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While the Space Marines rely mainly upon the might of the marine himself, they do have a place for tanks. The Vindicator is one of those tanks and can be pretty useful for any Space Marine Commander.
The Vindicator is a low cost, medium armored tank. Even with upgrades, the Vindicator is a lot of bang for the buck. The Vindicator is armed with a strength 10 ordinance weapon that can fire even while moving!
Moving is a critical yet necessary weakness. The 24" range usually demands that you maneuver to make the vindicator effective. Moving this threat forces the enemy to respond to your threat while allowing you the opportunity to attack his units and control part of the field. But this same action that projects your influence upon the battlefield, exposes the tanks weak side and rear armor. This can be accomplished by creative use of the terrain, screening or denying the enemy the ability to be where he can attack the tank’s side armor. This tank is best used with other units while attacking or defending.
While the Vindicator’s main gun is strong, it might be that the tank’s best role is when used as a psychological threat. A psychological threat is effective, even before the game starts. Few opponents will be able to ignore the tank’s basic abilities. Every time that your opponent thinks about your tank, you are winning.
While deploying for the battle, the enemy will have to worry where this tank will be placed and how it will be threatening him. Once it is on the table he will either deploy units to counter your tank or he will have to deploy his units to move around the tank’s area of control. To defeat your tank’s armor for certain, your opponent will have to deploy multiple units capable of beating the frontal armor or fast enough to attack the side armor. This will work to your advantage in that it should slow your opponent down in what he must accomplish while giving your other units the opportunity to do what they must do to win you the battle.
There are some circumstances in which your opponent might ignore this threat. If your opponent has a high volume of units, he might choose to only passively address the Vindicator or he might even ignore it in hopes of hurting your elsewhere. He may also behave in this manner if his units are too fast to be effectively discouraged from moving past the tanks area of control. If this is the case, then your tank should be used defensively. Ultimately, you will want him to waste time and firepower addressing your tank. Your goal is to force him to do so.
The Vindicator really shines when used with another larger, if not more subtle threat. This threat can range from surgical assault, a massive attack or perhaps taking specific objectives. The idea is that the Vindicator does some damage while taking the enemies best efforts to counter it. The damage is a bonus, the real benefit is that while they are dealing with the vindicator, your units are free to do what you need them to do.
The targets that you should select with the Vindicator should suit what is a threat to you and what is critical to your opponent. The idea is to hurt him some, scare him a lot. The high strength is good against vehicles if you can land a solid hit on them, but the high strength and good AP is absolutely deadly to troops! Vehicles must be hit pretty much dead on while troops need only be touched by the template. Even when hit by ordinance, vehicles might still survive while troops will typically just die. Most people who start to remove large numbers of models at a time tend to become anxious and unsure of their position. This is how the vindicator does it’s job.
The vindicator fits the role of a medium tank very well. Though it is not really meant to be used in close proximity to friendly troops, desperate times might call for desperate measures. When supported by other units and good deployment, the vindicator is very effective at what it does. Just be sure to have other units that are capable of doing their job once the Vindicator buys them the time. You might even have to ask what is better than one scary tank? Two Scary tanks, of course!
Join us next time for some more on the Space Marine....