"There is no certainty in flesh but death."
— Credo Omnissiah
The Adeptus Mechanicus, loyal members of the Cult of the Machine and worshippers of the Omnissiah, these beings of what once was flesh have existed since before even the great Horus Heresy, lending their technical expertise to the Imperium as primary manufacturers, maintainers and repairers of almost anything and everything known by man. And with many of them harbouring a voracious appetite for knowledge, they are always in search of long-lost archeotech and more, having members everywhere across the Imperium to make this possible. Whether as individuals joining a crew to further the reaches of the Machine Cult or venturing out in an organised crew of their peers, if there is the potential of lost knowledge to once again be found, they will be there… Especially if that “there” is as part of the Boarding Action missions of the Arks of Omen.
So there they are, and hello there everyone, this is Build Monkey back again with another look into the armies of the Warhammer universe. This time, I’m taking a look at the Boarding Patrol: Adeptus Mechanicus boxset to see what it’s like on the tabletop and whether it’s value for money, so let’s all get technical and dive straight in.
So, what’s in the box? In this Boarding Patrol you will find; 1x Tech-Priest Dominus, 3x Kataphron Destroyers, 5x Sicarian Infiltrators and 10x Skitarii Vanguard. That’s a nice little variety of models there giving you a decent 19 piece army. But what’s their value individually?
1x Tech-Priest Dominus - £25
3x Kataphron Destroyers - £37.50
5x Sicarian Infiltrators - £35
10x Skitarii Vanguard - £32.50
Total - £130
Saving - £45
With the standard RRP of this Boarding Patrol boxset being £85, you’re only saving £45. But that’s not a number to sniff at, because that’s easily more than any box of models you’d find in this boxset if bought individually. So you’d have plenty of money left and still have change to spare if you wanted to add extra numbers to this little army. Which leads us into the next most important question… Are they any good?
Tech-Priest Dominus - This is your primary HQ choice for this Mechanicus army, and it’s a good choice. Being a member of the Mechanicus, the Tech-Priest has the ability to boost your allies, such as with the “Lord of the Machine Cult” aura ability that enables all friendlies to re-roll to-hit rolls of 1. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; the Tech Priest is a little bit of a beast. Coming with a Volkite Blaster and Omnissian Axe as standard, you’re well armed with a Melee Weapon that is a +2 in Strength and a Heavy 24 inch Range Weapon that inflicts 2 Wounds on unmodified rolls of 6. And considering the base statline of a Weapon Skill of +3, Ballistic Skill +2, Strength and Toughness at +4 and 5 Wounds you’ll be laughing… And this is before you even look at the upgrades available to Tech-Priests.
Kataphron Destroyers - Destroyers by name, Destroyers by nature. These things are the Heavy Weapon support to this army and they come equipped to follow that concept. Though they may only have a Ballistic and Weapon Skill of +4 they do have a Strength and Toughness of +5 so these things will be pretty damned tanky. As standard, they come equipped with a Heavy Grav-Cannon, which in itself is nothing to be sniffed at, but if you want to bring even more firepower, then you can easily swap this out for a Kataphron Plasma Culverin for an extra 5 points. Nice.
Alternatively, these Kataphron Destroyers can be built as Kataphron Breachers and although generally statwise there isn’t much difference (aside from gaining a +2 save instead of a +3), the Breachers are more Melee capable having an Arc Claw that can rip apart Vehicle units on unmodified Wound rolls of 4. Also nice.
Sicarian Infiltrators - These are the shock-troops of this army, with each unit having 4 Sicarian Infiltrators and 1 Sicarian Infiltrator Princeps to lead them. They’re small, elite units of highly augmented what-once-were-humans who excel in getting into places fast with a Movement of 8 inches, and wrecking it before it can respond with their Power Swords. They also have a number of abilities that can make these things pretty damned sneaky and somewhat tanky, such as “Infiltrating Positions” which means you can literally set these guys up anywhere on the battlefield, as long as it’s 9 inches away from any enemy and the enemy deployment zone. Add to that their “Neurostatic Interference”, and any unit within 12 inches that attacks them cannot re-roll hit dice or Wound rolls.
This unit can also be built as Sicarian Ruststalkers which are pretty much just a Melee unit of shock troops. They’re equipped as standard with a Chordclaw and Transonic Rasor, which if you choose can be swapped out for one of them with the Transonic Blades, which really makes these things a little unit of mincing machines as every attack deals Armour Penetration damage and Wound rolls of 6 also inflict 1 Mortal Wound, on top of other damage.
Skitarii Vanguard - These troops make up the bulk of most Mechanicus armies and are led by the Skitarii Vanguard Alpha. They have a long list of Weapon options and Wargear available to them so they can get into both Range and Melee combat. But what I think is their most useful ability is their “Rad-Saturation” aura, which means enemy units (but not Vehicles) within Engagement Range of these guys lose 1 Strength and Toughness. Every model. In that unit. This can be absolutely devastating to certain armies as most have an average of 4 in their Strength and Toughness, such as the Genestealer Acolyte Hybrids and the Tyranid Genestealers, but armies such as the Chaos Daemon Bloodletters that benefit from a Strength stat of 5 might feel that reduction significantly.
If the Vanguard aren’t your thing though, then this unit can alternatively be built as Skitarii Rangers. Statwise there’s no difference between the Vanguard and the Rangers, but where the Vanguard get the Radium Carbine, the Rangers get the Galvanic Rifle instead. This is a Long Range, Heavy 2 Weapon that every Skitarii in this unit is equipped with as standard. That’s pretty damned good in my opinion.
So what’s my verdict… I like this boxset. I like it a lot. It’s got a really nice variety of models that you can change up as you want and nearly all of the units are able to be built as an alternative, giving you even more scope to bring something interesting to the table.
Comparing it with something similar, such as the Combat Patrol: Adeptus Mechanicus boxset, the main differences are that instead of a Tech-Priest Dominus and Sicarian Infiltrators, you get a Tech-Priest Enginseer and an Onager Dunecrawler. Both boxsets come with a Kataphron unit and a squad of Skitarii, and there is only a £10 difference between them. But between the two of them, I feel that the Boarding Patrol is the better option because you’re getting more numbers to field, more flexibility in playstyle with the range of abilities available to you, and it’s even a lower price than the Combat Patrol boxset (albeit marginally).
That being said, if you bought the two of these boxsets together, then you have a pretty well-rounded and reasonably sized army right off the shelf for not very much at all, especially when you consider the overall cost of each of the models combined outside of their respective boxsets would cost you over £270. Together, these boxsets would only set you back £180 so that’s an immediate saving of £90 already to get yourself a well-rounded and very effective little army you can take straight to the table.
So overall, is this Boarding Patrol boxset worth it…? Yes. Yes it is.
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