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I always like the idea of fielding as many plasma weapons as possible. For a start it would look awsome and the desrtuctive potential is without question, very high.
I just have a few queries. How effective are plasma cannons in 5th edition? and would a group of 4 devastator plasma cannons be as good as it sounds?
I know the risks are high and marines would be lost to over heating but i really like idea.
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They're versatile weapons, I'll give them that. How about a pro's vs. con's list?
- Wounds any infantry on 2+
- Is capable of wounding MC's on 3+ to 5+
- Ignores all base armour saves
- Has 50% chance to penetrate AV10
- Is capable of glancing AV13
- Twice as deadly when within 12" (rapid fire)
- Expensive, especially Plasma Cannons.
- Can be blocked by cover saves
- Every shot is a 1/18 chance in resulting in a friendly casualty.
- Gets Hot! casualties caused by Plasma Cannons are expensive losses
- Twice as risky when within 12" (rapid fire)
- Pure Plasma lists lack reliable Anti Tank and Anti Horde.
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he meant plasma cannons not plasma in general ^^. Generally they have the biggest shoot me signs in the game, more than lascannon squads. they are as vulnerable as normal marines and they are damn expesnive and can die by themselves. it is not reccommended in games of less than a thousand points and competitive lists.
Plasma Cannons are too expensive for what they do. I would advise against devastators all together, but if you insist on running them then 4x ML seems to be the best choice.
As for their little brother....
Melta vs Plasma
- Higher strength
- 2D6 AP in half range
- AP1 means +1 to damage roll
- Wounds almost all MC's on a 2+
- Insta-kills T4 HQ's etc
- No risk to the user
- Only 12" range
- Longer range when standing still
- 2 shots at 12"
- High risk to kill user
- Less strength
Which makes it a bit of a no brainer, meltas are easily more effective in 5th edition.
Last edited by joebloggs1987; November 21st, 2009 at 22:18.
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In my experience Plasma Cannons are indeed big targets, but that just requires you to have some meat shields around. Other than that they're incredible for cutting down infantry squads.
The standard debate is Plasma vs. Melta, as it should be. However, I've found compromises to work pretty well. Basically I have roving squads (bikes, combi-weapons etc) with Melta getting down range and taking out vehicles, while plasma cannons hit from range on anything foolish enough to be on foot.
It's a reasonable compromise, and one that, with the exception of highly mobile armies (drop pods, deep striking, generally getting at my rear and mucking up my plasma cannons) has great effect. It can be expensive though, and so probably shouldn't be attempted at anything less than 1500 points.
I kind of understand how you feel about packing plasma into a list, I sort of did the same thing except with assault cannons (fun for a while, but I found a balance I like more) and more recently I've come down with a krak(/frag) addiction.
It is true that plasma cannons have drawbacks, but unless you're playing armies with consistent saves better than 4+, I wouldn't throw down for plasma guns in squads. They're expensive, somewhat dangerous, and don't do enough damage to really heavy squads unless you have a couple of them. Stick with Plasma cannons.
Scatter always gets me. My PC shots always fail to get a direct hit. You have a 1/6 chance of over heat, 1/18 chance of casualty, 1/3 chance of not scattering. I barely ever roll 1s but the scatter die absolutely hate me. I guess with 4 in a squad you're more likely to hit, but you're also more likely to sustain an expensive casualty. My suggestion? Do it. Do it for fun, do it for a laugh, do it if you have a friend who runs an MEQ army and watch him cry. But don't do it if you want a competitve list!
forogot to talk about it above, but I would say that 4 plasma cannon devastators are a bit on the unwieldy side of things.
Either they cost a huge bundle to get yourself to 10 marines, giving yourself 6 meat shields, allowing youself to fire at only one target, and basically painting a "FIRE HERE!" logo all over their position; OR you get two units, each with 2 PCs, the ability to target two units, but only 3 meat shields a piece, and a still fairly large bullseye on them.
Or you could go on the cheap and not buy meat shields, but then you're just asking for it, and I'm going on the assumption that you are not asking for it.
It isn't a terrible idea and can certainly work, but its like a Thunderfire Cannon. EVERYTHING is going to go into bringing them down, so it stands to good odds you get maybe 2 turns of firing and then it dies.
That isn't to say plasma cannons don't rock, but you might be better off with some other set-up. Tactical squads can get them cheap, though you only get one. Dreadnaughts can take plasma cannons too. Devastators are more or less the last place to grab them, and I suppose a unit can work, you just need to be very careful about how you deploy them, or you'll be out one very expensive unit.
I find the best way to field Plasma Cannons is with a dread honestly. No need to worry about overheating.