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The Dark Eldar Codex makes mention of the shredder as an anti-vehicle weapon in the Weapons of the Dark Eldar section (p.35 First Edition). "Its dense cloud is also highly effective at finding weak points in a vehicle's armor, but is thankfully short ranged." This feature of the weapon is not spelled out anywhere else.
Does anyone have any insights on this? I think it could make the shredder much more useful.
This is a case where the fluff bears no resemblance to the actual rules. Shredders are more expensive than blasters and do a worse job than them too. The ONLY good point about shredders is the blast means they can take out large ish numbers of troops/turn. The AP value renders them a last resort ot tank popping.
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In my reading of the penetration rules it has S6 Ap-, what means You can make an S6 damage with -1 modifier on the penetration table. Maximum what You can do is Destroyed-wrecked againts Armor 12 or lower.
It also got to use the scatter as it`s a blast weapon: You have a good chance to miss or half the S6 to S3, what has no effect at all.
I'm thinking that the reason it would say that about the Shredder is due to its immense weight of the actual coil. It says 'short-ranged', suggesting that either the weapon itself cannot propel its contents of a higher trajectory, or the monofilament wire is heavy unto itself, or probably more likely both scenarios are put into play here.
Now, due to these factors, the weapon lacks strength, and therefore, when fired at a vehicle, the weapon would not penetrate or destroy on impact. My estimate here is that the wire would rest on the vehicle all the while it is moving, and while it does, it would slowly tear and deteriorate the outer hull of the vehicle, tearing through moving parts, before cutting valuable circuitry or lines, such as a fuel gauge, which would leak fuel and might inevitably cause the destruction of the vehicle.
It says 'dense cloud' suggesting that the wire is separated like a whip, but rather clustered together, which would spread apart on impact, causing a whip-like effect, which would nestle into nooks and cranies of the vehicle, and have that much more chance of slowly eating through moving parts.
Of course, as I have said, this would take some time, which should definitely be taken into consider, due to a low AP.
And it may penetrate really weak-hulled vehicles, just due to the immense weight of the coils; they would just crash right through.
But one must realize that fluff and actual gameplay really have no benefit or advantage to one another. There are stories behind everything, but does effect the level of effectiveness in battle, save for if the character has suffered a grievous weight in a fierce battle, or if they have acquired a powerful weapon.
It will not affect the stats.
I hope I have pickled your brain here.
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Page 35 does not contain any rules for the game and as such it only provides background.
The 'highly effective against vehicle armour' I suspect may have been a typo and should have just read 'highly effective against armour' - as in against an armour save.
If you read the entire passage with this change in mind it more closely parallels the Eldar Death Spinner from the Warp Spiders.
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But it's not good against armor either, according to its AP (or lack thereof). The lessen here folks is not to pay too much attention to the DE fluff in terms of it's relation to their gameplay. One often contradicts the other.
If you wanted to use the Shredder against light vehicles, it could be done. Blast weapons at BS4 have about a 61% chance of getting a direct hit (center hole over hull) on rhino-sized vehicles. That's not as good as the 67% chance of hitting with a Blaster, but the roll is more predictable with the blast because more dice are involved.
Of course, that's where the advantages end. Needing a 6 to penetrate VA11 is not ideal, and neither is the -1 on the damage chart. Overall, you've got about a 5% chance of doing anything useful with the shredder against such vehicles. That's just not worth the points unless you also need the blast against swarms and hordes of infantry. In TAC armies, the Blaster is the superior choice for every squad.