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After reading different posts and topics in this forum it seems the majority of Witch hunter players think that penitent engines suck. I am considering buying a few and before i do this could you please explain to me why?. Because the way i see it Rampage is an awesome ability and while they are open topped which sucks yet with a front Armour of 11 (which given the comparison to other walkers isn't very much) it is still enough so that they are invulnerable to bolter fire and the like. And because they can be taken is squadrons of three they can destroy other single walkers easily. Your comments would be appreciated.
I have had good results with PE's in the past. They only really work well in larger games I find though, as in 3000+. In a few games they have gone absolutely berserk through the enemy lines. The trick is that they can't survive enemy fire, so must be shielded from it or have it distracted away from them until they can charge. This can only be done with a large regular army to support them, in small games they just attract too much attention.
Once in combat with they shred anything, usually in one frenzied turn. Even chaos dreads, 'fexes, tyrants and the like are badly outmatched by them. In keeping with their background they are suicide units, but can get their value in just one good charge.
They are very vulnerable to damage - every shot from a melta weapon is a dead penitent on a roll of 2+, and in close combat with other walkers their low init will likely see them suffer losses before they can strike.
When the do hit though, they hit hard. Enough to rout a full squad of marines, but not always enough to avoid losing another penitent to a power fist.
Their rage is a two edged sword - the speed can get them across the battlefield, but you have no control over their direction, and their compulsory move and shooting phases give opponents an opportunity to deny charges, or just to lead them off into a corner.
If you try them then go all in - 720 points of crazy. You'll either sweep the table or crash and burn.
I'd also recommend not using them often as a little preparation on your opponent's part will see you lose every model before they get anywhere.
Just eco what’s been said they do die so so easy. Even in CC almost anything will do the damage against them and if get something S6+ and there minced. The only time i have seen them do well is when they have been ignored, if you can get your opponent to do nothing against them (which is highly unlikely) then they do well.
"Should take you a while though because of your sloth like pace"
Click here and watch Gedderz try and cross the road
I use them from time to time. I keep in mind their drawbacks and they do OK for me.
"The sword that takes life gives life."
PEs are the single most devestating walker to be charged by. I'm sorry, but your defiler with its crappy weapon skill, and the normal dreadnoughts with their respectible attacks aside, nothing beats potentially eating between 2 and 7 Dreadnought close combat attacks AFTER getting hit by a flamer. The things are cheap for what they do, and even open topped and rage'd they're still damn nasty. The new 5e rules let us put them closer to the foe as well, and that means they've got raging, multi-attacking death machines bearing down on them. So what if they're about as easy to kill as a killer kan, that doesn't stop the orks from fielding kanz.
The real problem with the PEs is that they eat up slots we usually use for our bigger, nastier guns.
A lot of the folks here still have 4e or tourney sight on how units work. As we are in 5e, and not everyone goes for insanely super-identical competitive lists, its best that you just see how the things handle on your own.
Penitent Engines seem like an odd choice in the list, since any WH player has access to Acro-Flags (which seem a better way of bringing lots of power weapon attacks) and Sisters Repentia (which seem a better way to bring lots of anti-armor assault).
The Penitent Engine probably would be more reasonable choice if GW had decided to make them monstrous creatures instead of vehicles, similar to Zaramazov's (had to look that name up!) throne.
--•-My 40K projects-•--
Everyone and their grandmother seems to come with krak grenades in 5th but you get pretty poor odds with them (as my friend's berzerkers found out).
Penitents are actually pretty good at what they do, even with the random attacks and movement.
But they cost twice as much as an almost identical unit and are far too big, fragile, and uncontrolled to justify their price tag.