Friday, December 31, 2010

Prospero Burns

Prospero Burns. A story that any 40k player worth his salt knows or thinks they know. As with many of the Horus Heresy novels we learn alot of the behind the scenes stuff that shaped the lore we see today. This one happens to be about my favorite Chapter of all time, the vaunted Sons of Russ...The Space Wolves

The Writing

Dan Abnett is the man. He not only writes in a way that lets you precisely picture what is happening but there are times where you can feel it as well. Abnett presents the Space Wolves as they have always been to me and more. You get into their thought processes and see how they look at the universe. You also get a better understanding as to where they stand in the orders of the legions. This to me was the best part as you really get the sense of this from the Codex. It is easy to draw the parallels between the two with how the Wolves play out on the table. Abnett lets you get into the mind of a Space Wolf. That is not necessarily a place you are gonna want to go.

The Story

This is where my heart breaks. For all the good info and viewpoints you get, the story does nothing for me. I will not give spoilers but I will say this. This was supposed to be the burning of Prospero through the eyes of the Wolves. I fails at this miserably in my opinion. It is some of the parts but quite frankly it does not go into alot of the needed details to make it as such. It does not coincide with A Thousand Sons until the last quarter of the book. The rest is a loose story that is a cheesy way of tying threads together that do not need to be tied together. It could have been done better in my opinion.
Final Rating

I am giving this book a 6.5 out of 10. Abnett can't write bad but this story just does not pair with A Thousand Sons like I think it should have. So much more could have been to make this happen. That being said I love my Wolves all the more. They are truely the badasses of the Space Marines.

Now if I could just play them as such.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Captain Shrike

I have always been fascinated with this Character in the Space Marine codex. I started playing 40k at the tail end of 3rd and really got into the game at the start of 4th edition. Captain Shrike was a cool character in the 4th edition space marine codex but really didn't come into is own until the 5th edition space marine codex.

Shrike of course replaces combat tactics with the Fleet Special rule. Fleeting Space Marines are no joke and can certainly give your opponent something to think about when he fights your army. Shrike also allows a unit he is joined with at the beginning of the game to have the infiltrate rule. With that you can take one unit and either infiltrate or outflank. Shrike overall is pretty fragile. He only has a 3+ save and a 4+ inv save with 3 wounds. His lightning claws do rend which is nice but other than that he himself doesn't have very many bells and whistles.

When you first read about Shrike you kind of go "wow this guy would be awesome with a squad of vanguard vets that infiltrate or outflank. That means a first turn charge and some serious damage." That is where my thinking first went to but after really looking at the advantages Shrike gives I was disinclined to think that way because of the cost of the unit and how fragile it really was. My next thought was why not get buy 8 TH/SS terminators and stick them in a LRC and charge across the field and maybe take a command squad as support for them. This is an ok approach but I don't think that it is the best way. Why? Because of so many people taking lance and melta spam that in my opinion the LR and LRC are becoming obsolete on the 40k battle field and most people are leaning towards lighter armour vehicles.

So what is the best way to run Shrike in the current set of rules? It all comes down to what your are fielding in your Space Marine army. Recently, I have been running Shrike with 10 TH/SS terminators. Of course I don't run them like most people and try to infiltrate them every game so that they can get the shit shot out of them. I use them in different battle field roles depending on what army I am playing against. Sometimes I outflank with them and sometimes I just line them up in front of my battle line. It all depends on what I am facing.

Overall I think that Shrike is an underutilized character in the Space Marine codex that people ignore in favor of Lysander, Vulkan, and Khan. I feel that in the right army build and players hands that what he brings to the table will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.