Siege Assault Vanguard – Gameplay

Hello. Welcome to the third, and for now last, part of Siege Assault Vanguard overview, the gaming part.
Part 1
Part 2

Collecting and Modelling

It is best to assemble Siege Assault Vanguard army as an expansion to your existing space marine collection, with addition of few forgeworld bitz. Most of us have some space marines, usually from starter sets and such. Lots of us don’t play Marines competitively, becase i.e. we own rhino/infantry heavy armies, while currently most powerful choice happens to be gravgun equipped bikes. On the other hand Siege Assault Vangurd army list which by design doesn’t allow bikes is a perfect occasion to play our SM infantry. More than that: it is frequently easier to develop old infantry army into a SAV than into bike-heavy counts-as-whitescars.

Siege Masters can be assembled using a great Space Marine commander kit combined with leftover Signum from Devastator kit. You may want to give him stormshield or just magnetise his weapons to use him as a cool-looking veteran sergeant of your devastator squad.

Tactical Squads with Siege Mantlets rule strictly says that they should be modelled with a large shields, and these are meant not to be stormshields (which protect bearer with energy field) but some kind of shields large enough to cover most of the marine with its sheer bulk.

Default option recommended by Forgeworld is this kit. Legion Breacher Squad from horus heresy series is also an option.
If you feel that forgeworld options are overtly expensive, you may turn to fantasy plastic kits and buy some bits from your local Empire (look for Knightly Orders) or Bretonnia (both infantry and especially knights have some cool shields) if they happen not to use them.
Other option which I like is Mechanical Shields kit from Maxmini.eu, Polish bitz manufacturer.

Siege Dreadnought Talons Forgeworld offers arm bitz for Flamestorm Cannon and Siege Assault Drill with inbuilt heavy flamer, so if you want siege dreadnoughts, these can be made out of any regular dreadnought. You may even convert them using leftover bitz from Land Raider Crusader (for Flamestorm Cannon, if you don’t want Redeemer) and Centurions (for Siege Drill). More difficult it is to obtain Ironclad Dreadnoughts, who, under new pricing, aren’t cheap on GW webstore. Still with a bit of creativity you can make AoBR dreadnought into a credible Ironclad if you want to.

Siege Assault Squad are now just assault squad without jump packs. If you happen not to have these (and just making ‘em), magnetize their backpacks so that you can always swap them for jump packs if you want to. If you happen to have assault marines with jump packs glued to them, tear them apart and magnetize.

Siege Objective

Siege Objective must be provided by Siege Assault Vanguard player. It must be suitably modelled on a 40mm base. You can model it as an Aquila sign. Or pile of dead bodies and weapons. Whatever you want.

Siege Assault Objective is a vital mechanic of Siege Assault Vanguard army list for it is placed by your opponent and you cannot claim victory unless you control it (or you have entirely obliterated enemy army). You may sometimes turn it to your advantage, for example if enemy will focus on defending it (which he really should), you will just know where to apply direct firepower and where to focus your assault spearhead. Heavily protected siege objective will lead to the most spectacular Space Marine charges ever.

Siege Missions

There are many siege oriented missions throughout various Games Workshop publications, few of which will be detailed below

The Battle for Kritias Secundus if you are familiar with Badab War dilogy (and as a Space Marine fan, you should – it’s a great read), it is one of scenarios near the end of second Badab War book in which both players command Siege Assault Vanguard army (and therefore there are two Siege Objectives), one of them representing loyalist forces while other is secessionist (originally representing battle of Red Scorpions of commander Carab Culln vs. traitorous forces of Lugft Huron).

It is an interesting mission for it includes additionl rules for heavily fortified building, stockpiles of ammunition and Poisonous fog and Hive Quake representing unusual conditions on Kritias Secundus during that historical battle.

Various battle missions from Vraks campaign despite them being historical refight scenarios with given ordre de bataille, they may provide some inspiration, especially as they frequently deal with siege warfare theme.

Clan Rakuaan Altar of War contained in Clan Supplement is pretty nice source of missions as Iron Hands approach to battle also favours heavily mechanized assault supported by dreadnoughts and tanks of various kinds.

