Saturday, 26 January 2013

Dark Angels Analysis - Assault Marines

Sorry I missed a post yesterday, I moved back to University today and things have been a little hectic, but that doesn't mean that I'll slack off today, continuing with the Fast Attack section.

What I've been up to and off-topic musings first though. I've picked up a Cryptek for my Necron army, which is 1 of the 5 600pt armies that I've brought with me for doubles events. And that's pretty much it.

I am looking at one of the common cross codex choices in the book today, but they're different to what I have in my Space Wolves book and so I'm going to look at them with a degree of depth. The Assault Marines.

Basics: Each Assault Marine is 3pts more than a Tactical Marine, and base you gain dual close combat weapons and a jump pack, but lose the Boltgun and scoring.

The problem that Assault Marines have had in the new edition is that it's harder for them to get into close combat, but if they get there they hit a little harder. The reason for saying it's harder is because of all of the shooting that's knocking around and the inclusion of the Overwatch rule. But I'm not sure that this is the case.

Yes, the additional shooting presence doesn't help, and neither does overwatch, but on average they're getting a longer charge in 6th edition. Remember that just on the average they charge 1” further than they did in 5th, and although they could roll badly, you can trade off an extra hit per model that gets into base to base for the extra chance on the charge.

The problem with the Assault Marines that keeps cropping up is that they don't hit hard enough, but hitting hard is not always something that you want to be doing. My opponent's hammer unit hitting hard is what cost him the game. He threw his Lord and his squad of Plague Marines (albeit not the biggest hammer) into a squad of Grey Hunters, just about managed to kill them all, and then was left in the open in front of 2 Grey Hunter packs and 3 Long Fang packs, meaning that I could mow them down and secure my objective.

The lack of my opponent hitting hard almost cost me the game in game 3, meaning that he didn't get out of combat and allow me to cut his Assault Marines down.

I'm not trying to say that Assault Marines are an excellent unit, I haven't seen them enough to make an educated call on the tabletop. But on paper they're definitely not as bad as they're made out to be.

Think of this. A Lone Wolf is 85pts, a pack of Wolf Scouts is 85pts, a squad of Assault Marines is around in the same region of points. I don't think twice about spending that amount of points on a unit that is designed to go forward, get in my opponent's face, annoy them, maybe cause some damage, and maybe score or deny a point or two in the process, and this is in the very crowded Space Wolves Elite section. This is a good application for the Assault Marines.

They're cheap, so it doesn't matter too much if you lose them, but they'll already have absorbed some attention. They're quick, they don't hit so hard that they'll be exposed in your opponent's shooting phase, but they have enough attacks to do some damage as well. Not to mention that for 10pts more you can get 2 flamers in that squad, and then there's the potential for a combi-flamer too. Drop them down, barbecue a squad of pathfinders or a similar deckchair and harass the enemy's backline shooty units such as Lootas.

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