In response to a post over at Imperius Dominatus about how a Psycannon is not anti-tank, I decided to run all the marine portable weapons against a 2 weapon chimera in my tank destruction simulator. Here are the results:
So where does the Psycannon fall. Well the best weapon is a half range melta. It outstrips pretty much every other weapon a marine can carry. Ofcourse half range is 6 inches for the meltagun so you have to get pretty close. Every other weapon is the same or worse than the psycannon used in the Heavy 4 variety. It is better than normal melta, lascannons, and missile launchers. In fact the Assault 2 Psycannon is better than the missile launcher. Now the mean number of turns shooting to get the kill is as follows:
Half Range Melta:3.4
Heavy Psycannon: 5.8
Cyclone Missile Launcher (Hive Guard for Xenos): 6.1
Full Range Melta: 7.3
Assault 2 Psycannon: 11.0
Missile Launcher(Standard Lances here also): 11.6
TL Psybolt Assault Cannon: 4.4
Newly Added for the Xenos: Big Gun Tyrannofex: 4.3
Now they are right. The psycannon does struggle to kill the Chimera but it does better than most other choices available. If the psycannon cannot be counted as Anti Tank then pretty much only anti tank weapon marines have is half range melta. While you have to roll 6 to get the penetrating hit you get 4 shots for each weapon. A lascannon might penetrate 3 times as much put it also misses completely 33% of the time. The four shots from the psycannon will only all miss about 1.25%. It is not that the psycannon is bad at antitank. It is that the rules in 5th ed in terms of light armor toughness are just unbalanced.
Now remember these numbers are for 1 weapon. We see that a psycannon can kill one Chimera a game. The list that I did not like a little while ago had 12 plus 6 TL Psybolt Assault Cannons (which are as good at killing light tanks as tyrannofexes for 1/3 the price). Six turns of this firepower will kill 21 Chimeras. Fully Anti Mech Nids (3 Tyrannofexes, 3*3 Hive Guard) is only 13.5 dead chimeras.