Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
LordBlades

The role of the Tactical Marine?

73 posts in this topic

I'm a relatively new player (haven't really played Deathwatch yet, but I did play quite a bit of Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader, and I've rolled a couple of chars for two Deathwatch campaigns I'm joining soon), but some stuff got me thinking.

 

Between Tactical Expertise easy access to Command skill and cheap Fellowship, Tactical Marines seem to make the most obvious choice for Squad Leaders.

 

However, I'm wondering, is there a niche for Tactical Marines apart from that? Bolter Mastery seems promising, but in the end Devastators seems to make much better ranged chars, between heavy bolters and better(eariler) access to the really good ranged combat talents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The generalities of the Astartes Unit Specialties are:

 

Scouts: Initiates that provide reconnaisance and support to the battle force with greater mobility due to lighter armor (ecept Space Wolve where their Scouts are actually Veteran Warriors that specialize in operating behind enemy lines)

 

Assault Marines: Excell in close quarters combat and can maximize this advantage with the use of Jump Packs expediting them into action

 

Tactical Marines:  The core unit for most chapters, most well rounded at ranged and close quarter combat.  Performs the generalist tasks on the battlefield but individuals can specialize based on experience and prowess in battle eventually leading to advancement to Sergeant or Veteran status and rank which could place them in a position of leadership

 

Devastator Marines:  Heavy Weapons specialists

 

Apothecary:  Unit level medic that can provide combat support.  With higher skill levels can perform field surgery and is charged with the responsibility of retrieving and recovering a fallen Marine's geneseed

 

Librarians and Chaplains:  Psykers and depending on Chapter and path choice can become quite an imposing force on the battlefield

 

Dreadnaughts:  Venerable warriors mortally wounded on the battlefield then encased within an Adamantium Sarcophogus to extend the life of the great and experienced warrior so that his knowledge and prowess can continue to serve when his body is no longer able

 

Ranks and Positions of leadership can vary by Chapter and so Sergeants, Veterans and Captains and so on are chosen by the Chapter and elevated within the Deathwatch based of a multitude of criteria.

 

The short answer to your basic question is that most of the Marines that make up the Astartes are Tactical Marines.  They are basically the generalist battlefield combat specialist.  They can shoot well and manuver and when necessary engage in close quarters.  Advancement to leadership positions can come more easily in one who knows the many ways a battle can flow but leadership isn't restricted to Tactical Marines only.  Any Marine can eventually be placed in a position of leadership if they have the requisite qualities, regardless of their speciality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tactical is mostly the leader and face of the group. In battle, he can support the devastator or the assault marine as the situation dictates. I don't think he's supposed to have a niche, he's rather the guy who can do everything and adapt his play on the fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Deathwatch mechanics, a Tactical Marine's main strength (after leadership) is as a 'jack-of-all-trades'. They are generally better at Range than an Assault Marine and usually better in Melee than a Devastator, giving them much more battlefield flexibility than the other specialties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant the question more in a mechanical in-game sense rather than Astartes fluff sense.

 

As stated and reiterated by others:  

 

"The short answer to your basic question is that most of the Marines that make up the Astartes are Tactical Marines.  They are basically the generalist battlefield combat specialist.  They can shoot well and manuver and when necessary engage in close quarters. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I meant the question more in a mechanical in-game sense rather than Astartes fluff sense.

 

As stated and reiterated by others:  

 

"The short answer to your basic question is that most of the Marines that make up the Astartes are Tactical Marines.  They are basically the generalist battlefield combat specialist.  They can shoot well and manuver and when necessary engage in close quarters. "

 

My bad then. I thought you were talking about the role of a Tactical in fluff, rather than what it can actually do in game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have to agree, they don't seem to be all that well "balanced" in terms of the mechanics.

Tacticals can really kick butt, they just have to sweat a little more than devastators and assaults.

 

The real trick is having a wide variety of options for different kinds of engagements and, well, thinking tactically. If the Devastator is outfitted for mowing down hordes quickly, don't try to compete with him in mowing down hordes - instead, grab a sniper rifle or an anti-materiel weapon and focus on priority targets, or see if the Assault wouldn't like his ganging up bonus. If you have no other idea what to do in this turn - try activating a Squad Mode ability, the rest is probably to busy full attacking/auto bursting to "waste" actions on that, but trust me - they will appreciate it.

