Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Space Marines/Siege Assault Vanguard(7E)
- 1 Why Play A Space Marine Siege Assault Vanguard
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Allies
- 5 Building Your Army
- 6 Army Tactics
Why Play A Space Marine Siege Assault Vanguard
Are regular space marines just not doing it for you? Do you feel you need even tougher marines, with better options, and more firepower? Then the Siege Assault Vanguard list is for you! There are plenty of units that are simply identical to the regular Codex: Space Marines ones, but there are plenty of new toys to play with. Your Fast Attack choices are reduced (and you only get to take two), but you can take four Heavy Support. Also, if you want to create a fluffy Imperial Fists or pre-Chaos Iron Warriors list (aside from the Horus Heresy Legion list from Betrayal), this is your new best friend. One of my friends even play post-heresy Iron Warriors with this list + IG allies (for Earthshakers) - cause IW aren't really bothered with worshiping Chaos Gods - only Big Guns and Perturabo. In that order.
These units can get really expensive, however, really fast (both in terms of points and dollars/pounds/euros/thrones/vital organs -- this is a Forge World list from Imperial Armour Volume Ten). Keep an eye on it, but if you play a space marine army, odds are you'll already have most of the constituent parts for a siege vanguard already, just not the more niche units.
Forgeworld also redid it just before the end of the year in 2013. So you can go get it for free.
Reasons to play a Siege Assault Army
- Re-rollable armour saves
- 4 HS Slots if you use the variant FOC
- Most HS vehicles come in squadrons of 1-3
- Land Raider dedicated transports for more than just Terminators
- ICs with signums
- Troops assault marines who can be given furious charge (because fuck pansy ass Blood Angels)
- Most of the standard codex goodies
- Siege Dreadnought Talons as troops. Sweet Jesus!
Downsides to playing a Siege Assault Army
- All those tanks and resin breacher conversion kits cost ££££$$$$€€€€
- No Drop-Pods (except Lucius Pattern Pods for Elite & Heavy Support Dreadnoughts)
- No Bikes
- If you play this army, your opponent gets to Troll you with a "Siege Objective" making your battle that much harder to win.
IMPORTANT NOTE - RAW you cannot use Codex Supplements like Sentinels of Terra or Clan Raukaan, since they are bolt-ons to specific codices, and each require your detachment to be chosen using Codex: Space Marines. As the Vanguard is its own army list, you can't double dip on variant army lists.
In addition - you can only take additional units where they are specifically mentioned to be present in the army list one way or another. Don't assume that because Codex: Space Marines get things the Siege Vanguard automatically get them. Forgeworld tends to be quite good at saying what-goes-where when they add new units to the game. But unfortunately no Deredeo Dreadnoughts currently.
The Chapter Tactics were redone for 7th. Note that if you attach a unit with a different set of Chapter Tactics to any of your squads, they BOTH lose the chapter tactic. So plan your allies carefully.
- Ultramarines: You have three single-use powers ("Doctrines"), each of which lasts for one turn.
- Tactical: Re-roll ones to hit for Shooting and Assault phases, Tactical squads may just reroll all failed to-hits.
- Assault: Re-roll ones to hit in the Assault Phase. Assault, Bike and Centurion Assault Squads may reroll all failed to hits in Assault.
- Devastator: Re-roll ones to hit in the shooting phase. Devastators and Centurion Devastators may just reroll all fails to hit in Shooting.
- Imperial Fists: Bolter Drill - a fluffy choice for a siege army that works decently with plenty of foot slogging soldiers; re-roll ones to hit with any bolter shots, this turns your tactical marines with siege mantlets into an incredibly reliable unit all game. Also, Devastators / Centurion Devastators get Tank Hunters and add 1 to building damage rolls.
- Salamanders: Master-Crafted, Master-Crafted everywhere; characters get one weapon Master-Crafted for free (which can include ANY weapon, even one bought as an upgrade). Also twin-linked flame weapons for you. (Also get to re-roll vehicle pen rolls with flame weapons, but when's that going to be any use?) and finally you get FnP (4+) against Flame Weapons when they are fired in your direction.
- Raven Guard: Not as good as the previous edition. You get Shrouded on the first turn and can add +1 to Night Fighting rolls. Also, all Jump Packs can be used in movement as well as assault. Also, when Raven Guard models make Hammer of Wrath hits they are essentially shredding.
- Iron Hands: Feel No Pain (6+) OR add +1 to existing FnP rolls, while all vehicles (this was faq'd), Dreadnoughts, and characters get It Will Not Die, and Techmarines/Masters of the Forge get +1 to Blessings of the Omnissiah helps the many vehicles and dreadnoughts that you will inevitably have. Siege Vanguard are always going to get the full benefit of this rule at all times, an excellent choice.
- White Scars: 7th Ed got a bit better for the White Scars, who were previously useless in Siege Vanguard armies. They still gain no benefit due to the lack of bikes, but at least EVERYTHING gets Hit & Run and models may also re-roll the dice when attempting run moves.
- Black Templars: All of their units have Crusader and Adamantium Will. However, it's worth bearing in mind that units with siege mantlets CANNOT run, so Crusader USR doesn't help the army move across the board. Crusader squads aren't in the list, since they aren't actually listed. Also, no psykers for you. However your dudes became much better in close combat, where if you took any casualties from shooting or overwatch you get Rage/Counter-Attack until the end of the turn, making harming you a riskier prospect and makes your Siege Assault squads much more violent.
- Red Scorpions: Take Apothecaries in Tactical Squads as sergeant upgrades to make incredibly resilient siege marines with re-rollable saves, resistance to pinning and Feel No Pain. Losing Camo cloaks is fine since this army doesn't have scouts and losing Go To Ground is no biggy.
- Fire Hawks: Right now it is unknown how this chapter tactic operates according to 7th edition rules, since everything scores. So there is no longer any real advantage in using it. They do still get to steal hand flamers from Blood Angels on the cheap though as well as getting +1 strength on them the turn they arrive from deep strike. Though in a siege vanguard these things are only going to be minor boosts to your assault/veteran squads.
- Mantis Warriors: Ironically for a recon based chapter, everything here benefits a Siege Vanguard army. Hammer of Wrath, Furious Charge if you charge out of cover, and particularly Move Through Cover will significantly help your footslogging squads that aren't in land raiders (excepting Tacticals with Mantlets - units with the Bulky rule don't get these bonuses), furthermore re-rolling seize the initiative and having access to Divination Librarians can never go wrong.
- Minotaurs: Having this chapter tactic for your army will mean that you never have to worry about morale checks from shooting and pinning tests get rerolled. Remember though that Crusader USR doesnt help siege mantle tactical squads since they cannot run with them, but it does assist your regular assault squads, as well as adding +1 to charge distances in enemy deployment zones. You really want to take Minotaurs tactics if you want access to Haamath Kratos, Asterion Moloc and Roc Pattern Storm Eagles which are all worthy choices in a vanguard army.
- Astral Claws: As with White Scars, this is not really worth it in an army without bikes or speeders. Having Stubborn can be comforting, but really only take this chapter tactic if you've got something in mind with special characters, which you might.
- Star Phantoms: It's a mixed bag as the tactic runs out of steam quickly. 7E changes to scoring units mean you can form strategies around deep striking units, so re-rolling 1s on reserves can help when you really need them to arrive. Twin Linking your weapons for a game-turn is far more useful and more reliable than the Ultramarine tactical doctrine and also works on overwatch if your opponent charges you on his own turn. You take this tactic along with Captain Androcles and lots of devastators and laugh as you let rip with massive firepower for one turn. Also works well for Planetstrike attackers, since all your infantry gets to deep strike.
- Angels Revenant: Incredibly Good vs Necrons, doesn't really help you in any other situation though. Despite this, they still have access to Ultramarines chapter tactics for other situations.
- Executioners: It has that Black Templars feel to it, making characters better in challenges. You ignore all negative leadership modifiers, which is roughly akin to being Stubborn.
- Red Hunters: You have to be really clever with this to pull it off, as you get to give a number of units equal to the turn number a chosen special rule. Unfortunately the longer you leave it, the less units you might have to work with and actually gain a significant benefit from. So be careful.
- Charcharodons: Not entirely clever. With this tactic you make turn your defensible tactical squads into melee horrors, but the Mantlets only hinder you in close combat and you've already got Siege Assault squads for that job. Yeah your guys can accumulate Rage as the battle goes on, but your infantry are better served claiming objectives and allowing the tanks to do most of the killing. Tyberos can actually be taken in this list, contrary to popular belief, as the Siege Assault Vanguard Army List actually states that named characters from Imperial Armour 9 and 10 can be taken, including Tyberos. With 7th Edition here one of your best bets is to deep strike him and his "Red Brethren" Terminators onto the siege objective, provided that the only things nearby are enemy infantry. Tyberos and his Red Brethren should make short work of them, but you should still be wary of enemy vehicles, although Tyberos does have access to a pretty neat little orbital bombardment.
- Raptors: Like the Raven Guard tactic this works well too, though a bit unfluffy, but it does allow you to outflank many of your units from reserve and protect those infantry on the table at the start. Also, the other rule does exceedingly well since what your infantry aught to be doing for most of the battle is standing still on objectives once they've claimed them. Though, like Tyberos, Lias Issodon may actually be taken, as any character from Imperial Armour 9 or 10 can be taken.
You don't get access to the regular Space Marine Warlord traits, instead getting a special list to represent specific experience with siege warfare.
- : Diviner of Weakness Your Warlord's melee attacks are Rending when attacking a model with an armor value.
- : Master of Bombardment He's an artillery spotter, re-roll blast scatter within 12".
- : Arch Logistician He gets Split-Fire.
- : Blood Lord of the Breaches When assaulting a unit occupying a fortification, your unit has Rampage.
- : Empowered by Hatred Friendly units within 6" of him get Hatred while he is in the enemy deployment zone
- : Indomitable Will Re-roll game-end checks.
Other Rules of Note
- Awesomeness does come at a price, however. Your opponent gets to place a "siege objective" anywhere in his deployment zone. This is what your force is "laying siege" to. This is in addition to all other objectives. If you don't capture the siege objective, the best you can do is tie. Unless you table them, that's always a victory. The fact that you can be holding 6 objectives at a time and tie because the last one is being contested kinda sucks, but for the goodies you get, it can all be worth it.
- With the advent of 7th edition, this becomes so much easier to accomplish since each unit is a scoring unit, so you could drop an assault squad or dreadnought on it to take it when the time is right. Though the same applies to your opponent so be aware that he may likely attempt to deny / secure the objective himself with a solid Troops unit and prevent you from securing it yourself.
- tl;dr big units of Plague Zombies means you auto-lose
- Instead of the standard FOC, your siege vanguard gets to replace one Fast Attack slot with a Heavy Support slot, not a problem since you have very few Fast Attack choices to fill them with. This additional HS slot is compulsory - which is not much of a sacrifice. Unfortunately this could leave your army lacking in quick movers and leave you foot slogging men over the battlefield as you lob artillery and tanks at your opponent WW1 Style.
- It is debatable whether this is really worth it or not, because it is it's own FOC you won't claim the benefits from the "Combined Arms" detachment, which can give you re-rolls to warlord traits and (more importantly) Objective Secured on all your Ironclad Dreadnoughts or Indestructible Tactical marines. If you find yourself really wishing that you had extra Heavy Support slots, then just take more allied detachments, which also lets you mix up your chapter tactics.
NOTE No HQs in this list can take bikes, ever.
- Siege Master - Similar to a regular Captain in many respects, he does have some interesting advantages. First off, he comes default with the vanilla captain's stock wargear, plus artificer armour and a signum (yeah, a signum. Kinda weird). His options are similar to a captain's, except that he doesn't get terminator armour. His main difference (other than default wargear) is the ability to give any unit in the army either furious charge, tank hunters, interceptors or monster hunters for the whole game. Sweet jesus! The already insane amount of anti-tank in this list can get that much scarier, or you can have epic assaults to clear the siege objective! Has the option to take a command squad which can take a Land Raider Prometheus as its dedicated transport. Generally, captains aren't the best, but the Siege master just might be a solid hq choice due to being able to buff your army through special rules and the signum. Additionally, he lets you re-roll any reserve rolls, passed or failed. His always having a 2+ is one of the reasons this list has a reputation for being dead 'ard.
Other than the siege master, you have access to all HQs from Codex: Space Marines, albeit without bikes. There are a few worth going into in a bit more detail, however.
