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LordBlades

The role of the Tactical Marine?

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I believe at higher ranks, tacticals are the only ones who can take two weapon fighting and apply it to basic weapons.  So you could be rocking a melta and plasma gun combo.  (go salamander and you can have both masterworked signatured.) 

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#26 that is possible from Rank 1 due to recoil gloves. The Assault marine has that option right from the get-go.

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Tacticals are leaders and shooty PCs. DW Devastators, unlike home chapter ones, are simply shooting specialists (as evidenced by their sniping skills) - not just heavy weapons.

 

And the Tacticals +10 hit/+2 damage is very good. It multiples by number of hits. Tacticals are not jack of all trades until very, very high ranks. In melee, numbers of attacks/parry matter and the Tactical can't compete there.

 

 

Alex

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I would argue that a tactical marine really shouldn't be in solo mode.

 

But YMMV I suppose :)

That depends heavily on the situation at hand, as well as what the Tacmarine is best suited to do.

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As noted, the tactical marine is an all-rounder - with an almost de-facto mag-locked sword you can handle any situation.

 

The two areas he especially excells in are:

 

1) The commander. Tactical Expertise is okay, but default command and cheap leadership skills are what really make the tactical marine the go-to guy for a kill team leader.

 

2) The sniper. With the best sniper-type weapons in the game being bolter-type weapons, they suit the tactical marine to a tee. Yes, all right, man-portable lascannon, but stalker-pattern weapons are quieter, hesh-pattern weapons are more flexible and the horrific barratt-equivalent relic thing from the Emperor's Chosen is just harsh beyond all measure. More importantly, they all accept the special ammo types that you get a free clip of.

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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).

 

 

 

With its flexibility and general lack of restrictions (having access to most Talents and Skills that Devs and Assault do) I've always thought about the Tactical similarly.

 

 

I have a White Scar scoutmaster (as in, a Sergeant who works with the Scouts) concept I'd love to play, and it works perfectly as just a Tactical specialist, as opposed to modifying the Wolf Scouts, or making up something new.

 

 

And 1,000 for Ravenwing isn't that bad, considering that a signature piece of wargear (the bike) would be about half that amount.

 

 

And I know Rites of Battle was from a while ago, but I thought the Ultra Mk.IX rifle was pretty much the top of the line for sniper rifles in Deathwatch. Even though it doesn't get bonuses for being a Bolter.

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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).

 

 

 

With its flexibility and general lack of restrictions (having access to most Talents and Skills that Devs and Assault do) I've always thought about the Tactical similarly.

That sounds overly optimistic. Tacticals get most useful shooting Talents and barely anything for melee (and what they do get for melee is ridiculously late in the ranks). They are no less restricted than any other Specialty in the game, and trying to build them into anything other than a straight-up shooter with some command stuff on the side will require relying heavily on Chapter advances, advanced Specialties, Deeds and Honors.

 

 

And I know Rites of Battle was from a while ago, but I thought the Ultra Mk.IX rifle was pretty much the top of the line for sniper rifles in Deathwatch. Even though it doesn't get bonuses for being a Bolter.

Not by a long shot. (Pun not intended).

 

Going by errata stats:

 

Stalker Bolter: Range 200m Damage d10+9 Pen 4 Clip 24 Reload Full Qualities: Accurate, Tearing

Ultra Rifle: Range 250m Damage d10+4 Pen 2 Clip 5 Reload Full Qualities: Accurate, Felling (1), Toxic

 

Slightly better range, abysmal ammo capacity, worse Penetration. Felling will about make up for the damage difference, but only against enemies that have Unnatural Toughness (admittedly, quite a lot in DW, but it will still rarely come out on top damage-wise). Toxic is rather weak considering it doesn't affect Tyranids and Daemons at all and it's almost impossible for enemy Astartes to fail the roll.

 

That's all before you even consider all the awesome kinds of ammo you can put in Stalker:

 

Stalker - absolutely silent with no drawbacks

Kraken - up that range to 300m, blowing Ultra out of the water, and increase the Pen to 8 (what power armor again?)

Hellfire - ignore Natural Armor altogether (Tyranids can suck it!) and inflict Righteous Fury on 9 and 10

Vengeance - Pen 9 and Felling (1), need I say more?

Witch Bolts - mess up psykers and daemons something fierce.

 

Combine it with Bolter Mastery and that free clip of special ammo Tacmarines get for free each mission, and it's not even a competition, Stalker Bolter is clearly the superior sniping implement for Tacticals (and for anyone else, for that matter).

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Oh it gets nastier than that. Kratoiera - the one I mentioned in passing before - is a relic custom stalker from The Emperor's Chosen. Not only is it firing something more akin to heavy bolter rounds than standard ones, it also gets what is essentially Hunter of Aliens for a ranged weapon.

 

Plus, it still lets you use bolter mastery and fling hellfire shells.

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Huh, I'd never thought of the special rounds before.

 

I'd still rather have the Ultra though.

