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Warhammer 40K: This Week’s Meta Hotness – Vanguard Veterans

4 Minute Read
Jun 16 2021
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Let’s take a look at a unit that’s been leading the charge as one of Warhammer 40K’s top units, Vanguard Veterans.

In the ever-shifting meta of 40K, armies rise and fall. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about armies that are hot or not, but a lot less time looking at units that are running the show. Today let’s start by taking a look at one of the hottest units currently running around the tabletop.

The Unit

This week’s hot unit is Vanguard Veterans. They are an elite close combat-focused heavy infantry unit. As Classic Marines they are an older, but not quite THAT old Space Marine unit. They are the close combat version of Firstborn Veterans, and combine speed with offensive power. They have access to a large number of close combat weapons and can take jump packs making them a versatile unit.

Why They Are Good

Vanguard Veterans have always had a place in Marine armies as a hard-hitting unit. As Classic Marine Veterans they come with two base attacks and can easily get more. In addition, they are a somewhat uncommon unit in that every model can take a special close combat weapon. This lets the unit put out a high number of dangerous attacks and be armed in numerous ways. In addition, the entire unit can be given jump packs, allowing it both to deep strike and move quickly, making it a hard-hitting, fast-moving unit. Being CORE on top of that is a nice added bonus.

Vanguard Veterans also have the option to take a Storm Shield. This, combined with the extra wound all Marines gains, make them much more survivable than they were in the past.  Under the prior Codex, the one wound Marines were expensive and quite vulnerable to small arms fire. However with a 2+ save and 2 wounds they can take a lot of light attacks and come out OK, while the 4++ save helps them against high AP anti-MEQ weapons. They are an amazing unit to push forward with and take objectives. Overall they combine speed, durability and deadliness into a points efficient package.

A Sample List

Saying a unit is hot is all well and good, but let’s take a look at how players are using it. Vanguard Veterans have been showing up regularly in meta dominating lists in recent months.   One list that highlights them is the list that Alexander Dzougov ran to win the Copenhammer GT (via 40kstats.com)

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Alexander Dzougov – Copenhammer GT
Ultramarine Successor (Long-range Marksmen, Master Artisans) Spearhead Detachment (CP cost: 3+4)

HQ: Librarian (90), Chief Librarian (25), Jump Pack (25), Force Axe (0), HoC (1 CP): Psychic Mastery, RoC (1 CP): Seal of Oath, Powers: Might of Heroes, Null Zone, Psychic Fortress 140
HQ: Captain on bike (100), Stormshield (10), Chainsword (0) Warlord: Rites of War, Free Relic: Teeth of Terra 110

El: 10 Vanguard Veterans (190), Jump Packs (20), 10xLightningclaws (30), Stormshields (40) 280
El: Relic Contemptor (140), 2 x Volkite Culverin (10), Cycklone ML (25) – (1 CP) 175
El: Relic Contemptor (140), 2 x Volkite Culverin (10), Cycklone ML (25) – (1 CP) 175
El: Redemptor Dreadnought (175), H. Ons. Gat. Cannon (0), Stormbolters (0), Ons. Gat. Cannon (5), Icarus RP (5) 185
El: Redemptor Dreadnought (175), H. Ons. Gat. Cannon (0), Stormbolters (0), Ons. Gat. Cannon (5), Icarus RP (5) 185

FA: 3 x Attack Bikes (45), Multimelta (10) 165
FA: 3 x Attack Bikes (45), Multimelta (10) 165

HS: 5 x Devastators (90), 4 x Multi-melta (80), Chainsword (0), Armorium Cherub (5) 175
HS: 5 x Devastators (90), 4 x Multi-melta (80), Chainsword (0), Armorium Cherub (5) 175

DT: Drop Pod (70), Stormbolter (0) 70

Total 2000

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Using the Unit

This list makes use of one large and powerful squad of Vanguard Veterans. They, like many such units showing up in the meta, are armed with a lightning claw and storm shield. The storm shield gives them a lot of extra survivability as mentioned above. Not only does the claw let them re-roll wounds, but it also gives them an extra attack. On the charge the unit puts out a mean 41 attacks, that are both accurate and reliable. This can easily chew through enemy infantry. That is enough attacks, counting the re-rolls to actively threaten MEQ units and even vehicles. In this list the Vanguard act as the main close combat unit. While the Devastators launch a powerful alpha strike and the  Dreadnaughts form a hard to kill block. The Vanguard forms a hard-hitting fast-moving assault unit that can put real pressure on the enemy.

Let us know what units you think are hot right now, down in the comments! 

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