Since we have some new rules for 40k out, and I happen to have the latest issue of White Dwarf, I've decided to go ahead and review the shiny new rules for the shiny new flyers that are now out. Bear in mind that this doesn't include the Night/Doom scythe, as their rules have been out for 7 months now, I'm only going to be going over the newest ones.
So, I'm going to start off with Space Marines, and their Stormtalon. First of all, I'm going to say that I'm not a great fan of the model personally. Maybe it'll grow on me like the Necron second wave did, but at the minute I just think it looks a bit silly, can't really put my finger on a specific reason why though.
But anyway, onto the rules. This thing costs the same as a Valkyrie, and what it is really is a shooty vehicle. But it only comes with a Twin-Linked Assault Cannon and a Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter. It can take other upgrades as well though. The problem with the Stormtalon is that it is an armour 11 vehicle on a flyer base, so it isn't going to be getting a cover save from terrain and its armour isn't great. Granted, it has some protection against Melta, but I'm not going to be firing Melta at it, a Missile Launcher or Autocannon will do just fine. So you're going to shunt it forward at cruising speed (not in the scout phase, if it had scout I'd rate it a bit more) as it can go at cruising speed and still fire, shoot, and then die. It also has a weird little hover rule, gives it improved shooting capabilities but makes it forgoe its movement.
You can get it to live a little bit though. Remembering that it is a skimmer it can move flat out and get a cover save from that, making it mildly durable if you do so, and as your opponent looks at it and thinks, 'it's a Twin-Linked assault cannon with a cover save' they may not even bother shooting at it. The problem is that then you're not shooting with it either, which you may not think is too much of a loss as you didn't have much to shoot in the first place other than the assault cannon. So, what it effectively comes down to is that if you're going to want this thing to live you are going to end up having spent quite a few points on something that is going to spend most of the game not doing anything other than zooming around, otherwise, it's going to fly up, maybe kill something if it gets lucky, and then die. Great use of points.
So lets look at this in context of the current (5th edition) missions. First off, I'm going to finish off the majority of the hate by talking about kill points. This is really just an easy kill point here, unless you spend the entire time whizzing around with it in which case it may not lose a kill point, but its not going to gain any either, and what you're now doing is playing the game with a pretty large deficit because you've sunk those points into a model that is going to do nothing. Yes you can say that you can ram with it with the pretty nice movement that it comes with but there is a pretty good chance that the Stormtalon is going to die in the ram attempt. So, not great as far as kill points is concerned.
Seize ground is probably the mid point in the 3 missions. Yes it can fly out and contest an objective but there is a 67% chance that there are going to be 4+ objectives on the board. Great, I'm contesting one objective, but that still leaves 3 out of 4 objectives still to play for, and when you've sunk that many points into a unit that is redundant other than its ability to contest, your opponent should really be pushing for the win anyway due to the fact that they shouldn't have as much redundancy in their army. Plus, if the game goes on another turn, that Stormtalon is likely going to die anyway.
Finally, capture and control, and this is where I think that this thing works best. You go second if you can, and then spend your time defending your objective as though you're playing for the draw, before flying the Stormtalon straight onto your opponents objective turn 5 (little fact, in 9 years I have never had a game that has gone to turn 7), if the game ends, you win, if not, your opponent will have to kill it turn 6. You will probably have shut down some of their long range shooting over the course of the game and now your opponent will have to try and shift a vehicle with a good cover save which they need to roll well to hit in close combat. If they don't and the game ends at the end of the turn, you win, if the do, draw.
So, pretty good for capture and control and OK for seize ground but all in all I think that this unit is a little mission dependant. In higher points values, I might be able to see the point, but I wouldn't really use them. However, I am by no means an expert on the Marine codex and its units. I rarely see vanilla marines. So, if anyone has any other suggestions or disagrees with a point that I have made. Please feel free to let me know via the comments section at the bottom, or via private messaging on a forum (Dakka is probably the best bet at the minute). Thanks for reading, next up, the Dakkajet.