Author Topic: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.  (Read 1316 times)

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Offline Faid_Artur

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Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« on: November 18, 2017, 04:12:45 AM »
So, the following list is, as far as I can tell, is complete cheese. I came up with it while doing some math-hammering. I would like to start a discussion on its merit and on how best to combat it with various armies. Maybe it isn't as cheesy as I think and I need to rethink my approach to the game.

Vanguard Detachment
HQ
- Captain
-- Jump 19 pts
-- Thunder Hammer 21pts
-- Combi-Plasma 15 pts
- Captain
-- Jump 19 pts
-- Thunder Hammer 21pts
-- Combi-Plasma 15 pts
ELITES
- Vanguard Veterans x10 160 pts
-- Jump 20 pts
-- Storm Shields x10 50 pts
-- Thunder Hammers 160 pts
-- Melta Bomb 5 pts
- Vanguard Veterans x10 160 pts
-- Jump 20 pts
-- Storm Shields x10 50 pts
-- Thunder Hammers 160 pts
-- Melta Bomb 5 pts
- Vanguard Veterans x10 160 pts
-- Jump 20 pts
-- Storm Shields x5 25pts
-- Plasma Pistols x15 105 pts
-- Melta Bomb 5 pts
- Vanguard Veterans x10 160 pts
-- Jump 20 pts
-- Storm Shields x5 25pts
-- Plasma Pistols x15 105 pts
-- Melta Bomb 5 pts
- Vanguard Veterans x10 160 pts
-- Jump 20 pts
-- Storm Shields x5 25pts
-- Plasma Pistols x15 105 pts
-- Melta Bomb 5 pts

Grand total of 1993 pts

The general strategy is to run the plas-pistols and captains along the ground, then drop 4 5-man thunder hammer squads at key locations. I know that one critical failure is the low CPs, only 4. I do think that is out-weighed by the overwhelming power this force can bring, as well as the speed at which it delivers. Another problem is its range, but I think that is countered by the invulnerable saves granted by storm shields. While I have the captains to rebuff overcharge deaths, with 15 plasma shots flying with each volley of each plasma squad, overcharge may not be necessary.
Fast, durable, and it hits like a truck. What am I missing, or am I down playing the faults that I already determined? Maybe it can be even more cheesy? Thank you in advance for your participation in this thought experiment.

Offline geffthegoat

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 09:09:32 AM »
>Fast, durable, and hits like a truck
I believe you are overestimating certain aspects of your army. Yes, you are fast, but not fast enough to get your entire army in your opponents face on T1, which means, since you have literally no high range weapons, your opponent gets to fight half your army at a time (which is fantastic for him). Furthermore, since you have no real ranged weaponry to speak of (12" pistols arent really "ranged" weapons), you are very prone to having to split up your army to chase down your opponents units while they simply kite you to death.

Secondly, I believe you are overestimating the power of the 3++. Sure, its nice vs things like plasmaguns or anything with high AP, but it wont to any better than your normal armor save when your opponent just starts chucking massed Bolter/lasgun/whatever firepower at you. Additionally, since every model only has one wound, ever loss means your army loses a significant portion of power. Just imagine what a Stormraven with Hurricane Bolters and Assault cannons, or a 30 man Ork mob, or a First Rank fire, second rank fire unit of Guardsmen will do to your units. They will take them off the table one at a time. Even a couple 5 man squads of MSU marines with special weapons can reliably focus down one 10 man unit of Stormshield veterans a turn.

And finally, while you do hit hard, you need to be within 12" to do so, which is tricky to say the least, and additionally, while you hit hard, you dont hit very often, meaning any army that puts a good 40+ chaff units on the table will have a field day with you, as they will just drown you in bodies before you can actually reach their tougher units (even with you being able to fall back and still shoot and all that).

Also, you will absolutely need to overcharge, which is honestly pretty bad for your army, since you risk killing your own, very expensive units that way. Plasma is best spammed on cheap units where it doesnt matter as much if the model dies, like on Tactical Marines, for example.

