Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Blog Birthday Chaos Marine Analysis - Havocs

Today has some rather special preamble. After 75 posts and almost 3,600 page views this blog turns 1 year old today. But enough of that, I'll write about that after I've got to the topic at hand, so you don't have to wade through it in order to get to the juicy Chaos Analysis. Today's serving, the last of the Heavy Support choices. Havocs. Now, I said that I'd try and keep these posts shorter, but this one is going to be of longer length, for 2 reasons.

1: I think that the Heavy Support slot is one of the most important slots at the minute. 6th edition is a shooting game, and this is where most of the shooting is, so I need to do it justice in finishing, so prepare for mathhammer and in depth analysis here. 2: It's the blog's birthday, and I want to provide a good contrast between the posts now, and the posts last year. So enough rambling, let's get on with it.

Havocs. How is the unit as a whole outside of the context of the force org slot and army? There were 2 things that immediately caught my eye when looking at this entry. The first was that Havocs can take up to 10 men, the second was that they have a lower base cost per model than a Long Fang. I'll break these down a little more.

There is a little bit of a down side to taking more than 5 Havocs, only 4 models per squad can take heavy weapons, so additional models may not take them. This isn't really such a bad thing. Sure, it's nice to have the guns, and so you're probably never going to max out the squad size, but it's nice to have those ablative wounds. I'm going to be comparing the Havocs to Long Fangs a lot here because it's what I know, and what I do is I put the Long Fang pack leader at the front of my squad, just to absorb the first wound for me so that I don't lose a precious Missile the first time I fail a save. Here, you don't need to do that, meaning that you can bury your Aspiring Champion at the back and keep hold of that Ld9. I don't think that a few points away from 15 is too bad to safeguard your heavy weapons. I'd only take 1 or 2 meatshields though.

So, base, they cost less than a Long Fang, and you aren't forced to give them heavy/special weapons. Although not doing so would probably be silly. Now for just shy of 100pts you could take 5 Havocs with Flamers, and lob them up the field in a transport burning things. But that's a pretty fragile unit, and a waste of a Heavy Support choice when other units can do a similar thing, so I wouldn't take the flamer.

The Heavy Bolter works out as making the Havoc wielding it a few points more expensive than a Long Fang, but this is null and void as I don't really rate the Heavy Bolter. Just a quick breakdown of why. Can it hurt vehicles? Anything more heavily armoured than a Rhino, no. and it still needs 6s to glance those. Can it hurt heavy infantry (power armour)? 3 shots, 2 hit, 1.3 wounds. 0.4 go through. Not great either. Hordes. 3 shots, 2 hit, 1.3 wounds vs Orks, 1.6 wounds against Tyranids/ Heavy Bolter. The remaining 28/29 aren't really going to care.

Meltaguns, suffer from the same problem as the Flamers, same with the Plasma gun, you might as well take advantage of those heavy weapons. Then we have the Lascannon, quite a bit cheaper than the Long Fangs equivalent. And considering that I do use Lascannons on my Long Fangs, I'd honestly say that this choice is worth thinking about for some low AP goodness.

I have skipped over a couple of choices here. These are the two that I think are most interesting. The Autocannon and the Missile Launcher. The Missiles on the Havocs essentially provide the best piece of anti-flyer that Chaos have. I'm not going to mention the Heldrake, as that's for frying backfield shooty units and things like that. The only possible anti-flyer on it is the vector strike and giving up the Baleflamer for a twin linked autocannon and a lower BS and that's not particularly fearsome.

What you're essentially getting with the flakk missile is a single shot autocannon with skyfire. So let's compare on a point for point basis which is better overall, the flakk missile launcher, or the autocannon. So, just as a round number, for roughly the same number of points I can get 4 flakk missile launcher toting Havocs and 6 Autocannon Havocs, with the havocs being a bit cheaper. When I say a bit I mean double figures but not enough to get another Havoc in. I know that the squad size and the number of heavy weapon toting models isn't legal but this is just for mathematical purposes. Anyway, prepare yourself for a huge amount of maths.

Autocannon is up first.

Infantry/Monstrous Creatures:

Vs Termagants: 8 hits, 6.6 wounds, 6.6 killed.

