So now that we've had time to get a few games in, what does everyone think of our HQ options? Obviously losing so many SCs stinks, but how do the new ones hold up? Here are my thoughts:
Archon: He's not bad, but he also lost a little charm. The removal of and changes to various wargear options mean that he doesn't feel like the customizable toolbox he once was. The 2nd edition version was all about being able to take his choice of goodies from the armory. The 5th edition version gained and lost options (hello clonefield, goodbye hellion board). This new one feels... streamlined. That said, you can still kill stuff in close-combat with him, you can still give him a shadowfield, and the portal option on him is arguably better now than ever. I actually kind of like that he lost access to combat drugs as it helps distinguish him from the Succubus.
Succubus: I actually really like the changes to her. Previously, she felt like she was lacking the melee options she needed to be useful compared to the archon. The archite glaive goes a long way towards helping with this as do the changes to combat drugs. Potentailly having that many attacks at strength 6 on the charge (with furious charge) is nice. The fact that she can bring a portal too is also handy. She lacks the survivability of the archon, but I think the glaive distinguishes her nicely as our offensive option.
Haemonculus: I'm sort of iffy on this guy. He has less attacks than the others, but I almost like his melee options better than those of the archon in some ways. I sort of miss the old arcane shooting gear (who doesn't want to sic a giant tentacle attack on a squad or trap someone in a mirror?), but the stuff he has access to isn't terrible either. Even though the new Power From Pain has helped me out from time to time, I still miss being able to use this guys as pain token batteries, so maybe I'm just not using them right. I'm still curious about whether or not it would be worth sticking this guy in a squad of incubi or wyches to help protect them and give them furious charge sooner. It worked for me back in the day. I'm just not sure if it's worth it this time 'round. His toughness is also worth mentioning. There's lots of strength 6 and 7 running around these days, but not as much strength 8+ (especially at a range). This means that the haemi will actually get his FNP where others won't! But if you're looking to tank wounds, an archon is probably the better choice.
I get the feeling that the archon is there for survivability and a couple of toys (like the grenade launcher), the succubus is our glass-cannony melee combatant (remember that she basically has a clone field in melee), and the haemonculus is... worse at both of those things than the other two but also capable of supporting units a bit. Seems like he works best when used with the coven supplement and lots of pain engines.
Lelith: I think she's actually better than before, but only when you send her after units including characters. Sure, she doesn't have the crazy number of attacks she used to, but with rampage, she can get pretty close. Her rerolls in challenges make her better at killing off tough characters than before. Weak characters (like IG sergeants) will die fast and then allow you to spill your extra wounds over onto the squad, so she's still pretty good at slaughtering canon fodder. So yeah, better versus tough guys, still good vs little guys, just dependent on getting into a challenge to be worth her points.
drazhar: I think he's improved too. He potentially gives you a ton of strength 7 attacks on the charge that ignore armor, and he went down in price. While I think he'd be more useful if he could join a non-incubus squad, but bumping incubus WS up by a point means that they'd be hitting on 3s versus certain elites like wolf guard. He's also pretty darn durable. The archon's shadowfield is probably a more reliable form of survivability thanks to all the ap 2 running around these days, but drazhar can still rock a snazzy armor save and some solid Feel No Pain.
In short, I doubt he's the most cost-effective option we have for melee monsters, but I think you can take him without feeling penalized for it. I look forward to trying him out at some point. Especially if I can get my hands on a model for him. >_>
Also, now that we can take transports as FA options, you can totally send him out by himself in a venom. You may want to be wary of overwatch, but he's actually a pretty scary solo act.
Urien: I think he's actually pretty alright. His aura effect still doesn't have me completely sold, but that's because the new PFP doesn't have me sold either. If you like PFP, you'll probably like this guy. He's also surprisingly durable. He's in the same boat as haemonculi for me. Not a bad choice, but not necessarily good enough of a support choice for me to take him over another hq option. If you like coven armies, he seems like a solid choice.