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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rune Priest follow-up: Njal


I recently wrote a Rune Priest tactica and it was requested I review Njal as well. So here the big bad boy is. Unfortunately , GW decided to nerf him with their FAQ making his ‘early’ abilities useless if not going first. Well that’s lame. Njal is essentially a Rune Priest on steroids and like all psyker SCs has all Space Wolf powers available every game. This gives Njal unrivalled flexibility in power choosing but pays for it in points. He is also able to cast two a turn + his special ability. However, Njal still suffers from W2. Whilst Runic Terminator armor (you should buy this) gives a 2+/4++ defensive system, Njal is still very weak in terms of durability and should avoid being thrust into combat as much as possible.


So what makes Njal different from normal Rune Priests beyond the extra flexibility and improved statline? First and foremost is his psychic defences. This is the best psychic defence in the game, nullifying any psychic power on a 3+ within 24”. This screws over an army relying on psychic powers.

The next and most obvious is Njal’s Lord of Tempests which is essentially a random third psychic power which always goes off. Whilst GW’s FAQ has made the first turn very important for a Njal lead army (read: tarot at the minimum), Njal’s LoT can be very effective. This ability is early aimed at hampering your opponent’s army with wide ranging effects from lowering BS, creating difficult terrain and force morale checks. However, as the game goes on and the Tempest ‘strengthens’, the spells become much more focused on unit damage with Tornado able to chuck out 1-3 sniping S9 hits and Chain lightning able to cause a lot of damage to unengaged units.

Whilst LoT can be game changing, it is also very random, you could get 3 turns of Chain Lightning or 0 if the game ends on T5 and if you’re going second, two of the abilities fail to work. For 270pts you want your model to significantly impact on the game and whilst Njal’s psychic defences are impressive as well as the flexibility he provides with his access to all the Space Wolf psychic powers, his Lord of Tempests FAQ’d as it is, is not that worth that many points considering it’s inconsistency. Taking Bjorn and a tarot can make Njal’s abilities much more reliable in terms of being able to affect the game from the get-go but that’s a significant investment in points which might be better spent elsewhere.

I love Njal’s model but I think unless you’re running at least a tarot, 2 Rune Priests are better. You take him primarily for the Lord of Tempests ability and with Driving Gale & Living Hurricane only working when you go first...well it just seems an unusual way to spend 270 pts when it’s not a high reliability. His 3+ nullify ability though is terrifying to any psychic based army though with the increase in psychic defences, any army relying on psychic powers should be slapped silly.

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Agreed. 3+ Nullify is huge, but considering the price and his reliance on getting first turn, 2 RPs work just fine instead.

Senior said...

You can't actually take Njal and Bjorn in the same army. THey have the same saga and you cannot have two of the same saga in the army.

PS.Logan also has Saga of Majesty stopping those three from ever being in armies together.

Gx1080 said...

@Senior

Special characters are excluded of the "only one Saga" rule, do that their own stories and abilities that go beyond the regular Sagas.

Kirby said...

Completely forgot about that but Gx1080 is correct Senior.

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