Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
JUGGERNUT
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've seen this pop up on forums and in person. There are players who hate when their opponents field special/named characters.

One of them was pissed at me because Kharn raped his entire squad of Death Company. Quite naturally, Kharn is now overpowered in his mind. After losing the game to me, part of the excuse was that he didn't bring any named characters.

Most named characters are definitely not overpowered... quite a few aren't worth their points cost.

Is it the perceived lack of originality? Is it that you think they're blatantly overpowered?

Just curious, I love the discussions we have on this forum so I just wanted to start another. I personally don't care either way; I'd just like to hear what you all have to say on this subject.

:drinks:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,195 Posts
I love them! It is just to bad so few are worth taking. I play harder when bringing one and it makes it more fun trying to kill that special character. It is a win all in its own.

Your friend sound like a bad looser and Kharn was there to take the heat.

I just wish that all named characters where balanced so that you saw more of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
Speaking as an old player who has had to adjust to 6ed I can give you the reasons that I tend to avoid named characters.

The first is that when I played (2ed/3ed) you had to have "permission" to play special characters, so I got used to never playing with them. It is just a matter of personal preference. I have found this opinion fading though as I have become more embroiled in the current game.

The second is a matter of personal playstyle. If you look at my armies I try to build around my own themes and style of play. I find few special characters fit my wants in combination of wargear, powers, and play. There are a few I do use, Maugan Ra and Khorso Khan, but both fit into the armies that I play them with. As good as Asurman or Vulkan might be they aren't in the style of my army.

Finally, it can be a matter of the fluff. Some people take the game very seriously in a narrative style and if Kharn is running around in every small skirmish they play it could be hard to fit him into the mental picture. Even though I run Khan, I run him as a proxy for the Master of the Hunt in my own marine chapter...not as Khan. I also tend to avoid running named characters in small games (for fluff reasons as much as points).

Now my opinion on the matter has changed and softened as I play more 6ed and really I have no problem now if my opponent wants to run Special Characters...even if I am hesitant to run them myself.


As for your opponent, that sounds like sour grapes. Although the load-outs may not always be ideal most named characters are more powerful than a normal character of the same point cost via whatever special rules or unique wargear they posses. This means you have to treat them differently...It can sometimes come as a surprise to an unprepared opponent when the special character performs above and beyond what they expect from that type of character (i.e. "what do you mean Magnus is better than a regular Chapter Master")
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
They used to be opponent's-permission-only, but that changed in 5th edition where Special Characters became a more fundamental part of the game.

Often, you can make a nastier character from the basic HQs. Kharn is not *that* much better than a Lord with Axe of Blind Fury and maybe a Juggernaught.

But I can count the really strong special characters on my extremities and have some spare. Most of them are good at best, more often underwhelming or downright bad.
 

·
JUGGERNUT
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Kharn is not *that* much better than a Lord with Axe of Blind Fury and maybe a Juggernaught.
Sometimes I have both in my army:victory:. Those always make for very fun games. In the game described in my OP, Kharn turned into a Spawn after annihilating my opponent's Reclusiarch. That was a hilarious outcome which I'll never forget.

I didn't know about the "permission for named characters" rule of old. Makes sense that veteran players have that lingering feeling about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,190 Posts
The only special character that is/was even vaguely powerful is/was Mephiston, and even he had answers such as Plasma.

Anyone who pisses and moans about SCs in this edition of the game is either nursing a holdover from about a decade ago (when they were actually unreasonably overpowered) or has no idea how to actually play the game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
If it exists you can use it ,thats my logic. Who the hell are you to tell me that I can't use the model i bought, built and painted... unless you are my girlfriend.

If you remove special characters from Dark Angel dex it would basically invalidate the much of the army builds and make it just another vanilla marine army.
If my opponent brought 2 baneblades hell ye i wanna play that, but be fair about the game lets make a special scenario and let me make it fair by beefing up my army.
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
The only special character that is/was even vaguely powerful is/was Mephiston, and even he had answers such as Plasma.
I'm not really sure what you mean here. Do you mean powerful as in beating people up? In which case, Mephiston's hardly the lord of beatsticks (damn good, to be sure, but I'd rather fight him than Abaddon or the Swarmlord).

