With the new Bladeguard Veterans Kit finally out it’s time to compare them to the closest unit in the codex with a similar role – Terminator Assault Squads!
It’s another case of Classic Marines vs Primaris Marines. This time it’s two heavy-hitting close combat units that are entering the cage. Both of these units fill a similar role and today we’re going to look at each one to determine which one deserves a spot in your army. Let’s meet the contestants.
The Challenger – Bladeguard Veterans
Unit Size – 3 or 6
Power Level – 5 or 10
Stats – They have your basic Primaris Statline, the difference they are veterans so they have 3 wounds and an extra attack base.
Wargear – Their basic armor is 3+ but don’t forget about their storm shields. They also come stock with Master-crafted Power Swords, Heavy Bolt Pistols, frag and krak grenades.
Upgrades – The Sergeant can also swap his heavy bolt pistol out for a neo-volkite pistol or a plasma pistol.
Abilities – Angels of Death, Combat Squads
Additional Notes – The Bladeguard Vets also get access to specific chapter special rules/keywords, Deathwing for Dark Angels and Wolf Guard for Space Wolves.
That’s the Bladeguard Vets in a nutshell. They are a small but potent unit. While they have focus on close combat, they can still provide some ranged attacks and the Heavy Bolt Pistols are nothing to sneeze at.
The Classic – Terminator Assault Squad
Unit Size – 5 or 10
Power Level – 9 or 18
Stats – These are you new and improved Classic Marines. They are Terminators so they have an extra wound and they also have 2 attacks base.
Wargear – They come standard with their 2+ save and 5++ Invulnerable save. They also have access to storm shields and come stock with thunder hammers. They can swap over to lightning claws for more attacks as well. Additionally, they have Teleport Homers and can teleport once per game.
Abilities – Angels of Death, Combat Squads, Teleport Strike
Additional Notes – Like the Bladeguard Vets, they also get access to special chapter specific keywords/rules/abilities.
Assault Terminator Squads are a classic hammer unit for the Space Marines. They have always been a great option as they can threaten pretty much anything in the game with their thunder hammers. Plus they have always had those rock-hard saves, too. In some editions they were top tier and in other they slide down. However, every time they hit the tabletop the opposing player had to consider them in their gameplan. You can’t ignore a Terminator Assault Squad.
For the sake of fairness, it might be easiest to bump up the Bladeguard to a 6 man squad at 10 power level. That puts them 1 point over (and 1 model more) than the basic 9 power level Terminator Assault Squad.
The Bladeguard do have that extra point of Movement so they are faster. However, the Terminators can Deepstrike on to the table and can even teleport jump once a game. Conversely, the Bladeguard will need a support transport or they will be walking the entire game. As mentioned above, the Bladeguard will be able to shoot as they close the gap – and those shots are from pistols so they can be used while engaged. The Terminators have zero shooting.
The Terminators do have better armor overall as well. And in close combat, we can see the real breakdown here:
Bladeguard (6-man unit) : 3+, 19 attacks, Strength 5, AP -3, 2 damage. Total potential damage: 38
Assault Terminators (TH/SS 5-man unit) : 4+, 11 attacks, strength 8, AP -2, 3 damage. Total potential damage: 33
Now the Bladeguard do have 1 extra body, so you could subtract 3 attacks from their pool. However, both of these units have their various advantages and disadvantages. Assault Terminators vs a vehicle or tougher target is going to be a better option. But against a horde the Bladeguard can hold the line. Now, if you swapped over to lightning claws, the math does shift – it just makes the Terminators better at dealing with hordes of single wound targets. However, they lose their storm shield and drop to the 5++ invulnerable.
Well, there you have it. Those are the contestants and there’s your basic comparison. While both units do fill a similar role, their functionality really comes down to what do you need them to do in your list. Are you using these units to aggressively take objectives? Are you holding them back for a counter-charge? Which unit is a better fit for your particular list? Is there a clear winner and loser here – that’s really up to the individual player. Maybe 3 Bladeguard Veterans isn’t enough bodies or aren’t durable enough. Maybe being able to mix TH/SS and Lightning Claws in a single unit is more valuable for the mix of weapons. There are lots of little factor to consider and playing some test games with these units might be warranted.
Personally, I’ve already got 15 Assault Terminators and I just want those cool new Bladeguard Vets in my collection…
Alright Internet – who do you think wins in a comparison? Bladeguard or Assault Terminators? Let us know what you decided in the comments!