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Competitive Dreadnought Lists - Analysis & Results


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#1
Loshkins

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Dreadnought Lists - Competitive setting results

 
Edit - added a how to play section. If you disagree or have a better idea, please let me know. Looking to get better and improve.
 
Been trying to make a dreadnought based list work in a competitive setting with mixed results. Games have all been 2k, ITC format. Played everything from, xenos to Imperium. Here are my findings of it, hoping to make it stronger and see what others have found that have run a similar style or looking to try it out. If you haven't, you should because the games are epic.
 
First off - It has been a lot of fun to play, games have always been close and gone to at least Turn 4, I can't stress this enough, it has never been a roll over and I honestly think a version of this can be very competitive for SW. If you haven't given it a shot, I highly recommend you do so, you will not regret it. This has not been an only dreadnought list, a couple other units have been put in there as well for the sake of attempting to be competitive.
 
Unit analysis;
 
Bjorn - Always made his points back, monster in CC, and where he needs to be. Assault cannon is fantastic and the way to go
 
Jump RP - Cheap, great buffs, can jump into small squads to finish them off. Have run him with a plasma pistol but thinking of going with the SB. Either way, auto include.
 
Wulfen dreads with shields - Body guards for Bjorn, they have been fantastic in every game, don't leave home without two of them. Put SB on them, you'll be surprised by the fun little things they take out with them during the course of a game, keep them cheap, reroll charges is fantastic.
 
Wulfen - Biggest disappointment. Tried to run them a variety of ways and they are always a let down. Either overkill a small unit or get shot off the board before they can do much. Amazing on paper, 'meh' at best in reality. Far too easy to zone or screen them out, and they cost way too much to be a throw away unit. Too much of a glass cannon, no opponent with half a brain lets them do much.
 
Murderfang - Surprisingly iffy and I would have to say a disappointment unfortunately. More expensive than wulfen dreads, and more fragile, without that much more killing power. He is a bit like the Wulfen, probably better in smaller games, or as some sort of backline camper but Chap dread does that better. Basically anything he can do, another dread can do better or cheaper.
 
Leviathan - Takes turns being MVP with Bjorn, with double storm cannons and a pair of flamers he deletes units. Make sure to use Keen Senses on him every turn to keep him mobile. He is surprisingly easy to keep out of LoS and very tanky. No one assaults him because of the flamers, and if they do there has always been a CC dread or RP nearby. Because he hits on 2s while moving with the 1CP, and if you keep him with Bjorn, the missiles may be worth it, but max out your SB on everything else first.
 
Mortis Contemptor - Double Kheres, another standout unit. He is the Leviathan light, most people don't focus on him, and he is surprisingly cheap. Don't take the missiles. Keep him moving, he will be hitting on 3+, and with an invul save will pick off smaller to mid sized units, or help finish things off. His flexibility is wonderful.
 
Chaplain Dreadnought - Not as great now that you can't give him Armor of Russ, but still good as a flex unit or backfield objective camper, this is probably his best role. Give him the autocannon and CC weapon. Hard to shift, and contributes to the battle with the autocannon while not needing to be baby sat in fear of enemy deep strikers. I think he would be better in smaller games. Key is that he is a character and can't be targeted.
 
Ven Dread - Don't give them the CC/Shield, wulfen dreads do it better, otherwise same as the Chaplain dread.
 
Redemptor - Hasn't been great, if he moves he hits on 4+, soaks up some damage, but not enough. Doesn't shoot enough either. Surprisingly expensive without really filling a role or being cheap or effective enough for a flex pic.
 
Dread drop pods - Too big, too easy to zone out.
 
Relic Sicaran - Great unit, bit of a bullet magnet but that's ok. Keep it cheap, have found that side sponsons have been a waste of points in every game, throw a SB on there instead for two points and keep it mobile. 8 assault autocannon shots, and 3 HB shots while moving. Great anti-flyer and better than long fangs in every way. Biggest downside is the size of it and no invul, so you really have to work those cover saves with your movement speed. Very fun and strategic to play with it, think of it as a flyer in terms of movement and tactics than a big tank.
 
