Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sniper Rifles...I Want to Love Them

As the title would suggest, I want to love sniper rifles.  They should be really good, they have decent rules for them.  They are precision shots, rending, and pinning, all very good things.  But time and time again they have failed to truly do anything.  For the guard there are two main problems with sniper rifles, this having to do with how the weapons themselves work and how the stats of a guardsmen fit into that.  First sniper rifles have no BS modifiers, which is fine but with a BS3 army (a few BS4), your hitting 50/50.  Then you have to wound, which is always on a 4+, so agian 50/50, so if you have three sniper rifles, you are lucky if you even get one wound out of that shooting.  This becomes a numbers game and to use them effectively you need to get them in large numbers to get through this numbers guantlet.  Personally I think they should wound on a 3+, this is more realistic to the sniper rifle's effectiveness when it actually hits, plus since most are in the AP6 to - range, this won't upset the balance.  You would still get armor saves most of the time and rending wouldn't change.  I just feel that most of the time sniper rifles don't perform.

Now I will admit that part of my troubles is because I refuse to use the 'dedicated' sniper unit in the IG codex.  The fucking hobbits.  Sorry if you like them but I think they are dumb.  Now not to say that the rules for them are dumb, just that space hobbits are, and the fact that not all guard regiments have these fuckers, so there should be an option for snipers that is feasible.  And no special weapon team snipers are almost worthless, 3 snipers at BS3, wow amazing, you may get a hit, maybe two, and if you are real lucky you might get a wound.  The other options are with PCS's which has the same problem in that they are still BS3.  Now CCS have BS4 and could take 4, but there are other better weapons and options you could take.  Now I have toyed with Vet squads and they can be effective, but it is still only three sniper rifles with the rest of the squad still having lasguns.  Now I have used harker, with another heavy bolter and three sniper rifles plus have infiltrate and stealth, not too bad.  But its also not cheap to do that.

So what I am thinking of doing is converting some guardsmen to use as 'ratlings'.  They will be normal looking guardsmen essentially, but I'll use the rules for ratlings.  They aren't terribly expensive and have decent rules, though they are T2 which sucks.  But that may be ok.  I really just want a good sniper unit.  My other option is to wait and hope and pray that the new codex will have other options other than ratlings for effective snipers.  Rumors that the vet squad will start at 5 could be just what I am looking for.  Load them up with sniper rifles and have a small cheap squad for sniping.  With good BS and if kept cheap that can work.  I will see.

It is a shame really, becaues sniper rifles should be very effective, but in my experience they are meh at best.  I don't like depending on 6s.  Now if I could twin link them against any target then it might be different and that SWS wouldn't look so bad, but as it is now that only works against MCs, which isn't so bad, but P gun will still wound more often against most.  And against vehicles I have to rely on 6s.  This is ok if I have volume of fire to make up for it, but since I don't its just about useless when it comes to sniper rifles.  For me it just bothers me that you need large squads of them for it to be effective.  Thats not how it should be, small teams should be fine.  But sadly that is not the case.

So who uses ratlings?  How do you use them?  I have never used them before and will never have a hobbit model in my army.  I have been able to sometimes get effective use out of them in veteran squads but I just can't get enough. SWS suffer from poor BS, and CCS just seem like a waste to throw sniper rifles on them.

Anyways, I want to know what you think.  If you have found a way to effectivelly use them then I am all ears.



  1. I totally agree with you, Hobbits and moreover Ogres suck!

    I'm actually converting guardsmen with bits.
    She has kneeling legs which are perfect to represent the size of Ratlings. You can also add cloak and her "bare laser rifle" are long enough for sniper rifle.

    But, honestly, even with converted Ratlings, IG are not yet able to use the sniper rifle.
    Just look at other snipers units:
    Ratling: 10pts, T2, Ld5, non-scoring.
    Kroot: 7pts, T3, Ld8, scoring, move through cover, not that bad in CC, can be taken up to 20, BS3 (but marker light), only 'problem' R24" compare to R36"
    Eldar Rangers: 12pts, T3, Ld8, scoring, move through cover
    SM Scout: 12pts, T4, Ld8, scoring, move through cover, ATSKNF, 4+svg, +2pts to get stealth.

    The only solution for Ratlings to be competitive would be to cost at most 7pts and be taken by 20. (and they will still be bad compare to Kroot)

    And "Bring it down" with Ld5?
    They need also a human sergent or a commissar.
    They also need a Vox Caster that would also allow Orders to be used out of Officer Order Range. (Infiltration?)

    I agree, I want to love them, but until next IG codex, snipers in IG suck.

    1. That is the crux of it, their Ld is too low to get orders, no vox, and while 10pts isnt expensive, its not cheap by any means. Compared to other sniper units they do not make the grade. With the low toughness and the ignores cover going on, as soon as they take a wound, they are running. All you can hope is that they do their intended job turn one or two as thats all you will prop have them for, unless your opponent ignores them for some reason.

  2. I actually have ahad decent luck w/ ratlings having found three at a swap meet for 50 cents when i was starting i employed them back in fifth ed and sometimes in 6th ed i have had my 30 pt sniper unit pin jump marines and suppress basic inf on multiple flanks thats just me though

  3. Just started playing 40k with friends. Have attempted to use a squad of snipers and have to agree, they suck! Don't hit a damned thing and eat up points.

    1. They are just far too luck dependent to be truly effective. Units like scout snipers and rangers are effective because they are cheap and scoring. Unfortunately ratlings aren't that cheap and don't score, and with cover ignoring weapons they are really easy to kill.

  4. They're now 2pts each for Guardsmen! And if you're playing Guard, why are you not fielding 2 Divination Inquisitors/Coteaz? (Primaris and Battle Psykers now get Divination access too)

    4 sniper riles in a 40 man blob, with Prescience's TL make them much more reliable

    1. and you're dedicating a hundred point model to get 2 wounds. They are much cheaper than before, but if Im dedicating prescience to a blob I would much rather have melta guns or grenade launchers, something that is going to make better use of being twin linked. Evn with cheaper psykers, I would rather stick to other weapons. I don't need sniper rifles for pinning, I can make lasguns do that now

  5. I really liked my SM scouts with sniper rifles right up till the hell chicken and its no cover save SM killer flamer ruined them all. kinda sucks that a whole troop choice and tactic was removed from my army by 180 pt. $100 bill =(

  6. Need an ebook written in format for kindle direct publishing with all original content or at least 100% in your own words.