Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Tactical Squad

Legion Tactical Squad

The tactical squad is the backbone of the Space Marine Legions, and the force by which the Great Crusade has re-conquered much of the galaxy. Thousands of these heavily armed and armored superhuman warriors, trained for battle in the harshest of environments and the deadliest of war zones, have crushed the enemies of Mankind time and time again. The tactical squad is a flexible combat unit able to attack or defend at will. The tactical squad can assault heavily fortified positions, hold and defend strategic objectives, or slaughter an enemy completely with little challenge.

Before we look at the options, we need to note that the Legion Tactical Squad has a special rule called Fury of the Legion. Basically, it means that as long as there are at least five guys in the squad armed with bolters or bolt pistols can fire twice during the Shooting phase so long as they did not move, arrive via Deep Strike, or disembark from a vehicle during earlier in the turn. The down side is that they can’t Overwatch the turn the use Fury of the Legion, and they can’t shoot next turn.

Options

Add an additional 10 men This is an option that can go either way. You won’t really find a transport for them, but with 20 marines walking, they’ll probably reach whatever they want.
Replace bolter for Combat Knife or Chainsword Not worth it even if it’s free.
Take an Combat Knife or Chainsword This option cost points, but is the way I would go. However, you really mainly want these guys shooting.
Nuncio-vox Nice little piece of equipment. It gives you basically a teleporting homer, and barrage weapons can draw line of sight from the unit with one. I would take one.
Legion Vexilla Another handy piece of equipment that allows you to re-roll failed Moral test. I would strongly consider taking one.
 

The sergeant can replace his bolter with one of the following.

Combi-weapon Very good choices to take since you don’t really give up your bolter, but you do gain a special weapon.
Plasma pistol I’m in the camp that Plasma pistols are not that great.
Heavy Chainsword Why take this when you can keep your bolter and get a regular chainsword for 2 points? Not worth it.
Power weapon A possibility, but I would still rely more on the Fury of the Legion special rule to chew up a squad before assaulting it.
Power fist A viable option considering just about every person that can issue and except challenges, including sergeants, in this book can have a 2+ armor save.
Single lightning claw Given the points and the fact you lose your bolter for it, I wouldn’t take this.

The sergeant may take the following:

Melta bombs I always take some if I have the points
Artificer armor It’s cheap, and you’ll probably see everyone else’s sergeant with it. I would suggest taking it if you have points.

Build Options

Whether you use a 10 or 20-man squad, the builds for this unit are limited but straightforward. Most of the builds will be broken down between how the sergeant is decked out and whether or not to give everybody in the squad a close combat weapon.

Option 1

Legion Tactical squad, Sergeant with chainsword and artificer armor, and Nuncio-vox.

A basic build that resembles how tactical squad are generally run in normal 40k. For a 10-man squad, this build comes out to 172 points. If you add ten more guys, it will be 20 points more expensive.

Option 2

Legion Tactical squad, sergeant with artificer armor, Legion Vexilla, Nuncio-vox, squad armed with close combat weapons.

This build is loosely based on the Space Wolves Grey Hunter squad. They’ll do well in the shooting phase, and they’ll stand their own in close combat in the assault phase. The Legion Vexilla is added to allow you to keep this squad in close combat or moving and shooting. For a ten-man team this build comes in at 210 points.

Option 3

Legion Tactical squad; sergeant with power fist, combi-weapon, and artificer armor, Nuncio-vox, Legion Vexilla, squad armed with close combat weapons.

This build is meant to be a bit more rugged and get into fights. This unit would do well in the middle of your army not necessarily leading the charge but helping support some of your elite units. If there were a piece of equipment you could go without, it would be the Nuncio-vox.

Conclusion

The Legion Tactical Squad is a tactical squad. I personally don’t like to bedazzle my tactical squads. For me, these guys are grunts; however, it’s going to be these guys that win you a game. It’s best to give them just enough war gear to make them durable, effective, and deadly. You’ll probably get more mileage out of them if you keep all the options and toys down to a minimum.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Rapier Weapons Battery

Legion Rapier Weapons Battery

Similar in design to many other Imperial units the Rapier carriers are semi-automated weapon carriers that are used where larger heavy vehicles may not be able to go. Designed to support weaponry to large and cumbersome for even Astartes, the Rapier’s relatively small size and mobility makes it a perfect support weapon. The most common armaments mounted on the Rapiers are the quad-heavy bolters or Laser Destroyers used for ant-personal and anti-armor respectively. The more unusual load outs such as the “Thudd Gun” and Graviton cannon also find us on the battlefield.

