Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pedro vs Helbrecht

If you’re like me (a genius who spends his time thinking about trivial things) you clearly understand that Pedro Kantor and Helbrecht are the most powerful Chapter Masters a marine army can pick in terms of buffing power.

Lysander need not apply =(


Since their buffs benefit close combat, it's a given to pair them with assault terminators, though a veteran squad with close combat weapons and plasma pistols is also quite strong consideration.  From a very basic standpoint, Pedro’s +1 attacks benefits models with fewer, but more powerful attacks whereas Helbrechts +1 Strength benefits models who are already going to hit a lot, but might need help wounding.  Also obvious, +1 attack is way more powerful in isolation, but Helbrecht slightly mitigates that by being equipped with better gear and having better CC capability.

The level basic thinking is Pedro = Thunderhammers, Helbrecht = Lightning Claws.  Does this hold up?  Let’s hammer some maths. In order to be points fair we will say that you get 6x LC termies and 5x TH termies.  For the moment we will ignore the capabilities of each character and only look at the killiness of the unit with their buff.

Pedro + 5 TH Termis (all numbers after saves, after damage)

Vs Ork Boyz = 7.5 wounds
Vs MEQ = 6.23 wounds
Vs Rhino = 21 wounds (splat!)
Vs Landraider = 12 Wounds

Pedro + 6 LC Termies

Vs Ork Boyz = 13.5 wounds
Vs MEQ = 8.9 wounds
Vs Rhino = 6.6 wounds
Vs Landraider = 2.75 wounds

Helbrecht + 5 TH Termie

Vs Ork Boyz = 5.4 wounds
Vs MEQ = 4.5 wounds
Vs Rhino = 13.5 wounds (splat)
Vs Landraider = 11 wounds

Helbrecht + 6 LC Termies

Vs Ork Boyz = 14.1 wounds
Vs MEQ = 9.33 wounds
Vs Rhino = 5.4 wounds
Vs Landraider = 4 wounds

So what patterns can we conclude here.  At the basic level, Thunderhammers are obviously lights out vs light vehicles either way.  Lightning Claws eat through infantry.  We all knew that already.  At the second level we can see just how bad ass Land Raiders are.  A unit of Thunderhammer terminators buffed by Pedro or Helbrecht aren’t capable of killing one in a single turn of combat.  That’s tough stuff.

But about the HQ boys themselves.  Pedro makes his unit killier across the board against vehicles, Helbrecht has a slight advantage against infantry.  What I was hoping to see, but didn’t, was that Helbrecht’s +1 strength would give his Lightning Claw termies a huge advantage against vehicles.  Against T7, the roll to wound is the same at Str 4 or Str 5, though.  There was a pretty noticeable advantage against T8, however, since going from 6 to 5 to wound doubles the amount of wounds you inflict.  But really, if you’re charging LC terminators into a Land Raider something bad is happening.  

Now lets look at the killing power of the Characters themselves, since it helps to consider that the character may be able to compensate for his unit’s shortcoming.

Pedro Kantor

Vs Ork Boyz = 3.7 wounds
Vs MEQ = 3.1 wounds
Vs Rhino = 7.4 wounds
Vs Land Raider = 4.4 wounds

High Marshal Helbrecht

Vs Ork Boyz = 3.8 wounds
Vs MEQ = 3.2 wounds
Vs Rhino = 3.2 wounds
Vs Land Raider = 2.6 wounds

This was… not what I was expecting.  My intuition was that 6 attacks at Str 6 that hit on 2s would have enabled Helbrecht to tear through infantry a lot better than Pedro.  But since both re-roll to hit the difference in hits was minor.  The game changer for Pedro was wounding infantry on 2+ vs Helbrecht’s 3+ helped a ton.  It should be said Helbrecht will wound T3 on 2+ as well so he should be a bit deadlier relative to Pedro there.  So while Helbrecht has a slight advantage against infantry the gap is imperceptibly small on the battlefield with a normal game’s same size.  And Pedro is much killier against vehicles.  One thing in Helbrecht’s favor is his combi-melta adds a good bit to his anti-vehicle punch, especially against T7.

What can we conclude?  Anything short of a Land Raider, give me Pedro and Lightning Claws.  Pedro and Lightning Claws will kill a Rhino in one turn, same as TH/SS.  Against infantry the Lightning Claws will murder.  The only offensive advantage of the TH terminator is against T8.  

