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resident iconoclast
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Fifth edition is pending, and with it threaten myriad general changes to the mysterious ways of vehicles. Among other things, vehicles will become slightly harder to kill. They will begin to benifit significantly from cover. No longer will our poor, land-bound tanks be so vastly outclassed by the air-borne heresies of alien manufacture.

One change, though, is going to hit just about everyone--hard. The bar for defensive weapons will drop from strength 6 to strength 4. This eliminates the vast majority of weapons which are currently defensive.

Specifically, this leaves the so-called Dakka Predator (and it's notably better cousin with a real gun in its turret) with its strength 5, sponson-mounted heavy bolters in the metaphorical dust. No longer will it be an effective, mobile anti-infantry platform. Soon, it will be reduced to a gorified turret.

Now, I know that some of you have long been bolted to the firmament by your inexplicable love of the Autocannon/Lascannon Predator, but what about the rest of us? We like to be able to move our tanks and not lose half (or more!) of our firepower.

Well, it occured to me that the new Chaos codex contains a nifty set of options which many others don't--and which may leave me comfortable fielding Predators even after defensive weapons get the chop. Specifically, we can play our battle-tanks without sponsons at all.

Anyway, the imagine of a Predator with just a turret--either the Lascannons or the Autocannon--has been stuck in my head, and I'm finding that the idea is really growing on me.

So, what do you folks think? Would you play a Predator with just an Autocannon for seventy points? A mobile twin-linked Lascannon for a hundred?

I really think that I might.
 

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Predator

I have been playing the 80 point predator since the Chaos Dex came out. 30 points for 2 heavy bolters that cannot fire whenever the tank is glanced or penetrated isn't worth it. 80 points gets you the Autocannon, dozer blade and combi bolter. I ususally start behind cover, move 6 inches in rerolling terrain checks if i have to. The combi bolter is there because if I lose the autocannon and have nothing else any weapon destroyed roll counts as immobilized. Its a cheap scoring unit that can sit in the back and cause enough damage to draw some fire.
 

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One Awesome Dude
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Well, I still think the Auto/Las config will be useful. But I imagine that Lascannon turrets will indeed start to see more use. It's kind of frustrating really, why even let us have the sponsoons if they are so limited? Meh, guess I shouldn't ask for trouble. 100 points for a Lascannon is a bit hefty for one gun, you'd almost be better off taking a dreadnought, as it comes with more, even though it's a bit more expensive. Good topic idea, I'm interested to see what the others think.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I pretty much just can't stand the Chaos Dreadnought. I hate the Crazed! rule.

I'm not even commenting, here, on whether it's good or bad, whether it makes the Dread unplayable, or how easy it is to keep in check. I'm not arguing the effectiveness of the Dread.

I just don't like it from an aesthetic perspective. No vehicle of mine is going to go crazy; thank you very much!

So, Dreads don't even enter into my consideration, I'm afraid.

On a moderately related note, I will probably start playing my Predators this way, regardless of the changes in Fifth. I've really always hated the way the Predator sponsons look. These big guns are hanging on a tiny little rod attached to a thin little wing of metal sticking out from the side of the tank. It's always struck me as stupid. Predators without sponsons, though, actually look pretty good.
 
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Supreme Evil Overlord
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I think we should wait until it's certain that the def. weapons are capped at 4, sofar the document is a playtest version of last year and there's 3 different version circling the internet, it's to early to say if GW are gonna with it.
 

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Now with STFU flames!
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The thought has crossed my mind. Then I realized that I really hated the idea behind the five man Troops squad w/ Lascannon, which cost roughly 100 points. The Predator is the same concept, except it is mobile, but far easier to remove from play. Not to mention that it eats up a precious Heavy Support slot.

I can get an Obliterator for 3/4 the cost of a TLLC Predator with no sponsons. While its Lascannon might not be twin-linked, it comes with a wider array of weapons to make it useful against all enemies; not just armour or multi-wound models. And it can Deep Strike, which is an oft-over looked ability.

However, assuming that the 5th edition rules don't change significantly from the leaked version running around, I fully expect more Chaos generals to consider taking the Vindicator + Daemonic Possession platform.
 

