Sunday, June 13, 2021

New Horus Heresy Boxed Set?

Over this weekend, there have been rumours flying around about a new boxed set for the Horus Heresy game. Usually these rumour crop up every couple of months with people claiming to have some kind of inside knowledge or scoop, which, although they might be accurate, always strike me as assertions of some kind. This time it is much better. There are actual photographs of the miniatures being used in play, likely from the box itself. I won't link to them or display them here as I'm not the copyright holder.

However, they look great!

Ranging from what appears to be new Mark 6 armour (yes please: love some new Alpha Legion alpha mark 6 marines please!), a new contemptor (already got several, but surely one more won't hurt, right?), a plastic spartan (hell yes!), coupled with cataphractii (could be good if they're new sculpts?) and characters maybe (not sure at all), this set appears very legitimate and exciting.

For a long time, I have felt that Horus Heresy once again needs to be brought into line with the existing edition of 40k. Without that connection, there is less impetus for gamers to play each other from 30k to 40k (certainly I've enjoyed those battles very much indeed!) and I'm optimistic that the new release might be done alongside a "version 2" of Horus Heresy to update all of the rules. 

In terms of the Black Books, we have been hearing for a while that there might not be any more. Certainly with all of the legions being published, I only see room for Xenos armies (Orks, Eldar, etc.) for crusade purposes, and perhaps support for the Siege of Terra (come on, give the Emperor some rules?). Or maybe something about the scouring? (Although Book 9 does a bit of that I guess). So the release of a new version is a good way to re-invigorate the Horus Heresy scene to my mind. Despite repeated rumours of the death of the sub-game, I have always felt Horus Heresy is the premium version of the game for the veterans and collectors that is (arguably) better than 40k in a number of ways. Therefore I'm hopeful that this represents a good way forward to forge new links between 30k and 40k and simultaneously promote both. 

Equally, I've ever been the raging optimist!


Friday, June 11, 2021

Spoiler-Free Reading Order for Horus Heresy Books

Today, I wanted to link and amplify a flow chart produced by the fine people over at Black Librarium. 

This is the link to follow: https://imgbb.com/5Mr7rDV and a low resolution preview can be seen in the image below. 


At its core, the basic idea of the flowchart is that the published order of the Horus Heresy books does not necessarily follow the chronological order in which the action or events happen within the epic series. The reasons for this are obvious enough: many writers contributed collaboratives over many years to a wide variety of aspects of the series to make it the amazing achievement that it is today. 

This particular flowchart caught my attention since there are a number of ways of following the action: this might be chronological, or based on a faction that you are most interested in, or a zone of the conflict that piques your attention. 

For me, the obvious appeal is the comprehensive nature of the flowchart, with the very minor caveat that some of the more minor and tenuous links are not noted. It really does a nice job at illustrating the complexity inherent with the writing project over many (actual) years and provides a good way of looking at what to read beyond what Black Library itself recommend. It therefore scores a huge two thumbs up from me. 


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Horus Heresy Review: Saturnyne Pattern Aurox Armoured Transport

Background.
The Aurox is to the Imperial Army what the Rhino is to the Space Marines. The design philosophy of both are incredibly similar: they needed to be able to be mass produced, and to be able to be repaired and allow for additional load outs in the field. 

Beyond that, this is the standard transport solution for the troops of the Imperial Army, Solar Auxilia, as well as the Cultist armies in 30k.

Strengths. 
I regard the points cost of the Aurox as cheap and cheerful and therefore an asset not to be over-looked.

Weaknesses.
In a case of "you get what you pay for", the Aurox is not well armed or armoured in the grand scheme of things. These transport boxes will blow up regularly, and that's just to be expected.

Builds.
The Aurox comes in two baseline flavours: one for the Solar Auxilia and one for everyone else. The only difference is that the Solar Auxilia get the Explorator Adaption upgrade included, and have slightly more options. 

Aurox (Solar Auxilia) with multi-laser (35 points).
I kind of like the multi-laser, but by all means keep the heavy stubber instead, or take the heavy flamer. The extra armour is a nice optional upgrade here. 

Aurox (Everyone Else) with heavy stubber (25 points). 
Not much to say here. The heavy flamer is tempting against some armies, but otherwise stick with the heavy stubber.
 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Alpha Legion Praetor Bits

A new month brings some new miniatures to assemble and paint. The first of which is this fine looking fellow that I've been wanting to get hold of for quite a number of months. 


This is the Alpha Legion praetor in regular power armour, fresh on the sprue. The bits are very nicely sculpted indeed, and I'm more than pleased with the clear level of detail inherent in them. What is slightly less pleasing to me is the sheer number of bits involved. 

I'm not a huge fan of having these individual sculpts with the hands detached from the arms; doubly so for this double handed weapon pose. I acknowledge that this is nothing new though, and all of the plastic range does the division between arm and hand these days. But getting two arms joined to the weapon in the correct pose is challenging for hobbyists who are newer to the game when using resin. 

