Techpriest Enginseers

Rating: Marginal


This is certainly one of the most unusual of the choices available to the Imperial Guard; a relatively cheap Independent Character that comes with a 3+ save, a free power weapon and powerfist (in the servo-arm), as well as the ability to repair damanged vehicles. But unfortunately, there are a number of restrictions and weaknesses that keep the Techpriest from being a good buy.

First, he is a ONE-WOUND Independent Character. Despite his equipment and reasonable armor, he's an instant target in close combat, and with just T3 he will go down very quickly. Naturally enough, this can be mitigated by giving him the Honorifica Imperialias Mundanus (which then makes him moderately fearsome in combat), as well as a Medallion Crimson and...well, then he has just 10 points left to spend on Wargear.

Secondly, a lot of his special options are restricted by their special rules and his 50-point wargear limit. The Signum, for example, could be extremely useful if the Techpriest could use it with ANY squad he has joined -- but it specifically is compatible only with the Techpriest himself, and any accompanying Servitors. And Servitors are wargear, which severely limit the number and type a Techpriest can field (if you don't believe me, check out the ruling in the Official GW Q&A).

Finally, the Techpriest is a 0-1 Elites choice -- and requires the expenditure of a Doctrine point. While it's true that you can field two as a single choice, that still means that if you field Techpriests, you're limiting your other options for army design generally; normally not a big deal, but in this case worth remembering because there are so many different Elites choices available to Imperial Guard -- and generally no more than three Elites slots available.

That said, the Techpriest still has a few uses. First, his most obvious purpose is to add four Technical Servitors and keep him in contact with the rear of a hull-down tank. That will force your opponent to work harder to neutralize it, since the Techpriest will be able to fix any Weapon Destroyed results. And he and his servitors can still act as a fairly effective, impromptu counter-assault unit if enemy assault units get close and try to assault the tank. It's a rather pricey thing to do, but some people really, really want to keep their Leman Russ tanks active throughout the game, and this will help do it.

Second, he's an independent character with a Ld8, and comes equipped with some decent gear. He can be attached to units that are looking for a leadership upgrade (like Conscripts, for example), although realize that Independent Commisars *also* require a Doctrine point, and come 5 points cheaper for vastly superior Leadership (Ld10).

Finally, he's an independent character that can get his own, personal Chimera. Which is a nice round-about way to provide a ride for units in the Guard army that otherwise can't get one -- so long as he doesn't have any Servitor retinue, of course. This can be an interesting way to give, say, some Stormtroopers with the "Deep Strike" option a ride if the mission doesn't have Deep Strike. Just have them join the Techpriest and ride around in his personal transport! But still, it's not the cat's meow: you're basically paying an extra 45 points for the base 70-pt Chimera if you use him for this purpose.

Ghazhkull Thraka notes (as part of a small firestorm I inadvertantly seem to have ignited), that according to the Official GW Q&A, "a transport vehicle can only transport the unit it was bought as an upgrade for, and characters that join a unit with a transport may be carried in it, too, as long as they will fit of course." Ghaz-T notes that While the wording of the clarification allows a character to join a unit and embark on the unit's transport, it does not allow a character to join a unit and then have the unit embark on the character's transport.

I want to make it clear that this use of the Enginseer is a rather round-about and inefficient way to provide transportation to units that normally can't get a Rhino. However, strictly speaking it's quite legal, at least until GW comes out with another "clarification" to their officially official rules. Notice: the techpriest is a character, not a unit. Therefore rules that apply to transports bought as an upgrade for a unit do not apply to him, or his personal Chimera. That said, I don't see a fundamental difference between (a) having a character tag along with a unit in the unit's transport, and (b) having a unit tag along with a character in the character's transport. I'd say it's about 70-30 (against) that GW will agree with me on this, however, so while it's a nifty idea, I wouldn't go relying on this little trick for your Guard army's continued tactical success...

Created by: system. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 11:58:32 AM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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