The Jawaballs Video of the Month!

A Vindicator Retort?

Hi Folks!  A bit ago I posted up about Vindicators and we had some great discussion. Well, I got this email concerning the subject and wanted to share it with you all.  

Hey there Jawaballs, this is Craig forum name Mr. Biscuits down at Librarium Online. I’ve been a long time reader of yours but recently noticed you talking down the Vindicator so I thought I’d run a few tactics and a bunch of numbers by ya in defense of this truly awesome tank.

In my lists I almost always include all 3 possible Vindicators for many tactical purposes, but for the sake of argument I will show you how they perform in my 1750 point competitive list:

HQ
Librarian Shield of Sanguineous Fear of the Darkness ***

Troops
5 Assault Marines Remove Jump Packs 100
Razorback Lascannon Twin Linked Plasmaguns Dozer Blade Hunter Killer Missile 70

5 Assault Marines Remove Jump Packs 100
Razorback Lascannon Twin Linked Plasmaguns Dozer Blade Hunter Killer Missile 70

5 Assault Marines Remove Jump Packs 100
Razorback Twin Linked Assault Cannon Dozer Blade 60

5 Assault Marines Remove Jump Packs 100
Razorback Lascannon Twin Linked Plasmaguns Dozer Blade Hunter Killer Missile 70

5 Assault Marines Remove Jump Packs 100
Razorback Lascannon Twin Linked Plasmaguns Dozer Blade Hunter Killer Missile 70

Fast Attack
2 Land Speeders Typhoon Missile Launchers 180

Land Speeder Typhoon Missile Launcher 90

Land Speeder Typhoon Missile Launcher 90

Heavy Support
Vindicator Dozer Blade 150

Vindicator Dozer Blade 150

Vindicator Dozer Blade 150

In this list I literally use my Vindicators as mobile shooty Razorback shields. 3 Vindicators angled properly so that the back edges are touching can create a shield where the front AVs of 13 are the only available to an opponent early game that doesn't use a refused flank deployment or an Outflanking/ Deep Striking unit. Behind this shield I put 3 of my Razor squads whose elevated weapon platforms are able to fire upon my enemy without generating cover saves from my Vindicator screen until they are about 8" away from the Vindicator or less in the case of armored targets. The centre most of the 3 Razorbacks will always be the one containing my Librarian in order to give 5+ cover saves to my screening Vindicators and my other Razorbacks should I be flanked. Approximate diagram follows:
      

ENEMY DEPLOYMENT
   [ ]  O [] ooo
       O     oooo  [ ]
      [  ]      oo  X  



    MY DEPLOYMENT
         \   \[ ]/   /
           [ ][ ][ ]

Furthermore, a Vindicator on a Fast chassis is often able to avoid up to 40% of the cover saves your opponent may try to get from them, primarily units hiding behind features like forests, buildings and rubble to avoid difficult terrain. 12 inches is a quarter of the entire board in a single turn after all.

As to the accuracy, with BS of 4 you are looking at an accuracy chart of:

Direct Hit                    44.4445%
1” Scatter                    7.4074%
2” Scatter                    9.2592%
3” Scatter                    11.1111%
4” Scatter                    9.2592%
5” Scatter                    7.4074%
6” Scatter                    5.5555%
7” Scatter                    3.7037%
8” Scatter                    1.8519%

Against most tanks you are looking at having the hole over your target on any direct hit or 1” scatter which is 53.8519% of the time but against a vehicle with a Land Raider sized chassis you will hit about half of the time on a 2’ scatter thanks to the tank being roughly 6” long but only 4” wide (I measured while writing this to ensure accuracy) which means your accuracy will be about 58.4815%, much more than the 33% most people give the tank credit for. Anyways these numbers will translate into the following based upon the target:







BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV10 regular tank chassis, 53.8519% hit:
0% Glance                   53.8519% Penetrate    53.8519% inflict damage

8.9753% of shots will result in Shaken
8.9753% of shots will result in Stunned
8.9753% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
8.9753% of shots will result in Immobilized
8.9753% of shots will result in Wrecked
8.9753% of shots will result in Exploded

BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV11 regular tank chassis, 53.8519% hit:
1.4959% Glance          52.3560% Penetrate    53.8519% inflict damage

9.4739% of shots will result in Shaken
8.9753% of shots will result in Stunned
8.9753% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
8.7260% of shots will result in Immobilized
8.7260% of shots will result in Wrecked
8.7260% of shots will result in Exploded

BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV12 regular tank chassis, 53.8519% hit:
4.4877% Glance          47.8683% Penetrate    52.3560% inflict damage

9.9220% of shots will result in Shaken
8.4261% of shots will result in Stunned
8.4261% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
8.4261% of shots will result in Immobilized
7.9781% of shots will result in Wrecked
7.9781% of shots will result in Exploded

BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV13 regular tank chassis, 53.8519% hit:
4.4877% Glance          40.3889% Penetrate    44.8766% inflict damage

8.9754% of shots will result in Shaken
7.4795% of shots will result in Stunned
7.4795% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
7.4795% of shots will result in Immobilized
6.7480% of shots will result in Wrecked
6.7315% of shots will result in Exploded




BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV14 regular tank chassis, 53.8519% hit:
4.4877% Glance          29.9177% Penetrate    % inflict damage

7.2303% of shots will result in Shaken
5.7343% of shots will result in Stunned
5.7343% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
5.7343% of shots will result in Immobilized
4.9863% of shots will result in Wrecked
4.9863% of shots will result in Exploded




BS4 Demolisher Cannon vs. AV14 Land Raider chassis, 58.4815% hit:
4.8735% Glance          32.4897% Penetrate    % inflict damage

7.8516% of shots will result in Shaken
6.2272% of shots will result in Stunned
6.2272% of shots will result in Weapon Destroyed
6.2272% of shots will result in Immobilized
5.4150% of shots will result in Wrecked
5.4150% of shots will result in Exploded

Although these percentages may seem low to many players they are in fact quite significant. In comparison an Autocannon Predator with Lascannon Sponsons will only do the following against any vehicle with an AV of 14:

BS4 Predator vs. AV14 vehicle
22.2222% Glance        22.2222% Penetrate    44.4444% inflict damage

14.8148% of turns firing will result in Shaken
7.4074% of turns firing will result in Stunned
7.4074% of turns firing will result in Weapon Destroyed
7.4074% of turns firing will result in Immobilized
3.7004% of turns firing will result in Wrecked
3.7004% of turns firing will result in Exploded

Based upon these numbers the Predator in your proposed build will be more effective at hindering AV 14 vehicles such as Land Raiders where as the Vindicator will be more effective at neutralizing them thanks to a much greater chance of penetrating whilst still keeping the maneuverability to fire whilst maintaining a high movement rate when the Predator would be restricted to a 6” move if you would want fire at full effect.

Simply put, you got lucky blasting the 7 Land Raider list off the table at ‘Ard Boyz and by the numbers would have had a much better shot (pun intended) had you gone with Vindicators instead of you Auto/Las Predators.

If this wasn’t enough the Vindicator’s main armament, the Demolisher Cannon, is one of the most flexible weapons in the game. Thanks to their impressive Strength and AP they can instant kill some of the really nasty elite Deathstar units such as Grey Knight Paladins, Nob Bikers and Thunderwolf Cavalry without allowing saves. My 3 Vindicators have caused endless headaches for an Ork Green Tide player in my area who is forced to bunch up his more than 150 Boyz for me as they literally don’t have enough table to spread out early on and like you said, they can reliably kill 4 Space Marines a turn IF your opponent was wise enough to spread out the squad. If he isn’t, well we’ve all heard the 1 shot 10 kill stories…

The Vindicator may “make people pee their pants”, but this isn’t because they are an over-rated 4th edition unit preying on those who can’t wrap their heads on 5th edition. It’s because it is an effective unit rightfully feared on any battlefield on the 41st Millennium. 

What can I say other than fantastic! This response is the spirit of what is good about the internet. Instead of blasting off like a troll, he disagreed with me, but wrote a well thought out, logical and appropriate response supported by fact!  And more fact, and more fact.  (Well stats, and we all know that stats are in deed NOT fact, ask Ted Nagle who lost 4 terminators to a volley of bolt pistol fire from my assault squad, but still.) 

 Well, rather than argue, I will put three vindicators on the table and find out for myself.  it's time to bust out the old models. Now to find a victim... FRITZ! Look for some batreps soon! And thanks for the submission Mr. Biscuits.

Jawaballs

10 comments:

alex said...

Mr. Biscuits's list looks effective on the table top. I like it. However, when you compare it to a auto/las pred, surely someone will say, "Hey, 1 weapon destroy will render the vindicator to almost useless."

