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Written on April 17th, 2014 by Matt-Shadowlord Written on April 17th, 2014 by Matt-Shadowlord
Astra Militarum Review Review of Named HQ
Choices
Posted in Posted in Astra Militarum Astra Militarum, , Imperial Guard Imperial Guard
Onward with the Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard
Review! The next section takes a close look at the
named Characters from the HQ slot; who is out, who is
in, who is up, who is down, and who is just crazily
overpriced.
Before I continue I feel I should add a disclaimer: This review
is looking at these models from the point of view of what is
competitive for players who attend tournaments. This is not
about the characters' backgrounds or histories or story, and if
you are just making army lists for fun games at home please
feel free to ignore anything and everything written here.
The Imperial Guard's list of named-characters has traditionally not been a source of value-for-points
models, most being surprisingly expensive for such vulnerable statlines, with only a few stand out
examples (Marbo, Straken) with rules or gear sufficient to buck that trend. Let's take a look at what's
changed in the new book.
Commissar Yarrick
(Previously 185 now 145pts)
Yarrick has retained the same stats. WS5 BS5 S3 (6 with
his powerklaw) T4 W3 A3 LD10 4+
He previously gave Stubborn out to all friendly units within
12, which has now unfortunately been replaced to the
same 'Aura of Discipline' as the other commissars, which
means units within 6 use his leadership for Fear, Morale
or Pinning tests. If he is your Warlord he has useful a fixed
trait; Draconian Disciplinarian (friendly Guard units within
12 don't take morale for taking 25% or more casualties).
Note though that he lacks the Stubborn rule that
Commissars have, which is frankly a mystery to me; is it
possible that when giving the model rules like Draconian Discipline, Aura of Discipline, Iron Will and
Summary Execution that the basic commissar's Stubborn was simply overlooked and will be FAQed back
in?
However, he has gained something very important: the ability to issue orders. With the Senior Officer rule
and Voice of Command, this Commissar fills the role of the officer from a command squad, making him
much more versatile than in the past.
His force field that required all wounds allocated to him to be rerolled has been reduced to just a power field
4++, which often won't be as good because he can get a 4+ save from other sources from armour to cover,
but very importantly he remains an Eternal Warrior.
The last comments for
7th edition rulebook in hand - Live post
Zustiur
How do rapid fire weapons interact with the
requirement to fire per weapon type? Do we
have to guess...
17 minutes ago
wellspokenman 61p
For Black Knights and White Scars:
Jink save is 4+
Plus Skilled Rider = 3+
Plus Stealth from Darkshroud...
21 minutes ago
Banereaver
So what we have here from what I have read so
far is a $140 errata...
39 minutes ago
akm
In case anyone doesn't know, "!=" means "is not
equal to".
44 minutes ago
Zustiur
No, that\'s the same as before. Dark Shroud give
STEALTH not SHROUDED to other units.
48 minutes ago
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In combat he is boosted by having a 4++, a PowerKlaw and (unlike most named Guard character) being a
Independent Character who can join a combined platoon of up to 50 men. On top of that, he still has the
rule that should he die, he comes back to life on a 3+ at the start of the next Guard turn, which can make
him a real nuisance to deal with. Frankly I never had much respect for Yarrick until one match at the
National Masters where my opponent punched a hovering Vendetta out of the sky with him, got his Yarrick
killed for his trouble, and then popped up again and punched-out a second one. Two in one game, true
story.
With his drop in price and ability to give orders I consider Yarrick a much better choice than in the past. He
can pack a punch in combat, annoy objective holders by popping back up after dying, and can issue orders
to make the large squads of infantry he will usually be attached to more efficient.
He's not a must-have by any means, but if you would take a Company Command Squad (60) and Lord
Commissar (65), with his additional gear Yarrick and rules is now worth considering at 145.
Colonel Iron Hand Straken
(Previously 95pts now 130pts)
WS5 BS4 S6 T4 W3 I3 LD9 3+
I hate to say it, but Straken is a disappointment.
