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Hello!

Just starting to look at 30k; when I jump in I DEFINITELY want to field a Primarch, as that feels like almost the point for me! I want to know which Legions make good use of their primarch, and which Legions have mopey ones (so I can avoid them).

Thanks!
   
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I find that primarchs largely fall into two categories, fighty and support, with some being a bit of a mix. I’m not saying one is better than the other or that support primarchs aren’t used well by their rules and legions, just that they are different.

Fighty:
Most of their special rules and abilities revolve around punching others or being able to really tank other punches. These are the guys you want to get stuck in as soon as possible. Stand outs for me are guys like Angron, Leman Russ, and Curze. These guys excell at turkey messing up people. Stats to look for are close combat weapons that go at their initiative value, some ability to instant death, and good WS and A values.

Support:
These guys have abilities that pirmarially make you want to use them to support you whole army, leadership enhancements, psychic powers, and medieocre stats means that while they can still put the hurt on, you don’t want to go throwing them at your opponents Death Star. You want them in your defensive line, making sure your legion operates at peak effficiency and they can lead the counter attack when the enemy is broken. For these guys I’m looking at folks like Lorgar, maybe even Magnus just cause I think he works best zipping around an enchancing your own forces/psychic shooting the enemy.

All Rounders:
These are the guys that can do a bit of both. They have abilities that enhance or substantially alter the way your legion operates on the table, and are also not too shabby in combat through a combination of gear and stats. This makes me think of Guilliman or Perturabo.

Basically you can’t go wrong with a legion or primarchs, you just have to find the right way to use them.

“Victory is not an abstract concept, it is the equation that sits at the heart of strategy. Victory is the will to expend lives and munitions in attack, overmatching the defenders’reserves of manpower and ordnance. As long as my Iron Warriors are willing to pay any price in pursuit of victory, we shall never be defeated.” - The Primarch Perturabo, Master of the Iron Warriors 
   
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This is great info!

So, what I'm getting from you is that while some need to be support, and some are combat monsters, there is no Legion where if I started a thread about my list people would immediately clamor to remove the Primarch because he's "not that good".

That is good to hear!
   
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 LostRabbit wrote:
This is great info!

So, what I'm getting from you is that while some need to be support, and some are combat monsters, there is no Legion where if I started a thread about my list people would immediately clamor to remove the Primarch because he's "not that good".

That is good to hear!


Be wary. Many legions primarchs are only mediocre for too many points. A lot of them just have better options you could take.
(And some legions aren't very good)

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 McMagnus Mindbullets wrote:
 LostRabbit wrote:
This is great info!

So, what I'm getting from you is that while some need to be support, and some are combat monsters, there is no Legion where if I started a thread about my list people would immediately clamor to remove the Primarch because he's "not that good".

That is good to hear!


Be wary. Many legions primarchs are only mediocre for too many points. A lot of them just have better options you could take.
(And some legions aren't very good)


Okay good to know! Can I get some examples, or a run down of which Legions those are? Thanks!
   
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My experience of Heresy has been that even the bad Legions are alright to play and if you do play all out competitive it'll be phosphex mortar spam where Legions don't matter.

Plus even support Primarchs seem able to hold their own in combat against non-Primarch opponents.

tremere47-fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate, leads to triple riptide spam  
   
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Abel





Washington State

OK, instead of asking "What's the best 30K Legion?", why not tell us how you like to play a game. If you played 40K 7th edition, then did you like to shoot a lot? Did you like a lot of tanks? Did you like close combat? If you didn't play 7th, then what appeals to you about 30K? Models? Rules? Fluff? Can you narrow it down a little bit?

The biggest thing about 30K: It's about mentality, and if you adopt the Rule of Cool > All, then it doesn't matter what Legion you play as long as you like it. Not everyone plays with Rule of Cool, and those are the WAAC people that run 9-12 Rapier Phosphox cannons and not the FW models because they are "too expensive".

