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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Email in: List review [Space Marines]


“Yes, this is the chris.bibliophile that posts on YTTH, and I'm looking for some advice on improving a list. Right now, it is doing very well, but my environment isn't super competitive. At the end of the summer however, I'll be heading out to DC for grad school (unfortunately after the Nova Open) and from everything MVB's said the competition out there is pretty solid, so I'd like some external criticism of the list. Specific concerns are at the end.

Vanilla Marines, 2k -

- Libby w/ Null Zone, Avenger

- Dred w/ MM, DCCW, Storm Bolter
- Dred w/ MM, DCCW, Storm Bolter
- Dred w/ MM, DCCW, Storm Bolter

- 10x Tac Marine w/ Flamer, MM, Combi F, in Rhino
- 10x Tac Marine w/ Flamer, MM, Combi F, in Rhino
- 10x Tac Marine w/ Flamer, Missile, Bolter on Sgt, in Razorback w/LasPlas, HK Missile
- 10x Tac Marine w/ Flamer, Missile, Bolter on Sgt, in Razorback w/LasPlas, HK Missile

- 2x Speeder w/ MM, HF
- 2x Speeder w/ MM, HF

- Pred w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponson
- Pred w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponson
- Pred w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponson

This list was largely inspired by an email into stelek a few months back where someone was asking if he thought the 1750 GT list he posted a few years back (motf, 3x dred, 3x tac in rhino, 3x mm/hf speeder, 3x dakka pred, Tellion scout sniper squad) was still viable in the current environment. I liked the concept of the list, with its focus on midfield presence, but i thought it lacked sufficient long range shooting and psychic defense for how the game is payed now. This list was an attempt to build a 2k version of that list that could be more successful against newer dexes and builds, mainly by backing up that midfield presence with enough long range shooting that it won't get smeared by gunlines or ran over by lists that are better in assault.

Technically, its only 1995 points, but i like symmetry in my lists, and since the libby can't buy melta bSoombs those last 5 points lack a good home.

List plays pretty simply. Missile and sgt from razorback squads, razorbacks, and preds get set up with good lines of fire, rhinos, and dreds set up to either run at the enemy or interpose themselves between me and them, and speeders set up to either hide and pounce on something nasty coming my way or go out and hunt enemy vehicles. First turn shooting is decent but not great, but once the multi melta's get into position to start making long range shots the list begins to put out a good deal of firepower. While it looks light on anti infantry, between the mass bolters, flamers, and the assault power of the dreds i haven't had too much trouble dealing with people on foot, and with null zone and up to 23 ap 2 or 1 shots a turn, i can deal with assault terms pretty comfortably. I've considered switching to 3x1 speeders instead of 2x2 and switching the dreds to riflemen, but I've found both the assault capability of the dreds and the extra multi melta's to be too useful to give up (plus, firing two heavy flamers at the same time kills so much more than firing one after the other).

So, my specific questions would be.

1: Is the concept of the list (a Codex Marines list that attempts to combine a strong midfield presence with a good amount of long range shooting) viable, or is it fundamentally flawed?
2: Does this list constitute an effective execution of that concept, or are there substantial flaws with it that need correction?
3: Are Codex marines the proper army for this concept, or is this a case of SW/BA do it better?

Thanks.”

