Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Magos Reductor Calleb Decima

The FINAL entry in Betrayal is the only HQ choice for the Ordo Reductor mechanicum (but more are provided in the late Isstvan series of source books). In a nut shell, he's a loyalist mechanicum stuck with the Sons of Horus fleet, and so he naturally fell in with the loyalists on Isstvan III after being betrayed (his craft shot out of the air and crash landing on the surface of the planet).

As an HQ choice, he is actually rather reasonable. With a high toughness and 3 wounds, he's only worried about S10 and D class weapons to instant kill him.

He's not really a ranged specialist, so take some servo-automata to accompany him if you want to go down that route.

But he is going to be rather good in close combat. Particularly with servo-automata armed with anti-tank weapons (powerfists, las cutters and the like).

His ability of the Curse of the Omnissiah is terrific against vehicles. 2d6 haywire attacks are a serious cause for concern for most enemy tanks. Use this one shot attack wisely against targets you want to down. With sunder and tank hunter included in these attacks, he is a serious threat for any armour. And he has melta bombs to boot, just incase the haywire is not enough.

Place him amongst a largish bunch of Thallax and go do some tank hunting.

Overall, I regard him as a very reasonable HQ choice for a reasonable price. But with a very specific purpose on the battlefield.  Other mechanicum HQ choices in the other Horus Heresy books may provide a superior flexibility and build-ability, but Calleb Decima is not too bad overall in my opinion. And of course: very fluffy for Isstvan III.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Reaver Battle Titan

Many of the points I made about the Warhound Scout Titan are applicable here. Let me summarise the pertinent points:

(i) If you are taking titans, then your opponents might well be. You need to prepare for this through D class weapons.

(ii) Titans are not immobile weapons platforms. Move them to gain better lines of sight and to ensure any terminal explosion takes out enemy models and not your own.

(iii) Don't forget stomp attacks and tank shocks.

The principle difference here, however, is the option of a few different weapon systems and titan close combat weapons. These  latter items are 3 attacks as AP1 and D strength. Having one of these will certainly encourage you to move your titan and get inside the range of other titans weapons -- which can certainly be beneficial if they have minimum ranges.

Here are a few builds to consider.

Reaver Battle Titan with Apocalypse Launcher, Laser Blaster, Titan Close Combat Weapon
This is probably a base line Reaver. It contains a mix of D weapons, large blasts, and the close combat weapon to make sure you move the thing to take advantage of it.

Reaver Battle Titan with carapace-mounted vortex missile, 2 laser blasters
Very nasty turn 1 launch with the vortex missile to take out any close clumps of things you dislike, followed up by 6 D class shots.  And 6 more D class blast shots every turn thereafter. Nasty. Just nasty. Replace the vortex missile with a carapace mounted double-barrelled turbo laser destructor if you like, for sustained D shots every turn.

Reaver Battle Titan with carapace-mounted double-barrelled turbo laser destructor, 1 melta cannon, 1 volcano cannon.
Sit back. Blast away. Replace the volcano cannon with a laser baster to taste. But beware: this is one titan that you will forget to move around.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Warhound Scout Titan

Yes -- I really am reviewing titans. They're in Betrayal and the Horus Heresy, and therefore available as part of an army (with Lords of War) and therefore are a valid unit.

Let's be honest about something. If we're taking a titan, we're probably going to be opposed with titans. Therefore, I strongly would recommend that any titan is equipped with at least one strength D weapon to try to counter any enemy titans or super heavies. Admittedly, S10 is a close second, but its not quite the same.

The other thing to remember is that titans can move. Yep. Seriously. They have legs. They walk, jog and run. Remember to think about this: it is a mobile weapons platform after all.

But more than this: titans are also treated as gargantuan creatures in assault and can therefore make stomp attacks. These are at S10. And of course, they can tank shock anything less than a superheavy. Plus, it will generally take out anything in its vicinity when it goes down, so make sure that happens when your titan is deep in enemy territory for goodness sake. Move your titan!

Here are a few builds.  You'll notice that I'm not a fan of the inferno cannon -- there are superior options.

Warhound Scout Titan, 2 Vulcan Megabolters
Don't bother unless you know for certain there are no other super heavies or land raiders on the enemy side. Pumping out 30 AP3 shots every turn will rapidly decimate any space marine army otherwise. No fun for the opponent in this regard.

Warhound Scout Titan, 2 double-barrelled turbo laser destructors
Four lots of D weapons with a 5" blast every turn is serious business. This is the kind of titan that is ready for anything. Nothing in the game cannot be handled by it. Take it.

Warhound Scout Titan, 1 plasma blast gun, 1 double-barrelled turbo laser destructor
A more balanced titan (if such a thing exists! lol!), the massive blasts from the plasma gun is amazing at range and fun to play. Its also high strength. And the laser destructors are for the enemy titans to contend with.

Warhound Scout Titan, 1 plasma blast gun, 1 vulcan mega-bolter
A more "standard" configuration, but one this is frankly, not as effective as the two previous examples. Remember the maxim: if you're taking a titan, your opponents may well be as well. Go for a D class weapon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Imperial Avenger Strike Fighter

This is a somewhat fragile flier that is also a Lord of War. But it more than makes up for its fragility through its Avenger Bolt Cannon. This beast pumps out 7 S6 AP3 hits every turn. This means that it will literally mow through enemy space marine units with relative ease. But more than that: it poses a distinct threat to low AV tanks on top of that. When combined with some more serious anti-tank weapons on its hard points, this thing can tear apart light transports and their contents with contemptuous ease. Anything other than a terminator should get worried about this flier. And it is also the reason that Heresy armies really need to think hard about sky fire units to help bring down targets like this.

There are many options for the flier, but I think the basis for any build should be to strongly consider how to take best advantage of the Avenger Bolt Cannon.

That said, its important to remember that the flier also comes with a heavy stubber that also has skyfire. It might be able to take down the lightest of fliers (like itself), but in general, I think the Avenger should be kitted out to take on ground units rather than tackle other fliers.

Here are some sample builds.

Imperial Avenger Strike Fighter, battle servitor control, chaff launcher (175 points)
I think this is about the basic build that one should consider fielding. Its still flimsy with AV10 on the sides -- not much can be done about that -- but with the ability to tank hunt, this flier can pose real problems to almost anything on the ground that isn't a land raider or terminator.

Imperial Avenger Strike Fighter, battle servitor control, chaff launcher, two missile launchers (215 points)
This version is capable of taking on most things in the game -- at least on the ground. A land raider will still be hard to crack (krak?!), but otherwise, almost everything else is in danger from this one. Take infrared targeting if you think night fighting is going to be an issue.
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