Sunday, February 15, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: Gal Vorbak Dark Brethren

The Serrated Sun chapter of the Word Bearers may have conquered Cadia, but they paid a heavy toll for it by looking too deeply in to the Eye on the ordained Pilgrimage.  They became possessed by warp entities along the way and are now super-Astartes: part daemon and all deadly beyond what even a marine could regularly do.

In terms of their rules, the Gal Vorbak are strong melee antagonists. As well as daemons, they also have the rage universal special rule along with rending and deep striking. Although there's a steep points cost associated with them, their main drawback (if you can call it that) is that they will never ever be scoring units. Hence, there's no point holding back with these marines - hit hard and have them do their stuff (i.e. close combat -- they're ranged weapons are very standard to say the least). This role is doubly backed up by their stat-line which sees increases to WS, S, T, W, I and A versus regularly marines. Yep - 2 wounds each for the base dark brethren, and three wounds for the dark martyr!  This is incredible. But they do cost the same as terminators for a single unit. And critically, they are not classed as Legiones Astartes (Word Bearers) either (unless I missed a FAQ / Errata!). So they don't get any of the advantages of the Word Bearers sweeping attacks.

Ideally, they want to be in close combat as soon as possible. Therefore, they will want to be using their deep strike ability or be transported by another unit that the Word Bearers player has purchased for their list. Foot slogging them across the board is a bit of a waste really, and exposes them to unnecessary risks. They can be brought low by massed small arms fire, as well as high S blast shots from vindicators and the like (not withstanding their invulnerable save, of course!).

Here are a pair of builds to consider.

5 Gal Vorbak, Dark Martyr with Power Fist and Artificer Armour (225 points)
This is what I would regard as a baseline squad of Gal Vorbak. They're probably going to deep-strike in and then assault the turn after they arrive with any luck. And they will hit hard as well with 20 S5 rending hits on the charge, plus the Dark Martyr's Power Fist in addition to this. Ouch!

10 Gal Vorbak, 2 Plasma Guns, Dark Martyr with Power Fist and Artificer Armour (405 points)
Seriously cool with the ability to take down even heavily armoured enemies. Replace the plasma guns with melta guns if you're going tank hunting. Equally, who needs melta guns when you have that many rending attacks: a transport like a rhino will be dross in no time at all from these guys. Go forth and break or kill enemy infantry!

Overall, I think I regard this unit as one of the better, unique ones in the Horus Hersey for what they are capable of doing. To be clear: they are an infantry solution to an infantry problem (or a light tank problem). And they need to be played as such!

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