 

If you like thinking quick on your feet, doing many different things in the course of a combat encounter, and helping your teammates in various ways rather than standing there and blasting for mega damage, you will have fun playing a tactical marine. (that's a general "you", by the way)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

 

That's my plan. I'm making a tactical marine that's focusing on driving atm (ravenwing veteran), so I've invested everything I had into being a good driver (maxed out agility) and shooter (maxed out BS, Bolter Mastery). I was just thinking about what role to fill when I'm not driving/shooting from a bike, and I was a bit worried that I'd be slightly behind every other party member (ranged focused techmarine, devastator, assault marine and apothecary).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With that you can support your ranged pals, doing the role of bolter equiped Marines in devastator squad in the fluff : shooting whatever comes close to the heavy weapon guy so he can concentrate on the real danger

 

With the use of a couple of Squad Mode abilities, grenades and special ammo, you will rarely be without something to do. You will rarely be the star of the team outside of a vehicle but your friends will be glad to have you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

 

That's my plan. I'm making a tactical marine that's focusing on driving atm (ravenwing veteran), so I've invested everything I had into being a good driver (maxed out agility) and shooter (maxed out BS, Bolter Mastery). I was just thinking about what role to fill when I'm not driving/shooting from a bike, and I was a bit worried that I'd be slightly behind every other party member (ranged focused techmarine, devastator, assault marine and apothecary).

Note that as a Dark Angel, you have the almost unique option to make your Tacmarine a reasonably good melee fighter from the get go by paying 300 exp for the Deed "Ritual Duel Fighter" and picking the option that grants you the Swift Attack Talent. Combined with your trapping ceremonial sword, this should be very workable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

 

That's my plan. I'm making a tactical marine that's focusing on driving atm (ravenwing veteran), so I've invested everything I had into being a good driver (maxed out agility) and shooter (maxed out BS, Bolter Mastery). I was just thinking about what role to fill when I'm not driving/shooting from a bike, and I was a bit worried that I'd be slightly behind every other party member (ranged focused techmarine, devastator, assault marine and apothecary).

Note that as a Dark Angel, you have the almost unique option to make your Tacmarine a reasonably good melee fighter from the get go by paying 300 exp for the Deed "Ritual Duel Fighter" and picking the option that grants you the Swift Attack Talent. Combined with your trapping ceremonial sword, this should be very workable.

 

Not an option sadly if I want to get into Ravenwing Veteran, since that takes up all the starting 1000 xp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing preventing a Tactical Marine taking a Heavy Bolter and a Jump Pack other than Requisition Points limits, Renown, and a crabby GM. The Tactical Marine becomes the Assault Devastator.

Edited by Brother Orpheo
pearldrum1 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our Rank 5 Storm Warden Tactical Marine uses a Storm Bolter, against hordes with his Storm of Iron talent he outdoes the Devastator, He's pretty useless as a commander so it's good he has other strengths to fall back on (sorry Bob).  

Edited by Brother Anselm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

 

That's my plan. I'm making a tactical marine that's focusing on driving atm (ravenwing veteran), so I've invested everything I had into being a good driver (maxed out agility) and shooter (maxed out BS, Bolter Mastery). I was just thinking about what role to fill when I'm not driving/shooting from a bike, and I was a bit worried that I'd be slightly behind every other party member (ranged focused techmarine, devastator, assault marine and apothecary).

Note that as a Dark Angel, you have the almost unique option to make your Tacmarine a reasonably good melee fighter from the get go by paying 300 exp for the Deed "Ritual Duel Fighter" and picking the option that grants you the Swift Attack Talent. Combined with your trapping ceremonial sword, this should be very workable.

 

Not an option sadly if I want to get into Ravenwing Veteran, since that takes up all the starting 1000 xp

Ravenwing Veteran isn't really worth it, mechanically speaking. If your GM is flexible, I'd rather ask him if you can keep your backstory without taking the specialty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a look at the Chapter Deed Initiate of Secrets in rites of Battle, It fits in with your back story, only costs 300xp and you get some nice skills/talents. +3 wp, Deceive, Forbidden lore (dark angels). Rival (|Inquisition), Talented (drive [ground or hover/skimmer]) you only gain 1d10 insanity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

I really meant that they are the ultimate clean slate.  With all the myriad Skills and Talents, coupled with Chapter Traits, one can craft and built a Career Path to becoming whatever one wishes their Marine to ultimately become.  A Close Quarters Enthusiast or Ranged Marksman, a Lore, Tech or Medic Assistant/Backup or Driver/Pilot or whatever.  They have the fewest restrictions compared to the other "Specialist" Classes.

