Jan 11, 2010

Too Much Melta?

What do you think on Melta/Fusion weapons. Do you find you take a lot in your army, why or why not?
Is it just me or is there a ton of talk about Melta lately? Well, maybe lately I mean in this new edition. Guard gotta have them (apparently), and you see people trying to pack them in wherever they can get them in. Do we really need that much Melta? With plasma at a points premium (which honestly doesn't sit right with me, since the way cover works in 5th, but that is an argument for another time) why has Melta seemingly become the weapon of choice?

I really question it because that is what I hear a lot of talk about. I also question it because I wonder how many mechanized forces do you actually see on the tabletop (This kinda goes back to a previous post I had written about, but I’m not saying Mech is overpowered). Sure Melta is powerful, and granted, I have nothing against taking some Melta in my list, but has the Metagame become tainted with the over application of Melta just because it can “make our problems go away”?

Granted, Melta is especially good at doing what it is designed to do, especially under the new vehicle rules, but when is the last time you actually needed Melta to get  the job done? Maybe we need to re-examine what exactly the job is against these vehicles.

I question the need to destroy vehicles. Melta is generally considered the most reliable way to deal with a vehicle. The question we need to ask ourselves is why do we even want to kill a vehicle in the first place? Well, there are many reasons, but even a single roll on the damage table means the vehicle is not going to be returning fire, we can immobilize and blow of weapons with the right application and a little bit of luck. Why do so many people seek that 5 and 6 on the chart? How many vehicles actually have to “go away right now”?

Now, I'm not meaning to complain about anyone who decides they want to use some Meltaguns/Fusion, or hell, even a whole army of them. I will take some Melta just to have it in case I need to pop some shots off. It really depends on the group you play with.

The only thing that I can think of that Melta really gives a super benefit to is Land Raiders. Even the Monolith doesn't care about it, Eldar Wave Serpents don't care either, other vehicles are low enough armor to deal damage to them some other way, preferably with a weapon that has multiple shots so it has multiple uses.

Granted, Melta has other uses, since the high strength and low AP let you kill MEQ like they were nothing, target monstrous creatures and vaporize Tau battlesuits. Unless we're talking Multi-meltas, we're getting within Rapid-fire range territory here.

Most Melta carrying guys can really be expected to suicide to take out that vehicle, is that really in your best interest? Ask yourself this; do I really need to kill it, or just immobilize/weapon destroy it, or just stop it from shooting me for a turn? Do you really find you need to take that much Melta firepower for the armies you face? How much do you take and why?


RuntMcRory January 11, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

I have to agree with you on this. I win more games than I loose and I have a single melta gun in one of my squads. Everyone else has fists or melta bombs.

I am also a plasma man myself with multiple plasma guns and an average of 3 PCs in my lists (One list I run has 7 Plasma Cannons in it)

Itkovian January 11, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

I think it depends on who you play with at your local scene. My main oponnent is Orks. Apropriately, I have an overabundance of flamers and lots of multi-shot medium strength guns. I do still have a couple of meltaguns to deal with the two battlewagons kareening their way towards me every game...

Silar January 11, 2010 at 2:58 PM  

I'm happy to see lots of melta guns, as my main Hq is an avatar. It's great seeing peoples faces drop to the floor when they realise that their meltas are useless and they now have a monster running straight at them =)

Anonymous,  January 11, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

While I'm not a proponent of the proliferation of melta weapons, it's certainly all about the meta game of mech (which, again, I'm not a fan of). That said, I suspect the issue isn't that melta is *necessary* to crack open (or slow down) tanks, it's just more effective than plasma.

Granted, plasma (and other equivalents) do well at preventing other tanks from shooting/moving, but in order to keep that up, you need to fire at it every turn. Melta has a significantly better chance of eliminating the threat entirely.

Ironically, the disadvantage of melta is overcome by the inverse of it's strength. Hrmmm... did I say that right? What I mean to say is that melta's disadvantage is it's short range, but the way to overcome that is to employ fast moving squads. The cheapest way to do that: throw them in a tank. So, the cheapest and easiest way to deal with a mechanized force is to mech up and load up on melta guns.

Well, at least that's the common concensus--for the moment...

Aleksi Lehtio January 11, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

My IG army has 25 meltaguns and no plasma, and let me tell you why. Number 1 reason is the tyranid codex. With the loss of eternal warrior, he melta gains a superior advantage over the plasma. Secondly when we are talking 25 meltaguns, if they were all plasma I'd have 4 of them overheat each turn, and if I rapid fired I'd have to expect to lose 6 plasmas.

Yes you could go midway, and have a mix of different special weapons, but tbh mech is the meta, and longer ranged antitank won't cut it thanks to cover save rules.

I may be crazy, and I'm probably switching a couple of meltas for flamers, to take out masses, but IMHO with the new command system, on top of a few squads of rough riders and lasguns, you don't need any anti infantry, so why not just go all the way and max out on anti-tank.

Also melta has become popular, because of Vulkan Hestan. Although he also helps flamers, 90% of ppl play some sort of marine equivalents, and a twin linked melta is better imo than a twin linked flamer when killing a marine.

Akenseth January 11, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

I feel like I didn't write this piece correctly, as I feel that some people seem to be under the impression that I was trying to compare plasma and Melta; which I was not.

I was trying to find out what are the ways you deal with vehicles on the tabletop, and if Melta was part of that plan based on both your style and your opponents.

Thanks for the responses.

Mystic October 25, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

I have to say I'm much of an Oldy myself. I generally still stick to some Lascannons for my anti-tank.

Sure, AV 13 and 14 make are hard for it to take down, but keep in mind, alot of the vehicles out there are still running around with AV 11 and 12, which is a 2+/3+ respectivly with the Lascannon.

I also run meltabombs on some units, but I mainly favor Power Fists, or even better, Thunder Hammers.

Many people may look at me weird for Thunder Hammers, but think of it like this. No matter what else you do, you're ALWAYS getting a crew shaken result in addition to whatever else you happen to get.

Sure, it may be a bit of a bitch getting the units there, but its not overly hard.

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