My Penal detachment...ordered to charge into certain death!
I have previously mentioned how brilliant the Leman Russ is once more, even if their weapon load outs have changed for different players tastes. But I would like to bring the joys of the penal troops to your attention today.
This is always been a choice in the codex which I have enjoyed using. A lot of people dislike the randomness of their abilities and lack of weapons choices. I'm also aware that stubbornness on a leadership of 8 and a small easily killable squad is hardly Uber. However, it is the fact that the squad is so understated that I like it. At 80 points it doesn't exactly break the bank (but you can get a command squad with three meltas for that!?!) and the lack of obvious punch makes it a lowly target for enemy fire. But to me this is the true advantage of the squad, by being primarily low key, by scouting into a fairly unused piece of the battlefield and slowly biding their time, I have used the penal squad to capture back line objectives, take the line breaker objective and generally cause inconvenience to my enemy. They may never outright win you a game, but they can sure do a lot more than their stats suggest.
On a slightly more psychological note, what does it matter if they die...isn't that what they are there for. This freedom of use and low investment allows you to experiment, to play with the cosmic order of a 40K game and generally have a bit more fun...After all isn't that what we are trying to do when we put our toy soldiers and dice on the table top!
I'd love to hear what you think. Is this just showing my naivety as a gamer or do you actively seek out units for different, less conventional roles?!?