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Carlos
25-09-2010, 20:53
Poor old Officio Assassinorum. Not since 2nd edition have we had any rules that justify their background. There was a time when assassins could dodge vortex grenades, take out Avatars, Greater Daemons and even Abaddon and still have change to get the bus home. Nowadays they are so out of work they have taken to busking to get by. For shame.

Seriously though after reading Nemesis the Assassins are right back in the fore of the 40k mindset (well, mine at least) and given they play bit parts in out of print codices I think its time GW did something with an iconic set of models that for most players might be well painted but sit gathering dust. Part of this is down to poor rules; the current =I= codices give them nothing to take on warbosses, chaos lords, wolf lords or hive tyrants. T4 and 2w doesn't cut it for killers that are supposed to strike fear into the hearts of opponents the world over. So I think its time for a major rethink.

One of the problems with assassins is they are Imperium only. Surely the Tau would have snipers as trained as a Vindicare, Orks a crazed painboy as powerful as an Eversor or the Necrons an experimental Culexus-a-like.
Therefore I propose WD do a new Assassins 'Codex' (like in 3rd edition) and devolve them a little.
Instead of the Vindicare/Eversor/Callidus/Culexus labels we have Sniper, Monster, Shadow and Abomination. The rules and wargear would be the standard temple loadout but instead of being specific temples, players are free to model their own version for their own army provided they are compatible.
Snipers could be a highly trained Tau Pathfinder with an experimental rail rifle, an Imperial Guard master sniper such as Mad Larkin or a veteran space marine scout like Telion. Monsters could be a standard Eversor, a Fabius Bile experiment, Tyranid evolution or crazed Ork mad dok. Shadows could be a Dark Eldar Mandrake, a craftworld assassin or a Callidus and the Abomination could be experimental necron technology based on the Pariah Genus.
Thus Snipers can be used by Imperium and Tau forces, Monsters by Imperium, Chaos, Tyranid and Ork forces, Shadows by Imperium, Eldar and Dark Eldar forces and Abominations by Necrons and Imperium.

This would allow other armies to model their own versions whilst still allowing the temples to function as they always have.

Mr_Foulscumm
25-09-2010, 21:32
Yeah, 2nd ed assassins were ridiculously over powered.

Not only were their rules stupid, but their background as well. I don't want to assassins of that character back in the game... ever.

Could just be me though :)

Angelust
25-09-2010, 21:32
So basically you just want more assassin type units throughout 40k? Like 4 assassin units for each army?

From a gaming perspective, an actual assassin unit seems unnecessary most of the time. HQs are far less important than in other gaming systems like Warmachine. HQs generally just give some additional benefits to the army, or nowadays, some modification to how the army is formed. After that, it's usually not THAT big a deal when the HQ gets genked, unless you're running a Necron Lord w/ Res Orb, or some other lynchpin IC. Also, a lot of codexes already have some form of things you mentioned, such as the Lictor, Marbo, Telion, etc. Maybe a couple codexes could stand to use some more specialized solo unit, such as DE, but otherwise, I'm not sure I'd like to see Ork assassins and Necron assassins and Eldar assassins, etc. In 40k, lots of races favor blunt force or slow unstoppableness, etc, which wouldn't favor lots of stealth and intrigue.

H.LaFever
25-09-2010, 22:24
cool idea,
going to propose it to gaming group,
house rules
thanx

Wishing
25-09-2010, 22:55
I agree that assassins are cool, iconic and deserve more screen and table time. Making them more powerful would please me, as long as they would be both fun to use and play against, and not just an automatic "I can kill your strongest character" button.

I don't like the idea of generic assassin statline that could be used in non-imperial armies. To me, a lot of the game's character comes from the models and equipment being specific and named rather than generic and unnamed. Having a generic 'monster' assassin that has the same rules be fieldable in both ork and tyranid armies, but one representing an ork warrior and another representing a tyranid construct, is too generic and bland for me.

What I'd rather see in an updated Codex Assassins would be an expanded category of assassin types for different armies. Have the imperial ones, but also ork assassins and chaos assassins etc., all with their own rules and background. Give them all a common 'assassin' trait, meaning that they are not special characters, but you can only have one assassin in your army. That I think I could enjoy a lot.

Bloodknight
25-09-2010, 23:01
Making them more powerful would please me, as long as they would be both fun to use and play against, and not just an automatic "I can kill your strongest character" button.

As long as they cost as much as a Land Raider like they did in 2nd edition, I'd be sort of fine with that. The current assassins are a bit too much like assassins in training, I'd love to get an Eversor back that is actually fearsome, or a Vindicare that's actually deadly.

DeSnifter
25-09-2010, 23:19
Tyranids do have assassins, they're called lictors.

