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 Is the Agoniser still King?

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PreacherOfDeath
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PostSubject: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16 2011, 22:30

Back in 3rd edition, every squad that was intended for CC had an upgrade character with an Agoniser. HQ? Either Drugs/AV/Punisher/Helm, or an Agoniser. Upgrade character? Agoniser. Wounding anything on a 4+ with a power weapon was the punch that powered our tarpits.

Now, with all the great tools at our disposal for increasing strength, and the exclusion of the Agoniser from the poison buff in the BRB, I have to wonder, is the (2 wracks) point agoniser still the best? Or, is (one wrack) for just a power weapon better, now that high strength is so easy to realize. Perhaps the lowly Venom Blade, at a mere 1/4 of the cost of the Agoniser, the real hidden gem, wounding on 2+ and re-rollable with equal or higher S than your opponent's T? Certainly, it fits better with the theme of the new Wych Weapons.

So, what do you think? Is the Agoniser still the undisputed king of CC? Are the venomblade and power weapon gaining ground? Or, has either completely unseated the mighty Agoniser? I'd be interested to hear your theories and experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16 2011, 22:40

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16 2011, 22:47

I still think they're king for Wyches that want to assault and kill stuff.
Same with Hellions.

I do not think they're really needed with Wracks, but don't see them as a bad investment.

I think for Archons/Succubi they're still pretty much the best option for an assault weapon.

I think they're a mistake pretty much anywhere else.

So...probably I'm about equally in love with them as I was in the last Codex. If anything I would actually say I'm probably more in love with them, since without the Punisher I see no better weapon for DE Lords.

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Shadows Revenge
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16 2011, 23:16

I find that they are the same as they always have been. static wounds. They are cheap and easy way to put wounds into any squad. The problem is the Agoniser has different purposes on different units.

I find that on leader upgrades, your best bet is just a venomblade, if anything at all. Cheap and efficent. The only difference is on wyches. They are there to tarpit units, and that 1 static wound is amazing to keep the enemy constantly taking morale tests.

On our leaders its a hit and miss. I find that on Haemies you need to try and keep them cheap, so venomblades and 1 piece of arcane equiplent are the norm. Tthe Archon has many options, which the Agoniser is a cheap alternitive for a great result, but you will find most like the huskblade more. Succubi love their Agonisers though, but few take her niche is a cheap Archon, but normally people just take the haemie and call it a day.

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PreacherOfDeath
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 16 2011, 23:30

Rider, want to elaborate? Any "glad I took that" moments, or math?

The static wounds are nice, especially on HQ with 5+ attacks a turn at initiative 2FAST4U (that's my raider's vanity plate).

But Hekatrices get 3 attacks on the charge, and with new drugs, a 1/3 chance to re-roll wounds vs most troops with a venom blade.

Yeah, 1 wound guaranteed is nice, I agree Thor/Shadows. But 97% chance to wound on those 3 attacks is... the same thing vs Power Armor, to be sure. But what about everything else?

Sorry to go Devil's Advocate on everyone, but a blaster worth of points is a lot. Sorry about the weird point costs, I don't want to draw GW's legal team here like moths to a flame.
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Sorrowshard
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:05

Agonizers cost too much , a power fist it aint , it also seems to suffer from the 4+ syndrome that seems to afflict the DE book , sometimes you just cant kill anything.

The venom blade is where it is at, I practically spam them and they have yet to let me down, just drown everything in wounds, my vblade wyches with vblade heamy have killed nearly anything you care to name , plgue marines, assault termies, and paladins to name but a few from recent games.

Sorry the agoniser just makes no sense to me loads of points, for what is essentially a str 4 power wep 90 percent of the time....

And the Archon on a budget could run one true but the Husk-trap combo just seems far more effective in my experience as an archon is not exactly a points efficient buy anyway might as well make him as nasty as he can be, right ?

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Tiri Rana
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:08

The point with Agonisers is that they are good against everything.
Venom blades suffer against high armour saves, power weapons against high toughness. But of course these weapons excel on the opposite. Against high toughness and no armor saves the venom blade is much chaeper and better, against low toughness with good armor the power weapon is cheaper and might be better.
In all comers list the agoniser is the trump card we have, but in specialised lists and/or some units there are better options.
And there are of course some units that should take no CC upgrade at all.

Just to say it outright, I think the venom blade is the new codex' hidden gem, because it is both cheap and results in a lot of wounds. But sometimes you just need a big punch against those persky termies.

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:20

Do agonisers do anything useful to Terminators? Even 5+ invuln is tough with 1 wound. I'd rather have the venom blade here most of all.

