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40K: The Hellion Gang and Baron Sathonyx

5 Minute Read
Jun 28 2011
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Some people don’t  like the Baron. The Baron doesn’t like those people.

Greeting ladies and younger ladies, Mr. Black here, back after a bit of an absence. Now now, I don’t want anyone worrying about me. Seems I just had a run in with an individual who may or may not have been paid by a certain BoLS Site Owner who may or may not have gotten tired of certain blackmail plans which may or may not have taken place.

The past is the past however and I am back for the time being. That being said, let’s move onto our topic for the week: Baron Sathonyx and his Hellions.

Now, as some of you may know I am an avid fan of the Dark Eldar codex as a whole, my own opinion being that it is the best book to have been written thus far and the criteria in which I shall hold each other book that comes after it (until sixth edition anyway, with all it’s silly rumors!). One unit in particular held my attention in the tome and that was the lowly Hellion. I mean, who couldn’t like the villains from Highlander II? Much to my dismay, however, it does seem that a number of people just don’t care for the little goblin-glider unit.

Honestly? I think it’s just because everyone else has been playing them wrong and I am a tactical genius the likes of which the world has never seen.

Ok, so let me back that up. How are people playing Hellions wrong? Well, first let me say that a lot of the time I see people taking small seven/eight man units and expecting them to do anything… Negative, a 5+  save at T: 3 means you need numbers, so for myself the standard size is fifteen models. This gives us some bodies to throw at them while still keeping them at a (relatively) decent price.

Next, special weapon. Ok, so only the squad leader can have one. Stunclaw or Agonizer, which will it be? Again I see people taking the Stunclaw, which has the nasty effect of robbing the unit of a Power Weapon, and for me that’s just not acceptable. Fluff-wise the Stunclaw is a neat idea, I will give it that, but frankly any IC that the Hellions drag away is more than likely going to butcher them in the next combat phase due to the durability issues we spoke of earlier. I understand some people’s idea of the small unit sweeping in and dragging an IC far from the rest of the army but… Well first they would have to be able to survive the initial encounter and not run away, then, having succeeded in that, actually have a place they can drop the IC without your opponent just regrouping next turn. Say you take seven and a Stunclaw for that purpose, you’re throwing away what may seem like a relatively small amount of points… But for those same points you could get the same amount of Wyches to tie the unit up for a long while.

Another thing to consider is that like the rest of the Dark Eldar army Hellions get better the more they kill, and that means getting them into the thick of it- again something you need numbers for. Lastly let’s look at how they will actually kill units… Well, as I said, you could run them into melee, losing guys in the process, but frankly why do that when you have an eighteen-inch gun (wonder if Bigred will catch that one, heh heh…)? Sit those Hellions back and shoot away- another area where more bodies, aka a higher bulk of fire, comes into effect.

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Alright, so not going to lie, the above three paragraphs? If you play Hellions you already know it… Or maybe you didn’t and my ego is, in fact, justified. Does that make Hellions the best unit in the book? Oh hell no. In fact the issue even I myself have with them is while they’re good, there are other, cheaper, options. Is that a huge shame? You bet it is… Is there anyway to fix it?

Hell yeah. And his name is The Baron:

I didn’t have a picture of Baron Sathonyx, so I figured Prince was our modern equivalent.
So what does he bring to the table? Well he makes Hellions troops, we all know how big that is. He gives us +1 to go first, also great (sixth edition rumors may hurt this… I don’t believe that part), and he allows a unit of Hellions he joins to reroll Dangerous Terrain tests, Hit and Run (roll and distance), all the while giving the unit Stealth… Damn. That’s a lot now isn’t it? All that for just over 100 points, no, not bad at all.
So what is my opinion of a unit of Hellions with The Baron leading them? 3+ Stealth, no worries about terrain hoping? Troops who can bunker into an objective with a 2+ cover save (Go to Ground)? Now we have a unit that is worth something to me! Honestly I have ran a unit of Hellions in each Dark Eldar army I have taken since the books release, initially coming from three solid units of the flyers to one decent sized one, and I can’t think of leaving home without them.
So… You notice any issues in the last sentence? Namely the “…to one decent sized one”. What happened there? Well, unfortunately, I have found out that without The Baron leading them Hellions are just… well rather “Meh”, and I hate saying that, but facts are facts. If you want shooting take Trueborn, if you want melee you have Incubi and Wyches (well, sorta)… With the Hellions we’re paying for that Jack-of-All-Trade Master-of-None unit, and while the idea is cool the Dark Eldar just have too many good options to justify that. Really, without the Baron giving them all those great boosts (as well as the, however small it may be, buff to melee), I’d rather take something else. I didn’t expect Stealth and the rerolls to be that big a deal initially, truth be told, but they are, and it pains me to say that is the reason I limit myself to one solid unit of fifteen plus The Baron.
 Well, dear readers, that’s just my take on Hellions. People may very well have had success in the Multiple Small Units approach to playing them… Me? Well I spelled it out for you above, just give me one fifteen man unit with a Helliarch w/ Agonizer plus the Baron and I’m set. Maybe steal a Haemonculi’s pain token for good measure… Is my way the better way? Nah, my ego isn’t that big (Liar- Bigred).
~So to all you Dark Eldar players out there: How do you like Hellions? To all you non-Dark Eldar players out there: Play a real army what are some of your favorite units that no one else seems to like? -Mr. Black

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