Ultramarines Tactics: Sergeant Telion
Time for another Ultramarines HQ review. This holiday we are looking that that firecracker – Sergeant Telion.
I was going to write about a powerful HQ option but instead, in the spirit of Katy Perry’s hit single, and on July 4th. I’m going to ignite the light of an oft-forgotten character, and let him shine…. like the 4th of July.
Sergeant Telion is easily my favorite character in the codex. He has been ever since I started playing back in 5th. I always loved the idea of a badass recon vet who wasn’t afraid to stay hidden for years behind enemy lines just to get the perfect war winning shot. In previous versions of the codex he was merely an add-on or an afterthought upgrade to Scout Squads. He was much more than a usual veteran sergeant, usually still easy to kill, did not fulfill an HQ slot, and is never seen even in the fluffiest lists. He is still never seen (Don’t believe me? Look for him in Ultramarines BatReps he is difficult to find) and I am not sure why! At 50 points he is the absolute cheapest HQ option in the codex, he comes stock with the best warlord trait in the book, Storm of Fire, and is actually a hard model to kill due to being able to outflank, infiltrate, and gain a +1 cover save from his camo cloak. He is the perfect fit for a Space Marines list that wants to fit all the forgeworld goodies space marines get into a CAD (the only real spot you can take them in). He also has a rocking beard!
Wargear: Telion doesn’t come with too much fancy stuff, but honestly he doesn’t need to. He has everything he needs to stake out objectives on the other side of the table at the end of the game.
- Frag/Krak Grenades
- Bolt Pistol
- Camo Cloak: You should never leave home without one honestly. That +1 cover save bonus got Harry out of a sticky situation or two.
- Quietus: A 2 shot 36′ range sniper rifle fired from a BS 6 character is nothing to sneeze at. Oh and it is AP 5. Watch out cultists, and guardsmen!
Special Rules: Telion comes with some amazing special rules that other HQ choices would kill for. These are what makes him such an underrated model.
- Chapter Tactics (Ultramarines)
- Independant Character: This one is the biggest change from last edition. Not only does this rule mark the change from Telion becoming more than an upgrade, it also makes him much more survivable. Though he can only join Scout Squads (more on that later).
- Infiltrate: GW FAQ aside, you should always infiltrate Telion. Always. If he is your warlord you want to see where your opponent deploys all his nasty killing units and then try your best to avoid them. If he is not your warlord than why not hide him in some corner where he can easily harass backfield squishy units camping on objectives?
- Move Through Cover: Honestly, this special rule comes through in a pinch. There have been plenty of games that I have lost because I failed to make a charge through cover, or rolled low on a move through cover roll. I know it doesn’t come into play much but what other HQs in the codex have it?
- Scout: The scout move can come into play often but the real thing I want to highlight is the outflank special rule. Outflank is one of the many reasons why Khan is such a successful warlord. The ability to come in from a board edge possibly on turn 4, and possibly as far away from the action as possible to not give away warlord is huge. Most games you play will have Slay the Warlord as a tertiary objective and in the ITC, where first bood is all but gone, Slaying the enemies warlord is often the swing point.
- Stealth: I had to double and triple check this to make sure it was real. The fact that Telion can confer a 2+ cover save to a unit of scouts with camo cloaks in a ruin is amazing. They would also have access to a 4+ cover save on open terrain if they go to ground. This increases his survivability tremendously. It would mean that late game when he outflanks onto the board your opponent would have to get through a likely 2+ cover save to kill your warlord.
- Eye of Vengeance: I’m not done yet. This special rule also makes all of his shooting precision shots, as long as they aren’t also snap shots. This is cool enough with his sniper rifle however it gets even better when you realize it can confer to his krak grenade in this shooting phase as well. I once threw a Krak grenade into a squad of honor guard targeting an inquisitor with a TON of upgrades and doubled him out with it because he failed his look out sir! roll. This ability can be magical when used on the correct models, and it comes at the low cost of just 50 points!
- Scout Sergeant: Nothing to see here, this rule just forces him to only join Scout Squads. A fair and fluffy rule written by GW. Good job guys, we need more of this.
- Voice of Experience: If Telion has neither ran nor shot in the shooting phase you can elect to have one model in his squad shoot at BS 6. This is only OK as it only applicable to scout squads, and the only weapons that want to take advantage of it are a poisoned (2+) heavy bolter, and a missile launcher.
Sergeant Telion should be mainly used in two types of detachments. Allied, and Combined Arms. The reason for this is because he is by far the most points efficient HQ choice in the codex. The next cheapest is a level 1 Librarian (65 points), but let’s be honest, 1 warp charge on a 2 wound model with no real defensive capability except power armor is a bit underwhelming. Sergeant Telion also synergizes well with the cheapest troops choice in the codex – scouts. Which means that your “Tax” for a CAD with Telion is only 160 points. If you are playing at a standard 1850 points that leaves you with 1690 points to play around with. The reason why this is so big is because some of the more powerful Space Marine combinations are only accessible in a CAD. Let me list some examples
- Multiple units of Thunderfire cannons. The Imperial Fists formation based detachment allows you to bring them in a special formation but the tax is high, and the detachment isn’t that good. The formation you can bring them in also takes up detachments, which, if you are playing in a limited detachment environment are precious. These are especially good with his warlord trait. You can give a unit of TFCs rending every single shooting phase, which works well with their ignore cover saves rounds (Whaddya think Steve?).
- Centurion Devastator Squads in pods. Now that GW has taken away the ability for battle brothers to ride in each others pods there is no way to purchase empty pods for centurions except for the CAD, and allied detachments. Sure a white scars HQ choice might be better with the hunter’s eye, but why not grab that HQ from a White Scars Battle Company and grab a dirt-cheap allied detachment with Telion, buy a pod, and some dev cents and just stick your Hunter’s Eye character in there?
- Sicaran Battle Tanks. A strong forgeworld option that sure, you might want to take a techmarine for (they count as Master of the Forges according to FW) which would allow you to take multiple relic vehicles.
- Fire Raptor (See Above:)
- Lucius Patter Drop Pods. These things are expensive and REALLY good. Especially for Siege Dreadnoughts (also forgeworld)
- Space Marines Quad Mortar, and Rapier batteries. These cheap artillery pieces are amazing and only accessible via CAD. The quad mortar can down a single void shield generator in one round of shooting which makes it a highly splashable option for Grav-Spam battle companies who want to alpha strike opponents hiding behind pesky shield generators. If you are playing without the GW FAQ of course. If not they are still great for taking out imperial knights. Something battle companies actually can have a problem with.
I’m sure there are more options however these are some of the top things I think of when building space marine lists that aren’t just spam objective secured units, or rush an unkillable deathstar down their throat! When I want to feature Space Marine flexability I turn to the space marine CAD, and Sergeant Telion you sir, are the king of the CAD. Next week I will talk about Chief Librarian Tigurius and all the dirty things you can do with him. Until next time, enjoy your 4th of July weekend. I will spend my time pondering why GW still hasn’t made Sergeant Chronus any better….