Sunday, August 31, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Thunderhawk Gunship

The most expensive Lords of War entry in Betrayal outside of titans, the Legion Thunderhawk Gunship is a flying, hovering, super-heavy!

There are a combination of items that make this gunship so expensive. Firstly the transport capacity: being able to take 30 marines to where they're needed and have them deploy off of an assault ramp cannot be underscored enough - its very effective on a flyer. But on top of this is the wide array of weaponry. The thunder hawk cannon will probably spell death for a space marine squad every turn (assuming it doesn't scatter too much), the four twin-linked heavy bolters will almost assuredly mop up any remains of the above, the two lascannons will give tanks pause for thought, and the heavy bomb clusters almost feel like an afterthought, but give the gunship a wide array of utility. But remember as a super-heavy, the gunship can fire all (yes: ALL) of its weapons as if stationary, and at independent targets.  Naturally, the gunship is also going to be a prime target for an enemy, but it does have 4 structure points to somewhat compensate for the AV12 armour all around. Hence there is some risk to deploying this monstrosity.

There are five possible upgrades to the Thunderhawk Gunship.

It can potentially take a Turbo-laser destructor (yes - that's the titan weapon of the same name) in place of its cannon. A "D"-class weapon is nothing to say no to, so this comes down to personal taste. I think I'd rather like to have such a laser on board to take care of opposition tanks that might come my way.

It can replace its bombs with six hell strike missiles. The trade-off here is significant. Do you want three turns of apocalyptic sized barrages, or six higher strength missiles that have a smaller blast size? This is down to taste to some extent, and what opponents you gamble you'll be facing.

The Chaff Launcher is very nice for the extra protection -- take it since its very little increase on the points already sank in to the thunder hawk.

The armoured cockpit will keep this guy flying and shooting longer with the ability to ignore shaken and stunned crews half the time. Again, it doesn't cost much compared to the points one has already sunk in to the gunship, so I think its on the list of "take it".

The flare shield is an interesting option, but pricier. In general, it will depend if you can keep your front arc facing the enemy most of the time to take full advantage of it (or at least: keep the front arc facing the enemy whilst the contents of the gunship is deployed). I'm not too sure about this as its use is situational and must be tailored to your army play-style.

Hence, my suggested set up for this super-heavy would be something like:

Legion Thunderhawk Gunship, Turbo-laser Destructor, Chaff Launcher, Armoured Cockpit (945 points)

The real question remains though: is it worth this price tag? Would a warhound class titan, for instance, be better? Or what about several (meaning three or four) Storm Eagle Assault Gunships? It is really a very close call on the face of it and I'm uncertain to be honest.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank

As one of the cheapest Lords of War entries in Heresy Era gaming (only the Malcador is cheaper), one has to question from the outset why it is so. A cursory inspection of the stat line reveals part of the reason: only 2 structure points (compared to 4 on the Fellblade!). The other aspect is a general lack of secondary weapons. Hence this is one investment that the controlling player will want to take a care of.

In brief, its best to think of the Typhon as a kind of expensive Land Raider -- this is reinforced by its physical appearance and chassis, which it shares with the Spartan. But: with only the Dreadhammer cannon, it is perhaps more akin to a super-vindicator in some ways.  As the only standard (and the primary) weapon on the tank, the dread hammer cannon is powerful, but severely low range if the tank moved. And rest assured: we would want to be moving the tank.

Why do we want to move the tank? Well, it crushes everything in its path. Its a juggernaut! It laughs at difficult terrain, and eats dangerous terrain for breakfast. They just don't affect it. Moreover, anything it rams gets a full S10 AP2 hit on it at all times. Even if it moved the length of a grot's forearm. It is this aspect that really appeals to me and to a wicked sense of play style I've developed!

Here are a few builds to think about.

Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank.
Naked. That's right: no upgrades. Go for it, since you always wanted to field a Lord of War, right?! But bear in mind the above caveats: it is still one of the weaker Lords of War.

Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank, heavy bolter sponsons, pintle-mounted heavy bolter, armoured ceramite (405 points)
This is a kind of "dakka" set up to ensure that the tank has a good complement of secondary weapons to bring to bear on the enemy.

Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank, lascannon sponsons, armoured ceramite, pintle-mounted multi-melta (430 points)
This set-up is an anti-tank one. If you're not killing things with weaponry, you're steam rolling them to death with your ramming. Take a hunter-killer missile to taste, or even replace the multi-melta with a havoc launcher for longer range pressure (particularly if everything else has havoc launchers -- they're beastly in great numbers!). 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank

The first entry in the Lords of War section of Betrayal is the humble (or humbling) Fellblade. Costing more than Horus himself, this super-heavy tank better be worth the points. But is it?

The primary weapon of the Fellblade is the Accelerator Cannon that can be shot in two modes: a high strength piercing round, or a slightly lower strength massive blast round. The former can pick off almost any opposing tank or structure, the latter will wipe entire squads of space marines off the table. On top of this, it has two quad-las cannons on sponsons. Fire these off at your enemy tank and follow up with the accelerator cannon and you will be posing a threat to even titans with the Fellblade. Additionally, there's the hull mounted heavy bolter (don't forget about it - its quite easy to get carried away with the bigger guns!), as well as the hull mounted demolisher cannon for extra bang if things get up close and personal and you just need to take care of the titan's knee joint at such ranges.

But to be honest, with AV12 on the rear of the tank, this is one that you will probably be wanting to keep near the back lines (assuming you're looking out for any infiltrating / outflanking units coming in trying to take advantage of the AV12 -- keep your eyes open!). With 4 structure points, it is going to hang around a while, but the rear armour (and indeed the side armour to a different degree) is always going to be an on-going concern.

There are a number of upgrades that are worth-while, but top of my list has to be the space marine crew. Obtaining BS=4 on the Fellblade is terrific for the work it needs to do - particularly the sponsons - and can make all the difference. With that in mind, here are a few builds to consider.

Legion Fellblade, space marine crew (540 points)
Pretty much the "naked" or vanilla flavour Fellblade that I think should be fielded. This version will sit near the back lines and do its duty.

Legion Fellblade, laser destroyer sponsons, armoured ceramite, space marine crew, hull-mounted heavy flamer, pintle mounted havoc launcher, command tank (605 points)
Well, the laser destroyers are great and worth thinking about if you're going to go up close and personal (all out style!). The heavy flamers are to counter chargers. and the havoc launcher is for mild sniping. Arrange units around the tank so they gain the morale re-roll from the command tank designation and you've got a hell of a spear tip to drive across the board. Pricey, though!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mark of War

My long term readers will know that I'm more of a "Mystery Shopper" style reviewer, rather than someone who endorses any old product on a regular basis. That said, I recently got a letter through about a new wargaming video game: Mark of War, by Warpforged Games.

Mark of War is currently on kick-starter and I was asked by the developers if I could spread the word. So I headed over to the page and wondered if I would like what I saw, and if I did, I resolves to give it a plug here on Warpstone Flux. As you can tell by the link at the start of this paragraph, I did like what I see!

In a nut shell, Mark of War is seeking to emulate the feel of a tabletop battle game, but without losing sight of the fun or physical aspects of the tabletop experience. The backstory is high fantasy, but differentiable from others. But what really stands out for me are the modes of gameplay that it offers. Ranging from collecting models, to customisation, through to "mercenary" battles (where, perhaps like opening a new deck in Magic the Gathering, one has to create a functional army from random-ish sub-parts). I like the challenge that is inherent in this style of game. Moreover, Gav Thorpe -- the same one as of Games Workshop fame -- is involved and supporting the project. I'm keen to see the impact that Gav will ultimately make here.

I feel these components are going to make a unique game for the market and I'm excited by what I've seen so far. The studio, Warpforged Games, is a new one, but is clearly being run by gamers with significant experience in the field who are combining their passion of tabletop battles with video games to create something new.

Hence, I'd encourage you to check it out on Kickstarter and see if you like it for yourselves!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Caestus Assault Ram

At first glance, it may not be too obvious that this craft is a bit of a beast, given its poor rear armour value. But this is simply not true. The best way to think about the Caestus Assault Ram is as a flying land raider. The sheer amount of shielding (which includes armoured ceramite, extra armour and an invulnerable save) on the front of the ram is impressive and means that you won't be worrying very much about opposing auto cannons, and the occasional lascannon or Tau railgun.

