Looking at the last 5 games I played at onslaught I lost the Raider in games 1 in turn 2, game 4 in turn 1 and game 5 in turn 1.
It was immobilised game 2 in turn 3 but only after it had done its job delivering my Assault Terminators and game 3 it survived after my opponent fired a large number of lances at it
Was I unlucky? Yes, I think I was but its enough to give me pause for thought. The crusader is a cracking piece of kit, it holds all my Terminators, the Marshall and the Champion moves 12 per turn and with smoke it should survive just about everything thrown at it...but it didn't. Its early demise probably cost me game 4, had I got the Terminators into Mikes Deathguard and the Champion and Marshall into his Oblit's the game would have been completely different, now I'm not suggesting I would have won but I sure I wouldn't have gotten smashed.
It lays down an impressive amount of fire, Multi-Melta, twin linked Assault cannon and 2 Hurricane Bolter's. The assault ramp lets me assault in to cover attacking on initiative for my claws which is huge and means I can hit what I want hard and fast. Power of the Machine spirit means I can engage 2 targets in a single firing phase or one if I rattle forward the full 12". On the downside, if it get knocked out early on I'm left with the marines on foot whistling in the wind possibly out of position facing the slog on foot across the board and I'm almost 300 points down.
What are the alternatives?
I've run the Terminators 10 man on foot, 6 Storm Shields and 4 Lightning Claws with the Marshall and EC in there. Very resilient, very hard hitting, it rolls onwards with Righteous Zeal and a run move the potential to move 18" between 1 movement phase and the next. I like this, it also looks good on the table. The unit has the ability to suck up everything my opponent can throw at it and still keep coming. There are however, several downsides, the unit can be pulled around the table, never getting into assault where it need to be to do any good. It can be deep in your opponents half of the table and be too far away to respond to a threat, after all, running and Zeal movements are D6's. Its also easy to get lost, by that I mean be unsure what to do with the unit, where do you go with it? what do you attack? In the current environment mech is king. The unit can also be leaf blown off the table with quantity of fire.
Deep striking is a bit of an unknown to me, I've only tried it once and it failed, big time loosing the whole unit to a misshap in turn 2. The thought of doing this with 400 points of Terminators makes my bum hole tighten. This option is out....
Drop podding is another option. This would allow me to deposit a small 5 man unit more or less where I want them allowing them to assault the following turn assuming they survive or what I want them to kill has stuck about long enough to get smashed. This does also mean I have the ability to dump a unit on an objective to contest. However, again with some dodgy dice and I'm rolling on the misshap table, dangerous stuff. I'm also not too comfortable running a unit of 5 Terminators, maybe running them in a ration 1/4 Claws to Hammers or 2/3. They also come in like normal reserves, meaning I may not see a unit untill turn 5 which means over 260ish points have done bugger all, not a happy thought.
This might be worth a go, I would have to double up, running 2 units both in pods, meaning I would have to think about how to support those units as they drop in.
Food for thought perhaps.
Although I have started to play in tournaments I'm still a fluff bunny at heart, the Drop Pod assault list really appeals to me. My usual opponent keeps telling me I'm an idiot for entertaining the idea but still, I'm tempted, a good mix of fire power and drop podding nastiness make my knees weak.
Ill have a think about it and post a list or two in the next few days.
thoughts or comments? anyone?? hello???