Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two-for-One Tycho

Captain Erasmus Tycho - Killed in Action

Well, that's the ending, but what about the beginning?

Thanks to older players, there is a thread here to go over what they remember.
Tycho is actually quite interesting as he seems to be a Captain that was named and he became a named character. His injury sustained and becoming part of the Death Company all became part of the story. Why can't this happen more?
Tycho's story background is here.
To summarize: Tycho was a captain, commander of the 3rd Company, suffered a wound that disfigured half of his face leading him much later to become part of the Death Company. He died on Armageddon. His weapon is also a combi-melta with special ammunition.

Although I'm combining the Tycho characters, their effectiveness is significantly different.

Captain Tycho has WS 6  BS 5  S 4  T 4  W 3  I 5  A 3 with 2+ 4++ saves. The toughness 4 hurts him quite a bit. His armour sheering Dead Man's Hand makes him intriguing in one way.

Death Company Tycho (with an extra WS and A) is improved under 6th Edition but suffers so much from still not being able to join a unit. However, he has a lot to offer a player looking for a fun game.

Let's get the community's take on these characters.


Captain Tycho. Still costs too much. Dead Man’s Hand is nice, but you can get roughly the same for less that’s better.

Mr. Black:

First let's speak about Death Company Tycho: He will get hit by a Meltagun and die. End of story....
... ...Ok fine, not so cut and dry. Tycho gained a few benefits, namely from Rage and whatnot, but still suffers the same issue of being a single T: 4 character that cannot join units. Do I continue to hope one day an FAQ will say "HE CAN JOIN THE DEATH COMPANY!!"? Yes, I do. But until then he is just not worth taking.
Now Captain Tycho, on the other hand, just became a go-to choice this edition. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted the standard Blood Angels Captain to be better this edition, he just isn't, especially when I realized I could either ally in an actual Captain, or just take Tycho. Why is Tycho so much better now? Well the main point is that his weapon just straight up ignores Armor Saves- no Power Weapon classification here, just a weapon with a bitchen' name that shreds Terminator Armor. Combine that with the changes to Rapid Fire and his Special Issue Ammunition actually carries some terrifying weight- stick him with some Sternguard and you have a cover-all unit that is both capable in shooting and melee.
Of course we still have the old Rites of Battle, which is just as good now as it was before, and he still sports his 2+ save, which, as hammered into you time and time again in this article, is really important now. What else can I say? Before you really never saw Tycho being taken and now... Well, honestly the idea of allying in a Space Marine Captain if you really wanted to run a Captain is still probably better, given their options, but you at least have a decent option now if you want to keep the blood pure.

Sons of Sanguinius:

Now here's our big winner in all this. I'd say expect to see alot more of Tycho in 6th. Why? Well the combi melta with special issue ammo is great as you can use the special issue ammo to effectively pick out certain troops due to the way wound allocation now works. Big plus as it's much harder/impossible to "eat" wounds using wound allocation. 2+ save, check, Iron halo check. So he's pretty survivable and in challenges he's likely to swing as he's at initiative 5. So all good? And it only gets better. Rites of Battle is even more useful now as it means your squads can resist psychic powers at leadership 10. Now comes the game changer... The Dead Man's Hand. Not only does he have digital weapons giving a reroll to wound the hand isn't a power weapon. It just straight out ignores armour saves. Full stop. Fuck this AP3 bullshit Tycho doesn't give a fuck what you're wearing he's gonna pimp slap you into oblivion. Terminators, Artificer Armour whatever, invulnerables only. Terminators (which I think we'll be seeing more of soon) will be running scared of the awesomeness of Tycho.


Tycho got a relative boost in that his Dead Man's Hand strikes at initiative while "ignoring armour" instead of being given a fixed AP value.

BA Devastators:

Poor Death Company Tycho is barely mentioned. Hopefully the next round of FAQ's will help him out. If you want to do something different, you can try out using Captain Tycho with some Sternguard with a Chaplain for some re-roll fun and still have combat effectiveness or even bullet shield Corbulo.

How would you run Death Company Tycho? He can't jump pack, so he will need a R-H-1-N-0 or a Razorback unless you want to Deepstrike a Landraider for some extra excitement. Maybe a Drop Pod might work too. I would look to use him as either a distraction (maybe not very good) or as a mop up / counter attack choice like you would Assault Squads. I might even try him out as an assassin as he might work nicely if you can get him to your enemy's Warlord.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mephiston by Community

This is a big one for Blood Angels players: Mephiston. It's a large points investment that will partially guide the kind of list you will bring.

Mephiston, Lord of Death, has been included in the Blood Angel codices from the beginning.

Mephiston has the problem of not being able to join units. However, he does have a plasma pistol and a force sword. His stat line is impressive- WS7  S6  T6  W5  I7  A4  and he has a 2+ save. Having power weapons weakened really hurts his effectiveness against AP2 enemies. Transfixing Gaze is nice for challenges now too. This might allow him to re-roll attempts to hit and attempts to wound.

Let's see what the community has to say:


Dante. Still overpriced, like all the rest.

