Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Space marine chapter tactics

So with the 7th ed batreps out the way, I thought I'd get back to 8th. So With the release of the marine codex and the new chapter tactics, I though I would have a look through and see whether my marines will be staying with their current parent chapter or jumping ship to a new chapter.

Ok, so in terms of fluff, nothing will change, I'm not going to start rewriting the fluff for a chapter tactic but I am also not going to stick to the same tactic if it no longer works for me.

Now the only army that I will be looking at is the Emperors Disciples, as, for reasons that will be explained in a future post, the Brazen Hawks are on hold at the moment.

So, what are the new chapter tactics? Well, here they are, if for some reason you haven't seen them already!

So, I was running the Disciples under the Imperial Fist, mostly for the re-rolls on the sternguards special issue ammo. However, the new tactics have changed that and so a rethink is defiantly called for.

Image result for imperial fists chapter symbol

These days the Imperial Fists tactic gives you re-rolls to wound on buildings and what is effectively ignores cover. Now, I don't think that I have ever played a game within my current group that involved buildings that could be wounded/damaged and I think I've only ever played a couple of games against buildings, one being a skyshield landing pad. So re-rolling wounds against a building is pretty useless to me, so its will about the last part, which is basically ignores cover of the old days. Now, at first i thought that this was pretty underwhelming. After looking at it again, I don't think its actually that bad. As my disciples are a firepower based army, with no combat elements, having the ability for the devastators to sit back and fire at units without worrying about cover is good and it is also useful to the sternguard, who with their special issue boltguns and 30" range can also sit back and not worry about enemy units hiding in cover. So after my first thoughts about how the new chapter tactic was, well, rubbish, I've come around to thinking that its actually quite good, half of it anyway. But what about the other tactics?

Image result for ultramarines chapter symbol

We'll start at the top, with the Ultramarines, the poster boys of the imperium. The tactics give them +1 to leadership and the ability to shoot after falling back. In the new 40k, leadership is afar more important that it use to be and there are fewer ways to alter it as well. Fearless and stubborn are gone and generally leadership values are down across the board. A +1 to leadership is now a big bonus and means that for even a full size squad of marines, taking casualties is not a big problem. For a possibility of failing a moral test, a unit will need to loose at least 4 models and for a 5 man unit thats  game over, for a tom man unit, its still not a big problem, as with ATSKNF, you effectively need to loose 4 marines and roll a double 6, possible but unlikely. The second part I think is useful but not exceptional. Being able to shoot after falling back is something that I don't think will come up very often, as most likely you'll be decimated in combat and thefore your shooting will be ineffectual or you'll be wanting to get as far from combat as possible. The modifier means that you'll also be missing half your shots, at a time you probably want as many to count as possible. Don't get me wrong, I think its a good chapter tactic overall, but not one I would use much.

Image result for white scars chapter symbol

Next up is the White Scars, and this remains true to the fluff, a 2" extra advance and charging after falling back. Personally I don't think these two really go together is some respect, but could suit a army as a whole. The extra advance move will be great to units like bikes and assault marines to really shift them around the table. This is great for the early game, to get units where they need to be to counter the emery deployment and for late game, when those last objectives come in to play. The second part really only benefits assault based units. These units will want to make sure that they are first to strike to do maximum damage before the counter. Now, this could be achieved by spending a command point in your enemy's phase but in your own you would just have to hope that ypir got first strike. This means that yup can fall back and then strike again, getting that first strike in. Against other combat orientated units this can be vital. As such i see this really being used by the likes of vanguard vets and maybe a command squad, possibly by a few characters, such as champions, but o. The whole, I think that it is really the first part of the chapter tactic that you'd pick the White Scars chapter tactic for and as my list has neither bikes nor assault marines, its no use to me.