Vs Ork boyz: 8 hits, 6.6 wounds, 6.6 killed.

Vs Sisters of Battle: 8 hits, 6.6 wounds, 2.2 killed.

Vs Space Marines: 8 hits, 6.6 wounds, 2.2 killed.

Vs Plague Marines: 8 hits, 6.6 wounds, 1.46 killed.

Vs Wraithguard: 8 hits, 5.3 wounds, 1.77 killed.

Vs Wraithlords: 8 hits, 1.3 wounds, 0.4 wounds removed.


AV10: 8 hits, 1.3 glancing hits, 4 penetrating hits.

AV11: 8 hits, 1.3 glancing hits, 2.7 penetrating hits.

AV12: 8 hits, 1.3 glancing hits, 1.4 penetrating hits.

AV13: 8 hits, 1.3 glancing hits, 0 penetrating hits.

AV14: 8 hits, 0 glancing hits, 0 penetrating hits.

AV10 flyer: 1.3 hits, 0.11 glancing hits, 0.33 penetrating hits.

AV11 flyer: 1.3 hits, 0.11 glancing hits, 0.22 penetrating hits.

AV12 flyer: 1.3 hits, 0.11 glancing hits, 0.11 penetrating hits.

I told you it'd be quite extensive. Missile Launcher up.

Infantry/Monstrous Creatures

Vs Termagants: Assuming 2 hits per blast due to large nature of squad, 8 hits, 5.3 wounds, 5.3 killed.

Vs Ork boyz: Assuming 2 hits per blast due to large nature of squad, 8 hits, 4 wounds, 4 killed.

Vs Sisters of Battle: Krak Missile, 2.6 hits, 2.2 wounds, 1.83 killed (remember shield of faith).

Vs Space Marines: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 2.2 wounds, 2.2 killed.

Vs Plague Marines: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 2.2 wounds, 1.48 killed.

Vs Wraithguard: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 2.2 wounds, 2.2 killed

Vs Wraithlords: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 1.3 wounds, 1.3 wounds removed.


AV10: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 1.73 penetrating hits.

AV11: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 1.3 penetrating hits.

AV12: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 0.87 penetrating hits.

AV13: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 0.43 penetrating hits.

AV14: Krak Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 0 penetrating hits.

AV10 flyer: Flakk Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 1.3 penetrating hits.

AV11 flyer: Flakk Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 0.87 penetrating hits.

AV12 flyer: Flakk Missiles, 2.6 hits, 0.43 glancing hits, 0.43 penetrating hits.

They are actually quite evenly matched, they each beat each other on stats against each of the variables mentioned an equal number of times. The only slight subjective result being the AV13 ground targets, which I gave to the Autocannon. The Autocannons will remove more hull points but the Missiles are more likely to get penetrating hits. All in all, the Autocannon is more effective up to the points where you reach Marines then the start to balance out and the tougher you get the bigger the lead Missiles get.

So, if you know that you're going against durable troops and vehicles with flyers, take the Missiles. If not go for the Autocannons. But I'm not going to leave that there. The conclusion should not be on a tailoring method for which weapon to take. Both units have their benefits, but of the two, I'd take Autocannons. Yes the Missile Launchers have duality and can hurt anything to some degree but every time you lose when that's quite a lot of points, so you'll want to then add a lot of extra men to the squad to eat bullets.

Plus, if you end up facing an army that maybe you're Missile Launchers are not so effective against, you'll have a lot of points standing around not fulfilling their full potential, whereas if the Autocannons are not fulfilling their potential at least you haven't pumped a huge amount of points into them. You could say that there'll always be something that the Missiles can hurt but that's not the case with Autocannons, but I'd disagree, so long as your opponent's army does not consist solely of AV14, then they can at least do something, however minimal.

I'm going to quickly round this part of the post off, because it's 2:00am, meaning that technically this blog was 1 year old yesterday, but it doesn't matter because this'll show up as posted on the 13th because the blog's clock is messed up. But anyway, the rest of the wargear.

Close combat weapons. No, they aren't going to end up in combat often enough to justify this points cost.