- Librarian - Tried and true librarian. The reason they are slightly better than normal in siege assault lists is twofold: You can use the GoI to get to that Siege Objective fast, and second, he can buff your guys EVEN MORE. The second one is important since Siege Assault marines are hardy as all hell, but REALLY rely on their armour saves, more than usual for marines. As such, giving them a 4++, a 5++, feel no pain, stealth+shrouded (all depending on which table you use for psychic powers) can make a big difference. New Invisibility rules make a mockery of balanced gameplay, particularly when you attach it to Tactical Squads with Siege Mantles, making squads even more immune to enemy fire power.
- Damocles Command Vehicle - Often overlooked, but it is perfect for bringing in reinforcements as it can add or subtract 1 from your reserve rolls. And in case this list needed even MORE firepower, it's one-use Orbital Bombardment(Strength 10 AP1 large blast) should knock some heads together.
You get all the characters from Codex: Space Marines and IA9-10, so it's only really worth mentioning characters who actually bring something unique to a siege vanguard army in particular, since most characters behave the same way in both forces. Forgeworld also updated characters and chapter tactics, shaking everything up considerably.
- Armenneus Valthex (Astral Claws) - Another Master of the Forge character potentially worth taking. While the new Astral Claw chapter tactic provides only stubborness to the army due to having no bikes or speeders, Valthex does allow one of your tactical squads or terminator squads to take hellfire rounds with their bolt weapons, and to soak the inevitable ranged attacks that will head in their direction with the siege mantles. However, his warlord trait is redundant since dreadnoughts are now already scoring & denial units, so get someone else (like Lugft Huron) to lead the army instead of him.
- Asterion Moloc (Minotaurs) - Worth a mention due to Imperial Armour 12 pinning a few new units down to Minotaurs only (like the Roc pattern Storm Eagle & Hamath Kraatos). Though you don't need him to play minotaurs as they now have their own chapter tactic, however his special rules gives your whole army preferred enemy (space marines) which lets you reroll all 1s to-hit/to-wound against a large proportion of the armies your opponent will field. He also has an orbital bombardment like all self-respecting chapter masters out there. Be aware though that his sanctioned fratricide rule makes all space marine allies into desperate allies.
- Also worth noting that Moloc is an absolute rape-machine in close combat. His S6 AP2 rape-spear strikes at initiative order and he has 4 wounds and a storm shield to keep him forcibly penetrating your foes forever. While he is extremely expensive if you are looking for a truly deathstar worthy character they don't come with much more bad touch than Moloc. Definitely not a choice for every game since this list is more about firepower but having this kind of beatstick available to go hatefuck a nasty unit off of the siege objective could be a viable approach. Especially now challenges spill over its much harder to blunt his attacks with a sacrificial challenge.
- Moloc has a giant murderboner that cannot be slaked by anything less than raping an enemy warlord in the ass, ejaculating into their lungs and watching as they drown in his manly rage spooge. The Minotaurs have anger management issues so bad that their allies shit themselves.
- Cato Sicarius (Ultramarines) - Works better in Siege Vanguard than his boss for two reasons: first he can grant Infiltrate or Scout to one of your Mantlet wielding Tactical squads, allowing them to start further afield or come in later from a table edge. Secondly, having +1 to reserve rolls is extremely helpful when trying to bring in your deep striking units and/or flyers. So basically even without all his other rules and bonuses he helps the army sweep over the table deceptively quickly.
- Elam Courbray (Fire Hawks) - If you're going to use Fire Hawks chapter tactics, you might as well use Captain Courbray as he's one of the few Jump Pack wearing characters out there that isn't a Raven Guard or a Blood Angel, furthermore his command squad may also take jump packs. His warlord trait also brings a pie plate down with him when he deep strikes and makes him land without scatter anywhere within 6" of that blast, essentially giving him a 17" radius landing zone to place him in. (5" for the blast marker) and since he has counter-attack and hit-and-run, he doesn't have to worry as much if he gets assaulted the turn after he arrives. His sword is a bit schizo, granting him Smash, although the text is a bit out of date and doesn't give him AP2 like normal, though it does have Rending, thus giving AP2 one-sixth of the time and it also sets people on fire. Other characters might perform better than Courbray, but he is extremely unique, just bring along another HQ unit to support him in close combat, such as a jump pack librarian with melee buffs or a Chaplain for first turn re-rolls and enhanced leadership.
- Commander Carab Culln (Red Scorpions) - While no longer needed for Apothecary spam, he still has his uses in turning the tide. For starters, all Red Scorpions use his Ld for Morale and Pinning while his squad get Stubborn and Counter-Attack, making them difficult to really crack. To fight back, he has Termie Armor with an Iron Halo and Teleport Homer for surprise Deepstrikes, an MC Storm Bolter, and a S+2 AP3 Two-Handed Power Sword that causes ID on a 6 to-wound. Keeping him with a squad with an Apothecary will make him a complete pain to get rid of.
- Sevrin Loth (Red Scorpions) - with full-on Telepathy taken is basically a cheat mode on, mostly because Invisibility is flat out broken on your siege mantlet tacticals (who, mind you; already have FNP) - go and try to kill something with re-rollable 3+ and FNP if you can only snapfire at it, and hit it on 6 in close combat. For extra lulz place him in front of the squad to take the hits, and watch as entire armies worth of firepower bounce off his re-rollable 2+/2++/FNP/Invisible metal ass.
- Silas Alberec (Exorcist) - If you're fighting anything with Daemons, a Mark of Chaos or psychic abilities Silas is your man. His unit get Feel No Pain against all of it and he buttrapes them all. The whole army under him gets to roll 3D6 on leadership tests and choose the best and gets to reroll Deny the Witch. Furthermore what's best about him is that Exorcists can use ANY chapter tactic they like, so you can design the army to do any job you like while having him in it.
- Vaylund Cal (Sons of Medusa) - he's an Iron Hand successor so he gets FNP 6+, It Will Not Die and repairs vehicles on 3+ (with servo harness) ON TOP of his Weapon Skill 5, Toughness 6, 3 Wounds and an Iron Halo. So he's an absolute monster of a character. What has changed in the Forgeworld update though is what else he brings to the army. No longer do Devastators get Feel no Pain for free, instead they get to upgrade to Toughness 5 for 50 points per unit, which probably costs too much to make it usable all the time and actually makes the unit worse than before against S7 attacks from plasma or autocannons.
