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How do you use Vindicators?
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 19:10   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default How do you use Vindicators?

I've finished my Mk II Vindicator conversion now. I built it because I loved the way Nicholas Patey's conversion looked and I wanted my own. Before I saw his creation, I always thought this vehicle was hideous...but now I just love what it is; a gun so massive it won't fit in a turret and is instead built into a vehicle with the sole purpose of getting it where it needs to be and lining it up with the target.

Well, now I've got my strength 10 pie-plate chucking death machine ready for the tabletop, how do I actually use it?

I mostly play against Imperial Guard and Eldar and I would like you to take a look at my army list, suggest modifications and, if possible, recommend how the Vindicator may play a part? Bear in mind the vehicle upgrades 'Pintle mounted Storm bolter' and 'Dozer blade' are represented on the models and cannot be changed. My force consists of the following:

HQ 1

Space Marine Captain - Plasma Pistol/Power Weapon
Space Marine Sergeant - Terminator honours/Bolt Pistol/PowerFist
Space Marine Apothecary - Narthecium and Redeuctor
Space Marine Company Champion - Bolt Pistol/Power Sword/Combat Shield
Space Marine - Meltagun
Space Marine - Flamer
2 X Space Marines - Bolt Pistols/Close combat weapons
Transport - Land Raider Prometheus - Extra armour
Special Skill - 'Furious charge'
585 pts

HQ 2

Damocles Command Rhino
60 pts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elites 1

Dreadnought - Assault Cannon/Missile Launcher
Unit upgrade - 'Venerable'
Unit upgrade - 'Tank Hunter'
145 pts

Elites 2

Terminator Sergeant - Storm Bolter/Power Sword
2 X Terminators - Assault Cannons/Powerfists
3 X Terminators - Storm Bolters/Powerfists
Unit upgrade - 'Tank Hunters'
298 pts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Troops 1

Space Marine Sergeant - Bolter
Space Marine - Flamer
4 X Space Marines - Bolt Pistols/Close combat weapons
Transport - Razorback - Extra armour/Smoke Launchers/Dozer Blade/Pintle-Mounted Storm Bolter
189 pts

Troops 2

Space Marine Sergeant - Bolter
7 X Space Marines - Bolt Pistols/Close combat weapons
Transport - Rhino - Extra armour/Smoke Launchers
178 pts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fast attack 1

Land Speeder Tornado - Multi-Melta/Heavy Flamer
75 pts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heavy Support 1

Whirlwind - Vengeance missiles
85 pts

Heavy Support 2

Vindicator - Dozer blade/Extra armour
135 pts

Heavy Support 3

Vulture - Twin-linked Lascannons/Heavy Smart bombs/Assault Cannon

Notes:

I will be using the 'Death from the skies' rules from the Taros Campaign
My regular opponent allows me to upgrade the Heavy Bolter to an Assault Cannon for +15 pts
250 pts


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Army list total: 1997

EDIT - I won't be able to reply to any comments after this evening until Monday because I'm driving down to Torbay for the weekend so see some friends.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 20:26   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Tom,

List:

First of all, I'd recommend you throw smoke launchers on that Vindy to put your list to 2,000 points and give your Vindy a chance on those games when she can't fire--which should be rather common. Remember, just because you can fire each turn from turn one, sometimes, doesn't mean you will. If you take a stunned result and can't fire the following turn, you will want smokes to attempt to survive to see turn three to start the show again.

Use:

Unfortunately, the two armies you've listed are not really armies that are truly afraid of a Vindy. Most of the units you will encounter amongst the two of them, will be killed at the same rate as a Whirlwind template would case, compared to your Vindy. Against the Eldar, you're massive weapon merely glances skimmers. Though you will have a nice advance at shooting the face plates of enemy Leman Russes and other A14 vehicles (assuming you don't scatter and turn your template into a Str5 template). So if you keep that in mind, you'll have to consider a few things. Mainly though, your Vindicator will spend most of it's time acting as a blocking shield for your other vehicles. It rarely will fire in general and you won't see the strength or AP value shine much. It's still a useful vehicle, but it's less and less so against the two armies you've mentioned (where a Predator would outclass it and cost less).

