Vulkan He’stan is a solid special character from the Salamander faction of Codex: Space Marines who adds respectable individual capabilities (i.e. Relic Blade, Heavy Flamer, 2+/3++ armor, Captain Statline) to some excellent support abilities, namely making all meltas, combi-meltas, and Multimeltas in his detachment Master crafted. He also comes in at reasonable pricing and unlocks a Command Squad if you need it.
So, in the current environment of 7th edition, how do you make the most of Vulkan’s abilities? I think one answer lies in a combination of Ironclad Dreadnoughts, Scouts, and Assault Marines (I know, I know, all of these are not fluffy Salamander units, but bear with me here).
Now imagine the following:
-Master of the Forge with Conversion Beamer
-6 x Ironclad Dreadnoughts (Meltagun/Heavy Flamer, Powerfist/Chainfist, Drop Pod)
-1 x CC Scouts (5 scouts with CCW/BP, MB on Sgt)
-1 x Sniper Scouts (5 Scouts with Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks)
-3 x Assault Squads (5 Assault Marines, 2 Flamers, MB on Sgt, Drop Pod)
-Stormwing formation (1 Stormraven, 2 Storm Talons)
-Firestorm Redoubt (with 2 x Battle Cannon, Comms relay)
Vulkan joins the CC Scouts and they all ride in the Stormraven from the Stormwing formation. Master of the Forge joins the Sniper Scouts on the battlements of the Firestorm Redoubt, mans the Comms relay, and shoots his Conversion Beamer while the Scouts use their Sniper Rifles.
This task force has a total of nine Drop Pods, so five come in Turn 1 and the rest come in with normal Reserves. Use the Ironclads in the first wave to crack open enemy vehicles and cause mass disruption to his DZ (lots of AV13 walkers coming simultaneously, using their TLed meltas and TLed Heavy Flamers). Simultaneously, Firestorm Redoubt Battle Cannons, Sniper Scouts, and MotF’s Conversion Beamer thin the enemy infantry lines.
Starting turn 2, bring in the Assault Squads in Drop Pods to use their Twin-Linked Flamers on enemy infantry. Also bring in the Stormwing formation to deal with enemy air, provide extra anti-tank, and/or drop CC Scouts/Vulkan on objectives. Comms relay should make these Reserve units more reliable and enable you to “out-mass” your opponent at the critical time and place, starting Turn 2+.
The key to this battle group is mass Ironclad Dreads, made even better by Vulkan and Salamander Chapter Tactics. MotF allows up to 6 Ironclads and Stormwing formation gives critical close air support.