“The Deredeo pattern Dreadnought is a dedicated heavy support frame, though it shares many core components and systems with the more general assault-based Contemptor class. Initially deployed in limited numbers to each of the Legions due to difficulties in its manufacture, its durability and firepower saw demand for the Deredeo pattern dramatically increase after the outbreak of the Horus Heresy.“

Legiones Astartes Army List, Deredeo Dreadnought Datasheet

The second entry in the Legiones Astartes Army Tactica series of posts brings us back down to terra-firma. Nicknamed “The Dorito” by players due to its wedge shaped sarcophagus, the Deredeo is a huge threat to enemy armour and aircraft in equal measure.

Rules & Core Capability:

Rules wise, it’s classified as Vehicle (Walker) and it is WS 4, BS 5 which further cements its role as a fire support platform. It’s quite well protected too being Front Armour 13, Side Armour 12 and Rear Armour 11 with 3 HP. In addition it comes with Extra Armour and Smoke Launchers which means that Crew Stunned results are instead counted as Crew Shaken and can obscure itself instead of shooting for a 5+ cover save.

It’s also got a complement of defensive and offensive aids inbuilt; Atomantic Shielding provides it a 5+ invulnerable save against shooting attacks and 6+ invulnerable against attacks suffered in close combat. On the offensive side, we see the Helical Targeting Array built in to the platform. This advanced augur and combat-cogitator grants Skyfire and Interceptor to it. Skyfire enables it to fire using its normal BS when shooting at Flyers, Monstrous Creatures and Skimmers, but snap shooting at other targets, with Interceptor allowing you to fire at any one unit that has arrived from Reserves within its range and line of sight. If this rule is used the weapon cannot be fired in the next turn.

Helical Targeting can be declared by the controlling player at the beginning of each of their player turns, with the provision that the Deredeo must remain stationary. In short, if you’re going first in a game round – you can pre-emptively stay still, declare the use of Helical Targeting Array and potentially destroy enemy assets arriving from reserve. If you’re going second, whilst you won’t get to intercept, you will get to fire at normal BS at the freshly arrived Flyer etc. In fact, this is exactly how i destroyed a friends Storm Eagle, complete with Chaplin and Palatine Blades.

Finally, as standard the Deredeo is armed with an Anvilus Autocannon Battery, with 48″ range, Strength 8, AP 4, Heavy 4, Sunder (re-rolling Armour Penetration rolls). This is quite the competent weapons system for light/medium anti tank. Tucked under the chin of the dreadnought a Torso mounted Twin Linked Heavy Bolter rounds out the Deredeo at 185pts. Something to note is that the Anvilus is a Single weapons system encompassing both autocannons and therefore may be disabled by a single Weapon Destroyed result.

Primary Weapons System Options:

The Deredeo is fairly competent out of the box then. However, there are multiple options available to it covering both primary weapons systems and secondary support systems. A rules pack was made avaliable to players in a recent weapons release and can be found here.

Volkite Falconete Battery, 20pts. The cheapest alternative weapons system available to the Deredeo, the Volkite Falconete Battery fills an odd niche. It has 30″ range, Strength 7, AP 5, Heavy 6, Deflagrate and Neural Overload. So for the majority of the stats, it reads as any Volkite weapon does. Although it does seem somewhat short ranged and underpowered, considering the handheld Volkite Caliver is 30″ Range, Strength 6, AP 5, Heavy 2, Deflagrate.

Neural Overload offers something new in the manner that any Infantry unit that suffers at least one Wound from this weapon must immediately make a Leadership test once all attacks have been resolved. If the Leadership test is failed, this unit may only fire Snap Shots in the following turn.

So for 205pts (without secondary support system), you get something that is offensively less powerful and has the same range as a 125pt Tactical Support Squad, but is in a more resilient package. Personally, i’m not a fan, which is a shame as i genuinely adore Volkite weaponary and its lore. You’ll rarely see this out and about unless someone really wants to run it – unfortunately, its AP and Strength don’t make up for its shortcomings in either AT or AP roles.

Twin Linked Single Hellfire Plasma Cannonade, 35pts. Packing two firing modes at 36″ Range, Strength 7, AP 2, the Hellfire Plasma Cannonade is where, in my opinion, the Deredeo begins to shine. Using Sustained Fire, you get Heavy 4 shots which is more than enough to decimate heavy infantry and glance Rhinos (Front AV 11) on 4s and Predators (Front AV 13) on 6s. Maximal Fire provides a Heavy 1, Gets Hot!, Large Blast 5″ shot that can be used to reliably clear swathes of the enemy from the table.

It won’t be able to deal with AV14 such as seen on Land Raiders and Spartan, but anything below is fair game. Coupled with the Helical Targeting Array this can be a nasty surprise to enemy air assets.

Arachnus Heavy Las Cannon Battery, 50pts. This is my favourite weapon for the Deredeo. 48″ Range, Strength 10, AP 2, Heavy 2, Exo Shock means that this is a worrisome weapon for anything that packs AV 14 – Spartans included. Should a penetrating hit be successfully scored, then the Exo Shock rule comes into effect. Exo Shock requires the player to roll an additional D6 when the penetrating hit is scored successfully. On a 4+ a second automatic penetrating hit is scored against which cover saves cannot be taken.

