Monday, 2 August 2010

Do dreads have a place in Loganwing?

Last week I ran a single dread in my Loganwing vs Eldar.

The configuration was TLAC, DCCW w. Storm Bolter. 115points, quite a bargain.

 It’s performance? It squashed Eldrad in CC and gunned down a couple of banshees, contributed to my weight of fire and also drew the attention of the lone Fire Prism, which would have been focussed on slaughtering my foot wolves.

It survived the game through effective use of cover (it’s very easy to get cover for a SM Dreadnought as the model is something of a lo’ rida’, as a counterpoint, its also easy to negate cover for the enemy from the same source as the weaponry is highly mounted…certainly on Riflemen and Rifle Jnr’s) and poor positioning from me which left it part of a flank that I had forsaken, but still spread out my units there.

See here for why I fail. On occasion.

But what is the opportunity cost of this Old One? 

A 5th scoring Wolf Guard unit (5 men,1 in TDA w CML for 135 points). So I lose out on the opportunity to :
- claim an objective, or replace the Wolves that have died holding one.
- Fire 2 BS4, S8 AP3 missiles per turn down range up to 52” (move and fire)
- CC ability of 5 Wolf Guard, which includes (with counter attack or on charge) 19 WS4 attacks, 3 of which are power weapons.

So what have I gained that makes me believe that the Old One is a better choice and the Wolf Guard are the next best thing?
-Twin Linking on my shots. 2 S7 and twin linked.
- Contest objectives? Not really worth all that much
- CC ability. Can do what WG cannot and hold his own vs Bonesword Warriors, Bloodletters, Power weapon armed CC specialists. This is big.
-Armour 12.

Hmm.. Doesn’t sound all that great in favour of the Dread does it?

The twin linking for example…lets examine

TLAC vs Armour 11 (rhino) 2x0.66 =1.32shots hit, twin linking means we take our 0.68 shots missed and shoot again at 0.66 to hit…giving us 0.448 extra. Total hitting shots from TLAC = 1.768, call it 1.77.

In game terms, this means both shots hit normally. But we will stick to the numbers.

S7 glances usefully (can’t move, immobilises as it’s a transport generally at AV11) combined with useful penetrations (2,3,5,6)) =
1.77 (hits) x (0.166 (4 ONLY possible to glance) x 0.33(2,4 results)) +(0.33 x 0.66)

Well first half (glance) works out at 0.63…so we add the penetrating chance (cause remember these results occur on the same roll of the dice) which gives us 0.385 so 0.39…

The total TLAC chance to do something useful to an AV11 hull is then 0.63+0.39 = 1.02.

Every time we fire a TLAC at this type of target we will get A useful result.

Clearly, we can half this to 0.51 to represent cover. I can live with that.

Or even 0.255 to represent Eldar Fortune psychic power… still not bad.

NOW, onto the alternative….2 S8 missiles.
2x0.66 = 1.32…to get useful…1.32 x (0.166 x 0.33)+(0.5 x0.66) = .435 = 0.507, so 0.51…

So here the extra strength of the CML is negated by the fact that it is superfluous at this AV level, but the TL-ing of the Autocannon is telling in its success.

What about AV12 though? To save time and space the figures are:
TL-Autocannon  = 0.289
CML = 0.497

And 13?
TL-Autocannon: 0.096 so 0.10
CML:  0.216

And 14? We know the CML is superior here as it is not even possible to glance with the Autocannon…

So whilst the Autocannon is twice as good as the CML vs AV11, once the armour gets thicker, the gap in the performance switches massively in the favour of the CML.

Now, the autocannon still has a good chance to do something all the way to Av13, but not as good as its higher strength competitor.

So is it the autocannon in fact out-classed by the CML?

Well, all things in context. The rest of the squad is still there in the case of the Wolf Guard. At range it is not doing anything. However, not the whole of the points value has been used in the case of the dread.

The wolf guard cost 135, whereas the Dread costs 115 in the above configuration. This is the Rifleman Jnr, capable of being a CC threat and opening high armour vehicles with its DCCW.

But for 10 points we can switch up the figures. Add a second TLAC instead of the DCCW and for 125 points we find the following:
-          The dread is now better for Av11 AND Av12.
-          The full Rifleman has a 0.578 chance to do something useful vs Av12.

But have I not moved the goal posts by doing this?

Did I not want a dread to threaten CC specialists who can’t really touch it back? By removing the DCCW I have stopped it smashing Tyranid Warriors (for example) with ID, but it can still hold up that unit and remove its threat whilst I deal with other elements of the opponents army at range.

Hmmm…am I just deluding myself with this units effectiveness?

Bearing in mind it is the only vehicle in the army.

But the Loganwing operates at extreme range. The only weapons to target me most of the time are in fact, heavy anti-tank weapons.

Does the dread just suck all this fire up? No, of course not. It still comes down range at the boys.

Can the dread get cover? Yes of course…so it has the same chances as most of the vehicles it is targeting.

Maybe I need 2?

Ok. So what goes? Remind yourself of the list I’m tinkering with.

Fresh? Cool.

So the only thing to go would be a unit of Long Fangs.

Gasp. Fuck, did he really say that?

I think so. You can only have so many missiles.

(This is now definitely a self-delusional lie...somebody stop me. Please.)

Wait. It’s ok. I’m a nob.

Trim the fat.

Rune Priest loses his combi-melta, runic armour
Squads lose their combi-plasmas
No drop pod trick for Long Fangs with MM. Bit one trick pony and divides my force.
No power weapon need then for MM LF sergeant. Switch to ML not MM for his squad.
No Storm bolters for the WG squads either….
Lose a missile or two overall from the LF’s
Bang, points found. Legend.

So the list then including Dreads?

Rune Priest – LL, Jaws

5x Wolf Guard, 1xTDA/CML
5x Wolf Guard, 1xTDA/CML
5x Wolf Guard, 1xTDA/CML
5x Wolf Guard, 1xTDA/CML

Rifleman Dread (2xTLAC)
Rifleman Jnr (TLAC, DCCW, storm bolter)

Long Fangs – 5, 4xML
Long Fangs – 5, 4xML
Long Fangs – 5, 4xML

Bang on 1500.

I still retain the ability to score and score reasonably well. I use tactics such as objective clustering, refused flank, alpha striking and this thing called cover and most importantly range.

Range protects.

When things get close, as they will, it is my hope they will be on my terms by structuring my defence and removing the most dangerous threats using keen target priority. 

I can reach out and touch the enemy in twelve separate locations if required.

These are viable weapons too, multiple shots all at the excellent BS4…which is something we all forget.

Most likely however the army will reach out for 6 targets. Combining fire to remove half of the enemy armour or focus on a monstrous creature and move on.

I’ll have a look at removing MC’s tomorrow I think, just before a rigorous day of play testing the above.


  1. Taking in Rifleman Dreads instead of my usual TWC/Lone wolves would be an interesting swap. More shots down range is rarely a bad thing.

  2. I toyed with Lone Wolves. I have enjoyed using them in the past, but just can't get round the relatively slow pace.
    I thought about a pair of single TWC units, each with a Fist and Shield as an alternative to the dreads, but just prefer the longer range of the dreads...
    we'll see how they work out today