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Standard Dreadnought -vs- Ironclad Dreadnought


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#1
AngryJohnny

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(I hope this is the correct form)

Greeting Brothers,

I'm finalizing my 2500 point C:SM list and I have a decision to make: Do I take a standard Dreadnought or an Ironclad Dreadnought? What I'm looking for is some input on the tactical benefits & drawbacks on both types of Dreadnoughts I'm considering.

Here are the Dreadnought configurations I'm debating:
  • Standard Dreadnought: Multi-Melta & DCCW w/Heavy Flamer + Drop Pod
  • Ironclad Dreadnought: DCCW w/Heavy Flamer & Seismic Hammer w/Melta-Gun + Drop Pod

The purpose of the Dreadnought in my list will be to drop in via Drop Pod within the enemy deployment zone and (hopefully) distract the enemy and/or take out long range anti-armor units while the remainder of my army advances in their transports. My army doesn't have any long range support with the exception of Hunter-Killer missiles on the vehicles and as a result are most vulnerable until they get within range to use their Melta, Flamer, Thunder Hammer & Demolisher weapons.

I know the Ironclad has a higher armor value for his front & side armor, plus the Extra Armor included in the points cost. This combined with the fact that I would still have a Melta-Gun & Heavy Flamer makes me think it's the more effective choice, but I want to be certain & get some opinions from more experienced players.

Thanks in advance.





#2
Deus Ex Ferrum

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It comes down to personal preference on this. Either way, given the general commonality of melta in the current metagame, the Dreadnought is not likely to survive very long. The regular Dread gives you a cheaper option, while the Ironclad at least gives you a slighter higher chance of survival. Now, if you have enough points for a Venerable Dreadnought equipped in the same manner as the standard, you may be in business. The option to reroll those killing shots can keep your Dreadnought alive and well.

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#3
maturin

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Also consider that the standard dread + MM will give you a wider threat range; your pod's scatter can very well take the pod out of the 6" melta range of the ironclad, but will not often scatter out of the 12" range of the MM.

Agree that in today's melta environment both will not live long.

#4
Hellios

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I would take the Ironclad because it will take incoming fire better and if it gets in combat it is a pain for powerfists...

As for the scattering thing... A well deployed drop pod should not have a huge problem with scattering most of the time... First you might hit! WOO HOO... The average scatter is 7... and if you can find a gab in the middle of his forces and impassable terrain you can even reduce your scatter.

Lets say you scatter... you can deploy 2 inches out of the pod and the dread had what? a 2 inch base? with the melta pretty far forward depending on how it is modeled. So lets say an extra 4 inches add that onto the melta bonus range of 6 and you can't scatter over 10 inches from your target if what that bonus... In most cases you won't scatter that far if you actually try and land right next to the target.

#5
Master Melta

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Well, not to be cliche here but it does depend on the rest of your list.

If you are only dropping in a single dread I would always take the Iron Clad. I would also give him a heavy flamer and if you can afford it 2x HKM. AV 13 is golden vs everything non-melta.

The ICD is great at soaking fire, heavy flaming multiple units, and when glanced, anything but a 6 is shrugged off. (5 glance turns to a 3, and you still get 3 S10 Attacks on the charge next turn)

THe regular dread or venerable does have range, and thus more tactical flexibility. I like my dreads/vens to have Las cannons though.

Real Advise: Just because you have a drop podding dread that has to be close to be effective, don't drop them in unsupported if melta is around. IG veterans with Melta will eat this dude BBQ style. If you know it's going to be a sucide unit if you drop it in too close, then set up support/zone of control. The HKM allow more flexibility, but if those won't work, then pop smoke or deploy it behind the pod.

Fun ICD tactics: Drop in the face of DE and melta the nearest vehicle, heavy flaming it and everything else in range as well. Never be afraid of fists, claws, other dreads. If there is no melta, then attack. If there is, then move to support. MC will chew the sarcophogas off any dread to avoid those as well.

Happy Hunting

MM

#6
spartan249

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The Ironclad will be a better disruptor due to the higher armor value, thus the reduced range of weapons that are able to engage it, and will still retain combat efficiency even with a weapon arm blown off. While it doesn't make it invincible, AV13 really ups the ante in terms of the chances of surviving the drop. Regular Dreads really serve best as a stand-off jack of all trades due to the long ranges of the available weapons and the cheapness of the weapon platform.

