Squad Build - Tarkus
(NOT for Chaos Rising)
Tarkus can use any light ranged weapon and Terminator Armour without having to take a Trait. However, his squad doesn't always mirror his weapon changes (e.g., flamer or plasma gun).
Although Tarkus starts as a shooter, his strongest weapon is probably grenades from the Grenadier trait. Grenades can take out whole squads very quickly, has indirect fire (you can throw them over/through obstacles) and do good damage against all target types.
Two Accessory slots to start plus a third from Improved Load Out means you could possibly have three Armour-improving seals for a very high Armour Rating, then stack on Tactical Advance. In practice, however, you probably want at least one slot for Grenades to take advantage of his Grenadier trait.
The traits we aimed for were in this order: Grenadier, Close Combat Aptitude, Veteran Squadmates, Tactical Mastery, I Shall Not Fall. We deliberately chose not to take "I Shall Not Fall" early even though it is powerful, because we are aiming for non-suicidal tactics.
Tactical Advance - Break Suppression and reduce incoming ranged damage at the cost of movement speed.
- It appears that if you simply flash this power (briefly turn it on and off) you will still break suppression for a while. You could do this if you are short on Energy and need to throw a grenade soon.
- Taunt - Force nearby enemies to switch targets and engage Tarkus's squad, drawing their fire from other friendly units.
- Apparently does nothing if the enemies are not already fighting or they cannot see him.
- Larraman's Blessing - After being revived in combat, Tarkus cannot be harmed for several seconds.
- I would prefer tactics that involved Tarkus not having to be revived.
- Veteran Squadmates - Tarkus leads a squad of Chapter Veterans, with increased toughness and improved equipment.
- The squad default weapons are one bolter, one plasma gun, and one plasma cannon. If they are carrying a melee weapon, two of them have plasma pistols, which are not available to you (the plasma pistol wargear are usable only by the Force Commander or Thaddeus). The plasma weapons means his squad has much better anti-vehicle capabilities but the slower rate of fire means they aren't as effective against massed infantry.
- I Shall Not Fall - So long as Tactical Advance is active, Tarkus fights through the worst of injuries and cannot be incapacitated.
- I would prefer tactics that involved Tarkus not being put in suicidal situations and having to rely on this skill.
- Bolter Specialist - When using a bolter or storm bolter, Tarkus learns to fire more frequently.
- Since you will probably swap out for a plasma gun later, this isn't a particularly important trait.
- Ranged Specialist - Tarkus learns to fire plasma guns and flamers while moving.
- Tactical Expertise - While using Tactical Advance, Tarkus and his squad inflict additional damage in addition to gaining the standard defensive benefits. Benefit does not apply to other squads affected by Tactical Mastery.
Terminator Armour has its own set of melee weapons, none of which require Traits to use.
- Close Combat Aptitude - Tarkus and his squad become able to equip chainswords and bolt pistols.
- If you are primarily using Grenades for Tarkus's ranged offence, then this lets you choose two items to equip instead of one. You could take a Bolt Pistol that gives you additional energy regeneration and thereby help you both keep up Tactical Advance as well as throw Grenades.
- Melee Tactician - Tactical Advance reduces incoming damage from close-combat as well as ranged attacks.
- This trait makes Tarkus probably the safest squad to defend in melee since he now has significant protection against basically all attack types. Without Power Sword Aptitude, however, his anti-vehicle capability must be made up with Accessories.
- Power Sword Aptitude - Tarkus becomes able to equip power swords.
- He cannot use Power Fists, although one of his Veteran Squadmates has a Power Fist if he is using a melee weapon.
- Improved Load Out - Number of Accessory slots increased by one.
- Grenadier - When equipped, Frag Grenades are an Energy-using ability for Tarkus, rather than a limited use ability replenished by supply drops.
- There tend to be a good amount of supply drops, but there are some maps where you simply don't have that many, such as the "The Defense of Argus Gate" mission.
- Also, it is very easy to mess up a grenade throw. Unless you are looking at the map top-down, the game has to decide what you are throwing at, and sometimes what you think you aimed at isn't what the game has calculated. It is possible to throw through a building, but if you are looking at the target location from the side, more often than not the grenade hits the building.
- With this Trait, you can afford to use Tarkus to clear every garrisoned building with a grenade. You are, however, competing with Tactical Advance for Energy, so you may need to just flash Tactical Advance on and off instead of keeping it continuously on.
- You cannot use Grenades in Terminator Armour.
- Tactical Mastery - The benefits of Tactical Advance spread to nearby allied squads, allowing a sizable force to advance under its protection. Tactical Expertise does not spread to other squads.