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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Emperor's Children Special Units (Re-Written as of Feb 2016FAQ,recommended Re-Read)

++EDIT: this post has been majorly re-written in light of the February 2016 FAQ (primarily over Terminator armour becoming able to Sweeping Advance). If you've read this post before and you like Emperor's Children I would re-read this post!++


I am finally back, sorry for the lack of new content on the blog recently, having just finished with mock Exams and being midway through my break I've not found much time for writing, but never the less, I am back and I bring the specialists of the Emperor's Children with me. So without further ado, let's get started

Special units for the Emperor's Children Legion in the Forge World Horus Heresy Expansion.
Kakophini: right off the bat these guys are specialist heavy support marines with early sonic weapons that preceded noise marine weapons. With Heavy 2 gets hot weapons they're not amazing. These weapons, however, have a special rule where if one or more unsaved wounds are caused by a weapon with this rule, the target must take a leadership test with a -LD modifier squad equal to the number of wounds suffered. If the test is passed there is no effect. If the test is failed the target unit takes D6 instant death wounds that cannot be saved against. This makes these guys amazing against Mechanicum Monstrous Creatures (Automata) and Multi-wound Legion terminator and Characters.


If taken as part of the newer (book 6) Emperor's Children Rite, they become Troops (therefore scoring) which is amazing AND they gain RELENTLESS which makes Kakophoni amazing. These guys will pretty much outshoot any other troops at a better range, the only issue is that they will occasionally blow themselves up. Clocking in at 270 for a full squad with Artificer armour and a Phoenix Spear on the Orchestra they're pretty cheap for the amount of damage they can do to elite units. 

I'd buy these guys a rhino to be honest, gives them some turn one survivability. Turn one drive into cover, turn two, get out with relentless and open fire.

-Footnote- With the new Legion rule (+1 Initiative on the charge) and sonic Shriekers stock these guys can actually hold up well in an assault. Don't run them head first into combat but don't be afraid to charge a weakened squad after shooting them (relentless). 


Priority targets for these guys should multi-wound models; Automata, 2 wound legion terminators and Independent characters and their squads in order to get the maximum effect from their weapon's instant death bonus wounds.

Also as a note, these guys are more deadly in shooting than an equivalently priced tactical squad (10 kakophini vs 15 tacticals with extra swords and sonics)



Pheonix Guard Terminators. Ok, right away these guys have NO ranged weapons. They do have phoenix spears which means that these guys really shouldn't be in combat with other terminators that have 2 wounds, unless they have already been reduced in numbers (ie Justaerin and Deathshroud) as they become ap3 in the second round of combat. These guys do have one interesting (awesome) benefit; they are equipped with Tauros pattern terminator armour, which means that they are able to SWEEPING ADVANCE!! While this seems awesome the draw back from the Pheonix spears is still a major issue for them. 

This unit also has a special rule which confers +1 initiative in the first round of combat (this stacks with the updated legion rule for I6 on the charge (I7 on the Champion) which is awesome as it allows you to take full advantage of the Ap2 round of combat with their Pheonix Spears in killing the enemy before they get to strike back and to make sweeping advances easier (I7+D6+D3)

With Weapon Skill 5 they hit on 3's, go before their opponents, and then SUPER SWEEPING ADVANCE.


The major issue with these guys I have is over killing the enemy and getting iced by plasma, Melta or Medusa guns the next turn. To counter this make sure you've killed those threats before you charge in. I like to but these guys in a Caestus Assault Ram giving me a Large blast Melta shot before I disembark. My lists also have Mortis Contemptors with Kheres Assault Cannons which I use to kill threat tanks and Phoesphex Rapiers to kill off special weapon squads (and pretty much EVERYTHING (with 3+ saves)) Plan and act at least 1 turn ahead of the game and maintain Target Priority/Saturation on threat units until the offending unit is removed. Bottom line, If your Terminators will be at risk, don't disembark them.


Enter the final Emperor's Children special unit; the Palatine Blades. More WS5 marines armed with bolt pistols (don't forget) and charable sarbers, why are these guys good, well they can ALL opt to take Power swords (great for anti-PA as they will get 3 attacks each on the charge each all at ap3  {pistol & melee weapon+charge bonus+base=3}) hitting on 3s or Phoenix spears for ap2 anti-elite attacks (two handed so only 2 attacks on the charge)

Instead of giving them Pheonix Spears I'd take power swords as this unit should be used for taking out power armour units, not terminators, leave that for your more heavily armoured units and artillery.

These guys are like improved Veterans as due to the new Legion rule they're I5 in the charge with super cheap Power Swords (each power sword cost a melta bomb) 

As chosen warriors they can ALL opt to accept challenges  (protecting your sergeants in artificer armour from ap2 weapons) (but as they are not characters they do not get the extra +1 initiative for being in a challenge, much sad face). 

Palatine Blades can also take jump packs for improved movement and hammer of wrath attacks, which making them a better version of the yet to be created VANGUARD VETERANS. (I like doing this in a Angels Wrath or Drop assault Vanguard rite of war army with Eidolon as it allows them to repeatedly benefit from both the Shriekers and Pheonix Spears in addition to Eilidon's charging benefits  [hit and run for jump pack infantry])


Giving them jump packs is a great way of avoiding having these guys removed from the table before they do anythingThe increased movement reduces the amount of firepower that can be directed at them as they cover the table faster and they can get stuck in much faster than if they were footslogging (and a Rhino transport does not allow assaults after disembarking leaving them vulnerable for a turn) 

These models are vulnerable to fire -compared to terminators or other legion elites- due to their 3+ armour and one wound each so they should either have jump packs so they can get stuck in faster or a transport vehicle preferably with assault vehicle (land raider comes to mind).

The reason you would take this unit over Pheonix Terminators is that they have shooting potential, can be transported in cheaper vehicles in larger numbers and can be given Jump Packs. Always get rid of charnable sabres, unless you need a meatshield body. I would jet packs or an assault vehicle transport (LR, Storm Eagle etc) on this unit. I'd give the sergeant Artificer Armour and Melta Bombs just to tank wounds and provide flexibility to the unit. 


Keep in mind this unit is either for removing 3+ armour units of infantry (Power Swords) or units that have 2+ armour but no invulnerable save (when given Spears), not both! You need to pick one and tailor them to that chosen task. Also, these guys are NOT FOR REMOVING TERMINATOR SQUADS! Who will have ap3 or better for cheaper than you!

Also keep in mind this unit is very expensive and gets more so with Jet Packs and aren't scoring!



That concludes my review of Emperor's Children special units. 

Would love to hear input and/or thoughts from you guys on my lists and any of the ideas within these tactica posts. As always check out my other posts for more Horus Heresy reviews and Tactica. 
We've got Death Guard and Salamanders up next, post in the comments anytime with what legions you would like to see me review next.

Thanks for reading, Argel-Tal out.