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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dreadnoughts


Dreadnoughts are a solid, flexible unit that fit well into a variety of armies. They’re essentially a crippled Marine encased in a gigantic suit of Terminator armor, and they can be fielded with a large variety of weapon options. In general, they are fielded to fill three roles.


The first role a Dreadnought can fill is that of a very aggressive assault unit. In this case, it generally takes a multi-melta and heavy flamer, and keeps its power fist. It needs a drop pod, and extra armor is also required. This means that the Dreadnought can safely drop, threaten both infantry and tanks on the turn it lands, and then charge into combat. You may be thinking that a Furioso would be a better choice in this role, but it’s generally best to have a mix of both types. While the Furioso is more dangerous in assault, the standard Dreadnought is far better at destroying enemy tanks with its multi-melta. If you want your Dread Drop to work, you need to be able to take out tanks quickly to neutralize threats to your Dreadnoughts and allow them to assault any infantry that was hiding in transports.

A second and very popular role for Dreadnoughts is providing dedicated long-ranged firepower. Generally, this means two twin-linked autocannons. This produces a relatively mobile firing platform that produces lots of accurate, high strength shots. This pattern Dreadnought is simply brutal against light armor, such as transports, and will reliably put wounds on any infantry. This is a great, cheap way to provide long-ranged firepower to your army. There are other weapon options for this Dreadnought, but they all add a lot to the cost for a small increase in killing power, and often dilute the Dreadnought’s firepower against its preferred targets.

The final Dreadnought loadout is a flexible one that can fight in close-combat while providing fire support. This generally means keeping the Dreadnought close-combat weapon and using a powerful ranged weapon, often a plasma cannon or assault cannon. This design doesn’t fit well with an aggressive army, as it gets left behind by faster assault troops. However, it provides a great counter-charge unit for a shooty army.

Dreadnoughts can fill many roles in a Space Marine army, but have some trouble fitting into Blood Angels armies. Once on the ground, they can’t keep up with jump packers or our Rhinos, so they don’t fit well within an assault army. Even our other firepower units are very mobile, and Dreadnoughts can hold them back in a mechanized shooting army. This being said, you can build a dangerous army around drop podding Dreadnoughts. By combining Furioso and standard Dreadnoughts with small, drop podding Assault squads, you can drop a large number of Dreadnoughts on the first turn.

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