Friday, April 8, 2011

Old vs New: Assassins

OK, so I stole the title from the Nostalgia Critic, but past that today we are going to compare the old daemon hunter/witch hunter assassins against the new Grey knight assassins and see which ones i think are personally better.
So lets start at the top. in both versions assassins come in four types (we are not going to talk about death cult assassins in this post) representing the four major assassin temples; the Callidus, the Eversor, the Culexus, and the Vindicare.

In the old version all the assassins had a BS, WS, and I of 5 a S and T of 4, 2 wounds 3 attacks ld 10 and a 4+. they also had fearless a 4++ and infiltrate. thats some pretty awesome stuff right there. of course there are a few down sides. assassins could never join a unit, enter a vehicle, or count as scoring. also, you had to include an inquisitor to filed one and you could only have a max of one.
The new ones had their BS and WS raised to 8, their I to 7, an extra attack and gained a 6+ feel no pain. they also have Move through cover, Fearless, Fleet, and frag grenades. also they no longer require an inqusitor to use and each type counts as a unique infantry so technically you can have three assassins in your standard FOC, they all just have to be different types. the down side to them is they are about 20pts more then their fore runners.
ok so over all though the new ones are more expensive they have fantastic stats and really good special rules standards, and frag grenades standard as any assault unit should have. the only thing i miss is the infiltrate standard because that helps a lot of the assassins out but we will talk about that in the specific examples.


The old Callidus had a C'tan phase sword which was a power weapon that ignored all saves (sick!), a neural shredder which was a s8 ap1 temple weapon taken against the opponents ld instead of t, polymorphine which basically let her apear anywhere on the field when she came in and move normal (so assault after deep strike with out scattering basically), and posion blades which gave her an extra attack at the end of combat that always wounds on a 4. for special rules she had jump back which gave her hit and run as long as she rolled better than a 1 on 1d6, and a word in your ear which allowed you to move one enemy unit up to 6" after deployment but before the first turn. All that makes for one mean disruptive hq killing monster.
the new one stil has the sword but now it is a power sword that auto causes instant death (like AL'Rahem), the same neural shredder except it is now a pistol instead of assault 1, and polymorphine changed a bit. now when she becomes available from reserves she does d6 s4 ap2 hits to a target unti and then deapstrikes within 3" of said unit with out scattering. she also has hit and run and stealth.
so the new one can't assault when she arrives but still has the same basic equipment. frankly i think i prefer the new sword over the old just because it means she will kill hqs faster (only needs one unsaved wound to succeed). i wish she still had a word in your ear but it doesn't detract too much from the new one to not have it. really the new one is about as good alittle better at killing if she can get into assault which she will need help to do. so support her.
my verdict NEW Callidus is a little better.


OK always a fun guy. designed to kill psykers lets see what he can do. so the old one has psykout grenades, etherium, and the animus speculum. as well as the special rules psychic abomination, souless, psyker assassin, and life drain (another guy with a lot of stuff). ok so what this all means is that you have to succeed a ld test to see him in the shooting phase (if you fail you may target a different unit), his grenades are a 6" shooting attack which causes a targeted psyker to make a ld test and for each point he fails by to loss 1 wound. the speculum his main weapon is a 12" s5 ap1 assault2 that gets an addintional attack for each psyker in 12". also any psyker within 6" must make a ld check on their turn or fall back. any model with in 12" of him is ld7 (unless they wound be lower), he can specifically target psykers in the shooting phase regardless of wheather they are in a unit and can avoid other models to get into close combat with a psyker. and finally if in close combat with a psyker before atacks are made both roll a 2d6 and add ld if the culexus wins the psyker losses with no save allowed. so this guy is really geared for psyker kill and also does not play well with others so keep him away from your guys.
the new guy has the speculum also and it is exactly the same. the etherium but now its a ld check on 3d6, a psyocculum which gives him bs10 if shooting a unit with a psyker and psyk-out grenades which now reduce daemons and psykers to I1when the culexus assaults them. so alot cool stuff but a lot better in my opinion. with the enhanced etherium hes harder to shoot which is great and with out the soulless rules he can now combo with the rest of your army most of which are psykers, so if he is near your forces he gets a huge shooting boost which makes for a great anti infantry unit. this guy kills psyker battle squads, i mean you get them out of their hard shell with anything else and then bam, a minimum of 12 bs10 s5 shots into a t3 unit they are soooo dead.
Verdict. again the new one just synergies better with an army. the old one is really cool and has some great abilities but the new one is just a little more stream lined.


