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Obliterators - an overview
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Old 22 Sep 2006, 18:54   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Obliterators - an overview

I'm always curious when I see LatD lists and Undivided lists that do not include obliterators.
Now they are not a de facto choice but generally, in these lists, obliterators shine.

OVERVIEW

Chaos Obliterators are possibly the single most powerful
squad in the entire game. Obliterators have Daemonoic Aura and Daemon Armour.
This gives then armour as tough as a Terminator. However, beware any weapon
with a strength of 8 or greater, and an AP of 2 or less. Also,
unless you are playing Iron Warriors, these expensive units are limited.
We need to use them wisely.

Their greatest disadvantage is that thery get no marks and
cannot be used in the cult armies of slaanesh, khorne, nurgle
and tzeentch without losing your cult benefits.

The ability to morph any weapon you need, when you need it,
is a skill that no other unit has. Their immunity from morale
and pinning tests makes a solid unit that you know will not
fall back and it allows Obliterators to wade into combat with
units that force enemies to fall back automatically, and tie
them up.

Now Obliterators are 'slow and purposeful' so the temptation
is to deepstrike them. I use this option often but if youer oblits
get isolated from your force they will go down quickly.
The 'slow and purposeful' can benefit you. Remember you can move those
extra inches and fire your guns. Also be aware, Chapter aproved FAQ V4.0.1:
"Ignore the reference to Sweeping Advance in the Slow and Purposeful rule.
Slow and Purposeful models make Sweeping Advances just like
any other squad."


They are heavy weapon platforms in the form of a beast with all
the weapons you can ever want. Obliterators as Elites
can take up that valuable slot but they bring so much to the
army in terms of resilience and utility. They're a great
source of tough tank-busting power and can absorb quite a bit
of heat in the return fire times. They can be teleported via deep strike to
help out where needed most.

They mean business in the face of armor with twin-linked meltaguns
and a S10 powerfist to tear open even the hardest of tanks.
Obliterators are a great way to get those lascannons to help
take down tanks. They're tough and solid. I personally deepstrike
mine when possible as a horrible surprises against enemy tanks.
If they have taken a hull down on their tanks so much the better.
No one can argue with meltas and powerfists with their kind of
resilience as they can shake off even a Battle Cannon shell as
easily as a lasgun shot.

WEAPONRY

Lascannon, Autocannon (not the reaper version), missile launcher (frag), heavy bolter, twin-linked plasma guns and power fist.


The Lascannon
- used for long range tank hunting primarily.
- as a AP 2 weapon you can take out characters as well.
The Autocannon + Heavy Bolter
- used against troops ... at longer range use your autocannon and then switch to your heavy bolter.
The Plasmagun
- great for termies, heavy infantry and all meqs. Obliterators are slow and
purposeful so rapid fire away. Note that you overheat on the reroll not the initial roll
if you roll a one first time.
The meltagun
Take out those tanks after deepstriking or go after that
terminator squad. It also will insta-kill many characters.
The flamer
- a great troop killer before assaulting with your PF. But
be careful. You get only a few attacks and can be swarmed easily.
Therefore you should assault in conjuction with another squad or
with multiple Oblits.
The Missile launcher (frag)
- I cannot rememeber ever having used this over another weapon
but at range against hordes it could be useful.

TACTICS

As discussed above Obliterators are primarly used asd fire support.
As such you need to decide how many Obliterators to incllude and
wether you want to deepstrike otr walk them up field. Obliterators
will be targeted quickly. As durable as they are lascannons and
railguns and starcannons can ruin your plans quickly. Screening your Obliterators
is a must. Uutilize terrain, wrecked vehicles, etc, to limit enemy anti-tank gun line of sight to
them or deepstriking them into position to eliminate these threats
first makes good sense tactically.

They really are heavy support and 3 obliterators are the most flexable heavy
weapon squad you could ask for, 3 heavy weapons of your choice each round
and a 2+ armour save, perfect for almost any situation, and if their rushed
they can take out a powerfist for a hard hitting melee.


