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I've been mulling over the value of a Bolt of Tzeentch in my horrors group the last few days, trying to decide if it's worth it. I find the reduced price balances out their mediocre BS, but I always dislike throwing away the rest of the squad's shooting in the event I want the bolt on non-AV10 armor or something that'll mostly shrug it off like high T or 2+ saves. I did a little bit of mathhammer on the Bolt vs Warpfire issue when shooting infantry, and the results are pretty much what you'd expect.
One turn of firing from a single pink horror with the bolt of tzeentch upgrade:
Bolt on Ork Boyz: 1/2 hit, 5/6 wound: 41.67% kill instant death
Warpfire on Boyz: 1/2 hit, 1/2 wound, x3 shots: 75% kill
Bolt on Imperial Guardsmen or fire warrior: 1/2 hit 5/6 wound: 41.67% kill instant death
warpfire on guardsmen or fire warrior: 1/2 hit, 2/3 wound, x3 shots: 100% kill
nothing shocking from either of these two, warpfire all the way unless they're multi-wound models.
Bolt on Space Marine: 1/2 hit 5/6 wound: 41.67% kill instant death
Warpfire on Space Marine: 1/2 hit, 1/2 wound, 1/3 kill, x3 shots : 25% kill
in this case, against anything with a 3+ armor you want to go with bolt. though I noticed something funny when you put a space marine in cover:
Bolt on Space Marine in cover: 1/2 hit 5/6 wound, 1/2 kill: 20.83% kill instant death
Warpfire on Space Marine in cover: 1/2 hit, 1/2 wound, 1/3 kill, x3 shots : 25% kill
funnily enough, warpfire becomes the preferred choice again if those marines are dug in, again unless they're multi-wound. (a single multi-wound model doesn't count obviously, as your opponent's NEVER going to put the bolt wound on his leader anyway)
Bolt on Terminator : 1/2 hit, 5/6 wound: 41.67% kill instant death
Warpfire on Terminator: 1/2 hit, 1/2 wound, 1/6 kill, x3 shots : 3.125% kill
another obvious result, bolt chews these poor boys up.
now, I had wondered about warpfire vs bolt against AV10. lets take a look:
warpfire on AV10: 1/2 hit, 1/6 glance, x3 shots: 25% glance
bolt on AV10: 1/2 hit, 1/6 glance, 2/3 penetrate: 8.3% glance, 33.33% penetrate.
so, bolt still comes out ahead on those av10 rear armor.
in my mind, this cements bolt of change as a default upgrade along with the changeling for your pink horrors. The bolt has a place against virtually every army, from instant deathing mega nobz to forcing wounds on charging carnifexes. And if you end up staring down 30 boyz or an infantry platoon, you can just switch back to warpfire for an extra fire volume!
I just thought I'd throw my musings up on librarium, since I was going to be doing all this on paper anyway. Thoughts, criticisms, or other points of consideration welcome.
How likely will you be shooting the rear armor? When not shooting the rear armor you will be shooting the front armor and using a 50% chance to hit a vehicle to have the rest of your unit do nothing is the reason, I am sure there should always be infantry targets to shoot at, so why bother having 1 shot that has a chance to do something to it and give up 3xY shots at infantry.
The changeling yes is the best/cheapest upgrade, though the chance it will do nothing at all but give someone a second guess about shooting is more then likely.
The bolt of T even more expensive is better used on models with higher bs and models you would normally be tank hunting with. 50% and losing the rest of your shots is way to inconsistent to rely on it doing anything useful. For killing infantry in 5th more shots > ap.
considering how easily you can go second and deep strike behind a charged up transport, or any vehicle looking for better firing lanes, I find any semi-mechanized list I can get rear shots on with horrors at least once a match or so. But like I said, even completely ignoring the bolt as an anti-vehicle choice, it excels against any MEQ without cover, or TEQ, or multi-wound models. the bolt's 50/50 hit rate will obviously feel finicky on the table, but once you hit with it, virtually any non-tank will reliably take a wound from it. I've used it plenty of times to force morale with an instant death on normally impregnable meganobz/terminators, blown a whole crisis suit off the table, etc. The only time the bolt's not statistically doing you any favors is against GEQ targets, who are quite frankly hosed down by the horrors anyway. Admittedly, through mis-managing my maneuvering , I've squeezed utility out of the extra 6" range as well (helpful nonetheless for those among us who fub their firing lanes).
in short, I don't even really see the bolt as a tool for blowing vehicles. In that sense, it's great opportunistically, if someone makes the mistake of giving you that shot, or you somehow lack an infantry opening (due to a charge you or they made the previous turn or a wiped/routed unit) that turn it's worth lobbing some tank's way. Other than that, it's just good solid shot to bring along against anything but boyz, gaunts, and guards.