He was one of a very short list of named Guard characters
I occasionally included in tournament armies, and the new
version has the the same statline and identical wargear
with a refractor field 5++, the shotgun and the plasma
pistol that makes his shotgun superfluous.
Starting with the Good, he can still issue two orders, and
gives his command squad Fearless. His Man of
Adamantium rules (Ignore armour saves, roll an additional
D6 for armour penetration) have been replaced by Monster
Hunter (the unit he is in rerolls failures to wound against MC and FMC) and Smash; All attacks are AP2,
can choose to make half the normal number of attacks at double his strength (in Straken's case, this will
be 2 at S10) and he can reroll armour penetration results.
The result is he is practically a miniature Monstrous Creature himself.
The problems are:
His aura that gives Guard units Counter Attack and Furious Charge has been reduced from 12 to 6
He is still not an Independent Character, so only has a 4+ LoS! and rather than joining the large
combat units that would make him truly useful is stuck in a small squad.
His Gung-Ho rule (previously Fearless) is now that he must always issue and accept a challenge
whenever possible. Being forced into challenges is never good, I don't care how 'fluffy' people think it
is, and it's especially not good when your character is T4 I3 and not an eternal warrior. This is a real
disincentive to take him (although to be honest many of the Guard players who love tooled-up
characters will probably like the rule)
His price has gone up, and is more than the list price above indicates. The codex currently values
Company Commanders at about 36pts each (the 60pt squad minus 4 Veterans who also come in it),
meaning Straken's real cost is more like 166pts now.
Straken is exceptional in combat by Guard standards, but in the modern game with its ally-allowances
that's no longer the correct way to compare the competitiveness of units. The bottom line; you can ally in a
Dreadknight for his sticker-price and upgrade it with a heavy incinerator for his real cost.
In my opinion, his utility outside of combat has been reduced, his Gung-ho rule changed from a
positive into a genuine negative, and he is simply too expensive.
Lord Castellan Creed
Creed WS4 BS4 S3 T3 W3 I3 A3 LD10 4+
(Previously 90pts now 80pts)
Creed has had the amount of orders he can issue reduced from
4 to 3. There are more orders to choose from now, but they are
the same as any other officer's and the range of his orders now
just a standard 12 instead of the terrific 24. The good news
akm
You also meant jink, not junk.
48 minutes ago
abusepuppy 117p
Armies reliant on casting a large number of psychic
powers per turn are going to struggle a bit,
because...
52 minutes ago
abusepuppy 117p
Personal looks like shit, but Strategic and
Command are quite good. Tactical will depend a
lot on Ma...
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blacksly
Well, Sorcerors on Discs have 4 attacks, if I recall
right, and can have up to 2+/3++.
So, S9/T8,...
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abusepuppy 117p
Yeah, seriously. Doubly so for Tyranids, but even
for Daemons, shooting was how FMC lists won.
This change...
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Tetrisphreak
Perils of the warp mostly require ld checks. Being
in shadows will increase Psykers chances to fail
and...
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What a data of un-ambiguity nd preserveness f
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just a standard 12 instead of the terrific 24. The good news
here is that failed orders can be rerolled, so he does have an
edge over other officers -just considerably less than previously.
He has also had his For the Honour of Cadia order (the unit
gains Fearless and Furious Charge until the end of the next
turn) removed, with nothing special to replace it.
Tactical Genius previously gave a single unit in your army the
Scouts rule, and is now simply that he gets two rolls on warlord tables. The roll might give a unit outflank,
but the beauty of this rule was that the army could be built around him with the knowledge that one unit (of
3 hellhounds, 2 demolishers, a vendetta or whatever) would be outflanking. Now it's more like Creed
Random Genius'.
Once added to a squad, his cost is exactly the same as it was in the last codex (90+50 = 80+60), and
frankly with his range reduced, tactical genius subject to a random roll, number of orders reduced and the
'For Cadia!' order removed he now looks a less competitive choice.
Colour Sergeant Kell
(previously 85 now 75pts)
Kell WS4 BS4 S3 T3 W2 I4 A2 LD8 4+
Kell can only be taken in the same unit as Creed, and has five things
going for him.
