Thursday, 13 June 2013

Eldar Analysis - Asurmen

In between the painting of the Bloodletters, the converting of the Spawn, the 40k Global blogging and tournament organising/preperation (2 seperate events), I have managed to find the time (at midnight) to write another blog post. Today starting to delve into the Eldar Pheonix Lords. These were one of my babies from the previous Codex. As my first army I enjoyed using units that stunk like crap, so much so that I invested £80 into the entire Pheonix Court of Khaine from Apocalypse Reload. Special Character number 4 please!

Asurmen was unique in the last Codex. This was because he was the only Pheonix Lord that covered that crack that all of the others suffered from in the lack of an Invulnerable save. However, despite this, he was still one of the more terrible Pheonix Lords. In the 4th edition Codex, they were divided up between, 'Absolutely Dreadful', 'Kind of Ok, Maybe' and 'Actually Pretty Good, oh Look Eldrad'. Asurmen fell into the Dreadful category.

Painted terribly, but come on I was 14
So how is he now? Well, kicking this off with his Statline: WS and BS haven't changed, staying at 7. Then he has higher than average Strength and Toughness for an Eldar, effectively Marine statline there. This is backed up by 3 wounds, Initiative 7, as many attacks as Yriel and maximum Leadership with a 2+ save. Not bad. He's also seen a little bit of a points drop too, falling to just under Ghazghkull points.

Wargear, he still comes with his Twin-Linked Avenger Catapalt, and at BS7 he's never going to be missing with it. It's Boltgun Strength and AP, with 18" range, Assault 2 and Bladestorm. This means that the weapon, essentially, rends.

He then has his Remnant of Glory, the Sword of the Asur. This has taken a bit of an upgrade since last edition. It is now a +1 Strength, AP2 Master-Crafted close combat weapon. In addition, for every wound caused by it against a multi-wound model, that model must take a Leadership check or be removed from play. Not bad at all. The main problem with Asurmen last time around that he just didn't do enough damage, or enable enough damage. Now both his weapons have seen an upgrade, and he actually now has some real hitting power in close combat, especiall at WS and I7.

The last couple of characters have come weighed down with all manner of special rules, and Asurmen does not disappoint on this front either. He has the generic Ancient Doom and Battle Focus. In addition, as a Pheonix Lord he gets Eternal Warrior, which is absolutely huge. He then obviously gets Independant Character, and also comes with Fleet and Fearless. But he also gets Counter-Attack, as the Dire Avenger special rule, as he is the Leader of the Dire Avengers (essentially).

Finally, he gets Hand of Asuryan. Whilst all of the other special characters that we've been through so far pre-determine their Warlord Traits, which is handy, Asurmen does something a little different. Instead of automatically getting a Warlord Trait, he gets D3 of them. Nice. The only problem that I have with taking him solely for this reason is that it's still extremely random. You have no idea how many powers you are going to get or even if you'll get the one(s) you're looking for. At over 200pts for this fella, it's an expensive gamble.

As an, 'Exarch'. Asurmen also comes with 2 Exarch powers. The first is really the most notable, giving him a 4+ invulnerable save, just like he used to have. The second is ok but nothing awesome. It's called shield of Grace,  and it allows him to drop his attacks down to 1 to give him a 3+ invulnerable save for the phase. I probably wouldn't take that too often, although it does have its uses, for example tying a unit up or making sure that you don't just smash through something leaving yourself susceptible to enemy guns in their shooting phase. I just feel that Asurmen packs a bit of a punch in close combat now, and he already has a 2+/4++ Eternal Warrior for durability.

So, is Asurmen worth his points? To be honest I think he's pointed quite well, any lower and with the right Warlord powers he could be a machine, any higher and with the wrong powers he'd be points down the drain. I just feel that what make's him unique is too random, and so I probably wouldn't take him for those reasons. He's not the greatest force multiplier in the Codex, and doesn't really open up too many options for you. In addition, if you're looking for a close combat beatstick, it's best to look elsewhere, as there are so many other options for you.

So in short, Asurmen's pretty well pointed, however if you're looking to build a strong list, no matter what you take him to do, there will be something else in your book that will do it better.

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