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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






Antaeus Dustwalkers (Fast Attack, Power Rating 3)
The industries of the Imperium always have a need for brute strength, whether in mindless heavy-duty servitors, indentured ogryn, or hulking power loaders. Of the latter, the Antaeus Dustwalkers are perhaps the most common; a rugged yet responsive walker based on the time-tested Sentinel chassis, the Dustwalker's lurching avian strut carries it across smog-choked industrial wastelands and down irradiated mineshafts, gyro-stabilizers holding steady as the pilot targets a mining laser or lines up a rock-cutting claw. The military origins of these bipedal exo-suits become clear when a Genestealer Cult begins its uprising; fitted with welded armour plates and hidden in underground caches, the Dustwalkers become a deadly surprise weapon that erupt from below in a cloud of dust and rubble, turning tools capable of tearing apart solid bedrock upon the Cult's screaming enemies.
1-3 Antaeus Dustwalkers: M 9", WS 4+, BS 4+, S5, T5, W6, A2, Ld 7, Sv 4+
If this unit contains 2 models, it has Power Rating 6. If this unit contains 3 models, it has Power Rating 9. Every model is equipped with: 2 heavy rock cutters; 1 flare launcher.

Wargear Options
  • Any number of models can each have 1 heavy rock cutter replaced with 1 of the following; 1 mining laser; 1 seismic cannon; 1 Atalan incinerator.
  • Any number of models can each have 1 heavy rock cutter replaced with 1 of the following; 1 heavy rock saw, 1 heavy rock drill.
  • Any number of models can each have their flare launcher replaced with 1 survey augur.

  • Abilities
  • Cult Ambush: See Codex: Genestealer Cults.
  • Explodes: See Codex: Genestealer Cults.
  • Flare Launcher/Survey Augur:See Codex: Genestealer Cults.
  • Industrial Frame: When a model in this unit shoots a Heavy weapon, double the number of attacks it makes if its target is within half range.
  • Power Loader: A model in this unit equipped with two Melee weapons has an Attacks characteristic of 4.
  • Survey Walker: During deployment, you can set this unit up underground, as described in the Cult Ambush ability. The first time you set up this unit on the battlefield, it can immediately make a Normal Move of up to 9". It cannot end this move within 9" of any enemy models.

  • Keywords
  • Faction: TYRANIDS, GENESTEALER CULTS, <CULT>
  • Keywords: VEHICLE, ANTAEUS DUSTWALKERS


  • Points Costs
  • Antaeus Dustwalker: 30 points
  • Heavy rock cutter: 5 points
  • Heavy rock drill: 5 points
  • Heavy rock saw: 5 points
  • Atalan incinerator: 10 points
  • Mining laser: 5 points
  • Seismic cannon: 5 points
  • Flare launcher: 0 points
  • Survey augur: 0 points


  • New Stratagem: Chokezone Throttle (1 Command Point)
    The Antaeus Dustwalker's venting system siphons hazardous smog and irradiated particles away from its exposed pilot. Skilled cultists learn to throw the Dustwalker's mechanisms into temporary reverse, erupting from below the earth in a choking cloud of dust.

    Use this Stratagem at the start of your Shooting phase. Select a unit of <CULT> ANTAEUS DUSTWALKERS that you set up this battle round, and up to 1 unit of friendly <CULT> INFANTRY or BIKERS within 3" of that unit. Until the start of your next Shooting phase, both these units receive the benefits of Dense Cover.


    ----------------------------------------
    Inspired by that marvelous kitbash from ThePolySmith on Instagram, these are Power Loaders from Aliens, adapted for the uprisings of the Genestealer Cults.

    Mechanically, these act as a Sentinel variant that trades Smoke Launchers for a Flare Launcher (or Survey Augur); with two melee weapons, they're a Powerlifter Sentinel that costs 5 extra for a slightly better weapon (S10, AP-4, D2, rather than S10, AP-2, Dd3) and access to Cult Ambush (Underground, too). I don't think anyone uses Powerlifters, but I can't make these guys too cheap or they start to crowd out Aberrants.