I assume you don't mean powerful as in how strong an option they are and how good their abilities are, because I know you know that Sliscus, Coteaz and, I dunno, maybe Logan Grimnar are really strong choices despite being merely 'ok' in a fight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
I'm not really sure what you mean here. Do you mean powerful as in beating people up? In which case, Mephiston's hardly the lord of beatsticks (damn good, to be sure, but I'd rather fight him than Abaddon or the Swarmlord).

I assume you don't mean powerful as in how strong an option they are and how good their abilities are, because I know you know that Sliscus, Coteaz and, I dunno, maybe Logan Grimnar are really strong choices despite being merely 'ok' in a fight.
Sadly i have not had a chance to face those, but i found Belial with sword to be quite amazing melee character. Midnight since you also play DA how do you place him against those characters?
DWA Belial with group of knights at right position can turn the tide of the game or completely end it in my favour. With good dice rolling you can slaughter everything in your path.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
I'm fine with them, I do hate things like marbo though, but that has nothing to do with his name, just that he's a 'remove one squad' button for guard and at dirt cheap.
But they can be cool and give me a surprise when I find out a speacial rule they have and I'm 'hmm, cool but he's dead... Sorry' like we I challenged a tau battle suit with my sergeant, then found out he had an onager gauntlet as he bitch slapped me into the floor... That was fun and it didn't stop my termie sarg wipe out the whole squad next turn- he killed 3 crisis squads, one a body guard with commander in as many turns :D
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
Sadly i have not had a chance to face those, but i found Belial with sword to be quite amazing melee character. Midnight since you also play DA how do you place him against those characters?
DWA Belial with group of knights at right position can turn the tide of the game or completely end it in my favour. With good dice rolling you can slaughter everything in your path.
He's completely terrible without the Hammer/Shield, and 'blah' with it. 3 attacks at AP3, even with Fleshbane, just isn't doing enough damage to bother anybody in truth, and he's pretty easy to splat with a Power Fist or Monstrous Creatre. Sometimes he does cool stuff, but at the end of the day he's a 190pt Company Master with Terminator Armour, Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield (thankfully, his Master of the Deathwing and Tactical Precision rules mean he's only about 30/40pts overpriced, rather than being unusable). Knights, on the other hand, are amazing, so bring them and paste face all day.

No, amazing combat characters are actually fairly rare - without accounting for a way to get into combat or their other abilities (because some of these characters are amazing in melee, but can't actually get to the fight without being shot to shit in the process), I'd have to give the first place golden trophy to Skarbrand, hands down. Then most other super-characters from their respective books (Ghazghkull, the Swarmlord, Abaddon, Draigo, Mephiston) are pretty combat-competent too, but most stuff is pretty reasonable to deal with in melee, especially since you can usually gun them down before they ever get there.
 

·
Critique for da CriticGod
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
I'm part of the gamer generation which dislikes special characters. Waaaaaaay back in 2nd ed they were ridiculously overpowered and rightly required the opponent's consent. I still remember those days vividly.

In addition I was always bothered by the armies which required a player to bring a personality to the field to play their army according to a particular army style. Even when "counting-as" it still bugs me that players are required to purchase HQs that way. Personalities should never be required to play a style within the army. In the current system "overpoweredness" doesn't really enter into it for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
It's not that I have anything against named characters per se, but I despise the fact that you have to field them, if you want to play a certain way.
Take DA for example, like Stormxlr mentioned. You HAVE to bring Belial or whatever his name is, in order to play Death Wing. Why not just have some sort of upgrade for your commander to unlock them as troops?

It just seems so stupid that a Grey Knights army with Coteaz has a fair chance of facing off against another Grey Knights army using Coteaz.

I'm all for special characters for their battle skills, psychic powers e.g. But I truly hate it when they give your army bonuses, which you couldn't otherwise achieve.
 

·
JUGGERNUT
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, that makes sense. I can totally get behind being frustrated by needing a specific HQ. Huron comes to mind, for Infiltrate.

I guess it's cool that there's some element of randomness to Warlord traits and things like that, but I think I'm compelled to agree with the notion that there shouldn't be mandatory HQ to play a certain style. Not a reason to hate on another player, but as they say, the game.
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
It's not that I have anything against named characters per se, but I despise the fact that you have to field them, if you want to play a certain way.
Take DA for example, like Stormxlr mentioned. You HAVE to bring Belial or whatever his name is, in order to play Death Wing. Why not just have some sort of upgrade for your commander to unlock them as troops?
Because a Company Master with Terminator Armour and the upgrade to make Deathwing Troops is Belial. He has exactly nothing special about him. He IS a basic Commander with the three optional weapon loadouts and an extra special rule.

