Foot-Slogging – Viable?

So I’ve always been interested in a foot-slogging marine list but with mech so prevalent in 5th edition its hard to get out of the loop – especially when transports are so under-priced for what they provide. This hasn’t deterred me yet and so I’ve been thinking on how to achieve this without sacrificing competitiveness. As far as I’m concerned there are 3 big deterrents to foot-slogging: Mobility, Exposure and Counter-Attack.

Mobility is king in warhammer. Capturing objectives, escaping big guns, finding cover, dictating assaults – the army that retains mobility throughout the game is generally sitting better at the end of the game. This is fairly obvious but without a transport, most infantry are restricted to 6” move plus d6” run… However I wouldn’t consider running mobility as it effectively ends that units turn.

Exposure is directly related to mobility but is enough of an issue that I feel it warrants its own consideration. Essentially, once you are out of your metal box, you are exposing the infantry to all your enemies firepower. The longer you are exposed, the more casualties you’ll take and ultimately the few bodies you’ll have left to crump skulls and hold objectives… There is a downside to these metal boxes though that also falls under exposure. When a vehicle blows up you are forced to place your models either where its footprint was or within 2” of a hatch (depending on which wreck type) and take a pinning test in addition to whatever models are lost from rolling a 6. This generally leaves you nice and clumped up for all those nasty blast weapons, even if you are in cover.

Finally, couter-attack is the ability to weather your opponents turn in your box and thus gain the ‘first turn’ against that enemy unit. If you can drive-by melta your opponents ride and leave him in the open you’ve essentially give your unit the chance to dictate flow. Even if they manage to wreck your vehicle during the next turn, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to assault you or pour mass fire into you, leaving you free to fire at the opposing unit and follow up with a charge. This is fairly significant for most armies as its denies you an extra attack, a round of pistol fire, and any bonus associated with charging (furious charge, lances, etc).

So how to build an army or pick a list to negate the above issues, these are what I’m considering.

Blood Angels Assault Marines – In most ways, this army has better mobility in that they will always be able to move their 12” (whereas rhinos can be immobilized or wrecked) and need not sit in their rhino for a turn before they can assault. Additionally, the entire army may deepstrike with about a 75% chance of arrival. While still very exposed, FNP from the priest plus being able to jump behind cover will help negate small and large arms fire. Almost no counter-attack ability other than getting a lucky explosion (5 or better on the damage charge due to ap1 meltas). As an army that relies on FC, this could be a problem. A big boost is that nearly your entire army is scoring and can reserve reliably shortening the game and the amount of punishment taken. This coupled with FNP makes for a very sturdy army but will struggle against full mechanized lists.

Drop Pod Marines – While technically not ‘foot-slogging’ suffers the same inherent problems as above. After the initial drop, they are left to hump it to objectives or their next target resulting in the same mobility issues that a full foot army would have… A savvy opponent will either reserve everything and force you to drop on objectives or weather the storm in their boxes. Still exposed but less than a full slogging army due to LoS games with the drop pod. Very much susceptible to counter-attacks as even after podding in and wrecking a units ride, they cannot assault. Another downside is that half of your drop pods MUST come down first turn, giving your opponent a full game of shooting at your army vs other reserve armies. The other option is to run your marines across the table using empty pods to create cover for yourself… I’d rather a rhino.

Full Foot Space Wolves Army – As Russ intended.

This army would abuse the new rules for stealth, taking multiple wolf guard battle leaders with saga of the hunter to grant units the stealth special rule. It then comes down to using cover effectively while still moving up the board quick enough to actually do anything. Same mobility issues as discussed in the introduction in that your limited to 6” plus d6”… Probably even less due to moving through cover and such. This army would aim to overwhelm your opponent and go for the table. Supported by 15 missile launchers, would actually stand a chance of doing so. Probably better survivability than a full mech army due to having a 3+/3+ most of the time but would eat a bit more firepower over the course of the game. Counter-attack is almost a moot point with space wolves due to the counter attack special rule but even so, long fangs should even up the score.