The broad battle plan is going to be simple: fly to where you need to be and do one of two things: unload your contents, or ram something! Or preferably, do both on sequential turns (unloading first probably…!).

The weaponry of the tank is solid, if not outstanding. The twin-linked magna-melta means that the ram is perfectly capable of scouring a landing zone for the transported marines. The pair of  twin-linked havoc launchers are solid, if not great on the ram. The fact that the ram is an assault vehicle is good for the transported marines. Speaking of which, the ram can transport 10 of any marine type, including 10 terminators (because it ignores the bulky rule!), makes it something of a good choice for an assault orientated command squad or terminator squad.

The ability to successfully ram most things with AV12 or lower cannot be ignored here either, as this was the original design purpose of the ram. The ram will undoubtably be able to take out some rhinos and the like if it positions itself well and has room for a good run up (18"!). One thing I'm a little unclear on is in the event of tank-shocking a squad (another very viable tactic here!) whether they can use a death or glory attack in response -- can you hit a zooming flyer with such an attack? I need to re-re-re-read the rules on this once more, but opinions welcome.

The major (and I mean: MAJOR) negative feature about the ram is the price tag. Costing more than a base-line land raider really makes me hesitate about including it in a Legion (or indeed: 40k) list at all. Sure, its a great flyer, but the weapons, price and limited role (e.g., not particularly firing well at opposing flyers!) is a big negative. I think I prefer land raiders to be honest.

I only have one build beyond the "naked" version, as follows:
Legion Caestus Assault Ram, with frag assault launchers (315 points)
This is what you will probably take if you want to fly in and deposit a melee squad in to position. Otherwise, use it as a mobile last turn objective grabber if necessary for the troops inside.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Warhammer Dungeon Floor Plans

A bit of a blast from the past today. The images below are of the old Dungeon Floor Plans that sold along side Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer Roleplay for use in games.

As can be seen from the back cover (below), the main idea is to use these printed tiles to figure out where your miniatures are and what distance they are to critical (or otherwise) points of interest.

Essentially, they are printed card stock of dungeon corridors and rooms (e.g., a Wizard's Lair, a Spiral Staircase, A room with Beds, etc.). Indeed, this set is a combination of earlier sets that were sold separately (Dungeon Floor Plans 1, Dungeon Lairs, Caverns & Dungeon Rooms). Is is printed to a (at the time) high quality standard and an array of possible layouts is easily achieved in next to no time.

Many of the corridor sections contain squares that are the same size as the regular Warhammer miniatures, enabling distance to be accurately measured quickly and ranges to be computed easily. Moreover, in games of Fantasy Roleplay, the squares can be used as "steps" to move the miniatures along with (e.g., the Elves get to move 6 spaces per turn, but Humans only go 4 …. or at least that's how we played these kind of things when using them in conjunction with rules such as Dungeons and Dragons).

When the corridor sections are appropriately cut out (with scissors!) they can readily connect up the disparate rooms and bring a dungeon to life. That said, the contents of the pack is more aligned with Fantasy Roleplay than it is with battles. Not that battles cannot be had in the dungeons. Dwarves against Goblinoids can occur very nicely. But the narrow width of the corridors can make for intense games, perhaps akin to 40k's newer Zone Mortalis sets, or the older Space Hulk rooms. Hence I mostly have fond memories of using these card sets for games of Dungeons and Dragons rather than skirmish battles using Warhammer rules. But even today, the set remains viable and usable. I'd certainly be happy to return to using them in Roleplaying games!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Spartan Assault Tank

If the army needs a tank to get a large squad of troops in to the right position and have them assault right out of the tank, then one cannot go too far past the Spartan. Perhaps this is even suitable for a Praetor / Primarch plus bodyguard (terminator?) squad if one is not considering the standard Phobos or Proteus land raiders.

The major benefit of the Spartan is the transport capacity -- a whopping 25 models can be accommodated in its interior. But on top of this, it gets quad (yep -- QUAD!) lascannons for its sponsons. These can be swapped out for laser destroyers should you really feel the need, but I can't see nothing too wrong with the quad lascannons in the first place (beyond "we have to take them" - but thats a different issue).

