Are Terminators a Thing of the Past?

I have several project progress pictures to share...tomorrow. I was a little too busy to take them last night. Clearing snow and doing home improvements eats up time!
Today I wanted to talk about Terminators. Terminators, and characters in Terminator Armor, have long been one of my favorite models in the Space Marine ranges. Big, brutal guys who are immune to all but the heaviest weapons in the lore, but who crumple on the table to massed lasgun fire.

I've always wanted to run a very Terminator-heavy army. At various points in my hobby history I've thought about painting Deathwing, or running an army using their rules and my Ultramarine models. I've never done so, because Deathwing are always very points-intensive and lack really good support options. When the previous Grey Knights codex was released, I (along with everyone else) considered a GKT/Paladin army, but could never justify spending all that money. The current GK codex is very points-friendly, and I have money to spend so it would be an option if I hadn't already messing around with Raven Guard.

The biggest obstacle to running a lot of Terminators is that my FLGS runs Maelstrom missions exclusively. Terminators are incredibly slow, being infantry units with very limited transport options. For Space Marines, you've got Land Raiders and Stormraven Gunships. Both are upwards of 200 points, and with upgrades and weapon options can creep up into the 300 point range.

That combination of expensive units and expensive transports means you're short on models and units to claim and contest objectives in Maelstrom missions, on top of that very limited mobility issue.

So, does this mean Terminator-heavy armies are dead in this edition of the game? I cannot think of a viable way to run pure Deathwing, pure GKT, or another all-Terminator force anymore.

When you add in the massive amounts of AP2 weaponry in the game now, TDA feels like its pretty damned pointless. You've got Eldar disc-shooter guns with de facto Rending, plasma, melta cannons, monstrous creatures, and a million other things that can simply bypass Terminator armor. A model that can take a krak missile to the head and keep ticking is felled by little bits of metal spit out by an Eldar gun.

Does anyone actually still run Terminators in their armies? How do you reconcile the inability to react quickly to Maelstrom missions or the wide variety of AP2 fire with the units' ability on the table?


  1. I think Terminators have a place but you have to build around them I feel. A pure Terminator army would be tough but doable. You'd have to setup support units that move slowly and give fire support while forward units run each turn. It's surprising how much ground you can cover with a few good run moves. Have a unit or two in reserves as well and call it a day.

    My choice in your situation would be to utilize bikes and teleport homers/beacons/whatever. Not a pure list of course but get some cheap Bike Squads to move up, get yourself reserve manipulation via-comms relay or something, and pound down on turn #2 in the enemy's face. The small Bike Squads could then zoom off for far flung objectives after. I would do it with Chaos if it were an option.

    1. Vanilla bikes can't take homers or beacons. Scout bikes can, and Ravenwing bikes get teleport homers for free, on every model. I've been fiddling with ideas for both.
      The only other thing I can think of would be to run Grey Knight Terminators with a psyker who can get them Forewarning, Sanctuary, or some other cover or invulnerable save better than their 5++.

  2. That is something I've been struggling with too. I've been experimenting with Daemon allies lately, so 5++ across the board. I've used a Herald to get Grimoire: 3++ on success, 6++ on failure. The struggle, or question, becomes is it worth the investment to access Grimoire to boost one unit, potentially, a turn or is it better to just get more bodies on the field?

    Pretty much where you stand as well with your idea, just it's a psyker and instead relying on a power going off, or getting it - can't recall if it's stock for them? Actually, you would have it harder as Grimoire works on a 3+ and a psyker has to manifest and not be denied.

    My experience with psychic powers is it's nice when it works but you just can't build a turn's strategies around them either and, in my opinion, when you can't build a strategy around something you have to consider if it's really worth the investment for the times it does work. I have no answers but it's what tumbles around in my brain in that situation.

    1. GK Grand Masters can roll on a variety of disciplines, including Sanctic and Divination. But you have to roll and hope you get it. He's ML2, and costs almost 150 points. Librarians have the same access, and can be upgraded to ML3 for a total of 135 points or so. Captain Stern gets Sanctuary automatically, but he's almost 200 points.
      It's all offset slightly by how dirt cheap GK Terminators are per unit, but I have no idea how effective they'd be against something like say, Eldar.

  3. Keep in mind having deep strike on every squad is pretty good for Maelstrom.

    It's not accurate, the squads are minimum 200 points each, and you will be fighting with less than your total army strength, which was already overpriced and underpowered when at 100% to begin with, but it is something. The power to deep strike wherever you want for any mission card in your hand can be game winning.

    1. That is a good point. I suppose if you drop the squad directly on top of the objective, scatter should still allow you to Run back to the objective in the most extreme cases.
      Grey Knights have a detachment that allows the army to start rolling for Deep Strike on Turn One, and Doublewing could use the free homers on every Ravenwing bike model. Space Marines have the Strike Force Ultra formation, that allows them to Run and shoot on the turn they arrive.