- Zhurukhal Androcles (Star Phantoms) - A bit of a lackluster character, costing 20 points more than an equivalent captain load-out, but what he does allows you to do is take Devastators as Elites AND Heavy, even if you don't take loads of devastators, it still frees up Heavy Slots for vehicle squadrons if you just move your devastators over, this can be a little gem if you want to bring excessive firepower onto the table. His warlord trait also give his unit Feel No Pain when he's sitting on an objective, so he's a good guy for sticking with a mantlet tactical squad and getting that special objective and doing what Red Scorpions can already do. Strictly situational though as any unnamed HQ can do exactly what he does, so bringing him now likely depends on the number of Devastator squads you can deploy.
- Anton Narvaez (Marines Errant) - a newly appointed captain, and his stats tell, spotting -1 WS compared to the regular cap. He comes with a power weapon, bolt pistol, MC plasma gun and 3+ invuln instead of 4+ (with 50% chance to lose it each time it fails). He also has Scout and Move Through Cover USR’s. Can select D3 units of Tacticals, Devastators, Sternguard, or himself and any Command Squad he has with him to Deep Strike via teleportation using his 'Deep Void Elite' special rule, rolling 3 dice and droping the highest for scatter if they don't get a 'hit'. That little rule right there is why he is on this page. You can give deep strike to your mantlet wearing tactical squads. This is huge considering your other option is usually to walk them up the table, and you really want to capture that point. Give one of your tactical squads Grey Knight interceptor backpacks and forgeworld's breacher shields and there you go. WYSIWYG and awesome.
The exact same as codex space marines, literally, though jumbled up a bit to mix it up. Though your tactical marines are harder to kill, you may want to take terminators especially as deep striking objective claimers. TH/SS specifically may be worth it for CC though, as this list is pretty mediocre in assault (Siege Mantlets don't allow re-rolls in CC)
- Techmarine - worth a new mention since the 7E codex removed the Master of the Forge and beefed up the regular Techmarine to fill a near-equivalent role. You get a 2-wound, BS5 techmarine as standard these days and in the Siege Vanguard army list you can now have more of them than anyone else. That said, they now compete with everything in the Elite slot, but at least they aren't elbowing for screen time against the likes of Chapter Masters and Librarians any more.
- Centurion Devastator Squad - Elites here instead of Heavy in the traditional codex. If you seek cheap dakka, go elsewhere, as those guys are expensive as hell and only bring half or even a third the firepower of a Devastator squad of the same price. Though they are tough as hell, menacing and attract a lot of firepower. There is no reason to go with lascannons and MLs to hunt mech - regular devs camping in heavy cover do it better, but the standard setup with double HB's and Hurricane Bolters is kinda good at killing light infantry hordes (and you WILL face hordes). The last option is grav-cannons and grav-amps, which can vomit 5 AP2 shots per model that wound on a model's armor save roll with rerolls, but it's only 24" range. A squad of 4-5 grav centurions will eat any MEQ, TEQ, MC, or GC unit within 24" in one volley, but will be tarpitted by ANYTHING till the end of the game - being A1 with no close combat weapon they'll struggle to kill even Fire Warriors in CC. Grav centurions are really only good for killing heavily-armored death star units like mega-nobz, terminators, and monstrous/gargantuan creatures. Much like their Assault counterparts, these guys are massively overcosted, even with the Grav Cannons. For the same price as three man unit with Grav Cannons or Lascannons, you could have a Land Raider. Why aren't you taking the Land Raider again?
- A nice setup for them is with twin-linked lascannons and missile launchers. Pair them with Imperial Fists Chapter Tactics, an omniscope on the sergeant (so that they have Night Vision and can split fire) and camp them in cover. Tanks won't trouble you anymore this way.
- Hecaton Aiakos (Minotaurs) - A unique contemptor dreadnought character for the Minotaurs chapter, comes with a plasma cannon. Costs a fortune but he's much improved over a normal contemptor; first he's Venerable, which is something other contemptors don't get, letting you force re-rolls on the damage chart. Second he's got +1 to his Initiative, Ballistic Skill AND a +1 bonus to his atomantic shielding, so his invulnerable save is 4+ against shooting, making him a good choice for a footslogging army. On the flip side his rear armour is -1 and his explosion radius in increased by 2". Special mention for a siege army is that he benefits from siege talon rules, so he can gain Rage part way through the battle, making him very scary.
- Dreadnought-Brother Halar (Red Scorpions) - A special Dread with +1 WS/A and is kitted like a normal Siege Dreadnought, therefore has a Flamestorm Cannon to cook anything below a Space Marine in his way, however his siege drill is just a normal power fist. But here's the biggest kicker: If he ever goes down to anything short of the almighty D or exploding, then he gets one last turn with Preferred Enemy (EVERYTHING!!!) and will ignore fucking anything short of an explosion or the D. tl;dr he's the Kamikaze Dreadnought. Like Aiakos for the Minotaurs, Halar does well in a Siege Vanguard alongside other dreadnoughts, since he can pick up Rage partway through the battle.
- Siege Dreadnought Talon - Troops dreadnoughts. Awesome. A unit of THREE dreadnoughts of either the "Siege" or "Ironclad" variety. Both dreadnought types have their normal limited selection of wargear, but you're looking at a MINIMUM of 360 points for this unit, since you have to get three dreads. Think closer to 450 once you've actually bought upgrades. Only half your troops, rounding down, can be SDTs. They split up once they reach the board, so they don't count as a squadron either. The best news is that the 7th edition rules now mean that vehicles can score and as troops can also secure objectives. So position these guys close to objectives across the battlefield and watch your opponent have a panic about what to do. Furthermore, if 50% of the dreadnoughts in your army die (including these ones, elite ones, contemptors etc.) the rest of your dreadnoughts get the RAGE USR.
- These guys still don't have access to Lucius Drop-Pods as previously thought, despite IA2 2E saying that they may be taken by ANY dreadnought variant and listing their availability to the Siege Vanguard list, the army list itself dictates which Dreadnoughts may purchase drop-pods as dedicated transports, and the Dreadnought Talon does not appear on that set of conditions, only the other non-Troop dreadnoughts in this army - a Shame, but probably for best for the sake of balance.
