Thursday, March 31, 2011
Why a Sanguinary Priest SHOULD be in combat
So a few months ago I saw a blog that was trying (and failing) to make a point that Sanguinary Priests should not be involved in a hand-to-hand combat, and should only hang back to provide their 6" Feel No Pain and Furious Charge bubbles.
Let's take an in-depth look at what Sanguinary Priests are capable of as a whole.
First, we start with the price. 50 points buys you a WS5, Ld9 one-wound model. He has a boat-load of ranged weapon options (Combi-Flamer, Plasma, and Melta, a Hand Flamer, an Infernus Pistol, a Plasma Pistol, and a Storm Bolter) and the usual close-combat weapon options (Power Fist, Power Weapon, Lightning Claw). He also can take a Jump Pack or a Bike, and he can even replace his wargear and Power Armor for Terminator Armor and a Power Weapon for 35 points. So, you can take a simple 50 point model and end up with one that costs 100 in some cases.
The question is, what wargear do you give him?
Well, it depends on the role you want him to fill. If you know the squad he's attached to is going to be getting into hand-to-hand regularly, I'd go with a Power Weapon. If he'll be using a Jump Pack, I'd go with a Power Weapon AND an Infernus Pistol, so that he can aid the unit in seeking out armored targets while providing Feel No Pain as they jump into precarious positions. If he's going with Termies or Bikes, well the answer is obvious there.
If he's going to be attached to a Sternguard unit, or a Tactical or Devastator unit to provide some much-needed durability, hook him up with a Combi-weapon or a Storm Bolter.
At the end of the day though, having four WS5 S5 I5 Power Weapon attacks on the charge from a 65 point model that is granting the unit he's with Furious Charge and Feel No Pain is just fantastic. Keeping that type of killing power out of combat is just silly. Sure, by getting him in base you provide your opponent with the opportunity of stacking "pile-in" models near him for extra attacks against him, but a smart Blood Angels player will mitigate this silliness with a well placed charge and great model positioning. Remember, on the charge, the Sanguinary Priest does not have to be the first model to move into base-to-base (unless you've messed up and he is the closest model). Then, with everyone in his unit going at Initiative 5, that strategic placement will allow him and his buddies to eliminate most enemy models to a point where they really won't damage him back. And hey, if they manage to stack the odds against him somehow, then that 65-point model has saved your 150+ point unit from taking too much damage.
There are other ways to use a Sanguinary Priest, like keeping him inside a large plastic toy (like a Land Raider or a Stormraven) to spread his love almost 20" in diameter, or attaching him to a combat squad in a razorback to grant his benefits to other nearby units, etc, but honestly he's a benefit to a squad and not a liability. He might just help you wipe the unit you assaulted by the end of your opponent's turn, allowing you to get your full movement, shooting and further assaults on your next turn.
What do you guys think?