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After reading a buch of lists people have posted, I've noticed that artificer armour isn't bought all that often. I think it's a must have for HQ's, as it halves the chance of being wounded and being an independant character they can be targeted in combat.
Love to hear peoples thoughts on it.
It really depends on the type of HQ I'm running with, or what kind of army I think I will be playing. I will take it if I'm going to A) Use my HQ as a stand alone CC unit or I'm going to be assaulting a foe with a high intiative. If I am running alone I need that extra armour save to keep myself alive from small arms fire that I usually take, and it helps against sergeants and the like. If I'm playing against an army with a high intiative I'm going to need it again for survivability. I plan on ending up in the assault, and high intiative armies like to assault, so if I get jumped I need that extra armour to keep me alive long enough to possibly strike back.
Usually I don't take it though. I like cheaper units used to their maximum capability. I only have used Artificer Armour on one unit ever. That was in 4th edition on my Master of Sanctity with LC and Jump Pack. Oh the number Monstrous Creatures and Chaos Lords that fell to him. But now I think that it's a huge point sink. I don't needa 2+ save now, I either take Terminator Armour in it's place, or I run with body guards.
"The only hatred any man should hone, is hatred against himself for not being able to serve the Emperor to his full extent. This is the hatred he should unleash upon the enemy, and in doing so, the Emperor will protect."
Master Lucius, Chapter Master of the Noble Templars
If you have the points to slap it on your Captain or whatever, go for it. It's not one of those must haves like gun upgrades or Power Fists. Captains/Chaplains can usually charge in and clear their kill zone anyways, if you aim them at the right targets.
For 15 points I'd say it's a bargain - 2+ save against krak missiles? Thanks very much! Pretty much a standard purchase for me if I'm using a Captain or Chapter Master - although I will drop it if I really need the points elsewhere.
I usually try to talk people out of it. Sure, there are a few situations where it helps, but if your list is all-comers, then those points are better invested.
Against shooting you are protected by your squad. In close combat you usually have higher initiative and a relic blade and good toughness, good armour save and enough wounds to stay alive against attacks that don't ignore armor saves. The danger actually stems from power weapons, monstrous creatures and thelike, and artificer armor won't help you there.
If you can and want to spare the points, do it. I don't, and I think in most situations it's just overkill.
Normally I buy artificer armour if the model is equipped with it. For example I have one of the space marine captain models that was issued with mail orders a little while ago. He is clearly wearing artificer armour and so I feel duty bound to pay for it being the WYSIWYG demon that I am.
In game terms it can either be very useful or completely useless. Against a big squad of anyone it's great as it allows you to chip away at their numbers for as long as it takes. If there is anyone with MC or a power weapons hanging around then is is pointless. It doesn't help with anti character lascannon shots either...
Personally I like the idea of it more than I like the rules ...
I just figure effectively it's a cheap version of Terminator Armour without the teleport homer. Plus I dislike the idea of Honour Guard having better armour than the Chapter Master! IMO CMs and Captains should come with Artificer armour as standard. Why would they still be using the same set of armour as a regular just-out-of-scouts marine?
If you want to spend 15 points on your captain, I'd probably go for the Storm Shield. Same cost as the artificer armor, but instead of getting a +1 to your armor you get a 3+ Invulnerable save. That's usually better at keeping your HQ alive.
And if you want a good HQ, I'd go for a Librarian with Terminator Armour and Storm Shield. That's 140 points of awesome right there.
Necron Army Building Maxima: Beware of Phase Out
Terminator armor comes with teleport homers? I didn't know that? (Except for the armor of Antilochus on Marneus Calgar.)
But as for fluff on still using a "regular" set of armor: many Space Marine chapters issue one set of armor to every warrior and it remains - for as long as he lives and fights - his own and personal belonging, and he has to take care of it, etc. Now there is plenty of reason to still stick with "your" set of armor once you've made it to the ranks of a captain...
But of course, auto artificer armor for HQs (at least captains and chapter masters) would indeed be very nice...