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Plasma in the Stormbolter meta


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#1
Mobius0288

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So before the codex (and primaris), we looked a lot into combi weapons and plasma as a good source for damage. Now with the Codex we've got our stormbolters which pretty much trump the need to take a bolter, and Hellblasters which negate the need to ever take regular plasma weapons as an anti-vehicle source.

 

Do you guys see a place for regular plasma in kill teams? I guess the thought stemmed from the need to force invul saves against armies like Death Guard. Their marines (shooting from the hip, dont hit me too hard) have a 3+/5++/5+++. The other concern is elite infantry of any kind (custodes, etc): multi-wounds, invul saves, etc. The best way to deal with them is to force it as much as possible and sheer number of shots/attacks. Does a stormbolter kill team with a plasma gun or two contribute better to that, but still have decent multi-purpose options?

 

Now maybe there's a different/more efficient way to approach this problem... like adding power axes/mauls to our standard veterans with stormbolters so we could shoot and charge with decent STR and AP options.

 

What do you guys think about regular plasma and/or dealing with elite-ish infantry?


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#2
Lemondish

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These types of elite-ish low-ish wound count infantry with invulns are the perfect targets for mass str 6 shots and mass SIA fire - storm bolters just tend to be the cheapest way to maximize the SIA part. That's largely because they come on units that can be delivered to within rapid fire range very easily, either inside something with mass str 6 shots, or by appearing right next to the target they want to gun down. For every two plasma gun Vets you could (with 2 points) be running three storm bolter ones instead. Three storm bolters with hellfire rounds seem to be just a slight amount less deadly than plasma against the Death Guard example you mentioned above, but they bring an extra body and don't have an (albeit unlikely) chance of blowing up. Once you start adding multi-wounds, plasma may be the go to, but then why not just use Hellblasters who don't have to be as close to make their shots count? 

 

I've always found that the more dice you include higher up the funnel, the better. Since all my SIA fires a lot of shots, and all my Str 6 does too (TAC Razorbacks, Corvus, Frag Cannons), I feel I have enough firepower to drown them in a deluge of white hot xenos hating bolt rounds.

 

But combi-weapons are an enticing option. You have the same killyness against 1 wound models as storm bolters, even with the -1 to hit by firing both. Just don't overcharge, the extra str and damage is worthless here, but you gain the flexibility to use the plasma part against the tougher, multi-wound targets. 

 

You know, I think combi-plasma may be exactly the way to go here if you have the points. I'm a huge fan of combi-melta right now (can't yet share if my experiences live up to the hype), but combi-plasma may actually serve a pretty important role for DW Vets (and may actually be just as good as I hope the melta is, but more flexible). 


Edited by Lemondish, 11 July 2018 - 03:51 PM.


#3
Moostick

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I don't go for combi-plasma anymore; just take some regular plasma guns. Rarely ever want to use both profiles at once, and it generally comes into use only during overwatch.

This is entirely a deepstriking unit, so a VV is great. Term is optional. 2 or 3 plasmas in a unit is enough, supplemented by a team with various SB or SS. It's done more than FCs so far for me. FC is good for mind games and charge deterrence, but its output still isn't worth its cost yet, and people already learned how to deal with it.

#4
Lemondish

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I don't go for combi-plasma anymore; just take some regular plasma guns. Rarely ever want to use both profiles at once, and it generally comes into use only during overwatch.

This is entirely a deepstriking unit, so a VV is great. Term is optional. 2 or 3 plasmas in a unit is enough, supplemented by a team with various SB or SS. It's done more than FCs so far for me. FC is good for mind games and charge deterrence, but its output still isn't worth its cost yet, and people already learned how to deal with it.


Gonna try em anyway. I always like having more shots for the modest price increase of 3 points.
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#5
vigitant

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I don't go for combi-plasma anymore; just take some regular plasma guns. Rarely ever want to use both profiles at once, and it generally comes into use only during overwatch.

This is entirely a deepstriking unit, so a VV is great. Term is optional. 2 or 3 plasmas in a unit is enough, supplemented by a team with various SB or SS. It's done more than FCs so far for me. FC is good for mind games and charge deterrence, but its output still isn't worth its cost yet, and people already learned how to deal with it.

I 100% agree on the frag cannon.  Theyre amazing inside of 8", but it limits them tactically.  I've dropped down to 1 in my forward vet squad.

As for plasma, I prefer the Helblasters for this role.  10 ablative wounds, 15" rapid fire, and -4 ap are all pretty awesome.  the 15" rapid fire especially.  Hell, having a 36" threat once you kill your drop target is super juicy as well.



