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Multi-melta over Plasmacannon now?

New Codex Space marine weapon loadout

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#1
Commander Nicky

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Dear All

 

I have stumbled upon the new Codex: Space Marines - Weapons and Wargear Updates and noted that multi-meltas are now heavy 2. It has making me thinking about weather I it would be time to change my devestators' plasmacannons out with multi-meltas instead as I no longer can see the big advanges of useing plasmacannons over multi-meltas... I mean sure, the plasmacannon can potentially make 1 more hit but at the same time can also risk making 1 less hit and with a worse strength and AP value not to mention a FAR WORSE damage output... There is of course the chance of doing more damage with Supercharged but as my marine can get fried up in process I just don't think it make sense to use Plasmacannons over Multi-meltas.

 

Or am I wrong?



#2
9x19 Parabellum

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3 uses for Plasma that I can think of over Melta:

 

1. Range. Do not discount range.  Remember the melta has to be inside that 12" range to really shine, meanwhile a plasma cannon can plink away out to 36".

 

2. Cost.  Plasma cannons are currently 15, I believe, while Multimeltas are 20.  That's not an insignificant cost.

 

3. Necrons. Quantum shielding might make those melta shots useless so having a more appropriate 'death by a thousand cuts' weapon could be better. 

 

4. (possibly).  Damage.  The heavy plasma incinerator for hellblasters is going to damage 2/3 (regular/overcharged). It may be that plasma cannons are doing likewise. 


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#3
Karhedron

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Plasma Cannons are also reportedly getting Blast which means you will be guaranteed 3 shots each when shooting at squads with 6+ models.
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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.

#4
Mandragola

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There's no denying that multi meltas are getting a whole lot better. A second shot and more damage up close are both great news. Heavy Bolters also go to D2, so they clearly have a niche as well.

 

We'll basically have to wait and see what ends up costing the right amount, unfortunately. It does kind of look as if Lascannons and missile launchers will struggle to compete. Plasma Cannons, if they go to base D2 and get blast, will still have a reason to exist. They might even be a perfect tool for killing enemy Gravis.


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#5
9x19 Parabellum

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Lascannons still have Str9 which means everything gets wounded on 3's and they still have 48" range, meaning that until melta's get within 12", they are the same swingy damage as lascannons.  Missile launchers...I'm not sure they have a place though. I guess it depends on what kind of presence LREQ's will have in this new meta.


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#6
Juggernut

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Points cost is one of the most important details, i.e. whether or not they’ll change in the new codex. Current points don’t mean much, for me.

Edited by Juggernut, 15 September 2020 - 12:45 AM.

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#7
Captain Idaho

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Missile launchers will have a place if larger units come back, as they can nuke those and kill tanks too. So that's dependent on Codex releases making them worthwhile.

As for Plasma Cannons... they aren't too bad at killing Marines thanks to AP-3 but the Multi-melta is so good and does the average number of shots, it's a reasonable utility weapon.

Multi-meltas will have to get close to get guaranteed damage but at range they're like Lascannons against Marines.

I think Multi-meltas will be very useful for killing Gravis Armoured troops now though, since within 12" they'll do a whopping D6+2 damage at AP-4 which will kill a Gravis Marine with each wound.
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#8
Claws and Effect

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If plasma cannons get the 2/3 damage upgrade the same as Hellblasters, and get Blast, they will still absolutely be a viable choice. I have a plasma cannon Devastator squad and they almost always at least make their points back every game. 



#9
Lord_Caerolion

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If you're comparing them strictly as anti-tank, then the multi-meltas definitely have an advantage. Where the plasma cannon shines is against elite troops like Custodes or Terminators. Multimeltas are getting two shots, sure, but mostly focus around doing a heap of damage at close range in those two shots. Plasma cannon are designed to hit a bunch of things with their blast, and do a decent amount of damage in each hit. Sure, they can also work as anti-tank, but they're not dedicated to that role like melta is.


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#10
Karhedron

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Flexibility versus specialisation. PCs are still pretty good and their Blast rule means they get as many shots as Heavy Bolters when firing at units of 6+ meaning they aren't too shabby vs hordes either. I hope they go to 2/3 Damage but that might make them a bit too good. 2/3 Damage might be feasible for Heavy Plasma Cannons though and would give a good reason to stick one on a Dreadnought.
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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.

