by Anonymous Foodie
In the days and weeks following the reports, then leaks, then actual viewings of the codex, the magical interweb lands have been buzzing with reactions, fits (of both glee and horror), and more and more pledging their allegiance to the Dark City.
I'd like to throw my .02 into the mix, and I'll start with a general overview of a 2k list, and how I think they'll compare in style. Due to the book not being out yet, and my questionable sources on rules/costs, and all manner of other reasons, consider the following to be an approximation of "what may come to pass".
Shadowfield, Combat Drugs, Grenades
Wych Weapons, Grenades
Warrior Squad x10 (x4)
Blaster, Splinter Cannon
Warrior Squad x15 (x2)
Blaster, Dark Lance x2
Sybarite, Poison Blades
Succubus, Punisher/Tormentor Helm
Husk Blade, Pistol
Shadow Field, Combat Drugs, Soul Trap, Djinn Blade
Master Upgrade (name changed to protect the innnocent... or I just forget)
Weapon Upgrade (may choose either +2S or +2 A each round)
Warriors x10 (x3)
Blaster, Splinter Cannon
Sybarite, Venom Blade, Pistol
Hydra Gauntlets x2
Reaver Jetbikes x6
Heat Lance x2
Arena Champion, Power Weapon/Pistol
Splinter Cannon x2
upgrade TL Rifle to TL Splinter Cannon
It's worth noting that this list is shy by about 35 points - meaning I could either trim the fat to give the Archon his own Venom, or throw a few flickerfields on key vehicles (read; Incubi/Archon, Wyches, Razorwing) to give them added awesomeness.
I promised I'd keep it general, so after deleting (read; saving for a later post) at least a paragraph on each unit I've taken here, I've decided to actually do what I said I would, and look at the army as a whole rather than a unit-by-unit breakdown.
Kabalites are shooty. It was a bit of a surprise to have them keep the Rapid Fire status on their rifles, for me and others. But I guess what we needed to understand was that it was always meant to be this way. We assaulted with our Warriors (if we did - many just sat back with Dark Lances) because that was what we had to work with. Agonisers were (and still are) good. We wanted them in combat. Wych armies suffered from not being able to consolidate into new units after combat (now mitigated somewhat by getting Feel No Pain after said wipeout).
Footsloggers are less potent. As you can see, they are no longer included in my list. For me, this means I don't have a large squad to plop on a home objective. It lends to an overall more aggressive army, because everything is aggressive. I imagine from a tactics/strategy perspective I'll try contesting a home objective with alternating Ravagers/Razorwing, as they're backfield fighters anyway, and going for the throat (and gut, and groin, ad infinitum) of the enemy with the rest. That's not to say that a blob is a bad idea - and in fact, Heamonculi and Coven units (noteably Wracks - what equate to old Grotesqes - that can be taken as troops on occasion) are great at holding things. The power is there, it's just moved.
We get some new toys - two versions of "flyer" that are looking pretty sexeh, a new mini-talos that can pass along pain tokens that'll make any Coven player (and most other DE) happy, and a few new tricks to pass the time during the slaughter.
We get some updated toys. Far happier, this makes me, than nearly anything else. Reavers that function as close combat troops (and also provide incredible harassment tactics to the army), Scourges that give us an answer to hordes (up to 42 shots from a unit. Go ahead and try to match that). Beast masters with a slew of interesting options, along with the ability to play Noah and release the Arc (a full unit can include somewhere along the lines of 40 beasts).
Pain. We bring it, we live it, we drink it. Pain tokens are an interesting new mechanic. To an extent it's very dependent on what you're facing as to how useful it will be. I think it's unlikely to be toting an army of FnP'ers after round 2 (or even round 6)... but it's easy enough to get for the units that you really want to have it.
As a Kabalite (with a smattering of Cult and Mercenary influence) I'm almost sad - I feel Wych Cults, as Wyches are fairly safe in CC and tend to win their fights, will get more use out of them than my Warriors (who while can reliably down most things thanks to mass poison fire, are still very susceptible to being blown into oblivion by about anything you point at them). I would almost expect that for Kabalites, it's more about a few key units that build up Pain, while the rest support.
Wych Cults (which I'm actually rather tempted to try out...) almost seem more "newb friendly", if such a thing is possible for the True Kin. Solid assault units in fast transports as your base, Feel No Pain after your first kill, Reavers to harass flank units/shooters and add some anti-tank, and full access to the best anti tank platforms (ie, our heavy support and Scourges, if you go that route with them)... if you can get past the idea of T3 and AV10 as "too bad to be good", I think a lot of people could do well here.
Covens. I think there will be people who play "true covens", though I think there will be more who splash them in. They add survivability, more than ever before. Heamonculi, and I believe some of their creations, start with a Pain Token (aka, Feel No Pain). While your basic guy is still T3 and has maybe a 6+ save, this still means it's a lot easier to get Furious Charge as your next bonus, making you a pretty decent assaulter. Heamonculi can jump around to add Pain Tokens (IC's will share them with units, and vice a versa), and they have the best objective holders (at the beginning, at least) in the army.
You'll note that I have not included any Coven units in my list. This is following a long-standing fluff perspective. As I do not own/use any Heamonculi, I did not want to use any Talos in my army (I figured without their creators, why have their creations floating around the battlefield?). Grotesques were a bad choice without an IC (usually a Heamy) to lead them... and while they weren't a terrible choice, I just didn't use them. So for now, I'll be coven free. I may toy with a unit of Wracks with a Heamy leading them, perhaps in place of one of the Warrior Squads. Of course, this would leave me with yet another unit of warriors to throw on the shelf... I figured 30 was enough. Ah well.
The army as a whole? I only have this one piece of advice.
Hide your kids. Hide your wife. 'Cause ain't nowhere safe.
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