LEGIONES ASTARTES: GLAIVE SPECIAL WEAPONS TANK V2.0 TACTICA

Introduction

The Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank might outwardly look like its Fell-chassis brethren, but it’s a very different tank. Its main armament has its origins in the Age of Strife. Each Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank costs a supreme amount of resources, but it is considered an acceptable cost – the Volkite Carronade mounted to it is capable of burning through everything from hordes of lightly armoured infantry to the heaviest of armoured foes.

I never actually got around to making a Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank V1.0 Tactica for Legio Traitoris. This is mostly due to the fact that when I was ready and able to buy a Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank, COVID-19 forced the shutdown of Forgeworld. Even once Forgeworld restarted the subsequent price hikes and the birth of my son, Charlie refocused my wages elsewhere. Right now, I’m sitting remembering when the Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank was a hefty £189 – now it’s sitting at an almighty £219. When you compare that to the Baneblade box (which nets you a massive eight possible Super-Heavy vehicle builds) at £90, you end up asking the question; is it worth an additional £129 of my hard-earned wages?

Modelling wise, it is – as I now have one unbuilt in its box sat in my build pile.

The Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank (I’ll simply refer to it as “Glaive” from now on) in Horus Heresy: Battles in the Age of Darkness v1.0 was a solid 625 points. This seems like quite a lot, but it actually wasn’t. Glaives were very well pointed for what they could do on the tabletop – some would argue preposterously so. The “new” Glaive isn’t like that – so let’s delve in and see what it’s going to be like in Horus Heresy: Battles in the Age of Darkness v2.0.

Core Rules

The Glaive used to cost 625 points in Heresy v1.0 and is now a whopping 700 points in Heresy v2.0. In fairness, it definitely needed a points increase – as it was exceptionally good value in Heresy v1.0. Its stat line hasn’t changed, outside of the inclusion of a 12″ movement characteristic:

MBSFrontSideRearHPTransport Capacity
Legion Glaive12414131212N/A

It’s a respectable stat line that offers not only good armour, but very good mobility – two of the key points for the armoured design triad (a real life “gauge” to how successful a tank should be). You can already begin to see why 625 points in Heresy v1.0 was fairly cheap.

The Glaive is a Super-Heavy (Vehicle). Ultimately, this boils down to the following rules being applied to it:

Heresy v1.0 Super-Heavy (Vehicle)Heresy v2.0 Super-Heavy (Vehicle)
FearMoving
Move Through CoverShooting
Invincible BehemothVehicle Damage
ThunderblitzCatastrophic Damage
Catastrophic DamageReactions

On initial glance it seems odd and that the Universal Special Rules appear outright removed. Fear not, however, as in fact it’s a more streamlined ruleset.

Super-Heavy (Vehicle) in Heresy v2.0 does away with the convoluted statements for Move Through Cover, instead stating “Super-Heavy Vehicles are not affected in any way by Difficult Terrain or Dangerous Terrain, but may still neither pass through nor end their move in Impassable Terrain“. Effectively this means you’re pretty much always moving up to the full 12” without concern for terrain; unless it’s genuinely impassable.

When it comes to shooting, the rule is virtually identical, stating that Super-Heavy Vehicles may shoot all of their weapons as if they remained stationary, and may elect to shoot different weapons at different targets as long as they have line of sight from that weapon to the target.

Invincible Behemoth is replaced with a rule for Vehicle Damage that incorporates the effect that Crew Stunned, Crew Shaken, Immobilised and Weapon Destroyed results are ignored outright. You still lose 1+D3 on the roll of an Explodes! result, which means that overall, Super-Heavy (Vehicles) are now much less of a threat considering things like Lascannons have Sunder now.

Similarly, Catastrophic Damage has been altered. Instead of removing the model, placing an Apocalyptic Blast Template, rolling for scatter and applying the result of the table from a D6 roll (which could be anything from D/4/2 at AP 2/4/6 to a whopping D/10/5 at AP 2/3/4) you now resolve a Strength 7+D3 hit at AP4 against every model within D6+6″ of the hull. Units also must take a Pinning test. It means that catastrophic explosions aren’t really that catastrophic anymore – which, having seen games determined by unfortunate explosions, is a good thing in a way. It does however remove some of the fear of sticking close to that volatile Super-Heavy (Vehicles).

Thunderblitz appears to be outright gone, along with Fear. Which is a bit of a shame – though a tad niche in application.

Overall, I don’t think it’s a huge improvement. Most players understood what Invincible Behemoth did, how Super-Heavy (Vehicles) could shoot and that they needed a wide berth lest you be immolated in Destroyer blasts by it cooking off. At least the Super-Heavy (Vehicles) rules are on a single page in the Core Rule book. The movement changes, although minor are very useful and the Vehicle Damage change will definitely see players pushing that movement to add protection to the platform overall.

Reactions are interesting, it enables you to conduct an action that has been triggered by an enemy conducting an action of their own. Don’t think this means your Super-Heavy (Vehicle) will be conducting things like Overwatch on a plucky Melta Bomb equipped squad though – as Super-Heavy (Vehicles) may only conduct a reaction in response to actions undertaken by other Super-Heavy (Vehicles), Lumbering Flyers, Knights and Titans or any model with 8 or more wounds. This again is a telling statement – that your Super-Heavy (Vehicle) might not be the long-lasting weapon of war it has been in Heresy v1.0.

Wargear

The Glaive, in Heresy v2.0, is fairly similar to its Heresy v1.0 form coming fitted with a Turret Mounted Volkite Carronade, Two Sponson Mounted Lascannon Arrays, Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter and Smoke Dischargers. Missing from this base wargear from its previous version is the venerable Searchlight – though it is a +5 point option now.

