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Thursday, 23 February 2012

40k Fallacy: Armour Saturation FTW?


Something interesting to think about. Often what you read on the net is that "mech is king" and "transports=5th edition". However, I feel that this is not always true and that the game might even be shifting away from that (not referring to 6th ed.). I think that people are not buying transports because they provide resilience to the infantry inside and mobility is not actually necessary to win games of 40k in 5th edition.

Let's take a look at two lists, Tony K's Space Wolves and a SOB list:

4x8(+1) Grey Hunters in Rhinos
2x5 Grey Hunters in LasPlas Razorbacks
3x5 Long Fangs with Missile Launchers

St. Celestine
Uriah Jacobus
6 DCA, 3 Crusaders in Rhino
3x10 Battle Sisters in Rhinos
3x5 Dominions in MM Immolators
3x Excorcists

Which list is generally regarded as the better one? SOBs are generally regarded as the worst 5th ed. "codex" (although Tyranids have their own problems). On the other hand, Mr. Kopach has slaughtered everybody who's opposed him in Adepticon 2011, Nova 2010 and 2011 and at ETC 2011. Tony's list has 6 vehicles, That SOB list has 10 (3 predator hulls). Surely, that SOB list does a better job of armour saturation? I mean, won't Tony's rhinos just get picked off meanwhile that SOB list overwhelms its opponent with hulls? It was originally from this comparison that I came to think about this thing. Now let's look at my latest Venom Spam list:

3x4 blasterborn in venoms
3 wracks in venom with trophies
15 hellions
4x5 warriors with blasters in venoms with trophies
3x ravagers

Why does this list spam transport vehicles? Sure, it allows me to better get my blasters into range, but that isn't the real reason. I could utilise other ways to get my stuff into range, or play dark lances. KPs go up a hell of a lot, so there are in fact negative drawbacks. It's because those transports bring guns. You see, transport vehicles are generally cheap (and low armoured), but if they come with guns, they are essentially gunboats. Tanks are resilient in 5th edition and the armour value of that vehicle has less effect in our current meta. In cover, it isn't such a big difference, and with melta (still the most trusted antitank gun) it really doesn't matter what your armour value is.

Thus, we spam transports because they give us more guns. From this, we can come to realise why that SOB list is not good. Those Rhinos, although adding saturation, don't bring guns. So in essence, they aren't as significant. Tanks still bring you there marginally faster, but people know how to play against tanks now, and rhino rush isn't that cool anymore. Atleast not when you've spammed it like that. Ofcourse, SOBs also pay way too much for their troops, with min 10 man (and 70 euro) troop squads. That just reinforces the point, cardboard boxes aren't that crucial thing that would make tyranids or daemons OP.

That's also why Tony's list only features 6 vehicles. It's all he needs. His list is all about lasting until the end of the game with his large hunter squads and wrecking face with njal. Rhinos help this, and lend him mobility. The lasplas add firesupport. He doesn't need 10+ vehicles.

I'm not sure how clear I was with my points, but basically this is what I'm saying: You don't just spam rhinos because they add armour saturation and transports. It would be similar to spamming drop pods, those points add up. You spam razorbacks or venoms, because you get more firepower. If you aren't spamming gunboats, then don't bother spamming over 10 tanks, stick with just as many as you need.


  1. Same thing with my BA. 50 dudes help me to survive till the end game while doing same damage on the way. I think the DE can't just try to survive. They need to gun down the enemy. (and survive that way)

  2. Jumper marines is a good example of an army that doesn't need tanks. I probably haven't tried enough variants of DE on foot to say for sure how they function. A basic pseudo-footdar doesn't work because your squads can't move and shoot and portal builds are pretty iffy, without really cutting down on kill points enough to justify it (I should get around to looking at some low kp de portal lists).


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