Stealing Stelek’s emails FTW =) lol. Chris emailed me again and asked me to ignore the typos which is depressing because melta bSoombs sound awesome! First off, good luck on your grad course, it’s a shame you need two degrees these days to get decent jobs (or just learn how to fix toilets) and could you link Stelek’s post? Would be interested to see it. And I know the pic has nothing to do with the post...but it looks pretty. Flamey... So onto your specific questions...
  1. Certainly viable. Anyone who knows my SM list @ 2k will be uncomfortably familiar with this set up minus the Rifledreads. Whilst MM Dreads offer some combat potential, the ability to create a fair amount of downfield firepower from Dreads/Preds/Speeders/Tacs/RBacks which only gets better as you get closer...
  2. Yes it does. There are a few changes I would suggest (seen below) but nothing fundamentally wrong with it.
  3. Absolutely. BA are out of the question, they run a completely different type of list that is more akin to Eldar. Space Wolves can run it, but differently. The inability for GH squads to take Heavy Weapons and if you want double specials you’re sitting on Ld8 so much less midfield presence. SW would do a Hybrid orientation to this list where LFs provide more fire saturation (but are weaker) with Rifledreads whilst TWC & Grey Hunters are much more aggressive in midfield (i.e. TWC > you) which thus makes it a different list entirely. They’re similar, but Vanilla in terms of the original Best Of list, do it better.
So let’s take a look at your list. Again, it’s a fine list I just think a bit of tinkering could make it more streamlined. My main issue is with the LasPlas RBack squads. If you shave them back to 5 men each and maintain the HK missile you save 160 pts. This allows you to grab 2 more speeders (and if you take off the combi-flamers on the reg Tacs or the HK missiles, this gives you 2x Typhoons [also if you took off the HKs, move the combis to the LasPlas squads) which essentially doubles the firepower you “lose.” With 30 remaining Tacs & 3 Dreads you’ve still got an impressive midfield force. If you wanted to keep the combi-flamers/HKs use the extra 20 pts to either add 2 more combis to the LasPlas squads or 2 HKs to the Rhinos for a bigger first turn punch. Personally I’d go with the 2x Typhoons but that’s me putting my little spin on it dropping the HKs off the LasPlas and giving them each a combi-flamer.

What do the rest of you think? The internet forums think Vanilla marines are useless compared to BA and SW but they generally seem to lack enough wattage to power a light bulb, i.e. Bikers & TH/SS termies. Are Vanilla Marines still the best midfield mech around? Specifically within the Marine book context or have they been kicked off their perch?

9 pinkments:

Brent said...

I think it's a fine list, pretty nearly optimized, and would make a good showing anywhere.

I think if you're trying to tune it Kirby's changes make a ton of sense. Personally, I don't think combat-squad'ing a Razorback 10 man is as efficient as just buy 5 dudes and spending the extra points elsewhere.

I understand the concept - a missile launcher and 4 meatshields in cover - but having seen it many times, I think its the weak link in the line. It gives your opponent something to center the attack on.

Still, overall it seems like a list that could stand with no problems.

Personally though, I'm dying to use the Rifleman in my next army... BoLSCon... er, sorry - WARGAMES CON... will be the swansong of my Daemons list. Time to put them on the shelf and play something new for a year.

Brent

Chumbalaya said...

Riflemen are hella cool, but the extra combat goodness is some times too good to pass up.

Springing for Typhoons would be a great way to add in more long range dakka on a cheap and mobile firepower.

chris.bibliophile said...

Thanks. i have NO idea how i ended up typing "bSoombs." Also, i sent it into you because i don't want to distract Stelek from finishing his damn nid reviews, lol.

I'm aware that the missile squads are not efficient from a pure shots per point perspective, and I'm open to the idea they might not be worth it. At the same time, i think they deserve some defending, as they do several things for the list.

For one, they free up my razorbacks from being backfield objective squatters. This is useful both because it gives me the ability to get more use out of their plasma guns and the libby riding in one, and because it means i only need to find 3 good spots on my side of the board to sit vehicles, rather than 5.

For two, they tend to not die. Not only are they tough to kill in general, but the fact that they're only putting out 1 shot a turn means people place them low on their target priority. This means that over the course of a game they get out a lot of shots. Typhoons, on the other hand, are generally high priority targets, both due to their damage output and how soft of targets they really are, both of which are magnified when they are deployed in squadrons. Because of this, I'm pretty confident that against most opponents missile squads will get more shots over the course of the game than the speeders, and while I'm well aware that for shootouts maximizing shots the first few turns is more important that total potential output over the course of a whole game, this is still worth noting.

