|Map of the Pale Stars region (Badab War books by Forge World)|
The Mantis Warriors army that I have started is part of a wider project that I am part of, alongside three other members of the Bolter and Chainsword forum. Our goal is to recreate parts of the Secessionist Chapters (to refresh people's memories, that's the Astral Claws, the Lamenters, the Executioners and the Mantis Warriors) and to build our own narrative around these forces, taking them through various events of the Badab War. Because it is a joint project, we are all going to start our own forces at the same time and so I am restricted to only painting a model or two, reading up on the Badab War and the Chapters involved, brainstorming ideas and creating an army list. The last item of that list is what I'm going to be writing about today as it is something that has bothered me for a while and I can't seem to get my ideas straight on the matter. However, since my long drivels on the subject will probably take up quite a lot of space, I'm dividing this into multiple parts and doing a "mini-series". Anyway, forward I go with part 1 - the Mantis Warrior Chapter Tactics!
Some of you may know that Forge World recently released a set of Chapter Tactics for the Chapters that they have featured in their Imperial Armour books (with the exception of those which already have a Chapter Tactic* from the main Codex, such as the Raven Guard who were in IA vol. 8). As the Mantis Warriors were featured in IA vol. 10, they received a set of rules and I was pleasantly surprised when I read them.
The Mantis Warriors (Progenitors: White Scars)
Once the silent warders of the Endymion Cluster, in the wake of the Badab Wars the Mantis Warriors have been bound to a century long penitent crusade which may well see the end of the Chapter before its conclusion. One of the rare descendants of the savage White Scars, the Mantis Warriors’ millennia of isolation on the far edge of human space has left them much changed from their origins. Experts in the art of guerrilla warfare and the sudden application of violence from concealment, the Mantis Warriors are subtle and cunning killers, wreathed in mysticism, who strike with the fury of an unexpected storm.
Shadow Killers: Infantry models in this detachment gain the Move Through Cover and Hammer of Wrath special rules. In addition, on any turn in which they declare a charge from within a terrain feature that grants a cover save (not including any terrain piece purchased as a Fortification choice), they gain the Furious Charge special rule. Note that units which contain models with any variant of the Bulky special rule do not benefit from this special rule.
Children of Prophecy: A force whose primary detachment has Chapter Tactics (Mantis Warriors) may re-roll failed attempts to Seize the Initiative where this is a factor in the mission being played. In addition, any Mantis Warriors Librarians may generate Psychic powers from the Divination discipline instead of the disciplines listed in Codex: Space Marines if the controlling player chooses.
The main advantage of taking the Mantis Warriors Chapter Tactic is the access to the Divination psychic power table, which has many interesting and useful powers to augment the abilities of nearby units. I won't be doing a full analysis of the psychic powers in this post (keeping that for another day), but I do believe that it is a very powerful buff if used properly and that the Prescience power is not necessarily the default, auto-take power in the list, despite its direct and welcome effects.
*For those of who haven't read the new Codex: Space Marines, the Chapter Tactics are basically a set of rules that are unique to each of the main Second Founding Chapters and their successors which allow you to (in theory) play your army as described in the fluff that GW has released over the years.