Guard:

The tank will serve more purpose as a decoy, a fire magnet and as an infantry deployment "bully." You can force your opponent, if he plays a smart game that is, to deploy less casually and much more defensively knowing a large template attack is going to come his way. However, with a whirlwind on the board, he's already prepared for this (I assume). The difference is, he will have line of sight typically to your Vindicator which leads to "Stunned" results or worse after just a single glance (let alone a penetrating hit). As a decoy, it will run forward and easily mask your Land Raider (offering a 50% obscurity chance if you will). The tank will be dangerous, so he cannot ignore it (unlike a Whirlwind, he has no choice as he can see your Vindy typically). The vehicle will no doubt come under fire right away. As a fire magnet, it draws away a lot of attention from the lesser vehicular threats--your Rhino, the Razorback. Both of which can ride taxi, behind the Vindy (and not even have to use their smokes first turn, if you can manage the spacing, making them more reliable on turn 2 with smokes intact). Either way, be prepared to not put your Vindy in tight pathways so that when and if she's immobilized or destroyed, she won't prevent other vehicles from passing by. And at that point, she's a wonderful 4+ cover heap for you and your other vehicles (wrecks block line of sight still).

In terms of shooting, your template will be powerful against a tightly packed group of guardsmen, but remember that you scatter and pick the highest after you move. So accuracy is out of the picture. The good news, is that you can shoot past the front lines if you have range, which would be a good idea--bad scatters may lead into more than one squad. When placing that template go for condensed areas; just like your Whirlwind and expect the scatter. But really, your Demolisher Cannon won't cause any more damage than your Whirlwind in general (unless he has Grey Knight allies). So in that sense, you can either plow clump of heavy weapon squads, or you can attempt to frag a vehicle. But typically, you'll spend half the game stunned, if not destroyed, so don't worry too much about causing damage, and worry more about using your Vindy to soak up things for your transporting tanks.

Eldar:

Unfortunately Eldar are good at soaking up the kind of damage that a Vindy puts out. Conceal grants a cover save, which eliminates the potency of your AP value. They're cheap horde models with T3, so your strength is relatively lost there. Against a Wraithlord, you can apply an insant wound if you don't scatter too badly, but you could have done the same with a lascannon. And of course, a big cannon shell like that glancing a Skimmer is a pretty big let down. Eldar can take the damage, or have enough models to not consider it such a big deal. But worse yet, they have lances and haywire grenades just waiting to put your vindy down, not to mention an Avatar or Wraithlord punching in it's front armor with ease. You will be a little less potent against Eldar than even Guard, since the Eldar can pull off the cover saves out in the open, unlike Guard, leaving your Vindy to be back up to the same old tricks: Decoy, Fire Magnet and Deployment Consideration. Maybe he'll be worried about your Vindy, or maybe he'll just make sure his lances can see you on turn one and put her down. I wouldn't expect you to get more than one shot off the whole game, if even that, with your cannon against a competent Eldar player. But that's a good thing--if your Vindy is busted or stunned, it means another vehicle didn't take that shot. So use it like a shield perhaps. If you have a choice on target selection between Guardians or aspects, generally always go for the aspects--they are far less likely to have Conceal (read: pretty much never) and will not have a cover save every time, allowing your precious AP value to do a little work for once. At least until the new codex is released that is!

-- Personally I would take another Whirlwind against the two armies you've described and with the points saved, field a heavy bolter or lascannon elseware. But the Vindy does add a bit more variety and fun to the list, for the few moments you actually get to use it other than stunned/destroyed.

Cheers!
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 21:13   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Well, now I've got my strength 10 pie-plate chucking death machine ready for the tabletop, how do I actually use it?
You quitely drive it up the map. Then slowly let go of the model. Calmly look up at your opponent. Linger a few minutes just looking at his face. And then yell: BOOOOOOM!!!!, and hope he dies of a heart attack. not only can you claim victory but you can also keep his models and whatever cash he had with him at the time.

but in all seriousness: Great tactica, although after years of using the Leman russ Demolisher i dont think i can ever field a Vindicator without sobbing about the good ol days.
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 21:15   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Hey Tom,

I'll be looking at this list from a purely competitive perspective against what I perceive as "normal" IG / Eldar armies; if you want fluffy / fun to play, then most of these points probably won't apply.

Firstly:
[hr]

[size=14pt]~Cutting it down~[/size]

[HQ 1] - Command Squad + Prometheus - This combo is HUGE points. The Prometheus is a beautiful machine, and its heavy bolter goodness will prove very valuable against lowly-armoured Imperial Guard and Eldar troops. However, the Command Squad is far too expensive for what it can do. The Plasma Pistol on the Captain will in all probability be totally unnecessary, and simply adds an extra risk to your Captain. The power fist on the Sergeant is also unnecessary, S8 doesn't make a huge difference from S4 against opponents who are mainly T3, especially when you have furious charge. The Apothecary generally isn't worth it at all; he needs to save 2 guys to truly make his points back, and that can only really come from 2 turns of small arms. However, it would simply be more effective to include an extra 2 marines. The Company Champion is also generally not worth it in this case, expensive power weapons against opponents who are mainly T3, 5+/4+ save - overkill.