Here are a couple of builds.

Legion Spartan Assault Tank, twin-linked heavy flamers, armoured ceramite, flare shield, dozer blade, frag assault launchers (355 points)
Wow - a real points sink here. But could be totally worth it to make its frontal arc all but impervious to the heaviest amount of fire power. A direct assault seems the best way to take out this tank, which is why I've switched out the heavy bolters for the heavy flamers as a defence mechanism. This is one for the command squads of melee-loving legions (e.g., World Eaters, etc.).

Legion Spartan Assault Tank, dozer blade, armoured ceramite, havoc launcher (335 points)
Slightly cheaper, but able to pressure different units (e.g., standard infantry) due to the havoc launcher.

Legion Spartan Assault Tank with quad-laser destroyers, and pintle mounted heavy bolter (310 points)
A gratuitous attempt to make the range of the sponsons the same as the hull mounted heavy bolters, and adds on another heavy bolter on a pintle just for fun. A bit more of a dakka style build than the other ones above and dangerous to monstrous creatures (potentially).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Vindicator

Genuinely, I'm quite fond of the vindicator as a tank. The Betrayal book explicitly notes that the vindicator finds a lot of use in both Iron Hands Legion and Sons of Horus Legion forces. But for my own part, I regularly use vindicators with my 40,000 Death Guard armies and have won some solid victories through the holes they've manage to punch in enemy lines.

My earlier reviews of Chaos Vindicators and Dark Angels Vindicators still applies in the Heresy era (modulo the daemonic possession stuff in the chaos variant, of course!). I think they make great tanks for many legion armies, but they are competing for a heavy support slot against other viable options here (assuming we're not playing with unbound armies). One interesting option available in the Heresy era is to replace the demolisher cannon with a laser destroyer array.

The only slight issue: we can only take one vindicator per heavy support slot (unlike, say, the Legion Artillery Tank Squadron which can feature up to three tanks, and similarly with the Legion Land Raider Battle Squadron).

Here are a few sample builds to think about.

Legion Vindicator, dozer blade, armoured ceramite (145 points)
I think this is probably the baseline vindicator for the Heresy / Great Crusade era. The use of the armoured ceramite is almost a given to protect against lance and melta a little better and the dozer blade to help the tank get where it needs to be.  Add a machine spirit and/or auxiliary drive to taste.

Legion Vindicator, Laser Destroyer Array, armoured ceramite (150 points)
With a slightly larger range than the destroyer cannon, the need to move around is lessened and I've removed the dozer blade. This is probably the baseline build for the laser destroyer variant.

Legion Vindicator, dozer blade, armoured ceramite, havoc launcher, machine spirit (185 points)
For when you have to get somewhere and you want to pressure the enemy significantly. Half tempted to replace the havoc launcher with a heavy flamer for counter charge purposes. At this price tag, it starts to get expensive though.

Legion Vindicator, Laser Destroyer Array, Heavy Bolter (145 points)
At first glance, this seems kind of odd. But then factor in that the weapons both have the same range and realise that this combination could be a character killer.

Legion Vindicator, dozer blade, hunter-killer missile (135 points)
Cheaper and highly expendable. This one - particularly if taken a couple of times and filling out the heavy support slot - can be a painful experience for an opponent.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Artillery Tank Squadron

The Legion Artillery Tank Squadron is one of the few entries in the Heresy era army list that has a limit of 0-1 on it. The reason for this is found in the background fluff: artillery is the domain of the Imperial Army and its static nature is not best suited to the Space Marine Legions. That said, there are clearly legions that favour such heavy guns -- the Iron Warriors and the Imperial Fists being chief amongst them. Hence for these legions, this kind of squadron is going to be a great (and fluffy!) choice. But for other legions, perhaps less so. Yet that does not mean that they will be bereft of such tanks. On the contrary, they are certainly there for them to use if they wish.

The squadron can select from three different types of tanks. The first is the Basilisk. With an earth shaker cannon (and heavy bolter, which I'll largely ignore!), the basilisk is certainly one of those big guns that the Iron Warriors would favour.

