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Chaincannon Havocs -- Your experience?


Iron Father Ferrum
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So I'm back into build & paint mode for my Alpha Legionnaires and as I'm approaching the finish line for my Predator (WIP thread in the AL sub for those interested!) I'm looking ahead to what's next.  I just so happen to have a box of Havocs still in the shrink wrap, and a few spare chaincannons from previous Havoc boxes to bulk out a full squad.

 

My initial assessment was that chaincannons would do better on Troop CSM squads providing a base of fire with bolters, but the DTTFE has me thinking that chainswords might be the better bet for Troop squads -- ergo, chaincannons should go on Havocs.  It's a LOT of shots, especially with Cacophony as an option, but I wanted to get some practical experience from the rest of the community on whether or not they're actually worth taking at the moment.

 

 

Yes, I'm aware of the theory about "contents of the box = options in the book" that coalesced after the latest DG codex release, but I'm not worried about future proofing.  If it comes to that, I can just pop the guns off because I don't use plastic glue.

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AL right now seem to be the best legion to get the most out of chaincannons havocs. Though I would put them on regular new CSM and on the havoc sized bases, then just re-base to 32mm if needed. That way they can be used in CSM squads later without much issue. Use the havoc bodies for new characters. 

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I get a lot of mileage out of my chainhavocs as Iron Warriors, against vehicles and troops alike. With VoLW and Vehicle Hunters (IW strat), the havocs are wounding most vehicles on 4s rerolling all failed wounds. This stacks up quickly especially if they have Precience and Lord aura. They're wounding most infantry on 2s with VoLW too.

 

I'm not too sure what tools AL have to boost them up but I'd say they're great additions for all Legions.

 

I personally wouldn't recommend using them in a normal marine squad, mainly becuase you will need to move them up the board to get in range, losing the ignore heavy penalty on them definitely hurts

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ran them at a GT this month. Reapers, Lascannons, and HBs on three separate squads. 

 

Reaper Chaincannons are far and above the best, especially with a cheeky Prescience and Chaos Lord. 

 

The lascannons were okay, but HBs were awful.

 

I ran my HBs and Reapers in a Dreadclaw, so they could get within 24." If you have enough Obscuring Ruins, you can get away with not using Conceal as well. 

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I ran rotor cannons in a dreadclaw as well last weekend against necrons. They where inable to whipe a whole squad, but performed quite well.

I did not support them though.

 

They need to be supported to do anything outstanding.  Prescience is good, but better used on units that have shooting and melee capacity, as they would benefit in both phases.  This is especially important with the recent Death to the False Emperor changes.  A Dark Apostle using Warp Sight works fine, too.  Dark Apostles are terrible in combat, anyway.  Might as well keep them in the back.  The problem is that they have to issue the Prayer at the start of the turn.  That would mean transports are out.

 

I run one unit in a Black Legion army and they *can* perform miracles.  With Veterans of the Long War, Endless Cacophony and some to-hit bonuses or reolls they can sweep 40ish Guardsmen in one turn.  That's great, if you want to dump 3-4CPs into a unit.  Otherwise, i don't think they hold up vs the same points of Terminators.  Reaper Chaincannons have to mow down infantry to make their points back fast, because they are not tough enough to stand up to more than Bolter fire. 

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I understand that.  But a static CSM squad with heavy weapons in a forward fixed position doesn't get it either.  That's my point -- ideally, they won't be moving.

 

A bigger part of my CSM vs Havoc internal argument is about losses to the squads.  Havocs can't get built up any more, so your Champ is the only cushion you have before you start losing heavy weapons.  With a Troops squad, yes you get fewer big guns per model, but you'll lose them slower because you have chumps to pull off first.  As an Alpha Legionnaire -- something you know a bit about -- our Legion Trait is a durability buff that kicks in at longer ranges; chaincannons literally can't fight at those longer ranges.  Would I prefer to have four chaincannons grouped up to just pour the hurt onto an enemy in the midfield?  Absolutely.  Practically speaking, that squad is going to get focused down horrendously fast.  Havocs with longer-ranged weapons like lascannons or missile launchers -- even heavy bolters -- can stand off further into the backfield, receive the to-hit benefit of our Legion Trait, hopefully be out of charge range of most enemy units, and still contribute to the battle.

 

A Troops squad with a chaincannon or two wants to be in the midfield where all of its weapons can contribute to the fight: bolters for adding weight to the chaincannons, or chainswords for assaulting/defending an objective.  And again, by using FO I can get this squad into the midfield into an advantageous firing position before the game begins.  Ideally, they're static for the majority of the game so they're not necessarily missing the lack of the move-and-shoot penalty on the chaincannons.

 

So anyway, that's a bigger explanation as to why I'm torn on the Troops vs Havocs question.  I do appreciate the feedback from everyone.

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I'm still annoyed about the Havoc change generally, but the bigger problem I have is the limited squad size as you've noted IFF. They are going to be a high priority target with chaincannons and without bolter billies to take the hits first you're losing heavy weapons fast :confused:

 

I remember when they first came out quite a few were talking about CSM squads being the better place for chaincannons, I'm not feeling like this has changed? You're not missing that much from one less chainsword?

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I think this is why you need to deliver them via dread claw.

You deepstrike them, put a votlw on them and shoot twice. Then in your opponents turn they probably die. So you habe to try tobmake those points back in one turn of shooting.

Good thing is, that rhey can stay out of most rapid fire ranges.

