Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deathwing and Ally Thoughts, bit o' news

I'll wrap up my thoughts on the Deathwing's ally options, and make it the third (and probably last) article on the theme.

First, though, good news on my front: employment's finally here. On the bright side, it means I now have a two-way cash flow, and can afford new models. I mean, my opponents know that my Tau battlesuits have looked a whole lot like Eldar jetbikes, for example...

On the downside, combined with grad school this semester it means less time in the hobby, so there might be a little less blog posting. Eh, it's life. On to what you came here for, though: The Deathwing.

Allies Roundup
Now, part of the issue of taking allies is that it's points not spent on the Deathwing. This should be obvious, but it bears mentioning: the more you spend on allies, the less you're spending on Deathwing-only options.

With that in mind, the goal of allies is to bring something you can't get otherwise with Deathwing options. Here are some things you simply cannot take with just Deathwing troops, and/or even Dark Angel Space Marines.

1) 2x Melta in a troops selection, or even readily delivered
-ISTs out of either codex
-Sisters of Battle as troops
-Sister Fast Attack troopers

2) Psychic Defense (a Ld9 hood does NOT cut it, nor does Ezekial
-SoB Inquisitor
-DH Inquisitor
-Grey Knight Hero

3) Better odds at turn one
-DH Inquisitor with Tarot

4) Deep Strike Defense
-DH Inquisitor w/ Mystics

5) More Armor
-Rhinos (either side)
-Immolators (max of 2, from SoB Elite and Fast Attack selections)
-Chimeras (either, if a bit pricy)
(Note all the armor here is like yours with the smoke launchers; glance-only. Aw, Yeah)

6) Power Weapons that strike at initiative
-Grey Knight Terminators. (Mmm, S6 power weapons)

Honest Appraisal of Allies
I have to favor the Daemonhunters codex for allies. You get the same ISTs, but you get an Inquisitor with better options. (Note: I'm talking about the HQ inquisitors, not the piddly elites. However, in a pinch, you can get an elite DH inquisitor with Tarot for 35. Minimal commitment! Maybe spare him 2 points for pistol/ccw for some love...)

The real big thing from the allies is the psychic defense. There are some powers that aren't that frightening, but Lash + Oblits = Dead Terminators, and since we want to make Termiantors effective...yeah. At a minimum, I would think long and hard about dropping the 167 for Hood/Tarot Lord, 3 Heavy Bolters, and 2 sages. It's cheap, and it brings an amazing amount of utility for the cost.

The second consideration would be melta troopers. 128 gets you 5 interpeid, sacrifical storm troopers with meltaguns and a kitted out Rhino. If you want to commit to more AV12, you can get Chimeras, but I would have to test and see whether I feel like more AV12 is worth the cost.

If you check out the sample lists in my other posts, you'll note they include 2 Dreads, 2 Chimeras, and 2 Predators. That way there's four AV12 units, and two AV13 units. All the AV12 can threaten you with melta, and the AV13 can threaten the lighter armor at range. My gut suggests that if the enemy could KO your meltagun transports (and it's not that hard to drop 5 guys with T3 and a 4+). I'd lean towards Rhinos for Sisters, or Chimeras for the guardsmen. The Sisters are a bit more likely to survive on their own, with decent leadership, numbers, and power armor.

At any rate, the main goal is to help your terminators get to the meaty insides, or in a pinch beat down the vehicles that survived. Plus, they'll be durable.

Much more than the basics, and you're cutting into your Troops/Terminator budget. This means unless you're going for Grey Knight Termies with the hood, or a Grand Master, you should probably skip them. Admittedly, a Grand Master with the old-school 'lose all your wounds' Force Weapon can do some serious damage to whatever you point it at, and he gets you the Ld10 hood.

Ally Recommendations
5-man IST teams with 2x melta, probably in a Chimera [155]
10-man, 2-melta Sister team; Sister Superior w/ Book of St. Lucius in a Rhino [207]
OH Lord w/ 3x HB, Chururigeon, Hood [152]
DH Lord w/ 3x HB, 2x Mystics, Tarot, Hood [167]

The basic Deathwing loadout is 630 for Belial, and two DW squads with assault cannons and chainfists. Add in 167 for a DH Inquisitor Lord, and you've got plenty of slots left, and you've spent 797. With the 300-360 on melta allies, you're moving towards an armored build that's around 1,000 points; there's plenty of room to get some backup.

I feel like, overall, it's a reasonably strong build. Is it perfect? No. You're using a marine codex that's been obsoleted by the newer one, and ultimately it's a theme build with Terminators, which has its own problems. However, I think you can get some serious mileage out of the allies. I think it's worth it, and I think I've talked myself into rolling with allies at this point.


Mik said...

You've given me a lot to think about in terms of allies with these articles, and I run just a general DA army. I used to have the DH codex, now it looks like I'll have to go find another one!

Farmpunk said...

as a WH/DH player, I go through allies rules a LOT.

remember also that DH smoke makes hits GLANCING. which may not sound like a lot, but it does make your meltguns much more likely to get to their destination.

I'd also recommend not forgetting about the WH's Book of St. Lucius. it's a crazy bit of wargear that lets the Sisters unit, or Cannoness have a 6" UNMODIFIABLE Ld bubble.

the Sisters unit becomes a tarpit in power armor. I run it as standard in all of my WH units.

The cannnoness can be a cheap 2++ Str5 weapon running around the board. Remember that for IC's faith points are based on a LD check. She's one of the few things out there that can sit down and go head to head with a Dark Elf Archon in CC.
a Jump pack with a Str5 Master Crafted attack with a 2+ inv save (with a faith point used)? kills characters and troops. (with different faith applications, she can get to I6, or Str7) she's a bag-o-mean.

Raptor1313 said...

I'd swear I mentioned the smoke launchers being special, but the amusing thing is? Dark Angel smoke launchers are the same; it's listed in the codex.

I think the Book would be a good option and mentioned it as such in the Sisters article (I think, I'll have to go check that). Then Deathwing Termies can go and dig them back out of CC.

My reservation about the cannonness is that while she gets you some faith points, I feel like she's adding less to the army than others. Deathwing doesn't really need help in CC; you've got an army full of powerfists. The problem is that you'll never really get enough Faith Points to really keep the abilities going, so Faith is more of a neat backup mechanism than a game-runner.

A Cannonness with the Blessed Weapon (the two-handed +2S power weapon), Jump Pack, and Frags costs 96 points. I don't deny that can be deadly, but for another 30 points I can get a Dreadnought. Make it 25 more, since I'd probably hand her a meltabomb, points permitting. (Wait, forgot the Cloak of St Aspira for the 2+, that jacks her up to 116 points.)

Plus, bringing a Cannonness costs me the opportunity to bring a Ld10 psychic hood via Inquisitor. I think she's fine in a SOB army, but I'm just not so sold on her in a Deathwing army. She'd be nestled with a Deathwing squad as some extra CC window-dressing,

Can you run her? Sure. I just think that you're giving up some utility, and paying for a capability that, for the most part, you already have. The only time I really her being handy is throwing her in front of a unit full of power weapons and hoping her 2+ holds out.