Lias Issodon, Chapter Master of the Raptors and full time bad ass.
Lias is the Chapter Master of the Raptors, who are a descendant of the the Raven Guard chapter. They specialize in stealth, ambush and guerrilla tactics.
Besides being super cool, they are also really good. For their Chapter Tactics they get Scouts and Stealth on turn one (excepting bulky+ units). That’s not bad, and having the option to move into a better position, or outflank makes for very versatile armies. Secondarily though, they get a pretty cool ability. If they do not move, models with this chapter tactic can fire their Bolters and Bolt Pistols as heavy 1, Rending! Nice. While this will not always come into play, when it does, it makes your average bolter slinger a LOT deadlier. They become a threat up to armor 13 vehicles and can take a bight out of any toughness based target like Wraithknights and Riptides. Not bad!
Lias himself is not ultra impressive at first glance. Weighing in at 175pts, he is a bit pricey, but not bad. He is a marksmen so his BS is 6 and WS is 5. He also only has 3 attacks, but does have 4 wounds. He also does not have an invul save or Orbital Bombardment. He does have Artificer Armor for a 2+ though, so that makes up for it to a degree. In combat, all he packs is a Bolt Pistol and Power Sword. He can also be the only Chapter Master in your primary detachment and must be your warlord if taken. Not so impressive, right?
Well, don’t let his lack of punch fool you, he is an exceptional force multiplier.
First of all, he comes with a Locator Beacon which means any deep striking units you keep in reserve will not scatter coming in near him. On its own, this would be so-so, but he comes stock with arguably the best warlord trait in the game, Master of Ambush. Edit-This has been confirmed by Forge World as the 7th ed version of the rule. This is ridiculously good. It grants him and 3 other non-vehicle units Infiltrate. So, not only will he be in better position to use the Locator Beacon, it means you are assured to sneak 3 other units around the table. Centurions are the first and obvious use for this, but really, the opportunities to take advantage of this are incredible. We will get back to this, later.
He also comes with a baller Bolter. Malice is a salvo 2/4, 30″ bolter with all of the Sternguard special ammo and rending! Nice. A 2+ poison, rending shot on a BS6 platform or 4 rending shots is no joke!
He also allows you to reroll your reserve rolls like a comms relay! Again, awesome. In conjunction with the ability to infiltrate or Outflank units, this is really handy. It makes flyers much more reliable, too. But on top of this, he also imposes a -1 modifier to enemy reserve rolls. Excellent!
His other special ability is to inflict D6+3 wounds on an enemy unit, or D3 Haywire hits on an enemy vehicle before the game starts. That is savage! You could conceivably take out a critical enemy unit before they even get to use it. Imagine taking Fatweaver or a Waveserpant out of play before the first turn starts? Brutal!
Lastly, he comes with Shrouding. So useful.
So what you get is an incredible support character. He’s not the most powerful in terms of damage output, but, he can be the linchpin for building some really creative lists. As he grants infiltrate all over the place, you can use him to infiltrate Honor Guard, for example, and they have Shrouding and Stealth on the first turn. He himself doesn’t like combat much, but he can bring a unit into position. Centurions like to infiltrate a lot, as do Terminators. He can bring in deep striking units via his Locator Beacon as well, and once in position, will put out a steady stream of damage with his shooting.
With allies, he can infiltrate blobs of IG and give them great defense via shrouding. Ogryn, Blood Claws, Bikers, T-Wolves, etc. The possibilities are endless. As he also allows you to reroll reserves this is also excellent if you go second and you want to outflank units while simultaneously applying a negative modifier to enemy reserves.
He also allows Tactical Marines to essentially function like Scouts. By granting infiltrate and they already having Scouts, they can take the same role but with increased stats. Once in position, they can blast targets with rending bolters or move forward and double tap. You can build some excellent MSU scoring armies that overwhelm your enemy with targets and wherein each unit is very versatile in that they can impact almost any target on the table.
He also works incredibly well with the new Raven Guard “Decurion Detachment,” the Talon Strike Force!
Lias is a great character and certainly bears taking a close look at.