Emperor's Children, massive perfectionists, elite warriors and a terrible legion in game? While the difficulties of playing EC are glaring, i dont find them to far fetched or horribly destructive. One of their Rites is pretty rubbish below 3000pts, the other is pretty ambiguous and is pretty awesome.
The primary impediment is that any characters must accept and issue challenges. How ever the options available to EC mean that this is something you would be doing anyway.
All EC characters gain +1 Initiative in a challege, meaning they will strike before your enemies. With the EC having one of the few AP2 on initive weapons this means that artificer armour means nothing to you.
Also ALL legion astartes Emperor's Children gain +1 initiative on the charge, meaning everyone of your infantry squads goes before enemy squads, which in the even playing field that is 30k is HUGE! This also means that your characters will gain +2 initiative on the charge in a challenge!
If you lose combat and a model in a challenge was killed you suffer from -1LD for the morale check (wording isn't perfect, but this DOES NOT STACK). This hurts. A lot. If you're losing combat, you're already taking penalties to Leadership. EC charcters are normally massively decked out for this reason.
EC tacticals should always take additional combat weapons for this reason (and it makes you better in combat, every legion should do this really, best upgrade you can give these guys. +1 attack for 2pts).
EC legionaries all have the Crusader special rule, which means that EC move faster and Sweeping advance better; normally I6+D6+D3 for squads without special rules/characters. This all means that Emperor's Children are an amazing melee legion and their Legion specific units are all geared towards the assault and to supporting your assault units. See my legion unit review for information on them.
-post edit script; a lot of content from this post has been moved and said in my other Emperor's Children posts which have been massively overhauled post book 6 previews so check out those posts for my take on Emperor's Children special units.-
Thanks for reading, Argel Tal out.