I love Kastelans, everything about them. I love their miniatures and their lore. Unfortunately, their actual performance on the battlefield has always been strange to me. Their clunky interface with datasmiths, the 8th edition reliance on double shooting and Mars strats, and their apparent high cost vs. underwhelming performance in 9th.
In coming up with strategies for 9th I thought I'd reach out and merge our collective cortices and try and come up with some ideas.
Need: datasmith, full gun loadout
Cost: 115? 110?
Cons: No more 2x shooting, BS 3+ locks you in place (can still consolidate), insane decision to change stats on guns (just makes things more complex), Melee about worthless, price.
Pros: 2+ save and mobile unit in basic protocol, can fire into melee, fairly sturdy gun platform.
Buffs: Dominus rerolls while CORE, canticles, Lucius Solarflare reposition, exploding 6s with Magi, other holy order buffs? What about stratagems, I am not familiar enough.
I like their staying power, and you can always blow them up with wrath of the machine god if they're holding an objective. Also, they wold benefit from wrath of mars in a big enough unit. I just can't see where these would be a better option that say 3-4 autocannon ironstriders. Going full Kastelan though would be interesting in "for fun" games; 54 shots at 3+ screening out an objective and able to shoot into combat.
Need: datasmith, full fist load out
Cons: Cost, positioning needs, lack of long range firepower, potentially tar pit vs. large screens.
Pros: 2+ melee with 5 attacks at STR 10, 3 flat damage. That's pretty darn good.
Buffs: Charge canticle, Lucius Solarflare reposition, stratagem for the Kastelan charge mortal wounds.
I like these guys, and feel they're a hard to ignore bully unit. I'm not sure which Holy orders would be the best, nor am I familiar with all the strats yet. Either way, I see these guys as a definite hard to ignore unit. The hardest part is getting where they need to go. Stygies can't move them forward, but Lucius has the Solarflare shenanigans with a data smith. I will likely give this a try in an upcoming mini-tournament amongst friends. I have to decide on how many I want to run, at least 2, possibly 3-4. That's a lot of cheddar but would be really fun.
Need: datasmith, fist+gun and flamer.
Cons: Cost, positioning needs, jack of all trades usually not the best choice.
Pros: Can switch to 2+ melee option and still fire weapons, can fire into combat, 4 attacks is nothing to scoff at, can continue to move and potentially threaten something every turn (shooting, melee, or both).
Buffs: Charge canticle, dominus rerolls, Solarflare reposition, charging mortal wounds.
These guys also look very interesting and I will definitely try them out. I'm a little bummed my shooting Kastelans have their weapons glued in place. I like the idea of these guys moving forward aggressively to threaten objectives. I can't really see any reason not to run these in melee mode unless you're going to face a high volume of low str, low AP shooting prior to contact.
Just some thoughts to hopefully spark some dialogue on the new codex as it has been surprisingly quiet. I expect when Prot returns he'll have had some games to discuss.
For the Omnissiah!