Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Astral Claws Chapter Tactics and Characters

 We finally arrive at the biggest players in the Badab War, the Astral Claws. Masters of rapid assault and encirclement tactics, the Astral Claws set off the largest Imperial Civil War since the Horus Heresy when they overstepped their boundaries and took control of their own empire surrounding the Maelstrom.

The Astral Claws display Reckless Courage, which gives them Stubborn and means that they can never voluntarily fail a Morale check. While I wasn’t crazy about Stubborn when the Executioners had it, I do find myself missing it. It gives your army a tremendous amount of reliability, though it does hinder your ability to use And They Shall Know No Fear to the fullest. In addition, thanks to Rapid Attack and Encirclement, Astral Claws Bikes have Skilled Rider and their Fast Skimmers gain Scout. While it’s not quite as good as the White Scars Chapter Tactics due to the lack of Hit and Run, the Astral Claws can still run a very strong Bike list with outflanking Land Speeders.

Lugft Huron

Lugft Huron, the Tyrant of Badab, was the Chapter Master of the Astral Claws during the Badab War. He has the standard statline of a Chapter Master in Terminator armor, but is armed with the Ghost Razors, an AP2 lightning claw that forces the enemy to re-roll successful invulnerable saves, and a heavy flamer. Both of these are very handy for an aggressive character, but the Ghost Razors stand out since Marines no longer have Null Zone.

Lugft Huron was a master of artillery barrages, and his orbital strike fires two large blasts due to the rule The Big Guns Never Tire. In another strange Forgeworld rules quirk, Huron explicitly has to stand still to fire the barrage even though his Terminator armor grants him Relentless. Because he’s a Living Legend, any friendly Space Marine unit on the table may choose to use his LD 10. This is quite handy as it means you can save the points on Veteran Sergeants and choose to use Huron’s LD 10 when you want a squad to hold or use LD 8 when you want them to fall back. Shaowed Fate gives Huron a bit more durability, as he has a 2+ chance to return with a single wound the first time he is killed, no matter what kills him (even D weapons).  Finally, his Warlord trait gives all friendly units arriving from reserve Counter-Attack on the turn they arrive. Kind of handy, but Astral Claws don’t have access to mass Outflanking units so they won’t get that much use out of it.

Lugft Huron is kind of a Marneus Calgar-light. He’s excellent in combat once you get him there, and he adds some to the army as a whole with flexible leadership buffs. In both cases, he’s not as good as Calgar, but he doesn’t cost as many points either. Being able to fire two orbital strikes at the same time is also a nice trick, but still not terribly reliable. I don’t expect many players to design an army around using Lugft Huron, but he’s a decent choice if you’re already playing Astral Claws.

Captain Corien Sumatris
Corien Sumatris is the Tyrant of Badab’s personal champion and Captain of the Astral Claws 2nd Company. He has a Captain’s statline, but sacrifices a point of BS for an extra point of WS. He carries a storm shield, a master-crafted power sword that gives him Rage, a storm bolter with a 12” range, and digital weapons. All in all, a good set of weapons for an assault character.

Further helping him in assault, Sumatris also has Furious Charge. Due to The Tyrant’s Champion, he grants Furious Charge to any squad he joins and gives any friendly unit (but not Independent Characters) +1 WS as long as they’re within 12” of him. Finally, his Warlord trait gives you a Victory Point for every enemy character he slays in a challenge. While this sort of trait is situational, this is the broadest version of the trait and the most useful across a range of circumstances.

Corien Sumatris is a strong assault character for his points. While he doesn’t have great durability, he performs well in assault both against enemy units and characters. Just keep him away from enemies with 2+ armor saves. He also gives a localized but strong buff to assault units around him. He’s at his best in a Land Raider leading a strong assault unit such as Honor Guard or Assault Terminators.

Armenneus Valthex

Armennius Valthex is the Astral Claws’ Patriarch of the Forges. He has the Master of the Forge statline with an extra attack, and he wears the standard artificer armor and has all of the standard rules of a Master of the Forge. He’s armed with a conversion beamer as well of the Indynabula Array, which grants him two power swords (which provide the extra attack in his profile), a 5+ invulnerable save, and Counter-Attack.

Valthex brings Battle Alchemistry, which gives one friendly Marine unit Hellfire Shells. This can apply to bolt pistols, bolters, or storm bolters, meaning that it would make a large unit of Terminators pretty terrifying. In a pinch, it can provide some extra killing power to a Tactical squad. Finally, his Warlord trait makes all Dreadnoughts of any type denial units as long as they are within 6” of Valthex. I’m not sure how useful this will be because if they are close enough to deny an objective and within 6” of Valthex, than Valthex should be able to move close enough to deny the objective himself.

Valthex is a worthwhile upgrade if you plan on taking a Master of the Forge. He’s a bit more survivable, better in combat because he keeps his power weapons as well as his conversion beamer, and giving one of your units a significant upgrade to their firepower. If you’ve ever used Sternguard, you know that the hellfire rounds are extremely useful in many situations. He’s 35 points more than a standard Master of the Forge with a conversion beamer, but he’s a pretty cheap HQ even so.

Arch-Centurion Carnac Commodus

Carnac Commodus is a type of character otherwise unique to the Tyrant’s Legion army list. Essentially, he has a Librarian statline with -1LD and +1 attack. He’s very basically armed with standard Marine equipment as well as void hardened armor, iron halo, and a Rending +1S chainsword.

Any Command Squad that Commodus takes also counts as having void hardened armor, which is useful if you’re playing Zone Mortalis games. He also conveys Crusader, which is fairly useful for assault squads. His Warlord Trait allows him and any friendly Marine unit involved in the same combat to re-roll Sweeping Advances.

Other than in Zone Mortalis games, Carnac Commodus doesn’t do much for your army. He’s a good combatant for his relatively low points cost but you can probably get more out of a Librarian or Chaplain.

1 comment:

  1. Its about time you got to the good guys!!!! lol. Carnac is also the BEST choice when fielding a Tyrant's Legion army, as the basic centurion is little more than a 2-wound sergeant who has to pay 20 points (for no apparent reason) for a power weapon.


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