That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be talking about the walking behemoth sarcophagi that contains the nearly deceased body of a space marine. Sounds cool right? Then why are they so crappy?!?
Now to be a little more specific, I’m not talking about Venerable Dreadnoughts, or Iron Clad, or Furioso, or anything like that. I mean a regular, plain, old, run-of-the-mill Dreadnought.
Now there are 2 armies that can run a basic Dreadnought and they are similar in many ways, but there differences make them uniquely capable of different things.
Lets start things off on a high note, a Dreadnought can be built to deal with absolutely any situation, whether you need him to take out massed light infantry, heavy infantry, vehicles, fliers, or monstrous creatures.
Your basic Dreadnought costs 100pts stock no matter which codex he is bought from. For that you get a Mulitmelta and power fist and a stormbolter or combi-bolter on a S6, A2, AV 12-12-10, walker chassis. So as a stock item, it’s main use would be to take out vehicles or buildings at close to medium range. However, as I mentioned above you can equip this bad boy to do anything.
The close combat Dreadnought is done best by the Chaos version, mainly due to it’s ability to buy additional close combat weapons like the Thunder Hammer and Power Scourge. The Power Scourge being a fancy item available only to the Chaos Dreadnought is a combat weapon that puts a –D3 penalty to WS to all models in base contact with it. There is a downside to the Chaos Dreadnought, the Crazed rule. This forces a roll on a chart any time the Dreadnought takes damage. On a 1, he can’t move but must shoot all his weapons twice at the unit that damaged him OR the closest enemy unit. On a 6 he can’t shoot and must attempt to assault the unit that damaged him OR run towards it. There are 2 big alarms that go off when considering a combat dread; first you only get 2 attacks base and second is that almost any unit is capable of killing it. Hell a squad of guardsmen with Krak grenades will kill it in 3 rounds of combat with Krak grenades. Which makes him more useful at smashing elite units that can't smash back.
On the opposite spectrum, both the Chaos and the Imperial Dreadnoughts can pull off a pretty good “shooty” fire base. The gun upgrades for each are mostly the same with the exception of the Imperial Dreadnought being able to take an assault cannon and a second twin-linked autocannon. The more “popular” shooty builds are the lascannon missile launcher combo for ranged anti tank, the plasmacannon missile launcher for anti infantry and light tank, and the dual twin-linked autocannons for anti almost everything. The glaring problem with this one is that those same guardsmen in the previous example will kill it without losing as many models. This is because the Dreadnought does not have a Power fist and does not ignore armour saves. The Chaos Dreadnought has an additional drawback in that it may be forced to charge something.
So, what do we do with this thing? Well, I think the best course would be to keep it cheap. Generally, you can build each one of them as a multipurpose tool by simply giving them a heavy flamer upgrade. Now they can pop tanks, kill hordes, and still work the assault phase. A jack of all trades master of none.
For the Chaos Dreadnoughts specifically, you can go the way of combat, giving him an additional power fist and a heavy flamer, or to upgrade one of the close combat arms to a power scourge, each one running 110 total. You have to remember though, that he can be “tar pitted” fairly easily and is a big enough threat to be targeted early and killed easily.
The Imperial Dreadnought can’t take a second power fist so the pure combat option is out unless you take an ironclad or something, but he can take the double autocannon. This makes him pretty damn popular as a support fire base. Since he has a 48” range he is a threat from almost anywhere on the table and has enough power to be a threat to just about anything but the toughest units. Another bonus is that the autocannons are twin-linked which doubles his odds of scoring a hit against a flier.
Hmmm, well this episode doesn’t seem as funny as it is informative. I’ll try to fix that for next time.
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t tell Garth that Dreadnoughts suck, he has like 20 of them.