Options

Any Rapier can replace its quad heavy bolter with the following:

Laser Destroyer A very nice upgrade and would be similar to deciding between the anti-armor Predator or the Dakka Predator
Quad mortar (“Thudd Gun”) I actually would take this over the Laser Destroyers. It does a great job with large clumps of men, and has a chance of pinning them
Graviton Gun I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of the Graviton Gun, but if you want a Graviton gun in your army, this is the better way to get it.

Build Options

It’s best that if you take three of these for a single choice all three weapons batteries should be carrying the same gun.

 Option 1

3 Rapier Weapons Batteries armed with Laser Destroyer. For 165 points, this option is a nice and relatively cheap anti-armor choice. Because of it’s size and the fact that it’ll probably be in the back field, this option shouldn’t draw as much fire as a normal tank would, and even if it is destroyed, it’s still cheaper than a tank would have been.

 Option 2

3 Rapier Weapons Batteries with Thudd Guns. Personally, this would just be an absolute fun option to play with, and very fluffy for those who are looking to play Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, or Imperial Fists. All that aside, this option is also very good at handling the large blobs of twenty man strong tactical squad that are likely to be walking across the board.

The nice things about these little fellows are that you can bring a fire amount of firepower without using a heavy support choice and at a cheaper cost. The draw back to this is that they don’t have the mobility that a tank would give you. It’s probably best to think of the Rapier is a kin to the Thunderfire cannon. You’ll want to set them up in terrain somewhere in the backfield and not move them after they are deployed. The roles are self-explanatory based on what gun you take: heavy bolter or quad mortar for anti-infantry and Laser Destroyer or Graviton Gun for anti-armor.

In my book, the quad mortar or Laser Destroyer are the best options to pick. With the Laser Destroyer you would get three shots with the Ordnance special rule. The quad mortar would give you 12 STR 5 small blast templates that cause infantry units to have to take a pinning test.

 Conclusion

The Rapier is a great choice given its points cost. The draw back is that it’s an Elite choice, so you’ll want to make those points count. Still, it’s another option to bring yet more heavy weapons onto the field to be used to either support or in conjunction with Heavy Support choices. Points for points the Rapier will be cheaper than many of the Heavy Support choices and will probably be just as lethal.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Apothecarion Detachment

Legion Apothecarion

The apothecary is the Legion most trusted and scared members. It falls on their shoulders to tend to the wounded and fallen, but also tend to the continued health and future of the legion. It is the Apothecary’s duty to be a battlefield healer: tending to the wounded, returning the injured back to the fray, and if necessary, delivering final mercy to those beyond help. From those that are beyond help, the Apothecary has the onerous duty of recovering the Legion’s gene-seed for implantation in future generation of Astartes.

Options

Augury Scanner A good cheap option that shuts down near by Infiltrators and gives the unit the Interceptor rule
Combi-weapon An option that I would always take given that he is limited in what units he can join
Volkite charger The combi-weapon is the better option, as it is also a special weapon. This would be good if the whole squad has Volkite chargers
Replace Chainsword for Power Sword This option could be left out if you are trying to save points. You don’t want your Apothecary in close combat
Artificer Armor This option should be standard as it increases your Apothecary’s survivability, which increases the squads survivability

 

Build Options

There aren’t actually that many builds for this guy. The strength of the Apothecary comes from the fact that he increases the survivability of the squad that he’s in. That means that the Apothecary should either be taken bare bones or given only one or two of the above options. The difference between current codex Apothecaries and the Legion Apothecary is that, much like the Blood Angels, you can take three as a single choice. However, (this is a big point) they must be assigned to a set list of squads and can’t voluntarily leave it. Ultimately, it comes down to what squad you want to have the Feel No Pain special rule and then kitting him out to better work with the squad.

Conclusion

Given how Feel No Pain works now it 6th edition, it is a nice thing to have an Apothecary or two floating around; however, for the most part, the legion Apothecary can only be assigned to troop choices. This is not a bad thing in of itself, but when coupled with the fact that most of the troop choices that the Apothecary can be attached to can also be twenty man strong, the purpose of the Apothecary seems negligible. Add to that that the Apothecary detachment is an elite choice, and you’re left with a unit that will probably only be taken because of fluff or personal taste.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Techmarine Covenant

Again I find myself lagging in keeping this tactica updated on a regular basis. It’s been a wild couple of months. Between kids’ birthday parties, beginning to do yard work, and actually working on the miniatures that I love to write about, it’s hard to find the time to maintain the blog. However, I will continue, so none of you have to worry about things going anywhere.

