Tuesday 24 September 2013

Vanguard Veterans Squad. Worth it?

New Space Marines Codex was released, and there are heaps and heaps of options. As soon as they came out, I couldn't help myself to get the new Centurions, Sternguards and Vanguard Veterans as I thought the models were pretty awesome (yeah, even Centurions, afters seeing them in GW, I realized they were cooler than what I thought).

My idea for the Vanguard Veterans Squad was to play them aggresively, with jump packs and a pair of lightning claws to run towards the enemy lines and slay anything in close combat. The idea of 4 ap3 attacks re rolling to wound on charge was quite attractive (extra HoW attack if you charge with your jump pack), but while I was preparing my list a big issue came to me: in the codex says "15 points for A lightning claw", and that wouldn't make sense to me. I basically assumed that it would be a pair of them, not just one...but Crazy comfirmed my disappointment.

I started to do some numbers:
Vanguard model+2 Lightning Claws +Jump Pack=52 points
Really? 3+ save, no ++ save...and 52 points per model? That's way way way too expensive compared with other Close combat units in the game...like seriously, out of proportion...and, on top of that, they don't even have Heroic Intervention anymore! So, my question is, are they even worth playing them?

Well, I was furious about it, but I decided to give them a try. I made a squad of 10 with the following configuration:
- 3 with Power Maul and Storm Shield
- 7 with Power Maul and bolt pistols

Also saying that I included my HQ Chapter Master on a Jump pack with them.
I have to say that they really shined in that game. They went through a unit of Wraith Blades, Jetbikes and ended up killing a Wraith Knight that had 3 wouds left. 

The only way I see worth to get a lightning claw is with a Storm Shield, as you don't get the extra attack anyway, but you get a lovely 3++ that can absorb lots of damage...but still, very expensive.

If you're a tournament competitive player, don't even thing about them. Way to expensive and you can get better options, like 10 Sternguards for 240 points. 
But, if like me, you're a player that plays for fun and likes trying new things and don't spam units, give them a try, because they literally fly through the field and engage in combat really quick. 

Still, I think GW fucked up very well with the Lightning Claws...


  1. That has been a requiring theme, they over charge for the pair of lightning claws. the only up side is you can now pair a lightning claw with a powerfist and get a bonus attack.

    I've been wanting to bring back my blood angels with their still awesome Vanguard and just mess with people, since they are one of the last units to assault from reserves.

  2. Yeah, vanguard are useless in my opinion. They just die.....horribly without a storm raven.

    1. I think the Vanguard did really well. Admittedly, I made some poor decisions against them but Ruby was careful with his placements and made sure the 'closest' model always had a Storm Shield. That and they have lots and lots of attacks - we were going to run a test where they attack a group of 30 Ork Boyz because I think they would win without loss (that said, 30 Ork Boyz are still less than half the price of the Vanguard Ruby fielded).

  3. A assault marine used to be 22 points in the 4th ed codex so codex creep has gotten to the point where getting terminator honors also for the same points is a weak unit.

    In 5th I used to run foot vanguard with pedro out of a rhino. I also had a whole range of weapons for wound removal purposes while trying to keep the points down a little.

    That unit you list runs like 415 points. You might try for fun something like 10 marines with 4 stormshields split with 2 mauls and 2 fists, then 6 normal guys. Gets the cost down to 360. You get extra shield, some AP 2, lower cost and you could split the unit in combat squads to concentrate on different threats or the same breakdown.

  4. I felt the same way about the Centurions when I saw them in person. While GW has brilliant sculptors working for them, their photographers leave much to be desired.

  5. I tired a squad of 5 Vanguards with jumppacks, 3 meltabombs 1 powermaul and sarge with grav pistol and powermaul.
    They stay between my crusadersquats or hide behind rhinos and attack monsterous creatures or accommodate my other squads in cc.
    Until now I´m very pleased with them.

  6. I go hunting with Storm shield and grav pistol combo


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