Saturday, March 9, 2013

Icon hopping, Instruments and more

To change or not to change..

The one thing that I really like about the new book is how the Icons and Instruments were designed.

Say you have two units in reserve, the layout is exactly the same and both have Icons and Instruments.  Let's just pretend its a 20-man unit of Daemonettes, led by a Herald of Slaanesh each.  Then let's say you have a unit of Seekers with an Icon that's already somewhere in mid-field.  Turn 2 comes and you start itching to roll your reserves.  You point at the first unit that has an Icon and you roll the die.  The result is a 3 and you glee with joy!  That unit will not only DS without error within 6" of your Icon from the Seekers, but will also drag in the other unit of Daemonettes as well.

But wait, there's a catch.  Since your unit of 20 Daemonettes also has a Icon, the second unit that comes in from the Instrument can now home in directly on top of the fresh Icon.  This gives you precision-based DS assaults with a 2-1 bonus.  Unfortunately, this only happens once, or else you'll be rippling the entire army into your enemies face on T2.  If the first roll to reserve doesn't hit the 3+, you still have another chance to 2 for 1 if you have say 3 units that have the Instrument.  With a 6" Icon to DS in, a 2-1 reserve roll can have you hopping 12" across the map provided you have 2 Icons.  This can drastically increase the range of your Horrors if they need to deliver some shots.

The one thing to remember here is that you don't always have to buy the Icon, and you don't always have to buy the Instrument.  Icons should be on units that you want your other units to home in on.  These are fast delivery type units such as Plague Riders, Seekers or Bloodcrushers, or back-field heavy blocks that might need support; such as a 20-man unit of Plaguebearers with FNP Herald behind an ADL.  Instruments, on the other hand, should only be taken on units that you need to come in with urgency.  These include frontline units such as Herald-led Daemonettes or Bloodletters.

You know what has been aching me these last couple of days?  Horrors.  I love fact that a Lv.3 Herald with 20 Horrors generates a total of 8d6 S6 shots.  What I absolutely hate about them is that they first have to pass a psychic test, two of them in fact.  Then your opponent gets to Deny them, twice (provided the Herald is there, which he should), then you have to roll to see how many shots you get, with both, then you have to hit, one at BS4 and the other at BS3, and then you have to wound.  Why on earth is this so clunky?  As stupid as the tally keeping is, I just don't think any type of basic attack should ever get denied.  I had a game the other day where in one game, my Horror unit failed to cast once, and got denied another.  Towards the end of the game, they only got off a few shots (literally, I rolled a low # of shots) before being gunned down.  That's ~300 some points not being able to do any damage before the dice even start rolling.

Having played some games with Daemons, I'm seriously considering dropping the Slaanesh and Tzeentch theme and going with a mixed-god approach.  I'm talking about some PBs to hold points, Seekers and Daemonettes for attacking, a Lord of Change for buffs/beats, and some Nurgle Soul Grinders to hold down the fort.  Who knows, I might even add some Karnak and Flesh Hounds to really seal the deal.  Maybe this is what the designers (Cruddace and Kelly) wanted.  If this is so, then why is Nurgle so good!


blight said...

I'm pretty sure that since all deep strikers are arriving simultaneously that you cannot use the icon of a newly deep struck unit. That how it is for other deep strike homers and how it was for the old daemons.

HERO said...

That's because those said specifically: "Also note that the homer must already be on the table at the start of the turn for it to be used." No where does the new Icon say that.

Andrew Robinson said...

Yeah but that will get FAQed away pretty quickly. Its obviously GW's intent for those type of homer wargear is that they need to be on the table to start with.

HERO said...

I don't know actually.. consistency wise, I would yes, you make an excellent point. However, I would argue that this is their way to bring about a better version of daemonic assault that by design, is more consistent than other races' teleport mechanics.

We will see soon enough!

Mush said...

I think you are looking at horrors the wrong way. The way I see them is a unit of 10 is a unit who's damage output will not deteriorate until you kill the last horror. 10 horrors has the same damage output as 1 horror. This also makes horrors an interesting choice for the "free units" that the codex can generate through warp storm and the portal glyph as d6 horrors are going to have the same damage output as 10 horrors no mater what you roll, and are one of the few units that can do damage on the turn they deepstrike. It's an interesting dynamic which means your enemy has to kill every single horror to shut them down. A single horror in a ruin going to ground for a 2+ cover save that he can re-roll and still putting out 2d6 S5 hits at BS1 can still be a real pain, and will take a reasonable amount of shooting to take out, not to mention making that last victory point for killing them a nightmare to get! Even if he is hitting on 6s one hit causes soul blaze and flames of change could cause D3 wounds that ignore cover and armour meaning even a single horrors snap-fire could be dangerous.

The chance of giving FNP is annoying, but some careful planning should mitigate this, the locus making the hits S6 will negate FNP in T3 models, making it a non issue.

Another thing to look at is which roll on the warp storm table messes with you the most. Tzeentch's S4 large blast that ignores cover could cause some serious problems to a nurgle unit ignoring their main defence: cover saves. On the other hand D6 S4 poison hits on a horror unit from "Rot glorious rot" won't reduce the fire power of a unit of horrors.

Personally I like units of 11 as you get an extra warp charge for 9pts, that's a 50% increase in fire power and forces your opponent to shoot you, in order to drop you down to 1 warp charge.

HERO said...

I will never take Horrors in their current form because I hate the design of the unit. Why would you ever make their most simplistic form of offense a test? They have so many ways to fail that I cannot justify their costs, any costs, whether its 20 or 10. Shit, I wouldn't even buy 5. I loathe, loathe, the idea that they have to test first (1), then their opponents can deny (2), then they roll their # of shots (3), then to shoot it with BS3 (4), then wound (5). On a basic troop, with their basic weapon. This flat out offends every principle of good game design as I know it. Every possible obstacle that you can put in front of a unit that's just trying to function like every other unit in its class (a basic trooper with a weapon) is there. It's simply outrageous, fuck Horrors.

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