Making Bad Characters Good

Not all of the unique characters in the 40K universe are quite up to snuff. Let’s try and fix that.

Warhammer has a lot of really cool lore to draw on, which is one of its biggest strengths. And as part of that lore, there are a lot of really neat personalities with very interesting backstories. Featuring  these characters on the tabletop can be a lot of fun, but many times in the the codex they don’t quite live up to their reputations because of GW’s rather careless rules design. This is sad, because no one wants to read about someone who is described as “one of the greatest swordsmen in the galaxy, capable of slaying any foe” only to discover that they are WS5 I3 A2 with a Power Sword.

So let’s see if we can’t fix up some of these errant codex entries and give them a bit more oomph to fit with the way they’re described in the fluff. To avoid getting entirely stuck on some of the crappier books, I’m going to limit myself to only one entry per faction- otherwise we’d spend the entire article just trying to make CSM and Tyranid characters usable. Please note, I won’t be including all the fluff for these characters in the article- I might suggest reading up on each of them in the links provided if you’re curious about their histories and why I would have them doing what they do.

Necrons-Warhammer-40000-фэндомы-347772

Trazyn the Infinite……140pts

WS5 BS5 S5 T5 W3 I2 A3 Ld10 Sv3+   Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Mindshackle Scarabs
    Staff of Light

Special Rules:
    Independent Character
    Reanimation Protocols

Warlord Trait:
    Enduring Will

Surrogate Hosts: The first time Trazyn the Infinite would be removed as a casualty, roll a d6; on a 2+, instead select one Necron infantry model in your army and replace it with Trazyn, restoring him to d3 wounds. On a 1, remove him as a casualty as normal.

“Ah, Another Piece for the Collection!”: Trazyn and any unit he joins have the Objective Secured rule. If Trazyn is in base contact with an objective at the end of the movement phase, he may pick it up in exactly the same manner (and limitations) as The Relic; however, Trazyn may not carry more than one objective at a time and may not pass the objective to other models in his unit. If Trazyn is removed as a casualty or moves more than 6″ from his starting position in any phase (including being moved as a result of his Surrogate Hosts ability) he will drop the objective.

Empathic Obliterator:
    Rng: –  S: +2  AP: 4  Melee, Psionic Shockwave
    Psionic Shockwave: If one or more models are slain by this weapon during a close combat, each other model with the same faction as any of those models suffers an automatic hit that wounds on a 4+, with AP-.

Trazyn is one of the best characters (and stories) in all of the fluff, or at least he was until they cut all of the interesting parts out of the 7E Necron/Inquisition codices. But if you have access to the old 5th Edition Necron and GK books, go back and read up on the story between him and Inquisitor Valeria- it’s both hilarious and perfect for the tone of the game and if the idea of a perfectionist robot hoarder who writes lethal letters to people doesn’t amuse you, nothing will.

Fixing Trazyn is actually relatively easy; we revert his Surrogate Hosts ability to being able to hit more actual Necron models (rather than just the singular other HQ you can take alongside him currently) and let him actually collect things the way he is described doing so in the fluff- since there are already models for picking up and carrying objectives around in the game we can simply repurpose those. Also we give him Mindshackle Scarabs because wait, why did they take those away from him?

 

Darkstrider

Darkstrider……110pts

WS4 BS5 S3 T3 W3 I3 A3 Ld9 Sv4+  Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Pulse Carbine
    Photon Grenades
    EMP Grenades
    Blacksun Filter
    Markerlight

Special Rules:
    Independent Character
    Outflank
    Scout
    Stealth
    Supporting Fire

Fight on Foot: Darkstrider can only join Breacher Teams, Strike Teams, and Pathfinder Teams.

Fighting Retreat: Each time Darkstrider makes an Overwatch attack, he (and any unit he has joined) may immediately make a consolidation move of d6″ in any direction.

Structural Analyzer: When Darkstrider (and any unit he is a part of) choose a target for their shooting attack, any vehicles in the unit suffer a -1 reduction to all applicable Armor Values for the duration of the shooting phase and any other types of model suffer -1 to their Toughness for the duration of the phase (to a minimum of 1.) The Analyzer does not function when making Snap Shots.

Darkstrider is an interesting idea for an HQ and an okay try and making something workable, but he definitely needs some help. He has several limitations (weak statline, not cheap, can only join specific units) and two very small advantages. So let’s expand him out a bit- give him Stealth so that being on foot with his squad isn’t a complete death sentence and make it so his Structural Analyzer will actually work as described and help you target weak points in the enemy list to hit them for massive damage. This helpfully weakens deathstars for us (because fuck deathstars), but the innate weaknesses of having it on a T3/4+ character on foot mean that it can’t get completely out of control- a lot of the time, you’ll get one volley out of it before the enemy decides that he has to die.

 

eldar illic 1

Illic Nightspear……140pts

WS6 BS9 S3 T3 W3 I6 A3 Ld10 Sv5+  Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Mesh Armor
    Power Sword
    Shuriken Pistol

Special Rules:
    Ancient Doom
    Battle Focus
    Fleet
    Hatred (Necrons)
    Independent Character
    Infiltrate
    Move Through Cover
    Preferred Enemy (Necrons)
    Shrouded

Warlord Trait:
    Mark of the Incomparable Hunter

Sharpshot: Shots fired by a model with this rule, other than Snap Shots, are always Precision Shots as described in that special rule.

