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Battle of the Heavy Support


lounahtic

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i've read a lot of BA lists and often people wonder what to bring in terms of heavy support. usually this is between the rifleman dread (dreadnought with 2x twin-linked autocannons) and the destructor pred (predator with autocannon and lascannon sponsons)(that is what you called them right? or is it annihilators) and sometimes people throw vindicators into the mix, the stormraven doesn't get mention as much. i figured that i should throw some numbers at this and see if we can get a discussion going.

 

of course you're gonna say which heavy support to take depends on what the rest of your army looks like. so let assume that we have a decent amount of anti-armor in the form of meltas. because let face it, pretty much all BA lists included several squads of RAS. the top choices are usually 10man RAS with 2x melta and 1x power fist. if it's 5man then it's 1x melta and 1x power weapon, these usually are in razorback with twin-linked assault cannon or lascannon/twin-linked plasma gun. if this is not the core units in your army than your army would have some combination of landspeeder/attack bike with multi-melta, furioso, librarian with the sanguine sword and various guys with infernus pistol. essentially speaking it doesn't matter what kind of BA list you run, you 'should' have some sort of units that have the ability to open a landraider.

 

before we start the discussion let look at some numbers, including point cost, number of shots able to fire a turn, armor value, actual money cost, destructive power and the likes. prices are rough estimate based on game workshop costs and forgeworld if applicable.

 

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Rifleman Dread: Dreadnought armed with TWO twin-linked autocannons

Profile: 120pts/(AV12/12/10)

Fire power: FOUR str7 AP4 shots with re-roll at 48"

Ballistic Skill: 88.89% hit chance or 3.556 shots

Actual money cost: $65

 

Effectiveness vs Armor

 

vs AV13

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.593

 

vs AV12

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.593

Penetration Chance: 16.67%

Penetration Hits: 0.593

 

vs AV11

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.593

Penetration Chance: 33.33%

Penetration Hits: 1.185

 

vs AV10

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.593

Penetration Chance: 50%

Penetration Hits: 1.778

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Destructor Predator: Predator armed with autocannon and lascannon side sponsons

Profile: 135pts/(AV13/11/10)

Fire power: TWO str7 AP4 shot at 48" and TWO str9 AP2 shots at 48"

Ballistic Skill: 66.67% hit chance or 1.333 shots with str7 and 1.333 shots with str9

Actual money cost: $44

 

Effectiveness vs Armor

 

vs AV14

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.222

Penetration Chance: 16.67%

Penetration Hits: 0.222

 

vs AV13

Glancing Chance: 33.34%

Glancing Hits: 0.444

Penetration Chance: 33.33%

Penetration Hits: 0.444

 

vs AV12

Glancing Chance: 33.34%

Glancing Hits: 0.444

Penetration Chance: 66.67%

Penetration Hits: 0.889

 

vs AV11

Glancing Chance: 33.34%

Glancing Hits: 0.444

Penetration Chance: 100%

Penetration Hits: 1.333

 

vs AV10

Glancing Chance: 33.34%

Glancing Hits: 0.444

Penetration Chance: 133.33%

Penetration Hits: 1.778

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Vindicator: Vindicator armed with a single demolisher cannon

Profile: 145pts/(AV13/11/10)

Fire power: ONE str10 AP2 ordnance at 24"

Ballistic Skill:

Direct Hit Chance: 44.44%

1" Scatter: 7.41%

2" Scatter: 9.26%

3" Scatter: 11.11%

4-6" Scatter: 22.22%

7"+ Scatter: 5.56%

Actual money cost: $44

 

Effectiveness vs Armor

 

vs AV14

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.167

Penetration Chance: 33.33%

Penetration Hits: 0.333

 

vs AV13

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.167

Penetration Chance: 50%

Penetration Hits: 0.5

 

vs AV12

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.167

Penetration Chance: 66.67%

Penetration Hits: 0.667

 

vs AV11

Glancing Chance: 16.67%

Glancing Hits: 0.167

Penetration Chance: 83.33%

Penetration Hits: 0.833

 

vs AV10

Penetration Chance: 100%

Penetration Hits: 1

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Stormraven: Stormraven armed with twin-linked heavy bolter, twin-linked assault cannon and FOUR bloodstrike missiles. upgrades available.

Profile: 200pts start, varies depending on upgrades/(AV12/12/12)

Fire power: varies depending on upgrades

Ballistic Skill: 66.67%

 

there are too many variables because of upgrades. i'll do this later. >.<

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anyway, i'm tired so go for it. if anyone wanna do vs infantries and mc or whatever, that'd be nice. conclusion: well from this i'd say the pred is the winner. it won't hit as often as the dread, but it will pen more often because of the higher str of the las, not to mention the ability to glance/pen AV14/13, while dread can only glance AV13. after the vehicles are gone, the pred can vaporize infantries with its las, where the dread will most likely allow saves. the vin will vaporize all infantries and chances of direct hit is pretty good, even if scatter chances of catching a couple is still good. however, the problem with vin is its single shot per turn, which hurts it greatly. against things with multiple wounds, ie MC, it's pretty ineffective. with one weapon a weapon destroy will render it useless, where other heavy support have multiple weapons. as for the stormraven, it's a huge target. to use it to its full potential, you'll end up loading it up w/ a squad and a dread. if starting on the table then it will draw ton of fire, which could be good as the rest of your army wont get shot at. it also has more fire power than any other heavy support and the ability to come out through deep strike, upload its cargo and fire two weapons at two different targets not to mention your cargo can also fire as well, it gets ugly fast. with the stormraven and its cargo, coming outta deep strike, you could take out as many as 4 vehicles. though deep striking has its dangers. well what do you guys think?

