Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Lately, I've been fixated on Sternguard. Their multi-roll abilities and their (extremely cheap) combi-weapons stick out to me, since usually I like to take units that can accomplish more than one thing.

Here's a quick summary of what Sternguard can do:

-ALL of them can take 5-point combi-weapons (flamer, melta, or plasma)
-rapid fire a S4 AP3 bolter round
-shoot a S4 AP5 'ignores cover' bolter round
-shoot a S4 AP4 bolter round at 30" range
-shoot a SX poinsoned bolter round that wounds on a 2+
-all of them get 2 base attacks

They have a somewhat hefty pricetag on them, but I can see them as coming in useful against just about any army. Take orks for example:

Drive up in your rhino, disembark, and rapid-fire the cover-nullifying round:

12 hit, 6 orks dead. Maybe not the absolute best, but then if they assault you (which they will) you have 20 attacks, 5 of which will wound, 4 of which will kill orks. So they've killed 10 orks. Maybe not the best thing again. But, combined with other firepower, you could very well have wiped the ork squad by then, before they could even swing. Or maybe not.

BUT, if the orks aren't in cover, thats 12 hits, 10 wounds (using the 2+ poison shot) and 8-9 dead orks.

If you took a single combi-flamer, (making the flamer twin-linked) that could hit 5 orks (somewhat average), thats still 12 hits, 10 wounds w/ bolter fire (I've been rounding down to 18 shots to keep my math easy) and 5 hits with 3.75 KILLS with the flamer. 11-12 dead orks. If it's a trukk of boyz, thats a dead unit. If it's a mob of 20 boyz, it forces a morale check.

Add another 5 point combi-flamer and... need I go on? And the funny thing: orks are possibly the worst army for Sternguard to have to fight, Plague Marine spam being an exception (I'm sure there are others)

If you take a few combi-weapons for cheap, you'll be able to kill anything, and if the squad is shooting at something that special weapon isn't good at, you can still shoot with the bolter itself, saving the combi-weapon for something else later.

Avatar of Khaine with Eldar? (something every Salamander player fears, as he's immune to melta and flamers) Shoot the 2+ to wound round, hitting 12+ times, 10 wounds, 3 1/3 wounds! He's almost dead at that rate.

Power Armor? 12 hits, 6 dead marines. Mop up the other 4 (special weapons and Sgt.) with other fire easily enough.

And against the shooty type armies that don't care if you shoot back at them (Imp guard, Tau) Sternguard will CRUSH them in close combat. Or just rape a squad a turn with their awesome shooting.

They can pop tanks easy with twin-linked combi-meltas, and if you want to take combi-plasmas, you'll kill even more.

In the end, I think they're a handy unit that could really compliment any marine force. Despite what I said about a Pedro/Vulkan list in my last post, I'm now tempted to come up with a list like that of my own. Or just play a Pedro/sternguard spam list. I've even gone as far as considering a Pedro/Lysander/Sternguard list, just because Lysander lets them re-roll to hits with bolters. Not that I'm likely to start anything like that anytime soon, but it's fun to think about.

Any thoughts on Sternguard? 335 points for a squad with 10 combi-weapons and a rhino. TOO many points? I'm not sure yet.

1 comment:

Lord Kelith said...

It seems they fo have a lot of killing ability, but the high cost of the unit means it will have to pull points away from other parts of your army. Also, 10 Sternguard are not much harder to kill then a 10 man tac squad. I think Sternguard are great, but you should becarful not to go overboard on the number you have in your army or it will hinder the rest of the force.

P.S. we need to go to BLOScon!