Hurricane Bolter on an Ironclad Dreadnought

Hurricane BolterWhen I first got the Marine codex and fell in love with the Ironclad I wondered why anyone would put a hurricane bolter on it. You trade off the three attacks for two and three attacks is an appealing stat. Having the dreadnought arm still gives you a weapon with it, so you still have two ranged weapons and you have two arms to smash things with.

That was then and now I’m considering just that, putting on the hurricane bolter. My Ironclad always arrives via-drop pod and the problem I’m running into is being effective on the turn it arrives. My normal weapons of choice were: seismic hammer w/melta, DCCW w/heavy flamer and then 1-2 hunter killer missiles depending on points. It could arrive and fire the melta, heavy flamer and any hunter killers I had. It doesn’t sound bad but in practice it’s not been ideal. More often than not I’m out of melta range to slag vehicles and my HKs tend to fall short. The heavy flamer is a pot shot on some rear armor but nothing more. It’s great for cooking infantry…if you land close enough.

I’m thinking that the hurricane bolter will help with the effectiveness on the turn it arrives. For those ideal landings where you’re within 6″ of your target, what I’ve been running works great. However, as mentioned, those ideal landings don’t come as often as I’d like, and with the hurricane bolter I now have a 24″ range in case of them. Even landing within 6″ of my target with a hurricane bolter, it’s still got some power. And let’s face it, smart opponents aren’t often bunched together to get juicy heavy flamer shots, so I don’t feel like I’m giving up a ton in the way of anti-infantry fire. I am giving up that previously coveted extra attack but the problem with the Ironclad for me isn’t when it gets to assault something, it’s when it doesn’t, so the hurricane bolter just makes sense to me.

Anyone use an Ironclad with the hurricane bolter? If so, how have you found it to work out for you?

  • you took into account that if you land within 12″ of a target you can double tap with the hurricane bolter granting 6 shots? Also the flamer only has an 8″ range.

    • Yep, I sure did and is a big reason I’ve decided to give it a shot…no pun intended.

  • Capn_Stoogey

    Beg and plead with your opponents until they let you use Forgeworld stuff, then take a Lucius pattern drop pod, letting you charge on the turn you arrive.

    • Funny you’d say that. We’ve been discussing just that, using Forgeworld stuff in casual games. The thing is though that it’s fine in casual games but doesn’t fly in tournaments. I prefer to play my casual games using the same stuff I can use in tournaments, that way I’m not adapting a list and using one I’m not as familiar with.

      • Counterfett

        That’s pretty much my problem. You play like you practice is the right way to think if you also play competitively.

        As to the hurricane bolter. I think it is the way to go for an ironclad. Yes, they lose on the assault front. But I have always found that the worst thing that can happen to a dread is that they miss out on attacking. If I get it into cc, it’s going to be fine.

      • Capn_Stoogey

        Fair enough. I’m not a tourney player myself, and I’m lucky enough that my regular opponent is cool with FW, so I can use all my cool resin toys (like the Land raider Prometheus, which is sheer Awesome…)

        I like to use Dreads, specifically Ironclads to pod in on turn 1, right near their biggest, baddest tank. They can be scary enough to attract and absorb alot of fire that would otherwise be heading for your Rhinos, Predators or Marines,and if it survives, it then goes on to bitchslap that LR demolisher and hopefully rampage through the enemy heavy armour.

        • Yeah, that’s generally my approach too. I’m going to try out a 2nd Ironclad in my list so I can get 2 podded in on turn #1. Between them and the other stuff I have, one of them should live to smash some armor I’m thinking.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah… hurricane bolter is a cool way to go, and gives you the option to walk it onto the board as well and provide cover fire while advancing. As inviting as the idea is, it’s not like an ironclad is *amazing* in combat anyways, even with 4 attacks on the charge. That’s statistically less than 2 marines killed that turn.

    I guess my big question to you is this, though: what are you trying to accomplish with the ironclad? If it’s not to flamer squads, and it only has a 6″ melta range and gimped combat ability, what do you expect it to do? A single hurricane bolter + meltagun doesn’t sound too imposing, to be honest, and 2 attacks in combat if you don’t charge also doesn’t do a whole lot.

    Not trying to be a Negative Nancy, just figured I’d give feedback since you asked for it. :)

    • Good question. I use it as a distraction really, one that can’t be ignored, so that I can advance up other units. My recent idea is to try out a list with Shrike and alpha strike most of my army. So, Dread and another pod, typically Sternguard, show up on turn #1 and Shrike infiltrates up either an Assault Squad or Assault Terminators. I then have Scouts in a Storm that could get a first turn charge also.

      I don’t expect much out of the Dread other than for people to try and deal with it, on top of my other forward units. All the AV shots aimed at the Dread lets me move my Rhinos a bit easier.

  • I’m completely anti-bolter myself. Not in general terms, but on Ironclads, certainly. Since he arrives via drop-pod every time for me, he’s often in melta-range, and for those times where he’s not, he hides behind the pod for cover saves so he can sneak out and pop a tank later.

    Sure, the hurricane bolter is going to give a higher number of shots on average, but does it really do much damage? The job of my ironclad is to put something big and scarey in their face. Bolters just don’t evoke that same sort of fear. Sure, they can pepper targets with damage, but str4 with a low AP doesn’t really kill anything unless used in mass quantities anyway.

    Besides, with that in mind, they only have to rip off one arm to effectively nullify it in assault with a hurricane bolter.

    Of course, I’m basing my opinions purely off the stats on paper. I’ve never used one in a game, so if you’re giddy enough to try it, I’d be interested to hear your results…

    • I know what you’re saying. I followed the same logic for the longest time. The reality of it was though that not all my landings were ideal and then I had nothing I could do. Sometimes even scattering outside of range to be able to get a charge off the following turn.

      It really is a pretty good weapon. You land in 12″ and you’ve got 6 twin-linked bolter shots. Yeah, it’s not an assault cannon or anything but it generally nets me 2-3 wounds and even a Marine is bound to fail one, statistically anyway. Against Tau (Kroot), IG and Orks the weapon has been awesome. Sure, a heavy flamer in its place is brutal against those armies too but you have to land on target else it’s wasted.

      I’ve been happy with it honestly. I’ve had those times where it landed perfectly and I thought, “Damn, if only I had that heavy flamer.” Most times though I’m pleased with the results of the hurricane bolter.

      • Does it replace the flamer arm? I guess it’s not as bad if you still have
        the melta-gun.

        Still, I think I’ll stick with my 2x assault weapons.

        • Correct, replaces the DCCW arm that has the storm bolter, so I still have a seismic hammer and melta.

          I’ve been running two Ironclads, one has the hurricane bolter and the other has two arms, melta and heavy flamer. I find they work out well as a pair.

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