It just seems so stupid that a Grey Knights army with Coteaz has a fair chance of facing off against another Grey Knights army using Coteaz.
Granted, but there are a lot of Inquisitors out there with highly extensive rings of informants and henchmen. Coteaz' rules don't just work for one Inquisitor in the entire history of the galaxy.

I'm all for special characters for their battle skills, psychic powers e.g. But I truly hate it when they give your army bonuses, which you couldn't otherwise achieve.
I think they're the best kind, otherwise they're not fulfilling the 'special' part of 'special character'. They'd just be generic HQ dudes with less flexibility (look at 8 out of the 9 Special Characters in the Farsight supplement, and tell me which ones you can honestly name from memory and would use outside of O'Vesa, who's only special because he lets you squash a Riptide into HQ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
One of my favorite characters to use is kanadres from the eldar codex. If he only had a invulable save he would be well away. The one guy i hate fighting but also using is Commissar yarrick he is such a pain but so funny to see get back up everytime :grin:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,544 Posts
I got started in this hobby when named characters were very much a "Hey, this is a cool model, and there are rules for it if you absolutely *must* use it, but mostly, they're just for display." The era of requiring your opponent's permission, stuff like that. And that still resonates with me to a certain degree.

I very rarely play with named characters, but it's more out of habit than anything else. I don't find them that interesting-- they feel like a concession to game design more than something that creates a stronger narrative (or, "forges a better narrative?") for the game. In recent years, it's felt like the presence of a named character makes a player's army less unique, and in some cases makes it outright identical to several other players'.

Do I dislike seeing them across the table from me? Not really. It doesn't bother me one way or another in gameplay terms. I just find them boring. I tend to beat up armies that lean heavily on named characters much more readily than an original build. Named characters often dictate strategies, and when you know what your opponent is going to do (because their tactics are basically pre-written by the presence of a named character) you can exploit it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
@MidnightSun
technically, if you put it this way, almost all special characters are just beefed up normal commanders with special rules.
Sure there are some exceptions such as Avatar and Daemon Prince.
But arent all Space Marines are the same? Some are just more excellent and become commanders/captains and if they continue they become leaders of the chapter.
Yes I agree Belial is a bit bland, lacks in fluff, doesnt have much taste to him and bit more expensive than he should be.

Lets dissect him.
Belial comes with TDA, AP3 fleshbane sword and can be switched to TH/SS or 2 Lightning Claws for free, also a free Teleport Homer.
7 Special rules out of them 3 rules are unique to him;

  1. Tactical Precision (No Scatter for DS),
  2. Grand Master of Deathwing (Deathwing Terminators are troops),
  3. Marked for Retribution(precision shots on 5+), and also has The Hunt as a Warlord Trait.
Total 190 PTs

Now a DA Company Master in Terminator Armor with SB/PS costs 130 points. Cant have Lightning Claws, or TH/SS, but can take Special Issue Wargear and Chapter Relics which compensates for that. Has an identical stat line. With Relic of Unforgiven and Mace of Redemption he costs 175 points and the mace is much better than the Sword of Silence Belial comes with.

The only thing that makes him special are the 3 rules. Marked for Retribution is useless since most ppl run him with TH/SS and he is not a shoty character.

Now that leaves me questioning how would you actually make him unique and useful?

In DA book the most unique HQ would be Azrael due to assortment of Special rules and Wargear, however he is expensive and I never actually found him useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,689 Posts
too be fair, perhaps the best CC special character is Kharn, and it did indeed run roughshod over an equally CC oriented unit...so I can see how it can be seen as "over powered" and at the same time I can see a lascannon eliminate him from the game in one shot.

Do I dislike seeing them across the table from me? Not really. It doesn't bother me one way or another in gameplay terms. I just find them boring. I tend to beat up armies that lean heavily on named characters much more readily than an original build. Named characters often dictate strategies, and when you know what your opponent is going to do (because their tactics are basically pre-written by the presence of a named character) you can exploit it.
I have a few special characters that I like to run; mostly it is Lucius in my NM leaning CSM warband.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top