Musings on the Axe of Ruin:
(This is an axe of Khorne + the transformation into a temporary Bloodthirster)
As I'm sure just about everyone who put a few moments of thought into this item realized, due to the monstrous creatures changing flight mode rules, it may take a while before you're able to charge with this guy.
I came up with a few ideas on how to use this weapon effectively:
1.) It is of course ideal that the bearer of this weapon gets killed as quickly as possible. The best route to achieving that, to me, is a stock Khorne Lord with the Axe of Ruin as the only upgrade/wargear. He will be joined to a unit of Flesh Hounds to scout him up the board.
- Optional upgrade is a jump pack, to make him more mobile during the movement phase or reroll charge distance during the assault phase. This is useful but iffy, because it makes a suicide unit even more expensive.
2) Scout the Lord + Hounds as close to the enemy as possible, with the Lord in front of the hounds. In this situation contrary to our instincts, we want the lord to be the closest unit to a shooting enemy because he will take the wounds first. T4 with a 3+ won't last very long.
- A canny opponent will avoid killing him for as long as possible. The best case scenario (for the KD player) is for the lord to die during the opponent's first turn. That means he will transform during that turn, change flight modes during the KD player's first player turn, and be able to charge during the KD player's second turn if he's still alive. If the opponent doesn't shoot him, he's been scouted 12" away from their forces, giving him a decent enough chance to successfully charge something. 5 WS6 S4 I5 AP2 attacks that cause instant death on 6's are still a threat to anything with a toughness value, so even with these minimum upgrades he's still a murderer.
- He can split off from the hounds during the movement phase, as they aren't necessary for ablative wounds, and he will just slow them down anyway. If he has a jump pack, this isn't the case, but I think we want him to die ASAP anyhow.
3) It could be worthwhile to use the temporary Bloodthirster to capture objectives. It isn't the most satisfying use of this beast, but Maelstrom missions are won or lost based on how many points you have. Even merely revealing a mysterious objective can contribute, with the right cards. Depending on how many objectives you control, adding just 1 more could contribute an additional d3 points to the mix.
4) Probably the least useful, but worth mentioning, is anti-flyer duty. D3 S6 AP2 Ignores Cover (i.e. Jink) vector strike hits + 1 S6 AP2 shot from the Lash of Khorne should strip a hull point from most flyers, and definitely have a good chance of hurting a FMC.
It is possible the newly spawned Bloodthirster will be killed before he can do much of anything, due to the automatic d3 wounds and the bullets he will be attracting like a magnet. That, in and of itself, could be useful because your weaker hounds and bikers and such aren't taking as many shots. If he survives shooting but gets grounded (AND survives that...) then you will be charging as soon as possible and hopefully getting some kills in before the warp calls him home.
Suicide for the blood god, but if your opponent is hesitant to shoot at the lord to transform him into a skullraping maniac, make him pay for his cowardice with as many 6's to wound as you can muster. You know, because that's totally in your control!
Last edited by venomlust; 03-28-15 at 02:47 PM.