Hello there, folks.
In the last few posts I’ve been treating you to a bunch of photos, mostly because I haven’t had any ideas about what to write! I did remember however that quite early on in the blog I was going to tell you about the Space Marine list I used in my first “Aldershot ‘Ardboyz” (our gaming club name taken from the popular Ork term) tournament.
Although they didn’t have as much luck as the Tyranid list I put together, they still won two of the three games I played. I made this list to be as balanced as possible within the constraints of 1000 points, so there are some really nice anti-infantry and anti-armour choices in there. Anyone that has written a Space Marine list in the past will know that you really don’t get a lot of options in 1000 point games and every single point has to count.
I’ll break down each unit and explain my reasons for taking them.
First up is Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, leader of the Crimson Fists. I was not using my army as Crimson Fists but the Space Marine Codex suggests that if you like a particular characters stats and rules but don’t want to field their associated army you can merely name/paint them differently to how you desire.
I’m not usually the type to take named special characters, but this guy is amazing. He has the stats of a normal Space Marine Captain, and while he costs more than if you were to arm a Captain the same way there are a few extras that make him good value for points (he is the 3rd cheapest named character in the codex).
He gets Orbital Bombardment, which Captains don’t get access to. Sure you aren’t allowed to move in the movement phase of the turn you wish to use it and you can only use it once per game, but an unlimited range, strength 10, large blast template that you can shoot at targets not in line of sight is fantastic! This has good potential for taking big chunks out of horde armies and also, due to its high strength value, has the chance to instant kill multi-wound enemies. He is also equipped with Dorn’s Arrow, which is a 4 shot storm bolter which is nice with his high ballistic skill, and a Powerfist, so when he’s not squidging enemy infantry with it in close combat, he’s punching holes through tanks and dreadnaughts etc.
Then we have his special rules. The first allows him to grant the “Stubborn” universal rule to the entire army, which means that if they happen to lose a round of close combat they won’t suffer any penalties to their leadership when taking their break test, therefore they hold their ground, and hopefully objectives, more efficiently. The second allows any Sternguard veterans in the army to claim objectives (normally only Troop choices may claim objectives, and Sterngaurd are elites) which is very handy because two of the three games I played in the tournament were to be missions which involved claiming battlefield objectives. And thirdly, he has a rule that allows any friendly unit within 12” of him to gain an extra attack in close combat. On a 4×4 foot table this is going to have a big impact. All of these factors made him a no-brainer choice. The synergy he had with the other units in my army made him invaluable.
To accompany Kantor, I added an Honour Guard Squad. These are a bit expensive but what you are getting is a lot of close combat power weapon attacks (these ignore enemies armour), some really good armour saves (their regular armour save is actually better than Kantor’s) and a few extra wounds to soak up damage that Kantor himself could be taking. In the Honour Guard Squad is a Chapter Champion which I armed with a Relic Blade and is pretty tasty at taking out enemy characters that get into close combat.
Add on top of all these great reasons to take this unit the +1 attack that Kantor bestows on them meant that when they got into close combat, and he got a chance to attack (Powerfists strike at Initiative 1) everything would usually be dead already!
We’ll look at my troop choices next. Every army has to meet the legal list requirements of one HQ choice (in my case Pedro Kantor) and two troop choices. I decided to save some points I’d go for Space Marine Scouts. They are cheaper than your normal Space Marine, some of their stats and armour saves aren’t as good, but by no means should you write them off.
Here’s my opinion of their bonuses:
• They have the Infiltrate, Scout and Move Through Cover special rules. Infiltrate is especially handy. Let’s say for whatever reason you have to set your army up on the table before your opponent sets theirs up. If you hold your Scouts back from your deployment you can now set them up after the enemy has fully deployed. Doing this can, in some occasions, negate any benefits they gained from setting up second, after seeing how your force is set out.
• They have a good selection of weapons to choose from, including sniper rifles, missile launchers, heavy bolters, shotguns etc.
• You can use the Combat Squads rule to break larger units down into smaller ones, adding to their flexibility.
In my case I took two units of the maximum ten Scouts each. In each unit I gave five Scouts sniper rifles and in one of the units with the spare points I had I added a missile launcher for added anti-armour measures. They when I was playing I’d split the units down into smaller units of five. I’d keep the snipers on higher ground, also bearing in mind they are move or shoot weapons, and the other five from each unit were free to engage tanks with the missile launcher or claim objectives.
I’d just like to mention that sniper rifles are great options for Scouts. Firstly they are poisoned(+4) weapons meaning that no matter what the toughness of the target you’ll always be hitting on a D6 roll of a 4+, which is great versus high toughness enemies such as some of the larger Tyranid creatures and Eldar Wraithlords. Also whenever they wound an enemy, that enemy and the unit they may be in must make a pinning test. If they fail they cannot do anything for a turn!
For my final choices I took two units of five Sternguard Veterans. I really enjoyed using these units as they have upgraded boltguns that they can fit with various rounds that all have special effects on the enemy. In fact you can change which ammunition type they use each turn, to best deal with whatever threats they engage. My favourite ammunition type is the Hellfire rounds which are poisoned(+2). Being boltguns means you can rapid fire them as well, meaning two shots from each Sternguard.
Each Sternguard has two attacks as standard in close combat (one more than regular Marines). Factor in that if they are within 12” of Kantor they benefit from his +1 attack bonus, that’s three each and if they get to charge the enemy that’s another attack. So potentially, that’s 20 close combat attacks from five Sternguard Veterans on the charge. Don’t forget that Kantor’s special rule makes it so Sternguard can capture objectives just as if they were regular troops, which is a vital part of some missions.
I then mounted both these units in their own Razorback APCs. A Razorback is much like a Space Marine Rhino APC. It has less room for carrying troops (capacity of six rather than the Rhino’s ten) but in doing so you can fit a heavy weapon turret on the top! I chose to arm one with a twin-linked* Lascannon which should make light work of most enemy vehicles. The other I armed with a twin-linked Assault Cannon, which is great at shredding enemy infantry and being strength 6 with the rending special rule, also has a chance of destroying lightly armoured enemy vehicles.
(*the twin-linked rule means you can reroll any dice that failed to hit.) So that’s the lot.
I was really happy with this list as I feel it is balanced, flexible, and ready for anything. If I play any 1000 point games with my marines in the future, I’ll find it hard to use anything else! I hope this insight into my thinking behind the list and the units I chose has been helpful to some of you.