Thursday 9 June 2022

Horus Heresy: White Scars Preview

Hello Bunnies!

Today we move swiftly into another legion, The White Scars. I love the lore, fluff and characters of the White Scars and I have very nearly started working on building a force of them. However I’m never quite sure they will play the way I want them to on the tabletop. Charging bikes, circling my opponent and cutting down my foes with swords! They have always seemed to fit a shooting army as opposed to close combat. Let’s jump into the new rules and see if they will fit what I’m after. 

As a note, along with all the other legions, if it doesn’t have a model it doesn’t have rules. As such a few of the previous options for the Scars are now gone. 

We also can’t talk Scars without talking about the changes to bikes and Jetbikes. Both have lost toughness 5. Jetbikes have an extra wound now but have lost the 2+ armour save. They both have gained hit and run and the point costs have also dropped some, meaning more bikes for your army. Bikes can all have power weapons and jetbikes can take any number of the special guns. Jink is also completely gone as well, there are several ways to get a special Shrouded save but not as prevalent or as easily achieved as jink. This really feels like a wait and see how they actually play on the tabletop but initial impressions leave you feeling like they have lost much more than than have gained. 

Legion Trait: Swift of Action

If you’ve paid any attention to the internet then the White Scars legion trait is not a hit with the populace. You gain +1 to you movement characteristic and a bonus to rolling to go first or seize the initiative. When you compare this to other legions that get bonuses to wounding or shooting this does feel underwhelming. It is fluffy, but when you will mostly be using bikes and jetbikes that extra inch almost seems pointless given that they can move 14 and 16 inches anyway. The best bit is for infantry where the extra inch moves you up a bracket on the charge modifier table, gaining a +1 to charge distance but White Scars armies don’t tend to have much in the way of infantry. The bonus to going first or seizing could be useful if the first turn becomes super important to winning. Going first and being able to move so far could lead to a lot  of charging first turn possibly. Again seeing it in the wild on the tabletop will be the only way to decide how it actually performs. 

Advanced Reaction: Chasing the Wind

This Reaction happens in the movement phase once per game. When a unit moves within 12 of you, you can activate this reaction and when doing so lets you move your unit a normal move, but not run. This could be useful to get a unit away from a possible charge or completely reposition to throw your opponent off balance. This seems ok and again I feel like seeing it in action rather than theory will be best, as reading it feels a touch underwhelming.

Warlord traits:

Heroes Never die - Loyalists only. This seems situational and either really good or of little to no use. The warlord and unit gain stubborn, which is useful. If the warlord dies all of your units that can draw line of sight to the warlord at that point become fearless for the rest of the game. It almost feels like you would be best off gather your army close and getting your warlord killed would be the best way forward! I’m left thinking that it is unlikely to be much use very often. 

Born to the Saddle - Either. Cavalry ignore difficult terrain and get a 4+ invun vs dangerous terrain wounds. Seems more helpful than the one above and as you no longer get an armour save against dangerous terrain could open some more options to your army. 

The Forgotten Sons - Traitor only. This relies on having a Sons of Horus Allied detachment. Fluffy for those who turned against the Khan but really requires you building your army in a particular way. 

Rites of War:

Chogorian Brotherhood - The standard Rite from 1.0 has been updated and changed. It still makes bikes and jetbikes troops and most importantly gives them the Line sub-type. You can also take both as elites as well but those ones don’t gain Line. Infantry gain outflank. Infantry must be in reserve unless aboard a transport and you can’t take any heavy support, with the exception of flyers. Overall it looks like it has improved some what over the 1.0 version. I suspect this will still be the standard for the Scars armies. 

The Sagyar Mazan - This is aimed fully at a creating a force around those that turned away from the Khan. Ebon Keshig become troops but don’t gain line. All infantry gain the Kharash rule (opponent can’t score VPs for killing the unit) and Feel no Pain (5+), when charging they gain fearless as well. You can’t put units into reserve and only heavy support options on foot can be taken. Very infantry heavy and a very strong theme for playing a traitor Scars army. It could prove to be an interesting Rite of War but not sure how much it will be seen. 


