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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Default The Grey Knight Dreadnought, More than just the Psyfleman

Greetings fellow Grey Knight Players and Dreadnought enthusiasts!

I have been observing for sometime know that virtually all Grey Knight army lists that include dreadnoughts only seem to include the "Psyfleman" variety, albeit, they fit in perfectly with said lists. For those of you who don't know, a Psyfleman is a Dreadnought or Venerable Dreadnought that is equipped with two twin-linked Autocannons and Psybolt Ammunition (which provides +1 Strength to said Autocannons). It is quite deadly against enemy vehicles, especially lightly armored ones.

The problem is that while it excels in this role, it's capabilities for anything else is greatly reduced.

Let us first address the weapon systems (sans Psybolts) it carries. The Autocannon, by itself, is in my opinion, a rather confused weapon. It's high strength relative to enemy infantry toughness is great for forcing armor saves, but it's relatively mediocre Armor Penetration and low rate of fire negate this to a certain extent. Without equipping it with Psybolt Ammunition, it is only moderately effective against AV11 (Rhino equivalent), inflicting a damaging hit about half the time. Obviously, Psybolts have a force multiplying effect against enemy armor, but do little with regards to being used against enemy infantry (Instant Deathing T4 models aside).

Don't get me wrong, I like the Psyfleman, it's very good at what it does, however, with so much...hype...regarding the Psyfleman Dreadnought, I fear many players (myself included) are overlooking other potential uses and ways to equip the Grey Knight Dreadnought. Therefor, I present the following alternative and a breakdown of its capabilities compared to the Psyfleman variant.



Venerable Dreadnought:
Plasma Cannon, Twin-linked Autocannon w/Psybolt Ammunition.



It costs the exact points as a Psyfleman, sacrificing some anti-vehicle capability for an increase in anti-infantry capability. Before I continue, I feel I need to address the capabilities of the Psyfleman first.

Personally, I find that Dreadnoughts (or Venerable Dreadnoughts) perform best when deployed in at least groups of 2, but 3 is probably better.

Let's say you have two Venerable Psyfleman Dreadnoughts. Now that that is assumed, let's look at how well they destroy your opponents vehicles.

AV10: 1.294 Glancing Hits and 5.182 Penetrating Hits (Ouch!)
AV11: 1.294 Glancing Hits and 3.889 Penetrating Hits
AV12: 1.294 Glancing Hits and 2.593 Penetrating Hits
AV13: 1.294 Glancing Hits and 1.294 Penetrating Hits
AV14: 1.294 Glancing Hits and No Penetrating Hits

That's a severe amount of damage being dealt out to your opponents vehicles from just two models.

Now let's examine it's anti-infantry capability. For the sake of argument, I'm going to assume the target is an MEQ (T4, 3+Sv), mainly because I find myself up against MEQs far more often than GEQs (this my own bias, just like everybody has their own bias's). After you factor in to hit rolls, to wound rolls, and armor saves, you will cause 2.163 Casualties, not real impressive.

Now, let's take these same two Venerable Dreadnoughts and turn them into the hybrid Psfyleman that I put forth earlier. (Note: I combined the potential Autocannon and Plasma Cannon hits using some mathhammer as best I could factoring in scatter, and erred on the conservative side and went with 1.85 hits between the two Plasma cannons, as you are likely to score a direct hit at least with one of them [52%/ea] and the other will likely scatter 3 inches or less, and unless it scatters completely perpendicular to the target vehicle, will still result in a hit) .

AV10: .958 Glancing Hits and 3.398 Penetrating Hits
AV11: .958 Glancing Hits and 2.560 Penetrating Hits
AV12: .958 Glancing Hits and 1.605 Penetrating Hits
AV13: .958 Glancing Hits and 0.649 Penetrating Hits
AV14: .649 Glancing Hits and No Penetrating Hits

That's about a 35% reduction in anti-vehicle capability, give or take. However, against that same MEQ unit lets examine how much carnage they can wreak. (Note: I believe that it is safe to assume that with a small blast template, you can fit 3 enemy infantry models under it during its initial placement, and given that we know that between the 2 Plasma Cannons, one will likely score a direct hit and the other will likely scatter 3" or less, I erred on the conservative side and went with 4 hits combined in addition to adding the Autocannon hits). After to hit rolls, to wound rolls, and armor save (where applicable) rolls, yields 4.413 Casualties. That is over a 100% increase in your anti-infantry capability!

Combine this with the 35% reduction in anti-vehicle capability, you get a net increase of 65% in the units effectiveness and simultaneously make it more versatile. After you destroy your opponents transports, you will be able to engage their contents much more effectively. Not to mention the fact that it brings some much needed AP2 weaponry to the table.

