Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Dimensional Key and lack of Homing Beacons in the New Chaos Marine Codex

One of the biggest losses in the new chaos space marine codex is that of homing beacons and their analogues.  No longer do we have access to icons of chaos that double up as a homing beacon as we've come to expect from that last few iterations of the codex.  No personal icons. No way to bring down daemons, terminators, and obliterators on to the battlefield in a guided way.  Except for one.  The Dimensional Key.

This sole (new) icon will undoubtably be carried by an HQ choice. And since it requires enemy blood to "activate", we'll want it attached to a forefront unit.  But therein is the issue.  We could take it on a biker lord, or perhaps a Tzeentchian terminator.  But by the time they're causing wounds on the opponent, its probably already turn 2 (more likely turn 3 though) and three-quarters of the army are already on the board, making it a less attractive upgrade option.

One interesting idea though, would be to have a primary daemons detachment, alongside an allied chaos space marine detachment with a dimensional key carrying HQ choice.  Flamers, screamers and other daemons coming in late will therefore not scatter and can be placed at will where they're needed. This is particularly important to late turn flamer units.  Has anyone tried an experiment like this?  I'm thinking of trying something similar for an upcoming league round ... but am hesitant as I don't really see the Dimensional Key as being worthwhile for anything but Apocalypse style games.

7 comments:

HOTpanda said...

With Lesser Daemons and Greater Daemons gone the use for icons have all but disappeared in my books. I have messed around with deep striking oblits but I feel that even one turn where they are not on the table is huge loss. For each turn that goes by is a turn that they are not shooting. This leaves terminators but the role that I like to use them for Termicide meaning that they are targeting units that are deep into enemy territory. As you can see I just don't feel the need for homing beacons.

Tim Skawinski said...

Unfortunately yeah, DSing anything at all in the new CSM book is asking for trouble. The Key cannot be used for codex: daemons daemons; it says in the codex that the Key only affects units from codex:CSM. Not that it makes that much of a difference; half of your daemons MUST arrive turn 1, and then another third arrive turn 2, so by turn 3 you have a mere 1/6th of your daemons in reserves, so even if you could use it it would be a titanic waste of points.

DSing is less dangerous now, though, so I don't see a huge reason to not take Daemon allies with some icons for their later arrivals. Now you only mishap if you land on impassable terrain or enemy models, so DSing is a lot more safe. Plus, you simply shift over if you would land on friendlies, so you can create a box of dudes and aim a unit to land inside, and they will HAVE to do so. Using this you can land guys safely in your deployment zone, or use dudes with Scout/infiltrate to set up safe DS zones before the game begins. It's all rather sneaky and effective.

Lead Legion said...

Tim's right. I crushed at least one Khorne CSM/Daemon player's hopes at my local gaming group when I pointed that rule out.

Nasty. It wrecks what would otherwise be a worthwhile item and makes it completely worthless instead.

Lead Legion said...

One thing I do disagree with though:

My deepstriking CSM Mark of Tzeentech Terminators with four combi-metlas, five powerfists and a Reaper are a nightmare for my opponents. They've only once let me sown when I rolled two 1's and two 2s when trying to Melta a Godhammer Land Raider I deep-striked 2" behind in my second game with the army.

Watch my opponnents back-field vehicle-park scatter the moment they arrive. Usually straight out of cover and straight into LOS of my Lascannons!

Tim Skawinski said...

Of course DSing something successfully is great. The problem is you have no way to facilitate that with the CSM codex. You have no way to manipulate reserves, and no way to reduce scatter. Not that scatter is nearly as bad so long as you're trying to land amongst your own guys, but with that unit you've got, I doubt it. Daemons at least can be sure that they will immediately be getting their guys in.

jabberjabber said...

@Tim: you mentioned that you "move over" if you land on friendlies. But I'm pretty sure that landing on friendlies counts as a mishap, no?

Tim Skawinski said...

It does count as a mishap, yes. That information that I stated (you know, the wrong stuff) was relayed to me by someone I know who has more experience playing than I do, so I just accepted it as true. Reading the rules, yeah... you can't do that. I'm sorry if I confused anybody.

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