Space Marine Tacticals are the best basic infantry box of any army there is, period. You get your money’s worth in bits, details, customizeability, options, etc. Hell I’d even argue it might be the best kit in the game (go figure, flagship army.)
However, Tacticals are rank and file, in rules they’re set up as a squad of 5 or 10, 5 of them and you can take a special or heavy weapon, 10 and you can have one of each. For gameplay, this works, for creativity’s sake I’m not a huge fan of this setup. I’d rather be able to take two heavies or two specials for the cool factor or something to keep things symmetrical.
This morning I was trying to come up with my Sergeants. For the unaffiliated, Iron Hands don’t have many Terminators left after the Horus Heresy, so if a full squad gets fielded shit just got real. I’d like to keep Termies rather rare in my army to match (to make my Sons of Gorgon Morlock Squad even cooler) except for the Terminator Sergeants that sometimes lead Tacticals. The original plan was each of my tactical squads would have a Terminator Sergeant.
However I’m changing that idea now.
While designing the first Sergeant I was thinking about this model. I wanted to do something similar for the leader of my first Tactical squad, but then I realized it’d be even cooler if that was my plasma squad of five and became my Plasma fireteam. Realistically, they’d group the same weapons together for better effect and targeting so I wanted to do something similar for my squads.
I’ve spent some time this morning hammering out some ideas and concepts for what I’d like to do and shrunk my 3 10 man squads into 5-6 5 man squads with a custom special sergeant leading each one. They break codex compliance with weapon choices, but I think thematically and conversion-wise they’re going to be awesome.
Each Tactical Squad is going to have a different colored marking somewhere. I haven’t decided where yet (rim of shoulders, line down shoulder, line on helmet, legplate, half-helmet etc.) to help distinguish them at a glance. They’ll primarily be divided by weapon type.
The first squad will be a Plasma squad led by a Plasma/Power Fist Sergeant. The team will consist of three plasma gun wielders and one Devastator lugging along a Plasma Cannon.
Second squad will be a Missile Squad, led by a Terminator Sergeant with Cyclone Missile Launcher, three Astartes Grenade Launcher Tacticals, and a Missile Launcher Tactical. I imagine this’ll be fun to convert, I intend to take the Imperial Guard Grenade Launcher Bits and mess with them to see if they fit the size of the Space Marines.
Third squad is a Bolter Squad, led by two Sergeants (suck it Codex Astartes and Robot Girlyman), a pair of twins who are just going to be juggernauts with heavier armor, maybe some MK3 parts with Heavy Bolters. Rest of the squad will have either Storm Bolters or Boltguns (likely Boltguns.) I kinda want to do the color marking of this squad as half-helmets, with the twins each having opposite halves colored.
Fourth squad is the Flamer Squad, led by a pyromaniac with a heavy flamer. I need to find a really cool helmet for this guy, something substantial that says “I enjoy burning things.” Rest of the squad is armed with flamers.
Fifth squad is a Grav Squad, not sure what I’m doing with them yet. There’s a lot of ideas swimming, I’d like to do a Terminator Sergeant but there aren’t any Terminator Grav weapons and I’m pretty sure Centurion Grav Cannons are too big to mount on a Terminator as a conversion.
There’s a few other 5 man Tacticals I’d like to do, a Sniper Squad, Breacher Squad, Melee Squad, there are lots of possibilities to expand the idea and create flavorful, storytelling pieces. Hell if I wanted to I could even expand each squad to 10 down the line. I really, really look forward to fleshing out these characters going forward.