A lot of people don't rate Terminators, they say they're too expensive and die too easy, these people question if there is actually any use for them. These people are VERY wrong. The fault lies in their use of them. Like everything in 40k success is based upon the application of a unit, but the right way to use some units is more obvious than others. It must be noted I use Dark Angels and therefore use Deathwing squads, they are slightly more flexible than normal Terminators, but essentially the principles are the same.
- Your Elite and should be treated as such.
- Powerfull in close combat against almost any opponent.
- Excellent at shooting, especially against light to medium infantry and vehicles.
- Extremely well armoured.
- Able to take very varied weaponry.
- At risk to power weapons and low AP guns.
Terminators are not:
- Invincible, like any infantry they will fall to massed light arms fire.
- Able to march across the battlefield ignoring cover.
- Cheap, but nor are they over priced.
- To be sacrificed.
What this all adds up to is units that are lethal when used clinically. You should be protective of your Terminators, use them to make surgical strikes, being sure to avoid situations where your enemy can pour a lot of gunfire upon them or combat them with units that are designed to defeat heavy armour.
As mentioned before success with Terminators is based upon their application, which is made up of these five things:
(3) Right tools for the job.
(4) Controlling where and who you fight.
Taking note of these points, I have several tactics that I employ for my Deathwing Terminators.
THE BATTERING RAM
Mounted in a Land Raider they motor up a flank or centrally depending on the enemy deployment, mission objectives and most importantly terrain. They then disembark, shoot like crazy and smash into the enemy lines with an assault, carving a hole through their army. This requries carefull use of terrain and deployment to avoid the Land Raider getting shot to bits beforehand, plus you must make sure you are not going to leave your Terminators open to a counter attack they can not handle. The most important factors in this attack are (2) Terrain and (5) Timing. Without terrain to shield your Land Raider you won't get there, and after disembarking you need terrain to shield your Terminators from the wrath of an entire army. You have to be prepared for situations where your Terminators are unable to assault and will therefore get shot at, try and make sure they can't get shot by too much. This is where timing comes in. Ideally your Terminators assault will coincide with another major threat from your army, be it a Vindicator in a firing position, an Assault Squad within charge range or other potentially disatrous event for your enemy. We're talking about two pronged attacks, the classic pincer movement, etc. If performed carefully this one move can crush armies like Tau, Necrons and Imperial Guard, and if used ever so carefully, Eldar, though caution is advised, their ability to rapidly respond to attacks in unmatched.
DENIED FLANK / THE SHEPHERD
Depending on game size, supported by a Tactical Squad and/or Dreadnought/Vindicator, their weapons cover a desired movement channel. If the enemy moves there they will have to suffer a torrent of fire and the Terminators fearsome assault. This can be risky, as you in some ways are being reactive rather than directly choosing who you fight. I wouldn't use this Tactic against Eldar, they can move a lot of heavy firepower into position quickly and fire in the same turn, it will be hard for your Terminators to withstand that sort of pressure. However it works extremely well against Tyranids, Chaos, Orks and Imperial Guard. If the enemy moves there then fine, shoot them dead, if they don't you can then swing your attack into a flanking punch into the enemies side or make an advance the enemy can not ignore. What this will also be doing is forcing the enemy away from that part of the battlefield and onto your other heavy weapons you've position for that very purpose! I use this a lot with a Deathwing squad and Vindicator, particularly against Tyranids and Chaos. It's great for bunching up swarms of nids into ordnance friendly formations!
The most important points for this attack are (1) Deployment, (2) Terrain and (3) Right tools for the job. You must make sure you're denying an area that is desirable for your opponent, that you can not just be shot to pieces and that your weapons will be able to react quickly and efficiently against whatever enemy it is you face. A lot of people don't rate Terminators, they say they're too expensive and die too easy, these people question if there is actually any use for them. These people are VERY wrong. The fault lies in their use of them. Like everything in 40k success is based upon the application of a unit, but the right way to use some units is more obvious than others. It must be noted I use Dark Angels and therefore use Deathwing squads, they are slightly more flexible than normal Terminators, but essentially the principles are the same.
THE COUNTER CHARGERS
Standing behind your firebase of Tactical and Devestator squads, lending their fire to your volleys as the enemy closes and then when the enemy makes it's assault, you charge in. This is fairly simple. You use a Tactical squad (who must be behind cover themselves, they will need the save) as a meatshield protecting your more valuable Terminators and simply keep firing until the enemy gets to your battle line. It's a very defensive tactic and will not work against shooty armies like Imperial Guard or Necrons. It will work well against Eldar, especially those that favour Aspect Warrior squads.
The most important factors in this are (1) Deployment and (3) Right tools for the job. Good deployment is essential as this is a very static strategy and as your Terminators will have little control of what attacks them it is imperative you can deal with what you face. Deathwing absolutely excell at this because they can mix their weapons. A squad of Deathwing with Sergeant, 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers and Lightning Claws is a nasty prospect for any Chaos, Necron, Tau or Imperial Guard army. Against Eldar take the classic Powerfist & Stormbolter squad with either Assault Cannons or Cyclones depending on how much your enemy favours vehicles or infantry. There is no point taking Lightning claws against Eldar. The squads that can hurt you have a higher Initiative ative anyway, so you'll hit last, therefore it might aswell be at Strength 8!