Walker of the Hidden Path: If Illic deploys by himself or with a unit of Rangers, he may Infiltrate anywhere on the battlefield outside of Impassible terrain and more than 1″ away from enemy models. Alternately, he may be joined with another unit that lacks the Infiltrate rule, in which case he and that unit follow the usual rules for Infiltration.

Master of Pathfinders: While Illic is alive and on the battlefield, all Rangers in your army have the Sharpshot special rule.

Voidbringer:
    Rng: 48″  S: X  AP: 2  Heavy 1, Sniper, Voidshot
    Voidshot: Hits from this weapon always wound on a 2+ and always inflict a glancing hit on a 4+. On a result of 6 to wound it has the Instant Death rule, and on a result of 6 to penetrate it inflicts a penetrating hit instead of a glancing one.

 

Illic is another character that I like the idea of, because there are so few shooting HQs in the game, but his execution falls rather flat. So: we make his Sharpshot rule apply to all Rangers in the army so that there is more of a reason for you to take anything other than Scatter Bikes (albeit an insufficient one.) We let him do some Infiltrate shenanigans, because isn’t that sort of the point for a guy who is supposed to be a master sneaker and guide to the webway? And we cure the big deficiency of his rifle, namely the fact that while it may hit most all of the time the previous version still only wounded half the time. Now it will generally hit and wound, but you still need to get past cover and Look Out Sir for him to achieve his goal, which feels pretty fair.

 

Lucius_Eternal2

Lucius the Eternal….140pts

WS7 BS5 S4 T4 W3 I6 A3 Ld10 Sv2+  Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Doom Siren
    Frag Grenades
    Krak Grenades

Special Rules:
    Champion of Chaos
    Fearless
    Independent Character
    Mark of Slaanesh
    Veterans of the Long War

Duelist’s Pride: When in a challenge, Lucius’s Attacks value is equal to the Weapon Skill of his opponent (plus any other modifiers as normal.)

Armor of Shrieking Souls: Lucius has a 2+ armor save and a 4+ invulnerable save. Any time he passes a save during the Fight sub-phase, the unit which inflicted the wound on him immediately suffers a S4 AP2 hit in retaliation.

Blade of the Laer/Lash of Torment:
    Rng: –  S: User  AP: 2  Melee, Shred, Paired
    Paired: The user gains the +1 attack bonus for fighting with two weapons.

Alright, GW, here’s the skinny: combat characters that don’t have any kind of transportation (bike, steed, jump pack, assault transport) are very rarely any good at all because 6″ per turn just doesn’t cut it. Also having weak defenses and no ability to penetrate 2+ armor makes for someone who is complete garbage. Also, Lucius is carrying the friggin’ Silver Sword gifted to him from the armory of the Primarch of his Legion why is this thing not even a Master-Crafted weapon why is it just a generic power sword ARRRRRGH.

So yeah. We give him some better protection, we make his melee weapons worth a damn, and suddenly Lucius is looking a lot scarier- he gets a LOT of attacks at high initiative and has the potential to bounce back hits against the enemy unit, which can be surprisingly scary.

 

HiveFleetColossus-OldOneEyea.jpg_2
Old One-Eye……210pts

WS4 BS3 S10 T7 W5 I2 A4 Ld8 Sv3+  Monstrous Creature (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Crushing Claws
    Scything Talons
    Thresher Scythe
    Regeneration

Special Rules:
    Fearless
    Feel No Pain
    Living Battering Ram

Alpha Leader: While Old One-Eye is alive, your Tyranid models within 24″ automatically pass Instinctive Behavior tests. He may also join units of Carnifexes as though he were an Independent Character, even though this is not normally permitted.

Berzerk Rampage: Old One-Eye makes a number of bonus attacks equal to the number of models in base contact with him at his initiative step. If he is slain before attacking, you may make his normal complement of attacks (without benefit of Berzerk Rampage) before removing him as a casualty.

OOE’s design in the codex is just utterly baffling- in a book that is specifically designed to be reliant on Synapse coverage with built-in penalties for having it broken and constantly described in the fluff as essentially losing the battle when that happens, he is conspicuously lacking this ability. And no, his shitty “use my mediocre Leadership value” does absolutely nothing to mitigate the problem. So, let’s do a couple things- first off, we’ll give him an ability to actually make your army theoretically function without having Synapse in it (even if it’s a bit risky); second, we’ll make him scary enough in a fight that people might actually worry about engaging him. Third, we’ll make him able to actually stay alive instead of just getting punked out instantly by some random Plasmaguns or whatever.

 

Amazing Sanguinius Conversion

The Sanguinor……175pts

WS8 BS5 S5 T4 W3 I6 A5 Ld10 Sv2+   Jump Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Artificer Armor
    Frag Grenades
    Krak Grenades
    Death Mask
    Jump Pack

Special Rules:
    Eternal Warrior
    Fearless
    Furious Charge

Aura of Fervor: All other Blood Angels models in units within 12″ of the Sanguinor have +1 Attack.

Avenging Angel: Before the beginning of the game, choose one character in the enemy army; the Sanguinor can reroll all to hit and to wound rolls against the chosen model and his weapons have the Instant Death rule against it.

Flickering Phantom: Enemy units which are more than 18″ away from the Sanguinor may not target him with shooting attacks. The Sanguinor also has a 3+ invulnerable save.

Sword of Fury:
    Rng: –  Str: User  AP: 3  Melee, Master-Crafted, Warpbane
        Warpbane: This weapon has the Fleshbane and Smash rules when attacking Daemon models.