This is quite a strong rule, but is internally balanced by the fairly short range of 48″ (Solex Las Cannons are 72″ for instance) and the fact the weapon is not Twin-Linked. Exo Shock won’t come into effect every time you fire, but when it does come into effect I’ve found it to be fairly brutal. Expensive, Swingy, but immensely powerful, i chose to fit out my Deredeo with this option nine times out of ten.

My Night Lords Deredeo with Arachnus Heavy Las Cannon and Aiolos Missile Launcher, pre-repaint.

Secondary Support Systems:

The Deredeo has an optional mount atop the sarcophagus which is able to fit several systems to further bolster the offensive or defensive capability of the platform.

Atomantic Pavaise, 50pts. This system serves to improve the Deredeo Atomantic Shielding invulnerable to 4+ against shooting attacks and also grants Infantry models within 3″ of the Deredeo’s base a 6+ invulnerable – or improves an existing invulnerable save by 1 (to a maximum of 3+). Seeing as there is no penalty to moving, this turns the Deredeo into a mobile invulnerability bunker. It’s an expensive choice, that’s for sure, but if you are footslogging Terminators up the table, it can be quite useful, providing close in heavy firepower in addition to increasing a Cataphractii Terminator invulnerable save to 3+ and a Tartaros Terminator invulnerable save to 4+. I’d say this is highly situational and you’re incredibly unlikely to see this appear on the table unless someone specifically creates a situation that requires it.

Aiolos Missile Launcher, 35pts. Quite probably the most common choice for a secondary system that you’ll see, this is a hugely useful system. It packs a 60″ Range, Strength 6, AP 3, Heavy 3, Pinning, Independent Tracking capability – that’s nothing to scoff at. Independent Tracking means that the weapon may fire at a different target to the one the primary weapon system is firing at. So you can hit infantry with this system whilst engaging armour with the primary system.

Worse still for the target, it’s a pinning system, forcing a pinning check to occur when the unit suffers any unsaved wounds. If this is failed, then the unit cannot move, run or charge and can only fire snap shots in the shooting phase (it is unable to fire overwatch). At the end of its following turn, the unit returns back to normal – whatever is left of it.

It’s a good weapon system and is able to significantly blunt your opponents offensive or defensive lines. Something to make very clear however, is that this is not a Barrage weapon, therefore you still require Line of Sight to engage a target. It’s a simple rule that people forget or assume exists.

Boreas Air Defence Missiles, 24pts. For those who want to have a platform that is the true bane of air assets, Boreas Air Defence Missiles are your best bet as a secondary weapon system. 48″ Range, Strength 8, AP 2, Heavy 1, One Use, Independent Tracking, Heat Seeker gives the system a truly worrying threat capability. Each missile is One Use, so once it’s fired, it’s gone and you’re only firing one a turn which acts as an internal balancer for the fact that Heat Seeker means that Jink saves cannot be taken against it. They’re strong and being Strength 8, AP 2 they tend to really tear apart flyers when they hit.

Chassis Modifications:

Armoured Ceramite, 20pts. The must have for anyone going against an opponent who loves Melta weapons. Armoured Ceramite effectively removes the Melta rule from Melta weapons – vastly improving survivability from their effects. I generally take it regardless – though combined with the Atomantic Shielding save and the fact that Melta weapons generally have a short range, this sits hugely within the personal preference area. The counter-argument to not taking it, is that there are plenty of fast moving options, including Leviathan Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods and Javelin Attack Land Speeders that can seriously upset your day by closing very quickly and punching a hole clean through your Deredeo.

Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer, Free. An exchange for the Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters in the chin, these are a personal preference option that wholly depends on the narrative. Being Twin-Linked, but Template weapons, this means that you’re re-rolling failed wounds instead of failed hits, which can be quite strong. Something to be cognisant of is that if you’re playing Death Guard, you won’t need to fit it with Chem-muntions (unless you are going full, deep narrative of course) as technically the Heavy flamers already have Shred as they are Twin-Linked. In fact, in this case, you’re actually adding a detraction because Chem-munitions Get Hot.

Summary:

The Deredeo is a strong Anti-Tank and Anti-Air platform with ranging flexibility in its secondary weapons systems. Predominantly, you’ll see Deredeo outfitted with Arachnus Heavy Las Cannon Battery, Aiolos Missile Launcher, Armoured Ceramite, Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters which costs 290pts. It’s not far off the cost of a Leviathan Siege Dreadnought and is quite a lot more expensive than a Land Raider.

It excels at stand off ranges and if it gets involved in close combat, it will generally struggle, so melee should be avoided where possible. One or two of the aforementioned outfitted Deredeo will cause an opponent to seriously consider their deployment and movement, or focus their efforts on destroying them. Whilst having all of the enemies anti tank focusing on the Deredeo is fairly horrific (the loss of a 290pt unit is no joke) – it does mean that the rest of your army is receiving a light touch in comparison.

In the next article, i’ll be discussing the Leviathan Siege Dreadnought and the Dreadnought Drop Pod – something that is seen very much as a universal meta unit in the Horus Heresy game system at the moment, but does have shortcomings that can be exploited – to dramatic effect!