Friday, April 5, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Fast Attack Part 2

Land Speeder Squadrons

The Land Speeder is fast and extremely flexible in armament. It can carry a typhoon missile launcher to act as a long range gun boat, take a heavy bolter and assault cannon for medium range anti-infantry, or multi-meltas or heavy flamers for close range work. Land Speeders can deal with any enemy target, but they are very fragile. While they gained a 5+ Jink save in 6th, they have only two hull points and can be glanced by almost any weapon on the battlefield.

I’ve tried some configurations of Land Speeder, and I find they generally die too easily to incidental fire. I have had some success with Typhoons since they can stay out of range of all but heavy weapons, which will usually have better targets. Still, I can’t really recommend Land Speeders at the moment. Their most expensive weapon options became cheaper in Codex: Dark Angels, which makes them much more appealing. Until Space Marine Land Speeders get the same treatment, I wouldn’t suggest putting them on the table.

Land Speeder Storm

The Storm is a unique option, costing more than a standard Land Speeder with fewer weapons and a worse BS. The trade-off is that it can carry 5 Scouts. In addition, it has Scout, screws up enemy deep strikers within 6”, and reduces the leadership of any squad the Scouts assault out of it. This last part is pretty meaningless, as targets that 5 Scouts can actually defeat in assault are quite rare.

The biggest use for the Storm is getting a squad of Scouts onto secluded objectives. Space Marine armies have lost a lot of mobility with their scoring units now that Rhinos die so easily. A Storm can stay in reserve (which keeps it alive), outflank onto the table so it can quickly reach an objective, and drop a squad of Scouts to claim it. I would stick with a squad of bolter Scouts, as they’ll be able to provide some useful fire while holding the objective. I like the Storm with a heavy flamer, as it won’t have any trouble reaching a vulnerable squad and doesn’t suffer from the reduced BS.

It’s also worth noting that the Storm does make for good deep strike defense. It will only protect a small area, but it can protect some vulnerable tanks or squads from being annihilated by deep strikers. I’ve had it used against my Blood Angels to good effect and it’s definitely worth keeping in mind if you come up against such an enemy.

Stormtalon Gunship

The Stormtalon is the new guy on the block, and one of the two flyers that Space Marines now have access to. With armor value 11 all around and only 2 hull points, it’s pretty easy to kill if the enemy can hit it. Thankfully, that’s tough to do without dedicated flyer defense. Offensively, the Stormtalon carries a twin-linked assault cannon and a twin-linked heavy bolter. Thankfully, the heavy bolter can be upgraded to skyhammer missiles (essentially an autocannon with an extra shot), typhoon missile launcher, or twin-linked lascannons. These all allow the Stormtalon to engage other flyers with a good chance of taking them down, as well as tanks.

As far as special rules, the Stormtalon has ceramite plating to protect it from melta, but with AV11, melta will penetrate it anyway. It does have Strafing Run, which means it will be BS 5 when shooting at ground targets and cause pinning, which is frankly pretty awesome. Finally, it can escort another unit and arrive from reserve when that unit does. I don’t see many uses for this rule, though it would make a good escort for a Stormraven, allowing both to come on at the same time and overwhelm enemy flyer defenses.

 As far as armament, I prefer the skyhammer missile launcher. While it has the lowest strength, it has the most shots and costs half as much as the other options. It still will shoot down other flyers, but it can also gun down infantry and light armor. Probabilistically, the most dangerous option is the typhoon missile launcher, which appropriately costs the most. If you want an expensive Stormtalon, then the typhoon is a better choice than the lascannon for the cost.

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