Book Review: Imperial Armor 12 – The Fall of Orpheus

Hello friends of Cranky Old Gamer! We’ve got a real treat for you in the form of a book review again by John, always on the cutting edge of stuff from Forgeworld. This time he’s gotten his hands on a copy of Imperial Armor 12, and wow does it look like a great read. IA12 focuses on Necrons, Imperial Guard, and the Minotaurs chapter of Space Marines. The pictures and details on the content look amazing. I think after reading this I’m going to head right on over to the Forgeworld site and order my copy. Anyways, here’s his review (at least his first pass!) Take a look and enjoy!

Review from John follows:

Production values are outstanding (as expected from FW). The book contains the story of a Necron dynasty awakening, and the events that happen after words. Not to put any spoilers on it, but it doesn’t resolve the story, the expectation is that comes out during the campaign. The campaign is intended to be Necrons vs Imperial forces, but Dark Eldar and Eldar are also a good fit (there’s a strong Eldar pirate presence in the area). So, there’s campaign rules, warzone traits (as an example, radioactive fallout causing “get hot” failures on a 1-2 instead of a 1). Lots of these look fun in regular games.

Then, there are legendary missions, which are key battles during the campaign. Some Legendary missions adopt some Apocalypse rules (like allowing each side to field a single super heavy vehicle), and they use the warzone traits. The legendary missions are:

  • City of the Damned – Battling in a ruined city with burning skies, which mess up flyers and has orbital strikes falling down on multiple turns.
  • The Walking Dead – The necrons have reanimated a force and launched them against their enemies. The necrons get a small necron force, and an equal other force to represent the neron-ized bodies.
  • From the Depths – Necrons emerge from the ground to attemp to take an imperial settlement.
  • The Haunted Palace – Imperial forces attempt to destroy ancient power nodes.
  • Tomb Raid – A ZM scenario. Imperial forces trying to destroy a central objective.

Next up is the Necron army list. The necron dynasty covered in this book has been greatly affected by the flayer curse, so flayers are available as troops choices, and the overlords can flayer-out. Named characters are Kutlakh the World Killer, the Phaeron of the dynasty (and oddly enough for ‘crons, very much geared for CC, as he is armed with an uber melee sword), Toholk the Blinded (kind of a vizier, the Arch Cryptek of the dynasty, good gear and can give a certain number of vehicles “it will not die”). Certain models in the list can also access “flensing scarabs”, which give shred in the first round of an assault. New units are the tomb stalker (which is really substantially better then a C’tan shard), acanthrites (jump infantry with good CC abilities and slightly weaker melta guns, 3 wounds a model, too), tomb sentinel (a shooty version of a tomb stalker), tesseract ark (my favorite new ‘cron unit, very shooty, and very expensive point-wise), sentry pillon (‘cron artiller) and the Nightshroud bomber (carries 5 death spheres (anti-matter bombs), vicious with Str 10 AP 1 Bomb, Large Blast, Blind, Pinning). There are also Warlord Traits for the Necron list.

Space marines are the minotaurs, and if I didn’t have two marine armies all ready I’d take a long look at these guys. Heavy Greek imagery. They function as a Codex: Space Marines army, with some special characters. Characters are:

Chapter Master Lord Asterion Moloc and Chaplain Ivanus Enkomi, who were also in the Badab war. There has been some adjustment since the Badab War, they both look like solid characters. Moloc is a chapter master stat with the black spear (Str 6 AP 2 assault weapon), a storm shield and eternal warrior. Enkomi has an AP 3 Crozius and a frag grenade launcher, and gives a unit he accompanies the rage special rule.

Hecaton Aiakos is a character Contemptor dreadnought. He gets an approved invulnerable save, the venerable special rule, and can do a ground punch tremor effect.

Last up is Vigilator-Sergeant Hamath Kraatos. He can take the place of a veteran sergeant in a devastator squad. He carries a heavy bolter, has preferred enemy infantry, jump infantry, jetpack infantry, bikes, jet bikes, and has a heavy bolter that can also fire as a Str 6 AP 3 Sniper weapon. He looks like a lot of fun.

There are some new vehicles, too. Some can be used by all Space Marine Armies, some are restricted to Minotaurs. The vehicles are:

  • Damocles Command Vehicle. An HQ rhino that gives an orbital bombardment, and helps with reserves and deep striking.
  • Storm Eagle Assault Gunship – I believe this is the same as in IA: Aeronautica.
  • Storm Eagle Roc Pattern Assault Gunship – A Storm Eagle with reduced transport capacity and an extremely heightened ability to attack armour. Fully geared, one of these could be dropping 2 krak missiles, 4 twin-linked krak missile equivalents (but from a single weapon) and a twin-linked lascannon shot (with an equivalend BS of 5 at ground targets) each turn.
  • Sentry Gun Batteries – Restated. Looks like a solid pick. It’s a cheap toughness 6 model with 2 wounds and an upgradeable heavy bolter.
  • Deathstorm Drop Pod – A drop pod that doesn’t carry anything, but works for aerial denial.
  • Predator Infernus (Predator with Flamestorm Cannon or Magna-Melta) and Predator Exectuioner (Predator with Plasma Destroyer or Heavy Conversion Beamer).
  • Spartan Assault Tank – Looks unchanged from the experimental rules.

Next up is the Death Korps of Krieg. Specifically, an assault brigade list, which is an elite guard list (basic soldiers have BS 4). This list also has it’s own Warlord traits. The list consists of:

  • HQ – Marshal Karis Venner (named character that gives all models within 6″ preferred enemy: Infantry), command squad, quartermaster (gives all squads with infantry within 6″ FNP (6+).
  • Elites – Combat Engineers (why I’m doing these guys for ZM, can be taken as a troops choice in ZM games), lots of wargear options for these guys (breaching charges, mole launchers), looks solid in ZM, and the squads would be quite cheap. Other elites are Griffon Strike batteries, Leman Russ Forward Command Tanks, Hydra Flak Batteries and Rapier Laser Destroyers.
  • Troops – Infantry Platoon, Grenadiers (look like Storm Troopers, but I believe they’re cheaper, with storm chimeras (chimeras with autocannons) as dedicated transports.
  • Fast Attack – Hellhounds, Deathrider platoons (deathriders are the bom, pretty cheap, 2 attacks, Str +2 AP 3 lances, 2 wounds, 4+ armour save and FNP (6+)), Salamander recon tank.
  • Heavy Support – Heavy Weapon Platoon, Thunderer Siege Squadron, Leman Russ tanks, Artillery (basilisk, medusa, colossus), field artillery, Imperial Navy Support (Thunderbolt, Lightining or Avenger).

Last up are the ZM rules reprinted. I think they missed a change here because there are no Necron specific strategems. I didn’t see any changes here from the HH: Betrayal ZM rules (though it does have breacher charges, which are not in the pdf files). And then it also has a reprint of the Apocalypse rules.

I’m still digesting the book, but find so far to be exceptional. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Thanks John! Great review!

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