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Terminators - What are they actually good for?
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 14:23   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Terminators - What are they actually good for?

We all love Terminators, and no one can deny their capacity for tank killing, but beyond the ability to take a couple Assault Cannons into battle, what makes them worth 40 points a piece? How are they best used?

For six Termies with a couple Assault Cannons between them, you could field nearly 20 power armoured Marines!

I know you can easily justify their cost based on the cost of the specific items of wargear they're each armed with. To equip a Captain with the same wargear as a chainfst/storm bolter wielding Termie would cost an additional 60 points on top of the character's base cost! But we're all wary about putting extra points into vulnerable models, such as adding 'Power of the machine spirit' to a Vindicator, excessive wargear to a veteran sergeant, or my own penchant for bolting Heavy Flamers to Multi-Melta toting Land Speeders. So how are Terminators any different? A few unlucky rolls can cost you a couple hundred points, even to lasgun fire!

So how do you use Terminators? Do you catapult them from Land Raider assault ramps? Footslog over open ground? Teleport into the midst of the enemy? How do you make the most of such a huge investment?
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 16:16   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

Terminators are my best friend. Even though I use DHunters, they are the most important part of my force. Why? the ability to DS 30 Termies into terrain, shoot, move, shoot, and then assault within 2 turns anywhere in the board is invaluable. Using Terminators is just plain fun to see the look on your opponents' face when you roll 3 '6's on turn 2 and dump the 50mm bases right in his way. I cannot tell you just how much fun it is.
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 17:16   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

I'm currently using a termie command squad accompanied by a librarian with Fear in my 750 point army to act as a living bomb. The first half of my list is a pretty static shooty bunch who's main goal is to try to hinder my enemies mobility and get them to split up if possible by deploying spread apart and harassing the enemy. Once their mobility is hindered and a unit or two is chasing down my firing base, my termies drop pod into the largest group of enemies and try to do as much damage as possible.

The hope is that the outnumbered termies can disrupt the enemy enough that my firebase manages to survive, stealing the win for me. It can work on high leadership enemies, but it's absolutely brutal against low leaderships.

Oh, and I hate to say this, but the real reason I opted to get five or six Terminators instead of 20 Marines really comes down to how much I hate painting. Less men to glue and paint means more time to strategize and play, which is why I really got into the hobby.

p.s. Another thing, I've found that nothing can quite ruin an opponent's day as turning off the powerfists on occasion. Sometimes it's better to strike first than to strike hardest. And as a side bonus, almost no one sees it coming when you do it, letting you ruin their plans. :P

Also nothing is as annoying to the enemy as turning off your powerfists the turn you charge, to make sure that the enemy survives CC until their assault phase to keep them from shooting the termies. (Admittedly it's a pile of cheese to do, so I only do it when playing competitively).
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 18:56   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

Heh...if you deploy into the mass of the enemy forces via drop pod, simply to cause as much mayhem as possible, you probably really are better off using 20 power armoured Marines! A couple eight man squads will far exceed the Terminator's anti-infantry firepower in that capacity. My brother fears and loathes flamers almost as much as Assault Cannons, so you could put those to good use. Thirty bolter shots will kill pretty much anything below toughness 7. Sixteen power armoured Marines would have greater survivability than six Termies too. I think it's certainly a tactic worth considering because they can do it so much better than their points equivilent of Terminators. But you'd have to actually paint bog-standard troops...and no one likes that.

Good comment about the power fists. I remember this tactic every time I'm writing up my army list in preparation for a battle against Imperial Guard, but then forget about it every game! It's the only reason to take 'Furious charge' with vanilla Termies.
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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 Jul 2006, 19:03   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
So how do you use Terminators? Do you catapult them from Land Raider assault ramps? Footslog over open ground? Teleport into the midst of the enemy? How do you make the most of such a huge investment?
Well Tom, quite a few things.