    With a ranged weapon, they're a Scout Sentinel (again, mostly used in AM for their Stratagems, which aren't available here...) that trades Smoke for Flares (or Survey) and has a nasty statline on its... one WS4+ attack. It effectively has halved ranges on its non-flamer guns (mining laser is a half-range lascannon, seismic cannon is an even weaker half-range missile launcher), but can double its shots at close range provided it's not in combat. As a result, the flamer version costs 5 points more, and the "lascannon/missile launcher" equivalent costs 5 points less. Maneuver and deploy properly to get the most out of them.

    They also come with a new Stratagem; deploy them from underground to slap a -1 to hit on enemy units who target them. Since it only works on the round they're deployed, and has to be pre-emptive, it also helps out a single nearby ally as a bonus - but can be bypassed by "ignore cover" abilities, unlike many strats of this type.

    This message was edited 16 times. Last update was at 2021/04/16 11:54:34


     
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




    Awesome! A few things that jumped out at me:

    * Force org slots don't really matter except for HQs, troops, flyers, and LoWs. That said, Fast Attack feels like a slightly odd slot for these guys. I get that they're basically sentinels, but I feel like GSC would use these more as heavy weapon platforms than mechanized scouts. Reasonable people could disagree.

    * Industrial Targeting. This feels like a weirdly powerful option to have available on basically a forklift suit. The presence of such an option on a repurposed worker's tool would have me seriously asking why that same tech isn't being used by guardsmen, marines, and so forth.

    * I'm not clear on what the point of Survey Walker is. I don't see any obvious benefit to starting out 18" away and then walking into the 9" away position. Doesn't cult ambush let you just deepstrike 9" away? Or is this more for when you deploy the unit as a blip? A sort of retroactive scout move that potentially happens at the end of your opponent's movement phase?

    * I like the Chokezone Throttle strat. Wondering if the wording could maybe be slightly clearer. You basically want a -1 to-hit penalty that can be negated by effects that ignore dense cover, right?
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




    Wyldhunt wrote:
    * Force org slots don't really matter except for HQs, troops, flyers, and LoWs. That said, Fast Attack feels like a slightly odd slot for these guys. I get that they're basically sentinels, but I feel like GSC would use these more as heavy weapon platforms than mechanized scouts. Reasonable people could disagree.
    Thank you for the feedback! That's definitely worth considering. The basic notion here is that since these were Basically Sentinels, they should occupy the Sentinel slot - and in fairness, at 9" move with underground deployment and a free move when set-up, they're still very speedy. I could see them moving into Elites (a bit crowded for GSC, though) or even Heavy Support (limited competition there). Their lore is meant to emphasis a role as rugged waste-walkers, and their rules push them as nasty ambush units who are relatively lightly armed for vehicles, but...

    Wyldhunt wrote:
    * Industrial Targeting. This feels like a weirdly powerful option to have available on basically a forklift suit. The presence of such an option on a repurposed worker's tool would have me seriously asking why that same tech isn't being used by guardsmen, marines, and so forth.
    Welllll, technically the Guard do have it, in the form of Grinding Advance, while Space Marines have an equivalent through Bolter Drill. Still, it probably needs reframing, you're right.

    The core mechanical idea is to push a "ranged" Dustwalker to still act as a midrange gun platform, rather than wandering around with their mining lasers at full range. They're encouraged to "act" like a speedy support unit, taking advantage of their deployment rules to surprise the enemy, get up close and blast away, then use other allies (Jackals, in particular) to tie up the enemy and avoid being looped into Engagement Range where they can't shoot twice. These are all relatively short-ranged weapons, compared to the Sentinel (which can shoot out to 36-48"); the Mining Laser and Seismic Cannon (Long) get the bonus at 12", and the Incinerator and Seismic Cannon (Short) get the bonus at 6".

