Sunday, March 27, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Mutant Spawn

With the Warp pulsating through them like blood, these creatures have been extensively mutated by exposure its powers. Some of these mutations are unintentional, but there are those that try to actively bring it on themselves via dark ritual.

For me personally, I really like the conversion opportunity that the Mutant Spawn offers. Sure, they could be represented by miniatures such as the plague ogryn range, or even chaos spawn, by for modellers and converters, the possibilities are wide.

In game, they gain a slew of special rules including both fear and fearless. I cannot underscore enough what these rules are doing. In 30k, both of them are not common, and fearless in particular is very rare.

When we add them in concert to a powerful stat line and other rules like "It Will Not Die", this is a unit built for close combat.

There are strong negatives here, in addition to the obvious one that only armies with Tainted Flesh can take this unit. The random number of attacks will be familiar to chaos players already - and the chance of rolling a "1" for a combat will mean that they're not going to perform at their best. Their random gifts that are determined at the deployment stage are also a bit of a hit and miss affair. I would have preferred these to be purchasable upgrades myself, but the rules are what they are.

Finally, the blind aggression rule is a big negative. Having to always attempt a charge, even if it is vastly improbably (12 inches or something!) means that there could well be a whole lot of overwatch shots going their way. Positioning -- even right from the start -- is important. If infiltration is possible, then this unit is one to consider infiltrating or outflanking with.

Arguably the best way to turn these negatives to an advantage is to think of the unit as a "distraction" unit that needs to be dealt with if the opponent wants to progress.

With only extra models to be added here, the only choice is to select how many models you want in the squad. A minimum choice (of three) is sound and cheap enough to cause a solid distraction. But as with many things in 30k, I would think that one would want to go slightly bigger than the base size. Five or six seems about right if the points are available. 

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