Tournament List Idea: The Ultramarine “Wet Noodle”

Greetings, fellow Gods of Thunder! A very quick article today to share an idea I had for a tournament Marine list.

Indeed, while working on my tournament list yesterday, I got to daydreaming a bit and an interesting list concept popped into my head: what if we took the Ultramarine Chapter Tactic and cranked it to 11? That’s to say, build a list that just can’t be pinned down by an assault army at all? And with that, I give you the 2000 pts Ultramarine “Wet Noodle” army:

Battalion Detachment:

  • CaptainThe Sanctic Halo, Master-Crafted Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Chainsword: 77 pts
  • Lieutenant – Master-Crafted Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Chainsword: 63 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Gravcannon, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 108 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Gravcannon, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 108 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Gravcannon, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 108 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Gravcannon, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 108 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Gravcannon, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 108 pts
  • 5 Tactical Squad Marines – Heavy Bolter, Sergeant with Combi-Plasma & 2 Chainswords: 90 pts
  • Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons: 136 pts
  • Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons: 136 pts
  • Dreadnought – 2 Twin Autocannons: 136 pts

Air Wing Detachment:

  • Stormraven – Twin Assault Cannons, Twin H. Bolters, 2 Stormstrikes, 2 Hurricanes: 274 pts
  • Stormraven – Twin Assault Cannons, Twin H. Bolters, 2 Stormstrikes, 2 Hurricanes: 274 pts
  • Stormraven – Twin Assault Cannons, Twin H. Bolters, 2 Stormstrikes, 2 Hurricanes: 274 pts

2000 pts on the nose. The Captain is the Warlord and he gets Storm of Fire as his Trait (obviously). With our 7 Command Points, we are going to upgrade the Captain to a Chapter Master and possibly upgrade the Lieutenant’s Chainsword to Teeth of Terra  should that be called for thanks to Relics of the Chapter. That leaves 3-4 CPs to spend on situational Stratagems like Hellfire Shells or Auspex Scan.

The concept is pretty simple: everything either has the Ultramarine Chapter Tactic (so is able to fall back and still shoot albeit at a penalty) or a Flyer (so can’t even be charged by ground troops). To add insult to injury, all the army’s ground-pounders can be loaded up in the Ravens and moved 65 inches away in a single turn, making all-foot assault armies want to ragequit. Also, if you deploy everything embarked, you have a good chance of going first since you only have 3 drops. Before everyone cries foul, remember Surrender is determined at the end of turns and after the first Battle Round. If you’re playing against a shooty army, your opponent will be looking at a nigh-guaranteed turn 2 charge. This mobility, flexibility and adaptability, combined with a large ObSec contingent, will make the army quite competitive.

A tweak that could be done is to scrounge up some points from somewhere to give the Dynamic Duo some jump packs to give them a chance to keep pace with the Ravens so they still get their rerolls while redeploying. A bit risky as their’s always the chance a savvy opponent will be able to exploit that, but worth thinking about. You can also play around with the specific armament of the units if you feel like it – getting some power weapons for the Characters and Sergeants wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world, for example.


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60 responses to Tournament List Idea: The Ultramarine “Wet Noodle”

Diversify. There's no reason for all your load outs to be the same.

Also, if you're going to be putting dreads in SRs there's no reason not make at least a couple of them assault capable. Yes I know you are planning on running. Sometimes you still run into hard nuts that need cracking.

Putting the Dreads in the Ravens is just a backup plan. They're their to provide the long-range firesupport that my list is otherwise lacking.

That's fine, just diversify, man. There's no reason to have all those units with exactly the same loadouts. It's both boring and deprives you of options that you may find out you need.

You say "guaranteed turn two charge" with what? Tac squads? Even Tau don't really fear your tac squads. They will overwatch, take the hit, fall back and shoot.

I could diversify the Tac loadouts but not the dreads.

Well obviously you're not going to go charging anything even semi-competent with Tac squads. The point is you have the option if you need it.

Play to the mission. If my opponent is bringing 3 Land Raiders (who are still overcosted, let's be honest), focus on the rest of his list.

3 LRs is 1068. There's still room for other things, and they all can fit int he LRs.Paladins, strikes or both, for GK. Centurions for SM.

