Friday, July 16, 2010
From Mech to Wreck
Hello everyone, Loki here with a question to the gamers out there. Does the Mech army really have the advantage? I have assembled a few reasons as to what makes a Mech list a little more dangerous than what first meets the eye. The obvious reason to run a Mech list is the protection it offers the units inside while giving them the benefit of speed. But do the cons out way the pros? Well here are the biggest cons of the Mech-based lists:
1. Kill Points
In 5th, each Dedicated transport offers another kill point. That means the rhino paid for the unit, now increases the points from 1 to 2. This can be a real problem when Annihilation rolls around, or if a tournament uses kill points as a tie breaker.
If a vehicle is either wrecked or explodes, the unit must make a pinning test. Many armies have an answer to leadership, but many do not. This means that not only does the unit lose the benefit offered from the transport that is now gone, but they themselves may not act on the next turn. This means that the points spent to help the unit perform better has actually crippled the unit's ability to work in the game, thus giving more advantage to the enemy.
Ka Boom! Although this can lead to some interesting, and often times comical results, the simple matter is this can really hurt the controlling player. Units outside the hull are often a mix of both friendly and enemy, so that is somewhat neutral especially given the low strength of 3. However, the unit inside are hit with S4 (baring open topped transports of course)and now suffer a higher number of wounds. Even marines die to bad rolls, and loosing enough to cause a leadership can further reduce the unit's ability to work well overall.
4. Boom goes the Dynamite
In 5th edition, there is Dynamite, and it's name is melta rule. With the over abundance of this weapon (which is completely against it's fluff in the first place seeing as it is supposed to represent ancient and almost lost technology) units can easily destroy enemy vehicles with ease, causing one of the above mentioned problems as a possible side effect. Not even the fear inspiring Land Raiders can stand up to a few shots from the melta weapons.
5. Clean Up That Mess!
Mech units tend to leave behind debris when they go. Whether this is a crater or a wreck, this can lead to some interfering terrain when it comes to drawing line of sight, moving units of any type), and overall tactical ability of the army. Now this can be used as a good defensive strategy, but often times it is not the latter and tends to leave the owners with nothing but a mess, and some worthless spare keys.
6. Why is this jogger catching up to us?
So many vehicles (baring the fast skimmers) are limited to around 12" movements tops. Now that isn't bad at all... but remember that with 5th came run. This effectively makes everyone on foot fast. 6" movement, followed by potentially 6" more. So now that transport that was bought to speed up the unit's mobility was just matched by the unit that opted not to ride and simply hoof it. Funny huh?
7. It's gonna be a bumpy... Damnit!
Hey look, difficult terrain. Hope you have dozer blades or you can float, because if you roll a one, it looks like your staying right there. This may not seem like much, but can often tip the scales of a battle, and in a tournament using victory points, there goes half the points to your enemy. Now with a 35 point rhino it isn't terrible, but giving the enemy 130 points because you land raider hit a bump is not exactly tactically sound.
Not a fan of this maneuver, but it's legal, and it's all kinds of sad. When your vehicle becomes a barrel full of fish... it's time to evaluate what makes this thing worth fielding.
9. The Trade off
Run transports, or more units? You have to spend your points in one place or the other, and if you chose to run transports, that points you can't spend to run another fully functional unit. Without a doubt this can be the biggest points sink as a whole when building a list, as transports and other Mech types begin to really add up fast.
10. the Lucky shot.
A lucky shot is that first turn Lascannon in their backfield that popped the Land Raider before it moves at all. It isn't probable, but it is possible, and must be accounted for when weighing the pros and cons of taking a vehicle and using the points there instead of elsewhere.
Overall infantry and other small units benefit from a massive influx of cover in 5th. Vehicles can often get the save, but if it's failed can often leave the vehicle smoking for different reasons, while the infantry unit only loses a grunt. Now that isn't to say that Mech doesn't have it's pros (like making most small arms fire worthless). However, this article never claims to say Mech has no purpose; its only intent is to help bring new thoughts when it comes to using the vehicles over foot based.
Now I want to hear your thoughts. What do you think about Mech as a whole? In 5th? Is it worth it or not? All of these thoughts and more are yours to ponder. I hope this has been an interesting look at the use of Mech.