Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Automatically Explode Tanks in the Horus Heresy

Okay - this is likely to be one of those combinations that game designers didn't think about during play-testing. I've only just come across it this week and wanted to post it here, as it is very relevant to the Alpha Legion that I'm currently in the midst of reviewing.

1 x Combat Augment Array (from Horus Heresy Book 4: Conquest)

Here is how it works. The Alpha Legion Saboteur comes in to play via outflank (or even deep strike from Armillus Dynat) in the deployment zone of the enemy. When this character comes in to play, it automatically scores a penetrating hit on to an opposing unit - this could be a unit of infantry, or a tank. In this case, the saboteur is going to select a threatening looking tank. Like a Land Raider. Note - this doesn't work on a superheavy since superheavy tanks always ignore the damage table and just takes more hull points of damage. Hence the tank selection must be that of a regular tank. But choose an expensive one like a land raider. 

Ordinarily, an automatic penetrating hit will take one hull point off the target tank and, at best, score something like an immobilisation result on the vehicle damage table. 

Given that the saboteur gets to roll on the vehicle damage chart, he can then use the combat augment array that he's carrying as an optional upgrade to roll an automatic six on the vehicle damage chart. Of course, there may be some interpretation here about whether the saboteur can make the roll as I'm assuming that the damage roll is played like we play it -- i.e. the person causing the damage gets to roll. And there's the technical issue if the saboteur is doing the rolling, or whether its actually the tank. We're going to assume that its the saboteur for the moment, to illustrate how this all potentially works. 

So what? The saboteur rolls a six on the damage chart and immobilises the tank. But that's not all. If Armillus Dynat is on the table, then he grants a +1 to damage rolls on the vehicle damage table. Hence that immobilisation result is automatically upgraded to an explosion result!

Boom - automatic tank destroyed result! All thanks to a saboteur using a combat augment array. 

Of course, I don't like it one bit. Seriously! The very premise that a tank is just removed from play without anything that the enemy commander can do about it is bad news. Its rude if nothing else. And broken in extremis. I suspect that it will be FAQ'ed away very soon if the designers are not already aware of this combination. Hence, I'm not going to be playing this combination as its a big ball of no fun for opponents. But I felt it worth reporting here for others to be aware of it (particularly enemies of the Alpha Legion) so that they can see how the combination works. 

Naturally, the Saboteur might not survive this assault given the negative effects of the Combat Augment Array, but this in no way balances this combination. It is really powerful to say the least and in my opinion breaks the way that the game should be played out. (Although, equally, if someone pulls another broken list like Word Bearers plus certain daemons, then I'm going to play this one).


withershadow said...

I don't think it's honestly that broken.

You are still spending the points for a saboteur and array (which could be much better used on a combat character). It's also thematically appropriate for an opponent of the Alpha Legion to find their biggest baddest toy exploding right as the battle begins.

Hail Hydra!

jabberjabber said...

I take your point!
But in friendly games, I would be very loathe to play it as its just not that much fun for my friends to face it.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately it can't be done.
The array must be triggered at the start of your turn, at which point the Saboteur isn't even on the board, meaning he cannot trigger it.

Shame really as you pay enough points for it to not be broken.

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