Leading from the front

Now, some options in the marine list bug me. As an ultramarine player, uniformity is my thing, and these little glitches annoy me (well, in a gaming sense anyway) . Here are some examples

-squads of 10 marines can be broken in to combat squads of 5 right? So why are centurions, attack bikes and land speeders in squads of 6 or 3? 

-why can take bikes as troops if the captain is on a bike, but assault troops or terminators as troops if he is equipped with a jump pack or terminator armour? 

-Why can’t a terminator captain take a command squad in terminators. 

-why can’t assault marines use more special weapons?

These things will not change, but for my force , I want to make these issues go away. I am starting with the terminator command squad. Just for the look of my army I am making a 1st company command squad in terminator armour. The 5 man squad  will ultimately just be a terminator squad, but look cool while doing it. 

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The plan is simple. Using a whole bunch of bits I will make a chapter champion, apothecary, standard bearer and basic 2 marines. I have picked up a cheap squad on eBay as the core. In unbound lists and friendly fluff based games, I will used them as a command squad with consent from my opponent. 

Here is how I made them 

Chapter champion

Using a left over deathwing command squad terminator chest and head, I will bling up the sgt.
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The dark angles bits have been removed and a skull has been added to the center of the chest. Adding a few bits and I have new champion. 

Apothecary

Easy to sort this one, just used the bits from the

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deathwing command squad apothecary. I will add some big purity seals from the attack Bike sprues. In game he will be a normal squad man with a chain fist. 

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Standard bearer. 

This one took a bit of thought as the standard really throws out the weapons. The standard was made from a grey knight hand holding the ward stave, a short brass rod and the standard from the command squad. But it means no weapon. I have had to add the Stormbolter some how. I found a Unused grey knight stormbolter and decided to try and mount it on the powerfist. This worked for me and I am happy with the look. 

Standard marines

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Easy to build these really, but the options took some thought. I only get 1 special weapon and as I don’t have any cyclone missile systems in the army, it was a obvious choice. The last guy is the most basic, so I just went for a basic one, I need to try and make him pop. So I added some purity seals. 

So there you have it. 1st company command squad, in terminator armour useable from the standard codex. 

Time to get these painted up and then ready lead the 1st company. I now have 55% of the 1st compan and growing slowly. After these, it’s back to the 6th company. 

Till then, see you across battlefield. 


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Where have all the assault squads gone?

With the release of codex:blood Angels I thought I’d take time to discuss the humble assault squad. As many of you know I am collection the 2nd company of the ultramarines and this means 2 10 man squads of the assault marines. As a son of mcragge, I have dutifully obliged, but they rarely make the cut into my 1500pts list.

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Let’s start with the rules. They come in 2 versions, with and without jump pack. It’s even rarer to see them without and that’s saying something! I will focus on those with jump.

As you’d expect, they come in 5 man squads, with the option to go up to 10 man squads. Up 2 can take either a flamer or a plasma pistol. This really bugs me, but I’ll pick that up later. The sgt can be upgraded to a veteran and has access to the full weapons (melee) list. He also get to change his pistol, take melta bombs and the rather useful combat sheild. If using jump packs, you don’t get any transport options, but can deepstrike.

Ok so let’s looks at the pros.

1-deepstrikers rock in 7th ed. deepstiking units are the new black at the mo. Especially in maelstrom of war missions. Dropping straight onto a scoring objective or into the opponents deployment zone is great for the quick vp’s. Many games can be won this way.
2-fast is good. The sheer speed of jump troops are great on crowded tables. You can bring the hurt from behind builds with ease.
3-sgt multitool. You can build the sgt up to fit many roles. We all love using power fist on them tanks and twin claws are great vs power armoured troops.
4-hammer of wraith. Who can complain about upto 10 st4 auto hits BEFORE even the eldar can strike?

For all the pros however, the cons are still whooping.

1-cost. For a few points more you can get a whole heap more. Consider this. A vanguard with a jump pack is only 5 points more and for that you get +1A and +1ld. That’s not including the options available for the vangurd. Again at an additional 5 points you can take a bike squad that gets +1T, 4+ jink save, twin linked bolters, and the choice of any 2 special weapons. Oh, and you can add a heavy weapon as well. It’s a bit of a no brainer.
2-why only flamers or plasma pistols? No one can answer this question. I know that they say, that’s what comes in the kits. But the tactical kit only comes with missile launcher? The ability to DS a melta would make these a competive choice. How about the Option to add a power fist? The blood Angels can take these and while I am not saying that they should be same, some common scene wouldn’t hurt. Leaves io them as fast attack, they fit here well, just give them better options.
3-The marine codex has a lot of great units. Anything not pulling its weight will get replaced. Sternguard in a drop pod will hold the objective just as well, bikes have the same speed, vanguard are better all round and if points are at a premium, why not take scouts and infiltrate?

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As you can see, it’s hard to choose these. So many better units push them out. It’s rare to see them in marine armies, particularly those that have chapter tactics that don’t support them.

You can use them, and you can win battles with these fast moving troops, but not as assault troops. They are objective takers and area deniers, which is a tragedy. These should be leading from the front with vanguard squads and captains with jump packs tearing a whole for the tactical squads. Sadly, they are a poor mans support option.

I’d love to see a new kit of these. The current on is showing its age and the new tactical squad box set shows what could be done. Change the rules to match the options available to include all special weapons. Then these will return to their true role.

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For my army I have gone for 2 well rounded squads. Squad 1 has twin lighting claws and 2 flamers. Squad 2 has a power weapon power weapon and 2 plasma pistols. They look great and sit well in the battle company, sadly they rarely get to be used.

Anyway, that my opinion. I’d love to here your perspective and am I missing something! Leave a comment if you have a different view. Till then, see you all across the battle table.