What has changed is the efficacy of the wargear.

RangeStrAPType
Heavy Bolter36″54Heavy 4 (Heavy 3 in HH 1.0)
Quad Lascannon48″92Heavy 2, Twin-Linked
Lascannon Array48″92Heavy 2, Twin-Linked, Sunder

Starting with the humble Lascannons, there’s no real change here aside from the inclusion of the Sunder rule. This means that you’re able to re-roll failed armour penetration rolls and that you may re-roll a glance in order to attempt to get a penetrating hit, but must keep the second result. That’s quite a bump in output – though on this chassis you need to remember that the Lascannon Arrays are located on each side – so your facing angles will be absolutely critical for engaging enemy armour.

The Heavy Bolter gains an additional shot over its Heresy v1.0 variant, which is nice for a bit of front-towards-enemy troop clearing.

RangeStrAPType
Volkite Carronade (v1.0)48″82Primary Weapon 1, Ignores Cover, Heavy Beam, Deflagrate, Haywire
Volkite Carronade (v2.0)45″83Heavy 1, Heavy Beam, Deflagrate

A common phrase heard when Glaive owners read this table will be “Look how they massacred my boy”. The loss of 3″ isn’t that vast a change, especially when you consider the movement of 12″ and no affect of terrain on the Glaive. The real issues start to come out when you look at the rest of the changes – starting with the AP drop to AP 3. It means units such as Terminators are going to enjoy that Sv2+ when they previously were forced on to their invulnerable save and that armoured vehicles no longer fear the Glaive. Heavy Beam remains broadly the same, drawing a 1″ wide shot that hits friendly and enemy units it passes (flyers being the exception) and stopping when it hits something substantial. The threshold for substantiality has changed however. Previously, it was a piece of Terrain, Building or Super Heavy (Vehicle) that stopped the path of the beam. Now, in v2.0 it’s a piece of Terrain, Building, Vehicle or unit with 6 or more wounds. That’s Dreadnoughts up.

Commuting Primary Weapon 1 to Heavy 1 means you’re only rolling one D6 for Armour Penetration, which would be acceptable, if the Glaive retains Haywire.

The problem is, it doesn’t. The loss of Haywire makes the Glaive wholesale worse than its v1.0 profile for its new cost as it’s now pretty much solely an anti-Power Armour platform – S8 AP 3 will struggle with Armour Value 12+ (glancing on 4+) and being 4+ to wound a Leviathan Dreadnought and 3+ to wound all other Dreadnought chassis let alone anything else. Compare that to causing Hull Points to be lost on a 2+ previously is pretty horrific for what is now a 700 point Super Heavy (Vehicle). No matter how you skin it, the Glaive is poorer at clearing Terminator equivalent (or Artificer Armour) and worse at causing damage to Dreadnoughts and Vehicles – especially now that the beam stops on the first vehicle or 6 wound platform it hits. Savvy opponents will simply neuter the Glaive by placing the richer targets behind a vehicle or a 6 wound model. It’s dangerously close to playing Warhammer 40,000 at this point.

The loss of Ignores Cover is the only thing that should have been changed. No other Volkite weapon has it (to memory) and it doesn’t make sense with the lore of the weapons anyway. It was always overkill too.

You’ll note that there’s no Armoured Ceramite in this wargear list yet. That’s because largely, it no longer exists in the system. Yes, your Glaive is now going to be absolutely lit by Armourbane (Melta) shots and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Summary

I’m more than a little sad. The first time I’ll have a Legion Glaive Special Weapons Tank in my collection and it’ll likely sit alongside my converted Legion Stormblade… because unless I’m missing something* in the core rule book that improves the situation significantly, I can’t see its worth (and the Legion Stormblade isn’t in the book). +75 points for Sunder on two side sponson Lascannon Arrays and a bit better movement doesn’t really make sense. Especially when you consider how neutered (almost to non-existence) the Volkite Carronade now is. Frankly, in comparison, either the Fellblade or the Falchion with the Volcano Cannon or the Neutron Wave Cannon is significantly better for their cost (650 points and 650/685 points respectively) than the Glaive.

The Legion Stormblade conversion I spent nigh on half a year converting, now to sit on a shelf. At least it’ll have a £219 friend to sit alongside and look pretty.

It seems to me that Heresy v1.0 saw a Glaive of horrific capability. Heresy v2.0 is a Glaive of utter mediocrity – nerfed into a space that sees it carry a price tag both in real life and in-game that it simply cannot demand on the tabletop. Sure, if your meta is facing lots of Sv3+ and no vehicles or 6 wound+ models, then it’s probably worth 700 points**. Otherwise the changes simply aren’t worth the cost – instead, Games Workshop should have priced it at 700 points, removed Ignores Cover on the Volkite Carronade and called it a day.

Even so, a 35 point Drop Pod with a 295 point 10 man Tactical Support Squad (Melta Guns) will likely end any thoughts of ground supremacy with any Super-Heavy (Vehicle). That’s pretty much game, set and match for one of the best looking models in the game system.

Long live the king, the Glaive Special Weapons Tank is dead.

*Please let me know if I am!

**The rumoured Mechanicum leaks means this thing will definitely tear up Castellax and Domitar.

2 comments

  1. Oh my……this is…hard to fathom. I also have a glaive acquired a few months back still sitting in its box. I have been trying to decide which legion was going to get it, my XVI, Nightlords or Emperors children (was leaning towards EC) now I feel like throwing it in the bin….700 pts for the worst most nerfed super heavy in the game. How can they buff las cannons but then proceed to nerf heavy beam, make it ap3, remove haywire AND ignores cover….this can’t be the final rules…

    Like

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