Mech isn’t Dead and Never Was.



Reecius here to say fire up those transports!

The title says it. Mech isn’t dead and never was dead. As we roll further into 6th (and I am loving this edition now that I have gotten used to it) I am writing more and more lists with vehicles. Unlike 5th though, it isn’t ALL vehicles as we saw so frequently but a good mix of units. I think they went too far with making damage results transfer onto units inside vehicles, but, in whole they really did a good job of balancing vehicles out so that it isn’t a total metal box fest like it was last edition.

Shooty vehicles have actually gotten better, IMO. Well, more specifically, a vehicle designed for offensive output got better. Glacnes don’t stop you from shooting so you consistently keep firing until destroyed. It takes more attention to silence the guns, but silencing them permanently got easier. Fair enough.

Transports are clearly delineated now. Normal transports are for moving shooting units around. Period. If they double as a gunship, great, but if the cargo inside is the real threat it better be a shooting unit. Having the skies filled with threats that can just nuke entire infantry units like Hell Turkeys, FMCs, Flyers, etc. means that that transport keeps your unit safe from at least one unit’s firepower. That can be huge. Now, two units minimum have to shoot that unit to take it out. The added speed is also quite useful, and I find getting a scoring unit into position with a transport is often worth the points, alone.

Assault units in non-assault vehicles just don’t work and the folks that get mad about that are hanging on to 5th ed. Let it go, if you are an assault unit you need to find a new way to deliver yourself into combat….an assault vehicle. Go figure. That said, i do feel bad for people who used Rhinos to get things like Zerkers into combat as that is totally thrashed now, but the Land Raider got so much better that they really do reliably get their payload where you want them.

Coincidentally, the perceived decrease in mech means less AT weapons which means the vehicles you do use, are more likely to stay around. Due to the mix of units in the game now, you see less melta/plasma spam and a mix of all types of weapons to counter the wide range of threats in the game.

Tank shocking. Tank shocking is still game winning, perhaps more now than ever. Tank shock a unit off of an objective. Tank shock a unit and break them. Tank shock artillery and auto kill them. Tank shock units into template or blast weapon formation, tank shock units to limit which models in the squad you can see and to snipe out key models. The list goes on.

Tanks block LoS. You have a static shooting unit and you’re going second? You can put them in a good firing position, park a LoS blocking tank in front of them and then drive out of the way on your turn, freeing them up to shoot.

We’ve been playing around with fully meched armies, almost 5th ed style, and they are just as good if not better, particularly when you consider the decrease in AT weapons and increase in infantry.

How have you guys been feeling about your transports? Still gathering dust on the shelf or are you bringing mech back in your area, too?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

35 Responses to “Mech isn’t Dead and Never Was.”

  1. Avatar
    dvs1 August 25, 2013 1:18 am #

    My SoB’s and DE never lost their transports. Just a little sad cause my death cult assassins got traded out for more basic squads. Serpents, however, will prove to all that mech is far from dead..

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 25, 2013 7:03 pm #

      Yeah, the Serpent is so powerful that people are going to get over their belief that mech is dead in a hurry.

      • Avatar
        Hotsauceman1 August 25, 2013 8:46 pm #

        Pfft, My cover ignoring missles dont care about your wave serpent. All I need is three glances from 12 shots with tank hunter.

        • Avatar
          Fulcrum August 25, 2013 10:50 pm #

          Great so you downed 1 WS, now all you have to do is down the other 4-5 before they wipe out any threat to them you may have(most likely in 1 turn). Also what are you shooting them with since they undoubtedly deployed out at 60″?

  2. Avatar
    Merkur August 25, 2013 2:51 am #

    I agree.

    The point with the tank shock made me think about my last match against a quite successful Tau player. One of my empty chimeras shocked into two units of Broadsides with missile drones. He thought death or glory isn’t worth the risk. 530 points fled from the boardedge. The etheral was not amused.

    I am experimenting with my IG Army since the start of 6th Edition now.
    I started with a mix of AV 14 and a lot of Infantry and shifted more and more to an almost complety mechanized MSU army, backed up by one or two LR.

