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Rasclomalum
03-01-2014, 21:23
The Dark Apostle clocks in at 105 points, the same cost as a similarly equipped Chaos Lord. However, he has drastically reduced wargear options, a much poorer statline and the special rules he gets fail to make up the difference. As such, the Dark Apostle along with the Warpsmith is overshadowed by other HQ entries in the Codex, most prominently the Chaos Lord who could arguably be said to beat the Dark Apostle at his own job. In most cases the Lord even does a better job at herding a blob of cultists. It's sad that such an inspiring figure should be so lacklustre, and given that the current iteration is not worth its points cost I suggest the following improvements:

Dark Apostle:


Retains its points cost and all its abilities.

Changes this:


Accursed Crozius: The Accursed Crozius is a power weapon with the following profile:
S+2, AP3, Concussive, Two-handed


Essentially a relic blade with concussive. A powerful weapon, but remember it's in the hands of a somewhat poor fighter who's the only one in the Codex who can take it. Makes him a bit more scary in close combat, and we're trading the AP increase for one attack. Fair trade, and without going overboard ups the power and utility of the Dark Apostle which is what we want. He can now accept challenges and add a good deal of oomph in an assault.

Gains this:

Daemonancy:
Once per game, during the controlling player's movement phase, the Dark Apostle can, instead of moving, choose to perform a dark ritual to summon daemonic entities from the warp. Make a leadership test. If it passes, the Apostle immediately summons one unit of D6+4 daemons from the immaterium that can be placed anywhere within 12'' of the Apostle model. If the Leadership test fails, the Dark Apostle has displeased the Gods and immediately takes one wound with no armour save allowed and the ignores cover special rule.
Undivided Apostles choose freely between Bloodletters of Khorne, Daemonettes of Slaanesh, Plaguebearers of Nurgle or Pink Horrors of Tzeentch. A Dark Apostle with a Mark of Chaos can only summon Daemons of his God, but in return for his devotion the Daemon Squad gets a leader (a summoned squad of Bloodletters gain a Bloodreaper, a squad of Daemonettes gain an Alluress and so on).

I am toying with the idea that a marked Apostle could also roll a D6 and on, say, a 5+ the Alluress/Bloodreaper/Iriscident Horror/Plagueridden gets a Lesser Reward. The idea is that since a marked Apostle is more expensive yet has no choice in what daemons to field, his daemons get more powerful in return.

Thoughts?

Spiney Norman
03-01-2014, 21:49
Errr, you want to add a free unit of 5-10 daemons to your apostle and not increase his cost? That's a non-starter I'm afraid, not to mention beefing his weapon up with no increase in cost or fluff justification, why should an accursed crozius be an order of magnitude better than a regular SM crozius? He's not meant to be a combat god, slaughtering the enemy without letting them take saves, he's the CSM equivalent of chaplain.

This package should see him increase in cost by at least 50pts (the daemon unit could potentially be worth twice that amount alone) without even taking into account how valuable a +2S AP3 CC weapon is, and the apostle isn't that overcosted to start with.

Scammel
03-01-2014, 21:52
Two main options as I see it.

A: Give him access to all the wargear a typical Chaplain has access to, particularly the bike, jump pack and Termie armour.

B: Scrap the entry and make Zealot a free/cheap upgrade for a Lord, the downside being that he has to take a Maul.

Bubble Ghost
03-01-2014, 22:03
This is going to get moved to the rules development forum...

I definitely agree that the main reason Dark Apostles are so awful is that Chaos Lords are better Dark Apostles than Dark Apostles are. The reason for that is that the DA's special rules, Zealot and Demagogue, while fine on paper, are totally redundant in context. The Demagogue rule is pointless given that you have all those mandatory Ld 10 champions anyway, while a Lord and a unit with VotLW can, between them, duplicate the Zealot rule for fewer points, and get better stats, a non-suck melee weapon and troop unlocks into the bargain while they're at it. Apostles are only of any use to Cultist hordes, or if you're list-tailoring against xenos armies.

