...3) while I agree they should be cheaper, you might be under valuing them. in the case of the grav tank: it's functionally 8 missile launcher shots and 2 super heavy-bolters on a durable, mobile platform. Maybe 270, but if you go any cheaper, you risk it being way to under costed. As for the Transport: you trade 2 Lascannon shots for more versitility, an upgraded twin heavy bolter, carrying an extra custard, and a higher base speed for 30 points less...
I don't find the Caladius to be particularly durable, and it doesn't really get a lot out of its mobility (given that it's packing a 60" range Heavy main gun with no PotMS
it tends to lose more than it gains if it moves). As for the 'eight missile launchers' comparison I will observe that while missile launchers are shorter range and only AP
-2 they do deal double the damage of the Iliastus and if it had eight missile launchers it'd be able to fire 8d6 bolter shots instead of the missile shots. In practice I don't find 70pts for the main gun or 25pts for the chin gun too expensive, but strip the guns off and stack it next to the Sicaran and the Caladius is paying around 130pts (220pt chassis next to a 155pt Sicaran whose price includes a ~60pt gun) for a 6+ Invulnerable save that's not useful, a 6+ FNP
, BS2+ instead of just having an Assault main weapon, and Fly. I know Fly and FNPs
are good, but even in Custodes 130pts is kind of a lot.
The other comparison that's telling, at least to me, is the question of whether I'd rather have a Caladius or three Dawneagle jetbikers. The jetbikers are somewhat tougher (T7 v. T6 against weapons for which it matters (S6+) is far outstripped by the benefits of the 4+ Invulnerable save, and 2+ armour makes them a lot more resistant to small arms fire; two extra Wounds and the FNP
outside the psychic phase make up for that a bit, but the jetbikers also have their wounds broken up into chunks that can force the enemy to waste fire), faster (14" v. 16" is outstripped by the bikes' ability to charge effectively), and do a lot more damage (twelve S6/AP
-3/Dd3 attacks rerolling to wound on the charge, which are always hitting on a 2+, are going to get more done than eight S8/AP
-3/Dd3 attacks that might be hitting on a 2+ but usually aren't given the proliferation of -to hit, the damage table, and the move-and-fire penalty), and three hurricane bolters are going to get a lot more work done at clearing hordes than the Caladius' fourteen shots.
I know there are cases in which the Caladius is a better choice (it can reach deeper into an enemy deployment zone, for one), but I have yet to play it in a game in which I thought to myself "I'm glad I took this thing instead of three more bikes and another forty points of (something)".
I'm aware that internal balance against the best unit in my Codex isn't a great benchmark, but if I stack this thing up against any tank I've tried it with I come up with the same answer: "it's better, but it's not 100-150pts better".
If I were writing it at this point I'd give it a 2+ save, PotMS
, give the Iliastus +1-to-hit-models-with-Fly, and drop the base price to 155pts (making the Iliastus loadout 250pts). At that point I can't get three bikes for its cost, I don't feel like I'm crippling my army's maneuverability or durability by taking it, and I can point at battle tanks in the 150-200pt price range (Sicarans, Predators, Russes, Fire Prisms...) and the Caladius is somewhat better and somewhat more expensive, rather than being marginally better and a lot more expensive.