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Asides from almost never being in stock in GW stores, i honestly think that the CSM heros can be rivaled by upgraded Lords/Sorcerers/Daemon princes around the same points cost. The only heros that can outdo most custom HQs are usually very expensive such as Typhus and Abaddon. Just throwing it out there but I honestly think that if you want an HQ that you can customize to your style of playing, you should just get a non hero HQ rather than looking through the heros and asking yourself which one fits you better. The only reason i would use a hero these days is if i was playing apocolypse in which case i wouldnt mind buying a more expensive hero (I already have Typhus for apocolypse).
Compared to a flying lash prince none of the named HQs or any other form of HQ makes any sense in having other than for fluff reasons. I would consider typhus though if he was eternal warrior and 25 points cheaper.
Compared to some other unnemtionable codices we really only have one HQ choice.
I believe that the only "Hero" HQs (let's face it, nothing would give these guys the title of "Hero") that are viable outside of 2000+ pt armies is Kharne and Lucious. I believe that you can sometimes customize a HQ better tooled to what you're trying to do with your army, such as a lash prince.
Also, the reason you can't find most of the "Hero" HQs is because the only ones that stores carry on a regular basis is Abaddon and Huron, the others you will more than likely have to order online or ask the store owner to make a special order for you.
Well, Bile is in his own class thanks to Enhanced Warrior, and Kharn is certainly unique enough--I love how he never 'misses' in close combat. But, yes, there are only so many ways one can create a one-man CC powerhouse. Add to that the fact that our characters don't alter how the army plays (aside from Bile, whose ability is expensive, specific and fratricidal) and how much more fun it is to kit out a generic HQ, and it's no surprise that our characters aren't very popular.
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"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
True Lucius and Kharne are decent and fun.. But they aren't godly. They aren't 3+ invo 5 pfist attacks and eternal warrior with army enhancing attributes and they can't give your cheap missile toting scouts a 2+ cover save either.
kharn only hits on 2+'s so he can miss. Theres also the fact that 1 of Kharns attacks has to be directed towards one of your own units. I say why get Kharn when you can get a daemon prince? they both have weapon skill 7, the daemon prince has better strength, better toughness, more wounds, as in an eternal warrior and monsterous creature. not to mention that daemon princes can have wings, a mark, and a cheap spell like doombolt or nurgles rot and still be the same or less for points cost. The daemon prince only has two disadvantages which that he has 1 less attack, but that can be made up for with any one of the marks or can be fixed with mark of khorne, and that the daemon princes weapon doesnt count as a power weapon against vehicles, but it doesnt matter because, being a monsterous creature, he gets an extra d6 against vehicles anyways. the daemon prince would be even better than kharn at killing vehicles if you gave the daemon prince a mark of chaos glory.
to put it short, i think that daemon princes are better than kharn in every way and can be cheaper. Just an example of why some HQs are better than chaos heros
as for the DP's, you're all over the place with your explanation. If you're trying to tool up a DP to rival Kharn in CC and give him the MoK (like you stated), you can't take the cheap spell like you mentioned as one of its advantages.
I'm not trying to argue with you. the DP's are by far the best HQ's we can take with their base abilities and the ways we can customize them, but Kharn is probably the best valued named HQ.
but to the OP, Typhus and Kharn are special order, thats why you don't see them in stores. I picked up Typhus on ebay and ordered Kharn from GW direct. I'm not sure about Ahriman, Lucius, or Bile. Abaddon and Huron are still available in most all stores though.
and game-wise, in the bigger games, Abaddon is a monster that you should at least experiment with. especially if you play Apoc at some point.
I know you cant give mark of khorne and a spell at the same time, im just giving several different combinations of how he could rival kharn
You're completely right Charnel, a DP will almost always be a better choice of HQ than Kharn (unless in a fluffy World Eaters army ). Just saying that of all the named HQs, imo, Kharn and Lucious are the best ones.
On a side note, if you pinned Kharn off against a khornate DP, I believe Kharn would win. He will hit the DP on 2+ whereas the DP is hitting him on 4+, and although the DP is wounding more often (3+ compared to Kharn's 4+ against him), he probably won't have as many dice to bring to that phase as Kharn. This is all without getting into whom charged whom or if Kharn got any plasma pistol shots off or wounded himself from Gets Hot! (this is the only way he can wound himself).
Kharn is a better charactor killer, assuming the charactor is some big badass. The DP is more of a multipurpose badass, while Kharn only shines against hugely scary monster's like a Wraithlord, Avatar, Carni, or... well, a DP.