Saturday, 8 February 2014

Imperial armour 2 second edition unit review part 3 - Adeptus Astartes Heavy Tanks

Hi chaps,

The momentum is strong with the articles at the moment an so I present part 3 of the unit reviews. This will cover the four vehicles found in the Heavy tanks section of the book.


The first thing that struck me when I saw the entry for the Fellblade was the cost. Coming in at double the price of a land raider helios, it is only slightly more costly than a baneblade even with BS4. For that you get 14/13/12 and 12 hull points. The fellblade cannon has a range of 100" and is twin linked and with two firing modes. My initial impression was that is is much less powerful than a baneblade cannon. The first mode is ordnance, 7" and S8AP3, the second is a mere 3" blast but S9AP2 with armourbane. So, pretty accurate for taking down heavily armoured vehicles or clusters of power armour equivanlents/light vehicles. 

The baneblade replaces accuracy with a massive amount of killing power from it's main armament when compared to the fellblade. However, the Fellblades secondary armaments don't benefit from the BS4 as much as you would initially think. The demolisher cannon is a blast, the two sponson quad lascannons get two shots each and are twin linked, while the hull heavy bolter (yay) is also twin linked. Don't get me wrong, having that extra inch knocked off of scattering blasts and rerolling on 3+ to hit rather than 4+ with the twin linked weapons is a nice perk, but is it really worth the points? 

The BS4 doesn't even come in useful with the weapon options. Swapping the quad laser for a laser destroyer (also twin linked) grants you one ordnance lascannon shot at 36" range. You can also swap out the heavy bolters for heavy flamers if you choose. There are 3 pintle mounted options, none of which are amazing given the size of the fellblade and their limited range/effectiveness. (heavy bolter/heavy flamer/multi melta). Plus of course the obligatory hunter killer missile. The last option is one you may wish to consider, however, and that's armoured ceramite for the cost of a power fist, which removes the extra dice roll on melta weapons. For a super heavy vehicle of that size, especially one that is a lord of war (and thus potentially giving away victory points) I think the armoured ceramite is mandatory, as one of the biggest heavy armour killers will be melta guns. 

In conclusion I think the Fellblade is a definite consideration in larger points games of escalation and apocalypse. The flexibility of the armaments means that you can wreak havoc upon vehicles and infantry alike with devastating accuracy, and the armour, hull points and ceramite combined will give you a high degree of survivability. Gorgeous model too!

Typhon siege tank

The Typhon siege tank is one of Perturabos creations and is 4 power fists more than a standard land raider and has the same armour profile but with 2 extra hull points. In addition, it is a lord of war and super heavy vehicle, restricting its use to escalation and apocalypse. You can opt to upgrade it with sponson with a single heavy bolter or lascannon each, as well as the same pintle and upgrade options (HK, armoured ceramite) as the Fellblade. 

The last two bits of info about the Typhon are the most crucial, however. Crushing weight means that it adds +1 to the thunderblitz table when ramming or tank shocking. which precludes them from rolling a 1 and makes you more likely to roll the extra lethal 6 results. Considering it's a super heavy and has a fair few hull points, there's no reason not to try and tank shock as the very worst that can happen is that you lose D3 hull points. The dreadhammer siege cannon is where it's all at though. Considering the tank is built around the gun, it should come as little surprise that it boasts a S10AP1 7" blast profile. Not a D weapon, but the best part is that it ignores cover, meaning you should be able to make a mockery of all but eternal warriors and the most heavily armoured vehicles. Nice. One restriction on this, however, is that the range of the weapon is only 24" unless the tank remained stationary, in which case it doubles to 48".

In conclusion, I think this is a devastating and fairly robust unit for the points. The main weapon is fit for all occasions and the heavy armour/primary weapon should keep it in good working order. I'd be tempted to add armoured ceramite and maybe the lascannon sponsons - one to make it even more survivable and the second to make use of it's status as a superheavy, in other words being able to independently target and stick around longer than most tanks. The real debate will be whether or not you decide to sit back and blast from afar or whether you choose to try and get up close and personal taking advantage of tank shocks. 

Cerberus heavy tank destroyer

The next tank is the Cerberus heavy tank destroyer, another super heavy lord of war. A fraction more expensive than the Typhon, it boasts exactly the same weapon options and stats. An awesome weapon is mounted in the chassis, however the cerberus suffers from a couple of drawbacks to compensate. Firstly, it has the reactor blast rule, meaning a +1 modifier is used on the catastrophic damage table. The second drawback is the feedback rule which I will talk about in a moment. 

The Neutron laser is its primary weapon and, as you would expect from a 3-barrelled gun named cerberus, it has D3 shots each time it is fired. A guaranteed 3 would be better but this weapon seems to be about as consistent and reliable as plasma! The base stats are 72", S10AP1, so nice and meaty assuming it hits. The accompanying special rules are feedback and shock pulse. Feedback states that if you fail to wound/penetrate then you roll a D6. On a 1, the Cerberus loses a hull point. Shock pulse is more favourable, in that any vehicle losing a hull point to the cerberus may only snap shot the following turn - nice!

Overall I think I prefer the Typhon to it's more unpredictable cousin. The cerberus could be fun and certainly has potential to take down any s5 multi-wound models or most tanks in one shot. The D3 roll and potential for both feedback and worse catastophic damage just make for less consistency of use in my opinion. The Typhon also benefits from not needing to roll to hit, whereas the Cerberus always has potential to miss with BS4. 

Spartan assault tank

The last tank in this section is the Spartan assault tank; an older bit of fluff revived by Forgeworld. However, it is not classed as a superheavy vehicle, simply a heavy support tank for any of the main 4 SM books and the Badab war books. It costs 3 power weapons more than a land raider and, considering you gain an extra hull point, better weapons and a larger transport capacity, is worth it in my opinion. There's more - you gain extra armour for free and the same options for pintle weapons (including a storm bolter), HK missile and ceramite armour as the Super heavy tanks above. Essentially, it's a Land raider on speed!

I like this unit a lot in fact. As well as being more durable than even the mighty land raider (even more so with armoured ceramite) you also get more powerful sponsons to go with the TL heavy bolter. You can choose from quad lascannons or laser destroyers same as with the Fellblade, which thanks to PoTMS can of course target independently. It is of course an assault vehicle and packs a transport capactiy of 25. This is where you have to think about exactly which units can be used within. A unit of jump pack assault marines with attached character(s) would be wasted in such a vehicle due to their mobility being good anyway, and aside from blood claws and crusader squads there aren't really any units that come close to filling the capacity of the vehicle. Not being a super heavy obviously means you can't add in more than one unit, which really only leaves you with one viable option for transport - terminators. This vehicle seems ideal for transporting a 10-man squad of assault terminators with two attached TDA characters. Anything else seems like a waste of capacity that you could simply have used a standard land raider variant for instead. 

In conclusion, the spartan is a nice addition that does everything the Phobos land raider does but better. To get the maximum utility out of it though, I would add in ceramite armour and maybe the pintle heavy bolter and fill it with as many terminators as possible. 

Cheers folks, the next article will focus on the four flyers and two super heavy flyers in the book.    


  1. Many thanks for these articles!

  2. Worth noting that the Cerberus can lock down the firing of other superheavys which just puts my it ahead of the typhon in my eyes for apocalypse games.

  3. good point Chris, I hadn't considered it in the context of anti super heavy, in which it would seem to excel seeing as it has the chance to not only roll more than once on the damage table, but also to make them have to snap shot the following turn. I still think I prefer.the typhon as an all round super Vindicator for escalation purposes though.