Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of another of the Space Marine Command Squad that now has his own slot, the Apothecary. He is the Marine responsible for keeping your troops alive on the table, how does he fare in this task? For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Apothecary is a mid-level Space Marine character with a decent statline, but his real strengths come from the buffs he can provide to nearby units. While in theory, the Apothecary should help protect your troops and heal them in battle, in practice I have not found him to be that effect on the tabletop. The Apothecary is an Elites choice and costs 55 points.
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag and Krak Grenades
- And They Shall Know No Fear
- Narthecium- At the end of your movement phase the Apothecary can attempt to heal or revive a single model. A single <Chapter> Infantry or Biker model within 3″ heals D3 wounds. Alternatively, if the chosen unit has no wounded models but one or more slain models, roll a D6. On a 4+, a single slain model is returned to the battlefield on one wound. If the Apothecary fails to revive a model, he can do nothing else for the remainder of the turn.
- Keywords- Imperium, <Chapter>, Adeptus Astartes, Character, Infantry, Apothecary
The Apothecary has a mid-level statline for a Space Marine character, meaning he has a Space Marine profile, but with 4 wounds and 3 attacks. He comes with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword (for an additional attack in combat), and has no options to change these weapons. This means he has limited utility on the battlefield in an offensive or defensive roll. He should be able to cause some damage to standard infantry in combat, but will equally be not that difficult to take down in combat or if he can be targeted by shooting.
The main reason you take the Apothecary is to use the Narthecium. He can be used to heal characters or multi-wound models that take damage, but I think that his most common role is to revive members of squads that are slain. This means that you want to stick him next to more valuable or offensive units such as Devastator Squads, Command Squads with Special Weapons, Aggressors, Centurion Devastators (if you bother to take them), etc. The one benefit of healing a unit/model is that it occurs automatically, but the revival roll requires a 4+. This requires some luck to be able to use the ability often. If you are simply using him to revive a Tactical Marine, it could be a waste of his abilities. However, bringing back a Devastator with a Missile Launcher or Lascannon in a turn can be a big bonus to your unit. The one flaw with this is that your opponent has to leave at least one member of the squad alive for you to make use of this. If they are wiped out by enemy attacks, you cannot attempt to revive a member of a completely slain squad.
I think the best use for the Apothecary is to sit with a backline unit such as Devastators and revive the Heavy Weapons members if they are slain. Again, it will only come off around 50% of the time, but you can always use a command point re-roll if you really need to revive a slain member of the squad.
He could work well when bolstering a front line combat unit. However, he has limited mobility on the field (no Jump Pack, though you could take the Index version riding a Bike) and will not survive long in combat if charged by any sort of combat character or even a unit with a lot of attacks. There is also the downside that if he fails to revive a squad member, he can do nothing for the rest of the turn, including fighting in combat. If you are planning to use him in a more aggressive role, I would suggest using him to heal an important combat character each turn (as long as they are both alive) to keep them in the fight for longer. Alternatively, you could use him to support a more expensive unit and keep them healed or revive members.
In all honesty, I haven’t been that impressed with the Apothecary on the table. His random ability to revive squad members never really goes off when you need it to. Even though he only costs 55 points, I have not found it to be a good investment in the game. Rather than try to revive squad members, just spend the 55 points to add more models to the unit in question. I’m sure he is great when keeping a powerful character going or when he brings back an expensive model such as Terminators, Centurions, Aggressors or Bikers, but these units are not seen on the table that much in 8th edition at the moment.
I think that the Chapter Ancient is a better choice. His Astartes Banner at least give you the ability to strike back at the enemy army as you start to take casualties. One benefit of the Apothecary is that he is a cheap Elites choice that does have some benefit on the tabletop. You can always use him as a cheap way to fill a slot in a Detachment.
I don’t find much use for the Apothecary in any of my Space Marine lists. His ability seems good on paper, but I find that it never seems to do that well in practice on the tabletop. I’m sure he has his use in certain army builds and in some games will do wonders for you, but I don’t find him to be a safe choice in a competitive list.
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