Friday, 3 June 2016

Salamanders Legion Overview

As you might have noticed, I haven't been posting lately. Life has been doing it's best to get in my way. Back now, posts might be a tad irregular but there should be plenty coming. Now, to the salamanders!

Salamanders are the 18th* legion of the first founding. They're maybe the nicest space marines and they're also religious pyromaniacs!

Salamander infantry units all benefit from what is essentially a free Legion Vexilla. This re-roll for leadership is not only amazing but it nets you 10 points for every infantry unit that would have had to buy one. It also affects those units who couldn't have brought a Vexilla anyways. Also, they automatically pass Fear checks so yay!

However, these guys are slow, and I mean annoyingly slow. Salamanders suffer a -1 penalty to any Run, Charge and do not add their Initiative to sweeping advance rolls. This last one, in particular, is massive! Sweeping advances are huge in 30k so be aware, and avoid conflict whenever you can if it's anything but an unfair fight.

Yes, you're less likely to be swept because of your leadership re-roll, but in the event that you lose, you will almost certainly be overrun.

This is painful, very much so, and annoyingly you cant just sit back and open fire like Iron Hands can. Your weapons of choice are flamers, which require you to be up in the enemies face. Now, if you're wondering why you'd want flamers given they're so short ranged you're doing it right.

Here's why:

Salamanders and their vehicles all gain an awesome +1 str for all flamer weapons. This is amazing! Hand flamers are now no longer shitty Str3, your flamers are now Heavy Flamers, your heavy flamers are now Instant Death-ing Solar Auxilla (or Rad-Phage-d marines) and ignoring their Armour Save and any Feel No Pain rolls. (marines not included please make further purchase of Allied Malacdor Inferrus Tank from Solar Auxilla, Salamander's rules not included or compatible, other T&C may apply, subject to personal choice).

Not only that but; Salamanders (infantry and vehicles) take less damage from Flamers in the form of a -1Str penalty to all flamer hits inflicted. This means Death Guard might actually do equal or more damage to themselves when shooting at you*. This also means that your light av tanks cannot get glanced by Flamer weapons (Av10 v Str4 Flamer, Av11 v Heavy Flamer) The rule is situational but nice.

*not tested or math-hammered, purely based off individual dice rolls/luck, this blog takes no responsibility for your dead plastic soldiers.

Despite their obsession with fire, Salamanders don't like Phosphex weapons, Destroyers or Moritat Centurions. None of the above may be taken by a Salamanders Primary Detachment (but apparently allies are fine? alrighty then) (that's what allies are for, and Sally's are pretty loved by everyone).

As for what upgrades and legion war-gear Salamanders get access to, their characters all have 5-point master-crafted everything. Master-crafted Las Cannon sir? 10 point discount Mr Praetor? You may only master-craft a single weapon but who need that super bolt pistol anyway. (Yes this does include allied Salamander Moritats with Twin Infernus Pistols! I never said I was nice.)

Models in Terminator armour or Salamanders Independent Characters have access to the much hated Storm Sheild. Now, it's not as bad as 40k's Storm Sheilds (yet, wait for it). It only improves your Invulnerable Save by +1 (to a maximum of 3++, I see you there Mr Deathstar) or confers a 5++ save if you didn't have one before. For characters not in TDA, it costs a minor 10 points but for TDA hulking space soldiers it costs and even more measly 5 points! (replacing combi-bolter) (bonus attack from having two weapons gets removed, just buy a specialist weapon or something two handed (a-la Paragon Blade, Powerfist/Chainfist). Add this to Cataphractii Pattern armour and suddenly you have the much loved/hated 3++ assault terminators of 40k

This is why people hate Salamanders.

If a 3++ terminator master-crafted praetor wasn't enough you can buy them (Praetors and only Praetors), Eternal Warrior! For 20 points you can buy them a cloak of drake scale which makes them nearly impossible to put down (add FNP to milk tears).

Finally, any twin-linked Bolters or Heavy Bolters may be replaced with Twin Linked (Shred) Flamers or Heavy Flamers respectively for free. Sweet!

Looking at nasty little unit combos, we can create:

Death by Fire!
Considering the Flamer benefits for Salamanders, one of the best additions to a Salamanders force is a 10 man Heavy Support Squad with Heavy Flamers in front of a Promethium Pipeline (barricades so you get a cover save that won't blow you up). This gives your Heavy Support squad torrent of their str6 flamers. Take a librarian rolling on Divination for misfortune and this unit will literally destroy anything it sets it sights on. Even without the Librarian this is not a unit to be taken lightly and your opponent should have plenty of good reasons to avoid anywhere near it, overall an excellent area denial unit combo for a relatively small cost. 

That Dead Baneblade Over There?
Taking a Kharybdis assault claw filled with 10 Firedrake terminators will certainly not buy you any points for the nice guy prize but it will certainly wreak havoc on your opponent's army and bring down that armoured vehicle you absolutely need dead yesterday. Arm them up with chain fists, give a few Storm-shields (yes you read that right storm shields in 30k, more on that to come) and if you're feeling spicy give the rest combi-Meltas for that extra anti-vehicle punch. RIP your buddies new Questorius Knight/Titan model!

Or if you're up against the new Mechanicum unit, drop in a bunch armed with Thunder Hammers and drop that giant robot/cyborg/thing to I1 and smash it to tiny pulpy bits.

Your 1st Rite is somewhat tactically limiting, but if you were going in that vein there's very little reason not to choose it.

Your vehicles gain a 5++ against Melta, Plasma, Flamers, Volkite and uniquely Melta Bombs. This is pretty awesome and is effectively the best excuse to break out the super heavies (for under 2000, I'd take the Plasma blast gun super heavy tank for fluffy-ness, and you know, giant ap2 blasts of death)

All your units get the Move Through Cover USR. Free dozer blades! Again take vehicles!

Any basic Melta weapons get master-crafted (read Melta gun/Multi Melta/Inferno Pistol). Nice addition but be wary of armoured ceramite. If your opponent isn't packing tanks or has brought his heat shield plating this is pretty much useless. Nice bonus but not really a competitive edge.

Pyroclasts can now be non-compulsory troops. Again nice but not game breaking. Frees up a heavy support slot which is important because...

You may only take a total number of Fast Attack and Heavy Support equal or less than your number of troop choices. Read Rhino Tactical and Support Marines.

Breacher Marines could also be a strong choice but remember that they already suffer from -1 run distances due to void armour, so you will suffer -2" to their run distances. They can take Land Raiders so do that (vehicles that will be getting free dozer blades and 5++ invol saves against most heat energy based weapons as described above.

No deep striking units (therefore no drop pods or other must deep strike units). No Death from Above Firedrakes -sadface-.

No fortifications, so no death by super heavy support Flamers, again -sadface-. This isn't as bad as this Rite encourages vehicles anyway but still detrimental

Overall a nice Rite that offers some bonuses for an army already going in that direction but otherwise very restrictive.

That's it for this week, stay tuned for my next update where I'll  be looking at the Salamanders' special unit choices and their new Rite as of the most recent book (bear in mind I don't have a copy of that so if there's anything wrong with my interpretation of it please let me know in the comments and I will address that. Following that, Salamanders HQ characters.

Thanks for reading and Happy Wargaming
Meros out