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For a deathwing army, are there any other feasible H.Q. combos other than a libbie for about 1500-2000pts? i kinda like the idea of some chappie lead assault termies, but everyone says thats a bad idea. thanks in advance for your replies.
Well you could look at the Captain (cheapest HQ option) or the Master. Both are quite useful in cc â€“ and you can give the Master the Sword of Secrets to be fluffy. Many give their Captain either a single or a pair of lightning claws to aid cc prowess but though good this is pricey and you might be better with the Chaplain for slightly less cost. The Ld benefit bestowed by the Commander doesn't really help DW as they are Ld 9 anyway. In my view the Master with SoS and stormbolter is the better option out of the two.
You are right about Assault Termies in sub-2000 point armies. You really need to be maximising your shooting, not to mention the thorny issue of how you get them to the enemies' lines (LRs are expensive, Pods don't hold enough termies, Deep Strike is risky and footslogging is likely to see them badly shot up). Don't forget you don't have to have assault termies, Litanies of Hate works just as well with a normal Termy squad too despite the Powerfists going last.
The thing about Libbies that makes them so great is that although expensive, you can 'tune' them to fulfil a variety of roles so are more useful in a small elite army. They can be cc or shooty orientated or both, alone or with a Command/attached squad. My own Libby has Fear/Fury which seems to have become a standard DW Libby combo, with a storm bolter and I sometimes mastercraft the force weapon. Works a treat with a Command squad.
Keeper of the Dark Fortress
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Current armies: Deathwing and Grey Knights (I'd have more if my wife would let me)
Like zuriel said; libbies aren't a must. Captains and Chaplains can do just as well, and if you give them a combi-flamer or combi-plasmagun, they can add just that little bit of extra punch.
I've seen a lot of people using a chaplain with lightning-claws sucessfully, but this is quite expensive.
So there are many options, and they all depend on what you want your army to do...
"I have died a thousand deaths, and I will die a million more..."
Maybe have a stand alone commander that stays in the back for a support role. Not every commander is needed to rush forward (something I learned the hard way: "No Hive Tyrant, NO!")
The Libby does tend to be the best option. However the commander is nice. The Sword of Secrets is very nice. It makes you about even with tough daemons and allows you to take a small CC tank hunting role.
Use whatever suits your playing style.