Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Angels Review: Techmarine and Servitors

One of the most crucial things to realize about techmarines in the Dark Angels codex is that they are not trusted.  At least not like the techmarines of Guilliman's descent.  This is reflected in the fact that techmarines and their servitors do not use up a force organization slot.  Instead, a techmarine can be purchased for every "normal" HQ choice that is taken.  Hence up to 2 techmarines can be bought if the player takes (for instance) Belial and Sammael

There are several roles that we could think about assigning a techmarine.  Firstly, they could be part of a vehicle strategy to keep vital hardware alive (landraiders, whirlwinds, vindicators, dreadnoughts and the like).  Given that each servitor with a servo arm grants a +1 to the repair roll, we can guarentee that repairs are successful -- even when embarked. 

We can also consider a more shooty variant, with servitors and techmarines kitted out like a pseudo-devastator squad.  This has interesting options, particularly when coupled with an Aegis defence line, or bastion even that the techmarine can bolster the defences of.

Let's have a look at a few potential builds.

Techmarine, servo-harness, 3 servitors (105 points)
This is a base level "fix everything" build.  With 3 servo-arms and a harness, the repair roll gets modified by +4.  Hence even a roll of a 1 will result in a successful repair.  Although they could hide behind a whirlwind and keep it shooting all the time, I'd be tempted to place them inside a land raider and create an uber vehicle of never tiring death myself.

Techmarine, 5 servitors, 3 plasma cannons, 2 multi-meltas, Imperial Bastion with quad gun (305 points)
Maybe this is slightly more expensive than one is willing to pay, but here is a tough nut to crack. An AV14 building (I thought I could have a bolstered defence from the techmarine, but we can't - it has to be another none-purchased building).  The servitors act as a devastator squad, the plasma cannons are there for their AP, the multi-melta's for the snap shot ability and as a vehicle deterrant.  The techmarine himself mans the quad-gun.  Place an objective on the roof of the bastion and sit there the whole game taking pot shots.  Better yet, have a second unit *inside* the bastion firing the heavy bolters and ready for a counter-assault.  A truly nasty combination built for a defensive play.

Techmarine, servo-harness, space marine bike, displacer field, digital weapons (130 points)
This is a cheap, lone wolf style, ravenwing concept.  The idea is to zoom along on the bike and engage the enemy at close range with the servo-harness weapons before charging in to melee (remembering that the servo arms both have AP1).  The displacer field is for an invulnerable save.  The only fault with this guy is he has 1 wound.  Hence he's pretty expensive for such a vulnerable character.  He might want to forego the lone wolf concept and join a ravenwing squad for an escort if played along with Sammael.  Along the way, he can (of course) also attempt repairs to vital ravenwing machines. 


TheGraveMind said...

You're missing the all important techmarine with power field generator. 80 points, you can keep him in the back to keep a vital troop alive, or put him in a landraider to give it the 4++.

erfunk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erfunk said...

I agree with TheGraveMind, put him in a Land Raider with your other vehicles hugging the now-huge bubble of 4++ from the Power Field Generator. Possibly even multiple LRCs with a Banner of Devastation (saw on a DW Command Squad). But a LRC upgraded with Deathwing Vehicle, a 4++, and a Techmarine inside repairing on a 4+ is amongst the safest deliveries possible for any combat unit.

He is also right about the other option, keeping priority units safe! Heldrakes can be a big problem for Command Bikes, Black Knights, or Flakk Devs. A cheap 2+ buffer, or a 4++ bubble, can mitigate this.

As for Servitors? I'd say skip them! You're tying up the Techmarine that I think can be used better elsewhere.

jabberjabber said...

I missed the power field completely - gah! For some reason I was thinking it was ordinary wargear that didn't commute its ability to the vehicle! Thanks so much for reminding me!

Elric said...

You can't bolster fortifications. So no go on the Bastion Bolster.

One of the very interesting things about the DA Techie is he can bolster any piece of terrain in your deployment (except fortifications). This is different from the other techies, who can only bolster ruins.

I don't take a GK Techmarine, since he can only bolster ruins, and since there's no guarantee that I will have a ruin in my zone.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Nathan -- thanks for pointing those issues out! much appreciated!

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