Good day, fellow wolves in sheep’s clothing! Today I’m going to address a few of the points that were brought up by commentators on my piece about the suckitude of Tactical Squads. I don’t address every single thing that was discussed up but I tried to cover what I felt needed more indepth analysis. I may revisit this topic again sometime in the future, though. Without further adieus:
Many peeps have brought up the fact that Marines have awesome buff auras available to them and that leaving them out of the equation in my article was distorting reality. Normally that would be a valid point, but it leaves out the fact that I did not take into account any sort of buff for the Guardsmen (such as FRFSF, Yarrick’s aura, Cadian doctrine, etc) either. In any case, I went back and did the math, and I have some bad news for you if you thought Captains/Lieutenants were going to save the day…
- At 24 inches, a Tactical Marine supported by a Captain upgraded to a Chapter Master as well as a Lieutenant will cause 0.0354 WPP to a Guardsman, 0.0132 WPP to a Chaos Marine and 0.0088 WPP to a Predator.
- At the same range and without any support, the Guardsmen will do 0.0416 WPP to a fellow Guardsman, 0.0138 WPP to a Chaos Marine and 0.0069 WPP to a Predator.
So the Guardsman STILL performs over 17% better against GEQ and 4% against MEQ even with the deck stacked against it. The Tactical Marine does perform considerably better against the Pred (27+%), but that is hardly much comfort given how bad it is in absolute terms at killing tanks. Let’s also not forget the fact that I did not account for the cost of the Captain and Lieutenant in any manner in my calculations.
So… that’s not great, but just for giggles, let’s see how Lord Guilliman affects the equation:
- At 24 inches, a Tactical Marine supported by the freaking Lord Commander of the Imperium does 0.0405 WPP to a Guardsman, 0.0170 WPP to a Chaos Marine and 0.0126 WPP to a Predator.
- At the same range, and without even the loving care and support of his elderly, osteoporosis-afflicted mother, the Guardsman does 0.0416 WPP to another Guardsman, 0.0138 WPP to the Chaos Marine and 0.0069 WPP to the Predator.
So the “good news” (which is very relative a term, here) is that the Tactical Marine does a healthy 23+% more WPP to the Chaos Marine than the Guardsman does, and a whopping 82+% more WPP to the Pred. The bad news is that even with a “free” Guilliman, the Guardsman STILL does 2+% more WPP to another Guardsman than the Tactical Marine does.
Let me restate that so it sinks in: EVEN WITH SUPPORT FROM A 385 PTS MODEL, THE TACTICAL MARINE IS STILL WORSE AT KILLING GEQ THAN THE GUARDSMAN IS.
Guardsmen Are Too Cheap
Another common refrain is that perhaps it’s not that Tacticals are too expensive so much as the fact that Guardsmen are too cheap; after all, it doesn’t make sense that a Conscript is the same price as a Guardsman while being objectively worse in all respects aside from the fact that he can come in squads of up to 30 (which does have downsides as well as upsides). A lot of posters have floated 5 pts a pop as a more appropriate cost for a Guardsman.
Well, let’s roll with that, shall we?
- A Tactical Marine will suffer 0.72 WPP from a BS 4+ Lasgun, 1.44 WPP from a BS 3+ Boltgun and 4.81 WPP from a BS 3+ Plasmagun (not overcharged).
- A 5-pts Guardsman will suffer 0.83 WPP from the Lasgun, 1.48 WPP from the Boltgun and 2.77 WPP from the Plasmagun.
So the Tactical Marine is still massively (73+%) more vulnerable to the Plasmagun, point for point, but at least is now roughly equivalent against Boltguns and is even a fair bit better against Lasguns. Therefore, bumping the Guardsman to 5 pts still leaves us with some disparity in terms of survivability, but at least it would be a step in the right direction.
That said, survivability is only half the equation:
- At 24 inches, the Tactical does 0.022 WPP to a Guardsman, 0.008 WPP to a Chaos Marine and 0.0056 WPP to a Predator.
- At the same range, the 5 pts Guardsman does 0.033 WPP to the Guardsman, 0.011 WPP to the Chaos Marine and 0.0055 WPP to the Predator.
So for those at home without a calculator handy, that’s a marginally better performance (less than 3%) against the Predator for the Tac Marine but a much more significant residual advantage against MEQ (30%) and GEQ (46+%) for the Guardsman.
All in all, the performance of the 5 pts Guardsman is a lot closer to the Tactical’s (point for point) but there is still a pretty significant gap, overall.
What About Intercessors?
I have to admit, I REALLY hate the Primaris Marines from a fluff standpoint. I also hate their unit design which runs contrary to how 40k (vice 30k) Marines have always been portrayed: jack of all trades, masters of none. Plus, Gravis armour looks goofy AF. I mean, look at how dumb Aggressors are, what with the super awkward placement of their guns on their power fists. And the less said about the Inceptors, the better…
So I was initially kinda glad that they mostly sucked balls on the tabletop. I had run the math on the Intercessors when they first came out and they were just flat out worse than Tacticals in every aspect except survivability to small arms. I didn’t think much of the 2-pts price cut they got in Chapter Approved because I didn’t think that would be enough to make a difference.
Turns out, it makes more a difference than I initially thought. Unfortunately, the end result is pretty much a sidegrade rather than a straight-up improvement:
- The Intercessor will cause 0.020 WPP to a Guardsman, 0.009 WPP to a Chaos Marine and 0.006 WPP to a Predator.
- The Intercessor will suffer 0.5 WPP from a BS 4+ Lasgun, 1 WPP from a BS 3+ Boltgun and 3.33 from a BS 3+ Plasmagun (not overcharged).
Compared to the Guardsman, the Intercessor does better than the Tactical did against the Chaos Marine and the Predator, but worse against the Guardsman (which is probably more important at the moment for your overall chances at victory). That said, the Intercessor still does worse overall than the Guardsman on all counts: 11+% worse against the Pred, 33% worse against the Chaos Marine and 50+% against the Guardsman.
On the flipside, the Intercessor actually does SOME things better than both the Tacticals and the Guardsmen. Compared to the Guardsman, the Intercessor will take 25% less casualties per point against BS 4+ Lasguns and 15% less against BS 3+ Boltguns but 50% more against the non-overcharged BS 3+ Plasmagun (which is still better than what can be said for the Tactical) but here’s the kicker: if someone is going to shoot at your Intercessor with a Plasmagun, fair chance he’ll overcharge it and cause 8.33 WPP, which is 3.75 times more the Guardsman (and also worse than what is true for the Tactical)!
So yeah, sidegrade. Bit better than Tacticals against MEQ and tanks, bit worse against GEQ, more survivable against small arms but a lot more vulnerable to 2D and up weapons. And I’d say still considerably below Guardsman performance, overall.
That’s it for now. As I mentioned in the intro, I may do yet another article on the subject in the future, but I’ve spoken my piece for the time being. Ciao!