#11
Commander Nicky

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I'm still in doubt. Mostly because the Plasma cannon has not chanced it's damage from 1/2 to 2/3...



#12
Karhedron

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Well the Dreanought Heavy Plasma Cannon has gone to 2/3 Damage but on a move and fire platform, the MM probably is the winner. On the Dev squad, there may be a case for Plasma Cannons as they are more likely to want to park up.

Overall I am thinking that Plasma will be less of an auto-take in this edition. It will need careful consideration against melta in many cases.
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.

#13
Lord Raven 19

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Quantum shielding is now a 5++ and transhuman physiology basically, so that's affecting both equally. No more ignoring damage when you roll lower.


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#14
Mandragola

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For devastators I think grav cannons are the clear choice. In fact I think they're arguably one of the best heavy support options available to marines at the moment.

 

4 shots per guy at S5 ap-3 and D2 against MEQ is just an awesome stat line. Range is now 30". 135 points (including a cherub) for 20 marine killing shots once and 16 afterwards is a really big deal I think. These guys are arguably a great contender if you want a unit to sit on a back field objective. They're great coming out of a pod too, or even just a rhino. They don't actually need the pod to get in range now.

 

It's a bit bizarre that these cost the same as heavy bolters. I was thinking about a heavy bolter dev squad but these are just obviously better. I guess you could argue for taking assault hellblasters instead and doing a kind of similar thing, but those blow themselves up. These guys seem solid to me.


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C+C always welcome on my Titanic Plog. Should really be painting Crimson Fists.

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#15
Karhedron

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Dang, that is a good point. You are rapidly talking me round to Grav Cannons. I may have to play "counts as" with my old metal PCs. smile.png
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.

#16
9x19 Parabellum

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I don't have the old book with me, weren't Grav Cannons heavy 5 previously?


Edited by 9x19 Parabellum, 14 October 2020 - 12:28 PM.

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#17
SkimaskMohawk

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They were 4, with d3 damage. But they also had a strat to reroll damage and to-wound

#18
Mandragola

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Grav cannons are very different. They used to be on 1w models and cost 33ppm. Now they're on 2w models that cost 28ppm, in an edition where supposedly stuff costs more. And D2 is way better than D3 damage. Oh and they gained 6" of range. 

 

So they don't have the reroll strat any more (though rerolls have generally been reduced in this edition), but they're cheaper and tougher. So they're not such a burst unit but instead they're a really solid shooty squad that might not evapourate the first time someone looks at them.


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C+C always welcome on my Titanic Plog. Should really be painting Crimson Fists.

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#19
9x19 Parabellum

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They were 4, with d3 damage. But they also had a strat to reroll damage and to-wound

 

Right. I was thinking of the Grav cannons on Kataphrons.


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#20
Thoridon

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I ran the numbers on the classic heavy weapons for my Tacticals/Devastators and the Multi-Melta really is the standout tank buster in 9th:

 

On the move:

a9Qrhsw.png
 
And then standing still:
qYmWo3e.png

 

I've included different unit sizes of basic infantry to allow for Blast, and capped the typical marine statline at 2 wounds. The next couple at 3W are to reflect things like bladeguard and gravis infantry while the three profiles at the end with higher toughness and xW are intended to be multi-wound tanks, monsters etc.

 

The 'Wounds' values are expected wounds dealt after saving throws and damage is applied (based on average/mean rolls) while points efficiency is simply expected wounds / model points, based on the weapon cost on top of an 18pt marine.

 

It's also based on the basic weapon with no auras/buffs factored in, so some units with stratagems etc. may find certain options get a boost.

 

My main conclusion, as has been touched on, is that 9th doesn;t have the same mix of efficiencies that we had in 8th. Before we had heavy weapons ranging from 8 to 28 points with lots of granularity between them, which resulted in some weapons having higher output but being less efficient due to cost. In 9th that's all changed; Many are 10pts, some are 15 and the Multi-Melta at 20 is only slightly higher. This much tighter gap in weapon costs results in those with the higher output still typically being the most points efficient.

