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By Johann Reidel
Edited by ( Shadow Guard )
This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the author.  It's use here is not intended as a challenge to the original authors copyright and is reproduced here for the sole purpose of enhancing the Dark Angel spirit and the warhammer 40,000 experience
Foreword: The Shadow Guard

Artillery is the God of War said Napoleon Bonaparte, and this hasn't changed even in the 40th Millennium.  Fielding a firepower-based army is relatively easy, but not necessarily unchallenging in the rapidly changing tactical situations of the 40K battlefield. If you like big guns, and firepower based warfare rather than close assault tactics, then read on here for some tactical advice from the Swedish 40K champion, Johan Reidel. Johan, as befits such tactics usually fights with the blasphemous Iron Warriors, but the emperor's light is beginning to shine upon him as he has been slowly drawn towards a RavenWing army.
Tactica Astartes Ignis
Firepower oriented Spacemarine Army tactics

The firepower based army ("shooty army") is probably one of the more challenging of the Space Marine armies to play, and I just love a good challenge. Here are some easy-to follow tips from one fire lover to another. I will first discuss the essential firepower roles of various units and then take an overview of the strategy and tactics in deploying them


(That little extra punch that all shoota boys need!)

Land Raiders: My strong advice would be to not use a Landraider in a firepower based army. It's primary role is the safe transport of terminators (which should be avoided in a firepower army) and fire support for them. It would rarely make up it's points value on the battlefield, especially if faced by Eldar/dark Eldar forces, where it  would live a short sharp life.

Devastator squads: Select devastator squads only in games larger than 1500 points in size. Don't use them in smaller battles. There are some very effective configurations for using devastator squads. The three I favor are as follows:

1,  Anti-Tank devastator squad: 2 Lascannons and 2 Missile Launchers.
2,  Anti-Infantry devastator squad: 2 Plasmacannons and 2 Heavybolters
3,  General-Purpose devastator squad: 4 Heavybolters (Best bang for the buck!)

Predators: Well, what can I say? Point for point this is truly the best tank in the game. There are really only two weapon configurations for the firepower army and they are as follows:

1,  Anti-Tank Configuration: Twin linked Lascannons turret and sponsor lascannons.
2,  Anti-Infantry: Turret autocannon and sponsor Hevybolters.
The role of the anti-infantry predator can be easily and effectively filled by other units in the spacemarine army, so the lascannon armed predator is the main anti-tank choice for heavy support in a firepower army.

Whirlwind: At  a measly 75 points, indirect fire capacity and armed with an ordnance weapon this tank is the given choice for any firepower loving general.

Vindicator: This is one of the most over-looked and under-estimated in the spacemarine armories. This is mainly due to the limited range of its demolisher cannon compared to other heavy support choices. As the demolisher cannon is an ordnance weapon, moving the vehicle to get in to range prevents it from firing that turn and can expose it to anti-tank assault troops.

However it can play very significant role, particularly in area denial. By placing the vindicator strategically you can force the opponent away fro one area of the battlefield since no one wants to come to close to this bad boy! This would allow you to channel the enemy in to other killing fields. It also has one of the nastiest guns in the game and is excellent for defending your shooty units.

(The heart and sole of any firepower force!)

Tactical squads: This is the backbone of the army! They will be able to fill any and all of the battlefield roles you want them to! Here are some of the roles I tend to use them in.

1, Mini-devastators:
Many people like to field min-max squads (I hate to do this!) taking 5 man squads with lascannon/ and plasmagun. This is a good choice, even if I don't like it!

2, Mobile defense squads:
Razorbacks are one of the best transports in the game. If used with a small firepower squad consisting of six space marines with one hevyweapon and a vet.sargeant armed  with a power weapon they can be a very versatile unit. They can stand and shoot if facing an opponent that is closing for close combat. Alternatively they can attack if you are  facing a firepower army that can out shoot you. The razorback also provides a mobile firing platform that can move 6" and still shoot. This lets you have that all-important mobility that will win you the mission objectives!

3, Static Firepower Squads:
This is the eight man tactical squad with a heavy and special weapon. This unit will provide the numbers that are needed to hold objectives and tie up tie up enemy assault units!

4, Sacrifice squads:
It's just a five or six man squad with a heavybolter or missile launcher. Their role is to take the first charge by the enemy and hopefully break or be destroyed allowing you to target enemy with your rapid fire weapons if he performs a sweeping advance.

Scout Squads: (They are hated by some loved by others) Scouts can excel in certain missions and provide a potent distraction for the enemy. I use them in two ways (there are many ways but these are the once I found the most useful)

1, Sniper squad:
Nine man scout squad with six snipers one heavybolter and two basic scouts for casualty removal.

2, Ambush squad:
This is a tricky one. It's a six-man squad with either an autocannon or a missile launcher. This squad excels in missions with the table quarter setup and infiltration special rule! They can setup on the sides and shoot the enemy tanks in the vulnerable side armor! A truly great unit that will distract even the best commanders from their main battel plan!