Sorry this post has come so late, this has been for a couple of reasons. Firstly, due to the British 'heatwave' the inn that I work at has been absolutely crammed the last week or so, so I've been doing a lot of work. Secondly, with my Space Wolves my regular tournament army and my Chaos complete, I have been experimenting in an attempt to '6th ed up' my third army. This will be my Eldar, they were my first and the new Codex allows me the perfect opportunity to re-explore them, but if you want any 'hints' as to what I'm planning check the Fuegan post from last month. Finally, I've been watching a crap load of Heroes. Almost finished season 1, about to start the penultimate episode of it, but moving on.
I love Phoenix Lords, and I love Swooping Hawks, and so at the intersection of this you would expect to find Baharroth. For some reason however he's never seemed to click for me. This could be because he is attached to his base via his toes and so transporting him anywhere without him breaking is an unachievable feat, and with him being metal this pisses me off. But delving in deeper...
So, same Pheonix Lord Statline, generic Eldar Special Rules, then Fearless, Eternal Warrior, Fleet. He actually comes with a couple of additional special rules. So what he comes with unique as a Phoenix Lord is. Herald of Victory, Night Vision, Skyleap, Sun's Brilliance, Battle Fortune, Hit & Run, Falcon's Swiftness, the Shining Blade and all of the Swooping Hawk 'bling'. Should be a meaty post then.
Baharroth really appears to be more of an individual than a support special character. Sure you can slap Night Vision on a guy and say he's support but why pay 200pts to sit him in the backfield for a turn and ignore Night Fighting? Especially considering that most of his other stuff is very much 'in your face', and most of it is geared towards him Deep Striking anyway.
A good example of this is Sun's Brilliance, when Baharroth Deep Strikes all enemy units within a 6" radius (the size of the old extra durable Fateweaver Bubble or a 12" + base size diameter sound better) test for blind. This is the part of the post where I go to find my rulebook. So an initiative check, not bad really.
This is especially good considering that due to his Herald of Victory special rule, he doesn't scatter when he Deep Strikes. Now you could always just compare this to Warp Talons and claim that it's terrible, but having complete control over where you land is huge. In the last book I used to start with my Hawks on the table in case they scattered on the Deep Strike because they were so fragile, but now not only is that no longer a risk but with Baharroth I actually have more of a reason to Deep Strike him. Sure there's the risk that he won't turn up for a while but slam a Comms Relay or an Autarch in there and you're rolling (EDIT - Alternatively, and thanks to Meatshield from Perpetuallythwarted.blogspot.co.uk for this one - I swear to God I'm not waiting for you to post stuff and then stealing your ideas - you can start Baharroth on the board, Skyleap, and then guarantee a turn 2 arrival).
This incentive being the huge improvement to Swooping Hawk Grenade Packs. Rather than dropping a Large Blast Bolter on your opponent instead you get an AP4 weapon that Ignores Cover (suck it Tau). Plus, as you Deep Strike wherever you want, you have much more control over wound allocation. However, Baharroth only gets the Small Blast version.
There are 2 sides to Baharroth, the side that likes to arrive in style, and the side that likes to piss people off when he's already there. We've looked at the former, now what's the latter like. Well, for a start he's difficult to shift. As well as being to Deep Strike wherever he wants (out of Line of Sight, for example), he also comes with his stock 2+ armour save in addition to a 4+ invulnerable save granted by one of his Exarch Powers.
The other is just as useful, Hit and Run allowing him to charge into a unit, stay locked in for a turn (so long as the opposing unit is Fearless or a Marine, otherwise he will chase you down) and dive out, making him extremely difficult to catch. He's too quick most of the time to allow you to pin him down and beat him to death with clubs, of course due to Hit & Run as well as him being Jump Infantry, and he can pick and choose his fights before leaving in your own Assault Phase (he's I7).
In addition, even after leaving combat he can still have an effect. His Sword may only be a Power Sword but it does come with the Blind special rule. Picking on Long Fang packs, 1/3rd of the time they're going to be snap firing, if they're not all dead of course.
Essentially, Baharroth is perfect for harassing your opponent's back line, doing it with a squad of Swooping Hawks and smashing up vehicles at will may attract too much attention to himself, but doing it alone he can severely hamper long range firepower and effectively score Linebreaker and contest objectives, pity he couldn't roll for a Warlord Trait that makes him scoring and instead comes with one that makes him run faster.
Even if he does start to take a few hits, he has Skyleap, this means that he can go back into ongoing reserves. So, turn 4, jump back up, come down turn 5, contest something (no scatter), bam. If you need him to go back up earlier, no problem, just hide him elsewhere around the board when he comes back down.
I've not tested him yet so it'll be interesting to see if he'll just get killed, but I do think that most opponent's will have to commit to get rid of him, and for under 200pts he's pretty good. However, just as a precaution, I wouldn't make him your Warlord, he's far too much 'in the thick of it', and it'll just attract more attention to him.
Almost done with the Pheonix Lords now then, Maugan Ra is up next. Just like a picture will be when it's not late at night and Baharroth isn't hiding in a case under a pile of sprues.