Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sagas in Sixth: Part II

Here I am again, taking another look at how the Space Wolf Sagas are holding up in 6th edition. In my last post I looked at the first 3 that appear in the Codex and now I'm here to move ever further into the glorious world of Honour and Nobility (capital letters not necessarily required)

Here's a little link to part I in case you want to read it and can't be found elsewhere.

On with the show.

Much like this, only with more armour. And hair.

Saga of the Hunter

Effect: Grants the character the Outflank and Stealth special rules
Oath: This character should be held in reserve at the start of the game.

Comment: This is perhaps, for me at least, one of the most interesting Sagas. To start off, this can only be taken on Wolf Priests or Wolf Guard Battle Leaders (referred to as WGBLs from now on). This is sad in that there's no ultra Wolf Lord coming on from your enemies flank, but I believe they are better served deployed in your ranks anyway to bolster your troops with their prowess from Turn 1 and to benefit from multiple targets drawing fire away from them.

Looking at the benefits now. With the new rules for Outflank, only 1 model in a unit need possess it to grant the whole unit the ability. Basically, almost every unit in the Space Wolf codex can Outflank, so long as they are joined by a character with this saga. So, outflanking Thunderwolves anyone? How about Grey Hunters, with plasma weapons up to the eyeballs? No? Well, when I first read this I thought "AWESOME!! That's going to ruin anyone's day." but a word of caution. As most people will no doubt know already, you can't assault on the turn you arrive from reserve. This means that no matter what you are going to take 1 turn's worth of shooting. In the middle of enemy lines. There's very little that can survive that. This can be mitigated however, the Saga also grants Stealth, which is handily passed onto the joined unit also, so you can hug cover in case your opponent trains the big guns on you. Mostly however, you'll have to either, pray to Russ they survive that turn, offer up a couple of other threats to try and force your opponent to split fire between them or just resign yourself to the fact that your unit has gained the rest of your army a turn's breathing space. A lot easier to do if you haven't invested a lot of points in the outflanking unit (WGBLs are best here as they're cheaper than Priests. Also I still want to Outflank Thunderwolves and they're the only ones with access to the mount and the Saga. I'm going to make this work. Honest).

Now, my discussion so far has only covered the outflanking possibilities. The Oath states that you should start in reserve and if you do so Outflanking gets you closer to the enemy (if you need to be, with the choice to deploy at the back of your force should you need objective support or such) so seems like a pretty obvious choice. I have seen talk about using this in large units to just hug cover and walk up the field. This is a fair enough tactic, but it has got worse in this edition due to the overall lowering of cover saves (you'll now only really get 4+ instead of the 3+ before). It also violates the Oath. I couldn't do that, but for others it's not such a problem.

Rating  6/10    (fun, but can be a lot of points for a suicide squad)

Sorry I'm late, I was too busy being AWESOME

Saga of the Warrior Born

Effect: Character gains bonus attacks each round equal to the amount of models he killed in the previous assault phase.
Oath: This character must kill at least 10 models over the course of the game.

Comment: This is currently the Saga I've been using most. I would like to say that I think it is darn cool, as a rule and as an image. Who doesn't want their prized HQ cutting swathes through whole units on his own (melons as he prefers a Haemonculus but he's an exception)? It's also fairly easy to get your head around, so long as you can keep a kill tally for your next turn. This Saga is available to all the generic HQs, but I would advise against putting it on a Rune Priest as I think if he's in a position to need this he won't be doing many of his psychic powers so he's a little wasted. I think it should work pretty well on all the others, of course, it's best on a Wolf Lord as they start off with the highest number of attacks to help start building this up.

There are, however, a couple of things you have to keep in mind with this saga. First of all, it is stated 'previous assault phase'. Now, having looked at this carefully this must refer to the assault phase previous including your opponent's. I have made this mistake in the past, if you kill, say, 8 guys in your turn and the rest run. You won't get those bonus attacks unless your opponent assaults you because they will be gone by your next turn.

