LEGIONES ASTARTES: FALCHION TANK DESTROYER V2.0 TACTICA

Introduction

The Legion Falchion Tank Destroyer was born long before the beginning of the Heresy. It is the culmination of the combination of technology embodied within the Fell-Super Heavy chassis and the Shadowsword Super-Heavy Tank. The Falchion’s twin-linked Volcano cannon is one of the most potent weapons in the Astartes arsenal and as such it requires a supreme amount of resources just to construct a single Falchion.

The Falchion is one of those models that I converted up with bits from a box instead of paying the handsome sum Forgeworld demands. My version is definitely not as aesthetically pleasing as the official model, but it works! It’s one of those models that I will inevitably end up with in my collection at some point.

Under Heresy v1.0 rules, the Legion Falchion set you back 525 points base. That’s not a bad price at all, but in this author’s experience, I rarely saw them on the table. When I did, they always came with the +15 points Legion Crew and the +35 points Neutron Wave Capacitor upgrades. This made them quite the Titan killer on the tabletop – with Destroyer weapons and the ability to make a penetrated target snap shoot with Shock Pulse on the Neutron Wave Capacitor. Maybe then, the rules revision in Heresy v2.0 will make them more prolific?!

Core Rules

The Legion Falchion’s base stat line hasn’t changed, outside of the inclusion of a 12″ movement characteristic:

MBSFrontSideRearHPTransport Capacity
Legion Falchion12414131212N/A

It’s a powerful combination of armour and movement that allows you to bring that fearsome main armament to bear. The weak rear armour has always been a surefire way to wreak a toll on the Fell-chassis and this is no different.

The Falchion sticks with the Super-Heavy (Vehicle) type rules in Heresy v2.0, though these have changed somewhat.

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

As discussed in the post about the Legion Glaive, a lot of the old Universal Special Rules have been replaced with a single page of text that outlines the rules overall.

Super-Heavy (Vehicle) in Heresy v2.0 does away with 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“. This means you’re not rolling 2D6 and discarding the lowest value to move through terrain and instead are rolling up to that full, sweet 12” unless you’re bumping impassable terrain. It’s a nice addition and certainly will aid you in-game by allowing you to hide (as well as you can a massive tank) the Falchion before popping out and letting rip.

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. This is a bit of a shame – though a tad niche in application on the table. I can understand why it’s been removed.

The rules, in general, aren’t what you’d class as an improvement. For existing players, the more I see the loss of Universal Special Rules such as Invincible Behemoth for a wall of text, the more I feel it’s a hit and a miss. The same is to be said about new players – whilst it’s probably more difficult to remember the individual rules at the beginning, remembering a type-specific rule for the movement that changes subtly is probably a bad move.

Reactions are interesting – but not game-changing. For Super-Heavy (Vehicles) you 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. Infantry teams conducting actions simply cannot be reacted to – which I can see in some instances as causing more than a little pain for the controlling player.

Wargear

The Falchion, in Heresy v2.0, is fairly similar to its Heresy v1.0 form coming fitted with a Centreline mounted Twin-Linked Volcano Cannon, Two Sponson mounted Lascannon Arrays, and Smoke Dischargers. Missing from this base wargear from its previous version is the venerable Searchlight – though it is a +5 point option now. At this point, it’s safe to say that across the Fell-Chassis, Games Workshop didn’t like players getting a free light.

Unlike the Legion Glaive, which has been neutered with a needlessly heavy hand, the Falchion seems to have had some fairly solid thought put into its weapons systems.

RangeStrAPType
Quad Lascannon (v1.0)48″92Heavy 2, Twin-Linked
Lascannon Array (v2.0)48″92Heavy 2, Twin-Linked, Sunder

Starting with the secondary armaments, we see the same addition that we see replicated across all Fell-chassis Lascannons. Sunder will definitely help out in-game, but let’s face it – if you’re not whacking something with your Twin-Linked Volcano Cannon – then the dice Gods probably aren’t with you.

