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In the following article I have taken a look at several aspects of special characters and compared them to other equipment/abilities in the 40k universe to determine a points cost. I have then seen if the total points cost is greater or smaller than the characters cost to determine how strong the character is. I know that in many cases these are inaccurate as a certain ability may be better for one army than it is for another (rending claws are only 4 points but imagine 4 points rending on a SM commander!). In these instances I have tried to translate it as well as possible.
If you have any feedback or suggestions please say so. Also if anyone actually fields Cassius please tell me why…
Shrike is easily the best of the Special Characters. With his infiltrate, scouts and jump pack he is guaranteed a 1st turn charge with 6 rending attacks. Let’s take a look at his cost compared to his abilities. An ordinary master with a jump pack, pair of master-crafted lightning claws, frag, melta bombs, terminator honours, purity seals would cost 166 points. For an additional 24 points to pay for Shrike you receive rending, infiltrate, scout, stealth and the option to take his wing.
Now then in Codex: Chaos, infiltration is an additional 15 points so that brings our commanders cost up to 181. Scouts and stealth together are likely to cost an additional 10 points (in Codex: Chaos weak veteran skills are 5 points each) so that takes our commander’s points to 191. Giving rending a points cost is very difficult but daemonic talons costs 10 points. I know this is not quite fair as talons also restrict weapon options but it is as close as possible. That brings our commanders cost up to 201. In addition to all this you also gain the special option of taking his wing.
As you can see Captain Shrike is approximately a 30 point bonus as well as being a mean 1st turn charger. He can easily swarm over any army (except orks!) with his wing and force close combats, blocking LoS and allowing other troops to get up close. Shrike annihilates any enemy (except orks!) and supports the rest of your army by forcing early combats on the enemy. A great buy for any Raven Guard player.
Captain Lysander is the hardest to compare to a normal hero due to his extremely abstract abilities. As it stands a normal Master in terminator armour, master-crafted thunder hammer, purity seals costs 150 points. Now then Lysander has only the 1 special ability (teleport assault) and it is this separates him from the ordinary commanders. The closest comparison that can be made for Lysander is the elder webway portal which is approximately 50 points. Assuming that Lysanders ability is also worth approximately 50 points that brings the points cost to 200 points.
Similar to Shrike Lysander has a 30 point bonus over building your own commander. His main tactic is quite obvious, use scouts with teleport homers and scout bikers with teleport homers as the rest of your army then stuff Lysander and as many terminators as you can into your points. A massive terminator army all arriving together on the 2nd turn with no scatter is obviously powerful and gives you immediate advantages in most missions including take and hold, control and secure, cleanse, recon and rescue. Lysander allows you to conduct co-ordinated terminator assaults that guarantee you maximum performance out of your terminators.
Cassius is without a doubt the worst character in the codex. He has the stat line of a reclusiarch and that is never good on a character you are spending a lot of points on. An ordinary Reclusiarch with terminator honours, bolt pistol, frag and bionics costs 107 points. Tyranid hunter can be compared to suffer not the alien to live so 1 point per model. Since he will usually be attached to as big a squad as possible he will probably have a 10 man squad so 10 points for the tyranid hunter. 117 points so far. Great knowledge is ridiculous as he makes the squad he is with fearless anyway and with the legendary morale of marines it becomes next to pointless. All your marines probably already have Ld10 and with ATSKNF you just don’t need more morale upgrades. This might be worthy of 5 points. This brings the points total up to 122. You have an almost 40 point loss on taking Chaplain Cassius in your army.
The only possible situation he could come close to ever being slightly useful is taking him with a tricked out assault marine squad against tyranids but this situation doesn’t justify his cost.