Where is the agoniser strongest?
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:38

I actually posted a discussion about V.Blades vs. Agonisers earlier - here it is;

Venom Blade

vs. Orks

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 0.2 armor save = 1 wound
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 3.75 wounds after armor saves

The Agoniser does no better than the Venom Blade versus Orks (and costs 4x as much!) so here it's really the rest of the squad doing the work and the Venom Blade helps you fine.

vs. Marines

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 0.83 armor save = .4 wounds
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 1.5 wounds after saves

So, the Agonizer functionally *doubles* the ability of Wyches to hurt Space Marines. Let's play it out and look at Terminators;

vs. Terminators

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 1.04 armor save = .2 wounds
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - .3 armor saves = .6 wounds

Re-Rolls to wound

I'd also like to clear this up - people kind of mumble vaguely about the re-rolls to wound helping the Venom blade when you get the re-roll or Strength boost effect. Well...so what? The ruddy thing already wounds on a 2+ so all the re-roll will do is give you a very marginal bump to the numbers.
When the Agoniser gets the re-roll to wound via the drug effect it starts generating 2 wounds much more reliably - and that's a *huge* bump to the power of the unit to tarpit and kill Marines and Terminators.

So, in short;

The Venom Blade is about the same as the Agoniser vs. Orks.
It's slightly better vs. Guardsmen.
It's not even half as good versus Marines.
It's only 1/3 as good versus Terminators.
And the Agoniser benefits more from the re-roll drug than the Venom Blade does from either the re-roll or Strength drug.

I think that's worth an extra 15 points if I want the squad to kill stuff.

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Sorrowshard
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:42

Actually the venom blade is fine vs high armour as it forces more saves , my Hekatrix put two on lysander recently, more wounds = more attempted saves = more fails , simples.

And yes termies get an invuln vs agonisers so I'm guessing even on a pure math basis the VBlade is better especially vs butt termies, now factor in the points difference ?

Vblades rip through MC's too , not that any MC's should survive VS a DE army to make combat, lances and splinter spam FTW.

Edit- your maths is fine , however vblades DO force more saves , and subsequently I seem to get more stuff to die that way, also thae maths does not factor the points per kill, the Vblade is the clear winner

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Tiri Rana
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 00:43

1 wound against 5+ is better than 2,5 wounds against 2+, but an invuln spoils almost every weapon.

The agoniser is strongest against units with a high toughness and a high armour save, with at best no invuln save.
The best example might be a Tyrannofex.

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 01:16

@Thor665 wrote:
I actually posted a discussion about V.Blades vs. Agonisers earlier - here it is;

Venom Blade

vs. Orks

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 0.2 armor save = 1 wound
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 3.75 wounds after armor saves

The Agoniser does no better than the Venom Blade versus Orks (and costs 4x as much!) so here it's really the rest of the squad doing the work and the Venom Blade helps you fine.

vs. Marines

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 0.83 armor save = .4 wounds
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 1.5 wounds after saves

So, the Agonizer functionally *doubles* the ability of Wyches to hurt Space Marines. Let's play it out and look at Terminators;

vs. Terminators

Venom Blade - 3 attacks - 1.5 hit - 1.25 wound - 1.04 armor save = .2 wounds
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - .3 armor saves = .6 wounds

Re-Rolls to wound

I'd also like to clear this up - people kind of mumble vaguely about the re-rolls to wound helping the Venom blade when you get the re-roll or Strength boost effect. Well...so what? The ruddy thing already wounds on a 2+ so all the re-roll will do is give you a very marginal bump to the numbers.
When the Agoniser gets the re-roll to wound via the drug effect it starts generating 2 wounds much more reliably - and that's a *huge* bump to the power of the unit to tarpit and kill Marines and Terminators.

So, in short;

The Venom Blade is about the same as the Agoniser vs. Orks.
It's slightly better vs. Guardsmen.
It's not even half as good versus Marines.
It's only 1/3 as good versus Terminators.
And the Agoniser benefits more from the re-roll drug than the Venom Blade does from either the re-roll or Strength drug.

I think that's worth an extra 15 points if I want the squad to kill stuff.

Nice math, but why do you get an extra attack with the agoniser?
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 03:24

@PreacherOfDeath wrote:
Nice math, but why do you get an extra attack with the agoniser?
I was about to mock you but... Embarassed then I realized I was actually using an old habit from an old codex, my bad! They don't have limits to extra attacks anymore, do they?