Edited by Maschinenpriester
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I understand that.  But a static CSM squad with heavy weapons in a forward fixed position doesn't get it either.  That's my point -- ideally, they won't be moving.

 

A bigger part of my CSM vs Havoc internal argument is about losses to the squads.  Havocs can't get built up any more, so your Champ is the only cushion you have before you start losing heavy weapons.  With a Troops squad, yes you get fewer big guns per model, but you'll lose them slower because you have chumps to pull off first.  As an Alpha Legionnaire -- something you know a bit about -- our Legion Trait is a durability buff that kicks in at longer ranges; chaincannons literally can't fight at those longer ranges.  Would I prefer to have four chaincannons grouped up to just pour the hurt onto an enemy in the midfield?  Absolutely.  Practically speaking, that squad is going to get focused down horrendously fast.  Havocs with longer-ranged weapons like lascannons or missile launchers -- even heavy bolters -- can stand off further into the backfield, receive the to-hit benefit of our Legion Trait, hopefully be out of charge range of most enemy units, and still contribute to the battle.

 

A Troops squad with a chaincannon or two wants to be in the midfield where all of its weapons can contribute to the fight: bolters for adding weight to the chaincannons, or chainswords for assaulting/defending an objective.  And again, by using FO I can get this squad into the midfield into an advantageous firing position before the game begins.  Ideally, they're static for the majority of the game so they're not necessarily missing the lack of the move-and-shoot penalty on the chaincannons.

 

So anyway, that's a bigger explanation as to why I'm torn on the Troops vs Havocs question.  I do appreciate the feedback from everyone.

 

Endless Cacophony + VotLW Prescience + re-rolling 1s. You max the bang for your buck. 2x Chaincannons and 7/8 bolters and a combi ain't doing anywhere near the same. 

 

If you're worried about them dying, hide them behind something Obscuring and Breachable, then wander through and let 'er rip (Deploy them with FO so you can move forward if you go first). Alternatively, Renascent Infiltration and a Faceless Commander/Deep Striking Sorcerer/Chaos Lord, or as has been suggested the Dreadclaw.

 

After that, you also have Conceal. Fling 30 Cultists out with Delightful Agonies, and if you really feel like being annoying, a Benediction of Darkness for -1 to hit. One day, I might attempt a squad of 20 CSMs to do the same thing. 

 

None of this is particularly competitive, I'm not gonna lie, but it's the way I've found the way to get the most out of them. And for the gods' sake, don't take HBs.

Edited by ChazSexington
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You would think so, but it's comparing 12 D2 shots to 32 D1 shots both wounding on 3s. HBs are cheaper, but even in Marines they're outclassed by Gravcannons. They do have a range advantage, but that depends on you being able to park them somewhere where they can actually take advantage of it.

Edited by tinpact
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I don't like the idea of sacrificing a "firepower" unit like that if I can avoid it.

 

 

In any case, do you find that heavy bolter Havocs don't have an effective output? The D2 seems like it would be handy in a Marine meta.

I am actually not facing a lot of marines (mainly necrons, eldar and death guard). And the D1 weapons feel more flexible I think.

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I don't like the idea of sacrificing a "firepower" unit like that if I can avoid it.

 

 

In any case, do you find that heavy bolter Havocs don't have an effective output? The D2 seems like it would be handy in a Marine meta.

I am actually not facing a lot of marines (mainly necrons, eldar and death guard). And the D1 weapons feel more flexible I think.

 

 

I am still a fan of the autocannon myself, with the rise of gravis/ T5 units for loyalists to complement HB's (not in the same unit though). My best mix havocs are x2 LC, ML + AC. you got the flakk missile strat option, you kill off AC then ML, champ etc before your LC's start dropping and everything is the same range and you don't waste shots against MEQ infantry units when vehicles are absent or hiding. Outside of a havoc unit, I predict the AC making a comeback in MSU with a combi plas champ in the new codex. 

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Chaincannons look good on paper. S5 is pretty good considering Orks are now T5. It is also a threat to light skimmers like Venoms. 1D is not such a hindrance when you have a huge bucket of dice and it ignores -1D abilities.

 

My only word of caution is that CSMs are rumoured to be getting a big revamp next year so magnetising might be a good idea in case they get nerfed or something else becomes the new hotness.

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I don't like the idea of sacrificing a "firepower" unit like that if I can avoid it.

 

 

In any case, do you find that heavy bolter Havocs don't have an effective output?  The D2 seems like it would be handy in a Marine meta.

 

I found there's just not enough shots. 2 hit, 1.32 wound, 0.66 go through saves. Multiply that by 4, and a squad of HB Havocs kill 2-3 SMs (not counting the plasma gun). For 135 points. That's HBs shooting at maybe the unit they're most effective against, and not being effective at all. You don't want to pop a 2 CP Stratagem to kill a combat squad. 

 

I MUCH prefer the 8 shot Reaper Chaincannons. They might be D1, but they're just so much more versatile, especially when buffed. They can hose hordes and elites. Their Strength, volume, and damage means they're useful against any army. 

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So I’m late to this party, but yes, I use them all the time. The only way I’d pull them is if we got multi meltas. 
 

With the current codex, and Vets of long war, they just get a ton done for me, even on hard targets. In fact everyone I play targets them heavily, every time. Mostly these are semi regular opponents so they know what they do. 
 

Abe often does give them full rerolls for me but even without I still find them to be a staple in all my lists. 

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