Thursday, October 2, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Death Guard Legion Rules

Victory through attrition, determination, and masters of darker weaponry, the Death Guard fought in the most hellish conditions and forged themselves to be a set of implacable fighters. To me, they have a highly interesting background (since I freely admit I'm a long term Death Guard player / Plague Marine player). Out of all of the legions, they fell hard to become the thing that they most fought against: terrors of the grimdark. But before then, the loyal Death Guard were pretty amazing, as attested to on Isstvan III and other theatres of war. They just don't give up, even in hopeless situations, and will carry on slogging it out.

The special rules for this legion reflect this character.

Firstly, they are remorseless. This is a very strong boon for the legion and means they never need take a fear or pinning test. Remember that in 30k, "And They Shall Know No Fear" is not around, hence the ability to ignore fear effects (as generated by primarchs, and certain other units / cf. Night Lords!) can be very valuable. Considering all the ordnance weapons around, the immunity to pinning is also handy. Clearly its not the full fearless rule that we're familiar with, but its a close second.

Because they are Sons of Barbarus (and even the Terran ones have been forced to participate in battlefields of similar hellishness conditions), they can re-roll and dangerous terrain checks for anything vaguely toxic, sludgish or muddy. This isn't going to come in to play too often, but for Isstvan III campaigns it might prove useful once in the odd while -- particularly if an objective is in the middle of some mysterious terrain (cf. the mysterious river table on page 165 of Betrayal).

To balance out these advantages, they are also intractable which means they have to reduce their sweeping advance rolls.

Much like the World Eaters and Emperor's Children, they also gain access to some unique upgrade equipment.

With their Chem Munitions, they can (optionally) freely upgrade flamers (of all kinds) to be shredding at the peril of gets hot. This is a rational transaction for some units (e.g., Tactical Support squads -- especially if they are drop podding in), and maybe tanks, but it may not be for all units.

And then there are the power scythes. These are not a bad option instead of power fists - especially for handling large blobs of marines, or even terminators. But they're not going to be useful against vehicles much. Hence one needs to think carefully about why you want this upgrade -- especially if its only on the squad sergeant. Sure, the reason may be its fluffy and that's all good! But its worth thinking about.


Anonymous said...

Great review - I'll definitely be ordering my copy this week. I like the idea of power scythes. Things get a little monotonous with power fists

jabberjabber said...

glad you liked the review -- cheers! Yes, the Death Guard do get some neat toys, but they take a bit more thought to army build and play than the 40k plague marines (in a good way!).

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