So, we need some adjusted numbers;

Venom Blade

vs. Orks

Venom Blade - 4 attacks - 2 hit - 1.6 wound - 0.27 armor save = 1.3 wound (.3 wound gain from my error)
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 3.75 wounds after armor saves

The Agoniser does no better than the Venom Blade versus Orks (and costs 4x as much!) so here it's really the rest of the squad doing the work and the Venom Blade helps you fine.

vs. Marines

Venom Blade - 4 attacks - 2 hit - 1.6 wound - 1.06 armor save = .53 wounds (.13 wound gain from my error)
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - 0 armor saves = 1 wound

9 regular Wyches would do - 1.5 wounds after saves

So, the Agonizer functionally *doubles* the ability of Wyches to hurt Space Marines. Let's play it out and look at Terminators;

vs. Terminators

Venom Blade -4 attacks - 2 hit - 1.6 wound - 1.33 armor save = .3 wounds (.1 wound increase from my error)
Agoniser - 4 attacks - 2 hits - 1 wound - .3 armor saves = .6 wounds
-----------------------------------------------------------

Hmm...I honestly have to admit I expected my original numbers would have been more off with the difference of +1 attack - still, considering that most of the weakness of the weapon comes from armor saves - more wounds just means more armor to block them. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
So, V-Blade steps up slightly - but I'll stick with my earlier conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 03:30

@Sorrowshard wrote:
your maths is fine , however vblades DO force more saves
Though Agonisers ignore saves...so they're even better as long as you're slightly close in wounds inflicted. In a magic world Venom Blades can probably cause theoretically more dead models...but frankly, the Agoniser has pretty equal chances of the dice flubbing in its favor that way as well.
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Crisis_Vyper
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 04:15

Personally, I take both the Djiin Blade and the Agoniser as my primary weapons of choice, along with the haywire grenade as my back-up anti-dreadnought weapon. Add this with the Soul-trap, Drugs and Shadow Field and I call it good.

The Agoniser allows me to break apart T4 and higher targets more reliably, while the Djiin blade helps me with anything that is T3 and below (though with the drug result of +1 strength, I can kill more T4 targets). The Djinn blade may be slightly unpredictable at times, but nonetheless it is a much more powerful anti-infantry weapon than even the Agoniser or the Venom blade as it forces more saves that ignores armour. Combined these weapons with the soul-trap and you can have fun times ahead. Use the agoniser to trigger the wounds on an IC (though a Str4 Djinn blade could do that as well if you get the right drug result) or a MC, and then suck their soul for the increased strength on the Djinn Blade.

No one likes a 8-9 str 7-10 hits (depending on drug rolls and also how many pain tokens one receive from their victims) on the charge with the Archon if they could help it. The djinn blade/Agoniser/soul-trap combo is there as an option that would prove interesting. But the general idea of a agoniser/djinn blade is there as an all-comer where the Agoniser is used to deal with tougher units, while the djinn blade is there for those horde things.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 04:42

Rarely run an Archon period, but I do use agonisers for units that I want to actually kill things(Wracks/Wyches). I do tend to upgrade Kabalite squads (shooting support for the units that I am trying to kill things with in cc) with a Sybarite for the Ld upgrade. If I have points left over I throw in the occasional venom blade or on a cheap Haemi. In my experience the agoniser is just more reliable than a venom blade when you need it. The venom blade is more useful against crappy armored armies(IG, Orks), but the rest of your squad is already great against these types of armies in CC anyways with their bad saves and low toughness. the agoniser is more reliable against powered armor and terminator armor and can bail the rest of your squad out in combat resolution when they are doing less wounds. This is just my practical experience. If you wanna kill it=agoniser. If you you like rolling dice and killing stuff that the rest of your units would have killed anyways=Venom Blade.

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 05:47

I agree ESE, but see, if I want a squad to blend Orks, I'd rather go all out for ICE CRUSH.

Terrible jokes aside, a full squad of guard orks gaunts stealers is really the only thing that takes more than 2 venoms to shoot to death. If I'm running wyches at slugga boys or genestealers, that invuln is nice to have, but I'm not taking chances - I will get the extra wounds from the venom blade. It's much easier to bring a Tac/Combat squad into safe tarpit range than to shoot a horde to death without jets and missiles, and I won't take chances with an agoniser.

I like an agoniser on my archons, sometimes. Venom blade and djin blade are both tempting. The squad picks the weapon, IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 06:17

I like Venom Blades a lot, but I can see taking the Agoniser. In the end, for me, with Wyches, I prefer to keep it cheap because I find more and more I want to save points to get more Wyches. The VB on a Hek allows me almost two more Wyches, and over the course of a few units, that is another squad (before vehicle).

