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Author Topic: Let's Talk Space Marine Formations  (Read 3175 times)

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Offline Wyddr

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Let's Talk Space Marine Formations
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:28:48 PM »
I don't know about you guys, but my favorite part of the new codexes are the formations. They create fun and interesting combos of units, are a challenge to work with, and have made list-building substantially more fun (if more challenging) than the old CAD (which, incidentally, is still pretty darn good).

So, assuming we've all got our hands on the book by now, let's talk the new options in the book and whether or not they are better than the old CAD.

Battle Demi-Company
This looks like a good one to me if you like taking Tactical Squads. As I do like them, I think it very likely I'll be taking this. Getting access to the Tactical Doctrine is pretty sweet, and I'd be taking most of the options there, anyway. One possible exception: I don't want bikes or land speeders, meaning I have to take Assault Marines (which are okay, but require a lot of investment to be worth it) or Assault Centurions, who haven't quite sold me on their utility. That said, I'm almost certainly going to be investing in this formation on some level.

Anti-Air Defense Force
I just don't face enough flyers to want to take both a Hunter *and* a Stalker. Though the special rule here is kinda cool, I can't see myself buying one of each anti-air tank just to field it. Bah.

1st Company Task Force
This formation looks awesome. Finally *everybody* can field that army of nothing but Terminators or Sternguard or whatever that they've been begging for since forever. The special rules are okay (Fear kinda sucks) and there's no way to include an HQ here, which are two major drawbacks. Still, "Army of Sternguard" is going to get plenty of people's attention.

Strike Force Ultra
This one looks awesome (as I love Lysander and I love terminators), but the basic requirements of the force mean you wind up spending about 1600-1700-ish points, which is a weird point level. Most people I know run either 1500 or 1750 point games, leaving you in a weird spot. You can't really fit in a 100-ish points of anything and still have a Battle-Forged army, nor can you actually shave 100 points and wind up with a 1500-er that will be any good. This one is a brain-teaser, frankly. Either you're going to play it in a 2000-point game or not at all, it seems. That said, the special rules are pretty awesome.

Reclusiam Command Squad
This is a nice cheap formation to buy alongside a Demicompany to get the Galdius Strike Force abilities, but it isn't a terribly *good* formation. That they have to take a Razorback is a bummer, since razorbacks are terrible assault transports. I guess you can run them, but a command squad on foot is just asking to get bolter-blasted to death.

10th Company Task Force
The new scouts (which are really a lot like the *old* scouts of 4th Edition) are pretty sweet deals for what you pay, and getting to field them with this formation makes them extra handy. Another great addendum to the Battle Demi-Company for the Gladius Strike Force. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for scouts, even during their miserable days (I've fielded a fully kitted scout squad in the Land Speeder Deathtrap Storm for years). I can see a lot of ways you could run this formation to great effect.

Storm Wing
A flying formation? Cool! Wait...no way to put units in the Stormraven? Boo! Though I love SM flyers (I think they're some of the best value flyers in the game), this formation needs to be combined with another one to actually get the most out of the formation. The challenge of what, precisely, to combine it with is a pretty interesting question I will leave to you guys. I can see two of these formations as a good way to deliver the balance of a 1st Company Task force into the action, for one thing.

Centurion Siege Breaker Cohort
See, here's the problem with Assault Centurions: you kinda have to buy them a Land Raider to ride around in, and that makes the unit cost over 400 points *at minimum.* That's a lot, honestly, for slow things with no invul. I'm not sure it's worth it. That said, if they *were* worth it, this would be a great way to field them. The special rule regarding transports is worth the price of admission right there.

Land Raider Spearhead
I don't generally like "take one of everything" formations. If I could take three Godhammers, three Crusaders, or two Godhammers and a Redeemer, or something, then this would be cool. I guess having three nigh-invulnerable Land Raiders is fun, though. Nice thing to take, again, in conjunction with a formation that needs rides to work (see the Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort or the 1st Company Task Force).

