Monday, September 20, 2010

Las/plas razors versus TLLC razors, a novice's opinion

I make no secret about the fact that I have played 40k for a sum total of about 10 months now.  In that time, I have played using three different marine codices.  I can't even say that I am uber-knowledgeable at one of them. 

That said, my 10 months of experience have shown me a couple of things.  I have been thinking, namely because the fact that I haven't come up with a good way to model a las/plas razorback, why take las/plas razorbacks over TLLC razorbacks?  The general opinion of the interweb gurus is that las/plas provides a bit more duality in its ability to pop armor and kill infantry.  I am not arguing against that.  I do, however, think they aren't a no-brainer choice.  I will try to sum up my thoughts here.  I will cite the three codices that use las/plas: Blood Angels, Codex Marine, and Space Wolves

1) Portability/Mobility.  This is a big one.  How do you get your armament into range to make it useful.  In most games, I want high strength shots initially and as I blow open transports, I want to be able to take volume of shots to handle the contents.  That said, a TLLC has no issue with portability.  It can sit on the back edge and hammer away.  With C:SM and C:SW, this is good.  Both tend to have a more sit back and shoot, or shoot and counterattack strategy. Additionally, it they need to, they can move the razorback up to 6" and still shoot the TLLC.  BA have an ever better advantage being able to move 12" and still fire the TLLC. Couple this will the ability to reroll misses and you have a very reliable, long range, high strength weapon.

The las/plas razor brings the same range as it contains a lascannon as well.  The issue at long range is that the plasma gun is generally out of range.  You can move it into range, but only if you are a blood angel player since they can move up to 6" and still fire all of their weapons.  C:SM and SW are out of luck if they start out of range.  They will only be able to fire the lascannon.  So, in turn 1 you have a single lascannon shot that cannot be rerolled. 

2) Accuracy.  At range the TLLC rzaor has the best chance to cause damage via accurate shooting.  Being able to reroll shots that hit on a 3+ makes this a very dependable weapon.  At range, without moving, the las/plas can fire its lascannon without rerolls.  That means it will miss 2 turns of the game statistically.  When we come into the medium range, the las/plas begins to shine IF it has remained stationary.  Then you can have two separate weapons to fire at a target.  At short range, the las/plas razor gets even better because the plasma gun can rapid fire.  This makes it a great short range elite infantry killer.

3) Survivability.  Let's face it.  In a game where most armies are tooled to shoot down armor, AV11 tanks don't usually last long.  Of course, in most cases, their purpose is to move their contents more rapidly than they can usually move on their own.  If that is accomplished they tend to be thought of as worth their points.  That said, in my mind, the razorback seems to me to be a top-of-the-game firebase, then a mid game transport, followed by a bottom-of-the-game privilege.  Their initial task is to shoot the big gun afixed to their ceiling.  After that, they move infantry models forward, then if they survive all of that, they can crash onto objectives, tank shock, or shoot down targets of opportunity. 

That said, as transports get into the thick of things, they run the risk of being destroyed by two things: melta and close combat attacks.  The TLLC razor has one gun to shoot, so it is feasible to mitigate some of the damage presented by these two by constantly moving.  If a TLLC razor moves 6" enemy models can only hit it on a 4+.  For a C:SM or SW player, the las/plas has to remain stationary to deliver its full payload.  This makes it an easy target for marine equivalent units, especially those with powerfists.  BA razors on the other hand have that wonderful advantage of being fast.  That means they can move 6" and still fire all guns.  They are equally hard to kill as a moving TLLC razor and can still fire all guns. 

Thus, I believe that las/plas razors would be a good idea for Blood Angels, while the TLLC would be the most efficient razorback for C:SM and Space Wolves.  I personally use them exclusively even forgoing the stock bolterback model.  Black Templars can even present a fairly nasty counter attack using their TLLC razorbacks, though they are far more expensive than the newer codices. 

So, if you run BA, run las/plas.  If you run anything TLLC is the razorback for you.  I see these being used time and again in lists despite the mass opinion of the internet community.

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