Ork's have an assassin, he's called Snikrot.

Eldar have an assassin, he's called Maugan Ra ...What? he assassinated an entire hive fleet by himself :)

But I agree it would be a sweet idea to have a multi-race codex or article developed that added some assassin type characters for each of the major armies.

I think it would be better as a WD article... you know, you help make WD suck less these days

CaptainOtter
26-09-2010, 00:31
Er, the assassins you're describing sound a bit more powerful than they should be. Yeah, assassins are deadly. Yes, they can accomplish superhuman feats of skill and prowess. Yes, they can massacre entire units of ordinary men without breaking a sweat. But dude, this is the 41st millenium. EVERYONE can do that.

It's all about relativity. Yes Assassins are strong, but other gods of battle like Space Marine Chapter Masters or Daemon Princes are far from invincible. Compare an Assassin to a regular trooper for a better understanding. A Vindicare is clearly better than a regular sniper, or an eversor is clearly better than the average combat specialist. They could use rules changes, but I don't want my entire army to shudder in fear because my opponent has one guy in black tights when there are damn Carnifexes stalking the field of battle.

Gaargod
26-09-2010, 01:52
Read Lastie's primarchs (to be honest, i think that should be mandatory reading for all warseerites).

In there the assassins manage both a) stupidly killy (including an eversor master working out how many ways he can kill you with a paper napskin) and b) occasionally owned, as they run up against a very tough thing.


Remember, assassins have been sent against primarchs and their like before. Yes, probably more in the spirit of optimism than actual realistic expectation, but you wouldn't waste them unless there was at least a change.


Also remember - dark eldar archons are pretty good, but most of that comes from gear and drugs. Assassins have those in spades. Therefore its definitely not unreasonable to see assassins as very powerful HQs, although they should have a price tag to go along with it and be super specialized.
So a 'monster' class should be great at killing units, but get slapped down by characters, whereas the 'sniper' class would... well snipe but be rubbish in combat.
If you make it that the 'shadow' class is the one to deal with characters (WFB duel system influence maybe?) and then give abomination an anti-psyker/creature of the warp role... it could work out.

Doppleskanger
26-09-2010, 03:43
hmmmmm

If you can check out a pile of WD from what '93 to 95? Every battle report seemed to revolve around the moment when the assasin or goblin fanatic was released killed pretty much everything and rendered all of the other tactical plays irrelevant. I'm gonna say...no thanks

ReveredChaplainDrake
26-09-2010, 06:08
I was thinking about this for a while earlier in my hobby experience. Particularly the story of the Callidus Assassin M'shen ganking Konrad Kurze. After getting into what actually happened though, it seemed that the Night Haunter basically let the Assassin kill him so his entire legion could have a justifiable case of rebellion against the Imperium, and something about some convoluted prophecy of his own death leading him to turn traitor in the first place (see Soul Hunter and Throne of Lies)... whatever, my head is starting to hurt.

Anyway, it seems that even in actual fluff, the Assassins are only super at taking out IG HQs, and that's what most think. I remember reading something in the 3.5 CSM codex where an Inquisitor was briefing a bunch of assassins about Abaddon's chosen retinue, and it ended with the Inquisitor thinking to himself that his highly-trained killing machines are quite possibly coming home in pieces. Instead of supering them up, what would probably be more appropriate is Assassins operating like old-school Lictors and Zoanthropes, where you get 1-3 Assassins for a single FOC entry and they all act independently. Because really, this is the Imperium of Man. When was the last time they ever sent one of anything to get a job done?

For that matter, what about the two other temples, Venenum and Vanus or something like that? I seem to remember a point where there were six Assassinorium temples, not just four. Can any 2nd edition or older player vouch for either of these two actually having appeared? I only know of their existence in fluff.

CaptainOtter
26-09-2010, 07:11
Anyway, it seems that even in actual fluff, the Assassins are only super at taking out IG HQs, and that's what most think. I remember reading something in the 3.5 CSM codex where an Inquisitor was briefing a bunch of assassins about Abaddon's chosen retinue, and it ended with the Inquisitor thinking to himself that his highly-trained killing machines are quite possibly coming home in pieces. Instead of supering them up, what would probably be more appropriate is Assassins operating like old-school Lictors and Zoanthropes, where you get 1-3 Assassins for a single FOC entry and they all act independently. Because really, this is the Imperium of Man. When was the last time they ever sent one of anything to get a job done?



A very interesting idea, but one i disagree with. I feel like Assassins should mostly operate solo, and thats also part of their mystique. These guys are the scalpels of the imperium, and when they start getting taken in bulk they lose some of that charm.

