Table Ready: Alpha Legion Rotor Cannon Support Squad

[This post was originally posted to Otherverse Games & Hobbies as part of a series called Plastic to Painted, or P2P. You may see logos or references to this site and series]

Language Translation

Language changes in crazy ways, and sometimes overnight it seems.  Words and phrases either fall out of or come back into fashion for any number of reasons.  I think onomatopoeia brrrrt is one of them.  I bet if you walked up to almost anyone and said did you see that brrrrt plane, or say plane go brrrrt, they’d realize instantly that you’re talking about the Fairchild A-10 Warthog.  Consequently if you walked up to any Heresy player and said, ‘Ha.  Marines go brrrrt.’, they’d quickly respond with, ‘Yeah, rotor cannon squads are pretty dope.’  With that in mind I decided to paint one up for my 1K Zone Mortalis list.  Let’s take a look.

The meme says everything it needs to in just three letters.

The Squad

I first got into 40K with OG Space Hulk and the Deathwing expansion back in 1992, then life happened and I fell out of it.  In the spring of 2003 I got back into the game late in 3rd Edition, actually starting to build and paint models, and learning the rules.  When I started looking into Heresy 2.0 I took a look at all of the different units and weapons, and went OK this is really cool and familiar.  I then saw you could take support squads with different assault and rapid fire weapons and thought that rotor cannons would be neat if nothing more than a joke yet.  I mean who doesn’t like the idea of a giant post-human in power armor carrying a minigun?  It’s great in Fallout so why not here?

I’ve taken to calling them The Squad.  Hopefully it’ll take off.

Then I watched a few battle reports that had them in lists and immediately realized this was a legit unit.  First off you’re typically hitting on 3+ because Marines and putting out 4 shots each.  That’s a lot of firepower and you know 2/3 of those shots are landing because of Marine ballistic skill.  The downside is that the weapon is only Strength 3, so you’re wounding Marines on 5+, but the tradeoff is that they have Pinning.  If any of those wounds go unsaved and the unit fails their pinning test, it’s stuck in place.

I’ve seen these guys pin anything from Tactical Squads through Terminator units.  Using these guys as a fire base to pin a pesky or key unit, then use another unit or two to maneuver around and wipe out said unit or take an objective is great.  I’ve seen Night Lords in particular use these guys to great effect in conjunction with maneuver units having Fear.  Adding Fear drops an opposing unit’s morale even more.  If a Tactical Squad is missing its Sergeant, the unit is now Leadership 7; throw on even Fear (1) and a rotor cannon unit chips a wound off, that unit is making checks on Leadership 6.  Great stuff if you’re not on the receiving end.

With all that said these guys are in pretty much any Zone Mortalis list I build.  I’m running a unit of 10 and they’re cheap as chips, so why not.  I don’t think I’ll run anything bigger than a squad of 10 but who knows.  Next step is to get them on the table and see how they perform.

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A New England transplant that originated from parts westward, Ryan is a bit of a nerd that knows a little bit about a lot of things, all while claiming to know nothing about anything.  Seemingly part Khajit a logistician by trade, he’s the kind of guy that can get you virtually anything if there’s coin to be had a problem to solve.  Ryan began to learn the scrounging arts while serving time in parts east as a Loggie and has been perfecting them steadily over several decades.  He has a problem with continually purchasing models, paints, and terrain that he doesn’t really need but his wife doesn’t seem to mind.

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