Friday, February 8, 2019

Titan Versus Tanks

I've never actually had a chance to play with my Warhound Titans. I've been thinking, since I'm going to be playing with them at an Team Apocalypse Tournament in a few weeks, I should actually get them on the table and try them out. I tried arranging a couple games with my partner for the Apocalypse event, but he's had to bail on me a couple times. So, this evening, I tried setting up a little battle on my own to play solo and suss out how good (or bad) they are.

Going into it I had a general feeling that they're just not worth the points. In the last two Chapter Approved books they actually INCREASED the points from what they originally were in the Forge World Index books. Luckily we're playing with Power Level and not points, but I was still not convinced they were worth it - at 75 Power Level for a Warhound Scout Titan - especially looking at the damage dealing some of those new Knights can do at half the power level!!

Set up one of the Warhounds on one side of the table (75PL)

Now there isn't an Codex: Adeptus Titanicus - at least not for Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition), so I was really limited in terns of Warlord Traits - only the three basic ones in the main rulebook to choose from - and nothing like special Stratagems or Legion bonuses (like the Guard Regimental Doctrines and such). I ended up taking the Tenacious Survivor

and all my tanks on the other (78 PL) - including the Shadowsword, a Vanquisher tank commander, two regular battle tanks, Punisher and Demolisher.

I chose Tallarn as their Regiment - because... that's what they are.. but also because they have some great Regimental Doctrine rules for armour and Tank Orders and stuff like that. I gave the Warlord the "Old Grudges" trait (pick an enemy unit on the other side - guess which one I chose!? - friendlies within 6" of the warlord can re-roll failed wound rolls when targeting that enemy! OUCH!!

Come to think of it... I think this is the first time the Shadowsword, and, indeed, most of the Leman Russes have seen action!!!

I didn't really have any titan-sized LOS blocking terrain, so it was basically line-em-up and shoot. Gave the tanks the first shot (wanted to see worst-case-possible).

This seemed like an inauspicious start - the Tank Commander shot first and, despite having a BS 3+ (for having a bad-ass veteran guard crew) MISSED BOTH of her first shots with the vanquisher cannon... The secondary gunners totally made up for it though, the co-drivers lascannon blew through the void shields and knocked three wounds off and the Heavy bolsters even did two!! One tank and I was already down 5 Wounds!! 1/7 of my total... 5 more tanks to go - on one hand there rest of the Leman Russes only had a BS 4+... but there was also the Shadowsword!!!

The Shadowsword fired next and the Volcano Cannon carried off 17 wounds!! Half of my total!! It initially got 9 attacks (which was lucky - it was 3d3 and it all came up sixes!). it only hit with five (average) it wounded with four - after re-rolling one miss. I saved two of those with the invulnerable save (using a command point re-roll because initially I'd only saved one! and then it did 18 damage 2d6x2 - could have been a lot worse - probably SHOULD have been a lot worse. I did get my "Tenacious Survivor" rolls (d6 for each wound I would take, 6 means no wound) but that only reduced the total to 17... This damage alone knocked my void shields down to a 6+ save... the Lascannons did two more wounds and the three twin heavy bolsters did another three... leaving me with 7 wounds... and four more tanks to go...

Yeah... The tanks took out the Warhound in ONE TURN!!! But just barely... the last heavy bolder shot took out the last wound on the Warhound. And there were some insanely lucky rolls on the tanks part and some abysmally bad save rolls for the Warhound (four hits, 4+ invulnerable save = no saves whatsoever?!).

I pretended is had one wound left and tried shooting back - even with the reduction in BS. Dual-turbo laser vaporized the Shadowsword with ONE SHOT! It has 26 wounds... I did 44 to it... But that was about it...  the Titan Vulcan Mega-Bolter did NOTHING at all to the tanks...

This game did nothing to dissuade me of the feeling that Titans are totally not worth as many points/Power Level that they are!

Lessons Learned:

1) Find titan-sized LOS blocking terrain and hide behind it

2) Dual-turbo-laser just WRECKS titanic vehicles - find them and blow them the fü¢k up - especially any with titan-killing weapons (like Shadowswords! or those awful, awful knights)

3) be prepared to lose each match on Turn One or Two...

Ehhhhh... I'm not that worried about that, though. I knew going into this it was unlikely we'd win any games. (I mean, I'M playing!?) It's never really my motivation for playing. Painting cool toys and getting a chance to put them on the table and roll dice and make shoot noises and hang out with some fun people that share some of those interests is what I'm there for. It is entirely possible, that our turns will be short, our games will be short, and we'll have lots of time to hang out and watch all the other games... Which will be cool, because I'll get to take a lot of pictures for the game reports!!!

I did mention this all to my partner, and he said usually at these events, to cut down on the "alpha smite", whoever has the first turn often gets a -2 to hit... which would have really helped a LOT and given my titan a fighting chance... Perhaps I'll have another go at it on Sunday afternoon.

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

It's a SECRET! but I can tell you it's BIG. And it will be coming very soon!!! I'm just going to go and paint some finish on it now...


  1. Do I count this as one of my 40K games played for the personal 10x challenge...? It was a game of 40K... even if it was solo... and only lasted one turn...

    I forgot to mention that I did actually look at the Apocalypse scenarios before the game - and then mostly ignored it. It mostly involved setting up objectives and getting points for holding objectives at the end of the game and there was just NO WAY the Titan is going to win that way - they only way will be to obliterate the opponent so there are NONE of them left on the table to hold any objectives!

  2. Always nice to see the little man win.Yes this counts towards your total.

    1. Thanks, Phil! I'm not sure I'd really call a Shadowsword "little", though...? I guess it's all relative...

  3. Interesting exercise. I guess it's not a great idea to put all your eggs in one huge basket with no place to hide. I think you will need some large geological features (mountains, ginomrous rock formations) or large tall buildings or ruins so you don't have to go "toe to toe with the Russkies" (or Russes).

    1. Ha! I do have a PILE of huge pieces of extruded polystyrene - left over from when we renovated our house. 8" thick, they are! I was (briefly) thinking I should build a pile of mountains and donate them to the organizers to put on the tables... but I'd have to make a couple dozen to guarantee there'd be a couple on any give table I end up playing at... Not sure I have the time - or paint to pull that off!

      There definitely seems to be a distinct advantage to having numbers in the game. Which is partly why I'm keen to try this out - just to do something different. The Reaver Titan should be a tougher nut to crack - it's got almost twice as many wounds, a higher toughness and a 3+ void shield. Mind you it's almost twice as many points... and doesn't have THAT much more firepower...!

  4. Could you bring it on as a reserve? That way it's not sitting on the table acting as a big bullet magnet?

    1. I guess it would depend on the scenario...? Titans have no innate ability to "deep-strike" or come on from reserve, that I know of. Of course if one of them did deploy in reserve, it would just mean there are less targets on the table and therefore more fire will directed at each, and less likely they will survive past there first turn or two...

  5. Nice post Tim, I agree that tanks are better point wise.

    I'm an infantry fan, for 75 power points, you could have 75 lazcannons, spread out in 25 HWS's. Call them Cadians and they're dangerous.

    I did two similar test with ALL infantry IG vs Knights and Landraiders full of SM's. By end of turn three, the guard had whittled their elite opponents down to less than ten marines. IG infantry is so cheap, hordes can die to knights before the knight falls without paying for it's points.

    1. Originally I'd planned to take ONE Warhound titan, plus a Shadowsword, AND a "Brigade Detachment" of Tallarn infantry... but then I got the second... and third titan... and I thought it would be fun to try them out all together - I mean, when am I ever going to get a chance to do that other than at an Apocalypse event!?

      I do love my Tallarn Infantry. should I ever get them all painted, I should have enough to field TWO "Brigade Detachments" PLUS a Spearhead armoured detachment PLUS the Shadowsword in an Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment. This Apocalypse tournament seems to be an annual event, so maybe I'll have to try that for next year!

      People around here seemed to get super annoyed by people who take a lot of time to do their turn - even if it's just because they have a lot of stuff. Some tournaments they've REQUIRED the use of chess clocks and movement trays for certain too types. (and if you take more that your half of the allotted time for the game, you get to just stand there and roll saves while your opponents shoots the crap out of you... it's kind of nuts. I've avoided going to those events...