Next up on the list are the Vostroyans, a regiment most noted for there first born regiments. Long story short, they didn't back the Imperium during the Heresy, in fact they didn't back anyone but decided to keep all the man power they had to keep there manurfactoriums going. This lead to some guilt and as an expression of that guilt they give over the first born sons of every family to the Imperium. This means that they are one of the few regiments that actually receive reinforcements from there home world. They are also know for there wargear, which is customised and quite often a family relic or something. I was unsure how they were going to transform this on to the table top and to be honest, its not what I expected.
The basic premise is that all the Vostroyans wargear is master crafted and hand build to a level of detail and perfection greater than the mass produced wargear the rest of the imperium get issues. As such they have received the Hairloom Weapons Doctrine.
Unlike the other doctrines we have seen so far, this does not have two parts but is a simple one part, cover all doctrine and it really is simple. It leaves no room for doubt and makes a lot of the infantry weapons 30" and boosts up all the heavy weapons. There are good points and bad points to this. I'll start with the bad, so I can end on a high. The main bad point is that the weapons that really need it are not affected, i.e. flamers and meltas'. putting an extra 6 inches on a flamer or heavy flamer would make a real difference, with a melta it was really make a massive difference, yes, on a lasgun or plasma gun in makes a difference, but flamers and melta are the ones that would benefit most from this. I can understand why they have taken meltas of the list, as that would be very powerful, and with a lack of multi-meltas, its not going to affect melta weapons much at all. Flamers on the other hand, would not become overpowered by this at all, but would be boosted sensibly. Other down points are that some of the weapons that benefit, don't really need it, I mean, lascannons can tough pretty much anything, to can battle cannons, 6 extra inches isn't going to make that much difference. It might open up so additional cover positions, but on the whole, its not a great improvement for them.
The good points of this doctrine however, do put this doctrine in to the good pile. The are some real stand out winners to this, being Plasma guns, Punisher Gatling Cannons and obviously, the humble lasgun. Yes, there are some other weapons that benefit, such as heavy bolters, but those, I think, are the main winners. Adding an extra 6 inches to a lasgun means that you will be able to get shots on target that much earlier, and combining it with something like FRFSRF (if it still exists, which I would guess it still does) will mean 2 shots at 30 inches and 4 at 15 inches. This will really make the difference between getting 2 rounds of shooting in on an enemy before a charge and getting 3 rounds in. It will also pretty much guarantee at least one round of rapid fire, unless you opponent wants to risk a 10 inch charge. Plasma guns benefit in the same way really, that extra range pushes you threat range significantly, and also means that at deployment, you have a chance of really doing damage, as you can reach over in to the enemy deployment zone without having to move but if you choose to, there are very few places they can hide. The last one to mention here I think is the Punisher Gatling Cannon. This is an awesome weapon, kicking out a load of shots, but it is very short ranged for a tank based weapon, forcing you to get up close to the enemy, when really, you don't want to. Now, with the extra range you can hang back further, making sure to keep out of range of lots of weapons, like melta guns, and also well out of charge range. I think its defiantly a good fit for this weapon, especially with the rules we looked at yesterday. I also mentioned heavy bolters, now these things have always been a close call with autocannons, but have always lost out and still do but with the extra range, they do start to look good again, but remember, autocannons also gain that extra range.
All in all I think that this is a good doctrine and one I may well look at for some of my troops but at the moment, it looks like the weakest one of the three we have seen so far.
The highlighted unit this time round is the heavy weapons squad (HWS) and I can see why. With the extra range bonus granted by the doctrine, it means that heavy weapons can reach that little bit further and do that little bit more damage. Most of the heavy weapons have quite a good range on them, with most being at least 48 inches. The extra 6 inches doesn't make much of a difference but it does make it that bit more dangerous to you enemy. I don't think that this extra range on your heavy weapons really makes or breaks this doctrine, its nice but it doesn't swing it for me.
One thing that does make me sit up and take notice and that is the Vostroyan order; Repel the Enemy.
Now, this does catch my attention. being able to shoot any of your weapons while locked in combat is a huge bonus. Ok, so it only applies if you are actually locked in combat and it makes it one of the only times you might actually want to get charged. Now, in a normal squad of guardsmen, only the sergeant has a pistol, so only he can shoot in the shooting phase, alternatively you could issue the Fix Bayonets order (assuming all the orders are ported from the index to the codex), for an extra round of combat but with only 1 strength 3 close combat attack each, being able to use Repel the Enemy is a massive advantage. At the very least it is doubling the number of attacks you can put down, with the rapid fire lasguns, but any special weapons will benefit, as will any heavy weapons. Can you imagine a squad with a flamer and an autocannon? Or a grenade launcher? This could really hurt the enemy unit, and with being able to then strike in combat as well, you can really do some damage. This order will also be very useful against any combat units like some of the deamons (deamonettes maybe?) who get to strike first in combat no matter what. I think that this is better than the doctrine and does bring up the regiment overall.
The last thing that is mentioned is the Scout Sentinels. They have mentioned the scout sentinels ability to scout, which is the same as it is in the index, without any changes at all.
This is a basic ability to move before the game, in the fashion of the old scout moves. This means that you can push up early and put pressure on the enemy from the off. This does mean that you can expand the zone of disruption for deep strikers, pushing them further from your more important units.
The stratagem that is highlighted also related to the Scout Sentinels.
This means that the scouts have a potential first turn move of between 20 and 30 inches, or if you can advance in the movement phase and still use this stratagem, anything from 21 to 36 inches. Now i'm not sure if you can use this is you've advanced as part of you movement, as it says you can move instead of shooting, which you cant do if you've advanced, unless you've an assault weapon, which Sentinels don't have. So, my reading is that you can do this instead of advancing, so switching 1d6 for 2d6, for the cost of a CP. Its also worth noting that if you decide to do this on any other turn, apart from turn 1, you have a treat range of between 11 and 21 inches, which could be useful for last turn objective grabs, but it a bit unpredictable. So while its a useful stratagem, its not one of the best I've seen so far.
Overall, I think today's preview has been the weakest of the three we have seen so far. The scout sentinel info and stratagem does not excite me like the Leman Russ stuff did the other day and the Vostroyan doctrine is, I think, the weakest so far. The order however is one of the strongest, granted we haven't seen the Catachan one in full yet. As things stand, I won't be using this doctrine, as the others we've seen so far are better.
Today is supposed to bring us to the Valhallans and the changes to conscripts, both of which will be interesting to see. The last snippet of info is about the return of a much loved rule, which, combined with the Valhallans, could be the return of Chenkovs "Sent in the Next Wave!". Tomorrow will tell!