 

The Sanguinor wasn’t great in the 5E BA codex, but he at least did something sorta interesting- I have no idea what they were thinking when they updated him. They took away all of his relevant abilities and weakened the few that they allowed to remain. So now he’s… a badly-equipped Captain who isn’t allowed to join squads? How epic and engaging.

My attempt at fixing him makes him more of what he’s intended to be- a support/assassination piece who excels at hunting Chaos threats as well as a fairly tough and mobile HQ choice in a lot of ways, although he is still pretty weak to getting swarmed in melee or hit from point-blank range. Might be a bit expensive overall, but I don’t feel awful about him.

 

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Lelith Hesperax……140pts

WS9 BS9 S3 T3 W3 I9 A5 Ld9 Sv6+  Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Plasma Grenades
    Shardnet and Impaler
    Wychsuit

Special Rules:
    Fleet
    Independent Character
    Night Vision
    Power from Pain
    Rampage

A League Apart: When fighting in a challenge, Lelith may reroll all failed to hit and to wound rolls.

The Penetrating Blade: Armor saves cannot be taken against Lelith’s melee attacks. On a roll of 6 to wound with such an attack, no saves of any kind may be taken.

Quicksilver Dodge: Lelith has a 4+ invulnerable save. This increases to a 3+ invulnerable against wounds inflicted during the Assault phase.

As much as I liked the old version of A League Apart, just having Rampage and the new version ends up being better most of the time- Lelith’s biggest problem, as always is that she’s just a wimpy lil’ Eldar and thus can’t push above S3 most of the time. So rerolling wounds in various ways is a decent start, and having the wounds that she does cause be pretty much guaranteed things also helps a lot- it doesn’t matter what kind of fancy shield or forcefield you have, she’s gonna stick a knife where the sun don’t shine. Her “updated” version of Dodge would also help out Wyches a lot, though that’s a subject for another article.

 

grey-knights-castellan-crowe-101-a

Castellan Crowe……120pts

WS8 BS4 S4 T4 W2 I6 A3 Ld10 Sv2+  Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Artificer Armor
    Frag Grenades
    Iron Halo
    Krak Grenades
    Psyk-Out Grenades
    Storm Bolter

Special Rules:
    Fearless
    Heroic Sacrifice
    Independent Character
    Preferred Enemy (Daemons)
    Psyker (Mastery Level 2)
    Purity of Spirit
    The Aegis

Psyker:
    Castellan Crowe knows the Banishment, Hammerhand, and Cleansing Flame powers from Daemonology (Sanctic).

The Ultimate Warrior: When fighting in a challenge, Crowe has the Smash rule and can reroll all failed saving throws.

Master of Purifiers: An army containing Castellan Crowe must take 1-3 squads of Purifiers; these units do not use Elites slots, but are otherwise treated as normal units. Crowe harvests warp charge on a 3+ when casting the Cleansing Flame power and may use it as many times per turn as available dice permit.

Blade of Antwyr: Enemy models within 12″ of Crowe have the Rage special rule, and any such Daemons also have the Hatred rule due to the unholy influence of the sword.

Crowe has always suffered from issues, but his current version has the big problem of “why do you even exist?” He’s not actually good at anything and while his nominal purpose is winning duels, he’s not really even very good at that. So let’s make him be as good as he can in a challenge and also give him some flavor as being the purest dude in the whole galaxy. Cleansing Flame is a really good power and being able to set it off three or four times in a turn is potentially a huge advantage, even if it does consume most of your psychic dice. It’s also nice to have a few cheaper characters here and there, so while I could plate some other abilities on and inflate his cost, I think it’s fine where it is.

 

Kayvaan_Shrike

Chapter Master Kayvaan Shrike…….150pts

WS6 BS5 S4 T4 W4 I5 A4 Ld10 Sv3+   Jump Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Bolt Pistol
    Frag Grenades
    Iron Halo
    Jump Pack
    Krak Grenades
    Power Armor

Special Rules:
    And They Shall Know No Fear
    Chapter Tactics (Raven Guard)
    Independent Character
    Orbital Bombardment

Warlord Trait:
    Angel of Death

See, But Remain Unseen: Shrike has the Infiltrate and Stealth special rules. When he Infiltrates, you may choose to have one unit of Raven Guard Jump Infantry deploy with him, following the usual rules for Infiltration.

The Raven’s Talons:
    Rng: –  S: User  AP: 3  Melee, Master-Crafted, Rending, Shred, Paired
    Paired: The user gains the +1 attack bonus for fighting with two weapons.

This guy really needed the help- he was almost completely nonfunctional as he was written in the codex, and while Space Marines are hardly in need of a boost, Raven Guard are so rarely seen at tournaments that I think it’s fine to have him get updated a bit. The big thing here is to make his Infiltrate stuff actually work properly, since as per the codex he cannot join any units of any kind at the start of the game- clearly not the intention. Since he has also been promoted in the fluff (as per the Mont’ka book) he deserves a statline upgrade to reflect his new status as well as the benefit of the Orbital Bombardment rule.

 

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N’kari, the Feast of Sorrows……195pts
    WS9 BS6 S6 T6 W5 I10 A6 Ld9 Sv-    Monstrous Creature (Character, Unique)

Special Rules:
    Daemon of Slaanesh
    Daemonic Instability
    Deep Strike
    Preferred Enemy (all types of Eldar)
    Psyker (Mastery Level 2)

Psyker:
    N’kari generates its powers from the disciplines of Telepathy and Excess.

