Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Rampager Squad

Long before there were Khorne Berzerkers, there were World Eaters that volunteered to have the nails implanted in their skulls. The rampagers were them.

Statistics wise, they're identical to regular marines, except they have 2 attacks base. Interestingly, they also have scouts and FNP, but these probably are not quite worth the price increase points wise.

I feel the best way to make use of these guys is to carefully consider their battlefield role. To make the most of them, they need to be in close combat (cf. the World Eaters legion rules). Therefore, they need to be in a land raider, a drop pod of some kind (either via a rite of war, or otherwise), or they need to take the jump pack option. In addition, they need to be winning the close combat to trigger some of the special rules. This means that we have to ensure they have a weight of numbers and/or are able to slaughter their enemies. The latter calls for AP3 weaponry, or equivalent, as the basic chain axes do not have sufficient AP to slice through marine enemies (although they're going to be great against xenos despite everything).

The two sample builds below try to account for these thoughts.

5 Rampagers, 4 with Excoriator chain axes, jump packs, squad champion with artificer armour and power fist (245 points)
This is an expensive version of an assault squad, but with a low model count. Note the caedere excoriators provide the AP3 needed to do significant damage and the jump packs get them in to position. Get them in to position with scouting and then fly to the assault as soon as possible.

9 rampagers, 5 with Excoriator chain axes, squad champion with artificer armour and power fist (285 points)
Place this squad with an independent character and insert in a land raider phobos. Charge out and start the carnage by at least turn 2. Use the guys without the excoriators as sacrificial anodes, or spend an extra 40 points to purchase 4 more of them (I was trying to keep points down since these guys are not the cheapest marines). Hopefully this squad will do some damage in concert with an independent character.

Overall, I can't help but think that legion veterans with power weapons might occasionally perform at about the same level as the rampagers, so its worth considering these as an alternative.

Final note: the Betrayal errata clearly states that the rampagers can be taken as both fast attack and elites. Hence you can get more of these guys than you can legion veterans. Thematically, I think it'd be great to use these guys in a drop pod assault style army. 

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