I am not advocating that people should forgo using the Psyfleman in favor of my Hybrid Psyfleman, but rather to highlight the potential usefulness of using other weapons on your Dreadnoughts. If the Psyfleman is working for you by all means continue to use it, but if you're like me and enjoy having as much versatility as you can get, I strongly encourage you to give this Hybrid a try.

Last edited by Shas'O...Crap; 08-08-11 at 07:09 PM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 07:23 AM
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The problem is that rifle dreads provide long ranged anti-tank that GK sorely lack from any other source besides lascannon monkeys. On the other hand, GK have some of the best anti-infantry in the entire game with army-wide storm bolters, psybacks, etc so rifle dreads should not be shooting MEQ anyway.

Entertaining other options is nice, but any competitive player will choose duel autocannons w/ psybolt over any other configuration in a heartbeat thanks to how point efficient the combination is.
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The problem is that rifle dreads provide long ranged anti-tank that GK sorely lack from any other source besides lascannon monkeys. On the other hand, GK have some of the best anti-infantry in the entire game with army-wide storm bolters, psybacks, etc so rifle dreads should not be shooting MEQ anyway.

Entertaining other options is nice, but any competitive player will choose duel autocannons w/ psybolt over any other configuration in a heartbeat thanks to how point efficient the combination is.
This. Grey Knights already destroy infantry of pretty much all descriptions. What they desperately need is long range anti-tank, and the psyfleman plugs this hole perfectly. It should probably be mentioned that once vehicles are dead, psyflemen still pump out 4 shots a turn; they still lay the smackdown on infatry, and importantly deny 99% of FNP. Blood Angels are suddenly just regular old marines against these guys, and nasty stuff like Crisis suits are being ID'd left, right and centre.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, Hurricane.

I think you may have missed the point of my post, at least in part.

Psyfleman Dreads are great for anti-vehicle duties and long range fire support, something we Grey Knight players are sorely lacking. However, suppose you just blew open a rhino with a Tac squad in your previous turn, and the only vehicle that your dread can get LOS on is a Land Raider; as I demonstrated with the stats in my OR, you're not very likely to damage that Land Raider, nor are you likely to inflict many casualties on the Tac squad, unless you also had a Plasma Cannon. In which case, you shoot the Tac Squad to soften them up and then your nearby Strike/Purifier squad (which you should have one nearby) should be able to shoot at the Tac squad and then charge, likely wiping them out.

Your opponent may be playing Tyranids, in which case a plasma cannon would almost certainly be better than that extra autocannon. There are numerous other possible examples of when and where the plasma cannon would be a boon for your army. Any time you can wipe out a unit with the concentrated effort of just two of yours is well worth it.

I was not saying you should shoot MEQs first, but rather that they have an enhanced ability to deal with the MEQs once you shot them out of their transport. You then follow that up with storm bolter and psycannon shooting, and charge. If you combine the shooting plus the close combat, the unit will be wiped out entirely, even by a strike squad.

A plasma Cannon has a 36" range, which is long enough for virtually every situation given that the gameboard is only 48" across.

I respectfully disagree with your assertion that any competitive player would/should auto choose the Psyfleman Dread over a different build. While it is excellent as a transport hunter, it is good for little else, other than forcing saves. The build that I put forth, while not quite as deadly against transports, is much more effective against other targets. Excellence in one facet of the game is nice, but I believe versatility is generally better.

The more versatile your force is, the more you opponent has to deal with, and with any strategy game, if you give your opponent more things to deal with than he is capable of doing, you will likely win.

I believe many players have stopped thinking for themselves and let internet meta tell them what to pick and choose, but if you bother to crunch the numbers, as I did, you may have much more to gain than you lose.
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they still lay the smackdown on infatry, and importantly deny 99% of FNP. Blood Angels are suddenly just regular old marines against these guys, and nasty stuff like Crisis suits are being ID'd left, right and centre.
Yes, they do cause instant death and deny FNP, however, things like Blood Angles and Crisis Suits will still be getting their armor save, negating that high strength to a certain extent. That said, the AP2 also denies FNP, as well as their armor save, and you are likely to inflict more meaningful hits with the Plasma Cannon.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 08:39 AM
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Considering the ammount of mech armies being put forth, its more advisable to use a psyfilmen in competitive.
I do like your idea, and I'm going to try it next week, just for competitive play, the autocannon totting walkers are a lot better.



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Yes, they do cause instant death and deny FNP, however, things like Blood Angles and Crisis Suits will still be getting their armor save, negating that high strength to a certain extent. That said, the AP2 also denies FNP, as well as their armor save, and you are likely to inflict more meaningful hits with the Plasma Cannon.
The Plasma Cannon still doesn't cause instant death against anything you actually care about killing. Cover saves you from the Plasma Cannon. As does proper placement of your infantry models. A Plasma Cannnon should get 5 hits at very best, and that's against clumped infantry (it's more like three against strung-out infantry), and assuming you don't scatter off (which happens a lot). You really aren't more likely to 'inflict more meaningful hits' with a Plasma Cannon.

