Saturday, May 20, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Sentinel Guard Squad

The Custodian Sentinel Squad is the defensive formation of the Legio. As such they come with the Praesidium shields and the already very impressive Custodes stat line. Together these make for a formidable objective camping unit or counter assault unit.

As with other Custodes squads, the first thing to note is the stat line which features fives across the board apart from Wounds and Attacks that feature two each. This is impressive … but standard for the Custodes of course.

They come armed with the sentinel war blade -- a brutal close combat weapon with AP3. This features a built in bolt caster. Combining with this is the aforementioned shield. This combines to make them a unit that is really hard to budge. Great for objective camping. But also formidable in assault too.

As with other Custodes squads, they cost a fair bit of points. But used well, they will earn them back. I have said above that they are great for objectives. But I think I'd really want to get them in to the action and then camp out on an objective. Or take multiple small units of them perhaps.

3 Sentinel Guards, teleport transponders (195 points). 
Teleport in and sit on an objective. Or be a distraction unit.

5 Sentinel Guards (310 points).
Even naked they're great. Take a transport to taste.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Custodian Guard Squad

The Custodian Guard Squad is the basic unit of Custodes that are deployed across the galaxy during the Great Crusade, Heresy and the Scouring thereafter. They are flexible and deadly to say the least.

The first thing to note is the stat line which features fives across the board apart from Wounds and Attacks that feature two each. This is impressive … but standard for the Custodes of course.

They come equipped with the iconic Guardian Spear. Of course, if they have charged, then they get AP2 on the spear which can be absolutely devastating in the game. The bolter fitted to the spear is nothing special though, but it can be replaced by other versions to get melta beams or adrathic destructors (the guardian equivalent of melta and plasma guns).

In general, they're great.

Okay, they are great. But there is a points cost to pay for them here. And if you want them to teleport, that costs as well. The advice here though is that they probably can and should be deployed in MSUs (multiple small units). The reason for this is that in 30k, there is usually a "tax" for a new unit purchase. But with the custodes, it is a straight cost oddly enough.

5 Custodes (275 points).
Naked, they're still powerful.

3 Custodes, Pyrithite Spears, Teleport Transponders (215 points).
Take melta bombs to taste. Teleport in and blow up some tanks. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Green Oorookiagoths

"Any chance of some faction names we can pronounce? Please don't change Orks" asked a fan on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.

The reply? 

"You mean, the green Oorookiagoths?" quipped Games Workshop to a multitude of likes. Including my own giggle.

The question was asked in response to the latest faction focus issues today -- on the Dark Eldar. Or as they seem to be calling themselves this week, the Drukhari. Drunk Hairs? Or something like that at any rate.

I get it. At least at an intellectual property (IP) level. 

To ensure that copyright is enforceable, one has to have an identifiable and unique name. Space Elves don't cut it. Neither does Space Marine. Adeptus Astartes, yes -- that is enforceable IP. Eldar. Well, I would have thought that that would be an enforceable name myself. So why change? I'm not sure. Its clear that Drukhari is a word that has never been used before, and therefore is eminently more enforceable though. I'm reminded of when Games Workshop changes all their paints. Gone was Skull White to be replaced by Corax White. And so forth.

The other item of recent news is the deep strike rules. Looks like you can come in to play on any movement phase after the first so long as you stay 9" or more away from an enemy. And no scatter either. I'm a little disappointed by the lack of scatter (or perhaps they're just withholding the full description of competitive play, but I doubt it). It has been such an iconic part of teleportation for a long time and the ways of minimising it (folks on the ground with chaos icons and so forth) have been integral parts of many army builds for a long time. How this will all pan out, I don't know, but I'm willing to wait and see at least. 

Just let's not start re-naming Orks. Okay?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Sisters of Silence Oblivion Knight Cadre

Even the space marine legions find the sisters un-nerving. The Oblivion Knights are regarded as a necessary evil by them, even though they are rare. The background paints them as an elite force that is rarely seen on battlefields.

The Oblivion Knights possess a number of nice rules to help them on the battlefield, ranging from precision strikes through to "ex-oblivio" which is an enhanced version of the psychic null abilities.

They are armoured with a void sheen cloak that provides a minor invulnerable save coupled with a 4+ save against blast and template weapons (hopefully that will be explained in 8th at some point, we trust). The execution blade comes as standard here.

As with all sister of silence, the low toughness and strength is a worry, but one that can be overcome with tactical placements and usage. Their points cost fully factors in these weaknesses though in my opinion.

10 Oblivion Knights, Mistress with Neuro Lash (160 points).
Full members and something of a baseline unit. I like the neuro lash for its sweeping ability, but otherwise, the points value is very attractive here.

5 Oblivion Knights, 5 power axes, Mistress with plasma pistol (125 points).
Something of a specialist build here designed to take down terminator like opponents and could be useful against the Thousand Sons in general. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

On Primaris Space Marines

Like many other people, I have been following the development of the Primaris Space Marines and the new rules that are being discussed for weeks now over at the Warhammer 40,000 community. Today, I wanted to give some assorted thoughts on the newly revealed Primaris Space Marines.

In a nut shell, they are bigger space marines that were ordered by no less than the primarch of the Ultramarines many millennia ago. It is a bit of a ret con to say the least (or perhaps it will somehow work its way in to the Black Library novels in the late days of the Horus Heresy somehow?).

In terms of stat lines, they have an extra wound compared to regular space marines and are therefore in line with 8th edition terminators. The other fact that sets them aside is the bonus attack coupled with the newly invented, manufactured and issued bolt rifle. This is better than a normal bolt gun in range and damage potential. All told, this makes the Primaris better than a space marine, but not a terminator despite gains to a number of things.

I can readily see entire chapters being built from Primaris marines. I could envision that they might also eclipse regular marines perhaps. Personally, I am hopeful that they will slot in alongside other marines in regular space marine armies with a bit of luck, as I don't want them to be over dominant for 40k.

The other thing that occurred to me is that they look reasonably like true scale marines to my modeller's eye. I therefore wonder if we will see some 30k armies (I'm looking at Alpha Legion in particular here) starting to be modelled on the Primaris design eventually? It could certainly provide a nice alternative to the usual conversions that I and many others employ to create such marines.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought

Custodes are extremely resilient. They do recover from serious wounds. But once in a while, a custode might be irrevocably injured but their mind remains intact. And so they go in to dreadnoughts in the same manner that a legion marine might.

The dreadnought is strong and has "echoes" of the pilots previous martial prowess and abilities. Refractor fields and extra armour pump up the base points here though.

There are not many options here though, but the achillus dreadspear is amazing. Providing the ability to have destroyer hits on a to hit roll of 6 on the charge is amazing.

Not many weaknesses here, but they have the same issues as some other dreadnoughts such as rear armour being AV=11. Goodness knows how this will alter in 8th edition of the game. The lack of dedicated drop pod might be an issue though.

I'll only mention one build here -- its my favourite.

Contemptor Achillus with Achillus Dreadspear (240 points).
Charge in, kill things. Rinse, repeat.

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