Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Space Marine Legion List (30k)

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There is only war in the grim darkness of Warhammer...30,000?

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

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

The latest FAQ can be found here (February 2019)

Why Play A Space Marine Legion[edit]

Start at the bottom, and work until you're 75% of the way up.

Do you want to go back to the glory days when the Emperor wasn't bound to the Golden Throne? When even the smallest legion was the size of eighty or more chapters? When men were real men, women were real women, and eight-foot warrior monks were real eight-foot warrior monks atheists? Do you want to collect re-built, revamped Rogue Trader models? Do you think the 6th edition Chaos Space Marine codex sucks ass and want to bring back the old glory days of 3rd edition Legion Rules? Do you want Martian Death Rays for your marines and transports that make the Land Raider and Thunderhawk look a little small? Do you want these armies to be lead by a force no less than the Primarchs themselves? (and maybe, just maybe, if the designer's creative lobes get coked up enough, the Emperor Himself, in the far distant future...)

Well Forge World has heard your pleas, and has finally delivered thanks to their new Horus Heresy line. Now you can refight the greatest event in the history of the Imperium and wield the might of the Legions of old (at great expense).

A Space Marine Legion force works in a very different way from the chapters which superseded them:

  • All the normal units you can take as compulsory troops in a Legion List have minimum unit sizes of 10, so MSU spam is impossible with this list. With the Heresy, you go big or go home.
  • Units are pretty expensive initially, but adding more guys is much cheaper than it would be normally. So if the first 10 guys cost you 150 points the next 10 are only 10 points apiece. Thus you have an incentive to field big units. Additionally, upgrades like melta bombs and jump packs are sometimes bought for a set price for the squad, not per model, so bigger squads effectively get the extra ones for free. If you go for units of 20, you will have a substantial numerical advantage on the field, but also be less tactically flexible, vulnerable to movement and unit arrangement mistakes, unable to get inside most transport vehicles and potentially vulnerable to getting swept up by Angron or other Primarchs.
  • We don't have Chapter Legion rules in our Dreadnoughts.
  • The Legion forces do not have "And They Shall Know No Fear", so your marines won't auto-rally once broken. This can lose you a game if you forget about it; these Marines will fall back and keep falling back. This is particularly true in assault, where they will get wiped.
    • 30k armies focus more on legion specific rules. The "Legiones Astartes" rule by itself is rather scarce, allowing you to regroup regardless of casualties, but it compensates by having the equivalent of Chapter Tactics on steroids. Differences between legion tactics are very noticeable, and get further supplemented by legion-specific Rites of War and units, so you have to take your enemy's modus operandi into account in your strategy. It's not entirely about making up for the lack of ATSKNF, but about opening interesting new strategies and ways of using space marines.
  • Our Decurion equivalents are Rites of War and the alternate FOCs.
  • Heresy Armies can have tanks, lots and lots of tanks. Land Raiders, Predators and artillery tanks come in squadrons of three. Dreadnought talons are 1-3 dreads or Contemptors that deploy together but then wander off separately and aren't a unit. The Spartan Assault Tank is a nasty heavy support choice, and just above that you get into the Lords of war, and things get really silly and titan-shaped. The 7E SM have caught up on the vehicle squadron bit, but you can still one-up them with access to rites enabling you to bring Land Raider DTs for all your dudes, or using Predators as goddammed troops. Furthermore, most of these tanks can have Armoured Ceramite, so melta weapons won't work against them, leaving Fire Dragons and Melta vets crying.

The Legions are less flexible than their Chapter descendants (obviously), but they can soak up more damage than a Chapter and have the numbers to take a beating and still come on top, supported with with all their advanced pre-heresy tech like Volkite weaponry, Flare-shielded Spartans and other esoteric systems allowing them to triumph against any foe, pre-or post-Heresy. Plus ripping apart space pansies, retcrons and Tau with Angron. Seriously, Angron vs Tau in close combat is the ultimate(epitome) in Rape.

However, compared to other armies they'll have more squads, albeit smaller, so they'll be able to attack you from many different angles and go after objectives at the same time, while you're unable to kill them all and get outmaneuvered (like 40k marines vs IG everyone else, but worse). Furthermore, the good stuff is expensive, so this army only really begins to shine after the 2000pts mark, and even then you'll have to make use of all the tricks you get, such as Rites of Wars and the like.

Tl;dr - you'll have to buy LOTS of stuff.

This means, unless you have a few thousand to drop on the army, there's little chance you'll play it outside of a proxy, but odds are you already have lots of marine models lying around, so get creative with the green stuff! Remember to also shave off the Aquilas, if you're fielding a Traitor army!. More recently, GW has made plastic versions of Heresy-era Marines, Terminators, and Contemptor Dreadnoughts, which helps to cut down the price a bit more.

But screw all that, the Legion list is Awesome.

The Age of Darkness[edit]

Organization and Using an Army in the Age of Darkness[edit]

Now that 40K has moved on to 8th edition with all the sweeping rule changes that accompany it, Forgeworld has released its own Age of Darkness ruleset. The core rules are almost identical to 7th ed 40K, but with a few changes here or there, especially concerning the Force Organisation system.

  • Armies are composed using one of a small range of Force Org Charts, which are found in the AoD main rule book as well as various HH books. Note that none of these charts have ever appeared in regular 30K save for the basic "Crusade" FOC. In addition, formations and multiple detachments that formed the bread and butter of 7th edition are absent - although most armies have access to something similar, in the case of Legiones Astartes that would be Rites of War. In a sense, 30k is really a throwback to 5th or 6th edition in its army structures.
  • Differing from later pre-8th 40K, only Troops and things with specific rules (like Implacable Advance) are Scoring units. So remember to stock up on tough and/or agile Troops and the ilk to take and hold objectives, and prepare to kill 'em all to claim any objective bogged down in enemies.
  • The LoW slot is quite different from anything 40K, with several alternate choices beyond the standard superheavies. However, Lords of War may only be taken in games of at least 2000 points and any individual LoW choice may never cost more than 25% of the army's total points cost (e.g. in a 2000 point game, you can spend no more than 500 points on your LoW). These choices are as follows:
    • The Primarch of the Legion which forms the Primary Detachment
    • One Super-heavy Vehicle/Gargantuan Creature with 9 or more HP/Wounds
    • 1-2 Super-heavy Vehicles/Gargantuan Creatures with less than 8 HP/Wounds each, deployed as a single unit but treated as individual units afterwards
    • 1-3 Flyers with 3 or less HP each, treated as a single unit for deployment but splitting up after that
    • A Fortification that costs more than 500 points, has a Strength D weapon, or both. Note that this is the only way to use Fortifications with Strength D weapons.
  • Psykers face restrictions on Daemonology: only units with the Daemon type or someone with explicit acess to it (i.e. Word Bearers) can cast the Malefic set of powers.
  • Optional Destroyer rules can be found in HH Book 1: The Betrayal. Why weaken D weapons? Because there can be so many Superheavies that the game would be over in 2 turns. Destroyer weapons count as S10 with Instant Death, Ignores cover and rerolls invulnerable saves and penetration rolls, removing D3+1 wounds/hull points when unsaved. Overall increases the mean damage of D weapons (eg. the usual version might not kill Thanatars in one hit). Yes, this way they won't one-hit kill a superheavy, but also that marine won't survive simply because he hid from a Titan behind a rock.
  • Choose your Allegiance: All armies (in fights set in the Heresy) must choose one of the two sides - Loyalist OR Traitor - tearing apart the Galaxy. Some units, rules and, most notably, characters are available only to one side (marked by the Aquila/Eye symbol) and you cannot mix them (eg: Loken cannot be with Abaddon)...unless you tell your opponent it's before Istvaan III, as in Early Crusade. Just don't try this playing against other Legion. To betray, or not to betray, that is the question.
    • In games where both players are using an army with the same Allegiance, one of them will be treated as if they were fighting for the other allegiance for the purposes of that game (albeit without the normal restrictions that would otherwise apply). Similarly, neutral forces like Blackshields also need to choose an Allegiance for rules purposes.

Force Organization Charts for the Age of Darkness (30k)[edit]

Crusade Force Organization Chart

The well known vanilla FOC. Pretty balanced and allows the use of Rites of War, so you'll be using this one most of the time. It's also the one that can be used in all missions regardless of your opponent's consent.

  • Compulsory: 1 HQ, 2 Troops
    • Optional: +2 HQ, +4 Troops, +4 Elites, +3 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support, +1 Fortification, +1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
  • Compulsory: 1 HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support

Optional Force Organization Charts

There are several optional Force Org charts that you can use an alternative to the regular one.

Most of these are meant for fun rather than competitiveness. Also, they're meant to play amongst the other 30k FOCs, this still isn't 40k: an extra Superheavy seldom compensates for 40k's ATSKNF, Troop-wide Obsec and formations.

Onslaught Force Organization Chart


The big guns. This FOC follows the creed that you don't need flexibility when you have surplus firepower. However, you still need to score so keep your reduced number of troops well protected.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops, 1 Heavy Support
    • Optional: +1HQ, +3 Troops, +4 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support, +2 Lords of War
  • Can't take Fortification or Allies
  • Rolling Thunder: You always go second, unless you can seize the initiative. But you don't really care, you've brought your steam rollers to this fight.

Castellan Force Organization Chart

Dare enter my Astartes Fortress? Now you legionnaires can pretend to be the IG. Luckily 30k's Forts are pretty mean things, like the I can't believe it's not a Titan!® Primus Redoubt, and having so much AP3 weapons around means sometimes you want a little roof over your marines' heads. The Imperial Fists would love this detachment. Iron Warriors would love TO DESTROY this detachment. Unless it's the Iron Cage all over again.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 3 Troops, 1 Fortification
    • Optional: +1HQ, +3 Troops, +2 Elites, +1 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support, +3 Fortification, +1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
    • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support

Leviathan Force Organization Chart

This FOC is meant to answer the "I think my Titan can kill your whole army" bet. For obvious reasons, the 25% points limit on Lords of War is lifted for this FOC.

  • Compulsory: 1 Leviathan Lord of War (Described later)
    • Optional: +2 Lords of War
  • Allied Detachment (Optional)
    • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support.
  • Can't take Fortifications
  • The Leviathan Lord of War: What it says on the tin. He is now your Warlord, is scoring and gains the following Warlord Trait.
  • Legendary Destroyer: The Warlord may fire Overwatch with weapons that AREN'T Primary Weapon or Blast. May Overwatch at different targets, but a single weapon may only Overwatch once per turn. Gains Monster Hunter, Tank Hunter and makes enemies take Fear tests on 3D6 and pick the two lowest.

Mission Specific Force Organization Charts

As a further addition to the optional Force Org charts, there are other charts which are specifically for particular missions in the Age of Darkness, such a Strategic Raids or Cityfight.

These aren't necessarily restricted to Legiones Astartes armies and can be used by any force in the Age of Darkness, but the same can be said of the "optional" ones listed above. However, these ones only have the restriction on Rites of War where it is specifically mentioned and require you to be playing certain missions. Of course in those missions the regular FOC may be used as well.

Strategic Raid: Raider Detachment

Favouring a fast, hard-hitting play-style using expensive units, can only be taken in missions where one player is designated as an attacker.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 2 Elites
    • Optional: +2HQ, +4 Troops, +4 Elites, +4 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support
  • Fast Moving, Hard Hitting: If a Lord of War is taken, it can only by either a Super-heavy (Fast) vehicle, or a Super-heavy vehicle/walker with six or less hull points, or a Super-heavy flyer. That means you can't take a Primarch..
    • ALSO This rule makes your Elite units into scoring units, at a cost of making your Troops units into denial units only.
  • The Element of Surprise: You can select one option before the game begins:
    • Cause Night Fight automatically on turn one, continuing on turn two on a 4+.
    • Grant D3+2 of your units the Outflank and Infiltrate' rules.
    • May re-roll the dice to determine who takes first turn, and also can seize the initiative on a 4+

Strategic Raid: Garrison Detachment

Similar to the planetstrike defender, providing a lot of stationary firepower and several fortifications. Plus the ability to move objective markers before the game starts, inevitably for your own benefit.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 2 Troops
    • Optional: +2HQ, +4 Troops, +2 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +4 Heavy Support, +3 Fortifications, +1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support
  • Prepared Ground: Before the first turn begins, the player may reposition any and all objective markers up to 6" from their original positions, as long as they are not in impassable terrain, buildings or in vehicles.
  • Fortress-Bound: All fortifications with battlements or a transport capacity must start the game being occupied by at least one infantry unit from the same detachment.

Cityfight: Incursion Force

Representing a small incursion force, there are not many options available here. But can be really good in small point games.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 2 Troops, 1 Heavy Support
    • Optional: 1, Troop, 1 Elite, 1 Fast Attack, 1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support
  • Restrictions: You cannot use a Rite of War with this detachment.
  • Objective Secured: Your Troops units have ObSec.
  • Close Coordination: Your units gain Interceptor against incoming infantry units, so long as they are within 6" of a vehicle from the same detachment.

Cityfight: Entrenched Force

Another defender type chart, with several fortifications available, the ability to use a Rite of War and gain Objective Secured.

  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 2 Troops, 1 Heavy Support
    • Optional: +4 Troops, +2 Elites, +1 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +3 Fortifications, +1 Lord of War
  • Allied Detachment available
  • Compulsory: 1HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attacks, +1 Heavy Support
  • Restrictions: Your compulsory Heavy Support units must be of the Infantry type.
  • Objective Secured: Just like the attackers, you get ObSec for your Troops units.
  • Entrenched: For the first game turn, your units gain +1 to cover saves granted by ruins, craters, defence lines and fortifications.

Legion Warlord traits[edit]

30k brings a new warlord traits table, though you can use the Warhammer 7th Ed. Warlord Traits table too. Some HQ choices say they must be the Warlord, meaning you may only have one of those units unless their Primarch is also present.

  1. Bloody Handed: The Warlord and any attached Legiones Astartes cause FEAR. Nice, since only three legions are fear-resistant. Due to WS6, watch as you are only hit on a 5+. This is the only chance your Nameless Praetor has against Named characters...but many are Ld10, so they'll need to roll a 11+ to fail the test; don't rely on this.
  2. Master Tactician: After both have deployed, but before the 1st turn, you may redeploy, or even move one unit from/to reserve. Good for repositioning your artillery/immobile units and to mess with your enemy's scouts/infiltrators. Better if the thing you put in reserve has Outflank or Deep Strike.
  3. World Burner: Nominate D3 units from your Primary Detachment. Their Blast and Template weapons gain Shred. Awesome on Heavy Support Squads, Seekers and artillery. Shredding Phosphex Rapiers anyone?
  4. Paladin of Glory: Hello Astartes. Look at your Praetor, now back to me, now back at your Praetor, now back to me. Sadly, he isn't me, but if he became a Paladin of Glory, he could be Fearless like he's me. Look down, back up. Where are you? You're in close combat, adding +1 to the combat score of every unit 6" around you. Anything is possible when your Praetor is a Paladin of Glory. I'm on a Spartan assault tank.
  5. Void Walker: Your Praetor gains Adamantium Will and one unit can Deep strike. Nice for teleporting your Terminator squad without needing the Orbital Assault RoW.
  6. Child of Terra: He and any attached unit rerolls failed To-Wounds of 1, World Eater style. Combine it with some means of re-rolling To-Hits so that you've got almost guaranteed wounds.

Rites of War[edit]

Rites of War can only be taken if you have a "Master of the Legion" in your army (Praetor, Delegatus, Herald, Primarch and several special characters). They change how your army functions in a key way. Although all of them give considerable bonuses to your army, they also come with their own restrictions and drawbacks, so think carefully about which Rite of War you want to take, if any. Individual legions have their own exclusive RoWs listed in their respective sections, and in a similar vein some RoWs are exclusive to Loyalists or Traitors. The FAQ says that taking Rites of War in an allied detachment is allowed, but it's usually not possible as you can only take one model with the Master of the Legion rule per 1000 points (assuming you took one in your Primary Detachment) and you still need to abide by any restrictions; especially when they only apply to Primary detachments, require your Warlord to be present in the detachment, or prevent you from taking allies outright. However there are some Rites out there that can be taken and do work surprisingly well.

  • Angel's Wrath: Everything with a Jump pack gets Hit & Run, and any unit eligible to take a Rhino can be put in a Storm Eagle instead. In addition, Storm Eagles and Fire Raptors get Strafing Run (though Fire Raptors already have it). However, only flying units (read: Jump Infantry, Skimmers, Jetbikes, and Infantry inside Flyers or Skimmers) can be taken, you can't take any tanks (unless it's also a Flyer/Skimmer) and you can't take any Fortifications.
    • Can work due to most lists only fielding around 2 AA options. You're taking this mainly because of Storm Eagle DTs, which can withstand more heat than your average flyer, pack lots of maneuverable firepower and solve the issue of 20-man footslogger squads. Hit & Run synergises very well with Destroyers and everyone with access to Rad grenades or other charge bonuses.
    • You may take allies, or be an allied detachment, if you've got a few assault squads laying around that don't legally fit into your main detachment.
  • Armoured Spearhead: Panzer sind die Besten in der Galaxie Units that could take Rhinos can take Land Raider Phobos or Proteus instead if they number 10 models or less, and your Tank Shock attacks impose an additional -1 Ld penalty. However, all Infantry units must be in a transport, and if all your tanks are destroyed, your enemy counts as having scored a secondary objective. Again, you can't take any Fortifications.
    • When playing against a Heresy list, most players wonder 'How am I going to crack open an Armoured Ceramite'd LR?'. And now you have a whole army of them. And the 11% increase in Tank shock success will be noticed. Just remember Melta bombs ignore Armoured Ceramite and are bought in bulk, so don't be overconfident.
  • Orbital Assault: Every unit that can take a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport can instead take a Legion or Dreadclaw Drop Pod, while Dreadnought, Contemptor Dreadnought talons must take as many Dreadclaw Drop Pod and Dreadnought Drop Pods as their are in the talons (they must enter play together and must deploy like a normal talon). and Legion Rapier Weapon Battery must take Legion Drop Pods. Also, you can now put Deathstorm Drop Pods in your Fast Attack slots, and your Terminators can Deep Strike like in 40k! However, everyone must be able to Deep Strike (either by having the rule or by being deployed inside a transport that has it), and you can't take any fortifications.
    • RAW you don't need to have everyone Deep Strike. The rules say that units must either have the Deep Strike rule or have access to a transport that has the Deep Strike rule, and that if a unit purchased a dedicated transport then it must begin the game deployed inside it. Do remember Flyer DTs still start the game in reserves, though.
    • This is also one of the few ROWs that can be taken in an Allied detachment so feel free to go nuts with Deep-Striking elites into key positions to complement your Auxilla/Militia gunlines or Mechanicum heavies that lack mobility around the board.
  • Pride of the Legion: Veterans and Terminators (including Legion-specific Elite Terminators) become compulsory Troops, and Command Squads can take a Land Raider Phobos or Proteus. However, if all Veteran and Terminator squads are destroyed, the enemy counts as having scored an additional secondary objective (worth 2 VPs), and you can't take an allied detachment. This is the only one that allows a fortification...but you have Terminator troops, so you don't really care. Plus, at least half of your units must have the Legiones Astartes rule.
    • Quite nice for 30k-newcomers, since you can have a relatively small (and thus $cheap) army of veterans with flexible weapon load-outs, and can easily proxy in your 40k marines with a variety of options without requiring huge squads all with the same equipment. Not to mention you can fill the table with LRs just like in Armoured Spearhead.
  • Armoured Breakthrough BLITZKRIEG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Predator squadrons with Autocannon turrets become your Compulsory Troops, Sicarans become Elites, one of either can be taken as a HQ (gaining Super-heavy Command Tank and +1 BS as its Warlord trait and counts as having Master of the Legion for this RoW only), and if your dick isn't fully erect then Tanks with 3 or fewer HP gain Fast. However, all infantry that can do so must purchase a dedicated transport with the "Tank" type. If you can't buy a DT (like lone HQ choices) then you must still purchase or join someone else's tank to deploy in (so your choices for transports are limited to Rhinos, Land Raiders of all stripes, and the Caestus Assault Ram), no immobile units and no more flyers and skimmers than tanks.
    • This is one of the few Rites of War that allows allies, and in fact it is really easy to use as a cheap allied detachment as you are only compelled to use Autocannon Predators in your compulsory Troops slot. So you can have a legit allied detachment with two Predators. On the flip side, if you ever wanted to field 27 Predators, 18 of which are scoring, this RoW is for you. Additional battle tanks for your primary detachment.
    • If you have played Blood Angels, you know how potent Fast vehicles can be. With the Predator autocannon having 4 shots in the Heresy era, a squadron of Troops Predators with HB sponsons can spit out up to 12 Autocannon shots and 18 Heavy Bolter shots at full BS after moving 6 inches or two-thirds that amount after moving 12, all for 285 points, compared to 250ish points of Legion Heavy Support squads for the same amount of firepower with much less mobility and resilience, while Lascannon Predators can give Sicarans a run for their money (move 12, shoot two Lascannons at full BS and snap fire 4 shots of autocannons). This is before we get to the era-exclusive stuff like Laser Destroyer Vindicators or Plasma/Melta/Flamestorm Predator turrets, but saving points and just going for more bodies/chasses with more bare-bones troop Predators is always an option.
    • Bear in mind that while all vehicles with 3 HP or fewer gain Fast (basically anything smaller than a Land Raider), not all vehicles can take advantage of this easily. Vehicles like Predators with Conversion Beamers or Vindicator Laser Destroyers must be stationary to unlock their true potential, while artillery tanks like Medusas typically would be firing one gun anyway. However, the Fast USR does allow these vehicles to reposition more easily as they still allow firing at full BS after moving at Cruising speed, so utilise this to your advantage accordingly if you were going to take these tanks anyway.
    • While it may be tempting to put all the era-exclusive Predator turrets on your Fast tanks, remember that Predators taken as Troops can only use the default Predator Autocannon, meaning you can't have a Flamestorm Cannon or Plasma Cannon squat on objectives, but it does force you to keep your troop choices cheap. You can still load up on Predators in your Heavy Support slots but think about whether you want specialised units like Artillery Squadrons, Sicaran Venators, and Vindicators competing for slots with something you could have taken as Troops.
    • Blood Angels players can now replicate Baal Predators with (made in China) Assault Cannon turrets and sponsons on a Fast tank!
  • Primarch's Chosen: aka Pride of the Legion - Electric Boogaloo. Your Primarch of choice becomes an HQ (removing the 25% points rule but the Price of Failure is still in effect) and Vets and Legion Termies must be compulsory troops; however, if the Primarch is slain all units in your detachment stop being scoring, the number of units with the LA rule must be more than the number of units without, and no LoWs allowed. Useful for those times you want to bring a Primarch without the added HQ tax, or with just a bunch of support officers. But remember that if he dies you won't be able to win by holding objectives. Do not also forget about secondary objectives like First Blood or Attrition (you can still deny the enemy their objectives, no need to be scoring), while some LA (namely Dark Angels) can award winning points without scoring units. You're probably fucked if you failed badly enough to get your Primarch defeated though.
  • Brethren of Iron: It lets you take Castellax Battle Automata maniples as non-compulsory troops, Vorax as non compulsory FA and Domitar as non compulsory Elite. Techmarine can buy Cortex controller at 15 pts and you must have one model equipped with a Cortex controller per each 3 Battle-automata units, of which there can't be more than LA units and can't buy Paragon of Metal. A Forge Lord (or Iron Father/Warsmith) becomes the compulsory HQ (besides the one with MotL), and the only consuls you can take are either Forge Lords or Praevians.
    • Although not advertised as part of the Rite, you can take 1 Thallax HS squad per Cortex controller.
  • Fury of the Ancients: Contemptors and Boxnoughts become compulsory troops, you must bring both a Forge Lord and a Primus Medicae, you cannot seize the initiative, can't bring neither allies nor fortifications, and dreadnoughts give up an additional VP when killed. EACH. It lets you bring a billion dreads, but at what cost?.
  • Legion Recon Company: Legion recon squads become compulsory troops and you can re-roll first turn and seize the initiative and anyone scouting or infiltrating get shrouded. However any heavy support units must start in reserve, you must have an additional troop which must be a recon squad and no termies allowed. Anything that scouts or infiltrates gets shrouded for a turn, which works very well with Legions like Raven Guard (infantry get infiltrate, and ICs can buy camo for a 4+ in the open), Alpha Legion (everything with LA can get infiltrate or scout or both), and Night Lords (Terror Squads can infiltrate, all NLs start the game in 5+ pseudo-cover which stacks with shrouded, so they are in 3+ even out in the open).
    • Because "Effects" (but not Limitations) of Rites of War do not carry across detachments, you could take this as an Allied detachment, requiring just one Recon squad in the Primary Detachment as per limitation (but none in the Allied detachment itself(skub, see below) yet still get your Seize reroll and Shrouded bonus to infiltrating allies such as AL/RG/NL.
    • Another example of bad wording. Compulsory troops in any other RoW mean you must take them as Troops, no ifs or buts (Pride of the Legion, for example). In Recon Company, however, it's not said "one additional compulsory troops choice", but an additional troops choice that must be a Recon Squad. The wording is also different from Ultrasmurfs RoW. Some common sense is required here: it is generally accepted that Recon Company with 5 Recon marines is stupid, so you will need 3 squads of them. Be sure to discuss it with your opponent before the game, in any case.
  • Zone Mortalis Assault Force: Vanilla Terminators become non-compulsory troops, one vanilla Terminator squad can deep strike, and if playing a Zone Mortalis game Legion Breacher Squads whose members are all in BtB contact who aren't fleeing or pinned gain a +1 to their invulnerable save. However, no unit can have more than 15 models, no vehicles besides walkers can be taken, and no super-heavies are allowed. Given that this is meant to be used in ZM games, you'd be operating under similar restrictions anyway so the downsides are pretty much irrelevant.
  • Sky Hunter Phalanx: Jetbike squads become troops, and all jetbikes can leave the table in their movement phase to be placed into Ongoing Reserves, where they gain Outflank. However, only Skimmer and Flyer-type vehicles are allowed, no fortifications or allies are allowed, and all infantry must either be transported in a flyer, otherwise only Jetbikes can be taken.
  • Siege Drop Assault Vanguard: Half of the detachment's Assault Squads must enter play via deep striking, and they can all be deployed at once on the beginning of the user's first turn. In the player turn after that, enemy models within 12" can only fire Snap Shots against them and all Assault Squads in the second turn gain Hit and Run. However, the only compulsory troops allowed are Assault Squads, no immobile units can be taken (including Drop Pods)?, no allies or fortifications are allowed, and only units that can Deep Strike or embark on a Flying Transport can be taken.
  • Sacrificial Offering: A Traitor-only RoW that requires an Allied detachment of Imperialis Militia/Warp Cults to function. The latter is initially deployed, while the entirety of the primary detachment remains in reserve (where they gain Outflank). To compensate, the Allied detachment gains Stubborn while in its own deployment zone and none of its units yield VPs for being destroyed. However, the army must take a fortification, and the primary detachment can't take anything that can Deep Strike or has the Immobile or Slow and Purposeful rules.
    • Having your entire Astartes detachment in reserve is a big hindrance, especially if your opponent can mess with your reserve rolls. Having no ability to Deep Strike also stings so taking transport vehicles is a must for getting them back to the center of the table when they eventually arrive. Just remember you don't have to Outflank and can come on from your normal board edge. You also have to be careful that your squishy militia don't get tabled while you wait for the marines to arrive piecemeal. Void Relay Networks can help to protect your dudes and provide some consistent cover while you draw the enemy in.
  • Outcast Sons: A RoW exclusively for Traitor elements of a Loyalist Legion. All characters in the detachment must always issue challenges to/accept challenges from characterss with the Legiones Astartes rule, and gain Preferred Enemy (Legiones Astartes) while in a challenge. Additionally, they can re-roll Sweeping Advances against anyone with the LA rule and D3 (rolled after infiltrations) units gain Scout if the enemy army's Warlord is from the same legion as their own Warlord. However, it can never have more Elites than Troops, cannot take choices specific to Loyalist armies, and count all Allies as "By the Warmaster's Command" even if the Allies Matrix says otherwise. Some legions will benefit from this more than others (seriously, Imperial Fists using this Rite gain next to nothing).
  • Orphans of Betrayal: The flip side of Outcast Sons, for Loyalist elements of a Traitor Legion. Instead of gaining PE, characters in a challenge gain FnP(4+), all models gain Hatred against enemy armies with the same Legion-specific LA rule as they do, and if their Legion's Primarch is present in the enemy army they're immune to Fear caused by said Primarch (which is hilarious with loyalist NL vs Curze). However, they can't ally with Space Marines, lose Traitor-only options, can't take fortifications, and can't have more HS choices than Troops choices. Again, the usefulness of this depends on which legion you bring.

Pre-Heresy Technology[edit]

The Legions had a lot of toys which were lost after the Heresy, alongside older patterns of current tech, which are subsequently not available for 40k games. (Differences between still existing tech, like Combat shields, are explained in the tabletop because of different ruling between Forgeworld and Games Workshop)

Relics[edit]

Relics are powerful items product of mankind's golden age. You can buy only one of each per army, and only for a non-unique IC, so no cloaking array for Typhon or something.

The January 2016 FAQ states that relics are intended for campaign use, and should not be considered part of the regular army list unless you seek your opponent's approval first. This pretty much takes a lot of the cheese out of certain combinations.

In a campaign you're only allowed one character with a relic, which you'll be stuck with for the rest of the campaign, so be sure of your decision. If the relic bearer is killed, the side that killed him can choose to play a Relic Hunt mission, where the winner steals (or recovers) the relic, even if it's a Legion specific one, but a Draw means that relic is effectively lost for everyone. Still, you can always opt to play a 'Relic Hunt' mission at the beginning of every campaign phase to acquire FREE relics, where your war zone-assigned character must be deployed. That way you can hoard up on relics, even getting duplicates of the non-faction-specific ones, by rolling a D6 on the 'Relic Uncovered' table below.

  1. Nanyte Blaster: The Grey goo gun of uncontrolled carnage!!! It's a S5 AP2 Fleshbane weapon, where if it kills anyone you centre a large blast over the dead model on a die roll of 4+, causing a S5 AP2 hit to those underneath it. Unlike Volkite, each model who dies to this can cause yet MOAR large blasts on further rolls of a 4+. All you need to do is get one casualty and you can wipe out an entire unit! Smashing! Just be careful where you point that thing.
  2. Warp Shunt Field: 3++ against shooting, however for every save of a 6+ (against direct fire weapons) the shooting unit suffers D6 S5 hits. This is the only risk-free defensive relic.
  3. Phase Walker: Each moving phase, instead of moving you may place the bearer anywhere you like, counting as having just deep struck but with no scatter. If you move through a solid object you have to take a dangerous terrain check for EACH solid object you went through (including all models) so be wary of abusing it in city scenarios. If your dude also has Move through Cover, then feel free to abuse it. This works well for solo characters (ie: Moritat) since he can't move with his unit.
  4. Combat Augment Array: Once per game, at the beginning of any of the controller's player turn, he may count any single die (only 1) rolled as an automatic 6 (Emails from FW confirm). However, he must also pass Toughness tests for each remaining wound. If he fails he suffers a wound with no saves or mitigating FnP rolls of any kind. A cyber familiar can mitigate the danger by granting a re-roll on the Forge Lord's tests; you'll only need it once, but also only have 2 HP. However, you're paying 35pts for one guaranteed 6 - better take a Paragon blade with your Praetor and make it count.
  5. Cloaking Array: Once per game, at the beginning of ANY game turn you may make yourself invisible for that whole game turn (ie. on the 3rd turn both in your and your opponent's turn, thus starting on your enemy's turn if he goes first). You cannot be shot or charged at unless the enemy unit contains psykers or daemons, in which case the array immediately shuts down (so now everyone can hit you, not just the previous two). Unfortunately you cannot activate it while attached to a squad or if engaged in close combat already. You also cannot shoot, assault, move or do anything at all - Can't even perform actions that don't count as shooting, like Bombardment attacks. So your model stands on the same spot invisible but doing nothing during a whole game turn. Note that characteristics remain active and can actually perform actions that don't need to be declared - for example, an invisible Paladin of Glory Forgelord with a Nuncio vox is still granting +1 to the wound score of those nearby and artillery can still draw LoS from him. By its nature it benefits ranged, lone characters (Vigilators, Moritats) more than melee ones (Chaplains, Praetors). There are relics easier to use than this one, though - very situational and LOTS of limitations.
    • This relic is more useful when you go second: You could deepstrike your Moritat and Chain fire. When your enemy's turn comes around (and thus it's the beginning of a new game turn) activate the cloaking array and survive that turn. It's your turn again - move towards your Moritat's position while he cant do anything and his guns cool down. Hopefully you managed to rescue your Moritat, or else your enemy will kill a lonely 135+ pts model in his turn (and thus the relic is lost as read previously), so deepstrike him with utmost care. Or don't deepstrike him: keep your troops near, hide your dude in your enemy's turn and save yourself the trouble of mounting a rescue mission - this is the easiest way of using this relic.
  6. Void Shield Harness: Yep. You can get a voidshield for your dude. It's a large blast-sized shield, centered on your dude but protecting anyone that fits inside. Glancing, Penetrating and Destroyer hits will collapse the shield, but it can be restored at the end of your turn on a 5+, and with AV12 you'll be immune to most small arms fire. However, a result of Explodes! will overload the shield, disabling it for the rest of the game and placing a S6 AP4 Large Blast template centered on the bearer, so keep meltaguns away from it (or deepstrike some of your own to watch some enemy-HQ-flavored fireworks). You could use it to protect a Praetor and his command squad, but of course, it's best used on an unkillable magos inside of an unkillable mech raider, assuming you are going for maximum trolling (and really, who isn't?).

Each Legion also has it's own specific relic that can't be found in a relic hunt mission. Look in the relevant legion's section for more.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Wrecker
    • Shred (Buildings) [reroll building penetration].
    • +1 to rolls on Building Damage.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Archeotech Pistol: Standin for any fancy old pistol the Martians don't understand anymore. S6 AP3 Master-crafted pistol, available for Praetors only. Good for mincing Power Armored troops, and generally comparable to a Plasma pistol ...
    • ... which leads to a comparison! The Plasma P is a tad better in the odd situation of shooting at Toughness 5 or higher as well as vehicles or buildings. It's a notch cheaper, and it has an AP of 2 to let it take on Terminators. In return it comes with a 1/6th chance of self-wounding, which can then be saved so make that a 1/36 chance as Praetors always have a 2+ armour save. Also, the Archaeotech Pistol is more accurate. The Plasma comes off looking pretty good in this assessment, but the Archie is a safer bet for just mulching the ever-common basic Marine. Honestly neither are particularly useful items, so if really want one on your Praetor take whichever you like.
  • Combi-bolter: Twin-linked bolter, because Storm bolters hadn't yet been invented.
  • Combi-weapon: The 7th ed FAQ states the one-use part of a combi-weapons can be a:
    • Flamer
    • Meltagun
    • Plasma gun
    • You used to also be able to take Grenade Launchers and Volkite Chargers as one-use items ... but now that's changed: These items can be used endless times as a Combi-weapon part! Hot dog, you might say. There's little reason to take the plain Volkite Charger over the combi now.
      • Grenade launcher (either frag or krak – choose which type when fired, they're the same grenades as their thrown counterparts, only with 24" range and without the one-per-unit restriction). While simple, these are surprisingly good now that they're infinite use. The frag grenade's low strength is made up for by the fact that you can get more hits off on large bunched up units, and the krak grenade option is downright terrifying when spammed as it's wounding marines on a 2+ (making it statistically better than a boltgun out of rapid fire range and identical within rapid fire range), bypasses most of the Mechanicum's armor saves while still being strong enough to reliably wound, and will both ignore armor and cause instant death on cult hordes/tech thralls/lasrifle sections.
      • Volkite Charger. Exactly the same as a regular Volkite Charger, only it's mounted on a bolter so you choose which one you use every time you fire, which basically means you use it as a volkite charger from 1-15" and as a bolter from 15.1-24". Good way of getting the volkite's up-close face melting without sacrificing your general purpose boltgun.
  • Conversion Beam Weapons: Could be seen as inverse Melta, inflicting greater damage at longer ranges. The only differences between the Heavy and regular version are that the Heavy has a large blast radius and the Firing Calibration rule, which means the unit has to remain stationary in order to fire, even if it is Relentless or a Vehicle. On the corner of a standard 48" x 72" table it has 60% of the table in a S10 AP2 Large Blast killzone, but this would only matter if the battlefield is modeled after a parking lot, so the S8 AP4 Small Blast profile is the one you'll more commonly see in usage.
  • Graviton Weapons: Not to be confused with Grav-weapons, which are refered to in the Heresy setting as "Grav Imploders" and are a rare Mechanicum-only weapon; the more-common Graviton weapons do not share the wounding mechanism based on the enemy's armour save gimmick, as they just emit a crushing gravity wave over the target rather than sucking their armour inwards. These Heavy weapons (not Salvo) possess no Strength, but have both Concussion and Haywire effects. They make the enemy take Strength tests; if the result is above their Strength they take a wound - a result of 6 always causes a wound. So they are effectively Strength 3, wounding GEQs on 4+, and MEQs on 5+, making it ineffective against infantry blobs. That's not why you're taking them though. You take them to dump Haywire on the super-tough vehicles of this era. If you have nothing better to shoot at then you can use it bog down infantry because it also creates Difficult and Dangerous terrain in its blast radius, so it can at least severely hinder their movement which is certainly useful. Don't expect many kills though because AP4 in the Space Marine millennium is just... sub-optimal. Stick to hunting vehicles, and try to put them on Relentless units, because Blast Heavy weapons can't Snapfire. They come in Cannon (36" range Large Blast Heavy 1) and gun versions (18" range Small Blast Heavy 1), both of them with the aforementioned Graviton, Haywire and Concussive rules.
    • These aren't technically an auto take but the vehicles in this era are very dangerous and very resistant to your typical 40k anti-tank options. There are AV 14 targets with Flare Shields that can be at best glanced by Lascannons, and Krak Missiles and outer-range Melta fire can't even do that. Haywire is by far the most reliable answer to Spartans etc and while a single unit likely won't kill one quickly at least you're actually doing damage. Take some.
  • Grenade Harness: One-shot Assault 2 frag grenades (8" S3 AP- Blast 3") for Terminator sergeants. They count as Assault grenades only during the turn you fire them. Fun for thinning out annoying tarpits and lets the unit fight with fair speed when assailing a target in cover, at least once. Some armies could just put a character with frag grenades in a unit for the same benefit, however...
  • Laser Destroyer Array: 4 Lascannons firing as one (for modeling purposes), becoming AP1 Ordnance 1 and Twin-linked. These weapons compete with Lascannons in the tank-destroyer category. Shot-per-shot they're better than Lascannons, their Ordnance type and AP1 giving them a higher chance to outright destroy enemy vehicles/buildings with a single shot. However, they're more expensive, meaning less shots per point so bubble wrap fodder and annoying invuln/cover saves are more effective deterrents. Also the range is a tad shorter.
  • Phosphex Weapons: Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore's preferred fragrance, Phosphex is a green fire that never goes out, melts through everything and is attracted to movement. As if its S5 and AP2 wasn't going to ruin your opponent's day quite horribly enough, it also possesses Poison 3+. The Lingering Death rule causes the blast radius to remain on the field and become Dangerous terrain and, after scatter, Crawling fire lets you move the marker up to 2" in any direction so long as it covers more models, making it incredibly effective against units that are about to charge you, and with a lowly 6" range for the bomb version that's basically the extent of their use. Fortunately the Legion Medusa, Lightning and Quad Launcher Support Battery are capable of firing Phosphex shells at a much greater range, just like white phosphorus mortars in real life.
  • Plasma Weapons Same old prone-to-overheating, Terminator-eating death guns as ever. Or at least as ever circa 7th ed - if you're new to Warhammer and looking at the Heresy setting from an 8th ed perspective, you may be disappointed by the lack of overcharging options. Sucks! Write it off as less well-understood technology back in the day.
    • Plasma Blaster: 18" Assault 2 Plasma gun with obvious improved range. These only come as upgrades for Terminators and Dreadnoughts. A solid generalist option between its mix of good strength, AP and fire rate, but there are often cheaper alternatives that fair better against specific targets. If you don't exactly know what the unit taking this gun will face, it's alright, but once you figure that part out there may be something more efficient.
    • Phased Plasma-Fusil: An unusual weapon of Mechanicum design, only available on indentured Thallax cohorts. 24" S6 AP3 Salvo 2/3 - note the uncharacteristic lack of Gets Hot! on a plasma weapon. Because all Thallax are Jetpack users, you can just treat that Salvo part as Assault 3 instead. Commonly referred to as a "Marine 'Woodchipper'", this gun is a very efficient power armour shredding package - just remember that it's no use against Terminators unlike other Plasma guns.
  • Rad Weapons: Ammunition filled with radioactive isotopes, souvenirs from Terra's post-apocalyptic Old Night. Even if you survive them you will die of radiation poisoning or cancer without treatment, which is represented in the tabletop with their debilitating effect. The Legions can get them in 2 flavors
    • Rad missiles, which are S4 AP3 Fleshbane + Radphage (wounded models get their Toughness reduced by 1 for the rest of the battle)
    • Rad grenades, which are neither Assault nor Defensive grenades, but instead temporarily reduce the enemy's Toughness by 1 until the end of the assault phase, yours or the enemy's.
    • A third version is also available on Vorax bots accompanying a Praevian, "Irad-cleansers", which are like a flamer version of the Rad missiles.
  • Note that all these Toughness-diminishing effects do affect Instant Death thresholds. In an environment full of T4 models, it's only basic sense to maximimise your cheap and nasty S6 and S7 weaponry (looking at grenade launchers, plasma and autoweaponry here) and easily threaten any pesky deathstar out of existence. Vorax meanwhile can do a bang-tidy job with power blades attached. (see rape and lulz).
  • Reaper Autocannon: Mainly used by Terminators. Literally just a short-barrelled twin-linked autocannon, clocking in at 36" range with a mitigating accuracy buff. Now we're not questioning your models' loyalty for ever using one, but funny isn't it that only one side still uses them 10,000 years later. Anyway, this gun is mostly for light vehicle harassment with a side order of infantry bothering. It's range is longer than most of a Termie's arsenal, so it's inefficient to take with short-ranged guns like Volkites, even if they seem to be in the same ballpark. Having big guns just 15" away is just asking to be charged by other TEQs, a bit of a waste of points. Certain Legions have access to alternative Terminator heavy weapons, most notably and fittingly the Iliastus Assault Cannon of the Imperial Fists and Blood Angels, that generally fit this weapon's job better.
  • Rotor Cannon: 30" S3 AP6 Salvo 3/4. Hilariously weak for an item costed similarly to Melta weaponry. Volkite Calivers and Plasma Guns are superior in every way. Vorax have these by default, and can upgrade to Bio-Corrosive rounds which is a bit better.
  • Specialist Ammo: While the Kraken bolts remain what they'll be in the future (S4 AP4 30" Rapid Fire), your Seekers (not your Veterans) get to try 2 new old ammo types (without counting some Legion-specific bolts):
    • Scorpius: Your power shot. Two-stage warhead with micro guided dart that melts through armour. It's now S5 AP2 24" and it Shreds. However, it must be hand-loaded, so it swaps Rapid fire for Heavy.
    • Tempest: This is what you'd get if a normal bolter round exploded before reaching the target, instead of inside of it: S3 AP6 18" Rapid fire, but has a 3" Blast. This is your blob killer - AND your Terminator killer too! Nothing like burying enemies in, what, 12 blasts per volley?!, for chipping through high armour saves. Resolving all those small blasts will take forever; however, and at 9" for those juicy double templates you may find yourself at risk of back-scatter. You begin to wonder why it is that 8th ed 40K did away with all that template business... *sob*
  • Volkite Weapons: The original Martian ray guns®. Dating back to the Age of Strife, they were in the process of being replaced by the Bolter as the preferred weapon of the Space Marines as the demand far surpassed supply. Volkite weapons have the Deflagrate special rule, which means each unsaved wound a shot causes immediately inflicts another automatic hit. Additional hits this way cannot cause yet more hits. They come in five flavours: Serpenta (9" S5 Pistol), Charger (15" S5 Assault 2), Caliver (30" S6 Heavy 2), Culverin (45" S6 Heavy 4) and the monstrous Carronade (72" S8 with Haywire and a beam effect that lets it hit everything in a straight line in front of it, with AP2). The entire Volkite family enjoys a greater Strength and rate of fire than their Bolt weapon conterparts, but they put up with shorter ranges and excepting the Carronade are stuck at AP 5. This makes them best taken in full squads to mitigate range issues, as well as the backup pistol on a Moritat to drown infantry targets with strong-enough shots that are safer than a Plasma Pistol.

Close Combat Weapons[edit]

  • Breacher Charge: A power fist on a satchel. It's a one-use not unwieldy S8 AP2 Small Blast Wrecker melee weapon - saucy business, but if it fails the to-hit roll then it scatters, and that can be bad news for the poor user.
  • Chainsword/Combat Blade: Just the generic, stock SUser AP- Melee weapon you're used to.
  • Charnabal Sabre: Fancy blades of all manner of origin, available on a number of characters. Duellist's Edge[sic] grants +1I in a challenge, letting squad sergeants keep up with the big boys and granting your own HQ choices an edge over enemy rivals; in addition, these blades are Rending, to reflect their capacity to land critical strikes. However they lack any reliable AP, meaning that they only fair a little better than a non-Rending item against all armour values without being effective against any one - and they grant no strength bonuses either. This takes what could be a promising niche weapon and relegates it to the near useless territory, as gaining that Initiative bonus is pretty much not worth the unreliability, and that's given its fairly cheap cost. There is a functioning sweet spot for a Librarian that rolls up Iron Arm on Biomancy, as that grants +3 S and Smash, hence AP 2 - but Librarians already pay points for a Force Weapon, AND this depends on good rolls at the start of the game, AND it's only 1 measly point of Initiative in challenges only, on an expensive character not as optimised for melee as other sorts. It's very hard to apologise for this weapon, basically. For the same cost, a Heavy Chainsword is better.
  • Lascutter: More of an industrial tool than a weapon. At a glance its stats are very impressive - S9 and AP2, same as a lascannon. However, this weapon is Cumbersome, a special rule possibly unique to it, that prevents the user from making any more than one attack at WS1 in a turn they use it. Yes, WS 1 - even a Rhino has a decent chance of parrying the blow. Probably better with a Melta Bomb or five instead.
  • Lightning Claw: Looking like a Power Fist but not playing anything like one, a Lightning Claw is an AP3 Shred Specialist weapon available on all characters, squad or independent, for slightly more than a stock Power Weapon. It's identical to a Power Sword except that it costs a little more and generally makes one less attack in exchange for re-rolling failed wounds. On their own, Claws are not so hot, but certain units can buy a pair for a lot less than twice the cost, only a fourth again, letting them make a lot of Marine-hewing blows perfect for ripping up Legionary blobs. Terminator units tend to take a few for enemy squad deletion.
    • A neat trick for Independent Characters is to take a Lightning Claw with a Power Fist or Thunder Hammer, since Specialist Weapons support each other no matter what. While expensive compared to twin Claws, the result is a diverse attack setup that can take down horde targets and huge targets very well.
  • Heavy Chainsword: 10 points for S+2 AP5 - drastically better than a Charnabal Sabre at cost.
  • Paragon Blade: Now this is the fancy stuff. Another Praetor/Champion exclusive item, representing any sort of masterwork power sword, axe, glaive, or what-have-you in the Legion's arsenal; Paragon Blades are S+1 AP2 Specialist melee weapons without Unwieldy, and which feature the Murderous Strike rule that inflicts Instant Death on any wound roll of 6. Just take it.
    • If there's any room for discussion with regards to this weapon, it's in its accompaniment. As a Specialist Weapon, Praetors won't be claiming the bonus attack for two melee weapons unless they buy 'another' Specialist weapon. Lightning Claws are the cheapest, but have little to no utility next to the Paragon Blade itself - unless you're fighting 3+ save, single wound models a lot, which to be fair is common in the Heresy, but you should have other units more optimised for killing the riff-raff. The Power Fist is more expensive, but provides a feasible alt-attack, trading in Initiative and the ability to Instant Death anything for more Strength and guaranteed ID on T4 and lower models. This is a workable balance, although it will deprive you of a pistol. Thunder Hammers are a bit more expensive but carry Concussive, which can be useful in certain Challenge scenarios. Finally, certain Legions may have their own weird and wonderful Specialist weapons to consider. There are honestly a lot of viable ways to build a Paragon Blade Praetor - but that fancy Blade itself is a must.
    • Math opinion: AP2 at Initiative is nice and all, but is it good enough in a mirror match? NO. Counting Instant Death as dealing 3 wounds, since it's a W3 model, a Praetor with 7 attacks (4 + two weapons + digital lasers + charging) only manages to inflict 1.75 unsaved wounds on his opponent, before getting InstaKilled by 4.375 unsaved Power Fist wounds. What does this mean, 1d4chan? It means you should buy both a Thunder Hammer and a Paragon Blade. Tank the hits with your Praetor's WS6 and 4++ and use the S8 weapon on the first round of combat, quite possibly making it the last one. Should your enemy survive (bikes are T5), he'll be stunned. You'll then choose whether to attack first while hitting lighter, or attack at the same pace and or hit harder, depending on how many wounds the Thunder Hammer shaved off in the previous round. Be careful with going for the Blade, as if it doesn't kill the enemy then the Concussion you inflicted will wear off. Something similar applies to those legion-specific weapons.
  • Power Fist: A staple across many unit types, and the big chunky fist of punching you probably all know and love. For slightly more than a regular Power Weapon, a Power Fist doubles the user's strength and grants AP 2 in return for Unwieldy and Specialist, so you strike last and generally make 1 less attack.
    • Very popular, if not dominant by all means due to its slowness. A Power Fist lets a squad Sergeant potentially inflict Instant Death on encroaching Centurions and Praetors, and repel Mechanicum big bots and Dreadnoughts. Still, a cheaper Power Sword does better against regular Marines without the slowdown, and an Axe can do similarly well against Terminators too. An Independent Character can make many attacks with a Power Fist, and is also probably tough enough to survive fast enemy attacks in order to pull off a strike, but they've got more to lose in terms of Initiative, as a very nice I5 is a harder sacrifice than I4. In a Character-on-Character duel, getting a first strike is usually a critical advantage - provided that the attack can ignore the enemy's armour, that is. Power Fists won't win all fights, but are considerable as a support weapon.
    • Chainfist:A rather niche weapon, only available on Terminator armour models. For slightly more than a regular Power Fist (so the same as a Thunder Hammer), you can get a Power Fist with Armourbane, so it adds D6 to armour penetration rolls on vehicles and buildings. Those on-average extra 3.5 points of Strength make a big difference when repelling a Dreadnought or carving a new rectum into a Land Raider or Bastion, but no difference against anything with a Toughness stat.
    • Thunder Hammer: A little rarer than most of the weapons here, but not as exclusive as a Paragon Blade. Thunder Hammers are functionally identical to Power Fists, except they cost 5pts more and have Concussive. Unlike Power Mauls, Concussive can make a big difference on a Thunder Hammer - as an Unwieldy weapon, Hammers will strike last on the first round of a fight, but so long as the wielder can score a wound, then the playing field is leveled for the next one. Against multi-wound behemoths, a Thunder Hammer is as useful defensively as it is offensively. Just remember that you're inflicting Instant Death on most T4 models anyhow.
  • Power Weapons: Axes, Maces, and Swords are available for almost all units, indicated by the term "Power Weapon".
    • Pretty much always a cheap, typically viable choice for any elite, close combat, and character model. Swords slay squads of MEQ, Mauls beat a motley of weirdos like light infantry, mid-weight heavies such as Ogryns or Thallax, and can aid in knocking out light vehicles (plus they're better against TEQs than swords are), and Axes will gradually carve away TEQs and are also pretty good against MEQs and monsters and help somewhat against vehicles and buildings. If you live long enough to make your attacks against a character, these are also the best anti-HQ choice weapon from the standard three.
    • Axes as such are the go-to option, given that they are decent against almost everything (only light infantry fall outside the axe's cost-effective zone, and they can be dealt with by regular Chainswords anyway) AND they're the only choice that deals well with Terminators and HQs. Mauls are almost never taken because, even though they cover a wide range of different defensive profiles, there's no guarantee of any such preferred targets turning up in a game predominated by Space Marines. Most of their ideal targets are weird one-off choices, besides massed infantry which again are beatable with cheap Chainswords. Against the key targets of the game, Mauls are outclassed by Swords v MEQs and Axes v TEQs. The closest you'll get to seeing reliable Maul usage in Marine forces is Librarians with Force Staves, as those can synergise well with Iron Arm - did someone say Strength 9 AP 2 melee attacks striking at Initiative? Swords finally fit in the middle of the two other choices. They'll generally do the trick in the Power Armour fest of 30K, but won't do anything to Terminators and characters that a Chainsword couldn't free-of-charge ... or a Chainaxe doing better if you're World Eaters. Swords are acceptable for unit Sergeants as well as en-masse, but hard to advise for characters.
    • Power Lances: These are listed as a standard Power Weapon type in both the Legion Red Books and the Age of Darkness rulebook, however both specify that only Swords, Axes and Mauls can be chosen in Army List entries that say "Power Weapon" without further specification. This means that Lances are very rare choices in the Crusade list, and largely consigned to Legion-specific kit such as for the Emperor's Children and White Scars. Here is the exact copy-paste of the text from the rulebook so we can put this issue to bed:
      • "Whenever an Army List profile lists a model as being either equipped with a 'power weapon' or has the option to take one, then either a power sword, power axe or power maul may be freely chosen as long as they are clearly depicted on the model.
        • Note the lack of "Power Lance on this short list. This means that unless a specific model or army list entry says "Power Lance", Power Lances cannot be taken.
      • Still, they're listed in all the books and are considered universals, so we might as well talk about them here. The rundown: They suck. There's a reason they're not a generic Power Weapon option, and that's that no-one would take one anyway without a good discount. Lances are just Swords with an extra point of Strength on the charge; off the charge, they're just AP 4, so a Chainaxe or Power Maul without even the courtesy of granting extra Strength or what-have-you. Lances offer a tiny advantage that often requires some list and tactical contrivance to ever see in-game, and are outclassed by dirt-cheap to free kit the rest of the time.
    • Many Legions have access to unusual melee weaponry, some of which constitute straight buffs to the stock Power weapons. Be sure to check out their rules when deciding on the right choice for your melee doods.

Equipment[edit]

  • Augury Scanner: No unit can infiltrate within 18" of the unit. In addition, grants puesdo-interceptor to the unit, but only against things that arrive from reserve within 18", no longer broken like they were before the FAQ.
  • Cameleoline: Grants the user the Stealth USR. And RAW, a single model with the Stealth rule gives the benefits to the whole unit. As such, an attached Vigilator + some ruins become a 3+ cover save for the whole unit.
  • Cognis-Signum: Older pattern of the current Signum. It gives +1 BS (rather than setting it to 5) to a nearby unit if the user doesn't shoot. It also grants Night Vision AND has all the effects that an Augury Scanner has.
  • Cortex Controller: A robot control module, which requires complex mind-uplink nonsense. As such only Forge Lords can take these items; Praevian are beep-boop specialists so they come with them by default. Friendly models with the Programmed Behavior rule can choose to ignore it, as long as they are within 12" of the bearer. For every Cortex Controller in the army, the force can include 0-1 units of Thallaxes (can pick a Triaros, can't transport marines), Castellaxes or Voraxes from the Mechanicum Taghmata list as Heavy Support. As an added bonus, bearers with the Battlesmith special rule gain the ability to restore a wound on Battle-automata as a use of this ability.
  • Cyber-familiar: A friendly skull-thing or cool animal that lets the user re-roll failed Dangerous Terrain tests and characteristic tests except Ld. Oh, and it gives +1 to bearer's invulnerable save up to a maximum of 3++ (or grants 6++, if you had none). Pretty much an auto-include for anyone who can take them. Sadly, the dreaded Leviathan Grav-flux Bombard isn't affected by it because RAW its wounding mechanism is not a Strength test on 2d6.
    • Little modeling tip - it's perfectly legal to take one of many GW servo-skulls (or the one found in Solomon's Lok retinue) and use a clip or something to put it on a 25mm base for servo-skull to be clearly visible. Just make sure to get rid of any non-30k symbols and/or censers, and enjoy your WYSIWYG Cyber-familiar.
  • Digital lasers: Little nifty lazor jewels that grant +1 attack. A Praetor-exclusive option, 15 points for an extra attack on a powerhouse melee character is a steal. The more invested the Praetor in terms of both killing ability and toughness, the more mileage you get out of an upgrade like this. It's at its least valuable on a cheap bare-bones model with a weak weapon, but why would you do that?
  • Hardened Armour: Chiefly represents intense boarding modified suits of Iron pattern armour. Count as Void Hardened for Zone Mortalis missions (protects from Rending caused by corrosive gases/decompression) and re-rolls failed armour saves from template or blast weapons, but reduces charge, sweep advance and run moves by -1". This movement penalty spurred the invention of Terminator armour.
  • Legion Vexilla and Standard: The Vexilla allows a squad to re-roll failed Morale tests, while the Legion Standard creates a 6" bubble of Fearless around the wielder. Morale is very important in 30k, and it hurts really bad to see your 15-man Tactical Squad running from the field because they lost 5 marines to shooting.
  • Nuncio-vox: Older pattern of the current Locator Beacon. Radio backpack that prevents the scatter of models that Deep strike 6" near the vox user AND allows Barrage weapons to use the carrying model's line of sight (range is still measured from the firing model).
  • Shields
    • Combat Shield: Grants the usual 6++ invuln, but becomes Terminator-grade 5++ in close combat.
      • Boarding Shield: The predecessor of the Storm Shield. Exactly the same as the Combat shield, but also counts as defensive grenades, and prevents the equipped model from gaining +1 attack from extra CC weapons, for twice the cost.
      • Refractor Field: Same cost as a Boarding Shield, for 5++ all the time, with neither defensive grenades nor stopping your access to extra attacks.
        • Iron Halo: Two and a half times the cost of a Refractor Field, and hence 5x the cost of a Combat Shield, for 4++ all the time.
  • Suspensor Web: You get the option when using it to turn your heavy weapons into assault weapons, but halve their range. Only applies to very few units though, such as Veterans or Destroyers.
  • Terminator armour:Jan 2016 FAQ The "basic" suit as found in 40k, granting 2+/5++ saves, Bulky, & Relentless, but with no ability to Deep Strike unless your Legion or Wargear specifically allows it and no Sweeping Advance. Other patterns are available for free whenever the option to take Terminator Armour is given (or unspecified, as with Legion Terminator squads (who come with the armour by default and aren't technically buying it) and some Legion specific termies), but models in a unit must all choose the same pattern and it must be shown on the model. When choosing armour type, it is important to think about the legion; for example, there is no benefit to choosing standard/Tartaros armour over Cataphractii if you take penalties to running and/or sweeping advancing anyway. But on the flip side, with items that grant a flat invulnerable save (like Iron Halos or Storm Shields), there is often no point in taking other types over Tartaros. There is never a benefit from taking normal over Tartaros or Cataphractii.
    • Tartaros pattern Terminator armour:Jan 2016 FAQ Tartaros pattern armour has the same invulnerable save as normal terminator armour, but its ergonomic pauldrons allow it to Sweeping Advance. In fact, Tartaros armour is now a free upgrade over standard armour. This ability is lost if the unit is joined by a model with a different pattern of Terminator armour, meaning it's a great option for Consuls who want to join power armoured assault units.
    • Cataphractii pattern Terminator armour:Jan 2016 FAQ Bigger pauldrons mean extra protection. Shoulder mounted shield generators grant 4++ invuln, but can't Overwatch or Run in addition to no Sweeping Advance (pretty much Slow and Purposeful, but without the actual rule). Without access to Storm Shields this is the best protection that many Legions ever get, but it can be boosted upwards by synergising with an Atomantic Pavaise to give excellent resistance against shooting. But, more than other types, Cataphractii still require transports to get around.

