Age of Darkness-Warhammer 30k/2.0 Tactics/Legiones Astartes Tactics

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"They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines so that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear."

The Emperor

This is the current tactics page for the Legiones Astartes in HH 2.0. The 1.0 tactics can be found here

Both the Legacies and Exemplary Battle units from the previous edition can be found here, and are completely legal in all games of 2.0. Units that use these PDFs will be noted in their entries.

For the generals on how to play the game and the basics on listbuilding (as well as other tactica rules), you may want the General tactics page. You may also find the Horus Heresy general thread as "/HHG/" on /tg/.

Why play the Legiones Astartes?[edit]

This is a Warhammer 40,000 universe game centred on the Imperium, and you probably already have models for this army (unless you have a policy of only getting zoomer units or modernized power armours (Mark 7 and 8); unless you want to spare some kidneys for Mechanicum.

But the real reason is that it is a time of Legend, and these guys are those legends. None of this Chapter of 1000 nonsense or following the rules of the Space Book, these guys can be organised as a small assassination force all the way up to a full tank assault battalion with no limitations on what to field because of lost technology. Leading these forces are the Sons of the Emperor who you are free to play as without having to pick GW's golden boys or selling your soul to evil warp entities (though you can still do this if you want). You have the most diverse army in the entire game, capable of filling any niche you see possible with the right combination of Rites and Legions and, outside of specific Militia armies and the Talons, you'll be running the highest armour saves around which have seen a buff due to a substantial nerf to Blast weapons.


  • Unparalleled variety of unit choice and loadouts, which isn't a good thing except...
  • Everything in this list has an effect on whatever they face! Nearly every unit is designed to do something well, and nearly everything has a place even if it looks "unviable".
  • Plenty of good armour saves. 3+ is a damn good save, and that's your normal.


  • Expect everyone to have a plan ready against you...especially with the release of Liber Mechanicum and the upcoming Liber Imperialis.
  • Expect choice paralysis to come into play in some sort, especially when trying to cater your list to a certain rite.
  • The Legacies and Exemplary Battles rules are riddled with poor writing and some very questionable ideas. Liber Panoptica or other community based fiat may be necessary to use some of that content.
  • Some Legions still don't have their own unique troops from the fluff. While those that are listed as compulsory don't gain proper rules such as "Line" needed to take objectives. This wouldn't a problem if Legion exclusive units weren't often shuffled into the Elites slot. Which is already heavily bloated with Veterans, Terminators, Dreadnaughts and Destroyers.

Core Warlord Traits[edit]

On top of an effect, warlord traits now usually give your army one extra Reaction in either the Movement, Shooting or Assault phases.

  • Bloody-handed: While at least one friendly model is within 12" of this Warlord, add +1 to combat resolution. In addition, you get an extra Assault phase Reaction while he's alive.
    • Unlike other Legion-specific Warlord Traits, the +1 can stack with other bonuses, such as Legion vexillas.
  • Stoic Defender: Any unit joined by this Warlord gains Pinning in the Shooting phase. In addition, you get an extra Shooting phase Reaction while he's alive.
  • Ever-vigilant: This Warlord and any unit he has joined use his Initiative instead of the joined unit's lowest one when they Run. In addition, you get an extra Movement phase Reaction while he's alive.

Rites of War[edit]

  • Recon Company: Recon Squads and Scout Squads become your only Compulsory Troops, Seeker Squads become non-Compulsory Troops and you may re-roll the dice to determine who takes the first turn, as well as re-roll Seize rolls. However, units with the Heavy sub-type must start the game in Reserves, and you may not take Fortifications.
  • Angel's Wrath: Much like 1.0, any unit eligible to take a Rhino may instead take a Storm Eagle, and any flying vehicle placed in Reserve may come in on Turn 1 without making a Reserves roll. Only vehicles with the Flyer sub-type, Infantry Embarked in such vehicles that are also transports, and jump pack Infantry can be taken in this RoW, and the latter must start in Reserves (though they can Deep Strike normally).
  • Sky-Hunter Phalanx: Sky-hunter Squadrons and Proteus Land Speeder Squadrons become Troops choices and gain the Line sup-type. No vehicles except those of the Fast, Flyer or Skimmer sub-types can be taken, and all Infantry must be Embarked on those transports. No Dreadnoughts, no Fortifications, and this Rite of War may not be used in an Allied Detachment.
  • Drop Pod Assault: As the name suggests, any units able to take a Rhino or Land Raider Proteus Carrier DT may take a Legion Drop Pod or Dreadclaw Drop Pod instead. Dreadnoughts must buy a Drop Pod, and all Drop Pod units deploy using a super-special Drop Pod Assault deployment method on Turn 1. In addition, everything that can't take a Drop Pod or a Kharybdis must go into Reserves and can't deploy by some other means.
  • Pride of the Legion: Veterans, Cataphractii and Tartaros Terminator Squads become Troops choices, and they gain Line when they are taken as the Compulsory troops. So, up to 2 Vet/Termie squads gain Line. Every other Elites choice Terminator unit, like your Legion-specific Terminators, also becomes a Troops choice, but doesn't get the Line sub-type. You may not take an Allied Detachment, you may not have more than one Heavy Support and Fast Attack choice and no Fortifications at all. Also, at least half of your units have to be Infantry.
    • Giving a couple Termie units Line may not mean you can do away with Power armoured troops altogether, but it does mean your terminators can capture objectives by themselves, instead of them clearing out the objective for other Troops to secure.
  • Underworld Assault: Any units able to take a Rhino DT may instead take a Termite Assault Drill as a DT, and drills can also be taken as Heavy Support and Fast Attack choices. Infantry must begin embarked in a Termite drill, unless they have Bulky (X). Any other units that can't take a Termite are unable to start in Reserves, but they get Stubborn until your drills begin emerging from the ground.
  • Armoured Spearhead: A fully mechanised army. Any units with less than ten models that can take a Rhino DT can instead take a Land Raider Proteus Carrier. Predators can now be Troops while Sicarans can be Elites. Meanwhile, one Predator or Sicaran must be made into the Master of the Legion and thus take over the Compulsory HQ slot.
    • This Tank gains a new WT, not only conferring MoTL despite not being a character, but also improving its BS by 1 and gaining a 5++ Invuln.
      • Unlike other WT, this one doesn't grant an extra reaction.
  • Brethren of Iron: The march of the killer robots, giving you access to Mechanicum stuff without having to ally them in. Castellax Maniples become non-Compulsory Troops, Domitar Maniples non-Compulsory Elites, Vorax Maniples non-Compulsory Fast Attack, and one single-model Thanatar Maniple can be a non-Compulsory Heavy Support, none of which can be a Paragon of Metal. To keep up with all these bots, your techmarines can buy cortex controllers, and you need at least one controller for every three Automata models. You can't take more Automata than you have anything else. You also must take a Forge Lord Consul as a Compulsory HQ choice alongside the Praetor necessary for taking a Rite.
    • Unlike the Praevian's robots, these do NOT gain Legiones Astartes rule.
    • You can ally Imperial Army and thus have marines, mortals and mechanicum robots in one single army.
  • Fury of the Ancients: Lets you take CONTEMPTOR DREADNOUGHTS AS COMPULSORY LINE TROOPS! No need for a Praetor/Delegatus: a single Contemptor Dreadnought must be given the "Venerable" upgrade, turning into a Character with Master of the Legion, Eternal Warrior and an Iron Halo. Contemptor Dreadnoughts can be taken as Troops, must make up your Compulsory Troops, and gain Line when they do so (2 Line talons). You can only bring 1 non-Dreadnought Heavy Support choice (but you can bring multiple Leviathan and Deredeo Talons) and your Consul options are limited to Forge Lords, Primus Medicae and Mortificators.
    • If you're running this ROW and not filling every available slot with Dreadnoughts and units to buff Dreadnoughts, you're doing it wrong.
    • Unlike Armoured Assault, the Venerable Dreadnought can take an actual WT and thus confer your army an extra Reaction.

Wargear of the Legiones Astartes[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

Chain Weapons
The standard close combat weapons of the 41st 31st millennium and a little bit different from how you remember them. Most Chain Weapons still lack any decent AP, but they now have Shred, meaning your basic bitch Tactical Squad equipped with these get to re-roll their wound rolls, which makes them pretty good despite being so cheap. The main difference between the Chain Weapons is the Strength bonus they give the model and how many hands they need to hold them.

  • Chainsword: The standard S-User, AP- chain weapon, but now it has Shred, so they're now useful against MEQs. You take one of these to give your marines an extra attack when paired with their Bolt Pistols.
  • Chainaxe: A flat upgrade over the Chainsword as it has the same stats but also applies S+1 to attacks. It's worse against Militia thanks to losing its AP, but Shred makes it more effective against marines.
  • Heavy Chainsword: A big Two-handed Chainsword that gives S+2 to attacks.
  • Chain Bayonet: A bayonet, but with Shred. It's only two points for marines that have Bolters and objectively better than the regular bayonet.
  • Chainfist: A Power Fist with a Chainsword strapped to it; it only counts as a Chain Weapon. These things get Sx2, AP2, Unwieldy and trade out Specialist Weapon for Armourbane (Melee) instead of getting Shred like the other Chain Weapons; these are designed for cutting vehicles new assholes. Sx2 makes it good against everything, vehicles especially because of Armourbane (Melee). Only HQs, Elites and certain Legion exclusive models can take these.
  • Gravis Chainfist: Chainfists for Dreadnoughts. These have a fixed S10 and AP2 compared to Sx2 that becomes the usual S8 on Infantry. Gravis Chainfists lose Unwieldy and receive Murderous Strike (5+).
    • Unlike the normal Chainfist, this is not a straight upgrade to the Gravis Power Fist, as the Gravis Chainfist loses Brutal (3). Yes, Murderous Strike (5+) and being S10 will inflict ID on more targets, but Gravis Power Fist already caused ID against MEQ/TEQs and forces them to save 3 wounds to avoid ID, whereas the Gravis Chainfist causes 1 wound. Almost everything a Space Marine opponent can bring with higher than T4 (Dreadnoughts and Primarchs) has some form of mitigating ID anyway, so simply causing 3 wounds would do more damage. Unless you're fighting lots of vehicles or some as yet unreleased armies, take the Gravis Power Fist.

Charnabal Weapons
Duelling weapons that rely on speed and precision over brute strength. A few more of these have been added in 2.0, but they all follow the same general theme of relying on Breaching instead of normal AP, but gaining initiative in challenges.

  • Charnabal Sabre: The standard Charnabal weapon, with S-User, Breaching (5+) and Duellist's Edge (1). The option that will inflict the least wounds due to having no strength bonus, but strangely the one that will inflict the most AP2 wounds due to having a better version of Breaching than the Tabar and having more attacks than the Glaive.
  • Charnabal Tabar: Yeah, I didn't know what a Tabar is either (it's a Persian battle axe of yore), and the Charnabal version isn't too much to write home about. It is a little bit worse than the Sabre as it has the same Duellist's Edge (1), and only has Breaching (6+) in exchange for S+2, which is kind of meh when compared to some Power Weapons. That said, S+2 makes it easier to stack with strength buffs or Rad Grenades to ID T4 models, so look for things like Furious Charge to combine it with.
  • Charnabal Glaive: Duellist's Edge (2), Breaching (5+), S+1, Two-handed. Hitting before basically everyone is nice, but is it worth giving up chances to trigger Breaching by losing your +1 attack from having 2 weapons?

Power Weapons
The high AP combat weapons that are more expensive than Chain Weapons, but offer more killing power. Unlike games taking place in the 40k eras, Terminators have Power Weapons as their vanilla melee weapon instead of Power Fists, varying if they're Legion-only types and get their own exclusive weapons as part of their base points.

  • Power Sword: The standard AP3 power weapon, but now it comes with Rending (6+) so you can actually cut through Artificer armour. It's not reliable, but a buff is a buff.
  • Power Axe: The same old S+1 AP2 Unwieldy weapon. The Axe itself is the same, but ID has become a lot more valuable in 2.0 as TEQs, which are 80% the reason why you wanted AP2, universally have 2 wounds. Whereas in 1.0, the only difference between a Power Fist and Power Axe against TEQs, which all had 1 wound barring some Legion-specifics, were denying FnP and wounding on 2+ instead of 3+. In 2.0, Power Fist is twice as effective at killing TEQs than a Power Axe by ignoring their 2 wounds through ID. Unless you expect to fight lots of 1 wound 2+ save models like artificer Sergeants, Techmarines or Apothecaries, or if your intended opponent doesn't take ID from S8 to begin with, take a Power Fist wherever possible.
  • Power Maul: Got a very nice buff as it is still S+2, but now it is also AP3 so it can actually kill other marines rather than bouncing off their armour. The weapon of choice for stacking up with strength bonuses or Rad Grenades to get ID, as unlike Heavy Chainsword you keep your +1 attack from having 2 weapons.
  • Power Lance: Also received a very helpful buff in the new edition. They are now S+1, AP3 standard and include the Reach (1) special rule, making it more consistent and actually useful after a charge. The premier anti-MEQ melee weapon now, as you hit before everyone else and at 1W generally, they won't get to hit back.

Specialist Weapons
The most expensive standard melee weapons and pretty much the best. Specialist weapons do not gain an extra attack for being paired with a second combat weapon, and need a second specialist weapon to gain an extra attack.

  • Power Fist: Sx2, AP2 and Unwieldy, the Power Fist is the premium instant death inflicting bitch slapper that you equip HQs, Squad Sgts, all kinds of Terminators and Legion specific Astartes with Artificer Armour. Much more important now that TEQs are 2W, so Power Axes are no longer good enough and you really need the ID from S8. However, there are also more units that can claim some form of immunity from S8 ID now, so watch out for those.
    • Power Fists vs Chainfists: The obvious downside is that Power Fists only gain extra attacks when paired with another Specialist Weapon, while Chainfists gain it with everything else. Outside of TEQs, Chainfists are better against vehicles. Unless your going for a certain build or expect to go into melee vs a large number of Tanks, Dreads or Automata, Power Fists will be the more cost effective choice. But if you want to be as versatile as possible, without taking Legion specific rules into account, you can usually get away with giving half your squad Chainfists, and the other half Power Fists.
  • Gravis Power Fist: The old Dreadnought CCW, still AP2 at initiative but now at fixed S9 and Brutal (3). An excellent weapon against 2-wound MEQs and TEQs, as each hit will force the target to roll their invulnerable save 3 times to avoid ID. Take note that being S9 means you can no longer ID T5, which will matter against tougher opponents.
  • Thunder Hammer: Actually worth considering over a Power Fist now, since they lost Concussive but gained Brutal (2), meaning it makes it a more reliable source of instant death against other marines and can inflict multiple wounds on things like Dreadnoughts and Automata. The most expensive option, but usually worth the points.
  • Lightning Claw: Has the same stats as a power sword, but with the added bonus of gaining Shred. These things really shine when you equip models with two of them as they now gain 2 extra attacks instead of the usual 1, making Terminators and Veterans armed with dual claws very effective marine blenders.
    • Shred is also an indirect buff to AP, as Rending triggers on your wounding roll. Having more chances to roll to wound will increase the chance of triggering Rending and thus causing AP2 wounds. Combined with gaining 2 attacks for paired weapons, Lightning Claws can do surprising amounts of damage against 2+ saves.
  • Paragon Blade: The holy grail of Heresy-era weaponry. S+1, AP2, Murderous Strike (6+) all without Unwieldy, allowing Praetors to cut through 2+ armour saves at initiative. Unless you are running a specific Praetor build around another weapon, 9 times out of 10 you want to take this. Also pairs well with Power Fists and Thunder Hammers if you want your Praetor to have an extra attack.
    • The main draw of being able to massacre Terminators at initiative from last edition is now gone, as they all have 2W now and are much harder to kill without ID. You can kill unit sergeants in a challenge no problem, but don't expect to kill 1/3 of a Terminator squad like you could last edition.
    • Like last edition, it's not good enough in a Praetor duel, particularly now that Cataphractii Praetors have 4W and need 8 AP2 wounds to actually die barring lucky rolls with Murderous Strike, which at 6+ is not reliable enough. That said, 6 AP2 wounds will suffice to kill Artificer or Tartaros Armour Praetors, so stacking buffs on your Praetor to landing lots of AP2 wounds and forcing failed Invulnerable saves can, depending on the Legion, be a workable alternative to Power Fist/Thunder Hammer mutual kill at I1. Moreover, Centurions generally have worse WS and Invulnerable saves on fewer wounds, so the Paragon Blade will likely suffice to kill them before they get a shot at inflicting ID on your Praetor with a Power Fist. Of course, if the enemy is immune to S8 ID, the Paragon Blade is better, as you strike at initiative and at least have some chance of causing ID. Conversely, if you're somehow immune to S8 ID, use the Fist instead and smash away.

Force Weapons
Power Swords, Axes and Mauls that can be taken by Psykers and have the Force rule. Power Lances are not available as force weapons, they are replaced by Force Staffs instead. Force Staffs are rule wise the same as a Power Lance, but with the Force special rule added.
Force has now been changed to be Sx2 (which seems to apply after whatever strength bonus your weapon gets) instead of straight Instant Death. This means Force Mauls and the like can do scary things against vehicles, but you won't do much against Dreadnoughts because you still only wound once per hit (with the exception of Force Maul against Castraferrum, but you have to get through 2+ save and then you do 3 wounds instead of ID). Against infantry, this is largely academic with the exception of the Force Sword, as Axe and Staff hit at S10 and Maul at S12, inflicting ID on basically everything in the Space Marine list anyway. The Sword is trickier, as Battle-hardened will foil your S8 ID.
The Force Axe performs more like its 1.0 counterpart than the Power Axe, as it retains its ability to 1-shot Terminators. Of course, you should just take a Praetor/melee Consul with a Thunder Hammer if all you wanted was to 1-shot Terminators, but your Librarian can be useful in a pinch to fight off TEQs. That said, against people with Battle-hardened (1), Force Axe retains its ID while Power Fists/Thunder Hammers do not, so consider taking the Librarian for that.

Exotic and Miscellanous Weapons

  • Bayonet: A knife the size of a short sword strapped to the front of a handheld light artillery piece. A 1 point upgrade to give your marines +1S to all melee attacks, but it has Two-handed, meaning you don't get extra attacks for having a second close combat weapon/pistol.
  • Melta Bomb: Vital against vehicles and worth the points you're paying for your Sergeants to grab it. S8 AP1 with Armourbane (Melee) and Instant Death make it nightmarish against Dreads, Automata and Vehicles alike, but it's Unwieldy as ever.
  • Servo-Arm: The classic armament of the Techmarine, it offers them an additional attack with a weapon with the equivalent effectiveness of a power fist (S8 AP2 with Unwieldy). Note that RAW nothing prevents you from making all of your attacks with Servo-Arm, since it is a Melee Weapon.
    • Machninator Array: Only S+1 AP2, but it's stronger by giving two attacks with both Shred and Armourbane (Melee) to rip through anything. Even better, it comes with a Flamer and Meltagun as well as adding +2 to any Battlesmith rolls. This is the reason you see Forge Lords and Iron Fathers sticking to their tanks and dreads.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Auto Weapons
Have actually received a buff in this edition. Astartes Auto Weapons either come with Rending (X) or other special rules that make them worth considering over their stock weapons.

  • Astartes Shotgun: Assault 2, 12" S3, AP-, Concussive (1). Shotguns can be taken by Scouts, Recon Marines and Veterans. Concussive lowering WS by 1 makes it good against most Assault based armies. Since Vets can take Power Weapons without relying on another squad they are the obvious choice. However, shotguns do have some obvious flaws. 12 inches is the optimal range of Bolters (Combi-Weapons more so), Volkite Chargers, Serpentas , Plasma Guns and Template weapons. Mechanicus Automata don't have a pistol to exchange for another melee weapons, so they will be armed with Toughness-reducing Rad Weapons., while opposing players with Template weapons (Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Death Guard and Mechanicum) will opt for another round of shooting instead.
  • Rotor Cannon: Lost Salvo and is now Assault 4, S3 AP-. Not very strong but it does have Pinning with Shell Shock (1), making them very good for locking down enemies for another unit to assault.
  • Reaper Autocannon: A Twin-Linked Autocannon with reduced range (36"). Still S7 AP4, Heavy 2, but now has Rending (6+).
  • Gravis Autocannon: Same as normal Autocannons but Heavy 3, Rending (6+) and Twin-Linked. They are options for Dreadnoughts and a small handful of tanks.

Archaeotech Pistol
An oddball of a weapon, this Master-crafted pistol is S6 AP4 with Rending (3+), allowing them to more reliably break through marines. Actually an upgrade from last edition with the addition of Rending, where its flat AP3 was useless against TEQs. Only available to Praetors.

Bolt Weapons
The standard-issue, rocket-propelled, armour-piercing, explosive round-shooting, hand cannons of the Space Marines that you know and love. Bolt Weapons are pretty well known and are pretty much unchanged from their older incarnations, with the exception of some new types introduced in 2.0.

  • Combi-Bolter: The precursor to Storm Bolters. Same stats as a Bolter (S4, AP5, Rapid Fire, 24") but has Twin-Linked, making them a little more reliable.
  • Kraken Bolter: The Seeker's basic weapon is a Bolter with AP4, and 30". Not much, but it does allow them to snipe at ranges that your other squads can't. Kraken Bolters have their own Special Ammunition.
    • Tempest Rounds: 18" Assault 3, S3 AP6 and Ignores Cover. These are your blob killers, if there were actually blob armies to fight against this time. Just as good as Kraken Bolter against MEQs at Rapid Fire range and lets you charge afterwards.
    • Scorpius Rounds: 24" Assault 1, S5 AP4 and Breaching (4+). Your anti-Astartes option, Breaching (4+) allows Seekers to take out both MEQs and TEQs. Also very good for taking out Techmarines and Apothecaries, as 10 shots from a full Seeker squad can statistically be expected to put out enough Precision Shots with Breaching to kill any particular 1W model.
  • Nemesis Bolter: This edition's replacement for Sniper Rifles(so their all now Nemesis Bolters unless stated otherwise by FAQs or Red Books). 72" Heavy 1, S5 AP5, Rending (5+), Sniper and Pinning. Nemesis Bolters are the best upgrade for most shooty HQ IC's in Power Armour (don't forget about Firing Protocols) , Vet Squads, Recon Marines and Scouts, but not Seekers as you lose Special Ammunition. These are your character killers, since Rending (5+) will handle Terminator Armour and below.
  • Paragon Bolter: The ranged gun of choice for Knights Errant. Look for it in the allies sections because we don't know if they're a Legion option or their own faction yet.
  • Gravis Bolt Cannon: Another "new" Bolt Weapon. It's basically a Heavy Bolter with Heavy 6 and Twin-linked that is found on Dreadnoughts.
  • Avenger Bolt Cannon: The good old vehicle-mounted Bolt Cannon at 36" with Heavy 7 and S6 AP3. It is the nose-mounted weapon of the Avenger Strike Fighter and the Fire Raptor; the latter's version is Twin-Linked. There aren't a lot of weapons with flat AP2/3 left, so this is useful if you really want that MEQ squad dead.

Half a Bolter, half another gun. There are two categories of Combi-Weapons, with Magna Combi-Weapons only getting one shot with their alternate gun and Minor Combi-Weapons getting to fire multiple times. It's definitely worth mentioning that Combi-Weapons can fire BOTH primary and secondary weapons without requiring the Firing Protocols (X) rule, so squads armed with them are able to throw out a surprising volume of firepower.

  • Minor Combi-Weapons: Flamers, Volkite Chargers, and Grenade Launchers. Grenade Launchers seem to be the standout pick, but the Strength of these weapons has dropped to 5 on the Krak profile, and resolving lots of weak Blast (3") shots in a turn with the Frag profile means they're a pain to play. They may have some situational use against armies that don't exist yet, but otherwise stick with Combi-Volkites for Vets and Terminators to dish out 40 shots at 12". Only worth passing up if they have access to Heavy Weapons like Tac Vets or Legion-exclusive gear.
    • The Grenade Launcher is always inferior to the Volkite Charger in terms of damage. 1 shot at S5 AP4 is worse than 2 shots of S5 AP5 Deflagrate against any opponent, while the potential to make lots of hits using the frag grenade is also the same anti-light infantry specialisation as the Volkite Charger. The Frag shot does have Pinning and both rounds have more range than the Charger, but think carefully about whether the loss of firepower is worth it.
  • Magna Combi-Weapons: Meltaguns, Plasma Guns, and Disintegrators. Only Independent Characters and a few specific squad Sergeants can pack a Disintegrator. The other two are generic and available to all.
    • As noted in the 1.0 Tactics page, spamming these is generally not advisable because you're left with a bolter after that 1 round of shooting, which means you're basically no longer a threat from range despite spending 10 points per gun. That said, it's useful for units charging out of a transport or Deep Striking into charging range, as they only get 1 round of shooting before melee anyway. Some Legions also get Advanced Reactions that are better than normal shooting, so using the Combi-Weapons then may give added value.

Disintegrator Weapons
Move over Archaeotech and Plasma, there's a new king of get fucked. Dreaded archaeotech from Old Night and the Unification Wars, these guns are similar to the Custodes Adrathic Weapons and they pull you apart at the molecular level. All disintegrator weapons are S5, AP2, Instant Death, Gets Hot. They do not fuck around. If you want something dead, be it Praetor, Mechanicum robot or just some chuckle-fuck whose existence personally insults you, point a disintegrator weapon at it and watch it disappear. The main selling point for these guns is also its biggest weakness. Gets Hot now inflicts the wound at the gun's AP, meaning this gun is lethal to its user, so maybe only give it to models you don't mind committing assisted suicide on before the game is over. However, while the gun overheats at the same S and AP, it doesn't ignore your Invulnerable Saves nor does it retain Instant Death. So putting these on multi-wound platforms (like, say, Nullificators) can be a way to vomit Instant Death without your squad undergoing critical existence failure whenever they roll a 1.
Do remember that the guns are only Strength 5, so they will have trouble wounding some of the Toughness 7+ creatures, and against anything with Eternal Warrior or an Atomantic Deflector (d3 Wounds instead) will nullify the main selling point of these weapons, so while they are good they do have specific things that they should be used against and should not treated as a general "kill everything" weapons.

  • Disintegrator Pistol: 12" Pistol 1, S5 AP2, Instant Death, Gets Hot. They have less shots than Volkite Serpentas, lack the Rending (3+) from the Archaeotech Pistol and are more dangerous to the user than a Plasma Pistol while being even more rare on tabletop. But it will instantly atomise pretty much every marine, Militia, Solar Aux and most Custodes model you wound with it so it has its use as a high risk, high reward pistol, particularly considering how anyone who can take them has an Invulnerable save and multiple wounds.
  • Disintegrator: 24" Rapid Fire, S5 AP2, Instant Death & Gets Hot. As mentioned above, it's basically taken over from Plasma as your Terminator deleter. Better on Nullificators, as they have 2W and can take Primus Medicae to mitigate the risk of dying from Gets Hot while Mortalis Destroyers with their 1W and inability to take Apothecaries due to Bitter Duty are more susceptible. Disintegrators won't generally get full damage output, as both squads who have them are normal infantry; Nullificators in particular are Cataphractii and may have substantial problems getting into Rapid Fire range due to 6" movement and no running. That said, 10 Disintegrators in Rapid Fire range is one of the few ways left to remove entire Terminator units, so don't hesitate to do it given the opportunity and laugh as you remove 3/4 of your opponent's Terminator deathstar in 1 round of shooting.

Graviton Weapons
The granddaddy of Grav-Weapons. They have no Strength and are AP4, relying on rules such as Graviton Pulse, Haywire their own Blast templates and Concussive (1) in order to hender opponents and inflict damage.

Las Weapons
All of the mainstays are still here. However, when its comes to Space Marines, the best Lasers are vehicle mounted. Your main source of Destroyer weapons since allies all their rules yet (the only other D-weapon is the Thunderhawk Cannon, in case you were wondering). All Destroyer Lasers have Large Blast (5") and Ignores Cover while the Neutron-Wave Cannon on the Falchion has the Shock Pulse rule in addition to the two previous special rules.

  • Lascannon: Same as always; Heavy 1, 48" and S9 AP2, now with Sunder to cement it as a staple of vehicle hunter units. Lascannons that come stock/can be taken on Flyer units will always come in twos, at the very least, with all of them being Twin-linked.
  • Gravis Lascannon: A Lascannon mounted on vehicles such as tanks, in addition to Dreads, with an extra shot for Heavy 2. At least someone remembered that Astartes vehicles are not supposed to have Multilasers.

Flame Weapons
Lacking the range and AP of other special weapons, what Flamers excel at is clearing holes in hordes of enemies, and inflicting lots of wounds over tightly packed squads. As template weapons, they come stock with the Wall of Death special rule, automatically causing D3 hits in Reactions if the target is in 8".

  • Flamer:S4 AP5 weapon available as special weapons or in an entire squad for Tactical Support Squads. The good old anti-horde weapon from 1.0.
  • Hand-Flamer: S3 AP6, but is a Pistol (and thus confers +1 attack to a melee weapon) and can be dual-wielded by Destroyers and the like.
  • Toxiferran Flamer: Destroyer (and Nullificator) exclusive flamers full of nasty Old Night stuff. They have Poisoned (3+) and Rending (6+), making them slightly more prone to breaching marines but absolutely more devastating against Daemons and Solar Auxilia.

Melta Weapons
The anti-tank microwave guns. They have high Strength and good AP; additionally they all have Armourbane (Melta), which gives them Armourbane (X) when firing at something within half range. These are the primary handheld (and sometimes vehicle-mounted) anti-armour guns available to Space Marines. Actually worth considering now that Armoured Ceramite is gone, Plasma lost the constant AP2 and that inflicting ID on TEQs actually matters now because they have 2W. Remember that most of them are automatically Twin-Linked due to more barrels being more good.

Plasma Weapons
Has been hit with the nerf bat in 2.0, as they are now S7 AP4 and Breaching (4+) with Gets Hot, meaning you now need wound rolls of 4+ to actually get the AP2 you want from Plasma, and only against anything that isn't a Vehicle. Still worth taking as they can be effective en masse, but single Plasma Weapons have lost their effectiveness and are generally less reliable than the anti-TEQ weapons they once were. Moreover, everyone you wanted to shoot with a Plasma weapon now has 2W, so you perform worse than Meltas unless your target is immune to ID from S8 shooting or is 1W.
Ironically with the changes to Gets Hot, Plasma is much safer for Space Marines than it would be if it had kept AP2, as instead of having squads of Tactical Supports losing 3-4 guys per shooting phase to AP2 wounds caused by Gets Hot, Marines actually get their armour saves against the wounds as they would be resolved at AP4. Silver linings and all that.

  • Plasma Blaster: Assault 2, Breaching (4+) and an 18" range makes them synergise well with Volkite Chargers. Plasma Blasters are usually restricted to Terminators, Dreadnoughts or unique units, so choose wisely.
    • Note that you can only take Plasma Blasters as special weapons on Terminators and they cannot therefore take lots of Blasters. As noted above, this makes them unreliable as anti-Terminator weapons because you don't have enough shots to make up for Breaching (4+) or to chew through the 2W that all TEQs not have. It's not sufficient to seriously harm Terminator squads in themselves any more and should really be treated as a way to thin out enemy units before melee, where it competes with Magna Combi-Weapons that are cheaper and can throw 2 bolter shots into the mix, and where being 1-shot doesn't matter because you'll be in melee after you shoot anyway.
    • You can take lots of Plasma Blasters by taking Contemptors and giving them 2 each as in-built weapons to their melee weapons. However, they exist in direct competition with Meltas there, who perform better against their intended targets by having innate AP2, S8 for IDing TEQs and having Armourbane (Melta) against vehicles and Dreadnoughts, while not making your Contemptor explode on its own. Think carefully about whether you really need to save 5 points or get 6" more range.
  • Gravis Plasma Cannon: A Plasma Cannon as a Dreadnought arm that is Heavy 1, 36" S7 AP4, Large Blast (5"), Breaching (4+) and Gets Hot; it has the exact same profile as the normal Plasma Cannon, except for the radius increase from Blast (3") to Large Blast (5").

Volkite Weapons
Martian Death Lasers. Low AP but superior to Bolters in almost every way. However, Mars couldn't keep up with the demand so they are now special weapons instead of the standard issue. The main gimmick for Volkite Weapons is Deflagrate, which inflicts an additional hit for every unsaved wound caused by a weapon with this rule. Note that these hits aren't affected by other Special Rules of the model.

  • Volkite Serpenta: The Machine Pistol. Still S5, AP5 at 10", they are now Pistol 2. Serpenta's seem underwhelming at first. However their value comes from the fact that they can be dual wielded or paired with bikers and any other unit Firing Protocols (X). Gun Kata isn't just for Motraits and Destroyers any more. Praetors and Consuls can do this too. Outrides and Sky-Hunters benefit the most as only Sergeants can upgrade their Chainswords to Power Weapons. They are now an excellent alternative/companion to Plasma pistols and any infantry using Rad Weapons.
  • Volkite Charger: The rifle, though since it is smaller than a Boltgun it may as well be a carbine. Still the same old MEQ killer with S5, AP5, Assault 2 at 15". As the most common of Volkite Weapons, Charger's tend to show up together with its Combi-Weapon counterpart as upgrades for Legion exclusive troops. Vets,Termis and unique units are (usually) better off upgrading to the Combi-Weapon, as the usual price of 3pts is worth having a Bolter that works on top of the Volkite Charger. As free options for Tactical Support squads or as a 2pt upgrade for Breachers, it is a mainstay weapon for both Volkite spam lists or players who want to have Special Weapons on their line troops just like 40k.
    • If you have the option of taking Volkite Combi-Weapons. Always go with the Combi-Volkite. As two Volkite shots, two from the Bolter, plus the two rolls for Deflagration at 12" has a much higher chance of wounding at all over two Volkite hits plus extra wounds via RNG. Very rarely will any player land all six hit rolls, so you may well upgrade the whole squad plus any available heavy weapons as the opening volley.
  • Volkite Caliver: Volkite LMG. With twice the range of the Charger with plus one strength and an extra shot at Heavy 3. Only Tactical Support Squads can take them.
  • Volkite Culverin: Heavy Machine Gun variant. 45", S6, AP5 at Heavy 5. More common than Calivers. A solid generalist option for Heavy Supports, Jetbikes and vehicles but more often than not you'll pass them over for more specialized Heavy Weapons. Regardless if they are paired or twin-linked.
  • Volkite Dual-Culverin: Dual mounted HMG's. Volkite Culverin for Contemptor Dreadnoughts. Mostly the same as the former but Heavy 6 and Twin-linked. Good for dealing with hordes, MEQs and Rhino equivalents but most players will take something better like Kheres Assault Cannons, Autocannons or Levithan and Deredeo Dreads or Cogboy Knights for their Dakka needs.
  • Volkite Falconet: (One of two) Volkite Autocannons, a straight upgrade over over the Volkite Culverins. 45" range, S7, AP5, Heavy 8 and Pinning. The Falconet is a free option for Deredeo Dreads, it's the infantry and anti-air vaporizer you really wanted. While it is not their best weapon but it'll be good for keeping MEQs and weak aircraft off the Talon's back while the other members spam Plasma or snipe other vehicles.

Phosphex Weapons
White Phosphorus munitions of the 30th/31st millennia. All of the Phosphex Weapons so far have the Blast (3"), Poisoned (3+), Crawling Fire and Lingering Death rules. Aside from Destroyer Sergeants, Leviathan Dreads and Legion-only options, you will need a Siege Breaker Consul to buy most of them.

  • Phosphex Bomb: Instead of being equipment, it's a weapon you have to buy. It is 6", S5 AP2, Assault 1 with One Use and all of the Phosphex rules above. The most common Phosphex Weapon and the only type taken by Infantry models. No longer the TEQ deleter it was because they are 2W, but still valuable as one of the only weapons you have at flat AP2.
  • Phosphex Shells: Only available if you have a Siege Breaker Consul, you can shell out 20pts per model for a 24", S5 AP2, Ordnance 1 upgrade (with all of the special rules common to Phosphex Weapons) for your Arquitor Squadrons, provided that the entire Squadron is equipped with Morbus Bombards.
    • RAW the Phosphex Shells don't replace the Morbus Bombard's regular profile, so you can choose between its normal shells or the Phosphex ones whenever you shoot with your Arquitors.
  • Phosphex Canister Shot: Again, you can only take these if you have a Siege Breaker Consul; for your Rapier Batteries, you can pay 20pts per model equipped with Quad Launchers to gain a 12"-24", Heavy 1, S4 AP3 and Barrage weapon profile, including the common Phosphex special rules above.
    • Like the Arquitor's Phosphex Shells, RAW Phosphex Canister Shot doesn't replace any of the Quad Launcher's stock profiles, so feel free to choose one of FIVE different shell types when you shoot with a Rapier Battery, if you bought all of the Rapier Carrier's additional shell options.

Rad Weapons
Good old dirty bombs from the days of the Age of Strife. They have the Rad-phage rule, reducing the Toughness of survivors by 1. Usually restricted to Destroyers and Legion-exclusive models.

  • Rad Missiles: Heavy 1, S4, AP3 48" range missiles with Blast (3") and Fleshbane. Most launchers with Rad missiles will usually have Suspensor Webs, allowing them to be treated as Assault 1 weapons at half range or less. This makes them very useful when paired with Volkite Serpentas and Hand Flamers, as your wounding rolls will be improved against anyone who survives, and the list of units (3+ save, multiple wounds) who will actually be affected by Rad-phage has gotten longer.

Exotic and Miscellaneous Weapons
Weapons that don't go anywhere else or those that Games Workshop refuses to make a category for.

  • Lascutter: Only really seen on Breachers; it used to only be a melee weapon, but now it better functions as a ranged weapon this edition. The Lascutter is now S10 AP1 with Armourbane (Ranged) at 8" range, meaning that it beats a Meltagun as a tank killer and can be a surprise threat to TEQ models, who can be insta-gibbed by reactionary fire at close range. If you're wondering why it isn't listed as a Las Weapon, Lascutters are considered "Exotic Weapons" in the Armoury section of the Libers, despite almost every other sci-fi/sci-fantasy franchise using laser weapons in melee.
    • The added strength lets you cheat whatever protection your enemy has against S8 ID. Surprise your opponent who thinks their Battle-hardened (1) or something protects them from everything because Meltas can't kill them.
    • In melee, it is S7 AP1, making it look excellent for carving tanks, but it has Unwieldy and Cumbersome. That means it hits last, one time at WS1, hitting nearly everything on a 6+, so it's pretty much useless for anything else. Despite that, it's nothing to be dismissed, as it is still better than having no close combat weapon at all; the high chance of a wound and the ability to ignore armour saves marginally tip the scales of regular marine-on-marine combat, particularly if you have Hatred.
  • Needle Pistol: Another forgotten weapon added by the FAQs. Few changes from last edition. Same range as Bolt Pistols, Pistol 2, Str 2, Poisoned (3+) and now has Pinning. The latter won't do much but two Poisoned shots makes it a decent Marine mincer. Needle Pistols are only available to Primus Medicae and Legion exclusive units.


Grenades for the most part no longer really count as weapons any more.

  • Breaching Charges: Deals a single S10 AP2 hit on an enemy building or fortification at Initiative 1. Since these are rarely brought you'll probably never find a use for this wargear. It comes stock on breacher squads.
  • Frag: Still allow units to strike at initiative when they charge through difficult or dangerous terrain, but they'll suffer the movement penalties.
  • Krak: Deals a single S6 AP3 hit on an enemy vehicle, dreadnought or automata at Initiative 1. Save for the exposed flanks or when up against Rhinos or dreads.
  • Rad: When a unit with Rad Grenades charges or is charged, their opponents suffer -1 to their Toughness for the duration of that phase. This does affect Instant Death thresholds, but these weapons are usually limited to Destroyers who would rather be shooting anyway. Pair them in assaults with some of your other melee units to inflict some real damage.
  • Grenade Harness: Exclusive to terminators, but this effectively confers the same advantages as frag grenades.
  • Shroud Bombs: Units with these count as being 6" further away for the sake of targeting with guns, which is why they're usually on sneaky and squishy models like Scouts. This also means that they are considered out of sight by Barrage weapons, but anything with Night Vision ignores these.


  • Combat Shield: Gives the model equipped a 6++ Invulnerable save.
  • Boarding Shield: Gives models a 5++, but they can't gain the bonus of being equipped with 2 combat weapons, nor can they make attacks with Two-handed weapons. Units with these usually also have the Heavy sub-type so they can re-roll saves against Template and Blast weapons at the cost of being unable to Run and slower Movement in Reactions.
  • Iron Halo: Gives your Praetor a 4++ Invulnerable save. Now comes stock on a standard Praetor, but can't be taken by Centurions or Praetors in Tartaros armour.
  • Refractor Field: Gives the model wearing it a 5++. Now standard on Centurions and Consuls.
  • Flare Shield: Can be given to the larger Tanks and reduces the Strength of Shooting Attacks directed at the Front Armour by 1, and reduces the Strength of Blast weapons that hit the vehicle by 2.


  • Legion Scimitar Jetbike: Gives the unit the Cavalry unit type and the Antigrav sub-type. Comes with a Heavy Bolter and Firing Protocols (2) so you can fire whatever gun you have on top of it. It also has a boosted Movement speed of 16", Deep Strike and Hammer of Wrath (1) in addition to getting Shrouded (5+) if the unit Runs, offering a slight defensive edge.
  • Legion Spatha Combat Bike: The classic bike with wheels, giving the unit the Cavalry unit type and, optionally, the Skirmish sub-type. Comes with a Twin-Linked Bolter and Firing Protocols (2) so you can fire whatever gun you have on top of it. It also has a boosted Movement speed of 14" and Hammer of Wrath (1) in addition to getting Shrouded (5+) if the unit Runs, offering a slight defensive edge.
  • Legion Warhawk Jump Pack: Jump packs are no longer a distinct unit type, but they remain quite effective. During your turn, you can turn on these jump packs, giving the unit a Movement speed of 12" as well as the ability to fly over any terrain or enemies so long as they don't land on Dangerous Terrain or near any enemies. They also provide the Hammer of Wrath (1) and the Deep Strike rules.


  • Augury Scanner: Stops units from Infiltrating within 18" of one of these things and lets a unit with one equipped ignore the 24" limit to shooting from Night Fighting. The augury scanner also allows the unit to use the Interceptor Advanced Reaction without using a point of an army's Reaction allotment.
  • Cognis-Signum: Forego shooting with the carrier to grant a +1 to BS to a unit within 6". Usually buffs your marines to hit on 2+! Crucially this also gives the unit the Night Vision special rule, which allows them to ignore all the effects of Night Fighting and your opponent's attempts to use the Evade Reaction, as well as any other form of shrouding.
  • Legion Standard: Allows units with 6" of a model equipped with a Legion standard the ability to resolve Morale and Pinning tests at Leadership 10 and all models in the same unit gain the Line sub-type.
  • Legion Vexilla: The mini Standard. Units with a Vexilla add 1 to the wound score when determining the results of a combat. It also gives some Leadership buffs as it stop units from running off the board and can allow a unit to only roll one D6 when Falling Back.
  • Nuncio-Vox: Allows units to re-roll scatter results (for everything) if a unit with a Nuncio-Vox has line of sight on the targeted area. Units equipped with a Nuncio-Vox also ignore the -1 Leadership penalty from Night Fighting.

Unit Analysis[edit]


Take note that "Unit" and "Unit in Cataphractii" and "Unit in Tartaros" armour are all different units. This is more noticeable with Consuls, because the ones available for "Legion Centurions" are not the same available for "Legion Cataphractii Centurion". HQ are the epitome of customisation, but their stats (WS5-or-better) have them be melee units at their core. Just mind those costs add up fast. They're all 2+ save.

  • Legion Praetor: The Chapter Masters of the era and your go-to choice for your Warlord. They come with an exceptional statline with WS6 and BS5 meaning they can be kitted out to fight very easily and with a built-in Iron Halo they have some good survivability. But the main reason you are bringing a Praetor is because he has Master of the Legion, which allows you to take Rites of War for your army and to bring a Retinue kill squad to back him up. What's not to love? His price. A Pistol & Chainsword Praetor is 120pts, and you absolutely want to give him better wargear so that price will sky rocket very quickly so you better give him good protection to keep him alive.
    • Except for a few choice Consuls, they are the sole bearers of the exclusive Paragon Blade, as well as Archaeotech Pistols and Disintegration guns.
    • Terminator Armour: Both Cataphractii and Tartaros Praetors can be taken and while over all the same they have some differences. Both armours give the Praetor an additional wound, Inexorable and Bulky (2), as well as a power weapon and combi-bolter. In addition, both Terminator Praetors come with Power Weapons and Combi-bolters as standard, but don't come with the basic Iron Halo anymore, which means the Tartaros version is stuck with a 5++. The upgrade (technically they're different units) is strangely priced, as the cost for the Cataphractii is charging only for the power weapon, meaning the -1"M, +1 W and Heavy type are kinda seen as a sidegrade, while the combi-bolter is free. Even more interesting for the Tartaros version, which apparently compensates the lower invulnerable save by being cheaper than the power armoured Praetor. Thus, taking a Terminator Praetor is weirdly a good budget option, as you can spend less on kitting them out.
    • You have a few ways of dealing with Praetor duels; in addition to S8 AP2 ID at I1 or trying to do enough AP2 wounds with Paragon Blade at initiative, you can also try doing enough S8 wounds at initiative. It is possible with Legion-specific traits/wargear to get to S8 if you ignore AP, and the opponent will always have a 1/6 chance of failing his armour save regardless of his Invulnerable save or how many wounds he has. As you have to wound 6 times like with the Paragon Blade anyway, the tradeoff boils down to spamming S8 hits being unaffected by your opponent's Invulnerable save/wound count, while the Paragon Blade is not worried about Battle-hardened.
  • Legion Centurion: The Captains of the Heresy and the second choice for a Warlord. He comes with Artificer armour and a Refractor Field, but is pretty much overshadowed by the Praetor who is superior in almost every way. He can be taken in both kinds of Terminator Armour with the same restrictions as the Praetor, though Cataphractii armour gives him a 4++ he'd otherwise have no access to. Tartaros armour is very good value on these guys being 15 points for an extra wound, power weapon, combi-bolter and inexorable with the only down sides being Bulky (2), loss of grenades and inability to claim an extra attack for two weapons, this is practically a steal when you consider giving a power weapon alone to the base version is 15 points by itself. While he can be useful on his own, the real reason you would bring a Centurion is to upgrade him to a Legion Consul.
    • Consuls: Specialised characters that boost parts of the army or do something unusual. A number of legions also include their own unique Consul option that focuses on a particular aspect of battle. T means it's available for either form of terminator armour wearing Centurions.

He gets an Augury Scanner and a Cognis-Signum, and can get a Master-crafted heavy weapon of choice for 5-15 points as well. May not wear Terminator armour and may not use any mobility gear. Also gets the Heavy sub-type. Note that if he chooses a Heavy Flamer, it's specifically Twin-Linked rather than Master-Crafted so you get re-rolls to wound, not one to hit. Could be a nice pick for defence if he's babysitting a Heavy Support Squad and making good use of the Cognis-Signum.

  • The obvious role for this guy is a Relentless BS5 gunner with built in to-hit re-roll.
  • The Cognis-Signum allows a squad he's attached to to shoot at BS5 but only if he doesn't shoot.
    • For 5pts less, a Techmarine already does the job well. If you want an Augury Scanner + Cognis in the unit though, an Armistos is cheaper than the Techmarine + Augury, as he packs both in as part of his Consul upgrade. Another point in favour of the Armistos is the fact that his weapon loadouts weren't nerfed this edition. Armistoses (Armisti? Armistos'?) can also be used to add a Cognis-Signum and Augury Scanner to Terminators where a Techmarine can't be attached - looking at you, Tyrants!
  • Compare with a Master of Signals, which costs twenty points more, comes with the same gear and more plus a special Ld rule.

WS is increased to 6 and must issue/accept challenges whenever possible, but if a challenge is fought with this model then all friendly models in combat gain Fearless, even if the challenger kills him. He also gets a free Paragon Blade, an upgrade otherwise exclusive to Praetors which costs them just 5 points less than the upgrade to a Champion... nice.

  • RAW his Paragon Blade is added to his wargear instead of replacing anything, so he could swap his default melee weapon for another specialist melee weapon for +1 attack. A lightning claw is the cheapest choice (completely free if he's wearing Terminator armour), but a power fist/thunder hammer could also work as a good backup weapon in case he runs into any vehicles or dreadnoughts.

Increases his Leadership to 10, gives him and any unit he is attached to Stubborn and Hatred (Everything) to push forward on the offensive. May add Master-crafted to a power weapon of choice to represent his classic Crozius Arcanum.

  • RAW you could give Master-crafted to ANY power weapon. This includes Thunder Hammers, Power Fists, and Legion specific power weapons, like Solarite Power Gauntlets or Perdition Weapons.
    • Even if it sounds cool, remember that a Chaplain already has Hatred, so Master-crafted will only be useful from the second round of each close combat.

Still a mini-Praetor, gaining Master of the Legion and allowing Rites of War to be used in smaller games. However, they can't be taken in the same Detachment as a Praetor or Primarch; but it would be perfectly fine to take one as the commander of an allied force and have both Detachments running different Rites of War. You can also take several of them in the same detachment, following all restrictions for Master of the Legion, but the only reason to do so is the following rule:

Once per game at the start of your turn, you can also make a Leadership check in order to make any unit within line of sight that is falling back or pinned to automatically rally and act as normal, which can help keep up the pressure.

Psykers with a specialist discipline concerned with the proscribed lore of daemons, either by banning them or by allowing them to manifest themselves. The main draw depends on whether your force is Traitor or Loyalist. Like Librarians, they can get a free Force weapon and an optional Psychic Hood to fuck with enemy psykers, but they can also purchase an Archaeotech pistol for some near-guaranteed Rending on a 3+.

  • Traitor forces that contain one or more Esoterists may select up to three non-Compulsory Troops or Elites choices from the Ruinstorm Daemon army list. They gain the Breach the Veil psychic power that allows you to deploy a Daemon unit from Reserves instead of making a shooting attack. If a psychic test is passed, then the unit is able to deploy from a target point within 12". If the test is failed, the target point scatters, but only suffers Perils of the Warp if the target point scatters into Impassable Terrain, off the battlefield, or within 3" of an enemy unit.
  • Loyalist forces get a power that royally fucks with a single Daemon unit or Corrupted sub-type unit within 18". The Esoterist drops their target's Strength and Toughness by 1 until the end of their controlling player's next turn... AND if the Psychic check is passed, the target unit suffers Perils of the Warp. If the test is failed, then the Psyker AND the target unit suffer Perils of the Warp. So either way, the target unit loses wounds and effectiveness.
    • Both Traitors and Loyalists version also have the Void Darts psychic weapon attack, which fires fucking TWELVE DEFLAGRATING shots that wound Daemons on a 2+ and forces them to re-roll successful Invulnerable saves. Against everyone else this is S5 AP4, but that is still a lot of mind bullets with exploding potential to twenty-four casualties if you are lucky.

Gains Battlesmith (4+) and Master of Automata. They also pick up a Machinator Array as well as the option for both a cortex controller and cyber-familiar. They can also grab up to three Thallax Cohorts as non-Compulsory Elites that gain the LA rules of your legion, giving you a tanky set of jump-pack death machines with unique guns. As an added bonus, he can repair tanks very effectively with that Machinator Array.

  • While he's one of the few Counsuls with the least restrictions. Forge Lords are basically Praevians with less Battle-Automata options. Conversion Beamers sadly have been removed and are only available to vehicles this edition, barring Legion hijinks. Instead, Forge Lords can buy a Nemesis Bolter and/or Jetbike with a Heavy Bolter, so he can still shoot at targets from long range. Still, that's nowhere near as good as the Beamers were.
    • It's not worth to take Forge Lord Terminators at all now. You pay more to take away his weapon options if you shell out for Termi armour. As his loadout is inferior to what Techmarcines and Power Armour Centurions get. Its like someone hates the Admech or something.
    • Thallax lose the ability to take a Triaros and you waste a ton of points to give Forge Lord's Land Raiders(unless it's an Achilles) and a single heavy slot just to cart him around. So stick with sniper loadouts or a Jetbike until the FAQs come out . Thallax who are stuck with Lightning Guns should be given Chain Bayonets to act as meat shields for the other three. If you want a unit of deathbots in your army without taking ROW. You are better off taking a Praevian instead. As Castellax have better weapon upgrades over Thallax.

Gains both Fearless and Fear but must exchange a piece of wargear for a Legion Standard. Interestingly, there are otherwise no restrictions on their wargear, meaning you can have a jump pack or biker Herald.

  • Their Legion Standard is now the same as the one found in the Command Squad, granting any unit within 6" LD10 for everything but Psychic checks, and giving an attached unit the Line sub-type, allowing them to take objectives. This last bit is something to look out for, as it lets you create some potent combinations by attaching your Herald to a legion elite squad.
  • Has lost Master of the Legion, meaning those funny fellas who enjoyed making their non-Compulsory HQ their Warlord in HH 1.0 now need to find a new trick.

May upgrade a power weapon, bolt pistol or combi-bolter into a force weapon, which isn't quite as busted as previous editions. Has access to any of the core rulebook psychic disciplines, which gives him quite a bit of versatility. All of them also give the Aetheric Lightning psychic weapon with Force to amp up its effectiveness against marines, though AP4 isn't as desirable.

  • You can also purchase a Psychic Hood, which deals a -2 penalty against any enemy psychic tests within 18". Denying is no longer in the game, so you're stuck with just nerfs to enemies in the hopes that they can suffer Perils.

Has more wargear than he can keep track of. His Strategic Comms special rule allows any friendly unit on the table to use his leadership for Morale or Pinning checks (but only once per turn), and as long as he isn't in Reserves then you may re-roll your Reserve rolls. Comes with a Nuncio-Vox to re-roll Deep-Striking scatters; Augury Scanner, preventing Infiltrators from deploying nearby and granting free Interceptor reactions; a Cognis-Signum, granting Night Vision and +1 BS to his squad; and Vox Disruptor Array, making all Deep Strike, Drop Assault or Subterranean Assault rolls become disordered on a 1-3 at no cost, which he can turn on and off at will each turn.

  • Can't exchange his Chainsword for anything that isn't a Power/Charnabal weapon. He also can't take a Combi-Bolter or regular Bolter, but it seems GW forgot they'd added Shotguns and Nemesis Bolters to the list because he can still take those (or a Volkite Charger). No shields, bike, or jetbike either, but he may take a jump pack if you're a masochist who wanted him to make his own Deep Strike disordered.

The Consul for a Destroyer-focused army, as he can actually join a squad of the folks thanks to Bitter Duty. He also gain Scout and Counter-attack, but can no longer be the Warlord and lacks any ability to pick up bikes.

  • This also includes the fun dual-wielding shenanigans of old. He gains a second bolt pistol and rad bombs with the option to buy Disintegrator pistols for 20 points. His Chain Fire rule now strictly limits them to firing both pistols up to six times at the same target, but you can't use this with hand flamers. Any 1s to hit with any weapons with Gets Hot or Armourbane (Melta) will immediately end the sequence for that pistol, though you can still shoot with the second pistol. Of course, if you trade in the chainsword for a third pistol, you can take that out after the other one pops.
  • This does come at the cost of any melee power, as firing this much bars him from reactions and charging on the same turn.
  • His whole "edgy lone killer" shtick has been utterly screwed up by Reactions, because if Moritat is alone, even a basic Tactical Squad of 10 has a chance of destroying him with Return Fire. For the same reason, arriving from Deep Strike or Outflanking is pretty much a death sentence, unless you give your enemy Distraction Carnifex fat enough to overlook the Moritat.

Grants a servo-arm, a Corposant Stave and Battlesmith (6+) but loses out on mobility options. You can buy a single Contemptor Dread that takes up no slots, which you must attach to your Mortificator despite being two different unit types. In doing so, not only does the Consul have the ability to repair the dread, but the dread also gains It Will Not Die (5+), giving them two different ways to survive any hits.

  • Unlike Forge Lords and Praevians, his own options weren't hit hard by the nerf bat; though being restricted to a single Dread is a huge one for the entire unit. While he can take Terminator armour, they are highly lacking in the firepower department(outside of Volkite or GL Combi-Bolters), nor can he use bikes or jump packs.
  • Previously Mortificators were used to take a squad of melee Dreads but this is no longer viable. So pick the Nemesis Bolter then kit the Contemptor out for long range sniping. Upgrade the Contemptor with two ranged weapons & the Helical Targeting array for a nearly unkillable Mortis.

The Scout to the Vigilator's Sniper. He has the Skirmish sub-type so he increases his cover saves by +1 and has a greater squad coherency with other units of Skirmishers, which is only really Recon or Scout Squads, plus some Legion specials. He must exchange his Artificer armour for Scout armour, so his saves are reduced to 4+/5++ but he does not have the Light sub-type, meaning he does not actually mix well in Scout Squads because he stops them from snap-firing after running or gaining the initiative bonus to running speed. He gets the Move Through Cover, Pathfinder, Scout and Infiltrate special rules, all with a movement speed of 8, so he can pretty easily walk through anything he needs to. He also gets a free Master-crafted shotgun. He may not purchase a jump pack or any kind of bike, but strangely, there seems to be nothing stopping him purchasing a Boarding Shield from the Centurion wargear list, which would give him the Heavy sub-type on top of the Skirmish sub-type, not that it would help him much.

  • Basically there as the cheapest way to get a unit a Scout move.

He grants a Cortex Controller and allows you to attach a Castellax or Vorax maniple as a retinue. Sadly, it seems like the days of slapping on Legion-specific wargear on your bots is no more, as they only get the Legiones Astartes rule.

  • Overall though, the Praevian has some decent buffs this edition. He has a larger selection of wargear and is no longer doing nothing or firing randomly at what the Automata are shooting at. Nemesis Bolters allow Praevians to actually contribute to battles instead of playing mobile games on his Data-Slate while Castellax fire their big guns. You could take a Power Axe for the Cogboy badge of office or upgrade to Power Fists, Chainfists or Thunder Hammers so he'll actually make those three attacks count when his squad of deathbots gets locked into Assault.
    • Obviously Castellax are better than Thallax, Vorax or a single Dreadnought. Dark-Fire Cannons have longer range and damage output, Maxima Bolters are better than Lightning Guns and Rotor Cannons. The only thing smaller Automata have over Castellax are mobility but with this much firepower it's not really a downside. Praevian are not really made for foot slogging either.

Gains a Narthecium, which provides Infantry and Cavalry units Feel No Pain (5+). It also has the Sacred Trust rule, which also allows Infantry and Cavalry units to re-roll any It Will Not Die (X) results, so will only see use with specific Legions, and none of this is helpful for a Primarch.

He is also barred from selecting paired Lightning Claws or Boarding Shields, but is otherwise allowed to take Two-handed weapons, so things like Caedere Weapons or Terranic Greatswords are fair game. But either way, this is not a guy you want charging directly into a fight. The main benefit for taking a Primus Medicae is that it can join squads that a normal Apothecary normally couldn't and give them Feel No Pain (X) (so only Terminators really). If you are planning to attach this Consul to any other squad, consider a regular Apothecary first.

    • Primus Medicae got their Needle Pistols by exchanging a Bolt Pistol or Combi-Bolter(i.e. Terminator armor). Which is more that can be said for other Councils.

Cataphractii armour only. Another Psyker-like Consul, though this guy gets only one power, and it's pretty poor in comparison to the other disciplines' powers unless you're fighting Daemons, which it will royally fuck up. He also gains an Aether-shock Maul, letting him overpower marines with Deflagrate. He can also swap his combi-bolter for a Toxiferran Flamer or Disintegrator.

  • In all honesty, you're only taking this guy because you also want to take more Nullificators, as he lets you take them as Troops. However, they gain the Support Squad rule, barring them from being Compulsory.

Gains three Phosphex bombs and a nuncio-vox. On top of that, they also gain Sunder as well as the ability to share it with one unit within 6" each turn, giving plenty of anti-vehicle support.

  • The Siege Breaker also offers new options for your army, as your Quad Launcher Rapiers can grab Phosphex shells while Arquitors with Morbus Bombards can buy Phosphex rounds for 20 points per model. Both of these rounds give AP2 blasts with Poisoned (3+) as well as the fun rules that make them slide across the floor, chasing whoever's nearest.

Comes equipped with a Master-crafted Nemesis Bolter and Melta Bombs for free. They have the option to be given either Infiltrate or Scout. They aren't Skirmish sub-type though, so they don't mix well with Recon Squads, which is a shame, but they do have the same Marked for Death special rule that Seekers do, so they can re-roll 1s to-wound against a single unit chosen at the start of the game. They also have the Master Sniper rule, which gives any Sniper weapon they use the Rending (2+) and Shell Shock (1) rules. So effectively against their chosen target with their Nemesis Bolter, they auto-hit (BS5 Master-crafted) and auto-wounding with AP2 (Rending (2+) Marked for Death).

Gets an Aetheric Juncture Splicer, which grants him and any squad he joins Deep Strike, meaning you can drop in a Breacher Squad if you so feel like it. However, unlike the Teleport Homers of the Imperial Fists and Night Lords, these also require you to roll an additional d6 after everyone arrives, dealing an armour-ignoring wound on a 1. On top of that, you absolutely need to charge whenever you have the chance to, which can make for some inconvenient situations if you don't have him properly equipped to take down things like Terminators or dreads.

  • Legion Command Squad: A squad of three Veterans (WS5 2W 2A), one of which is carrying a Legion Standard, with a further six goobers being able to be added to bring the squad up to nine. They all come with Chosen Warriors, Relentless and the Retinue rule meaning they don't take up a HQ spot if you bring them with someone with Master of the Legion. Also, you can't take them unless you have a Master of the Legion. These guys' main (and only) job is to tag alongside your Warlord (they actually can't leave him), so they should be kitted out to complement him. That is, to follow him in melee. For this purpose they get access to combi- and power weapons. Worth noting is they are the only non-termie squad with access to massed power fists (besides legion specifics). Not Hammers though; they're not actual characters btw.
    • Terminator Armour: Your only source of WS5 Thunder Hammers, depending of your legion. They can be taken in Terminator armour with the same drawbacks and benefits, but they no longer have to wear the same armour as the guy they are backing up, meaning a Command Squad wearing Tartaros armour can back up a normal armoured Praetor. You can now bubble wrap your Warlord in a 2+/4++ wall of adamantium without any of the drawbacks (except Transport capacity). Unlike normal command squads, Terminator command squads only go up to 5 models.
  • Legion Damocles Command Rhino: A metal box that can be taken as a non-Compulsory HQ choice. Why would you bring it? Because it lets you re-roll Reserve rolls and transmit any Embarked character's Leadership to units that are up to 18" away from the Damocles (or an unlimited distance for units with a nuncio-vox). A solid, if expensive support HQ. It can also be taken as a Dedicated Transport for Command Squads if you're willing to spend the points but not the HQ slot.


  • Legion Veteran Squad: Tactical Marines with 2 wounds and attacks that come with a bunch of fun customisation options. Right off the bat, they come with Relentless and Chosen Warriors, which is pretty great since they can shoot and charge with their Bolters and everyone in the squad can accept Challenges. Speaking of Bolters, these guys can take Bayonets or Chain Bayonets like Tacticals, and they can be outfitted for most jobs as everyone in the squad can take a Chainsword, Heavy Chainsword, Lightning Claws or a Power Weapon; they can all exchange their Bolters for Combi-Weapons, Shotguns or Nemesis Bolters. One in five can also take a special or heavy weapon like a 40k Tactical Squad, and to top it all off they can take a Drop Pod as a Dedicated transport without the need for a RoW. It's not all smiles though, since they lack the Line sub-type so they are no longer scoring outside of certain RoWs, meaning they can no longer be relied upon to capture and hold objectives. Despite all that, their customisation options allow them to act as mobile snipers, elite assault squads, or pseudo-support squads, making them a simple but effective choice even if they have lost scoring.
    • Due to the lack of the Line, unless you're running Pride of the Legion it may be best to use these guys as your toolbox unit and go all out on giving them special wargear, like Power or Combi-Weapons, but keep in mind that the cost on these guys can ramp up very quickly.
  • Legion Terminator Squad: Thicc marines with a 2+, an invulnerable save, and two wounds each. They have Relentless and so can move, shoot, and charge without restriction, Inexorable which is a kind of pseudo-Stubborn that doesn't work against Fear (X). They have Bulky (2), so you have to think about what transports can carry them, and it has certain interactions with some special rules that determine who outnumbers who. They come in two flavours that can take the same gear. Power Weapons and Combi-Bolters are stock, and you can swap those out for Lightning Claws, Power Fists, Chainfists, Thunder Hammers, Volkite Chargers or Combi-Weapons, with one in five able to take a Heavy Flamer, Reaper Autocannon or Plasma Blaster. Sadly, they don't have the Line sub-type, which means they are no longer scoring units which has limited their usefulness in objective games. They're still fucking cool though, so expect everyone to include at least one Terminator unit in their army.
    • Terminator Patterns: Two types of Terminator armour can be taken; Cataphractii and Tartaros both have their benefits and downsides.
      • Cataphractii Armour has a 4++ invulnerable save and the Heavy sub-type (re-rolls failed armour saves from blasts and templates), so it is incredibly tough to crack. It does have several downsides though, as it is unable to Run and takes a -1 penalty to Initiative for Movement-based Reactions. It also has a lower than average movement of 6" and is not able to make Sweeping Advances. Thankfully, Cataphractii armour is no longer prohibited from Overwatching this edition.
      • Tartaros Armour has none of the drawbacks of Cataphractii armour, but lacks the Heavy sub-type and only has a 5++ invulnerable save.
        • Your choice of Terminator armour will likely come down to the Legion you play and the way you want to use them. If you like marching over no-man's land while tearing your opponents army apart with heavy guns and aren't that bothered by survivors of melee, then you'll probably gravitate towards Cataphractii. If you prefer to get into your opponents face and rip them up with melee weapons and sweep over them when you win combat, Tartaros armour will probably be the better call. However, you'll need a DT either way if you want to get into melee; Cataphractii are far too slow, while 5++ is not good enough to prevent your opponent from shooting your Tartaros Terminators in the face.
  • Legion Destroyer Assault Squad: A squad of five marines with jump packs who heard the phrase "all is fair in love and war" and then considered it's application to the use of radiation weapons on Xeno civilians. Coming with Stubborn and Counter-attack (1) rules, armed with two Bolt Pistols and Chainswords (giving them 3 attacks base) as well as Rad Grenades, Destroyers are the units you call in when you want to weaken and horrifically maim enemy infantry units with their Toughness decreasing Rad Weapons, Poisoned (3+) and Rending (6+) Flamers and Phosphex Bombs. The entire unit can take Melta Bombs if you feel like blowing holes in vehicles and one in five can take a Missile Launcher (Rad Missiles only) with Suspensor Web. They also have Bitter Duty, as not many people want to hang around with a group of guys who read the Geneva Convention for ideas and strategies they can use in battle.
    • As Techmarines lost Rad Grenades, these guys are your best way of getting hold of those nasty little cancer bombs. With jump packs, it's easier to pull off multiple charges with them than Mortalis Destroyers, allowing their brothers to benefit from Rad Grenades.
  • Legion Mortalis Destroyer Squad: The same as Assault Destroyers but lacking jump packs, which may seem like a downgrade but you get some good concessions in return. They are cheaper and one in five have access to take a Graviton Gun with Suspensor Web or a FUCKING DISINTEGRATOR GUN, which allows them to instantly vaporise Automata. Mixed with Rad Grenades, they can be pretty effective monster hunters. Why yes, you can instantly kill a Greater Daemon with one shot at range.
    • Only take the Land Raider DT if you sure it's needed. While it offers better Dakka than a Rhino or the Termite Assault Drill, you need to kit its weapons out to support the Destroyer Squad, so points costs can add up quickly.
  • 0-1 Legion Apothecarion Detachment: Up to 8 Apothecaries that must be attached to a non-Terminator marine squad pre-game and cannot leave. Also importantly, they CANNOT be assigned to squads that contain any Independent Characters or Unique sub-type units, but said ICs can be joined to the same squad afterwards during deployment; it just makes it impossible to have a squad of just an IC and an Apothecary. They can be given jump packs and both kinds of bike if you are interested in putting them in more mobile squads. They can also be given Artificer Armour, any standard Power or Charnabal Weapon, a Combi-Weapon or Volkite Charger. Considering that they only have the same profile as a tactical marine, think about it before giving them expansive extra weapons. Their primary value is the Feel No Pain (5+) that they give to models with the Infantry and Cavalry unit types, but not to your Primarch, unfortunately.
    • Apothecaries also gain all of the special rules and unit sub-types of the unit they are are assigned to, unless those rules explicitly forbid it (like Bitter Duty). This means Apothecaries in Breacher Squads will become Heavy, while those in Seeker Squads will get Marked for Death and Precision Shots, and so on.
    • The Narthecium will stack with the Heart of the Legion rule that Tactical and Despoiler Squads gain, so they will benefit from Feel No Pain (4+) while holding objectives. The Apothecary gets it too, so he's harder to kill than he looks.
  • 0-1 Legion Techmarine Covenant: Changed rather significantly in this edition. Servitors/Tech-Thralls have just gone, and so have a lot of the more esoteric weapon choices like Conversion Beamers. They come equipped with a Bolt pistol, Power Axe, Servo arm and artificer armour and like Apothecaries, up to eight of them can be purchased as a single FOC choice, and they must be spread out to other squads that don't already have Independent Characters attached. They still have a nice selection of weapon options to help them fit in with most squads they are taken with and they can take Melta Bombs or a Thunder Hammer to make them a bit more destructive, but overall, unless your army contains a lot of vehicles and/or Dreadnoughts you probably won't get as much mileage out of them. As Battlesmith (5+) still needs the Techmarine to be in base contact with the vehicle in question, if you attached your Techmarines to squads you had other uses for, then that's pretty much a detour taken for most of a turn. However they do have some optional extras that can make them a bit more enticing. Firstly they can take Cognis-Signums, which improves the BS of the squad he's attached to by +1 as long as he doesn't himself shoot. This can be a very tempting choice on a Tac-Support squad or Heavy Support Squad, as you won't mind either of these squads being drawn away from objectives to watch a Techmarine fix a Predator, as long as they can still shoot at what you want gone. He can also take a Boarding Shield in place of his Bolt Pistol or Power Axe, which makes him tougher and combined with a Cyber-familiar gives them a Cataphractii-tier 2+/4++, which isn't cost-effective and prevents taking a cognis-signum, but it is funny. They can also take Jump-packs, Jetbikes or regular bikes which can be an interesting option as it helps relieve some of the pain of losing Conversion Beamers, Rad missiles and Servitors.
    • Like Apothecaries, they get the special rules of whatever squad they join, which means they can get Heart of the Legion. 2+/4++ is very possible to snipe with Seekers/Nemesis Bolters, but 2+/4++/4+++ is a different matter.
    • In a Tank and Dreadnought heavy list, a bunch of these guys with Cognis Signums hiding in support units, giving them better shooting and repairing vehicles can be an effective strategy and Ironwing, Iron Warriors and Iron Hands (that's a lot of metal themed armies) will loves these guys in their tank armies. But in most cases you'll want to leave them at home.
      • Obviously, if you're taking a number of squads in Land Raiders, attaching a Techmarine to each of them will increase the survivability of their transports, especially since you can still repair while embarked, though only expensive transports should get this treatment. Rhinos are too cheap and not important enough to dedicate a Techmarine to one. That said, if you're taking the Techmarine for his cognis-signum anyway, there's no reason not to repair the Rhino while you're inside.
  • Legion Contemptor Dreadnought Talon: Dreadnoughts have seen a pretty substantial change from 1.0, as they have lost their Armour Values and are now a type of Monstrous Creature. The Dreadnought unit type means they have Fearless and can fire all the guns they are equipped with. They also force Poisoned (X), Fleshbane and Force weapons to re-roll successful wound rolls against it and count as having remained stationary for firing Heavy and Ordnance weapons. Contemptor Dreadnoughts are S7, T7, have 6 wounds and come with a 2+ armour save making them pretty meaty and tough to kill. Their Atomantic Deflector gives them a 5++ invulnerable save; it also means they only take D3 wounds when hit by Instant Death and has the added bonus of hitting all models within D6" with a S8 AP- blast when killed. They come with a Gravis Bolt Cannon and a Gravis Power Fist, but these can be swapped out for other weapons like Gravis Lascannons, Kheres Assault Cannons, Gravis Chainfists and other weapons with the word Gravis in their names. They can also be given a Havoc Launcher, and a further two Dreadnoughts can be added to the Talon.
    • Dreadnoughts can be very diverse in their roles depending on the weapons you give them. They can be melee or shooting units and range from infantry killers to tank busters (Mind you, there is no specific bonus for taking two Chainfists so only take one and a normal fist to gain an additional attack).
    • Instead of the Havoc Launcher, you can give him a Helical Targeting Array, gaining Skyfire, and ignoring Shrouded (X) while active. Combined with two ranged weapons, you can recreate a Contemptor Mortis.
  • Legion Rapier Battery: Your field artillery for all you trench diggers and mud waders. The battery comes with 2 gunners and 1 Rapier carrier which can upgraded to 2 more Rapier carriers (each with 2 gunners) equipped with Gravis Heavy Bolter battery standard, but can be upgraded to a Laser Destroyer, Graviton Cannon or Quad Launcher, which can further purchase Incendiary, Shatter, Splinter and Phosphex Shells (though you need a Siege Breaker Consul for the last option). They have received a pretty great buff as the Rapier carrier is now Relentless allowing you to relocate them and fire in the same turn. As you have more Elites than Heavy Support slots, consider using these instead of Heavy Support Squads.
  • 0-1 Legion Nullificator SquadLegacies: Cataphractii termies made to handle the ill-understood forces of the arcane. Each one comes with S+1 AP3 Aether-shock mauls with Deflagrate so they're capable of handling plenty short of terminators. Each one also has Hexagrammatic Wards to make any Psychic Weapons take -1 on to-wound rolls, which will only see use against any Librarians, Esoterists, certain Legion specials, and maybe Daemons depending on how they get written. Their weapon selection is very limited, with the only options being Toxiferran Flamers or Disintegrators, giving you some incredibly costly options to take care of specific targets.
    • Disintegrators make Nullificators more viable alternatives to Terminator Squads and find a spot in ROWs that make Termi's (but not themselves) Troops. As they are no longer locked into to attacking soft targets (daemons, Militia and Solar Auxilla) and stand a solid chance of taking out MEQs and a decent one against TEQs. There are dozens of way to mitigate the effects of "Gets Hot" so having them act as shooty Termis at 24" is a pretty good idea; weapons capable of 1-shotting TEQs are no joke, and practically none of them come on a 2+/4++ 2W model.
  • Legion Castraferrum Castra Ferrum Dreadnought TalonLegacies: The old boxnoughts return with a bit of a discount compared to the Contemptors. First, the negatives: with S6/T6 W5 and I2 they are marginally poorer in close combat than Contemptors, but they still hit at S9 with Gravis Power Fists, are still wounded the same way by regular models, yet are notably still faster than Unwieldy weapons that are actually likely to cause them harm. Their weaker Ferromantic Reactors also mean that any Instant Death attacks instead do a flat 3 damage, which is bad news if they get into melee against anyone with Murderous Strike or Instant Death built into their close combat weapons. But frankly these are non-issues, because you are paying less while getting mostly the same results. At range they they lose out on some of the more exotic weapons given to Contemptors (volkites, assault cannons, or conversion beamers) but they still have BS5 and make for excellent long range weapon platforms using other weapons. They also have access to two weapons that are unique to them: Gravis Missile Launchers provide Large Blast Frag missiles, or Heavy 2 Krak; giving a versatile means of switching between anti-armour and anti-crowd measures; and the Flamestorm Cannon, giving you a long-ranged flamer thanks to Torrent extending the template's reach. All of their ranged weapons can be taken in pairs, allowing for concentrated fire of pie plates, templates, or other "Gravis" weapons at an overall cheaper cost than you could otherwise get on Contemptors. Another benefit they have over those bastards with knees instead of vents is that they gain the "Heavy" Subtype, allowing them to re-roll those 2+ saves against against blasts and templates, making it even harder to take them down.
    • Also of note is that some of the weapons and costs have been altered compared to the Contemptor. They do NOT have access to Gravis Melta Cannons, instead only having Multi-Meltas for half the firepower at four times the price. Everything else has taken a price hike too, but ultimately even if they took multiples of the most expensive options they would STILL be cheaper than Contemptors.