 Horus Heresy Techmarine

The Legion Techmarine is a vital member of any of the Astartes Legion and their Expeditionary Force. These Astartes demonstrate from an early stage an aptitude and intelligence for machinery that mark them for induction into the rites and secrets of the Mechanicum. It is because of this that Techmarines have dual loyalties to his legion and the Mechanicum. It is the responsibility of Techmarines to maintain the production and flow of war gear for the legion while personally providing repairs and construction service for the legion’s more specialized pieces of equipment. Legion commander deploy Techmarine to the front lines of combat to make sure that key pieces of war gear remain operational until the end of a campaign.

Options

Nuncio-vox A nice option to take since it can serve two purposes: Homing Beacon and line of sight for barrage weapons
Augury scanner Another nice option since it can serve two purposes: shut down Infiltrate and giving a unit the Interceptor rule
Master-crafted bolter Cheap and reliable and a good option to take where ever the Techmarine is placed
Combi-weapon A better option for getting a bolter, but combi weapons do better in packs
Volkite charger On par with the bolter but will have better results if put in a squad that has multiple Volkite weapons
Plasma pistol Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it
Graviton gun This weapon has some nice rule, but the problem is that it is a Heavy weapon and only has an 18” range. Probably wouldn’t take it

 

Melta bombs The poor man’s power fist: cheap and cheerful
Conversion beamer This suffers the same drawbacks as the Graviton gun. It’s a Heavy weapon, so you can’t move and shoot
Rad grenades I would take these as they will be a benefit to any unit that the Techmarine joins
Thunder Hammer A must. The Techmarine comes with a power ax. If you’re going to be going last in combat, might as well have x2 Strength behind you.

 

Cyber-familiar                                       A must in order to get an Invulnerable save

 

Take up to 4 Servo-automata They’re a good option since they can be used as meat shields and increasing the Techmarines repair roll
Servo-automata Lascutter The cheapest Close Combat option. If you want to upgrade them take this.
Power fist Too expensive for a model that is meant to die
Flamer A good option, but if your opponent has gotten that close to your Techmarine, you’ve done something wrong
Rotor cannon Another good option for ranged fighting as it gives you a Salvo 3/4 . Just don’t expect to much of it

 

Build Options

I have always found it hard to justify taking a Techmarine. There just are so many better options that I could spend the points on. This holds true for the Legion Techmarine; however, there are two points going for the Legion Techmarine of the standard Codex Techmarine: he’s cheap and you can take 3 for one choice. Even with those two points there are only a few load outs for him.

Option 1

3 Techmarines, Rad grenades, Thunder hammer, Nuncio-vox. This build comes to 250 points. As I said, it’s a bit pricy for my taste. However, this build is mainly meant to ride around in transports and keep the transport alive. The weapons are there to help whatever squad is disembarking from the transport. You could spend a few extra points and give an Augury scanner, or substitute the Nuncio-vox for it. If you take the Augury scanner you would probably want him walking, so him and his squad can fire at whatever is Deep Striking. It goes without saying that if he were walking you would want to tack on the Cyber-familiar too.

Option 2

3 Techmarines with 4 Servo automata, Rad grenades, Thunder hammer, Nuncio-vox, Augury Scanner, and Cyber-familiar. Servo automatas are upgraded to have Lascutters and two Rotor cannons. This is the full package build and should be clear the most expensive way to build this guy. This build doesn’t lend itself to join squads very well either, so the three Techmarines will be in their own Rhinos cruising around the battlefield looking for things that need to be repaired. They have enough shooting to soften up a target, and decent AP values and strengths for any close combat that may happen. However, as I said earlier, if you Techmarine is getting assaulted or looks like he will get assaulted, you’ve done something wrong.

Conclusion

The Techmarine is not one of the better units available in the book. Most vehicles are strong enough to survive on their own, so taking a Techmarine is just for insurance. It takes up a valuable Elite choice slot that could be used for Terminators, Dreadnoughts, or other better choices. I’m sure there are some people out there that take a Techmarine all the time, but for me, I just don’t see it.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Contemptor Dreadnought

Contemptor Dreadnought

Things have been a bit hectic around here. I’ve been making regular appearances at my local gaming store, working hard on two new armies, and trying to find a job while maintaining my health. However, things have settled into somewhat of a pattern, and I can return to working on the blog. I hope to have a few people helping out in the next month or so to give a wider perspective on the hobby and local community. Without further ado, let us dive back into the Horus Heresy book.

