Missile Launchers vs. Autocannons - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Member Hockeyman506's Avatar
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    Missile Launchers vs. Autocannons

    It's been a while since I posted anything constructive here and I feel the need to rectify that. The last few weeks I haven't had anytime for40k (or any hobby for that matter), but I have been mulling over things and slowly collecting a small Tyranid army. That being said with the recent Tyranid release and strategic thinking I've been wondering over my heavy weapon choices.

    As a note, I play a hybrid list (2-4 chimeltas, 1 plasma chimera, Inquisitor or PBS, a single platoon, 2-3 vendies w/ flamer PCS or SWS, Demolishers, and Hydras) so I may be thinking more towards that end.

    Up to now I've been preaching the autocannon band wagon as I've been using them primarily to kill transports and load wounds on MCish things. All of the line squads (3-4) have been fitted with autocannons as I find them the best killage-to-cost ratio.

    However looking over my list I find that I usually have more than enough transport killing ability with 3 vendettas, a pair of hydras, and about 5-7 chimeras. What I lack is the ability to kill of MCs very quickly at range (sans the vendies). Seeing as how I've more than enough vehicle killing, I've been thinking about the missile launchers, especially against MCs and for long-range damage against hordes. Despite the steeper cost and the lousy BS3 and nearly equivalent effect against vehicles to the AC, I'm liking these. The ability to pop a 3+ save and intant-kill T4 is getting to be really appealing. Not to mention the template can thin out hordes at range so the heavy flamers can toast the rest as they get close.

    It will probably change up my strategy a ton, but damn, I might decide to switch camps in the heavy weapons debate (granted I'm looking at the overall synergy in my list).

    What about you, LO? Whether its your list, my list, or just heavy weapons in general, what are your thoughts?


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  3. #2
    Official Lol Cannon magila's Avatar
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    I run all my heavy weapons in my squads as missile launchers and they are great. Instakill tyranid warriors and put down MC's like it's nobody's business. Or, shoot at swarms and blast them with the frags, the versatility is the greatest part.

  4. #3
    My backpack has JETS! Ravendove's Avatar
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    We had a huge debate about this a while ago, so if you're interested go search for it in this forum. Here, I'll just add my own thoughts and preferences.

    The Autocannon is excellent and the two shots really helps make up for the lack of a good ballistic skill. However, because I run vehicle-heavy mechanised lists with a lot of Chimeras and a few Vendettas, the Multilasers and Lascannons can usually take care of any enemy transports. I'm in love with the Missile Launcher. It's greatest strength is being able to drop SM Characters, Tyranid Warriors, Ork Nobz and the like with a single shot. Though relatively innaccurate with a single shot, that's why we have cheap infantry - so we can spam them. If I take a Heavy Weapon Team, and that's rarely, they usually have Missile Launchers.

    I also enjoy being able to switch the loadout to Frag if I'm facing a horde army or any suitable Krak targets are gone. It's quite an expensive heavy weapon, but you pay for that flexibility.

    All my Infantry Squads these days are run in Missile Launcher/Grenade Launcher configuration. Allowing me to drop two Krak shots or two Frag blasts depending on the situation.

  5. #4
    Torn ACL FTL ==Me=='s Avatar
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    I pick autocannons because they're cheaper, more reliable, and capable against a wide variety of targets. Missile Launchers are hampered by their single shot. If I want a 1 shot tank buster, I take lascannons (Vendettas). If I want a horde killing template, I field an Eradicator.

    Missile Launchers are great when they can fire off multiple shots per turn (SM Typhoons and Cyclones, for example), but with only BS3 IG Missile Launchers are very meh.
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  6. #5
    LO Zealot SandWyrm's Avatar
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    You're right that the new Nids have forced us to include more AP2/AP3 weapons. But that still doesn't mean that Missile Launchers are a good choice.

    Here's some Anti-tank stats for various weapons: the back 40k: What Are The Odds?

    Missile Launchers will kill Nid MCs, but they're still about 30% less effective at killing all the mech that you'll see in IG and Marine forces than both ACs and LCs. It seems obvious, at least to me, that if you're going to upgrade some of your autocannons, you should spend the extra 5 points per gun over the missile launcher to make sure you can take down both big bugs AND light armor. As the lascannon is the only weapon that excels at both.

