Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Word on Points Efficiency, in Regards to Feel No Pain

Hey everyone, figured I'd give you something to chew on alongside your Turkey this fine Thanksgiving.  Today's topic is going to be on Feel No Pain as a unit upgrade, and ways to recognize if you're doing things wrong using this tricksy USR.

It seems to me that the first response everyone has to the Blood Angel book (and now to the Dark Eldar book as well) is that 'it's so broken that every unit can have Feel No Pain (henceforth referred to as 'FNP').  While I agree with folks about it being potentially good, I also feel that the efficient use of the FNP mechanism is also far harder to achieve than most people generally grasp at first.

The first thing to consider is this:  How useful will FNP actually be to the army (or unit)?

One thing I've noticed in the 40k community, is how people immediately decide that just because something is good against their army specifically, that it's brokenThe fact is, if a person hasn't properly prepared for the possibility that they might face off against lots of FNP, they didn't do a good job building their army list.

Lots of things out there are designed to hurt Power Armor, and most of those things will also negate FNP.  Power Klaws in an Ork list, Plasma spam in a Guard list (or template spam, for that matter), Characters of any sort, etc. are all going to make the 'net value' of FNP go down as a whole.  It's not like it can be used against everything.

Second thing to consider:  Will the unit who has FNP do any good if they're still alive?

As in:  if a 10-man assault squad fights against 30 boyz over 4 turns, was it worth it to have FNP?  Are they actually accomplishing anything at all?  18 attacks from an assault squad=  4 dead boyz/turn.  wooo.

It might seriously be better if that squad just dies, so the game can move forward.

A third thing to consider:  How many points is 'too much' for a unit to have FNP?

This is one reason I think many people who theoryhammer wyches often fail:
  • To get FNP, they need a Haemonculi to give them a pain token.  
  • The Haemonculi isn't going to of much use in the game otherwise unless you spend more points, so you're essentially paying the full 50 points of the Haemonculi to get FNP on a Wych squad.  
  • That's 5 points per model, for a (flawed) 4+ save against anything that doesn't have power weapons or S6+.   
  • Very not worth it.  It wasn't even worth it to me when I still thought Haemonculi were only 35 points, lol.

FNP on my Wolfstar?  If that was an actual upgrade, I'd for sure pay 5 points per model.  I'd probably go up to ~7 or 8 points per model, to be honest.  The value to me to keep them alive is worth that many extra points, whereas giving FNP to something like an ork boy for those points per model would be a waste, simply because those models are not nearly as valuable as the Wolfstar.

FNP on an assault squad in the form of a 75-point priest?  I'm paying 50 points (after taking out the points for a veteran w/ JP) for FNP, which is 5 points per model.  These guys are pretty lame when you come down to it- they really don't do a whole lot for their points as it is.  Is ~5 points per model worth it for them to get FNP and (the far less useful USR) Furious Charge?  Probably not.  What if there was a way to get it for ~2 per model?  Much better!

A final fourth thing to consider:  Is the army over-dependent on FNP?

As in, if someone brings a Demon army with only things that negate FNP, does this army auto-lose?  If the answer is yes, then the list isn't working.  A competitive list won't auto-lose to any army out there.  Remember:  FNP is a tool, but not something to base an entire army off of.  Too much of anything can indeed be a very bad thing, and FNP is a perfect example.

So there you go.  A quick blurb on how to think about FNP, and if it's the right USR for you.

As a side note, for those of you who didn't already know, I'm also posting over on Jawaball's blog.  I'll have lots of Blood Angels specifics laid out in short order, including practical uses of this article in the context of competitive Blood Angels lists.  Stay tuned!

Let me know what you think!  Did this article make any sense?  Was it all super obvious?  Maybe it was way deeper than anything you'd ever heard.  heh, I can dream can't I?  Seriously though, I'd like to hear from you!


Black Blow Fly said...

Here is the thing about Wyches & FNP - to me it's not worth it to attach a Hæmonculus for the 1st PT. The Wyches are basically a tarpit and possibly a tank buster (depends on the specific situation). Now if they do gain a PT by destroying an enemy unit then the FNP is very nice - basically two 4+ saves per model versus wounds less than S6 that dont ignore armor saves. What you really want though is the second PT for FC, then they can flip over tanks in close combat. Will they last long enough and kill enough to gain 2 PT? Its not something I'd count on happening in a competitive game.

BA assault Marines and FNP - really you should be taking the Priest for FC, but the FNP is a nice perk. Suddenly the entire squad is not roasted by a hellhound. They are a scoring unit so you'll need them at times to hold an objective. So you have to look at the big picture when you make these kinds of assessments.


Xaereth said...

I'm glad you agree with me about Wyches, lots of people don't though :) I'm sure most people will eventually realize what an inefficient waste of points it is to do it like that.

As for BA Assault Marines, I agree they should have a priest. I just think that there are far more efficient ways to give them one than giving every jump squad a Priest w/ JP.

For example, if you had a 50-jump marine army, I doubt you would have 5 Sanguinary Priests w/ JP accompanying them. It would be far more efficient to go with 2 or 3, since the whole army will still likely get FNP, and you're also likely to get FC where you need it as well.

And in a mixed list w/ Jump Troops AND razorbacks/rhinos, you can be even more efficient, simply putting the priests in the rhinos/razors to protect them. The fast vehicles can keep up, and provide the same bubble of awesome, with the squad inside supporting the assault squad.

Out of curiosity, why did you switch from Green to Black?

Caldera02 said...

Hey Adam,

Next time we meet it will be with wyches bearing down your throat! :P

Anyway, I disagree on some points. I think FnP is important for a couple reasons. The most important reason to have it on wyches in particular is because of how fragile DE transports are. When it blows up, and it will, it will kill half the squad usually. So having FnP to get your squad into combat is nice. Also lets you get FC quicker. So it has it's merits.

So you coming to Adepticon this year?


Xaereth said...

Yeah man, I'll be there with the same army, totally different list :P

I can understand how FNP on Wyches can look alluring. I just don't think it's going to be a perfect fit for them is all. 5 points for a model when you *could* be spending those points on making a unit like Incubi better instead.


You gonna be at Adepticon? Should be fun man, hope to see you down there!

Black Blow Fly said...

I thought black sounds cooler.

: )


Zachary said...

hi um could i please have your email cause i want to send you my BA list to get your opinion

Xaereth said...

Sure dude... it's trimountaindew at yahoo dot com

Go nuts :)