Well that's good to know MD don't work for number of shots before I tried to use it. However, I don't consider comparing the Castigator to the two most brokenly undercosted vehicles in the game to be a meaningful point of discussion on it's merit. Nothing compares well to a chicken walker, even after the nerf they're still undercosted, that's why they are a meta staple. Unless your opponents are exclusively meta chasers it's ok to like units that arnt in the tournament scene. I also doubt GW priced the Exorcist to sell Castigators because if they did they failed to make the Castigator a markedly better choice. If one looks at the Drukkari and Ad Mech books, it's far easier to assume GW is absolutely clueless about rules balance than it is to assume some insidious marketing ploy.
The exorcist in 7th Edition was D6 shots and AP 1, back when most tanks and artillery had a static "1" for number of shots. It also had a stormbolter, so if you suffered weapon destroyed you wouldn't lose the main cannon, and a laud hailer to buff nearby sisters infantry, in what was a super cool and thematic unit, that could be incredibly powerful but also incredibly unreliable.
It also had heavier front armor then a rhino, due to the extra armor plating. Ap -1 meant it got a +2 to vehicle damage table.
A Leman Russ Battle Cannon, on the other hand, fired ONE Str 8, Ap 3 Large Blast, meaning against tanks you got 1 shot, with no bonus on the vehicle damage table, and against a squad you got one shot that might hit a few of them or miss entirely.
If you've been playing since then, it's been a real disappointment every codex since.
8th Edition Index --> Everything else goes from 1 shot to D6, the exorcist stays the same, and becomes Str 8 Ap -4 D6, which sounds great but compared to a standard Leman Russ is actually worse, despite costing more. They also lose the Laud Hailer, which gave all Sisters of Battle a bonus when around them. It wasn't really a big deal, but was incredibly thematic to have. It also meant that it no longer felt "unreliable" when compared to other tanks in the game.
8th Edition Codexes --> Most tanks get a double fire rule, making the comparison vs Leman Russes even worse! While Exorcists get a heavy bolter version of their weapon, and the main one becomes Str 8 Ap -3 D6, losing a point of armor penetration.
9th Edition Codex --> Exorcists get a very small buff, and a huge nerf. They get 3d3 shots, but lose the stratagem to reroll number of shots, lose the ability to get reroll 1's from a Canoness or any other buffs, and also lose 1 pt of toughness. They also get a heavy bolter, for some reason. Most importantly, though, is we are now at AP -2, which is a long way away from ignoring all armor..
So a 9th edition Exorcist is this: Very reliable machine of war, that fires medium power shots akin to old hunter killer missiles.
A 7th edition Exorcist was: A terrifying weapon of war, that was incredibly unreliable. It might insta-death a squad of Grey Knight Paladins, or rip open medium vehicles without much issue, or it might roll one shot and do nothing.
GW has changed the "fantasy" behind the Exorcist entirely. I still love the model, but I really loved the "We don't really know how technology works, and this is especially volatile" fantasy behind the Exorcist, and now it's just kind of a standard all-around tank.
Edited by Beams, 06 August 2021 - 03:44 PM.