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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Land Raider Achilles Review & Analysis

New Forge World stuff; w00t. As usual the rules aren't too flash but importantly I think the special rules for this new battle tank open up the potential for some discussion in relation to tanks in 5th edition. Some of you may remember this was discussed on YTTH several months back and there have been some conversations on the CHATBAWKS since then about how tanks should be handled in 6th edition and their main issues currently. The Achilles is a perfect stepping stone for looking at those concepts again. So in this article we'll take a look at the Forge World rules for the Achilles and then next article look at vehicle operation under the current ruleset.

First off the rules can be found here; thanks Forge World and you can see the new model up there. First off, it's expensive, 40 points more than a normal Land Raider w/MM but importantly already includes extra armor (yay!). It also has the ability to take a dozer blade/seige shield which is really a big drawback for the normal Land Raider variants (who aren't Black Templars). However, then we start to notice the problems. Not an assault vehicle, capacity of a Razorback and only side doors... for 300 points this is a bit disappointing as that is the selling point of Land Raiders beyond the all-round AV14. This is very odd when you consider their special rule Ferromantic Invulnerability which covers very expensive tanks biggest weakness in 5th edition (see next article) in meltaguns. This means you can throw the tank forward and not be afraid of a 5pt meltagun slagging your 250pt+ behemoth...yet without an excessive transport capacity, assault vehicle and a weapon like the Thunderfire cannon, why would you want to get close? Sure it defends against lances at range, well yay. Glad I spent 300 points so I have a very difficult tank to kill against DE but still can't deliver my Terminators to the battle-line.

So that obvious and rather terrible bit of rules combination, the guns are pretty nice. Sponson TL-MMs with Power of the Machine Spirit gives you the option to reliably slag two tanks a turn or you can put out Thunderfire cannon shells into infantry whilst still having the MMs target a tank. Pretty good combination and isn't completely useless when immoblised early thanks to the range of the guns. The MMs also combine well with ferromantic invulnerability in being able to get into melta range whilst not suffering the same themselves. Again however, the lack of assault status and transport capacity (+ front ramp) leaves this unit a very expensive battle-tank which is very survivable but not really worth it (i.e. like the Monolith).

In terms of game balance the Achilles still suffers from railguns and S10 ordnance which quite a few armies have whilst also being nearly immune to some armies as it completely negates their primary heavy anti-tank. This generally isn't good as it puts a lot of armies in a similar boat to Orks in relation to dealing with AV14 (but just with the Achilles) and although it makes the Achilles not scared of actually getting close to enemy lines (even though it doesn't need to), I think there are better ways to make expensive tanks better equipped to handle such anti-tank weapons as meltaguns. This will be discussed next article.

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