And they'll have the luxury of engaging you on their terms, since you only have a few elements that can hurt them.

Anything that's riding in the Raiders is going to be slower than the Ravens, so I question their ability to really engage on their terms.

Honestly, there are things that would worry me if I actually played this list, but Land Raiders are not one of them.


At 40 points per DCCW, do you find the opportunity cost of losing a (similarly priced) ranged weapon too high to include a DCCW generally? Thanks.

No. The DCCW just wrecks like few other things. If I think a dreadnought is at all likely to see CC, it should get a DCCW.

Now, like I said, I diversify. So I'm often running one rifleman and one DCCW (with heavy flamer, usually)

Thanks for the perspective. I'll give them a go. Not sure I've made a dread with a DCCW since my 5th ed starter set 🙂 except an Ironclad that I pull out every now and again.

DCCWs are very strong but they make Dreadnoughts quite expensive. I am hesitant to run DCCW Dreads for this reason as they are not a durable platform. Popping out of a Stormraven though can really mitigate this.

I'm inclined to agree but I may be relying on dated tactics. In my gun line list, I'd be giving up a Missile Launcher or two. 15 more points for something I'd use less than the ML but giving me some flexibility to play more aggressively or take on a beastie that makes it into the inner circle. Something to think about for sure. No cost to try a proxy or finally learn to use Vassal.

Or just whack those old DCCW arms on :P.

If the old MM / DCCW Dread was still dirt cheap, I'd be all over those. Given the MM / DCCW Dread is more than a Rifledread at 139 points and mmm….

I think I'd take an Ironclad over half assing it with adding DCCWs to rifleman dreads. Ironclads make for a great distraction carnifex, and they're pretty damn tough. You have 3 Ravens to ferry an ironclad around, and once it hits the enemy lines they're basically left hoping it hasn't hit something important because it's going to rip and tear.

"Adding DCCWs to rifleman dreads" is a funny phrase, considering that DCCWs are the standard and iconic config.

My problem with ironclads is that they're not really much more punchy than a reg dread, don't have much threat beyond 12", and there's no venerable version. That's a lot to give up for T8.

Oh, and as a GK player I can't use them anyway.

the Wettest noodle. And i agree with Prom, crack those nuts and change up at least one of the dread loadouts.

Yeah, i saw it in your other list too, but it makes no real difference. Again the issue here is you can actually be pinned down, to fall back you must have a clear path, those dreads especially are very vulnerable to getting surrounded and locked in place, they are really bad in melee and relatively tough, so can be used as an anchor for assault units.

I really like the concept though, you just leave whatever behind, fly off and set up elsewhere. Worth dropping a Dread and some gear for a librarian and some other HQ to make 2 batallions? (+3cp), Downgrading the combi plas to a few flamers?

Yeesh… I dunno. I mean, I like Command Points as much as the next guy, but I already don't have a huge amount of long range shooting, so cutting a dread is going to hurt probably more than is warranted.

Even if I went with the cheapest option possible (2 Techmarines, who won't have an enormous amount of stuff to do in this list), I'd still need to cut 114 pts from somewhere… doesn't really feel worth it.

Not a things as in not legal or not competitive? GW clarified it as legal. Although, it still doesn't stack up to things like berserkers.

Dual pistols is similar. You get 4 attacks in the first turn and get to 4 on your turns. Granted twin chainswords is better for hth on the off turns, but other pistols are interestingly viable.

Pete, can you point me in the direction of where GW actually laid it out that combi + 2 chainswords is legal? Thx!

They basically clarify that 2 chain swords is +2 to attack. it's in the CSM FAQ.

I don't think the whole 2 chain swords and a combi plasma can be taken on a SGT hasn't been clarified for space Marines. They took care of it quickly for CSMs.

The CSM FAQ actually clarified something different. The way the original Champion list read, you could take 2 single-handed weapons OR you could take 1 combi, but not say a chainsword and a combi.

When I first saw the UM CT I immediately thought of loading everything up with flamers, so you never even lost shooting efficiency due to auto hitting.

Yeah, I'm of a similar position that you really want to fit some flamers in there.

I also really like aggressors or plasma units with UM CT, although I get what you are trying for with the wet noodle concept.

