Thursday, 19 February 2015

2000pts Sons of Horus - Playtest and Tweak

G'day all, Keepy here with a quick revisit from the previously posted army list for the Sons of 
Horus. The original army list can be found here.

So I had my good mates Buzz and the Dice Wizard himself Braden (from the Dicewizard blog) come over for a friendly playtest game on the Istvaan III board (which is still a WIP.... why do I have so many half finished projects?!) and play test my SoH list as well as give Buzz's Dark Angels list a run.

Buzz's list went something like this:

+++  2000pts Dark Angels (using Stubborn) +++


145pts Legion Chaplin w/ Artificer Armour, Jump Pack, Power Fist, Refractor Field

145pts Primus Medicae w/  Jetbike, Meltabombs, Refractor Field


65pts Apothecarian Detachment (x1) w/ Artificer Armour, Power Weapon


380pts Legion Assault Squad (x9) w/ Combat Shields, Meltabombs, 2x Power Weapons, Sgt w/ Artificer Armour, Pair of Lightning Claws

240pts Legion Tactical Squad (x14) w/ Close Combat Weapons, Sgt w/ Artificer Armour

Fast Attack

170pts Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron (x2) w/ 2x Cyclone Missile Launchers, 2x Mulitmeltas

300pts Legion Jetbike Sky Hunter Squadron (x6) w/ 2x Plasma Cannons, Meltabombs

270pts Legion Storm Eagle Assault Gunship w/ 2x Twin Linked Lascannons, Twin Linked Heavy Bolter

Heavy Support

135pts Legion Sicaran Battle Tank 

150pts Legion Vindicator w/ Combi-Bolter, Machine Spirit

+++ End List +++

Modus Operandi: The Chaplin would attach to the Assault Squad to make them Fearless and also give them hatred. They would look for targets of opportunity or go tank hunting with Meltabombs. The Medicae Primus would attach to the Jetbike Skyhunters, giving an already tough unit FNP. The Tactical Squad loads up into the Storm Eagle and provides aerial fire support as well as a scoring unit which can be used for last minute objective grabbing. The Land Speeder would outflank, and put some hurt on the rear armour of tanks or use Frag Missiles to hit squads. The Vindicator could move 12" and still shoot it's Demolisher Cannon thanks to Machine Spirit, giving it a heap of range, and the Sicaran was there for all round dakka / AA duty.

As you can see the Dark Angels are very mobile, and can put out a fair bit of dakka whilst still being choppy. It wasn't until I put out all my models that I realised that the SoH list was missing something, I couldn't put my finger on it but it just looked light on the ground. I won't go into a full battle report, but the key points / events were:

  • The Sicaran and Venator are nearly permanent choices in a conventional 30k list. The Venator popped most of the armour and the Sicaran drew a heap of fire, and also denied the Javelins jink saves which brought about their end. In saying that, Buzz rolled badly whilst trying to outflank them, and they turned up auto on Turn 4. Then he rolled up the outflank side with no one on it. Le sigh.
  • The Seeker's Dreadclaw scattered onto terrain and went into ongoing reserves. They showed up on Turn 2 gunning for the Jetbikes who were Deathmarked, but they were locked in combat with one of my Tactical squads... so they intercepted the DA Assault Squad instead, killing all bar three and the Chaplin. There were no other targets available so they held an objective, the Dreadclaw went flying off to either flame units or act as an area denial piece for the Storm Eagle.
  • The DA charged their Jetbikes into the first Tactical Squad which was holding an objective, the Medicae Primus and the Tac Sgt ended up in a dual for four turns and could not kill each other (many lols and angry shouting at dice). This left both squads tar pitted until it turned into a massive battle royale with both the remains of the DA Assault squad and the full strength second SoH Tactical squad charged in! It was pretty funny to watch and play with this mass of 50 or so bodies fighting around an objective.
  • The SoH Landraider really didn't achieve anything and the cheap version I purchased didn't have the assault rule. So instead of saving me points for other things, my counter charge unit could not counter charge, making the command squad kind of redundant as they could not reach any combats without being shot to pieces first. 

