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