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I haven't played IG in 5th edition or with their new codex but have a small army I've been meaning to finish and was wondering if a list with multiple sentinels (like 4 or more) is viable as I like their look more than typical tanks.
So an infantry and sentinel list with possibly some valkyries. Oh and I was considering adding/changing to Elysian's as well.
Oh and I'm not a super competitive player and will mostly be playing with friends so it doesn't need to be a super l33t tourney pwn army.
It sounds nice on paper but I don't think it would be a good list. Sentinels are light armored, open topped, and don't have the pie plate weapons like the IG tanks have. Now you can take Armored Sentinels to handle the low armor and open topped, but It still just don't have the armor of the heavier tank, and no matter what you do you still can match the fire power of a tank. Maybe I'm too much of a tread head to want to leave my tank parked on the side lines but you can try it and if it don't work, then don't say I didn't tell you so.
If anything only go with 2-3 scout sentinels with lascannons. Their cheap and they get move through cover and scouts special rules. Making it easier to hit a enemies side or even rear armor. You will need to keep in cover to increase your chances of survival. I would still take a Leman Russ too. Either a Battle Tank, Demolisher, or my top pick Vanquisher.
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Sentinels can be great, you can't compare them to tanks though because they aren't tanks. And for a similar point cost you get a full squad that can't get popped by a single lucky shot.
Scout sentinels can outflank and are cheap as dirt. Try autocannons and go for rear armor or exposed squads. I've always wanted to try this with 9 of them.
Armoured sentinels get one less weapon than a dread and no DCCW but are about half the cost and can still tie up a much more expensive infantry unit without a PF. Once again, always wanted to try 9 with plasma cannons.
The real problem with taking sentinels is that they use up a FA slot that most people would rather put towards Valk/Vendettas or Hellhound/variants. If these things were elites like the Dread is you'd see them in almost every army
The problem with Sentinels is this:
2 Sentinels with Autocannons cost 80 points. They have AV10 all round.
1 Hydra with 2 x Twin-Linked Autocannons costs 75 points. It also has Front AV12.
3 Sentinels with Lascannons costs over 150pts.
1 Vendetta with 3 x Twin-Linked Lascannons costs 130 points. Is also a fast skimmer transport.
I can keep going through all the weapon options, really. But at the end of the day, any Sentinel weapon configuration can be bought elsewhere in the Codex for less points and will usually be more effective. Which is a real shame, because I love the Sentinel models. But the only useful one is the regular Scout w/ Multilaser. But for 20 points more, why not just get a Chimera instead?
The only thing I really use sentinels for is either as a distraction or a 'speed bump'. The latter works very well against tyranids, and its always funny to see gaunts failing madly at one, solitary sentinel.
Sentinels can be surprisingly tenacious, and can really annoy your opponent, but I would never take a lot of them. As Ravendove said, other things can do the job better.
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Additionally, you would play sentinels in vastly different roles. Hydras sit back and shoot with some movement, where Sentinels constantly move around, up field, and post a constant lumbering threat. I use sentinels as close-range fire support for my russes when the drive up field, Hydras can't do that. Plus, Hydras take up valuable slots on the FoC. You can take three armoured sentinels with ACs and still take 2 vendettas, which is plenty.
If you use Sentinels like a Hydra, yes, buy a hydra. If you're going to be more mobile with them and keep them moving as a direct fire platform, take sentinels.
Sentinels can be effective, but they compete with Vendettas for the fast attack slot - which is, frankly more effective and more versatile. However, I feel a list with 6 Scout Sentinels with autocannons outflanking and 3 Armored Sentinels with either multilasers or heavy flamers running a screen for your infantry in chimeras (or indeed, tanks in the heavy support slots - perhaps Eradicators or Collosus, something to handle the pie plate issue) could be quite effective.
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Also, Sentinels have exactly the same movement as Hydras. If you upgrade to Armoured, you lose Scout so there is virtually no difference. Both can move and fire (Hydras can choose to move 12"), both their weapons are the same range, both have the same AV. How can one be a 'constant lumbering threat' and not the other?
Hydra not only have superior weapons (twin linked) but are bigger and thus can double as a rolling cover save for your infantry.
The only advantage Autocannon Sentinels have over the Hydra is that they can assault., but with a single S6 attack, any unit with S4 can damage it and with S5 or up stand a good chance of taking them out completely.
They're cute and lovable, but ultimately, the points are better spent on chimeras.
All these are good points and should be listened to. However if you are going for a fluff based idea (aka your army has alot of sentinels such as the recon force of an Armored Company) then by all means go for it. When i was thinking about running a steel legion Afrika Korps themed army i wanted nine of these to act as the "recon" of the armored force. I would arm them based on what you want them to do or what the rest of your army is tooled to. If you have alot of anti-tank already make them troop killers with either multilasers or heavy flamers, or if you want to go for the in between route auto-cannons would be good for taking down infantry as well as transports. But if you lack anti-tank then go for Plasma Cannons and Lascannons. Hope this helps.