Mr. Black:

Well, you stayed scary, didn't you? Mephiston has always been our go-to "Run! Run Away!" character, and now he's back and meaner than ever. You already know his state-line is just insane, but now even Plasma or Melta isn't going to stop him for sure, assuming he has a Priest around, of course. What other marine can you think of that can take a Meltagun to the face and just sneer it off and keep charging? No one, that's who! We also get the honor of having one of the few Mastery Level 3 Psykers in the game, which is always nice. 

On the note of Psychic Powers, however, I can see the merits in taking some of the other options, but for me keeping the three powers he has is just fine. I mean, we have Wings, which combined with Fleet means he is still super mobile, we have Sanguine Sword, so he still hits like a truck, and Unleash Rage so we know those truck-hands will land. Sure, there are other psychic combinations which could prove useful, but we're trading out a complete and whole package for the chance to do some nice tricks, and to me that's a waste. You want to have some mix-and-match fun? Take a standard Librarian.

I don't have much to say about Mephiston here aside from the fact that an already great Special Character was only made better by this edition. His rules mix in a near perfect way to weather any storm that this edition might bring (Wings and Fleet, for example). It seems he gained a whole lot of nifty buffs and tricks without losing anything that made him the scary figurehead he was before... Rock on, Mephiston, ain't no edition going to keep you down!

Sons of Sanguinius:

Well what can I say? Probably the most utilised special characters for blood angels in 5th if not of any army. The amount of lists that I saw without him were few and far between (or maybe that's cos Ven has a major hard on for him... lol) ahem anyway.. 6th seems to have changed things a bit.

Lets get on with it shall we?

So 2+ save is good especially in the new edition with PW being AP3.. Plasma Pistol at AP2 is definitely a bonus due to the likely prevalence in 2+ saves due to the above rule change. Now here's where things get.. iffy. Psychic hood straight away the effectiveness of this has dropped. No straight up shutdown and no long range.. 6" range and less effective at stopping psychic powers is not so great. but don't worry he's still a beast in combat and can fell all before him.. oh wait. No he can't. With the new rules his force sword is still only AP3. Ok great at killing marines. No in fact great at killing 1 marine at a time. Period. With the new challenge rules and Mephistons lack of joining units ability he can only kill one marine a turn in a challenge, and if the opposing sergeant happens to have a storm shield or is a special character with a 2+ save. Big Meph is now seriously struggling to layeth the smack down. A 10 man unit of marines will now hold him up for at least 4 Assault Phases if they pass their Morale checks!! Seriously reducing his impact on the overall game, and for 250pts probably not really such an auto include.

Our libbies got both boosted and nerfed all at the same time. Boosted in that opposing libbies can't stop our powers that help our own units (Shield, Wings, etc), nerfed because our hoods got nerfed too. Mephiston and Libby Dreads are much more reliable now. That said, fudgemuiffin Wolves and Eldar still have their great psy defence, so it's not all roses.

BA Devastators:

Well, if you are going to go with a big scary character, I suppose this is the one for you. If you take him, you better have a plan for him to stay alive for as long as possible. Otherwise, you have to look back at your list and weigh whether just taking a regular Librarian is the better choice.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Sanguinor

The Sanguinor is up next. He is another character added starting in the 5th Ed. codex.
Everyone knows his main problem is that he cannot join any units, so playing with him presents unique challenges.
His statline is also something special for Space Marine players to toy with. WS8, S5, T4, W3, I6, A5, Ld 10 and a 2+ 3+ save. Importantly, he has the Eternal Warrior rule to save him from that toughness 4 stat. He gets to re-roll against an opponent HQ (Avenging Angel) which might be handy with the new missions. He also gets to soup up a sergeant which also may be helpful with challenges.

Let's get to the analysis!


Sanguinor. I love seeing the living Land Raider drop onto the tabletop. He is quite a bitch, but you shoot him he falls over same as the rest.

Mr. Black:

If anyone remained largely unchanged by the passing of millennia and gaming editions it was the Sanguinor. He's still the lovable T: 4-nearly-300 point figure he was, and I mean that for better or worse. So how did he change in 6th? Well, he has a 2+ save... Which is about it. Except now he can issue and receive challenges, which means he won't get bogged down by a torrent of attacks... Except any smart opponent will just refuse the challenge and then, well, bog him down with a torrent of attacks.

Again, for better or worse the Sanguinor remains largely the same as he did before. Nothing in this edition seems to have drastically changed him (though Overwatch did chink his armor slightly). So in the end he will continue to see the same use he did before, without much of a tactical revamp as some of the other character received.

Yeah we all know this guy was a bit meh in 5th and to be honest, he's only got worse in 6th. The glaive encarmine is now AP3 meaning the essence of sanguinius himself simply bounces off terminators... really. Yeah keep him for fun games but at 275pts don't expect him to be anything more than average. The only thing I can think of which is useful for him to do is buff your units and go around challenging characters with his 3++. But he's still nothing special.

Sanguinor even more of a bad joke now: easier to torrent away and his weapon is AP3.

BA Devastators:

If you are going to run him, you better figure out how to keep him safe until he can get into combat. You can't view him in isolation when you have a Mephiston of comparable points or cheap Librarians. Maybe by playing around with him you can develop a way to use him and drop a tactica.