Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 2: Firepower

In my last post, I discussed what I see as the biggest drawback of Codex: Space Marines, its weak Troops choices. Now I’d like to discuss what I think is the biggest advantage of Space Marines: the large amount of relatively cheap firepower they can put on the field.

Space Marines have several options that put out an exceptional number and quality of shots for their points. First and foremost is the Predator. Armed with an autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons, it produces eight shots that are a great threat to infantry and light vehicles, all for 85 points. For 120 points, you can take lascannon sponsons and be a legitimate threat to anything up to armor 13. Blood Angels may have faster Predators, but they pay points for it.

Dreadnoughts are another example of excellent firepower. Armed with two twin-linked autocannons, the so-called Rifleman Dreadnought reliably destroys light and medium vehicles and puts wounds on infantry. The Grey Knight version with spybolts is undoubtedly superior but it also pays for that advantage.

Despite its vulnerability, the Thunderfire cannon is also worth mentioning. It puts down four blast templates and can ignore cover or force the unit hit to move through difficult terrain. This last effect is the best, as it can slow assaulting forces, give you more time to shoot, and force dangerous terrain tests on jump infantry, bikes, and vehicles. As a Blood Angel player, I can assure you that being forced to take tons of dangerous terrain tests is not just inconvenient, but causes a lot of casualties.

The last unit that I’d like to mention is Land Speeders. While Typhoons aren’t particularly cheap, they’re a comparatively cheap way to take a lot of mobile missile launchers and mult-meltas. You can fit up to nine Speeders in an army, and they provide mobility that is lacking in the other Space Marine firepower choices. In addition, the other choices have difficulty dealing with heavy armor such as Land Raiders, while Speeders can get multi-meltas to the right locations to deal with them.

When it comes down to it, Space Marines may not have the fancy tricks that other codices have, but they don’t have to pay for them. This gives them more vehicles on the field, dividing enemy firepower and covering more fire lanes.


  1. Very good points, I also thought that for what you get, in the vanilla codex, is relatively cheap points wise.

  2. Nice series of articles, thanks.

  3. Thanks! I've got a few more planned out. I'm not sure how helpful they'll be given how few people seem to still play Space Marines, but they're helping me get my thoughts together as I plan my army.


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