Third, they're useful assault bait. I've frequently made use of these units to draw assaulty units away from more valuable targets, simply because they're easy for assault units to kill. While i know it's never a good idea to count on your opponent being stupid, there's no reason not to give him the chance to be, and these guys can be very useful for that purpose.

Again, in spite of this wall of text I'm open to removing them, I'm just not convinced yet.

Anonymous said...

Why not do up dreads with 1 AC and the DCCW? That way you can move six and fire support to your heart's content, while still providing counter-charge for your tacticals with the DCCW.

While you're at it, why not switch the las-plas to twin-linked assault cannons? Makes up for your lack of melta inside, and lets you move six and put hurt on enemy vehicles and heavies allsorts in the mid field, which is your goal.

Good luck :D

Kirby said...

@Chris; if it was one 10 man RBack squad I wouldn't squabble but 2... When it comes down to it, only 1/3 of missions do you really need to sit an RBack on the objective during c&c and in DoW/Spearhead that can still be sitting quite close to midfield if not in midfield so I wouldn't worry too much about the lost firepower.

Whilst you're correct in pointing out the ML squads are rarely going to get targeted, it's sorta the same as a Scout squad, they sit there holding an objective but not much else. Same with assault bait but against assault type armies where you need those type of sacrifice units, you can still combat squad your Rhino squads. Would you be adverse then to dropping the 10 man RBack squads to 5 man RBack squads, taking a 5 man scout squad & a Typhoon? You still improve your firepower but free up the RBacks to be more mobile and less restricted in their roles. I still think the 2 Typhoons is a better bet but I'm also a bit used to runnning a single LasPlas RBack in my 2000 list.

What Nid reviews from Stelek? lol

@Anon; it's not a bad idea but he'll be moving his Dreads forward anyway so the MM is much more likely to be an effective tank buster as the game goes on. TL-AC aren't great on RBacks. They can work on BA because they can keep you at that 24" range but not so much with other Marine variants.

chris.bibliophile said...

I have to disagree on only needing to sit back in 1 mission. When it comes right down to it, 5 marines really aren't that hard to kill, even with cover, so having the extra squad back there can make my objective much more secure in T&H. This also gives me much more freedom to operate my razorbacks, letting me drive them toward my opponents base to bring my plasma guns to bear and use the combat squad with the flamer to threaten to contest.

As far as replacing them with scouts, i just don't understand why this is good. Like i said over at YTTH, when you already have a 5 man squad in a razorback why pay 85 pts for a scout squad with a bs3 missile launcher and 4+ saves when you could pay 80 for a marine squad with a bs4 missile launcher, 3+ saves, and a free flamer in your razorback squad? If you're running all rhino tac squads, are looking for a home for a conversion beamer MotF, or have the points and desire to fit in Tellion, scout squads rock, but when you already have a 5 man squad in a razorback min sized scout squads seem like a total waste.

As for the Typhoons, I'm hesitant to use them, just because I've never seen a game where they weren't perceived as high priority threats and shot down quick. Unlike MM/HF speeders which can hide and use cover until they get within reach of their targets, Typhoons pretty much have to put themselves under your opponents big guns if they want to do anything, and i don't see them lasting long there. I can see why they work in SW light mech spam lists that focus on maximizing the number of cheap long range threats, but in a list like this i would just see a singleton typhoon or typhoon squadron getting shot to shit asap, as they would be both one of my best long range units and easily the weakest.

As far as nid reviews go, i know, and it's starting to annoy me. I really have yet to figure out the codex and settle on a 2k list i really like, and i just sent a list review email into stelek on that subject. Hopefully, he'll answer it, and there's a small part of me hoping doing so jumpstarts the nid reviews again, but i wouldn't bet on it.

Kirby said...

I was referring to the RBack sitting on an objective and it can take some time to drop a RBack in cover and then the Marines, especially if it doesn't explode. You do have more freedom overall for the RBacks but not that much and I think the improved firepower is worth it.