Vehicle Equipment[edit]

  • Armoured Ceramite: Ignores the Melta rule. This is the reason Melta weapons are frowned upon in this millennium.
  • Atomantic Shield: 5+ inv. against shooting and 6+ inv. in melee, but if it Explodes adds 1" to the radius.
  • Auxiliary Drive: Allows the vehicle to repair an Immobilized result on a 4+ at the start of the Movement phase.
  • Explorator Augury Web: The Land Raider Proteus' optional sensor array. Grants Scout and has 2 modes: Disruption lowers your enemy's reserve rolls by -1, while Relay allows you to re-roll yours. Multiple augury webs have no further effect, but Disruption does stack with 'Divide to Conquer' (warlord trait) and 'Coils of the Hydra' (Alpha RoW) to cripple enemy reinforcement up to 6+.
  • Flare Shield: Front facing force field that reduces the strength of incoming frontal shots by -1. Template/Blast weapons get a -2S reduction instead, but melee/Destroyer hits are unaffected.
  • Kheres Assault Cannon: Older pattern of the current Assault cannon. The same as that, but Heavy 6.
  • Predator Autocannon: Your Predators used to fire 4 shots each firing phase, but then the Heresy destroyed several martian forges, and then Malcador made Deimos into a forge exclusively for the Grey Knights, the only ones in the Imperium able to manufacture them. Rage indeed.
  • Siege Wrecker: S10 AP2 DCCW with Concussive and Wrecker, which enables it to re-roll building penetration and adds +1 to the Building Damage chart, as well as the inbuilt weapon when taken on the Castraferrum boxnaught. Castellax lose their bolt gun when they take it.
  • Havoc Launcher No longer exclusive to Traitors. Not quite an auto take but it is nice to have against blob armies. The Havoc Launcher is an upgrade option for "elite" Dreadnoughts, most Tanks and even Land Speeders. While one 5 STR and 5 AP blast isn't that impressive. 48" gives it the same range as a Lascannon. The upgrade will allow a melee Dreadnought or Vindicator to do more than move slowly into firing range.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Legion Praetor: These guys are the Chapter Masters of the pre-Heresy and Heresy eras. There are three reasons you take this guy: Master of the Legion, gear no one else can get, and his statline. 'Master of the Legion' lets you take Rites of War, and also lets him roll twice on the warlord chart and choose the result you prefer, allowing for greater flexibility for your army. You can include one MotL each 1000 pts. The Praetor's stats are very strong (WS6, A4, and W3), and they can be customized with a large list of wargear and weapons, like a Jetbike, digital lasers, or the nasty Paragon Blade for AP2 at Initiative 5. You’ll want to put him into combat, so outfit him and put him into a squad with that in mind, but he's just not strong enough to face down most named Special Characters (without a little help from a Relic..), let alone Primarchs.
    • Legion Praetor Tribune (Limited Release): Rules were included alongside the model made to celebrate FW being sold at mainstream GW stores. Basically, it's a Praetor with Tartarus Termie armour, a Master-Crafted Paragon Blade, Digital Lasers, and an Iron Halo. You don't get a combi-bolter, but do get a 15 point discount. Worth it, to be honest.
  • Legion Command Squad: These guys are made for face-to-face MAN FIGHTING: They are "Chosen Warriors", which enables them to issue and receive challenges, and they all have WS5 and Sv2+, with W2 on the Standard Bearer, who brings a 6" Fearless bubble into the ATSKNF-lacking 30th millennium. And their wargear reflects this: everyone can take combat shields (storm shields were just being invented), get good melee options, like power weapons, claws, fists, and dirt-cheap Charnabals - surprisingly good, as they all can issue challenges, and Rending only shines when spammed. And while they have bolters, they can only upgrade to Volkite Chargers and Combi-bolters. You read that right: Combi-bolters, not Combi-weapons. In a time when Legions could crap as much soldiers as today's Guard, this unit can have only 5 models max...but they make up for it with access to jump packs, bikes, JETBIKES, and Terminator armour (along with the usual wargear options for the latter, which are cheaper than when bought separately)...if your Praetor is similarly equipped, that is.
    • According to 7th Edition FAQ (took them long enough), running a Primarch allows you to kit these guys however you want, regardless of the Primarch's gear. Just like Praetors, Special Characters with the Master of the Legion rule need to have the same equipment if you want to give them Bikes, Jet Bikes, or Terminator Armour. While not as good as their Legion-specific equivalents, Command Squads can be tailored to complement the Primarch's fighting style. They have enough options to create a close approximation to their Honour Guard in the fluff, for those who don't have them yet, or buy the squad a Dedicated Transport and use them as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX to keep the heat away from your Primarch + unique unit Deathstar. With Command Squads, either you go big or go home.
    • Note that their Land Raider Proteus has an 8-man transport capacity (assuming you took the Explorator Web), meaning you can fit your 5 man Command Squad and all three of your remaining HQ options in the same tank, assuming you for some reason want to do that.
  • Legion Centurion: If Praetors are like Chapter Masters, Centurions are like the Captains of the Heresy era (by the way, these are the guys Centurion Squads are named after). Unlike modern Captains, though, they can use the Consul rule to be upgraded to one of twelve different specializations. Centurions and Consuls are never grand powerhouses or sweeping jack-of-all-trade command units; rather, they each present a refined tool, chosen to execute a particular task or form a critical lynchpin in a force's leadership. The Consul specializations are the following:
    • Legion Centurion with Early Crusade Honors: More like a different model than a different unit, "Early Crusade Honors" stands for "Regular Centurion with a Master-Crafted Power Fist, Bolt Pistol and Artificer Armour, who always has the Child of Terra WT if he's the Warlord". In all but name and model, he's identical to the vanilla Centurion. (But honestly, the model looks amazing and is for once a reasonable price for a time limited model. I would grab one while they last just due to the exclusivity ensuring appreciation in value). Notice regular Centurions cannot get MC weapons, like his Fist (which would end up rerolling To hit and To wound if he's the warlord).
    • Chaplain: Back in the day the harbingers of the Imperial Truth (or a more traitorous counterpart) not only turned their brothers into Zealots, but also instilled Fear on the hearts of their enemies. Besides those two rules, the upgrade also gives him a Crozius Arcanum power weapon, which isn't restricted to being a power maul - a Chaplain with an axe is fine. Since the Ecclesiarchy wasn't yet a thing they don't get a Rosarius as protection and have to buy a Refractor field if they want to compensate, but with Terminator armor and some legion equipment they can reach up to 3++, so don't worry. Use them like normal Chaplains; in other words, inspire your big killy squad to greater glory!
    • Master of Signals: The Legiones Astartes were organised as a large-scale ground-taking force the same way that Guardsman are organised in 40K, and that means dedicated comm specialists for manouevring and coordinating vast amounts of firepower. Step in these bois, who don't disappoint when it comes to beefing up a gunline. Each has a once-per-game S8 AP3 D3 Large Blast Orbital bombardment, and come equipped with a Cognis Signum that, among other neat benefits, grants +1 BS to a single friendly unit within 6" if he doesn't shoot that turn (which he won't, as he can't even take a bolter). They also carry a Nuncio-vox, enabling Barrage weapons to use his line of sight, allowing for much more accurate artillery fire and no-scatter Deep strikes. If you were planning to deep strike all over the enemy's face and cover him in pie-plates the Orbital Assault RoW works best. Enjoy your accurate Rapier Quad Mortar barrages. This fella is no good himself in close quarter combat, nor does he boost melee efficacy, so you'll want him away from brawls and hidden among shooty doods like Seeker, Heavy Support and Tactical Support squads, Rapier batteries and so on. But don't forget - the Nuncio Vox can be used to make accurate deep strikes, which in a pinch can be used to call in some Assault Squad reinforcements to protect the gunline should enemies encroach.
      • In return for all his fancy base kit, the Signals man has very limited wargear options: He can't take Terminator armour or any kind of bike. In fact, the only things he can take are power weapons (but no power fists), a Volkite charger, pistols, a charnabal sabre or a heavy chainsword. But he buffs your army with just his mere presence, so you could take him naked (or with Artificer & Refractor protection) and even at just that he's one of the most useful Consuls.
      • With the new FAQ the Master of Signals has become somewhat horrendous in the right circumstances. Being able to fire his bombardment when he has moved, from a fire point or has disembarked at a DIFFERENT TARGET to any attached unit is frankly jaw-dropping. This coupled with his nuncio-vox makes him a fantastic support character for an Orbital Assault list (Bring him down turn 1 with a squad of guys with scary guns, fire the bombardment then intercept something next turn and give you 6" no scatter for another unit for the low price of around 100pts is amazing). Rites of War such as The Black Reaving and the Logos Lectora suddenly got a bit better with the mandatory inclusion of this little guy.
      • Legion Support Officer: Masters of Signals cannot be used as a compulsory HQ. This also means they can't be in an allied contingent. They're too busy telling people where to point guns to be ... well, doing whatever else leaders do.
    • Legion Champion: As their name implies, these guys are the champions of the Legions. Such warriors get free master-crafting on a single melee weapon of their choice, along with WS6, Precision Strikes and an oath that means they always reroll failed Glorious Intervention attempts and always issue challenges. If you want someone to go around curb-stomping all the (ubiquitous) veteran sergeants out there, he's your expensive resin guy - just keep him away from the named characters. The same with all consuls, they fit better in some legions than in others. They have no wargear restrictions, but you'll want him mobile and melee oriented. Instead of giving him Terminator armor, try making him a choppy biker or a fiery-winged angel. In the latest Faq they got access to paragon blades, so helping them do their jobs even better.
    • Vigilator: Vigilators are awesome Captain-sized spy-scouts. They grant Scout to attached units, and Stealth too if they take Cameleoline. Take the time to downgrade their Power armor to Scout armor, and they also gain Infiltrate and Move through Cover, although Infiltrate won't be conferred on joined units. They have Special Issue ammo and the Sniper special rule, so take advantage of Precision shot and snipe that apothecary with a precisely-placed Shred+Rend Scorpius round), and get a pre-game Sabotage attack of D6 S5 AP6 hits (that always targets the weakest facing on a vehicle) on a 2+. Make sure to wear your best troll-face when you get First Blood in the deployment phase.
    • Librarian: Unlike 40k Librarians, the Legions haven't put too much emphasis on Librarians and in fact were recently outright prohibited, or at least on paper. The dire times of the Heresy forced them back into usage however. These bookworms are pricey, and were nerfed heavily in the stand-alone Crusade Army List. You can only purchase up to level two mastery, they don't have access to a Psychic Hood for AoE Deny the Witch coverage and choose a single psychic discipline from the rule book (not that you were going to mix/match anyway). But despite all that, get access to the regular consul gear, so they can be placed on Jet bikes to enjoy mobility only Eldar Warlocks and Tzeentch Disk-riding Sorcerers normally get.
      • Legion Support Officer: Librarians cannot be used as a compulsory HQ. This also means they can't be in an allied contingent.
    • Forge Lord: These guys are the 30k equivalent to Masters of the Forge. They have a vast range of wargear options from being both Techmarines (Servitors, Cyber familiar, etc.) and Consuls (Jetbikes, invuln-granting wargear, among others), allowing them to fill a rather broad number of roles. Just remember, boys over toys. They come with Servo arm and Artificer armour by default, but not a power axe like Techmarines. If going for ranged support you'll want to give them Conversion beamers or Graviton guns, which he'll get to fire on the move when mounted on a bike. You could also give them Terminator armor for the same result, but make it Cataphractii pattern instead of normal Terminator: buying Refractor + Power weapon + MC Bolter is 5pts cheaper and lets you Sweep Advance, while you can add a Cyber-familiar to Cataphractii to get a sweet 3++ without taking up an arm like a Storm Shield would.
      • Who forgot that they can take Cortex Controllers?! If you take one of these, you can take a single unit of Castellax Automata or un-augmented Thallax as a Heavy Support option, if a Praevian just doesn't make it for you. Not only that, but he can heal Castellaxes because of Battlesmith. An Angel's Wrath, Orbital Assault or Armored Spearhead list can take Thallax since they Deep Strike.
      • Who forgot that they can take RAD Grenades?! They're surprisingly excellent duelists, with 3 base attacks + servo arm. Outfit him for melee (Boarding Shields for Defensive grenades, power weapon, etc.) and preferably, stick him in a big unit, which can pretty much be anything because of his ample wargear choices - Jetpack to hang out with Thallax (which can be S7 with Heavy chainblades), Jetbike to be part of a biker gang squad (both squads benefitting from Battlesmith), Terminator armor, you name it. Come the assault phase and your enemies are -1 Toughness, ID on S6. Enjoy.
        • If you're footslogging, you can also bring your Servitors with you and grant those Tactical blobs much needed flexibility with Flamers, or hidden power fists. They'll think twice when charging with a T3 unit against 4D3 flamer hits.
      • Who forgot that *BLAM* Consider giving them Augury scanners. Only 5 pts and it deters Infiltrators from approaching near him. Oh, and the rest of the squad gets Interceptor too across the board so those rad-missiles are a bit spooky now if you want to spend the points on them, or if you're feeling particularly r00d you can throw him in a quad mortar squad with phosphex, shatter shells or whatever flavour of munition you care for. Delightful. Shooting incoming enemies at full BS is always better than doing nothing. Can also take "Nuncio-Vox" which means they can call down the Artillery with LOS as well, a superb force multiplier HQ unit, take one.
    • Primus Medicae: These guys are super-sized Apothecaries, granting both Feel No Pain to attached Space Marine units (and only to them, so no Custodes/Militia/Solar Auxillia/Mechanicum shenenigans) and the ability to recover lost victory points from friendly Space Marine Infantry or Jump Infantry units destroyed nearby...which is better than nothing. These chief doctors have a pretty broad wargear set unlike some Consul, so you can customise them flexibly and put them on a bike to get a mobile & tough medic, a Jetpack or even give them Cataphractii armor. They also get a Needle gun that has S2 AP5 with Rending and Poisoned, which is actually as good/better than a bolter, specially vs 2+ save MEQs. His weapon options took a bit of reduction in the updated Crusade List, now he can no longer take Power Fists, Chainfists, paired Lightning Claws or Boarding Shields.
      • Due to the Medicae upgrade costing nearly as much as a bare bones Apothecary, it's hard to argue for these fellas as a pure toughness-enhancing measure over regular Apoths. Take them when the Elite slots of a force have been saturated, or when you aid in a squad not compatible with a normal apothecary, or failing that just situations where a 1-Wound Apoth wouldn't make it.
      • Legion Support Officer: Primus Medicae cannot be used as a compulsory HQ. This also means they can't be in an allied contingent.
      • Take into account that Primarchs and anyone without the Legion Astartes X rule can no longer get FNP from these guys so the deathstar or Primarch, Bodyguard and Primus Medicae is no longer a thing; although still useful for keeping the bodyguard alive though.
    • Siege Breaker: Here's the guy for Imperial Fists and Iron Warriors players. They grant Tank Hunters and Wrecker to the attached unit's Heavy weapons. They also have Nuncio-voxes, so Barrage weapons can draw line of sight from them. Finally, they can take up to three Phosphex bombs and let Medusas and Rapiers use the dreaded Phosphex pyro-chem shells for extra rape, so they fit the Death Guard's chemical warfare theme too! If it’s a building and it absolutely needs to come down yesterday, use these guys. If there are vehicles that should've been dismantled yesterday or anything hanging around in barricades, also use these guys.
    • Moritat: Originally invented by the Raven Guard and considered somewhat broken back on HH1, this particular consul has since been nerfed to the ground, which is a damn shame as it happened around the time the great models were released. Moritats are cold-blooded dual-pistol-wieldin' killers, coming stock with BS5, an extra Bolt Pistol (fully replaceable), Rad grenades, Scout, Counter-Attack and a special Chain Fire ability, which grants each successful hit per pistol an additional shot, continually, until either said pistol has missed or the accumulated total of hits between both pistols equals twelve as per the new Crusade Army List book. This means that even if one pistol misses, the other one keeps on rolling until it too misses or the total hits 12 - Forge World clarified this in an FAQ.
      • Note that weapons that do not roll to hit do not benefit from Chain Fire - so dual Hand Flamers sees no benefit, and a single Hand Flamer simply adds its hits onto however many can be Chain Fire scored from the other. What's worse, weapons that Get Hot! now overheat on a 1 and a 2 and cause the entire Chain Fire to stop immediately. This means that Plasma Pistols are very risky on a Moritat, and shots from them are best kept til late in the Chain lest they cut off action from the other pistol. Finally Moritats can't charge after launching a Chain Fire, nor can they shoot with the used pistols in the following turn, both for Overwatch as well as regular attacks, as they reload and let the barrels cool down. This shouldn't be a problem.
      • Unfortunately, Moritats also have to put up with the Lone Killer rule, which prevents them from acting as an army's compulsory HQ or Warlord, prevents them from joining any kind of unit other than Destroyer Squads (who already wield Rad Grenades), and even prevents them from benefiting from Psychic Blessings, beneficial special rules provided by special characters, Warlord traits or Rites of War. Moritats are moody gits that just go it alone, and don't care what even their Primarch thinks, like true Edgelords.
      • Moritats can't ride bikes, and most transport options are not viable as they can only join Destroyer squads. Jump Packs are the natural choice for added mobility on a Moritat, especially as they allow Deep Striking within pistol-shootin' distance. No, you can't give them Terminator Armour, but Artificer Armour + Refractor Field will help sustain their presence long enough to earn back points.
      • Given both the hard 12 cap on additional hits, plus the horrible Gets Hot!-specific penalties on Chain Firing, dual-using Plasma Pistols is both exceedingly risky AND inefficient. That said, the Plasma P is the strongest pistol in the Moritat's arsenal, and if anything can benefit from multiplying its rate of fire by a factor of 12, it's a S7 AP2 Terminator-mulcher. The winning combo centers on the following technicality: A Moritat can roll Chain Fire dice with just one of his pistols, then when that one misses he can continue firing using the other one. In other words, a Moritat can begin a Chain Fire with a safer bet, like a Bolt Pistol or, hey, a Volkite Serpenta, begin firing with that pistol until it misses or scores a respectable number of hits, between 6 to 9 - then brown off the attack with a last couple of Plasma shots once there's no risk of cancelling the rest of the attack. How much of this was Forge World's intent is hard to say, but it works sort-of as a balanced shooting option for creating buckets of regular hits plus a few Termie-killers, and is how the majority of Moritats see use in practice.
      • Most popular combo by far is the Volkite-Plasma duo, due to the Volkite's ability to carry the wound count above the limit of twelve. Against the right target [squishy guardsmen], Deflagrate can easily double the wound count of an attack.
      • Unfortunately, as fun as all these mechanics are, there's nothing a different unit can't do better than the Moritat as-is given the shot-cap and overheat nerfs. A 5-man Plasma Tactical Support squad will average more hits, score objectives, and only eat one of four common Troops slot rather than a precious HQ/Consul slot. A 5-man Volkite Charger squad will do the same and be able to charge afterwards as well. Both such units are similar in price. A Moritat with a Jump Pack can Deep Strike, but it's only worth it when he is attached to a Destroyer Squad with the same upgrade.
      • Strangely RAW Moritats are not barred from taking a Volkite Charger or Power Weapons. The Charger is useful if the target is still outside of pistol range. While the latter is helpful due to not being to shoot after Chain Firing and he gets charged. In this case you should always give him a Power Axe to kill anything that isn't tabled after two rounds of Rad Grenades and a Chain Fire salvo.
    • Legion Delegatus:HH6 A budget Praetor, the upgrade is merely +15 pts. He also comes with a Master crafted weapon (which regular Centurions can't usually access), so the upgrade pays for itself. They are given a task from Legion High-Command and the keys to the Legion's armory with simple instructions: "Get shit done by ANY means necessary." He's a Consul that has Master of the Legion and you can take him in games below 1000pts. He must be the Warlord unless his Primarch is there, and if he is then neither Praetors nor LoWs (like Primarchs) can be taken. The Delegatus can take a Command squad and has access to a unique RoW called "Chosen Duty" that's designed for smaller games like Zone Mortalis (if you play those) and Strategic Raid Missions. 'Chosen Duty' makes Veteran tacticals troops, and two are mandatory. He's worth a VP for surviving or awards the opponent an extra one if he dies. He's the canon dude for those who like to take RoWs with their Centurions using home rules (we know you do).
    • Legion Praevian:HH6 Master of the Legion's Automata. He is a Support Officer, so cannot be used as a compulsory HQ and thus cannot be in an allied contingent. Comes equipped with a Cortex Controller, Cortex Designator and can't take anything that makes him bulky. First you choose a type of Battle Automata (Only Castellax and Vorax at this time) to accompany him, forming one unit with MCs (so he can't go to ground) that he can't leave. Any time the Praevian hits an enemy unit with a ranged attack, he grants Preferred Enemy to the Automata in his unit for that turn (so give him a bolter). Upgrade them with Enhanced Targeting Arrays for 2+ re-rollable accuracy for your weapons. It gets better; every legion can have their Legiones Astartes rules conferred to the Automata. Some exceptions or modifications may apply as described below. You can also choose to not have LA rules applied to them and pick either Furious Charge, Tank Hunters or Scout (the last of which also applies to the Praevian himself, but Vorax already have it). Troll points if you also use a Legion RoW for a metric ton of rules. The LA rules apply in full, the list on HH6 is more of an options list than modifications to the LA rules.
      • Dark Angels: Castellax may pretty much buy Monster Hunters for 15 pts a piece. In order to fight monsters we created monsters of our own.
      • Emperor's Children: Can buy Sonic Shriekers for the entire unit for 15 points. Deadly on Vorax, who will now attack on I5, faster than marines and as fast as the Ordo Cybernetica's, and will hit most things on 3+.
      • Space Wolves: Can buy Counter-Attack, which is pointless since Space Wolves already have counter-attack.
      • Night Lords: Each Battle Automata counts as three models for the Talent for Murder rule. Retribution says they can buy Trophies of Judgment but they already cause Fear for being MCs so ignore that option.
      • Death Guard: It makes it look like they need to have LA rules to gain access to Chem Munitions, but those are a force option, so you could have them with Tank Hunters instead (DG also has many ways of improving frag grenades, available to Battle-Automata). Death Guard's FnP(4+) against Poison and Fleshbane combines very well with the Battle-Automata's Cybernetic Resilience. The enemy wanted to use poison to kill your MCs? Successful wounds will be rerolled and then they'll have a FnP save on top of their armour/invuln save. DG rules also impose a -1 penalty to their Sweep Advance score, but Praevians are I5 anyway.
      • Sons of Horus: Each Battle Automata counts as three models for the Merciless Fighters rule and can buy Banestrike rounds for 15 points per model, meaning that any regular Bolter on them (they have 2 by default) can sort-of keep up with their Mauler Bolt Cannon. Pass on the Banestrikes, but Merciless Fighting can be a lot of fun for bots strong enough to squish marines or Terminators.
      • Word Bearers: Can purchase Dark Channeling if a Diabolist is also present. Be wary that Castellax wouldn't really gain anything if you rolled 'Daemon', and Vorax have a way easier time getting into melee. +1S wouldn't help much on its own, but combined with Furious Charge your Castellax would punch as hard as lascannons, and it would also grant the Vorax a 5++.
      • Raven Guard: Battle Automata gain Infiltrate and Fleet. SURPRISE CASTELLAX anyone? Voraxii already have Scout & Fleet and wound marines on a 2+, so they don't benefit much from Furious Charge either (and if you want to reliably threaten vehicles Castellax would serve you better). The Praevian can confer Infiltrate to the unit, so better give Tank Hunters to Castellaxes with Darkfire cannons. Shadow points for giving the Praevian Cameleoline to grant the infiltrated T7 unit Stealth.
      • Alpha Legion: Mutable Tactics and Battle Automata can buy Banestrike rounds for 15 points per model, meaning that any regular Bolter on them (they have 2 by default) can sort-of keep up with their Mauler Bolt Cannon. Pass on the Banestrikes, but given how Mutable tactics work, any Praevian-led unit can become a clusterfuck of rules-sploit goodness: Battle-Automata already have Adamantium Will, Move Through Cover and Scout (Vorax only), and the Praevian can confer Infiltrate/Tank Hunters/Scout depending on his MT by virtue of those rules requiring a single model in order to affect the entire squad. If you're now thinking "???" then mission accomplished, an Alpharius is you. Just kidding, pick the one you need for the occasion.
      • Do note that in the playtest rules the Praevian is changed by quite a bit, mainly by removing the LA rules for the Automata and just giving them each a specific bonus to prevent the absurd combos that showed up. While they're not official yet, don't expect these above combos to last if the changes make it through unaltered.
    • Herald: a 40pt upgrade which grants some pretty sizable buff to your army depending on which Faction you are (Looks like in Book 6 they are really hammering down on picking a Faction rather than having Loyalists and Traitors a campaign thing). Now the limitations; cannot be the compulsory HQ (so no Herald for allies, kinda unfluffy IMO), and can take a Rite of war, your enemy scores an additional VP if the Herald dies, cannot benefit from additional CCW (He's holding a MF banner), may not take a jump pack/jetbike/bike/terminator armour, may not take any weapon which is Two-Handed. Always best giving the Herald Artificer Armour and possible a power fist since the Specialist Weapon downside makes zero difference. Now time for banners; all banners effect the Herald and all units within 12" (which meet the restrictions).
      • Blackshields - Dark Banner: All LA(Blackshields) gain Fear and +1 Leadership. All round solid banner.
      • Loyalists - Banner of the Aquilla: All models with LA (including the Herald) and are part of a Loyalist force gain +1 WS to a maximum of 5. Solid banner that can be used for either defensive or offensive purposes, as most things are when comparing Loyalists to Chaos.
      • Traitors - Banner of the Eye: All models with LA (including the Herald) and are part of a Traitor force add +1" to both charge and run distances AND may Re-Roll 1's to HIT on the turn they successfully charged, World Eater-style. An extremely aggressive banner, which is usually the case for Traitors. Now go dig the loyalist scum out of their hovels!!! DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR.
      • The Herald bizarrely gets both the Rite of Command AND the Support Officer rules, so if you take a Herald he cannot fill your compulsory HQ slot but he HAS to be your warlord (and can't be taken along any other model that also has to be your warlord) unless you also take your Primarch, meaning that extra victory point he concedes for killing him likely doubles due to "Slay the Warlord" objectives. Rite of Command also grants you the Master of the Legion rule meaning you can take a Rite of War with a Herald, as well as a Command Squad, just like a Praetor. Yes, Rite of Command means this banner boy can have his own banner boy, dawg (and is proof forgeworld really don't proof read anything).
      • Playtest Rules: FAQ Feb 19 Heralds get Implacable Advance (which is quite good on an Independent Character if you attach him to a non-scoring unit) and Fearless, in addition as of these rules Heralds can take Terminator Armour.
    • The following are from HH8 that we have no concrete information about yet.
      • Artificer: Master Crafts Heavy Weapons in Squads he joins.
      • Warmonger: More like an upgrade rather than a specialist, coming somewhere between Centurion and Preator they grant the squad they join the Deep Strike special rule.
      • Keeper of the Dead: Like a Praevian for but Dreadnoughts
      • Two types of Psyker Consuls - one is definately "anti-psyker"
    • It's best to think of the Centurion as a support HQ choice. They work best when linked with another unit or when working in conjunction with a Praetor. That being said, a Centurion is a good choice he will a.) help focus the tactics of the overall army and b.) perform whichever vital function you need him to. If your army is going for a standoffish approach of just shooting, take the Siege Breaker or Master of Signals to boost your firepower; if your army is more close combat oriented, take a Legion Champion, Chaplain or Moritat to improve your close-in ability. Primus medicae are best placed with your elite terminators, while Librarians, Vigilators and Forge Lords are flexible enough to behave like a proper subcommander and do well in almost any situation. Just remember he's not one of those named special characters.
  • Damocles Command Rhino: A non-compulsory choice in any Legion army, but can be taken as a dedicated transport option for an Ultramarine Master of Signals. Objectively better than the 40k version for many reasons. They apply their Deep Strike homer bonus to ALL units within 24" (not just teleporting units within 12") and ALSO reduce any roll for a Deep Strike mishap by -1, which might seem stupid if you can Deep Strike without error anyway, but this bonus applies anywhere on the table, not just within the homer radius. They also can modify the owner's reserve rolls by +/-1, so you can ensure you bring units on when you really want them to. They still have the orbital strike, albeit at S8 AP3, though it is twin-linked and Lance, so it's quite accurate and good for taking out MEQs or vehicles. The final bonus for this tank is that it has a transport capacity, something the 40k version lacks. So it's quite a useful vehicle that can do a lot for your army.

Elites[edit]

