Sunday, November 16, 2008

Count the VII: A Plague Marine Squad

As you're aware by now, I'm fond of fielding chaos space marine armies, amongst others. Sometimes they're chaos undivided, other times Death Guard. Even within undivided armies, I find myself fielding plague marine squads. So, in response to FtW's Round Table for November 15th, my go-to squad of choice are plague marines of Nurgle.

Why this choice? Well, firstly there is the plague marine survivability factor. These marines just don't want to leave the battlefield with their feel no pain special rule. This makes them a wonderful troops choice for capturing strategic objectives in various scenarios. In 5th edition, this got even better since every single one of them must be removed in order to eliminate their scoring unit status; unlike in 4th edition when they had to be reduced to under half strength. For a unit of 7 as pictured here, it'll take a statistical mean of 189 standard bolter shots fired by BS4 troops to get rid of them. Let me repeat that: 189 bolter rounds are needed to eliminate these troops! You only need a mean of 63 standard shots for 7 ordinary marines. Significantly, even for 7 terminators you'd only need a mean of 126 standard shots!

Given that, they're not exactly bothered by the prospect of being rapid fired at with bolters. They're also fearless. They do, however, lose out to weapons that deny them their save (ordnance, power fists and the like), so they have to be carefully managed. They're not really designed to take on terminators unless massed in large numbers. Further, they're expensive as well at 23 points per miniature. But I strongly believe that these points are well invested.

Pictured, I've kitted this squad out with a power fist on the plague champion, a melta gun, a flamer and an icon. This makes the squad a dangerous and flexible one. Each model is also a conversion to a greater or lesser extent, which is another prime reason that I like to field them. Lastly, I sometimes mount them in a rhino equipped with a havoc launcher (also pictured) to improve their maneuverability and add some more shooting power. I'll post about this particular rhino at a later date since it is an interesting conversion. The total points value of the pictured squad comes out at 271 -- yes, they're rather expensive. Other configurations that I favour include simply going for two plasma guns in a squad of seven; a kind of static pseudo-havoc squad.

In GT2008, these troops were worth their points value in gold. There was hardly a single game where they were eliminated to a man. It's a rare battle that I leave home without including them in a chaos space marine army. The only reason for doing so is to have more bodies (and therefore more shooting models) in an army. But more bodies doesn't necessarily improve survivability.


RonSaikowski said...

I just got 2 games in today against an all Nurgle Daemon army.

These things are tough as nails and just will not die. It took me forever to whittle them down and even then I couldn't do it most of the time.

jabberjabber said...

Two games against Nurgle! Mate, that must have been a hard slog. What army were you playing with?

I'd be interested to hear what tactics you think worked best against them.

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