And in terms of the fluff you're referencing, I interpretted that a bit differently. Their target was a group of 5 of the most powerful chaos lord in the galaxy. That's probably the most challenging threat the assassins would ever be deployed against, and hence them sending a whole team. Since a formation of 5 uber powerful chaos lords would ever really appear in apocalypse, a team of assassins should only appear in apocalypse as well. Still, very interesting ideas.

Bloodknight
26-09-2010, 08:07
I seem to remember a point where there were six Assassinorium temples, not just four. Can any 2nd edition or older player vouch for either of these two actually having appeared

Nope, there have always been only rules for the known 4 temples, and I'm pretty sure the temples got rules in the 2nd edition Assassins codex from 1997 for the first time. Before that you could only buy a generic assassin and soup him up with equipment cards.

I can't vouch for RT at the moment (I'd have to look it up), but I seem to remember that Assassins were pretty generic, i.e. could be everything back then.

MegaPope
26-09-2010, 11:12
Instead of supering them up, what would probably be more appropriate is Assassins operating like old-school Lictors and Zoanthropes, where you get 1-3 Assassins for a single FOC entry and they all act independently.

This idea is probably the best IMO. I remember Assassins in 2ed, and they were some of the only man-sized non-special characters which made me think 'whoa, that's a bit...intense' (especially the Eversor, who had a special rule - Combat Master - that allowed him to circumvent one of the main statutes of limitation to CC back them; i.e you couldn't bog him down with weight of numbers like most characters of the time).

Their statlines and equipment now are just right for what they are, but since their lethality has decreased propotionally, the only 'there can be only one' seems rather less crucial. Also, as far back as Rogue Trader it mentions Assassins being employed in hit squads rather than as individuals on many occasions.

carldooley
26-09-2010, 17:46
for those who want 1-3 in an elite spot, use Death Cultists.

Grimtuff
26-09-2010, 21:12
For that matter, what about the two other temples, Venenum and Vanus or something like that? I seem to remember a point where there were six Assassinorium temples, not just four. Can any 2nd edition or older player vouch for either of these two actually having appeared? I only know of their existence in fluff.

They're only mentioned in the background. Venenum specialises in poisons and Vanus in sieges IIRC.

Dio´Ra
26-09-2010, 22:41
They're only mentioned in the background. Venenum specialises in poisons and Vanus in sieges IIRC.

Vanus specialises more in electronics, not in sieges Grimtuff ;) They are the guys who stay in home and cause mayhem trhough hacking their way into systems etc.

EldarWolf
26-09-2010, 22:50
Vanus requires a normal looking figure with a laptop, Venenum requires a normal & unarmed figure.

cowboyguard
26-09-2010, 23:08
I think the assassins are fine just the way they are. they fulfill an absence in your party they you feel is missing. Making them better would only skew the favor toward the imperium. The reason nobody takes them is they are an easy kill point.

But fluff wise I don't think they don't even belong on the 40k battlefield. Because as assassins they work alone. Armies are about synergy and teamwork.

However they would shine in combat patrol or kill teams.

Dio´Ra
26-09-2010, 23:13
when we follow the fluff of nemesis, then it means that assassins have a hard time taking out even a generic space marine....yet they were sent solo to kill primarchs :wtf:

I dunno, the assassins do need rules tweak, at the moment I only use the eversor cause hes cheap and can do a lot of damage for the points you pay for him. The others are either very situational or rather 'meh', vindicare would be truly an assassin if his special bullets weren't limited to 1 use only. Tone down the bullets a bit perhaps but make him able to use them all the time during the game when he wants.

Woodsman
27-09-2010, 07:03
Hate 'em personally. Always sort of thought they were a politicians weapon. Using one in a single battle is very hit &miss. You don't get another shot and if strategy hinged on that one death, dayum you're screwed. I always imagined guard and marine commanders had too greater a sense of honour or whatever to really want an assassin wondering around.

In terms of other races having them:
Elder - really fit in with the subtle manipulation thing - kill one to save a thousand etc.
Orcs - too dumb.
Chaos - Yep, assassination is designed to cause maximum chaos, no?
DE - as above.
Don't know a great deal about any others.

insectum7
27-09-2010, 17:53
I agree with the OP in the sense that assassins ought to be a little bit stronger than they currently are. Though the assassins of 2nd ed. were maybe a bit much, pretty much any character could be overpowered and rediculous. Remember Exarchs back then?

I think the gameplay niche for the assassin is to provide a killy character option for armies that don't otherwise get them. For example, Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar and Chaos already have their nasty killy characters, but Imperial Guard and Sisters are a little lacking in that area.

I dunno about how appropriate it would be for Tau, I could imagine it going two ways there. One option being the Tau ninja in some sweet stealth armor, the other option being a hired-guns Kroot A-Team equivalent. That would be pretty cool to see IMO.

