Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Clan Raukaan Iron Hands Supplement Review

What is up everyone? We are a bit over a week out from the release of Clan Raukaan Iron Hands supplement and I have delayed this post for two reasons.  The first is that Evan, Ron, and I had a game weekend planned the weekend this dropped so I couldn't type; too many bugs to kill.  The second is that I wanted to get a game under my belt with the Iron Hands, which Evan was able to help with thanks to his Eldar, and I was also able to use them in our Mini Games that we did.

This is all about the Glory of the Iron Hands though and specifically the Clan Company of Raukaan.  This is an awesome supplement with a lot of innovative rules, wargear, Warlord Traits, and Missions that help to create that feel of the mighty Iron Hands.
Let's start with the fact it is a Digital Download right now, and even though I had some issues with getting it to work at first (yup that's User Error right there), I ended up finally being able to use it.  It has some incredible pictures of armies, some awesome graphics, and the back story really fleshes out one of the more mysterious Chapters in the Warhammer 40k universe.

The Backstory:

Clan Raukaan is the 3rd Company within the Iron Hands Chapter.  The Chapter, under the Rules set for by Roboute Guilliman and his Ultramarines in his Codex Astartes, divided their chapter into 10 Companies and each Company took their Name from one of the 10 Major Clans on Medusa, the home world of the Iron Hands.  Each of the Companies specialize in different aspects of war.  Clan Company Avernii, for example, is the 1st Company that holds all of the Elite members of the chapter.  They are designated by significant levels of Cybernetic augmentation and they are the few that get to wear Terminator Armor.  Clan Company Raukaan on the other hand are members that allow their emotions to govern their actions and they have many Dreadnoughts amongst their squads.

We also see through the history of the Iron Hands, mainly in the 3rd Company, that for all of their philosophy of the flesh is weak and their constant replacement of body parts with mechanical augmentation, they hold their anger and emotion as part of their tradtion that they hold strong within themselves.  As it says in the backstory, even Ferrus Manus who was as calculating and analytical a being in the universe, he still had a temper and allowed his emotion to aid him in battle.  It is also told through this backstory that even the Iron Hands feel this was not only a strength, but a weakness as well (just wait until you read Fulgrim- E).

Yet, as the history plays out, we still see instances where the Clan Company undergoes radical changes in philosphy from amongst their Iron Fathers, who hold the power of vote and can implement the change and dictate the actions of the chapter in the universe.

The Clan Special Rules:

As with all of the Supplements, some special rules have been established for the Iron Hands.  First is that all Characters from the Clan Raukaan detachment can select Chapter Relics designated for the Iron Hands, but not from the Codex: Space Marines (I will describe the Gifts of the Gorgon in a bit).  Second is that the Clan Raukaan detatchment can have up to two Techmarines for every HQ choice and if a Master of the Forge is selected, you can have up to 3.  These don't go against the Force Organization chart.  This basically means that you can in theory have in all of your Rhinos, Razorbacks, Land Raiders, and Storm Ravens a Tech Marine to repair on the go, and have some walking behind your Dreads to help with repairs (oh that's right, they also get a +1 to FnP and they have the IWND on all Tanks and Walkers).  Last but not least is the fact you can have Dreadnoughts, Venerable Dreadnoughts, and Ironclad Dreadnoughts count as Elites or Heavy Support before the game starts.  This means you can have 4 Dreadnoughts and 2 Land Raiders for one hell of a moving wall.

Warlord Traits:

The Traits feed into the fluff behind the Iron Hands and help to relay that unique ability that they posses.
  • Adept of the Omnissiah:  This gives the Warlord the Blessing of the Omnissiah Special Rule and if he has it already, he can re-roll any failed attempt at repairing a Vehicle.  This turns a Master of the Forge into a Walking Mechanic.
  • Will of Iron:  This gives the Warlord the Fearless Special rule.  This is especially handy if you got a Warlord that is going straight into the heart of a battle.
  • Flesh is Weak:  Can you say +1 to Feel No Pain rolls he makes.  This means that your FnP rolls are even better with this handy rule.
  • Student of History:  Warlord and any Clan Raukaan unit he joins can automatically fail any Morale Check it is required to make.  Handy if your in a tight spot and want to run away.
  • Merciless Resolve:  Warlord and any Friendly Clan Raukaan unit within 12" has the Crusader special rule.  I mean, I guess it makes sense, but only good if you're running around.
  • Target Protocols:  Warlord and Any Clan Raukaan unit he joins re-roll to hit rolls of 1 in the Shooting Phase.  Load your Warlord up with some guns, place him with some other Iron Hands with Big Guns and let loose with the lead.

