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Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations

 Post subject: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:59 am 
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There has been quite a bit of debate about the Ordinatus Medrengard going back to 2011, so the goal of this thread is to try make sure that at least the argument is well informed.

Below are the stats for the Ordinatus, followed by the stats and prices of Epic's other great artillery batteries. Direct comparisons between lists is always a bit tricky, but I'll attempt to compare them below as best I can on a whole range of in-game factors.
Expect quite a lot of text, but I hope it's helpful :D


Ordinatus Medrengard 600pts
WE 10cm Armour 5+ CC 6+ FF 4+
Siege Cannon 60cm 9BP, Disrupt, Indirect Fire
2x Mars Bolters 30cm AP5+/AA6+
2x Lascannon 45cm AT5+
DC 4: 4 Void Shields, RA.
Critical Hit: The Ordinatus’ plasma reactor explodes in a roiling blast of energy, the war engine is destroyed and all units within 15cm suffer a hit on a 4+


Steel Legion / Minervans
Artillery Company 650 points
Any nine of the following units:
Basilisk, Manticore

[] Basilisk
AV 20cm Armour 5+ CC 6+ FF5+
Earthshaker 120cm AP4+/AT4+ or 120cm 1BP, Ind

[] Manticore
AV 20cm Armour 6+ CC 6+ FF5+
Rocket Launcher
150cm 2BP, D, Ind, Slow firing

Baran Siegemasters
Artillery Company 425 points
Nine Götterdämmerung Howitzers and nine Gun Emplacements

[] Götterdämmerung Howitzer
LV 0cm Armour - CC - FF 6+ Howitzer 90cm 1BP, Ind

Death Korps
Artillery Support Company 600 points
Nine Earthshaker Platforms and nine of the following:
Gun Emplacements (5+ Cover Save) or Trojans

[] Earthshaker Platform
LV 0cm Armour 6+ 6+ 6+
Earthshaker 120cm AP4+/AT4+ or 120cm 1BP, Ind

-------------------------------------------------

Damage Output:
All of the above can put out 9BP per turn.
Steel Legion and Minervan Artillery Companies can also be specified to use slow firing Manticores to fire 10 one turn and 8 the next, for the same 9BP average per turn.

Result: All do the same average damage per turn

Blast Markers
Kreig Earthshakers and Baran Siegemasters do not Disrupt; they will cause 2 BM on the target plus BM from units lost.
SL and Minervan Basilisks also don't have Disrupt. If using Manticores instead they will gain Disrupt, generally producing a significant amount of extra BM on top of the initial 2.
Ordinatus Medrengard has disrupt, generally producing a significant amount of extra BM.

Result: The Ordinatus is significantly better at causing BM than Krieg and Baran artillery companies, and significantly better than SL and Minervan artillery companies with Basilisks. If SL and Minervans use Manticores instead they come out slightly ahead (by 1 BM) every second turn.

Resilience
9 AP or AT hits are required to kill 9 Howitzers (light vehicles)
10.5 AT hits are required to kill 9 Manticores
12 AP or AT hits are required to kill 9 Earthshaker Platforms or Howitzers (light vehicles) that are in Gun Emplacements (5+ Cover)
A little over 10 AT hits are required to kill 1 Ordinatus (4 to remove Void Shields, about 6.24 to get through DC4 5+RA)
12 AT hits are required to kill 9 Basilisks

Result: The light vehicle artillery batteries are almost always going to be significantly easier to kill due to taking hits from both AP and AT weapons, and because AP weapons generally hit on lower numbers than AT weapons.
The 9 Basilisk formation (Armour 5+) require the most AT hits to kill. The Ordinatus requires about 2 less AT hits to kill, although the actual amount required may increase because the Void Shields recharge (two VS recharges would make it require about as many hits as Basilisks).

