Saturday, June 18, 2011

Codex Review: Avatar

Image from Forge World
Next up on the agenda is the Avatar of The Bloody Handed God, a strong unit, however is limited severely in army selection choices, requiring a very particular army to be used effectively.

The Avatar has one particular niche which it fills, namely the primary HQ choice for a Footdar army, particularly Guardian Spam, compensating for low leadership by making them fearless or acting as supporting units in assault, ensuring that he does not get bogged down in horde type armies.  Generally, you should try to cram as many units in as possible within his 12” Fearless bubble, however does increase the damage of template weapons, which can damage not only the Avatar himself, but several other squads at the same time, who will have fairly low saves and toughness levels.

The Avatar himself is highly resilient however, particularly for his points value, though being considered a Daemon, the new Grey Knights codex has numerous units capable of circumventing many of his defensive benefits.  Thankfully, as MEQ has dominated the meta game, very little armies seen in competitive play will have Daemons, thus reducing the likelihood of seeing very situational units facing you. 
His resilience allows him to act as a fire magnet, distracting them from a possible offensive by numerous Guardian squads or other foot based units.

So, for all FootDar armies, the Avatar is a very effective HQ choice, in fact can almost be considered essential for such armies.  Personally, I do not like to use the Avatar in my own lists, such as my Exodites, mainly because I feel that if an arm is built around one essential unit, then if it is taken out early in the game the list crumbles quickly, examples being Ninja Tau, Fateweaver and, to a lesser degree, Chenkov lists; however this choice is entirely due to personal preference, with many others criticizing my own lists for omitting him.

In a Mech or Hybrid army, I do not recommend choosing the Avatar under any stretch of the imagination, often leaving him unsupported and a fire magnet, whereas no units benefit for his 12” Fearless bubble and also often will be left behind by the fast Eldar vehicles in a Mech list.
For a Craftworld army, the Avatar is a very fluffy choice, being awakened during wars of significant importance, with one residing within each Craftworld.
Interestingly, the Avatar also can be used in an Exodite list, but representing Kunerous rather than Khaine, just substituting the Avatar’s model with Orion from the Wood Elf range.

The Avatar’s modeling options are entirely limited to resin in this day and age, being either a boon or a burden, depending on your opinion of the new Finecast range.  The GW model, while being somewhat expensive and small, is still very attractive, though is showing its age when compared to the other Eldar sculpts, not quite fitting in with the visual aesthetic of the Eldar models. 
The Forgeworld model however is truly beautiful, shown at the top of this post, being a truly breathtaking piece despite its hefty cost. 

Painting the Avatar leads to some interesting choices, with some opting to use reverse highlighting in the model, with bright yellow within the cracks developing to a dark, burnt colour, to simulate lava; whilst others prefer to take other methods, from a red colour to the Craftworld’s colour scheme.  This choice is entirely up too personal preference.

Image from Bell of Lost Souls

Thoughts, criticism or unfathomable rage?
Comments be they accepting or contradicting (boo!) are welcome!

1 mutterings:

Radical Edward said...

I agree with what you wrote entirely.

I think it's also worth it to note that Fortune works great on him. A potential strategy for using him in your footdar list involves him and 3 wraithlords to screen your foot troops.

He's always the main key to really injuring a foot army, so he will be receiving a lot of firepower. Make sure you have other threats in your list as well.

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