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  1. #1
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    Broadsides Over Hammerhead?

    I'm currently making a list, experimenting a bit, with two full teams of Broadsides, and one HH. I've seen a lot of praise for the HH, and while I haven't seen scorne for the Broadsides, people tend to prefer the HH. I'll go through this a bit, but could someone please explain to me why.

    Firepower: While the HH has the Submunition, I've got other troops to take care of 4+ Saves. A Broadside team give me 3 TL'd shots, one of which can use a Target Lock take take out a whole 'nother unit.

    Accuracy: While the HH hits on 3+, it can use a ML to hit on 2+. Broadsides are just as accurate, but are TL'd, which almost guarantees a hit, which is important when it comes to what the Railgun was made for (high AV tanks). Nothing worse than watching a HH miss, and a Land Raider unload termies into my lines..

    Number of Shots: This is what I'm talking about: 2 full teams and one HH can give off 7 Railgun shots (six of which are TL'd), and can fire at five different targets if needed. Add in ML's, and you should have most enemy vehicles destroyed by the end of your first turn.

    Survivability: The HH has losts of things going for it here, but so do the Broadsides. FA 13 and SA 12 is good for the HH, and so is downgrading most hits down to glancing, but it's too easy to get hit with something that keeps the HH from doing what it's supposed to do: shoot. While the Broadsides are only T4 (which makes them easier to 'wound' than the HH), it has a 2+ Save, two wounds each, and can take drones to soak up some shots (plus, you cannot 'stun' a Broadside). On top of that, even if you lose one, you still have two more (though you will have to take a Ld test [but at Ld 8, I won't worry too much]).
    Plus the enemy have to be in range an take a Target Priority test.

    Mobility: This is where the HH has the Broadside beat. The HH can move 12" and still fire all it's weapons, while the Broadside can't move at all (or only 6" if you give them an ASS). However, this only really matters in mobile armies, which I don't bother using too much because of the boards I play on/opponents I play.

    Cost: While my teams of Broadsides cost 250 Points each (yes, it is expensive), when I see how much they can do, and compare it to a 170 Point HH's one non-TL'd gun, I figure it's worth it. Plus, the total cost of my Heavy Support is still only a fraction of my total point allowance (in 2500 Pt games, which is the standard here).

    So, am I right? Am I wrong? Where's the fallacy in my statements?
    Come riki, tear my arguments apart.

    PS: I'll expand upon my ideas/edit this post tomorrow (yes I know there are lots of grammatical errors). I'm dead tired right now, and I need to get ready for the PSAT tomorrow.


    5+ \ 0 \ 0 - 3'000+ Pts - Dal'yth Sept

    0 \ 0 \ 0 - Work In Progress - Hive Fleet Hammerhead

    0 \ 0 \ 0 - WIP

    Victory \ Draw \ Defeat

    Credit to Legionnaire for the bars.

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  3. #2
    Member israfel420's Avatar
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    I love broadsides now for railguns and almost never t ake railheads. I do still like a nice cheap Ionhead however so lately my lists have one ionhead, 3 sniper teams, and a 3 strong BASS team with 2 shield drones to which I attach a Shas'O with iridium and 2 more shield drones which then act as an anchor.

    Nice little writeup BTW reputation added.

  4. #3
    Firefly Skarsgard's Avatar
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    I tend to take Hammerheads and XV88's in my list.

    I find that the Hammerheads added manouverability can get me the firepower where I need it. I don't think that one is better than the other as the two units work differently.

    Which is why I include both in my army.
    Mirage Arcana Podcast
    The "A Smart Player Will..." theory is a complete paradox. If we make an assumption that everything we do is outsmarted, then theoretically we can never win.

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    Member sctt_leggett's Avatar
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    Firstly thank you for bringing up this topic as it has a lot of potential for great discussion.

    My opinion is that hammerheads beat the broadsides hands down. Manoeuvrability and points are the main reasons I plan to take 3 hammerheads in my current WIP list. Multi-trackers should help then with survivability. Then when all the tanks are gone drop some submissions on enemy infantry.

    Thanks,
    Scott

    Now that...was cool...

  6. #5
    Senior Member lLonginus's Avatar
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    You've got good points here to be sure. I'll go through everything these units have going for them and point out some pro's and con's.

    The Hammerhead usually comes equipped with Railgun, SMS, TA, MT, DL and TL for 180 points.

    Broadsides, whom I no longer use and thus don't know their points, I would believe generally come in squads of 3, with either MTs, TLs, TAs, or ASS on them depending on your personal preference, and a team leader with bonding knife and two shield drones (and maybe a HWTL). This adds up to (approximately) 265-285 points.

    These two units are unique in our army, as they are the only units who bring the most powerful non-ordnance gun in the game to the board. This weapon, as a rule, dominates tanks, multi-wound ICs and monstrous creatures.

    In one force organization shot, we can have 9 broadsides, or 3 hammerheads. Broadsides field more railguns, and have a better hit rate than hammerheads (75% vs 67%), while the Hammerhead has the alternate submunition fire mode. Broadsides are the essential definition of specialization; should the full squad shoot at a single tank, that tank very well ought to be dead. Hammerheads, on the other hand, have a much slower kill rate when compared to this. Hammerheads have much easier access to their targets, and are able to use their SMS almost every turn of the game (getting more for your money as it were). Broadsides may have a difficult time maintaining LOS to their preferred targets, although, their mere presence can be enough to make enemies hold their tanks behind cover. Broadsides shouldn't often be in a position to use their SMS, it's pretty much an either/or situation for them, but that's why we have Fire Warriors.