  • Veteran Tactical Squad: A 5-10 strong squad, predicting the vein of post-heresy Tactical squads. Tri-weapon setup (Bolter+Bolt Pistol+CCW) by default and 2A for every statline, so very solid all round performance. One special or heavy weapon per five men, and any model can take a Combi-weapon or a Power Weapon. Heavy Weapons recieve a very nice Suspensor web, allowing Assault heavy weapon-calibre shots at halved range. No specialist ammunitions however, besides Legion-exclusives - fancy bullets go on Seekers in the Fast Attack Slot in 30k, which goes a long way towards diversifying the bolter-wielding scene. Veterans are a tooled up Tactical Squad, akin to the Veteran rules popular among Marine armies in 4th edition - not just in terms of flexible equipment, but also via the inclusion of Veteran Tactics, a special rule that lets each unit pick one of five specialisations presented below, giving them an extra kick in one dimension.
    • On the whole, it's best to keep these guys cheap and simple. Use complimentary matchings of Veteran Tactics and weapons for a coherent unit role, with a few tools to make killing infantry and Troop choice units simpler. When built well, Tactical Veterans live up to their name as slicker 40k Tacticals in 30k - which mind you is often the case, as many Rites of War and Character rules make them Troops. All Veteran Tacticals have the Implacable Advance rule in addition to their tactic, which makes them Scoring no matter their slot. With the most recent price reduction, a unit is but 35pts more dear than an equivalent Legion Tactical squad, and for that modest fee they get a solid statisical-and-rule boost and a plethora of wargear options to work with them.
    • When finding a role for Vet-Tac units, think along similar lines to the Consuls: special-purpose tools meant to nail a particular task, not lead or powerhouse superunits. Useful on their own, Vets become beastly when paired with Legiones Astartes rules and Rites. For many lists, these heroes will find themselves receiving two or three special rules at once. Hooah.
      • Resolve grants the Stubborn USR and nothing else. Sometimes useful due to the lack of ATSKNF in 30k. If you find yourself against Fear-spamming Night Lords and Word Bearers with Ld-penalising tricks and stunts, an all-rounder melee unit of Vets could switch to this and take charges like men.
      • Stalkers grant each model the Scout rule. Not terrible, but losing Marksmen still hurts like hell.
      • Weapon Masters gives the whole squad +1 WS, an obvious offensive and defensive boon for a melee loadout. Remember that as Veterans, everyone has 2 base attacks + Pistol & CCW bonus by default, so every bonus is amplified beyond the norm for units with "Tactical" in the name. With everyone able to take Power Weapons, and one in five Twin Lightning Claws, these are the units you pack in a nifty transport and throw into Tactical, or even Assault, bloackades for maximum squelch. Don't forget some Suspensor-Web big guns to soften the target up before the charge!
      • Machine Killers gives all the unit's attacks +1 to Armour Penetration rolls, which goes down very smoothly in conjunction with Combi-weapons, especially Combi-meltas which become one-use hand-Lascannons: massed S9 AP1 will go even through Armoured Ceramite with a good chance of exploding the unfortunate targeted vehicle. Furthermore, the whole squad can purchase Melta Bombs; risky and a smidge overkill, but nicely discounted. Alternatively consider combi-grenade launchers so you can shoot more times than a combi-melta.
      • Xenobane units may reroll to-wound against Monstrous or Gargantuan Creatures. Highly situational, and only useful against Daemons or Mechanicum, unless you're playing games out of their appropriate settings.
  • Legion Destroyer Squad: The bastards who give the middle finger to the Geneva Convention. Frequently used against xenos (who have no human rights) and when a harsh example needs to be made. They have access to nasty proscribed weapons that even in this setting are described as "too cruel", like Toughness-decreasing Rad grenades, AoE Fleshbane Rad missiles (no access to Krak, though) and the deadly Phosphex bombs. The squad has a hard on for bolt pistols, with each Destroyer wielding a pair for double-tapping at any (admittedly short) distance. One in five can take a Serpenta/Hand flamer/Plasma pistol; Rad missiles are the better choice, but the pistols are a little cheaper. In short, the Legion Destroyer squad is a more expensive Assault squad (from before they got their price fixed, and with the jump packs needing to be bough extra - in all honesty it's still hard to justify this unit's cost) with better shooting ability and access to unique anti-infantry weapons. Properly equipped make their points back by erasing a swathe of infantry, AdMech MCs or even Terminators before they go pop. Too bad the Servitors of rad Techmarines can bring more Rad Missile launchers, the weapon that used to make this squad "unique".
    • Destroyers are also the only unit that can accompany the (eternally-nerfed) Moritats. And they're not just a meatshields, but a firm compliment; Mori's can't Overwatch or Assault after using their signature Chain Fire ability, but these guys have Counter Attack to make up for the difference. The whole squad can buy Melta bombs for a flat cost, making large units effective scourers of machines as well as men - another area where Moritats will appreciate the help.
    • The whole squad can buy Jump Packs which, in conjunction with their Rad grenades, will give them Hammer of Wrath on -1T enemies, ID'ing GEQs in one great nuclear splat. It's decidedly pricy, especially compared to a Rhino, but the advantage in deployment options and shoot-charging is worthy. Alongside an attached Moritat a Destroyer squad can Scout 12" and then move another 12", thus negating the main weakness of all pistoliers - their weapon's short range.
    • If Jump Packs, Rhinos and footslogging sound too cheap and frail, the Land Raider Proteus is available for these boys. Upgrade it with an Exploratory Augury Web to grant it Scout and ensure reserve shenanigans. Scout 12", move 6", disembark 6" and phosphex some poor soul off the map. Since you scout-moved and probably Chain Fired with the Moritat leader, you won't have to worry about the lack of assault ramp. Two TLLC and an optional MM (or yet another Lascannon) give the beast utility, whether synergistic - blow transports open to get the Destroyers on the flammable insides - or diversified, letting this expensive deathnest tackle more targets.
  • Legion Terminator Squad: It's Terminators, what's not to like about them? Expensive, but good. Note that in 30K, Termies can only Deep Strike in conjunction with a Rite of War, attached Special Character or Legion specific equipment. Legion Terminators are more a precursor to modern Chaos Marines than the highly-restrictive loyalist counterparts - each model wields a Power Weapon as standard, and any individual model can upgrade their TL-bolters or Power weapons to Combi-weapons, Fists, Claws and so on. You can shoot for a heavy assault outfit, but only the Salamanders & Imperial Fists have access to storm shields to build the TH/SS god unit of 6th edition. Fear not, for there's a difficult nasty setup for Terminators of any legion, absentum from 40k: units outfitted with Tartaros pattern armour can Sweeping Advance, letting Sword, Maul and Claw-armed units roll over large infantry blobs. Alternatively, units can walk into battle with Cataphractii pattern, which reverses and amplifies the benefit of Tartaros by preventing Sweeping Advances, Run moves and Overwatch (effectively Slow and Purposeful, but without sharing with joined units) in return for a *free* 4+ Invulnerable save. You can basically get old-fashioned (3rd-edition) Storm Shields for free, AND keep a gun or extra Claw. And no matter the choice of armour, all Terminator units have Implacable Advance, so they can footslog onto points and hold them with extra security.
    • Terminators are like Tactical squads: don’t over complicate them, or they will struggle to earn back their points. They’re not a subtle unit, but a good solid powerhouse that will get most jobs done, especially when specialised. When outfitting Terminators for melee, instead of going all wolverine with expensive twin claws consider opting for Claw + Volkite chargers (and/or Plasma Blasters) instead. For less points you lose +1 attack from the twin claws but retain potent shooting, whether with practical-double wounding for GEQs or AP2 for TEQs, and overall on par against MEQs. Put all that non-yet-forgotten technology to use.
    • Since Cataphractii armour hampers mobility for extra protection, it's best employed when the squad has reliable transportation. The lack of Overwatch makes it much more suitable for melee than Tartaros - en-masse twin-linked weaponry will near-guarantee hits, and that's lost on Cataphractii. Enemy Terminators will fear these suits, as the better invuln save is a huge boon against concentrated AP 2. With exception of the Dakkanators used by Iron Warriors and Ultra Smurfs (Cyclones will drop blast templates at range) and Aquilon Terminators. Otherwise stick to Tartaros - at the very least Tartaros units can run and grab an objective more reliably in the late game.
    • While there are plenty of units in the 30K game with Implacable Advance, with fancy Legion-exclusive Terminators as prime examples, the standard Terminator squad sits at the heart of of Deathwing style lists - not just for price-efficiency, but for the plethora of Rites of War and Special Character rules giving them access to the troops slot. Plenty of special-Terminator variants can't take Volkite spam either, and really who can resist the guilty pleasure of a little Volkite spam at this point? Nobody important, that's who.
    • To round things off, stock Terminators are also among the few units able to take a Spartan Assault Tank as a Dedicated Transport, cementing them as the most common Deathstar Unit in the 30K milieu.
  • Techmarine Covenant: 1-3 Techmarines as a single elite choice, each with up to 4 servitor buddies (12 total) and access to the likes of Conversion Beamers, Graviton guns and Rad grenades as personal arms. Remember how the Forgelord is a very good consul? The same applieth-not to their juniors. Most vehicles are tough enough to survive on their own, so Techmarines are insurance at best. Insurance - at the cost of a valuable Elite choice slot that could be used for Terminators, Dreadnoughts, Rapiers, Legion-specifics, Apothecaries for the big units...
    • VERY important note, 30k techmarines are NOT Independent characters nor can they take bikes, "reinforce" ruins or join squads, which is a shame since their augury scanners (to guard their tanks chums from infiltrating meltas) and specially Rad grenades would have really helped many units; Techmarines really need their servitor meat shields for basic survivability and to get mileage from their options. Unfortunately these servitors, while both stronger and noticeably tougher than their 40k counterparts, are a bit more expensive, come base with a chainsword and bolter yet don't help the Techmarine with his Battlesmith rolls. Having them in the unit will raise the majority Toughness to T5, but 5+ armour is essentially nothing in a bolter-saturated environment.
    • The Servo-Automata have several weapon options, most of them geared to hold the line like Rotor cannons, Heavy Bolters, Multi-Meltas and Missile Launchers (Frag & Krak), the latter which has the added bonus of being able to swap those munitions for Rad Missiles if their Techmarine also has Rad Grenades, means you can create miniature Devastator squads and a single Techmarine can bring more Fleshbane than a maxed Destroyer squad, albeit not as accurate or mobile: A single Techmarine with a Servitor retinue can bring four rad missiles for less than 200pts, while Destroyers can only bring two while using full 300pts. Since you can up to three Techmarines per slot, and four Servo-Automata per Marine, this could be a FOC slot saving and cost effective means of adding heavy weapons to your army even if they lack power armour and BS4, especially if you're playing with any of the alternative FOC types or manning a fortress: 12 Rad Missile Servitors with a cover save, while the Techmarines repair any damage suffered by the fort, man the emplaced weapons or use Conversion Beamers themselves is a fort that gets repaired and has a 48" Fleshbane AP3 threat radius. While flamers are a good option since they don't roll to hit and make for a good keep-away weapon, remember Flamer Tactical support squads are simply better.
  • Apothecarion Detachment: 1-3 Apothecaries as a single elites choice, each MUST be attached to an Infantry squad with the LA rule, but they may now purchase a bike or Jump Pack so they may join Bikes or Jump Infantry squads respectively, which they cannot voluntarily leave. This grants you choice over which squads gets the Feel No Pain special rule, which is awesome for those 20-men footsloggers; however they CANNOT join units equipped with Terminator Armour or with the Daemon rule, so it's more difficult to create resilient god units...but that's the Medicae Primus' job. Their wargear options are limited, but if they don't take a bike or pack, they can instead buy Artificer armour to aid their survival. They also get the access to the lower fare of sergeant gear, such as Power Weapons and Combi-Weapons and can get Augury Scanners to allow their squads to screw with Infiltrators and to Intercept Deep Strikers for a dirt-cheap 5pts.
  • Legion Rapier Battery: 1-3 Rapiers with Quad(!) Heavy Bolters, which can be upgraded to Laser Destroyers or Graviton Cannons. Also, the entire battery has the option to upgrade to Quad-launchers instead, with access to four different kinds of shells besides the regular Frag ones. Rapier Batteries can do the job of a Heavy support squad at a much cheaper cost and with greater survivability. They do have less flexibility on the transport front however, as their only DT is a Drop Pod carrying 1 gun plus crew at a time, and only when using the "Orbital Assault" RoW. Think of the Rapier as cognate to the Thunderfire cannon, but with T7 base and 4 wounds. You’ll want to set them up in terrain somewhere in the backfield and never move unless it's absolutely required. The roles are mostly self-explanatory based on the gun you mount:
    • For dealing with general infantry you'll want the Heavy Bolters for forcing lots of saves on-the-cheap, 6 Twin-Linked S5 shots WILL lead to failed saves. Graviton Cannons are costlier but also help here: in spite of being tailor-made for killing vehicles they also do wonders for putting the brakes on regular infantry as after they've blown open their transports, a large patch of temporarily difficult and dangerous terrain makes reaching an objective/cover/effective range to attack a target that bit harder.
    • For dealing with vehicles you'll want Laser Destroyers (S9, AP1, Ordnance) or Graviton Cannons (for Haywire). None of these options (yes, not even multiple Graviton Cannons) have good odds to take out Souped-Up Spartans/Land Raiders even in two turns, but they'll wreck the shit out of all other vehicles. Anything with an AV lower than 14 and Hull Points lower than 4 fit the crosshairs -just don't expect much in one turn due to extensive invulnerable saves in 30K.
    • Quad Launcher Support Batteries became more expensive, but gained access to several extra munitions besides their Frag shells with Shell Shock for increased chance of Pinning: good old Shatter shells to deal with medium AV with their four S8 Sunder shots, Incendiary Shells that are weaker frag shells that Ignore Cover Saves, Splinter Shells with S2 AP4 Rending, because FW apparently thinks small blasts that wound on a six cost +10pts (even Frag shells have a higher chance of wounding termies). But the most powerful munitions they have access to are Phosphex canister shots, available if you have a Siege Breaker in your force. Unlike regular phosphex however these munitions are only AP3, but otherwise still function as regular phosphex ammo and are superb marine woodchippers.
      • The Medusa may be the better source of regular AP2 phosphex, but if what you care about is killing regular marines while leaving behind flaming dangerous terrain, then Phosphex Quad launchers are your best option, ruining ~1.5 times the terrain covered by Medusae, while being ~2.8 times more points efficient in doing so, its MEQ killing capabilities comparable to Scorpius Whirlwinds (shorter range, less mobility and wounds on a 3+, but more reliable, leaves obstacles for infantry in its wake and you can bring more dakka for the same price).
  • Legion Dreadnought Talon: Squads of Dreads, rejoice. This unit comprises the good-old (future?) "Castaferrum" boxnaught design. Up to 3 for a single Elites choice, but only a talon of one may deepstrike in a dread drop pod. With the introduction of Cortus Contemptors there's almost no reason to keep on using regular boxnoughts. Still, they have access to stuff no Contemptor can get, like TL Missile launchers, a Flamestorm cannon, up to 2 Hunter-killer missiles, Frag Assault launchers, a Siege Wrecker w/inbuilt weapon, and Armoured Ceramite to lessen the chance of being one-shotted by melta guns. This way you can get a Siege/Ironclad Talon in the 30th Millennium. Don't forget it will go down due to glances from krak grenades, so try to stay out of trouble (and by trouble we mean those 20-man blobs). In this millennium, inbuilt twin-linked bolters can be exchanged not only with the tried-and-true Heavy Flamer, but also the expensive-but-AP2 Plasma Blaster, versatile Grav gun and the always nice Meltagun.
    • You know it's a waste to outfit a dreadnought for melee, right? Not anymore with grav guns. Keep the DCCWs (maybe grab a chainfist/siege wrecker) and say FU to Land Raiders with these guys as the grav-gun is very spammable here with six of them distributed among three independent units. You'll be stripping 2 HP per dreadnought in each shooting phase to targets that probably won't be able to run away on account of immobilisation, and the same Dread has the largess to charge infantry with 5 A2 attacks at I4 + HoW right upfront. Throw in frag launchers for cover campers and the ilk and you're still cheaper than Contemptors. Comparable to the Rapier's option but sturdier and easier to use.
    • As of the January FAQ they are BS:4 WS:5, but now have 3 base attacks in exchange. They're still inferior to their 40k counterparts that get BS5, Venerable, +1A and Chapter tactics for the same price (or are cheaper), but they make up with their 30th millennium wargear options.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought Talon: Squads of the more era-intensive Contemptor model 'noughts. Up to 3 for a single Elites choice. With 13|12|10 armour, Fleet, access to the S6 Rending 6 shots Kheres cannon, Heavy Conversion Beam (so heavy that not even Relentless will help you) and Atomantic Shielding (5+ inv. against shooting, 6+ inv. against close combat, and +1" to explosion if it suffers a 'Vehicle explodes' result) the Contemptor is a powerful dreadnought for which every legion army can find a use. Like the regular dreadnought it has the capability to fill a number of roles, but unlike it, players should see better results with its better armour and weapons.
    • Don't forget that they're WS/BS 5, despite costing the same as their 40K version. Use this to increase the rape they put out.
  • Contemptor-Cortus Dreadnought Talon: Inferior to the regular Contemptor, but uses the same models, while making regular Boxnoughts nigh useless due to them being budget Contemptors. They get 13|11|10 AV and their Atomantic Deflector only works against shooting attacks from the front arc. Furthermore, their basic Strength is reduced to 6 (not that it really matters with dreadnought CCWs) and your WS/BS is down to four. All of this comes at a 40 point decrease against the Contemptor-Primus Dreads (or mere +10pts compared to Castraferrums), but they have all the same weapon options and Fleet, so they can act as a cost effective alternative. On the plus side, Cortus dreads get Move Through Cover and can overcharge their reactors at the start of any turn, granting themselves +1" Move and Charge distances, +2" run distances, +1 Initiative or the Rage rule, at the cost of a 1/6 chance of damaging itself. Because of the nature of the interment of their pilots, Cortus dreads must always Sweep Advance and can never score (in the missions where Elites can score, that is).
  • Legion Mortis Dreadnought: A shooty dreadnought that always has two of the same weapon. Starting off with dual twin-linked heavy bolters that can be upgraded to multi-meltas (for free) or anything up to lascannons. It has the ability to use Skyfire and Interceptor if it didn't move that turn, (you have to apply both, according to FW email; a unit good at stalling ground assaults that can deal with flyers whenever you want beats a unit that has to shoot flyers to be useful any day). Unlike the more expensive Contemptor, you can arm a Mortis Dreadnought with two Hunter-killer missiles, which gives it two BS5 missiles with skyfire and infinite range, or with Twin-Linked Missile Launchers, to deal with flyers and infantry both. It cannot have Frag Assault launchers, Plasma cannons, Volkite or any kind of flamer (not that they'd help you with AA anyway) so it's even more vulnerable to tarpitters than normal Dreads. A Havoc Launcher can remedy this. Equip it with 2 twin-linked missile launchers, 2 hunter-killer missiles OR a havoc launcher (may take one of the following) and paint it yellow with an angry face for the lulz (the fun part being that it's an actually effective build). (If you really want a shooty dread, but with AA capacity, just take the hunter killers. An infinite range interceptor bubble that doesn't hurt your shooting the next turn is just excellent.)
  • Legion Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought: Same as the Mortis Dreadnought, gaining Skyfire and Interceptor when it stays still, and like it's little brother-mortis it's BS5 too! This entombed veteran is a nice piece of AA with something like double Kheres assault cannon or 2 Twin-Linked Autocannons. It can take a Havoc launcher for crowd clearing which is best used if you took a pair of Lascannons or Multi-meltas. (Or if you had the cyclone launcher bit from 40k). It can't take dual Conversion Beamers, though.
    • Lascannons are chosen mainly when you want to frighten (AND threaten) enemy flyers with a 48" death zone, but since most flyers are up to AV12 it can be a costly, penetrating overkill. Kheres Assault cannons do quite a good job, if a short ranged one, and with 12 shots you won't be bogged down as easily. Autocannons are a nice and CHEAP middle of the road, with 4 Twin-Linked S7 shots at 48" too.
    • Though Multi-meltas seem out of place here, a Contemptor Mortis is 20 points cheaper than a normal Multi-melta Contemptor, so you can throw in that Havoc launcher and still be 5 points cheaper, and only exchanges 1WS for the Interceptor AND Skyfire rules, presenting a dynamic self-sufficient unit for damn good value.

Troops[edit]