Please read the sticky post at the top of this forum- it has a ton of good information about 30K!

Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
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 Tamwulf wrote:
OK, instead of asking "What's the best 30K Legion?", why not tell us how you like to play a game. If you played 40K 7th edition, then did you like to shoot a lot? Did you like a lot of tanks? Did you like close combat? If you didn't play 7th, then what appeals to you about 30K? Models? Rules? Fluff? Can you narrow it down a little bit?

The biggest thing about 30K: It's about mentality, and if you adopt the Rule of Cool > All, then it doesn't matter what Legion you play as long as you like it. Not everyone plays with Rule of Cool, and those are the WAAC people that run 9-12 Rapier Phosphox cannons and not the FW models because they are "too expensive".

Please read the sticky post at the top of this forum- it has a ton of good information about 30K!


Oh. I need to clarify. I don't care what the best 30k Legion is. I care which Legions can run Primarchs and not look too stupid doing it. There's a compelling story to be told about nearly any Primarch/30k Legion, and I just want to know which ones I might be able to field and have it not be awful. My suspicion is that I won't care for Salamanders, because I'm kind of whatever on flamers (but meltas are fine). Otherwise, Legion was a great book and got me interested in Alpha Legion, the internal strife of Dark Angels is super compelling, not to mention the fact that the Lion had to fight Chaos beasts growing up, etc, etc, etc. There's a great tragic story to be told re: basically every traitor Legion and a different sort of tragedy for every loyalist.

Basically, I think I like all the Legions, and I'm curious which ones can play the prettiest models effectively.

Edit: To elaborate, I'm basically looking for what agarus1 was doing (sorting them by type), and just looking for phrases like "Cruze is a balanced choice, and is a reasonable inclusion" and "Lorgar is probably overcosted, and doesn't provide enough support; no one takes him/people will tease you for taking him". Or whatever is appropriate.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/14 22:29:38


 
   
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Fort Hood (Tx)

I've used Russ in a deathstar of Caster of runes (for preseince) Speaker of the Dead. And 6 Vargryn Termis in a Spartan. Expensive for sure but a nice ball of death.


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Basically every Primarch is a usable choice, with a few ones more in the undercosted area (sw&ts). The difference lies in how to best utilize their abilities and what other things in your army compliments them the best.

So in short, nobody will tease you for bringing a weak choice with them, but you will have to play to their strengths in order to maximize their potential.

   
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I remember Vulkan was scary as all hell when I was playing Mechanicum. The ability to use his hammer as a s10 blast template in CC with instant death really messes with multi-wound models lol, also a good way of getting around challenges lol

“Victory is not an abstract concept, it is the equation that sits at the heart of strategy. Victory is the will to expend lives and munitions in attack, overmatching the defenders’reserves of manpower and ordnance. As long as my Iron Warriors are willing to pay any price in pursuit of victory, we shall never be defeated.” - The Primarch Perturabo, Master of the Iron Warriors 
   
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Freezing to death outside the Fang

Every game I've played with my wolves I've taken Russ, He's an excellent beatstick and can lay down the hurt to anything smaller than an imperial knight with relative ease and even then the smaller knights would probably take some serious damage before killing him. Vs. other Primarchs 1v1 Russ is king, there are no other primarchs that can mathematically beat him, save for perhaps Magnus running biomancy and even that would be a very close fight. His sword and axe when used properly make him a very versatile as a combat monster and his armour makes him reliably tough. Combine him with a speaker of the dead (caster of runes optional, I've found they are better placed elsewhere) and a unit of terminators (not varagyr though, I cannot stress enough that they are overpriced garbage even in friendly games) and you've got a nasty unit that's going to stick about for a while. The best thing about this is that the space wolves rules encourage you to play this way with the 1 HQ per 1000pts requirement and the terminators are usually a staple of most lists.

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I am officially the only person on the planet who uses Varagyr I think.