- Alternate opinion: Unless you are specifically going to Objective Secured or are aiming for a sickening amount of dreadnoughts in one list there is unfortunately little reason to go with these any more, which is unfortunate. There are multiple reasons: First, your regular/venerable Dreadnoughts can also be take in squads of three, although they don't split up and don't gain the Rage bonus. But the second is the real killer, regular/venerable dreadnoughts now have four attacks basic each, but the Siege Dreadnought Talon has their profiles specifically listed at the old two attacks, meaning you have been outclassed like so many other MEQ codices. Though you could always just tell your opponent your using the Codex profile as they are literally just normal dreads with extra equipment for 20 points.
- Tactical Squad - For the most part, identical to standard, except for one option: for 50pts, the squad gets Siege Mantlets. Oh man, are those things ever nice. They prevent you from buying/riding in rhinos/razorbacks (LR and the like are still fair game, however), but they let you re-roll failed armour saves (against shooting attacks only). Holy shit, that makes them harder to kill than terminators. And they're cheaper than terminators, still get their usual wargear and can secure objectives. Use them to hold an objective that WILL NOT FALL. One of the best defensive units in the game (especially once you give them feel no pain from Red Scorpions Tactics / Harath Shen / Biomancy Librarian, since they'd be 'arder than plague marines.
- Using them normally with a rhino is always an option however, especially for grabbing that objective.
- It is worth noting, however, that characters joining the squad benefit from the re-roll...so if you put a siege master in the front of the unit, anything short of AP2 simply will not damage them, at all.
- Don't forget, the Mantlets give them the Bulky rule, so if you were thinking about loading these guys up in a Land Raider or Stormraven, you'll have to go for smaller squads. Players occasionally get caught out by this. One way to counter this is to put them in either Storm Eagles (20 man transport capacity) or put them in Caestus Assault rams.
- Siege Assault Squad - Blood angels aren't the only ones who get assault marines as troops! These guys are essentially a heavily modified version of the regular assault squads, so let's go over what they lose what they gain.
- Lose: Jump Packs / Drop Pods / Rhinos / Razorbacks / The ability to take squad sizes other than 10 marines
- Gain: The ability to take melta guns, plasma guns, and grav guns / Melta Bombs for the WHOLE SQUAD / Can take combat shields for the WHOLE SQUAD / Troop FOC slot / The ability to take Land Raiders as dedicated transports / Crusader USR
- As you can see, they are quite different than regular marines. What's the proper way to use them?
- Squad A: The death of all things with AV (especially when the Siege Master gives them Tank Hunters) 2x Meltaguns, Combi-melta, melta-bombs
- Squad B: Power Choppy (3x Power weapons, especially awesome with furious charge from the SM) 2x Power Weapons, Sergeant with Power weapon. Note: These can now be power swords, axes or mauls.
- Squad C: Flamer on, 2x Flamers, Combi-flamer
- Either way, these are the guys you will want sweep the siege objective. Give them a landraider or a Caestus Assault Ram (expensive, but worth it seeing as how you will otherwise have a tough time using such a defensive list to take the siege objective).
- Centurion Assault Squad - Can secure objectives in the troops slot now. Though just like dreadnought talons you can only have half as many squads as you tactical or siege assault squads. While 50% more expensive than assault terminators they are more durable (T5, 2 wounds), albeit fewer in number and without invulnerable saves. They are armed with double S9 chainfists WITHOUT unwieldy, and swing them on WS4 I4. Having only two attacks per base (3 on the sarge) and SAP they aren't good at killing any infantry other than TEQs (and only if they have no storm shields or equivalents), though double flamers and hurricane bolters help a bit, but any vehicle or building they successfully charge is already dead, just too stupid to realize it. Which brings us to their main problem - with close to zero mobility and no deep strike, it's almost impossible for them to charge anything without a Land Raider's help, and you can fit only 5 in a Crusader or 4 in a Redeemer. Spending near 500 points to kill a single enemy TEQ squad, vehicle or bastion and then being kited for the rest of the game is nowhere near cost-effective.
- The 7th Edition changes to scoring units hasn't really helped them though, as now everything can score having your centurions sitting on an objective is not a very good idea unless it is to specifically secure it from the opponent before the end of the game, but that often requires some sort of commitment from such a short ranged unit that might be better filled with larger more flexible units like tactical squads.
- Rhino - Same as ever. I like METAL BAWKSES, you like METAL BAWKSES, we all like METAL BAWKSES. They are pretty rare in this list, and give it some mobility where it otherwise would be lacking. Take them where you can, if you don't think you need siege mantlets (there will only be so many objectives to hold in your deployment zone, after all.) A great unit for snatching objectives.
- Razorback - The other type of metal bawks. Might just be better suited to the SAV than the rhino, as it fits in with the theme of mad killy firepower. Can only transport six, so only use it if you want to put a tactical squad on the siege objective, or any enemy objective really (holding the siege objective won't change anything if the enemy holds all the regular ones), or if don't want to transport infantry and just think the extra fire power is cool.
- Land Raider Prometheus - The most biggest metal bawks of all. A crusader on ANGRY STEROIDS, holds ten models, assault vehicle, PotMS, all the usual Land Raider goodies. But what does it get? FOUR twin-linked heavy bolters, and it boosts reserves by +1, when you want it too. Also, cover saves are at -1 against it. Good for bringing a tactical squad to an objective, and shielding them from cover while giving support. Expensive when used that way, however.
Remember: only 2 Fast Attack choices allowed if you went for the dedicated FOC, but as mentioned before you're better off going for the standard Combined Arms FOC instead.
- Caestus Assault Ram - Oh man, is this thing ever terrifying. A land-raider price tag for a 13/13/11 PotMS, 5++ on the front arc, 3HP, Assault vehicle, holds 10 (ignoring terminators=2 rules), Uber-ramming FLYER! That's right. Move 36" and ram a tank at S8 with +1 to damage chart. Just about the only flyer with the "tank" type, and literally the only one that can ram. The debate rages on regarding it's ability to ram other flyers, but regardless, it is awesome. It also can be made immune to the melta special rule. It has a TL Magna-melta (R18 S8 AP1 Heavy1 Large Blast Melta) and a firefury missile battery (R36" S6 AP4 blast, heavy four, twin-linked, one-shot) because infantry AND tanks deserve to die. Can also have a teleport homer and frag assault launchers. Can also deepstrike.