    If Broadsides kill all of the enemy tanks/MCs, what are they going to shoot at? What if the enemy force is entirely comprised of Hormagaunts and Warriors, or perhaps a relentless Necron army? Sure a railgun will utterly demolish a hormagaunt, but it's a hormagaunt.
    The Hammerhead will admittedly take longer than a Broadside team to wipe out all of the enemy's tanks, but we also have Crisis suits with missle pods and fusion blasters, and Piranhas and stealth suits with fusion blasters to deal with these extra tanks. True, when you're facing an IG mechanized company with only 3 Hammerheads you'll wish you brought those Broadsides, but Missle Pods do a surprising number on transports. If the enemy force is entirely comprised of Hormagaunts and Warriors, or perhaps a relentless Necron army, the Hammerhead will be able to switch roles accordingly.

    Remember, though, that even though these units shoot, there is much more to them than simply shooting.

    I suppose I'll start off with survivability. It's a debate that could be argued for either side, as each side has a decent stat line defensively. Broadsides, when encamped in 4+ cover and given shield drones, will take quite a pounding from enemy fire before they go down, and Hammerheads who keep moving over 6" and put their best face forward will rarely get damaged, and when they do, it will rarely be severe. Broadsides can be instakilled by lascannons, but Hammerheads can be instakilled by anything that gets lucky enough to damage it. In this respect, I will simply say that both are great at surviving, and should be treated equally.
    HOWEVER
    while both unit types are nigh invulnerable to enemy shooting, their defensive abilities versus assault vary greatly. A Hammerhead will not be caught in an assault, can move after being assaulted, and is difficult to hit. Broadsides have low initiative, a decent enough Ld value, and cannot shoot whilst trapped in close combat. In addition, if they lose close combat, they may run, and if they run, the entire squad can be instantly killed by being caught in their retreat.

    One point that I personally enjoy about Hammerheads is that they are skimmers. They do not block our units' LOS, and since they cannot be caught in close combat, they can create a wall to block enemies and protect our units vulnerable to assault. I use Hammerheads in tangent with Warfish to protect my fireknife Crisis suits, a tactic known as the Ring of Steel.

    Ultimately, I would compare the Hammerhead to a Crisis Fireknife, and the Broadside to a Crisis Burning Eye. If you like to specialize, you'll enjoy the Broadside, if you prefer versatility the Hammerhead is for you. Happy gaming.
    My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.

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    Tanks for posting, all. Rep added!

    Like I said, mabey it's just who I play, but I need those Railgun shots, so my Broadsides will rarely be left saying "I wish I had a submunition shot." Lots of MCs in 'Nid Zilla lists, anything with a Res Orb/Destroyers in a Necron list, vehicles/Assault Termies with SM/CSM, and Eldar Vehicles. Heck, we even have an Ork Speed Freekz player, so I need lots of anti-vehicle shots.
    There's more examples, but you get the point.
    The guys would pay for themselves first turn.

    About getting assaulted.. It's shouldn't happen. I haven't seen (or played) a game where one side of my army (with the HH) is assaulted, but the other isn't, and I win the game because my HH could get away to the other side.

    Really, if I need to kill something with a 3/4/5+ save, I have many other units to do that.

    Anyways, thanks again everybody.

    (Well, I'm off to take the PSAT)

    5+ \ 0 \ 0 - 3'000+ Pts - Dal'yth Sept

    0 \ 0 \ 0 - Work In Progress - Hive Fleet Hammerhead

    0 \ 0 \ 0 - WIP

    Victory \ Draw \ Defeat

    Credit to Legionnaire for the bars.

  8. #7
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    In my opinion it is all in the amount of points that you play, in small 1000-1500 point battle it is unlikely for your opponent to be wielding so many tanks that you must have the extra railgun shots. As you move into higher points broadsides come out to shine, as enemies can start to pay points for expensive tanks and MC, you need the broadsides. I personally use 2 hammerheads and a single broadside (it is risky but i don't have the points), this way i have 3 railgun shot and if the broadside no longer has any tanks to shoot at it can start to use it's sms or plasma rifles.
    The Aun's servant


  9. #8
    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    Something to consider is that the Submunition is Tau's only blast-template attack of either size. One shot hitting multiple targets is quite useful.

    I love Broadsides, too, but for them to be effective in numbers, they need the plasma rifle upgrade plus an Ethereal to bump their heinously low leadership. Lack of mobility isn't much of a problem as most of the enemy's army will be gunning for them anyway.

    In any event, a single Hammerhead is not likely to do much. Bring two, three or none, I say.
    "My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard

  10. #9
    Member JihadJoe's Avatar
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    I would go with hammerheads all the time. I run 3 in my list, 2 railheads and 1 ionhead. They work real well and are more agile then broadsides.
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  11. #10
    Member israfel420's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    Something to consider is that the Submunition is Tau's only blast-template attack of either size. One shot hitting multiple targets is quite useful.
    Not strictly true as the AFP is a large blast template barrage weapon.

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