Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: High Chaplain Erebus

If there is a singular figure that blame for the Heresy can be attributed to, then Erebus would take it. It was he who counselled Lorgar that if the Emperor didn't want adoration and worship then there were other beings - true gods - who did. When Lorgar trod the path to damnation it was he that again counselled caution and planning rather than diving head first in to rebellion, declaring for the darker powers immediately and spreading the word of the Primordial Annihilator to the Galaxy. And it would be Erebus who became the architect of Horus' downfall as well.  But on top of this, he is also a servant and a puppet of the Dark Powers. Little more than a pawn to be used by them as their plans came to fruition (albeit through him).

In terms of his stat line, its actually not all that impressive (especially given that we see him duel Lucius in "Horus Rising" for a very protracted period - but maybe Lucius was just toying with him?). An extra pip in WS and I, with 3 wounds and attacks. Sure, he gets artificer armour and an iron halo to help keep him alive, but what else does he give and get?

The most interesting rule is his warlord trait of being an intimidating presence. This means that opponents within a smallish radius use their lowest Ld values rather than their highest. This is a HUGE boon to Erebus and any unit he joins. Seriously: Erebus begs to be in close combat, or rapid fire range of an enemy to make best use of this rule.

On top of this, he is a level 1 sorcerer (ahem: psyker!), a zealot, and in protracted and narrative campaigns more likely to hang around thanks to being marked by the dark fates. Whilst his plasma pistol could injure him, he also takes a power maul for melee crunchiness. (why can't this legion learn from the World Eaters and go in for axes instead, I just don't know!). He also has the Dark Chanelling and access to daemonic allies for the army.

Overall therefore, I think the tactical way to play Erebus is to place him with a squad of Dark Chanelling upgraded marines (or other close combat exemplars like terminators) and ride to battle in a land raider, get out, and hit hard in order to cause a rout on the turn they charge in. A little bit of psychic invisibility won't hurt either. He is probably worth the points from this point of view, but clearly, playing him necessitates a certain in-your-face play style as well. And the Word Bearers are not to shabby at that to be fair with their legion rules. Plus, he is very characterful for the Word Bearers as well!

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