    Having said that, my impression is that the situation has already changed a bit.
    Necrons are still popular, and they usually come with skimmers as well.
    In addition to this, most stuff that works against dragons or MC also works against ground vehicles.
    Even before the new Serpent rules and the Crusader/Banner of Devastation combination, some people started to exploid the lack of heavy anti tank weapons and brought AV13/14 lists. All this made most people in my area increase their anti-tank capabilities again. A few month ago, my LRs were usually dealing damage for 7 turns. In the last few tournaments however, it became very rare that I manage to bring them past turn 4. Obviously my AV 12 assets did not benefit from the Eldar and Tau codex and all these shooty flying monstrous creatures as well.

    Also, it can be a bad bargain to save your scoring unit from one or two shooting attacks with a transport. Sometimes the transport vehicle is almost as expensive as another scoring unit (and may pinn or kill a part of the passengers in an explosion). I see your point, but it depends on the codex and the list you look at. It is not just lemming-like behaviour that transports are rare.

    The advantages of mechanized lists still prevail for me. You just need some means to keep them out of close combat and some cheap means to augment their hullpoints with cover or invulnerable saves against shooting.
    Since vehicles have become less common, some opponents are not fully aware of all vehicle rules, which leads them to misjudgements.
    Some cheap armed transport vehicles are great to ground FMC for the actual damage dealers as well.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 25, 2013 7:05 pm #

      I agree. They are still really good, it just isn’t the all day in all ways it was last edition which got so old. I like the new balance they’ve achieved with mechanized lists.

  3. Avatar
    steven morrow August 25, 2013 5:10 am #

    I never stopped using my vehicles for support units and they have always worked well for me. For me berserkers always needed land raiders since 3rd to function well. Likewise predators have always been my main fire support, though i have switched my defiler out for oblits for obvious reasons. Mech allows you to use the age old old tactic of run away, redeploy for you tactically minded individuals. Mech isnt dead its just balanced now, same with assault. They both have a part to play. Skewed lists may give advantages in may situations but for the long haul someone who utilizes all aspects of their army potential will prosper in 6th.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 25, 2013 7:03 pm #

      I agree. I think they just balanced it.

      • Avatar
        Fulcrum August 25, 2013 10:52 pm #

        Preds are the worst battle tank in the game, but its an old unit so GW doesn’t need to improve them so they can sell new kits (see dreadnought).

        • Avatar
          steven morrow August 27, 2013 5:34 am #

          i have to disagree armor 13 is very solid. plus they are nice and cheap.

  4. Avatar
    Skari August 25, 2013 7:19 am #

    I loves me some Mech.

  5. Avatar
    Hippesthippo August 25, 2013 12:25 pm #

    I agree. The basic Rhino is still a deal at 35 pts. The problem is the most common units you can put inside them really aren’t.

  6. Avatar
    Hippesthippo August 25, 2013 12:28 pm #

    Also, I always forget to tank shock. Thinking back on my last few games, I had a couple of perfect opportunities to tank shock weak, well spread infantry units into perfect template shapes and failed to recognize it in the moment.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 25, 2013 7:02 pm #

      Yeah, I have been tank shocking a ton lately and all the awesome uses for it are coming back to me.

  7. Avatar
    Alex Yuen August 25, 2013 5:25 pm #

    Anyone that is good enough to know mech is not dead already knew this.

    Anyone that not good enough to know will keep on thinking mech is dead.

    It is true but not sure who is the reader for this article.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 25, 2013 7:00 pm #

      Not everyone is as up to date on stuff as you, Alex =:

      • Avatar
        Alex Yuen August 26, 2013 11:07 am #

        anyone that read this blog is not up to date?

        • Avatar
          Hippesthippo August 27, 2013 1:17 pm #

          You’d be surprised. There was a very similiar post on Dakka recently with pretty much the same info/arguments verbatim. A lot of naysayers still, but quite a few were convinced by the thread and you could see their opinions changing.

          This is good information here. Good reminders at the very least.

          • Reecius
            Reecius August 27, 2013 1:38 pm

            Yeah, exactly. We aren’t going to skip something because people might already know it, that is unfair to new players.

          • Avatar
            Alex Yuen August 29, 2013 12:03 am

            The information is great. Well on it is true on teh good reminders. i don’t read dakka tactic or bols much. too many noobs

          • Reecius
            Reecius August 29, 2013 10:11 am

            Yeah, a lot of people don’t know this stuff, so it is good to review on occasion. For higher level players it is remedial, but that is ok.

