Thursday, April 1, 2010

BA: Vindicators vs. Predators


My list is pretty much done.  I have solidified my HQ choices, my troops and my elite slots.  My plan for this weekend is to finish my 3 Baal Predators and incorporate them in every list I can.  I just love the look of the thing!  There's nothing more badass than a tank can fire spew out more ammunition than your opponents can handle.  Since my list is mostly mechanized, I need a Heavy support choice that can fit the needs of my army.  I'm talking about the Vindicator or the AC/LC Predator.

One one side, we have the Vindicator:  It can move 12" and shoot a S10 AP2 Large Blast Ordnance shot thanks to the Fast rule.  Remember what I said about S10?  S10 can threaten anything in the game.  When it's a 5" large blast template, the kill potential just goes through the roof.  When a demolisher shell lands on a group of marines, they just disappear.  Even with a 4+ cover save, you're going to be looking at a good amount of them dead.  Vs. vehicles, the S10 plus the Ordnance rule means you roll 2 dice for Penetration and take the highest result.  This means it has a 1/3rd chance to penetrate a Land Raider as long as it hits.  Considering the size of the thing, you have a 1/3 chance to roll a hit, give or take 2" on top of the BS4 scatter and you'll probably land a shot.  The Vindicator mauls lesser vehicles like a grizzly bear to a poodle though you should probably shoot at bigger, more juicier targets such as Nob Bikerz or Tyranid Warriors.  Anything that's T4 or T5 (or T4(5) bikes) gets instantly killed under the destruction that that the Vindicator can spit out.  Multi-wounds mean nothing and it's literally one of the only units in the game that threaten everything on the table.  Because of this well-known fact, it attracts a insane amount of attention of the battlefield; almost to a point where nothing else exists.


Let's look at the downsides of the Vindicator.  First, it has one weapon that matters.  Once that's destroyed, the Vindicator is pretty much useless.  The same result can be reached if you silence its guns by shaking it.  The good thing is:  If you're shooting at the Vindicator, you're not shooting at much else.  So how exactly is this a downside really?  Because once the main gun goes, it's a AV13 paper weight.  The threat goes way down for sure, but don't underestimate that angry gunless Vindicator ramming you from 18" away for a S10 hit.  Muhaha.  The other thing about the Vindicator is the 24" range on its main gun.  Though BA got it pretty good because their Vindies are Fast, but the range is still a limitation when compared to the Predator.  Last, the scatter can be a blessing or a curse.  I've had some piss poor scatter rolls in the past where my demolisher shell landed on some of my own guys.. but then again, I've also had some piss poor scatter rolls landing on top of my opponents' prized units.  With the 5th edition change to scatter, I've had much greater success with Vindicators than last edition overall.

So let's look at the Predator really quick.  More specifically, let's look at the Destructor pattern that I plan on taking: Autocannon main gun with Lascannon sponsons.  It comes at 135 points vs. the Vindicators 150 (145+Dozer Blade) so its slightly cheaper.  Due to the fact that it's also a Fast vehicle, it can move 6" and shoot all of its guns.  With a AV13 front, it acts a better version of long-range Dreadnoughts.  Looking directly at the weapons and nothing else, the first thing you'll notice is the consistent 48" range.  This pretty much means that the Predator can threaten things from anywhere on the board (note: anywhere is a lot different than anything).  Compare this with the 24" range of the Vindicator and you're literally looking at double the range.  The S7 Heavy 2 Autocannons are pretty crappy.. but they are pretty decent vs. AV10 and 11.  AV12 is a little bit of a stretch but that's what the two Lascannon sponsons are good for.  Two shots with S9 AP2 at BS4 means you have pretty formidable anti-tank and anti-heavy infantry.  When it comes down to putting wounds on a Monstrous Creature, the Predator has the Vindicator beat.  But when it comes down to raw killing, the Vindicator is noticeably ahead.  Another plus side for the Predator is that it comes with multiple guns.  It doesn't become completely neutered after a Weapons Destroyed result.

