Saturday, 29 May 2010

"Special" Characters

I've talked a little bit before about running Space Wolf special characters but with Andy running two Space Marine special characters at Open War, I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on them. Before I go into a bit of detail, I just want to have a look at Pedro and Lysander in general. So, it's 375 points for the pair. Ouch. I pay 220 for my two HQs and the reason I take two is to get more S7 shots, to increase the coverage of my physic defence and to decrease the area into which the enemy can infiltrate. If I was feeling hard-up for points I could definitely drop one, especially at 1500 points. They also both give Stubborn to your army. Now, I would have thought with Marines that if you lose a combat you'd rather use Combat Tactics to get out of combat so that you can shoot up the unit that assaulted you. Stubborn just means that you're stuck in combat potentially loosing more men every turn.

Pedro Kantor

A Chapter Master with a Power Fist comes in at 150 so for 175, Pedro looks like a bargain. Those extra 25 points give you scoring Elites and a 12" +1A bubble which is permanently on (unlike the similar skill in the Space Wolf codex which only last for a turn). The thing is we need to build a Pedro list around Sternguard and personally I'm still not sure how to run them. I like a 5 man squad, 2 Lascannons in a Rhino shooting at distance and I like a Combi-Melta suicide squad. The thing is, I'm not sure that you can do both. I think that Pedro probably encourages the more defensive set-up as you don't really want to be firing Orbital Bombardment near where you've just dropped in your precious Sternies. I do believe that Sternguard are slightly sub-optimal to be honest and if I were running vanilla Marines, I'd be tempted to fill the Elite slot with Autocannon/Autocannon Dreadnoughts. The thing is; can you run a Pedro list without Sternguard?

Lysander

Argh! He's so hard to kill - lots of wounds, Eternal Warrior and a Storm Shield. The thing he, the guy is a bit confused. On one hand he wants to be smashing heads with his Thunder Hammer on the other hand he wants to be hidden inside some fortified ruin with some Bolter-armed troops. I think to get the most out of him you've got to get him in combat but I'd be tempted to stick him with a objective-sitting Tactical Squad so he can use Bolter Drill for a couple of turns before leaving the squad and counter charging anything that gets too close. I'm not convinced that's a good use of 200 points though. In fact, however you use him, is he really better than 5 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators?

I have to admit that in general, I'm not a huge Special Character fan even though we see Logan lists doing well at tournaments. I feel that the standard HQs can support the army better and offer a nice saving in points. I don't really think that you can take 2 Special Characters at below 2000 points (speaking of which, I saw a couple of nice 'ard Boys Njal/Bjorn lists) but you can definitely make a Special Character/standard HQ list work at 1750 (Vulkan and Librarian for example). The key to making them work is definitely building a list around them, you can't just try and shoehorn them into the list that you're using already (as I have tried to do in the past with Bjorn and Njal).

So, I think that Pedro and Lysander could work but I'd rather have a Librarian, 5 TH/SS Terminators and a Mulitmelta/Heavy Flamer speeder instead please.

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