Space Marine Review: Heavy Support: Vindicator

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Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the big daddy of siege tanks in the Space Marine Codex, the Vindicator. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Vindicator is the ultimate tank for siege warfare in the Space Marine arsenal. It features the powerful Demolisher Cannon and a strongly armoured hull, capable of withstanding almost all the enemy can throw at it. The Vindicator has front armour 13, side armour 11, rear armour 10 and comes with 3 hull points. The basic cost for the Vindicator is 120 pts and you can include up to three in the unit.

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Wargear:

  • Demolisher Cannon- 24″, S10 AP2, Ordnance 1, Large Blast.
  • Searchlight
  • Smoke Launchers
  • May take a Siege Shield- Automatically pass Dangerous Terrain Tests
  • May take a Dozer Blade, Storm Bolter, Extra Armour and/or Hunter-Killer Missile.

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Special Rules:

  • Linebreaker Bombardment- If the unit contains 3 Vindicators, all three may fire their Demolisher Cannons in a single shot. This gives one vehicle one shot with an Apocalyptic Blast with Ignores Cover.

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Tactics:

Outside of D weapons, the Demolisher Cannon is one of the most powerful weapons in the game. At S10, it will wound anything in the game on at least a 4+ and will Instant Death anything that is T5 or below in addition to ignoring all armour saves and most Feel No Pain saves. It is a potent weapon, with only it’s relatively short range mitigating its power, and the fact that a decent cover save can reduce its damage potential significantly.

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Due to this, the Vindicator is required to be quite aggressive, closing with the enemy quickly to bring its powerful cannon to bear. Each turn you are not shooting with the Vindicator is a waste of its points. With a front armour of 13, it will take some high strength weaponry to take it out. The only problem is that closing with the enemy army will frequently bring its side armour into target range, and at armour 11, it can be quite easy to destroy. In order to keep it alive and firing for longer, you probably want to advance the Vindicator in cover, so upgrading it with a Siege Shield is highly advisable, or a Dozer Blade at the very least. It is also worthwhile spending the points to take a Storm Bolter to give you a chance of saving the Demolisher Cannon on weapon’s destroyed results.

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When firing the Vindicator, you will generally want to target enemy units that are out in the open. This should ensure that you will kill almost everything that you hit, barring Invulnerable saves. At S10 ordnance, you should also have a good shot at penetrating most enemy vehicles, with a chance to blow them up thanks to the cannon being AP2.

Normally, I would not advise taking a unit of three tanks in a single squad, but with the Vindicator this becomes a very powerful option. Firing a single 10″ blast with Ignores Cover on the Demolisher Cannon will obliterate most units in the game with ease. The only issue with this is that the unit is quite expensive and not exactly impossible to destroy only one tank to reduce their effectiveness.

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Previously, the Demolisher Cannon and Plasma weaponry were the main tools for dealing with AP2 in the shooting phase. However, the introduction of grav weaponry in 6th edition has reduced the effectiveness of these weapons, as grav weaponry is relatively cheap and so useful. In addition, the introduction of grav has limited the utility of the Vindicator (and many vehicles in the game) as it makes it much easier to immobilise them and render the Demolisher Cannon less effective.

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Formations

The Vindicator can be taken as part of the Armoured Task Force. One of the Command Benefits for this formation is that it allows you to ignore Crew Stunned and Crew Shaken results when within 6″ of the formation’s Techmarine. This is a great bonus for the Vindicator, allowing it to fire at optimal effect for longer if it suffers a penetrating hit. In addition, it helps to have a Techmarine nearby to repair any damage to the Tank (the Techmarine also gets a bonus to repair rolls in the formation).

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Overall, the Vindicator is a decent tank with a very powerful primary weapon. However, like many vehicles in the game, it suffers from the possibility of being destroyed in one shot or being rendered ineffective by Crew Stunned and Crew Shaken results. A Vindicator in your army will most likely quickly become a target of enemy fire due to the potential damage it could inflict on the enemy army.

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

12 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Heavy Support: Vindicator”

  1. Skallagoose August 31, 2016 3:44 am
    #

    i know this is about space marines, but the space wolf spearhead formation gives tanks within 12″ of the landraider in the formation Power of the Machine Spirit; which allows the vindicators to fire an effective 36″ range (24 for the cannon, 12 for movement with power of the machine spirit).

    The formation is a huge point sink, but it works well- in theory.

    • AngryPanda August 31, 2016 6:09 am
      #

      The Iron Hands get the same thing combined with it will not die (and probably free car washes) I think.
      Even before all that I was curious if the Blood Angel ones might not be neat. I still had this third edition idea in my head that they couldn’t shoot and move but since they can, a BA one should be weird siege race car.

  2. Dakkath August 31, 2016 7:16 am
    #

    3 Vindis in a squad would let you end every movement with av13 presented to 3 sides and let the one of your choice fire the giga blast. Assuming you can PotMS or make them fast or similar though command benefits.

    • AngryPanda August 31, 2016 7:47 am
      #

      Didn’t even think of that. You just form a blocky little star with guns in 3 direction.

      • Dakkath August 31, 2016 8:06 am
        #

        More like make a T shape. It’s the same thing that lets you take Pask and his buddy and pretend to be a single 14/13/14 tank.

    • AbusePuppy September 1, 2016 5:35 am
      #

      Remember that all three need to bee able to shoot to use the mega blast, though, so you can’t point them in completely different directions. It does let you pottery you side arcs a lot more easily, though.

      • AngryPanda September 1, 2016 6:57 am
        #

        Just theory anyway. No one actualy bothers doing the stuff that would have been bonkers good just one edition ago. 😉

      • Dakkath September 1, 2016 9:37 am
        #

        What’s the exact wording? Because there’s a difference between “All able to shoot” and “All able to shoot at the same target”

        • abusepuppy September 1, 2016 4:00 pm
          #

          “If this unit contains three Vindicators that can all fire their demolisher cannons, the squadron can fire a single Linebreaker Bombardment instead of firing normally.”

          The key phrase for me is “that can all fire their demolisher cannon.” If a target is out of LOS, you cannot fire a weapon at it (bar special exceptions); ergo, unless all three Vindicators have LOS to the target, they are not able to fire their demolisher cannons and thus cannot participate in a Linebreaker attack.

          it’s not ironclad, but I think it follows pretty logically and is in line with other, similar effects in the game.

          • AngryPanda September 1, 2016 8:01 pm
            #

            Sounds as if someone would at least have to stretch stuff pretty far otherwise. You can probably still protect yourself reasonably well with a sort of fork formation.
            That is if vehicles wouldn’t just explode if someone looks at them harshly.

          • Dr Santa September 16, 2016 4:35 pm
            #

            My reading of that is “all Vindicators must be able to fire,” but they do not have to fire at the same target. So as long as all three have a viable target, they can fire the mega-blast even at a target only one vindicator can shoot.

  3. Xavier319 September 3, 2016 8:55 am
    #

    Vindicators in a medusa strike force inside of the armored task force, squadded up. They all get PotM, IWND, ignore stunned and shaken, have a techmarine that can fix them on a 3+, and if they dont want to fire the big blast, they can use POTM to fire at separate targets. It works, quite well in my experience.