Wednesday, 13 April 2011

GK Techmarine Tactica V.1…The Grenadier

Ah Techmarine, NOW I think I finally understand you…

Techmarines are shit.

This is an over exaggeration, but you always glaze over them right?

Some have been kind of useful… like the Blood Angels guy who can switch servo harness out for a jump pack and drop in with a combi-melta and kill your most expensive tank! Whoot! Quite a few points, one wound and most importantly…one shot. Or the Vanilla guy who put in decades of training on Mars to operate a big, mildly shitty gun battery…

In the Wolves book they are pretty cool…they can ride on Thuderwolves, accompanied by Cyberwolves,wielding a Thunder hammer and a cheap Wolftooth necklace. Definitely an option, but an overcrowded/competitive ‘Elites’ section means they are most often, certainly in tournament play, over looked in favour of Wolf Guard, Scouts, Lone Wolves and Dreadnaughts.

I’ve been playtesting the Militant Psyker Division of the Blood Hunters (my one ring to rule them all army), this division otherwise known as the Grey Knights… very briefly to explain, my BA form the core of this project, then by switching out models and adding in detachments of codex specific units I can play them as another army…one size fits all. Earlier playtesting thoughts can be found here.

I’ve been running a techmarine solidly for a few games and he is performing admirably… a lot of useful tools in his utility belt…

I run him like this:
‘Defensive Grenadier’: 105 points
Grenades: Frag, Krak, PsykOut, Rad (-1T), Blind (defensive)
Weaponry: Power weapon, TL Plasma Pistol, Flamer, 2 x powerfist attacks from servo harness
Abilities: Repair, Bolster Defences, Reconstruction psychic power

How is he used?
“Midnight Clad
A term used by Night Lords to represent their war garb, but here I couldn’t think of a more apt name…By combining your ‘Bolster Defences’ ability to improve the cover save of a ruin in your deployment zone by +1, with the ‘Shrouding’ (confers Stealth USR in 6”) ability of your Librarian (cause, you took one, right?) you can grant a 2+ cover save…no imagine if you used that to your advantage..I’ll talk about it in a minute…

Add this bitch to a certain unit in your army and voila…they now have to deal with enemies in combat at -1 toughness for the first round and defensive grenades for reducing the number of incoming attacks..

“Utility Belt Assault”:
 Have those pesky DE/E jetbikes turboboosted again? Need flamer to remove them? Check
Is that rhino/APC/light tank/paper plane/monstrous creature approaching and you just need another accurate S7 shot to down it?
Do you need an extra one or two power weapon swings in combat?
Or do you really need 2 S8 powerfist attacks to swing the result of the combat or kill an MC because your Halberd Terminators just haven’t quite finished the job convincingly enough?
Hmmm.. ok,semi-convinced? How does he fit into a force then?
My 1750 force currently looks like this:

OM Inquisitor Ravenor: TDA, Psycannon, 3 x Servo Skulls, lvl 1 Psyker - Psychic Communion
Librarian Fialnor – just the ‘core 4’ powers… Shrouding, Sanctuary, Warp Rift and Might of Titan
Techmarine – as above
3 x 10 GKSS, 2 Cannons, Razorback – HB, Psybolts
7 x Terminators, Cannon, all Halberds
Psyfleman Dread – 2 x TL Autocannons, Psybolts
Psyfleman Dread

Where does the techmarine go?
He fits in with the 7 man Terminator squad to lend grenades to their assault prowess. Now, I know the vast majority of internet personalities will tell you GK are not an assault force, and I agree. But, with Halberds (I6), Hammerhand (S5), Might of Titan (cumulative so S6), Rad’s (-1T) and Blinds (no assault bonus attacks)…7 terminators with 3 independent characters attached, 2 of which are in TDA with multiple wounds for small arms fire allocation…and with a very healthy fire output from 2 relentless psycannons and 12 stormbolters…it’s a pretty decent assault unit..not forgetting Sanctuary…which may thin the incoming attackers before they get there…if they get there…

(yes, that means the Libbie and Inquisitor are with the Termies too..)

We can position the Razors behind this unit to generate cover with terrain as well, the Dreads behind the Razors and then the techmarine can comfortably get into base with a vehicle that gets Immobilised or weapon destroyed…meaning our vehicles don’t really care about results 1,2,3 or 4 on the damage table through a combination of Fortitude and Repair with Reconstruction (4+ re-rollable to repair)…

The big dog and his unit? They are on the front line with combat squadded psycannon troops in their midst too? How do they get cover I hear you say….well, these guys sit half in, half out the Bolstered Ruin, with the Librarian in the middle of the unit…

If you are going second…that’s fine too..because you’ll cast Shrouding and have a 2++ cover save and a 2+ armour save…not that easy to torrent either when there a 10 dudes in the unit, wound allocation and multiwound types to soak up little bullets.

If you don’t get Shrouding off? Are you fucked? No, because it is still a 3++ cover.

Yes, looking at how I’ve described this…it’s almost as if I view GK as quite a defensive, almost reactionary force.

The rock that the tide breaks upon.

Yes, I know I’ll actually have to move people out of my one, super-ruin at some point in the game…the idea in Seize Ground would simply be that I am safe from things like mechanised Imperial Guard if they are going first through a combination of Servo Skulls, ‘Midnight Clad’ and Psychic Communion reserves manipulation.

