This is the first instalment in a series of articles which aim to make people familiar with Forge World’s more recent books and the rules therein.
With the release of Imperial Armour Apocalypse Second Edition (IAASE. Hum. Even the acronym is a bit of a mouthful) and the infamous ’40k approved’ stamp, more and more tournaments are considering permittinging a limited amount of Forge World rules.
This series is looking to inform and educate the majority without access to the books. It will not pass comment on whether the individual ruleset should be used in tournament play. Remember that this is the opinion of only one man.
Without further ado, we’ll begin with our first book: The Badab War Part One
The Badab War is the most recent wholesale revolt of multiple Space Marine Chapters, in the Imperium’s histroy. Four entire Chapters, though one was nearly the size of a Legion, rebelled against Imperial rule. Heading the rebellion was Lugft Huron, Chapter Master of the Astral Claws. Over many years, Huron had increased the size of his Chapter far in excess of the standard thousand marines laid down by the Codex Astartes. Through careful distribution of his forces and manipulation of those sent to audit him, this was kept secret for at least a century. It is also thought that he was able to merge his Chapter with the Tiger Claws, though this was never proven. When Huron destroyed an Inquisitorial task force sent to audit his Chapter, he drew the Astral Claws, The Lamenters, The Mantis Warriors and The Executioners into a bloody war of secession
Forge World delivers a great back story for the entire campaign, giving a few short extracts on individual battles as well as an overall picture of the first half of the war, lavishly detailed with star maps and artwork. It examines the reasons for Hurons initial ‘betrayal for the good of the Maelstrom’ to his fall from grace, at the beginning of the war. The background follows the Imperium’s initial response and failures to gain ground, up until the Angstorm Incident, which was the tipping point of the war.
The book details the following chapters:
The Astral Claws
The Fire Hawks
The Marines Errant
The Fire Angles
The Howling Griffons
Accounts are given of their founding, some history, their disposition before the Badab war and selected battles they’ve taken part in. Accompanying the text are examples of marines and vehicles of the chapters, rendered in their colours through CAD. If you are a fan of any of these chapters, the Forge World writers really beef out their history and combat doctrine -developing them almost as much as the original 20- making this a must-read.
I’ll go through the characters by firstly giving you a little on background behind them and their disposition at the end of the Badab War. Following on from this I’ll go through:
- The points cost compared to a Company Captain.
- Their stat lines.
- Special Rules.
- I’ll explain any non-standard Special Rules or Wargear and give my opinion.
- Finally I’ll comment on it’s relative effectiveness.
Any non-standard rules and wargear will be highlighted in bold.
Lugft HuronOne of the more badass models out of Forgeworld
The Master of the Astral Claws, this are the rules for the character as he was during the war. He would take a meltagun to the chest at the end of the Siege of Badab and go on to become Huron Blackheart in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.
Points: 2.35 times the cost of a Company Captain
Profile: Exactly as a Chapter Master
Wargear: Terminator Armour, The Ghost Razors, Heavy Flamer and Iron Halo.
Special Rules: And They Shall Know No Fear (ATSKNF), Combat Tactics, Independent Character, Big Guns Never Tire, Living Legend, Shadowed Fate.
Big Guns Never Tire:
His Orbital Bombardment is Ordnance 2, otherwise it’s exactly the same as the Chapter Master’s Orbital Bombardment.
This is nice, note it’s not barrage so they scatter individually, doubling the chance that lovely Str 10 Ap1 blast will hit!
Allied Space Marines may use his leadership while he is in play (Modifiers apply as normal).
Can re-roll the size the initiative dice.
Good to see the Rites of Battle back in some form, makes an army slightly more reliable. Re-roll the initiative is a common rule now for Characters, but it’s no Vect!
The first time Huron would be removed form play as a casualty for any reason, leave him on his side, at the end of the turn this occurred in, roll a D6, on a 2+, he survives with one remaining wound. He is then placed as close as possible to where he fell. This only happens once.
Here’s half the money here! This is very sneaky, adds a lot of survivability to him as he’s not an Eternal Warrior. Lets him get to grips with larger monstrous creatures and if that Power Klaw lurking in that boyz squad snags him, he can survive it!
The Ghost Razors
Lightning Claws that force your opponent to re-roll successful invulnerable saves against wounds caused by them.
And here’s the other half of the money, With a decent WS, he’s hitting most things on a 3, re-olling 4’s to wound, forcing a re-roll on a successful Inv save.