I feel like you will need some powerful long ranged firepower, or something else that can cross the board and actually be a threat with your Vanguards on T1. A couple cheap squads of Devastators could accomplish this.

Alternatively, have you considered Bikes? A unit of 3 can take 3 special weapons ( melta is especially good on bikes), they move 14"  and could advance 6" if you really need the range (only works for melta's of course). That way, you put your entire army in your opponents face on T1, and force him to choose between killing the bikes, or the vanguard. Also, their T5 and 2W makes them similiarly tough like the Vanguard. Furthermore, since they each come with a twin Boltgun, you even get enough Dakka to reliably take on hordes if you go up against one.

And finally, I'd also recommend grabbing a Lieutenant with Jumppack, the reroll 1s to wound will be more useful than a second captain.

Offline Celerior

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 01:45:02 PM »
The tournament list I've been running (guard with raven guard) already takes an army like yours (in-yo-face by deep strike) into account. I bring 3 scout squads to prevent deep strikes anywhere near my main lines. Then behind that I can deploy a couple of guard infantry squads and a conscript squad. All before you get close to the devastators who provide the real firepower. I'd recommend you get your own scout squad, to claim a plot of land in the midfield before your opponent blocks you from deep striking near anything but their outer-most layer of bubble wrap. Scions can get close to your characters unless you're really cautious. So I don't view your army as particularly dangerous.

I too would recommend a lieutenant over another captain.

Offline Faid_Artur

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 05:57:21 PM »
I am going to respond with each of your points enumerated so as to provide us with the best ability of response.
1. I want to see the Space Marine army that can "get the entire army in your opponents on T1", ranged or otherwise. Most maps, if designed well, deny each army the full use of the ranged at any point, much more for T1. What this army has, is the ability to drop half of its troops, usually the thunder-hammers, anywhere on the board on any turn It wants, including T1.

2. I know that the range of the pistols is short, specifically within the distance of being charged, but that is precisely what this army is about. Vanguard have 2 attacks base. By adding pistols, the army is adding to their melee abilities. The plasma squads attack a total of 36 times in a turn. More than that, by wanting to charge in, It get's the added distance from charging avg ~7". It would obliterate what an opponent would use as the bait for the kiting, which is not how that strategy works.

3. The purpose of the storm shields are to increase point depreciation. Already by taking pure 1W infantry, the army has made multi-wound weapons pointless. This means that the points put into them are depreciated. The storm shields now also deny AP in terms of value. It's as if before the game started, the opponent decided to play with 1700pts rather than the full 2000. All that matters is volume.

4. Volume of dice is a threat to this army, you are correct. I argue that massed dice is a threat to all armies. This army's inclusion in that does not reduce Its power in general. That would be like saying that smite spam armies aren't worth their salt because they are vulnerable to smite spam. More to the point, I would contend that most armies are not built specifically to counter infantry; to which, I would direct you to point three. Now, there is the problem specifically of "green tide" orc play, which is a common ploy of orc players. Massed dice in melee is probably the second greatest threat to this army, outside of the obvious smite spam. That being said, orc players are about as common as drop pods in 8th. Also, the orc would be facing a melee powerhouse as well, so it would come down to how well the dice fall on the pistol work and I can trust those odds.

4b. I should add that most massed dice armies are centered around shooting, not melee. That means that if this army can drop and envelop into melee, It denies most opponents the possibility to bring their counter to the board. Also, in a more abstract concept, most of the shooty armies require to be stationary to be most effective. In other words, if the opponent "castles", then this army takes the field and wins by objectives. If they spread out to take the field, they lose more and more effectiveness at target firing any one of my squads.

5. I was playing with my actual squad of vanguard in a game. It faced down a helldrake, a chaos dread in melee, and two 5 man tactical squads with plasma guns at half distance. It took the the combined fire of all of that for three turns to take down the 5 storm shielded members I had. I was rolling hot, I wont deny it, but a 3+ doesn't need that hot to roll. The point of this story is that 3+ Svs are awesome.