 

Oh it gets nastier than that. Kratoiera - the one I mentioned in passing before - is a relic custom stalker from The Emperor's Chosen. Not only is it firing something more akin to heavy bolter rounds than standard ones, it also gets what is essentially Hunter of Aliens for a ranged weapon.

 

Plus, it still lets you use bolter mastery and fling hellfire shells.

 

And at the same time... daaaamn.

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I'd still rather have the Ultra though.

Kinda curious as to the reasons here.

 

 

Concur, I'm running a Wolf Scout with a Stalker Pattern Bolt Pistol and as soon as I am able I'll be upgrading to a Stalker Pattern Bolter.  Hellfire rounds are the bomb diggity against most and when facing CSM, Kraken rounds are the way to go.

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I'd still rather have the Ultra though.

Kinda curious as to the reasons here.

 

 

Concur, I'm running a Wolf Scout with a Stalker Pattern Bolt Pistol and as soon as I am able I'll be upgrading to a Stalker Pattern Bolter.  Hellfire rounds are the bomb diggity against most and when facing CSM, Kraken rounds are the way to go.

My girlfriend once played a Raven Guard Tacmarine heavily focused on sniping and infiltration. My friend who ran it is kinda a Monty Haul GM, so he gave her a special sniper rifle with the stats of the Exitus Rifle from DH:Ascension. She performed rather poorly until I persuaded him to switch it to a Master Craftsmanship Stalker and advised her to load up on Kraken rounds. Then, she was death incarnate.

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Cause I think it's cooler, and I'm already playing a Space Marine.

 

I'll mathhammer to the wargame..

 

Also, the character is a White Scar, I'm still going to be charging things on a bike from time to time.

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Cause I think it's cooler, and I'm already playing a Space Marine.

In this case, it'll be a Space Marine dealing damage comparable to an OW weapon specialist with a long-las.

 

Sorry if it sounds like I'm bashing you for the choice, I'm actually bashing the rifle itself, as FFG seriously dropped the ball on it. I especially love how they spent half a page building it up as the ultimate sniper rifle with a ton of built-in customizations, but when you actually parse it for rules it comes out as a slightly better scout rifle with a bog-standard scope.

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Cause I think it's cooler, and I'm already playing a Space Marine.

In this case, it'll be a Space Marine dealing damage comparable to an OW weapon specialist with a long-las.

 

Sorry if it sounds like I'm bashing you for the choice, I'm actually bashing the rifle itself, as FFG seriously dropped the ball on it. I especially love how they spent half a page building it up as the ultimate sniper rifle with a ton of built-in customizations, but when you actually parse it for rules it comes out as a slightly better scout rifle with a bog-standard scope.

 

 

Except when I'm using the sniper rifle, the idea is to be stealthy. It's not an opportunity that comes up much, which is why it won't be the only thing they can do, either. It's easy to forget but the Ultra's other boon over the Stalker (aside from Felling) is that it's incredibly silent, with a -20 to Awareness and you can only hear it at half the normal range (I forget how far that is). You need to use Stalker shells with a Bolter (admittedly, they're good) if you want to be discreet. Because people exploding all over the place will tip someone off. Acids and fires aren't really subtle either.

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Cause I think it's cooler, and I'm already playing a Space Marine.

In this case, it'll be a Space Marine dealing damage comparable to an OW weapon specialist with a long-las.

 

Sorry if it sounds like I'm bashing you for the choice, I'm actually bashing the rifle itself, as FFG seriously dropped the ball on it. I especially love how they spent half a page building it up as the ultimate sniper rifle with a ton of built-in customizations, but when you actually parse it for rules it comes out as a slightly better scout rifle with a bog-standard scope.

 

 

Except when I'm using the sniper rifle, the idea is to be stealthy. It's not an opportunity that comes up much, which is why it won't be the only thing they can do, either. It's easy to forget but the Ultra's other boon over the Stalker (aside from Felling) is that it's incredibly silent, with a -20 to Awareness and you can only hear it at half the normal range (I forget how far that is). You need to use Stalker shells with a Bolter (admittedly, they're good) if you want to be discreet. Because people exploding all over the place will tip someone off. Acids and fires aren't really subtle either.

Ironically enough, requisitioning a Stalker Bolter and a clip of Stalker Rounds (mind you, 24 of them, equivalent of 4 reloads for Ultra Pattern) costs 25 points, exactly the same as Ultra. That's many more absolutely stealthy shots than you'll need in the course of the mission - logically, most of the time you'll still be with your team, utilizing tactical marksmanship rather than sniping per se, and then you really don't need a super-stealthy ammo - the hail of your comrades' bolts will dampen your shots well enough.

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The best use is in a true 'sneaky beaky' mission - everyone in scout armour, sniper rifles, stalkers and raven-pattern shotguns a-go-go.

 

Its main advantage over the stalker, in my mind (not a rules thing, I admit) is that it is, as noted, a lot quieter at the other end. Whilst it's functionally impossible to trace a stalker shot back to the firer, people are definitely going to know one has been used as the target still explodes like a pan of beef stroganoff with a firecracker dropped in it....

 

The ultra lets you stay covert that fraction longer.