My bigger issue with this list is that 10 tacs will just fold if they get charged… You won;t get to fall back, and if you lose your bird you have 3 units clumped together that can;t defend themselves.

Flamers are nice and all (well, bit too expensive in my view) but here they add what I already have in spades (anti-infantry) and remove from what I need (anti-tank).

That's the beauty of the list though – unless the assault units have Fly, they won't even be able to assault at all if everything (or almost everything) is loaded up in the Ravens.

I think this would be a fun list to play! Thanks for the ideas. Would you consider using Scouts as a replacement for some of the Tac Squads in this case to have some chaff? A couple of those squads are going to get eaten against a lot of lists and those Grav Cannons make them relatively expensive to lose. You could recoup a few points to upgrade the Dreads to Lascannons for example.

I don’t mean to be rude, but I used to come here for articles that were based either on experience or mathhammer. Lately a lot of articles have been little more than theorizing. These articles don’t seem a whole lot different from “rate my list” threads on one of the many internet fora discussing tabletop games.

It's based partly on experience. I don't have the exact models to run this, but I have a lot of them, and having played White Scars throughout 7th and now Ultra in 8th, I have a good idea of how it'll function.

Historically there are a lot of list building articles throughout 3++; we like to catch phrase fun names – see Blood Rodeo, Thunderbubble, T6'R'Us, etc. all from 5th edition. List building is also an important skill and breaking down the logic behind it is often very important and overlooked.

There have also been… two this month. Not like they are a dime a dozen.

Indeed, they are not a dime dozen, the heavens are not coming down and my post is not meant as strong criticism but merely the single opinion of a longtime reader. But lets not kid ourselves – list-building isn’t an overlooked skill. Rather, the majority of content we find on third party media focuses on lists almost exclusively and I’d assert its frequently written by “armchair generals”. Now I won’t say this article deserves the same criticism as the majority of content I just generalized, but I will say play to your strengths: articles that aren’t purely academic.

You've hit the nail on the head though right there – there are tons of "list building" content elsewhere but do they actually teach good list building skills?

Like how this article is teaching me to bring two chainswords and a combi-weapon on my sergeants? 😛
Seriously speaking, I like list articles when they're accompanied by engaging text like this one is. Sometimes it's just fun to think about what's possible in a list.
If I could change one thing I would format the actual list in a way that makes it easier to read.

FLG has a pretty good list format that uses cells. Otherwise some way of making the unit name stand out more from the equipment to make it easier to skim over quickly.

If you use bold font on the unit names that would probably do the trick tbqh. No need for fancy cell formatting.

Eighth Edition is only two-and-half months old. Even with the alacrity shown by the main 3++ contributors jumping into tourneys almost as fast as they could rip the cellophane off the rule book, it’s going to take time for “experience” to develop.

What's your plan for dealing with flyers? Storm Ravens are tough, but a couple of the dedicated interceptor types will make short work of even three Ravens.

Sorry that was something I was going to mention as well – I'm not a fan of Asscannons and HBolters on Stormravens – I think Lascannons over the Asscannons is better, particularly given the HBolters and Hurricanes on all the Ravens.

Cutting the points though would be hard…

To Mindwarp's point – this is always the issue of Raven heavy lists and those targets are obviously very important to take down early. Failing that, you could put them in a corner and try and bubble-wrap with Marines to keep them away as far as possible so things like Assault Cannons / Las Talons are out of range T1.

Hydras won’t be… and plenty of Guard players are still reflexively including two or three of them in their lists.

I'm pretty sure every good list is going to need at least some anti-air. Whether it's something like a Hydra (which is much better at ground targets than it was last edition), or a dedicated interceptor or two. There's enough armies out there with good ground attack aircraft or good transport flyers that you are going to need an efficient way to deal with them. And hey, anything that works against aircraft is going to work just fine against Eldar vehicles, jump troops and battlesuits. You're not really gimping yourself by taking AA.

I could switch out the Asscannons for the twin Heavy Plasma – when overcharged, they are almost as good as Lascannons against T8 targets and statistically better against T7. That would help a bit.

I don't think Marines particularly need dedicated AA. They still hit on 4s against Flyers, and my army will be rerolling almost everything thanks to the Chapter Master.