Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dark Angels Analysis - Land Speeder Vengeance

Finally I manage to get away from the Fast Attack section, which appears to be jinxed in that I keep having to go back and correcting mistakes that I've made. So it's now time to move onto an easier, the Heavy Support section. Excellent, the promised land where everything is homogeneous between Marine codecies. Oh, what's this Dark Angels Land Speeder Vengeance? Well, better take a look at it:

The Land Speeder Vengeance is almost 150pts, base. So quite expensive, and it also has the same stats as a normal Land Speeder, armour 10 all round and 2 Hull Points. It's also pretty bare as far as special rules are concerned. It has Deep Strike, obviously, a Heavy Bolter and a Plasma Storm Battery. So this is 90pts more than a normal Land Speeder for the Plasma Storm Battery, and the inability to squadron. Warranting a 90pts increase and then some must make this Plasma Storm Battery pretty good.

Either that, or the unit is overcosted. Your 90pts buy you a Plasma weapon (the clue was in the name), and it has 2 different options as to what it can fire. It's basically a Plasma Gun, same range, strength and AP on both the shots, except that one is Large Blast whilst the other has 3 shots.

Breaking down how many wounds you'll actually be causing, the 3 shot option will generally see 2 hit and 2 wound, meaning 2 kills unless your opponent has an Invulnerable save. The large blast option is a little more difficult to do the maths for, but before you roll for the scatter dice you're probably going to be hitting 4 most of the time. Then you scatter, 2/3rds of the time a scatter will be rolled, average 7 on 2D6, 3” scatter, you'll probably be getting a couple less, maybe 2 or 3, and you'll cause 2 or 3 wounds.

Then you have to take into account the potential for 'gets hot'. There is a 50/50 chance that with the 3 shot option your Land Speeder Vengeance will lose half of its hull points. 1/18 chance that it will kill itself outright.

The prospect of a Large Blast Plasma weapon is scary, and maybe you could get some use out of it through manipulating your opponent to overcompensate for it out of fear. But realistically, it isn't going to cause that much damage, it's fluffy, but the amount that you're paying for it is far too much for what it actually does.

You're quite likely to get the shot off, using the old Trukk trick of, hide, hide, hide, hit! Darting about the cover until you get into range and cause some damage. Alternatively, you could run it alongside a Ravenwing Darkshroud, giving it a pretty good Jink save, but then it's still almost 150pts. Maybe you could also run it in conjunction with other Land Speeder Vengeances, just to increase the threat, but then you're spending more points and more Heavy Support choices on this trick.

To be honest, when run with something that will boost it's cover save, it's not that bad. My only concern is whether or not it will do enough damage to make back its points. Its large blast is scary, but it's not the hardest thing in the world to get a cover or invulnerable save in this edition, and although the Darkshroud is improving its durability, it's still not too difficult to bring down.

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