- Assault Squad - These (and Vanguard) are the fastest movers in your army and can deep strike. Thus are a highly desirable option if you want to claim the siege objective quickly rather than relying on your plodding marines/vehicles to cross the table to get it.
- Vanguard Veterans - Same as codex, except in Fast again.
- Stormtalon Gunship - Same as codex
- Stormraven Gunship Same as codex but as fast attack instead. Cool, very good for moving unkillable tactical squads or Centurions across the battlefield quickly. While not as terrifying or as resilient as the Caestus Ram, it is arguably a better option since it is a multi-role vehicle where it not only transports your troops to where they need to be, but also doubles as your primary anti-air and/or vehicle killer.
- Storm Eagle Gunship (Forge World) - Your transport Flyer. Occupies the middle-ground between the Stormraven and the Thunderhawk. Transport capacity of 20, with terminators and jump infantry counting as 2 models each. Impressive arsenal of weaponry, standard armament: Hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher (Range:48"|Str:5|AP:4|Heavy 2, Large Blast). Optional armament includes: Switching Heavy bolters for Multi-meltas or a Typhoon missile launcher, and adding 4 Hellstrike Missiles or 2 Twin-linked Lascannon under the wings. Also get ceramite shielding, and the 'Power of the Machine Spirit' special rule, along with 12|12|12 armour. Disembarking infantry can assault in the same turn.
- Ideal for Siege Vanguard armies, as it can disgorge a FULL tactical squad with siege mantlets onto objectives, while its ability to fling pie plates with PotMS means it can focus on both infantry killing and tank killing in the same turn.
- Storm Eagle Roc Pattern (Minotaurs only) - A "new" unit from IA12: Fall of Orpheus. Here you get a Storm Eagle with a reduced transport capacity (still 14, so you can carry most units) and replacing the the Vengeance launcher with a 4-shot twin linked krak missile launcher and the strafing run rule. This thing will eat tanks with 7-8 mostly twin-linked STRENGTH EIGHT or MORE shots when you combine its wing mounted lascannons and either a multimelta or typhoon launcher. Can also be used as an excellent anti-aircraft interceptor, since the firepower it puts out will obliterate the low armour of current flyers.
- Fire Raptor Gunship (Forge World) - Moved to Fast Attack in the Siege list instead of Heavy. Comes naked with a TL Avenger Bolt Cannon, 4 Stormtrike Missiles (S8 Concussive, NOT Ordnance, YAY) and two Independent-Turret Quad Heavy Bolters (which can be replaced with TL Autocannon for free); the latter which aside from firing at their own targets as rumored, don't count towards the number of weapons fired! With all the twin-linked goodness, Strafing Run and PotMS/Independent-turrets; this bastard can dump its entire payload on FOUR SEPARATE TARGETS in a single turn and hit almost every time. It is a relic vehicle so you need a Master of the Forge if you want more than one Relic.
- Devastator Squad - Exactly as per the Codex. Some weapons costs so much as to be totally impractical (lascannon most notably, but also the plasma cannon thanks to Gets Hot, and the template doesn't really hold up compared to cheaper, rapid-firing plasma guns). And the short range (and zero mobility) of the multi-melta will get ignored by all non-Salamander lists, unless for some insane reason your enemy's vehicles all have ridiculously short range (or a monstrous creature gets in your face, whereupon the AP1 will really do its magic). The most commonly used weapons here are Missile Launchers and Heavy Bolters. The first is somewhat versatile, able to threaten infantry and tanks and really shines in <1500 point games, while the second is much better against troops but was neigh-upon worthless against tanks until 6th edition gave you the *chance* to glance vehicles to death. Either way, prioritize your targets.
- Vigilator Sergeant Hamath Kraatos (Minotaurs Special Character) - FUCKING EXCELLENT: a BS+1, 2-wound, Devastator Sergeant with a Heavy Bolter and preferred enemy (anything not a Vehicle, Monstrous Creature or cavalry/beasts for some reason). Has the added bonus of being able to switch his normal shooting for a special "assassin bolt" which is basically a S6 AP3 Sniper rifle. His rules wording explicitly states he may only be taken in an "army representing the minotaurs chapter", so you shouldn't be able to combo him with non-minotaurs special characters.
- Don't forget the Sergeant! He can take combi-weapons for one turn of extra punch. Or can be given a Power Fist for when someone charges your poor, vulnerable shooting squad. He also comes, stock, with a Signum. No one ever remembers to use it, which is a shame because +1BS to a single model in the squad can come in handy...
- Four plasma cannons might seem like a waste of points, since they might blow themselves up, but if you get some lucky rolls in, you can obliterate any heavy infantry squad from three feet away. Bit of a risk, but they are the only infantry weapons that can take on multiple terminators in one shot (and if your oppenent's army is grouped, you will at least hit something).
- Thunderfire Cannons - Now an excellent choice due to the 7E upgrades. You take this unit directly from the book, so now you get the near-Master of the Forge gunners and can take them in squads of three. Great for filling your Heavy Support choices and bombarding the enemy, but also with your three Techmarine Gunners you can Bolster three sets of cover, improving your army's defense as well as attack.
- Predator Tank Squadron - Predator goodness, now in squadron format, but watch out since the core codex also now brings squadrons of predators with killshot rules that the Siege Vanguard don't get access to. Not too much of a point taking them in squadrons, especially given the debuffs brought to squadrons regarding Immobilised vehicles. Might be worth it in kill-points games, but given that you will already win every kill-point game ever with this army list, you be best sticking to one predator. That one predator is still as awesome as ever, though. Especially with 6th ed being the rise of the autocannon.
- Artillery Support Squadron - Whirlwinds, in a squadron. Just like the name suggests. 1-3, BUT NOT like in the new 7E codex because of the unique way it has been designed. Each Whirlwind after the first costs 20 pts extra, thus is the cost of bunching them together I suppose, and you don't get the Suppressive Bombardment rule for having a full squadron of three, instead you can "upgrade" some of them into anti-air tanks and have a mixed squadron. It could be useful for clearing objectives before your little men sweep in to capture it, since this list is so heavy on anti-tank that it's anti-infantry generally falls by the wayside (except for little bits of anti-infantry thrown in to anti-tank units, like the Caestus. Taking it in squadrons prevents your opponent taking easy killpoints here, while providing you ample cover-save ignoring anti-infantry.
