"Created as a dedicated assault dropship for the Legio Custodes, the Orion can carry a full task force of the Emperor’s Talons into combat. Protected by frontal armour superior to that of the Legiones Astartes Thunderhawk Gunship, its Arachnus heavy blaze cannon and Lastrum bolt cannon can swiftly clear a landing zone of hostile infantry and armour with brutal efficiency, allowing the units within to deploy before it soars back into the sky to unleash death upon any foe who dares approach."
- – Forge World
The Orion Assault Dropship is a Adeptus Custodes exclusive flyer and a giant golden FUCK YOU to any bastard that's in its vicinity. Used by the Custodian Guard during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, it was considered as the Custodian's chief form of air transport and was considered as the analogue of the Space Marine's Thunderhawk or even the Stormbird.
- Length: 20m; approx
- Wingspan: 19.5m; approx
- Mass: 70-90 tonnes; approx
- Crew: 1-2 crew including 24 Custodians
This golden Dropship is as heavily armed as a Land Raider if not more so, seriously this thing features two Lastrum bolt cannons which are turret-mounted on either side of the cockpit, two Spiculus Bolt Launchers with vent systems and two Arachnus Heavy Blaze Cannons to reduce your tanks to a pool of molten steel. It is basically a flying Coronus Grav Carrier in both role and function.
Like the Thunderhawk, the Orion Dropship can transport an army of your walking golden condoms up to and including a Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought and a supporting squad of Sagittarum Guard and Custodian Guard into the fray, all in the comforting safety of an Orion Dropship. Although seeing how large the troop bay is, it is unknown how something as big as a Contemptor-Galatus would be able to fit in that thing. Maybe it was hung under the carriage of the Orion's troop bay, like the Pelican Transport from Halo? Or it could be that the Contemptor-Galatus somehow manage to pull off a Houdini via twisting its body in impossible positions. Occam’s Razor says it just lay flat in the troop bay and was rolled out to fight.
Nevertheless, one thing is known and this thing is a golden beauty and one of the snazziest looking warplanes of the Imperium. Even if it does look suspiciously like the Arbiter Interceptor from Mantic Games.
With a Front, Side and Rear Armor of 13, 12, 11 respectively (14+ on the front with the flare shield abilities of the Eclipse Shield) and a HP of 7. The Orion is a tough cookie to crack especially when it has a decent BS of 5 and comes with the Super-heavy Flyer rule. Yes, this thing shares the same unit type as the Tau Manta and Imperial Stormbird. Not that this is surprising whatsoever. One big boon for the Orion is the vast amount of weapons it can carry at once. It is armed with the aforementioned Arachnus blaze cannons, the twin-linked Lastrum bolt cannon and the Spiculus heavy bolt launchers, meaning that there is almost nothing the Orion can't open a can of whoopass on.
The Orion also gains the Macro Arae-Shrike which is basically in simpler terms, the Imperium's take on the Eldar Holo-Fields. This handy piece of tech perverts enemy cogitators and auguries and obscures the exact position of the craft and foils attempts to intercept its arrival with accuracy. The Macro Arae-Shrike has three forms of interference:
- The Deep Strike Interference: When an enemy unit attempts to land via Deep Strike within 12" of a model equipped with an Arae-shrike, roll a D6 before they determine the result of their Deep Strike landing. On a 4+, the unit suffers a Deep Strike Mishap instead of landing, note that even models usually immune to Deep Strike Mishaps that have Internal Guidance systems or who do not usually scatter while Deep Striking are still subject to this effect.
- The Targeting Interference: When a unit containing one or more models with an Arae-shrike is targeted by a weapon with the Barrage type, the attacking player must roll an additional D6 for the weapon's Scatter distance and pick the highest two results. A Hit on the Scatter dice remains a Hit however.
- The Interception Interference: A new form that seems exclusive to the Orion. When this model enters the battlefield, and any enemy units declare the use of the Interceptor special rule to fire upon it, the intercepting player must roll a D6 for each unit that is attempting Interceptor fire after all such attacks have been declared. If any dice results in a 3 or less then the unit may not make an interceptor attack that turn, but may fire as normal in its next Shooting phase.
The Orion is also unsurprisingly protected with armored Ceramite (You know the same material that Warlord Titans are built with) which makes it highly resistant to Meltas. Extra armor and an Eclipse shield so you can tell anti-air batteries to go fuck themselves.
However, the biggest advantage (Which will be ceremoniously taken advantage and abused to the point of obscenity, because fuck game balance) is its ability to carry a Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought. Oh yes, you heard that right. Deepstriking mechanized, Golden bananas. Oh yes, bring us all of the rape.
With Toughness 8, 22 Wounds, 3+/5++ saves and -1 to hit from range this is still pretty hard to take down. It's been downgraded from a Super-Heavy Flyer (not even Titanic like the Manta or Stormbird are) but a starting move of 50", along with the Airborne and Supersonic rules mean it will get your Banana Boys where they need to go - speaking of which, it can carry 12 lads into the fray, or 7 if you want to bring a Deadnought. We still don't know where the dreadnought fits.
It's lost a lot of its shenanigans, most notably the complete absence of the Arae-Shrike. No modifications to try and fit it into 8thED, it's just gone, but on the flip side it has dropped from 600 points to 320, aka 50% more than a Land Raider
In summary, the Orion Gunship loses the all the cool rules it got from being the most pimped-out ride belonging to Big E's own posse, but you carry about the same number of dudes as before and still have all your fancy Golden Boy guns, while costing about half as many points as before. All in all, still a pretty good party bus as they go.
If only it didn't cost £289.
|Forces of the Adeptus Custodes|
|Command:||Companions/Hetaeron - Shield-Captain - Blade Champion|
|Troops:||Allarus Custodians - Aquilon Terminator - Custodian Guard |
Custodian Warden - Sagittarum Guard - Sentinel Guard
Vexilus Praetor - Venatari - Warder
|Walkers:||Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought |
Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought
|Transports:||Coronus Grav Carrier - Grav-Rhino - Rhino|
|Vehicles:||Caladius Grav-Tank - Dawneagle Jetbike - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike |
Pallas Grav-Attack - Venerable Land Raider
|Flyers:||Ares Gunship - Orion Gunship - Stormbird|
|Titans:||Warlord-Sinister Pattern Battle Psi-Titan|
|Auxiliaries:||Sisters of Silence - Solar Auxilia|