I have not done this for too long and am resurrecting this weekly post.
The Words of Faeit is a weekly post, dedicated to my thoughts on the strategy and tactical side of the game. They are not to be written in stone as "No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength" (or "no plan survives contact with the enemy"). Quoted from Helmuth von Moltke.
During the tournament, I was told several times, that the way to field Mordrak was with his ghost knights and Grey Knight Librarian. I was thinking long and hard about that, and then comparing it to how I was using him. First off, lets get this out of the way....... Mordrak costs 200pts, his ghost knights are 40 each for up to 5. So this is a 400pt unit we are talking about.
Mordrak is considered to be a unit upgrade, so no independent character rule with him. This keeps him alive during the assault phase much easier as he cannot be singled out. His ghost knights bring stealth into the equation, and this is what I am using them for.
I give Mordrak 5 Ghost Knights, 4 with Halberds, and 1 with a Daemonhammer, the weapons are free upgrades. This makes them enough of a threat, that they must be dealt with immediately. You do not want them assaulting you.
I generally deepstrike them in either into a weak spot, or directly in line with where I need to be going. Throw them into cover, or run them there, and accept any loses from the deep strike.
Why Mordrak? I am fielding Purifiers, and dreadnoughts. Getting Grand Strategy is vital, and Mordrak costs 25pts more than a standard Grand Master. Yet he comes with an extra wound, a master crafted daemonhammer and he produces ghost knights when injured. He also deepstrikes in without scattering round 1. That is a lot for 25 extra points.
At 2500pts, I always assume that I am sacrificing him, but that my purifiers will be right there. I was able to get another game in, where I appeared into area terrain, and lost 3 ghost knights to the terrain. My opponent with 10 chaos terminators and 8 combi plasmas, was able to get 14 plasma gun shots off and 4 reaper autocannon shots from this unit. With stealth, only one ghost knight died, and no wounds to Mordrak.
Shooting the round that you appear is probably pointless. 10 storm bolters or run to get into cover? Run.
They then assaulted, with power weapons.... (my halberds were all dead). Mordrak took 2 wounds, and my other ghost knight died. (yes, two more ghost knights appeared). Two units of Purifiers then came in and saved Mordrak in Assault, and the game was won (rd 2). (they had used scout to hit midfield).
So was Mordrak highly successful? Yes. I have not yet had a game where Mordrak gets killed the round after he appears. The key being where you place him, and finding cover. With those two things in mind, Mordrak has been highly successful in the games I have used him.
Librarians with Mordrak....
This unit is meant to do even more damage, but also raises the cost of the unit by 200+. With powers able to summon other units in, I see how this works and is successful. This creates a spearhead for your army, on which to build. It is different than how I have been fielding him, in that he is the main thrust and focus by adding a librarian into the unit. However, I will not be fielding this way, as adding 200pts to an already 400pt squad gets a little ridiculous in my books.
The unit can be killed... Throwing that much into a unit like this to me seems to be putting all your eggs in one basket. Once that basket is gone, what do you have left. 400pts for this unit is where I draw the line.
Do I like Mordrak. Yes, although I did not expect him to work on the field as well as he does with my Purifiers. I do not know if I would use him at smaller point levels. 2000pts, seems OK, but really anything smaller seems like it would be a lost cause. We shall see.
I think Mordrak used not as a spearhead of your list, but as a distraction and must be killed unit because its sitting in front of me type of unit, is much more valuable than centering your army around him and adding in librarians. He tactically adds to the tabletop, and provides bonus's to d3 units providing flexibility to your list and the mission you are playing. If he lives through the first round of your opponent, watch out, because these guys hit hard when they assault.