Friday, February 22, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Elites Part 2


Dreadnoughts became a bit more limited in this edition because grenades now hit them normal weapon skill in assault. Therefore, units with krak grenades and meltabombs will quite quickly bring down a Dreadnought in assault. Therefore, their firepower is now their most important role.

The two most commonly seen load-outs for a fire support Dreadnought are twin-linked lascannon and missile launcher (better for taking on heavy armor) or a pair of twin-linked autocannons (better for light armor and pretty reliable for hitting fliers). The plasma cannon is worthwhile for taking on heavy infantry. The assault cannon and multi-melta are too short ranged for a dedicated fire support Dreadnought, and the twin-linked heavy bolter lacks the punch you need.

The other role Dreadnoughts excel in is Drop Pod assault. With their ability to fire heavy weapons as soon as they land, Dreadnoughts are very useful for alpha striking immediate threats. The multi-melta can take out heavy armor while the assault cannon is great for infantry and light vehicles. In this case, the Dreadnought should keep its power fist and the heavy flamer is a worthwhile upgrade. While their main role is to alpha strike, they will be close to the enemy and will have to engage infantry almost immediately. Just try to assault units without too many grenades.

 Venerable Dreadnought

The Venerable Dreadnought is almost identical to its younger comrades. They have the same armor and options, but are WS and BS 5 and are Venerable, which means that you can force your opponent to re-roll results on the vehicle damage table. These upgrades cost you the points of a base Predator.

Since the Dreadnought will be wrecked after three glancing or penetrating hits regardless of what is rolled on the damage table, Venerable doesn’t improve the Dreadnoughts survivability very much. The BS 5 isn’t too useful because most of the Dreadnought’s weapons are twin-linked. In general, I don’t think Venerable Dreadnoughts are worth the points in 6th Edition.

Ironclad Dreadnought

The Ironclad is the Codex: Space Marine answer to the Furioso, a heavy armored assault Dreadnought. With front and side armor 13, the Ironclad will stand up well to most firepower and is invulnerable to krak grenades. Armed with two Dreadnought close-combat weapons, the Ironclad is capable of tearing through most enemy squads, though it can be tied down by hordes. Because of its short-ranged weapons and proclivity for assault, the Ironclad is best deployed by Drop Pod.

The Ironclad comes with a Dreadnought close-combat weapon, Seismic Hammer (a Dreadnought close-combat weapon that adds +1 on the vehicle damage table), a storm bolter, and a meltagun. The seismic hammer can be swapped out for a chainfist, which is also great for tearing up vehicles (and looks cooler in my opinion). Both the storm bolter and meltaguns can be swapped for heavy flamers, giving the Ironclad serious horde clearing power (as well as a terrifying Overwatch). The Ironclad can also be equipped with two hunter-killer missiles, which will allow it to blast a vehicle when it arrives. Their unlimited range gives you a lot of flexibility with where you land the Ironclad, as you can often set up to assault some infantry while getting side or rear shots on vehicles. You can also swap out the dreadnought close-combat weapon for a hurricane bolter, but don’t do it. There are absolutely no circumstances where it’s worth doing. Finally, it can take ironclad assault launchers, which give it assault and defensive grenades. While it can be handy, it’s very situational and fairly costly.

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