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I suck at math, so I don't mathhammer often.

 

Anywho, the way I put it is for heavy support I arm up for what the rest of my list lacks. I run a lot of AM squads toating dual meltas, so AV 14 is rarely an issue. That being said, I normally run 3 things solely; Rifleman dreads, Stormraven w/ AC/MM, Vindicators.

 

For a vast majority of my games (especially games at 1500 or less), I run 2+ Rifleman dreads. Most of the stuff you'll run into are rhino based lists, and these eat rhinos. These plow through lootas when facing orcs (and kans), as well as help vs nid MC's. They're easy to hide and provide cover, and can move 6" and shoot everything. The only things I fear when using my rifledreads are Dev squads with 4 ML's. Lascannons can worry me too, but provided I get cover, its not that big of a deal. If you shop smart (like I did) you can get AOBR dreads for $15 or so, then buy 2 AC arms off FW for another $20. $35 per dread.

 

Vindis are great, but its mostly when you lack anti-infantry. I only run these if I lack ways of taking down hordes. Mostly vs orcs as nids give me little trouble.

 

Ravens I only run when I don't have access to a Land Raider (I borrow raiders atm cuz moneys tight). They blow up pretty quick.

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I have not got one but BA Preds sound pretty cool. Fast Vehicles mean that all those weapons can fire. 2 Lascannons and an Autocannon with a great 48" range at a reasonale price. I generally think that this is they way to go. The Twin-linked LC version is probably a tad too pricey.

 

The Vindicator...good against troops but is only one shot against vehicles. Sure S10 and ordanance but it is only one weapon. Fast...yes one weapon destroyed and it is a very expensive ramming toy...I just do not know.

 

The StormRaven; no model. I guess this puppy is two in one so that is a plus, though at a price. Can move at flat out and still fire and canmove at fast and fire twice. That POTMS can be pretty handy, especiallyw ith exra armour.

 

No that I have written it all up I would probably take the StormRaven. Keep in cover or moving at flat out and firing one weapon and get your troops to the lines. Plus these days there is so much melta around that AV12 and ceramite armour is not so bad. Rather have that than AV13 and 2D6 penetration. Just get me a model!

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I'm a vindi man. The psychological effect of the Vindicator on the game is unlike any other unit we have. Units either dig into cover or fan out on the open to minimize casualties. Both of these benefit us greatly. As many of our units spend most of their time dug into assaults, many enemies end up clumped up after finally killing off units.

 

Our ability to add armor from every one of our slots also allows us to present the enemy with a wide range of armor choices to attack, minimizing the heat on our vindis. Fast vindis are also great to reserve, creating a 36" threat zone from your board edge. We have so much anti-armor in our list that heavy slot doesn't need to focus on it.

 

When playing competitively, I always choose vindis. I keep around the other stuff for friendly games.

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I'm a vindi man. The psychological effect of the Vindicator on the game is unlike any other unit we have. Units either dig into cover or fan out on the open to minimize casualties. Both of these benefit us greatly. As many of our units spend most of their time dug into assaults, many enemies end up clumped up after finally killing off units.

 

Our ability to add armor from every one of our slots also allows us to present the enemy with a wide range of armor choices to attack, minimizing the heat on our vindis. Fast vindis are also great to reserve, creating a 36" threat zone from your board edge. We have so much anti-armor in our list that heavy slot doesn't need to focus on it.

 

When playing competitively, I always choose vindis. I keep around the other stuff for friendly games.

 

I agree.

 

I've tried Preds, but was never impressed with the AC/LC pred despite the bonus of fast.

 

I haven't tried the rifleman dread yet, am considering that soon.

 

But for me, HS is the home of the Vindicator. Ability to kill anything, 12 inch move then shoot, its just great. I run 2 every game (last HS slot goes to Devs)

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yea the vin is a pretty has a pretty big psychological effect. when people see it on the board they are gonna spread their units out and aim guns at it, which is big if you're running light transports and dont wanna get shot at. there was a unit standing there, but now there's a big hole in the ground. the one weapon one shot thing is a big damper still. if possible it's be best to run 2. if one is good, then 2 is better.
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I've been using 1 vindicator in my Chaos list, and with just 1 you see the effect it has on your opponent and his strategy. I'm planning on picking 2 up for my BA army, just haven't finished painting my first army yet, so I have to hold off for now.

 

Regarding the rifleman dread, are you guys footslogging him, or dropping him in with a drop pod? I'm considering picking up a drop pod, to ensure he lands right where I want him.

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I wouldn't drop a rifleman dread. One of its advantages is the range. If you want to drop, go Furioso with meltagun and magna grapple or a regular dread with a multimelta.
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I now field 2 Dev squads with 1 Lascannon and 3 rockets each. The 2+ to hit with the lascannon is a god send. They support my 2 furioso's which pod down T1 and they support the vanguard when they drop cracking open vehicles for them.

I've been fielding one like that, with a twin las razorback.

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