Siege Assault Vanguard – Units Overview

(go to Part 1)

Hello, it’s me again and this time I am about to discuss some details of awesome army list that is Siege Assault Vanguard. Given lot of positive feedback about my recent article, I am preparing Unit Overview of the renewed Siege Assault Vanguard army list.


Nice thing about this army list is that while it is a Forgeworld army list it is rather cheap to collect. If you have Codex Space Marine army, than you likely have at least 50% of models you need for your Siege Assault Vanguard, therefore you can just start with your standard Marines and add some SAV-specific / FW choices gradually.

As I have mentioned in earlier post, FOC is a little bit altered, but generally similar to standard one

Let me begin with HQ selections.


(note: no generic HQ is allowed to take a Space Marine Bike)

  • Siege Master is a generic HQ choice unique for this army list. At 115pts he has captain statline but wears Artficer Armour, has Signum and provides one of nifty buffs to one of your non-flyer units (furious charge/Interceptor/Tank Hunters or monster hunter). Additionally he may reroll ALL the reserves rolls, both failed and successful. He is a nice mix of cheap combat HQ (while inferior to chapter master due to less wounds and attacks he is still boss at dishing out damage) and a supporting chracter. Signum means that he can be a boss in unit composed of unit that is both shooty and choppy, such as Terminator Squad or even Assault Centurion Troops (letting one of them to fire his TL-meltagun and hurricane bolter with BS5). Generally strong HQ. Give him power weapon or a fist but don’t make him too expensive. Although shield eternal is tempting not to get IDed by some power fist, he’s not a chapter master and he won’t be soloing greater daemons regardless what fluff says about SM captains. Keep him cheap and happy.
  • Captain and a Chapter Master are your standard HQ choices from the codex, but without option to take a bike. These are your general purpose, cost effective, close combat oriented HQs. Both are worth their points, although chapter master is preferable. Give him terminator armour to make him relentless. and drop orbital bombardment on the move.
  • Space Marine Librarian Is a nice support HQ which can both provide some cool buffs to your units and swing a Force Weapon for a mere 65 points, which makes him quite a cool guy. Avoid relying on any particular spell though and keep in mind that (unlike Blood/Dark Angels and Wolves) he can’t generate spells from divination (which is sad because with such large hard hitting units you would really benefit from it).
  • Chaplain while Space Marine Chaplains are regarded as overpriced and underpowered option (especially compared to Dark Angel Interrogators and Blood Angel Reclusiarchs) they have their uses especially in this army list, as you tend to rely on strong assault units to take your Siege Objective
  • Master of the Forge while Beamer on Bike build isn’t available to you (due to lack of bikes) Forge Master is still an useful HQ choice for two reasons. Firstly he repairs stuff and you will have lot and lot of vehicles… secondly he moves dreadnoughts from Elites to Heavy Support slot, so that you don’t have to choose between taking assault terminators and dreadnoughts. Alternatively he allows you to take almost an all-dread army due to 3 elite, 4 HS slots and dreadnought talons for extra enjoyment. While Lord of the Armoury rule specifically mentions dreadnought types that can be shifted from Elites to HS, you can convince your opponent, that it just applies to all dreadnought types. Oh and he unlocks more than one model with Relic of the Armoury Special Rule.
  • Unique (named) characters all codex characters (and IA Badab War characters too) are available, should you wish to include some.
  • [0-1] Damocles Pattern Rhino (Command Vehicle). It’s a Rhino. It’s an HQ choice. Can’t be your warlord and doesn’t take up a slot. Doesn’t even have transport capacity. What it offers? Firstly it’s a teleport homer with 12″ range. Secondly it drops orbital bombardment (just like your chapter master, but can’t drop it on the turn, it moves). And finally, it allows to add or subtract one from your reserve roll, which, coupled with siege master’s rule allows you to bring your reserves to table precisely when you want them to arrive.
  • Command squads and honour guard can be taken in a SAV list, and aren’t prevented from taking drop pods or bikes (in case of command squad). But taking this options is at best RAI-questionable.


(none of your elites choices may take drop pod as a dedicated transport, but your dreadnoughts may instead take Lucius Pattern Drop Pod)

  • Dreadnoughts of all shapes:
    • Normal one Just your usual dreadnought. Either give him pair of TL-autocannons or leave him tesco-pattern and hook him under a Stormraven. He will blow up some Chimera with his multimelta and then assault a squad inside. Can be upgraded to

