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CrystalSphere
21-12-2010, 12:48
I am just starting 40k (with the DE release), after many years playing fantasy, i am slowly going through the rules but there is something i donīt understand completely. Please keep in mind this is not a rules question, otherwise i would have posted in the appropiate part of the forum.

In fantasy there are no mixed units (there are few very rare cases), so almost always each unit members is armed with the same weapons. I was looking at the dark eldar army book, and i saw that for example you could give a heavy weapon (dark lance) to one member of a unit of kabalite warriors, while the rest are armed with splinter rifles. In theory heavy weapons are good agaisnt tanks, but they are overkill agaisnt infantry, while the splinter rifles are good agaisnt high toughness because they are poisoned.

What i donīt understand is how mixed units work in practice, i am used to each unit having a mission (good agaisnt horde of weak troops, or good agaisnt handful of elite troops) and if i understood the rulebook correctly, each miniature of the unit must fire at the same target. So then, what would happen if i fired with a mixed unit, agaisnt a tank for example, would not all the not-antitank weapons of the unit be wasted? Or the other way around, if i buy a dark lance for the kabalite warriors, and then fire agaisnt basic infantry, would it not be a waste of the dark lance?

I imagine it may sound stupid to most players, but coming from fantasy i really donīt see the point of mixed units with equipment that are good for different things. To me it seems like a waste of resources, i would prefer each unit to have a specific weaponry and look for the targets that said weaponry is most effective, that is the mind sent on which fantasy is played and mixed units look very odd to me.

Mini77
21-12-2010, 13:04
Warriors (and 40K troops choices in general) have to be able to adapt and cope with any given situation. There will be times where you just need to rapid-fire and times where you will have to fall back on that heavy weapon.

MorningLightMountain
21-12-2010, 13:09
Sounds like you've got a pretty good grasp of what's going on :) It's just one of the many tactical decisions you have to make as a 40K player. Do you want your units to be specialised but need to have them in the right place or the right time, or do you want "jack of all trades" units which can do lots of things but aren't brilliant at any of them.

To answer your question: It's possible to field a unit of Kabalite Warriors with splinter rifles and one Dark Lance. Choose to shoot at a tank and all the splinter rifles are wasted. Choose to shoot at infantry and all those points you spent on the Dark Lance are wasted. That's just a tactical decision.

Another way of looking at that though is thinking of the Warriors with splinter rifles as "wounds" for the Dark Lance. If you're taking hits on the unit and failing saves you get to choose which models are removed (Torrent of Fire excepted). So your expensive Dark Lance has all that cheap splinter rifle meat protecting him/her.

There are 40K units (examples: Daemons, Eldar Aspect Warriors) where all the models in the unit are the same. But what if your anti-infantry unit is face to face with a tank? What if your anti tank unit is faced with a horde of Gaunts?

I take Splinter Cannons win my Warrior Units and leave the Dark Lances on the Raiders :)

AFnord
21-12-2010, 13:09
You are correct, when you mix weapons in a unit, one or more shot will most likely not be used to its full potential. This is why weapons in devastator squads are more expensive than weapons in tactical marine squads. But the dark lance does work well against marines, terminators & similar, so it is not always a waste to use it against infantry. And it is also good for a unit to not be too specialized. If a unit works against both vehicles & infantry, then it will almost never find itself in a position where it can't do anything worthwhile.

Sappysid101
21-12-2010, 13:11
Warriors (and 40K troops choices in general) have to be able to adapt and cope with any given situation. There will be times where you just need to rapid-fire and times where you will have to fall back on that heavy weapon.

^ Exactly this ^

Sure they may not make use of certain weapons at times but it gives you the option to target a tank (very important atm as almost everyone fields mech >.>) It gives you the option to target a transport aswell, just useful imo : )

Hope that helps, welcome to 40k :D

- Sid

Born Again
21-12-2010, 13:31
Yeah, it's pretty much been covered. There are a few other things that need to be considered, such as heavy weapons generally being move or fire, meaning shooting them will slow down your entire unit.

A good example would be something like a Space Marine Devastator squad. They get 4 heavy weapons: do you take 4 heavy bolters, 4 lascannons, or two of each? The first option would make them deadly against infantry. The second option would be an almost guaranteed kill against a vehicle in their line of sight each turn. Mixing them makes them slightly worse at each job, but allows them wider tactical flexibility.

CrystalSphere
21-12-2010, 15:37
Thanks all! You were very helpful, so it is more about having flexibility in each unit role, so they can deal with more things rather than just one. I assumed that it was "wrong" that some attacks would be wasted, but it makes sense, it is part of the price for having that flexibility.

