So, hey folks, Kasrkar here.
I was running through my IG list recently, when I started wondering about replacing my colossus with something else. I then noticed how many artillery tanks that the guard have, and figured I'd make a post on it. Most of the variants are good, and it seems like a new person could easily make list mistakes because of how they can be compared.
I liked the format of my post on russ variants, so I figure I'll make it into a countdown similar to that. So let's begin!
So, I've never personally used the deathstrike, but its stats say enough. S10 AP1 D3+3 blast doesn't sound too shabby, right? Well, it isn't but this guy only gets one shot per game, and takes up one of IG's precious heavy support slots. Also, the turn that it shoots is random, and there's a possibility that it will not ever get to launch the missle. Frankly, any smart enemy will just blow it up before it can fire. Its price tag of 160 points also makes it a harsh investment for something that likely won't get to do anything. I want to say it's good, but it simply isn't reliable enough to be better than any other heavy support the IG has. It also cannot be put in a squadron.
Tactics: Just be sure to protect it, and hopefully it will get to fire and make some stuff go boom.
Oh, how the mighty has fallen. I remember when every single IG player considered one of these boys a mandatory investment. So what happened? The basilisk now costs 25 points more, and has a crazy minimum range of 36". It also just doesn't quite stand up to the other artillery pieces anymore. I must say, it's been quite a while since I've seen one of these on the table. The basilisk may be put in a squadron, however.
Tactics: I'd say definately throw it in a corner to try and kill as much as you can before the enemy gets within 36".
Honestly, this is actually a very good tank. Same AV as any other artillery piece or chimera, and with a twin-linked S6 AP4 large blast barrage. Here's the kicker, it's 75 points! If you want a lot of large blasts, get 9 of these little guys. In truth, though, I'm fairly sure that 3 manticores will do better most of the time. The primary reasons that I gave this tank #4 is the fact that it's an easy kill point, it won't reliably kill much other than light infantry, and there's no GW model for it. Unless you know a guy, or you're decent at converting, it may be difficult/expensive to get your hands on one of these.
Tactics: Get a lot of these, bubble wrap them with other tanks and infantry, and blast away!
I used to take one of these, and it would typically not do very well. Honestly, it is a great tank. A 36" demolisher cannon is very scary. So scary, in fact, that most people target it first. It doesn't have the survivability of a vindicator, but at 135 points, it's a good enough investment. You can squadron it, however, so it doesn't take away as much from your force org chart as other tanks may. The medusa can also take special shells, that make it more of a tank hunter. They reduce the shot to small blast, but make it AP1 and roll 2d6 to pen. I've playtested these, and they work well enough. Frankly, I find the rounds somewhat redundant, as you already have a S10 ordnance shot, but oh well.
Tactics: Yay, no minimum range! Bubblewrap it and shoot anything with decent armor (vehicles or infantry) before it explodes.
I use one of these in my current list. I take it for a reason, and fear is that reason. If you plop this guy out of LoS, you can just sit tight and watch as the enemy rips their hair out over it. It is S6 AP3 large blast, making it a dedicated marine killer. The nice thing is that it ignores cover, and always fires indirectly. The unfortunate thing is, it has a minimum range of 24", and it always uses the full 2D6 for scatter unless you get a hit.
Tactics: This one may not seem very good, but it can be quite crucial to winning objective games. The reason I take it (other than for dealing with long fangs...) is to deal with that last pesky unit sitting in cover on an objective. One lucky hit from the colossus, and that unit is gone. It is also nice for dealing with units out of reach of your heavies. It misses a lot, and a determined enemy will almost always kill it, but it is very good at scaring the enemy into making mistakes with their units. These mistakes can be the difference between a loss and a win.
Woh! Big shocker there, right? Honestly, what else could've been #1? These things are amazing, they get D3 S10 AP4 pie plates. Again, minimum range of 24", but it's artillery for crying out loud. Or atleast I consider it artillery, it has the same purpose. Getting back on track, this will annihilate any tank, and any infantry squad with a 4+ save or worse. Also, don't be shocked if it kills more than one thing per turn, it will do that pretty often, really. Same as the medusa or colossus, though, it's scary, so it will get shot. It's a wee bit expensive at 160 points, and it cannot be put in a squadron, but it's worth it in my opinion. One more thing, it only gets 4 shots per game, but to be completely frank, it probably won't live past 4 turns. Mine dies pretty much every game, but only after it blows up about half of the enemy's army.
Tactics: Well, bubblewrap it, as always. Fire it at tanks, or giant packed in squads. Chances are, you won't be unhappy with the results.