Monday, May 9, 2011

Paladins: Totally Worth It

Actually, to get an idea of how I say it, you have to imagine me with a big ol' grin giving two thumbs up and saying, "Paladins: Totally worth it."

(BTW: This pic is of my WIP Draigo-led unit of Paladins in my "Draigo's All-Stars" list that I used in
this past weekend's team tournament.)

So, I played my Draigo's All-Stars list over the weekend in a tournament, partnered with CrazyRedPraetorian's IG. I have learned a few things about Paladins, and I thought I'd share:

The volume of fire a squad of 7 with 2 psycannons puts out is amazing for such a (relatively) small unit. 8 psycannon shots a turn makes things die.

Librarian + Paladins with Brotherhood Banner = Hammerhand + Might of Titan + Quicksilver = everything you charge in CC dies like a squealing pig before it gets to swing back. Well, almost everything. That's why you have a Paladin with a Daemonhammer for mop-up.

The Apothecary upgrade isn't really worth it. As I'm sure has been discussed, what kills Paladins dead isn't small arms fire, it's anti-tank weapons that you don't get FnP rolls on anyway. The few times I had a Paladin actually die it was to either AT weapons or a DH. The few times I got to make a FnP roll, it usually didn't help (I made exactly 1 out of 5). Yes, that was bad luck on my part, but the fact remains that FnP only has a 50% chance of working in the first place, and you don't get to use it that often with Paladins. Therefore those 75 points are more than likely better spent elsewhere (on more Paladins, I think).

Did I mention that anti-tank weapons make Paladins cry? They do.

Wound Allocation Shenanigans (WAS) with Paladins make th
em very, very hard to kill.

Mixing in a few NFSs with NFHs lets you spread those CC power weapon wounds around with a 16.67% better chance of making your invulnerable save. Since you have to do it that way for WAS anyway, make the most of it.

I'm still undecided on the Brotherhood Banner. Yes, it does give all your Paladins an extra attack, but it does remove an NFx from the squad. I can't decide if it's worth it, or not. I'm going to have to play some more games with it and see. The BB's other ability -- auto-passing the NFx activation -- would have been perfect had I not already used Hammerhand that round of CC. That's my fault, and not some flaw in the BB, so I'll need to be more judicious in my use of Hammerhand in those times when it would be more useful to have force weapons insta-gank multi-wound mo
dels (I'm looking at you, Ork Nob units). Sure, S6 > S5, but not having to deal with someone else's WAS with multi-wound models would be >S6 since you can't get S8 without a DH. Did I mention you really need a DH? Yes, you do. Don't leave the battle-barge without at least one.

The only unit that gave my Paladins issues was...another unit of Paladins, all set up for WAS and including a Warding Stave. Sometimes that 2++ really helps ("Just die, damn you, just die!").

Paladins can and will fail leadership tests when your dice have decided they're done for the day and want to go home.

"Deep striking is for suckers," that's my motto. But if you really need to do it with Paladins, well, they're pretty good at surviving the hailstorm of incoming fire they're going to get. Regardless, I got lucky on both my reserve rolls and DS rolls (hit once, scattered 3 the other). I still think DS is too iffy, though, especially when your Psychic Communion generator (Draigo) is Deep Striking, too. IMHO too many things can go wrong and therefore, I stand by my motto, even though sometimes you just gotta be a sucker. "No balls, no babies," as CRP would say.

Don't roll ones. Just don't. Your Paladins don't like ones. However, the first one isn't usually a big deal. Unless, of course, you're making a save against a krak missile
hit. It goes without saying that rolling a second one on the same Paladin is absolutely verboten.

Njal Stormcaller makes your Paladins sad. When you see him across the table, know in your silver-armored heart that He. Must. Die. (And the sooner, the better.)

Paladins assaulting Njal Stormcaller and his boys makes Njal cry hot wolfy tears. Psyk-out grenades are fun when you're the one using them.

Other units of Paladins will make you sad, especially when they get the charge on you. Psyk-out grenades are no fun when used against you.

If you're going to use Grand Strategy to give Paladins an extra ability, counter-charge is good -- especially if you have a BB. Getting 4 attacks when charged (and more than likely going first) helps quite a bit. It will also make your opponent think twice about charging in -- which hopefully results in another round of tasty, tasty shooting from your Paladins before you charge in and wreck shop. I'll have to experiment with the "gains Scouts" ability and see how that works out, but it's not like you're going to get close enough to get into CC on round one anyway...

Frag grenades on terminators, such a pleasant surprise (well, for you, anyway...). "Don't hide from Paladins in difficult terrain, you'll just die covered in debris."

Lastly, expect to see things like this a lot when you play GK (and Paladins as troops in particular): short: Paladins: Always outnumbered, never outgunned.

Oh, how'd we do in the tournament? Made it to Table 2, and lost by 2 KP to a GK/SW team, which cost us placing. Remember what I said about another unit of Paladins? A-yep, that's what did it to me (well, I didn't lose the unit, but they lost CC due to number of wounds caused vs. taken, and then failed the morale check with effin' boxcars...). A dreadnaught drop-podding into our IG-filled backfield didn't help. Every game was fun, though -- we definitely had a good time.