Warpstone Flux Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
4/5 stars. The rules are very good.
A close combat mirror of the humble tactical squad. The despoiler squad does not carry the bolt gun, but uses a bolt pistol and chainsword as standard instead. Their job is essentially to clear a path, and they have flexible armaments to choose from to help them with this task.
As with the tactical squad, the despoiler squad consists of standard space marines with trans-human 4's across the stat line, but a base leadership of 7. You will be wanting that legion vexilla.
As well as having Heart of the Legion (great for objective camping), they gain here the Spite of the Legion special rule. This one is interesting. It grants a bonus attack if certain conditions are met (e.g., the charged enemy is pinned, or lacks a character - both are reason enough to think about using this squad).
This is all complimented very well by the customization that can be undertaken with the squad. Power weapons and the like are all possible, along with pistol swaps, and a large range of choices for the sergeant. This is a squad that is good for combat, but not necessarily the legion's best. It will do nicely against many other legion targets.
For what they are and what they do, I once again have no real complaints here (cf., my entry for the tactical squad). I will add though that despoilers are going to be more suited to some legions than others though. e.g., I'm sure World Eaters will get much more out of them than Alpha Legion players.
Difference to First Edition.
Improved. Before they were just a tactical squad variant. This is a distinct entry now. I like the Spite of the Legion rule here - its a great addition.
Below is a flavour of despoiler squads. There is a lot of customization possible, so this list should be regarded simply - and only - as an indicator of what is possible.
10 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, Sergeant with Power Fist (125 points).
A bit bland, but the buried power fist is always going to be a favourite for this kind of squad.
10 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, 2 Power Axes, Sergeant with Power Fist, Artificer Armour (145 points).
Chop, chop! Add melta bombs to taste. I suspect this squad will see use.
20 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, 4 Volkite Serpenta, Sergeant with Power Fist, Volkite Serpenta, Artificer Armour (260 points).
If you are taking volkite, might as well go big and all in. Nice price tag here. And a great screening unit to boot, if required.
10 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, 2 Plasma Pistols, Sergeant with Power Fist, Plasma Pistol, Artificer Armour (165 points).
Plasma death squads never get the respect they deserve. Largely due to killing themselves by the same plasma they should be shooting, I guess. But in the right place at the right time, they are a massive asset. [Aside: take hand flamers all round for an objective camping squad - but a bit of a waste in the main part I think].
10 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, all with two bolt pistols, Sergeant with Power Fist, Artificer Armour, melta bombs (155 points).
I have only rarely seen twin bolt pistols like this used. I think it will become more common to be honest. Take a rhino and unload. Then charge. The price tag is attractive enough for this to work as well.
10 Legionaries, 1 Vexilla, 7 Heavy Chainswords, 2 Power Axes, 2 Hand Flamers, Sergeant with Power Fist, Hand Flamer, Artificer Armour (174 points).
This is a bit of a unique build, but one you might plausibly see. The heavy chainswords provide an addition to the S of the unit in melee, while the flamers are handy for whittling down opponents and providing wall of death type reactions. Doubles nicely as an objective camper. A bit pricey though.