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Hey there, fellow Marines!
I have returned to 5th edition after pausing from W40k for almost two years only to see that there's been quite a lot of changes that do have a significant impact on the dynamics of battle, our armies and our tactics.
Since back in 4th edition I played with a rather stationary, heavy shooty gunline lists about a quarter of the time, I still have quite a vast little army of heavy weapons Marines. But all those devastators just don't seem to do the trick anymore.
Gone are the times of the cheap and very flexible and effective 200 points 4 missile launchers 4 meat shields squad. The base cost has risen and it's become very hard to customize your squads to make them worthwhile.
Either you make it a squad of ten and keep them together, more or less wasting the points on the Sergeant (he shouldn't need a power weapon because that unit should not at any time see close combat - there should be countercharge to prevent that; and the signum really isn't all that amazing...), or you combat squad (or just keep the squad at five men from the beginning), leaving it very vulnerable and quick to die. You could take only two or three heavy weapons in the five man squad, but that will greatly reduce their impact. And even with a lot of meat shields you'll lose the heavy weapons more quickly than you did in 4th (due to new casualty rules).
For five devastators with four missile launchers I could instead get two Razorbacks with twin-linked lascannons that would -thanks to twin-linked, higher weapon strength and their mobility- probably even make better tank hunters. Make it four lascannons in that devastators squad and it's even three such Razorbacks and then some. Instead of five devastators with four heavy bolters I can have three Razorbacks with twin-linked heavy bolters and then some. ...
Those Razorbacks are mobile, can tank shock, can split their fire between different targets, can provide cover and are probably at least as tough as 5 marines. And they are not the only alternative that seems to be a lot more costeffective.
Have devastators lost their place on the battlefields of 5th edition? I have yet -under these new circumstances- refrained from deploying them, and those models only find their way onto the table in tactical squads.
Does anyone still consider them worthwhile? Who has devastators in their 5th edition list, how are they equipped, how well do they perform and how do you make them successful?
Thanks for your answers.
Sorry, a little mistake there: you can still have the classic 8 men 4 ML devastator squad for roundabout that price. But they have become more vulnerable nonetheless and there are many cheaper alternatives - especially since vehicles have become a lot tougher.
With the move towards mechanization, static units like devis are a fail in my book. Their only use is in games where you can put them in cover or bunkers and the enemy has to come to you with little cover. In any other game, all the opponent need do is maneuver through terrain to either block LOS or get cover saves.
Devastators still have use in some situations, but not in all, and honestly what people need is something effective in all situations.
I think you did a great job comparing the units you could get. Consider also, that for 130 points you can get a predator w/ a TL Las and 2 Heavy Bolters. There are just too many other good options for units to get a Dev squad.
I agree that the best chance to use it is in situations where they can be in cover. 4 ML is still an effective gun line, for either anti-vehicle control or anti-infantry control, but is cumbersome at best. And if your opponent had the foresight to have any mobility (deep striking, outflanking, etc) they will be annihilated.
So to answer your question, no there isn't really a place for Devastator squads in 5th. Maybe 6th'll fix that.
I think the best solution is for us to go to GW and lobby that they allow us to take Witch Hunter Excorcists as allies (if we act now we can get it in the 5th ed. witch hunters codex). Those things are mean and all kinds of awesome and on a good turn can put out as many or more missiles than a dev squad could ever hope to.
it is a good point on the cost of devies but remember thet you can buy rszorbacks as dedicated transport
so for every razor back you wil need one infintry unit
so you can better go for predators vindicators
good luck to all
In my current 1500 list i have a 10 man squad with 2 missiles and 2 lazcannons. They are generally left on a home objective as 2 squads.
A few days ago while in a city fight, they sat at opposite ends of the board on the 3rd floor of buildings and caused havoc for an ork player. In that instance, where they can get into those optimal firing spaces they can be much more use than a tank which may have more issues getting LOS. but in general I will agree with the others here and say there are better options for most situations.
"There is a fine line between genius and insanity"
(>'.' )> (^ '.' )> <( '.' )> <( '.' ^)<( '.'<)
I have sadly passed that line o.0?
Thanks for your replies, brethren. It's unfortunate, it's exactly how I had feared.
Mobility is more of an issue since objectives have become more important and cover saves are omnipresent. Though lines of sight have increased (since you can shoot straight through area terrain if your models could see through it) the cover saves are everywhere and really ruin a static devastators' day. Price increase (at least for heavy bolters and lascannons) is a factor too. And since vehicles have become more resilient and mostly cheaper there is so many alternatives that are more effective.
(Another problem is that those gunline builds worked best with the classic (cheese!) 5-/6-man tac squad with lascannon and plasma gun. You could still do that, but it has become more expensive and you would have to take a 5-man counter assault squad along with it, or else you wouldn't get those heavy and special weapons, greatly reducing the firepower you get for your points.)
Well, I guess that's it! Goodbye, devastators. See you in 6th - maybe.
Here comes increased action for my bike army and my drop pod army! And for my tanks anyhow. Sounds like a lot of fun nonetheless, though it's a shame those devs won't see any battle at all. Perhaps I will be as courageous as Dave (kiwiboy12) there and still try.
Thanks again for taking the time to post, guys.
Take the Razorback example: a tank can be taken down with a lucky shot, yes. But it is harder to do than in 4th edition and you don't have just one tank instead of the devs, but more of them. Seperate units that need to be targeted seperately. That can't be overwhelmed by small arms rapid-fire. That can't be combated as effectively with blast or template weapons...
Of course the Razorbacks aren't the best example as they are dedicated transports and need to be bought together with a squad, but I can take two autocannon/heavy bolters-Preds instead of four heavy bolters devastators squad and I'm still not any more vulnerable. Especially if you give your tanks a 4+ cover save...
Example: just sit a heavy weapon combat squad in front of your Predator. That makes it AV13 with a 4+ invulnerable save (every second hit is not only downgraded to glancing but just plainly ignored - penetrating or glancing). And if you make sure that the sponsons can shoot past your infantry left and right then you don't even give that 4+ save back to the enemy (the turret can shoot straight over the heads of your squad anyhow).
So I don't think resilience is still much of an issue concerning devs versus tanks. Devs can't be stunned and shaken, yes, but they lose their weapons easier and faster. And if you wanted (though pricey) you could get Chronus to ignore stunned and shaken with your tank too...
Although I've yet to find anything else that can replicate the effect of 4xPlasma Cannon Devestators. Thunderfire Cannons just don't have the same punch!
The four plasma cannons really hit hard, yes. But that's more than 200 points sitting in cover totally immobile. If you take them out of there a single battle cannon or equal weapon (which there are a lot of nowadays) will erase your squad. You don't miss a third of your shots anymore, but you scatter and can't place your blast template as reliably as you used to. And then everyone gets cover saves (which are at least 4+ in 80%-90% of the time) rendering the AP2 more or less useless.
And then it's still that problem that they don't go well with the rest of the army anymore. I find it hard to support fast-moving, extremely mobile elements with completely stationary sitback squad hoping for mistakes in the opponent's battle plan. They were great with a whole stationary gunline, but these kind of Space Marine lists don't have their place in 5th anymore.
Sure, those plasma cannons still rock hard when there's a horde of Khornies coming at you. But against Tyranids for example, a full squad of heavy bolter attack bikes will do the trick too.