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! We continue today with a look at the Legion Heavy Support Squad.
Like the Legion Tactical and Assault Squads the Legion Heavy Support Squad varies from its old codex counterpart, the Devastator Squad. In addition to some additional heavy weapon option EVERY member of the must be upgraded to carry a heavy weapon. No more bolter meat shields. Lets take a look at the options available.
The squad comes with four marines and one sergeant and can be upgraded to have five additional marines. Squad size will really depend on what you want them to do and the weapon load outs selected. The default weapon for the squad is the Heavy Bolter. It is unchanged from its codex counterpart and is always a great bet for laying down torrents of S5 shots. In my option with this load out it is best to go with a full squad of 10 to get the most out of your shots. Almost everything in 30k has a 3+ or better.
Heavy Flamers are the first upgrade available. They can be swapped out for free. Five heavy flamers are deadly if deployed right. Don’t forget that heavy flamers are assault weapons. This unit shines if taken in an army with the Orbital Assault Rites of War as they can take a drop pod. Stick five to seven in a drop pod and watch your opponent’s infantry die in droves. They are even nastier in a Death Guard army as they can be upgraded to have the Shred special rule.
Missile Launchers are one of the most flexible options available. Able to offer both anti infantry and anti tank fire they great flexibility. They can also take flak missiles giving the army one of its two anti flyer options. They will be a priority target, so take them in squads of ten for more survivability.
Autocannons are similar to missile launchers in their role, though without the AA capacity. They are flexible enough to take on both infantry and light to medium vehicles. Their only downside is a lack of AP 3. On the plus side they are cheaper and will shred through the hull points on lower armor vehicles.
Multi Meltas are the next upgrade available. I don’t like them because you have to get very close to take advantage of the melta special rule. Melta weapons are much less useful in 30k due to most vehicles having the option to take the Armoured Ceramite upgrade (roll only 1 D6 more melta always).
Plasma Cannons are excellent at killing any infantry unit you may encounter. They can also be used against vehicles in a pinch. With blob squads of 15-20 marines the norm in 30k this always a good weapon option.
The Volkite Culverin is the largest version of the volkite weapons available to infantry. They are similar to an auto cannon but have on less strentsh, a longer range, and are Heavy 3. The also have the Defragate special rule (each unsaved would causes and additional wound). They great against infantry but do not have a model yet. They are great against infantry but I prefer the autocannon because of its additional strength and lower points cost.
Finally, we have the venerable Lascannon. Point at any vehicle and watch it explode. The only downside is they are cost an arm and a leg in points.
The squad also comes with a Sergeant for free and he can take a variety of standard upgrades. The only one really worth considering is the Augury Scanner (gives the Interceptor special rule). It is cheap and let you take free shots at those annoying flyers.
In all, the heavy support squad is great option for fielding heavy weapons. The key to making them work is to find the right build that fill a specific role in your army. In terms of squad size I always recommend taking them in squads of 10 (with the exception of a heavy flamer squad). This makes sure you get the most out of the valuable heavy support slot they take up and insures their survivability. Finally the squad can be further upgraded by either adding and apothecary for Feel no Pain or one of the Legion Centurion choices. The Master of Signal gives +1 BS and the Siege Breaker gives the Tank Hunter and Wrecker special rules to their respective squads. Both are excellent choices thought the Siege Breaker should only be used on dedicated anti-vehicle squads.