    • Venerable Dreadnought which is preferable if you make choppy dread or your shooty-weapon choice includes not-twinlinked ones. A bit more survivability due to venerable rule is negligible. Overpriced option if you take him as a fire-support choice with TL-weapons for +1BS isn’t worth extra 25 points.
    • [0-1] Mortis Pattern With recent IA2 update it’s a 0-1 choice for you (only green robed marines can take any number they want). Basically your interceptor-antiair dreadnought. He’s nice with TL-autocannons, with TL-Lascannons he’s effective against a Helldrake and pair of TL-Heavy Bolters is also an useful choice, as it can blow those pesky hive crones out of the sky via sheer volume of fire.
    • Contemptor-dreadnoght Evil powerful dreadnought which can be built both as a versatile support choice and as an balls-out CC-rapetrain due to WS5, AV13, atomantic shielding. Versatile choice and an beautiful model.
    • Contemptor-mortis dreadnought Not an auto-include it used to be (due to price increase) but still good choice, especially one with pair of Kheres Pattern cannons as it can rape both FMCs, flyers, infantry hordes and Land Raiders, whatever you want.
    • Siege Dreadnought Cheap and very fluffy dreadnought built to crush fortifications, especially those defended by traitors and heretics. Bears flamestorm cannon and a siege drill. Former can (why would you do it with enough anti-vehicular firepower elsewhere) be swapped for a multimelta, while the latter gains armourbane against buildings and immobilised vehicles, and inflicts extra pain on its occupants. Note, that you may (should you wish to) field them as a troops choice Siege Dreadnought Talon provided, you have three of them (or Ironclads).
    • Chaplain Dreadnought he’s just like a venerable dreadnought but for 10pts more, and gains Litany of Hate (to reroll to-hit rolls). He can swap his multimelta for variety of shooty weapons or for extra power fist (+1A) which makes Litany of Hate at least moderately useful.
  • Terminators and Assault Terminators both choices are viable and they shine here as they should for they are among few units in this army list that can actually deep strike. As usual, choppy variant is preferable, but shooty ones aren’t bad either. Let shooty ones just stride through battlefield; In case of choppy ones, Land Raider or a Caestus Ram is preferable method of delivery.
  • Sternguard Veterans While you may complain about lack of the drop pod (making suicidal melta-vet squad unavailable), they may be viable especially in Cantor crimson-fists list (because scoring). Rely on their special ammo instead of spamming combi-weapons for that reason.
  • Centurion-devastator squad moved here from heavy support slot they may be very useful, especially in Imperial Fist list, but are really situational. If you select grav-cannons (most popular choice in my area) they won’t really do their job against fortification (which should be their purpose in a fluffy list) but they will kill all vehicles, elite infantry and MCs in their range and may be survivable if they find cover.
  • Techmarine This time elites choice (so you probably can’t have slot-less HQ techmarines in this list) is absolutely useful when you field lot of vehicles.
  • Land Raider Prometheus Your long range dakkadakka landraider. It’s name suggests a variant of Redeemer, but it’s more akin to Crusader having two sponsons with pair of TL-Heavy Bolters each (for 12 TL shoots per turn, a bit more than crusader at long range).

Dedicated Transport

  • Rhinos and Razorbacks As per codex, your basic metal bawkses. They are weak but good (and cheap).

  • Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod heavily nerfed since IA:Apoc update it still acts as a primary delivery vehicle for CC-oriented dreadnoughts and still scares your opponents heavily
  • Land Raiders of all kinds Additionally to your codex land raiders you can take Land Raider Prometheus as a dedicated transport for some units (primarily command squad and siege assault squad). Prometheus costs 20pts more than Crusader with less transport capacity. What you pay for is moar dakka at longer range, reserve manipulation (+1 to all rolls) and cover-save reducing Battle Auspex. Hardly a good deal: LR that is better (than Crusader) suited for long range fire support and less capable as a transport isn’t a vehicle, you’re asking for.


There is one codex-standard troops choice, a tactical squad (although with extra options). You don’t have option for scouts or troops bikers, but you have three other choices, two of them entirely unique for this army list.

  • Siege Dreadnought Talon is a troops choice consisting of exactly three dreadnoughts (each of them is separate kill-point and they don’t have to act together) chosen from Siege and Ironclad patterns. Despite being troops choice they are never scoring (because they’re vehicles) and you can take no more Dreadnought Talons than you have tactical and siege assault squads. Taking this unit unlocks Brethren of Ancients rule which says that ” if more than half of the Dreadnoughts in your army (including those not bought as part of a Siege Dreadnought Talon) are destroyed during the course of the game, any remaining friendly
    Dreadnoughts of any kind gain the Rage special rule unless they are Immobilised”.
    Fun choice which actually if taken en-masse can be powerful (as your enemy may get overwhelmed by sheer amount of dreadnoughts in your army.
    Solo siege dreadnought may also be taken as an Elites choice (Ironclad can’t for some reason).