Stormfang - Solid, but not great. The reason being that a competitive army can take care of at least one flyer in a turn of shooting, and unfortunately that's exactly what happens, so it never really makes its points back or does all that much. Still love it though, and I'd like to use it in a more flyer based list one day.
 
Reivers - meh, tried them as support or disruption, nothing special, leave them at home.
 
General findings;
 
Very susceptible to being outmaneuvered and boxed in, this has been a key issue. It is a late game army, it really starts clawing its way back in later turns. People are scared of it, and know they need to limit its mobility. Extremely durable and hits very hard, both in CC and shooting, at the mid range. Has difficulty dealing with small, mobile chaff units that are the only thing that end up winning it for the opponents, everything else gets killed off. Beyond that, it controls the midfield and goes toe to toe with anything, super fun, super brutal. It is a very elite army, with all the issues that entails.
 
How to play the list & strategy
 
Hug cover, and LoS blocking terrain. Hide your army, its very counter intuitive with something like this, but so true. Move out, and delete one or two units. Control the midfield. Force the enemy to come to you or shuffle things around. Play for the 3rd turn+. You are slowly mobile, its hard to explain, but you hit hard and accurately, but you'll only get there turn 2 or 3, so you need to preserve as much as you can while whittling your opponent down and playing the long game. As much as you want to rush in, don't. Its a mixed, slow assault army. Slow, steady, but then punish any mistakes your enemy makes. That Sicaran, if it survives, is key for movement and capitalizing on mistakes. Try and snip off one or two of those units here and there. If anyone assaults you, even better, you're better than them.
 
You don't have many command points, and don't really need many, but use the ones you have carefully. Keen senses is crucial to use on your Leviathan every turn. Cloaked by the storm is expensive at 3cp, but can be crazy good if you keep your dread ball together. Coupled with Storm Caller and or tempests wrath, you can basically negate a turn of your enemies shooting (this is when that Sicaran can die if exposed). This tends to be turn 2, since turn 1 you've hidden everything anyway.
 
Next step - got a game today and trying something a little crazy, but fills in all the holes and removes the under performers. Adding in a Land Raider Achilles & 9 inceptors for the mobility to drop down turn 2. Removing the Stormfang, wulfen & murderfang. Will also get 1CP out of it. The LRA is to actually take out small chaff units throughout the game hiding out of LOS while being a distraction unit, anything coming close gets 4 MM shots in the face. It will either tank a full turn or two of shooting, or it will slowly remove the chaff units and give me the mobility later in the game. Trying to gain the initiative and mobility back.
 
Anyway, let me know what you guys have found, hopefully get some discussion going.

Edited by Loshkins, 14 March 2019 - 06:14 PM.

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#2
FearPeteySodes

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While i don't agree about wulfen dreads being objectively better than venerables at CC, I do like running these lists. Try throwing Murderfang in a Lucious pod too, great great fun.

 

In regards to venerable or wulfen, I think they operate differently. Venerables are more durable and better at protracted combats having the WS2+. Wulfen are faster and more reliablt for long charges. This is why i preffer Vens to gaurd Bjorn. They can always keep up with him since they'll be advancing while Bjorn should be using his BS2+ in addition to them eating a few more shots as a result of Unyielding Ancient. The WS2+ is also better using cleave attacks. 

 

Wulfen work great for chaff clearing, being a total nightmare for those types of units to deal with. 

 

I would also add that playing with the relic contemptors is a huge tool also. Being able to swap the battlefield role as needed (sort of) and the cost/benefit of that upgrade. I try to make room for a relic mortis pattern whenever i can.

 

(Edited to be a better discussion)


Edited by FearPeteySodes, 14 March 2019 - 03:06 PM.