And beautifully, this works in DoW too…Termies and Libbie can use it as well as another 10 man squad or 5 man depending on mission. Plus in DoW, the ruin could be mid field too…even better! No, scratch that…perfection. I think I love DoW now… unless I go second and get pinned back by aggressive deployment! Wasted ruin! OK, I still hate it.

Issue Number 1: What if there is no ruin?
Ok, at the last 2 tournaments I attended, ran by 2 separate company’s/groups….5/6 games at each had ruins on the tables.
At my local GW…every table has ruins.
I have 4 gaming boards set up in the garage at home, all 4 have ruins.

Ruins are a fundamental part of 40k.. bombed out cities, worlds being fought for and under siege, orbital bombardment, guerrilla warfare, terrorism, weakening of key infrastructure, decaying worlds, dying worlds, ancient rediscovered worlds, long forgotten civilisations…even agri-worlds will have hives and industrial areas…which would get bombed in war. Desert worlds? Who knows what long dead races inhabited the planet…Forest worlds/Swamp worlds…again, the ancient peoples of the world needed to live somewhere, as do, presumably, the people who live there now!
Gaseous worlds? Um…how are we fighting on these?

 If you are not playing with ruins…get on board. If you are at a tournament and end up playing on a couple of boards without ruins.. and that’s all it’ll be, a couple… well then man up and accept you’ve just paid 105 points for some sweet grenades that mean you are wounding monstrous creatures like a Keeper of Secrets or Trygon on a 3+ …and for a few extra ‘Utility Belt’ attacks…

Issue Number 2: Not fearless, lot of points in one basket?
Stubborn Ld10 Inquisitor…not going to run away. Fear of the Darkness or Weaken Resolve won’t hurt you. Fuck them. In the face. Where they live.

Opportunity cost?

What have I lost?
Well, I dropped a 3rd Psyfleman Dreadnaught to get my guy in. So I lost 4 TLS8 shots, a vehicle hull, more Enhanced Aegis net…

What could I buy?
I could drop a terminator and get a Vindicare Assassin…different role altogether
I could grab a Purgation squad with 4 incinerators and stick them in a Razorback…another very different role…
I could go to 10 men in the Terminator squad…get 3 psycannons in there with the OM:Inq… now that’s nasty..but very different.

So not really a tactica, just some ideas on how I’ve been running mine and how I think he can be a viable, competitive choice in a GK army…making things more survivable and more deadly.

What do you think chaps? Is the techie actually good now. Really good. Like, you might use him.. absolutely…


  1. sorry guys, comments have not been working...should be up and running again now!!

  2. I like the Techmarine and will be getting one soon ish

  3. i noticed these as soon as i saw the codex. i am really glad you had a closer look and came to the same conclusions i did :)

  4. Problem is, techmarines + Rad + Psycho + blind nades = 120pts, so its 15pts under atm. I still think xenos inquisitors are cheaper and just as effective for what you want!

  5. I like the idea of them, for the fact that you can put them into a squad and give them some extra punch, he can activate the HH so force weapons can be used etc. Plus handy for being a grenade battery.

    I am definitely liking the Inq though - stubborn is being over looked a bit I think around the web, since GK's lost fearless (except purifiers), which is a shame, so that gives them a bit more staying power, and he's quite customisable and relatively cheap, even with some big load outs.

    Have to say though right now I cant justify the points, or rather don't want to as I am sticking a land raider in my list, not because its optimal, but I plan on spending a billion hours painting the damn thing (marble effect ho!, just practising on multiple rhino chassis's lol), plus I love the idea of warp + holocaust + incinerator from a group of paladins.

  6. @Alex: no psycho here...psyk-outs come as standard... it is 105 promise...

    Problem means either no libbie or no malleus...not happening for me, so i look elsewhere and get to bolster ruins and rebuild my autocannons et al...

  7. I do like it.

    I think I might go the route of the Xenos Inq with PA + nades and a power weap or something. I do have to say all the Inq's are tempting in their own way ... I mean demon weapon? Damn thats cool.

    I do want to use my RT Inquistors though, so might have to do a malleus one!

  8. fair enough bull...i know it is cheaper with xenos, but takes a valuable hq choice that i just dont want to give... are aware of the conflicting nature of 'can't afford the points' and 'land raider' right.... lol

  9. raiders are like 35 points aren't they? In reality its just a case of a LR is an amazing canvas so to speak, and I just have a vision for what I want to do with it, and plop that on the table. There's a couple of sacrifices I'll make on this list probably, just for the sake of me being happy hobby wise at the same time; there has to be a bit of a compromise sometimes otherwise I don't think you'll enjoy/get the best out of it (at least that's my experience). But yeah that beast of a toy will deny me some other bits ...

    Not to say I won't play other lists, but its certainly on the docket for the moment. I did realise today though that the amount of time I'll be putting into it, I cant see it being fully painted / tourney ready for a few months ... at least - every major model (tanks, dreads, characters and justicars) will prob have 10+ hours into them. Yikes :/

  10. This is very true mate, you need some fun stuff to keep you into and motivated with a project..I'll get some photos up here tonight of my 2 HQ's, both of which are pretty special to me and will make great central pieces for the army.. that'll motivate me to put in the hours...

    Any mural/freehand designs or anything on the large flat areas? I've got a Raider to do for the BT detachment...thinking of some special plans for it...