    Other than that, Plasmas are a good idea again. At least on a unit or two.
    Last edited by SandWyrm; March 22nd, 2010 at 15:47.
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    Junior Member Tomzy's Avatar
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    I take the autocannons because it looks nicer!

    Does that count too?

    Anyway I'd rather have 2 7s shots with BS3 and for the AT I'll take a Vendetta,
    so I second the above 2 posters.

  8. #7
    Senior Member GMAleron's Avatar
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    Personally i love missile launchers as many have said for there versatility. However recently i have been trading them up for mortars to help out my anti-horde capabilities (9 mortars=amazing results by the way). If you are having trouble with Monstrous creatures and you have 2 to 3 vendettas your problem is solved right there. If playing nids just have your vendettas focus fire on to those things and you should be okay. However if this is not the case i recommend more plasma (a little biased here). A rapid fire ap2 weapon usually should make paste of whatever it fires at (except those dang invunerable 3+ save zoanthropes!). I know its risky especially in regards to overheating however i run two squads in vendettas with these and they do very well.

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    Member CaptainJones's Avatar
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    Ive been building and gaming with a guard army for a couple of months now and ive come to the following conclusion on the heavy weapons debate

    Autocannons: should be your default choice for infantry sqauds. Two shots means you will average one hit per turn, they are good for popping transports and nearly always wound on a 2+. Theyre also incredibly cheap. Back them up with grenade launchers.

    Heavy bolters: not worth the bother IMO, the autocannon has better S & AP, this outwieghs the extra shot the HB gives you.

    Mortar: Never actually used them, dont really have any plans to either. If i did, i wouldnt put them in my infantry squads, they would be heavy weapon squads hidden away at the back or behind something big, and used for annoying the hell out of the enemy

    Missile Launchers: generally not worth it. MLs are more expensive than an AC and you only get one shot per turn. Krak missiles ignore MEQs armour but, theres only a 50/50 chance you will hit. However, missile launchers do come into their own against tyranids: MCs will be wounded on a 2+ and wont get an armour save, warriors will suffer instant death and if you go for frag against gaunts anything under the template is dead on a 3+ (try firing a couple of frag missiles into the centre of a big gaunt brood, its great fun!)

    Lascannons: Its the most expensive weapon, and like the ML its one shot at BS 3. However, this doesnt mean its not worth taking as its a dedicated anti tank gun. Not worth spamming them, but probably worth putting one or two in a 1500 point list, and have them concentrate on heavy vehicles while your autocannon pop the smaller ones.


    and just for fun, heres my views on infantry special weapons...

    Flamer: not the best option IMO. Works well against gaunts and you do get to hit automatically BUT (and it is a big but) the range of the flamer template is only about 8", so in order to kill anything with it you will have to either buy a transport or footslog all the way to the enemy, niether of which is worth it when you only have 1 flamer in the unit. In my experience all you get with a flamer is one less lasgun

    Grenade Launcher: The best 'budget' option. For only 5 points you get a gun with decent range an two different kinds of ammo. Sure, niether of those ammo types have much punch, but let me stress again, ITS ONLY 5 POINTS!

    Meltagun: not a bad option if your squad ends up close to a tank, and it will instant kill quite a few things, but suffers from chronically short range (much like the flamer) and its assault 1 so its 50/50 that you will get a hit

    Plasma Gun: Now heres something fun. Its the most expensive special weapon but also the most useful. It has decent range and glorious high strength and low AP and its rapid fire, so if your up against MEQs, light vehicles or MCs the plasma gun is your new best friend. Just dont be too surprised when it blows up in your face...

  10. #9
    Member CaptainJones's Avatar
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    Ive been building and gaming with a guard army for a couple of months now and ive come to the following conclusion on the heavy weapons debate

    Autocannons: should be your default choice for infantry sqauds. Two shots means you will average one hit per turn, they are good for popping transports and nearly always wound on a 2+. Theyre also incredibly cheap. Back them up with grenade launchers.

    Heavy bolters: not worth the bother IMO, the autocannon has better S & AP, this outwieghs the extra shot the HB gives you.

