Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'd Probably Better Figure This Out Soon

Snazzy Heldrake!
The idea of the Heldrake just grows on me more and more. First off, it's a great model. Secondly- Strength 6, AP 3, Torrent, Template Weapon? Yes Please. Oh, and it can hover and Vector Strike.

I know I'm way behind the curve on this, but I'm just now getting my feet wet after a long-ish hiatus from 40k, and I really need to play catch-up. But what about air-to-air combat? wouldn't a Hades Autocannon work better? Yes, and that's a big problem. Do I just take a Hades armed Heldrake for vehicle hunting? Do I take a Baleflamer armed Heldrake and just ignore enemy flyers (that just seems suicidal)? Or do I split the difference? That's the thing that gets me. Two Heldrakes. It's the perfect step-up from 1,500 to 1,850 points (it leaves me with 10 points to fiddle around with). It also does one other thing- it deprives me of my Daemons, which were a driving force behind buying into this army in the first place.

There may be an answer that I'm glossing over- the Daemon Prince. He's geared up to shred squads, and he can fly too. Close Combat attacks ignore cover, and he's AP 2. Of course, he may just melt his mind a little bit using his Daemon Weapon, but that's the risk you run with his loadout. The usual result you get is a deleted squad (or a very, VERY dead character if they challenge him). There are downsides to this, too. Unless he's fighting a massive squad like an Ork mob or Gaunts, he'll probably just tear through his enemies in a single go and get shot dead on the turn he's standing on the ground after slaughtering whatever he charged. And if he doesn't kill his target he could get torrented to death by the sheer number of attacks his opponents can lay into him. And then there's grounding...

In short, a Daemon Prince and a Hades Autocannon armed Heldrake may not work out. The Daemon Prince may just be more of a hammer unit, a glass cannon, to break up assaults. Heldrakes don't get grounded. They just fly around until they get shot down for good. But two plus a Daemon Prince?

Is losing these guys worth a more competitive army?
Finally, there's the issue of points. In a Chaos Marine army, the 160 points I'll have left over to get me to 1,999 +1 just doesn't go very far. I've fiddled around with it time and time again, and I just can't get a satisfactory answer. I'm looking at adding a final unit of Cultists for objective squatting, but they leave me with 95 points (since they have Autoguns and a Heavy Stubber) left floating. The alternative is an Autocannon-armed squad (which cannot score) consisting of 5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons and the Mark of Nurgle that I'd have to convert up since the new Havocs are stupid (you can't buy Autocannons individually).

...And I'd be left with 26 unspent points! I really don't want to add another Havoc. That would mean sinking yet more money into what is already a $50 squad (bits + CSM figures). I could tool up the Havoc Aspiring Champion with a Power Axe and a Combi-Melta, but if he's using those weapons something has gone horribly whong and he's not long for this world (dimension?) in the first place.

In the end I'll likely end up sticking with an Autocannon armed Heldrake and a wall of 20 very upset Bloodletters, but I really need to consider these things when I already have the (less than glorious) Hellbrutes and the insanely points-heavy Chosen to consider. A little metagame punch might not be uncalled for.

Perhaps a lot of ranting for nothing, but perhaps a bit of insight into how I'm trying to build a solid force out of two Dark Vengance boxes.

Now what if I dropped a couple Bloodletters in favor of a fourth Cultist squad? The madness continues!


  1. I really don't think taking two Hellbrutes is the best of ideas. With those multi-melta's they attract every heavy weapon in your opponants army and die horribly in turn one. With two, one MIGHT last into turn 2. Different matter if you intend to swap out the weapons on your two Hellbrutes though

  2. Yeah, I kind of figured they"d attract all kinds of anti-tank fire, but the object of the excersize is to build a functional army out of the Dark Vengance sets.

    That being said, I did see a rather snazzy conversion where somebody converted a Hellbrute to have a Reaper Autocannon with a few bits of plastic tubing. I really did ponder that until I realized I'd have to hack up my painted mini.

    Maybe I could do it to my unpainted one and see how it turns out. My concern is where I'll get the points to do the switch over. For one I can just drop the Chaos Lord's Melta Bombs. For two, I don't know, drop a Chosen? But will that make an already thin fire magnet even thinner?

    That being said, I do intend to drop them for something later on. Perhaps then I'll go for the second Heldrake. I'll post a refined army list after a while. Do you have any suggestions as to how to build the Autocannons? Or should I go with twin Lascannons or something along those lines? I just want a minimal conversion for maximum effect. I like the mini as is, and I'd like to stay as close to the original as possible.