Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Horus Heresy Review: Ruinstorm Daemons Rules (1)

The Daemons of the Ruinstorm play unlike other factions in 30k (or in 40k for that matter either). Today, I wanted to give a brief overview of their core three rules that all builds of the daemons army in 30k have to adhere to, regardless of whether they are

Daemons of the Ruinstorm.
This first rule of the three covers some of the basic rules for daemons. They possess fear (which my Night Lords playing friends will recognise the power of within 30k in the absence of "And They Shall Know No Fear"). In turn, they do not suffer from fear (which is nice for a mirror-match).

Their invulnerable save is standard for daemons as well.

However, when they fail a morale test, they will suffer a special "Perils" test. This is a roll on a different table that old-time players of daemons will recognise the results -- the random results -- of. Most of them are negative and involve more wounds being taken (as might be expected). On a critical fail, they drop WS, BS, and I, as well as all warp charges. However, the inverse happens on a critical success: bonuses to WS, BS, and I, as well as a gain in warp charges! The warp is fickle and this adds to the randomness of the army if it is played sub-optimally, and can really punish players for poor moves.

Parting the Veil.
This rule covers the reserves and how the daemons come in to play. If the daemons are the main army, the player gets three 5" markers to place down on the battlefield, and one if it is an ally. These markers are warp rifts, and daemons coming in from reserves use them to enter the battle. Strategic placement of these markers is therefore key to a victory for this army. Adding to this critical placement is some rules to help the daemons (such as infiltration blocking, line of sight blocking, saving throw re-rolls, and cover).

However, herein is a big negative. Given standard objective missions, I don't think daemons will have an easy time at all in a game. An opponent could readily "lock" them out of the board, and surround the 5" markers with the rules as they're currently written. I think this merits more thought from the designers, and perhaps some modification through a FAQ. Since unless one is playing a fluffy opponent (which is usually the case in 30k I have to say), then there's the possibility of never being able to deploy at all; which makes me sad. A good player can also readily force a daemons player to be far away from them with cunning objective placement and their own deployment. It might need some random movement of these objectives to solve, or maybe place one that can ignore the usual restrictions? More playtesting needed in short.

Tides of Madness.
The Tides of Madness is a really great innovation. In the first couple of turns, your daemons get a boost to strength and toughness. But over the course of the battle, the bonuses drop, and then drop again. The inference here is to go hard early and try to hold tight in the later turns. For goodness sake, don't opt to play "To the Bitter End" against the Iron Warriors when you have the option!

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