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 Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1

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Edge

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PostSubject: Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1   Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:57 pm

Hello again...due to the recent Passing of a friend and fellow 40k gamer, Ian Villamagna, I was delayed in posting this on Friday.

I would like to try and convey some list building tactics using the Codex Space Marine. I know there are plenty of topics already discussed on the net, some even disseminate the Codex in full. I don't want to do that. I would like to convey my process for building a SM list.

Most of the tourney games I play are 1500, 1850 and 2000 pts. So I will break each list down.

First things first. Spam, Redundancy, Saturation...what ever you want to call it, it is critical for a general to be successful in a competitive environment. If you have only unique units all you do is put undue stress on your game. Why? You shouldn't have to diversify your list too much. Make life easy for yourself and play with redundancy. One less thing to worry about in a tourney.

Again for you readers, this is for tourney play and not casual play.
I love certain units and play with them in many home games. I do not bring them to a tourney.

I know there are many themed lists and I will not go into them. I like a BASIC SM list when going to a tourney. Leaves very little room for me to worry and I know the capabilities without hesitation.

HQ:

I like the versatility this Codex brings with the HQ selections. I have played them all but will only dicuss the choices I have found to be beneficial/efficient in a tourney. I try to limit the points spent on the HQ slots to under 20% of total. 300/1500 ; 370/1850 ; 400/2000.

There are many named characters that are useful but I have found that there are 3 that stand out above all the others:

Captain Cato Sicarius - 200 pts, I 5, W 3, 2+ ArmS, 4+ InvS, Instant Death PW, Plasma Pistol, FNP.
Surprise Attack - reroll Seize the Initiative. Critical in a tourney to have the ability to get a first turn if needed.
Rites of Battle - Table wide LD 10 for Morale and Pinning is great for MEQ.
Battle-Forged Heroes - 1 Tactical Squad can get Counter-attack, Infiltrate, Scout or Tank Hunters. Keeps your opponent on his toes and gives you built-in options for deployment.

Cato is a Primary choice for an HQ.

Pedro Kantor - 175 pts, I 5, W 3, 4+ InvS, Stormbolter S 4 AP 4 Assault 4 24", Orbital Bombardment.
Hold the Line - Sternguard are Scoring. Critical for additional Scoring units.
Inspring Presence - All friendly units w/i 12" get +1 Att.
Chapter Tactics - All units swap for Stubborn. Combine this with Rites of Battle and you have LD 10 Stubborn table wide. Phenominal.

Pedro is a great Secondary choice for HQ.

Kor'sarro Khan - 160 pts, I 5, W 3, 4+ InvS, Instant Death PW.
Master of the Hunt - His unit has Furious Charge and Hit and Run. Excellent for a Deathstar unit.
Chapter Tactics - All units swap for Outflank including Dedicated Transports. Again, keeps your opponent on his toes and gives you built-in options for deployment.
Moondrakken - Put him on a Bike and you have Scoring Bike squads.

Khan is another great Secondary choice for an HQ.

Now for the BASIC HQ selections:

Chaplain - 100 pts, I 4, W 2, 4+ InvS, PW, option for Terminator Armor +30 pts.
Liturgies of Battle - His unit can reroll failed to hit rolls the turn they charge.
Honour of the Chapter - His unit is Fearless.

The Chaplain is necessity if you are planning an assault theme or a Deathstar unit. I commonly run the Chaplain as the only HQ choice.

Librarian - 100 pts, I 4, W 2, Psychic Hood, Force Weapon, option for Terminator Armor w/ Stormshield +40 pts.
Epistolary - choose and use two psychic powers on your turn.
Many good psychic powers, I like the:
Null Zone - good against MEQ and Demons.
Avenger - good against everything.
Gate of Infinity - teleporting could be a game changer.
Depending on the list the first two are my primary choices.

In today's metagame at tourneys it is almost a MUST to have a Librarian/PHood. There are games where I didn't use it once and there are games where I wish I had it every turn.

I like to run the Libby TermA/SS with an Assault TermA unit, otherwise I don't take a Libby.

So for the choices above, I would take:
1500 pts:
Cato by himself or with either a Chappy or Libby - 200 or 300 pts.

1850/2000 pts:
Cato and Pedro - 375 pts. Primary
TermA Chappy and Libby - 270 pts if using Assault TermA unit.

Troops:

Not many initial options here but combined with our HQ selection we have 2 more.

