Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
3.5/5 stars. I rounded down. The rules are good, but not especially outstanding.
Background.There are a number of characters in the Horus Heresy who at first glance don't feel like they belong in their allocated legion and probably should have been recruited to a different one. I have a bit of a soft spot for these kind of flavorful characters who otherwise break the generic mold: Fafnir is one of them and in this case it is the Space Wolves rather than the Imperial Fists that he should probably have been allocated to.
Fafnir earned the moniker of Dorn's executioner and was a superlative commander for the loyalist forces during the Siege. His tally was high and he was as effective on the offensive as the defensive, and known for his sheer mastery of using twinned axes and being able to swap to axe and shield when the situations called for it.
Fafnir is a great close combat character. He has different attack profiles for using his twinned axes versus one axe and a shield (replacing the rampage rule with the shield master rule which give -1S to opponents as well as acting as a regular boarding shield - a really nice combination). The AP2 means Fafnir is going to be deadly to many opponents.
The executioner's tax deserves a mention here as well for its uniqueness. Any unit charging against him suffers multiple S5 hits for doing so at I=10. Few in the game is able to replicate this kind of action realistically.
The warlord trait of +1WS is just the icing on the cake for accompanying Breacher and Phalanx Warder squads, let along taking one as troops. As if that wasn't enough, he even gets hammer of wrath combined with a good stat line. Oh, and let's not forget the additional reaction in assault. Nice.
I guess he hasn't got more than S=4 or T=4?
Other than that, it is important to consider how you want to use him. He really is a close combat monster that you want to get in the thick of the action as soon as possible and accompanied by breachers or phalanx warder squads.
Difference to First Edition.
Very little. It wasn't so long ago that I reviewed Rann for First Edition, and things have not changed too much to be honest. Just missing the teleport transponder here I think? Indeed, so similar is first and second edition that I've kept the text mainly unchanged for this article.
Well worth the points: he can wreck squads with the right timing. But beware of massed incoming fire.