Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Doom of My-Me-Are-Uh Craftworld Units Review

I opted to write the subtitle of the book phonetically because I've heard so many really odd mispronunciations of it recently.  I would go so far as to say this is the definitive way to pronounce it because it's the way the author (Talima Fox) pronounced it when she talked about the story line in the book during some videos FW released back in 2011 when the book first came out.

I've had the book since the beginning of December and I've been working on some new toys since its release, but I want to really look at how the book amends the Craftworld book rather than talking about the Corsairs, which are a whole different kettle of fish.

Going in order Shadow Spectres:
This unit is vastly unchanged from the online version, however they received 3+ armor now, as opposed to their previous iteration (4+) and a hefty price reduction.  The Exarch was left with only a single wound, which may be corrected through an Errata, but I'd suggest checking with your opponent if they want you to hold it to 1 wound or if they'll let you run it at 2 like every other Exarch. As another boost their holofield cover save can now interact with stealth or shrouding.

The biggest weakness of the unit is that they don't have any option to be taken in an "Aspect Host" formation.  If your opponent is cool enough to let you do that then I'd say give them a try as they really might surprise you since they have the armor save and high power weaponry that would allow them to be used aggressively and are flexible against MEQs, infantry, and even vehicles.

Warp Hunter:
This unit went up in cost a fair bit to 185, acting as a nice swap option to a Wraithfighter losing 2 WC, but gaining better firepower.  It's dispersed rule treats a 6 on the D chart as a 5 (note in the craftworld section the rule is written wrong, but in the back and in the corsair section it is listed accurately).  I still think a better D flail would have been at a single 5" blast because the D3+1 small blasts is so incredibly good, but instead it's seriously terrifying to units like the Monolith or Land Raider that would have had a reasonable chance to survive a single large blast.  This unit is no joke good.

Fire Storm:
This unit went from awful to less awful but still really bad, in part because it dropped 30 pts, yet remained 50 pts too expensive.  It's weapon seems neat, but at Str 6 is still pretty garbage against imperial flyers.  In addition skyfire isn't optional, so if you're shooting at non-flyer units it's a waste.  Realistically most players are going to hate it and think it stupid.  The rare exceptions being when you're playing against Flying Hive Tyrants or Bel'akor.

This unit had the most revolutionary change, now being a flyer that can alter its movement mode, being dragged down from being a super heavy to a standard heavy support choice, and a few other changes here and there.  Of all the changes my favorite change was to the Lynx Pulsar, having two different fire modes.  It makes the weapon feel different from a Turbo Laser and I had hoped we'd see a similar type of change to the standard pulsar for the Revanent and Scorpion, (such as a 7" single blast or 5 solid shots), but alas no such change came to the main weapon.  Nonetheless I think it's a really cool tank and if used to aggressively target a specific unit it can really make a big difference on the battlefield.

Scorpion and Cobra:
Virtually unchanged, but they no longer have titan holofields, instead getting improved holofields.  A nice change that makes them a bit more vulnerable to D weapons, but doesn't punish you for not moving them if you forget during a timed movement phase in apocalypse.

It got 20 pts cheaper, which is nice, and can now get a holofield!  overall it's okay, but I'd probably rather use a Crimson Hunter.

Phoenix Bomber:
It got 20 pts cheaper.  I liked it before with Nightfire Missiles and now it's either 20 pts cheaper, or I throw on holofields and it's 5 pts cheaper than it was... Yep, I still like it.

Vampire Raider:
the Vampire Hunter is gone.  The old center line pulsar option is gone, replaced with the Hunter style twin linked pulsar.  An absolute beast, really.  Also it has the 4++ improved holofield  The phoenix missile launchers are still a meh option, but at least it's getting two now instead of one.

It's a solid option, but it can't be part of a wraith host, so it can't gain battle focus, and that IS a weakness.

Both options are terrifyingly good.  I'm glad they upped the price from the standard, probably similar to what a normal wraithnight should be costed at for its base cost.  the webway shunt generator is pretty much only useful for popping the model into ongoing reserve and deepstriking in the following turn.  

