I killed a Landraider with a Stormtalon Assault Cannon last night! It turned a game that I was going to lose, into a win for me. And it made me think…Starmtalons aren’t as bad as some say.
To be perfectly honest I bought the 2 Stormtalons I run in my bike army because I liked the models, and they fitted in well with the idea of a hard hitting scouting force. However, I’ve come to realise that they’re actually pretty useful, and the recent changes have helped.
The positives are
· A twin linked assault cannon is a very versatile weapon. There is nothing in the game it can’t kill or wound. I’ve found it reasonably effective against AV12 flyers.
· Also, the Assault Cannon is mounted on a turret, which is on the bottom of the flyer – so it has a 360 degree field of fire, and doesn’t have the problem that the Stormraven’s assault cannon has with being unable to depress sufficiently to hit close ground targets. This helps in “dog fights” and in hitting ground targets as (to an extent) it alleviates the problem of a flyers limited mobility. So, for example, flying over vendettas, and shooting their rear armour is pretty effective! And, flying over ground based vehicles, doing the same is also pretty good (killed 2 dreadnaughts by doing this last night!).
· It’s cheap! The 20pt point reduction makes it pretty affordable. And with skyhammer missiles for only 15 points, 2 of them only comes to 250pts. That’s not bad.
· Hover Strike, being changed to the standard Hover mode also helps. With Hover Strike, while you could pivot, you couldn’t move (so no jink save). In standard Hover Mode you’re a fast skimmer so you can move 12 and fire both weapons. You also automatically get a 5+ jink save.
· Hover mode also helps when trying to avoid quad guns firing interceptor at you. Being able to move onto the board in Hover mode (i.e. you don’t need to move a minimum of 18 inches) it is easier to hide (or get out or range) from a quad gun.
I tend to use them to kill other flyers, and high priority ground targets turns 2 and 3, before switching to Hover mode in turn 4 or 5 (if they survive), to finish off scoring units.
So, these are my thoughts on having played them in a number of games so far – they’re not great (Vendettas and Helldrakes are much better of course) , but they’re not bad either.
The only thing I can’t make up my mind on is whether it’s worth an extra 20 points to upgrade to a Typhoon missile launcher (S8 AP2 Heavy 2), or just keep the basic Skyhammer Missiles (S7 AP4, Heavy 3). I would welcome thoughts on that.