  • Legion Tactical Squad: Just like 40k, Tactical Squads are your bread-and-butter scoring units. Unlike "modern" Tacticals, however, they can have 10-20 Marines (similar to Chaos Marines). They also come with the Fury of the Legion special rule, which means that, if you forgo moving this turn and have at least 5 marines remaining you get to fire your basic Bolt weaponry twice - that means your Boltguns, Bolt Pistols and any combi-weapons taken by the Sergeant. This even stacks with Rapid Fire, so you can blast entire units off the board with up to 80 shots. The drawbacks of this are that you can't Overwatch the turn it's used or fire in the next turn. However, they can't take special or heavy weapons; that's what Tactical Support Squads are for. It’s best to give them just enough wargear to make them durable, effective, and deadly. You’ll probably get more mileage out of them if you keep all the options and toys down to a minimum so you can get more points for the more exotic options (which, again, is very similar to the use of Tactical Squads in 40k). Many, MANY legion setups will be using 2 squads of these to fill compulsory troops, as they are the cheapest option available.
    • On of the most important decisions to make with these guys is whether to give all 20 marines an additional close combat weapon by either buying chainswords rather cheaply, or free by giving up their bolters, granting extra survival in close combat and three attacks on the charge. If you're going this way, better buy them rather than giving up your bolters, because it's very useful when you've used up your ammo on a Fury of the Legion attack (do note, however, that FotL CAN be used with bolt pistols - you never lose it. You do lose out on a full 40 shots due to lack of Rapid Fire). However, when using a high capacity assault transport it might be more economical to simply give up the bolters, which can't be used prior to charging. Either way, everyone will think twice before charging a 41-attacks porcupine, and with 61 attacks you won't mind they aren't power weapons.
  • Legion Assault Squad: Yes, you can take up to 20 Assault marines as a Troops choice. They can all be given Combat shields, which are actually useful now, and Melta bombs. One in every five can also take a power weapon, hand flamer, or plasma pistol. Assault marines with the new update are now much better priced (175 for ten, 305 for twenty) to the point that some say they now overshadow Tacticals.
    • Though expensive, they really shine when using the Orbital Assault or Angel's Wrath Rites of War, their cost offset by the fact they don't need transports like everybody else in those rites, while still being able to maintain numerical superiority, a trait only two other squads can match. Then again, the possibility of a 20-model 3+/5++ Jump pack unit with 61 attacks on the charge (+ HoW) and Hit & Run is not something to take lightly.
  • Legion Breacher Siege Squad: Don't just defend the wall: BE the wall! These guys are a defensive hybrid of Assault and Tactical Marines, coming stock with Bolters for ranged output, Boarding shields to better withstand enemy charges, and Void Hardened Armor to tank mass-removal attempts from enemy flamers and light artillery (note that most serious artillery is AP3 anyway, and their movement penalty will make advancing a lengthy process). Again, you can take between 10 and 20 per unit, but unlike other Troop choices, they can take special weapons. One per five can take a meltagun, flamer, graviton gun, lascutter or breaching charge. Another unique and sometimes forgotten trait is that they can take a Land Raider Proteus or Phobos as a DT (As long as it numbers no more than 10 models), allowing you to field LRs without using up your Heavy choices, and without the limitations of 'Armoured Spearhead'. The Proteus is the better choice because you don't want to actually charge with this squad, but to bait the enemy into charging at them. They can be given Melta bombs, so a LR Phobos is by all means not a bad idea either. If you desperately need to hold points (something only Troops can do in 30k) these are your go-to guys. Costly as they are, they shine in Zones Mortalis, but who plays that? Don't forget that a Breacher Siege Squad plus a Land Raider is a big points sink. So it would be better to take Tactical Squad and a Breacher instead of two squads of Breachers or a Rite of War that makes Legion exclusive squads troops to keep the heat off.
  • Legion Tactical Support Squad: Your actual source of special weapons. 5-10 marines, and all of them, including the sergeant, have flamers that can be swapped for other special weapons (though note that all Legionaries MUST swap their flamers for the new weapon) depending on what specifically you want to do with them:
    • For dealing with general Infantry, you can keep the standard Flamer. Just because it is the starting option doesn't mean it's bad, since few things can survive charging, or survive existing near a full unit of 10 flamers, and they're much better than Rotor cannons which don't even look good on paper. They're terrible against Astartes, even though they put out a lot of shots (3-4 per gun) they're only S3. There is no armour save to fail if you're not wounding anything. Never take them over their superior alternative...
    • For dealing with MEQ's you've got Volkite Calivers. Heavy weapons may seem odd in a Special weapons squad, but these guns hit 2 points harder than Bolters, with 2 shots at more than 2 times the Bolter's 2-shot range, and are FAR cheaper than Volkite Culverins in a Heavy Support squad. Additionally, attaching a Siege Breaker to this unit will let you camp an objective and absolutely ruin light armor. If there was a god that his sacred numeration was binary, this would be his cultist's weapons...whoa, wait... All of the above is pretty decent for MEQ's, but then we have the Volkite rule, allowing you to get even more wounds, for 2 5 pts, just like Rotor guns. Seriously, don't take Rotor guns. The only real disadvantage you have is not being able to shoot on the move so you're not very mobile, but for that you have Volkite Chargers, which hit a tad weaker than Calivers, are Assault 2, and have half the range, meaning they'll be more exposed to retaliation fire (they are outranged by boltguns). Plan how you use them accordingly (attached medics, transports, etc.).
    • For dealing with 2+ armour and/or making the the unit look like a bigger threat than it actually is you've got Plasma guns, and boy are these puppies a reason to take this squad. It's one of the most expensive options, but given its ability to "Nope" squads of Terminators and the high amount of Artificer armour in the field, it's worth taking, but make sure you Deepstrike them and keep the squad down to a small size. Those points add up quick and anybody who sees five plasma guns in a unit will do everything they can to kill them. You can also take Melta Guns but given how much Armoured Ceramite is around (it ignores the extra D6) it won't help often besides ID'ing some commanders and Legion Specific 2-wound Terminators, so use them the same way you would a Plasma squad (and expect the same welcome).
      • As suggested in the name, Tactical Support Squads have the Support Squad rule, meaning they cannot fill compulsory Troops slots. You'll need 2 other Troops choices before you can start filling up in this department.
  • Legion Recon Squad: Power armoured scouts with the Scout, Outflank and Acute Senses special rules. They can have sniper rifles to really fuck your opponents over and cameleoline to add +1 to their cover save, even in open ground. Access to stealth can make these guys incredibly resilient in bigger games when you expect to see abundant abuse of low AP pie plates. Stick them in cover and go to ground all day long until you need an objective. They also have Shroud bombs. They can also swap their power armour for carapace armour and gain Move Through Cover and Infiltrate, and can swap their bolters for shotguns or chainswords, if for any reason you feel the need to charge with a squad like this. Which you can, because they can take a Storm Eagle as a DT. They can't take heavy weapons like in 40k tho. Worthy of note is the fact they can buy a nuncio vox; combine it with carapace armour for mobile, reliable deepstrikes and artillery barrages - now that's teamwork!
    • Recon Squads have the Support Squad rule, meaning meaning they cannot fill compulsory Troops slots. You'll need 2 other Troops choices before you can start filling up in this department. Recon squads work best when fielded in 10 man squads with camo and a rhino, preferably as Alpha legion or Ravenguard to keep your power armour and still infiltrate. Place them tactically, avoid assault and aim to have them survive into late game. They won't be kill machines but they WILL hang around even if old mate's typhon keeps shitting down your neck. Well placed, they'll win objective games and out live any tactical, breacher, veteran or assault squad, especially with recon company RoW.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Legion Rhino: Similar to their far-future variants, but has access to a wide range of pintle-mounts, such as: Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, twin-bolter, combi-weapons and Havoc launcher; in addition to the existing twin-bolter of course, and without sacrificing transport capacity as future Razorbacks will do. Can buy an Auxiliary Drive, which coupled with a dozer blade and its Repair rule, means it's easier to blow up this thing than prevent its movement... which is kind of the same thing.
  • Legion Drop Pod: Again, nearly similar to the far future. Has twin bolter and can't change for missiles, though.
  • Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod: Same as above but can contain a single Dreadnought, regular or Contemptor. Comes with burning retros which gives the pod and its occupant the Shrouded rule on the turn it arrives, which affects interceptor fire.
    • Note that as of the Drop Pod clarification in 2018, the Dreadnought must disembark the pod.
  • Land Raiders can be taken as dedicated transports for Breachers, Seekers, Destroyers and Terminator squads (even Terminator-wearing Command squads), while Terminators can get Spartans. Any squad that could take a Rhino can take a Land Raider when using the Armoured Spearhead RoW.
  • Any Terminator armour-equipped unit can take a Dreadclaw as a dedicated transport, and Contemptors and any unit that could take a Rhino can take Dreadclaws too when using the Orbital Assault RoW. Tactical, Veteran and Terror squads can take them when using the Claw Assault - Night Lord RoW.
  • Storm Eagles can be taken by Recon squads. Any squad that could take a Rhino can take a Storm Eagle when using the Angel Wrath RoW.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Legion Seeker Squad: Ammo update. Scorpius Ammo is 24" Heavy 1 S5 AP2 now; DO NOT FORGET THIS! Headhunters meant to take out enemy command elements, these are your Sternguard vets: 5-10 strong with Special issue ammo that is different from 40k, Implacable Advance, BS5 and Preferred Enemy against one enemy unit or Independent Character (their target), chosen after any infiltrators have been placed. While their benefit against the chosen unit is obvious, you can still use them against pretty much anything, as the correct choice of specialist ammo and high accuracy can function against virtually anything except mid to heavy vehicles. Can still be equipped with combi-weapons just like Sternguard, though this will inevitably make the unit cost a small fortune in points and, if what you want is lots of special weapons, that´s what Tactical Support squads are for. Lots of guys rapid firing Tempest bolts will annoy the crap out of your opponent; even if they are only S3, having to sit through your opponent placing 20 small templates with low scatter will drive you nuts, whilst the Shred/Rend Scorpius bolts make them into a mini sniper squad and Kraken bolts give them a Rapid Fire range of 15" (and AP4 to mess with anyone not a MEQ). The icing on the cake - they have Precision Shot to allocate wounds on apothecaries and whatnot. All these traits can make the unit appear to be a greater threat than it actually is.
    • They can't tackle heavy vehicles on their own, but fortunately their DT, Land Raider Proteus can. It can also sacrifice some of its cargo capacity for an Explorator Augury Web to get Scout and, as a bonus, ensue reserve shenanigans. How better to protect a unit that costs as much as a LR other than encasing it inside another LR? Then again, needs to kill VIPs and lots of infantry to be worth the points, but at least it's much more survivable, versatile and mobile now.
    • Positioning is key. Try to stay at the maximum range - if the enemy backs away, then they won't retaliate. If they stay at range you can best ALL infantry short of plasma support tacticals with BS5 Scorpius rounds, and if they try to advance to rapid fire range, well your Kraken grants you a 3" advantage. Against MEQs, 10 Scorpius rounds equal to 50 Tempest hits, so if the enemy is that clumped up then go for it. A World Burner will improve your chances to a more reasonable 10=30.
  • Legion Outrider Squad: Your bikers with a few buffs. The Scout special rule, all bike marines can swap their bikes' twin bolters out for twin linked flamers, meltaguns or plasma guns and 1 in 3 can have a power weapon, hand flamer or plasma pistol. The gun upgrades are excellent, but really tear through your points.
    • They're very adaptable for your army and a solid choice. Scout and high speed means it's easy to get where you want them. With an attached HQ, meltabomb on the sarge and a the option for lots of plasma makes them a very effective all round unit, able to handle anything although at a fairly high cost.
  • Legion Attack Bike Squadron: Attack bikes are the cherry on the cake, and this is a cake entirely made up of cherries. 1-5 strong with heavy bolters which can be swapped out for heavy flamers, autocannons or multi-meltas. Easy access to fast moving armoured-ceramite-ignoring melta bombs. Good value.
  • Legion Jetbike Sky-Hunter Squadron: The famed Dickbikes. 3-10 strong, 1 in 3 can replace Dickbike Jetbike mounted heavy bolter with multi-melta, volkite cannon or plasma cannon options, they can buy melta bombs and they can Deep strike, but only the sgt can buy a power weapon (while he's technically an upgrade, he's practically an auto-include, improving your melee punch and giving an extra point of Ld to save your fairly expensive squad. Very high mobility coupled with T5 and a 2+ save with Heavy weapons makes for a very powerful combination. Aim them at the enemies vagina/anus and let them fly. These guys become hilarious rape machines with the Ravenwing RoW, see below for details.
  • Legion Land Speeder Squadron: These little buggers are very fragile, but also very underrated. At 1-5 strong, they can come very cheap with a heavy bolter, and can bring a heavy flamer or volkite culverin for infantry hunting or a multi-melta for tank busting. But the real icing is that any speeder can add an additional havoc launcher, heavy bolter, plasma cannon or graviton gun as well, and in addition any speeder can also take up to 2 Hunter-Killer Missiles on top of all that for vehicle hunting at range. Deep striking, they are excellent tank or infantry hunters. Take 2-4 with graviton-guns and leave dangerous terrain and dead Land Raiders in your wake.
  • Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron: Up-sized land speeders in squadrons of 1-3, Javelins have an extra point of AV and come by default with TWIN-LINKED cyclone launchers (2 frag/krak shots) and a heavy bolter. The real beauty of the Javelin is being able to get up to two Hunter-Killer Missiles for half the price a regular speeder would pay. This means a fast, deepstriking or outflanking speeder that can fire 4 S8 shots into side armor when it arrives.
    • They got a welcome buff in the updated Crusade List, giving them more to distinguish themselves from normal Land Spreders. They now have the Strafing Run rule, so they have BS5 against ground targets and they also have 'Grav Backwash whereby opponents who try to strike at them in assault suffer -2 to-hit unless the speeder is immobilised.
  • Legion Storm Eagle Gunship: Your main transport Flyer, as only it can carry your big 20 man squads which make up the bulk of a Legion list. Impressive arsenal of weaponry, with its standard armament a Hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, a Hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher (Range:48"|Str:5|AP:4|Heavy 2, Large Blast) and 4 Tempest Rockets under the wings. 'Power of the Machine Spirit' allows it to give fire support to the transported unit, and 12|12|12 armour grants it staying power. Optional armament includes: Switching Heavy bolters for a twin-linked Multi-melta or a single Missile launcher, and replacing the Tempest Rockets with 4 Hellstrike Missiles or 2 Twin-linked Lascannons. It can also get armoured ceramite and Extra armour. Keep in mind that even though as a flyer it can Deep strike and its an assault vehicle, its cargo cannot assault in the same turn it arrives, but it can on the same turn they disembark, which with your big squads can be nasty, specially with +1CCW tacticals.
  • Legion Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery: You would take an immovable object in place of a super fast flyer as a fast attack choice. Why? Because you need firepower, and a lot of it. While BS 3 seems weak, some of the upgrades will cheer you up, especially when you take three sentries. You can keep the Heavy Bolters, or take twin-linked heavy flamers/lascannons/dual rotor gun, or a Multi-melta w/searchlight. You can also give the battery concealment which gives them Shrouding until they fire, or forward deployment to move them 12" away from their original position; just like scouting, but you can't put them in reserves. They're tricky to use as they will have one of two fire modes for the rest of the game that you must choose between: Point Defence allows the battery to fire at anything within 36", but within the forward 90 degree arc, while Sentry has a shorter range of 18", but you have the default 360°. They also have another setback in which your only allowed to fire anti-specific weaponry at said specific units/vehicles, but you knew that already RIGHT? However, that means differently equipped turrets in the battery effectively have Split Fire. Speaking of anti-specific, and butthurt fast attack fans, upgrading the Battery to a Hyperios, taking one command platform, will give the other player the finger as you fire 2 re-rollable to hit against flyers and fast skimmers, Skyfire Interceptor krak missiles, where each can be fired at a single target!
  • Primaris Lightning Strike Fighter: A high speed fighter and cheaper alternative to the Storm Eagle for your Aerial needs, it's a fast (Supersonic) Agile (3+ jink save) survivable aircraft, even with only 2HP due to its Chaff launcher (4++ save against missiles, Eat shit Tau!) and can further back it up with a Ramjet Diffraction Grid - a Flare shield for your butt, so your armour is effectively 11/12/11. It can put out a lot of Dakka with Missile barrage, and even more with Ground Tracking Auguries for strafing runs (though it already craps out a lot of dice rolls and/or blast template weapons so this isn't that big of a deal) and with Battle Servitor Control(grants Tank Hunter) it can reasonably take out other fliers before working on the ground troops. It can also take up to 3 payload options, though it does not state you cannot take the same one thrice. Twin-linked weapons count as one payload, as do the "Two X" options.
    • Twin-linked Autocannons are strong against light & medium vehicles, which is to say all flyers, and with Twin-Linked and Tank Hunters you'll clear the skies in no time. Twin-linked Multi-lasers behave similar to Autocannons, while S6 means the heaviest flyers might be troublesome, against AV11/10 this is in fact as good/better than Autocannons due to the higher number of shots. They can take the very versatile Twin-linked Missile Launchers for Penetrating hits everywhere, though you'll need good luck to hurt Land Raiders, but they'll need even more luck to hit you back and they cannot outlast what they can't even hit. Frag missiles mean you could hit more ground targets than multi-lasers, and it can even upgrade to shoot Rad missiles (the only other unit besides Destroyer squads that can take them), allowing you to clear out blobs of MEQ's, though this does get expensive fast. Against air targets however, remember that some have Chaff launchers, so for plane-killing you'd be better using Autocannons.
    • The Lightning can also take several pairs of One Use only items (of which you can fire up to 4 because of Missile Barrage), like two Kraken Penetrator Missiles aka Flying Melta bombs. These are incredibly nasty (though expensive) anti-armour but they'll take down monoliths and what not with little trouble. Or 2 Sunfury missiles, which with Blind, S6 and AP3 are pretty damn good at killing MEQs but the hype fades when you see they "Gets hot", which on a 2HP aircraft is going to get the unfortunate crew squatted, specially when coupled with the next item: ONE Phospex Bomb cluster, the S5 AP2 3" blast and moving Dangerous Terrain everyone loves, now in Heavy 2 Barrage Bomb cluster flavor. Should the aircraft suffer any hull damage roll a D6, on a 6, it explodes. Finally, it can also take 2 Electromagnetic storm charges. Haywire is an easy way to remove hull points, but with One use you're gonna need a lot of them, while penetrator missiles could do that job better. HOWEVER, at S3 and AP4 it ignores the saves of GEQs. And who uses lots of light infantry alongside armour columns? The Imperial guard in all its flavors. Also great against the Mechanicum, an army composed of models with either T3, a 4+ save or vehicles. So it's not that bad it seems.
      • It really cannot be underestimated just how powerful Kraken Penetrator Missiles really are. They are one of the very few options that can reliably threaten Spartans. Ranged armourbane is incredibly rare and especially on a platform that is fast enough to dodge around a flare shield or just deepstrike to hit side or rear armor. 4 of them almost guarantee you a straight up kill on a Spartan if you upgrade Lightning to have Ground Tracking Auguries and Battle Servitor Control (ap1, remember). And your Lightning still has free hard points for other weapons and can continue to strafe troops or knock out fliers after. Not that you should upgrade them because, you know, 2 HP and shitty armor. If you are constantly forced to deal with such units then a Lightning can force your opponent to think again.
  • Xiphon-pattern Interceptor: Rules for 30k are up. Now this is why people think twice when they hear "Forgeworld rules" (this whole list is forgeworld but you get the idea). It will also make you think twice when taking Lightnings because this is essentially a souped up Lightning: Comes with Two Twin-linked Lascannons and a Xiphon rotary missile launcher - Heavy 2 S8 AP2 that re-rolls successful Jink and cover saves and rolls d3 times per Penetrating hit, choosing the best one (and AP grants +1 on that table). All that makes this your flying tank killer. AV11 all around, this murderous potential is 'balanced' by costing about as much as a kited out Lightning and being extremely limited in its optional wargear: Chaff launchers and Extra armour for survival and Ground tracking auguries to kill Land Raiders after you've cleaned the skies. And we say 'balanced' because it comes already equipped with Armoured ceramite, and Agile grants it a 3+ jink save, enjoy!
  • Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod: The Kharybdis little brother. ALL Legions can take it, not just Sons of Horus, though only as Fast Attack or Dedicated Transports to vanilla Terminator Squads or Dreadnoughts in the Elite slot. Costs as much as 3 Drop Pods and has no bolters, but it's mobile and has a flame fetish. Heat Blast allows it to scorch infantry and can be used to penetrate Predators (thanks to hitting their back armour with a S6 weapon). Despite being an Assault Vehicle, its payload cannot charge on the turn it Deep Strikes or even disembark the turn it Heat Blasts, though it makes for an excellent turn 2 charge as you deep strike anywhere and hopefully cause a few wounds with the downdraft, then on the following turn you move it, disembark those bad boys and then assault with them or drop off one of the Mortis types with a Havoc Launcher while the Avillus acts as a DISTRACTION_CARNIFEX. (and it has a bitchin' model, if a bit fiddly as fuck to put together) It's more survivable, protects its cargo better than a Drop pod (it can Jink) and gets into combat significantly faster than a Land Raider, and it's cheaper than a Storm Eagle...though is not as heavily armed, isn't an AV14 tank or assault ram and at 115 points it's not as disposable as a normal Drop Pod, but once it has deployed its passengers it can put itself to good use trying to set people on fire. Plan how you use it accordingly.
    • While having "Inertial Guidance System" rule described in frame near it's profile, Anvillus doesn't have it. Definitely a misprint, but beware of That guy, because, you know, common sense is useless and RAW is supreme. Don't be fooled and don't be a bad person yourself.
  • Terrax Pattern Termite Assault Drill: model shown on Horus Heresy Weekender (03.02.18). This model is INCREDIBLE, I'm not joking, this thing is insane. It is 80pts base, with access to TL Volkite Chargers or 2 Heavy Flamers, meaning a fully armed one clocks in at 100pts, plus it can transport 12 models. This means you can deliver a big squad of 10 dudes right into the heart of an enemy army, along with an apothecary and character for good measure. Taking up a Fast Attack slot and no ability to be taken as a Dedicated Transport (Yet) is this things only real restriction.
    • As a tank, it can be taken in an Armoured Breakthrough list for alpha-striking capabilities with Predators as compulsory troops. Ahhh yes, the one limit that RoW had was no dreadclaws to hasten things up, but hey I guess Forge World had to make that RoW even better than it already was!
    • This thing is the ultimate counter to castling, and here's why...Here's an example: Your opponent has a tasty Whirlwind Scorpius you want to deliver a melta squad next to, but has surrounded it with marines. If you had a drop pod, you wouldn't be able to get anywhere near it as you'd have to drop on open ground so nowhere near the scorpius. This means your melta squad is wasted as they have to shoot out of melta range (probably) and limit their impact and most likely die to the scorpius next turn...The termite however, can arrive UNDERNEATH the marines, and force them to move out the way. Hell, it can move so it clips the scorpius and most likely do some damage to it as well to save some time, then your guys can most likely get out in the space you just cleared. Even if you can't get them out, the hit on the scorpius is probably enough to shake it so you've got time to deal with it. This means castling against the termite just doesn't work anymore so adjust your plans accordingly.
    • The fact this thing has the Subterranean Assault special rule which does NOT conflict with the Drop Pod Assault special rule means you can bring this in with a suicide squad AND a Leviathan in a drop pod for maximum savagery...Angron would be proud of such wanton aggression right off the bat.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Legion Heavy Support Squad: When Devastators were good. ALL marines in the squad (including the sergeant!) have a heavy bolter as standard, and all may upgrade to carry the same heavy weapon (no, no mix-matching within the squad). The entire squad may have Hardened armour for added protection. They can lay down an ungodly amount of fire support.
    • For infantry killing the Heavy Bolter might serve your needs, it's probably better to stick with a cheaper squad, with more wounds, in a less contested slot for that though. Still, 10 of these in the hands of some Imperial Fists strips 7 hull points off AV11, or kills 5.5 MEQs.
    • Alternatively Heavy Flamers do the same job for the same price and frankly, do it much better... provided you get in range which with ordinary, but high target MEQs is more difficult than can be bothered with much of the time. Salamanders naturally love these bad boys. If you have a Fortification slot to spare, a Promethean Relay Pipe will dial up the heat this unit can outpour to monstrous proportions.
    • If you want to harass light vehicles while still keeping a hold of your anti-infantry capability Autocannons can be yours for 5pts each, at a decent foot extra range and +2 strength for one fewer shot over a heavy bolter it makes for a decent choice. Just remember that if you're playing Iron Warriors, you've got a better Legion exclusive option available.
    • Missile launchers, for the same price of an autocannon are your other all-rounder heavy weapon. They either pierce a marine's armour with one shot at S8 or throw out a small blast for chucking a bunch of wounds at a squad. For an additional cost you can take flakk missiles which provide this squad's only source of AA.
    • Don't worry too hard about the campfire horror stories of vast fleets of Armoured Ceramite trundling at you; the 10 point Multi-melta can still be a good choice. In a setting where a melta weapon, and a heavy one at that, can't damage a Flare Shield AC Spartan Assault Tank, at least they can still instant death any 2W Termies that happen to jump out. Plus if the enemy gets too cocky with light armour and pushed them deep into your lines, a squad of Multi-meltas'll scythe through them very cheaply.
    • What's that? Horus, 12 Justaerin Terminators and a Chaplain just deep-struck in your deployment zone? You're fucked, but since you have Plasma cannons you can be slightly less fucked for an admittedly hefty 15 pts. With S7 they might not cause instant death but who cares? They are AP2 blasts with a decent range.
    • The Volkite culverin is the absolute premium in light infantry killing, it's got S6 (no FNP for T3) it's got 4 shots and deflagrate (for a maximum of 8 wounds each) it's only problem is AP5. With 20 shots minimum, however, this is less of an issue than expected; a min squad will drop 2 Terminators, or 4 power-armored Marines. Largely hang Heavy Bolters out to dry, even for Imperial Fists.
    • The Lascannon, last and most expensive of your choices is for killing tanks and in the heresy there are a lot of tanks all of which are just begging for some hot, steamy, S9 AP2 straight to the face. A full squad of these, with an attached Siege master/being Imperial Fists will take ~7 points off AV 10 and 11, ~6 off of AV 12 and Av 13, 4 off AV 14 and 2 off AV 15.
      • Don't forget to give them Interceptor (18" range, so screw suicide meltas) for dirt cheap 5 pts! What's better than seeing an enemy squad vanish the same turn it arrives? Your opponent's tears of despair, that's what! And with heavy weapons, specially Plasma cannons, they can actually take on Deep striking Terminators.
  • Legion Jetbikes Sky-Slayer Squadron: Devastator Jetbikers? Alrighty then. The unit is identical to Sky-Hunter Jetbikes except for each bike starting with a Multi-melta, cost factored in, and the entire unit can exchange said meltas for Volkite or Plasma, so like Heavy Support squads they have to go all-or-nothing. While far from cheap, Sky-Slayers are resilient and, unsurprisingly, very mobile, and can pack a density of intense firepower into a single FO slot that puts Land Speeders and Attack Bikes to shame. They're a lightning-swift red-hot knife in the side of the hardest target you're opponent brings to bear, whether in the form of tanks, terminators or a massive infantry blob.
    • Note also that these units are at least slightly viable for close-quarter combat, unlike regular Heavy Supports. They can shoot and charge just fine over a long distance, and everyone has a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword. Blast away an infantry target, and then charge the last 2 surviving models for an easy few inches more movement. Sergeants can upgrade their kit for even stronger personal gear, but at the same time said Sergeants are entirely optional in the unit, letting you save 15 points. Serges can't even take Nuncio Voxes or Augury Scanners, and at the end of the day a mass of expensive, tough, flying Multi-Meltas just doesn't need or mind the loss of one fancy guy's kit. If you do take a Sergeant however, Melta Bombs gives the unit something to do if a vehicle target survives on 1 HP.
  • Legion Predator Strike Squadron: Squadrons of 1-3 Predators which includes all the Forge World options except twin-linked lascannons, which hadn't been implemented yet. What's more, this Predator's autocannon is Heavy 4. It has the usual sponson options and, coupled with some interesting pintle mount choices like the Heavy Bolter or a Havoc Launcher, it can function as a competent gun platform with the Machine Spirit upgrade. Take the Command Tank upgrade and it will also do quite good at infantry support. It can take Armoured Ceramite, but its rather mediocre side armour means you don't really need melta to kill it.
    • The Executioner Plasma Cannon allows it to blast MEQ and TEQ from the table with ease, but its shorter range means the Predator is more at risk.
    • The Magna-Melta turns the Predator into a wannabe-Vindicator while the MEQ killing Flamestorm cannon makes it into a slow version of the Baal Predator (so take PotMS), in both cases exposing itself to counter-fire. Keep in mind that for such short ranges it can have up to three heavy flamers as secondary weapons, though not being Fast or Heavy means it needs to remain still in order to use all of them.
    • The Heavy Conversion Beamer occupies a specific niche, which can be extremely useful when making long range, corner-to-corner shots where it acquires S10 AP1 large blast that makes it hilariously effective against everything whilst minimizing the problem of the Predator's relatively weak armor for a battle-tank, all at TWICE the range of a Vindicator, and when coupled with lascannon sponsons makes for an excellent tank sniper. However, at shorter ranges or on tables with lots of line-of-sight blocking cover then this vehicle will become less effective as it drops to S8/6 AP4/-, so it may still score lots of wounds that can cause instant death on infantry but will be frustrated against units with decent saves. Plus, remember that the model must be stationary in order to fire, playing as if it was artillery rather than a battle tank, but without any ability to fire indirectly. If you can deploy it in a good position it will be golden, otherwise it might struggle to perform at its very best.
    • As is, they're best done cheaply. Bare-bones (maybe with Lascannons) for engaging infantry/light armor, or Executioner Cannon and heavy bolters for focus on heavy infantry. All this can change with the Armoured Breakthrough Rite of War though.
  • Legion Land Raider Battle Squadron: 1-3 Land Raiders in a squadron, any of which may be a Phobos or Proteus pattern, but only one of which may be an Achilles. All of them can be given Armoured Ceramite, which renders Melta weapons almost useless and is the reason very few people use them at all. Always take it. One Land Raider can be made a Command Tank, which will help with the transported squads Morale.
    • Land Raider Phobos: Phobos means "fear", and rightly so. It's the only Assault vehicle of the 3, and can be given Frag Assault launchers (not one-use, unlike Grenade Harness). Pretty much standart 40k Land Raider.
    • Land Raider Proteus: The cheapest and oldest pattern. No assault ramp and you need to pay for the hull mounted weapon (though this weapon can now be a twin-linked lascannon for some anti armour, nice), but it can take an Explorator Augury Web, which grants it Scout and can screw with your enemy's reserves or improve yours. That takes away 2 transport slots, so no Terminator squads with this on.
      • Why would I want a LR that fails at transporting termies? Because you don't want it for that, this was never meant for Termies (it's THAT old). You want it because you took Armoured Spearhead due to everything being able to kill a Rhino with just a mean look. No Assault Ramp? Who cares! You don't want to assault with a Heavy Support or Seeker squad - 30pts cheaper on average, you take the Proteus for the sake of fielding as much LRs as you can, taunt the enemy to try and kill them all. Furthermore, it can Scout, which means it can also Outflank, and surprise LRs are always a pain in the ass, even more when Melta-proofed.
    • Land Raider Achilles: More mobile artillery than transport, its 6 slots are best used for your Techmarine & friends™. Has a Quad Mortar with frag and shatter shells (3 possible optional types: Splinter, Incendiary and Phosphex canister(you need Siege Breaker for this), Extra Armour & Armored Ceramite by default, and its Ferromantic Invulnerability rule gives the finger to Melta and Lance rules while also reducing Penetrating Hits score by -1. Can't swap its default Twin-linked Multi-meltas for TL Volkite Culverins though.
  • Legion Achilles Alpha Pattern Land Raider: A prototype of the Land Raider Achilles. Unlike the 40k version, it's armed with a hull-mounted Quad Mortar, which can use one of two different firing profiles with an option to buy 2 more (3, if you have Siege Breaker and want more Phosphex) and two twin-linked Volkite Culverins as sponson weapons (although they can be swapped for multi-meltas). On top of that, all rolls on the Vehicle Damage chart caused by penetrating hits (except for ones caused by Strength D weapons) are reduced by 1 and it rerolls all failed Dangerous Terrain rolls. Overall, it's a superior version of its 40k counterpart. Exactly the same as the Achilles in the Land Raider squadron, but +25pts for an integrated Dozer blade and the ability to swap its twin-linked Multi-meltas for twin-linked Volkite culverins, which in 30k is akin to swapping Fortification rape for infantry rape.
  • 0-1 Legion Artillery Tank Squadron: The big guns. 1-3 of a Whirlwind, Basilisk or Medusa, without mixing. Now Marines can throw pie plates around like the Guard. The Whirlwind may be upgraded to have AA missiles (and AA missiles ONLY) for free. Of these, the Medusa is probably the best due to its Strength 10 and AP 2 and its ability to take nasty Phosphex Shells if you take a Siege Breaker in your force as well. Normal ammo is better against pretty much everything, but Phosphex Medusas are the best Phosphex source you get: Not one-use and restricts enemy movement with lasting-and-moving templates at good range, while still being able to erase Terminators - you can leave the anti armor role to your Siege Breaker. Caution: Medusa and Basilisk both have side armor of 10, so anything deepstriking near artillery can be your undoing, even Assault Squad with Bolt Pistols (especially with how shooting at squadrons works in 7th edition). Also note that models are open-topped, but rulewise they are not, don't be fooled.
  • Legion Whirlwind Scorpius: The proposed replacement for the Whirlwind...but then the Heresy happened. Not in squadrons, but it doesn't need it. It's a regular Whirlwind with better (13-12-10) armor and an S8 AP3 blast which becomes D3+1 Heavy blasts if it stays still. This thing is a certified nightmare against the ubiquitous space marine units and in 30k, where the units are much larger on average, it will do well, and may even scratch Dreadnoughts and the like (remember Barrage weapons always hit side armor). Combining it with Nuncio-vox goes without saying due to blast sizes and lack of Twin-Link.
  • Legion Vindicator: Now in squadrons. It can take a pintle mounted Heavy bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, Havoc launcher, Combi-weapon, or second combi-bolter. Power of the Machine Spirit is also available, and a good choice considering its primary weapon is Ordnance, so you could now move at Cruising speed while also firing your Demolisher cannon and act as a cheaper stronger slower non-barrage Medusa (keep in mind artillery squads are 0-1, it's a loadout worth considering now that Vindicators come in squads, should you want more S10 AP2 Ordnance), or fire it alongside the Havoc launcher. It can also take a Mine plough (Dozer blades are enough, really). Additionally, it can be repurposed into a tank-killer by replacing the Demolisher Cannon with a special Laser Destroyer Array for +10pts, which has now updated rules and model: Twin-linked Ordnance 1, as usual, but if it didn't move, the weapon becomes Ordnance 2. But wait, there's more. If the Vindicator didn't move it can choose to fire the Array as Ordnance 3, but after firing this way it must roll one D6, losing an HP on a 1. It doesn't rely as much on chance, like Sicaran's Rending hits, and frees an Elites slot to use on other things besides Rapiers because this is points-wise the most economical source of Laser Destroyers (following Overcharge conditions). Flare Shielded Spartans are still better engaged by other means, tho. While Rapiers are more survivable with their point cost spread amongst 9 models (12 wounds) they are also close to immobile and only the most empty, terrain-free board will give you consistent shots. The Vindicator is much more mobile, able to go find a sight line even if it's more fragile and occasionally explodes. As always, power demands sacrifice.
  • Legion Spartan Assault Tank: The Land Raider's big brother and a nasty bastard, made even more so in the pre-Heresy/Heresy environment, where there are more big squads to fit inside its 25 man capacity. Five hull points, two twin-linked two-shot lascannons which can be swapped for rapier destroyers makes it a priority target for the foe. What makes it even more ridiculous is the fact that it can have Armoured Ceramite, meaning that melta weapons don't do shit against it. As if it wasn't hard enough to kill, it can also be given a Flare Shield which means that all weapons fired at its front arc get -1 Strength when rolling to penetrate. Blast weapons instead get -2, so no killing it with Medusas either(barrage weapons target side armour so flare shield is not helping). This means it's more or less invulnerable but then again with these upgrades it will be 370 points. Good thing it will never die!
    • The Spartan very much is what it is and while opinions are divided on exactly how good it really is in practice, Spartan-borne Deathstars are a popular part of the 30k. You are going to see them - Ceramite armoured and Flare shielded, that's just how it goes. They are big scary things that carry big scary units and armies WILL be made around them, either as their star unit or to counter them, so plan accordingly.
    • Don't assume it to be invincible. Graviton weapons can fuck it up (you will need to drive close to deliver its payload and you're not guaranteed to kill the fuckers manning the guns), same with speeders (they'll grav it to death then be too far away for your dudes to charge). Other vehicles like the Caestus can ram it or discharge squads with melta bombs, while the Lightning with Kraken Missiles can (and will) fuck it over immediately and likely kill it turn 1 (as you're likely going to be immobilized or destroyed). In any case there's a lot of ways in which it can die and leave the troops it was carrying stranded, and likely right where they're not supposed to be. In other words, remember where it says above that lists are built around it? If you're using one, build your list around it.
    • Remember that Terminators can take Combi-Gernades to table vehicles and infantry or Volkite Chargers for beam spam against blobs. With that much boom combined with the weapons of the Spartan most targets with in 24" inches shouldn't last more than a turn or two. Of course this assumes you are able to shoot first. Make sure that you also bring some Anti Air if your worried about flyers bombing it to death. If you insist or stuck with a LOW that forces you to play an all tank army. Keep reading to learn about the vehicles below.
  • Legion Sicaran Battle Tank: A high speed assault tank that is a halfway between a Land Raider and a Predator. For 165 points since the Age of Darkness army list book you get 13|12|12, Fast, with Extra Armour, a hull mounted Heavy Bolter and the Herakles pattern Accelerator Autocannon, which is R48", S7, AP4, Heavy 6 Rending and Twin-linked...and no Jink saves allowed. This tank makes the Eldar anything that isn't a Land Raider cry. With that amount of dakka it can also function as a decent AA in a pinch. This beauty can even penetrate Flare-shielded Spartans. Like the Predator, it can take Heavy Bolters or Lascannons as sponsons, however, it's a Fast tank, so you can fire all your stuff on the move at full BS.
  • Legion Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank: 205 points, same 13|12|12, Fast, Extra Armour, a hull mounted Heavy Bolter and (this is where things get interesting) the twin Arcus launcher with Arcus warheads, which is 36" S8, AP2, Heavy 4 weapon that forces successful cover saves to be rerolled and if if stand still, the weapon can be fired TWICE, so 8 shots. This tank makes 6th edition Eldar cry looking at it's cheese. Penetration from these roll D3 time on vehicle damage chart and choose the highest result. It is also the best AA in a Legion army for +15pts, making him fire 4 twin linked S7 AP3 rerolling successful cover saves hits, 8 hits if stand still. This beauty can even be set to destroy MC or infantry in an efficient way with 2 5" blast S5 AP4 or 4 S7 AP4 shots that deal instant death to most mechanicum robots. Like the Predator, it can take Heavy Bolters or Lascannons as sponsons, however, it's a Fast tank, so you can fire all your stuff on the move at full BS. Just as regular one, can't be taken in squadrons.
    • If you didn't get it: not only this tank is broken as hell as it is, it can become one of the best anti-infantry of all 30k AND one of the best anti-aircraft at the same time. A closest thing to auto-include in LA roster so far.
  • Legion Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: The Cerberus' little brother. The other Sicaran is much cheaper and effective against everything in the game, but you don't want this for versatility - you just have had enough of those pesky Land Raiders Knight Titans: seriously, 1 or 2 of these can maneuver around and shut down Knights and other super-heavy tanks. It has a Neutron Beam Laser which, in addition to being Ordnance 2 S10 AP1 it has the added effect of forcing any vehicle that suffers a penetrating hit from it to fire only Snap Shots for the next turn, even super-heavies, if rather lacking in range (Effectively 48" because it's a fast vehicle). With its "Dangerous Reactor Core" rule that allows re-rolls of 1s to the vehicle damage table any time the tank suffers a penetrating hit (and also adds an additional D3 inches to the explosion radius of a Vehicle Explodes result), this means that it can go down very quickly if something gets behind it. Make good use of it's Fast rule. Make sure to keep an escort nearby to stop anyone trying to outmaneuver it. Also never give it side sponsons; it's main weapon is Ordnance which will force everything else to snapfire. Even though it struggles to deal with Spartans, the Venator costs significantly less, so glancing it to death is a viable tactic.
  • Legion Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank: Bring out the DAKKA! Standard Sicaran, you know the drill by now, but it's turret weapon has been replaced with Punisher Rotary Cannon, which is 36" S5 Ap4 Heavy 18, and if it stands still in the Movement Phase, it can sacrifice it's next turn shooting to gain Rending on it. Feel like a king for a turn, a beggar later. It costs 180 pts base, 200 with HB sponsons, gives 30 S5 Ap4 shots at 36" (without taking 6" move due to Fast in account), what's not to like?
  • Legion Sicaran Omega Tank Destroyer: The black sheep of the Sicaran family. It's Omega Plasma Array can be fired in two modes, both have a scarce range of 24", Heavy 6 S7 AP2 with twin-linked or Heavy 1 S9 AP2 with twin-linked, Gets Hot! and a special rule called Sustained Burn: if a vehicle loses 1 or more Hull Points due to this attack, on a roll of 4+ it loses additional 1 (if Glancing Hit)/d3 ones. So, yeah, this thing is definitely not a tank destroyer, and 235 points can buy a lot of stuff that does it's job better.
  • Legion Caestus Assault Ram: As before. Ideal for punching a hole in the enemy battle lines and disgorging troops into the heart of the enemy. With AV 13|13|11, 4 HP and frontal 5+ invuln, one should use the Caestus to ram straight through the strongest point in your enemies force. Its ramming attacks are always S10FAQ, picking the best of 2 dice for armour penetration and add +1 to the Vehicle Damage chart, thus reliably scoring Penetrating hits against anything. Ram a tank with this and then deploy the men inside (preferably dedicated melee troops like Legion Terminators), and charge straight in against the nearest infantry, or if you feel like it, shove a melta bomb up a nearby tank's tailpipe. It's equipped with a Twin-Linked Magna Melta and Havoc launchers, which can be swapped for normal missile launchers (to kill other flyers, mostly) and be given Frag Assault lauchers and Auxiliary drives. While it handles Bulky models wearing Terminator armor as normal ones (so not Gal Vorbak), Very Bulkies still use 3 spaces, so be mindful of your Primarchs. Its rear is AV11, so mind your back too.
  • Legion Fire Raptor Gunship: Comes naked with TL Avenger Bolt Cannon, 4 Hellstrike Missiles and two Independent-Turret Quad Heavy Bolters, the latter which, aside from firing at their own targets independently, don't count towards the number of weapons fired! Enjoy, your flying Rapiers. It can swap the quad bolters for a Reaper Battery for 10 pts each but no Lascannons, that's for the Storm Eagle. With all the twin-linked goodness, Strafing Run and PotMS/Independent-turrets, this bastard can dump its entire payload in a single turn and hit almost every time and it's only 230 pts altogether for the Ceramite armor and Reaper battery upgrades.
    • Why use Reaper battery? Because its manoeuvrability and speed allow to shoot at juicy rear or side armor - and thanks to Independent Tracking, you'll be able to find target almost every turn.
  • Legion Deathstorm Drop Pod: Expecting the drop pod that just landed to contain troops or a heavy weapons platform you don't have to worry about until next turn? SURPRISE! Invented by the Raven Guard on a day they wanted to "Fuck this general area", in its first shooting phase fires indiscriminately, so every unit (even yours) suffers D3 full shooting attacks (at BS2 though), and afterwards it fires FIVE small blast (3") markers at S5 AP4, though a very important thing to remember is that it is not a turret, so the shots are fired according to the facing of your model. This apparent downside is traded off with the fact that it forces re-rolls for pinning and morale checks. The launchers may also be upgraded to fire Heavy 2 krak missiles, turning it into a much bigger threat against tanks and standard marines, and for +25 points it gets the Drop Pod Assault rule, so you can make it rain on your 1st turn - awesome in Orbital Assaults. Very situational, but dropping this in the middle of your enemy's forces is almost guaranteed to ruin his day.
  • Legion Kharybdis Assault Claw: The Dreadclaw's big brother. Not a Lord of War as previously suspected, but essentially the Drop Pod equivalent of the Spartan Tank! The model itself is a huge monster that has 5HP, carries 20 models and continues to do its job even after delivering it's cargo. Heat blasts ensure anything in it's drop-zone (or line of travel) take hits during its movement phase, but the backlash can cause you an auto-penetrating hit, while in the shooting phase its five storm launchers are Heavy 2, S6, Twin-linked, Pinning and independently targetable which while not EPIC will still cause your opponent headaches. Finally, you can also attempt a ram attack as if you were a tank, though it is still a drop pod and not a Caestus...so don't think it's such a good idea. Despite being an Assault Vehicle, its payload cannot charge on the turn it Deep Strikes or even disembark the turn it Heat Blasts. Since it's considered a Hover Flyer, however, you could Heat Blast the turn it Deep Strikes, get your Jink saves, and charge the next turn.
  • Legion Deredeo-pattern Dreadnought: aka "the Mad Cat II" - Same armour as a Contemptor, costs only 10 pts more and it's pretty much played as a Contemptor Mortis on STEROIDS. A useful long-ranged gun and anti-air platform in any list that can afford it, Deredeos in particular shines in armies with vehicle and tank restrictions, where formidable weapon options may be tight on the ground. Comes stock with searchlight, smoke launchers, extra armour, Atomantic Shielding and Helical targeting array - conversely, a meagre WS 4 and 1 Attack means this thing should stay away from melee. Anything dumb enough to charge it has to wither twin Heavy Flamer Overwatch fire, so that's a plus.
    • The first main weapon option is the Anvillus-pattern Autocannon Battery which is a 4-shot, twin-linked, S8 Autocannon with Sunder. Highly viable as a threat against most vehicles and putting flyers are in big trouble; the gun nevertheless struggles against very hard targets.
    • In that case, swap out for a TL 4-shot Plasma Carronade, a Plasma Cannon that doesn't Get Hot, has lesser range and strength but is more threatening to infantry with AP2 and the ability to replace its four shots with a large blast template. (A viable alternative to a Sicaran maybe?) This last firing-mode can Get Hot, but then again, it's Twin-linked.
    • OR as one last option, you can take an Arachnus Pattern Heavy Lascannon Battery which is the final word in Dreadnought mounted ranged weapons; unlike the others it is NOT twin-linked, though it is 2-shot S10 AP2 and if it penetrates a vehicle it has a 50% chance of causing a second penetrating hit. It's legit superior to a Heavy Conversion Beamer Contemptor Dread in armour busting if you don't mind the shorter range.
    • On top of the Deredeo's carapace you can fork out for a secondary weapon. The Aiolos Missile Launcher is a 60" 3-shot S6 missile with Pinning and Independent Tracking, which allows it to fire at a different target from the other weapons, while also guaranteeing a hit on the side armor of vehicles and ignoring LoS (In open terrain, I.E. not Zone Mortalis). Pretty useful as a chaff chewer.
    • Alternatively, if you want the Dreadnought in more of a forward-support role then you could mount an Atomantic Pavaise on top instead, which projects a 3" bubble increasing Invulnerable saves against shooting by +1 (up to a 3+) for itself and allies, so it makes a pretty good back-up for Breachers squads and Terminators of all types. This is a great help in ZM as Walkers are not affected by the base size rule. However, the Pavaise causes a Deredeo that explodes to have a D3" larger blast radius and at S5, so those troops that were under its protection are at a slightly larger risk. Furthermore, the bonus to Invulnerable saves doesn't stack with any other source that normally boosts Invulns, such as special rules, psychic powers or equipment like a Cyber Familiar (so just stick with an Iron Halo/Cataphractii Armour).
    • Lastly, the Deredeo's tertiary weaponry is a set of boob-mounted TL Heavy Bolters which can be replaced with TL Heavy Flamers for free. Wall of Death from the Flamers is a great buffer against chargers, and very choice for Zone Mortalis games. That said, the long range of a Deredeo coupled with its weaksauce melee profile means you might not see any action from the Flamers until it's basically too late. The Bolters can at least keep up with the other weapons on display, though they don't benefit from the Helical Targeting array due to being boob mounted.
    • Armoured Ceramite is available for Deredeos, and in a Zone Mortalis context is a must-take.
  • Leviathan-Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon:HH6 Displayed at the 2015 Open Day. A pretty versatile Dread that isn't afraid of anything, but for its cost it might have been better off with AV14. For about double the price of an Ironclad, you get a rounder Dread with S8, Extra armor AV 13|13|12 with 3 attacks (4 from dual CCWs), a 4+ Invul that works both at range and in CC but adds D3 to both the range and strength of its death-explosion, along with two chasis-mounted Heavy flamers and two Leviathan siege claws which come with an inbuilt meltagun, Wrecker, and Severing Cut - EACH time it delivers an unsaved wound, on a separate roll of 4+ the model suffers yet another D3 wounds, becoming the bane of EWs and MCs. But if you positively absolutely need to score those penetrating hits, the claws can be exchanged by Siege Drills, losing Severing Cut but gaining Armorbane. Seeing there's no "specialist weapon" bullshit here and being dirt cheap, grab both! Coupled with the fact it inflicts 2 HoW attacks (S8) and has I5 on the charge, you see that the goal of this thing is to punch everything that exists near it. But this all-rounder siege engine is no slouch at ranged combat either. The Heavy Flamers can be swapped for twin-linked Volkite Calivers for long-ranged infantry-hating, but the real deal is that a claw can be exchanged for a Leviathan Storm (auto)cannon (six S7 AP3 Sunder shots, albeit 24" only) and another for a Grav-flux Bombard, a very versatile AP2 Large blast 18" range cover-ignoring weapon that forces enemies to test S on 2D6 or suffer a wound (nice), and rolls 3D6 for AV penetration (meh, that's AV11 on average), with any HP damage doubling as well. This Grav-blast remains on the next turn as Difficult Terrain too, so you can keep a side safe from anything nearby. Another arm-replacement option is the Cyclonic melta lance, which is a S9 Heavy 3 18" Meltagun. Because this dread is at its best when close to the enemy you could give it Armored Ceramite to cure it of its fear of Melta, as well a single-use Heavy 3 Phosphex Barrage. Whatever you decide, you might consider keeping one CCW - this can become a ranged menace that will be very painfull to tie up in CC (keep in mind not having a CCW takes away 1 attack per missing CCW). After all, being so expensive it better be capable of doing everything. You can bring a talon of these, why not all three? Oh, that's right, that'll cost 1,000 points.
    • Conversely, since it costs as much as two other dreads, if you're considering a mixed approach you might be better off actually buying two regular dreads, one built for close combat and one built for shooting. At only about 100 points cheaper than a much more powerful Knight before you've begun buying upgrades for it, and living in the overcrowded Heavy Support slot (populated by cheaper and excellent tank options like a Predator squad or a Sicaran, which you may find are doing a similar job but with better maneuverability), you might find that it's easier for it to make its points back if you decide on a very specific thing for it to do and make sure it sticks to that: Claw+Drill with flamers for close-combat against heavy infantry and anything with AV, without being much of a ranged threat; two Leviathan Storm Cannons for mass-murdering MEQ and light vehicles at medium range, or two Grav-flux Bombards for chewing through TEQ and vehicles with some luck (the average of three dice is ~10.5), or screw luck altogether and kill everything at short range with dual Cyclonic melta lances, which given they're pretty much triple-shot short ranged lascannons you won't care about Armoured Ceramite. Given its significant cost, the tight Heavy Support budget in Legion lists, an its common unsuitability for Zone Mortalis games due to its size (where it would otherwise excel), the Leviathan-Pattern Siege Dreadnought and its options need to be a very carefully considered.
    • It should be stated, however, that with a Cyclonic Melta Lance and a Drill, a Leviathan in a pod has pretty good odds at being able to take out a Knight Titan though it does take some pieces to fall perfectly into place for this to occur.
      • First: Leviathan w/ Cyclonic Melta Lance in a Dreadnought Drop Pod lands behind said target Knight, preferably in melta range if possible. If you have sufficient front arc threats for the Knight, its controlling player should have a hard time deciding on whether or not to let the shield face the Leviathan who, it should be mentioned, isn't forced out of his pod upon landing granting him 3, Shrouded Av12 Ablative Hull Points.
      • Second: Whether or not the Ion Shield is pointed your way, shoot 3 S9 Ap1 Melta Shots at BS5 into the butt of said Knight which is Av12. If your dice are willing, you'll get 3 hits. Those shot then need a 3+ to Glance, 4+ to pen. If you're in Melta Range, these are pretty much auto pens.
      • Third: At Ap1, you gain +2 to Vehicle Damage Table (Bonus points if you're Alpha Legion running Dynat for a further +1 for a total of +3) which, thanks to the Knight being a Super-Heavy, means that Explodes Results - obtained on a 5+ - deal a further D3 Hull Points in damage.
      • Fourth: That means that, if everything lines up nigh-perfectly, your Leviathan and his Melta Lance can deal 3+3D3 Hull Points in damage to said Knight (or other Super Heavies) for a potential maximum of 12 Hull Points.
      • Fifth and possibly finally: If your army has not killed said Knight by this point and the Leviathan is not dead yet, you get to do steps 1-4 all over again BUT! now with the possibility of charging into CC to smack it with 2 S8 HoW hits and 4 S10 Ap2 Armourbane Hits at I5, hitting it before it can hit you with its S:D Weapon (unless a Castigator) at WS5 meaning you're most likely hitting it on 3s.
      • Words of Warning: Do not try this against the Cerastus Knight-Atrapos or the Acastus Knight Porphyrion. Unlike other Knights they have extra wounds & are tailor made to kill enemy walkers. A Prophrion will easily shoot your Leviathan to death with its four shot S10 weapons. It gets worse if the Atrapos has Occular Augmetics. Which allows it to reroll the ranged damage of it's D strenght Laser Cutter. Replacing the Siege Drill with another Melta Lance doesn't help much either. You might want to bring some better Dakka to take down these behemoths.
  • Legion Malcador Assault Tank Squadron: An outdated tank model (even in the fluff it was replaced by Baneblades and Land Raiders). Still, our Malcador version has access to the usual enemy-tear-jerker kit, like Armoured Ceramite and a Flare shield. As of the newest book, it also comes in squadrons of 1-3 superheavy tanks as a heavy support choice. It may swap its Battlecannon for a Twin-linked Lascannon turret for free to better serve as a tank hunter, and can take a hull Demolisher cannon to act as a Vindicator-Russ hybrid which can throw out TWO pie-plates. The cherry on the cake? Crusade Army List introduces the "Battle Speed" rule, allowing the Malcador to make its Flat Out move while shooting its main battle/lascannon at full BS, letting you choose whether you shoot before or after the Flat Out, allowing you to bypass those annoying Flare shields and quickly make up their points, which is something no other Malcador variant has, along with the option of marine crew's BS4. Worthy of note is the option of making one in a squadron of three a Squadron Command Tank, which means give the whole unit Tank Hunters and Monster Hunter if they all shoot at the same target.

