Warhammer 40,000
Warhammer 40,000 or simply Warhammer 40K is a miniature-based tabletop game. It involves building and painting your own miniature army and pit them against others' on a dioramic 6x4 or 4x4 feet table using a standardized set of game rules. Miniature armies come in various factions, from Imperial commandos to space-faring orks, each with its own background stories (what 40K players call "fluff") and combat units.

My army, a sub-faction of the Adeptus Astartes or the Space Marines, is of the so-called Dark Angels Chapter - one of thousands of regiments of bio-enhanced supersoldiers created by the Emperor of Man to impose his will throughout the grim universe of the 41st millennium.

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Dark Angels of the Adeptus Astartes
The Dark Angels Chapter is first among legions of Space Marines bred by the Emperor from his own genetic imprints. Enhanced physiologically for combat operations, they are literally Angels of Death in the battlefield, sowing fear to anyone who dared oppose their mandate. Their homeworld, Caliban - now reduced to a barren asteroid after an epic battle against their traitorous Brothers - holds the Chapter's mobile fortress-monastery called the Tower of Angels. Here, deep within the labyrinthine pathways to the underground caverns, lies the key to their monastic nature. The Dark Angels hides a millenia-long secret that compromised their honor. It is with this reason that they and their Successor Chapters are called the Unforgiven.

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The Interrogator-Chaplain's Wargaming Sanctum

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Space Marines Tactica Part Two

Tactica Astartes: Status et Contendo
"Space Marines on a Static Shooting Army"
by: Interrogator-Chaplain Obidus the Punisher

The HQ Choices

Chaplain (Master of Sanctity and Reclusiarch)
With instant access to a power weapon (Crozius Arcanum) and a 4+ invulnerable save (Rosarius), the Chaplains’ points increase from the Commanders is unquestionably a bargain. In addition to being Fearless and having the “Litanies of Hate” special rules, these units are the most cost-effective HQ choices among the Space Marines’ rosters points by points.

Battlefield Role:
Chaplains should never be outfitted to function as shooting units. With what they instantly have, they are meant to be close-combat specialists and that would automatically set them as counter-assault options for a static shooty army. The Chaplains’ “Litanies of Hate” is one of the best assault abilities perfect for this role and as such, always be mindful to initiate the charge against the enemy in able to capitalize on the lethal re-rolls.

To better ascertain the likelihood of getting the charge, Chaplains should be able to move quickly in the battlefield. Again, two of the most viable equipments in the Space Marines armory to give the Chaplains such mobility are the Space Marine bike and the Jump Pack. Riding a Chaplain on a Space Marine bike will increase its resilience and give it the ability to “Turbo Boost” to react against close-combat threats faster. On the other hand, the Jump Pack is a cheaper option and gives Chaplains the ability to leap over terrains and intervening models. This feat could give them a better chance for surprise attacks by hiding behind terrain pieces and jumping over them at the moment an enemy assault unit is close enough to be charged. The ability could also give the Chaplains a positional leverage on combat by leaping over an enemy assault unit and pick out from what part of that unit it is most advantageous to assault.

On foot, Chaplains are restricted in mobility. They could easily be outmaneuvered by faster enemy units so that they could not capitalize with their “Litanies of Hate”. One option for Chaplains on foot is to attach them on a Reclusiam Command Squad and mount the unit on a Rhino or a Razorback. It gives your Chaplains the protection of an armored vehicle and extra “Wounds” to spare provided by the Space Marine bodyguards. However, as mentioned on the Commanders entry, these transports have limited maneuverability and that you can’t assault after disembarking is a delay for your counter-assault momentum.

Chaplains should ought to stick with their already effective basic equipments. You can, however, acquire some of the practical choices like the imperative bolt pistol, frag grenades, or bionics. There were also other mediocre wargears to give them like the plasma pistol, Terminator Honors, master crafting, or even at greater extents, an Adamantium Mantle, but these should only be taken IF there were no other more viable things to spend your points on for the entire army. Remember too that these costly additions will also boost the Victory Points that will be awarded to your opponent once your Chaplains got destroyed.

Another thing to consider equipping a Chaplain is a Terminator Armor. However, it could only be effective when attached to a squad of Terminators and mounted on a Land Raider Crusader, where the unit could have a better chance to get that lethal charge upon disembarking. Alone, Chaplains in Terminator Armor are just another expensive fire magnet which is not worth the points invested on them.

Author’s Analysis:
If you have no specific role in mind for a Librarian or a Commander, Chaplains are no-brainer picks as HQ choices for your static shooty army. I always choose to pick a Reclusiarch over a Master of Sanctity because the 15 point difference is only substantial for the extra Wound it confers, which is not worth it. You’ll never need the extra point of Leadership that the upgrade gives since Chaplains are Fearless anyway. You can pick more valuable stuffs from the points saved this way, like Terminator Honors which complements the “Litanies of Hate” with that extra Attack it confers.

Remember that the “Litanies of Hate” is conferrable to ALL models in a squad that the Chaplain is attached to so the most efficient way to capitalize with this special rule is to attach your Chaplains to a unit that can dish out the most number of Attacks. With this concept in mind, I prefer the classic Chaplain-led Assault Squad. A full squad of this unit can immediately deliver at least thirty “To Hit” rolls on a charge, not yet including the Chaplain’s own Attacks. With “Litanies of Hate” triggered, we’re already looking at the odds that 75% of these blows will hit!

With that setup, my Reclusiarch was fitted-out with a Jump Pack, a bolt pistol, and frag grenades. If there are points to spare, I also give him bionics just for the luck-factor that it could sometimes bestow and, as I mentioned earlier, Terminator Honors. If I have to field a Chaplain unattached to a unit, I’d still pick to refit him the same way as this just for the combat flexibility and mobility of a Jump Pack-equipped character.


Past Articles:
Status et Contendo: Part 1 - HQ (Commanders)
Status et Contendo: Part 2 - HQ (Chaplains)

Inscribed by Interrogator-Chaplain Randel on 2:13 PM               0 Incoming Transmission


Never forgive! Never forget!