Today I am going to review the Kharybdis Assault Claw (or KAC for short so I don’t have to type it all the time), the big brother of the Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw.
This is a unit that I have long admired for its looks as much as what it can do on the table. If I could afford four of these you bet I would field them all. Or even one surrounded by little Anvillus offspring. I can dream!
Anyway lets leap in shall we?
The Kharybdis has a drop pod standard stats line ON STEROIDS:
BS Front Side Rear HP
4 12 12 12 5
A whopping transport capacity of 20 models!! Or this can carry a dreadnought of any type, so that includes Leviathans… or it can carry a unit of rapier carrier teams. Already giving you a large amount of flexibility in how you utilise this beast.
The access point for the claw is underneath its hull, in practice they just disembark from the hull at ground level though.
Overview – A resilient 5HP coupled with decent enough AV and a large malleable transport capacity makes this thing an exciting prospect indeed.
Plenty of special rules makes this monster much much more than your usual drop pod (the payload of guns helps too).
Drop Pod Assault – Like a normal drop pod and makes sure it can come in turn 1
Flyer, Transport, Hover – This is incredibly important in terms of how you use the Kharybdis as a delivery system for its payload.
Assault Vehicle – Critical rule when coupled with the above hovering flyer rule, see Utilisation for more explanation on this.
Inertial Guidance System – Like a normal drop pod
Heat Blast – Thermal jets beneath the Kharybdis allow it to perform offensive manoeuvers both as it deep strikes and as it flys through the air.
- Heat Blast (Deep Strike) – Measuring D3+3″ from the hull, all models in the blast radius suffera S6 AP5 hit that counts as a flamer attack and hits vehicles on their weakest facing
- Heat Blast (Fire Sweep) – You may opt to inflict D6 S5 AP5 hits on each unit you pass over with the Kharybdis as it flys around the table. A flamer attack as above and also hits weakest armour of vehicles. Hits are distributed by your opponent so can be tanked and every time you make the attack (I read it as per unit hit) roll a D6, on a 1 you suffer a penetrating hit.
Independent Machine-spirits – Each weapon on the Kharybdis can target independently (like the Deathstorm I reviewed recently). Which is very nice once you see its armaments.
Overview – All these rules are really important apart from the Heat Blast attacks. The deep strike one is safe enough but I don’t see any reason to risk a penetrating hit for AP5 wounds. Don’t be fooled into it just because it is super cool!
As standard the Kharybdis comes with the following:
Five Kharybdis Storm Launchers – 24″, S6, AP5, Heavy 2, twin-linked, Pinning.
This weapon is very decent as an additional component of essentially a very good delivery system. 8 hits on average out of 10 shots wounding on 2’s isn’t too shabby, especially as it can glance AV12 and has a decent chance of penning AV10. Given the multiple firing arcs you might be able to see AV10 once in a while. But this is just a cherry on top of your transport, you didn’t take it for this.
Melta Ram – This allows the kharybdis to ram tanks! Not on the turn it arrives or any turn it uses its heat blast (which as discussed – Don’t) AND it can’t ram flyers. But this is not a bad option to take, ramming doesn’t occur anywhere near often enough!
Frag Assault Launchers – Oh yes, assault flyer/hover vehicle with frag for the happy days…
Overview – That’s it for its standard load out, but as you’ll see from the option below it can offer more!
The most important aspect to remember with this 260 point drop pod is that it isn’t immobile! On the turn you deep strike you can still flat out as any vehicle can in the shooting phase, this allows you to drop in – scatter – boost towards where you want your payload to appear next turn and then JINK like hell in your opponent shooting phase. You should hopefully weather the storm that comes.
In your second turn you can now move an additional 6″, disembark your squad and assault. And you get to fire 10 x S6 shots in very wide arcs of fire. Provided you survive your opponents shooting phase, which with jink and decent LoS blocking terrain isn’t a fantasy by any means, the Kharybdis is the ultimate delivery system for a potent assaulting unit.
Much like with the Caestus Assault Ram, the real value of the Kharybdis comes with what you put inside of it, and again like the Caestus, the combined cost of this unit will make it a centre piece of your army in all but the biggest games. Yes you could load a 20 man tactical squad in here, but what great advantage do you get out of giving such a squad a 260 point pimped up drop pod? You’d save yourself 60 points by putting 2 x 10 man squads in Anvillus Dreadclaws for one and achieve much the same effect.
No, the Kharybdis only makes sense as an investment if you put a killer unit in it. This could be a Primarch with a retinue of terminators, or just a big squad of super resilient Salamander Fire Drakes. obviously you will tailor this to your own army but the general principal for the Kharybdis remains the same and it is awesome. Plus it looks fucking cool.
One of my favourite transport options in the Heresy. I have plans to build a thematic Imperial Fists/Blood Angels force that represents the boarding action fighting that occurs during the assault on Holy Terra, with the Emperor’s own Champion Sigismund leading the force into the fray.