Something I have noticed over and over, is that most people play sternguard one of two ways. Either in the drop pod, loaded with combi-meltas with 5 or 10 veterans, or the less popular but still effective 5 man squad with two heavy weapons.

Now the problems. Drop pod them in, they are a "I hit you, and now I die unit". While on paper they look great, the problem really is the die issue. If there is no land raider or high value target that you can get in close to, you end up wasting the value of these units. The problem is this unit really isnt normally reliable enough to do something effective. So I do tend towards the second listed layout of these marines. Two lascannons for 15pts apiece is a nice choice.

Considering this, there is another option for this unit. One that maximizes their use. 10 veterans, 5 with combi-meltas ( for a unit that will probably just die most of the time and keeps the ammo optons flexible), 2 with lascannons, and then give the unit a drop pod for the combi meltas. This maximizes flexiblity, adds in long range firepower, with a short range punch that you will be sacrificing anyhow. I would also suggest a powerfist on the sergeant. This will give you some extra punch just encase you survive what will be counter punching you.

If anyone here reads this and uses this build for sternguard, or has other opinions on how to use this squad more efficiently, I would love to hear your comments.


  1. Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I got to this article from a "You might also like" link from a recent page and figured I'd chime in.

    Concerning Sternguard, I used to play Crimson Fists, and Pedro makes them very tantalizing. I had a 1750 list that had Pedro, a bike captain, 2 tac squads in Rhinos, a full bike squad, and a 10-man Sternguard squad with two combi-meltas and power fist riding in a Land Raider Crusader. In addition to the fact that the entire list scored, it was fairly efficient. Sternguard aren't the assaulty beasts that Vanguard are, unless they're riding with Pedro. Jumping out of the Crusader, they're hitting whatever is unfortunate enough to be in their path with 14 S4 shots (pistols and Dorn's Arrow) followed with 36 I4 attacks and 8 powerfist swings. Chances are, that'll put a serious hurt on all but the biggest Boyz mob.

    The downside to that strategy is the complete waste of the Sternguard's excellent firepower. Once they're out of the Crusader, they get to open up, but in all likelihood, your opponent is going to toss everything they have at that unit. Having the bikes available to help mop helps in that regard.

    The 2000 point version of that list adds another squad of Sternguard with the same load-out in a Drop Pod. Get them close to Pedro, rinse and repeat. Or use them to draw fire away from the main event, and you get to divide and conquer. Either way, you've got 2000 points with a minimum of 5 scoring units. You're not likely to lose objective missions.

    I've since sold the Fists off, but I'm playing around with a unit for my Salamanders. Vulkan makes their shooting extra killy. A 10-man unit with 4 combi-meltas, 4 combi-flamers and 2 heavy flamers is fairly potent. Put them in a Rhino, and you've essentially got a Razorback with the TL Heavy Flamer upgrade, except there's two templates instead of one.

    Put them in a Drop Pod, and they're good for dropping in on turn 1 against non-mech lists. Combat squad them, and you can drop 3 twin-linked flame templates (2 S4, 1 S5) onto two separate units - and if you're crafty with the template placement, even more. That's a massive amount of hurt to be absorbing on turn 1. Granted, those squads are going to get assaulted straight away, if for no other reason than to keep them from shooting. The cost/benefit analysis comes down to your ability to roast more than 320 points worth of your opponent's force with them, because they're probably not getting to do that on the next turn. Having multiple Drop Pods allows them to come in later, though, which is good if you can crack those pesky transports before the Sternguard arrive.

  2. Don't worry about necromancy. I have used sternguard some, but mostly around these parts it's the same every time. Meltas and combi meltas in a drop pod.

    I've used them in my blood angels army a little, with various success. Mostly dying quickly on the field. It's good to see someone more experienced in using them post up how they are being used on the tabletop.

  3. That's really original, put them in a Drop Pod with Melta Weapons. It's amazing that you Space Marine players actually have the creativity to paint your models. No wait, you just end up painting them blue.

  4. anon, I beleive we were talking about 10 men, 5 with meltas, 2 with lascannons, and 3 with just standard weapons.

    Wait, amazingly your blue vets probably only want meltas. Or perhaps you would like to actually read the article you are commenting on.


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