Friday, May 24, 2019

Horus Heresy Review: Ruinstorm Daemons Rules (2)

In the second part of our review of the Daemons of the Ruinstorm core rules, we turn our attention to Aetheric Dominions.

At heart, these dominions are electives that any primary or allied detachment may take. However for allied detachments, they do not gain use of the warlord trait, or the victory point bonuses available through them (all of the dominions have the option of replacing mission objectives with special objectives should they wish). 

Resplendent Terror.
This dominion is chaos undivided for the uninitiated. It is presented here as a hunger only for destruction and the desire to end all mortal life. 

Its core benefit is being able to take any emanation (upgrades) including those of different dominions. This is really nice and hence this is a generalist option that many players might opt for to take all the tools and upgrades that they could ever wish for. 

The warlord trait here can be selected from any viable table. Meanwhile, the End of Days objective can be chosen to replace all missions objectives with 1 VP for killing a unit. Seems very fair and one that I can see many players selecting.

Crimson Fury.
Hello Khorne. This gives rage for infantry type models, and rampage for monstrous miniatures. You have to charge if enemies are within 12 inches, which means you have to watch very carefully how you position things (recall that the rules don't care if your weapons cannot hurt the enemies - beware of expensive tar pits).

The warlord traits feature a variety of upgrades that all involve close combat bonuses, except for one which denies the witch harder than anyone expects. 

The Blood Must Flow objective is what players might think: killing things in close combat, overwatch, or sweeping advances. 

Creeping Scourge.
Hello Nurgle. Feel no pain for infantry types, and It Will Not Die for monsters. The downside is to choose the lowest d6 of two when running or sweeping, thus making this a slow army. Hence this is a tougher army than most, and creeps (as per the name) in its advance.

Warlord traits feature bonuses to terrain movement, re-rolls on the core feel no pain or IWND rules, and a pestilent cloud that causes additional attacks.

The Torment Without End replacement objectives is flavourful and reminiscent of the table quarters rule that players may be familiar with. This might be a good one to take if you're able to clear the area around your Warp Rift markers and hold them. Should be fine, but who knows with a slightly slower army that struggles to sweep. 

Lurid Onslaught. 
Hello Slaanesh. Everything gains hit and run at the expense of never having cover saves except jinks. This is a huge negative for what is, arguably, a good to strong bonus. It argues for a close combat, and rapidly moving army throughout. This is not impossible with the emanations available as we will talk about in the unit analyses. 

Warlord traits here are about initiative, and movement fundamentally. This, of course, aids the army in the best way possible and I would strongly recommend their adoption for such an army. . 

A Twisted Dream objectives is all about making enemies failing morale tests. However, Insane Heroism successes count against you --- and your enemy will be sure to try to exploit this at every opportunity. Hence this is an iffy option, unless you take lots of musk upgrades probably. Fear tests on their own may not provide the victory.  

Maddening Swarms.
Hello Tzeentch. Interestingly, the upgrade here is based around the mutability of the units: they can all take an extra emanation. This allows for better tailored units, of course, but the price tag will add up here quickly, so maybe it isn't such a big bonus. We'll explore this one in the unit analyses. The cost here is to manifest psychic powers all the time, or suffer extra die for morale tests for the remainder of the battle. In effect, you are forced to cast spells with anything available. Of course, you were probably trying to do this anyway, so maybe not such a negative. The build here is psyker orientated. 

Warlord traits feature psyker bonuses, bonuses in close combat due to having psykers, and reserves bonuses. These are fluffy, but some are situational. 

Warp Conflagration objectives mean that kills or routs caused by pskyers win the game. Bonus VPs for excessive use of warp charges (4+). This, of course, calls for an army of psykers and brotherhoods of psykers. 

Mirror Of Hate.
Hello Malal. Ahem. We're not allowed to name Malal due to copyright. But oh my! This is such an amazing addition to daemons. I am absolutely stoked to see its addition here. Genuinely. It is singularly the best addition I have seen to daemons in ... simply decades. Seriously: the re-appearance of powers that represent Malal under another name is simply an inspired and awesome inclusion. My sincere congratulations to the designers here. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Damn it - I want an army of this, but cannot afford it right now. 

All models in this army gain hatred (daemons and psykers of all kinds) at the expense that they may never include an allied detachment if they are the primary (which I find a bit sad, but understandable -- but this doesn't stop, for instance Word Bearers, as a primary, having them as an ally). The build here could be almost anything: I can see psyker heavy, or psyker light; or multiple small units, or an army of big units here. It has plentiful types of builds. 

Warlord trait replacements centre around challenges against daemons and psykers, (entertainingly adopting the initiative or weapon skill of the opponent -- I like this!), hatred, and re-birth under a different guise. 

Victory point replacements are about elimination of daemons or psykers of the enemy. Clearly this is highly situational. Conversely, losing the same units results in negative points. This is clearly dangerous. However, a neutral VP total means a win regardless. So maybe its fair against another daemon army. Not sure I would recommend it against space marines though (maybe Thousand Sons for obvious reasons, but that's about it). 

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