Hurtling through Lleh V's atmosphere the Thunderhawk strained under the fury of the incoming plasma fire as the assault marines that it carried in its box hull moved into the ready position.
"Two minutes..." crackled a voice over the comm as the back door to the drop ship depressurized and swung open venting gas and ice.
Standing on the edge of the hatch now overlooking the planet wide battle below Brother Longinus signaled to the squad to activate their jump pack turbines as the ship began to roll to the right.
Spotting the jump point below Longinus motioned with his chain sword as he stepped off into the smoke and plasma flack filled sky followed by his brother marines behind him.
"For the Emperor!" invoked the squad in unison as their guidance sensors locked onto the landing zone followed by their turbines churning to slow their decent…
If Space Marines are THE iconic units of 40K, then what are the icons of these icons? I’d vote for Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, and Terminators of course, along with putting Assault Marines in the lineup also.
I love these guys on the table, the imagery they bring, jumping out of Thunderhawk gunships or from behind the mass ranks of tacticals to bring their chain swords and power weapons right into the heart of the enemy. What also sells the image is the assault pack option you get to use in Xbox Space Marine which captures the feeling of this model perfectly- that is what I see in my mind as these guys zoom around on the table.
So how are we going to get the best from these guys in the game?
First thought is that there are lots of different flavors of Assault Marines, but are they really that different on the tabletop level?
Yes and no.
They all come with a jump pack (duh) and a close combat weapon as a base which means three attacks on the charge. Bolt pistols are standard, possible a plasma pistol depending on the codex, and finally some special weapons like melta guns and rules like Death Company or Blood Claws depending on the codex.
Tactically there are two ways to deploy them- on the table which has them jumping forward, or heroically deep striking into the back ranks. Which one works best depends on how many Assault Marines you are including.
Unless I’m playing vanguard vets I tend to stay away from the deepstrike options, and then if I am playing VV, then we go for broke since it is for fun- jacked up power weapons + heroic intervention + scatter = faith in the emperor!
Taken in a group of ten with some plasma pistols and perhaps lead by a chaplain for the re-roll and fearless has my group castling up somewhere mid table where they can jump out as needed and attack an incoming unit. Forget about jetpacking it across the table, especially since this is an assault based unit, you need the model numbers in the assault to give the beat down while dealing with superior numbers and overwatch. A few losses along the way, in addition to being 20+ points a model means you are losing that critical mass.
Now when we assault the jetpack jump is key, and not only in the impact hits before, but in the fact that you can move 12” and then assault. I use the mobility of the pack to place my models on the side of the opposing unit that is most helpful for the assault.
Power weapon or plasma dude in the back or side?
Jump my models, especially the plasma gun models to that side, so my opponent has to remove those models first. We all know about model placement by now to protect our specials, characters, and wargear, but most of us only see this in a linear line- Assault Marines then break this by jumping to the side or back.
Pop off the plasma and bolt pistols and then charge in and prepare for glory!