6. Your "finally" point is based on the assumption that I don't want to be charged, or more to the point, that this army wouldn't charge. Nor does it consider that I can drop squads anywhere I want to engage those tougher units or even distract those chaff squads. I have essentially 7 working parts, plus characters. That is a lot of maneuver units.

7. This army does not "need" to overcharge. Most targets have 1W. The targets that have more Ws will not take many volleys of 15 pistols at 7S, -3AP. Overcharge is for extreme necessity, like taking down Magnus, or a Repulsor.

7b. Tactical Marines are not cheap enough, and can not take 15 plasma per squad.

8. Any stationary squads are sitting ducks to drops because the army has everything running up the field toward obj.s and enemy squads, not protecting glass cannons. To be honest, my real army is Dev.s, Aggressors, and vanguard with an emphasis on the Devs. This is a purely hypothetical army.

9. Bikes do not have the numbers to make the plan work. Vang are 18pts with jump, bikes are 21. So, for every 10 Vang ~ 9 bikes. Would you rather shoot 9 meltas or 15 plasma? As to the twin bolters, which would you rather, 18 S4, AP0 shots or 15 S7, AP-3 shots? Yes at half distance you would have 36 shots, but I get my 15 in melee and an added 21 melee attacks. So it all evens out. (The equipment balance out as a melta is ~ a plas pistol and storm shield.) Also, bikes can not take storm shields. Company Veterans can, but they are extremely expensive. The added T and W is not as valuable as the permanent 3+ Sv. Also, jump gives the FLY keyword that allows me to fall back and still shoot without taking Ultra as my tactics. Bikes cant.

10. I did think about taking a LT as I would not be using overcharge very much. That being said, re-roll 1s for wounds is not that necessary for S7 weapons. Overall, it is a take or leave. The army is the same either way.

I do appreciate your comment. Thank you.

Offline Faid_Artur

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 06:43:31 PM »
Celerior,

Without knowing the specifics of your army comp, I cant really provide any analysis. I can say that scouts are not scary, and neither guard inf or 1 conscript squad. Devs could be a threat if they carry missiles, but without know how many you have I can't really know.

What I would generally say is that I would rush up the board, screening my plas sqds with the THs. I would ignore your scouts, only pop shots. I would charge the bubble wrap purposely to create openings. I do think this is possible only because I can sustain a 3+. So unless you can demonstrate that you have enough dice to overwhelm, I have no other recourse but to say okay. I am glad to have now two people say that it is definitively not OP.

All of that being said, the preempting scout is a great idea.

Offline Celerior

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 07:11:04 PM »
The most recent iteration of my list is at the bottom of this thread:

http://thewarmaster.com/index.php?topic=8104.0

Offline geffthegoat

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 02:12:05 PM »
I apologize in advance for the WALL OF TEXT. Woe betide those souls that dredge their way through this. Also, this is all meant in good spirited discussion, I dont mean to insult you with any of these arguments. I am enjoying this little thought experiment very much ;D




1.SM armies that can get in effective combat range T1 are those that include units that can
A. reach the opponents deployment zone without moving on T1 through use of ranged weaponry and good positioning on the players part to shoot at the correct targets, such as devastators, ranged dreadnoughts, etc...

B. Move into rapid fire range on T1, such as bikes, land speeders, flyers, etc...
Your army consists only of two types of units. Melee Veterans and ranged veterans. By presenting him only half, and especially only one type on T1, you give your opponent at least an entire turn to adjust his army to counter you.




2. I might have just misunderstood you in this part, but your argument here honestly dont seem to make much sense (to me, at least, no offense intended :D)

A. Pistols do not add to your melee capacity in any way whatsoever. They do not grant bonus attacks, or anything like that. All they do is let you shoot while within 1" of enemy models, which is pretty much irrelevant for you anyway, since you have the FLY keyword already.