    Mortar: Never actually used them, dont really have any plans to either. If i did, i wouldnt put them in my infantry squads, they would be heavy weapon squads hidden away at the back or behind something big, and used for annoying the hell out of the enemy

    Missile Launchers: generally not worth it. MLs are more expensive than an AC and you only get one shot per turn. Krak missiles ignore MEQs armour but, theres only a 50/50 chance you will hit. However, missile launchers do come into their own against tyranids: MCs will be wounded on a 2+ and wont get an armour save, warriors will suffer instant death and if you go for frag against gaunts anything under the template is dead on a 3+ (try firing a couple of frag missiles into the centre of a big gaunt brood, its great fun!)

    Lascannons: Its the most expensive weapon, and like the ML its one shot at BS 3. However, this doesnt mean its not worth taking as its a dedicated anti tank gun. Not worth spamming them, but probably worth putting one or two in a 1500 point list, and have them concentrate on heavy vehicles while your autocannon pop the smaller ones.


    and just for fun, heres my views on infantry special weapons...

    Flamer: not the best option IMO. Works well against gaunts and you do get to hit automatically BUT (and it is a big but) the range of the flamer template is only about 8", so in order to kill anything with it you will have to either buy a transport or footslog all the way to the enemy, niether of which is worth it when you only have 1 flamer in the unit. In my experience all you get with a flamer is one less lasgun

    Grenade Launcher: The best 'budget' option. For only 5 points you get a gun with decent range an two different kinds of ammo. Sure, niether of those ammo types have much punch, but let me stress again, ITS ONLY 5 POINTS!

    Meltagun: not a bad option if your squad ends up close to a tank, and it will instant kill quite a few things, but suffers from chronically short range (much like the flamer) and its assault 1 so its 50/50 that you will get a hit

    Plasma Gun: Now heres something fun. Its the most expensive special weapon but also the most useful. It has decent range and glorious high strength and low AP and its rapid fire, so if your up against MEQs, light vehicles or MCs the plasma gun is your new best friend. Just dont be too surprised when it blows up in your face...

  11. #10
    Son of LO kevin vanrooyen's Avatar
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    Lets see what the guns can do, i'll assume blasts hit an average of, lets say 25 models when firing 12 missile launchers, this is about 2.04 models/blast, which shold be a fair number, many people would even argue this number to be too small. In each case i'll show the average result of 1 of the weaon firing. *shows that the weapon will cause instant death.

    v. AV10
    Autccannon 12 hits 2 glance 6 penatrate
    Krak Missile 6 hits 1 glance 4 penatrate

    v. AV11
    Autocannon 12 hits 2 glance 4 penatrate
    Krak Missile 6 hits 1 glance 3 penatrate

    v. AV12
    Autocannon 12 hits 2 glance 2 penatrate
    Krak Missile 6 hits 1 glance 2 penatrate

    v. AV13
    Autocannon 12 hits 2 glance 0 penatrate
    Krak Missile 6 hits 1 glance 1 penatrate

    v. AV14
    Autocannon 12 hits 0 glance 0 penatrate
    Krak Missile 6 hits 1 glance 0 penatrate

    v. TEQ
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 1.67 dead
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 0.83 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 12.5 wounds 2.08 dead

    v. TEQ in cover
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 1.67 dead
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 0.83 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 12.5 wounds 2.08 dead

    v. MEQ
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 3.33 dead
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 5 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 12.5 wounds 4.17 dead

    v. MEQ in cover
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 3.33 dead
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 2.5 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 12.5 wounds 4.17 dead

    v. GEQ
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 10 dead *
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 5 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 16.66 wounds 11.11 dead

    v. GEQ in cover
    Autocannon 12 hits 10 wounds 5 dead *
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 2.5 dead *
    Frag Missile 25 hits 16.66 wounds 8.88 dead

    v. TMC
    Autocannon 12 hits 8 wounds 2.67 after saves
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 5 after saves

    v. TMC in cover
    Autocannon 12 hits 8 wounds 2.67 after saves
    Krak Missile 6 hits 5 wounds 2.5 after saves

    Now you will all see the fairly mixed results of the weapons, when firing at infantry, vehicles, and monsterous creatures, and mixed further when in cover. The autocannon won 4 matches and the missile launcher won 9 matches. The missile launcher should be a better all around weapon, although the autocannon can do well against light vehicles and MCs in cover.

    I prefer the missile launcher personally, sure it costs a few more points but it is definately worth it.

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