  • Legion Tactical Squad: The standard Troops choice for the Legions and an all around decent Troops choice. Cheaper than they were in 1.0, they are now 100pts for 10 men and the squad can be increased to 20 men, but don't have access to any Heavy or Special weapons. Most importantly, they have Line, which means they are scoring, and Heart of the Legion, meaning they get Stubborn and Feel No Pain (5+) when near objectives. They can all take Bayonets/Chain Bayonets on their bolters for 1/2pts, or they can all take Chainswords for 5pts per model. On top of this, they still have Fury of the Legion, so you can fire an extra shot and dump potentially 60 shots from a 20 man squad into a unit you don't like. It always works for Reactions too. Despite some points moving around, they're still the dependable Troops choice you know and love.
    • Fury of the Legion was changed from last edition to add 1 shot rather than attacking twice, but works on every turn, as long as you remained stationery in your previous movement phase (it's also every time you shoot so you can do it when reacting, as long as you meet the criteria). It's a bit like the Solar Auxilia Collimators in that you get more range if you stand still, but while the Solar Auxilia get full shots at extended range, this gives you full shots at full range and more shots at half range. You lose the sheer firepower of spraying 80 shots into the enemy at 12", but you can fire 40 shots at 24" every turn and it's overall easier to use. It also no longer works on bolt pistols, but that doesn't matter because you can't trade out your bolter any more, so you will always have and you'll always use your bolter.
    • Combi-Weapons can also claim Fury of the Legion on the Bolter component, as Fury of the Legion works on bolters whereas combi-weapons are specified as having a bolter as its primary weapon. Thus, taking combi-weapons does not prevent your Sergeant/Techmarine/Apothecary from using Fury of the Legion.
    • If the squad numbers 10 models or less they may take a rhino as a dedicated transport (despite the rhino having 12 seats. Guess they now come with 2 "VIP only seats!")
  • Legion Despoiler Squad: Tactical Marines, but for melee. They lack Bolters but all come with Bolt Pistols and Chainswords, the latter of which can be swapped out for a Heavy Chainsword for fighting Automata and monsters, or for a second Bolt Pistol to make a squad of pseudo-Destroyers. Every model in 5 can take a Power or Charnabal weapon, and the same Marine or another 1 in 5 can swap its Bolt Pistol for a Hand Flamer, Volkite Serpenta or a Plasma Pistol. The unit has Line and Heart of the Legion, as well as Spite of the Legion, which gives them an extra attack in the turn they Charge a unit that is Pinned, Falling Back or doesn't have any Chosen Warriors or Characters (including squad Sergeants), which makes it situational. Luckily, you don't have to declare it like Fury of the Legion, so it's a nice bonus under the right circumstances.
    • The Despoiler Squads can work very well paired with a Tactical Support Squad. Take Rotor Cannons on the latter and have them act as suppressing fire on whatever the Despoiler Squad is going to charge that turn. With luck, you will pin them and thus trigger Spite of the Legion. Alternatively, take Recon/Scout snipers; you can either pin the enemy, or kill their Sergeant and claim Spite of the Legion regardless.
    • Spite of the Legion does not specify the Unit sub-type your Despoilers are charging. RAW, you can usually claim Spite of the Legion against Dreadnoughts and vehicles because they're not Characters. This won't help much with your normal chainswords, but 1 more attack each from your 4 Power weapon guys and your Power Fist sergeant could be the difference between killing that Leviathan or not.
  • Legion Assault Squad: Similar to Despoilers, but they all come with Jump Packs allowing them to Deep Strike, move fast and far and gain Hammer of Wrath (1). They all come with Bolt Pistols and Chainswords, and the entire unit can take Combat shields for a mere 2pts per model. They seem like better Despoilers, right? Well, the problem is they lack Heart of the Legion, so while they are good on the charge, Despoilers are actually slightly better at holding objectives as well as being 45pts cheaper and a bit more flexible with the weapons they can bring. Obviously, they are still good at taking the objectives but they may need a little support from other units to hold them. One of their biggest strengths compared to other Line choices is their speed, allowing them to snag distant objectives in the late game . . . as long as they don't die first.
  • Legion Breacher Squad: Legionaries who form a SHIELD WALL and come with Boarding Shields, Line, but not Heart of the Legion. The whole squad can replace their bolters with Volkite Chargers for 2pts each (absolutely should be done unless playing a Legion with improved Bolters) and 1 in 5 gets access to either a Flamer, Meltagun, Graviton gun or Lascutter giving them a bit more flexibility to what they can deal with. The Boarding Shield gives them a 5++ invulnerable save and makes them Heavy so they can re-roll failed armour saves from template and blast weapons, making them the toughest Troops choice for the Legions, as well as the most expensive. They all also have a one-use Breacher Charge that hits as S10 and AP1 and can only be used against Buildings and Fortifications. Due to their improved armour/Heavy sub-type, they're great in games of Zone Mortalis.
    • An added bonus is the fact 10-man squads can take a Termite or a Land Raider Proteus as their Dedicated Transport, which is pretty great even if it adds way more to the squad's overall price.
  • Legion Tactical Support Squad: A 5 man Tactical Squad that all take Special Weapons. They can buy 5 more guys and they come with Flamers but can swap them for Volkite Chargers for free or pay points for fun stuff like Plasma Guns, Meltaguns or Volkite Calivers. They are a Support Squad, so they can't be taken as Compulsory Troops and they do not have Line, so they can't score. They are best used to support other troops in shooting stuff, which they can be very good at, but they can also purchase Chainswords. Considering that a lot of those weapons put the users within charge range of the enemy, some Legions with particular advantages in Melee ought to be able to find a use for their Assault weapons and try to mop up survivors with a follow-up charge. While probably not as effective as Heavy Support Squads equipped with bigger versions of the same guns, Tactical support squads take up a far less crowded Force Org slot in comparison so can be a good compromise if you are trying to squeeze in more firepower but you HS slots are all taken.
    • Volkite Chargers/Calivers are good anti-infantry weapons, though Breachers probably will get the most out of Volkite weapons and are the better unit over all, despite being more expensive.
    • Despite Plasma guns taking a nerf most of its shots will still be AP2 thanks to Breaching (4+) making it a decent weapon to deal with TEQ's with massed fire and several Legions get their own cool Plasma weapons they can replace them with.
    • Melta guns are the go-to for Tank hunting and TEQ slaying, but the short range of 12" or 6" for Armourbane (Melta), means the squad will likely need a transport to get them into firing range.
    • Finally Rotor Cannons are actually worth taking this edition as they've lost Salvo (because it got removed from the game all together) and they are now 30" Assault 4 weapons with Pinning and Shell Shock (1), meaning those Pinning tests are taken at -1 Ld, making them fantastic anti-horde/infantry weapons.
  • Legion Reconnaissance Squad: Space Marines that like stealth and are tactical, without having to wear stupid armour named after a moon. The cheapest scoring unit, as they have the Line sub-type and cost 85 points, with the standard Vexilla, Nuncio-Vox and Augury scanner upgrades optional. However, they are Support Squads and cannot be taken as Compulsory choices. Though 85 points only nets you five men, they come with a lot of goodies. First, they have the Scout and Infiltrate rules, so they are flexible with deployment options. They also have Shroud Bombs, and so count as being 6" further for the purposes of trying to shoot at them, and Melta Bombs are also an option. They come with Bolters and can be equipped with bayonets or they can be swapped out for shotguns, which became a little bit different with the addition of the Concussive (1) rule. They can also swap them for chainswords if you want extra Shred attacks, but what is probably the most effective use of them is to fork out points to give them Nemesis Bolters and make them a squad of Character assassins. You are allowed to mix and match weapons if you want and while this might not be the most efficient choice, it can allow for double debuffs of Concussive (1) and Pinning in a single volley of shooting.
    • They can also take a Storm Eagle as a Dedicated Transport, which is a pretty good flyer that you don't have to use a Fast Attack slot for it.
  • Legion Scout Squad: Yes, Scouts in 30k, in all their 4+ glory. The cheapest Troops choice but they cannot score and are a Support Squad. In return, they have Scout, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover and are Light and Skirmish units, so they can Move, Run, and snap-fire. This is on top of their Movement speed of 8" and gaining +1 to Run moves, this makes them remarkably mobile for infantry. Like Recon Squads, they come with Shroud Bombs and can purchase Melta Bombs with any model being able to swap their bolters out for Chainswords or Shotguns for free if you want to make them into a close range squad. You can also pay 10pts to equip them with Nemesis Bolters for sniping.
    • Because they aren't scoring units, there is no real need to push with these guys, and with weaker armour they are more likely to get mulched. Infiltrating them somewhere out of the way with sniper weapons is probably a safe bet.
  • Legion Terminator Indomitus SquadLegacies: The modern-day terminators get the "Heavy" subtype and 6" movement from the Cataphractii forebears but have the 5++ save and ability to Sweeping Advance from the Tartaros line; offering that midway point between protection (re-rolling 2+ saves against blasts and templates) and mobility (Sweeping Advances) . Their Dedicated Transport options are more restricted too, so although they can take a Land Raider Proteus or a Dreadclaw Drop Pod, they cannot take a Spartan if their squad size gets too big. These Terminators are always Troops choices, but they're Support Squads so you'll need to take something else to fulfil any compulsory slots. 1 in 5 can take a Heavy Flamer or Proteus assault cannon (Assault 3, S6 AP4 Rending(6+)), while any one can swap out their Combi-Bolters for Combi-Weapons, or Proteus Storm Shields which gives them 4++. This last option makes them as tough as Cataphractii, with the added bonus of being able to sweep their opponents in combat, which mixed with Thunder Hammers brings the classic (nearly) Hammernators to 30k without being locked behind Legion-specific wargear. Each model can swap their weapons out to take Lightning Claws, though it won't have the same "Shock and Awe" as TH/SS.
    • As of Legacies version 1.1 Indomitus squads gain the Line unit subtype when taken in the "Pride of the Legion" Rite. They also lose Support Squad, allowing you to take full armies of them or take them and unlock Legion-specific Terminators as non-Compulsory Troops without taking Legion Veterans/Terminators. Alternatively, take Legion Cataphractii or Tartaros Terminators as Compulsory Troops so they get Line, and then take Indomitus squads who get Line regardless of whether they're compulsory; this can be useful for some Legions that get really cool Legion Terminators that you want to give Line.
    • Even though they cost the same as a squad of Cataphractii Terminators, they all have Power Fists as standard equipment, which would cost those other Terminators units 10pts each, this has the knock on effect of making Chainfists and Thunder Hammers cheaper too, so overall it is a decent saving.
    • Ranged builds aren't very good, as they cost the same as Cataphractii while having a worse Invulnerable save and roughly the same weapon options. Indomitus cost the same as Cataphractii despite worse protection because they come with Power Fists and Sweeping Advance; get into melee where they actually matter.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Legion Rhino: The #1 metal box 10,000 years running, the Rhino is much the same as it's always been; it folds like cardboard under any serious fire, but gets your guys where they need to go. It did pick up extra transport slots like a number of other things so you can put some characters in with your tac squads before sending them on a joyride. This being 30k, it also has a few more pintle mounted options as well, so if you need something to help out the boys it's carrying, take a look; just don't expect more than one shot. It might be worth it to spend some points on turning the Rhino into a pseudo-Razorback by taking either the Heavy Bolter, a Multi-Melta or a Havoc Launcher.
  • Legion Drop Pod: Drop pods in 30k are a little more all or nothing than in 40k, with most units unable to take them unless you take the Rite of War specializing in them, where they all drop in at once with the more specific ones. They do have a Combi-Bolter and BS2, and also the Legiones Astartes (X) rule, so it can be said that some Legions do have better drop pods than others, even if they won't achieve a whole lot on their own.
  • Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod: For three times the price of a normal drop pod and the loss of the Combi-Bolter, you can Deep Strike your dreadnoughts. Usually this is irrespective of what RoW you take, so there is always the option to drop in a Dreadnought instead of deploying normally. However, only Dreadnought Talons of a single model may take a drop pod, so it becomes both expensive and FOC slot intensive to have several of them raining from the skies at once.
  • Legion Termite Assault Drill: Your favourite subterranean tunnelling device is back, and it's carrying 12 dudes to combat from underground! It looks neat, but is extremely limited in what units can take it as a DT, and cannot be taken as a separate unit...unless, again, you took the specific Rite dedicated to these things.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Legion Seeker Squad: Special Forces Astartes with super special ammo, i.e., predecessors to Sternguard Veterans. They come standard with Kraken Bolters, which can choose to fire Tempest rounds (18" S3 AP6 Assault 3 Ignores Cover) or Scorpius rounds (24" S5 AP4 Assault 1 Breaching (4+)); Kraken rounds just so happen to be the default mode (30" S4 AP4 Rapid fire) of firing if you don't select anything else, which is still better than using a regular bolter. Any model can exchange its Kraken Bolter for a combi-weapon or a Nemesis Bolter, which means they must sacrifice their special ammunition. These guys have Infiltrate, finally! They also have Marked for Death and Precision Shots (4+), making them superb character killers (as the Emperor intended).
    • The Sergeant can take the usual gear, but also is the only non-Independent Character that has access to a Combi-Disintegrator, which can be an interesting choice as it gives your Sergeant a one shot chance of insta-killing a character you want gone, if you roll well that is.
    • They can take a Land Raider DT, which can Infiltrate with them. It's also a pretty decent way of bringing anti-vehicle firepower, which Seekers do not have outside of Combi-Meltas.
  • Legion Outrider Squadron: 3-10 bikers with Scout, Relentless, Hammer of Wrath (1), Hit & Run, and a Move characteristic of 14". They have the option to replace their built-in Twin-linked Bolters with Flamers, Plasma Guns or Meltaguns. Any one of them could exchange his chainsword with a Power or Charnabal Weapon, a single Lightning claw, or a shotgun for free, which he can fire alongside his bike's weapon thanks to Firing Protocols (2). They may also exchange their pistols for Hand Flamers or Volkite Serpentas. Interestingly, the squadron can equip a Nuncio-Vox and a Vexilla.
    • Since the last edition, they lost their grenades and the ability to buy melta bombs for some reasons.
    • One thing to note is that both bikes and jetbikes are now Toughness 4, making them slightly less resilient than they once were. That said, while Jink no longer exists, the Spatha Bike allows Outriders to Run and get Shrouded (5+), which is basically Jink except it affects this round of shooting rather than the next round's.
  • Legion Sabre Strike Squadron: 1-3 Fast tanks, with a respectable side and front armour value of 12. They have the option to replace their jack-of-all-trades Anvillus Snub Autocannons with either a Neutron Blaster for anti-tank or a Volkite Saker for anti-infantry purposes. They may also take a Multi-Melta, Volkite Culverin or Heavy Flamer in place of their Heavy Bolter. Finally, each Sabre may be upgraded to have up to two Sabre Missiles (despite the fact the kit comes with 4), One Shot S7 Rending (6+) missiles which are potentially better than Hunter-Killer missiles at the cost of one Strength.
  • Legion Sky-hunter Squadron: A combination of both of the old Jetbike units, Sky-Hunters are now heavy weapon carriers in the Fast Attack slot, with a Move characteristic of 16" and 2 wounds. Any member of the 3-10 man squadron can replace their Heavy Bolter with a Volkite Culverin, Multi-Melta or Plasma Cannon. The squad has both Deep Strike and Relentless, giving them far more mobility than an infantry Heavy Support Squad... but with a much higher price. Interestingly, the squadron can equip a Nuncio-Vox and a Vexilla.
    • As bikers, they have both Hit & Run and Hammer of Wrath, but unlike Outriders they may not take Power Weapons. They do come with Pistol + Chainswords stock, though.
    • One thing to note is that both bikes and jetbikes are now Toughness 4, making them slightly less resilient than they once were. However, the Scimitar Jetbike like the Spatha bikes can get Shrouded (5+) from Running, so they effectively can still Jink.
  • Legion Javelin Squadron: Better Land Speeders... but not by much. Sadly Luckily, Javelins are now also no longer Vehicles, but instead T6 units with a regular save. At 90pts they come stock with a Cyclone Missile Launcher which can be replaced with two Volkite Culverins or Lascannons for 5pts, and may be taken in squadrons of up to 3. Harbingers of the Legion allows re-rolling Shrouded, but because Jink no longer exists and you can't get Shrouded from Running like bikes and jetbikes, you usually have to use Evade to get Shrouded in the first place. Note that it cannot Run as a Heavy model anyway; this usually won't be a problem given M14 and 48" range on Missile Launchers/Lascannons, but Multi-melta might be trickier.
    • Equipping a Javelin with Volkite Culverins seems to not be the best idea, as a regular Land Speeder with two Volkite Culverins is 75pts to the Javelin's 95pts. Those 20pts give the Javelin +1T and +1W, which honestly isn't doing much with the abundance of weapons that can hurt it. Overall, the regular Land Speeder has a bigger range of weapons and will do the job of being a squishy vehicle just as well, but for cheaper.
    • A Javelin with 2 Lascannons and a Multi-Melta is 105 points, and for that you get a mobile (M14 Deep Strike), cheap (only cheaper source of S8/9 shots is Heavy Support Squad) and tough (3+ 4W T6 re-rolling Shrouded) source of heavy anti-vehicle firepower. Worth considering if your list prevents you from taking tanks or other Heavy Support choices.
  • Legion Proteus Land Speeder Squadron: No longer a Vehicle, but a T5 unit with a 3+ save. Can Deep Strike or Outflank, and has the Relentless rule. Has Harbinger of the Legion, allowing it to re-roll Shrouded; you can't get it from Running, but you can from Evade.
    • Unlike in 1.0, you can now take two weapons from the same list, with the second choice costing an additional 5 points. Two Graviton Guns or two Heavy Flamers is now doable, and with Firing Protocols (4) you can fire all of your weapons in one turn.
    • Don't expect these guys to live for long: they're even weaker than in HH1.0, although they can no longer explode. Consider using them as cheap Vehicle hunters: a Land Speeder with 2 Graviton Guns is only 85pts and can Deep Strike, and if you can kill the tank you've dropped in beside there's a chance you might be able to fire again next turn. However, don't take double Multi-melta; a Deep Striking Land Speeder sounds like a good platform for suicide Melta shots, but for 105 points you might as well take a Javelin for a tougher model with even more shots.
  • Legion Storm Eagle Gunship: Now a bit cheaper and the Transport Capacity got upscaled to 22 marines. Do not think that this is the only change from 1.0. Flyers have lost Jink and now there is a lot more units able to hit flyers aside from Primarchs. Though nice on paper, be prepared that a Storm Eagle is a flying death trap. Flyers are much more vulnerable this edition, and everyone will realize that the gunship with 2 Lascannons and a Multi-melta even if they think it's empty. Think twice when letting your 10 man Terminator death star and tooled Praetor plus Primus Medicae hitch a ride, as nothing paints a bigger bullseye on this thing than loading it up like this and your Terminators have nothing beyond Invulnerable saves to protect them against S10 AP2 Crash and Burn.
    • Alternative take: a Storm Eagle with 2 Twin-linked Lascannons and Multi-melta is 255 points, where you could have taken 2 Lascannons and a Multi-melta on a Javelin for 105 points or even add 2 Hunter-killers for 10 more points. The Storm Eagle is a heck of a lot harder to kill than a Javelin, but is more than double price worth it, particularly if you're not using it as an Assault Vehicle?
  • Legion Xiphon Interceptor: Your favourite Astartes interceptor got a massive points reduction and now sports three hull points. The Rotary Missile Launcher got kind of a side-grade boost; it lost the Cluster Warhead rule that allowed it to roll on the vehicle damage table multiple times and choose the best, and instead it gained Twin-Linked for more accuracy, extra shots with Heavy 3, and the chance to do more damage with Exo-Shock (6+).
    • It also has the Talons of the Legion rule, allowing it to be held in reserve until the opponent deploys a flyer of their own, at which point it can use an Advanced Reaction to immediately move onto the table and take an out-of-turn shooting attack at said flyer. In all likelihood, that targeted flyer will be toast considering all of the Twin-linked S8/9 AP2 heat this thing carries. Note that these shots will be snap shots however, as flyers can 'choose to shoot all their weapons as Skyfire in the shooting phase' and this reaction will be happening in your opponent's movement phase. Still, Twin-linked should mean some hits land.
    • This thing is pretty much the ace dog-fighter that is practically guaranteed to do serious damage to any enemy flyer for a reasonable cost. Just be aware that it is fragile and there is a lot of Skyfire this edition, it will likely get shot out of the sky sooner or later. The Ramjet Diffraction Grid is the only optional choice, but will reduce the Strength of attacks against the side or rear by -1, meaning Flak Missiles and Skyfire Autocannons now hit at S6 and will glance on 5+, hopefully helping mitigate the danger somewhat. The Diffraction Grid however does not work on front attacks; as it's AV11 on all sides, this means it's actually weaker from the front. Don't fly into enemy Dreadnoughts and the like; you will be destroyed.
  • Legion Dreadclaw Drop Pod: The Kharybdis's little brother has taken a hit from the nerf bat. For almost three times the cost of a regular drop pod, you get a pod that can either fly onto the table like a flyer, or enter the battlefield turn 1 as a drop pod... and then fly off and pester the foe with flamer attacks. However, you cannot actually take Drop Pods without Drop Pod Assault, so it may be worth giving up a Fast Attack slot to Deep Strike an elite MEQ unit (drop in some suicide combi-Meltas?) if you're using another rite.
  • Legion Spatha Attack SquadLegacies: In case you wanted bikes that carry heavy weapons but don't want jetbikes/really want to make use of your modern attack bikes. They aren't very nimble, losing Scout and Hit & Run, but each one carries a heavy weapon and can still Run to get Shrouded (5+). The Autocannon is arguably the only feasible choice; you can get Heavy Bolter/Multi-Melta on Sky-hunters for basically half the cost per model and with twice the maximum squad size, while the same applies to taking Twin-linked Flamers on Outriders instead of Heavy Flamer Attack Bikes. It's still not a good idea as you can get Autocannons for cheaper on Heavy Support Squads and a 48" weapon does not really need the Attack Bike's mobility, but it's worth considering if you cannot take Heavy Support Squads (eg. Rite restricts Heavy Support choices, cannot take Heavy units, etc.). Even then, think carefully about whether you want to just take Volkite Culverin Sky-hunters; it's S6 and doesn't have Rending, but it has more than twice the shots of the Autocannon and it's cheaper.
  • Legion Tarantula SentryLegacies: The forgotten turrets of old with VERY badly written rules. For starters, its a unit of three to five stationary guns with BS2 that must always shoot the closest enemy target within line of sight, regardless of the weapon selection. So if you forked out for Hyperios launchers expecting AA batteries, then be prepared for them to auto-lock onto ground targets and snap fire. They also cannot make reactions.
    • One massively glaring error is the fact their weapons come in pairs rather than be twin-linked. so Two Heavy Bolters or Two Lascannons. Luckily, the Legacies version 1.1 document updated them with the Firing Protocols (2) rule, so they can now fire both weapons. It doesn't necessarily make them much better though; their Ork-level BS2 means they still won't hit anything.
    • They can fight in close combat... With WS1 S1 I1 A1 so the odds of killing pretty much anything in power armour are in the realms of 1%. If they break from combat (their Leadership is 5) then they are automatically destroyed, don't even bother rolling for that sweeping advance. IF... For some unfathomable reason that this unit is fielded and somehow wins in close combat, they cannot make sweeping advances of their own, but if that happens then you should dip them in gold and hail the coming of the Messiah because the odds are THAT distant.
  • Legion Avenger Strike FighterLegacies: The Avenger is an odd miss-mash of weapons that bizarrely kind of works, probably by an accident of the rules rather than any credit to the authors of the Legacies pdf. It has a front mounted Avenger Bolt Cannon which MEQs should fear, two Lascannons for tank hunting, and a rear mounted Heavy Stubber for giggles. Ordinarily you'd think these weapons are incompatible with each other when choosing targets, but because the Bolt Cannon and the Stubber are S6 and below, they classify as Defensive Weapons and are therefore allowed to shoot at the nearest Infantry unit within line of sight, allowing the Lascannons to do their own thing. Though legitimately asking whether the Stubber is actually allowed to draw line of sight to ground targets is a fair question. This plane should be mounted on its base angled to the side, or upside down, or something.
    • It can purchase sets of four missiles for a fair price, giving it more vehicle hunting capability.
    • Is it worth its pricetag? It can do some interesting things that only the bigger Astartes flyers can do with Power of the Machine Spirit, but with less ability to select its own targets (since it has to be the closest infantry unit). Even so, one or two turns of firing the bolt cannon are certainly capable of removing lots of infantry, while fast moving Lascannons have lots of potential for making its value back.
  • Legion Thunderbolt FighterLegacies: For 170 points you get a flyer with more weapons than it is feasibly allowed to shoot. Zooming flyers can fire four weapons at full ballistic skill, but this bad boy has four separate Autocannons and two Lascannons. Generally speaking that will be sufficient to fuck up the day of whatever happens to be in front of it, whether it be infantry or vehicles. Thunderbolts may also buy sets of four missiles for a reasonably fair cost. The Hellstrike missiles will certainly match the Lascannons if it decides to go vehicle hunting.
    • The Thunderbolt is probably a little too expensive compared to other options. It has 2 Lascannons like the Avenger and the Xiphon, but the Xiphon is 2/3 the cost and comes with an AP2 Rotary Missile Launcher capable of deleting TEQs/Dreadnoughts, while the Avenger at the same cost packs an AP3 Bolt Cannon far better at killing MEQs than the Thunderbolt's Autocannons and can target separately from the Lascannons due to being a Defensive weapon at S6. The Thunderbolt having 4 Autocannons is good, but only being able to shoot 2 of them because you're using your Lascannons isn't.
  • Legion Primaris-Lightning Strike FighterLegacies: Holy crap this thing is the wrong price. 170 points (see a pattern here?) you get two Lascannons Period. The Thunderbolt and Avenger both cost the same and both have two Lascannons, but at least justifies that with even more dakka on top. The Lightning is 65 points more than the Xiphon which gets two Twin-Linked Lascannons plus the rotary missile launcher. Now the Primaris Lightning can purchase more weapons, but GW hates you so much that a pair of one-use missiles cost 25 to 35 points depending on whether you want anti-infantry or anti-vehicle, and they expect (or don't expect..) you to buy up to three pairs, compared to the Thunderbolt and Avenger that lets you buy them in sets of four for less cost. Now these weapons ARE good, the Kraken Penetrator missiles are like essentially Melta missiles, while the Sunfury are the equivalent of Plasma Cannon shots. Additionally, because missiles would be separate weapons and zooming flyers can shoot four weapons at full ballistic skill there is the potential for a mountain of hurt to be thrown out in one turn when it unloads most of its missile payload at once.
    • There's almost no way they should cost that much. Fully tooled out this vehicle could cost 305 points. That's the same price as last edition's Spartan deleter with Tank Hunters and Kraken Penetrators, except Spartans are no longer invulnerable to Melta weapons due to loss of Armoured Ceramite and the Lightning's main competitor the Xiphon has had its point cost halved. It's fine in and of itself, but the fact that you can now find much cheaper things to do its job means it's grossly overpriced.
    • The one saving grace this flyer has is its frankly insane movement speed of 26", but zooming flyers generally don't have issues with movement anyway.
    • If you have one of these, pretend it's a Xiphon and you'll be much happier.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Legion Heavy Support Squad: 5-10 Marines with heavy weapons for 100 points. They all have the Heavy sub-type as standard this edition, so they are somewhat more survivable yet a little bit slower than your other regular units. Nearly every weapon option got an upgrade this edition, so they are somewhat boosted compared to how they used to perform in the past. The squad may take a Vexilla, Nuncio Vox or Augury Scanner like a regular infantry unit. That last one is a must, allowing them to use the Interceptor Reaction for free.
    • Heavy Bolters are now Heavy 4, a 30% increase in firepower. So that means a minimum squad size of five models can throw out twenty shots, thirteen hits, or nearly three unsaved wounds against MEQs every turn. Against anything with a save of 4+ or below, these things will clean up nicely.
    • Volkite Culverins are your go-to variant against MEQs. Compared to Heavy Bolters, you get a bonus 9" of range, +1 Strength, Deflagrate and one more shot for 5 pts. A squad of 10 vomits out 50 shots wounding MEQs on 2+ every time they shoot and, thanks to Reactions, you can shoot A LOT. Volkite Weapons have AP5, but why would you care about that in all-marine environment?
    • Heavy Flamers are free swaps and haven't changed much since last edition. The only Assault weapon on the list, but with the shortest range. Ideally you'll have them in a transport to keep them safe until you need them. Otherwise, Heavy Bolters might end up being a better choice since they can hit from further away and not put them at risk of return-fire or a charge.
    • Missile Launchers are the old reliable option. Krak Missiles are the first weapons that have any chance of harming Land Raiders, while Frag Missiles now come with Pinning which is a great thing to have, and Flak Missiles are free. Missiles cover lots of bases if you don't know what your opponent is bringing to the table.
    • Autocannons are still the light vehicle and GEQ slayers they always have been. However, with the addition of Rending (6+) rule, they are marginally deadlier against literally everything. They can be a threat against TEQs, and they even have a chance of damaging Land Raiders and the like that they couldn't do before. While not quite as versatile as Missiles, they compensate by having the weight of extra shots and taking their opponent down that way.
    • Multi-Meltas are now Twin-Linked so you are more likely to hit when it counts. Because most TEQs have generally been upgraded to having two wounds, Meltas with S8 AP1 are great for smashing them along with other associated characters. Against vehicles, they still require getting within 12" to gain the benefit of Armourbane (Melta) and you can be sure your opponent will shit their pants and unload hell on them before they get that close. If you're closing the gap that much, remember these things are still Heavy 1 weapons and aren't that mobile; you might be better with Tactical Support Squads and regular Meltaguns instead.
    • Lascannons all have the Sunder rule, meaning that they can re-roll fails to penetrate against Vehicles. This makes them considerably more effective as vehicle killers than they were before, going from a 33% chance of a hull point against AV14 to 55%, regardless of range. For the same cost as Multi-Meltas, you are more likely to get more shots off during the game with their increased range.
    • Plasma Cannons are the only weapon that got hit by the nerf bat, although Breaching (4+) still means that they have AP2 most of the time. Plasma Cannons really only exist for knocking wounds off 2+/3+ save units and that's it.
  • Legion Leviathan Dreadnought Talon: A Toughness and Strength 8 Dreadnought with 7 wounds. It's seen a bit of a reworking but the Leviathan is still a juggernaut of a Dreadnought. It now has 5 attacks when equipped with two melee weapons and most of the weapons it can take have been changed (not always in a good way). He has lost his 4++ invulnerable save and now only has the 5++ given to him by the Atomantic Deflector, but this at least saves him from Instant Death weapons. He has also swapped out Crushing Charge for a flat Hammer of Wrath (3). He can still take a Phosphex Discharger, which is no longer one-use, and can swap out the Heavy Flamers in his chest for Volkite Calivers, but all of his upgrades add more points onto what is a very expensive model, which becomes even more expensive if you bring multiple Leviathans in one unit, so you'll probably have to fork out the points if you want to use him. Arm weapon options include:
    • Leviathan Siege Claw with in-built Meltagun S10 AP 2 with Brutal (3). The Leviathans standard melee weapon, and an excellent all rounder.
    • Leviathan Siege Drill with in-built Meltagun S12 AP 2 with Armourbane (Melee), replaces Claw for 5 pts and is for coring tanks and fortifications like apples. If your taking a duel CCW Leviathan, then give it one of these to make dealing with armour easier since it costs next to nothing.
    • Leviathan Storm Cannon Heavy 6, 24" S7 AP4 with Rending (5+) and Sunder, all for +10 points. Great weapon against all-comers, even if nerfed from previous edition version. Mind that Sunder doesn't work on Dreadnoughts and it's not as good as the Melta Lance against MEQs/TEQs; Rending (5+) cannot make up for the loss of AP3.
    • Cyclonic Melta Lance Heavy 4, 18" S8 AP 1 with Armourbane (Melta). The most expensive weapon at +20 points, and one capable of doing a lot of damage to TEQs and vehicles. However, your melee weapons already have Meltaguns; think about if 3 more shots at 6" more range is worth 20 points and giving up a melee attack.
    • Grav-flux Bombard oh how the mighty has fallen. Heavy 1, 18", AP4, Large Blast, and a whole lot of special rules: Graviton Collapse (S test on 2d6 instead of wounding; if failed, receive a wound with AP 4, roll 4d6 on penetration roll for vehicles instead, so the average is 14), Torsion Crusher (the amount of hull points damage is doubled), Ignores Cover and Concussive (1). A strange gun, with it's usefulness against infantry being severely limited and anti-vehicle role better done by Melta Lance. Good for hanging in the distance firing at some vehicles as opposed to going in hot, but why buy Leviathan for that? At least it's cheap at 5 points and looks cool.
    • Phosphex Discharger Heavy 1, 18" S5 AP2 Blast (3") with Poisoned (3+), Crawling Fire and Lingering Death rules for 20 points. It's no longer one-use, so you can shoot every round. It also does not replace a melee weapon, so it's a straight upgrade.
      • Keep in mind Lingering Death can hurt you if you try to charge whoever you fired this thing at, so aim for the rear of any units you target. Aiming for the back is a pretty safe bet because you can always Crawling Fire your way back onto the target if the shot lands too far backwards, and Move Through Cover means the only penalty from Lingering Death is testing for Dangerous Terrain, so taking the Discharger is a good idea regardless.
    • Leviathans can take a Dreadnought Drop Pod/Kharybdis Assault Claw as DT if the Talon only has 1 Dread. It's very expensive (100/235 points!), but it makes sure your 270 point (before upgrades) close-range/melee Dreadnought gets in range; the latter in particular is an Assault Vehicle, allowing the Leviathan to charge after Deep Striking.
  • Legion Deredeo Dreadnought Talon: The Dreadnought equivalent of a gunboat, this thing is bristling with heavy weapons. It has a similar set of characteristics as the Contemptor, but is 30 points more expensive and for those 30 points it is equipped with a Helical Targeting Array, an Anvilus Autocannon Battery, a Twin-linked Heavy Bolter and four Boreas Air Defence Missiles, which are ground-to-air missiles designed to put holes in Thunderhawks. The Autocannons can be swapped out for a Volkite Falconet, a Hellfire Plasma Cannonade or an Arachnus Heavy Lascannon Battery, the Boreas Air Defence Missiles can be exchanged for an Aiolos Missile Launcher for anti-infantry shenanigans, and the Heavy Bolter can be exchanged for a Heavy Flamer for improved point defence. This Dreadnought's whole game plan is to get a clear line of sight and hose down its chosen target with a large amount of fire, so keep the firing lanes clear and keep it out of combat.
    • The stock Autocannon's 4 S7 shots with Sunder will suffice in themselves to take out weaker vehicles, while adding Rending (5+) makes it respectable against heavier vehicles. The Falconet exchanges 3" of range (not truly relevant on a 48" range weapon), Rending and Sunder for Pinning and twice the shots. It's better against AV12 and below (practically all non-Lord of War aircraft) and infantry than the Autocannon. The Plasma Cannonade's Sustained Fire mode is a 6-shot Plasma Gun, while Maximal Fire can ID TEQs with its S8 and with Rending (4+) is one of the only S8 AP2 pie plates without a superheavy. Absolutely the best anti-MEQ/TEQ weapon on the Deredeo, but is the worst anti-vehicle due to lacking the Autocannon and Lascannon's power, and the Falconet's volume of fire. The Lascannon Battery is very specialized at blowing up heavy vehicles. It's great against Spartans and Knights and the like, but take another weapon if you're concerned about Dreadnoughts and Automata, as Sunder and Exoshock only work on vehicles.
    • The Boreas has baked-in Skyfire, so you can't use it and kill Terminators. If you've already taken the Lascannon Battery, the Boreas will likely be overkill (how many heavy flyers do you expect your enemy to bring?) and should be swapped out for the Aiolos, which is a decent anti-MEQ weapon at S6 AP3. On the other hand, if you've taken Volkite/Plasma, the Boreas can be a good backup in case your opponent brings a Caestus or if you really need to kill that Xiphon with the Diffraction Grid. It can also continue targeting aircraft even if the Deredeo is moving, as its Skyfire is not dependent on Helical Targeting Array.
  • Legion Predator Squadron: The standard medium tank for the Space Marines in 40k, but here it is a light tank in comparison to the other options. That isn't a bad thing, however, as Predators are one of the cheapest options and can come with some decent weaponry, so a squadron can be an effective force. For 120 points you get an up-armoured Rhino chassis that is equipped with a Predator Cannon and two sponson mounted Heavy Bolters by default, but all of these can be swapped out for more interesting or specialised options. Additional Predators only cost 105 points and you can have up to four of them in a squadron, so it is rather cost effective to run your Predators in one unit. Since the whole squadron will be shooting their primary weapons at the same target, it is usually best to kit out the Predators the same way so they can be specialised and more effective in a role.
    • Double-barrelled Lascannons are now available as a turret option, despite having never been a thing in 30k before, supposedly having been "invented" by the Space Wolves in M36 and considered Heresy by the Mechanicus. Oh, but these are "Gravis" Lascannons now... Guess GW wanted players to be able to use their old plastic kits. In any case, this allows for the holy trinity of Lascannons and tank hunting Predators.
    • Heavy Conversion Beamers got rid of the Firing Calibration rule from last edition and can now be fired on the move. They generally got upgraded: they still have Large Blast (5") but also picked up some Strength, now doing S9 AP4 in the 18"-42" category, and S12 AP1 in the 42"-72" bracket, so they are mean to other vehicles. Additionally, they also picked up Blind, which can be a nice bonus when it works. The S12 AP1 profile is also one of the only Blast weapons with enough strength and AP to 1-shot TEQs without a Lord of War, so it can be good.
    • The new rules for Defensive Weapons opens up new avenues for weapon selection this edition. If you don't want to fork out for upgrading the Heavy Bolter sponsons, but still want a heavier turret, then go for it. Defensive Weapons are able to shoot separately from Battle Weapons, but must do so at the closest infantry target within line of sight and within the arc of each weapon. In squadrons, this works just fine because multiple Gravis Lascannon or Magna-Melta Cannon turrets will usually be overkill when they all have to fire at the same target. This allows the smaller guns to be a hazard to infantry squads just by getting near them.
  • Sicaran Battle Tanks: Now available in 1-2 model squadrons and in five variants. Each of these is a different unit entry and can't be mixed and matched, so no taking a Venator and an Omega as one squadron. All Sicaran variants have a front armour value of 13, with sides and rear values of 12, and all of them have 4 Hull Points, making them decent medium tanks for the Legions.

Coming with the signature Accelerator Autocannons and now with free sponsons from the get go, the standard Sicaran can be upgraded to have the full range of pintle mounted weapons and may replace their sponson mounted weapons for Flamers, Volkite Culverins or Lascannons. A decent all rounder Sicaran, as the Accelerator Autocannon is S7, Heavy 8 with Rending (6+) and Exoshock (6+), which makes it effective against light and smaller vehicles, but it will have trouble against tougher units and tanks.

Your mobile artillery that lacks the Artillery unit type, meaning you can take these as support units in Rites of War that restrict access to Artillery units. Comes with its unique Arcus Missile Launcher which is equipped with Arcus Warheads, Heavy 5 S8 AP2 rounds that will kill TEQs and Dreadnoughts These may be supplemented with up to 3 different special warheads: Pyrax Warheads are S5 AP4 with Ignores Cover and Pinning, but are only Heavy 1 Large Blast (5"). Skyspear Warheads have Skyfire, 12" longer range, and -1S compared to Arcus Warheads, but are otherwise identical, and Neutron-Flux Warheads are Heavy 4, S7 AP4 rockets with the Breaching (5+) and Neutron Flux rules, which cause Instant Death to Automata. All warhead types except for Pyrax have Twin-linked.

  • The Sicaran may also take the Helical Targeting Array upgrade for 15pts, giving its weapons Skyfire if the player wishes (and they decide during each and every Shooting Attack, not being locked in Skyfire mode like in previous edition) and allowing it to use the Intercept Reaction for free, ignore Shrouded (X) rolls, and fire all its weapons as part of a Reaction, however you can't move or declare any Reaction other than the Interceptor or Overwatch when it's on.
    • As this upgrade costs exactly the same as the Skyspear Warheads and also grants Skyfire without sacrificing a point of Strength, plus free Interceptor and Shrouded (X)-ignoring shots, there is a choice between mobility with an extra 12" of range against flyers and stronger shots. It's not as obvious as one might think since Turn 2 assaults in 2.0 are a common thing and you don't want to be in close combat.
  • Cannot take pintle-mounted weapons, but can take a Hunter-Killer Missile.

Armed with the Punisher Rotary Cannon, this variant's bread, butter and whole damn meal is anti-infantry as the main gun is able to fire 18 S6 shots that inflict Pinning and Shell Shock (1) on the unit it has targeted, meaning it can force infantry squads to keep their heads down. Unfortunately, the gun is AP4, meaning the rounds are going to bounce off marine armour and it will be relying on weight of fire to inflict casualties against them. Against Militia and Solar Auxilia, though, this thing is lethal and capable of routing and outright destroying entire units in one turn of shooting.

Less a Sicaran with a gun mounted to it and more a gun with a Sicaran built around it. Said gun in question is a Neutron Beam Laser, an Ordnance 2 S10 AP1 tank buster with Shock Pulse and Concussive (3). The main draw back is Gets Hot which is pretty brutal this edition and will hurt the tank if it's rolled. In addition, Containment Breach means that if the tank explodes, everyone is going to know about it. Still, when it comes to anti-vehicle capabilities, not many units can compete with the Venator.

The Plasma Sicaran, and another all rounder in terms of capabilities. The Omega Plasma Array has two firing modes, a sustained fire mode that is Heavy 8, Breaching (4+) and Twin-linked which also lack Get Hot making it a "safe" firing option, or the Maximal Fire option which has Gets Hot, but in return it fires two Twin-linked Strength 9, Rending (4+) shots that have the Plasma Burn rule, making it a pretty potent anti-tank shot. The Sustained Fire mode is inferior to the Arcus Launcher's S8 AP2 warheads and the Maximal Fire is inferior to the Venator, but the Omega can pull double duty while the Arcus struggles against heavy vehicles and the Venator fires too slowly to be of use against infantry.

  • Legion Kratos Squadron: The Tiger 1 tank to your Sicaran Panther or Predator Panzer IV's. It has a Land Raider's Reinforced AV14 on all sides and 5 Hull Points, with the added bonus of being able to take a Flare Shield, just to make it tougher. Its sponson and hull mounted Heavy Bolters can be swapped out for Volkite Calivers or Lascannons, with Heavy Flamers being an additional option for the sponsons and Autocannons being another for the hull mounted option. It comes with a Kratos Battlecannon that can fire AP shells for tanks or HE shells for infantry. It can also be upgraded to have Flashburn shells for putting holes in Titans and Super-heavies. The Battlecannon can be swapped out for a Volkite Cardanelle, to make it a designated anti-infantry tank, or a Melta Blast-Gun to turn vehicles to slag. The biggest drawback to this pseudo-Super-heavy is the price, as it is 300 smackaroos up front for one of these things, and upgrading the tank can add even more to the cost. If you bring it, make sure you use it well.
  • Legion Land Raiders: Up to three WW1-era tanks with 14AV all around, 5 Hull Points and the Reinforced rule. They have Power of the Machine Spirit to let you fire all its weapons at your chosen targets. They also can be equipped with a series of pintle mounted weapons. And this is just your standard elite transport; comes in different flavours. Do note that only the Proteus Carrier, Phobos and Achilles can be taken in 1-3 model squadrons. The Explorator and Spartan are single model units.

The standard one. With a 12 man Transport Capacity, the Proteus Carrier is equipped with two sponson mounted Gravis Lascannons and a Twin-linked hull mounted Heavy Bolter, and can swap out its Twin-linked Heavy Bolter for a Twin-linked Heavy Flamer or Twin-linked Lascannon. It also received a nice buff as it's now an Assault Vehicle and equipped with an assault ramp at the front so now your Terminators can jump out and charge into combat straight away.

The same as the standard Proteus, but with some interesting additions and drawbacks. Firstly it's 30 points more expensive and only has a Transport Capacity of 8, meaning only non-Terminator Squads can ride inside, it needs to pay for hull mounted weapons, but it comes with an Explorator Augury Web and Dozer Blade, and has Scout making it fairly quick to get up the board. It can also be upgraded to take a Vox Disruptor Array to fuck around with your opponent's Deep Strikes, making it a pretty cool support unit that can shoot smaller vehicles to shit with relative ease; just keep in mind that the Vox Disruptor Array fucks with your Deep Strikes too.

The Proteus's bigger, sexier sister. Everything a Proteus can do, she can do better. She's an Assault Vehicle with 6 Hull Points and the option to equip a Flare Shield to make her even tougher. Coming standard with two sponson mounted Lascannons Arrays to burn holes through vehicles, these can be swapped out for two Laser Destroyers for free if you feel like your opponent is going to be bringing Knights. However, the main reason you bring a Spartan is not the firepower, but its 26 man Transport Capacity, allowing you to transport your Primarch, his Command Squad and a few extra guys just for good measure. She's an expensive beast at 350 points, but she's tough as nails and can transport over a quarter of a Space Marine company up the table, so it can easily be worth it.

Pretty much everything that can be said about the Proteus applies to the Phobos as well. It's basically a matter of aesthetics as to which one you take, unless you're going full RAW, in which case it can't be used as a Dedicated Transport or in any other instance where a Land Raider Proteus Carrier is specifically mentioned, like in RoWs.

Distinctly pricier than the Phobos along with a smaller Transport Capacity, but Shard Shells in its Quad Mortar will mess up hordes and it completely ignores all forms of the Armourbane and Lance rules. Don't forget about the sponson mounted Melta Cannons, which are very good at helping your S8 Sunder Strike shells break open vehicles and making TEQs disappear, while its 24" range isn't so much a problem because the Quad Mortar was 24" anyway. If you want better performance against MEQs or you don't want your 305pt tank to be useless until it gets into small arms range, you can take Volkite dual-culverins instead of the Meltas.

  • Legion Vindicator Squadron: A Demolisher Cannon mounted in a Rhino chassis. The Demolisher Cannon has been nerfed very heavily in 2.0 as it is now only an AP3, Blast (3") shot, making it much less effective as an anti-infantry pie-plate. However, its Strength has been buffed to S12 and this shit has Sunder, Rending (6+) and Brutal (3), making the gun far more effective against Monsters without 2+ Save (Dreadnoughts have it, so good luck fishing for 6+ on Rending or 1 on Save rolls), Vehicles and Fortifications, meaning you should focus less on Terminator Squads and more on big models as the gun is still S10 against things with Flare Shields, making a squadron of Vindicators a fairly good group of tank hunters. The Demolisher Cannon can be swapped out for a purely anti-armour Magna Laser Destroyer which is an Ordnance 3 Laser Destroyer. Furthermore, the Vindicator chassis is Reinforced and has front and side armour value of 13, making it tougher than the other tanks in its weight class.
  • Legion Scorpius Squadron: The better Whirlwind, and the main barrage tank for the Legions. The Scorpius as seen a bit of a rework for 2.0 as its missiles are now AP4, but in return they have a larger blast radius. Rocket Barrage has also changed as it now gives your shots Rending (4+) and Pinning if you don't move the Scorpius and they can come in squadrons of 2 models now. These things are absolute murder for Solar Auxilia and Militia, especially when you stay still and start Pinning their units, but they will find a bit less effect against Marines unless you utilise Rocket Barrage as much as possible.
    • Two Scorpius tanks could be used in Terminator killing, potentially taking down a 5 man squad in a turn.
  • Legion Arquitor Squadron: 1-3 artillery tanks equipped with the Morbus Bombard and two sponson mounted Heavy Bolters. The Arquitor isn't particularly tough or fast, but it has Move Through Cover; you're not taking it for that in the first place as you should only be moving it to find better firing locations, if at all. The Morbus Bombard fires Ordnance 1 S10, AP4, Large Blast (5") that have Pinning and Rending (6+), making it a decent GEQ killer, but less effective at dealing with MEQs. It can also take a Graviton-Charge Cannon or a Spicula Rocket System for 15 points either way and the Morbus may be upgraded to Phosphex Shells for 20 points (though you need a Siege Breaker Consul in your army for that last option). The Arquitor is about 60 points too expensive for what it brings and while not a bad choice, it only really starts to shine against Solar Auxilia and Militia armies.
  • Legion Fire Raptor Gunship: A slightly more aerodynamic brick than your standard Space Marine flyers (but that's not saying much). It has AV12 on all sides and is armed with a front hull mounted Twin-linked Avenger Bolt Cannon that is S6 AP3 Heavy 7 and two sponson mounted Gravis Heavy Bolt Batteries, which are S5 AP4 Heavy 8, and Twin-Linked, that put out a LOT of shots that are hazardous to Infantry. It also has four 60" S7 AP4 Tempest Rockets that are One Shot each along with Sunder. The Bolt Batteries can be exchanged for Gravis Autocannon Batteries (half the shots for +2S and Rending (6+)) for a more effective weapon against light armour, and the Tempest Rockets can be exchanged for four One Shot Hellstrike Missiles to gain 72" S9 AP2 Sunder (basically Lascannons), so they are probably worth the swap. It also has Power of the Machine Spirit, so all of these weapons may attack different targets, and Strafing Run (1) to gain +1 BS when shooting at ground targets. It has a 280 point price tag without upgrades, i.e., more than a Land Raider, but considering how it can practically arrive anywhere on the table and offload twenty-three Twin-linked S5/S6 shots plus some missiles, with greater accuracy than most heavy units, while having the defensive benefits of being a flyer, it's a pretty solid choice, especially when accounting for splitting fire using Power of the Machine Spirit; splat some MEQs with the Bolt Cannon and blast vehicles off the map with Autocannons and missiles.
  • Legion Deathstorm Drop Pod Squadron: 1-3 drop pods each carrying a Missile Launcher instead of Space Marines. Equipped with a Deathstorm Missile Launcher, this unit seems a bit underwhelming at first glance with its BS2, however the missile launcher is S6 with 9 shots, Pinning and the Deathstorm rule which means it can fire at four different targets within range (and you fire 9 shots at each unit it targets). For 90 points per model, this unit is a pretty interesting choice as its main role is to delay and pin your opponent army during the first few turns so your forces can get into their positions or arrive on the field unmolested by enemy fire.
  • Legion Kharybdis Assault Claw: A drop pod the size of a basket ball, that is simultaneously an assault vehicle, flying transport and oversized flamethrower. It has a Transport Capacity of 22, hull points and a moderate 12AV on all sides but its real gimmick is the fact that when it touches down, everyone around eats 3+D3 S6 hits from the Heat Blast rule. In addition, it can load people up and then take off again, making it a multi-use flying assault vehicle, and when it is hovering it can torch models it's flying over with Heat Blast. It can make better use of the Deathstorm Missile Launcher with its BS4 and it is also equipped with an Inertial Guidance System to stop it scattering into terrain.
  • Legion Basilisk SquadronLegacies: The dear old Basilisk has been slightly nerfed in the new edition, having its cost jacked up to 200 points and having it's main guns AP changed to AP4 (like almost every other artillery gun in the game now). It still has its ridiculous range of 240" or 20 feet, allowing it to reach out and touch models on the other tables, and both Shred and Pinning help elevate the AP problem (which isn't a problem at all if you are facing 4+ saves or lower) but it could still do with a bit of a points reduction.
    • Also in the Legacies PDF it doesn't have a minimum range any more, because the PDF is not very well written.
  • Legion Medusa SquadronLegacies: Another artillery tank that was rather unfairly nerfed in the Legacies PDF. Its artillery gun is now AP4, making it nearly identical to the Basilisk, except is has Rending instead of Shred. At 200 points it costs the exact same as the Basilisk and Arquitor, but only has 36" range and can no longer take Phosphex Shells, and honestly for this price it should be equipped with AP2 to make it a dedicated TEQ killer but as it stands other artillery pieces do the same thing and do it better.
  • Legion WhirlwindLegacies: The original artillery tank. While the Scorpius is exclusively for dumping pie-plates, the Whirlwind has multiple ammo types to pick between based on the situation but Ordnance prevents you from moving quicker than Combat Speed. The Talonis HE missile gives you a large blast, the Thermios AP missile gives a small blast with Breaching (4+) to handle crowds of marines, and the Icarios AA missile gives you a TL shot with Skyfire.
    • As the Scorpius at the same cost gets a Large Blast with Rending (4+) to pierce AP2 when standing stil and S8 to ID TEQs, it's basically a better version of the Talonis and the Thermios rolled into one and the Scorpius comes in squadrons of 2 to boot. The Whirlwind's selling points basically boil down to it doubling as an AA platform (as far as 1 BS4 Twin-linked AP3 shot works as AA) and that it doesn't have to be stationary to pierce AP3/AP2. It can have uses if you really don't want to take a separate AA platform, but the Scorpius is usually better. Still, it actually got buffed and is somewhat cost-effective, which is a deal more than can be said for most of the Heavy Support/LoWs in the Legacies PDF.
  • Legion Caestus Assault RamLegacies: The Caestus' old niche was in being a cool flyer with buckets of transport capacity and a potent melta weapon. These days it's lost its rule that allowed it to ignore Bulky and is capped at 12 men, or 6 Terminators. It's the budget transport flyer, but it's not much faster than a Rhino or Spartan - and for those points you could get a Spartan instead with heavier armour, more Hull Points, actual firepower, and more than twice the transport capacity. Is flying worth that much of a neutering?
  • Legion Malcador Assault Tank SquadronLegacies: Cheaper and faster than the Kratos, but with weaker armour and more basic weapons. Note that it can swap its Battlecannon for either:
    • A Gravis Lascannon, for spamming a surprisingly good quantity of las at a cheap price. Combine with sponson and hull Lascannons for 5 las-shots a turn, rivalling a Spartan in output for a fair bit cheaper. That said, you can and should instead take:
    • A Vanquisher Battlecannon, a weapon which needed an update to even be statted out. A straight upgrade to the Gravis Lascannon despite costing the same, as it has the same stats except 24" more range and with Brutal (2). Actually a very good weapon that can take out vehicles in a hurry and threaten Dreadnoughts.
      • Has the option to take a Demolisher cannon in place of the hull heavy bolter - an odd choice given the short range and meteoric price, but if you want a DISTRACTION MALCADOR, accept no substitutes. The Demolisher isn't nearly as good as an anti-infantry tool any more, but it's still potent anti-vehicle and veterans will panic as they remember the old days when it wiped out everything under the blast template. Also can take multi-lasers if you want to channel your inner C.S. Goto.
  • Legion Minotaur BatteryLegacies: 80 more points than a Basilisk to gain better rear armour, twin-link the Earthshaker cannons, lose the heavy bolter, and get slower - as well as taking melee hits on it's weakest armour, which thankfully is 12. Yeah, just no.
    • Due to terrible proof-reading, the hunter-killer missile can only be mounted on the front of the tank. So when the Minotaur points its (kinda cool) rear-facing cannons at the foe, the Hunter-Killer missile points off the board. Unless your sleep paralysis daemon is an outflanking Rhino with a Multi-Melta, there is no time this can be useful.

Lords of War[edit]

A few things to note on Lords of War, before continuing:

  • A Lords of War slot cannot take up more than 25% of the army's total points cost, meaning you may want to familiarize yourself with the percentages of 2000-3000.
  • Most Super-heavies have been reined in as they are now more expensive than last edition and most of the primary weapons used by these units have been slightly (and possibly excessively) nerfed. Everyone complained about AP2 Blast weapons last edition and FW went too far the other way, so now they basically don't exist and there is very little you can do to stop or slow down a squad of 10 Terminators apart from weight of fire. Moreover, while Lords of War are not technically mutually exclusive with taking a Primarch, they share the same 25% quota, meaning you'll never fit both in a list under 3k.
  • A general rule of thumb for the Lords of War is that if it came from the Liber books, it's expensive but can be worth taking. If it's from the Legacies PDF, then they should be avoided as the rules are not well written.

With that out of the way, here are all your options for the Lords of War slot:

  • Legion Cerberus Squadron: Built on a Spartan hull (although it only has AV13 in the rear for some reason), the Cerberus has a Centerline Neutron Laser battery, which is a tank melting Ordnance 4, S10, AP1 beast that has Concussive (3); it does have some drawbacks as it has both Gets Hot and Feedback, but the latter shouldn't be too much of a problem since it is an Ordnance weapon. The Cerberus also comes with a Flare Shield and two heavy bolters for point defence and while they can be swapped out for heavier weapons, it's probably best to keep them as emergency anti-infantry guns. It has both the Bombard and Reinforced sub-types allowing it to fire both Ordnance and defence weapons and ignores Crew Shaken and the snap-firing inflicted by Crew Stunned. However, it lacks the Super-heavy sub-type, so it is vulnerable to being blown up by a lucky Penetration roll and Reactor Blast means that if it blows up, nearby units will feel it. Still, for 425 points it can fit quite snugly into smaller games (if you want to be That Guy) and you can bring two of them if you ever play a 4000 point game.
  • Legion Typhon Squadron: Perturabo needed a massive siege tank, so he took a Vindicator, made it four times bigger, and called it a day. Rules wise it's identical to the Cerberus except it swaps out Reactor Blast for Crushing Weight and it instead has a Dreadhammer Siege Cannon, which fires Large Blast (5"), S12 AP3 shells that have Rending (4+), Sunder and Brutal (4), just so you can blow apart Infantry squads and Dreadnoughts with ease. With the Demolisher Cannon being more of a tank and fortification buster now, the Dreadhammer Siege Cannon now easily takes its place as the ultimate anti-infantry cannon for the Astartes, with it even posing a threat to TEQs as Brutal (4) and Rending (4+) means you'll force Terminators you wound to make multiple saves and around 60% of the time these will be against their Invulnerable saves. It's also a good option against Dreadnoughts, as you'll almost always wound and you cause 3W on T6 Castraferrum by inflicting ID on it with your S12, while forcing Contemptors to make tons of saves. While it suffers from not having Super-heavy, having Reinforced and Bombard will help offset some of these problems. For 425 points, it's one hell of a tank.
  • Legion Glaive: A very expensive Super-heavy built on the hull of a Fellblade, giving it the same general characteristics. This one is armed instead with a Volkite Carronade, which functions differently from other large weapons. The giant Volkite Carronade is S8, AP3 and its Heavy Beam rule means that you draw a line from the targeted unit to the gun barrel, and everything under that line takes an S8, AP3 hit, which makes positioning the tank fairly important if you want to hit as many units between the tank and its target. At 700 points, it's the most expensive tank derived from the Fellblade chassis, but it can be an interesting choice. The Carronade is one of the few weapons with rules for friendly fire and can't be used to attack aircraft. So you gotta consider what your firing at. Flyers aren't a problem because you have the options of either sponson mounted Lascannons or Laser Destroyers. Along with the Twin Linked Heavy Bolter that can be exchanged for a Heavy Flamer.
  • Legion Fellblade: 13 BARRELS OF HELL! The Fellblade returns as the primary Super-heavy tank of the Astartes. It hasn't seen much of a change from last edition; it still sports its 100" range Fellblade Accelerator cannon that can fire either HE shells (S8, AP3, Massive Blast (7")) or AP Shells (S10, AP2, Armourbane (Ranged), Exoshock (4+), Blast (3")), with two Lascannon arrays, a Demolisher Cannon and a Twin-linked Heavy Bolter. The most glaring change is that its seen a not-insignificant point increase to 650 points and the main gun is no longer Twin-linked (I guess the model's two barrels are just for show now, let's hope this gets FAQ'd), but overall its versatility and tough-as-nails stats make it worth taking one of these if you have them. It also has one of the few Massive Blast (7") weapons that has an AP better than AP4 which is pretty much worth its weight in Gold in 2.0, so there is that. Unlike the other two Fellblade variants, its versatility allows it to deal with pretty much anything, just don't over complicate the loadout. Your better off sticking with Lascannons and kitting out other units for dealing with Sx2 infantry and Dreadnoughts. TL;DR, you bring your own.
  • Legion Falchion: The anti-armour Super-heavy to the Glaive's anti-infantry. It's armed with a Centreline Twin-linked Volcano Cannon, which is a monster of a cannon that's Destroyer 1, S14 AP1, Large Blast (5") and Ignores Cover. It can also be exchanged for a Neutron-Wave Cannon, which is Destroyer 1, S10 AP1, Large Blast (5"), Ignores Cover with the Shock Pulse special rule on top. It also has two sponson-mounted Lascannon arrays that can be exchanged for Laser Destroyers, both of which are fantastic anti-armour systems. 650 points is a bit steep, but it's an excellent anti-tank platform.
    • Moreover, the Volcano Cannon being a AP1 Large Blast lets it do disgusting things against TEQs and Dreadnoughts. Even Contemptors suffer ID from S14, from which they'll take an average of 2 wounds, while you inflict 3W on Castraferrum and outright ID any and all TEQs. Just because this is the edition of TEQs and Dreadnoughts doesn't mean you can't wipe them off the map with superior firepower. As for weapon options, you should stick with those with the longest range. So stick with Lascannons, Heavy Bolters and Havoc Launchers. If blobs and MEQs are still are a concern your Volkite Power Fist armed Terminator Squad + Spartan can take care of that or just buy more Heavy Flamers.
  • Legion Thunderhawk Gunship: The flying school kill-bus has seen a nice little buff for 2.0, as it costs the same but now has AV12 on all sides and the Lumbering and Transport sub-types (aka Super-heavy Flyer) means it is a very tough bird. It has a Transport Capacity of 32 models and a Movement of 18", which combined with the Assault Vehicle rule means you can drop a lot of men into the front lines of your opponent's army and charge them. Its Transport Bay rule means it can also carry a couple of Dreadnoughts and Automata if you want to give your assault force some extra muscle. It can take either a Flare Shield or Ramjet Diffraction Grid depending on which sides of the Thunderhawk you want to defend.
    • It's covered in guns and Power of the Machine spirit allows you to shoot them at everything. It has four Heavy Bolters, two Lascannons and six Hellstrike Missiles as well as the Thunderhawk cannon which fires a S8, AP4, Destroyer 1, Massive Blast (7") shot with Rending (6+). For 90 points, the Thunderhawk Cannon can be swapped out for a Turbo-Laser Destructor, which is a S12, AP2, Large Blast (5"), Ignores Cover Destroyer 1 shot and is much more effective in most cases but really increases the price of a pretty expensive flyer. The Hellstrike Missiles can also be swapped out for a Macro-Bomb Cluster which drops a One Shot S8, AP4 Apocalyptic Barrage (6); it's great if you need to vaporise a group of 50 Militia, but is probably worth leaving at home against marines.
  • Legion Sokar Stormbird: The largest Space Marine investment in the game nets you a 14/13/12 Flyer, Hover, Lumbering and Transport with M16, BS4, 12HP and a 52-man Transport Capacity. She packs four Twin-linked Lascannons, three Twin-linked heavy bolters and six Hellstrike Missiles, which can be swapped for a single use macro-bomb cluster. The big girl is an Assault Vehicle with Power of the Machine Spirit, Transport Bay, Auxiliary Vehicle Bay and Void Shields (2). A significant portion of your army will fit in this thing, but it's truly massive points cost means it will only see play in 3500+ point games, barring extenuating circumstances. Oh, and the model will cost you an arm, a leg, a kidney, and your firstborn child.
    • Note that it can carry a Rhino (or any other vehicle with 4 or less HP) as well as the 52 Transport Capacity, rather than replacing 25 like last edition.
    • Sokar's can't spam the D like a Thunderhawk can but that isn't why your taking it. Your have a shit load of Lascannons and Hellstrike Missiles with Sunder. A middle finger to most vehicles. So it should be able to remove one Super-Heavy before dropping its cargo. If you waste your Hellstrikes or their not enough. A Lascannon Heavy Support Squad or Reaper Carriers with Laser Destroyers can tip the odds in your favour. Take advantage of Assault Vehicle and drop the payload of Space Marines sooner rather than later.
  • Legion Mastodon: The assault bus supreme may actually be worth considering in larger point games this edition. It is a 700 point Super-heavy Assault Vehicle which has a Spartan's 14/14/14 Armour Value, 12 Hull Points and a Transport Capacity of 42, along with a Transport Bay for Dreadnoughts. On top of its rock hard statline, it has Void Shields (2) and can buy a Command Vox Relay so your Warlord can shout commands at nearby units. It's not as heavily armed as the Thunderhawk or Stormbird, only coming with a Centerline Siege Melta Array which you need to get up close to use as well as two Heavy Flamers for point defence, two Lascannons for poking tanks, and a Skyreaper Battery for anti-air. Do note that you cannot have both a Skyreaper Battery and Command Vox Relay; the Battery comes stock and you gotta fork over 25 points for the Relay. While not as offensively impressive as the Thunderhawk or Stormbird and lacking their shared versatility as gunships, it is tougher than both and only marginally more expensive than a bog-standard Thunderhawk, and is significantly cheaper than a Stormbird while having a Transport Capacity between the two, making it a interesting middle ground between the two flyers. Don't bring it to fuck up your opponent's army. Bring it to transport the units that will fuck up your opponent's army.
  • Legion BanebladeLegacies: They're such dogshit it's not even funny. A Baneblade must have vaporised John French's cum soaked Rogal Dorn model during a game and given his child cancer, since there is no other logical reason that they should have been beaten this hard with the Nerf stick. They have all lost AV14 at the front and they are all 100-300 points more expensive. On top of that almost every weapon they use has been neutered into near-uselessness or to the point it is nowhere near strong enough to be carried by a Super-heavy tank. And while they have increased their Hull points to 12, in pretty much every case one of the Super heavies built on the Fellblade or Spartan chassis is both better and cheaper. Most of these units need a serious re-work to make them even worth considering.

Oh Baneblade, what have they done to you. This tank has gone from being the reliable all-rounder to having a primary gun that is outclassed by tanks you can find in the Heavy Support section. For 750 points you get a Baneblade Chassis (duh), whose main Armament is an Ordnance 1, S8, AP4, 5" Blast with Rending (6+) and Pinning. The Baneblade cannon has been reduced to something that has the same effect as a 200 point Medusa Artillery tank (and even that is overpriced). It's still covered with guns, but the main gun was always the primary reason you brought a Baneblade and it's just not worth it, especially when the Fellblade is 100 points cheaper and has a Massive Blast AP3 gun, that can also fire AP2 anti-tank shells.

The same cost as the Baneblade and just as disappointing. Its Tremor Cannon is now AP4 but gained Shell Shock (2) and Pinning, so it's not killing many marines but you will pin them. The real killer here is the fact that the GIANT ROLLING BUNKER NOW HAS A TRANSPORT CAPACITY OF 10!. Just 10. When it used to be 25... Jesus Christ man.

Almost worth it. It's too expensive, but at least the gun is still decent-ish. It comes with a Vulcan Heavy Bolter which is Heavy 15, AP3 with Pinning and Shell Shock (1), but it has lost its ability to shoot twice if it stays still. Its transport capacity was also fucked, but at least it will fuck up a squad of Tactical Marines. You know, the bare minimum it should do.

Coming equipped with a Volcano Cannon, the Shadowsword looks like it could be worth it if it wasn't for the fact that it costs 850 points. This is 200 points more than a Falchion, which has the twin-linked version of the same gun, better sponson weapons and better armour, making the Shadowsword overpriced and completely obsolete.

A Stormsword that seems to have been scavenged from Epic, given that it's equipped a Hull Mounted Hellhammer Cannon. It's 850 points, and while it's stolen Hellhammer cannon is actually pretty good as it shoots Large Blast AP3 shells with Brutal (3), Rending (5+) and Sunder, it is just not worth its ridiculous price cost; for reference, the Typhon brings the same gun except Brutal (4) and Rending (4+) at half the price.

Is actually equipped with the correct gun and it's overall it's probably the best Baneblade variant available (that isn't saying much, but still). The Plasma Blast gun is a S9 Massive Blast, AP3, Breaching (4+) Ordnance weapon and can be pretty decent at clearing out large MEQ and TEQ squads. Your still much better off taking the Fellblade instead, but the Stormblade is at least usable in its intended role, even though it's 100 points overpriced and still needs its AV14 back. This was a typo on GWs behalf, because GW but it used to come with 2 laser destroyer arrays rather than the usual Baneblade sponsons, which made this arguably better than a Glaive.

  • ...and, lo and behold, the 1.1 Legacies doc restored those sponsons to the classic TL heavy bolters and Lascannons on the sponsons while affecting nothing on the pricetag. After all, no Baneblade-variant (or any Legacies unit for that matter) should ever be better than anything in the Libers.
  • Legion Macharius Heavy Tank SquadronLegacies: A tank that was named after Lord Solar Macharius from M41, but here it represents one of the ancient Super-heavy tanks that was in service during the Great Crusade and it simply retained the name so you know which model is supposed to represent it (the tank pattern itself was probably used during the Crusade and the STC was then lost, only to be rediscovered later in M41, so it's all good). What isn't good is this things new characteristics and its weapons. Both the front and side armour has been reduced from 14/13 to 13/12 and it's Battlecannon has been turned to shit. Its Battlecannon used to be 72" range, AP3, Massive Blast (7"). It is now a 24", AP4, Small Blast (3") with Pinning. And this tank costs 600 points. It can swap out the Battlecannon for a Vanquisher cannon for free, which is Heavy 2, S9, AP2, with Sunder, Brutal (2) and Twin-linked, which is actually fairly decent against tanks, or it can take a Rotary Bolt Cannon for 20 points, which fires twin-linked Heavy 10, AP4, Breaching (6+) and pinning which is just okay against MEQ's. But neither of these guns justifies the 600 point price this tank comes with, which in the end only gives you a Super-heavy with less armour than a Vindicator, a main gun with the same range as a bolter and the same blast radius as grenade and that only has one shot despite having two barrels. And for a mere 50 points more you can bring a Fellblade that can fire both AP3 HE and AP2 AP shells. Alternatively, you can take a Malcador, which has the same Battle Cannon/Vanquisher Cannon as this without Twin-linked, but at half the price.
  • Legion Macharius Omega Heavy TankLegacies: Do not take this unit. It is 600 points. It’s armour value is 13/11/10. It’s has a rule causing all glancing hits to become penetrating hits, with +1 to roll on the vehicle damage chart. The gun itself is decent enough at wiping out TEQs/MEQs, but it will die turn 1, taking 1/4 of your points with it and blowing up another 1/4 of your army. This is a car bomb disguised as a tank. If you really want giant plasma weapons, take a Stormblade or look at your Heavy Support options.
    • For illustration, a squad of 10 tactical marines shooting this thing from behind will score 6.66 hits, scoring on average 1 glance, and therefore 1 penetration, which has a 1 in 6 chance to take 3 of your 6 HP (Explodes! on superheavies is D3 HP, which averages to be 2 on top of the hull point loss from penetrating hit) due to the +1 on the vehicle damage table. And that's just one minimum size unit of tac marines, with just bolters, without Rapid Fire; with Rapid Fire or a maxed out 20-man squad, they can blow up your Lord of War in 1 go.
      • AP2 weapons will explode this hunk of shit on a 5+, while AP1 weapons will do it on a 4+.
  • Legion Crassus Armoured Assault TransportLegacies: 400 points nets you a 13/12/12 super heavy transport with that moves 10” and has 8 HP and 35 transport capacity. It mounts 4 heavy bolters which can be exchanged for heavy flamers for free or upgraded to Autocannons or Lascannons. It’s only access point is on the rear of the vehicle, which limits its versatility somewhat. Despite its name, it's not an Assault Vehicle, though with its only access point in the rear disembarking units probably can't charge anyway.
    • The usefulness of the Crassus is dubious. There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to bring it over an equivalent points value worth of Land Raiders and rhinos, which will be faster and don’t use up a LoW slot or eat into the 25% Primarch/LoW allowance. To further illustrate this point a Spartan with a Flare Shield is also 400 points, can be taken as a DT (so won't use either a Heavy Support or LoW slot), is more heavily armed with its Lascannon Arrays/Laser Destroyers, and is even tougher than the Crassus with AV14 on all sides and the added protection of the Flare Shield and being Reinforced, while only having 9 less transport slots and lacking the Super-Heavy rule.
  • Legion Praetor Armoured Assault LauncherLegacies: For the low, low price of six hundred and fifty points, more than Horus Lupercal himself, you get a super-heavy with M10, BS4, 13/12/12 and 8 HP, packing two heavy bolters and a Praetor Launcher, a 72" Ordinance 1 S7 AP4 Massive Blast with Pinning and Rending (6+). For reference, the Spicula Rocket system on the Arquitor is the same profile minus Pinning for 1/3 the price and doesn't use up your LoW slots, which places the Praetor solidly in the "unusable" tier.
  • Legion Thunderhawk TransporterLegacies: For 500 points (185 points cheaper than the regular Thunderhawk) you reduce the Transport capacity by 10 and lose the Thunderhawk cannon. In exchange you can carry two Vehicles each having 4 HP or less, or 1 with 8 HP or less, which actually gives you a higher Transport capacity if you carry 2 full Rhinos/Land Raiders or a full Spartan. The regular Thunderhawk is probably the better choice in most situations, but unlike most other things in the Legacies PDF this is reasonably priced and actually worth considering in a few armies. Unfortunately, most RoWs simply blanket ban various types of vehicles without considering that they can come in flying transports like infantry, so you can't take 2 Land Raiders using this in an Angel's Wrath list.
    • Nothing seems to prevent you from stashing 2 Storm Eagles inside, as Storm Eagles are technically vehicles and can Embark on the Thunderhawk due to Auxiliary Vehicle Bay, and as 4 HP vehicles each use up 1 Auxiliary Vehicle Bay. This allows you to bring 66 models on your Transporter, as each Storm Eagle carries 22 and the Transporter itself carries 22. The Transporter's inability to Deep Strike hinders this, but as it's an Assault Vehicle like the Storm Eagles, you can potentially have 3 full Terminator Squads charge out of the Transporter after the Storm Eagles Disembark.
  • Legion Marauder BomberLegacies: Hahahahahahahah no. 450 points gets you one twin Autocannon, two twin heavy bolters, one of which points backwards to annoy the nearest Infantry unit when fired as a defensive weapon. It also has one use of a Macro-bomb cluster. Apocalyptic Blast 6 might cover a fair few marines, but it's AP4 so your basic bitch Space Marine still gets their save. It's slow, it's fragile, and when it has dropped its payload it has pretty much negated its usefulness. Take a Fire Raptor for better firepower and a fuckton of useful rockets for barely over half the price.
  • Legion Marauder DestroyerLegacies: Well, it's certainly more competent than the bomber. For the same cost you get a forward facing Gravis Autocannon Battery, the same turret mounted Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, and a fuckton of bombs and missiles mean that it can actually do damage. With eight Hellstrike missiles that can be traded for the Skystrike missiles that needed an update to even get rules. Sounds cool but a Hellstrike is a long-ranged lascannon shot. Yeah that's right, eight lascannon shots over one game from this behemoth.
    • The fragmentation bombs aren't worth getting excited about. A vehicle can only drop one bomb type weapon each movement phase, and each one is one-use, but it is only S5 AP5 small (3") blast and counts against the number of weapons you can fire in the shooting phase. The Skystrike missiles are better for a dedicated dogfighter, as it's S7 AP2 with Skyfire and 'Sunder, giving it eight shots capable of nailing anything short of the Sokar.
    • A backwards twin Kheres assault cannon is a depressing addition - a defensive weapon so you can fire it at a different Infantry target, granted, but it's not going to let you live out your dogfighting tailgunner dreams.

Loyalist Legions[edit]

The Legions who stayed (mostly) loyal to the Emperor and Terra. These rules can be found in the Liber Astartes book.

Dark Angels[edit]

Dark Angels legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The First Legion exemplify the term "Jack of All Trades" without necessarily meaning that they are the masters of none. It's true in both the fluff and crunch that as the archetype Legion, the others that followed them were able to be more specialised and therefore better at their particular niches, but that means the Dark Angels haven't necessarily neglected any areas of warfare and remain equally capable at both range and in melee.

Stasis took a massive hit to its effectiveness, but they kept their preference for plasma and slightly cooler swords.

They have more customization than any other Legion; with six Legion traits of the Hexagrammaton (some more useful than others) and six powerful but restrictive Rites of War, so you can pick and mix your way into pretty much any theme you like and still be viable. Even some of your special unique units have additional layers of customization with the Hekatonystika.

If you like micromanaging your units to each be better at their job while maintaining that knightly theme, then pledge yourself to the Lion and join the First Legion.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - The Hexagrammaton: The Dark Angels have six different Legion sub-types that have to be chosen on a per-unit basis. Note that a unit may only ever benefit from a single sub-type each turn, and the rule also explicitly states that Apothecaries and Techmarines should have the same sub-type as the unit they get attached to, so if units get joined by an Independent Character from a different wing, they must choose which rule they are affected by that turn. Also, Dedicated Transports must have the same sub-type as the unit they are purchased for.
    • Stormwing: Gain +1 to hit when shooting Boltguns, Bolt Pistols, and Combi-Bolters.
    • Deathwing: Gain +1 to hit in melee when using virtually any type of sword. Vehicles gain +1 Strength on any Ram Attack they make.
    • Dreadwing: Reduce the Strength of any Flame, Plasma, Volkite, and Phosphex weapon that attacks them by -1. Additionally, Poisoned (X) weapons that attack them require one worse than normal on the to-wound roll.
    • Ironwing: Re-roll 1s on to-hit rolls when targeting vehicles. Additionally, Ironwing vehicles make snap-shots at BS2 instead of BS1.
    • Firewing: Gain +1 to-wound against any unit that contains Independent Characters.
    • Ravenwing: Non-vehicles add +1" when they Run, and Cavalry may re-roll Shrouded damage mitigation rolls. Vehicles add +2" when they move at Cruising Speed.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Angels of Death": Once per game in response to being charged, a Dark Angels unit can take a Leadership test. If successful they gain, Fearless and Fear (2) until the end of the next turn. If the test is failed, then they gain Stubborn and Fear (1) instead.
    • This is not an especially powerful Reaction, especially compared to what some other Legions have access to, and it certainly won't help you win a fight. However, Fear (X) is a legitimately useful rule this edition, as it flatly drops all enemy Leadership values within 12", so throwing this down near a few dense melees can make losing them considerably more perilous for the opponent and a lot more likely to run away in the following turn too, while also ensuring that the unit who triggered it is more likely to stand until the bitter end.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Marshal of the Crown: All models from a chosen Hexagrammaton sub-type gain +1 Ld while drawing line of sight to the Warlord. Additionally, the Warlord will gain a bonus Reaction to use in a phase dependent on their Hexagrammaton sub-type.
    • Deathwing, Dreadwing: Assault phase
    • Stormwing, Ironwing: Shooting phase
    • Ravenwing, Firewing: Movement phase
    • The Deathwing and Stormwing Rites both confer Stubborn to some units, which can combine with this to make them very hard to shift.
  2. Seneschal of the Keys: Choose a Faction. Once per game, the Warlord and his unit can gain +1 WS or BS against that Faction. The Warlord also gains a bonus Reaction in the Assault phase.
    • Generally better for the +1WS, as your Warlord's unit will usually be a melee unit and there are better ways of getting +1BS, like Cognis-Signum or Stormwing. Can be combined with Deathwing or the Firewing Rite for 2+ to hit on equal WS enemies, for when you are fighting the enemy Praetor's squad and you absolutely must kill them.

