Friday, December 25, 2020

Imperial Armour Compendium Critical Review: Part 4- Grey Knights, Inqusition, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Custodes

A Continuation of our 11 part review of the Imperial Armour Compendium. This time we are diving into the Grey Knights, Inquisition, Ad Mech and Custodes portion of the book.

I am really trying to not be salty in this, and I am going to be as factual as possible but maintain a critical eye, the intent of which is to inform you and maybe, just maybe, let GW know we notice and care about this stuff. The details matter in an expensive hobby like this, and if it takes a small time blog to hold them accountable then so be it.

This review will be an in depth 11 part series, and I will update and link each successive article below, so keep checking back for updates.

  • Part 1- Book Overview
  • Part 2- Space Marines
  • Part 3- Astra Militarum
  • Part 4- Grey Knights, Inquisition, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Custodes
  • Part 5- Imperial Knights, Titan Legions, Chaos Knights and Chaos Titan Legions
  • Part 6- Chaos Space Marines, Death Guard, and Chaos Daemons
  • Part 7- Craftworlds and Drukhari
  • Part 8- Necrons and Orks
  • Part 9- T'au Empire and Tyranids
  • Part 10- Death Korps of Krieg Focused Discussion
  • Part 11- Forgeworld Warhammer Legends
Kicking off with Grey Knights and their TWO Datasheets. Of particular note, with the new FAQ, both these units no longer have Adeptus Astartes as a Keyword, but instead of Sanctic Astartes. Interesting indicator of things to come for Grey Knights, and definitely makes stratagems and keywords clearer in the future, closing opportunities for abuse. It is sad that the Doomglaive and the Vortimer Razorback are stuck in legends, but fortunately if you have these models they can still be used as a Venerable Dreadnought and a Razorback with Twin-Heavy Bolter (which isn't half bad as a support tank now). And I still find it incredibly odd that the only army with a full page of art in the whole book is Grey Knights. 
  1. Grey Knights Thunderhawk Gunship.  Same treatment as the Adeptus Astartes one. 710 MASSIVE points decrease and no Martial Legacy. Missing stats on the sheet for a bunch of base wargear. Have to refer to the codex for Airborne, Hard to Hit, Hover Jet and Supersonic. Attacks went from 6/4/3/2 to 6/D6/D3. Lost a point of BS at its highest bracket. Has a rule to specify you ALWAYS measure to the hull which is important after Aresgate in competitve 9th edition. Hellstrike battery got the same bonuses as on the Fire Raptor and Storm Eagle. Thunderhawk heavy cannon went from D6 damage to D3+2 and blast. The Turbo-laser Heavy 3 instead of D3 and gained a point of AP, but damage went to flat 6 instead of 2D6, and lost its ability to do D3 mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6. Lost its invulnerable save which is BIG IMO.  Cluster bombs did get alot better, procing on a 4+ instead of 5+ now, and up to 18 dice instead of 12 or 3D6 vs Vehicles/Monsters instead of 2D6.
  2. Land Raider Banisher. 70 point reduction. This used to be the Vortimer pattern land raider redeemer, but renamed for some unknown reason., my guess is to avoid any potential <Land Raider Redeemer> keyword abuse potential. Attacks on the lowest profile went from 1 to D3. The Flamestorm cannons did become incinerators, so that is a nice touch. But the Psycannons lost 2 shots, but went up to 2 damage. Considering that Heavy Bolters did too though, this isn't as amazing, but since they are still S7, they are more likely to wound. It is a nice improvement, but it is still a Land Raider in a world with Repulsors, so take that under advisement. 