#6
MadEdric

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.

The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points. 

Six wounds vs twenty wounds, six plasma guns vs 4 plasma incinerators and dual wielded plasma exterminator, plus five bolt rifles shooting SIA. all for 85 more points. No contest there.

 

The only combi-weapon I consider adding is a combi-flamer now, and that is on my Chaplin and Artemis.


Edited by MadEdric, 11 July 2018 - 08:07 PM.


#7
Finkmilkana

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.

While I agree that that combi plasma is not a good idea, it seems you might have miscalculated the vet squads price. 6 combi-plasma vets should only be 192 points (32 per model).
In general, i feel plasma vets with some storm shield SB guys (and possibly a termi/vanguard) are the way to go for deepstrike. More firepower per point than most hellblasters/intercessor mixes and (considering the amount of high ap, Multi damage weapons) not much less durable. Hellblasters only seem to make sense if you want to walk up the board and need the range.

#8
vigitant

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.

While I agree that that combi plasma is not a good idea, it seems you might have miscalculated the vet squads price. 6 combi-plasma vets should only be 192 points (32 per model).
In general, i feel plasma vets with some storm shield SB guys (and possibly a termi/vanguard) are the way to go for deepstrike. More firepower per point than most hellblasters/intercessor mixes and (considering the amount of high ap, Multi damage weapons) not much less durable. Hellblasters only seem to make sense if you want to walk up the board and need the range.

 

Also helps to drop outside of 12" so you dont trigger strategems.  the -4 ap can help avoid lucky dice rolls.  Removing the armor save variable for most things is always good.



#9
MadEdric

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.

While I agree that that combi plasma is not a good idea, it seems you might have miscalculated the vet squads price. 6 combi-plasma vets should only be 192 points (32 per model).
In general, i feel plasma vets with some storm shield SB guys (and possibly a termi/vanguard) are the way to go for deepstrike. More firepower per point than most hellblasters/intercessor mixes and (considering the amount of high ap, Multi damage weapons) not much less durable. Hellblasters only seem to make sense if you want to walk up the board and need the range.

 

The price was for the squad as built, it had 2 power swords and 2 storm shields as well. This is the usual additions I add to most squads to give them a little more durability and punch if charged. I forgot to add that bit in. 

The durability is countered by the larger amount of wounds, and not losing plasma shots when damage is taken. 

This of course was a six man squad (all the spare combi-plasma I had), adding a terminator and boosting the squad up to 10 man would surpass the intercessor squad in points (with no power weapons and 2 storm shields).

Rapidfiring at 12" and using both profiles (3 SB, pistol, 6 combi-plasma) would net around 7 wounds on MEQ.

Rapidfiring at 15" plus 2d3 assault 18" for the inceptor (5 bolt rifle, 4 plasma incinerators, dual plasma exterminators) nets around 8 wounds on a MEQ.

I will grant that the numbers get better for the vets when you add in tactics and a reroll buff from a Watchmaster bumps vets to around 14 wounds, the Intercessors at 12 on a MEQ.

Numbers become more skewed if you overcharge, since the vets will most likely not fire both profiles.

All in all though, this is the great thing about Deathwatch, you have so many options that you can put out so many squad variations that will still be strong. Giving us an advantage on the "Rule of Cool" over most armies.



#10
Lemondish

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.
Six wounds vs twenty wounds, six plasma guns vs 4 plasma incinerators and dual wielded plasma exterminator, plus five bolt rifles shooting SIA. all for 85 more points. No contest there.

The only combi-weapon I consider adding is a combi-flamer now, and that is on my Chaplin and Artemis.


I managed to find some amazing success today with combi-melta delivered via transports, so I'm going to continue playing with that for now, but I definitely see what you're saying with plasma.
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#11
MadEdric

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.
Six wounds vs twenty wounds, six plasma guns vs 4 plasma incinerators and dual wielded plasma exterminator, plus five bolt rifles shooting SIA. all for 85 more points. No contest there.

The only combi-weapon I consider adding is a combi-flamer now, and that is on my Chaplin and Artemis.


I managed to find some amazing success today with combi-melta delivered via transports, so I'm going to continue playing with that for now, but I definitely see what you're saying with plasma.

 

I do have the combi-melta vet from the Cassius Killteam, but man the cost for one combi-melta is steep. I should give some a chance though. Getting a couple melta shots in at the right time could really help.



#12
Lemondish

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I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.
Six wounds vs twenty wounds, six plasma guns vs 4 plasma incinerators and dual wielded plasma exterminator, plus five bolt rifles shooting SIA. all for 85 more points. No contest there.

