Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the Suppression Force formation from Codex; Space Marines. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
- One unit of Whirlwinds (must contain at least 2 Whirlwinds)
- One unit of Land Speeders
- Datalink Telemetry- One Land Speeder in the formation can nominate an enemy unit within 18″ and line of sight in the shooting phase (cannot move flat out in that turn). Until the end of the shooting phase, all Whirlwinds have infinite range and can re-roll to hit on their Multiple Missile Launcher against that target.
The Suppression Force is a reasonably cheap formation that provides some decent benefits to the unit in it. The minimum cost of the formation is 175 points, so not a sizeable points investment to include in an army. The formation consists of only Whirlwinds and Land Speeders (check out the Tactics Corner for the reviews of these respective units).
The formation benefits give you re-rolls to Hit for your Whirlwinds. This is a nice bonus as you will most likely be firing indirectly, so won’t be able to subtract the BS of the Whirlwind from the scatter. The infinite range on the Multiple Missile Launchers is also useful, enabling you to deploy your tanks on the corner of the board for added protection or right at the back of your deployment zone in Hammer and Anvil missions and still be able to fire to full effect.
In order to gain the formation special rules, your Land Speeder will need to get close to the enemy. Due to this, it is likely to be a target for enemy fire or assaults, so it is probably not worth spending too many points on the Speeder.
If you are choosing to take the suppression force, I would be inclined to take the full three Whirlwinds in the formation. Against the target unit, this will give you re-rolls to Hit, Shred and Pinning on the target unit. This should be quite effective against several enemy units you may be facing.
The Suppression Force can actually find some use as a cheap Auxiliary formation for the Gladius Strike Force. At only 175 pts for the formation, it is only slightly more expensive than the more common 10th Company Task Force. I still think the 10th Company Task Force is a superior auxiliary choice for the Gladius (check out the review in the Tactics Corner for tips on how to utilise this), but if you are looking for a chance from the usual Gladius Strike Force, the Suppression Force is a useful alternative.
As mentioned above, I would be inclined to take three Whirlwinds in the formation to access the Suppressive Bombardment special rule. Three large blasts with infinite range, re-rolls to hit and to wound (thanks to Shred) that cause Pinning could actually make a mess of many enemy units. I see these as being a useful formation for taking on annoying, fast units such as Space Marine Bikers or Eldar Jetbikes. You can use the Ignores Cover shells to negate their Jink saves (especially good for the Ravenwing). Three good scatter rolls should see most of the unit hit with the large blasts, where S4 with Shred should hopefully cause a decent number of casualties. The infinite range will also be useful against the annoying Flickerjumps of Warp Spider units, ensuring that you can still shoot at them regardless of where they move to.
As I said in the Whirlwind review, the Thunderfire Cannon generally outclasses the Whirlwind in the Space Marine Codex. However, the only way to access the Thunderfire Cannon as part of the Gladius is in the Armoured Task Force. This auxiliary formation features a fairly hefty vehicle tax, simply to access the ability to take a Thunderfire Cannon. In this way, the Suppression Force is a much cheaper alternative that can perform many of the same battlefield roles. It’s not going to be a regular in a tournament army, but it will pack some punch against horde armies in more casual games.
Overall, the Suppression Force is a decent formation, but not likely one you will see often on the table. It gives some bonuses to the Whirlwinds in the army, but not enough to make it a must include in any list.
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