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The best use is in a true 'sneaky beaky' mission - everyone in scout armour, sniper rifles, stalkers and raven-pattern shotguns a-go-go.

Very hard to conduct, seeing that Space Marines aren't that good at sneaking without some extra investment.

 

Its main advantage over the stalker, in my mind (not a rules thing, I admit) is that it is, as noted, a lot quieter at the other end. Whilst it's functionally impossible to trace a stalker shot back to the firer, people are definitely going to know one has been used as the target still explodes like a pan of beef stroganoff with a firecracker dropped in it....

 

The ultra lets you stay covert that fraction longer.

Unless the shot simply fails to kill, in which case it becomes much, much worse.

 

Admittedly, sniping is overall a risky undertaking - while the extra damage from Accurate is quite fearsome, it creates an incredibly big spread of damage, making it much better for tactical marksmanship than for clean one-shot stealth kills.

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Oh, definitely. However, Kill-team Cadmus (whom I GM for) has a Dark Angel with Tactics (Recon & Stealth) +20 and Talented (Tactics), a Wolf Scout, a Raptor, a Raven Guard and a Carcharodon. They have been somewhat tailored to doing fiendish ninja-attack type stuff.

 

And I fully agree that sniping is in theory risky because a bad damage roll could see the alert raised. However I've found that the Raptor Sniper does not, as a rule, fail to kill things.

 

This is especially since you can use fate points to add Degrees of Success to the hit - one of the few occasions where a fate point can directly improve your damage roll, and (generally) he is taking down sentries who are generic humans or equivalents thereto.

 

Lastly, and most importantly, of course, the Mk.IX is unrestricted whilst the Stalker-Pattern is only available at 'respected' reknown or better. There is a period at the start of a game where it may be the only option.

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Putting the sniper on the firing line with everyone else isn't really the best tactic anyway. If you're playing a scout too then you can use that stealth to move on to the flank and attack from that direction, negating the cover they're using against the firing line and picking off more dangerous enemies that might be 'screened' by mobs. Or cutting off the escape of a high value target who might decide to flee if the fight turns against him.

 

I remember my first game of Deathwatch, which was playing as a Black Templars Techmarine, and one of our first missions was to kill a governor who'd turned to the Tau's side. In hindsight a scout/sniper would have been handy for hunting the little twerp down. Though having my Black Templar suggest we crash a system defence ship in to a hive city was fun to (even if I didn't get to do it).

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In tabletop, I use my Long Fangs as missile-launching snipers.

 

In Deathwatch, I use my Long Fang as a missile-launching sniper.

 

For 10 Requisition, a tactical marine can't go wrong in nabbing a Soundstrike ML.

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So far in the games I've played, my teams have yet to have the chance of taking stealth due to the assault and devastators refusing to believe you can sneak on people with a jump pack and a big gun (something that Space Marine multiplayer has thoroughly debunked). However, in all my games I've played as a Tactical Marine and felt that despite not having insane melee power of an Assault Marine or the ranged prowess of a Devastator, the fact that they can mix it up really well has saved my hide on many occasions. When we fought Tyranid, I was able to join the Devasator in gunning down the 'gaunts while against Tau I was able to charge in with the Assault Marine to prevent them from murdering us with those blasted guns. The flexibility of that and the capability of sharing your chapter's squad mode abilities has allowed my team to rampage through the missions effectively (apparently before I joined the team they never had a Tactical Marine and never used Squad Mode).

 

All in all, my experience in the 40k systems is that despite tooling your character for melee/range, I found myself constantly put in the opposite situation I generally want thus making me more open to the all 'rounder builds.

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So far in the games I've played, my teams have yet to have the chance of taking stealth due to the assault and devastators refusing to believe you can sneak on people with a jump pack and a big gun (something that Space Marine multiplayer has thoroughly debunked).

 

The trick is putting them in situations where they don't really have a choice....

Example missions:

  • The kill-team are being deployed to an ocean world with literally no land - just a few ships and floating rig emplacements. They are provided with a land speeder storm. Scout armour is required because (a) a storm can't cope with the weight of a team in aquilla-pattern powered plate and (b) if you go in the water, a scout can swim - an armoured marine can't, and that essentially means death.
  • The kill-team are being deployed in scout armour with shotguns, blades and sniper rifles. They are heavily outnumbered and outgunned and they need to be sneaky because there can be no witnesses, no large-scale battles and above all no casualties caused by identifiable astartes wargear such as bolt rounds. The target? A Lord-Governor that the Ordos need disposing of quietly. If it became public knowledge that the Imperium had him killed the results would be (almost) as bad as letting him live. The matter is too time-critical to wait for the High Lords of Terra to sanction the deployment of an Assassinorium agent.

     

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The idea that a modern sniper sits in one spot for days waiting for a target etc... is quite a bit of a misnomer. Sure it happens but its been proven in the past few decades in Iraq and Afghanistan that highly mobile snipers with a small support team can dominate a battlefield. Almost sounds like a Kill-Team huh?

 

Check out a book called Shooter. Top Ranked USMC sniper who was a big part of changing modern sniper tactics to great effect.

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