Officio Assassinorum review
So here we are with a tactical post – a genuine one again after all this time! Today I’m going to do a review of the Assassins codex that was released on Saturday.
I’m not going to cover the background parts of the release, save to say that the Officio Assassinorum gets a decent enough going over in terms of fluff.
First up, assassins all have the same profile – and they all cost in the region of a full tactical squad of space marines without upgrades. They’re twice as good at shooting and fighting as marines, and are just as strong and tough. 3 wounds, initiative 7 and 4 attacks basic plus the best leadership there is means even without any other benefits, these guys are right up there with the best profiles in the game, especially with the lengthy list of special rules each has.
They also come with a stock of special rules common to each of the four types – they’re all fearless, can infiltrate, can’t be joined by other characters, come with a stock 4++ and don’t suffer the initiative penalty for charging through terrain, they also roll an extra die for moving through terrain and deduct 2 from your opponents look out sir rolls.
Onto the individual temples then:
You really don’t want to be this guy’s target – on the face of it the Vindicare is the easiest of the assassins to use, he’s a sniper without compare, carrying a rifle that can shoot across the board. All his shots are precision, unless he’s snap-firing, they ignore cover and he carries blind grenades to disorientate his enemies should they get close enough to charge him. His pistol and rifle are two variants of the same thing, both ignoring terminator armour and firing one of three types of ammunition. The first makes light of invulnerable saves, the second either causes multiple wounds or strikes at max strength against vehicles, and the last effectively gains the fleshbane rule.
One basic option here – no matter what toys he might bring to combat (and yes, he does have a close combat weapon as well as the pistol) and his profile, he’s not equipped to be there. Find him a spot in cover (he gets stealth, so should anything hit him that ignores his invulnerable save, you’ve got that to fall back on) and start plinking away – first at the warlord (all the assassins have a nice little bonus for killing the enemy warlord) and then go for high value targets like special weapon bearers, terminators, etc.
Traditionally the sneaky assassin of the four (well, three originally) the Callidus’ special rules are very cool – they’re fleet, with hit and run (remember that initiative value!), precision strikes in combat, an uber rending sword, pistol that fires a poison template that eats through terminator armour, and a couple of really cool special rules. First you can re-roll to seize the initiative, really mess with your opponent’s reserves and deploy only 1” away from the enemy with them only firing snap shots in the first turn. Needless to say – with a template weapon and all the little tricks they bring in combat this is one model you won’t want to be charging with anything but a combat monster.
Best use I can figure for the Callidus is for taking down high value target units (as opposed to single characters), elite ones in preference to high volume, but where the vindicare is a distance killer the callidus is most definitely an up-close and personal girl. Infiltrate is great for her, especially if you have the first turn, but don’t forget that she can be charged in the first turn so placement is still important, you’re going to want to be in template range in your first turn and if the pistol doesn’t do its work, the phase sword will.
Billed as the archetype monster, the Eversor is always presented as a combat assassin without equal. His rules however make his targets quite specific, and he’s geared to cause the most disruption to your enemy.
Basic equipment is melta bombs and a power sword, though he also comes with a pistol that switches between standard bolt pistol and poisoned pistol, and a neuro gauntlet that comes with fleshbane and shred (but no AP). The Eversor can charge half as far again as other models, gains a triple attack bonus for charging, fires its pistol four times as often as other models, doesn’t feel pain, fires overwatch at full BS and when it dies it basically explodes, hitting everything in D6” with a strong blast.
Make no mistake, this guy comes up against an elite unit with terminator style saves and he’s gonna die pretty quick. Put him up against anything less than that however and you’re on to a winner, sheer number of attacks will see you through against most opponents.
Without a doubt, this is the star of the show in my opinion – he may be designed to take on psykers specifically but he’s not a one-trick pony by any means.
He causes fear, prefers fighting psykers, cuts their leadership within 12”, stops them adding to the warp pool, makes it harder for them to manifest powers, is completely immune to psychic powers, even negating buffs and debuffs, brings psyk out grenades, has a psychic shooting weapon that gets a number of shots equal to the total mastery level within 12” plus up to three of your own warp charge dice plus a couple of real doozies – anyone attacking him is treated as having WS/BS1, and his own close combat attacks ignore armour and cause instant death (all against psykers, on a 6 to wound for everyone else).
I’m really struggling to find a weak side to this guy, he’s so hard to target that it would take the best part of your whole army to take him down, and he’s not worth that many points. Psykers are going to run a mile from him, but if you catch him in combat, he’s still nasty as they come to anyone that doesn’t have a big invulnerable save. I think basically he’s designed to be able to hunt down a psyker trying to stay away from him, no matter where they hide, and to be tough enough to survive if that hunt takes a few turns.