RangeStrAPType
Twin-Linked Volcano Cannon (v1.0)120″D2Primary Weapon 1, Large Blast (5″)
Twin-Linked Volcano Cannon (v2.0)120″141Destroyer 1, Large Blast (5″), Ignores Cover

Let’s take a moment to look at Destroyer as its had some sizeable changes:

Under Heresy v1.0, we had a table (the Destroyer Table) that you rolled separately on in order to ascertain whether you absolutely annihilate the target (a 6+), smash a few wounds off (2-5+) or effectively miss, even though you clearly just brought a monumental weapon to bear on the roll of a 1. It wasn’t a great system and you still had the arguments about the fact that on the roll of a 2+ the Destroyer table clearly states the model suffers a penetrating hit – which means you also roll on the Vehicle Damage Table.

Under the Heresy v2.0 overlords, we now roll 3D6 for armour penetration, discarding the lowest single D6 and applying the rest to armour penetration. This effectively folds the Primary Weapon rule into Destroyer. You then apply D3 hull points of damage regardless of whether you glance or penetrate. This makes Destroyer single-handedly better than its older variant. No more ones, and a meaningful mechanic to assure those penetrations. Adding to this, those 7+ Explodes! results are easier to get – especially when most of the Destroyer weapons are AP1 and lurk around the Strength 10-14 range.

Frankly, the Heresy v2.0 version of the Twin-Linked Volcano Cannon is much better than its previous iteration – especially now that there’s absolutely nowhere to hide with Ignores Cover. Strength 14 is absolutely nothing to sniff at, meaning most targets will be fair game, as Destroyer is not affected by Flare Shields. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. The Falchion has always had access to Neutron Wave weapons, and this edition is no different.

RangeStrAPType
Neutron-Wave Capacitor (v1.0)120″D2Primary Weapon 1, Large Blast (5″), Shock Pulse, Feedback
Neutron-Wave Cannon (v2.0)120″101Destroyer 1, Large Blast (5″), Shock Pulse, Ignores Cover

The difference here boils down to the fact that under Heresy v1.0, you could cause the target to snap shoot when you successfully scored a penetrating hit. However, if you failed your penetration roll, you were forced to roll a D6 and on a 1, suffered the loss of 1 HP.

In the Heresy v2.0 version – there’s absolutely no downside. At +35 points, this means you’re rocking 685 points – far cheaper than a Legion Glaive to drop absolute murder down on your opponents. Frankly, I feel that 650 points for always-on AP 1 at Strength 14 with Ignores Cover is ridiculously cheap compared to the Legion Glaive, which is AP 3, Strength 8 for 700 points.

Summary

Games Workshop – what the hell are you playing at?

Seriously, the Falchion is absolutely monstrous and quite frankly under-costed for what it can do in theory on the table. Why the hell is the Legion Glaive +50 points over this for a worse weapon system in every regard? You can quite comfortably take a Falchion and use it to sweep the table of infantry/terminator squads or armoured platforms – whereas with the more expensive Glaive you’re going to struggle to do either.

Sure, it’s going to suffer from the same issues that all Fell-chassis tanks suffer from – namely the change to the vehicle damage and catastrophic damage rules. However, this thing is definitely going to take its weight in blood before it clacks off and gets removed from play.

If the Falchion isn’t in play more often with these rules, then I’ll be surprised. Sure, the community doesn’t consistently play with the best datasheets – Heresy is narratively driven. However, I genuinely think the Falchion could now entirely carry an army with its anti-tank capability.

So far, we have covered the Legion Glaive and the Legion Falchion.

So far, it’s clear that someone in the rules team at Games Workshop was touched inappropriately by a Legion Glaive in-game, and that the Legion Falchion now is a top-level contender for the crown of most crazy good Super-Heavy (Vehicle).

If you’re on the fence for spending a whopping £224.50 on a Falchion, lacking (or missing) anti-tank and have a penchant for absolutely massive vehicles – honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong by popping the Falchion in your basket and clicking checkout.

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