Thursday, April 15, 2010

How Sharp Is Your Razorback?

by SandWyrm


In my continuing attempts to come up with a Blood Angels list from the new codex that can compete with my own Mech IG army, I've sort of settled on a MSU (Multiple Small Units) approach that can maybe hope to get across the field alive and stick assault troops in the IG's face. Part of that, though, is working out my transport and anti-tank options.

I figure that I need to take a page from Stelek's critical mass lists and distribute the AT around the army, as the Guard are a little too good at taking out single uber-units. But if this is going to be a balanced list, I need to also be able to kill Orks and nids with the same weapons that I'm cracking open Chimeras with.

Hence, I'm looking at sticking my 5-man squads in Razorbacks. But what weapon should I take on them?

Stelek's lists use Lascannons. But there's not much duality there. Meaning that those tanks can't engage both tanks and infantry. What about Assault Cannons instead?

Stelek's made his opinion on Assault Cannons quite clear (Warning, bad language). But he doesn't back up those opinions with any stats. What does the math-hammer say? Well, let's fire up my custom anti-tank simulator and find out what the averages are over 100,000 attack rolls.


Twin-Linked Lascannon

Lascannon Razorback vs. Land Raider/Russ
    Stopped Target Movement: 17%
    Stopped Target Firing:   24%
    Destroyed Target:        5%
    Did Nothing to Target:   71%

Lacannon Razorback vs. Chimera (Front)
    Stopped Target Movement: 37%"
    Stopped Target Firing:   49%"
    Destroyed Target:        15%"
    Did Nothing to Target:   41%"

Lacannon Razorback vs. Chimera (Side)
    Stopped Target Movement: 56%"
    Stopped Target Firing:   74%"
    Destroyed Target:        25%"
    Did Nothing to Target:   11%"

Lacannon Razorback vs. Rhino (Front/Side)
    Stopped Target Movement: 47%"
    Stopped Target Firing:   62%"
    Destroyed Target:        20%"
    Did Nothing to Target:   26%"

Lacannon Razorback vs. Ork Trukk
    Stopped Target Movement: 72%"
    Stopped Target Firing:   74%"
    Destroyed Target:        40%"
    Did Nothing to Target:   11%"


Twin Linked Assault Cannon

Assault Cannon Razorback vs. Land Raider/Russ
    Stopped Target Movement: 21%
    Stopped Target Firing:   29%
    Destroyed Target:        6%
    Did Nothing to Target:   66%

Assault Cannon Razorback vs. Chimera (Front)
    Stopped Target Movement: 34%
    Stopped Target Firing:   41%
    Destroyed Target:        19%
    Did Nothing to Target:   53%

Assault Cannon Razorback vs. Chimera (side)
    Stopped Target Movement: 72%
    Stopped Target Firing:   85%
    Destroyed Target:        36%
    Did Nothing to Target:   10%

Assault Cannon Razorback vs. Rhino (Front/Side)
    Stopped Target Movement: 54%
    Stopped Target Firing:   69%
    Destroyed Target:        20%
    Did Nothing to Target:   24%

Assault Cannon Razorback vs. Ork Trukk
    Stopped Target Movement: 84%
    Stopped Target Firing:   86%
    Destroyed Target:        56%
    Did Nothing to Target:   9%

So it looks like the assault cannon is very competitive with a single lascannon, while being able to kill infantry and put multiple wounds on monstrous creatures too. I think we have a winner. The shorter range isn't likely to be an issue either, as the assault cannon will be sitting on a fast platform.

So:

12" Deployment + 12" Move + 24" Range = 48" Threat Range

The real question is, why would anyone want to take a 115 point Baal Predator when you can take multiple assault squads in TL-AsC Razorbacks for around 160 points each? The single AsC on the Baal isn't powerful enough to reliably take down targets on it's own, in the same way that the meltas on a couple of Speeders, the twin-linked autocannons on a Rifleman Dred, or the AC/LC combo on a Dakka Predator can.

19 comments:

  1. Why choose? You can rock both.
    Or TL-Las.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Baal is for front AV13 from the Fast Attack section, which apart from AV10 Speeders is lacking armor, I suppose.

