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Is it me, or for his points is he friken great?
Very high wounds, great, though dangerous psykic powers.
The options of the traitors mutants and the psyker are pretty good if your opponents take advantage of them, nice cannon fodder. Has anyone ever had an opponent use them?
And as an aside, thinking of cannon fodder, does anyone use zealots? I hear they are good, but for the life of me I cant get my hands on the White Dwarf(UsA) with their rules in it.
He's coming for you...
He's got some serious defects. Note that his statline apart from wounds and leadership is terrible. Soul Shrive is useless because he shoots like an Ork. He is appallingly vulnerable to assault. The large number of wounds is less protection than you think due to T3 and no save. One S6 hit, or even a volley of lasgun fire will cut him down.
The mutants are not as good as you might think. With the upgrades they have to have (assault troops need to hit harder than 2-3 S3 attacks) they are not that cheap, and in many ways are inferior to Ork slugga boyz or skarboyz.
The traitors are also not that good. Their morale is poor, especially if they infiltrate to be out by themselves. They compare poorly to the IG who have Hardened Veterans and Stormtroopers to do their infiltrating.
Cannon fodder is all very well, but I've seen huge mobs of IG conscripts and the like be scythed down without noticeably slowing up the enemy. It's not enough to have numbers, troops also need firepower or movement and assault ability, coupled with the morale to keep fighting when things get tough. Without this they're just useless tuff.
Many of the above comments apply to Zealots. I'm wary of using them as I fear they'll be just a big mob of slow-moving assault troops that will be cut down by enemy fire long before they reach cc. Assault troops really do need transport, enhanced movement or deep-striking/infiltrate to be effective.
Well the stuff about the Psyker, traitors and mutants makes sense.
But as being weary of taking zealots because they might get shot to pieces on the way to combat, I believe that is their main objective. Sure they have a few Eviscerators to do some damage if they make it, but mostly they are just a big moving group of bodies to take the fire off the real units.
He's coming for you...
I've never subscribed to the whole ablative troops theory, at least in regard to something other than grots. While it is worthwhile using your cheaper troops in such a way as to induce the enemy to shoot them over more expensive troops, they should still be a threat in and of themselves. By that I mean they should have genuine combat ability and present a credible threat to the enemy. They should not be on the battlefield just to be shot at, that is a waste of points.
In addition there is the issue of points cost in proportion to enemy fire. Often supposedly ablative troops actually perform poorly in that role as they lack protection or morale, which means they get shredded by light fire then run off. Sisters are already so cheap and have such endurance from good armour and high morale that they don't need ablative troops. You're better off getting more Sisters than a lot of rabble who will just give away easy points. Because of this I fear that Zealots will turn out to be totally useless in actual combat, capable of neither helping their comrades or harming the enemy.
If you think of zealots as being an alternative to repentia instead of as a meat shield then they are OK. There is a thread somewhere proving that a squad of 16 zealots is much better than repentia of equal points value. Then again many people consider repentia to be a bit lame anyway so no surprises there.
Note I've never used them, but I think a big mob of zealots led by a priest is a pretty fearsome prospect myself, and the chance of running away is not too bad.. They will never have a leadership score lower than 8, and the more crazy things get, the higher it will rise.
That, and with a couple of hidden eviscerators, they could actually do some damage.
Say, where are the rules for a rogue psycher?