 

The Contemptor pattern dreadnought is a recent addition the Astartes Legion’s arsenal. It is considered the most advanced and most powerful dreadnought that a legion can field. Not only does it incorporate standard dreadnought technologies but also arcane technology that is drawn from the ancient and guarded lore of the Mechanicum. Among these arcane technology is the micro arc reactor that powers the dreadnought. This forgotten power plant is more powerful by far than anything of its size and bestows the Contemptor better speed, strength, and power for defensive energy fields. However, this power comes with a cost. The Contemptor requires more maintenance than standard dreadnought patterns, and if the reactor is breached, it spells catastrophic disaster for the dreadnought and its heroic pilot. Still, the power of the Contemptor has found it a place in every Legion, and the demand for the new chassis is high.

 

To sum things up quickly, the Contemptor dreadnought is awesome. Maybe even overpowered, but hey, that’s all right. In my personal opinion, this is what a regular dreadnought should be. It’s WS and BS 5, strength 7, two attacks, armor 13, 4++ invulnerable save, and fleet.

 

Options

May take up to 3 for a single choice and each model then acts as individual units. It comes equipped with a twin linked heavy bolter, dreadnought close combat weapon with in built twin linked bolter, search light, and smoke launcher

 

Replace Heavy bolter with the following:

Multi-melta Fun if you put your dreadnought in a drop pod
Twin linked Autocannon A good option for mid range support. It’s good for taking out light armor and troops.
Plasma Cannon Great multi purpose weapon. You have 3 hull points so Gets Hot rolls shouldn’t be too much of a worry.
Kheres Pattern assault cannon A six shot assault cannon. Great fun will be had chewing up troops with this gun.
Twin linked Lascannon The go to anti-armor weapon
Heavy Conversion Beamer Too expensive with a big draw back: you can’t move and shoot.
Second close combat weapon A must take if your charging your dreadnought into troops.

 

Replace its Dreadnought close combat weapon with any of the following:

Chain fist with in built twin linked bolter I don’t really see the point in taking this.
Multi-melta Combined with a multi-melta on the other arm and you have a twin linked multi-melta
Twin linked autocannon Take this and make a better Dakka dreadnought
Plasma Cannon Take this coupled with a Plasma Cannon on the other arm if you want to delete units.
Kheres Pattern assault cannon Again, take two and chew up units. Personal note, this seems like it would be an absolute fun load out.
Twin linked Lascannon Coupled with a second lascannon and you should be popping tanks left and right

 

Replace any in built twin linked bolter with the following:

Heavy Flamer The tried and true option for assault dreadnoughts that have two close combat weapons.
Plasma blaster A better option for assault dreadnoughts that want to take on heavy infantry but too expensive.
Graviton Gun Fun little weapon for taking out units and softening up tanks
Melta Gun Take if you want a more “Ironclad” dreadnought, but a cheap weapon upgrade for assault dreadnoughts that want to take on heavy infantry.

 

May take extra armor Coupled with the armor value and invulnerable save this could make the dreadnought almost unstoppable.

 

May take a carapace mounted Havoc launcher It’s 15 points, but I would almost always take one.

 

Build Options

Even though the Contemptor is a powerful and great dreadnought, there are not a lot of builds for it. There are really only three builds that I see viable.

 

Option 1

Two close combat weapons, Havoc launcher, and dual heavy flamers. This build relies heavily on the Contemptor dreadnought having the fleet special rule. The idea behind this build is to close as quickly as possible with units and engage them in close combat. The heavy flamer and Havoc launcher are to really only there to soften up a unit before the dreadnought charges into combat. For a significant price increase, dual Plasma Blasters can be used on an assault Contemptor if you want to target heavy infantry.

 

Option 2

Close combat weapon with built in Plasma Blaster, Havoc launcher, and heavy weapon of choice. This build is meant to be a close support for your troops as they move forward. It has a variety of options to help deal with a wide range of treats that may come up. The heavy weapon would depend on what unit the dreadnought will link with as well as the type of army you may be facing. Take a Lascannon or multi-melta if you think you’ll face a mech army, or take an autocannon or Kheres pattern assault cannon if you think you’ll face a lot of troops.

 

Option 3

Dual heavy weapons and Havoc launcher. This build is based on the Dakka dreadnought. However, the Contemptor has a bit more options when it comes to weapons load out. You have dual twin linked lascannons if you want to hunt tanks. You have dual plasma cannons if you want to hunt light tanks and heavy infantry. Finally, you have dual Kheres pattern assault cannons if you want to hunt troops. The Havoc launcher is an option that can be dropped or added based on player preference, but the idea of it is that you have one more weapon to shoot.

