So you want to play with some big ol’ bad guys? Well, Old Man Brad is going to set you straight on what the new Psychic Awakening release did for the Big Ole Baddies. You’re welcome.
Skipping past the gloriously irrelevant name generator (really?), let’s talk about the new Dread Households, Household bonds, artifacts, stratagems, lions, tigers, and bears… oh my!
Dauntless – Add 2 to the wounds characteristic of Knights and 1 to War Dogs. Meh on units with a bucket of wounds. This is good, but not amazing.
Warlord Trait: Bound to None – The first time the warlord is destroyed, on a 4+ they get back up with d3 wounds. Now, this is pretty damn good as we have seen with house Taranis Knights and how irritating it can be when they pop back up at the end of the phase. This is strong and is usually a 3CP stratagem you are getting for the low, low bargain price of a warlord trait.
Crown of Jedathra – Minus 1 to hit in melee is pretty strong if you’re making an aggressive melee knight. It can save the day when you’re fighting against other big baddies.
Warping Aura – Crap, 1 cp for a 4+ to do 1 mortal wound to everything engaged by the Knight doesn’t seem like something the OMB is going to spend his sweet, sweet cp on.
House Ludacris… LUDA!!!! Okay it’s Lucaris, but I don’t care:
Virtue Through Strength: Add 1 to the hit roll when you charge. Pretty solid trait, and I’m always up for anything that makes me ignore those pesky modifiers or make my 2s seem legit.
Strike first, Strike often – Fight first in combat. This is going to be boss-mode in 9th. Trust the OMB; he’s wise in the force.
Serpentstrike – Juiced up melta gun assault 4. Situationally very nice
Trample Them – 1 CP to do either d3 or d6 mortal wounds on a unit you’ve moved over is solid, and you can sing Move Trick Get Out the Way as you do it. Would recommend it.
Rampant Cruelty – Reroll wounds of 1 in melee is pretty top-notch as 1s and OMB have never been friends. Also, let’s be honest, that’s a cool name.
Warlord Trait: Maddened Cries – Roll 2d6 for morale and discard the lowest if within 12″ of this warlord. Maybe, but I’m thinking I’d rather have one of the other:.
Annihilatum – Conflagration cannon that’s assault and does 1 more damage. Keep your hands off my house Khymere relics. OMB will be taking this option early and often.
Fury of Surtr’s Wake – 2CP to do d3 mortals to everything within 3″ on a 4+. Meh. Two stars, wouldn’t recommend.
Titankin – Reroll a single hit and wound in overwatch. This is pretty much GW saying, “get bent.” Trash now and worse in 9th.
Warlord Trait: Favour of the Dark Mechanicum – Gains a wound at the start of the movement phase. It’s meh.
Heretek Power Core – Add 1 to move, 1 to damage of chainsword and gauntlet, and 1 to the roll to explode when it dies. This is interesting, but adding 1 to a 6 damage weapon seems like a win more than adding 1 to move.
Interception Array – 2CP to ignore modifiers is legit, and if it didn’t come with a bag of garbage from the rest of the house, it would be okay. All in all, this house is not getting an invite to the Brad show.
Profane Symbiosis – When a model has lost half or more of it’s starting wounds, add 1 to hit in melee. Plus, you always get a 5+ against all wounds in the psychic phase. Yes, please! Basically, if you don’t like this household bond, you don’t like fun, and you probably kick puppies. I’m just saying.
Warlord Trait: Dread Hunter – Once per game adds 1 to the damage of a ranged weapon and reroll all hits and wounds. Legit, although I always am a little meh about once per game abilities.
Daemonic Shrike – At the start of the shooting phase select an enemy with 18″ and add 1 to the ap of all attacks against that model. Super legit and just deadly gross with Gatling Cannons or other high volume weapons.
Encircling Hounds – 1CP to outflank a War Dogs unit is pretty tasty and makes me like Khomentis even more, which helps get the bad taste of that utter failure of House Vextrix out of my mouth.
Now that the standard options are covered, let’s talk about the do-it-yourself Dread Household traits and what the OMB’s House of ill repute would select for his custom mojo.
Endless Torment – Reroll a die when determining the number of shots in overwatch. Refer to previous pejoratives I used.