Potential points saved - 65 (plasma pistol, power fist, apothecary, champion

[HQ 2] - Damocles Command Rhino - Obviously compulsary if you want to use a Vulture, not much you can strip away here.

[Elites 1] - Dreadnaught - Venerable dreadnaughts in my experience aren't really worth it, but if they work for you, then I'll not try to stop you. However, the choice of Assault Cannon and Missile Launcher is interesting - you ideally need to be within 24'' of a target to do maximum damage. However, at that range they are likely to be able to do maximum damage back.

[Elites 2] - Terminators - No problems here, however I personally wouldn't put tank-hunters on units with assault cannons - they just aren't reliable anti-tank weapons. Those cannons and storm bolters should be mowing down squads of Guard, not hitting that Russ (where the bolters are useless) and you are praying to roll a 6 in your penetration rolls. Meltaguns and tank-hunting lascannons simply do it much better.

Potential points saved - 18 (tank hunters)

[Troops 1] - Razorback Squad - Squad looks ok, however the Razorback is too expensive. As far as I know, WYSIWYG does not apply backwards - if you have an upgrade / wargear represented on a model, you do not have to take it in the game. I would kill the pintle-storm bolter and the dozer blade to thin the points down a little.

Potential points saved - 15 (pintle storm bolter, dozer blade)

[Troops 2] - Rhino Squad - Looks good (why does the sergeant have a bolter though?).

[Fast Attack 1] - Landspeeder - Looks good, although I personally wouldn't go for 2 weapons of such differing capabilities on a single 'speeder.

[Heavy Support 1] - Whirlwind - Perfect.

[Heavy Support 2] - Vindicator - Looks alright, if you can get it into range, it could cause nasty damage to guard / eldar squads. To be honest though, unless your opponent uses loads of troops with 3+ saves or better, a whirlwind is simply much, much more cost effective. Cheaper, longer range, and a S5 AP4 template will kill Guard / Eldar exactly the same as a S10 AP1 template. Mal has already covered this in enough detail.

Potential points saved - 50 (swap with new whirlwind)

[Heavy Support 3] - Vulture - 250 points, ouch. Having never used one of these, I don't really know how they perform. However if you are sure that it is cost effective, go for it. It may actually prove very useful in getting rid of that Crystal Matrix Falcon which hides behind that ruin for the entire game. However, it may also prove very useful at blowing up and dropping you down 250 points.

Total potential points saved by trimming - 148.
[hr]

[size=14pt]~Improving and tweaking~[/size]

First thing I notice is that your troops section is very weak - you have many vehicles, but not many actual marines to support them. I would use those saved points to simply buy more infantry squads. If you could find more ways of trimming down points, just beef up your ordinary marine squads. If you can afford it, I would equip these squads with lascannons - long range, static, heavy tank-busting gear that does not rely on vehicles (which can be destroyed / stunned all to easily) or fluke 6's. Other than those points, your list is pretty much OK.

Let us know how it goes for you.
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 22:28   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elessar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Well, now I've got my strength 10 pie-plate chucking death machine ready for the tabletop, how do I actually use it?
You quitely drive it up the map. Then slowly let go of the model. Calmly look up at your opponent. Linger a few minutes just looking at his face. And then yell: BOOOOOOM!!!!, and hope he dies of a heart attack. not only can you claim victory but you can also keep his models and whatever cash he had with him at the time.
ROFL!

[hr]

Well cheers fellas, you've really gone to town on the advice. Mal, I'm really disappointed now...I'd hoped my precious Vindicator might be more than just a rolling chunk of expensive armour, but if that's how you think I should use it then that's how I shall. However, my brother has just finished painting a new contingent of Grey Knight Terminators, led by a Grand Master...If I get the chance, I'll blow them all up as they teleport in. I know this list is not competetive and you've actually highlighted one or two points I wan't really aware of before but I just wanted to field an army with a splash of all the vehicular colours of the rainbow for a fun and varied game, and I wondered how I might actually put the Vindicator to work in such a list.