Scouts - good for holding objectives in the backfield or the Infiltration for Teleport Homer Termies.
And They Shall Know No Fear (ATSKNF) - Marines aren't going anywhere if they should lose combat.
Combat Squads - Effectively doubles your Scoring units for free.
Combat Tactics - You decide what the opponent will do after they shoot. Denial of an ensuing assault is very frustrating for your opponent.
Infiltrate - more deployment options.
Move Through Cover - put them in terrain and don't worry about them.
Scout - more deployment options.

I like the Sniper Rifle and Camo Cloaks option here. Annoying with Rending, Pinning, and 2+ gone to ground cover saves. If I take them it is 1 unit of 5 or 10 to combat squad.
- 5 man unit Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks, Sgt w/wo Teleport Homer - 105/90 pts
- 10 man unit Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks, Sgt w/wo Teleport Homer - 185/170 pts

I also use a basic late game outflank unit:
- 5 man unit Shotguns, Sgt w/ PF, Meltabomb - 105 pts

Tactical Squad - A great Troop unit in the game for the points. Always run a 10 man unit to get the Special and Heavy option. Also get a Dedicated Transport - Rhino, Razorback, Drop Pod.
Resilient unit, BS 4, WS 4, S 4, T 4, I 4, 3+ ArmS, frag/krak grenades.
And They Shall Know No Fear (ATSKNF) - Marines aren't going anywhere if they should lose combat.
Combat Squads - Effectively doubles your Scoring units for free.
Combat Tactics - You decide what the opponent will do after they shoot. Denial of an ensuing assault is very frustrating for your opponent.

I like 2 options here.
- Rhino w/ Dozer,
- 10 man unit w/ Flamer and Missile Launcher/LasCannon - 210/220 pts

- Razorback Assault Cannon/TL LasCannon w/ Dozer,
- 10 man unit w/ Flamer/Meltagun and Missile Launcher/LasCannon - 250/265 pts

I love the Assault Cannon, it outguns the TL LasCannon in every game I play. Versatility is key here as it is good for Mech and Horde. I use the TL LasCannon if the unit will sit in the back field. I run all my Rhinos/Razorbacks with Dozers...too many times I have been stuck and for 5 pts it is an easy fix.

Razorback spam is not points efficient in this Codex but still doable.

Drop Pod list will be discussed in a later post. I love the lists you can generate but they are complex to play well.

1500 pts:
2-3 Tacticals and/or 1 Scout unit

1850/2000 pts:
4-6 Tacticals and or 1 Scout unit

This Codex can compensate for the lack of hard-hitting power with the ability to Saturate the field with Resilient units. It is extremely difficult to table 70+ Marines.

Elites:

A few options here depending on the HQ choice.

Sternguard - A Scoring Elite choice with Pedro. Same benefits as Tacticals with bonus firepower.
Special Issue Ammunition - Versatility is key here. Your opponent doesn't know what you will send their way.

Cheap Combi-weapons and the same Dedicated Transports as Tacticals. Plus the Special Issue Ammo.
There are 3 options here, don't mix them. The same point cost for all of them depending on their role on the table.
- 5 Flamers - great for Horde, torrent 2+ ArmS.
- 5 Meltas - great for AV13+ or MC
- 5 Plasma - great for 2+ ArmS, FNP, AV10-12 or MC

- Razorback Assault Cannon w/ Dozer,
- 5 man unit w/ 5 Combi - 220 pts

Terminator Squads - Whether you like the shooty or assault termies, I rarely run them unless I am feeling like I want to bash some face that day. If I do run them I take:
- 10 man Assault 8 TH/SS, 2 LC w/ Dedicated LRC w/ MM, EA and Heavy LRR w/ MM, EA - 940 pts
Combined with the TermA Chappy and/or Libby this is your Deathstar and support unit.
- 5 TermA, Chappy, Libby in LRC and 5 TermA in LRR.
This is expensive and limits your other options in the total points.

Dreadnought - If I don't take Pedro or Assault Deathstar, I love the basic Dread. Pick 2 or 3 and run with them.
- MM, HF, EA - 130 pts
- Assault Cannon, HF, EA - 140 pts

Some people like the Rifleman loadout - 2 TLAC's...I use the Venerable Dread for this for the added BS - 185 pts

Fast Attack:

Really only 2 options here depending on HQ choice.

