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.


  1. You need a Noise Marines Land Raider, and paint it up like a Chaos ice cream truck. I can't think of anything more evil.

  2. It is annoying to have to have an icon on the table turn 1. I'd be much happier with "If there are no icons on the table, do not make Reserve rolls for daemons, and daemons do not come on automatically on T5+ if no icons are present. If the game ends and daemons are still in Reserve, they count as destroyed." But, alas.

    However - "and each icon can only be used once" - huh? Any icon can be used over and over - multiple turns, multiple units/turn.

    I think that NM should be built in a more specialized manner. If you want them to sit back and shoot, add on some sonic blasters, MAYBE blastmaster if you're feeling like splurging. If you want them to move up and assault, leave the SBs at home, add champ w/weapon and doom siren. Trying to properly equip them for both roles is too expensive and leaves a good bit of capability wasted.

  3. @sonsoftaurus - I should have been more clear: the same icon can only be used once per turn. This still means however, that with 4 units of demons, at least 2 icons need to be on the table T1 in order to prevent giving up free points.

    I agree that the list needs to be more specialized. There have been a few games where I go to setup and I'm not sure whether to go into assault mode or defense mode. That usually spells trouble.

    @FW - A Land Raider 'ice cream truck' dedicated to Slaanesh would likely draw more kids than 'Tzeentch's Bookmobile'. Or Khorne's creepy unmarked white van for that matter.

  4. @PE - I understood, I just disagree that you need more than one icon in most cases. More is always better for flexibility, but you only need one. I don't see anywhere in the book that says an icon can only be used to bring in one LD unit/turn.

    Take a unit with icon on the East end of the line. Five LD units come available and are summoned in. A comes in 6" North. B comes in 6" NE. C comes in 6" East, D comes in 6" SE, and E comes in 6" South. You can fit a lot more in, but that should be enough to demonstrate.