 

Conclusion

The Contemptor is a powerful dreadnought that every army will probably have at lest one of. Like the regular dreadnought it has the capability to fill a number of roles, but unlike the regular dreadnought, players should see better results with it.

Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy Choosing a Legion: Or How I Can’t Make Up My Mind

Horus ArtWith Christmas having come and gone and knowing that many of you probably put Forgeworld models on your list, I want to take a moment to rant discus the problem, or brilliant marketing strategy, the Forgeworld has presented to us. Simply, how do we choose a Legion.

I have not pointed this out in my tacticas, but I’m sure many of you are aware. The problem with choosing a legion is that fact that each legion has its own unique set of rules, wargear, units, and characters. How does this differ from choosing any other 40k army I can hear you say. Frankly, the difference is that you’ll be dealing mostly with Forgeworld, which is a double-edged sword. The most obvious fact is that Forgeworld models and accessories cost more. Before I, or anyone else, begins to start sinking a lot of hard-earned money into a Horus Heresy army, I would really like to know what each legion brings to the table. What interesting wargear or unit comes with a Dark Angel legion, a Night Lords legion, or a Ultramarines legion? The price issue is generally offset by the detail and general quality of the sculpt that Forgeworld offers; however, it makes the decision processor that much more difficult. We have all seen the dynamic and awesome Angron model, but what will Horus, Lion, or Konrad Cuze look like. This is added to the unique unit that each legion gets. As of right now, we are only left to wonder what the other legions will have and look like.

I am happy to say that there are a few ways to go about choosing a legion. These are just things that I have thought up over the months that is helping me to narrow down my options. There are only two methods I’m using to choose my space marine legion: character and appearance.

Character

Since all the legions, as of right now, are pulling from the same army list, play style will probably not differ greatly between legions. Another point to consider is the fact there will probably not be a tournament for Horus Heresy legions nor will a tournament allow them, so “competitive” or “tournament” list building or play style will not be a factor. I have settled on the fluff,  themed, or character approach to choosing a legion. Since I will probably only be able to playing the legion in a campaign or in an Apocalypse game, I looking at which army’s back story I like more, and with all the Horus Heresy novels that’s not very hard to do. A good guide line anyone could use. Which space marine army back story speaks to you? What is it about the character of the army that you like? What actual named characters are in the army that you gravitate to?

Appearance

This is something that we all use to help us choose an army. How does the army look? When you’re going to be painting 100+ models you’ll want a color scheme and appearance that you really like. The lush purple and bright gold of the Emperor’s Children is great and wonderful look as is the sea green of the Sons of Horus. The one hick-up to this guideline is the legions’ unique units and wargear.  I can only imagine what cool bits and conversions can be done for these particular units. In the case of Death Guard, how cool would it look to see most of your sergeants carrying scythes?

I hope this may help some of you, but I would like to hear what some of you are using to help you decide on which legion to go with. I’m still debating, but I’m getting close to making a decision.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Terminator Squad Tactics

Pre-heresy Death Guard ColorTerminator armor, the fruits of the Tactical Dreadnought Armor project, is a powerful and priceless addition to a legions arsenal. Impervious to all but the heaviest of enemy fire, legion veterans are able to march into the heart of an enemy force and destroy it with ruthless power.

A terminator squad is a terminator squad. We all know how good a strong a terminator squad can be. Sadly, legion terminator cannot be built into the god unit of 6th edition, thunder hammer/ storm shield terminators. However, we will look at what good builds are available.

Basics

The terminator squad comes with 5 men with combi-bolter and power weapon. They have two nice rules: Implacable Advance, which makes them scoring units in mission where Troops are scoring units, and Prototype Weaponry, which allows them to have the legion specific weapons.

Options

Take an additional 5 men                                                  Depends on the points you have. Generally, the basic 5 guys will get the job done.

For every 5 models the unit can have

Heavy flamer                                                                       A good option to take if you have the squad in a transport

Reaper autocannon                                                           An option to take if you are foot slogging the squad

Plasma Blaster                                                                   My personal pick for this squad.

