With 8th almost here I've been looking at my SG and thinking about their role.
In 7th I ran with the Banner and a Priest for FnP to support Dante. He was the focal point, they buffed his damage output, added some extra damage with Fist / Axes and the Swords ran up front to take wounds. It was a powerful unit that could kill quite nasty things on the charge.
In 8th the Banner is separate from the unit and changed to rerolling wound rolls of 1 plus morale immunity, and a BA warlord will now buff the SG with rerolls to hit. They gained an extra wound and the encarmine weapons gained D3 damage which sounds great at first glance, but how do they fit in? Compared to Death Company they should be our more durable elite assault units, with weapons geared for multi-wound targets, but how effective are they at that?
At first glance it looks like they should be hunting big creatures, such as ex-MCs. The 3 weapon options all deal multiple damage (or chance of) per successful wound, so they would feel wasted against single wound targets.
2W looks great combined with a 2+ save for that but with no immunity save consider that most of those targets would be hitting back at high strength with -3 AP (typically) and D3 - D6 damage on successful wounds. That 2+ save is going to end up as a 6+ against those hits, and with the multiple damage each wound that lands is likely going to kill a model outright. In that situation they might as well have 1W (unless you get lucky and the opponent likes to roll 1s).
In this role you'd be utilising the extra damage but the extra wound is likely to be bypassed. In terms of shooting both the Inferno and Overcharged Plasma add extra wounds to tough targets, though the Plasma would really want a warlord with them to limit the blowing up risk.
The main thing here is that the extra damage would be lost against single wound targets. Though they'll kill things the SG aren't cheap compared to more dedicated anti-horde units, and only have the 2 base attacks to work with. On the other hand the 2W would come into play the vast majority of fights, along with the 2+ armour save being reduced less against most horde weaponry. They'd be extremely durable but being a small, expensive unit the damage output would be limited compared to options such as chainsword-wielding DC which would far surpass the damage output for the same points against weak mobs.
This might be their best fit. By targeting mid-toughness targets they'll still get to use the 2W a lot of the time, though things like upgraded weapons on sergeants or nearby characters will still negate that extra wound. On the attacking side the multiple damage might be wasted against things like single wound Marines but come in very handy if the opponent does have characters in support. The mobility of jump packs should allow them to get the charge and kill a bunch of Terminators before they get a chance to hit back with their fists or hammers. If facing something like Primaris or Tyranid Warriors (lower toughness but multiple wounds) the Encarmine blades will really get a chance to shine.
I'm including the numbers I ran:
For hunting tough targets it looks like Fist + Inferno Pistol is the way to go, but it's
- Very expensive
- Unable to shoot the Inferno after deep striking
- Going to die as fast as if 1W against those big targets
You can switch the Inferno to Plasma for near the same points efficiency when overcharged but then you are relying on a character with rerolls to avoid expensive model deaths.
For reference, here's how the DC fare with their extra attack on the charge:
DC with a Hammer blow SG out of the water when it comes to monster hunting, and their 1W is irrelevant there.
DC also blow SG away when it comes to anti-horde, being much cheaper with a chainsword and the extra attacks.
So if DC are better as both anti-BigThings and anti-SmallThings the only niche I really see for SG is anti-Middle things - targets like the Tyranid Warriors or Primaris marines that might allow the 2nd wound to come into play and let the encarmine weapons hit things they're effective against. You can then pair them with either the Angelus, which adds a little horde shooting capability, or the Plasma to save a couple of points and be more effective against most targets even without overcharging. You'd then have the overcharge capability as a backup in case something big and annoying does get in their way.
Am I mad thinking SG are sort of stuck in the middle?
Yes, you can add things like the banner for wound rerolls, a Librarian giving Unleash rage and such but those can also be given to the DC which makes them even stronger.
Edited by Jolemai, 31 August 2020 - 10:51 AM.