- The 6th Ed update from Forgeworld changed this up considerably, you can now upgrade your Whirlwinds into Hunter tanks for 5pts, Stalkers for 10 and Hyperios for 50 pts... LOLWUT? Obviously only idiots think that upgrading to S8 AP3 is worth ten times more than S7 AP2 Armourbane, so if you REALLY want effective AA in this list, upgrade them to 3 Hunters or Stalkers and blast the everlasting shit out of your opponent's aircraft. Unfortunately once all the aircraft are gone you can't expect much else from this squadron... a pity. Flak Missile Devi squads are more flexible.
- Stalker tanks actually perform reasonably well in this role, since the amount of dakka from several tanks can overwhelm any flyer just as well as a few shots from the Hunters. But more than this, the Stalker performs better than the Hunter at ground targets afterwards due to multiple twin-linked shots and furthermore they function in squadrons with whirlwind artillery too, since the Servo-Tracking rule allows you to pick separate targets just for the stalker (albeit at BS2) without preventing the rest of the squadron from firing at ground targets.
- Vindicator Tank Squadron - The first, fluffiest choice for this slot. That many vindicators could really bring the hurt. ALL THE HURT. Could be useful for clearing heavier infantry (Tactical marines, plague marines) off of objectives, whereas your whirlwinds tend to struggle with that. Otherwise, it is the same as regular Vindicators: balls-out firepower, hampered by short range. The big upside: Being able to give the whole squadron Tank Hunters, from the siege master. That could be awesome: give them HKM so that they can launch a re-rollable salvo while they close, and then launch your THREE S10AP2 pie plates that roll two dice and pick the highest to pen...then re-roll if you somehow fail.
- Land Raider Achilles - The second fluffy choice. Perfect for not dying, ever (immune to melta, lance, and -1 to damage chart) for raping tanks with it's TL MM sponsons, and for raping infantry with it's HULL MOUNTED THUNDERFIRE CANNON. Hell yes. Even better when you consider this is the perfect list for fielding Imperial Fists, and this Land Raider was invented by them. An overall great tanks, suffering only from a transport capacity of six models. Command squad, maybe? Sternguard/Vanguard? Endless possibility.
- Land Raider Helios - Anti-air Land-raider. Not that great, 260 points to replace the heavy bolter with a whirlwind launcher that is ordnance and forces the lascannons to snap fire. If you are looking for a way to transport a command squad/honour guard/vanguard vets though, this could be awesome, with the whirlwind missiles, as it in that case it is basically 10 points for a whirlwind launcher.
- You can change the way this unit plays by changing the ordnance launcher into a Hyperios missile launcher, which is a skyfire/interceptor krak missile launcher. The 7th Ed changes to Skyfire means that it becomes less effective against ground vehicles but with PotMS you can use the missile launcher separately from the lascannons to shoot out flyers which are becoming much more prevalent on the tabletop, and apart from flakk missiles on dudes this is your primary anti aircraft. Once you're done with aircraft, just don't forget that the Hyperios Launcher does allow re-rolls to-hit against skimmers as well as flyers.
- Deathstorm Drop Pod (Forgeworld) - Yes, despite not having access to "normal" drop pods, the Siege Vanguard gets both the Lucius and the Deathstorm... but whatever. Expecting the drop pod that just landed to contain troops or a heavy weapons platform you don't have to worry about until next turn? SURPRISE! Whirlwind missiles! For you! In the face! The Vanguard list directs you to use the IA2:2nd version rather than the Damnos version, which is fair enough and leads you to less confusion. It spams proper whirlwind missiles on EVERYTHING on the turn it arrives, then reverts to a stationary whirlwind launcher for the rest of the game. The launchers may also be upgraded to assault cannons for an extra 20 points, but this should only be done if you expect it to survive more than one turn (and you really shouldn't). Very situational, but if your opponent fields lots of small units relatively close together, dropping this in the middle of them is almost guaranteed to ruin his day. Can't take a locator beacon, though and does not come with the Drop Pod Assault rule as standard, that has to be bought.
- Space Marine Sentry Gun Battery (Forge World) - You get a battery of up to three immobile twin-linked Heavy Bolters for the bargain cost of 15 points each and swap them for a Multi-melta for five or pay ten for TL Lascannons. Being automated, you have very little control over what they actually do in the battle, they select their own targets based on pre-set criteria, you basically just get to choose at deployment what their arcs are: 360 degrees but at 18" range, or 90 degrees at 36" range, so you're rarely going to be blasting things across the table with these things. You DO get the ability to deep strike them for a laugh or give them camo netting for stealth if you can set them up in a good spot to make them invulnerable to most shooting. (while you can pay the cost for both, just don't because it you deep strike into cover you are waiting for a mishap. Set them up behind an aegis defense line with camo for 2+ cover.
- DON'T EVER mix and match guns or targeting criteria, nowhere in the rules do they say they deploy separately or behave any differently from any other artillery battery, meaning they should all be firing at the same target, which is still the one they select for themselves...
- As a added bonus though, you can instead swap the guns for Hyperios Missile Launchers, which don't suffer from the firing modes rules, allowing you to direct the shots at your leisure. Basically krak missiles with skyfire and interceptor, this configuration does most jobs you ask it to without complaint, just don't waste the points (or the money) with the command platform, as by swapping one of the guns you've replaced the ability to fire three missiles at the same target with two missiles at different targets... it should have been a free upgrade or the unit needed to be bigger than three launchers... certainly not clever.
- Space Marine Deimos Pattern Predator Executioner (Forge World) - While pricier than most other predators (125 points with no upgrades) this little bad boy can pack quite a punch with it's Plasma Destroyer (Essentially a Plasma Cannon that fires three shots per turn). If upgraded with Heavy Bolter Sponsons, it should be able to clear that siege objective of large hordes (due to sheer number of hits caused by two Heavy Bolters and three small blast templates) or of those pesky Terminators (Plasma Destroyers spit on your puny Tactical Dradnought armour). It can also replace it's plasma destroyer with a heavy conversion beamer, but only consider this if you are playing on a large battlefield as it is more effective at long distances.