The second is the Medusa. This features the medusa siege gun which is more powerful than the earth shaker cannon, but at a much reduced range. Again, it comes with a heavy bolter, but here it is much better matched in terms of range. Even so. Ignore the heavy bolter.

The third and last is the Whirlwind. Much like the Warhammer 40,000 Whirlwind Tank analogue, this comes with both Vengeance and Castellan missiles in the whirlwind launcher, but the controlling player must select between them prior to firing. But my concern about the tank remains the same: it is fundamentally anti-infantry. That said, we have the option of switching out the standard missiles for pure Hyperios air-defence missiles here (for free) to turn it in to an anti-air unit. This could be rather decisive in some battles and is worth keeping in mind.

Here are a few sample builds to consider. Note that each squadron can contain up to 3 tanks, but the controlling player has to choose all the same type - no mixing ranges of weapons and purpose of tanks!

Legion Basilisk, extra armour, hunter-killer missile (160 points)
Well, the Basilisk could be taken "naked", but here I've added extra armour for durability (because even if you're hiding these beasts, they're a high priority to take out for any opponent) and a hunter-killer missile just for fun. The hunter-killer missile can clearly be stripped off if not required or not to taste. This is a simple tank designed to sit at the back and do some pummelling. That's what its good at and don't think about doing much more with it!

Legion Medusa, extra armour, command tank, auxiliary drive (200 points)
The Medusa is the one tank that we probably want to keep mobile and have a decent amount of protection on. The command tank upgrade should certainly be there if there are three such tanks in this squadron to better keep them rolling and hammering the enemy (but clearly only one command tank can be taken in a group of three, so the other two Medusas in the squadron will only cost 175 points each). Roll up to where you need to be and unleash the medusa siege gun on the target. Devastating really when it pays off.

Legion Whirlwind with Hyperios air-defence missiles, hunter-killer missile (85 points)
Its cheap, and here I've got it set up in the anti-air configuration. I can't see much use for it as an anti-infantry vehicle when I think tanks like the predator can do it more effectively (with the bonus of much better frontal armour!) - and when other infantry units can tackle enemy infantry much better in melee. So air defence it is. Hunter-killer missile to taste only. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Emperor's Might

Combining the good features and quality of books like Betrayal with an artwork rich environment that follows in the line of Liber Chaotica, the Emperor's Might is a nice collation of art from across the Warhammer 40,000 Universe that features the Space Marines near exclusively.

The front cover of the book gives away the content: a mixture of both old and new, materials that has been extensively used before, artworks are are relatively new, some that are underused, and some that have never truly seen the light of day. Note also the satin book mark that adds to the quality of the book (visible in the lower left of the first image).

The older artwork that can be found in the book is still interesting. The front cover of Rogue Trader. The covers of very old games such as the second edition of 40k, as well as "space marine" and others.

Newer artwork is in there, below is one such example: the front cover of the Horus Heresy novels (Horus Rising) which features the Luna Wolves Legion.

Finally, there are other bits and pieces that I've never seen in any codex. Sketches of space marines in charcoal or pencil of them looking at ease, in action, and generally portrait shots. These are all excellent insights and makes the book a collector's item for such artwork and one that I can certainly recommend to art enthusiasts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Land Raider Battle Squadron

The Land Raider comes with many variants in 30,000 warfare. For the Legion Land Raider Battle Squadron, there are three such variants to choose between: the Phobos, the Proteus, and the Achilles. Of these, its worth noting that Legion terminator squads can take the Phobos as a dedicated transport (or the Spartan - but we'll talk about that variant in a later review as it has its own entry in the army list!).

The major differences between these three variants are as follows:
(1) The Phobos is treated as an assault vehicle (i.e. squads can assault the turn they disembark) - hence this makes the tank ideal for assault style armies (World Eaters, etc.).
(2) The Achilles has a special rule called Ferromantic Invulnerability. Put short, it ignores the special effects of Lance and Melta attacks and reduces the results of penetrating hits by -1 on the damage chart.
(3) The Proteus has no special rules of which to speak. Which makes it kind of the "vanilla" flavour of the land raider.

