Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gotta love fearless

Hey all. This will be a minor update on whats is going on on my end followed by my views on Fearless.

Firstly the updates. Still working on my Pre heresy Thousand Sons I am trying to fill out the tactical squads and will post progress as I make them. I have plans for my Angels of Fury but they are taking a second seat as of now because the local game store is doing a Heresy era type thing in the summer and I want to make sure I get my Thousand Sons done. I got two other home made chapters on the drawing board; The Iron Ravens and Bone Scorpions. Once i get model done for them I will post more on them. I also have plans for other official space marine chapters and to expand my Dark Angels. My Goal for the Dark Angels is a full 5th battle company, full Deathwing company and full Ravenwing company. Anyways I also got some other stuff that I wont spoil including a huge side project. More on that later.

The Legends of War Event (aka the random army thing my friends and I are doing.) We started part 2 which is to build just one troop choice squad. Rules are that no transports are allowed yet and they must be fully based and painted. So if you remember I was doing Orks. I used a counts as Ghazkull for Grax Dakka Goldteef. He needs some big mean Orks and since he is a warboss I can do that. So for my first troop choice im going with 5 meganobz with kombi-scorchas. They will be called the goldtoof guard. I haven't started them yet but I have the models so they will take priority after I finish up some painting I started. I will post progress of them as well.

Alright that was a bit long now onto the heart of the matter. The Special Rule Fearless. Now I know the new kid on the block is Stubborn because it has changed from the prior edition and is really good. I will talk on Stubborn another time.

We all know fearless. Automatically pass morale and pinning checks and you never fall back. Also if the unit somehow becomes fearless they autoregroup regardless of size. Sounds great!.. and it is great. However the downside comes to close combat. If a fearless unit loses close combat they don't roll morale they stay in but take a number of armor saves equal to the number of unsaved wounds they lost by. Now this itself is also a blessing. If you can survive losing the combat and the extra saves you keep a unit tied up in close combat which has many advantages like blocking line of sight keeping that unit tied down etc.

Now while that sounds like a harsh drawback it really isnt. Here is why the vast majority of fearless units have a small squad size. Greyknights are kept small due to point cost, Deathwing and Ravenwing are small squads. Deathcompany is small. Why does this matter? Well lets look at deathwing. They are 5 man terminator squads that are fearless. If they lose close combat chances are they are either wiped already or took a small amount of casualties. Even if you lost the other 4 chances are you will make those saves. This is relying on good rolls but you get the point. a 5 man squad cannot lose close combat by a large amount of unsaved wounds.

Now I know there are Ork players wondering how this helps there horde. Well yes it does stink for those large Ork squads and I am sure ill feel its effects with my Orks once I get the army built. But I Will not worry about it. Firstly the ork boyz be they shoot or slugga go up to 30 models and its not impractical to field a few squads that size. Also they are both fine in close combat especially if they charge. Lastly its fluffy for orks to die in large numbers. Now the latter only applies to people who actually care about fluff. I happen to care about it so I like that fact. In the case of Ork hordes it comes down to the player being smart. For example you may be a 30 sluga boy strong unit with many attacks but do not let them steal the charge. Also do not go after the opposing armies specialist assault forces with your troop choice. That is what nobz and the hq are for. What should you not assault or let assault your large fearless troop choice? Here is a rough list: berserkers, assault marines, vanguard marines, assault terminators (maybe), grey knight terminators, Striking scorpions, Death company, Genestealers and arco flags to name some off the top of my head. Now does this list mean never? No of course not just be careful because they are assault oriented and can mess up your ork boy mob without counting the possible hq attached to it. You cannot complain if you let the assault oriented elite or fast attack choice with many attacks get your squad and proceed to wipe them out because that is the nature of the game anyway.

So are large ork mobs useless? Not at all. Lets face it there saves in general are terrible and objectives are important. IF you can get a 20 or larger ork boy squad with shootas on a objective in cover that is one tough squad to remove from the objective.

Oh and do not forget the last part about if the unit becomes fearless it auto regroups. The only army I can think of that can do this regularly are witch hunter sisters of battle with faith. if your faithful model in your squad is still alive you can regroup your retreating small unit to contest or even take an objective.

Bottom line in my opinion is Fearless is very powerful and as such has a drawback that hurts. Do not forget that independent characters lose this rule if they join a non fearless unit (Chaplains are an exception of this. There may be others I just cannot think of any). If you keep in mind the pro's and cons of this or any rule you can use it better. It also comes down to of course knowing your army. Also there are some special abilities in the some armies that force a moral check regardless of fearless or not. I did not touch on that because that is army specific I just wanted to talk about fearless in general.

That was longer then expected. Again I am stating things that many people know already but I feel it is good to get it out into the open. Coming soon is the next installment of Outnumbered! plus other progress reports and some tutorials in the future. Until then.

No comments: