Monday, January 3, 2011

Make Them Know Fear: KIlling Space Marines SeerK Style

Here we are in 2011. Here we are with the first post of the new year. As promised I am going to delve into tactics more. List development is all well and good, but give an awesome list to a player without any tactical ability and it will still lose. In this installment of “Seer's Tactics” I will be covering a range of topics all of which have one thing in common. Killing Space Marines. It is no secret at the FLGS that I loathe and hate marines with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I thought I would share some tactics and tricks I have come up with on the fly when facing the Emperors finest. So here we go.

VS Drop Pod Lists

The drop pod assault is a mainstay for some players. Not so much at our FLGS as you will soon find out why. Drop Pod list have one real big flaw. They can't assault when they come in. With a couple exceptions the marines come in, shoot a bit and then just stand there. The other flaw in the list is the amount of kill points it brings to the table. Hitting the marines with concentrated fire and then sending in the assault troops is the simplest method to deal with the marines amongst you. You can be extra crafty though with your deployment to direct the pods where you want them to go. You do this by leaving holes in your deployment. When facing Drop pods I generally deploy my troops spaced out enough so drop pods have to come in at my front firing line. This means casualties but it also means I can fire enmasse and then send in the Banshees, Scorpions or Wyches to clean up the leftovers. I do leave pod sized holes though sometimes if there is a unit I want to kill quickly. Your average player will view the hole as a mistake and deploy a dreadnought or command squad to lead a heroic charge in the midst of my force. Really it is a kill zone manufactured to get me at least 2 kill points very quickly. The secret is to leave a very tempting target in firing range of the drop pod and then have another unit in range to kill the pod and unit inside it. You have to conceal the unit though. I like to do it in a wave serpent or falcon as your opponent can quickly forget what is inside the transports and how fast they can move. This is especially true of Dark Eldar Raiders as you can still pop out and assault.
So deploy to manipulate your enemy into a position where you want them so you can bring an optimal amount of fire to bear. This can be used against pretty much any army that likes to deep strike or is deep strike themed.

VS Razorback Spam.

This is somewhat of an oldie, but a goodie especially when it comes to Space Wolves and codex marines. You are faced with a ton of 5 man combat teams mounted in Razorbacks. It brings a lot of fire and can really be bad against infantry and vehicles almost equally. There are two big flaws you can exploit though. In fact the Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar are in a unique position to really bring the hurt to this style of mech list. The aforementioned flaws are, The army lacks punch when the Razorbacks are gone. The five man combat units of marines are very easy to kill especially with massed fire. This style of army also brings a massive amount of kill points to the board. You have 2 to 3 kill points per unit in razorback. This is why some people are fond of tournaments that don't count transports as kill points. A totally ridiculous and bias style that encourages WAAC marine players. So how do you deal with this kind of spam? You blow it apart and get the prize inside. There are several very efficient ways to do this. Its actually very easy with for the Craftworlders. Mostly because you have options. Strike teams of Warp Spiders hitting the rear of the transports is the most effective. Granted the Death Spinner is AP nil but you have a chance to wreck the Razor back and then jump away to escape retribution by the marines, which you can kill the following turn. Vibrocannons also hamper this list greatly as they hurt it where it counts. It makes it so the vehicles can't shoot, thus the marines inside can't shoot. They have to get out to shoot which makes heavy weapons unable to shoot. It allows you to advance and pop the transports and kill the marines inside with impunity.
The Dark Eldar can really bring the hurt as well. Trueborn squads armed with blasters and haywire Grenades can pop razorbacks very well. Venoms then can take out the occupants with their twin splinter cannons. Scourges also can take the wind out of the sails of this list. They are more than capable of popping the transports and at the same time staying out of massed bolter range. They can then jump in and hose a 5 man combat squad with their shard carbines. Wyches armed with Haywire Grenades or even just giving the Hekatrix a blast pistol can also cause some damage. The real secret though is to deny the ability to shoot. Dark Eldar lists really can take advantage of keeping a lot in reserve to deny shooting. Then deep striking in to wreck havoc at close range.

Well this was a decent start. Next time I want to talk about Killing Terminators and Librarians. I will also touch on Thunder Wolves. These 3 units can be quite frustrating, but if you keep your cool you can wipe them out quick. Also I will hopefully have the first installment of my new Podcast later this week. I have to think of what to call it. Nothing has jumped out. Any Suggestions? I will also have some details about the Tournament in March next week. I have to consult Farseer Re-Rolls as he is the Manager of our FLGS. I am calling the tournament “The Challenge of Khaine” Will you be able to stand beside the chosen of the Bloody handed God?

Until then..........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Great article seerK, I have been having a lot of fun killing marines wholesale with my nids, so much so that I may never go back to power armor ... may have to pick up the craftworlders. I look forward to the next article as THOSE are the units that almost all xenos fear.

  2. Yeah the whole Storm Shield thing has me really thinking about how to kill termies wholesale. Librarians are the real trick. They annoy the living piss out of me. Thinking they are better psykers.

    The Craftworlders are a challenge. Its like a symphony. Everything has to work in harmony and know their place ad when to come in.

  3. Warp spiders vs Razorback spam?

    First you have to get to the razorbacks, TL AC/LAS and Las/Plas should be parked quite far away. That is a chance to kill the Spiders.

    Then ap- with s6 vs av 11 ? Not what i would call tank killers.

    At last you are probably around 15-20 inches away after jumping back, if you do that(risk of killing a spider). Which would bring you in rapid fire range of the rb contents even if you kill it. Even worse when there are fast counter charge units like thunder wolves.

    Trying to combine spiders with vibro cannons will also allow your opponent to first focus on the cannons and in turn 2-3 on the Spiders. Pitting first the vibros then the spiders with all his army.

    My idea to counter rb spam would be to load up on Scatter lasers, and try to suppress the RBacks by shooting as long on each back until you get at least a shaken.

  4. Getting to the Razor backs is very easy when you deep strike the warp spiders. Combine this with fire from the rest of the army and your other deep striking and out flanking troops and you have some very dead transports.
    Razorbacks are also only armor 10 in the rear, Why would I deep strike in front of them? Warp Spiders are not viewed as tank killers so they may be left alone until they have claimed some victims. at very least it suppresses the Razorbacks and discourages the marines from getting out as they will die horribly once they do.

    Getting into a long range slugfest is not the way to go. you will loose as you are outnumbered and outgunned also most units with scatter lasers are only BS 3. Not a very good way to score lots of hits.

    A smart player may target the Vibrocannons, but most will be more tempted to try and take out the Seer council racing towards them. The Vibrocannons will also keep the tanks closest to them suppressed. Basically the whole point is you are using the Razorbacks against them and you then pick them off at your leisure.

    I have done this many times and it all turned out the same. Eldar win.

  5. Scatter lasers are nice but generally do not hit as often as needed, unless you can guide the unit. You also tend to have massive amounts of overkill. A unit of war walkers with 6 scatter lasers will score some hits and pens but its wasting 24 shots on one target. They are much more efficient when used against infantry. You also then have a unit very weak against even bolters. Armor 10 is very flimsy when facing bolters, plasma and las cannons. same goes for vypers.

  6. Yes are right about wasting shots on razorbacks but they are real nice to force wounds on marine squads.And if yoe wish you could place a couple of lances on the warwalkers, which would be able engage the dreaded vinacator before it can fire on your infanty.

  7. Most spam lists don't include a vindicator, but I would be worried about it given the ridiculousness of the demolisher cannon. I do prefer scatter lasers for infantry work though.

    I think what really irks me is how good they made rune preists and librarians in general. I am going to call major shananagins if the Eldar powers and seers are not at least 5 times better

  8. Hmm. Couldn't a Space Marine player send out a bunch of empty Razorbacks to lure your Warp Spiders and Vibrocannons away, then send in an asualt group to where they just were?

  9. Well the main weakness of a razorback spam army is the small size of the units contained within the razorbacks. It the troops started out of the razorbacks they would die very quickly to fire. Also I would not deploy the warp spiders via deep strike if they could get shot right off the batt by disembarked troops. I would actually deploy them to hose the troops out of their transports rather than attack the razorbacks directly

  10. Hmm. Actually what I was thinking was send out the razorbacks empty (or with a skeleton crew if that's needed to fire), and basically let them die, while I go to whatever the warp spiders and vibrocannons were guarding while it has a reduced force, rather than going after them with disembarked troops. Still, it's probably just confused ramblings on my part, as I've never actually played the game.