Any terminator can replace his combi-bolter with the following:

Combi-weapon                                                                  A personal favorite for me and a lot of other people

Volkite Charger                                                                 I actually would take this for the whole squad

Any terminator can replace his power weapon with the following:

Power fist                                                                           At 5 points, this is a great option

Lightning claw                                                                  I still have a hard time seeing the use of this option anymore unless paired with a second

Chainfist                                                                            Personally, I’d leave this. You have so many other things that can take out vehicles

Thunder hammer                                                           A power fist is cheaper and does basically the same job

Any terminator can take a second lightning claw   You can create traditional assault terminators which will eat through a unit

Terminator sergeant can have a grenade harness   A nice little option to have since you can toss out 2 small blast templates

The whole squad can have Cataphractii armor       You get a 4+ invulnerable save but become Slow and Purposeful. Personally, I would take it

Builds

If you ask five people how to load out a squad of terminators, you’ll probably get five different answers. We all have our favorite combination of weapons for terminators. However, there are a couple of key points to remember about a legion terminator squad. First, they can’t Deep Strike unless the mission, legion rule, or warlord trait says they can. Second, you can not have the thunder hammer/ storm shield build, so that will probably throw a monkey wrench in how some people generally play terminators.

With that in mind, we have to remind ourselves what terminators generally do. For the most part they either have a powerful HQ choice with them, or they roam around the board rolling over squads. I should also point out that the squad does need a Land Raider transport. This increases their survivability as well as gets them to where you need and want them. Finally with those points at the forefront of our minds like look at some builds.

Option 1

5 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness, power fists, Plasma blaster, Cataphractii armor – My all-purpose squad. It rides around in its Land Raider jumping out here and there to take out a unit. With the Plasma blaster, you have the ability to take a couple of pop shots at a vehicle, or threaten anything with a 2+ armor value. Up the squad to 10 man to get another Plasma blaster.

Option 2

5 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness and power fist, Heavy flamer, Volkite chargers, and Cataphractii armor – This build is mainly used to go after Troop choices or run in to claim and hold an objective. Volkite chargers allow for additional attacks for every un-saved wound, and you don’t have to worry about the one time use of the combi-weapon. As with the previous build, you can add five more guys to get another heavy flamer or plasma blaster. Lightning claws can be used in place of the standard power weapons if you are worried about wounding.

Option 3

10 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness, Cataphractii armor, and twin lightning claws – The good old vanilla assault terminator squad. You can have them charge out of a Land Raider and watch them go all Wolverine on a squad. You get a bonus for two close combat weapons and you get to strike at your initiative. The reason for a full ten man squad is the possibility of running into someone with a 2+ armor value. With 40 attacks coming, a failed armor save will come up.

Conclusion

The moment I said terminator squad most of you went into autopilot and figured out your favorite build, and I congratulate you for that. As you have probably seen I did not figure in a particular HQ choice with these squads as I personally would take a Legion Command Squad if I took a Legion Praetor or put the Legion Centurion a completely different squad depending on what consul I gave him. I personally see terminator like I see tactical squads. Don’t over complicate them. They’re a good solid unit that will get the job done.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Destroyer Squad Tactics

Space Marine Squad

The Legion Destroyer squad found its origins during the Unification Wars that wrecked Terra before the Great Crusade, but it but not with Imperial force but with the enemy. Most legions consider the squad and its use as dishonorable and eschew it use. The Destroyer squad is home to troublemakers, outcasts, and Astartes that the legion would like to forget about. Adding to this stigma, the squad uses dark and forbidden technology like Rad-weapons, bio-alchemic, and the clawing burning horror of the Phospex.

I see these squads as a mix between biochemical/nuclear infinity and insurgents, but neither this nor the fluff described in the book really translate well in terms of game play and option builds. In short, the Legion Destroyer squad is an assault squad with a little bit better shooting ability.

Options

Take an additional 5 marines                 Good upgrade as it opens up a second special weapon

The WHOLE squad can take Melta bombs         I really think this is a no brainer

Upgrade to Jump Packs                        A great option for this squad

For every 5 models one can take the following:
Missile Launcher with Suspensor wed & Rad missiles                 The go to weapon for this squad

Volkite Serpenta                                            Leave at home

Hand flamer                                                   A nice little weapon for Over Watch

Plasma Pistol                                                   Another weapon to consider given you can take two

Sergeant may take one of the following
Power weapon                                The cheap and cheerful option

Power Fist                                  I would only take this if you pay the points for Artificer armor

Single Lighting Claw                    I don’t see the point in taking just one, so leave at home

Thunder Hammer                       Power fist is cheaper

Artificer Armor                            Not expensive at is nice for challenges

Three Phosphex bombs             You have to pay for each, but they are nice

 

As you can see, they are pretty much just what I said they were. Assault marines with a bit more shooting. They don’t have much going in the way of special rules except Counter-Attack, which is nice. To begin with, I’ve never been thrilled with the performance of Assault Marines, so I maybe a little jaded towards this unit. They have the same stats as a regular assault squad, the bonus for weapons, and the same for charging. Ultimately, things will be depended on what you want the squad to do.