re. those changes - I like the angle, but I don't think he necessarily needs to be pulling new units out of his rear end in the middle of the game, to be honest. That's a fun novelty, but I see it being more of a consolation prize for choosing a DA, rather than a reason to - at best it's going to lead to some weird ways to exploit it, rather than intuitive strategies. But I can see a rule letting his fervour manifest as dropping a teleport homer that would work on friendlies with the Daemon rule (and even terminators). You could call it "Beacon of Hate" or something, his prayers and fury lighting up in the warp for daemons to follow. That would add a lot more utility to the army at the planning stage than an admittedly fun gimmick like spawning chaff would - chaff is not something CSM lack for, but utility like this very much is.

re. Accursed Crozius, why not just add the Daemon Weapon rule to his power maul? Weren't accursed crozius thingies described as daemon weapons anyway originally? Always nice to have more daemon weapons around.

=Angel=
03-01-2014, 22:04
Special rule- the gates of hell.
The dark apostle traces an impossible arc with a ritual knife and reality breaks.
Units which deep strike within six inches of the apostle do not scatter and may charge on the turn they arrive.

Can be one use or a constant effect- thoughts?

Nurgling Chieftain
03-01-2014, 22:26
Just... Just let him have options. Jump pack, bike, terminator armor, daemonic mount. Why is he forbidden from these things? It's crazy.

Rasclomalum
03-01-2014, 22:31
Errr, you want to add a free unit of 5-10 daemons to your apostle and not increase his cost? That's a non-starter I'm afraid, not to mention beefing his weapon up with no increase in cost or fluff justification, why should an accursed crozius be an order of magnitude better than a regular SM crozius? He's not meant to be a combat god, slaughtering the enemy without letting them take saves, he's the CSM equivalent of chaplain.

This package should see him increase in cost by at least 50pts (the daemon unit could potentially be worth twice that amount alone) without even taking into account how valuable a +2S AP3 CC weapon is, and the apostle isn't that overcosted to start with.

Fair points, I have gone overboard with the proposed changes. This is just a conversation starter. Fact remains, other HQ options outshine the Dark Apostle badly, and when you have those things in a Codex you are left with the illusion of choice - sure, you could take an apostle instead of a Lord, but outside of dedicated fluff reasons, why would you? The power gap is such that you either cripple the Lord, or improve the Dark Apostle. The current iteration is not worth its points.

Indeed, chaplains in most codexes struggle with this. They are generally not worth it (why take a Wolf Priest over a Wolf Lord, unless you're planning to outflank with a Land Raider Crusader and 15 Bloodclaws?). Blood Angels chaplains in a Death Company are about the only chaplain iteration that works well.


Two main options as I see it.

A: Give him access to all the wargear a typical Chaplain has access to, particularly the bike, jump pack and Termie armour.

B: Scrap the entry and make Zealot a free/cheap upgrade for a Lord, the downside being that he has to take a Maul.

Never made any sense for them to have such limited wargear options. They are the ones most favoured by the Dark Gods, if they request a suit of Tactical Dreadnought Armour from the armoury they damn well get one.


re. those changes - I like the angle, but I don't think he necessarily needs to be pulling new units out of his rear end in the middle of the game, to be honest. That's a fun novelty, but I see it being more of a consolation prize for choosing a DA, rather than a reason to - at best it's going to lead to some weird ways to exploit it, rather than intuitive strategies. But I can see a rule letting his fervour manifest as dropping a teleport homer that would work on friendlies with the Daemon rule (and even terminators). You could call it "Beacon of Hate" or something, his prayers and fury lighting up in the warp for daemons to follow. That would add a lot more utility to the army at the planning stage than an admittedly fun gimmick like spawning chaff would - chaff is not something CSM lack for, but utility like this very much is.

re. Accursed Crozius, why not just add the Daemon Weapon rule to his power maul? Weren't accursed crozius thingies described as daemon weapons anyway originally? Always nice to have more daemon weapons around.


Special rule- the gates of hell.
The dark apostle traces an impossible arc with a ritual knife and reality breaks.
Units which deep strike within six inches of the apostle do not scatter and may charge on the turn they arrive.

Can be one use or a constant effect- thoughts?

I like where this is going. Chaos has some holes to fill. Reliable deep strike is one of them, getting into assault is another. These are gaps the Dark Apostle could be moulded to fill.