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#7
maturin

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One more point about melta ranges: it's true you'll most likely be able to get within 6" melta range with the ironclad when you drop. But consider that getting right up to the target may not be the best place for the dread; you might be placing yourself within melta range of nearby troops, or giving another unit a shot at your rear armor (not unlikely if the target castles up).

What the MM allows is for flexibility in your drop deployment - you can place your pod further away from the target(s) and still not worry about scatter. As Hellios points out, you have a lot of wiggle room once the pod drops.

But in the end, it probably doesn't matter all that much. Master Melta says it best: depends on the rest of your list. :)

#8
Master Melta

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The HKM do provide some of that flexibilty. They are expensive but they are also unlimited range allowing conservative deployment if the situation dictates it.

#9
AngryJohnny

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Thanks for the input so far everyone. It's been really helpful. Right now I think I'm leaning more towards the Ironclad. However, I'm now also considering the Venerable after the comments by Deus Ex Ferrum.

Here is the rest of my list. I thought about posting it in the first post, but wasn't sure:

[HQ]
Captain Lysander
Chaplain w/TDA

[TROOPS]
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Multi-Melta - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Multi-Melta - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Multi-Melta - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta

[ELITES]
05 Man Assault Terminator Squad w/4x TH & SS - Sgt. w/TH & SS
05 Man Assault Terminator Squad w/4x TH & SS - Sgt. w/TH & SS

[HEAVY SUPPORT]
Land Raider Redeemer w/Multi-Melta & Hunter-Killer Missile + Extra Armor
Vindicator w/Siege Shield w/Hunter/Killer
Vindicator w/Siege Shield w/Hunter/Killer

[DEDICATED TRANSPORTS]
Land Raider Redeemer w/Multi-Melta & Hunter-Killer Missile + Extra Armor
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
Drop Pod

I have extra points for wiggle room because of the Extra Armor on the Land Raiders & the Hunter-Killers on all of the tanks/transports. So I can easily find the points to go with the Venerable Dreadnought if that makes the most sense with the rest of my list.

The idea is that each TDA squad advances within a Land Raider with one of the IC attached. Both of the Land Raiders will be flanked by the Vindicators during the advance. Meanwhile, the Tactical Squads will break into combat squads with 4 Bolter Marines & the Multi-Melta finding cover and/or holding an objective within my deployment zone. The Tactical Sergeant & the Melta-Gun + 3 Bolter Marines will advance within the TLHB Razorbacks behind the Land Raiders & the Vindicators. The objective of the TDA/Land Raiders & Vindicators is to clear out the enemy resistance & restrict their movement out of their deployment zone while the Tactical Marines & the Razorbacks are tasked with taking the enemy objectives.

This list is for my DIY chapter, so to challenge myself (and to keep it fluffy with my DIY background) there cannot be any Lascannon or Plasma weapons or Librarians included in the list. This is why there are so many Hunter-Killer Missiles included in the list because they are the only form of ranged support my army has while they advance; which is where my Dreadnought comes in to play. I want to drop him within the enemy deployment zone primarily to destroy the unit(s) that present the most resistance to the advance of the rest of the army (ranged anti-armor).





#10
Master Melta

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It's definitally focused. If it fits with your fluff, missile launchers on 1 or 2 of your tactical squads would serve you better if they are in your DZ to provide a touch of lond ranged fire power to cover your advance.

Honestly, your army is quite deadline within 12,18 and 24 inches. Neither dread would add all that much or take away form the focus. I think I would still take the ICD since his armor profile matches the Vindicators and he could, if deployed defensively, guard/escort/support your tactical squads.

MM

#11
AngryJohnny

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It's definitely focused. If it fits with your fluff, missile launchers on 1 or 2 of your tactical squads would serve you better if they are in your DZ to provide a touch of long ranged fire power to cover your advance.

Honestly, your army is quite deadline within 12,18 and 24 inches. Neither dread would add all that much or take away form the focus. I think I would still take the ICD since his armor profile matches the Vindicators and he could, if deployed defensively, guard/escort/support your tactical squads.

MM

I've considered replacing the Multi-Melta weapons with Missile Launchers on the Tactical Squads, but wasn't sure on their effectiveness. I know they're more flexible than the Multi-Melta, but assumed that flexibility would take away from their effectiveness.

I'm not sure what you mean by my "army is quite deadline within 12, 18 & 24 inches". Would you mind explaining that to me? I'm sorry, but I've been painting/collecting for years, but have next to no gaming experience.

