Monday, December 6, 2010

Marbo In A Mech Army; Valuable Saboteur or Easy Kill Point?

by SandWyrm

Proiteus asked me this question about Marbo yesterday on Librarium Online:
My mech army is now complete and giving me lots of victories except for the Leman Russ that was plagued with bad luck and as a result has been removed and replaced with a Banewolf that has done so much better.

Anyway with all 3 fast attack choices filled I had to drop my scout sentinels at 1750 which left me with enough points to take Marbo after buying a Astropath.

My only concern is how effective will he’ll be, being the only infantry model in my army (unless a chimera blows up). As memory serves I can remember you featured marbo in your own fully mechanized lists so tell me…

In all your games has Marbo been more of a valuable saboteur or just an easy kill point?

Cause if not I’ll take a Griffon Mortar.

SandWyrm's Reply:

I don't see any difference in Marbo's usefullness based on whether he's included in a Mech army or a hybrid/foot force. Marbo's fairly self-contained in his role as a spoiler/distraction.

But his effectiveness does depend on the point level of the battle. From about 750 to 1500 points, he's great! As he'll do enough damage when he comes on to really hurt and require enough attention afterward to tie up a decent number of enemy units.

But above 1500, his usefulness starts to wane as the amount of damage he can do (as a percentage of the enemy force) declines and the ability of the enemy to kill him in a turn with an unengaged unit rises (due to there being more troops on the field). Until, at 2000 points, I consider him to be little more than a free kill point.


  1. I play against him alot at 2000, and to be quite honest, I do not think I have ever seen him not pay for himself by knocking down at least one transport. his demo charge is ridiculous, and he doesn't scatter. I say use him.

  2. In the past year I have had Marbo come out against me three times. In that time he has killed an empty trukk, dropped a det-pack on some ardboys on foot, and blown himself up. (Results probably not typical) But that said, I still say he is worth taking.
    I think he is more valuable in terms of the potential he represents. A major portion of his benefit comes while he is still in reserve. Like any unit which behaves in an unusual way, his threat can force your opponent to rethink standard procedure, and do things to defend against an attack that might come somewhere else entirely. The fact that he has a good history of killing what he shoots at is just bonus.

  3. I would say depends how he's used. In KP games, obviously one does one's best with Marbo to ensure he doesn't give away that KP too easily, but in objective-based games, he's a great wild card to cause disarray amongst the enemy!

    In one game he actually popped up in a building, therefore denying the enemy the option of embarking into a building with an objective they needed. In another, he popped up suicide style and killed 6 chaos marines with his demo charge before being taken down, but caused my opponent to be on the back foot for the rest of the game.

    Mind you, I can also recount the number of times he's 'dropped' his demo charge on himself. Not his finest moment(s).

  4. I've never faced Marbo, that I can remember, when he was fielded by a really competent player... but even so, I think you have to expect him to die. Hard.

    Without going into the benefits of his deployment (which could be a post of its own), he's dangerously close to being a Demo Charge. Weak armor and only a couple of wounds means even in cover a standard squad can shoot him down in a turn. Most things will be able to handle him in assault also (unless I'm misremembering something big).

    Worth it? If you know how to use him well, and make the KP you get bigger than the KP you give.

  5. Marbo is like American Express: you never leave home without him.

    I also play an all-mech list, but Marbo still has to tag along.

    I've played him for more than 45 games. Yes, he has blown himself up, but he has more than made up for his mistakes. There have been very few games where he wasn't useful - and that was my own mistake.

    My Marbo has even taken out a Warhound titan in an apoc game! Yes, it was some lucky roles, but he is truly a legend in my gaming group.

  6. I wish I could get him in my BA list. mostly for his demo charge, but he would just fit perfectly with my reserves jump list.

    I don't know his actual point cost, I'm guessing like 75-100, and I personally think he is worth taking almost every time.

    He gives an extra target, the trick is just to limit infantry fire at him, so they have to divert more fire power away from the real fight between the armor.

  7. He's a bit cheaper than even your low-end estimate.

    It's an incredible value for an on-demand Demo Charge when used correctly.

  8. Gasp!! point value!!!
    haha, I figured it would be less, but I'd rather guess high and say he is worth his points than say lower. With this information, He's a steal, take him!

  9. I have had nothing but success with Sly. I always bring him up in cover. ALWAYS! if teh demo charge deviates over him, he has a 3+ cover save, or a 2+ if he goes to ground. I do not want him to go to ground though, because I want hime to die. If I can get my enemy to dedicate fire his direction, great. Then I go to ground. And he makes his 2+ saves. Then he gets assaulted. Then he hits first, at I5 WS5, and wounds on a 2+.

    He is win all around.

    I had him pop out, kill 3 chaos terminators with his pack, assault and kill two, survive, break them, and wander over to a chaos lord on a Juggernaut and kill him, just for good measure.

  10. I wonder how many games you have to play to make that dropping on himself event likely. 1/3 chance of direct hit, then if it scatters it's 2d6-5 inches only, and it's very unlikely to scatter towards him (not going to bother to calculate degrees and radius now). In my limited experience Marbo's demo always hits the intended target, with some 1-2'' error margin.

    I am playing only games up to 1.5k and Marbo always works wonders causing havoc behind the enemy lines.

  11. I take him just for the entertainment value itself, but then I do just play for the fun of it. :)


out dang bot!

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