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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stormtroopers revisited, the Imperial Guard Strikes Back?

Blech, can't think of a clever Star Wars themed title, so you're all stuck with the above. In re-reading yesterday's post about IG storm troopers, I realized that I failed to make a key point that I wanted to discuss. Specifically, I wanted to look at the effectiveness of the storm trooper to try and come to an understanding of why they are deemed "bad." Guess blogging while ill isn't the best idea after all.

First let's look at the some of the pros:

  • BS4

  • Real armor...stands up to bolters even :)

  • AP3 weapon

  • Cool special rules for maximum tactical flexibility

  • Pistols, and CCW, and 2 kinds of Grenades, OH MY!

...and some cons:

  • High points costs

  • Short ranged

  • Obvious target

  • Competes with Rambo and Psykers for your Elite attention

  • Can't receive first rank, second rank... order

Well, all of the above should be pretty self-explanatory and I'm not going to insult my readership's intelligence by prattling on at length about that shit. Two problems do, however, merit some tender loving care- high points cost & AP3 weapon. A large portion of the points increase with this unit is due to the AP decrease in the new book. Who cares about AP3? Well mostly marines (all types), but Tau and Tyranids certainly care every once in a while. Anybody else care? Not really, and that's why this unit isn't so great.

In response to yesterday's article Chumbalaya had the following to say

*I enjoyed the chicken littling when the hot-shot lasguns got AP3. Oh noes!! What will we do?! The S3 weapons will kill us all!

Like retarded lemmings, these people.

Retarded lemmings indeed. So here's my two sense on the AP3 issue- it's only good against a portion of the field and is, therefore, not competitive. I have used them against Smurfs in the past and they have pretty much always earned their points back in marine kills. Anybody that doesn't see the value of using these against MEQs is an idiot; they rape face and are actually a pretty good deal. Unfortunately against just about everyone else there is no difference (other than range) between a lasgun and a hot-shot lasgun. Do you think a horde of Orks gives a fuck that you're AP3? Good luck with that.

Basically against non-MEQ foes, you're paying a 300% premium for around 1/3 of the killing power vs an equivalent points value worth of regular guardsman (if I weren't feeling lazy, this is where I would bust out some serious statistical data about wounds caused, etc...). So, in a world where you're not sure who you might be facing, their flexibilty is severly diminished when compared to the whole possible playing field. Not a good deal in light of the fact that, if the adepticon rumors are true, you stand about a 1 in 3 chance of facing an IG army now. In the old days where Marines dominated major events, these guys may have had a place in certain types of builds, if you were to believe in a metagame and were less worried about non-Marine armies. Now I'd rather take a unit that can put out a huge amount of firepower instead. They can deal with masses of lightly armored troops and can still force enough armor saves to kill MEQs.

In an unrelated note, what the hell is up with renaming the weapon? We've gone from hellgun to the more P.C. hot-shot lasgun. Isn't the hot-shot powerpack used in sniper weapons in the world of Danabbnetthammer** 40,000?


*hey chumbalaya, if you can identify the twisted firing of synapses that has led me to choosing this avatar for you I garrrroooonnnnteeeee you will earn my respect. Alas, I fear that you may be to young to be aware of this.....

**Danabbnetthammer 40k's rules are known to frequently differ from the rules Warhammer 40k, physics, common sense, and the established 40k fluff.


Damon said...

It's clear they changed the name of the weapon at the last minute. In the grand GW tradition of poor editing, there's still a reference to the weapon as a "hellgun". (Cookie to the person who finds it first!)

I suspect they did it because people like me have bitched to GW (I did at least twice in written letters, go nerd me) about how the company can live with itself by allowing the same piece of weaponry/wargear to work differently for different armies. The most egregious example is the DH assault cannon vs everybody else's assault cannon, but many more continue to plague noobies unfamiliar with the idea that it's perfectly reasonable for an Ultramarine storm shield to grant a 3++ save while a Dark Angels storm shield grants a 4++ save while a Grey Knights storm shield grants a 4++ save but only in close combat and only against one single model in base contact.

Still, "hot-shot lasgun" is the best they could do? I would refuse to use IG stormtroopers on the basis of their weapon name alone.

The_King_Elessar said...

'Hot-Shot Lasgun' was in fact the original name, when they were introduced into the 2nd Ed IG COdex, so...

Damon said...

You mean they actually *revived* that lame name from the past?!


Double the reason to not use them! :P

I guess ... at least it's not as bad as claiming that the Land Raider was invented by a guy named Land.

Chumbalaya said...

Yep, as TKE said. Hellgun is the newfangled name given out in the 90s when kids wanted to be "XTREEM" and hardcore. Hellgun is super rad because it's about Hell and Hell is metal. :P

Stormies are 3x as effective as normal guardsmen with their super popguns. That said, a full 10 man squad double-tapping will statistically kill 4.44 marines in the open. It's ok, but not when the Stormies cost more than the marines :P With cover as prevalent as it is, they mean even less.

Ignore the AP3 altogether, it's a red herring like the fact that STs have uber grit. It's cool when it works out, but you'll be counting those scenarios on one hand.

The real attraction is having another Chimera and pair of meltas in the army, plus their mission rules. They can either give you a Scouting dual melta squad (12" Scout, 12" move, 2" disembark, 12" max melta range), outflanking dual melta squad, accurate Deep Striking melta squad (with extra Chimera), or the odd infiltrating dual melta squad (with extra Chimera).

Keep the squad at min size and let the anti-MEQ or infantry come from the real deal (Plascutioners, melta, torrent, heavy flamer). It's not bad for only 5 points more than your typical triple melta Vet unit

Big ups to Sandwyrm for giving me a new perspective on them. At first all I had was the suicide drop unit.

I'll have to get back to you on that pic, dethtron, it's not loading up on this PC.

Chumbalaya said...

Ok, no clue on the pic. Enlighten me, damn you!

Dethtron said...

I'm surprised I didn't know that the hot-shot was the original name. Meh, I was mostly playing Warhammer fantasy and battletech in those days.

@chumbawumba- Your analysis of wounds caused is correct, but what I meant to say is that you get more firepower from an equivalent points value worth of guardsmen rather than an equivalent number of troops. the post has been edited to reflect this.

Dethtron said...

@jumbalaya- here's a hint, let's see if you can connect the dots