Thursday, September 3, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: Auxilia Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter

The Thunderbolt is supposed to be a heavy fighter that wind over its opponents in dog fights due to superior weapons and firepower. And it can do this to a certain extent. But whether one classifies it as a heavy fighter is another matter entirely. That said, it certain is a "workhorse" as described in the background and I can see it being played by Solar Auxilia players quite readily.

The fighter can be kitted out as anti-infantry as well as anti-aircraft, and anti-tank. In this regard it is highly flexible and can take on most things in the game short of Lords of War and certain monstrous creatures.

It has an interesting rule called "Combat Interdiction" which requires it to re-roll failed reserve rolls if there's an enemy flyer on the board already. This is very cute and will mean that the fighter will come on when required most of the time.

Add on top of this a flare shield, chaff launcher and the supersonic rule, and we have the makings of an excellent aircraft here.

Sadly, despite the name, the Thunderbolt is rather flimsy with AV values comparable to a rhino. The chaff launchers and flare shield upgrade can help with this clearly, as can the armoured cockpit. Even more than this, it can ignore glances on a 6+ which will help once in a while, possibly. But it remains the case that this is a vulnerable fighter than needs some expert positioning and deadly quick flight runs to operate correctly.

A few builds here to cater to the roles it could be put to.

Thunderbolt, Ground-Tracking Auguries, Flare Shield, Sunfury Missiles (250 points)
This is an anti-infantry (mainly anti-space marine) build.

Thunderbolt, Ground-Tracking Auguries, Flare Shield (230 points)
This is an anti-tank build. Swap the weapons to taste depending on the opponent.

Thunderbolt, Flare Shield (220 points)
This is the anti-aircraft build - and the cheapest of the lot. Drop the flare shield to save points if needed. 

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