The Assault Class
The assault class is the fast attack option of all the classes. The assault’s jump pack means it can cross the most distance in the quickest time, allowing it to rapidly assault enemies and seize objectives. They also excel at hit and run attacks, harrying the enemy and withdrawing before they face any retaliation, only to reappear again. The assault’s strengths lie in its speed, agility, flexibility, close combat prowess and perhaps most of all its ability to ambush. The assault at its best is never seen coming, and its power to ambush is only matched by unscrupulous individuals armed with heavy bolters or melta guns, hiding around corners.
Without the ‘Impenetrable’ perk, the assault is most vulnerable to shooting and is therefore ‘fast but fragile.’ Ideally, you don’t want to give the enemy the chance to shoot you. The jump pack alone, has the capacity to kill, so aim your ground pounds, not simply on top of your enemy, but where you can cut off his avenues for escape and retaliation. Get behind him and you can introduce his supple back to Mr. Chainsword.
You should also use the jump pack to rapidly, rapidly redeploy. This means that if you don’t ground pound as well as you’d have liked to begin with, take to the skies again. The landing stuns, so use that to your advantage. Don’t hesitate to use your non jump pack stun attack either, and running with a shoulder barge can sometimes be effective, though it can leave you open.
The thing about the assault class is that it works on the principle that it surprises and disorients foes, but it can easily disorient itself. It’s far too easy to get into a swinging frenzy while the prey has rolled out of the way, leaving you open to attack. Perks like “Swordsman’s Zeal” negate this by a measure, because you can recover health with each swing, but it’s not a quick fix and requires you to land your hits.
You need to be judicious with your swings. Swinging at air won’t help you, but swinging into a devastator’s soft sides are a guaranteed kill most of the time. This might seem obvious, but it’s very easy to give into Khorne’s whispers and start madly cleaving in the assumption that you’re pressing the ‘I win’ button.
You need to focus on what you’re doing. If a foe is out of your reach, a lunge can often put you back in range, but it can also leave you short of your target, which is exactly what a dev or tac, backing away while shooting will want. Sometimes, it’s better to leave the fight then rapidly re-enter it to regain the advantage, or wait until you can surprise your foe by coming from a different direction.
Picking when to use the jump pack is also essential, because unless you have the “Air Cooled Thrusters’ perk, the recharge rate on the pack can leave you stranded, unable to escape, consolidate ground or simply just dodge away. The idea is not to use it sparingly, as this will limit your effectiveness in itself, but use it effectively. Use it to get behind a target rather than in front of their guns. Use it to dodge out of the way, rather than give yourself a tiny, useless forward nudge (this is a very real concern with the control scheme and pack recharge rate). Use it to disorient your foe rather than react to their moves.
Assaults have the easiest time capturing objective markers because of their speed. They can zoom about the map in a fraction of the time it takes the other classes, allowing them to reach critical points with ease. Seizing points should be a primary concern for them because they do it best, but uncapping points and then leaving can often give you a strategic advantage in that it can disable your enemy’s point collection ability and draw them away while you are busy capping another point somewhere else.
The assault class has the weakest ranged attack, but don’t discount it. Using a pistol can often mean the difference between a narrow defeat and a narrow victory. If an enemy has strayed outside your range, you can sometimes finish them off with a pistol. The plasma pistol is also excellent at weakening armour, so it’s a good companion to the chainsword in the run up to your charge. Opponents will be expecting you to attack them in hand-to-hand more than with a pistol, so use the surprise to your advantage. Ideally, you blend the use of both for the best results.
Be aware that use of the pistol means that you can’t charge usually, so use it between jump boosts rather than instead of.
Secondly, the pistol is excellent as an initial strike from above if the enemy knows you’re coming. Strike from the sky while you’re harder to hit, then slam down while they’re trying to get a bead on you in mid air.
The assault should use grenades as the opening of its strike. If the enemy doesn’t know you’re coming you can throw some grenades to make sure they’re damaged and/or stunned in preparation for your second stun attack which finishes with a close combat kill. Similarly, grenades are good for distractions if you have to jet away, as it means the enemy will be focusing on the grenades rather than tracking your escape, allowing you a better chance of surprise if you decide to follow it up.
Blind grenades are a raptor’s ideal companion, since a blind enemy is less able to anticipate your moves. However, you will lose the physical stun of the frag.
You might think you’re the king of close quarters, but a tactical with a melta will wreck your faceplate. They operate by letting you do the work in getting close to them, then letting loose. This tactic is especially useful if they’ve softened you up with a weapons versatile storm bolter.
The tactical has little problem evading, so you want to surprise and stun him. If they don’t know you’re coming they have less chance of reacting in time, but if they can’t react at all because you’ve executed a series of stuns, then you’ll have similar success. Close combat is where they’ll be weakest, but perks like ‘serrated combat knife’ will give them an edge if they retaliate. This isn’t exactly a common perk though. Remember, it’s all about quickly getting your attacks in, cornering them if you can and making the attacks count. You want to make it hard for the tactical to bring any ranged power to bear.
Simply leave the fight if you feel it’s not going your way. You can rapidly re-enter it from a more advantageous position, like behind or on top of them, or just cut your losses.
Devs are the easiest to flank and ambush because they’re the least mobile. They have the hardest time avoiding grenades and evading close combat attacks. The problems start if you end up in front of their guns, which is a special concern when facing a plasma cannon bearer, as they will generally opt for the suicide attack.
The other problem is the approach to them. If you can ambush them, and they’re unsupported, or even if they are, you can usually carry out your kill. But if they are in a position where they survey the ground and you’re in the open, you’ll most likely not make it unless you have a well planned evasion route, stay in and out of cover and through building levels, or you’re just lucky.
You also need to watch out for their stomps and kicks, so use plenty of your own stunning techniques to keep them off centre. A strike or two followed up by a stun or another ground pound can usually give you the upper hand. If you are using a slower weapon like the hammer or axe, you may want to stun first.
Flank for victory or flee from failure.
Against Other Assaults
Hack them to pieces. The same rules apply: disorient, ambush, stun and redeploy. The only change here is that whomever is first to strike is usually the winner unless the other assault is adept with working in stuns and pistol shots, or accurate with their pack use.
If you’re taking on an assault with a go-go gadget extend-o hammer (which you should assume has the ‘Killing Blow’ perk) don’t ever let them get near you. Stun or jump away if they get close. If you lead with a stun you might get lucky, but your best bet is to flank them. Pistols can also work to your advantage if you shoot them as they close, jump pack away, then ground pound and enter hand-to-hand. It’s not fool proof, but it gives you a chance if your weapon isn’t as devastating as their hammer that has the reach of a country mile.
- Use your mobility to ambush and disorient foes.
- Flank wherever possible.
- Use ground pound to lead your attacks.
- Use your pack to rapidly change where you are attacking from, a predictable raptor is a dead raptor.
- Use your other tools to supplement your attack. Use grenades to soften or distract the enemy and pistols to make your form of attack constant and versatile.
- BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
- Picture reference from Space Marine Wikia.
- All information based on author’s experience with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine