In part two of this article, Reece digs into the Space marine units.
Part 1 of this article covering the Imperial Guard units can be seen here.
The Space Marines got some serious love in this book, and also some of the units that are causing the most commotion.
The first offender, is the beautiful Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought.
Beyond being an amazing model, what does this unit bring to the table top?
He’s an AV13/12/11 vehicle with a 5++ to shooting and a 6++ in combat. WS5, and fleet of foot, and the option to add another DCCW means he’s no slouch in combat, either.
You can also equip him with a plethora of weapons, most of which are good, although his stock standard twin Heavy Bolter isn’t going to do that much on it’s own. He cna take a twin Las Cannon, a Plasma Cannon, a twin Auto Cannon, twin heavy flamer, multi-melta, or second DCCW with all the usual options. He can also take the very cool Kheres pattern Assault Cannon (assault 6) or Heavy Conversion Beamer, which he must remain stationary to fire, but is up to Str10 Ap1 large blast.
Some of the more exotic kit includes a Plasma Blaster, which is an 18″ str 7 ap2 weapon that goes in the fist of his DCCW, or a Graviton Gun, which is really cool. It is a Str test or suffer a wound, and glances a vehicle on a 5+ at 18″. However, the real appeal of the weapon to me is the fact that the template remains in place after firing and that area becomes Difficult/Dangerous terrain. Sweet! Board control is always a good thing.
You also have the option for a Cyclone Missile Launcher, just as with a Terminator which is awesome.
Beyond extra armor and a searchlight, you can also give the big guy a targeting array which makes him BS5. Nice!
Only Marines, Dark Angels, and Templars can take him as an Elites choice.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Sure is, but he costs a boat load, too. Base of 175, and for the way I would run him (Kheres Assault Cannon, Graviton Gun) he’ll run you 210! That is pretty cheap, too. You can make him significantly more expensive if you start ratcheting up the extras.
Final verdict: awesome unit from a model and fluff perspective, but too pricey for most competitive builds. For firepower, you can get more of the same on cheaper platforms. For assault, the Ironclad does the same thing much cheaper, and only slightly less effectively.
Blood Angels Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought
Same as above, only with more Blood and Angels.
Seriously though, he is an assault oriented Conetmptor with the option to take a Magna Grapple, Blood Talons, a Melta Gun in one of the Fists or one of the standard shooting weapons of the standard Contemptor plus a Frag Cannon but without any of the relic options.
Final Verdict: Again, as above, the unit is good, and a ton of fun, but you can use a standard BA Furioso Dread and get the same or better performance.
Space Wolves Contemptor
Same as the standard apart from a few Wolfy additions and again, no relic weapons. He can take a Wolf Tail Talisman or a Wolf Tooth Necklace and must take a Saga. His Sagas are pretty cool, granting such abilities as Furious Charge, Counter Attack, or +1 on the Damage Chart against enemy walkers in HtH.
Final Verdict: Again, very cool unit, and in a Wolf list actually offers something they don’t already have: a true assault Dread. If you are looking for that in your list, here he is!
Contemptor Mortis Pattern Dreadnought
This guy easily looks the coolest of probably any other unit in the game, IMO!
The Mortis has BS5 instead of WS and loses fleet, but gains an additional gun arm. He retains the invulnerable save and increased blast radius if he explodes as the other Conetmpetors. He does have the same standard weapon options and comes in standard at 155pts.
You can make some absolutely awesome looking combinations with this guy, like that above. Dual Plasma Cannons looks bad ass, too, but pretty much anything on this platform does.
The real heavy hitter though, IMO, is the two twin Las Cannon and Cyclone Missile Launcher. That’s a lot of hurt on a move and shoot platform at 48″. However, he also weighs in at 220pts!
Land Raider cost. You can get the same amount of firepower cheaper in Typhoons and Razorbacks that while individually less durable, can fire at more targets, pack in more shots, and have to each be targeted individually to be destroyed where a single shot can destroy the Mortis.
Again, this guy is only available to Marines, Dark Angels and Templars.
Final Verdict: Awesome unit that looks the business, but costs too many points to be a truly competitive choice. This is a unit you take because he looks sexy and still packs a mean punch.
The Seige Dread is my favorite pick in the book for Marines. For the points, you get a lot of Dreadnought. He weighs in at 120pts, and comes with a Flamestorm Cannon, Extra Armor, and a DCCW that has a built in Heavy Flamer and an awesome special rule: +D6 on the armor pen roll against stationary vehicles and any penetrating hit(s) in the assault phase cause all models inside the vehicle to be hit by a Heavy Flamer! Wow! F you, Battlewagon Orks!
This guy is an Elite choice for any Marines but Blood Angels.
Final Verdict: For the price, this guy is amazing. Pop him in a Drop Pod, or a Lucius Patter Drop Pod and let him go crazy. Awesome unit, well worth the points and one I would take in a competitive build, no question.
Land Raider Achilles
The much derided Land Raider Achilles. This guy gets a lot of hat eon the net because he is hard to kill.
Before we break this down, let’s give you the straight dope on this model. 325pts base….OK. It should be good.
Next, is has 2 twin Multi-Meltas and a Thunderfire Cannon, as well as Extra Armor and a special rule that allows it to ignore the Melta and Lance special rules, as well as a -1 on the damage table against penetrating hits.
It can also take a Siege Shield, which allows it to ignore dangerous terrain.
Is this really the game breaking unit a lot of folks would have you believe?
Well, check out this battle report to see it in action for yourself.
It honestly isn’t as OP as people say. It is crazy expensive, 335pts for the standard build, and doesn’t put out a proportional amount of firepower for it’s points cost. It only holds 6 models and isn’t an assault vehicle. Sure you can slap a few Scouts in it to make it scoring, but still, a Land Raider isn’t so big that if you assault it from the sides you can’t contest the objective under it.
And just how tough is it? Not as unkillable as people say. A glance against it is the exact same as it is against any other Land Raider.
I saw the example of a BS3 Las Cannon having a less than 1% chance of one shot, one kill against it. First off, you don’t have to kill the dumb thing to take it out of play. Second of all, here is the actual math on it: 1/2 * 1/6 * 1/6 =1/72 which is 1.4% for a kill shot.
Sounds pretty tough, right?
What are the odds of a one shot, one kill with a BS3 Las Cannon against a regular Land Raider?
1/2 * 1/6 * 1/3 = 1/36 which is 2.8%
Wowzers, it is 1.4% more resilient. Color me unimpressed.
Every army in the game has a way to deal with this incredibly expensive tank. So you can’t melta it to death? So what. Play around it for crying out loud. It is good, yes, but putting this model on the table doesn’t equal an auto win. For the best armies in the game, they have better unit sin their normal dexes. Long Fangs are better for the points by a long shot.
At any rate, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the hype on this thing is way overblown.
Final Verdict: A good tank that costs a boat load of points. I think it is completely fairly priced and in no way breaks the game.
Caestus Assault Ram
Here is where people should be worried! The Caestus Assault Ram, IMO, is far better than the Achilles. It is still very expensive for an AV13 vehicles, but wow does this thing pack a punch. 13/13/11, 275pts, Fast Skimmer that can carry 10 models (including 10 Terminators) and it is an assault vehicle. It can also go Super Sonic giving it a 36″ Turbo Boost. Already, without anything else, this thing is rocking.
Now let’s add in the special rules, shall we?
They call it a Ram for a reason. It is made to smash into things and destroy them. It gets 2d6 take the highest for armor pen and +1 on the damage table when it does ram something (wow!) and a 5++ to it’s front arc, including from any damage it takes in a ram attacks. OK, we get it. Pack it with a nasty squad and literally ram it down the other guy’s throat.
But wait, that’s not all! It also comes with a Magna-Melta, normal melta weapon profile, 18″ LARGE BLAST! Holy crap on a cracker, this thing is nuts.
Lastly, you can also give it Frag Assault Launchers, a Teleport Homer and it has a single fire 36″ st6 ap4 heavy 4 small blast weapon.
Final Verdict: This thing is the business, pure and simple. But again, for the points cost, it should be! I love the unit and think it really adds a lot to a Marine build (available to all but Blood Angels) and is a great choice for a competitive build.
Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod
So here is the other big offender in the book. And again, the fear of this unit is way out of proportion with what it actually does.
Standard Drop Pod rules minus any extra weapons, 65pts and takes up a Fast Attack Slot.
The big thing that worries people: Dreads can assault out of it, but if they roll a 1, they become immobilized.
Totally fair, IMO.
But it can get a first turn assault! I can hear you all saying.
So what? Scout Bikers, Shrike Marines and Deff Koptas can already do that, cheaper, better, and more reliably. Not exactly game breaking units, are they?
I, unlike a lot of the people who complain about this guy, have actually played against this unit (with the old, better rules) in several tournaments and he is no big deal. You KNOW when he is coming in, and probably where. Just plan for it. Reserve, bubble wrap, offer up sacrificial lambs, etc. Don’t forget, this thing could also scatter out of range. People seem to gloss over that fact.
This is a predictable unit, so plan around it. And with a 1/6 chance to totally backfire, you can’t rely on this unit in a 5-8 round tournament. In one or more games, he mos tlikely will fail you in a big way. And, you take up 2 KP and 2 FOC slots to pull this trick off. Not at all overpowered, IMO.
Final Verdict: A unit that does something that is already done and yet somehow this upsets people. Big deal, IMO. It costs a lot to take this unit (Typhoons are amazing FA choices for Marines) and isn’t totally reliable. Completely fine and good to go as is for competitive play, although I wouldn’t take it in a competitive list. There are better choices.