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16/09/2013

Codex Review: Space Marines - Troops


Next part of the Space Marines codex review is the troop section. If you missed the previous part of the review here is a link: Codex Review: Space Marines - HQ

Tactical Squad

Like many other units in the codex, the Tactical Squad has taken a points drop; a squad now costs 20 points less. Another big change to the Tact Squad is that Veteran Sgts have been introduced, you have a Sgt who is basically a Space Marine who is a character. To get the extra leadership and attack you're going to have to pay 10 points for it.

A massive change the humble Tactical Squad and that is a squad of five models can take a single special weapon or heavy weapon. This will allow for some cheap MSU setups, expect to see Bluewing (Ultramarine armies) using minimum Tactical Squads with Razorbacks roaming ahead while units camp it up or the squads inside brandishing a special weapon.

* Razorbacks have gone up a fair whack; 15 points increase, however, the turret got cheaper and only costs 20 points, though this still works out the same as previously.

Salamander Tacticals will be handy if using Vulkan as can make meltas master crafted. In addition the Salamanders' chapter tactics gives free master crafted weapons to characters; will help with those combi weapons.

Ultramarines Tactical Squads can re-roll to hit for shooting once per game.

Summary

The Tactical Squad is still the work horse of a Space Marine army and got more versatile in the shooting department now that the units can take a single special or heavy weapon in a squad of five models. The slightly cheaper points is a nice bonus.

Rating: 7/10

Scouts

Yup, another point drop! These guys have dropped by a healthy 20 points. Just like other units, they have to pay to get the Vet Sgt upgrade.

There has been some wargear changes for Scouts, sniper rifles now cost 1 point, but I do not think this is too bad considering sniper rifles have the precision shot rule. Heavy bolter is slightly cheaper, but you have to pay extra for the hellfire shells which works out more costly. Camo cloaks cost a single point less. Missile launcher has gone up, though that is to be expected based upon other codexes.

Telion is still available as a Sgt upgrade. I believe Telion remains the same, I am pretty sure someone will confirm.

There is one more big change for Scouts; Land Speeder Storm became a dedicated transport for them. This is a welcome change and a no brainer choice. The Storm has also had a 5 points decrease and gains the scout rule. Stick a multi melta on it and you could get some first turn vehicle busting on the go or some infantry burning with the heavy flamer. All this time Scouts can be blasting away with rapid fire bolters in the opponent's face. Not a bad cheap unit for an alpha strike.

Summary

I have always had a soft spot for Scouts and now they have had a decent points drop they are a more welcome asset in an army. Scouts still function the same as cheap objective holding units.

Rating: 7/10

Crusader Squad

Crusader Squads are a new addition to the Space Marine codex and have been ripped from the Black Templars codex. A squad costs the same as a Tactical Squad and has the option of adding Neophytes (Scouts), this can make a large unit of 20 models between a mix of power armour and scout armour.

Crusaders have the Black Templars chapter tactics; characters re-roll failed to hit and have rending when in challenges and Black Templars have the crusader and adamanitum will special rules. The latter will give a 5+ to deny the witch rolls and the former means those Black Templars will on foot will be moving quicker with run moves (roll 2D6 and pick the highest) and chopping things up via sweeping advance thanks to the D3 bonus.

Usual upgrades are available such as; sword brother (Sgt); heavy weapon, power weapon and power fist for a single Initiate (Marine); single special weapon; dedicated transports including Land Raider Crusader.

Summary

Crusader Squads add some flavour to the Space Marine codex and take away some of the rigid form. The squad gives option for a large Marine Blob with a hidden power fist (only one attack), though more interestingly it will allow to get some Land Raider Crusader spam on the go as a combined unit will cost about 320 points; in a larger list you could get several Land Raiders into an army.

Rating: 7/10

Final Thoughts

Tact Squads have taken a healthy points drop and are much improved since they can take a special weapon for five guys. I think they will be popular once again and will come in MSU units thrown into transports. Bluewing here we come!

Scouts have taken a hit in the wargear dept with things costing a little more. They still make a great cheap objective holding unit and for 55 points you really cannot grumble.

Crusader Squads offer something completely different and allow you to do large foot units of spam a bit of Land Raider.

All the troops offer something different and are units you cannot grumble at.

What are your thoughts on the troop units? Better than previously or do they still work the same?