Inquisition is next up with their two dataslates. Lok was never really a good competitive choice, but Rex had his uses, particularly in Custodes lists. He still has some play in him, but was needlessly nerfed IMO. 
  1. Inquisitor Solomon Lok- No points change. Frankly, with the number of things discontinued in Imperial Guard, I'm surprised he stayed around. For one, he is dead. He died in the Imperial Armour he showed up in. They try to make it seem like he may not be dead in his fluff blurb in the compedium, but he was last seen charging a Heirophant with a satchel of demo charges and no way off the planet so yeah... not sure there is a way out of that. Anyway he has no statline change, but his pistol gained a point of AP and his powersword is +1S, which makes him S4 in a T4 meta, so that is good. Unfortunately, he lost his 6+ to ignore wounds and in general isn't very useful as an inquisitor without Psychic powers. The model is cool, and I'd suggest just using it as a ordinary Xenos (or really any ordo) inquisitor.
  2. Lord Inquisitor Hector Rex- 10 point reduction. Lost a point of WS but gained an Attack and a Wound. Went from cast 2 powers and denying 3 to casting 2 denying 2. His storm shield got the same change all storms shields got, which given he is in terminator armour is mathematically better in most cases. His shield now also gives him a 5+ to ignore wounds, which makes it odd that they took it from Lok. His bolt pistol gained a point of AP and his custom sword, Arias, gained +1 S making him S5 in combat. It also wend from D3 damage to flat 2 damage, unfortunately it went from doing a mortal wound against Daemons for every successful hit to doing a mortal wound for every successful wound. Over all a Nerf, but still not a terrible choice at 100 points. 
Next Up Adeptus Mechanicus. Its a shame we will never get Fires of Cyraxus. Here was a chance to port in some of those amazing 30k models, even if they just gave them legends rules, but unfortunately nope. An interesting thing is that the Secutarii got the <TITAN LEGION> keyword as a faction keyword but unfortunately there is no detachment in the game that has a LoW and elites choices in it, and there are no specific benefits for that keyword and there are no HQ units that can take that keyword. Fortunately they kept their rule that they can be in a Ad Mech detachment without ruining the <FORGE WORLD> keyword of that detachment. It will be nice if in the future there are more expansive rules for <TITAN LEGION> and they can all together replace <FORGE WORLD> so you can have all the Ad Mech units in a real Secutarii army (and allow them to ride in any transport). It isn't totally useless though, as they can perform Heroic Interventions if they are within 6" of a friendly Titan of the same legion, and can move 6" if they do so. It is really a great addition. I would be worried about them not being able to keep up with a titan, but really titans stay still in 40k because their weapons have such great ranges. Keep them nearby to a titan to protect against things like Sanguinary Guard.
  1. Secutarii Hoplites- Previous Rules for them here from FW. 1 point increase per model, so 10 points more for the squad. Still a steal at 100 points with a 5+ Invuln and the mag inverter shields. Other than the mentioned heroic intervention and keyword changes above, not other difference. 
  2. Secutarii Peltasts- Previous Rules for them here from FW. No point changes. Lost the ignis blaze profile for their gun than gave them the ability to fire their weapons at targets out of line of sight, but both other profiles gained a point of S and the Flachette profile went from Rapid Fire 2 to Assault 3, but went down from 24" to 18". Still overall an improvement for their gun IMO. Not sure how much utility they bring to an Ad Mech army, but they definitely improved from what they were.
  3. Terrax-Pattern Termite- Same treatment as elsewhere. 44 point increase. Gained 4 wounds.  Attacks went from 6/D6/D3 to 3/D3/1, which is a big nerf for the Drill. Drill also lost its cascading mortal wounds and instead just went to D3+3 damage and D3+6 vs vehicles. This may be better, but its less flavorful IMO and is majorly offset by losing attacks. For some reason they finally included storm bolters here. Volkites gained 5" and they do mortals on a wound of 6. Heavy Flamer and melta cutter gained the game wide bonuses all flamers and meltas have been getting, but melta also went from heavy D6 to heavy 5 and gained 4" of range. So the drill got better at shooting, but worse at drilling, which seems to be the point. In the latest FAQ it also gained the ability to transport Secutarii units.
And finally Adeptus Custodes! The Forge World rules for 8th are all here and not in the previous Index. Really one of the only factions in the book that saw no nerfs, and maybe even improvements, over their previous rules.
  1. Custodian Guard w/ Adrasite/Pyrithite Spears. No points change for Adrasites, 5 point increase for Pyrithite. Really the only noticeable change is Pyrithite got the same melta changes (D6+2) all other melta has been getting in 9th. I haven't been seeing them used a lot in custodes lists, but really that comes down to Allarus and Dawneagles being better. However, I think some clever lists can really employ these guys and they have some more play in them in the 9th ed meta than they did in the 8th ed one.