1. He can automatically take wounds from another model in the same
unit without a roll (Look Out -Arghh!)
2. He must declare glorious intervention and passes the test automatically
3. He has a Listen up Maggots rule that lets target units take their order tests using his leadership
rather than their own
4. He has both a powersword (at a super human I4!) and a powerfist
5. He carries a Regimental Standard (Guard units within 12 reroll morale, fear and pinning)
The problem is he's just not worth his cost.
Two fluffy rules that help him defend Creed are nice, but you're then looking at a 5 man T3 squad that costs
215 points before it has any ranged weapons or advisors or gear added. (As with Creed, Kell doesn't add a
model to the squad but replaces one, so actually costs more than his 75pt price tag. Two hundred and
fifteen points for five toughness 3 guys).
His other fluffy rule, 'Listen up Maggots' lets target units use Kell's leadership to pass order tests, which
would be great except his leadership value is the same as the basic free sergeant already in most squads.
It's not entirely useless, there are some squads like heavy weapon teams, special weapon squads or
ratlings that could benefit from this, but they are in the minority and this rule really needs to be on a higher
LD model to make much of a difference.
Perhaps you are the type of player who'd be happy to pay for two veteran's wounds and attacks rolled in to
one model (12pts), a regimental standard (15) a power weapon (15) and a power fist (25), but you're not
even getting a discount here for loading that all on to one model the one model in the squad who has a
rule that makes him jump in front of bullets and poweraxes.
As it is, Kell should be seen as a fluffy, characterful addition rather than any sort of bargain or must-
have unit.
Nork Deddog
(Now 85pts, previously 110pts. Miniature on the right by
Victoria)
WS4 BS3 S5 T5 W3 I3 A4 LD8 4+
Finally a character who has not just come down in price,
but also is an addition to a squad (rather than replacing
a model), and so his price accurately reflects his cost.
Nork is a CCS bodyguard who costs just over twice as
much as a normal Ogryn, for which you get a very
similar statline with 1 extra attack, 1 higher initiative, 2
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Melta is the New Autocannon? Photo Battle Report: The Battle for Helms Deep
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higher leadership and 4+ armour, but above all the ability to be placed in a Command Squad. That means
that he gets to be where you need him, but that he's in a squad wounded on their average toughness of 3.
Hammer of Wrath and Stubborn (as with all Ogryn)
Glorious Intervention (as with Kell, he must intervene in the second round of a challenge and passes
the test to do so automatically)
If he dies, he does his full attacks before being removed
Thunderous Headbutt he has the option to exchange all his attacks for one headbutt at S8 AP3
Concussive. It's probably not usually a great exchange, but if Nork is in a Challenge with someone
like a Space Marine character it could be a chance to double him out.
Nork is a popular character with a great background story, and is a power-weapon away from being a good
inclusion. As it is, he is slightly better than in the past, and 25pts less expensive. In my opinion he's not a
competitive choice, but has been improved just enough to be worth adding for fans of the character.
Coming Soon on 3++ the Final HQ Character Pask, a real game-changer, and a review of the
Heirlooms of Conquest unique wargear.
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Comments (63)
Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity
5 weeks ago
Creed was the only one above that I used regularly, and I loved his 3rd ed rules, but from now on he is
likely to spend time in my box or counting as a senior officer. I think I'll be passing on the named
characters this time around, but possibly using pask on my warlord's tank.
1 reply active 5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
Yeah I thought the same. I agree with the above, he's lost what made him special and reliable and is
going to be demoted to a proxy CCS.
5 weeks ago
pity what they did to Straken, he was really good for representing a chaos marine leading a horde of
traitor guardsmen and cultists.
apart from pask, the IG special characters dont feel as special as they used to be :(
5 replies active 4 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
Maybe they are saving all the good stuff for dataslates. I'm hoping for Commissar Colonel Gaunt and
the Tanith First and Only to make an appearance at some point. The models are still for sale on the
website.
4 weeks ago
Agree!