Just a forenote about Terminators and why they work, but also, why they don't work. Terminators embody the timmy power gamer in us all. Perfect saves. Unsavable weapons. Huge strength. Awesome guns. They have it all. Of course we want them. They even look better than power armor. They are truly just war machines. What's not to like right? Well, game wise, it's a lot different. Terminators can be an unholy terror against someone who has never played against them, or has a balanced force. Terminators can single handedly win a game, because an opponent is frightened by a 2+ save and power fist, and therefore dedicate the game to removing the terminators thinking it's their only hope, while the other 1000+ points of your army just mow his to pieces. Then he complains. Then again, Terminators are a total point sink against someone who's packing plasma (the most flexible imperial weapon) and other guns with AP punch power. Then those Terminators are no better than cover saving grots against those guns. They fail in all aspects of being worth their points, when your 5 to 6 models with their 240~260 point price tag takes a dirt nap. They work, or they don't. Pretty simple. Some armies have more trouble with them than others. Tau can have a fit with Terminators, due to the location and rarity of their ability to field plentiful AP2 weaponry. Terminators can be a problem for a Commander who has no AP2. And while some people say you can eventually kill them through armor saves, it's just as likely that they will never fail a save (to an extent) and that's where the horror-stories come from. Then you have players who take terminators up against Dark Eldar, and are destroyed completely on turn one, if not turn two and wonder why their terminators are so "pathetic" when facing an army with guns like that. Or when Terminators get to fight against Tyranid and eat rending claws and Chaos with rending talons. Mean while, Timmy's terminators munch through Imperial Guard and he thinks he's a mini-god of the table top.

That said, I've used Terminators. From time to time, I still do. However, overall, I'm not a fan of Tactical Dreadnought Armor. Marines are better in assault. Marines are better at shooting. Marines are more mobile for less points.

Regardless, here's what I actually do use Terminators for (when I do that is):

1 - Shooting. Ranged heavy weapons with high strength and punch power that move and shoot. They last longer than a tank does. The cyclone missile launcher is nothing to scoff at and I can move and fire it with these boys, unlike a Dev squad. Plus, they're an Elite. I don't lose a Heavy to walking-missile-launchers.

2 - Fire Magnet. Pretty simple. Lay them down in Deployment. Find out real quick if your opponent is going to fall for a Trap, or destroy everything except the Terminators, and make them look worthless.

I really don't bother with teleportation.
And I really do not bother with Land Raider transportation.

Marines and Assault Marines simply do these tasks far better, for less points, and with more models. The difference in survivability is negligible. A 3+ with 5+ cover, in my eyes, is better than a 2+ with 5+ invulnerable when the difference is 16 models compared to 6. Plasma will kill 6 Terminators just as fast as 6 marines in cover. But plasma cannot kill 16 marines in cover. In assault, I'm going to have more attacks, and outlast against most enemy infantry types than Terminators. I say that though, assuming the players have either (1) power weapon equivalents, (2) power fist equivs, (3) or something else that ignores saves. Terminators will last forever against Guardsmen in assault, but two powerfists will ruin their day in Guard hands even. Marines on the other hand, have enough bodies and attacks and strike fast enough to not even sweat a Guard powerfist so much. That's a big difference.

Anyhow, they're a disruption, a tactical elite "heavy" unit that has mobile heavy weapons and a fire magnet.

And of course, look cool.

Cheers!
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 19:22   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

You know what Mal? I noticed that you had posted on this thread and I immediately went to put the kettle on!

Well, it's as I feared then...Termies just aren't that great. I might try walking them in next time, but that'd mean I'd lose a vital AT weapon and I'd have to find another unit to handle the role.

Cheers, Mal!
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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 Jul 2006, 19:30   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
You know what Mal? I noticed that you had posted on this thread and I immediately went to put the kettle on!

Well, it's as I feared then...Termies just aren't that great. I might try walking them in next time, but that'd mean I'd lose a vital AT weapon and I'd have to find another unit to handle the role.

Cheers, Mal!
It depends what kind of opponent you're facing, big time.

I imagine you play against I.G. a lot, and unless they're bringing tons of lascannons, plasma and meltas to the board, especially if some are on BS4 models, contrary to the standard BS3 of the Guard, then you're terminators are going to perform very well. Not necessarily better than a Marine will, for cost, but the point is they will not perform so rotten that they are a waste. Terminators can be very good in that sense. But again, if your opponent is used to this sort of thing and has 10 plasma guns and about the same number of lascannons, then your Terminators will not be something worth while so much. And if he routinely keeps Rough Riders with lances handy, he can out assault you in a single charge. Let alone two if he has two squads. Terminators are going to dominate him though, if he lacks those things and simply tries to pray to the dice gods for his lasguns to make you roll some 1's. That's the point I was trying to make, more or less.