Unique Wargear

  • Calibanite Warblade: +1S Power Sword, available to any Character for 5pts.
    • Compared to what some other Legions can get as their unique gear option for the same price, this seems like a weak alternative. However, any character who even thinks about taking this will almost certainly be using the Deathwing sub-type and gaining +1 to hit along with it.
  • Terranic Greatsword: S+2 AP3, Two-Handed, Rending (5+) and Murderous Strike (5+). Any Independent Character may replace a power fist with one for free. Also pairs with the Deathwing sub-type for +1 to hit.
    • While not as killy as a Paragon Blade, it is more versatile and more freely available, being more appropriate for tackling vehicles and high-Toughness targets with lower armour saves like Daemons or Automata. The fact that Rending and Murderous Strike are both 5+ means that those AP2 Instant Death wounds are more frequent than one might expect.
  • Dark Angels can also replace any (twin-linked) Plasma Gun with Plasma Repeater for +5 points or Plasma Burner for +10 points. The whole squad must take the same upgrade. Your accuracy and volume of fire go up a lot, but you halve your range and you will feel the loss of S7 against vehicles or anything tougher than a TEQ.You also swap out Rapid Fire for Assault, so your infantry models can now charge after firing. That said, you didn't really want Tactical Support Squads in melee anyway, whereas everyone else who could take a Plasma Gun already had Relentless and was never affected. The option specifies Plasma Guns, so Dreadnoughts and Terminators need not apply with their Plasma Blasters.
    • Plasma Burner: Two words: Plasma. Flamer. This thing uses the Flamer template this edition, so a squad of them can righteously hose down the enemy with S6 Breaching (4+) goodness and hit automatically on Overwatch. The best part? It doesn't have Gets Hot like other Plasma weapons. The bad news? It costs more than a Meltagun.
      • In addition to massing AP2 hits using Breaching (4+), remember the base S6 AP4 is Instant Death against GEQs and ignores their armour, while being a template allows you to make a lot of hits on blobs. Obviously it's not the most cost-effective compared to just taking a heavy flamer, but remember this if you're fighting a Legion with GEQ allies.
      • The Plasma Burner got significantly buffed this edition, as it no longer depends on BS and has +2 strength. Yes, it's Breaching (4+) instead of AP2, but it being S4 in 1.0 meant it only wounded on 4+ anyway. The change to S6 AP4 Breaching (4+) thus means you get the same chance of causing AP2 wounds as in 1.0 and then get some extra AP4 wounds for when you wounded on 2 or 3, whereas those would simply be failed to wound rolls in 1.0.
    • Plasma Repeater: A S6 Twin-Linked Assault 3 Plasma weapon that replaces a Plasma Gun for 5pts. Even better on Reactions than the Burner as you'll almost always get more hits from 3 BS4 Twin-linked shots than rolling for D3 shots as per Wall of Death, with more range on Return Fire to boot. It doesn't lose Gets Hot like the Burner does, but Twin-linked will mitigate it. However, as it is not a template, you lose some killing power against hordes or blobbed units in your own turn.
      • Another buffed weapon from 1.0, as the disappearance of Salvo means it is no longer a 6" 2-shot weapon on the move and has full firepower as long as it is in range.
    • The entire squad having to take the same upgrade is not really a downside, as Tactical Vets and Techmarine weaponry excel at Rapid Fire & Template ranges regardless. Gives Cogboys riding Spatha or Scimitar bikes with Firing Protocols (X) more weapons options at the very least. Although, your Techmarines shouldn't be that close to enemy models if they're not supporting squads or Dread Talons tailored for Rapid Fire or Assault range.
    • Plasma Burners and Repeaters are basically plasma versions of Flamers and Meltas on Tactical Support Squads. Twin-linked Assault 3 on Plasma Repeater will generally cause more damage against TEQs than a meltagun regardless of ID, while the Plasma Burner is a straight upgrade to the Flamer. No one will want to charge your squad and risk losing the entire charging unit to Overwatch, but the plasma weapons cost a heck of a lot (Repeater is at a Melta-level 15 points per gun, with Burner at an even higher 20 points). Further, nothing stops the enemy from shooting your Support Squad from outside of range for Return Fire, nor to use a vehicle that laughs at S6 hits. If you take Burners or Repeaters on a Tactical Support Squad, have a plan for getting into range just as you would for full squads of Meltas and Flamers and make sure you have a target in mind.
      • If you have spare elite slots and you want to take Burners on Tactical Support Squads, just take Interemptors instead for reasons stated in the unit entry below
      • If you have trouble coming up with ideas, remember that the Ironwing Rite gives Land Raider DTs, the Firewing Rite gives Infiltrate and the Ravenwing Rite gives Outflank, in addition to whatever choices are offered by generic Rites of War.
    • Replacing Twin-linked Plasma Guns on Outrider Squadrons for Plasma Burner when paired with Shotguns or Volkite Serpentas (emphasis on or; don't be an idiot and take 3 upgraded guns) can be useful, as Firing Protocols (2) means you can fire both, while trading in the 24" range from the Plasma Gun isn't so much of a problem because bikes are quick enough to get in range and you'll be in 12" in order to use the Serpenta/Shotgun anyway. While the Melta being Twin-linked on Outriders means it can catch up to the Plasma weapons in terms of killing TEQs, the Repeater is still better against 1W models and anyone that doesn't suffer from ID, while the Plasma Burner can potentially inflict more hits.
  • Stasis Missiles: Horrifyingly nerfed this edition. For 5 points, Missile Launchers (and no other type of launcher) may take an S4 Blast (3") missile option that has the Concussive (1) rule, meaning that any target that takes wounds, saved or otherwise, must then pass a Leadership test or have its WS reduced by one until the end of the following Assault phase.
    • This is a pretty bitter pill to swallow, but considering the sweeping changes to WS and to-hit rolls in general this edition, the loss of a single point of WS can make or break close combat.

Unique Rites of War

The Unbroken Vow
No longer sucks this edition. It still requires the placement of a special objective at the centre of the battlefield that needs attention, but no longer results in a snowball of shite for not holding it every turn. In exchange, you can take Deathwing Terminators/Veterans as non-scoring Troops, your Independent Characters gain an attack bonus, and you aren't hit as heavily with restrictions like you would be if you used the generic Pride of the Legion Rite. Still be sensible, as you need fire support for your elites and grunts to take objectives behind them. Build a balanced army that can deal with counters against your elites, and make certain that the special objective is covered; this may be the rite for spamming elites and buffing elites (seriously; the only people that get benefits are your elite infantry and your ICs), but your army is here to serve the Lion, not to show off. All in all, a Rite that reflects the strengths and weaknesses of spamming Elites in 2.0; very good at driving the enemy from an objective, not good at actually claiming it.

  • Benefits:
    • Legion Veterans, Legion Cataphractii Terminators, and Legion Tartaros Terminators may be taken as Troops, but unlike Pride of the Legion they do not gain Line, so they don't suddenly become Scoring units and you will need to take something else to hold objectives.
      • Unlike other Dark Angels Rites you don't have to make all your troops Deathwing, so you can throw in a couple of Stormwing Tactical marines to help out. Alternatively, take Command Squads or Heralds, who get Line from their Legion Standard.
    • All Legion Veterans, Legion Cataphractii Terminators, and Legion Tartaros Terminators gain the Heart of the Legion special rule, giving them Feel No Pain (6+) and Stubborn while within 6" of an objective. Yes, all 6 squads you took as Troops. Yes, even the 4 squads you took as Elites.
      • Doesn't actually help your Legion Terminators that much because everyone already packs ID against Terminators to ignore 2W, which also ignores Feel No Pain, while Inexorable is already pretty close to Stubborn. That said, your Veterans gain full benefit of both, as they didn't get special Morale rules and getting Feel No Pain helps against most AP3 weapons. As non-Terminator units, it's also easier to give them an Apothecary and get to 4+++.
    • Deathwing Independent Characters gain +1 attack while within 12" of an objective marker, so your Praetor and Paladins/Champions will get even stronger when holding the objective.
      • Paragon Blade is still not good enough in a duel against Praetors, as it does not wound enough. However, the Terranic Greatsword is worth considering as a duelling weapon, as you can land enough hits to cause Rending and Murderous Strike on an enemy Praetor using Seneschal of the Keys and other bonuses to hit. Alternatively, as the +1 attack is not contingent on the weapon being a sword like the Deathwing bonus itself, take a Thunder Hammer.
  • Limitations:
    • After deployment, the controlling player must place a single objective at the centre of the table, or as close as possible. If, at the end of the battle, the controlling player does not control this objective, then the opposing player gains +1 VP. If the opposing player actually controls this objective, they gain +D3 VP instead.
      • The main tactical limitation of this Rite, as you need a Line unit at the middle of the table at the end of the game to avoid losing VPs. However, you can effectively ignore it for the majority of the game and only throw a Line unit at it on turn 4 or something, so it's not too bad.
    • All Legion Veterans, Legion Cataphractii Terminators, and Legion Tartaros Terminators must have the Deathwing sub-type.
      • Legion Veterans can at least take Chainswords, Power Swords, or Charnabal Sabres as upgrades. Unfortunately, this can be rough with Terminators as to gain the bonus of the Deathwing sub-type, they need swords when you're probably better off with a stronger weapon like a Power Fist. They can't even take Calibanite Warblades, those are reserved for Characters. There are times when you just have to accept that there is no way to credibly gain the benefit of all the rules they have access to, and have Terminators with Heart of the Legion and nothing else.
    • If the Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War, then the army's Warlord must have the Deathwing sub-type, or be the Lion. - and the Lion will actually benefit from the +1 attack while being close to an objective.
      • Also unlike the Pride of the Legion Rite, the Unbroken Vow CAN be used in an Allied Detachment and CAN take allies (not that Dark Angels have any good allies at the moment). Allied detachments have no requirement on what Hexagrammaton type the compulsory HQ belongs to, but you want to be Deathwing to get the +1A anyway.

The Storm of War
Another Rite of War that they un-fucked this edition, though that doesn't automatically make it a good choice. The Rite gives no actual bonuses to your fighting capability, and the FoC movements amount to letting you take more Troops when you could already take lots of Troops to begin with. This is the Rite you take if you somehow have an unreasonable excess of Tactical Marines that you just want to make use of, as Stormwing is itself not particularly good on Despoilers/Assault Squads. On the plus side, you are very good at claiming objectives with Line squads from 3 slots, which also makes it a good Allied Detachment for a Primary Detachment with very powerful Troops without Line; you may only have 2 Sworn Brothers, but you have lots of Fellow Warriors you can help take objectives for. Further, this is the only wing of the Hexagrammaton that doesn't penalize you for not reaching specific objectives or make your Troops spend lots on expensive transports (you don't actually get transports), so you can build a normal army except with footslogging BS5 Tactical Marines and widespread Stubborn on infantry. A Rite that's unspectacular but solid; much like the grunts who are your Troops.

  • Benefits:
    • Any Legion Tactical, Despoiler, or Assault Squad numbering 20 models may pay for a Legion Centurion with the Stormwing sub-type to join the squad and may not leave it during play. These Centurions may not purchase any Consul upgrades and may not be nominated as the Warlord.
      • A plain Centurion doesn't give out any buffs like Consuls, but he's still good for surprising enemy Consuls with Thunder Hammers, as well as using his WS5 and superior wargear to tear into WS4 MEQs. Moreover, the fact that he's a character means your opponent has one more character to kill before he can remove Stubborn, and you have one more character you can trade with the enemy in a Power Fist duel. He can also take a shotgun and fish for Concussive to mess with enemy WS, while his improved statline will help for Morale checks and things like Reactions.
    • All Stormwing characters gain the Stubborn special rule, so this will include Squad Sergeants as well as those Centurions.
      • As your Centurions are Ld9, all of your Centurion-led squads affected by Marshal of the Crown are Stubborn Ld10 and will take some effort to break.
      • Take some Techmarines/Apothecaries to have even more characters your enemy must kill before he can remove Stubborn. Apothecaries are particularly useful on your Line Troops, as they all either have an Invulnerable save or Heart of the Legion to stack with the 5+++.
    • Legion Tactical, Despoiler, and Assault Squads may be taken as Elites choices. Legion Assault Squads may be taken as Fast Attack choices - in case you didn't have enough.
      • This lets you take plenty of Line squads even if you took a bunch of Troops who don't have it, like Tactical Support Squads or Indomitus Terminators. Of course, you can also take 13 Assault Squads and swamp the enemy in Stubborn units.
  • Limitations:
    • All Compulsory Troops choices must take their maximum unit size.
      • Says nothing about other Troops or any other units, nor does it say anything about what you take as Compulsory Troops, or if they're even Stormwing to begin with. Anyway, it's not as if 40 Stubborn BS5 Marines is a bad start for an army.
    • No Legion Tactical or Despoiler Squad may select a Dedicated Transport.
      • Your footsloggers have to footslog, basically. As you have no Rhino to protect you, take large squads with an Apothecary to basically have Heart of the Legion active wherever you go, and to increase your Feel No Pain when you do actually have Heart of the Legion.
    • ALL Legion Tactical, Despoiler, and Assault Squads must have the Stormwing sub-type.
    • No model may use Deep Strike, Flanking Assault, or Subterranean Assault.
    • If the Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War, then the army's Warlord must have the Stormwing sub-type or be the Lion. The Lion gets no benefit whatsoever from this Rite, as he was Fearless from being a Primarch anyway and thus does not benefit from Stubborn.

The Serpent's Bane
This rite gives you considerable bonuses if want to go Character hunting, or if you are playing a smaller game where the bonuses are worth considerably more. Just be warned that leaving your priority targets alive at the end of the game is likely to cost you the match, so be prepared to fight deathstars, either by building a better one yourself or spamming ranged units to shoot it from every direction. Fittingly, you get Seeker Troops, which like the Rite itself are very very good at making sure one unit in particular is very very dead.

  • Benefits:
    • Legion Seekers may be taken as Troops, although they don't become Line units.
      • Bring Recon Squads with Nemesis Bolters then. They can score as Line units, while Support Squad is taken care of because your compulsory Troops are the Seekers.
      • Copy your Ironwing brothers and get Land Raiders with Infiltrate from the Troops slot by taking them as Seeker DTs.
    • At the start of the battle, choose three enemy Primarch, HQ, Elites or Lords of War units as Priority Targets. All models with the Firewing sub-type may add +1 to all to-wound rolls against these Priority Target, which goes hand in hand with the Firewing rule of +1 to hit against ICs. If the enemy army does not contain the requisite units, then the controlling player can choose any other units to fill the remaining Priority Targets.
      • This also stacks with the Marked for Death rule that Seekers have, so they may re-roll 1s when trying to wound their own squad target. This results in 97% of your hits being wounds on Scorpius rounds, or with whatever Magna Combi-weapon you intend to take.
      • Consider bringing Disintegrator weapons, as its 3+ to hit/to wound (S5 weapon on BS4 model against T4 target) becomes 2+ and thus can cause a lot more damage, while AP2 ID makes sure your Priority Target dies unless it's a vehicle or has Eternal Warrior.
    • Characters with the Firewing sub-type gain +1 attack when locked in combat with a Priority Target. This includes all squad Sergeants, Independent Characters, and the Lion himself (when using the Firewing sub-type). Moreover, everyone in a squad of Inner Circle Knights are Characters (and Broken Claw Preceptors can take a Paragon Blade).
      • The +1 to wound/to hit is still not good enough to enable the Paragon Blade to reliably kill an enemy Praetor before he hits back with a Thunder Hammer without Preferred Enemy. However, you have a bunch of Precision Shot/Sniper Troops for a reason; shoot up the enemy Praetor, then charge in. As with Deathwing, the Terranic Greatsword is also a decent choice if you stack enough buffs. Alternatively, use a Thunder Hammer and guarantee the enemy IC dies; you're not Deathwing, you don't have to take a sword.
    • Choose up to three Troops choices that have the Firewing sub-type; these units may be given the Infiltrate special rule. Seekers and Recon marines have Infiltrate already, so to make best use of this Rite you'll need a lot of Firewing Troops on top of Seekers. Things like Tactical Support Squads and Breachers with Volkite Chargers will greatly benefit from this.
      • If you want a beefy melee unit, remember that Indomitus Terminators are Troops. This is currently the only method in the 18 Legions to get infiltrating Terminators. This also lets you Infiltrate their Land Raider DT like Seekers. Speaking of Land Raiders, Breachers can also do this.
  • Limitations:
    • All Troops choices in the Detachment must have the Firewing sub-type.
      • Not that you didn't want to get Firewing to take advantage of the Rite. That said, the benefits of the Rite only apply to Priority Targets and the limitation says nothing about non-Troops, so you can take some Deathwing Veterans or Ironwing Dreadnoughts to fight non-Priority Targets.
    • If a Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War, then the Warlord must have the Firewing sub-type, or be the Lion. The Lion will get +1 to hit and +1 attack against Priority Targets, and you'll want him in case your opponent's army selection forces you to take his Primarch as a Priority Target. You don't have to make your compulsory HQ Firewing if this is an Allied Detachment, but you want the bonuses anyway, even more so than in the Deathwing Rite.
    • At the end of the battle, the opponent gains +3 VP for each Priority Target still on the table that is neither falling back or pinned. No longer an auto-lose like last edition, but you will be hard pressed to claim the win if you fail your kill mission. But this is the price you pay for +1 accuracy, +1 attack, and Infiltrating troops.

The Steel Fist
Somehow an even HEAVIER variant of the generic Armoured Spearhead Rite. This one gives you more Kratos Tanks instead of more Sicarans, and more open access to Spartans. It also ties your Troops choices into the Ironwing sub-type and forces your army to take a fully mechanised deployment. This obviously gets more expensive and should only be considered if you have more tanks in your collection than you have Heavy Support slots. Moreover, aside from giving you lots of tanks, your units don't actually get any buffs outside of being Ironwing. A Rite for taking tanks, destroying tanks and taking tanks that can destroy tanks, just as the Ironwing should be.

  • Benefits:
    • Predator Squadrons may be taken as Troops choices.
      • Lets you take Support Squads without taking other Troops infantry because your Predators are Compulsory Troops. Take some Recons, Tactical Support Squads, etc. if you like.
    • Kratos Squadrons may be taken as Elites.
    • All Infantry units with the Ironwing sub-type numbering 10 models or fewer may take a Land Raider Proteus Carrier as a Dedicated Transport. If the unit has more than 10 models, it may take a Spartan as a Dedicated Transport.
      • Gives you easy Land Raider spam with 5 man squads and frees up even more HS slots for Dreadnoughts, Sicarans and Fire Raptors. You can also take Heavy Support Squads and give them their own Land Raider, so you get 2 Heavy Support choices in one. Alternatively, spam Spartans by taking 11 Tacticals/Despoilers and unlocking them as DTs.
  • Limitations:
    • All Infantry in the army MUST begin the game Embarked upon a transport vehicle with sufficient capacity to carry them. This may NOT be a Flyer. Better fork out for those Rhinos and Land Raiders.
      • Your infantry with Heavy weapons effectively lose shots because they fire Snap Shots for the turn where they Disembark. Think about getting Heavy weapons somewhere else, like tricking out your tanks with additional weapons or taking Dreadnoughts/Cavalry/Flyers.
    • All Troops choices and their dedicated transports, Predator Squadrons, and Kratos Squadrons MUST have the Ironwing sub-type.
      • Your Ironwing vehicles should be equipped to destroy vehicles because Ironwing gives anti-vehicle bonuses. Leave anti-infantry to everyone else. Unfortunately, Ironwing is largely wasted on your Line Troops, but that's the price for Land Raider spam.
    • If the Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War, then the army Warlord must have the Ironwing sub-type or be the Lion. This is actually an improvement over the Armoured Spearhead, which forces your Warlord to be a tank. He gets no benefit, but at least here you can have your Primarch. Moreover, you can lead an Allied Detachment with an IC from another Hexagrammaton type, as whatever Retinue he was leading didn't need the Rite to take a Land Raider anyway and Ironwing is wasted on ICs in general.

The Eskaton Imperative
Comes with fewer toys this edition, as they lost their access to the Dreadwing armouries, so no Rad Grenades or Plasma Incinerators except for squads that are supposed to have them. Now though, you get flat bonuses without having to pay extra for them so that's a net positive. This Rite is one of those few ones that affect the whole battlefield by making a whole lot of Difficult and Dangerous Terrain for everyone to be worried about. This Rite requires you to drive the enemy from the field by any means necessary, which is something your Destroyer Troops do very well.

  • Benefits:
    • Destroyer Assault Squads, Mortalis Destroyer Squads, and Dreadwing Interemptors become Troops choices, but they don't gain Line. Arguably not so much a loss as it would be for other Rites making units Troops but not conferring Line, as this Rite forces you to sweep your opponent off the table anyway. If you really want to take objectives, take Command Squads/Heralds.
    • For the duration of the battle, ALL Open Terrain outside of either player's Deployment Zone counts as Difficult Terrain.
    • Before deployment, the player using this Rite may place two Eskaton markers anywhere on the battlefield more than 6" from a table edge or either player's Deployment Zone. The area within 6" of these Eskaton markers (just over a 12" diameter, factoring in the size of the marker itself) always counts as Dangerous Terrain. Cover an objective with it and force your opponent to either contest the objective and get smacked with the +1 to wound below, or he gives up VPs. Either way, you hinder your opponent from claiming the objective, which will help make up the lack of Line on your Destroyers.
    • All models with the Dreadwing sub-type automatically pass any Dangerous Terrain checks they are required to make. This helps a lot considering the above rules and should save your Destroyer Assault squads from landing badly on a rock and breaking their necks.
    • Models with the Dreadwing sub-type add +1 To-Wound against models that are in Dangerous Terrain. This includes models forced to count other types of Terrain as Dangerous, such as jump pack squads or bikers (not Vehicles, because "+1 To-Wound").
      • Make even more Dangerous terrain kill boxes with Phosphex and Graviton weapons. Your Destroyer Troops are the obvious choice with the Phosphex Bombs on their sergeants, but this can potentially be done with any squad by attaching a Siege Breaker and his 3 Phosphex Bombs or a Graviton Gun Techmarine.
  • Limitations:
    • ALL Troops choices and Destroyer Squads must have the Dreadwing sub-type.
      • Your Troops (and basically all of your melee units) wanted Dreadwing anyway to take advantage of (or at least not get killed by) the rest of the Rite. That said, it says nothing about the rest of the army; as your Deployment Zone is still open terrain, your units won't need Dreadwing there and your long-ranged anti-vehicle units can take Ironwing without suffering any drawbacks or limitations.
    • At the end of the game, if there are any enemy units in their own Deployment Zone that are not Pinned or Falling Back, then the enemy player scores an additional D3 victory points. The main sticking point about this rite that can bite you in the arse, so you should bring a fair few pinning weapons so you can get those last few units pinned.
      • Bring anti-vehicle firepower. As you cannot Pin enemy Dreadnoughts/Vehicles or make them fall back, you must actually destroy them, which is something your Destroyers aren't really good at.
    • If the Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War then the Warlord must have the Dreadwing sub-type or be the Lion. However, taking this as your Allied Detachment likely means that your Primary Detachment will have to slog through Difficult/Dangerous Terrain like your opponent, and is arguably shooting yourself in the foot. If you do, then there's no requirement on the Hexagrammaton type of your HQ, but you likely wanted Dreadwing anyway.
      • The Lion doesn't really himself benefit from being Dreadwing since he wounded everything on a 2+ anyway, but his ability to always charge 8" will be useful on a table where the entire middle is Difficult Terrain and his army-wide Crusader will help wipe squads that would otherwise rally in their Deployment Zone after breaking. Consider taking the Wolf Blade to rout opposing squads as quickly as possible, then sweep them.
    • The Detachment may not take any Fortifications - you don't want to play defensively with this Rite anyway, as you have to force the enemy from their position.

The Seeker's Arrow
The Rite of War specifically for Ravenwing, clearly aimed towards creating a FAST army, but you can't go balls out bikes and speeders unless the mission isn't bothered with objectives, otherwise you will need a few other things to make it all work. Appropriately, a Rite which lets you take loads of the Cavalry Troops that are a mainstay of the Ravenwing, and which makes you build the rest of the army to keep up with them.

  • Benefits:
    • Sky-hunter and Outrider Squadrons may be taken as Troops choices, but are NOT given the Line sub-type. So you will need other units for claiming objectives.
      • Same thing as for the Deathwing rite; if you really want to spam the units your Rite specializes in, your biker Command Squad can take objectives, as can a Herald.
    • Units entirely made up of Infantry or Cavalry models with the Ravenwing sub-type gain the Outflank special rule. This goes some way to alleviating the problems noted above about not being able to get your men where you need them quickly. Outflanking bikes and jetbikes is also rather cool especially if they have special ranged weapons that you want to bring to bear quickly, as is summoning melee units (outflanking Terminators anyone?) on your opponent's flank.
    • Independent Characters with both the Cavalry unit type and the Ravenwing sub-type gain the Rampage (2) special rule.
      • Throw your ICs on bikes/jetbikes and charge into a large enemy squad. As you're not Deathwing and don't get bonuses to taking swords anyway, bring Thunder Hammers. Alternatively, win challenges on initiative by spamming to-hit bonuses on a Terranic Greatsword.
  • Limitations:
    • All Troops and Fast Attack choices MUST have the Ravenwing sub-type. Alright for your bikes, but less effective for the infantry. Assault and Despoiler squads are probably the two infantry choices that benefit the most from this, as without a DT.
    • Vehicles in Detachments using this Rite of War can only have the Fast, Skimmer, or Flyer sub-types.
      • Remember Dreadnoughts are no longer vehicles, so it's OK to take a few Contemptors, particularly as your Heavy Support slots are limited. For the same reason take some Rapiers to replace whatever Heavy Support Squads you wanted to take, as there's no restriction against artillery either.
    • The Detachment may only have one Heavy Support choice. Your choices are limited with the exclusion of most tanks, but this means you can only have one Fire Raptor in the army.
      • Sky-hunters are basically jetbike-mounted Heavy Support Squads from the Troops slot, so you may want to bring a squad or two of them to help keep up the heavy fire power. Outriders and Sky-hunters vacating the Fast Attack slot means you can bring Land Speeders/Flyers for more heavy weapons. The one Heavy Support slot can be used on a Deredeo or Leviathan Dreadnought Talon and get multiple models for your 1 HS slot.
      • Consider Neutron Blaster Sabres. With your Predators and the like being unavailable, it's the only source of Shock Pulse to make your opponent's Lord of War shut up by forcing Snap Shots and preventing Blast weapons from firing. Sabres are freely available, as they are Fast vehicles in the Fast Attack slot.
    • If the Primary Detachment is using this Rite of War, then the Warlord must have the Ravenwing sub-type or be the Lion. Note that the Lion gains no benefit from this Rite of War at all since he's neither Cavalry, so he won't gain Rampage (X), nor Infantry so he cannot Outflank. Taking this as an Allied Detachment imposes no requirement on the Hexagrammaton type of the compulsory HQ, but you wanted Ravenwing for Rampage (2) and Outflank anyway.

Unique Units

  • Inner Circle Knights Cenobium: The obligatory WS5, 2-wound elite Terminators this edition. They are all armed with Cataphracti Terminator Armour, a Terranic Greatsword, Stubborn, Adamantium Will (3+) and their option of one of the Orders of the Hekatonystika as below. While more expensive as a unit compared to the Paladin, they all have the Character sub-type, and are effectively a whole squad of mini-Paladins. They also have a Plasma Caster, which is a pared-down Plasma Burner, with only S4 and Breaching (6+), yet it still uses the Flamer template when firing, so these guys can still throw out an enormous amount of hits when they get close enough.
    • Augurs of Weakness: +1 Strength when making an Armour Penetration roll against a vehicle's facing if it is AV11 or more.
    • Icons of Resolve: +1 Leadership when Charged or Charging? Pass.
    • Slayers of Kings: Re-roll 1s to-hit when in close combat with enemy models that have WS5 or higher, or completely re-roll failed hits in Challenges against WS5 or higher.
    • Hunters of Beasts: Re-roll 1s to-wound when in close combat against models of T5, or completely re-roll failed wounds in close combat against Toughness 6 or higher.
    • Reapers of Hosts: Gain +1 Attack when in base contact with more than one model.
    • Breakers of Witches: Re-roll to-hit and to-wound rolls against units containing Daemons, Psykers, or Corrupted units.
    • Even as a squad drawn from individuals from a particular Hekatonystika, this unit can still choose a Hexagrammation sub-type; Deathwing applies to Terranic Greatswords, so it is possible to hit WS4 on a 2+.
    • Obviously, Reapers of Hosts is still the best option against everything your opponent has, as +1 attack for every model in base contact with Terranic Greatswords or Thunder Hammers is way too good to pass up. The other Hekatonystika options are too situational if players don't know what they're facing beforehand. Against single models, Plasma Burners will drown them in templates for a crap-ton of hits, so anything Cenobites engage in melee will already be hurting by the time they get into range regardless; for tanks and Automata, you have the Hammers.
      • Space Marine opponents at the very least must bring a WS5 model (compulsory HQ) and will likely bring at least one WS5 unit (Legion-specifics, Command Squad, etc.) which means you can use Slayers of Kings against them. You're not particularly afraid of WS4 opponents anyway, as they can't hit you very well. Particularly useful if you're using Thunder Hammers, as you can get back the to-hit bonus you lost from not getting Deathwing.
    • Your Preceptor barring BS4 has the statline of a non-Terminator Champion(!) and, with Reaper of Hosts and barring buffs exclusive to ICs like the Deathwing Rite, has the same WS and attacks as a one weapon Praetor(!!). The Preceptor will likely die in the process, but he has a very good shot at killing enemy ICs in a challenge with a Thunder Hammer. He's effectively a 75 point model (squad costs 275 base with 4 Cenobites in addition to him where each Cenobite is 50 points); trading him for a 150 point Praetor is beyond worth it. Likewise, your Reaper of Hosts Knights are basically 2W Cataphractii Centurions and can fight enemy ICs as such in a challenge.
  • Order of the Broken Claws Inner Circle Knights CenobiumExemplary Battles: The alternative version from the Exemplary Battles. The base unit is exactly the same statline and loadout for the same cost. Except these guys have their Order of the Hekatonystika trait fixed to a special one that lowers their required to-wound rolls by one (so a 4+ becomes a 3+, and so on, to a minimum of 2+) against Dreadnought unit types, Corrupted Unit types, Monstrous subtypes, and/or Shackled Automata, effectively meaning these guys are the monster slayers of the First Legion. They also have the ability to change their Terranic Greatswords for an Advex-Mors Greatsword. This weapon swaps out the Murderous Strike (5+) rule for the Brutal (2) rule, which is honestly not a bad deal. So instead of inflicting Instant Death on 33% of their wounding rolls, ALL of their wounding rolls now force the target to save twice, and it still has Rending, so that can result in two wounds at AP2 that deny regular saves. Unfortunately, the Advex-Mors Greatsword does not have an explicit mention for the purposes of the Deathwing subtype rules, so there doesn't seem to be a way to get +1 to hit, unless you play around with Rites of War.
      • Consider taking a Biomancy Librarian to make your S7 Greatswords S8 and thus inflict ID on TEQs at initiative, where you can get AP2 with Breaching (5+). This does not combine well with your special Hekatonystika trait, as none of them suffer S8 ID with the exception of Corrupted MEQs, but massed AP2 ID at initiative against TEQs is not easily obtained.
    • Normal Inner Circle Knights with Greatswords against targets with 2+/4++ saves where they hit on 3+ and wound on 2+. Will put out 0.33 wounds per turn with their standard two attacks, of which 0.22 were AP2 instant death, but also can have some interesting tricks like more re-rolls or extra attacks. Contrast with the Advex-Mors swords hitting the same targets will do 0.66 wounds per turn, exactly double the output, but it shows how uncommon those instant death wounds were when it needs to count.
  • Deathwing Companion Detachment: A squad of artificer armour and Calibanite Warblade-equipped WS5 Veterans who can only be taken as a Retinue for a model with Master of the Legion.
    • These guys got demonstrably better this edition, and much of it was the result of wider rules changes. The fact that they are WS5 and Deathwing was updated means that they will hit WS4 on 2+, while the changes to Power Swords in general means they are slightly more threatening to anything with a 2+ save. This gets even better with Terranic Greatswords. They haven't suddenly become Death Stars, but they are an easy choice to make for accompanying a commander where they will very easily cut their way through MEQ units and be able to throw a few AP2 wounds in the way of the things their boss is trying to deal with.
    • Their Death-sworn Companions rule is also worth highlighting. Look Out Sir is gone from generic gameplay, but for Companions it states for that for units containing models with this rule, they ignore the Precision Strikes/Shots and Sniper rules, and that casualties, not hits, from shooting and melee attacks are always allocated by the controlling player. Sounds like even if they get attacked by something like a Primarch, who is supposed to allocate hits from his own attacks, the Deathwing Companions are able to intercept blows and take the fall. Truly, the best bodyguards.
    • One sneaky addition is the Relentless special rule, meaning that each model can Move, shoot and Charge with their Bolters quite happily. Both Magna and Minor Combi-Weapons are also available and are a good way to add flexibility to what people would normally consider to be a melee-only squad.
      • Yes, Bayonets are also available for your Bolters, but are a pretty bad choice since your standard weapons are better and you lose any Deathwing bonus.
    • Cytheron Pattern Aegises are practically unchanged this edition. They grant a 5++ invulnerable save against melee attacks, but a 4++ against shooting. Terminator Armour is not available to Companions this edition (outside of Legacies), so this is really the only way to get equivalent protection; unlike Boarding Shields, it does not interfere with a model's ability to make Two-handed or two-weapon attacks, so in general there is no downside to taking an Aegis other than the expense.
      • You still need two or more of them to deploy the Aegis bubble which grants their saves to the whole squad and drops enemy Initiative by one point, but all of those models CANNOT make attacks while the bubble is up. It doesn't work on Primarchs, but it otherwise could be saved for when you think you can take out an enemy squad with what models you have remaining, or if the enemy leader has a nasty weapon that you want to get in ahead of. Use this option selectively, or if you are miles away from other units and don't want to get shot at by Lascannons.
    • Note that the Plasma Pistol option for the unit swaps out their Bolter, rather than their Bolt Pistol. Fittingly, this lets them LARP as Cypher.
  • Deathwing Terminator Cataphractii CompanionsLegacies: Sadly, the terminator variants of the Deathwing Companions are now Legends'd. More concerning, they require taking a MotL with Cataphractii armour and cost a good bit more than DW Companions with Cytheron shields. That said, these guys remain the unbreakable bunkers and retain the perks of being companions, including WS5 and a bump in Leadership. Though they lack any guns beyond combi-weapons, you can take Terranic Greatswords, dual claws or fists at absolutely no cost, while Hammers are quite cheap. However, like Terminator Command Squads, you can only take 5 models.
  • Deathwing Terminator Tartaros Companions:Legacies: Same as above, only now requiring a Tartaros MotL. As with base terminators, the Tartaros are a bit cheaper than the Cataphractii versions and you gain all the mobility of power armour at the cost of a constant 5++ invulnerable.
    • As with the Cataphractii variant, they're restricted to only HQs with Tartaros armour. Sorry Lion and Holguin, once again neither of you count.
  • Dreadwing Interemptors: A squad of Destroyer-equivalent marines armed with Plasma Burners instead of dual Bolt Pistols. They still get Rad Grenades, a single Bolt Pistol paired with a close combat weapon for +1 attack, as well as the Counter-attack (1) and Stubborn special rules. They obviously have to take the Dreadwing sub-type, giving them bonuses against most special weapon types.
    • Frankly, these guys are a steal, with the minimum expense coming in at 60 points cheaper than a Tactical Support Squad armed with the same weapon, but have more equipment and special rules. In particular, Plasma Burners/Incinerators being S6 this version and Interemptors having Rad Grenades means you can cause a bunch of AP2 ID wounds on Overwatch against TEQs.
    • The downsides are, since Interemptors are Elites units, they compete with quite a lot of other viable choices, and as Destroyer units, they have Bitter Duty, which means they cannot be joined by most Independent Characters or advisor units.
  • Firewing Enigmatus CabalLegacies: An odd kill-team of three models equipped with a bunch of unique wargear and special rules intended for hunting Characters. To help them with this, they each have WS5 and three attacks basic, plus one because they all have two close combat weapons, and Jump Packs for that extra range and Hammer of Wrath. Also, just as importantly, they have Initiative 5 so they can keep up with Independent Characters who haven't chosen to strike last. Like Seekers, they have the Marked for Death special rule, allowing them to re-roll 1s to wound their chosen target, and as members of the Firewing, they gain +1 on to-wound rolls against units containing Independent Characters. They have a unique Calibanite Charge Blade, which behaves similarly to the normal Calibanite Warblade, but once per game at the start of the controlling player's assault phase, they can declare a Blade Charge and upgrade themselves to Rending (3+) virtually guaranteeing multiple AP2 wounds for one turn. At range, they have Needle Pistols, which are also unique to them, although they have absolutely NO armour penetration value at all, they have Pistol 2, Poisoned (3+), and Pinning thrown in for good measure. So that's a decent amount of shots that are likely to wound and could potentially shut them down too, but it ultimately depends on the opponent's ability to save against them.
    • One model can take a Suspensor Web Missile Launcher with Frag, Krak, and Stasis shells. Thankfully this doesn't replace any weapon, so they still claim the extra attack for two weapons, and they might get lucky with Stasis and drop the enemy WS by one to give themselves an easier job.
    • There are a few problems with this unit though. First is that they only have power armour with a 3+ save, and any independent character worth their salt will at least have an AP3 weapon and cut through them, so generally speaking, they should be looking for those Unwieldy characters who they can take out with Blade Charge first. Their best protection against ranged weapons is their Shroud Bombs, which counts them as being further away, but their small squad size can really hurt them in situations where they get Overwatched or hit with Return Fire (which can only be done at short range anyway).
      • While their WS5 is above average, it's not as helpful as one might think against WS6 Praetors or special characters, seeing as they will still only hit them on 5+ while being hit on 3+ in return. If they are going character hunting alone, they should probably stick to Consuls and Centurions unless they have +1 to hit from the Firewing Rite. Additionally, while they won't gain benefit from the Firewing subtype against regular squads, their close combat loadout is still pretty useful against regular MEQ units.
    • They do have Shrouded (4+) but ONLY for the turn they arrive from Reserves, but they may also Outflank or Deep Strike. Ideally, this is a squad you want to get stuck in the moment they arrive and not be sitting around where they are vulnerable. If you can add a Jump Pack Apothecary, that should not only help them survive a bit longer, but since they also gain the same subtypes and rules, they can also help with the job of hunting characters, albeit not quite as effectively.
  • Excindio Battle AutomataLegacies: Among all the weapons of the Long Night, one of the least understood are the Excindio Battle Automata, literal abominable intelligences shackled by the I Legion and only loosed upon the most dire of circumstances. These things are absolutely loaded to bear with some insane stats and are effectively Automata that can never be controlled. If they ever get wounded (and with T7 and a 2+/5++, that's not easy), they need to make a Leadership check or else they're forced to attack the closest target, even if that target is one of yours. If there's ever a case where you feel like there's no hope, you can also buy a Techmarine or Forge Lord consul a kill-switch, capable of immediately killing an Excindio within 12", making them explode to deal S8 hits to all models within d6+4", all while denying the enemy a VP.
    • Deep Striking on a Dreadnought Drop Pod/Kharibdys would have been a good idea... if the Excindio could Embark on them. Dreadnoughts are able to Embark because Dreadnought Transport specifies that a single model with the Dreadnought unit type with 8 wounds or less can Embark, whereas they otherwise obey the normal rules for transports only allowing Infantry/Primarch models to Embark. As the Excindio is Shackled Artificia, it is neither a Dreadnought nor Infantry (no, it's not a Primarch either) and thus cannot Embark on its own DT. Your opponent is That Guy for using this against you, but he wouldn't be wrong to prevent your Excindio from Deep Striking until an updated FAQ comes out.
    • Excindio as Shackled Artificia are not included in a lot of dedicated "anti-machine" rules like Haywire, Armourbane, etc., which can really surprise your opponent when he breaks out his usual anti-Dreadnought/Automata tools. That said, it's still vulnerable to ID, so look out.
    • If this needs to be said, these things are offensive powerhouses. The stock unit has 7 S9 AP2 Brutal (2) attacks on the charge and 2 more S8 AP2 Shred Lance attacks, made at WS6 Hatred and its Combi-Bolters can be upgraded to Graviton Guns for Haywire, Irad-Cleansers for anti-horde and the Dark Angels' unique Plasma Repeaters for anti-TEQ. It can also swap out 1 Power Claw and 1 Manipulator Arm for a heavy weapon - and these aren't jokes, from literal Phosphex launchers and rapid-fire weapons that have Poisoned (4+) and Breaching (4+) to S8 Lance and Graviton Flux Projectors. It can also use Animatus Excindor from the Mechanicum list, which is d6 Haywire shots against Vehicle/Automata/Dreadnoughts.
      • Excindio have now deprecated, as Photon Thruster Thallax and Darkfire Castellax just do the job better without taking up a Heavy Slot. Praevians and Forge Lords can hang with their Automata with no risk of them going nuts either.
      • Fully upgraded Sicaran Arcus squads, Leviathan and Deredeo Dread Talons with the best upgrades also does the Excindio's job for not only cheaper but better at longer ranges. Without the risk of getting swarmed by Dread Talons or Terminators with Sx2.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Paladin of the Hekatonystika: Gone are the days when you could upgrade any Character to become a member of the Hundred Esoteric Arts. Now, it's limited to a single Character and unit. This bad boy is your unique Consul option for 30pts. In return for those points, you get a veritable package of goodies; WS6, Ld10, a Terranic Greatsword, Adamantium Will (3+), Stubborn AND a choice of one of the Hekatonystika options. This Consul is comparable to a Champion, coming in cheaper but without access to the Paragon Blade, yet is better suited to tasks other than seeking out Characters in Challenges. Remember that this guy still has to choose a Hexagrammaton sub-type, so there is huge room for customisation.
  • HolguinLegacies: Master of the Deathwing, for 13 points more than a Cataphractii Praetor with a Volkite Charger, Holguin has Feel No Pain (5+) built into his armour, adding an extra layer of protection. He also has the Viridian Blade, which is a Master Crafted S6 AP2 sword that gains the +1 To-Hit Deathwing bonus, and also Reaping Blow (2) giving him extra attacks if in contact with multiple enemies. He's also flat out Stubborn rather than Inexorable so he keeps his head around models that cause Fear better than most.
    • Obviously his weakness is anything that causes Instant Death, as it will ignore his Feel No Pain and just take him out. While he doesn't have any means of taking opponents out in one blow either, the best he can hope for is a bucketful of up to eight attack on the charge (remember, he can gain +1 attack using the Unbroken Vow rite) and hope he can take the opponent down by the weight of accurate AP2 hits.
      • The Dark Angels also have Farith Redloss, who is one of very few characters in the game with Rad Grenades and no Bitter Duty. If you put them in the same unit, Holguin gets ID against his MEQ/TEQ opponents who now have T3. This also covers Farith's one weakness in close combat, as he must choose between having enough strength to take advantage of the Rad Grenades and cause ID, or hitting at initiative. However, taking 370 points worth of beatsticks in HQ may not be optimal and this can only be done in 2000+ points games, as both characters are Masters of the Legion.
    • Whether intended, or an oversight, the Deathbringer's Aegis is not explicitly described as Cataphractii Terminator Armour. Because of this, the rulebook that says the rules for personalised or unique suits should be taken as written from their description, and not inferred from elsewhere. Therefore even though he has the Heavy subtype and has a 2+/4++ save, he should be able to perform a Sweeping Advance in the event that his opponent breaks from close combat. Also worth mentioning that in at least one Black Library novel he is depicted as wearing Tartaros Armour.
  • Farith RedlossLegacies: The man who will later become the first Chapter Master of the Dark Angels after the Second Founding and his rules don't disappoint here. He has a shitload of them.
    • Offensively, his Master Crafted AP2 Axe has two settings, either Two-Handed S+3 Unwieldy OR one-handed S:user Reaping Blow (3). so even though the two-handed S7 version won't normally cause space marine Instant Death, he also has Rad Grenades so it will do when he makes the charge. Against single wound opponents, the one handed style should do just fine, with the potential for eight or nine attacks depending on his other choice of weapon.
    • He also has his choice of ranged weapon that must be selected before the battle: Either a Neural Shredder Carbine: which is 18" Assault 2, AP2, Poisoned (4+), Ignores Cover and Pinning so it has a lot going for it when aiming at infantry. OR an Atomantic Pulse Pistol which is S8 AP2 Lance and Shock Pulse so is alright for popping tanks but has a really short range of 6" so it might seldom get a shot off. OR his Shard-Bolt Pistol which is Pistol 4, Rending (6+), and Moonsilver which doubles unsaved wounds against Daemons and Psykers. His pistols will also pair up with the axe when being used one handed for +1 attack, so that is also a consideration.
    • The only real choices are between the Neural Shredder and the Bolt Pistol. If you're facing another MEQ/TEQ heavy army, you want the Neural Shredder as even Terminator Armour will succumb to Poisoned (4+), while the Bolt Pistol's Moonsilver can do serious damage against specific Legions and the Daemons list. Redloss already has Melta Bombs for tank killing, which makes the Pulse Pistol redundant.
    • Defensively, he starts out with 2+/4++, and as a member of the Dreadwing he already drops the strength of a lot of the more common "special weapon" attacks that come his way. But he also has a 2+ invulnerable save against Melta and Crawling Fire attacks, and Poison only affects him on a 6+. He is ALSO Battle Hardened (1) so ignores Instant Death from S8-9.
      • All put together, he is quite a versatile character, comfortable taking on challenges or wading into squads, and depending on his loadout, also good with vehicles, Psykers, or Daemons. He can be quite a handful for an opponent to deal with, considering that a lot of the typical methods of wiping out Space Marines are considerably less reliable on him.
  • Marduk Sedras, Lord of the Twenty-third Order, Eskaton of the Dreadwing, Preceptor of the Shattered Sceptre: A named Character from the Dreadwing, Sedras is equipped with a Plasma Burner, three Phosphex Bombs and a Grenade Harness. He comes with WS6, BS5, I5, A4 and Ld10. His armour gives him a 2+/4++ save and allows him to auto-pass Dangerous Terrain tests. His melee weapon is a S+5, AP2, Unwieldy, Two-handed weapon that forces invulnerable saves taken against it to be reduced by one, to a minimum of 6+. As it is a "close combat weapon modelled as a sword" he will benefit from the Deathwing +1 to hit, if he can get it (from his retinue). His Warlord Trait gives him an extra Assault Reaction, as well as allowing him to take a unit of Inner Circle Knights Cenobium as a Retinue instead of a regular Command Squad or a Deathwing Companion Detachment; the Cenobium can choose any Hexagrammaton sub-type, since they aren't bound to the Dreadwing sub-type like Marduk.
    • His Ancient of War special rule still behaves similarly to the previous edition, essentially giving Sedras and ANY units with Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) rule that deploy within 6" of him at the start of the battle Preferred Enemy against one selected Faction represented in the enemy army, or giving it to himself and his Transport if he's Embarked to begin the game. However, if Sedras is in Reserves of any type at the start of the battle, this rule doesn't function. Because this is something Marduk can just do, it doesn't matter if he's the Warlord, and it stacks nicely with most of the little bonuses that Dark Angels get, allowing Corswain or the Lion to hit and wound on re-rollable 2+, for instance.
      • Consider bringing him as a guest star to your Deathwing and Firewing Rites. Yes, he's Dreadwing, but he's one of the only ways to get Preferred Enemy now, which makes it that much easier for your other ICs to kill enemy ICs on initiative with Paragon Blade/Terranic Greatsword.
    • Like Holguin, even though it is described as Ornate Cataphractii plate, as a personalised or unique suit, its rules should be taken as written rather than being inferred from elsewhere, meaning that Marduk can perform Sweeping Advances. This also means that by putting him in his Retinue of Inner Circle Knights, he will lose that ability.
  • Corswain, Paladin of the Ninth Order, Champion of the Dark Angels Legion: As with Deathwing Companions, the Seneschal of the Lion also got upgraded this edition. As a member of the Deathwing, he gets a +1 to hit in melee with The Blade. Corswain is able to hit anything of WS6 and below on a Master-crafted 2+ and even keeps his advantage against opponents of equal skill, meaning he is simply more likely to strike than nearly any other Astartes opponent. He also wounds T4 on a 2+ at AP1 and no longer requires to get into a Challenge to inflict Instant Death; The Blade inflicts Murderous Strike on a wound roll of 4+, so it happens on the majority of his wounds inflicted. This can be useful considering now that most Elites units are made up of two-wound models, so with Precision Strikes (4+), he is very capable of just walking into units and deciding who dies.
    • Defensively, he has a 2+/4++ that is increased to 3++ in close combat, while anyone who attacks him with WS6 or below, meaning most non-unique models, are hitting him on 5+. That means even four attacks from a Power Fist are likely only to deal just over a third of an unsaved wound. Just make sure he's in a Companion Detachment, which is not only a decent squad of melee Veterans who perform in a very similar way to Corswain, but are capable of taking the fall if anyone should score a lucky hit against him.
    • Inside of Challenges, he has the Duellist's Edge (2) rule, which puts his Initiative up to seven and in front of virtually any opponent that can conceivably kill him, with a few exceptions. He's no Sigismund, but he follows that vein very closely. He's not invincible, but at least he has the advantage of accuracy and the ability to strike first.
The Lion
  • Lion El'Jonson, The First Primarch, The Lion, The Son of the Forest, Primarch of the Dark Angels: The Primarch of the First Legion changed rather significantly this edition. His statline is solid, with WS8, S7, Initiative 7, and 7 attacks; this puts him above average in terms of core Primarch capabilities. As with his fluff, he is adaptable and competent in nearly any situation, and the player has to make a number of choices before and during any battle he is fielded; perhaps the most notable thing that changed is that he now interacts more smoothly with the rest of his Legion's special rules than he ever did before. Now, he actually has the Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) special rule and is able to change Hexagrammaton sub-type to give himself the edge depending what you expect him and his squad to do in any given turn; even if the default sub-type he will be using is the Deathwing, there will be turns where he is not engaged in combat and won't need it, like choosing the Dreadwing sub-type if he is too far for a Charge and expects to be hit by special weapons, or the Ironwing sub-type if his squad has Combi-Meltas and wants to shoot at an enemy vehicle. Additionally, he actually benefits from some of their Rites of War now; for example, he can be given +1 attack using the Unbroken Vow or Serpent's Bane Rites depending on his chosen Hexagrammaton sub-type. On top of that, The Lion's Choler is still there, so he gains extra attacks the more damaged he becomes, reaching NINE ATTACKS when he is reduced to two wounds or less. Meanwhile, The Point of the Blade still allows him to just decide his Charge range is 8" and ignore any other modifiers, so the potential of him failing a Charge is practically non-existent. As for his Warlord Trait, giving Crusader to the whole army is pretty tasty, as it makes overrunning a defeated enemy more likely, and a +1 to Leadership to visible Dark Angels is also useful.
    • He is one of those few Primarchs who gets a choice of weapon. The Lion Sword is almost certainly the better one for general use; with Master-crafted, S-User AP1, Fleshbane, Armourbane (Melee), AND Instant Death, he can take on virtually any non-Primarch target and guarantee wounds that cause Instant Death each turn. Even against Vehicles, S7 Armourbane puts his average Penetration value at 14 and +2 on the Vehicle damage chart from AP1 means that even Land Raiders are fair game to him.
      • Remember that Dreadnoughts as models with a Toughness value are affected by Fleshbane, while they are specifically affected by Armourbane, which works on them like Shred. This means the Dreadnought rule to re-roll Fleshbane and your Armourbane re-roll cancel each other out for the Lion to wound Dreadnoughts on a flat 2+.
    • The Wolf Blade is more confusing; this melee weapon is S+2 AP3, with Master-crafted, Shred, Breaching (4+), Reaping Blow (2) and Fearsome Ruin. Most notable is the AP3, which is lower than any other Primarch weapon, although with Breaching (4+) and Shred, it DOES wound more often than Fleshbane does, and the majority of his actual wounds caused will still be at S9 AP2, inflicting ID on MEQs. Nonetheless, there will be instances where it literally just won't cut it against 2+ saves. Even with the Strength increase, it is just not as good as the Lion Sword against vehicles either, so it seems that the primary function of it is just for him to destroy entire squads using his bonus attacks from Reaping Blow (2), forcing them to fail their Morale check with Fearsome Ruin and then overtaking them with his high Initiative and Crusader bonus to Sweeping Advances. Beyond that, it has little function except in uncommon circumstances where his opponent affects his ability to wound them, such as with Mortarion or Rogal Dorn.
    • Stasis Grenades took a HUGE hit this edition. Now only a one-use item, it has no effect on Primarchs and requires the target to fail an Initiative check in order to reduce their Initiative by one point. Literally anything he would want to use this on is probably not failing that Initiative check in the first place.
    • For his remaining gear, The Fusil Actinaeus is an Assault 2 S7 AP3 Plasma weapon with Twin-linked, Rending (3+) and Blind. The change to Assault makes the Lion more mobile than before and Twin-linked coupled with Rending (3+) means that it is a very reliable weapon against most targets, and becomes even more so when the Lion is using the Stormwing sub-type's bonus. Finally, The Leonine Panoply still does the same thing as before, granting him a 2+/4++ and a single re-rollable invulnerable save each turn. It's not the best protection compare to what other Primarchs have access to, but it really does help against opponents with AP2 weapons that don't have the weight of attacks to force him to take lots of saves.

White Scars[edit]

White scars legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png
The space Mongolians have received a few subtle changes in the new edition while keeping their core themes of going fast and hitting hard. As an entire Legion of speed freaks, the White Scars are the undisputed kings of the Movement phase, with a flat bonus to Movement across the board. Although they are still the fastest Legion in the game, they no longer lose effectiveness when slowing down, allowing for more cunning and tactical options.

The Scars have gained a few new tricks, including an amazing Psychic Discipline and Advanced Reaction that both slot perfectly into your playstyle. The Keshig, both Golden and Ebon, maintain their status as powerful melee units that can both be enhanced by Rites of War.

If you want to go fast, hit hard, or just want an Asian-themed army in this Eurocentric game, saddle up with the White Scars and ride like the wind!

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Swift of Action: Increase the Movement value of units with this rule by 1". In addition, when rolling to Seize, you can roll an additional dice and discard the lowest result.
    • Yes, all your marines are moving 8" and get an extra inch to their charge rolls. Laugh at those pathetic 40k Eldar players for how fucking slow they are.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Chasing the Wind": Once per game when an enemy unit ends a move within 12” of one of your White Scars Units, each unit that is within 12" of the enemy may make a normal move, including activating jump packs, but may not run. All terrain penalties and restrictions apply, and units that could not otherwise move can’t use this reaction.
    • This Reaction is deceptively good. Although it lacks the immediate power of some other Legion Reactions, it is extremely versatile as it has no restrictions in the direction your units move. Just having this in your back pocket can make an opponent second guess themselves as they must constantly worry that you could suddenly leap to engage them, run away, or do both at the same time with two different units. This is especially useful with jump packs and jetbikes as you can use it to leap over the unit that triggered the Reaction and get behind them: jumping into the enemy backline or forcing the triggering unit to charge backwards away from your own vulnerable units. Play like a true son of Chogoris and never let the enemy know what's coming.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Heroes Never Die (Loyalist Only): The Warlord and any unit he joins gains Stubborn, but when he dies, anyone who drew LoS with the Warlord upon his death gains Fearless. In addition, you gain an extra Reaction during the Assault phase while the Warlord is alive.
  2. Born to the Saddle: The Warlord and all Cavalry units in your army ignore Difficult Terrain and gain a 4++ Invulnerable save against Dangerous Terrain checks. RAW this persists even if the Warlord dies. In addition, you gain an extra Reaction during the Movement phase while the Warlord is alive.
    • This is something you are always going to use for a hero on any bike. While the Dangerous Terrain thing doesn't matter much for your jetbikes, it means more for your Outriders.
  3. Forgotten Sons (Traitor Only): Requires you to take an Allied Detachment of Sons of Horus. Your Warlord and any unit he joins can auto-pass Pinning and Morale checks so long as they can draw LoS with the allied SoH. As an added bonus, your Warlord can use the Death Dealers reaction (despite being White Scars) once per game without spending your limited Reactions.

Unique Wargear

  • Cyber-Hawk: Independent Characters can pick one up for 10pts, letting them mark a unit within 24" each turn. This allows the Character and any unit they join to re-roll Hit rolls of 1 when targeting the marked unit and add +1" to Charge rolls when charging them.
    • A much better range than in HH1.0, but the nerf to charging stings pretty hard. The improved charge rolls also stack with the improved modifier from the entire army getting +1M, so you can use this to set up multiple charges more easily.
  • Power Glaive: A noted drop from the past with no alternate profile to work as a hero killer. For 5pts more than a Power Weapon on characters, it remains S+1 AP3, but it now only has Breaching (5+) instead of the Reach of a Power Spear.
    • Breaching (5+) is not reliable enough for AP2 on a character, while being inferior to the Power Maul/Spear as an AP3 weapon. Would be a good weapon if massed, but the only WS5 unit that can get them (Qin Xa's Command Squad) is 5-strong, while the 2 WS4 units that can get lots of them have rules restricting ICs from joining them, preventing you from adding a Chaplain for Hatred.
  • Shamshir Jetbike: A unique jetbike for the Vth Legion. While slower than the Scimitar with a Movement of 15", it improves the save of the rider to 2+. It also replaces its stock Heavy Bolter for the unique Scatterbolt Launcher, an S5 AP4 Template with Shred and Pinning. It can more reliably wound enemies and freeze them even if you don't kill anyone.
    • Do note that all of the Independent Characters that can take this bike already have a native 2+ armour save; the trade is simply reduced speed for a different gun. Your character won't be able to keep up with Sky-Hunters, but your the exact speed for Golden Keshig and any unit with a Spatha combat bike.

Unique Psychic Discipline - Storm's Wrath

  • The Call of the Wind: Instead of moving, the Psyker can give all units with a model within 6" Fleet (2) to improve their speed when Running, Charging and Reacting. If you risk a Psychic test, you can up this to Fleet (4) for a massive speed boost, but even if you get Perils, you get the weaker version to work.
  • The Unseen Bolt: A S4 AP4 Barrage Large Blast (5") with considerable range and Shock Pulse to fry any Vehicles, Dreads and Automata that get hit into only firing snap shots. Interestingly, this is a rare Force weapon, meaning you can spend a Psychic test to boost its Strength into something that can crack whatever you come across - always do this if you plan on hitting anything that would get hit by Shock Pulse.

Unique Rites of War

Chogorian Brotherhood
The quintessential White Scars Rite, obsessed with bikes and speed. Has finally been fixed from 1.0, allowing the Khan to take the field with his loyal warriors.

  • Benefits:
    • Sky-hunter and Outrider Squadrons are now Troops choices with the Line sub-type. They can also be taken as Elites choices but lose the Line sub-type there.
    • All Infantry units gain the Outflank rule.
  • Limitations:
    • All Infantry units that are not in a Embarked in a transport, as well as any Vehicles without the Fast or Transport sub-type, must start the game in Reserves.
      • That means you will need those Rhinos and Land Raiders if you want them to enter the field immediately.
    • No Heavy Support or Fortification choices without the Flyer sub-type.
      • Gone are all your tanks and Heavy Support Squads. If you really need something heavy, grab a Fire Raptor. That said, there's no limit on how many Heavy Support slots you have unlike in 1.0, so feel free to take 3 Fire Raptors. Also says nothing about Lords of War, so you can pack some superheavies, assuming you can bear not bringing your Primarch.

The Sagyar Mazan
When the White Scars committed inexcusable wrongs against the Legion or suffered a particularly catastrophic failure of a campaign, they resort to the ritual of Sagyar Mazan, seeking penance in honourable death.

  • Benefits:
    • Ebon Keshig Cohorts can be taken as Troops as the key paragons of this Rite.
      • Your problem with getting them across the field has gotten even worse, as you cannot take Spartans from Heavy Support or Storm Eagles any more, nor can you Deep Strike.
    • All Infantry gain the Kharash and Feel No Pain (5+) rules, allowing your Independent Characters to attach themselves to the Ebon Keshig as well as anyone else.
      • Bitter Duty and Shadow of Death still exist, preventing your ICs from joining the relevant units. However, those units still get Feel No Pain.
    • Any unit with the Kharash rule that makes a Charge gains Fearless.
  • Limitations:
    • You cannot store any units in Reserves, barring you from Deep Striking, Drills or Outflanking. As Flyers must start as reserves, this seems to prevent you from taking any.
    • You cannot take any Heavy Support units that aren't Infantry, and you can't take Jaghatai or any Fortifications. Strangely does not limit your Lords of War selection; as you cannot take a Primarch anyway, feel free to take superheavies and use that 25% quota. Also does not prevent taking DTs, so take some Seekers/Breachers and get your Land Raiders.

Unique Units

  • Ebon Keshig Cohort: Tartaros Terminators that can't join anyone else due to Kharash, which is their version of Bitter Duty that also excludes Moritats, and gain Feel No Pain (5+). As before, they start out with Power Glaives, but you can buy them more traditional Combi-Bolters and Power Weapons/Fists if you need shooting or more reliable AP2 melee.
    • The big issue is getting these guys anywhere, as without any way of Deep Striking or any Dedicated Transports, you are stuck with footslogging. Sure, these guys don't give the enemy points for killing them, but you're still giving away Terminators. You could buy a transport from some other slot, but that's not ideal.
  • Golden Keshig Squadron: A pack of Shamshir Jetbikes with Chainswords and Kontos Power Lances, monstrous Two-handed S10 AP1 weapons with Brutal (3), Lance and Sudden Strike (4) that can only be used on the charge. While you don't get the extra attack from Charging or using two melee weapons, you do get an extremely dangerous Charge at Initiative 8 thanks to Sudden Strike (4). After that Charge is when the Chainswords come into play. Unfortunately, as the Apothecary/Techmarine rules specify their ability to join units of Scimitar Jetbikes, they cannot join Golden Keshig.
    • Take a Chaplain to maximize the hits you cause in the 1st round with your charge-only Power Lances. After the charge, the Chaplain's Centurion-standard I5 will help your Golden Keshig pass their Hit and Run Initiative test, so they get both their Power Lances and Hatred back. Alternatively, use a Forge Lord and re-roll the test at I5 (basically a guaranteed pass) using his Cyber-familiar.
    • Any model can replace its Chainsword for either a Power or Charnabal Weapon, but since your bikers aren't Characters, just stick with the Power Weapons. Alternatively, if you have an attached IC, you can Hit and Run more reliably, so an upgrade might not be necessary.
  • Kyzagan Assault Speeder Squadron: T7 Javelins that come with one Kheres Assault Cannon and a pair of Reaper Autocannons. While that's all a lot to fire, they're all AP4, so attempting to hurt Terminators and Dreadnoughts will require banking on Rending (6+) to work its magic. It costs the same as a Lascannon/Multi-melta Javelin, so it's mostly a deal between whether you want 3 shots of S8/9 AP1/2, or 10 shots of S6/7 Rending AP4.
  • Dark Sons of Death SquadExemplary Battles: These assault Destroyers are unique in that they can act as a retinue for a Stormseer. They're also going all-in on melee as the entire squad can pick up Charnabal weapons ( only okay since they lack Chosen Warriors for that Initiative bump) and Power Glaives. While they lack their scary debuff ritual, they do gain Fleet (2) and Rage (2) when charging an enemy unit that they outnumber.
    • They get options to buy a flamer, plasma, or melta for one model per five, all without sacrificing anything. The special weapon options are in addition to one in 5 and the sergeant being able to take special pistols, which means a squad of 15 can end up with 3 special weapons and 4 special pistols. This can give them an extra edge at range depending on what you pick out. That said, all bar the Meltagun are far overpriced, so think carefully about whether you really need the mobility, or if you could do the same thing cheaper with a squad or two of Veterans.
      • The Plasma Gun is overpriced, as it costs the same as a Melta whereas everyone else pays less for a Plasma Gun than for a Melta. Rapid Fire 24" doesn't help either, as you won't use your 24" range because every single one of your other weapons are 12" or less and you can jump into range, while you cannot charge after firing. The Flamer doesn't actively hinder you by preventing charging like the Plasma Gun, but 10 points for a Flamer is far too much in a game where Combi-Flamers cost 5 points. Take Meltas instead.
      • The pistol options are dramatically overpriced, with a Plasma Pistol costing the same 15 points as an actual Plasma Gun/Meltagun, while you pay 10 points for a Hand Flamer normal Destroyers get a pair of for 5 points. Don't bother unless you really really want to go full ranged and have what is basically 5 special weapons on a jump squad.
    • Your Rad Grenades allow Charnabal Tabars to inflict ID on the 1st round of combat, as well as Charnabal Glaives and Power Glaives on the charge when combined with the Furious Charge (1) provided by your Primarch's Sire of the White Scars. What's the problem? Your MEQ statline, particularly WS4 1A. Yes, you inflict ID, wound on 2+ and have Breaching (5+), but you do not hit enough, and Shadow of Death (don't ask us why it's the same name as Morturg's WT) prevents you from remedying it by attaching a Chaplain. However, Rage (2) on full squads goes a long way, and with 15 Bulky (2) models you'll usually outnumber the enemy. Still stay away from WS5 Terminators; WS4 really hurts.
      • You could simply combine the S5 AP3 of the Power Glaive and the Rad Grenades to go around killing squads of 1W MEQs with your 2+ to wound, but your WS4 1A again limits the number of casualties a small squad can cause, while using 500 points of Destroyers to kill Tactical Squads isn't really cost-effective. Unlike Terminators who will mostly take Power Fists to fight other Terminators, MEQs will generally strike on initiative, so you'll take hits in return too, against which you have no protection beyond your 3+ because you cannot take an Apothecary. This becomes more practical in Sagyar Mazan where you have innate Feel No Pain, but you will already be taking Ebon Keshig, who can put out lots of AP3 hits with their own Power Glaives from the Troops slot to boot.
    • Taking a Stormseer does not really help with the weaknesses of the squad, as none of the Stormseer's selection of psychic powers give buffs to hit or more attacks. Thaumaturgy sounds like it might help the squad survive, but Thaumaturgic Succour applies to models and not units; as Dark Sons of Death are 1W, any models that take wounds will have died and been removed from play, and therefore unable to be affected by the spell. On the other hand, the Stormseer as an IC can take a cyber-hawk, which will help with any special weapons the rest of the squad brings.
  • Falcon's Claws SquadLegacies: Scouts with Lightning Claws (or power weapons and bolt pistols, they cost the same) is a wild sort of concept to work with. While they lack Infiltrate and Scout, they do have Outflank so they can pop in wherever they like without worrying about them being pulped halfway across the field. They also get Marked for Death and Precision Strikes (5+) so they can take down whatever their intended target is. This is further supported if you pick up a hawk for extra re-rolls against targets you didn't mark. They are obviously meant for shredding soft targets in the enemy's backline, but the champion can swap one claw for a power fist or thunder hammer if you need some extra oomph.
    • These guys are some of the biggest winners in the changes from last edition. Not only did they gain 3" of movement and the Skirmish keyword, their lightning claws and shroud bombs both work better for their intended role in the new edition. All for only 95 points for the first five, and 16 points each after.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Stormseer: In place of the Librarian and for the same price, you can take your own special Psyker. While your choice of Disciplines is restricted to Divination, Telepathy, Thaumaturgy or your unique one, your Stormseer comes with Adamantium Will (4+), giving a special save that works against other Psykers. They can also take a Psychic Hood for +15 points.
  • Qin Xa, Master of the Keshig, Chosen of the Khagan: This Tartaros Terminator Praetor comes with an Iron Halo, Stubborn instead of Inexorable, +1 Initiative and -1 BS, but since he does not have any ranged weapons, you do not care. He has Counter Attack (2), Furious Charge (1), and Master of the Keshig, which lets a Tartaros Command Squad he joins replace their Power Weapons with Power Glaives for +5pts each.
    • His twin blades, The Tails of the Dragon, count as two Master-crafted AP2 melee weapons (so +1 attack), and you must choose between two sword techniques to make an attack with them.
      • Split the Mountain is S+3, or S7, S8 when Charging, Unwieldy. This is when you have to fight big targets, like Dreadnoughts or Unique Characters.
      • Part the Horse's Mane is S+1, or S5, S6 when Charging, Precision Strikes (3+). This is for normal units.
    • His Warlord Trait, Chosen of the Khagan, lets you, once per battle, bring into play units from a Deep Strike or Flanking Assault without a Reserves roll. In addition, you gain an extra Reaction during the Assault phase while he is alive.
      • Very useful if you are using the Chogorian Brotherhood RoW, since almost your whole army will be assigned to a Flanking Assault.
  • Tsolmon Khan, Khan of the Brotherhood of the Golden Star, Champion of Byfrust, The HammerhandLegacies: This Praetor's slightly stronger with S5, but this won't really matter much when his chief weapon "Tian'shan" is a monstrous S10 AP2 specialist weapon with Brutal (2) and Reaping Blow (1) to carve through TEQs/Dreadnoughts. Even more frightening, he can sacrifice those attacks for a S12 AP2 smash with Brutal (3) at Initiative 10 if you absolutely must kill that enemy Praetor immediately, or to 1-shot Castraferrum Dreadnoughts. While he has a Combi-Melta to help with nailing a vital vehicle, he can also pick up a jetbike for some additional fire support.
    • Interestingly, he also has some special interactions with the Sisters of Silence, the least of which being that a Sisters detachment is considered Sworn Brothers. Not only can a Knight-Centura be taken as an HQ that doesn't take up a slot, a Raptora Cadre can also be grabbed as that Knight-Centura's retinue. Of course, we'll need to wait for Liber Imperium for anything further than this...
Jaghatai Khan
  • Jaghatai Khan, Khagan of the White Scars, The Warhawk, Master of the Ice-Blue Heavens, Primarch of the White Scars: With his blistering Initiative of 8 and Movement speed of 9 (and that's just on foot), Jaghatai Khan is still the fastest Loyalist around. He is an amazing force multiplier for his army, with the Sire of the White Scars Warlord Trait giving all Infantry, Cavalry, and himself Furious Charge (1) (doesn't work on himself because his weapon is already Furious Charge (2) and they do not stack) as long as they Moved in the same turn (GOTTA GO FAST) as well as giving you an extra Reaction in the Movement phase. For his own squad, Jaghatai Khan has Pathfinder, Move Through Cover, Hit and Run, and Crusader to maximize his mobility. The Khan can also make his mark before he even arrives on the board, with the Lightning From Blue Skies ability allowing him and his entire unit (or his entire Flanking Assault!) to arrive from Reserves whenever you want with no roll necessary.
    • His Wildfire Panoply gives him a standard 2+/4++, with the added twist of giving him a 3++ in the Movement and Assault phases, just in case anyone tries to slow him down with terrain or melee.
    • His sword, the White Tiger Dao is a S+1 AP2 beast with Duellist's Edge (1), Furious Charge (2), and Murderous Strike (5+), allowing him to slaughter enemy characters and squads with ease by splatting T4 models with S9 ID on the charge. Additionally, it is one-handed and not a Specialist Weapon so he gets an extra attack using it with...
    • The Khan's shiny new pistol, Storm's Voice, is Pistol 2, S6 AP4 with Deflagrate and Concussive (1). Just the thing to soften the enemy up before a charge, although the AP is pretty disappointing, even with Rending (5+).
    • Lastly, the Khan has the Soujutsu Pattern Voidbike, despite the model not even giving you the option to build him with one. For 25 points, you can give him a jetbike; granting him the Cavalry (Antigrav) type with all the benefits that entails (alongside an extra wound and a ridiculous 18" Movement) along with two Master-crafted Heavy Bolters, Hammer of Wrath (3) and Firing Protocols (3), so he can shoot the bike's guns alongside his own. Unless you really don't want to convert his model, there's pretty much no reason to run him without the bike.

Space Wolves[edit]

Space Wolves legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

Before they became the Wolves of Wolf Street, the Space Wolves were the less wolfy Vikings of Wolf Street, playing far more into their barbarian and berserker nature than their pseudo-furry 40k counterparts. Gaining some great buffs during the Assault phase, the Vlka Fenryka are one of the premier assault armies with buffs that allow them to get up the table into combat quickly or be better prepared for the assault when they do get there.

The Space Wolves also get access to a plethora of unique weapons and wargear as well as unique Consuls, a Praetor and their own Psychic Discipline, just so they can rub it in the Thousand Sons' face (but they are obviously not Psykers, they are Rune Priests which are totally different). All of this makes the Space Wolves one of the most unique and distinct Legions that can be fielded. Some Legions may call you ignorant savages, but they're obviously just jealous of your unique wargear, licence to execute and assault bonuses. If the siren song of glorious hand-to-hand combat thrums in your veins and you wish your name to be remembered in the great sagas, join the Rout and bring doom upon the Emperor's foes.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Bestial Savagery: Infantry units with this rule can Run and Snap Fire and still declare a Charge in the Assault phase. If a unit cannot Run, e.g., due to the Heavy sub-type, or are not Infantry or Vehicles, such as Cavalry, Automata or Primarchs, then they gain +1WS on a turn which they Charge. Vehicles increase the Strength of their Ram Attacks by 1 to a max of 10.
    • Very strong LA rule that allows most of your Infantry to Run and not only shoot with Snap Shots after that, but Charge in the same turn! This makes Space Wolves an incredibly mobile, threatening and aggressive army. Your jump infantry can cover incredible amounts of ground.
    • +1WS on a Charge for your Primarch as well as all Heavy, Cavalry, Dreadnoughts or Automata units with LA (SW) is a very strong melee buff. Against units with the same WS, you'll hit 2/3 of your attacks, while receiving only one third of the attacks of your opponent.
      • Independent Characters with a Boarding Shield get the Heavy sub-type, meaning they can't Run. This means you can give +1WS on a Charge to basically any Infantry unit if you let an IC with a Boarding Shield join them, since units with at least one model with the Heavy sub-type lose the ability to Run. If this was intentional, awesome. If not, we'll see if it gets FAQ'd.
    • +1S to Ram Attacks for Vehicles doesn't look like much, but with it, your AV 14 Vehicles can Ram with S8; with luck, they can inflict ID on some multiwound models.
  • Advanced Reaction - "No Prey Escapes the Wolf": Triggered whenever an enemy moves within 12" of your units. One unit with LoS on the enemy can immediately move a distance equal to their highest Initiative and then Charge the enemy if the enemy's within 12". This all gives you an extra chance to pin down an enemy before they can try to target a vulnerable unit by throwing something more melee-prone at them, so you can protect what can't take a hit in melee.
    • One of the more hyper-aggressive Legion Reactions, allowing you to Charge an opponent that is about to Charge you or shoot at your unit with 12" Meltas. It creates a giant threat radius around SW units.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Howl of Morkai: Once per game, the Warlord can channel their inner furry and howl at the start of the turn. All friendly units with Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) gain +1 Strength on the Charge, which stacks quite nicely with their general aggression. You also gain an extra Reaction in the Movement phase while he is alive. Has tons of stacking potential with the rest of your Legion options for S8 ID at initiative, as well as generally inflicting lots of wounds, as it is not Furious Charge and stacks with it.
  2. Hunger of the Void: Your Warlord regains a wound if they scored at least one wound during the Assault phase, but if he's already at max, you can instead give him an extra +1 to Strength and Attacks for a potential chance to overpower the foe on round two. You also gain an extra Reaction in the Assault phase while he is alive.
    • Can combine with Biomancy and Great Frost Blade for S8 AP2 on initiative in the 2nd round of combat, to surprise people who only get protection against S8 ID on the 1st round (like those filthy Sons of Horus). This can be reliably triggered, as the Great Frost Blade is killy enough to score wounds in the 1st round and you can make sure your Warlord isn't wounded. That said, the healing part isn't too good; practically everyone serious about fighting your Warlord will pack an S8 weapon to inflict ID, and this trait is rather selfish in that only your Warlord benefits. The healing works a lot better if your Caster of Runes goes for +1T too, but do you really want to risk failing the Psychic check and a. not getting the +1S and b. suffering Perils?
  3. Crown Breaker: The Warlord and any unit they join gets Preferred Enemy (Independent Character) as well as Feel No Pain (5+) when fighting said Independent Characters. You also gain an extra Reaction in the Movement phase while he is alive.
    • Feel No Pain suffers the same problem as healing from Hunger of the Void; everyone serious about fighting ICs and whatever retinue your Warlord has will pack S8 AP2 and ignore it anyway, while you're not worried about people who don't have AP2. However, Feel No Pain can be relevant when fighting models relying on Rending/Breaching or Power Axes, while Preferred Enemy is very potent for Magna Combi-weapons and your own S8 weapons.

Unique Wargear

  • Fenrisian Axe: ANY Space Wolves model may replace a Chainsword with one for 2 points, effectively trading Shred for S+1 and the Reaping Blow (1) rule.
    • Individually, the re-roll granted by Shred is generally of more use than a +1 to Strength. However, if bought in bulk, the Reaping Blow (1) rule can grant a lot of extra attacks to a squad, which easily makes the cost worth it. That said, only the guys in base contact can possibly get Reaping Blow, and then they're not guaranteed to trigger it, so maybe don't equip the whole squad with them.
  • Frost Blades: Any Independent Character with the Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) rule can exchange a Power Weapon for a Frost Sword/Axe/Claw for 5 points, or exchange a Power Weapon for a Great Frost Blade for 10 points. Some squads also have access to these weapons. Just remember that according to the core rulebook, a model cannot benefit from a special rule more than once unless explicitly stated. So Frost Weapons should not be able to be paired up with more Frost Weapons to get Reaping Blow (1+1).
    • Frost Sword: S+1 AP3, Specialist Weapon, Reaping Blow (1). This one is difficult to justify on characters. Compared to a power sword, this has lost the Rending (6+) and is more difficult to pair up with another weapon, so Reaping Blow (1) might only bring it up to what you'd be getting anyway. If you get this in regular units like Varagyr who aren't that bothered with Challenges, it should be alright.
    • Frost Claw: S-User, AP3, Shred, Specialist Weapon, Reaping Blow (1). This is actually inferior to regular Lightning Claws, which have Rending (6+) and actually gain +2 attacks when taken in pairs. Even if the Frost Claw was paired with a Specialist Weapon, the extra attack granted by Reaping Blow (1) only brings it up to what Lightning Claws could do anyway and it doesn't have Rending (6+) to make up for it. Frost Claw and Frost Sword are really the same weapon except with different types of wounding bonus, so it depends on what sort of buffs the rest of your list has. In a vacuum, re-rolling 4+ is better than 3 +, so take the Claw if that's the case.
      • On the other hand, Frost Claw has an advantage over Lightning Claws if you don't intend to take them in pairs. If you take Frost Claw with a Power Fist/Thunder Hammer, you give the other weapon +1 attack from 2 weapons while retaining +2 attacks on your Frost Claw to tear into MEQs, whereas with normal Lightning Claws you have to choose between pairing them for +2 attacks or taking 1 Claw and 1 other Specialist weapon for +1 attack on either weapon.
    • Frost Axe: S+1 AP2, Specialist Weapon, Unwieldy, Reaping Blow (1). Arguably the superior choice since there is no loss of effectiveness. Even though it is a Specialist Weapon, there is the potential for an extra attack when paired properly.
    • Great Frost Blade: S+2, AP2, Reaping Blow (1), Two-handed. Now we're talking. AP2 at Initiative is the gold standard that everyone is looking for, being one of only 2 left across the 18 Legions other than the Paragon Blade. It's Two-handed so there is no messing about trying to pair it with something, but Reaping Blow (1) can still make up for it; on Terminators that could not take an extra weapon anyway, it's effectively an extra attack compared to Paragon Blade.
      • Unlike the Paragon Blade, you can take this on your Consuls too. This gets you an IC who can kill anyone weaker than a Terminator sergeant in a duel, whereas Consuls other than Champions would normally need unwieldy weapons to get through Artificer Armour. Even against Terminator sergeants and other Centurions, you have a good shot at killing them before they can pull out their Power Fist. While a Champion could also do that with his Paragon Blade, you can do this without the Never Back Down limitations of the Champion as well as having access to other Consul specializations.
      • Some Consuls can pair this with Rad Grenades and get AP2 ID on initiative. The obvious choice is to take a Speaker of the Dead with Deathsworn, but you can take one with your Moritat and alongside with Chain Fire from Disintegrator Pistols, turn him into the biggest source of Instant Death this side of Sigismund. It's not very practical since you cannot charge after Chain Fire, but people looking to tie you up in melee will have a very nasty surprise. If they don't charge you, you can always shoot them in the face.
  • Æther-Rune Armour: Any Independent Character with the Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) rule can swap their Artificer Armour for 25 points, gaining +1 wound and Adamantium Will (4+). That's a hefty price tag and doesn't help against Instant Death. Adamantium Will (4+) is also lost on any regular Praetor who has an Iron Halo, as the invulnerable save is the same. Consider it only if you really think the extra wound is worth it, particularly when you can get an extra wound by taking Cataphractii Armour for 15 points. That said, can be a way to get a 4W 4++ Praetor without the drawbacks of Cataphractii like no Sweeping Advances. If you want your Heavy +1WS on the charge back, just upgrade your Command Squad with Boarding Shields.
    • Coincidentally, 25 points is the same price difference between a Legion Centurion and Cataphractii Centurion. The Terminator also gains +1 wound and a flat 4++ against everything, but the Centurion wearing Æther-Rune armour has more options for Consul upgrades.

Unique Psychic Discipline - Winds of Fenris

  • Wrath of the Death Wolf: A Heavy Flamer-esque Psychic Weapon with Deflagrate and Force. While this gives you a bit of extra effectiveness if you wound a unit, you can trigger Force so you can instantly incinerate whoever you wound with S10. That said, AP4 will be hard done by any Heavy models.
  • Stormwrought: Instead of shooting, one Infantry, Cavalry or Dread unit within 6" gains Shrouded (5+) to protect them from shooting. If you pass a Psychic check, you can boost that into Shrouded (3+) for some guaranteed protection against the worst your enemy can throw at you. This incredible Psychic Power allows your shooty units to survive through attacks and Reactions from other non-instant death shooters and allows your melee units to survive Overwatch. It works in the opponent's turn, too.

