Last weekend while at Hobby Forge an interesting discussion came up at the FLGS. The question was "Why are some characters in 40K designed in such a way no one sensible will ever use them?"
Here we have exhibit A: Nork Deddog.
Why Nork? Well let's put it this way, the fella is nice on paper, fluffy and all that but there is a problem, the fella cost 110 pts to field.
By comparison upgrading your senior officer to Lord Castellan Creed or Colonel Straken won't even cost that much, although these 2 examples does "replace" your generic senior officer so to speak.
But that is besides the point for a sensible player will simply ask the question of what does he or she get out of the bargain and for the same amount of points what else is available?
Lets us see now, for the same cost of Nork an IG player can get:
Either; a vanilla valkyrie with 2 Hellstrike missiles (72", str 8 ap 3 Ordinance) and heavy bolter sponsons.
OR, 2 Chimeras with 2 primary weapons each.
|Grots! Must Charge!|
Sadder still, the "benefits" which you can get by fielding Nork can mostly achieved by other means ... with less points cost and better results! Want CC prowess? Well Col Straken strikes better (WS5) and harder (s6), ignores armour saves and does 2D6 against vehicles. Nork give you stubborn USR? Straken gives you fearless. Feel no Pain and body guards? Well Nork out cost 2 body guards and a medic upgrade by close to twice the amount. Nork's advantage of being T5 doesn't even come into play most of the time as he is bunched with a group of humans all the time. You can argue Nork could eat a krak missile and still do the feel no pain, well by that logic something is really wrong should a competent opponent decides to shove high str AV rounds into your command squad.
Also from the same codex we have exhibit B: Mr. Mogul Kamir. For almost 80% the cost of an entirely new squad of rough riders you get Mr. Kamir to take over as the squad leader of your rough rider squad but by doing so you lost control of the squad as they gain rage USR. So let us get this straight, you can spend a lot of point to make your rough rider squad always angry... so angry in fact they will charge out into open field and get shot to pieces because they have lousy stats (T3 and 5+sv, any one?), thus totally nullifying their place as the counter assault unit, what gives?
The "Nork syndrome" is buffling in the extreme because it DOES NOT:1. Help GW sell more models, for they cost high points and eats into the army budget in question
2. Offer "codex creep" factor to subtlety encourage power players to switch to IG
3. Serve to further popularize heroic charactesr in the 40k universe.
The only hypothesis I can come out with is that there are a bunch of executives are making questionable decisions inside GW, and my money is on the same bunch of people who authorised Ultramarine The Movie. Why do you think?