Too Stern on Stern?

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Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Corennus on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:05 am

I see no reason for Brother Captain Stern apart from being a link with the previous Daemonhunters Codex:
Here's my reasoning. do you agree?

Brother Captain Stern. The Foremost Brother Captain of the Grey Knights….

Here are his Stats and Special Rules:
WS 6 BS 5 S4 T4 W3 I5 A3 Ld10 2+

Wargear: Terminator Armour, Iron Halo, Storm Bolter, Nemesis Force Sword, Frag/Krak Grenades, Psyk-out Grenades

Special Rules: Strands of Fate
Zone of Banishment
Psyker (Mastery Level 2)

I make no bones of it. I don’t think Stern is a great character or choice for HQ. His Stats are exactly the same as a normal Brother Captain, his wargear is nothing special at all. He has Psyker Mastery Level 2, and the only thing that really sets him apart from a normal Bro Captain is his Zone of Banishment attack.

Let’s look at this Zone of Banishment Attack. Say Stern is in CC alongside a Terminator Squad (Str 4) against a Chaos Terminator Squad (Str 4)
Stern chooses to make a Zone of Banishment attack, so all models involved must pass a Strength Test rolling below or equal to a 4….(please tell me if this is wrong cause I haven’t done a Strength Test in AGES!).
It’s highly possible a few of the chaos squad will fail and be killed. But it’s also highly possible they will mostly pass, while the GK Terminator squad is mauled by the Test.

Stern can also re-roll any saving throw or re-roll to hit or to wound once every phase (Strands of Fate), but again he allows the opponent to do the same at any point later in the game.
Is it me, or is Stern actually of more use to your enemies than to you?
A Brother Captain who can get your own side killed, gives your enemies a free re-roll if he uses one….and here’s the biggest reason not to take him:
He’s 200 points

TWO hundred points.
In the words of a certain boy from Tatooine “We could almost buy our own ship for that!”

Now this wouldn’t be so bad if he was the only Brother Captain you can take, but we all know there are much better options:

Mordrak. He’s 200 points but he’s a GRAND MASTER. He also has a MC Daemonhammer, 4 wounds, and comes with his neat Ghost Knights and funky Deep Strike Rules so an Alpha Strike is possible with him.

Grand Master. 175 points base cost, but you do get the option for him to take (IMO):
Melta Bombs, MC Nemesis Force Sword, Psychotroke Grenades.
That makes a Grand Master able to take out just about anything. Melta Bombs against vehicles, Nemesis Force Sword gives him a 3+ Inv Save in CC (like Stern) and Psychotroke Grenades make a difference in CC.

Librarian. 150 points, but can be upgraded to become an absolute nigh unkillable beast:
Nemesis Warding Stave (2+ inv save in CC, good luck taking him down easily)
Warp Rift,
The Summoning
The Shrouding
With this build you get a character who’s hard to shoot at (Shrouding), hard to take down in CC (NWS) and can get reinforcements easily (Summoning)

But probably the best alternative to Stern is a Brother Captain. Cause once a Brother Captain costs 200 points you’re looking at one of the hardest characters in the GK force.:
Same Stats as Stern, but watch what happens with the wargear:
Psychotroke and Rad Grenades
Melta Bombs
Blind Grenades
Master Crafted Nemesis Force Sword
Incinerator

Anything not in power armour is dead. Anything in power armour is taken out by the sword, and anything in terminator armour is still facing being -1 toughness (when Captain charges) and Blind and Psychotroked


So all in all. In My Opinion, next time you think about taking Stern, take a stern look at him and ask yourself “Is he worth it”?
My answer is no

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Andarius the Red on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:47 am

I disagree.

Stern has his uses, his zone of banishment is a tricky sort if you attach him to a terminator squad but that's only if you feel like setting it off every CC phase. It's effectiveness isn't something to roll your eyes at neither, potentially you can annihilate a squad of 20+ if you roll a 6 for zone distance, most non-marine troops are str. 3 or less. All characters in our codex are niche options. In Stern's case he's crowd control, my advice is use him in small games like 1000 point armies to give it some flare and keep him solo to avoid mitigated damage to your own troops.

After all the characters in codices aren't there for competitive combat but flavour or a unique tactic to try out.

Mordrak is a tough cooky that makes deep striking a synch but he lacks the independent character rule, which means if he's shot at he can't benefit from 'look out sir!" and if he's killed by a lucky shot his squad of ghosts disappear with him.

Justicar Thawn is an upgrade for a terminator squad that gives them psy-level 2, and he CAN'T die! So long as he keeps rolling a 4+ if he gets hit again he'll get right back up. The drawback is he can't be treated as a scoring unit after he dies the first time and still counts as a casualty so he can't claim objectives after the fact.

Castellan Crowe is a walking wood-chipper boasting a 4+ rend with brotherhood champion combat stances and makes purifiers troops but again he lacks the independent character rule so he's marching on his lonesome while those assaulting him get the furious charge bonus.

And if we're being nit-picky about price what about Supreme Grand Master Draigo? He's a grand master at 275 points! Granted he's a beast and Paladins become troops too but if you go that route the number of models on the table drops significantly, if you did go with an all paladin army you'd be looking at a 1500 point army with only 15+ models after adding specialized weapons and gear.