Suppression
Theoretically:
The Ordinatus requires 4 BM to break
The Artillery formations require 9 BM to break (exception: Krieg, which can take additional LV to boost numbers but have a whole different set of AP vulnerabilities)

In reality:
If the Ordinatus takes 4 hits, it will be broken and lose its void shields and be broken, but take no damage.
If the Artillery Companies take 4 hits,
Basilisks would be reduced by about 3, leaving 6 survivors with 4 BM and requiring more one more hit to break.
(Note: while not broken, this formation now only has 2 models that can fire)
Manticores would be reduced by about 3.3, leaving 5.7 survivors with 3 or 4 BM and requiring more one more hit to break.
(Note: while not broken, this formation now only has 1 or 2 models that can fire)

Result: The Ordinatus is easier to suppress, but not by nearly as much as might be expected when looking at the relative size of formations.
The other formations are reduced in number as well as being suppressed.

Regrouping
The Ordinatus regroups on a 3+ and fires at full effect (9BP Disrupt)
The other formations regroup on 4+
A broken Basilisk formation that's been broken once may have around 5 or 6 survivors, 1 or 2 of whom will be suppressed (assuming Commissar) meaning 3BP or 4BP of firepower.
Result: A massive advantage to the Ordinatus

Initiative
Ordinatus 1+, all others 2+
Result: Advantage to the Ordinatus; Initiative is particularly important to indirect firing units kept out of Line of Fire.

Strategy Rating
Ordinatus is in a SR4 army, the other Artillery formations are in SR2 armies.
Result: Large advantage to Ordinatus due to the importance of being the first to shoot in an artillery duel

Resilience to Counter Battery Artillery fire
In the type of artillery duel common between two armies with large artillery assets:
The Ordinatus can take a maximum of 2 hits (average 1 at AT4+) from an Artillery battery that centres the template on it. It would take 2BM from basilisks, or 3BM from Manticores firing just over half their slow-fire weapons. It is likely to lose 1 Void Shield, maximum one.
The three templates fired are likely to cover about 8 members of an Artillery formation if it is spaced out well, or 9 and part of another unit if it is not. If 8 are covered, it is likely to take 2+4=6BM and lose 3 models (closer to 4 if Manticores or Howitzers), meaning that it is a very common result that the formation breaks. If unbroken, the most common result would be that only 1 gun is still available to fire (1 or 2BP)
Result: Overwhelming advantage to the Ordinatus; no artillery formation can hope to win a duel with a disrupt-artillery WE.

Critical Hits and TK weapons
None of the formation being reviewed can suffer additional damage from an Critical result, or take multiple hits from a TK weapon.
Result: Disadvantage for the Ordinatus

Range
Basilisk 120/240 cm
Manticore 150/300 cm
Howitzer 90/180 cm
Ordinatus 60/120 cm
Note that the range of 120cm means that there are small areas at the edge of the opponent's deployment zone that the Ordinatus cannot reach even if placed centrally and on the 15cm line of its own deployment zone.
Result: Clear advantage to the artillery that can set up anywhere and still reach anything on the board. Disadvantage to the Ordinatus.


FF Assault
The first 4 hits on the Ordinatus would be Shields, and not count for combat resolution. Once the Shield is down, 5+RA stops just over half (5/9) of the hits . It has 4 attacks at FF 4+ (2 hits).
Hits on other artillery formations generally result in kills (66% of hits on Basilisks, 83% on Manticores, 100% on Howitzers) which count towards combat resolution. They all have 9 attacks at FF6+ (1.5 hits). They should have +1 from a commissar (assuming assigned to this formation and not a casualty).
Result: Advantage to the Ordinatus

CC Assault
CC bypasses Void Shields, so hit would be against the unit's hull which count towards assault resolution. 5+RA stops just over half (5/9) of the hits. It has 4 attacks at FF 6+ (.66 hits).
Hits on other artillery formations generally result in kills (66% of hits on Basilisks, 83% on Manticores, 100% on Howitzers) which count towards combat resolution. They all have 9 attacks at CC6+ (1.5 hits), except for howitzers which are CC-. They should have +1 from a commissar (assuming assigned to this formation and not a casualty).
Result: The Ordinatus should be similar to Basilisks; The basilisks stop less hits so have more casualties for resolution, but are a larger formation and have a commissar.
The clear losers are howitzers with CC-

Air Assault
The Ordinatus has 2x AA6+
None of the other Artillery formations being reviewed have anti-air included in their cost. If taken as they come:
Result: Advantage to the Ordinatus. With two 6+ shots the chance to shoot enemy aircraft down is small, but it is guaranteed to place at least one BM on an unit doing an air assault to potentially gain 'I have no BM' and 'You have more BM' bonuses to combat resolution.
OR
SL and Minervas can add 1 or 2 hydras respectively, for 50pts each.
Result: This would make them better against air assault (Hydras are 45cm 2xAA5+ while the Ordinatus' native AA is 30cm 2xAA6+). This makes the price difference larger, but means the the category is a win to Minervans, followed by SL.
The Krieg and Baran Siegemasters artillery formations don't have access to Hydras so remain considerably worse vs Air Assault.


