Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Tactics: Space Marine (And Chaos) Storm Eagle
The Storm Eagle: the Storm Raven's big brother, and the all-coming gunship second only to the Thunderhawk. Providing they are permitted by opponents, this Forgeworld unit is a nice addition to both imperial and chaotic forces.
Essentially, the Storm Eagle is the middle option between the game legal Storm Raven and the Apocalypse only Thunderhawk, with mid-ranged weapon load-outs, average armour and an in-between troop capacity of 20 marines. Unlike the Storm Raven, it can't carry an additional Dreadnought via a prize-grabber claw on the back. It is also more expensive, coming in at 220 points before upgrades.
Being able to carry 20 soldiers into battle is greatly beneficial. It is a quick way to get troops to the front lines. And since it's an assault vehicle, it is one of the few transports you can charge from. And because of its capacity, that means there's the potential for a big and bloody combat. Whilst you will have to hover, you can set up a nice big combat. This is probably more of a benefit for Chaos Space Marines, who have access to larger (and arguably more deadly) squads such as Khorne Beserkers. Also, with fewer options than the Imperial goody-two-shoes, it's a nice option to have
Another benefit of this craft is its high fire-power. Whilst it may have the same number of potential weapons (up to four) as a Storm Raven, its load-outs are just as, if not more, potent. As standard you get the Vengeance launcher; a double large blast firing missile rack. Although low strength and high AP, the fact it fires two 5" blasts is enough to threaten any infantry squads to be caught in its blast. Also, as it is not ordinance, you get the punch from other weapons, without the Ballistic skill penalty.It also has access to two sets of twin linked Lascannons, making it great for high-speed long-range tank-hunting, or gunning down opposing flyers.
For Chaos Space Marines, this attack craft works slightly differently. Chaos Storm Eagles are 20 points cheaper, but loose The Power of the Machine Spirit, so you cannot split fire with this thing. Therefore to make it worthwhile, you need to focus the role of the craft. You also cannot buy a Typhoon Launcher, but here is the opportunity to upgrade the nose Heavy Bolters to a Reaper Autocannon for free (as an option to the multi-meltas), providing the craft with more high-strength and accurate shots. Daemonic possession is also good if you need to fire at (a lowered) ballistic skill, and as you ignore stunned on a 2+, you have a chance of firing the blasts, which would normally go un-launched if stunned. Also with the way Daemonic possession now works, there is a chance a random passenger might be 'eaten' and the craft will gain a lost hull-point. Risky, but a potentially useful gift. If used, it could be worth throwing in a dirt cheap unit to keep it going, or have enough grunts that it will not matter if you loose one to the ship itself.
To finish up, here are a few nice war-gear selections, depending on the role you'd like to take on:
Cheap as Chips/anti infantry: Storm Eagle w Vengeance Launcher and twin linked Heavy Bolter (plain)
Anti-tank: Storm Eagle w. Vengeance Launcher, twin linked Multi Melta (or typhoon launcher), 2x Twin linked Lascannons
Chaos: Storm Eagle w. Reaper Autocannon, 2x twin linked Lascannons, Daemonic Possession