Option 1
10 man squad, Sergeant with Power Weapon and 3 Phosphex bombs, 2 Missile Launcher and Melta bombs. A relatively cheap build meant to move around and shoot up squads, and then move in to clean up the mess. The drawbacks of the unit would probably keep it to taking out Troop choices. It goes without saying that a Rhino would be a recommended purchase. For an additional 50 points you could get two missile launchers in this squad.

Option 2
10 man squad with Jump Packs, Sergeant with Power Weapon, 3 Phosphex bombs, and Artificer armor. For those who are more inclined to use this unit for close combat here’s a build that shouldn’t disappoint. Your sergeant is built to survive a challenge while attacking at initiative step.  If there looks to be anyone heading towards this squad with a 2+ armor, then chunk a Phosphex bomb at them. As for ranged weapons I would probably go with Plasma Pistols or Hand Flamers. Keep in mind that you can drop the Legion Centurion Moritat in the squad and bring a whole lot of hurt.

Balls-to-the-Wall
10 man squad with Jump Packs, 2 Missile Launchers, Melta bombs, Sergeant with Artificer armor; Power Fist; and3 Phosphex bombs. You have decided to completely flush points down the toilet for a squad built like this. It could probably jump around the board killing whatever it wants. Missiles firing AP 3 small blast templates. Melta bombs blowing up tanks or being slapped into the face of heavier troops. Sergeant with Power Fist and Phosphex bombs that can kill Terminators. Again, drop a Legion Centurion Moritat into this squad and the definition of pain will be changed.

Conclusion

The Legion Destroyer squad is a strong unit on its own, but linking it with a Legion Centurion Moritat or Assault squad and it becomes even stronger. You can use this unit jet up the flank striking at units that are seperated from the main force, jet up the flank and attack units or objectives that are in the opponent’s deployment zone, or simply have them jumping around the board bullying units until your troops or heavier elites come in to clean things up. Another thing to keep in mind about this unit and any other that is reviewed in this tactica is that Legion specific rules are not being applied. I can only imagine how this or some of the other units will turn out when placed into a specific Legion. That alone has the possibility to change the dynamic of many units.  My experience with Space Marine assault squads has been that of lackluster, so I’m still a bit leery. However, I’m sure this unit would change that perspective.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Veteran Tactical Squad

The Legion Veteran Tactical Squad is where exceptional and experienced warriors will be found. They are awarded further training in all the various arts of war, and can look to one day be inducted into special warrior brotherhoods, martial cults, or specific veteran companies. They are the ones that all Astartes aspire to become, and they make up the pool of future commanders.

So how does this epic level of martial ability and training translates into the game. Honestly, the Veteran Squad has the stats and wargear that I think all marines should have, but sadly Games Workshop never consulted me. When you look at it however, that is ultimately what this squad is: a tooled up Tactical Squad. Let’s jump in and see what me get and can do.

Right out of the box these guys come with Power Armor, Bolter, Bolt Pistol, and Close combat weapon along with the special rule Veteran Tactics, which we will look over.

Options
Take an additional 5 marines                                Take as this opens up an additional special weapon
Nuncio-vox                                                                Nice option for this unit
Legion Vexilla                                                           Not necessary
All models can have Melta Bombs                      Overkill. 1-3 models having them is enough
All models can have Power Weapons                 Overkill. 1-3 models having them is enough

For every 5 models the unit can have one of the following:
Volkite Charger                                                      Much better options
Melta Gun                                                               Still a good choice to take even in 6th edition
Plasma Gun                                                            Very good choice
Heavy Flamer                                                        Leave this at home
Heavy Bolter w/ Suspensor web                       This is what you’ll want. You can move and shot, or you can have…
Missile Launcher w/ Suspensor web               Again, you have the ability to have 2 of these with a full squad and can move and shoot

Sergeant can have:
Power Fist                                                             A good choice for the points
Lightning Claw                                                    A good choice if you are worried about initiative attacks
Thunder hammer                                               Too much for this particular unit
Artificer armor                                                    I would not take since only the sergeant can have it
Combi-weapon                                                   Smart choice since it can basically give you 3 special weapons
Plasma Pistol                                                      Pointless with the other special weapons you might have

Upgrade missile launcher to Flakk                A wise choice since Skyfire units are hard to find

The Veteran Tactics special rule allows you to choice one of the following Universal Special rules for the Legion Veteran squad: Fearless, Sniper, Furious Charge, Outflank, Tank Hunters.

