Monday, November 24, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: The Red Butchers

Wearing custom terminator armour that doubles up as prisons to hold their occupants in when they're not in battle, the Red Butchers are those World Eaters who have utterly succumbed to their darker murderous urges thanks to the Butcher's Nails.

Their deployment is not without drawbacks: since they are lunatics, they are always hit on 3+ by any enemies in close combat with them. Clearly this can be their downfall (despite their high WS), but to balance this up, they also have 2 wounds each. Coupled with fearless and hatred of anything, these terminators are ones that will rip apart most opposition in short work. Hence the best tactic is to get them in to melee as soon as possible. I would therefore strongly recommend taking a Land Raider Phobos as a personal transport (a Spartan Land Raider is also viable for larger squads), or (if permitted by a rite of war) take a drop pod, although to be honest, I'd prefer a land raider out of the two.

There are a number of reasonable builds that can be made, but all of them have a strong close combat component to them - as one would expect. But beware: the points cost of these units is already high to begin with. And even with two wounds each, they can still die to instant death if they find themselves against a bunch of enemy thunder hammer or power fist terminators, let alone a vindicator blast.

5 Red Butchers, all with two power axes (275 points)
This is a kind of "vanilla" build that is still highly effective at the expense of zero ranged weapons. But with a BS of 2, this is hardly a great sacrifice. Place them in a land raider phobos and go hunting any none-tank unit in the game. Even a primarch - just for laughs - if you're so inclined!

5 Red Butchers, all with pairs of lightning claws (300 points)
As above, but striking at initiative to circumvent enemy power fists and thunder hammers, but sacrificing a little bit of AP. Not quite what I'd be inclined to take, but still viable thanks to the hideous amount of attacks available on the charge.

5 Red Butchers, Devourer with combi-flamer and thunder hammer, butchers with two power axes (290 points)
This is about the best of the lot to be honest. Given the poor BS of the squad, the flamer is there as both an anti-charge deterrent, and to try to soften up enemies in cover before charging in. Can't go too wrong with this squad, especially placed in a land raider.

10 Red Butchers, Devourer with combi-flamer and thunder hammer, 9 Butchers with two power axes (515 points)
Getting very expensive now, but this death star unit can be accompanied by Angron himself and then placed inside a Spartan. Good luck - and avoid those vindicator shells as they will be the death of this entire squad!!!

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