top of page

Horus Heresy: Heavy Support Choices

Greetings one and all,



Today we carry on our look into the Heavy Support option of the Legiones Astartes. Last time we covered about half of the list, which included what I would call the Infantry and Medium Support vehicles, so this time we’re going to be looking at some truly Heavy Armour that is only outclassed by the Lord of the War choices. So, buckle down the hatches, and lets ride into the firestorm of the second half of the Legiones Astartes Heavy Support.



Legion Kratos Squadron - Would you like that Sicaran supersized? Well, in that case, the Kratos is the tank for you. But it gets better! This thing has soooooooo many guns it’s like a Legion Baneblade (yes I know they already exist, but I believe they're a bit crap).

Looking at the stats, you can already see we’re really moving into the Heavy Armour section. It's a tad slow at Movement 10, but with 14 Armour all round, it’s gonna take some serious firepower to knock this thing out.


In terms of special rules, it has Legiones Astartes (which I’ve gone over so many times, so if you’d like to know more, you can refer to my previous articles). The Kratos also has Vehicle (Reinforced) rule, which ignores the effect of the Crew Shaken result on the vehicle damage table. It also means that the vehicle doesn’t have to make Snap Shots due to the effect of the Crew Stunned result on the vehicle damage table.


The standard Kratos comes in at 300 points! But for that you get; a Turret Mounted Kratos Battlecannon, Co-Axial Mounted Autocannon, Hull (Front Right) Mounted Heavy Bolter, Hull (Front Left) Mounted Heavy Bolter, two Sponson Mounted Heavy Bolters and Smoke Launchers. Which as I’m sure you can see is a hell of a lot of firepower.


As for upgrades, you can add another Kratos for 285 points, making it a squadron of 2 vehicles. The Kratos Battlecannon can be equipped with Flashburn Shells, which turns it into an Anti-Armour Beast. The Kratos can also have its Battlecannon entirely swapped out for either a Vokite Cardanelle or a Melta Blast-Gun, which both have their uses depending on what you're facing. Both the Hull (front) Mounted Heavy Bolters can be exchanged for Volkite Calivers, Atuocannons or Lascannons. (It’s important to note that both Heavy Bolters are exchanged. You can’t mix-and-match your Weapons). On top of this, the two Sponson Mounted Heavy Bolters can be exchanged for either; heavy Flamers, Volkite Culverins or Lascannons. And finally, for Weapons, the Kratos can be equipped with ONE of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher.


As you can see, that's a lot of choice when it comes to Weapon options. Furthermore the Kratos can also take any of the following: one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Flare Shields, Searchlights and Dozer Blade.


There are so many options with this vehicle it's easy to be overwhelmed. So when I take my Kratos I tend to stick to the Battlecannon with Flashburn shells as I like my units to have a bit of flexibility. I’ll tailor the Hull Mounted and Sponson Weapons to better match my opponent, though I do tend to learn towards Lascannons. If you know your opponent is bringing a Support Squad of Lascannons or something equally nasty, a Flare Shield is a good shout. Overall it's a great vehicle, and an amazing kit which Build Monkey reviewed a few months ago here.



Model and Paintwork property of Devildog Gaming


Legion Land Raider Proteus Carrier Squadron - There is no vehicle more iconic to the Astartes than the vauted Land Raider (or if you ask the man who discovered it, the STC Land’s Raider). A very heavily Armoured vehicle, its main role is to get troops from A to B while resisting everything thrown against it, all the while laying down batteries of Lascannon fire.

Breaking down the stats we can see that the Land Raider has a Movement of 12, which isn’t fast, but certainly isn’t bad. The Armour of 14 all around is great and with 5 HP it’s a tough nut to crack. Finally the Transport capacity of 12 is great for getting those elite units around the battlefield in relative safety.


In terms of special rules the Land Raider Proteus Carrier has Legiones Astartes, Power of the Machine Spirit and Assault Vehicle. Power of the Machine Spirit allows the vehicle to attack different targets with each Ranged Weapon, while Assault Vehicle allows embarked units to commit a Charge out of a vehicle (which is great for elite Close Combat units).


The Land Raider comes equipped with two Sponson Mounted Gravis Lascannons and one Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter and Smoke Launchers, and can be further upgraded with two Land Raider Proteus Carriers for a maximum of three. The Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter can be exchanged with either Twin-Linked Heavy Flamers or Twin-Linked Lascannons. Furthermore, the vehicle can be equipped with one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher, as well as; one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile and Searchlights.


When I bring these to the tabletop, the only thing I do is give it the Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Lascannons to keep the Weapon loadout focused.


Legion Land Raider Proteus Explorator - "Where a goat can go, a man can go. And where a man can go, he can drag a gun." or failing that send in the Land Raider Proteus Explorator.