On the other hand, for the Archon I take the Djinn Blade for the sheer volume of attacks (that benefits from a possible +2S). On a Succubus, sometimes Wych Weapons or VB, sometimes Agoniser. I like the Agoniser on her because she might just clown a squad with that many attacks, but leave it off for the same points shaving I drop it off Heks.

I personally think PWs are slightly overcosted, and it leads people to taking Agonisers hands down.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 06:20

Haven't tried the Archon with djin blade/poisoned weapon with a soul trap. Talk about a NASTY bastard! Sounds like a fun painting project too.

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 06:43

@Evil Space Elves wrote:
Haven't tried the Archon with djin blade/poisoned weapon with a soul trap. Talk about a NASTY bastard! Sounds like a fun painting project too.

Still needs to kill the IC or the MC straight out to get the nastiness, which an Agoniser could help trigger off. If given the choice I would also go ahead with just the Djinn Blade and soul-trap and call it good. Alas, the theory does not work as well as the practical side of things, and thus I included the Agoniser to become a primary domino trigger for the djinn blade/soultrap combo.

I have tried the Agoniser/Djinn Blade/Soul-trap combo a few times before, and I have gotten a hell of a "WTF" reaction. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 07:05

@Thor665 wrote:
@Sorrowshard wrote:
your maths is fine , however vblades DO force more saves
Though Agonisers ignore saves...so they're even better as long as you're slightly close in wounds inflicted. In a magic world Venom Blades can probably cause theoretically more dead models...but frankly, the Agoniser has pretty equal chances of the dice flubbing in its favor that way as well.

I think you are still missing my point, The agoniser SHOULD be better as it costs four times as much, is it four times better ? No, my point is that vblades work well and cost significantly less, they are far more cost effective, through many games I have found Wyches simply do not need to spend that extra 15 points, so the agoniser is an expensive luxury I would only put on if there are 'spare' points going (there wont be)

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 07:14

@Sorrowshard wrote:
I think you are still missing my point, The agoniser SHOULD be better as it costs four times as much, is it four times better ?
It's half again better and three times better versus MEQ and Termies respectively. My Wyches have to fight a lot of MEQ and Termies, it's what I use them for. So, for me, yes, I would say its value is worth the additional points. I need a weapon that will allow me to kill MEQ and Terminators, the V.Blade does not do so well enough to be worth 5 points as opposed to a free regular CCW.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 07:16

In every game I have played my Archon has taken an agoniser...his latest achievement was single-handedly taking down a Daemon Prince without suffering a single wound. It took four of my opponents combat turns and three of mine to do it, but in all honesty I would rather face a 5+ inv save than a 3+ armour save.

Againts the Daemon Prince, an Archon needs a roll of 4+ to even hit him, first off. Lets say I land 3 of my 5 attacks. With the Venom Blade, I have a 5/6 chance of wounding the Daemon, but he also has a 2/3 chance of saving it. With the Agoniser, I have a 1/2 chance of wounding, but he only has a 1/3 chance of saving it.

I have never been let down by my agoniser/pistol combo. It may just be my play style, but I say why fix something that isn't broken?

Now, as for anything but my hq squad, venom blades all the way. I see no point in spending so many points on a squad that is more than likely going to be destroyed, where my hq squad is much more protected, and therefore worth the extra points.

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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 08:10

@Evil Space Elves wrote:
Haven't tried the Archon with djin blade/poisoned weapon with a soul trap. Talk about a NASTY bastard! Sounds like a fun painting project too.
Then you'll have the joys of instant deathing yourself with your s6 self-inflicted hit from the djinn blade... Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Is the Agoniser still King?   Is the Agoniser still King? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 17 2011, 08:37

@Thor665 wrote:
@Sorrowshard wrote:
I think you are still missing my point, The agoniser SHOULD be better as it costs four times as much, is it four times better ?
It's half again better and three times better versus MEQ and Termies respectively. My Wyches have to fight a lot of MEQ and Termies, it's what I use them for. So, for me, yes, I would say its value is worth the additional points. I need a weapon that will allow me to kill MEQ and Terminators, the V.Blade does not do so well enough to be worth 5 points as opposed to a free regular CCW.

Err, your figures suggest it is only 50 percent better on meq and you did not supply figs for assault termies, if it actually was 'three times better' my support for the vblade would be less vocal, agonisers are almost fairly pointed on characters, they have better ws and more attacks but pay the same.

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