Of course, the points values of these tanks are very different, as are their armaments. The Proteus has the traditional lascannons, the Phobos gets them and a heavy bolter, and the Achilles goes in for quad mortars and multi-meltas.

Of the various upgrades, one seems like no-brainers to me. Explicitly: armoured ceramite for the Phobos and Proteus (the Achilles already has it). This helps immensely with survivability.

Beyond that, here are a few build ideas to think through (noting that a full Legion Land Raider Battle Squadron may have up to three land raiders of any flavour in the squadron).

Legion Phobos, armoured ceramite, frag assault launchers, havoc launcher (295 points)
Add a hunter-killer missile to taste. This is the tank to deliver your troops to the front line. Replace the havoc launcher with extra armour if desired, or perhaps add in some heavy flamers if you're using Salamanders or Death Guard. The command tank upgrade may also be nice to have.

Legion Proteus, armoured ceramite, exploratory augury web, havoc launcher (285 points)
The exploratory augury web is a unique upgrade peculiar to the Proteus. In short, it can help your reserves come on the table, or hinder your opponents. This makes it a terrific "manipulator" and I can readily see it being used in sneaker legions like the Raven Guard or Alpha Legion. But even a World Eaters drop pod based army would benefit.

Legion Achilles (300 points)
Naked, its still awesome. Add in an extra multi-melta just for fun - or just to get the job done.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scenery Inspiration: Dinosaur Jungle

If you are regularly around children of a certain age, then you will no doubt find yourself playing with their toys. When my children developed an interest in dinosaurs, inevitably, I bought them some plastic / rubber models. Some of the models came with their own jungle scenery bits, as pictured below.

Although these bits are very cheap and plastic looking, some of them have excellent potential as wargaming terrain in their own rights. The smaller plants in the picture (i.e. not the palm frond things) look good enough in real life to represent a field, or other dense foliage region. When my children tire of these toys (or they get so broken as to be unplayable - more likely!), then some of these bits will be finding their way to my modelling table. For the smaller bits, planting them on an MDF board and adding some lichen / moss plus scatterings will certainly make for a good section of dangerous or difficult terrain. Perhaps even mysterious terrain if I paint it in a certain manner.

So, the moral of this tale is to keep your eyes open. There are alternative bits for scenery and terrain out there beyond Citadel Miniatures and the Model Train and Railways Hobby. Even dinosaurs need their jungles!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Predator Strike Armour Squadron

If this is your first time thinking about predator tanks, I'd encourage you to check out my previous reviews of Chaos Space Marine predators and Dark Angels predators for some of the basics.

In the 30k era, predators feature most of the options of the two reviews given above (except for twin linked lascannons!), but have extra items to choose between as well. The flame storm cannon is obviously going to be well suited and themed to some legions (e.g. Salamanders) and the plasma destroyer is such a great boon that I can't overlook it for Dark Angels legion fans. The conversion beamer and the magna-melta both provide additional options that are interesting. For the conversion beamer, a good line of sight will certainly be needed at a long distance away. The magna-melta is interesting, but is short range and suffers from armoured tanks taking the armoured ceramite enhancement (which is certainly recommended in 30k era games -- unless you're double bluffing your opponent in to thinking melta guns are not worth it, and hence they don't take any, and therefore you can save points by not taking armoured ceramite! ahhhh…. game theory!).

Here are a few sample builds, but please note I'm only talking about 1 predator tank in each example. A squadron can have up to three. I'd suggest that they would want to be similarly armed and multiples are only chosen for a good reason (i.e. more dakka is needed!).

Legion Predator Tank with Flame Storm Cannon and Heavy Flamer sponsons, armoured ceramite (135 points)
For the Salamanders Legion players amongst you. Or even Death Guard. Add on a pintle mounted heavy flamer for extra fun. And then charge up to everything and engulf it in fire!

Legion Predator Tank with Heavy Conversion Beamer and armoured ceramite (135 points)
Leave in the back field with a good line of sight to opponents and fire away all game. Consider moving on the odd occasion so its not a sitting duck. Add lascannon sponsons for helping take down tanks and monstrous creatures / primarchs. Take command tank for laughs.