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  3. To my mind, the various razorback upgrades are sweet but overpriced. I'd rather take the razorback's base TL heavy bolter and use the extra 35pts elsewhere.

    I'm toying with this BA list atm - I'm loving the large numbers of the very versitile MLs and the torrent of HB fire. I wonder how it would do vs your IG?...

    Blood Angels - 2000pts
    Librarian - Hand Flamer, Smite, Blood Lance - 110pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - HBs - 120pts
    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - HBs - 120pts
    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - MMs - 150pts
    3 Sanguinary Priests - Power Sword, Melta Bombs - 210pts
    5-Man Sternguard Squad - 2xML, Combi-Flamer, 2xCombi-Melta - 150pts
    5-Man Sternguard Squad - 2xML, Combi-Flamer, 2xCombi-Melta - 150pts
    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts
    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts
    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts

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  4. Over the year of playing blood angels with the old codex, I never once got a land raider opened up with my Assault cannons. On the other hand, the handful of times I have tried a lascannon, they "seemed" to be more effective.

    I know mathhammer says otherwise, but I agree with Stelek on this one, the assault cannon just doesn't seem to do the trick. Now they work wonders on infantry, and shred Rhinos/Razorbacks, but I find them lack luster vs heavy armor.

    And that list above looks pretty nasty. Lots of missiles flying everywhere.

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  5. Their job in my list would be to open up Rhinos, Chimeras, and Trukks. Nobody should be shooting Lascannons or Assault Cannons at heavy armor unless there's no better target anyhow. Even Vendettas will whiff against a Land Raider constantly.

    Heavy Armor is what meltas are for. :)

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  6. I'm no Marine expert but...

    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts
    5-Man Assault Squad - No Jump Packs, Meltagun, Hand Flamer, HB Razorback, HKM - 150pts

    The thing is, I just don't consider heavy bolters viable in 5th. They don't really do anything well except kill guard and orks, and that pales in comparison to what the assault troops you're carrying can do.

    The 4 HK missiles on these RBs are good for killing about one Chimera, on average. Two if you're lucky. Then what?

    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - HBs - 120pts
    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - HBs - 120pts
    3-Man Attack Bike Squad - MMs - 150pts

    I'm afraid of the MMs, so they'll die quick. I'll ignore the HBs until I have no better priorities.

    5-Man Sternguard Squad - 2xML, Combi-Flamer, 2xCombi-Melta - 150pts
    5-Man Sternguard Squad - 2xML, Combi-Flamer, 2xCombi-Melta - 150pts

    Cool, but how are they going to get to me? They need a Pod or a Rhino.

    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts
    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts
    5-Man Devastator Squad - 4xML - 130pts

    Not aweful, but I'd prefer some Dakka Preds or Rifleman Dreds over these. 5-man squads die surprisingly quick to multi-lasers and autocannons at range. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always been a fan of the Assault cannon. It has great versatility in my opinion. I'm just waiting for the day that chaos can use razorbacks.

    So are you actually building a BA army or just a list for it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been building BA lists as mental exercise (I'm not ready to start another army right now) and I've tried a couple of MSU razorback variants.

    Anyway, I haven't really been happy with my results. I keep coming back to either deep striking or rhino rush lists that get lots of those tasty scoring assault marines and two squads of honor guard in people's faces fast.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm just list-building right now, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility. But I have a lot of IG to finish painting before that would happen.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, every balanced list I make ends up looking like Blueberry Marines plus 1-2 Strawberries. The coolest new toys don't really seem practical.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My trial Blood Angels lists end up being very like WH lists.

    lots of light armor, and a few long range punchers, and some sanguinary priests sprinkled around, Meltas abound.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good article!

    I do not get Stelek's love for a TL Las over a TL AssCan either. But I do see his point when they are spammed across an army. Because once a Wave Serpent shows up . . . well things get messy.

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  13. I like the las for the range and AP2. ACs are handy, but I find they always just do better gunning for infantry.

    I like las/plas on Razorbacks. You've got your 1 long shot plus 2 short ranged shots up close. Load the squad inside with a flamer and hand flamer and you have a versatile unit for only 170 points.

    I do like the melta bunker plan too. I feel that BA work best where they can get off charges and put all that short range power to use. You could easily do a wall of AV13 with Razorbacks sniping from behind, but I just prefer getting up close.

