Thursday, 28 January 2016

Double trouble 2: Space marines

Hello reader! Continuing our musing on what to take for double trouble l, I thought I'd address what is probably the elephant in the strike cruiser. The skyhammer formation. 

Alex has updated the page since last I posted about this, and there are a couple of interesting things that both encourage and discourage me to take it. I don't quite know how well it will work in teams, where as I am sure that in the 3rd deployment type it would be awesome. That's because each 750 starts in a different corner, allowing you and your team mate to gang up completely on one side.  In a later post I'll discuss my thoughts on the mission. 

Tickets and attendance
Happily, I've already achieved first place at this tournament! Check out the link here: to see who got ticket number 1! At the moment only 4 of the tickets have sold, I'd really encourage people to buy tickets if they can make it, Alex's events have always been well run and the vibe is usually excellent. If you're reading this and you're a Leicester sabre, ask me about it - we can always take a couple of extra ppl in the cars. Otherwise, get on board!

Skyhammer Draft 1
As you may or may not be aware, a fully decked out skyhammer formation comes in at around 800 points, so it's not hard to reduce that to 750. Let's take a look at my first stab at it:

9 Assault Marines: flamer; eviscerator; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combat shield) 175

5 Assault Marines: flamer; eviscerator; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combat shield) 119

9 Devastator Marines: 4× multi-melta; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant 180
Drop Pod 35

9 Devastator Marines: 3× missile launcher; lascannon; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant 205
Drop Pod 35

749 points

The main thing to note here is that the assault marines aren't big enough to both combat squad, with only one being 10 men. The devastators however are, making handy use of thier 3d6 morale check rule.  To stick to the format, here and some of the brief pros and cons.

  1. The special rules that this formation gets. All turning up turn 1? Yes. Relentless devastators and assault marines charging on turn 1? Yes. 
  2. Board Control. Deploying my entire force after my oppenant is almost guaranteed. Not 100%, but most of the time I will get to choose the engagements, overwhelming specific flanks or areas. 
  3. Mission types. Good for objectives in the first few turns, but even better for collapsing your opponent. 
  4. Other deep strike armies. This combos nicely with other deep striking units. Got some swooping Hawks? Another skyhammer even?
  1. It's only 35 marines. Not a lot of men so you'd need to be careful with them. One loose battle cannon shell and you're done for!
  2. Anti armour. I'm not sure how well it would do against Knights. I've got eviscerators and multimeltas I suppose, but no grav, and no plasma for terminators. 
  3. Hordes. Tyrannids and orks would love you to drop right in front of them and maybe kill a unit or two. 
  4. Fearless. One of the hidden strengths of the skyhammer is the pinning effect the devastators can have. If your oppenant is fearless, that strength is taken away. 
  5. Other skyhammers. Or people just reserving their stuff. It's then almost the battle to go second!
I am honestly unsure as to how competitive a taking a Skyhammer would be. As you can see from the negatives, it basically fails on paper against most things. Im not convinced that it would play very well in maelstrom missions either. Part of the game here is to make your opponent do something different and make a mistake because of what you're presenting them with. It would also had much more of an impact at 1500 than 1850, especially when everything has the potential to be much more disjointed.

I think for me overall, the skyhammer will still make your oppenant sigh as they look at your army, even with 30k, knights and other things all being allowed. So do I want to be that guy? And just as importantly, can I be bothered to paint 15 assault marines (that are pretty useless apart from this formation!) Its the trap that Games Workshop try to get you with all the time. Most of the time, I'm ashamed to say, they get me hook line and sinker. We will have to see. I might start getting some practice games in my local club now Alex has released the missions!

Until next time!


  1. I still need to decide my army for it. I am leaning towards the Guard, but I may even go the other way and take my Orks!

  2. Would knocking a nine man squad down to seven so you can combat squad the others work or is no CS part of the formation rules? I'm debating a new army for DT as it's only 750 points. I have some half finished orcs that might win a painting award kicking around somewhere.

    1. I think that because the formation just gives them additional rules you still take from the space marine codex that it refers to? Plus, you still get chapter tactics as well I believe? So you'd take ultramarines or ravenguard or whatever and get thier bonuses? I'd have to have another look but I think that's how t works. What does DT stand for?

    2. Oh never mind. It means double trouble!

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  4. I would love to take a horde. Horde guard are quite funny, especially in 750 you could really go to town!