Sunday, December 16, 2012

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Tactical Squad

As part of exploring the armies of the 31st Millennium I would to provide the community with articles of how to best use (at least in my humble opinion) the squads of the Space Marine Legion Army List. Over the next several months I hope to cover all of the units in the Horus Heresy: Betrayal army lists. Check back for regular updates! Lets start with one of the basic units in list, the Legion Tactical Squad.

Ah yes, the humble tactical squad. Not so humble anymore though in the Space Marine Legion Army List. This unit is one of my favorite units on the book and though it lacks the bells and whistles of its 40k counterpart this unit will likely form the backbone of many Space Marine Legion army lists. Lets look at how to get the most out of this unit.

The Basics:

The Legion Tactical Squad consists of at least 10 marines with sergeant all armed with bolters, bolt pistols, frag and krak grenades. With the exception of the sergeant they do not get any special or heavy weapons upgrades though they can swap bolters for close combat weapons. Up to 10 more marines can be added to the squad for 10 points per model. This is what allows this unit to truly shine. You can put 20 marines in squad for a mere 250 points.

Upgrade Options:

You can’t take special weapons but what can you give them?

-Exchange Bolter for Close Combat Weapon: This is a free upgrade but unless you are going for a theme (looking at you World Eaters) I would pass as this squad should be shooting as will be explained later.

-Close Combat Weapon: Alternatively you can have them buy a close combate weapon but I would pass for the same reasons as stated above.

-Nuncio-vox: Useful if you have deep strikers or barrage weapons in your army, otherwise keep it at home.

-Legion Vexilla: Let you reroll morale test. Take it if you can spare the points on smaller squad and always take it on larger ones.

The Sergeant can swap their bolter for one of the below:

-Combi-weapon: You can sneak in a one shot special weapon with this upgrade. Plasma or melta gun is probably the most cost effective.

-Plasma Pistol: It’s a plasma pistol. Enough said…

-Heavy Chainsword: While +2 strength is nice AP5 does not cut it vs other marines. A nice fluffy choice for World Eater though…

-Power Weapon: An ok option to give the squad some nice AP 3 close combat attacks. Unfortunately many of the opposing characters in challenges will have 2+ saves.

-Power Fist: A good option for dealing with all comers, most importantly dreadnoughts and monstrous creatures.

-Single Lightning Claw: Same positives and negatives as the power weapon.

He can also take:

-Melta bombs: Always take these for how cheap they are. They give you a fighting chance against the Contemptor Dreadnought that will be present in almost everyone’s army

-Artificer Armour: Useful for making him tougher in challenges but I would pass personally for the cost.

Special Rules:

Fury of the Legion: What is better than rapid firing with 20 bolters? Rapid firing with 20 bolters, TWICE! This special rule lets you shoot with bolters and bolt pistols twice if you did not move, deep strike, or disembark from a transport that turn. You can pour up to 80 shots from a 20 man squad! The only downside is you can not charge the same turn or shoot the next turn.

Transport Options:

You can give these guys a rhino but since the point cost of adding addition models is so cheap I would pass in favor of the large squads.


Though you can run the squad in a Rhino the ideal way to run them in my opinion is maxed out with 20 models armed with bolters and footslogging. I would pass on the close combat weapon upgrades for the grunts (unless playing World Eaters) as there are other units in the army that fulfill the close combat role better. It is also important to make sure that the sergeant in this squad is kitted out to deal with monstrous creature and Contemptor dreadnoughts. Melta bombs are a must. Though the unit is armed with krak grenades these cannot harm the Contemptors that will you are sure to encounter in other Legion lists. A solid bet for any legion lists that I think we will be seeing as the backbone of most lists.


  1. Nice Article, thx for sharing.

  2. "This special rule lets you shoot with bolters and bolt pistols twice if you did not move, deep strike, or disembark from a transport that turn"
    Pretty limiting factors really. How often are you really going to get to pump out those shots? Any clever opponent will just avoid being in rapid fire range!
    More useful for being able to basically rapid fire at full range imo

  3. so you cant give a serg. a power fist and a plasma pistol?

  4. Great write up! I agree that the 20 man squad is the way to go. I'm doing a deathguard legion force (btw your deathguard minis look awesome and I'd love to see more of them) and even though it costs quite a bit more i'm giving them all extra close combat weapons (the chainblades for the bolters that come with the weapons sets) to represent the whole jack of all spades infantryman aesthetic that Mortarion was after. I'm interested in your thoughts about the veteran squads. I think they way that i'm going i'm going to give them three power weapons, flamer (awesome w/ chem munitions rule) and a missile launcher or melta.

  5. Awesome write up, although I think sometimes it is worth considering giving the squad the additional CCW to give them true versatility in being both an objective sitter and taker.

    And while Fury of the Legion is indeed potent, it does not get used all that much in a game without careful consideration and often you need to ensure that your squad has close support.

    Lastly, adding an Apothecary to a 20 man squad does two things:
    - Makes them rediculously robust
    - Giving the Apth an Augury turns the entire unit into a massive Deep Strike/Outflank denial unit with Interceptor rule on their Bolters