Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mephiston rant

I feel that Mephiston is easily GW's second biggest failure, right behind the Steadfast/Hordes fiasco of 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy.

Whenever I play against this particular model I just sigh inside.  Here is a character that at the best of times, you get to make an LD 6 check against or else Mephiston gets to re-roll to hits and misses.  It isn't even a Psychic power.  No chance of failure and no runes will stop it.  If it doesn't work, he just uses his Psychic power to re-roll hits anyways.  And then rolls to get STR 10 if he even needs to.

Let's just review a few things here.  First, this guy is a freaking historian for a living.  I dont care what fluff they conjured for this guy, the bottom line is, his role as the most dominant special character to come along is not supportable by rational fluff any more than Grey Knights being the "Men in Black" makes much sense.  Captain Tycho should have been the beast this guy is, not this friggin page turner.

But getting beyond that, I took some time and went through all 16 codex's.  I couldn't find a single model able to do the things he does in one package.  I found some damn scary stuff that I hadn't considered in a while, but nothing like him.  He:

1.  flies
2.  is fleet
3.  HAS A PSYCHIC HOOD that is almost instantly midboard every game
4.  2+ armor.  That right there puts him beyond the ability of most weapons to scratch him.
4.  5 wounds.  5.  REALLY?  With 2+ armor?
5.  Tough 6.  Because he wasn't already hard enough to hurt.
6.  Costs as much as a Land Raider... and kills 4 times as much as a Land Raider.
7.  Storm Ravens.  So before someone says "yeah but Eldrad..."  let me ask you a question.  Can Eldrad stop a Storm Raven from moving 24" in round 1?  No.  Do you see Eldar played en masse at tournaments anyways?  No.  The Storm Raven makes his most dangerous ability, his speed, twice as bad.
8.  Force Weapon:  Okay.  So now with or without his powers he can wipe your Tyrranofex on a single wound of 4+.  Because he needed the help.  Oh...and yeah...  Grey Knights and their Force Halbers, while awesome, go AFTER him.  So even they may not be alive to swing and even if they do, see #3 for details on why it only kinda matters.  Dont bother pointing out the Psyche out Grenades.  You'll never be the one charging.  See #1 and #2 for that.  Unless he's ready to die, you'll not be charging HIM.
9.  Init 7?  Talk about ridiculousness.

It takes herculian luck to down him until he is point blank in front of an entire array of plasma.  For those who like math, you need to hit him 8 times with plasma to drop him out in the OPEN, which takes most armies 16 plasma shots to do, which in turn means it is likely that FIVE TO EIGHT UNITS are being dedicated to his erradication depending on the dice. You can't possibly beleive the rest of Mephistons forces are twiddling their thumbs in the meantime.  Oh and if he's in cover, forget it.  You'll need 32 plasma shots.  Las/Plas Razorbacks if you even have access to them are decent but...  You'd have to stand perfectly still to do it....  Sound like a good idea to anyone?

True story, and you can't even make this stuff up:  Mephiston once got 7 KP from me in a 5 round game.  Do the math in your head on that one.  It hardly mattered that there was ANYTHING else on the field on his side, to tell you the truth.

His defenders tell me "Plasma Guard can kill him".  Super.  So what should the other 15 codex's do about him BEFORE he gets to KP #7?

Other suggest volume of fire.  It takes 90 STR 5 shots to drop him.  90.  How many units that you actually field regularly that have STR 5 are you comitting to just that?  How many do you have that can even do that?  God help you if a Sanguinary priest is anywhere near him.  Then its 180 shots.  Where are those shots going to come from?  9 Vindettas maybe?  Are we going to start building every list to handle this one guy?  No.

Sometimes you just have to get lucky to stop him because the math is certainly not on your side.

He's not as bad as 8th Edition, but he's right up there with it.

Here's how I deal with him:  You kill the Storm Raven and let Mephiston have lunch at your expense.  You then bring reserves on and blast him at very short range in round 3.  Unfortunately for you, his whole army has moved up behind him in that time and will wash over you.  So you must reserve a lot and lure him into isolation and accept that your plasma is forfeit the rest of the game.  This is such a bad idea when objectives can simply be blockaded by he and his trusty Furioso buddy that really...  Still, blowing the Storm Raven slows his help down even though its tempting to fire those same shots at HIM and allows him to BE isolated for that critical window of time.  So focusing on him first is a mistake.  Let him kill something while you kill the Ravens and then you MUST blow him off the board or he will simply have too much help coming for you to stop it.  His death will not come easily and he will likely kill TWO high value targets in the best of possible worlds but if you limit him to that, you've done seomthing.

Ridiculous.  But there you have it.

End of rant.  I feel better.  =)


  1. So what you're really saying is, you think Mephiston was a mistake and that perhaps 8th Edition was too. Lol.

    The thing i can't really stand is the false modesty of Blood Angel players who "innocently" give you the doe eyed look and tell you he's "not that bad" to your face. Do they think you're blind or something? Kind of insulting to the intelligence when they do that.

  2. Sounds like Mephiston stole your balls.

  3. Yup. He does that. In fact he's stolen a lot of peoples balls.

    Which is, of course, the point. I'm not sure how much fun it is to run him but its no fun facing him. You can say that about a lot of things, but none so true as with him. He's definitely the only thing in Warhammer 40K that I point to and say "mistake!". Everything else makes sense on some level. He's not one of them. He's easily worth 300 points and should be.

  4. Yea, here is your proof on how overpowered a character is. Find out where the break point is for cost of a model.

    if the model cost 250, would people still take it?

    what about 300, 350 or even 400 hundred?

    that's how you can base how over powered something is.

  5. Getting an honest answer from a Blood Angels player on that might be tough. Chippy ones would say "200". Your discussion is going nowhere at that point, I'll tell ya!

  6. I always figured he was justified fluffwise because he's beat the Black Rage, and in doing so became what the Emperor and Sanguinious had intended for all Blood Angels all along.

  7. Justifications are what we need less of. We need aremies that make sense and feel like they would really make sense. Mephiston was almost never taken before. this is, like so often happens, a huge swingaroo in the other direction to justify changing what people take. He's ridiculously good by any kind of measurement.


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