Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bolterback: It's Not Good

Sorry, BigBellyJarelli, not gonna let this one go. :P

The Bolterback- which is to say, a Razorback with twin-linked Heavy Bolter. It's the "basic" configuration, although you don't see them all that often. I posit that the reason for this is that they're bad; I'm not the only person who thinks this, but some folks (most recently our reader BBJ in the chatbawks as well as occasional discussions with Fluger) disagree. I think it's worth spelling out why I feel as I do on the subject.

(Note: this does NOT apply to the Psyback from the new GK codex, i.e. a Razorback with TLHB, Storm Bolter, and Psybolt Ammunition; this is a totally different animal.)

"It's cheap!"
So is a Rhino- cheaper, in fact- and it also comes with a gun (worse, but not by a lot.) The Bolterback is cheap because it's largely useless- it doesn't really bring anything to a list that something else doesn't do better.

"The Heavy Bolter is good for plinking on small squads or for doing random wounds to things!"
A Rhino's Storm Bolter can do this, too, and you don't give up all the other nice features of the chassis to do so. Sure, the TLHB is going to be better at this, but given it's nothing but a secondary role in your army anyways, why are you giving up effectiveness to be better at it? Generally, when there is only one or two guys left in a squad, they are not relevant models- occasionally the HW guy survives, but this isn't 4th edition; he's no longer always the last one alive no matter what. Fact is, against Marines or other armored foes you're just not causing all that much damage and even against light infantry (like Orks, Tyranids, etc) cover saves mean you aren't causing a whole lot of damage.

"Fire points aren't that effective, anyways."

No, they totally are. Being able to toss out Missiles or Flamer shots from your top hatch is a huge deal, because it means your squad can stay fully protected while applying firepower. it is also often said that it's too easy to avoid getting hit by the Fire Point due to the limit on the vehicle's speed and range- you can just keep out of range. And you know what? That's just fine by me. If my shooting army can define an 18" bubble of "you aren't allowed in here," that is entirely okay with it.

"You can just combat squad and put the other half in the backfield."
You certainly can, but this limits their firing positions and the Combat Squad sitting int the Bolterback can't do anything without disembarking- and against many armies, disembarking is tantamount to suicide. The Rhino's main strength is its ability to protect a unit of troops while still leaving them able to participate in the battle- a Razorback does not do this.

I've got nothing against Razorbacks as a rule- they can be very good units. LasPlas Razors in all the modern Marine books and Flamerbacks and AssBacks in BA armies are all very good buys. (The TLLas one I am not sold on for a variety of reasons, but that's another discussion.) Razorbacks are a great way of transporting troops while not sacrificing firepower- but you need the hull to actually be carrying firepower for that to work. A Bolterback does not bring a gun that does anything particularly useful and comes with enough disadvantages compared to a Rhino that I wouldn't take it even if it was the same cost, much less the higher price you pay now.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...