18 January 2013

40k: Who You Gonna Call?

In my previous post I hinted that, in order to counter the new Dark Angels, Typhus would have to call on some nasty reinforcements of his own. But who should he be calling to come and help? What models do I have access to, either owned or borrowed? Here are some of my thoughts – feel free to jump in and comment.

Abaddon The Despoiler
The Kingpin of Chaos, Abaddon is the daddy and Chaos incarnate. He doesn't just come with a single Mark of Chaos, he gets them all! He is a bit of a monster in combat, with his 4 wounds, Toughness 5, Initiative 6, Weapons Skill 7, 4+ Invulnerable save, lightning claw and daemon weapon. You do have to get him into combat though, which has a cost implication. He also costs a whopping 265 points – possibly the most expensive character in the game – and he has to be your Warlord, meaning that Typhus would take a back seat. The cost of the two characters together comes to nearly 500 points, that's a quarter of my available amount!! Throw in a Land Raider transport and some Terminator back up and we're closer to 1000 points – half of my points on 6 models! I do own a painted model of this guy, so he is available.

Possessed Marines
I've looked at a rather nasty combination of these guys, but they wouldn't fit in well with my Nurgle theme. If you had a unit with the Mark of Slaanesh (making them Initiative 5) and gave them the Slaanesh banner (which bestows Feel No Pain on the unit) they could become a devastating Assault option. Their random weapon roll each turn is unpredictable but any of the roll would make them a threat. Throw in my Sorcerer Jedi with the MoS and he can buff them further. Awesome option but another expensive one. I do own a unit of painted possessed models so no extra work involved.

The Chaos Dreadnought has become an odd fellow. It was never taken in the past due to it's unreliable 'Crazy' rule and the better option of Defilers. They back in 6th Edition with an improved price but with still no clear role. Current wisdom suggests go assault with them, being covered by the guns of a Defiler. Yet with Armour 12 and the remaining 'Crazy'ness even 100 points seems s bit much. Would the inclusion of two or even 3 be enough to frighten the enemy? …or points better spent elsewhere?

Nurgle Terminators/ Obliterators/ Mutilators
Having a host of nasty Toughness 5, Terminator Armour clad monsters would usually be an appealing, if (points) expensive, proposition. However, with the Deathwing having a 'Bane of the Traitor' rule on many of their combat weapons it means that things like Power Mauls and Power Weapons that would not worry me are now AP 2 with enhanced Strength. That would pretty much render these guys pointsless, to replaced by hordes of Cultists who have no armour and just don't care. If I can find a way to negate this new rule (or if Bull were to not take anyone with it) these guys would rock. Don't have a lot of models to represent them, but could bodge it if need be.

Chaos Cultists
Be it zombies or gun-wielding loons, a large unit or two (or three) could swamp the battlefield and make life very difficult for the pesky Dark Angels. The zombies proved their worth last time out, if slow – regular cultists could run but are vulnerable to morale checks. The big plus is that they are cheap and Troop choices, so can capture objectives. You have the option of giving them Marks of Chaos to improve their stats slightly, but they soon cease to be cheap anymore. I would also have to acquire, build and paint up a boatload of these guys to fulfill my vision.

Chaos Bikes
The addition of some speed to the army would be excellent. Making them Toughness 6 with the Mark of Nurgle even more so. A unit of these guys is definitely on the shopping list – I have a box of bits that would make up 16 bikes – but I don't have any built at the moment. The balance is keeping the unit small to remain (points) cost-effective without being so small that you're wiped out easily.

Being able to field heavy weapons in 5-man troop units made these guys redundant (in my head) in the past. Their new price means that a unit containing 4 Autocannons is very affordable and will ping out 8 shots a turn at Strength 7. Funnily enough I bought the bits the make up a unit of these just before Christmas. They may yet make an appearance!

The Chaos hybrid that is a Dreadnought and a Basilisk rolled into one. A there's the rub – is it a combat monster or a shooting monster? At the end of the day it is armour 12, so even Assault Cannons can take it down. I have a part-built Defiler sitting on the painting tray and could borrow another if necessary so they are an option. However, at almost 200 points each they're not cheap, even if they are fast on the field of battle.

Possibly my favourite Heavy Support choice ever, the workhorse of many a tournament army. If you can protect its side and rear armour these tanks will cover your back reliably, if never being the standout unit. I used to be able to take four of them with my Iron Warriors which was awesome, but now they're perceived as a poor cousin to the likes of the Forgefiend. One on its own can be a liability but put a couple together and they can really do the business. I have loads of models to cover every eventuality here.

Land Raiders
I haven't fielded any Land Raiders… forever! I could never justify the points cost in the past, but a fully tooled up Chaos Land Raider comes in at 250 points. As transport for Terminators they're cool – Armour 14 is still a problem for most enemy units. They have guns aplenty and you can launch an assault from them. I don't own any of these anymore, but could borrow one or two if necessary. Could get pricey though, swallow up a lot of points quickly.

I dipped my toe into the pool of available allies in an earlier battle, with mixed results. The daemons are definitely an option even though I'm lacking many models. I could take a lot of big guns in a Guard detachment, but would risk harming my own troops as they're Allies of Convenience. This option certainly expands my available choices and some potent combinations could be achieved. The impending new Daemons codex should (if rumours are to be believed) provide some amazing additions, just not in time for my next battle. I also have the option of Necrons, Tau and Orks as similar iffy allies.

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