Sunday, 29 November 2015

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought Rules Analysis - Part 1: Basic Overview and Special Rules

Okay so last time I gave a rundown of the background behind the Leviathan and now will be giving a review of its 30k rules and going over some of its potential tactical uses. Oh and I'll be throwing in the occasional fluff justification as well for some of Leviathan's rules/weapons. I plan to spread the review out over a few posts and focus on a different aspect of the models rules each time. I do warn you in advance that there will be a lot of reading!

Raven Guard Leviathan Siege Dreadnought

ForgeWorld are kind enough to publish pdf versions of the rules for most of the new models they come up with, if they've not been given rules in one of their publications already, and the Leviathan is no exception. There are two different rule sets available, 30k and 40k, in this series of reviews I will be discussing the 30k ruleset as its probably the one that gets the most use from gamers. I may do a 40k rules review at a later date though. I will be comparing it to the Contemptor Dreadnought throughout the review as it feels to me like a much more heavily armed version (indeed in the fluff this is basically what it is).

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought 30k rules

Basic Overview

A completely stock Leviathan comes in at 270 points, which is very meaty chunk of points, being 95 points more than a stock Contemptor! However if we're to compare the two with their basic loadouts, for these extra 95 points you're getting;
  • A 4+ invulnerable save, both against shooting and attacks in close combat. This is in comparison to the Contemptors 5+ against shooting and 6+ in close combat
  • 4 base attacks due to having two dreadnought close combat weapons. A Contemptor only has 3  but this is due to it coming with a Heavy Bolter on one arm as standard.
  • 1 point higher strength, Leviathan has a strength of 8 whilst the Contemptor is strength 7.
  • The same front armour of 13 but 1 point and 2 points higher side and rear armour respectively.
  • An additional hull point.
  • Crushing Charge special rule also grants the Leviathan 2 hammer of wrath hits and plus 1 initiative on the charge.
Basically the Leviathan is, as the name would imply, designed for a full frontal assault and to soak up the amount of fire power it will receive as a result of this.

The extra armour strength and additional hull point really lend themselves to increasing the survivability of the Leviathan

Special Rules

Reinforced Atomantic Shielding - Grants the Leviathan a 4+ invulnerable save, however if the Leviathan suffers a Vehicle Explodes damage result, add +D3" Strength and +D3" to the radius of the blast.

A 4+ invun is one of the most important features of the Leviathan as having a 50/50 chance of ignoring any damage dealt to it is extremely useful as there are only a couple of special rules in the whole of 30k that ignore invun saves. The additional strength and radius to the blast should this thing go boom is, of course a definite downside and I wouldn't recommend being stood near the Leviathan if this happens! However this seems like a small price to pay for the ability to ignore, on average, half the damage dealt to the Leviathan.

Crushing Charge - When charging this model inflicts 2 Hammer of Wrath attacks and gains +1 Initiative in the Assault phase of any turn it has charged.

This rule will be of most use if you have kitted out your Leviathan with a single/dual close combat weapons, as the ability to inflict 2 strength 10 automatic hits will hurt a lot. Think if you charged a vehicle, say a Spartan Assault Tank, you've two automatic hits which glance on 3's (plus one from AP 2 on both it's close combat weapon options) and penetrate on 4's and that's before you even get your 4/5 attacks for charging.

I love this rule, not only does it feel very fluffy, (as I personally imagine the Dreadnought, being piloted by a marine being driven crazy by the Leviathan, charging straight into the enemy lines and just demolishing everything it hits), but the bonus' it grants make the Leviathan even more deadly in combat!

Move Through Cover - A unit with this special rule rolls an extra D6 when rolling to move through difficult terrain and is not slowed by charging through difficult terrain. Additionally a model with this rule automatically passes Dangerous Terrain tests.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? The Leviathan's special rules are close combat orientated which of course can influence the weapons you give the Dreadnought. Move Through Cover is a very handy rule to have on a Walker as you don't have to worry about being immobilised by a failed terrain test! The model will also be able to move up the table quicker as rolling 3D6 and choosing the highest result will hopefully help to close the gap on your target. Finally not having the -2" to your charge range also helps the Dreadnought since cover tends to be used much more commonly in the 7th edition rules.

Dreadnought Talon - When first deployed onto the battlefield. the Dreadnoughts must be placed within 6" of each other, but afterwords operate independently and are not treated as a vehicle squadron.

This special rule really just saves on Heavy Support slots since it allows you to bring multiple Leviathans whilst only using one slot in the force org chart. Once you've deployed them they act as separate units which allows you to engage different targets but doesn't let you spread hull point damage around!


If you're still reading at this point (I know its a lot of info) then hopefully you now have an understanding of the basic profile of the Leviathan Siege Dreadnought as well as the special rules which help to increase its power. I think that the Leviathan's special rules are very well suited to the model and are also fairly fluffy, however they do mostly benefit a primarily close combat loadout. The most useful special rule is definitely the Reinforced Atomantic Shielding as a 4+ invulnerable save from both shooting and close combat attacks is very handy indeed!

Well this concludes the basic overview and special rules section of the review, next time I shall discuss the various weapon options available to the Leviathan Siege Dreadnought. I'll leave you with a picture of the next two members of one of my Veteran Tactical Squads ;)

Veteran with Heavy Bolter and Veteran with Legion Vexilla

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