So, here is my current Take All Comers (TAC) list at 2000 points, which is the level I usually play at. It draws from three different formations/detachments (White Scar CAD, Skyhammer Annihilation Force formation, and Aquila Kill Team formation) and is designed to provide flexible deployment options and the ability to deal with some of the most common, dangerous opponents out there, like Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, Psychic Deathstars, multiple Imperial Knights, close combat heavy Space Wolves, and all varieties of Tau/Eldar/SM Battle Companies:
—White Scars CAD—
-Librarian with Hunter’s Eye relic
-2 x Scout Squads with 5 models, all with BP/CCW
-2 x Fast Attack Drop Pods
-2 x Devastator Centurion squads with 3 models, Grav Cannons/Amps and Hurricane Bolters
-Battery of two Quad Mortars
—Ultramarines Skyhammer Annihilation Force—
-2 x Assault squads with 5 models
-2 x Devastator squads with 10 models, 4 Grav Cannons, and Drop Pod DT
—Aquila Kill Team—
-DW Veteran Squad with 6 models, all with Meltagun and Bolter, and one model upgraded to Watch Sergeant with Auspex, all in a Drop Pod DT
-DW Terminator squad with 2 models, both with Melta PF
So, the idea behind this whole army is provide overwhelming Grav and Melta firepower, backed up by the Ignore Cover Quad Mortars (thanks to the attached Librarian with the Hunter’s Eye) in either an alpha strike or a “beta strike” (i.e. if you delay the Skyhammer to come in on Turn 2).
The Devastator squads can combat squad as they come out of their Drop Pods, since they have 10 models each, allowing me to field up to six separate Grav Cannon/Amp units (4 x Devastator Combat Squads and 2 x Grav Centurions) coming out of Drop Pods turn 1 and thus deal with MSU opponents, or I can mass my firepower on a few key targets, if required. This also forces my opponent to split up his firepower, thus helping my Grav units survive longer. If I need to simply suppress a few targets, then I can Combat Squad with all 4 Grav Cannons in one Combat Squad and 5 Bolter Marines in the other Combat Squad, with the Bolter Marines “suppressing” and the Grav Cannons taking down heavy infantry/MCs/vehicles.
In terms of the Aquila Kill Team, its included primarily to give me a “vehicle assassination” unit using the 8 Meltaguns, but it can also switch over to Bolters with Special Issue Ammo to take on infantry, using the Aquila Doctrine to re-roll 1s to Wound/Penetrate against any target they encounter. The two Terminators provide 2+/5++ tanking for the squad, plus their PFs provide some very solid close combat capacity in case the unit gets charged (or needs to charge itself). The Drop Pod DT safely delivers the whole package and also ensures that I can bring in 4 Drop Pods turn 1 (2 from the Skyhammer Annihilation Force and 2 due to the Drop Pod Assault rule) if I want to.
The CCW/BP Scouts and “bare bones” ASM squads are included partly as the “tax” for their respective formations, but also serve roles as cheap objective seizers, skirmishers to block enemy forces from assaulting my Grav Cannon units, and even assault units in their own right to tie-up/bully enemy shooting units when required. The Librarian and Quad Mortars provide a backline “firebase” that can help against vehicles and light infantry, especially with re-rolls to Hit from Prescience and Ignore Cover from the Hunter’s Eye.
In terms of Chapter Tactics, I chose Ultramarines for the Skyhammer because being able to re-roll ALL shooting to Hits for the Devastators on the turn they come in (via Devastator Doctrine) is very solid and, on later turns, being able to use Assault Doctrine for the ASM is not too bad either. For the CAD, I chose White Scars because of the Hunter’s Eye Relic (which may be the single best piece of Wargear in the game, for its price of just 4 MBs) and because, even though I do not have any bikes, Hit and Run is SO very valuable on the Scouts and on the Grav Centurions (they are so bad at combat that they want to get out of it as quickly as possible and then shoot the unit that assaulted them in the face with lots of Grav weapons and/or Hurricane Bolters). Finally, the ability to re-roll Run moves is a nice little bonus for the Scouts, especially when they are trying to grab Objectives late game.
Overall, I think is a pretty solid force. Against MEQs, TEQs, and MCs/GMCs I have TONS of Grav shooting divvied up among multiple MSU squads, giving me the ability to take on everything from Marine Battle Companies to Eldar Jetbike spam to “Monster Mash” style lists. Against vehicles, I can use Grav weapons as well, I have the 8 x S8 shots from the Quad Mortars, and I have the meltas in the Aquila Kill Team for Super Heavies. Against hordes of light infantry, I am a little light, but I have the Quad Mortars (8 x S5 AP5 Small Blasts with Ignore Cover), I have Hurricane Bolters on the Centurions, and I have all the “auxiliary” Bolters and CCWs in the Devastator Squads, ASM squads, and Scout squads.
Honestly, I think Flyers and horde infantry are my weakest matchup (I guess I would not do well against an Astra Militarum “Air Cav” list, would I 😉 ), but overall I feel like this force gives me the flexibility to counter most competitive lists out there, provide I play well and make solid tactical decisions. I also think it provides me with solid deployment flexibility, given the control over reserves I have via the Skyhammer Annihilation Force units and the option to begin the game in basically a “null deploy” mode (I can also go for “full deploy”, with the Centurions, Scouts, Quad Mortars, and Aquila Kill Team on the table and their Drop Pods coming in empty just to grab objectives and block LOS).