Lords of War
- Thunderhawk Gunship - Provided that where you game allows lords of war (if it's a GW store this shouldn't be a problem) and that you have enough points (and money), then the mighty Thunderhawk is well worth considering. With a transport capacity of 30, and the Ceramite Plating special rule (Meltas don't gain extra D6 armour penetration against the Thunderhawk Gunship), not to mention 9 hull points, this may very well be worth the hefty price tag. Maybe use it to place your mantlet equipped Tactical squads on the objective then use the Thunderhawk to harass the enemy.
- Thunderhawk Transporter - Like a less cool version of it's combat-ready cousin, the Transporter may still be a reasonable choice in this list. If you want to Drop Tanks full of Space Marines on the Siege Objective, this is a fairly good choice.
Remember, this list allies just like normal Spess Muhreens. Some of the options are more interesting than others.
- Inquisition--The inquisition is interesting primarily for the potential with cheap henchmen to act as damage soaks. Use Inquisitors for divination. Not as useful here as in other lists.
- Imperial Gua... er Astra Militarum--Let the guard bring the fire support and focus fast and killy. A squadron of Hellhounds will make your troubles disappear. A squad of Vets can take a heavy weapon and hold your back field objective, which isn't bad for a 100 point tax to get basilisks or Russes. Death Korps of Krieg are perfect for either MORE artillery fire or taking the siege objective through sheer number of men and AWESOMENESS. Elysian Drop Troops will enable you to reach the siege objective quickly, enabling your marines to play defensive (just make sure the Elysians have enough backup to hold it for the entire game).
- Knights-- Aw hell yeah. Let them lead your charge.
- Sisters of Battle--You may be surprised by this, but I'm going to say one word: priests. Yes, that's right. Put a priest in a squad with siege mantles and take Red Scorpions chapter tactics and watch your dudes never fucking die. Also, penitent engines make good distractions and outflanking Dominions never hurt anyone. This one will lose you friends, though.
- Space Marines--Not much point in this one, however, if you do wish to mix chapter tactics or use some faster hitting units to secure the siege objective, then this might be the way to go (e.g. Carcharadons in Drop Pods claiming the objective so your siege assault vanguard can sit back and shoot.
Building Your Army
This one isn't very hard: use your existing marine army. 99.99% of you reading this probably have a few thousand points of marines sitting around anyways.
A few things to remember: You will need to buy plenty of bits to convert your marines to represent the options they have in this list. The Siege Assault Marines will need to be jump-pack less chainsword+bolt pistol marines, but any marine player worth his salt will probably have the pistol/chainsword parts lying around from various sources anyway, since GW tend to give you more than you usually need in their squad boxes.
Marines with Siege Mantlets are required by the rules to have some sort of shield attached to the model (try the FW boarding shield set, though admittedly you'll have a hell of a time with heavy weapons; the Man-at-Arms shields from Fantasy's Brettonians are also the perfect size for regular Space Marines - just cut/trim the inside arms off, and glue them right onto the Marines' arms), just little things like this. Alternatively you can look a little further afield; outside GW you can get pretty much any style of shield you fancy from Roman-style rectangles to Spartan round shields to kite shields and everything in between. This way you can pick something that really fits your army theme (Spartans for Minotaurs etc) and GW are ok with conversions as long as you use their base models so really why not?
Also, you will probably need an aircraft if you ever want to take the siege objective. Caestus assault rams cost $150, but the Siege Vanguard now get access to all the standard marine storm-variants, so players will presumably already own or want a stormraven gunship for all your delivery needs, and doubles up in an AA role.
You'll also probably want a few land raiders, which cost about $90-100. And a bunch of dreadnoughts; Ironclads preferably, but you can get away with using a standard dreadnought with a multimelta for a Siege Dreadnought, just give them serrated fingers for drill-bits, and any Assault-Centurion Siege Drills also come in handy for this.
So despite the fact that you (probably) already have about 1000pts of the specific models you want for a 2000pts Siege Assault Vanguard list, it will still cost about as much as a regular 2000 point list. Because Forge World.
This is, admittedly, a hard army to use. They are extremely forgiving of beginner mistakes, due to nothing in it dying ever, and it will win ever Big Guns Never Tire game you play (because squadrons), as well as winning ever kill point game (as long as you take the siege objective). The issue is that it is an army that is fucking EXCELLENT at defense, honestly nothing else in the game even comes close, blob guard wish they were siege vanguards, but they are forced to play aggressively by their special rule (nurgle marines). An experienced player, with a strong, well though out army list and a sound grasp of tactics can definitely use it to their advantage, but most players will struggle with it. Still, it offers some powerful options, some great prices (points wise; god knows they charge about 300% too much money wise) and a unique and fun playstyle I think most players can probably appreciate.
But as far as tactics go, you will generally want at least three of this modded codex's hardcore objective holders-1 or 2 mantlet tactical squads and a talon of two ironclads would work. This way even if you roll 5 objectives, or are playing the scouring, you can hold all the objectives you get to place. You will want two or three units capable of advancing and capturing objectives, or at least one capable of capturing and two or so of clearing objectives. Because one thing is constant: you need to always be capable of capturing that siege objective. In a way, it is kind of a liberating restriction, in that there is no randomness. In a straight up fight, any semi-well planned SAV list will crush any other list (except maybe a legion list, that one is up for debate). That's why they added the siege objective. What this means for you is you need to be able to have a few units move up quick who are tough enough to take and hold objective, and have units capable of wiping the enemy off the other objectives (in an army like this one, you simply can't afford that many transports, since yours are almost all expensive+powerful, rather than cheap+numerous. This means one troops unit with upgrades+a ride, and either tanks, big guns, or heavy infantry to kill whatever is holding the regular objectives).
For hilarity: Kor'sarro Khan and a siege master as HQs, with three troops units of Siege Assault Squad+LR Redeemer, outflank them all, arriving on a 2+ on turn two. Hilarity ensues, and then your guys get roflstomped because you have 32 PA models and 3 tanks at 2000pts.
For Awesome (but impractical): Take Lucius Pattern drop pods (yes, you still get those, IA2 2E made it so) and drop your scoring dreadnoughts (not Ironclads) in to sweep/capture objectives. Lol.
Or you could just take 2 caestus assault rams, 4 land raider achilles and just pray for either big guns never tire or the scouring, since you will never lose any of those four vehicles, and if they can hole the siege objective it is just done for your opponent. The downside would be the fact that you just spent 1850pts and $800 on six models. So this is instead of getting a reaver titan. FORGE WOOOOOORRRRLLLD!