Monday, January 19, 2015

The High Autarch Nuada of Craftworld Lia Fáil

Time for some crunch! Sorry for the long lead time into this, but I wanted to get the story down before embarking upon the crunchy stuff. My plan is to run Nuada as a main HQ, a heavy-hitter who is individually unique but also adds a functional edge to the list as a whole.

Feel free to comment on him; he's a work in progress. I plan to have two versions; a codex-compliant version and a custom version for friendly games. 

By The Book Version

Nuada , High Autarch ("legal" build) - use Autarch, buy Fusion Gun, Shard of Anaris, Banshee Mask (128 points).


Nuada, Corsair Prince ("legal" build) - us Corsair Prince, buy Fusion Pistol, Forceshield, Void Sabre, Haywire grenades (150 points). 

Either of these builds are close enough to serve. Note the lack of transport options; Nuada is a boot-on-the-ground leader, disdaining jump or jet packs, jump generators or jetbikes. He's getting a little old for that sort of thing.

Custom Version

But how do you go about building such a character from scratch? Particularly without making it overpowered or toothless?  Truth be told, I'm not sure, but I plan to try some friendly games with him, get feedback, and adjust either his power or cost accordingly. 

First, the statline. Nuada is, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from an autarch or corsair prince, so that statline and the basic traits and abilities of either will work.

Nuada (custom)
6 6 3/5 3 3 6 2 10 3+/4++

But to add color and flesh him out further, I want to include something to set him apart, like Prince Yriel or Illic Nightspear.

It would be VERY easy to build this guy into an unstoppable beast, something like an Autarch Eldrad, but when building something you actually expect to be allowed to play, you want to keep the design slim and preferably thematic. When building a special character, include some limitations with your cheese!

In this case I want Nuada to be more of a commander; potent enough in combat but really someone who acts as a force multiplier for the rest of the army. Since he is the figurehead of the army, I want to be able to bring him regardless of what configuration I'm running, with or without corsairs. Thus I'm going to give him an ability called "High Autarch", which lets him function as either an Autarch or Corsair Prince, depending on which detachment he joins.

I also want him to be able to use his Corsair Prince and Autarch abilities interchangeably. If running a list containing both corsairs and craftworld eldar,  thus having access to Path of Strategy, Sky Raiders and Void Strike.

Secondly, well... he is THE king. Second to none. I don't see this guy playing second fiddle to anyone, maybe not even Asurmen! Thus when you bring him you must choose him as your warlord. That isn't much of a limitation but it does prevent you from bringing any other choice as a warlord, like Asurmen.

Also there's the issue of his weapon. Shard of Anaris is pretty close to the original weapon used by the Nuada from the myth, which "no one escaped from once drawn, nor could anyone resist it." Confers +2 Strength, Fearless, Rending, and Fleshbane and Instant Death in a challenge. I'll stick with that.

There's also the matter of his "silver arm", the prosthesis he used after losing his arm to Sreng. I suppose that could simply be modeled, or be considered a "custom" forceshield. I can't think of any in-game effect that wouldn't look broken, even on paper. We'll leave this one for now.

Since he's down one arm, let's reduce his A by 1, just because. He needs some weaknesses. Remember, with those three special rules from being both an Autarch and Corsair Prince, this guy is a Swiss army knife on the table, so adding some arbitrary limitations should be fine.

Where does that leave us?

6 6 3/5 3 3 6 2 10 3+/4++

Equipment: Fusion Gun, Shard of Anaris, Banshee Mask.

High Autarch: Must be your warlord. Counts as a Corsair Prince and an Autarch, and may lead a detachment of eldar or corsairs.

In the next installment, we'll take a look at other HQs and compare the points cost. A nicely balanced points cost will be essential to making this guy playable.

edit: sorry, fixed a formatting  mistake with the stat line table. 

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