/board control. It feels a little short to me.
If you have them though, I would love to hear how it turns out. But with the pace GW is cranking stuff out at these days, I wouldn't want to try to get even a second one, as before I will get around to painting it, I have a feeling 9th edition will already have arrived.
Yes they are a big points investment but you are very much underestimating the Character rule here. Just so you can see what I'm talking about here is the list I'm playing around with:
So keep in mind this list is for ITC style games because that's the only thing I play. You can see there are not a lot of things that are easy kills so your opponent really needs to commit to get their kill for the turn.
The Intercessors ride in an Impulsor which will both be Engineers to get secondary points for capturing objectives out in the midfield.
The Darkshroud and other Impulsor are dedicated screeners for the Characters. The Darkshroud is still something I'm experimenting with because its basically as mobile and almost as durable as an Impulsor anyway and while Marines don't care about -1 too much anymore not a lot of Marine opponents take Chapter Masters anymore and -1 to hit is still useful versus most other armies.
The Infiltrators deploy as needed (either mid field out of LOS or backfield out of LOS depending on where you need them).
The Whirlwinds deploy separately in the backfield Grim Resolve now making them very independent.
The Inceptors are held to T2 or T3 to nuke a big threat and the Chaplain usually takes the +1 to hit litany to give the Inceptors the ability to not kill themselves and helping the character speeders shoot at flyers or do more damage against ground targets. The Techmarine is there as a cheap HQ and to help keep the Impulsors alive.
As you can see I can still fit in quite a bit with the rest of the points to support my speeder characters and the list isn't actually CP dependent.
So Sammael and 3 Talonmasters vs other things with the equivalent amount of firepower. The main reason I have gone for the full amount of speeder characters is to actually rely on the Character rule. When you are picking other choices with the equivalent amount of firepower for the same if not cheaper points (Nephilim and Land Speeder squads come to mind) they will be heavily CP reliant to be kept alive past 1 to 3 turns of play. Our offensive units are not durable enough to last longer than this.
The 16" move, utility and now increased range of the Character speeders means with the right play and strategy you can keep them alive at least 4+ turns. As you can see I am happy to pay the extra 45pts for a model that can stay alive 4+ turns than spend less points to budget for having up to 3 turns of play for an equivalent firepower unit. You are also dictating what your opponent shoots at. He can't shoot at the units doing all the damage and has to waste turns killing everything else first to have a chance at having a go at your speeders.
Also keeping the characters safe for later game is another factor. Just like Richard Siegler was doing with his Tau, he would take 3 battlesuit commanders and not do anything with them for 3 or 4 turns. Literally standing next to drones not even shooting. Late game they would come out and start assassinating and cleaning up units and his opponent was so diminished he couldn't really kill them anymore. The difference here is that speeder characters have the reliable shooting and manoeuvrability to do damage throughout the game and be effective late game when you need them.
No this is not the perfect list. No this list is not going to be the next LVO or supermajor GT winner. This list however does have the right play style to try and keep up with the current marine meta and be competitive enough to win games. On average a single character speeder kills 4 Primaris equivalents and 2.5 Iron Hand Primaris equivalents and you have 4 of them. Killing a marine armies board control and an Iron Hands unit for Cogitated Martyrdom is how you have a chance at being competitive in the marine meta.
Edited by Solrac, 12 February 2020 - 11:33 PM.