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Space Marines Reviews: Kor'Sarro Khan

genghiskhan

   
On deck for review: the guy everyone's talking about, Kor'Sarro Khan of the White Scars. As always, check out Frontline Gaming for more tactics and reviews!

Khan is back and better than ever in this edition of the Space Marines book. The White Scars, aka the "Mongolians in Space" have always been one of my favorite chapters, and this time around they really live up to their heritage as fast moving, hard hitting fighters and Khan, Master of the Hunt, will be seen at the forefront of many a biker army.


Overview:

 Khan is himself a decent combatant but primarily you take him to give your army an incredible amount of flexibility during deployment and secondarily to buff a unit he is with with his moderate combat ability. Weighing in at only 35pts over a normal Captain and with the same stats, Khan is a bargain HQ. On his bike (only 5pts more than a normal bike), he unlocks bikers as troops and still only weighs in at 1.5 Thunderfire Cannons. He is a great value.

Wargear:
  • 3+
  • 4++
  • Bolt Pistol
  • Grenades
  • Moonfang: Power Sword that causes Instant Death on a to wound roll of a 6.
  • Moondrakkan: Khan's bike upgrade is only 25pts, and it adds a lot. It gives him the normal boost to stats and speed and wargear (twin linked Bolter) but it also allows you take Biker units at least 5 strong as troops. It also gives him D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks instead of the usual 1, and as White Scars hit a Strength 5, that is a nice little bonus.
Special Rules:
  • IC
  • ATSKNF
  • White Scars
  • Furious Charge (although it only counts for him now, not a unit he joins).
  • Master of the Hunt: Friendly White Scars models that are Bikes or that have a dedicated transport gain the Scouts special rule. Wow! That is incredible!
  • Warlord: Champion of Humanity: D3 extra VPs if you kill an enemy Warlord in a challenge. Meh, it is game winning when you get it but Khan is pretty squishy and a Power Sword typically isn't going to get it done in a showdown with a kitted up Warlord. This only really comes into play against weak HQs such as those commonly found with IG, Other Marines, sometimes Tau and Eldar, etc. And again, a smart player is just going to deny the challenge in that case if they can.
Tactics:

Khan is absolutely fantastic for his points. White Scars Chapter Tactics were already some of the best and Khan adds an extra layer of tactical depth to them. With an army of essentially skilled rider/hit and run bikers, the White Scars are going to be exceedingly popular to play due to their dynamic nature. Add in the ability to make most or all of your army Scout with Khan and....wow. That is an army that will be incredibly fluid and fun to play.

 The benefit of this is that if you are going first, you can set traps for your opponent with deployment. If they take the bait, you counter deploy to now take the advantageous positioning. If they do not, you can then take advantage in ultra-aggressive deployment that you would otherwise not attempt could you not reposition your army. You can use this ability to set up the best kind of traps: damned if you do and damned if you don't traps. The goal is to provide only two options to your opponent with your deployment and whichever choice he makes you gain the advantage. For example, putting a biker unit with maxed Grav weapons out on a flank, away from the rest of your forces, out in the open. If your opponent thinks you goofed in deployment and then counter deploys a powerful unit across from them to capitalize on your "mistake" you then redeploy them to safety and leave your opponent's unit now out of position. If they do not take the bait and counter-deploy your unit, you press the flank and move your unit up-field where you will be in position to hit him turn two in a potentially vulnerable spot. Either way, you win. Also, less subtly, you can use your Scout move to just advance on your opponent and get that much closer to them.

 Conversely, if you are going second against a shooty army and don't have a lot of cover you can again, simply get closer and reduce the amount of time your opponent has to shoot you off the table or, you can outflank. That is where the real strength of Khan's abilities lie: flexibility. Having these options is incredibly useful as 40K can boil down to who goes first if the table does not have adequate terrain and you are playing against an ultra efficient shooting army. Having the ability to reposition after deployment to spring a trap or just recover form a deployment mistake, or to outflank really, really mitigates that. It's one of those abilities that "net-listers" don't talk about as much because unlike pure points efficiency, it is much harder to quantify. Make no mistake though, these are game winning abilities and especially in a tournament setting where the odds of drawing a bat match-up with bad terrain increases with each round of play, the ability to get around that dramatically improves your odds of winning consistently.

