Continuing the review of Doom of Mymeara, we now turn to the Imperial units presented in the book. The previous post, on the fluff and aesthetics of the book, can be found here. Compared to the other sections of the review, this one will be pretty short – there’s not a whole lot of Imperial Armour in…well, the newest Imperial Armour book.
The previous version of the Doom of Mymeara contained rules for the Malcador Infernus flame-tank, the Praetor Armored Assault Launcher, and the Crassus Armored Assault Carrier, but these exist in the new edition only in fluff form. This is a move I support – the opposite actually happens in the Eldar side of things – but generally this consolidates all the units for a faction into one book – in the case of the Guard, presumably Imperial Armour Volume 1, Second Edition. As someone whose dealt with the “which version of this unit are you using, from which book?” in the past, it’s a welcome change. Yes, it’s a net loss of content, but it makes the Imperial Armour series as a whole much better as a main-line gaming product.
Which leaves us with two units with actual rules: General Myndoras Odon, of the Cadian 6th, and Bran Redmaw of the Space Wolves.
How do they fair? I shall let Immortan Joe speak for me:
General Myndoras Odon:
Odon is the mastermind behind the Imperial defense of Betalis III, and by all accounts in the book a cunning and capable Imperial commander, willing to sacrifice his men when needs be, but also not one to follow rote strategies.
Weighing in at 55 points, Odon replaces a senior officer in a Company Command Squad. His statline is identical to that of the officer he replaces, save for a 10 for Leadership, which is admittedly nice for an
Astr Imperial Guard commander. He also comes loaded with Krak grenades and a powerfist.
In terms of special rules, he comes with Supreme Commander, allowing him to issue two additional orders per turn. This makes him an order giving machine, though technically he doesn’t have the Senior Officer special rule, which means RAW he cannot issue “Bring it Down!”, “Fire on my Target!” or “Get Back in the Fight!” I cannot imagine that was the intent of the rule – I’ve emailed Forge World to find out if that’s the case. Regardless, with Ld. 10 and room for three orders, that’s a lot of coordination.
If he’s selected as your warlord, he also comes with a fixed trait, Careful Planner, which lets you re-roll any dice during Seize the Initiative attempts. That’s a neat and flavorful little power, but in half of all games it won’t come up at all, and when it does, it’ll only increases your chances of seizing the initiative to one in three.
Assuming you were going to taken a powerfist anyway (a dubious prospect), I’m not sure the extra point of leadership and the extra order is worth the cost. And given they touch on how often he’s been wounded and lived, a light 6+ or 5+ Feel No Pain might have been a nice touch, especially given how infrequently T3 figures get them anyway.
What really disappoints me is that he’s a tank commander – and as a tank commander, he can at best be mounted in a Chimera or Taurox. Not one page before his fluff entry and rules there’s a little sidebar, a little in-universe section calling out General Odon as a brilliant tank commander, who would crave “a chance to feel the tracks of their tanks grind their enemy’s bones to dirt”. I was really hoping for a “Strategic Pask” – capable of issuing a number of tank orders, or maybe a mix of tank and infantry orders, to both his unit and others. A tank commander who, unlike Pask, wasn’t primarily concentrated on making his own tank shoot better.
That’s profoundly not what Odon is.
Head of Redmaw’s Great Company, Bran Redmaw is a Wolf Lord on the edge. If the whole Wulfen aspect of the Space Wolves appeals to you, Bran is meant to scratch that itch.
Coming in at 210 points, you get an independent character with the usual Wolf Lord stat line and a 2+/4++ save. Rather than any standard equipment, he’s equipped with a two-handed axe, letting him strike at S5, AP2, with Shred. Note that, while it is two handed, it’s not unwieldily – those hits come in at Initiative 5. That’s not nothing. He also gets the Saga of the Hunter trait automatically.
But what’s really interesting about Redmaw is that he can turn into – “The Redmaw”. At the start of the Imperial player’s movement phase except the first, you roll a D6, adding +1 for each Space Wolves unit locked in combat that he can see. On a 5+…he hulks put, and turns into a Super Wulfen. Keeping his current wounds and losing 2 points of Leadership, he heads to WS7, S6, T6, I6 and A5 – along with gaining Fleet, Eternal Warrior, a 5+ Feel No Pain, Fearless and Furious Charge. Close combat monster – literally. He loses the ability to use his axe, but he gains Rend. I don’t know that I’d rely on that, but against lower armor foes, that’s pretty powerful. Note that there’s no rule that he has to leave any unit he’s currently in.
On the other hand, a Wolf Lord will a similar weapon loadout – a pair of Wolf Claws, Black Death, or the like – will be about 50 points cheaper. If you crack open the Champions of Fenris supplement, the Krakenbone Sword will even give you a similar at-initative, S+1, AP 2 sword. You’d lose Shred, but gain the extra attack for a pistol and master-crafting.
More importantly, Bran Redmaw…doesn’t fit with the current competitive Space Wolf paradigm of Thunderwolf-based deathstars. He’s not particularly mobile unless he’s in Wulfen form, and that’s not terribly reliable. He’s a solid HQ choice, but a pricey one for running in an infantry-based Space Wolf list.
Neither character is fatally flawed, but neither one of them is exactly primed to set the world on fire. Of the two, I find Odon more disappointing – Redmaw is at least setup to turn into some sort comically violent transhuman Werewolf, which could be fun in a thematic list that wasn’t optimized for tournament play. Odon…even if I wanted to play the Cadian 6th, I’d likely end up taking Pask or a generic Tank Commander.
Without awesome Forge World figures to push forward using their rules, I can’t see them seeing much tabletop play, and I really can’t see their rules being worth the £50 price of admission.
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