Friday, August 20, 2010
Noise Marines and “Null Deployment” – Part One
After two loses a few months back which can only be described as ‘resounding’, I’ve decided to take a fresh look at my list and come up with some new strategies/tactics.
Basically the problem is this: my Noise Marines list, as it currently stands (link) has some major flaws. First, its rather paltry anti-armor capabilities mean that when facing opponents with Land Raiders, Leman Russes, or just about anything with AV12 or better, I am at a decided disadvantage. While things like pintle-mounted combi-meltas on my rhinos as well as the Defilers hand-to-hand abilities are effective on paper, the reality is neither have the range nor the survival capacity to get close enough to shoot/fight whatever they are trying to kill. The result of which is that my rhinos invariably spend two or three turns sitting on my board edge getting stunned and wrecked, while my opponents forces close in with crack assault troops or simply sit back and pound me to dust their big guns.
Second, the necessity of having icons on the board in order to bring in demons creates a major tactical weakness in my army, especially in Annihilation missions. Because demons are destroyed if they are made available for reserves, but no icon is present to on the board (and each icon can only be used once), that means that unless I wish to simply give my opponent 2-3 kill points each game, the tactic of ‘reserve everything’ in hopes of hiding from an alpha strike is largely impossible.
Third, although the Noise Marines have yet to be bested in combat (okay maybe the infamous ‘Trygon incident’ excepted) they are a bit awkward in usage. Though their sonic blasters deal a fair amount of damage, this actually can actually be a HUGE problem when using them to fire before an assault; as they do so much damage a savvy player will simply remove his forwardmost models, leaving the survivors more than 6” way and my squad now out of charge reach. Sitting the Noise marines in the back field and shooting can work, but they absolutely need to have cover, and given my utter lack of anti-armor abilities as mentioned above, the sad reality is that by turn 3 there usually aren’t enough survivors to provide effective fire.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, my list suffers greatly against newer armies with deep striking troops and vehicles who quickly make a mockery of my more or less linear deployment style. With drop pods, storm ravens, valkeries, etc, my opponents can gleefully place their melta-guns and assault troops right in the weak spots of my line- usually unleashing a devastating barrage of melta weaponry (the bane of my defilers) in the meantime.
Taken together, these weaknesses, mean that not only am I at a disadvantage prior to deploying (no anti-tank), but once I get on the board I have a hard time forcing my opponent to respond to me (lack of mobility). Of course, some added melta-guns or lasguns may alleviate the former problem, but it’s the latter which concerns me far more. With that in mind, I’ve created a new list around the “Null Deployment” model, which I will discuss in greater detail in my next post.