Warlord Trait:
    Celerity of Slaanesh

Devourer of Souls: In any Initiative step in which N’Kari slays one or more enemy models, it gains one Wound (up to a maximum of ten.) If the chosen model was any type of Eldar, N’kari instead gains +1 each to Wounds, Strength, and Toughness.

Grand Revelry: Whenever one of your Slaaneshi units within 12″ of N’Kari forces destroys an enemy unit or forces it to fall back,  all Slaaneshi units within range the Feel No Pain rule and may reroll results of 1 to hit until the end of your next turn.

Who? Yeah, here’s the thing- Slaanesh has NEVER gotten a named Greater Daemon in any of its codices for some reason. Are GW just idiots? Do they keep forgetting? I’m not sure, but I say fuck it because Slaanesh is way more interesting than Khorne (whose entire schtick is “I like the same thing that everyone in the galaxy likes”) and Tzeentch (who is essentially a living 9/11 conspiracy theory.) So yeah, fuck those guys, I’m gonna say that the character in the Daemons book that needs the most help is the one that doesn’t exist.

N’kari is known for a number of things in the fluff, but devouring what was left of Malan’tai was one big one. I wanted a second unique ability to go with that and since in the early versions of the fluff N’Kari was know for lascivious feasts and celebrations I thought that was a fitting sort of thing to have- a party so rad that it makes your units immortal is definitely a Slaaneshi thing.

 

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Inquisitor Valeria……100pts
    WS4 BS4 S3 T3 W3 I4 A3 Ld10 Sv3+     Infantry (Character, Unique)

Wargear:
    Bolt Pistol
    Frag Grenades
    Krak Grenades
    Power Armor
    Psyk-Out Grenades

Special Rules:
    Independent Character
    Stubborn

Warlord Trait:
    Unquestionable Wisdom

Graviton Beamer:
    Rng: 12″  Str: 10  AP: 1  Pistol, One Use Only

Forceshield: Valeria has a 4+ invulnerable save against all attacks.

Hyperstone Maze: Once per game, instead of making her normal close combat attacks Valeria may unleash the Hyperstone Maze on one enemy character in the combat and within 2″ of her. That character must immediately make a characteristic test against its starting Wounds value or be removed as a casualty.

Runes of Destiny: Successful saves taken against Valeria’s attacks must be rerolled.

The Dagger of Midnight:
    Rng: –  Str: User  AP: 3  Melee, Sentient
    Sentient: When attacking with the Dagger, Valeria makes two additional attacks which must be rolled separately; for each of these attacks that roll a ‘1’ to hit, Valeria suffers one hit (using the weapon’s normal profile) instead of her target!

You thought I’d forget about Valeria after mentioning her in the intro? Oh no, my friend, not at all. With a few tweaks to make her abilities function better and a significant price drop Valeria is back on the job, ready to steal xenos artefacts of all sorts (THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM) and give the finger to uppity Monodominants. Although her wide array of gear can appear haphazard at first glance, there is actually a surprising amount of synergy between the pieces and several interesting interactions between them that I think make her a very worthwhile piece.

 

Well, that’s it for me today- so tell me, internets, which tragically-underused characters are stuck on the shelf breaking your heart and what would you do to fix them?

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About abusepuppy

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

60 Responses to “Making Bad Characters Good”

  1. westrider May 17, 2016 4:09 am #

    Aww, yiss. There are some other characters I’d give some tweaks (or larger changes) to, but this hits most of the worst offenders, and makes them all pretty usable. Of these, the one I think I’d buff further (but at greater cost, of course) is the Sanguinor. I’d like to see him really worthy of a Lord of War slot, possibly even to the point of making him a Gargantuan Creature.

    The only one I really have a question about is Crowe. Is the Blade of Antwyr supposed to have a profile outside of Challenges? I figure I’d at least make it a Power Sword in regular Combats.

    Lilith’s improved Dodge ability is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, not just for her an Wyches, but also for Stealers, Lictors, and DeathLeaper, at varied levels, of course.

    Old One Eye, honestly, would probably become usable just with the ability to Join Carnifex Broods, but this takes him beyond “Well, you probably won’t actually be hurting yourself by taking him” to something that might actually open up some alternate Builds for Nids.

    • abusepuppy May 17, 2016 5:43 am #

      The Blade of Antwyr is specifically not supposed to be any kind of special CCW at all- the fluff behind it is that it has fantastical daemonic powers, but Crowe’s purity keeps them in check and he himself is immune to the daemonsword’s temptations (but that it can afflict those around him, hence granting Rage/Hatred.)

      • westrider May 17, 2016 1:41 pm #

        Ah yes. The GK Dex is one of the ones I didn’t bother picking up for 7th Ed, so I haven’t read through the fluff in it in ages.

  2. Blue May 17, 2016 5:02 am #

    Completely agree with your idea’s here sir! There are soooo many weak characters. I think the majority of named characters need to be eternal warrior imo. if you are paying that much for one character then you should not be able to ID them all with a strength 8 weapon.

    • Threllen May 17, 2016 5:41 am #

      Or at least any characters over 200 or so points should be. It’s even worse if you aren’t playing Marines… pay 230 (iirc) points for Vect and watch him get punked out by scatter lasers. It wasn’t fun…

      • abusepuppy May 17, 2016 5:47 am #

        It’s okay, that can’t happen to Vect anymore. Even Str D weapons can’t ID him now!

