Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A look at some tactical changes in 7th - marine devastators

Hi all, I thought I'd begin a series of tactical insights based on my experiences of seventh edition. Now bearing in mind that my experience so far has been a single game, I'm going to have to start with some theorizing.

First off then I turned my mind to devastators. These guys were almost never seen in 6th (I've used them a couple of times, but never played against them) and I wondered what, if anything, might change that with the new ruleset.

Clearly the difference for devastators is in damaging vehicles as the damage chart changed significantly this time round. The results of these changes are several, the first and most obvious being that only AP1 and AP2 weapons can cause explosions unless the vehicle is open topped. Instantly then the devastator arsenal is more limited, and even those penetrating hits are less effective - previously a lascannon/plasma cannon had a 1 in 3 chance of destroying a vehicle with a penetrating hit. That's now half its previous effectiveness at 1 in 6! The hit for multi meltas is just as bad, and drops from 50% to one third.

So where does that leave the humble devastator, we need to look further, and then we notice that the vehicle damage chart now has four results that limit the vehicle to snap shots only in the next turn (well, except super heavies). What that leads me to think is that it would be best to equip devastators with cheaper weapons to pick up glancing or penetrating hits and wrecking the vehicle through reducing it to 0 hull points.

Here's another little trick i picked up with devastators recently, that works even better now they can hold objectives. One of the big issues with the quad gun is that its low(ish) strength makes it difficult to get armour penetration, even if you do hit the flyer with all four shots. On the other hand, the icarus lascannon has a good chance of penetrating most flyers armour, but the single shot makes it unreliable in most cases. That's where the devastators come in, with the signum making that lascannon hit on a 2+. Of course if you have a divination librarian to give him re-rolls then even better.

So there you have it, devastators definitely got better in 7th, despite finding it more difficult to outright destroy their targets, though their role has changed somewhat.