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Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?
Old 03 Oct 2007, 21:51   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

I can understand if it's a small marine squad, but what if the player is Blood Angels or Black Templars and has large marine squads. If you get 7-8 under the pie plate and wound them on two's then it makes them take more saves, 3-4 will still fail their saves. And the railhead is more versatile as it can kill those Land Raiders and Predators with ease.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 22:13   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

You need to fit six Marines under the template in order to equal the killing power of an Ion Cannon. And even then, don't forget that the Ion Cannon is 35 pts cheaper :
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 22:41   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

It is not often (at least not after the first shot) that a marine player will bunch his marines together like that. Also like Tonka said the points difference is significant.
Also 1 shot at BS 4 is not as reliable as 3 at bs 4. I find my Railheads have what we call in my gaming area the "curse of the lascannon" which means I roll an obscene amounts of 1's to hit.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 23:58   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

I would have to say that using the ion is better for less armored army's like orc's or imperial guard. But i kinda see what they mean by it being usefull for space marines.
but is that not the reason that u have the two gun drones (or missile pods) on the tank to ward of the infantry
yes it won't rip them apart nearly as fast but should the tank not remain as a anti- vehicle killer?
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Old 04 Oct 2007, 01:31   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

Tau have some of the best anti-tank units in the game already. Deathrains and Broadsides come to mind. I have also constantly done better against the side armor of tanks with a Ion Cannon then I have with a single Rail shot. It's simply a more reliably tank in my opinion, and it costs a bunch less.

If you want awesome anti-tank that will always be able to fire (unless they're dead) take Shield Droned Broadsides. You'll never get the dreaded Stun roll with them...
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Old 04 Oct 2007, 02:23   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

To answer your question in a word, yes. But lets examine things more closely and how the Ion stacks to the Rail in terms of enemy matchups.

Ionheads Pros
*35 points Cheaper
*More effective against MEQ(by a small to medium margin)
*More effective against AV11 and lower(by a medium margin)
*More effective against AV12 skimmers and lower(by a small margin)
*Not prone to the "magic 1's" syndrome(by a great margin)

Railheads Pros

More effective against TEQ(By a small to medium margin)
More effective against AV12(by a very small margin and not AV12 skimmers)
More effective against AV13(by a big margin)
More effective against AV14(By an infinite margin)
More effective against 4+ or worse infantry(by a medium to large margin depending on terrain)

Both tanks have their uses so I like to analyze a little further than surface impressions. I like to think of my units in terms of what types of armies they are effective against. For example, the Ionhead sees a lot of use against most marine armies since it's AP3 gun can be turned on any unit and reliably get 2-3 kills every time. Marine units are also known for invulnerable saves be it bikes or chaplains and against either the high STR multiple shots of the Ioncannon work best. In fact out of the entire marine and chaos marine unit selection only a few models require railguns. These are typically Landraiders and Demon Princes but also predators and vindicators(though side armor 11 is vulnerable to Ionheads).
With Necrons, Inquisition, and sisters of battle it is much the same as marines in terms that the Ioinhead is more broadly effective while the Railhead is needed against certain specific targets.

Dark Eldar typically run lots of raiders so while the submunition is more effective against their troops, the Ionhead is more capable of scrapping their transports.

Eldar are very similar to their dark kin in this respect as all Eldar vehicles are more vulnerable to the Ioncannon than a rail. In the case of Eldar infnatry hunting the Ioncannon loses out to the submunition when hunting non aspect warriors only.

So the only remaining armies are gaurd, nids, and orks. In these cases the railhead is far superior to the ionhead as the sub works better against these armies larg blocks of troops and the solid shot is better against the tanks and MC's.

So in the end I like Ionheads since large blocks of tropps can be countered with Kroot and for the big stuff broadsides are more effective and efficient.
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Old 04 Oct 2007, 08:40   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are Ionheads really better at killing marines over Railhead?

Well, don`t forget CoD, here!

Marines in 4+ cover are not very impressed by your Ionhead, while a Railhead operating on Submunitions has no performance loss. Also, in CoD, most of the time units are together on a bulk thanks to the way area terrain is handled in 40K.

But I agree, basically, Railheads shouldn`t go Marine hunting if there is still something with an AV left...
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