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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Email in: ComradeCowboy's Wolfguard Sternguard

"How's it going, Pinko's. Comrade "Silly putty" Cowboy here with a conundrum (If thats the right term for it)

Alright, so I've been toying with the idea of making a sternguard squad (Or something similar) out of a wolfguard pack, but I'm unsure as to the best way of using it, or if the idea itself is even viable.

Anyway, it'd be structured either with six or ten guys. If I went ten (the whole hog) I'd probably be podding them in as an expensive, yet effective (?) alpha strike. Combi-weapons galore.

Now, I can see it working if I squint and tilt my head left. A suicide squad, especially one thats this expensive, just seems like a gamble. However I am a gambling man and can see the squad making quite an impact if dropped (And setup) properly. Which is where I am sort of struggling.

For the most part I'd be combi-stormbolters. I'm thinking something along the lines of 2/3rds melta, 1/3rd flamer. I'd even consider plasma, though gets hot seems like a pointless risk given the nature of the unit. There would also be a fist at ten men.

With practice, I can see the squad working. But initially it'll probably be a waste as A; Drop podding is like that, and B; You can't hide in combat when you land.

At six men I'd run them in a razor back (Las/Plas, of course). Though at the same time, I could run the 6 man in the drop-pod and save a few points. 2/3rds melta, 1/3rd flamer, point it at a tank. The razor would be a similar setup, sans the fist for some power swords for bite. The problem I have here is figuring out what the unit will be doing. Its got alright shooting at 24", but its nothing special. Its too small to be a hammer and its a tad squishy.

I could see it contesting points, but I've already got squads doing that. I could also see it backing up the main rhino push, but it already does well with what it has.

Am I going about this the wrong way? Is there a more effective method to acheive what I want, IE; An effective alpha strike unit, similar to sternguard? Or in the case of the Razor, a shooty contest'an/backup unit that packs a balls load of combi's?

Any input would be grand, cheers

Comrade "Hardball" Cowboy"

The concept of using Space Wolf parts for Sternguard appeals to me and whilst I love Sternguard I've always found them problematic to fit into an army list even though they are good. If you are not running a Pod list, do not pod them in as a 10 man unit because they are suicide units when you do that. Yes they can kill 1 to 2 tanks but woop de doo. When you pod them in alone go with a smaller squad which can do anything (combi-meltas + heavy flamers?) or run them in a full Pod army.

Because of their cost I'd therefore prefer to run them as smaller squads and razorbacks are an obvious investment here but you lose the advantage of 2 heavy weapons + top hatch fun of the Rhino. This is where I think the Space Marine codex comes undone just a little bit (btw, the review is Vt2's, not mine) as it's harder to get efficient spare chassis unlike SW/BA. I think Sternguard can therefore be run in two ways efficiently, both being MSU. The first is running 5 men with 2 heavies (ML/LC) in a Rhino whilst the second also runs 5 men (maybe 6) in a Razorback and packs more combis and heavy flamers as the specials to support a midfield push so your Razorback idea seems similar there (avoid combat weapons though).

Overall, Sternguard are expensive and should therefore stick to being MSU units and should only be podded in with the knowledge they are basically going to die unless in a full pod army list, otherwise they are simply too expensive unless you can pop two land raiders on the drop. What Sternguard provide in Rhinos or Razorbacks is a swiss army knife. They can push midfield and deal with whatever is there or stand back and drop some heavy weapon shots into MC/tanks but still deal with anything which gets closer and need it.

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