Are you suggesting having the dreadnought advance w/the 3 Tactical Squads & their Razorbacks on foot instead of via Drop Pod into the enemy DZ? If so, that's actually what I initially intended but the feedback I got from the Army List Forums was that the Dreadnought needed the Drop Pod as it would be most likely be destroyed before getting to the enemy. Or do you mean keeping the Ironclad within my DZ w/the Heavy Weapons? Also would adding a Deathwind Missile Launcher to the Drop Pod (if I deployed that way) add to the survivability of the Dreadnought in the enemy DZ?

If I do take an Ironclad & deploy w/out the Drop Pod in support of the Tactical Squads, either advancing or within my DZ, would taking the Frag Launchers be of any added benefit, or are they wasted points?





#12
Master Melta

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Deadline should be deadly! Sorry about that.

The dread won't get blown up any faster than a Side AV 11 Vindicator. The Drop pod gives you deployment flexibility. Either drop into the DZ(expecting to lose it early) or Drop it where your tacticals are or where you plan for them to be to give them some muscle. With no las cannons, dreads in your DZ won't do much unless the enemy moves into it's range.

Deathwind are too expensive for me.

#13
AngryJohnny

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@Master Melta: Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it.

So I think I'm just about settled on taking the Ironclad Dreadnought with a Seismic Hammer & Melta-Gun paired with a DCCW & Heavy Flamer + Assault Launchers & Hunter Killer in a Drop Pod. This comes in at 205pts. For 5 points more, I can take Venerable Dreadnought w/Multi-Melta paired with a DCCW & Heavy Flamer in a Drop Pod. I just have a few more questions on the two variations:
  • How much more survivable is the Venerable going to be with because of the venerable upgrade (if at all)? To me it seems like it could help, but what if the re-roll is worse, I think it may be too much of a gamble compared to the AV of the Ironclad? Am I right in this or will it not make much difference?
  • Is taking extra armor on the Venerable worth the points to help save it? Or is the venerable upgrade sufficient?
  • Ironclad Assault launchers cost more than the Hunter-Killer Missile: are they worth the points at all? I think it could be helpful if I'm assaulting a heavy weapons team or being assaulted by a squad with a PF (or equivalent). But for the points I can buy another Hunter-Killer for the Ironclad & put a Combi-Melta on my Chaplain. Which would be the better option here?
  • Can I use the weapons from my Dreadnought (Venerable or Ironclad) the turn it lands from the Drop Pod? Or will I need to wait until the following turn? (THIS could actually be the biggest deciding factor for me.)

I understand that unless I deploy my Dreadnought defensively, it most likely won't survive past the turn it lands, but what I'm really looking for is which one has the best chance of making it past the turn it lands & which one is going to have the biggest impact on disrupting/distracting the enemy for a turn or two?

Thanks again for the advice everyone.

Edited by AngryJohnny, 19 December 2011 - 08:03 PM.






#14
Warp Angel

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I prefer the Ironclad. It is straight up immune to any S6 weapons that don't have rending from the front Arc, and is 360 degrees immune to S4 ("basic") shooting and to krak grenades. I value this more than a 50 percent chance that I'll want to take a 50% chance of getting a better result when someone penetrates the armor with a Ven Dread.

At drop pod deployment ranges, there's no real effective difference in the shooting capability of the Ironclad vs. the Ven either. If you somehow survive more than one turn and aren't in an assault, then the extra range on the multi-melta would be important. Normally, I don't find that to be the case, or I'm bogged down in hand to hand where the Ironclad is superior to the similarly kitted out Venerable.

Defensive deployments might gain you one turn of optimum range shooting when using the Venerable vs. the Ironclad, but that's a trade off with vulnerability because of the weaker front armor.

I field a similarly equipped Ironclad at 1750+ points. I just don't go with the one-shot missiles. I'd rather invest in more firepower elsewhere that might be able to shoot more than once.

#15
maturin

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  • How much more survivable is the Venerable going to be with because of the venerable upgrade (if at all)? To me it seems like it could help, but what if the re-roll is worse, I think it may be too much of a gamble compared to the AV of the Ironclad? Am I right in this or will it not make much difference?
  • Is taking extra armor on the Venerable worth the points to help save it? Or is the venerable upgrade sufficient?
  • Ironclad Assault launchers cost more than the Hunter-Killer Missile: are they worth the points at all? I think it could be helpful if I'm assaulting a heavy weapons team or being assaulted by a squad with a PF (or equivalent). But for the points I can buy another Hunter-Killer for the Ironclad & put a Combi-Melta on my Chaplain. Which would be the better option here?
  • Can I use the weapons from my Dreadnought (Venerable or Ironclad) the turn it lands from the Drop Pod? Or will I need to wait until the following turn? (THIS could actually be the biggest deciding factor for me.)

