Thursday, October 22, 2009

What happens when you have a heap of terminators...

And suddenly, two options for an army: Logan-Wing, and the DA Deathwing.

It's been a while since I touched those hefty Terminators I've been modding extensively. So now, I'm going to get down to brass tacs on which army I want. I mean, at the end of the day, I'm going to have to play the army.

I may very well use Logan Grimnar's stand-in in another army, so my paint scheme will have an eye towards that. So, I'm going to set out and analyze the units side-by-side, and in terms of army-wide capabilities.

HQ: Belial vs. Grimnar
Belial's half the price; 130 vs. Logan's 275. However, Logan has some hefty abilities.
BS5 storm bolter, or BS5 storm bolter, or nothing for Belial. Not really THAT important, truthfully.
Melee capability
Belial loses here. always worse invulnerable save, and generally run with lightning claws. Logan can match lightning claws with an S5 power weapon, though against T3-4 targets the claws are a little better. Against bigger targets, Logan gets a powerfist. Belial...does not.
Logan wins. Eternal Warrior's a huge help. 4+ invulernable vs Belials 5+. Always hits on melee on 3+. Grants his unit a neat extra special rule? Yeah.

Belial's the bargain version, while Logan is a heftier performer all around if you'll pay for the extras. It does, of course, cut into what else you can bring in the army. Belial does give you access to an Apothecary that negates a wound a turn, but that apothecary is another 40 points.

HQ: Rune Priest vs Librarian
145 base for the Libby, 120 base for the Rune Priest, assuming terminator armor.
A flamer and an invulnerable save, or an unlimited range autocannon + something that slows the enemy down? I think I'd rather the priest.
Psychic Defense
Ld9 hood, or a straight nullify on 4+? I'll stick with the Priest.
Rune priest, hands down. He's more reliable psychic defense, and has better powers.

Basic Terminators
Basic Loadout
Deathwing: 5 guys with storm bolters, 1 power weapon, 4 fists, Fearless: 215 points.
Wolf Guard: 5 guys with power weapon and storm bolters: 165

Unit Size
Flexibility in the Logan-wing. Not so much in the Deathwing.

Fearless vs. Morale
Well, you'll never have a bad dice day and watch Deathwing run. On the other hand, Ld9 across the board, and some Ld10 with Logan and maybe a priest? Logan-wing is open to

Deathwing may take lightning claws for no extra charge, granting them more I4 attacks. Swing for swing, powerfists are obviously more likely to make things go away. However, power weapons go at I4, and while they aren't as killy, you may KO slower troops and reduce the number of attacks coming back at you.

So, Deathwing is slower, but more killy, in CC. However, you can support your Wolves with, y'know, Lone Wolves for hunting the bigger game.

Wolves may also take Frost Blades or Wolf Claws. For 5 points, your power weapon now re-rolls hits or wounds. Make the most of that initative. Frost Blades are 10pts for S5 power weapons, which aren't as good against rank-and-file as Wolf Claws but are a bit nastier against tougher targets.

Overall, it's a tough call. Give Loganwing some upgrades and a chainfist, though, and it's probably 'good enough' once you factor in some Lone Wolves for trying to tag Dreadnoughts and/or monstrous creatures.

A storm bolter is a storm bolter, yes? It shoots bolt rounds. However, Wolf Guard can take combi-bolters. This opens up a variety of options for them, but mostly it means you could drop 5 to mimic the function of a heavy flamer without actually taking up a heavy weapon slot. There's melta, but you should probably find other ways to solve armor problems. On the other hand, 10 points for two combi-meltas? Not necessarily a bad investment.

Heavy Weapons
Wolves win this one. To be honest, a Heavy 2 cyclone missile launcher with a 48" range is excellent at hunting lighter transports. Compared to that, an assault cannon's 24" range is just 'eh'. Rob the enemy of their mobility, and then walk over to 'em and say 'hi'.

This is, honestly, a major advantage for Logan-Wing.

Support Elements
As a rule, the other SW options are cheaper than their counterparts, and their landspeeders can deep strike. Advantage: SW.

The only real advantage DA have is in cheaper Venerable Dreadnoughts, but they have fewer long-range options and the basic dreadought will cost more.

Deep Strike
Deathwing can, Loganwing need drop pods. However, if you're going pure-foot? Why would you worry about deep striking so much? It cuts down on the number of guys you have, which means more fire on fewer 2+ saves. Deathwing just don't have to pay for the pods, but still have to worry about how many troops they reserve.

