I contacted a friendly chap from http://40kdirectorscut.com/ togive me some feedback, and I got a major response! His comments are in green below, mine are in the regular font.
Combat Drug Dispenser – 30pts is a bargain! For as little as 1pt per model, the entire unit gains +1 attack, +1 strngth AND +1 initiative on the charge, and counts as Fearless. Sure you lose control, but too cheap. This should be a unit upgrade, not a character upgrade. For 3pts per model, that would balance out about right.
-You are right, it is too cheap, although keep in mind that the unit no longer counts as scoring. The techmarine items were a late addition and thrown in without much internal review, so I need to take a second look at them for sure.
Explosive collars – I’d simply adjust the rules for Summary Execution for simplicity. Upon a failed Morale check re-roll it. If it passes, a traitor is blown up. If the rerolled test is failed, the traitors have mobbed the character to death before he can trigger the explosive collars. Either way, this rule/option is kind of redundant given that you have the Sacrifice rule already…
– I wanted to make it a better but deadlier version of sacrifice, but I’ll re-examine the rules for it.
Virus Bomb – so your opponents take S5 hits, but your own men don’t even get that luxury? All models really should suffer the hit except the immune troops.
-Fair enough, although they probably won’t be in base contact with other allies outside the squad. Do you think rules regarding the timing of the bomb is ok?
HQ – only one HQ unit? I’d add the following options
-Demagogue/Lieutenant (a human leader, perhaps a similar profile to a Senior Guard officer)
– Rogue Psyker (see Codex Witchhunters)
also see below
-That’s a good call, I will probably make the Rogue Psyker option an upgrade. As written you have you choice of HQ models from 3 books plus the codex including the Chaos Sorc and the Primaris Psyker, but I think a separate entry is justified for a Chaos Leader that isn’t a marine or straight out of the guard book. I will probably give them similar wargear options to the champions.
Troops – Dominator’s options need clarifying as he can potentially carry four weapons! Should be “He may replace his lasgun/combat weapon with one of the following…”
– I’ll clean that up, although I did want them to have options. Basic chaos marines carry 3 weapons but 4 is definitely too much.
Weapons teams – new Guard ‘dex treats these as a single, 2 wound model. I’d add the additional profile to the summary.
– Yeah, I just got a peek at the new guard codex a few days ago and that occured to me.
Plasma Guns need points hike to 15pts. Grenade Launchers should also be 10pts, not 8pts.
-Are those the prices from the new guard book? I intend them to match.
Spawn should be 30pts+ to bring them into line with Chaos Space Marines (Spawn bought there are 40pts and have no saves)
-The spawn in the CSM book are widely regarded as terrible and some say the worst unit in the game (for their points). I am basing them more on the Eye of Terror profile they had, although admittedly they were a bargain in that incarnation. I might boost them closer to 30 points, but they do have the hindrance of somewhat random movement and only 2 wounds. For 30 points you could get a Fiend of Slaanesh which has one less toughness but no move restrictions, rending, musk, better WS, I, an invulnerable save, and more attacks. Any thoughts?
Mutants should be at least 8pts. 3 attacks and toughness 4 is unbelievable, particularly as they shield the Rending Ogryn/Mutant Boss….which brings me to my next point…..
-Ah, but Orks are 6 pts, and come with an extra CCW which the mutants may not get. To avoid confusion I decided to keep all natural weapons througout the codex to represent a single CCW, and put the equivalent attacks on the profile. Orks sheild a PK Nob and we know what they can do. I want them to be similar in stats and points to basic ork boyz but have their differences and maybe not be quite as effective.
Mutant Boss – rending is excessive overkill here. As seen in our recent battle report, Ogryns are tough enough to dish it out, before you even get into Rending. When you bear in mind that your unit will protect this guy, if you deliver him into combat he will deliver the goods. If any unit in the list deserves Rending, it should be a daemonic beasts type unit (flesh hounds and the like)
-I might decide to base the mutant boss directly on the new ogryns, probably minus the ripper gun. I want them to have some options as they are characters, so maybe rending would be an upgrade choice. I still don’t think a rending ogryn will do quite as much damage as a pk nob, but I haven’t playtested it so I could be wrong.
Possessed – Are cheaper and better than Possessed Marines? Frankly I’m puzzled as to why these are included when regular Chaos/Cult Marines are not. I’d suggest replacing this unit with Possessed Humans. They’d receive similar boosts, but would be in the 9-10pt bracket per model.