Looking at the combos, it seems clear to me that Pedro and some Lightning Claw terminators is going to be your killiest combination against all comers.  Hopefully, your shooting can take down the T8 baddies and let the terminators kill the enemy elite infantry or shooting infantry.  Lastly, one thing in the favor of TH termies is the storm shield.  3++ save is better than ever and against enemy elite infantry who are armed with plasma pistols and power axes galore there is a bit to be said for it sacrificing some killing power to sustain some heavy hits.  In 8th you’ll typically eat a unit and then get shot at next turn either way due to fall back, so being able to survive the shooting is helpful.

But yeah, Crimson Fists looking good.



Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Getting My Feet Wet Part 2

So “shooty” Templars are a definite thing.  As you know, I prefer my shooty armies to have enough close combat abilities to defend or disable enemy threats, but as a thought exercise how about we see how extreme we can make the shootiness?



We are going to be Troop heavy anyway, so we are going to use a Battalion for some free command points, it does mean taking two HQs but as you’ll see, that only makes us more powerful bwahahahahaha!

Black Templars - Battalion Formation

Captain
-Combi Plasma
-Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=204

Captain
-Combi Plasma
-Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=204

These guys have no intention of riding in the Razorback, they are just here to unlock the extra vehicle, carry a plasmagun, and provide re-rolls to hit when we roll a 1 which is quite handy when wielding lots of plasma weapons!

Crusader Squad (5)
Sword Brother with Combi Plasma
Grav Cannon
Plasma gun
Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=236

Crusader Squad (5)
Sword Brother with Combi Plasma
Grav Cannon
Plasma gun
Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=236

Crusader Squad (5)
Sword Brother with Combi Plasma
Grav Cannon
Plasma gun
Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=236

Crusader Squad (5)
Sword Brother with Combi Plasma
Plasma Cannon
Plasma gun
Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=229

Crusader Squad (5)
Sword Brother with Combi Plasma
Plasma Cannon
Plasma gun
Razorback with Twin Las Cannon
=229

5 Crusader squads min/maxed with firepower.  Combi Plasmas everywhere and grav cannons.  The two Plasmacannon squads are where you put the Captains so they can fire overcharged shots each turn and re-roll any 1’s that come up.

Dreadnaught
2x Twin Autocannons
=136

Dreadnaught
2x Twin Autocannons
=136

Dreadnaught
2x Twin Autocannons
=136

Dreadnaughts with double twin auto cannons are really cheap gun platforms, a better value than even Razorbacks.  The auto cannons put out a ton of shots!  Each Dread pushes out 8 shots per turn at Strength 7!  

Total: 1982 points

Command Points: 6

This list is kinda nuts looking it over.  14 Lascanons, 3 grav cannons, 2 plasma cannons, 12 plasmaguns, 12 autocannons.  Thats a pretty nutty amount of firepower.  There is essentially no close combat capability whatsoever but thats the price you pay for being able to shoot your opponents’ MEQ army off the board in two turns.  Being able to charge after a deep strike or teleport or drop pod scares me a lot in 8th edition, it makes me feel like armies like this may not be viable without spending points on a bubble wrap, but this was more of me trying to see whats possible rather than what is actually best for winning a tournament.


Thoughts?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dipping My Toes Back In...

You’d thought you’d seen the last of me.  Hah!  I quit hobby for the last 4 or so years because 6th Edition 40k ruined the game as I enjoyed playing it.  You know all the criticisms: too random, too slow, too much roleplaying, clunky rules etc.  When 7th Edition came out, I looked at the rules quickly and read a bit around the community and the vibe was slightly better but I was still unimpressed.  The allies thing didn’t sit well with me, I hated the idea of competitive players being forced to bring the all star units of two or more armies and mashing them together in order to field a competitive list.  Before you list to me all the mono-army lists that were competitive don’t bother, I don’t care and 7th edition is over so no use debating it.  I just wasn’t interested in the Apocalypse non-sense and the allies, and god help us the formations which basically told competitive players: pick the formation that gets you the most free points of models and smash the other players who were too stupid to do what you did.



