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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, May 23, 2011

Email in: List advice: 1,500pt Space Marines

"Hi Kirby,

I've been tearing every last drop of information from your blog in an attempt to understand where I'm going wrong as my recent record has been abysmal, and I think I've gained a better grasp of tactics that I've been missing up until this point. I have a thing for Sternguard veterans and have been trying to come up with a workable list for them after many, many failed attempts on the tabletop. I would be very grateful if you could look over the list below and offer any advice or criticism you see fit, so that I can further understand where I'm going wrong:


Librarian, Null Zone, Curse of the Machine Spirit. 100pts.


Tactical Marines (10), Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Power Fist, Rhino. 230pts.
Tactical Marines (10), Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Power Fist, Rhino. 230pts.


Sternguard (5), Combi-Melta, Razorback w/ Heavy Bolter. 170pts.
Sternguard (5), Combi-Melta, Razorback w/ Heavy Bolter. 170pts.


Land Speeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer. 70pts.
Land Sppeder, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer. 70pts.


Predator, Twin-Linked Lascannon, Heavy Bolters. 130pts.
Predator, Twin-Linked Lascannon, Heavy Bolters. 130pts.
Devastators (5), Missile Launchers (4), Razorback w/ Heavy Bolter. 190pts.

The basic idea is to use the Sternguard to inflict pressure where it's needed, the Tacticals camp objectives and try to stay alive as best as possible (in KP missions I tend to bunker up into a "Fortress Imperium" refused flank and just lay down the fire). The Predators are for long-range suppression and the occasional transport pop, with a dual-purpose of laying down heavy bolter fire against foot armies. The Devastators are the can-openers in regards to light vehicles, again with a dual-purpose of laying down anti-infantry fire if there are no vehicle/MC/Mid-field 'Nid targets. The Librarian rides with one of the Sternguard squads, primarily to provide Null Zone against MEQ targets that have invulnerable resistance to vengeance rounds, or before laying krak missiles from the Devastators (in the rare occasion when there's nothing better to pop than MEQs with krak missiles). Curse of the Machine Spirit is there primarily as a desperation move when needed. Land Speeders are there to try and pop any obnoxious tanks that threaten the firebase and cannot be reasonably suppressed, again dual-purposing into tearing up densely packed infantry or objective campers as demanded by the situation. I have been considering dropping at least one fist from the Tactical squads to add a TW-Lascannon to the Devastator's Razorback, so that their transport has better synergy with their likely positioning and role, similar to the Sternguard's Razorback being anti-infantry.

Any advice would be happily received.

Keep up the good work!


I'm going to say I don't like the list. It's built pretty well but I think you're running too much ineffieciency. The Predators and Devastators are big examples of that, Power Fists on the Tactical squads and only a single combi on the Sternguard are no-nos really. You can run Devastators in a Vanilla list but they are expensive and find yourself short on points quickly. The Predators are pretty much always wasting firepower whatever they are shooting at (TLLC doesn't do much to infantry and HB don't do much to tanks) and the TLLC is an expensive upgrade. For 5points a model why not take combi-meltas on the Sternguard? And power fists on squads that are really terrible at combat isn't a great buy. I'm also not a fan of the Razorback style you've gone for. Whilst cheap and capable of laying down some decent anti-infantry firepower, you lack ranged anti-tank which they can provide (though of course you then have the opportunity cost when you move the sternguard closer of losing those shots).

With that in mind perhaps look to do the following.

Give the Sternguard combi-meltas. All of them. Change the TLLC/HB Preds to AC/HB Preds. Cheaper and better anti-infantry with a more duality focused role against light tanks. Drop the Devastators completely and the Fists off the Tactical squads. Upgrade the MM/HF Speeders to Typhoons and put any excess points into those or another Sternguard + Razorback squad (a Scout squad for a scoring backfield works as well). This eliminates a lot of the inefficiency you have in your list as discussed above and adds back in the ranged firepower the list lacks in general. Further spare points could also be spent on MM Attack Bikes to keep some fast melta though with the Sternguard and Tactical squads, you've got quite a decent array of melta options already.

Oh and I'd probably give the Libby the 2nd power of Avenger for that AP3 template to help the Sternguard clear out squads in cover. In the end a list could look something like...

Libby w/Null Zone & Avenger
2x5x Sternguard w/5x combi-meltas, Razorback
2x10x Marines w/meltagun, multi-melta, Rhino
5x Scouts w/Missile Launcher
2x2x Land Speeder Typhoon
2x Dakka Pred

Which is 1515 points. Dropping the meltaguns from the Marines to flamers and a combi-melta from the Libby Sternguard squad shores that up or you could drop the Scouts in place of some upgrades elsewhere.

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