  2. Sagittarum Custodians- No points change. Also no significant change. Only difference being the Bolt Volley went up 1 damage, following suite with heavy bolters. But the fact tables got smaller in 9th and improvements in terrain rules have really made these an amazing Troop choice for Custodes.
  3. Aquilon Custodians- 5 Point decrease for base wargear and Twin Adrathic destructor, but no points change if you run Talons and Firepikes. Infernus Firepikes went up to 15" from 12", gaining 3 like every flamer weapon in the game. While not as big a deal for them, since they were already over the 9" threshold for deepstrikes, 15" is impressive. Solerite power guantlets changed like all powerfists to flat 2 damage from D3.  Really the only problem with Aquilons is they aren't Allarus...
  4. Contemptor-Galatus and Achillus- 5 point reduction for the Galatus, no change for the Achillus. Gained an attack and a wound and gained Guardian Eternal like all SM dreads, reducing damage by 1 to a min of 1 for all attacks. The Galatus Warblade's shooting range increased 4 inches and the Achillus Dreadspear went to flat 3 damage for shooting, which is a big improvement from d3 Damage. The spear's melee profile also went to D3+3 from D6. The Achillus lost impaling lunge unfortunately, but the other gains it got outweigh that. While I like the improvements to the Galatus more, I feel the Achillus still has more use to a Custodes Army. It is just better at killing vehicles, where as the Galatus shines best against infatry, and Custodes already handle infantry superbly with every other unit. Deepstriking or outflanking a couple of Dreadnoughts though really can ruin your opponent's day.
  5. Agamatus Custodians- 5 point reduction per model for base wargear and adrathic devastator. 20 point reduction over all for the las-pulsar. Otherwise no changes. Really the only reason you don't see these in play is the fact Dawneagles are just cheaper, points and dollar wise. That and the Achillus can do the job of the Las-pulsars for less points with more damage reliability.
  6. Venatari Custodians- No points change. Only change is the lance went to flat 2 damage from D3 damage. But these are still Custodes with a 3+ save and Jetbikes still exist... sooo yeah. Cool models, not bad rules, just not the optimal pick. 
  7. Pallas-Grav Attack- 10 point reduction. In the past I didn't rate these all that well with the Caladius around, but with the way vehicles and cover work in 9th, they have more play in them and can really be a nuisance to your opponent and pair really well as support for Vertus Praetors.
  8. Telemon Heavy Dreadnought- No points change. Gained Guardian Eternal WHICH IS GREAT, especially when you consider the Leviathan lost a point of T. Its explosion also only does d3 mortals instead of d6. He is a very large investment still in a meta with more and better ways to deal with big vehicles,, which is why you see Contemptors popping up more, but this guy is still great and you will see Custodes players running them. 
  9. Caladius Grav Tank- No points change. Only change is the loss of gravitic backwash, which is really unfortunate, especially with the changes to overwatch in 9th edition. That and the point reduction on the Pallas really made 2 Pallas worth it sometimes compared to a Caladius. But these are still great tanks and still have their uses in the game IMO. Maybe not as the super stars they once were with all the improvements to melta and other anti-tank weapons, but still not a bad choice.
  10. Coronus Grav Carrier- 15 point decrease, no other changes. Its nice, but this is still an 18 wound model, which is a liability in 9th. And its a transport for a faction with jetbikes and a universal ability to deep strike. It just doesn't have great uses. Cool model. Great for Crusade and Narrative play. But just not something you will see much in match play. Never have and likely never will. 
  11. Orion Assault Dropship- No points change. Attacks nerfed like all the Astartes Aircraft down from 6/4/2 to 6/D6/D3. Otherwise no changes. When it comes down to it, this has the same downside of the Coronus- you are paying a lot for unnecessary transport capacity. 9th ed table are just too small to need it and you have so many ways to come onto the board now. What you really need is more firepower which leads to the... 
  12. Ares Gunship- Up 20 points. Same attack change as the Orion. The infernus firebomb also changed. You now roll 1 dice for each unit instead of 1d6 for each model in the unit up to 20 (or 3d6 for a vehicle and monster). It still is a 4+, but instead of 1 mortal wound it does D3. Big nerf against horde armies. An Ork mob of 20 boyz on average would have taken 10 mortals, and now suffers 2 mortals 50% of the time. Not really standing out to me as a FIREBOMB. The trade off is now it is each unit within 6" of the point you dropped it, but most of the time that is only 1 or 2 units, and against hordes, like those orks, you are still not going to average the same number of wounds. Weirdly, it really took a massive conflagration bomb and made it a great character sniping weapon, especially clustered support characters. Besides that though, this thing has some great uses in 9th BUT remember, anything that doesn't fit in the deployment zone (and this and the orion won't for some missions) can't do anything 1st turn. This will limit it in comp play, but it is still really good.
That is it for part 4. Sorry these are coming so slow. They take a bit to write, but I hope they are informative.