#3
TiguriusX

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nice report. before our codex dropped i was running SW lists built around the same concept...then started dabbling with a single crusader/gallant knight and i need to find a support group before i remove it from my list. People dont shoot at the dreads as much now...
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#4
Karhedronuk

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Murderfang - Surprisingly iffy and I would have to say a disappointment unfortunately. More expensive than wulfen dreads, and more fragile, without that much more killing power. He is a bit like the Wulfen, probably better in smaller games, or as some sort of backline camper but Chap dread does that better. Basically anything he can do, another dread can do better or cheaper.


Isn't Murderfang a character? If so, screen him behind the Shield Dreads in the same manner as Bjorn.

An Iron Priest with Armour of Russ looks like he might do good work in a list like this. Most of our Dreads are 8 wounds but 130+ points. That is getting them close to 20 points per wound meaning that any repairs the IP does will be quite valuable. Plus a Character with a Hammer, 2+/4++ save, 6" HI and the ability to make a nearby enemy unit strike last is pretty handy.
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#5
CCE1981

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Mortis Contemptor Dreads with twin-lascannons are amazing units. Also to help give your opponent nihhtmares killing your Leviathan add a vanilla librarian with “Might of the Ancients” to give him T9, since it used the “Adeptus Astartes” keyword.

#6
FearPeteySodes

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Knights? Librarians? What is happening here...
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#7
Kasper_Hawser

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Somewhat on this topic, I've been thinking as a change lately, to replace my Long Fangs with as many Dreadnought platforms as I can take with the twin lascannon and Missile launcher set up. Lately my Long Fangs have been dying too easily even against simple AP-1 weapons in cover. I wonder if some of us have used the dreadnought weapons platform with success. I just think at least a Dreadnought won't die to heavy bolter fire. And if I add an Iron Priest, may even prolong survivability.

 

Thoughts?


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#8
NatBrannigan

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Having a good time running Bjorn and 2 shield dreads in my lists, they look fantastic running up the middle of the table and are brutal in combat. Love the frustration on my opponents face as their lascannons etc bounce off the invulnerable saves.

 

I second the Iron Priest as well, easy to protect with his character key word and adding a few wounds here and there is very useful. I also have great luck with his hellfrost pistol for some reason. I'd take a few in a dread list for sure.



#9
FearPeteySodes

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IP on a wolf also has both the number and quality of attacks to keep small/medium squads of Meq/teq away from stuff like a Morris dread.

#10
Cpt.Danjou

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I have used the Wulven dread and Bjorn combo a lot, mostly because of the cost of the ven is around 50 points more. The vens extra durability and its ws +2 is maybe worth its points, but with those extra points I save I can get some extra stuff in my list, and I feel like using ven dreads as Bjorn babysitters are a bit strange. I have yet not tried the relic contemptor as mine is built for close range and cc and I already have enough of that in my list. I like the Leviathan, but can not find where it should fit, against orks and other horde armies I can see its use with the grav flux. but all the range weapons are med range to close range, and I doubt it may get more than one or max two rounds of shooting before it is cc or destroyed. 

The Redemptor has only been a let down for me, it usually has not got a fraction of it's points back or have been destroyed very early in the game, plus somehow when it dies it usually explodes and hurts something close.

I will try out the dorito and mortis one day.

 

Cpt.Danjou



#11
FearPeteySodes

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I have used the Wulven dread and Bjorn combo a lot, mostly because of the cost of the ven is around 50 points more. The vens extra durability and its ws +2 is maybe worth its points, but with those extra points I save I can get some extra stuff in my list, and I feel like using ven dreads as Bjorn babysitters are a bit strange. I have yet not tried the relic contemptor as mine is built for close range and cc and I already have enough of that in my list. I like the Leviathan, but can not find where it should fit, against orks and other horde armies I can see its use with the grav flux. but all the range weapons are med range to close range, and I doubt it may get more than one or max two rounds of shooting before it is cc or destroyed. 

The Redemptor has only been a let down for me, it usually has not got a fraction of it's points back or have been destroyed very early in the game, plus somehow when it dies it usually explodes and hurts something close.

I will try out the dorito and mortis one day.

