Rating: Good


Available as a transport choice to virtually all the units in your army (particularly in combination with the Mechanized doctrine), the Chimera is a nice transport with decent AV12 front armor -- capable of ignoring all incoming firepower of S5 or less completely! On the other hand, it has side and rear armor like tinfoil, and at 80 points minimum (because the 10-point turret weapon is mandatory) is a bit overpriced. Still, if you take advantage of the weapons upgrade options, and realize that there are NO other transport options in the army list, it's a solid choice.

In theory at least, there are nine different weapon combinations you can field, but really I can recommend only two:

Multilaser (turret), Heavy Bolter (hull): This is your basic-configuration Chimera, a solid performer right out of the box. It has ferocious firepower in the front arc, decent against light transports and good against light infantry (= hordes), and both with the same reasonable range (36"). Plus, the heavy weapon inside can add more dakka from the top hatch.

Heavy Flamer (turret), Heavy Bolter (hull): For Chimeras rushing forward only. This variant doesn't have the same sit-and-shoot firepower of the Multilaser/Heavy Bolter combo, but can still add a little firepower at long range with the Heavy Bolter, and the Heavy Flamer in the turret makes it a serious threat to most armies (even Marines) up close, with a very punchy S5 AP4 template. Plus, having the Heavy Flamer in the turret allows you to flame in a 360-degree arc, very useful when also disembarking a unit at the same time in a different direction, and/or when trying to keep the AV12 front facing a certain direction!

None of your other options are particularly useful. The Heavy Bolter turret option is rather pointless, given that it cost exactly the same as the Multilaser option, for the same 36" range and 3 shots, and only S5 as opposed to the Multilasers S6. Maybe if you knew for certain you needed the AP4 (for example, you ALWAYS face off against Tau and Tau Fire Warriors), it could be useful, but in general the Multilaser is the better choice by far.

The Turret HB isn't even useful if you use the Trial Vehicle Rules, even though the Heavy Bolter is a S5 'anti-infantry' weapon and the Multilaser is S6 is not. This is because if your Chimera moves 6 inches, it will be able to fire the turret (as normal), and the hull-mounted heavy bolter (as a secondary weapon), regardless of what the turret weapon is, anyway. So no benefit to the heavy bolter in the turret, unless you're dead set against putting one in the hull. That S6 Multilaser is more useful not just against light vehicles, however, but also when you're taking pot-shots at swarms (Scarabs, Nurglings, Rippers) and trying to overkill them.

The hull-mounted Heavy Flamer option isn't very useful given the limited arc of the weapon. If you use it, you're basically going to be stuck in a specific facing. Because of that, the turret-mounted Heavy Flamer is far more useful for this purpose. And two Heavy Flamers in combination is even worse; your opponent is rarely going to be so obliging as to stick nearby and let you rip with both heavy flamers without having to move. Of course, if you're using the Trial Vehicle Rules, this becomes a much nastier combo (you will be able to move up to 6" and fire with both Heavy Flamers) -- but the trade-off is that you'll have created an extremely specialized Chimera that will have marginal use in most games.

Finally, you have the option of saving five points and NOT taking a hull-mounted weapon, but why would you not? It's only five points for an appreciable amount of extra dakka, and with the Trial Vehicle Rules, you'll get the extra dakka even when moving up to 6 inches. What's not to like?

Kyoto Sensei writes in to add: The new Imperial Armor book allows Chimeras to take turret autocannons for 15 points(!!). Worth a mention since it is such an easy conversion and really changes how people might use the chimera. Definitely I would take the Autocannon option over the Multilaser, in a heartbeat (even for an extra 5 pts) -- similar uses, better weapon; and might encourage me to use my Chimeras more as stationary weapons platforms, and less as "mini-Hellhounds".

Vehicle Upgrades:

Excellent: Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers, and Searchlights. This should be your basic Imperial upgrade package, particularly for transport-type vehicles. There should, in fact, NEVER be a reason not to take these three upgrades on all your transports as standard!

The Extra Armor allows your transport to keep moving, or to disembark troops, even if stunned. Normally, your vehicle will be sitting duck, and your Armored Fist squad completely useless, if the transport is stunned.

The Smoke Launchers will allow your transport to dash across open terrain and remain Hull Down for one shooting phase. Given the tin-foil armor on the side and rear, and given that AV12 is nice, but not incredible, protection, this 3-point upgrade is a godsend, even though it's only a one-use item.

The Searchlights are the only choice of the three which is optional -- and only if you know that the mission will NOT be using the Nightfight rules. But in general, it's a great 1-point investment given that your army is a "Shooty" type army that will ideally be hanging back at range and firing weapons. With searchlights on those vehicles of yours that plan to get fairly close to the enemy lines, your army will work better as a whole. It's well worth the trade-off (the potential loss of your Chimera) in order to be able to shred a particularly nasty enemy unit or two with the rest of your army.

Other vehicle upgrades are not quite so useful, but worth mentioning:

Good: Chimeras are a good place to put Improved Comms; they're not nearly as fragile as Sentinels, and they usually won't be instant targets like Russ-type tanks, Basilisks, and/or Hellhounds. Plus, since the Official GW Q&A states that you can use this upgrade from reserve, there's no need to worry about making sure that the Improved Comms are on a unit that starts on the field.

The Pintle-Mounted Stormbolter and Pintle-Mounted Heavy Stubber are both nice ways to add some extra dakka, and the Heavy Stubber is not only a better choice all-around, but also a better fit (36" range) with the Multilaser and Heavy Bolter of a Chimera.

Marginal: Notice that Track Guards specifically do NOT work in combination with Extra Armor, but this is still a possible choice, because it will help preserve your Chimera's mobility, and that mobility is one of the Chimera's biggest benefits to your army. Mine Sweepers rarely will prove to be very useful, given the limited number of missions where mines play a role, but occasionally it could prove to be a worthwhile investment, particularly in your most mobile units (your Chimera transports).

Created by: system. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 12:04:11 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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