Friday, April 11, 2014
There's a Rumble in The Floor
So lets prepare for war. The Imperial guard is out today for most of us, I am currently waiting for a call from my FLGS when they get it in. Till then what we have is the pretty much confirmed rumors as to what is going to be in it. And what we have is pretty good for the most part. There certainly could have been more done and the missed opportunity of regimental doctrines is one that springs to mind. So we can dwell on the missed opportunities or look at what we have and what to make of it.
So scions have already been covered and there is no real need to go into more detail, they got the needed points drop and with first rank fire and other orders they are very useful now, a solid choice over veterans but still won't replace them either. A platoon of them will be a very useful deepstriking unit, or mounted up in taurox's or valkyries, fast mobile and hard hitting. Now for the most part the elites section overall has seen to gotten some love. Ratlings have minor changes but seem to be able to shoot and then run now. This could be a misread and just be that they can make use of the shoot then run order or that they can use it as a standard rule. Will be interesting to see, ratlings are a solid sniper unit, besides my lack of interest in abhumans turning them off for me. The psyker battle squad lost its previous power as expected but gained access divination, pyromancy, telekinesis, and biomancy. They are brotherhood of psykers and other than that we don't really know how they look. Will be interesting if they can gain mastery level by adding more guys (so ML2 for 10 man squad), I seriously doubt it but who knows. They will be a great support unit as always, there use will just shift from before.
Speaking of psykers, the biggest little surprise is that the astropath has access to telepathy! This is great. I like astropaths but once your reserves are on they were a useless model that was an expensive extra wound. Now they will see use and have access to a great table if not the best powers because of their mastery level. Taking scream on them will give your opponent a nasty little surprise if he tries to get to close too your command squad. Primaris psykers are much cheaper and can be upped to ML2, have access to the same powers as battle squads. This is really nice, I'm so glad IG psykers are continuing to get better. The 5th codex did a great job of making our psykers useful, especially over the pretty much useless 4th ed ones. This continues the trend and IG have access to some great support psykers and can even some good combat powers. IG psykers will be seen even more, if only for access to prescience. This makes the change of bring it down an actual boon. Prescience is better than the old order as that only affected vehicles and mcs and could not be used on vehicles. Prescience can be used on everything for everything.
Ogyrns.... well as much as I was hoping for a points drop, they didn't get it. As much as I want to say that they are useless, I won't. They will be a hard unit to make work, but with priests and commissars, combined with orders I think they can work. A five man unit in a chimera can take a priest and another commissar/priest, fixing their leadership issues and significantly boosting their cc potential. I would go with two priests to maximize getting the hymns off. The bullgryns are more expensive but are interesting. They have carapace but if in base to base they up their armor save to 3+. With added benefit of a +1 to cover saves to units behind them. These guys may work as a walking wall, with enough wounds and with a few added characters to help them out will do just as well as ogryns in combat. Now for 15 added points apiece you can get a shield that gives 5+ invul and power mauls. While this isn't a bad deal since power weapons are a 15pt upgrade anyway, but the fact you can't choose what type kinda sucks, I would be much happier with power swords on these guys or power axes since their I is low anyways. For as much as they cost, I think they deserve freedom to choose power weapons. Neither will be your first choice, but can work if you build your army to make use of them, but you can't just plop them in and expect them to work.
Fast attack. Lets see, sentinels changed slightly but for the better. Armored are only 5pts more over scouts. Scouts did not change other than weapon options being cheaper now. I know some will disagree but scout sentinels were just fine before, they were a cheap flanking unit that can threaten light vehicles and infantry. Keep them as before, run around with multi lasers and with camo netting working whether you moved or not now, this is a solid upgrade for them to add survivability. Armored are much better and combined with weapon pts drops, you can bring a more survivable version that brings firepower. With easier access to prescience I would not feel bad throwing anti tank weapons on them for a cheaper tank hunter than a vendetta, that starts on the board turn one.
Speaking of vendettas they got an appropriate pts increase and lost transport capacity. Sorry guys but this needed to happen, they were absurdly cheap before when compared to other flyers. You can still use command squads in them and fly around dropping them off to kill stuff and they will still fulfill their roll, but are just pts appropriate now. The valkyrie went up 25 pts in base, but the missile pods got a 20 pt reduction, so that loadout is now only 5 pts more than before. Effectively they are the same as hellstrike missiles are shitty with them being ordinance weapons (yay snap shots!) and you really should be taking the missile pods and go infantry hunting with valks and save the tanks for vendettas.
Hellhounds don't really seem to have changed, but with price increases to valks/vens, the devil dog will see more use as an alternate tank hunter. I'm a fan of hellhounds and will a slight drop on points would be nice, they still bring good firepower and won't cost a lot to fit in your army. Puzzlingly rough riders do not seem to have changed. Sorry guys. Use death korps of krieg death riders rules if you really want to run riders, they are so much better and should be what rough riders are standard. Those that use rough riders will see little change, but with psykers and orders you can make them a little better, especially the shoot then run order.
Not much has changed in the troops section. Penal legion is gone, and while its a loss in some flavor, its not a unit that will hurt IG by being gone. Conscripts are cheaper at 3pts now and with them being able to take good commissars and priests, they can be a solid choice over blob squads. Prescience them and shoot then run, you'll get across the board fast and force your opponent to wast time on disposable units. Chenkov is out and with him send in the next wave, but in my opinion that was a very expensive way to field conscripts. Take more now and keep some in reserve, you'll actually come out ahead with their points drop and not having to take send in the next wave, will have better utility as you'll have them coming in sooner and have more bodies actually in your army. A human wave army is more than doable and in my opinion probably better than the old version with the new options and characters.
Vets seem to be cheaper all around. I am saying seem because I have yet to see confirmation that they are still a ten man unit base. Their base price dropped 10pts, but if they are a 5 man squad now in reality they have almost doubled in price. If someone can confirm this before I get the codex that would be awesome, hopefully the FLGS will get theirs in soon. Other wise they really are unchanged, you can still take three special weapons if you don't take a heavy flamer (which is 10 pts cheaper!) so same as before. Now chimeras are ten pts more, but if a full 10 man vet squad is 60 than this is really a no change for this unit combo, add and subtract ten and you get the same. With doctrines being appropriately priced now this is great. Demolitions is the same price, but 30pts for 10 melta bombs is a steal (their 5pts apiece so should be a 50pt upgrade if you reall think about it). Carapace is 15 and sentries is 10(at least that is what it seems). This is great as the other two were overpriced and now can be taken and not feel like such a burden. Their doesn't seem to be any changes to platoons.
Heavy support. Good and bad here. So yes the three artillery pieces were dropped. However you can still take them using the IA rules (which is exactly the same as the old codex rules, hint if you don't want to buy the IA book). Leman russes got some pts drops, its not across the board on everything but most got some pts tweak. Tanks are looking to be good, but still waiting to see if there is a lumbering behemoth type rule or they just dropped pts, kept them heavy and called it a day. Either way the Leman russes are still a good choice and vanquishers are looking to be much cheaper, which is great as they are one of my favorite tanks. The executioner got gets hot to its main gun, not a huge surprise there really, but its cheaper so makes up for some of the added risk. I don't like that gets hot affects vehicles at all IMO, its a turns a good vehicle into a possible suicide case, but at least it affects all plasma toting vehicles so its not unique to this tank.
Speaking of tanks, a great addition is tank commanders to HQ. They have access to orders for tanks, which though they only get it for their squadron, they seem to be decent if not amazing. It adds a great new choice to the HQ section and allows you to bring a tank themed army. You prob won't be able to bring russes as troops, but maybe he'll make them scoring units. Will see. Its a nice choice but not too powerful. Now Pask is looking to be amazing, with buffs specific to types of russes he is in and having some good rules. Rending on punisher is amazing. I'll admit I did not like pask on a punisher before, felt he was better spent elsewhere, but now I think he'll make that tank a monster. Thow him in a squadron with vanquishers, split fire him and he'll destroy infantry while the other two kill a tank. I'll be taking this most definitely.
Company command squads seem to be slightly more expensive but other than that there is really no word on how much they have changed. What has changed is orders. So the order range is a standard 12" across all officers, great for platoon commanders, and the CCS gets two as before. Gone is the higher commander to lower, so you can start with whoever you want, making it much easier to coordinate your fire. Now no word if pcs get access to all 6 standard orders, but it looks like it which is great making these guys actually useful beyond the token order or two. It looks like CCS get access to three additional, basically the revamped old ccs orders of get back in the fight, bring it down, and fire on my target. Fire is ignores cover, bring is tank/monster hunter, and get back seems to be the same. This looks great to me. I'm not worried about loss of twin linked on bring as prescience is readily available now in the codex, and bring was only situationally useful as you could not use it on vehicles nor could it target infantry units.
Now advisers don't seem to have changed other than astropaths having telepathy (awesome). Primaris, priests, and techpriests are advisers and you can have 3 (of each?). Tech priests got a very cool upgrade and can cast power of the machine spirit on a vehicle now. A really nice bonus and I can def see taking a few of them to make use of that. Really all three are great choices now, priests are awesome with hymns and fearless and psykers are great for their support abilities. They don't take an HQ slot which is great IMO. Commissars, look to be good, no word if you can stack more into one choice though, so it may be hard to pack more than a few into your army without sacrificing a company command squad. But they are much better with a summary execution that is ten times better than before. You don't have to do it, you have 2/3 chance of killing the guy you want to, and you automatically pass the test instead of rerolling it. Much better.
All in all this is looking to be a very flexible codex, with lots of ways to take it. You can go tank heavy, you can go for human wave. Elite and fast formations. Shock infantry. Mechanized infantry. Really there are many ways to run the army and with great support units to take things over the edge. Missed opportunities? Yes. A bad codex? No. Only a few more hours till I get to see all the little details and be my hands on the book and fill in the missing gaps.