Other Weapons:
Manticores and Basilisks have Heavy Bolters: 1x AP6+
Baran Howitzers have no secondary weapons
Krieg Earthshakers have no secondary weapons
The Ordinatus has 2x Mars Bolters 30cm AP5+/AA6+ and 2x Lascannon 45cm AT5+

Price:
Steel Legion / Minervans Artillery Company 650pts (or 700 with Hydra, Minervan 750 with 2)
Death Korps 600pts
Ordinatus Medrengard 600pts
Baran Siegemasters Artillery Company 425 points
Result: Clear advantage to the Baran Seigemasters, who pay considerably less than the other forces being compared.

(If anyone thinks any factors are missing or spots any mistakes please let me know, thanks)


Last edited by Matt-Shadowlord on Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:02 am 
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Synopsis - Winner per category

Damage output: Draw (average 9BP per turn) or win to Manticores (can alternate slow-fire to do 10BP every second turn)

Placing Blast Markers: Ordinatus and Manticores (huge advantage due to disrupt) over the other formations.

Resilience: Basilisks are more resilient to AT hits than the Ordinatus (unless the Ordinatus is given time to recharge shields). Basilisks and the Ordinatus are considerably more resilient than any of the the Light Vehicle artillery formations.

Supression: The Ordinatus is slightly easier to suppress by breaking; All other formations are considerably easier to have damage output reduced by suppression before breaking.

Regrouping: Ordinatus wins; it regroups on a lower roll in an army less likely to have used its reroll already, and fires at full effect as soon as regrouped. The other Artillery formations are likely to fire at just 1/3 of original effect after regrouping.

Initiative: Ordinatus

SR: Ordinatus

Counter Battery Artillery fire: Overwhelming advantage to Ordinatus

Critical Hits and TK weapons: Disadvantage to Ordinatus

Range: Significant disadvantage to Ordinatus

FF Assault: Ordinatus

CC Assault: Ordinatus/Basilisk Artillery formation. Howitzers huge losers.

Air Assault: Advantage to Ordinatus; SL and Minervans overtake if upgraded with Hydra(s) at additional cost. (Baran and Krieg artillery have no AA option)

Other Weapons: Advantage to Ordinatus (2xAA and 2xLascannons) over SL and Minervan HB and Krieg and Baran lack of secondary weapons.

Price: Baran Seigemasters win on price, but as the above shows probably not on value.

And that's a wrap - you now know more about the comparative value of these formations than you probably ever hoped to in this lifetime. I'll hold off posting my own opinions and conclusions to see what other people think of the information above.


Last edited by Matt-Shadowlord on Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:37 am 
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Interesting.
It would be more complete if you added in the Biel-Tan Void Spinner (3 War Engines) formation for 750pts as well. I'm sure the Eldar artillery would change the outcomes quite a bit.
Also the Squat artillery could be included but none of those lists are as established as the others previously mentioned.
Also please note that the Steel Legion/Minervan Artillery Company can be upgraded with Hydras (and always have been when I've seen them used).

Your wording in the FF and CC sections is a little biased. You clarify that casualties taken by other artillery formations count for assault resolution but you make no mention of the DC damage taken by the Ordinatus as counting for Assault Resolution.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:48 am 
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Thanks for running the numbers, though as you say, they still can't show you everything.

You've also missed out the impact of other formations in the armies. the Ordinatus has teleporting formations to capitalise on the spread out formations dictated by the Ordinatus (spread out formations that are also likely, due to BM advantage provided by ordinatus, to be sufficiently prepped that the teleport blastmarkers will be of reduced consequence)
none of the other lists you compared have access to teleporting troops (or air assaulting ones) (though Saranse and Tanith lists do)

I'd also argue that commissars impacts on your CC/FF/AA slightly more heavily than you have calculated (as you don't seem to have factored in "inspiring" or the ability to outnumber, though at best, that pushes them back down into a draw on the first 2, assuming the commissar survives.

I think the ordinatus still wins out pretty heavily if you put into contention the (even non-nerfed) Artillery options from the Titan Legions list.

A rundown on that Synopsis


Ordinatus wins 11 categories, draws 2 and loses 2 (I'm counting Suppression as a win to the Ordinatus, though it could be argued as a draw, I find the ability to regroup at full effectiveness to be much more valuable, especially when tied to the Initiative and SR advantages the ordinatus has. I've counted Resilience as a win, as the Ordinatus is in the middle of the pack, but if it survives one round of shooting it recovers a void shield. likewise, it absorbs its first 4 shots at no penalty to its firing capabilites (thats not just a suppression thing, though void shields get no save) it could be considered a draw, but its a very favourable draw at worst)

It's also worth pointing out that some of those categories are more heavily weighted than others. the CC attribute is of minor impact as is the vulnerability to TK weapons (applying to half the resilience of the ordinatus and of reduced frequency than that of normal weaponry)
Range is obviously a disadvantage, but it's not as big a one as you might conclude. 120cm still covers a sizable portion of the table (especially without Fixed Forward, which i definitely believe the ordinatus should have) and recent "arguements" in the AMTL section suggest that some people feel that even an 120cm range is intollerable for the firepower a quake cannon dishes out. obviously MW is a better ability than Disrupt, but still. 120cm aint nothing.

while obviously the counter-battery capabilites are a huge boon (though the old AMTL Quakelord will trounce the Ordinatus in that category, it is also 166% the price)

Likewise, the Strategy Rating advantage to the Ordinatus synergises very neatly with the CounterBattery ability to ensure that unless the Imperial Player is very canny in their deployment, they're pretty much assured of losing access to any artillery company they have before they get a shot off.

So, if i was to perform a simple weighting of those abilities
the ratio jumps to 14/5/3 (and thats still weighting the range as a double loss)
most generously it'd be something more like 10/9/3

when categories run to nearly 2/3rds in your favour, I'm not sure that 50 points cheaper than the closest alternative is at all fair. even at "half the time it's better, the other half its as good" it still shouldnt be cheaper.

Overall, I believe that without disrupt or the AA shots, the Ordinatus would still be a pretty easy choice at it's price. With them, it seems dramatically undercosted. Iconic unit or not, I cannot forsee any instance where I'd not take it in a serious IW list.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:11 pm 
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Onyx wrote:
Interesting.
It would be more complete if you added in the Biel-Tan Void Spinner (3 War Engines) formation for 750pts as well.

650. The upgrade Eldar superheavies got reduced to 200 to make them more worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:43 pm 
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GlynG wrote:
Onyx wrote:
Interesting.
It would be more complete if you added in the Biel-Tan Void Spinner (3 War Engines) formation for 750pts as well.

650. The upgrade Eldar superheavies got reduced to 200 to make them more worth it.


They are still 250pts in all the lists, is that a typo?


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:42 am 
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Onyx wrote:
It would be more complete if you added in the Biel-Tan Void Spinner (3 War Engines) formation for 750pts as well. I'm sure the Eldar artillery would change the outcomes quite a bit.
Also the Squat artillery could be included but none of those lists are as established as the others previously mentioned.
Also please note that the Steel Legion/Minervan Artillery Company can be upgraded with Hydras (and always have been when I've seen them used).


Can do, good idea. I'll have to check what GlynG was saying about the Void Spinners having received a discount. In the 250x3 format I have in my copy of the tournament pack there's never a reason to take them in trios so I pretty much ignored them as a 'super artillery formation'.

The hydra upgrade is valid, but at an additional cost. If you prefer, treat the SL and Minervan Artillery as better vs Air Assault than the Ordinatus, but worse in the price comparison category (now 700pts).
The Krieg and Baran Siegemasters artillery formations don't have access to Hydras so remain considerably worse vs Air Assault.