Personally? I don't really care about the deep-striking thing.

For me? The Logan-wing have better psychic defenses, and better long-ranged weapons. Considering that the major problem with a pure-termy army is the enemy's mobility, Logan-wing is more likely to deny enemy mobility than Deathwing. The CC is fairly close in most cases, and Logan-wing can 'cope' more or less.

Current Draft
Logan Grimnar [275]

Rune Priest [130]
-Terminator Armor
-Chooser of the Slain
-Living Lightning, Tempest's Wrath

Lone Wolf [85]
-Terminator Armor
-Chain Fist
-Storm Shield

Lone Wolf [85]
-Terminator Armor
-Chain Fist
-Storm Shield

Lone Wolf [85]
-Terminator Armor
-Chain Fist
-Storm Shield

10 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor [430]
-2 Cyclone Missile Launchers
-2 Chainfist
-2 Wolf Claws

5 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor [220]
-Cyclone Missile Launcher
-2 Wolf Claws

5 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor [220]
-Cyclone Missile Launcher
-2 Wolf Claws

5 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor [220]
-Cyclone Missile Launcher
-2 Wolf Claws

3 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor [99]

Total: 1849/1850

The 10-man squad is there to take advantage of Logan's ability to hand out Tank Hunters; you get four S9 missiles and 1d6 S8 living lightning shots. Aw, yeah.

The three 5-man squads are basic workhorse squads; they can take out tanks if needed, but are fine for cracking open the troopers inside.

The Lone Wolves are problem-solves; it's the list's way of dealing with dreadnoughts and monstrous creatures.

The 3-man squad is called 'I'm not sure what to do with the last 100 points', or called 'you guys sit on an objective out of LOS.'

Total? 33 terminators.


jabberjabber said...

The Ld=9 stat-line is a bit of a worry against fearlessness.

I wonder what would happen in a game of Deathwing vs Logan-Wing? I'm not sure I've seen that match up yet!

Chumbalaya said...

Looks good, I too enjoy the foot Fuzzwing. If you're not down for exclusively termies, those 100 points can go into some Fenrisian wolves to act as a bullet screen or speed bump. A sprinkling of storm shields never hurt either.

duo337 said...

Lone wolves are over-rated and die quickly to insta-kill and moderate amount of generic attacks. "Problem solvers" become "kill point problems" if not used effectively and thus I will never take them. For 86 points you can invest another 30-40 points or so into a dreadnought and get much better use/versatility out of them.

Wolf wing suffers from the same problem chaos suffers from... the lack of power fists as standard. The customization of both are amazing... yet under-rated to the ability to walk 6 power fists/thunder hammers up to a unit and watch it disappear after only losing a termie or two. Where as you actually have to roll decently to wound with the latter. Otherwise, you must spend yet more points to just make them viable in close combat.

Logan is a helf of points that pretty much makes this army. Belial is much cheaper and gives some similar boost abilities for the less the amount points (apothecary, standard).

I think you under-rate the ability to have the option of deep striking without having to spend any more points. That option or rather that diversity is immense in a tournament setting. Wolves? they have to buy pods to make them deep striking... thus adding on more points.

The wolf wing in my eyes while interesting... is still far and wide under-powered (with the exception of Logan) and overpriced in comparison to the DA book (holy crap.. under powered and overpriced in comparison to the DA book... now that is something).

You basically have to pay more points to make the wolf wing worth it. Granted, all the little things (3++ SS, 2 shot CML, and cheaper generic troops) are impressive, you take out the thing that makes a terminator army diverse... deep striking. Don't believe me? Try playing a foot slogging Grey Knight army...

Raptor1313 said...

I'd kicked around Fenrisian Wolves.

Lone Wolves are immune to instant death. They have two wounds and Feel No Pain, along with WS5 and re-rolls against monstrous creatures.

You need 24 wounds to kill one if they don't negate FNP, and 6 lascannon/melta/plasma wounds to do the job.

In short, you need something like a Vendetta SQUAD to drop the things.

Additionally? Check their rules. They give up a KP if left ALIVE at the end of the game.

No offense, but I'm pretty certain you've missed some of the rules on these guys. concern with vehicles is that with 2-3 of them in a Fuzzwing, you may simply not have enough to be survivable.

