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Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 17:43   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

The dreadnought, it can both be a source of frustration and the source of joy for Marine players. Sporting a modest armor value and the ability as a mobile fire platform proves to be invaluable to Marines, yet it is these positives that can also be it's downfall, since it's armor is indeed weak compared to the likes of a Predator or a Land Raider, and it's mobility is short compared to these same tanks. That is not to say there is not other advantages. Some of these include:
  • The ability to be taken in drop pods.
  • The ability to fire all it's weapons even when moving.
  • The ability to make it's weapons better via veteran skills.
  • The ability to charge units.
  • It's a walker.

There are some notable disadvantages though that do need to be noted.
  • Thin armor (AV12) compared to the other main battle tanks marines can take.
  • Can be locked into combat by weak units.
  • Can get expensive in a hurry, with some configs coming close to 200 pts.

Barring those disadvantages, there are many reasons you would want one in your list, including it's valuable Assault cannon. While it may be tempting to place one in just for the fun of it, one does need to consider the role it will fill, since it can fill multiple roles.

Upgrades

The dreadnought comes with four optional upgrades, Extra Armor, Spotlight, Smoke Launchers, and Drop Pods. While three of these have their uses there is one that should always be left at home; smoke launchers. Why may you ask? While being able to create obscurement may be nice, there is no reason you can't fire any weapons during your shooting phase. Using smoke basically causes the dread to not fire that turn. On the other side the one mandatory upgrade for Dreads is extra armor. As we all know, while not being able to shoot is bad, not being able to move or shoot is worse, especially for a dread. With extra Armor, you can give yourself a 50% chance of not moving when glanced or penetrated by shooting, thus raising your survivability.

Venerable

While this is technically an upgrade, this does need it's own heading as there is some issues that need to be discussed in detail. First off, is the restriction it carries. Being a 0-1 upgrade normally, it is important to decide just who will get it if you field multiple Dreads. I personally save this upgrade for any dread I intend to use to Tank Hunt, as having Tank Hunters opens up some really interesting possibilities. Also the ability to force a re-roll on the damage tables can serve to extend the survivability of a dread. I tend to avoid using Furious Charge, as any dread going into close combat is already S10, and will more than likely go before anything that can actually wound it (With exceptions of course.) Also, when not playing Heed the Wisdom lists, I do place venerability on long range dreads. This is because in CC it will either get no use, or your opponent will get too many damage rolls for it to be effective. This section can be used as more of a points saving suggestion if you happen to play a list with Heed the Wisdom of the Ancients list.

Configurations

Once you have decide what role the dreadnought will fill, you need to decide what configuration will be best for the role and your playstyle. This guide will go into all available configurations to the standard dreadnought, and will give a quick tactica on how best to use them. All dreadnoughts configs will be sorted into one of three categories: Close range, Medium Range, or Long Range. I will also follow this format for listing them:

Dread configuration
Should I make it Venerable:
Should I take a Drop Pod:
Uses:

So without any more wait, here are the configurations.

Close Range (Most Effective within 12"):

Dreadnought with Multi-Melta, Dread Close Combat Weapon, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: Yes With Tank Hunters
Should I take a Drop Pod?: Yes

This configuration is possibility one of the deadliest tank hunters you can take. With the ability to drop behind a tank, this config even makes it's heavy flamer deadly against them, (S5+1 Auto-hit to the rear armor, Yes please!) It can also fair on its own in CC with it's Dread CCW, which again is even more deadly against tanks. Plus the almost mandatory Drop pod makes it so that it brings it's own obscurement, thus raising it's survivability even higher.

Dreadnought with Assault Cannon, Dread Close Combat Weapon, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: No
Should I take a Drop Pod?: Yes

This is the infantry hunting equivalent to the configuration presented above. This set up can be a nasty suprise to Light and Medium infantry, causing wounds that ignore 4+ saves and can then charge the weakened unit. This is especially effective against anything T3, though even T4 has to worry due to the higher strength weapons this config sports.

Dreadnought With Multi-Melta, Missile Launcher, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: Yes With Tank Hunters
Should I take a Drop Pod?: Yes.