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Abel





Washington State

 Glasdir wrote:
Every game I've played with my wolves I've taken Russ, He's an excellent beatstick and can lay down the hurt to anything smaller than an imperial knight with relative ease and even then the smaller knights would probably take some serious damage before killing him. Vs. other Primarchs 1v1 Russ is king, there are no other primarchs that can mathematically beat him, save for perhaps Magnus running biomancy and even that would be a very close fight. His sword and axe when used properly make him a very versatile as a combat monster and his armour makes him reliably tough. Combine him with a speaker of the dead (caster of runes optional, I've found they are better placed elsewhere) and a unit of terminators (not varagyr though, I cannot stress enough that they are overpriced garbage even in friendly games) and you've got a nasty unit that's going to stick about for a while. The best thing about this is that the space wolves rules encourage you to play this way with the 1 HQ per 1000pts requirement and the terminators are usually a staple of most lists.


I'd like to see that math, 'cuz I don't think Russ could take Horus, and I think Dorn would be a real thorn in his side, and he would choke on Vulkan. Russ is a beatstick, and one of the better melee Primarchs, but he isn't the best as you noted. That title goes to Horus, or Magnus with the right psychic powers.

Agree 100% about Varagyr though. Such a disappointment! You also hit the nail on the head about the Space Wolves- there is really only one way to play them. They are a very limiting Legion if you want to maximize their army benefits. The HQ tax could be detrimental if the player tools up the HQ choices too much. Unless you play Primarch's Chosen, you will be spending a ton of points on HQ's and Russ himself (Primarchs are not HQ choices...). At least Space Wolves have fantastic troops choices in the Grey Slayers combined with a Priest of Fenris. I would actually say Grey Slayers are probably the best troops in the game!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
pm713 wrote:
I am officially the only person on the planet who uses Varagyr I think.


Nah. The local Space Wolves player in my meta uses 'em. They pretty much always disappoint, but as a points filler, they can't be beat. They are still better then regular Terminators, but probably the worst Legion Specific Terminators. If you like 'em, then play 'em! Rule of Cool has a corollary: If you like it, play it.

If you use the Forge World Varagyr's, don't get mad when I call 'em "Banana Termy's!" and say "It's peanut butter jelly time!" as I charge 'em.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/15 14:58:25


Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
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Freezing to death outside the Fang

 Tamwulf wrote:
 Glasdir wrote:
Every game I've played with my wolves I've taken Russ, He's an excellent beatstick and can lay down the hurt to anything smaller than an imperial knight with relative ease and even then the smaller knights would probably take some serious damage before killing him. Vs. other Primarchs 1v1 Russ is king, there are no other primarchs that can mathematically beat him, save for perhaps Magnus running biomancy and even that would be a very close fight. His sword and axe when used properly make him a very versatile as a combat monster and his armour makes him reliably tough. Combine him with a speaker of the dead (caster of runes optional, I've found they are better placed elsewhere) and a unit of terminators (not varagyr though, I cannot stress enough that they are overpriced garbage even in friendly games) and you've got a nasty unit that's going to stick about for a while. The best thing about this is that the space wolves rules encourage you to play this way with the 1 HQ per 1000pts requirement and the terminators are usually a staple of most lists.


I'd like to see that math, 'cuz I don't think Russ could take Horus, and I think Dorn would be a real thorn in his side, and he would choke on Vulkan. Russ is a beatstick, and one of the better melee Primarchs, but he isn't the best as you noted. That title goes to Horus, or Magnus with the right psychic powers.

Agree 100% about Varagyr though. Such a disappointment! You also hit the nail on the head about the Space Wolves- there is really only one way to play them. They are a very limiting Legion if you want to maximize their army benefits. The HQ tax could be detrimental if the player tools up the HQ choices too much. Unless you play Primarch's Chosen, you will be spending a ton of points on HQ's and Russ himself (Primarchs are not HQ choices...). At least Space Wolves have fantastic troops choices in the Grey Slayers combined with a Priest of Fenris. I would actually say Grey Slayers are probably the best troops in the game!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
pm713 wrote:
I am officially the only person on the planet who uses Varagyr I think.


