Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great Unclean One Builds

It has been a while since I wrote about various builds and list building aspects that I think about. Today, I wanted to jot down a few personal notes that I've made about fielding Great Unclean Ones in daemon armies.

The first thing to say is that the exact build of Great Unclean One may depend entirely on the type of daemon army that one is running. For example, an Epidemius orientated build may be entirely different to a build designed to complement a mixture of different daemon factions as they will have entirely different roles to play.

I think the keyword there (for me) is "role". Since I play mixed daemons much more frequently than pure Nurgle lists, I'm going to talk about what role I have for a Great Unclean One in a mixed build (see e.g. this army list). For my army, I want my Great Unclean One to be a distraction and a road bump. He's the fellow who's going to hold up the thunder hammer terminators for a turn or two. He's the guy who's going to deep strike near a remote objective on his own without support to kill the enemy that is currently holding it. He's the one who's going to distract the enemy force commander for a few turns whilst my other (faster) miniatures either descend on more important targets or objectives, or come to his aid. He's there to get in the way as much as possible and slow my opponent down as much as he can (providing he gets a good deep-strike in to play!).

The second thing to note is that the Great Unclean One is fairly cheap. In my army lists, it usually comes down to purchasing this guy, or a unit of smaller daemons. Therefore, I don't really want to spend more points on him that I have to.

Spending the base cost on this greater daemon and adding no upgrades is therefore perfectly acceptable to me! Yes - that's right - I sometimes just field him as is! This is due to his large number of wounds, feel no pain, noxious touch and generally solid stat line given the role that I want him to play. Moreover, given his slow and purposeful movement, he may never actually see any action if an opponent decides to move away from him (which is often why I decide to target him toward a held objective!).

Cloud of flies is a cheap upgrade. Sometimes it is worthwhile, sometimes not. Given his initiative is 2, he's never going to be striking first in many "normal" combats. But at least with the cloud, he can ensure he goes before power fists (and the like) if he charges enemy combatants in cover.

Aura of Decay is nice in an Epidemius list. And if I'm sure the Great Unclean One is going to get close enough, fast enough. Personally, I don't usually take it unless it is on a daemon prince.

Breath of Chaos is an interesting choice. It brings the total of the build up to 190 points immediately and can be very devastating to both armour and infantry alike. But again, the slowness of the Great Unclean One means that this is usually only going to go off once per game, if I'm lucky. However, when an opponent (particularly an inexperienced one) sees it go off the once, they'll recognize how dangerous the ability is and tend to target the Great Unclean One in preference to more real and immediate dangers. Hence, I kind of like this upgrade and it is fun to use once in a while despite the cost!

Unholy Might just is not worth while in my opinion. Especially since the Great Unclean One comes with noxious touch already. And the role I have in mind for him is not tank-busting in general.

The Instrument of Chaos is sometimes worth while -- largely for the same reasons it can be good on plaguebearers. An unsupported Great Unclean One can certainly tie combats with choice opponents often. So if there's a few spare points left over, why not.

Hence, I might go for one of a few builds depending on the points available to me:
(a) A "naked" Great Unclean One (no upgrades);
(b) Clouds of Flies and / or Instrument of Chaos (nice cheap upgrades that can be very useful);
(c) Breath of Chaos -- just for fun! But at a higher price points-wise!

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