Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CSM Options: Icon of Despair

The icon for Nurgle marked units is the Icon of Despair.  As well as adding 1 to the combat result, the Icon of Despair confers the fear rule to the unit.  Naturally, fearless units don't care.  And They Shall Know No Fear units also don't care.  Yet, the ability to cause fear (reducing opponent's to WS=1 on an unsuccessful Ld check) can be neat.  But, the meta-game features a strong amount of fearless and space marine armies.  The latter in particular make the fear rule one that is very easy to forget.  I've played against eldar, tau and others under 6th edition and not once yet remembered to force a fear check.  Why? Because the majority of my opponents are space marines.  I fear, fear, that I will not remember you. I also fear that fear is not terribly fearful.

Therefore the only reason to take the Icon of Despair is the benefit to combat outcome.  If equipped on tar-pitting units, this is pretty good (see my tactica about plaguebearers and instruments).  So, perhaps I could entertain an Icon of Despair on plague marine squads once in a while.  But, they have more attacks than plaguebearers.  So the case for an Icon of Despair even on plague marines is poor.  Given that the points cost is double the cost of a chaos daemons instrument, my answer becomes a firm no.  Forget the Icon of Despair.  Its a waste of points in my opinion and I won't be taking them.

(Aside: Pity they don't double up as homing icons, otherwise they'd be worthwhile! -- I feel the codex writers and playtesters really dropped the ball on this one -- homing icons have been with chaos for several editions and I'm still shocked at their absence).

4 comments:

Rhasputine said...

I the icon we did get seems, rather sad. I don't see a way to use it, till about the third turn.

Tim Skawinski said...

I predict that in the Codex: Daemons update, it will be cleared that Daemons can use CSM icons like their own; it would make more sense to me anyways that daemons can use them versus CSM, being residents of the warp.

The icon is... rather crap, unfortunately. The +1 to combat res is pretty cheap, so it's not terrible, but 10 points adds up quick, and it's hard to take seriously when 10 points buys you a meltagun... on the same unit... It's a shame especially because the other icons aren't too terrible on the correct units.

Mike Howell said...

I haven't been able to figure out a rationale for this icon either. Even the units that are fearless wouldn't be affected by you winning combat by +1 since they just stick around no matter what. All it really does is prevent you from losing if they got 1 more wound than you. Yay. Against non-fearless foes it actually makes them more likely to run, so it's really all or nothing with this icon.
I've never built a list that uses it. Being fearless seems so much more useful.

Tim Skawinski said...

Then again you don't always want Fearless. I guess(?) you might want this on a backfield unit that has VotLW insead, so it can still Go To Ground, so that extra bump of combat res might keep them from running if they get locked in combat. That's a stretch, though.

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