The downsides of the AC/LC Predator are pretty obvious:  It has less killing potential than the Vindicator overall and the S7 AP4 main gun doesn't really pose a threat.  The only thing that does real killing is the Lascannons, but you only get two shots with it.  This defect is mainly applied to its ability to shatter enemy vehicles but when shooting at MCs, putting more wounds on your target is always a good thing.  Another downside of the Predator is that it attracts almost no attention from the enemy.  Most of the time its sitting well out of engagement range so your opponents will concentrate more on what's coming towards him; the rest of your units.  This can be a blessing for your long-range Predators, but a serious bane to the core elements of your army.

A lot of things to think about.. but I think I'll be playing with two different lists over the next couple of weeks.  One of which will have 2x Vindicators and 2x RBs with TLACs.. the other will have 3x Predators with 2x RBs with TLHBs.  Since the best way to make a decision is to see the actual army composition, here are my two lists:

2000
15 kp

HQ:
Mephiston = 250

TROOP:
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
5x ASM (RB/DB, PW/MB, Meltagun) = 145
5x ASM (RB/DB, PW/MB, Meltagun) = 145

ELITE:
2x Sanguinary Priests = 100

FA:
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145

HEAVY:
Predator (AC/LC) = 135
Predator (AC/LC) = 135
Predator (AC/LC) = 135


--------------------------

2000
14 kp

HQ:
Mephiston = 250

TROOP:
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
5x ASM (RB TLAC, PW, Meltagun) = 180
5x ASM (RB TLAC, PW, Meltagun) = 180

ELITE:
Corbulo = 105
Sanguinary Priest = 50

FA:
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145

HEAVY:
Vindicator (DB) = 150
Vindicator (DB) = 150

Feel free to comment on my lists or give me advice.  Any feedback is strongly appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

10 comments:

Derrick said...

BA are one of the only times I feel Predators are a viable choice as compared to Vindi's/heavy squads. Non-fast predators are far too static, and present little firepower for their cost, whereas the Vindi can still move and fire it's main gun to full effect.

Particularly as a SW player, the Pred is largely garbage compared to LF squads or vindi's.

With the Blood Angels, however, it all changes. The much maligned Predator can, as you noted, be mobile and still present it's full firepower, and maintain at least some firepower through Weapon Destroyed results. Shaken results are a wash between it and the vindi, silencing both tanks equally.

I'm really curious as to how it works out for you. While I'm still in the Vindi camp personally due to the threat they present as opposed to the actual damage either ends up doing, I'm curious as to what opponents do about the preds. Do they ignore them to some extent, allowing them to actually do some damage, or do they focus the firepower on them as they would the vindi's?

I suspect they'll attract far less firepower than the Vindi's, which is either good or bad depending on your role for them in your list. Are they there to distract fire from your Rhino's and other armour, or are they there as a serious heavy weapons platform?

Derrick said...

Ack, silly blogger ate my comment.

I'll try again, briefly:

Normally, I'm all Vindi>Pred on account of mobility issues. The Pred's firepower is too limited compared to a heavy weapon squad and easier to silence to boot.

With BA, though, it all changes. The Pred can maintain full firepower on the move, suddenly making it a far more effective tank. It has multiple attacks, so while not as individually punishing it suffers less from the OMGIROLLEDONEFORARMOURPEN/TOWOUND thing that happens to me with distressing regularity; you're much more likely to get an "average" amount of damage as opposed to the Vindi's largely all-or-nothing shot.

The choice, though, I feel is entirely based on the role you want the tank to assume. For me, I take Vindi's entirely to absorb firepower. I'd love it if they blew shit up wholesale, but the almost never do. That's alright, though, because they give my Rhino's, dreads, and such some breathing room.

I highly doubt Preds will draw the same amount of firepower. Maybe... but probably not. So, if you're looking for mobile heavy weapons support, the BA Preds are definitely a good buy... but may leave more firepower pointing at other elements of your force.

