The first thing that should be mentioned about Veterans, from a list building perspective, is that they can be core troops in your force org with you take a Delagatus Consul or Praetor and select pride of the legion. Which makes them troops and thus have objective secured with 7th ed rules. More importantly, it shifts a very good elite unit out of elites and into your troop slots which frees up your elite slots.
In general, I prefer Mor Deythan over Vets in my elite slots, but as troops you don't have to make that hard choice ;)
The hard choice with vets, is deciding how you want to use them. They can be everything from tar pits, to combat monsters, to tank hunters, to multi taskers, but trying to make them do everything is a recipe for failure.
The basic Veteran is a tac squad sergeant. They come standard with 2 attacks, bolter, BP and CCW at 25/15 pts. Note: the second 5 marines are really quite a bargain.
In addition, for 25 pts you pick up melta bombs for the entire squad, making them the cheapest way to get 10 melta bombs in your arsenal. Let this sink in. It's really the true reason I take vets.
You can also take a power weapon of your choice, on every guy for 10 pts, which is really quite powerful considering they are 2 attacks base.
Finally for every 5 guys you can take a special weapon or a hvy bolter or missile launcher with a suspensor web. This makes them pretty similar to 40K vets and also make them key candidates for rhinos.
The most interesting rule they have going for them is Veteran tactics. Basically they get to pick what sort of special snow flake they want to be at the beginning of the game. And the special rules they get to pick from are great:
- Fearless: Often overlooked, but I think this can be the strongest rule. It let's you tarpit or be a pain in the ass to the last man.
- Sniper: Gives you precision shot, wound on a 4+ and ap2 on a wound roll of 6. It's very Raven Guard and a strong choice. It works great on bolters but can really shine on heavy bolters or frag missiles and throwing frag grenades. It also works really well with Raven Guard because you can set up in position in cover and snipe from turn 1 on.
- Furious charge: Again, this feels very Raven Guard, but it's a trap. A vet with power weapon costs 35 points. Guess what else is 35 points with furious charge and is a Raven Guard Veteran. A Raven Guard Terminator...
- Outflank: Again, it's a trap with Raven Guard because you already get it with our core legion rules. That said, the concept is good with rhinos. Solid choice for reserve list. Also why i usually take them in a rhino, as it opens up this option to do counter reserves. And in diagonal deployment it can be the best way to get across the battle field.
- Tank Hunters: This is a good option in a decapitating strike list with muan. Either you run them in a rhino with 2 meltas or in a drop pod with 2 meltas and melta bombs and a power axe or two.
How I run them:
- 10 Vets, 2x melta guns, melta bombs, 2 power axes, drop pod. I usually take fearless on these guys, but sometimes tank hunter if I'm going to be better than them in hth. Drop in and stay in the pod. Shoot people up first turn try to charge an d important vehicle second turn. Remember that melta bombs get 2 dice against ceramite armor!!! Which is the real reason I take vets...
- 10 vets 2 missile launchers. Objective campers. Hopefully you can set up a side shot with the missile launcher. These guys take sniper. I often out flank these guys to keep them alive.
- Consider for a second 50 vet marines with fearless and melta bombs, and 20 tacs with a chaplain all infiltrating 18" off your back porch. It's also an amazing core for larger games, where you add more mor deythan squads, hell maybe corax to give everyone on a 6 inch run. 50 fleeting melta bombs is a scary ass concept. You can also put all these guys in drop pods id you like to which makes them additionally scary and in your face. These squads win in hth against anything not hth dedicated and they can smash any vehicle in the game with ease. Plus that's a lot of double tapping bolters and special weapons. AND WITH FEARLESS YOU HAVE TO KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!!!