Monday, September 7, 2009

Ironclad Dreadnoughts. Are they worth it?

This is a question for all the Space Marine players out there. Do you think it is worth it to use the Ironclad dreadnought as opposed to the basic dreadnought?
Basically, the question really comes down to whether or not it is worth it to take the Ironclad for its AV13 and combat prowess, or go for the cheaper, longer ranged weapon, basic dreadnought.
Now AV13 is a big jump from AV12 because now, krak missiles are only penetrating on a 6 (not to mention the Ironclad has extra armor built in). This dreadnought can take a lot more powerfist/klaw blows before it becomes ineefective, krak grenades are useless against it and it has an extra attack in its profile, giving it a CC edge of survivability combined with damage output.
The trouble now lies in the fact that its meltagun has half the range of the basic dread's multi-melta and while he is tough as nails, the Ironclad will still die to a well placed melta shot (and there are plenty out there). Drop podding will make them more effective, but at 1750 and lower it seems to take up points that could be better spent on MORE dreads or on other FOC selections altogether.
Compare this to a regular dread, who fits into a drop pod even with the addition of a heavy flamer for a comfortable 150 points, allowing you to field more of them while not robbing a ton of points from the rest of your army. The basic dread can also roll terribly on the deep strike and most often still get double penetration and still providing the enemy with an imposing target.
The downside here being that krak greneades can pose a little problem and things like S7 fire can still penetrate the Dread. With that being said, I don't think anyone wants any kind of dread in their midst and will likely have a big distraction on their hands in a drop pod scenario.
Well there is the basic arguement, please post your thoughts and cover any ground you think we missed here. Perhaps you think a rifleman dread is far better for the points than what was mentioned here or maybe you have an interesting experience to share. Lets here it!


  1. As a chaos marine and daemons player, I can tell you that I don't like iron-clads on the opposite side of the table to me. Even less when they drop pod in to my lines. I regard them as well worth while for space marine players -- they certainly cause me grief and I tend to target them when I should be targeting other things!

  2. I tend to not use it because of the combination of AV 13 and closecombat. If he wants to be in combat he is at short range and Meltas don't really care if its AV12 or 13. So you are paying the points for nothing. In my opinion he only works in twos or threes and if your opponent runs out of Melltas.

  3. I use all three dreadnought variations.

    Ironclad dreadnoughts are for close combat and vehicle wrecking. As you've said krak grenades do nothing, but a krak rocket can still score a penetrating hit on a 6, though does make it tougher. It has extra armour if you do take punishment as well, and if one arm is lost you still have dccw weapon. I think for the extra points its worth it.

    The vanilla dreadnought is cheap and cheerful and is still a toughie. Its more a jack of all trades as it can be used for close combat, ranged anti tank, anti infantry and ultimate close range tank busting.

    The venerable is like the vanilla, but with better ws and bs. Thing is its annoying as hell to kill, but its costs a lot of points and considering the re-roll could be a bad one and has same armour as a vanilla dreadnought I would rather take a ironclad.

    So in order I rate: ironclad, vanilla dreadnought and then venerable. Ironclad is tough as nails, got some nice goodies and optional wargear which is mostly free. Vanilla dreadnought is jack of all trades and still a decent point price. Venerable is expensive point wise and performs a bit better than the vanilla dreadnought, but the point cost hike isn't worth it.

  4. venerauble dreads are damn near impossible to kill. and if anything as soon as they hit the board they usually get focus fired. Seeing as black templar venerauble dreads are cheaper, for now at least.

  5. I'm not a fan of the Ven Dread. I'm 40 points away from having a second dread, which is probably going to do more damage than a single dread.

    My beef with the Ironclad is that it's going to run to close range, and if they brought melta, things go boom.

    If you're drop-podding them, the difference between 13 and 12 isn't going to save you from melta. I think the basic MM/HF dreadnought is superior in a pod, as it can engage any target, and it's cheaper.

    If you're marching them across the board, AV13 beats AV12, but there are the range issues.

    The Rifleman Dread is a totally different purpose; it engages the enemy at long range and hunts anything without AV13 or better.

    I'd say the MM/HF dread is fine in drop pods, and marginal walking. Rifleman? Fire Support. Ironclad? Interesting, though they have speed issues and/or melta vulnerability issues.

    Of course, it's a bit of a 'what's in the rest of your army' question as well.

  6. The Ironclad is absolutely perfect for a Black Templar army, as it fits right in with the BT theme: get into assault as quickly as possible, cause havoc, repeat.

    This is, of course, why GW hasn't issued any errata or updated the BT FAQ to deal with the fact that as things are now, I can't take an Ironclad with BT's.

    I have used my Ironclad (saw it at the store, loved it so much that I bought it, built it, painted it...then looked in my codex. Damn you GW!!!) in friendly games since the guys in my gaming group are pretty good about letting things slide in our regular games.

    As far as Venerable Dreads go, I simply can't justify the additional cost in my army. I run a regular Dread with twin linked lasers and a missile launcher normally. It's my non-Templar Dread. I just park it deep and bring the rain on my opponent. Missiles don't care if they make contact with armor or flesh, it all blows up.