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Codex Marines - the big discussion

 Post subject: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:59 am 
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*Firstly let me state this this thread has not been started to cause arguments about terrain rule interpretations, playstyles, countries, development communities or anything else, it is simply for civil and politely worded discussion, any and all debate falling outside this remit will be removed*

I wanted to start a thread to discuss the codex marine list, lately there seems to be some significant debate about the power level of the list between some groups. Now as there are always two sides to every story I thought it might be in the interests of the global community and future NetEA development to discuss these viewpoints in an open and inclusive way

Some statements have been made about how the codex list is underpowered compared to many new lists (or just in general) and I would really be interested to explore exactly why that is, from the group and tournament scene I play in, that doesn't generally appear to be the case, but as I said earlier, there are always two sides to a story

could people please share their experiences, tips and tricks (even going so far as to provide diagrams or photos) in how to get the best from the codex list, and also how best to beat it

I have seen people say that effective counters have been developed to the standard sort of marine tactics, I'd personally be very interested to discuss these both as a marine player and someone who loses to marines quite a lot ;)

could people share lists that they struggle to beat with marines? are they all exclusively new lists or do they include older lists like orks and steel legion?

basically let's take it from a few one line comments and opinions to a nice discussion that we can all benefit and learn from :)

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:33 pm 
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In the UK scene Marines tend to aim at 10-12 activations.
Often a spaceship barrages and pods a Devastator formation to remove activations and AA.
Tend to be 2-3 stalling scout speeder formations. Often 2 warhounds to target AA
The SM players plan is to remove AA and cut down activations so that the air assaults can come in after the opponent has run out of activations.
The air assaults don't go for big targets like tank companies or Reavers but for targets with a high % that they'll win the assault - DC3 war engines, artillery, blitz brigades. Reaver like targets are ignored/avoided until activations dominance has been achieved.

Often an empty thunderhawk then picks up the air assault formation.
A recent wrinkle has been no warhounds but using a LC full of predators to kill AA and prep for the air assault.

My rule is that unless there are nightwings then the terminators don't teleport as I'll take my chances with the AA rather than having terminators on the ground at the start at the mercy of the SR

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:14 pm 
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Steve54,

Could you possibly share a 3k list for some context to those synergies please?

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:20 pm 
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Without wanting to speak for steve, a typical list using the above synergies might look like this:

(IIRC steve54's tournament list)

Tacticals - hunter, razorback, supcom
Scouts - razorback
Scouts - razorback
Speeders
Terminators - chaplain
Devastators
Strike cruiser
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk
Thunderbolts
Warhound
Warhound

if you look at the lists page on the EpicUK site you can see all of the various lists used, Steve Gullick and Dave Thomas have both been particularly successful with codex marines, their various builds are available to peruse at your leisure rather than my typing them all out here ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:28 pm 
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My usual list is
Tacticals+SC+Hunter+Las RB
Devastators
Terminators+Chaplain
Speeders
Scouts+ Las RB
Scouts+ Las Rb
Warhound
Warhound
T bolts
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk
Strike Cruiser

That basic list has a record of 21 wins 3 losses 5 draws


The LC list I referred to is
Terminators + Chaplain
Terminators + SC
Devs
Scouts
Scouts
Strike Cruiser
LC
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk
Predator Annihilators+Hunter
T bolts
T bolts
(50pts over via NetEA so would have to drop a character)

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:33 pm 
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Steve, the second list is the one taken against me last night, Dave dropped the hunter and took a vindicator, it balanced out that way as the annihilators are 25 points cheaper in the NetEA list :)

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:40 pm 
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TACTICS: How to defend yourself against the Space Marine 'Surgical Strike'.

This isn't a comment on the Space Marine army per se, but on a particular tactic that the marines started using in the local games that briefly became quite popular until everyone learned to defend it.

What's a 'Surgical Strike'?

Something I love about Epic Armegeddon is that the various armies actual function as they are meant to do in the fluff (as opposed to in 28mm 40k where they generally line up on a field and walk toward each other). A tactic in the 40K stories often talked about small squads of marines teleporting/thunderhawking/drop podding right into the heart of the enemy where they can do the most damage and tearing up shit.

The list I took to my very first tournament was built around:

* Two formations of terminators (with chaplain, commander)
* One thunderhawk packed full of Assault and Devastator marines.


(I've seen many lists with more or less of both these formations)

The 'surgical strike' was to drop these formations right into soft underbelly of the enemy where it was strategically best and more often than not, it would win me games. It's not the only strategy up the marine player's sleeve, but until everyone learned to defend against it it was one of the best.

Note that many other armies are also able to 'surgical strike' - Vampires full of Aspect Warriors, teleporting Necrons, tunneling squats etc. and these tactics all pretty much can be defended against in the same way.

How to stop it?

1. Be Aware.

This is a big one. Most players when planning out the next 1 or 2 turns only really 'think' about the units they can see on the table. If you constant remind yourself that there is a 1000 points of marines sitting off the table, you'll less likely to be 'caught out'.