Legion Predator Tank with Executioner Plasma Destroyer, Lascannon sponsons, armoured ceramite, machine spirit (205 points)
Expensive. But fun! Save points by ditching the lascannon sponsons and the machine spirit. Then go forth and place plasma blast markers at will. Love this tank!

Legion Predator Tank with Predator Cannon, Heavy Bolter sponsons, armoured ceramite, machine spirit, Havoc Launcher (160 points)
Dakka dakka dakka! I much prefer the havoc launcher over an additional pintle mounted heavy bolter for a bit of extra ranged pressure and response against mobs. Otherwise, this is a pure rate of fire tank. Add a hunter-killer missile if you feel lucky.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Heavy Support Squad

Marking the start of the Heavy Support reviews, the Legion Heavy Support Squad is the 30k analogue of the devastator squad or havoc squad. As you might expect, the Legion variation is not quite either of the two 40k versions.

The first major difference is that every member of the squad must be carrying a heavy weapon except for the sergeant. No more filling out squads with bolter marine meat shields for your precious heavier armaments.

Like most elements of a 30k army, we must decide what role the heavy support squad is going to play. Are they going to be sitting there shooting lascannons at tanks, or laying down a rain of firepower despite everything having a 3+ save in the hopes of some of them failing their saves? Are we going to add a Master of Signals for bonus BS and special rules? Or perhaps even an apothecary? Here are a few build ideas.

Legion Heavy Support Squad, 5 members, all with lascannons (235 points)
Place with a Master of Signals and go hunt some tanks. Simple, yet effective if they survive long.

Legion Heavy Support Squad, 10 members, all with Heavy Bolters (235 points)
Simply to hang about and lay down 30 rounds every turn. Some 3+ saves should fail with all this fire power. And its cost is only modest. Replace with auto cannons to taste if required.

Legion Heavy Support Squad, 9 members, all with Heavy Flamers, Sergeant with Nuncio Vox and  Power Fist and Artificer Armour (240 points)
Take with an Apothecary (for a total of 10 members) and a rhino to indulge in some righteous purification of the enemy. Even better if your legion has special flamer rules (e.g. Death Guard).

Legion Heavy Support Squad, 5 members, all with missile launchers and flak missiles (210 points)
This one gets cheaper (i.e. the Flak missiles) if one has more members. So consider upgrading to 10 members for an additional 125 points.

I don't particularly like the multi-melta on this squad considering the sheer amount of armoured ceramite around, coupled with the fact there are probably better ways to melta enemy tanks away. The volkite culverin is a bit 50/50 for me. And the plasma cannon could be very entertaining, but perhaps for this squad, I'd be wanting to take some of the above options instead.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Storm Eagle Assault Gunship

The Legion Storm Eagle is a very nice looking craft from Forge World, albeit financially pricey. Within the 30k Space Marine Legions, the craft is excellent at transporting large infantry units -- which is much needed in an era when tactical squads can be up to 20 large in number. The Storm Eagle fills this role by permitting up to 20 regular infantry models to be carried on board and is an assault vehicle to boot (i.e. the models can assault directly after they deploy). I suspect that it will also be useful in the descent of angels rite for legions such as the Raven Guard and similar. With four access points, the craft is an all around threat in a very literal manner as well!

The armaments are nice, if a little bland at a base level. Without AP3, they lack the real punching power required to take out power armoured opponents, but the high strength of the tempest rockets is nothing to be sneezed at either. Several of these can certainly take down a monstrous creature (assuming some missed saves) and stands a chance of taking out characters. Below are some builds to think about.

1 Legion Storm Eagle Assault Gunship, with extra armour and a search light (221 points)
The basic build for transporting in large troop numbers. Consider upgrading with armoured ceramite for extra durability if the opponent is using melta (e.g., Salamanders Legion!).

1 Legion Storm Eagle Assault Gunship, with twin linked multi-melta, two twin-linked lascannons, searchlight, armoured ceramite, extra armour (296 points)
The full upgrades designed to pressure almost anything on the board whilst transporting large numbers of troops. Perhaps a land raider option might be better? An alternative to the lascannons is to use the hell strike missiles instead - slightly cheaper and potentially better for certain tasks.

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