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As requested by boydgarret, I'm creating this thread to discuss different Predator Turret and Sponson combinations, and why I choose the ones that I do. There are only four combinations, since if you're not taking Sponsons, you really shouldn't be taking a Predator in the first place. I also do not go into detail about the Blastmaster.
First, let's talk about the different guns and their uses.
A mixed breed weapon, mainly used for light vehicle hunting, such as Rhinos and Landspeeder. Can be used as an impromtu light infantry hunter in a pinch, but that is really a waste of its high strength, and it doesn't level out enough shots to make much of an impact. Also, has a hard time taking down power armour foes, due to the AP value.
Anti-infantry. Has barely enough strength to glance a Rhino, and out of six shots, you'll be lucky to even score one glancing hit. Definetly an anti-infantry weapon, as it can be used to lay down more shots than an autocannon, and the lower strength isn't too much of an issue.
Lascannons (Including the TL Lascannon)
Anti-tank weaponry. Can also be used against tank stand-ins, such as Tyranid Monstrous Creatures. It fries infantry good, but is really a waste of points to use it as such. When comparing the two against each other, the TLLC has roughly a 10% chance of scoring a "Destroyed" result of some kind on an AV14 vehicles - the two Lascannon sponsons together have roughly a 15% chance, for much less points.
Now, with the weaponry roles defined, let's examine the options we have for combining them.
Twin Linked Lascannon + Lascannon Sponsons
The ultimate in tank hunting duty. Three large guns brought to bear on your target can really scare your opponent. But how much of that firepower do you need? What about that expensive TLLC? Don't those two Lascannon Sponsons do the same job, but better, and for a cheaper price than the turret? Sure, launching three Lascannon shots into that Leman Russ is satisfying, but how many Destroyed results do you need to score? Only one.
The big drawbacks to this outfit is the large amount of points invested, being the most expensive layout to take. Also, moving limits you to one Lascannon shot, so deploy carefully.
Autcannon + Lascannon Sponson
This is my favorite loudout. Simply because I don't need a Twin Linked Lascannon to take down vehicles - I'd rather buy the two single lascannons at a discount, and have them function better. The Autocannon is only taken because we must have a turret of some kind. The extra shots can help when attacking light vehicles, but we don't count on it to finish our work - the two Lascannon sponsons should do most of the dirty work for us. Meanwhile, we've saved 20 points on the turret, allowing for a few upgrades on our units.
The drawbacks are similar to the TLLC + Lascannon option - moving limits us to one gun, so we must deploy carefully. A good general will place his Predator so that he shouldn't need to move at all.
TLLC/Autocannon + Heavy Bolters
I lumped both of these into one category since the turret is essentially an anti-tank weapon. The problem with this loadout is your always wasting something. If you're firing Heavy Bolters at infantry, then you've wasted the shot from the Turret. You've effectively paid 100 points (Predator + Autocannon - more, if TLLC) to fire a pair of 10 point Heavy Bolters. In the case of the Lascannon, you've used a shotgun to swat a fly; for the Autocannon, a slightly smaller shotgun. If you fire at a tank, what are the Heavy Bolters going to do? They can barely threaten a Rhino. You expect them to hurt a Dread or Leman Russ? Nope, they're wasted points. No matter what unit you shoot at, you're always wasting points in one way or another. Not only are you wasting points on the guns you bought that are doing nothing, you're also losing out on points that the effective guns you could have taken could have been bringing in to you. Really, the only advantage you have with this combination is that it can move and fire each weapon - but again, what are you firing at?
The point of all this general rambling is this - the Predator is an anti-armour weapon. It's not designed to take out infantry; leave that to the units best suited for it. If you want to kill hordes in droves, take Havoks and CSMs with Heavy Bolters. If you're playing Power Armour armies, take Plasma and Meltas.
Last point before I submit this. These are my views, and should be treated as such. You're free to disagree, and call me looney, but my word is not gospel. Ultimately, it's your list; do with it as you please.
I agree fully. The bolters will waste the TL lascannon and vice versa.
Autocannon and lascannons sponsons is the best combination for the points/effectiveness.
For best effeciency for killing just tanks is the all lascannons confijuration. The extra shots can be counted as wasted, they are just insurance.
I think that the Destructor variant can do a typre of infantry hunting that no other unit in chaos (or space marines for that matter) can do, aside from terminators and Emperor's Children, and for that deserves mention.
The predator totes all three heavy weapons and fires them on the move from a durable vehicle chassis, and for a relatively cheap price in points. With the higher strength of its weaponry, it can be be counted on to cause damage to the enemy infantry more than weapons with less strength, and is invaluable vs armies with units that have less than a 4+ save.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it." -Anon
Against troops with a 4+ or less save, Havoks armed with Heavy Bolters will score more kills per turn, and if deployed correctly, can actually be much harder to kill than a Predator. The Predator is always in fear of high strength weapons that can destroy it at worst, stop it from firing at best. Even a glancing hit has a 50% chance of keeping the Predator from firing the next turn, making it worthless for that turn. If you elect to buy all the fancy upgrades, you've quickly invested 160 points into a single model, at which point you might have just bought the Havoks and had a few red shirts for insurance, who can level 34% more shots per turn, not counting any Bolters that might be thrown into the mix.Originally Posted by Ebon Hand
meh, so my buddy plays IG, and alot of tanks. so... take all lascannons?
But Havocs cannot fire on the move, and for an assualt style army they will be left behind as the rest of the army moves up. Also, they are vulnerable to quickly assualting armies, such as Tyranids, Eldar, and Orcs, the very ones they are there to kill. A predator is used to provide fire support and cover to an army that uses an all out assualt as its strategy.
Last edited by Ebon Hand; September 24th, 2005 at 08:32.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it." -Anon
I personally like the TL LC turret and HB sponsons, since I cant have havoks
And yes, where are you guys in CT? lol
You Can't Stop the Eighp
Had Tzeentch before I knew how to play :P
Thanks Caluin for this thread.
My 1000 sons army sees alot of action -vs- a genestealers build & a godzilla tyranid build. I also frequently go up against an armored company I.G. and an all infantry I.G. With regards to a hull mounted auto-cannon and sponson lascannons: I agree that the lascannon sponsons are a great way to take down monstrous creatures and big tanks; but on the flip-side, the hull mounted auto-cannon does not carve into the genestealer swarms enough to make it worthwhile (as compared to the h. bolter sponson/ hull mounted lascannon configuration). I agree that anytime you have heavy bolters and lascannons on the same vehicle, that one of the two is going to waste. However, I find that the utility of having a tank configured in a way that can deal with both the swarm armies and the armored company more than makes up for it. Perhaps this configuation is not as valuable to non-1000 sons chaos builds, and perhaps I find it worth while, because I see alot of swarms and monstrous creatures/tanks.
My problem w/ the hull mounted auto-cannon & lascannon sponsons is that it does not carve into the swarm armies enough.