 On a side note, that is also why, unfortunately, the Raven Guard Chapter Tactics pale in comparison to everyone else. White Scars essentially get their own incredible Chapter Tactics and most of the Raven Guard CTs, too.

 As a fighter, Khan is slightly above average for a Captain. He has Furious Charge which helps out a lot with the incredible mediocrity that is a Power Sword, and he does cause ID on a 6 to wound. Pretty nice, for sure, and awesome when you get that money shot, but the nature of the game now is that a combat oriented, I5, T4, non EW character is simply second rate, particularly when they are only coming at you with a Power Sword. With the preponderance of MCs, FMCs, and such that can swing before you and Smash you into a white smear on the ground, or just your basic 2+ save and power fist combo (although on his bike, his toughness is 5, raising his ID threshold-thanks to Clover 362 for the reminder), characters like Khan just fall into the lower tiers of combat ability. He will do fine against light infantry and vehicles, and with his speed should be able to choose his battles, but going against the true assault units of the game will on average result in him dying a horrible death before doing anything. However as stated, you don't take him to win a fist fight, you take him to boost your entire army and in that roll, he excels.

 The only real downside to taking Khan is that he competes with the super punchy Chapter Master with Eternal Shield. Now that is a Space Marine that can hang with the big boys. Since the Chapter Master is pricey and he and Khan fill the same slot and overlap in rolls to an extent, you will often find yourself having to choose between a real fighter (the Chapter Master) and an army buffer (Khan). It is a tough call as Kahn's abilities may not always be useful (but typically will be) and are as much an insurance policy as anything else, the sledge hammer that is the Chapter Master will pretty much ALWAYS be good. You can take both, but that is only really viable at higher points limit games. However, keep in mind that when your army's biggest drawback is deciding which super awesome character you are going to take....you have very little to complain about!

 Khan on a bike in a command squad is great. Bikes are made for Grav weapons where they shine due to the increased mobility of the bike and relentless allowing you to fire them at full capacity on the move. Whereas Grav weapons on infantry I typically avoid, on a bike they rock. Plus, bikes have the added benefit of retaining their twin Bolters in the cases where you find yourself up against low save opponents. As a primarily shooty unit, Khan then adds a nice little combat advantage when you do choose to engage in a fight, just remember the limitations of the unit and don't expect them to do anything but die horribly if you assault a powerful unit.

 Lastly, Dark Angels allies bear special consideration for Khan and the Scars. As Dark Angels also frequently ride on bikes, and have awesome buffing powers, they will mesh exceedingly well with White Scars and Khan. Units such as Ravenwing Command Squads are also great as the hit so hard in shooting and assault and the DA Libby opens up Divination powers which are incredibly powerful (powers like Perfect Timing, Forewarning and Prescience take shooty units to the next level) and some cool wargear options such as the Power Field Generator. They go together very well and you can find ways to squeeze even more power out of your units by experimenting with these combos.

 Also, thanks to jmanj123 for the reminder, Space Wolves combo extremely well with White Scars. A Rune Priest particularly, on a bike (and you can take 2 for a single allied HQ slot with Wolves) provides you with the best psyker defense in the game (Runic Staff), Divination, and Jaws of the World Wolf. Jaws is stupid broken but until it surely gets taken out of the game with the next Wolf codex, it provides you with an incredible tool for erasing multi-wound models, particularly those with low In. A trick is to use Grav Weapons to lower your target's In with Concussive and then hit them with Jaws, removing them from the game. Grav weapons also combo well in this manner with Blind weapons. Plus, Grey Hunters are still top 3 best troops in the game, taking 10 in a Rhino or Drop Pod is never, ever bad. Long Fangs too, are still one of the best point for point shooting units in the game and add something to pretty much any list.

 In summation, Khan is a bad ass. Definitely a top notch character and only his lack of serious HtH punch holds me back from giving him the highest rating for SCs.

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25 Comments

  1. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Sure he is great, but that's an expensive tax to pay for what he gives plus with a 3+ armour save he is not that survivable in close combat.

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  4. I think your first sentence in tactics says it best: "Khan is fantastic for his points." In the three games I've played so far with him, he's been "ok, not great, but cheap enough to be useful."