So yeah, typical gripes.  When 8th edition leaks started hitting, I decided to see what was up.  Lo and behold the game looks… playable again?  It looks like a much more balanced game than it has been since 5th Edition.  While I haven’t played any sample games or deep dived into the rules enough to declare whether shooting or melee or transports or whatever are “best” again.  But, while I haven’t figured the game out by any means, there are definitely some things I noticed that stood out as cool.  These will either be general things or more specifically in regards to Black Templars.  I guess I need to dip my toes in the pool again and see if I like being wet.

First up, Marines can take 5 man Tac/Crusader squads with a heavy weapon.  This is actually huge.  One strength of Black Templars in 5th Edition, and vanilla marines in 4th edition was the ability to bring a 5 man squad with a heavy weapon in a razorback which would give maximal firepower from our troops with minimal points investment.  Since vehicles appear much harder to kill in 8th, their points cost reflects this.  We will have to pay a bit more for this playstyle than 4th edition, but nonetheless, I am excited to see my shooty templars back in action.

Secondly, character Chapter master auras are insanely powerful.  Helbrect (a model I’ve never played in all my years of playing Templars, heretic I know) is amazing.  Remember, Chapter Master rerolling to-hits applies to vehicles and to shooting.  This means Helbrect inside a Land Raider Crusader can mow down a silly amount of troops or light vehicles.  Twin assault cannon gets 12 shots with rerolls to hit for Helbrect.  That’s nutty.  His reroll to hit combined with +1 strength aura means that Lightning Claw terminators are very scary.  3 Strength 5 attacks, reroll to hits, and reroll to wounds.  Thats enough rerolling to threaten Monsters and Vehicles with “only” strength 5.  But they simply chew up any infantry.  Maybe I’m being too fluffy, but I think a LRC with Helbrect and some assault terminators is too good a combo not to at least try.  It’s a bit of a fragile death star for sure.  Also, Thunderhammers don’t strike last anymore.  They do have a minus 1 to hit penalty but… Helbrect allows re-rolls to hit.  The only drawback to a Thunderhammer ball is the cost, 56 points per model is no joke.

Third, unlike vanilla marines, Crusader squads can take a heavy, special and combi-weapon in a 5 man squad.  This is pretty nuts.  Tactical squads need to take 10 man squads to bring all three which limits their ability to MSU though they can combat squad to partially mitigate this.  For Templars that just means our “close combat” army is able to out fire-power our vanilla brothers on a point for point basis.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.

All of my 5th Edition Templar lists were similarly structured: heavy long range shooting from 5 man tacs + razorbacks forced enemy to come close if they couldn’t out shoot us, and I would use my terminator assault squads in Land Raiders as counter-charge units to eat whatever of theirs got too close and was too threatening.  For the enemies who could actually beat us in a long range shooting battle the LRC and assault Termies could advance quickly to take out their best shooty units.  Will this playstyle work in 8th?  No idea, but it’s my starting point.

One thing that sorta sucks, is I dont currently own any Grav cannon models since they didn’t exist when I played.  I am reliably informed that Grav cannons are the best heavy weapon for marines.  I’d rather not buy the bits to make 6 of them if I am not sure I’ll be back to the hobby again, but just how big of a drop off is there from Grav Cannons to the next most efficient weapon?  Interestingly, Las cannons and missile launchers are equally prices at 25 points a pop, but las cannons are significantly deadlier single target.  Presumably the versatility of the missile launcher is its selling point.  I think I will at least start with Las Cannons and see how much extra anti-infantry fire I need.  Plasma Cannons also mathhammer quite well too.  

So Command Points.  Battalion brings with it an HQ and Troop Tax.  For me, the Troops I can bring are quite points efficient, however the second HQ is a bit prohibitive.  As cool as the Emperor’s Champion is, he is basically a big dumb close combat monster.  A basic Chaplain would actually be better since it at least buffs the guys with him.  But I genuinely don’t want a second HQ, especially a big dumb close combat monster, because it’s points that should go to shooting.  So the Emperor’s Champion is, essentially, a big dumb close combat character with two bonus command points.  Maybe I’m wildly off base, but in an army with a lot of redundant shooting and close combat I shouldn’t need the re-rolls that much.  Maybe time will tell and those CP are more valuable than I expected?

That said, here is my Shooty Templar 8th Edition 2000 starter list!