In terms of stats, there’s not much more to take note of that I've not covered in the Land Raider Proteus Carrier. The one thing different to note is the smaller Transport Capacity of 8, so not great for units with the Bulky special rule.


In terms of Special rules though, the Land Raider Proteus Explorator has almost the same as the previously covered version with one major difference: it swaps out the Assault Vehicle rule for the Scout rule, which allows the player to re-deploy their units after both armies have been set up. Not sure how Scout on a 72 ton tank works exactly, but then again Scout Titans exist. So I shouldn’t be too surprised.


Turning now to the standard loadout, much like the Proteus Carrier, the Proteus Explorator comes equipped with two Sponson Mounted Gravis Lascannons and Smoke Launchers, but also gets an Explorator Augury Web which has two modes; Disruption mode, which inflicts -1 to enemy Reserve rolls, or Relay mode, which allows the controlling player to re-roll failed Reserve rolls. And lastly, it also gets a Dozer blade.


The Proteus Explorator can be given a Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, Twin-Linked Heavy Flamers or Twin-Linked Lascannons, alongside one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher. As well as this, the Proteus Explorator can take one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Searchlights and a Vox Disruptor Array.


Honestly, I don’t take these. It’s just a mixture of a lot of points, smaller Transport Capacity and fewer Weapons as standard. Oh and the loss of the Assault Vehicle special rule. That said, there might be an argument for a Legion Seeker Squad in one, but I honestly can’t see what that argument would be.



Model and Paintwork property of Devildog Gaming


Legion Vindicator Squadron - If you’ve found yourself facing a fortified position and thought “I wish we had a massive gun to just blow that bunker away” then can I recommend the Vindicator and its Demolisher Cannon? The closest thing I can find to the Vindicator in real life is the famous Sturmgeschütz III which was classed as an assault gun, which seems to fit the Vindicator perfectly. Anyway, history lesson over, let’s look at the stats.

The Movement is what you’d expect for a vehicle based off the Rhino, with a fairly nice front and side Armour. But surprise surprise, there’s no Transport Capacity, probably due to that massive Demolisher Cannon and its ammo taking up all the interior space.


In terms of special rules it only has Legiones Astartes so I’m not going over that again.


For the standard loadout it has that massive Centreline Mounted Demolisher Cannon, which is a beast of a weapon, as well as Combi-Bolter and Smoke Launchers.


Another two Vindicators can be added to the Squadron for a maximum of three. If you wish, the Centreline Mounted Demolisher Cannon can be exchanged for a Centreline Mounted Magna Laser Destroyer instead, and it can take one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher. Finally, it can also take any of the following: One Hull (Front) Mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Searchlights and a Dozer Blade.


When I bring the Vindicator to the tabletop I just bring the standard model as I’m a sucker for a massive gun that can just lay waste to all before it. That said, the Magna Laser Destroyer is nothing to sniff at and might even be better for wiping out Infantry and light to medium vehicles.


Model and Paintwork property of Devildog Gaming


Legion Land Raider Spartan - If you need to get a lot of Marines somewhere while wading through a hail of gunfire then you need the Land Riader XL… I mean the Spartan.

Looking at the stats, the biggest stand out feature is the Transport Capacity of 26. This thing is built to carry an entire squad of Terminators, and a few characters as well. As it’s a Land Raider “variant”, 14 Armour all around is expected and the HP of 6 is nice too.


In terms of special rules, the Land Raider Spartan has Legiones Astartes, Power of the Machine Spirit and Assault Vehicle. Power of the Machine Spirit allows the vehicle to attack different targets with each Ranged Weapon, while Assault Vehicle allows embarked units to commit a Charge out of a vehicle (Assault Terminators anyone?).


The standard Land Raider Spartan comes with two Sponson Mounted Lascannon Arrays, one Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter and Smoke Launchers. Like I said, everything about this is XL.


Looking at the upgrade options, the two Sponson Mounted Lascannon Arrays can be exchanged for two Sponson Mounted Laser Destroyers. The Hull Mounted (front) Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter can be exchanged with either Twin-Linked Heavy Flamers or Twin-Linked Lascannons. Furthermore, the vehicle can be equipped with one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher, as well as one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Flare Shield and Searchlights.


On the very few times I’ve brought my Spartan to the tabletop I’ve popped on the Flare Shield, filled it with a Close Combat unit and driven it right at something I’ve wanted killed. It's a tactic that the Iron Warriors or World Eaters would appreciate.

Legion Scorpius Squadron - Trust the Space Wolves to mount a Missile Lancher to a Rhino in order to call in a dangerous close strike on enemy positions… I guess it just adds to the fun, hey?

