Thursday, December 29, 2011

Heya Folks! (and an article on Terminators)

Heya folks!

First off, I'd like to thank Michael for inviting me to be part of the Fresh Coast 40k club! I've been a gamer at the Sanctuary for 2 years now, and I know all of the guys here pretty well.

I know that input is one of the most critical elements of a blog, and I have no shortage of that! No doubt, Mike wanted me to share some of what we talk about all the time over at the Sancuary, and I have every intention of doing so, hopeful in a way that can help people out.

I don't have a digital camera so I can't do much in terms of pictures (other than what the other guys post for me), but I DO enjoy writing articles and bits about 40k strategy and stuff (as well as fan fiction), so though I can't promise any of my posts will be interesting to look at they should be a good read! So I suppose without further ado, I'll get right to it!

This is an article I wrote for a while ago about using Terminators. My forte is Space Marines (it's just about the only army I've played for the last two years) and these are some observations I drew in my experience about one of my favorite units; Terminators.


Inspired by an argument I had with an Ork player the other day, I decided to write a tactica on Terminators.

Despite their inherent cool factor, I don't see Terminators used as often as I like. Their high cost, relatively low mobility and seemingly lacking "umph" has unfortunately seen them labelled as a niche unit, and has seemingly cast a shadow on their overall effectiveness in game. As the aforementioned ork player argued, it's difficult to reason buying a unit that so often yields little return in comparison to its cost.

Terminators are easily my most favorite unit in Codex: Space Marines, and as such I've accumulated massed knowledge of where they excel and how they're best used. My goal is to try and share at least a little bit of what I know, and maybe inspire a couple of you guys to look at them in better light.

Note: I understand that there are two major varients of Terminators that see the most use, but I don't see it necessary or constructive to go in depth with both of them. As I consider one varient to be a more specialized version of the other, I will simply address Terminators of the standard variety (2+/5++) and allow the reader to infer what any changes might mean.

Terminators: The Basics
As this article is intended specifically for Terminators and not Space Marines in general, I am not going to run down the Space Marine stat line. I'm assuming that most of you have had at least a little experience with playing Marines and understand what they're stat line means on the table top, so I will instead try to point out what I think makes Terminators unique in this regard. There are three major things that I think stand out.

Anyone who has had a little experience playing as or fighting against Terminators quickly realizes one thing; Terminators are hard to kill. Perhaps they are not quite as difficult to kill as some of us would hope them to be--indeed, it is easy to have ridiculous expectations for a model that costs nearly 3x as much as a standard Marine--but even a novice player would have to admit that they stand on a level beyond a vast majority of the other units at his disposal. This is not to slight the rugged and durable nature of the Space Marine army as a whole, but it is not uncommon for at least a handful of Terminators to walk away from a direct Vindicator shot completely unscathed, or to withstand hundreds of rounds of weaker fire to appear to have taken no damage at all.

Terminators have only one point higher save than their brethren in standard power armor, but don't be fooled into thinking that this represents only a marginal increase in their ability to withstand fire in battle. In addition to bringing a Terminators wound-resisting ability to a whopping 86%, that higher save also grants them the additional ability to withstand blows that would claim a standard Marine without effort. Things such as rockets, battle cannons and gauss whips are rendered as effective as lasguns, and as many of this types of weapons are required for killing armor, Terminators can represent a massive wasted effort on your opponent's part to uproot a unit that would otherwise have been dealt with easily. Indeed, the only weapons that are truly effective at knocking out such a resilient armor save reliably are either expensive or meant to be used on heavy vehicle targets, meaning that firing such a weapon at a unit of Terminators might leave a player vulnerable to such units in your list.

Against these, Terminators are granted a modest invulnerable save, meaning that even if an opponent did turn all of his heaviest weapons on even your small group of Terminators there'd be no guarantee that he'd kill any at all. Terminators are remarkably resilient against shooting weapons that typically ignore even high armor saves, and as these weapons typically cannot be taken en masse without paying a massive cost in points towards them, it is generally difficult for an opponent to muster the correct firepower required to deal with a unit of Terminators efficiently.

Mind you too that this durability extends to a Terminators ability to hold up in close combat as well; Terminators are nearly impervious to almost all but the highest volume of attacks in combat, and expensive weapons designed to ignore armor are immediately rendered less effective, as there is no guarantee for a single kill.

What this all adds up to is that it takes a tremendous effort on your opponent's part to deal with even a small squad of Terminators; only a lucky opponent will accomplish picking off a group with a pot shot here or there, and only a foolish one would choose to ignore them entirely. This means that massed amounts of fire would have to be diverted away from other valuable units in your army, or that he has to purpose-build units dedicated to dealing with just one threat. In this sense, adding a unit of Terminators increases the durability of your army as a whole.

Watch the blog for the rest of this Terminator article in the next few weeks!


  1. Excellent write-up! Add a few notes about DA Terminators Troop choices...

  2. I would also not the difference between the two types available to normal marines an the Grey Knight terminator

  3. There will be more coming! Check out the latest post.