Unique Rites of War

The Black Watch
A Loyalist-only Rite that represents the VIth Legion's role as the Emperor's Executioners. This rite is pretty much laser-locked onto killing an enemy Primarch at any cost. This is only available to an Allied Detachment, likely constraining this rite to a Delegatus if you don't spring for the Praetor.

  • Benefits:
    • All units gain Hatred (Traitors) and Preferred Enemy (Primarch). Your entire force is keyed to take down the traitors.
      • Your melee units get a bit more flexibility by getting Hatred against the whole enemy army, but your ranged units only get bonuses against the enemy Primarch. Try to grab all of the high strength AP2 and blast his unit off the board. If you're worried about the rest of the enemy army, always remember you can take care of it with your main detachment, which could be running an entirely different Rite of War or not even be Space Marines.
    • Your forces gain Fearless when fighting Traitor Primarchs, which gives you a bit less of a chance to break against enemy combatants. You also get +2" to your Charge Distance when a Charge is declared against Traitor Primarchs.
  • Limitations:
    • No Vehicles or Primarchs allowed. You're stuck to your men and your Dreads if you want to flatten the opposition.
      • Says nothing about the main detachment. It can be an Armoured Spearhead list with 30 Predators led by a Sicaran for all your Space Wolves care, or the Lion leading an Ironwing list.
    • Loyalists only. You are here at the Emperor's command to kill his traitorous son.

The Bloodied Claw
Not so much a Rite as it is a special trigger. This doesn't offer anything constant, instead giving you a singular turn of absolute batshit violence where your goal is to overwhelm the foe.

  • Benefits:
    • Once per game, you can activate this Rite for one turn. All your Space Wolves immediately gain Fleet (2), Furious Charge (1), Stubborn (or Fearless if they already got that) and add +1 to combat resolution.
      • Take note that this lasting until your next turn means it also lasts during the opposing turn. Counter-attack doesn't count as charging to trigger Furious Charge, but you get all of the other bonuses like Stubborn and combat resolution. Moreover, your Advanced Reaction does count as charging for Furious Charge, and you get the benefit of Fleet (2) both for the initial movement and for the actual charge.
      • Furious Charge (1) means your enormous selection of S+1 weapons (Fenrisian Axes, Frost Weapons, Power Axes, etc.) now wound on a 2+, which you can combine with Crown Breaker for basically guaranteed wounds. Fleet (2) will help you get the charge and trigger Furious Charge. +1 combat resolution is also very welcome, as failing to break the enemy in this round means fighting them next round without any of your (very long list of) charge bonuses. Combining it with Howl of Morkai or Sire of the Space Wolves gives your whole army +2S on the charge, which means your S+2 weapons get ID. Consider stacking up on Great Frost Blades, Heavy Chainswords, etc. and drown the enemy in ID wounds. For units you expect to fight normal 1-wound Troops, even the basic Chainsword will get you guaranteed wounding at re-rollable 2+, while Power Swords and Lightning Claws will stack up the wounds on Power Armour. The additional Movement Phase Reaction from Howl of Morkai can also be used for your Advanced Reaction, with all of the benefits it grants.
  • Limitations:
    • During this turn, your entire army must Charge anything they can. While this thankfully doesn't lock you to only charging the closest one, it can handicap you if your enemy knows how to screen properly.

The Pale Hunters
A surprisingly mobile Rite, this gives you plenty of ways to bail from a combat via Hit & Run. It also focuses on using Flanking Assault in order to strike the enemy from their exposed rear elements.

  • Benefits:
    • Grey Slayers and Grey Stalkers gain Hit & Run, which they don't necessarily need to move the full distance if you don't want to, facilitating potential re-charging shenanigans.
    • Units arriving via Flanking Assault get Fleet (2) and Rage (2) for that turn, helping them cut to the quick on combat. Naturally, you are required to use at least one model in this way.
    • Up to three Infantry or Cavalry units gain the Outflank rule for free so you can cash in on the big arrival bonuses. Try using this on your Troops, as the larger unit sizes means you get more attacks out of Rage (2), particularly your Grey Slayers and Grey Stalkers who can get Power weapons on the entire unit.
  • Limitations:
    • Only one Heavy Support slot.
    • At least one unit must arrive by Flanking Assault. Not truly a limitation as you wanted to do that and get the bonuses anyway, but you are now legally required to do that.

Unique Units

  • Varagyr Wolf Guard Terminator Squad: 250pts and 5 more for 45pts per model. A band of Elites slot WS5 Cataphractii Terminators with Fear (1), Counter-attack (1) and Stubborn. The Varagyrs and their Thegn all come with Frost Weapons (except for a Great Frost Blade) and Combi-Bolters. They can buy anything else Terminators can, including adding a second Frost Weapon if you want that second attack for your Specialist Weapon Thunder Hammers. Though lacking Chosen Warriors, they can Challenge all the same due to their Lordsbane special rule, making them useful as a retinue for Consuls and Praetors with the same effectiveness. Only the squad's Thegn can take a Great Frost Blade. If the squad is winning in a Challenge, they receive +1 to combat resolution.
    • These are one of the most dangerous Terminator squads in the game. With WS6 on a Charge and 4 attacks (for 2 Specialist Weapons), they will smash anything (each one also has Hammer of Wrath (2)) while also having 4 attacks if someone Charges them thanks to Counter-Attack (1). With Biomancy and Russ/WT/RoW, they can strike with S10 on a Charge and the Thegn can inflict ID with S8 AP2 at initiative with his Great Frost Blade. Since Space Wolves have easy access to Feel no Pain (5+), Hatred (Everything) and Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters), these guys can be even more deadly and tough. Further, you can get +3S (RoW, Russ/WT, Biomancy) to get S8 ID with your +1S Frost Axes, which get more attacks than your Fists/Hammers thanks to Reaping Blow (1).
  • Deathsworn Pack: 175pts for 5 and 30 per model for 5 more. Space Wolves that went all out beast-crazy with bloodshed and were assembled into a special shock troops cult. These lunatics are armed with Power Axes by default and can all buy Power Fists, while one in 5 can buy a Thunder Hammer or a Great Frost Blade. More importantly, they can buy Rad Grenades! They are WS4 but Heavy (so WS5 on a Charge) with 2W in 2+ armour save which makes them resistant to AP3 weapons. They have Stubborn and Counter-attack (1) and will strike with 1 attack even if killed. They can also act as a Retinue for a Caster of Runes or Speaker of the Dead Consul; only these Independent Characters can join them. They also possess Ymira Class Stasis Bombs; when Deathsworn are Charged, the enemy must make a Disordered Charge, but if used on the Charge, this gives Fleshbane and Gets Hot to their attacks against the target until the start of your next turn.
    • These guys are one of the few squads with 2+ save and AP2 weapons with Rad Grenades in the game, another being a Death Guard Command Squad with The Reaping RoW. This and them having one attack even if they are dead kinda defines this unit. With certain support, they can inflict Instant Death on many other T4 units no matter what.
    • Speakers of the Dead also go a long way to remedying their rather poor WS4 with Hatred re-rolls to hit. Yes, it only works on the 1st round, but so do your Rad Grenades, so you're well served by maximizing your damage output on the 1st round anyway. The Great Frost Blade that one guy in 5 can get has S6 AP2 at initiative, and thus inflicts Instant Death at initiative with Rad Grenades. Any ICs you choose to join them can also get a Great Frost Blade, as Speakers of the Dead gain a Master-crafted Power Maul, while the Caster of Runes can choose to swap his Bolt Pistol/Combi-Bolter (as opposed to his Power Weapon) for a Force Weapon. In both cases, this means the IC keeps his stock melee weapon (Chainsword for Artificer Armour, Power Weapon for Terminator Armour), which he can then upgrade to a Great Frost Blade.
      • Power Axes are S+1 weapons, so you only need another +1S buff to inflict Instant Death against T4 models, which Space Wolves have plenty of; examples include a Caster of Runes with Biomancy, +1S on a Charge from Russ being in the army, Howl of Morkai WT once per battle and The Bloodied Claw RoW once per battle.
      • Buying Power Fists can be expensive, but in that case they can inflict Instant Death even on Justaerins, Huscarls, Deathshrouds and other expensive Battle Hardened (1) units and characters.
    • Ymira Class Stasis Bombs are great defensive tools, which stack nicely with your Counter-attack (1). Don't forget, you are only WS4 if you aren't Charging. Truth to be told, very few squads would want to perform a Disordered Charge against a 2W/2+ save squad with Rad Grenades and Unwieldy AP2 weapons that will attack you even if you kill it.
      • Using Ymira Class Stasis Bombs offensively causes more harm than good in a lot of situations; Deathsworn already wound T3 models on 2+ with Axes without Fleshbane, and taking a Gets Hot AP2 wound on each roll of 1 to hit for nothing doesn't seem like a great idea, taking into account they have plenty of attacks and no invulnerable, your guys may not survive for long. Using it against T7-8 Dreads makes sense, but you can either buy Melta Bombs or Power Fists against them. They won't have Fleshbane on a second turn of assault and their S4+1 will wound most T7+ models (or T6 Primarchs) on 5+ (or even 6+), not to mention with WS4, they will only hit WS5+ on 5+. That being said, you can mitigate Gets Hot with re-rolls from a Speaker of the Dead's Hatred, while Melta Bombs prevent you from taking Rad Grenades, which have a lot of applications as mentioned above.
    • Deathsworn are rather expensive: 175pts for 5 models, 20pts for Rad Grenades and 10pts for a Great Frost Blade. That's already 205pts, but if you want to inflict Instant Death on other units with a 2+ save, these guys are great.
  • Grey Slayer Pack: 145pts for 10 and 12pts per model for 10 more. These are the Space Wolves' more expensive, versatile and melee-focused Tactical Marines; they have the Skirmish sub-type, which gives them a slightly longer coherency range and +1 to their cover saves with terrain. Armed with a Bolt Pistol, Fenrisian Axe and Combat Shield which they can swap for Bolter for free, and add bayonets for almost nothing. They don't have Fury of the Legion, though, but they do have Counter-attack (1). They also can buy a Vexilla and Nuncio-Vox. The fact that they're more of a Tactical/Assault Squad hybrid gives them the Line sub-type for scoring and Heart of the Legion for better survival, along with an absolutely staggering list of options, letting you craft them into absolutely any style possible.
    • EVERYONE in the pack can take Power Weapons for 5pts per model. This alone makes this squad deadlier than the majority of other 1W/3+ save squads. However, it can get very expensive and they are still a fragile 1W 3+/6++ save squad, but it's up to you whether you want to field up to 20 dudes with Power Weapons with 3A each on a Charge or without it.
    • One in 5 can swap his Axe for a Heavy Chainsword (meh), a Lightning Claw or a Power Fist. One in 5 can swap his Bolt Pistol for a Hand Flamer or a Plasma Pistol.
    • The Huscarl, who is the squad's Sergeant, can take almost anything a Sergeant can take, including a Thunder Hammer, 2 Lightning Claws and Melta Bombs with the exception of Combi-Weapons, Volkite Serpentas and a Great Frost Blade.
    • In addition to Rhinos, they can take Land Raider Proteus Carriers as Dedicated Transports. However, considering your incredible mobility in moving and running and charging in the same turn, this may not be as necessary as for other melee troops.
  • Grey Stalker Pack: Almost ENTIRELY identical to Grey Slayers, but they start with Chainswords instead of Fenrisian Axes and can buy a Combat Shield or Bolter for 1pt each. In addition to what Grey Slayers can buy, these guys have a wider range of ranged weapons available to them; one in 5 can buy Combi-Weapons, Flamers, Volkite Chargers/Calivers, Rotor Cannons, Plasma Guns or Meltaguns. This makes them more of a Tactical Support/Assault squad hybrid. Their price is identical to the Grey Slayer Pack's.
    • As this is a Relentless unit, there's no reason not to take the Volkite Charger over the Caliver, which at the same 5pts gives more stronger shots at longer range. If you want more close range firepower, take a Combi-Volkite, which is also 5pts. The same applies for taking Flamers; a Combi-Flamer costs the same, so take that instead.
  • Fenrisian Wolf PackLegacies: A dirt-cheap unique retinue available to any Praetors. You're pretty much only bringing them for flavour as they're nowhere near as powerful with S/T3 and a 6+ save when you could've just picked up a regular command squad that can withstand a turn of bolter fire. However, at only 10 points a pupper, you could make them a budget accompaniment for a Jarl while you spend the points that would've gone to the command squad buying more troops. The Skirmish Subtype also gives them some extended coherency range and improved cover saves.
  • Jorlund Hunter PackExemplary Battles: A frontline footslogging assault squad with Scout and Crusader, these guys will likely be the first to be thrown into the fray but being a Support Squad means that they won't be scoring. Curiously, all of them come with hand flamers and your only special weapon options are the Flamer and Volkite Charger. The reason for this is Scouring Tempest, a once-per-game power-up that gives all their flamers Pinning and Torrent (3"), giving you a way to threaten and halt an enemy unit that might just be out of reach of your regular flamers.
    • Their rules can be found here.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Praetor - Jarl: You can spend 10 points on a Praetor to give them Counter-attack (2), as well as the ability to pick the Skirmish sub-type if you intend to join any Grey Slayers or Grey Stalkers.
  • Unique Consul - Pack Thegn: A cheaper Consul, costing only 10 points for Counter-Attack (1), as well as the option for the Skirmish sub-type, making them mini-Jarls. However, Pack Thegns can no longer ride on bikes, limiting their mobility unless you take jump packs.
  • Unique Consul - Speaker of the Dead: Space Wolves cannot take a Chaplain or Primus Medicae, so instead you get a model that can do both. They grab both a Narthecium and Master-crafted Power Maul on top of upgrading Ld 10 with the ability to give an attached unit both Stubborn and Hatred (Everything). This doesn't restrict anything else except the ability to take dual Lightning Claws or a Boarding Shield. Has amazing potential with your unique Troops, as the Narthecium stacks with Heart of the Legion while their insane melee output (60 Power weapon attacks on the charge!) is further improved by Hatred.
    • Much like the Champion Consul, the Power Maul is added to his wargear instead of replacing anything, meaning that while he can't dual-wield Lightning Claws, he has +1 attack for having two melee weapons anyway. If he's in Terminator armour, that second weapon is another Power Weapon by default; it'd be best to grab a Power Axe to carve up anyone with a 2+ save. Alternatively, take a Great Frost Blade, as you get +1 attack from Reaping Blow (1) anyway, but at +2S at initiative.
    • Keep in mind, the upgrade is 65pts, making him the most expensive Consul in the game. You get what you pay for, but still, that's a lot of points invested in a single 2/3 wound model.
  • Unique Consul - Caster of Runes: Nooo, this isn't a Librarian! That's filthy witchcraft! Here, take this 45pts shaman who's a Psyker with Adamantium Will (4+). Their Discipline choices are cut down to the exclusive one, Divination, Telekinesis or Biomancy.
    • Space Wolves cannot take Librarians and have no access to Pyromancy, Thaumaturgy or Telepathy unless they take an Allied Detachment of their Sworn Brothers; those guys would be the Raven Guard, Imperial Fists and Salamanders.
  • Geigor Fell-Hand, Thegn of the Space Wolves, Commander of the Broken Claw, the Fell-Hand: 135pts for the bearer of the Fell-Hand, Geigor is a Thegn, meaning he has the Skirmish sub-type and Counter-attack (1) along with a Refractor Field for a 5++ save. He has the Crown Breaker Warlord Trait, which buffs himself and any squad he joins with Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) and Feel no Pain (5+), in addition to an additional Reaction in the Movement phase. The Fell-Hand itself is a Master-crafted S+1 AP3 weapon with Shred, Reaping Blow (1) and Rending (5+).
  • Hvarl Red-Blade, Jarl of the Fourth Great Company, the Ravager, the Headsman of Koltok: 210pts for a Veteran Terminator commander and experienced warrior who liked to kill things so much, he learned how to provide Scout to three Infantry units in his Detachment so he can get closer to the thing he wants to kill faster. He is a Tartaros Praetor with Fear and Counter-attack (1); he is equipped with a Heavy Bolter for his shooting needs and his trusty Hearth-splitter, which is an S+2 AP2 Armourbane (Melee) Power Weapon for close combat killing. His Warlord Trait, Head-taker, grants him and his squad Preferred Enemy (Infantry) and an additional Reaction in the Assault phase.
    • His non-WT ability, Battle Cunning, is great in that it grants Scout to, at most, three Infantry units. That will help to prepare for assaults or move away from the enemy Infiltrators with Meltas, or move your Infiltrators to your opponent. Give it to units that never dreamed of being scouts, like Terminators in a Spartan. Not only that, but Scout also grants Outflank for units in Reserves! This stacks really well with The Pale Hunters RoW where you can give Outflank to another 3 units; when they come out, all of them are getting Fleet (2) and Rage (2) on that turn.
Leman Russ
  • Leman Russ, the Wolf-King of Fenris, the Lord of Winter and Ruin, Primarch of the Space Wolves: 450pts for the Great Wolf himself. Leman Russ is the perfect embodiment of his aggressive and relentless Legion and one of the deadliest Primarchs in the game. He is a Loyalist Only WS8 Primarch with an additional point in Strength, Initiative and Attacks, just like the Lion. His Armour of Elavagar is only 4++/3++ against Melta, Plasma and Flame weapons, but on a turn when Russ Charges, it debuffs enemy models around him with -1 to hit, which also works on Primarchs! Taking into account that Russ also gets +1WS from Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) on a Charge, other WS8 models, including Primarchs, will only hit him on 6+! He also has two deadly melee weapons; first is his trusty Master-crafted Axe of Helwinter, from the times before the Emperor arrived at Fenris, which is a S+2 AP2 Reaping Blow (1) and Sunder weapon which allows him to one-shot even T5 models with his ten(!) S10 attacks on a Charge, or even penetrate AV14 Vehicles. His second weapon is even scarier; a blade of unknown origin called The Sword of Balenight is a Master-crafted S+1 AP2 Murderous Strike (4+), Brutal (2) weapon with the Fearsome Ruin rule that adds one more dice when your opponent rolls for a Morale test if there were casualties inflicted by that weapon, forcing him to keep the two highest dice. Being S8 AP2 Brutal (2), it will have no trouble tearing into TEQs. He also has an Assault 3 S4 AP3, 12" Bolter with Rending (6+), a weapon once improved by Vulkan himself. His Sire of the Space Wolves Warlord Trait grants any Space Wolves unit, including himself, S+1 on a turn in which they Charge; this is great because, unlike Furious Charge (X), this bonus still works in a Disordered Charge. In addition, once per battle at the start of the turn, he can use Howl of the Death Wolf to increase the Movement of all friendly Space Wolves units by +1, while forcing a Pinning test on enemy units with Space Wolves models; a rare but suitably fluffy situation. Just in case someone actually manages to Charge him, he also has Counter-attack (2).
    • Russ is a beatstick Primarch with strong and suitable buffs for his army. He will kill pretty much anyone except Horus and Dorn; Russ wounds them only on a 4+ due to T7 with Legiones Astartes (Sons of Horus) when dealing with Horus or The Auric Armour when against Dorn, while their weapons wound Russ on a 2+. His 4++ save is way less effective against their 3++ saves; fortunately, they inflict almost no wounds against him on the first turn of Assault due to his WS9 and the To Hit debuff from The Armour Elavagar.
    • Russ's bonuses to Charges are pretty substantial; not only will he hit his opponent better and harder, he is incredibly hard to hit on the first turn of Assault. The Space Wolves' Advanced Reaction can help ensure that he is going to be the one Charging and not his opponent; additionally, this can be very helpful against guys like more assault-oriented Primarchs, like Fulgrim and Sanguinius.
    • Russ's weapons have a good balance between each other:
      • The Axe of Helwinter has more high Strength attacks against multiwound T4/T5 marines on a Charge and against Vehicles.
      • The Sword has Balenight has one less attack due to lacking the Axe's Reaping Blow (1), but it can also inflict Instant Death on T4 marines with its S8, decimate characters with high invulnerable saves and Primarchs via Brutal (2) attacks, wreck Automata and Dreads with Murderous Strike (4+), Brutal (2) wounds, force even high Ld units to flee and cause additional D3 wounds against Daemons and Corrupted sub-type units because of Fearsome Ruin.
      • +1S on a Charge for your entire army is great and stacks nicely with +1WS on a Charge for a large part of it along with other +1S bonuses from Biomancy and Rites of War. Having +1 to Movement also adds +1 to Charge Distance for Movement 7, 10 and 12 units, making charges even more reliable.
    • The Wolf-kin of Russ, Freki the Swift and Geri the Cunning, the Hearth Wolves of the King: For 100pts, you can get Freki and Geri, two mangy mutts that can accompany Russ; their Wolf-kin of Russ rule means they can only be taken in an army if Russ is also there and may only join Russ. They've got a nice bevy of special rules for a couple of oversized wolves, those being Fearless, Fear (1), Rampage (2), Hammer of Wrath (1), Feel No Pain (5+) and Bulky (4). In addition, the Hearth Wolves have the Skirmish and Light sub-types. Geri has an improved WS of 7 while Freki gets 4 attacks. They fight using their teeth and claws, dishing out S5 AP4 hits with Breaching (6+) to potentially help them rip past armour.

Imperial Fists[edit]

Imperial Fists legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

Last edition, Imperial Fists were the best "vanilla" marines, showing everyone else how it's done using standard gear. This edition has changed that up slightly; although they lost their universal edge in challenges, they retained the best challenger in the setting. They still have probably the best Terminators that aren't a unique unit, having access to 3++ saves, souped up Power Fists, and Deep Strike, which is still an uncommon thing this edition.

Imperial Fists got really good at shooting with "normal" weapons this time around. Not just Boltguns and Heavy Bolters, but all forms of Auto Weapons too, from Shotguns, to Autocannons, to vehicle mounted Battle Cannons.

The Sons of Dorn are still showing everyone else how it can be done with "standard" gear, and their definition now includes their tanks. If you have the fortitude to hold the line as everything collapses around you and believe that being vanilla isn't a bad thing, then you belong to the VIIth Legion.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Discipline and Resolve: All models with the Legiones Astartes (Imperial Fists) rule gain +1 to hit while using any Auto or Bolt weapon.
    • Frankly, this is a huge benefit. Although they have lost their signature melee Challenge buffs from the previous edition, this boost to accuracy now includes ALL vehicles; the list of Auto weapons is also enormous, so a blanket +1 to hit with so many weapons is absolutely amazing. Your Heavy Support Squad rolling up the board firing 40 shots of Assault Cannons per turn gets it, the ginormous list of vehicle-mounted cannons all get it... The list of Auto weapons has something for practically any target and your Legion's ranged capabilities benefits accordingly. Even apart from Auto weapons, covering all Bolt weapons as opposed to simply bolters like Dark Angels is great. Snipers? +1 to hit. Your Sky-hunters' Heavy Bolters? +1 to hit. Your Avenger's kickass AP3 bolt cannon? +1 to hit. You get the idea.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Best Defence": Once per game, in the opponent's Movement phase, if an enemy ends its Movement within 10" of a unit of Imperial Fists, they may then declare a Charge against that unit, rolling a single D6 and adding their lowest Initiative value to calculate the Charge Distance. This Charge gains all the normal benefits of Charging, though if the Charge fails, no Surge Move is made.
    • Assault is not your strongest point, but it is still useful at least for locking enemy units in melee before they start shooting, and denying any of its Charge bonus. It is great however with Fafnir Rann and his Warlord Trait to claim +1A and WS for your Phalanx Warder Squads, or with Templar Brethren and Rogal Dorn, thanks to their Furious Charge.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Solar Marshal (Loyalist Only): While in combat with Traitors (so always), the Warlord and his unit get +1WS. Unlike most Warlord Traits, this one doesn't get an extra Reaction in a given phase, but you do get one extra that can be used at any time, so long as it's for the Warlord's unit.
    • Because of the changes to the WS tables, this could be really useful. For a Command or Huscarl Squad, it does not make any difference against basic marines (WS4 hit on 5+ against WS5/6), but shows its true potential against Elites with WS5, like Veterans, Dreadnoughts or other Independent Characters.
  2. Warden of Inwit: The Warlord's unit auto-passes Morale and Pinning checks while within 6" of an objective or in your deployment zone. In addition, you get an extra Assault phase Reaction while he's alive.
    • Like Fearless, but without any drawbacks. It's also fun to troll Iron Warriors and their Shrapnel weapons. Fuck you, Perturabo.
  3. Architect of Devastation: The Warlord and his unit re-roll 1s to shooting attacks while they're in terrain granting Cover or Fortifications. In addition, you get an extra Shooting phase Reaction while he's alive.
    • Give this trait to a Castellan (see below) and give him a Heavy Support Squad. Find a comfy hole and shoot everyone on sight. The best weapon for this strategy is probably the Autocannon, since it is multi-purpose and has a long range.

Unique Wargear

  • Vigil Storm Shield: Grants the wielder a 3++ invulnerable save, but, like a Boarding Shield, cannot be used in conjunction with any Two-handed weapon or ever used to claim +1 attack for having two close combat weapons. Quite expensive, though, at 20pts for each Independent Character, 15pts per model for Tartaros Squads, and 10pts per model for Cataphractii Squads.
  • Teleport Strike: For a flat cost, any Terminator unit or Independent Character may purchase the ability to Deep Strike for 25pts or 20pts, respectively.
    • Since Terminators are expensive to transport, Deep Strike is a great addition, especially for Cataphractii Squads.
  • Solarite Power Gauntlet: Replaces a Power Fist for 5pts or a Thunder Hammer for free. It is S10 AP1 and still Unwieldy, but not Specialist Weapon. What is most surprising about this upgrade is that it is available to ANY Imperial Fists model equipped with a Fist or a Hammer, not just HQ choices or squad leaders.
    • Against the standard fare, this will behave largely the same as a regular Power Fist, but will be noticeably superior when punching Vehicles, Dreadnoughts and Automata. Moreover, not having Specialist Weapon means +1A on non-Terminator sergeants, which could be the difference between landing enough hits or not.
    • It is inferior to Thunder Hammers against normal MEQs, as there is no difference between S8/S10 against T4 targets, you lose Brutal (2) and Terminators only had 1 melee weapon anyway. However, if you run across some cocky bastards who think their immunity to S8 ID makes them tough, you can show them who's boss with your S10.
  • Iliastus Assault Cannon: Replaces a Heavy Flamer of an Infantry (+10pts), Dreadnought (+20pts) or Vehicle (+20pts) model. It is 24" Assault 4 S6 AP4, Rending (6+) and benefits from the +1 to hit from the Legion trait. It also has Gets Hot, but this is only if used during a Reaction, thanks to the Malfunction rule.
    • An upgrade for virtually any model. It being an Assault weapon is also a relief for your Heavy Support Squads, who can now move and shoot with short range souped-up Heavy Bolters. Arguably makes the Kheres obsolete on Dreadnoughts; the Iliastus has 2 fewer shots per gun, but you can take them without losing melee attacks, in addition to you being able to take them on Castraferrum Dreadnoughts.
    • You can replace the Predator's cannon with a Twin-linked Iliastus for no additional cost, if you ever had a reason to trade 2 points of Strength and half your range for Twin-linked and defensive weapon. Almost never worth doing.

Unique Rites of War

The Stone Gauntlet
Do you like shields? Do you get a hard-on when you see a Testudo or a Phalanx formation? Then this is the Rite for you!

  • Benefits:
    • Phalanx Warder Squads are now considered Troops choices with Heart of the Legion and the Line sub-type.
      • This is where the fun begins. You can literally have a shield-only Detachment.
    • Models with Boarding Shields in unit coherency with at least 2 other models also equipped with Boarding Shields may re-roll all failed Invulnerable saves against any attack, as long as they did not Run, Advance, Charge or Fall Back this turn. But it says nothing about coming out of a transport. A simple Rhino will do; you don't want to charge anyway.
      • Remember that Phalanx Warders have the Shield Wall special rule. All your Troops have effectively a re-rollable 4++ invulnerable save. It is better than your 3+ power armour, since it is mathematically like if you had a 2.5++ invulnerable save. For maximum tankiness, you could also add Apothecaries, giving them Feel No Pain (4+) near objectives.
      • If a model with a Boarding Shield and an Iron Halo joins a Phalanx Warder Squad, thanks to Shield Wall and this RoW, it would have a re-rollable 3++ invulnerable save, i.e., a 1.7++. Who needs Storm Shields?
    • Models with Boarding Shields in unit coherency with at least 2 other models also equipped with Boarding Shields have the Hammer of Wrath (1) special rule when they Charge.
      • Your Troops lose their re-rollable invulnerable save if they Charge. Moreover, they have Lock Step, meaning they gain +1 WS when they are Charged (unless you have Fafnir Rann). Even if Charging seems tempting, you'd better stand your ground and let the enemies hit a brick wall on, well, your shield wall.
  • Limitations:
    • You must select Phalanx Warder Squads to fill all Compulsory Troops choices.
      • Not really a drawback, since that's what you were going to do anyway. Shame about Breachers not counting for this for small games however.
    • The Detachment using this Rite may not use the Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault or Flanking Assault deployment types.
      • Classic, but still a bit sad since you are the only Legion which can upgrade its Terminators with Deep Strike.
    • The Detachment cannot have more Elites and Fast Attack choices in total than Troops choices.
      • This means you will be down 1 slot, as instead of the usual 4 Elites and 3 Fast Attack choices, you are limited to 6 combined max. That said, you moved all of your Phalanx Warders to Troops, so you'll be freeing up Fast Attack slots anyway. You can cheat this further by taking Sigismund, who lets you take Templars as Troops.

Hammerfall Strike Force
Do you like Deep Strike? But do you hate drop pods? Then this is the Rite for you!

  • Benefits:
    • Phalanx Warder Squads are now considered Troops choices.
      • No Heart of the Legion or Line, but that's not why you would use this Rite.
    • Any Infantry unit with Legiones Astartes (Imperial Fists) may purchase the Deep Strike special rule for +30pts per unit.
      • Literally the Steel Rain tactic in 30k. You army could be anywhere at anytime.
      • Remember that Terminator Squads and Independent Characters can purchase a Teleport Strike instead for fewer points.
    • Any Infantry unit that Deep Strikes gains Shrouded (5+) until your next turn.
      • Great for ranged units, like Heavy and Tactical Support Squads, but not so much for melee units, like Terminators with Solarite Power Gauntlets. Overall, a good addition since you are mainly a shooting army.
  • Limitations:
    • No Fortifications, and Vehicles have to start the battle in Reserve so long as those Reserves are not assigned to a Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault, or Outflanking Assault. This RoW relies entirely around Infantry units and their location on the battlefield.
      • Says nothing about Dreadnoughts. If you're worried about your big guns not getting to the field on time, bring some Deredeos.

Templar Assault
Bring back the Templars as they were in 4th edition, back when they had their own codex and every army had four land raiders full of psychopaths driving into the enemy at full speed.

  • Benefits:
    • Templar Brethren are now considered Troops choices with Heart of the Legion and the Line sub-type. The latter's presence is somewhat unique compared to other RoWs and incredibly important.
    • Each time a Templar Brethren unit Disembarks from a Vehicle, it gains the Rage (2) special rule.
      • What you need here is Assault Vehicles, i.e., Land Raider Proteus Carriers. Yes, this RoW is very expensive.
  • Limitations:
    • You must select Templar Brethren to fill all Compulsory Troops choices.
      • Like the Stone Gauntlet RoW, not truly drawback. That's why you are taking this Rite.
    • This Rite of War is for Loyalists only (what a surprise!) and all Detachments in your army must have a variant of Legiones Astartes (X).
    • The Detachment using this Rite cannot have more Elites and Fast Attack choices in total than Troops choices.
      • This means you will be down 1 slot, as instead of the usual 4 Elites and 3 Fast Attack choices, you are limited to 6 combined max. Just like Stone Gauntlet, you've freed up a bunch of slots already, in this case by taking Templars as Troops rather than Elites, so this shouldn't be a big problem.

Unique Units

  • Templar Brethren: For 35pts more, you have a Legion Veteran Squad with artificer armour, Power Swords instead of Bolters, Furious Charge (1) and Crusader, but STILL WITHOUT Chosen Warriors. Like last edition, the whole squad may take Combat Shields and Melta Bombs. The Champion may swap his Bolt Pistol for an Archaeotech Pistol and his Power Sword for a Solarite Power Gauntlet. You can also give any models in this unit a Plasma Pistol instead of a Bolt Pistol. Pricey, but fun.
    • A Legion Veteran Squad with Power Weapons keeps their Bolters and costs 140pts. You essentially pay 10pts to gain a better armour save, Furious Charge (1) and to lose Chosen Warriors as well as ranged options. The 2+ save alone is absolutely worth it.
    • Curiously, this unit is not limited to Loyalists, meaning you can have Traitor Templars.
  • Phalanx Warder Squad: A squad of Breachers as a Fast Attack choice, same as last edition. This time, though, they are equipped with Power Axes AND Bolters. Their special rules are Lock Step, which gives them +1 WS on any turn they are Charged, and Shield Wall, which gives them +1 to invulnerable saves, or 4++, so long as they are in base contact with at least two models with the same rule. These guys still have the normal profile of Breacher Marines, but ten of them cost 70 points more for a boosted invulnerable save/WS and Power Axes. Like the Templar Brethren, the whole squad may take Melta Bombs, in case your adversary had the absurd idea to bring Vehicles.
    • Lock Step doesn't look like much on its own, but because of the changes to the WS tables, it means that most units that might charge them looking for an easy target will end up hitting them on 5+. They will look less like standard Breachers when they start hitting back with S4 AP2 attacks on 3+.
      • Thanks to this ability, you can improve the WS of an Independent Character that has joined the squad. For example, Rogal Dorn can go up to WS9. Situational, but impressive.
    • Shield Wall also boosts the invulnerable save of an attached Independent Character, to a maximum of 3++, making the Vigil Storm shield useless for a model with an Iron Halo.
    • Similar to the Breachers, one out of five Warders can swap his Bolter for a Combi-Weapon, a Flamer, a Meltagun, a Plasma Gun, or a...Thunder Hammer, presumably because the writers, in true Forge World fashion, forgot that they'd now given them Power Axes and Bolters stock instead of one or the other. This gives you another layer of flexibility for your shield wall, especially welcome if you are using The Stone Gauntlet RoW.
      • Since Phalanx Warders do not have Split Fire, it is generally a good idea to take the Flamer (or the Combi-Flamer, since it is the exact same price). It is a good defensive option and does not interfere with the rest of the unit's Bolters.
      • Melta/Plasma are OK choices for anti-Terminator. You want your Phalanx Warders to be charged and upgrading your guns gives them something to do while they wait for the enemy to attack, or can even bait the enemy into charging just to shut those 4 Meltaguns up.
      • The Thunder Hammer is an... interesting choice. It's a straight upgrade to the Power Axe (Boarding Shield prevents +1 attack regardless) and the Bolter it's replacing is not a terribly good weapon, but you're giving up ranged upgrades for it and you're upgrading the melee attacks of a 1A model.
    • The Warder Sergeant can swap his Power Axe for a Solarite Power Gauntlet or a Thunder Hammer. The axe is already Unwieldy, so this exchange has only benefits. There is no good reason, except maybe its price, to not take one of them. Just never take a regular Power Fist on your Warder Sergeant. The Solarite Power Gauntlet is superior in every way.
    • Unlike the Breacher Squads, they may take a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport. It is obviously much cheaper than Land Raiders and a good way to move your army if you are using The Stone Gauntlet RoW. You want to get charged anyway, so not having Assault Vehicle is no big loss.
  • 0-1 Huscarl SquadExemplary Battles: A Cataphractii Command Squad with Vigil Storm Shields, Deep Strike and Stubborn. These guys go a step beyond mere shield walls thanks to Unyielding Bulwark, which gives a unit with at least three models (meaning your Praetor doesn't need to worry) with this rule the Battle-Hardened (1) ability, but only when they are charged, to avoid Instant Death by something like Power Fists. For the most part you can just treat them as a melee retinue with super-shields, especially if you pick up Solarite Gauntlets, just as it was intended.
    • Unfortunately, you're caught in something of a conundrum here; you lose your immunity to S8 ID if you charge, but you don't have any guns to threaten the enemy with if you do not charge. Moreover, you don't have a Legion Standard and therefore no Line, which means you can't just sit on an objective and make the enemy charge you. That said, you're pretty hard to wound at WS5 3++ anyway, so losing Battle-hardened because you charged is not a death sentence.
    • In addition to being a Retinue, Huscarls can also be a standalone HQ choice, in case you're not bringing a Master of the Legion or if you're already taking a Legion Command Squad (eg. you wanted a Legion Standard). Unfortunately, you can't abuse this and take 2 Huscarl Squads.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Castellan: Literally the Heavy Weapons Guy. A Power Armour only centurion equipped with a Master-crafted Heavy Bolter, a Master-crafted Autocannon, or an Iliastus Assault Cannon. He has the Heavy sub-type and the same wargear restriction of the Armistos. Thanks to his Fire Support special rule, his gun gains +1 shot, and EVERY Legion Heavy Support Squad in the same Detachment gains the Line sub-type, giving you more objective holding capability beyond what's in your Troops choices.
  • Alexis Polux, Captain of the 405th Company of the Imperial Fists, Master of the Retribution Fleet, The Crimson Fist: Weaker than a Praetor at only BS4 and 3A, for 65pts more, the Crimson Fist comes with a Solarite Power Gauntlet, a Vigil Storm Shield, and a Combi-Melta. He has Deep Strike and Void Commander, which gives Deep Strike to any unit he joins in Reserve, and auto-wins/fails any Pinning test made for him and his unit.
    • For some reason, he still has a Strength of 5, but since his Solarite Power Gauntlet has a flat Strength, it is useless.
    • Instead of fighting normally, Alexis Polux can cast Fist through his Hammer Blow ability; he makes only one S10 AP1 melee attack, regardless of whether he has Charged or not, without Unwieldy (read: at Initiative 5!), and with Armourbane (Melee), Fleshbane and Exoshock (6+).
      • Against Vehicles, excluding Exoshock (6+), it is only worth it if the targeted tank has an Armour Value of 15. And this Vehicle doesn't yet exist.
      • Against Dreadnoughts, Automata and everything else, since the Solarite Power Gauntlet is already S10 AP1, it is always better to make the 3 normal melee attacks, unless you REALLY need to not fight last in order to survive the assault. That's why you have a Vigil Storm Shield to begin with.
    • His Warlord Trait, Master Tactician, lets you redeploy one friendly unit right after the Deployment phase. You can place a unit that has been deployed into Reserves, and vice versa. However, you cannot add or remove units assigned to Deep Strike, Drop Pod, Flanking or Subterranean Assault. In addition, you get an extra Reaction during your opponent's Assault phase.
      • Useful if something forced you to put some unit into Reserves, like the Hammerfall Strike Force RoW.
    • A Praetor with a Solarite Power Gauntlet, a Bolt Pistol or Chainsword, a Vigil Storm Shield, a Combi-Melta, and Deep Strike costs 200pts. That is 15pts more for BS5 and +1 Attacks.
    • Overall, Alexis Polux is a good support unit, especially if you are using the Hammerfall Strike Force RoW, but far from your best Character. He's also useful outside it to Deep Strike non-Legion Terminator units, like Veterans, Phalanx Warders, etc.
  • Fafnir Rann, Lord Seneschal, Commander of the Persephone, Captain of the First Assault Cadre: The Stone Gauntlet Rite of War has its master, and he has a magnificent beard. With the same statline of a Praetor, for 55pts more, you get Hammer of Wrath (1), Shield Master, which reduces the Strength of incoming melee attacks by -1 (to a minimum of 1) as long as he is using his Boarding Shield (see below), and Executioner's Tax, a reversed Hammer of Wrath that hits any enemy unit that Charges him or his unit with D3+3 S5 AP- auto-hit attacks.
    • In combat, you can use one or both of his Master-crafted axes, The Headsman and The Hunter. The Single Axe profile lets you use your shield, and hits at S+2 AP2. The Twinned Axe profile does NOT let you use your shield, and hits at S+1 AP2 with Rampage (2) and Two-handed. Both axe stances have Specialist Weapon.
      • The Twinned Axe stance is obviously here to clean numerous weak enemies, like Assault or Despoiler Squads. The Single Axe stance is for Elites, since you hit with more Strength, so that's an easier wound roll, and you are protected against the inevitable counterattack.
    • His Warlord Trait, The Unbroken Wall, gives him and any Breacher/Phalanx Warder Squads in your army +1 WS on any turn they Charged and an extra Reaction during your opponent's Assault phase.
      • This means that Phalanx Warder Squads virtually always have +1 Ws on the first round of combat, thanks to their Lock Step ability.
    • In case you did not understand, if you are using him without The Stone Gauntlet RoW, you are using him wrong.
  • Sigismund, 1st Captain of the Imperial Fists, Martial Champion of Rogal Dorn, Kingsbane, The Master of the Templars: The finest swordsman of the Legions certainly holds true to his reputation. He has Fearless, Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will (3+), Precision Strikes (3+), 4 Wounds and WS7. But wait, there's more! He gets Death's Champion, which ads +2" when Charging or Advancing for him and his unit and lets you take Templar Brethren as Troops choices, and Dolorous Fighter, which FORCES you and your opponent to issue and accept Challenges whenever possible, and to re-roll successful Invulnerable saves against Sigismund's attacks during Challenges. Last but not least, his weapon, The Black Sword, is S+2 AP2, with Two-handed, Instant Death and Master-crafted. All that for a measly 230 points.
    • Unlike the actual Templar Rite, your Templar Troops are not Line and do not have Heart of the Legion. However, you can be running an entirely different Rite and still take Templars as Troops; Deep Strike them with Hammerfall Strike Force, maybe?
    • Thanks to his Warlord Trait, Slayer of Kings, if you kill the enemy Warlord in a Challenge, you gain 1 VP and every unit in your army adds +1 (not stackable) to the value that determines an Assault result. In addition, you get an extra Reaction during your opponent's Movement phase (*cough* The Best Defence *cough*).
      • You will definitely kill the enemy Warlord with Sigismund, unless it is a Primarch.
    • He also has a Master-crafted Bolt Pistol, but since his sword is Two-handed and he is going to spend his time in melee, it is pretty useless.
    • Strangely, unlike his Templar Brethren, he does not have Crusader. But I am quibbling here.
    • His main assets are Eternal Warrior and Instant Death. With your high WS and Strength, you are pretty sure to wound your adversary, and hence kill him. He is not the best duellist in the game, but the deadliest.
      • For example, Captain Lucius will always outperform Sigismund in a Challenge: 1.43 unsaved wounds with Nineteen and 1.54 with The Blade of the Laer, against 1.40 with The Black Sword, if both did not Charge. However, one wound is enough to kill Lucius, and it will happen on the first round of the Challenge.
    • His main weakness is his lack of Duellist's Edge (X) and his Initiative of 4, meaning most of the time, he will not fight first.
Rogal Dorn
  • Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists, the Vigilant, the Blade of the Emperor, Praetorian of Terra, the Unyielding One: As the Primarch of the Seventh, Dorn is a fierce and tough combatant. At 435pts, in addition to the standard Primarch statline, he gets WS8, Furious Charge (2), Deep Strike and an extra wound compared to his brothers. To top it off, he has Bulwark of the Imperium, forcing every Charge against him and his unit to be Disordered.
    • His Auric Armour, made from the same material as the Emperor's own warplate, gives him a 2+/4++ and the inability to be wounded on worse than 4s to keep his extra wound around.
      • This last bit is useful against S7 or more attacks, like Autocannons and Lascannons; even heavy weapons are not enough to kill you.
    • His Warlord Trait, Sire of the Imperial Fists, lets all Imperial Fists units add +1 (not stackable) to combat resolution, and all their Characters get to use his Leadership of 10. He also gets to choose a phase in which to get an extra Reaction before deploying.
      • A Legion Vexilla/Standard? What for? This Warlord Trait is a good support ability for your army. Your Leadership will never be affected by any enemy shenanigans as long as Dorn is alive, and he is very hard to kill.
      • Because it buffs your Characters and not your squads directly, you have to accept Challenges if you want their Leadership to be used by the rest of their units; but accepting Challenges could mean losing your Characters, so no Ld bonus either. This is a dilemma to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      • Unlike Alpharius, you have to choose when you can use your extra Reaction BEFORE deploying your army. It is generally a good idea to choose your opponent's Movement phase, in order to use the Imperial Fists' Advanced Reaction, The Best Defence, on Rogal Dorn himself.
    • When Dorn Charges with his Two-handed Chainsword, Storm's Teeth, he makes 7 melee attacks, or 9 with Reaping Blow (2), and hits at S10, thanks to Furious Charge (2), AP2, Shred and Murderous Strike (6+). He is not the strongest Primarch in melee, but still a force to be reckoned with.
      • You cannot Charge? Not a problem! You could use your Advanced Reaction or simply put him in a Phalanx Warder Squad for a 3++ Invulnerable save and a WS of 9 when Charged.
    • His souped-up Bolter, The Voice of Terra, is less flashy, but still effective: Assault 3, S5 AP3, and Rending (5+). It is also a "Bolt" weapon, so it benefits from the +1 to hit from the Legion trait.
      • Dorn can finally shoot before he charges into glorious melee, and finally has AP3 to kill some traitor marines.
    • Ætos DiosLegacies: Dorn's pimped-out Thunderhawk. It won't even be a choice most times; the Thunderhawk and Dorn both count towards the 25% quota, and a total cost of 1235 points means you'll be playing nearly 5k points before you can even legally take this.

Blood Angels[edit]

Blood Angels legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The IX Legion specialize in lightning fast shock assaults, the Blood Angels exist to utterly destroy the enemies of the Emperor. With a multitude of powerful Deep Striking and Jump Pack equipped units, close the gap as quickly as possible to cut down your foes in swift brutal melee. The Blood Angels are lethal on the turn of the charge and with their wargear and special rules, they are very good at getting it.

From a modelling standpoint Blood Angels are also one of the most flashy legions. Good painters can create some absolutely gorgeous armies, with their red and gold colour scheme alongside their fondness for Renaissance style art and aesthetics. If you want to carve your enemies' armies into little chunks and look better than everyone else while doing it, then the red sons of Sanguinius are a good choice.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Encarmine Fury: Improve the wound rolls for units in combat after charging, even when the charge is disordered (i.e. a 3+ to wound becomes a 2+ to wound). No, this doesn't affect the threshold for things like murderous strike, and trying to argue that it does makes you that Guy. Vehicles also get S+1 when ramming.
    • Though heavily toned down from 1.0, this trait is still quite potent. Power weapons lack the shred of chain weapons, so this trait allows you to more reliably wound with your more dangerous weapons. Decreasing your wound thresholds in an era of dreadnoughts being monstrous creatures can help you force saves through weight of dice or just cleave right through their armour with power axes. It even affects Melta Bombs or Krak Grenades against Automata and Dreadnoughts, so consider them for your Destroyers or Dawnbreakers.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Wrath of Angels": Once per game, you can give a unit entirely composed of infantry Shrouded (5+) when an enemy shoots at you, after he is done you may charge the unit that shot you.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Encarmine Paladin (Loyalist Only): Fear (1) against Traitors. The value of this Fear increases each time the Warlord is on the winning side of a combat they were engaged in. Up to a maximum of Fear (4). The Warlord trait also grants an additional reaction in the Assault phase, as long as the Warlord is still alive.
  2. Paragon of Unity: +1 LD for everyone who can see your warlord or a fight he is engaged in, max 10. The Warlord trait also grants an additional reaction in the Assault phase, as long as the Warlord is still alive.
  3. Thrall of the Red Thirst (Traitor Only): Warlord's unit must charge whenever possible, but gets an additional attack for charging. This Warlord trait also grants an additional reaction in the Movement phase, as long as the Warlord is still alive.

Unique Wargear

  • Inferno Pistol: It's a 6" Melta pistol, but any model can replace a Plasma pistol for one for free, meaning they can find their way into the hands of regular Assault and Despoiler marines.
    • Before you get all excited about putting two of them on a Moritat to melt your way through pretty much anything, remember a savvy opponent can somewhat negate their effectiveness by using a withdraw reaction to move out of their range. Try to get them right into the mix of your opponent so he can't save everything, or use Day of Revelation to place him where he can do the most damage with pinpoint accuracy. If he gets within 3" of a vehicle its essentially game over for whatever it is.
  • Iliastus Assault Cannon: Yes, we can still spam assault cannons this edition! Now an Assault 4 weapon that only overheats during Reactions, which is a welcome change. Any Infantry unit that can take Heavy Flamers can upgrade to Iliastus for 10 points; Vehicles and all types of Dreadnoughts can exchange theirs for 20pts. In addition, Predators can upgrade their Predator Cannon to a Twin-linked Iliastus Assault Cannon for free.
    • RAW Armistos can't take the Assault Cannon since his Heavy Flamer is Twin-linked and the rules don't mention him at all. However, he can take a Volkite Culverin for Heavy 5, which doesn't matter because he's Relentless and doesn't slow down your Heavy Support Squad anyway. Plus you can always take a Rhino for another cannon to create a pseudo-Razorback.
  • Perdition Weapons: Yes, there's more than one kind of Perdition weapon now. Any model with Legiones Astartes (Blood Angels) and the Character subtype can replace a Power Weapon for one of these for 5 points, meaning your vanilla tactical sergeants can wield these weapons. All Perdition Weapons are Two-Handed, Brutal (2) versions of Power Weapons that count as "power" and "flame" weapons for the purposes of rules that affect those weapons. Since you have no specific bonus for flame weapon, it just makes Salamanders harder to wound.
    • Blade of Perdition: Gone are the days of the Blade of Salty Tears. The Blade of Perdition has been nerfed into a Two-Handed S+1 power sword with Rending (6+). Still forces two saves thanks to the Brutal (2) rule, but if a wound rends once, then those saves are against AP2.
      • A questionable choice. It's a downgrade to Maul/Spear of Perdition against 3+ saves, while you can't rely on massed attacks to trigger Rending like on Power Swords because only your characters get it.
    • Axe of Perdition: It is a Two-Handed power axe with S+2 and Brutal (2), but still Unwieldy.
      • Basically a S-2 Thunder Hammer. An acceptable option to the Power Fist for characters that do not have access to a real Thunder Hammer, as Brutal (2) is statistically the same as IDing a 2W model (barring Feel No Pain), while the Axe does not lose effectiveness when you lose ID for whatever reason. Also good on Destroyer sergeants where you get ID back on the 1st round from Rad Grenades, making the Axe a Thunder Hammer. On everyone else, just take a proper Thunder Hammer.
    • Spear of Perdition: It is a Two-Handed power spear with Brutal (2).
      • Despite being the only weapon not to get extra strength, you wound on 2+ against MEQs on the charge anyway and Brutal (2) lets you delete 2W MEQs like Veterans or some Legion-specific troops before they attack. Useful in units of Chosen Warriors where you can take the challenge with another model and avoid your character getting stuck on an Artificer Armour sergeant.
    • Maul of Perdition: It is a Two-Handed power maul with S+3 and Brutal (2).
      • A surprise duelling weapon for Praetors, as you can combine it with a Biomancy Librarian for S8 on initiative and your AP3 is compensated by the fact that Brutal (2) forces your opponent to make lots of armour saves. Unfortunately not very good at killing lots of TEQs, so still take a proper AP2 weapon for those. Further, none of your other characters attack enough to reliably force failed saves on 2+, and you have better choices against 3+ saves.
    • Even though all weapons are Two-Handed, which excludes the possibility of gaining an extra attack, the Brutal (2) rule means that a Sergeant goes from making two attacks to three with an extra CCW to forcing a unit to make two to four saves. Even the AP3 Blade/Spear/Maul against an AP 2 unit has two chances of piercing that armour for each wound caused. Furthermore, since all the Perdition Weapons save for the Spear also have a strength bonus that makes them more likely to wound a unit compared to their Power versions, they come tantalizingly close to being auto-takes. On the other hand, Brutal (2) does not help against 1W MEQs who don't have Invulnerable saves/Feel No Pain, and you lose an attack. These are pretty good weapons for fighting elites, but think about whether you need this on sergeants in units you expect to fight 1W models with, particularly if the sergeant is also 1W.

Unique Rites of War

The Day of Revelation
The cavalry is on its way, and is never late. While radically different from its 1.0 version, this RoW continues to give you complete control over when your units will carry out their Deep Strike Assault.

  • Benefits:
    • At the start of the battle, you choose a turn between 2 and 4, and place a marker anywhere on the battlefield. That is when and where you will Deep Strike.
      • While seeming unassuming at first, this RoW is actually one of the strongest in the game. Charging out of Deep Strike is incredibly powerful and what this rite of war does is removes a ton of the random element and therefor risk of doing that. Choosing the turn when you arrive (spoiler, it is almost always turn 2) makes your reserves super consistent. You can commit a lot to the Deep Strike without the risk of them picking their noses in reserves for half the game. The part about choosing your landing zone ahead of time hardly matters however. You actually get a decent amount of leniency with where you can place your units from that marker. As long as it is in the middle of the board, you should be able to easily reach your opponent, unless they just deployed as far away from it as possible (in which case, congrats, you now control the centre of the board).
    • You do not make Reserves rolls and Scatter rolls when Deep Striking.
      • Not scattering when you land removes the risk of accidently getting a deep strike mishap. But it is important to note that if the controlling player cannot place the model at least 1" from an enemy model, they may place the model anywhere on the battlefield and then scatter the model after placing it.
    • Units that are already on the battlefield gain Fearless until the start of your second turn.
      • The only thing you need to worry about is getting a disordered drop, so bring some artillery or snipers to remove any Master of Signals your opponent may have brought along.
  • Limitations:
    • Your compulsory HQs (read: 1 IC) must have a Jump Pack. Don't be fooled; this does not exclude Sanguinius, as he's not HQ at all.
    • Units that could Deep Strike must be assigned to a Deep Strike Assault.
    • No Fortifications, models with 0" movement or Subterranean Assault. A specific exception is made for Orbital Assault Vehicles, so you can still take Drop Pods.

The Day of Sorrows
Last Stand: the Rite. You become stronger the more models you lose, but your units may act without your consent as they are overrun with the desire to rip, tear, and kill until all before them are naught but a red paste across the battlefield.

  • Benefits:
    • Crimson Paladins are now considered non-Compulsory Troops choices with the Line subtype.
      • This is more useful than some realize, as all bar one of the Blood Angel's unique units are Elites, freeing up a heavily bloated slot. That said, the Rite's prohibition on Deep Striking does hamper their mobility.
    • While within 6" of an objective, Blood Angels Infantry unit have Stubborn. If they have already it, they gain no further bonus.
    • If a Blood Angels Infantry unit is below half-strength, it gains Heart of the Legion, Hatred (everything), and Line.
  • Limitations:
    • If a Blood Angels Infantry or Cavalry unit is below half-strength, it must charge the closest enemy unit within 12" whenever possible.
    • You MUST issue or accept challenges whenever possible.
    • No Reserves, and no Deep Strikes, Subterranean Assault or Flanking Assault deployment types. Models may enter Reserves after the beginning of the battle. This also seems to mean no Flyers, as they must start in Reserve.

Unique Units

  • Crimson Paladins: Crimson Paladins are back with a better statline, having been upgraded to WS5 and given 2 wounds apiece now, bringing them in line with modern Terminators. Their gimmick special rule, The Blood is Forever, is that when they're outnumbered they gain Feel no Pain (5+), that is improved to 4+ if they are outnumbered by more than two to one. However, this is made harder by being Bulky (2). Their Coriolis Pattern Power Shields now inflict a blanket -1 To Wound, as opposed to -1 Strength, on incoming melee attacks, which has the funnily inverse effect of making them more vulnerable to S8 weapons since they are still vulnerable to be ID'd. That said, S8 attacks wound on 3+ instead of 2+, so you still get something out of your shields. Like their 1.0 incarnations, they come stock with power weapons that can be upgraded to Sunset Blades at no cost. Additionally, two Paladins can bring either Power Fists or Chainfists, which have thankfully been reduced in points, and the Exemplar can take a Perdition Weapon for free. As before, one in every five Paladins can bring a ranged weapon, which include the Iliastus Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer, or Plasma Blaster. Given they prefer close range combat, you should take a Heavy Flamer for MEQs and below or Plasma Blasters if you're excepting to face TEQs and MCs. They can also take a Land Raider Proteus Carrier or Spartan as a Dedicated Transport depending on the size of the unit; a unit of any size can take the Spartan, while a unit of five or less can take both Proteus Carrier or Spartan.
    • At a minimum squad size of 3, you shouldn't find it hard to get them outnumbered if you really want to, especially since Independent Characters in the unit do not count.
    • Compared to other Terminators, they're a bit lacking in dakka and can't have Thunder Hammers, and only two can have Chainfists or Power Fists. You probably want the rest to have Sunset Blades for access to Rending (5+) and Sunder, so they're not lacking against Dreads and other Terminator squads.
    • You get 2 Power Fists/Chainfists regardless of how many Paladins you take (hint: minimum squad size has 2 Paladins), while you actively get advantages for being outnumbered. Thus, unlike almost every other unit in the game, you're rewarded by taking MSU, as each model gets both killier and tougher. This applies in particular to Day of Sorrows or Pride of the Legion, where you can take Crimson Paladins as Troops and can therefore take more squads, and in the former get Line. Alternatively, units of 4 or 5 will still usually be outnumbered, while having ablative wounds for the Power Fist models and, if taking a unit of 5, unlock a ranged weapon.
  • Dawnbreaker Cohort: Shooty Assault Marines with Falling Star-pattern Power Spears and Grenade Dischargers. The Falling Star Pattern Spears are S+1, AP3, Reach (1) with Rending (5+). The Grenade Discharger has two modes, one being 12" Assault 3 Pinning Frag bombs for infantry or 12" Assault 1 Krak bombs against vehicles. They have the Furious Charge (1) and Set the Sky Aflame rules, the latter of which forces any enemy they Deep Strike within 6" of to take a Pinning Test with -1 to their Leadership.
    • Dawnbreakers can also upgrade their spears for an Equinox Power Blade Case, which are two Power Blades that are both S-User AP3. The Sunrise Blade has Shred and Sudden Strike (1), allowing you to mutilate power armour at I5. Meanwhile, the Sunset Blade has Rending (5+) and Sunder, making them better against 2+ saves and actually surprisingly good at damaging light/medium vehicles.
      • Take the Equinox Power Blade Case. The extra attack from 2 weapons is worth 5 points alone, and while each blade is more specialized than the spear, both are better at their specific niches. The spears are better if you're in protracted combat, but given so much of BA melee value relies on getting the Charge, you don't want to be in that situation anyway.
  • The Angel`s Tears: Blood Angels-exclusive Destroyers that come stock with two Volkite Serpentas, Chainswords, Rad Grenades and jump packs by default. Any model can exchange one Serpenta for Heavy Flamers, Iliastus Assault Cannons (yes, the whole squad can take them), Rotor Cannons, Heavy Chainswords or an Angel`s Tears Grenade Launchers, which are S4, AP4, 24" Assault 3 Rad Weapons with Rad-phage and Fleshbane. The entire unit can also take Melta Bombs for 25 points. In short, they are a lot more shooty than the basic Destroyer Assault Squad and better in most situations.
    • While the Arch-Erelim can exchange his Chainsword for a Heavy Chainsword, Power Fist, Thunder Hammer, a Lightning Claw or a Power Weapon, he can also trade one or both Volkite Serpentas for Plasma Pistols, plus the usual Artificer Armour upgrade for Sergeants.
    • It should go without saying the Tears should have weapons with the same range or Heavy Chainswords so the unit doesn't end up schizophrenic and unable to table whatever you point them at. Mixing Heavy Flamers and Heavy Chainswords or Iliastus Assault Cannons, Rotor Cannons, and Angel's Tears Grenade Launchers should be fine though.
  • Contemptor-Incaendius Dreadnought: A DREADNOUGHT WITH A FUCKING JUMP PACK. This jump pack-toting beast can either Deep Strike or activate his "booster pack" once per game to gain M12" and Hammer of Wrath (2). He is equipped with two heavy flamers and a pair of Talons of Perdition, which hit at S7 AP2 Shred and Brutal (2). Shred isn't worth -2 Strength (and ID against MEQs/TEQs) and losing one part of Brutal, so take Gravis Power Fists instead for S9 AP2 Brutal (3). Yes, that means you can have Dreadnoughts in four slots except Troops or five with Contemptor Troops via the Fury of the Ancients RoW; if you can afford the points and IRL cash, that is.

Unique Characters

  • Chapter Master Raldoron, First Captain of the Blood Angels, The Archein of Wisdom, The Tranquil Angel: Equerry to Sanguinius and an all-round badass, Raldoron brings a lot to the table for a Blood Angels army that doesn't mind having their main HQ without a jump pack. Stats-wise, he is an absolute beast with WS7 putting him above all other HQs that didn't base their entire identity around winning duels, wielding The Encarmine Warblade, a Master-crafted Paragon Blade (technically a Power Weapon, according to his rules) that triggers Murderous Strike on a 5+ and isn’t a Specialist Weapon. With his Furious Charge (2), he goes up to Strength 7 on the charge and is able to wound Contemptor Dreadnoughts on a 3+ AT INITIATIVE; when combined with the Encarmine Fury rule, Raldoron is a monster to be reckoned with. His main draw is his unique Warlord Trait, Archein of Wisdom, which allows you choose any Warlord Trait either from the Core Warlord Traits or from another Loyalist Legion (replacing any mention of their original Legiones Astartes (X) rule with Blood Angels version). The only Legion he can't borrow from are the Dark Angels, but their Warlord Traits aren't the strongest anyway, so nothing of value is lost.
    • Some of the best are:
      • Howl of Morkai: A once per game ability to give all friendly units an additional +1 Strength on the Charge makes your Blood Angels absolutely lethal when combined with Encarmine Fury. This also pushes Raldoron’s own Strength up to 8 for that turn, allowing him to inflict Instant Death with The Encarmine Warblade at initiative if you absolutely want to tear through units of Terminators like a hot knife through butter.
      • Crown Breaker: Raldoron and any unit he joins gains Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) and while fighting a unit that contains an Independent Character, he and his unit gain Feel No Pain (5+). While not triggering as often as Solar Marshal, the kicker here is that Preferred Enemy works in the shooting phase too, so sticking Raldoron in a Tactical Support Squad or Veterans with Combi-Weapons allows them to re-roll their hit and wound rolls of 1 when unloading plasma into a squad containing an HQ choice.
      • Solar Marshal: +1 Weapon Skill for Raldoron and his whole unit when engaged in close combat with enemy models with the Traitor Allegiance pushes his already absurd WS to 8, which can make most Primarchs jealous, while bringing his squad to a Praetor-tier WS6. This can make the unit downright unfair to fight in melee as you’ll be hitting them on a 3+ while they are stuck fighting you on a 5+ to hit. Enjoy making your Crimson Paladins even more of a brick to get through in melee.
      • The Burden of Kings: If Raldoron takes even a single hit, regardless of whether or not he successfully saved it, he gains FEARLESS and It Will Not Die (4+) until the end of his next turn. In addition, his unit can React once more over your allotment in any phase once per turn. With how important Pinning and Morale are in this edition, having a way to get Fearless on your unit from just allocating a Bolt Pistol shot to him can be super useful if your opponent is trying to cheese you with Telepaths or has brought a million Rotor Cannons.
      • The Aegis of Wisdom: While not buffing Raldoron’s already absurd combat potential, this is a potent Leadership bonus for your army, allowing any unit that can draw line of sight to Raldoron to use his Leadership when regrouping and then allowing them to act normally that turn. Gaining an additional Shooting phase Reaction is nothing to sneeze at, either.
      • Promethean Will: Provides army-wide protection against Pinning and Fear (X), two things that can cause a fast-moving melee army problems. This does restrict you from including Destroyer Squads and Moritats, but you can easily get around that by using Angel's Tears and Dominion Zephon, respectively.
      • The Bane of Tyrants: Raldoron gains +1 Strength and Attack when fighting in a Challenge, increasing to +2 if he is fighting the enemy Warlord. On the charge, Raldoron has 7 WS7 Master-crafted Shred S8 attacks at I5, or 8 S9 attacks against the enemy Warlord in a Challenge. Most characters a Space Marine opponent can field will just die from S8 ID, while those who don't still have to worry about Murderous Strike or simply failing too many Invulnerable saves. Use this when you must absolutely win that Challenge.
        • Don't be too worried if you don't get the charge; even against WS7 in a challenge, your 7 Master-crafted attacks will cause 4 hits that are a re-rollable 2+ to wound (35/36 chance), with Shred Murderous Strike (5+) rounding out to 7/18 (nearly 40%) chance of ID per hit. This should be enough to kill any Centurion; Praetors and Primarchs won't die so easily, but they'll likely be the Warlord, against whom Raldoron gets even more bonuses.
        • Same proviso as for Howl of Morkai; watch out for other named characters who inflict ID before you, or can shrug off your S8 and kill you afterwards.
    • ID on initiative on the charge is nice, but remember you could do it without a Warlord trait by taking a Biomancy Librarian and get to S8. This may be relevant if you're debating whether you want a trait that's more versatile than simply giving Raldoron extra strength.
  • Dominion Zephon, The Bringer of Sorrow, The Exile, The Twice-born, Exarch of the High Host: At 185pts, Zephon plays as somewhat of a hybrid between a Moritat and a Praetor, giving you decent shooting options while remaining powerful in close combat. His statline is the same as a regular Praetor, but his special rules and wargear are why you bring him. Zephon comes equipped with:
    • The Spiritum Sanguis, a Two-handed, Master-crafted Paragon Blade that trades Murderous Strike (6+) for Reaping Blow (1); like Raldoron's Encarmine Warblade, it counts as a Power Weapon. While a downgrade at first glance, the kicker is that with his Rad Grenades and Furious Charge (1), he fights at Strength 6 on the Charge while reducing his opponent’s Toughness to 3, letting him inflict Instant Death at Initiative.
    • Lament and Grief, a pair of Volkite Serpentas with Blind that each shoot thrice instead of twice. This lets him fire a respectable 6 Blind shots per turn, which can nicely complement units of Destroyers or Angel's Tears in their quest to turn the Geneva Convention into a to-do list. This is useful as he has the Bitter Duty special rule, so those are the only units in the game that he can join; sorry to dash your dreams of combining his Rad Grenades with Dawnbreaker Cohorts.
    • Exarch of the High Host is his unique Warlord Trait that allows him to choose a Legion Destroyer Assault Squad as a Retinue which he cannot leave for the duration of the game. If he does not choose this unit, he cannot select another unit with the Retinue rule. This doesn't sound great on paper, but it does free up an Elites slot while upgrading them with Chosen Warriors',' so they can at least take Challenges for him while he inflicts the real damage.
      • It is important to note that the 2.0 version of Dominion's Warlord Trait does not prohibit him from joining another unit, provided they also have the Bitter Duty rule. As a result, Dominion rampaging with a unit of Angel's Tears is very much on the menu.
    • Paragon of Restoration grants him Feel No Pain (5+) and the ability to come back from the dead with 1 wound remaining on a dice roll of a 4+ once per game. Overall, he’s quite efficient for his points and worth bringing as an HQ if you planned on bringing Destroyers or Angel's Tears anyway.
  • Judiciar Aster Crohne, Last Officer of the 94th Company, The Shroudmaker, The Ghost of SaiphLegacies: A victim of GW's "no model, no rules" policy, Crohne has been shoved into the Legacies PDF where he has largely been unchanged. He retains the same statline and points cost as in his previous rules incarnation, though his axe has gained the Duellist's Edge rule for some reason. He still has the ability to go back into reserves the first time he dies on a 4+, and thankfully his Virtue of Judgement rule has been clarified to extend to not just his own hand flamers. It only took Forge World an entirely new edition of the game to clarify it. He also still has to footslog and can't buy a jump pack, which is no big deal since we don't have our own legion-specific Destroyer unit anyway.
    • Virtue of Judgement works on Flame weapons rather than a fixed list of weapons like Death Guard or Salamanders. This means it also works on any Perdition weapons your unit sergeants have, as well as Toxiferran Flamers on Destroyers. In particular, re-rolling to wound will give you more opportunities to fish for Rending on Blades of Perdition or Toxiferran Flamers. Just remember not to mark Heavy units; they'll laugh at you as they get their armour re-rolls against template weapons.
      • It should go without saying, but remember to actually buy Flame weapons if you want to use Crohne, as none of the units listed come with them.
      • Virtue of Judgement imposes no limit on how many of your units benefit as long as you're shooting the Marked unit; if you really want that one unit dead, go ahead and take multiple Destroyer squads to drown them in armour saves.
      • Taking dual Hand Flamers on Destroyers will generally be better than taking the Heavy Flamer on Angel's Tears, as 2 hits wounding MEQs on re-rollable 5+ will wound more often than 1 hit wounding on re-rollable 3+ and you can potentially cause more wounds simply because you're hitting twice. Moreover, taking Heavy Flamers on Angel's Tears means giving up the Iliastus Assault Cannon or the Angel's Tears Grenade Launchers, which are frankly better weapons than the Heavy Flamer.
  • Sanguinius, The Great Angel, The Brightest One, Master of Hosts, Primarch of the Blood Angels: At 485pts, Sanguinius has fallen far from the high stats he had in 1.0. He now sports an average Primarch statline of all 6s with the exception of Weapon Skill 8. However, his true power lies in some of his rules and wargear.
    • Sanguinius can choose between two melee options:
      • The Blade Encarmine is a Master-crafted Paragon Blade with Murderous Strike (5+) and Shred that also grants him Rage (2) and Rampage (2) for a potential of up to 10 attacks on the Charge. However, Rampage (2) is unlikely to trigger as Sanguinius is Bulky (6), meaning that with even a small retinue of jump pack-equipped Space Marines, he's likely to outnumber the enemy. In that case, he can (and should) swap it for...
      • The Spear of Telesto and Moonsilver Blade: The Spear is S10 AP1 with Two-handed, Master-crafted, Exoshock (4+) and Lance, making him incredible at killing anything that isn’t a Dreadnought or one of his brothers. If you’re feeling stupid, you can also throw it away for a S10 AP1 ranged attack with Instant Death while losing Master-crafted, which can be used to snipe characters in units due to the way Primarchs allocate wounds. If you do this, though, he’s stuck wielding the Master-crafted Moonsilver Blade, which at least finally gained AP2 but is a far cry from how lethal the Spear is, so it's not recommended unless you really need something dead from a distance. His Initiative and Attacks are both low for a Primarch and all of his weapons lack Brutal (X), so keep him away from his brothers because, without it, he really isn’t good at fighting them any more.
        • RAW nothing stops you from choosing to use Moonsilver Blade even if you haven't thrown the Spear of Telesto. The Moonsilver rule doubles unsaved wounds against Psykers and Daemons, so against the 3 Psyker Primarchs (Curze, Magnus, and Lorgar), the Spear wounds on 2+ where the Blade wounds on 4+ (3+ if Sanguinius charges), but the Blade actually causes more wounds against them than the Spear due to doubling unsaved wounds. Duellist's Edge (1) is also very relevant here, as it lets you match Curze's initiative, and hit before Magnus and Lorgar. The Moonsilver Blade could even beat The Blade Encarmine, as you may or may not get bonus attacks from Rage/Rampage, while +1S and Shred is worse than outright doubling wounds and Blind. All this while you keep the Spear for destroying vehicles and inflicting ID on MEQs.
      • Blade Encarmine is really hindered by the fact that everything you wanted Sanguinius to fight in melee now has at least 2W, while its S7 attacks cannot ID, meaning you need 4 wounds to get through 4++ and kill a Cataphractii Terminator. Wounding on 2+ and re-rolling with Shred gives basically guaranteed wounds (35/36; 97%) on MEQs and Shred/Murderous Strike (5+) rounds out to 7/18 (just under 39%) chance of ID per hit, but your 8 attacks on the charge at WS9 Master-crafted against WS5 are 6 hits, where practically all wound (2.333 ID wounds), rounding out to about 2.08 dead Cataphractii Terminators. The Spear of Telesto makes 7 attacks, hit 5.333 times and wound 4.444 times, but kill 2.222 Cataphractii Terminators because all of your attacks inflict ID, on top of not depending on charge bonuses/being outnumbered. Blade Encarmine performs better if you trigger Rampage as well and get 10 attacks (hitting/wounding 7.333 times with 2.85 ID wounds, ending up with 2.55 dead Cataphractii), but as aforementioned that can be difficult.
        • Blade Encarmine works better against Dreadnoughts because it can inflict ID by Murderous Strike and cause D3 wounds while the Spear of Telesto cannot ID and none of its special rules work on them, but the Spear of Telesto is much better against vehicles with higher strength, AP and special rules.
    • Infernus is an 18” Assault 2 Meltagun with One Shot only. Having a Melta is great, but only having it for 1 turn isn't. Don’t expect to get much shooting done here.
      • Despite being One Shot, he's still one of three Primarchs with a ranged weapon that can ID marines at AP2, as everyone else packs firearms or assorted energy weapons that lack the strength and/or the AP, or at least rely on Rending for the AP. Use it and your Primarch hit allocation to make sure you kill sergeants, Legion Standards, etc. before the charge and win the subsequent melee. It's also now a proper Melta weapon, so it can be used on vehicles if you brought Blade Encarmine.
    • Frag Grenades: They go boom.
    • His armour, The Regalia Resplendent, provides the standard Primarch 2+/4++ with the added bonus of allowing Sanguinius to re-roll failed invulnerable saves on the turn he Charges.
    • His Warlord Trait, Sire of the Blood Angels, gives +1 WS on the Charge to any Blood Angels unit that has a jump pack or deploys via Deep Strike. This is a game changer for almost all units; Assault Marines can hack their way through WS4 units with ease while your elite units will sweep over their enemies in melee with their WS of 6. Sanguinius himself comes with Deep Strike, allowing him to benefit from this while also quickly getting into melee without exposing himself to too much gunfire.
      • Bring lots and lots of units with jump packs that can use their jump packs to increase charge distance, get the charge off and claim their charge bonuses. Alternatively, bring jetbikes, who can Deep Strike and move even faster than your jump units.
      • Every last one of your Legion-specific units can Deep Strike. Yes, you can potentially give your Contemptor-Incaendius WS6, as long as it Deep Strikes instead of using its jump pack on the field.
      • If you have trouble getting the charge with your Deep Strike units who can't just jump into combat at movement 12, remember you can charge from Deep Strike now and Day of Revelation lets you choose the time and location of the Deep Strike. Alternatively, use your Advanced Reaction.
      • You don't get this if your opponent uses Hold the Line. Pin them, make them fail their Morale check or charge so many units he can't react to all of them. Units already locked in combat can't React either, so jumping into ongoing combats is safe; say, next turn after you break that unit that could not React to your charge?
    • Great Wings: They effectively let him act like a unit with a jump pack, except that his movement becomes 14" instead of 12". This makes Sanguinius one of the few Primarchs that doesn’t need a transport to get stuck into combat, which can save you a further 400pts if you consider the cost of the Spartan most of his brothers need to bring.
    • Angelic Presence: As the final cherry on top, all friendly units within 6” of Sanguinius (including himself) add +1 to the number of wounds they inflict in close combat for the purpose of determining who wins in Assault. This also applies to allied units, so make sure not to forget this if you like to bring them. Very fluffy rule, considering that Sanguinius single-handedly restored morale on any number of occasions during the Siege of Terra.
    • Taking Sanguinius means your Legion trait, warlord trait, your warlord's armour and possibly his sword all have significant charge bonuses. In other words, you're in deep trouble if you don't get the charge or break the enemy on the charge, so make sure you can, particularly as you can't rely on Hit and Run from Angel's Wrath any more. Angelic Presence helps, but you can do more:
      • Remember you're a Primarch and can allocate hits as you please. As aforementioned, you can shoot people who grant bonuses to combat resolution/leadership using Infernus, but you can also specifically target them in melee. Spear of Telesto is particularly reliable as you can for all intents and purposes make sure a particular TEQ or IC dies by allocating 3 hits on him; you wound on a 2+ and the best Invulnerable save is generally 4++, so you can expect at least 1 unsaved wound that at S10 will cause ID. Adjust accordingly depending on how good the Invulnerable save is in particular; if it's worse than a 4++, 2 hits should suffice.
      • Sanguinius really benefits from bringing his sons along. In particular, Blade Encarmine benefits more from Hatred from a Chaplain than the Spear of Telesto, as you go from 1 re-roll from Master-crafted to re-rolling all misses (hint: Blade attacks more and therefore misses more), while a Biomancy Librarian can get the Blade Encarmine to S8, giving it ID against T4 marines which it so sorely lacked by default. However, bringing more help by definition means fewer chances to trigger Rampage, so plan accordingly.
      • Consider taking a Command Squad to fight Challenges instead of Sanguinius. While you can rack up combat resolution by inflicting excess wounds in a challenge, you can also win combats by inflicting wounds on the rest of the squad, or even just killing all of them. Sanguinius mathematically causes at least 7 AP2 wounds on the charge against TEQs before Invulnerable saves/FNP, and the rest of the enemy squad is likely to have worse protection than whoever was going to fight Sanguinius in a challenge. Take the Spear of Telesto in this case, as you'll likely not trigger Rampage with a squad of jump pack models led by a Bulky (6) model and you can make sure there's no nonsense with FNP by inflicting ID.
        • Not being in the Challenge also lets you allocate hits to Sanguinius. No, hear me out. He won't suffer from ID, so any ID attacks (S8) will be 1 wound instead of the 2 it would count as if it killed a Command Squad Marine. He's also T6 (harder to wound for attacks below S8) and has far better Invulnerable save (re-rolling 4++) on the charge than the rest of the squad, so it's less likely he'll get wounded to begin with. Alternatively, if you don't want to lose the challenge (eg. opponent has ID with Brutal (X) and can rack up excess wounds), have Sanguinius fight it and bring a Praetor to lay into the enemy squad. It's expensive, but as aforementioned you have 400 points to spare because your Primarch can fly and doesn't need a transport. Besides, you're playing Blood Angels and your warlord is Sanguinius; were you going to not bring an expensive melee unit?

Iron Hands[edit]

Iron Hands legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Iron Tenth are masters of vehicular combat and show a preference for close in, brutal engagements where their superior fortitude and firepower can win the day. The Xth Legion was shattered at the outset of the Heresy, during the infamous Drop Site Massacre. The favoured Avernii clan was slain almost to the last man, and their Primarch Ferrus Manus was beheaded by his erstwhile brother Fulgrim. The Legion fractured after the atrocity and ceased to function as a cohesive whole for the remainder of the Heresy.

In-game, the Xth Legion shows a preference for slugging it out at range. Their Legion trait lowers the Strength of shooting attacks that target them, meaning that things like the trusty old Bolter are less likely to wound them, and even larger guns like Meltas are unable to subject them to Instant Death. To add to this protection, while expensive, their characters can buy improvements to their invulnerable saves without surrendering an arm for carrying a weapon. Additionally, their vehicles regenerate by themselves and Iron-Fathers are a common sight to help fix them up too. If you are an aspiring armour commander with a heart and will of iron, then join the Xth Legion and avenge the dead of Isstvan V!