Looking at the stats we find nothing really stands out, but also nothing to be upset about. Okay, the rear Armour of 10 is terrible, but only if your opponent is shooting there and considering the Weapon mounted to the Scorpius, I don’t see much need for the opponent to even get Line of Sight on the model, let alone the rear Armour.


For special rules, it only has Legiones Astartes.


The Standard Scorpius is armed with a Turret Mounted Scorpius Missile Launcher, which is okay vs Marines as it is Strength 8, so it is an Instant Death, but only AP4 means most Marines will get at least an Armour Save. However, if the Scorpius doesn’t move, the Scorpius Missile Launchers Rocket Barrage comes into effect which grants the Weapon Rending 4+ and Pinning, which is amazing. It also has a Pintle Mounted Combi-Bolter and Smoke Launchers.


In terms of upgrades there isn’t anything outstanding. You can increase the squadron to a maximum of three by adding one or two additional vehicles. The Scorpius can be equipped with one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher, as well as one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Dozer Blade and Searchlights.


As I’m sure you can guess I don’t tend to run this vehicle very much. It’s not in my playstyle, but that doesn’t mean the Scorpius isn’t good, and the Barrage ability of it’s main Weapon is great for hitting units that think they're safe, and Rocket Barrage is pretty much just over powered.

Legion Arquitor Squadron - Oh boy, how do I even describe this vehicle? I guess I would describe it as a futuristic Universal Carrier?

Looking at the stats you can see that the Arquitor moves at a crawl, with a Movement of only 8. It has a meh amount of Armour, but has 5 HP which is surprising. I think these stats really show that this is an Infantry Support vehicle, bringing the heaviest Weapon possible to the battlefield.


The Arquitor has the following special rules; Legiones Astartes and Move Through Cover.

The Move Through Cover special rule means they suffer no penalty for Moving or Charging through Difficult Terrain, which somewhat helps that slow Movement stat in certain situations.


The standard Arquitor is armed with a Centreline Mounted Morbus Bombard, two Sponson Mounted Heavy Bolters and Smoke Launchers.


The upgrade options for this little vehicle are quite impressive though. Firstly, the squadron can be given an additional two Arquitors for a maxim of three. All Arquitor in a squadron can exchange their Centreline Mounted Morbus Bombard with either a Centreline Mounted Graviton-Charge Cannon or a Centreline Mounted Sqicula Rocket System. It should be noted that every Arquitor in the squadron has to be equipped with the same main gun. But the two Sponson Mounted Heavy Bolters can be exchanged for; two Sponson Mounted Autocannons, two Sponson Mounted Heavy Flamers, two Sponson Mounted Lascannons or two Sponson Mounted Volkite Culverins. Following on, the Arquitors can be equipped with one of the following: Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi-Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer, Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta, or a Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher, as well as one Hull Mounted Hunter Killer Missile and Searchlights.


I really like this vehicle on a thematic level, and when I use it I tend to equip it with a Graviton-Charge Cannon, but the standard Morbus Bombard is still pretty good. Other than that, I’m likely to slap Lascannons in the Sponsons just for that extra punch, but this is entirely down to my personal choices and might be a waste of points.



Legion Fire Raptor Gunship - The Legion Storm Eagle Gunship, but with more guns!

Firstly, the Movement of 18 is really nice. Armour is a bit pants though, only being 12, and those 4 hit points won’t keep it in the air for long versus dedicated Anti-Vehicle Weapons.


It comes with a few special rules which are the following: Legiones Astartes, Power of the Machine Spirit, Deep Strike and Strafing Run (1). I’m going to focus on Power of the Machine Spirit and Strafing Run (1). Power of the Machine Spirit allows the vehicle to attack different units with each Ranged Weapon it carries, which is nice when it carries so much Daka. Meanwhile, Strafing Run (1) means that when firing at units that don't have the Flyer sub-type, the Fire Raptor gets a bonus to hit equal to the number in the brackets, so in this case, +1.


The Fire Raptor comes with one Hull (front) Mounted Twin-Linked Avenger Bolt Cannons, two Sponson Mounted Gravis Heavy Bolter Batteries and four Hull (front) Mounted Tempest Rockets.


The Fire Raptors Sponson Mounted Gravis Heavy Bolter Batteries can be exchanged for Two Sponsons Mounted Gravis Autocannon Batteries instead, and the four Hull (front) Mounted Tempest Rockets can be exchanged for four Hull (front) Mounted Hellstrike Missiles.


A quick editorial if I may. This model has gained a reputation for being an absolute pain to build, and it’s kind of a well deserved reputation. What doesn’t help it is the rubbish instructions provided with the model, so if you’re considering buying and building this model, I suggest you have a bowl of hot water, hair dryer, a drill and lengths of wire ready, because you're going to need them.


