Theorycraft: A Drop Pod too far?

Theorycrafting is something that I love to do. I love writing army lists out, even for armies I do not own, simply to see what things I can do with any given Codex. I spend a lot of my free time writing army lists and I figure it would be fun to post some. This is the first of my Theorycrafting posts, and I welcome anyone with comments regarding my choices.

So my brothers last game against me involved a Salamanders Successor Chapter, led by Vulcan He'stans brother, mostly mounted in Drop Pods.

The idea of it scared me to my very core. My Guard prefer their enemies at a good range and dont really like em up close. It was also typically the first time I had taken a list without an Officer of the Fleet so I didnt have any way to delay his later turn arrivals.

Now I got lucky in that game, managing to wipe out a lot of the Marines as they arrived, but a bit more luck for him or worse luck for me and it could have been very different. His Ironclad failing to penetrate my Leman Russ side armour at 6" with his Meltagun. Bad dice meaning he rolled a 4, anything higher would have meant one less squad of dead Marines the following turn.

So since Wednesday I have been thinking about a Space Marine drop pod list.


Librarian: Machine Curse, The Gate of Infinity, Terminator Armour with Combi Melta


10 Sternguard, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon, 10 Combi-Meltas.


10 Tactical Marines, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon, Rocket Launcher, Flamer
10 Tactical Marines, Drop Pod with Locator Beacon, Rocket Launcher, Flamer

Fast Attack

10 Assault Marines, No Jump Packs, 2 Flamers, Sergeant with Power Weapon & Meltabombs in a Drop Pod with Locator Beacon
5 Assault Marines, No Jump Packs, Flamer, Sergeant with Power Weapon & Meltabombs in a Drop Pod with Locator Beacon
5 Vanguard Veterans, Jump Packs, 2 with Power Weapons, Sergeant with Meltabombs

Total: 1500 Points
Kill Points: 12

So why do I think this list is good?

Well I given that you have three Drop Pods arriving on Turn 1, and do not have to decide if you wish to Combat Squad until you exit the Drop pod it gives you a lot of flexibility.

The Sternguard can come in and with a bit of luck will be laying waste to two Tanks and anything that has a 5+ save can kiss the backsides goodbye. Their ammunition choices and combat squading out of a Drop Pod makes them very useful.

The Librarian is useful, with his anti Psyker potential, and a very annoying Machine curse means enemy Mech has more of a hard time. Especially as against Squadrons its a 1 in 6 to kill something. The Gate of Infinity gives your army a bit more manouverability meaning you can Drop in somewhere, then Teleport accross the battlefield out of range of the enemy and to contest an objective.

Having all the Drop Pods with Locator Beacons means that the enemy has to kill them if they want to prevent the Vanguard from being able to land with pinpoint accuracy and then use their Heroic intervention for a charge. Alternatively they have to move their men out of range of the Drop pods. Either of which can greatly benenfit you and distrupts the enemy plans.

In an objective based game I would be dropping the Sternguard and both Assault Squads in on the first turn, giving them the most time to do damage, it also means that your scoring units are safer for a little longer.

For a Kill point game I would probably change it and have the Assault Squads in reserve, or at least the 10 man Assault squad in reserve. The two flamers will benefit more from a precision landing so unless there is a perfect spot you are 90% sure you wont scatter away from (due to enemy models, terrain and the board edge) then saving them for later is probably a better idea.

The Vanguard are a very expensive unit, and I think will only every work if you tool things up with Homers and Locator Beacons, giving yourself multiple arrival points makes it harder to defend against them, and increases the units versatility. When they are on the board they will take a lot of fire as people are scared of what they dont know (although 12 power weapon attacks on the charge does kinda worry me).

The Drop Pods themselves should not be discounted, they do put out 12 BS4 bolter shots a turn with a very good range. Also you can use the Drop Pod to help cut off avenues of movement to the enemy. By blocking their Troops or Vehicles in you force them to deal with the Drop Pod where they may prefer to ignore it.

If I was to up this list again to 2000 points then I would include Vulcan He'stan (mainly as thats the list my brother plays), an extra tactical squad in a Drop Pod (with a locator beacon of course). I would also change two of the tactical squads to include Multi-meltas as they are still free. Then I would boost the second assault squad to ten men and two flamers. Then all you need to do is drop the Meltabombs on the Vanguard and you have a perfect 2000 points.

So people let me know what you think, does this list intimidate you, or would it be something you could steamroller?