Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monolith vs. Heavy Destroyers (long)
The three destroyers will of course hit their target on average two shots out of three. Personal experience and some quick math tells me the Monolith will hit an average sized vehicle about two thirds of the time. A lot of people are hung up on the fact that you have to roll to scatter, but it's really not that bad at all.
Now, penetrating the vehicle. We will assume that the target is AV12-14, because FA Destroyers can handle anything below that. Both units have Str9 weapons, but the Particle Whip is Str9 Ordnance which is better than Str10 against anything aside from AV14. So here's the math per hit (rounded to the nearest percent):
AV Heavy Destroyers Monolith
12 P50%, G17% P75%, G9%
13 P33%, G17% P55%, G11%
14 P17%, G17% P31%, G14%
The relative strength of the Monolith goes up the higher the AV of your target, which is important because they are generally the most dangerous and therefore need to be gotten rid of the quickest.
Now, the most important thing which is overlooked by many because it cannot be expressed by math: cover saves. It's very easy for your opponents to get cover from the Heavy Destroyers, which negates half their shots. On the other hand, it's pretty much impossible to get cover from the 'Lith's shots without smoke or disruption pods because the guns are mounted so high up. Remember, the roof of a vehicle is still part of the front/side/rear arc.
Then there is AP1. We all know how awesome that is, so I won't go into it any further. When you consider all of these factors in together, it becomes obvious that the Monolith is more efficient at destroying AV12-14 vehicles.
So now that we've taken a look at offense, we have to consider the other side of the coin. Survivability helps out your offense in the end because the longer a unit stays alive, the more it'll get to shoot and therefore it'll kill more. It also increases the chances of the unit helping out in the end game contesting objectives and such.
When it comes to survivability, the comparison isn't even remotely close. 6 Heavy Destroyers (the correct amount if you've decided to take them) will not last through the first shooting phase against anyone who knows what they're doing. Then once they've done that, you have no anti-tank. The Monolith being destroyed by shooting is very rare, and it's only weakness is Str10 (and that's not even a weakness; it's the same as other vehicles against it). Against Str10, it's still much better off than the HDs.
Heavy Destroyers have very little purpose outside of vehicle and MC killing. Admittedly, these are very common in the current metagame. The monolith, however, is at home killing hordes of infantry, MEQs, any multi-wound T4 squads, bunched up MCs and of course vehicles. It is in fact a very good example of duality in 40k.
Here's one tactic I love to use against disembarked troops. I first learned this trick using Tau Hammerhead submunitions but it works even better with the Monolith. So let's say some veterans just hopped out of their Chimera to plasma some destroyers. First off, this is a bad idea on the IG players part. First rule of 5th edition is Never Disembark. Obviously there are exceptions, but I'm rambling. Let's say it was some Fire Dragons because the decision to disembark is more reasonable (still a bad one though). So what I'll do is place the centre of the blast template on the vehicle such that it also covers all of the recently disembarked infantry. Then if I can potentially take out two units in one shot. While it may seem obvious, the amount of players who haven't considered this tactic is astounding.
Other In-Game Uses
The most important reason why I use the Monolith is the synergistic effect it has with the rest of my army. I am going to go into this in detail in my further Necron tactica posts, but I will summarize it here. The Monolith can block assaults and LOS. Against shooty armies, keeping the Golden Boy alive is critical and the only way to do this is to plop the monoliths down in between him and the Lascannons while they advance into the midfield. If I didn't have the assault-blocking capabilities the Monoliths provide, you can bet I would Phase Out a lot more.
The Monolith's portal is critical to keeping your Necrons alive and safe. I generally don't use the portal unless they're stuck in combat or I have like 8 warriors in WBB position. Sometimes I portal them onto an objective late in the game. There are more uses which I will go into in later posts.
Heavy Destroyers can perform none of the above roles. They bring very little to the army aside from killing power. They can run away from things faster than Monoliths, but Monoliths don't need to run away from anything. They have longer range, but pretty much everything is going to be in range of a Monolith on first turn anyway. They can constest objectives, but not as well as a Monolith due to tank shocking.
All in all, the Heavy Destroyer can be a fun choice in a Destroyer Wing army, but if you want to play competitively the Monolith is your only option.