This config is kinda weird amongst all the configs. It can be either really deadly or really dead. The Multi-Melta helps pop tanks, a long with the Missile Launcher, but with a lack of a Dread CCW, it can't take a charge as well as the other configs. It may be fun to use it to mix things up, but in a competitive setting I would not use it.

Dreadnought with Twin Linked Lascannon, Dread Close Combat Weapon, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: No
Should I take a Drop Pod?: Yes

By far the worse of the four Close Range configs. While you do have the dread close combat weapon and the heavy flamer. The Lascannon is better suited to being used at range as opposed to close up. Plus the extra points needed to sport this config are better spent elsewhere. Leave this configuration at home.

Mid-Range (Most Effective between 12"-24"):

Dreadnought with Assault Cannon, Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon, Storm Bolter, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: Optional
Should I take a Drop Pod?: Optional

Your base dreadnought configuration. This dread can lay down the most firepower of all the configurations (6 Shots,) can defend itself in the charge, and is basically the swiss army knife of all the configs. Adding venerability and Tank Hunters suddenly gives the dread 4 rending S6+1 shots against a tank, making even Land Raiders stop a second to consider what to do. Dropping this Dread suddenly gives you the option to add a significant fire threat to a weak flank.

Dreadnought With Assault Cannon, Missile Launcher, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: Optional
Should I take a Drop Pod?: No.

This congig does not feature a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon, but it does become the king of transport popping. Once again the 4 rending shots help here, but with the addition of a missile launcher, you can now either lay down a frag missile if you manage to make the occupants disembark, or a krak missile to pop a transport. Tank Hunters can make this easier, but if you need the points I would leave it out.

Dreadnought with Twin Linked Lascannon, Dread Close Combat Weapon, Storm Bolter, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: No
Should I take a Drop Pod?: No

See the listing for Dreadnought with Twin Linked Lascannon, Dread Close Combat Weapon, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor. It is again one of the worse configs you can take.

Long Range(Effective over 24"):

Dreadnought with Twin Linked Lascannon, Missile Launcher, Extra Armor
Should I make it Venerable?: Yes with Tank Hunters
Should I take a Drop Pod?: No

This Dread is the king of long range Tank Popping. Sporting two 48" range weapons. You can really reach out and touch someone. Placement is key though, as you really want this unit to last a while. I suggest placing it within a terrain feature, as you can move without fear of a dangerous terrain test (Being a walker) and can claim the ever valuable obscurement it can provide. Also using it in a battery of two Dreads in this config with a las/plas squad can make an area absolutely deadly to a tank. Plus the infantry can give you obscurement being Size 2.
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 18:39   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Nice Tactica! You covered every configuration too, most of the Dred tacticas I see only cover four. You'd better get Karma for this.

EDIT:Sent it to a few friends via e-mail, this should be helpful to the new marine player.
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I believe so, I get mine at Walgreen's for around $7. Brake Fluid works too (Pine Sol Works on metals, not so well on plastics), but I prefer the spraycanniness of the Easy Off. Spray it (Wear gloves, it's important), let it sit, and take a toothbrush to it later.
so what your saying is that oven cleaner can remove paint from plastic models? and after that, you take a toothbrush to your plastic model, and the paint just comes off?
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 18:58   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

i agree with gearhead very nice list id give you a karma if i could
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 19:19   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowerlife
i agree with gearhead very nice list id give you a karma if i could
He did recieve karma but this kind of posting is unacceptable, this is a forum, please remember to follow it's rules. At least an attempt at proper grammar and posts consisting of more than just one line are a must. If you don't have more to say than "I agree" than don't say it. Instead take the time to comment on the actual content of the article instead of just giving a one liner praise, which while flattering serves no other purpose and is in essence spam.

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Old 08 Jul 2007, 19:32   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead
Nice Tactica! You covered every configuration too, most of the Dred tacticas I see only cover four. You'd better get Karma for this.

EDIT:Sent it to a few friends via e-mail, this should be helpful to the new marine player.
See, that's the same problem I have seen with most tacticas. I wanted to do one that covered all of the configurations, as only two are really useless, the others all have a place either as main line configurations or as a substitute to a config when you need to save points. I'm gonna try and make a second part which will coverthe Heed the Widsom trait in more detail, including complimentry units and actual army lists.
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 21:30   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Good job on the tactica.