To be honest, if you really want to avoid the psyfleman route, rather than just chucking an out-of-place plasma cannon on him, I'd rather be more inclined to keep the Close Combat Weapon, and give him either Multi-Melta, Assault Cannon or Autocannon (with psybolts of course). That way you've got a dread which can advance up with the rest of the army, giving out some of the best psychic defense in the game in the form of Reinforced Aegis, and is still putting out some nice AT shots, and works as a countercharge unit.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Instant Death on T4 models is only really relevant on Nobs, Crisis Suits, Tyranid Warriors, Paladins, and Independent Characters. (Not sure if I missed some, but that's all I could remember)

Nobz in Mega armour will still be getting their 2+ Armor Save, which makes your Instant Death highly unlikely.

Crisis Suits will still be getting their 3+ Armor Save.

Tyranid Warriors, admittedly, are dead bugs.

Paladins still get their 2+ armor Save, good luck.

Most Independent Characters are surrounded by additional wounds, that, while their intention may not be ablative in nature, certainly act as ablative wounds.

Bringing up cover saves is just silly when comparing one weapon's capabilities to another, unless one of them specifically denies cover saves, as both may end up shooting through cover.

One could argue that the Plasma Cannon does inflict instant death, of a sort. By denying all armor saves, anything caught in the open, that takes a hit and a wound, and only has one wound or is T3 with multiple wounds and no EW, is dead.

Nobz on Bikes would get a Cover Saves from Instant Death Autocannons, as would Warriors who were actually in cover, or had a Venomthrope Bubble around them, and many times, ICs don't need a cover save, as they have some sort of invulnerable save. Crisis Suits don't care about cover from S8 AP4 Autocannon shots, they still get their 3+ Armor Save, same for those Paladins, only theirs is a 2+ save.

It's not that I want to avoid the Psyfleman route, but rather it seems everybody wants to avoid everything but the Psyfleman route, and I think that's wrong, as their are plenty of other viable builds for the dreadnought.

While we do live in an era of Mech armies, the "Cauterizer" (that's what I'll call it!) only has it's anti-mech abilities slightly diminished, while greatly improving it's ability to engage enemy infantry, particularly heavy infantry. Let's not forget the number of Psycannons that we will likely have at our disposal, either. They are fully capable of taking down a Land Raider (I've done it), and are nearly as good against light vehicles, when shot on the move, and devastating if you stand still, though admittedly shorter range.

If you like, I would be more than happy to come up with other builds and outline their respective capabilities. The 'Cauterizer' was just the first one to pop in to my head, mainly due to the fact the it still had decent long-ranged firepower against vehicles and had greatly improved anti-infantry capabilities.

I first had the idea of coming up with different uses for the Grey Knight Dreadnought when I sat down to make a list (actually 2) with Psycannon Spam. The first list had a bunch of Psycannons, but no Psyfleman. The second list added 2 Psyfleman and reduced my Psaycannon count by about a third or so. After I crunched the numbers, I discovered that the Psycannons, especially en masse, were more effective than having Psyfleman for anti-vehicle purposes, range aside. This told me that if you have enough (not necessarily spammed) Psycannons, the Psyfleman use is diminished to the point where you would be better off spending the points elsewhere, or, kitting him out differently.

Last edited by Shas'O...Crap; 08-07-11 at 05:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by Shas'O...Crap View Post
Instant Death on T4 models is only really relevant on Nobs, Crisis Suits, Tyranid Warriors, Paladins, and Independent Characters. (Not sure if I missed some, but that's all I could remember)
So you're saying that being vastly more effective against some of the most powerful infantry in the games isn't relevant?

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Nobz in Mega armour will still be getting their 2+ Armor Save, which makes your Instant Death highly unlikely.
It's a rate of fire weapon, they'll still fail a couple.

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Crisis Suits will still be getting their 3+ Armor Save.
Do you play marines? A 3+ is hardly infallible.Whilst I'm pumping out 4 accurate shots that ID, they're failing an average of 1-2 saves. These saves remove an entire model, and are much harder to do wound llocation shenanigans against.

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Tyranid Warriors, admittedly, are dead bugs.
At least we agree here.

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Paladins still get their 2+ armor Save, good luck.
Like I said with Nobs, one will drop. with your Plasma Cannon, you'll hit a couple, and then the one or two wounds that gets through the cover save are spread around the unit, making no net change in their effectiveness. And that's assuming they haven't just plonked the wound on to Draigo.

