|Dipping my toe into counts-as.|
It isn't all peaches and cream in dreadnaught land. The biggest drawback is the autocannon itself, at least when compared with a missile launcher. While a a Rifleman has the same 48" range as the Devastators, and an equal number of shots, the autocannon is less effective than a missile launcher against both armor and infantry. At first glance the strength 7 autocannon isn't far behind the strength 8 krak missile, but that little gap means that the autocannon can only glance AV 13, while the missile at least has a chance to penetrate AV 13 and can glance AV 14. The missile will also insta-kill toughness 4 models, which covers the vast majority of troops in the game, while S7 will not. To be fair, both will wound T4 on a 2+. The other big difference is in AP: 4 for the autocannon, 3 for the missile. The extra benefit of the missile is that it cuts out Feel No Pain, which is a huge bonus against Plague Marines or Blood Angels. These two relatively minor difference yield quite different results. While the Rifleman is likely to hit with all its AC shots, thanks to twin-linking, and three of those four shots are likely to wound, all wounds will allow a power armor save, and FNP where applicable. By contrast, the Devastators will miss with a shot, and occasionally two, but those shots will cut through armor and FNP. The results, on average, are one dead marine (or equivalent) for the AC, versus two dead for the missiles. I hear you pointing out that I said you could get a pair of dreads for about the same as a Dev squad up above, and I did. Using my very rough averages, doubling the number of AC shots will double the number of casualties to two, the same as the missiles. The difference is in the dice. While you have the potential to kill eight MEQs with the pair of dreads, assuming all shots hit and wound and result in failed armor saves, there's a lot of chance involved. It's plausible that 8 PA saves could all be successful, and if you factor in FNP the odds get even better. The missiles take out the armor save entirely. Your opponent never gets to pick up the dice, only the models. Knowing that your shots will kill is a much nicer feeling than knowing that your opponent has to fail a save, or two, for the bodies to start falling. In related news, splitting fire is impossible with the Rifleman, while combat-squadded Devestators can shoot at two different targets should the need arise.
|I kinda like this design.|
This is the part where I address the durability advantage of things with an armor value. It takes three successful rolls to take out a vehicle: the shot has to hit, the hit has to penetrate, and the resulting damage table roll has to destroy the vehicle. Having to roll a 5+ on that damage table is a pain, but when that shot goes in and makes a boom, all the vehicles weapons are done. Thought the odds are long, a single shot can take out the Rifleman. By contrast, a single shot will never wipe out an entire Devestator squad (barring an ordinance template or something of that sort, which would make equally short work of a dreadnaught). A full Dev squad packs in 6 extra wounds for those missile launchers, so the squad will have to take quite a pounding before it starts to fall in effectiveness. Add in the relative ease in getting infantry a cover save versus the difficulty of getting that same save for a vehicle and you get a unit that's hard to remove.
Looks like this will be a three-parter. At least it will be up on time for today, so that's progress. As a parting gift, a bit of obvious truth that should be stated all the same. I'm basically reinventing the wheel here. I'm sure that everything I'm saying here has been said better elsewhere by people who know what they're talking about more than I do. This little series, and this whole blog really, is for my enjoyment foremost. If anyone else gets some use out of it then so much the better. Tactics and number crunching aren't my focus, nor do I expect them to become so in the future, but they are a part of gaming and something I've largely neglected to this point. Next time will be predators and what makes BA Devs so hot snot. For real this time.