Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: Lernaean Terminator Squad

Background
Deep within the Alpha Legion, the lernaean terminator squad are all but a myth to outsiders. But to the Alpha Legion, they are the jaws of the hydra from which they take their icon. The supposed goal within the legion is to be the tip of the spearhead - to take and secure whatever objective they need to and hold on to it at all costs. For the Alpha Legion, they provide an alternative terminator team to the standard ones, but it is only barely above the baseline.

Strengths
Their first notable strength is an extra pip in WS compared to regular terminators, plus the stubborn special rule. They're kitted out with cataphractii armour coupled with power axes and volkite chargers as standard. This means that they're fundamentally a close range breed of terminators. They're also able to take some interesting options such as a venom sphere harness and conversion beamer that are clearly not available anywhere else.

Weaknesses
Continuing on the subject of the conversion beamer, its puzzling how to use it with this squad to be honest. The conversion beamer is a weapon that gets better at increasing range. And yet, the Lernaean are a close combat orientated squad that beg to be put on board a land raider and sent on their way. So there's a choice here. Should these terminators be a back-field objective defender with a conversion beamer, or should they forego it and do what they should and go forth and grab objectives and take on other units?

Secondly, they're slightly over-priced in my opinion. For example, legion terminators can get 10 regular terminators with volkite chargers for 395 points. Ten Lernaean terminators will cost 425 points instead (recall they have volkite chargers as their base weapons). Equally, this is arguably balanced by having stubborn on their side which is at a premium in 30k games.

Builds
There are a number of set ups to consider, even if the cost is slightly more than what we might be willing to pay. Let's just hope that the models are awesome enough to justify the points cost if they're ever released. 

5 Lernaean, 1 with Conversion Beamer (250 points)
The idea with this squad is to function as a back field objective squatter. Ideally the objective's location will provide a line of sight to the grater part of the battlefield and hence provide the conversion beamer with plentiful enemies to select between. If they're assaulted, they should be able to hold their own and/or win with time (but might plausibly need support against better close combat models). 

10 Lernaean, 2 with plasma blasters, Harrower with venom sphere harness (465 points)
This is a maximum squad kitted out with plasma blasters to provide good AP, and venom spheres for assaulting models in cover. Take a land raider with this squad and it will provide an excellent core to an army's tactics, particularly in concert with an appropriate HQ. Dynat for instance would be good to run along with these guys. 

5 Lernaean, 1 heavy flamer, 5 chainfists, Harrower with venom sphere harness (295 points)
This is a pseudo "terminator-cide" squad. The idea here is to deep strike them using Dynat's special rules (or a praetor's rite of war) and have them target vehicles or enemy squads as desired. The heavy flamer is more to deter a counter assault, but clearly has its uses as well. I think this set up is very thematic for the Alphas when teamed up with the right HQ choice.

Overall
Its tough to know how to best exploit them. The obvious strength is the access to venom sphere harness and conversion beamer. But how to build them is a challenge, but if the models look good (if they ever get produced by Forge World), I can see me purchasing some!

6 comments:

Dragons Claw said...

Hi can't normally comment cause my tablet hates blogspot but I got a windows phone just wanted to say thanks for all the heresy reviews one of my favourite series on the net

jabberjabber said...

Thanks for the positive feedback! I really appreciate it!!

Cail Griffiths said...

Love the reviews! Still undecided about a Legion, but the XXth is up there!

With regards to the Lernaeans; they also have Stubborn. With no ATSKNF, that can be lifesaving! And I think their price is fair when you consider Mutable Tactics; choosing Scout/Infiltrate gives you a Phobos/Spartan full of Lernaeans halfway across the board before the game starts! :)

jabberjabber said...

Hi Cail,
Ahhhh - I overlooked the stubborn rule!!
Yes -- with stubborn, they're certainly worth the price. I've adjusted the text accordingly. Its worth pointing out to other readers that in 30k, the stubborn rule is at a premium compared to 40k.
Cheers!

withershadow said...

Sadly I have to disagree with pretty much all of the suggestions here.

Lerneans don't have a good build because they have a bit of a bipolar focus with a bunch of AP2 melee weapons and then anti-light infantry guns. The conversion beamer is a trap, and shouldn't even be worth consideration. Really, 250 points for a vanilla conversion beamer? Two predators with heavy conversion beamers are cheaper than that.

You talk about assaulting into cover, yet all their melee weapons are unwieldy so it doesn't matter. The venom harness is there to grant them hammer of wrath, which is okay. The big squad might work better if you put them in a Kharybdis with some supporting characters and/or pop Alpharius out of one of them, because then they have preferred enemy making them more lethal, but now you're looking at a 1000-point unit.

Regular legion terminators are strictly better for hunting tanks since they can take combi-meltas. If you want close combat terminators, a command squad costs roughly the same as lerneans, still has WS5, trades stubborn for a fearless banner, and has full access to the armory.

Basically, feel free to ignore Lerneans, and once their inevitably awesome models come out, use them as Legion terminators or Command Squads. So kind of the same as with headhunters.

jabberjabber said...

I don't disagree with anything you have said.

In an attempt to try to make use of them, I tried to come up with a few build suggestions. I agree that other units do it better.

But, I'm also looking forward to seeing the models for these guys-- I hope they're going to look awesome! I'll readily be substituting them for regular terminators and command squads!

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