Also, if you have melta guns on your troops, that's an effective weapon for anti-land raider, too.

All in all, I'm sold on both lists. BA is a good codex that can bring out different styles and still be effective.

AbusePuppy said...

The problem is that this discussion ignores the actual problems of the Vindicator frame. A hit rate a bit over 50% is simply not good for a one-shot gun. It can provide an AV13 wall, sure, but Predators can do that cheaper and/or with multiple guns effective against more targets. Vindicators suffer from "one gun syndrome" and their weapon is on a fixed mount with a relatively short range- so not only will a Weapon Destroyed result cripple them, Immobilized often will as well.

Against infantry, I would be extremely surprised if you negate cover 40% of the time- heck, I would be surprised if you could do it 20% of the time. And so long as they have cover, the Vindicator's gun is little more scary than such underperformers as the Whirlwind.

Against tanks it's nearly as bad. A single, inaccurate shot (again, 50% hit rate is not good) that does not penetrate cover and has no bonus on the damage table is simply not impressive. Devastators, AutoLas Predators, Baal Predators, Land Speeders... so many platforms perform better (with a variety of associated bonuses) that there is little to recommend the Vindicator. It can get a penetrating hit reasonably often, but a hit is not a kill.

And for all that, it's simply not that cheap or tough. AV13 is nice, but AV11 on the sides (with a close-in weapon) is pretty damning.

The BA Vindicator is surely better than its SM/SW counterparts, but I don't think it makes the grade.

FluffyPanda said...

Here's a really wild idea....

Why not field a mix of Vindis and Preds? Or one of each and another heavy support choice? Or something different altogether?

Why does it need to be one or the other that's a better choice? Those stats (and similar stats for other units) clearly show that different units are better at different things. Taking multiples of the same tool is great if you're sure you always need to be hitting nails, but hurts when you need to drive a screw.

There'll be cases in 40k where some units just really struggle to make their points and don't make sense for competitive play, but there are lots of units in the BA codex that are very good at their job.

Anyway, nice to see someone clearly defending the vindicator, rather than going off a gut feel about why it is/isn't awesome.

Jawaballs said...

My contention here is not that the Vindi is a terrible tank, it is that rules changes have made it a shadow of it's former self. The ease with which models get cover saves in 5th Ed. take the teeth out of it's gun, and the loss of the third Vehicle Damage table makes it not scary at all.

If it could explode transports and wipe out the troops inside, it would be a horror. Now it is just a nuisance.

It has to get too close to be of use. This exposes it to melta fire. Plus with only one gun, it is a single lucky side shot from a heavy bolter from combat ineffective.

TheGraveMind said...

I've been using two and they have been running fine for me. I have enough other lascannon fire that las predators are not needed. Dev squads are not mobile enough for the rest of my list.

Two vindicators and a Baal predator to spear head my attack and create an AV13 wall for my razorbacks.

Ajudicator said...

So jawaballs, do you not recommend it then? The question is, would you and/or would you not play the vindicator and why? And in what situation. I've never played vindicator but was thinking about it until I realised one weapon destroyed renders it useless but then again maybe fritz tactical video helps, he says we must use it as a defensive tank, and from studying your battle reports that is how you play it to, would this be a better way to bring the fear factor of the vindicator back?

FluffyPanda said...

Anyone seen the leaked PDF of 6th? I'm liking it a lot. Looks like the Vindi is going to get a new lease of life too from my first impressions. No more will the number of weapons on a vehicle define how long they last in a battle.

WilliamT said...

Why play BA if one just fields razorbacks, land speeders and vindicators?? Why not just play vanilla space marines for cheaper tanks and use Chronus as tank commander??

Is there a significant difference between having the vindicator move 12 or 6 inches and still be able to fire?

Ajudicator said...

Yes there is a difference, you see if you can move the vindicator 12" then your threat range turns from 30" to 36" and so you are more able to control your opponents moves and force his hand, especially if you keep it in reserve and are coming on 12" then firing 24" this potentially makes a 36" fear space between your board side and the oponant.

Ajudicator said...

Also, we blood angels players don't just play regular marines because we enjoy the look of shock as we fly across the table 12" claiming an objective and then in the same turn fire on our oponants heaviest tank and destroy it :) that's why we play blood angels, for the dynamic abilities and tactical advantages which not only apply to troops but tanks also :)

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