I’d add him to a TH/SS squad, it gives them quite a bit of anti-infantry with the Heavy Flamer and 4 attacks on the charge with the Ghost Razors aren’t to be sniffed at. I find the Big Guns Never Tire very situational as you’re staying still with what is effectively a combat character. I’d be tempted to keep him on an objective with a scoring unit providing superior LD to the army and one turn of fire support. He’d be a great deterrent against outflanking units, chewing through a squad of Wolf Scouts on his own but maybe needing help with Snickrot and his friends.
Chaplain Dreadnought Titus
Chaplain of the Howling Griffon’s Chapter, he was destroyed fighting a rearguard action against the Executioners Chapter, allowing his Battle Brothers to escape
Points: 2.05 Times the cost of a Company Captain.
Profile: Same as a Venerable Dreadnaught, +1 Attack.
Wargear: Dreadnaught Close Combat Weapon (With either Storm Bolter or Heavy Flamer), Lascannon or Assault Cannon, Extra Armour, Smoke Launcher, Searchlight.
Special Rules: Living Icon of the Chapter, Venerable, Litany of Hate
Living Icon of the Chapter
Every squad within 12” of him is Fearless.
While it can be a disadvantage, fearless can anchor a flank rather well, combine this with venerable, he’s be able to hold his own, with some support.
Litany of Hate
He can re-roll failed ‘to-hit’ rolls when he charges.
This makes him particularly handy for attacking vehicles and mitigates a weakness dreadnaughts have while in combat.
As I stated previously, he could certainly anchor a flank with the fearless and makes a great counter assault unit. While the re-roll to hit diminishes one of the Dreadnaught’s greater weakness in combat, he is still slow and vulnerable to dedicated anti tank fire.
Captain Corien Sumatris
The Tyrant’s Champion, Captain of the Astral Claw’s Second Company. He was rumoured to be a member of the Tiger Claws chapter, which supposedly merged with the Astral Claws long before the start of the Badab War. He slew the previous Champion in a particularly bloody duel, a soldier who was the right hand of Huron himself. Thought dead at the end of the war, his body was never found, raising fears he is still fighting with his master.
Points: 1.65 Company Captains
Profile: +1 WS over a Company Captain
Wargear: Power Armour, Storm Shield, Spectre Pattern Bolter, Goldenfang, Digital Weapons, Frag and Krak grenades.
Special Rules: ATSKNF, Combat Tactics, Independent Character, The Tyrant’s Champion
Spectre Pattern Bolter:
An Assault 2 Bolt Pistol.
A nice addition for an assault character.
Master Crafted Power Weapon that confers two extra attacks when charging.
Again, nice, not a cookie cutter relic blade which everyone and their mother had these days, but not that powerful until you take into account the next rule
The Tyrant’s Champion
Furious Charge is conferred to both him and the squad he’s with. In addition all Codex Space Marine units (Not independent Characters) within 12″ of him have +1 WS.
Well then, here’s the meat of Sumatris. Hell, I’d pay 65 points to give this rule to a bog standard company champion. Aim at the densest part of the enemy with a few squads and pull the trigger!
This guy is well worth his points, I can see him easily rocking out of a Land Raider with some TH/SS Terminators. He is an excellent force multiplier for any squad, build a battle line around this guy or the counterattack element of your force and you won’t go wrong.
In the Grim Dark Future there is only….Mechadendrites?
‘The Alchemancer’ and Patriarch of the Forges of the Astral Claws. As Huron’s Chief Techmarine, Armenneus oversaw the logistics of supplying an ever increasing army of space marines and millitia. While his forges could not produce many of the more advanced weapons used, they were more than capable of meeting the demands of simpler items from the humble bolter to Rhinos and Leman Russ Battle Tanks. He carried his Lord’s body into the Maelstrom after the Siege of Badab.
Cost: 1.45 Company Captains Profile: Master of the Forge, +1 Attack Wargear: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Conversion Beamer, Indynabula Array, Frag and Krak GrenadesSpecial Rules: ATSKNF, Combat Tactics, IC, Battle Alchemistry, Blessings of the Omnissiah, Bolster Defenses, Lord of the Armoury.
Counts as being armed with two power weapons (Additional attacks added to profile), he has the counter attack USR, a 5+ Inv. save and a re-roll on the blessings of the Omnissiah.
This gives him a degree of survivability over normal Master of the Forges but not much. The Blessing of the Omnissiah is still on a 5+.
