Saturday, October 23, 2010
The vindicator is a tank that I see being used in a great deal of space marine armies. There is no denying how effective this unit can be, the strength 10 AP 2 ord blast is going to annihilate pretty much anything you shoot at, providing you don't scatter too terribly. The versatility and devastating effectiveness of the demolisher cannon makes the vindicator your opponent's worst nightmare, and therefore biggest concern.
Almost every army I see that uses the vindicator will field only one. Most times, one vindicator is not going to work which leads players to believe that the tank is underwhelming and not worth it. The reason for this is that your opponent is going to want to knock out that vindicator with everything he's got, because he knows it's going to smash him up hard if it's not taken care of immediately. All it takes is a weapon destroyed OR even immobilized (since the demolisher cannon is a fixed *and* short range weapon) to really knock it out of the game.
If you want to maximize the potential of your vindicator, you should field at least two. This way, your opponent will have to make some choices when choosing target priorities. Throw in a third vindicator or land raider and that will really make your opponent think about what to do. I would personally field three vindicators if my devastator squad was not so critical for my army's synergy.
For Blood Angels in particular, the vindicator is certainly one of the hidden jems of codex. Now that it's a fast vehicle for BA exclusively, you can use these bad boys at an effective range of 3 feet as they can move 12" before firing. Where regular marine players are forced to use their vindicators defensively (if they are playing them effectively), Blood Angels can actually use the vindicator as an extremely potent first turn alpha-strike weapon. No more hiding behind big buildings with a siege shield and waiting for the enemy army to come towards you. Sure, you could -force- advances by deploying key objectives directly in front of a defensive vindicator, but any general worth his salt is going to see through this trap and use proper countermeasures. And if you play your BA vindicator in a static role, then you're wasting the premium cost you pay for it to be a fast vehicle.
This also brings up the question as to whether the siege shield is now obsolete for Blood Angels. As you can see from my 2 vindicators pictured above, I am of the opinion that the siege shield is worthless. I know quite a few players who swear by the siege shield, but I see it as a waste of points when you can move 12" which is easily enough to move around whatever you may be choosing to hide behind. Yes, you'll lose range by going around, but probably not much. Regardless, I am not going to play my vindicators in a defensive role anyway. Since BA players already have to pay the extra 30 points for the fast profile, tacking on more points begins to turn your vindicators into a liability instead of a cheap hammer.
In short, the BA vindicator seems to me like it's the premier heavy support choice in the codex. It would be unfortunate for a Blood Angels player not to take advantage of this game-changing wonder weapon.