Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chaos Daemons Review: Epidemius

Oh woe is Epidemius.  For his army wide multiplication rule from the previous edition has been replaced by a radius of effect.  To be fair, this had to happen, much in the same way that psychic hoods in space marines had to get a radius of effect.  What is irking though, is that Epidemius' ability to pump up his allies no longer extends to anything with the Mark of Nurgle.  Rather, it is now only daemons of Nurgle with 6" that benefit from the Tally of Pestilence.  Still, at least all unsaved wounds anywhere on the board by Nurgle daemons still count toward the tally -- it could have been worse.

The Tally itself sees a re-jig.  The first boon is +1S, followed by a toughness increase (to take plaguebearers back to what they were in the last codex - lol!) and then poison and feel no pain (at advanced rolls).  But the numbers needed for each have gone up too.  And there's no power sword equivalence any longer.

In terms of other equipment, he carries a standard plaguesword and has a lesser locus of virulence.  This rule (if playing for Tally increases) will rapidly become useless thanks to the poisoned attacks granted by the Tally.  I personally would have liked to have seen at least the greater locus for Epidemius.  But, of course, this could be purchased through an additional herald and added in to the unit for good measure.

The other good thing about Epidemius is the fact he has 4 wounds.  But hold on, his toughness is only 5.  So he can still be instant killed until the Tally gets above 14.  Better get the runs on the board quickly!

In terms of what to run him with, I'd take him with a complementary herald of Nurgle, both of which are buried inside either a large mob of plaguebearers the deepstrike the front lines, or within a large swarm of Nurglings - for laughs (but could be very deadly in due course!).  Beasts and plague drones have a different movement rate, so don't pair Epidemius with them.  Adding in a Great Unclean One seems like overkill (but I can imagine such a "plague star" unit hitting the board).

To be honest, at his points value, he's actually reasonable quality, but only take him in (near) pure Nurgle daemon armies.  He gets wasted (in terms of fulfilling his potential) doing otherwise.

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