Monday, August 29, 2011

Executioners Tactica: Part 4: Sternguard Veterans

I already wrote a bit about Sternguard when I was writing the Blood Angel Tactica. I concluded they were an excellent unit, but that there are generally better choices for Elite slots in Blood Angel armies. Sternguard specialize in close-range firefights, and Blood Angels generally deal with the enemy more efficiently in assault. However, that dynamic really shifts when you don’t have access to masses of furious charging Assault marines.

Sternguard are really what Tactical squads should be. They can take two of any special or heavy weapon as well as however many combi-weapons you deem necessary at any squad size. They also have access to four types of ammunition, capable of engaging any non-vehicle unit. Hellfire rounds are generally the best choice. They reliably put a massive amount of wounds on any target, which will result in failed armor saves and casualties. Kraken bolts are useful if you need to shoot out to 30” or if you’re shooting at an enemy with a 4+ without cover, while Dragonfire bolts should be used if you’re targeting units with a 5+ save or less that are in cover. Vengeance rounds should be used when firing at 3+ save units that don’t have cover (and you don’t mind potentially taking a casualty from “Gets Hot”).

Thanks their excellent selection of heavy weapons, Sternguard can play both aggressively and defensively. A large squad in a Rhino with heavy flamers and a few combi-meltas can zoom forward and take the fight to the enemy, destroying tanks and then slaughtering infantry with their heavy flamers and special ammunition. They are also great squads to deploy by drop pod, able to combat squad and hit two targets with multiple combi-meltas. On the defensive end, five Sternguard can sit in a Rhino and fire two lascannons for 190 points, while the same load-out of Devastators costs 195 points, with no special ammunition and fewer attacks (should the squad be assaulted).

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