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - The Medusa's Scales: Your Infantry are still a bit tankier than most, with any non-vehicle incoming shots coming at -1 Strength to foil potential ID shenanigans or just screwing over things like Plasma. Vehicles score It Will Not Die (6+), which can stack with things like the Blessed Auto-simulacra so you don't need to have an Iron-Father constantly tending to them.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Gorgon's Spite": Triggered once per game when the enemy Charges one of your units. Before the enemy moves, your unit can shoot up the Charging unit at twice the ROF but gains Gets Hot. Like with Overwatch, you can't fire anything that can ignore LoS or Barrage and vehicles can only fire defensive weapons. Can be useful to make the most out of your Magna Combi-Weapons. You can fire both parts of Combi-Weapons and Firing Protocol (X) models can fire X weapons, so also worth considering. Moreover, unlike the Iron Warriors Advanced Reaction, you're not penalized for using something that already had Gets Hot, so feel free to take some Plasma weapons/Disintegrators.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. From Hel's Heart (Loyalist Only): Gives an attached unit Fear (1). If the Warlord dies, they can fire off D6 auto-hitting shots or make D6 attacks depending on how he died. He also gives you an extra Reaction in the Movement phase while he lives.
  2. Eye of Vigilance (Traitor Only): The results of Horus' Warrior Lodges getting a grip on the legion. Grants an attached unit Preferred Enemy (Loyalist). The Warlord and their unit also gains a once-per-game ability to make one additional Reaction at any point in the turn without spending one of your Reaction limitations. One of the few sources of Preferred Enemy left in the game, so it can be very useful.
  3. Silver-Iron Will: The Warlord and any attached unit will never suffer any penalties to their stats (except wounds, because logically it'd make sense, but we needed the errata to confirm that and break the dreams of That Guy). While you can't make any Reactions during the Movement phase, you can make an additional Reaction during either the Shooting or Assault phase while the Warlord is alive.
    • The Movement Reaction ban is a bit of an issue, since things like Death or Glory are also banned, but you gain an extra Reaction on any other phase. The immunity to stat penalties can also make your squad resistant against things like Rad-spam and Shell Shock (X).

Unique Wargear

  • Armatus Necrotechnika: 50 points for some borderline heretek shit for a non-flyer vehicle. Any time any model dies within 6" of them, you can cannibalise them to restore a Hull Point on a 6+. On top of that, its borderline heretical nature makes everyone within 6" take -1 to Leadership, something that even Stubborn units must contend with.
  • Blessed Auto-simulacra: You know it, you love it, you're spending 10 points for it. Provides your vehicles with It Will Not Die (6+) for a bit of survivability, stacking with the Legion trait to become 5+.
  • Gorgon Terminator Armour: Praetors and Centurions in Cataphractii Armour can upgrade to this for free. You're back to a 2+/5++ save but gain a Feel No Pain (5+) that doesn't stack with anything. In addition, whenever a model with this armour makes a save, they can make enemies test for Blind on a 4+.
    • Not generally a good idea, as you can't sweep anyway if the parent unit is Cataphractii (and you therefore might as well have taken Cataphractii on the IC), while your Heavy unit type prevents parent Tartaros units from running. Because the rest of your unit won't be in Gorgon Armour (barring Gorgon Terminators), you also force them to take Blind tests. Worse, everyone who actually intends to fight an IC will bring a Power Fist and ignore your Feel No Pain, making it a downgrade from Cataphractii Armour.
    • In particular, Praetors should avoid this because their Command Squad must take Cataphractii or Tartaros and thus suffer from the issues above with their own Praetor hindering them with Blind tests and so on. Simply not taking a Command Squad is not advisable either, as they are the only source of WS5 Terminators in the entire Iron Hands list. Furthermore, Praetors can simply buy FNP as part of the Iron Father package, which means they have even less of a reason to go for this. On the other hand, Gorgon Armour Consuls can be taken to support Gorgon Terminators, as your Terminator Armour types match each other. It also works with Indomitus, but at the risk of Blinding your own unit.
  • Graviton Shredders: You can replace a Graviton Gun for a Graviton Shredder for 5 points and characters can replace a Plasma Pistol for a Graviton Pistol for free. Both come with Concussive (1), Graviton Pulse and Haywire, which are the same rules that normal Graviton weapons get, but these weapons are in Assault 2 or Pistol form, so are considerably more mobile than the standard variants that other Legions have access to.
  • Cyber-Familiar: Though ordinarily available to Techmarines and adjacent Consuls, the Iron Hands can slap this on any Character, and some come with them stock. All of them provide a 6++ Invulnerable (or bumps an existing Invulnerable by one) as well as a once per turn re-roll of any test that isn't Leadership or Psychic.

Unique Rites of War

Company of Bitter Iron
Following the death of Ferrus Manus, the Iron Hands fell into a strange state of disarray. As they reorganised, many returned to Medusa, where they forsook their clans to become Medusan Immortals in penitence for their failures. This focuses on making those Immortals tankier than ever.

  • Benefits:
    • Medusan Immortals Squads become Troops, gaining the Line sub-type and Heart of the Legion, which will stack with their inherent tankiness for Feel No Pain (4+) while within 6" of objectives.
      • Your Feel No Pain (4+) and 5++ Invulnerable save combine to give 2/3 (basically a 3+) chance of saving anything that doesn't inflict ID. As Medusa's Scales gives you -1S to incoming ranged fire, this requires heavy duty anti-tank weaponry (as in Lascannons; Meltas and Krak Missiles are not good enough) or Power Fists. So your opponent has the choice of either conceding the victory point and possibly eat 40 Volkite shots per turn from your Immortals, or blast your Immortals with weapons that he really should be using on your Terminators and/or tanks. As your Immortals are cheaper, you come out ahead if they're taking fire instead of your Terminators/Tanks. Take Silver-Iron Will on your Warlord to prevent cheeky opponents from using Rad Grenades to inflict ID on your Immortals with Power Mauls or similar S+2 weapons.
    • All units with Legiones Astartes (Iron Hands) and Bitter Duty (read: Immortals and Destroyers) gain Hatred (Traitors).
      • This does not mean your Immortals are melee units, as their Boarding Shield prevents them from gaining attacks for having 2 weapons and they can only take a Chainsword. On the other hand, Destroyer Assault Squads can be surprisingly killy, as they get 1 special melee weapon per 5 models, can throw out tons of attacks with the +1 attack for 2 weapons and getting the charge off with their jump packs, as well as their Rad Grenades improving wounding on the 1st turn.
    • Independent Characters can grab Bitter Duty for free, in addition to Hatred (Traitors), but also allowing them to join Destroyers and Immortals. This opens up combo opportunities with Rad Grenades and jump packs.
      • Unfortunately, as taking Bitter Duty is technically an option because you can choose whether to take it, Autek Mor and Shadrak Meduson as Unique units do not get it. It's a real shame, as Autek Mor has S6 AP2 and Meduson can get to S6 with his Furious Charge (1) and has Breaching (5+), which could have combined with some Rad Grenades for ID on initiative. Still, you can add some serious teeth in melee to your Destroyers by adding a Paragon Blade Praetor who re-rolls to hit and wounds on 2+ (or add a Biomancy Librarian for ID at initiative!), or your Immortals with a Thunder Hammer IC who re-rolls to hit.
  • Limitations:

The Head of the Gorgon
This is a hammer-and-anvil approach, as it expects enemies to approach the main body of your forces, grinding against waves of Graviton weapons and Battle-automata while you toss your tanks and Dreads behind their ranks.

  • Benefits:
    • All Infantry units within their Deployment Zone gain Stubborn.
    • Any Infantry models with Flamers can spend 15 points to exchange them for Graviton Guns or Shredders, making them more capable of handling heavy armour.
    • Castellax Battle-automata Maniples can be grabbed as Elites options, gaining It Will Not Die (5+) instead of the LA rule.
      • To keep them in line, you can purchase cortex controllers for your Iron-Fathers and Techmarines for 15 points each.
    • Vehicles gain Outflank so you can surprise your enemies with Spartans out of nowhere. Be wary that the enemy doesn't try to hide their Meltas in the flanks and rear so you don't get blasted.
  • Limitations:
    • Only 1 Fast Attack choice. Take a bike/jetbike Command Squad to make up for that, or take some Assault Squads.
    • No Seizing the Initiative.

Unique Units

  • Gorgon Terminator Squad: Terminators in Gorgon armour with Power Axes and Combi-Bolters; their Sergeant, the Gorgon Hammerbearer, is appropriately equipped with a Thunder Hammer instead of a Power Axe. They are big walking tanks with Feel No Pain (5+) and Stubborn. One every three models can now pick up heavy weapons, with one of the options being a Graviton Gun. Not quite as shooty as Nullificators or the ranged Cataphractii other Legions have, but you're pretty hard to kill, so this is a good ranged option. 3 Plasma Blasters and a bunch of Combi-Volkites can do some damage to enemy infantry, while replacing the 3 Graviton Guns with Graviton Shredders can cause a lot of Haywire hits.
    • Melee is not a very good idea, as they are WS4, cannot get Thunder Hammers on the normal models, lose their Legion trait and do not get their Feel No Pain against Power Fists. Use Legion Terminators for that instead; at least they don't pay for Feel No Pain that they cannot use and can get Thunder Hammers and/or better Invulnerable saves.
  • Medusan Immortals Squad: Breachers with an extra attack and Leadership 10. They have Feel No Pain (5+) and Stubborn to make them extra tanky, but they also have Bitter Duty, so they cannot be joined by anyone other than Moritats. The squad can swap their Bolters for Chainswords, but remember that they also have Boarding Shields and so cannot claim the bonus for two weapons. They also have the option for Bayonets which they are not allowed to use, because models with Boarding Shields cannot make attacks with Two-handed weapons...
    • Frankly, on their own, there isn't much reason to take Medusan Immortals. Regular Breachers with an attached Apothecary still costs less than a squad of Immortals, and even with the extra attack, Immortals are not especially good at melee.
    • That said, if you take the Company of Bitter Iron Rite of War, they utterly transform by becoming Line Troops, also gaining Hatred (Traitors), with Feel No Pain (4+) when next to objectives thanks to Heart of the Legion, and can be joined by other characters thanks to widespread Bitter Duty.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Praetor - Iron-Father: Praetors can spend 65 points for a Machinator Array, Cyber-Familiar, Feel No Pain (5+) (which is redundant if you grabbed Gorgon armour), and Battlesmith (3+). Compared to the Warsmiths of the IVth Legion, you're more focused on being a walking tank that supports your tanks and dreads. You can't grab bikes or jetpacks, but you're not likely to stray far from your tanks anyway.
  • Iron Father Autek MorLegacies: A shame that Mor got shoved into Legacies because he's a serious beatstick of a man. Not only does he get the standard-issue Gorgon Armour, Cyber-Familiar and Battlesmith (3+) that befits his station, his doesn't cost him his 4++ Invulnerable and his machinator array is now hitting at S6 with Precision Strikes (3+) so he can pick out that asshole with the power fist. His actual weapon "Argonikos" is just as deadly at S+2 AP2 with Two Handed and Reaping Blow (2) to upend whoever tries to hit him.
    • His WT is...a bit risky. It requires you to take a hit that ignores all saves in order to count as if you dealt an additional wound for the sake of combat resolution. Of course, spamming this is an easy way to grind through your retinue if used freely, but this gives you a way to push over a tied combat to your favour at the cost of a potential model. This also gives you a bonus reaction in the shooting phase.
  • Shadrak MedusonLegacies: While Meduson's combat effectiveness remains, his main selling point, the ability to meld together other legions, is gone. He remains a Praetor with archaeotech pistol, bolter and his "Albian Power Gladius", a Master-crafted S+1 AP3 weapon with Breaching (5+). His WT is okay too, not much, since it only gives his unit Furious Charge (1) - not bad by any means, but this won't stack with anything.
Ferrus Manus
  • Ferrus Manus, Master of the Iron Hands, The Gorgon, Wyrmslayer, The Great Iron Father: Your regular special characters have all moved to the Legacies PDF while Castrmen Orth was literally deleted. All you're left with is your dead Primarch. But boy-oh-boy, has he jumped up the Primarch leader board. Forgebreaker is THE Warhammer with S12 and Exoshock (3+) for dealing with vehicles, meaning it has a good chance of causing two penetrating hits every strike, with +2 on the damage table thanks to AP1. Against everyone else, the Brutal (3) rule means that each wound get tripled before saves, and the target will be drowned underneath dice rolls by the time Ferrus is finished. He ALSO has a Servo-arm, so even after all of the carnage wrought by the hammer, he gets one extra attack at S8 AP2 as the cherry on the cake.
    • His Warlord Trait, Sire of the Iron Hands, is frankly amazing. Every Infantry unit gains Feel No Pain (6+) but this explicitly does not stack with existing versions of the same rule, such as those granted by Apothecaries or Heart of the Legion, but that is still a really helpful widespread bonus. Additionally, all Vehicles gain It Will Not Die (5+) which will stack with the Legion trait to become 4+.
      • Feel No Pain from Sire of the Iron Hands not stacking with other sources means he doesn't combine well with Gorgon Terminators, even though he invented the goddamn thing. Take Legion Terminators instead.
    • He is IMMUNE to small arms fire. He has access to the same Legiones Astartes (Iron Hands) trait as the rest of the Iron Hands, dropping incoming shooting attacks by -1 Strength. With his Toughness 7, he cannot be harmed by S4 shooting attacks. However, he is not the Infantry unit type, so will not benefit from the Feel No Pain granted by his Warlord Trait, and you'll be using majority Toughness 4 whenever you join a unit and get shot anyway. Against everything that actually does manage to wound him, he has 2+/3++ saves, so he has little to be concerned about; on top of that, Ferrus has the Heavy sub-type for re-rolling said saves against Blasts and Templates, so even heavy ordnance caused by pie plates doesn't work against him.
    • Ferrus Manus has probably the most effective shooting of any Primarch. With three Assault guns (Master-crafted plasma blaster and graviton shredder, Heavy flamer, plus a Grenade Harness) and Firing Protocols (3), he is able to put out more hurt than any model short of some tanks.


XIII legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

As a Legion of generalists, the XIIIth Legion excels at neither shooting or melee, but have little tricks they can lean on to give themselves the edge. When shooting, cooperation is their special strength, giving them shooting bonuses when bunched up together and they have quite frankly a frightening shooting reaction. In melee, they have access to AP2 at Initiative which would be desirable to pretty much anybody.

Their unique units are highly effective, and have the Line sub-type, meaning they are dependably versatile. Their Rite of War and their Primarch have the ability to alter the special rules and/or characteristics of the rest of the army, meaning that when put together, although the Ultramarines look uninspired, they are able to reshape themselves according to an ever changing strategy; an Ultramarines squad has no special distinction, but it gets better when you put it next to another Ultramarines squad, and even better again when you bring them in a Rite of War.

If you can get the best out of your units by allowing them to support one another and are capable of thinking one or two steps ahead, then the Ultramarines are the Legion for you.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - The Strength of Wisdom: Models with this special rule add +1 to hit rolls as part of a shooting attack if the enemy unit being targeted has already been targeted by a friendly unit with this special rule, AND that friendly unit is within 6" of the attacking unit. You're modifying your to hit roll and not your BS, so you can get Snap Shots hitting on 5+.
    • It's target, not unsaved wound or wound or even hit. Even if you miss all of your shots with the other unit, you still get +1 to hit. Remember this when you're repositioning your snipers or other Heavy weapons; you can still squeeze out a couple of Snap Shots, and that's enough to claim +1 to hit for anyone nearby to help gun down whatever your squad was running from. Alternatively, fire a few bolters in the general direction of enemy aircraft to help your AA units.
    • While the Dark Angels and Imperial Fists can straight up give themselves +1 to hit when shooting, the Ultramarines can do it with ANY weapon; not just Bolt or Auto weapons. That said, the 6" limitation means that if you want the bonus, your weapons will have to be supporting each other from similar range brackets. You cannot just snipe your targets from across the board just to give your units more accuracy. For example, those Lascannons cannot claim +1 from 48" away if the target was shot by that Despoiler Squad who were in position for an assault or vice versa, but it can be supported by that Autocannon squad, or that artillery unit. It means that you have pay attention to your deployment, and make sure that units are actually able to support each other as the game progresses. Rhinos can be an interesting choice; 35 points (cheaper than a Cognis-Signum!) is more than worth it for +1 to hit on your Veteran/Tactical Support Squads, while Heavy Support Squads can be buffed by adding 12" with a 10pt Heavy Bolter. Your Drop Pods/Termites can also do this, making your ranged infantry in Underworld/Drop Pod Assault more potent than usual.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Unity of Purpose": Once per battle in the shooting phase, when an enemy unit shoots at one of your Ultramarines, you can decide to have the target unit AND another unit both take a Reaction shooting attack against the triggering enemy unit. Reacting models must have line of sight and cannot fire indirectly, and vehicles must use defensive weapons, but that Legion Heavy Support squad with Lascannons is absolutely legit. Basically, this is the ultimate "screw you" once per game to anyone who dares shoot at you.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. The Burden of Kings (Loyalist Only): The Warlord gains a It Will Not Die (4+) roll and Fearless on any turn where they are wounded, whether or not they are saved. While this makes your Warlord plenty durable, it has a pretty visible weakness against anything with high rate of fire or Brutal (X), which you won't be able to regenerate as quickly. You can also make one additional Reaction at any point each turn as long as it's by the Warlord's unit.
    • If you die, you don't get this for obvious reasons. However, you can take a Mantle of Ultramar below to mitigate S8 ID and Feel No Pain to make sure you survive to roll It Will Not Die by getting additional protection beyond Armour/Invulnerable saves. In particular, the Primus Medicae's Sacred Trust will also let you re-roll your 4+, so it may be worth taking him, even though as an IC you can join units with a normal Apothecary. You regenerate 0.75 wounds per turn with a Primus Medicae; with the saves a Praetor gets, being attacked by the enemy can be a method of healing.
    • Being able to choose which Phase you get an extra reaction in, even if it's only on the Warlord's unit, is very nice. Enemy too far? Advance. Taking fire? Evade. Being charged? Hold the Line. Regardless of what you've done with the rest of the army, you always get one more reaction for your Warlord's unit, and this can win fights by making sure whatever unit your Warlord is in makes it into melee in one piece, or preventing the enemy from splatting you on the charge.
  2. The Aegis of Wisdom: Any unit that can draw LOS with the Warlord can make a Regroup check using the Warlord's Ld score. If successful, these units not only Regroup, but they can also Shoot or Charge despite having Regrouped. You also get an additional Reaction during the Shooting phase. The closest thing you'll get to ATSKNF in the 31st Millennium, as befitting the Legion whose Primarch literally wrote the book for 10000 years.
  3. Pride's Dark Power (Traitor Only): The fluff points out that these are not necessarily Traitors working for Horus, but are Ultramarines who felt their Legion deserved more praise and a more dominant position in the new Imperium. Funny that... Rules-wise, once per battle, at the start of any one phase in the game, the Warlord may use his Leadership score as his Toughness for the duration of the phase. His army also gets an extra Reaction to use in the Assault phase. Great for making sure you win the challenge by shrugging off everything your opponent can throw at you for that one turn and punching him out with a Thunder Hammer, but is that worth a Warlord trait?

Unique Wargear

  • The Legatine Axe: Any Independent Character may replace a Power Axe for one of these for five points.
    • Only one of 2 Legion-specific weapons left that has unconditional AP2 at initiative. It's been nerfed; deservedly so, as it was a very good weapon in 1.0. To begin with, TEQs having twice the wounds this edition means the Axe's damage output has effectively been halved, while Power Fists and Thunder Hammers still remove them in 1 hit. The actual weapon also lost special rules; you're also no longer guaranteed to wound on a 6 to hit, and while the loss of Specialist Weapon means you can pair it with pistols, it also means you can't pair it with Power Fists any more.
    • As everyone with WS6 is a Praetor/Champion and gets an objectively superior weapon in Paragon Blades, whatever IC using this will have WS5 base, meaning you hit enemy Centurions and elites on 4+ and wound on 4+, causing 1 wound per 4 attacks. As you will likely have 4 attacks (3 base, 1 for whatever pistol you have), the Axe will not statistically kill a 2W MEQ, leaving your IC open to ID by Power Fist. Legion Terminators are hit on a 3+, but have an Invulnerable save, which means you cannot kill them at initiative either. It is the Paragon Blade writ small; AP2 at initiative is fine, but your effectiveness has been cut because your niche of 1W TEQ doesn't exist any more.
      • That said, your ready access to 4++ (see below) means any 2W unit sergeant your opponent has will likely also not have enough attacks (barring Thunder Hammer) to cause a wound and inflict ID, giving you a good chance of removing his 2nd wound in the 2nd round of the challenge before he makes attacks again. You still won't kill Terminator Centurions, who are 3W and can take another round of your attacks before punching you in the face.
      • Your Chaplains can become surprisingly killy, as Hatred helps with their middling WS and they always get +1 attack from paired weapons (even in Terminator Armour) from their Master-crafted Power Maul.
  • Argyrum Pattern Boarding Shield: Any Independent Character can buy one for 15 points. It grants a 5++ invulnerable save against shooting attacks, and 4++ against any attack while engaged in Assault. The wielder can't use Two-Handed weapons, but can claim an extra attack for a second weapon, because editing be damned. The 4++ cannot stack with any other Invulnerable saves, so no messing about with cyber-familiars and the like. Unlike the normal Boarding Shield, this does not confer Heavy.
    • Useless on anyone who already has a 4++ (Artificer armour Praetors and Cataphractii ICs) for obvious reasons.
    • As it does not take away any attacks, it is basically an Iron Halo for Tartaros Praetors and most Centurions. Tartaros Praetors with a Shield get +1 wound over Artificer armour Praetors for only +5 points, as Tartaros Praetors were cheaper to begin with. Likewise, your Tartaros Centurions can take a shield and get 4++ in melee without any of the downsides of Cataphractii Armour, at only +5 points compared to an actual Cataphractii Centurion. Forge Lords can take cyber-familiars at the same price and get a re-roll on characteristic test in the bargain, but the shield is available to all of your melee beatsticks. Not getting the 5++ at range doesn't hurt so much; if you're a melee IC you'd be getting into melee on a jump pack or in a transport anyway, and you can always allocate your wounds onto someone else barring Precision Shot.
  • The Mantles of Ultramar: A single Praetor in a Detachment, Primary or Allied, can pay 25pts to swap out their artificer armour for the Mantles of Ultramar. It retains the artificer armour's 2+, but also gives the Praetor Battle-hardened (1), which will help him not get ID'd by weapons that have a Strength that is twice his Toughness, and immunity to Blind; Blind will still affect the unit he joins, though.
    • Very useful in Power Fist vs Power Fist scenarios, which most Praetor duels eventually degenerate into because the Paragon Blade is not killy enough to remove the enemy Praetor at initiative. Thunder Hammers are still a threat due to sheer damage output from Brutal (2), so make sure to milk your your immunity to ID by getting Feel No Pain and/or It Will Not Die. Thankfully, you have easy access to both.

Unique Rites of War

The Logos Lectora
A highly dynamic Rite of War built around a core contingent of Infantry made up of an extra Compulsory HQ and Troops choice that must deploy in a standard fashion, but are then able to change their rules every turn to best take advantage of the battlefield.

  • Benefits:
    • Every turn, the controlling player may choose a Command to enact, which affect all Infantry units with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) rule, but may not choose the same Command two turns in a row. No, Primarchs are no longer infantry, so Guilliman isn't affected, and Dreadnoughts aren't included any more either. However, as the Commands are always tradeoffs, you can use the fact that your non-infantry units are not subject to it as an advantage.
      • Full March: Increase their Movement characteristic by +2, but reduce their WS and BS by -1.
        • Simple really; sprint into range with all of your melee units and Rapid Fire/Assault weapons on turn 1. You can't fire while out of range so your BS doesn't matter, while you really shouldn't be in melee range. Don't be too worried about -1 BS, as only infantry (and not the vehicles and Dreadnoughts with the big guns) are affected, while you can get it back by Strength of Wisdom on the infantry units whose shooting you care about. Just remember to let other ranged units shoot first so you can claim the +1 to hit.
      • Hold Fast: Increase their Leadership by +1 and may re-roll failed to-hit rolls when Shooting, but are not allowed to Move or Run.
        • Your gunline is in range from Full March; now shoot the enemy in the face. Don't be too worried if you've gotten too close to the enemy; your re-roll to hit makes your Overwatch a lot scarier, while Hold the Line is easier to pass with your increased leadership.
      • Retribution Strike: Increase WS by +1 and gain +1 to Charge rolls, but must reduce BS by -1.
        • Charge the enemy with your melee units! You can also take less hits with any unfortunate ranged units who are stuck in melee by gaining 1 WS, while the melee guys come in to rescue you. Regarding the -1 BS, same deal as Full March; the big guns mostly aren't infantry anyway.
      • Regroup: Units may re-roll failed Leadership tests made to Regroup, and may re-roll Reserves.
        • For when you really need more units doing things on the field, whether by stopping them from running or calling more in. There's no more clause about units under 25% models needing Insane Heroism to regroup, so your troops will regroup on at least their base Ld 7, which when re-rolled gives them over 80% chance of regrouping, with it getting better if you have other sources of leadership pushing it above 7. However, the fact that the Reserves must come in normally limits the usefulness of re-rolling Reserves.
        • The compulsory Master of Signals/Damocles Rhino already gave Reserves re-rolls. You could use the Command if they're in Reserves or if they're killed, but how often does that happen?
      • While you may choose to enact a Command, Regroup has no drawback, so you can use it alternately with Hold Fast at range or Retribution Strike in melee without taking penalties to movement or BS respectively for the rest of your army. Unless you plan on saving Regroup to or summon Reserves or, well, regroup, use it by default.
  • Limitations:
    • The Detachment must include an additional Compulsory HQ choice that must be a Master of Signals or a Damocles Command Rhino.
      • Both of these are options that grant Reserves re-rolls, using a character's leadership to roll Morale checks/Pinning tests and possibly mucking up the enemy's Deep Strikes. As the Damocles Rhino costs a heck of a lot and the Master of Signals packs a Cognis-Signum, the Master might be the better choice. The Master's compulsory vox disruption array won't screw you over like in Black Reaving either, as you can't Deep Strike anyway.
    • The Detachment must include an additional Compulsory Troops choice.
    • Units in the Detachment may not deploy via Infiltrate, Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault, or Flanking Assault, and must deploy normally.

Unique Units

  • Invictarus Suzerain Squad: One of the better unique units and a strong contender for being the best due to being incredibly cost-effective. For 175 points, you get 5 guys with a Centurion statline except -1 BS and I, with 30 points per extra model. As for the equipment, they have Legatine Axes, Artificer Armour, Argyrum Pattern Boarding Shields, grenades and Bolt Pistols. Thanks to the wording of Argyrum Shield, the latter gives them 4 S4 AP2 attacks at I4 per 2+ 5++ 2W model. The Lords of Ultramar special rule means that Invictarus Suzerains buff all Infantry or Cavalry units which are not Pinned or Falling Back (but do not have this rule themselves) with +1 Leadership to a maximum of 9. They can also be taken as a Retinue for your Praetor, in which case one model can exchange his Bolt Pistol for a Legion Standard for 25 points.
    • Unit type is Infantry (Line, Heavy, Character). Yeah.
    • At Heavy 2+ 5++ (4++ in melee) 2W, you're basically Cataphractii without its drawbacks, like Bulky or no Sweeping Advances (no running comes from Heavy). Your squad is small enough even at full to get to battle in a Land Raider instead of a Spartan, and you don't need a Primus Medicae to get Feel No Pain.
    • As Suzerains have the same statline as Centurions except for I4, the maths above for Centurions applies the same, and your Legatine Axes should really be used as a method for your meatshields to make some attacks at AP2 before the Thunder Hammer guys in the back do the real damage, as they're in themselves not good enough as a source of damage. That said, in addition to the usual "get more hits with a Chaplain" everyone else has, you can also use your Retribution Strike from Logos Lectora to improve your WS and/or get the charge to hit more, as well as your Primarch's Preternatural Strategy to hit harder, so full squads of Axes do have potential against enemy elites by wiping out a large fraction of them before they can hit you with their unwieldy AP2 weapons. In particular, you can afford a Chaplain; you saved 130 points by taking a Land Raider instead of the Spartan everyone else's super duper elite Terminators had to take.
    • You can't get Melta Bombs, so take a few Thunder Hammers if you're afraid of vehicles or Dreadnoughts.
  • Praetorian Breacher Squad: A squad of Breachers that dropped their Bolters and are now equipped with Power Swords, which they can put to good use with their WS5. They can take a Legion Vexilla and the Praetorian Primus, their Sergeant, can swap out his Power Sword for a Legatine Axe or a Power Fist, with one in five goobers also being able to take a Legatine Axe. These guys all have 2 wounds, Chosen Warriors and Hammer of Wrath (1).
    • You're pretty tough at WS5 2W with 3+/5++, but don't expect to kill much of anything better than Troops, as you're only 1A base and can't get more unless you charge because you have a Boarding Shield. This also makes taking the Legatine Axe not very good; 10 points for an AP2 weapon at initiative is great in a vacuum, but 10 points to make one attack AP2 instead of AP3 isn't.
      • Praetorian Primus can be a tough customer with a Power Fist, as he gets 2A like any sergeant would and the Power Fist never got +1 attack from having a pistol to begin with, so it loses nothing from the Boarding Shield. This guy has a pretty good shot at killing Artificer Armour sergeants in Challenges by having an actual Invulnerable save and possibly more WS, while the other Praetorians fight off the rest of the 3+ MEQ squad.
    • This squad serves next to no purpose; they're decent, but the Invictarus Suzerain are objectively better at just 40 points more in the same slot. Would be great in Legions with ways to get more attacks, as Praetorians would be the toughest unit in the army list behind Command Squads and Terminator Squads, or as troops like Indomitus Terminators or the sword Breachers they replaced from 1.0. As is, it's hard to compete with a unit of (very well-equipped) Centurions in the same slot.
  • Fulmentarus Terminator SquadLegacies: Gone are the Autocannons and Combi-Meltas the Fulmentarus Terminators could take, and in their place is a completely new set of missiles you can fire from their new Fulmentarus Missile Arrays. Splinter missiles are your choice for locking down squads with Pinning while fishing for lucky hits with Breaching (6+), while the Hellfire plasma missiles are flying Thunder Hammers, with S8 AP2 Brutal (2) at 24". If some of your squad is outside 24", those models can fire the Splinter Missiles, as each model can choose which to fire. The Peritarch Targeter also got an overhaul; it now disables movement for the turn, forces all models to fire the same missile type, and disables all Reactions other than Overwatch or Interceptor unless the Fulmentarus squad can draw LoS to the unit that would trigger the Reaction, but they get Guided Fire and Night Vision for the rest of the user's turn, no messing around with unit sizes required.
    • You are now Elites and not Heavy Support. This means a. you take them from your 4 Elites slots instead of competing for 3 Heavy Support slots with the rest of your big guns, and b. you can take them as Troops in Pride of the Legion, as they're a unit in Cataphractii Armour who are normally selected as Elites. You can't give them Line as they're not Legion Terminators, but still.
    • Despite how cool your Missile Array looks, it is really a 24" weapon, as the Hellfire missiles are a lot better than the Splinter missiles. People will try and shut the Missile Array up by attacking you in melee, so equip yourself accordingly.
    • Cataphractii Armour no longer prevents Overwatch. Wipe out some unsuspecting nonces who thought it would be bright to tie up the unit spewing S8 AP2 at their Terminators. If they make it into melee, you still fight like a Legion Terminator.
    • Losing Tank Hunter leaves you at plain S8 against vehicles unless you attach a Siege Breaker. However, with Dreadnoughts no longer being vehicles, you can do very well against them by hitting on 2+, wounding on 3+, ignoring their armour and inflicting 2 wounds per successful wound.
    • Getting 2W as a TEQ helps you at the 24" range your Plasma missiles fire at, as you can take more small arms fire. That said, basically all of the AP2 weapons the enemy will use on you either have S8 or above (Melta/Lascannon) or have innate Instant Death (Disintegrators), so it doesn't help as much as it sounds like.
  • Locutarus Storm SquadLegacies: Continuing the Ultramarines' trend of taking a standard unit and making it incredible, this is a jump-pack Assault Squad made of veterans (yes, 2 wounds) clad in Artificer Armour and equipped with improved power swords with Rending (5+) and Duellist's Edge (1). Mass Rending is always a good thing (don't forget it works on Dreadnoughts now), and they can chop through challenges a little more easily. 5 men for 150 points, can be brought up to 10 for 25pts per Marine. You can swap Sergeant's sword out for Power Axe/Lightning Claw/Legatine Axe/Power Fist/Thunder Hammer. Locutarus also gain a +1 to hit on any turn they charge a unit that was shot by another unit composed entirely of LA (Ultramarines) model the previous Shooting phase, dramatically improving their odds of inflicting damage.
    • You're now WS5 2W A2 as befits an elite assault unit. One of very few units that got substantial buffs in the Legacies PDF.
    • As you have Rending (5+) and your S4 attacks wound on a 4+ against MEQs anyway, most of your wounds end up being AP2, so this Argean Power Sword is a lot scarier than it looks. The high chance of Rending also gives you a fighting chance against Dreadnoughts, which you otherwise only have your Strike Leader's wargear (Melta Bomb/Sx2 weapon) against in melee.
    • Unlike Strength of Wisdom and like your 1.0 Legion trait, there is no limit on where the friendly unit is shooting from. You could well get +1 to hit because the squad you're charging got shot by your Recon snipers on the other side of the table. A ton of your Pinning weapons are long-ranged too and will disable your opponent's reactions, so take advantage of that as well. Like Strength of Wisdom, you only need to have shot at the enemy squad; it doesn't matter if you kill anyone or even hit anyone.
      • Blade of Wisdom says nothing about Blast/Template attacks either, so friendly Flamers are also a valid option, bringing a whole new meaning to "friendly fire" in the process.
      • This is a flat +1 to hit and not +1 WS. It's the same 3+ against WS5 units, but enjoy dicing WS4 units by hitting on a 2+. On the other hand, it's also no extra protection against being hit, so take that into mind when fighting WS5/WS6 units, as they'll hit you just as much.
      • Combine the two by pairing your Storm Squad with some ranged units, and support each other like true Ultramarines! Your Storm Squad's Bolt Pistols can trigger Strength of Wisdom, letting your ranged unit get +1 to hit with whatever special weapons they have. Because that's another unit shooting, you then claim +1 to hit on the Storm Squad when you charge the survivors. The Storm Squad have to start within 6" of the ranged unit and end within charging range of the enemy, but being a jump unit helps. This can work whether by pairing the Storm Squad with short-ranged units (Outriders anyone?) on the attack, or using your Storm Squad to defend your long-ranged units against melee attack.
        • You can also use this to make up for Retribution Strike from Logos Lectora, as your ranged unit gets to hit on a 3+ again while you get your bonuses to get into melee.
      • In addition to wiping out Troops, you can also take on smaller units of Legion Terminators; you hit them a lot with your 4 attacks on the charge per model and reliable ability to get 2+ to hit against WS4, while Rending (5+) gives a good shot at ignoring their armour. This isn't a license to go fight the 10 Storm Shield Terminators, but maybe you can smack those 5 Terminators whose Land Raider you just destroyed with something else.
    • You've lost Opening Salvo, which was the whole reason why the pistol options were any good in 1.0. Don't bother with them; you'll get into melee quick enough that you don't need the shooting.
  • Nemesis Destroyer SquadExemplary Battles: Mortalis Destroyers who decided to keep their bolters for tactical flexibility. While they can't pick up the oddball Disintegrator or Toxiferran Flamer, they do have access to a broad selection of guns, giving them echoes of tactical squads. Their bolters are a bit different though, being shorter-ranged but becoming Assault 2 and gaining Harrower, forcing enemies who lose models to test for morale as if they suffered 25% casualties. This gives the Destroyers a bit more preference in staying within mid-range conflicts while being able to pick out special guns for whatever the occasion. You only need to cause kill 1 model to force a test (6 hits against MEQs, 24 hits against TEQs), so don't be shy with taking special weapons.
    • This unit can combine well with Seekers. The Seekers can take out the enemy sergeant and make them more likely to fail the Morale check, while also being in the same range bracket to trigger Strength of Wisdom.

Unique Characters

  • Remus Ventanus, Commander of the 4th Company of the 1st Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion, The Saviour of Calth: Following the Ultramar tradition, Ventanus comes with support roles to fill with Melta Bombs, a Legion Standard and a Nuncio-Vox to help support whatever squad he joins. While he only has Artificer Armour and an Iron Halo, he also gets Adamantium Will (3+) to shut down Psykers with ease. His weapons are rather plain, with a Bolt Pistol and his MC Power Sword with Rending (5+) for a better edge in combat.
    • His WT is particularly good as it lets all units auto-pass morale checks when near objectives, which is especially powerful for your tacticals, on top of a free reaction each movement phase.
    • He no longer lets you reroll Reserves like in 1.0. However, he instead has a Legion Standard, which makes him Line and allowing his squad to take objectives. Comes up less than you think because your Legion specific elite unit already had Line and could take their own Standard as a Retinue in any case, as could Command Squads, but it can come in useful if you're leading some other squad.
  • Honoured TelemechrusLegacies: An especially angry Contemptor, as he's got a buffed WS6 and A4 as well as Hatred (Everything) so he can rip apart anything from traitor marines to daemons all the same. He's also equipped with a Kheres Assault Cannon for additional shooting on top of his fist-bolter on those turns where he isn't killing shit. Sadly, he's lost any leadership potential, but he's fortunately a decent beatstick.
Roboute Gulliman
  • Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines, The Victorious, The Master of Ultramar, Ruler of Hosts, The Blade of Unity: As snake-man can attest, Guilliman is not the strongest of the Primarchs. In fact, he's only ordinary, with 6s in most stats except for WS7, M8 and Ld10. However, he has plenty of tricks up his sleeves to compensate for his unassuming nature. His Preternatural Strategy rule is capable of giving ALL ULTRAMARINES that aren't vehicles either Fleet (2), Counter-attack (1), Furious Charge (1) or Stubborn each turn (you can't choose the same twice in a row), giving you an incredible amount of flexibility with what you should prioritize, especially when stacked with the Logos Lectora RoW.
    • His WT, Sire of the Ultramarines, is probably his weakest point, as it only gives your army a bump in Leadership and a free Reaction in only ONE phase of your choosing for the entire phase, meaning only Assault phases or only Shooting phases. Compared to WTs that let you take Reactions in any phase without restrictions, this can be a bit restricting.
    • His Armour of Reason gives a basic 2+/4++ save, but he can re-roll his first invulnerable save each turn and he has a Adamantium Will (3+) to protect against psykers.
    • His Bolter, The Arbitrator, remains a pretty potent MC bolter with S6 AP3 and Rending (5+), though 18" is a bit short when compared to the regular Bolter.
    • The Gladius Incandor and The Hand of Dominion remain a devastating pair of Master-crafted melee weapons, with the Hand being S10 AP1 with Brutal (2) to overwhelm tanks and heroes while the Gladius gets Shred and Murderous Strike (5+) to send anything else to their graves in an instant to compensate for being only S+1 AP2. Supporting both is the Calculating Swordsman rule, which lets him re-roll 1s to hit on any round of a Challenge past the first. Also remember that you can use Preternatural Strategy for Furious Charge (1) and kill MEQs with S8 AP2 ID at initiative using the Gladius; considering you have Master-crafted and Shred, the majority of your attacks will kill.
    • Don't forget that Guilliman has a Cognis-Signum, which gives him Night Vision and allows him to forego a Shooting attack to give a non-cumulative +1 BS to any unit he joins. That said, the Arbitrator is a pretty decent weapon and Strength of Wisdom does the same thing as the Cognis-Signum, so the choice to use it is not as straightforward as last edition.


Salamanders legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

Though they were devastated during the the Drop Site Massacre, the XVIIIth Legion is still a force to be reckoned with. The themes of resilience and self-sacrifice are still present, as is their pyromania, and all of this without the speed penalties of first edition.

Although the basic troops of the Salamanders can shrug off special weapons fire better than most, they really shine when employing elite multi-wound models where their universal It Will Not Die comes into play. Dreadnoughts, Terminators, Veterans and Vehicles will last longer then ever, encouraging a small but elite fighting force, to say nothing about your characters; with easy access to improved invulnerable saves, Battle-Hardened (1), and Master-crafted weapons, you can build the toughest Praetors of any Legion.

It's not all smiles, though. The restrictions on Destroyers and Moritats is no longer universal, but it's baked into most of your Rites of War and Warlord Traits, so it's not gone, either. With the largest number of Sworn Brothers-level allies among any of the Legion, you can easily bring some friends to compensate for your shortcomings.

If you want to channel your inner pyromaniac and unleash the might of the dragon, the Salamanders are the Legion for you.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Blood of Fire: Attacks to units from this legion using Flame, Melta, Plasma, or Volkite weapons suffer a -1 to wound. In addition, Vehicles and units with multiple wounds gain It Will Not Die (6+).
    • This gives your big guys an extra layer of survivability while everyone is a bit more capable of shrugging off some of the most dangerous weapons that can be fielded against them.
    • Keep in mind that this is -1 to wound rolls, not -1 to the weapon's Strength, so it doesn't help against Instant Death.
    • Due to the rules on wound allocation, you can allocate 1 wound onto characters like sergeants and then wounds on a member of the squad before losing any models, granting you a higher chance to regain a wound with IWND. The odds of it working are still very slim as you need to have a multi-wound model still alive by the end of your turn and then rolling a 6 for IWND. If your 2 wound Veteran suffered a wound in the Opponent's shooting phase, he needs to survive 4 phases before getting the 1/6 chance to regain a singular wound. This rule sounds good in theory but in practice has a lower than average chance of working. That said, your Legion-specifics have it at 5+ and you can re-roll it with a Primus Medicae. If you run out of HQ slots, remember you can ask your Sworn Brothers allies for one, as there's no longer any restriction on taking them as compulsory HQ.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Duty is Sacrifice": Use when an enemy unit declares a Charge targeting one of your own. If the Charge is successful, models in your unit gains +1 WS, Strength and Attacks, but, after the fight and any Morale checks, roll a D6 for each surviving model in your unit. On a 6, that unit suffers one automatic wound; no saves or abilities to ignore it are possible. If the Charge is not successful, however, your unit gains Fearless instead until your next turn.
    • A very useful panic button, being basically a souped up Hold the Line. You should, however, use it when you are sure that the enemy unit will Charge you successfully.
    • While you get no saves against the automatic wounds, nothing prevents you from healing them with It Will Not Die, which anyone capable of surviving the automatic wound will have simply by being a Salamander with multiple wounds.

Warlord Traits:

  1. The Weight of Duty (Loyalist Only): The Warlord and any unit they're attached to gain +1 Strength when fighting anything with Fear (X). If attached to a unit where everyone has Legiones Astartes (Salamanders), then the unit gains Hatred (Traitors). You also gain an extra Reaction in the Assault phase while he lives. In addition, Destroyers and Moritats are not allowed in your army.
    • Put this Warlord in a Firedrake Terminator Squad and go smashing some Night Lords' faces. Also a good buff in general, as Hatred (Traitors) is actually completely separate from Fear (X) or the strength buff.
  2. Promethean Will: The entire Detachment gets +1 to Leadership when rolling Pinning checks and reduces the effects of Fear (X) by one step (since Fear now has a numerical value rather than the Fear>Terror ladder of prior editions). You also gain an extra Reaction in the Shooting phase while he lives.
    • It essentially allows you to resist attempts to stop your green men from stopping dead in their tracks.
    • Despite being usable by Loyalists and Traitors alike, you're still restricted from taking Destroyers and Moritats.
  3. Redemption in Flames (Traitor Only): Your Warlord and the unit he joined get +1 to wound/penetration rolls with Flame and Volkite weapons. You also gain an extra Reaction in the Shooting phase while he lives.
    • Volkite and Dragon's Breath weapons are already pretty good at wounding infantry, but this now all but guarantees that they can make their marks while giving a slight edge at breaching vehicles.
    • Give it to an Armistos and a Heavy Support Squad, all equipped with Volkite Culverins or Dragon's Breath Heavy Flamers, and you will have a great Glass Cannon.
    • You also can take Destroyers and Moritats now. Yeah! It only cost you your loyalty.

Unique Wargear

  • Dragon's Breath Weapons: A free upgrade for all of your Flamers, including the Flamestorm Cannon, giving +1 Strength, making even your basic Flamers capable of wounding marines on a 3+, and the Dragon's Breath rule, making it so that firing them in Overwatch deals D6 hits instead of D3, improving their effectiveness as a deterrent.
    • Almost every Sergeant in power armour and any model in a Legion Veteran Squad can swap their Bolt Pistols for Hand Flamers, which are all basically full Flamers that add +1 melee attack. If you want to be a filthy heretic and bring Destroyer Squads, all models in that unit can dual-wield Hand Flamers for maximum roasting action. Overwatch yields an average of 70 S4 hits, which is no joke.
  • Artifice and Flame: What are the Salamanders without an excessive amount of Flamers? Units with Heavy Bolters, both stock and TL, can exchange them for Dragon's Breath Heavy Flamers for free, meaning that Heavy Support Squads can easily become massive walls of death if you can get past the armour. Any Salamanders model with the Character sub-type (not necessarily Independent) can also buy Master-Crafted for any of their weapons for 10pts per weapon.
  • Dragonscale Storm Shield: Confers a 5++ Invulnerable or improves an existing one by one step, but you can't dual wield or use a Two-handed weapon.
    • It's not as potent as the Vigil Storm Shields of the Imperial Fists, but it's markedly cheaper, with Independent Characters only needing to spend 15pts to get it, while those with any pattern of Terminator armour being able to get it for 10pts only.
  • Mantle of the Elder Drake: One Praetor, in regular or Terminator armour, can spend 35pts to get this, gaining Battle-hardened (1) to foil attempts to Instant Death him by hitting him hard enough.

Unique Discipline: Fury of the Salamander

Oddly enough, the Salamanders get a special Psychic Discipline that Librarians can pick up. Why? Beats us. How does it compare to Pyromancy? It's not as Template-happy, but you get a more reliable Flamer and a guaranteed way to slow down enemies even if you can't hurt them.

  • Salamander's Fury: Enemies within 18" treat all Open Terrain as Difficult Terrain and all Difficult Terrain as Difficult and Dangerous Terrain.
    • Pretty much made to trap them so your forces can go strike them down before they can strike your Psyker, since he can't Move, Shoot or Charge in response to anything.
  • Elemental Horror: An S7 AP4 Psychic Flamer with Pinning, Shell Shock (3) and Deflagrate.
    • Even if you don't get to cook anything because of their saves, they are pretty much trapped where they stand.

Unique Rites of War

The Awakening Fire
With Vulkan presumed dead at Isstvan, his Legion was in disarray and many of them disagreed over what to do. Those who were not assigned to that disastrous event turned to the Promethean Cult for guidance. Those who emerged became changed, more ruthless than before and far more devout, guided by their Chaplains.

  • Benefits:
    • Infantry units with Legiones Astartes (Salamanders) can buy Fear (1) for 20pts. All Infantry also ignore all modifiers for Pinning.
    • Any Psykers you pick up can use the Salamander's unique Fury of the Salamander Discipline instead of their normal choices.
    • You gain an additional non-Compulsory HQ slot, but it can only be used to take a Chaplain Consul. Incidentally, you must take a Chaplain as one of your HQ choices.
  • Limitations:
    • You can only take one Cavalry unit, not counting any Techmarines or Apothecaries who buy a bike to accompany their units, and no jump packs at all.
      • Unlike other Rites that restrict your Fast Attack slots, you cannot circumvent this by taking Command Squads.
    • Must take a Chaplain. No, your named ICs from the Legacies PDF don't count, despite being Chaplains in the fluff.
    • No Vulkan. People at this time thought he was dead.

The Covenant of Flame
Pyromania: The Rite. You're getting plenty of access to Flamers and you're going to cheese that out to the best of your abilities with full-Flamer Predators and Pyroclasts for Troops.

  • Benefits:
    • Pyroclast and Tactical Support Squads with Dragon's Breath Flamers are now considered Troops choices with the Line sub-type, giving you some very effective objective denial units.
    • Predator Squadrons where every model has Dragon's Breath Cannons and Dragon's Breath Heavy Flamer sponsons are considered non-Compulsory Troops in case you REALLY needed to incinerate something alive.
  • Limitations:
    • No Deep Strike Assault allowed. Using Subterranean or Flanking Assault is still okay, though.
      • Expect to use plenty of Land Raiders and Rhinos to move your army.
    • No Destroyers, no Moritats. You're still Salamanders, and they didn't like that sorta crap.
    • You must take a Champion Consul as an HQ choice.

Unique Units

  • Firedrake Terminator Squad: Ultra-tanky Cataphractii Terminators with It Will Not Die (5+) and the ability to serve as a Retinue for a MotL. Their ranged options got cut down to merely Combi-Flamers/Meltas with one Heavy Flamer, but you can also sacrifice the entire unit's shooting power for Dragonscale Storm Shields, for even tankier saves. Their melee options are largely unchanged, though in the place of Lightning Claws, the entire unit can pick up Thunder Hammers, all of which can re-roll 1s to hit thanks to Forge-craft of Nocturne.
    • Give them shields, which give them 3++ save, and a Primus Medicae, which gives them Feel No Pain (5+) and lets you re-roll any failed It Will Not Die (5+) rolls for a nearly unkillable unit. Also makes Deep Striking with a Warmonger safer, as your 3++ makes taking wounds very unlikely and you can heal any lost wounds.
    • You still don't have any protection against Power Fists and other sources of ID beyond 2+/3++ (which is admittedly very good), as you don't get anything like Battle-hardened. It Will Not Die will trigger a lot less than you like.
  • Pyroclast Squad: What effectively counts as your Destroyers when they are banned by either WT or Rite. They get It Will Not Die (5+) and Mantle of Ash, a 5++ save against Flame, Plasma, Melta and Volkite weapons, so they can handle quite a bit of abuse. Their Flame Projectors are their singular focus, a gun that alternates between a Dragon's Breath Heavy Flamer or a Meltagun while benefiting from anything that helps either weapon. This gives them more than a little versatility as this lets them handle crowds and TEQs/tanks with equal measure.
    • Again, their It Will Not Die (5+) is the perfect occasion to use a Primus Medicae, though it would be pricey and of better use for the Firedrakes.

Unique Characters

After the release of the Legacies PDF, the few prominent Salamander characters have been diminished significantly, ranging from debuffing stats down to standard legionnaire levels to insane points increase for no little to no benefit. It truly is a bad time to be a Salamander.

  • Cassian Dracos Reborn, the Dragon Revenant, The Twice-Dead, Avatar of the Sacred FlamesLegacies: Former master of the legion before being interred within a super-sophisticated one-of-a-kind boxnought, Cassian actually got a bit better, being pretty much a regular dread with I4 so he can hit at the same time as most characters. He can also act as your warlord (using the generic Bloody-Handed WT if he does) so long as no other HQs besides Xiaphas Jurr and Narik Dreygur are present. Sadly, his weapons were downgraded to being merely fists with Dragon's Breath Flamers, meaning that he can't be the bane of any tanks.
    • On top of his guns, he also has the Artificia Mechanica Cybertheurgy Arcana, providing a rapid-fire Haywire gun, giving him some measure of anti-tank, but still a far cry from his melta-flamer-fists.
    • Oh, how the resilient box has fallen, since his Ferromantic Deflector causes Instant Death to deal 3 wounds base, so 2 Melta Bombs completely removes this 310 point model from the table, as Melta Bombs are not classified as a Melta weapon and not affected by Blood and Fire.
  • Lord Chaplain Nomus Rhy’tan, The Voice of the Fire, Keeper of the Keys of Prometheus Legacies: One part Praetor and one part Chaplain with all the rules of both as well as a Mantle of the Elder Drake and combi-flamer. For some reason he's WS/BS 5, despite otherwise having a Praetor's statline and being costed like one. His melee weapon is a massive two-handed S+2 AP2 hammer downgraded to now have Unwieldy from 1.0. Having Hatred is nice, but Loyalist Warlords could get a trait for Hatred (Traitors) anyway. That said, he gets Hatred in addition to his own Warlord Trait and he gives Reactions in the Shooting Phase rather than the Assault Phase, so it's worth considering.
    • His unique WT lets Dreads within 6" add +2 to their charge distance, which helps if you kit them out with their fists.
  • Xiaphas JurrLegacies: A chaplain who also counts as a psyker with Pyromancy, but he counts as Leadership as 7 when rolling to cast. He's got quite a bit going, as he gets a 4++ iron halo (boosted to a 3++ thanks to his Dragonscale Shield) that deals d3 S4 AP- attacks on Overwatch while also carrying a MC power maul with Blind. His support game's quite good as along with his Chaplain buffs he also has a WT that lets one unit on the field with him roll a morale or pinning check using his Leadership each turn.
    • Out of the three, Xiaphas is the most viable as he is cheaper than Nomus with the same statline and not overpriced like Cassian Dracos, but even so his WT is outweighed by the more universally accessed Promethean Will.
  • Vulkan, The Primarch of the Salamanders, the Promethean Fire, the Hammer of Salvation, Regent of Nocturne: Vulkan has lost a few of his horde-clearing tricks from first edition in exchange for some tankbusting shooting, solidifying his role as a premier anti-deathstar fighter. He has a very promising statline, although he does have the lowest Initiative of any Primarch at a "mere" 5. His weapon isn't Unwieldy, though, so he'll still strike before some of his brothers.
    • Sire of the Salamanders gives all Salamanders Infantry unit in his army Stubborn to keep your men from running away. Notably, this rule does nothing for Cavalry, but that's not really your style anyway.
    • The Draken Scale provides Vulkan with a 2+/3++ and lets him re-roll failed armour saves against Flame and Volkite weapons. It's a step down from his old "immune to all Flame and Plasma" rule from the last edition, but still an amazing suit of armour.
    • Dawnbringer lost the smash attack of the old edition, but remains an amazing S10 AP1 profile with Instant Death, Armourbane (Melee), Two-handed and Master-crafted. Perfect for wrecking anything with multiple wounds or an armour value.
    • He now has a Dragon's Breath Heavy Flamer, as you would expect from his Legion, giving him a decent Template Shooting attack and a mean Overwatch.
    • Lastly, Ferrus Manus's gift, The Furnace's Heart, has been completely reworked. The awkward beam attack has been replaced with a straightforward S7 AP2 Lance, Shock Pulse and Burst (D6) pistol that turns every hit into D6 hits instead. This gun, combined with his hammer, makes Vulkan the best Primarch for smashing enemy vehicles, as he can threaten them from melee and up to 18" away.
    • Overall, Vulkan has been toned down from the first edition, but he's still a powerhouse and a decent force multiplier. He can no longer crush enemy hordes entirely on his own, but he can easily tear open a Land Raider and crush the Terminators inside of it.

Raven Guard[edit]

Raven guard legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

Specialised in guerrilla tactics, pre-battle positioning and assassination, the XIXth Legion is all about the virtues of a well-executed alpha strike. With decent but different buffs to most types of units, two Raven Guard armies can be surprisingly distinct from each other, although their playstyle still rewards aggressive close-up play.

With Tactical Squads that behave like Scout Marines and a plethora of sneaky wargear, the Raven Guard excels at taking and holding positions early on. If you believe that war is a surgical affair, best waged from the shadows, then take the black of the XIXth and crank the Brand New.

While most of their new 2.0 changes are additions to the old rules, they have lost a lot of flexibility when it comes to their Rites of War.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Shadow and Fury: Representing the reforms Corax undertook after the Drop Site Massacre, most Raven Guard units are assigned to one of three branches based on their Unit Type or equipment. Note that some units miss out on gaining any Legiones Astartes (X) trait at all, particularly Vehicles that aren't Fast.
    • Talons: Branch for Infantry without the Heavy sub-type, any kind of jump pack or Tartaros Terminator armour. Units comprised entirely of Talons gain the Infiltrate special rule, and also Shrouded (6+) as long as the enemy is more than 8" away.
      • Remember that some Infantry, like Recon Squads, already have Infiltrate.
      • Be mindful of crossing sub-types here, as adding a Boarding Shield or a Terminator armour-equipped Independent Character will stop the rest of the squad from gaining the Talons benefit.
        • Doesn't quite make up for lacking unique Troops but it's better than nothing. Talons however are a buff for Tactical and Support Squads, more so for those without Rhinos, by deploying directly in range for Rapid Fire Fury of the Legion or Plasma/Melta shots. You could also Infiltrate Volkite Caliver Tactical Support Squad then make them snipe or camp units from objectives & buildings without having to move them. If you Infiltrate Mortalis Destroyer squads you might be close to becoming That_Guy. Taking Legion Vets with Nemesis Bolters is kinda stupid when you have access to a superior option in the Mor Deythan.
    • Falcons: Branch for Dreadnoughts, jump pack-equipped squads, both kinds of Terminator squads, and any Heavy infantry. Models that are Falcons re-roll wound rolls of 1 after a successful Charge, even if that Charge was Disordered.
      • This unfortunately includes Heavy Support Squads as they have the Heavy rule, so much for infiltrating Multi-meltas. As Breachers are Heavy, this also means they're here rather than being Talons and using Infiltrate to enter Volkite range. That said, Power Fists and the like all wounded MEQs on 2+, so this is basically Shred on Power Fist Terminators and melee Dreadnoughts.
    • Hawks: Branch for Cavalry and Fast/Flyer Vehicles. Any Hawks unit Running, Moving Flat Out, or moving as a Zooming Flyer move gains the Shrouded (6+) rule or the Shrouded (5+) rule if they already had Shrouded (6+). This effect lasts until the start of your next turn.
      • Gives you stealthy Xiphon Interceptors, what's not to like? Also works well on Land Speeders, as their Harbingers of the Legion lets them reroll their 6+. Unfortunately does not work on Javelins; they're Cavalry, but are Heavy and therefore cannot Run. Also does not work on your bikes/jetbikes, as they already got Shrouded (5+) from Running and cannot further improve it.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Fade to Black": Once per battle, when a friendly Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard) unit is targeted by a shooting attack but before any dice are rolled, you may immediately move that unit a distance in inches equal to their highest Initiative stat and that unit gains the Shrouded (4+) special rule. If you manage to get your unit out of range of the enemy, the enemy unit may choose a different target if possible.
    • Probably best used for units already in Cover to get them out of LoS of the enemy, or to get a unit into Cover that wasn't entirely.
    • If anybody tries to channel their inner Alpha Legion and claim this is usable on Vehicles, e.g., to rotate them so you must shoot at the highest Armour Value, remember that although they have Legiones Astartes (X), they do not have Initiative and thus cannot move.
    • Originally, Corax was unable to use this reaction due to it clashing with the wording of the Fearless rule, but that has been changed in recent FAQ's, allowing Corax and his shadowy companions to slip into the shadows as they should.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. The Bane of Tyrants (Loyalist Only): +1 Strength and +1 Attacks when fighting in a Challenge, or +2 if that Challenge is against the enemy Warlord. You may also make an additional Reaction during the enemy's Assault phase.
    • Can be combined with Biomancy and a Paragon Blade for S8 AP2 on initiative against the enemy Warlord, which will almost guarantee his death as you have 8 attacks. You can't ID in other challenges, but unless the enemy somehow has a Praetor who isn't his Warlord you'll kill whatever Centurion/sergeant you come across regardless. As the Paragon Blade wounds MEQs on 2+ with the aforementioned strength bonuses, this can combine with Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) from Decapitation Strike or Falcons on Warlords with jump packs/Terminator Armour for some interesting results.
  2. The Hidden Hand: Re-roll all Reserves and when the Warlord and his unit arrive on the battlefield, they gain the Fleet (2) special rule. Allows one extra Reaction in the enemy's Movement phase.
    • Situationally very good, especially when combined with a jump pack-heavy army.
  3. No Gods or Masters (Traitor Only): Whenever your Warlord is in base to base contact (note: not just in a Challenge) with an Infantry or Cavalry model who has a higher Weapon Skill, Strength or Initiative in their base profile, your Warlord increases his WS, S and I to match the enemy. Also, once per game you may make a single free Reaction without spending points.
    • Note that he doesn't have to direct his newly powered-up stats toward the enemy model that gave him them, as long as there's another eligible target in combat. This works very well when attacking big blobs with attached Characters.
    • Unfortunately, Primarchs don't count as Infantry, so you can't use this to make your 60pt Centurion into a mini-Horus Ascended. You also don't get the special rules of your opponent, which in many cases are what makes named characters so strong; for instance, you get Corswain's WS7, but not Deathwing (bonus to hit and thus not WS) or Murderous Strike (not a stat), nor do you get Eidolon's on initiative Thunder Hammer (is a special rule). Don't think you can try and kill Sigismund just because you have this.

Unique Wargear

  • Raven's Talons: Now 5pts each, you may upgrade any Lightning Claw to have the Rending (5+) special rule. Pairing the Talons still grants +2 Attacks, which still a welcome addition.
    • Improving Rending from 6+ to 5+ and with the Shred re-roll makes this surprisingly good against 2+ saves. Unfortunately does not pair well with your Legion trait; almost all of your elite melee units will be Falcons, whose re-rolling 1s to-wound is wasted on a weapon that re-rolled all failed to-wounds. That said, you can give them to your Legion Veterans or Command Squads, both of whom are Talons and can Infiltrate into melee range.
  • Infravisor: Any Character model may be upgraded to have the Night Vision special rule and +1 BS, which is much better than in HH 1.0. Blind tests are still taken at Initiative 1.
    • With how easily Night Fighting can occur (2+ on turn 1, 4+ for turn 2, longer when against Night Lords using Terror Assault RoW), purchasing one on each sergeant in your army removes the many debuffs applied and allows your long range shooting units to fire at the enemy with less chance of being shot back in return, due to 24" limited range, failing Leadership checks with the -1 Ld or missing due to -1 BS.
    • Blind is quite uncommon so enjoy all the benefits with next to zero chance of suffering the debuff.
  • Cameleoline: A bit on the pricier side and only available to non-Terminator Praetors and Centurions, it grants either the Shrouded (6+) or +1 to that unit's pre-existing, if any, Shrouded (X) rule. Since most Infantry already have Shrouded (X), this is a very good option.
    • This can be used to give a Falcons character the Shrouded special rule.
    • A powerful combo in HH 1.O was giving this to a Praevian. This is no longer possible, as the new rules specifically restrict Cameleoline from being taken by Praevians and Mortificators.
  • Corvid Pattern Jump Pack: A new upgrade available to Independent Characters who have purchased a jump pack, the Corvid Pattern Jump Pack may be "activated" in the controlling player's Movement phase, granting the model a Move characteristic of 14, which also affects Charging, and the ability to ignore terrain and enemy or friendly models while Moving.
    • A model with an activated Corvid Pattern Jump Pack treats all Difficult Terrain as Dangerous Terrain, but gains a 4++ invulnerable save specifically for Dangerous Terrain checks.
    • Along with these rules, a Corvid Pattern Jump Pack confers the Bulky (3) or Bulky (4) special rule if the model in question was already Bulky, and grants the usual jump pack special rules, i.e., Hammer of Wrath (1) and Deep Strike.

Unique Rites of War

Decapitation Strike
All in all, this RoW is worse than its previous iteration. Gone is the option to take Deathstorm Drop Pods as Elites choices, a valuable source of heavy weapons, and you may no longer re-roll the dice to determine turn order. Thankfully, you are no longer restricted to a single Consul, and may take Allies.

  • Benefits:
    • All Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard) models gain Shrouded (5+) on a turn they come in through a Deep Strike or Flanking Assault and Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters).
      • Interestingly, the old "extra VPs for Slay the Warlord" part of the Liberation Force RoW is now part of Decapitation Strike, granting you +2 VPs for Slay the Warlord.
  • Limitations:
    • May only include one Heavy Support choice and may not take Fortifications.
      • Not much of a downside as Heavy slots can be filled by allies like your Salamanders, Iron Hands or Mechanicum Sworn Brothers.
      • Take a Dreadnought Talon/vehicle squadron to maximize your one slot. Your Heavy Support Dreadnoughts can also be somewhat replicated with Contemptors/Castraferrum Dreadnoughts and Heavy Support Squads with Rapiers. For more specialized anti-vehicle outside of your Heavy Support slots, consider Xiphons and Neutron Blaster Sabres.

Liberation Force
More thematic but somewhat more restrictive than its previous version. Themed around taking an Imperial Army Allied Detachment and must be Loyalist. No longer grants a once-per-game universal Zealot rule. Note that this Rite of War, due to the required Allied Detachment from the Imperial Army list, is currently unplayable until the Liber Imperium releases in October 2022.

  • Benefits:
    • Gives all Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard) units in the army Stubborn once per battle.
    • Your Allied Detachment permanently has the Stubborn USR, which is a downgrade from Fearless but is, at the very least, still active even without a Space Marine needing to be right beside them as a baby sitter.
    • Ironically, your Marines now need to be babysat by the revolutionary masses; as long as at least one model in a Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard) is within 6" of an Allied Imperial Army unit, the Marines gain Hatred (Everything).
  • Limitations:
    • No Slow, Heavy, Artillery, Bombard or Automated Artillery units may be taken.
      • Says nothing about Reinforced or vehicles in general, and imposes no slot restrictions. You are therefore technically free to bring all of the Spartans/Sicarans/Kratos you want. Also does not say anything about Fortifications, so you can bring some more AA on things like Vengeance Weapon Batteries. That said, your only choice of Dreadnought is now the Contemptor, and losing cost-efficient choices like Heavy Support Squads and Rapiers does hurt. You also lose Cataphractii (and therefore Deliverers), which were your strongest choice for melee infantry.
      • Does not say anything about what your Imperial Army friends bring. However, considering how badly nerfed most Blast weapons were in 2.0, don't hold your breath.
    • Loyalists only. You're here to save the common man from those traitorous bastards.
    • Must be the Primary Detachment, and the Allied Detachment of Solar Auxilia/Imperialis Militia must be at least 4 units. Cannot be evaluated until Liber Imperium is available, but bringing more Hatred bubbles does not seem to be a poor idea.

Unique Units

  • Mor Deythan Squad: Hyper Recon Marines with an extensive list of wargear, these guys come equipped with Shotguns as standard and may be upgraded to have Combi-Weapons, Nemesis Bolters, and/or Power or Charnabal weapons, which is new. Their signature Fatal Strike rule may be used once per game, allowing the entire squad to give their non-Template, non-Blast ranged weapons the Rending (4+) rule.
    • Oddly, the wording for their Fatal Strike rule states that the Rending (4+) rule does not replace or improve any existing versions of the Rending (X) rule they have, meaning RAW they may not use this rule with Nemesis Bolters... the weapon supplied in their FW kit.
    • A good option seems to be giving the whole squad Combi-Weapons. Note that Combi-Flamers cannot use their Flamer profile in conjunction with Fatal Strike, nor can Grenade Launchers use their Frag profile... but the rest are all good to go! Consider Combi-Volkites to get the most shots; 40 Rending (4+) shots at 12" is no joke. It also applies to any attached characters, so your Techmarines/Apothecaries/ICs can all add 4 shots with a Combi-Volkite, a 5-shot Volkite Culverin with an Armistos or even an Esoterist's 12-shot Void Darts.
    • One in three models can take a special weapon from a small list, including Volkite Chargers, Flamers, Plasma Guns/Pistols and Missile Launchers. The latter bears some consideration; despite being on the pricier side, Rending (4+) Krak missiles are nothing to scoff at.
    • A Mor Deythan Squad can take a Storm Eagle Gunship as their Dedicated Transport. Its armour is hardly better than a Rhino's despite its price, but it does add mobility and a lot more firepower to the squad.
    • These guys are surprisingly competent in melee, with a Veteran statline of 2 wounds and 2 attacks each (3 on the Mor Deythan Shade, their Sergeant), plus Bolt Pistols and Chainswords. Infiltrate in, fire off your Rending shots and Charge in to finish off the survivors. Thanks to their Relentless rule, they can charge even after firing Heavy or Rapid Fire weapons.
  • Dark Fury Squad: Assault Marines with twin Raven's Talons that are taken as Fast Attack choices. Dark Furies have few upgrade options, but they don't need them; with 4 attacks (2 standard and +2 from their twin Raven's Talons) with Precision Strikes (6+) and +1 initiative on the Charge from Sudden Strike (1), Dark Furies also come equipped with the Raven Guard-exclusive Corvid Pattern Jump Packs, giving them insane threat range with 14" Moves and Charges.
    • Somewhat uniquely, a unit of Dark Furies with exactly 10 models may upgrade themselves to have 3 Sergeant equivalents called Choosers of the Slain. Note that this isn't a one-per-three models deal; you must start with a full squad of 10 and can upgrade up to 2 more models to Choosers of the Slain, giving them +1 Attack, Leadership and WS, along with Artificer Armour, for 15pts each. This leaves you seven Dark Furies and three Choosers of the Slain.
      • Points-wise, this works out to being just 5pts more than running a second Dark Fury squad of 5, which would only unlock one more Chooser of the Slain. So essentially, you're paying 5pts to give one model an extra attack, extra WS and artificer armour... a steal.
      • Due to how the rules for wound allocation works, your Dark Fury Squad can take 4 wounds before suffering any casualties, Placing 1 on each Chooser of the Slain and 1 one a regular squad member makes them surprisingly hardy, plus when the squad is reduced to 3 Choosers of the Slain and 3 Dark Furies, the average WS increases making the unit more difficult to hit in combat.
      • Speaking from experience, a squad of 10 birdies can take on a Dreadnought on the Charge and shave off 3 or 4 wounds on I5 like nobody's business. Don't be afraid to send them against Walkers, Rending (5+) works wonders for them.
  • 0-1 Deliverers SquadExemplary Battles: Deep-striking WS5 Cataphractii Terminators that took one too many lessons from Horus, leading to their own Primarch all but disowning them. This unit can number up to 15 Deliverers and get access to a maximum of 3 Multi-Meltas, which makes them some powerful vehicle hunters. They start off with Power Weapons of your choice and Combi-Bolters, though they do lose access to lightning claws, but you can dual-wield Raven's Talons if you intend to make the most out of that WS5.
    • Deliverers are interesting in they get different rules depending on their allegiance. As traitors, they merely gain Hatred (Corax) because daddy abandoned them for being too mean. If they're Loyalists, they get Battle-Hardened (1) but can never deploy within 18" of Corax if he's on the field.
    • They have been buffed in this edition. Deliverers now have access to Power Fists and Chainfists via PDF update, so Loyalist Deliverers can take Power Fists with their Battle-hardened (1) and ID enemy Terminators with S8 attacks at the same time. As Raven Guard Terminators, they are also re-rolling 1s to-wound on the charge for basically guaranteed wounds, though getting the charge off with Cataphractii armour might be tricky unless you run them as part of a Deep Strike Assault, combined with the Shrouded (5+) you gain as part of the Decapitation Strike RoW you can Shred a unit without breaking a sweat.
      • Raven's Talons have very good chances at getting AP2 with Shred/Rending (5+) at initiative, and with 15 models that's 75 attacks on the charge. However, as Loyalists have Battle-hardened, they're not so worried about mutual ID at I1 with Power Fists, so Power Fists may still be the better choice.

Unique Characters

  • Moritat-Prime Kaedus Nex, The Raven’s Huntsman, ‘Blood-crow’, attached to the 14th Interdiction Company of the Raven GuardLegacies: This dude has a wacky amount of special rules. Besides the obligatory Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard), he has Stubborn, Sudden Strike (1), Rampage (3), Shrouded (5+), Move Through Cover, and Pathfinder. He also gets three unique rules: Ill-omened means that he can never be taken as a compulsory HQ or join squads other than Seeker or Mor Deythan squads. The Blood Crow makes him unaffected by any range modifiers (night-fighting, shroud bombs, etc), always shoot at his full BS (including snap shots), and that any model he shoots at may never make Shrouded rolls to negate wounds inflicted by his shooting. Relentless Stalker allows him to be deployed in any area terrain regardless of position, or anywhere on the board outside 9" of enemies if he isn't within area terrain. If Nex enters battle from reserves, he may enter from any board edge. However, if Nex is attached to a Seeker or Mor Deythan squad, he may not use this rule, but instead gains the Scout and/or Infiltrate rules if the unit he joins also has them. He also comes with 2 Fulcrum Hand Cannons, which each have a 24" profile for sniping, a 12" profile for closer engagements and a melee profile. Nex also gets a Refractor Field, Melta Bombs and Shroud Bombs.
    • Strangely enough, Kaedes Nex is excellent at glancing Flyers out of the sky if they get too close to him, 12 shots hitting on 2's re-rolling and then 5's to glance there is a solid chance to remove a flyer per turn.
    • He does not fire using the Moritat's Chain-fire rule, instead simply having a Pistol 6 weapon to replicate the 6 shots per pistol a Moritat normally gets. This means he is not subject to Chain-fire not getting to-hit rerolls or no charging after firing. His 12 BS6 S6 shots can combine with Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) from Decapitation Strike for basically guaranteed wounds and he does not prevent his attached squad from charging in to finish off a weakened opponent, as with Mor Deythan above. Further, joining Mor Deythan also means his 12-shot profile can benefit from their Fatal Strike.
  • Strike Captain Alvarex MaunLegacies:Strike Captain Maun, in stark contrast to his Moritat-Prime brother above, is a barebones Centurion with MotL, Independent Character, his own Warlord Trait, Bolt Pistol, a slightly better Power Sword Tolaedus (S:User, AP3, Master-crafted, with Breaching (5+)) and a modded Strato-vox. The Strike Captain is a character heavily involved in supporting deep strike deployments. He can take a Drop Pod or Storm Eagle as a dedicated transport and his Warlord Trait lets him reroll failed reserve rolls for any deep strike he's a part of. Maun wears artificer armour for that sweet 2+, but notably lacks the ability to take any form of Invulnerable save, meaning he's pretty squishy. So he won't be using his pointy as often as other ICs. His unique Nightfall Pattern Strato-vox allows him to reduce scatter by 5" as long as the target point is within 12" of Maun and any unit he joins ignores the -1 Leadership penalty for Night Fighting. So despite his odd ranged loadout he's better off attached to a shooting squad.(Veterans, Seekers, Tactical or Heavy Support Squads & Mor Deythan). Even then he won't be contributing much. As the supplement writers didn't bother giving him a Volkite Serpenta, an Archaeotech Pistol, a Shotgun or a measly (for Space Marines) Bolter.
    • Probably best to avoid this guy unless you're doing a heavily deep strike focused army or you want an excuse to bring another Storm Eagle. As the transport attack plane is still useful even if they're slightly less frail than a Rhino in the armor department. Though this setup is also more expensive than a Nemesis Bolter Pretor, a Damocles Command Rhino, cheap upgrades for both and either the Sky-Hunter Phalanx or Drop-pod Assault ROWs..
  • Corvus Corax, Master of the Raven Guard, The Liberator, Chooser of the Slain, The Shadowed Lord: Corax is one of the pricier Primarchs, and has a statline consisting mostly of 6s. Where Corax really shines is in his special rules selection, giving both him and friendly Raven Guard units even more flexibility. With Hit & Run and Deep Strike as standard special rules, along with his unique The Shadowed Lord rule, Corax is surprisingly good as a support character compared to some of his brothers.
    • His Warlord Trait, Sire of the Raven Guard, gives all Infantry and Cavalry, i.e., most of your Hawks, Talons and Falcons, the Scout and Crusader special rules. Pretty solid, and less selfish than most of the other Raven Guard traits. It also grants an additional Reaction in the enemy Movement phase.
    • The Shadowed Lord allows Corax and any attached unit to roll an additional D6 for Hit & Run moves and discard a die of the controlling player's choice. Additionally, Corax and any accompanying unit that performs a Hit & Run move may re-roll Shrouded (X) rolls of 1 until the following turn.
    • Corax's trademark black-and-silver plate, The Sable Armour, grants a 2+ armour save, 4++ invulnerable and the Shrouded (4+) rule.
    • The Korvidine Pinions are a souped-up Corvid Pattern Jump Pack, with all of the same rules and the additional ability to completely ignore Dangerous Terrain checks and move through Impassable Terrain.
    • Corax's claws of choice, The Panoply of the Raven Lord, count as a single weapon with a profile of S-User AP2 with Shred, Blind, Fighting Style, and Two-handed. Corax may optionally give himself the Murderous Strike (4+), Rage (4) or Sudden Strike (3) special rules using the Fighting Style rule at the beginning of each Assault phase. Note that this should be done before Charges are declared.
      • Savvy readers will notice that Murderous Strike is the only one that works outside the charge and is thus the default choice when locked in melee. Not that it's a bad choice; Shred Murderous Strike (4+) is fairly reliable for causing ID. However, if you want more attacks (eg. fighting 1W models), you'll have to Hit and Run to trigger Rage.
    • Wrath and Justice are Corax's pistols, which are now unique wargear and count as both Auto and Volkite weapons. Corax is equipped with two of them, both with the same 12" S6 AP4 profile, and each pistol has the Rending (3+), Deflagrate and Master-crafted rules.

Traitor Legions[edit]

The Legions who (usually) turned their backs on the Imperium and fought for the Warmaster. Rules can be found in the Liber Hereticus book.

Emperor's Children[edit]

Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children Pauldron.jpg

The greatest, most flawless and perfect of melee-focused Legions that strikes faster than others on the Charge and are very hard to hit on the first turn of Assault. Their special melee units are basically invulnerable in melee combat against other units with similar or lower WS. Emperor's Children Characters also happen to be very good in Challenges. The IIIrd Legion has special at-Initiative melee weapons that strike with AP2 Instant Death on 6s to wound. In short, the Emperor's Children are very assault-focused Legion and most of their power comes from Charges.

To support these assaults, the Legion has access to a mobile, long-ranged Pinning unit that is immune to Pinning itself, a Rite of War that provides Pinning Templates for any Infantry model, Warlord Traits and Unique Characters that improve morale, and another RoW that provides the ever-reliable Outflank to get your Elites, Troops, and Fast Attack guys into combat.

For the downsides, you have to get the Charge and most of your melee buffs will disappear on a 2nd turn of Assault, i.e., you have to either force enemy units to run, wound them to a point when they're not dangerous any more, or destroy it in one turn. Fearless units are immune to the Legion's melee debuff and widespread Pinning. Stubborn and Inexorable units likely won't run from losses, either.

