Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deathwing Allies: Daemonhunters

This time around, I'll focus on the Daemonhunters and what they can bring your Deathwing. I've covered the Witch Hunters ally options already. Some of these options are duplicates, and as such I'll gloss over them, especially if they weren't worth mentioning.

Ally Rules

0-1 HQ
0-1 Elites
0-2 Troops
0-1 Fast Attack

That's what you get in total, per the ally rules. We're going to focus on what the allies can bring that actually helps the Deathwing. Let's start it off with the Leaders.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Lord
This one's much like the Witch Hunter; the chief difference lies in options available to them. Most of the henchmen are the same, and the unit's role should be to sit back and shoot. However, there are a few notable exceptions.

1) Emperor's Tarot. 15 points to almost always get a +1 to go first. Since there still is a roll to go first, this is a sweet piece of it.

2) The Mystic henchman. Get yourself an anti-deep-strike bubble. Bring two of these guys, and you can hand the shots off to the target most capable of KO'ing the deep striking enemy. If you're playing someone that brought Drop Pods and such, a pair of these henchmen can seriously ruin their plans.

3) The Psycannon. Ok, this is actually the least of what you get, but it means the OM lord himself can bring some shooting to the table. It's three more S6 shots, though these ignore invulnerable saves.

Past that, the main reason to bring one is for the Ld10 unlimited range psychic hood. If you're playing against Daemons, then Sanctuary is a bullshit auto-win psychic power in Capture The Flag, because you can cluster your unit and a troops choices around your objective, and go to town on his. This may get you punched in the balls, though. Past that, there's really no psychic power to hand off to the Lord.

A sample loadout, then, would be:
Lord w/ Hood, Emperor's Tarot
3x Heavy Bolter Servitors
2 Mystics
Total: 167

You get psychics, and a firebase. For another 30 points, you get another gun. You can also get multi-melt and/or a single plasma cannon, but I think it's best to keep the guys cheap, and heavy bolters get you the range you want. If you feel like it, jack the cost up by another 20 to get that plasma cannon, and really discourage deep-striking troops. Yeah, they call it 'cluster' formation only for short...

Grey Knight Hero
He comes in two flavors: 61 points for one wound, or 145 for three wounds and upgrading his weapon to a force weapon. As it stands, these guys have a storm bolter, a WS5, S6 Power weapon, and, oh, Terminator Armor. You also get the neat Grey Knight special powers that annoy daemons and make them tough to see, but you only get those on full Grey Knight units.

The Brother-Captain is 81 points for a cheap Ld10 psychic hood, and if you give him a psycannon and sit him back, he's 111 points for a hood and a 36" sniper. You can take him into melee, sure, but there's still the very real issue of rolling a '1' on your armor save, and that's sad.

If you really want the melee badass, it's 165 to get the Ld10 hood on the Grand Master. Yeah, the Grand Master is uber-hoss in melee, but he's still got the issue of 2+/5+ saves, and he's quite vulnerable to instant death. There's no real fix for that beyond giving him a retinue. With himself, the hood, and a minimal retinue? You're looking at a 300pt outlay. Granted, you have the Shrouding to take advantage of, but that's...still a lot of points in a list that's already points-intensive.

Hammerhand is about the only power I'd ever consider giving these guys, but in truth there's plenty of S8 punching against vehicles.

They can also take a Retinue of Gray Knight Terminators, but we'll discuss these guys in the elites section.

Elite Inquisitor
Remember the WH evaluation? Goes here, too. Skip it, unless you really want to get the Tarot in your army for cheap, in which case he's 35 points, and hoping no one kills him. Mm, juicy KP...

You have the same assassin options as the WH codex. I still have the same opinion of them: not really enough oomph to justify investing in both the assassin AND the requisite Inquisitor Lord; it's just not helping your model count and that's what you really want.

Grey Knight Terminators
One brother captain and 2-9 terminators. Bro-Cap is 61 points; each terminator is 45. What do you get? WS5, I4, S6 power weapons, that's what. Oh, and more BS4 storm bolters with psycannon options, and the Shrouding. (Which, for the record, is that you must roll 3d6 * 3 to 'see' the GKT.) They also have a Psychic Hood against any target that hits them, but only them. You still have to (and really ought to) give the Bro-Cap a hood if you don't have on in the army already.

You could theoretically get two squads of these guys, but to be honest I think I'd draw the line at one. They're nasty, but the main reason you'd want to bring them is to give yourself some at-initative S6 power weapons. They're nasty, but if you really want to take a lot you ought to look into a pure Daemonhunters force.

A basic 5-man team will set you back 241. 261 if you use it for a hood. 291 if you hand 'em a couple psycannons, and 311 if you want the hood and guns.

Grey Knights
Hey, it's more guys with Storm Bolters. To be honest, I see use for one squad of these if you want a camping unit. You take a minimal 5-man squad, hand it two psycannons, and let it camp on an objective that's ideally near the edge of the table. You play shrouding for all it's worth, and hope you don't move. Sure, you CAN fire the Psycannon from the hip, but it's cut to 18" for these blokes.