Gifts of the Gorgon:

These are some of the rarest and most interesting weapons and items within the Iron Hands arsenal.  They have some pretty cool powers and show that even the Iron Hands special connection to the Machine Spirit can manifest itself in some pretty awesome items.

Mindforge Stave - This is an Ancient Stave that can only be carried by a Librarian and has been in the possession of Epistolary Lydriis ever since it was found.  It is bound to him in a way that even the Techpriests don't fully understand.  In Battle, it allows the wielder to let loose with attacks designed to knock the foe from his feet, or crush him with Volcanic Might.  Basically it is a Force Stave that has 2x Strength of user, AP 2, and is Melee, Concussive, Force, and Unwieldy.

Axe of Medusa - Held by the Iron Council and given to the Chapter's Chosen War Leader as a badge of Honor. In Battle it isn't only a token but a nasty axe in close Combat.  S +2, AP 2, Melee Master-Crafter, Severing Strike (each time a 6 is rolled to hit, resolve that attack at +4 S instead, aka Kinda Nasty), and Unwieldy.

The Ironstone - a Device attached to the Gorget of the Bearer that awakens machine spirits lurking within the Armor.  It gives nearby vehicles the chance to repair themselves and keep rolling.  Friendly Clan Raukaan Tanks and Walkers within 6" pass their IWND on a 4+ and if it is a 6, the vehicle gets a Weapon fixed or Immobilized result removed at the players choice (Take on a Leader, throw him in a Landraider surrounded by Dreads or Tanks.  Wall of DEATH).

Betrayer's Bane - This is a Combi-Weapon with one goal.  Find and Kill Emperor's Children wherever they are and wherever they run.  It has two fire modes:  Boltgun Barrel - 24" range, S 4, AP 5, Rapid Fire and Master-Crafted, and Melta Barrel - 12" range, S 8, AP 1, Assault 1, Master-Crafted, Melta.  This basically ensures whatever you shoot with this gun it is going to die.  It can also fire the Melta each round, not just 1 and done.

The Gorgon's Chain - A small device inside the armor basically creates a force field around the user so that he can survive anything.  this means that as the User goes forward in battle the profile changes.
0 wounds suffered - 3++ invul, +1 to FnP, and Eternal Warrior
1 wound suffered - 3++ invul and Eternal Warrior
2 wounds suffered - 3++ invul
3 Wounds Suffered - 4++ invul
Also as wounds happen (wether positive or negative, the effects are immediate). This basically means that you need to get him into a fight asap and let him unleash all kinds of hell on whatever he faces.

The Tempered Helm - This is a helmet designed to to override vox signals and target augers so that the wearer can have unparalleled control on the battlefield.  In the game, when taking morale tests, all friendly units within 24" of the bearer can use his leadership, and at the start of each shooting phase, a friendly unit within 12" of bearer can re roll all to hit rolls of a 1.  Best part, they can be used even if the holder of the Helmet is embarked in a vehicle or building.

The last part of the Codex is that which is devoted to the Special Missions and Apocalypse Formations.  Because I have rambled on pretty well and most of these are special that most people will never get a chance to use, I am going to pass over it.

My final thoughts are that this is the way that a Supplement and New Codex should be created.  It should have fluff to draw the reader in (Check), it should have unique rules that help the army feel like it should be from the books and history (Check), and it should have fun benefits both in terms of units and equipment that make the army play and have an identity all their own (Check).

I like it, I can't wait to have a small 1000 point Ally/Army and I can't wait to play it again.

The Iron Hands are on the March, and they look GOOD.

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