Welcome to Librarium Online!
Greetings, fellow Space Marine commanders!
No university or work today because I had planned to go mountaineering with my dad. Unfortunately for him and me we could only do so on Saturday and Sunday because he had important appointments intervening. Fortunately though for the fans of my breakdowns, as I find myself at home early with a day off to write up yet another breakdown.
Don't expect too much though, as it is not a very complicated topic. In effect it is a mere comparison of the effectiveness of different razorback turret mounts...
Mechanization is very big in the fifth edition meta game. With mobility being more important and a lot cheaper than before foot-slogging squads have largely lost their place in our army lists and our good tactical marines all have their rides of one sort or another.
Drop pods get close to the enemy very quickly, but once you have made a commitment you're on foot. Rhinos and razorbacks are a little slower with the initial delivery but instead provide mobile cover and allow for rapid redeployment. The razorback in particular can also provide fire support.
But what weapon options are the best for razorback transports? The article below will provide some statistics and considerations that may help you decide. Enjoy.
A razorback starts out with a twin-linked heavy bolter. This already is a formidable weapon in itself and a really cheap one too. But a commander is also granted the option of upgrading this turret to either twin-linked heavy flamers, or the more expensive twin-linked assault cannons, twin-linked lascannons, or lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns.
As you can see in the image above, the lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns at close (rapid-firing) range shows the best overall anti-tank performance. Note, though, that this is assuming the vehicle is stationary; since this turret is the only one consisting of two seperate weapons the turret mount's effectiveness drops by a large amount once your vehicle is on the move.
The assault cannon is very efficient too, the only drawback being its inferior range compared to some others. For long-range tank hunting the twin-linked lascannons of course seem like the best option to take.
In the following I will present average number of inflicted wounds on MEQ and GEQ models, both within and without cover, assuming a standard 4+ cover save, for the various weapons.
(The flamers' performance is very hard to ascertain as it depends very much upon how many models you can fit under the template. I will assume we can fit 4 models under that template as I find this to be a viable estimate for an average situation. Good positioning can easily double these numbers, while sometimes the proximity to the target unit and its placement can drastically reduce these numbers too...)
As you can see the heavy flamers yield the best effects, yet their very very limited range, their low reliability in regards to how many models can be hit, the possible inability to place the template if your own models linger nearby and other factors still have to be accounted for.
The assault cannon provides very good results too, is independent of template placing and has decent range, especially if the 6" move you can make before shooting is accounted for.
Twin-linked Heavy Bolters
They perform so much better than a rhino storm bolter while costing only a few points more. (Of course you lose the ability of self-repair, the firepoints, and the ability to transport a full tactical squad. But if need to attach a character and if you want to combat squad and leave behind your big guns anyway the razorback definitely is the better option.)
For their cheapness they are a viable option, performing decently against any type of infantry while also being able to stall and/or stop light skimmers and transports or hurting monstrous creatures at a very good range. Since your razorback's primary option should still be transporting and thus moving 12" and forfeiting your shooting phase this turret mount is perfect as it is not as big a points commitment that is partly wasted and on the other hand just so very vulnerable and easy to disable.
Twin-linked Heavy Flamers
They are not all that expensive as the other upgrade mounts, yet still a large points commitment, increasing your razorback's cost by full 62.5%. For that you gain the ability to kill lots of infantry as soon as you are within range (and survive) and be especially effective at dislodging it from cover. The downside is that the template has very limited range and is almost useless against enemy vehicles.
Twin-linked Assault Cannons
While increasing the base transport cost by 87.5% this turret is an upgrade in every possible sense except for range. Like the heavy bolters it is a very versatile weapon with a solid performance against every type of target, and in fact this performance is a very good one both against tanks and infantry, and also monstrous creatures and whatever else you can think of. The assault cannons even come with the ability of instant-killing T3 models.
These also increase the base cost of your transport by 87.5%. This turret offers the best performance at great distances and it is a very formidable tank hunter. It comes with the ability to instant-kill even T4 models but with only a single shot it is not exactly a good infantry killer.
Lascannon and twin-linked Plasma Guns
This turret performs very well against vehicles, MEQ, and monstrous creatures at close range as long as it remains stationary. It can instant kill even T4 models. While it also increases the razorback's base cost by 87.5% its greatest drawback is that its efficiency is greatly reduced once the vehicle moves. Its maximum range is very good, though its performance at long range is inferior to other turret options.
Being a transport the razorback is supposed to be kept cheap. Its turret is supposed to be a little extra; a support weapon that is used once the delivery has been made and that can assist in killing any kind of target. For this reason personally I think that the twin-linked heavy bolters are a wonderful choice for a razorback turrets.
If you want to upgrade the turret mount and commit so much points to your transport then the best choice is very much dependent on what you want your razorback to do. If you are facing a horde army, especially one that can not easily handle vehicles, the twin-linked heavy flamers may very well win you games. If you need to kill MEQ and/or monstrous creatures coming at you and plan to remain stationary the lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns turret may benefit you the most. If you plan to stay back and kill enemy vehicles from afar the twin-linked lascannons is probably your best option. But if you want an all-round vehicle that can still deliver your units where you need them while killing infantry, monstrous creatures and vehicles alike the twin-linked assault cannons are your best bet: they are the very best upgrade choice against all-comers.
So my advice is: stick with the heavy bolters for your transports. If you want to spend the points upgrade to assault cannons! The other mounts are -in my opinion- inferior when your transport is supposed to be used as such and be moving.
