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Friday, May 17, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Heavy Support Part 3



Predator

The Predator is the workhorse of the Space Marine Heavy Support section. With front armor 13, it’s reasonably tough to take out from the front. It can mount weapons to take on both infantry and tanks. The basic anti-infantry pattern keeps the autocannon turret and adds heavy bolters, making it a cheap platform that can force a lot of saves on power armor or chew through light infantry. The anti-tank pattern once again keeps the turret autocannon but adds lascannon sponson. The lascannon turret is way too expensive for what you get. This is my preferred pattern, and is one of the most efficient means to add long range anti-tank to your army.

The Predator is simple to use. Since it loses most of its firepower if it moves, it should be placed in an area with good fields of fire, preferably in a corner. Corner deployment will keep the enemy from getting easy shots on its side armor.

If our Predators are discounted in the same way that the Dark Angels have been, the tri-las Predator will become really viable. This is one of my biggest hopes for the new codex.


Whirlwind

Though still not a popular choice, the Whirlwind has picked up some extra uses in 6th edition. First, infantry is more prevalent and the Whirlwind is excellent at dealing with blobs light infantry. Second, the new barrage rules mean that you can snipe important enemy models out of squads with a Whirlwind. On a hit, you’re likely to inflict at least 5 wounds on any model you want. They’re going to fail some saves.

The Whirlwind can fire two blasts: one with the stats of a heavy bolter and another with bolter stats that ignores cover (particularly useful for dealing with infantry behind an Aegis Defense Line). The Whirlwind is currently slightly outclassed by the Thunderfire (4 small blasts will inflict more hits than one large blast, and the Thunderfire has higher strength on its comparable shots), but it does have the advantages of being a barrage weapon.

Like many Space Marine tanks, the Whirlwind got a pretty massive drop in points in the Dark Angels codex, and I hope we get a similar drop in points cost in our next codex.

Vindicator

The Vindicator is a straightforward tank. It takes a Predator chassis and adds the devastating demolisher cannon to it. While short ranged, the demolisher will kill just about anything it hits, infantry or vehicle. With S10, it even has the capacity to inflict instant death on many common death stars, including Paladins.

Because of its short range and impressive firepower, the Vindicator will be target priority number one for your opponent. This can work to your favor, as it can draw fire away from your more fragile units. If you really want your Vindicator to do damage, you need to take two of them to ensure that one gets to fire.

Using a Vindicator is trickier than our other tanks, as it needs to expose its side armor when it gets close enough to fire the Demolisher cannon. If you want to use the Vindicator aggressively, advance it up a flank to limit the firepower directed to it. A siege shield is a good choice here as it will allow the Vindicator to advance through cover, further keeping it safe. The other option is to use the Vindicator for area denial. Put it somewhere safe and wait for the enemy to advance into its field of fire. This eliminates the weakness of its short range and can greatly alter the flow of the battle, particularly against assault oriented enemies or if the Vindicator can cover an objective.

3 comments:

  1. Good point about the Whirlwind sniping models, not something I had thought about before I must admit.

    You can of course use Rhinos' and Razorbacks' as ablative armour for a vindicator, flank one each side or as you suggest use the table edge and you can have some confidence that it'll survive a bit longer than by leaving it isolated. This works pretty well with an anti tank razorback if you can use that to pop a transport then demolisher cannon the contents.

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  2. Great post! I learned a lot! Just check out the whirlwind. You meant to say that it ignores COVER, but wrote ARMOR. Keep up the good posts!

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  3. Thanks! I'm very pleased you both found this post helpful. I've never tried pairing up a Vindicator with Razorbacks for cover, but that does seem like a useful idea.

    Thanks for spotting that mistake, RoockieBoy. I'll fix it immediately.

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