Croziuses as daemon weapons? Why not? Capitalising on their Accursed descriptor and all.

Bubble Ghost
03-01-2014, 22:41
Just... Just let him have options. Jump pack, bike, terminator armor, daemonic mount. Why is he forbidden from these things? It's crazy.

It is, but there would still be no reason to take a Dark Apostle instead of a Chaos Lord even if you could put him on a bike.

Scammel
03-01-2014, 22:55
It is, but there would still be no reason to take a Dark Apostle instead of a Chaos Lord even if you could put him on a bike.

Universal Hatred as opposed to merely loyalists.

Bubble Ghost
03-01-2014, 23:13
I acknowledged that earlier (I mentioned list-tailoring against xenos armies being one of two uses for Dark Apostles, the other being to lead Cultist hordes). Maybe I should have specified no sensible reason...

Rasclomalum
04-01-2014, 00:21
... would upgrading Hatred to Preferred Enemy be too much of a stretch? Wolf Priests get as much. Chaos are lacking in the assault vehicle department making the fairly immobile Dark Apostle a poor Hatred delivery system. Disembarking from a rhino with a squad of marines, going rapid fire with Preferred Enemy... now we're talking.

Slayer-Fan123
04-01-2014, 04:37
and the apostle isn't that overcosted to start with.
Uh he's REALLY overcosted. At least the Warpsmith can earn points back and is overall more flexible. There's also a matter of Dark Apostles not having OPTIONS basically. If you look at the Loyalist variant, you can throw them in Terminator Armor, or give them a Jump Pack/Bike. Marks don't make up for this.
The most you can do is give him either the Brand or that Khornate axe. Even then, a Lord will end up using those better.

Spiney Norman
04-01-2014, 09:31
Uh he's REALLY overcosted. At least the Warpsmith can earn points back and is overall more flexible. There's also a matter of Dark Apostles not having OPTIONS basically. If you look at the Loyalist variant, you can throw them in Terminator Armor, or give them a Jump Pack/Bike. Marks don't make up for this.
The most you can do is give him either the Brand or that Khornate axe. Even then, a Lord will end up using those better.

What I said was he's not so overcosted that you can add a free unit of daemons to him and not increase his cost (as suggested by the OP). I concede that he could do with losing 20-30pts from his current profile, but even 5 plague bearers is worth double that. The availability of options is actually nothing to do with his base points cost, its probably more to do with the fact that they only made a model for him on foot without termi armour, whereas there have been models for just about every legal combination of wargear on a loyalist chaplain at some point (though I don't think the biker chaplain is available any more).

MajorWesJanson
04-01-2014, 10:33
Keep point cost/stats, weapons the same.
Add option to take bike, TDA, or jump pack.
Add Beacon of faith upgrade- models with the daemon rule deepstriking within 6" of the DA do not scatter, either free or as a costed upgrade.

Rasclomalum
04-01-2014, 12:30
I concede that he could do with losing 20-30pts from his current profile

... and if he costs the same, what would a buff worth 30 points look like?

Preferred enemy? A 12'' leadership bubble? Beseech the Dark Gods affecting every model on the table? All of these things?

malisteen
04-01-2014, 13:14
I'd rather see him rolled back into the Chaos Lord entry. Just let lords buy an 'accursed crozious' that functions as a power maul with a buff aura.

=Angel=
04-01-2014, 13:26
I'd rather see him rolled back into the Chaos Lord entry. Just let lords buy an 'accursed crozious' that functions as a power maul with a buff aura.

Yeah. It's not like they should be functionally different.
For years a chaplain was just a captain with an invuln save.
They're both leaders- and in the word bearers they are the same thing.

But then I'd have them fold the warpsmith's good bits back into the chaos lord too.

Rasclomalum
04-01-2014, 13:32
Yeah. It's not like they should be functionally different.
For years a chaplain was just a captain with an invuln save.
They're both leaders- and in the word bearers they are the same thing.

But then I'd have them fold the warpsmith's good bits back into the chaos lord too.

