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.
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.
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.
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.
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.