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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to share some thoughts about this HQ choice of Chaos Space Marines because I cannot make up my mind about the way to use him, and therefore don't know whether I will include him into my army lists or not.

Shortly speaking, he is a low profile independent character (compared to others HQ choice ... only the Warpsmith is lower, and the Apostle doesn't have the psychic abilities of a Sorcerer) who gives Fearless and Hatred to his unit, re-rolls his (likely) Chaos Boons (as far as those of the characters of his unit) and allows any unit within 6'' to use his (high) Leadership.

Not bad at first sight, but not easy to get involved into a proper battlefield role IMHO.

- He costs 40 points more than a Chaos Lord (who is Fearless too) for a lower profile,
- As far as he cannot be fitted with Jump Pack, Terminator Armour or Bike, the diversity of units he may join is limited (knowing that joining him to already Fearless units means that he gives them Hatred only for ... 40 points),
- As far as the Gift of Mutation reward is rolled before deployment but that the Beseech of the Dark Gods ability is used after deployment, he cannot (if I'm not mistaken) re-roll his initial Chaos Boon (nor the ones of his unit, like the two possible for the Possessed Champion, for instance).

I see two basic battlefield roles, but I'm not convinced by these :

- CSM and Black Legion codices : leading a squad of CSM or cultists and slightly protecting the other ones at 6''. But it forces all those squads to be grouped (reducing the tactical scope and mobility), and the cultists being at least 10, it prevents him to be included in a transport. A backfield role, observing the battle and moving to regroup running away units. With a lot of cultists (3-4 units), maybe, but not so useful in a more diversified army. His "Beseech of the Dark Gods" ability is then quite underused, as basic cheap units are not the ones which will often charge into the enemy and kill characters.

- Crimson Slaughter : leading a Possessed unit with "Prophet of the Voices" (and using his grenades not to be lowered to 1 when assaulting units behind cover/difficult terrain). But the Chaos Lord seems more suitable (cheaper and with better profile) for such a role, knowing that, at the frontline, non-Fearless units needing his Leadership are likely to be rarer (except for Raptors/Warp Talons in supporting/counter-attack assault, maybe).

Do you see any other role the Dark Apostle could fulfill at his full potential ?

[edit]The use of grenades to prevent the Init lowering to 1 is effective on model-per-model basis. A character with grenades will only preserve his own Init, not the global Init of the whole unit he joined.[/edit]
 

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Rattlehead
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I think he's pretty much worse than the Lord until you start getting into the larger squad sizes of 15 or 20. 20 CSM with Mark of Slaanesh + Icon of Excess/Mark of Khorne + Icon of Wrath, Lightning Claw Champion and Bolter/BP/CCW really benefits from a Dark Apostle since they deal a lot of damage on their own merit *anyway* without needing a Lord to add a couple of swings. At that point, Zealot really starts to show its worth as you're re-rolling a *lot* of attacks.
 
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