Monday, December 19, 2011

Spayed Ones

This post started as a reply to a post of Fritz 40k, and got long enough I thought I’d just put it here instead.

So I think we're in agreement that they're not good, but I do enjoy a Fritzian (that's a word now) challenge of trying to see if we can make the best of a bad FOC, even if only as a thought experiment.

Looking at the 'advantages' side we have 4 attacks per guy on the charge and infiltrate. We also have T4 with 4+ 5++, which is kinda durable esp. if in cover. This means we can threaten torrent attacks early on, provide a screen to other models, and camp in cover in attempt to contest an objective late game (as they will be low target priority). Again, there are things that do these tasks better *ahem* scarabs *ahem*, but we are placing the artificial restraint of having to stick with Flayed Ones.

Disadvantages are significant: I2 and WS4 are well known, as well as their utter lack of shooting. A closer read reveals further weaknesses, however, such as an inability to ride in Ghost Arks (not excluded from Night Scythes, but cannot take as DT), cannot be assigned Crypteks, are not fearless, and are likely to be slowed by the very terrain you’ll want to deploy them into as they don’t have Move Through Cover.

As I see it, you have two options.

The first is to try and craft them into a CC unit, which means you’ll need to run 15-20 to compensate for the drubbing they are going to take by shooting and by your opponent’s models swing first in H2H. Twenty will set you back 260 – almost the same cost of 3 annihilation barges. True, they are not competing directly with barges on the FOC, but just a glance of the output of 20 Flayed Ones vs the Barges should signal just how subpar they are. With 20, you’ll still need to have a character nearby to aid them should they contact anything with power weapons or a p-fist. That’s more points still, and they still have no way of getting tanks open once they get into your opponents zone. Basically, this option is terrible any way you look at it.

Option two would be to take one or two MSU’s and use them as an annoyance. You could deep strike them in near a heavy support unit threatening something important in your army and force your opponent to divert fire or risk being tar-pitted, or strike them near cover close to an objective and force your opponent to shoot at T4 3+ (cover + G2G) 5++ guys or risk having their objective contested.

Similarly, you can infiltrate them into cover near objectives and just have them lay on the ground for 4 turns or until someone decides to assault them (fixing the I2 problem). Or you could infiltrate and run out to speed bump incoming assaulters – as long as they’re not mounted in a vehicle.

As for gimmicks, there are a few possible exploits: Immotekh’s rule (still quite random), high-jacking a Night Scythe (not excluded as with Arks), using Zahndrekh to give them furious charge or stealth, using Obyron’s teleport. All are technically feasible, but still highly limited in usage and none of which solve their tank problem.

Or you could just give in entirely, get s pair of Monolith’s and hope your LGS has a prize for last place.

Long story short, these guys are full of fail on a deep and thorough level. In a FOC slot which is already becoming famous for its mediocrity, these guys may well take the award for “worst of the worst.”


  1. I'm not a fan, but I don't hate them. I really want to give them a try with Zahndrekh as the HQ. I think he brings a bunch of good stuff and giving these guys furious just might make them descent. If you get the charge, that is a whole bunch of strenght 5 attacks. I'm a fan of quant over qual so if I can force enough saves, then they will fail.

    Initiative 2 blows, but is the Necron thing. We have to get past that and just take a few extra bodies to compenstate. That is on all assault Necron units.

  2. Of all the characters you can combo with Flayed Ones, Zahndrekh probably is the best. His ability to have Phased Reinforcements could also help make sure they show up at the wrong time for your opponent. To bad his Adaptive Tactics is at 'start of your turn' and only to models on the battlefield. You might be able to setup a decent counter-attack speed bump with them.

  3. Tag-teaming with Wraiths to set up I1 on whatever they're planning on engaging? The Flayed Ones provide the torrent of attacks, the Wraiths provide the debuffs and high S to finish off particularly tough elements of the combat?

    That's the best I've got and frankly it's still not brilliant. Still, ten Flayed Ones comes in cheaper than three Wraiths... might be worth a go...

  4. I don't think i would deep strike flayers. I would rather infiltrate up the board. With Zahn you could stealth them for help and then furious them when time.

    Outside of the outflanking contesting bit, I think this is the only real good way to use them.

    At least they are cheap and have a lot of attacks. Right?!?

    Sure they can run with Imotek and his blood scarab bit, but I'm not a fan of him. I think I might be the only person who isn't.

  5. I agree, these guys are the arse end of the slackest FOC in the codex. All of the elites require some kind of special list to be worth taking, be it a C'Tan Shard for trickery or a long ranged Stalker to twin-link all your foot troops.

    As for Fritz's "come on, at 2k, can't you find 65 points?"... Well, no I cannot. Why should I give up the equivalent of five Necron Warriors or an Orb bearing Lord for this I2 crap?

    All GW had to do was keep up with their own fluff and a lot of Elites would have been viable, but as it is, my boxes of Lychguard/Praetorians and Deathmarks (I used the Immortal bits to convert some Warriors) are sitting on the shelf until I get enough time to fiddle with them.