 

That's my plan. I'm making a tactical marine that's focusing on driving atm (ravenwing veteran), so I've invested everything I had into being a good driver (maxed out agility) and shooter (maxed out BS, Bolter Mastery). I was just thinking about what role to fill when I'm not driving/shooting from a bike, and I was a bit worried that I'd be slightly behind every other party member (ranged focused techmarine, devastator, assault marine and apothecary).

Note that as a Dark Angel, you have the almost unique option to make your Tacmarine a reasonably good melee fighter from the get go by paying 300 exp for the Deed "Ritual Duel Fighter" and picking the option that grants you the Swift Attack Talent. Combined with your trapping ceremonial sword, this should be very workable.

 

Not an option sadly if I want to get into Ravenwing Veteran, since that takes up all the starting 1000 xp

Ravenwing Veteran isn't really worth it, mechanically speaking. If your GM is flexible, I'd rather ask him if you can keep your backstory without taking the specialty.

 

It probably isn't, since 1000 xp is a bit much for a bike and the ability to perform Evasive Maneuvers as a Half action (would have been useful if the attack penalty wasn't there). However, I find the ability to bury the enemy under a wall of Space Marine bikes (as standard issue I get one every mission) too hilarious to pass up :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing preventing a Tactical Marine taking a Heavy Bolter and a Jump Pack other than Requisition Points limits, Renown, and a crabby GM. The Tactical Marine becomes the Assault Devastator.

 

A heavy bolter that will have limited ammo, since I'm not seeing a jump pack and an ammo backpack at the same time.

zomahand likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There's nothing preventing a Tactical Marine taking a Heavy Bolter and a Jump Pack other than Requisition Points limits, Renown, and a crabby GM. The Tactical Marine becomes the Assault Devastator.

 

A heavy bolter that will have limited ammo, since I'm not seeing a jump pack and an ammo backpack at the same time.

 

At least at rank 1 you can get a heavy bolter and backpack and devastate better than a devastator in solo mode (you get +10 BS and +2 damage any time, he gets +10 BS in cover)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

There's nothing preventing a Tactical Marine taking a Heavy Bolter and a Jump Pack other than Requisition Points limits, Renown, and a crabby GM. The Tactical Marine becomes the Assault Devastator.

 

A heavy bolter that will have limited ammo, since I'm not seeing a jump pack and an ammo backpack at the same time.

 

At least at rank 1 you can get a heavy bolter and backpack and devastate better than a devastator in solo mode (you get +10 BS and +2 damage any time, he gets +10 BS in cover)

Anyone takes that over dealing extra hits to Hordes?  :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

There's nothing preventing a Tactical Marine taking a Heavy Bolter and a Jump Pack other than Requisition Points limits, Renown, and a crabby GM. The Tactical Marine becomes the Assault Devastator.

 

A heavy bolter that will have limited ammo, since I'm not seeing a jump pack and an ammo backpack at the same time.

 

At least at rank 1 you can get a heavy bolter and backpack and devastate better than a devastator in solo mode (you get +10 BS and +2 damage any time, he gets +10 BS in cover)

Anyone takes that over dealing extra hits to Hordes?  :huh:

 

Honestly, I probably would if I was playing a devastator. Never playd Deathwatch until now so no idea how good stuff that does stuff to Hordes is because I've never seen hordes in action

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... Never playd Deathwatch until now so no idea how good stuff that does stuff to Hordes is because I've never seen hordes in action

 

Trust me, Horde-busting is a Devastator's primary purpose in life. Sure, once in a while you may need them to introduce a high-priority objective to Mr. Lascannon, but on a typical mission (especially at lower Ranks), de-Magintuding Hordes is Job 1.

Lord Master Igneus likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Adeptus-B said. In DW, it's almost impossible to miss with a full auto weapon, so a +10 to hit isn't that relevant. On the other hand, a Magnitude 20 horde of Guardsmen will shoot twice in a round with 3-shot semi-auto bursts dealing 3d10+3 damage per hit and it's attacks cannot be dodged. And that's pretty much the bottom of the barrel - a Fire Warrior Horde of the same Magnitude will also shoot twice with a four shot full-auto burst, each hit dealing either 4d10+2 or 3d10+12 damage with Pen 4, depending on which weapon stats you use. That's really as much of a priority target as that battlesuit, and the Devastator is the one best equipped to take it out quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0