Friday, June 12, 2009

Points Evaluation of Kharn the Betrayer

Is Kharn worth while taking? Can a chaos marine lord of Khorne do any better? How do they compare?

Kharn is one of those characters that doesn't seem to see too much tabletop play these days. Without the 4th edition "assault consolidation in to other units", and a lack of full-blooded Khorne bloodletters, the World Eaters and Kharn are not the army that they once were. But let's have a look at how Kharn stacks up against other chaos lord builds anyway, in a similar way that I did a while ago with Typhus.

Points Comparison to a Chaos Lord.
The basic Chaos Lord comes in at a low 90 points cost. Kharn has a few things in the statistics department beyond a normal Chaos Lord: +1WS, +1S, +2A.

Firstly, let's give the Lord the Mark of Khorne (+1A) for 10 points. And because this is just an exercise in comparisons, let's give it to him again - 2 marks of Khorne for 20 points, for +2A (yes - it's illegitimate, but that's not the point). From the old codex, +1S cost 10 points as well. The increase in WS is a little harder to articulate a points value for, but let's just say its also 10 points.
Hence, our imaginary chaos lord costs 130 points to get the same statistics as Kharn.

We also need to make the Lord have the Khorne berzerker special rules (furious charge and so forth). I'm going to assume that this might be rolled in to the double mark of Khorne (indeed, it cost less in the old codex where the mark of Khorne came with the bezerker rules). Otherwise, it might cost say ...5 extra points? Kharn also needs an invulnerable save. This is a little bit like getting a mark of Tzeentch, so we'll add on 15 points. That brings the total to 145 points.

Now let's have a look at some wargear. Our chaos lord will need a plasma pistol (15 points), gorechild (probably in the region of 20+ points) and the blessings of Khorne (about 5 points). That takes us up to about 185+ points.

The only remaining question is how does "the betrayer" special rule alter this? I suspect that it is considered a disadvantage that could lower the points cost. If we say it lowers it by about 15 or 20 points, then we get back to Kharn's actual cost.

Hence, Kharn is probably about points-value / worth neutral versus a (illegitimately constructed) chaos lord equivalent. Compare that to Typhus who is a clear bargain!

However, Kharn still has a great place in a number of close combat orientated builds and World Eater armies. He can really dish out some hurt, but the player must be careful to separate him from his attached squad prior to combat to avoid the worst side of his betraying nature.


Ryan said...

Actually, Chaos Lords come with a 5+ invuln save, standard. No need to give the test lord that. Knock off 15 points there.

Also, Gorechild is a bit better then 20 points, IMO, as there is the whole "hitting on a 2+, always" thing there.

Having not used him before, I cant say for sure, but on paper he looks to be priced competitively compared to a Chaos Lord.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Ryan - you're dead right about the invulnerable save. Subtracting that off and adding on a bit more for gorechild probably works out at about the same costing though.

On the few (usually apoc games) that I've used him, he's pretty good at killing both his own mates as well as the opposition. The key thing is to break him off from a squad before charging.

Nontheless, I'm still not entirely sure he's a bargain, but 2+ to hit is very competitive as you suggest.


Raptor1313 said...

I would take Kharn over a Khorne Lord in a heartbeat.

Same armor, same invulnerable. Plasma pistol? That's an 'eh' thing; I don't see a big point in it but it's another wound off something.

Kharn ought to crank out 5 hits on the enemy, wound on 2's, and pretty much KO 5 guys on his lonesome. If he has friends with him (read: meat shields) then he's going to whack one of those guys, too. Big whoop.

In terms of what the Chaos Lord can get? Lord's got fewer attacks off the bat, and the only way to beef up the number of attacks is with a Bloodfeeder, but then you're looking at a 30% chance of flat wounding yourself and doing nadda.

Otherwise, lightning claws are more productive (get up to 5 base attacks, like Kharn), but wound less (on the charge, wound T4 75% of the time) and can scratch paint off a dread or MC.

I'd take Kharn, or I'd look into a Warptime sorcerer for a man-sized CC choice in a Chaos army.

In general, though, I'm not that enamored with Daemon Weapons. I'd think about a Nurgle Bike Lord with Manreaper, but that's as a guided missile/bail-out strategy, and T6 is just 'fun' then. Blissgiver would be cooler if so much stuff worth insta-killing wasn't immune to instant death, and a regular lord with Lightning Claws is still inferior to a Warptime sorceror.

The Chaos Lord's only real contribution to the army is lethality in CC, so he better add some serious lethality and be easy enough to use.

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