Saturday, January 28, 2023

Horus Heresy 2e Review: Varagyr Wolf Guard Terminator Squad

Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
3.5/5 stars. The rules are good.  

Background.
The personal guard of Russ, hand picked, and to a man each a legend in his own right. They forego the right to lead their own squads and no longer seek glory for themselves but lay down their lives for the primarch of the Space Wolves and act where he direct his personal pack.

Strengths.
Double wound cataphractii terminators with WS=5 makes for a strong squad to begin with. They get a selection of a frost weapon, and have a small slew of special rules including fear hammer of wrath and the unique Lordsbane. This grants them the ability to undertake challenges of their own as you would expect from the fluff, and a bonus to combat resolution if they win a challenge. 

Weaknesses.
I am mildly surprised at the Ld=8 characteristic given their background fluff. Other than that, this is a reasonable customizable squad with few weaknesses other than the usual instant death issues for T=4 marines. 

Difference to First Edition.
Approximately the same give or take. 

Builds.
5 Varagyr, 2 Thunder Hammers, Thegn with grenade harness (290 points).
A baseline squad ready to charge out of a land raider. Take a legion vexilla to taste?

5 Varagyr, 4 Chain Fists, 2 Combi-Meltas, Thegn with grenade harness (340 points).
Dreadnought killing duty.

5 Varagyr, 4 Power Fists, 2 Reaper Autocannons, Legion Vexilla, Thegn with Great Frost Blade and grenade harness (350 points).
Getting expensive here, but I like the feel of this generalist squad leading the charge. Add 5 more models to make them last longer!


Friday, January 27, 2023

Chain Fist Lernaean Conversion

A hobby update this evening with a freshly built Lernaean terminator sporting a chain fist for the left arm. The chain fist comes from the plastic boxed set and fits nicely with the resin from Forge World. Indeed, so much so that this conversion is in effect very minor and more of a kit bash without any serious modelling work required. If I had a bit more time, I might clean up the dangling leather to match on both sides of the body, but otherwise this is a great and easy conversion. I am tempted to add a power dagger for obvious reasons(!).


Beyond the miniature, the base is made out of spare Imperial Sector (old school) plastic base replete with ruined grit around the edges where the plastic doesn't reach. I like the post of this marine, mid swing and attention clearly focused and achieving great foot work. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Horus Heresy 2e Review: Deathsworn Pack

Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
3.5/5 stars. The rules are good.  

Background.
The Space Wolves dirty little secret. In the background, it is noted that many legions have such dirty little secrets: those marines who have killed too many and grown hollow inside. Some legions love it and will promote them. Others hide them in shame or corral them into certain units to expire as quickly as possible. Yet further destroy them. These marines are the ones that will become Wolfen in 40k, but here in the Heresy that hasn't had enough time to happen yet.

Strengths.
Two wounds combined with the Ymira class stasis bombs makes for a reasonable close combat squad. Those grenades provide flesh bane at the cost of gets hot. Melta and Rad bombs are a good addition. 

Even if they die, they will always still get to hit in close combat thanks to the Dreams of the Death Wolf rule which will help them in melee very nicely. 

Weaknesses.
Ld=8 is an issue. T=4 is similar and they lack invulnerable saves. In effect, they're a modified destroyer squad and probably should be played as such. 

Difference to First Edition.
The stasis grenades have been weakened here and lack pinning. 

Builds.
Note here that the "naked" version of the squad is entirely viable. Its a solid distraction that can regularly go under the proverbial radar. 

10 Deathsworn, Rad Grenades, 2 Thunder Hammers (385 points).
Not much not to like here. Take melta bombs to taste. Add on a speaker of the dead to round it out.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Horus Heresy 2e Review: The Wolf-Kin of Russ

Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
3/5 stars. The rules are average.

Background.
There are no Wolves on Fenris. 

Except the humans who might or might not have mutated into new forms. Freki and Geri are two of the largest versions of them, whatever the Fenrisian Wolves origin. 

