Monday, March 2, 2009

Coping with Chaos Dreadnoughts

For a long time, I have deployed plasma cannon armed chaos dreadnought on flanks, usually in isolation, to protect the more expensive components of my chaos marine armies from being hit (twice) when it goes crazy. In reality, this event only happens about once every game (1 in 6 chance each turn, assuming a 6 turn game).

However, after playing a good number of games with dreadnoughts, I feel that I'm going to experiment with changing that tactic of isolated deployment. The simple reason is that dreadnoughts, much like their imperial counterparts, require support to be fully effective. This means they should be close to other units.

So, what units could go alongside them? My standard armament with my Death Guard dreadnought is a plasma cannon - that means reasonably high strength with low AP. My precious and expensive plague marines don't want to be anywhere near this dreadnought; but they'd probably take the risk if the armament was a heavy bolter or a frag missile launcher. The plasma cannon is there intentionally to cause damage to terminators and pesky marines like plague marines!

Moreover, the plasma cannon can also do significant damage to my humble rhinos and even stands a chance of glancing the front of a vindicator or predator. If I regularly ran a land raider, it would be a different tale - no problems there. I'm left wondering what unit(s) I can place next to the dreadnought to minimize the risk and support it.

If I deployed it with a daemonically possessed vindicator directly behind it, the probability of causing crippling damage to the vindicator is low - 1 in 6 to go crazy, 1 in 6 to glance, and if it does glance, the vindicator is safe for crew stunned or crew shaken results. There's still a finite risk of a bad outcome though, but it has been minimized. On the plus side, the dreadnought and vindicator combined provide an awesome amount of fire power to take out pesky elite units like terminators.

With a rhino, the advantage is that it's comparatively cheap, so I don't mind too much if it gets blown away. Moreover, if this happens, the rhino becomes a static piece of scenery which can also be helpful.

Other units that I might consider deploying dreadnoughts with (for melee support primarily) include a Nurgle daemon prince (high toughness, invulnerable save, multiple-wounds); chaos spawn (toughness 5, expendable). However, I'm more inclined to place it in front of a vindicator and therefore provide a screen for the other vehicle.

Another tactic would be simply to arm the dreadnought with a different weapon combination. Perhaps two close combat arms, or a heavy bolter which cannot harm the front armour of a predator or vindicator ... or the side armour of a second dreadnought.

Related Article: Death Guard Dreadnought.

4 comments:

Cyborg Trucker USA said...

Good luck with the new Dred tactic. My luck with the insanity roll has been dreadful and actually makes me annoyed as I have 10+ Chaos dreads. They have lately seen very little table time in favor of the more sane Defilers. I really like Chaos Dreads but it can be a real nut-buster when your forces get double tapped by a TW-Lascannon and x2 Frag missiles from behind 2-3 times a game.

jabberjabber said...

Yeah - I hear you - it can be totally abysmal when a few "crazy" rolls wrecks the gameplan completely.

Andy said...

Nice looking Dreadnaught, can Chaos have a Razorback?
As that would be nice balance between cost and firepower.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Andy - thanks mate. Sadly, chaos cannot take razorbacks. I usually upgrade my rhinos with a havoc launcher to make them a little more of a threat, though. I find they strike a good cost to firepower balance.

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