This gets mentioned a lot: Draigo is expenisve. Actually, the internets put it more along the lines of “OMG, he is soooooo expensive, why would you ever take such a beast?” or “GK are so expensive, you have to save points and get the cheapest HQ possible.” A sort of typical quote is Zjoekov on Kirby’s 3++, ”My gawd, 275 points for a model with a 12″ threat range unless you take a 200+ transport for him?”
People also seem think it’s all about the paladins with Draigo, just as you get Crowe specifically for purifiers. But that isn’t really fair of course, Crowe himself is nearly useless, and while purifiers are pretty easy to find (multiple) uses for, paladins seem hard to find applications that will justify their cost.
But while Draigo makes fun little things like dropping down a 55 pt scorer possible, it doesn’t seem to me that’s necessarily why you might get him. Because it seems to me that he does everything a regular Grand Master does, but better.
Let’s compare the options. What do we get with a regular GM?
- He’s got the same stat-line as regular SM captain in terminator armor (a rare choice, to be sure).
- You could basically have this stat-line with a GK brother captain. (1 point of BS aside) for 150 pts, so we know we’re paying about the same as we would with the SM captain. Actually, when you count in the Aegis, psy-out grenades, psychic powers, and the Nemesis Force Weapon, you actually have to figure we’re getting a pretty big discount. Makes me laugh, since people complain about how expensive GK HQs are.
- We pay 25 pts more for the Grand Master, the only real difference being that he gets Grand Strategy. Which is fine, that’s totally worth it, so much so almost no one would buy a plain Brother Captain.
- Just like the SM captain, he ain’t exactly a combat monster for his points, which is why so many people take a look at Librarians. But, GMs have Grand Strategy, which really does affect the entire army in positive ways.
That’s what we get for 175 pts. There’s a few options that most people agree are must haves:
- There’s the three big “I win” grenades: Blind, rad, and pyschotroke. These grenades have a huge multiplicative effect on the effectiveness of the unit the GM is with, making it unlikely for whatever hard-ass unit you’re fighting to be able to fight back effectively.
- Digital weapons. Cheap, you’re probably going to fail to wound, you’re going to get use out of this.
- Mastercrafted weapon. Really the same deal, you’re going to miss, it’s another bite at the apple.
But, look, now the GM costs 220 pts. Yes, you get a lot for that. But it’s also really expensive.
Soooo……..what do we get with Draigo?
- We get a significantly upgraded stat line. Draigo is a beast. Most notably, he has super-marine strength and toughness. He also has a whopping four wounds and attacks. His strength is doubled against psykers and demons, which is a lot of the things you want to kill.
- Sure, just for kicks, his sword is master-crafted. It is also a NFW.
- He gets Eternal Warrior. This is big.
- He also gets a storm shield. This is also big, that’s 3++ save against long-range shots. It’s only one any GK can get.
- He gets Grand Strategy, same as any other GM.
- He gets Psychic Mastery 2. That’s pretty useful.
- He also gets some str 5 flamer like power. OK, meh. It’s a freebie.
Now, notably, what he doesn’t get is, he can’t add on stuff such as the “I win” grenades. But, ask yourself, does he need it? Does the benefits that those grenades give (and they’re powerful) even come close to outweighing the destruction Draigo, himself, can cause personally?
For instance, and this is a good cost comparison, can the 220 pt GM we made above, with psychotrok, rad grenades, and all, beat down Draigo? No, of course not. Here’s perhaps a fairer question: How large a squad, plus the GM with grenades, would it take to kill Draigo all by himself? 3, 4 purifiers or GKT at least. Maybe not even then, 3++ is a pretty good save, Draigo could pretty easily wind up tanking all of it. Psychotroke grenades are pretty good, but very random, but regardless, they only last one round. Draigo’s still there, swiping str 10 swings, turn 2, turn 3.
Draigo also has that supreme ability to tank. If you’re leaving GKT on the ground, you want him there, if only to allocate melta and lascannon shots to. He’ll take that stuff day in and day out, and not care.
Since he provides to the army what you bought a Grand Master for anyway, Grand Strategy, he doesn’t seem that expensive at all.