        I don’t like the idea of passing out Eternal Warrior like candy- it devalues the ability and is essentially just erasing the “doubling out toughness” paragraph from the rulebook. There are often more elegant ways to make a character functional and interesting without just slapping immunity to every bad thing onto them. However, I would tend to agree that 200+pt characters really need to have a lot going for them in order to even be worth considering because that’s such a huge chunk of points to be investing into a single model.

        • Threllen May 17, 2016 8:05 am #

          Yeah, I don’t think every character needs it because 1) just because your guy is a named captain doesn’t mean a lascannon isn’t going to blow his head off and 2) cheap, EW characters would be extremely strong. But for normal T3/T4 characters like Abaddon, Vect (rest in piece my archon), Grimnar, etc who are extremely expensive, they need something to protect them. Vect had his 2++ but the second he failed that against a S6 gun he was gone.

          • Threllen May 17, 2016 8:07 am
            #

            (And yes I know Abaddon is already EW – and I think Grimnar, too – just pointing out that you need it for characters like them to make them even worth considering)

        • westrider May 17, 2016 5:16 pm #

          I kind of feel like the Heresy-era CSM Dudes should mostly have it. They’ve made it through 10,000 years of warfare, there’s gotta be something to that. The main exception, actually, is Lucius, because he dies semi-regularly, he just comes back.

          • Dakkath May 17, 2016 8:19 pm
            #

            Lucius should a rule like an inverse of Trazyn’s where if he gets killed in a challenge instead the other character gets removed because he immediately turned in to Lucius.

          • westrider May 17, 2016 10:27 pm
            #

            It’s supposed to take like a couple of weeks or so, IIRC. That would be pretty awesome, tho.

  3. JackMack May 17, 2016 5:45 am #

    Captain Erasmus Tycho needs fixing. He needs his fist of fury back. It was a fun little surprise to have him ignoring armour saves. He was not powerful by any means but it meant he was not punked by any mega armour nob or equivalent. He just piles around dying to anything with armour nowadays.

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:33 pm #

      Tycho was the other big competitor from the BA codex, yeah. I just personally like Sanguinor more, so I did him- but Tycho’s rules are arguably some of the worst in the game, as he has no special CCW, a shitty one-shot gun, no abilities to speak of, and a pretty steep price tag.

  4. Vercingatorix May 17, 2016 5:59 am #

    I think crow would be ridiculous harnessing as many as he wants on a 3. It wouldn’t be getting it off 3 or 4 times, I can throw a single dice at every harness until my opponent runs out of dice to deny or I kill every target within 9 inches. I would throw 12 dice at it, one at a time, and get it off 8 times. He would clear out a 20 inch diameter circle of the enemy that can be hurt.

    • JM May 17, 2016 7:03 am #

      Cleansing Flame is ML2. So a minimum of 2 dice are required and that only gives you a 44% chance of success if you harness on a 3+. Throwing 3 dice at it gives you a 2/3 chance of success (if my math is right, which it may not be) and a 7.5% chance of perils

      If you cast it 3 times with 3 dice each, you’ll pass twice and fail once.So really we’re talking an expected cast per 4.5 dice. You would have to have 36 dice to get it off 8 times and then you’re leaving all your other psykers without support.

      You would have to build your army around generating this many psychic dice. You still don’t really have a great delivery system for him.

      • Vercingatorix May 17, 2016 7:36 am #

        Oh shoot, that changes it a lot that its level 2. I’m a daemon player so my nova is level 1 and I thought cleansing flame was the same. Its still good but I think you’re right that its not OP. Okay, good change then.

        • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:35 pm #

          Yeah, Cleansing Flame is a very strong spell thanks to a great statline and Ignores Cover, but being ML2 is a big limiter for it. Since GK have no strong ways to deliver Crowe (as he can’t ride a Drop Pod anymore), I doubt it would be a problem.

  5. Dakkath May 17, 2016 6:39 am #

    I love that Valeria brings the tesseract labyrinth that Trazyn ‘gave her’ along in battle.

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:35 pm #

      I know, right? The story between her and Trazyn is easily the best one in the 40K fluff, in my opinion.

  6. gvcolor May 17, 2016 7:22 am #

    The last DE codex purged them of HQs and Fluff all in one shot – with further disappointment that none actually give buffs to any unit save for the Haemonculi and what Warlord Traits you may randomly roll… so sad 🙁

  7. Blight1 May 17, 2016 7:23 am #

    Where are the orks?
    Old zogwort needs love. Wazdakka Gutzmek.
    Even the ones they have need help.

    Chaos has ahriman. He at least needs a 3++.

    If you wanted to fix a daemon of Slaanesh you should look at the masque. Terrible rules on that one.

    • Vercingatorix May 17, 2016 7:38 am #

      Well terrible rule, the rest of it is amazing. It still almost works even with her as only a character.

    • Threllen May 17, 2016 11:47 am #

      All you need to do to fix the Masque is actually make her an IC. And maybe add her to the Heralds list. Her dances can be debilitating and she would be an awesome counter to deathstars if it wasn’t for the fact she couldn’t hide in a unit.

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:37 pm #

      I have actually seen people run Masque in competitive lists before, although she is certainly an incredibly niche unit. But slowing a deathstar to d3″ of movement per turn (in ANY phase) can be absolutely backbreaking, so I wouldn’t toss her in the garbage quite yet.

