I downloaded the Tyrannic War Veterans dataslate last night, as I'm a sucker for anything Ultramarine. This unit used to exist in the 4th Edition codex, and it was one of the main reasons I started playing Ultramarines. Combined with an old article on the GW website about converting TWV models using Tyranid parts, it was the coolest theme I'd ever seen for Marines.
Sadly, the creation of TWVs faded out of my mind when the 4th Edition codex died. I moved on to other things. With the release of this dataslate, I might go back! I have all four of the TWV models in metal, just waiting for paint.
The dataslate consists of three parts: the background material, a new unit entry, and a formation.
The backstory is good stuff. While it contains a pretty standard writeup of the FirstTyrannic War and the Battle for Macragge, it also introduces some small additional details. I won't spoil those for you, as they're a fun read.
The new unit entry is an Elites choice in a Codex: Space Marines army: Tyrannic War Veterans. They are essentially Sternguard with only Hellfire rounds, Preferred Enemy (Tyranids), and a special rule that gives them Zealot (Hatred+Fearless) when facing Tyranids. The unit also starts at 4 models (to coincide with the number of TWV models GW produces), instead of 5, but can still go up to 10 strong. They can select a Drop Pod or a Land Raider (any type) as a dedicated transport, and the only wargear option is to give the sergeant meltabombs.
Nothing earth-shattering, but flavorful and interesting. The ability to run four models as a unit is definitely an incentive to get mine painted up.
The formation is a non-slot detachment, like all other formations. it consists of Chaplain Cassius, 1+ TWV squads, and 0-6 Stormtalons. Yes, you are reading that right, up to SIX Stormtalons. The TWVs are prohibited from taking Drop Pods. However, the formation does have some special rules. I forget the exact name of the first rule, but it states that any enemy unit hit by a Stormtalon in a given Shooting phase to be shot at by TWV squads using the Ignores Cover USR. This isn't limited to Tyranids, either. The second rule gives the Stormtalons Infiltrate and the ability to start on the board in Hover mode.
Overall, I felt the background and TWV unit entry are worth the $7 I spent. I was/am not a fan of formations in any way, shape, or form. I hate the fact that formations don't take any FOC slots or Allied detachment slots. Hate.
One nice thing for those that DO like the formation rules and plan to use them, is that the dataslate contains the complete rules for Cassius, TWVs, and Stormtalon Gunships right in the file. You don't need to run out and buy Codex: Space Marines to add the formation to your army. It even contains all the supporting rules like Chapter Tactics (though only CT: Ultramarines).
On the painting front, I have gotten a tiny bit of work in, and do have pictures to share in my next post. I've been spending all my free time working on building my son's birthday present (a four-unit play kitchen with fridge, stove, sink, and cabinets) so 40Kpainting has taken a backseat until that's done. It's a crazy ambitious project for me, since before this project I wasn't exactly what you'd call a carpenter. I'm doing the bulk of the work on a table saw, alongside my hand tools, power drill, sander, and a jigsaw. The most ambitious part is the lighting. I'm planning to put orange and red LEDs under the stove/over the oven that turn on to make the burners light up and the oven to illuminate. I also have plans to put in a fridge light that turns on when you open the door, and possibly a small fan in the freezer that blows air when you open that door. Things should return to normal in the next week and a half.