Friday, May 22, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: Mor Deythan Strike Squad

The Mor Deythan are the Shadow Masters of the Raven Guard. They have inherited a quantum of their gene-sire's talent for blending in to the background and becoming invisible. Just as the Librarius of a legion sometimes takes recruits and indoctrinates them in to using and expanding their psychic potential, the Mor Deythan operate a parallel structure: recruiting novices who display a strong tendency of inheriting Corax's unique abilities and training them up in their own ways. That said, the vast majority of these men are the true veterans of the Lycaeus uprising and are truly the masters of their arts.

Their unique ability is to declare a Fatal Strike once per game from the start of any given shooting phase. This gives members of the squad not only twin linked on their weapons, but also yields rending. If they're using rifles, the rending rule improves by one pip above normal. This clearly calls for the squad to be involved in an alpha-strike as early as possible.

Beyond this, they have access to shroud bombs as well as gaining scouts and stealth.

Not too many weaknesses exist here. Think of them as recon squads with better rules and you can see why they're popular. To be perfectly honest, I think they're a great target for the Alpha Legion's Coil of the Hydra rite of war as well. Obtaining that fatal strike special rule is awesome for any alpha-strike (pardon the pun) army that is running around. The combination of infiltration and scouts is particularly devastating to enemy armies (for either Raven Guard or Alpha Legion fans).

That said, these marines are still regular space marines. They need to watch out for vindicators, power swords and the like. Plus they don't have access to power weapons. And they can get expensive at larger sizes. Other than that, one must evaluate if the loss of things like outflank balance out the gains of stealth. If not, then head to recon squads instead. I believe that the Mor Deythan are totally worth it though, even in slightly larger squad sizes. Go for them - I don't think anyone will be especially disappointed by their ability to kill things.

There are a good number of configurations to consider here. I'll provide some of the more popular ones (and ones I personally like).

10 Mor Deythan, all with sniper rifles, shade with melta bombs (280 points)
This is a sniper squad ready to take advantage of the Fatal Strike special rule from turn one. Use it before this squad gets annihilated as they will certainly be a target. Halve the number for a still effective, but cheaper squad (which incidentally costs the same as a recon squad).

9 Mor Deythan, all with combi-flamers (268 points)
Wow. This squad is totally deadly. All those flame shots with rending spells certain doom for whatever they decide to target in the fatal strike turn -- which should also be the first turn. Take a relic and artificer armour on the Shade for extra close combat fun. There are 9 members of the squad here simply because I see it as an effective squad for carrying a stealthy HQ choice in to close combat. Take 10 otherwise. Drop pods with the Raven Guard rite of war and I think you can all but wipe out a full enemy tactical squad using this set up.  Replace with combi-meltas for taking care of heavy armour (which is not a particular strength of the legion, to be fair).

6 Mor Deythan, 2 with missile launchers, 4 with combi-plasmas (203 points)
It has to die? No worries, the Mor Deythan can do that job for you.

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