Forces of the Omnissiah – Vultarax Stratos-Automata Squadron

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The Vultarax was the most common stratosautomata in widespread use by the Mechanicum Taghmata at the time of the Horus Heresy. A robust, multi-role war engine, heavily armed and fitted with sophisticated sensory gear and able to operate in diverse and hostile environments, it proved itself a keystone of both Mechanicum Explorator Expeditionary forces as an armed, high-mobility scout and as a hunter-killer and rapid response unit in open battle.

Unlike the more common automata of the Taghmata, which were designed along primarily humanoid or animal forms, its design owed little to nature. Instead, it was based on patterns for autonomous aerial machines found within ancient pre-Imperium STC templates, and constructed around a powerful variant of the cybernetica cortex. A creation of the Forge World of Anetarbraxus during the Age of Strife, it was later given up as tribute to Mars. From there it spread rapidly to other Forge Worlds in the decades after Anetarbraxus’ reunification and, by the Horus Heresy, it stood as a memorial of sorts to that Forge World, shattered as it was to molten fragments during the Great Mandragoran Incursion.

  • Vultarax Stratos-Automata Squadron 125 pts
M WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Base
Vultarax (base: 100mm)
Vultarax 8 3 5 4 6 4 3 2 7 3+ 100mm
Unit Composition
  • 1 Vultarax
  • Arc blaster
  • Two havoc launchers
  • Atomantic deflector
  • Stratos thrusters
Unit Type
Special Rules
  • Djinn-sight
  • It Will Not Die (5+)
  • Night Vision
  • Surveillance Protocols
  • The Vultarax Stratos-automata Squadron may include:
  • - Up to 2 additional Vultarax
    +125 points per model
  • A unit consisting of a single model may be upgraded to have the following special rule Note that only one model in any army may be upgraded in this manner:
  • - Paragon of Metal
    +35 points

Some weapons and warriors strike in a flurry of blows, tearing flesh asunder in a series of brutal strikes.

If a model has the Shred special rule, or is attacking with a Melee weapon that has the Shred rule, it re-rolls failed To Wound rolls in close combat.

Similarly, if a model makes a Shooting Attack with a weapon that has the Shred rule, it re-rolls its failed To Wound rolls.
Rending (X)

Some weapons can inflict critical strikes against which no armour can protect.

If a model has the Rending special rule, or is attacking with a Melee weapon that has the Rending special rule, there is a chance that their close combat attacks will strike a critical blow. For each To Wound roll equal to or higher than the value listed, the target automatically suffers a Wound, regardless of its Toughness. The controlling player may choose to resolve these Wounds at AP 2 instead of the weapon’s normal AP value.

Similarly, if a model makes a Shooting Attack with a weapon that has the Rending special rule, a To Wound roll of equal to or greater than the listed value wounds automatically, regardless of Toughness, and is resolved at AP 2.

In either case, against Vehicles each Armour Penetration roll of equal to or greater than the listed value allows a further D3 to be rolled, with the result added to the total Strength of the attack. These Hits are not resolved at AP 2, but are instead resolved using the weapon’s AP value.

For example, a model with the Rending (5+) special rule that rolls To Wound against a non-Vehicle model will wound automatically on the roll of a 5+, and the attacking player has the choice of using an AP value of 2 instead of the AP value of their weapon.

Cybertheurgists use all manner of feral code-constructs and sophisticated lex-simulacra collectively known as data-djinn to corrupt and sabotage the machine spirits of enemy constructs.

When allocated to a model that does not have the Automata, Vehicle or Dreadnought Unit Types or is not a Building or Fortification, any Hits from a weapon with this special rule automatically fail to Wound without any dice being rolled and regardless of the weapon’s Strength or the target’s Toughness.

These weapons are grafted to the same targeting system for greater accuracy.

When attacking with a weapon that has this special rule, the controlling player may re-roll all failed To Hit rolls.
Heavy Weapons

These are heavy, man-portable weapons that typically require reloading between each shot or bracing to counter their recoil.

When making a Shooting Attack, a model with a Heavy weapon attacks the number of times indicated. If a model equipped with a Heavy weapon moved in the preceding Movement phase, they can only make Snap Shots with that Heavy weapon during the Shooting phase. Note that weapons with the Blast special rule cannot fire Snap Shots. Models that make Shooting Attacks with Heavy weapons in the Shooting phase cannot Charge in the ensuing Assault phase.

Reaper autocannon36"74Heavy 2, Rending (6+), Twin-linked
Blast Markers and Templates
Some weapons are so powerful that they don’t just target a single model or unit, but have an ‘area effect’ which might encompass several different models or units. To better represent these circumstances, Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness games use a series of different Blast markers and templates:
  • A ‘Small’ Blast marker (3" in diameter).
  • A ‘Large’ Blast marker (5" in diameter).
  • A ‘Template’ (a teardrop-shaped template roughly 8" long).
A number of weapons are even more powerful, able to obliterate entire squads in a single shot. These apocalyptic weapons use even bigger markers and templates, which include:
  • A ‘Massive’ Blast marker (7" in diameter).
  • An ‘Apocalyptic’ Blast marker (10" in diameter).
  • An ‘Apocalyptic Barrage’ marker (a clover-shaped set of five overlapping markers, each 5" in diameter).
  • A ‘Hellstorm’ (a teardrop-shaped template roughly 16" long).
All of these templates and Blast markers can be purchased separately.

