Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thoughts on the new DA codex/FAQs...

So, got in a few games with the new book, and overall I am VERY happy with the book and the overall direction GW seems to be taking with the Chaos and DA books...  Assuming they continue this going forward of course...

The book itself has a good number of options, many of which seem viable as Army builds.  My "Subtle, like Sledgehammer" build of the Deathwing Assault is REALLY good now.  Belial and Azrael both open up Deathwing Terminator Squads as Troops, and Azrael also opens up Ravenwing Bikes to match Sammael (Master of the Ravenwing).  Focusing mostly on Belial for me, he went up in cost from 130 to 190, but the new Deathwing Assault (DWA) rules are REALLY good.  I ran him with a DW Command Squad, but I do think he would be better off in a line DW Squad...  His precision assault combined with the twin linked shooting the turn they deep strike in means I can really simply place the DW Squad 1"away from, say, a Scout Squad hiding behind the Aegis Line and fry a bunch of them.  Oh, and Split fire means we can ALSO shoot at something else altogether :-)...The Command Squads is nice, but not scoring and fixed at 5 seems like it is something for larger games...  The Apothecary is nice, the Company Champion is REALLY good (Str 7 AP2 weapon?  Yes, please...  And just +5 points?), but a single Heavy Weapon and just not THAT much weight of firepower means this just might not be the normal route for me.  DW Knights are another interesting one...  Their weapons are modified Power Mauls, so Str +2, AP 4...  Except against their Preferred Enemies, Chaos Marines.  They get -1 AP...  The Flail used by the SGT here IS AP 3 to start, so he could be a Terminator killer if it came to that...  Storm Shields, Hammer of Wrath and +1 T if they are in BtB with 2 others?  Not much more expensive than my "line squads", but no shooting at all and no way to make them Scoring would I think make them an expensive "linebreaker" unit...  I can see using them, and probably running them in a Land Raider Crusader...  If I were playing a stupid expensive list, I might give them the Banner of Devastation turning the Bolters to Salvo 2/4 weapons...  Park it in the middle of 3+ squads of Tac Marines for the sheer number of Bolter shots as I park on an objective.  Dare them to let me charge with the Knights after they make it through the firepower...  Silly, expensive, but might be amusing...

The other thing I am really liking is the ancient Missile Launcher getting Flak...  Yes, you have to pay to upgrade, but silly at this point NOT to.  Seeing a lot of fliers and looking like more are inbound soon.  The FAQ change limiting casualties to only include models in range of at least one weapon also makes inclusion of a Heavy a good idea.  It does not need to hit, just be ABLE to cause a casualty out to 36 or 48" range (AFAIK, I could be wrong, going from memory here), and having the ability to slap down a 5 man squad with AAA in the form of a ML seems like a good thing.  Down side, you might well be giving up "First Blood" playing with a min sized squad and the Chaos Heldrake is now REALLY powerful (no cover on vector strikes and the AP 3 heavy flamer has a 360 arc)...  Conceivable that one simply flying over could wipe out or almost wipe one while the Flamwerfer toasts another.  Since my only other defense against that is "gee, I hope he rolls lots of 1's" or perhaps a Bastion?

Have to admit the Bastion is growing on me.  Yes, it is a death trap if someone brings a Melta or similarly armed unit down specifically to deal with it...  But it is also a good way to get AAA with a quad gun or heavy laser.  And a squad inside could occupy and fire the Heavy Bolters and shoot their own weapons as well.  So Flak missiles and the Las Cannon probably for me...  Dunno :-)  Hobby budget for the month blown getting the DW Command box and book...  But given measurements I HAVE a full shop downstairs...  Hmmm...

Oh, and have to say that the DW Command box set is one that is certainly well worth it.  Especially if, like me, you have an existing DW Army, and maybe more than a few Terminators around to modify.  3 full sprues, options to make the Knights, Command Squad and normal Deathwing...  Including ALL of the possible options like Heavy Flamer, Assault Cannon, Cyclone Missile and the new Heavy Plasma...  Neat, and I am betting that I will use every piece in the box converting a large number of my existing DW models as well as piecing together the 5 that come in the box...  This one I do think is well worth the $60 price tag, I can't say the same for the new speeder variants or fliers...  Maybe it is just my bias of not really liking the model in the case of the Speeder or the completely underwhelming game stats in the case of the flier.

Free ranging ranting, moving from the cost of the Fliers to their in game use...  I think the recent fliers, in general, are costed out pretty well.  Not too horribly overpowered and relatively easy to deal with.  Exception being the Chaos Dragon...  Playing normal Marines, I do not really have a good way to deal with it as my Crimson Fists found...  Deathwing are less vulnerable, but I dread bringing my Grey Hunters out of hibernation.  Conversely, my IG probably worry the least about the Drakon...  Losing d3+1 models to flyby and then a single flamer?  "Eh", they take worse casualties hitting the mess hall...  The issue I have is with the older ones that got "Flier" tagged onto them and some of the Forgeworld ones.  Vendetta/Valkyrie is VASTLY undercosted for the new rule set...  It was too cheap in 5th before becoming a Flier, now looking around at the competitive armies it is unsurprising how many are included.  Have to admit that sort of stalled out my drive to make my Steampunk "Airship" versions.  Really not wanting to just be one of the crowd there...  So, still building them, just pushed back a bit on the workbench...  The Forgeworld stuff is going to be problematic I think.  AV 13 fliers with twin linked 5" template Melta weapons?  Maybe a bit too much, being completely immune to a lot of ground fire...  And the dirt cheap weapon platforms in the Aero book...  No one using them locally yet, but I have to admit they are becoming a major temptation for me...  Hyperios ADA Btty and the Contemptor DN's are both thing I would use in an instant...  I'd ALMOST feel bad using some things like the Land Raider immune to Lance and Melta, so those are likely out...  But the ADA Btty would be something CHEAP points wise I could throw together myself...  35 points/platform for the Str 8, AP 3 Skyfire, Interceptor missile?  Btty of 1-4, and potentially split fire?  Hmm, let's think it through...  No, really no need, it is really almost too good in and of itself with Interceptor being able to fire at things arriving from Reserve, so Drop pod troops, flankers, etc...  Almost never going to be a useless investment...  Thinking I can put my Whirlwind missile packs on a platform for use as this...  So, will have to get the ruling about "homemade" Forgeworld rules units... (edited for spelling, slipped back to Scottish I guess for a bit...)