Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Company Tactical Veterans

1st Company Tactical Veterans are more commonly known to everyone as Sternguard or Sternguard Squad or Sternguard Veterans. It is a new option for the 5th Edition Codex: Blood Angels that was essentially identical to the Codex: Space Marines one released beforehand. Sternguard are like a swiss army knife in comparison to the blunt force trauma of Assault Terminators who share the same really valuable Elite slot in the army. Sternguard are like Tactical marines except with one greater close combat attack. Their value lies in being able to take Special Issue Ammunition:

Name                              Range                  Strength            AP        Type

Dragonfire Bolts                24"                         4                    5          Rapid Fire, Ignores Cover

Vengeance Rounds           18"                         4                     3          Rapid Fire, Gets Hot!

Kraken Bolts                     30"                          4                    4          Rapid Fire

Hellfire Rounds                 24"                          1 (FAQ)         5          Rapid Fire, Poisoned (2+)
                                                                                          Against targets with a toughness value, hits
                                                                                  from hellfire rounds will always wound on a roll of 2+

 (Table from Codex: Blood Angels)

Please especially take note of hellfire rounds as they are going to put wounds on models that are difficult to do otherwise. Four choices of shots allow you to try to put the most damage onto the abominations that your heroic veterans are facing.

Sternguard are one hundred twenty-five points at base in a valuable Elites slot compared to only ninety for a Tactical Squad that is scoring. However, in the options section, there are significant discounts on special ranged weapons and you can arm yourself with standard close combat death dealing choices. Please note that you lose your special ammunition if you select a storm bolter.


  1. I've been using a squad of these lads in a Drop Pod, usually with a Medic (Sanguinary Priest) and another CPT type for quite some time now... The Heavy Flamer is REALLY nice these days, able to clear Aegis Lines and such, as well as discourage marginal charges with it's automatic d3 S5 hits... :-) Terminator armored Medic for another Power Weapon and FnP helps a lot... And if you use the Locator Beacon, a squad of Vanguard Vets following the next turn (likely) to keep the valuable shooters alive and shooting... 'course, it ends up being all of your Elite slots then...

  2. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with them. I hope more people can pool their knowledge of Sternguard in the next few posts here because they deserve a detailed look for a unit that should be considered in almost any Blood Angels all comers list.

  3. As a Vanilla player, Sternguard are most impressive, second only to the ridiculous cheapness that is Vanilla TH/SS Terminators. This is especially true considering the option of Pedro making them stubborn and scoring (noteworthy: Allying Pedro (and friends) in makes BA Sternguard scoring as well, but not Stubborn... or in Vanilla's case, vice-versa...)

    I run Salamanders with lots of Burn-guard... generally speaking 2 squads with 2 Heavy Flamers each and the rest with combi-meltas. (All of which Vulkan makes twin-linked.) Squad size varies depending on the game points level but I usually end up somewhere between 5-7. I tend to stick them in Rhinos, but podding them in is looking much more worthwhile in light of fortifications.

    Once they get to where I want them to go, they tend to perform... incredibly admirably.

  4. Currently I run 10 Sternguards in a pod with a diviniation libby with armed: 4x combi plasmas, 5x combi flamers and a meltagun. I drop them on good place, use strength of special issue ammos to deal high priorty targets. Closer range: comi plasmas are threat to terminators. In overwatch getting attacked and if your squad is untouched enemy gets 5xd3 auto hits from combi flamers. Nids hate my unit so much. 5xd3 strength 4 ap5 autohits is nasty stuff and for horde armies is enough often to make their first assault fail... then they stay in rapidfire range and get raped by following turn by rapidfire hellfire rounds.

    My combi Sterns have killed enough nid's to make Son's of MacRagge and especially tyrannic vet's green with envy.

    Sternguards are tactically very good unit that's flexibility may outweight fielding temrinators who are tougher and more surviving. That though depends heavy in local meta and terrain. All I know combiweapons with special issue ammos is now murder.

    Sternguards even without combi weapons make excellent firesupport unit for the Death Company.

  5. Timothy and the jamppa, welcome to the blog.