          • Avatar
            Alex Yuen August 29, 2013 10:27 am

            Yep the argument came down to the question on “why not post it”. Well there are no harm on posting it so i don’t really have an good answer on why not post it so yep you are right. you should post it.

            for a good player is a review so why not. nothing to gain but no harm.

            for a newer player is good stuff.

  8. Avatar
    David Key August 25, 2013 7:10 pm #

    I could not agree more(mostly). I still don’t like dangling First Blood out there with any AV11 vehicles, but I DO think AV13+ is really hard to deal with in this meta. Some armies can’t deal with it at all.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 26, 2013 8:31 am #

      Yup, I agree. Strength 6-7 is where it’s at these days, and that just doesn’t cut it against AV13

  9. Avatar
    Fulcrum August 25, 2013 10:46 pm #

    Reese will you please change the title to “mech isn’t dead, unless your only reasonably priced transport is a rhino”? Thanks.

  10. Avatar
    Crispy August 25, 2013 11:07 pm #

    I think Dreadz need a slight buff IMO. If you take a dread it never sees past turn 2-3 unless you hide it out of line of sight or something. Maybe an extra hull pt or something to give it a chance to shrug off a shot or two. Soul grinders feel pretty balanced

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 26, 2013 8:30 am #

      Shooty dreads to fine for me, but assault dreads only seem to last for me if they are AV13, like you mentioned.

  11. jy2
    jy2 August 26, 2013 6:37 am #

    Mech isn’t dead by a long-shot. Some armies are still doing fine with them, with such examples being mechguards and even DE venom-spam. However, these types of builds do come up against their hard counter in the Necron Airforce, which has relegated mechspam in competitive play to all but 2nd-tier (with probably the exception being the new mechdar).

    Also, there are some mechspam builds that are hurt a lot by the changes to the vehicle rules in 6E. These tend to be the slightly more assaulty MEQ mech builds, with the 2 most pronounced being Khorne berserkers or space wolves in rhinos and GK Purifier-spam. The GK’s, while still alright, is no where near as fearsome as they used to be, back when they could threaten the enemy with both good shooting and good assault. Now the only thing they do is shoot well, disembark (or be forced to disembark) and then get shot up.

    Mech is dead. Long live mech! 😉

    • Avatar
      JGrand August 26, 2013 6:54 am #

      I completely agree with this comment. 6th edition mech was never awful, it just had issues–particularly with a full on Cron Airforce. Even 4-5 Night Scythes can be enough to really smack down old-school mech armies like Razor and Venom spam.

      At the end of the day, Cron Air is just a more efficient version of Razor spam, and as such, is the hard counter to Razor spam. While the build has its own issues, it does relegate most mech to second tier. As others have mentioned, Mech-dar is the real exception here.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 26, 2013 8:24 am #

        I agree with that. We tried a hard core Space Wolf Razor/Missile Spam list against Cron air and it got devastated. Wasn’t even a game.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 26, 2013 8:33 am #

      I agree, Jim. Anything that wanted to assault from a Rhino got totally owned. If the unit still shoots well, it is OK, but things like Berzerkers just can’t hang any more.

  12. Adam
    Adam August 26, 2013 10:16 am #

    I’ve been using Rhinos to tote around my Chaos Marine squads all edition. Despite what some (i.e. YOU) think, they’ve proven to be an effective and relatively inexpensive scoring unit that drives around blasting plasma out the top, plus a havoc launcher! Really, it turns the unit into something that people have to deal with, instead of ignore, which takes pressure off the more fragile cultists that are actually doing the work scoring backfield objectives.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 26, 2013 10:20 am #

      Nope, nope, la la la, won’t listen to reasonable solutions about Chaos!!! I’m not listening!!

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 26, 2013 10:21 am #

      Haha, but seriously, I have tried the same load out and had terrible results, they just get owned hard, and fast. However, that is largely due to the fact that my usual opponents play ultra aggressive, balls out assault lists that are charging me en masse turn 1 and 2. The MSU units just get rolled. In a shoot out, however, I could totally see that load out carrying its weight.

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