    The lore idea is that the Dustwalker is a miner/wrecker platform, designed to brace and focus its "firepower" at very close range. Might need to just rename the ability to "Industrial Frame", or even slot it directly into "Power Loader" to avoid implying it's a specific piece of technology allowing them to do this.

    Wyldhunt wrote:
    * I'm not clear on what the point of Survey Walker is. I don't see any obvious benefit to starting out 18" away and then walking into the 9" away position. Doesn't cult ambush let you just deepstrike 9" away? Or is this more for when you deploy the unit as a blip? A sort of retroactive scout move that potentially happens at the end of your opponent's movement phase?
    Yeah, this is effectively two separate abilities; first, you can set them up Underground. Second, if you instead set them up in Ambush, you get a free move. That second half is effectively just the Scout Vehicle ability, as found on Ridgerunners and Sentinels, but also works on an Ambush (which ought to be the default, really). The only actual utility of set-up-then-move from Underground, afaik, would be avoiding Stratagems that would let the enemy shoot at you when you arrived... though Auspex Scan has now been updated so even that wouldn't work. I guess it would mess with an enemy Clamavus, at least?

    Wyldhunt wrote:
    * I like the Chokezone Throttle strat. Wondering if the wording could maybe be slightly clearer. You basically want a -1 to-hit penalty that can be negated by effects that ignore dense cover, right?
    There are other rules that work the same way; Raven Guard chapter tactic, for example, or Protocol of the Eternal Guardian. I think the 9e core book has a little subsection on getting the benefits of cover while not in terrain.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/11 22:11:56


     
       
    Made in us
    Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






    one single WS4+ attack on the version of the model with only one melee weapon seems fairly underpowered on a 45pt base frame, considering that you can get 1.33 hits from an acolyte equipped with the same weapon for so much less.

    Even a Killa Kan - not considered to be particularly threatening in the melee department - has better output. If you compare to a Penitent Engine, what you're looking at is essentially one of these equipped with 2 rock saws and an atalan incinerator that's always in the special targeting range, +2 attacks, with a flare launcher that works on a 5+, and re-rollable hit rolls on the charge

    I would suggest 2 attacks base, 4 attacks if it has two melee weapons, and remove the point costs for the melee weaponry. I would add a rule 'industrial loader: Re-roll hit rolls for melee attacks this model makes against VEHICLE, BUILDING, BATTLESUIT and MONSTROUS CREATURE keyword units" to represent that the large, clumsy weapons it's equipped with are much better at hitting big targets that can't get out of the way than smaller infantry targets.

    the ranged weapon making 2 attacks is perfectly fine. Basically, the final point value of 45 works fine for what is essentially a down-graded Penitent Engine.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/15 12:13:15


    "I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

    -the_scotsman"

    -ERJAK 
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     the_scotsman wrote:
    one single WS4+ attack on the version of the model with only one melee weapon seems fairly underpowered on a 45pt base frame, considering that you can get 1.33 hits from an acolyte equipped with the same weapon for so much less.
    I hadn't thought of comparing it to a Penitent Engine/Killa Kan, but those make sense. It's actually based on the Sentinel body; a "melee" version is essentially a Powerlifter Sentinel with +2AP (and an alternate weapon profile, if you want it) for +5pts.

    Compared to a Killa Kan, it's the same cost, but swaps a Rokkit Launcher, -1Sv, and a pip of melee damage for +3M, +1WS, +1W, +2S, +1AP, 6+ FNP, extra Leadership, and the Scout move. So it's faster and hits a bit harder, but lacks ranged capabilities... and the Kan gets +1A in a group anyway. Not the worst comparison, but not massively inspiring either. Buzzblade Penitent Engine, on the other hand, is kind of a bonkers comparison. -1W, but has a 5+ FNP instead of 6+. -2S and -1AP... but comes with Zealot and +2A. Oh, and it has two Heavy Flamers, good lord. The only strong disadvantage is no Scout, and -2M, but it's not like GSC are lacking in fast/deployable units. All that for 5 points less. Maybe Powerlifters just suck?

