Wednesday 8 June 2022

Horus Heresy 2.0: Iron Warriors Review

 Our Horus Heresy review continues with the most bitter of all the legions, the Iron Warriors...

The Iron Warriors arrive with a very powerful Legion Trait; Legiones Astartes (Iron Warriors) adds +1 strength to your shooting and melee attacks when targeting Dreadnoughts, Automata (watch out Mechanicum!), Vehicles or Buildings. This is an incredibly potent rule, ensuring your heavy weapons are punching through those high toughness and armour stat-lines. Suddenly you're throwing strength 10 Las Cannons downrange, which makes units like Land Raiders and even the mighty Kratos feel very vulnerable!

Bitter Fury is an incredibly potent reaction, allowing you to shoot with one of your units twice in the opponent's Shooting Phase, after one of their units shoots one of yours. You can only shoot the unit which triggered the reaction, and your weapons Get Hot (or even hotter if they already Get Hot!); a truly nasty way of punishing the hubris of anyone who thinks they can outshoot the IVth Legion.

As with all Legions, the Iron Warriors come with three Warlord Traits; the three Tyrants of the Apolokron, Dodekathon and Lyssatra. Cool names aside, they each add something flavoursome to your army. The Tyrant of the Apolokron gains Fearless and will march into the teeth of enemy guns; his drawback is that he must attack the nearest enemy unit and attempt a charge at the nearest unit in the assault phase - Watch out for those pesky White Scars trying to lead you into a wild goose chase! The Tyrant of the Dodekathon is similar to the old 'Shatter Defences' rule, making terrain a dangerous proposition for your opponent to occupy, or indeed giving you (even more) bonuses against their fortifications. The Tyrant of Lyssatra is all about peace through overwhelming firepower - It allows you to add an additional shot to each of your weapons in the Warlord's unit at the cost of losing access to all Reactions other than Return Fire and Bitter Fury, which it must use if at all possible.

The Iron Warriors retain the option to have a Warsmith in their ranks; the upgrade for Praetors is rolled in with a Servo Arm, the Battlesmith Rule and a Cortex Controller, at a discount over last edition too!

The Lord of Iron has expanded the armoury of his warriors, with wider access to Graviton Crusher weapons and Shrapnel Weapons. Graviton Crushers provide options for your Characters to replace their Power Weapons for Graviton Maces - an AP3 weapon with Haywire. Thunder Hammers can be exchanged for Graviton Crushers, trading a bit of strength for Haywire, and Dreadnoughts can exchange their fists for Graviton Mauls, which are Brutal (2), Haywire weapons. It's almost as if the Iron Warriors have something against Dreadnoughts and Tanks!

Shrapnel Weapons are back and in a much bigger way, allowing you to take Shrapnel Pistols, Shrapnel Bolters, Shrapnel Cannons, and Shrapnel Gravis Cannons. For a small cost, these essentially trade a little bit of range and a pip of AP to gain the Pining rule. From what I've seen of 2.0, it looks like leadership, morale and pinning will be potent rules.

The IVth retain their signature Rites of War, the Hammer of Olympia and the Iron Fire. The Hammer of Olympia maximises your Shrapnel Weapons, allowing your granting your Tactical Squads the Fury of Olympia rule, which replaces their Fury of the Legion. You get to re-roll 1s for your army when using Shrapnel Weapons and most of your vehicles become immune to Crew Stunned and Shaken effects. It comes with the drawbacks that you must take either a Warsmith or Perturabo (but why wouldn't you anyway?!), and you're precluded from alternative deployments via Deep Strike, Outflank and Subterranean Assaults. Sadly, you don't get an additional Heavy Support choice anymore. 

The Ironfire continues to keep the focus on barrage weapons, allowing you unprecedented access to Legion Arquitor Squadrons, and making your Infantry Stubborn if they're close enough to your own blast templates. Your blasts become more accurate, scattering only D6 inches instead of 2D6, and your Infantry get to reroll their armour saves against Blast weapons, for those times where your artillery gets a little too danger close! You must take more Arquitors, Basilisks and Medusa than you do Cavalry type units, and you'll need to bring a Siege Breaker (who gives you access to tasty Phosphex!). Once again, you wont be Deep Striking, Outflanking or making Subterranean Assaults.

The Tyrant Siege Terminators make a glorious return, equipped with all three missile types (Frag, Krak and Flak), and the Frag Missiles being four shots means that you're no longer required to resolve 20 blast templates when firing a 10 man squad! They get to make the Interceptor Reaction for free, so remain a worthwhile addition to any list.

The Iron Circle are back in style, with Brutal (2) attacks, more wounds and the ability to gain the Feel No Pain (5+) rule when escorting the big man himself. They're got plenty of movement, meaning they can keep pace with the Primarch, and their Karceri Battle Shields stop them being killed outright by the Instant Death rule. 

Sadly the Iron Havocs are no longer a unit choice in the army, but with the Legiones Astartes Iron Warriors rule, all of your Heavy Support Squads get a bit of a boost to make up for it! Kyr Vahlen and Erasmus Golg are also absent from the list at present; they're still able to be made using the generic character choices, and perhaps we'll see them in a campaign pack down the line?

At last we come to the Primarch himself... Perturabo, Master of the Iron Warriors, The Lord of Iron, Big P, The Breaker, The Hammer of Olympia, Dirty Perty... he has many names, but one function... and that is to wreck the face of anyone who crosses you. He's had a substantial upgrade of stat line, and a significant point drop to boot! He can now fix your tanks with the Battlesmith (2+) rule, he's more resilient than ever at Toughness 7, and has hat a 50% increase in his attacks brining him up to 6! The Logos provides a surfeit of bonuses, and his quad-barrelled wrist guns now provide six twin-linked shots... not four... not eight... six shots from eight barrels! He's no longer the Deep Striking Relentless Strategist he once was, but Forgebreaker Desecrated provides a tasty boost, giving him Brutal (2) attacks with Exoshock (3+)!

I feel the Iron Warriors have come through to 2.0 very, very well. We've seen some bonuses to our special units and Primarch, and whilst we lost the Iron Havocs and some of the characters, I think we'll be a daunting army to face down. All in all, there's even more focus on guns. 

More guns. 

Bigger guns. 

Better guns. 

Would you have it any other way?

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