So moving on to the final heavy support choices, the Artillery (Including Hydras)... each one of these adds a different element to your army, so which in my opinion work in Blob lists?
I’m going to firstly look at...
A massively long range S9 ap3 large blast, but it comes with a 36 inch min range instead of the usual 24.
While these could work in lists, remember it’s competing not only against the other choices in this article, but also the Russes and the Manticore and even Deathstrike! This fact alone drops its chances for me in ever including it in my lists... its costly enough at 125 points, and seems even more so when you consider for 160 you get 1-3 large blasts on the same type of hull or an AV 14 S8 large blast.
Both of which to me seem better value, I suppose it could find a place I you were low on points and still wanted a artillery piece but then as mentioned you can get cheaper artillery still. It really seems more of an apoc or big table piece to me as well.
Pity, as I really like the look of the Basilisk, but its pro’s are not quite big enough to warrant its price against competing units like...
similar to the Basilisk with ap3, but it is only S6. Still a large blast but has the two major advantages of firstly removing cover, which when I’ve used it have found to be huge, long fangs in hills or massive necron warrior squads in forests? Roll a hit and Boom! Lift them away. I had great fun with this in games as part of a mech list, in capture and control begin trying to blow up the enemy CNC obj holding units transport then hit them with this, it sent panic waves through opponents when this worked, meaning they had to lessen their offensive to begin racing back to regain it all the while I’m still killing off vehicles.
The second major plus is it cannot fire direct, which means you never have to muse over putting it in LOS of something to fire direct which can sometimes seems a good idea until you get it hit and penned first shot of the game and fail cover. Putting this down behind a large hill or in a ruin and just sitting it there firing at infantry out of transports is just beautiful if you can roll the hits, though the 140 point price for this can seem steep if you don’t have the tools to take advantage of the Colossus. Next u we have...
Sadly though it cannot be relied on to break tanks and has a smaller max range than other options... combined with the fact we already have anti infantry in blobs in lasgun loads it could struggle to get a place in pure blob lists, where as in mech lists where you can cover its lower str elsewhere it can sit snug and pop shots.
But sadly I don’t see much use for this in blob lists, while like the Colossus it is S6, it is ap4, it is again a large blast, cannot fire directly, but gets a reroll which can help... 48inch range is sufficient but that’s basically it in a nutshell. The ignoring cover got the Colossus a pondering and the high str of the Basilisk got it a pondering, but this suffers from the drawbacks of both...
The reroll I believe can be used on a mixed squadron to let the others hit, so you could use a single griffon and 2 Colossus for example, but then you’re paying points for this which could be spent elsewhere, and its price while cheap (75) puts it in direct competition with another contender..
A S10 ap2 36 inch gun platform, basically a longer range demolisher which has a lighter AV chassis, sadly this cannot fire indirect, but has the option of an upgrade to ap1 small blast for just 5 points.
Both shots have their own uses, the large blast ap2 is awesome for removing the same threats the demolisher is for, TWC, paladins etc all will suffer if hit, and even vehicles will feel some of its fury, but if you upgrade to the Bastion buster shells it becomes almost completely a anti tank platform, and if you’re doing this you really need to make sure it’s worth spending the 140 odd points on, although since it always fires direct the BS 3 should help keep the blast on the tank slightly if you roll slightly average, and getting ap1 into a blob army does have its uses to make even more sure something hit by it will go down.
When I used it I kept it as the large blast basically to help in thinning hordes if needed or to soften up or threaten big bully units of TWC or other T5 who were closing on my blobs. A couple of shots from a Medusa squadron can soon make them see the error of their ways.
Though its downside is lack of indirect fire, especially on an AV12 front chassis even with a cover save combined with the 135 point base cost means it is again close to competing with the Manticore for anti tank and S10 duty.
The final entry I’ve included in this section, even if it is under a diffeent entry is...
Which I’m sure almost everyone who plays this game knows about considering its appearance in 90% of the lists in the last year odd. 72 inch range, 4 TL S7 shots, ap4 and removes cover saves from turbo boost... all for 75 points (This is the one which I find competes with the Griffon) it really is a good suppression vehicle for the points, and putting it in squads of 2-3 you really begin to rack up hits and wounds which on marines can lead to a few dying, or vs. most Xenos being taken off without saves if caught in the open.
Its S7 also is nice for instant killing anything T3 meaning Dark Eldar cannot afford to rush wyches at squads of these or they will see a red mist appearing if these hit home. They also work well on MC’s due to being S7 and the ability to put more than 1 wound on things helps their case over all the blast options.
The downside though? Its only S7! And in a blob list that really hits home more than most people realise as you need to get as much long range high Str shots in to your list to compensate for the lack of chimeras S6 for example due to the platoons soaking so many points up.
So that’s all the artillery, and AA gnus covered, and to be honest they really do have pressure to compete for spots in Blob lists... all the above bar the hydra are open topped! And I can tell you from experience that +1 really can quieten your guns quickly when you don’t have a wall of chimeras or suitable terrain to work with. Hopefully some food for thought for players thinking about them for their foot lists.