A solid troop foundation is important in any army. These core units can be customised just as much as every other unit (but to a weaker degree) and are often the cheapest units available to you. Today, I’m looking at the troops choices in Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen: War Machines of the Lost and the Damned.
First off we have the platoon. It is pretty much the standard guard platoon found in Codex: Astra Militarum, apart from a few key differences:
-squads start off with no armour. They can choose to buy sub flak armour (6+) or Flak armour.
-squads start off with BS2. They can upgrade to BS3 via Militia Training.
-squads can go up to 20 models, 30 if you choose Master of the Hordes as a HQ upgrade
-like most units in this book, they have a random leadership value from the Uncertain Worth rule.
-there is no conventional platoon command squad. Instead, one of the squads is elected. The elected squad’s champion is upgraded to a demagogue for free (+1 attack) and any vox in the squad is upgraded to a command vox net for free. Other than that it is the same as a normal squad).
This unit is perfect for anyone wanting to run a large horde, as in it’s base form it offers players a cheap and potentially large unit. With a base unit of 30 only costing 90 points pre-upgrades, and access to armour, special weapons and transports, there is a lot of potential here.
What chaos army would be complete without mutants? This squad is the cheapest of all units, with a base cost of only 30 points for a unit of ten. The key downside though is that Mutants have no options, apart from the ability to choose either Laspistol/CCW, Lasgun or Shotgun, and take a 6+ save. Only the Mutant Champion can take any extra kit. They can be taken in units of up to 50 models, allowing for one the largest single squads in the book (Platoons don’t count, since an individual squad can only go to 30).
The squad does get an interesting feature, Curse of Mutation. On the roll of a dice, you have a chance of receiving one of three upgrades, each of which comes with a pro and a con:
-Horrific Disfiguration: Fear, but reduces nearby friendly unit’s leadership if they do not have that rule.
-Unnatural senses: Acute Senses and Scout, but all heavy, barrage and blast weapons targeting the unit also cause Blind.
-Horns, Claws and Fangs: Hammer of Wrath which is done at +1 STR. Must assault if it can.
It is a nice cheap unit, but not ideal for those who want options and reliability. Still, it is a potentially fun unit and very thematic, especially for Khorne and Nurgle forces.
Next up is the “elite” Troops choice. They are more expensive, at 35 points for just five starting models, and can only go up to ten models. They benefit from a natural BS3 and WS 4 (a bit redundant on guard models) and a 5+ save, but cnnot take any heavy weapons (they can still take specialist weapons). Nothing too spectacular at this stage. What sets them apart is that they can take one veteran upgrade. Choices include Scout, Carapace Armour, Tank Hunters and Deep Strike, plus a few more. This is a great chance to make a specialised and fun unit with a tailored job to do.
In all honesty, they are best taken as Grenadiers (15 Pt extra), via the Bloody Handed Reaver HQ perk. This gives them BS4 and Hotshot weaponry, giving you your own version of Tempestus Scions. The AP3 of the Hotshot guns really helps when taking on Power Armoured foes.
Finally we have zombies. Much like the Codex: CSM variety, they are slow, fearless troops with Feel No Pain and no options (other than adding more zombies.) What is different is that they have the Warp Plague rule. Every time you defeat a unit and either destroy it or flee, you can add D3 extra zombies to the unit, which can bring it over starting strength. If successful, this is a neat thematic way of bringing back some of your models.
That is all for today’s troops analysis. Next up: fast attack.