Gives one squad the ability to upgrade their Bolt Pistols, Boltguns or Storm Bolters to have the Poisoned (2+) ability.
This makes shooty terminators almost useable or just give it to a Tactical Squad to make them mini Sternguard. Note it’s one -not all- of the list.
I’d really like to have him sitting in a 10 man terminator squad with two assault cannons (Or Cyclones because they look cooler!) in base contact with a Rifleman dread in a fortified (3+ cover save) ruin. Shifting that core is no mean feat. He’s definitely a support character, sitting back and blasting away with his beamer but realistically he’ll be in a dev squad as addition fire support while he gives is poison to a tactical squad.
Lieutenant Commander Anton NearvaezThought I’d drop in some old-school right about now.
The Master Locum of the Marines Errant. The Marines Errant seem the be GW’s whipping boy chapter, they never seem to be winning, at all, ever. The only reason this guy is still alive at the end of the Badab War was because his ship, the Star Jackal, took a hiding from some Astral Claws. It was too slow to keep up with the rest of the High Command, who in turn were ambushed by some Mantis Warriors and slain to a man. Being the only Captain left, he was made de-facto Chapter Master. Everyone else was either dead or in stasis.
Points: 1.35 Company Captains
Profile: -1 Wound, -1 WS, From a Company Captain.
Wargear: Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol, Thundershock, Actinic Halo, Frag and Krak Grenades
Special Rules: ATSKNF, Combat Tactics, Independent Character, Dark Void Elite.
A master Crafted Plasma-Gun.
A BS 5 Plasma gun is handy to have.
Confers a 3+ Inv. Save, but if it’s failed, roll a D6, on a 4+ it continues to work, roll a 1-3 and it cannot be used for the rest of the battle.
A toned down shadow field for the man with only two wounds. I like change up in the concept and the rules are different but it’s just not that great.
Dark Void Elite
Anton and his squad get Scout and Move Through Cover and Void Hardened Armour (Only usable in games of Boarding Assault, more on that later)
This opens up the game for some fairly funny things such as Scouting terminators in Land Raiders and Scouting Vanguard Veterans in Rhinos. This really shines in games of Boarding Assault.
I really can’t shake the feeling that this guy is just an upgraded sergeant, which in all fairness is fairly loyal to his background. I would only take him if I was doing a Marines Errant themed army and even at that he’s not got a lot of use. I’d end up sticking him in a tactical squad in the back field, use him as a wound soak and a reliable Plasma carrier. He really shines in games of Boarding Assault where Void Hardened armour is a great bonus and Scout and Move Through Cover are extremely valuable.
Magister Sevrin Loth
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome this armour is.
This. This is the marine Tigerius wishes he could be. The Chief Librarian of the Red Scorpions, also called the Witch-Bane. Unusually for librarians, he would rather be in the crucible of battle than meditating on aspects of the Warp. He is often accompanied by a group of Honour Guard, normally reserved for Chapter Masters. They keep him from being overwhelmed, but he doesn’t notice, he’s too busy purging xenos and murdering heretics. He is one word: Badass. He could be found wherever Commander Culln was, offering his sage advice to the new Lord Commander and fighting in the thickest battles. He survives the Badab War.
Points: 2.05 Company Captains
Profile: Same as a Librarian’s, +1 WS.
Wargear: The Armour of Selket, Force Weapon, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades
Special Rules: Fearless, Combat Tactics, Independent Character, Master Psyker
Can use three Psychic powers a turn, but not the same once more than once. He can choose out of the following: Smite, Machine Curse, The Avenger, Quickening, Null Zone and Vortex of Doom
The Armor Of Selket
Confers an armour save of 2+, but he may use a psychic power to make this a 2+ invulnerable save, which canont be stopped by a Psychic Hood. This lasts until the controlling player’s next turn.
Bam. Dark Eldar, you can take your shadowfield back from whence you came, we have the best bit of protective wargear right here.
This guy is pretty dam good. The 2+ inv save, the psychic hood, (Everyone has psychic powers these days!) access to all the good powers, fearless, decent combat stats and did I mention the 2+ inv save? His one real weakness is lack of eternal warrior but most things will probably be dead once he’s done with them.
This concludes the first part on the Badab War series. Part two will come shortly with notes on the Campaign, ‘The Tyrant’s Legion’ army list and the remaining characters.
Please comment below with any comments and constructive criticism.
Thanks for reading!