As I said before, this is a tooled up Tactical Squad, and the Veteran Tactics special rule makes them a bit better at a particular job. To put it simply, this unit is more likely better used to support you HQ choice or treated a bit like Sternguard, which is the reason for the picture. Yes, they may have 2 Attacks and 2 Close combat weapons, but I personally would not throw these guys willy-nilly into close combat. Out of the Universal Special rules you can get, there are only 3 that speak to me as fitting this squad and the best way to use this squad: Fearless, Sniper, and Outflank. Let’s talk business and get some builds out of these guys.

Option 1
Sergeant w/ Combi-weapon and Melta Bombs. 10 man squad. 2 Plasma guns. Special Rule Outflank or Sniper. The special weapons in this build could be switched with the Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher. The point of this unit is simple, move to an objective and hold it. The Sniper rule is particularly nasty for this as you can get Precision Shots and Rending on Plasma guns, Heavy Bolter, and Missile shots.

Option 2
Sergeant w/ Power Weapon. 10 man squad. 2 power weapons. 2 Heavy Bolters. Special Rule: Fearless. This costs a bit more, but has an equally simple approach, move around the board and kill infantry units. I shouldn’t have to say that you probably won’t want to send this unit towards heavy infantry or even HQ units, but it should make short work of regular Troop Choices or Devastator like squads. Shoot the unit and then assault it and repeat.

I’m sure there are many other builds that many of you will point out. However, given other units available in the Horus Heresy army list. I really only see this unit as a sold fire support unit that moves in and clears out objectives for friendly units to come in and claim.

Conclusion
It is best to keep this guys cheap and simple. They will survive and kill in close combat, but it is best to have these guys shooting. Increasing the squad to a 10 man squad is a most since you will then be able to have 2 special weapons. It will then be best to give them a special veteran rule and weapons that will aid them in killing infantry and Troop choice units.

Pre-Heresy Death Guard Color Scheme Test Models

Edit note: I was able to find the Forgeworld Pre-heresy Painting Guide later today. I’ll gather the supplies and see how I do. Though I have to try and figure out by what they mean by high light: is it a line high light, layer high light, dry brush high light. I’m also going to try and find color matches in the Vallejo range since they are easy to mix and easier to thin.

With the release of the first Horus Heresy book from Forgeworld, I’ve been itching to make a Death Guard army. I’ve set the personal parameters that I would model the army using the old armors from Forgeworld, and to paint them in their classic legion color. However, I’ve hit an interesting problem with the Death Guard. It seems that there’s a prevailing idea that Death Guard armor is white

I’m personally not a fan of this color scheme for a number of reasons. Most of the fluff describe their armor as a grey, white color, or as one passage put it “the color of a stormy sky.” To me, that makes the armor look more like this:

The best way I can describe it is that it is the color of unpainted, untreated metal. Obviously, white does not fit that idea, picture, or description, and frankly, I don’t want and don’t like to paint white armor.

However, that are a few rare interpretations that do more of a cream color similar to what Forgeworld does for their Death Guard models as seen here:

I will be honest and tell you that I do like this color. It gives the model and therefore the army a bit more character than just plan grey or white. It also compliments the green a lot better and makes it stand out more.

As a result of this wondering and thinking, I decided to create two test models. One in the traditional and fluffy style of grey, and the other in the Forgeworld cream style. This is what I got.

I’ll start by saying that my lighting is not great. I do not own a “true light” light or whatever you call the lights that are true white lights. My personal thoughts on the models are that they came out not too bad. For the cream model, I feel like it doesn’t match what Forgeworld did. Either do a few more layers of light dry brushing with the white, or I’m just using the wrong color combinations and methods. The green I think I went too dark, and is probably not a match for what is used for Death Guard. I started with GW’s Catachan Geen/Vallejo Olive Grey and did a quick dry brush of Vallejo Olive Green. In the end, I’m feeling like it looks too much like Deathwing.

The grey model was simple, but seems to be lacking something. Perhaps I could have done another dry brush of a lighter shade before doing high lighting with the white. Also, I think the green is too light with this model. I’m sure things would look different if I actually finished both models, but I wanted to get an idea for armor color first since that what you see the most.

I would love any thoughts, comments, criticism, and tips. Let me know which one you like best.