I don't think a footslogging Grey Knight army is ANY kind of comparison, since they have no way to get better than an S6 gun. Footslogging pure Grey Knight is asking to lose, pure and simple.

I think it boils down to "Are you willing to trade the fists for better shooting?" I mean, against a more mobile enemy, what good is a powerfist if you're never going to use it? How many powerfists do you really need?

Besides, without storm shields, you're still just a mid-level assault unit. Terminators without the 3+ storm shield are screwed if they face power weapons anyway. If you pack power weapons you at least get to swing before fists.

On the deep strike:
Fuzzing does lose some of the versatility. On the other hand, to get the most out of deep strike, you really want something like homing beacons, a la the Ravenwing.

There's a hefty penalty for failing a deep strike; I've played enough daemons to know the 'joy' of mis-happing a unit. Admittedly, sometimes it can work out, but I don't regard it as a very certain strategy. You can guarantee some squads hit the table on round one, but the nature of Deathwing assault means you're leaving hefty amounts of troops in reserve. If we're talking an 1850 Deathwing and assuming 250 per squad, you're maxing out at 5, maybe 6 DW squads. You'd need to put all 5 in reserve to get even three deep-striking on the first turn, which might not hurt against someone like Tau.

I dunno. I've probably been burned one too many times one the deep strike, but you're deep-striking to get in close and either assault or use your weapons, and if the enemy can rapidly relocate, well, you're screwed. Plus, you're at the mercy of the reserve dice. I've never really planned on deep striking in a Deathwing army because it's never really seemed like it worked out that well.

Dverning said...

Yep. On track with my thoughts on Wolfwing versus Deathwing.

The one thing I don't like is that 3-man. I see a few options:
a) 10 Fenrisian Wolves and a Cyber Wolf, plus upping to a Frost Blade somewhere or something. Hooray cheap bullet shields and speed bump assault.
b) Wolf Scouts. OBEL Plasma or Melta maybe?
c) 1 Drop Pod. Put 1 unit inside, throw in some combi-weapons and then spend the leftover points on upgrades in other units. First turn distraction love.

3 pods is also an option, but you'd have to play with some points... it'd probably require a heavy re-balance. Disposable Long Fangs could work too... but again would change some of the army dynamic.


Raptor1313 said...

Yeah, the 3-man squad is a points filler.

I could live with the combi-weapon middle finger; they're disposable but if they take something out, so much the better.

At the end of it, Wolves have to pay and restructure to get the deep strike, but it's a safer one.

Stelek said...

Hey! This army looks familiar. :p

Raptor1313 said...

I swear it's an example of convergent evolution. ;) Or I read something, forgot I'd read it, and here it comes again? (There's actually a name for that, but I'm not in the mood to look it up)

Though it's just one more sample of efficiency taking over. I mean, end of the day, there are often best options, and why not take 'em? I really can't think of a reason that I'd ever want to take an Assault Cannon whenever I could get an updated cyclone. I'd rather touch that rhino at 48" than 24".

...and for whatever reason, I end up with enough points for freakin' three more guys somewhere.

Ultimately, though, I'm not sure if I'm even gonna do anything with the heap of Termies I've got. I'm torn between the itch to go Wolf Cav Heavy, or wait and see how the 'nids come out.

Stelek said...

Make my BT list. It's quite fun.

Bocman said...

Rob you should make me a footslogging Eldar list at 1850 while I'm on an airplane for 18 hours.

Just because you love me!

Raptor1313 said...

...there is always that option. Mmm, tank-hunting powerfists with re-rolls to hit things with a WS, and S7 vs vehicles assault cannons...

I'd have to buy the codex, but I doubt BT will get a new one any time soon.

Foot Eldar = Sadness. If you were going to try it, I'd go 2-3x Harlies with Shadowseers and Fusion Pistols, Rangers as troops, and Wraithlords in Heavy SUpport. Grab a Farseer and a Phoenix Lord and sit 'em in Harlies, and GO KILL!

Though don't cry when it's not uber, Bocman. It's just....just...sad.

...I'll probably kick one out as a challenge.

Purgatus said...

I had a similar "convergent evolution" occur. I sat down and went through the list and came up with largely the same thing, but with pods.

I am going to give this army a shot with pods, trying to use the two five man squads to help block the midfield and compress them into one side of the board. Plus against certain armies 4 Str 8 flank shots is gold.