In that case they'd be capitalising on what they are already set to do - making Chaos Lords FOC rearrangers. You give the Lord a mark and you unlock cult troops. You then have force multiplier upgrades such as the Warpsmith option that improves vehicles and the Dark Apostle upgrade that improves infantry. Pretty smart and sleek really.

hazmiter
04-01-2014, 13:53
Perhaps bumping his points down to the same cost as a loyalist chaplain, or if he remains the same cost, id say a free mark of chaos.

The added wargear is a must for the poor guy, it would allow for various uses, ie hatred for the bikers or warp talons.
A free mark of chaos isnt going to change the game too much for him. (Spawning daemons out the rear will though)....

Allowing him to have a weapon of +2str, ap3 and two handed is going a bit nuts though..... That sorta thing costs 20 Pts for a loyalist straight off, and not even avail to chaplains to boot.....
Perhaps giving it the same stats as the chaplain crozius with a once off smite whilst at his points cost may be feasible though.

malisteen
04-01-2014, 13:58
One of the more subtle distinguishing features between the CSMs and Loyalists has for the past several editions been where their options lie. SM units tended to have more rigidly prescribed roles, with options in the form of separate unit entries (predator destructor vs. predator annihilator; regular terminators vs. assault terminators, etc), while Chaos units tended to be less prescribed, with the options appearing within unit entries (predator can choose lascannon or autocannon, terminators can buy melee or ranged upgrades, etc).

I actually really liked that design touch. If helped convey that Space Marines are all rigidly structured, highly disciplined, and closely overseen, which chaos units fight with whatever they can get their hands on, and base their tactics on their own preferences and abilities rather than on precepts and standardized field manuals.

I prefer the same with characters. Chaos Marines don't rigidly divide fields of influence between commanders, psychers, and religious leaders. If an apostle's oratory gathers a force of warriors to their banner, then they're a commander now. Likewise with sorcerers. So I'd rather see a single 'chaos lord' entry with 2 and 3 (and maybe 4) wound profiles, with the option of purchasing sorcerer or apostle or what have you upgrades. Maybe choose between: 'sorcerer': gain a mastery level, access to sorcerer equipment; 'apostle': gain fearless aura, access to crozius & other buff auras; 'tyrant': choose one unit to be 'chosen', that unit gains some bonus while the lord is joined to them.

Warpsmiths I don't mind as a separate unit option, though. I'd like to see them tied more clearly to the dark mechanicus - as dark mech mercenaries that work as go betweens to the chaos legions rather than members of those legions outright (maybe a non-marine statline?), with an expanded range of weird warp-tech upgrades? If you do that, you might add a 'smith' option to those listed above for the lord, letting them access some of those upgrades, if not all of the smith special rules and abilities.

T10
04-01-2014, 14:06
...and the special rules he gets fail to make up the difference.
...
Thoughts?

I disagree with the premise. His special rules are good. Sure, Beseech The Gods requires that you actually succeed in triggering the Chaos Boon offering, which is something that has to be done, not bought for points. That kind of uncertainty makes a lot of armchair generals hesitant.

Demagogue and Zealot on the other had are great for enhancing big units, especially ifyou save a few points on not upgrading them to Veterans of the Long War.

-T10

frikandel speciaal
04-01-2014, 14:39
The Dark Apostle should have options for taking TDA, Bike or a Jumpack.
Make the Cursed Crozius instant kill(regardless of toughness) on a 6+ and it would make him much more interesting.

Rasclomalum
04-01-2014, 14:52
Allowing him to have a weapon of +2str, ap3 and two handed is going a bit nuts though..... That sorta thing costs 20 Pts for a loyalist straight off, and not even avail to chaplains to boot.....
Perhaps giving it the same stats as the chaplain crozius with a once off smite whilst at his points cost may be feasible though.

The weapon costs 20 points you say? Well, a power maul costs 15 points and is already baked into his points costs. Arguably the Dark Apostle is 20-30 points too expensive for what he brings to the table, even with that weapon he'd be 15-25 points too expensive.