All that said, the Callidus is still useful at disrupting an enemy. She's still the ultimate infiltrator, and her other abilities are pretty viable.

Gorgeo5
27-09-2010, 19:39
Insectum thats an amazing idea, have a guard A team or other eg Bad company sort of thingy, that would make my day having 4 guys rolling around in a black Chimera with a red stripe killing baddies!

Thanghul
27-09-2010, 23:14
Kroot A team?

Cool but just imagine an actual Tau A team. I can just see that jet black devilfish with red stripe

totgeboren
27-09-2010, 23:35
In terms of other races having them:
...
Orcs - too dumb.
...

Kinda interesting that Orks already have an assassin (as has been pointed out in this thread already). Why people think orks should not have assassins beats me, since they already have the rules and a model as it is?

The most important thing imo when it comes to assassins is that they should be fun to play both with and against.

If the assassin can just insta-kill your most powerful character, it's not really fun to face. But they must still be powerful enough for you to be scared of them.

AFnord
28-09-2010, 00:19
From a fluff point of view, having overpowered assassins makes little sense. If abaddon or any of the other "super heroes" of 40k could realistically be taken out by an assassin, then that is what someone would have done a long time ago.

Imperialis_Dominatus
28-09-2010, 03:42
One of the problems with assassins is they are Imperium only. Surely the Tau would have snipers as trained as a Vindicare, Orks a crazed painboy as powerful as an Eversor or the Necrons an experimental Culexus-a-like.

I disagree. The Assassin Temples were founded by the Emperor's greatest servants, little though He knew of them. They have spent ten thousand years perfecting whatever specific art is theirs to protect. The Imperium has at least a million worlds (assuming they never, ever, ever for any reason take recruits from worlds outside its borders) and countless trillions of potential aspirants to choose from, thus virtually ensuring they have the cream of the crop to begin with. This is why Assassins are such singular- and Imperial- figures.


These guys are the scalpels of the imperium

Yeah. Actually more like that tiny blade your dentist uses on your teeth- not even as big as a scalpel, but hella sharp and precise and able to make quite a difference.

DeviantApostle
28-09-2010, 06:51
I love the Imp. Assassins and I think they should have their place in the game. Balance issues are a problem for one of them, the others kinda fill a role that could be taken by soemthing else. Anti-Psyke, CCW monster and ultimate sniper are easy to balance.

How do you balance the Callidus? Honestly, I'm amazed I don't see every Imp player rocking one of these at the moment. 'I pop up right next to your general with a pw that ignores ++ saves'. O.O

I'm hoping that one of the new DE units is a DE Assassin, though. They kinda go together like doughnuts and coffee.

edit: Er... on second thoughts, I just realized that you could describe a DE Assassin as an Emo Ninja Pirate. >.>

edit edit: Emo Ninja Pirate Elf in Space.

Frep
28-09-2010, 07:01
More like Ninja, Pirate, S&M, Vampire on E covered in spikes. Emo works better for craftworld Eldar. But to be fair that label covers the entire DE range so go with it.

Gorbad Ironclaw
28-09-2010, 07:17
I always imagined guard and marine commanders had too greater a sense of honour or whatever to really want an assassin wondering around.


They wouldn't get asked. You don't fill in a request form for an assassin, there deployment is ordered at something like High Lord levels of authority, the wishes and feelings of individual commanders in the field is irrelevant, and that is if they even know the assassin is there. Quite likely they aren't told.
Besides, I don't really think most commanders are worried about being unfair to the poor Orks/Tyranids/Chaos cultiest/Eldars/Heretics/Traitors slaughtering there way across the world they are assigned to protect.


I think the assassins are fine just the way they are. they fulfill an absence in your party they you feel is missing. Making them better would only skew the favor toward the imperium. The reason nobody takes them is they are an easy kill point.


I never really saw them get much use before kill points either. I think the reason they don't see much use is that they are just not that good. But then the 40k ruleset isn't really set up to allow that kind of characters to be good anyway. As you said, they don't really fit in and would be much more approtiate in some other game format. Whatever that is Kill Team, some other Skirmish game, a RPG or whatever. A massed battle game not so much.

Carlos
28-09-2010, 08:36
The assassins can still be good, just not at what they are trained. For example the Vindicare can easily remove that exarch, sanguinary priest or heavy weapon guy causing so much trouble (Id have though Turbo-Penetrator was mandatory vs BA) The Callidus is great at charging that Long Fang or Broadside unit stopping you mech advancing and for 95pts 5-10 Poisened power weapon attacks on the charge an Eversor is great value for suicide flank attacks and a Sisters combat patrol is unbeatable with an Eversor. A Culexus combined with Fear of Darkness or a psyker battle squad can cause major problems to non-fearless armies.