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I know most people that I have talked to swear by the deathrain configuration on the XV8 battlesuits (i.e. twin-linked missile pod, targeting array). But I really don't see the point in them, there are several reasons for this.
a) they only have S7 guns, meaning that they can't hurt any AV 14 tanks (i.e. land raider, monolith, leman russ front, anything from apocalypse practically) and need 6's just to glance AV 13 vehicles.
b) their guns are only 36" range, meaning that they would most likely be in range of the enemies big guns, which would chew them up.
c) the only vehicles that I could see them being effective against are AV 10, 11, and somewhat 12, which you won't see much of unless playing against a mechanized transport-heavy list, or unless your opponent fails to cover the side armor of his/her leman russ.
d) It seems as though we have plenty of long-range tank busting capabilities in the railgun, why waste it on battlesuits, nearly our only source of mid-high strength low AP guns besides the railgun.
e) last point, they have a pretty high AP, meaning that they are not stunningly effective against infantry, well I guess most infantry have a 4+ save or worse anyways.
I'm not stating this to start a flame war or demean anyone's play style, regardless of whether or not they use deathrain suits. In fact, the main reason I started this thread is because I would like some responses about what you all think about them.
Several reasons, actually.
1. Where else do you get twin-linked BS4? Can you actually miss with these shots (exaggeration, I know).
2. What longer ranged weapon can you stick on battlesuits?
3. why waste railguns on rhinos when there's a predator right next to it?
4. Eldar skimmers, more shots means more hits which means better probability of it dying.
5. Not the premier anti-infantry weapon, granted. However, it can still be used in this role, especially in squads.
A) They aren't designed to damage AV13-14 vehicles. They are a unit primarily designed for hunting down transports, which you actually see a lot more of in 4th edition than heavy tanks. At least, I do. For the cost, they are amazing at this job. Also, that "only" Strength of their's wounds most infantry on a 2+. Cause enough easy wounds, anything will fail a few saves.
Only 36"? Longer range than all standard infantry, including Tau, and with their higher movement, it is even more. How big of tables do you play on? Would your enemies waste their big guns on a couple of lonely Battlesuits when your Hammerheads are blasting away?
C) I see transports in lists all the time - one of the best ways to play 40k is to play it with a mobile element in your list. Not to mention, they aren't just useful against vehicles - they can still face infantry reasonably well.
D) Because a Hammerhead's Railgun can be used for infantry as well, and why would you waste a Railgun shot in an AV10-11 transport?
E) You mean they have a medium AP, which means they can hurt most medium-light infantry and their high strength weapons mean they can still hit and wound heavier infantry with ease; wound something enough and it's bound to fail saves.
I suggest playtesting them - you'll find you're pleasantly surprised when suddenly you can use that Railgun submunition instead of overkilling a transport with the anti-tank shot.
Well touche guys, I have been severely beaten and must now try them out for myself, thanks for the responses.
Notice that a Deathrain has the speed and mobility to go after the side armor of vehicles. Suddenly that Leman Russ becomes a lot less threatening! Furthermore, Railguns give quality firepower but not quantity firepower--you aren't likely to have more than 5 in any game under 2000 points. A high-accuracy missile pod is a very cheap backup weapon to have.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Everything has pretty much been covered, but think about how versatile this weapon truly is. They are the best weapon we have statistically(points per kill/ points per glance) for taking out AV12 and lower and especially AV12 and lower skimmers. So these are murder against Eldar, Dark Eldar, Orks(Speed Freeks especially), dreadnoughts, speeders, defilers, rhinos, Chimeras, whirlwinds, basilisks, devilfish, Piranha, razorbacks, etc...
But aside from those obvious AV busting capabilities they are also great for taking out things like turbo boosting bikes. WIth their high accuracy and wounding on 2's, 4-6 deathrains can severely cripple such a squad allowing a few pulse shots from a couple of FW's to finish them off or a team of "free" Piranha gun drones to tie up the remnants in CC during their turn(or even kill them which often happens).
With AP4 the deathrains are great at killing infantry from Eldar, Tau, Orks, Dark Eldar, IG, and Nids. Even space marine scouts and scarabs(who get instakilled from the STR7) can be affected so the weapon is great against most every army's foot sloggers/infantry too.
Monstrous creatures usually sport high toughness and low saves, but often they have invulnerable save too. Few units force a nightbringer or deceiver to take lots of saves like teams of 2 deathrains.
36" range is great BTW. With JSJ a deathrain has an effective shooting range of 42" and can then jump back behind cover which really makes them into long range artillery pieces who hide out of LOS and only require size 2 terrain to do so(unlike many indirect fire unitls like whirlwinds and basilisks).
So basically the weapon platform is very ubiquitous. It is a raltively cheap all purpose weapon system with mid/high STR, decent AP, a nice mid/long range, a good rate of fire, and all mounted on a twinlinked JSJ 2 wound XV-8 with access to invulnerable saves.
Whats not to love?
The fact that they are so damn good, meaning next codex gw will nurf them in an effort to make us choose something else?Whats not to love?
Seriously though deathrains are not to sneezed at. I'm a recent convert to them myself, and playing against stealer heavy nids makes you appreciate ap4 and 36". Also the majority of eldar elite units are 4+, meaning a pair of deathrains will quickly rack up their points.
Destroying IG command squads with them is also ammusing, as is watching your opponent's gleeful smirk (that appeared after destroying all of your railguns) dissappear as his tanks cop side armour shots from across the board.
One more thing to add, they hit everything they target. I haven't had an instance where I used them to fire at a transport or speeder or something and not have a pile of burning rubble by the end of my turn. Very reliable, I never leave home without them. I'm actually thinking about removing my stealth and adding another deathrain team.
My second favorite XV8 loadout is the burning eye, but that's for another thread.
i always take a team of 3 deathrains (with a teamleader with TL) who are used to take out dreads then transports then move over to troops.
they are great at taking out dreads and transports cause of the number of shots. plus with a TL i can always use the teamleader to target a second dread or transport if I'm feeling cocky!
once they have done that they move onto troops. against guard and the majority of nids and eldar these things are unstopable! they never really miss and they tend to wound on a 2+ with no save.
they are also our best weapon for putting he hurt on Eldar skimmers. with there various upgrades and hulls that reduce weapons to str 8 there is no point in shooting them with railguns. 1 strength 10 shot that will at best glance and then you are rolling 2d6 and taking the lowest on the glancing chart. your odds of getting that skimmer imoblized so they cant drop their banshees next to your crisis suits or firedragons next to your hammerheads is looking slim.
I'm going to change my fireknife squad to deathrains, because the deathrains kill everything before the fireknifes can use their plasma. Sweet.
They really are extraordinarily accurate. I've never had more than 1 miss. Ever. It is crazy.
They are also good at taking out lone characters, like assassins, etc. They also augment FoF very well, and absolutely chew through Rhinos.
My favorite type by far.
Turtles For the Turtle God!
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