I'm currently testing 1000pt lists for the Berks Spring Assault and I was considering which would be the better HQ choice. Using a big point character like Dante or Mephiston is difficult in this small a list so I wanted something more cost effective. Actually, Dante may still be a good choice if you use Sanguinary Guard with him (they become troops and can deep strike without scattering). But it limits your other options in such a small list size. Also, Terminators are more resilient than Sanguinary Guard (no invul save!).
I was reading Jawaballs' recent posts for his latest build and he seems to really like Lightening Claw Termies which get rerolls to wound. He then gives them rerolls to hit with either a Librarian (Unleash Rage) or Reclusiarch (Liturgies of blood). I think this is a great synergy for the Termies, which could dominate a field at such a small point size list. I forget offhand what HQ he used to buff them for his big 1850-2000 list but I was gonna compare the two HQs here in this post. So lets take a look...
- Psychic hood: Psychic defense. With all the Grey Knights out there (I heard Mechanicon had a ton of them... it's a jump the shark army already?), Psychic defense is pretty indispensable for an all comers list.
- Psychic power options: I generally use my Librarian to buff my Lightening Claw Termies with Unleash Rage (Preferred Enemy-reroll hits), and also give him Sanguine Sword which makes his Attacks S10 and AP1 (but still keeps his initiative! unlike thunderhammers)... great for popping pretty much any transport out there. But even if you don't like those two options, you have multiple other psychic powers to chose from. Again, more options to customize to your needs.
- Scalable: You can upgrade Librarian to an Epistolary to let him use both his powers in one turn
- Force weapon: Instant Death! If your model comes up against a tough Independent Character (without Eternal Warrior), you can kill them with one wound regardless of how many they may have! Clutch! Even if you don't use the Force Weapon power, he still has a Power Weapon just like the Reclusiarch.
- Can get Terminator armor and a Storm Shield. 2+ armor and 3+ invulnerable saves are very nice! Reclusiarch can use Terminator armor but he CAN'T get a Storm Shield. Again, its nice to have options and I generally give my Librarian both Terminator Armor and Storm Shield.
- Weaker attack, initiative, ballistic skill and wound stats than Reclusiarch (see below)
- With failed psychic tests, the Librarian can wound/kill himself!
- Enemy psykers can negate his abilities
- Reclusiarch has 3 base attacks versus Librarian's 2 attacks
- Reclusiarch has Initiative 5, Librarian is only I4
- Reclusiarch has BS5 versus Librarian's BS4
- Reclusiarch has 3 wounds to Librarian's 2 wounds
- Don't need to pass Psychic test for rerolls to hit, also can't be negated by enemy psykers
- Some may argue, but getting Fearless is not a bonus in my book especially with a unit leader who has Ld10. And they shall know no fear is MUCH better in my opinion...
- Offers no psychic defense, leaving you vulnerable to psykers.
So, comparing the two, unless you are building a list custom against an army that uses no psykers, the Librarian seems to be the clear winner. Even in cases when you're not up against psykers I think the Librarian still wins. Since the Reclusiarch only has a regular Power Weapon, the Librarian's ability to have a S10 AP1 weapon against tanks or his Force Weapon to use against multi wound models make him the more versatile option. That and his base cost is 30pts cheaper than the Reclusiarch! I guess the only way I would go would go with the Reclusiarch is if I were going up against a major Psyker army where I knew my Librarian's psychic powers would be constantly negated.... something like a psyker heavy Eldar army. With the over saturation of Grey Knights in today's game and the need for the ability to negate those powers, the Librarian is the clear winner.
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Am I totally off base comparing these two? Let me know in the comments.