Monday, October 27, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery

This is a remarkably interesting unit for 30k, and I think one that will be (sadly) overlooked in favour of other Fast Attack choices. But to be clear from the outset: I think this option could be excellent in the right situation and for the right Legion. For those armies that are wanting to deep strike or push right up in to the enemy deployment zone (as well as ones without a particularly strong / under-utilized set of Fast Attack options), I could see these batteries being used in the mid- and back-field to secure objectives, or provide a dis-incentive for enemies to move forward. With multiple over-lapping killing zones that could be set up with these batteries, the possibilities are good.

The only real draw-back is the BS3 in the profile. But considering that most weapons (apart from the multi-melta option) are twin-linked, this is not so bad. Even with BS3, the probability to hit with a twin-linked option is 75%. That's better than a none-twin-linked BS4 weapon (66%). To balance this, they're T6 with 2 wounds each -- that makes it terrific as it will require substantial weapons fire to take them out (meaning that you opponents have to make a choice where to concentrate their firepower: at the battery, or at the assault elements like terminators that are coming for them!).

As for the weapon options, I probably would not take the rotor cannon, even if there's two of them. Its just not that fantastic against legion enemies. Particularly the Iron Hands!  The twin-linked heavy flamer is an odd choice, but would be fantastic for close choke points that enemies have to pass through. But if you're not playing cities of death or some kind of space hulk / zone mortals game, then I'd leave them alone. The final thing to note is that the hyperios option provides one of the valuable anti-aircraft options available to the legion.

Here's a few ideas for batteries.

2 Sentry Guns, each with twin-linked lascannons, forward deployment (90 points)
Much cheaper than a dreadnought with two twin-linked las cannons and potentially less of a target as well. Several of these can create amazing overlapping fire zones. Depending on position, both point defence mode (back-field, inside buildings) and sentry mode (in the open, deployed with forward deployment) could be superb.

3 Sentry Guns, each with twin-linked heavy bolters (90 points)
This is a unit to place next to valuable heavy support squads in the back field. They will use the sentry mode to counter-act infiltrators and outflankers. Take concealment to taste.

2 Sentry Guns, 1 twin-linked lascannon, 1 twin-linked heavy bolter (70 points)
The las-cannon has the point defence mode, and the heavy bolter the sentry mode. The lascannon is the primary gun here, the heavy bolter is simply a deterrent for enemies that get too close. An interesting mixed mode.

3 Sentry Guns, Hyperios air-defence missile launcher, 1 hyperios command platform (160 points)
An excellent, if pricy way to provide an anti-aircraft option (well: still cheaper than heavy support squads still). But with split fire, and the 48" range, this could be a terrific choice and life-saving option against an all-flier army.  Optionally, replace one sentry gun with the heavy bolters and remove the command platform to save on costs. Forward deployment and concealment are also valid options here, depending on taste.

In the Solar Auxilia army list, tarantulas have the option of a drop capsule to deep strike in to position. This clearly adds an extra dimension to these gun batteries, and one that should not be overlooked if one is playing a Solar Auxilia army. 

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