Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Games Workshop Durham

On my travels again recently and I was in the beautiful city of Durham in the north of England. If you've never been to Durham before, go and visit - its a totally awesome part of the world that I know and love. With sunny spring weather(!), I located the city Games Workshop on North Road, conveniently opposite the bus station and near to the railway station. In terms of accessibility, that is an awesome location, but it is not the city centre (that would be up the hill toward the square).

With few university students (Durham Uni is probably only behind Oxford and Cambridge within the UK… depending on what ranking you use) in town due to the Easter holidays, the local Games Workshop had only a few younger children inside. What took my interest in the clientele was the fact there were also three mature gamers -- even older than me -- in the store when I visited: perusing tyranids and the Black Library selection that they had. In addition to these stocks, the store also had Horus Heresy (both Betrayal and Massacre) available for sale (which is in contrast to when I left Australia). The store is not very wide as can be seen by the picture, but it is deep: allowing for several quality gaming tables and space to play around them.

The staff were also really genuinely nice. I was sorry to not actually recall their names now I've sat down to type this review out as I wanted to complement them on their service and work ethic. I didn't feel pressured in to buying (which can sometimes happen in GW) and they were very friendly with allowing me to look at their models and explaining a painting tip or two. Hats off to you gentlemen: I thought you were great. And I did end up buying something…

Monday, April 14, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Command Squad

So, you picked a Legion Praetor and need some disciplined legion marines to accompany him - the command squad is where it is at and they won't be a distinct HQ choice. Otherwise, they will fill a slot.

As with most of the Horus Heresy units and HQ choices, there is a wide array of equipment to select between. At a base level, the command squad is two chosen marines, plus one standard bearer. The standard bearer carries the Legion Standard and therefore all units within 6" (plus this unit itself) become fearless. This can be a huge boon to those detachments who are more combat orientated.

Here's some builds to consider:

Legion command squad, 5 strong, power weapons, volkite chargers on the chosen (230 points)
A foot slogging command squad for the footslogging commander.

Legion command squad, terminator armour of your choice, 1 reaper auto cannon, 1 power fist (165 points)
A great bang for the points unit. The reaper auto cannon cannot be overlooked as a great option and the power fist is simply there to complement what the Praetor has and to add some extra flexibility and threat level to the squad. Team up with a terminator armour clad commander.

Legion command squad, 5 strong, jump packs, melta bombs, charnabal sabres (265 points)
Team up with a jump pack commander. The charnabal sabres are a cheaper alternative to the power weapons and could be very useful, but you're relying on the commander to do the principle damage here. Change in to power weapons for a better threat if you're not skimping on points.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Centurion and Consuls

When you're not paying for a rite of war via a Legion Praetor, then the Centurion, or one of the consuls, the lesser character (but still powerful) of the Centurion is the way that you're going to go in the absence of a named HQ.

At half the base cost as a praetor, the centurion is a nice option for players not wanting a points sink in to an HQ. Equally, the vast array of upgrades and possible consul options can make the points cost rapidly climb upward.

I'll go through some builds for each consul type in turn with a few notes thrown in. Overall, the choice of consul upgrade is a matter for what type of army you're going to construct. Will it be a close combat one, a hail of fire type, or something else altogether? Choose accordingly!

Legion Centurion, terminator armour of your choice, combi-weapon, power fist (97 points)
A simple option to attach to a terminator squad, no more, no less.

Legion Centurion, jump pack, power weapon, melta bombs, artificer armour (100 points)
This one is to accompany an assault style squad, but note its more expensive than a terminator! Add a refractor field to taste.

Chaplain, artificer armour, refractor field (105 points)
Give a squad fearless and hatred. As with the centurion options, think about throwing in a jump pack or equipping as a terminator if that is the way you want your detachment to function.

Master of Signal, artificer armour, refractor field (105 points)
This is a very tactical guy, with the ability to call down a bombardment style attack on one of the game turns, as well as granting +1 BS to a nearby unit, plus the ability to have deep strikers come down next to him with ease and draw line of sight for barrage weapons. Place within a large support or heavy support squad or one that is going to unleash Fury of the Legion and you should be pleased.

Legion champion -- equip as you would a Legion centurion, and gain the benefit of increased WS and one of the weapons being master crafted. A simple upgrade option for the champion type really.

