Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brother Corbulo

Brother Corbulo is a special character that can be purchased in place of a standard Sanguinary Priest. While he’s more expensive (though not too much more expensive than a Priest with jump pack and power weapon, my most usual build), he has a significantly better statline, some good equipment, and a very useful special rule.

Corbulo has an extra point of ballistic skill (not worth too much since he only has a bolt pistol) and initiative as well as an extra wound and attack compared to a standard Sanguinary Priest. The initiative is helpful, but the extra wound is really what you want. In addition, Corbulo carries the Red Grail, meaning that his Feel No Pain ignores a wound on a 2+, making him massively more survivable than a standard Priest.

Corbulo carries the chainsword “Heaven’s Teeth,” which raises his strength and gives him Rending. This isn’t as reliable as a power weapon, but it combines with his higher attacks to make him a fairly formidable warrior.

Finally, Corbulo has the rule “All-Seeing Eye.” This allows you to re-roll any roll through the course of the game, from the roll to seize the initiative until the last die hits the table. If you develop an eye for the die rolls that the game rests on, this re-roll can be the most important aspect of Corbulo.

Corbulo provides a reasonably hard-hitting but very survivable Priest. His main limitation is his lack of jump pack. This limits the support he offers to jump pack armies. Mechanized armies generally aren’t too concerned about keeping their Priests alive, since they rarely get out of their transports, so Corbulo’s role there is also pretty limited. However, shooty mechanized armies can greatly benefit from going first and may take Corbulo just to have a greater chance to seize the initiative. In my experience, Corbulo fits best with an infantry firebase. He grants the Devastators Feel No Pain and provides a counter-charge/speed bump element to the firebase.


  1. It should be an extra point of 'Ballistic skill' instead of an extra point of Weapon skill ;)

    I like your view on Corbulo, but I don't entirely agree on the Corbulo-in-a-mechanized-list remark. I think Corbulo works great in a mechanized list. By mechanized I off course don't mean the typical razorspam + predspam lists that are so common these days, but a balanced mechanized list with for example 9 Assault Marines with a power weapon in a rhino. Such a Squads work in perfect harmony with Priests and so also with Corbulo I think.

    Great review though! :)

  2. I fixed the ballistic skill flub. Thanks for pointing it out.

    My point with the mechanized list was based upon how I've seen most people play them. Even those that use large Assault squads in Rhinos seem to take naked Priests that stay in vehicles. This is very efficient but wouldn't make use of Corbulo's durability or hitting power. You certainly could.

    In fact, I think he fits into a mech list better than an all jump list. However, I think he works best with an infantry firebase.


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