Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Draigo-Wing Analysis Part 1: Characters

Now that I have had a couple of games with Draigo and his Paladin pals I've been thinking quite a bit about the options available within the list.

Let's start by looking at Draigo and what he can bring to the party. He's good in close combat but not exactly the monster his points cost would suggest, with 4 S6 (with Hammerhand) Init 5 attacks. He's a Level 2 Psyker but without the awesome powers of the Librarian, he'll be casting Hammerhand for his squad, letting them activate force weapons or drop a Holocaust before assault. He also has a S5 AP- flamer attack for some horde cleansing. His most useful power is Psychic Communion, letting you add +/-1 to reserve rolls. More on that later...

The most obvious benefit is his defensive capabilities: Toughness 5, 3++, Eternal Warrior and 4 Wounds makes him slightly better than Lysander in this regard. Missiles, lances, lascannons and meltas all get allocated to this guy first, until he reaches 1 Wound of course. Don't forget that with only one Paladin left the unit goes up to Toughness 5. Paladin squads without a wound soak like Draigo are begging to be purged with Strength 8.

The most important decision is your second HQ - and if you take one. I think we can narrow the choice down to either Karamazov or the Librarian, because the defensive options they bring are vital to cover the Paladin squads greatest weakness - it's fragility.

Karamazov provides a second Paladin squad with a Toughness 5 wound soak (albeit with no invulnerable) which will make all the difference against missile spam. In addition he rocks a twin-linked multi-melta he can shoot on the move, and complements in range and target selection the psycannons his Paladin squad will invariably carry.  His orbital relay attack is potentially lethal but mostly unusable  as you need to keep Paladin squads moving every turn in most scenarios. It comes into its own though in situations where your own models are in close combat - watch a squad of Paladins shrug off d3 S6 AP4 large blasts whilst Orks or Nids explode satisfyingly. Or drop a lance on Draigo and watch his enemies melt away :) Probably most useful against pure assault armies that have to come to you.

Karamazov also packs rad grenades, giving -1 T to enemies in close combat which is a useful bonus. Finally he allows his squad choose whethere to pass or fail Morale and Pinning test, whilst squads within 12" reroll failed tests of this nature. This is a valuable ability in such a low model count army - what are you going to do when your Paladin squad starts running?

Our second contender is the not-so-humble Grey Knight Librarian. This powerhouse casts two great psychic powers, not only on your turn, but your opponents too. For your turn, take Might of Titan to turn your squad into S6 monstrous creatures on the attack, and Quickness to land those blows at Init 10 (screw halberds). Combine with a Paladin's WS 5 and nothing is left standing - IG parking lots disappear in smoke :) On the opponents turn, Shrouding gives an invaluable +1 cover save, and Sanctuary kills models that try to assault you - yes please!

Librarians of course come with the ubiquitous psychic hood, allowing you to cancel the powers of enemy psykers. The Reinforced Aegis power of Psyfleman dreads lessens the effectiveness of the hood in this force compared to other MEQ armies, but it is still a great piece of wargear. Another important point about the Librarian is that, unlike Draigo or Karamazov, he can take servo-skulls. These are invaluable if you decide to deep strike in Paladin squads - more on that in my next post.

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