Lords of War[edit]

Legion Lords of War range from the usual Baneblade-expys to Spartan-mounted Destroyer weapons and the mighty flying-fortress Stormbird. They're only useable on games of 2000 pts or more, and they may not make up more than 25% of the army's total points cost. Furthermore, instead of the options listed here, you can choose any of the following: any Knight from the Questoris Knight Crusade list (albeit without the Household Rank rule), Baneblade, Banehammer, Stormlord, Shadowsword, Stormsword, any Macharius variant, any CRASSUS ARMORED ASSAULT TRANSPORT variant, Marauder Bomber or it's variants, an Avenger Strike Fighter, a Thunderbolt Fighter or a Minotaur. Tanks (e.g. Baneblades) can be augmented with Space Marine crew for BS4, and flyers with Battle Servitor Control, which makes them Obama's drones Tank Hunters. Furthermore, instead of using a single LoW with at least 9HP you can bring two "lighter" 8HP-or-less Super-heavies, or a Sub-Orbital Strike Wing composed of a group of otherwise normal flyers (up to 3HP each). LoW squads deploy together but then wander off separately, akin to Dreadnought talons. Destroying a Lord of War nets the enemy some VPs depending of their type: 3 Lightnings can mean 3 easy VPs for the enemy, so be careful!

For those who wondered "Where should I get the rules for all that stuff?": according to FW answer on Facebook, you can take them from any viable source, including FW Apocalypse, where tanks on a Baneblade chasis get sponsons for free, but FW also recommends using most up-to-date ones, which are found in Escalation. Just make sure the source is clear for your opponent.

It's probably best to check the Crusade Imperialis book (i.e. where Solar Auxilia, Militia and Cults and Questoris Knights rules are) for their Lords of War.

  • Some 40k tanks worth mentioning;
  • Stormlord: (490pts) might be abit steep but paying those points for 40 TRANSPORT CAP and a 15 shot Str6 AP3 gun which is twinlinked. Can also take 4 sponsons for added rape. Shame it can't get rid of it's transport cap (and got cheaper) because this would be an amazing sit back and shoot tank since it gets 30 STR6 AP3 shots if it stands still alongside 4 Lascannons and 4 TL Heavy Bolters. Remember that Ultimate Lawnmower set up in the Solar Auxilla page? You can do that here too, but with Heavy Support Squads wielding Volkite Culverins. Jury is still out on if it's legal for Blood Angels players to replace it's Heavy Flamers with Iliastus Assault Cannons. The only downside is their shorter range. If it is allowed, take a Liberian on a Jetbike to prevent jams and not lose a slot.
  • Stormsword:(485pts) Imagine a Typhon Siege Tank...but as a Baneblade. Is always 36" range so can move about but gets the luxuary of taking the 4 Sponsons. A great cheaper alternative to bring a powerful cannon (Str10, AP1, Primary Weapon 1, Apoc Blast 10", Ignores Cover), however might lose you some friends....and the Typhon looks 100x better.
  • Shadowsword: (455pts) Overshadowed by the Falchion but my god is this still a potent tank since it's still a Baneblade in all rights so it's got those sponsons for some added anti infantry and anti tank but it's also rocking the Volcano Cannon (single shot not Twin Linked like the Falchion) which is still STRENGTH DESTROYER at a maxmimum of 120" with Large Blast. Cheap and a great tank for Apocalypse games!
  • Macharius Omega: (355pts) Stormblade light. On a smaller (only by 3 hullpoints, same armour as a Baneblade) and less potent chasis (best sponson are 2 Lascannons, nothing more) but still rocking that amazing Plasma Blastgun..while tonned down slightly (basically move everything down a side of template; instead of Apoc blast it's Massive blast for the Overcharge and the Rapid fire is Large Blast instead)
  • Baneblade: (535pts) the tried and true tank that even when it was meant to be phased out, 10,000 years late it's still being mass produced! Comes with your standard Str9, AP2, 10" blast at 72" range. Probably gets outclassed by the Legion specific super heavies or Knights because of the Baneblades high base cost but this tank will always generally perform well
  • Legion Fellblade Super Heavy Tank: This is your THIRTEEN BARRELS OF HELL, + 1BS (with the upgrade). The Fellblade comes with a turret mounted Twin-linked 'Accelerator cannon' with 100" range, which can fire either High explosive shells (S8 AP3 Ord 1, 7" blast) or Armour piercing rounds (Heavy 1, S9 AP2, Armourbane, 3" blast). Add to that 2 Quad-Lascannons (which can be swapped for Laser Destroyers at no cost), a Twin-linked Heavy Bolter and a hull mounted Demolisher cannon and you have an absolutely rapetastic monster. Plus it's only 25 points more than a Baneblade. Don't forget to add another Heavy Bolter and a Hunter-Killer missile just in case you need more dakka. (And who doesn't?)
  • Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank: Take the Fellblade, and replace its accelerator cannons with a Volkite Carronade, and you have the Glaive. Though its range is only 48", it has the Heavy Beam rule which, instead of placing a template, hits every single target (friend and foe) in the path of the beam (the way the Railgun was theorized to work)! Strength 8 and AP2 plus the Deflagrate rule means most marine units evaporate before it, while the Haywire rule means Tanks don't fare much better. Transports don't fare well either, their occupants suffering D6 S4 Deflagrate hits. Superheavies, Gargantuan creatures and Buildings block the beam, but receive 1+D3 hits. However, its short range does make it more exposed to enemy fire, so using it as a deterrent is more useful. Don't forget it has Ignores Cover so you can park it behind ruins and such. And whatever you do, make sure you don't hit your own units by mistake.
  • Legion Falchion Super Heavy Tank Destroyer: If the Fellblade is the equivalent of the Baneblade, then the Falchion is the equivalent of the Shadowsword right down to its TWIN-LINKED Volcano Cannon. No turret means that it can only shoot what is in front of it, but it's all but guaranteed to punch a hole through any Titan that gets near. However, with the changes to Str D in 7th edition, the Falchion is not the all-powerful destroyer of worlds it would have been in 6th; unlucky rolling will mean you get nothing back from your investment, and being able to take covers saves against a relatively small blast hurts a lot. Consider giving it Space Marine crew to keep that blast as centered as possible.
    • Notably more effective using 30k D, in respect to mean damage vs vehicles (although that's an outdated HH1 rule).
  • Legion Stormblade: (455pts) It comes with the Plasma Blastgun of a Titan (Overcharge; 90" Str10, AP2, Primary Weapon 1, Apoc Blast 10" OR Rapid Fire; 72", Primary Weapon 2, Str8, AP2, Massive Blast 7"), which can make blobs anything evaporate at long range with up to a 10 inch blast. Not enough for you? It can add two pairs of Lascannon + TL-Heavy Bolter. It's the cheapest of the marine Baneblade variants while not the most potent of the Super Heavies that can be thrown easily into a 2000 point army, much the same as the Typhon.
  • Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: Its critics said "That's simply an XBOXHUEG Vindicator", Perturabo said "That's the point". The Vindicators big brother on steroids is comes armed with a Dreadhammer Siege cannon of range 24" (effectively 36" since it can move 12" and fire anyway) when moving, or 48" if stationary, S10|AP1|Ordnance 1, with a 7" blast and no cover saves allowed. Crusade Army List updates its "Crushing Weight" rule and now it grants a +1 on the Thunderblitz table, thus negating the "No Effect" result and making it ram at effectively S10 minimum. Moving or stationary, it kicks major ass.
  • Legion Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: The Venator's Big brother. A Destroyer Tank hunter on crack armed with a twin linked Neutron Laser battery, a 72" range, S10 AP1 Primary Weapon that fires D3 times, Concussing/forcing Snap shots on penetrating hits (yes, even on super-heavies, which are usually immune to that). The catch? If it fails the penetration roll, it has a 1 in 6 chance to lose 1 HP, which is a shame because it comes equipped with a Flare shield to protect its AV14 front, making it a real bitch to kill.
  • Legion Thunderhawk Gunship: You know it, you love it. The best way to use this vehicle is to get Terminators or/and your Primarch right into the middle of the enemies most dangerous shooting formation, then use the fearsome weapons on the gunship to destroy enemy vehicles that can insta-kill your guys, allowing your Terminators to destroy the shooty infantry and keep your grunts alive.
  • Legion Thunderhawk Transporter: The Gunship's weaker and derpier brother. With its armament being only 4 TL Heavy bolters (with the ability to buy the same Hellstrike Missiles as the Thunderhawk, it's useful for carrying Rhinos or Land Raiders around, and not much else.
    • Hardly a fair assessment here-although rare is the situation that you want to bring in a Thunderhawk Transporter, it can fill niches fairly well. It's worth noting that these behemoths can carry not just Rhinos-any Rhino-chassis vehicle is fair game. Want to deep-strike two Vindicators behind enemy lines? What about heavy armor in a Drop Assault Vanguard/Orbital Assault/Angel's Wrath list? Plus, this is one of the few Lords of War available at the 2,000 points level.
    • RAW, it's perfectly legal to pick up your opponent's vehicles and fly off the table. See that flare shielded, armoured ceramite Spartan Deathstar carrying a Primarch and 10 elite terminators? Well, no more! Fly over there, pick up that bitch and just fly off. No one knows what happens when you fly off the board with them, but you sure can, rules as written!
  • Legion Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Funnily enough, the reasons the Imperial Manta was mothballed in the fluff are also kind of represented in the crunch. The Stormbird is so big and expensive that outside of the biggest games (as in, boards where Basilisks run out of range) a Thunderhawk probably would be a more economical option most of the time. Relatively. Hell, if a Stormbird was ever fielded in any game under 1,500pts whatever army you had left would probably be able to fit inside the thing. With all that said, though, you certainly get your points worth. The Stormbird has 14/13/12/ and 12 HP. It comes with five turreted Twin-linked Lascannons (so right then and there, you got more laser dakka than a Terminus Ultra), six Dreadstrike Missiles (S10 AP2 Ordnance, small blast) which can be replaced with a single use 3D6 Apocalyptic Barrage that hits like a Battle cannon. It can buy an Orbital Strike, with Strength D AP1, Massive blast, Indirect fire only and multiple use for the low, low price of 150 pts. Its 2 Void Shields can become a 12" bubble if you go into hover mode, which is a safe idea since you also get Armoured ceramite and a 5++ invul. Transport capacity of 50 can carry pretty much everything including Dreadnoughts and (fully loaded) Rhinos which take up 10/25 slots respectively. Good thing the Age of Darkness FoC limits you to 25% spending on LOWs and no one actually has the money to play Apoc with FW, right? It now has a model, worth $1000!
  • Legion Mastodon: Spartan not enough for you? Have a giant 40-MODEL transporter, with a situational D-weapon to boot. The purpose of the Mastodon is to flood the enemy with fire while deploying a small army of models onto objectives. Said small army can include Dreadnoughts (regular Castraferrum or Contemptor only), which count as ten models each. So a World Eaters' commander can stuff 20 of their nasty Tacs, 5 Red Butchers and a beefy Dread all in the same tank. The Mastodon's main gun is a Siege Melta Array - while only packing 12" of range, it puts out 4 small blasts at str 9, AP 1 and the Stone Burner special rule makes each Pen count as d3 against buildings and fortifications. The beast's other unique weapon is a turret-mounted Skyreaper Battery, a 48" Interceptor autocannon-analogue. Two sponson Heavy Flamers and Lascannons round things off gun-wise; Enhanced Defensive Fire allows these sponsons to Overwatch if the Mastodon is transporting one or more units when charged. So can this thing make it to the enemy lines? You tell me - It has not one but TWO Void Shields! Upgrades include the standard Super-Heavy Command Tank, up to four Hunter-killer missiles and the option to swap the Skyreaper Battery for a Command Vox Relay, allowing the Mastodon's owner to modify their reserve rolls by +-1 while it's on the field, and further dampening Deep Strike Mishaps with a -1 on the table. One final note: if a Mastodon is (somehow!) destroyed, roll a dice at -2, if the result is 1 or less the thing doesn't explode and instead becomes a set of ruins. You were driving around in a fortress.
  • Primarchs: Aww yes, they have rules now. Your opponent is now shitting bricks. Properly supported, they can rape anything they come up against. Even the Swarmlord, even Skarbrand, hell if you somehow max out Angron's attacks with the Butcher's Nails attacks he can take on An'ggrath and win. All Primarchs have the Primarch rule, which acts as a combination of Independent Character, Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Precision Strike/Shot, and It Will Not Die. Each one also has the Master of the Legion rule and is Bulky or bigger. Keep in mind that they DON'T have the rules of their legion, so no Rad Grenades for Mortarion, no Exemplars of War rule for Fulgrim, etc. Also worth bearing in mind that in 'normal' points value games (~2000 pts) any primarch will take up a BIG chunk of your army, even more if you want to put them in a transport alongside a retinue. Use them wisely and they'll mince anything, use them poorly and a quarter of you army will get stranded miles from anything they can hurt and do nothing. Furthermore, Primarchs usually come with lots of rules that improve the bulk of your legion, so it pays to think about what you are doing before you start buying expensive miniatures only to find they don't fit your Legion and you end up leaving them on the shelf. For example, Ferrus Manus is excellent for a mechanized force so his army will have lots of high AV vehicles, whereas Mortarion buffs improve his infantry, so he'll run lots of it instead of vehicles. Angron's the only major exception to this rule so far - while he's an absurdly effective melee beatstick, that's essentially all he's good for. Check the sections for each legion for their specific rules and wargear, along with strategies on how to use them.

Fortifications[edit]

NOTE: the Age of Darkness Force Org comes with one Fortification slot, which allows you to take any fortifications from Stronghold Assault (not Planetary Onslaught RAW, and no Plasma Obliterator for you) as long as they're less than 500 points and do not have a D-weapon (so the Aquila Strongpoint and Primus Redoubt would both be in the Lord of War slot). Fortification networks are also fine.

  • Promethium Relay Pipelines: You might think they are new because models have just been released, but they've been around since Stronghold Assault (yes, they took more than a year to release some metal cylinders). They do really well in 30k games for two reasons: Tactical Support and/or Heavy Support Squads. Seriously, get ten guys with flamers or heavy flamers when given the extended reach of the Torrent special rule become drastically more threatening. It does mean changing the weapon type to Heavy, so you can't move the unit or charge after firing, but it's not like they were kitted out with great melee weapons either. Now the downside to pipelines (being explosive) can be completely mitigated since they can also buy Obstacles from the Stronghold Assault options, so you can buy Barricades or Tank Traps to put in FRONT of you and still get that 4+ cover save, while keeping the fuel pipes at your BACK for the safe benefit of Torrent. They appear in the HH4 mission "Crucial Ground" as free Key buildings.
    • Legion Note: Death Guard and Salamanders will LOVE this, particularly Pyroclasts. Though the rules say that it applies to flame weapons "as defined by the WH 40,000 rulebook", so That Guy might try to argue that Flame Projectors don't gain any benefit; just remember that Pyroclast Flame Projectors have the Promethean Gift already applied to them, which as per the legion rules is only applied to "Hand Flamers, Flamers & Heavy Flamers" which ARE in the book, so the Flame Projector is essentially a regular Flamer for the template portion at least, so no Torrent Melta).
  • Castellum Stronghold: Now you can show the Imperial Guard how it's really done. EXBOXHUEG fortification that spans 24" x 24" (a whole freaking tile), made up by 3 Bunker Annexes (Medium Building, AV14) and a Tacticus Bunker (Large Building, AV14), both with Battlements, surrounding a central open deck area. The bunkers can add an emplaced weapon, while the tacticus can add 2 and has access to exclusive options, namely Battle cannon turret, Icarus QUAD Lascannon and Hyperios command platform, which allows your Interceptor weapons to resolve Automated fire at BS3 and target Flyers/Skimmers instead of the closest enemy model. This thing is a paragon of defense, having Shielded Gate barriers that count as impassable terrain but don't block line of sight and confer a 3++ to units on the other (any) side, as well as the bunkers having a 5++ vs shooting directed either at them or the units inside them. And if you go to ground on the battlements, you gain a 2+ cover save.
    • But wait, there's more! You can buy a hostile signal jammer and/or a comms relay to cause Deep strike Mishaps on a 4+ within 12" of the stronghold and reroll your reserves, respectively. So, whoever wants to claim the building has to wade in your field of fire, while you can Deep strike some Jetbike Multimeltas behind his butt.
  • Primus Redoubt: The Castellum is not enough? Then the Primus Redoubt is for you. This thing is a freaking legless Titan, with an emplaced Double Barreled Turbo Laser Destructor, which cannot be disabled except by enemy models embarking into the building and killing the NPC gunners. Also spanning a whole 24" tile, this Large building with 2 battlements is a Mighty Bulwark, so it gets a -1 modifier when rolling on the Building damage table, which is fortunate because it's subject to a Reactor Breach if it rolls a Detonation! in the Building Damage table: besides suffering the usual effects it also rolls on the Catastrophic Damage chart - such is the price of having a mounted Destroyer weapon. Not that this will happen often, because it's AV15, and with 10 HP, 4++ invuln (3++ against Barrage attacks that don't have a spotter) it can take as much punishment as it can dish out. It's so big (fluff wise) that staging on the battlements is not enough to claim it from the enemy: you have to embark inside, and even then the process of doing so renders the Turbo Laser Destructor permanently unusable.
    • You can buy items from the Buildings & Obstacles list in Stronghold Assault, and add an emplaced weapon on the redoubt (Quad gun/Lascannon being quite useful), as well as 4 Heavy Bolters on the battlements, which are very handy when being swarmed.
    • Be mindful that even with all its resilience, like the Spartan, it's not undefeatable, especially in melee, where if the enemy manages to embark it that's the end of its Turbo Laser, its main atractive. Or can be otherwise pummeled with Melta bombs, Chainfist of Haywire grenades, because its shields only activate against ranged threats, and that's without accounting the fact that it can't get Armored Ceramite, so Melta Vets are viable against it. Thus, keep it ALWAYS manned by tarpits or other units that can hold their own in melee or against your enemy's Deathstar - filling it with Techpriests wont help if an Assault squad swoops in and murders everybody. And, because it can't disrupt Deep Strikes like the Castellum does, you'll also need to bubble-wrap it with patrolling units or have other sources of Deep Strike interception/disruption.
    • The Battlements are the most important part of this building - if they fall, so does the whole Redoubt (as in, they'll enter the Redoubt if unopposed). They are NOT fortified, so they provide the usual 4+ cover save. Repeated barrages on the Redoubt might not kill it, but some lucky shots will slip through the shield and inflict casualties on the battlements, softening them for your enemy's assault. A Void Shield and/or a Atomantic Pavaise Deredeo are pretty much all the insurance you need for that.

Legion Specific Rules, Units and Characters[edit]

The Legion specific stuff is a mix of the amazingly crunchy and the rather fluffy. Some units are pretty obvious, taking over for their vanilla counterparts, while others are more lackluster. Of particular note is that the legion specific rites of war which mostly you'll want to use, but not all allow for other legions to ally with them, which mostly won't be an issue, but it's worth mentioning. Plus some goodies in the form of weapons and other exclusive equipment for vanilla units.

Also Primarchs, fuck yeah!

I Legion: Dark Angels[edit]

Dark Angels legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The First Legion is a very different fighting force when compared to its 40k incarnation. In this era, their rules make them into a melee-oriented Legion rather than a shooty, steadfast one, but as per their fluff, the Legio Prima does have a wide variety of cool toys both melee and ranged, an uncommon balance available to few others.

All in all, if you're not playing the -Wings, their basic rules are pretty decent for a melee Legion, but many of your models will not even benefit from them, so you might as well be using the generic crusade list if a gunline army is your choice. This is likely done to represent Dark Angels being the "template" upon which all other legions would draw their specialties from, and purposefully not being too unique.

If you do decide to use the -Wings, they have some radical Rites of War which allow you to play those armies (mentioned in the fluff to number 6 in total, so there's more to come), giving you a lot of power while imposing significant restrictions on your army choices, but allow you to fill roles traditionally held by other Legions, which MORE than makes up for their rather tame LA rules. For playing Deathwing there is little choice but to use Pride of the Legion for now.