Leman Russ takes these beasts to battle along with his Space Wolves to act as his body guard pets.

Strengths. 
Great movement, good stat line overall, and breaching 6 combingin with fear and fearless plus other juicy rules makes them a decent threat.

Weaknesses.
The 5+ save is an issue. They will get shot to death rapidly without significant thought about placement. Perhaps its better to think of them as adding 8 wounds to Russ when you take them in some ways. Their bulk is also an issue. 

Overall.
A reasonable unit for the price to accompany Russ. You will need to consider what you're doing with them and how they're getting there. Otherwise you are going to be very vulnerable to small arms fire. 

Difference to First Edition.
Roughly the same. A lot of rules have been changed (cf., look out sir), but overall they come out as about equal to before. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Horus Heresy 2e Review: Leman Russ

Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
4.5/5 stars, rounded up. The rules are very strong.

Background.
Leman Russ returns to second edition a the fore of the Space Wolves legion. Bred on Fenris, and one of the three trifoil legions, his own legion serves as the nominal "executioner" for the Emperor. Presumably he carried out some of this task with the II or XI legions in the past which prepared him to undertake Horus' altered orders to destroy the Thousand Sons in the true first volley of the Heresy (although it was not recognised as such at the time). Feared as much as Angron or Konrad, the darkness never touched him, and instead of a blood soaked savage as some would portray him, he was canny and had a great sense of self-awareness of himself and possessed utter loyalty to the Throne. 

Strengths. 
Let's start with the stat line and the impressive WS=8 alongside S=7, I=7, and A=7. Alone these mark him out as a bit better than some of his brothers. As Sire of the Space Wolves he gives his sons S+1 in a successful charge (including himself which is rather insane for a yield of S=8). Once per battle has also grants movement+1 for the turn which is cute and traitor space wolves take a pinning test (should there be any on the table). Nice and fluffy!

His armour provides an increased invulnerable to flame, melta, and plasma which is highly useful. It also imposes -1 to hit in the turn that he charges which turns Russ from good to very good in combat. His Balenight weapon grants a further S+1 for a total of 9 if he charges and imposes an extra die for moreal tests while the Helwinter axe grants S+2 for a total of 10 if you're still keeping up with the mathhammer at this point. His side arm isn't so great by strength comparisons, but does have AP3, so you won't care. 

Weaknesses.
Honestly, he doesn't have that many weaknesses. His points cost is fab for what you're getting. 

Overall.
Short version: Well worth it.

Difference to First Edition.
Feels taken down a fraction here compared to First Edition to be honest. You probably won't notice, but he's not quite number 2 on the power list any longer (that's firmly Ferrus Manus in my opinion). I would give him number 3 spot though. This is a direct result of Balenight being nerfed and his armour also brought into a much more sensible configuration. He is not guaranteed victory over Horus, but unlike many of his brothers, he does have a shot at defeating Horus much like Ferrus Manus does.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Horus Heresy 2e Review: Caster of Runes

Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
4/5 stars. The rules are good.  

Background.
They may protest that they are channeling the heart of Fenris all they like. The truth is that they are just as much a psyker as the Thousand Sons are. Except they lie about it. Does this make them worse?

Strengths.
The special Space Wolves psykers are called Casters of Runes. They come with 2 special powers under the Winds of Fenris powers which consist of a template weapon attack that has deflagrate (psychic test to boost to a whopping S=10!), and a second one to grant shrouded at 5+ (psychic test to boost to 3+). Both are excellent. Adamantium will is the icing on the proverbial cake. 

Weaknesses.
The upgrade costs the same as a regular librarian, hence there are zero weaknesses in comparison to other legions here. 

Builds.
Caster of Runes in Cataphractii Armour, Force Axe, Psychic Hood (145 points).
Exactly the same build as the regular librarian. 

Caster of Runes in Aether-Rune Armour, Psychic Hood, Jump Pack (150 points).
I really love the aether-rune armour for Space Wolves characters. Its just rude without compare - always take it where you can. 

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