Asmodai, seeker of the Fallen
This article aims to encourage players to build lists around Asmodai. Some of the perks he brings to the table are unique in nature — hidden gems within our Codex.
We will go through his stats, special rules and units to complement him. Personally, I'm excited he's back again and in fighting form!
What you get
Asmodai, Master Interrogator-Chaplain and Master of Repentance.
He has average stats for an HQ character. Three Attacks have their uses. Ld10 is also an advantage.
Power armour, crozius arcanum (S+2, AP4, melee, concussive), frag grenades, krak grenades, rosarius (4++) and a bolt pistol.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. But one thing worth mentioning is the low price tag for a close combat character — Asmodai is our cheapest named character. You could build a better close combat character than him for a similar price tag, like a Chaplain or Commander with a Monster Slyer of Caliban for instance, but Asmodai's alternative would be somewhat more expansive and a bit random (but when you do roll that 5 or 6 on the sword's results table it's sweet!)
If your Warlord or his unit kills the enemy Warlord, you score an additional victory point, for a total of two victory points (one for Slay the Warlord and one for The Hunt). This is a straightforward choice which can be used well to pressurise your opponent into some tough choices. Works nicely with his Chapter Relic.
Independent character, Fear, Inner Circle, Zealot.
Only the last adds real flavour to his character and is the reason for taking him.Independent character: we know what this does. It alows him to attach to other units. Without it he would be useles.
Fear: models in base to base contact must test Ld at the start of every combat phase, if they fail their WS drops to 1.
Inner Circle: confers Asmodai with Fearless and Preferred Enemy Chaos Space Marines.
Preferred Enemy: re-rolling 1s for close combat and shooting for Asmodai and his unit is sweet.
Zealot: re-rolls for everyone in his unit in close combat in the first round.
So what does this mean for Asmodai when attached to a unit? Well, they re-roll:
- every missed attack in the first round of combat
- enemies in base-to-base contact with Asmodai must test Ld or they have their WS dropped to 1
- when fighting Chaos, see previous two items above, plus, re-roll 1s on missed ranged and close combat attacks
Blades of Reason
Str as user, AP-, Melee, Instant Death, Specialist Weapon.
If Asmodai uses this weapon, his basic A characteristic is used (no extra attacks from cc weapon) and every wound he inflicts kills the target (if it doesn't have Eternal Warrior USR).
This makes Asmodai a formidable opponent indeed (with a little help from his friends — later on that).
Asmodai can kill a lot of things in 40K, in a single round (to be precise a single blow). The perfect target for the Blades of Reason is a model with T up to 5 or 6, no Eternal Warrior and a save of 3+. Nice thing to remember is that Instant Kill removes Feel No Pain as a defensive mechanism thus removing a layer of protection from the target.
With that in mind,there are quite a few models that serve as perfect targets for the Blades:
- Nob Bikers
- Monstrous Creatures with T5 or 6
- Independent Characters with 3+ save
The only thing that matters is wounding (as he'll have little trouble hitting) and that the target fails it's save. A single save failed and it's dead.
A little help from his friends
With close combat mind, lets look at what units could best escort Asmodai to the hearth of the enemy.
Command squads in power armour
Unless you have a specific combination in mind — I'd skip it.
Deathwing Command squad
Better. Much Better. But remember you will also need to buy a character in Terminator armour to unlock this squad.
Yes, this WILL work. Especially if you play against chaos — they re-roll 1s on their shooting attacks. This is similar to having BS5. The cc potential is not that big, but with Asmodai attached, any opponent will be reluctant to charge. And if you challenge or are challenged, Asmodai will probably win. Deployed in a drop pod with flamers first blazing away? Sarge with power fist, no heavy weapon trooper (to make space for Asmodai).
That is, close combat Scouts. Who cares about WS3 if everyone is re-rolling their to hit dice? Cheap and reliable, have Infiltrate too.
Not ideal as they cost a LOT of points for too models. Interestingly though, in a drop pod with (more) flamers they might do okay. Four attacks on the charge with re-roll in the first round. Land Raider Crusader is another interesting option.
In short, yes. Lightning claws re-rolling hits AND wounds. Thunder hammers that hit reliably. Split fire to ruin someones day. The best unit for Asmodai points can buy. If only he could teleport too!
The ultimate anti-Chaos unit. These led by Asmodai will rip heads off, kill, maim and leave none alive to tell the tale. List of wonderfull things these do against Chaos Marines.
