Hey everyone, Reecius here with a tactica on Imperial Assassins! Which one do I think is the best of the bunch? Read on to find out.
Imperial Assassins have been all the rage lately due to their awesome new rules, generous pricing and the flexibility with which they can be added to an Imperial army for 1CP and 85pts left off of your list. Plus, the models are amazing, their lore is on point and they’re a lot of fun to use. However, there’s been a lot of debate as to which Assassin is the best to pick. While that will ultimately depend on your personal preference, list, play-style, opponent and the terrain you find yourself playing on, let’s dig into my top pick and why.
For reference, I typically play with the execution force as I really enjoy using all of the Assassins. However, by playing with all four on a regular bases I really get a feel for which of them consistently performs the best.
Popular Opinion: Vindicare
The Vindicare is easily the most popular of the Assassins among general consensus. It’s easy to see why, he’s got a lethal long range weapon that ignores invul saves and he’s hard to kill. However, in my experience he’s still very swingy. In a dozen games he’s killed an enemy character in a single shot 3 times. In most games, he only shoots a character a few times as my opponents stay out of line of sight. Plus, when he doesn’t have good targets he just doesn’t do a whole lot, maybe kill an infantry model a turn. Vs. targets that are not Infantry you have to rely on a lot of luck to get any damage out of him. And, pro-tip: the Bike Smash Captain (who is a beast) is not Infantry! You’re wounding them on 4’s or even 5’s in some cases. Any model with a 2+ save also is going to have a 5+ save which with a re-roll bumps up to a roughly 55% chance to stop damage.
So is he bad? Not at all, he’s a great deal for the points and if you find yourself facing lots of squishy characters such as GSC, Astra Militarum, 4 wounds Marine characters, etc., the Vindicare is a great choice. However, when I only can take 1 Assassin, he’s typically my last choice.
Popular Opinion #2: Eversor
The second most popular Assassin I see spoken of is the Eversor. And he’s a beast, no doubt about it. His ability to walk through hordes makes him very appealing and if you find yourself facing Boyz, big units of Guardsmen, Bloodletter Bombs, etc. then he’s a great choice. I really enjoy using my Eversor and he’s typically my number 2 choice for an Assassin when only taking 1. Ironically though, he’s not always that good at killing enemy characters unless they’re quite squishy, he’s more of a supplement to your list for clearing hordes out. Often my lists don’t need that role filled from an Assassin as other units check those boxes, but if you do find yourself needing extra crowd control he’s an awesome choice.
The Culexus is so good but often not the best fit in a list, particularly when only taking a single assassin via the stratagem. However, in the right context this is a beast of a model and can really swing the game in your favor if played correctly. When I take the Execution Force, even with no obvious targets the Culexus is amazing for holding objectives and tar-pitting scary units for a few turns. In all: I am never sad I brought her but only choose her if I am facing a psychic heavy army and am only bringing one Assassin along.
Reecius’ Pick: Callidus
The Callidus is my hands down favorite and the Assassin I most frequently take. Why? She consistently kills the most enemy characters in my experience and has proven to be generally the most useful of them all. Now, YMMV of course but in a lot games I find she consistently outperforms the others. The ability to increase CP cost for your opponent cannot be undervalued but really it’s the ability to pop in very close to enemy units, making it almost impossible to screen her out, and then deal serious damage in melee that I find so useful. She can easily kill things like a Smash Captain in a single round of combat. Squishy targets like Astra Militarum characters stand almost no chance against her baring fluky dice, and cannot hide behind walls, etc. as they can vs. a Vindicaire. She’s also no slouch vs. large units. I’ve had her singlehandedly defeat a unit of 15 Bloodletters as just one example. Popular melee units that rely on an invul save and/or FnP such as Genestealers, Ork Boyz, Plague Bearers, etc. find themselves stopping little to no damage from her due to her ignoring invul saves and overcoming FnP with 2 damage per wound.
Plus, the turn after she arrives and typically smokes her target (earning you a CP), she can leave combat and still charge, which is great, or advance and charge, giving her a big threat radius plus it also boosts her melee defense with a -1 to be hit. Her pistol consistently deals mortal wounds to help chew through tougher opponents. Generally speaking she’s my go to girl and I have never been disappointed when I choose her as my solo Assassin. When I take the Execution Force, she’s usually my most impactful of the four. Lastly, she’s also the least CP reliant of the Assassins. She tends to require minimal investment on my part to get maximum results.
Which of the Assassins is your favorite?
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