Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rise of the Screamers

Brent's article on BoLS got me thinking more about Screamers of Tzeentch and their rising role in daemons armies.  Since the new rules debuted in White Dwarf, I think its fair to say that all us daemons players have been gushing over the flamers and screamers once more.  Where they were once limited, I think both of these daemons are coming back with a vengeance.
For the Screamers of Tzeentch, the changes mean that they are much more survivable than they were before.  The extra wound means that we will no longer be losing some (most? / all!) of a squad due to exploding vehicles (yess... that's happened to me).  But perhaps the biggest change is the replacement of warp jaws with Lamprey's Bite.  Against vehicles, that means that they probably aren't as good as they used to be (pen = 8+2d6 in the old version, vs 5 + 2d6 in the new version).  That said, they do gain more attacks (1 in the old version, vs. 3 in the new version).  Hence, they can still readily tackle light tanks, but the probability of penetrating an AV=14 tank has gone from 83.33% to 16.66% per attack. At AV=10, the probability has changed from 97.22% to 72.22%.  Given the 3 attacks, light tanks are probably in even more danger from screamers than they used to be.  But gone are the days of Land Raider hunting methinks.  I'll leave that to the monstrous creatures now.

Lets have a look against infantry.  To kill a marine, the screamers now hit on 4+, and wound (with no save) on 3+.  That compares to 4+, 4+ followed by a save previously.  And this is where the price increase is at, I think.  Screamer of Tzeentch can really put a whole lot of pain on all armies.  Striking at I=4, they should devastate the typical tactical squad in exchange for minimal damage in return.  For 100 points, 4 screamers on the charge will typically inflict 5.33 unsavable wounds on a marine squad.  That really hurts and is up there with the damage potential of a 5th edition bloodletter.  But more significantly, they can also rob terminators of their 2+ armour save, forcing them to use their invulnerable save.  At 25 points each, I contend that Screamers are going to become a mainstay of daemons forces for the immediate future.  I'll save talking about flamers to another time.....

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