Black Templars - Vanguard Detachment

Helbrect - 170
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Crusader Squad (5) - 103
-Las cannon
-Plasmagun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Crusader Squad (5) - 103
-Las cannon
-Plasmagun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115


Crusader Squad (5) - 99
-Plasma Cannon
-Plasma Gun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Land Raider Crusader - 244

Terminator Assault Squad (7) - 392
-7x TH/SS

Total: 1979

Command Points: 4

Lean and mean.  Not a ton of models on the battlefield actually, but really good close combat units and also quite good shooting.  10 las cannons, 1 plasma cannons, 2 assault cannons, 12 Autocannons, and three plasma guns.  Not exactly withering firepower but considering assault terminator unit point investment its nothing to sneeze at.  I could imagine a shootier version that ditches the terminators and LRC entirely, brings more shooty units, and a bare bones HQ choice along with combi-plasma guns on all the Sword Brethren to maximize the fire power.

In previous editions, I would probably never consider a single-rock Land Raider unit.  However, the chances of a Land Raider being destroyed on the first or second turn are now really low from what I can estimate.  I’m really excited to see if that holds up in actual playing.


It will be interesting to see how “troop centric” 8th Edition is, or if small elite armies can win battles.  I can’t wait to see.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Remember That Time Games Workshop Ruined Warhammer Fantasy?

I do!  

I miss my Dark Elf Lord.

Remember when 8th Edition came out and there was legit hype that we might finally get a ruleset on par with 40k 5th Edition?  I do!

Remember when they almost actually did it, except the Magic phase was grossly overpowered compared to the rest of the game and if they had only toned down the magic phase they would have had a game that had great rules, the same great minis, and the awesome variety of army that doesn't exist in Space Marine dominated 40k?  I do!

Remember when they took our feedback ("magic phase is too OP") and instead of tweaking it and perfecting their game, they doubled down on it with the expansion that BUFFED THE GODDAMN MAGIC PHASE and made magic even more gamebreaking?  I do!

Remember when that effectively killed the game and all of us threw our hands up and said "fuck this, I'm going back to 40k?"  I do!

Remember when they subsequently fucked up 40k?!  I do!

Remember when they desperately tried to cash in on the last bit of community goodwill for Fantasy with the End Times expansion which basically added more BS over the top units, merged all the armies into a play-whatever-you-want-yolo mess which destroyed the flavor of the individual armies which was the best goddamn part of Fantasy in the first place?  I do!

Remember when they scrapped Warhammer Fantasy and replaced it with a little kid miniatures game that would be most ideally played with pre-painted unit ala Clix and the game was designed solely to appeal to little kids who like 40k but doesn't actually interest little kids and ofcourse Fantasy vets aren't interested because the game is complete horse shit garbage?  I do!

______

What should you take away from this?  That GW has absolutely no understanding of who their Fantasy audience was, what they wanted from the game and essentially delivered the exact opposite of what was needed on multiple occasions.  Gamers have not abandoned Fantasy: we are still interested in WHFB.  We would still play warhammer fantasy battles if there were solid rules and support.  Pro tip: release WHFB 8th edition, but eliminate every magic spell above number 3 in every magic line and you instantly have a game that is fun, balanced and playable.

RIP WHFB.  It wasn't euthanasia, it was a murder.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stupidity on the Internet: BOLS Edition

OMG hi everyone.  I was roused out of my torpor by one of the dumbest articles I've read on the 40k blogosphere in ages.  While I don't play 40k anymore, I still do my best to keep up with it because who knows, something may happen that causes me to jump back into the hobby with a vengeance.  Once a competitive player, always a competitive player.

In ages past this segment was always one of my most popular but also got a lot of hate thrown my way.  The good news is now that I am not part of "the community" I don't care about the hate!  Today's subject is this abortion:  http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2015/02/40k-deep-thought-40k-7th-ed-less-competitive-40k-5th-ed.html



Not gonna lie, this article is atrociously written.  From the start it seems to fail to meet the same level of professionalism from most BOLS articles, which implies whatever that standard means to you.

The author of this piece seems to argue (because he isn't bold enough to actually come out and state his thesis directly) that 7th edition is just as competitive as 5th edition.  His arguments exclusively fall into the "back in my day" line of argumentation.  He cites the flavor of the month tournament lists from each previous edition as evidence that the game has always been poorly balanced.  Congrats dude.  You cited the names of lists.  I guess that about wraps up the debate!  