Nah. The local Space Wolves player in my meta uses 'em. They pretty much always disappoint, but as a points filler, they can't be beat. They are still better then regular Terminators, but probably the worst Legion Specific Terminators. If you like 'em, then play 'em! Rule of Cool has a corollary: If you like it, play it.

If you use the Forge World Varagyr's, don't get mad when I call 'em "Banana Termy's!" and say "It's peanut butter jelly time!" as I charge 'em.

1d4 chan did the maths, Russ wins against them all provided the person playing him is savvy, the only ones who give him a slight challenge are Vulkan as he is pretty resiliant and Magnus if using Biomancy, but as I said if Russ' player is smart, Russ will win. I've check some of the maths myself and it does indeed check out as it all comes down to his armour making him near impossible to hit as by turn 2 he's basically under the effects of invisibility for nearly all the primarchs (even for the likes of Horus and Vulkan). https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Leman_Russ Here's the link obligatory NSFW as it's 1d4chan.

The VIth aren't that limiting a legion to play, I've seen plenty of very varied lists for them that look pretty solid. I personally run the VIIth company so I take a load of heavy support tanks, destroyers and anything else that fits the theme of Sepp. The way to get around the HQ tax is to keep them relatively cheap and it work's exceedingly well if you do as you have plenty of characters to buff your units and provide a bit more oomph in combat, keeping stuff cheap is what allows you to take the more exciting and unusual units and make the army more unique and less monobuild. The biggest mistakes I see people making with Space Wolf lists is making the HQs really expensive by tooling them up when they work very well with few to no upgrades. The other mistake I see people making is tooling up grey slayers, they're best kept cheap and flexible with the classic bolter, pistol and ccw of the Space Wolves. The third mistake is taking Varagyr.

Some good news that was very overlooked from warhammer fest was that they fixed the Varagyr's hands so that they now have grips on the combi bolters, which I was very pleased to see when I got to their cabinet. Unfortunately I didn't see if they had done the same for the praetor as there were so many people crowding round to see the rest of the cabinet.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/05/15 18:15:14


host of the eternity king 3500pts+ lizardmen 1000pts
and 2000pts+ 4000+ pts 500+ pts
HH 3000+ pts 1350 pts HH raven guard 2000+ pts coming soon
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Washington State

Again, I'd like to see that math. Horus has a WS of 8, Russ 9. So Horus hits Russ on a 4+, but due to Armor of Elavagar, it's a 5+ turn one, then a 6+ on turn two and beyond. Every time Horus wounds with his Talon, Russ would be -1 WS and -1 S. After two wounds on Russ, Horus would only need a 5+ to hit, then a 4+ and finally a 3+. Russ starts at a 3+ to hit, then moves to a 4+ to hit after one wound. If we start talking about wounding... Russ has two weapons: S6 AP2 that can do d3 more wounds on a special roll, or a S8 AP2 master crafted with sunder. Russ with his 7 attacks gets to split his attacks. Round 1: With the sword Balenight, he is wounding on a 4+, with the axe Helwinter, it's a 2+. That's a tough call, as Horus has a 3++ save and It Will Not Die 5+ (like all Primarchs). Note that you gain a wound from IWND, you don't ignore a wound, so Horus' Talon with Disabling Strike still counts. Balewinter hits 67% of the time, and wounds 50% of the time, and then has a 58% chance of doing 1d3 more wounds. Horus makes his invulnerable save 67% of the time, and then regains a wound 17% of the time. If Russ devoted all his attacks to Balenight, we would expect him to hit (0.67 x 7= 4.69), then wounds (4.69 x 0.5= 2.345). Horus has a 67% chance to save vs. both wounds, which is something like 17% chance to wound him? I have to brush up on my probabilities of two independent events rolling greater then a target number. Pretty sure it's something like (0.33 + 0.33) / 2 = 0.33 chance of wounding? If Russ uses Helwinter, he still hits 4.69, but now he is wounding 67% of the time, so (4.69 x 0.67 = 3.1423), and Horus, who only fails 1/3 of wound checks, would probably take a wound from the axe. IWND would fail (only a 0.33 chance of success).

