A Death Guard Whirlwind Hyperios squadron providing air cover to Legion forces. The Hyperios are also capable of engaging enemy light armour to a limited capacity, and are often assigned to Legion Armour units where they can keep pace, assist with engaging enemy armour, and provide air defence. Their inclusion in Legion Infantry formations is also common, where they can carefully be maneuvered into cover to provide stronger air defence to infantry formations on foot, as well as mobile air cover for mechanised infantry formations.
These Death Guard Hyperios models are based on the old plastic rhino model from the Space Marine game. I originally designde one up here and decided to make up another three to give me plenty of air cover. I also reasoned that a formation of four could be used as normal whirlwinds if I wanted to, giving me the option of some more longer ranged artillery if I wanted.
The conversion is a very simple one, I chop up three pieces of sprue and glue them to the top of a rhino. I also added a small round piece of plastic to the front of the central sprue, to represent some sophisticated radar and target tracking hardware.
The paint job helps to make it look less like three pieces of sprue, by adding the different colour to the front. Well a little bit less like sprue anyway.
Like the first model I didn't drill any holes in the front of the launchers, as I didn't think I could get them neat enough. I might add some detail some day, but I think they are fine for now.
Some quick maths:
A fully tooled up infantry detachment, with four heavy support bases, two deredeo's and a whirlwind hyperios has a 62% chance of doing one damage to a thunderhawk before it lands. So not great odds, and the cost of the upgrades is 475 points, with the total formation costing 800 points. So prohibitively expensive, but if primarchs in thunderhawks are causing you grief then this might be something to think about. Especially if you are lucky at rolling criticals!
It does chew up all four upgrade slots though (one for each of the formations, plus the armoury assets upgrade for the deredeo) so you can't attach a character as well.
By knocking off the heavy support squads, and adding an inspiring chaplain the formation goes to 600 points, but the chances of hurting the thunderhawk on the way in drops to 46%.
So this says a couple of things to me:
- it's probably of more benefit scattering air defence around to add blast markers to air assaulting formations (and fliers in general), rather than to try and tool formations right up to kill them on the way in.
- Thunderhawks are very hard to kill. If you haven't got one, get one! (Or better yet, two!).