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Would you leave the HQ at home?
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:02   #1 (permalink)
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Default Would you leave the HQ at home?

Of the many changes 40K has undergone over the years, the most important is the gradual scaling back of characters. Many of the most abhorrent HQ choices are gone (the 4th Ed. Chaos Codex had many an eyesore by way of example), and now the vast majority of HQ choices, whilst strong, are not in themselves game-winners. Indeed, several armies seem to have HQs that either grant your army an overall bonus (Guard and Space Marines), or re-organise the Codex in some way to allow a variant army to be fielded (Dark Angels, Orks, etc).

5th Edition has managed to go one better on the whole affair, by removing the "Invisible Soldier" ability Independent Characters once had. Now, if an IC is visible and not in a unit, it's fair game for every Lascannon on the board. Even if they're in a unit, you can still wound / kill them if you throw enough shots at the unit to force some wounds to be allocated against them.

With all this taken into account, it has got me wondering - since HQs are less "powerful" than they used to be, and are now far more vulnerable to attack, I'm wondering how many players would drop their HQ choices entirely if it were an option. Indeed, if that became an option, what (if anything) would need to be done to ensure the armies remain balanced?

Personally, I could definitely see this happening with Marines, Chaos, Necrons or Tau. Eldar I probably wouldn't (because the Farseer is so damn useful), nor Dark Eldar (Drachite / Archite is needed for Wych Cult). Orks, again, are a situation where I'd still want a HQ - not only do I love Ravensquig, but Orks need to have a Boss. It just doesn't fit if they don't.
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:06   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

Never, I spent hours converting/painting my Commander, and he has to earn some kills before retiring.

Also, Rites of Battle is just so damn useful since there are now massive penalties for losing combat, and I have an unparalleled ability to roll 1s.
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:12   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?


Tyranids: Definately not- synapse duh...

Eldar: Hold my force together really- farseer especially.

Tau: I take my Shas'el purely because i'm a battlesuit mech army and I need the bodyguards. More suits!
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:16   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

No.

Two words: Righteous Zeal.

....

And Vows, but hey!
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:27   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

I probably wouldn't drop my HQ. I just can't resist the potential for my leader to perform some act of suicidal bravery. Plus I always feel a lil better when I get utterly massacred if my commander kill theirs ;D
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:28   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

Psh! Like I could even go into battle without my Winged Khorne Prince!

I do see where you are coming from though, but I think that while the HQ are being toned down, they are still vital in most peoples lists ( to an extent, once again, because of the above mentioned bonuses).
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:29   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

For Tau, yes. The Commander has never been different enough from the regular suits. I would save the points and field more firepower. The Ethereal has bottomed out in terms of utility, and the Special Characters don't work.

For Dark Angels, the rules mean that I need them twice over. Belial I would never take if I didn't have to. I would just take a Chaplain. Rites of Battle is meaningless when most of the army is Fearless. But Sammael I actually like, so I would take him even if I wasn't force to to play Ravenwing.
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 16:50   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

I have never been a fan of having an uber-killy points sink of an HQ on the table. I would not, however, pass on the ones that I regularly use simply because of the extra reinforcement they bring to the table as far as Leadership checks go. Specifically, I run the following in my armies:

1. (Black Templars) Marshal and Emperor's Champion. Of course, I can't get rid of the Champion, but why would I want to? Vows give your entire army a variety of different useful effects for very little points cost. As for the Marshal, as far as I'm concerned you simply can't run a good Templars army without one. A Black Templars army makes more Leadership checks than anything else I've ever seen and you want those checks working for you rather than your opponent.

2. (Imperial Guard) Senior Officer and Junior Officers. Again, it's all about the Leadership modifiers with these guys. They get a bare minimum of personal equipment (though their personal bodyguards will likely bristle with firepower) and are used only to make sure my boys hold stead under enemy ranged fire and can regroup even at low numbers. These guys are dirt cheap for the benefits they provide.

Short answer: Nope. I wouldn't leave my HQ's behind if given the choice.

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Old 08 Sep 2008, 17:08   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

For a game under 1,000pts I would definitely try it out and after a few various attempts I would decide if I would regularly drop my HQ.
With Marines armies are always low in numbers and so saving yourself approximately 150pts for a small Tactical Squad, Scouts or a tank could be very useful.
I might try this out if I find someone who will let me do it..
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Old 08 Sep 2008, 17:10   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would you leave the HQ at home?

On the note of Space Marines, most people I know always bring Veteran Sergeants (and you have to if you play Angels). This means that, short of bringing a Ld 10 Commander, Rites of Battle won't actually give you any bonus.
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