Horus attacks back: Let's assume Horus didn't get the charge, so no +1 attack (Russ has Counter Attack, so that first round he will have 7 attacks). Horus is WS 8, S7 T6. All his attacks should be made with the Talon, or it will just be harder and harder each turn to affect Russ. So- Horus would usually need a 4+ to hit, but thanks to Russ' innate -1 to hit, Horus needs 5+ on turn 1. (5 x 0.33 = 1.67). Wounds: The talon has shred, meaning re-rolls to wound. Horus also needs a 3+ to wound, so [ 1-(0.33 x 0.33) = 0.89? Meaning (1.67 x 0.89 = 1.49) wounds. Russ rolls his 4++ and (1.49 x 0.5 = 0.74), or Horus wounds Russ 74% of the time, vs. Russ wounding Horus 33% with Balenight, or 67% with Helwinter. But does Russ ever want to use Helwinter, as there is a chance of burst damage with Balenight?

Round 2: Russ has an effective WS 8 and S5. Now he Russ needs to start thinking about how to divide up attacks: Balenight: (6 x 0.5 = 3) hits, wounds (3 x 0.5 = 1.5) wounds, and Horus saves (0.67 x 1.5 = 1.01), so no wound. Helwinter: 3 hits again, but now (3 x 0.67 = 2.01, and Horus saves (2.01 x 0.67 = 1.35, so maybe a wound?

Horus sticks with the talon again: Now he needs a 6+ to hit: (5 x 0.17 = 0.83) hits, and wounding: (0.83 x 0.89 = 0.74) wounds. Russ rolls his save (0.5 x 0.74 = 0.37) chance of wounding. And if he is wounded, then Russ goes to WS 6 and now Horus only needs a 5+ to hit him. Or Russ could get really lucky with Balenight and stack extra wounds on Horus thanks to Sever Life, but that just means the chances of IWND triggering go up. Each time Horus wounds Russ, Russ is losing -1 WS and -1 S, and it stacks. At 4 wounds, it becomes impossible for Russ to wound Horus with Balenight, and with Helwinter, Russ has an effective S4 vs T6, and at this point, Horus WS 8 vs WS 5, Horus is hitting him on a 5+.

It's just going to go back and forth like this until the game is over. If one player is rolling hot and the other is cold, then one of them will win. I would expect that over 8 close combat phases, 4 turns of combat where they manage to get into combat on turn 2 and it's a 6 turn game), that both would still be alive. The longer the close combat lasts, the more in favor it would become for Horus, while Russ has a greater outliner damage "burst" if you will.

But hey, that's just my round about math. I'm pretty sure that if you really broke out probability formula's and crunched the numbers, it would come out about the same: Neither would slay the other in 8 rounds of close combat. It would be a glorious fight though!


Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
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Freezing to death outside the Fang

