Monday, May 4, 2009

Tactical vs Practical: A guide to the new IG Characters

With the release the new IG codex (WOOOOO!), we’ve been given a host of new Special Characters that are supposed to help us customize our army. While they vary widely, they can be broken down into two basic categories, Tactical and Practical. A Tactical character may not be the best and punching people’s faces in, but do give you a lot of advantages in how you run your army. A practical character is more about mixing it up with the enemy and blowing stuff up. So, without further adieu, here’s a quick guide to which characters are Tactical, and which are Practical.

Ursakar E. Creed: The very definition of Tactical. He has a single weapon (a twin linked Hellgun), and some gear to keep him alive, and that’s about it. Where he becomes valuable, is when it comes to special rules. First of all, he’s like a Company Commander on steroids. He’s got a 24” Order radius, can issue four of them in a single turn, and has his own special order, which is designed to turn an infantry unit in a CC assault unit (can you imagine him issuing For the Honor of Cadia! to a 50 man conscript squad and three units of Penal Legionnaires?) Also, he lets a single squad or vehicle outflank. I will repeat that. He allows a single squad OR VEHICLE to outflank. You know how Tau players sometimes like to hop their battle suits out of cover, shoot, and then jump back in? Well, let’s see how well that works when a Banewolf shows up right next to them from the table edge.

Jarran Kell: A good mix of the two. He allows units to use Ld. 10 when rolling to see if Orders go through (using a vox system is cheaper, though). Other than that, he’s really there to keep Creed alive for as long as possible.

Knight Commander Pask: BS4 in a Leman Russ? I’d call that practical. This is a win no matter where you put him, but sticking him in Vanquishers and Punishers will probably give you the most bang for your buck.

Sgt. Bastonne: I would say tactical. His ability to issue orders as a Sgt for a Veteran squad is very nice if you’re planning on packing your Vets into Valkeryies and sending them out of range of your officers. Also, If you combine him, a squad with Meltas, and Creed’s little “Tactical Genius” rule, you have a squad that hits on 3+ and can reroll misses if you issue the “Bring it down!” rule. Not a lot of tanks are going to survive that.

Col. Straken: If Creed is the definition of Tactical, then Straken is the definition of Practical. He gives everyone within 1ft of him “Counterattack” and “Furious Charge”, and he makes his command squad fearless. Throw a bunch of Conscripts, Penal Legionnaires, and combined Infantry Squads around him, and you have a nightmare for any Close Combat Opponent. Also, his profile is better most Space Marines (Take that, Smurfs!) and has a Str. 6 Power Weapon that can punch tanks to death. Everything about that is awesome.

Sly Marbo: Okay, this one’s pretty complicated. I’m just going to say Tactical for now, because I hope to post a guide on some dirty trick for this guy in the future. You’re just going to have to trust me here.

Sgt. Harker: Practical, without a doubt. He lets his Veteran squad infiltrate, and has a Heavy Bolter, to add to whatever firepower the squad already has. Also, he has Feel No Pain, which helps to keep him alive, and Relentless, which means he can move and still shoot his Heavy Bolter.

Commissar Yarrick: Oh. My. God. If Straken is the definition of Practical, then Yarrick wrote the dictionary. Okay, before he even gets to combat, he makes his unit fearless, everyone within 6” of him is testing at Ld. 10, and everyone within 12” of him gets the “Stubborn” rule. Then, he starts punching people. He has 4 Power Fist attacks on the charge, his ENTIRE UNIT can reroll missed attacks in CC, any wounds against him must be rerolled, and even if you do bring him down, he has a 2/3 of getting back up again, just to spit in your face. This is, of course, assuming he hasn’t already shot you to death with his Storm Bolter or his friggin EYE, which punches through Marine Armour. I can’t wait to put him with a unit of 10 Ogryn and throw him in a Stormlord.

Capt. Al’Rahem: Although his power weapon that causes Instant Death makes him a strong contender in the Practical category, he’s very much Tactical. His special order allows a unit to move, then fire, and then move again after they fired. While it’s useful by itself, when you couple it with his other rule, it’s lethal. That rule is that his entire platoon infiltrates. That means that you can take 5 squads and the Platoon HQ pack them into Chimeras, and have them outflank. 6 Chimeras. Outflanking. Throw in Creed and give his special rule to a Russ, and you have a damned Armoured Regiment coming in from the side of the board.

Commander Chenkov: Again, Tactical. As many have figured out, his ability to have a constant wave of Conscripts appear from the edge of the board is a great way to secure the objective in your deployment zone. Also, he can issue two orders per turn with a 12” range, but he only has two orders to choose from. Finally, he, and everyone within 12” of him count has having the “Stubborn” rule.

Mogul Kamir: Practical. He gives his Rough Riders “Furious Charge” and “Fearless”, but he also gives them “Rage”, which is less then useful at times. Also, he’s pretty good in a fight, getting anywhere from 4 to 6 attacks on the charge, which is useful when he still has his hunting lance. Also, I’m glad to see at least GW is embracing the Attilan-style Rough Riders, because nobody else is.

Nork Deddog: Ah, good old Nork. Without a doubt, he’s very practical. Give him to any Company Commander, and it’s always a bonus. With Creed, Nork helps keep him alive and more than makes up for the Cadian’s lack of CC abilities. Give him to Straken, and you’ve turned you Command Squad into a Close Combat nightmare, especially if you decide to throw Yarrick in there too for laughs. Also, even when he dies, there’s still a good chance he’ll win combat for you.

There you go guys, I hope that helps! I’ll be posting some tricks for Marbo, and a little guide on making the new Characters your own at some point in the near future.


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