  • Tactical squad is your basic shooty troops choice. They act as a moving gunline, but should you wish to, you may buy them metal bawkses to drop them off on some objectives. When you apply the moving gunline strategy, there is an interesting unique option in this army list, Siege Mantlets. For a fixed price per squad (and therefore this option is recommended for 10-men squads) you can buy those mantlets to get rerollable armour save. This won’t save you against plasma fire or a heldrake, but will make you unkillable by standard weaponry fire (lasguns, bolters, even pulse rifles will have trouble with gunning you down) especially if you choose Iron Hands or Red Scorpions chapter tactics.
  • Siege Assault Squad. It’s your troops assault squad with few differences (when compared to codex standard assault squads). They lose jump packs (and ability to take them) and any cheap transport options. Only Land Raiders for you (three codex kinds and a Prometheus). What you get is ability to take two special weapons (unfortunately no power weapons, as you had in original IA10 army list, for some reason), of which most fluffy choices are flamers and meltaguns, both are actually playable. Additionally you get crusader special rule, should you wish to be footslogging through battlefield and option to take meltabombs and/or discounted combat shields for entire unit (former option is recommended and the latter isn’t bad either).
  • Centurion Assault Squad are your scoring Centurions. You want them to assault most heavily fortified enemy position, preferably around siege objective. They swing their S9 AP2 weapons at I4 meaning that they bring pain to many enemies (cause ID to all T4 models, kill powerfist punks before they hit you and can’t be IDed by anything but S10 weapons). Assaulty centurions are good and in siege scenario they have much more sense than in tournament-style games.

Fast Attack

These are fast-movers of your army list and you can have only handful of them for being limited to only 0-2 fast attack slots. To make matters worse, if you want flyers, all are moved to fast attack slot so you can’t take pair of stormravens as HS and pair of stormtalons as FA, like you’re used to. Use this slot wisely as it’s proper usage may be key (dis)advantage when it comes to taking objectives (including siege objective).

  • Assault squad and a vanguard veterans squad Due to lack of bikes they are likely (second only to flyers) the fastest guys in this army list, but they don’t synergize well with it and aren’t even most fluffy choices. leave them at home this time.
  • Stormtalon Gunship and Fire Raptor Your two real gunships, both excellent models giving you anti-air defence, strafing run capability and possibly even skyborne dominance. Good versatile choices – stormtalon benefits from Skyhammer Missile Launcher upgrade while Fire Raptor will be happy with turret-mounted autocannons
  • Stormraven and Storm Eagle (incl. Roc Pattern) are two of your basic transport flyers. Storm Eagle can take humongous blobs of infantry while Stormraven packs more dakka for standard price and is more versatile. Take at least one.
  • Caestus Assault Ram Barring Manta it’s the only front AV13 flyer in entire game, has invulnerable save and is extremely durable to a degree where most popular AA weapon choices in game (quad gun, hydra, stalker, even HBC Riptide) have trouble with penetrating its armour plates. Can take ceramite plating to be melta-immune like all flyers above. Has large-blast melta and potential for four smaller blasts. While it seems to be horribly OP and even broken, don’t be tempted to take more than one when playing below 3k pts. It’s one of most expensive yet least versatile units in your entire non-escalation armylist. As all its weapons are blast, it can’t shoot flyers/FMCs, it can’t transport jump infantry, dreadnoughts and even it’s ability to transport centurions is questionable due to wording of its Misericordia rule.
    That being said it isn’t a bad choice, for it is durable, it is a tank and it has unique special rule allowing it to ram stuff as a zooming flyer (meaning chance for S10 hit after moving 18″). It’s also a fluffy choice in this army list as it is purposefully equipped with grav plates so it can ram into most heavily fortified area in enemy defense line to deploy Terminators/assault marines/whatever you want.

Heavy support

In this army list heavy support is a 1-4 slot, meaning that you must take at least one heavy support choice and can take up to four. What’s more, most of HS vehicles come in squadrons of 1-3

