Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tactics: chaos Warpsmiths

The chaos gods do not just bless our bodies and our souls. They bless our machines: they guide our las-blasts, work our engines, throw enemies under our tracks. Take heed of my words, and consecrate your guns in blood.

-teachings of Warpsmith Dragar, Word Bearers XV Cohort

Today, we look at the humble (or not so humble) Warpsmith, one of the many HQ options from the latest Chaos Space Marine Codex, and ways in which is new option can be used by your chaotic hordes

So, what are the main stats to consider? Well, for 110 pts, you get standard space marine statistics, BS 5, two wounds and 2+ armour save. Nothing to write to your mother about, but a free 2+ save and ballistic skill five is very handy from this shooting orientated HQ.

Warpsmiths can be considered shooting orientated for two reasons. One, they only has access to shooting weapon options (bar daemon weapons). Secondly, they come with a flamer and a meltagun as standard. A BS 5 meltagun is very handy for popping tanks and high save. Also, because of the mecahndrite's special rules, you can fire two weapons per shooting phase (either both mechandrite weapons or one and a hand weapon). With a combi-melta, that's two high-skilled melta-shots able to scare any armoured foe. Add in melta-bombs and you have a very nasty tank killer.

On the other hand, taking a Burning Brand of Skalathrax means two flamer templates (one of which is AP3), making a fantastic horde-clearer.

It'll buff out...honest!
Of course, the main reason to take a Warpsmith is to fix up your vehicles. With a 4+ (5+ normally, plus one for mechandrites), there's a good chance to repair weapons, re-attach tracks or bolt on a hull-point. Of course, it does mean keeping your Warpsmith right next to tanks and vehicles, which might mean he is stuck at the back of the table. Thankfully, he is more than capable of defending units in combats with flanking squads.

Warpsmtihs also have another two bonus, Shatter Defences and curse. Essentially, it is the opposite of the Techmarine's Bolster Defences, reducing one piece of terrain's cover save by one. This is best done on pieces where there are a lot of units taking cover, or on high-cover save buildings, such as bastions, where the opponent has spend points on the save. Denying them the 3+ cover can help with the offensive.

Curse is good against vehicles, causing all weapons on the enemy vehicles to have the gets hot rule. Whilst not overly powerful, it can create a chance of the tank damaging itself if it risks firing. Aim this at bigger thanks with a lot of guns. The more guns they have, to more potential for failed gets hot rolls. however, it is probably useless to use against vehicles loaded with plasma weapons (which have the rule anyway). If in range, I would rather fire the meltagun (since you forfeit your shooting to curse).

Finally, its time to discuss close combat ability. In combat, the Warpsmith is hardly a slouch. Whilst he only has two attacks base, he gets two more from his mechandrites. On the charge, that's five Str 5 ap2 attacks with his power axe, easily enough to kill all but the toughest (or luckiest) heroes and models. Not being able to buy a power fist does mean he will struggle against walkers unless you buy melta-bombs.

All in all, the Warpsmith is a relatively useful Swiss army knife of a character, able to do most things to a competent standard, and is must for any vehicle heavy armies. Though in fairless, it shouldn't normally be your main HQ choice

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