    In a game versus Daemons, he was too slow to fight in challenges.
    In a game versus Necrons, he didn't have the AP value to punch through 2+ armor on the characters (Zandrekh and D-Lord).
    In a game versus Guard, he would have been nice but was bombed off the face of the earth early because of his threat level.

    Scout is also "ok, not great." Theone thing you forgot to mention is that it allows you to outflank. THAT was what Scout was really useful for, allowing me to get dangerous shooting units into the enemy backfield.
    Otherwise, Scout is far too dependent on getting the first turn. Your opponent won't typically hand a Marine Bike army first turn, meaning you're stuck using the Scout move to redeploy from one safe area to another.

    A Scout move no linger grants a Jink save, either (I know you didn't say it does, I'm just mentioning it for completeness sake). Jink is only granted if you move in your Movement phase, and a Scout move is not a Movement phase.

    So, Khan is the bargain basement Captain on Bike that gets you a top-notch Chapter Tactics, Bike Troops, and throws in the Cracker Jack prize of Scout. He's also a great selection for folks who still have that old Captain from 5th Edition with a relic blade and artificer armor. You just have to explain away that old storm shield as "decorative."

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    1. And why is it called scoutMOVE?

      I doubt it will be FAQed as you say!

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    2. Is that a rhetorical question? If not, then my response is: The wording for Jink is what counts here, because it says "A unit that has moved in its Movement phase... blahblahblah."

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    3. Technically it's a 'Scout Redeployment', so he's correct, you don't gain Jink or other benefits from 'moving' as a part of your Scout Redeployment.

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    4. Jeah.. RAW youre right.
      But its non logical to me.... As if they would stand a turn before starting to roll out.
      And it doesnt balance the game, its a matter of 1st turn or Not.

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    5. Think it as before the battle begins, they moved to a different position to better prepare or actually scout on the enemy, and they held on that new place for a bit until the battle actually start

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    6. Think it as before the battle begins, they moved to a different position to better prepare or actually scout on the enemy, and they held on that new place for a bit until the battle actually start

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    7. Lol
      Yes
      And then they stoped to get shot before moveing on.
      Its supposed to be a recon unit rule. Move up in secret and strike with surprise.
      Oh GW -_-

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  5. Imo this guy is over rateing WS.

    Scout is nice but not game breaking/ winning. Allying in DA for hard hitting command? LoL!!!!!! Not true. For the points a meh unit. Divination buffing WS? Reroll on twinlinked is redundend.

    Does this guy even play the game?

    WS are nice but will not be much of a Problem for the Top armys in Meta. Just like DAs they cant hold ground/objektives well. And they cant do full out assaults like this guy suguests. Sitting in cover is enough to warent that off. You most totaly overrate Dmg output to think otherwise. Even with TFCs support and sternguard picking of key units.
    Good potential but not quit good enough to be comp.

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    1. For 7 points more than a normal marine a WS biker gets:

      +1 Toughness
      Automatically passes dangerous terrain
      12" movement, 24" Turbo-boost
      4+ cover save when moving, 3+ with turbo
      Relentless
      Twin-linked bolters, in addition to
      special weapons
      Hammer of Wrath(S5 at that)
      Relentless

      White Scar bikers aren't just okay, they're pretty damn awesome in the new codex. And when you add in Khan, you can add Scout to the list above.

      Keep in mind too WS are not restricted in using anything in the codex, so you can still use other units to help contest or claim objectives.

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    2. Good points. They are good, but far from game breaking. A Blastmaster/Spawn/Juggerlord Rush army would make mince meant out of WS. Well any aggressive army for that matter. You can deploy more defensively, but with bikes? If you're not careful it can mitigate their effectiveness. Using them as response units wouldn't be bad. Though it would be predictable either way.

      WS may not have restrictions but if you play WS you're going to have a lot of bikes, and those bikes are going to do 1.5 things.

      At the end of the day WS are good but not game breaking and not top meta as it is full of bodies and high S low AP blasts and templates. Which bikes aren't strong against. Scouting helps so I can see a competent player making it, but it won't be easy.

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    3. @ marcus

      I Know.
      I play RW and if you Do it right they get the same cover + more shots and knights can get 2+ cover done right. But there is to much stuff that deals with them in 1-2 turns.
      Shooty armys have ignore Cover for the most.
      Melee armys will just get close.Even better when youre moveing close to them and can only shoot 12-24

      A WS list will need ignore cover weapons and AA to deal with Helldrakes.
      So TFC and stormraven or devs are auto include. And then you'll want sternguard to pick off the scary stuff. The Problem is Elite & fast dont offer much to help you.