Space Marine Bike Squad - Troop choice if you take Khan. Same benefits as Tacticals plus T 5. An Assault Bike is a must here.
- 9 man unit, 2 Meltaguns, Attack Bike MM, Sgt w/ PF - 310 pts
Again, very expensive and limiting depending on HQ choice. Take 3-6 units with Khan and your opponent will have a difficult list to tackle.

Attack Bike Squad - Take 3 squadrons with the Khan list and you have additional firepower.
- 3x MM Attack Bike - 150/ - 50 pts each

Land Speeder Squadron - My personal favorite. I like to run them in pairs with identical loadouts.
I have run 3 squads of 3 Speeders...very effective but again limiting for your other options in the total points.
- 2 Speeders MM, HF - 140 pts
- 2 Speeders MM, Typhoon ML - 200 pts
Move 12" and fire one weapon.

- 3 Speeders HF, Typhoon ML - 270 pts
Sit in the backfield and put out 6 S 8 shots per unit.
- 3 Speeders HB, HB - 180 pts
Sit in the backfield and put out 18 S 5 shots per unit.

Heavy:

LRC or LRR w/ MM, EA if I take the Termies, otherwise...

Predator - AV13. The best unit for its points.
- Predator AC, SSHB - 85 pts
I like 3 of these. Great for supporting the rest of the list.

- Predator AC, SSLasCannon - 120 pts
Great if your meta is Mech...otherwise stick to the above loadout.

Devastator Squad - If you don't like Mech and prefer the manned guns...
- 5 man unit w/ 4 ML/LasCannon - 160/230 pts
For a little more than the price of one ML squad I can get 2 Preds...
For a little more than the price of one LasCannon squad I can get 3 Preds...obvious choices here.


So to bring everything together:
Here are two example lists. I will cover the Assault Deathstar Lists in the part 2.

1500 pts list:

Cato - 200
2x 10 man Tactical Flamer, LasC, Sgt PF; Rhino Db - 220 = 440
1x 5 man Scout Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks - 90
2x Dreads HF, Assault Cannon, EA - 140 = 280
3x Speeders MM, HF - 70 = 210
3x Predators AC, SSHB - 85 = 255

Comes out to 1475...change something to fit your needs.

1 HQ
2 Elite
3 Troop = 3-5 Scoring
3 Fast
3 Heavy

14 KP, 26 Marines and 10 Vehicles

You have Composition, Scoring and Versatility on the table.

1850 pts list:

Cato - 200
Pedro - 175
2x 10 man Tacticals Flamer, LasC; Rhino Db - 220 = 440
1x 5 man Scout Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks - 90
1x 5 man Sternguard Combi Plasma; Razorback Assault Cannon, Dozer - 230
1x 5 man Sternguard Combi Melta; Razorback Assault Cannon, Dozer - 230
3x Speeders MM, HF - 70 = 210
3x Predators AC, SSHB - 85 = 255

Comes out to 1830...change something to fit your needs.

2 HQ
2 Elite
3 Troop = 5-7 Scoring
3 Fast
3 Heavy

17 KP, 37 Marines and 10 Vehicles

2000 pts...add a Sternguard/Tactical unit and take out the Scouts.

Solid lists with good composition and scoring.

If there are particular units you would like to discuss, drop a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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Last edited by Edge on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Warmonger

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PostSubject: Re: Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:12 pm

Very nice Edge, thanks

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PostSubject: Re: Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:25 pm

Great job Edge.

Seeing as I'm running marines now, this is really beneficial to me.

I'd like to hear more about the Deathstar bubble. I've seen articles recently on BoLS about using a Tyranid DS bubble, so running a marine one sounds interesting.

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PostSubject: Re: Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1   Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:34 am

Nice job Edge.

How is this for being ironic. I hate seeing Lysander (which was not mentioned). Everytime I face that character in a tourney situation he wrecks me. Sometimes he is hard to dig out of that Land Raider. And then here he comes with his termie unit to dinner. Chomp, Chomp.

But the first time I used him he was slain in the first round. Sometimes I sure enjoy rolling crap dice. I just wanted to get that out there.
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PostSubject: Re: Codex Space Marine Tactics part 1   Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:14 am

Wayno - Lysander is good, Pedro does the same for less. I like Lysander and Vulkan and Shrike... I will cover some more HQ's in Part 2.

Dume - DS bubble should be 'wrapped' up in Part 2 as well.

Thanks guys.

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