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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Force Org & You - HQs

The Force Org Series Part 2: The HQ Slot

One of the "must takes" in your army, you might as well consider them a lil' more than with one blind eye. So, here we go.

[Category A - The Tank/Anvil]:

Example 1: Tau Commander Shas'o - Weapons of choice, Stimulant Injector, Shield Generator,
Iridium Armour.

Example 2: Avatar & Farseer with Fortune (Or for ease of reference if you're talking to me about this combo - "Fluffing Bozo the Clown")

Example 3: Hive Tyrant + Tyrant Guard (At least 2 at most 3.)

This category gets its name from MMO slang for the guy who takes the hits, 'cuz that's what these guys do - They take hits on behalf of the rest of their army or squad and take it.

This is particularly useful when you are facing down a big unit that is tough for the rest of the army to deal with, but don't want to sacrifice too much into slowing them down.
The Tau Commander in particular is of note because he is all defense with a 2+ Armour Save, 4+ Invulnerable Save, Feel No Pain, Toughness 4 and 4 Wounds. If he kills something in assault,
which it must be granted he SUCKS at, it's a bonus.The next example is lumped into one example because truly is a example of a one-sided tag team. The Farseer usually sits at the edge of a squad while he babysits the Avatar with Fortune (Who in turn is covering the squad's (and in reality army's) ass, of course.) and makes the Avatar all a sudden a credible damage absorber with a re-rollable 3+/4+. Decent eh?
And finally we get to the classic one, a Hive Tyrant and his buddies, which are can be as much as 10 Toughness 6 Wounds. Sure, they lack a Invulnerable Save, but since when was taking down 10 Toughness 6 Wounds considered easy? Especially in a Assault?

So instances this category comes into play, from experience -

Situation: Imperial Guard have a good mob of 30 Guardsmen in a massed combined Squad stock with a Commissar to hold them with a Stubborn Ld 9, re-rollable because of the Commissar as well.
Protip: They're likely not budging, so your Meltas aren't getting the 2d6 Armour pen they need vs. the Leman Russes in the back AND they're not gonna be letting your forces move freely in thier terrority.

What do you do? Well, I have my Avatar roided up on Fortune by the Farseer, he waltzes into the middle of the formation, and the whole blob that was denying access is now a lil' cluster.
Providing he lives through a round or 2 of combats with that durability, you now have access to the area the Guardsmen held up, and you can take advantage of the gap now.
- Potentially draws in far more attention than they're worth.
- A well placed sacrifice can turn a loss into a win.
- Builds the imagery of that "mighty stand" the hero took.

- Usually the HQ's life is put into the bill.
- "I spent TRY to die?"

[Category B - The Steamroller]:

Example 1: Ork Warboss - Power Klaw, Attack Squig, Slugga, Cybork Body, Warbike

Example 2: Wolf Lord - Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Wolf Tooth Necklace,
Saga of Warrior Born

Picture your army flattened into the ground to polish the dirt, that's what happens when these guys hit. They hit hard and take no prisoners, and they can care less what you got coming for them, because they are usually safe in a big meatbag (bodyguard) unit to
help them do even more damage and survive more hits on the way in. Fun! So try to find a way to slow these guys
down or kill them quick, lest they will change the game in a very direct, face-to-face way.

The Ork Warboss is the basis for all of this. With a awesome 6 Attacks, Toughness of 5(6), and Strength 10,
he's a monster! Lately he's started to shine less poor dawg, the Invul Saves and amount of Wounds on new Tyranid Monstrous Creatures really are making him a sad panda. But still in terms of mobility and damage out, he's ranking near the top with sheer awesome.

Now we move to the Wolf Lord, which is simply a evolution of the Warboss's madness. Same Strength, 1 lower Toughness,
always hits on 3+ unless you're a Vehicle, and *starts* at 5 attacks. Only things that made this git more suped up in the "You're dead boy" department is 1) He has a superior Invulnerable Save (3+) and 2) He gets more attacks as he romps through your force. My advice? Kill him quick and focus fire him down if you can.

And for hilarity's sake, note both of these beasts were created by the mind of GW Author Phil Kelly, thank him!

Instances: "I want to kill that unit" Simple? If you see a good amount of models get flattened by a particular enemy model, I'd look his way and give him some due attention too!

- Great centerpieces
- Potential damage output is undeniable
- Heroic

- Stands out like sore thumb most of the time to experienced players.
- Potentially tar-pitted into oblivion (no use zone).
- Most of the time very point heavy.

