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Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?
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Old 01 Sep 2005, 13:36   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
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Default Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Greetings all,

I was just curious as to what other SM players thought of using drop pods as the theme for an army...

Some background: I started a while back with an all Infantry/walker army and until recently have played against many an assault army(mainly Khorne and 'nids). A few weeks ago, some more buddies of mine started(Tau and Necrons). I got massacred a few times and decided to try pods... Worked wonderfully!

I have a league starting on the weekend and would like to know if pods are worth it in tournaments and leagues...

Please give your thoughts on the matter...

Thanx!
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Old 01 Sep 2005, 14:21   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Drop pods are absolutely viable. I have not played with them much (a few proxy games) or against them at all, but, in the few games I have used them, I have scored crushing victories each time.

I played an 1850 game against my friend's Tau army, destroyed every single model he brought, for the loss of 14 marines and one land speeder.

See, here's what you do.

1) The trait Cleanse and Purify is a must. You don't want heavy weapons, because you're going to be going in close and you're going to want to fire when you disembark. So taking 2 melta/plasma/flamers is good, and taking a heavy weapon that won't fire when you disembark is bad.

2) You want to be able to deep-strike your whole army. You want to take advantage of the fact that your opponent won't know what to do for 2 turns while you have nothing on the board. Also, if you have 8 or more units to deepstrike, you can count on getting around four of them that first reserves roll, which is important. If you cannot bring enough force to bear the first turn you land, your opponent can bring more force to bear on a smaller number of your guys, which is bad.

3) Given the requirement to deepstrike everything, you're going to be reliant on speeders and dreads as your vehicles. Plan them accordingly. I'm not sure speeders are so important, in 1/3rd of games, they won't be able to deepstrike, while the rest of your force will be able to. I've been looking into Heed the Wisdom of the Ancients trait, as a way to bring more dreads for heavy support. As you don't have to cross the field, assault cannons become even more valuable on the dreads, as they're going to be in range immediately.

4) You're going to be up-close, so bring things that work well up-close. A librarian with 'Fear the Darkness' is brutal against some armies. Marine squads should have as many bolters as you can afford, because you're going to be in rapid-fire range, and want to take advantage of that. Against assault-oriented opponents, having a powerfist in every squad is going to be pretty important too, as they're going to be able to assault you.

5) Don't forget that pods, once they hit, are vehicles. They block line-of-sight, they can fire their own weapons, and they force opponents to take Leadership checks to shoot targets further away than the pod. These are all factors that really help the pod army.
They also can land pretty close to opponents without worry of losing them. So, if possible, you want to drop your pods in such a way that they split the opponent's force in two. Your disembarking troops concentrate their rapid-fire on the half of the army they disembark near, and the pods, that block line of sight, prevent the other half of the opponent's army from engaging the newly disembarked.

Here's a couple quick (1850 - US tournament standard) lists.



Traits: Cleanse & Purify, Have Pride in Your Colours

HQ: Episotlary (Fear the Darkness, Bolt Pistol, Fear the Darkness)
Command Squad: Vet Sgt 2/ Powerfist, Bolt Pistol, Apothecary, 2 marines w/ plasma guns, 5 marines w/ bolters
Drop Pod (386 Points total)

Troops:
10 Marines (Vet Sgt w/powerfist, bolt pistol) , 2 flamers, 7 bolters, drop pod (226 points)
10 Marines (Vet Sgt w/powerfist, bolt pistol) , 2 meltaguns, 7 bolters, drop pod (235 points)
10 Marines (Vet Sgt w/powerfist, bolt pistol) , 2 meltaguns, 7 bolters, drop pod (235 points)
10 Marines (Vet Sgt w/powerfist, bolt pistol) , 2 plasmaguns, 7 bolters, drop pod (235 points)

Elites:
Dreadnaught; Extra Armour, Drop Pod (140)
Venerable Dreadnaught; Extra Armour, Tank Hunter, Drop Pod (170)

