So who do you think is the best new BA Special Character? - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Member nirk42792's Avatar
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    So who do you think is the best new BA Special Character?

    Who do you think is the best of the Blood Angel characters in the codex. I honestly think Astorath the Grim is the best, the Red Thirst going off on a 3 rather then only 1s I think is really nice. Sure you have to give up They Shall Show No Fear but being Fearless and having Furious Charge for the rest of the game is pretty nice. Also he's not uber expensive so you can run him in almost any point value list. Though I don't like his model so I will probably convert him.

    Mephiston's new stat line and power is really nice for a power based character.

    Hmmm Deathwing...or...Grimmnar's Wolf Guard Termies...I think I'll be depressed rather then Barbaric. Deathwing!
    Dark Angels 2/0/1

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  3. #2
    The Future realitycheque's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of being fearless, I think ATSKNF is preferable - although I'd rather have stubborn

    Mephy and Sanguinor will be the two I field most often I think, as a couple of good linebreakers will go nicely with my army.

    That being said, I like fielding Dante for fluff reasons, having my general be older than Emperor-damned Eldar makes me happy.
    My Deathwatch Campaign
    Furious Angels: (SM) W22, D1, L9 (BA) W15, D0, L3 | Sentinels of Saphery (HE) W3, D0, L0

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    I despise special characters in all there forms, but I do like seth because of his model, everyone else is just boring or stupid model wise or rules wise.
    have no interest in a Forum where mods give you infractions for defending yourself.

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    Senior Member Gathrog's Avatar
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    I also don't favor the use of special characters, and i miss the rule where both players had to agree for them to be even used in the battle. I think that having a point minimum for them to be used would be a good compromise and make sense. Its hard to imagine Abbadon The Despoiler showing up on a 1000 point scout mission.

    Blood Angels get access to a lot of very good HQ choices, it's hard to just pick one. It doesn't help that they get 30 pages of special characters either. I'd have to look at the codex for a long while to pick out the ones i would use if i had to. I did notice while browsing through the codex that a couple of their better special characters were not independent characters and didn't come with a squad. So you have to play very carefully with them so they don't get blasted by a devastator squad or something similar.
    What is dis signature nonsence?! dem stupid human zoggers are always trien to confuze us.

  6. #5
    Member Pagliacci's Avatar
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    I'll also have to support the opinion against special characters. I think it's a throwback to the old rules Gathrog mentioned. Although in the case of Space Marine chapters, they're more justified than other armies. There's only one captain of the Deathwing after all, and the same goes for almost every other division.

    I'll also have to say Seth, for his model alone.

  7. #6
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    415 (x8)

    The GW approach to special characters has evolved and devolved simultaneously. On the one hand, starting at the end of 4e they swung right back to the ridiculously overpowered and overpriced superheroes of 2nd edition who could eat a bowl of land raiders soaked in milk for breakfast. This trend is most evident in Mephiston, who has been buffed twice consecutively and at this rate will be juggling Bloodthirsters whilst riding a unicycle made of Carnifex bones by 6e.

    On the other hand, starting with the 5e SM codex they've started using special characters as a replacement for the 3rd edition "index astartes" armies and the 4e trait system. Shrike, for example, gives his entire army Fleet, and is the only available way to represent Raven Guard in the rules. Pedro gives the army Stubborn and scoring Sternguard, and bike captains allow you to field bike armies. This is notable because it's really a case of synergy between the army and the SC rather than the SC dominating the army list.

    A similar but distinguishable move in the same vein was the 4e version of Lemartes, who was basically a cheaper Chaplain with a jump pack - so instead of actually buying your Chaplain a jump pack, you'd just buy Lemartes and call him Chaplain Bob or whatever. Similarly, Tycho was just a cheap-as-chips Captain with a combi-melta, so if you didn't want to fuss about your HQ choice but wanted the army-wide Ld10 from Rites of Battle you could pick up Tycho for under a hundred points or whatever. The general movement GW was aiming at here was to rework special characters as standard army list choices, like a Happy Meal of wargear and special abilities that you could pick up at a bargain.