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The other Kind of Fluff
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The thought has crossed my mind. Then I realized that I really hated the idea behind the five man Troops squad w/ Lascannon, which cost roughly 100 points. The Predator is the same concept, except it is mobile, but far easier to remove from play. Not to mention that it eats up a precious Heavy Support slot.
That's pretty much my thoughts as well. Cost-wise, it would be much more efficient to take oblterators or havocs.

The vindicator w/ possession seems like a contender for the heavy slot, especially in armies fielding a high rhino count that need other priority targets for soaking up ranged fire. I could see players fielding a couple of vindicators or defilers, and then using the last heavy slot for a maxed obliterator squad. The obliterators almost become mandatory, as without the predators, mech chaos builds would have no long range tank busters. We could really use a nice hefty elite slot that could tank pop from afar, but that's asking too much at this point.
 

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Swarm Queen of LO
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Well, lately I've been running 3 Predators in my lists (with various weapon configurations) and I've noticed that at least in my style, I rarely move them at all - just deploy them initially in a place, in cover that gives them a good fire-lane and spend the whole game shooting things. So far I've been pretty happy with their performance, particularly of the Dakka Predator versus MEQs. I know that I'm missing out a bit on their mobility, but when they have good targets, are in cover for some added protection there's not much of a reason to move them to claim/contest table quarters until the last few turns.

You are probably right about the Vindicators though. I myself am thinking about switching out a predator for one just to see how it works.
 

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resident iconoclast
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Posessed Vindicator is certainly fantastic.

As for the Predator, I really find myself moving mine all the time.

Further, I think the comparison to the Obliterator is the correct one to make--but I don't think it stacks up nearly so badly for the Predator. For one thing, the Predator is much harder to kill. Sure, the Vindicator is tough, but a Lascannon still gibs it pretty reliably--it's more likely to take out the Oblit than the Predator.

Second, the Predator is faster. No Slow and Purposeful to worry about. It's also harder to kill with close combat. Finally, while the Predator doesn't have the versatility in guns, its gun is basically better than what the Obliterator's got. When you're going tank hunting (unless you can get that Obliterator real close) the TL-Lascannon is basically going to perform better.

Anyway, it's certainly a toss-up, but in a mechanized list I really think that a 100 point Predator could outclass a 75 point Obliterator.
 

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Swarm Queen of LO
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Anyway, it's certainly a toss-up, but in a mechanized list I really think that a 100 point Predator could outclass a 75 point Obliterator.
Don't forget about target priorities. If you are throwing 6 vehicles at your opponent (3 Rhinos/3 Predators, for example), he's going to have to pick which ones his anti-tank guns are going to target, his anti-infantry weapons will just sit there (or take 1 in a million potshots at the rhinos). If you are throwing 5 vehicles and one obliterator, he'll still have to pick where his anti-tank guns are going but all of his anti-infantry will be targeting the obliterator.
 

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resident iconoclast
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That was definitely part of my consideration, Grimmtu.

I've been kicking around mechanized lists, and, for example, you could play something like this:

Daemon Prince (wings, warp time) 155 points

Troop Squad (powerfist, meltas, rhino, IoCG) 255

Troop Squad (power fist, meltas, rhino, IoCG) 255

Troop Squad (power weapon, plasma, rhino, IoCG) 255

Troop Squad (power weapon, flamers, rhino, IoCG) 235

Predator (as discussed) 100

Predator (as discussed) 100

Vindicator (as discussed) 145

It comes to 1500 exactly. That's seven tanks and a Monstrous Creature--which is a lot of Target Priority decision-making for your opponent. ;)
 

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Now with STFU flames!
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Anyway, it's certainly a toss-up, but in a mechanized list I really think that a 100 point Predator could outclass a 75 point Obliterator.
That depends on what you want it to do. If you want a platform that can threaten enemy tanks on turn 1, then the Predator will be the obvious choice. More accurate and more mobile, as you rightly pointed out.