4 weeks ago
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ill be very surprised if they dont boot up the Vostroyans again
4 weeks ago
My heart cries from the disappearance of the excellent kasrkin models.
4 weeks ago
Mine as well. I liked that aesthetic better than the Medieval breastplate the Scions have. I've
been leaning toward Dreamforge's Eisenkern bodies with the Scion respirator heads as a
stand in for my carapace vets.
5 weeks ago
How does Straken get two orders? He has Voice of Command, but he doesn't have the Warlord trait that
would give him a second order.
2 replies active 5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
He has the Senior Officer special rule that allows an officer to issue two orders. Yarrick has it as well.
5 weeks ago
That's the true answer!
5 weeks ago
I feel like Yarrick has the potential to be a real contender now. The Senior Officer orders are very
powerful, but they come with a major downside- you've got to keep your CCS alive to be able to use
them. Yarrick is vastly more functional in that respect, since he is an IC (and thus can hide in a blob and
push wounds off on a 2+), comes with a 4++ and EW (meaning he won't just pop if you fail a couple
LOS! rolls), and stands back up on a 3+ every turn. That makes him a right bugger to put down
permanently, and there's no way to stop his resurrection ability.
Not giving Stubborn or rerolls to hit in combat anymore is certainly unfortunate, but with cheap access to
Priests and Inquisitors I don't see it as a problem. I wouldn't go so far as to say that his an automatic
choice or even necessarily great, but I think he has a ton of potential.
22 replies active 4 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
Yeah i feel like yarrick is possibley great, he costs 65 more points than a CCS but his toughness to be
killed and the fact you can hide him make him quite a viable choice (he costs the same a s a bare
CCS in a chimera) thant and his fixed warlord trait which is a very good one makes him a solid
choice, (as it means you dont need priests for fearless anywhere near as much or other things)
5 weeks ago
Also hes LD 10 so if hes with a blob he can order that unit on LD 10 which means you can put your
psyker in another unit to spread the LD buffs around
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5 weeks ago
do you really weigh "you have to keep them alive" to be a downside for anything? I mean, that's a
downside to literally every single thing you spend points on in this game. buying a meltagun? gotta
keep that grunt alive sir. Looking to field a daemon prince? Well, he doesn't do much for your army if
he dies now does he? =)
5 weeks ago
It's a bigger deal for some things than others, tho. Keeping 7 Wounds worth of T3 5+ Sv high
priority target alive is an entirely different consideration from keeping a Meltagunner whose got 7
ablative dudes in his Squad and is one of 3 Melta-equipped Units you're running alive.
4 weeks ago
It turns out some models are easier to kill than others, if you hadn't noticed. A Leman Russ and
Chimera are not equally hard to kill.
4 weeks ago
Unless you have Lance!
4 weeks ago
Even with Lance, the Russ is tougher, since it's got more Hull Points in case you glance.
4 weeks ago
Russes and Chimeras both have 3HP. (Chimeras are AV10 on the sides, though.)
4 weeks ago
...Doh. I'm being stupid. :P.
4 weeks ago
They're both AV10 on the rear, so equally vulnerable in close combat, and when being
shot from the rear.
4 weeks ago
Three of the Russes are AV11 in back.
4 weeks ago
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What is amusing is how you seem to think that the survivability of a unit isn't an important factor
to be considered. It's only half of the consideration on what makes up the effectiveness of a unit
afterall!
4 weeks ago
that isn't what I said at all now is it? I simply stated that all units must be "alive" to do their
jobs... except of course units like spore mines & lone wolves whose explicit purpose is to end
the game dead...
Regardless, as Sophie mentions above, Yarrick has improved survivability over a CCS in that he
can hide in a blob squad. CCS is limited by having 7 wounds + advisors, where Yarrick may only
have 3 but is probably hidden inside a blob squad
5 weeks ago
To clarify, once Yarrick fails that 3+ roll to stand back up, he's permanently dead, though as long as
he keeps making the 3+ roll, he can keep standing back up as many times as necessary.