Tigurius is a decent buy if you are looking for something bigger than your average epistolary. Whilst a normal librarian is probably better Tigurius is worthy of his place in an army. A normal Epistolary with veil of time and fury of the ancients (a good middle point in terms of psychic power costs, bolt pistol, krak, frag is 132 points. The ability to choose psychic powers after deployment is not that great as mostly you know who you are playing anyway and have pre-planned. In tournament games however it is invaluable as it effectively means you have every single power you will ever need at the right time. The cost of every power combined is 33 points and as this is what Tigurius basically has we can assume the ability is worth 30 points approx. Double range on all psychic powers is very good and means that you will get 3 shots against most enemies running at you instead of 1 with your emperor’s wrath/vortex of doom. The points justification for this is hazy as there is NO comparison to anything else in the game so let’s just leave it. Rod of Tigurius is fairly easy as master-crafted brings his points cost up to 147.
Tigurius turns out to be approximately 15 points more than the sum of his equipment and abilities but this is without factoring in the Hood of Hellfire so he is probably worth his points cost. The main tactics for Tigurius is simply if you want something big, take him. If you are playing a large 3000 point game and aren’t satisfied with a normal guy then Tigurius is your man. He can dish out huge amounts of damage at range with his 24” vortex of doom and if they get into close combat 4 attacks with a force weapon is more than enough to fry anyone. Tigurius is the ultimate all-rounder.
Unlike Tigurius, Calgar is relatively easy to analyse. A normal commander with a master-crafted powerfist, storm bolter, terminator honours, iron halo, artificer armour, frag, krak and bionics would cost 188 points. That gives Calgar an instant benefit in that he is cheaper than a similarly tooled out commander. Now for his abilities, His second power fist is quite simply… an extra attack. In Codex: Chaos an extra attack is worth 15 points in the form of a daemonic mutation. This brings our points up to 203. In addition Calgar has an extra wound over normal commanders, again from Codex: Chaos daemonic essence is worth 15 points. Adding 15 points to Calgars score makes him now 218. Pure of Heart and Strong of body is similar to Cassius ability however it is automatic rather than reroll but doesn’t extend to 6”. This is probably worth approximately 5 points, similar to Cassius’ ability.
Therefore Calgar has an almost 40 point benefit as well as the ability to change into terminator armour! however striking last on an independant character is a major disadvantage so Calgars efficiency is slightly questionable. However he is the tank that just won't die no matter what you throw at him and this is what he should be used for. His use is similar to Tigurius but not quite as strong, he has nowhere near the ranged firepower and slightly more melee power. He is mostly used for fluff purposes but otherwise he can be used to simply sit in front of your ultramarines and punch his way through the entire enemy onslaught alone protecting your more shooty oriented marines up the back. You can also sit him and a command squad on an objective and they are near impossible to kick off.
Overall I would order the character from best to worst as:
Chaplain Cassius just doesn’t deserve any type of existence whilst Shrike should be in every Raven Guard army.
Last edited by LordLink; July 10th, 2006 at 15:05.
Wow. Nice work. Shrike has always been my favorite special character I've never used.
Looks like you put a lot of time in that and it shows:yes:
This is kind of the same thing but if you make the land raider useing the VDR rules it comes out at about 300 points, funny as a lot of you never use it because it costs so much
Aslo a leman comes out at about 160 for its weapons and armour so were not geting any points off our tank
"Hey sarge, this lasgun is heavy. I wish we had something lighter."
FF7: ABOUT RANDOM BATTLES
Nice work i would have ever done that much
what about Chaplain Grimaldus of the balck templars... he is Da BOMB!!!
Good work! A couple of things I would like to add about Marneus Calgar:
1) He has an additional wound over a normal Space Marine Commander which is great. However, this is probably to offset:
2) Power fists on ICs are not the wisest choice. Since they can always be targetted in close combat, striking last is a bad thing.
Having said that he looks rock hard. :shifty: That's gotta be worth a few points.
ah yes the extra wound! I dont usually factor in things like extra WS as they are pretty irrelevant but a whole wound would make a difference.
am editing that in, thanks!