Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The new daemon armybook - Mourning the passing of the Khorne BSB

Howdy fellows. Unless you've been living under a rock you'll have noticed that the new chaos daemon armybook (and codex) has been released. And there are a few...rumblings, about it.

Now, sadly, this has meant my whole army of bloodletters need a drastic change.

Personally, I did the techno asthetic path they're taking with khorne. He out of the four is the major forgesmith, the worker of metal, like the dwarves he channels magic into weapons rather than individuals.

However, the points for the units have well, to be honest, gone a little batshit crazy.

Lets see what's changed


Ok, Bloodletters were due a nerf. I'm actually happy about that. 14pts for none natural strength 5 on the charge may be a wee bit steep, but they seem to have balanced this by giving them a 6+ scaly skin armour save (which, personally, I don't think is worth the paper it's printed on).

Everyone ran bloodletters in a hoard. Honestly, it was the best way and a wee bit thematic. You all may know, I've got a raging hard on when it comes to running hoards. Nothing gets my blood stirred like the sight of 40 meatbags running madly at the enemy.

Now, Fantasy battle has tried to make things abit more tactic, it's about synergies, units need other units to bring out the best in them. Daemons have always been the same. Heralds give a locus to their kin, and really make the unit sing. Sadly, the locus were a bit bent in the last edition.

Here's the core I ran to a recent 1500 tournament:

Herald, BSB, banner of sundering (-2 to a chosen lore to cast), armour of khorne (3+ armour save)

43 bloodletters, Icon of eternal way (+D6 to first charge)

I added 3 bloodletters as I had the points spare and you cant buy  anything else for 36 points. This unit had hatred on the first charge, but was unwieldly, easily avoided. The whole thing cost about 750ish points.

Now, lets see how it comes in with the changes in the new book.

Herald, BSB, Greater gift, locus of hatred - This herald loses the ability to take an armour save, and instead may roll for a 1 in 6 chance to get a 2+ save, an extra wound or the ability to nibble back wounds he's lost in close combat. His BSB is no longer magical. He's now 250points.

43 bloodletters, banner of swiftness - can march 2 extra inches, charge an extra inch. 650ish

So, 900 points vs 750, and increase in 150 points. For a more killable herald (to the point he's probably not even worth taking), less magic protection and less charge.

Ok, lets ignore the bloodletters nerf, as we agreed it was needed and is actually fair. Lets look at the herald.

I'd actually say he's worth 250 if you could ensure his survivabiltiy. If you could buy him an armour save. If you could guarantee he wont be poked to death by s3 spearmen.

Sadly, you can't. it's 250 points wasted. Even with the frenzy locus, at 225, he's still very killable. Even elves will kill him before your unit even gets to strike, wasting the locus you spent 60 points on. You need the 2+ armour save or he's pointless. And on average you'll get that once in 6. Once a tournament.

What can you do? Well, giving him fencers blades can help a little, making him only hit on 5s. But still, 9 attacks hitting on 5s rerolling, wounding on 5s, then 5 up saves (maybe even 6+ armour if you're real lucky) -  you'll be lucky to keep him alive.

You could put him on a juggernaut, though that takes him away from his massive hoard and gives him an extra wound and 4+ armour, also making him immune to killing blow and a shedload extra attacks from him mount.

You could also put him on a skullchariot for an another 160points, making him near prohibitively expensive, vulnerable to cannonballs and slower than everyone else due to being unable to march. I've always been wary of putting BSBs (or any character) outside of units away from look out sirs. A T5 chariot isn't too bad, but is still a great risk, especially for going on 300points investment.

Of course, nurgle heralds have it much easier, and slaanesh and tzeentch have it worse. And again, I've so little experience with the new book. But I do have experience playing warhammer, and running BSBs, and I know from experience that they are vulnerable and to never rely on a dice roll. Therefore the age on the foot bsb, and perhaps the foot herald, is over.

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