Regardless of this, my plan is actually to use these bits as a conversion. I'm going to do away with the arms slowly unsheathing the power sword. Instead, I'm wanting something a bit different. More on this plan at a later point, but for now, enjoy seeing the bits for those who have not seen them before!

 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Horus Heresy Review: Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought

Background.
The Deredeo has already featured in Book 5, Tempest, and in Book 9, Crusade, we find the rules have been updated a little bit compared to the earlier book. 

The Deredeo remains a heavy weapons platform that has its history in the Contemptor class and the earlier styles of Terran and Martian designs. It remained in high demand by both sides of the conflict in the Heresy, although there were few forges that could produce them.

Strengths.
With helical targeting, the Deredeo is fantastic at taking out aircraft with its weapons. Given the weapons, its also fantastic at shooting nearly everything in the game to be honest. Monstrous creatures? Yep. Terminator equivalents? Yep. Its got it all.

The entry level Anvilus auto cannon battery is S=8 with plenty of shots and sunder. The reasonable range means it can reach across the board to ensure they reach the desired target.

The Hellfire Plasma Cannonade is AP=2 at just one pip less in strength and has two modes of firing: sustained, which provides a good number of shots, or maximal, which gives a big pie plate. And terminators are fans of pie, so I hear.

Meanwhile the Aiolos missile launcher gives a huge ranged weapon that can do significant damage to space marine equivalents. Hitting side armour is just icing on the cake.

New in Book 9 is the addition of the Volkite falconet battery. I kind of like this for pinning and the combination of the high rate of fire and quality strength. It will shine against Guard equivalent armies. But I might still err on the side of the autocannons instead.

The Arachnus heavy lascannon battery is also very impressive thanks to the exoshock rule: there's a 50 per cent chance of a second penetrating hit if a first one is scored. This is very dangerous stuff.

Boreas air missiles are a nice idea but I suspect many will be put off playing this due to its one use rule. Other than that, a first turn volley at just one less strength than a lascannon with independent tracking is really nice, and probably spells doom against transport tanks and White Scar jetbikes thanks to invalidating Jink saves. 

Weaknesses.
This is fundamentally not a close combat dreadnought. That said, it is still a dreadnought with an invulnerable save and good frontal armour.

My suggestion is to run a Deredeo with ranged terminators -- upgraded with Atomantic Pavaise, it can grant a bonus to the invulnerable save of regular terminators nearby which is very nice, but also costly.

Builds.
Several builds to mull over here, including the ones from Book 5 that I have already noted previously.

Deredeo, Anvilus autocannons, Aiolos missile launcher, armoured ceramite (240 points).
Drop the armoured ceramite if you must, but this is something of a baseline build.

Deredeo, hellfire plasma cannonade, atomantic pavaise (270 points).
I like this one - lots of plasma goodness, teamed up with protective invulnerable saves.

Deredeo, Arachnus heavy lascannon battery, 4 boreas air defence missiles (259 points).
Add extra shielding where required (armoured ceramite). Fire those missiles in turn 1, and blast everything else with the lascannons.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Arquitor Bombard

Background.
The Arquitor Bombard is what you get when you cross a Vindicator with Ordnance weapons. And also when you add on sponsons. It is competing against a lot of other entries for heavy support choices in a Legion army, but it can find a role when supporting troop advances and tacking stubborn fortifications. 

Strengths. 
There is a choice of three main weapons for the Bombard. The Morbus Heavy Bombard is very similar to a vindicator, but with ordnance. It also gets a special shell called the Carcass shell that can flesh bane troops out of the way. This gives flexibility in my mind.

The Graviton-Charge Cannon is a large-scale graviton weapon combined with haywire. This is always going to be good against vehicle heavy enemies and can perform exceptionally well given the right circumstances.

The Spicula Rocket System is a large payload of rockets in two different modes (5 and 7 inch), but comes with the possibility of running out of rockets if the 7 inch mode rolls a 6. I don't see this as a big problem since you will only be firing this (probably) 3 or 4 times in a game and might not choose the 7 inch mode every time. I like the other additional weapons in combination with this one to really whittle down enemy troops.

Weaknesses.
The cost is steep, and one has to weigh up a vindicator against this slot. The Bombard probably wins in many circumstances, but the trusty vindicator is likely more durable. 

Builds.
Bombard with Morbus. (140 points).
I like the basic version with no upgrades. Take 3 of them if you have the points and the will to use them.

Bombard with Graviton-Charge Cannon. (140 points).
Tempting to take some extra armour and armoured ceramite here to be honest. 

Bombard with Spicula Rocket System, Autocannon Sponsons, Havoc Launcher (165 points).
For sheer fire power that might just rival a predator combined with a large pie plate, this is a built that should not be overlooked at all. Take 3 of them to give your opponent a fright. Take 3 units of 3 but beware of not making any friends and your ability to deal with very heavy armour. 
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