Me:  5th Edition was the most competitive edition of 40k
Him:  LOL LEAFBLOWER LOLZ
Me:  How can anyone argue with logic like that?!  I surrender!

Ummmmm no.  Sorry bro, that doesn't settle anything.  I don't care if vehicles were insanely overpowered in 3rd edition, that has no bearing on 5th edition.  Many a good tournament player from the 5th edition era will tell you that the original leafblower list wasn't all that good after the first few months in the metagame.  5th Edition was about mech and shooting, and that list was definitely that.  But it took advantage of players who hadn't fully adapted to the "mech and shooting" metagame of 5th edition.  Once the community adapted, by adding more anti-mech firepower and bringing "mech and shooting" lists of their own I would argue that the leafblower list wasn't even that good.  There were MANY lists I was much more afraid of running into at NOVA than mechguard,  

There were a couple traits that made 5th Edition the golden age of competitive 40k, traits that are missing now.

1.  Simplicity:  Stelek's 5x5 and the NOVA variation thereof created a very MOBA-like battlefield where everyone was on even ground.  There were no asymmetrical scenarios.  If I have to explain why asymmetrical scenarios are non-competitive in tournament play you should probably stop reading and attend to your head trauma.  Hell, even if you stuck to the 3 (yes 3) book scenarios the missions were at least relatively symmetrical.  No matter which side of the scenario you rolled you had a more or less equal chance of winning.  The same cannot be said of 7th edition.  In 7th the scenario you roll is very capable of determining the winner before the first bolter is fired in anger.  Sure TOs can ignore all that and run tournaments the way they were run in 5th edition, but they shouldn't have to.

2.  Variance.  Any game with as much dice rolling as WH40k has going to have lots and lots of variance.  In ANY game, the better players desire less variance and worse players desire more variance.  There is a healthy balance between luck vs skill.  A skillful player should be favored to beat a less skilled play in a healthy game.  But there should be enough variance so that a less skilled player can still pull off and upset some amount of time.  5th Edition struck a good balance between the two.  I've seen some savage losses to bad rolls, some close games that shouldn't have been close and some other games where the dice had very little say in the matter, the skill gap being that wide.  Quite frankly, all the RPG elements in 6th and 7th edition added too much variance.  Warlord traits being rolled adds stupid variance.  Random charge distance added stupid variance.  The scenarios (mentioned above) added too much variance.  Even worse: a lot of these things are rolled before the game even starts.  Having the outcome of the game tipped in one player's favor before the game starts based purely on luck is ridiculous.

3.  Balance.  Was 5th edition perfectly balanced?  Hell no.  There were plenty of armies that were at a distinct disadvantage ::cough:: Nids and Orks ::cough:: but the tiers were not NEARLY so pronounced as in 7th edition.  In 5th Edition I could play against a "tier 1 list" with my "tier 3" Black Templar army and get a close game.  It was not a forlorn conclusion.  I won several 5th edition tournaments with Black Templars, which were not considered an especially powerful army.  Sure this is anecdotal but everyone would agree that the distance between the best list in the worst book to the best list in the best book were significantly smaller than it is today.  This matters.  It matters a lot.  Saying "LOL Leafblower" is meaningless.  Leafblower wasn't anywhere near as dominant as Eldar or Tau are in 7th.  

So that's my case for 5th edition as a more competitive format: it had significantly better army balance, lower variance, and better scenario symmetry.  Now that I've made my case let's get into the fun...

"Balance – lol that one is a red herring. Most guys that want competitive tournaments actively try to break the game in the list building phase. The list building phase is the biggest factor in tournament gaming if you are playing to win – show up with a weak list and no matter how good you are you are going to be at a severe handicap."

Everyone tries to make the best list they can. Duh.  No one is arguing that 5th edition allowed people to play weak lists and be competitive.  In fact, that would be the sign of a non-competitive game.  5th Edition, as I said, had smaller space between the tiers and more codices had relevant tournament lists.

"Still others cite shoddy rules – but again the rules have always been complained about. Every edition there have been reams of threads about how crappy the rules are, but still tournament players were content with rolling until 6th."

The rules could always be improved regardless of the edition, no one is arguing that.  What you miss is the qualitative difference.  If the rules of 5th edition were bad and complaint-worthy, and 7th Edition is also bad and complaint-worthy that doesn't mean that 5th and 7th are equally bad.  One can be bad, but still vastly better by comparison.