I only have one complaint. You say Smoke Launchers is useless and should never be taken. I disagree. While it is a matter of personal preference, it is a useful ability to call upon when you are already shaken. Since you will not be firing anyway, you can still advance and then pop the smoke to prevent much worse than another shaken result. Since you can only then be glanced, your opponent might even not go through the trouble of shooting you again, which frees you up to cause more mayhem.

Again, it is a matter of preference, but it is a rather inexpensive upgrade and I do not feel it should be dismissed out of hand.
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Old 08 Jul 2007, 22:22   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyFoe
Good job on the tactica.

I only have one complaint. You say Smoke Launchers is useless and should never be taken. I disagree. While it is a matter of personal preference, it is a useful ability to call upon when you are already shaken. Since you will not be firing anyway, you can still advance and then pop the smoke to prevent much worse than another shaken result. Since you can only then be glanced, your opponent might even not go through the trouble of shooting you again, which frees you up to cause more mayhem.

Again, it is a matter of preference, but it is a rather inexpensive upgrade and I do not feel it should be dismissed out of hand.
I just find the use of it is limited. In vehicle low lists, I can see the possibility, but even then you should be taking one of the mid range dreads if you intend to run only one or two vehicles. Otherwise any list worth it's salt will be shooting every anti-tank weapon it has at it and even with smoke, the odds are you won't be around past the second turn to use your weapons. I just find them not worth their points outside of transports, as you really should be shooting at anything and everything you can.
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Old 09 Jul 2007, 00:53   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanarin
I just find the use of it is limited. In vehicle low lists, I can see the possibility, but even then you should be taking one of the mid range dreads if you intend to run only one or two vehicles. Otherwise any list worth it's salt will be shooting every anti-tank weapon it has at it and even with smoke, the odds are you won't be around past the second turn to use your weapons. I just find them not worth their points outside of transports, as you really should be shooting at anything and everything you can.
That may be your view but in a tactica it is important to be as impartial as possible and point out the pros and cons of everything. For instance I may think that Veterans are a waste of time but should I write a tactica on the Elites choices of Space Marines I would need to put aside that oppinion and do my best to outline the unit and it's advantages and disadvantages.

For instance on a standard armament Venerable Dreadnaught smokes can be essential. Coupled with the venerable status they keep the Dread alive for the first few turns before it reaches range of it's assault cannon and later range to make use of it's Dreadnaught Close Combat Weapon arm and that's just one use. It's also useful if say your dreadnaught is shaken and you can't fire anyway and need to try and keep the Dread alive to reach cover and stay safe before it can use it's guns again. That's just another example. Smokes are a great thing to take in many cases, not all but many.
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Old 09 Jul 2007, 02:00   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

That's true, I never thought of it that way. That may be due in part from my playstyle though, I tend to either hug terrain (In the case of Mid to Long range Dreads,) or be so close that it would be impratical not to charge a unit, if only to provide some sort of shooting protection. It just always seems as if using smokes really only helps if you aren't within 6" of cover of some sort. I just think the disadvanage of not shooting/assaulting outweighs the advantage of one shot insta-cover in three-quarter of the situations you will see.
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Old 09 Jul 2007, 04:13   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dreadnoughts: A unit with many faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanarin
That's true, I never thought of it that way. That may be due in part from my playstyle though, I tend to either hug terrain (In the case of Mid to Long range Dreads,) or be so close that it would be impratical not to charge a unit, if only to provide some sort of shooting protection. It just always seems as if using smokes really only helps if you aren't within 6" of cover of some sort. I just think the disadvanage of not shooting/assaulting outweighs the advantage of one shot insta-cover in three-quarter of the situations you will see.
Except automatically causing penetrating hits to become glancing hits is better than a 50/50 chance offered by cover and in many games staying completely out of sight is not an option and besides you want the Dread to eventually do something.

Again I'll just note that when writing a tactica (especially a general one like you seemed to be gunning for here) one needs to try and remain neutral and show all the advantages and disadvantages of each unit and option, regardless of what the writer's personal oppinion on each one is. You can of course say you don't like smokes very much but that's best said in a personal oppinion statement after the initial text on the pros/cons of the given item or unit. So if you really want to be helpful to people remember to give them the facts and then the oppinion and try to think outside the box and your own personal perspective.
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