GKT Campers: 5-man team w/ 2 psycannon comes to 200 points. Yeah, that's right. Same price as your regular terminators, but in power armor. At least the enemy has to check to spot them, and if they're hugging that 36" range, well...it's a little under a 50/50 shot the enemy can spot 'em.

Inquisitorial Storm Troopers
Pretty much the same as the WH version. These are you cheap melta unit. They can get Rhinos or Chimeras, and the choice depends on the utility you want out of the transport. You want a cheap box to put them in, or one that's got a little firepower?

70 points for the minimal 5 w/ 2 meltas.
58 for a Rhino with extra armor and smoke
88 for a Chimera with multi-laser, flamer, and smoke.

Fast Attack
You have one option for fast attack: Grey Knights with a deep strike option. There's no reason to ever take this. The whole point of taking Grey Knights would be to bulk up your body count and/or score, and this option removes their ability to hold objectives.

Summary of DH Allies
There's a little less bounty to be had from making friends with the Daemonhunters. Their troops are not cheap enough to seriously bulk up your body count. You can get ISTs either place, or you could theoretically draw them from BOTH codices if you wanted to have 2-3 Deathwing squads.

A Grey Knight Terminator squad is an option, but runs the risk of stealing your thunder. On the other hand? They're a source of I4 power weapons at S6. Sometimes, you just might WANT to freakin' hit at initiative. They also let you incorporate a psychic hood into your force.

The DH Inquisitor, though, is superior to be honest. Mystics are insanely useful, and can completely change the way an opponent plays. The Emperor's Tarot is also a valuable piece of kit, letting you get the initiative on the other guy.

All in all, the DH have an edge with the Inquisitor, and the same old ISTs. However, they won't really help the body count, but they can get you the melta love you want.

Sample DH Buddy List at 1850
Let's see what the list looks like with the toys in it.

Belial [130]

Lord w/ Hood, Emperor's Tarot
3x Heavy Bolter Servitors
2 Mystics

4 Grey Knight Termies (Including Bro-Cap) 2x Psycannon [246]

Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta [125]

Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta [125]

Deathwing Squad w/ Claws, AC, CF [250]

Deathwing Squad w/ Claws, AC, CF [250]

5 IST w/ 2x Meltagun
Chimera w/ ML, HF, EA

5 IST w/ 2x Meltagun
Chimera w/ ML, HF, EA

Heavy Support
Predator w/ Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons [130]

Predator w/ Autocannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons [95]

Total: 1828

Note you have some points to play around with; you have some ways to burn 22 spare points, like giving the OM lord a pistol, CCW, and Sanctuary while handing the Dakka-Pred a storm bolter.

Once again, the list is similar to the mix of sisters, though you're down a Terminator squad to bring in the GKT for your assault love. The list is pretty shooty and fairly mechanized; you've got a decent amount of armor on the table with two Dreads, two Preds, and two Chimera. Each terminator squad can crank out a decent number of S6 shots, and the preds can do some damage at range hunting light armor. And, of course, you have some melta love for larger vehicles.

To be honest, I again feel like the list is losing some thunder to the allies, though that's me.

I do think that you can benefit from a more minimal inclusion with just the Inquisitor Lord, or another HQ with a Psychic Hood. A unit of GKT is neat, but does cut down on your troop terminators, and the Shrouding makes the enemy a bit more likely to just shoot other things to death. Past that, the ISTs feel like the meat of the allies, as they can get you the melta love. However, taking ISTs means committing to some more mech, so you can keep all the armor alive.


jabberjabber said...

I've got a love/hate relation with those inquisitor lords :) I like them very much, but as a deamons player, they cause me so much pain!

Raptor1313 said...

It's the mysticsthat really put them over the edge, in addition to the Tarot. The psycannon is just icing on the cake.

And, dammit, the edit thing just loves to keep spaces in...

Dave said...

Keep in mind that the Mystic can be a bit random since you can only fire on a deep-striking unit that's within 4D6 inches.

Still pretty nifty though...

Raptor1313 said...

The mystics are random, but if there's a mystic next to a unit that can take advantage of it, folks will shy away from the deep-strike. IE, if we're talking about a Pitched Battle, the Inquisitor in the middle can seriously make a deep-striker re-think their options. If you keep some anti-tank and anti-personnel near it, they're really not going to want to risk it. There's always the chance they'll roll a '4', but then there's the time they'll roll about average, which is about 14 I believe on 4d6. Depends on what you have in your army and what he's deep-striking, though, as to how effective it is.

I just remember the one Daemon game against IG where my buddy was testing out a Punisher (the S5, Heavy 20 Russ gun) with 3 hull heavy bolters, a heavy stubber, and Pask to give it BS4, alongside a couple of mystics.

I'll let you guess how that went, but the short version involves ample use of 'chunky spaghetti sauce' as a descriptor of my units on arrival. Or 'hugging side of board.'