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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, December 2, 2010

GWvsJohn's mailbag: Foot Marines, Terrible idea?

Hello guys.

I assume you get a lot of emails regarding army lists, I'm quite new to warhammer, I've been playing for less than a month so far. First I started trying to get a flamer-based Salamander army but it never worked out, especially against swarms. Now I'm trying what might be a very stupid idea, but I want your opinions and above all tips:

The idea of this army is to deliver a lot of firepower even on the first turn without HAVING to move any units on the first turn.

Here's the list:
2 x Devastator x 6, 4 Missile Laun (166 x 2) = 332
1 x Devastator x 8, 2 Lascan, 1 Missile Laun (223 x 1) = 223
2 x Sternguard x 10, 2 Plasma Can, 1 Power Fist (295 x 2) = 590
Pedro Kantor (175)
2 x Tactical x 5 (90 x 2) = 180

The idea is to make a front line (I named the army list "hold the line") of sternguard backed up by the devastators on the back and they are protected by the fragile tactical squad on the sides in case of flanking. And in the middle, Mr. Pedro Kantor attached to 1 of the Sternguard, giving +1 to Attacks to everyone.

With this army I can shoot this on the first turn:
- 16 shots of Kraken ammo at 30" at infantry.
- 8 Missile Launchers to transports and/or infantry.
- 4 Plasma Cannons to elite infantry.
- 2 Lascannons to heavy support.
- 1 Orbital Bombarment to whatever catches my fancy.

Now, my questions are:
1) What kind of weakness do you see in this army, what kind of things do I have to be wary of? Would this idea be much better on a different codex? Would transport make this army list much better even though I would sacrifice firepower?

2) Ignoring the fact that Pedro Kantor is there, what kind of Space Marine Chapter would use strategies such as this: On foot and long range, ready to counter-assault once the enemy gets weary.

Sorry to pull a Stelek and dump on Marte, but this is the exact sort of e-mail my guide to marines was meant to counter (seriously Kirby, perma-sticky that post at the top of the blog, it's pure gold). Read that and re-think your list. At the root of the problem is this idea that foor marines can work. They can't. An utter lack of mobility puts you at the mercy of any mechanized list, allowing them to focus fire your army down while avoiding your counter attack with LoS blocking and use of cover. You're also at the mercy of real gunlines like Tau and IG who outclass your firepower by a significant margin and will blow a foot list off the board with relative ease.

Let's look at what you bring. Your AT is 8 ML and 2 LC. SW can get that for about 500 points. Anti-infantry is 4 plasma cannons and bolters (yeah, yeah, special ammo too). You pay a lot of points for that AP2 on the PC, but it's rare that you'll get a non-cover shot at anything worth shooting (except for TH/SS termies who are about to charge you). Now Pedro. I think someone needs to write a nice long post about why he stinks. He makes your crummy CC troops slightly less crummy and prevents them from running away to fight another day. Then 2 bare, min Tactical squads for some reason. Maybe try Scouts if you want min troops.

I think I probably made my point, but let's examine your questions.
1) Weaknesses are, well, everything (sorry). Not enough firepower to have no mobility. No CC. No ability to claim or contest objectives. Other codex? Nope. Pure foot doesn't work in ANY codex, except Nids. Adding transports only helps. It also adds firepower, not reduces it. Razorbacks bring a lascannon and a plasmagun for less than a full Tactical squad with the same loadout. A Rhino allows you to actually put a MM and flamer to use. Moving to "mech" allows you to bring preds, dreads and speeders which only increase your firepower further.

2) I'd like to ignore Pedro :) Otherwise, no chapter would use this strategy, as it doesn't work. Every bit of SM fluff talks about Tacticals rolling in Rhinos, kicking ass, not standing around getting pwned.

Sorry marte, read my guide and try again.

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