Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Taking the Mark

Well, the recording of the podcast last night went way over schedule (on top of a technical-difficulty-inspired late start), so I am knackered this morning and slightly annoyed that we couldn’t give the codex and its rules and units the thorough dissections that such specimens deserve.

Suffice to say, you should still listen to it though.  Pure gold.  In that is has no practical purpose in the real world and is criminally overvalued.  Anyway, there were a couple of points that I wanted to address, but that we just didn’t have the time, or I didn’t have the wherewithal to do so.  So what better platform to air the than here?

Well, okay.  Maybe there are better options, but hey, it’s a slow day at work and I’ve got to keep myself occupied somehow.

The Marks have stayed broadly the same, but two of them have received downgrades.  Slaanesh and Nurgle are identical to how they were.  That’s all well and good.  Tzeentch has been hit a little now, with the mark being unappealing for bog standard troops, only providing a 6+ Inv rather than the far more useful 5+ of the past.  It also provides no additional benefit for Psykers, which is a surprise and a disappointment, as it used to at least grant you an extra power (even though it didn’t allow you to cast more of them in the same turn).  No longer, unfortunately.  Overall Tzeentch is my favourite power from a story perspective, but when you translate it to game terms, it just isn’t worthwhile unless the guy who’s taking it already has an Invulnerable save.  The other Mark downgrade is Khorne, although it may not appear that way initially.  Gaining access to Rage and Counter-attack is awesome and scary: true.  However, it doesn’t give you any advantage over the old Mark, which gave you +1 Attack on you profile.  What the new Mark does is limit its effect to only the first round of a combat and introduce the chance of failure (certainly for Counter-attack).  Make no mistake, it’s still a good mark and can massively increase the combat effectiveness of any given unit.  It’s just got a little worse since its last incarnation.

Anyway, a lot of people already know this (and it was addressed on the podcast), but here’s a point that wasn’t.  You can’t mix marks in the same unit.  Slaanesh won’t play with Khorne, or Nurgle or Tzeentch.  It’s something that I’d not released until well after my first game because that rule is buried halfway through the intro paragraph above the Mark section.  It’s nothing crippling, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind, particularly if you’re playing against someone who’s using it.

Another thing to bear in mind mark-wise is the effects it has on psykers.  A psyker with a mark has to take at least one power from the required Chaos God.  I like these powers, all in all.  Some are definitely better than others, and you’d think that Tzeentch would have some kind of edge in that department, but sadly not.  Anyway, I’ll talk about the psychic powers some other time, because they certainly bear analysis.  The point IU was originally trying to make before sidetracking myself was this: You can’t take solely from your god’s powers.  You can take up to half (which would be two if you’re level 3 or Ahriman, 1 if you’re anyone else).  This means that no Psyker can completely flood the table to get the power he wants automatically.

Actually, having touched on Psychic powers, I think they warrant more attention, and as the IT problems at work appear to have been fixed, I don’t have the time to address them right now.  Check in next time for the brain ‘splosions that are the Chaos Psychic Powers!

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