Another point that is easier to see is how this is a horde killer Saga. For this reason get stuck into them, the sooner you start killing them the sooner you build up your kill count and the faster you go through them. Characters with this Saga are designed to grind through, say Termagants. They can take bigger stuff like Termies but as they come in smaller, tougher units you won't get the biggest benefits. Stick to the weak stuff when you can and hit the heavier units either when you have a big bucket of attacks built up or when you have to to shut them down. You can't really go too far wrong if you follow that plan.

The Oath for this Saga will sort itself out if you get your Wolf Lord into combat. Don't worry too much, 10 models isn't that much against the typical units that you'll want to wipe up. Challenges are probably not something you want to be calling, but if you need to get rid of certain characters or HQs then don't worry too much. If you win you'll still get 1 bonus for next turn.

Rating: 7.5/10  (useful against some units, but not all. Also quite expensive)

You've got something in your eye...or you're about to have.

Saga of the Beast Slayer

Effect: The character rerolls failed rolls to hit against walkers, monstrous creatures and models with a toughness of 5 or more.
Oath: Kill one of the above before the game ends.

Comment: number 1 all-rounder choice. For the bargain price of 10pts any generic HQ can have some insurance against big gribblies. I don't know how I can fault this really, I'd pick it up whenever I have points (and no other Saga on the character of course).

First off, if you know your opponent will bring one of the above then this is a great counter, if you can guarantee hits that's half the dice rolling that you have to worry about. Naturally, a lot of the time you won't know what your opponent is going to bring so there will be times when this cannot be used but I think for 10pts you've not really lost much, and perhaps gained a safety net. Now, it may not sound like a lot of a boost (rolling to wound is going to be harder as what you are hitting will have a high toughness) but think about it, Wolf Lords or WGBLs often have high strength weapons (thunder hammers or even a frost blade) so benefit from the extra hits more as that is where they are lacking a boost, if you will. Wolf Claws can automatically choose rerolls to wound and you get both that and rerolls to hit. Wolf Priests have a 'Power Maul' (essentially) so have an improved strength and Rune Priests can hope to wound once to Force-explode (personal term) them. The Rune Priest figure (one of my favourites) also comes with an axe so has +1 S anyway.

If that's not swung you to looking favourably at this Saga I don't know what will. The Oath is another easy one to fulfil, if the Saga ever comes into effect then you will (dice gods obliging) achieve it. It's a win win in my opinion

Oh and I'd love to see a monstrous creature with a toughness 4 or lower...

Rating 9/10  (occasionally will have no effect, but otherwise a solid choice)

I wish I was an iron wolf....

Saga of the Iron Wolf

Effect: +1 to repair rolls and +d3 to vehicle movement
Oath: End the game in the enemy deployment zone

Comment: Confession time. I have never used this Saga. I have also never used an Iron Priest. I have never used a transport vehicle (bar a Storm Raven, and even then I don't like putting guys in it). I guess if you were going to use an Iron Priest 15pts isn't too much to spend for this. The d3 movement bonus is ok but consider it a tiny buff as it's only going to be 3" at best, I don't see that as a great benefit. The +1 to repair is nice, but it's more expensive than a thrall servitor who could also catch bullets for your Priest. You could ride him inside a transport (with a unit) keeping it's hull points up to try and drive further into enemy territory but most of the time you won't want to go that far, or be able to keep the hull points regenerating fast enough (you'll only succeed half the time without any servitors)

The Oath's good in that if you succeed with it you'll get a Line Breaker victory point but it means you have to be in a transport so he can't repair any shooty tanks (like getting a Vindicator its gun back) unless you're in a Land Raider and that's another 250-ish pts.

Rating: 2/10 (I don't see the appeal really, if anyone does I'll be happy to hear it)

So we reach the end of the road (for Sagas at least) I hope this mini-series has been at least interesting if not helpful. Thanks for reading.

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