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Hello everyone, noob here.
I'd like to ask for your opinion on this topic, and perhaps argue for a view not widely held it seems. Are heavy weapons teams in a foot or hybrid list better placed in a troop squad, or by themselves?
I don't want to turn this into a "mech vs gunline" argument, or an argument about whether or not an infantry gunline is competetive. There's plenty of previous threads on that topic.
I believe the common consensus is that HWT's are better placed in squads as they're quite fragile, and have low leadership interfering with orders. I'd like to present several arguments FOR dedicated heavy weapon teams:
1) I've already paid for the CCS (standard HQ I'm assuming). I want those orders used to best effect every turn. And I can order more heavy weapons at once if they're grouped into teams (squad plus autocannon team = 55 points per autocannon. 3x autocannon team = 25 points per autocannon. Ok, I'm not accounting for the cost of Sgt Kell or a Commissar Lord, but I believe the idea still applies even with inflated cost.)
2) Terrain in deployment zones is not unlimited - in fact, it can be quite scarce. It's easier to fit 3 or 6 HWT bases in a piece of area terrain vs. 30-60 infantrymen. In fact, if you're targeted by templates, I'll take fewer wounds if HWT's are targeted than if there were a bunch of infantrymen were there instead. (True, they're very important wounds...)
3) I want my Heavy Weapons shooting every turn. Separating them out leaves their accompanying infantry squads free to move about - to either claim objectives, get into cover outside of my deployment zone, or to screen the firebase from assaulters. Dawn of War? 2 HWT's can deploy with the CCS. Bam - there's your firebase, shooting from turn 1.
4) A corollary to #3 is that I want to devote my infantry squads free to do what they do best - die messily. (kidding, sort of) They should be free to move into/out of charge range, or move into rapid fire range for FRFSRF and kill infantry. I don't want to decide between not shooting a heavy weapon or getting 10 extra lasgun shots.
5) Yes, they're fragile, but I'm getting maximum firepower in the most important turns of the game for a gunline - the first two. Yes, they'll be attritted eventually but hopefully they've done their job and blown enemy transports while they're still in their own deployment zone.
6) A properly kitted out HQ can ameliorate the low leadership scores of the HWT's, using Creed/Commissar Lord/Sgt. Kell to boost their base leadership to 9 or 10, and offering re-rolls on morale checks to fall back. Expensive, but if you want to hurt your opponent by shooting then having twin-linked/coversave denying heavy weapons that are not likely to run away is important.
Ok, that's all I can think of for now. I've got my carapace armor on - flame away! (just not with a heavy flamer)
If you take an infantry platoon, with 3 squads, you've grouped your 3 autocannons together. You now have the same number of shots from your heavy weapons, can give an order to the whole squad, and a hell of a lot more survivable than a heavy weapon squad.
What if you're fighting Guard, and a russ drops a S8, AP3 template on your heavy weapon team? They're gone. Say bye, waste of points. They drop a template on your Combined platoon? You lose MAYBE 10 mooks. They've got 17 more to go through before they can even consider touching your heavy weapon squads.
Two: They cost too much. You're playing 75 points for three autocannons that will die in a SMALL barrage of S6 shots. Eldar Scatter lasers, Shruiken cannons, multilasers will all instant kill them.
If you're worried about deployment zones, then you must be playing on a small table. Me and a pal fit 3000 points of IG onto a standard table, only having a PCS stay in reserves because I couldn't fit anymore. That's including full tank squads.
As for wanting them to shoot every turn, sure, take veterans for your objective holders. Platoons are great at holding the line, but for taking objects, you shouldn't ever really just rely on the platoon to get it done.
The overall point is, you've got to spend points on gear to make a less survivable squad useful. If you aren't putting special weapons in your platoon, then why are you taking a platoon? Take Chimelta vets. The Platoons strength is sheer number of shots, including heavy weapons. If the heavy weapons in your platoon are the only heavy weapons you've got, then you've gotta readjust your list, I'm afraid.
And don't forget: Your heavy weapon squad inside an infantry platoon STILL has a lasgun, so for 5 or 10 points more for each platoon squad, you're getting a heavy weapon, losing one lasgun, and gaining a 2w model instead.
Maybe I just like a more dynamic army. *shrug* Heavy weapon squads don't add anything dyanmic, and don't really bring anything to the table that a kited out infantry platoon squad can.
I have to disagree with ckerensky (not at all bad mouthing) i just dont agree with his opinion. In my experience i have learned that more is better which is why i lean more towards heavy weapon teams for several reasons:
-You can tool the squad to fit your need either that be tank hunting or infantry killing based on what you already have in your army
-Placing them in cover will help out alot in regards to being shot at
-You can get multiple squads of them that can lay down alot of fire, more is better as BS 3 really hampers your output with just one heavy weapon
-In a squad of men it will pretty much mean your basing your whole squad on sitting back which may not always be the best idea
-If you give your squad a weapon like an autocannon, lascannon or missile launcher you cant really shoot at the same target all the time with the same effect.
Last edited by GMAleron; March 1st, 2010 at 02:05.
