The third and final part in this series of articles will look at how the SM Captain fits in with the rest of the army and what sort of builds can be used. Parts 1 and 2 HERE and HERE.
Black Templars – accept the challenge works really nicely with Captains. Accept the challenge gives them rerolls to hit in challenges and makes all attacks rending, meaning suddenly your trusty power maul/sword has a chance of penetrating even terminator armour should you be in a scrape. Arguably better on power maul equipped sergeants though. Admantium will is a nice boost but very situational and crusader can be handy for mobility.
Imperial Fists – Not really much benefit to be had here as the weapons it will effect aren’t all that game changing to start with, plus any bolters will prevent you charging.
Iron Hands – IWND and FNP (6+) are nice perks to have on a multi-wound melee character, just beware the dreaded instant death as neither will be any help with that.
Raven Guard – Jump pack Captains will benefit from winged deliverance, but only in so much as they can move 12” and gain a hammer of wrath attack. Hardly game changing, considering bike captains can do this anyway and gain other perks. A footslogging captain would benefit from scout and stealth on the first turn, however, in order to close with the enemy quicker.
Salamanders – Now, the master crafting rules could be great here for melee weapons such thunder hammers and lightning claws. Even the humble power sword could be made decent enough especially in combo with a set of digital weapons. Don’t forget that combi-flamer either – becomes a bit more deadly with the rerolls to wound.
Ultramarines – The Captain should in theory be able to benefit from each doctrine at different times. The reroll 1s when he uses his combi-melta, reroll charge range if you think you’ll be stretching it to get in combat that turn, reroll overwatch if you’re being more defensive that turn. Of much more benefit to the army as a whole but the first two certainly can be of benefit under the right circumstances. Timing and planning mean everything with the Ultramarines these days.
Whitescars – Captains gain hit and run with whitescars, which can be useful in any format (doesn’t apply to terminators though). Bike Captains gain minor perks in the form of additional +1S to HoW and +1 to jink, which doesn’t really matter due to the 4++ anyway. Plus they auto pass dangerous terrain tests.
COMPLEMETARY UNITS (bikes, command squads, banners, transports etc)
There are several units in the game which captains work well with in order to get the most out of them. Tactical and sternguard squads aren’t ideal as Captains aren’t principally a shooty unit and therefore they hinder each other. Assault troops come second to the only marginally more expensive Vanguard and scouts aren’t even worth considering. Here are a few of the units that are decent to use with Captains and how to best utilise them.
Vanguard – a good escort for Jump pack captains and able to hold their own both on the way to and in combat thanks to weapon loadouts and storm shields. Alternatively, why not go for something a bit different and stick them in a drop pod or land raider.
Bikes – as mentioned previously, bikes make an excellent cheap, well-armed, mobile, scoring escort for bike Captains. Where they fall down somewhat is in combat, which is where you ultimately want your Captains to be. A much better idea IMO is to spend around 500 points on a Bike Captain, Bike command squad to go with him and a unit or two of cheap, scoring bikes to make the most of the Captains mounted assault rule.
Command squad – a good bolster for a Captain, though with footsloggers deployment is always going to be an issue. A 5-man command squad can’t really stand the punishment for a turn if they arrive in a drop pod and can’t really dish out enough punishment to warrant a land raider. Rhinos and razorbacks can be successful if used with adequate support and foresight. This is all of course assuming you want your models to be loaded for assaulting, with storm shields and special melee weapons. Alternatively, you could go for the shooty version, which means rhinos/razorbacks will do just fine, but then they’re not really helping your Captain to get into combat. A better way to do either loadout is, you guessed it, to stick them on bikes. More resilient, faster, able to gain a cover save at will and relentless. There’s nothing not to like, even the price these days. I would always stick an apothecary in just to grant feel no pain and would also consider the champion to be able to pick and choose your challenges.
Terminators – a great escort for either a tooled Captain or a terminator captain in a land raider redeemer or crusader. Alternatively, teleport them in with a Terminator captain, weather a turn of shooting (easier with storm shields) and then let the pain begin for your opponent. Best use a teleport homer on say some scout bikes (which are great now BTW with rapid fire cheap grenade launchers).
Chaplain – great for the charge bonus if you’re playing at a points level which has enough room to stick a second HQ in (sadly few Librarian powers benefit the Captain). Use in conjunction with one of the above squads and appropriate wargear/transport for the Chaplain.
Cheap and cheerful – Captain + power sword and plasma pistol (120)
Mr Average – Captain + relic blade, grav pistol, storm shield, melta bombs (150)
The real McCoy Captain + armour Indomitus, Shield eternal, thunder hammer. (230)
Imperial Fists – Terminator Captain + shield eternal, thunder hammer. (185)
Iron Hands – Captain + Thunder Hammer, shield eternal, Artificer, bike (210)
Raven Guard – Captain + jump pack, 2 lightning claws (135)
Salamanders – Captain + Burning blade, Artificer, combiflamer (175)
Ultramarines – Captain + Teeth of terra, plasma pistol, artificer (160)
Whitescars – Captain + bike, relic blade, Storm shield, Primarchs wrath (170)
Well that’s it for now. Hope these articles have helped people work out what to do with their Captains – they’ve certainly helped me work out what I want to do with things. Next up will be a painting tutorial for a Sons of Orar Captain. Cheers.