-Honestly I was on the fence to take these guys out. I don’t care for the CSM codex rules for them and in the original LATD (Eye of terror) you could take 3 of them as elites. My solution was to make them awesome and probably undercosted which I see now is a mistake. I think I can get away with redoing Choas Spawn but not everything I dislike. 😉 I like your suggestion but possessed human models would be practically indistinguishable from mutant models. Still, it might be cool to have something in between a 6 pt. mutant and 30-40 point big mutant that works well in close comabt. I’ll think about it.
Don’t worry about allied units – simply include the following as part of the list. To avoid copyright issues, don’t include profiles, simply state refer to Codex _______.
– Sentinels (Fast Attack)
– Summoned Greater Daemons (HQ)
– Summoned Daemon Packs (Troops)
– Defiler (Heavy Support)
– Leman Russ (Heavy Support)
– Hellhound & variants (Fast Attack)
– Basilisk & Griffon (Heavy Support)
– I have vacillated a lot between various ways to include allied units. I want to include the ability for a themed force, whether it is traitor guard, CSM with henchmen, a mutant rabble, or an army dedicated to one of the 4 chaos gods. I don’t want to block any units outright unless there is an unavoidable play balance issue. You picked some good units to round out a typical force, but to me LATD is about variety and hopefully some sort of theme. What about a nurgle army with plague marines, plague zombies, plaguebearers, nurglings, etc.? My current solution isn’t ideal but it allows for a lot of variety. Another option is to have a list of units you can take one of, units you can take two of, etc. I think I will put something in about units from Codex Daemons having to come from the same power. Honestly I’m not sure but I’ll stick with my method until a more elegant solution presents itself. It’s tricky because I don’t want someone dropping in 6-9 obliterators or something, but 2 CSM sqauds or individual tanks in seperate units aren’t going to break the game. Hmmmm.
Giant Chaos Spawn – Using the Imperial Armour Giant Chaos Spawn as reference, you would be better with the following changes. 1-3 as a single unit. Initiative 3, Spawn Movement, Monstrous Creature.
-Unfortunately I don’t have access to any imperial armour books but I am very curious what they included.
Initially they had Spawn Movement, but the problem is Slow and Purposeful has a rules conflict with Spawn Movement and it is tricky to address that simply. I suppose I could add a note that the Giant spawn only move 1d6 instead of 2d6 or something.
They already are monstrous creatures. A 1-3 squad of them might be ok, considering they are heavy support and expensive, and you can take 3 Leman Russ Demolishers as a single choice… but then with wound allocation it might add up to cheese. I guess to answer that the upgrades would be by squad, and not by individual.
I could see bumping them up to I3 but I’m not sure… I was basing their statline loosely on Carnifexes and the max the Fexes can get is I2, and 4 attacks at most. 2D6 S8 monstrous creature attacks is a lot of damage so I want to keep them a bit in check. I’d have to raise their points cost a bit for the bump.
With these changes you should get a balanced force that will show a lot of character.
And, here is round 2:
In regards to the allies, what I was driving at was that in friendly games, you’d pretty much always have the option of allies anyway, whereas those additional units I’d suggested would round out the core army list. So, I’d add those units to your main list, and have the option of allies in addition, using similar guidelines to that used by Kroot Mercs or Daemonhunters, so you could include 0-1 Elites, 0-2 Troops and 0-1 Fast Attack units from one of those Codexes. That could flavour a force very nicely, and more importantly stays consistent with the precedent set in current Codices.
Around HQ units, perhaps your best bet is a generic Marine leader and a generic Human leader, each with the option to upgrade to a Sorceror or Rogue Psyker. Another option worth looking at is the idea of your force being led by a Coven of Rogue Psykers. You could use the Battlefield Psykers from the new Guard ‘dex as a basis, but add a Chaos flavour to make them suitable for a LaTD HQ slot.
For Spawn, the CSM version is certainly pricey, so I’d go with a 30pt pricing.
Around Mutants, the problem is you aren’t fielding Orks here, you are fielding mutated humans. Your basic Traitor is 5 pts, while your mutant, for an extra point, gains two attacks to his base profile and a point of toughness. A 7pt 2 attack Mutant might be more in line. As for the rending Big Mutant, to put it into perspective, in my last 3 battles using my Guard, my single Ogryn unit has torn open no less than 5 tanks in combat. Strength 5 and 3 attacks goes a long way. Add in Furious Charge bonus and you will see everything short of pull back if you get close enough.
On Possessed, have a look at this to see how we handled possesed for our Taint of Chaos project. http://www.40kdirectorscut.com/page7.htm#Possessed
Finally, on Giant Chaos Spawn, the stats changes and 1-3 units are to adjust them to match the Imperial Armour version, though that version is only Strength 6 and 60pts. On movement, the conflict is very easily resolved by only allowing them a single D6 of movement.
Look forward to seeing 1.4