PLAYTEST: Radical Wargear

This article updates some very cool pieces of wargear used by the Relictors Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes and by Ordo Malleus Inquisitors of a Radical bent. If you've never encountered radical wargear before, you are in for a treat!

About a gazillion years ago, Phil Kelly wrote an article that appeared in White Dwarf's Chapter Approved (ah, how I miss Chapter Approved) called Chaoticians and Cataclysms which detailed some radical wargear used -- let's see how these dark artifacts work in 5th Edition.

If you aren't familiar with the Relictors Chapter, then read up about them here and here. They are all kinds of awesome. I collect a decent number of Space Marine Chapters, but Relictors have always been my favorite. Their "fight fire with fire" attitude (especially their quest to turn Chaos against itself) really resonates with me. 

So without further delay let's extract these tainted artifacts used by Relictors and Radical factions of the Ordo Malleus from their thrice-consecrated confinement chambers and see how they look in 5th Edition.

Radical wargear may only be used by Independent Characters from the Relictors Space Marine Chapter and by Deamonhunter Inquisitors. Armies that include Radical wargear may not also include any Grey Knights.

These artifacts are ancient and unique; each is kept safe in stasis chambers deep within heavily fortified reclusiams and unobtainium-lined sacristies. Since only one of each of these artifacts exists, only one of each type may be taken in any given army.

Books of Pain (25 points - Inquisitors and Inquisitor Lords only)
The fabled Books of Pain contain every word that has ever been used to describe sensation from discomfort to screaming agony. In times of dire necessity, a few words from these blasphemous texts can cause all those within earshot to fall into paroxysms of suffering.

The Books of Pain can be used once per game at the beginning of any Movement phase. All units, friend or foe (including the bearer's own unit), with a model within 6" of the bearer are immediately forced to go to ground (as if it failed a Pinning test) until the beginning of the bearer's next turn.

Note: Since no Pinning test is taken, Books of Pain force units that normally automatically pass Pinning tests (e.g., Fearless units) to go to ground.

Arketus Scourge (40 points - Relictors only)
The Arketus Scourge is a flail tipped with balls of pure energy in the form of screaming daemonic faces. Originally wielded by Arketus Bardane, the Chapter Master of the Relictors, the flail snaps and gnashes at the souls of those it hits.

The Arketus Scourge is a Daemon Weapon, and follows the appropriate rules from Codex: Chaos Space Marines. If the Scourge wounds a model with more than 1 Wounds, that model must roll under its Leadership on 3D6 or be removed as a casualty. If the bearer takes a wound from rolling a 1 for the number of attacks, then the bearer is effected by the Scourge and must roll under its Leadership on 3D6 or be removed as a casualty.

Sword of St. Aquitaine (35 points)
The Sword of St. Aquitaine was recovered by the Relictors immediately prior to its debasement and subsequent possession by a daemonic entity and contains a nightmarish creature of such power that it can turn day into night.

The Sword of St. Aquitaine is a Daemon Weapon, and follows the appropriate rules from Codex: Chaos Space Marines. Once per game, after causing at least one Wound in close combat, the wielder may force the entirety of the next game turn to be fought with the Night Fight rules. If the bearer is not in close combat, he may sacrifice a single Wound (or remove a model from his squad as a casualty) to use the power of the Sword.

Note: When sacrificing a Wound (or a member of his squad) to power the Sword, no saves of any kind are allowed.

Shard of the Monolith (25 points - Relictors only)
Recovered from the twisted, debased Monolith at the heart of the Equatorial Jungle on Armageddon and set into an ornate chain of consecrated lead, this shard of obsidian imbues the wearer with great speed and strength but at a price.

The bearer gains +1 Strength and +1 Initiative. The model (and any unit he joins) gains the Rage special rule.

Grimoire Pandaemonica (35 points)
This daemonic Grimoire weighs heavily with the sacrifices made in its name and has the power to augment the power of dark ritual. When read backward, passages from within its pages can cause tidal waves in the ether and disrupt control over daemonic summoning.

At the beginning of his Movement phase, the bearer of the Grimoire Pandaemonica may choose one of the following effects. The chosen effect lasts until the beginning of the bearer's next Movement phase. The controlling player may use the Grimoire even if the bearer has been removed as a casualty or is not on the table.
  • The bearer may obfuscate the pathways daemons use to breaching the Warp. The bearer may prevent a single Icon of Chaos from being used by Lesser Daemons arriving from Reserve. In addition, when an opposing Greater Daemon becomes available from Reserve, the bearer may may select the model that is possessed instead of the Chaos Space Marines player. This must be one of his opponent's suitable models (i.e., Champion, Aspiring Sorcerer, Sorcerer of Chaos or Chaos Lord). 
  • The bearer may provoke bound daemons into rebelling against their masters. The bearer may require that any Daemon Weapon re-roll of the die for determining its number of attacks. 
  • The bearer can weaken the barriers between the physical and the Warp. Eldar Ghost Helms and Runes of Warding offer no protection. Tyranid Shadows of the Warp is negated. All Psychic Hoods (and Rune Staffs) only negate psychic powers that target the bearer of the Psychic Hood (or Rune Staff)..
  • The bearer can make using psychic powers more dangerous. If any model (friend or foe!) takes a wound from Perils of the Warp, it explodes and is immediately removed from play. Warp-charged debris is scattered D6" from the model, and all models in range suffer a Strength 3, AP - hit.
  • The bearer may strengthen the barriers shielding the physical world. The bearer forces a -1 penalty to any Chaos Daemon Reserve rolls. 
  • The bearer may use the Grimoire to trick daemons into manifesting in a dangerous location. Any unit of daemons arriving via Reserves must make a dangerous terrain test.
Blade of Phaedron (35 points)
Inside the Blade of Phaedron lies the seething soul of a Daemon with a great enmity for all its kin. Although the weapon is unremarkable when employed against a living thing, against a Daemon, the blade will blaze white with the pure heat of the captive Daemon's rage.

The Blade of Phaedron is a Daemon Weapon, and follows the appropriate rules from Codex: Chaos Space Marines. The Blade wounds all Daemons on a 2+ and adds D3 tp the bearer's Attacks characteristic when charging a Daemon instead of the usual +1.

>> There you have it! Let me know what you think of the rules -- comments and email are welcome. I'll be playtesting a couple of these after Adepticon, but if you manage to playtest them -- please, please, please send your comments!

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