In regards to the Scouts, ya they're less effective than the Marines but you shouldn't be looking for offensive firepower from that type of unit. Any they give you is great. GtG then gives you a 2+ cover save for the scouts.

Typhoons are capable of hiding as well, especially if there is large terrain about. The ability to move 12" and still fire 2 S8 shots is their best defence and I find they actually survive longer than my MM/HF speeders but in theory you are correct. However, against Eldar/DE lists the extra long ranged fire support is going to be very useful.

Again, the list isn't bad, it's good. I just think to make it more streamlined something should be done with the excess marines in terms of point usage but if you don't want to, that's fine ^^.

Heh. I think 2xterv/harpy/t-fex/prime/termagant + 3xHG is a pretty good list and there are a ton of variants off of it. for Tyanids.

chris.bibliophile said...

We'll see, i plan on trying some of this stuff once i get off my current tyranid kick and back to marines.

As for nids, I've been trying to build a decent t6 spam list with a mostly shooty orientation but a 1-2 cc rocks to follow it up, and I've struggled to get one that works for me. I love nid shooting qualitatively, but i just have difficulty buying the idea that they can get enough quantity of it on be board even with harpy's to stand up against IG or other gunline armies with lots of vehicles. Plus, the fact that i only have 6 fexes, and relatively little desire to buy a 7th means the 2x terv, 2x harpy, 3x t-fex list is out. What I'm planning on trying out next week is probably

Tyrant w/ 2x scytal, OA, Leech, Paro
Tyrant w/ 2x scytal, OA, Leech, Paro

2x Tyrant Guard w/ Swords
2x Tyrant Guard w/ Swords

2x HG
2x HG
2x HG

10x Term
10x Term
Terv w/ Catalyst, Sacs, Talons, Spines
Terv w/ Catalyst, Sacs, Talons, Spines

T-Fex w/ Rupture, Spines, 2+ Poison Template
T-Fex w/ Rupture, Spines, 2+ Poison Template

Decent shooting, good cc, and while feel like it has a critical weakness to TH/SS Terms, i haven't found a nid list that doesn't.

GMort. said...

@chris.bibliophile - I've been using the following Tyranid list with some success

2000 Pts - Tyranids Roster - Tyranid Test list - 1750

HQ: The Swarmlord (1#, 280 pts)
1 The Swarmlord @ 280 pts

: Tyrant Guard Brood (2#, 130 pts)
2 Tyrant Guard Brood @ 130 pts (Lash Whip)

Elite: Hive Guard Brood (2#, 100 pts)
2 Hive Guard Brood @ 100 pts

Elite: Hive Guard Brood (2#, 100 pts)
2 Hive Guard Brood @ 100 pts

Elite: Hive Guard Brood (2#, 100 pts)
2 Hive Guard Brood @ 100 pts

Troops: Tervigon (1#, 195 pts)
1 Tervigon @ 195 pts (Adrenal Glands; Toxin Sacs; Catalyst)

Troops: Tervigon (1#, 195 pts)
1 Tervigon @ 195 pts (Adrenal Glands; Toxin Sacs; Catalyst)

Troops: Termagant Brood (10#, 60 pts)
9 Termagant Brood @ 60 pts
1 Termagant (Strangleweb)

Troops: Termagant Brood (10#, 60 pts)
9 Termagant Brood @ 60 pts
1 Termagant (Strangleweb)

Heavy Support: Tyrannofex (1#, 265 pts)
1 Tyrannofex @ 265 pts (Rupture Cannon; Cluster Spines; Thorax Swarm (larvae))

Heavy Support: Tyrannofex (1#, 265 pts)
1 Tyrannofex @ 265 pts (Rupture Cannon; Cluster Spines; Thorax Swarm (larvae))

Total Roster Cost: 1750

Only 1 'Rock' unit but it is a fairly potent one.

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