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Heavy Weapon Conundrum....

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Heavy Weapon Conundrum....
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:00:13 AM »
 

RandomGuardsman

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  I have been pretty lax with my heavy weapons in my IG army, and being a heavy footslogger this is not the greatest of Ideas. Over the course of my time playing I have only had 1 ML, 2 AC, and 2 HB teams. I purchases a Battle Force not too long back and decided to make the HWS into mortars, and never ended up using them. I ordered a HWS box the other day and upon sitting down, I decided to try and retool the mortars into something more useful. After some tactical prying, and lots of Tapen'n'Staplin I managed to rework the mortar teams into a ML, AC, and LasC team.
This effectively brings my Options to 2 HB, 3 AC, 2 ML, and 1 LasC.

  Now this is where my planning stage is as I still have the 3 unused HWTs. I was thinking of making another ML team to bring that up to 3 so I have the option to field a squad. But what should I do with the other 2? I was milling over the idea of going with 2 more HB so I can field one in each of my 4 infantry squads, but as I have not been using much for HW in the past I figured I would ask first.

 Thanks in advance.  ;D
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Re: Heavy Weapon Conundrum....
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 08:34:54 AM »
 

Mon'Tau

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Heavy weapons are almost always better run in squads, rather than teams inside your infantry squads. It leaves the free and able to advance without you worrying about your heavies not being able to fire. It also increases the usefulness of certain orders, not to mention the basic odds of the weapons hitting anything. And when a squad of lascannons hits something, it usually stays down.

Mortars are the single most underestimated heavy weapon that we have at our disposal. They can, in squads, be totally horrifying to play against. Add in a second squad, and they do some serious hurt. If the first shot is on target they become an incredibly accurate, devastating weapon that racks up the hits on enemy squads very,very fast. Even Marines are going to feel it when they take 15 hits. Not to mention they're dirt cheap.

Missile launchers are probably the most versatile choice. They can lay down the blasts, or hunt light/medium armoured vehicles reliably. But, as always, they're very much a case of "jack of all trades, master of none".

Just because of what you already have built though, I would suggest 2 more lascannons, and a missile launcher. This gives you 3 squads (including the autocannons), with the option to chuck the heavy bolters into an infantry squad if you need to. THey're multiple shot weapons that are likely to hit once or twice. They're also likely to fire at the same unit the lasguns would be, so nothing is wasted. Remember, a heavy bolter should be treated more as a force multiplier, not a special weapon in it's own right.
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Re: Heavy Weapon Conundrum....
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 01:12:39 PM »
 

Spectral Arbor

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If an infantry unit plans to sit in place, adding a trio of AC's to 3 units Infantry Squad units is dirt cheap compared to a HWS with the same loadout, 40% of the cost, to be exact. They're such a cheap upgrade, for so much potential, that I would put them in squads I planned to move just in case I had the chance to fire them... if I had the points to spare. I'd sooner put them into a moving squad then put them in a HWS.

An autocannon adds some anti-infantry punch to a squad, which is always nice, but most importantly it adds the ability to open transports. IG aren't the only armies going mechanized, after all, and if you have no infantry to shoot at, a pair of AC's and a pair of GL's gives you something with reasonable range and punch to take out a Rhino / Razorback... which gives you infantry to shoot next turn. ;)

Once my infantry squads are full, I'd consider buying HWSs. The thing I don't like about them, is that they need a CCS within order range and the need to be deployed within a Lord Commie's Ld bubble to make them worthwhile. In particular, without a LC's Ld, they have terrible Ld on their own. What's more is that after a piddly 2 wounds, or a single ID wound, you have to take a Ld test.

3x Lascannon HWS = 105 pts. Avoiding their LOS isn't super hard on a typical board.
They take two wounds, on a Guardsman's profile, and then have to take a break test. They fail 41.7% of the time and will probably run off the board if they fail, since they're always deployed at the "back" of the line.
When they fire at a vehicle, they typically generate one or two hits in a round.
They pass a BID order a mere 58.3% of the time on their own. If they pass, they typically generate 2-3 hits in a round. High strength is good against High AV's, but melta is much better.

