I could never really decide whether or not I liked the idea of the Sanguinor. I don't really get what he is supposed to be, not sure he fits with the rest of the army. Anyway, if you are running this guy then it should be alongside an infantry heavy army for 2 reasons. One is that his warlord trait gives all friendly units with 12” Fearless and the other (better) reason is that he gives all models within 6” an extra attack. So if you run him alongside a load of Death Company, Sanguinary Guard or Veterans he will boost the attacks of the surrounding units quite a bit. Obviously it would have been nice for him to give it to all units within 6” as realistically he is going to have to be in the same combat most of the time in order to confer the bonus. His real downside is his lack of Independent Character. If you couple this with that fact that he is only toughness 4 and 3 wounds you quickly realise that he is just going to get shot down fairly quickly by any army with even a mediocre amount of ranged firepower, even with his 2+ and 4++. Then if and when he does reach combat he isn't actually that devastating anyway, only 5 attacks on the charge at S6 AP3, Mephiston is much more dangerous and has much more potential. I think the only reason people may consider running him is to boost surrounding squads with Fearless and +1 A, but even that doesn't really warrant his price tag when you consider the other options available in HQ.
I really wanted Astorath to be good in this codex as I love the model but never used him with the previous codex. On first look I was a little disappointed but after writing some lists I find myself putting him in nearly every time, why? Because Death Company are so good. Death Company are one of the best units in the codex in my opinion and Astorath makes them even better. He has Zealot which gives them re-roll to hit on the charge plus he allows them to re-roll wounds too! So put him with a large unit and they will put out a huge amount of damage on the charge.
And actually although I was a little disappointed at first with the fact that his axe is unwieldy, he still has loads of potential in combat mainly due to the fact that his axe also causes Instant Death on a roll of a 6 to wound. Also, although he only gets 4 attacks on the charge, he is S6 AP2 and so when you think about those attacks (that are potentially Instant Death) added to the attacks of the big DC squad he is with he starts to become a very attractive choice for HQ.
He is basically the same as a priest except his stats are better, for example he is initiative 8 on the charge if he is warlord and in a Baal detachment!! Plus he has 1 more wound and 1 better BS. Also he has a +1 strength Rending chainsword, which is nice. But the best thing about him is that his chalice has an area of effect, so all BA units within 6” gain +1 initiative and +1 weapon skill (note he still only confers FNP to his squad). Now these bonuses sound great and they are if he has a few units within range, but the downside here is that he is just Infantry, if he had a jump pack I think he would see much more use, but in 7th edition speed is really important, especially for close combat units so Corbulo just isn't going to keep up. Perhaps he could be dropped in via Drop Pod with a unit ready to boost onrushing assault squads when they reach him. Or he could be used to boost a couple of key units that are dropped in or assaulting from Land Raider. His other ability is that he allows you to re-roll one die per game, which is really nice just for Seize the Initiative or for re-rolling a reserve roll, it could be game changing, but probably won't be. Just remember he is twice the cost of a regular priest and you have to wonder if the +1 Initiative boost is really necessary when you already have a boost from the Baal detachment, the boost from Corbulo is there all the time, not just on the charge, so it could be important in the right circumstances.
Techmarine and Chaplain
I'm not going to bother going through these as they are the same as in every other Space Marine codex, except for the fact that the Chaplain may see more use here if you don’t have the points for Astorath or you are running two units of death company, but if you are doing that then maybe Lemartes is a better choice…….
That's it for the HQ section of the book then. At the start of next week Matt will be looking at the Troops portion of the book. Once again, I hope you're enjoying this series.