Onyx wrote:
Your wording in the FF and CC sections is a little biased. You clarify that casualties taken by other artillery formations count for assault resolution but you make no mention of the DC damage taken by the Ordinatus as counting for Assault Resolution.


Not intentional, I'll add the green text to that sentence for uniformity. "CC bypasses Void Shields, so hit would be against the unit's hull which count towards assault resolution. 5+RA stops almost half of the hits."


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:16 am 
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Even at 750pts, the Eldar artillery formation should be included in this comparison as it has exactly the same firepower and is war engine based.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:02 am 
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I agree; add the Void Spinners into the comparison, and it might be worth running a separate comparison with the Ordinatus at 650pts. It's a big gun, but its also a big target that inevitably ties up a lot more in other assets to adequately protect it.

Heck, bringing it to 650 would only emphasize that. Sure, its nasty, but one war engine barge later there's a thunderhawk and terminators sitting on your blitz, and a crater where your Ordinatus/BTS was, unless you're now committing multiple activations to bubble-wrap it.

Sure, other artillery formations have the same vulnerability, but that's the point. Big, threatening, but there's a rock for every scissor.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:00 am 
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Matt-Shadowlord wrote:
The hydra upgrade is valid, but at an additional cost. If you prefer, treat the SL and Minervan Artillery as better vs Air Assault than the Ordinatus, but worse in the price comparison category (now 700pts).
For the comparison, the Steel Legion/Minervan Artillery Company was already worse than the Ordinatus by 50pts. Bumping the Guard Arty Companies up to 700pts (750 in the case of Minervans with 2x Hydras) makes no difference to the price comparison but makes the formation much better at resting AA assault.

I can see the Ordinatus increasing to 625/650pts and I'm ok with removing the Las Cannons. If the AA goes then I see no point in changing the price.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:03 am 
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This is a very interesting thread! I look forward to seeing how it develops!


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:33 pm 
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I think a general feeling amongst guard players is that the arty company is overpriced, and could certainly do with a points drop to 600 or even 550, an arty company also unlocks support slots rather than using them up and doesn't limit your army composition as much, two (quite) important factors in the discussion I feel....

also its a very minor niggle and may be a language thing, but 5+RA will actually save just over half the shots, (5/9 or 55.6%) to me 'almost half' means almost but not quite, and 5+RA is definitely better in all respects than a regular 4+ save with its 50/50 odds

Anyway that aside this is a very useful thread :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:31 am 
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The Eldar superheavy discount is from the latest version of the Biel-tann list, look in the Eldar sub-forum. I believe it is being trialled there and if playtesting finds it ok then it will be incorporated into next year's tournament pack.


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Onyx wrote:
For the comparison, the Steel Legion/Minervan Artillery Company was already worse than the Ordinatus by 50pts. Bumping the Guard Arty Companies up to 700pts (750 in the case of Minervans with 2x Hydras) makes no difference to the price comparison but makes the formation much better at resting AA assault.


That makes perfect sense. The Ordinatus is already behind on price so its Anri-Air might as well be judged vs other formations that take optional AA. I've added that option and the results to the first post, thanks.

Quote:
The Eldar superheavy discount is from the latest version of the Biel-tann list, look in the Eldar sub-forum. I believe it is being trialled there and if playtesting finds it ok then it will be incorporated into next year's tournament pack.


I'll add Eldar into the mix tomorrow.
Thus far, apart from not having full-board range the Ordinatus looks like the best large artillery formation in the game in most of the areas that matter, but if there's anyone who could beat it and think they deserve a discount while doing so it would be those pesky Space-Elves :D


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 Post subject: Re: Ordinatus Medrengard vs other large Artillery formations
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:50 am 
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I've written the Eldar Void Spinners into the list. Before I post it, in case it's not entirely clear I'd just like to mention that I am a fan of the Iron Warriors list, and would like to see it finalised and go live. It is a great looking, thematic and genuinely evil army with lots of good options.
It's probably fair to say the Ordinatus seems to have been the most controversial unit with opponents so I thought it was about time it was actually thoroughly analysed and compared with existing units to speed the process up.

That doesn't mean I don't like the BFG :D


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