The all in, one trick poney of the Las Cannon army can win. Loading up on Las
Cannons assumes that your opponent will be playing an army mostly made up of
hard targets like tanks and terminators. If you bring las cannons and not much else,
and your opponent plays a swarm you're in trouble. Or if the mission is less about
scoring Victory Points and more about meeting goals, your in trouble again. That's
what makes Obliterators so nasty. You can use them as a simple las cannon platform
or you can use the Heavy Bolters and Flamers against swarms. You
can deepstrike and hold table quarters.

Ideally, you should use their shooting to cripple enemy transports (their mobility),
as well as take out units that can hurt your daemons and tac squads. Dreadnoughts, tanks,
and skimmers for example, are prime targets. They do not stand alone well. Obliterators
are backup support. You will need H2H specialists with them ( well IW can go almost all shooty -
but it uses raptors to help).

WHICH ARMIES DO I LIKE THEM IN

LatD - An LatD arnyb that uses few traitors and lacks the punch of Russes, Bassies, e4tc., can make good use of Obliterators. Their flexibility to back squads of mutants and their wide chopice of weaponry make them a perfect fit.
IW ( without saying) - Well you can split up three Obliterators into three seperate squads. Thsy alone makes them more viable. They can also be employed in the nine obliterator list of doom. I'm not a fan of this list, btw, as it is generally overkill as IW has many other options for heavy fire support. But even six obliterators can cause major havoc .
Undivided list that uses daemonic squads or cultists - Nothing backs deamons and cultists up better then Obliterators. They can soften up the targets abd eventually join the melee. When you combine good solid H2H or swarms with Obliterators they begin to excell.

All opinions and comments welcomed as usual. I do expect many to disagree and point out that Obliterators are costly and die quickly. This has not been my experience.I find they almost alweays make upo their points and if deployed wisely will last a few turns.

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Old 22 Sep 2006, 19:39   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

Heya,

Obliterators are a wonderful unit; that I agree. They've changed a lot since the re-write of their rules too (for the better, in my opinion) and the models are ace compared to before (twice the size too hah!). When it comes to choosing an elite in Chaos, we have limited options, compared to Space Marines. That's where I see Obliterators.

In Space Marines, we have Dreadnoughts as Elites, Veterans, Tech Marines, etc. In Chaos, we don't really have that. Instead, we have a limited allowance of chosen (all Chaos marines are veterans if we want heh heh), we have Possessed (the opposite of veterans... mutants practically), and then the marking system, which fills elites quickly if we play marks in a way that fills elites instead of other organizational slots. Then we finally have it - the Obliterators. They fill in that slot that Space Marines have, that we lack. The shooting element of the elites. Most of our elites are based around assault power, or retinues. Obliterators are better than Dreadnoughts, way better, and that's what we get. But, they're too good massed up, so we get slapped with the 0-1 for normal armies.

Quote:
Chaos Obliterators are possibly the single most powerful squad in the entire game.
All things considered, I think this is a very big stretch to say something like that. When it comes to shooting, they're flexible, but we pay for that out of our ears. Obliterators are very expensive for their durability. Prior to the FAQ update when we had T5 straight up they were beasts and then yes, they were arguably too good because they were not insta-killed hardly ever. That made them ridiculously good with their saves and weapon load. But after the FAQ and re-print of the codex, that was quickly fixed down to T4(5) allowing them a huge vulnerability boost to the Str8 weapons out there. Namely, it just made Lascannons vs. them way more effective (double so). That was a huge hurt for a lot of players, because prior to that, if you thought Iron Warriors are cheese, you should have experienced what it was like to face non-instakillable 9x Obliterator armies back before the FAQ and reprint. That was literally broken. To the point where GW nerfed it, big time (and rightfully so). Now, I would not say that Obliterators are the single most powerful squad. Now, they're just a couple of wounds with terminator saves, for a big cost increase, with heavy guns that walk slow and deep strike. A minimized squad of marines with a heavy bolter or lascannon compare very much in cost, but are way more durable. Two obliterators are nice, but all it takes is two failed 5+ inv saves against most anti-tank guns, as they typically ignore 2+ saves and there go the obliterators. That hurts. If you play against enemies with Brightlances, Darklances, Lascannons, Railguns, etc, then Obliterators go away fast, unless that player simply never shoots them. Damage output wise, Obliterators are wonderful, but they're not king. A devastator team loaded up on heavy bolters are more effective than obliterators with heavy bolters. A single tank hunting lascannon in a minimal marine squad is more effective than the lascannons of the Obliterators. We can shoot better elseware. The only reason why Obliterators are so good is because we have choice. Choice is the key.

