Switch Theme:

Are drop pod armies any good?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
Author Message

Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.

Made in us
Guarded Grey Knight Terminator

I've always liked the idea of a drop pod army... are they any good? What chapters make the best use out of drop pods? What type of units make the best use?

"Glory in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint"
-Paul of Tarsus

If my post seems goofy, assume I am posting from my phone and the autocorrect elf in my phone is drunk again 
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

A whole army? No, definitely not. Too easy to screen out, too many wasted points in drop pods that your opponent can even use against you.

One pod full of devs? That has some play, though these days with everyone able to reserve anything, it loses a lot of its attraction compared to just doing the cookie-cutter thing and taking eradicators or attack bikes instead.
Made in dk
Grisly Ghost Ark Driver

BA add 1 to charge range and have some unique characters without jump packs.

Salamanders have flamer Veterans if you can wait for t2 then they will be a lot stronger, but then you could just strategically reinforce.

Iron Hands have multi-melta Devastators. 410 pts for 16 melta shots is comparable with the 18 you can get with Eradicators, less survivable though.

Drop Pods are not worth it on Tactical Marines, VanVets and Assault Marines are better off with jump packs.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/17 03:52:18

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Drop pods as a whole army have never been super viable, even in their best time they were if anything a win big or lose big army set up.

That said, I'd say even if I like drop pods a whole army full of them isn't really good. Used as a tactical tool with good units ? They have use and even can be a nice choice.

Now some will say they aren't even worth a thought because they aren't the best. If you can get good use of the pods abilities and like the look and the feel, go for it. It's up to you at the end of the day to make wise choices and good plays. The pods shouldn't hinder you in that, have good feels for using them and offer some utility.

For some that isn't worth it, they aren't an auto include for sure but not an auto loss either.

Hope that helps, I like and use them but they aren't for everyone.
Made in us
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran

As people have said the full drop pod army isn't particularly viable. Some good units can't use them for example. But judicious use of Drop Pods can be pretty good, especially on larger boards.

Realize the Drop Pod itself is one of the least efficient SM models you will ever put on the board. It is utterly ignorable. Assuming for the sake of argument you dropped a pod right next to a Guard squad - 10 guys with tshirts - they'll still be alive at the end of the game even if they ignore the pod. You get 20 shots over 5 turns, 13 will hit, not quite 9 will wound, so 1 of them is already safe and that's as many as they need to control the objective your Pod now can't secure. Of the 9 that wound 3 more will save so he's got 4 of his guys to your pod. Oh, I forgot about doctrines. 6 dead guys, 5 turns, 2 turns of Tactical doctrine.. not quite two more will die. He's got 2 guys and some change. But he still only needed 1. The only model that may be worse is the un-upgraded single Storm Bolter Rhino (adding the optional second Storm Bolter makes it better point per point)

The value of the pod is what it does outside of that. If they came out with the Drop pod today it would likely be a Stratagem. That's basically what it is now, only you pay points instead of CP for it and the worlds largest immobile Stormbolter Terminator. Missions like Outriders, Encircle, Lines of Battle, most if not all of the Narrative/Crusade missions... Infiltration may be better than Pods in some of those scenarios - like Lines of Battle they can infiltrate onto that 18" or so away objective and then you can't pod on it either, but a Pod is a good backup/alternate choice especially if you draw something like Recon Patrol or Sweep and Clear over on the Narrative/Crusade side with the same army. At least that's some of the outside the box thinking.

Most people will use them on a one trick pony like Grav bombs - a squad full of grav/melta/plasma or similar dropped on a priority target. And don't get me wrong, the pony may only have one trick, but it's frequently a useful trick.

For 250 Points you can get a 10 man Infiltrator squad with the quasi-medic that can deploy just about anywhere but your opponent's zone.

For 270 points you can get a 10 man Tac Squad with a couple 10 point weapon upgrades, and a Drop Pod that can land (delayed deploy) anywhere there's room - including your opponent's deployment zone (again IF there's room)

I'm not hurting for ways to use either one of those ideas. That back line squad of Hellblasters (for example I know they're not the best right now but they're protypical) isn't going to enjoy 16-18 bolter shots and 6-8 Grav shots laying into them. It gets worse if you're playing a mission with back line or deployment zone objectives people used to use the Hellblasters to secure. Not only do you get to alpha strike them, you get to do it with an ObSec unit that if wins on the alpha strike, or reduces the return volley to something it can live through then wins on ObSec. As I already stipulated we're in the Way-Back machine here, but 10 Hellblasters (as a symbol of whatever is the flavor of the month - the point is the tactic not the unit) sitting on the backfield objective not only loses to the Tactical Grav Alpha Strike, and the Tactical ObSec, but it usually costs more than the entire Alpha Strike. So yeah, there's a place for them, but don't go overboard.

My WHFB armies were Bretonians and Tomb Kings. 
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

The CSM death claw drop pod can move shoot and engage in close combat after it’s been deployed and when they die they explode.

So you could charge them into a squad on their own to do some melee damage and then explode all over them.

Made in us
Monster-Slaying Daemonhunter

 Smotejob wrote:
I've always liked the idea of a drop pod army... are they any good? What chapters make the best use out of drop pods? What type of units make the best use?

Drop Pods are pretty good. Drop Pod armies are not.

Like taking a pod of devastators or something is a pretty powerful option, and is more responsive than waiting for other units to outflank. But most of your army either does not need to deep strike or deep strikes natively, so buying pods for your entire army is largely a waste of points.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/17 18:31:21

Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar

I can't really speak to 9th edition, but I've used Pods pretty commonly since the end of 5th Ed. Not a whole army mind you, but somewhere between one and three Pods when I take them. In 8th, Devastotors, Sternguard or double Combat Squadded Tac Squads were the cargo. Sometimes I'll squeeze characters in there as well. I can't imagine they don't have an effective use in 9th. It's both a defensive (enemy can't attack the cargo until it arrives) and offensive (the enemy has to defend against it) unit that can seriously affect how the game goes down.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter

The difficulty with drop pod armies pre-8th is that you're overly reliant on Reserves rolls; even with half your pods landing on turn one you're still arriving and fighting piecemeal. The difficulty with drop pod armies post-8th is that actually loading up your army with drop pods is horrendously expensive, and overly-generous movement/terrain rules mean they don't do a lot for you. If you have units that can Deep Strike for free getting the automatic alpha strike without getting shot first is nice, and paying for a pod to get a squad or two that alpha strike is worthwhile, but trying to run a full-pod army is the kind of fluffy narrative thing the rules are set up to punish you for trying to do.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
Forum Index » 40K General Discussion
Go to: