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Are Rubric Marines over-costed?: Shooting

So the Rubric Marines are hardly stellar when it comes to defence. For suits of power armour only filled with dust, they are about as durable as normal Space Marines.

It's actually a large failing of the crunch when related to fluff, now I think about it. They get all of the issues of being mindless automata, and none of the benefit. Slow and Purposeful is a fairly rubbish rule for a unit with little in the way of heavy weapons, and I think a decent house rule would be to simply change that to Relentless and be done with it.

But before we write off the Thousand Sons, let's look at the other part of their draw; the guns.

Yes, they are simple bolters, but they are AP3 bolters. Many a Marine caught in the open would sweat at that, and only the best of the best in most armies would get a save. Let's run the numbers and see what we get.

Click to zoom. Again, I'll explain what's going on here.

Top row explains the points cost and model count. And then we get into the meat of it all... shooting attacks. As they were all bolters of various types, the maths is largely similar. The only variation comes in the number of shots they get, and the number of hits.

Right away you can see the Rubrics already lagging behind the larger squads. They only have 4 gunners for shooting, the Sorcerer opting to stick with mind bullets (despite Space Marine Librarians being quite happy to whip out the odd bolt pistol). They even get out-done by the smaller biker squad!

Wounds per toughness is next, but frankly this step could be skipped. Everything is the same strength, so it counts as a controlled variable.

This is followed by the biggest factor with the Warp Flame bolter; wounds versus AP3. Finally... the Rubrics pull ahead. Bear in mind we haven't taken into account invulnerable saes here, as they would affect all weapons in the same way. This is also why the 6+ save has not been included, as neither weapon cares about that. We're looking at the comparative effectiveness, and we don't need to compare there.

So good, with AP and armour taken into account, the Rubrics pull ahead, and they win the point efficiency at this stage too!

But look at that tiny, tiny margin! Again, normal tactical squads are showing their surprisingly good value for money. And keep in mind these units can fire over watch... and if taking Ultramarines or Imperial Fists Chapter Tactics, then the Rubric lose their shooting advantage!

Whilst I'd like to give the winning point to the Rubric Marines here, they just do not have a clear enough lead to ignore factors such as cover, Chapter Tactics and simple versatility. You can't consider a unit to be good at shooting if it can't use that advantage in every sphere of combat.

Whilst I'm still strongly drawn to the Sons of Magnus, I'm starting to think that a more effective use of the models is to have them as Counts-as Tactical Marines.

We still have a few steps to go before we consign the Thousand Sons directly to the fun, fluffy, and awkward bin with Dark Eldar and Orks. Tomorrow we look at assault.

Yeah, I'm not hopeful either.

Thanks for reading.

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