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.
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.
- Demolisher Cannon- 24″, S10 AP2, Ordnance 1, Large Blast.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!