Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Assault Terminator Obsession

I have a question for other space marine players out there. Why are so many of you obsessed with assault terminators. And more specifically with a Landraider filled with them.

Now I will admit I like the models and at times I have toyed and tinkered with them in my lists. And that when used they demand a Landraider transport for full effectiveness.

But I often find them lacking in true usefullness. And in further contemplation finding them rather one dimensional for the usually jack of all trades marine units. I am moving further and further away from even thinking of using assault terminators in my competative list builds.

On the continuum of this discussion, I do still like the Landraider. And being the good transport it is, if its not carrying terminators what is it carrying? I advocate throwing in a full tactical squad into your landraiders. Suddenly the 14AV all around tank that everyone fears is a scoring 14Av all around tank. And all those terminator players loading their redeemers up with 5 terminators and Vulkan, can cry when your Redeemer packing vulkan and a full tac squad has the same capability against a large range of opponents. But also has the ability to score without ever getting out of the landraider.

Dont believe me on the effectiveness idea. Think the terminators have to be better at assault. Well Im not a math major(far from it) but some simple equations can show that when moving out of their landraider transports the tactical squad and the terminator squad along with Vulkan in each are nearly as effective as each other.

Now ouur tactical squad has a flamer, Multimelta, and a sargent with a powerfist and combiflamer, which comes in at 205pts. While our assault terminator squad has 2 lightning claws and 3 thunderhammers, and both squads have Vulkan.

Lets assume that Im going to charge a 10 man Meq(Marine equivalent) unit. Lets also assume that I will drive up right next to it so no matter how he were to remove shooting casualties I would still get the assault(highly likely Since i can assault even if the Landraider moves)

Pre assault: lets assume I can get only 4 guys under a flame template... if Im this close odds are I can get more but lets use this number its fairly small. with 2 flamers and a heavy flamer. Thats 8 hits with a regular flamer causig 6 wounds(75% because of the reroll) and the heavy flamer will cause 3.5(88%) then bolt pistols from 8 marines = 2.64 wounds. Thats 12.14 wounds. After saves thats 4 dead. Ok now I charge. Vulkan has 4 attacks with 1 reroll to hit and 1 to wound, also odds are he has the highest initiative. 3.3 hit, 3.2 wound... no armor saves which brings us up to 7.2 dead.
With 18 attacks half hit half wound, and after saves 1.485 dead from my regular marines. If we assume that the enemy marines are down to their sgt with a powerfist, as well as 2 guys with Bp/cc weapon then they have 4 attacks half hit half wound and I lose .33marines. My powerfist kills 1.2 marines bringing the total up to 8.4 and his powerfist kills .8 marines bringing his total up to 1.13 or we round to 2 i win combat by 6 or so and the enemy likely flees. Or is fearless and takes a few more wounds.

Now all that is with my landraider shooting its guns at a completly differant unit.

Terminatos assuming 5 cus thats about the same cost as the tac squad and all that will fit with vulkan in the LRR. I get 1.55 dead from vulkan's flamer. Vulkan kills 3.2 again in combat. 2 lightnniing claw guys kill 3. Thats a total of 7.7. If we assume again 3 survivors, then that means .2 dead termies. I lose another .24 to his power fist. Then 4.98 die to my thunderhammers. Ok so the termis kill the whole squad on the charge and are guaranteed to be left in the open to be shot.

The tac squad only performs marginally worse than the terminator squad. And has a chance to hold the enemy in combat for another round and barring reinforcement will easily win combat likely before the enemy even strikes back(Vulkan).

Plus the tac squad scores so doesnt have any need to get out of the LR until doing so would create an advantage for the army.

Now against non-MEQ armies the tactical squad could see its effectiveness go up even further because of the inferior saves invovlved esspecially against its shooting attacks. The only thing that the terminator squad would be better at killing is really high toughness and high save monstrous creatures. Like Daemonprinces, or tyranids monstrous creatures, especially if they lack a good invul, or lucky instant death against special chars and nobz. Both units will fail miserably against high initiative things with power weapons. So theres nothing to really gain there. Daemon princes fall to massed firepower. And remember both units still have the backup firepower of the landraider, in my recent army lists this is the redeemer but all the variants would perform nicely.

The terminators arent even that more survivable than the tactical marines, being inside the landraider means both wont be shot easily, if the Lr is blown up the 4+cover save is plenty good nearly as good as the terminator save against low ap weapons. Plus the tac squad has more bodies and so isnt as susceptible to a bad round of dice. And if the tac squad never gets into combat then it still can be active towards winnning a game.

So save the veterans for boarding those pesky spcae hulks and try to out tactic your opponents with some standard tactical marines. Math isnt everything, in fact I value experience in games over mathhammer hypothesis, however it is nice when you notice the trends youre seeing on the tabletop are backed up by the number crunchers.

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