"I think the biggest change that is commonly griped about are two fold:
1) allies
2) forge world"


These DO matter.  The option to include allies and OTT forgeworld bullshit means that any chance of balance between individual codices is ruined.  GW made the list-building so open-ended that there is no reasonable way to balance them competitively.

"In 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition there were usually three power builds that the vast majority of players took (i am speaking from heavy 3rd and 4th tournament experience and saw it in 5th after i had gotten out of tournament play)."

That's right folks:  you're being lectured on tournament balance between 5th and 7th edition by a guy who hasn't played in a tournament in a decade or more and hasn't played in a competitive tournament in either of the two editions he is talking about.

"Today you can face six or seven power lists and the listbuilding phase is much harder to win in."

This is where the author lets you know the reason people hate 7th edition is because there are TOO MANY good lists, rather than too few.  You see, us bad tournament players apparently like it when there are only a handful of lists to prepare for since our pea-brains can't handle anymore.  Once you introduce "six or seven" possible tournament armies our donkey brains can't cope and we just say the game is broken.  That's a weird conclusion to draw when I can argue (as someone who actually played 5th edition tournaments, as opposed to the BOLS writer) that were were many, many competitive lists in 5th edition, and based on everything I see now, there are far fewer good options in 7th.  

Well that's it.  I'm going to crawl back into my cave.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dark Elves Army Book: Initial Impressions Part 2

I'm back already.  I wasn't kidding when I threatened to said I would post again.  You wanted it, you got it.  I want to do the next section of the Dark Elves Army Book impressions.  Again, I want to stress I haven't played this book yet, or a game of Fantasy itself in almost two years so there is a good chance my impressions of the viability of units is 100% wrong.  If I am wrong, please explain why in the comments so I can learn what's good more quickly.


Lords and Heroes

Dreadlord - In the last book with it's OP magic items, we had the "unkillable" dreadlord with a 1+/2++/4+regen save, often mounted on a Pegasus who causes all sorts of trouble.  Now, unfortunately, it appears you cannot really craft a DL that is worth the points.  Taking advantage of the 100 points of magic items is hardly worth it with such a paltry selection and it seems like there is no reason to bring this guy, unless you wanted a dragon mount which is hardly worth it.  I feel a pretty big 'pass' here.

Supreme Sorceress - The level 4 wizard is a pretty obligatory choice so unless I see some reason here not to take this... nope.  Give her a Sacrificial Dagger and a large unit of Spearmen, Lore of Shadow and she is good to go.

High Beastmaster - Hmmm.  Stats are in between a dreadlord and a master, but it gets a free Manticore or Chariot.  The selling point here is the Chariot with its Ravager Harpoon.  A strength 7 d3 wound bolt thrower that can move and shoot is pretty nifty but this is quite a bit of points for that.  I think I would pass.

Blackark Fleetmaster - A weird choice.  Show No Weakness is geared towards a character winning challenges being part of a unit.  So to maximize this, he has to be set up to win challenges by have his unit lose the fight.  I'm not a fan.

Sorceress - Lowbie wizard who for 115 points can get Tome of Furion and a Dark Pegasus to unleash a Black Horror that devastates the enemy.  I might not be able to find points for that in a 2000 point list, but I could see one in a 2500 list to cause chaos.

Master - This is the affordable combat character choice.  Last edition I liked this guy on foot in a unit of Executioners or on a Chariot.  You can't give a deathhag BSB anymore unless I'm reading this wrong, so this seems fairly obligatory in most lists to me.  Perhaps not on a chariot but existing in some form.

Deathhag -  I'm a huge fan of the Cauldron of Blood and what it does for your army.  Frenzy is often maligned as allowing your opponent to control you, but the other side of the coin is that it allows you to dictate the flow of the game.  I'm a fan.

Assassin - Playing with an Assassin is like playing with a unit that has Frenzy in a way.  If you play to maximize the Assassin it becomes obvious to your opponent that you have one.  The best use of an Assassin is always to kill your opponent's level 4 wizard early in the game, but most players go to great pains to keep their level 4 out of combat early so it will be pretty difficult to get that done.  Really cool theme but I don't think it is practical now.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?