      And yes, Orks and SW didn’t get characters here basically because I didn’t have any particularly good ideas for them. But it wouldn’t be hard to make Zogwort or Lukas into something usable.

  8. Ytook May 17, 2016 7:53 am #

    Shadowsun isn’t terrible as is but really given her station and fluff she should be a Lord of War bad ass. Or at least that’s what I’d do 😛

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:39 pm #

      I actually really like Shadowsun as she is now- cheap, great warlord trait, great abilities, excellent guns, and her Command Link drone is incredibly helpful for maximizing Tau firepower. The only downside to her is the shitty FAQ that prevents her from starting with any units other than Kroot.

      • Bryan May 17, 2016 2:45 pm #

        Q: Are models with the Infiltrate special rule allowed to not use the rule to deploy and then charge normally in the first turn?

        A: Yes.

        I thought this part of the new FAQ might allow characters with infiltrate to deploy normally and join other non infiltrating units.

        Of course this contradicts the prior FAQ, so maybe not.

        • Dakkath May 17, 2016 8:23 pm #

          The problem comes from another FAQ in the batch (paraphrasing):

          Q: Can a non-infiltrator IC join a group of infiltraotrs that’s deploying normally, deepstriking, in reserve, etc.?

          A: No

          Of course the problem being it this is about non-infiltrating ICs and infiltrator units and not infiltrator ICs with non-infiltrator units, but I guess it does set a precedent.

          • Bryan May 18, 2016 3:04 pm
            #

            I sorta assumed that was just to flat out stop IC’s that don’t have infiltrate joining units with it to gain any benefits. But yeah I could see how it sets a precedent.

            It would be nice if GW could just straight out clarify it. Seems silly though that you can deploy normally now, but no buddies for you boys cause you have the infiltrate rule, even if you’re not using it at all!

    • Calle May 18, 2016 1:25 am #

      The Ork characters don’t really have so many upgrade options. And they have very particular roles which is hard to change I guess. I think that they really need a better statline, rules or cheaper points costs.

  9. Canoness Implacable May 17, 2016 9:06 am #

    Thank you for this post Puppy! There are so many of these guys and gals out there that need just a few tweaks to make them so much better. I would play Lucious as written here, all the time.

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:39 pm #

      Glad ya like it; I suspect it wouldn’t be very hard to convince most casual groups to allow the characters as listed here, since they are almost universally regarded as being terrible otherwise.

  10. Duh_Ruckus May 17, 2016 10:14 am #

    I love the concept of the sanguinor in the lore, but he seriously does nothing on the field, I wish they would make him have the stat lines of a dread knight, but function just like the celestant prime: you keep him in reserves and he auto passes of fail his reserve rolls, the longer he chills out side of the game the stronger he becomes then he shows up doing the super hero entrance and wrecks face. It’s fluffy and fun and allows for a interesting tactical decision, of when to put him in.

    • westrider May 17, 2016 1:58 pm #

      If he ever gets Rules that make him worth it, I’m totally using the Celestant Prime to make a Sanguinor conversion.

  11. Petey Pab
    Petey Pab May 17, 2016 10:21 am #

    Woot! An Inquisitor Valeria sighting! She is easily one of my favorite characters in the fluff and I was so sad they took her out of the Inquisition book even though I saw it coming. Good article AbusePuppy!

  12. Ibushi May 17, 2016 11:12 am #

    Great stuff, love it!

    Illic is still not worth 140pts, but definitely better than previous version.

    I like those updates to the Sanguinor, Lelith, Crowe and Valeria a lot! Very cool!

    My next choice would be for Kheradruakh the Decapitator, what a cool guy he was.

  13. MidnightSun May 17, 2016 11:19 am #

    My favourite characters, since I picked up the 3rd edition Codex: Imperial Guard, were Creed and Kell. I don’t think they’ve *ever* been good; Kell’s certainly been unusable in his every iteration; which I think is a crying shame.

    Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed and Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell:
    A Company Command squad in your army may replace its’ Company Commander and one Veteran with Lord Castellan Creed and Colour Sergeant Kell for 80pts.

    Creed:
    WS: 4
    BS: 4
    S: 3
    T: 3
    W: 3
    I: 3
    A: 3
    Ld: 10
    Sv: 4+

    Wargear:
    Two Hot-Shot Laspistols, Frag Grenades, Carapace Armour, Honorifica Imperialis

    Macharian Cross: The Macharian Cross is one of the highest awards the Munitorum can bestow upon a member of the Imperial Guard. Creed has earned this most prestigious medal for tactical and strategic brilliance many times over, and a small but powerful energy field has been incorporated into the medal to shield the Lord Castellan from harm. The Macharian Cross gives Creed a 4+ Invulnerable Save. In addition, if Creed is your warlord, the Cross allows him to select a Warlord Trait from the Strategic, Command or Imperial Guard Warlord Trait tables in addition to rolling for a Warlord Trait as normal.

    Special Rules:
    Independent Character, Tactical Genius

    Tactical Genius: When issuing Orders, Creed can issue Orders to units up to 18″ away rather than 12″, and may also attempt to issue one additional Order per turn (to a total of 3).

    Colour Sergeant Kell:
    WS: 5
    BS: 5
    S: 3
    T: 3
    W: 2
    I: 4
    A: 3
    Ld: 8
    Sv: 4+

    Wargear:
    Regimental Standard, Power Fist, Power Sword, Hot-Shot Laspistol, Carapace Armour, Refractor Field, Medallion Crimson

    Medallion Crimson: This award is given to soldiers who suffer the most horrendous injuries in the course of duty, but live to fight on unfazed in the name of Him on Earth. The Medallion Crimson gives Kell the Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain special rules.

