Saturday, April 15, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Magnus the Red

His brothers might have subconsciously used the warp to hide in plain sight, or channeled it in to sheer unadulterated aggressive power, but Magus himself was able to play with it as if it were his own special toy. This is reflected in him being a level 5 psyker on the battlefield and arguably one of the most powerful psychic individuals in the galaxy alive at the time of the Heresy alongside his Father, His Father's right hand man, and perhaps a certain Eldar figure.

In Inferno, Magnus is portrayed as a multi-faceted figure who is interested in scholarship, learning, and well able to leave a (literal) blaze of fire behind him on the battlefield. He wanted nothing short of the future ascension of the human race in to a masterful psychic race. Naturally, these ideals were perhaps not the best ones.

Magnus has a terrific number of playable strengths. As the sire of the Thousand Sons, his sons may use his Leadership value in many situations, and he grants a re-roll of reserves if the desired result does not happen. He can unlock Sekhmet and legion terminators as troops to boot as well.

He comes with psychic bonuses as one might expect. He doesn't "perils" as frequently as others do (and if he does, he doesn't suffer the worst of it). He harnesses warp charges on a 3+ to ensure that stuff happens when he wants it to. He can see through walls to target his powers (nice!) and his psionic attacks always ignore cover. Beyond this, his Mind Wrath special rule gives a huge boost to the strength of any witch fire powers, +2d6 S, with Destroyer hits indicated for 11+ in Strength. This means his psychic abilities are truly deadly on the battlefield if he is willing to risk a few more warp charges to make them a reality.

His equipment is sound too. His armour is a nice 2+/4+ coupled with reducing the effects of destroyer weapons. His force blade comes with AP1 and a strength bonus to really shake things up in close combat. And he even has a quality ranged weapon with 1d3 assault at AP2 and S=8! Who cares about soul blaze when you have that?

As if that were not enough, incoming attacks also suffer a penalty to hit him thanks to his phantasmal aura (that extends to any squad he also joins).

He really does not have that many weaknesses. His attacks are arguably lower than some of his brothers, as are some of his other statistics. Watch out for being tarpitted. But he more than makes up for this by being a psychic monster that will dominate the psychic phase of the Legion (and the entire game in all likelihood as well).

His points cost is surprisingly low -- lower than Horus -- for what he does. In this regard, he is a real steal.

Run his as your Lords of War HQ and go forth to dominate the psychic phase. Take with you a command squad for fun, or a big blob of Sekhmet terminators as meat shields. Magnus is a single character wrecking machine on the tabletop that will take a lot to down him. Accordingly, he will also be a big target. Treat him accordingly and I have no doubt that he can win entire battles for you.  

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