I've recently embarked on starting a new space marine chapter for my collection, the Iron Fists, and this is the second post on how I'm going about collecting them.
I'm basing the collection on the 2nd crusade company, called the Shadaloo Tong, with supporting elements of the 1st and 10th Tongs.
Now I'm playing more often, I have more of an idea as to how I like to play, and so the Iron Fists will be formed into two groups, the first forming the hammer, consisting of fast moving, hard hitting units, and the second forming the anvil, comprising static units able to throw out some serious firepower.
Each of these two parts must have the ability to deal with fliers, tanks and infantry, so my first job was to break the units down into mobile and static, and identify which unit types they are most suited to tackling.
Each of these units will be led by an HQ, and needs to be the focal point of each force. As the majority of mobile units tend to be equipped for ranged combat, I decided to equip the hammer HQ for close combat.
There are two options for making an HQ mobile, giving them either a jump pack or an assault bike.
The jump pack gives the HQ the hammer of wrath ability, whilst the bike makes him toughness 5 and allows me to take bike squads as troops. On that basis the bike brings more to the army as a whole than the jump pack, particularly as I want a fast moving element of the strikeforce.
HQ1 - Captain
Bike, storm shield, artificer armour, and the Teeth of Terra.
So toughness 5, with a 2+ armour save and 3+ invulnerable save, he's tough as they come, and the Teeth of Terra means he can take on anything short of terminators without too much thought. Tough as he is though, on his own he's still vulnerable, so I figured he could do with a bit of support. In comes a command squad equipped for close combat.
HQ1a - Command Squad
Bikes, company standard, 2 storm shields, an apothecary and all equipped with power weapons, a mix of axes and swords.
That gives me a rock hard combat squad to kick things off, and therefore I need another HQ to anchor my fire base. This HQ needs to be a solid unit with ranged power, and so there are several options available.
The Iron Fists are a successor to the Imperial Fists and so 1st Captain Lysander is a good choice, added to which he lets me reroll failed morale and pinning tests, which is extremely useful given how I normally roll them.
Librarians are always a solid choice, able to boost the abilities of your own units or cause some damage themselves.
Chaplains are more of an aggressive choice, but bring little to the ranged power of the firebase, and make their unit fearless, automatically passing pinning tests.
Conversely the master of the forge brings the conversion beamer to the party, but does little to boost the units around them
Much as I like the Lysander option, I decided to go with the librarian
HQ2 - Librarian
Psyker level 2
Next up then, I need to bulk out each element of the army. Given his combat potential, the hammer HQ needs to be supplemented by some firepower, so say hello to two maxed out bike squads, one with multi melta attack bike and two meltaguns, the other equipped just with bolt weapons.
10 man bike squad
2 meltaguns, multi melta on the attack bike
10 man bike squad
Heavy bolter on the attack bike
These guys can split up into combat squads to give me three fire support and one anti tank unit.
The firebase also needs boosting a bit, especially since any opponent is likely to be heading straight for them. They definitely need some serious firepower therefore to counter anything that comes at them, but I also want units that can claim objectives as I'm quite likely to place objectives near the firebase.
For objective claiming I have two options, scouts or a tactical squad. The lower ballistic skill of the scouts though means that the tactical squad will always win that particular argument. The tactical squad is also more resilient than the scouts.
The big question therefore is what weapons to use? I'm mainly aiming for anti infantry firepower as I have a few ideas for anti tank. My big issue therefore is retaining the rate of fire whilst adding in a bit of higher strength.
10 man tactical squad
Plasma gun, plasma cannon, and a lightning claw for the sergeant, because someone is likely to get in combat even with those guns.
Next to add to the firebase is some anti tank power, and for my money lascannons are the best long range anti tank marines can bring, particularly if you're using the imperial fists chapter tactics like I am. Their biggest drawback is the single shot, so twin linking them is a great idea. Because of that, I'm going to take some centurion devastators, with an omniscope for the sergeant and missile launchers for everyone to give them some added punch and redundancy if my opponent is tank light (well, they all will be after the first couple of turns!)
Heavy Support 1
3 centurion devastators
Missile launchers, twin lascannons and omniscope.
For anti air I've got three options, the stalker, the hunter and the devastator squad. Now devastators get prohibitively expensive to go anti air, and because it can engage two separate targets, or go twin linked against a single unit the stalker gets my vote, despite the increased armour breaking potential of the hunter.
Heavy Support 2
Storm bolter (if nothing else, reduces the impact of weapon destroyed results)
Well that's my 1500 point basic list, but on top of that I definitely want to give myself options, so my next post will cover filling in the rest of the force organisation chart.
Till next time, keep calm and reload!