2. Figure out the targets.

Take a look at your own army and figure out what the marine player would want to strike against. For the strike to work, it really has to hit an enemy target that valuable enough to commit against, but yet not too strong in an engagement.


Tiny 100 point chaff units are probable safe. Conversely Warlord Titans and 10 strong Leman Russ formations are probably too hard. What the marine player wants to hit is something like a 9-strong artillery formation, or something with the supreme commander. Once you know the target you can protect it.

3. Scouts and Chaff.

Scouts have a wonderful 10cm zone of control that prevents the enemy teleporting/tunneling right in. A Artillery formation can be nicely protected from terminators if it has a 'ring' of scout units surrounding it. Make sure that the scout unit is far enough away from the target uni so it can't be intermingled! rookie mistake!

4. AA lots of AA.

Thunderhawks and Vampires always up in your grill? Change you list to include a bit more AA than you would usually take. See if you can squeeze in that extra uni of Hydras. Although you probably won't be able to blow up the thunderhawk on entry, adding a blast marker to the unit before it engages can swing a combat by 1 or 2 points. Plus if you DO blow up the thunderhawk, that's a huge load of free victory points right there.

5. Overwatch.

Some good AP fire. Short ranged is fine. Macro Weapon if you've got it. Overwatch a few units around your vulnerable formation so at least you can bloody the nose of the terminators just before they engage.

6. Prepare your revenge

If you can't set up overwatch, it still might pay to have other good AP units hanging around the vulnerable formation. Even if they can't *stop* the engagement before it occurs, at least you could shoot the victorious striking marine unit after the engagement. Make them pay by wiping them out instead of letting them run free behind your lines.

7. Beef up your vulnerable units.

A formation of 3 baneblades/shadowswords is a tasty snack for MW terminators. Boosting the formations with some Ogryns...that might make them think twice. This works best if your vulnerable units is close to, but not quite, up to the level of the marine formation in engagement.

8. Support your formations.

Remember that the surgical strike can come down anywhere on the table, and letting a unit wander off on it's lonesome is letting it be killed. Keep your formations closer together, where they can crossfire and/or revenge engage the marines.

9. Wait until the hand is shown.

The scariest part of the surgical strike is that you don't know where and when it is coming. So play conservatively until the marines are tabled. This may mean that you 'hang back' with more overwatch and less objective grabbing than might be usual. Until the marine player plays his hand his expensive terminators and thunderhawks are 'useless'.

10. Be aware.

I know that this is the same as the first one but I thought it was so important it was worth mentioning twice.
Keep reminding yourself "there is 1000 points of marines off the table, ready to come in and ruin my day" and you'll avoid falling into any traps!


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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:44 pm 
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From the Dark Angels thread, this question was asked by Steve.

Steve54 wrote:
In the discussions over the relative power of the Codex SM list and air assaults/teleport could one of the group give a rundown on how the Australian meta counters them as its not something that anywhere else has managed.


The previous post I just threw up was something I hand hanging around from a chat with some new players on facebook. It's probably self-evident for most of the more established players, but it can easily be a game-loser if you don't know it's coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:50 pm 
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thanks for that Elsaurio, handy little primer there! :)

just from your own experiences then, do people tend to teleport terminators more than bringing them in via thunderhawk in your local meta?

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:04 pm 
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kyussinchains wrote:
Without wanting to speak for steve, a typical list using the above synergies might look like this:

(IIRC steve54's tournament list)

Tacticals - hunter, razorback, supcom
Scouts - razorback
Scouts - razorback
Speeders
Terminators - chaplain
Devastators
Strike cruiser
Thunderhawk
Thunderhawk
Thunderbolts
Warhound
Warhound

if you look at the lists page on the EpicUK site you can see all of the various lists used, Steve Gullick and Dave Thomas have both been particularly successful with codex marines, their various builds are available to peruse at your leisure rather than my typing them all out here ;)


Subtract the thunderhawk, strike cruise and add one more formation of termies and assault and you have what I used to field.

I certainly don't think that vanilla marines are a 'weak' list but they not the powerhouse they used to be. Especially since newer variant marine list usually are just a little bit better than the ordinary

1. It's the oldest list, along with Steel Legion and Orks and it shows. All three armies have a few formations that have inefficient sizes and choices that you wouldn't normally take. For example: Predators would be fantastic if you could add 1-2 more to the formation. Dreadnoughts are rarely seen.

2. It's a very common army, and one almost all beginners start with. Hence everyone is pretty good and knowing the ins and out of how to beat them. Same as Steel Legion.

3. They might have the worst access to long range Ant-Tank or Titan weapons in any of the approved army lists. One of the reasons that twin warhounds are incredibly common in SM is it gives you the rare access to MW. Marines are on the back foot if they come up against a tank / war engine heavy opponent (like Vracks or Minervans.) At least Steel Legion have shadowswords, where as Vanilla Marines are stuck with the less efficient Predators Annihilators or terminator close combat.