4 weeks ago
So he gets to keep standing up turn after turn, but Saint Celestine got her version of that ability
reduced to once per game? :(
4 weeks ago
Once per game as an act of faith if I remember right.
4 weeks ago
Although, to be fair, she passes her 90% of then time whereas he only passes his 66% of the
time, so...
4 weeks ago
Yarrick also doesn't have a jet pack so him getting back up again doesn't have quite the same
impact as Celestine did (when a single 120pt model is literally the only thing keeping an entire
codex afloat you KNOW something's going to give...). When Yarrick stands up does he get 1
wound, full wounds or D3 wounds?
4 weeks ago
I agree, he's not in the same class as Celestine, who is practically Codex:Celestine.
The Orders and PowerKlaw are great, but she's a must take and he is a could take.
He gets 1 wound back, and if you fail the 3+ roll he's removed permanently.
4 weeks ago
Eh. I consider new Celestine to be fairly lackluster for a number of reasons- she doesn't
have a good unit to hang out with, her warlord trait is subpar, etc. Yarrick is much, much
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more useful for a number of reasons, not the least of which being "I can give out Ignores
Cover." Celestine can't even come close.
4 weeks ago
I'm not sure about the new "book," but in the series of white dwarf articles having a
character who could stand up each turn and act normally while equipped with a jump
pack & a heavy flamer meant that if you weren't playing space marines (or mech) she
was capable of singlehandedly wiping out many armies' troop contingents - reliably.
Move forward fast; die; get up, flame a unit & charge anything left over; die; get up;
rinse & repeat... For 120points. You can't argue that her & exorcists were the only
things worth considering in the previous SOB book.
4 weeks ago
You could get Yarrick, or two ccs. I honestly don't think that comissar lords are good enough for a
ccs/cl combo to be worth it.
5 weeks ago
Can we all take a moment of silence for Marbo?
5 replies active 4 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
Oh Marbo is in the codex.
It's just that no one can find the page he's on.
5 weeks ago
Duh, it's clearly page 42...
4 weeks ago
Marbo improved his hiding skill so drastically that noone can find him reading the
codex...maybe you could ask Deathleaper to track him down
4 weeks ago
This comment has made my day
4 weeks ago
Marbo isn't included because no standard codexes include Lords of War.
4 weeks ago
Straken/melta company command + Nork anyone?
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2 replies active 4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
Why? It would be real good at killing tanks, but would require a very aggressive use of an already
fragile and now exceptionally expensive unit. Plus you are using an hq slot for something other than
Pask, Yarrick for hidden blob orders, or a standard squad for orders and advisors.
4 weeks ago
Is that a serious suggestion?
60+130+85+40 = 315 points for a 6 man squad with average toughness of 3 and majority armour
5+.
I am sure there are things that this squad would be good against, but it doesn't even have a way
to get to them. If your opponent does tend to drive a landraider up or stroll their men into charge
range of a unit like this you might not need Straken to beat him. ;)
4 weeks ago
Maybe I'm being shortsighted but none of the HQ IC's remotely justify their expense. For me, new to
Astra, never done original guard, I am taking a tank commander in a fleet of Russes. Two punishers for
heavy infantry clearance and a vanquisher as a long range tin opener. 30 points to give tank orders and
open a Heavy slot previously filled with Russes seems a bargain, and in my opinion the only bargain in
the codexes entire HQ section. I want to take Pask, I really do, but the extra 40 points to do so is
unavailable in every 1850 and 2000 point list I've thrown together thus far. Again I may be being
extremely shortsighted and not seeing the wood for the trees. Any opinions to the contrary then would
be well appreciated... :)
3 replies active 4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
While there can be good reasons to use Pask in other tanks, since you already want to take a
Punisher, it makes those beastly. Preferred enemy for the unit is really helpful, but it is the rending
and tank hunter aspects that turn a Punisher from a decent anti infantry weapon into an all around
murder box. That sounds like 40 pts well spent.
4 weeks ago
I have a hard time justifying putting Pask in another tank other than the Punisher. I think a case
can be made for the other tanks, but in the end the Paskisher is so beastly that I haven't come up
with an alternative that I really think would be better.