 

Cpt.Danjou

 

Ven Bodygaurd is for aggro Bjorn, I agree if your aura/gun platforming him its a waste. I just use that chunk like a wrecking ball though since IMO H+Bjorn is best stuck in.

 

Re: The Levi, the shorter range is for sure its weakness but by no means is a crutch. The guy shreds orks like its going out of style, and as mentioned above the twin heavy flamers really enthusiastically discourage charges. I've still mostly ran SCA over the Bombards though so that likely is a big difference.



#12
Loshkins

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I love the Leviathan, deletes units, and surprisingly mobile. Use the Keen senses strat on him for 1CP and his threat range is now that much higher. Absolutely standout unit. I try and dominate mid board so the range is never an issue. The Keen Senses btw is the key to making him work right. 

Can't figure out a way to properly use the doredeo, they're in a really weird spot atm. Feel like 2 sicarans are that much better (and cheaper) if you really needed chaff clearing. 


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#13
Karhedronuk

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I like the Leviathan, but can not find where it should fit, against orks and other horde armies I can see its use with the grav flux. but all the range weapons are med range to close range, and I doubt it may get more than one or max two rounds of shooting before it is cc or destroyed.


Someone ran the numbers and for shooting at hordes, you need 25 or more models in the target unit for the Grav Flux to outperform the Storm Cannon. The storm cannon also has 24" range which means you are more likely to have units in range.

Against vehicles, the extra shots of the Stormcannon mean that the Grav Flux is not that much better than the Storm Cannon either.

Vs T7 with a 3+ save, SCA will average 5.56 wounds while the Grav flux will average 8.33 wounds.
Vs T8 with a 3+ save, SCA will average 3.7 wounds while the Grav flux will average 8.33 wounds.
Vs T8 with a 3+/5++ save, SCA will average 3.7 wounds while the Grav flux will average 5.56 wounds.

If the target has an invulnerable save better than 5++ (Knights with Ion Bulwark or RIS), then the gap closes quickly.

In practice, I would normally run dual Stormcannons on a Leviathan. The extra range is always handy and there are not many targets against which the Grav Flux is a lot better. High Toughness targets with no invulnerable save like Land Raiders are definitely better targets for the Grav Flux but such units don't tend to get fielded competitively very often because they are too easy to delete in a meta that is geared to cope with Knights.
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Sanguinius stood up, stretching his wings to their full extent. He flexed his hands. "I need no blade".
It was as though Sanguinius gleamed with pale light, his face white, eyes becoming blood-red, surrounded by the golden crown of flowing hair. Guilliman had witnessed glimpses of of his brother's wrath before, but had never seen the true Blood Angel unleashed. Sanguinius surged forward on alabaster wings, half a meter from the floor, whiteness streaming from him like flames.


#14
DanPesci

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Love my dreadnoughts, havent ran a SW list since 8th edition where i didnt have 4 on the table.
 
This was my last list (1750):
 

Spoiler

 

 

Really fun list to run, the wolf lord/arjac amongst the dreadnoughts is great, rerolling 1s to hits AND wounds with bjorn/ven means they can be moving and still put out damage with lascannons whilst the long fangs handle lighter threats with plasma - last game bjorn one-shotted 2 dreadnoughts in the first 2 turns. Legend

 

Get an early charge off with the wolf lord, and you then have bjorn and the ven dread aslo rerolling charges when near him.
 
Arjac can alternatively drop in with the TDA.
 
Wulfen can outflank, or just stay on the table (last game i kept my wulfen and long fangs out of LoS and just used them both as a nasty counter charge unit/threat for anything dropping in...worked fine. Agree with the OP through that they are a glass cannon....but with 4 dreads running up the table as well that some fun target saturation (especially if you are playing with a decent amount of cover).

 

Ive been tempted to swap murderfang in for the ven dread, but I like having the extra lascannon in there (as already have enough CC in this list i reckon haha).


Edited by DanPesci, 15 March 2019 - 04:22 PM.

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