Vigilator (95 points)
This is the scout commander with a nasty sabotage skill up his sleeve. A couple of these could prove really rather useful!

Librarian Level 3 (135 points)
This is the base cost for a level 3 psyker and the only way a legion can play psyker power (assuming you don't have other characters along for the ride). Choose a single psychic discipline and be happy that you've violated the Nikea accords (or not, if you're playing a pre- Nikea council army). Equip to taste with terminator armour and enjoy your force weapon!

Forge Lord with conversion beamer (120 points)
This is the tech marine commander.  I've kept this one simple with just a conversion beamer as an upgrade. But clearly, one could mess about with a lot of different options here as they can select from anything a centurion can as well as anything a tech marine can!

Primus Medicae (85 points)
The apothecary commander, with an odd rule to gain extra victory points (presumably from salvage of gene seed in a narrative sense). Equip to taste.

Siege Breaker, 3 phosphex bombs (125 points)
Add tank hunter and wrecker to any attached unit - job done for a heavy weapon marine. Add further equipment to taste, subtract of the phosphor bombs if you think you're not going to utilise them. Plenty of neat options to think about here.

Moritat (85 points)
A lone killer. The chain fire attack rule means he might just carry on firing his weapons for a very long time - but he needs to get in position to do so. I'd suggest equipping with a jump pack and some serious pistol power (gunslinger style) -- but beware of the plasma pistol - it might just kill him in the turn that chain fire is unleashed. Take things like artificer armour and refractor fields to help him out.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Praetor

The Legion Praetor is one of the mightiest warriors in any legion and therefore comes with an excellent array of options, as well as the ability to grant the entire force a "rite of war".

These rites of war enable the force to be highly themed: ranging from a decent of angel's type drop (think: hit and run on every thing) to an orbital assault (teleportation for terminators) and an armoured spearhead (impose a tank shock penalty to opponents). But there are costs for this: usually not being able to take any kind of fortification and some other set-backs. Each legion has their own individual rite of war as well, hence Legion Praetors are a popular HQ choice for any HH army list.

At a base level, they come with artificer armour a bolt pistol and a close combat weapon plus the usual grenades. With 3 wounds and a good WS and BS, these guys can really be the lynch pin of an army, so its probably wise to deck them out with some of the options. Think of him as the 30k equivalent of a 40k chapter master and you'll get the equipment right almost by default. Below, I give a selection of possibilities for Legion Praetors and how then might be run.

1 Legion Praetor. (100 points).
The "naked" praetor. Why take this option? Simple: you want to take a rite of war but want to save points to use elsewhere in the army. Place him inside a large squad and sit said squad on an objective all the game. There's little else to it.

Legion Praetor, paragon blade, archaeotech pistol (145 points)
This one is purely to match the model sold by Forge World - no other real reason, but it gives a nice example of a slightly more base-level commander than the "naked" version above.

Legion Praetor, terminator armour, paragon blade, digital lasers, volkite charger (177 points)
This one also matches the miniature available from Forge World, but is a really really good option in terms of points to effectiveness ratio. Seriously: this guy is much better than a footslogging non-terminator equivalent (below) from his points alone.

Legion Praetor, bolt gun, iron halo, paragon blade, digital lasers (167 points)
Place within a footslogging squad and go and conquer! But note the points of this guy versus the terminator equivalent. Sure you don't want a terminator instead?

Legion Praetor, jump pack, iron halo, paragon blade, digital lasers, archaeotech pistol (205 points)
Now this is an expensive build, but really nice when placed inside a jump infantry squad. Even better when they deep strike successfully. Certainly worth taking if you're opting for the Angel's wrath style of army.

Legion Praetor, legion jet bike with heavy bolters, melta bombs, iron halo, thunder hammer (200 points)
This one is purely for laughs and exceptional in that I wouldn't expect to attach a squad to it in normal circumstances (but perhaps could be persuaded to opt for more jet bike hunters to accompany him). He's a solo kind of commander, there to wreck some havoc and die in the early turns. How did he make it to the rank of Praetor again with this attitude?  But note its actually cheaper than my jump pack equipped Praetor above, so there's some possibilities that its not so insane after all.
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