Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Journey to a Throne of Skulls: Bang Goes the Theory

I have always liked the old adage that no plan survives contact with the enemy.
This is relatively true especially when you chuck six sided cube shaped things in with numbers on them into the mix. So I’m having a bit of a conundrum, Inquisitor or stalker, that is the question.

On the surface of things the inquisitor seems to win out. The servo skulls for nine points effectively shuts down scout moves and severely restricts infiltrators. An extra roll on divination is handy but how effective is it? I’ve played three games with him so far, two at 1850 with the Memphiston option and it has all been okay but not earth shattering good. None of the games utilised the servo skulls which in real terms would only come into their own against a white scar bike list or flesh hound list. This begs the question of how scared am I of these two builds and is it really that necessary against them to win?

Base coated and washed' Memphiston,' Sons of Horus 'Little'' Horus Aximand.
It's all about applying the fluff.

The problem in my most recent game was that the inquisitor got sniped out by a thunderfire cannon on turn two.  His double act with Memphiston was the only viable target and a fortuitous scatter combined with four wounds and two lookout sir failures splattered him. Also I may need to review the process of rolling for his powers first. Although there is the theory of one in the bank by rolling first by rolling last it gives me the option of opting for prescience. I have had two games where both the inquisitor and Tigurius have had perfect timing, which on paper sounds great but at the expence of prescience. This means a bit of juggling with the inquisitor to get him to join to the unit to be able to use it. It forced me to put Memphiston in a different place than I had originally intended.

The stalker has not had a fairy tale adventure either although has one storm talon to its name and two hull points off a night scythe. Against the current meta builds it does offer some ground fire against skimmers and something to bother flying monstrous creatures, but requires a bit of luck to be effective. It does offer a mobile wall capacity and an anti-air threat that maybe a case of its bark being worse than its bite. Playing with people’s minds is always good though.  Blocking is an important part of this army and having another option to block with is looking rather good again.

So many Heresy era vehicles are ending up in the current codex

The question I have to ask myself is which can offer more overall over five games. Can I play round a heavy alpha striking scout list with what I have with possibly using an infiltrating scout unit as a speed bump? The extra psychic power has proved a bit of a tie in regards to set up and placement. The stalker was never going to be game breaking but more of a load lightener, distraction and blocking unit. The Inquisitor on the other hand is a bit squishy, possible first blood liability.

Another option is to change the stalker to a hunter. When you factor in rolling to hit and armour pen rolls the stalker is on average against AV12 better than the hunter to get a penetration but the hunter is more likely to blow it up or at least lock its velocity which can be big. The hunter may scare the opponent more as it has better potential to destroy their flyers as well as the savant lock for missed hits. So far in games against AV12 flyers the stalker really has not featured on their target priority. Even against some Necron croissants it really did not feature on the shooting list. This has lead me to think about trying the hunter in a few games just to see how it goes. You never know what a heat seeking missile may make someone do if it is trained up their favourite flyer’s arse.

One of the bonuses is that it may force me to use it as more of a blocking unit in games where flyers  or skimmers are in short supply. The stalker leaves the temptation to shoot still due to the twin linked weapons or split fire option.  I have two practice games left at best so I am going to give it a whirl whilst painting it up as I never stick top bits to rhinos and the like just so I can swap weapon options and so forth.  The Hunter/stalker kit is really good in this regard. Something else to do now to while away these winter nights.

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