[Category c - The Cheerleader]:

Example 1: Sisters of Battle Palatine with Book of St. Lucius

Example 2: Tau Commanders

Example 3: Black Templar Marshals

The Cheerleaders are very easily recognizable - They do little more than say "I'm here, you're staying with me." They keep morale up and flowing in aspects of the army that needs to make up the slack. If you think Leadership is unimportant, you better be Fearless because many-a time that game changing roll is a Ld test that made a key unit inactive that one turn.

Some to note that aren't listed above are Independendent Characters (ICs) and this is a big influence on their "pom pomming" of their Ld as they can go wherever they're needed most. (Funnily not a HQ choice but in regards to not Ld but a great bonus - the fabled Blood Angels Sanguinary Priests. These lil' nutters give their buddies within a certain radius Feel No Pain and Furious Charge...ya..ouch. Luckily IC is a weakness as well as a benefit.)

The Palatine is one to note to all players as long as Witch Hunters Allies exist. This little girl costs less than a Terminator and provides essentially a Stubborn Ld 9 bubble for a portion of your army. This is really good for IG lists with Heavy Weapons Teams, as I've tried her myself and she gets her worth done this way. What's worse is she can turn off this bubble if you don't want to be a solid group of ants, and believe me
sometimes you want this!.Really no way to get rid of her outside Eldar's Mind War, Witch Hunters/Daemon Hunters Vindicare Assassins, or Space Marines Sergeant Telion as she's a IC probably attached to a good sized IG Infantry Squad to boot.

In some playing circles, Tau Commanders are found in odd places. With Kroot? With Broadsides? With Fire Warriors? Why? To keep their fellows around on the board. A Broadside unit usually suffers from this, losing one casualty and running off the board thanks to being so close to the edge trying to keep at maximum range. The Tau Commander joining the unit is a hopeful move that should the unit lose enough casualties from shooting, his Ld 10 will help the pivotal unit in the Tau army hold in place.

Black Templar Marshals are seemingly the last of the breed of the true commanders, these guys extend their glorious Ld 10 to all infantry units in their army, which is certainly a nice factor to consider since the army sometimes has trouble controlling Righteous Zeal.

So overall, your Ld sucks? Take one of these duders.

- Ld boost is a underrated benefit many people will overlook.
- Generally cheap in points cost.
- "It's what a commander's supposed to do."

- Arguably underutilizing many such commander's strengths.
- Like I said earlier, sometimes you want your lines to break.

[Category D - The Rock Star]:

Example 1: Eldar Farseers / Space Marine Librarians

Example 2: Ork HQs

Example 3: Many special characters

Generally a new class of HQ, Rock Stars generally steal the show on the battlefield, changing the game in a very noticeable way. Be it Psychic Powers that make it harder to damage their allies or, a trend lately, Force Org Warping. (Force Org Warping example - Ork Warbosses allow a unit of Nobs to be taken as Troops rather than Elites.)

Farseers have been near/at the top of the pyramid in this category for a long time, for the mere prescence
of one is enough to justify taking Psychic Defense. Entire Eldar army builds are sometimes built around the
army bonusses his psychic powers can confer. So of course a repeated tenant to taking down a Eldar army is taking down its
Farseer, providing you think that can be what they call "easy".

Ork HQs are notable because all of them change the way that army is organized or overall style in some way.
(Same could be said of any of HQ regarding the rather, but it's more noticable in the Orks.)

And of course, this is the reason Special Characters are so coveted by many people. Each one brings a new spark to a army in their effectiveness, contributions, and game-changing potential.

- Great overall buffers
- Changing your force organization chart helps meet the list you wanna play, more than likely.
- Generally found in awesome models.

- Generally point heavy.
- Pass out the toys generally, but have none themselves generally.

[Category E - Swiss Army Knives]

Example 1: Logan Grimnar

Example 2: Vulkan He'Stan

This one is pretty simple to explain - Take 2 or more of the above characteristics and put it into one "super" HQ. She-bang.
Unfortunately, in my eyes at least, this category is only Special Characters right now, but Psykers like Librarians, Rune Priests, and Farseers can
easily fit into this category with the right combination of tactics/powers/equipment.

2 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Good summary, me likey.

<3 Logan

Artemi said...

I rather like the Palatine blurb. Most people seem to forget that Witchunters also do Allies. We'll see if that picks up any if/when the Mystics are cut from the new DH codex...

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