If you crave perfection in all things, savour the exquisite feeling of meeting an enemy blade-to-blade, and don't mind a few body mods, then join the IIIrd Legion and show your enemies the true nature of war.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Flawless Execution: On a turn in which they make a successful, even if Disordered, Charge, Emperor's Children units make their attacks in assault at one Initiative step higher than normal after accounting for modifiers and special rules,. Vehicles gain +1 to all hit rolls for defensive weapons when making a shooting attack as part of a Reaction.
    • EC units will strike faster than other units and your Unwieldy Sx2 weapons will strike at I2 instead of I1, which means you will one-shot multi-wound models before they will one-shot you. It's a huge advantage.
    • This won't grant you any other benefits of high Initiative, it only counts for purposes of striking faster in assault.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Perfect Counter": Once per battle, Emperor’s Children units targeted by a Charge in the Assault phase may also choose to make a Charge roll. If the Emperor’s Children’s roll beats or equals the attacker's roll, they may choose to Charge immediately, gaining all associated bonuses and cancelling the attacker's Charge. If the Reacting player’s Charge roll is less than that of the enemy unit's, the Reacting unit may choose to make a shooting attack that must be resolved before the Charge, although indirect-fire and Barrage weapons may not shoot. Vehicles may only shoot defensive weapons and Template weapons may only fire if the attacking unit is within 8”, and must use the Wall of Death rule instead of firing normally.
    • Risky, but potentially a Reaction that can decide the winner. It basically allows you to have all your melee bonuses, while your opponent can't even make a Reaction against you because it's his turn. Less risky if you have some strong ranged weapons to blast the enemy Charging unit, like Combi-Meltas.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. The Broken Mirror (Traitor Only): You can trigger this when a friendly unit of more than one model within 12” of a Warlord with this Trait, including the Warlord and any unit he has joined, fails a Morale check. Instead of Falling Back, the unit without the Warlord must suffer one wound, which cannot be negated by armour saves or damage mitigation, and is allocated by the unit’s controlling player. After the wound has been resolved, the unit is considered to have passed the Morale check, and continues on as normal. Additionally, an army with this Warlord Trait may make one additional Reaction during the opposing player’s Shooting phase as long as the Warlord is still alive.
    • This Trait is very, very strong. Your units can basically never fail Morale tests and then run away. This also potentially creates an opportunity for tarpitting Primarchs with your Chosen Warriors if you manage to snipe the Sergeant from the enemy squad.
  2. Martyrs of Isstvan (Loyalist Only): A Warlord with this Trait and all models in an Emperor’s Children unit the Warlord has joined gain +1 to all hit rolls while locked in combat with an enemy unit that has any version of the Legiones Astartes (X) special rule and the Traitor Allegiance. In addition, an army that has this Warlord may make an additional Reaction during the opposing player’s Assault phase, as long as the Warlord is still alive.
    • This is a melee-focused WT that greatly improves your ability to hit units in melee. In particular, it will allow your WS4 unit, i.e., your Terminators with I2 Thunder Hammers or +1A Palatine Blades with 51 Phoenix Rapier attacks on a Charge, to strike a high WS target way easier; to elaborate, this lets you WS5/6/7 units on 4+. A WS5 unit will hit anyone below them on 2+ and will WS6/7/8 units on 4+. The Praetor himself will hit other Praetors on 3+, hitting everyone else below them on 2+ and WS7-10 Primarchs on 4+.
    • Being an EC Loyalist is not easy. Not only can you not take your Primarch or two of the other three unique characters, you can no longer take Kakophoni Squads or use any Surgical Augments, so no Sonic Shriekers for you.
  3. Paragon of Excellence: When any friendly unit within 12" of this Warlord, including the himself and any unit he has joined, passes a Morale check, it gains +1WS until the end of the controlling player's next turn; you may only proc this once per Game Turn for a single unit. In addition, an army that has this Warlord Trait may make an additional Reaction during the opposing player's Movement phase as long as the Warlord is still alive.
    • This Warlord Trait doesn't sound like much at first, until you realise that in order to use the Hold the Line Reaction, you have to pass a Morale test. Here's how that goes; your opponent Charges with his WS4 unit into your WS4 unit, you trigger Hold the Line, and your opponent now charges into a WS5 unit which he can only hit on 6+ thanks to Sonic Shriekers (if you have them). His unit doesn't even have additional attack because his Charge is now Disordered; the enemy unit may also lose Charge-benefitting special rules, such as Furious Charge (X), Rage (X) and Sudden Strike (X), among others. Meanwhile, your unit will have a better time striking their opponent thanks to their WS5.

Unique Wargear

  • Surgical Augments: Any Emperor's Children Character with the Traitor Allegiance, excluding all Unique Characters, may select one of the following for +20 points:
    • Sonic Shriekers: After this unit successfully Charges or is Charged, units locked in combat with this unit gain -1 to hit. Units that are immune to Fear (X) remain unaffected.
      • Your best and most used augment. With the changes to the Weapon Skill table, if your unit's WS exceeds the opponent's WS by one point, it will only hit your unit on 5+, now decreased to 6+ with Sonic Shriekers! You only need one model now for the entire enemy unit to get the debuff. It may be worth it to buy artificer armour for Sergeants now.
    • Sub-sonic Pulser: No penalties to Leadership or Ballistic Skill due to Night Fighting for this model or any unit it joins.
      • Five out of the six Core Rulebook missions have an option for Night Fighting; at most, Night Fighting is going to last 2 turns, with the second turn being granted on a 4+ roll. Night Lords can roll for a third turn, so it's best equip this augment when fighting the VIIIth Legion during Night Fighting missions.
      • Overall, fighting at night favours the Emperor's Children because they're able to strike first and it's harder to strike back at them, which leads to the opponent suffering more wounds, forcing a Morale test where -1Ld will come in pretty handy; that's an 8% malus to the enemy unit's chance of success. Your Pinning units will have an easier time Pinning down enemy squads, which leads to less Reactions against your assaults or shooting.
      • This augment is pretty good on your dedicated ranged squads when combined with an augury scanner to remove range penalties and to help you blast someone with Meltas from Infiltration/Outflank/Deep Strike early in the game. Sonic Shriekers are still highly recommended for melee units to give them extra protection.
      • As touched on before, Sub-sonic Pulsers are quite helpful against Night Lords, given that those spooky bitches reduce your Leadership, force longer Night Fighting, are immune to NF themselves, and receive bonuses against any of your units that are Falling Back.
    • Sonic Lance: The model gains the Sonic Lance weapon, an S2 AP-, Assault 1, Breaching (6+) and Pinning Template weapon.
      • This augment special rules mean that it is able to both wound T4 marines and trigger AP2 on a 6+ to-wound. This is gives you a small, but extremely helpful, chance to trigger Pinning test for any Infantry unit. That said, it may be unwise to shoot this at a dedicated ranged unit; if you can't trigger Pinning, they might blast you back with the Return Fire reaction.
      • With this augment, your units have a chance to cancel an enemy Charge with Overwatch. Calculations show that this is a ~33% chance to force a Pinning test with D3 Wall of Death Overwatch hits. In addition, there's the 33% chance for an Ld8 unit to fail the check.
      • This augment really shines when using the IIIrd Company Elite RoW, where you can give it to entire squads and blast your opponent with 10-20 Templates.
  • Phoenix Pattern Power Weapons: Any Emperor's Children Character may exchange a power weapon for either a Phoenix Rapier, which is S-User AP3, with Rending (6+) and Murderous Strike (6+), or a Phoenix Power Spear, giving them S+2 AP3, Reach (1), Murderous Strike (6+), Breaching (6+) and Two-handed; taking either of these costs nothing.
    • These are basically AP3 at-Initiative weapons that cause AP2 Instant Death on 6s to wound, as mentioned in the Legion introduction above. Pretty good weapons when taking into account that they can hurt Dreads and Iron Circle Maniples, as well as models with an Atomantic Deflector, with D3 wounds. They can also outright kill other multi-wound models.
    • An EC Sergeant together with an attached Apothecary can strike with 8 AP3 attacks, becoming AP2 Instant Death on a 6+, on a Charge with a Phoenix Rapier before your opponent's unit can fight for 20pts. Not bad at all.
    • The Phoenix Power Spear is in a strange place among other AP3 Power Weapons. The Phoenix Rapier has more chances to ID due to having more attacks by virtue of being a one-handed weapon. The normal Power Spear is S+1 AP3 with Reach (1) and is also a one-handed weapon, making it one of the best weapons against 3+ saves. The Power Maul wounds on 2+ and is, once again, a one-handed weapon. That said, Terminator sergeants couldn't get +1 attack from 2 weapons to begin with, which makes the Power Spear better than any of the other AP3 weapons except paired Lightning Claws by combining all of their advantages.

Unique Rites of War

The Maru Skara
This is the Rite for when you want to channel the great Pan-Europic duelling cults of old by overwhelming your enemy's defences with a bunch of speed-boosted Outflanking units before making the perfect Killing Cut.

  • Benefits:
    • Up to four units that are Elites, Troops or Fast Attack choices and do not have Heavy, Slow or Bombard sub-types may be given Outflank before the battle.
      • You get many, many good options for Outflanking units for different purposes; you can Outflank entire units(!) of Dreads, Tartaros Terminators, Veterans, Destroyers, Bikes, Sabre Strike Squadrons with Neutron Blaster and Multi-Meltas, you name it! Don't want to try your luck with Deep Strike? Just Outflank your Assault Squads, Destroyers and Jetbikes (Pinning included)! Need more tanks? Outflank works on DTs too. Bring Land Raiders with Mortalis Destroyers/Seekers or Spartans with Terminators! You can Disembark if the Vehicle moved using half of its Movement, but no Charges from Disembarking when coming out of Reserves, even from Assault Vehicles. Charges from Outflank on foot are allowed, though.
    • All Legiones Astartes (Emperor's Children) units that are part of a Detachment deployed at the start of the battle with this Rite may add +1 to their Movement until the start of any turn on which the controlling player brings units into play from Reserves, including Deep Strike, Flanking and Subterranean Assaults.
      • That's mean +1 to charge too!
    • The controlling player doesn't make Reserves rolls for any units assigned to a Flanking or Subterranean Assault; instead, they may have them all arrive at the start of any of their turns after the first one.
  • Limitations:
    • You may not include models with a Movement of 0, or any Slow or Bombard units; you can still take Heavy units if they aren't starting in Reserves.
    • No more than half the total number of units in the Detachment may be assigned to a Flanking Assault, Subterranean Assault or be in Reserves at the start of battle.
    • The Detachment must have a Centurion with the Legion Champion or Phoenix Warden Consul upgrade as an HQ choice.

IIIrd Company Elite
This Rite represents that time when the Emperor's Children started going through their glam rock edgelord phase, particularly focusing on the Legion's Third Company, which formed the foundation of what would become the Noise Marines of 40k.

  • Benefits:
    • Kakophoni Squads may be taken as Troops.
      • It provides more slots for Kakophoni Squads and potentially freeing up Heavy Support if you just take Kakophoni Squads as Troops.
    • Any Infantry unit may take a single Surgical Augment at +30 points per unit. All models in the unit must purchase the same augment.
      • This RoW allows all of your Infantry models to take the Sonic Lance augment; to recap, it's a Template weapon that is both AP2 and wounds Marines on 6+ to wound with Pinning. Equip your large melee squads with it and blast your opponent with 10-20 templates, force a Pinning test before Charging them, and then strike them at one Initiative step higher than usual. Just so you know, 5 templates blasting against 5 models will result in ~4 AP2 wounds. 5xD3 WoD will equal around 10 hits, giving you a very high chance to force a Pinning test; Ld8 units have a 33% to fail the test.
      • You can also protect your squads from enemy Charges. Overwatch with that many D3 Wall of Death hits will result in a Pinning test for an enemy unit and may also be able to cancel a Charge. Not only will you be able to Charge an enemy unit in your next turn after blasting it with your Templates, but your other ranged Heavy Support units will have another turn blasting it with their weapons before you Charge them.
      • You can buy Sonic Shriekers for an Apothecarion Detachment and spread them across other Infantry squads for a -1 to hit debuff in addition to whatever Surgical Augment the joined squad has.
      • 30pts for a single Surgical Augment per squad can get expensive really fast, so try to equip your most numerous squads who can get to your opponent units the fastest, blast the enemy with Templates and Charge them after that.
  • Limitations:
    • This RoW is available to Traitors only
    • All Characters in the Detachment must have a Surgical Augment.
      • Having a Herald in this RoW might not be the worst idea. He has Fear (1), which increases the enemy unit's chance to fail a Pinning test even further; enemy models must be within 12" of the Herald, but you should be close anyway. A Vigilator can try to snipe Sergeants to reduce enemy Leadership even further. Esoterists and Daemons can provide you with even more sources of Fear (X) once the new edition's Ruinstorm Daemons army list gets released.

Unique Units

  • Phoenix Terminator Squad: 200pts for five dudes, you can buy five more for 35pts per model. These are your special Stubborn WS5 Tartaros Terminators with Skill Unmatched, Living Icons, and Phoenix Retinue, allowing them to be an Honour Guard for a MotL. They have Phoenix Power Spears by default and can't take any other weapons, ranged or melee. You may purchase a Surgical Augment for the whole squad and a Grenade Harness for the Phoenix Champion. A squad of five can take a Land Raider Proteus Carrier or Spartan as a Dedicated Transport, while a unit of six or more must take the Spartan if they want one.
    • Phoenix Terminators get Surgical Augments as a separate option (25 points to give the whole squad a Surgical Augment) from the one that normally gives your characters access (20 points for Traitor characters). RAW, the requirement of Traitor allegiance is limited to the 20pt option, which means your squad of Loyalist Phoenix Terminators can take an augment for the whole squad.
      • Because the whole squad gets them, the Sonic Lance is a good way of giving them ranged weapons. If you're a Traitor, you can take the Sonic Lance and still access the other augments by paying 20pts, as the entire squad are Characters. Don't do it the other way around; paying 25 points for the Sonic Lance gives you 10 templates, while using the 20 point option only upgrades 1 model. 10 S2 templates can likely get 20-30 hits, which can with Breaching (6+) get 1-2 Terminators; well worth 25 points alone even without counting for whoever those models would have killed in the subsequent melee.
    • As far as special Terminators go, these guys have very restricted wargear options; no Combi-Weapons or other ranged weapons, as well as no other Power Weapons, including Sx2 Unwieldy ones, but they are probably the cheapest special WS5 Terminators around and are very much worth taking for what they can do.
    • Skill Unmatched gives them the option to select one of the following options at the beginning of combat, before Initiative step 10:
      • A Perfect Guard: +1 WS when comparing the number an enemy needs to hit, but -1A.
      • A Perfect Strike: +1 WS when determining your own hits in exchange for -1A.
      • A Perfect Fury: -1 WS and +1A.
    • Their WS5 + Sonic Shriekers means WS4 models only hit them on 6+, pretty neat considering these guys are still 2+/5++ Terminators. They will strike first in a vast majority of situations, even if Charged, thanks to their +1I Phoenix Power Spears. When in combat with other WS5 units, A Perfect Guard results in even WS5 units hitting them on 6+. They can increase their WS to 7 with the Paragon of Excellence WT; in this case, even Praetors or other units with WS6 on a charge (like Varagyrs) will only hit them on 6s. Your models can't actually be hit, which lets you outlive your opponent, while Living Icons will make the enemy lose combat when no one does any wounds. Do remember to avoid tough Fearless, Stubborn and Inexorable squads; these guys won't run, which will land your Phoenix Terminators in some trouble when Shriekers/Paragon of Excellence wear off and they can hit you again.
    • Most of the time, switching to A Perfect Fury is not worth it. A squad of five gets 0.8 of additional hits versus a WS4 unit if it Charges you and your guys inflict less hits in all other situations against WS4/5, while increasing the opponent unit's chances to hit you by ~17%. However, if you manage to reduce the WS of your opponent, i.e., via proccing Concussive (1) in a Shooting phase or increasing your own WS to 6 with the Paragon of Excellence WT, you can now get +1 attack while hitting as before and not take more hits in return against a WS4 unit; you'll need both a unit with Concussive (1) weapons and Paragon of Excellence when up against WS5 units. As Phoenix Retinue does not require the Praetor leading the squad to be in Terminator Armour, he can take a Shotgun for Concussive. Martyrs of Isstvan is also useful for getting your +1 to hit, which for the purposes of hitting the enemy is mostly same as +1 WS and which, unlike Paragon of Excellence, stacks with the +1 to hit you get from getting Concussive on enemy models. Alternatively, take a Chaplain and target Power Armour models; Hatred WS4 hits more than WS5, and you won't mind being easier to hit if there's no one left to hit you back. Don't bother trying to inflict wounds on large squads of TEQs; even with 10 models, Phoenix Terminators do not make enough attacks to kill more than 3-4 models, after which they'll ID you with Power Fists.
      • Blind can be extremely effective in boosting A Perfect Fury; your every attack will hit on 2+, though do take into account that Marines only have a 33% chance to fail the Initiative test. Taking a single Predator with a Heavy Conversion Beam Cannon is the cheapest source of Large Blast (5") Blind pieplates, so you can assist your Phoenix Terminators.
    • A Perfect Strike isn't usually worth it. You're shooting yourself in the foot against WS4 models by giving up attacks for no gain, while gaining +1 to hit against WS3 and WS5. However, as you hit on 3+ and 4+ respectively to begin with, gaining +1 to hit improves your hitting by 1/3 and 1/4 respectively, whereas you lose 1/3 of your attacks by reducing your 3 attacks per model on the charge to 2. You do benefit overall by using it against WS6 models, but that will not come up very often considering there are entire Legions where the only models with WS6 are ICs.
    • Living Icons gives Phoenix Terminators and any unit within 6" +1 to the score used to calculate the winner of a combat. This does not stack with anything except for Fulgrim's Sire of the Emperor's Children WT.
      • This special rule continues the EC theme of winning by combat resolution while striking first and not being hit in return.
  • Palatine Blade Squad: 165pts for five guys, you can buy five more for 28pts per model. A unit of the best Emperor's Children duellists and swordsmen with WS5, 2W, Artificer Armour by default and 2A base with Counter-attack (1), Relentless, Chosen Warriors, and Skill Unmatched. They're all armed with Charnabal Weapons, which they can swap for Power Weapons or Phoenix Pattern Power Weapons for 5 points for either type; in combination with Skill Unmatched, this gives them enough versatility against any type of foe. All of them have BS5 but are armed only with Bolt Pistols and only the Palatine Prefector can buy himself a Plasma Pistol. The whole squad can take a Surgical Augment for 25pts and Melta Bombs for 15pts. The squad can ride in a Rhino, Drop Pod or Termite Assault Drill as a Dedicated Transport.
    • These guys are basically Phoenix Terminators without the Invulnerable save. All Skill Unmatched benefits that work for Phoenix Terminators also work for Palatine Blades. Compared to Phoenix Terminators, Palatine Blades are more of an offensive unit, since they do have one more attack thanks to their pistols and Counter-attack (1). They get the same option for Surgical Augments as Phoenix Terminators, with the same implications as above. However, you do not have Living Icons, so it's harder to abuse combat resolution with A Perfect Guard like Phoenix Terminators.
    • Having access to a wide variety of Charnabal/Power/Phoenix Pattern Power Weapons and, if you so choose, the Sonic Lance augment for the entire squad allows them to be geared against any foe. This will make them rather pricy at a cool 190 points, or 215 with the augment. Consider the following when deciding their wargear:
      • The Power Sword is objectively inferior to the Phoenix Rapier and does not need to be considered. As Emperor's Children, you already hit at I5 on the charge and going to I6 doesn't do anything against MEQs, so you don't necessarily need Power Spears; Phoenix Rapiers get Rending/Murderous Strike, while Power Mauls wound better. That said, Power Spears can be useful if you don't expect to win in the 1st round or get the charge.
      • Ten Palatine Blades with I2 Power Axes and ten Sonic Lances will destroy smaller squads of TEQs with Unwieldy before the enemy can fight back, while you're really not concerned with weapons without Unwieldy due to lack of AP2. If you stack on lots of to-hit buffs, this will even be sufficient to destroy larger squads; you won't care about losing Shriekers because no one will be left to hit back. Alternatively, abuse Shriekers and A Perfect Guard like Phoenix Terminators; you don't get Living Icons, but you make more attacks with actual AP2 weapons, so you could still come out ahead on combat resolution. You can get both implants if you're a Traitor, but it's a bit expensive.
      • Phoenix Rapier units alone simply does not have the volume of attacks to reliably use Rending/Murderous Strike and kill Terminator units; that said, it can be done against smaller units with sufficient buffs, the maths will be shown in the Discussion page instead for the sake of brevity. Further, you get a very good squad against MEQs with 41 WS5 S4 AP3 attacks. However, as the main selling point of relying on Rending/Murderous Strike is to avoid Unwieldy and you hit before I1 with Power Axes due to Flawless Execution on the charge anyway, think about whether you want to take Power Axes. Don't bother with the Phoenix Spear; you lose attacks and therefore chances to trigger Rending/Murderous Strike. Yes, you get improved wounding against 3+ models, but do you really need it?
      • Their default Charnabal Weapons aren't great, as Emperor's Children already hit before everyone else on the charge. Breaching (5+) from Sabre/Glaive loses out to Rending/Murderous Strike (6+) on Phoenix Rapier/Spear against 2W models, while Tabar need not be considered due to its poor Breaching, on top of Phoenix Pattern weapons having AP3. There are niche applications against 1W Artificer characters, but it's not really worth it.
    • As mentioned before, Palatine Blades are Chosen Warriors; in combination with The Broken Mirror WT/Tarvitz as the Warlord to ensure they won't run and The Perfect Counter Advanced Reaction, they can can tarpit enemy an Praetor and his squad. Primarchs are Fearless, leaving them unaffected, and their Retinue will hit Palatine Blades on 5+, but they will probably survive until the next turn to issue another Challenge. With Charnabal Weapons, Palatine Blades will strike faster than a Praetor, but it's unlikely they'll wound him; they hit on 5+ and wound on 4+, but only 5+ to wound are AP2 wounds, which the Praetor saves with his Iron Halo.
    • Palatine Blades have a variety of deployment methods thanks to their default DT options; to recap, those would be the Rhino, Drop Pod and Termite Assault Drill, but none of them have the Assault Vehicle rule. Several RoWs can help them with that; with the Armoured Spearhead RoW, you can take Land Raider Proteus Carriers as DTs, or you can just Outflank them on foot while using The Maru Skara RoW. With the return of the Legacies PDF-exclusive Warmonger Consul, Palatine Blade Squads now having the option to Deep Strike, though you'll receive some wounds if you Deep Strike that way. You can still blast someone with 5 Sonic Lances Templates after Disembarking from a Rhino; against 1W models, this can be pretty deadly and may force them to flee.
  • Kakophoni Squad: 150pts for five noisy boys and 25pts per model for an additional five. Proto-Noise Marines with BS4, each one is armed with The Cacophony: a 36" S6 AP5, Assault 3 gun with Pinning, Shell Shock (1), Deflagrate and Gets Hot. They have Bolt Pistols for melee purposes and Sonic Shriekers to encourage enemy units going for a Charge to fuck around and find out. The Orchestrator can buy artificer armour and a Chainsword or Power Weapon/Fist; the latter choice is questionable, but has its uses. Kakophoni Squads are Traitor only, Fearless, and can take a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport.
    • These guys are your mobile 36" range and 7"M Pinning unit. A squad of 5 will inflict around 3 wounds against 3+ saves and maybe 1 wound against 2+ saves; these wounds will trigger additional Deflagrate hits while the squad also receives 0.8 wounds from Gets Hot after saves to themselves.
    • Pinning with Shell Shock (1) has a 42% chance to pin down Ld8 units. Keep in mind that you can force multiple Pinning tests against one unit by shooting at it with multiple Kakophoni Squads. Do Skrillex proud and make them feel the bass.
    • They won't run from losses since they are Fearless and they can't be pinned down by the opponent's ranged squads, which helps when taking into account they are also losing models from Gets Hot; they only have 1W, after all. Buying artificer armour for the Orchestrator will help keep his squad in the game, and 3 shots, which is 2 hits at BS4, still have decent chances to force a Pinning test against 3+ saves.
  • Palatine Blade Aquilae SquadLegacies: Did you remember that Palatine Blades could take jump packs? Well GW only id when they made the 1.1 Update to Legacies of the Age of Darkness. For 30 points more than the base Palatine Blades, you just get...Palatine Blades with jump packs. There's nothing else they get from this so you can at least now consider them if you're running an Angel's Wrath RoW and aren't expecting the enemy to spam Interceptor on you.
  • 0-1 Sun Killer SquadExemplary Battles: 185pts A specialized BS5 Heavy Support squad but without Vexilla or Nuncio Vox that only uses energy weapons because they're more elegant and refined than those crude bolters and auto weapons. They all start with Lascannons and any model in the unit can swap them for Volkite Culverins, Plasma Cannons or Multi-meltas for free. All of them have chainswords so they aren't totally bad in melee. The Novaetor can buy Power or Charnabal weapon; he can also swap his Lascannon either with a power fist for 5pts or a Bolter/Combi-Weapon/LC for free (this is the worst trade ever). He can also buy a Melta bomb. Their real use comes from their ability to deny cover and/or (wording?) mitigation saves and being able to re-roll 1s to wound against a Designated Quarry super-heavy, Knight, Titan, or Gargantuan unit while also adding 1 to their rolls on the vehicle damage table against it. They can take Rhino or LR Proteus Carrier as DT. In games that allow fortifications, Sun Killer squads can take a Defence Line instead of a transport.
    • These guys are expensive: 185pts for 5 in comparison to 150pts for Legion Heavy Support Squad with Lascannons/Plasma cannons/Multi-meltas. And even more expensive if you take more than 5 (40pts per model! in comparison to 25pts for HSS model with Lascannon) add Augury scanner to them and they are 205pts for 5!
    • HSS squad with Lascannons (etc.) and Augury Scanner (10pts) with Techmarine (55pts) for +1BS Cognis-Signum (15pts) will cost you 230pts which is more expensive than Sun Killers, but add 5 more models and this is going to be 405 (Sun Killers) vs 355 (HSS+Techmarine). It's even cheaper with Master of Signal or Armistos (both of them are occupying a HQ slot though).
    • You can buy 15 more Sun Killers for a squad, this is going to be close to 800 points, but if you want to shoot something with 20 Lascannons - this is the way.
    • You are paying a lot for BS5 and Ignore Cover/Mitigation rolls (mostly against Shrouded >T4 units) and Chainswords. Penetrating hits against chosen target will result in 33% chances for Explodes (roll 5+ and it will result in D3 hull points loss for super heavies) thanks to AP2 and +1 to roll. However, Legion opponents are very liable to just not bring a model that's eligible to be the Designated Quarry, aside from just bringing smaller models, Primarchs share the same points allowance as Lords of War and in the absence of Knight allies, it will take >3000 point games to even see a Superheavy on the same field as a Primarch. Unlike Seekers, you simply cannot take for granted that you can use your special ability, so think carefully if this squad is still worth it in its absence.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Centurion - Phoenix Warden: Tartaros Centurions only. For 30 additional points, he gets a Phoenix Pattern Power Weapon, an Iron Halo, and gains the Skill Unmatched and Living Icons special rules.
    • The Phoenix Warden is a melee-/support-focused Consul; in comparison to a Tartaros or other Champion, he doesn't have 2 Specialist Weapons and won't get another attack for them. He can't attack with AP2 at-Initiative, but like with a Paragon Blade, his 6+ to wound from a Phoenix Rapier strike will result in an AP2 Instant Death wound; he does have two normal Power Weapons, while Tartaros/Cataphractii Champions don't. His Skill Unmatched only gives him 1 more attack advantage over a Champion with normal Power Weapons or LC, but in that case, he only has WS4. His only real advantage over a Champion is that he is tougher with 3W and a 2+/4++, while being a non-Heavy Character that is able to fulfil the Maru Skara RoW's HQ requirement, instead of having to rely on a 2+/5++ Champion. He also doesn't have to issue/accept challenges.
  • Rylanor the UnyieldingLegacies: 250pts One of the Loyalists in the III Legion, and one of the very few people who managed to piss off Fulgrim in an indescribable way. He's also gotten the really short end of the stick here, losing all of his special rules aside from Crusader and being little more than an overpriced named Dreadnought. He's otherwise a Contemptor with one additional wound using an assault cannon and flamer-fist.
    • He costs 55pts more than a Dread with Kheres cannon and Heavy Flamer in his Fist, for that he gets +1W and Crusader. However, the rest of the Legion lost Crusader in moving from 1.0, so this may be worth consideration.
  • Lord Commander Eidolon: The most prideful and arrogant Lord Commander of the IIIrd Legion is now better than ever. He is a Traitor only Praetor with a jump pack, an Archaeotech Pistol and a Master-crafted Thunder Hammer named Glory Aeterna, which is NOT a Specialist Weapon (!) and loses Unwieldy (!!) on the Charge. He also has Sonic Shriekers and his special Sonic Lance augment called Death Scream, which has Rending (6+) instead of Breaching (6+). His Warlord Trait, Prideful Onslaught, allows him to choose the opponent's HQ/Primarch unit, now named a Rival by the WT; Eidolon and his unit get +1 to hit against the Rival and can ONLY declare Reactions against it, but his first Reaction each turn is free and does not reduce the number of Reactions you can declare in that phase for other units. If the Rival unit destroys a friendly squad or forces it to flee, Eidolon and his squad also get +1 to wound against it.
    • Just because you can get bonuses against the enemy Primarch doesn't mean you should take him as your Rival. Yes, you might hit first, but you can't cause ID and they all have decent Invulnerable saves and wound pools to soak up your Brutal (2) wounds. Meanwhile, 14 of the 18 Primarchs can reliably cause ID somewhere in the 1st round by having S8 and above, re-rollable Murderous Strike or outright ID. Of the 4 left, 3 can get to S8 by passing a Psychic Test, on the charge or taking a better weapon. Even if they don't kill you in the 1st round, they will do so by the time you can swing again in the 2nd round at I1. It's like fighting Sigismund, except more dangerous. Save your rivalry for fellow Space Marines. On the other hand, it's entirely in character for Eidolon to think he can take on a Primarch and be proven wrong by dying horribly, so feel free to roleplay as him.
      • The one Primarch who has no way to inflict ID beyond Murderous Strike (5+) is his own father. Still don't do it unless you want to re-enact Eidolon's death in lore. Rather ironic, actually.
    • He's a fast and aggressive Warlord that will one-shot most other T4 Characters on a Charge unless they strike faster than him, such as Characters with I7/8 and Instant Death, like Sevatar, Corswain, and Lucius, or if they can survive through one or six of Eidolon's +1 Master-crafted Sx2 attacks that inflict 2 wounds each thanks to Brutal (2). Note that even against WS7-10 Rivals (and how often is the enemy going to have multiple WS7 units?), Eidolon will hit on 4+; with MC, he will be able to deal at least 3 wounds, which means a Character will have to save 6 wounds with his invulnerable save, when taking a even a single one will result in Instant Death due to S8!
      • Look out for Hold the Line Reaction, as you won't get to hit at initiative if the enemy pulls it off and you lose your +1A from charging. You still hit on I2 in the 1st round of combat by being Emperor's Children, but the list of characters that can inflict ID at/before I2 is much longer. Bait the enemy into using his Reaction elsewhere or pin his unit (your own Death Scream maybe?) so he can't react.
    • Characters that he is unlikely to kill outright with his Sx2 weapon include guys like Sigismund, who has Eternal Warrior and can get WS8 and 3++ when attached to a Phalanx Warder Squad; Fafnir Rann, who can debuff opponents by -1S when using his Single Axe stance and gain WS7 on a Charge or while attached to a Phalanx Warder Squad, which upgrades his Iron Halo to 3++; Garro, who has Battle-hardened (1) and 3++ when fighting in a Challenge; Abaddon, with his WS7, 4W, Battle-hardened (1) and Legiones Astartes (Sons of Horus); Farith Redloss, who is Battle-hardened (1) but will probably die anyway; and other Biomancy Psyker-boosted WS7 Characters with 4+ wounds and 4++.
      • Eidolon will get through most other WS6 characters because, on average, they'll receive 3-4 wounds which will result in 6-8 Brutal wounds that they would have to save with 4++. Only a Salamanders Cataphractii Praetor with 4W, with Battle-hardened (1) from a Mantle of the Elder Drake and 3++ from a Dragonscale Storm Shield, can reliably survive through this. There are also a few more Characters that strike at the same Initiative of 6 such as Ahriman with his WS5 and The Corvidaean Sceptre that becomes Sx2 when successfully proccing Force, though he's unlikely to hit Eidolon on 6+, and Qin Xa with his I6 and 7 attacks, but even with The Sagyar Mazan RoW will only inflict one wound at Initiative against Eidolon. Battle-hardened (1) Garro, on the other hand, is pretty dangerous; he has 3++, +1I and a Brutal (2) at-Initiative weapon in Challenges. Loken can also be a threat, as he can tank your attacks behind Battle-hardened (1) and come back from the dead if he fails too many Invulnerable saves; as you are unwieldy on the 2nd round, this means he gets 2 sets (read: at least 11) Paragon Blade attacks before you hit back.
        • Sons of Horus warlords can all get Armour of Pride and come back from the dead like Loken. While it doesn't work on ID, the Sons of Horus Legion trait gives Battle-hardened (1) in the 1st round, meaning Eidolon's S8 attacks no longer inflict ID. These guys are if anything even more dangerous than Loken, as they can take Terminator Armor for 4W and a Thunder Hammer to ID you at the end of the 1st round. Even if they don't, they'll likely get the mutual kill on the 2nd round.
        • Imperial Fists can re-roll their 3++ using Stone Gauntlet Phalanx Warders or get Battle-hardened (1) when charged by using Huscarls. Either way, his Praetor can tank your hits on the 1st round, then smash your head in with his own Thunder Hammer. Don't think you're safe just because the VII Legion sent a random no-name guy instead of Sigismund.
        • The above is not to say he's not a good combat character, because he is. Just don't think it boils down to "I charge you and I win".
    • Beware of other Characters like Sergeants, Apothecaries and Chosen Warriors; they can accept a Challenge despite not being an enemy Warlord, and Glory Aeterna will be Unwieldy again on a second turn of assault. Your Sonic Shriekers also won't work and you'll strike at your normal Initiative. Note that if you aren't killing a Character with ID from Glory Aeterna, his wounds may be healed with FnP.
    • With Palatine Blade Squads losing their jump packs, Eidolon can now choose between an Assault Squad or Command Squad Retinue for his jump pack/Deep Strike Retinue purposes. The Command Squad is probably going be your default choice; not only will you be able to blast your opponent with Combi-Meltas on arrival from DS and attack first with Power Weapons at Initiative or Power Fists at I2 with +1 to hit after that, your Command Squad Chosen Warriors will be able to issue a Challenge. That way, Eidolon won't be the only one fighting a Sergeant; you can also lock an enemy Warlord into a Challenge with your Command Squad if he accepts it, while Eidolon will destroy his squad. Command Squads geared for jump pack/DS shenanigans can get very expensive, though; while an Assault Squad is not the best squad to Charge some tough 2+ save multi-wound models with invulnerable saves while using the IIIrd Company Elite RoW, their performance can be greatly improved with up to 20 Sonic Lances that deal AP2 wounds on sixes, not to mention additional 20 Hammer of Wrath (1) hits and the fact that you are going to strike first with +1 to hit/to wound after that.
    • Eidolon costs exactly as much as similarly equipped Praetor with Sonic Shriekers; taking into account his second inbuilt augment and non-Specialist Weapon, non-Unwieldy Thunder Hammer on the Charge, he is very points-efficient.
  • Captain Saul Tarvitz: The first Loyalist and a line captain of the Emperor's Children who became the de facto leader of the Loyalist forces on Isstvan III. He is a Loyalist only Praetor who provides an additional Reaction in the Shooting phase and makes all units with at least one model within 12" around him Fearless if, at the start of your turn, his army has less Victory Points or less units than the opponent, he is within 6" of an objective, or if he and his unit are outnumbered in assault/in combat with more than one unit. To put it simply, he is a giant Fearless bubble generator. His melee weapon is a Master-crafted Charnabal Broadsword, which is a Two-handed S+2 AP-, Rending (4+) and Duellist's Edge (2) Charnabal weapon. He also has a Master-crafted Nemesis Bolter to snipe minor Characters and cause Pinning from which he can shoot on the move thanks to Relentless. His anti-Emperor's Children specialization, outside of having a giant Fearless bubble, consists of having Preferred Enemy against them and a special rule called A Brother Betrayed, which gives him +1WS, +1S and +1T when locked in combat with an enemy EC Independent Character. If the enemy EC Independent Character is removed as a casualty when locked in combat with him or his unit, Tarvitz gets +1 Victory Point, +2VP if it happens to be Lucius; note that this may or may not be done during a Challenge.
    • Having a 12" Fearless bubble that works almost all the time is great. It's like The Broken Mirror WT but even better.
    • While Tarvitz will strike first in a vast majority of situations, his I6 on the Charge, I7 in Challenges which becomes I8 on a Charge in Challenges and 5 attacks mean he is unlikely to kill other Praetors; the math states that he'll deal 0.75 wounds on average, which can be increased to 1.5 if all of them are 4+ to wound, decreasing to 0.5 if they are not. Outside of rare EC versus EC games, he is a rather mediocre duellist and will die against Praetors armed with Thunder Hammers or Power Fists.
    • With Biomancy support, he can be very effective against other EC Independent Characters, including Eidolon and Lucius, and multi-wound T4 units with EC Independent Characters. He will strike with WS7 while ignoring Sonic Shriekers at I8 on the Charge in a Challenge with five S6+1+1 attacks, one of which he can re-roll due to Master-crafted, while also re-rolling 1s to hit and to wound. He only needs one unsaved wound to kill his opponent. Against WS6-7, however, he will usually inflict maybe 1 wound and Lucius, who has WS8, will probably survive his assault. Note that RAW his A Brother Betrayed rule works against Loyalist EC as well! You never know who is a heretic in these dark times.
    • Tarvitz is a Loyalist; though any army he's in has Fearless, which is a pretty big deal, it still lacks Fulgrim, any Surgical Augments, one Rite of War and Kakophoni Squads, which takes away many of the best options and most powerful synergies available to the Emperor's Children. You will have to find a way to play around that.
  • Captain Lucius, The Faultless Blade, Captain of the 13th Company: Tarvitz's former best friend. His ambitions, selfishness and obsession with perfection led to him betraying his friend and becoming one of the most infamous members of his Legion. Lucius is obsessed with his own excellence and superiority in melee combat and fights for his own satisfaction. Lucius is a very Challenge-focused Traitor only Praetor with an additional point each in WS and Initiative, which he can increase even further. He also gets an additional attack if his Initiative is higher than his opponent's in a Challenge. Lucius has two weapons; his Master-crated sword Nineteen is only S-User and has no AP, but it does have Rending (3+) and Murderous Strike (6+). In addition, its Duellist's Aegis (1) rule adds +1WS to Lucius when he is Engaged in a Challenge. His second weapon is The Blade of the Laer, gifted to him by Fulgrim after the Drop Site Massacre. It is a Master-crafted S-User AP2 Specialist Weapon with Fleshbane and Duellist's Edge (1). Don't want to to duel against Lucius? Too bad! He has Precision Strikes (3+) and will get you anyway. Lucius is also pretty good at supporting his own unit; he has Stubborn and Preferred Enemy (Independent Character), which also helps him in Challenges. He can purchase Sonic Shriekers for only 10 points and, thanks to his Warlord Trait, The Blade Alone, he and his unit get Fearless when he is in a Challenge, which is handy when taking into account his unit can't use his Ld due to his WT. Lucius also gets one free Reaction for him and his unit per turn in any phase which doesn't count towards your Reaction pool.
    • Lucius is one of the three (four if we count Tsolmon Khan and his WS6 and I10 from his weapon's Hammerhand rule) Independent Characters after Sigismund that can strike at I7 and kill their opponent in a Challenge with Instant Death from their weapons; the other guys are Sevatar and Corswain. Note that Lucius might have a hard time standing against these guys on a second turn of assault.
    • Lucius's weapons look strangely unbalanced at first, until you realise that Nineteen's Duellist's Aegis (1) +1WS buff also works on the Blade of the Laer! RAW "a model with this special rule", so you can pull some tactics like the ones outlined below.
      • With WS8 and Sonic Shriekers, Lucius can successfully tank WS7 Characters that will only hit him on 6+ while he fishes for an Instant Death attack using Nineteen which, taking into account his high WS, Preferred Enemy (Independent Character) and 7 attacks on the Charge, is quite likely. Against I6+ opponents, he will lose the +1A from his Supreme Duellist rule and those Characters will strike faster than him on a second turn of assault when his Legiones Astartes (Emperor's Children) buff will disappear. His Sonic Shriekers won't work either; while they're not critical against characters without ID weapons, other dangerous Characters like Sevatar will have a pretty good chance at killing Lucius with Instant Death weapons while hitting him on 5+ or better.
      • With The Blade of the Laer, Lucius will have as many attacks against I6 duellists as with Nineteen due to the former being a Specialist Weapon with Duellist's Edge (1) and Nineteen not getting any bonus attacks. He will wound his opponent around 20% better due to Fleshbane and will strike first each time; in other words, he will have another set of attacks on a second turn of assault before his I6 opponent, or he will strike at the same time as his I7 opponent, in that case, he is losing 1 attack. Lucius also loses Murderous Strike (6+) when using The Blade of the Laer instead of Nineteen, but with 6 attacks on the Charge, decreasing to 5 against I7+ opponents, and 5 of those attacks, again decreasing to 4 against I7+ opponents, on a second turn of assault, he has very good chances at killing enemy Characters anyway; his WS8, Preferred Enemy (Independent Character), and The Blade of the Laer's Master-crafted and Fleshbane rules make his attacks VERY reliable.
      • You basically want to use Nineteen against normal I5 Characters, multi-wound models or models that will suffer D3 wounds instead of Instant Death, and duellists with weak invulnerable saves that can prevent your Instant Death wound. The Blade of the Laer can reliably kill I6 Characters in Challenges and strike faster than them on a second turn of assault, potentially netting you another set of attacks at the same time as other I7 melee monsters like Sevatar or Corswain. You can drop The Blade of the Laer entirely to make Lucius 40pts cheaper; you have to do this if Fulgrim is in the same army.
  • Fulgrim, The Phoenician, The Prefector of Chemos, High Lord of the Emperor's Children: The saviour of his Legion and the exemplar of everything the Emperor's Children strive to achieve. Excelling in all things, he is an aesthete who appreciates elegance in both the arts and combat. Fulgrim is He is Traitor only and one of the better duellist Primarchs, with WS8 and a very high Initiative 8, turning into 9 during a Challenge with his default melee weapon or on the Charge with his Sudden Strike (1) rule, which, in turn, becomes 10 on the Charge during a Challenge. His Sublime Swordsman ability gets him one additional attack for each point of his Initiative above his opponent's in a Challenge. In addition, he also strikes at one Initiative step higher thanks to Legiones Astartes (Emperor's Children), but it doesn't give him an additional attack. His armour, The Gilded Panoply, provides him with a 2+/4++ save that becomes 3++ against melee attacks. For his ranged weapon, Fulgrim has Firebrand, a Master-crafted 12" S6 AP4 pistol that hits twice with Deflagrate and Shred, which is only really good against 4+ save models. Hey, at least it looks pretty!
    • Fulgrim can choose one of two melee weapons:
      • The Blade of the Laer, a Master-crafted S-User AP2 Specialist Weapon with Fleshbane and Duellist's Edge (1), which was gifted to him by Horus and brought Fulgrim to his fall towards Chaos.
      • Fireblade, a sword made by his buddy Ferrus, which is also a Master-crafted S+1 AP2 Specialist Weapon, this time with Murderous Strike (5+).
    • Fulgrim's Warlord Trait, Sire of the Emperor's Children, allows all EC models to use his Ld for Morale and Pinning tests if they can see him and adds +1 to combat resolution for all units composed entirely of EC models. He has Crusader and also gets a free Reaction once per turn for him and his unit, just like Lucius. Once per battle, at the start of any phase, Fulgrim can declare the use of Tactical Excellence; if an enemy unit attempts to use a Reaction against Fulgrim and his unit in that phase, it has to pass a Morale test first, using the highest Ld from the Reacting unit. If the unit fails the test, then the Reaction is cancelled. This doesn't work on units with other Primarchs.
    • Fulgrim is one of the stronger melee Primarchs, since he hits WS7 Primarchs with his many Fleshbane attacks and will strike first in a vast majority of situations, i.e., I9 when not on the Charge, all while being protected by a 3++ save, high WS, and the counter-Charge provided by the EC's Legion-exclusive Advanced Reaction. However, he will struggle against other WS8+ Primarchs with, sometimes temporary, better protection and/or Brutal (X) weapons.
  • Fulgrim's buffs for his Legion are pretty substantial:
    • Having Ld10 means your infantry is 83% resistant to Pinning or Morale tests, which is great for a melee-focused legion. Your Stubborn and Inexorable units will have less than a 17% chance to flee no matter how many wounds they suffered.
    • Fulgrim adds +1 to the value that determines an assault result, which stacks with a Legion Vexilla and Living Icons; it's unclear if Living Icons stacks with a Legion Vexilla, though. This can help in winning many combats, especially taking into account that EC units will attack first and the opponent will lose models before striking back at you. This stacks nicely with the enemy units' inability to hit yours through the Sonic Shriekers' debuff and A Perfect Guard option from Skill Unmatched, which means +1WS for your special melee units. You may not even score many or any wounds, but you'll win an assault because your enemy was unable to hit or wound you at all. If an enemy unit fails its Morale test and runs, you can just sweep it. Note that Stubborn and Inexorable units are likely to pass a Morale test and will stay in combat, while Fearless units auto-pass Pinning, Regroup, and Morale tests.
    • Fulgrim's Initiative 8 allows him and his unit to be very manoeuvrable thanks to Reactions, allowing his unit to move 8" towards an enemy unit or away from it in the opponent's Movement phase. He also adds 8 to his dice for Sweeping Advance rolls and rolling an extra dice due to Crusader, which makes him pick the highest scoring dice. Nobody gets away from Fulgrim. Note that when Fulgrim and his unit perform a Consolidation move, they can Consolidate to up to 9" in any direction if he Charged that turn, no requirement for unmodified Initiative needed. Don't forget that if someone uses Hit & Run on Fulgrim and his unit, they can make a Consolidation move as well.
    • Like with Lucius and Eidolon, Fulgrim's main enemies are Characters, Independent or otherwise, and Chosen Warriors, especially Stubborn, Inexorable and Fearless squads that can accept his Challenge. You can resolve many, many wounds against them but that won't negatively affect their unit's Ld during a Morale test and they'll stay in combat after passing a such a test; enemy special Characters that can kill half of your Retinue also pose a problem.
    • Outside of Challenges, Fulgrim only has 6, 7 on the Charge, attacks; with The Blade of the Laer, he struggles against multi-wound models with Invulnerable saves, meaning he needs a Retinue that can actually kill models like those when he is in a Challenge. A Command Squad with I2 Thunder Hammers will do the trick.
    • Fulgrim's melee potential can gain a substantial increase by adding Lucius to the army, what with his Preferred Enemy (Independent Character) rule to Fulgrim's attached squad. In addition to re-rolling one to hit roll of 2, upping to 3 when against WS8 units, with his MC weapon, he will re-roll to hit/to wound rolls of one. A Librarian can boost Fireblade to S8, which is handy against multi-wound T4 models and will also wound most T6 Primarchs on 2+.

Fulgrim against the other Primarchs

  • Horus has a Brutal (2) weapon and WS8 with 3++ save and one more wound. Fulgrim is actually one of the better Primarchs against him since he ignores his high T and LA:SoH with Fleshbane and gets +3A for Horus relatively low initiative. Horus' MC Brutal (2) weapon kills Fulgrim faster though. (Fulgrim is no match for Horus Ascended too mostly because he has FnP 4+ and one more wound. Rage doesn't really affect him since EC can countercharge, high S already wounds him on 2+ and high T doesn't matter since he has Fleshbane). Horus will most likely have Justaerins as his Retinue and these guys will smash almost any other Terminators while being immune to instant death from Sx2 weapons (they are also Chosen Warriors).
  • Dorn standing in a Unit of Phalanxes has WS9 on a first turn of assault and 3++ all the time and can only be wounded on 4+ to wound (his armour ignores Fleshbane) while having one more wound. Charge against him is always a disordered one (-2 attacks since Sudden Strike also doesn't work). Fulgrim will have a hard time hitting Dorn on a first turn of assault (on 5+ dues to WS9) then wounding him without Fleshbane (only wounds him on 4+) and then pushing through 3++ save while Dorn will wound him on 2+ and will hit him on 3+ on a first turn of assault. Dorn will grind Fulgrim down. If Dorn leaves Phalanxes for killier squad both of them will inflict the same amount of wound to each other (1.25W) vs Dorn (1.25w) but Dorn has one more wound. Dorn's 3++ Command squad or Huscarls can be very hard to kill, but EC Terminators will strike first with TH.
  • You have to charge/counter charge Leman Russ, otherwise he will debuff you with -1 to hit debuff from his charge (this is not a characteristic so it works on Primarchs too), his MC weapon is Brutal (2) and with his WS8 and many attacks it's very deadly, but he is 4++ and Fulgrim has decent chances on killing him. (He kills Fulgrim faster but Fulgrim will strike first in each turn because his initiative is higher). Russ retinue can contain very strong Varagyr Terminators that can buy additional specialist weapon and will strike you back with 4 TH attacks each when you charge them.
  • Lion can be a tough and dangerous opponent for Fulgrim, he hits Fulgrim on 3+ thanks to Deathwing and gets +1A in Deathwing RoW. (Same with Firewing RoW) Not only this but he can also re-roll ONE invulnerable save in each player turn which is huge because Fulgrim without charge in average inflicts 1.87 wounds before invulnerable save re-roll against him. (Deathwing RoW Lion inflicts 1.66w). When Lion loses his wounds he gets more attacks: +1 at 4 and less wounds and another attack when he is at his last wound. Lion will probably kill Fulgrim thanks to re-rolling invulnerable saves, +1 to hit buffs and his numerous attacks. He also has a wide variety of strong WS5 special units for his Retinue which are also Chosen Warriors.
  • Ferrus Manus: You guys thought you know how this will end? Surprise! Ferrus new MC Brutal (3) hammer will smack Fulgrim pretty hard, even with WS7 it will deal as much wounds as Fulgrims inflicts on a charge. Ferrus also has one more wound. (Fulgrim on a charge (2.2 wounds)/without charge (1.85)/Ferrus (2.2)). Somehow Perturabo managed to make this hammer worse (Brutal (2)) and in his hands it's certainly not as deadly as in Ferrus'. (Perturabo will lose to Fulgrim since he has less attacks and wounds and hammer inflicts less Brutal wounds)
  • Fulgrim inflicts almost two times more wounds to Curze even without charge and with Curze having +1 to wound buff from his LA:NL (mostly because Curze have no MC weapon and wounds on 3+ with Shred against 3++ Fulgrim with 2+ to wound). However with his Psy power and it's 4+ FnP in particular Curze can seriously increase his survivability (68% chance to cast). Fulgrim has no access to FnP and with Curze rolling FnP 4+ every turn it can be pretty hard to take him down. Curze can try to leave combat with his i7 Hit & Run and then charge again in his turn to get more attacks (+3A: psy power, bloody murder and +1A for a charge - 1.42 wounds in average, still less than Fulgrim without charge (1.87)). However since Fulgrim and his squad consolidate at his i8 (i9) they can just move 8' (9') to opposite direction to avoid charge and can go even further with their reaction in Conrads movement phase.(or they can chase him if Cruze is weak) Conrad can bait and force Fulgrim to charge with NL special reaction from falling back too. This is going to be a cat and mouse game. (just like with Corax and Khan but these guys are weaker than WS8 FnP 4+ Curze)
  • Don't let Angron charge you later in the game, otherwise he'll hit you with up to 15 attacks with re-rolls (Hatred) that will wound you on 2+. Even WS8 and 3++ won't save Fulgrim from losing half of his wounds in that case. In challenges Angron retains his WS8 (instead of WS3 from Butchers Nails), Both Fulgrim (9a) and Angron (10a) will inflict ~2 wounds against each other on a Second Turn (2.3 for Fulgrim), after that Angrons will be getting stronger with one additional attack every turn. Charge him early and keep him in combat, his Red Butchers retinue can cause a serious problems though unless you bring your own i2 Terminators with TH.
  • Sanguinius gets Rage, +1 to WS (WS8->WS9) and re-rolls his 4++ on charge. You have to countercharge him and strip him from all these charge bonuses. Fulgrim has one point stronger Invulnerable save and two more attacks otherwise and most likely will kill Sanguinius.
  • Mortarion with WS7 7W but 4++ and only 5 initiative looks like an easy target for Fulgrim right? Nope. His Preternatural Resilience special rule only allows Fleshbane from your Blade of Laer to work on sixes to Hit! Fulgrim will only wound him on 5+ with Blade of Laer normally thanks to his T7. (Fulgrim with BoL will only inflict 0.7 wounds on a charge, 0.61 without charge, despite having a boost in a number of attacks (not counting Fleshbane 6+)). Mortarion is that one guy you have to use your Fireblade against, against it Mortarion will lose close to 2W on Fulgrims charge and receive 1.66 wounds in each consequent combat phase while inflicting 0.74 wounds on Fulgrim in return. They are going to fight the whole game which is not ideal taking into account Mortarion IWND is boosted to 4+ (in comparison to Fulgrims 5+ for Primarch Sub Type), you better have some killy retinue in that case.
  • Alpharius armour ignores Fleshbane entirely but he is probably one if the weakest Primarch in melee both offensively and defensively and even with Blade of Laer Fulgrim will take him down. (this is going to be faster with Fireblade though) Thanks to AL Rewards of Treachery rule Alpharius can basically take ANY LA unit from other Legions for his retinue and in conjunction with his Sudden Strike/Preferred enemy (everything) buffs for a turn they can be even more deadly.
  • Guilliman has WS7 but he can re-roll 1 to hit on a second (and further) turn of assault in addition to MC on his S10 Brutal (2) named Power fist. His worst thing is re-rolling one invulnerable save in each phase. (better than Lion). Guilliman after the first turn in average will inflict ~1.5 wounds against Fulgrim and will receive 2.77 wounds in return before re-rolls. Fulgrim strikes first and inflicts more wounds he will most likely take Guilliman down. However Guilliman has one of the best choice for Retinue units: Suzerains is one of the deadliest 4++ melee units, Guilliman can also join a squad of Fulmentarus Terminators - with Overwatch these guys can kill for up to 100% of your 4++ terminator retinue with BS5 S8 Brutal (2) Rockets AND Combi bolters (they have Firing Protocols) and then finish what is left with their Power Fists.
  • Vulkan will lose to Fulgrim despite having 3++ and IWND 4+. Mostly because of his relatively low WS, low Initiative and small number of weak attacks. His WS5 3++ Firedrakes Retinue on the other hand can royally fuck up Fulgrims retinue with their TH. Biomancy makes them even more resilient. (they will hit your WS4 Terminators on 3+ while re-rolling 1 to hit.)
  • Lorgar deserves a Honourable mention, while he is one of the weakest Primarchs in melee, in Dark Brethren RoW he and his command squad can receive for up to three +1WS +1S +1 movement buffs for killing certain chosen enemy units with it's entire army. (this can be hard because your opponent knows which unit you have to kill) Lorgar himself can buff his squad with FnP 4+ and taking into account he also has IWND 4+ it can be very hard to kill him. He also has MC Brutal (2) at initiative weapon. WS9 Lorgar in average will inflict 2.5 wounds to Fulgrim while receiving 1.6 wounds before his FnP 4+ and IWND 4+ rolls. Lorgars Command Squad retinue in that case will turn into absolute monsters: WS8 (like Fulgrim lmao) 2W 2+ save (4++/5++ if Terminators/Boarding Shield ) 4+ FnP and Strength 7 by default and these guys move 10'(9') on the board. They are chosen warriors and one guy can duel with Fulgrim while Lorgar and the boys smash Fulgrims Retinue. Their only weakness in T4 which can be fixed with Biomancy (also giving them S8). And you thought Justaerins were scary.
  • The only thing Magnus can reliably do against Fulgrim is to prevent his EC countercharge reaction with his psy powers. Otherwise he is WS7 with 4++ and 6W and not going to be a problem for Fulgrim in a challenge. (His pistol is two times more likely to wound Fulgrim than his melee). His retinue of Sekhmet Terminators is rather dangerous and resilient though. (WS5 Cata Terminators and will probably have their own Biomancy)

Iron Warriors[edit]

Iron warriors legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

Artillerists without equal, the Iron Warriors are THE demolition specialists, with a flat bonus against dreads, automata or anything with an Armour Value, and access to Haywire melee weapons.
Gone is their disregard for ranged casualties (unless you bring Perturabo). Instead, they focus on pinning down the enemies with their shrapnel munitions, now available even to the basic bolter.
If you want to bring the hardest hitting guns to break the enemy metal boxes and pin anyone hiding within then join the IVth and drown the enemy under a Storm of Iron

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Wrack & Ruin: Models with this rule add +1 strength when targeting Dreadnoughts, Automata, Vehicles, or Buildings, in both shooting and melee.
    • Unlike other legions, your trait depends entirely on what your opponent brings to the battlefield. Meaning you either blow up the tanks, or he avoids giving you said targets. Missile launchers, Volkite and Autocannons have the flexibility to target both. And it's not like Lascannons (S10!) didn't kill terminators, either.
    • Remember every marine has an S6 krak grenade, meaning you don't need to give sergeants a melta bomb to give most vehicles within reach a nasty surprise.
    • Praevian Automata gain LA(IW), meaning Castellax with Darkfire cannons attack AV12 vehicles (Lance) with S8 guns.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Bitter Fury": Once per game, in the shooting phase, if a squad gets shot, then after armour saves have been taken, but before casualties are removed, the unit may shoot back twice but gains the Gets Hot rule for the duration of their retaliation. If a model already has Gets Hot, then it triggers on a 1 or 2 for that Shooting attack.
    • Some useful criteria for this single-use reaction are:
      • A) The Reacting unit has good dakka. Firing Protocols (X) can shoot again with each of their multiple weapons. Magna Combi-Weapons get twice their points' worth. Moreover, unlike the Iron Hands Advanced Reaction, this does not seem to exclude Fury of the Legion/Fury of Olympia, allowing 120 SHOTS at 12".
      • B) The unit who triggered the reaction is BOTH worth killing AND can be killed by your squad's sacrificial shooting. A 20-man tactical squad with [Fury of Olympia/Fury of the Legion/in RF range] can delete an enemy HSS that dares lay a finger on them.
      • C) Or, this is the last action of a dying unit. E.g.: a Lascannon team shouldn't be targetting Tactical Supports. But if some Tac Supports get the drop on them, they might as well go out with a bang.
    • Lots of dakka can trigger lots of Gets Hot, which can be a problem for a squad that isn't dying just yet. 120 shots would cause 20 wounds. But Hammer of Olympia' re-roll would reduce that to a manageable 3.18 wounds. For Lascannon Havocs, an Armistos' Cognis-Signum can push their BS to BS6, re-rolling 1s. Else it's Apothecaries.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Tyrant of the Apolokron: Turns your guys into robots. The Warlord gains Fearless, but he can only join a unit where every model has Legiones Astartes (Iron Warriors). The Warlord provides an extra Shooting reaction while he lives, but his unit must always Shoot or Charge the closest enemy unit.
    • Fearless is great on melee units, particularly Legion Veterans/Artificer Armour Command Squads who do not get Inexorable like TEQs and can "choose" their target by jumping closest to them. Conversely, taking this on long-ranged units is a bad idea; your 10 Lascannons will lose access to cover and to Reaction: Evade (Fearless units are too proud to duck), and shooting a random Rhino because it's closer than a more important target will lose you the game.
    • The trait is basically giving Programmed Behaviour to a SM unit, all for Fearless' sake. Kind of a high price for a melee reward of little use to a ranged legion. Especially when the melee units are emotionless robots and inexorable terminators, before normal power armoured squads.
  2. Tyrant of the Dodekatheon: Reductor-lite. Pick one piece of terrain, Fortification or Building on the field during the game's start, i.e., after deployment but before Scout and Infiltrate units use their rules. Terrain is immediately reduced to Difficult and Dangerous Terrain that offers no cover, while you gain +1 to any damage rolls against a chosen Building or Fortification. In addition, your army gains an additional Reaction in the Shooting phase while the Warlord is alive.
    • Reduces a piece of cover into a pile of hindering rubble. It can still block line of sight, but it'll slow enemy units without giving them any protection. Solid WT overall. Though it is using up a WT on denying one piece of cover (that can still block LoS).
  3. Tyrant of the Lyssatra: The Warlord and any Infantry unit with Legiones Astartes (Iron Warriors) can roll an additional die when shooting a Rapid Fire, Assault or Heavy weapon that isn't also a Template or Blast weapon; this stacks after the bonuses gained from the Bitter Fury Advanced Reaction, meaning 2x+1 shots for a weapon with x shots. But if this unit is fired at, it MUST make either the Return Fire or Bitter Fury reactions if possible (Bitter Fury remains single-use, though). This doesn't use up your army's Shooting phase reaction, but the unit may only ever use Return Fire, Bitter Fury and Interceptor. "'Overwatch?' Never heard of it". The same caveats apply as for Bitter Fury; Combi-Weapons can get +1 shot for both components and anyone with Firing Protocols (X) gets it on every eligible weapon.
    • As you get 1 additional shot (thus 1/x more firepower) but Gets Hot on every shot (x/6 chance of triggering), this means weapons that already fired a lot of shots (high value of x) are relatively harmed more for less gain. On the other hand, triggering Gets Hot on low AP weapons will get your models killed; squeezing 20 Lascannon shots out of your 10 Iron Havocs is cool, but taking 3 AP2 wounds without the enemy even doing anything isn't. This implies you should use it with Rending/Breaching weapons like Autocannons, Nemesis Bolters and Seeker Scorpius rounds, as your models save against Gets Hot at the lower default AP value of the weapon, while your opponent takes the AP2 wounds.
    • This can be combined with Bitter Fury to squeeze even more out of Magna Combi-Weapons, particularly Combi-Plasmas that already Gets Hot on 1 or 2 with one of the effects and thus are not further penalized by using both effects. 10 Magna Combi-Weapons is 30 Melta/50 Plasma shots on top of 50 Bolter shots at 12", which can wipe out most units of infantry, TEQ or not. However, as the Magna Combi-Weapon without the combi- part is just a bolter, which effectively means you Warlord trait is this one gimmick. Think carefully.
    • The trait FORCES you to react at whatever shoots the unit, meaning the first shot will burn up the reaction, even if it's something that isn't actually worth reacting to. A full Tyrant squad can be baited into returning fire on a sacrificial Rhino, before being blasted with impunity by Lascannons. Furthermore, the unit won't react against enemy charges. Extreme caution and positional awareness is required.

Unique Wargear

  • Graviton Weapons: Characters can swap their Power Weapons for Graviton Maces (AP3 Haywire) or their Thunder Hammers for Graviton Crushers (S+2 AP2 Unwieldy, Two Handed, Specialist Weapon, Haywire) for no cost. Dreadnoughts can swap Gravis Power Fists for Graviton Mauls (S+2 AP2 Brutal (2), Haywire) for 15 points.
    • Graviton Maces are akin to haywire power swords, very powerful against dreadnoughts and automata without being any less dangerous or unwieldy against infantry (though they're no power mauls/spears). However, a single character armed with the weapon is still not enough to take on them. You could add characters (like apothecaries) to the unit, but only officers would be able to hit dreads earlier than i4.
    • Graviton Crushers (the thunder hammers) are awful. They ditch the top-of-the-line S8 Brutal (2) of the Hammer, without getting any better against metal targets. In fact they're worse than Maces, because they have -1A from being Two Handed. An actual Thunder Hammer would be better, as S9 also wounds dreads on a 2+, but does twice the damage, and still has a good chance against tanks, actually causing more Penetrating hits (though less glances).
  • Olympian Shrapnel Weapons: ANY unit with the Legiones Astartes (Iron Warriors) rule may swap their Bolt Pistol, Bolter, or Heavy Bolter for a Shrapnel Weapon for 2 points per weapon. Independent Characters may swap theirs for free. Shrapnel Weapons have a reduced range and two less AP, but gain the Pinning rule to balance it out.
    • Pinning is great. If the Ld test is failed, the afflicted unit is unable to move (or run or charge), can only make snap shots and cannot make Reactions. But marine units are Ld8 minimum, meaning they'll resist pinning 72.24% of the time. And if you don't trigger Pinning, you just paid 2 pts per gun to lose range and AP for no benefit at all. Even more infuriating, because of the way the rules are written, you can unload 120 shrapnel shots into a unit and kill a dozen models; they'll still test for Pinning just once, on unmodified Ld.
      • Many will tell you you're supposed to sniper the sergeant first, use characters with Fear (Herald), shoot at night (-1 Ld) or rely on multiple Pinning tests. These people are all Night Lords snipers, who think everyone else can use Fear-causing characters with Night Vision. As for using multiple firing units to cause multiple tests, not only does it force you to commit lots of resources to stop a single enemy unit, you also run the risk of: a) Actually killing them, b) Make them fall back. Both of which render the points you paid for Pinning POINTLESS. tl;dr: Pinning is great, too bad you won't be doing that.
    • RAW, Shrapnel Weapons are a different gun entirely, meaning marines cannot add bayonets to them because they're not "Bolters", they're "Shrapnel Bolters". Tactical Squads are also unable to use Fury of the Legion with them, but that's what Hammer of Olympia is for.

Unique Rites of War

The Hammer of Olympia
This Rite gives your army bonuses with their Shrapnel Weapons and lets hardens your vehicles, all with very few drawbacks. This is effectively the default way to play Iron Warriors (meaning playing most other RoWs is playing IW wrong). However it's shrapnel-centric, meaning that unless you buy the upgrade, you don't get much benefit.

  • Benefits:
    • Units firing Shrapnel Weapons may re-roll 1s to-hit, which is basically the only way of actually benefitting from shrapnel whenever they don't cause Pinning. Which is often.
    • Tactical Squads MUST replace their Fury of the Legion rule with Fury of Olympia, effectively the same "extra shot" bonus but now applied (only) to Shrapnel Weapons. That is both Shrapnel bolters and Shrapnel Pistols, allowing Tacticals to double tap before charging in. That is, if they buy +20-80 pts of upgrades, or else you don't not just get nothing, you actually lose what you already had.
      • Unlike Fury of the Legion, Fury of Olympia applies while moving. The radius for 2 shots increases slightly: 18" guns + 7" Movement as opposed to 24" stationary. Can reach 3 shots at 9"+7", though often times it'll just mean being reacted 4" away, so the range remains 12". Still, good for taking ground with your Tacticals.
    • Legion Predators, Vindicators, Land Raiders, and Spartans can ignore Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned results.
      • It would be significant if Vindicators, Land Raiders and Spartans weren't already 'Reinforced' Type, as they already ignore Crew Shaken and half of Crew Stunned. So, useful only if you take lots of Predators
  • Limitations:
    • The Detachment must include either a Warsmith or Perturabo.
      • Including a Warsmith, which is a Melee Model, in a Ranged legion using a Ranged RoW can be a noticeable tax. Luckily you can chuck him into some terminator unit and toss him at the enemy.
    • No unit in the Detachment may use Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault, or Outflanking, which means you have to deploy/reserve everything normally and live with it.

The Ironfire
Danger close!!! This Rite is about the tactical advance of your troops amongst relentless friendly fire barrages. Your men act as spotters to make the raining shells more accurate and plays to the Iron Warriors strengths as both the Legion of heavy artillery and callous disregard for their own men.

  • Benefits:
    • Legion Arquitor Squadrons may be taken as non-Compulsory Troops. Great anti-vehicle platform at short range, but all of its weapon choices except for the Phosphex shell are AP4. Use the Heavy Support slots you vacated to get some low AP weapons, or spam Phosphex since you have to take a Siege Breaker and thus have access to them anyway.
    • Weapons with the Barrage rule scatter only D6" rather than 2D6" when the target point is within 12" of a friendly Iron Warriors unit. Combine it with your infantry's Nuncio-voxes to re-roll scatter; considering the smallest blast marker is 3" and that your target has a base area, this means you're almost guaranteed to hit the original target. While AP2/3 Barrage weapons are very rare nowadays outside of Phosphex weapons (which do not need the help due to Crawling Fire), this can still be useful to make sure your Whirlwind/Scorpius hits those Terminators.
    • Iron Warriors Infantry units within 12" of the final target point of friendly Barrage fire gain the Stubborn special rule until the end of their next turn.
    • Infantry in the Detachment may re-roll failed armour saves against wounds inflicted by any weapon with the Blast special rule, essentially gaining the best aspects of the Heavy-type without its drawbacks.
  • Limitations:
    • Detachments using this Rite of War may not use Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault or Flanking Assault deployment types.
    • The Detachment must include more squadrons of Legion Arquitors, Legion Basilisks, and Legion Medusas than it does Cavalry units. Not really an issue; if you were focusing on bikes, you'd be playing White Scars or Ravenwing Dark Angels.
    • The Detachment using this Rite of War must include a model with the Siege Breaker Consul upgrade.

Unique Units

  • Tyrant Siege Terminator Squad: You know them and you love them, your standard Cataphractii squad with fuck-off massive rocket launchers duct-taped to their backs. Said rocket launchers are their Tyrant Rocket Launchers with Flak, Krak, and Frag options for unit killing; this means 2 shots for the Krak and Flak missiles and 4 for the Frag without Blast, speeding up their shooting. Krak Missiles are the same old S8 AP3 MEQ deleters, so use them on any annoying 2W MEQs like Legion Veterans in addition to the intended anti-vehicle duty.
    • Tyrant Siege Terminators are also equipped with Combi-Bolters but no options for a Combi-Weapon, even on the Siege Master; this is probably so you can't add Combi-Grenade Launchers on top of Frag missiles. Firing Protocols (2) means you can shoot both their guns in one turn, but if you want to throw your expensive rocket platforms into melee, you can swap their Power Fists for Chainfists for the usual pittance or trade out their fist and gun for twin Lightning Claws for a bewildering +10pts. You can throw a Grenade Harness on the Siege Master if you think this is a particularly good idea.
    • This squad suffers from lacking Split Fire like the old rules, so you can't take a full squad and rely on that for all your anti-tank needs. At best, you'll be demolishing one tank squadron per turn, but that's not enough. S8 becomes S9 thanks to the Wrack and Ruin LA rule, so you can still dent the heaviest of tanks. You're also pretty killy against Automata, but your AP3 missiles really hold you back against Dreadnoughts.
    • Consider a smaller unit and add an Armistos with no heavy weapon as a cheap way to bump them to BS5 with his Cognis-Signum. Make him your Warlord with the Tyrant of the Lyssatra Trait so he can add more shots to their weapons; upping Frag missiles to Heavy 5 isn't much, but making the Krak missiles Heavy 3 is a severe damage increase if you're willing to take the chance of proccing Gets Hot on a unit who costs 55pts each model. The loss of Reactions isn't much a blow when you're going to be standing back and spewing missiles all game, and they are still Terminators, so they're mean in melee; but if they're punchin', they ain't shootin'.
  • Iron Circle Maniple: Robots that act as Perturabo's bodyguard because he doesn't trust his Marines to actually do a good job. Domitar-Ferrum robots are armed with Shrapnel Cannons, Graviton Mauls and Karceri Battle Shields, which give them a 5++ Invulnerable and allow them to only take D3 wounds when hit by Instant Death. They have Relentless and Hammer of Wrath (3), as well as two unique rules; Moving Bulwark and The Shield of the Iron Tyrant. The former increases their Invulnerable save to 4++ when in base contact with each other and the latter allows them to be taken as a Retinue for Perturabo and gives them Feel No Pain (5+) if they are part of the Pert's Retinue. But best of all, they got a points decrease to 150 points for the first model and 135 for each other model in the unit, and they can still be taken in units of 6.
    • Why bring a guy in armour as your bodyguard when you can bring a giant kill-bot instead? Well, there is one good reason: WS4. These guys will be hitting on 5s and getting hit on 3s by almost anything you want to send them after with a decent WS score, like those Elites and Retinue squads, or Dreadnoughts. S9 is nice when it goes through, but whiffing 2/3 of your hits is going to hurt bad for points effectiveness. Remember that they are bodyguards, not duellists. With T7, five wounds each and 3+/4++, they are hard as nails, with Perturabo's presence granting an extra Feel No Pain (5+) and an effective It Will Not Die (2+), giving you a set of mini-Primarchs and the most resilient DISTRACTION CARNIFEX in the whole game.
  • Iron HavocsLegacies: The original Havocs and the Iron Warriors' premium anti-tank unit. For 135 points you get 5 heavy support marines in Heavy power armour and BS5, all equipped with Shrapnel Cannons, which is good against infantry but not the reason you are bringing these guys. They can swap the Shrapnel Cannons for Autocannons for free, which will give you solid anti-light armour capabilities but if you want to strike fear into the hearts of all tanks everywhere, they can instead be equipped with Missile Launchers, for anti-tank and anti-air, or Lascannons, for pure anti-armour. Importantly these guns strength will combine with the Iron Warrior Legion trait when shooting at vehicles to give you Lascannon strength Missiles or NEUTRON LASER STRENGTH LASCANNONS!. They also come with a Ferrum Occularis, which gives the unit Precision Shots as long as they are not snap-firing or shooting as part of a reaction.
    • 10 Lascannon Iron Havocs cost 385 points while 10 Lascannons on a Heavy Support Squad with a Techmarine for Cognis-signum is 345 points, but the Iron Havocs get Precision Shots (6+) and they can't lose BS5 from the enemy sniping the Techmarine with Recons. 10 Missile Launcher/Autocannon Iron Havocs meanwhile are cheaper than 10 of the same weapons on a Heavy Support Squad with a Cognis-signum, on top of the above perks. Honestly no reason not to take Iron Havocs unless you wanted the other weapon choices.
  • 0-1 Dominator CohortExemplary Battles: Perturabo's original bodyguard unit until the Battle of Phall, when they horrifically fucked up. Ever since they have had a burning hatred of Automata. They are a squad of Cataphractii Terminators, with Hatred (Automata), WS5 and Chosen Warriors, that all come equipped with Thunder Hammers or Chainfists for fucking up robots. They can swap their Combi-Bolters for both kinds of Combi-Weapons, while Multi-meltas can be picked up as a heavy weapon. They can be taken as a Retinue for Perturabo, where they lose Hatred, but gain Feel No Pain (6+). They have a pretty specific role in robot hunting, but thanks to the Iron Warriors Legion trait and the changes to Thunder Hammers they can be pretty good at it. Moreover, this is the only source of WS5 Terminators in the Iron Warriors list outside of a Command Squad, so they are also worth considering simply as better Cataphractii, as +1 WS matters a lot more in 2.0.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Praetor - Warsmith: One Praetor of any kind can spend 20 points to become a Warsmith. Not only does this provide a Servo-Arm and Cortex Controller, but it also gives them Master of the Automata and Battlesmith (3+) to help keep them alive. All in all, this lets your Praetor participate in assisting with Brethren or Iron rites just as effectively as any Forge Lord and can help if you're taking charge of any heavily mechanised armies where the repairs would be welcome.
  • Erasmus GolgLegacies: 2.0 hasn't been too kind to Golg. He's been smacked with the nerf-bat; he can no longer take Legion Terminators as Troop choices, and he has lost Fear, effectively losing the two main reasons you took him. In return his Chainfist has been upgraded to be S10 and master-crafted, which can make him quite scary against vehicles when paired with a unit of Dominators or Chainfist Terminators. He comes with a Combi-Melta, a Nuncio Vox and Augury scanner and he automatically has the Bloody Handed warlord Trait. He's not awful, but you are probably better off taking your own custom Praetor in most cases.
    • Weirdly he doesn't have the Traitor rule, despite his fluff making him extremely loyal to Perturabo, meaning you can take him with any allegiance.
  • Kyr VhalenLegacies: A Loyalist Warsmith who told the Traitors to get fucked when he heard of the Heresy and stayed loyal to the ideals of the Great Crusade (and by extension the Emperor). He's a IV wound Warsmith, with Feel No Pain (6+) and Battle Hardened (1), which combined with his Iron Halo makes him pretty resistant to the normal method of killing Praetors by IDing them with S8 AP2.. He comes with all the bells and whistles and he has a cortex controller, a servo arm and Battlesmith (3+), along with Melta Bombs, making him a pretty decked out character from the word go. He is equipped with a Volkite Charger and Aegeas, which being a S+2 AP3 Master-crafted Breaching (4+) Blind sword isn't that far off from his 1.0 Paragon Blade. All of this awesomeness is topped off by his warlord trait Battle Logistician, which gives one unit of his choice Relentless. See those Iron Havocs with Lascannons you brought? Now they can move and shoot without penalty. Loyalty may be its own reward, but clearly you get better perks as well.
  • Nârik DreygurLegacies: A second Loyalist Character for the Iron Warriors. While the Alpha Legion were pussyfooting around their allegiance, half of the Iron Warriors appear to have just picked the obviously not retard side (and in his case, sided with a true bro in Cassian Dracos). He's an upgraded Legion Praevian, with the Master of Automata and Legiones Cybernetica rules. He has a Cortex Controller, but also a Cortex Designator, which gives Automata +1 to hit if they target a unit that has already been shot at, and he comes with the Stoic Defender Warlord Trait. He's equipped with a Master-Crafted Bolt Pistol (which should be used to designate targets for Automata), and a Graviton Gauntlet, which is a Power Fist with Haywire. Finally if he is taken in an Allied Detachment where the main detachment's warlord is either Cassian Dracos Reborn or Xiaphas Jurr, then Dreygur can bring along an Iron Warrior Veteran squad that doesn't take up a force org slot and Dreygur gains 1 attack and Stubborn when within 12" of Cassian Dracos.
  • Perturabo, Master of the Iron Warriors, The Lord of Iron, The Breaker, The Hammer of Olympia: Bitter Man Supreme has seen a few changes in 2.0, but he nevertheless comes in as a solid Primarch choice and is pretty much everything you could want for a HQ of the IVth Legion. He's 425 points, which puts him on the cheaper side of Primarchs this edition; he has all 7s in Movement, WS, BS and Toughness, and his armour, The Logos, provides him with a 2+ armour save and 3++ invulnerable save, as well as the ability to ignore all the effects of Night Fighting and make an Interceptor Reaction for free.
    • His armour's built-in weapons, The Logos Array, make his punches S+1 and AP2, meaning he bitch slaps people with the same AP as a Lascannon, and his built-in arm cannons fire Twin-linked 30" Assault 6 S6 AP3 shots which have the Shred, Pinning and Shell Shock (1) rules, so they will carve apart units of MEQs; despite being described as Shrapnel Weapons, the arm cannons are collectively classified as a Bolt Weapon in the rules.
      • He used to have Firing Protocols (2), but errata saw that as making Perty too good for an unfavored son so it's gone now. You now have to either dedicate to the repairs or dedicate to shooting.
    • His Sire of the Iron Warriors Warlord Trait allows all Iron Warriors Infantry units to roll 3 dice when making Morale and Pinning tests caused by Shooting attacks and discard the highest result roll. In addition, he allows for an additional Reaction during the Shooting phase.
    • Pert is pretty much a big Warsmith, as he comes with a Cortex Controller, Master of Automata and Battlesmith (2+) allowing him to bring, control and repair that Iron Circle Maniple you take with him, as well as support all the Vehicles the Iron Warriors typically bring.
    • For 35 points, bringing him up to 460, you can also give him Forgebreaker Desecrated to add a bit more of a thwack to his melee attacks. It's an Unwieldy S12 AP1 Master-crafted Thunder Hammer that has Exoshock (3+) and Brutal (2) if you want him to walk around breaking open Dreadnoughts and Tanks. It's worse than Ferrus's version, though, because as usual, Perturabo makes things worse by coming into contact with them.
    • TormentorLegacies: Perty's massive Shadowsword he can take as a transport... in whatever insane game you have where you can afford that. It's got a Void Shield and a 24 man transport capacity but it costs 900 points and is added to the Primarch 25% tax, meaning the game needs to be at least 5300 points for you to bring it. So, much like Aetos Dios, you're probably never going to field it.

