Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Dark Angels Analysis - Chaplain

Not much to say to kick off today really, I've nearly finished painting my Long Fangs, I just need a new brown wash and then I'm there. Also, about 2 months ago I promised pictures of Thunderwolves, so here is a picture that I took on my iPhone (below). Told you there wasn't much, so, the Chaplain.

The Chaplain and the Company Master are actually very comparable. In fact, it is easier to compare the difference rather than the similarities, they even cost the same amount of points. So, what are the differences, what does each have over the other.

Company Master:
-Access to Artificer and Terminator Armour.
-Access to Chapter Relics.
-Preferred Enemy.
-+1 wound, weapon skill, ballistic skill, initiative and attack.

-Crozius Arcanum (a concussive Power Maul)

So what does this mean? Well, Hatred is much better than Preferred Enemy: Chaos Space Marines, simply because it will work in every game and not just be situational against a certain opponent, plus, it can make you absolutely devastating on the turn that you charge. Secondly, you don't particularly want access to the Chapter Relics as they're crap anyway.

So it comes down to, do I want a free Power Maul or do I want to be able to pay to get a 2+ armour save. The Power Maul means that you can still have a pretty beasty character for under 100pts, remember he'll be striking at S6. However, because he doesn't have a 2+ save, you'll have to put him in a squad. He does have the 4+ invuln, but when getting shot at by small arms fire he still dies like a 2 wound marine. So you'll want to put him in a squad anyway to keep him alive.

This is probably the best thing to do regardless though, as Hatred doesn't help him too much, as he only has 4 A4 attacks on the charge, admittedly he's hitting on 3s with re-rolls and wounding on 2s but against marines that still only 1.3 recurring kills.

The big question though is whether spending points on individual models designed to wreck face is worth it? Honestly, I would say no. Here's why.

The problem with individual character models that are designed to run up and smash in your opponent's face is that they are so much easier to deal with in 6th edition. The first reason is the hit that assault took in this new edition, as your character and/or his/her unit can be shot on their way into combat. Second, Power Weapons took a hit, so now if you want to cancel out all armour saves you have to shell out more points in order to get a Power Fist rather than just taking a Power Weapon like you could in 5th, plus you have to deal with unwieldy, and then you're probably wanting Terminator armour or an equivalent so that you can shrug off higher initiative shots more easily.

The main reason however is the challenge mechanic. If you charge a unit with a character, such as a Sergeant in it, they can simply challenge, and if your expensive character isn't in a squad which also has a character in it, they will now be forced to hit that character, essentially wasting the +1 attack, etc that you get when you charge. And you're only taking out 1 model. Then you have lost your turn of Hatred, and your charge bonuses, being forced to use it in killing a sergeant or something. So now, for the next rounds of combat you have 3 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 2s, but allowing armour saves.

Against marines, 2 hits, 1.6 recurring wounds, 0.5 recurring dead marines. So every game turn you'll kill 1 marines with your Chaplain.

Now, a good use for him is probably to put him in a big squad of something, so even if he's challenged the squad will still take advantage of Hatred. Also, it is important to remember that your Chaplain can take a Bike, so you can put him in a big squad of Black Knights and make a very good (albeit very expensive) fast moving hammer unit.

Therefore, between the Company Master and the Chaplain, I prefer the Chaplain, as there is so much that you can do with Hatred. I've just given one example, there are plenty more out there for you to try out. But basically, they all revolve around sticking him in a big unit, finding a way to get it into close combat quickly, and smashing something. But there's the problem, a hammer that can get into combat quickly without deep striking to allow the Chaplain to come along is, in general, very expensive, but whether it's worth it or not depends on how well the hammer hits, and how well it can take the shots after it has smashed through a unit in a single turn.

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