Monday, July 23, 2012

Astorath Community Breakdown

Link Here

Mr. Black put up an article on BoLS about Blood Angel Headquarters choices. Generally, his opinions were quite different than Stelek's YTTH breakdown. Let's add a few more voices to compare and contrast with.

Astorath the Grim is a new HQ character that came out with the 5th Edition codex. He is the High Chaplain and the Redeemer of the Lost. He executes members that have been lost to the Black Rage.
Statline: He's has WS 6, W 3, I 5, A3 and a 2+ 4++ save.
He comes with a jump pack, he let's his unit re-roll ones to hit, but also let's Death Company re-roll 1's to wound. He has The Executioner's Axe which let's him strike at initiative and at strength 6 AP3  and makes enemies re-roll successful invulnerable saves.

Astorath. You fear Terminators? Allright, chop them up with him. I don’t think he’s worth 220 points though.

(How is he going to chop them up?)

Mr. Black:
Astorath got a bit more pissed off in 6th with the changes to both Death Company and Fearless- Now he is one of the best HQs in the entire book for the world of benefits he gives. First, let's get this out of the way, his weapon:  The Executioners Axe, which has a two-fold benefit of having dodged the "Power Axe" issue by having its own unique rules as well as avoided being labeled a "Power Maul", which in my mind sets him far above any other Chaplain.

He causes our marines to become Fearless half the time which, while it looks like a straight win on the surface, is actually worse now than And They Shall Know No Fear, barring certain circumstances. To me this is a wash, as it's scenario driven: There are times you'll wish you could fall back (from shooting, for example), or wish you could Go To Ground, and Fearless nixes all that for a benefit that would actually do the same (but without the drawbacks) in 90% of the same scenarios. Give and take, I suppose...

 And of course the mainstay for him: He allows Death Company to be fielded en mass. The new Rage rules make this a very scary concept, as before you ran the risk of having your entire army led around on a leash. But now... Well now you just have an army of hyper-aggressive pissed off marines that will shred ANYTHING that gets in their way.

I'll speak more on the benefits of this when we talk about the Death Company, but for now I'll just say that while in 5th this ability was a nice novelty to open up a likewise novel army, now it's a valid ploy to open up the option for some serious firepower!

Lastly, Astorath is one of the few options in our book to boast a 2+ save, which as we all have read is the thing to have in 6th. But is it really that good? Yes. Yes it is. A large percentile of weapons will just ping off him, and with a Feel No Pain bubble nearby the chances of him getting hurt are slim- factor in how wound allocation now works and Astorath (as well as many other Special Characters) will be hanging around till the end of the game, avoiding those hidden Power Fists that slew them so many times in 5th.

Sons of Sanguinius:
Right time to be less negative. Firstly 2+ save, good. We know in 6th 2+ are going to be far better than 3+ moreso than in either of the last 2 editions at least. Now the executioners axe is a funny one. It doesn't actually count as an axe. As it has it's own special rules it is treated as AP3 which isn't great but it does mean he can strike at his normal initiative while still gaining a strength boost. The fact that he forces rerolls to invulnerables also makes him that little bit more effective for challenges. Far less chance of tarpitting him with a Storm Shield. Also he gets all of the chaplain buffs.. and more chance to gain fearless for your army (which is far less harsh in 6th..) yeah pretty good I'd say.

Astorath more useful now that DC are much better. His axe is AP3 now, which makes it special rule sorta useless – how many units have good invulnerable saves (read: at least 4++) and not have a 2+ save as well?

(Exactly, 3++!)

BA Devastators:
Opportunity cost is the big thing here. Do you want access to psychic powers? How many Death Company can you afford to pack into your army without losing too much support? How will he fit into your army- what is his role and will he fill it are answers you need before deciding to take him. The best reason to take Astaroth is essentially if you want to unlock the restrictions on your Death Company.

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