    The ranged version is also based on the Sentinel frame - which, in fairness, is available to GSC natively. It's a Scout Sentinel that costs the same (Mining Laser/Lascannon) or +5 (Incinerator/Heavy Flamer), BUT can fire twice at close range in exchange for having half the range on its lascannon, AND has a power fist for its one melee attack. Comparing that to a Penitent Engine with two Heavy Flamers, wow, that's obscenely overpriced. Maybe Scout Sentinels just suck??

    Wish they didn't. Oh, well. I'll definitely take a second look with your recommendations in mind; thanks for the in-depth feedback!
       
    Made in us
    Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






    Scout Sentinels are generally considered to be fairly underpowered.

    A lot of the earliest 8th ed units (and sentinels are unchanged since the index) use very simple stat-conversions from 7th edition because the 8th indexes were released all at once. Killa Kanz and Sentinels are fairly outdated at this point and propped up in some cases (in the sentinels case anyway) by pretty ridiculously OP strategems - like the one that grants a unit of sentinels 2+ to hit in the first turn, allowing you to make a big wall of hunter killer missiles and lascannons that hit on 2s.

    to pull up a recent shooty example, you have a good comparison in the Ironstrider Balistarii from the upcoming admech codex, which is basically a 2-gun version of a sentinel (same defensive stats except for a 6++ save)

    It has either 2 super-lascannons for a total of 75pts, or 3 autocannons for 65 points, and it has BS3+.

    I would use the balistarii as a template for a useful all-shooting light walker unit and the Penitent Engine as a template for a useful mostly-melee light walker unit.

    "I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

    -the_scotsman"

    -ERJAK 
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     the_scotsman wrote:
    Scout Sentinels are generally considered to be fairly underpowered.

    A lot of the earliest 8th ed units (and sentinels are unchanged since the index) use very simple stat-conversions from 7th edition because the 8th indexes were released all at once. Killa Kanz and Sentinels are fairly outdated at this point and propped up in some cases (in the sentinels case anyway) by pretty ridiculously OP strategems - like the one that grants a unit of sentinels 2+ to hit in the first turn, allowing you to make a big wall of hunter killer missiles and lascannons that hit on 2s.

    to pull up a recent shooty example, you have a good comparison in the Ironstrider Balistarii from the upcoming admech codex, which is basically a 2-gun version of a sentinel (same defensive stats except for a 6++ save)

    It has either 2 super-lascannons for a total of 75pts, or 3 autocannons for 65 points, and it has BS3+.

    I would use the balistarii as a template for a useful all-shooting light walker unit and the Penitent Engine as a template for a useful mostly-melee light walker unit.
    Alright, some tweaks.
  • As recommended, I've upped the Attacks to 2/4 rather than 1/3.
  • I've removed the clause that Industrial Frame (double shots) doesn't work in Engagement Range. It felt a bit pointless with Penitents out there rocking two melee heavy flamers, and the other two guns eat a hit roll penalty anyway.
  • I've changed the cost of Flare Launcher/Survey Augur to 0, the cost of melee weapons to 5, and the cost of ranged weapons up by 5 each.

  • So now an Incinerator Dustwalker is basically a Penitent Buzzblade Engine that costs 5 points less, but is less than half as good in melee, and only has half its flamer shots beyond 6". In exchange, it's a bunch faster; it has +2M, can be Deep Strike'd, and gets a free move in the first turn. I could see it going down to 40, but 45 is probably fine for homebrew.

    Then a Rocksaw Dustwalker is basically a Penitent Buzzblade Engine that costs 10 points less. It's a bit worse in melee (about evens without Zealot, falls way behind with it), and more importantly is missing two heavy flamers. However, again, it's a bunch faster.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/16 12:02:21


     
       
     
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