Saturday, October 9, 2010

Turning "Dread Not" into Dreadnought!

Hello everyone. After a long absence due to much work and turmoil in the life of me, I have returned to bring you all yet another article. As you can see by the title, the idea behind this article is based around the dreadnought; but don't worry all you non-marine lovers out there, as I will be talking about issues and suggesting tactics that are decent for walkers and MC's in general. So lets get to it.

In the 40th millennium, Dreadnoughts make up a large portion of the battlefield for the imperial armies. They are daunting mechanical warriors that fill the enemies with dread (hints the name) while bringing heavy and mobile fire support to the front lines. Honored and praised by their brothers, they make for the lines to serve the Golden Throne even in death.

But lets break down the dreadnought a little here. It is a great infantry hunter based on the fact it is a vehicle, and a front side 12, rear 10. Since you hit them against front armor in melee, and grenades require a 6 to hit (save it being immobilized in which it hits against weapon skill. This makes it a major threat to those units without the protection of a heavy tank to keep them safe. But even with the might of a dreadnought being as it is, it still falters like many other vehicles to anti-mech shots. Whether it be a meltagun, a lascannon, or even an autocannon... Dreads have to worry a little about those shots in order to continue to serve the Emperor as more than a piece of terrain for guardsman to hide behind. So how do we keep our beloved Dreads from such an ill fate. Luckily for us, we have a few options at hand.

The first option and one of the more obvious is the "Hellfire" pattern. These generally have longer range weapons and swap the DCCW for the missile launcher. Offering some mobile and heavy fire, it can bring some ranged death to the enemy early in the game. Though walkers in general are bulky machines, it is still possible to hide them in a good piece of cover to help protect against those anti-mech shots coming to it. With a few options like the TL-Lascannon, the Plasma cannon, Autocannons, and more... there are a great many ways to kit these ranged variants to fit any need the army may have.

Another option available to us is the Venerable Dreadnoughts. With the new plastic kit, as well as the Forgeworld line up, these dreads not only perform well on the table, but look good while they do it. The venerable rule allows the dread to force any and all penetrating and glancing hits to be rerolled if he chooses. This can really help keep those damaging hits to a minimum, but it's still a risk. There is no guarantee that that 5 won't be another 5, or even a 6. It's not perfect, but it is helpful. Being a Templar player, my venerable may not gain the skills that they vanilla counterparts do, however they do gain veteran skills, which I prefer in the long run as it is. These are great additions to the armies and can serve great as ranged or midfield support. I won't suggest melee combat for them to much as the still only have a maximum of 3 attacks on the charge. Now they can still do very well for themselves there, but it all depends on what you need at that moment.

Now for those of you wishing to get into CC with a dread, this one's for you. The Ironclad Dreadnought brings heavier armor, move through cover, the assault launchers, duel DCCW's a meltagun, and a possible 2 hunter killers with it. These guys are itching to close the gap and smash the enemies of the emperor into the smallest possible bits. They are great for anti-infantry, and superb at anti-mech. However, they need to close the gap as they have limited range with their primary weapons, but when/if they make it... there will be some sad enemies of the Emperor.

So how can we work these variants into the army? Well first of all we can place them on the table and with proper movements they can do well on their own. Using cover, smoke launchers, or using them to draw fire, they always have the option of working well.

We also have the use of Drop Pods to close the gap fast and bring some dread power behind enemy lines. This is the option i must urge for the Ironclad, as it comes in with a multitude of close range shots, and it assault the following turn.

Though big and bulky, their size is still small enough to hide behind the Land Raider. If running one of these, the ability to hide a dreadnought behind the Land Raider, turning it into a pseudo-Stormraven could be a useful tactic.

Remember that 5th brought about the Mech list... and with it the answer for mech. Though Dreadnoughts are not really the first thought of a mech list, they are still vehicles, so treat them with the idea that a lucky shot can end them turn one. Use them cautiously, and they can survive... but they aren't paper weights. They can hold their own in the fires of combat, but do not over extend yourself. Keep them supported, and use them to support like-wise, and you'll being home glorious stories for your battle brothers.

Now of course there are other options like Librarian Dreads, but they have a unique style that even I am not really sure of. Having never really run one, I am not sure there is a "right" way to run them. Feel free to comment on that if you have a way that works for you. And remember, a lot of walkers fall into the same problems as the Dreadnoughts, but they all have the potential to work beautifully for your army.

Hope you all enjoyed the read.



  1. There are few things I like better than a Dreadnought with Tank Hunters. Maybe a Terminator Squad with Tank Hunters and two assault cannons...

  2. There are several things I like better than a dreadnought with Tank 4 Ven Dreads with Plasma Cannons, and Dread CCW's with beavy flamers. Go Go Space Wolves! (oh, and one if front armour 13! :P)