The templates and Blast markers are used as a way of determining how many models have been hit by an attack that has an area of effect or a blast radius. When an attack uses a template or Blast marker, it will explain how the template is positioned, including any kind of scatter that might occur (scatter is discussed further later in this section). To work out the number of Hits, you normally need to hold the template or Blast marker with its central hole over an enemy model or a particular point on the battlefield, and then look underneath (or through, if using a transparent template) to see how many models lie partially or completely underneath. Various special rules and weapon effects will provide additional details on the specific use of templates when making attacks with those special rules or weapons.

A unit takes a Hit for each model that is fully, or even partially, underneath the template or Blast marker. Remember that a model’s base is counted as being part of the model itself, so all a template or Blast marker has to do to cause a Hit is to cover any part of the target’s base.

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Disruption (X)

The coruscating bolts of lightning hurled from arc weapons overload and burn out the circuitry and neuro-matrices of simple and complex machines alike.

To Hit rolls of the value X indicated made by a weapon with this rule cause an automatic Glancing Hit against models with the Vehicle Unit Type instead of rolling for Armour Penetration, and an automatic Wound against models with the Dreadnought or Automata Unit Types, instead of rolling To Wound.
Paragon of Metal

While each battle-automata of the Legio Cybernetica is in itself a creation of a near lost age of human power; a miracle of technological artifice and the product of arcane secrets without number, there remains among them war machines whose powers and capabilities are far beyond their peers. Whether somehow blessed by the Omnissiah, the product of a single magos’ unmatched genius or the darker influence of the forbidden, a Paragon of Metal is a near-unstoppable engine of war, albeit one perhaps not to be trusted, even by its master.

Only one model in an army may be upgraded to have the Paragon of Metal special rule. Models upgraded with the Paragon of Metal special rule must have the Automata (Cybernetica) Unit Type before the upgrade is applied. This rule confers the Paragon Sub-type, which replaces the Cybernetica Unit Sub-type, and confers the It Will Not Die (4+), Precision Strikes (4+), Precision Shots (4+) and Rampage (2) special rules. A model upgraded with the Paragon of Metal special rule also increases both their starting Wounds Characteristic and their Weapon Skill Characteristic by +1.

In addition, a model with the Paragon of Metal special rule may not be targeted or affected by any Cybertheurgic Power or any Weapon with the Data-djinn special rule, either friendly or enemy.
Atomantic Deflector

Powered by the vast glut of energy from its atomantic heart, the more advanced Mechanicum war engines were veiled in a protective shroud of energy that could deflect or disperse las bolts and kinetic munitions. Yet, such was the power channelled through this little-understood device that in death the war machines erupted in fiery ruin, a danger to both friend and foe.

A model with an atomantic deflector gains a 5+ Invulnerable Save and any model with an atomantic deflector and a Wounds Characteristic that suffers an unsaved Wound with the Instant Death special rule is not immediately removed as a casualty, but instead loses D3 Wounds instead of one for each unsaved Wound with the Instant Death special rule inflicted on it. In addition, when a model with an atomantic deflector loses its last Wound or Hull Point, but before it is removed as a casualty or replaced with a Wreck, all models both friendly and enemy within D6" suffer an automatic Hit at Str 8, AP -.

The sinister blank-faced helms of the Thallaxii conceal an array of inhuman sensory apparatus through which they experience the battlefield as a raging storm of electromagnetic turmoil, blood-heat and seismic percussion. However, for the organic brain to handle this hurricane of data, it must be surgically mutilated, removing the mere human senses such as sight and hearing.

When making Shooting Attacks, djinn-sight reduces the benefits of any Cover Save the target unit has by -2 (a 4+ becoming a 6+, a 5+ being ignored entirely, and so on). Additionally, Infiltrators may not be set up within 24" of units with this special rule, regardless of line of sight.
Night Vision

Some warriors can see almost as clearly in the darkness as they can in daylight.

A unit that contains at least one model with this special rule ignores the effects of Night Fighting and no model may make Shrouded rolls to negate Wounds inflicted by their attacks.

This datasheet has Fast Attack Battlefield Role. Full list of Forces of the Omnissiah units sharing same Battlefield Role follows:

Arc blaster

Arc blaster
Heavy 4, Shred, Disruption (4+)

Havoc launcher

Havoc launcher
Heavy 1, Blast (3"), Twin-linked
Stratos Thrusters

Larger and more powerful than other iterations of the humble jump pack, the Stratos thruster system is capable of more sustained flight, allowing those units equipped with it to cover large distances swiftly and unhindered by adverse terrain.

A unit composed entirely of models with Stratos thrusters may set its Move Characteristic to a value of 16" for the duration of the controlling player’s turn. This allows the unit to move up to 16", regardless of the Movement Characteristic shown on its profile and gain any other benefits of a Movement Characteristic of 16" (including the bonus to Charge distance). In addition, Stratos thrusters allow units to hover above the battlefield and thus ignore the effects of Difficult Terrain and Dangerous Terrain at all times.
It Will Not Die (X)

In the dark corners of the galaxy, there are creatures that heal at a terrifying speed.

At the end of each of your turns, roll a D6 for each of your models with this special rule that has less than its starting number of Wounds or Hull Points, but that has not been removed as a casualty or destroyed. On a roll equal to or greater than the number in brackets associated with the special rule, that model regains a Wound, or Hull Point, lost earlier in the game. For example, a model with It Will Not Die (5+) would regain a lost Wound on the roll of a 5 or more.
Surveillance Protocols

The enhanced behavioural programming of some cybernetica constructs allow them to ignore the more predatory aspects of their machine spirits to better focus their efforts on tasks for which they are better suited.

A model with this special rule and the Cybernetica Unit Sub-type may ignore the Programmed Behaviour provision described as part of that Sub-type during the Charge sub-phase.
© Vyacheslav Maltsev 2013-2024