Even if you pay a few points more for your suicide squad than he did for his 'key unit', your models have a certain amount of points equity that can't really be measured- for example, how many points is it worth for your opponent to make an incorrect move that costs him the game? You can't measure that in points, but you would certainly pay points for that exact thing if you could. The same goes for taking a unit out of the equation that he was depending on, forcing him to play differently.
Forcing your opponent to change his plan can really be beneficial to you- it might remove his ability to pop tanks, or might force him to use yet another squad of troops to hold his objective instead of backing up his other units further up the field. It might force him to divert a squad to somewhere he can't properly support them. One way or another, if you let your opponent play the way he plans to, you stand a good chance of losing. Disruption is therefore to be desired.
So, what is required for a successful suicide squad? A few things.
- High percentage of it actually working- as in, if you want to kill a tank, having a great chance of actually killing it on your first try. By nature (and definition, lol) a suicide squad won't get a second shot at it.
- Something that is plausible- if it sounds cool but isn't realistic, it isn't worth the points. Period.
- Your army struggles against a specific thing- this is a great reason to take a suicide squad. When you can't deal with x, using something that will take that variable (x) out of the equation is often desirable. It certainly levels the playing field a bit.
- Versatility- the squad needs to be able to do other things than simply 'remove x'. If your opponent didn't bring x (and they often won't, in a tournament setting), then it's a complete waste of points to bring the squad. Making the squad more viable to suicide against a wider range of things, or giving them another role in the army is essential. For example, Vanguard Veterans can start on the table and provide assault power later in the game if it isn't viable to deepstrike them onto a target.
- Emotional detachment- if you can't bear the idea of losing the squad you're suiciding, then don't do it. The whole point is to trade one piece for another in a manner favorable to you, and if you won't accept that (looking at you, people who put storm shields on Vanguard Veterans :-p), the point is entirely lost on you.
That's about all I got. I hope you found this article interesting at least. What's your take on Suicide Squads? Are they useless? Helpful? I'd like to know! I'm excited to use my own suicide squads in my Wolf army soon- Wolf Scouts! Should be funtimes had by all (well, at least had by me :) )