I understand that unless I deploy my Dreadnought defensively, it most likely won't survive past the turn it lands, but what I'm really looking for is which one has the best chance of making it past the turn it lands & which one is going to have the biggest impact on disrupting/distracting the enemy for a turn or two?


I've never run a venerable, so some of what I'm going to say is theoryhammer, but I have run both ironclads and MM dreads.

1) Keep in mind you don't have to re-roll on the damage table if you don't want. Presumably you will only do so if your opponent gets a "destroyed" or "explodes" result - and your rereoll can't get worse than that. You might do it for immobilized, but the situation will dictate your choice.
2) The above assumes you have extra armor - I think dreads should always have extra armor. Even if you can't shoot, you can threaten to assault. A stunned dread is no threat at all, and easily killed. Getting into CC is a dread's best protection against melta fire. If you choose to skimp and not take EA, then you might be faced with rerolling a "stunned" result, which could end badly.
3) In the few times I've used assault launchers they haven't been worth the significant points investment. But maybe that's because my dread always got melta'd before it got into CC....I've been much more conservative with my regular dread deployment and it's lived longer.
4) You can shoot on the turn you land, but not assault.

More than anything else, your deployment of your dread will determine its odds of survival. Some tips:

A. Remember to assess nearby threats, and ideally keep the pod between them and your dread for a cover save - while still getting range and a clear LOS to your intended target. The pod can also act as an obstacle the other units must detour around, possibly preventing THEM from getting into melta range on their turn. The extended range of a multimelta really helps increase your tactical options here.

B. If lucky enough to survive enemy shooting but facing more on the turn after you drop, seek refuge in CC with suitable infantry squads.

C. When choosing a spot to disembark, keep your weak rear armor well away from threats. Those threats will be able to move 6" or 12" in their own turn before firing - be sure to take that into account when deciding where to point your rear armor.

#16
maturin

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Sorry double post

Edited by maturin, 19 December 2011 - 10:43 PM.


#17
DarkGuard

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For your Tacticals AngryJohnny I'd definitely consider missile launchers, maybe lascannons if you can spare the points. The issue is not the flexibility, it's the range. At 24" you're not going to get much luck with those squads sitting in cover, chances are they won't contribute much to the game at first, and only when the enemy gets near them, which you don't want. If you throw in a missile launcher or lascannon though you double their range, and so they can contribute to the game from turn one. Personally, if you drop the HKMs from the Razorbacks I'd go with lascannons, as like MMs they're good against vehicles. They might not be as good, but with a higher strength and longer range they're perfect for knocking out transports in the opening turn and unlike HKMs have unlimited. Or going for MLs will give you something similar to missile spam.
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#18
AngryJohnny

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Thanks again for the suggestions & discussion on this topic. You all have been very helpful. After a lot of thought & consideration on which dreadnought to choose; I think the Venerable Dreadnought w/Multi-Melta & DCCW w/HF & Extra Armor would suit my list & my intended use the most.

I'm also fairly certain that I'll be replacing the Multi-Metla weapons on the Tactical Squads with Missile Launchers, but I'm still giving this some thought. (I've already paid for the Multi-Melta parts & modeled the marines & to change them to Missile Launchers, I'll have to buy some more bits)

This is now what my list looks like after the suggestions & points that you all gave me:

[HQ] [330pts - 13.20%]
Captain Lysander
Chaplain w/TDA

[TROOPS] [630pts - 25.20%]
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Missile Launcher - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Missile Launcher - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta
10 Man Tactical Squad w/Melta-Gun & Missile Launcher - Sgt. w/Power Fist & Combi-Melta

[ELITES] [590pts - 23.60%]
Venerable Dreadnought w/Multi-Melta & DCCW w/Heavy Flamer + Extra Armor
05 Man Assault Terminator Squad w/4x TH & SS - Sgt. w/TH & SS
05 Man Assault Terminator Squad w/4x TH & SS - Sgt. w/TH & SS

[HEAVY SUPPORT] [500pts - 20.00%]
Land Raider Redeemer w/Multi-Melta
Vindicator w/Siege Shield
Vindicator w/Siege Shield

[DEDICATED TRANSPORTS] [450pts - 18.00%]
Land Raider Redeemer w/Multi-Melta
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
TLHB Razoback w/Dozer Blade & Hunter-Killer Missile
Drop Pod

Total Points - 2500pts

Thanks again for all your help everyone. I really appreciate it.








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