Night Lords[edit]

Night Lords legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Masters of Fear and a Legion made up of psychopaths that any decent military force would have turned away, but were welcomed with open arms by 8th, the Night Lords are the Legion who have morals as twisted as a corkscrew and believe that a suit made out of skin the height of fashion. The aim of their game is to terrify their opponents into fleeing and then shooting them in the back with a few nasty and unique war gear options, and the ability to dominate games set in the dark as they can give their units Night Vision so they can see their quarry. They also enjoy being one of the most manoeuvrable Legions, with units and Rites of War based around getting around the map and bringing fast units.

The Night Lords are the bullies of the Legiones Astartes and they play just like that, with most of your buffs applying to ganging up on units smaller than yours and throwing around Fear to make them run away rather than putting up a real fight, so playing to these strengths with big or Bulky units and kicking units while they're down is the most effective (and thematic) way to play this Legion. They are not warriors or soldiers. They are murderers first, last, and always. If you think fighting fair is for losers and have unique tastes in fashion, this is the legion for you.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - A Talent for Murder: When attacking or shooting at a unit that is outnumbered, pinned or falling back, improve to wound rolls by 1 (i.e. 3+ to wound becomes 2+ to wound) or increase armour penetration rolls by 1. Bulky models count as the number of models equal to their bulky value and Vehicles count as 10 models.
    • Running large units is the best way to guarantee that you get this rule, so don't be afraid to run 15-20 man tactical squads and have them descend on smaller opposing units. It also pays to bring support squads with good weapons so you can thin out larger units so the bulk of your army can then hurt them effectively as stuff like Plasma guns won't actually benefit from the rule when shooting outnumbered Marines (you can't make a wound roll better than 2+).
    • Bulky units should also be first choices as they will "outnumber" other units with less models, so jump-pack models and Terminators are obvious choices, but Bikes can be another effective choice.
    • In fights involving MEQ squads on both sides, you can take some Power Spears to hit first and thin out the opponent, giving everyone else +1 to wound later. That said, your Legion-specific weapons all offer enormous bonuses to wound, as do the Fists and Hammers you want against TEQs, so this will not apply very often to your elite melee units. Giving +1 to hit like 1.0 would have been more useful, but it also works on guns now, so it is what it is.
  • Advanced Reaction: "The Better Part of Valour": Is triggered during the assault phase and allows a unit to Fall Back and regroup if it is charged, but will not suffer the usual restrictions that a unit that has just regrouped would normally face. Obviously good for keeping support squads out of fights they will lose and even better for trolling your opponent so you can charge him next turn.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Warmonger (Traitor Only): Him and his unit gain +1 to hit rolls when targeting units with Loyalist and Independent Characters, and also gains Fearless if you include a detachment of Sons of Horus. Additionally you gain an addition reaction in the shooting phase.
    • You get back the other half of your Legion trait from 1.0. Excellent with Terror Squads, whose Preferred Enemy works much better with improved to-hit rolls, or otherwise when throwing your Warlord and his retinue into combat with the enemy Warlord.
  2. Jadhek Clanlord: He and any unit he joins gains Counter Attack (1) and ignore all penalties to their movement and charge rolls as well as re-rolling Dangerous Terrain tests. Gains an additional reaction during the opposing movement phase.
  3. Flaymaster: The Warlord gains Fear (1) which increases the value (to a max of 3) after being part of a combat the sees an entire unit destroyed, or kills an opponent in a challenge. The army also gains an additional reaction in the Assault phase.

Unique Wargear

  • Nostraman Chain Weapons: Any character with a Power weapon can exchange the power weapon for a Chainblade or Chainglaive for 10 points or a Headsman's axe for 15 points. As per other Chain weapons this edition, they all get Shred. Remember you need to pay for the Power weapon too; 5-10 points for the Power weapon and then 10 points for the upgrade may not be worth it when a Power Fist is 15 points. Moreover, the bonus strength on all of them means you get fewer chances to proc Breaching with Shred re-rolls, which limits their AP2 potential. That said, they're really really good at killing models without a 2+ save.
    • Chainblade: +1S, AP3 and Breaching (6+). Generally good for anyone who isn't a Terminator, as the additional strength and lack of Specialist Weapon allows it to cause more AP3 wounds than anything short of paired Lightning Claws, which most MEQ characters couldn't get anyway.
    • Chainglaive: Two Handed, +2S, AP3 with Breaching (6+). You get basically guaranteed to-wound at S6 Shred, but Two-handed really hurts, as you lose attacks compared to its competitors in the Chainblade on MEQs and paired Lightning Claws on TEQs. The fact that it already wounds on a 2+ means it doesn't benefit from the Legion trait, whereas the other 2 weapons do, so your extra strength doesn't mean that much.
    • Headsman's Axe: Sx2 AP3 Breaching (6+) and Two Handed. It is murderous against Veterans and has the bonus over other Sx2 weapons of not having unwieldy, making it a very quick way of removing 2W MEQs. However, it's still not good enough against 2+ saves and particularly TEQs; you need 5 hits to proc Breaching and then they get their Invulnerable save.
  • Escaton Power Claw: A Power Fist with Shred and Murderous Strike (6+), that any Independent Character with a Power fist can exchange for 10 points.
    • Not very useful, as the Power Fist already wounded on 2+ and inflicted ID on MEQs, so Shred/Murderous Strike aren't necessary. Against ICs where you do need Murderous Strike, it doesn't trigger enough because you wound on 2+ and don't get too many re-rolls on your 6+ from Shred. It triggers fairly often against Dreadnoughts, but they get protection against ID, so again not very useful. That said, not all Automata get protection against ID, so it could be a way to improve performance against them.
  • Lords of Murder: Any Night Lords Independent Character may have the Bloody Murder rule for +5pts.
    • Bloody Murder: Charges targeting a unit that is pinned or falling back get +1 to charge distance and if successful, the charging unit gets +1 attack for the duration of the turn.
    • This means your ICs can join Terror/Night Raptor squads and keep the rule, as it only works when the entire unit has it. However, this also means you cannot double dip with Spite of the Legion on Despoilers and get +2 attacks against Pinned units unless you get it army-wide from Konrad Curze.
  • Prey Sight: Any Night Lords unit may be given Night Vision for +15pts per unit.
  • Trophies of Judgement: Any Night Lords Characters may be given the Fear (1) rule for +10 points. Units that already have fear may not take this.

Unique Rites of War

The Swift Blade
A rite based around being fast, bulky and fucking around with your opponent.

  • Benefits:
    • You must Bring five HQ choices, with one being a Praetor and the others must be Centurions or Consuls on a form of bike. All the HQ's are treated as the Warlord and all gain the Jadhek Clanlord trait. For your opponent to gain Slay the Warlord, all 5 HQ's must be killed.
      • Has the fringe benefit of giving 5 different units Counter-attack, as Jadhek Clanlord explicitly grants it to the whole unit. Your bikes should be able to get the charge and thus not need Counter-attack, but remember you do have it.
    • Legion Outriders become Troop choices.
  • Limitations:
    • This rite must be taken by the Primary Detachment.
    • This rite cannot take any unit that states it must be the Warlord (including Curze).
    • A detachment using this rite cannot take any Heavy, Bombard, Slow, Super Heavy or Artillery units.
      • You still have a bunch of heavy firepower as there's no actual slot restriction. Most of your Heavy Support vehicles aren't affected (Land Raiders/Kratos are Reinforced), nor are Contemptors.

Terror Assault
A rite that plays up to the Night Lords strengths, but also emphasise a few of their weaknesses.

  • Benefits:
    • Night Fighting is in effect until the end of the second turn. The Night Lords player then may choose to end it or roll a D6 where it continues on a roll of 4+. It automatically ends at the start of turn 4. Use it and get your max-sized squads into battle without being shot to pieces or taking an expensive transport.
    • Terror Squads and Night Raptors become Troop Choices.
      • No Line means you need something else to take objectives. Assault Squads are a good choice, as Bulky (2) on a squad with 20 models means you'll very likely get the Legion trait. Alternatively, take 20-strong Tacticals and blast people with your +1 to wound Fury of the Legion.
    • All Night Lords models with the Character sub-type (read; all you sarges) gain Fear (1).
  • Limitations:
    • This rite can only be taken by the primary detachment.
    • May only include 1 Heavy support choice in the detachment.
    • May not include Lords of War or Super Heavy units.
      • Note that Primarchs no longer count as Lords of War, so Curze is completely legal to take.

Unique Units

  • Terror Squad: Very sinister fellows with the Skirmish subtype to offer some protection, Fear (1), Infiltrate (if they don't drop in via Dreadclaw) and Bloody Murder. They can all get guns (Bolter/Flamer/Volkite Charger/Rotor Cannon) so they can shoot on top of their speciality in close combat. They can upgrade their melee by taking Chainaxes or Nostraman Chainblade/Chainglaive on top of Precision Strikes (6+) letting them nail key enemies they target.
    • The Chainblade is generally the superior choice. It's a straight upgrade to the Chainaxe; the Chainglaive wounds on 2+, but you make fewer attacks due to Two-handed, meaning fewer chances at AP2. You can get back to wounding on 2+ with the Legion trait anyway, which you can reliably trigger as below.
    • Fear (1) and Bloody Murder means you benefit a lot from bringing Rotor Cannons, as the Rotor Cannon's Shell Shock (1) means targets within 12" take the test at -2LD, and you get both +1 attack and the Legion trait once you Pin them. That said, the Rotor Cannon isn't much good at actually killing things, so only bring enough to cause unsaved wounds (4 shots per gun hitting on 2/3 wounding on 1/3 against 2+ armour means 7 guns or so) and force a test. Being 15-strong also helps proc the Legion trait on shooting, which both means you get a better shot at forcing Pinning tests with the Rotor Cannon and your Volkite Chargers wounding on 2+, which you reroll from Preferred Enemy.
    • Speaking of which, this unit is one of very few ways to get the fabled Preferred Enemy as there are no Knights-Errant running around now. Exploit it by attaching ICs; any weapon with a strength bonus (Power Axes, Power Spears, Paragon Blades) wounds on re-rollable 2+ when the Legion trait procs, and they get more attacks from Bloody Murder. ICs can also bring shotguns to debuff enemy WS; the squad's innate Fear makes the Concussive LD test easier to fail, while debuffing WS4 to WS3 means your Praetors/Champions hit on re-rollable 2+ and the rest of the squad hits on 3+ re-rolling 1s, which is pretty close to Hatred.
      • If you want to be cheap, bring some Neutron lasers (Sabres, Sicarans, etc.) for Concussive (3). Reducing WS5 elite infantry to WS2 means you hit them on a 2+ and you can re-roll that with Preferred Enemy (Infantry), while every last one of your melee weapons already re-rolled to-wound. Your Praetors also get in on the fun, hitting and wounding the now WS3 enemy Praetor on re-rollable 2+. With your basically guaranteed to-hit and to-wound, you can flood your opponent in saves.
      • It goes without saying you should target Infantry. Leave the bikes and Dreadnoughts and everything else to other units. This also means the unit's utility depends on what army you're fighting; you don't get Preferred Enemy against White Scars and their Cavalry models, as well as the Mechanicum with their Automata and vehicles.
  • Night Raptor Squad: The forebear for what would become the main aerial assault unit of the Long War. Each one is stacked with WS5 Relentless, Bloody Murder, Sudden Strike (1), Fear (1) and Night Vision, so they've got plenty to keep them on the offensive. Each one of these madmen can take Power weapons, single or paired Lightning Claws and Nostroman Chainblade/Chainglaive, making them significantly better than normal Assault Squads.
    • The paired Claws are the best AP3 weapon. A full squad of 15 counting as 30 models due to Bulky (2) means you'll almost always trigger your Legion trait. Thus, you get +1 to wound anyway, where your +2 attacks will pull ahead of Power Sword/Maul/Nostraman weapons. You don't really need the Power Spear's Reach (1) either, as you have Sudden Strike (1). You can get up to 6 attacks on the charge if you trigger Bloody Murder for 91 attacks on 15-strong squads; however, it's gross overkill against MEQs and trying to spam Rending to kill TEQs isn't the best idea. You can if you really want to, but it's more advisable to take a few to dice MEQs and outfit the rest of the squad with Power Axes that wound on 2+.
      • On the other hand, if you replaced your Bolt Pistol with Flamer/Melta/Plasma, you have no pistol and thus cannot claim +1 attack or take dual Claws. In such cases, there's no reason not to take Chainglaive unless you want the Power Axe's AP2.
    • One in 5 models can take Flamer/Plasma Gun or pistol variants thereof, or a Meltagun. It's not generally worth it, as you have jump packs and won't get a lot of time to use your guns.
    • You also get Bloody Murder like Terror Squads but get no way to trigger it yourself. Bring something else to cause Pinning and keep the Night Raptors close to the target so it takes -1 Ld from Fear (1) when testing for Pinning.
  • Contekar Terminator Squad: Deep Strike capable Tartaros Terminators that can be tasked to become Sevetar's retinue if you take him. Each has the choice between either heavy flamer or Volkite Cavitor (a super short-ranged Volkite Caliver with Heavy 4 but only 10" range) and Chainblades. If you're more into killing things in melee then you can purchase Escaton claws for the fun of fisting things the edgy way.
  • Atramentar SquadExemplary Battles: Even more insane Tartaros Terminators, complete with Fear and Deep Strike. These guys are especially ruthless, as they get +1 to charge a unit that's already in combat as well as a +1 to hit if the charge is successful. This turns power spears into something to fear as they bum rush the opposition and turns power mauls and chainglaives into something that can reduce marines into paste.
    • Someone forgot to mention that for some reason they are only WS4 now. They have the exact same statline as normal Tartaros terminators but start at 70 points higher and additional Atramentar are more expensive as well. If you really want to Deep Strike some terminators, just take Sevatar and some generic terminators and save yourself about 150 points. There is no reason to take these outside of lore purposes. They don't even have Chosen Warriors. Keep in mind that ten stock Atramentar are 395 points while ten normal Tartaros termies with powerfists and trophies of judgement are 385 points.

Unique Characters

  • Sevatar, The Prince of Crows, First Captain of the Night Lords and Master of the Atramentar: The badass motherfucker is back with some rule changes for 2.0. Gone is his Master of Ambush trait from before. Now his warlord trait gives Deep Strike to legion terminators in Cataphractii or Tartaros armour, as well as giving Preferred Enemy (Everything) to Contekar and legion terminators on the turn in which they arrive from deep strike. He also gives an additional reaction in the movement phase. He has the standard 2+/4++ you would expect, along with Bloody Murder, Fear (2), and Precision Strikes (4+), and a standard bolt pistol. But how does he measure up in combat? He comes with a master-crafted two-handed S+2 AP2 Chainglaive with Murderous Strike (6+) and Duellist's Edge (1), which for some reason doesn't have shred despite it being a chain weapon. That's all well and good, but we're not done yet. Sevatar is a dirty fighter, which means he gains Instant death on all his attacks while in a Challenge, and since he's I6 (I7 with the Duellist's Edge bonus) and has four attacks at WS7 (or WS8, but we'll get to that) he's sure to blend pretty much anyone short of Sigismund or a Primarch. The last thing he brings is a psychic power meant to replace the absolute cheese that was precognition in 1.0. His "Dark Dreams" require him to take a psy test against Ld7 and if he passes he gets WS+1 (making him WS8) and +1 attack. It's cool, but not really worth rolling for unless he's up against someone of equivalent or greater WS since it has 43% chance of failing and causing perils. Just remember to watch out for Instant Death or Sisters of Silence, as they'll royally fuck him up. Moreover, you'll get messed up by anyone who gets bonuses against Psykers even if you don't use your power, so look out for those.
  • Flaymaster Mawdyrm Llansahai, Fallen Primus Medicae of the Night Lords, The Smiling One, Bloody BonesLegacies: When the entire legion devoted to torture and murder thinks that maybe you go a bit too far, you know you're a total nutjob. An absolutely deranged Primus Medicae, the Flaymaster gets the Unfit for Command special rule, meaning he may never be an army's warlord. As a Medicae, he can grant a squad that he joins a 5+++, with the added bonus(?) of being able to, on a 4+, deal one unsavable and unmitigatable wound the squad he's joined in order to regain a wound for himself. His Melee weapon is a S3, AP3, Murderous Strike (5+) scalpel.
  • Kheron Ophion of the Kyroptera, Master of the Shroud of Eventide, Captain of the 39th Company, The CowardLegacies: Perhaps the bravest of a legion of cowards and bullies, Ophion is known as "The Coward" despite twice putting his life and ship on the line against dire odds to ensure the survival of his Legion. Ophion has the chance to be a beast in close combat, with WS6, 4 attacks and I5. He's armed with Revenant, a S+2 AP3 master-crafted Chainglaive with Shred and Breaching (5+). He also comes with The Bloody Aegis, a shield formed from the twisted and shattered remnants of Ophion's first command: the Killing Whisper. This grants him a 4++, improving to 3++ in close combat. Additionally, when fighting a challenge, any hit rolls of 1 by the opposing player inflict a S4 AP- wound on the model that Ophion is engaged with. His special rule The Coward gives him a 4+++ after he loses his first wound, and a 3+++ when he's on his last wound. Finally, his warlord trait gives him and any Night Lords within 12" of him Stubborn if you control fewer objectives that your enemy (and you can make an additional reaction in the movement phase).
  • Nakrid Thole, The Faceless Prince, Master of the Cross of BoneLegacies: Clocking in at a whopping 185 points, Nakrid Thole is a WS6 I6 4A Master of the Legion with Relentless, Counter-Attack (1), Fear (1) and the special rule Valour's Shadow, which means he cant be sniped or target with precision attacks, and when he dies on a 5+ he doesn't count as being destroyed. Thole is armed with the Nostraman Flay-whip a specialist weapon with SU AP4 and Breaching (6+), as well as the electro-charge and web of steel special rules. Electro-charges causes any models that suffer unsaved wounds from this weapon to reduce their initiative to 1 until the end of their next turn, while web of steel allows Thole to forgo his usual attacks to make one attack against each model from units he's locked in combat with that are 2" or less away. These attacks can't trigger electro-charge, however. Thole also has The Devil's Due a S+2 AP2 unwieldy master-crafted power hatchet with Murderous Strike (6+) that he may make one extra attack with against any model in base contact with him that has had its initiative reduced by any rule.
Konrad Curze
  • Konrad Curze, The Primarch of the Night Lords, The Night Haunter, The Last Judge, The King of Terrors: Our poor, sad, psycho murder-Batman makes his return, and he seems decent. 450 points gets you M8, WS8, BS7, I7 and 7A with a 2+/4++, but Curze's real power is in his support for his Legion. He has the Hit & Run, Bloody Murder, Night Vision and Fear (3) special rules, as well as a number of unique special rules:
    • Sire of the Night Lords: When Curze is your Warlord, he grants all Night Lords Infantry, Dreadnought and Cavalry in the same army Night Vision, Bloody Murder, and immunity to Fear (X). You also get an additional movement phase reaction if Curze has not died.
      • Bloody Murder stacks with Spite of the Legion, meaning your 20-strong Despoilers get 101 attacks on the charge against Pinned enemies, which is pretty good for Compulsory Troops. The whole army getting the rule also means you can attach Techmarines/Apothecaries to Terror/Night Raptor Squads without losing it.
    • The King of Terrors: When Curze and any unit he has joined wipe an enemy squad in combat or by sweeping advance, all enemies that are not currently locked in combat and have LoS to Curze must take a Pinning test. You were Fear (3) to begin with, so that's a lot of Pinning for your army to trigger Bloody Murder and the Legion trait.
    • A Death Long Foreseen: Grants Curze access to the Glimpse of Death psychic power.
      • Glimpse of Death: At the start of the assault phase, Curze may make a psychic check against Ld 7. If passed, Curze gains the Feel No Pain (4+) special rule and +1 attacks during that assault phase. If failed, Curze suffers Perils of the Warp. You're pretty likely to fail the test, but considering your 4++ and It Will Not Die, Perils are not as big a danger as it is on Sevatar. That said, you don't need it against anyone who isn't a Primarch, while fighting a Primarch is the exact time you don't want to blow yourself up. Further, some Primarchs have innate Instant Death and deny Feel No Pain anyway, as do tough guys with S12, in which case the prospect of +1 attack is not worth the risk of Perils.
    • Konrad Curze's Wargear:
      • The Nightmare Mantle: Armour gives a 2+/4++ and allows Curze to ignore movement modifiers from any source, as well as auto-pass dangerous terrain tests. When running, Curze adds +12 to his movement instead of his initiative.
      • Mercy & Forgiveness: Curze's twinned Lightning Claws, S:U, AP2, Shred, Murderous Strike (4+). Curze also gets the +1 attack for having two melee weapons, bringing him up to a whopping 8 at baseline. Its hard to overstate just how good this is, on the charge you have 10-11 attacks that hit WS5-7 on 3s and anything below that on 2s with S6 AP2 attacks that re-roll to wound and will very likely be Instant Death. Anything without Eternal Warrior, lots of 3++ wounds or Fearless/Stubborn chaff blobs is lunch.
      • The Widowmakers: 12" range, S4, AP5 Assault 3 batarangs throwing knives with Rending (4+). While looking fairly cheap as a weapon, it can prove surprisingly powerful since Rending (4+) means you will reliably deal some damage to anything without an invulnerable save. Perfect for sniping a unit's Character before a charge if you don't want to get locked in challenge.

World Eaters[edit]

World Eaters Pre-Heresy Pauldron.jpg

The XIIth Legion are brute force machines, they don't resort to fancy tricks to win the day. World Eaters solve their problems by meeting them head-on, often recklessly, and throwing out more wounds in melee than the opponent has any chance of dealing with.

The World Eaters are a terrifying prospect to face in melee, gaining extra attacks on the charge, and on some of their Independent Characters, usually with higher strength and re-rolls due to free access to Chain-axes. They are also often quicker too, either by finding bonuses to Run moves, or enhancements to Initiative using certain Caedere weapons, or making so many movement based reactions that is seems like they are just playing their game in the opponent's turn.

Perhaps most surprisingly, is how resilient World Eaters have become: With some units able to drop the strength of incoming attacks in ways that only Sons of Horus enjoy. Angron grants the army universal Feel No Pain much like Ferrus Manus does, while one of their Rites of War allows them to straight up ignore wounds.

Playing World Eaters often requires some kind of sacrifice on the part of their player. Whether by giving up control of their decision to charge when using a certain Rite of War, or just accepting that they are going to take more hits when using the Ravening Madmen rule.

World Eaters are for players who want to laugh in glee as the gap between armies closes, and hand over bucketfuls of dice when the time comes for for opponent to make their saves.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Violence Incarnate: +1 Attack on the charge. Note that this stacks with any other bonuses you get, even if that charge is disordered. Considering the fact that you are the legion of mindless butchery, this is a very welcome perk on top of everything else.
    • Ravening Madmen: The rule that makes your troops as batshit insane as they are. Any to-hit rolls in the Assault phase that target a unit where at least one model has this rule will count the target unit as being WS3, increasing their odds of hitting them. Conversely, any to-wound rolls in the Assault phase against a unit composed entirely of models with this rule also deals a -1 penalty to Strength, though not for anything else like ID. Simply put, the World Eaters' block headedness makes them easier to hit, but less likely to give a fuck.
      • It's important to also note the distinction between "one or more" and "composed entirely" for triggering elements of this rule. Units with the Ravening Madmen rule can only be joined by other Ravening Madmen, or Angron, who has a very different version of this rule (the Butcher's Nails). That means if a squad is joined by Angron, they will NOT get the benefit of -1 strength on incoming attacks but will still count as WS3 for incoming attacks.
  • Advanced Reaction - "The Savage Tide": once per battle, in reaction to being shot at by an enemy unit. The reacting unit can gain Feel No Pain (5+) against all wounds caused by the triggering unit. THEN once the shooting attack has been completely resolved the reacting unit may declare a charge against the unit that made the shooting attack, following all the normal rules.
    • Knowing that this reaction is in a player's back pocket can create a powerful psychological effect on the opponent. Knowing that at any point World Eaters squad can not only weather a round of shooting but immediately counter attack with the added attacks and benefits of being World Eaters. Expect to be given a wide berth.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Blood Hunger (Traitor Only): The warlord can recover wounds with each kill they make in melee (being able to go up to 6 wounds) but must always charge the closest unit within 12". You also gain an extra reaction in the movement phase while he's alive.
    • The extra wounds can go a decent way in keeping your warlord alive, but the restrictions on charging is a very visible way to screw you over. Moreover, almost anyone serious about fighting your Warlord will have some way of claiming ID, making wound count irrelevant. Try not to get into challenges.
  2. Cloaked in Blood: Enemies without LA (World Eaters) must take -2 to Leadership when they're in combat with the warlord, a pretty simple way to help break enemies. You also gain an extra reaction in the movement phase while he's alive.
  3. The Butcher's Claws: When the warlord and any unit they're attached to benefits from Violence Incarnate, they also gain a +1 to Strength for the turn. You also gain an extra reaction in the assault phase while he's alive.

Unique Wargear

  • Berserkers: World Eaters Independent Characters can spend 20 points to become Berserkers, gaining Ravening Madmen and +1A.
    • Models with this special rule may not join a unit that includes any models without this special rule. So taking this upgrade severely limits the squad options that the character has. Right now, the only unit that has the Ravening Madmen rule are Red Butchers, so you'll want a squad of them if you have any intention of using the Berserker upgrade.
  • Caedere Weapons: The lingering influences of Angron's gladiatorial upbringing, your characters can spend 15 points to replace their chainsword for any of the following weapons. Note that models in Terminator Armour do not have a chainsword, and thus technically cannot take these weapons.
    • Barb-Hook Lash: AP5 with Two-Handed, Fleshbane, Reach (1) and Rending (5+). It's a bit better against dealing with armour now and with Reach bumping your Initiative, this can help you score a hit in edgewise against more durable foes. However, you're still suffering for most of the time you fight marines. Against daemons, it's a bit better.
    • Excoriator Chainaxe: S+2 AP3 with Two-Handed, Shred, Unwieldy and Murderous Strike (5+). The Strength bump and Murderous Strike now makes it more dangerous than either a lightning claw or power maul, but Unwieldy still means that you're swinging this at I1, well after anyone else. Shred/Murderous Strike is nice, but most models with multiple wounds have 2+ saves, whereas this is the only Caedere weapon without some way of getting to AP2. Think carefully.
    • Falax Blades: S+1 AP5 Specialist Weapons with Duellist's Edge (1) and Rending (4+) that always come in pairs, so you will be claiming the +1 attack bonus.
      • These are the probably the most versatile choice. Rending (4+) actually means most of your wounds will be at AP2, since ones and twos will most often just result in fails. The Duellist's Edge bonus means you will probably be striking earlier in challenges. While the fact they are Rending and not Breaching means they will perform the same or better than Meteor Hammers and Excoriator Chainaxes against light vehicles and Dreadnoughts.
    • Meteor Hammer: S+2 AP4 with Two-Handed, Breaching (5+) and Reach (1). The only weapon that's suffered a definite downgrade, with Breaching making it ineffective against vehicles and losing Concussive. That said, you hit first anyway due to Reach, so losing the old Concussive (reduce enemy to I1) doesn't hurt that much. Not having new Concussive (reduce enemy WS by 1) does hurt, but you can't have everything.
  • Savage Fervour: World Eaters can replace their Chainswords with Chainaxes for free. You are now wounding T4 on re-rollable 3+. No reason why you wouldn't want that.

Unique Rites of War

Berserker Assault
A tidal wave of World Eaters whose sole purpose is to cross the table quickly and get into assault, and not get bogged down by trivialities like being pinned. All while sacrificing a little bit of control over what your units decide they want to fight against. The fact that this Rite also makes Predators into Fast attack choices hints that the infantry is supposed to be supported by more tanks who can be expected to hold the line

  • Benefits:
    • Units composed entirely of models with the Legiones Astartes (World Eaters) rule gain +2 to the distance moved when running. And also gain +2 to charge rolls.
    • Units of Legiones Astartes (World Eaters) gain +1 to Leadership when taking Pinning checks.
    • Rampager squads may be taken as Troops choices. But note that this does not make them Line units, so you will still need some other means of claiming objectives.
    • Legion Predator squadrons may be taken as Fast Attack.
  • Limitations:
    • Every unit that is within 12" and line of sight of an enemy model MUST declare a charge at the nearest enemy unit if they are able to do so. Remember to add that extra 2" when making the roll.
    • The army may not include an allied detachment.

The Crimson Path
An infantry heavy rite with a few useful bonuses.

  • Benefits:
    • Units composed entirely of Infantry with the Legiones Astartes (World Eaters) rule may ignore the first wound inflicted on them each phase. No saves are made, it is just discarded.
      • This rule is nice and it does add some resilience, but it not something to get ecstatic about. Discarding "Unsaved" wounds would have been better, as all your opponent needs to do is spray some bolt shells in your direction before hitting you with Lascannons and disintegrators. It will do better in the Assault phase, where it is more difficult to strike a unit with different weapons, so it can drop off a Power Fist attack if the opponent doesn't hit them with a weaker weapon earlier in the phase.
      • A side effect of the "once per phase" part is that this also makes your guys better at moving through dangerous terrain and using weapons that get hot while still being able to shrug off incoming fire and a melee hit. Lheorvine Ukris approves.
      • No, Angron is not Infantry, let's not even go there.
    • Independent Characters gain It Will Not Die (5+) when outside of their deployment zone.
    • Rampager squads gain the Line subtype and can now claim objectives. Something they couldn't do in the Berserker Assault rite.
  • Limitations:
    • The detachment must include more units of Infantry than all other unit types combined.
    • The detachment can only have a single Heavy Support choice.

Unique Units

  • Red Butchers: Cataphractii Terminators with paired weapons for a LOT of attacks. These guys start with two attacks base, paired Power Axes (+1 attack), and Legiones Astartes (World Eaters) gives them a bonus one when charging. With Hatred (Everything) for five re-rollable attacks total each on the charge, six if they spring for paired Lightning Claws. Needless to say, taking Combi-Bolters is monumentally stupid; it wasn't a good weapon to begin with and this is a BS3 model, while you're giving up 1 attack from losing the 2-weapon bonus.
    • They have Leadership of 6 but are also Fearless so it won't come up that often.
    • If you want the AP2 you have to be prepared to deal with the incoming attacks first, even though they have WS5, as Ravening Madmen they count as WS3 for attacks that target them, but those attacks are also -1 strength. So they are more likely to get hit, but less likely to be wounded by standard weapons. Just be careful of incoming attacks from weapons that can comfortably shrug off a strength debuff, like Power Fists, or Fleshbane.
  • Rampager Squad: Angry veterans with Caedere Weapons and Furious Charge (1) to push home their preference for melee. This is their entire reason for living, so it's convenient that they get Chosen Warriors so they can get in on any challenges and the option for jump packs facilitates the process of crossing the board to hit faces. That said, Caedere weapons are still just...passable in most cases, with the Falax Blades being the standouts of the lot, and nobody can take Chainaxes.
    • Furious Charge (1) can combo with The Butcher's Claws from your Warlord for +2S on the charge, and you just so happen to have +2S weapons in your selection of Caedere weapons. Take the Meteor Hammer and smack some poor guys with ID at heightened initiative; even if you fail to trigger Breaching (5+), he still dies if he fails his armour save, and with 15 dudes each making 4 attacks on the charge your opponent has a heck of a lot of armour saves to pass. For a mathematical comparison with Falax Blades which have more AP2 wounds but no ID, see the Discussion page.
      • If you want your Warlord for something else, you can take a Biomancy Librarian for the +1S if you don't mind the fluff where everyone in the Legion hated them. On the other hand, explaining it away as the Librarian pissing off the Rampagers so much they hit harder sounds about right. If you really want to cheese it, stack Biomancy with The Butcher's Claws, which when combined with Furious Charge (1) and +1S from Falax Blades results in S8 on the charge and thus AP2 ID against T4 when Rending (4+) triggers.
    • It may seem obvious, but you must get the charge. Losing Furious Charge means no more ID on Meteor Hammer, while losing 2 attacks from not charging will sink your attempt to spam Rending and/or force failed armour saves on Falax Blades. Don't footslog; always take jump packs or an assault vehicle. For similar reasons, take a Chaplain to make sure you either kill everyone on the charge or kill enough to finish them off in the 2nd round.
  • Red Hand Destoyer SquadExemplary Battles: A band of pissed-off Destroyers that gain +1 to combat resolution and sweeping advances but are forced to charge the nearest enemies. These bastards are even harder to sell now since they can't even take a transport and can only buy Caedere Weapons at full cost. While they can buy a rad-missile launcher per 5 models, the bigger draw is the Thunder Hammer, as it lets them carry it and their spare pistol and chainsword so they aren't swamped by anything that might overpower them.
    • You must charge if there's an enemy unit with 12" when your Assault phase begins and you are able to do so. Not really a problem considering you wanted to charge anyway, but you can take jump packs to avoid failed charges, both by jumping closer before you charge and getting a better movement modifier on the charge.
    • Like last edition, the Thunder Hammer replaces your Bolt Pistol while the Caedere Weapon replaces your Chainsword. It's very expensive, but as you actually get 2 identical but separate Specialist Weapons when you take the Falax Blades, you can technically use one of them for +1 attack on the Thunder Hammer. As 3 models in a full squad can do this and the sergeant himself can take a Thunder Hammer, that's 20 attacks on the charge when even a full squad of Legion Terminators only make 41 on the charge.
    • Rad Grenades can combine with your Breaching (5+) Meteor Hammers to inflict AP2 ID wounds on your opponents on the first round of combat at +1I. Basically what you pulled with the Rampager Squads above, except you didn't even need ICs to give strength bonuses. As you don't depend on charge bonuses to get ID and you have Counter-attack (1), not getting the charge is not as damaging.
    • They used to lack Bitter Duty and thus could be joined by any characters, but the 1.1 update put a big fat kibosh to our fun. Back to only being accompanied by Moritats who don't spam guns. This really hurts their viability; losing strength bonuses from ICs means their only advantages over Rampagers are now causing ID with Meteor Hammers on the charge and as a source of jump pack Thunder Hammers, which is hampered by their WS4 and inability to remedy it by taking a Chaplain. Using them as a Moritat delivery system isn't ideal either; they can really maul opponents with AP2 ID attacks with their Counter-attack if your opponent charges to shut the Moritat up, but Chain-fire disabling charges means you've leaving >600 points worth of models in the open within 12" of the enemy. Think carefully about taking them.

Unique Characters

  • Khârn the Bloody, Captain of the World Eaters 8th Assault Company, the Twice Un-slain, The Ender: While not quite yet the swell guy he becomes after the Skalathrax incident, Khârn is more than capable of bringing destruction upon your opponent in the 31st millennium. Khârn sports a praetor statline with the exception of Weapon Skill 7. This makes him great in challenges and if your opponent thinks they can hide their characters from him, Precision Strikes 4+ will ensure that his axe finds their skull anyway. Rampage (3) will increase his attacks up to 7 if he's outnumbered with and your opponent can't even turn this off by using the hold the line reaction because of Khârn's warlord trait, Savage Assault, which states that no enemy unit that doesn't include a Primarch can react to a charge made by his unit, so enjoy reaping all the charge benefits you can get. He's a powerful beatstick and a good safety net for a unit of Rampagers you want to deliver without any overwatch from your opponent. Offensively he comes with:
    • The Cutter, an AP3 Chainaxe (read: +1S Shred) with Rending (4+) and Murderous Strike 6+. Its good at killing pretty much anything and can reliably chip wounds off the toughest dreadnoughts and monsters. Its also not a specialist weapon so enjoy an extra attack from his plasma pistol.
    • For 35 points and the condition that Angron isn't around, Kharn can swap The Cutter for Gorechild, losing an attack as it is a specialist weapon, but becoming absolutely monstrous to characters and multiwound units by gaining Murderous Strike (3+) and being able to re-roll it through Shred. Just be aware that if your opponent likes to spam Dreadnoughts or monstrous creatures this will actually make him worse against them because without the Rending of The Cutter, he is a lot less likely to wound them.
  • Shabran DarrLegacies: The loyalist badass from Istvaan III returns and he's seen some small upgrades while retaining everything that made him good from the previous edition (which for the Legacies PDF is almost a miracle worthy of sainthood). He still has WS6, and he even gained a wound now having 3 and he still has his Feel No Pain (6+), and Rage(2). His Chainaxe also got upgraded as it's now called Liberator and has Shred (like all chain weapons this edition), Brutal (2) and Breaching (6+) which becomes Breaching (4+) in a challenge thanks to his Head Hunter Special rule. He also got hold of a suit of Artificer armour and he can still take a Jump Pack for 20 points. The only real downgrade is that he has lost Hatred and that he is 25 points more expensive, being 140 points now, but these don't detract from his overall appeal of being a nice cheap HQ choice for a small force of Loyalist World Eaters, or has badass character.
    • Shred/Breaching (4+) in a challenge is AP2 2/3 of the time, as you wound on 3+. He can and will kill unit sergeants, as he gets 7 attacks on the charge, hits on 3+ and each hit is Brutal (2). This means everyone who isn't a Terminator sergeant dies outright, as Veteran sergeants lose both wounds due to lacking an Invulnerable save, while Breacher and Assault Squad sergeants who do have Invulnerable saves only have 1 wound. Even Terminator sergeants are not safe; 7 attacks hitting on 3+ and being AP2 2/3 of the time means you cause 3 AP2 wounds on the charge. Brutal (2) forces them to take 6 Invulnerable saves, of which they must pass 4 to not die. He stands a pretty good chance against Centurions too, who will get hit on 3+ and will likely only have 5++ against your multiple AP2 wounds. However, your ability to cause AP2 is very constrained outside of challenges and there's nothing you can do if the enemy denies the challenge; Breaching (6+) is not good enough and Brutal (2) only goes so far, so you can't punish denying the challenge by tearing into the rest of the squad.
      • Don't fight Praetors. Your great advantage against Centurions and unit sergeants is that they either strike at initiative with whatever AP3 weapon they have and bounce off your Artificer Armour or die before they can swing their AP2 unwieldy weapon. Praetors have AP2 at initiative and they hit before you. And then they can tank whatever AP2 wounds you can cause with their 3 wounds and Iron Halo... Use your own Praetor for those; you have to bring one for Rites of War anyway.
    • He automatically comes with the Bloody Handed Warlord trait if he is your warlord.
  • Gahlan SurlakLegacies: A unique Primus Medicae character for the legion that usually likes cutting people up than sewing them back together (luckily Gahlan can do both). He comes with a Needle Pistol and also has Master of the Legion and lost Support Officer allowing him to be taken as the sole HQ for a ROW. He's been hitting the gym between editions as he now has a Praetors WS6 and 3 wounds, and he has also upgraded his wargear. His Power armour and Refractor Field is now Artificer armour and an Iron Halo and his Power Axe got upgraded as well, as it now has Shred. It's not all sunshine and gore-fountains for however as his Narthecium Primus has been replaced with a regular old Narthecium and his Master of the Inductii rule has been replaced with his Warlord Trait Abhorrent Augmentations which still allows you to improve the Strength of three Tactical/Despoiler squads, but it no longer gives them a Feel No Pain (6+) and the three augmented units gain Bitter Duty and loose Heart of the Legion and Line as well as reducing their BS by -1. This pretty much means his main selling point is locked behind his Warlord trait and he no longer gives as good buffs as he used to. On top of all of this he has Bitter Duty meaning you can put him in one of the squads he's augmented or in a type of Destroyer squad. He's more effective in combat now, but that isn't really a selling point for a support character or a Traitor character in the same Legion as Kharn.
    • The augmented units getting Bitter Duty means you can add a Moritat to them for Rad Grenades. Being base strength 5, +1S from Chainaxes and -1T to the enemy from Rad Grenades means they can inflict ID on T4 in the first round of combat. As you can take 20 models in a Tactical/Despoiler squad and World Eaters get +2 attacks on the charge, this can be surprisingly killy. Unfortunately, Surlak himself isn't augmented and thus doesn't hit hard enough for ID. Moreover, this arguably wastes the Moritat, as Chain-fire (half the reason why you bought a Moritat to begin with) disables charging and your Inductii really really need to get the charge.
  • Angron, Master of the World Eaters, The Red Angel, Slaughterer of Nations, the Undefeated: The Lord of the Red Sands got an upgrade this edition. Firstly they fixed his armour and wound count, with six wounds and the standard 2+/4++ one should expect, he measures up to his brothers in terms of survivability. His capacity to build up steam has also changed; he no longer has to destroy units to gain more attacks, now he just gains a bonus to his attacks characteristic for every full turn he's been on the table after the first (to a maximum of ten). So anyone who challenges him will have to face the prospect of the fight actually getting harder as turns go by. That is if anyone actually is able to survive his initial charge, because with so many attacks, Hatred re-rolls, Shred re-rolls, and Murderous Strike (3+) means he could quite happily walk into a squad of dudes and just eat them all in one turn.
    • Gorefather and Gorechild, Angron's signature Chainaxes, are as deadly as the madman wielding them. With S+1, AP2, Shred, Armourbane and Murderous Strike (3+), there is nothing in the game those monsters can't deal with, especially when benefiting from Angron's Furious Charge (2) rule.
    • The Spite Furnace, his ranged weapon, is a 12" S7 AP2 Plasma Pistol(2) with Gets Hot and Master-crafted. Surprisingly good, if short ranged, but is only meant to soften The Red Angel's prey before charging anyway. With BS5 and Master-crafted Gets Hot is also not an issue.
    • His "Sire of the World Eaters" warlord trait is rather good: Universal Feel No Pain (6+) that even applies to himself (and no caveat that it doesn't stack with other versions of the rule, so Heart of the Legion gets a +1). It means that Ferrus Manus can look on with envy. Adamantium Will (3+) across the whole army means near invulnerability to psychic wounds and Force weapons. While the best bit is knowing that his army gets three reactions in the movement phase. ALL of which have to be the "Advance" reaction, but if you were ever going to Withdraw then you're gonna get bitch slapped by Angron himself!
    • If Angron has a weakness, it's that his Butcher's Nails mean that anyone who targets a squad containing Angron in melee counts the target unit's majority weapon skill as 3. So for all of his immense and ever-growing damage potential, there is a strong possibility that he and/or his retinue squad will get picked off by anyone who can survive the initial onslaught.
      • Note that it's majority WS; Angron himself does NOT count as WS3 in a challenge, which Red Sands lets him call on any and all enemy characters/Primarchs as long as he can assign at least 1 attack to each challenge. This means he can effectively disable enemy characters by challenging them, where Angron's very difficult to hit because he counts as his normal WS8. That said, this won't work on Chosen Warriors, who will simply assign 1 or 2 models to get killed by Angron while the characters whale on Angron's effectively WS3 retinue; Praetors hit them on a 2+ and with a Thunder Hammer will wound on a 2+.

Death Guard[edit]

Death Guard legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The XIVth Legion is a merciless tide of bone-white and green, marching without pause as they level all sorts of chemical warfare. While they're no tankier than any other legion and especially the bloated disease-riddle nightmares they would become, they stop for nothing all the same.
The one thing they do maintain is their slow but steady advance, having your infantry and vehicles be pseudo Relentless and become immune to be slowed down, though only when walking at brisk pace. All while having access to a variety of poison-spewing weapons.
If you want an unstoppable army, that uses proscribed weapons and the toughest Terminators in the game, then join the Unbroken Blades and let doom shall stalk a thousand worlds.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Remorseless: All non-Cavalry and non-Artillery units ignore movement modifiers, as long as they don't Run, deploy via Deep Strike, are disembarking or use some alternative movement such as activating jump packs. Models also count as being stationary for the purposes of shooting if they haven't run or used jump packs.
    • It also means Pinned squads can yet move, and vehicles even under Crew stunned (but not Immobilised) can still move.
    • Footslogging Tacticals get Fury of the Legion on the move, as they count as stationary. Heavy Support Squads (besides Heavy Flamers, which don't care) get a lot more mobile with repositioning, and it's basically the only way of using Multi-Melta squads (which are master-crafted now). That said, Remorseless isn't full Relentless, so they can't charge after shooting non-assault guns. It also doesn't work when disembarking Rhinos, so Multi-Melta Heavy Supports don't suddenly become elite storm troops.
  • Advanced Reaction - Remorseless Advance: Once per battle, when targeted by a Shooting attack, models in the targeted unit gain Feel no Pain (4+) against that attack. Once the Shooting attack is resolved, automatically pass Pinning test and Morale check, then move up to 7" in any direction.
    • The move happens after solving the shooting attack, meaning a HotL unit would benefit from FnP(3+), then move. Move anywhere. Out of charge range, out of sight, forwards towards another unit, etc.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. The Reaper's Visage (Traitor Only): Enemy units in 12" suffer a -2 to Leadership tests, Morale checks, or attempts to regroup. Has no effect on groups with Independent Characters or Primarchs. Gain an additional Reaction in the Assault phase.
    • Powerful at clearing chaff units...if you decide to have your warlord bully chaff, which ends the moment he meets someone his size (or just any terminators, because they Inexorable). Can also help cancel the enemy's 'Hold the Line' reaction, as it requires a Ld test.
  2. Witch Hunter: +1 to Toughness and Weapon skill when locked in combat with a Psyker (often a single enemy model). All friendly Death guard units in 12" gain a 6+ invulnerable against Psychic Weapons, Powers, and Perils of the Warp. Gain an additional reaction in the Assault phase. Situational as all hell.
  3. The Blood of Barbarus: Any hits with Rending, Murderous Strike, Poison or Fleshbane allocated to the Warlord or a unit he has joined only trigger on a 6. Gain an additional reaction in the Shooting phase. Stronger against Poison than against Rending or Murderous, as those often do proc on 6+ anyway.
    • Does NOT affect Breaching, only Rending. Phosphex's poison rule may be affected, but it's still an S5 AP2-AP3 weapon that will wound your T4 marines on a 3+ anyway.

Unique Wargear

  • Alchem Munitions: Trade out any flamers for a version with Fleshbane and Gets Hot. This makes it more reliable in melting infantry (and can even affect Dreadnoughts now), though they remain just as useless against vehicles.
    • As Alchem munitions are Fleshbane, they all wound on the same roll, making the Alchem Pistol (Hand Flamer), Alchem Flamer (Flamer) and Heavy Alchem Flamer (Heavy Flamer) all basically the same thing unless you're fighting non-marines. Unlike with regular flame, Tactical Support squads are better Alchem sources than Heavy Flamer support squads unless the enemy has a 4+ save, especially since they can equip chainswords to follow the discharge. Destroyers can bring so many dual Alchem pistols that they run the risk of actually losing a few of their own number to the Gets Hot. Termies and Veterans can bring all a form of Alchem too.
  • Toxin Bombs: For +10 points, Traitor characters get a nasty trick. When an enemy unit declares a Charge against this unit, roll a d6 for each model. For every 1, the charging unit suffers a wound that is only mitigated by Invulnerable saves, affecting big units the most. Potentially quite good on units you expect to be holding territory.
  • Power Scythes: Power weapon alternative, available to any character. S+2 AP3 Two-handed Reaping Blow (1), Rending (6+). A free swap from normal Power weapons, essentially combining a Power Maul and Sword into one. Reaping Blow (1) makes up for Two-handed, and helps Terminator characters, who often don't have a second CCW. However, Rending (6+) AP3 leaves it woefully inadequate against 2+ save models, which terminators using this weapon are bound to encounter, and Reaping Blow (1) doesn't give it any advantage over a Maul + Pistol when fighting hordes.

Unique Rites of War

The Reaping
The slow and steady approach the Death Guard is known for. Doubles down on the slow approach, but with the benefit of a wider access to heavy guns, power weapons and rad grenades. Walk softly, and carry a big gun.

  • Benefits:
    • Legion Veterans become Troop choices.
      • They're not Line units though, so they're best as denial units, but it does free Elite slots.
    • Heavy Support Squads become non-compulsory Troop choices.
      • May very well replace Tactical Support Squads at this point, as they have bigger guns, can move and shoot, and neither could score anyway.
      • Veterans and HSS become troops but none of them can score, so don't get too carried away: any such squad you bring eats into your only source of Line outside of Legion Standards.
    • Characters can take Rad-grenades at +10 points a pop, giving any squad you want a melee edge without it being restricted to Destroyers. Even a lowly tactical marine will wound their enemy counterparts on a 2+, S5 bayonets striking T3 foes. Assault marines' Hammer of Wrath will hit stronger, and marine melee will wound mortals on a 2+.
      • Your selection of S6 weapons are suddenly very threatening. Veteran's Power Mauls, Despoiler's Heavy Chainswords, they now inflict ID on any failed save. Power Scythes and Charnabal Tabars are both +2S and get AP2 on a 6 to-wound. With your S6 attacks inflicting ID on the T3 enemy, this amounts to pseudo-Murderous Strike. Roll a 6 and make the enemy Praetor risk his life on an Invulnerable save, all before he gets to hit with his Sx2 Unwieldy weapon. Even if you don't get the 6, the enemy still dies if he can't make the armour save.
      • On overwatch, your Volkite Calivers/Culverins both inflict ID by being S6, as do S7 Plasma guns and Autocannons, which have Breaching. Take a Warlord trait that gives Assault Phase reactions to take further advantage of this.
      • Helps against Mechanicum models protected by high toughness: Power fists delete T5 Thallax and Myrmidons (beware their overwatch!). T6 WS3 3+ save Castellax become more vulnerable to the S6 AP3 Krak grenades all your marines have, remember those.
  • Limitations:
    • No models can take a run action or take any reaction that allows movement, with the exception of 'Remorseless Advance'. This devaluates any trait conferring Movement Phase reactions, as those won't be used.
      • Footslogging melee units will find it very difficult to cross the table, preventing you from building a list with lots of melee infantry and abusing Rad Grenades to kill the enemy. But it says nothing about ways to move quicker in the Movement Phase, so you can still use Jump Packs. Unlike 1.0, there's no Fast Attack restriction either, so you can take bikes/jetbikes for mobility.
    • No Deep Strikes, Subterranean Assaults, or Flanking Assaults. Can still Infiltrate and Scout.

Creeping Death
When you really want to turn the battlefield into a toxic hellscape. This is a trickier RoW, but one that makes taking and holding ground easier for your troops and dangerous for your opponent.

  • Benefits:
    • All Death Guard units auto-pass Dangerous Terrain tests.
      • Remorseless let you ignore movement modifiers (which is what Difficult Terrain amounts to anyway), so your army treats everything as open terrain for the purposes of movement. This will be useful considering how much Dangerous and Difficult Terrain there will be with this RoW in play. This also makes Death Guard Bikers amazing good at navigating terrain.
    • All models in this Detachment's deployment zone gain Shrouded (6+) and the entire deployment zone is Dangerous and Difficult Terrain.
      • As per above, Dangerous and Difficult Terrain doesn't actually affect you, so you can walk around in your Deployment Zone without impediment. Shrouded will help your models out against enemy fire, while the entire deployment zone being Dangerous and Difficult Terrain will make the life a lot harder for enemy assault units.
    • All zones of Area Terrain are Dangerous Terrain.
      • Muck over enemy attempts to take cover from your fire by making them take wounds from their own cover. Note that this doesn't work on things like Barricades and Defence Lines, so watch out for people who build their own cover instead of using the terrain.
    • Grave Warden Terminators can be taken as non-compulsory Troop choices.
      • With your ranged units in the back and your Grave Wardens at the front, most of your army will have Shrouded 6+. The forwards Wardens will force disordered charges, and anyone Deep Striking at your back units will do so in Dangerous terrain.
  • Limitations:
    • Traitor only.
    • Must include a Siege Breaker Consul.

Unique Units

  • Deathshroud Terminator Squad: Basically a unit of Legion Centurion-equivalents, with 3W 3A each (and the cost to match). With Battle Hardened (1) and 3W they can tank even Thunder Hammers, and with WS5 these Chosen Warriors can take on any challenges your characters don't want to take while your IC smashes the enemy Terminators with his own Thunder Hammer. When taken as a Retinue, one model can swap a Scythe for a Legion Standard (conferring Line), as well as a Power Weapon (preferably an Axe as everyone else already has AP3). Taking a full unit is very expensive, but gives you the toughest Line unit in the Legion list for when you absolutely must hold that objective.
    • Against anything with 2+ saves you'll need an IC; as mentioned under the Power Scythe entry, Rending (6+) is not good enough and you need someone else to provide AP2. They could do serious damage if you have Rad Grenades from The Reaping to inflict ID, but you need to attach an IC for that regardless, as Deathshroud do not come with a character. Deathshroud are also worth considering in small units (particularly in Pride of the Legion lists) to fight MEQs, but they exist in direct competition with cheaper dual Lightning Claw Legion Terminators in that role, where Battle-hardened (1) is basically wasted.
    • Battle-hardened protects against S8-9, not actual Instant Death. Look out for other sources of ID like massed Murderous Strike, S10 or very dangerous people. Fighting Dreadnoughts isn't recommended either, as despite their resistance to S9, their 5++ does only so much against Brutal (3), and every casualty will be felt. Not to mention they'll need massed Melta Bombs, lest their scythes bounce off the dread's 2+ save.
  • Grave Warden Terminator Squad: Cataphractii Terminators that carry the big gross guns. Each one comes with a Death Cloud Projector (Poison 3+ AP4 flamer) and 18" grenade launchers with Krak (Assault 2 S6 AP3) or Toxin (Assault 4 Poison 3+ Ignores Cover) they can fire at the same time thanks to Firing Protocols (2). On top of that, the chem-master can replace his grenade launcher with a combi-weapon, and his fist for a scythe. 1 in 5 can swap the GL for a heavy Alchem Flamer if you're very intent on melting crowds.
    • They're also pretty effective for being roadblocks. On top of the natural tankiness of Cataphractii armour, they also get a 6+ Shrouded save if an attack gets past everything else and a special rule that forces enemies to make disordered charges against them. Stacking this with their projectors and toxin bombs means that they'll be pretty nasty unit to get in the enemy's face, as they're so very annoying to deal with: anyone charging them can feels as if they did both Assault Reactions against them at once. They may not be anything out of the ordinary in melee, but do remember "the ordinary" here means "4++ and power fists".
  • Mortus Poisoner SquadExemplary Battles: Could be described as a "Heavy-type Alchem Flamer Tactical support squad with rad grenades", sitting in the Elites slot instead of being non-Compulsory Troops. That's pretty much it. They start armed with normal bolters, but they can swap them for the Alchem-Flamers. Unlike actual Destroyers, the squad has no access to any of the other fun warcrime weapons and their sergeant can only buy power weapons or a scythe.
    • The whole unit is, writ small, evidence that the people writing the PDFs did not read the rules. 15 Poisoners cost 265 points for 15 Alchem Flamers, while you could also take 10 Mortalis Destroyers for 215 points, who by dual wielding Alchem Flamers actually have 20 Fleshbane templates while costing less. They both have the same rules and stock wargear too, like Rad Grenades and Counter-attack; in fact, at 2A, the Mortalis Destroyers have a better statline. You could keep the bolters, but why don't you just play The Reaping and take Tacticals if you wanted a bolter squad with Rad Grenades?
    • For some reason, the scythe costs more than a power weapon, even though they're the same weapon. Likewise, the 20 points upgrade Poisoners get for Heavy Alchem Flamer is basically 20 points for AP4. Don't do it.

Unique Characters

  • Calas Typhon, First Captain of the Death Guard, The Left Hand of Mortarion, Master of the Terminus Est: A genuinely terrifying bastard worthy of his legacy. His WT improves nearby units' Poison by 1, and lets Fleshbane weapons reroll wounds, as well as allowing an extra Reaction in the movement phase. He's basically a Praetor clad in Cataphractii Grave Warden armor, with Shrouded (6+) and Shrouded in Death, which protects his entire unit from enemy charges even if he's the only model with that rule. With Fire Protocols (2) so that he can fire his Alchem pistol and the Grave Warden Deathcloud projector weapon.
    • Typhon's psychic prowess is still around when Morty isn't watching, but it's now confined to its own special discipline. One power gives him a WS and +1d3 A, which is helpful for sweeping aside crowds, while the other gives him a large blast with Fleshbane and Pinning that is capable of locking targets in place.
    • Most notably, he carries rad grenades by default, no need to use The Reaping. And his scythe Lakrimae, while having fleshbane (rerolling wounds per his WT), is also an S+2 AP2 Reaping (1) blade, meaning he ID MEQs at initiative on the first round of combat. Combine that with his Witchsense to get more attacks at heightened WS, and wipe Terminator Squads by ignoring their armour and 2 wounds. Alternatively, get in challenges and splat hotshots who think they'll have an easy win just because the Death Guard are a ranged Legion.
  • Crysos Morturg, The Black Shield, The Revenant, Captain of the 108th Independent CompanyLegacies: Morturg gets a unique WT for this edition, allowing him and the unit he joined (i.e. Destroyers since he has Bitter Duty - sadly, no Deathshroud shenanigans this time) a free 7" move during deployment if any enemies deploy within 18" of them; it also grants him a free Reaction of any type that he would normally be able to use in a given phase as long as it was triggered by an enemy arriving from Reserves (this includes Deep Strikes). His old flamer has been swapped for an Alchem Combi-Flamer and he also gets a pair of Disintegrator Pistols, upping his shooting game a little bit. His sword has gone from a generic Power Sword to S+1 AP2 and Reaping Blow (2).
    • His role has been changed from essentially a support character for your Deathshroud to a combat character capable of throwing out tons of AP2 attacks. While he only has a Centurion statline, his T5 prevents ID from S8 (so Thunder Hammers and Power Fists can piss off) and forces Paragon Blades to wound on 4+, which account for more or less all of the options for AP2 melee in the Space Marine army list. He also has Praetor-level 2+/4++, so he's pretty difficult to wound notwithstanding being easy to hit at WS5.
    • On the attack, he carries tons of AP2, being the only person not a Moritat who gets 2 Disintegrator Pistols. Innate ID makes these nasty weapons, and these also give him +1 attack with his Death's Tally, which is basically a Paragon Blade without Murderous Strike but with Reaping Blow (2). As he has Rad Grenades and Counter-attack (1), he gets up to 7 AP2 attacks wounding on 2+ at initiative. This can possibly take out an enemy Centurion in 1 turn of a challenge and almost definitely will kill him the next turn.
      • His WS5 really holds him back here, as he cannot hit Praetors reliably, and he doesn't get Hatred or any sort of bonus to hit despite hating the Traitors so much he can cheat death. Bitter Duty prevents you from remedying it by adding a Chaplain as well.
      • All of his weapons can explode in his face in some way, as his ranged weapons (barring Aetheric Lightning and the Boltgun on his Combi-Flamer) have Gets Hot, while Death's Tally also blows up on rolling a 1 after each phase he uses it. You at least get your 2+ against Gets Hot from the Alchem-Flamer, but your only protection is your 4++ for Disintegrator Pistols and Death's Tally. On the other hand, Death's Tally rolls per phase and not per attack, so you take 1 wound at most even if you've attacked 7 times. You have a real risk of harming yourself with the Pistols though; if you don't really need the AP2 ID against whoever you're shooting (basic 1W MEQs for instance) just use the Flamer; you might just come out ahead by causing more hits.
    • His psychic power now favour a more selfish approach, with Endurance being replaced by a unique once-per-battle ability that moves him to Reserves with 1 wound left when he would normally die. The power only causes Perils upon a failed test if he's part of a unit (what's it supposed to do, kill him twice?), so having him go solo might be worth considering.
  • Marshal Durak Rask, Siegemaster of the Death Guard LegionLegacies: A unique Siege Breaker character that loses Sunder but gains Protocols of Destruction, which gives him and the unit he's attached to +1 to all rolls on the vehicle damage chart caused by penetrating hits... but only for one turn, lasting until the opposing player's next turn, so it's not as useful as an actual Siege Breaker's Art of Destruction, since all it really does is give you a better chance of blowing up a tank with a penetrating hit for a single turn. He is armed with a Volkite Serpenta and Defiant, a Thunder hammer with Sunder as well as a single Phosphex Bomb so pick your target well. He can still do the standard Siege Breaker trick of unlocking Phosphex for Quad Launchers and Arquitors, but if you want to do that, a normal Siege Breaker you can customize may be better call. He's lost Master of the Legion, so you can't use him and take a Rite of War any more. Booo & rip.
  • Mortarion, The Pale King, Master of the Death Guard, the Traveller, Dread Liberator of Barbarus: Morty is a very solid Primarch choice, as for 425 points he comes with 7's in Strength, Toughness and 7 wounds, along with his Preternatural Resilience rule which makes all Poison, Rending and Fleshbane attacks only wound/trigger on rolls of 6+, makes him quite hard to wound with conventional weapons...but this only works when he's on his own; he cannot protect his retinue with the rules that only protect him. This is all topped off with It Will Not Die (4+) and The Barbaran Plate giving him a 2+/4++, making him potentially outlast his brothers in endurance, useful for long battles of attrition. His burning hatred for magic men also shines through as he has Hatred (psykers) and Adamantium Will (3+) making any army you take him with more resilient to warp based attacks.
    • Sire of the Death Guard makes all Death Guard units, including Mortarion, immune to the effects of Fear and Shell Shock, plus they no longer suffer penalties for Leadership due to casualties in melee, allowing you to make you army even more implacable. Mortarions own Fear (2) means you can pull a reversal on armies like the Night Lords and actually start scaring them instead. Also grants +1 Assault phase Reaction.
    • Shadow of the Reaper allows him to teleport 10" from his original position and 3" away from an enemy unit, making it easy for Mortarion to suddenly jump up part of the board and charge a unit that though it was safe, and it also makes Mortarion one of the most mobile Primarchs in the game. However, he can't jump if he's attached to a Retinue unit so if he has a command squad or Deathshroud squad keeping him safe he has to foot slog with them and thus loses any access to Preternatural Resilience. If he's connected to a non-retinue squad, he can still jump but he leaves the unit he was part of so if you do decide to have him fly off to kill a Praetor, he'll be doing it solo.
    • Finally, his weapons are pretty good as well. The Lantern is unchanged as an 18" Assault 1 weapon with S8 AP2 and Sunder (and despite it being an energy blaster of unknown origin it's classed as a Plasma Weapon). Silence has lost none of its lethality either as it's also unchanged and remains an S+1 AP2 Power scythe with Sunder, Reaping Blow (2) and Instant Death, making it one of the most lethal weapons wielded by a Primarch. And of course, he has plenty of Phosphex Bombs to spare.
      • Hits and wounds caused by Primarchs are solved in a separate pool, as they always have Precision shots. This means, RAW, he can snipe characters using Phosphex Bombs. Though anyone with 2W and an invuln might be better dispatched with The Lantern.

Thousand Sons[edit]

Thousand Sons legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The psychic Legion returns, and they are here to show the diverse and potent nature of the new psychic rules. The Thousand Sons are unparalleled in their ability to use psychic powers. They have a lot of tricks to make the powers better and the drawbacks less pronounced. Being a psychic Legion also makes them highly versatile, able to tailor their psychic powers to fill gaps as needed. While they won't win contests in sheer might, skill, or deception, they can and will overwhelm an enemy in psychic might. However, their greatest strength is also their Achilles' heel. Psychic tests are required for most everything, and Perils of the Warp is an ever present risk. Never let them get near the Sisters of Silence.

If you believe that knowledge is the most powerful weapon of all and wish to drown your enemies in mind bullets, then join the Brotherhoods of Prospero.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Cult Arcana: All Infantry and Cavalry barring Artillery or Automated Artillery are Psykers. Independent Characters that don't have a discipline can gain one for +15 points. Further, all these units must select a Minor Arcana option. Failing the Psychic check means Perils of the Warp.
    • Raptora: When ending a Move or Run in the Movement phase within 12", make a Psychic check. If successful, all models in the unit gain a 6++, or improves their invulnerable save by 1 if they already had one to a maximum of 4++ until the start of the controlling player's next turn. Needless to say, useless on Cataphractii models like your Sekhmet. However, giving 4++ to Tartaros can be interesting, as is giving your combat shield Assault Squad Terminator-grade 5++.
    • Pyrae: When making a successful charge, roll a Psychic test. If successful, the charging unit gains Hammer of Wrath (2). The HoW attacks count as 'Flame' weapons. As Hammer of Wrath works per model, this benefits your 20-model Troops more. Tacticals become a lot scarier when they add 40 hits on top of their 60 attacks on the charge. Unfortunately does not seem to work with Biomancy, as Hammer of Wrath specifies unmodified strength.
    • Pavoni: In the Movement phase, when selecting a unit to Move or Run, make a Psychic test. If successful, add +3 to the unit's movement and they can ignore movement penalties for Difficult Terrain. Use this to make let your Heavy models move faster and make up for their inability to run. Note that this only works in the Movement Phase; you don't get to move up brackets to determine your charge distance in the Assault Phase.
    • Corvidae: When making a shooting attack, make a Psychic check. If successful, the first Wound scored by the shooting attack is chosen by the the Psyker's controlling player. This really boils down to Tactical/Heavy Support Squads; all of your other infantry either use weak fast-firing weapons (Bolters, Volkites, etc.) where your opponent will simply save the allocated 1 wound, or like Nemesis Bolters and Seekers already have Sniper/Precision Shot.
    • Athanaen: When making a shooting attack, make a Psychic check. If successful, the targeted unit reduces their leadership by 1 for any Pinning or Morale checks caused by the shooting attack. Pretty obvious to take this on your Pinning units, but also useful on heavy-duty ranged units that can reliably trigger the 25% losses Morale check.
      • Notice that you're not restricted to picking the corresponding discipline (i.e. Pyromancy for Pyrae, Divination for Corvidae etc.), because whoever wrote the rules apparently forgot to mention the connection.
      • Your independent characters can pick a different cult than the squad they're attaching, allowing you to stack on different buffs if you need them. Your Chaplains in particular are a good choice for Psychic disciplines, as their Ld10 means they more easily pass Psychic checks.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Fortress of the Mind": Once per Battle, when targeted by a Shooting attack, before armour saves are made, make a Psychic check. If successful, the reacting unit gains a 3++. If the check is failed, gain a 5++ and both the attacking and reacting unit suffer Perils of the Warp.
    • Sadly, due to the wording of Fearless, your own Primarch cannot use this reaction even after current FAQ's.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Evoker of Pain (Traitor Only): When this Warlord fails a Psychic test and suffers Perils, neither the Warlord nor the unit suffer wounds. Instead, one model within 6" of the Warlord suffers D3 wounds which ignore armour (but not Invulnerable saves). If there is no valid enemy in range, suffer Perils as usual. In addition, you may take an additional Reaction during the Assault phase. Basically means that your Warlord's Psychic Tests are win-win when near the enemy; if you pass you get the benefits, but if you fail you get to throw what are basically AP2 wounds on the enemy. Particularly useful for Biomancy Warlords, whose powers work in melee anyway. Just remember that, unlike the below, it works on him and him alone; his unit still takes Perils as normal if they mess up Minor Arcana or something.
  2. Magister of Prospero: Roll an additional die when making a Psychic test and discard the highest rolled die for the Warlord and his unit. You may make an additional Reaction during the Movement phase. A different flavor of mitigating Perils than the above; the above removes the consequences of suffering Perils, while this one makes you less likely to fail. Useful for building Sekhmet deathstars; the Sekhmet themselves have Minor Arcana and Achean Force and can get a Psychic Discipline, while each IC has his own Minor Arcana and possibly Psychic Discipline, all of which benefit from this Trait.
  3. Eidolon of Suffering: Warlord may not use Psychic Powers or Psychic weapons, but gains the Adamantium Will (3+) rule. When any model in 12" makes a Psychic check, roll a d6. On a 1, nothing happens. On a 2 or higher, the Warlord gains Rage (2) for the rest of the battle. This stacks to a maximum of Rage (4). You may make an additional Reaction in the Shooting Phase.
    • Isn't as hard to trigger as it sounds, as all of your Minor Arcana require Psychic checks and several of your units outright have Psychic powers in addition to your ICs. If you're afraid of Perils, your enormous selection of Achean Force weapons are all risk-free Psychic checks. It doesn't matter if you fail the test; the test itself occurring is what triggers the roll for Rage. A sufficiently pissed off Praetor makes 9 attacks on the charge, which can do a lot of damage. True, your Warlord loses Psychic Powers/Weapons, but that just means you get the same Praetor as the other 17 Legions; is that so bad?

Unique Wargear

  • Æther-Fire Weapons: Replaces plasma pistols, plasma guns/blasters, plasma cannons, and gravis plasma cannons with special psychic weapons at no cost. While slightly weaker, they lack Gets Hot and get Rending so they can wreck vehicles. On top of that, they also have the Achean Force rule, a weaker version of the Force rule that adds +2 to strength with a successful psychic Check so you can more reliably harm vehicles. Achean Force also lets you ID MEQs, but the reduced ability to cause AP2 due to replacing Breaching (4+) with Rending (6+) holds them back as anti-TEQ weapons.
    • Replacing the Plasma Gun with an Aether-fire Blaster means you get the 18" Assault 2 of the Blaster rather than the 24" Rapid Fire of the Plasma Gun. This can be a way to get extra firepower, as you get 1 more shot from 12" to 18".
    • Besides the improvement of midrange rate of fire, the big usage of aetherfire vs plasma is its aforementioned ability to threaten vehicles with glances; something they can't normally do. Additionally, massed aetherfire can be used to threaten some of the more dangerous MEQs and TEQs, even without ignoring their armor. AP2 is a shame, but S8 is still S8, and will insta-ID anything without Eternal Warriors. Give Ultramarine Fulminators and Suzerains a bit of a surprise with a death of a thousand cuts.
    • Assault can also give you some emergency chainsword usage if you want.
  • Asphyx Shells: A special ammo type for bolters (not Combi-Bolters or any Combi-Weapons) and bolt pistols that cost only 1 point per weapon. This confers Shred to them, so you have a bit more reliability in harming targets, but you lose 1/4 of your range.
    • Actually very potent; everyone else's fancy +1 to hit/BS improves the damage output of their bolters by 1/4 (4/6 to hit to 5/6 to hit), while you improve your damage output by 50% (6/12 to wound to 9/12 to wound) and you can still add to it with a Cognis-Signum. There's a legitimate argument to take these on Breachers instead of Volkite Chargers, as they have superior firepower within your Rapid Fire range of 9". However, the shortened range can make Fury of the Legion hard to use; 2 shots of this is the same as 3 shots of normal bolts at 9"-12", but not being able to shoot at all when normal bolters can take 2 shots at 18"-24" can be rough when you can't move.
    • The twin-linked bolter, unlike the Combi-Bolter, is not a separate weapon from the bolter. Your Outriders can take Asphyx Shells to get re-rolls to hit with Twin-linked and to wound with Shred.
    • Like other Bolt replacements, you can only take the bolter; no bayonets. Invest in some chainswords for units wanting to use this.
  • Achea-Pattern Force Weapons: Characters can replace their power weapons with weaker force weapons with the Achean Force rule. Only the Force Maul can ID marines, but you likely weren't expecting a squad sergeant to do that without power fists anyway. This is more to help them get a bit of an edge in combat.
    • Independent characters can't pick these, sadly enough, even if you pick up a Cult Arcana. This especially sucks because they have no ways of picking up normal force weapons either unless you sprung for a Librarian or Esoterist Consul.

Unique Rites of War

The Achaean Configuration
This is the RoW you take when you want to field a lot of robots. It's simple and comes with some heavy benefits, with some pronounced restrictions on what support you can take. That said, these are things you will probably want anyway if you're bringing lots of robots, so it balances out.

  • Benefits:
    • Castellax-Achea Automata can be taken as non-Compulsory Troop choices
    • If a friendly unit suffers Perils within 12" of a Castellax-Achea Automata, you can allocate the wounds to the robot.
      • Yet another way of mitigating your Perils, which you will face from taking all of those Psychic checks. However, think carefully about whether it's better to help your enemy break your giant killbots by assigning D3 wounds to a 4W 140 point model or just take the L and lose MEQs from failing Minor Arcana checks; 10 point Tactical Marines are no big loss anyway.
    • Castellax-Achea Automata count as Line units as long as they are within 6" of a friendly Psyker Thousand Sons unit. With the recent errata, they no longer count each other for the sake of being considered Line units, so you now need your forces spread out among them.
  • Limitations:
    • Castellax-Achea Automata taken as Troops must include more than one model.
    • Detachment must include at least one Techmarine Covenant for the sake of repairs.
    • Detachment must include a Praevian Consul to keep them all in line. Consider giving him Thaumaturgy so he can get more healing done on your Automata.

The Guard of the Crimson King
An alpha strike option, plain and simple. Has some restrictions on psychic requirements but does not actually require Magnus.

  • Benefits:
    • Designate six units in the detachment made entirely of Infantry. They gain Deep Strike. When they deploy via Deep Strike, they gain Fear (1) for the turn.
    • Sekhmet Cabals can be taken as troops.
      • Sadly no Heart of the Legion or Line.
  • Limitations:
    • A detachment using this RoW must include Magnus the Red, Ahzek Ahriman, or a Praetor of any variety upgraded to have a Psychic Discipline.
    • Cannot be taken as an allied detachment.
  • While you lose out on some hefty benefits (namely FOC shifting for Magnus, Sekhmets as Line, improved psychic capabilities), you do gain more flexibility. Being able to choose any 6 Infantry to deep strike can give certain power armored units a chance to shine. Melta squads here, Khenetai there, it's all up to you. And since they all deep strike at once, can do so on first turn AND now have the ability to charge after Deep Striking, there's a variety of tactics you can do.

Unique Units

  • Sekhmet Terminator Cabal: WS5 Cataphractii terminators that come default with an Achea Pattern force weapon. Can be upgraded to have a Psychic discipline on the Inceptor, giving them some genuine utility on their weapons.
    • Taking Biomancy with their Achea Pattern Force Axes means you get back to S8 and thus can ID without using Power Fists. However, you can take actual Power Fists (as well as the usual Sx2 AP2 Unwieldy weapons) if you want a bit more reliability or you want a different Psychic discipline.
    • Achea Pattern Mauls also give ID and remains AP3, unlike 7e/Age of Darkness 1.0; which makes them a solid option for facing powered armoured beatsticks at same initiative.
    • Nothing stops you from casting Biomantic Augmentation twice on the same unit. A Librarian or other form of assistant Psyker (perhaps a Primus Medicae to give them Feel No Pain) can help them immensely.
  • Contemptor-Osiron Dreadnought Talon: The first psychic dreadnoughts. Comes with a Gravis bolt cannon and gravis force blade (S9 AP2 like the fist but with Brutal (2) and Achean Force, so it can ID anything with T5 but is not as dangerous otherwise) with Combi-Bolter, though you still have the full selection of guns for the bolt cannon and underslung Combi-Bolter. Has Adamantium Will (4+), which stacks with their Atomantic Deflector to provide protection against anything. Can be upgraded to get a minor arcana for +15 points or, as a single model, +50 to become a Magus and select a single psychic discipline.
  • Castellax-Achea Automata: No, not a psychic robot, but instead a psychically controlled one. Comes with an Æther-Fire cannon, two Asphyx Bolters, two Achea force claws, and an Atomantic deflector that can't be upgraded. Rather average WS and BS means it may struggle hitting, but it has a few nasty tricks. First, it has Hammer of Wrath (1) and Adamantium Will (4+). On top of that, it is able to fire all its weapons, counts as stationary to fire Heavy and Ordnance weapons even if it moved (and can still charge), ignore penalties to initiative for charging through dangerous or difficult terrain, and as icing, a Thousand Son in 12" can use it as the origin point for a shooting Psychic weapon, keeping the psyker a bit safer and adding some extra range to his mind-bullets.
    • Beware that any limitations that affect the Castellax will affect these too as they are still the Automata unit type and thus are affected by rules like Data-Djinn and Haywire. However, as the Psy-Automata subtype, you only need to keep it in 6" of a friendly Psyker to avoid it having to shoot and charge whatever is closest. Considering how much of your army are psykers, you can easily keep its mindless impulses in check so long as you keep your troops alive.
  • Khenetai Occult Cabal: Dual-wielding Achea force swords, these are your melee infantry. A bit squishy in their power armour, but potentially murderous. Come with a unique power that replaces the Minor Arcana. Instead, they can make a Psychic check to gain +1 to Movement, Weapon Skill, and Attacks. They're very killy, but you need to watch the counterattack.
    • You don't get the unique power if you attach an IC, as the whole unit must have the Psychic Power to use it.
  • Numerology CabalExemplary Battles: A psychic Techmarine (Numerologist) and his meatshields (Life Wards), all with only bolt pistols and melee weapons (Achean axe for the Numerologist, chainswords for the others). Unlike a Techmarine Covenant, they can't split up and cannot be accompanied by other characters, but at least the bodyguards are capable of blocking anything with Precision Hits or Precision Shots. The Numerologist can take a Cyber Familiar and can take most of the Techmarines weapon options allowing him to be fairly flexible in shooting. The issue with this is that the entire squad is pretty much geared for close-quarters combat, with only the Numerologist being able to take a wide variety of guns while the troops can only take a Volkite Caliver or rotor cannon per five models in this squad. If you plan on going in with melee, you can at least replace the chainswords with power weapons or fists.
    • These guys, like the Khenetai, come with their own unique power instead of a Minor Arcana. On a successful cast, they can gain a geo-locator beacon and can forgo shooting to allow two friendly Thousand Sons units within 6" to gain +1 to their BS, which is great since you can dump the +1BS on a squad of Heavy Support marines and/or Tank squadron and improve their shooting effectiveness, and since the Numerologist has Battlesmith (4+) you do want the squad near tanks to keep alive and firing. This can also be useful for buffing squads that cannot take a normal Techmarine for Cognis-Signum, like Terminators or Destroyers.
      • Their rules can be found here
  • Ammitara Occult Intercession CabalLegacies: A pack of psychic scouts with Shrouded (6+) and Relentless using Nemesis Bolters, which gives them plenty of protection. They get their own unique power which on a pass gives their guns Rending (4+) and Ignores Cover, which is some powerful stuff to throw on a bunch of BS5 snipers. Unlike other units with unique powers, these don't seem to have rules forbidding them from taking a minor arcana as well.
    • You can buy a Storm Eagle for a transport, but that's a massive waste for a squad of 5-10 scouts. Be considerate and load another squad onto there and fill up that space.
    • The Psychic Power does not work well on the Nemesis Bolters they're stuck with, as the Nemesis Bolters come with Rending (5+) and the Rending (4+) conferred by the Power explicitly does not replace any existing instances of the rule. Blame wonky Legacy PDF writing. You could use it on their Bolt Pistols and get all of the benefits from the power or even re-roll Rending with Shred from Asphyx Shells or make plasma guns capable of reclaiming Rending without needing to be Æther-Fire weapons. But at the end of the day, do you really want your elite sniper unit that close to the enemy?
      • The Power works on the weapons of all Psykers in the unit, which means it includes ICs and Techmarines/Apothecaries. It's gimmicky, but you can take Combi-Volkites on Techmarines/Apothecaries for a few more hits. This would also work on an Armistos' Volkite Culverin, or even whatever Psychic Weapon your ICs have as long as it's not Template/Blast.
        • You know how the Esoterist's Void Darts fires an Assault 12 Deflagrate weapon? Food for thought.
      • Given the whole Legacies document is kinda wonky and janky, it's probably not entirely the worst thing to let their rending be 4+ on the Nemesis Bolters. A minor increase from 5+ to 4+; and you actually get to use the unit as intended.

