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More than half the games i play involve a character model. GW puts the captain option in the codex but it is never used by many people who do raven gaurd, crimson fists (obviously pedro is the best.... i think.... yeh) and salamanders (another good one, eh).
Now i have currently been using a captain model for my Ultramarines 3rd company army and think that if GW is gonna make them be used more then they need something which can make people think that they can get more value for points by using a captain, so here are some of my ideas.
1. chapter specific rules: There is the chapter tactics rule already but it limits you by forcing you to use the characters rules. Although what i want will probobaly never happen i think they should make you pay points to give the captain the chapter tactics rule for specific chapter rules (like chaos space marines 3rd ed codex). Obviously these rules will apply to the rest of the army must use the same chapter tactics (so you cant have 2 captains with different chapter tactics rules) and you should only pay the points for this option once.
2. Chapter Relics: Anyone who plays fantasy will know what im on about here. But look in the dwarf army book and see the runes. These allow you to add abilities to the characters armour, weapons or talismans. Now, Everyones thought up they're own custom chapter and if you could say why this captain has this special armour (through fluff) and say why the armour gives him these abilities it would add to the level of creativity the players put into their models.
3 Chapter master Abilities: Chapter masters are pointless in the codex if you ask me. They're a captain with a 1 shot orbdance weapon which has a good chance of missing (most of the time i never get to use the ability anyway). Now maybe if the chapter master gets a little points increase then he and any unit he joins becomes a scoring unit.
Dunno what would be a suitable rule to make a chapter master a "master" so please post some of your ideas on this please.
So there are a few things i think that GW should add the the SM codex to make character models less used. But dont just do this for the SM, do it for most codices if not all as it would really make the game much more enjoyable if a model which i made managed to take on a greater daemon or tyranid carnifex.
So please post your thoughts on what i have posted and please add to the list as well.
For Space Marines special characters make more sense than in almost any other army. If you want to play Death Wing for instance there's only one Deathwing Captain. The same goes for several other chapters and a lot of army concepts. For instance if you want to play a Salamanders force dedicated to tracking down arcane technology then the one in command will be Vulkan He'stan. The White Scar Headhunters will always be led by Kor'Sarro Khan as well.
The last edition Space Marine codex had Chapter Tactics as a universal rule. You could modify your army pretty heavily with them, but they decided to drop the idea in the new codex opting instead for characters that alter the army composition. Relics (the way you describe them) also sound like an idea from older editions, back when there were Wargear lists. I don't know the rationale behind dropping them other than maybe to simplify the army list.
I think it makes sense tbh. Space marines are in most cases 1000 super mega steroid death hulks... but its still 1000. Using a leader or special characters out of 1000 is not that rare. Using say Lord Creed might be different because well... the cadians number in the millions so... i think it is not a bad thing if someone uses a special character if he is 1/1000 but less so if he is 1/1000000000
Agreed. Without Dante, my Sanguinary Guard list wouldn't be legal. Characters are no longer just uber-killers, they're used to unlock specific army builds. In that context they're fine and I don't mind them. Whereas my Guard army hardly ever uses any character besides Marbo. Who's certainly not at all required to make a competitive build.
Last edited by SandWyrm; July 19th, 2010 at 17:51.
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How about taking a Chapter master with a relic blade and artificor armor to take an Honour guard. 360pts gets you 5 ST6 PW attacks, 15 St4 PW attacks, and 5 Thunderhammer attacks on the charge with banner. Cheaper than most hammer units.
And that orbital bombardment can be priceless against guard, especially when most of your army likes to deep strike. The simple fear of it will limit their castling, or give you good odds at popping a tank. Not the best ability, but certainly not a bad one.
If a surgical strike is in order, it doesn't seem to unreasonable that a specific one of your 10 chapter captains or even your single chapter master is leading the battle.
In all honesty I understand what Pekolie is talking about, but on the other hand.
Count your blessings. With all the special characters acting as 'unlockers' of specific army styles you have many many options on how you can field marines to become different things. Sanguinary Guard are pretty killy melee bastages, and things like Sternguard are nasty at range... add Pedro and they are scoring, changing the entiretly of how you can run the lists.
People like myself who play Tau have pretty much one competitive option when it comes to building out armies. Tau also have only what... three special characters? Zero of which are of any use, and only one that can be used to alter our normal army rules.
With all the characters Marines can 'bend' normal 40k rules every which way till sunday making army comps that pretty much ignore standard rules, while folks like me who play Tau pretty much just need the 40k rules and a chart of weapon profiles, and a cookie cutter army.
And poor necrons... do they even have any special characters? Marines have an updated list with a codex that is built for 5th edition competition, and gives marines all kinds of options. If it's a fluff problem, like you do not like how Pedro seems to always be on the battlefield, remember you can make your own 'captain' and field him as Pedro so long as you have the right gear to represent him. 'Counts as' is the best fluff saver around.
The easiest solution to this would be including a mechanic similar to the Sagas in the Space Wolves Codex. Same kind of limitations (only one of a saga, or only one saga per army, though these might be called "traits" to reference the 4th ed codex) and instead of making your hero better they offer a rule to the army. The Imperial Guard Doctrines of their last codex also come to mind, though I feel that ultimately the current special character method is used to make things simpler, as we have seen most of GW's changes to the rules focus on streamlining things.
The problem I see in a system like this is the potential for abuse could be rather high. Marneus Calgar's special rule, which allows any squad with combat tactics to choose to fail or PASS any morale test is incredible, as it allows the army to ignore most of the leadership rules, or of course Vulkan's rule to twin link meltas and flamers is amazing. Why do we see Vulkan in so many lists and Calgar in so few? Well, obviously, Calgar costs as much as a land raider! Vulkan is used because he is so much cheaper for what he does. Now imagine I have it as a wargear option for my generic captain. How much would any such ability cost? The wolf sagas are between 10 and 35 points. Maybe calgar's equivalent costs 40 pts, then instead of paying over two hundred for Calgar, I'd only pay 140 and for the same boost. I wouldn't have a killer captain with other rules and double power fists, but the possibility to min-max is greatly increased. vulkan's rule might be even cheaper!
The other side to this would be paying out the nose for the traits, such that I have an expensive captain who doesn't have any weapon beyond a chainsword!
Ultimately the current system is probably the easiest/simplest/lesser of available evils and as for the fluff issues, just check the codex's advice to create your own characters to represent them. You can come up with names, fluff, even build your own models instead of the GW ones. If you have the bits it'd probably be cheaper than a 15-20 dollar metal model anyway.
The necrons have the two C'Tan. And thats it.
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The only time I generally use special characters is in Ard Boys, but i always love seeing them on the board. It's more of a bragging right to say "I killed Marneus Calgar!" than: "I Killed some nameless captain!", there's just not much ring to the second one.
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I see what everyone is saying about characters like dante and logan will allow you to take sanguinary guard or wolf guard as troops. But that makes sense with the characters but when i want to make a raven guard army i feel as if i have to take kayvaan just for the fleet rule and this is what im getting at. Gw has given everything to the characters and not much at all to the standard models when i look in the codex but i wouldnt have a problem with it if the standard Hqs could compete with them in special rules and wargear.
Unfortunatly this isnt the case and when i look at lucius in the chaos codex he has better stats for a model that i could have for 160 points (and thats without mentioning his rules too). Which is why i think GW needs to add something to the non-character hqs....