 Tamwulf wrote:
Again, I'd like to see that math. Horus has a WS of 8, Russ 9. So Horus hits Russ on a 4+, but due to Armor of Elavagar, it's a 5+ turn one, then a 6+ on turn two and beyond. Every time Horus wounds with his Talon, Russ would be -1 WS and -1 S. After two wounds on Russ, Horus would only need a 5+ to hit, then a 4+ and finally a 3+. Russ starts at a 3+ to hit, then moves to a 4+ to hit after one wound. If we start talking about wounding... Russ has two weapons: S6 AP2 that can do d3 more wounds on a special roll, or a S8 AP2 master crafted with sunder. Russ with his 7 attacks gets to split his attacks. Round 1: With the sword Balenight, he is wounding on a 4+, with the axe Helwinter, it's a 2+. That's a tough call, as Horus has a 3++ save and It Will Not Die 5+ (like all Primarchs). Note that you gain a wound from IWND, you don't ignore a wound, so Horus' Talon with Disabling Strike still counts. Balewinter hits 67% of the time, and wounds 50% of the time, and then has a 58% chance of doing 1d3 more wounds. Horus makes his invulnerable save 67% of the time, and then regains a wound 17% of the time. If Russ devoted all his attacks to Balenight, we would expect him to hit (0.67 x 7= 4.69), then wounds (4.69 x 0.5= 2.345). Horus has a 67% chance to save vs. both wounds, which is something like 17% chance to wound him? I have to brush up on my probabilities of two independent events rolling greater then a target number. Pretty sure it's something like (0.33 + 0.33) / 2 = 0.33 chance of wounding? If Russ uses Helwinter, he still hits 4.69, but now he is wounding 67% of the time, so (4.69 x 0.67 = 3.1423), and Horus, who only fails 1/3 of wound checks, would probably take a wound from the axe. IWND would fail (only a 0.33 chance of success).

Horus attacks back: Let's assume Horus didn't get the charge, so no +1 attack (Russ has Counter Attack, so that first round he will have 7 attacks). Horus is WS 8, S7 T6. All his attacks should be made with the Talon, or it will just be harder and harder each turn to affect Russ. So- Horus would usually need a 4+ to hit, but thanks to Russ' innate -1 to hit, Horus needs 5+ on turn 1. (5 x 0.33 = 1.67). Wounds: The talon has shred, meaning re-rolls to wound. Horus also needs a 3+ to wound, so [ 1-(0.33 x 0.33) = 0.89? Meaning (1.67 x 0.89 = 1.49) wounds. Russ rolls his 4++ and (1.49 x 0.5 = 0.74), or Horus wounds Russ 74% of the time, vs. Russ wounding Horus 33% with Balenight, or 67% with Helwinter. But does Russ ever want to use Helwinter, as there is a chance of burst damage with Balenight?

Round 2: Russ has an effective WS 8 and S5. Now he Russ needs to start thinking about how to divide up attacks: Balenight: (6 x 0.5 = 3) hits, wounds (3 x 0.5 = 1.5) wounds, and Horus saves (0.67 x 1.5 = 1.01), so no wound. Helwinter: 3 hits again, but now (3 x 0.67 = 2.01, and Horus saves (2.01 x 0.67 = 1.35, so maybe a wound?

Horus sticks with the talon again: Now he needs a 6+ to hit: (5 x 0.17 = 0.83) hits, and wounding: (0.83 x 0.89 = 0.74) wounds. Russ rolls his save (0.5 x 0.74 = 0.37) chance of wounding. And if he is wounded, then Russ goes to WS 6 and now Horus only needs a 5+ to hit him. Or Russ could get really lucky with Balenight and stack extra wounds on Horus thanks to Sever Life, but that just means the chances of IWND triggering go up. Each time Horus wounds Russ, Russ is losing -1 WS and -1 S, and it stacks. At 4 wounds, it becomes impossible for Russ to wound Horus with Balenight, and with Helwinter, Russ has an effective S4 vs T6, and at this point, Horus WS 8 vs WS 5, Horus is hitting him on a 5+.

It's just going to go back and forth like this until the game is over. If one player is rolling hot and the other is cold, then one of them will win. I would expect that over 8 close combat phases, 4 turns of combat where they manage to get into combat on turn 2 and it's a 6 turn game), that both would still be alive. The longer the close combat lasts, the more in favor it would become for Horus, while Russ has a greater outliner damage "burst" if you will.

But hey, that's just my round about math. I'm pretty sure that if you really broke out probability formula's and crunched the numbers, it would come out about the same: Neither would slay the other in 8 rounds of close combat. It would be a glorious fight though!


