Is it just me, or have many been turning to Devastator teams in their Heavy support since the Space Wolves codex came out? Yes, Long Fangs are exceptionally nice for what they do, and the capacity to split fire is quite awesome, in which your three units actually threaten six. Looks to stun someone's parking lot quite a bit.
Recently, I have seen some builds even in the regular Marine book that are using Devastators more and more. And, for 150 points- 5 Marines with 4 missiles- that's quite a deal. Mind you, they can not do the split fire, BUT, and people forget this, their sergeant has the signum, which allows for a single BS 5 missile shot per turn. So, three targets per turn, but they have a small buff to BS. So, signa shots totaling three per turn, pretty cool. Outfit them with Razorbacks, and you can get some utility for late-game mobility or some weight of fire for finishing off small infantry squads left.
Devastator teams are easy to understand, and before I finally get to the much-overlooked Predator tank, another common choice for Heavy Support is the Vindicator tank. For 115 points, you get a 13/11/10 tank with the capacity for fire a str 10 ap 2 at 24 inches. Comparatively, I do not find the Vindicator worth much. The way to take it out is simply taking its flanks, then pelting it with missiles/autocannons, even just to stun it, and then it becomes pretty much worthless. Furthermore, 2/3 of the time you will scatter, the deviation going as far as 8 inches in a random direction. Lastly, IF-IF-IF you are playing on a good table...y'know, one that actually has midfield terrain for at least a 5+ cover save for infantry, then its effectiveness goes down. Or...I dunno, bring your own cover, or just sit in a smoked tank. Just gotta watch the center blow off, then you're sitting decent. Could one be using its points for something more effective at anti-infantry and anti-tank? I think so. Devastators, for their range, sustainability, and versatility, easily outclass the Vindicator as as a unit.
The Vindicator could work better if it had better defenses. Change it to a 14/12/10, and then we will talk. People seem to like buying them in triplets. If so, cross fire into side armor, get cake.
Time to move on to the Predator. So...why don't people take them? They certainly are not flashy like the Vindicator or Devastators, but I think it has a wonderful price point. For those that know I was considering a Thunderfire Cannon list, I was spending 300 points on a ridiculously easy to kill unit that only really can do anti-infantry duty, or light anti-tank, say AV 10-11. Oh, and the cannon is AV 10, and dies if it gets glanced OR penned. Don't roll, it just goes. Then the techmarine runs around and jerks off for the rest of the game. Now, let's compare the aforementioned Heavy Support choices to the Predator.
So, it's a tank with 13/11/10, so the same defenses as the Vindicator. For 60 points, it comes with an autocannon on the top. The option I prefer is to take the Heavy Bolter sponsons, which adds on 25 points. So, for 85 points, I have a tank as survivable as the Vindicator, is cheaper, and doesn't run the risk of drifting into allied units or off-target. It also has longer range, 36 and 48 inches respectively, giving it a large effective distance on the field. Before someone states it, yes, the Vindicator can move 6 and fire, but I do not plan for the Predators to move, except for maybe late game, or early, depending on the scenario. So, I get more consistent anti-infantry through all the weapons- 8 shots, more reliable anti-tank since it doesn't depend on blasts, and it works as a late-game blocker for objective holding. For 85 points. So, with all those points being saved, what can I get?
Well, I have been working on this list for a few months now, so 'ere we go:
Librarian- Null Zone, Gateway of Infinity 100
4x 10 Tactical Marines- Meltagun, Combi-Melta, Missile Launcher 740
4x Razorbacks 160
3x Land Speeders- Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta 210
3x Dreadnoughts- 2x Twin-Linked Autocannons 375
3x Predators- Heavy Bolter Sponsons 255
So, all this junk here amounts to 1840, which isn't a bad list for an 1850 event. Question being, 2000 points is my favorite level to play at, so what to do with the 160 left? While it is within my points to convert the Razorbacks into the lascannon/twin-linked plasmagun deal, I think that would make them too obvious a target turn one, when I need the opponent to have his attention dispersed. So, what I think I will do here is add in a Scout Squad, with a heavy bolter, sniper rifles, and camo cloaks. This adds 100 points, leaving me with 60 points to screw around with. Yet, what if I alter this deal to add in Sergeant Telion to the squad? Well, that effectively gives the Scouts Stealth via the FAQ, so add in his 50 points, then I have 25 points to spend. Then I will give the Librarian a combi-melta for a teleport and dive manoeuver, and add a hunter killer missile to one of the Predators that takes a flank.
As far as the list goes and my reasons for taking things, this is pretty much it. Been working on this for quite a while, and I can't wait to get this into action now that I have the advantage of being able to get to the gaming store.