A 5 man Storm Trooper Squad with two Meltaguns = 105 pts. Deep Strike in, Avoiding their LOS is nearly impossible.
They will get to fire, for sure, before being forced to take a Ld check. When they're fired upon, they fail 27.8% of the time, and when they fall back they may be able to rally on their own, and if not they may fall towards a CCS that has the potential to get them "Back in the Fight". Even if not, your enemy will either dedicate further resources to klling them off, or stay outside of 12" of them.
When they fire at a vehicle, they typically generate one or two hits in a round.
Melta hits are much better than LC hits, and are thus much more likely to damage whatever they're targeting.

Against any kind of mobile army, they'll just start peppering your HWS with small arms fire till they run off. Then all your big guns are gone, and you have a bunch of flashlights. Keeping HWTs inside squads boosts their survivability substantially. Combining a blob with a Commie means your orders are more effective [remember your Special Weapons benefit too!] and they're much more likely to pass... especially with a single Vox in there. They will pass an order roll 97.2% of the time, and are only 2.8% likely to fail any morale check.

I'm a junkie when it comes to Autocannons. I'd have one for each Infantry Squad you could take.

I'd make a total of 3 Lascannons [I like them in my CCS squads, and sometimes in a PCS squad, or you can join them all up in a HWS if you really want to...]

I like to put a Missile Launcher in with a trio of Plasma Vets... so if you take those I'd have one for each. Otherwise 3 for a HWS, as they're quite flexible without being super good. This tends to help lower their position on an enemy's target priority list.

A Mortar HWS avoids most of the pitfalls of the other weapons. They're out of LOS, so are hard to target and thus don't take damage, so they don't need to pass morale checks. They don't benefit much from orders, so don't need to worry about passing a check. They're cheap. Because they're out of LOS, they can be sneaky objective holders, and are unlikely to be an easy KP in other missions. That said, they are mortars. ;) They're cheap for a reason. 3 for a HWS.

I don't like Heavy Bolters in squads, because they're not much better at AI firepower than an AC, and they don't give you the same options vs light to medium vehicles that an AC does. That said, and I can't recommend this all that strongly, If you're ordering a blob to BID with their AC's, it's nice to have a unit with ranged Anti-Infantry firepower to follow up with, after all the orders are done. I prefer a LRBT with Plasma sponsons, but if you've already got the HB's made, a HWS worth of them is great for firing into ejected passengers, light infantry in the open and MEQ in cover. [They get their save anyway, so save the plasma for guys in the open!]

EDIT: For the same price as an AC / HB HWS, you could buy a Hydra. For 15 ponts mor than a Mortar HWS, you could have a Griffon. I already mentioned about Stormies and Lascannon HWS.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 03:58:05 PM by GreatBigTree »
 

Re: Heavy Weapon Conundrum....
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 04:25:25 AM »
 

RandomGuardsman

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 I made a 3rd MLer, so that brings me to 1 LasC, 2 HB, 3 AC, and 3 ML. I still have 2 to make up. Both of you have the valid points that I tend to run through my head when making my decisions.

 @GBT- I have read a lot of your tactica on AC infantry blobs. I do like the Idea of running HWT in my infantry squads to a point. With the low BS I favor HB and AC. Before my issue was not enough HW to spread around, I now have the issue that even if I fill all of my fieldable squads, I still have enough extra HWT that I can make a squad.

 @M'T- As the mortar is a good saturation weapon, I run a lot of blast weapons and tend to lack the hard hitting direct fire that I need so I never really got to use the mortars. Striping the Mortars down and turning them into Missile launchers gives me the option of Saturation vs. Direct fire AT. I run Missile Launchers on my Armored Sentinels for this same reason. :P

 I  am posting a 750pt all infantry list for an upcoming game.
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Re: Heavy Weapon Conundrum....
« Reply #4 on: March 6, 2012, 12:08:53 PM »
 

LoH

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In my experience, HWTs have about the same survivability as a squad of Ratlings. Once they start taking fire, they're probably dead (or otherwise incapacitated).
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