Pinpoint Cruelty – Reroll a die for determining damage in overwatch. Are you kidding me with this trend, GW?! Whose idea was this?
Infamous Heredity – Reroll a single die to hit in overwatch… Hate crime in 3,2,1…
Gheists of Ruin – Cover if you are more than 24″ away. 9th will do things to this. Wait for an FAQ before getting attached.
Slayers of Kings – Add 1 to hit in melee vs vehicles or monsters. This might be decent with the increase in vehicles and monsters I’m predicting in 9th, and it’s so much better than the bag of filth that are the previous choices.
Dark Forging – Add 6″ to the range of weapons that normally have a range of 24″ or more and add 2″ to weapons with less than 24″ range. Not a bad bond, but with the smaller table size for 9th I don’t see this as having a ton of impact unless you are using a large number of flamer weapons. First, before you are going to tell me how wrong I am, you will need to try and actually take this and use flamer type weapons.
Warp Vision – Ignore cover on ranged weapons. Yes, please, take this all day long and then some. 5/5 stars would recommend.
Pride-Fuelled Fury – When at half or fewer wounds, add 1 to attacks characteristic and 1 to the hit roll of melee attacks. Solid and obviously better on punchy knights.
Abominable Constitution – Add 1 to movement and always use top bracket for move. Well, I played a few games with this and talked to top Knight players, and I changed my mind that this might be a top tier choice. In the late game, having super-fast Knights is going to be incredibly strong instead of limping over you are moving as fast as ever.
Harrying Packs – War Dogs can shoot and charge when they fall back and suffer minus 1 to hit when they fall back in shooting. This is a solid pick if you are using multiple War Dog units in your army.
Frenzied Attackers – Exploding 6’s in melee is okay, but probably not going to be what I take when I only get two choices.
Hate-Driven Charge – Plus 1 ap on melee, but excluding titanic feet, which is the only thing I would be excited about with this trait. Thanks for getting my hopes up when I first read this. Hard pass.
Enlightened Idolaters – Ignore ap 1 is boss-mode! This is tasty and delicious.
Vengeful Outcasts – Reroll 1s to wound vs Imperium. Okay, but faction-specific and nothing to write home about because of that.
Hellforged Construction – Add 1 to wounds characteristic of War Dogs and 2 to all others. Yawn.
Heretical System-Bond – In 9th, this is basically ignoring all modifiers, which is legit.
Loathing for the Masses – Add 1 to attacks characteristic against units with 11+ models. I don’t loathe this. See what I did, eh, eh? Okay, I’ll stop.
Bold Tyrants – Plus 1 to ap within 12″. I thought about this for a while, and if you’re playing a very aggressive, melee-focused house and are using flamers and other close fire weapons, this is actually not a bad trait to take.
Rapid Offense – No penalty for advancing and shooting is good. Coupled with Bold Tyrants, it seems we have a legit duo.
Unhallowed Inscriptions – 5+ vs wounds in psychic phase is legit depending on how the meta looks. If we see lots of Grey Knights and other smite heavy armies, this picks up in value a ton. This will be a meta call to make before each event you attend.
At the end of the day, the OMBs House of Ill Repute is going with Warp Vision (ignoring cover) and Enlightened Idolaters (ignore AP1) all day long and twice on Sundays. So many times I’ve put down Knights with a volume of AP1 shots buffed by a Chaplain or other buffs, and it feels great to ignore that and continue your rampage through your opponent’s feeble attempts to slow your dread advance. Ignoring cover is going to be huge with all the new terrain rules that 9th edition, and it’s a quality take even now in 8th.
Another combo I have chatted with other Knight players about is taking Harrying Packs and Abominable Constitution if you are playing a heavy war dogs army so that you have strong movement and can’t be held in combat.
The new households are okay and trying to give you the best mojo for your quests for galactic domination I would strongly suggest that either take the OMB’s house of Ill Repute or put the new bonds to the test using this as a guide from an experience player to help you tailor bonds that fit your playstyle and/or give you a great synergistic combo, but be sure to choose a combination that you’ll be able to utilize throughout the game. The bonds that come into play for you in every turn and consistently make you feel their worth are going to be the ones that you use to further the previous quest for galactic domination. Remember children, play by intent, roll your dice in the open and 40k Jeebus will make all your forgeworld dreams come true.