|Hello new disembarkation rules!|
Our last transport option is the drop pod. To me, these are the best way to go regarding transport options, as long as you don't kill yourself assembling them. They can function in small or large numbers, depending on your specific list, and they all but guarantee that your cargo will make it where you want them to go, especially in the wake of the current disembarkation rules. Mate those rules with the innate capacity of the drop pod to control its deep strike and you've got yourself some very reliable positioning, for a reasonably cheap price. For the right units or the right list, these are winners. This isn't to say that marines can't hoof it though. This option will usually lend its self to sitting at home or combat squadding, which will be discussed further with weapon descriptions. Footing it isn't bad in low point games, or in areas where DA and IG don't saturate the field with shots that ignore your expensive armor save. In fact, if you're willing to ally yourself with Guard, running without tanks is a great way to free up points and bolster the front of your lines, as most of the shots which could ignore your armor will likely be occupied elsewhere.
|Talk about showing your age...|
|Maybe there's a reason one of the weapon options isn't pictured?|
Really, the tactical squad can be built from any direction, either transport or firepower, depending on your tastes. Usually though, regardless of where you start, there's only likely to be a few places where you end. The first place I started with 6th edition was the plasma gun and lascannon. I loved the lascannon in 5th and the fact that it got super-charged got me really jazzed. Alas, as I played more games and came to feel that 4 troops were almost necessary in 6th, massing squads like this wasn't practical, given that they simply weren't mobile enough without a transport and combat squadding. Not only that, but my plasma guns were inconsistent, often failed at crucial moments, and had issues against T4+ multiwounders and massed opposing tanks. This isn't to say that one las/plas team can't work, but rather to take the one team and leave the others at home. Although, in that regard, I'd almost rather take a sniper scout team for that task. They're salty, but interesting with 6th, especially when mated with a quad gun.
Another option for foot marines was utilized by Godfrey's former Crimson Fist army, which fielded a dedicated melta team and a dedicated plasma team. They hoofed it across the table and generally offered the opponent a choice of damnations. They can either spare their mech, by decimating your melta squad, or save their infantry, by hammering your plasma team. Admittedly, the failing here is having only two troops on the table, but the concept remains viable.
In summary, there are a few ways to kit your tactical squad to maximize their potency. And with 6th edition, they don't suffer from the law of conservation of tactics quite so badly as I felt they did in 5th. The tactical squad is capable of being finely tuned, if expensive for such things, but what about the list surrounding it? Stay with me as I examine what to surround your tactical squads with to help make them work.