All in all I don't think that vanilla space marines need to have anything immediately 'done' to fix them up. They are one of the best armies for a beginner to take. But we should take into account how the game meta has shifted with all the variant armies that have come online since Epic Armageddon was first released.


Last edited by Elsaurio on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:05 pm 
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kyussinchains wrote:
thanks for that Elsaurio, handy little primer there! :)

just from your own experiences then, do people tend to teleport terminators more than bringing them in via thunderhawk in your local meta?


Yes, but that might be because there is so much AA around. A few players have given up bringing any aircraft at all as there is so much flak!

Terminators teleport in first turn- taking out the artillery and AA and such. They usually hit the things that really, really need to die first turn and the 4+ RA might keep them alive (but I don't rely on them surviving, as long as they kill more than they are worth)

Thunderhawk with assault-devs come in later, maybe turn 3. By this time some AA might have been cleared and/or the opponent has spread the army apart. They usually kill the biggest remaining enemy unit in a way that secures victory (grabbing an objective, kicking out a formation for defend the flag Etc)


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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:28 pm 
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What would be a common amount of AA?

In most of the top finishing lists here Teleporting and thawk loads that aren't terminators are pretty rare.
The spaceship and poss dung devs are used for the role you've outlined with the terminators.
Devs and assaults in t hawks because they just aren't reliable enough
Terminators Teleporting because of scout screens, relying on a SR role off where you might know be on a+1 or 2, that even if they are successful you are still probably going to lose a 350pt formation during turn 1 and finally players learning to put targets away from objectives leaving terminators stranded. I'd far rather brave the AA, assault and recycle

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:45 pm 
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interesting, so what would a typical force be packing AA-wise?

I agree with some of your points but perhaps interpret them differently, marines are indeed a common army that many beginners start with, but I think they're more at the 'finesse' end of the spectrum (easy to learn, difficult to master perhaps) where they really need to be used to their full potential to win games, I've personally been playing marines as my main army for around 3 years now and it's taken me this long to get to a point where feel like I know what I'm doing! :)

there are definitely sub-optimal choices in the list for sure, some are just in need of a tweak, others, like dreadnoughts, are a bit of a casualty of the rules

I've personally never found marines to be particularly weak against war engine heavy/armour heavy lists as they will usually have a big activation and mobility advantage which counts for a lot (admittedly it was using EUK dark angels but at the last tournament I attended I was pretty successful against both a war engine heavy Skitarii army and AMTL, mostly from stalling and being much more mobile than the other side which enabled me to avoid the nasty stuff and pick the battles I could win. I think I'd have had similar results using the regular codex list if I'm honest) I take the point on warhounds which is a reason I've stopped using them recently, I've not found it any harder without the dogbots running around.....yet! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Marines have been the most common army here. Nearly every player has a Codex army. As for my thoughts:

12 activations is pretty much minimum for me when I'm playing Marines, especially if I'm going ground pounder. The need to stall and react with the army is critical, without the activation advantage you're going to get shot to pieces or not be able to set up favorable engagements.

You're not going to win by out-shooting your opponent so I usually pull from this bag of tricks:

Hide. This is pretty simple, but watching a lot of people play they, more often than not, want to shoot with their formations. The return fire can be killer though, especially on your small formations when the dice are cold. If I really need to lay a BM I try to use terrain to mitigate/eliminate return fire.

Double dip. Marines need assaults with lots of support, so shoot with your formations and get them into support. When your opponent is out of activation on a part of the battlefield it's time for them to go to work. Move up formations, prep the target formation, fire at support formations, and then engage. I usually tend to leave the big stuff alone, but if you have no other options (a guy at Adepticon had 4 formations over 500 points in a 2.7k list) bring as much support with you as you can, lay BMs and try to reduce their to-hit values (clip if their FF is crap, or get into base contact if their CC is crap).

Limit options. Marines have access to great scout formations. ZoC the enemy and force them to move around you, engage you or do nothing. I have won plenty of games with 150-200 points formations tying up 500+ point ones (the game from Adepticon above, a SHT formation killed a single Scout stand the whole game due to hiding and ZoC).

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 Post subject: Re: Codex Marines - the big discussion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:32 pm 
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I have to be honest and state from the off I have not played tournament games. However I think that the main weakness (if you can call it that) comes from players knowledge. As so many people start playing or have played with the vanilla list they are all aware of its strengths and weaknesses. This means when you play against it you can think of good ways to overcome the SM strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

What can you do about it? As a marine player mix things up. Make your opponent think your going to do something normal then do something different all together.

My only small annoyances with the vanilla list are
- dreads. I realise they are not Titans but I don't think the stats reflect their power well. For the cost of the upgrade I don't think they are worth it. That said I do take them often but more for my love of the models
- TK weapons. I know SM are the elite and would be used for surgical strikes etc but surely the emporers finest would have access to some sort of TK weapon even if it was an expensive upgrade. As part of their duties they could easily be called on to take down a pesky enemy Titan to assist IG etc

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