HERO said...

Good stuff there Derrick, a lot of great points made. I personally run Vindicators myself in my SW army and I love them. A lot of people say they're hit or miss.. but I've been having great success with them as of late. They attract a lot of fire and they do insane amounts of damage.

This will mean I'll have to test the AC/LC Predators more.. though I don't like the fact they won't be that much of a threat and my opponents will focus on my frontal army more.

We'll see. Playtesting will be needed of course.

Derrick said...

Interesting, despite Blogger saying my comment wasn't posted, it seems to have been anyways. Sorry for the double!

I think a lot of the vindi's "hit or miss" opinions are more because they rarely actually do any significant damage (my experience, at any rate) and it's not uncommon for people to assume that in that case, it's just not very good. I've yet to meet a player - any player - who'll ignore Vindicators.

It's interesting, though, particularly with the Baal Preds. Massive armour saturation, and despite a lot of public opinion, I think Assault Cannons(particularly twin linked) are still excellent weapons overall. With the Baal's as well, it's not at all unlikely that you'll be fine without the OMG impact of Vindicators. So very much AV13 firepower, with none of it really standing out as the biggest target.

It's a glorious amount of firepower, really. Makes me twitchy, I just dearly love tanks... and the more mobile, the better. There's a part of me that wants to move to BA as a result - I could get more of my beloved dreads in too, my favourite models for conversions... *twitch*

Definitely can't wait to hear how it works out for you.

MaikuKun said...

Personally, I'm thinking playing 1 AC/LC predator with 2 Vindicators and 2 Baals in 1750 points. I love my Vindicators too much to give them up quite yet but I do like that the AC/LC predator can kill those annoying transports that my Baals can't get (Usually the ones square in front of my ASM squads) and leave the Vindicators to killing other things (Without the risk of dropping it on my squad).

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was amazed when I found this entry of yours because I´ve made a very similar list (only minor tweaks in weapon loadouts). My biggest problem with it is scaling it to 1500 -1750 points without losing any of it´s strengths.
What would you change to fit the list at those points?
Cheers and keep the good work with your blog!

HERO said...

A 1750 version of the Vindicator list would look like this:

1750
14 kp

HQ:
Librarian (JP) = 125

TROOP:
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
10x ASM (PF/Infernus, 2x Meltaguns) = 250
5x ASM (RB, PW, Meltagun) = 145
5x ASM (RB, PW, Meltagun) = 145

ELITE:
2x Sanguinary Priest = 100

FA:
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145
Baal Predator (TLAC/HB) = 145

HEAVY:
Vindicator (DB) = 150
Vindicator (DB) = 150

By dropping Mephiston and taking off the TLAC on the RBs, you free up some major points. You can use the same method to make 3x AC/LC Preds, but that might require you to drop a Priest. Personally, I would stay with this at 1750 because I like 2 FC/FNP bubbles.

Anonymous said...

What would you add to bump the second list up to 2500 points? I sort of like the idea of Dante and some melta'd up assault marines to deep strike on whatever needs to die.

Anonymous said...

LK love your post. I am personally going with LC/AC preds over vindies.

What is your opinion of scouts with missiles instead of the ASM/HB Razors? For the same price as your 2 ASM Razors I can get 3x5 scouts with missile launchers and cammo.

That's 1 more scoring unit and 1 less KP (this is the biggest ad

Better anti armor (3 missiles with potential side armor from turn 1 vs 2 meltas that have to get close)

Potentially better anti horde (12 bolt guns and 3 frag plates vs 10 bolt pistols and 6 twin HB shots), (or potentially better anti MC anti MEQ if you go with sniper rifles.)

Equal or better protection with 3+ cover and 5 more wounds (5 ASM will not stand up to being assaulted any better than 5 scouts and are only better defenively against heavy flame).

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of using
1 librarian
20 tacticals
2 land raider redeemers
10 terminators
devastators
3rhinos
and a baal pred

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