Saturday, 3 January 2015

Review: Imperial Armour Volume 13

IA: 13…very, very good. There you go…

…OK OK, here is a proper review.

I got Imperial Armour Thirteen: War Machines of the Lost and Damned last month as a birthday present, and boy was I excited. This is the book that Chaos needed. Why should all the loyalists get all the fun? Inside this 203 page tome is a wide selection of chaotic contracts, both old and new, for us to use in our games of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse.

This example is one of the rare limited edition copies, limited to only 2000 worldwide, with a hefty price tag of £50 (which will admittedly only rise value). It came in a hardback slipcase, with a glossy bright chaos star embellishing the worn-look design. It is a lot sturdier than I thought, as I was expecting only a flimsy paper-card slipcase.

The LE copy also comes with a huge A1 double-sided poster: one side depicting a star map of chaos-occupied planets, the other being a larger version of IA: 13’s front cover. It is make from thick glossy card, so it should be quite durable, if heavy for a poster.

Now, onto the book. In typical Forge World fashion, it is a large, expensive and heavy tome of knowledge. This £45 book has a lot of fluff in it; a good third to one half of the book is all about the many machines Chaos uses, from captured tanks and rare archeotech all the way up to the Daemon Titans. It goes into far greater detail than GW’s Codexes, and if you are a story lover, this book is perfect for you, even if you don’t play.

The book contains rules for over 20 new units, each with a lot of variety and customisation. Newcomers to the Chaos line-up include the Sicaran (which is brutal), the Ferrum Infernus Dreadnought (Veteran Dreadnoughts), and the Fellblade, something which I prepared for months in advance, luckily enough. We don’t have any of the more unique variants on the Horus Heresy Tanks (such as the venerator and the Glaive) but even these simpler additions are more than enough to make Chaos armies both competitive and fun.

As well as the new units, this book also comes with a fully-fledged up-to-date version of the Renegades and Heretics list from the Siege of Vraks days. This list on its own is worth its weight in gold for anyone who played the Vraks campaign armies and wants something that can take on any modern codex. The list comes with unique war gear options and a tailored warlord traits list which offers many nice bonuses to the army

Essentially a hybrid of the old Vraks army list and the newer Codex: Astra Militarum, it combines newer rules with old. You still have random leadership, but have access to options and combinations to help tackle it, such as Enforcers and the fanatic rule. The list is based around cheap units, with many units being discounted over those found in codex: AM. They do start at BS2 though, but can be upgraded with Militia Training, bringing them in line with their Imperial cousins. Is also a list with endless customisation, with the addition of marks of chaos for most units and commander upgrades. You want to run a horde of mutants? Go ahead. Do you like the idea of a Dark Mechanicum force supported by daemon engines? Perfectly fine. Do you want an evil version of the Hotshot-totting elite Scions? Get cracking. You can make virtually any style of army using this list.

Whilst you do only get one HQ that can be taken as a warlord (Psykers and Enforcers cannot be your warlord), it has six possible upgrades which subtly change your army, bring with it a unique way of playing. Take for example the Dark Magos upgrade, which gives your leader a 3+ save, FNP and T4, access to the Decimator, Defiler (in addition to the Blood Slaughterer and Blight Drones you can take as well) and a range of extra super-heavies, and gives many units the option for FNP. This makes for a much tougher army with access to many deep-striking vehicles. Certainly not your average Guard army.

The list is lacking in a few areas, such as lack of access to some of the AM’s other tanks such as the Taurox/Prime, Manticore/Deathstrike, and weirdly some of the Malcador variants, namely the Twin-Lascannon variant and the Infernus. Still, it has a few new additions, such as access to the Hotshot weaponry, Marauder mercenaries, the Wyvern and Arvus squadrons.

The list has a ton of potential, and in a future post I will be looking at the Renegades and Heretics list in greater detail, taking apart each unit from this mini-codex.

All-in-all this is a must-buy for any self-respecting Chaos player. If you want some added punch, or want to start a Renegade and Heretics army of your own, this is perfect for you. To finish off, here are my top five new units from this book:

Chaos Sicaran-With a twin-linked six-shot rending main gun that ignores jink saves on a tough fast tank frame, this tank is perfect for gunning down the likes of Eldar shielded grav tanks and biker hordes.

Ferrus Infernum Dreadnought-The dreadnought we all wanted. An improved non-crazy Dread with access to more weapons and upgrades, including Siege Dreadnoughts and Daemon Dreadnoughts. Can also be marked for added punch.

Ogryn Berserkers-No longer self-harming, this unit packs a serious punch with a bigger unit cap. Now with added chaos hounds and marks of Chaos.

Chaos Fellblade-Yes! Yes! Yes! A great alternative to those who don’t want a titan or a Brass Scorpion, it comines tough armour, a lot of hull points and a beastly main gun that’s twin linked. That and many Lascannons and an upgrade making Melta near-useless.

Chaos Fire Raptor-as brutal as the imperial one, but more so. With the option to give most of its guns rending (Malefic Ammunition, which is an option for most units with heavy bolters or autocannons) and the ability to shoot separate targets, this attack craft will tear big holes in the enemy.

1 comment:

  1. I am enjoying this book very much. Shame it has quite a few rules mistakes I've noticed but ah well. You didn't even mention the legacies, some of which are great.

    Didn't even notice the infernus was missing! That is odd. I was annoyed that the baneblade variants weren't in there, although the standard renegade blanrblade has an aura of zealot which is very nice.