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I thought I'd drop by as I noticed something looking through your shiny newish 5ed Codex today.
You can take 6 dreadnoughts at the cost of a simple, cheap HQ unit, yet don't. I know folks have trouble with Nidzilla style lists, and I find it curious that you folks wouldn't try for the same thing. Dreadnoughts aren't necessarily tougher than a Carnifex, but they're still pretty tough, and can dish out damage well too. So it was just a curiosity to me.
I did run such a list once back in 4th edition (it was possible with the option of chapter traits). The problem is that a Dreadnoughts just aren't Carnifexes.
Though a Carnifex (I'm assuming he has an extended carapace) can be taken out by bolter fire, but it will take 216 (270 if he has the additional wound) shots from Marines or 150% of that in case of Scouts. So let's forget about that.
Talking about heavier weapons the Dreadnought can be taken down with one lucky shot. The Carnifex needs at least 4 (or 5) such "penetrating" hits. Now any hit that does not immediately kill or immobilize the Dreadnought may keep it from moving - or, with extra armour - at least from shooting. The Carnifex will remain effective at all times until it's dead. It will always move and shoot and hack and slash until it's last wound is gone.
Now look at close combat: put them up against each other for simulation, the dreadnought will go first and dish out all it can - what won't be enought. The Carnifex strikes back and if he scores only a single hit that's about it - goodbye precious dreadnought.
As for what they can dish out: plasma cannons, twin-linked lascannons, the classic assault cannon... all the mount options for dreadnoughts are quite potent weaponry. But they just can't keep up with a sniper-Fex's barbed strangler and venom cannon. Seriously, their range, strength, large areas of effect make those a very formidable weapon. More so against non-MEQs than against MEQs, but hey - it's not _all_ Marines out there. The only downside is the BS, but you can upgrade that too and it isn't all that expensive.
So the problem with the all-out-Dreadnought list compared to a flood of Carnifexes is that the Dreadnoughts just die while the Fexes march on.
It may well work better in 5th edition since vehicles are tougher now but I haven't yet given it a try. Mostly because my main opponents are Necrons and Chaos Space Marines. Gauss weapons and powerfists just take the fun out of Dreadnouhts too quickly... (Carnifexes would survive a little longer there...)
(I used to have a Techmarine shielded by three venerable Dreadnoughts and since you couldn't shoot through models and they were assumed to take up the space of their base the Techmarine wasn't a viable target for any attacks and kept the Dreadnoughts up and running pretty well. They re-rolled any destroyed results and everything else could be repaired. But you can't hide the Techmarine and his Servitors anymore, because actual lines of sight will be used, and you can definitely draw one in between the Dreadnought's legs...)
That's a very valid point Red Archer. Considerable though, that heavy weapons have an easier time causing initial damage to a carnifex (S 8 weapons wound on a 2+ or 3+, while need a 4+ to glance a dread) I do agree that once it gets past that stage, the dreadnought is worse off. Weapons aren't something i'd really considered. I could see a Hellfire dread being better off than a Sniper Fex though, the tank killing potential is far higher.
OH and as a Necron Player, I will fully admit that Dreads are hardly even an obstacle, gauss makes them useless in one turn most games. Carnifex are impossible to take down though.
Realitycheque. That's the reason I don't use Nidzilla, so I can completely understand (that and I like the horde feel more.)
Thanks for the replies though folks.
This is why I go for Venerable Dreads with Extra Armour, and 2x TL-ACs or an autocannon/assault cannon combo. At least 4 shots, BS5 (with a reroll), plus a good chance of preventing some of the horrible damage options. The S7/S6+rending weapons tends to make a mess of most things.
Sure, it's not infalliable but with the extra armour you can usually be sure of making it into cover the next turn ready to pop out and shoot the pants off something the next.
Hmm good points comparing how a fex list performs vs a dread list. I have considered the 6 dread list with this codex, because I really dig dreads.
On the other hand I really like the techmarine surrounded by three venerable dreads idea. Hmm maybe I'm wrong here, but I thought vehicles on bases, ie dreads, still hold to the old LOS rules. Meaning, you don't use true line of site with those models, the area of the base is completely blocked. That's at least been how I've been playing, as well as anyone I have played when it comes to dreads and MC.
Is there a page reference in the rules book that specifies to use TLOS with based models?
If you can show me how to argue that the walkers do block line of sight I would much appreciate it. Until then my Techmarine and his servitors will have to do with that 4+ cover save against heavy weapons - better than nothing, but worse than no LOS at all.
Alright I'll go through the LOS rule and stuff then. Because now I want to know how I'm supposed to be playing dreads and MC. I do use them for blocking LOS to stuff, and again, I have had Tyranid players use it as well.
Another drawbacks to dreadnoughts are Melta weapons. A Melta shot will probably cause 1 wound on a MC, but has a good chance of killing a dreadnough outright.
Necron Army Building Maxima: Beware of Phase Out