Monday, March 8, 2010

Noise Marine Tactics

I’m about 12 models away from being finished with my army, so I thought it would be a useful thought exercise to sketch out a few ideas on how I intend for this list to perform. So here are my pre-game thoughts on strategy and tactics with my Iron Minstrels Noise Marines. Here is a current copy of my list:

Chaos Sorcerer w/ jump pack, lash, MoS, icon (155)
2 X Defiler w/ 2x CC arms (150)
Obliterators x 2 (150)
Chosen x 6 w/ 4 plasma, Rhino, icon (213)
Noise Marines x 10, Champ w/PF, doom siren, 7 sonic blasters, Rhino, icon (330)
Noise Marines x 10, Champ w/PF, doom siren, 7 sonic blasters, Rhino, icon, combi-melta (340)
4 X Demons x 5 (65)

Total (1748)

Strategy: 5th ed. space marines are well known for being kinda-good at everything and really good at nothing. With that in mind, my list is designed to be very flexible; whatever my enemy can’t do, I’ll try and do better. Like to swarm? I’ll block movement and saturate with shots. Like to shoot? I’ll rush my army ahead, warp in daemons, and assault en masse. Bottom line however, will be I’ll shoot first, and assault as a “Plan B”.

Tactica Noise Marines: If you haven’t read it yet, check out Fritz’s very nice breakdown on army synergy. Building on this idea, I have divided my units into three basic roles: Attack, Support, and Defense.


Defilers: These rather imposing models are in my list for the sole purpose of creating a giant “Hey, over here!” distraction for my enemy. While two battle cannons can certainly put a hurt my opponent’s units, I think defilers are better for the psychological threat they represent rather than their actual killing ability. Likewise, the 6 high strength power attacks each one brings is also a threat, but nothing that can’t be avoided by a shrewd player. That said, I plan on putting these creatures mid-field most games and running them right down the center. The intention should be clear: draw enemy fire while the rest of my army either fortifies its deployment zone or grabs objectives. And while 12 AV may not seem terribly durable, when combined with demonic possession, the ability to fleet, and flexibility (combat effectiveness if its battle cannon gets destroyed, firepower if immobilized), they should be able to soak at least two turns of fire.


Noise Marines: These two 10 marine strong units makepup the backbone of my army. Pricey at nearly 350 points a pop, these units are the very acme of flexibility. Capable of laying down 30 bolter shots from 24” away or dropping 16 assault rounds and a template before a I5 charge, these can do a bit of everything. Ideally, these will deploy near cover (using their rhino to help block enemy LOS) and unleash a hail of sonic doom. Against swarm armies, their assault weapons allow them to execute a firing withdrawal, and against MEQs there mobility and numbers should give them an upper hand in an assault. The Achilles’ heel of these units however, are the standard MEQ weakness; and needless to say, anything with more than one plasma gun needs to be kept as far away from these units as possible.

Daemons: Though few comp lists feature daemons these days (at least if the interwebz is any indication) these cheap beauties offer a good backup defense option. Being fearless, they can be easily dropped on covered objectives and spend the game going to ground, making them tougher to dislodge. Against swarm armies, they can drop in near my main units and act as speed bumps against large units of gaunts or orcs. Finally, though by no means an ‘assault unit’, their decent profile and 2 base attacks makes them capable in ‘mop-up’ actions that I’d rather not send the noise marines after. Obviously their small squad size can make them a bit of a liability in kill points missions, so my thinking in these cases is keep them parked in cover or at very least in my deployment zone so that my opponent has decide whether to expend more firepower on them and risk leaving my noise marines units free to shoot at will


Chosen: These are my problem solvers. Loaded with four plasma guns, these guys will be assigned monster detail, termie detail, skimmer detail, and anything else that threatens to be annoying detail. Carrying an icon in case they need to summon a speed bump (see daemons entry), they should require more than just one enemy units’ attention to deal with. Not sure yet if I’ll use them to outflank or just leave them on the table. My guess is against marines, I’ll send them on outflank in hope of herding my opponent 18” away from the board edges. Against swarms I don’t see much advantage in keeping them off the board.

Sorcerer: Pretty straightforward here. The lash has obvious uses, not the least of which will be to separate enemy units in order to prevent combined assaults. Truthfully though, I picked him more for his force weapon and meta bombs. While daemon princes are a bit more dependable to H2H, the force weapon will hopefully scare off pesky characters and big bugs. Yes, the chance of him actually killing something with the force weapon (especially while inside a Tyranid ‘shadow’) are not very good, but it should force my opponent to think twice before sending unprotected models deep-striking in my backfield.