It's not that they're just not great. It's just they're not necessarily "greater" than a Marine in many ways. The better the stats are, we think the better, but at the cost of less models, it opens a whole new gap in terms of vulnerability. In that sense, they're not great. They're just "elite."

Cheers!
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 21:48   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

I play terminators a lot (deathwing...hello?) And as fragile as they can be under certain circumstances, its more to how you use them. If all you see is a group of guys with good armor and powerfists then of course you are going to lose. But look at them as a mobile weapons platform and suddenly they get a lot better. With the ability to take 2 heavy weapons, move their full movement and still get to use them (can't do that with basic marines) and their ability to always deepstrike (although you do have to be careful about that) they have a lot going for them. yes their 2+ save can be negated by a lot of things and their 5+ invulnerable isn't exactly something to write home about. But the amount of guns that terminators can take and ignore because of their save outways the few that negates it. and besides, who would be stupid enough to basically set their termies up where every enemy model has line of sight...

I admit that there are a few armies that I would rather not see sitting across the table from me. and also those armies do tend to have a significant advantage over my deathwing. But then there is no army in 40k right now that doesn't have a weakness, so I don't really feel to bad about that. More of a challenge if anything.

as to the grey knight termies looking better. I prefer the new plastic termies. besides its really easy to convert the new plastic termies to have heads similar to the grey knight heads.
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 22:35   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

As with any unit it's with how you play and the rest of your army. That is my standing advice on any unit when it comes to Marines. Marines in my opinion are just too flexable to be able to say which are good and bad units. It really does depend on the player and the list. Since I don't see how most people here play that's one reason you never see me comment on a army list for this board.

I like terminators as a rock hard assault unit as they can do damage on the way in with their weapons then do even more close in. They can pretty much take on anything, provided they have proper support. Given the majority of my army consists of assault weapon armied tactical squads I tend to send termies in where normal marines would not last long or to tie up those weapons that would make short work of the tacticals. They mighyt still go down but they usually give the tacticals time to do what they need to do. That however is how I play.

Weither they are worth it or not is up to you. Depending if you feel the need for some heavier armour or if your rather have the massed troops.
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Old 31 Jul 2006, 01:11   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Terminators - What are they actually good for?

I see terminators kinda like I see my Hammerheads. Their big, their mean looking and they can scare the pants off of an opponent and make them do dumb things. Seeing that 2+ armored unit boasting those nasty heavy weapons can cause an opponent to waste an excessive amount of fire on them. They may not end up doing a lot of damage themselves but those lascannons, plasma guns and other weapons wont be targeting other things.

A terminator squad for instance can lay low an enemy tank or bust up a target with assault cannons and encure the enemies attention while at the same time a unit of assault marines slips around the flank and comes charging into the enemies lines full strength. The terminators may be shot up or dead but that 10 man assault squad that would have been shot to ribbons is now cutting a swath through the enemies lines which also holds up their guns for the advance of the rest of the army. Thats just one way Ive seen them used.

They may look utterly mean on paper but one thing to remember is that they arent really that great all around especially not against ap 1 and 2 weapons en mass. However they are a rough, tough looking unit that will draw fire from the rest of your army.

For instance I use the Hammerhead in such a role. It may not get to shoot too much and may blow up but while the HH is rocking around under fire my battlesuits and Firewarriors are being trigger happy cutting the enemy down. By the time the HH does fall or the enemy realizes their mistake its too late and they have lost too many men to now effectively face the rest of my army. Doesnt work all the time but if not well Ive got a powerful battletank that can say helo. Either way somebody is dying. Terminators can be used in the same role.

Im not a fan of DS termies myself. Sure it may be a surprise to the enemy but even lasguns rapid firing can down termies and then of course many enemies (even Tau) will just love having those terminators appear in RF range of their guns. Land Raiders are also not that great. The LR is actually not a very great tank all around, the LRC can be much better and I wouldnt use assault terminators without one.
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