Also, I added smoke launchers to the Razorback while I was making the list but I forgot to modify the end total, so it shold be 2000 points exactly now. I'll move those smoke launchers over to the Vindicator.

Charn, I had no idea about the Company Champion and Apothecary...I thought 20 points was great for an additional three power weapon attacks. Well they're gone, and the Plasma Pistol (I'll remodel him with a Bolt Pistol), so there's another 60 points to spend. I'll keep the powerfist though because four strengh 8 attacks is going to give his tank commanders something to think about. >

I know what you're saying about the Venerable upgrade for the Dreadnought, and believe me, I'd rather take a regular joe Lascannon toting Dreadnought, but Revered Brother Vorn (my treasured and fabulously decorated Venerable Dreadnought) has been with me from the very beginning, in every single engagement my Imperial Fists have ever fought under my command. It'd break my heart to leave him at home. :'(

You're wrong about the Terminators though. Assault Cannons are better than Lascannons against all types of armour...especially when you can teleport into that vulnerable rear armour quarter using a Damocles teleport beacon for added reliability.

I know the Razorback is expensive but I can't pretend it doesn't have a Storm Bolter when its right there glaring at my opponent from the cupola mounting. What's more, the dozer blade is huge...to represent stuff on the model and not actually take it is misleading and I shouldn't expect my opponent to have to remember what's what. It's also just had a new paint job I'd like to show off for at least one game. After that I'll replace it with a Rhino and bump the squad back up to eight men.

The Sergeant from second tactical has a bolter because I prefer them to Bolt Pistols and close combat weapons. When he steps out of that Rhino, he won't be able to charge anyway, so I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to rapid fire while I can.

Hehe...you can't ask me to replace the Vindicator; that's the main reason I started this thread! I've just finished my Vindicator and I want to find a use for it. As Mal said, it'll probably just be used for blocking fire, not dishing it out. It's a shame, but I still want to put it out on the table, if only for that wow factor! When I get bored of it, I will replace it with another Whirlwind (I know it makes sense). ^-^

As for the Vulture, you're not wrong. It's never really earnt it's points back in the past. It's never really been much of a threat, despite how much both my opponent and I would make a big deal of it every time it appeared on the table edge. Maybe I've just been unlucky with it? My brother and I joke that the Gunner, "Poon-Tang", can't shoot because he's always smoking a joint or has a pipe feeding the gases from the nose-mounted Assault Cannon straight into his section of the cockpit. I'll give it another go with Smart bombs this time and see if I can make it work. What would you do with those points if it doesn't though? More troops?

Well I'm going to bed now, see you all Monday! ;D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 22:42   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Tom,

Just to note, there was an exception included:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX
(unless he has Grey Knight allies).
The problem is, they arrive turn two at the earliest. So you'd have to save your Vindy to see turn two (ie: hide it, or pop smokes and sit). He's going to throw down the Terminators via Deep Strike most likely, so expecting to see that near your Troops. Vindy will obviously have range on them. But, again, you have to keep her non-stunned so you can shoot.

You can really tear a new one into some allied Knights, or any allied units for that matter that are heavier armored than Guardsmen. But look at the all the variables between them arriving, your vehicle surviving, and being able to still shoot them, even if you are still on the board.

Don't give up hope - It's best to hear the realistic outcome of something in competitive play and then prove the giver wrong after all!