Shamshir Jetbike - Similar to the previous version, basically the same as a Scimitar but has the scatterbolt launcher instead of any other weapon. Oddly it is slower than a Scimitar at 15 inches (with the extra inch from legion trait) compared to 17. The scatterbolt causing pinning which I think will be quite useful this edition as it prevents units from reacting. 

Power Glaive - Now just 1 profile as opposed to the different for using 1 or 2 handed. +1 strength and AP3. It does have breaching(5+), meaning AP2 on a 5+. Looks solid but the lack of AP2 for using 2 handed is a bit of a loss. 

Cyber-Hawk - A model with a Cyber hawk can chose a unit with 24 inches of it at the start of any turn. Shooting attacks re roll 1s to hit and gain +1 to charges against them. I like this and seems like a great include for all character that you can! 

Stormseer - Centurion upgrade to get a psyker with unique powers. One of the powers is a shooting attack, the other is buff to give Fleet to unit. Fleet is very good now! I like this upgrade, nice to see the Scars gain access to the storm.

Jaghatai Khan:

He still has his Jetbike option, fingers crossed for the model! His warlord trait gives all infantry and cavalry Furious Charge as long as they have moved. Great army wide buff and encourages the moving and charging down of your opponents the Scars are famed for. His invulnerable saves have been fixed this time around, he now has a 3+ in the movement and assault phase and 4+ in shooting phase. When you hold him in reserve you can choose what turn he shows up on without rolling, this applies to any unit he has joined and again unit included in a Flanking Assault he is part of (Flanking Assault lets you gather outflanking units into you reserve group and they all arrive together). His weapons are good, The White Tiger Dao looks great. His jetbike is also fixed and looks pretty good, providing a model shows up for it! I am really liking the Khan and what he can do for the army and building an army around his abilities could really play into your hands well. 

Golden Keshig:

These guys look pretty good overall. The best news is the Lance is now strength 10 and Brutal (3), meaning 3 wounds per successful wound, it is also initiative 8! The downside of the Golden Keshig is that for some reason they have the heavy sub-type, which means they can’t run. This negates the best way to get a Shrouded save and seems like an odd move. They do at least have 2+ armour and 2 wounds. 

Ebon Keshig:

These look solid, no weapon skill 5 unfortunately but they do have 3 attacks base, along with the terminator extra wound. Stubborn and Feel no Pain are nice. Your opponent also doesn’t score any VP for killing them either. Overall they seem solid, perhaps more along the traitor theme than the loyalist but they still have a place. Plus the models are awesome! 

Kyzagan Speeder:

Speeders are now wound based rather than armour values. My experience is that speeders still die easily and have little in the way of protection from shooting except a higher toughness value. How this change works out in the long run will be interesting to see. They can at least fire all the weapons now and have Hit and Run and Outflank. They will be solid addictions to most Scars armies. 

Qin Xa: 

Has a very similar profile to before. He can still take the Keshig command squad and his weapon has remained basically unchanged. His warlord trait lets you bring in unit or group (Flanking, deep strike assaults) into the game without rolling for it. He seems very much as good as he did before, his main downside is fitting in with Jetbikes and bikes. However his warlord trait is fantastic if you go down a reserve heavy list. 

One other thing of note is the Ravenwing for the Dark Angels, it is very similar to the White Scars legion trait with units gaining +1 move, however tanks instead gain +2 move. They don’t have the benefit of first turn and seizing, but I find myself thinking that the Ravenwing might have a better trait than the Scars, almost feels like a extra slight against them. 

Overall I am left excited and disappointed all at the same time by the rules they have received. The changes to the bikes and jetbikes could be game changing for Scars armies, either being good or proving to be a downgrade. The legion trait and warlord traits are a bit lacklustre compared to other legions. The Rites of War are both solid. Khan and Qin Xa look great and the potential for reserve heavy Flanking Assaults could be really interesting. The others are good and will no doubt be found in many a White Scar list. Ultimately I am left unsure as to whether I want to go ahead with the legion or not. Plastic bikes and jetbikes could change my mind though!! 

Happy gaming!


1 comment:

  1. Hey what book is this shown in the pictures I really like like and and would to know the name of it so I can pick it up?