    Special Rules:
    Sworn Protector, Listen Up Maggots!

    Sworn Protector: Kell is under solemn oath to safeguard the life of the Lord Castellan, and has performed this duty admirably throughout his childhood friends’ meteoric rise through the ranks. You may choose to automatically pass any Look Out Sir attempts taken by Creed as long as the wound is re-allocated to Colour Sergeant Kell.

    Listen Up Maggots!: Kell enforces Creed’s commands with an iron fist, a long-ranged master-vox set, and deafening profanity capable of turning Daemonettes a deep shade of crimson. While Kell is alive, Creed may issue Orders to any friendly unit with the Imperial Guard Faction on the table and any Leadership checks taken to carry out an Order issued by Creed may be re-rolled.

    Still kind of expensive, Kell’s still horribly over-geared and has a nonsensical rule (you can automatically Look Out Sir onto the guy with 75pts of weapons, flags and radios!), CCS still don’t really work the way they do in the fluff (given that their role in the fluff is basically taken by the player, not by anything on the board). I toyed with Creed giving his Detachment the Raven Guard decurion tricks of pre-game roll manipulation, and I still think that might be better than his Warlord Trait shenanigans purely through being unique and more interesting, but I’d appreciate some feedback on all of that.

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:54 pm #

      I’m a little iffy on Creed being able to choose a trait off of Strategic _and_ get a trait as normal, but that’s mostly just because the Strategic table is so incredibly strong. Still, at the end of the day he’s still just a T3 guy in a Command Squad, so I would it would be overpowered.

      If you wanted to make Creed more of a RG-style manipulator character, I would say change his ability to something like “An army with Creed as its warlord may reroll any of the dice for choosing table sides, deploying first, etc.”

  14. Jural May 17, 2016 11:35 am #

    I like the Old One Eye change, but I would have updated the Swarmlord, he just is really awful compared to needing to be a Lord of War.

    I double agree with you on CSM- every hero could be updated, but Lucius was the worst off.

    • Threllen May 17, 2016 11:57 am #

      There are a few salvageable Chaos characters even if they miss the mark a bit. Kharn is downright deadly and not terribly expensive – just suffers from Chaos’ lack of ways to get footslogging infantry into combat. Ahriman’s rules are in a decent spot, but his cost can be prohibitive. Same with Typhus. I don’t think any of those three need new rules, maybe just point tweaks.

      On the other hand… Abaddon, Bile, Lucius, and Huron almost never see the field. Huron is only good for his guaranteed Infiltrate trait. But even that sucks because you only get D3 units. The book trait is always 3 AND the warlord himself gets it (so he can join a unit of infiltrators without needing to use 2 of the units).

      • punchymango May 18, 2016 10:24 am #

        All of those characters would be workable if Chaos had a way to get them into punching distance. Typhus and Kharn are both monster trucks that walk like men if you can deliver them.

        Typhus could maybe stand to be a little cheaper, I guess…

        I’ve been saying it for years; a cheap assault vehicle transport would be a game-changer for CSM. Just call it “the murderbox” and let berzerkers charge out of it. Probably wouldn’t make them top-tier but it would make a bunch of their shit work passably well.

  15. greggles May 17, 2016 1:09 pm #

    See this pile of teef right here?

    See them? What could they be?

    Oh, it’s the pile of teef caused by no ork characters being mentioned! We don’t even get a mention in the fixing characters part!

    *cries teef*

    🙂

  16. Hotsauceman1 May 17, 2016 1:14 pm #

    Im saving that picture of lylyth……..mfor reasons.
    I think old one eyes abilities is a bit too op being at 24in. I would reduce the reange or only have it effect moslnsterous creatures

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 2:56 pm #

      Look at her face. She knows EXACTLY why you are saving that pic and she is not even slightly amused by the fact.

      Ignoring Instinctive tests still doesn’t grant the units Fearless, so most Tyranids are still looking at Ld6-8 when they start taking Morale and Pinning checks at that point. I don’t think it’s particularly powerful, and like Synapse itself it’s still reliant on a particular model staying alive.

  17. AngryPanda May 17, 2016 3:44 pm #

    Not that I’m sorry for them but a character like the Blood Angel’s Sanguinor just blows my mind. With the EW 3++ Bike Chapter Master being the be all end all measurement of Marine dudes I got to wonder what they were even thinking. I’m getting a weird sense of disconnect since my subconscious is still stuck in the 90s when BAs were GW’s chosen ones, superior to lowly vanilla Marines in every way for as long as anyone had played.

  18. KaptinDregzag May 17, 2016 4:26 pm #

    It’s weird that you can do the worst characters, and not include Kaptin Badrukk. I mean, I use him, ‘cuz he looks cool, but he is probably one of the worst Special Characters in the game. T4, 2W for 110 points, and a ranged character with BS2. I’m not even sure how to fix him (I’d start with making da Rippa master-crafted, though).

    • AbusePuppy May 17, 2016 4:42 pm #

      Just for you:

      KAPTIN BADRUKK….120pts

      WS5 BS2 S4 T4 W3 I3 A4 Ld9 Sv3+ Infantry (Character, Unique)

      Wargear:
      -Slugga
      -Choppa
      -Gitfinda
      -Stikkbombs
      -Bosspole
      -3 Ammo Runts

      Special Rules:
      -‘Ere We Go!
      -Mob Rule
      -Furious Charge
      -Independent Character

      Goldtoof Armor: Kaptin Badrukk has a 3+ armor save and a 5+ invulnerable save.