Cheers!
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Old 30 Jun 2006, 23:52   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Charn, I had no idea about the Company Champion and Apothecary...I thought 20 points was great for an additional three power weapon attacks.
Apothecaries are alright when used in shooty HQ squad where you may suffer some "saveable" wounds from small arms fire every turn or so, but in an assault based squad they just don't make their points back. The champion's extra three power weapon attacks are great if you're assaulting Marines and the likes, but against T3 guard - nah, 20 points better spent elsewhere. And yeah, on second thoughts, it would actually be better to stick with the power fist - its only 5 points more than the power weapon, and lets you deal with vehicles and wraithlords that come lumbering your way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
I know what you're saying about the Venerable upgrade for the Dreadnought, and believe me, I'd rather take a regular joe Lascannon toting Dreadnought, but Revered Brother Vorn (my treasured and fabulously decorated Venerable Dreadnought) has been with me from the very beginning, in every single engagement my Imperial Fists have ever fought under my command. It'd break my heart to leave him at home. :'(
Remember that fluffwise, Revered Brother Vorn can be equipped with any set of weapons required for the task before being awoken from stasis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Assault Cannons are better than Lascannons against all types of armour...especially when you can teleport into that vulnerable rear armour quarter using a Damocles teleport beacon for added reliability.
If that what works for yourself, go for it. I generally prefer blasting tanks from afar through the sights of my lascannons, or popping them with meltas. However, does tank hunters on two assault cannons really make that much of a difference when hitting the rear armour of a Russ? A difference worth 18 points?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
Hehe...you can't ask me to replace the Vindicator; that's the main reason I started this thread! I've just finished my Vindicator and I want to find a use for it. As Mal said, it'll probably just be used for blocking fire, not dishing it out. It's a shame, but I still want to put it out on the table, if only for that wow factor! When I get bored of it, I will replace it with another Whirlwind (I know it makes sense). ^-^
Heh, I know what you mean. Your Vindicator looks absolutely -awesome-, so if it pleases you to put it on the field, do it! And as you say, it may come in handy if your opponent decides to drop a Grey Knight Terminator squad on you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
As for the Vulture, you're not wrong.
I wouldn't get rid of it (again, it'll look amazing on the table when it swoops in), but its totally loaded with weapons at the moment. You could give it a tank-hunting role, and just stick with the 2x twin-linked lascannons. There won't be a tank on the table that can hide from it on the turn it appears (and it'll reduce the cost by 105 points). Alternatively, if your opponent uses loads of basic infantry, you could just go for the heavy bombs. I would just stick with the lascannons though, as they are cheaper, and with your Prometheus, Whirlwind and Vindicator, you have enough serious dakka / ordnance templates to deal with 150+ guardsmen :P.

For the points saved there, you might consider getting Terminator Honours and power fists for the assaulty Tactical Squads sergeants (I'm thinking wraithlords here). And any left over points just to beef them up, or buy an extra landspeeder, whatever.

Have fun!
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Old 05 Jul 2006, 10:35   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Well, I used my Vindicator for the first time yesterday. It got to engage a group of Grey Knight Terminators that had just materialized behind it (they were trying to destroy the convoy). It got to fire that big gun once, from point blank range...the template scattered back unto the Vindicator. We joked that Grand Master Arcrite of the Grey Knights shot the shell in the breach with his storm bolter. But I wasn't happy, the Vindicator was out of the fight. Not a great debut. When Grand Master Arcrite made his debut in the previous game he teleported in and destroyed a Rhino with his Storm Bolter then proceeded to murder the Marines that came stumbling out of it without suffering a single wound himself. Why couldn't my Vindicator do anything so glorious?

The Vulture was a success though. It made it's attack run on the first eligible turn and landed an ordnance penetrating hit on the Demolisher with a Heavy Smart Bomb (missed with the Lascannons). Oddly enough, this wasn't sufficient to destroy the vehicle, merely crippling a weapon instead. So in desperation I opened up with the Heavy Bolter and destroyed it! "Diceman" & "Poon-Tang" (the pilot and gunner respectively) then proceeded to fly round the battlefield for the following two turns in celebration! Shame my improved comms don't allow me to re-roll my second strike rolls. They eventually came back though and blew up a Grey Knight Terminator, so they made their points back.

Oh, yeah, the command squad was utterly fearsome! I even had to hold back some of the Prometheus' firepower so they still had something left to charge when the gunfire subsided. The command squad, with supporting fire from the Prometheus, cut through a squad of Grey Knights, twenty conscripts (in cover) and an IG command squad! They lost their commander in the process though so I think perhaps I should have taken the Apothecary after all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 06 Jul 2006, 01:13   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Trouble is, the apothecary can't treat models when he is locked in close combat, so your commander would have died anyway. How did your dread and termies do?
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Old 06 Jul 2006, 06:14   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: How do you use Vindicators?

Bummer about the vindy blowing it's own gun off.

Something that no-one mentioned is giving the Vindicator the Machine Spirit upgrade. Certainly, it's not a cheap upgrade, but the vindicator is about the only vehicle in the Space Marine armory that would really benefit from it's abilities.

So your vehicle gets stunned...shoot anyway! I played against a Necron player who could only get stunned/shake results on my vindy, and it just kept throwing down big templates o'death on the little metal men.

Granted, it does work better on more expensive troops than say eldar and IG, but everybody has to respect that which is the S10 Pie Plate.

You can also use it for board control. You place it as your first heavy, and every time your opponent sets something up, he'll have to consider if it's worth placing it near the Vindy...

Just a few thoughts...I love my Vindy!

D-DS
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