Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Voice - Building a better Marine list

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Ive just been really busy job hunting and looking after the little one.

So, Marines; its all about the bikes right?


I won't lie i looked at the book and thought the same initially. With grav as it is and scoring cheap bikes the way they are, then surely that's your starting point with marine lists?  We'll this is what i thought and played some games...and its good, but its not great. If you don't go first it can be a problem. It was almost 2 army's, the one where you went first and the one where you went second and the tactics changed a lot depending on that. With Coteaz as an allie then i think it is a strong contender, but other wise its good but not tourney winning good (Hello Mr Sacket :P)

So what do i think marines should be doing. Well that depends, on one thing. The chapter tactics you use. This rule more than any other really does define how you should build your list, and, in my humble opinion, tactical marines tend to use them to the fullest.

I was a bit disillusioned with the tacs at first, they didn't get much of a buff and they were not cheaper (not really, when you consider their old free/cheap weapons upgrades). But add in the chapter tactics and the fact that a lot of the upgrades are optional and available for squads under 10 strong now and hoo nelly!. Suddenly tacs en mass can be scary.

Yes i said it, Scary

So what I'm going to do is go through each of the chapter tactics and show you a list , talk about it a bit and throw some ideas your way. I won't include allies out of codex as frankly thats an exercise that would take forever. Plus i think allies are kinda cheating :P

First off. White Scars:

This is what I'm currently using myself, as i think hit and run and scout on mass scoring troops is brilliant. Marine hordes/pseudo hordes work now. Id rather 10 marines and a rhino than a equivalent amount of bikes.

So - 1850.

Khan on bike

Chapter master, bike, arti armour, shield eternal, thunder hammer, auspex

Command squad, bikes, apoth, max gravs

10 tacticals with melta, combi melta,  - rhino dozer blade
10 tacticals with melta, combi melta,  - rhino dozer blade
10 tacticals with melta, combi melta,  - rhino dozer blade
10 tacticals with melta, combi melta,  - rhino dozer blade
5 scouts. shotguns
5 tacs, melta, combi melta - pod

thunder fire


aegis line

obviously the go to allie here is making the chapter master, scouts and hunter Iron hands :p

But what you have here is an in your face, turn one, gigaton of marines. The command squad are your hammer to deal with the big problems, the thunder and the hunter are your support to deal with very specific units (troops and flyers). But really the heavy lifting it done by the tacs. Get midfield, melta targets and then get in to combat.

Combat you say? Yes. cos mass kraks does a number on vehicles and id rather be in combat with something to then hit and run out, shoot and then charge again than be shot in the face at the enemys pleasure. All the time you are doing this you are conserving your scoring to then hit and run out to an objective later and to deny the enemy bringing his guns to bear till the command squads gets there to wreck face.

The pod squad are a great little distracting unit too, i really want them getting shot with Tau intercept so that marker light support is not an issue for those weapons next turn where they can do a number on my rhinos before I'm maybe ready to get out, or can just do more damage ignoring cover to the tacs.

The scouts are used as your baseline objective campers, relic nabers or just plain used to push back other infiltrators to create a hole to scout into (yes i know with the new inquis book you may see more servo skulls but it dont do jack vs outflanking if needs be and frankly, the scout its nice but not ultimately the be all and end oll of your tactics)

The aegis is there cos going second you always want a nice cover save for this rhinos.

The alpha strike on this can be immense. A few games now ive had a conceed turn one. If you combat squad too you have enough shots to reliably ground multiple fmc's (then charge with Mc Hammer and friends). If fact i was at WW Wednesday and played Scott Nichols and his tzeentch deamons. It was over  turn one effectively (me going second) I caused 5 failed grounding checks, grounding all his fmc's. I charged 3 of them with the bikes, including fatey, then spent a few turns just tanking up attacks, hit and running out and killing them in turn. Fatey died to a hail of cc grenades from 20 tacticals once the grim bearer had died and it wore off. Troops die to bolters and thunder fire cannons as normal.

Fear the tactical marine.

So what does the chapter tactics do to this army?:

It gives you mobile and tricksy troops to keep out of the way of every gun on the table and still run off to score later. It makes the bike squad more reliable and hit harder (S5 hammer of wrath, no dangerous terrain tests and 4+ jink saves). It gives you access to Khan for scout on all your transport mounted troops and bikes for that turn one rush or outflank.

Anyway this is my tourney list of choice atm (ish, i have the Iron hand chapter master et all)




  1. 50 marines scouting or podding in your face turn 1 is indeed daunting buddy. Could you not squeeze in some delightful sternguard in pods? Over the chapter master? Or are you finding the chapter master beatstick to be more useful than more SM bodies?
    Think back to GH in Wolf builds...they do all the heavy lifting and just get slaughtered (whilst slaughtering others ofc) throughout the game.. the same here.. 45 scoring marines can be killed pretty easy.. especially if you are disembarking at the end of turn 1 to get in position to shoot and CHARGE turn 2.. this means the opponent can shoot straight at the marines rather than open up the box first.
    Combat squadding I feel would be very important here for maximising the number of units.
    Hmm... would it benefit from its own Inq?
    More pods via losign CM?

  2. Its game dependant really, but the cm beatstick is invaluable. especially vs tau, you want them gravs not dying and getting them rips dead. and he stops that. though saying that, have you tried to kill 50 marines in one turn. I played a tau list and charged on my turn 2, yes by the end of shooting and overwatch i only have 25 left but then they were in combat and it was gg for the marines. No more shooty shooty

  3. get on vassal and we'll try it out :P

  4. Like it. TiggyTacs is a solid build as well, Iron Hands allied as well....and/or Inquisitor for more div. Before the inevitable HellDrake comment, rest of the meta should keep Drakes in check.

    I would try giving the scouts a LSS with Hvy flamer...speed, speed to get to objectives, etc.

    What is the Aegis for? Typo? Might sub another Hunter or Quad for it/ or one of each and drop the 5 man Tac.

  5. basically you put it half way up the table to hide behind turn one when going second to give you a 4+ cover save, then dozer over it. i have toyed with adding the quad in too but i feel more boots on the ground is better.

  6. I disagree with the aegis line. From a fluff point I think you would be more effective with the Toughness 5 bikes and you won't need the aegis with the 4+ jink save. I'm not saying its bad but if you played a white scars bike list vs. Your current list. I suspect you would get rocked.

    I keep seem en masse tacticals in lists lately and its OK. But as you said about bikes its not tourney winning. Bike armies have historically win tournaments. I know with my bike list I mass as many bikes as possible but I keep it fluffy. The entire army is bikes, attack bikes and even a 10 man scout bike squad to keep it fluffy. I have a total of 71 models which are all toughness 5 have a 4+ cover save and have a massive amount of grav guns and meltas. I have 12 combat squadded units that are all troops and scoring. Flyers are laughable because I have so many models

    Example. I have 17 grav guns in this list. That's 54 grav gun shots a turn. I have 9 Multimeltas and every squad has melts bombs. So I have more then enough anti-tank.

    Flyers are ignored. And the end masse whether you go first or second and with outflankingyiu overwhelm the enemy.

    You have enough models to overwhelm the enemy or deal with hordes. You have enough grav and melts to deal with SM, MEQs and anything that comes in your way.

    So compared to the tacticals I disagree with your list. Yesit can perform. But I think the bikes are more fluffy and out do you head to head or against other armies. BTW I am undefeated in 8 games.

    I have 6 multimeltas.