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Hello, fellow Marines!
The veterans among you may remember my breakdown on the deathwind launcher in 4th edition which you can still find here. (You may want to read into it before you continue here, but it's certainly no must.)
However, there's been some changes in 5th edition that justify reassessing the situation which, thus, I will try to do.
Changes to 4th edition
- higher BS
- blast weapons can't miss entirely
- drop pod's time of arrival is more reliable and can be scheduled on turn 1
- no more victory points for immobilised drop pods
- no Power of the Machine spirit
- storm bolter is replaced
- no AP value
- template may scatter
- landing in difficult terrain has a non-neglectable chance of knocking out your launcher
* The price itself hasn't changed if you disregard that the pod itself has had a rise in points.
* A S5 weapon with the large blast still looks seductive on the paper. The low range of 12" makes it a little less seductive.
* You can bring the deathwind pod down on turn 1 assuring that it will get as many shots as possible. You can't shoot on turn 1 though, so you'll have a maximum of 4-6 shots per game (depending on its length) if there's always a target in range and the pod isn't destroyed or its weapon disabled in the meantime.
* Since the center of the blast template may be fired up to 12" from the pod at maximum, and since the template can scatter up to 8", and since it's 2.5" from the center and since your troops deploy up to 2" from the pod you do face the risk of friendly-firing your own men dead. (The risk's not very high, I just want to mention it for completeness.)
Remember that you can't shoot on the turn your pod hits the ground. So your squad may be off to someplace safe until the launcher can shoot, or it may still be in position or it may even be a whole 6" deeper into the danger zone greatly increasing the risk of hitting yourself (or being unable to place the marker over an enemy unit without touching your own squad with the template and thus being unable to fire at all).
It is therefore greatly recommended that you fire the launcher on the side of the drop pod the squad is not on. Since most drop pod armies rely on the "divide et impera" (latin, meaning divide and prevail) tactic anyhow it should be possible to engage units on one side of the pod with your squad and dump deathwind on the units on the other side...
*Here's the scatter probabilities:
55.5% - 0" (right on spot)
7.4% - 1"
9.3% - 2"
11.1% - 3"
9.3% - 4"
7.4% - 5"
5.6% - 6"
3.7% - 7"
1.9% - 8"
Since a 2" scatter means that at least half of the template still scores as intended you can be sure that in almost 3/4 of the time you will hit with at least halved but mostly full potential. That does pack quite a punch.
* Wounding potential is high, but any save will help. If we assume we can trap 6 models beneath the template on average we would kill 4.4 guardsmen or 1.8 MEQs per shot, assuming we can take 4-6 such shots makes that a desirable outcome.
* There's not much else you can fit into a drop pod army for 20 points leftover...
* The deathwind launcher has become a little weaker and a little more dangerous to yourself, but it has also become a lot more reliable of scoring any hits. It's range is still the biggest problem though, and it's a shame it can't fire on the turn it lands.
* The deathwind launcher suddenly can be worth the trouble of buying it, if
- you upgrade those pods you will be doing the drop pod assault with (to ensure they are on the ground from turn 1)
- you fire it on the side opposite to your disembarked squad
- you play against hordes.
I'm still not very inclined to spending the points on the launcher, but I at least have to admit that it's not entirely broken anymore. Under the circumstances mentioned above, and certainly in some other situations, they can be a serious and effective option since 5th edition.
If nothing else it will at least give your enemy another target to aim at, since it does suddenly make a threat out of a drop pod. A very close-ranged one, though, that can easily be avoided, if the opponent isn't a complete beginner.
* If you want a pod that does serious damage on the turn it lands and then some, then you should probably have a look at Forgeworld's deathstorm pod. It really kicks ass for its cost, though it does not always go well with drop pod armies as it shoots friend and foe alike. It's probably better to incorporate it as the single drop pod in any other army.
Sorry for not being as thorough this time.
But I still think this reflects well enough that the deathwind launcher has become better, though still not quite good enough, but that there are possibilities to bring it into play and actually make it worth its points. Sometimes, that is.
Yet my pods have storm bolters. Period.
I've modelled my DP with the launcher (because I like the look of it), but I almost always end up with a Stormbolter in my list because I'd usually rather upgrade a weapon or two with those points.
why cant you shoot it first turn?
It is a vehicle. A vehicle that deep-strikes. It therefore counts as having moved with cruising speed (is that what it's called in English?). Since it is not classified as a "fast" vehicle, it can not fire any weapons at cruising speed. And since it does not have the power of the machine spirit upgrade that would allow it to fire a single weapon in addition to any others it is allowed to fire, you can't work your way around it.
according to where in the rules?
I checked the rules for drop pods and it doesn't mention anything there.
Are you carrying over old rules that don't exist in this addition by any chance?
Last edited by [Angels]Bard; August 27th, 2009 at 22:26.
No. Old rules would have allowed you to fire the drop pod's weapon, unfortunately.
According to the main rulebook. The rules on deep-striking. The paragraph on vehicles deep-striking. It is page 95 in the German rulebook, the sixth paragraph on the left. Since there is no exception to this rule in our Codex: Space Marines the rule applies. Sad but true.
OK yep found it (gotta love the GW rule hunt) on page 95 of the english rulebook.
That ruins all the fun
The upside of the rule is: landspeeders _can_ shoot a weapon at cruising speed. So they can now deep-strike AND shoot, unlike in 4th when a deep-striking landspeeder couldn't do anything at all. (Why deep-strike it then, if I can use that turn of doing nothing to boost 24" from the table edge instead and - with the 12" move of the next turn - reach virtually any point on the battle-field without any risks of scattering, etc...) Now there's at least a theoretical use of deep-striking landspeeders.
If you can take advantage of a locator beacon in one of your drop pod assault pods dropping a speeder in can work well. Used one last night but unfortunately I was fighting a deathwing army so didn't have too much success otherwise.