  • Land Raider Proteus is your oldschool Rogue Trader Land Raider missing front assault ramp (and hence, assault vehicle special rule) and TL Heavy Bolter. It has also lost it’s ability to take Ceramite Plating (it had in recent Imperial Armour Apocalypse, but IA2 removed it). It can take Explorator Augury Web upgrade which makes it awesome (Scout Special Rule and wide range of reserve manipulation options (either you can reroll your reserve rolls or force enemy to subtract one from his reserve rolls).
  • Land Raider Achilles is your evil unkillable Land Raider which was once a reason to outcry “Imperial Armour Should Be Banned”. It’s hull is given armour plating providing this vehicle ferromantic invulnerability, which means, that Melta or Lance special rules are ignored when shooting at it and one is subtracted for all rolls for penetrating hit result (except for D-weapon). Unfortunately it still can be glanced to death by necron warriors and scarab swarms and it’s armur plating provides no additional protection against madmen with meltabombs, chainfists or an ork warboss with a power klaw. So while it is hard to kill, it isn’t as unkillable as people imagine it to be and its weapons aren’t very versatile either.
  • Land Raider Helios with option to upgrade to a Hyperios one, is your backfield fire-support land-raider with either anti-horde or anti-aircraft launcher on top of it. Like all backfield landraiders it isn’t usually the brightest choice to make but can work.
  • Land Raider Phobos “Godhammer”, Redeemer and Crusader for some weird reason are missing from heavy support section, so they can only be taken as a dedicated transport option
  • Deathstorm drop pod Is your troll pod which instead of Marines contains servitor-controlled guns. Drop it in enemy deployment zone and laugh maniacally. Drop four for extra hilarity.
  • Space Marine Thunderfire Cannon as in Codex your versatile cost effective artillery piece.
  • Space Marine Devastator Squad is set of cheap man-portable heavy weapons, lascannons or plasma are preferable but some use heavy bolters or missile launchers for good effect. A viable choice.
  • Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery your point-defence weapon, cheap servo-controlled gun to place anywhere in your deployment zone. Good if you have 15+ points to spare.
  • Relic Whirlwind Scorpius Small blast AP3 whirlwind with potential to drop additional d3 blasts if stationary. Not a bad choice in all-3+ metagame and nice-looking model. 0-1 if you don’t have forgemaster in your list.
  • Relic Sicaran Battle Tank Fast with lot of dakka and quite cheap for what it does. By the book it’s AV 13/13/13 but errata fixes it back to more reasonalbe 13/12/12.
  • Spartan Assault Tank is THE evil land raider, with 5-HP, quad lascannons on sponsons and 25 model transport capacity. Should you wish to field 10-man blob of assault termies accompanied by a chaplain, it’s your to-go assault vehicle for it is large and durable. Buy it ceramite plating and laugh as enemy deploys hordes of meltavets and can’t even scratch its paint. And than termies massacrate everything around.
  • Predator Tank Squadron 1-3 predators per squad, but only one of them can be Deimos Pattern for awesome options of Exectioner Plasma Cannon or a Magna-melta.
  • Artillery support squadron 1-3 artillery tanks, each of which can be whirlwind/whirlwind hyperios/hunter/stalker. You shouldn’t mix&match takn types in squadron although hunter and stalker can be paired if you have already used up all your HS slots (how did you do it?).
  • Vindicator Tank Squadron of 1-3 vindis is THE fluffy choice, and it really should be given formation rule from Damnos Apocalypse Warzone. Although even without this rule it’s a perfectly valid choice.
  • Rapier Carrier Battery is your yet another artillery piece. Laser Destroyers are great but basic quad heavy bolters are even more awesome because it’s a cheap anti-infantry option, your list otherwise lacks. Take two.

Lords of war

You have access to all standard Marine Lords of War choices, of which some can be very useful indeed.

  • Thunderhawk Gunship Single-handedly solves your problem of lack of flyers, for it can drop three full strength assault squads (or some Centurions) onto siege objective AND fire its massive Thunderhawk Cannon (or a Turbolaser if you’re feeling evil).

  • Thunderhawk Transporter Skip it if you’re not playing Apocalypse on ten yard wide tables
  • Fellblade Thirteen barrels of hell, putting your guard-playing friends’ Baneblade to shame. Gib it ceramite plating because you can.
  • Typhon Heavy Siege Tank is your vindicator on evil steroids. Superheavy Land Raider with AV14 all around and 6 hullpoints. It drops 7-inch-wide cover ignoring S10 blast. Every turn. Gib it ceramite plating because you can and all kinds of pintle/sponson weapons you like. And laugh of all those pesky white scars bikers who abuse their jink save. They’re dead. Very dead. 2 squads per turn if properly targetted.
  • Cerberus SH Tank Destroyer Armed with neutron laser projector it is THE tank-hunting tank. Every vehicle, it damages, is forced to fire only snapshots. Even those Eldar Titans. And as Pulsars and Sonic Lances are Blast and Template weapons respectively, they can’t be fired as snapshots. Because yes. Because no. Because Emprah hates you, xeno-heretic.
  • Warhound Scout Titan is a powerful manifestation of Machine God. Is your godly machine of undiluted destruction. With pair of two-barelled turbolasers it’s so ungodly powerful, that noone would like to play against you – so be friendly and swap at least one of it arms for plasma/flamer/bolter.
  • Reaver Battle Titan As above, but bigger and stronger.
  • Marauder Bomber and Marauder Destroyer If you really want to, you may call Imperial Navy for support and deploy one of these formidable superheavy aircraft. One has evil bombs, and the other has more dakka.

Thanks for getting through here, in next article I will present various valid tactics and possible alliances as well as possible themed scenarios to use with your SM Siege Assault Vanguard. Stay tuned!

Part 3

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