Friday, December 5, 2014

Shield of Baal: Deathstorm Units First Look

Some lucky hobbyists have gotten copies of Shield of Baal Deathstorm already and shared the special rules for the units included. As with Stormclaw, the units have set equipment, but some get some pretty cool bonus special rules to counterbalance.

First, the Blood Angels are lead by Captain Karlaen, checking in at 160 points in Terminator armour with an Iron Halo, Storm Bolter, and Relic Thunderhamer (master crafted). He has the Counter-attack and Furious Charge special rules and his Warlord trait gives +1 to Seize the Initiative and allows re-rolls for reserve rolls while he is alive.

Karlaen is accompanied by Squad Alphaeus, the Terminator Squad. Sergean Alphaeus has a storm bolter and power sword and Preferred Enemy (Tyranids). The rest of the squad includes a chain fist and a heavy flamer and all check in at 215 points.

Raphen's Death Company (still troops) come in at 210 points and come equipped with Jump Packs. Members of the squad have a Thunder Hammer, Power Fist, Power Sword, and Inferno Pistol. Only one member has the standard Bolt Pistol/Chainsword combo.

Rounding out the Blood Angel side is Cassor the Damned, a Death Company Dreadnought with two Blood Talons and Magma grapple for 140 points. He has a rule that allows him to ignore the effects of Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned results, though he still takes the hull point.

The entire Blood Angels contingent can be taken in a formation called Strike Force Deathstorm. The formation gains the rules the Against All Odds and Bloody Toll special rules. Against All Odds gives all units Fearless. Any unit that is already Fearless gains Counter-attack instead. Bloody toll is an ability that can be used by Captain Karlaen at the beginning of any Assault phase and allows all units in the formation to re-roll failed To Wound rolls.

On the Tyranid side, the Forces of the Hive Mind are lead by the Spawn of Cryptus and his Children. The unit of 8 Genestealers plus broodlord come in at 215 points. The genestealers are equipped with Scything Talons and the unit gains the Stealth Special Rule. The Spawn of Cryptus also has the Warlord Trait that grants the Preferred Enemy special rule.

Next are the Phodian Hive Warriors, a unit of 3 Tyranid Warriors with a Venom Cannon, two Boneswords, and a Bonesword and Lash Whip. The unit also has Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs and check in at 170 points. They also gain the rule Infested Ruins, which allows them to assault through Ruins without initiative penalty, and also enemy units treat Ruins within 12" of the unit as Dangerous terrain.

Rounding out the Tyranids is a 170 point Carnifex, the Beast of Phodia. This Carnifex has Bio-plasma, a Stranglethorn Cannon, and It Will Not Die.

The Tyranid formation consists of the above 3 units and gains the special rules Crawl from the Shadows and Unnatural Intelligence. Unnatural Intelligence grants all models Preferred Enemy while the Spawn of Cryptus is alive. Crawl from the Shadows gives all units Stealth. Models with the Stealth special rule already (the genestealers) gain Shrouded as well.

In a heads up fight, the Tyranids do not match up well and are outgunned (and outpointed by 170 points). Both sides are combat heavy and so, the boost to the Tyranids' survivability to shooting seems a little wasted. Regardless, the narrative elements of the force should be interesting and offer a few interesting options.

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