Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Long Fangs vs. Predators

Believe it or not, I play Space Wolves.  They're actually my first Space Marine army after Grey Knights and the first army I blogged about.  I think it's time to pump out a few articles on them this week.  To start things off, let's talk about a rarely discussed topic.

We all know Long Fangs rock and for good reason.  They are cheap, effective and put out diverse and powerful long-range firepower.  As you can see from this article I wrote a while back about Long Fang loadouts, I do like myself some missiles.  However, with the recent shift in the meta, I'm wondering if there are other options out there for Space Wolves.  Let's take a moment and look shall we?

First, let's look at the humble Predator.
Not just any Predator, but the AC/LC Predator that comes in at 120 points.

What's the difference between the Pred and the standard loadout of ML Long Fangs?  Well for one, it's cheaper, by 20 points.  It's AV13 and it's a vehicle and thus is immune to DE Venoms, S6 shots from Mechdar and better protection vs. S8 shots since it needs a 5 to glance.  With 2 BS4 Lascannon shots at S9 and 2 BS4 S7 Autocannon shots, it's an incredible fire platform vs. vehicles and MCs but lacks severely when it comes to hordes.  Just like Long Fangs, once deployed, there's very little opportunity to move these things around unless you want to sac a round of shooting.  The only difference is that if Long Fangs want to move, they'll take a Razorback (more points) whereas the Predator will move 12" and smoke.

Long Fangs can also Split Fire, but most ML loadouts opt to shoot all their missiles at one target to force results.  Flexibility is there, definitely, but for all intensive purposes, the Predator and the Long Fangs share similar target priority vs. vehicles.  The biggest drawback of the Predator is the dreaded VDC.  If you're glanced, you're spending 120 points to sit there for a turn.  If one of your Long Fangs die, you pull the Leader and continue shooting 5 missiles back at your opponent.  Of course, we can also say if the Pred got stunned or shaken, it doesn't lose any damage potential next round whereas you might lose out on missile fire if Long Fangs start dying.  There are pros and cons from both, but for the points mentioned, both are solid choices imo.

I think this is where the metagame comes in.  Looking around my area, I see a shit ton of different Space Marines, BA, SW, Grey Knights, Mech IG, Tyranids and Dark Eldar.  Orks are a rarity but I think I'll mention them anyway so players get a better picture.  I only have one friend who plays Eldar and he's got a good amount of diversity as well.  I think it's safe to say that against mech-focused armies, the AC/LC Predator serves a better role.  Unless, of course, you're siting cross table from Long Fangs who can outspam you in terms of raw shots.  When fighting Grey Knights, AC/LC Preds are better imo.  S9 AP2 gives you a solid answer to Paladins and Terminators and Lascannons are better for punching through Psyfledreads.  Lastly, it goes without saying that Predators are much better vs. Dark Eldar.  You ignore Splinter Cannon fire from his Venoms and destroy vehicles with each breath you take.  Against the likes of Tyranids and Orks however, when the ever-shifting need of anti-horde and anti-crappy armor arises, the Long Fangs are clearly superior.

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