Nothing in the LA screams out cheese, but Dark Angels players are used to cruising down the middle. If you want to play like normal Astartes with lots of exclusive equipment (along with some Old Night flavor) and you're capable of using a sound strategy as opposed to relying on Just as planned, the First Legion welcomes you.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Mastery of the Blade: Any Dangel using a Combat blade, Chainsword, Heavy Chainsword, Power Sword, Terran Greatsword, Calibanite War Blade or Paragon Blade modelled as swords hits on a 3+ when fighting someone with the same WS. Essentially, as long as your Dark Angel is wielding some sort of sword, you increase your weapon skill by .5.
      • RAW Mastery of the Blade does not affect Force Swords. Maybe because Librarians are not full on weebs like the rest of their Legion.
      • This is a not-insignificant bonus in equal match-ups which are all too common in the Horus Heresy era, and unlike some other Legions this applies broadly to all models with a sword rather than just characters or in challenges, so your regular assault and tactical squads got about 17.5% more accurate against opposing squads with the same WS.
      • Just remember other Legions also have their own CC benefits, some of which entirely negate yours by leap-frogging your WS (Sonic Shriekers, Incarnate Violence) or apply with fewer conditions (A Talent for Murder, Encarmine Fury) while getting other LA benefits, unlike you who only gets this bonus outside of the rites of war, meaning you can still get left behind in a fight. Not a bad rule per se, but not applicable to the same degree as other Legion melee bonuses. Thankfully you can mitigate this with Stasis Grenades, so always take them. Taking a Herald with the WS-boosting Banner of the Aquila will also give you some more breathing room with regards to WS and even allow you to tangle better with other Legions' Elite melee infantry given this rule.
      • It works against Invisibility, just like Kharn's special rule. That training with closed eyes finally starts to pay off!
      • This rule is rather useless against Mechanicum Monstrous Creatures and Custodes. Stasis Grenades won't be that useful as most of their guns out range or have a higher damage output over them. While the one unit that can survive more than one turn in Assault. I.E. Terminators, would be better off with Fists or Hammers. Combi-Grenade Launchers while versatile. Can only use one type per turn and not good enough to win the shooting match with Krak grenades at S6 AP4.(Your not playing DA correctly if you don't bring some Plasma) The lack of a real Deathwing Knights equivalent and the options for allies for their DA exclusive Rites really burns here. So it would be better to take Hammers and Mauls for Concussive instead. An option also worth considering if your opponent is using a tank heavy army as his primary.
    • Covenant of Death: If your opponent finishes the game with more units than you they get D3 victory points. Do note this also takes Allies into account, so either finish those Imperial Militia hordes or bring some of your own.
      • Says "in play", and fleeing units don't count, so messing with their reserves (Divide to Conquer WT, Explorator Augury web, etc.) while improving yours (Damocles Rhino) could help (as in tabling the opponent by turn 4, or dealing with his units one by one instead of facing them all at once).
      • This rule heavily resembles the Martial Hubris yoke that the Alpha Legion are burdened with; however, it's the inverse in one aspect, and that's that a Dark Angels list can counter it by taking as many small units as possible. Although this won't be enough alone for some armies, when facing enemy Marines it means the rule won't be triggered unless you're already losing anyway. It's awfully tempting to build up some juicy Deathstars with the 1st's wargear and RoWs, but you can find yourself paying the D3 price.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Pyris Extasis (Relic): Woo... the Dark Angels got landed with another crappy overcosted relic (just like in 40k!). For the same cost as the Nanyte Blaster you get a box that causes Fear once per game. Not fantastic, although the wording implies EVERY unit in combat with a unit on the bearers side, so you get a chance to drop the entire enemy army down to WS1 for a turn... okay. Yeah, it might help you to fulfill 'Covenant of Death', but that'd be more akin to patching a problem rather than gaining a benefit. Beware of the many Fear-ignoring and high Ld units in the game, tho.
    • Terran Greatsword: A Two-Handed S+2 power sword with Instant Death for Praetors, Cents and Consuls with access to a Power Fist. Not a great deal against the normal fare, as everything you'd want to ID' will have a 2+ save and can tank the hit unless it's unlucky. Similarly, everything that AP3 ignores (like T3 Guard or regular MEQ sergeants) will be dead or instagibbed from a single S6 hit anyway. Where it truly shines is against multi-wound units and MCs, like the Mechanicum's. Can be better than you think at first, armies that rely on a feel no pain such as world eaters will be devastated when they are not getting there 4+++ or potentially 3+++.
      • Or perhaps not, consider that in a Praetor vs Praetor mirror match a paragon blade needs to roll a six to wound, followed by a half chance of making it through an Iron Halo to cause instant death (1/12 or 3/36 chance) you need a 2+ followed by a 1 (a 5/36 chance), true a Paragon is more likely to wound At All, but a Praetor has 3 wounds.
    • Calibanite Warblade: Exactly the same as the 40k Blade of Caliban, which is basically a power sword with +1 strength, but for no additional cost. Dark Angels characters get these puppies as a straight replacement for power swords. This means you can put them on your Sergents. So use those extras to give your Power Sword armed assault units a cheap upgrade. Terminator Sergeants are allowed to take them for no extra cost.
    • Plasma Repeater: Any model that can take a plasma gun can instead take a Repeater for 20 points, that gets you a Salvo 2/3, Twin-Linked S6 AP2 plasma weapon. Yes, it has weaker strength and still Gets Hot! But with Twin-Linked you're less likely to suffer burning yourself and it's still an AP2 weapon that wounds Marines on a 2+. Get yourself a plasma support squad and make mincemeat of your enemy TEQs.
      • The critical failure of this weapon is its diabolically short range of 12", which drops to 6" range if you decide to move the unit, so in many cases it would be better to just take regular plasma weapons instead. However in Zone Mortalis missions or on tables with a lot of sight blocking cover then the reliable Repeaters would be preferred, especially on Overwatch.
      • There are only really two units in the game (for now) that can purchase the Plasma Guns which the Repeaters replace, the other being Legion Veterans, however they can only take two at best. So buying Plasma Repeaters for Veterans is a waste when playing Dark Angels allows them to take better options. Remember to spare a few points for the Support Squad so they can role up in a Rhino to unleash the plasma spam. Twin-linked plasma guns of Outrider squads can't be swapped, because stupid FW thinks it's a different weapon from plasma guns (confirmed by email). You should also consider giving Plasma Repeater Tactical Support Squads Chainswords to kill survivors that live through thirty plasma rolls and reaches base contact.
    • Stasis Shell (Grenade launchers & Missiles): Essentially unique frag grenades/missiles that, besides their usual effects, cause -1 WS & I to all models in a unit HIT by these weapons. That's right, it doesn't even need to wound to debuff the enemy, unlike Rad munitions (but the effects of Stasis munitions don't stack and only last your turn). - Combined with Mastery of the Blade means your basic WS4 dudes will be hitting your opponents elite WS5 units on a 3+, striking before them. The First Legion can be better than the Third on the charge, not by being the best in melee, but by nerfing their opponents. Just don't mind that they were stolen from Isaac Clarke.
      • Important: In 30k, Combi-weapons can be Combi-Grenade launchers, so DA can take a Stasis Shell per squad, making it an auto-include. Regarding Stasis Missile squads, keep in mind the upgrade is per model and, more concerningly, Stasis Missiles have a reduced range of 24" (Keep in mind that vets with these will have Suspensor Webs, so if they move it's a sad 12" range), limiting their use. Veterans with Stasis Missiles, any sort of Combi-weapon, Power Swords and a Calibanite war blade are just outright mean, removing anything with a 3+ or worse armour save from the table. Also, the model must have Legion Astartes (Dark Angels) rule, so it's unavailable to their Dreadnoughts. Don't bother giving them to Heavy Support Squads due to it's short range. They should be shooting things not tied up in close combat.'
      • One may think that loading Legion Terminators with Combi-Weapons and Stasis Gernades will turn them into an overpriced melee unit and thus not worth it compared to the unique Terminators the other Legions have. Unfortunately for them, most unique Terminators are assault focused with a few exceptions and even fewer are restricted to anything better than Cataphractii Armor. This means they can't Overwatch nor make a Sweeping Advance. Make yours Tartaros Terminators so they can do both. Equip Plasma Blasters, a Grenade Harness, Power Swords and a free Calibanite to take advantage of Mastery of the Blade, along with a Spartan in high point games - for that extra amount of salt. Since you now have three types of grenades on your Terminators. Use Frag or Krak grenades to soften up the unit you want off the table. Than when your Termis reach charge range and the target is weak enough they can move in for kill. If you played your cards right and didn't get screwed by RNG. You should be able to declare a "Sweeping Advance" before the next assault phase.
        • Don't forget that Stasis grants few advantages over shooty Terminators. While Relentless turns Boltguns into Storm Bolters, Volkite Chargers out range your Stasis Grenades by three inches and Plasma Blasters will get four wounds at best. A unit like Tyrant Siege Terminators will bombard or shoot the crap out of them if you fail to make base contact during the Assault Phase. Other Legions Termis can take GL-Combi Bolters too. So try not to lose them during Overwatch. Rather better yet, make them come to you. Forgetting all this will earn you a bitch slap from the Lion himself. Your Terminators don't have access to cool toys like Assault Cannons, Plasma Cannons or Storm Shields just yet so use something else to deal with Dakka-nators for the time being.
      • If you're running the Pride of the Legion ROW or the "upcoming" Deathwing Protocol, always have at least one squad of Vets with Stasis Missiles. With three types of missiles and the right mix of Combi-Weapons paired with Power Swords, they will be able to frag most units trying to dislodge them from an objective. Even if they are not Troops, their options along with the Dark Angels Legion rules and Implacable Advance makes Legion Vets an auto-take for DA. Ravenwing Protocol will also find them useful for covering objectives in the rear while Terminators, Seekers and Bikers advance the front lines.
      • Stasis Grenades can be used as often as possible. Due to lacking the "One Use" rule. The new FAQ leaks confirms this. So feel free to shoot them as often as you like. Just make sure to take something that mitigates their short ass range. So you should deep strike your Vets and Termis (with the corresponding ROW) or give them transports.
    • Molecular Acid Shells (Heavy Bolter): An auto-include variant of Heavy Bolter ammunition filled with Xenomorph blood which brings Heavy Bolters back on the menu. For 5 points per model (any model with LA(DA) and Dreadnoughts, ie. not tanks), Heavy Bolters may be upgraded to Poisoned (2+) and a variable AP value of D6 determined each time it fires - Random AP means it ignores MEQ armour 50% of the time (33% for TEQs), whereas regular Heavy Bolters allowed such saves, which may as well be considered to have AP-- in most marine vs marine games because it only threatened scout armour. Even if it rolls a bad AP, for five points alone the improved chance of wounding is worth it.
      • Even against AdMech and their 4+ saves, the improved chance to wound more than makes up the fact that armour saves will be retained 33% of the time (regular Heavy Bolters have a constant AP4, but struggle against their high toughness). If you're worried about poison resistant models (Death Guard, Battle Automata), math-wise they still do more damage than regular heavy bolters (albeit with diminishing returns). The only case where it's a waste of points is against regular humans, as there's no prize for overkill.
      • While not a must take for Heavy Support Squads, Veterans and Dreadnought. As they have superior weapon options. Molecular Acid Shells excel when given to Skyhunter Jetbikes. Usually only one in three are allowed to switch out their Heavy Bolter. Dark Angels can upgrade the whole squad. Just remember that those additional points can turn them into an expensive point sink. Unless running a ROW that turns Skyhunters into Troops. In that case you want them to be unshakable as possible.
  • Rite of War: Ravenwing Protocol - A VERY powerful and fast moving melee force with special rules and equipment, which the White Scars would later copy and turn into their own specialty. Undeniably better than the generic Skyhunter Phalanx Rite, the Ravenwing provides exactly the same benefits with more advantages to boot, albeit with much heavier restrictions by emphasizing a little too much on bikes/jetbikes. It becomes less effective on maps with lots of ruins and buildings, however, and your army will cost relatively more. (Note that for anyone trying save some cash, the 40k Ravenwing bike squads/command squads make amazing substitutes for the over priced outrider models, if you don't mind them wearing Mk7, which was developed after during the last battles of the HH, and Alpha Legion and Raven Guard exclusive Mk6. So be ready for some conversions, namely legs, backpacks and arms, helmets and torsoes can be bought as FW upgrade; or ask your opponent if he's okay with this.)
    • Iron Knights: Jetbikes and Outrider bike squads may be taken as Troops choices, but are the ONLY Troops choices available, furthermore, any Independent Characters must ride a bike or jetbike - Finally show those Space Elves how to play a real Jetbike army. Lacking 30k's trademark 20-man blobs you'll be prone to being outnumbered, but who cares when you're the original and best biker gang around in 30k?
      1. This doesn't mean you're restricted to capturing objectives with bikes. Terminators, Vets, and Seekers (and this rite frees up Fast Attack spaces) all have Implacable Advance and function rather well with Dreadclaws.
      2. Oddly enough, a fully-equipped ten model squad of Outriders costs more then the same number of Skyhunters with the most expensive upgrades, even though Jetbikes have the ability to Deep Strike and come free with Heavy Bolters. Only two other legions can have Heavy Bolter troops via Rites of War. Outriders do, however, come with Scout. Take one squad of each to stay ahead of your opponent.
      3. With Sky-Hunters you now get to have bikes in all slots if you take Apothecaries as Elites. A Primus Medicare is better, though, as he can take a Jetbike and thus adds another Heavy Bolter with Acid Shells. To increase the Rad-spam you should instead, consider a jump pack Rad-Missile Destroyer Squad out of a Drop Pod or Storm Eagle, for increased toughness reducing trolling. If players think the Ravenwing are cheap now imagine the Dreadwing and the inevitable reintroduction of Black Knights.
      4. Apothecaries are the only allowed Bikers in the Elite slot for now. However they are restricted to joining Space Marine Bikers and thus are unable to join Jetbike squads. They have very few options for upgrades so the only reason to take them is if you want A) another Augury Scanner or B) to increase the durability and Rad-spam of your already expensive Bike squadrons.
    • Knight Commander: Independent Characters may re-roll wounds against T5 or higher opponents in melee (read 'Bikes-and-Tougher-Shit Hunter'). In addition Independent Characters gain pseudo-Stubborn.
    • Search and Destroy: Jetbikes and Skimmers may leave the board in the movement phase and enter ongoing reserves, where they gain Outflank. When they re-enter the board, make sure to put on some SEEK AND DESTROY!
    • Hunt them Down: Your units may re-roll Sweeping Advance rolls - This means ANY Sweeping Advance roll, rather than just rolls with a value of one (1) like the Word Bearers and World Eaters can. Combined with Knight Commander, usually any Sweeping Advance will be yours.
    • Scour the Land: Character models (including sergeants and such) may buy Rad Grenades - AUTOINCLUDE. This is probably one of the easiest ways of using Rad Grenades. Coupled with their speed (Outflank, retreating to ongoing reserves, Deep Strike, Jetbikes, etc...) and melee prowess (Mastery of the Blade Knight Commander with Hunt them Down) you can get the jump on other legions who believed you were mediocre. Go Ravenwing or go home. Remember that Rad grenades affect the whole Assault phase, thus any Overwatch with S6 will be instant death.
    • The only vehicles available to the army must have either the Skimmer or Flyer type - No Spartans? Hello Kharybdis. You wanted a tank? Grab a Caestus. As for LoWs, your only sources of tasty D get reduced to a Thunderhawk's Turbolaser, or Sokar Stormbird's Orbital Strike
    • ALL Infantry must be begin the game embarked in a Flyer transport and enters play from Reserves.
      • That means each of your Infantry units must take a Dreadclaw, Storm Eagle, Caestus Assault Ram or Thunderhawk otherwise they cannot be deployed. Only a few units can take these as Dedicated Transports so you'll have so set some FOC slots aside when building your army. But you did remember to load them up with units that have Implacable Advance, right?
    • You may not take a Fortification or an Allied detachment.
    • Inviolate and Alone: You cannot benefit from the Leadership values of models without the Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) rule - since you can't take allies we're talking about Agents of the Imperium or when playing as a Shattered Legion force.
    • Interesting Note: Reading directly from the book, Inviolate and Alone states you cannot benefit from the Leadership values of models without the Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) rule OR the Sire of the Dark Angels rule. Combine this with the other restriction that the only Lords of War you can take are flyers. This gives a HUGE hint that the Lion himself may be able to take a Thunderhawk as DT akin to Dorn. He has one in BL novels.
  • Rite of War: Ironwing Protocol - A different version of Armoured Breakthrough/Spearhead, this is your mechanized infantry option optimized for close range fire fights, as opposed to a pure tank army. Less restrictions than Ravenwing, but to make good use of it while keeping it balanced you'll need a lot of points. As the name implies, this tank-centric approach to warfare would later be refined by the Iron Warriors and Iron Hands. Panzers Vor!
    • Interlocking Fire: Tank squadrons of two or more models (ie: Predators, Land Raiders, Legion Artillery, Vindicators and MALCADORS!!!) fire their weapons at BS5.
    • Exterminators: Infantry models that shoot enemies within 12" with a Pistol, Rapid Fire or Salvo weapon (NOT Assault or Heavy) which has S5 or weaker gain +1 on to-wound rolls. I.e.: better Bolters, including Seeker special ammo.
      • This is better than being +1 Strength, as stuff Bolters wounded on a 6 (like T7) now gets wounded on a 5+, making those big nasties that bit easier to deal with (Kraken Bolts end up feeling like Heavy Bolters).
    • The Dust of Untold Worlds: All vehicles ignore the first failed dangerous terrain check per game, in addition, vehicles may move an additional +1" when moving flat out.
    • Goliaths of War: Dreadnoughts gain Fear and Tank Hunters. If it's practically guaranteed tank kills you want, bring a Deredeo with the Lascannons; S10 with tank hunter is a real advantage that you can utilise. Of course, there are Vindicators loaded up with the destroyer batteries for your anti tank needs, but hey it looks cool. Also something worth considering are standard boxnoughts with Autocannons and Lascannons to decimate light and medium vehicles, and to take advantage of Fear, Contemptors with molecular acid rounds and a DCCW can be devastating (you can also take the same loadout with Castraferrum Dreadnoughts for less points(but they are also getting fleet and 13 front armour with an invul so you can be more survivable and get closer for some more cheeky combat)), and don't even get me started on Leviathans with tank hunter siege drills! You still can't take many dreadnoughts in this RoW due to the restrictions from the next rule however. This is true, though as mentioned below they do count as a single choice so there's a ways and means.
    • Infantry must begin the game deployed in a transport with enough space to carry them, in addition half of the units in the army must have the "Tank" type.
      • If you want to bring other units but you don't feel like spending a huge amount of points on tanks when using the tank rite (ie: you don't want to pay for Rhinos) you could:
      1. Bring units that deploy together but afterwards wander off separately, like Dreadnoughts (which count as 1 choice on the FOC), so you don't have to bring too many tanks.
      2. Srsly, infantry with Rhino DTs basically cover themselves. If you want to grab Assault squads or stuff that lacks a tank DT, then grab stuff that can't go wrong to cover them, like Sicarans. In most games it will limit you to three, so in the long run its still not a huge amount of points or models, just a lot of Rhinos or Land Raiders.
      3. Bring a Damocles Rhino as one of your HQ, allowing you to bring yet another non-tank unit while also improving your reserves (stacking with the Proteus' bonus) and giving you an Orbital Strike, thus ensuring the only non-wrecked vehicles on the table are yours.
      4. Grab a few Whirlwind artillery units, which are the cheapest tank squads you can grab (and can switch out to AA for free).
      5. Plasma Predators might look a good, but with upgrades they can rival Dreadnoughts in points. Are nine Plasma blast templates really worth the price of a Super Heavy tank? Not really. Instead consider taking a Heavy Support Squad in a Rhino or a Plasma Cannonade Deredeo for your Plasma spamming needs. Lascannons are also useful for taking down both tanks and annoying aircraft.
      6. Resist the urge to take Breacher Siege squads with Land Raider DTs for your primary troop slots. Two squads for a little over 1150 points is not a wise investment. Iron Wing works best with a large number of bodies and armor. Rather it's better to take a Siege Squad Land DT combo and a Tactical Squad with a Rhino. Leaving points leftover for models with Implacable Advance to hold more objectives. I.e. Terminators, Veterans and Seekers.
      7. If you're struggling with the requirement even after filling your Heavy Support slots with tanks and giving everything a DT, remember that the termite assault drill is a tank in the Fast Attack slot.
      8. Don't forgot that Seekers can take a Land Raider Proteus as their Dedicated Transport. Yes that is a Land Raider in the Fast Attack slot and it's completely legal.
    • Overall, the most non-DT units you will be able to take is three, assuming you took a tank in all your heavy support slots. The Damocles doesn't count towards this since it will counter whatever HQ you bring. Unless you give your HQ a command squad and stick them in a LR. Then four
    • If the enemy destroys all of your tanks (ie: HALF OR MORE of your army) they claim an additional secondary objective, in addition to the Covenant of Death ones they would probably claim - i.e., Don't lose.
      • Pack a Spartan with ten Tartaros Terminators packing Combi-Volkite, Combi-Grenades and Plasma Blasters for that pseudo-Deathwing goodness while we all wait for a proper Deathwing Protocol RoW and rules for the Secta Mortis. Command Squads for a Praetor or Delagatus in Termi-armor are also worth considering, but lack dakka, Implacable Advance and the option to use the Spartan as a DT. Add a Primus Medicae for extra fun.
        • Never ever give the Terminator Sergeant a Calibanite War Blade. A Power Fist is only 5 pts, and this is the Heresy era, so everybody and their dog cyber-familiar you're going to meet in challenges will have 2+, unless you're playing against Solar Auxillia or Militia and Cults.
      • In higher point games the fluffiest LOW choice for this Rite of War is also one of the cheapest. A Legion Stormblade costs less then an upgraded ten model squad of Terminators. Enjoy your Plasma spam. At worse it's a very expensive DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. If you're opponent has their own LOWs on the field take a Falchion or Glaive instead.
      • For a "cheap" Super-Heavy consider a Malcador Assault Tank. While they can't bring the Plasma spam. A Malcador can bring more firepower than a Predator any day of the week. It's Battle Speed rule can get it's weapons in range before your opponent has a chance to shoot at your more vulnerable units. With a Flare Shield they will be able to wither the first turn of return fire and retaliate in the next. You should probably save this for opponents you don't like, or fellow tank fanboys in friendly games.
      • A Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank is mandatory for this Rule of War. Why? Because it's four type of missiles murder just about everything on the table. Your opponent should have bought a nice carrying case. Because his models will be spending much of their time inside it. If he doesn't realize that the Sicaran Arcus is a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX with an awesome weapon first. They will after it erases their Deathstar Unit or 1/4 of their army.
    • You may not take a fortification or allied detachment - Not like you need one though. If you really need Battle-automata take a Forge Lord and bring in Thallax in a Triaros (Can't transport Space Marines because the Techpresits huff the fumes) for another tank or Dark Fire Castellax to drown your opponent in AP2 firepower. Suck on that, Ultramarines A STRATEGY RESERVED FOR USE AGAINST FOUL XENOS AND NON-COMPLIANTS. A Praevian won't do because he can't begin the game on foot (he's infantry), and no transport can hold him and his sexbots (which were mentioned to be Monstrous Infantry, whatever that was).
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Salamanders:

III Legion: Emperor's Children[edit]

Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children Pauldron.jpg

Everyone's favourite perfectionists, the Emperor's Children favour a fast and hard-hitting playstyle. "Fast" as in their troops run quicker and get multiple bonuses to initiative, "Hard" due to their access to AP2 at said heightened initiative, as well as their several bonuses to combat resolution, meaning they are quite likely to overrun opponents if when they win in combat, even if they didn't actually score the most wounds. Fitting their bias for melee, they also have access to a plethora of alternate deployment methods, by virtue of Fulgrim's strategic acumen and their very reliable outflanking available from one of their unique RoWs.

The downsides to the IIIrd Legion are not particularly bad, as being rather generic at ranged combat is a fair price for their plethora of close combat bonuses, but they could very well disappoint you: Their special characters and unique units usually have a single thing that they are good at (or "obsessed with" should we say) and need to work with the rest of your army to get the best out of them, lest their misuse make their disproportionately high cost be noticed. Also, the best part of the IIIrd Legion's Legiones Astartes rules is pretty much the old Furious Charge rule, so players are encouraged to master positional play and timing to have their units charging at the right moment while being supported with the right buffs, lest the enemy rob your forces of their melee advantage and your Children end up playing akin to generic Legion marines. They already hit hard and fast - it's up to you to make them hit often.

If you are obsessed with glorious melee combat and can flawlessly pull off the perfect maneuvers required to enact the perfect strategy, then you've earned the unique honour of proudly bearing the Palatine Aquila on your chest and being recognized as one of the Emperor's Children. Disregard rumours of aberrant conduct, unsanctioned bodily modifications and substance abuse. You'll grow to like it anyway.

  • Legion Special RulesAoDL
    • Exemplars of War: All units with Legiones Astartes have the Crusader Special Rule. Characters with this rule also gain +1 Initiative on challenges - More significant than most people realise, as performing a successful Sweeping Advance on a whole squad of enemy marines is a very real possibility in this ATSKNF-lacking millenium, especially when combined with the IIIrd Legion's many ways of improving combat resolution scores (Phoenix Guard, Paladin of Glory, and some special characters), which means you don't even have to be the one who scores the most wounds to actually win combats, and coupled with their Initiative boosts you'll pretty much always overrun them. Avoid enemy squads with Fearless, Stubborn or Zealot, not because you'll be at a disadvantage, but because it's rather distasteful to be chopping them apart one by one. Unless that's your kink.
      • +1 Initiative when fighting in a challenge is a HUGE advantage, giving your characters a significant chance to kill their enemy equivalents without dying themselves, thus with a Paragon Blade or Phoenix Spear your character is likely going to win most combat match-ups outside of special characters/Primarchs, finally breaking the same-wargear deadlock. Keep in mind that even though Command and Palatine blade squads can get into challenges, they aren't characters, so they don't benefit from this. Naturally, this becomes useless when using Unwieldy weapons...which you won't need anyway because you have things like Paragon blades and Phoenix spears.
    • Flawless Execution: +1 Initiative on the charge, unless it's disordered - Exemplars of War lets you make something out of a won combat, but this rule here is what makes you win it in the first place, by virtue of actually going first. This one LA rule is part of what makes the IIIrd Legion such a dangerous foe in melee. Get. The. Charge.
      • Yes, this means that if your dude fights a challenge in the same turn he charged, he hits at +2I. That's right, your regular Sergeant hits faster than an enemy Praetor or Consul (albeit 3 attacks just aren't enough), while your own Praetors attack at the Primarch-level speed of I7, the bane of anyone without Eternal Warrior.
    • Martial Pride: Must issue/accept challenges, but if your character is defeated in the ensuing challenge and slain, his unit suffers -1 to their Ld for the subsequent Morale test - You gave your Sergeant a Phoenix Spear and attacked at I5 at the very least. How in the galaxy could you lose the challenge?! Oh right, you got too close to a character like Kharn, Sigismund, or a Primarch. When you're this perfect you just gotta prove it every chance you get!
      • A point on challenges: Like you most certainly already read under the Paragon Blade's entry, AP2 on initiative (6) is simply not enough against the hardier enemies that your dudes will face on the battlefield: a regular bike Centurion with a power fist may kill your snowflake Praetor on foot, and that's not even taking some legion's hardier EW/3++/4W character specifics into account. The Initiative boosts give you a chance to avoid a mutual knockout (unless somebody brought a Thunder Hammer to the duel), most noticeable on a duel among sergeants, where you only need to inflict a single unsaved wound. On duels where the opponents have loads of invuln-protected wounds, hitting harder, not faster, may be a wiser idea. Also, Eidolon has a non-Unwieldy Thunder Hammer on the charge: if that's not killing the enemy then you should consider shooting them with a Medusa instead.
  • Rite of War: The Maru SkaraAoDL - AKA The "Killing Cut," this RoW focuses on opening with a fast-moving feint to tie up the enemy before the real deal comes in and delivers the Killing Blow. Allows for good pincer maneuvers and enhances your overall mobility but gets predictable if you use it too often, and doesn't provide any actual boosts to your killing power Who cares? Two perfect strikes are enough for the Emperor's Children to lay low any foe!
    • Open Blade: In the first player turn, EC gain +1 to movement, run and charge distances. This is the "feint" part of this RoW. Better use it to get into advantageous positions ASAP, since it's so short-lived.
    • Hidden Blade: Select 1-3 Elite/Fast Attack units and any attached ICs to place into reserve (which don't count towards the number of Reserve units you can have) and write down the turn number you wish them to arrive in (after the first), on a piece of paper you turn face down (so your opponent doesn't see it). Once the designated turn arrives, you turn the piece of paper face up, and your Hidden Blade units automatically arrive on that turn and gain Outflank. This is how you activate your trap card set up the pincer maneuver. Don't limit yourself to bikes. LOTS of combos with this RoW can be performed with your veterans (Outflanking Crusader Furious charge vets @I5, anyone?) or you could bring 9 Contemptors (3 are a unit when deploying) and Rapiers in the same way. You can even bring Outflanking Land Raiders, since they are DT for Seekers and Destroyers, not to mention Terminators' Spartans. The power of an outflanking Primaris Lightning with penetrator missiles can get to the weak flanks of predators, vindicators and artillery squadrons, let alone get around flare-shielded Spartans, so if one or more of those is getting you down bring one of these. In any case, take a lot of Fast Attack and Elite choices, so your opponents can't easily tell what is going to outflank and what is not! Bet you weren't expecting high AV/firepower on the side, huh? Neither did the Loyalists at Istvaan V.
      • If you're up against an opponent who likes to use reserve-disrupting abilities like a Land Raider Proteus' Explorator Augury Web or likes using the Alpha Legion's "Coils of the Hydra" RoW, the Maru Skara can put a stop to most of that nonsense since the Hidden Blade's arrival time is not affected by your opponent's abilities. You still have to plan ahead so your Hidden Blade forces arrive at just the right time, though.
    • Cannot take fortifications or allied Space Marine Legion detachments. EC are fellow warriors for both Mechanicum and Imperial Army. Both can serve as an anvil for your hard hitting EC hammer, as both have a lot of viable Heavy support choices. OR take a Solar Auxilia Leman Russ Strike Squadron for the ultimate outflanking rape army! They have Outflank and are Fast (and not Heavy - thanks to SA special treatment) But really, who needs help when you're just so perfect?
    • Must take a Legion Champion as a second compulsory HQ choice. Even the perfect legion has to have a catch somewhere. Taking a Delegatus or Herald can save points and allow you to have something other than at least two beatstick HQ units for this RoW.
    • In battles with the Slay the Warlord objective, failing to slay the warlord nets your opponent 1 VP. If you get this objective, you had better have a contingency plan to fulfill it.
    • Cannot take any unit with that's Immobile, Heavy, or Slow & Purposeful - Gotta go fast!
  • Rite of War: 3rd Company Elite (HH6)- An exceptional Rite of War that fixes Kakophonii and lets you BUY melee buffs, all without substantial drawbacks or advantages, to that matter. A good plan might be bette- THIS QUIET OFFENDS SLAANESH!
    • Chosen of Vairosean: Kakophoni become Troops (both compulsory and non-compulsory) and gain the Relentless rule. Relentless Kakophoni will outshoot just about any other Legion's troops, and can easily be combined with your elite close combat troops to form a devastating one-two shooty-punchy combo, not to mention that their Bio-psychic shock effect really will be felt. Volkite HS squads are out of a job in this list.
    • Sonic Assault: Infantry units in Power and Artificer Armour may take Sonic Shriekers for 2 points per model. Everyone in the squad must buy one IF the option is taken, which means the costs add up quick, so save it for your dedicated melee units. So long as they're not Terminators, that is. Or Palatine Blades, who could take Sonic Shriekers alrea- THINGS SHALL GET LOUD NOW!
    • Cannot take fortifications or allied Space Marine Legion detachments. Probably because they took one look at this freak show and said "Fuck all that Nois-" SCREAM TO BE HEARD!
    • Counts as one level lower than normal on the Allies Matrix (e.g. Fellow Warriors becomes Distrusted Allies).
    • May only be taken by Traitors detachments.
  • Unique WargearAoDL
    • Sonic Shriekers: Sonic XENOS derived implants that make your face look like someone made a servitor out of Davy Jones. For 5pts Independent characters can take this (read - Centurions or better). Inflicts a -1 WS debuff to enemy models in base contact that aren't immune to Fear, which is really good unless you're up against the Death Guard or Salamanders. Sadly, you can't give it to your lower-level Sergeants, otherwise you'd have them killing Centurions and whatnot, unless you take the 3rd Company Elite RoW. DO YOU HEAR THE VOICES TOO?
    • Phoenix Power Spear: Instead of a Power Fist, any EC character can buy this souped up Power Lance with +1S and non-unwieldy AP2 on the charge, that afterwards reverts into a basic two-handed Power Sword. It's a must take, and barring Paragon blades it's the only way to get AP2 striking on initiative (5) but, unlike the former, you can give it to nearly every single character in the army, granting your Sergeants a better chance to take down Centurions and the ilk.
    • Lucid Blade (Relic):(HH4) S+1 Specialist power sword that has the equivalent of auto-block for melee weapons and was clearly intended to impart some measure of Fulgrim's "Sublime Swordsman" bonus to a worthy gene-son. The bearer of the Lucid Blade can choose to fight defensively and reduce his attacks value for an equivalent improvement in Invulnerable saves. Still only really good against enemies who are only wearing Power Armour. Let's say you gave it to your highest-attack model, a Praetor. What are 2/3 AP3 attacks going to get you? Not killed, that's for sure, but are you sure you want to spend a Praetor on tarpitting?
      • Alternate view: YES. Your Praetor/Centurion could tank the enemy character in a challenge with his fancy dueling skills giving him a 2++, which actually is even better than Fulgrim's, while your attached Phoenix Termies impale the juicy squad behind him. You then get bonuses to resolution and proceed to sweep and wipe out their expensive killy Character with some dickery and minimal casualties. Like a True Emperor's Child. Combine with Fulgrim/Rylanor etc to taste.
      • Updated for new rule book FAQ; Weapons which states "Q: Do weapon special rules that say ‘a model equipped with this weapon’ or ‘this weapon’s bearer’ take effect even when not used as the attacking weapon? A: Yes." This means that your Praetor with a Paragon blade can attack with his Paragon blade while benefiting from an improved invulnerable save. Iron halo (4+) and 6 attacks (4+1+1 charging and two specialists weapons) +1 attack from digital lasers. Buff up the invulnerable save to 2++ and you can still make 5 str5 ap2 6+ murderous strike attacks at I7 and with a -1WS penalty for your opponent. Eat that other legions.
      • Also a relic that rewards a build with two swords to create an amazing duellist, I wonder which chaos champion who is missing rules this could be used to represent


  • Palatine Blades: Elite swordsmen who operated outside the Legion's command structure and served as exemplars of the Emperor's Children's perfection, seeking out foes worthy enough whom to beat down in challenges using their WS5 and Chosen warriors rule, akin to Samurai in spaaaaaace. Sadly their base weapons, Charnabal sabres, have a 'sucktastic' AP-, its saving grace being Rending and +1I in challenges, but if you want something more reliable they can be replaced with beefier Power Swords, Lances or better yet, Phoenix Power Spears for that AP2 goodness on the charge! They come in squads of 5 with option for 5 more, making them useful as MEQ killers. Counter Attack band-aids this squad's limited size, but if you really want to make these guys awesome you'll have to pull out all the stops and sink a LOT of points into them (though not more than most people sink into their own legion-specific units) by maxing out the squad and giving them the spears and Jump Packs, obtaining one of the best melee units in the game. That is of course extremely expensive, so watch your points count. Since you can usually count on some members to die, not everyone needs a Phoenix Spear, just make sure the ones dying aren't the ones with the spears. Remember though, the game is littered with 2+ saves, Invulnerable saves and 2W models, and not only do you want to Sweeping Advance everything, but you are going first anyway. As usual with all EC units, avoid the tarpits, because you'll want them charging again and again (wink Angel's Wrath wink), so use your Jump pack's mobility to accomplish it.
    • They can also serve as Elite killers by virtue of their cheap Sonic Shriekers and WS5, meaning they not only attack first at AP2, but also hit pretty much everything on 3s.
  • Phoenix Guard: Fulgrim's bodyguard of Terminators, all armed with Phoenix spears. Their bonuses are +1 Initiative on the charge and Drawn combats within 6" count as a win for all allies. Yes, this applies even if nobody in the combat actually scored any wounds. They can all purchase Sonic Shriekers for reducing the WS of their opponents, making them excellent for hunting Elite units. As of the last incarnation of their rules, all of them have WS5 (about fucking time). They also don't have any ranged weapons, so don't let them get caught out in the open out of charge range. You get 5 of them for the "cheap" price of 265 points, but since they wear Tartaros Terminator Armour they can perform Sweeping Advances (with Crusader for being Emperor's Children) and that alone could be enough to take them!
    • Dangerous, nasty assault troops but they need to be charging plural times in a game and that can be pretty tough to pull off. If you can get the charge you can maim even really nasty combat units, even Ultramarine Suzerains, but if you can't you lose everything that makes these guys special. Like the EC in general, you need to use them in combination with other units all charging together to pin down units in combat (and also to cover them once they've wiped out an enemy unit in melee).
  • Kakophoni: The remnants of the 3rd Company under Captain Marius Vairosean and the first Noise Marines. Unlike their 40K counterparts who have +1 I and Fearless, the Heresy-Era versions get Stubborn and Sonic Shriekers (for tying up enemy chargers). The instruments they wield are S6 AP5 Heavy 2, Gets Hot but Pinning; if they cause an unsaved wound the targeted unit takes a Leadership test with a -1 for every unsaved wound and if they fail suffer D6 AP2 Instant Death wounds...like Volkite but more metal. Doesn't work on Fearless, and don't expect much against Stubborn squads either. With all that and the lack of Blastmasters and no Ignores Cover it's hard to justify taking a small unit or using them against cover campers/Fearless armies i.e. most every non-Marine army in the game, and if you really like the extra wounds generated then you'll be far better off with Volkite Culverins anyway. Their only real use is Pinning (which in itself is pretty darn good, specially for a Melee legion), so they are a good alternative to Heavy Bolter squads, bringing better support than them and making your assaults easy pickings. With the 3rd Company Elite RoW however, they lose their original drawbacks and become a formidable asset.
  • Ancient Rylanor: A Contemptor-Pattern Dreadnought responsible for overseeing the progression of the Legion's new recruits; as a loyalist, he was sent to Istvaan III in the hopes that he and the other loyalists would be killed in the virus bombings. He disappeared right before Horus got bored and blew the loyalists off Isstvan III with orbital fire. He can inspire his fellow Emperor's Children with 'Mantle of Glory', giving them +1 to combat resolution and re-rolls to Morale (see the trend here?), and as a Venerable Dread can re-roll results on the damage table. Are the Crusader, Venerable, Mantle of Glory and +1WS upgrades worth 55 points over an equally equipped Contemptor that can also be squadrons in talons of 3? You're freeing an Elite slot and supporting your dudes so yeah, it might be.
  • Saul Tarvitz: Captain of the 10th Company and de facto leader of the loyalist Death Guard, Emperor's Children, and World Eaters who survived the virus bombings on Istvaan III...until Lucius screwed him over. His rules are a bit peculiar: He's got a Sniper Rifle so you might think he's a shooty character, but he has BS4. He also has a S+1 Rending Two-handed Charnabal broadsword, but with only 3 attacks he's not really a melee character either, although with base I5 plus the usual initiative bonuses for Emperor's Children and the Charnabal's duelist edge he is lightning fast, striking before Custodes Captains and even some Primarchs. But he's cheap enough, which is a nice touch for a special character, and with Preferred Enemy (Emperor's Children) and Counter Attack in his deployment zone, if you're playing a Loyalist force or even Loyalist allies he's a decent middle-of-the-road HQ choice. Rending & Sniper makes him surprisingly good at MC hunting, so there's that too.
    • A similarly equipped Praetor has +1 BS, +1 attack and is 13 pts cheaper (so you could take a Paragon Blade instead of a Charnabal one, the former of which Tarvitz couldn't get because he was content to stay in his position as a Captain rather than rise further in the ranks). Unless you're against traitor Emperor's Children, there's no point in taking Tarvitz. In spite of his heroic story in the Fluff he's clearly overcosted for his abilities, though since his ultimate fate remains unconfirmed. There's always the chance he could be updated and buffed in a later book or edition and this becomes all the more probable when you remember that his story depicts him as essentially the warlord of a Shattered Legion, and the fact that the rules for Shattered Legions had not been printed yet when Tarvitz' Crunch was first published. Still, compared to his brother-in-arms Crysos Morturg on Istvaan III (see the Death Guard section for details) who possesses a very useful fixed Warlord Trait and two fixed but handy psychic abilities, Tarvitz from the "perfect legion" can't help but feel all kinds of sad.
Eidolon
  • Eidolon: One of the Lord Commanders of the Legion and an arrogant bastard until Fulgrim lethally chastised him, and a certain fabulous guy's best efforts left him a permanent zombie walker. For the most part he's a fairly basic Praetor with 2+/4++ saves, MC Thunder Hammer, Archeotech Pistol and Sonic Shriekers with the option to use a Jump Pack that goes well with his "Coordinated Assault" Warlord Trait. His two unique tricks are a SLAANESHI SCREAM one use S2 AP- template with Rending and Pinning, which isn't likely to do much against MEQs, and his Thunder Hammer loses Unwieldy in the turn he charges, which is Awesome, especially in challenges where he strikes at I7 due to the Shriekers and his LA rules, meaning he'll have a very good chance to one-shot most non-special characters the turn he charges, finally breaking Paragon-on-Paragon nonsense. All this while being cheaper than the vanilla equivalent, but with his additional rules.
    • Bear in mind that while he is a monster on the charge against regular characters and some named ones, you can't just charge anything and declare victory. On average you should be able to push a wound through an Invulnerable save (two and a bit wounds on average so in theory you will get through a 4++) but that's not certain, and you need to make sure you aren't going to die just because someone passes one more save than you were expecting. In subsequent turns the Unwieldy rule applies to his hammer again, so a Paragon Blade wielder will get two full sets of attacks against him before Eidolon gets to strike once more. He's a great character with a special charge ability, but no more than that.
    • In particular, keep him well away from bike-mounted characters, Eternal Warriors, and anything else he mechanically can't one hit KO. Being forced to accept challenges can make for something of a problem if you end up too close to a real motherfucker like Sigismund, who can shrug off an unsaved hammer hit then fuck you in two with his murder sword and get an extra victory point while doing it.
Fulgrim
  • Fulgrim: A fairly cheap Primarch at "only" 380 points, Fulgrim, the Phoenician and one-time Saviour of Chemos, specializes in speed and grace. Although his 5+ invulnerable save from the Gilded Panoply may seem laughable, his Sublime Swordsman rule upgrades it to 3+ when in combat while also giving the Phoenician bonus attacks equal to the difference between his Initiative (a whopping 8) and the opponent's Initiative. His Sire of the Emperor's Children rule gives all Emperor's Children units with the Legiones Astartes rule an extra +2 to combat res and the ability to reroll reserves while allowing Fulgrim to use the Crusader rule, but also forces Fulgrim to issue and accept challenges if anyone in combat has a WS greater than 5, which could be a problem if he challenges another Primarch or character inside a tarpit unit, only for Fulgrim to get tied up for the rest of the game. In an EC army with Fulgrim, where the Phoenix Guard and Rylanor made Sweeping Advances 'easier', now they're closer to 'Guaranteed'. His main draw is the ability to choose his Warlord Trait for the duration of the battle, making him fairly adaptable (on the same level as Horus).
    Fulgrim can use the following Wargear:
    • The Blade of Laer: The Daemonic blade that caused Fulgrim's fall to Chaos uses his Strength score and combines it with AP 2. It also has Rending (which is only really useful against vehicles because of the weapon's inherent AP2), Two-Handed, and Specialist Weapon rules. It may not be as good as the other Primarchs' melee weapons, but it gets the job done pretty well anyhow.
    • Fireblade: For games taking place before the Horus Heresy (or at least the war on Laeran), Fulgrim can swap The Blade of Laer for Fireblade, a Master-crafted Paragon Blade with Murderous Strike on a 5+, a gift from Ferrus when they were still Sworn Brothers. It breaks in their fateful duel on Istvaan V. For competitive games you probably should take it, since +1S, Instant Death on 5+ and Master-crafted far outclass Rending.
    • Fire Brand: A Master-Crafted Volkite Charger with the Shred rule, for your shooting needs.
    • Krak and Plasma Grenades: When you need to deal with vehicles and the like.
    • Gilded Panoply: This armor grants Fulgrim a 2+ Armor save and a 5+ invulnerable save (which becomes a 3+ per his Sublime Swordsman rule). It is also quite flashy - so flashy that if Fulgrim passes his Armor or Invulnerable save on a 6, the unit that tried to wound him must pass an Initiative test or be blinded.
Keep in mind that Fulgrim can choose his Warlord trait from either the Crusade list OR the Strategic Traits Chart in the WH40K 7th edition rulebook. Yes, any Master of the Legion can roll (and re-roll) from those tables, but only Fulgrim can actually choose his trait and therefore plan ahead (in the same way Lorgar Transfigured uses his spells, but this isn't an upgrade). Also do note that since normally Primarchs can't take a Warlord Trait (Legiones Astartes Crusade Army List page 80) this is a HUGE advantage that Fulgrim has over his fellow demigods. There are quite a lot of crazy-bordering-OP shenanigans to perform:

The Legion Warlord Traits are very balanced, since they were written with 30k's environment in mind:

  • Bloody-handed: All Primarchs already cause Fear, so this does nothing, not even provide a penalty to Fear tests taken against Fulgrim.
  • Master Tactician: Greatly improves Maru Skara's mindgames, and the EC's high mobility makes it easier to pull off.
  • World Burner: D3 units gain Shred for their Blast and Template weapons. While the Children aren't too keen on heavy support, they can use this to upgrade their Fast Attack choices (like Seekers or Javelins), which can Outflank with Maru Skara.
  • Paladin of Glory: Now this is one of those near-OP tricks mentioned earlier, for sometimes you need to give Lady Luck the finger and go procure your own. Paladin of Glory Fulgrim ends up adding +3 to the combat resolution. Add a Phoenix guard retinue and get him near Rylanor in order to get a 6"/12"/24" aura of +4 combat res with Draws counting as Wins using a Crusader army. Too much? When battling Angron's Butchers, there's no such thing as "too much".
    • This can be incredibly powerful against some enemies but against others a different trait may be more useful. Against another melee legion (World Eaters in particular) this will be devastating as you sweep all enemies before you. But against a shooting focused list where you were going to win combat anyway you won't get much from this, especially compared to Master Of Ambush which will help your CC squads get into combat faster and with fewer casualties. Choose wisely!
  • Void Walker: You can Deepstrike one unit, which is situational. You could also pick another trait, which might be better.
  • Child of Terra: Re-rolling failed To Wounds of 1 is always a good thing, especially when accompanied by a melee squad and with the Master-crafted Fireblade.