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Most Independent Characters are surrounded by additional wounds, that, while their intention may not be ablative in nature, certainly act as ablative wounds.
Fair point, but it still happens, as opposed to a PC doing nothing against those ICs.

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Bringing up cover saves is just silly when comparing one weapon's capabilities to another, unless one of them specifically denies cover saves, as both may end up shooting through cover.
Erm, it's not silly at all. Cover drastically reduces the value of an AP higher than 4. Autocannons don't really care about cover, since most of the time they don't ignore armour saves, which more often than not are superior to cover. Plasma Cannons do.

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One could argue that the Plasma Cannon does inflict instant death, of a sort. By denying all armor saves, anything caught in the open, that takes a hit and a wound, and only has one wound or is T3 with multiple wounds and no EW, is dead.
If you leave shit out in the open for a plasma cannon to shoot, you deserve to have it killed. Units should have either a) a good invulnerable save, b) cover, or c) metal bawkses to hide in. and that's assuming the PC hits, which it hardly does in any reliable fashion.

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Nobz on Bikes would get a Cover Saves from Instant Death Autocannons, as would Warriors who were actually in cover, or had a Venomthrope Bubble around them, and many times, ICs don't need a cover save, as they have some sort of invulnerable save. Crisis Suits don't care about cover from S8 AP4 Autocannon shots, they still get their 3+ Armor Save, same for those Paladins, only theirs is a 2+ save.
See above, I don't like repeating myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O...Crap View Post
It's not that I want to avoid the Psyfleman route, but rather it seems everybody wants to avoid everything but the Psyfleman route, and I think that's wrong, as their are plenty of other viable builds for the dreadnought.
Sure, I listed a couple, but slapping a PC on the psyfleman doesn't make it better in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O...Crap View Post
While we do live in an era of Mech armies, the "Cauterizer" (that's what I'll call it!) only has it's anti-mech abilities slightly diminished, while greatly improving it's ability to engage enemy infantry, particularly heavy infantry. Let's not forget the number of Psycannons that we will likely have at our disposal, either. They are fully capable of taking down a Land Raider (I've done it), and are nearly as good against light vehicles, when shot on the move, and devastating if you stand still, though admittedly shorter range.
Except you haven't improved the anti-infantry that much. Really, like I said earlier, blasts are easy to set up against.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O...Crap View Post
If you like, I would be more than happy to come up with other builds and outline their respective capabilities. The 'Cauterizer' was just the first one to pop in to my head, mainly due to the fact the it still had decent long-ranged firepower against vehicles and had greatly improved anti-infantry capabilities.
Fine, come up with other builds, just make sure they're good before you spout their virtues and people start thinking they're good. Hell, I proposed some alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O...Crap View Post
I first had the idea of coming up with different uses for the Grey Knight Dreadnought when I sat down to make a list (actually 2) with Psycannon Spam. The first list had a bunch of Psycannons, but no Psyfleman. The second list added 2 Psyfleman and reduced my Psaycannon count by about a third or so. After I crunched the numbers, I discovered that the Psycannons, especially en masse, were more effective than having Psyfleman for anti-vehicle purposes, range aside. This told me that if you have enough (not necessarily spammed) Psycannons, the Psyfleman use is diminished to the point where you would be better off spending the points elsewhere, or, kitting him out differently.
If you want to spam psycannons, why use dreadnoughts? Use a Razorknight list with Crowe, Purifiers and purgators.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-07-11, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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What I'm saying is that it is very unit specific, whereas the Plasma Cannon is not. Plus, we have Force Weapons!



Yes, I play Grey Knights, as well as Tau (they sit collecting dust on my shelf right now).



Maybe I wasn't clear, the plasma canon is there to deny armor saves, specifically those from the guys you just blew out of their metal boxes, who have no invulnerable save, cover save, are denied FNP, and are only 1 wound each, they will die in droves to Plasma fire, of any kind.



Units being out in the open at some point during the game is an inevitability, unless you play with gobs of terrain, typically I play the way the book suggest, 25%, give or take. Which leaves plenty of open spaces out there! Hell, it could even be used an Area of Denial Weapon.

I couldn't disagree more!!! If anything, my numbers prove it to be better in the long run, though maybe not quite as good in the short run.


So doubling it isn't that much?! What would be?!


I find your chose of words here rather poor. I put much time and effort into crunching the numbers and examining various situations before I "spouted off" my post here, did you even read the comparative numbers that I had? If you prefer to use the Psyfleman over the Cauterizer, more power to you. I was merely making a suggestion that the recent craze over Psyfleman maybe handicapping all Grey Knights players into thinking they are the only viable build. THEY ARE NOT!


Why not have some Dreadnoughts? As I mentioned before, Versatility is always a good thing.
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