Sure the bolt has higher chance of killing meq/teq out of cover but that is a not nearly as common now.
I am all for bolt of T on a reliable unit capable of using it for its primary purpose, killing light-medium armor and putting wounds on high T creatures, DP of T or HoT are much better choices, more points but they will get more use of this ability and not compromise anything by using it. Its not much in cost but points add up and it just seems to be unreliable and might tempt you to put a unit in a bad position in hopes of its 50% of hitting and unless its vs the rear. There is too much red tape to make this a viable option for horrors:
If you hit (50%)
If they are not in cover (vehicles/infantry)
If you hit rear armor (relies on a very good deepstrike)
If you are up for risky sacrifices the only way i would try this would be 5 horrors w/bolt, but even that is 95 points which will barely cover the transport if you manage to kill it.
Last edited by Tyrius; August 26th, 2008 at 12:20.
What makes Bolt worth it is the cost. It's a cheap upgrade that provides your Horrors with some flexibility and a means to deal with things the Daemon army normally struggles against, namely tanks.
It is by no means mandatory, but for the points it's a good upgrade to make your Horrors more capable against heavier targets. They should be using their Warpfire on the more numerous enemies, but if you run up against a mechanized army, Marines, or they just scatter into a bad position, the option helps.
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For me, a Bolt for 10 points is a no-brainer (i've been running 10/5/5 or 10/10, all with bolts, in 1500). It's not exactly reliable, and you are better off shooting infantry as much as possible, but it could get you out of a tight spot. And it's got a little more range, so it may be the only thing you can get off after a bad scatter, or put it at the back of your unit so it can still get a shot off. And don't forget that the bolt gifted horror can still shoot his flames if he wants.
I'd find it far more difficult to put on flamers, or even a daemon prince.
you can only give BoT to one horror right? and it's only 20 pts right?
so, what's with all the b*llsh*t about chance, usefullness, and such.
Just do it. The enemy will always have a tank, on which you can use it.
I usually field small squads of them, cause them I get more icons:
5 horrors, icon, one added horror with BoT, makes six horrors for not even 150 points.
They pack quite a punch, even with 5 of them, there cheap and thus expendable so you can deploy them right next to an enemy squad, and decimate them, and even have an icon tro allow reinforcements to deploy next to them. Imagine the face of your opponent when all this cc stuf comes in, right in his lines...
Did this, tried that, and even a little more, but this came out the best.
and more then once was I happy to have bought the BoT
I personally think that its probably worth investing the 10 pts. You can easily get the enemy's rear armour, and the extra MC smiting shot can be useful. It may not be an upgrade that will always be useful, but I can see people sometimes wishing they had it when they find they really need to remove that preditor but have nothing but a horror unit near it.
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flamers are only BS4, and considering their alternative choice and the price of bolt, it's a no no. besides, as jump troop the only time I could see you ever getting the shot off is either player error or a bad first turn scatter.
as for a daemon prince bolt, that's just about my favorite place besides tzeentch greater daemons. granted, you have to spend a pile on mark of tzeentch to get access to it, but at BS5 it's just about the most reliable non-MC tank hunting in the army (I would even consider putting this above screamers, as any mech general worth his salt will spot your grenade-wielding screamers and keep those tanks hopping 6-12" every turn).
Even at 2000 points, I can't see myself running more than 1 big horrors group (not when we've got access to squads full of power-weapons, or the unkillable bearers) but I'm more of a khorne/nurgle fella myself, so take that as you will.
speaking of troop choice upgrades, what're people's philosophies for icons? I always bring 2, unless I'm playing small games, say under 750. I will generally throw a 3rd and/or 4th in once I clear 2000, depending on my army comp (more for khorne/nurgle, less for slaanesh/tzeentch). I rather like having a good anchor point to flood with daemons for target saturation, but those icons are just so darn expensive, too much to justify more than 1 per half of daemonic assault, unless we're talking monstro-battles.