When I bring the Fire Raptor, I’m quite happy to strap on those Autocannons and Hellstrike Missiles. The unit doesn’t stay on the board long, so might as well make the most of its Alpha Strike before it crashes into the ground.


Legion Deathstorm Drop Pod Squadron - When Drop Pods rain from the sky, the enemy expects Power Armour clad monsters to charge out. What they don’t expect is missiles to shoot out and blanket the entire area in fire and explosions.

Much like the Drop Pod, the vehicle's stats don't matter so much. It’s more the payload of the Deathstorm that matters, so let's skip the stats and look at the special rules and the Weapon loadout.


The Deathstorm has the Legiones Astartes special rule, as well as Inertial Guidance System which is a handy little rule for if you're Deep Striking, and means that if a unit with this rule is the first to deploy, then it halves the distance Scattered for any other unit that is deploying and is subject to the Scatter rule. Furthermore, if the number rolled on the Scatter dice would move you into Impassable Terrain or off the battlefield, then the unit/model is moved the minimum distance required to be placed safely. Next, we have Impact Reactive Doors, which when summed up means that the doors on the Vehicle open upon deployment and all units inside MUST disembark, and cannot reembark. The door, once opened, can’t be targeted and does not impede Movement. Units deployed cannot declare a Charge on the turn they deploy. Orbital Assault Vehicle is as it sounds, and means that the Vehicle must be deployed via Deep Strike, which makes it handy that the Deathstorm also has the Deep Striking special rule. Lastly, the Deathstorm has Area Denial Drop, which to cut a long rule very short, allows the controlling player to drop all units with this rule in their first turn, but more information can be found on page 116 of the Liber Astartes Rulebook.


The Deathstorm is armed with a Turret Mounted Deathstorm Missile Launcher which is a great Weapon for area denial. It only has an 18 inch Range but with Heavy 9 and Pinning, you want to drop this thing nice and close to as many units as possible and then make it rain.


The only option for this unit is to buy more Deathstorm Drop Pods at 90 points a pop. It could be fun to just bring three of these down on the first turn and watch them wreck your foe.


And on the mention of bringing three Deathstorm Drop Pods, that's what I do. Sow as much mayhem among my opponents army as I can, giving me more opportunity to dictate the battle to my liking.




Legion Kharybdis Assault Claw - The biggest of the Drop Pod like vehicles, the Kharybdis was mostly used for spaceship Boarding Actions. But that said, it would, could, and did transport Marines to the surface of many thousands of worlds before and during the Heresy.

Unlike the last Drop Pod variant we just looked at, the stats on the Kharybdis are worth looking at. It has a blisteringly fast Movement of 16 and okayish Armour, but the Transport Capacity of 22 makes this the orbit to ground transport for large units.


In terms of special rules, the Kharybdis has a few: Legiones Astartes, Dreadnought Transport, Assault Vehicle, Inertial Guidance System and Heat Blast. I won’t go over Legiones Astartes, Assault Vehicle or Inertial Guidance as I’ve covered them in this article already, so on to Dreadnought Transport. The short version is, this vehicle can carry Dreadnoughts with 8 Wounds or less, but it can only take that one Dreadnought, which seems a waste. The other special rule though is Heat Blast, which means that when the Kharybdis deploys onto the battlefield via Deep Strike but before its cargo disembarks, it inflicts everything within 3+3D inches of its landing zone (friend or foe) with a Strength 6 Ap 5 hit. If this hits a vehicle, then it is counted as hitting the lowest Armour facing on the vehicle. Then, once its cargo has disembarked, the Kharybdis can hover around the battlefield inflicting D6 Strength 6, Ap 5 hits on units it passes over, and again, if that enemy is a vehicle, it hits the lowest Armour value of that vehicle.


The standard Kharybdis is armed with a Turret Mount Deathstorm Missile Launcher which I covered above.


There are no alternative loadout options for the Kharybdis, so let's move right on to how I use it.


When I bring a Kharybdis to the battlefield, I tend to load it full of Elite Combat Troops (Terminators are a favourite) and just land as close as I can to an enemy unit, and then charge out. If the Heat Blast hasn’t wrecked the unit already, the charging Terminators certainly will.


And there we go. That’s the Heavy Support choices all covered. Damn that was a lot.


After this I’ll be covering the Lords of War, and then we’ll dive into Individual Legions and their rules.


So until then, have a great week, and I’ll see you next Friday.




Hi, thank you for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and that it was useful to you. Articles like these take a lot of time to research and write, so if you did enjoy it or found it useful maybe you’d be so kind as to drop me a donation. That way I can continue to fund the products and books I need to keep delivering high-quality articles like this.


You can donate to me at https://ko-fi.com/graypaints


For updates when I release an article, why not Subscribe and join us on our Social Media pages?




354 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Spartan

bottom of page