Smite? Like the Biomancy power?

totgeboren
04-01-2014, 19:26
Give him access to proper options like he used to have (TDA and so on).
Change the ability 'Demagogue" to give all friendly units within 6" the Zealot special rule (which would turn him into a fairly good buffer) instead of just Ld10.
Allow 'Beseech the Dark Gods' to work on 'Gift of Mutation'.

There, he can now work as a proper buffer, both that he can lead the units were he is actually needed (Raptors for example), he can work as a leader if you want to (TDA), his aura is actually useful, and you will always have some use of him, however slight if he can improve your chances of getting something useful from your mutations.

Failing that, just remove him entirely and add a piece of wargear called "Accursed Crozius" for 30 pts. A Power Maul that gives the Demagogue and Beseech the Dark Gods ability. That would work even better imo. I acually think that might work best, since then you can make your Warrior-Priest Dark Apostle if you want to, by giving it to a Chaos Lord, or you can make a Daemononacy-Priest by giving it to a Sorcerer, if that is the sort of Dark Apostle you are after.

malisteen
04-01-2014, 20:11
Demagogue and Zealot on the other had are great for enhancing big units, especially ifyou save a few points on not upgrading them to Veterans of the Long War.

But you don't save points on vets, because you spent a hundred points on the negachaplain. If you just bought the vets instead, that would be cheaper. And re-rolling boon results is hardly much of a bonus when CSM characters in general are pretty low on the totem pole in terms of dueling ability, and the the apostle himself is especially terrible at it. Which would you rather have, an apostle who can re-roll boon results, or a lord who can at least reliably win challanges with unit champs, even if most other ICs in the game will ruin him in a challange, while the apostle is stuck struggling even to defeat squad leaders?

I'm sorry, but the apostle really is just as bad as people make it out to be. The warpsmith, while lackluster, is at least ok, but after trying several times I finally had to admit that the apostle is just a total dud.

totgeboren
04-01-2014, 20:16
I just have to agree with Malisteen. I have used the DA lots of times, but really, he would need to be at least 30 pts cheaper for me to even consider using up one of my precious HQ slots for him (that is, he is overcosted by about 40%, which is huge!)
When you actually use him on the table, you are just dumbstruck at how bad he is, and that a Lord with the same gear would cost exactly the same, yet be much much better which is saying a lot, since Lords are pretty bad when you compare with loyalists for example.

Gig
04-01-2014, 20:48
One of the other major problems with them is that they are completely outclassed by Sorcerers as the secondary HQ since the Sorcerer is not only cheaper he is superior at buffing squads

hazmiter
05-01-2014, 01:55
The weapon costs 20 points you say? Well, a power maul costs 15 points and is already baked into his points costs. Arguably the Dark Apostle is 20-30 points too expensive for what he brings to the table, even with that weapon he'd be 15-25 points too expensive.

Smite? Like the Biomancy power?

Not like the biomancy power, (but that would make him rather amusing to play with on table lol, and wouldn't be too far fetched either if he is packing the mark of nurgle)


The smite i was thinking i was thinking of is the one that the dark angels deathwing knights use....

Rasclomalum
05-01-2014, 10:04
But you don't save points on vets, because you spent a hundred points on the negachaplain. If you just bought the vets instead, that would be cheaper. And re-rolling boon results is hardly much of a bonus when CSM characters in general are pretty low on the totem pole in terms of dueling ability, and the the apostle himself is especially terrible at it. Which would you rather have, an apostle who can re-roll boon results, or a lord who can at least reliably win challanges with unit champs, even if most other ICs in the game will ruin him in a challange, while the apostle is stuck struggling even to defeat squad leaders?

I'm sorry, but the apostle really is just as bad as people make it out to be. The warpsmith, while lackluster, is at least ok, but after trying several times I finally had to admit that the apostle is just a total dud.

Another problem with the re-rolling of boons results is that the Dark Apostle was meant to lead cultist squads, as if he or his cultist champion would ever win a challenge.

If you want a power-armoured model to lead your cultists, why not simply an option to upgrade the cultist champion to an aspiring champion?

No, make it an upgrade that Lords and Sorcerers can take.


The smite i was thinking i was thinking of is the one that the dark angels deathwing knights use....

Ah, I see. Cool. Makes sense for chaplains everywhere to have that I think.