Image result for black templars chapter symbol

Next up is the Black Templars and their re-rolls to charge. Now, a lot of people seem to dislike this, but it is very BT, as they have a habit of getting up close AMD personal. Re-rolling charges means that you massively increase your chances of getting in to combat and a tooled up crusader squad can do a lot of damage. Personally I think this is great for a combat army, with lots of large crusader squads, tooled up for combat. It will mean that you can be sure of getting in and getting those all important hits in first. A good tactic but I do feel its lacking a little extra, a leadership +1 would have been nice, or even extra attacks on long (9"+) charges maybe? Again though, this is for combat armies and not really any good for the disciples.

Image result for salamanders chapter symbol

Now we get to the Salamanders and there chapter tactic. This involves each unit getting 1 re-roll to hit and 1 re-roll to wound each turn. Personally I think this is one of the best tactics and to me it shouts PLASMA!! Plasma is still one of the best weapons on the table and in supercharged mode it even better, but with a significant downside, those 1's. Now, with this it means you can re-roll them, or 1 per unit anyway and in a 5 man unit with a plasma gun and maybe a plasma pistol (or possibly a combi-plasma), you can chance it, as there is only a small chance of getting more than one 1 and you always have your command re-roll if you do. The re-roll to wound has a different application I think, as how often do you roll on those one shot weapons (ie melta) get the hit you need only to roll a 1 to wound. This re-roll means you can roll with more confidence and rely on getting that vital wound. I really like this chapter tactic and I think that it would go well with the disciples.

Image result for raven guard chapter symbol

Next up are the Ravenguard and true to form, their not very easy to see. The modifier to hit when a unit is more than 12 away has numerous applications, being useful to both units like devastators and tactical squads, through to assault marines and vanguard vets. Place a unit of devastators in some ruins at the back of the field and they will have a -1 to hit and a +1 to save, making them that much harder to remove, even a tactical squad benefit, as they can operate in the open with greater impunity. The tactic also benefits the likes of assault marines and vanguard vets, meaning that they can maneuver in to position for those critical charges better, hovering off at range until its time to strike. For most units this will mean staying about 24" away, an enemy movement of 6" and then a 12" jump and a 6" charge. All in all its a good tactic and one that could be beneficial as the disciples will spend most of the time outside that 12" bubble. Again though, another little extra would have been nice, even something as little as a single re-rolled charge or save per turn. Nothing special, just a little extra something.

Image result for iron hands chapter symbol

Finally we get to the Iron Hands, the mechanical men. These guys gain, what in the old days would have been a 6+ fnp, and is pretty much exactly what they had before. Now, while this is not ground breaking, it is good. It is one of the few ways to counter mortal wounds, something that can cut through marines quickly and easily. Granted you only have a 1/6 chance, but thats better than none at all. I think this tactic is useful but I don't see it as useful to the disciples. I believe that it will apply to all Iron hands models, vehicles included, but I still don't think its very useful to me. This is probably also the only one that I don't think really needs a second part to the tactic, as it is pretty good, but it would be nice if all the tactics had a second part, even if it was gust for the sake of it.

At the end of the day the choice really comes down to three tactics, the Imperial fists, salamanders and  raven guard. These are all great tactics, each giving some good benefits. All three are useful for the disciples, ignoring cover bonuses is great, meaning that there is no hiding place from the devastators or the sternguard. However, the that -1 to be hit modifier is pretty big as well, especially now that modifiers happen after re-rolls. Again, it means that the units can hide away and shoot and also be that bit harder to hit in return. However, right now there is really only one tactic that really stands out and  that is the salamanders chapter tactic. Being quite a small and elite force its important that you do as much damage as possible every time you shoot and with the re-roll options for each unit, it is possible. It could mean the dirrerance between 3 missiles hitting and only two wounding and all 4 hitting and 3 wounding and at d6 wounds, it could make quite a difference.

As the force is probably going to be fielded with the stone dragons or an inquisitorial force, the leadership traits are not as importantband while it might be nice to have a relic or two in the force, its not essential. So as things stand, I will be looking at the salamanders chapter tactic and waiting to see what the Wolves get.

Up next will be my thoughts on The new primaria marines and there role/position in the established marine battle order.