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I have been using 3 in my MOTF list for a while and i personally think they are great when you focus your fire. They are relative low cost and can put out 4 str7 TL shots a turn. I have been hearing alot of the more competitive oriented players say that it is a waste of points and was wondering what the online community thinks of them.
Personally I don't bother with them, its either a multi-melta, plasma cannon or lascannon. All this math hammer averages nonsense annoys me, if I think a lascannon is more effective at taking out vehicles than 4 autocannons then i'll use it, no amount of numbers is gonna change my mind. My friend used to play a MotF list and he used 2 plasma cannon dreads, 1 lascannon and 1 rifleman and all in all the rifleman was shown up by even the plasma cannon dreads
One shall stand, and one shall fall.
I think it's ok if you need another form of long ranged light/mid anti-armor, but it is just too easy to keep it from firing. Tie it up in CC with a swarm of gaunts, and most damage results from anything else will make it unable to shoot. I think Dev squads are better as they will take more then 1 lucky shot from a lascannon to kill them, and if they are alive it's alot harder to keep them from shooting.
Their performance depends on the players in your area. Rifleman Dreads are almost perfect against some lists (high-mech, Tyranid Godzilla) and almost useless against others (hordes, Blood Angel DoA). Speaking for myself, the loss of a DCCW is too much to justify any left-arm upgrade. Better to bring an assault cannon and pray for sixes.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Sounds like the two dreads I just brought to arm with autocannons would be better off without them. Will probably go ahead as I like the look of them anyway. I cant remember if plasma cannons come with the standard dread or not. Will have to check when I get home.
Jager bombs. Very efficient at wiping out friend or foe.
They have a long range, and provide decent suppression of light armour. They're powerful against the sort of light mech spam you can run into a lot, though it depends somewhat on your local meta. I often run one or two of them, as they allow me to fairly reliably stunlock light vehicles at range. I still take lascannons on other units for actually killing tanks, though. Especially if you know anyone who's partial to AV12 spam.
Still, 4 shots per turn at a medium strength means you'll also hit and wound most units quite reliably. Not the most fantastic unit at a lot of things, but the reliability is a factor which is often quite useful. You could also consider the Rainman variant (assault cannon, TL autocannon) if you want a slightly broader capability range.
Lucky for me my meta is mostly high-mech and eldar and i play the the only horde (orks) so I've had good luck with them.
The loss of the DCCW sucks but i try to use my 2 drop pod ironclads. termies, and speeders to keep the enemy busy on their front line to take the pressure off the riflemen and tactical squads. If all else fails i have to try to kick them to death in CC.
I just used one in a apoco game for the first time. It shreaded everything to bits that had Av12 or less, and was well used on squads. One didn't have too much sway on Av 13 or 14 tanks, but in normal games I think I will run two at least.
They will do very good against Razorback spam (ie Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Space Marines, Grey Knights) or Dark Eldar. Then against Ig and Eldar they can come in handy. But once you hit Armor 13 and 14 they cant do jack shit and time for meltaguns