Therefore, as Sappysid101 suggested, it seems like heavy weapons are a no brainer right? I mean, a heavy weapon may be overkill agaisnt basic infantry, but you can kill them. On the other hand a splinter rifle agaisnt a tank is basically useless. What i mean is that, if i understand correctly, the choice is like this:
-Do i go with heavy weapon, and have antitank defense, but overkill agaisnt infantry?
-Do i go with basic weapon, and have anti-infantry defense, but useless agaisnt tanks/vehicles?

Please correct me if my reasoning is wrong, but it seems like taking heavy weapons is the best of those two choices. At least in the context of kabalite warriors + dark lance (antitank) or splinter cannon (anti-infantry).

One could argue that kabalites are good enough agaisnt infantry as they are, and that a dark lance would be more useful. Agaisnt tanks they would have something to fire, even if the other shots are useless, and agaisnt infantry the dark lance would also kill. Problem is, the dark lance is move or fire.

On the other hand, a splinter cannon would make them very good at killing basic infantry, but have no answer agaisnt tanks, the unit would have to rely on other units to deal with the tanks/vehicles. Which is fine, because as MorningLightMountain pointed, you can have the dark lances on the transports (raiders) or in other units.

It looks like equipment is a lot more complex in 40k than i what i thought first, as unit equipment is very linked to the composition of the rest of the army, and two units may share the same slot but their equipment makes them two things completely different.

Nezalhualixtlan
21-12-2010, 16:07
And, bear in mind that for most of those units, the decision to build in that flexibility is yours to make for the points cost when creating your list.

It's hard to make a decision on what's going to work out best for you without knowing what the rest of your list looks like though. If you already have a lot of stuff that can deal with infantry, having the option of a few extra heavy weapons can be great... but you have to think about how the unit is going to be deployed and used too. Heavy weapons can't be fired by infantry that have moved generally speaking. If you are planning on that unit being mobile, the extra heavy weapon might be entirely wasted. The meta-game is somewhat important to bear in mind too though. A lot of games tend to be transport and vehicle heavy these days, that means you may need extra heavier weapons to crack them so that your splinter weapons can do infantry cleanup after. Unless of course you have a lot of other vehicle cracking dark lances elsewhere, like on your own vehicles...

Hypaspist
21-12-2010, 16:11
It looks like equipment is a lot more complex in 40k than i what i thought first, as unit equipment is very linked to the composition of the rest of the army,

Nail.On.Head.

There really is no *right* or *wrong* way to equip one unit, it absolutely depends on the army composition as a whole, the trouble with upgrading squads (and you may find this with your kabalite trueborn) is that it can get incredibly expensive, incredibly quickly, so the balance of weapons throughout your army is key.

I always find it useful to review a list and ask myself whether I can deal with Vehicles, High Armoured troops (ie Terminators) and massed low armour troops (Orks/Nids, etc)

With the exception of light vehicles, this usually means a healthy mix of heavy weapons and small arms fire, though, with the DE, it is pretty much all down to lances and speical weapons as your basic squad weapon cannot affect any vehicles at all (unlike, say, the bolter, which at least has a chance against AV10)

:)

Pushkin
21-12-2010, 17:28
I think another factor to consider when equipping your troops section is how the rest of your army is armed, if you've got your heavy support and fast attack choices packed out with anti-tank weaponary paying up points for heavy weapons in infantry squads be overkill.

At the end of the day it boils down to looking at a list as a whole and thinking whether you could deal with a marine army, a ork/IG footslogging horde, a IG tank army or a nidzilla list. If your confident about facing different types of army then you should be alright!

best way to figure it out is just playing lots of games and jigging your list around as you get an understanding of whats you like

jt.glass
21-12-2010, 18:44
It looks like equipment is a lot more complex in 40k than i what i thought first, as unit equipment is very linked to the composition of the rest of the army, and two units may share the same slot but their equipment makes them two things completely different.Another complication which sometimes crops up. Sometimes, heavy weapons in Troops squads are sometimes cheaper than on dedicated heavy-weapon squads, to take into account the limitations mentioned in this thread.

I dunno if this is true of Dark Eldar as I don't have the 'dex, but for example in the Marine book a Tac squad can have a single Missile Launcher (or some heavy weapons) for free, while a Dev squad can have upto four, but pays almost as many points as the marine who carries it costs, each, for the priviledge.


jt.