ok so this Marbo on crack has a power weapon, melta bombs, an executioner pistol (combi bolt pistol, needle pistol (sx ap6 always wounds on 4+)), a Neuro-gauntlet which was a power weapon that always wounded on 4+ and always glanced vehicles on a 6+ regadless of armor value, and combat drugs which gave him a 12" charge and d6 extra attacks on a charge instead of +1. he also had fast shot, which stopped working once 5th started so we won't go into it, and bio meltdown!. bio-meltdown! meant that when he lost his last wound you centered a small blast over him and all units under it took a S5 hit. Over all i loved this guy. I still use with my witch hunters. hes the cheapest assassin and is really the master of killing troops and causing mayhem. he was simple and effective to use killing just about any basic troopers you put in his way.
And the new one? hes got the executioner pistol which is now 12" s4 ap2 poison (2+), melta bombs, neuro gauntlet (counts as lightning claw), frenzon (gives him his d6 extra attacks on the charge) and furious charge. not a bad set up. hes good at the assault but he has no reliable way to get in. he doesn't have stealth for enchanced cover he no longer has a calvary charge, and he can't infiltrate/outflank. so how do you get him into the assault with out borrowing some one elses transport? good question.
Verdict. the old is much better. the new one may hit harder on the assault but he has no built in reliable way to get there in my opinion. the old one could almost always get in and hit pretty hard always wounded on 4+ or better frankly and then takeing people out with him. to be honest i was greatly disappointed with the new version of this guy. at best hes a lone khorne berserk er now instead of the shadow of death looming over all your tiny week troopers. big fail on this one.


the unfeeling master of shooting lets see what this guy can do. originally he had a spy mask which reduced you cover save by one and made his night fighting vision roll a 2d6x5 instead of 2d6x3. he also had a stealth suit which made it always night fighting when trying to shoot at him basically. the exitus pistol which was a s5 ap2 12" pistol, and the exitus rifle. which was a 36" hits on 2+ ap 2 sniper rifle which could use 3 special rounds, though it could only use each round once per game. the shield breaker ignored invulnerable saves, the turbo-penetration did 2 wounds to target or 3d6 armor pen, and the helfire which wounded on 2+. he also had marksman which let him declare what model he was shooting at and shoot at any model in range and line of sight regardless of restrictions (letting him shoot into close combat and killing all your hidden power fists =)).
now he has blind grenades, stealth, infiltrate, and deadshot (wounds caused by vindicare are allocated by vindicare's controller). and his guns have changed slightly. they both are now Sx AP1 sniper weapons, with the pistol being 12" and a pistol and the rifle being 36" heavy 1. also both guns can use the special ammo which they must declare which type at the beginning of users turn, and oh yeah all special ammo is unlimited now. the hellfire is the same. the shield breaker now permanently removes an invulnerable save given by items or war gear immediately upon allocating the wound (so before the target gets to save). and the turbo-penetrator still inflicts 2 wounds instead of one to target (so you roll to hit once then roll to wound once and if you succeed the model takes 2 wounds...saves if any allowed), or rolls 4d6 for armor pen.
Verdict. its a close call the old had some nice defense with the night fight rule and nice offense with the shooting into close combat and reduction of cover saves. but the new can still shoot whom ever he wants can use special rounds in both guns and can always use special rounds which is a huge bonus. i have to say though i love the old the new is a fine remodeling of this hard core sniper.

Over all i guess i am more or less happy. the Vindicare is still good (probably better), the Culexus synergies better and is easier to use, the Callidus is ok, and the Eversor is meh. really the only disappointment for me is the Eversor. he just doesn't have that same crazy charm he used to. maybe he is better in play, which i will find out eventually. but i have a feeling that he will only play in my witch hunter now and when they get updated he will go to the shelf and only come out when i need renegade or chaos counts as marbo for my guard.

well I hope you enjoyed this wall of text. i got a silly grey knight Inquisition list in my head that i might talk about next post., but who knows something cooler might pop up then. Questions, Comments and Criticism always welcomed.

Until next time,
May the Emperor Protect.

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