We can't make a poor list choice, no matter who we face, because we always have the right gun for the job.

Most Chaos armies work just fine without Obliterators. But armies like Lost and the Damned benefit immensely from having Obliterator access. That's a huge boost in anti-tank where we lacked it sorely. And in an army like the Damned, Obliterators can take the back row and enjoy comfortable target priority being lower. Deep striking Obliterators can work very well against hiding armored targets, but unless an opponent is using hidden ordnance, you're generally better off with normal deployment.

Quote:
Screening your Obliterators is a must.
I would suggest explaining this more, because written as it is, it's not possible in 4th edition. I assume however that you meant simply hiding them is a must, when it comes to things like the utilization of terrain, wrecked vehicles, etc, to limit enemy anti-tank gun line of sight to them. Just to be clear so that lurkers reading don't think their Obliterators are immune to shooting via screening like they were in 3rd edition (bleh!).

-- Anyhow, good write up. + for that. They're definitely not the retarded-good-unit that they used to be. But they're still a rock solid elite choice for Chaos. I certainly like having access to Obliterators compared to Dreadnoughts as an elite!

That said, I tend to field two of them, in virtually every force of Chaos I use (typically, Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors and Lost and the Damned).

Cheers!
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Old 22 Sep 2006, 20:29   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

Quote:
All things considered, I think this is a very big stretch to say something like that.
Perhaps. But the flexibility of Obliterators really makes them a great unit in the RIGHT list. But overall, I agree although a durable squads of CSM do not seem for the points as good as two or three oblits to me. Apart from the choice of weapons the ability to deepstrike should not be dismissed lightly.

Quote:
I assume however that you meant simply hiding them is a must, when it comes to things like the utilization of terrain, wrecked vehicles, etc, to limit enemy anti-tank gun line of sight to them
Correct. I've got to learn to write these up as well you do. I'll edit that.

Quote:
[Deep striking Obliterators can work very well against hiding armored targets, but unless an opponent is using hidden ordnance, you're generally better off with normal deployment.
I find myself deepstriking them more often then not but again this depends on what you are facing, your army list, and the mission objectives. We will leave this until I'm ready for a more advanced tactica that I can make clear enough for others to understand, lol. I did allude to certain armies though, like Tau, where DSing is quite useful. I would probably DS against any IG as well. It really comes down to threat assessment.


Quote:
That said, I tend to field two of them, in virtually every force of Chaos I use (typically, Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors and Lost and the Damned).
Three of the armies I reference in the overview. One of these days I've got to rebuild my Alpha Legion with the new chaos sprues from FW. Sigh -just need some money and time.

my take on AL
1500 Pts - Alpha Legion

HQ: 439
CHaos Lord Terminator Armour
Master Crafted Lightning Claws
MoCU
Daemonic Mutation
Furious Charge
-- Chosen Retinue
4 Chosen Terminators
Lightning Claws (x4);
MoCU
Furious Charge

Elite: 210
3 Obliterators

Troops: 594
three squads of
18 Chaos Cultists
Chaos Icon
MoCU
Assassins
Cult Champion
Close combat weapon (x1); Plasma Pistol (x1)

10 Daemonettes

Fast Attack: 254
5 Raptors
Bolt Pistol (x3); Close combat weapon (x5); Plasma Pistol (x2); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Hit and Run MoCU Infiltrate
Aspiring Champion
Lightning Claw (x2)

Total : 1497
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Old 22 Sep 2006, 20:50   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

While we're on the subject, my Lady asked me a question that i didn't have a ready answer to. She wanted to have Oblits ride in a Land Raider. Is this possible (with the taking up space as termies) or are they unable to be transported?

