After taken a look at background and fluff of Traitor’s Hate it’s now time to dive into the rules segment. I’ll do a (not so) quick post on the more general dataslates and rules. That is Renegade Knights, vehicle squadrons for Chaos Vindicators and Chaos Predators, Khârn the Betrayer and the Khorne Lord of Skulls.
Renegade Knights and their household are an awesome addition to the armies of the Dark Gods. These Super Heavy Walkers are great and affordable. The rules are the same as the ones presented in the standalone game that Games Workshop released awhile back (no longer available). This means that they can be taken in a Forsworn Knight Detachment and be allied as Battle Brothers with Chaos Space Marines.
The detachment is 1-3 Renegade Knights and if you take three you get the Fallen Household command benefit – you gain Preferred Enemy (Imperial Knights) while all Imperial Knights gain Preferred Enemy (Fallen Household). Ok, that’s great if you know you’ll take first turn otherwise it’s quite the risk. I think you’re better off just taking one or two Knights.
The Renegade Knight is a more flexible variant than the Imperial ones. Wow, this doesn’t happen all to often. The flexibility lies in the ability to take the same ranged weapon on both arms – two Avenger Gatling Cannons (24 36″ s6 ap3 Rending shots!), two Rapid Fire Battle Cannons (4 72″ s8 ap3 Large Blasts) or two Thermal Cannons (2 36″ s9 ap1 Melta Large Blasts). All are great set ups and specialisation is the way to go when it comes to shooting. Especially combined with the carapace weapons you can get quite the shooting platform. Sure you’ll sacrifice the close combat Destroyer weapon but even without the D, the Knight is quite a monster in melee. Three attacks at I4 and S10 and stomps on top of that. A double shooty Knight is quite expensive but it will bring the pain, no doubt. But than again so will a cheap close combat one also do.
The Renegade Knight Dataslate is great. Sure they could have added a few relics, access to some Chaos vehicle wargear like Dirge Casters and just fleshed out the the whole faction a bit.
It was kind of expected that Chaos Space Marines would get vehicle squadron rules for the Chaos Vindicator and Predator. I know, it’s easy to get a bit bummed by the fact that the rules are exactly the same as the Loyalist Space Marines have but never mind that, let’s look at the rules for squadrons. The rules are simple, you can bring up to three in one unit and if you do bring three the magic happens. While you have three Predators in the squadron all vehicles gain Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter. Wow, that’s pretty good. You can reliably down vehicle and monsters alike for a pretty low cost. Of course the magic wears off once you drop below three Predators.
The Vindicators have the same rules mechanism – bring three and you get a special ability. The only difference is that all three Vindicators must have their big gun operational for the ability to work. Instead of all three firing a shot each they can combine fire – one of them fires at a target. The shot is resolved as a S10 Ap2 10″ Apocalyptic Blast with the Ignores Cover rule. Basically an I-have-no-friends-attack.
But you do pay premium points for it and the problem of range and delivery still remains. The 24″ range of the demolisher cannon is problem. You will have a hard time finding a target first turn and if you go second you won’t have three functional Vindicators left. Having them coming in from reserves is pretty good as you are more or less guaranteed a shot. But if you want to run a Vindicator Squadron you might want to give one of them the Maelstorm Rider Legacy of Ruin and Outflank the squadron. That would be scary to face.
Lord of Skulls
Every time I look at pictures of the Lord of Skull I find myself at a loss. Is it a cool model or not. I think I want it. I’ve saved up to buy it more times than I can remember. One of these days I’ll just go out and pick it up. It’d be a fun project no doubt. Even if that space age robo centaur of death looks weird. Unfortunately rules of the beast doesn’t help the sales department much.
It is expensive, clocking in just shy of a thousand points with all the upgrades you want. But the points aren’t the problem, the rules are. It’s a bit schizophrenic. Is it a shooting platform or a close combat one? It is too slow, striking at I3, to take on Knights and other big hitters. Odds are that it won’t be swinging that D-clever. It has a mediocre BS (3), too low to capitalise on standard Hades Gatling Cannon (12 S8 Ap3 shots) so you want to grab the Skullhurler (10″ blast, S9, Ap3, reroll successful saves) instead, bring you closer to those 1000 points.
It has some survivability with 9HP, av13, It will not die and a 5++ Invulnerable save. If it loses HP it gain more attacks. Movability is good too, 12″ like any Super-Heavy walker, it even have Fleet. It has Daemonforge and a Hellstorm flamer too. All good. But for a thousand points you expect a lot.
The Lord of Skulls is a Super-Heavy Walker but it cannot stomp. It can Thunderblitz just like Super-Heavy Vehicle instead. Fair enough. But does this mean that you can Thunderblitz out of combat? A Super-Heavy Vehicle can’t be lock in combat. Did the FAQ clear this up? I think you can but that’s just me guessing.
For the third time, the Lord of Skulls is left wanting. It badly needs a points reduction. As it stands Renegade Knights, Chaos Knights and Kytan Engines are far superior Super-Heavies for Chaos Space Marines.
Khârn the Betrayer
Mr. Tassels himself. The most flamboyant massmurderer of the far future is back with a new kick-ass model and an updated Dataslate. It isn’t much of an update though. Nothing essential has change, i.e. he didn’t get Eternal Warrior or a cracking invulnerable save. They just cleared up a bit of the wording bringing his rules in line with the Draft FAQ.
Khârn is what he is. Still fragile and slow but if he get to swing he’ll bring down most anything – characters, invisible units, vehicles and even Knights too. On the charge he strikes at I5 and he dishes out 7 attacks with s7 ap2 Armourbane that hits on 2+ re-rolling ones. You do the math. Stuff dies when Khârn is in close combat.
For no more than 160 points you get awesome psychic defence (Deny on 2+) and a threat that can’t be ignored. Did I mention that the model is awesome? And he gives you the excuse you need to scream Kill! Main! Burn! at the top of your lungs.
All in all, a decent set of rules. Nothing sensational or too unexpected but solid.