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18/09/2013

Codex Review: Space Marines - Fast Attack


Another part of the Space Marines codex review rolls into town and hitting it up with the fast attack. If you missed the previous part here it is: Codex Review: Space Marines - Elite

Assault Squad

A decent points drop for the Assault Squad; 15 points.

Everything else for the Assault Squad remains the same, though of course grav pistols have been added. Unfortunately no meltas, which is a real shame.

Summary

Assault Squads have taken a nice points reduction, though still not that mega awesome. The only role they can do is anti troop and that's with grav pistols and flamers.

Rating: 5/10 

Land Speeder

Not a lot has changed on the old Speeder besides some points drops for wargear; assault cannon and typhoon missile launcher both got a fair bit cheaper, especially the typhoon.

Summary

The Speeder is mostly used for Typhoon setups or dual multi melta. The dual multi melta is still going to be just as effective though Typhoon has taken a nice healthy points drop - you can pick up a Land Speeder Typhoon just for 75 points, that's not bad for a couple of missile launchers joined with a heavy bolter.

Rating: 7/10

Stormtalon Gunship

I am going to be completely honest and say I have never looked at a Stormtalon in my life so I have no idea if anything has changed profile or points wise.

The Stormtalon has the strafing run rule, this gives +1 ballistic skill and pinning against all unit types except flying monstrous creatures, flyers and skimmers. It also has a sweet rule called escort craft and it can come in from reserve with another unit entering reserve, this is a great away of getting a two for one bonus on reserves.

Standard wargear is a twin-linked assault cannon and a twin-linked heavy bolter. The Stormtalon also has ceramite plating, but seems this is av11 I think melta weaponry is the least of its worries. You can switch the heavy bolter for a skyhammer missile launcher, twin-linked lascannon or twin-linked typhoon missile launcher. The latter two are very expensive, though the skyhammer is ok.

Summary

With the amount if fire power it can dish out and awesome ballistic skill bonus, the Stormtalon is handy for taking out ground based transport vehicles. It's also not too shabby at taking out infantry and includes the pinning rule. If this could be combo'd with something which could lower morale then you will have a cracking little unit.

However, pretty much everything in the Space Marine army can deal with infantry easy enough and there's enough weaponry to take out transport vehicles. The weak armour and two hull points also doesn't give the Stormtalon a huge survival rate.

Rating: 6.5/10

Bike Squad & Attack Bike

The Bikes have taken a huge point drop - almost 30 points! You don't get the Vet Sgt though, that will cost you 10 points extra, but still there's a 20 point decrease to be had.

Bikes can take the usual special weaponry and now have access to grav guns. Bikes are the ultimate platform for grav guns as bikes are relentless and can make the use of the salvo 2/3 grav gun. You also have the fast movement which gets the bikes into range.

Attack Bikes have taken a small 5 points increase, I guess this pays for the chapter tactics. As before can take a multi melta. You still have the option of having the Attack Bike as part of the Bike unit or as a separate unit.

Summary

Bike Squads are a cracking unit and I can see many lists pimping them with grav guns. Expect to see MSU running about with two grav guns or a unit of five Bikes to absorb some damage. If you throw White Scars chapter tactics into the mix the Bikes ignore dangerous terrain and get +1 jink saves, basically skilled rider. The hammer of wrath attack also gets +1 and they get hit and run! These guys are seriously giving Ravenwing a run for their money. Throw Khan into the mix and the bikes get scout - those grav guns will be quickly in range dishing out the pain.

Rating: 8.5/10

Scout Bike Squad

Take a guess what has happened to Scout Bikes in this new codex - yup they dropped some points.

There's not really a huge amount of changes to the Scout Bikes. The grenade launchers dropped in points as did the locator beacon; both have halved.

The biggest change is to the cluster mines which got seriously nerfed. Previously you noted down where the cluster mines would effect area terrain and keep it hidden. The mines would inflict S4 hits. Now you have to place a counter, so both players know this and the mines only cause dangerous terrain tests now. I guess it might be handy sort of warning off an opponent from an objective if the unit trying to take it is few in numbers, but really it isn't that threatening.

Summary

The Scout Bikes are still handy for getting a locator beacon into place quickly and maybe some mobile power fisting action or a slice of melta bombage. Other than that I cannot see much use for them.

Rating: 5/10

Final Thoughts

Like the elites, the fast attack section of the Space Marine army hasn't seen huge changes. In majority of cases the units have taken points costs decreases, which in some areas was needed, though in others I think GW did this just for the sake of doing something.

Assault Squads will be great in a Raven Guard army, though I think this is perhaps their only use.

Land Speeder is still a great work horse of the fast attack and Space Marine army.

Stormtalon I still have my doubts. When playing against them they seem nothing more than an annoying nat which goes away after a short while.

Bike Squads will be all the rage in or out of White Scar armies. These are the stars of the fast attack section when armed with grav guns.

Scouts, hmm, well only use for these guys is getting a locator beacon into place. The cluster mines have been nerfed, but having triple grenade launchers is cheap and ok for small infantry busting and vehicle destruction with a side helping of power fist or melta bomb.

Space Marine fast attack units, what are your thoughts on these?