Thanks,
Ged
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Old 22 Sep 2006, 22:35   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

No they cannot ride in LCs. Why would you want to? Its not as if they were like assault terminators. Deepstriking them would be much better.
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Old 22 Sep 2006, 23:04   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

Quote:
Originally Posted by GedofParagon
While we're on the subject, my Lady asked me a question that i didn't have a ready answer to. She wanted to have Oblits ride in a Land Raider. Is this possible (with the taking up space as termies) or are they unable to be transported?

Thanks,
Ged
Heya Ged,

I don't believe they can be transported via Land Raider.

"Transport: ... can carry up to X Chaos Space Marines, and Y Chaos Space Marine Terminators..."

Several other units can hitch a ride in the Land Raider, but those that can are all a variation of Chaos Space Marine, or have a transport option which states they may take a Land Raider as a transport (such as Chosen, who do not use CSM terminology but do allow a Land Raider to be dedicated).

Though it would be interesting... maybe not effective, but interesting. Obliteraiders haha.

Cheers!

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Old 23 Sep 2006, 09:17   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

thanks bebe and mal, that's a very informative post and i guess an obiliterator or two would be a great help for me in my alpha legion and you've more or less made my mind up to get some. cheers guys.
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Old 23 Sep 2006, 18:00   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

Quote:
Originally Posted by bebe
No they cannot ride in LCs. Why would you want to? Its not as if they were like assault terminators. Deepstriking them would be much better.
Bebe,

Sasha's been toying with the idea of using the oblits as an alternative retinue for her Daemon Princess, when her 400p termie squad is just a wee bit much. (Just an idea she's playing with for the fun of it.) Her commander would handle CC while the oblits layed waste the way they do best. (I realize that they would not be a true retinue, but she can still join them as an IC is wont to do...)
Thanks for the input Malv, I agree with your logic. Terrible pun though... :P

TTFN,
Ged
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Old 23 Sep 2006, 18:17   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview


Gedo,

Well she can still do that by DSing them as support ... a DP with either flight or speed would work well with Oblits ... no contradictions there at all. How is her DP outfitted? Can the DP use an LR? Or is this a termie lord? BTW, if see my list I intend to use both termies ad oblits and its still under 1500 points. BTW, nice to see your Lady plays 40k. I get some great games in with my wife.
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Old 23 Sep 2006, 18:34   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Obliterators - an overview

The only thing I would add is:

When shooting at troops, you have many weapons at your disposal. It can sometimes be confusing at to which will be the most efficient in a particular set of circumstances. In general, you can follow this quick elimination algorithm to decide which weapon is the most appropriate.

Ask yourself these questions, in order:

Range- Which weapons can hit my target?
A banal question but important nontheless.
Strength- Can I get a 2 Strength advantage over my target's toughness?
A 2 Strength advantage over your target lets you wound on a 2+ which is the best possible case
AP- Can my weapon negate my enemy's armor save?
Getting rid of armor saves greatly increases your chances to wound.
Rate of Fire- How many shots can I fire?[/i]
A greater rate of fire means more chances to hit. If you've satisfied all of the other criteria, you want to select the weapon with the highest rate of fire.

As an example, there's a squad of marines 23 inches away and the obliterators have already moved. Meltaguns and Powerfists can't hit them, so we disregard them. The only weapons left in your inventory that can negate a 3+ armor save are your lascannon and your plasma gun. Both have a 2 Strength advantage. However, your plasma gun is twin-linked and thus has a greater rate of fire.

You can only cause one wound, but you are very likely to hit, you ignore armor saves, and you wound on the easiest possible roll.

Probably the most confusing issue is that of the heavy bolter against the autocannon. Which is more appropriate?

If you are facing T3 4+ models, the heavy bolter is better in all cases. The autocannon is most useful when you are facing T4 models who have a 4+ armor save or worse (not terribly common but include most orks).
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