Revenant titan:
The Wraith Titan rule makes it even more survivable, as it's really tough to hit in CC, even for other Super Heavies.  In addition it can run 12".  The revenant missile launcher has been changed.  it's no longer str 5 AP 3, but is instead Str 8 AP 3 Sunder Skyfire, interceptor.  It's really changed the role of the gun from an anti infantry weapon to anti-flyer, and adding a quality to the Revenant it never had before.

Phantom Titan:
The wraith titan rule is ported over here as well, but on the Phantom there are a lot of rule gaps compared to something like the Reaver or Warlord (the phantom really filling a spot between them).  For instance it should have a large blast stomp and be able to leave combat similar to both of them.  Surprisingly the wraith titan rule does not restrict blessings and maledictions the way the Imperial titans do, which means a single support farseer can make either titan vastly more terrifying or tougher to kill (ie. Guide, or Forewarning).  The pulsar is unsurprisingly unchanged.  It was far and away the best weapon, but now it's not so simple.  the Glaive has the spirit shock rule which if it causes damage to a super heavy means it can only snap fire the next turn and reduces attacks to 1.  In most cases that means it can't shoot its best weapons, even if it's a warlord and leaves combat.  the basic missile launcher got bumped to Str 9 and gifted with Sunder and its anti air launcher got boosted to str 8 and gifted sunder, a mild, but pleasant change.  also, you'll always get the extra 12" run move since the glaive is not a primary weapon.  However the starcannon is no longer a phantom starcannon and is just... ordinary.  2 shots at str 6.  Then the cannons in the glaive, which used to lay down 8 str 6 ap 2 shots thanks to being two cannons is now a single twin linked cannon.  I also don't know if they can be upgraded to a pulse laser or not, as I would prefer to pay 30 pts to upgrade the TL starcannons to two pule lasers. All gripes aside the best change is the Phantom D Cannon, now the D Bombard.  It's still a 10" D blast, but now it stays in play and any unit under it at the start of the opponent's turn takes a D hit, as does any unit under it at the start of the shooting phase.  This means you can lay a potential 3 hits on a unit.  It also means if you hit a transport it can then, later, kill the unit that was forced to disembark from said transport.

Next time I'll review the new formations.


  1. I recently discovered your blog and thanks for sharing. Good stuff! I'm also a long time 40K and Ulthwe' player. I got to play in a 2 day tourney last weekend and I used 2 Warp Hunters and the Deathshroud toting Skathach Wraithknight. Both units are scarily good. The d3+1 blasts are enough to drop an Imperial Knight on its own and a clumped up unit just gets hammered. However, with the -1 on the dice roll, everything still gets an applicable cover/inv save, but with enough hits, it still can overcome most issues. The Deathshroud cannon is fantastic and using it in conjunction with Warp Hunters mean you do not lose critical Destroyer Weapon shooting. The two Wraithknight varients are just plain better than stock Wraithknights and worth paying the few extra points. I did also play the new Wraithseer, but without other Wraith units, his psychics are fairly useless. I did use one with a Distortion Cannon which scares other players and he is an IC; I could join him to a squad of Guardians for extra wounds he could LoS. One player argued that he could not join as he was a MC, but the rules are fairly clear. But, I've dropped him as I didn't quite feel he was worth the 245 points.

  2. Hi Charlie. Sorry it took me so long to respond. It's always goo to meet other players and talk shop. Did you use the warp hunters in a squadron or as separate units? I'm hoping to try out the Wraithseer as part of a lord of the undying host formation.

  3. I've played the Warp Hunters both ways. I prefer running them as separate Heavy Support Choices in a CAD, however. I discovered I really never needed the combined shot that the formation provided. By having them separated, it helped me with threat overload within my list. I've had multiple opponents have difficulty with target priority which would provide me ample opportunities to outmaneuver and outshoot my opponents.

    1. The combined blast seemed a little odd to me, but the range is incredible so I could see it being a pseudo Cobra on a big enough board in an environment where Lords of War are frowned upon. My own thought of them would be having them separate as it's simply a lot of points to fire at one target.

  4. Additionally, needing both tanks get LoS and the combined shot is not barrage, but direct fire also changed a lot for me, mainly cover saves. I play 1850 as a standard sized game on a 4 x 6 size table and the 72" range was really necessary only very rarely.