Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 2

Santa said you were naughty this year, so he sent us!
Be sure to check out Part 1 of my Exterminatus review.

Up next in the review on Shield of Baal: Exterminatus; the Flesh Tearers.  I have personally always loved the Flesh Tearers and in fact, my personal Blood Angels force is a Flesh Tearers army.  It's very exciting to have them featured in Exterminatus.  Not quite a full supplement like Champions of Fenris, but their inclusion in the Shield of Baal fills that void quite nicely.

First up, the Relics of Cretacia. Unfortunately, the relics presented for our Flesh Tearers are not that great. Ok, who am I kidding, they are awful.  Horribly, horribly awful.  The Bones of Baelsor is an upgrade that costs the same as a power weapon which can be purchased for any of the dreadnough varieties.  It counts crew stunned as crew shaken instead and any penetrating hit caused from a Tyranid bio-plasma, bio-plasmic cannon, or a venom cannon is treated as a glance instead.  If you're going up against bugs, this one is not that bad, but its effects would be wasted on a death company dread in an all-purpose list because it already ignores crew shaken and stunned results.  If you're going up against Tyranids, it's worth taking, however even on a death company dread because of the ability to knock pens down to glances.

Slayer's Wrath is the same cost as a combi-weapon. It can be taken by any character with access to relics and replaces their boltgun or bolt pistol with a master-crafted poison 2+ boltgun.  The poison is nice, however the fact that the weapon has rapid fire means it will be useless in most Flesh Tearers armies unless you're running an HQ in terminator armor or on a bike so that you may assault after firing it.  In other words, you'll hardly ever use this one.

Sheild of Cretacia. I can't help but wonder what they were thinking with this one.  It's the price of a melta bomb and it's basically just a suit of power armor which makes the bearer immune to the Poison rule. It could be handy, say against a Dark Eldar army who are slinging around a lot of poison shots, but otherwise, I can't see this one having any use on the table at all.

Now on to the warlord traits.  Fortunately, what the Flesh Tearers lack in relics they more than make up for with the warlord traits table.  The first result gives your warlord and his unit Hatred.  The next gives your warlord Rampage.  Another gives your warlord and his unit Hammer of Wrath.  The next gives your warlord and all friendly blood angels faction units within 12" the Crusader USR.  The next gives your warlord and his unit Rage.  And finally, your warlord gains Feel No Pain.

Overall, a good bunch of warlord traits.  Most of them very useful and thematic for an assault based army like Flesh Tearers.  The one most people will gun for is Rage or the Hatred trait as either can turn an already formidable assault squad into a deadly force on the table.

Now, to the heart of the Flesh Tearers in this supplement; the Flesh Tearers Strike Force.  If you're like me, you hated the notion of now having to take 2 troops minimum in your detachments considering they took the Assault Marines out of the troop slots.  Fortunately, with the Flesh Tearers Strike Force, this problem has somewhat been mitigated.  The detachment requirements are 1 HQ, 1 Troop, and 1 Fast Attack minimum.  You can add the normal amount of units as per a regular detachment with the exception that you can add up to 5 Fast Attack instead of just 3.  A total of 6 Fast Attacks on the table with only having to pay the troop tax for 1 squad means we can continue using our assault marines.  This is good news.  The command benefits aren't bad either. You can re-roll the warlord trait from the Flesh Tearers table, and anytime you roll a 10 or higher for a charge that unit gains the Rage USR.  No, we can't get objective secured, nor do we have the ability to scatter only 1d6 with this detachment (unless you choose to roll on the Blood Angels chart, which you would not get a re-roll), however, the structure allows us Flesh Tearers players who used a lot of Assault Marines in their lists, to continue to do so.

Now, onto the formations.

Flesh Tearers Vanguard Strike Force
3 tacticals
1 assault squad
1 vanguard veteran squad
1 furioso dread

While the formations vanugard vets are alive, the formation ignores penalties for a disordered charge.  They also get the Red Thirst as per the Blood Angels codex.

Lysios Relief Force
Gabriel Seth
1 tactical squad
1 vanguard veteran squad
1 baal predator
1 predator
1 stormraven

Formation comes with Crusader.  Any non-vehicle unis that don't have deep strike or jump infantry type must be embarked on a transport that is not a drop pod.  All units start in reserve.  Make a single reserve roll for the entire formation and on a success they all arrive. No re-roll however.

Defenders of the Cathedrum
1 terminator squad
1 death company squad
2 tactical squads
1 assault squad
1 furioso dread

Units in the formation have counter-attack and are stubborn.

Strike Force Razorwind
Composed of both the Lysios Relief Force and Defenders of the Cathedrum. Follow same benefits/restrictions as their two formations along with two others.  All non-vehicle units within 12" of Seth are Fearless.  You can start making reserve rolls from this formation on turn 1. Again, no re-rolls however. So you can make a single reserve roll on turn 1 for the relief force, then individual reserve rolls starting on turn 1 for the units in the defenders of the cathedrum that you decide to hold in reserve.

Overall, the formations here are solid, but nothing overwhelming.  Certainly not as good as the Archangels, but many can be useful.  I like the idea of Strike Force Razorwind and making those reserve rolls from the start of turn 1.  Especially if you throw in a fortification with a comms relay on it.  Suddenly you're able to get your units on turn 1 rather easily.  Being able to do this means your opponent can't counter-deploy you, which gives you a huge advantage in the battle.

So, in conclusion here, I think the basic Flesh Tearers Strike Force detachment is a solid win as are the warlord traits.  The relics are horrible.  The formations are decent and certainly can see play on the table.  I still think the Blood Rain formation from White Dwarf 47 is probably the best overall formation for the Flesh Tearers, but the ones presented in Exterminatus are definitely solid.

Next up in part 3: Necrons and the Echoes of War missions.

Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 2 Exterminatus is Here: Review Part 2 Reviewed by Robert Chandler on 10:44:00 AM Rating: 5

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