Librarius Conclave
This one has been getting a lot of attention, so I needn't talk too much. It does make your three Librarians pretty badass. Those Librarians need places to park their carcasses, so it needs, again, to be combined with things. Also, have we asked ourselves how often, practically speaking, our psykers are going to be really close to each other? I guess you can put them all in the same unit (though doesn't that scream KILL ME?), but if you're spreading them around in your army and you aren't playing static (and marines I don't think work well as a static army), I wonder in practice how often their very potent abilities will be helpful.

Armored Task Force
I love tanks and this is the tank-commander's formation. I don't like having to take a Techmarine, but the special abilities here mitigate that somewhat. I'll be damned if I ever buy servitors. That said, if you really want to load up on Predators and Vindicators (and Thunderfire Cannons!), this is the only way to go. Mixing it with other formations is really the trick.

Suppression Force
Whirlwinds are cool and everything, but Land Speeders are not all that great, and how often will you have need of that special ability, really? And how often will you be able to use it (I find that any landspeeder that close to the enemy doesn't last long)? It is, however, a cheap formation that, again, could be easily combined with others. Not sure it's worth it, though.

Anyway, that's my initial impressions. Happy to hear what all of you think!   

Offline Ludo

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Re: Let's Talk Space Marine Formations
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 02:29:39 AM »
I'm not going to hit on all of them just the ones I can see myself using.

Land raider spearhead.  I think you read this one wrong.  You can take land raiders in any combination.  Personlly, I could see taking 2 godhammers and a crusader and cruising up with units taken from the 1st company task force.  The problem is that's going to be about 1500 points of an army.  I usually play 2000 points so I don't see many people taking this formation.  If you love land raiders they are better if you take this formation.  The restriction of keeping them close together to get a bonus doesn't seem to be a huge deal as you're probably going to use them like a hammer anyways.

The storm wing makes the stormraven a better choice and you get all your flyers at the same time. The storm raven is still a transport so I can chuck whatever unit I want inside.  I use these three in my lists anyways and taking this frees up 2 fast attack slots for something else like bikes with grav guns.

10th company task force: You give up objective secured for a mediocre boost.  I love the increase to BS to the scouts but it isn't worth the trade.

Demi-company. Only worth it if you're taking the battle company for the free transports. I feel like the demi company itself is great.  I like tactical squads, I don't mind taking an assault squad and some devastator centurions. The problems with this are the highly restrictive auxiliary choices.  Want to take a librarian? Well you have to take 3 at a minimum. What about a squad of assault terminators to add some close combat power. Well you have to take 2 more elite choices. If you take a CAD you can take fast attack drop pods to put your centurion devastators in.

The libraries conclave.  I don't know if I would ever run this with my space marines but they will make wonderful allies to add to my Imperial Guard army. You take Tigurius and you can almost guarantee to get some fantastic powers and cast them! I can see this popping up in tournaments all over the place.  Put them on bikes and they can go anywhere and are hard to kill with their increased toughness and jink saves.

Personally, I'm not super competitive.  I will be running an Ultramarine CAD with a stormwing formation and maybe experiment with the librarius conclave.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: Let's Talk Space Marine Formations
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 09:58:25 AM »

Land raider spearhead.  I think you read this one wrong.  You can take land raiders in any combination.  Personlly, I could see taking 2 godhammers and a crusader and cruising up with units taken from the 1st company task force.  The problem is that's going to be about 1500 points of an army.  I usually play 2000 points so I don't see many people taking this formation.  If you love land raiders they are better if you take this formation.  The restriction of keeping them close together to get a bonus doesn't seem to be a huge deal as you're probably going to use them like a hammer anyways.

I'm pretty sure it says 1 Godhammer, 1 Crusader, and 1 Redeemer. I could be wrong, though (and I hope I am). I agree, though--if you're taking Land Raiders anyway, this is a good buy, as you're probably keeping them together anyway. 

