Monday, June 3, 2013

Rant: Scorpion's Claw and other (Eldar) AP2 weapons

So everyone is super excited about Striking Scorpions with their new toy: The Scorpions Claw. Why is this so awesome? Well if you haven't heard this is a Powerfist that ISN'T Unwieldy OR a Specialist Weapon, so that means it doubles S (so he can be S7 if you take crushing blow), strikes at initiative, gives +1 A when taken with a pistol or another CCW, and is AP2. It is the PERFECT WEAPON. If you take Striking Scorpions, you had better take this. Why then, am I ranting? Well, it is too good. They built no disadvantage into the weapon, except maybe cost BUT it would be worth 50 points, IMO.

BUT I am really ranting because on a higher level, not just that the claw is a little too close to being too good, I feel that GW has realised making all axes, including those in 5th ed codicies, initiative 1 really hurts close combat, and now they are releasing weapons to make up for that. And that is fine, the real issue is that they have specifically FAQ'd older codicies to NOT have these options- in particular Blood Angels. Specifically Dante and Astorath.

Sorry Dante, but your Axe Mortalis (yes, the Axe of DEATH) makes you too slow to have believably blocked that. Thus why the artist gave you a power sword and chain sword instead. Isn't that better?

I've spoken to this before-
My single most hated thing in Dark Angels and all of 40k
Rant: GW Hates Close Combat (Characters)

So now with Eldar, I bring it up again. Since those last posts, here is the list of all the @ Initiative AP2 weapons (meaning not unwieldy) NOT including Walkers and Monstrous Creatures.
Scorpion's Claw- x2S (Eldar)
Dire Sword- Soulrazer (Eldar)
Star Lance- S8, Impact, Lance (Eldar)
Executioner- +2S (Eldar)
Etherblades and Greater Etherblades (Daemons)
Gorechild (Kharn the Betrayer's Axe) (CSM)
Halberd of Caliban- +2S (Dark Angels)

Fuegan's Fire Axe- AP1, Armourbane (Eldar)

Being a Rastafarian apparently makes you fast... I thought the exact opposite would happen.
My guess is, given this trend, you will see an option popping up in each CC oriented codex from here on out. The only reason I think DE don't is they have such a prevalence of Poison (and did they come out at the end of 5th?). That is a pretty big list IMO, and it will only grow as they ensure the units that should be "Awesome" (and therefore cost $$$) stay "Awesome".

I really think GW has realised you can't realistically expect super awesome characters or units to perform so slowly and you need a reliable AP2 weapon in CC, considering how beat down CC is now in 6th already. It shouldn't be super common yes, but an option to apply sparingly. IMO they went a little overboard with Eldar, but I get it, they are trying to keep them FAST like Eldar should be, while delivering the first CC army of 6th edition. Overall that is what they are doing, but they are not retroactively applying the concept to old Codicies via FAQs and actually actively denied it in the last FAQ and I don't expect a new BA codex for at least 4-5 years.

The crappy thing is that the direct opposite approach to Eldar was taken with Dante and Astorath, and by extension sanguinary guard, whose model kit comes specifically with only 3 swords for 5 guys. It wouldn't be so bad if the kit came with 5 swords and then axes and powerfists as options, but as is you HAVE to build the kit with two I1 characters. And as for Dante and Astorath, the FAQ specifically gives them unwieldy axes, so they can't even be modeled with swords instead.

Good thing you are battling with your minds, his sword would tear your terminator armour up before you even could say "Die Xenos Scum" whereas with new Random Psychic Powers only for Eldar, you stand a high chance of beating him at a game of wits...
In an age of challenges this is even worse, because now you want to keep Dante and Astorath, two of the most impressive Close Combatants from a fluff perspective of ALL SPACE MARINES, the hell away from any of these squads. A Striking Scorpion Exarch can outright kill them before they even get to swing. And don't say it is because Eldar are so fast and Space Marines are inherently slower. Dante's unmodified I is 6. Astorath is 5. THEY ARE FAST. And you pay for that stat too. They are 225 and 220 points respectively. Sure they have other benefits, but their intended use when the codex was written was to wipe the board with anyone they fought. And at least when all AP2 weapons were I1 at the start of 6th ed, this was still true, but as the game is developing, ever codex invalidates these characters MORE AND MORE as units are made that can not only beat their armour, but can do it before they can be touched.

Please GW, REVISE YOUR FAQ! In fact, expect an email from me asking when you are going to do so, because it honestly MAKES NO SENSE that you made the decision you did and gimped these powerhouses into oblivion.