Saturday, September 24, 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Army of Dark Compliance

On the one hand, the Armies of Dark Compliance are a direct antithesis of the Shattered Legions Army Theme, as well as (arguably) loyalist Blackshields. They can represent any number of occurrences during the Horus Heresy. Perhaps it is an Alpha Legion force raised up to terrorise some important sub-sector. Or maybe its a sub-set of Mortarion's Death Guard on their conquest campaign under Horus' orders. Whatever it is: its about space marines herding mortals in to the mouth of war for the sake of the Warmaster.

Fundamentally, this army theme means that you can take a cultist army (militia army) without needing to take allies. Hence its a great way to represent space marines plus their cult armies being forced forward by uncaring Astartes.

The Warmaster's Due means that space marines gain a one pip bonus to cover saves when there's militia in the way. This is very fluffy and can make a difference to those space marines in the long run. Its not that strong turn to turn, but over 6 turns might be a solid bonus. The flip side of this is that the militia unit suffers d3 wounds for the privilege.

Sure, its traitors only here. Since the loyalists clearly are the only ones that care about mortals (not entirely true!). However, they cannot use a rite of war associated with any legion. This is a fair counter balance realistically, and its fluffy. And of course: a legion praetor or consul needs to be the warlord. Plus is has to have more mortals than Astartes. And no discipline master cadres either.

The Disposable rule is optional and needs to be declared if being used. It can mean denial of victory points to the enemy under certain circumstances. However, the counterbalance of not even being able to deny objectives is harsh for the other elements of the mortal army.

Whether the Warmaster's Due is actually worth it or not is something I'm uncertain on. The extra wounds caused to militia units will rapidly wipe them out, but it could mean a few marines survive plasma shots where they would not otherwise thanks to low AP. In the long run, those militia were probably going to die anyway. But perhaps in the long run, it could save a valuable space marine or two over the course of a game. And that could be critical.

Disposable is a bit hit and miss and depends on the enemy, and the mission.

Overall, this is a great way to make a themed army without having to take official allies. This allows a third faction (mechanicum perhaps?) to be readily included. Otherwise, its not really as appealing as the shattered legions in the slightest to me. 


Zzzzzz said...

ha ha ha. Yeah..... I can equally see plenty of loyalist Legions enjoying an Imperial Army speed bump as well as some of Horus' legions going out of their way to avoid unnecessary mass casualties amongst their axillia.

But in the context of a game, it is nice and balancy to keep this rule/theme/thingy to Horus' side.

jabberjabber said...

yeah - completely agreed! Dark Compliance armies are very fluffy. I can readily imagine the Word Bearers, Night Lords and Sons of Hours using them. Some others, less so though perhaps (Thousand Sons?)

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