Codex reviews/unit reviews; I love them. I love to read them on people's blogs and I love to listen to them on people's podcasts. All of them inspire me to try out new units in armies I already play and many of them flip that little internal switch that triggers my “that's going to be my next army” gene. Often the reviewers come up with ways to use units that I hadn't previously considered and again that just makes me wish I played more often than once a week, and recently I've been struggling to manage even that!
Something which crops up consistently though, which is beginning to grate on me a bit, is reviewers suggesting ways to “correct” the “flaws” in a particular unit. For example “Those Grey Knight Terminators are OK but if they could take Storm Shields and assault on the turn they deep strike in they would be awesome!” or “Well, Coteaz is a solid HQ choice but for his stat line I feel he is rather over-costed.” … OK those are not real examples but it's not a million miles off some of the stuff I have read/listened to recently and to both of those and comments like them I say “Poppycock!”.
You heard me. People do still say that, look it up in the Urban Dictionary. No you don't get a link, it's your language, use it or lose it.
I'm not going to start stating the obvious stuff about how units compliment each other and compensating for a unit's weakness elsewhere in your list is one of the ways to build effective armies. I'm not going to go into this because the guys who do unit reviews usually put this in the paragraph after they wish-list how to make the unit perfect and,more importantly, because I'm not really any good at it. Have you ever read one of my lists? I'm not shy about posting them!
Now this is not meant to be a criticism of the guys who review Codices. I love your work, keep it up, it inspires me even though you are pushing me closer to bankruptcy on a daily basis. But please lets just consider how boring the game would be if every unit in every Codex was tuned to perform it's job to absolute perfection. Assault units would all rock power weapons, have 3++ saves and access to re-rolls across the board. Anti-infantry fire support units wouldn't get out of bed for anything less than a 24”, assault 2 S6 rending weapon that ignores cover.
I think we can all agree that would be pretty boring.
However with all that said there are still units out there which are widely recognised as being so devoid of use that they NEVER see the light of day. In the spirit of this article, have you ever found an effective use for one of these units? For example have you managed to come up with a use for the Pyrovore beyond being an unattractive paperweight? Or have you employed Mandrakes and never once wished that GW had just given Dark Eldar Genestealers? Please leave comments below.