Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Circa M.31 Legion Tactics - Veteran Tactical Squad
30k has FOCs (force organization charts) just like 40k and there are some good ones too such as the standard Age of Darkness (AoD) which allows you to field terminators and veteran tactical squads as troops which are both scoring units by selecting the Pride of the Legion (PotL) Rite of War (RoW). You'll need an HQ that has the Master of the Legion (MotL) special rule that allows you to take a RoW.
It might seem a bit confusing at first but once you get the hang of it you'll be cruising in no time. For example PotL allows you to field a first company composed solely of terminators for your troops which all score... This is how I run my Sons of Horus army.
Note that scoring units in 30k are not objective secured so most any other enemy unit can contest them... It's a 30k thing. Also the AoD FOC allows you to field up to three HQ and four Elites plus one Lord of War which is fantastic. It has been said that the Battle for Calth boxed set was designed around the PotL RoW which while true to an extent can easily be used to design your army for other RoW simply by using the appropriate bits.
Veteran Tactical Squads (VTS) while expensive and fragile are a heavy hitting unit on par with the 40k Space Wolves Grey Hunters plus a full squad of ten can select up to two heavy weapons and/or special weapons... So for example a full squad could select one plasma gun and one heavy bolter with a suspensor belt which makes the Marine relentless firing at half range when he moves.
VTS also have access to power weapons and I typically kit mine with four to five power axes so they can dice terminators in melee. The sergeant has artificer armor for the 2+ save, a power fist and combi-flamer to round out the squad.
VTS also have access to veteran skills, one of which is the Sniper universal special rule (USR) which grants precision shots and rending for all shooting attacks which includes tossing a krak grenade and flamers. Sniper in my opinion is the best USR for VTS since it makes their shooting attacks extremely lethal. A rending flamer is lethal versus enemy terminators if you can get a clustered shot of prothemium... Of course it simply vaporizes Marines. The heavy bolter and plasma gun both excel at killing infantry plus armor too -
- Heavy Bolter: full range 36" + 1/2 range 18" - S5 AP4 - Heavy 3
Rending S5 is a maximum of S14 (5+6+3) so it can glance down land raiders.
- Plasma Gun: full range 24" + 1/2 range 12" - S7 AP2 - Rapid Fire
Rending S7 is a maximum of S16 (7+6+3) so it can easily penetrate land raiders and even Spartans with flare shields while maintaining AP2 for the +1 on the vehicle damage table since it's a plasma weapon.
The heavy bolter and plasma gun are a great combination since it gives you great synergy between the two... Together they are deadly versus infantry and vehicles. Some will say not to mix weapons - for instance two heavy bolters combine for two more shots and high rate of fire is best for generating rending wounds plus you can shoot and assault but with the abundance of cover taken into account I'd rather go for more versatility.
I run my VTS in rhinos with extra armor, dozer blade and a pintle mounted combi bolter. Alpha Legion can select their veteran skill (Sniper) and infiltrate or outflank as well due to their legion tactics which when combined is simply very dirty. VTS need a transport to keep them safe and the the rhino is the most economically viable option. VTS is ideally a midfield unit unless they can outflank plus the transports protect them until you really need their guns blazing. The pintle mounted combi-bolter is cheap and helps to prevent immobilizing the rhino if the transport should ever suffer one weapon destroyed result from an enemy attack.
VTS equipped as mine with some power axes are no slouches in close combat and have more attacks than the standard terminator. The sergeant is swinging his power fist for the instant death attacks... If you play Imperial Fists you can replace the power fist for a Solarite Gauntlet which functions just like a power fist, is AP1 and isn't a specialist weapon so you benefit from the +1 attack due to the sergeant's bolt pistol. I actually also opt for a combi flamer since its sniper as well and because its a template there is the possible opportunity to cover a good number of enemy models.
Effectiveness and Fragile
VTS are fragile with the majority 3+ armor save and aren't cheap. Effective units in 30k tend not to be cheap though so "in for a penny, in for a pound" as the old saying goes. As I've stated above a transport is a great investment. Play smart and wait for the right opportunities to strike. Eventually an enemy unit will expose itself if you're patient enough... You can get the drop. In terms of points players tend to field larger armies (e.g., 3k is typical) so really it's a wash.
By using the right combinations to create your army list it's possible to field VTS as a compulsory troop with Implacable Advance (i.e., scoring) which is a big deal. Properly played VTS are are a heavy hitting unit on par or even more effective than the 40k Space Wolf Grey Hunters. They have lots of great options and with the Sniper USR I'd rate them over the 40k Space Marine Sternguard.