      Its a Army that can only win due to staying away from the enemy.
      And in contrast to RW they lack the anti hord killing abilty of salvo banner.
      I really dont see it working to well.

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  6. "JoTWW is stupid broken, which is why it's great to use"

    Perfect example of the mentality that leads to crappier games.

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  7. Raven Guard chapter tactics don't pale in comparison. They may be both chapter tactics but for an almost completely different type of army.

    White Scars are like wolves. They are fast, run down their prey and strike. Using numbers and brute force. Effective, but not as flexible as people claim. It is essentially one style to maximize their CT.

    Raven Guard are like special forces. They are the trapdoor spider lying in wait after redeploying. The falcon in the sky swooping down and killing the hare. The knife in the dark in that slit the enemy commanders throat. The can scout marines easier to get in to position better. Outflank for an attack from an unseen quarter. Stealth the first turn to help survive going second, or for marines that used drop pods when going first. Scout marines already have a lot of bonuses that RG tactics didn't need to help. Let's be serious, if you play RG and don't own a bunch of scouts... That aside their AM's are easily a cut above. They get into combat easier, hit first and hit hard with "Winged Deliverance". Raven Guard tactics are about augmenting the style of RG's players. Drop Pods are already great, Scouts can do their thing easily. The things that lacked were regular marines mobility and AM's offensive power. RG is about winning the game at deployment. Your opponent doesn't know it yet but they played right into your trap. That is how you Raven Guard.

    Oh and you don't need a special character for all that. Once you do take Shrike, you give him some VV's with a few SS's, maybe some meltabombs, and ruin somebodies front line.

    White Scars are good, but predictable. Raven Guard require subtlety, finesse. Their CT's are much less obvious. You become the hunter of players, not the hunter of models.

    For Corax.

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    1. I'm sorry man. Wish you were right. Hopefully they will FAQ to allow ASM to scout. The only way I see RG being useable in a tournament is with the FW character to make ASM troops. They are great for fun games. Also unfortunately Shrike is by far the worst/most overpriced HQ in the dex. I don't understand why he is so expensive.

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    2. That's just where you are falling short on understanding Raven Guard.

      Raven Guard isn't "all about the Jump Packs", once you understand this you can see a plethora of ways to play Raven Guard.

      Jump infantry don't need to scout move or outflank when you are Raven Guard. Why would you scout move an assault unit? When this denies you the charge anyways? They can already pull off a 24" charge if luck let's you. Jump Infantry is your special forces as a Raven Guard player, they do the mopping up of the enemies dangerous targets.

      But Scouting Tactical Marines and Drop Podding Tactical Marines is what gives you the edge. You can have your Gun line half way up the board before the enemy even knows what happened, blocking off the objectives. And when the enemy come to attack you your Jumping task force comes to take them out.

      So no Raven Guard don't suck. They only suck when you think of them as Blood Angles, which they ate not.

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    3. @TheAurgelmir

      Most agreeable.

      @awosch

      Shrike has a very narrow strike force style of play, but it is his ability to outflank, infiltrate or deepstrike, combined with stealth that makes him deadly. He augments what RG already do well to even better. Khan does as well but he is almost mandatory where as Shrike is optional. While Kordyvae would be an awesome inclusion he ins't really necessary. I would love to see both him and the Raptors Chapter Master included for tournament play but among my group we use FW so it's not a big deal.

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    4. shirke is bulky hence not outflank

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  8. Well the Priest combo is not so broken once you realize, you have 50% chanche ro remove a Riptide
    assuming grav hit
    33/36( activate the power)*5/6(deny the witch)*2/3( Fail I test)=50%

    and 63% to remove ANY model,non MC
    not bad, bot not great either, you are investing a lot of points to do that.
    so 2 Priests are 75% chanche to remove the Riptide
    for 240 points ( artificier armour is a must buy) , you are better loading up with more and more Grav. Lots of wounds with low AP , here's the way!

    A bit of byke positioning is the key .

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    1. Off course if you could catch 3 riptides on a straight line 24" long .. OMG

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