I’m back, and still going strong! After yesterday’s WarmaZone about the fearsome Headhunters of the Wolfbanes, I decided to return to the Ministry of War for a look at the Golden Lions, the MOW’s own brand of violent psychopath. Originally, the Golden Lions were an official branch of the Special Forces affiliated with the Murdoch clan, but following a period known as the Sad Struggle in which the ruling clans turned against each other in a bid to wrest control of the corporation, their ties with the Murdochs were severed. As of now the Golden Lions are outcasts who primarily operate independently from the other Special Forces, but despite their negative reputation, they still remain the fiercest and most brutal troops the Corporation has to offer.
- Unit Composition: 1 Leader, 2-5 Grunts
- Cost: 11/18 points
- Force Allocation: 2
- Stats: SPD-5, STR-9, MAT-8, RAT-5, DEF-13, ARM-17, CMD-8, HP-5
-Lion Claw X2: RNG-1, POW-3, P+S-12
-Plasma Enrager: RNG-8, ROF-2, POW-11
- Special Rules:
-Blood Rage (Action): The model can make an additional melee attack its next activation. At the end of its activation, it suffers an unboostable POW-12 autohit.
-Hunter’s Intuition: Models deploying via Ambush within 4” of a Golden Lion can be charged for free, even if they already activated.
Unlike their brethren in the Blood Berets or Life Dragoons, the Golden Lions play more like Wolfbanes than normal Ministry of War units, with a focus on melee combat as opposed to ranged. They’re as fast as other MOW units, but possess a higher MAT and low RAT with a high STR and ARM, making them comparable to the Warhounds. Their DEF is middling, so no surprises there, but they also have a damage value of 5, so they can withstand more enemy fire than other Special Forces, most of whom possess only one wound. Their secondary weapon, an arm cannon called a Plasma Enrager, is only a more powerful version of the Aggressor with Grievous Wounds, letting the Lions deal with tough infantry, but like the Wolfbanes it’s best reserved as a backup weapon to only be used as a last resort. Their primary weapons are the Lion Claws, a pair of wrist-mounted blades with an average range and a high POW that can shred armor with ease, combined with the Lions’ high STR and some of their other special abilities, and also have Grievous Wounds for hacking through Tough enemies. As for their special rules, aside from the usual stack of MOW special abilities, they have Mage Sight, for tracking their enemies in cover and concealment, and two new abilities called Blood Rage and Hunter’s Intuition. Hunter’s Intuition is a new way of dealing with Ambushing infantry, to ensure your forces aren’t caught unawares when a model like Shon Hutchuck comes jumping out of the bushes. If a unit with Ambush appears within 4″ of the Lions, they can charge them for free, even if they already activated, letting you shut down their surprise attack before they can stab you in the back. Unfortunately, your opponent can just mobilize around them, but if you have multiple units watching different parts of the board, you can set up an entire defensive perimeter to keep your warcaster safe. Blood Rage is an action the Lions can use to up their melee game, but it’s a risky one. They in essence pump themselves up with anger and adrenaline and overcharge the engines on their power suits before their next turn, letting them perform up to four melee attacks their next turn. This is very brutal with buffs and good dice rolls, letting them tear through the opposition like tissue paper much like their feral brothers, but this power comes at a cost. Once they are finished, they need to make a POW-12 damage roll at the end of the turn, as a result of overtaxing themselves and their equipment. In essence, you can have a good turn of brutal melee followed by the Lions’ hearts giving out or being cooked alive in their overheated armor. Nasty. If you’re a gambler with your dice rolls, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as you may just escape the damage, but on the flipside your Special Forces may die before your next turn, leaving an entire flank of your army exposed. If you’re taking these guys in the MOW army list, it’s a good idea to give them sponsorship that buffs their armor or gives them Tough, or at the very least to take a warcaster or solo that can help them out. Lieutenant MacGuire, the second of the MOW’s warcasters, is a former Golden Lion and his abilities can help them out in the field, so he’s a good choice. The best way to use the Lions in your MOW force is as a defensive line, ripping up the few sneaky troops that manage to worm through your gun line and knocking out enemy ambushed to keep the opponent from catching your warcaster in the back. If you wish, you can play them closer to the front as melee troopers, but you’ll need to keep your crucial solos close to them in order to avoid enemy sneak attacks, and that might be taking a big risk. I’d almost say these guys are better than the other Special Forces, but it all boils down to how you use them in your army. Depending on the situation or scenario, some Special Forces work better than others, so the final call is made by you, the army commander, before deploying them to the field. As a fan of the Trenchers, I wouldn’t mind taking a unit of these guys along to soften things up for the line infantry’s guns and keep them safe from sneak attacks.
Next time, we’ll finally finish the Ministry of War’s Special Forces with a look at one of their deadliest and sneakiest units, the Grey Ghosts. Stay tuned!
-The Raging Goblin