Special Weapons on the Champion. No, they're short ranged and he's not going to get to use them.

Gift of mutation. Fun, but random so from a competitive standpoint those points want to be going into reliable upgrades.

Melta Bombs on the Champion. Never going to use them, no.

Marks: Khorne, no, for the same reasons as the close combat weapons. Tzeentch, no, doesn't really do much for the Havocs. Nurgle, maybe, T5 Havocs are going to be tough to shift. Slaanesh, no, for the same reason as the Khorne Mark, which is odd as they hate each other.

Icons. I wouldn't take them, you don't want to make these squads too expensive.

Veterans of the Long War. Yes, it's really cheap on this squad and it's a good safeguard against running away.

That last bit was quick, but now down to the big question. Are they the best shooty choice in the Heavy Support section. Right now, I'm going to have to say yes, simply because of their low points cost, and they can keep using the same weapon twice in a row, so you don't have an Obliterator moment of, 'oh, if only I had fired a different weapon last turn'. However, that's not to say that Obliterators are bad. At the minute, I'm thinking that if you really want to load out on the shooting go for 1 squad of Havocs with Autocannons, 1 with Missiles with Flakk and 1 squad of Obliterators, pending playtesting.

That's all for the Heavy Support section, which means that now all that is left are the Special Characters and the Elites choices (I say all). So, I'll try and get down to that as soon as possible. Hopefully tomorrow/today. On to the blog reminiscing!

PS. If any of the maths are wrong please notify me, I'm currently brain fried right now and I'd like to look like a guy who can't count for the least possible amount of time. Thanks in advance.

There were a few main reasons for me getting into blogging. One of them was as kind of a trail that I left that I could look back on as I delved into the hobby, with the terrible post titles and the rather egotistical battle reports. This was mainly spurred on by the fact that I had attended my first tournament a couple of months previously.

A year later, I have attended 3 more tournaments, including my first doubles, and am really enjoying them, with my 5th tourney and 2nd Throne of Skulls coming up in January. I'm also partaking in a league now, which is something that I hadn't really considered before, and although we're only 2 games in I'm quite pleased with my performance thus far. All I can say is that without all of the support that this blog has received in the past year, I probably wouldn't have been as motivated to delve as deeply into the hobby as I have done.

So incoming nostalgia, I'd especially like to thank all of the Overlords forumites that created, signed up to, and allowed me to partake in the blogroll. It has really helped this blog to grow and has shown me some more great blogs to read. I would seriously recommend checking them out, I read them all and they all put out fantastic content. You can find them on the right hand side of the page under the title of 'Underlings Blog List' or something along those lines, you may have to scroll up a bit though, I'm approaching 2,500 words in this post right now. Matt from Power Armoured Metal has been a big help in recent weeks too, his blog is on the right hand side of the page at the top. Another quality blog there.

The final point is where do I see this blog going? Now although I do like to talk about myself, and chronicle my journey through the hobby, I'm trying to cut back on that. What I'm planning on doing is just a quick summary of recent happenings at the top of posts when I have something to say, but these will not be the main focus. Instead, the focus of this blog is going to be producing content that you will hopefully find interesting.

A good example of this is the Chaos Analysis series, which is something that everyone in 40k could find useful rather than just being me rambling on about my experience which, I now understand is not very interesting. On a selfish point for this, I actually find it really useful to do these unit breakdowns. It gets me thinking in depth about individual units and how I can see them working on the tabletop, and helps to give me a better grasp on the army. Here's an example; since the Chaos Codex came out, I have played 10 games against it. I have won 8 of them, lost 1 and drawn the remainder. A record I'm quite pleased with. I'm not keeping count, I just remember these things.

Anyway, last thing, I'd also like to thank everyone that reads this blog for their continued motivation and support. Without you reading this, I probably wouldn't still be posting. Thanks again.

1 and a half hours and 2430 words. 2:20am at the time that I finished writing. Still, I have a day off tomorrow.


  1. How have I not read this blog before? Quality analysis there sir, and well done on burying your talking-about-blogging in a proper article too.

  2. Thanks, always nice to hear positive things. I start a new batch of units to analyse today so there should be a new post up this evening.