The only combi-weapon I consider adding is a combi-flamer now, and that is on my Chaplin and Artemis.

I managed to find some amazing success today with combi-melta delivered via transports, so I'm going to continue playing with that for now, but I definitely see what you're saying with plasma.
I do have the combi-melta vet from the Cassius Killteam, but man the cost for one combi-melta is steep. I should give some a chance though. Getting a couple melta shots in at the right time could really help.

The problem I've always had with melta in 8th is delivery, but Veterans definitely have tools to get around that for the most part. They're expensive, certainly, but there aren't many anti tank options that aren't. I wanted to try and stay within the DW list exclusively as a test, so gave them a shot. Since SIA is so awesome, I sprung for the combi instead of just going with just a meltagun. The flexibility of an extra 2 bolter shots for 3 points was worth it with the rerolls factored in.
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#13
Mobius0288

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I really like your guys' thoughts on plasma, its all very similar to my own. I too tried a combi-plasma squad with a watchmaster because I really wanted more shots plus the better wounding potential. You should definitely never overcharge when firing both, it's just not worth blowing up your guys for it... but having the ability to use either at a given time is super important to us. I've been trying to justify how to do it, and maybe sticking a couple in per squad is the best way to go (plasma or combi-plasma). You're going to need those rerolls on the combi-plasma so maybe just stick them in a SB/SS squad and bodyguard a watchmaster. Then we can stick some regular plasma gun dudes in another SS/SB unit and have a Captain follow behind.

 

I see your points on the hellblasters as well.... why waste the effort, just pay the extra points to get the super awesome hellblasters. Deep strike them and its game over for whatever unit you target. I think it just hurts my soul to waste hellblasters on a non-vehicle/monster if there is still a vehicle/monster on the table. The hope was maybe to create another efficient squad so my hellblasters really can go after those targets until dead, and still deal with terminators, death guard marines, etc. I agree largely with the hellblasters and I almost always include them by default.

 

 

 

 

I built a squad of combi-plasma toting vets. I played them one game and they were quickly replaced with an Intercessor squad with Helblasters in it.
The six man vet squad cost me 210 points, the 10 man Intercessor squad (with 4 Hellblasters and 1 Inceptor with plasma) cost 295 points.
Six wounds vs twenty wounds, six plasma guns vs 4 plasma incinerators and dual wielded plasma exterminator, plus five bolt rifles shooting SIA. all for 85 more points. No contest there.

The only combi-weapon I consider adding is a combi-flamer now, and that is on my Chaplin and Artemis.


I managed to find some amazing success today with combi-melta delivered via transports, so I'm going to continue playing with that for now, but I definitely see what you're saying with plasma.

 

 

Ya I've had huge success with combi-melta myself, which is kinda why I didn't include in the initial post. I run 3 combi-melta and 2 regular guys in transport. They double as both a vehicle hunter and a warlord "assassinator" coupled with both the doctrine stratagem and decapitation doctrine, respectively. Anything less then T8 is wiped when I disembark and shoot, except Knights.

 

Combi-flamers are OK. A little underwhelming but still better then the shotgun "flamer" profile. I take one on my Sgt, 3 shotgun guys and a frag cannon. I can advance and shoot with no problems and does decent against charges. I wouldn't really recommend mass combi-flamers simply because you will have less opportunity to shoot both then even a combi-plasma.


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#14
Lemondish

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I really like your guys' thoughts on plasma, its all very similar to my own. I too tried a combi-plasma squad with a watchmaster because I really wanted more shots plus the better wounding potential. You should definitely never overcharge when firing both, it's just not worth blowing up your guys for it... but having the ability to use either at a given time is super important to us. I've been trying to justify how to do it, and maybe sticking a couple in per squad is the best way to go (plasma or combi-plasma). You're going to need those rerolls on the combi-plasma so maybe just stick them in a SB/SS squad and bodyguard a watchmaster. Then we can stick some regular plasma gun dudes in another SS/SB unit and have a Captain follow behind.

 

Exactly - you don't want to (or even gain much of a benefit) when firing both profiles at targets that you need to overcharge on. But when you need weight of fire, they can definitely help. Thanks to the AP, the reduced chance to hit is mitigated by bypassing armour saves entirely for a variety of high model chaff. 4 shots that all wound on 2s is stormbolter territory, but when you need the Plasma to overcharge, you have it available. I think the flexibility is something worth trying out, to be quite honest, but I'm sure the Hellblasters will simply outperform them in most common circumstances. 


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