Clad in the heaviest armour, armed with oversized weaponry and striding through all enemy small arms fire like it wasn’t there are the elite fighters of the Space Marine Chapters the Veterans of the 1st Company, the Terminators and Mars’ newest progeny the Primaris wearing Gravis armour. But which one is best? We take a look at these units in today’s blog post.
Games Workshop’s latest edition of their popular game Warhammer 40,000 has gone back to an old classic unit and upscaled them to a size that is equal to their Primaris counterparts, (scale comparison can be seen in Stahly’s post). At the time of writing, the new Terminators are push fit easy to assemble starter models and don’t have any unit options like Chainfists or Cyclone Missile Launchers. Whilst on the other hand, the Gravis range of model and units is big enough to field a whole army with unit specialists like Heavy Flamer Aggressors or Melta Gun Eradicators.
Terminators vs Heavy Intercessors
Looking at the points values in 10th Edition, Heavy Intercessors cost 110pts for 5 models Specialist Gravis armoured units are only 3 models strong and all cost 110pt (Aggressors, Eradicators) whilst Inceptors cost 115pts. A 5 man Terminator Squad is nearly double at 205pts! What makes Terminators so costly?
Let’s start by looking at the unit profiles. They both move 5″, they both have access to transport vehicles and they both count as 2 models when it comes to transport capacity. Terminators get the ability to Teleport anywhere on the battlefield though whilst most Gravis units don’t have this ability, Inceptors do get the ability to Deepstrike with their Meteroric Descent rule. Gravis Marines are tougher than their 1st Company brethren with a 6 to their 5 respectively, but Terminator armour is way more protective with a 2+ save and a 4+ invulnerable saving roll. Heavy Intercessors do get +1 save against Damage 1 weaponry if they’re holding an objective. Both units have an impressive 3 wounds and Leadership 6. heavy Intercessors though have a very cool 2 for Objective Control, making them far more useful for holding Objectives than Terminators. You can take 10 Heavy Intercessors for the cost of 5 Terminators (roughly) and they’d have Objective control 20 to the Terminators’ measly 5!
Yeah but how good are they at smiting your enemies? Well it depends on what they’re armed with. We’ll start by comparing the basic weaponry Storm Bolter and the Heavy Bolt Rifle. Storm Bolters get 2 shots each but hit on a 3+, where the Heavy Bolt Rifle gets 3 shots but only hits on a 4+. For our squads of 5 with 4 of these weapons in it’s 8 shots vs 12 and both averaging around 6 shots hitting each time so there’s nothing in it really. Heavy Bolt Rifles are stronger at str5 and have -1 Armour Penetration doing Damage 1 and the Storm Bolter is an unimpressive Strength 4, Armour Penetration 0, Damage 1. Terminators have a special rule called Fury of the First that allows them in ignore negative modifiers to hit rolls and if the enemy is an Oath of Moment target you get +1 to hit which makes them more reliable than the Gravis models. It’s worth noting though that the Heavy Bolt Rifles are 36″ range and the Storm Bolters are 24″. Storm Bolters are Assault so you can shoot and Advance which helps close the gap on the shorter range weaponry. Heavy Bolt Rifles are Heavy and Assault which means you can Advance and shoot or if you don’t move your Heavy Intercessor squad you get +1 to hit. I think the Heavy Bolt Rifle wins this round.
The Heavy Intercessors can only add a Heavy Bolter to their unit, where as Terminators can choose between, Cyclone Missile Launchers, Assault Cannons or Heavy Flamers. They are limited to 1 choice per every models. I would argue that for the same cost as 5 Terminators (roughly) you can get 6 Eradicators with Melta Rifles dishing out 6 Strength 9 shots each doing D6 damage.
At range, Gravis armoured marines seem more adept at removing enemy models, but what about when things get up close and personal. Heavy Intercessors are only armed with a Close Combat weapon giving them 3 attacks hitting on 3+ at Strength 4. It’ll do a single wound on an enemy but they’ll get their full save. The Terminators on the other hand are in a different league, with all but the Sergeant armed with Powerfist (which can be upgraded to Chainfists if you like cutting open vehicles) this squad can dish out a crazy number of Strength 8 attacks (12 to be exact) with -2 armour penetration and 2 damage. They’ll be ripping chunks out of Daemon Princes no problems. Oh but wait, the power fist isn’t unique to Terminators. Aggressors in Gravis Armour can have Powerfists, in fact they get 2 which makes them Twi-linked (you can reroll the wound roll) they have the same number of attacks as the Terminators but they only hit on 4s. You do get 6 Agressors for the cost of 5 Terminators though.
What’s my conclusion? The usual wishy-washy answer you’d come to expect from someone on the internet would be that they are both individual tools in a toolbox doing different jobs but I’m not going to do that, I’m not an experienced gamer, I have fond memories of painting and playing with Terminators in the 90s but honestly I would choose Gravis armour over Terminators. It’s cheaper with plenty of unit options that specialise in a specific role, where as Terminators are expensive and are trying to be a jack of all trades. I will end on this though, the Terminator sculpts are perfection and the Gravis is cool but you can’t beat the look of the original and the best heavy armour.
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