Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Krak Grenades vs Melta Bombs

A little bit of a rant today, but also some tactics.  I missed upon my first reading the changes for grenades in close combat against vehicles and MCs.  If you are not aware, the main rule book FAQ has ruled that you can only ever use one grenade/melta bomb in close combat per unit.  This is a huge nerf for armies that do not rely on strength to destroy vehicles in close combat.  What is also frustrating is that this wasn't really a needed nerf, as the armies that relied on it are not the main close combat threats to vehicles.  It is what it is.

Krak grenades used to be auto-take for most of my squads, giving most infantry a reliable way to bring down vehicles in assault.  And it makes sense, ten guys swarming over a tank should be able to put more than one grenade on it, especially if khorne dogs have no restriction to their attacks.  Is using a grenade really that much harder?

This changes the equation on anti-vehicle weapons, as I would rarely bother with a melta bomb, its a single attack and you are relying on chance to get that explodes, whereas krak grenades would be much likelier to wreck the vehicle, though not explode it.  Now though, since you are only getting one attack, krak grenades are a worthless upgrade, and if optional you should never take it, especially over melta bombs.

Given the cost difference, and no disadvantage now to taking melta bombs, you should always take melta bombs over krak grenades.  But it also begs the question should you take anti tank cc grenades at all, especially when considering MCs and walkers.  Since you are now much less likely to do significant damage to said monsters or walkers, the "our weapons are useless" rule is useful to prevent the enemy from hiding units in CC away from your shooting.

Tactically this will depend on whether you wish to tarpit units or not.  If you have the firepower to deal with these units, then it is advantageous to make use of our weapons are useless, this way ensuring the enemy unit will not be able to hide in close combat during your shooting phase.  The disadvantage is that you will be rely nearly solely on shooting to deal with these units.  Personally I like having the option of dealing with vehicles and walkers in cc, in case my shooting fails to get that last hull point.

On the flip side though, armored sentinels are significantly more survivable in close combat, especially against basic infantry units with krak grenades or only one cc weapon that can hurt them.  Since sentinels will never run from combat, they are excellent at tarpiting tactical squads or devestator squads.  A heavy weapon unit that is a high threat to your vehicles with its shooting can be reliably neutralized for a few turns with armored sentinels, turning their forcing them to fight in close combat where they are less effective.  They are still not great against high strength close combat units, but against units with only krak grenades or a single weapon that can hurt them, they will easily hold that unit up for multiple turns.

At least there is some good news in all of this, armored sentinels are now much better in cc.  Something to consider at least as they will be much more likely to survive multiple rounds of combat, and are quite cheap to bring.

Cadia Stands!


  1. Grenade Nerf makes My dreadnoughts better as well as the armoured sentinels and every other walker. Honestly, I am now used to this regardless of how silly it seems. If it wasn't a huge boon to monstrous creatures as well, I would embrace the changes, but 7th has shown how powerful MCs can be. Here's hoping 8th edition won't continue the anti vehicle bias in the rules.

    1. Yeah, its a bit of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Walkers and vehicles are a bit more survivable, but MCs are even more survivable than they already were.

  2. Speaking as an Imperial Knights player, AND a player who plays heavily with Leman Russ tanks as his core army, I have to disagree with you when you say it's not needed. I was annoyed when bunches of Fire Warriors or Guardsmen swarm my Imperial Knights or Tanks and EMP-grenade or meltabombed my expensive Knights or tanks to death. No, seriously. It's not exactly practical if my 400-point Imperial Knight gets EMP-grenaded to death by 10 Fire Warriors at about a quarter of his cost.

    My tanks are a bit less of an issue, but it was also annoying for 5-men squads of Marines to drop pod in front of my tanks and kill them in one assault phase with grenades. The change makes a lot of difference for tank users such as myself.

    That's just my vehicle bias speaking, though.

    1. True, but all things are supposed to have a weakness. Heavy armor should be great at shooting and hard to kill with shooting, but can be swamped by infantry (with the right weapons of course). The problem I have is that this only helps armor against certain armies, so yes you are more survivable against tau and IG, and marines to a point, against anything that has higher strength in their armies this doesn't help. It really penalizes armies that can't punch things to death, while doing nothing against armies that can. Plus as I stated above, it also makes MCs that much harder to kill now, which are much more survivable than vehicles and were before this, so its a bit of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    2. I was pretty sure Imperial Guard has their own anti-armor weapons with all that melta Veteran squads, Leman Russ Vanquisher (one of the best anti-armor in the game) without needing the meltabombs for close combat. Not to mention stuff like Skitarri, like Sicarian Ruststalkers have haywire grenades and can charge the tanks even though Adeptus Mechanicus already have so many haywire options.

      Doesn't Tau have the Hammerhead, and even the Broadsides for anti-armor as well? They have high strength weapons.

      I mean, seriously, in real life, we fight tanks with anti-armor weapons like Matadors, anti-tank missiles like spikes, not charge suicidally into a tank in an attempt to place a C4 on it. You'll probably get run over and crushed by the tank. In the tabletop too, you have the right tools to deal with armor in the appropriate fashion. Special weapons or heavy weapon squads. Leman Russ Vanquishers or Hammerhead gunships. It's a bit weird to want a can-deal-with-anything infantry squad that can run up and meltabomb a tank that's about twice their cost.

      And yes, I'm of the view that you need high strength weapons to kill armor. It makes no sense that S3 Infantry Guardsmen can kill tanks in assault in one turn. It's not just tanks, but Imperial Knights and Walkers too. Sentinels with 2 hull points and Dreadnoughts with 3 hull points need that buffer against mass meltabombs, especially given their costs. The thing with high strength units is that they're obviously more expensive, cost about the same as the armor or walker units, so I can understand if they pulverize my armor with their high strength - they already paid for it with their cost. And they're more likely than not in less numbers when compared to masses of infantry like Guardsmen or Fire Warriors.

      I agree with you aboout the Monstrous Creatures, though.

  3. love how much to have been posting
    lately.thanks for all the IG info you provide

    1. you are welcome. Trying to make up for lost time.

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