Stern

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Stern

Post by Rion on Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:26 am

So here we are with a shiny new codex which means rule changes, models removed, revamped, or nerfed. Now then as the title suggests I intent to share my views on Stern in 7th edition. I'm not going to waist too much time discussing Stern in our old 5th Edition Codex we have long ago dissected him at length and deemed him sub par. Not useless but not all that great either. But in my humble and honest opinion he may have found new life in 7th Edition.

Cost wise he is the same as a naked (not gear or upgrades) Grand Master with the same Master Level, and only 1 less attack. He is also 15 points cheaper then he used to be so more bodies on the field.

Stern totes the same statline as a Generic Brotherhood Captain. Which is the same a a Vanilla Codex Captain or a 5th Edition Captain/Chapter Master. So in other words his stat line is good and shouldn't leave anything lacking. While he lacks an Attack when compared to the Grand Master his free roll means he hits just as effectively (i.e. hits just as often) when it counts.

This leads me to jump to his ubiquitous Rule: Strands of Fate. This rule is exactly the same as it was last edition. A free re-roll to-hit/wound/saving throw but for each one you do your opponent gets the a free re-roll. And like last edition it is a useful rule with a built in fail safe to prevent it from being broken. And like last edition best used when you need it most. An example is re-rolling your Armor/Invulnerable Save against a weapon that'll pop Stern like a cherry.

Getting back on my original track of gear first then rules and powers. Stern sadly(?) has basic gear. Force Sword, Storm Bolter, Frag/Krak/Psyk-out grenades. Overall his gear is basic and lack luster but will get the job done. Boys before toys right?

Having already covered Strands of Fate Stern only offers one extra rule to the table and that's making his unit Stubborn (if he's your Warlord and for the sake of argument we'll say he is.) Far far far from a useless rule Stubborn lets you negate Eldar Runes of War and Telepathy's negative Leadership powers, and compliments Stern where he wants to be. Getting his blade bloody in the gore of Close Quarters Combat. Falling back from a fist fight? What are you Tau?

Powers wise Stern comes with his powers pre-chosen:
-Banishment: A situational power if I ever saw one but he has a rule that means when he casts this power it targets ALL Daemon UNITS withing 12 inches. So for Stern in the right situation this power is just plain epic.
-Hammerhand: +2 STR instead of the old +1. Stern should be cutting up MEQs without trouble and Daemon Princes with only a little bit of work at STR 6. BUT 90% of our models have this power. But if Stern ends up alone 1. He's dead soon. 2. Even then he's still taking someone with him.
-Sanctuary:....NOW we are talking. +1 Invul save to his whole unit. Termies (why are you putting him elsewhere?) start rocking 2+/4++! While Stern get a 3+ Invul save. Killing Stern and his unit just got ALOT harder.

Comparing him to a Grand Master out right. Stern as said before looses 1 Attack but is cheaper so can be fitted into smaller lists. He does suffer from a lack of wargear options but I think he's meant to be in a fist fight rather then shooting. He has the same Master Level as a Grand Master and with his power pre-selected: so forming tactics revolving around the Psychic Phase got a lot easier and reliable. In summary I think Stern was made more in tune with his fluff. A Brotherhood Captain what is as strong as a Grand Master but just refuses a promotion.

Agree, disagree, think I missed something?

Rion
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Re: Stern

Post by bigbri on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:53 am

I'd disagree. Stern is probably better than before but he's still not particuarly good IMO.
>Statline. Yes he rocks a vanilla captain equivalent statline, which is okay for a hero, but without customisation it's mostly wasted on his puny sword
>Strands of Fate. Didn't like this rule last time, still don't like it now. While it's handy to reroll a save and keep him alive the fact is your opponent can hoard the rerolls and do it even better. Really wanna chop through a 2+ save guy only for him to reroll his ones?
>Zone of Banishment. Worthless unless you're playing daemons, or certain chaos marine builds. Even then your opponent is likely to throw a ton of dice at blocking it, and since it's a malediction he can get the bonuses to deny as well.
>Powers. Pretty much everyone has banishment and hammerhand anyway. Guaranteed access to Sanctuary is pretty sweet if you throw him in with termies or pallies (or even Draigo if you're really mean). ML2 is also handy as it means you can get hammerhand + force or hamerhand + sanctuary off. But he's much too costly for a support character
>Cost. Yeah he's the same as a naked GM, but noone is ever taking one of those. A handful of points makes a GM better by getting him better gear, and if you don't have those points you shouldn't be buying Stern or a GM, you should be taking a dirt cheap libby.

His biggest problem is he competes for a HQ slot with the new Librarians, and I can't see enough situations outside tailored/fluffy lists where he's worth it. A level 3 librarian is still 50 points cheaper than him, throw on the Domina Liber Daemonica and he's still 25 points cheaper than Stern and has 4 shots at sanctuary, as well as getting some of the other useful powers.

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