B. Your plasma squads get 15 pistol shots each turn, but ONLY if they are within 12" (which on T1, they will not, and if your opponent plays correctly many of them will not be able to shoot T2 yet either, be it by hiding in CC or backing away from your army). They then get 21 melee attacks at S4 AP-. There is a HUGE difference between "I have 36 attacks per turn" and "I have (potentially) 15 plasma shots and (potentially) 21 S4 AP- attacks" (potentially meaning you need to be in range to shoot, AND then be close enough to reliably reach melee)

C. You do realize that "gets the added distance of avg. 7" charge" doesnt work that way? First, you move 12". Then, you shoot with your EXTREMELY shortranged 12" guns. Then, finally, you have to hope you are 7" or closer to your opponent to make the charge on average, since YOU DONT MOVE IF YOU FAIL THE CHARGE.

D. You will not "obliterate" the kiting unit/s. Either he will have several, smaller units that you can only kill one by one (because of your short range and dependancy on melee), while he uses his superior range and capability to split himself up to kite and focus down your larger unit, or he will have a large tarpit that wont be phased in the slightest by the fact that you killed 15 or so models from their unit before they drown you in bodies.




3. This is objectively wrong though. If a marine with a Lascannon manages to kill even a single Hammer+shield Veteran (and unless your opponent is a bad player, a devastator will have several turns to attempt this, as he will be screened from your deepstriking units), he has already made both his own points, and the points of the lascannon back completely. Furthermore, in a counterargument, YOU are in a similiar situation (1700vs2000) when it comes to infantry weapons, as a bolter doesnt give a damn whether you have a 3+ or a 3++.




4. A. Massed dice is THE threat to any army. General rule of thumb is "Add Dice>Reroll Dice>Modify Dice Results". However, most armies mitigate the damage done by massed dice by either making it costinefficient for your opponent to shoot at your massive amount of models (conscripts are a great example of this), or by modifying the offensive capability of your opponents shooting directly (see all the -1 to hit tactics, like Ravenguard, Stygies or Altaioc.) Your list has neither a cheap sponge to soak massed dice, nor a way to directly weaken the offensive output of your opponents army.

B. Smite spam armies will usually naturally counter smite spam armies, as smite spam usually requires psychic spam, meaning a smite spam army will be able to deny said smite spam. Also, this has nothing to do with the point at hand. We arent saying "a smite spam army isnt worth its salt because its vulnerable to smite spam?", we are saying "This Stormshield spam army isnt worth its salt because it cant stand up to massed firepower"

C. The competetive meta pretty much completetly revolves around Smite spam and hordes, both of which do very well against your army. As such, most armies will gear to deal with hordes, and have alot of anti-infantry firepower to blast you off the field with.

D. Rareness of Ork armies is based on anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, your Veterans are nowhere near being the melee powerhouses you imagine them to be compared to ork boys. Your models cost anywhere between 30 and 39 PPM for 2 attacks (hitting on 3s/4s rerolling 1s at best), whereas a 6 PPM ork boy can easily get 4 attacks hitting on 2s. You will be absolutely destroyed by any fast, melee focused army, since yours relies on "bullying" armies and units that are naturally bad in melee.

E. 8th edition of 40k is all about killing as much as possible in the first two or so turns of the game. It is irrelevant wheither or not your opponent has to move on the first two turns, or whether you "box him in". Thanks to falling back out of melee being a thing, you cannot hide from your opponent in melee,  and will do little to stop him from blowing your units away in the next turn, before he moves out on T3 or T4 to grab the objectives. Also, most shooty armies will position objectives so they can "sit and wait" ontop of them the entire game long.
Now, if you decide to "play the objective game" you will deal pretty much NO damage too your opponent (if your running to objectives, you wont be shooting or charging a "castled" army, since 12" pistols wont reach anything), meaning you're just hoping he doesnt table you completely or grab more points than you later on in the game thanks to inevitably taking board control, since you've let him kill your army without punishment.




5. Anecdotal evidence makes for bad arguments.




6. A. You do NOT want to be charged by a chaff unit that makes its points back by just killing 2-3 Veterans. You have neither the amount of attacks (3A is minimum for a good melee unit), nor the survivability to deal with a horde in close combat.