    I think I might end up going for a jump pack, Storm Raven, or hybrid list with BA. I've gotta figure out just how I want it, but it looks like fun.

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  14. @Mobius

    Yeah, but how far can a Wave Serpent run with a bunch of fast tanks chasing it? There's only so much board. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. [Part 1]
    Heh. SandWrym, I make no claims to being a SM expert either, but I'll try to explain why I took what I did.

    >The thing is, I just don't consider heavy bolters viable in 5th. They don't really do anything well
    >except kill guard and orks, and that pales in comparison to what the assault troops you're carrying
    >can do.

    With marines in general (and my lists in particular), the only lists that I tend to have real difficulty dealing with are horde lists (especially 'Nids with their horde of l'il gribblies screening the rest). I typically run elite marine lists which just don't have the volume of fire to deal with the large numbers of models, and don't have the assault capacity to take them out their CC specialists in H2H. That's why the secondary emphasis is in HB - they're plentiful and cheap, and can hopefully put a dent in the opponent's cheap gribblies before I get there. And for 5pts more than a storm bolter totin' rhino, why wouldn't you take them?

    I'm not certain that the assault marines on board are going to be nearly as effective as you're suggesting. While they'll certainly do more (and last longer) than the tac marines I use as cargo in my vanilla lists, they'll get overwhelmed or shot down quickly in anything other than optimal circumstances. I haven't run them in a transport before, so I'll have to play with them for a while to get a feel for how best to use them.

    >The 4 HK missiles on these RBs are good for killing about one Chimera, on average. Two if you're lucky. Then what?

    And then nothing. The HKs are simply to add to the volume of fire at the beginning of the game (and maybe pop a shot off later if I've been moving at combat speed all game). If they do something, then great - job well done. If not (and this is the more typical case), then that's ok too. It hopefully made my opponent sweat for a bit.

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  16. [Part 2]
    >I'm afraid of the MMs, so they'll die quick. I'll ignore the HBs until I have no better priorities.

    My MM attack bikes tend to be a one-shot wonder - people are generally terrified of them (and rightly so, IMO), so they do tend to die quickly. However, they usually get at least one good volley off which hopefully makes their points back in exploding mech. I'm experimenting with the HB bikes ATM, but I think your opinion will be typical, which will hopefully mean that they will still be alive at the end of the game to come sweeping in to contest objectives. If they happen to kill some gribblies during the fight, then so much the better. They're putting out 9 S5 shots per turn, plus 6 S4 rapid fire shots... that'll put a good dent in any exposed light- to medium-strength trooper.

    >Cool, but how are they going to get to me? They need a Pod or a Rhino.

    Nope. The Sternguard and Dev squads are for long range bombardment, with the Sternguard focussing on anything getting close enough to be an assault threat. With 16 ML shots per turn coming from my rear every turn, I think most opponents are going to have something try to rush/drop in to deal with them. Why go out chasing the enemy when they'll come to me? :)

    >Not aweful, but I'd prefer some Dakka Preds or Rifleman Dreds over these. 5-man squads die surprisingly quick to multi-lasers and autocannons at range. :)

    Heh. I do like Rifleman Dreads. The problem I've been having with Dreads is that, while they're tough, the local meta-game is very anti-mech (lots of high power lascannon and melta shots) so Dreads tend to go down fairly quickly (or at the very least get immobilized/stunned into uselessness). These 5-Man Dev squads, tho, can be surprisingly resilient if you can get them into cover. Opponents just don't have the volume of fire to take out tough infantry in cover. Their low number of those high-power shots means that they're going to only take out a couple of Devs a turn, and with 3 squads of 5 that's just not going to be enough to slow the ML storm coming at them. That said, this list is still very much a work in progress, but early testing has been quite positive. :D

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  17. Ass cannons can't pen wave serpents because of energy field.

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  18. Ah, now the comment makes sense. But that's why you bring heavier AT guns too. :)

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  19. the BA army i'm working on uses three Baals with flamestorms - i'm leaving anti-tank duties to predators and assault squad meltas. as for their worth v. razorbacks with the same armament; don't forget that baals have the scout rule, which can put them in the far back edge of the enemy lines in the first turn.

    ReplyDelete

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