Fast Attack:
Land Speeder (Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter) (80)
Land Speeder (Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter) (80)
Land Speeder (Multimelta) (65)

Total: 1852 (Might cut one of the flamers or make the flamer and plasma marine squads 1plasma,1flamer each.
7 pods, 3 deep strike speeders

Dropping Dreads List (1850):

Traits: Traits: Cleanse & Purify, Heed the Wisdom of the Ancients, Have Pride in Your Colours, Eye to Eye

HQ: Epistolary (Bolt Pistol, Fear the Darkness, Terminator Honours)
Command Squad (Vet Sgt w/ Power fist, bolt pistol, apothecary, 3 marines (2 w/ plasma guns))

Troops:
Tac Squad: 8 marines (vet sgt w/ powerfist, 2 plasmaguns), droppod (205)
Tac Squad: 8 marines (vet sgt w/ powerfist, 2 meltaguns), droppod (205)
Tac Squad: 8 marines (vet sgt w/ powerfist, 2 meltaguns), droppod (205)

Elites:
Venerable Dread, tank hunter, extra armour, drop pod (170)
Venerable Dread, tank hunter, extra armour, drop pod (170)
Venerable Dread, tank hunter, extra armour, drop pod (170)

Heavy Support:
Dread, drop pod (140)
Dread, drop pod (140)
Dread, drop pod (140)

Total: 1856 (again, will have to tweak just a bit...), 10 pods.





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Old 01 Sep 2005, 14:37   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Thanx man! That really puts them firmly in my favourites! Esspecially the vehicle part, I was a bit confused about that... ???

Will have to work on the army a bit though... not enough pods yet... :P

One more thing though on the note of becoming vehicles: would their dimensions be about the size of a large blast marker, slightly larger or smaller?
__________________
Why, laddie why?
Those Firewarriors are soooooo not in range!
Buggerit, Millenium Hand and Shrimp!
I'l g've ya sich 'n' kickin'!! Bigjobs!!
Surprise! Oh damn, there goes more termies off the edge...
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Old 01 Sep 2005, 14:45   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

We were using blank CDs to proxy them, as someone on another board suggested that would be about the right size, when we were playtesting them.

There is a rumour that there may be a plastic pod kit available by christmas...

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Old 01 Sep 2005, 15:06   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Yesssss precioussss, we likessss, yessssss! ;D

Thanx alot man, you've been a great help!!!
__________________
Why, laddie why?
Those Firewarriors are soooooo not in range!
Buggerit, Millenium Hand and Shrimp!
I'l g've ya sich 'n' kickin'!! Bigjobs!!
Surprise! Oh damn, there goes more termies off the edge...
ArchGerbil is offline  
Old 04 Sep 2005, 11:46   #6 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard
5) Don't forget that pods, once they hit, are vehicles. They block line-of-sight, they can fire their own weapons, and they force opponents to take Leadership checks to shoot targets further away than the pod.* *These are all factors that really help the pod army.
They also can land pretty close to opponents without worry of losing them.* So, if possible, you want to drop your pods in such a way that they split the opponent's force in two.* Your disembarking troops concentrate their rapid-fire on the half of the army they disembark near, and the pods, that block line of sight, prevent the other half of the opponent's army from engaging the newly disembarked.

They are vehicles, but they only force Leadership checks when the shooter wants to hit a further away *vehicle*. Squads and vehicles can always be picked out as different targets, relative to each other. A Land Raider six inches away won't stop a Fire Warrior squad from choosing to shoot at Scouts twelve inches away.

Also, why does the Epistolary have the "Fear the Darkness" power twice? He can only ever use one power a turn, so it does him no good to have such a thing.

A note of warning: Drop Pods have an accurate deepstrike, but they still can't land within an inch of the enemy or they go kaboom, pod and all. This can be rectified by dropping closely in front of the enemy force, but it's a dancgerous risk trying to cut the enemy in half, particular if it's an enemy with numbers on their side (IG, Orc, horde-of-the-week, etc.)

