It seems everyone loves Legion of the Damned (LoD), for their fluff but many have reservations about fielding them. Many argue that for the points you get more use out of Sternguard. Being someone who also enjoys their fluff and loves the new models for them, well I had to give them a shot. Now, when I write tacticas they aren’t written to tell you how to use something, instead they are generally more my experience with a unit and my thoughts. I’ll never claim to know the absolute best way to do anything but I do enjoy sharing my views.
I’ve fielded LoD in three different games now. My first game was a 1,000pt game against another Marine player. As I said, I had been wanting to try them out and I found it was easy to fit them into the small list. Normally I’ll take Sternguard, typically five of them with a melta in a drop pod for smaller games like this. That unit will run me 165pts with the drop pod. For the exact same cost I was able to field five LoD with a heavy bolter. Being able to re-roll deepstrike is almost as good as having a drop pod and I’m not giving up another easy kill point. In this particular game they did well. I deep struck behind his main force on a weak flank where he was sitting five Tacts guarding his objective. I was able to shoot him up and force him to fall back. I gave chase and eventually locked him in combat and destroyed him.
My second game I tried LoD out on was a 2,000pt game. This time the only difference was taking a plasma cannon instead of the heavy bolter but still only taking five LoD. Oh, I also gave my Damned Sergeant a power weapon and bolt pistol so I could make use of his WS5 if the time came, so coming in at 190pts for the unit. This fight was against Iron Warriors and I dropped my LoD again behind the main force but on his stronger flank. They managed to shoot up some Plague Marines and then destroy them in combat when they got charged. They took an amazing amount of shots this game but that 3+ invulnerable came through for me, only losing two the entire game. My only problem with them was their late arrival in this game.
The last game was also a 1,000pt game played on the same night but against a Witch Hunter army with Imperial Guard allies. The unit setup was the same as above. Fortunately they showed up earlier this time. They took out a small platoon of IG sitting on their objective with some shooting and then later assaulting. I lost only one LoD this game and they managed to contest my opponent’s objective while taking a ton of fire and I held my objective to give me the win.
So far I’m loving these guys. This unit can get really expensive if you start going larger with them; 10 of them running you 305pts base cost. You start adding in the special and heavy weapons, giving your Sarge some gear, and you’ve got a really expensive unit for sure. At that point you can start considering Terminators who are more resilient and probably going to get the job done better. This is where it seems most arguments arise about LoD, why pay that much for the unit when you have units like Sternguard and Terminators? I don’t disagree with that argument, which is why I’ve been taking them as a small strike team. In this small unit I’ve been using they’ve proven to be a hard to remove distraction that you can’t ignore. For me the key to them being a threat is the heavy weapon, making use of being slow and purposeful, and that 3+ invulnerable save. They show up pretty much where you want thanks to the deep strike re-roll and then immediately start firing all they have. Lots of attention needs to go their way in order to remove them since they’re fearless to top it off, and that attention means my main force is much safer.
Lastly, let’s not forget these guys have veteran stats with better leadership and a Sarge who has WS5. Even in a small unit as I’ve been taking them they are still a threat with assault. I can’t tackle everything, the size won’t allow it, but what I may not be able to kill outright I can damn sure tie up thanks to the invulnerable save. The Sarge with a power weapon will do some damage so even if I’m going to lose I’m making them pay for the win in blood.