Stern is still useful, the trick is knowing where he CAN be used.

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Constantine on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:53 am

Great points brother.
I'm just picturing Stern surrounded by a hoard army and activating his power! Very impressive.
But as you said, it's not always about uber units that fit all situations.

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+++"There is nothing in the arcane and blasphemous arsenal of the forces of Chaos that can compare to faith. With the power of faith, our weapons become shining instruments of deliverance that can cleave the mightiest daemon in twain. With the power of faith, our minds appear as slivers of pure agony to the daemon, driving into the wretched forms of those who would dare stand before us. With the power of faith, our words become commands that cause the daemon to cower and cringe in terror. I could meet my enemies unarmed without a shred of fear in my chest, for I know that the Emperor watches over me and guides my hand. So let them come. We shall show them what the power of faith can do."+++ (Brother Captain Stern)

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Rion on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:00 pm

Something I see very few people consider when they critique Stern's Zone of Banishment. Every single Son of Titan. From the lowly Battle-Brother to the Supreme Gandmaster himself has the power of Hammerhand.

Hammerhand: +1 STRENGTH.

Both Hammerhand and Zone of Banishment happen in the Assault Phase. However Hammerhand got Errated to be used at the START of the Phase.

So you activate Hammerhand on your Termie Squad. Stern benefits too so that's a bonus.

Then after that Stern pops off Zone. Even other MEQ/TEQ are rolling for 4 and under while your guys are rolling for 5 and under. Two in three failure vs 1 in 6 failure.

I like those odds. Does this make him awesome? Probably not. Less harmful? Yes.

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Corennus on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:41 am

interesting point. And in fact, you can have it so that his Zone of Banishment becomes totally null and void agaisnt his own troops, as he is psyker mastery 2 he can use Hammerhand, then the Justicar uses Hammerhand, then Stern usess Zone of Banishment.......Str 6. autopass!

hmm interesting.

But I still think that 200 points for him is too much. He should not cost more than a Grand Master

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Corennus on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:44 am

but then you can't have force weapons as well.

and 200 points for a bit of crowd control, when you can take Incinerators at 5 points for the same benefit...

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Sai on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:53 am

I see the zone of banishment as something to use in 'their darkest hour' rather than they type of power you go into battle expecting to use as a guardsman may use a lasgun. It's charging the Black Gates of Mordor. It's unleashing the matrix of leadership. Heroic, last ditch, all your friends are dead but a forge world greater daemon still has a one-in-six chance of failing that strength test.

Because S6 doesn't auto-pass a strength test, a natural roll of 6 always fails.
It's on P7 of the rulebook.

Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ByNT12IYbY

Anyway, Stern IS too expensive. 175 would be better I think.


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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Constantine on Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:29 am

ALL great points Brothers. But as with most cases this is a VERY subjective conversation.

Expensive? Yes… Worth it if you use his zone of banishment kill most of your Terminator/paladin squad? No… Worth it if you use the re-roll and the reciprocal retools kill off a character and loose you the game? No… Worth it if you pull off an epic game shifting Zone of Banishment and win a game? YES! Worth it if you use the re-rolls and kill a bad ass enemy? Yes!

IMHO Stern can be great to use if his powers fit for what you want out the game you are about to play, and if you are comfortable with leaving a large portion of your game to the (fickle) dice gods.

Stern is definitely not appropriate for all games, but I bet he can be a hell of a lot of fun.

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+++"There is nothing in the arcane and blasphemous arsenal of the forces of Chaos that can compare to faith. With the power of faith, our weapons become shining instruments of deliverance that can cleave the mightiest daemon in twain. With the power of faith, our minds appear as slivers of pure agony to the daemon, driving into the wretched forms of those who would dare stand before us. With the power of faith, our words become commands that cause the daemon to cower and cringe in terror. I could meet my enemies unarmed without a shred of fear in my chest, for I know that the Emperor watches over me and guides my hand. So let them come. We shall show them what the power of faith can do."+++ (Brother Captain Stern)

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Rion on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:48 pm

Constantine wrote:ALL great points Brothers. But as with most cases this is a VERY subjective conversation.

Expensive? Yes… Worth it if you use his zone of banishment kill most of your Terminator/paladin squad? No… Worth it if you use the re-roll and the reciprocal retools kill off a character and loose you the game? No… Worth it if you pull off an epic game shifting Zone of Banishment and win a game? YES! Worth it if you use the re-rolls and kill a bad ass enemy? Yes!

IMHO Stern can be great to use if his powers fit for what you want out the game you are about to play, and if you are comfortable with leaving a large portion of your game to the (fickle) dice gods.

Stern is definitely not appropriate for all games, but I bet he can be a hell of a lot of fun.

Agreed. May take him out for a spin once or twice see how I like him. In an all terminator list  Twisted Evil 

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

Post by Corennus on Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:44 am

I agree in a smaller list he may have a place, but in a large (2000 points) list he is eclipsed by normal Bro Captain and others I have mentioned. IMO

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Re: Too Stern on Stern?

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