Unless I'm reading that wrong your first line is entirely wrong and that's where the issue lies, Horus can never hit Russ on better than a 5+ at any point whatsoever, even if Horus Lowers Russ' WS enough to hit on 3+ the -2 to the dice roll from the armour makes it back up to 5s and the rules state that you can never hit in combat on better than a 3+ so you can never get better than 5+ against Russ due to his armour. Therefore even if Horus is able to knock Russ' WS down enough to start hitting on 5+ again by that time Russ should have already landed some substantial hits if sever life has triggered (which mathematically it should pretty reliably), by the time they are both swatting at each other on 5+ Horus should either be dead or down to his last wound or two if IWND has been kind. Russ wins in straight up combat against every primarch because they all get their to hit rolls reduced to 5+ on the first turn and 6+ on any subsequent turns while russ hits them all on 3+. If I were playing Russ the only primarchs I would be slightly worried about would be Magnus and Vulkan as he can do his template attack, ignoring the effects of the armour. Horus, Bobby G, Ferrus, Fulgrim and Perty are scary prospects and won't be so easily won but I wouldn't be quite so hesitant to throw Russ at them if they are both solo or both have bodyguard, obviously throwing a lone Russ at any primarch with a bodyguard would be suicide.

host of the eternity king 3500pts+ lizardmen 1000pts
and 2000pts+ 4000+ pts 500+ pts
HH 3000+ pts 1350 pts HH raven guard 2000+ pts coming soon
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Washington State

Russ' armor is a modification to the die roll, not WS. If it modified WS, Horus could ignore it on a 3+ (his "Serpent's Scales" ability). The to hit chart compares WS to WS, and then you modify it. For example, at WS 9 (Russ) to WS 8 (Horus), Russ needs a 3+ to hit. Horus needs a 4+ to hit, but he is -1 to hit on the first round of combat. Therefore, Horus needs a 5+ to hit on the first round. If he wounds with his Talon, Russ drops to a WS 8, and on turn 2, they are both now WS 8, but Horus is now -2 to hit, meaning on round two, he needs a 6+. If he hits and wounds again, Russ drops to a WS 7, and now Horus needs a 3+ to hit, with a -2 to dice rolls. Horus now needs a 5+ to hit Russ. Thereafter, Horus will always need a 5+ to hit, while Russ will need a 4+, but will have considerable difficulty wounding Horus as his strength keeps going down.

There is no rule stating that you can never have better then a 3+ to hit in close combat. The chart shows 3+, but modifiers can increase this (like Russ' armor), or decrease it. You might be referencing the 1's always fail to wound.

An interesting side point is that it's possible for Horus to reduce a model to 0 S, or 0 WS, while the model still has wounds. When a model is reduced to WS 0, it can't fight and it is automatically hit in close combat. A model reduced to 0 Strength or Toughness is removed as a casualty.

All I'm saying is that Horus would be more than a challenge for Russ, and that either one of them would need outside the standard deviation of probability to "win", and that in all likelihood, they would stay locked in close combat for the entire game. It would not be a roll over and die fight the way you make it sound.

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I need to piont out that Russ' sword also has shred, so the math would be different.
   
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Aggro-melee Primarchs tend to be a huge amount of points invested in a unit that may or may not do much, depending on scenario, matchup, etc. I find that the most effective Primarchs run for their combat prowess are run in aggressive lists that present a large number of melee threats, rather than some kind of gunline with a random Primarch-missile thrown into the middle of it for no reason; so pretty much all the Primarchs work reasonably well, they just don't work tossed into any random army build.

I can say that Magnus seems the most generally useful (since he's badly-written and can easily make his points back nuking things off the table), Lorgar Transfigured and Ferrus seem like their support abilities are going to do more work than the rest, Corax and Mortarion are probably the best at running about solo, Alpharius is a fun all-rounder that gives you a lot of tricks on top of being able to sneak his killing power into the enemy, and Vulkan is the biggest trap (a Spartan loaded with Vulkan and some Firedrakes looks like fun, but it can and will run you 1,200-1,500pts and isn't that hard to kite long enough to just kill the rest of your army).

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