So that was a general summary of what happened. SoH managed to get a win, but it was neck and neck until the bottom of Turn 5. It would have been a different game if those speeders came on. GG Buzz! Mucho fun. From the game I learnt a few things about my list and some glaring faults with it. After the game Buzz, Braden and myself sat around for a while and discussed a few options with how to improve the list. Some observations and changes were:

  • The Command Squad in a Proteus Landraider is a very ineffective way to run them. Not only could they not assault out of the vehicle, but the 7th Ed FAQ also means that the Legion Standard does not effect models outside the vehicle like it used to. They need to be dismounted for others to benefit from the 6" Fearless bubble. The fix? It worked out for the command squad to ditch the Landraider and take Jetbikes was 25pts cheaper. Easy fix! This left a big points gap for the Praetor who had to upgrade to have a Jetbike, and while I was at it added a Powerfist. I will discuss where the points came from shortly, but the reason for the Powerfist is so that with a Paragon Blade, you have two specialist weapons and gain an extra attack, as well as a good anti-tank option for mulit-hits, unlike the single shot Meltabomb.
  •  Legion Tactical Squads at full strength of twenty are rather unwieldy. They can put down a heap of fire and have excellent overwatch capability but it is not very often you have all twenty in rapid fire range or LoS of your target for maximum effectiveness for Fury of the Legion. The good thing was that if you took a few casualties, it was hardly noticed from damage output. Rather than keep the big squads, each one got cut by five men freeing up 100pts to use elsewhere (see Command Squad above).
  • Legion Seekers did well but once the spent their combi-weapons they ran out of punch. It was nice to have BS 5 and preferred enemy on a chosen unit, but as soon as that target is unavailable or destroyed then they really don't have a job that they can do effectively. These are going to be replaced with a 9 man Legion Tactical Support Squad with Plasmaguns, mounted in a separate fast attack choice Dreadclaw. No BS 5 or Deathmark rule, but you can fire them all day until your hands melt off (which will no doubt happen on numerous occasions).
  • Apothecaries were solid. They saved about 50% of the casualties that would have been thanks to some good rolls and really kept the Tactical Squads in the fight. With the Command Squad going to Jetbikes, it will cost too much for a Medicae Primus to attach to them, to do so would cost me a unit or vehicle which I am not prepared to drop at this stage. I also dropped two of the Augury Scanners from the the two Apothecaries that will be supporting the Tactical Squads. They are nice to have but they really didn't get used. Most things that turn up on Deepstrike / Outflank are vehicles, and bolters can only do so much. I kept the one for the Seekers / Support Squad as they may actually do some damage to tanks / terminators / flyers, unlike bolt guns. Apothecaries were also upgraded to have Artificer Armour to give a bit more protection.
  • Vehicles were solid. The only upgrades that would be good would be Dozer Blades and Armoured Ceremite, but with only 5pts left to spare the Sicaran got a Dozer Blade to enhance maneuvering.

 Implementing these into the new list, it looks a little something like this:

+++ 2000pts Sons of Horus +++


215pts Praetor w/ Iron Halo, Paragon Blade, Powerfist, Jetbike

395ptspts Legion Command Squad (x5) w/ Jetbikes, 5x Combat Shields, 4x Power Weapons, Power Fist


170pts Apothecarion Detachment w/ 3x Apothecaries, 3x Artificer Armour, 1x Augury Scanner


240pts Legion Tactical Squad (x15) w/ Legion Vexilla, Sgt w/ Artificer Armour, Powerfist, Meltabombs

240pts Legion Tactical Squad (x15) w/ Legion Vexilla, Sgt w/ Artificer Armour, Powerfist, Meltabombs

310pts Legion Tactical Support Squad (x9) w/ Plasmaguns, Sgt w/ Artificer Armour, Meltabombs

Fast Attack

100pts Dreadclaw Drop Pod


190pts Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer

140pts Legion Sicaran Battle Tank, Dozer Blade

+++ End List +++

I am pretty happy with the tweaks, the Jetbikes for the Command Squad will make them much more
self supporting, speedy and most of all useful rather than a points sink that doesnt get used. Tac squads are a bit easier to use but still have a pile of wounds, and the bulk plasma in the Tactical Support squad should be enough to hurt nearly anyone. 

So... What do you think about the changes? I would love some feedback guys.

Till next time



  1. Nice solid list mate! So compared with the previous one you lost some mobility from the seekers but gained more from the jetbikes. The troops are like a tough wall of ceramite and with apothecaries they will take loads of firepower to kill. Who will go inside the dreadclaw? I think the plasma guys will help agains blobs of enemy astartes and lighter vehicles.

    1. Thanks Vespasian! I am fairly happy with the tweaks and am itching to see how it runs. Yep, the Plasma Support Squad is pretty much a swap for the Seekers and will go in the Dreadclaw and fill a similar role, although they lack the BS5 they can plasma all day, dropping down to where I need them at the time. Thanks for the feedback mate!

  2. I do something very similar with my command squad, Jetbikes give them that added manuevrability. If you're using relics the void shield harness is great at keeping them alive longer