B. You do not have the freedom to "drop wherever you want". You have a 9" zone of "NOBODY ALLOWED" in your opponents army. He will let you slam into a wall of cheap bodies, effectively nullifying any alphastrike (as I said, you dont have the attacks to clear a horde in a turn), while his more important units are allowed to shoot you to death since you have nearly no way of reaching them. What does he care that you killed 30 Gaunts on your turn when he kills 20 of your Veterans on his first turn? Especially considering that the Veterans will most likely still be at least another turn away from reaching any of his vital units?

C. "7 Units" is not alot of units, especially considering two of those units are characters that REALLY want to stay close to your squads. In fact, its a very low amount for 2000 points. While it will almost always guarantee you the first turn, you will not be the one "maneuvering alot of parts". My Tyranid list has 15+ units in it, if you want a comparison.




7. A. You are quite wrong about this part. 15 plasma shots means on average 10 hits, 5 wounds, and 4,16 damage taken on "normal settings". Against a Rhino/Razorback. That means, without overcharging, you need to shoot all 3 of your plasma Veteran squads at a single rhino/Razorback to reliably kill it in one turn. And it gets even worse against units that are either tougher (T8 or more wounds) or have access to any sort of Invulnerable save. You will have to overcharge to deal with tanks, and when you do you will inevitably lose models.

B. Also wrong. Your squad costs 310 points. A Tac-squad with plasma and combiplasma costs 93 points. That means I can take 3 Tactical Squads with plasmaguns for your single Veteran Unit, and still have points to spare. And while I lack the 12" movement and 3++ save, I make up for it by having better range, more wounds, a larger footprint on the table for taking objectives and board control and being able to split up and kite your veterans as you are forced to hunt my tacticals one unit at a time. You have 15 plasma shots within 12" range. I have 12 plasma shots and 18 bolter shots within 12" range.




8. I agree.




9. I think you misunderstand why Bikes are a good unit.

A. They cost 27 PPM, not 21.

B. Secondly, Bikes are best played by spamming 3 man units (with 2 special weapons and a combi weapon). This gives you more tactical flexibilty, a larger footprint on the table, and more targets for your opponent to deal with.

C. There are a couple small, yet incredibly good advantadges to taking bikes. For one, T5 is a sweet spot on the T range, since it makes you annoyingly hard to kill with small arms fire (especially in combination with the second wound), while making Antitank weapons like lascannons require 3s instead of 2s to wound you. Secondly, being able to move 14" in one turn means you can usually get yourself within rapid fire range of your opponent on turn 1 even if you go first, which is a huge advantadge that is unexploitable by veterans, since they only move 12", which means they will normally be slightly out of range.

D. Lets do another points comparison. Plasmabikes vs Plasma Veterans. Yours cost 310 points for 15 plasma shots at 12", 10 wounds and 21 attacks in CC.
Two three man Bike squads with 4 plasmaguns and 2 combiplasmas cost 244 points for 12 plasma shots at 12", 24 bolter shots at 12", 12 wounds and 8 attacks in CC.
Furthermore, your only real advantadge compared to bikes are your 3++ saves, which can effectively be ignored by use of massed bolter fire, your melee capability (which will do 1,5555 wounds against a bike squad in melee, meaning you cant even kill a single bike in melee on average) and your FLY keyword. Bikes are better at nearly everything else, they are faster, tougher, lose their firepower more slowly, and have more range as well (24").




10. Rerolls are always good, especially for plasma weapons. Captain+Lieutenant+overcharged plasma has ridiculous synergy. Hit on 3s, reroll failed overcharge hits, wound T4 on 2s, reroll any 1s. I would strongly consider a Lieutenant, however I understand the need for a Captain to spread around that "reroll to hit" aura.





Thank you for the interesting conversation  ;D
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:17:28 PM by geffthegoat »

Offline Wintermute

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Re: Math Hammer - 2000 pts of Space Marine Cheese, help me crush it.
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 10:37:18 AM »
Interesting reading.
As a Space marine collector, I found this helpful
For Calth!