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. 


Zuul said...

I believe the wording of the army list actually states one must have all of the same type rather than mixing and matching artillery tanks.

Also, no mention of the phosphex rounds?

jabberjabber said...

Correct -- all tanks in the unit must be of the same type.

I was intending to cover phosphex rounds, as I did rad missiles, in a distinct post -- I better get around to that at some point soon. Thanks for the prompt!

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