I’m ultimately going to go with a blood angels jump pack themed army and here’s why. Reliable mobility. The whole army moves 12” or if facing huge firepower, has a 75% chance to come in from reserve with only a d6 scatter. I can combat squad a couple of melta-cide squads to reserve and jump the rest of the marines up the field with a nice FNP bubble. Exposure is still an issue but I can jump around behind cover to minimize anything ap3 and I feel that T4, 3+ and FNP is enough to mitigate even torrent of fire. Counter-Attack will be an issue. I need someway to crack open enemy vehicles in order to get at the gooey insides – and I need the charge to maximize attacks and get FC. I could do this through devastators, attack bikes, land speeders, or just melta-side and follow up with an assault pending opening up the vehicle. For now I’ll stick with melta-side and see how that works out.

Here’s the list so far:

The Sanguinor – 275

Librarian – Jump Pack, Sword of Sanguine, Fear of the Darkness – 125


Sanguine Priest – Jump Pack – 75

Sanguine Priest – Jump Pack – 75

Vanguard Veterans /w Jump Packs – 245

Vet Sergeant – Power Fist

Vet – Power Weapon

Vet – Power Weapon

Vet – Storm Shield

Vet – Storm Shield

10 Assault Marines – 2 Meltaguns, Powerfist – 235

10 Assault Marines – 2 Meltaguns, Powerfist – 235

10 Assault Marines – 2 Meltaguns, Powerfist – 235


At a glance, its 39 angry marines probably with Feel No Pain. Everything can jump 12” and assault 6” for an 18” threat range.

The sanguinor is a bit of a toss-up at the moment. I’ll need to see how he performs… Although gaining an extra attack for each unit within 6” of him means that its +30 attacks from the assault marines alone, each combat! Given his 2+/3++ and possible FNP means that even though he can’t join units, he’s going to soak up a tonne of firepower. He would probably bless the vanguard sergeant making him a mini HQ choice and potentially putting out 5 power fist attacks at Str 9 WS 5. Question is whether to DS (to give the vets the bonus) him or jump him up with the marines.

The librarian is almost a req. for psykic defense. He’s cheap and can be str 10 in combat. Fear of the darkness will help to get nob bikers to flee or even the odd dev squad at the edge of the table. Great little utility power that I can use while jumping up.

At least 1 priest will jump up with the bulk of the marines to give them all FNP while I would consider dropping the other with the melta-cide squads to give them and the vets FNP as well as FC. I realize they can be pasted in combat pretty easy so I would do my best to keep them out of combat or at least away from power type weapons

Other than that, its pretty simple. Jump forward, melta open vehicles and hopefully charge the gooey insides.




Need to give Sean over at a bit of love as he helped inspire the list!

About Crimzzen

Plays X Wing! (And sometimes Warmachine...)
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2 Responses to Foot-Slogging – Viable?

  1. sdab says:

    Looks great man. I definately think its viable if you are hellbent on running Sanguinor.

    Some different configurations to ponder:

    One thing I might try out is to run 10 assault marines rather than the v.vets. Might want to test it though, I never got the chance but it was something I was playing with on paper. Vets are awesome to deepstrike. I equipped my Vets the same way but with 3 storm shields. Might not be necessary though and is definately somewhere to take points from if the list is tight. I find VV can get pretty pricey for 5 bodies.

    If no Sanguinor, another Librarian or Dante. Or just the singleton libby and another squad of VVets or Assault Marines…mwahaha.

    PS. if you need a BA codex I have a new one thats barely been touched. Msg me.

    • Crimzzen says:

      I think the Sanguinor is too many points for 1500 and I will ultimately drop him for another naked priest and some more assaulties. I’m going to playtest the vets, they seem to be great for tying up long fangs and stuff like that which would ignore my FNP.

      No worries on the BA codex, already gots me one!

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