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I'm not much of a tank guy, so before I bought a Predator I came here to see what the general wisdom was on how to equip them. I did a search and found a poll from '06 and some scattered talk in various army lists, but I'm hoping to get some more concrete information.
I'm mainly looking for an AT platform in games of 1000 to 1500 points, but any thoughts are welcome. My first thougt was an Annihilator with las cannon sponsons, but that seems like a lot of points to sink into two guns that can't fire when it moves.
The heavy bolters seem like the cheaper alternative, but I already have a ton of anti-infantry and if the turret las cannon gets killed I'm all out of AT.
The other option was to leave the sponsons at home to save the points, but one weapon destroyed result leaves the whole tank useless.
What are people's thoughts on this?
Predators are surpsriningly cheap considering the amount of AT and Anti Infantry power they can put out. Depends on what roll you need filled. In my army I use all Las Cannons. If it wasn't for the pred the only mobile tank bust i'd have is my speeder and vindicator and those are very close ranged. The Las Cannons are good for heavy infantry too. I've never tried slapping on the bullet hoses to a pred yet but I'm going to try it out one of these days.
"The only hatred any man should hone, is hatred against himself for not being able to serve the Emperor to his full extent. This is the hatred he should unleash upon the enemy, and in doing so, the Emperor will protect."
Master Lucius, Chapter Master of the Noble Templars
I've switched to lascannon turret and heavy bolter sponsons and find it a more-flexible load-out.
Yeah, if you're looking for an AT pillbox, you don't get much nicer than a full-on Annihilator - 3 lascannons, one of them twinlinked means a bad day for anything it shoots... But being stuck in one place can make you quite vulnerable, and it's relatively easy to escape your line of sight. Plus, once the tanks are dead, that's a lot of firepower to waste on just a few troopers at a time.
Generally, the TLLC/HBS option is the most tactically flexible option - you've still got the Lascannon, plus the HB's are useful on light tanks and any sort of infantry. Once the tanks are dealt with this one's a lot more threatening to squads, too. Yes, once the turret's blown off, it's much less useful on tanks, but that's just the way it works - you really shouldn't be relying on a single tank for all your AT needs in the first place.
Myself, I use a Pred with the Autocannon and HB sponsons. Not so good at tankbusting, but I tend to have AT weaponry spread throughout my army, so I don't really need it to be. It excels at providing a mobile firebase that threatens just about everything, almost all the time. Also, it pumps out enough shots to pulverise whole squads at a time with a little luck.
And as for leaving the sponsons off? Don't bother. Unless you've got a desperate need for those few extra points, they're almost always better spent on making the Predator that much more powerful. And of course for making a weapon destroyed result somewhat less painful.
I'd say have one of each!
To be honest though I have a Predator Annihilator with Lascannon sponsons. I considered the Destructor with HBs, but to be honest if I want to kill infantry I use bolters.
The point of moving and firing will soon be a moot point anyway because as of 5th Edition Heavy Bolters will (supposedly) count as main weapons too.
If you werre going to take a Predator with just a Lascannon turret, you may as well just get a Lascannon-armed Razorback instead!
Just be careful where you deploy it so that the lascanons can have the highest selection of targets possible!
It really depends on what the rest of your army contains... personally, I don't have much long-ranged AT in my infantry, so I go for an all-las Anni most of the time. But for smaller games, roughly 1000pts and under, I take an Annihalter with HBs, for the versatility, and saves a few points, too.
And as an aside, does anyone else HATE the little spindly sponsons the Pred comes with? I really don't like them. They just look too... weak.. as though a determined Gretchin could take them off with a hammer. I've got a classic pred, and my second one I've substituted the HB sponsons from a 'Russ.. and they look much better, IMO. Especially the HB one.
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
Marines have tons of anty infantry fire power. I take my preds with an autocannon and lascannon sponsons(3x LC are simply to expensive point wise) and it is the best option in the army I use (DA).
The AC+HB pred is cheap and effective, but the 5ed. will prevent him from moving and shooting all of his weapons so my option will be better
"One must do violence to the object of one's desire; when it surrenders, the pleasure is greater."
Marquis De Sade
I don't know what the space marines get, for chaos we get pintle mounted havoc launcher, its just a fancy missile launcher, regardless it can always fire, no matter what (as I believe in the rules) and being it has frag and krak, isnt a super AT, but still might be something to deal with.
And that also solves your instant immobilised status problem.
loyalist marines don't get Havoc Launches. Our kind-of-equivalent-but-not-really is the hunterkiller, a one-shot krak missile with unlimited range. I'd rather have a Havoc, mind. Or, if we're going to be Imperial about it, a Typhoon launcher.
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
I have always gone with an Anihilator. I changed the sponsons based on what I need the tank to do. The tank is the cheapest hull/turret available. When you need AT, the two las sponsons work very well. One good hit from a lascannon is enough to waste a tank- three cannons is just overkill. For AI you can't beat the HBs with a AC. Add a pintle SB and you're blowing away whole squads a turn.
The no-move-or-no-fire rules doesn't affect me much, since I play cityfight. Most of my tanks are of the 'park and bark' variety. They move into a street and get a good firing position and just hold tight. Tanks are an excellent line-anchor in any battle. They can easily move up with or faster than the infantry that they cover and blaze away for a turn or two before doing it again.