The Crucible of War and The Blood of Martyrs missions from the big rulebook are among other missions that can be played with siege theme.

Standard missions

If you happen to play a standard (Eternal War) mission, they also can be played as a siege missions, just use your imagination to pretend that mission objectives are tactical objectives and your siege objective is strategic objective dictated by high command (without claiming which you can’t be victorious).

If you feel like it is cool idea, you may even allow your opponent to lay the terrain pieces for his advantage. I was always doing so when playing this army list and I feel it’s more than appropriate.

Tactics

List building in this army is different than in standard Space Marine army list, for you have limited Fast Attack and obligatory Heavy Support. There are at least three possible approaches to building Siege Assault Vanguard. Below three sample army lists from which you may draw inspiration.

Combined arms list
HQ Chaplain, jump pack, power fist 130
T Tactical squad, plasma gun, Rhino 120
T Tactical squad, plasma gun, Rhino 120
T Tactical squad, plasma gun, Rhino 120
T Siege Assault Squad, 2x meltagun, combimelta, meltabombs 215
T Centurion Assault Squad, 3x meltagun 205
E Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought, Kheres Pattern AC 200
E Siege Dreadnought 120
E Mortis dreadnought, 2x Tl lascannons 145
Fast Caestus Ram 275
Fast Stormraven, Tl multimelta, Tl lascannon 200
HS Predator Deimos – lascannons sponsons, Plasma destroyer 150
2000

This list draws from variety of options available in siege assault vanguard and is meant to be played as two separate battlegroups. First is rather static (or slowly, at 6″ per turn, progressing) firebase (siege element), while the other is assault vanguard deployed via two flyers. In case, you were unsure: you can put chappy, centurions and a siege dreadnought into Stormraven and your assault marines into caestus assault ram. When they arrive, you can drive them directly into most vital objective on the battlefield.

Roman Tortoise Moving Firebase
HQ Siege Master, Power Axe, stormshield 145
T Tactical squad #10, plasma gun, Siege Mantlets 205
T Tactical squad #10,Siege Mantlets 190
T Centurion Assault Squad, 3x meltagun, 3x hurricane bolters 205
T Siege Assault Squad, 2 meltagun, combimelta, meltabombs, Dedicated LR Redeemer w/ multimelta 475
HS Vindicator sqn. Single vindicator with a siege shield 135
HS Vindicator sqn. Single vindicator with a siege shield 135
HS Artillery Support sqn. 1 Hunter 70
HS Artillery Support sqn. 1 Hunter 70
LoW Typhon heavy siege tank w/ ceramite plating 370
2000

This is what space marine commandders deploy when they absolutely positively have to obliterate enemy fortification. While lack of fast delivery method for most of infantry may seem weak, all your squads are either very ‘ard or are deployed in a Land Raider which makes them more than well enough protected. Your main power (apart from scoring assault marines for clearing out that siege objective) are three S10 large blasts, one of which is even larger and ignores cover. Hunters are for your AA protection

Dreadnought list w/ clan rakuaan
HQ Chapter master, The Gorgon's Chain, Axe of Medusa, The Ironstone 230
T Tactical squad #10, plasma gun, Siege Mantlets 205
T Tactical squad #10, plasma gun, Siege Mantlets 205
T Siege Dreadnought Talon, 3 Ironclads, two of them with a chainfist 405
E Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought, Kheres Pattern AC 200
E Mortis dreadnought, 2x Tl lascannons 145
E Dreadnought, 2 TL autocannons 120
HS Dreadnought, 2 TL autocannons 120
HS Dreadnought, 2 TL autocannons 120
HS Dreadnought, TL lascannon 125
HS Dreadnought, TL lascannon 125
2000

This is rather funny list exploiting fact that you can indeed have TEN dreadnoughts without taking second FOC. Combined with The Ironstone (which, like all other magical items worn by chapter master are from Clan Rakuaan supplement) they can be very survivable indeed. Lack of scoring bodies makes it hard to win objectve based scenario with this list but its guaranteed to be exceptionally interesting game both for you and for your opponent.

This is, for now, the end of three art Siege Assault Vanguard series, although I may revisit this topic in near future. Enjoy game!

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