A last note: Drop Pods can be used in Standard missions with no trouble; in non-Standard mission, however, they "can only be used with opponent's consent". Not sure how often that will come into play, but keep it in mind. Annoy too many people with a drop pod force and they might start playing a strange assortment of oddities!

The Drop Pod army isnt a bad idea, but it might get looked at askance mostly for the Chapter Traits: choosing all the beneficial traits and choosing "drawbacks" that don't even affect your army tends to get some large frowns. In a tournament, I'd expect some rather ugly scores on force composition from that alone.

Just playing Devil's Advocate here. Cheers, and good luck!

>
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Old 04 Sep 2005, 13:03   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Quote:
The Drop Pod army isnt a bad idea, but it might get looked at askance mostly for the Chapter Traits: choosing all the beneficial traits and choosing "drawbacks" that don't even affect your army tends to get some large frowns. In a tournament, I'd expect some rather ugly scores on force composition from that alone.
Well, he could prob. come up with some convincing fluff. For instance, the Chapter doesnt have a homeworld, but a giant space station. Thus, they are trained to land quickly in pods, bringing death fast. Becuase of this, they obviously have no use for bikes and landspeeders, cuase the troops arrive right in the midst of the battle, and dont need to send speedy vehicles forward. Or that the Chapter prefers to hit hard and fast using pods, and charges wildly right when landing, so doens't use stealth. Right there is convincing fluff. Also, it won't be frowned upon. Chapter traits don't really give you an advantage or disadvantage; they just make your army more suited to your style of play (I love fluff though, so I base my traits of my fluff). Honestly, you expect the guy to make a drop pod army using the Die Standing trait or make a fast attack army using the Eye to eye disadvantage along with other advantages? Heck no. The whole point is to select a disadvantage that won't effect you becuase it's opposite of your play (well, not supposed to..but it was meant). It would be even more unrealistic that a drop pod army can't use dreadnoughts and advanced equipment when dreads would be the only vehicle a drop pod army would use! And especially going to my fast attack example; what kind of fast attack army is limited in bikes and landspeeders??? A Chapter Master won't say :Sorry, I want the Xenos to have a fair fight with us, it would be cheap to use our full power."

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Old 04 Sep 2005, 13:18   #8 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

*chuckle*

As the whole point of "Die Standing" removes Drop Pods, I don't even think it needs comment. Do you?

Almost all Marine armies are trained to land quickly and swiftly; the only observation in this case is about the choice of Traits unbalanced by effective drawbacks of any kind. The traits aren't about what is "in-character" for the army; it's about what is courteous and fair to the guy you'll be playing across the table.

Whether the Trait system choices are frowned upon really is a local choice, and depends on what the players in the local area deem fair. If everyone plays Space Marines after all, it's hardly going to be taken the wrong way.

Fluff can be designed for every army in existance, even a certain army of 6 Lord-level characters leading a "horde" of ten Scouts. Unfortunately, a good story doesn't make up for questions about army structure and composition.

In any case, what I said remains... Drop Pod army isn't a bad idea, and could be quite fun. On the other hand, it shouldn't be the only tactic your army can use... Heaven help the poor soul who drops in against a Tyranid force or an Orc armada!
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Old 05 Sep 2005, 04:22   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Drop pods: Viable as an army theme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomer
They are vehicles, but they only force Leadership checks when the shooter wants to hit a further away *vehicle*.* Squads and vehicles can always be picked out as different targets, relative to each other.* A Land Raider six inches away won't stop a Fire Warrior squad from choosing to shoot at Scouts twelve inches away.
Actually, it will. Page 19 (of the small Maccragge rulebook I have in front of me at least - not sure if it's the same number in the big book, states that infantry may ignore a closer small target to shoot at the closest large target without a leadership check, but the same does not work in reverse. As a vehicle, a droppod will force a leadership test to target anything further away than it is. You cannot ignore large targets to pick out smaller ones without a test.
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