Considering that a multilaser or assaultcannon can take out an entire HWS in 1 turn of shooting, and the fact that Ld7 is hit or miss in regards to order, HWS are best left at home.
Yes, if you go mass infantry with a bunch of squads and HWS, then sure, why not. But unless you are building your list around them, you are better off with Chimeras or Vendettas.
Chimera > HB HWS
Hydra > AC HWS
Griffon > Mortar HWS
Vendetta > LC HWS
@cKerensky: You're absolutely right - 3 squads with autocannons are much, much more durable than 1 HWS. They're also much, much more expensive. As far as deployment zone issues - what percentage of your 3000 points are you deploying in cover? I understand mech Guard don't have to worry about cover much, but with infantry - I need to hug cover to survive. Or else a Battlecannon shot WILL take out chunks of men quickly. I don't know how you set up your tables in your area, but again I'll have 1, maybe 2 pieces of area terrain max in my deployment zone (for 2 of the 3 deployments, anyways). Deploying anywhere else is probably quite suicidal.
I've got special weapons in my platoons - they're just in the PCS (flamers) and SWS (flamers + melta). Sure, I toss in some GL's or flamers in my line troop squads because they're cheap. But I'd rather equip my veteran squad(s) with melta/plasma for the BS 4. The only thing I rely on troop squads to do is pour out lasgun fire. I take a platoon instead of vets because it gives me access to the PCS, SWS, and HWTs. And more scoring units for the buck.
I'm not so sure about the lasgun being able to fire as well as the heavy weapon - doesn't a model only get to fire one weapon, not two? I may be mistaken, though....which would be great!
@BoxANT - Actually, I am building my list around them. Well, a part of it anyways. There's also some Vendettas and a Manticore....but I just want more firepower! As cost-efficiently yet durably as possible. Thus my question to you all....
@GMAleron - agree with you on all counts. But I'm very inexperienced, so am always willing to listen to more veteran voices here.
This is true but for static infantry line armies often the lasguns are out of range the for the first and second turn. These units can be very versatile as well. A veteran squad with 3 x GL and an Autocannon is great against light transports like an Ork Trukk. If the autocannon fails to damgage it the GLs still will have a chance too.-If you give your squad a weapon like an autocannon, lascannon or missile launcher you cant really shoot at the same target all the time with the same effect.
I am 100% going with squads on this one. Heavy weapons teams just don't cut it, the only thing they gained in the new dex was the switch from heavy to trooop choice.
I'm going to have to say dedicated teams. They are always more effective for me w/combined fire. Shots from squads are wasted at long range against vehicles. You're lasguns (while not largely effective) can be much more focussed against midrange troop targets.
"LET'S COMMENCE PREPARATIONS FOR RUMBLING!" Mono-Tzeentch 1:1:1
Lets put it this way.
Say a multilaser hits the squad. Kills two of them, with instant death, totally reasonable assumption.
What does that third gun do?
And if it runs, it's not regrouping. And if it does, somehow, regroup, guess what? It's not going to be able to fire right away.
There are just too many downsides to a heavy weapon squad. What good is being able to "focus your fire on dedicated targets" when that squad will die the second something shoots back at it? They're going to be a target, and not even of heavy weapons. Anything S6 or above will shoot it, and insta kill it.
Good luck to you, and if you make it work, good job. I hate math-hammer, but the math just doesn't work out for these guys. They're t3, and massive targets to boot.
And what could you possibly be firing at with your lasguns that you wouldnt be firing a leman russ or demolisher shot at first? Lasguns are point defense guns at best. I don't even equip my veterans with them. Shotguns for my boys.
I never said the lasgun could fire as well as the heavy weapon. I simply stated that the heavy weapon still has a lasgun on it, so you're not exactly losing out on much more than one lasgun. IN return you're getting a much more durable heavy weapon. I'd rather a heavy weapon firing every turn for four turns then a heavy weapon squad firing every turn for two.
Last edited by cKerensky; March 1st, 2010 at 14:35.
I tend to run hybrid lists that usually include a platoon something like this...
PCS: 2+ flamers
3-4 Infantry Squads: GL, ML
2 HWS: autocannons
This gives you quite a bit of firepower. Yes, the autocannons can die but they can be positioned in cover. The line squads will are capable of dealing with light vehicles and monsters in a pinch so losing the HWSs aren't my only big guns.
This group is supplemented by melta/plasma vet squads as well as substantial armor. These provide redundant means of killing infantry and tanks.
Last edited by Rhoaran; March 1st, 2010 at 19:12.
"...and thee shall know the Emperor's might when thy enemies fall before thy guns. No crude Orkish blade can pierce thy anointed armor, nor any twisted alien resist the sting of thy sword." ~Major Kaelen Rhodes
Hey Guys. Although I am new to Imperial Guard, I have faught them on multiple occasions. From this I can tell you, dedicated fire support teams (HWS) do a good amount of damage on thier own. Also, I almost always see them in cover, which, in my experience, makes them a lot tougher to kill. However they still are guard, and will die eventually to mass firepower, but this is weaponry not being targeted at other squads that might matter more.
Space Marines are like gravity. It's not just a good idea. It's the Law.