Mathshammer Week - Part 1 - Termagant Upgrades.

Seems like as good a place to start as any.

Termagants are cheap, scoring and can have access to a number of upgrades some of which are fairly cheap, others which well... aren't...

So lets see what we have...

Adrenal Glands - 1 point each.
Gives 'Furious Charge' to unit.
Pretty much essential if you want your Termagants to be of any use against vehicles, allows you to hit Marines before they hit you and allows you to wound those same Marines on 4's rather than 5's.
Obviously you need to get the charge but that applies to any unit that has Furious Charge...

There is an alternative however.....Tervigons...If your Tervigon has 'Adrenal Glands' then any Termagants within 6" get them for free and as spawned Termagants don't get any upgrades it's pretty much a no-brainer upgrade for the Tervigon.

So Termagants need this upgrade but personally I run Tervigons with Adrenal Glands so I get it for free*, if I didn't I'd pay the one point per guy ;-)

* Well not exactly free as it costs 10 points to give the Tervigon the upgrade.

Toxin Sacs - 1 point each.
Gives 'Poison' to unit.
Another essential upgrade which allows you to wound anything (that isn't a vehicle) on 4's whether you've charged or not.

Also, as the Poison rule says 'If the strength of the wielder is the same as or higher than the toughness of the victim, the wielder must re-roll failed rolls to wound in close combat' if you are Strength 4 at the time that the poison rule comes into effect (due to 'Furious Charge' from whatever source) then imo you get the re-roll to wound as there's no mention of 'base' strength in the poison entry anywhere, only strength. Some people have disagreed with that interpretation but as far as I'm concerned it's 'Rules As Written' so that's the way I play it.

So, take everything I said about Adrenal Glands in the last 2 paragraphs of their entry and replace the words 'Adrenal Glands' with 'Toxin Sacs' as the same things apply ;-)

So that's the 'special rules' upgrades out of the way...onto the weapon upgrades...and the Mathshammer...

First as a baseline, this is the weapon that the Termagants get for free

Fleshborer - Range 12", S 4, AP 5, Assault 1...Yes, It's a Bolt Pistol, lol.

We'll take a squad of 10 Termagants armed with the above and shoot at some Marines and then just for a change of pace we'll shoot at some Guardsmen as well.

Vs. Marines - 10 shots, 5 hit, 2.5 wound, 0.83 Marines dead after their 3+ saves
Vs. Guardsmen - 10 shots, 5 hit, 3.3 wound and kill as standard Guardsmen only have a 5+ save

Okay that was fairly indifferent (unless your one of those 3 Guardsmen I suppose) but what did you expect for free?

Okay then, onto the stuff we have to pay for.

Spinefists - 1 point per model
Range 12", S 3, AP 5, Twin-Linked, Assault 1.

Vs. Marines - 10 shots, 7.5 hit (with re-rolls), 2.5 wound, 0.83 Marines dead after their 3+ saves
Vs. Guardsmen - 10 shots, 7.5 hit (with re-rolls), 3.75 wound and kill as standard Guardsmen only have a 5+ save

So we've done exactly the same damage to the Marines with a negligible increase in damage to the Guardsmen. for the 10 points we've spent we could get another 2 Termagants which would make the following difference using the free Fleshborer.

Vs. Marines - 12 shots, 6 hit, 3 wound, 1 Marine dead after their 3+ saves.
Vs. Guardsmen - 12 shots, 6 hit, 4 wound and kill as standard Guardsmen only have a 5+ save.

So for the same points as the Spinefists we get 2 extra Termagants which actually give us better results and that's before we even take into account the extra attacks in assault or the extra 2 ablative wounds the unit gets.

It's also useless against vehicles**

** Not that the Fleshborer is much better, but at least it can glance armour 10 and if your charging the vehicle anyway you might as well take any shots your allowed...every little helps after all ;-)

Spike Rifle - 1 point per model
Range 18", S 3, AP -, Assault 1.

Vs. Marines - 10 shots, 5 hit, 1.67 wound, 0.56 Marines dead after their 3+ saves
Vs. Guardsmen - 10 shots, 5 hit, 2.5 wound, 0.83 Guardsmen dead after their 5+ saves.

6" extra range is of negligible benefit, worse than either the Fleshborer or the Spinefists at actually hurting stuff. Useless against vehicles.

Not worth it at all if you ask me...

Devourer - 5 point per model.
Range 18", S 4, AP -, Assault 3.

Vs. Marines - 30 shots, 15 hit, 7.5 wound, 2.5 Marines dead after their 3+ saves
Vs. Guardsmen - 30 shots, 15 hit, 10 wound, 6.67 Guardsmen d
ead after their 5+ saves

Any wounds caused reduces any subsequent morale check by the unit which is of only minor concern to the Marines but may worry the Guardsmen if one of the guys who died happened to be the Sarge.

So a fair increase in damage output for double the cost. Lets see how the unit would do if we spent those points on more Termagants...

Vs. Marines - 20 shots, 10 hit, 5 wound, 1.66 Marines dead after their 3+ saves
Vs. Guardsmen - 20 shots, 10 hit, 6.67 wound and kill as standard Guardsmen only have a 5+ save.

So we've killed 1 less Marine or the same amount of Guardsmen but have an extra 20 attacks on the charge and an extra 10 ablative wounds.

I'd rather have an extra 10 scoring bodies than an (almost) extra dead Marine and a slight increase in chance of the unit running away as I probably wanted to charge it anyway.

And finally the Strangleweb, which is a Strength 2?!?!?! Flamer Template.

Strangleweb - 10 points, 1 per 10 Termagants.
Range - Template, S 2, AP -, Wounds Vs. Strength rather than Toughness, Pinning.

They're shit.

Edit - Okay that seems a bit lazy now I've read my own post...sorry

They're really shit.

Still not detailed enough?

If you insist then...

Vs. Marines, 0.167 chance to wound, 0.056 chance of killing each Marine caught under the Template after their 3+ save.
Vs. Guardsmen, 0.333 chance to wound, 0.222 chance of killing each Guardsmen caught under the Template after their 5+ save.

Editors note - I used them in a dozen or so games and it failed to do anything of note in any of them. I replaced them with an extra 2 Termagants and I've been much happier that way...

So to summarise...
If you don't have Tervigons, give the Termagants Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs.
If you do have Tervigons, give the Tervigons Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs.

So that's episode one of Mathshammer week done.

Any comments are (as usual) most welcome...
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