Quote
The storm wing makes the stormraven a better choice and you get all your flyers at the same time. The storm raven is still a transport so I can chuck whatever unit I want inside.  I use these three in my lists anyways and taking this frees up 2 fast attack slots for something else like bikes with grav guns.

Oh, definitely. My only problem with this formation is that, *if* you wanted to field an all-airborne list (which would be very cool), you'd have a damned hard time doing it. I guess 2 Storm Wings + a CAD could work, but still.

Quote
10th company task force: You give up objective secured for a mediocre boost.  I love the increase to BS to the scouts but it isn't worth the trade.

This ultimately comes down to whether or not you play Maelstrom missions. I haven't found Objective Secured to be that big a deal in Eternal War missions, which are pretty much all I play. The bonus helps things like Land Speeder Storms and Scout Bikes a fair amount. The Precision Shot thing isn't that amazing, granted.

Quote
Demi-company. Only worth it if you're taking the battle company for the free transports. I feel like the demi company itself is great.  I like tactical squads, I don't mind taking an assault squad and some devastator centurions. The problems with this are the highly restrictive auxiliary choices.  Want to take a librarian? Well you have to take 3 at a minimum. What about a squad of assault terminators to add some close combat power. Well you have to take 2 more elite choices. If you take a CAD you can take fast attack drop pods to put your centurion devastators in.

I think it ultimately comes down to what kind of army you were planning to field, anyway. It's not that hard to make a Demi-company and 1 Auxiliary work, you just need to have a plan. 

But yes, you can't actually Drop Pod your Grav-Cents, which is all the rage these days. 

Quote
The libraries conclave.  I don't know if I would ever run this with my space marines but they will make wonderful allies to add to my Imperial Guard army. You take Tigurius and you can almost guarantee to get some fantastic powers and cast them! I can see this popping up in tournaments all over the place.  Put them on bikes and they can go anywhere and are hard to kill with their increased toughness and jink saves.

I was thinking about this vis--vis Guard Armies. That's a nasty combination, honestly. Yeah, it will be interesting to see how many weird imperial armies start sporting a rental of 3 Librarians.

Quote
Personally, I'm not super competitive.  I will be running an Ultramarine CAD with a stormwing formation and maybe experiment with the librarius conclave.

I'm going to be messing around with the Demi-Company maybe with an Armored Task Force along. Very tempted to try out Lysander + Assault Centurions in a Land Raider (even though I think I'd miss the Assault Termies). A Lysander with Centurion Toughness tanking for some Assault Cents sounds fun.

Offline Ludo

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Re: Let's Talk Space Marine Formations
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 05:55:51 PM »
Double check your rules on the land raider formation. It says any combination of: if it was one of each it wouldn't see much use at all.

I usually play maelstrom or ITC missions if in playing. They are usually more fun (in my opinion) than the eternal war missions. I particularly hate the relic. This means I usually lean towards objective secured anytime I look at a list.

I am looking at buying a second squad of centurions with heavy bolters and hurricane bolters along with a fast attack drop pod. About as expensive as a tactical squad in a pod but has higher toughness and better save. No way to do this except in a CAD.
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Offline Calamity

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Re: Let's Talk Space Marine Formations
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 07:46:38 PM »
I don't know about you guys, but my favorite part of the new codexes are the formations. They create fun and interesting combos of units, are a challenge to work with, and have made list-building substantially more fun (if more challenging) than the old CAD (which, incidentally, is still pretty darn good). 

I heartily agree with you!  :)  Not all of them are worth it but they're all interesting none the less.

1st Company Task Force
This formation looks awesome. Finally *everybody* can field that army of nothing but Terminators or Sternguard or whatever that they've been begging for since forever. The special rules are okay (Fear kinda sucks) and there's no way to include an HQ here, which are two major drawbacks. Still, "Army of Sternguard" is going to get plenty of people's attention.

It got my attention.  I was looking into doing an army of Crimson Fist Sternguard myself. 

 


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