      Da Rippa: 36″ S8 AP2 Assault 3, Gets Hot, Wild Fire!
      -Wild Fire!: Any Gets Hot results for Da Rippa are resolved as usual for the weapon, but also inflict one hit on the target using the weapon’s normal profile (even when Snap Firing.)

      Loot ‘n Plunda: If Badrukk’s unit destroys an enemy unit (through either close combat or shooting) that started the game worth more points than them, you gain one Victory Point.

      • KaptinDregzag May 17, 2016 5:14 pm #

        Definitely better. Thank you, for this.

      • Calle May 18, 2016 3:41 am #

        That’s much more fun! But why make him more expensive? 110p Is expensive enough for a shooty character with BS2. I would have like him to be BS3 at least, but Wild Fire would also fix that of course.
        Another fix could be that Gitfindas always gave +1BS. It’s not very often that you stand still with orks. It would also make Flash gitz even better.

        Bozz zagstruk would be an easy fix. Just let him have the option to use his Vulcha klaws on his initiatve step with the full amount of attacks. Then you can chose if you want to use them as hammer of wrath attacks + normal cc attacks or just have more vulcha klaw attacks at initiative 1

        Snikrot could be Fearless as well as cause fear. It woulde be nice if he always had shrouded as well. But best of all would of course be if the kommandos could attack out of reserves or infiltrate. Either that or give them the option to take shootas and krak grenades, burna grenades and demolitions.

        Mad dok grotsnik should most of all be much cheaper. Cybork body should give an 5+ invulsave again. If it stays like FNP 6+ it should at least stack with FNP given from dok tools.

        • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:20 am #

          He gained a wound and two relevant abilities, so I don’t feel awful about a small price bump. Also note that if he stands still, he is functionally BS4 thanks to his Gitfinda- and his gun has slightly improved stats from the extant version as well.

          • Calle May 18, 2016 10:46 pm
            #

            Sorry missed that! Now when I read it again he looks much better 🙂

          • KaptinDregzag May 21, 2016 8:42 am
            #

            Its only a 1 point price bump as you gave him his ammo runts for free as well (I always take them, as I have them painted, anyways).

  19. Ragnulf May 17, 2016 6:25 pm #

    Somebody lend Shrike some artificer armor.

    • AngryPanda May 17, 2016 8:34 pm #

      You’d think he can get some considering that stuff is appearantly available at the clearance rack these days.

  20. Grizzyzz May 18, 2016 9:27 am #

    I would love to see something written up for Farsight. He is okay as is but deserves a Lord of War status as well as some upgrades. This guy has slain demon princes, hive tyrants, and currently can barely touch any of these guys outside of LUCK on the table. As far as his cost, generally speaking, you can build a commander that has nearly the same statline, and better wargear for cheaper.

    It would be cool if his sword granted eternal warrior at the least.. honestly that change alone makes him 100x better.

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 4:21 pm #

      Farsight s good enough that he’s making tournament appearances occasionally, so I didn’t put him in- but I agree that he often feels lackluster. I would make him Toughness 5 and give him a second shooting weapon if I were trying to make him more worthwhile- despite his fluff, he’s not really supposed to be mega-super-melee-master (and he would need MASSIVE buffs to have any chance of taking on a Daemon Prince or the like.) He’s just really good at melee _for a Tau_, and by that standard he’s amazing; he’ll carve his way through most basic infantry and whatnot pretty easily.

  21. LunaWolf May 18, 2016 11:27 am #

    I like most of these quite a bit, but Shrike still feels unfortunately poor. I don’t like the idea of tossing Eternal Warrior everywhere, but a T4 character in Power Armour is just toast, especially one who only can only get Ap2 in combat when really lucky.

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 4:18 pm #

      The idea with Shrike is that he isn’t _really_ a combat character, and never has been (in my mind at least.) His whole schtick is that he’s sneaking a unit in close to the enemy with him, which is where most of his value comes in; his own personal combat statline is not that important, because it’s not the reason you’re using him.

      But he could stand to see some other bumps, like making his claws AP2 or getting Hit and Run or something and it wouldn’t make him terribly overpowered.

  22. Deathboon May 19, 2016 12:46 pm #

    Ahriman. No Space Marine Librarians should ever be better than him. Aside from his Primarch he’s the preeminent sorcerer in the galaxy. Bring back the good ol’days Access to every power in the main book and the chaos books, and make him auto pass psychic dice (spending warp charges as a formality to prevent deny the which rolls).

    • AbusePuppy May 19, 2016 2:35 pm #

      Ahriman is actually a very powerful psyker as he stands- with a few tweaks, he could actually be quite good. Giving him access to Divination seems like a no-brainer; why Tzeentch casters can’t get it already baffles me. A Spell Familiar would also do him wonders, since that’s one of the best pieces of wargear in the CSM book. And finally, a price drop would also help a lot, since right now he’s unreasonably expensive for a T4/3+/W3 character.

      “He has every power and always passes psychic tests and is a hundred hundred feet tall and his arms are made of the strongest swords in the whole universe and he can shoot LAZER BEAM HEARING from his face” is not really a good way to rebalance a character. The goal is to make them enjoyable and usable, not start an arms race of who has the strongerest models.

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