Friday, December 17, 2010

Death From the Skies: Baron Sathonyx

We all know how much I love Duke Sliscus. Well the old duke has been doing ok, but I wanted to kick it up a notch and play to The Dukes strengths. This of course means using wych cult to take advantage of the two dice for determining combat drugs. I have also been experimenting with different characters and units in the army. This time its time to add another renegade from Dark Eldar society and a unit to go along with him. Time for Baron Sathonyx
This crazy man is a disgraced noble in search of vengeance. He is also basically the leader of the Commorrite underworld so he is a very nice partner, as dubious as it is, to Duke Sliscus. So lets take a look at this rather audacious and dangerous character.
The Baron is a hellion basically. He is armed with the standard Hellglaive and a splinter pistol. His Skyboard is a custom job that increase his strength by 2 on the charge. So this beast is strength 6 when he charges. The sky board also has a type of Nightshield on it so any unit he is a part of gains stealth. To top it all off he also gives you +1 to the roll to choose sides, aka +1 roll to see who goes first. Not to shabby for 105 points. He also has a Shadow field and a Phantasm grenade launcher. A very nice package. Probably the best thing though is he is now part of the trend of “unit x” counts as troops as long as he is in the army. I think the trend started with Codex Space Marines. You now see at least one character in each codex that does it now. In this case Hellions count as troops in armies containing Baron Sathonyx. This opens up a lot of possibilities, not to mention all of your fast attack slots. You can field a very large mobile force without raiders. I think this is possibly the answer to doing fast hard hitting armies with minimal kill points for the Dark Eldar. You can field huge units of hellions and use mob tactics to overwhelm the enemy. Having squadrons of Heat Lance carrying Reavers in support and The Duke with Trueborns and Ravagers popping tanks bringing up the rear you can have a very mobile force that delivers pain very quickly and up close. Having supporting units to pop transports is the key so the Hellions can shoot and get into hand to hand with the occupants. This is also true for the Reavers as it seems you can inflict more casualties with the Bladevanes on exposed targets than just shooting them.
Although they only have a 5+ save Hellions are a very nice fast attack choice and are even better as a troops choice. They can essentially move 18 inches in a turn if you include assaulting and they also have a assault 2 poison weapon that has a range of 18 inches. Once they start getting pain tokens they get really nasty. Strength 5 on the charge with an initiative of 7 with 2 pain tokens. I just wish the Hellglaives were power weapons. Probably my favorite part of the Hellion unit is the Stunclaw upgrade you can give the Helliarch. After using their hit and run ability you roll a D6 and on a roll of a 2+ you drag an independent character out of the unit and take them with you. How entertaining is that. It is very useful when you get charged. It allows you to run away with the enemy leader and beat the crap out of him on your turn. This is of course is while the rest of your army guns down his retinue during your turn as they may not benefit from certain protections while the leader is not in the unit. You could possibly drag they guy back to your lines if you make your hit and run rolls and stunclaw checks every turn. The Duke does like pain tokens pre beaten and gift wrapped. Using The Baron gives these guys lots of flexibility. It allows you to get to objectives fast and deal with the troops holding it. He also gives the unit he is attached to a decent cover save as long as you hug the cover and take chances moving into and out of cover. At only 105 points he is well worth it.
My first big purchase of Dark Eldar is going to include at least one big unit of Hellions A warrior unit and Kabalite Trueborns will make up the Dukes contingent, with the Hellions Reavers and Wyches making up his allies.
Hellions are a great unit that I have not given a fair try yet. This of course is changing. After all this I never got into the fact they have combat drugs. I don't usually include them due to the variably nature and you should not rely on getting a certain one every game. Granted the Duke doubles your odds, but still sound strategy is the way to go.
So there ya go, my 2 cents about Hellions and my second favorite renegade. Look for a battle report in the near future with these two.
Next time I will have a battle report using my updated list for Adepticon. I squared up against a FLGS regular who has not been able to make it a lot lately. Deus brought his semi secret Mech Guard army and gave me a run for my money. So how did it turn out? You will find out next time. All I can say is I am happy with the changes and I love Vibrocannons.

So until then..............

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Have you written a list yet ? I'd be interested to look at one following this theme, I'm having trouble making something worthwhile at 1750 - points are quickly eaten if I want to take the 2 characters, some trueborn, some wyches, reavers, ravagers and of course hellions...

  2. The list is only partially made. Sadly I generally do not post full lists as I don't want them showing up enmasse to tournaments if they work well.

    List building can be tough at 1750. The key is getting your base HQ and 2 troops down. Then work from there. Characters like Duke Sliscus and Baron Sathonyx are very cheap for what you get points wise. Since Wych cult benefits from the Dukes combat drug roll basing your troops on Wych cult makes sense. Taking the baron makes the Hellions troop choices so you can save point by not having to take raiders. List development at lower point levels must follow this kind of logic.
    2 characters in this case only costs 255 points which leaves you 1495 points to work with.