If you buy a razorback as a support tank rather than a transport -for example as a dedicated transport choice for your devastators- then the lascannon options may be viable, as may be the heavy flamers if you want a specialized, close up infantry hunter.
A big thanks to all those who have been giving me feedback on my breakdowns! Battle-brethren showing their gratitude is what keeps me going even when spare time is short...
Ahh Archer good to have another breakdown on the forums. I was missing them. And thanks for this breakdown. There are so many topics about this but it's nice to have the math laid out and easy to read. Many thanks!!
Damnit RA I thought I told you to stop being more useful than me.
The Emperor Protects
IG Best Gen 1st overall of 10 DE 4th overall of 6
Eldar 3rd Overall/Best General of 26--2nd Overall/Best General of 7--1st Overall/Best General of 11
Another informative break down, thanks RA! Gotta love assault cannons.
Thanks for the Breakdown R.a.
I agree with your conclusion; I've always found it odd that the minimal Razorback was so damn cheap while the cost of upgrade weapons almost doubled the price tag. The vehicle movement/shooting rules would already impair the usefulness of those upgrades, adding a higher cost would almost certainly make it even more situational. Though twin-linked heavy bolters are nothing to scuff at , and spamming them is definitely something that's worth considering.
So far I've gone with the Twin-linked HB to transport my Sternguards; While i agree it may not be best suited for Stern guards, since you can't use the "Fire points" for delivering combi-[something] shot while keeping those expensive models safe from scratches. It balances out well when facing your foes at a distance with the Kraken bolts special ammunition. That being said I've been pondering a small 5 man (1x Las cannon) devastator squad with a Twin-linked las cannon as transport... Its expensive, but sounds very cool and thematic . Damn you aesthetic leanings! Perhaps I'll end up beefing up my Stern guard squad enough to justify a drop pod and switch things around a little.
What are peoples though on Razorback spam? 6x 5man troops (Or 10 with 1x heavy bolters) with a razorback sounds good to me.
<Edit: Also , sorry if I'm being repetitive, exhaustion from work is getting to me apparently... all work and no play makes Seismic a dull boy.>
Last edited by seismic; October 29th, 2009 at 02:53.
"The things that appear are a vision of the unseen"
-Anaxagoras of Clazomenae
Thanks for the breakdown. I think I will have to pick up some razorbacks eventually.
Looks like leaving them naked is a good option, though Lascannon razorbacks sitting back at 48" and trying to pick off enemy armour could be a good way of getting some anti tank into my otherwise heavy weapon light list..
Arch Overfiend & Grand Despot
I currently play:
Doom Eagle Space Marines
Hive Fleet Omega Tyranids
Goff Ork Boyz(dead)
Tau of O'me
Inquisitorial Xeno Hunters
and my attempted foray into fantasy
'Dark Angel Green' Dark Elves in need of fluff
Thank you all for your feedback, fellow wargamers! Really helps to know my work is actually useful / informative to some. I'm very glad I can help!
About assault cannons: even though rending was nerfed in fifth edition they still are a very impressive weapon! Unfortunately I don't get to use them anymore despite that fact. Why don't you see a lot of assault cannons anymore?
Because ever since the assault cannon has become a more expensive upgrade on every unit and there are cheaper and -though more specialized- more effective versions of the landspeeder available, and since a five-man squad of terminators can't have two assault cannons anymore (unless you have another squad of five without a heavy weapon), etc...
Probably the wide majority of all assault cannons are the ones on LRCs and LRRs and razorbacks. For a reason. Sad to see that awesome thing go!
On razorback spam: unfortunately there is quite an amount of armies that can easily take on six razorbacks (or eight or nine). And once your transports are shaken or immobilized or destroyed your razorback spam army would be pretty much helpless. It just doesn't have enough hitting power on its own, you will always have to have a good portion of hard-hitters along with your razorbacks.
So probably the spam on its own won't do much good. But of course it is probably a viable secondary army building trait or tactic.
I've been hit lately with "Imperial fists" fever , for some reason i want to paint something bright Yellow that's just brutal with shooting and could melee a Monolith. Heavy bolters (And Las cannons) just scream Imperial fists to me; Get a bunch of those and add Lysander to look mean and stuff, you're all set. Razor backs spam just seemed to fit in there.
I guess i could always cut down on the Razor backs , focus on a 5/5 devastator squad with 3 Hb and one las cannon for the signum... I'll crunch some numbers see what they say about it.
"The things that appear are a vision of the unseen"
-Anaxagoras of Clazomenae
Yeah, its too bad about the AC price, unless you pick one up on a dread. I played a deathwing army the other day, and so many assault cannons tore a lot of my army apart. 4 high str shots with rending? Yes please.
And wow, thank you so much for pointing out that a razorback has no fire points....it caused me to think, hang on....so I looked up the rhino and found something I had somehow completely missed - 2 fire points!! I have a plasma gunner in one of tacticals who always notches up a fair few kills each game - now he might get another couple of shots in.
Edit: After looking up the rules on fire points, I think that being in a situation to use them would be very rare.
Last edited by Draake; October 30th, 2009 at 03:03.
But you named it: usually as long as you're embarked you'll want to move 12", so nobody gets to shoot. And once you disembark there's nobody inside to shoot anymore. That's why I take razorbacks almost all the time. (If I use transports at all: they can be disabled leaving you on foot. But a bike squad can always move, and even if the bulk of it dies and only a single biker reaches the enemy it can still do quite a lot of harm...)