- Re-roll every missed attack in the first round of combat
- Re-roll every 1 on a missed attack thereafter
- Enemy models in base-to-base with Asmodai must test Ld or they have their WS dropped to 1
- When fighting chaos, see everything above, plus re-roll 1s on close combat attacks
- Maces of Absolution are AP3, S+2 (so 6), concussive
- Smite mode is absolutely deadly to everything — S10 AP1!!!
- WS5 (so they hit on 3s most of the time)
- Flail of the Unforgiven has S+2 AP2, concussive
- T5 when in base to base contact with two other members of the unit
- Hammer of Wrath
Let's take another look here when fighting Chaos Marines.
We have a unit of Faith-inspired Terminators led by a man who would never sign the Geneva Convention of Human Rights (and Xeno rights for that matter). On the charge (as 40K often boils down to) a unit of five DWK led by Asmodai have:
Normal mode: Hammer of Wrath 16 attacks on I4 with WS5 (hitting most things on a 3). They re-roll everything in the first round, and S from that point on. They are S6, meaning they will wound most things on 2s or 3s (if you're fighting Nurgle). Their save is 2+, 3++. They are T5 if in base contact with two members of the unit (some careful positioning will be needed). So 16 attacks — 12 hit before re-roll — about 14 after it. 10-11 wound with no saves. Ouch!
Smite mode: Hammer of Wrath followed by 12 S10 attacks with Ap1 and re-rolls. This is used to steam roll over serious things. I wouldn't mind charging ANYTHING in the Chaos codex with those! Deamon Princes, Greater Deamons, Terminators, Khorne Berserkers. All shall be purged in HIS name! Praise the Emperor.
Ok, now that my Litanies of Hate are over let's take a reality check.
The unit seriously needs a transport and we have Land Raider Crusader or Redeemer for that. Remember Asmodai cannot Deep Strike.
The unit itself is (marginally) cheaper then a unit of Terminators with thunder hammers and storm shields and has a better damage output, better WS.
My claim here is that a unit of Terminators will probably want to shoot when they land (and target the rear AV of vehicles). Knights have no ranged weapons, so there's no reason not to run in the shooting phase to spread out and minimise incoming casualties from enemy fire. The enemy will be hard pressed to deal with the unit asap or suffer.
A note to consider: A unit of five of these with a Land Raider costs over 500 points. If you're THAT into the whole thing (and no reason not to be) a unit of eight Deathwing Knights plus an Interrogator-Chaplain in Terminator armour will cost roughly the same.
Overall, they still are a niche unit — but what a niche it is!
Cheap, reliable, sporting two flamers. A solid number of attacks and a free transport of choice (among the non-Land Raider ones) if they remove their jump packs (which you obviously should do as Asmodai doesn't have one). Scoring in the Scouring mission. Drop-podding them with Asmodai into the heart of the enemy is a good idea providing you find a target of opportunity or have a solid plan.
Battle brothers Black Templars, Blood Angels, Imperial Guard and Space Marines.
This section is for those of you that don't mind spending some extra time and a lot of extra cash to gain an upper hand when playing our favourite game by combining units from different codecii (I guessing that's plural from 'codex').
Asmodai could in fact buff say a large unit of Neopyhtes and Marines to give them re-rolls and whatnot. The problem lies in the fact that he CAN join a unit of them but CANNOT embark on the same transport — so no Storm Raven for us. On a board very rich with terrain this is offset by them having a constant cover save — like a Cities of Death board for example.
The Blood Drinking vampires of the 41st millennium and they are on our side! (and a sigh from the audience).
Their codex was so over-powered in 5th ed it made people switch armies or quit the game. Now, an interesting prospect would be a unit of Death Company led by Asmodai. WS5, loads of attacks, Black Rage, Feel No pain — and a hefty price tag.
Lovely. A nice large platoon of cheap troopers of solid skill and questionable morale. But now they are Fearless, and hate everyone!
For around 350 points, you could have (give or take):
- Five squads of ten guardsmen plus platoon Command of five
- Five flamers and five mortars
And when Asmodai joins them they become Fearless, re-roll misses in the first round of combat, cover a lot of ground and will absorb and stop any assault in place. Like most blob units they can be dealt with but not easily.
Taking the Astartes as allies gives us little options our own codex doesn't already provide. I can't think of a single unit codex SM has that could be led by Asmodai for a greater benefit then our own unit counterpart(s) would give — except Centurions. And although that looks good on paper, they can't ride together in a transport.
Thanks for your time brothers and give Asmodai a try. I hope some of my ideas will be of help.