    The new BA codex seems to be a very firm case of the first example, where the special characters cost a buttload of points and behave like a whirlwind of murderous to-hit dice in close combat, but aren't exactly beneficial to certain types of army, aside from token developments like Dante making SG Troops and Astorath allowing you to take multiple DC squads. Those rules aren't actually useful, since both units are prohibitively expensive and not even terribly impressive unless you add the special characters to them.

    And the problem here is, of course, that the experienced player knows that the real reason you take special characters is based on their synergy with your army, not on their impressive 2e statline. Mephiston might well have the statline of a Trygon and so many wounds that if he tried to kill himself it'd take him all game, but what does he do for the rest of your army? Seth can automatically hit a bunch of guys with a S8 chainfist in CC, but does the army benefit from that? Does having the Sanguinor sitting there looking very well-painted do a whole lot for your scoring units except give one of your sergeants a buff to his statline?

    What I'm looking for in a special character is a) cost-effectiveness - this is why Pedro is better than Shrike - and b) benefit to the army as a whole. Tycho seems attractive, considering that he'll likely be extremely cheap and would work very well with Sternguard, but if you're looking for something a step up I would say - and this is without looking at points costs - Astorath. Not only is he a close combat beast, but he will maximise the effectiveness of your Death Company - should you choose to take them - and, most importantly, triples each unit's chance of getting Furious Charge (and Fearless, but that's not as attractive). The amount of points saved on SHP alone will probably justify his cost.

    The other high-cost option is Dante, but this only for a specific type of list - a jump infantry deep strike list. Ignore SG as troops: SG look to be absolutely pants-tastic. Instead, abuse the crap out of his no-scatter deep strike and his Honour Guard to get four or more inferno pistol shots into the back armour of the most expensive and threatening vehicle in your opponent's army. With Dante, you can get him and an Honour Guard squad with FC, FNP, Hit-and-Run and a Death Mask, and plus you can nerf the crap out of an opponent's fancy-pants special character.

    In conclusion (tl;dr) most BA special characters don't synergise well with your army, or only with a certain type of army. The majority (Mephiston, Sanguinor, Seth) focus on being close combat beasts to the detriment of the rest of your troops - a major negative in my opinion. A couple, like Dante and Astorath, combine impressive close combat skill with utility on the tabletop, in particular by making your elite assault squad even bigger, scarier, and more balls-crushingly awesome. And one (Tycho) will probably just stay attractively cheap, because no-one can stand a BA captain with a combi-melta actually killing anything.
    The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.

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  8. #7
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    415 (x8)

    I should probably add on the subject of upgrade characters that Corbulo is easily the most attractive - though a lot hinges on how much he'll cost you. He functions exactly like a normal SHP, but gets some sort of buffed FNP (interesting but uncertain), a S5 Rending chainsword (meh) and - this is the important bit - one re-roll per game, which sounds totally pants until you realise it can be used on anything, including incredibly vital ones like initiative rolls at the start of the game.

    His competition consists of Lemartes, who I've been told is just an overpriced Chaplain with a useless special ability whose one saving grace is that he can't be picked out in CC - a fact that unfortunately is the reason why his special ability is so useless. Perhaps more attractive when combined with Astorath and put into a secondary DC squad.
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  9. #8
    I AM the Evil Twin! Jared van Kell's Avatar
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    The characters in the new codex are good but in different ways. Below I've detailed how I believe they are best used.

    Mephiston: Master of Death- Uber powerhouse character, designed primarily to take out other characters and larger models such as dreadnoughts, daemon princes and carnifexes, especially if he is going to earn his points back at that. His statline, special abilities and psychic powers are primarily designed to give him the necessary power to do this. With toughness 6, 5 wounds and a 2+ save he is hardly a glass cannon either and will be more than able to stand up to almost anything.

    Commander Dante: Chapter Master of the Blood Angels- Essentially a character that allows you to take more sanguinary guard than normally possible as well as confer hit and run on any unit he joins. He has a high number of attacks on the charge and is essentially designed to join a squad, and alongside them, tear to pieces anything they charge. The great thing is that with hit and run they can fall back and then charge again. His death mask is also a lot more useful then people realize especially if your opponent has taken a powerhouse character as they are essentially neutered for the entire game.

    Astorath the Grim: Redeemer of the Lost- Will certainly be a popular choice as he removes the limit cap on how many death company squads you can take. In addition he is like like Dante in that when he joins an assault squad they will chew through enemy squads, especially with S6 attacks that ignore armour saves and force invulnerable saves to be re-rolled.
    His ability to allow Blood Rage on a 1-3 is the main reason why people will take him though as having a large portion of your army with Fearless and Furious Charge is a tempting prospect for anybody. Best model of the lot.

    The Sanguinor: Exemplar of the Host- Like Mephiston he is designed as a character killer. Choose your target and let him fly (literally) at them re-rolling to hit and to wound against them, a 3+ invulnerable save and Eternal Warrior means he will survive combat with pretty much anything. Supported by an assault squad or a sanguinary guard squad and he is even nastier as they each get +1 attack whilst he is with them. If this squad has a tooled up veteran sergeant then you can give him the Sanguinor's Blessing and you'll have a pretty tough unit with two powerful models in it.
    Not a huge fan of the model though.

    Gabriel Seth: Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers- Perhaps one of the most interesting characters out there as he is far from being overpowered. His S8 rending attacks means he will carve through vehicles like a hot knife through butter and his special rules means he can clear the area pretty fast. He is perfect for taking on armies with low armour saves like Orks, Imperial Guard, Tyranids and Eldar but his lack of power weapon attacks means is not so good against armies like spacemarines, chaos spacemarines and necrons, this is why he will need an honour guard. The model is pretty nice as well.

    Captain Erasmus Tycho: Captain of the 3rd Company- Looks like an interesting choice but is not really that special in his normal form when compared to a normal captain with a power weapon. Sure he gets preferred enemy against Orks and the ability to re-roll one roll to wound but that is it really.
    In his Death Company form he gets a little more interesting and in a squad of Death Company led by a chaplain he becomes a quite nasty with 5 attacks at strength and initiative 5 on the charge, re-rolling to hit and to wound and ignoring armour saves.

    Brother Corbulo: Keeper of the Grail- An interesting choice to take as with S5 rending attacks, a 2+ save and Feel no Pain on a 2+ he can be pretty survivable. However it is his all seeing Eye that makes him worth the cost, as the re-roll he grants can let you seize the initiative early on to get first turn. Put him in a sterngaurd squad or tactical squad to get the best results out of him.

    Chaplain Lemates: Guardian of the Lost- Personally I do not feel is good addition to a death company squad as his special rule really only comes into play if he looses a wound and then his attacks and strength go up to 5. There are not going to be many incidences where this will occur, especially when he is leading a squad of death company. The model however is amazing.

    Overall they are not too bad. If I was to pick one I would say the Sanguinor is my personal favourite rules wise as he is just so survivable, model wise my vote goes to Astorath.

    JvK
    Last edited by Jared van Kell; March 21st, 2010 at 17:26.
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  10. #9
    Member Pagliacci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_poodle View Post
    I should probably add on the subject of upgrade characters that Corbulo is easily the most attractive - though a lot hinges on how much he'll cost you. He functions exactly like a normal SHP, but gets some sort of buffed FNP (interesting but uncertain), a S5 Rending chainsword (meh) and - this is the important bit - one re-roll per game, which sounds totally pants until you realise it can be used on anything, including incredibly vital ones like initiative rolls at the start of the game.

    His competition consists of Lemartes, who I've been told is just an overpriced Chaplain with a useless special ability whose one saving grace is that he can't be picked out in CC - a fact that unfortunately is the reason why his special ability is so useless. Perhaps more attractive when combined with Astorath and put into a secondary DC squad.
    I miss Creed's 4th edition Strategy Rating rule, where rather than rolling for first turn/deployment you just won automatically. I like special characters with more utilitarian powers, I think they're more interesting than the ones that are just assault powerhouses.
    Last edited by Pagliacci; March 21st, 2010 at 17:28. Reason: I honestly have no idea.

  11. #10
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    One of the things I miss most about 4th edition was the Rites of Battle special rule. If you took a Captain or Chapter Master, your entire army could use his Ld. It was a fluffy and very neat way of representing how having a commanding officer on the field was about more than how many high-strength attacks he got on the charge.
    The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.

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