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Soul Devourer on a Tzeentch Herald?
Old 29 Dec 2009, 05:58   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default Soul Devourer on a Tzeentch Herald?

I'm trying to wrap my mind around the Soul Devourer gift, and I can't quite figure out what the point is. It counts as a power weapon, but most of the models that can take it are Monstrous Creatures who don't need one! Forcing "Leadership Or Die" on any models wounded by it is a nice touch, but most multi-wound models are Ld 10, so it's not going to hit very often. The only choice I know of where a power weapon would make any difference is a Herald of Tzeentch. Being Tzeentch, an HofT fights like a fire warrior at WS 2, although with better Toughness and Initiative. Still, even on a chariot that for some reason grants Furious Charge, he will be at best Weapon Skill 2, Strength 4, Initiative 5, and 5 attacks. When not charging, it's WS 2, S 3, I 4, 4 attacks. Anything charging an HQ choice like a Herald is likely to strike first, hit more often, wound more often, and force the Herald to hit on 5's. All of this will possibly force No Retreat wounds even after he hits back with a power weapon, although I suppose having a power weapon might reduce them. So what's the point? Is it supposed to keep the herald alive long enough for some bloodletters to come to his aid? Should the Furious Charge of the chariot persuade him to charge in and finish off any stragglers that survived his shooting? Or is there some aspect of Soul Devourer beyond its description that makes it useful?

Oh, another question I just thought of. How does the Leadership test interact with wound allocation? If a herald charges into a squad of identically equipped crisis suits (or a similar squad of multi-wound models) and does two wounds, do the Leadership tests even occur? If the order is wound allocation then Ld tests, nothing would happen. Both wounds would go on the same model, which would die, leaving no wounded model to make the check. However, if the order is "assign wound, check for Instant Death, proceed to next wound, repeat as needed", then you would check leadership at least once. If the check failed, then the next model would take the test. If the Herald managed to do three wounds it could remove one, two, or three models; depending on the dice rolls! Since the description of SD says "...must immediately take a leadership test" (emphasis mine), I'm inclined to think it's the second, but that makes it a pretty messy ability.
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