Thursday, August 1, 2013

To many troops?

So is there a such thing as having to many troops in a game of 40k?

In your standard Force Organization Chart you have 6 troop slots, but there are many armies that can use those 6 slots to get even more troop units.

One common example would be for Space Marines to use "Combat Squads" this gives you the ability to have up to 12 troop "units" as for every unit of 10 can be split into 2 units of 5.

I think the undisputed kings of troop units is Imperial Guard. With 1 Platoon Squad having the ability to give 14 troop units (1 command squad, 5 infantry squads, 5 heavy weapon squads, 2 special weapon squads, and 1 conscript unit).

Tyranids and Daemon are good at this as they can produce "free" troops. Tyranids have the Tervigons that can themselves count as troops. And daemons have weapons that can produce a small number of troops and the Portalglyph has the opportunity to add more troops.

Troops win games, it's pretty simple. They are normally the only units that can take objectives. Sure you can get a Warlord Trait to make your Warlord a scoring unit and 1/3rd of the BRB scenarios allow for Fast Attack or Heavy units to score, but they are also a liability as they give up Victory Points.

The issue I see most people complain about is that their troops are normally their weakest units. This is true as most troops have very basic equipment choices and are normally more fragile that units that fit into your Elite, Fast Attack, or Heavy Support slots. So most people try to take as few troops as they can in order to get the generally more powerful units from the other Force Org options.

Now, what if you could get the benefits of troops and Elite, Fast Attack, or Heavy Support in a troop unit? Would this make that army "king of the hill"? To have strong and sturdy troop units that can fill the same roles as models normally taken in the other FOC slots?

Lets try and take a look at what armies can currently make some of these changes...

-Blood Angels
--They automatically get Assault Marines as a Troop Choice, something normally put in the Fast Attack options of other armies. Blood Angels also have access to Sanguinary Guard as Troops if they take Commander Dante as an HQ choice.

-Chaos Space Marines
--Chaos Marines may have some of the better troop options in the game. They start out the the options of hordes of Cultist or your standard Chaos Space Marine. But with the proper HQ they can turn most of their Elites into Troops Choices.
---Abaddon turns Chosen into Troops
---Kharn or Khorne marked Lord turns Berzerkers into Troops
---Typhus or a Nurgle marked Lord turns Plague Marines into Troops
---Lucius or Slaanesh marked Lord turns Noise Marines into Troops
---Ahriman or Tzeentch marked Sorcerer turns Thousand Sons into Troops
--That's a lot of good options right now and with the rumored Black Legion Supplement coming out in the future who knows what will be troops next... Chaos Terminators maybe?

-Dark Angels
--Dark Angels are pretty iconic with their ability to have additional troop options. When most people think of Dark Angels they think of the Deathwing or the Ravenwing. With the proper HQ choice Dark Angels can have either Terminators or Bikes as Troop Choices. They even have the option of having BOTH as troops in the same list. These units would normally take up the Elite and Fast Attack slots from their FOC.

-Dark Eldar
--Dark Eldar are able to get Wracks and Hellions as troops. The Hellions are normally a Fast Attack unit that rides Skyboards and excel at quick hit-and-run close combat. The Wracks are an Elite unit that are a decent close combat unit that starts with Feel No Pain and has a pair of Poisoned Close Combat Weapons.

--The new kids on the block have access to Wraithblades and Wraithguard as troops if they take a Spiritseer as one of their HQ choices. Both Wraith units are normally Elite choices, with different roles. The Wraithblades are built for Close Combat with either their paired swords or axe and shield. While the Wraithguard are made for shooting, with their Wraithcannon or D-Scythe.

-Gray Knights
--Gray Knights are pretty special in that they normally get Terminators as troops without any special HQ. What they do have access to though their HQ selection is better Terminators in the form of Paladins. They also have the ability to get Purifiers (normally an Elite Choice) who are veteran Gray Knights and have access to more Heavy/Special weapons. And lastly they can have Henchmen. Henchmen units have a wide selection of unit choices within itself. They have access to Acolytes (basically a guardsman), Jokaero Weaponsmiths (the space monkeys), Death Cult Assassins, and many many more.

--With the proper HQ selection they have the ability to make Defdreads and Nob Squads into Troop Choices.

-Space Marines
--Space Marines have access to Bikers becoming troops in a similar manner as the Dark Angels do. Space Marines can also have Sternguard become Scoring Units (if you take the proper HQ) but they still count as an Elite Choice. This has it's pros and cons as well. Although you can't use Sternguard as your mandatory Troops they can supplement your troops as scoring units. So if you somehow use all 6 of your troop choices you can still have 3 more scoring units by using Sternguard in your Elite slots.

-Space Wolves
--Wolfguard, the Veteran Space Wolves (an Elite choice) can become troops if you take Logan Grimnar as one of your HQs. Wolfguard are unique in several ways, one is that they have access to either Power Armor or Terminator Armor. Space Wolves can also have access to Fenrisian Wolf Packs as troops as well. These beasts are normally a Fast Attack Choice.

--The main Tau Codex does not have anything that changes into troops from a different FOC slot, but it is my current understanding that if the Tau player used the Farsight Enclave Supplement that they will have access to XV8 Crisis Suites as a Troop Choice. The XV8 Crisis Suite is normally an Elite Choice and can specialize is several different forms of ranged combat. The XV8 is also a much sturdier unit than the normal Fire Warrior or Kroot Mercenary that normally make up the Tau Troop choices.

--Now this one is a quite a bit different than the others. The Tyranids have access to having a Tervigon as a Troop choice. This is different in several ways. Not only is the Tervigon normally an HQ choice instead of an Elite or Fast Attack but the Tervigon is a Monstrous Creature, it spawns more troops (in the form of Termigants) and it can be moved from HQ to Troops based on a Troop unit that you take rather than from a HQ unit. This makes Tyranids one of the more Troop heavy armies in the game as they can have up to 6 troops and 5 units that are able to produce more troops. So assuming that the Tyranids get a minimum of 1 turn to spawn more troops a Tyranid army can have at least 11 troop units (6 from the normal FOC slots and 5 more that were spawned).

So in the end we have at least 12 armies of the 15 current armies that either can change units from their normal Force Organization Chart slot (HQ, Elite, Fast Attack) into a Troop choice, gain additional troops, or both. I think that the perception of Troops being weak or worthless us general skewed by the "standard" troops that are offered in a Codex. There are a ton of options as you can see for other units to become either troops or general scoring units. If you find yourself losing games because you don't have enough scoring units or troops look at other way to add more. There are a lot of options available for troops that can fill roles that are normally reserved for Fast Attack and Elite choices.

Till Next Time!
Dracus Out!


  1. Thanks for this. It's pretty helpful to me as I am trying to decide which species better suits me and how many troop choices there are.

    1. Not a problem. I am glad you found this helpful.