Unique Characters

  • Magistus Amon, The Hidden One, Captain of the Ninth Fellowship, Tutor of Magnus, Keeper of the Keys: The Thousand Sons' surprise combat character, and he's a fairly decent one at that. He's a Praetor equipped with an Archaeotech Pistol and Iron Halo along with the Relentless and Infiltrate rules. His Warlord Trait gives all units in the army that have Scout and Infiltrate the Shrouded (5+) rule for the first two turns of the game (which would also affect Amon) and on top of this he is a Psyker that knows both the Divination and Telepathy disciplines, but he cannot take any minor arcana from the Thousand sons Arcana. Amon is also equipped with The Armour of Shades which gives him a 2+ armour save as well as giving him Shrouded (4+) while within terrain, meaning that once the effects of his warlord trait has worn off he can get a better Shrouded save by sticking to the walls and barricades. Finally, his hitting stick of choice, The Reliquary of Dust is a specialized force staff that shoot psychic blasts at short range. It can shoot Poisoned (4+) Assault 2D6 S1 AP- shots, which have the Rending (6+) and Concussive (3) rules which makes it more attractive for clearing large units of chaff than his Archaeotech Pistol, but this thing really shines in melee as it's a Master-Crafted AP2 stick with Poison (4+) and Reaping Blow (1) making it a pretty effective duelling and anti-infantry weapon.
    • Amon can perform reasonably well as a duelist against generic and support characters, but challenging characters like Corswain and Kharn (or god forbid Sigismund) is suicide.
  • Ahzek Ahriman, Chief Librarian of the Thousand Sons, Arch-magister of the Corvidae, The Enduring Son: Before he was fucking around with warp stuff and turning his brothers to dust, Ahriman the Magic Man was fucking around with warp stuff as the head wizard of the Thousand Sons, and he has the wargear and rules worthy of his status. He has Master of the Legion so he can bring a Retinue squad to keep him safe as well as an Iron Halo and Relentless, but most importantly he's a Psyker with access to both Divination and Thaumaturgy disciplines as well as the Corvidae minor arcana thanks to his Arch-magister of the Corvidae rule. On top of that Adamantium Will (3+) means he'll be casting lost lots of powers while nullifying any your opponents Psykers powers. His Warlord trait The Pattern of Fates allows you to re-deploy up three units just before the first turn, as well as making an additional reaction during any one chosen phase. His main short coming is his standard Praetor stat-line but with only WS5 meaning he's in a bit of trouble if faced with more specialised combat characters. But you aren't bringing him for his duelling skills, you bringing him to spread magical madness and shoot everyone with mind bullets, and he is very good at that.
    • He's equipped with a Master-Crafted Asphyx Bolt pistol with is nice but his big stick The Corvidaean Sceptre is a Master-Crafted AP2 Force Staff, meaning he can hold his own in a fight quite well against normie marines and Centurions, but as stated above he can get into a bit of trouble when faced against more effective combat units. It's possible to ID Praetors on initiative with Force, but you'll need a Chaplain to hit them reliably.
  • Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons, The Sorcerer of Prospero, The Crimson King, The Logos Maxima, The Cyclopean Giant: The Crimson King himself takes the field to deliver a psychic beatdown like no other. He comes stock with Adamantium Will (3+), Shrouded (5+) and Deep Strike. But you take him for his psychic might, and he delivers. For starters, Magnus knows all the Psychic disciplines in the core book. This gives him a high degree of flexibility, though it needs to be mentioned that most of these sacrifice shooting, so he won't be using all the powers in a single turn. He also gets to select one of the Minor Arcana and automatically executes it each turn. On top of all this, he counts all models within range as being in Line of Sight for purposes of using psychic powers. The key with Magnus is to adapt your strategy, using the powers that will be most impactful.
    • Sire of the Thousand Sons: His warlord trait grants Adamantium Will (6+) to all friendly TS units or improves it by +1 if they already have it, and also reduces damage from Perils by 1 (to a minimum of 1). Finally, he grants an additional Reaction in the Assault phase as long as he is in play.
    • Blade of Ahn-Nurnurta is a massive thing, being an S6 AP1 Two-handed Force weapon. Even by default it can chop through marines and using Force can give him a fighting chance to cut through his own brothers.
    • Psyfire Serpenta is now a Force pistol. An S3 AP2 Assault 3 pistol with Force and Deflagrate. Unless you're planning to shoot hordes of guardsmen, you're either blowing Force on this or using one of your less embarrassing psychic powers.

Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus[edit]

Luna Wolves - Sons of Horus legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Sons of Horus are an elite force of shock troops who are all about what happens in the initial stages of a fight. They are more likely to shrug off wounds in the first round of combat which can give them an edge in challenges, while their Rites of War give them certain situational bonuses that get them into combat more quickly either by opening up new deployment options such as Outflanking or Deep Striking, or simply giving them more movement speed.

They aren't the finest shots, or the best melee duellists, but they lean heavily into Terminator and/or Elite focused armies so can usually bank on bringing their best units to the forefront. Their wargear options don't scream out "great" but DO cover them for both improved melee and ranged capabilities where other Legions often tend to favour one or the other. They also have Horus, who is still the same badass Primarch that he always has been, but now has the ability to turn on GOD MODE and wipe the floor with practically everything for quite frankly the cost of a small army.

Also this edition, as the arch-villains of the series they now have some rules benefits here and there that interact with other traitor factions, whether it is by Horus bumping the morale of literally everyone on his side; or borrowing Corrupted units from the Word Bearers; having more Sworn Brothers than any other Legion except Salamanders; or by having multiple Warlord Traits from various other factions gain boosts by having Sons of Horus as an allied detachment; or by having Dark Emissaries padding out those allied detachments. It certainly seems that the Sons of Horus should be a very visible force.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Merciless Fighters: During a turn when a unit successfully charges or is successfully charged, the strength of all melee attacks against non-Vehicle units suffers a -1 penalty. Vehicles instead inflict and additional 3 hits on ramming attacks.
    • The strength debuff makes their standard infantry better in the first turn because most marine enemies will only wound them on a 5+ without the assistance of better weapons, so it adds widespread survivability in close combat. But this perhaps more significant for characters and multi-wound models, as for the first round of any combat, they are rendered practically immune to strength based Instant Death from S8 Power Fists and such, meaning that they are less worried about being taken down in the early stages of a challenge unless their opponent has some other kind of weapon with Instant Death baked into it. It will also work on Hammer of Wrath and Overwatch (no, reduce strength only for melee attacks, not ranged overwatch attacks. Also, in HoW rules said that attacks resolved with unmodified strength).
    • RAW this only triggers on successful charges, which means you don't get it if your opponent takes Hold the Line or if you take Hold the Line, as Disordered Charges do not count as successful charges.
    • Unlike Battle-hardened (1), this reduces the strength of incoming attacks by 1 rather than increase your own toughness by 1. Thus, it will not help you against S9, or people with S7 and Rad Grenades.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Death Dealers": Once per battle, during the Shooting Phase, when targeted by a Shooting Attack within 12", you may make a shooting attack before any To Hit rolls are resolved at +1 BS. No indirect fire is allowed, and template weapons must use the Wall of Death rule in 8". Casualties removed are still allowed an attack after you have resolved this attack.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Chosen by Dark Gods (Traitor Only): You may choose to roll a d6 at the start of your turn. On a 2-5, the Warlord's Strength and Toughness increase by +1. On a 6, they also regain one Wound. On a 1, they suffer a single wound that cannot be negated. You also gain an addition reaction in the Movement phase. Not a bad trait, per se, but potentially wounding yourself is a risky proposition. Further, it's pretty selfish in that it doesn't buff your army or even your unit.
  2. Wolf of Luna (Loyalist Only): The Warlord and any unit he joins gain +1 Attack on a turn they successfully charge or are charged by an enemy Legion with the Traitor Allegiance. The army also gains an additional reaction in the Assault phase. Slap this warlord into a melee deathstar and enjoy. Note that it specifies Traitor Legiones Astartes; against Mechanicum/Imperial Army, skip.
    • Works best on large squads for obvious reasons, so it's a happy coincidence (or not) that Justaerin and Reavers come in larger maximum squad sizes than most elite melee units.
  3. The Armour of Pride: The first time this Warlord is reduced to 0 wounds for any reason, make a Leadership roll. If the test is passed, the warlord remains in play with D3 wounds regained. Does not work against attacks that do not inflict Wounds or against Instant Death. The army also gains an additional reaction in the Shooting Phase.
    • This works more frequently than you think, as -1S to incoming attacks in the 1st round means S8 attacks do not inflict ID. You can come back to life from those if by some chance you've failed too many saves, which can happen against Brutal (X) weapons. That said, still pretty selfish like Chosen by Dark Gods; think about whether you want something that supports your army instead.

Unique Wargear

  • Carsoran Power Axe: Any model, not necessarily characters, may replace a power weapon with one of these. S:User AP 3 with Breaching (5+) and Specialist Weapon. Basically a power sword that changed Rending for a greater chance of Breaching at the cost of Specialist Weapon. Though, on Terminators where they are already lacking a pistol, they are a straight, free upgrade since you aren't getting a extra attack anyway. They come as standard on Justaerin.
    • Remember that while Breaching seems worse than Rending due to the latter already giving AP 2 attacks as well as auto-wounding, the Carsoran is doubling its chances for AP 2 at the cost of not auto-wounding something it couldn't wound normally. Thus against 3+ saves there's really no difference and against 2+ saves the Carsoran is better. It's also good for cheap access to second specialist weapon to be paired with a Thunder Hammer or the like.
  • Banestrike Bolter: A gift from the Alpha Legion. A S5 AP4 bolter with Breaching (6+). Also comes in Combi- form for Twin-Linked. Has a shorter range, but has the potential to hit much harder than a standard Bolter. They can be taken by any Independent Character for 5pts, any Veteran squad for 2pts per model, or any Seeker squad by replacing their Kraken Bolter for free. Sadly, can't be taken by Legion Terminators, the Justaerin called dibs on them first.

Unique Rites of War

The Black Reaving
Simply put, this is the Hammer and Anvil formation. You want some tough units to hold and sweep and hard hitting units to charge in and mop up.

  • Benefits:
    • Models that are part of this Detachment gain Rage (2) when they successfully Charge an enemy already locked in combat or subject to a multiple charge. This makes it a lot easier to claim Rage and is a great buff from last edition. Consider further stacking on the multiple charge bonus by using Destroyers as one of the units, so that you can throw Rad Grenades into the mix and make your bonus attacks even scarier.
    • Reavers (both Attack and Aggressor Squads) may be taken as Troop choices and gain "Line".
    • Justaerin Terminators gain Deep Strike, which is handy if they didn't have an IC to give it to them.
  • Limitations:
    • This Detachment must take a Master of Signal as an HQ choice. As he can turn off his Vox Disruptor Array now, he's actually pretty useful for calling in your Deep Striking Justaerin/Reaver Aggressors.
    • This Detachment must include more Fast Attack choices than Heavy Support choices.
      • As the FOC has 3 slots for both, you effectively lose one Heavy Support choice. Many Heavy Support choices have analogues in other slots; you can take Rapiers/Sky-hunters to replace Heavy Support Squads, Contemptors/Castraferrum to replace Leviathans/Deredeos and Sabres for Predators/Sicarans, so you can save the 2 slots you have for heavy armour like Kratos and Malcadors that you genuinely can't get elsewhere. Obviously, squadroning up the 2 slots you do get helps. Alternatively, take Seekers/Breachers/Terminators for Land Raider DTs.

The Long March
Outflanking terminators with a boosted movement speed. Pretty simple overall, though the restriction needs to be kept in mind when deploying.

  • Benefits:
    • Infantry and Dreadnoughts gain +1 to movement so long as they do not run. This does not modify their charge distance.
    • Cataphractii Terminators, Tartaros Terminators, and Justaerin Terminators can be taken as non-Compulsory Troops. They don't get Line, but whatever Compulsory Troops you take will have it anyway, so it's OK.
    • Tartaros, Cataphractii, and Justaerin Terminators taken as Troops gain Outflank. This means your Justaerin Retinue (the one squad with Line) don't get it, as they don't take a slot and therefore are not Troops, nor do any you take as Elites.
  • Limitations:
    • Traitor only.
    • "Heavy" Units (i.e. ALL Cataphractii wearing units) must start either in Reserves or Embarked on a Transport.

Unique Units

  • Justaerin Terminator Squad: An elite set of Cataphractii terminators with WS and BS 5, 3 attacks, Chosen Warriors and Furious Charge (1). They can be selected as a Retinue squad for a Master of the Legion, not taking up a Force Organisation Slot. Interestingly, they have an additional line to their Retinue rule where if their Leader can Deep Strike, then they are allowed to Deep Strike too, which is especially useful for characters like Horus and Abaddon. They come with a Banestrike combi-bolter and Carsoran power axe as default but can trade up for the usual goodies, including a Multi-Melta. An elite bodyguard unit that can get solid work done.
    • They also have a rather odd maximum squad size of 12.
      • Spartans have 26 transport capacity instead of 25 in 1.0, which is just enough for 12 Justaerin with a Terminator IC. Dumb luck, or careful design? Your call.
    • Unlike Legion Terminators, Justaerin have no provision for taking DTs beyond their initial squad of 5 and therefore cannot take a Spartan without using your Heavy Support slots. Your alternatives are Warmongers, acting as Retinue for a Deep Striking Leader, Outflank if they're Troops in Long March or innate Deep Strike from Black Reaving.
    • Incidentally, Furious Charge (1) allows Justaerin to hit at S9 with Power Fists on the charge, which allows you to inflict ID on the charge against other Sons of Horus. That said, you're in Cataphractii Armour, so getting the charge can be tricky.
    • As the default Terminator Combi-Bolter has been upgraded to Banestrike, you may decide that you do not need normal weapon upgrades, particularly as the bolter on your Combi-Weapons don't get Banestrike. That said, your normal weapon upgrades are 5 points cheaper, so you get free Volkites and Minor Combi-Weapons. However, you pay the same for special weapons as everyone else's Terminators.
      • There is no reason to take the Volkite Charger. It's free, but so is the Combi-Volkite, which is the same weapon with a boltgun on top.
      • The Multi-Melta is a option that only you and Firedrakes get and it's been seriously buffed from last edition. With TEQs all getting 2W now, ID is very important at fighting them and the Multi-Melta is a Twin-linked way of getting it at bolter range. Of course, it's also very potent against vehicles, as they can no longer buy immunity to Melta. It's expensive (25 points), but can do serious damage.
    • Your stock Carsoran Axe is... actually pretty good! While the free trade to Lightning Claw or Power Spear/Maul will do better against MEQs, Breaching (5+) is mathematically a better chance than the Shred/Rending (6+) of the Lightning Claw and far better than whatever Power Sword/Maul/Spear can do. You'll wound on 3+ on the charge as well, so it's no pushover against MEQs.
      • You can take dual Lightning Claws for +5 points. It's a lot better as a melee weapon than the Carsoran Axe simply because it's +2 attacks at the same AP with somewhat lower chance at AP2, but you're giving up pretty decent ranged weapons in doing so.
      • Merciless Fighters makes your selection of Sx2 Unwieldy weapons very attractive, as the normal S8 arm-wrestling duel at I1 is dramatically tilted in your favour by the fact that your opponent suffers from ID while you do not. Otherwise it's the same deal as with Legion Terminators; Thunder Hammer to make sure that Terminator dies, Chainfist to destroy vehicles, Power Fist if you're cheap.
        • Power Axe as aforementioned is not good enough against enemy Terminators. A Justaerin with 4 S6 WS5 attacks on the charge cannot expect to kill a Legion Terminator, which means they survive into the 2nd round to ID you with a Power Fist. Justaerin can come 12-strong, but at 50 points per man it would actually be cheaper to just take a smaller squad and equip them with Power Fists.
  • Reaver Attack Squad: An expansion of the standard Veteran squad. Like them they have WS5, 2 wounds, Relentless and Chosen Warriors and a butt-ton of weapon options to make them your own set of special dudes. On top of that they all start with Chain-axes as standard gear and have Counter-attack (1), Precision Shots (6+) and Precision Strikes (6+) so even when they aren't all taking challenges, they are still able to pick out their targets from time to time. These are excellent assault infantry, capable of causing a great deal of damage. Remember they can issue and accept challenges in the event you want to bait out a particular character.
    • They can take Rhinos or Dreadclaws as DTs. As neither are assault vehicles and Reavers are melee units, this isn't a good idea.
    • You can now take 20 of them, up from 15 in 1.0, so unit-wide buffs like Hatred are more cost-effective by affecting more models. However, while the base 5 dudes cost the 135 points they did in 1.0, each extra model is 22 points rather than 15, making a full squad 465 points before upgrades in an edition where Sons of Horus don't get buffs for outnumbering the enemy any more. It's true they were buffed by getting 2W and WS5, but think carefully, particularly as you can take 20 Veterans for cheaper. That said, Reavers get Power Fists, as well as being Troops in Black Reaving.
      • Speaking of which, they're now Elites instead of Fast Attack. Whether this is good or not depends on the sort of army you want to build.
    • You take a special weapon rather than exchanging something for it. This means Plasma Guns and Meltaguns are relatively cheap on a Reaver Squad; you pay 10/15 points like Veterans and Tactical Support Squads, but effectively gain more firepower because you don't give up an existing gun. For reference, Techmarines also take a gun without trading in, but pay 15 points for Plasma and 20 points for Melta. That said, the Plasma Gun is not very good; you won't use its 24" range because everyone else is 12" and you want to run and get into range, while it's inferior to the Melta within 12". You also get a Plasma Pistol, which is for once reasonably priced at 5 points, and which you can dual wield with your stock Bolt Pistol.
      • On the other hand, the Flamer costs 10 points, while a Hand Flamer costs 5 points and does not take up a special weapon slot. The Flamer wounds on a 4+ while the Hand Flamer wounds on a 5+, so the Flamer isn't even twice as good either! Don't bother.
        • Speaking of which, Reavers pay 5 points for a Hand Flamer and give up Precision Shot, while Veterans pay 2. If you want Hand Flamers, just take Veterans.
    • Even the stock Chainaxe in a full squad can destroy all but the largest/toughest 1W MEQ squads in the game. However, if you take AP3 weapons, you can do the same job with fewer models and thus save points, so upgrade your weapons. Upgrade choices boil down to Power Fists and dual Lightning Claws, as Charnabal/Power weapons come cheaper on Veterans. Again, the proviso for Black Reaving applies. Yes, we know that Veterans can get dual Claws too. Keep reading.
      • With the exception of dual Claws, you take melee weapons rather than replacing your Chainaxe, so you can use it when you don't want to use your other weapon, such as if it's Unwieldy. You still get +1 attack for the Chainaxe from your pistol too.
      • Dual Claws is worth the points considering you gain AP3 and +1 attack over the Chainaxe in return for losing 1 strength and the Bolt Pistol, which wasn't very good anyway. If you really want to shoot the enemy, you can give special weapons to your dual Claw Reavers while everyone else uses their pistols. Even small squads of 7 or 8 will wipe MEQ squads with 5 attacks on the 1st round per model, while a few dual Claw models are useful in large squads with lots of Power Fists to mince MEQs without having to wait for I1.
        • Alternatively, go full bore with a full squad of dual Claws; by stacking on bonus attacks from Wolf of Luna/Black Reaving and adding a Chaplain, you can get to a point where you inflict enough Rending wounds to destroy entire Terminator units on initiative. In case you're wondering why this is here and not on the Lightning Claw entry, Reavers are the only squad that can take 20 pairs of them to get enough volume of attacks on larger Terminator squads. Mathhammer proof is provided in the Discussion Page. Get a Spartan if you're going with a full squad; footslogging Reavers are too slow and fragile.
      • Power Fist is very attractive because you have Merciless Fighters, breaking the S8 ID deadlock at I1 everyone else faces. As a Power Armour unit, you can gain Feel No Pain by attaching an Apothecary, giving you actual protection against S8 AP2 in the absence of Invulnerable saves. 20 Power Fists is overkill against anyone who isn't immune to S8 ID, so take smaller squads of about 10 or in large squads alongside Claws. Can smack Dreadnoughts, but they ID you at S9 AP2 before you attack, so be careful.
        • 5+++ is the same thing as the 5++ Tartaros Terminators get, but you can take 2 hits when they can only take 1. Don't be afraid to fight Terminators.
    • Don't be too concerned if you don't get the charge. You gain an extra attack anyway through Counter-attack (1) and Merciless Fighters triggers even if you get charged. That is to say, the math doesn't change too much barring Legion-specific abilities from the enemy.
    • As stated above, being able to take Reavers as Line Troops in Black Reaving means there are substantial reasons to take them over Veterans despite the same weapons being cheaper on a Veteran squad. Options previously pointless now, uh, have a point.
      • Hand Flamers can force armour saves by inflicting lots of hits and weaken the opponent before you get into melee. That said, you're spending 5 points to go from a poor weapon (Bolt Pistol) to a slightly less poor weapon, as you need 9 hits to cause unsaved wounds on MEQs. Think carefully.
      • The Power/Charnabal weapon selection is generally worse than taking dual Claws with the exception of the Power Axe, which is not strictly comparable. Power Swords are strictly inferior, Power Spear/Maul lose Rending, Charnabal weapons lose AP3, Carsoran Axe loses Shred, and all of them lose 1 or more attacks in return for 5 points.
        • With Claws out of the discussion, Carsoran Axe should be considered your default Power weapon upgrade, as Breaching (5+) gives it a fighting chance against TEQs and, as explained in the wargear entry, it's better than the Power Sword. That said, if you're taking a small squad and you do not expect to fight (a lot of) TEQs, Maul/Spear offer improved wounding and the Spear in particular gives Reach (1), so take those instead.
        • Due to reasons stated in the main Charnabal weapons entry, Sabre causes the most AP2 wounds. In a large squad where you have enough Carsoran Axes to kill MEQs, it may be useful to equip the rest of the squad with Sabres for more Breaching wounds by virtue of not having Specialist weapon and having more attacks. Skip on Tabar/Glaive.
      • Power Axes are not cost-effective. If you want AP2 unwieldy, just take Power Fists; they kill more and you'll save points by taking fewer models. That said, larger squads of Power Axes will perform better than smaller squads of Power Fists when ID is not in play, such as against 1-wound models or models with Battle-hardened (1). Make sure you know what you're doing and who you're targeting before you field 20 Power Axes.
  • Reaver Aggressor SquadLegacies: The same unit as the Reaver Attack Squad, except that they all come with Jump Packs that increase the squad's base cost by 30 points and adds 8 points to the cost of each added marine. They have all of the same options, but with increased Movement and Hammer of Wrath they perform even better as a melee unit. As of Legacies PDF 1.1, GW remembered they're Reavers too and they can be taken as Line Troops in Black Reaving, like their Attack Squad brothers.
    • The cost increase means you cost 70 points more for a 10 man squad and 150 more for a 20 man squad, and Reavers aren't cheap to begin with. That said, though it's a far cry from the flat 50 points you paid to give the entire squad jump packs in 1.0, you've basically solved the problem of getting into melee by a. Deep Striking, b. using jump packs and c. charging using jump packs after Deep Striking. Thus, you actually save points by not taking the transport the Attack Squad would have needed. This works particularly well in Black Reaving, as the compulsory Master of Signals can reroll their Deep Strike and their scatter, making sure they can claim that objective by landing directly on it when needed.
    • Unlike Reaver Attack Squads and Veterans, you can't replicate Reaver Aggressors with generic squads, as the only generic jump unit with a Reaver statline is the Legion Command Squad, which comes in squads of 9 at most and is 1 per Master of the Legion. As a result, choices you simply shouldn't take in the Reaver Attack Squad aren't as pointless in an Aggressor Squad. Much the same logic applies here to options when taking Reavers as Troops in Black Reaving and will not be repeated here.
      • You are a lot more likely to get the charge by being a jump unit; you have Counter-attack (1) and get the +1 attack regardless, but you can deny enemy charge bonuses. Moreover, as you can choose your targets more freely, taking AP3 weapons to target MEQs and avoiding TEQ squads becomes more viable. On the other hand, each Aggressor Squad model costs more, so taking fewer models and better weapons (eg. dual Claws over Power Maul/Spear) becomes even more cost-effective.
      • As you'll spend fewer turns trying to reach melee, ranged weapons are less necessary.
  • Chieftain SquadExemplary Battles: An elite command squad that can not only act as a retinue with Chosen Warrior, but they also have Kingslayers to either re-roll to hit an enemy IC/Primarch or re-roll 1s to hit a unit containing them. They're a very melee-focused lot, each carrying a boarding shield, Banestrike Bolter and Chainsword as well as having a Legion Standard, instead of a bolter on their sergeant. Each model can only swap out their Chainsword for a Chainaxe, Power weapon or Fist and the entire unit can be upgraded to Artificer Armour, and they come with Relentless as a final cherry on top. They're more durable and cheaper than a similarly-equipped Command Squad, and they'll happily go toe to toe with similar units like Phalanx Warders and the Invictarus Suzerain, so they're worth considering if you want to run a kitted out Praetor in a deathstar, since they are also cheaper than a Justaerin Squad, even when kitted out with Power Fists and Artificer Armour.
    • Note because they have a different rule from the regular Retinue one, they can be taken as a HQ choice in themselves instead of as a Retinue. It's perfectly legal to take Justaerin/Legion Command Squad/Chieftain Squad as Retinue and then take another Chieftain squad as HQ. This can be handy simply to get 2 units with Legion Standards (read: Line) without taking a Herald, or some other trickery like conferring Deep Strike to the Justaerin using a Deep Striking IC or trading an HQ slot for an Elites slot (Chieftain Retinue + Justaerin as Elites vs. Justaerin Retinue + Chieftain as HQ). Alternatively, take Chieftains as compulsory HQ if you really don't want to take ICs and you don't mind not having Rites of War.
      • Their rules can be found here.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Dark Emissary: For +25 points, you essentially get a variant Herald. The Emissary is a HQ intended for an Allied Detachment. A Sons of Horus Allied Detachment that includes a Dark Emissary as a Compulsory HQ gains Stubborn across that whole detachment. Additionally, The Dark Emissary itself gains a Staff of Dark Authority which increases the leadership of all Traitor models within 6" to 10 when taking Morale or Pinning tests. The Staff itself is S+1 AP3 with Unwieldy and Murderous Strike (6+), so is generally underwhelming as a melee weapon.
    • While this guy can be taken in a Primary Detachment, he can't provide the Stubborn bonus by being taken in one. Heralds otherwise provide the same leadership bubble but also make their squad "Line".
  • Maloghurst the Twisted, Cadre-captain of the Sons of Horus, Bearer of the Eye, The Shadowed Hand, Equerry of the Warmaster: While he may not have the most impressive stats or equipment and may not be able to run or make sweeps, Maloghurst is one of the best support characters in the game. He's equipped with a Banestrike Bolter, Power sword and Bolt Pistol, and has Relentless and Adamantium Will(4+) so you can shut down enemy psykers and he also has It Will Not Die, but with only two wounds it's probably not going to come up that often. Maloghurst's main selling point is the fact that he comes with a Legion Standard and the fact that he has a very, very nasty trick up his sleeve: His warlord trait Bearer of the Eye, causes any models he joins to gain the "Line" Sub-type and count as scoring. Further, objectives controlled can’t be cancelled or contested by enemy Denial units. The possibilities here are hilarious. But even when he's not the Warlord, his Legion Standard makes his squad "Line" anyway, just without the No-Deny trick. He also grants an extra Reaction in the Shooting phase.
    • Since his Broken in Body rule means he can't run or sweep, it's best to put him in a unit of Cataphractii or Justaerin Terminator squad (Retinue perhaps?) to keep him safe, since they won't care that he can't run or sweep.
  • Ezekyle Abaddon, First Captain of the Sons of Horus, High Marshal of the Justaerin, Full-moon of the Mourinval, the Breaker of Worlds: The First Captain is a serious threat. He has a WS on par with some Primarchs, and is Fearless, which is still as rare as ever. He can Deep Strike and comes with Precision Strikes (4+) and Battle-hardened (1). His weapons are a Banestrike Combi-Bolter, a Paragon blade, and a Cthonian power claw, which hits at Sx2, AP2, and has Shred,Master-crafted and Unwieldy. Because he has 2 specialist weapons with his paragon blade he gains an extra attack.
    • His Warlord trait grants the Feel No Pain (4+) rule to himself and any unit he joins for the Movement and Shooting Phases of any turn he Deep Strikes to the battlefield, practically this only applies against Interceptor and Return Fire Reactions and of no actual help against Overwatch or the subsequent melee. He also gains an additional reaction in the Movement phase. Overall, he’s a selfish warlord, but is a dangerous threat. Give him a solid set of Justaerin bodyguards or another squad that can deep strike and put him somewhere he can cause the most damage.
    • Battle-hardened combined with Merciless Fighters requires melee attacks on the first round to be S12 in order to ID him, while Battle-hardened will usually suffice to protect him on subsequent rounds where any strength bonuses on the charge (Furious Charge, Rad Grenades) have worn off. That said, some people have S10 even on later rounds of combat, which will kill you dead. None of this is protection against other forms of ID either, so watch out for named characters who get lots of chances at ID with re-rollable Murderous Strike, good Murderous Strike rolls or straight out Instant Death, all of who will kill you before you attack with your Power Claw. Don't think your Paragon Blade will save you either; you won't cause enough wounds to either force failed Invulnerable saves or trigger your own Murderous Strike.
  • Garviel Loken, Captain of the 10th Company, New-moon of the Mournival, The Last Wolf of Luna: A loyalist option for the Luna Wolves, he comes with a bolt pistol, paragon blade, artificer armour and an Iron halo. His warlord trait grants +1 attack when they successfully charge or are charged by Traitor Legiones Astartes. He also grants a Reaction in the Assault phase. Born Survivor allows him to come back with D3 wounds on death by passing a Leadership test. A solid warlord choice, though only really when fighting other Space Marines.
    • Unlike Armour of Pride warlord trait, Born Survivor has no proviso against ID attacks and thus works even if you've suffered from ID. Can be useful against people who inflict ID through bonuses on the charge, as they'll lose them next round and you can fight them on equal footing, or to come back to life and get another set of attacks against Power Fist/Thunder Hammer Praetors.
  • Tybalt Marr, Captain of the Sons of Horus 18th Company, The Either, The Lone WolfLegacies: A Delegatus with an Iron Halo, Tybalt has been well and truly fucked by the Legacies PDF as he has lost Preferred Enemy (loyalist) and his unique warlord trait By the Hunters Moon, and he now instead has Relentless and must take The Armour of Pride Warlord trait. Equipped with a Banestrike Bolter and a regular Bolt Pistol, he's not much of a threat at range and his sword The Culling Blade is a Master-crafted Charnabal Sabre with Murderous Strike(5+), won't really give him much of an edge in melee when facing off against Praetors, especially with his Centurion WS5. No wonder Loken was able to wreck his shit during the Siege of Terra.
Horus Lupercal
  • Horus Lupercal, Warmaster of the Imperium, the Breaker of Tyrants, the Favoured Son, the Eye of Terra: The Arch-Traitor himself. Clocking in a whopping 600 points, Horus has an aggressive statline and some simple but potent abilities. He's an absolute monster in melee capable of taking most anything with his WS 8. He comes with a Cognis-Signum, which allows him to support his troops. Master of War allows him to gain an extra Reaction in every phase for one turn. Master of Weapons means he can only be hit in melee on a roll better than 4+ and he can split his attacks freely. His Serpent's Scales gives him a 2+/3++. Worldbreaker is a S10 AP2 weapon with Master-crafted, Brutal (2), Sunder and Unwieldy. The Warmaster's Talon has a Shooting and Melee profile. Shooting is 24" S5 AP 3 with Assault 3 and Twin-linked. Which is...there. In Melee, it has Str User AP2, Shred and Deflagrate. His warlord trait Sire of the Sons of Horus is simple, granting +1 Leadership and Stubborn to all Infantry in the army. Notably, this ignores the usual Legion restrictions, meaning all his allies also gain it. Horus is about a subtle as a thrown brick, but he's an absolute monster in melee and can provide simple but effective support to his army.
    • Notably, although his Master of War rule gives him the ability to add +1 to each of his Reaction phase allotments in a single turn of the game, he does NOT grant his army additional reactions anywhere else like other Warlord traits do. That means for the rest of the game his army is stuck at the standard one reaction every phase. Hold onto it for when you need it most.
Horus Ascended
    • Horus Ascended: But wait, there's more! For an extra 400 points, you can upgrade him to Horus Ascended, representing the power boost he got from the Chaos Gods after Molech. He gains +1 to Strength, +1 to Toughness, and picks up an extra Wound. He also picks up Feel No Pain (4+) and Rage (3). He also gains A Dark Fate, which causes him to regain a single wound on death and be moved to Reserves once per battle, The Power of Chaos Eternal, which allows him once a battle to gain Strength and Toughness 10 and ignore the Unwieldy rule of Worldbreaker during the Assault phase (at the cost of Perils of the Warp, so be careful if you don't have him in a unit- if it causes wounds, they'll be allocated to friendly models first), and The Spreading Corruption rule, which lets you make any Infantry, Cavalry, or Dreadnought unit "Corrupted" at the cost of +25 points. He also has the "Corrupted" subtype himself so he can join those Corrupted units.
      • Do note that when A Dark Fate triggers, Horus is still considered killed for the purposes of Slay the Warlord and if he gets killed a second time the opponent will get Slay the Warlord again, so don't be too reckless with him. Keep him with a unit of Corrupted Justaerin to both act as bubblewrap and as a way of soaking his Perils when you need to trigger The Power of Chaos Eternal.

Word Bearers[edit]

Word Bearers legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Word Bearers this edition are a Legion of two separate tiers.

The base legion is one that favours being up close, without necessarily being any better at melee than anyone else; they care less about bad combat resolution scores and can pull unexpected wins from stalemates. They have a suite of melee and ranged weapons that are better than the basic equivalents, but have to work hard to justify their costs.

The other tier of the Legion is the side fully Corrupted by Chaos, which includes nearly all of their special characters; they are able to throw out more Fear dispensing auras than a force of Night Lords, have frequent access to psychic powers that are only outshined by the Thousand Sons, and are more resilient to morale than any other Legion, but are mutually exclusive and more expensive than their non-corrupted brothers while coming with a nasty weakness to Force weapons.

Their specials and rites of battle are generally quite good, and are very distinct from what other Legions have in their repertoires, but it takes a careful balance to match up the right characters with the right squads, otherwise it becomes counter-intuitive to just go full blown Chaos, as points could be wasted unnecessarily.

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - True Believers: Your units will never have their Leadership go below 6. In addition, when you end up in a draw for combat resolution, you always count as having won by 1 so you can edge out anything - this unfortunately doesn't make you any better in a fight, so Night Lords and Sons of Horus can still steamroll you with terminators.
    • Corrupted Units: A new subtype to represent your possessed sons, blessed in their closeness to the Primordial Truth. These units get Fear (1) and are immune to Fear while being able to regroup automatically, which won't ever come into play, because if they ever fail a morale check, they immediately take d3 wounds that negate any saves you might possibly have instead of Falling Back. However, they can never opt to fail morale checks if they're up against anything they can't wound. Even worse, Force weapons and Psychic Focus weapons are considered Instant Death to you.
      • Do note it doesn't protect against Pinning.
  • Advanced Reaction - "Blessed Martyrdom": Used once per game during the shooting phase. When one of your units is shot at, you can immediately sacrifice one model in that unit, killing them outright with no saves. This single sacrifice cancels out the rest of the shooting, wasting things like Combi-Weapons and Meltas and negates any rules that would follow like Blind and Deflagrate. This doesn't do anything against templates, Ordnance and Destroyer though, so it's meaningless against Whirlwinds and Knights.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Enslaved by Darkness (Traitor Only): Requires the Corrupted subtype on top of being a traitor. The Warlord gains +1 to Strength and Toughness on turn 1 and 2, no bonus on turn 3 and 4, and -1 to Strength and Toughness on turn 5 and 6. The warlord also counts as a Daemon and gives the army an extra reaction during the opponent's movement phase while he lives.
    • Yep, your warlord became a Daemon of the Ruinstorm, with all the strengths and weaknesses that come with it.
  2. Unwavering Devotion: Friendly units with LA (Word Bearers) within 6" will automatically pass the first failed morale or pinning checks they make each turn, which helps keep them from running. In addition, your warlord gives the army an extra reaction during the opponent's shooting phase while he lives.
  3. Iconoclast: +1 attack for the Warlord and their unit when locked in combat with a unit containing any of the following: an Independent Character, a Legion Vexilla, or a Legion Standard, which is basically your counter to identical enemy squads (think your command squad vs the enemy's, etc). Attacks against buildings and fortifications gain +2 to Strength. In addition, your warlord gives the army an extra reaction during the opponent's assault phase while he lives. This also means if you use the Hold the Line Reaction when an enemy squad charges you, their unit loses all the advantages of charging, while you gain an Attack over them.

Unique Wargear

  • Burning Lore: Praetors can spend 25 points to gain access to the Diabolism discipline and the Corrupted subtype, making them into something of a super-Diabolist. Unfortunately they do not get a Force weapon like Diabolists do.
  • Dark Channelling: Traitor Infantry units and Dreadnoughts can spend 25 points in order to go gain the Corrupted unit type as described above, and only Corrupted characters can join them. This upgrade can also be provided to Consuls of other types; it can become prohibitively expensive, but necessary if you want to attach a Primus Medicae or Chaplain to a Corrupted unit.
  • Tainted Weapons: characters with power swords, axes and mauls can upgrade them to evil weapons with Murderous Strike (6+). But ten points for the privilege on top of the cost of the weapon is a lot to ask, particularly as most characters don't hit nearly enough to trigger Murderous Strike.
  • Warpfire Weapons: ANY model with a plasma weapon can replace their Plasma Pistols with Warpfire Pistols, Plasma Guns/Blasters with Warpfire Blasters, and Plasma Cannons with Warpfire Cannons, all for 5 points each. All of these gain Pinning and lose Gets Hot and a point of strength. They are less effective against light vehicles/Dreadnoughts even though they wound T4 the same (this will likely have more of an effect when Custodes and Mechanicum are added as well). The fact that most characters in Power Armour have access to a Plasma Pistol means nearly every squad can have a Breaching (4+), Pinning weapon that doesn't Get Hot, a bargain.
    • Bonus points for putting Warpfire Pistols on Moritat Consuls for Chain Fire plasma that doesn't stall unexpectedly. Extra bonus points for Corrupting the same Moritat to give him a Fear (1) aura that has the same range as his pistol, meaning those Pinning checks are at -1 leadership.

Unique Psychic Discipline

  • A Dark and Terrible Power: When the Psyker and any unit they accompany charges, you can make a psychic test before rolling for distance. If you pass, the psyker model gains Hammer of Wrath (3), but failure triggers Perils. In any case, your psyker also always gains a +1 to Strength and Toughness so you're not absolutely hosed if you blow it. This is more important than you might realise: while it doesn't make a Diabolist a force multiplier, since it only affects himself, it can combine to something truly nasty. A Diabolist with ADaTP and a Force axe hits at S10 on the charge, instantly killing anyone with Battle-hardened (1), such as Salamander Praetors and Death Guard Deathshroud Terminators (on average they will cause 1.3 unsaved Wounds against the Deathshroud, instantly killing a 70 3-Wound model). This will likely also be more important when Custodes and Mechanicum are added as well (if they benefit from Iconoclast, they should be able to instantly kill 2 Custodes in one charge, assuming the Custodes don't have a stat boost). Even if your model has a fist, they bypass Legion specific defences such as the Sons of Horus Merciless Fighters; even while you suffer from it, ADaTP means you're still at S8, so your characters (notably your Praetors) will be instantly killing the enemy, while being immune to the same sort of Instant Death in return. This is easily the most important part, being able to wipe the enemy Warlord with relatively low risk, just make sure that you do not get into fights with Instant Death weapons or characters with Eternal Warrior (Sigismund and the like will still wreck you).
  • Hellfire: A S7 AP4 psychic flamer with Deflagrate and Rending. Of course, you need to make a psychic test before you can attack it. It's a decent shooting attack.

Exclusive to Zardu Layak

  • Soul Binding: If an enemy tries to declare a reaction against Zardu or his squad, he can immediately suffer Perils. If he survives, the reaction fails and counts as not having been used, leaving the target exposed to tender mercy of his squad. Since you can allocate wounds from Perils to anyone in the squad, usually it's absolutely worth it.
  • Telepathic Chains: 36" Assault 4 S2 AP- with Pinning, Shell Shock and Psychic Focus. It's more meant to trap an enemy rather than dealing any real damage. After all, your slaves have plasma pistols that can do a decent amount more damage than Zardu's bolt pistol. You've likely also got other units to do the rest of the work for you.

Unique Rites of War

The Dark Brethren
You mark the enemy for death, stealing their life force to empower your own units. While this doesn't hold any restrictions to your forces, you are now pigeonholed to targeting whatever unit you marked for death, meaning you can be kitted around without the proper tools.

  • Benefits:
    • Once every unit has been set up, you can mark one enemy unit as a sacrifice. Once you wipe out this unit, you gain a point of Favour from the Dark Gods. These Favour points can be assigned to any of your units, improving the unit's Strength, Weapon Skill and Movement by +1. You can stack this up to three times in case you really want a blender of a unit.
      • You CANNOT apply these bonuses to allies (or gain the benefits with an allied detachment of Word Bearers). As it says on page 96: "The Effects and Limitations of any given Rite of War only apply to units and models in the Detachment it was chosen for - unless the Rite of War specifically states otherwise." Don't even think you can use it to make sub-optimal units from other armies better.
  • Limitations:
    • You MUST deal at least one wound or hull point worth of damage on the sacrificial unit or else a random unit must suffer Perils.
    • Traitor only.

Last of the Serrated Sun
Of course, this is a Traitor-only rite as you're relying on the Gal Vorbak for everything offensive. It's not as restrictive with drop pods any more, meaning that Argel Tal can actually be used on this.

  • Benefits:
    • Gal Vorbak are now troops and can grab dreadclaws as transports. Sadly, no Line so you'll still be needing those Tacticals to cap points.
    • Any squads that can take rhinos can also take drop pods. Sadly, these aren't dreadclaws so you can't have slow flying death on top of the drop-strikes.
  • Limitations:
    • You can't take any immobile units that aren't Orbital Drop Vehicles (aka drop pods) or artillery units.
    • Kinda goes without saying, but you can't take allies with this rite, nor can you use this rite on an allied detachment.

Unique Units

  • Ashen Circle Squad: The Word Bearers unique take on Destroyer squads. They aren't Corrupted, but that doesn't really matter as they have the Bitter Duty rule and can only be joined by Moritats anyway, so to make them Corrupted would be a waste of points. But for less than the cost of a Destroyer Assault squads you get a squad armed with Shredding AP3 power weapons (Power Axes are gone though), Torrent & Pinning flame pistols, Melta Bombs instead of Rad Grenades, Crusader instead of Counter Attack, and a special upgrade to their Hammer of Wrath attacks that gives them an extra attack at higher strength. These guys aren't character or Death Stars slayers, but they are really good MEQ/GEQ hunters who are able to throw out more wounds than their Destroyer equivalents. Just don't forget they're WS 4 now for some reason, meaning they'll struggle even against WS5 Veterans. Buff them with Favour from the Dark Gods the first chance you get, preferably twice, and watch them gleefully slaughter MEQs, Dreadnoughts and Vehicles.
  • Gal Vorbak Squad: The forebears of modern Possessed Marines. As the favoured sons of the legion, they get Chosen Warriors on top of a Feel No Pain (5+) and Rage (2). Being Toughness five with three wounds per model makes them particularly tanky and immune to Instant Death from S8 and S9 and will keep their FNP damage mitigation saves against such weapons. They also have a base movement speed of 8 also gives them a +1 on their charge rolls, meaning they are a bit quicker than one might expect as well. They start off with "Boltspitters" which are essentially regular boltguns with a different name, though because the Gal Vorbak are also Relentless they thankfully don't have to sacrifice their ability to charge just by using them. They each also have a single "Tainted Talon" which is pretty much a power sword with Murderous Strike (6+) and is exactly the same as the "Tainted Sword" that the Word Bearers have in their armoury. Yet that means this squad can throw out a ridiculous volume of S5 AP3 attacks on the charge with the small potential of some AP2 Instant Death thrown on top for good measure.
    • Obviously, these guys have the Corrupted subtype and so cause Fear. Thusly, they can only be joined by Corrupted Characters so keep that in mind, and keep them away from units with Force Weapons.
    • One in five models may replace their Boltspitter with a special weapon, in case you wanted a Meltagun, Flamer, or Warpfire Blaster (who wouldn't?), or another Tainted Talon to give the model an extra attack. Separately, one in five models may replace their Tainted Talon with a Power Weapon, or Power Fist (which gets beefed to S10) if you wanted a specific model be more suited to taking Challenges given that they are all chosen warriors.
  • Mhara Gal Dreadnought: An eeeevul Corrupted Dreadnought with extra mobility through Pathfinder and Move through Cover. Offensively it's nothing to sneeze at, with Rampage (3) and fists with Brutal (2) but also getting Murderous Strike (5+) to rip apart even terminators as well as a built-in bolter-like gun. Accursed makes it even more of a hassle against other Corrupted, daemons or psykers, as it emanates a 6" aura that deals -1 to Strength and Toughness, making it a nightmare for the Thousand Sons or Ruinstorm Daemons. A lot of the Contemptor's weapons remain open to you in any combination for free, with the addition of the warpfire cannon and the greater boltspitter, a TL heavy bolter-like gun. The only thing that can cost you is the Lascannon if you really plan on blasting tanks.
    • Defensively it's got a bit going for it too. On top of having 8 T7 wounds at a 2+/5++ save, it also has It Will Not Die (5+) for regeneration. On top of this, any flame, plasma, melta or volkite weapons reduce their strength by 1 when attacking this dread, which reduces the effectiveness of a lot of heavy weapons. Don't count on it too much though since everyone and their Cyberfamiliar are going to use Lascannons.
  • Procurators Squad:Exemplary Battles A squad of Despoilers with an Apothecary for a squad sergeant. Made up of 4 Procurants and 1 Procurator, the whole unit has Bolt Pistols and Chainswords that can be swapped for Power Weapons or Heavy Chainswords, and one in five can take a Power Fist and swap their Bolt Pistol for a Plasma pistol or Hand-Flamer. The Procurator has a Narthecium, giving the whole squad a Feel No Pain (5+) and he comes with Artificer Armour as well, meaning the unit can be a little tougher to shift than at first glance. In addition, a Squad of 10 can bring a second Procurator, and a squad of 15 can bring a third. They can't be joined by any Independent Character that doesn't have the Grim Purpose special rule (so nobody can join them at all), but they have a pretty nasty bonus of granting an extra Victory point for every squad they Sweeping Advance on top of giving friendly psykers within 6" an extra d6 that replaces the highest on their psychic tests when casting Diabolism, Anathemata and Harbinger of Chaos (the Ruinstorm psychic powers?) powers. Because of this they should be used as a bully unit that goes after smaller or weakened units so you can beat them in melee, sweep them and gain additional victory points.
    • The game has just released and we're already getting Exemplary battle units for conversions, so your PDF can be found here

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Diabolist: An ersatz Librarian who can upgrade a power weapon to a force weapon for free and gains the Diabolism discipline. This also provides the Corrupted subtype so you can accompany any other units you want. The real benefit of this consul option is how expensive it would be to apply the Dark Channelling upgrade to a basic Centurion just to to have someone to attach to your Corrupted squads. This Consul option covers that upgrade and provides even more on top for less than the cost of pretty much any other consul option. Considering how combat focused the powers are, it is worth remembering that he is still just 2 Wounds with a 5++ save, so maybe consider getting him Cataphractii Armour if you think you're facing heavy resistance (and want him to be a duellist), or put him in a unit with Chosen Warriors so he can't be challenge-sniped.
  • High Chaplain Erebus, The Dark Apostle, Emissary of the Warmaster, Child of the Primordial Truth: The engineer of Horus's fall is back with a vengeance this edition, though his rules are deceptively simple. Effectively a beefed up Chaplain, he gives his squad Hatred (Loyalists) and is Fearless. He has the Corrupted unit type, so he can join those squads as well. His weapon is S7 AP2 Unwieldy, not quite a Power Fist that can instakill T4 but, but remains a moderate threat against most things, and Erebus doesn't need to worry about challenges if he is the Warlord (see below)
    • His Warlord trait his hilarious. First, wounds can NEVER be allocated to him while he is attached to a squad, regardless of the special rules being used by the attacker. This rule can only be circumvented if Erebus is in a challenge, but amazingly Erebus can ignore challenges without penalty, and his side can fight as normal.
      • His Warlord trait also gives him an additional floating reaction in any one phase chosen at the start of the battle, so he can check out the enemy army in advance and decide what phase might suit him best. Giving him a level of tactical flexibility only exceeded by some Primarchs like Alpharius and Guilliman.
    • The next best thing about Erebus is his Harbinger of Chaos rule, which allows his army to take up to three non-compulsory Elites or HQ choices from the Daemons of the Ruinstorm list. He is a psyker with the Breach the Veil power, so he is able to summon those daemons to the table himself if the army doesn't include any Esoterists.
  • Kor Phaeron, First Captain of the Word Bearers, Master of Faith, Priest-king of Colchis: Lorgar's surrogate daddy is not an Astartes and has the statline to show for it. With only S3, T3, I3 and a 2+/5++ in the movement and assault phases, he is liable to get stomped in short order. He has Feel No Pain (5+) but it won't work against commonplace S6+ weapons that will cause him Instant Death. He is likely not the guy you want striding forth to take challenges. His Invulnerable save increases to 3++ in the shooting phase, which is essentially telling you to avoid getting him into scrapes he is unlikely to win. However, he is cheap... For 125 points you still get a Master of the Legion that lets you use a Rite of War and comes pre-loaded with equipment and rules that that you can't really find on a regular Praetor; and he does have a surprising number of tricks at his disposal so you might just want to take him anyway.
    • For his Warlord trait, he gains the choice between two options that he can use every turn:
    • If he is not the Warlord, he gains Hatred (Everything) but if he is also in the same unit as Lorgar, they both get Hatred and +1 WS. This is a really good bonus for Lorgar to have. Considering that any army with a Primarch needs a HQ choice anyway, Lorgar can definitely do a lot worse than bringing his dear old dad along with him.
    • If he is hurt but not killed, he has four wounds and It Will Not Die (5+), so has potential to stay on the board for quite some time. His 3++ save against shooting along with Feel No Pain will also help mitigate against snipers.
    • His weapons include the Patriarch's Claws, which are AP2 at his initiative of 3. They have Shred so even with his lower strength, he is able to wound T4 around 55% of the time. These weapons are paired too and add +1 attack on top of his profile. The Digi-Flamer is his ranged weapon, but is basically just a Flamer Pistol.
  • Argel Tal, The Crimson Lord, Commander of the Serrated Sun: The most reasonable Word Bearer is here and boy is he not pulling any punches. That first hit will be to your points, because he costs a whopping 240, almost as much as a squad of Gal Vorbak. For that you get a Praetor with Movement 8 and 5 Strength, Toughness and Wounds with Feel No Pain (5+) and Rage (2). Your daemonic rape-train comes equipped with 2 Daemonic Talons, effectively a power sword with Rending (5+) and Murderous Strike (5+). He gets an extra attack for having two of these so enjoy your 7 attacks on the charge. If chosen as your warlord he gets the following trait:
    • The Crimson Lord: Argel Tal and any Gal Vorbak unit he joins get a 5++ Invulnerable save and the Line sub type, making them in a truly fearsome unit. Be aware that Argel Tal unlike every other character in the game left his Iron Halo at home so if you want him to have an invulnerable save you better make him your warlord. Make sure you run him with Gal Vorbak and there shouldn't be much that they can't chew through, though this is slightly annoying because he also has:
    • The Umbral Pinions: That's right, he flies. Argel Tal can set his movement to 14" and ignore terrain just like a unit with a jump pack. He has no way of conferring this bonus to his unit, but as long as you stay in unit coherency, this can be used to reduce charge distances by placing him closer to the target squad. If you want have him move quickly up the board try attaching him to a Command Squad (He is a Master of the Legion so can take one) and giving them jump packs... losing all his buffs in process. While his 5W T5 makes him very difficult to kill with the usual S8 AP2 weapons that people bring to kill Praetors, he will die to other forms of ID like everyone else (S10, Murderous Strike, actual ID...) on top of having no Invulnerable save outside his Warlord trait.
  • Zardu Layak, The Crimson Apostle, The Thrice-Born, The Binder of Souls, The Voice of the Unspeaking (& the Anakatis Kul Blade Slaves): A very expensive 300 points gives you a unit with a unique Praetor with his own built in little squad of special Gal Vorbak. Starting off with Zardu himself, he has a Praetors stat-line with the exception of having a reduced WS of 5, and an extra wound and he also has a bucket load of special rules having Relentless, Fearless, Hatred(loyalists) as well as being a Psyker with his own unique discipline called Soul Binding, which is a bit meh on default squad but can be an absolute banger in Terminator Deathstar (more details about it above), and the Aetheric Lightning power. He's equipped with an Iron Halo to stop him from bursting when he Perils (which he will) as well as two unique items, the first is the Azurda Char'is which is a big weird staff/censer/cruel and unusual torture device that translates to the table top as a S-User Unwieldy AP2 Force weapon. The second is The Panoply of Flame, which adds +1 to the result of assaults and sweeping advance rolls to all Word Bearers with 12" of Zardu.
    • Zardus unique Warlord trait The Eater of Wisdom gives up to three Corrupted units +1 Strength and Movement at the beginning of the game, but each unit must take a leadership test at the end of each of the controlling players turn, suffering Perils of the Warp if failed. An additional reaction can also be made during the assault phase. This warlord trait has the potential to really ramp up the killing power of Gal Vorbak, Mhara Gal Dreadnought and Diabolists, with a few "buts". The problem is you can only take Invulnerable saves against Perils, and Gal Vorbak don't get those without Argel Tal, while Mhara Gal's Tainted Claw has a fixed Strength of 9, leaving counter-intuitive squads like Breachers or Deep Striking Assault Marines the safest picks.
    • His two backup dancers, the Blade Slaves are much better bonuses than his unique disciple as they are a pair of Gal Vorbak, with all the same rules but with lower movement and leadership, and gaining S6 in return. They are armed with Plasma Pistols and Anakatis Blades which are Power Swords that lose Rending, and instead gain Murderous Strike(5+) and Brutal(2), for molly whopping power armour and putting the fear of the Chaos Gods into Automata.
    • Note that he isn't required to stay with his Slaves, being an Independent Character, so nothing prevents you from putting him behind a Spartan with a Deathstar inside, embarking on turn 1 and riding off into the sunset.
  • Lorgar, Master of the Word Bearers, Aurelian, The Golden, The Voice of Truth: Individually, the Primarch of the Word Bearers is still the weakest of all the Primarchs this edition, but he gained a whole lot of new tools and tricks to make himself and his army more useful this time around.
    • He has sixes in pretty much every stat, and with two close combat weapons also has six attacks. His only real weakness here is his low Weapon Skill compared to his brothers. Despite this, "Illuminarium" is a respectable S+2 AP2 Armourbane, Brutal (2), Master-Crafted, so he remains a threat to practically everything. His other weapon, "Devotion", a S8 AP2 Graviton, Haywire, Concussive (2) pistol, so it reliably pops wounds and hull points off of anything he points it at, while potentially reducing the weapon skill of any non-Primarch target he later fights by a massive two points.
    • His best tricks are in his special rules though; his Power of the Word gives his Retinue Command Squad the Fearless and Feel No Pain (4+) rules, while Fearless is kind of redundant while he's attached to the unit (and a leader cannot normally leave his retinue) and it doesn't seem to apply to himself, so he won't get Feel No Pain on his own wounds, but it presumably still applies even if Lorgar is taken out of the game, so his Retinue keep on trucking and won't just fold over. Lorgar can also confer those rules onto a single friendly unit within 18" for one Game turn
    • His "Sire of the Word Bearers" Warlord trait gives +1 to charge distances for all Word Bearers who can draw line if sight to him, as well as letting them use Leadership of 10 for all Ld/Morale/Pinning tests.
    • Lorgar remains a psyker, with access to the Thaumaturgy and Divination disciplines, but this only gives him a small handful of powers which are nowhere near as broken as last edition. Thaumaturgy allows him to heal multi-wound units like his retinue without risking Perils by using the Thaumaturgic Succour power, while Divination grants the Divinatory Aegis power which grants a unit Precision Shots. He also gets a range of shooting psychic powers, but frankly his pistol is better and safer, unless you are wanting more shots or to use the flame template against targets with 3+ armour or worse.
    • Lorgar also snuck It Will Not Die (4+) into his set of special rules, meaning that he will regain a wound virtually every other turn.
    • There is an interesting interaction with Kor Phaeron's Jealous Command rule that grants Lorgar and his foster father +1 WS and Hatred (Everything) while they are part of the same unit. This makes Lorgar and his retinue even better on the charge, while potentially also increasing Lorgar's performance against other Primarchs since he is no longer hitting them on 5+.
      • Lorgar Transfigured: What was once one of the most feared psykers in the game short of Magnus is still... viable? Lorgar now gains access to Anathemata, for the Breach the Veil and Void Dart powers, and Diabolism for the Dark and Terrible Power and Hellfire powers, but because of the changes to how psychic powers work, he is no more or less able to cast them this edition compared to before. The changes in disciplines make him individually more dangerous by buffing himself, rather than giving small bonuses to his army. This is on top of becoming Corrupted. What's most interesting about Lorgar Transfigured is that he allows the army to fill its non-compulsory FOC slots with units from the Ruinstorm Daemons list. Just bear in mind that all models of the Daemon unit type suffer from deteriorating Characteristics this game, so if you do bring them, you will want to get them on the table early, meaning that you will absolutely be requiring that Breach the Veil power he gets, and probably more Esoterists to keep summoning units out of reserve.

Alpha Legion[edit]

Ultramarine legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Ghost Legion are the masters of head-games and forcing your opponent to make tough decisions. Or not, as they can often strip those decisions from them. No other legion will let you mess with your opponent quite like the XXth. They may not have the same raw force of other legions, but they can position like no other and come with some scary tricks that will keep your opponent guessing about where and when your heaviest hitters will strike.

The Alpha Legion are good at slipping away from the enemy just when you think you have them pinned down. They also force their opponents into their pace, which can be a dangerous game to play as they have deadly tools at their disposal.

While tricky and possessing a metric tonne of abilities to mess with an opponent, the Alpha Legion also lacks some of the potent nature of other Legions. Equivalent units don't tend to add up, and when you run out of tricks...

Legion Rules

  • Legion Trait - Lies and Obfuscation: Alpha Legion models count as being 2" further away for purposes of Shooting Attacks, Charges, or Reactions.
    • Stacks with everything, including Night Fighting, and Shroud Bombs to make your Recon squads and Saboteurs 8" further away than they actually appear.
  • The Rewards of Treachery: As with last edition, you have the ability to steal a special unit from another legion, though you don't need to wait for a Rite of War to do it this time around. When choosing your army, choose one other variant of the Legiones Astartes (X) rule and you can add any unit to your army that is normally only available to them. You must switch its original Legiones Astartes (X) trait to the Alpha Legion special rule.
    • While the freedom to do this is awesome, bear in mind that a lot of the special rules of some units are tied into their version of the Legiones Astartes rule, which don't get changed. For example, you could take a squad of Invictarus Suzerains, Firedrakes, or Justaerin, but you wouldn't be able to take them as a Retinue squad because you don't have the Legiones Astartes trait that the unit calls for. Similarly, taking Thousand Sons units means you don't get Minor Arcana, and taking a Castellax-Achea Automata will always be subject to its Programmed Behaviour provisions, because its rules explicitly require a unit with Legiones Astartes (Thousand Sons) to be within range. Likewise, options that are tied to Legion rules (as opposed to being in the unit entry itself) are lost due to the unit getting Legiones Astartes (Alpha Legion), so look out for any of those. As for slapping Banestrike on any bolters, though...
  • Advanced Reaction - "Smoke and Mirrors": Once per battle, when targeted by a shooting attack in the shooting phase, you may redeploy a targeted unit anywhere within 12", then scatter d6". If this removes them as a possible target, the shooting attack is wasted.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. The Mobius Configuration (Loyalist Only): Choose another Legion. Allied Detachments of that Legion count as Fellow Warriors regardless of what they would normally be. Allied detachments do not count as casualties for purposes of Victory Points, and if all allies in that detachment are removed, you score an additional VP. Allied Detachments can't make reactions, but the first unit in the primary detachment to make a Reaction does not use up a Reaction allotment. Complex, but potentially very powerful.
  2. Master of Lies: At the start of battle, after everyone has deployed and used Infiltrator and Scout moves and done Seize the Initiative, you may redeploy up to three units, including placing them into reserves so long as those reserves are not Deep Strike, Subterranean Assault, or Flanking Assault. You also get an additional Reaction during the Movement phase.
  3. Hydran Excursor: Select one Legion. Your Warlord and any unit he has joined gets +1 to Hit rolls against that Legion. You get an additional reaction in the Shooting phase. One of very few ways to straight up get improved to hit in melee, meaning your Praetor hits everyone below WS6 at 2+.

Unique Wargear

  • Power Dagger: S3 AP3 with Sudden Strike (1) and Breaching (5+) for 5 points on any character. Bit of a mixed bag since S3 means you're wounding on 5+ most of the time, but breaching means that it's almost certainly going to be at AP2 when it does.
    • What is also notable is that it doesn't swap any weapon. Characters can just take one. So in a lot of cases that could be five points spent to gain an extra attack with a different weapon, especially on Terminators like Lernaean Hydras. This also gives you a great advantage in 1W Artificer Sergeant duels, as you can just shank the other guy with Breaching (5+) at heightened initiative rather than waiting to use an AP2 Unwieldy weapon.
  • Banestrike Bolter: Now we're talking. S5 bolter with Breaching (6+). Simple and effective. Also comes in Combi- form for Twin-Linked
  • Venom Spheres: An 8" Assault 6, Poison (3+), One Shot weapon for +10 points. Not a grenade, so you'll have to sacrifice your shooting. Somewhat niche due to the range, but will likely soften living targets.

Unique Rites of War

Coils of the Hydra
This is the RoW you take if you want to exploit Rewards of Treachery to its fullest extent. Sadly not the enemy nerfing Rite it used to be, instead allowing you to steal additional units and focusing mostly on them. A risky RoW to take for various reasons.

  • Benefits:
    • You can take up to 3 units as per the Rewards of Treachery rule. RAW and FAQ confirm that these three units must be from the same Legion, as you choose one Legiones Astartes (X) rule first, then the additional unit(s) come from there.
      • Units taken using the Rewards of Treachery rule all gain Fearless until another friendly unit has been deployed.
    • All units not part of these three units gain +1 To Hit during the turn they are deployed.
  • Limitations:
    • All three of the units taken by Rewards of Treachery must start on the battlefield.
    • You must have at least as many units taken without Rewards of Treachery as taken with. These units must start in Reserves or other deployment methods starting off the battlefield.

Headhunter Leviathal
An assassination force, plain and simple. This is the RoW you take when you want to eliminate the warlord and characters.

  • Benefits:
    • You may take Headhunter Kill Teams as Troops or Fast Attack.
    • Slay the Warlord is worth an additional +2 Victory Points.
    • During the first game turn, Alpha Legion infantry gains Shrouded (5+) when at least 12" away from any enemy unit.
  • Limitations:
    • Vehicles in this Detachment must start in Reserves.
    • This Detachment must have more Fast Attack choices than Heavy Support choices.

Unique Units

  • Lernaean Terminator Squad: A Cataphractii Terminator squad for 45 points a pop equipped with Volkite chargers, power axes and a venom sphere on the Harrower. Compared to standard Cataphractii, they upgrade Inexorable to Stubborn (which applies to Fear). They also get It Will Not Die (5+) and Hydran Exemplars, which allows them to claim +1 to hit against one other Legion. They also gain an additional point of Leadership and the squad leader has three wounds. Finally, they are "Line" units so are able to claim objectives, making them one of the only choices in the game for Line outside of Troops and Legion Standards.
    • Innate Line makes Lernaeans particularly interesting in Pride of the Legion lists; one of the key caveats of the Rite is that only the 2 Legion Veteran/Terminator squads taken as Compulsory Troops get Line, but it says nothing about squads that already had Line. As you can take Lerneaeans as Troops due to being in Cataphractii Armour, you can genuinely skip MEQ squads and spam Terminators like in 1.0.
    • While Hydran Exemplars only applies to units where all models have the special rule before the game, nothing stops your ICs from joining at turn 1 and then getting the squadwide bonus. This means you can add your Hydran Excursor Warlord and hit on 2+ against everyone who doesn't have higher WS, or use this bonus and take another Warlord trait while still getting +1 to hit.
  • Headhunter Kill Team: Fast Attack squads that start with a Banestrike Combi-Bolter, Power Dagger, Bolt Pistol, Venom Sphere on the Prime, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Relentless, Precision shots (4+), Preferred Enemy (Independent Character), Infiltrate and Scout for 125 points. These guys are a threat to characters of all varieties and will force your opponent to deal with them.
    • They also have the "Skirmish" subtype, so their squad coherency can be up to 3", allowing you to spread them out to avoid templates. They also gain a bonus of +1 to cover saves.
    • They compete in the same slot as Seeker squads who cost less and have Scorpius Rounds which are better than Banestrike Rounds. But if you wanted, Headhunters can get Minor Combi-Weapons for free, where it costs Seekers five points per model, meaning that Seekers could become more expensive with the same gear. Seekers also only gain their "Marked for Death" bonus against a single unit, while Headhunters have Preferred Enemy which provides more general bonus. One Headhunter may also take a Heavy Bolter or Multi-Melta, which when coupled with Relentless means they can reasonably threaten any target while remaining mobile.

Unique Characters

  • Unique Consul - Saboteur: For +15 points, gains Infiltrate, Scout, and False Colours. False Colours means that the Saboteur cannot be targeted by Shooting Attacks until it has made a Shooting Attack or successfully Charged against an enemy. This includes during Reactions. Be careful as this has no effect against being charged itself. Gains Melta Bombs, Breacher Charges, and Shroud Bombs for no additional cost, and can take a Nemesis Bolter for +5 points. Can't join any units aside from Seeker Squads or Headhunter Kill Teams or take a combat bike, jetbike, or jump pack. A dangerous package, but doesn't do much aside from offering good ways to murder specific targets.
  • Exodus, The Assassin, The One who is Many: The sniper of the Alpha Legion is out to prove why he is also called The Assassin. Sitting at BS 6 with Relentless, Pathfinder, Move Through Cover, Shrouded (5+), and a Refractor Field, he's a hard one to pin down. That's not why you take him, though. No, you take him for his ability to make it so your opponent has to choose how many of his characters they want to lose. He can only join Reconnaissance Squads or Headhunter Kill Teams, but if you don't, he can instead deploy into any Area Terrain so long as that is outside of 9" of an enemy unit. Assassin's eye means that he never suffers BS penalties from...well, anything, including Snap Shots, and ignores Shrouded. His unique rifle, The Instrument, has two profiles: Rapid Fire and Execution Shot. Rapid Fire is a 24", S7, AP2 Assault 3 attack with Sunder and Pinning. Execution Shot is a 72" S7 AP1 Heavy 1 shot with Sniper, Sunder, Pinning, and Deadly Aim, which means if he does not move, he adds Brutal (2). Exodus is not a subtle tool, but his threat is one your opponent can't just ignore.
    • Do note that Exodus is not a Unique character, so you can take multiple of him. On one had, this may be a typo so watch for an FAQ...on the other it does fit his fluff.
  • Armillus Dynat, Harrowmaster of the Alpha Legion, Griefbringer, Instar-nine: The Harrowmaster has a unique combat style and allows for some shenanigans. First, he comes with two weapons, the Prince and the Prophet. The Prince is a simple power sword, but the Prophet is a S9 AP 2 Unwieldy weapon that gains a free attack when you hit with the Prince at Initiative step 1. Note that you don't need to wound. He also comes with Precision Strikes (4+), so you can allocate wounds to a unit if you get lucky. This makes him a suboptimal challenger, but a dangerous melee assassin. His warlord trait grants three units Infiltrate, Scout, and Counterattack (1) as well as an additional reaction in the Movement phase. A solid Warlord for pretty much every list.
  • Autilon Skorr, Consul-Delegatus of the Alpha LegionLegacies: Colour me surprised, but I don’t think he’s terrible! 125 points nets you a WS5 BS5 I5, A3, 2W and MotL with a 2+/5++, bolt pistol, grenades and “Rime-Shard,” a unique power axe. Once per game, at the start of your turn you can make a check against LD10, if successful any unit that is pinned or falling back and can draw LoS to Skorr immediately rally, are no longer pinned or falling back, and as such may act normally. His warlord trait gives him a 6+++ on turn one, a 5+++ on turn two and a 4+++ on turn three and later. Additionally you may select one phase at the start of the battle, during any of your opponents turns any unit Skorr is in may make a reaction in that phase without using up a reaction point.
    • Skorr’s ability to rally potentially every unit in your army seems quite strong, especially if your opponent arranges his forces with the assumption that your units will be pinned or falling back.
    • Skorr is also the only Alpha Legion character to have a loyalty keyword, and he’s a traitor.
  • Alpharius, Primarch of the Alpha Legion, the Aleph Null, the Hydra, the Threefold Serpent, The Final Configuration: Alpharius is no longer the psychotic force multiplier he used to be, but he's still got a lot of nasty tricks. For 465 points, you gain a quick Primarch that grants himself and 3 other units Infiltrate, Scout or Deep Strike. He also grants Fleet (2), Preferred Enemy (Everything) and Sudden Strike (1) each once a game to all non-Vehicle units. Combined, these rules will keep your opponent guessing how you will deploy and what rule you will be giving to your forces. Alpharius himself comes with the Pythian scales, for a 2+/4++ save and immunity to Poison and Fleshbane rules, the Pale Spear, for an AP 1, Armourbane, Instant Death weapon, and the Hydra's Spite, for a nice 18" S8 AP3 Assault 2 Rending (4+) Master-crafted gun. Taken as a warlord, he allows a post-Scout move redeploy for three units to either reserves or anywhere in your deployment zone as well as granting an additional Reaction in a phase chosen at the start of the turn. One critically important detail is that he lacks the Loyalist or Traitor keywords, meaning he can be either. Did you really expect anything different?
    • The ability to change his floating reaction every turn is great, as it allows him to be dynamic in ways no other Primarch can. Guilliman has to choose where his additional Reaction sits at the start of the game, while Fulgrim only gets his first one for free (so if he reacts at all in the movement phase, he still only gets one reaction in the Assault phase), this means that you can look at the table in advance each turn, see where you are likely to get shot, or assaulted, or where you need to move position, and get the full benefit from it.


Agents of the Emperor[edit]

Characters who are HQs who don't belong to any army. There is also mention of Agents of the Warmaster but there aren't any rules for them as Daemons are yet to be released for 2.0. Legacies mentions that further Knights Errant and Black Shields will be their own factions in a future book down the line. The vague wording of the developer's note makes it read like they'll be either be their own Legion or full faction like Talons of the Emperor and Mechanicum. The Officio Assassinorum models are getting rules in the Liber Imperium, which makes sense as they were created before the Great Crusade; they're even introducing Clade Venenum and Vanus models for the first time.

Knights Errant[edit]

You'd think Garviel Loken would finally get his Knight Errant profile but GW obviously doesn't read their own fluff, anyway...

Along with the typical armament of a Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak grenades, Knights Errant have a Paragon Bolter, which is an Assault 2 Bolter with S5, AP4 and Shred, making them MEQ killers comparable to Volkite Chargers. They also comes with the Emperor Protects special rule, allowing them to roll a D6 the first time they lost their last wound. On a 4+ they are still alive with a single wound instead of be removed from play. Obviously they can only be taken in a Loyalist army because Malcador is their boss. Moreover, these boys no longer confer Preferred Enemy (Traitors), so no more using them to build melee deathstars.

One thing to note is that they don't have any version of the Legiones Astartes (X) special rule, which in some cases can screw up the Legion traits of some other legions that they join.

  • Nathaniel Garro, Former Battle-Captain of the Death Guard 7th Battle Company, The Agentia Primus, Hand of the Sigillite(Legacies): One of the few Space Marines whose first name isn't made up nonsense or pulled out of a Dark Ages history book, the one who brought news of Horus' rebellion to Rogal Dorn. Garro is an IC with Battle-Hardened (1), Loyalist and four attacks like a Praetor. Beyond the standard KE armament and IC rules, Garro has his personal Power Sword, Libertas, that has Two-Handed and the Edge of Truth special rule, which gives him Reach (1) and Brutal (2) during Challenges. The Aquila Imperator grants him 2+ Armour Save and a 4++ Invulnerable save, which increases to 3++ during Challenges.
  • Tylos Rubio, Former Codicier of the Ultramarines(Legacies): Aside from the Knights Errant armament and rules, Tylos's personal Force Sword, Polaris, is S4 AP3, with Rending (6+), Master-Crafted, and Divine Guidance, which allows him to make a Psychic Check before making any attacks. Though the game will take too long if you roll for all three during all phases of a turn. If successful it buffs his sword with S+2 and Reaping Blow (3) for the duration of the phase. If failed, Tylos suffers a Perils of the Warp roll that must be resolved. He can make his melee attacks with Polaris's standard profile if he survives. The Aegis Argentum is a Power Armour with 2+ Armour and a 4++ Invulnerable save. Finally, his Special Rule Echoes of Fate allow him to use any Psychic Powers and Psychic Weapons from either the Divination or Telepathy Disciplines.
    • Between the two and the fact there are no Knights Errant HQ to customize yet. Tylos looks to be a better choice than Garro due to his larger amount of options that comes with being a Psyker with both Divination and Telepathy. Something that Librarians can't do.


The Mechanicum is a very interesting force to ally in with, from the variety in their magi and automata, toting weapons like Irad Cleansers.

Attached Units[edit]

This is more a rundown of the various units that can be attached to your army via things like the Brethren of Iron Rite.

  • Castellax Battle Automata: The big beefer of your lot, complete with a decent array of weapons to customize its particular role between melee, dakka, or anywhere in between. Even when taken stock, it's got a decent loadout as it's got bolters and AP3 shock chargers to take out enemy marines.
  • Vorax Battle Automata: Nimble lightweights, though you won't be enjoying that if you take one with your Praevian. Fortunately, you still have their rotor cannons to pin down enemies so you can then sic your dedicated melee forces to them. They also have their own lightning guns to help handle a decent range of threats, but you can instead grab an irad-cleanser if you're looking for mob management.
  • Thallax Battle Automata: Only available to a Forge Lord, but you've got a decent set of guns. Though unable to sweep, they come with an improved lightning gun that can shoot either rapid-fire or high-power and Djinn-Sight allows them to ignore a lot of cover. Each of them can attach chain bayonets to give them some advantage in melee, but you also purchase some more powerful guns if you're looking for something more specialized.
  • Thanatar Siege Automata: Though the Brethren of Iron Rite only lets you take one of these bastards, he is a massive asset to consider. Depending on what you get, you're either buying a massive plasma bombardment engine that can punch some things or a heavy-duty lascannon to destroy tanks and a graviton ram that can either flatten mobs or crush single enemies.

Building your army[edit]

List Building Considerations[edit]

Most armies that you build will want to be "Taking All Comers" lists, meaning that your list is reasonably able to counter most things that an enemy will be expected to bring, and will be flexible enough to counter highly focused lists as well. That being said, Horus Heresy has traditionally been a more narratively focused game and win at all costs (WAAC) lists are generally looked on less fondly than in other GW games. Sure you can bring your army with maxed out units of Invictarus Suzerains and Fulmentarus Terminators, or an absolutely tuned list that's just Contemptors in the all-dreadnought RoW, but don't be surprised if doing so makes you That Guy.

What follows is a list of general considerations to make sure your taking all comers army accomplishes:

  • Do you have a way to take Objectives?
    • This means units with Line to take and hold or deny objectives.
    • Consider ways to improve the durability of your objective holders, especially if they aren't normal tactical squads.
  • Do you have anti-tank, especially high AV vehicles?
    • Nothing is going to put a damper on your game faster than if the opponent's Glaive is driving around the board vaporizing your squads and you have no way to pen it.
  • Do you have a way to deal with hordes?
    • Similarly, its a real bummer to have your super-elite infantry who need to be accomplishing their objectives tied up all game by a giant swarm of militia that they just don't have enough attacks to cut through.
  • Do you have a way to deal with units with strong invulnerable saves?
  • What is your win condition, and do you have a way to support it?
  • What is your backup plan if your win condition is immobilized/tarpitted/destroyed?

40k models usable in 30k[edit]

Many 40k kits work as 30k units with a little conversion effort. Don't be an ass and use 40k models as a majority in your army, especially if they are unconverted. Remember, this is a Warhammer themed historical game. You wouldn't use unconverted WW2 models for a WW1 army, would you?

  • Plastic Heresy models
  • Mk3, 4, 5 and 6 bits from various SM Box sets (MK7 only works if playing a loyalist legion during Siege of Terra)
  • Demons
  • Guardsmen (though Cadians have M36 lasguns, they are depicted with them in official artwork of Siege of Terra book series)
  • Rhino based tanks, e.g. (Chaos) Rhino itself, Predator, Damocles, ...
  • Land Raider, Chaos Land Raider (costs the same but includes spiky bit frame and should include 30k equipment like a heavy flamer)
  • Bikers and Chaos Bikers, you need to replace or convert the bikers though
  • Land Speeder, you'll need to convert or replace the crew though
  • Drop Pod
  • Boxnoughts
  • Anvilus backpacks
  • Terminators (Indomitus), Terminator Chaplain / Librarian with proper shoulder pads (no Crux Terminatus, but heraldic cruxes were not unknown. just change its form a little bit)
  • Space Marine Company Command bits (like banner, Apothecary, combat shield, and the leader...)
  • Masters of the Chapter (the MK3 and 6 guys and close combat weapons)
  • Old Marneus Calgar (reduce/remove the arm&bolter craziness)
  • Cypher - old tin model 1:1 and new plastic model after changing the backpack. The old tin backpacks were available as a kit once.
  • Dark Angels Interrorgator-Chaplain
  • Fabius Bile (old model), remove arms and backpack
  • Iron Warriors Warsmith
  • Night Lords Hero
  • Dark Angels Terminators/Knights
  • Space Marine Scouts
  • Plague Marines, if playing Siege of Terra
  • Chaos Space Marines. While Chaos Space Marines wear an unholy mix of mk VI and VII, thanks to an idiot who sculpted Word Bearer Praetor it's now a Heresy accurate armour mark, and with some work can be used for late Heresy Word Bearers and Sons of Horus.

Don't use[edit]

  • Aquilas (like on banners, chests and every inch of every vehicle) if you're a Traitor (unless you play Emperor's Children, then you should plaster it onto every surface you can fit it on because they have never been known for moderation).
  • Purity seals (yes, you can use them as oath of moment but some models get too crazy and have 10 or so on one leg...) (unless you play WB)
  • Storm Bolters
  • MK7 armour or later (MK7 power armour was made available during the final stages of the HH, so Siege of Terra MK7 armour would make sense)
  • Primaris Marines. For the love of god just don't. Why? Well see that thing above about using unconverted WW2 models for a WW1 army? Well this is using WW2 models for a Napoleonic army.
  • Stormcast bits, with very few exceptions. You can't really use melee weapons like the swords as power weapons since they lack power elements, and the body parts are just too big compare to the rest of your army. Using actual Stormcasts is just stupid and we shouldn't need to say why.

Army Tactics[edit]


Warhammer 30,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics