Saturday, 16 March 2013

Dark Angels Analysis - Asmodai

The reason for my lack of activity is two-fold. Firstly, last week was the mid-semester of assignment week, where a boat load of assignments are due in, and secondly, painting. I've been doing some work on my new project, which will be revealed probably after I've finished the Chaos Daemons analysis, at this rate some time in August, but also, I have a bare Guard blob on my desk, waiting to be painted. So far I have painted the shoulder pads of 4/5s of the Platoon Command Squad brown, I have until Friday to finish off the blob for the GT.

The blob has been performing well for me, even in the game where we were on a 4x4 board using Vanguard Strike and it wouldn't fit on the board without bunching up. Luckily my Primaris Psyker got Gate of Infinity as one of the psychic powers so I was able to jump them out and eat a Fiend squad and a load of Daemonettes.

Today continuing on with the Dark Angels Analysis, Asmodai is today's target.

Asmodai is the Chaplain character for the Dark Angels, which immediately comes with its own stigma, generally around not taking Chaplains anyway so why would I take a more expensive version that fills the Chaplain role, only better.

Asmodai is 50pts more expensive than a standard, base Chaplain, which isn't extortionate, and he comes with a number of changes. His statline is a little better, although not much mind, he only benefits from +1 wound and attack. For his special rules, again a little bit of a buff, but nothing stand out. He has fear (which isn't actually too bad when it goes off, however the likelihood of it going of is small, hence the hate and why it isn't a big deal) and Inner Circle, so essentially over a regular Chaplain he causes fear and has Preferred Enemy Chaos Marines.

In terms of wargear, he is actually slightly worse than a Chaplain, he loses the Bolt Pistol.

He does come with a Chapter Relic though, named the Blades of Reason, which actually turn out to allow him to cause Instant Death, not too bad, but it doesn't have an AP value and he strikes at S4, huh. Like Belial, he also has the Warlord Trait, 'The Hunt', which is where you get an additional victory point if you or your squad kills the enemy Warlord.

To be honest though, Asmodai does not make a good Warlord in the slightest. Granted he has 3 wounds and a 4++ save but he's still in power armour, and he's still toughness 4, meaning that 2 stray missiles will on average kill him. Also, the way he works best is by sticking him in a squad a pushing them forward, whilst enhancing them with his Hatred, Fearless and Preferred Enemy, so he is also going to be right in your opponents face, very risky.

Furthermore, which squad are you going to put him in? Which units are you going to shove in your opponent's face? Deathwing Terminators? Take Belial. Black Knights? How would he work with those? Tactical Marines? Yeah right.

Chaplains work best when they are buffing your hammer units or preventing units in your backfield from running away. In the former, Asmodai won't work as the methods of getting your hammer units into the fray are ones that he cannot follow, as for backfield, your units are stubborn anyway, difficult to budge, why would you need to spend almost 150pts in ensuring that?

I think that the problem here is that there is not really a role for Chaplains in the Dark Angels Codex, and therefore there is not role for their special character, but even if there was, let's break it down:

Asmodai positives:
-Chapter Relic that causes instant death.
-Chosen Warlord Trait, 'The Hunt'.
-Additional Attack and Wound.
-Preferred Enemy Chaos Space Marines

Regular Base Chaplain Positives:
-Bolt Pistol
-50pts cheaper.

I'd go for the Chaplain, none of Asmodai's buffs are particularly useful, and do not really warrant the additional 50pts.

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