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i ran grotesques the other day and while in the end they did alright and soaked up a lot of fire power i wasn't overly impressed the main thing they did was cause my enemy to avoid there charge radius.
so later while i was flicking through the codex i passed the beastmaster entry and saw clawed fiends so now my question is why do people take grotesques when you can take beast masters with clawed fiends?
the main strong points of grotesques:
the main strengths of beastmasters with clawed fiends
- toughness 5
- start with feel no pain
- 3 wounds
- 3 strength 5 attacks (4 on the charge)
now this would imply that beastmasters with clawed fiends are better so i looked at options and grotesques can have a raider but they absolutely need a IC so i looked at point costs:
- toughness 5 majority
- 4 wounds (1 better than grotesques)
- initiative 5 (strikes before most opponents also beastmasters accompanying them are initiative 6.
- bestial fury (clawed wound on 1 wound has more than twice the amount of attacks of a grotesque)
- beasts, longer charge range
so looking at the output in CC for each unit:
- 4 grotesques w haemy in raider w flickerfield is 250 points base with no upgrades on the squad or haemy.
- 4 beast masters w 4 clawed fiends and a web way portal for your HQ for mobility is 243 points without upgrades.
charging this becomes
- grotesques put out 12 s5 attacks at i4 and 3 s3 attacks
- beastmaster unit put out between 16 and 28 s5 attacks at i5 and 8 s3 i6 attacks
so if the output and survivability is lower for grotesques IMO the only andvantage they get is slightly higher mobility but then again a few stray bolter guns could leave them stranded while a beast master unit deploying from a webway portal or even just footslogging it will still have a decent mobility (footslogging would give the squad another beastmaster and another clawed fiend for 10 points more than grot unit)
- grotesques put out 16 s6 attacks and 4 s4 attacks
- beastmaster unit put out between 20 and 32 s5 attacks and 12 s3 attacks
so once again why do people use up their valuable elite slots by buying a unit that is almost always outperformed by our seldom used Fast attack? please tell me what your oppinions.
Wound allocation, 3 grots with a liquifier gun, abberation and an IC can take 8 wounds without loosing a model, combined with feel no pain means u can ignore 16 wounds before u loose any effectivness
Clawed fiends on the other hand would loose all 4 beastmasters and 2 clawed fiends thanks to wound allocation and have 2 test on LD 5, also their CC potential is a lot less than u stated, again due to wound allocation they'd have 16-19 s5 attacks or 20-23 on the charge. you're not allowed to take 3 wounds on each leaving them with 7 attacks each, you have to remove whole models before you can allocate wounds to another model with the same equipment.
Also while it may not seem like much the extra dark lance on the raider and liquifier gun can be pretty useful
the true power of the beastmasters is in wound allocation as well but this means you will have to buy different beasts. personally i dont like grotesques but coven armies will need them for the s6 or s7 with urien against rhinos and most dedicated transports. i want to try beastmasters one day they can put out insane dps and a full squad can absorb wounds like a sponge.
4 Grots (1 w Liquifier, 1 Abberation w Venom Blade) in Raider w FF
1 Haemonculus Ancient (w Liquifier/Venom Blade) (worth the extra W, I, WS, and LD)
So 1 have 2 liquifier guns spraying marines dead.
Next I have S6 attacks on the charge.
Abberation/haemonculus rerolls wounding since venom blade counts as poison if their strenght (5/6) is higher then enemy T
I have FNP on everything with wound allocation so Grots are 2x as tough to kill.
The one thing you didn't mention is enemy's can target the haemonculus and kill him dead and leave the grots without a character testing on ld 4. So perhaps an archon is better substitute than the haemonculus ancient. So at times I could bring (Archon with Agonizer, Shadowfield, & Haywire grenades) which brings my squad total to 350.
I tell you that an archon with 4 grots in a raider is something to be reckoned with. It sounds like a very tough setup that can take on almost anything in combat.
A more indepth look will also tell you that grotesques can go up stairs, something clawed fiends cannot - this makes grotesques extremely useful for digging squads out of multi-level terrain, the sort of places where devastators (and their ilk) are best positioned. You can also give grotesques grenades without compromising their movement (though in this scenario it slows down the attached character).
The ability to take a transport also gives grotesques another layer of protection.
Basically grotesques and clawed fiends - despite very similiar statlines - work in very different ways and any direct comparison can be skewed in favour of one over the other with very little effort. That said a small unit of grotesques (read: 4) plus Urien will flatout remove a whole platoon blob while taking no casualties, something 5 clawed fiends (and their bastmaster escorts) will not do regardless of weapons given to the beastmasters in a hurry.
Further I agree with most things said here.
To me it seems that both units can perform quite different tasks.
Personally I haven't tried the units because I feel they add too much cost to models on a single base but lately I haven't been facing so many S10 or Force weapons to worry about insta death on T5.
I might be testing some of these things since I feel my current beastpack build takes wounds to swiftly and tends to break a lot from combat.
I love my grots. I use them as a WWP delivery system, 3 with aberration, scissor hands, liquifier and heamy with liquifier. They are one unit, that in cover can take most shots for ever and ever... they soak up a lot of damage!. I always take 2 heamies so if you are facing guard you can make them fearless to prevent the - ld penalty and run before they deliver the portal. In combat they can def hold their own and make a great counter assault unit.
The clawed fiends are great as well, but alas... they do not fit into my list. My hellions are my WWP unit. .
Also, I'm pretty sure that only the beastmasters themselves can benefit from power from pain. T5 with FNP is more durable then plain T5.
pretty sure that clawed fiends are a 0-1 in EACH unit of beastmaster packs. I dunno for sure, as I don't have my book with me at the moment, but that's reason enough for taking grots!