Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Trapdoor Spider



Over the past six months I have started using a little used combo I call 'The Trapdoor Spider'.  This involves a squad of three terminators with a single chainfist in a landraider.  Neither termintators nor landraiders are considered to be top tier performers for the forces of Chaos, but together they seem to work well.


As I use landraiders more and more I feel like they are best used as a precision tool.  Their durability ensures that you can choose when your charge will be the most beneficial.  Holding a smaller unit out of combat for a turn or two won't be hindering your overall damage potential.  Units such as Chaos Spawn are the sledgehammers of of Chaos, but a small squad of terminators acts more like a scalpel.

Three terminators with various power weapons aren't going to do an incredible amount of damage on their own, but the landraider will ensure that they can charge at the exact right time.  Having the freedom to pick the exact moment when you will arrive in combat means that you can choose your fights effectively.  Normally three terminators would count as a suicide squad, but the landraider lets you pick fights that you are likely to win.  Most mid to short range shooting units aren't particularly good in combat, and can easily be cut down by a small number of terminators.

I have tried a couple other units instead of terminators, but nothing else seems to work as well.  More expensive units need to be in combat as soon as possible, and less expensive units don't seem to have enough punch.  Terminators also have the added benefit of getting the landraider as a dedicated transport.

My unit of terminators usually runs with a chainfist to threaten vehicles, but this gets dropped for a power axe when points are tight.  I have recently been playing around with giving them a mark of khorne, but I haven't done enough play testing to have made up my mind.

The landraider isn't simply a device to deliver the terminators it can also act as a mobile piece of terrain.  It is large enough to block line of sight for things such as spawn or bike, or it can give a cover save to larger models such as defilers or maulerfiends.

I like to equip my landraiders with dirge casters and dozer blades.  The dirge caster provides obvious benefits by eliminating overwatch, and nothing is worse than having your 240 point tank immobilized on a small tree stump.


How about you?  Has anyone else had success using the landraider, or another transport, as a precision delivery tool?

15 comments:

  1. Ork players use this with trukk's and mega nobs. Three mega nobz, trukk, throw at hard target. The advantage for the ork guys is our transport is insanely cheap (although not durable at all).

    An excellent point you make about the land raider...because of its AV14, it is more likely to be wrecked, then exploded, meaning you can use it to block or slow down enemy movement when its destroyed.

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    1. I would give an arm to get the equivalent of Trukks for Chaos. Any cheap assault transport.

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    2. You can't assault of them. :(

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  2. I'm not really impressed with land raiders due to their cost. 250 pts is just a big expense for a tank with limited offense. It's too bulky to reliably shoot both sponsons at a single target. So you are paying for a large unit that can screen other units, and an assault transport. Problem with the assault transport is you really need to have a solid payload of beat face inside to merit the cost. Otherwise, you are paying 250 pts to protect very little. This is a double edged sword since if you put a pile of ass whup in the tank, now the tank is a huge point sink and a priority target.

    That is why my experience has been poor with Land raiders. I've used them mostly for ferrying khorne berserkers into the fray but I've resigned that berserkers are over costed for their damage output. You can nearly get the same melee output from 10 orks as you can with 10 zerkers and you sure as hell aren't paying 200 pts for it.

    Your idea of a small durable melee sniper unit being the only occupants has some merit though. Usually my fatty raiders are are hulled out or blown up in the first turn or two, or they are just ignored and last the whole fight. Having less points sunk into the unit though would make it less of a target.

    Have you considered mutilators? They are more durable than a terminator (same saves but 2 wounds) and way more flexible with their assault offense. They are more expensive but not that much if you consider the upgrade costs on a terminator.

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    1. To be honest I have been surprised with how much success I have had. When I look at things on paper they don't look effective. Someone should try this out to see if this works for anyone else in a different meta.

      I tried out berserkers and had the same experience. If they could get power weapons or power fists they might be worth it.

      I agree with the blown up turn 1/2 or not at all theme. My games have had a similar pattern. When my opponent focuses on taking down the landraider my other vehicles get indirect protection, but ignoring the landraider means that the terminators can go where they want. Also, my local meta still sees volumes of S7 fire used for anti-tank, so landraiders work pretty well.

      I have been wanting to try mutilators, but haven't had a chance.

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    2. Mutilators aren't bad at all in limited work. I run assault claws from forgeworld with them and with mark of Khorne they make a sizable mess. Occasionally one gets eaten by possession however 5 attacks per model on the charge works rather solidly. I have not tried them in a land raider however I think the result i'snt far different.

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  3. In my meta, most meta with s8+ are CAC units. If the landraider is filled with assault units it will be difficult to assault. I like your strategy, and I think that here, it would work.

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  4. Sorry, it was Italian... It means Melee...
    "In my meta, most units with s8+ are melee units. If the Landraider is filled with assault units it will be difficult to assault. I like your strategy, and I think that here, it would work."

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  5. Hmm, interesting idea. Vehicles are a lot more durable in this edition, but I also like the idea of mutilators in there for the extra wounds and flexible load out.

    Personally I would still prefer to spend all those points on outflanking Seekers with an icon, daemonettes with instrument, and marked soul grinder of Slaanesh for precision deep strikes all around. You can scalpel AND sledgehammer, but only on turn 2 and with the right reserve rolls! I call this the 'love bomb'.

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    1. The 'love bomb' would be great if you could get all your daemonic stars to align properly; however the chances of all three units coming in on turn two is just 44%. If you aren't worried about the daemonettes and are only concerned with the seekers and soul grinder then your chances increase to about 59%.

      Once again the biggest advantage is the durability of the landraider. The outflanking/deepstriking daemons are going to have to weather a full turn on shooting before they get to charge. Your whole setup only costs 27 points less than mine before any options, and you are most certainly going to take some losses. I'm not saying that this is the only way to flay a guardsmen, but just something to consider.

      I have been toying with the notion of putting daemonettes or bloodletters in a landraider. You couldn't get the landraider as a dedicated transport, but it could mean than your unit, and banner, are well protected. I am very interested to see where things go with the Khorne Daemonkin codex.

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  6. Agreed - you really need the love bomb to hit at once to be effective, otherwise they can be shot at piecemeal. The instrument helps, and I normally have a couple of Lvl3 Tzeentch daemons which often get Scrier's Gaze. But it can't be relied upon.

    The real benefit of this combo is being able to outflank the seekers usually on the table edge you want, then drop a lot of high threat units with precision in a part of the enemy line that causes them a huge problem.

    I like your idea with the land raider, as it does keep the assault unit intact and provides a strike or counter-strike threat. With vehicles being much more durable in 7th edition, it also gives you a tough scoring unit that can tank shock objective secured units away from key objectives.

    I look forward to seeing what new options the Khorne Daemonkin codex gives us next week!

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    1. The love bomb has a MUCH high damage potential for certain. Pulling it off would almost certainly mean victory. Hell, landing a soul grinder in the right spot of the backfield would be enough against most armies.

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