 

The Multi-Melta does shine most within 12" but even at 24" it is still much more efficient than the Plasma Cannon once you're hitting anything with 3+ wounds. The output and points efficiency of the Multi-melta against vehicles/monsters is way ahead given current points costs and it's certainly something I'll be putting on any mobile unit (land speeders, attack bikes, devs popping out of a transport etc.). I can see the points being increased as there's simply no competition in this role. The poor old lascannon pays a premium for the extra range but as a single shot it's far less efficient.

 

The other standout is the Grav Cannon with the 4 shots making it incredibly versatile. It has the shot count to be decent against basic infantry and the damage modifier to still be efficient against tougher targets. It's the perfect marine killer.

 

The poor plasma cannon just seems to be outshone by those two, even with Blast. I simply see no reason to take it versus the grav cannon for an all-round weapon considering the latter has no risk of blowing up, hits harder against most targets and is more points efficient, and it's way behind the Multi-Melta that similarly has no risk. To me it feels backwards - I feel like the plasma cannon should have the highest damage potential given it's the only weapon that implodes, making it a real risk vs reward choice. Right now there's too much risk for the low reward.

 

Oddly the potential role I could see for the plasma cannon is if you expect to face a lot of 1W infantry in squads of 6+ (where Blast would kick in) and you want a squad that can sit still somewhere while firing out to 36", which would make it more efficient than a grav cannon that has to move. Possibly an ideal Sister-slayer? The problems come when you want to overcharge for anything 2W+, as a single hit roll of 1 will completely destroy points efficiency given the cost of the model and weapon you're losing. If you have a Captain to babysit that's then another sunk cost and still no guarantee you won't roll a 1 again.

 

Short version:

Fighting a bunch of Sisters in squads of 6-10 is the main niche I see for the Plasma Cannon if it gets to stay still. Once overcharging for the 2D is required I'd rather have the Grav Cannon (versatility) or the Multi-Melta (vastly higher output and efficiency).


Edited by Thoridon, 14 October 2020 - 12:43 PM.

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#21
Karhedron

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Thanks for sharing such a detailed breakdown with us. The numbers don't lie!
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.

#22
Ishagu

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Grav Cannon Devs are the best option, by far. They are basically superior Heavy Bolter Devs now.
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#23
Medicinal Carrots

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I'll toss my hat in the grav-cannon ring as well. The math seems to say grav or melta are the prime choices, depending on intended target. For melta, you have other units than can do the job as well or better. For grav, it comes down to Devs or Cents, and I think the Devs win that contest.



#24
Mandragola

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This is great info. Thanks Thoridon.

 

So Grav beats plasma and melta is best against vehicles. That's good info.

 

Unfortunately, melta devastators clearly lose out to Eradicators. An Eradicator is only 2 points more than a Devastator with a multimelta. The Eradicator has basically the same gun, except it's assault, and you can add multimeltas to Eradicator squads. T5 and 3W makes the Eradicators (very) roughly twice as durable - obviously depending on what gets shot at them.

 

This leaves Devastators with just one advantage: transports. You could potentially stick your devastators in a Razorback. This can do a little bit of shooting for itself and it stops the devastators from being shot for a bit. However, once they get out they're still far softer than the Eradicators.

 

On the other hand I think Grav devastators' closest competition is from assault hellblasters. Here you get better strength and ap, but worse range, one less shot (devs have 16 and hellblasters 15) and the chance of blowing yourself up. The Devastators are also significantly cheaper, at 130 instead of 165 points for the unit. This is a really tight call I think.

 

One thing both Primaris units have going for them is efficiency in HS slots. You can get 4 multimeltas or grav cannons in a slot with devastators. Hellblasters can have 10 assault plasma incinerators (probably combat squadded) and Eradicators can get 4 melta rifles plus two multimeltas - equivalent to or better than 8 devastator multimeltas. Doing this costs more points of course, but the opportunity cost is lower. As we all try to fit in just three heavy support choices, I think this could be the factor that swings the decision in favour of the Primaris.


C+C always welcome on my Titanic Plog. Should really be painting Crimson Fists.

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#25
Karhedron

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You could flip the argument and say that Devastators benefit from the ability to take ablative bodies. You opponent needs to chew through more wounds before he can get to the tasty heavy weapons.

Personally I prefer to put my melta on faster moving platforms I think. MM Attack bikes look very good and go in Fast attack which is not quite so hotly contested as Heavy. ATVs fulfil the same role but are harder buff due to the lack of CORE.
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.





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