4 weeks ago
Find room for Pask. He shares his Preferred Enemy with his squadron, he has tank hunter, and he
buffs the main gun of whatever tank you put him in (but it probably should be a Punisher). 20 str5
shots with Preferred Enemy and Rending is pretty sick. Kit out his Punisher right and he is a 24"
bubble of death. He plays nice with Plasma as well, since PE avoids the Gets Hot issue. If you put him
in a Executioner he trades the three small blasts for one large blast but gains Blind. When Blind works
it's a hell of a nerf. Have your blob hit your opponent when he is at WS1, I guarantee you will enjoy it.
4 weeks ago
I'm glad for Gua.... AM players that Yarrick is really good now. He was always a supreme badass that I
felt should see more table time than his rules allowed. A 40 pt drop in price combined with the fact that
he has mostly gotten better is huge. Plus being able to bury him in a blob makes him more survivable
than a CCS. LD10 is also pretty hard to come by in the codex.
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4 weeks ago
Strakken has the unit relentless warlord trait. Master or ordinance, two special weapons, and a heavy
weapon. Now throw in a priest a lvl 2 biomancy psychic to try and get endurance or other buffs.
That is a hell of a squad for the points. With a priest and strakken you should be able to punch your way
out of almost anything tbh...
2 replies active 4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
And a lot of points to see evaporate from a single large blast.
If you want the MoO, relentless really isn't neccessary, since the whole squad can hide and drop
blasts and issues orders from out of los.
4 weeks ago
You're right Seth, but you just spent over 350 points on 8 guardsmen. Now you might be able to
"punch your way out of a lot of things", but a lot of things can just stand there and casually bolter
your unit to death.
"That is a hell of a squad for the points.'
No, that is a hell of a lot of points for the squad.
4 weeks ago
Never ceases to amaze;
What once was good is meh,
What once was meh is good.
Typical GW marketing strategy influencing rules in a game.
.
sad...
5 replies active 4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
With the exception that the Hydra is still shite.
4 weeks ago
I expect the Hydra to become viable again when the rules are updated. All it needs is the "snapfire
vs ground on anything without interceptor" issue to be fixed.
4 weeks ago
Yeah, exactly. Blobs were good before and now... oh, wait.
And Vendettas were so amazing before, but now... well, I guess people will still use them actually.
And the Manticore, once a mainstay of the HS is now relegated to being... one of the stronger choices
in that slot still?
But at least the CCS and Primaris Psyker, the two mainstay HQs, have been dethroned from their
positions and relegated to... sometimes not automatically being the only choices.
Truly, this is a topsy-turvy world we live in.
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4 weeks ago
Oh, sorry did the article cover; blobs, vendettas, and manticores, nope?
Nor did the article cover the lack of the colossus?
But you have a point, Orges still suck, etc.
.
@matt-shadowlord; no worries a few $$$ e-supplements will hopefully fix the codex.
.
Was that better abusepuppy?
4 weeks ago
"matt-shadowlord; no worries a few $$$ e-supplements will hopefully fix the codex." - I
actually meant the update to the entire ruleset (7th edition or 6.5) rather than a paid-for
dataslate.
The reason is because it makes so little sense for Interceptor to be the rule that makes Skyfire
weapons able to not snapfire vs targets on the ground that I really can't see it being continued
in a new edition.
4 weeks ago
Isn't the range of Creeds orders 12" rather than 6"?
4 replies active 4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
Yes, which is now the same as a Junior Officer.
4 weeks ago
The range of ALL orders, unless you have a warlord trait that changes it, is 12".
4 weeks ago
Yeah I know. The article listed Creeds order range as 'standard 6 instead of the terrific 24' when
I wrote this but it has since been changed to 12"
4 weeks ago
I fixed the typo, thanks.
4 weeks ago
Fun/silly thing about Creed. He technically isn't a Senior Officer, so he doesn't stop Lord Commissars and
Yarrick from being Warlord.
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