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It's no secret that Gargoyles have a horrible reputation around here. But you can't negate the fact that flying models with fair ranged weapons are invaluable to any army. But what if we replaced them, and tried making something a bit more effecient?
Let's run some very quick stats on Gargoyles. Our test subjects will be a squad of Chaos Space Marines, taken from my very own collection. Don't worry, they've been properly compesenated by not being beheaded before hand.
16 Gargoyles move into firing range, either through regular moves or DS.
16*(1/2) = eight hits.
8*(1/2) = four wounds, but we get to reroll any failed wounds.
4*(1/2) = two wounds, so 6 wounds all together.
6*(1/3) = 2 kills. Not too shabby.
Marines return fire. Eight models, rapid firing bolters.
16*(2/3)*(2/3) = 64/9, or 7.11 kills, leaving 9 Gargs left. Ouch, almost half the squad gone.
From this point, the Gargs will advance and shoot down one more Marine, then tie them up in Close Combat like good little Hordelings.
Now let's take a look at a possible replacement - Rippers. We give them Wings, Toxin Sacs, Spinefists, and Enhanced Senses. I know that sounds like a lot at 23 points per model, but that's really only 7.6 points per wound. Cheap compared to Gargs.
For the same cost of 16 Gargs, we can have 8 Ripper swarm models with a few points to spare. Again, let's assume Rippers have first strike on the Marines.
8*3 = 24 attacks.
24*(1/3) = 8 hits, but reroll misses.
16*(1/3) = 5.33 hits, so total of 13.33 hits. Slightly better than 50% hit rate which the Gargs boast.
13.33*(1/2) = 6.67 wounds.
6.67*(1/3) = 2.22 kills. Slightly better than the Gargs! So far, so good!
Marines return fire. We'll give them the extra marine and call it an even eight.
16*(2/3)*(2/3) = 64/9, or 7.11 wounds (just like the Gargs). However, the Rippers are a swarm so only lose two whole models, only losing six shooting attacks. They still have 18 shooting attacks left before charging.
18*(1/3) = 6 hits.
12*(1/3) = 4, so 10 total hits.
10*(1/2)*(1/3) = 10/6, or 1.66 kills. A significant improvement.
So, advantages of Rippers over Gargs -
1) Slightly better shooting ability.
2) Fearless and does not require Synapse.
3) More durable against Strength 5 and lower weapons.
4) Much more powerful in Close Combat, boasting 33% more attacks in close combat.
Advantages of Gargs -
1) Can Deep Strike! (Note that some consider this a bad thing)
2) Faster with Fleet, but that prevents shooting.
3) Much, much, much less vulnerable to high Strength weaponry and template attacks.
4) Bioplasma attack gives a speed edge in close combat. (Added with compliments to Lictor1989)
Opinions? Did I make any mistakes?
Well the one thing you might want to add is if they are close enough to add the assualt as well since gargoyles have a bio plasma attack and a 4 I will rippers only have 2 I which means that the gargoyles can actually kill more things in close combat and actually come out on top...that is if your lucky enough.
Whenever you do any sort of 'X or Y' choice, you have to consider for the points what you could get instead.
Problems with Gargs is they have a lot of minuses with only 1 plus: They can fly. Compare that to:
- Crappy save
- Crappy toughness
- Crappy weapon
- 1 base attack
- Even if you get them into cc they will still are no better than a Gaunt
- Need synapse
Having winged rippers you have almost the same problem as the gargoyles. They no longer have the synapse problem but their initative sucks. Plus Str 6 weapons will eat them for lunch.
Honestly, with the points you spent on the gargs or rippers you could spend it on something much better.
Let's say you are looking for something "Fast". With about those 200 points you spent you could get the following:
- 4 winged warrs with a better BS, higher Str, a synapse creature, more ranged weapons options, etc.
- 2 Lictors (with change leftover) that can do plenty of damage when it arrives on the field
- A winged Hive Tyrant with a great save, nice BS, nice toughness, synapse, etc.
- 2 Elite Devourer carnis
My point is that what are you going to use these gargoyles/rippers for? If it's to shoot at things, there are much better options (way better). If it's to lock things into cc quickly, cheapo gaunts are a much better way to go (just ensure synapse and plenty of Catalyst).
Yes, that's definetly true. With the points of 16 Gargs, you can easily afford four Raveners. They're much more likely to perform than either the Rippers or Gargs.Originally Posted by Laplace
Ah well, back to the drawing board. I'm just looking for something out of the ordinary that will perform well enough to not be a complete waste of points.
Woah! Hold up there! First, let me explain - my name should be "I'm in love with gargoyles", so take this with a grain of salt......Originally Posted by Laplace
First, one can assume we already brought our HQ choices, so the tyrant option mentioned above really isn't an option.
That being said, 200 points in gargoyles gives you a *much* better survivability vs. versatility than anything you suggested. 16 gargoyles have double the wounds of the winged warrior option, and quadruple the lictor option. They're also significantly more shooty than the lictors. Don't forget that wounds = survivability! Being in 2 squads also gives them more tactical flexibility, which is supremely important.
The dakka-fexes certainly are more survivable, but take up HS or Elite choices I'd much rather spend on vehicle-punching things or 'nid warriors. (They're also 226 points, not 192!) Most importantly, one must understand *why* gargoyles are useful over and above the choices you mentioned above. That dakka-fex sure can shoot a lot, but he's not going to tie up anything at all. Gargoyles are uniquely suited to tying up significant numbers of shooty squads by turn 2 - something a dakkafex can't even consider until turn 4 at the earliest.
The only thing I would even remotely consider taking instead would be 4 ravaners, and even then, you're looking at half the wounds and significantly less speed.
In my opinion, gargoyles are the single-most useful troop in the tyranid arsenal. Thier ability to hop from cover to cover gives them better vs. shooting armour than ravaners or nid warriors, thier movement makes them the fastest thing in the tyranid arsenal, thier bio-plasma and S4 shooting gives them very nice light-vehicle and light troop killing options, and they're dramatically cheaper per-wound.
As far as the rippers-vs.-gargoyles option, the rippers are fantastic *if and only if* you're able to keep them away from S6 and/or blast template weapons. The points-per-wound is certainly cheaper than a gargoyles, but a Hellhound will kill maybe 3-5 gargoyles if you've spaced them correctly, but can barely help but kill 9-12 wounds of rippers every turn.
In the right circumstances, a 10-strong flying, shooting, ripper-swarm from hell would certainly ruin someone's day. If you can find a squad without a power-fist and get the rippers stuck-in, that squad is going to have a very, very bad day.
A chance to lose (all or part, depending on scatter, of) a 192 point unit without getting any value out of them whatsoever? Sign me up!Originally Posted by Caluin
The value of Gargoyles is against poorly armored Skimmers (such as Piranha) and their ability to rapidly close and decimate enemy infiltrator squads (such as Tau Pathfinders). Rippers serve a purpose against enemy troops (although they're also effective against enemy infiltrators, they're nowhere near as good as Gargoyles when it comes to fighting enemy skimmers).
The downside? Light enemy skimmers often carry weapons that will completely decimate a brood of Gargoyles or rippers... and if the enemy is infiltrating towards you, you're probably better off charging them with Genestealers or Spinegaunts (depending on their armor), or even using the infiltrators as a way to quickly advance a CC Carnifex up the board...
So, while Rippers and Gargoyles both serve an AI role, gargoyles really need to be compared to AV 10 vs. say... a brood of flying CC warriors or a Venom Cannon Carnifex too, because that's one of the best uses for them.