My point is just that what happens when you don't need that tankbusting firepower? For instance, against a pure Ork horde with no vehicles, which is fast becoming the new FotM. A TLLC is only killing a single Ork a turn, out of a mob of potentially 30. An Obliterator can be dropping Plasma Cannon blasts, or Twin Linked Flamer templates. A Vindicator can be dropping Ordnance blasts as well.

I don't think it'd be appropriate to keep a unit in our lists that can serve only a single role anymore. While the Predator with only a turret certainly excels in that one role, he fails in any other role given to him. Chaos is no longer the army of specialists that we were in our last Codex. Now we're generalists; the majority of our units are capable of fulfilling multiple tasks with equal ease. Defilers can now reliably close combat and long range fire support. Chaos Marines are built for both close combat duty and short to mid range fire fights, and can even have long range fire capability with the addition of a heavy weapon. Not to mention the Obliterators, the kings of versatility. Even our Dreadnoughts, who are oft maligned for their random nature, are designed to fulfill multiple roles.

I simply don't think a unit that has a single basic use has a place in Chaos armies anymore. Of course, you can make a good case for line of sight blocking, character sniping, tank shocking, etc; but you can do many of those same things with other units in our list. Even the lowly Rhino.
 

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resident iconoclast
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's certainly true--it is very, very focused. Against a list with no vehicles, it's definitely lacking.

I'm not certain that I'm convinced that a list can't afford to have anything so specialized, though. Some roles are so important, of such prevalent utility, that including specialists in those roles just doesn't seem like that bad an idea.

There are just a bunch of tanks out there. Lots of monstrous creatures. Heck, even Terminators or Nobs in Mega Armour will let that Predator put itself to good use. And it just isn't all that many points. In an army where troop squads are both expensive and the stars of the show, keeping the cost on our support choices down is paramount. (Though, certainly the Obliterator is hard to beat in that area, too)

I do like the Vindicator better, but it isn't a very reliable anti-tank shot, it's lacking in range, and it's almost 50% more pricy. Mainly, the Predator would be a fill in for those situations when A: you want a Tank and not a glorified Terminator and either B: you need to cut some points or C: you realize that you just don't have enough anti-tank floating around in your list at all.
 

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Swarm Queen of LO
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1,174 Posts
I don't think it'd be appropriate to keep a unit in our lists that can serve only a single role anymore. While the Predator with only a turret certainly excels in that one role, he fails in any other role given to him. Chaos is no longer the army of specialists that we were in our last Codex. Now we're generalists; the majority of our units are capable of fulfilling multiple tasks with equal ease. Defilers can now reliably close combat and long range fire support. Chaos Marines are built for both close combat duty and short to mid range fire fights, and can even have long range fire capability with the addition of a heavy weapon. Not to mention the Obliterators, the kings of versatility. Even our Dreadnoughts, who are oft maligned for their random nature, are designed to fulfill multiple roles.

I simply don't think a unit that has a single basic use has a place in Chaos armies anymore. Of course, you can make a good case for line of sight blocking, character sniping, tank shocking, etc; but you can do many of those same things with other units in our list. Even the lowly Rhino.
It's that kind of thinking that's got me considering a Dread w/ a TL Lascannon as a feasible replacement for a lascannon totting predator. Ideally it would rush forward, shooting up enemy armor before joining close combat and taking down enemy infantry. I think, at least in the case of my list, it's a better choice than a defiler or vindi because I don't need the anti-infantry power of their ordnance weapons as much as I need some anti-tank. However, of course, in a bad situation, it'll just shoot up my vehicles and die on turn 2 or 3.

That's probably what will happen.

For reference I am using

Huron Blackheart + 9 Marines w/ flamer in a Rhino
10 Marines w/ Melta, Combi-Melta + Fist, Flamer, in a rhino
10 Marines like the above
5 Bikers w/ Powerfist, 2 Meltas
2 Dakka Preds w/ Havoc launchers
 

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One change, though, is going to hit just about everyone--hard. The bar for defensive weapons will drop from strength 6 to strength 4. This eliminates the vast majority of weapons which are currently defensive..
Coupled with this is Hull Down- the need to limit you own LoS, no cover parking.
 
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