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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vindicators are Alright and Other Crazyness

The Vindicator is really quite underrated. Also, it’s a problem that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time.

I started out using vindicators, and they might be my favorite tank. I love the design. I love the concept. What I never really liked, however, were their rules. For what is ostensibly a siege tank, the vindicator sure seems to be equipped with paper armor, especially against canny opponents who can get those side shots off.

But I liked them. So I kept using them. Even after a brief stint running dakkapreds instead, I came back to the trusty Vindicator, and eventually mastered them. The key is in a few rules you should try to NEVER break.

It’s important to understand a few things about vindicators, before we go into their use:

1.) Vindicators are fragile tanks from the side, and pretty tough from the front. Autocannons and missile launchers can certainly damage AV13, but they have a tough time of it. If they get to shoot at our side AV11, you die. That’s a simple truth: if you expose your sides, you lose your tank. In addition, a weapon destroyed effectively takes care of your tank, and an immobilized can mess you up, considering the Vindicator’s small firing arc. Immobilization is actually not as bad as you would think, since your tank will certainly be facing the enemy, but it’s still a pain.

2.) Vindicators are not a good “distraction” tank. They are too expensive and too slow to be able to effectively fulfill this role. We do not want our vindicators blowing up.

So, how should you use your Vindicators? Do these things:

1.) The Vindicator goes in reserve. The Vindicator goes in reserve. THE. VINDICATOR. GOES. IN. RESERVE. This is true 100% of the time, I don’t care what mission it is, I don’t care if you really, really feel like you need an alpha strike. The Vindicator gets reserved all of the time. This mitigates, to a large margin, the primary problem of the Vindicator: being caught and shot before it gets to be useful. “But what about it’s short range?” I hear you saying. 12” is short range; 24” is not. Hell, it’s even 30” when you roll on the board (in a location of your choice) and fire. And if you’re opponent isn’t anywhere near the midfield, they’re probably not winning the game anyway. Also, I struggle to think of something more effective against deep strikers than a vindicator rolling on.

2.) It’s important that the Vindicator lives. If you have the option to hide the Vindicator from something that will kill it, or shoot at something, choose to hide. Remember, S10 AP2 can kill or maim anything in this game, as long as it’s on he board it’s a threat and can help dictate how the enemy plays.

3.) By extension, play it far back. The further away you are, the easier to block LOS, and the harder it is for melee units to get to you. If you think you’re at less than 18”, move further away then fire. Abuse the range as much as possible.

4.) Buy a dozer blade. You want to move through terrain. 1/6 comes up a lot when you’re moving a lot of vehicles through terrain. Don’t bother with the siege shield, we’re not gonna pay 5 points to eliminate a 1/36 chance. Don’t worry about extra armor or any of that other crap; keep it cheap.

Vindicators are not something you should throw into every army- they don’t work in very assault, forward marine armies. They work pretty well in armies designed to hold the middle of the board, and they work fantastically with Pedro and his Sternguard at 2000+ points. They are, effectively, a defensive tank, not a siege tank as advertised. They are best at the counter-thrust, as opposed to the assault straight into the enemy.

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