So I was looking at Grotesques, and I came to a realization.
Grotesques vs Wraithblades is perfect for inter-army comparisons, with both being similarly priced (Grotesques are 40 points, Wraithblades are 35 with default loadout), filling the same role (Super tanky melee infantry), and both being a tough unit in a generally squishy army. Ignoring commander buffs for this, these units stand or fall on their own.
So let us take a look at the statlines.
The two are functionally identical in many respects, sharing 3+ WS, S 5 T 5 and 3 wounds. Grotesques are move 7 to the blades move 5, and have 4 attacks to the blades 2. However, the blades win out in leadership (9 to 8 ) and more importantly Save (3+ to 6+/5++/6+++)
This means that Grotesques are unarguably more offensively geared stat wise, but are significantly less tanky against anything with AP -1 or 0. Of course, if the enemy brought along big toys the tankiness goes in the other direction.
So now let us take a look at their weapons of choice.
The Grotesque comes stock with 2. First and foremost is the humble Monstrous Cleaver. ST User, 1 damage, -1 AP, +1 attack. This bad-boy will cut through guardsmen and even space marines reliably.
Toy number 2 is the Flesh Gauntlet. Basically a CCW with poison 4+. Rarely going to come up unless you find yourself in battle with monsterous creatures.
The Ghostswords wielded by Wraithblades are a bit different. +1 S, -2 AP, and 1 damage, with +1 attack too. That means it carves through guard like a knife through butter, wounding on 2's and ignoring their save entirely, while also being excellent against harder targets like marines and even their new T5 toys. and with an effective ST 6 Wraithblades are still doing well vs most monsters.
As far as weapons go, I think it would be fair to say that Wraithblades are the superior loadout against anything that is below toughness 7.
Now on to special rules.
Grots get power from pain. I am meh on the rule myself, but Grots really make it shine by making use of almost every result from the table, with fearless being the least useful to them since they usually lack the numbers for it to really matter.
Grots also get a very nice 5++ save. Something that no sane person would object to having.
Wraithblades get Ancient Doom, which is nice but situational since they are only triggered by Servants of She Who Thirsts.
They also get a very nice +1 to attacks on the charge, closing the gap between the two by 1 on a round where the Wraith Constructs charge.
The two are fairly evenly matched. the Grotesques hit more and hit more often, but the blades hit harder. The Blades are better tanks against small arms fire, but the Grots are more survivable against heavy weapons.
I think I would say the two are pretty close to dead even, with the small advantages on either side matching the two as closely as I can really imagine without being carbon copies. Which makes the Grotesques being 5 points more expensive feel kinda weird to me. Am I missing something?