Strategic traits, aka Batman's prep time, are quite varied. You'll choose them based on the mission's circumstances, mostly.

  • Conqueror of Cities: All your Legion, not just the ones close to Fulgrim, gets better at city fighting... which is a fairly common Great Crusade scenario.
  • Night Attacker: Lets you pull the Night Lords' RoW. We're talking about shenanigans here, so take this and use Maru Skara, to use a RoW while you're using a RoW. Brother Xzibitus in his Dreadknight armour would be proud, dawg.
  • Master of Ambush: What's better than going 'Creeeed!' on your enemy? To do so with a melee Legion. Yes, you can take off your Commissar hat now. Grants Infiltrate to 3 squads...which grants them Outflank when coming out of reserves [WH40K 7E pg. 167]. Using Maru Skara, you can outflank 6 different squads at turn 2 (because Fulgrim allows you to re-roll reserves, and Hidden Blade'd squads do not count towards Max reserves [HH2 pg. 219]). And keep in mind your Children have Crusader. Creed can hide a tank? Fulgrim can hide half a company of supermen & bikes. This is only usable in mildly high point games, but then again, this is the GREAT Crusade. Overkill, you say? Ask the Loyalists how much did that hurt on the Drop Site MASSACRE.
  • Strategic Genius: +1 to Seize the initiative is useful, specially for a melee legion.
  • Divide to Conquer: -1 to enemy reserves is useful for everyone. Add a Proteus Land Raider and enjoy his face of envy when he fails his rolls and you re-roll yours.
  • Princeps of Deceit: If you go first, you can run towards your enemy (Open Blade helps) and pin 3 of his squads. Reduce retaliation fire and get 3 easy Sweeping Advances...as long as you go first, that is.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Iron Hands:
    • Sons of Horus:
    • Salamanders:

IV Legion: Iron Warriors[edit]

Iron warriors legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Iron Warriors are a ranged oriented Legion with a knack for attrition warfare, shrugging off ranged casualties like they don't care. They are THE offensive-siege specialists, coming to make a mockery of the enemy's hiding places, make them keep their heads down and claim No Man's Land as their own without giving any terrain themselves with their special rules and wargear. Having strong ties with the Mechanicum (especially the Ordo Reductor), mechanized formations are also within their scope of warfare, as well the inclusion of battle automata, although common builds include lots of Heavy support choices as well as lots of Barrage weapons.

Though their Legion rules are a bit scarce and oriented to letting them take casualties better instead of strenghtening their deadliness, combine them with their RoWs to ensue in huge firestorms and come out on top. All in all pretty straight-forward marines but focused on big guns. Even though they are more comfortable at range, a viable strategy with them is to launch assaults amidst huge firefights, with rapid-firing units launching disordered charges, or becoming Fearless under the cover of precision bombardments. Their close combat capabilities are further honed by Perturabo's presence, who makes them Stubborn, and also gives them Furious Charge while in the enemy's deployment zone to boot (aka both of the Unlisted Legions' bonuses).

While other Legions might get Ld bonuses or re-rolls, the ability to ignore ranged casualties and being one of the few Legions with access to widespread Stubborn and Fearless and thus ignore negative penalties as a result of failed assaults while also ignoring ranged casualties means the Iron Warriors can lay claim to having some of the best Morale rules in the entire Heresy, but you'll need a good plan lest your dudes die for nothing.

If you're not afraid to spend some lives (as victory is the will to expend lives and munitions in attack) overmatch the defender's' reserves of manpower and fire tons of ordnance, join the Iron Warriors and pay any price in the pursuit of victory, you will never be defeated.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • The Bitter End: Your opponent (not you) may force full 6 game turns rather than rolling for random length. Just like the Imperial Fists.
    • Wrack and Ruin: Iron Warriors do not suffer morale tests from shooting attacks and may re-roll failed Pinning tests - 97.3% passing odds, anyone?. All grenades and melta bombs gain Wrecker.
      • While simple, players often forget how often this can save their bacon. Remember this is an ATSKNF-lacking environment, anything that regroups after falling back can't move or assault and only fires snap-shots in their turn, in addition to being out of the position you wanted them in, perhaps wasting yet another turn putting them back. Thus, by sheer dint of ignoring an entire phase worth of morale troubles, Iron Warriors can ensure their soldiers always HOLD THE LINE. Furthermore, this lessens the need for transports as your infantry will be more capable of braving enemy fire (specially AP3 Pinning artillery, very common in 30K), easing the use of 20-men tac blobs (who seldom fit inside transports), or you can divert those points into bringing more Terminators, tanks or fast units that can take advantage of the distraction. The battle will now turn into a meatgrinder for both sides, welcome to the Iron Warriors! Even other Legions at the top of the morale game will find themselves frustrated from time-to-time.
      • Wrecker is also a nice addition for anyone fielding melta bombs, since it means those fortifications will now be going down even faster than before. And no shooting morale tests ensures your legionnaires will arrive at the building.
  • Warsmith: A free Praetor upgrade that forces him to be the Warlord if Perturabo isn't around and gives an extra VP if slain. In exchange, it gains Stubborn and gives up a Warlord trait for Shatter Defenses (lower a chosen terrain piece's cover save by 1). Can't use a Jump pack, Bike or Jetbike, but can be upgraded with Battlesmith + Servo-arm combo for 35 points.
  • Rite of War: The Hammer of Olympia - Focuses on heavy firepower and allows relentless close ranged assaults with no real limitations.
    • Hail Of Fire: After firing a Rapid Fire weapon, a unit with the Legiones Astartes (Iron Warriors) rule may declare an assault as long as they haven't used Fury of the Legion, counting as a Disorganized Charge. Remember though that all marines have a bolt pistol side arm, so by doing Hail of Fire you're exchanging 1 shooting attack for 1 melee attack, which might have made the difference in who won close combat. Still, some enemies can force disorganized charges, and you don't get the bonus attack against breacher shields anyway, so no penalty against them.
      • Even though in marine vs marine engagements BS4 does hit more often compared to WS4 (on a 3+ against same-WS 4+), the total damage is increased about only 10%, and because it exchanges a melee attack for a shooting one it has a decreased chance of actually wining the melee, which is more critical than hopefully causing enough casualties in the shooting phase to make the enemy test morale (and at Ld9 they have a 83.3% success rate). You could give your tacticals an extra CCW, but your enemy could be doing the same, you know? This is also true for Sniper Veteran squads and, considering they have access to power weapons, a Hail of Fire attack could even be detrimental to them (yes, even with their sniping attacks). You could try your luck and kill enough enemies at range, and thus free of retaliation, in order to soften them for the incoming disordered charge, but should you fail to do so you'd be left in range of their charge if you don't attack, or roll poorly and lose the melee if you do launch the disordered charge.
      • This can be used to tie up enemy shooty units, denying their most dangerous aspect, or tie up enemy assault units on your terms, robbing them of their charge bonuses (like Rage, increased Initiative or Furious Charge), exacerbated by Perturabo giving them Stubborn, forcing your enemy to destroy your squad in his assault phase, leaving him exposed in your next turn.
      • Plasma tactical support squads and Seeker squads benefit more from exchanging a melee attack for a shooting one, as their ranged weapons have useful AP instead of the melee attacks' AP-- and as such they could come in handy...but they're expensive units best used at range and it's not such a good idea to put them at such risk.
    • Sheathed in Steel: All Tanks and Walkers gain Extra Armor for free. Saves points, and you'll need to get a 5+ on the Penetration table to do any real damage.
    • Siege Engineers: Can take an additional HS choice, which probably will also be Sheathed in Steel.
    • Warsmith or Siege Breaker must be used as compulsory HQ choice - A lone Warsmith is cheaper and helps an army focused on AdMech units and/or vehicles, but a Praetor & Siege Breaker combo is more versatile since you aren't sacrificing your warlord trait, so you could try rolling for World Burner to grant the Siege Breaker's Tyrant squad Shred.
    • Must take more Heavy Support units than Fast Attack units - If you think this is a penalty then you shouldn't be playing Iron Warriors. Also, doesn't matter since you get 4 heavy slots.
      • If you wanted lots of flyers remember Caestii, Fire Raptors and Kharybdii are HS too.
      • If you took a normal Praetor, mount him in a jetbike along his Command squad (who use 0 slots), take Shrapnel Bolts and go make up for the lost Fast Attack choice.
    • Must take an additional compulsory Troops choice.
    • Cannot take an allied Space Marine detachment. It's n-not like we need allies, baka! Though you can (and probably should) take an allied Mechanicum detachment (Ordo Reductor will bring the very sky crashing down upon them). This does lead to VERY, VERY shooty armies, just like Perturabo wanted.
  • Rite of War: Ironfire - Danger-march your infantry forward amidst raining artillery fire
    • Rolling Bombardment: Firing barrage weapons within 12" of your own units allows them to only scatter a single D6 for better accuracy, but it gets better. When you resolve the attack, leave an "Ironfire" counter at the point underneath the blast and from then on, further barrages do not scatter at all if within 18" of these markers and within 6" of your own units, meaning you can inch your forces forward turn by turn under a deadly accurate series of carpet bombs. Obviously this rite of War really needs to be combined with all your Artillery and Quad Mortars to have a real impact, plus enough appropriate units to act as targets "fire guides". However, all Ironfire counters are removed should a turn pass with no new counters placed, so make sure you can keep the pressure up. Way better than the assistance any nuncio-vox could provide.
      • The bonus functions near any and all Iron Warriors units, not necessarily infantry. It can be near the Spartan carrying Golg's terminators for all you care.
      • Precision artillery fire is nice and all, but would you like to snipe specific soldiers, such as officers or special weapons bearers, using indirect barrages? By equipping a few marines with nuncio-voxes you'll be enabling your artillery to use their BS4 to all but eliminate the mean 3.5" scatter. True, you could inch your dudes closer and deny scatter for free, but perhaps 10pts saving you a turn of moving could be worth a thought?
    • Ride the Ironfire: Iron Warriors within 6" of an Ironfire marker become Fearless, yet another reason to keep the artillery fire moving forward.
      • Worthy of note is the fact that, unlike many other rites, this one lacks a movement or FOC limitation, meaning you can bring all the fast stuff you want in order to have many opportunities to place Ironfire counters each turn, as well as to get the most out of Fearless. And the bonus says "near your units", without specifying when it happens, so you could flat out/turbo-boost/get your assault marines to run after they used their jump packs BUT before you fire those barrage weapons, and it would be perfectly legal.
    • You must always be the attacker in missions with Attacker/Defender roles (which is more significant that it looks, since it means your army will never get 'ambushed' during an ambush deployment)
    • You may never take Fortifications or Allied Space Marines detachments. AdMech allies are still go.
      • Bring Ordo Reductor's Siege engines, they're Sworn Brothers to you so they'll benefit both from the increased accuracy, and they're a nice way of getting around the artillery squadron's 0-1 limit. The only requisites are a Magos Reductor (which you kinda want) and a unit of generally-useful Thallax.
      • Important: Bring lots of AA/Interceptors and anything you can to protect your artillery, as they are the centerpiece of this strategy. Mortis Dreads and/or Deredeos can provide adequate protection. Also consider augury scanner Magos Domini and for once, Icaran Thallaxi may not be an auto-pass.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Shrapnel Bolts: All Heavy Bolters (including Twin-linked and Quad) can get Pinning and change their AP to 5. Pinning is AWESOME: shooty armies suddenly become too scared to aim before shooting and cease to overwatch, and melee armies will be bolted (LOL) in place. This way bare-bones Heavy Support squads, Fire Raptors, Rapiers and Dreadnoughts become more competitive and thus, you can divert your points to other places. It's all about the math of war with the Iron Warriors, baby! Almost all your transports can take them, and it's really good for Terminators in Land Raiders, who don't have assault grenades. Jetbike squads, but above all jet-mounted Command squads will benefit greatly with this. Pin, charge, rinse & repeat. If you didn't bring a Warsmith, combine this with a 'Princeps of Deceit' Warlord to pin the enemy some all game long, even if he goes first.
      • It doesn't come without disadvantages, though. Downgrading to AP5 isn't much of a penalization when the enemy has a 3+ save, but against AdMech and/or Solar Auxillia there will be a decrease on lethality, not to mention Marine's Ld9 will hurt your chances of pinning them (much less against legions resistant to pinning). Although enemies going to ground will increase their cover save, the Iron Warriors can deal with using Thallax, Warsmith and Iron Havocs. If anything, Shrapnel bolts are easy to spam given how many vehicles can acquire pintle-mounted Heavy Bolters, so it may help by forcing yet another pinning test on the enemy.
    • Cortex Controller: Can be used by Warsmiths and Forge Lords, but also Techmarines too, to bring Thallax, versatile Jetpack Ogryn-equivalents that modify enemy cover saves by -2 & deny Infiltration Thallax aren't Battle-automata, this will not work Sure it does, look at Page 131 of the Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List red book; or Castellax, one of the best MCs in the game, that also Pins with an AP3 weapon. The models that can take it also have 'Battlesmith', which allows them to heal Battle automata on a 4+ (because Servo arm adds to the repair roll and 'Heal' counts as such).
      • This is perhaps more significant than most people realize. Because Techmarines and, more importantly, Warsmiths can now take these, you can bring a unit of Thallax and save points by giving the Cortex to one of them instead of having to bring a Forgelord exclusively for that. Thallax are nice, jetpack Ogryn equivalents that fit IW's theme by being shooty, their attacks ignoring some cover saves and disrupting enemy infiltrators, as well as having nice dakka of their own, such as those lovely AP2 Photon thrusters. They're also quite resilient with T5 and 3 wounds along FnP 6+, meaning they don't suffer critical existence failure at the sight of plasma. Bonus Iron points for protecting them under a Void Shield Harness. Laugh when your opponent activates The Bitter End in a last-ditch attempt to kill him. It comes with an iron cod piece to withstand the kicks in the balls you'll deserve.
    • Blind Helm of Black Judges (Relic): The offensive version of the Warp Shunt field. A helmet recovered from the Black Judges that shoots in overwatch, and only in overwatch. You get 2D6 S5 AP3 shots at FULL ballistic skill. You will decimate anyone short of terminators who charges at you - Specially useful for a shooty army like yours, one of the best relics over all.
  • Tyrant Siege Terminators:AoDL Recruited from the most battle hardened Iron Warriors, they are the selfless elite Siege & Assault vanguard of the Legion. These Terminators have Wrecker as an inherent rule, and all of them have Cyclone Missile Launchers by default (yes, every single model has them) and can fire them AND their combi-bolters in the same Shooting phase, being some of the shootiest infantry in the game. At 12" this means they spit 4 shots each, 2 of which will ID MEQs, so it's like Hail of Fire - Terminator boogaloo. In addition, the Siege Master has an Omni-scope which grants them Night Vision and Split Fire, but only he can take a combi-weapon. Cataphractii armour means they can't overwatch, but since they start being a menace from 48" away it doesn't matter. They can also swap their default Power Fists for Chainfists, but they'll need a transport to catch vehicles, so save this for buildings. These guys can pour out enough missiles per turn (20!) that they can be used as AA in a pinch. That costs 545 pts, but few other units can deploy such amount of dakka, much less while being so resilient. They fully embody the concept of the Tactical Dreadnought.
    • Bring a Deredeo with an Atomantic Pavaise for a 2+/3++ squad that spits 20 krak missiles per turn, all under Skyfire Interceptor coverage. Who needs TH/SS now?.
    • If you grabbed a normal Praetor, try to give them Shred with World Burner, or be a Void Walker and Deep strike with them. Their HIGH firepower actually makes them rather good for assault (since very few enemies will be left standing), so they are perfect as your Praetor's retinue too, specially if he is Bloody-Handed or a Child of Terra. And then you add a Void Shield.... Against 2+ saves though, don't trouble yourself.
  • Iron Havocs: The first Havocs. They have BS5 and Tank Hunters by default, and their Deadly Aim lowers their target's cover saves by 1, which stacks with Shatter Defenses. They're initially equipped with Heavy Bolters plus Shrapnel Bolts, which they can exchange for Autocannons for free, and Hardened Armour. Their initial cost is a little higher than a default Heavy Support squad with Hardened Armour, essentially paying 25 more points for the bonus rules and stats - but the same unit with Autocannons would cost exactly the same. In other words, Iron Havocs are pretty much a free upgrade. Additional members are a little more expensive, but their weapon options make up for this: their missile launchers essentially come with free flakk missiles, and their cheaper lascannons mitigate the price difference. However, their arsenal is limited to the four previously mentioned weapons, meaning they're confined to the anti-armour role... but Tank Hunters would be wasted if they shot at infantry, so nobody cares. Unlike HSS, they can take mixed weapons in the squad, which is a way to save a few points if you reckon you'll only need a few lascannon rounds now-and-then amidst the autocannon and missile fire. Like the Kasrkin in Dawn of War, the Iron Havocs are an extremely cost-effective upgrade to their base unit and there's almost no reason to take regular HHS again (not even on a tight budget).
    • While Iron Havocs cost the same than an identical Heavy Support squad or even less (as it happens with the missile launcher), the latter can cut up to 75 pts by not taking flakk and hardened armour. However, when BS5 is factored in, the price difference between the squads all but disappears, and in the case of flak missiles and lascannons it'd actually cost more points to achieve a feat using regular Heavy Support marines than the equivalent-priced Iron Havocs, as BS5 effectively grants 16.6% more Marines-worth of firepower.
    • Since Havocs already have Tank Hunters, an attached Siege Breaker would only be useful against Fortifications. Instead, give them some way of rerolling ones to hit (Target Priority WT, ammo-dump, or Kyr motherfucking Vhalen) and they'll feel like BS10!
    • Shrapnel Heavy bolters and Autocannons are fine and all, but this squad truly begins to shine with Missile launchers, as they'll be able to fling AP3 krak or AA flakk around while reducing the enemy's back-up cover or evasion jink saves.
    • Equipping a full squad with Lascannons is expensive, and costs as much as one and a half Flare Shielded Spartans...but with Tank Hunters and BS5 they can fry two and a half! Even Knights are endangered on turn one. If you absolutely positively desperately need THE dakka, look no further.
    • Remember that 5pt Auguary Scanner the Sarg can take? IT'S NOW AUTO INCLUDE. 10 Missile Havocs are probably one of the best AA units going in Horus Heresy now. Who doesn't want 10 Flak Missiles hitting on 2s with Tank Hunter which really does make the Str7 less shitty that also -1 to the inevitable Jink Save?!
    • 48 Interceptor death circle says what?
  • "Iron Circle" Domitar-Ferrum Class Battle Automata Maniple: They are finally fucking here! These are the guys when Perturabo, after the Battle of Phall, just went "Fuck Space Marines" and just decided to cry to his MF DEATH ROBOTS...mainly because they are as cold, logistical and calculating as him! Starting off with a decent statline of WS/BS4, Str/Toughness 7, 4 wounds, I/A 3, Ld8, 3+/5++; they cost 205 points a piece and can be taken in a unit of up to 6. They are armed with a Olympia Pattern Bolt Cannon (pretty much 5-shot Pinning Heavy Bolters) for laying down the suppressive dakka, Graviton Mauls (S10 AP2 Concussive Wrecker non-unwieldy hammers with Crushing Blow: A hit of a 6 causes an additional automatic hit), Karceri Battle Shields (D3 HoW per model, 5++, and when un-engaged in combat all charges against them are disordered)... and a searchlight + frag grenades. Moving Bulwark allows them to reroll failed armor and invulnerable saves against blast and template weapons, improving their invulnerable save to 4++ when at least two of them from the same unit are in BtB contact, and allows ICs with the Legiones Astartes (IW) rule to join them despite being MCs, getting the benefits of the shields and Moving Bulwark in the process. For shits and giggles you could attach a Forgelord to the unit and give him a Cortex controller so he can restore the Iron Circle's wounds (as Perturabo lacks a servo arm of his own), while his rad grenades enable them to ID Vorax and those bothersome T6 Archmagi. Bonus Iron points for protecting them under a Void Shield Harness. Laugh when your opponent activates The Bitter End in a last-ditch attempt to kill them. It comes with an iron cod piece to withstand the kicks in the balls you'll deserve. Too bad they are so expensive.
    • These guys can also be taken as replacement for Perturabo's Command Squad, that's what Perty built them for anyway. That squad can be augmented with either +1WS (to hit hit ordinary dudes on 3+), +1 Initiative (things that can kill them before they strike are rare though), +1 Ld (avoid since Perty is already Fearless) or gain Feel No Pain(6+) (helps but it's not good enough), but no other Independent characters may join this unit.
    • It has been calculated by /tg/s experts™ that it would take 54 Sigismunds to kill a full unit of these in one turn, THEY WILL NEVER EVER DIE.
  • Erasmus Golg: Leader of the 11th Grand Company and member of the Trident who co-led the attack on the Imperial Fists at Phall. Which lasted right up until Alexis Polux disintegrated his head. When he is the Warlord he causes Fear and lets you bring Terminators as troops, and if he's attached to any squad in Terminator armour he gives the whole unit Hammer of Wrath. He comes with a Nuncio Vox (comms-locator beacon hybrid) to grant artillery his LOS, and his special rules allow all Iron Warriors on his side to use his Ld...of 9, which will only be of help for squads with dead sergeants. He's also one Attack down on his stats next to other Praetors. Golg proves his value in allowing armies of terminators without requiring "Pride of the Legion" as a Rite of War.
  1. Take Orbital Assault with Golg, effectively combining it with the best part of Pride of the Legion.
  2. Teleport your Terminator troops all over the field, on the objectives and without scattering near Golg.
  3. Laugh maniacally.
  • Kyr Vhalen: Badass who learned of Perturabo's treason on Paramar. He literally said "Fuck it" and remained loyal to the Great Crusade and E-Money. So yeah, Loyalist character for all you Loyalist Iron Warriors out there. Show those heretics the true nature of the Iron Within! Vhalen is a Warsmith (so he is Stubborn, even if it's not listed) with Servo arm (and presumably Battlesmith too, as that's a paired upgrade), FNP(6+), and Cortex controller to bring them bots. He's also really good on the defensive, with the ability to buff fortifications, disrupt charges and make 1 unit re-roll failed To Hits of 1 in the deployment zone. However, when you want to be on the offensive, his Iron halo, 6+ FNP, volkite charger, wrecker melta bombs, servo arm and Paragon blade make him a fearsome contender, along with the fact that you can take the Hammer of Olympia with him alone for being a Warsmith. And he's cheaper than the generic Praetor would be but he gets his ton of special rules and a 6+ FNP. And IV fucking wounds. Makes you wish you'd stayed loyal.
    • Hello traitors. Look at your warlord, now back to Kyr, now back at your warlord, now back to Kyr. Sadly, he isn't Kyr, but if you stopped being a traitor and made Kyr the warlord you could play like you're him. Look down, back up. Where are you? Your in a fortification, rerolling cover saves of 1 or upgrading its AV. What's in your deployment zone? Back at me, I know it. It's the Iron Havocs re rolling hits to that thing you hate. Look again, the enemy's charge is now disordered. Anything is possible when Kyr Vhalen is the warlord and not some traitor. I'm in a Castellum Redoubt.
  • Narik Dreygur: The Gravewalker, killed at Istvaan but put back together with cybernetics by a Legion sect, and ended up defecting to the Loyalists for unknown reasons after meeting with Cassian Dracos. A unique model for the 2015 HH Weekender, this guy's an Iron Warriors Praevian, so he can't fill Compulsory HQ, but brings Castellax or Vorax MCs to the party and grants them PE. They don't benefit much from the Legion rules, so give them Tank hunters, Scout or Furious assault. Other than that, he has Artificer Armor, a Refractor Field, a MC Bolt Pistol (very good so he can grant PE to his sexbots), a Power Fist and +1W. He may also be included in any army with either Cassian Dracos or Xiaphas Jurr as the Warlord, being able to bring Iron Warrior Veterans that don't use up a FOC slot but cannot fill any compulsory choice and are treated as Desperate Allies by all friendlies besides Cassian and Xiaphas. He also gains Zealot and Rage within 12" of Cassian, meaning he sort of becomes a chaplain for his Battle Automata near him.

Just be clear too, Narik is part of the Traitor faction when he's with his Robot Buddies, and then can be selected by the Loyalist Faction for Salamanders (or potentially Shattered Legions) as long as the aformention HQ's are taken.

Perturabo
  • Perturabo: At 455 points, the Lord of Iron is rather costly, but worth it - The Sire of the Iron Warriors makes all his children Stubborn, and lets Perturabo and his Goon squad automatically arrive from turn 1 from Reserves (No more entire army turn 1 Reserves). Arguably this is better because it's an automatic come from reserve and doesn't specifically say Deep Strike so if you can find a way to give an entire unit Outflank...then you can an Outflanking Salty Fucker with 10 Tyrants. DECENT A Relentless Strategist, he gives all models in his army Furious Charge (not only Iron Warriors) while in the enemy deployment zone. Remember though that this would NOT work well with the Hammer of Olympia RoW because disordered charges don't give you FC, but it's fantastic with Iron Fire, so bring lots of Terminators with Chain and Power Fists, which will hit as strong as Lascannons now. To round this off, once per game he can call down a bombardment (S9|AP2|Ordnance D3|Barrage|Twin-Linked, and doesn't count as firing a weapon that turn) to blow shit up, which is further bolstered by the fact that all of his attacks have Wrecker and Tank Hunters.
    Perturabo has the following Wargear:
    • The Logos: Perturabo's custom Terminator armor is a veritable Swiss Army knife - not only is it 2+/3++, but also incorporates a bunch of wargear and special rules:
      • It makes him immune to Concussive and Blind.
      • Makes his bare hands S(User, aka 7) AP2, so he punches as hard as a plasma gun, Ferrus Manus style.
      • Lets him and all Terminators Deep-strike. No-nonsense Orbital RoW. Unfortunately Golg needs to be the Warlord to make Terminators troops, but you can always take Pride of the Legion, and HoW is a nice addition to Perturabo's Deathstar.
      • Has a built in wrist-cannon (S6|AP3|Assault 3|Twin-Linked and Rending), Horus style. With a little luck it can harm vehicles too, due to Tank Hunters.
      • Has a Nuncio vox, to help with the lots of Deep striking Terminators and artillery barrages you'll have.
      • Has a Cognis-signum...which further grants Night vision, denies Infiltration and grants Interception within 18". Can be +1BS to a unit if he doesn't shoot that turn, meaning he plays more like a super buffed Master of Signals than like a melee monster.
      • Cortex controller.
    • Frag Grenades: Yup, it's a grenade.
    • Forgebreaker: Horus gave it to him after Ferrus Manus became shorter by a head. Perturabo can use it for 35 points extra (thus becoming the 3rd most expensive Primarch). It maintains the S10 AP1 profile with Concussive and Strikedown, but in Pert's hands it gains Blind for the price of the Unwieldy rule (not every Primarch can be as strong as Ferrus Manus), though Pert has the higher WS. Only take it if there are MCs, heavy vehicles or multi-wound models that you NEED him to personally kill (see "Weaknesses"), which shouldn't matter much in any case with the Iron Circle in the house.
    • The Tormentor: In 3001+ point games, Perturabo can take this special "transport" for 600 points, although calling a Shadowsword with a void shield, a transport capacity of 15 and a rear access point a mere "transport" is kind of pushing it. Oh, and it doesn't take up a Lord of War slot. The July 9 FAQ confirms it gets sponsons, ups its BS to 4, and gives it Tank Hunters and Monster Hunters any time it fires all its guns at one target. Point towards the nearest Titan, because if you can afford to take it you're definitely playing a game big enough for one to show up.
      • Take him and a bunch of Tyrant Siege Terminators, have them all arrive from reserves on Turn 1 and send out a Bombardment. Because it does NOT count as firing a weapon, use his Cognis-signum to give +1BS to the Tyrants, who fire BOTH their combi-bolters and Cyclone launchers in the same phase. If SOMEHOW anyone is still alive (2+ saves), use Perturabo's LOS and Barrage the survivors. Because fuck the loyalists.
    • Weaknesses: ONLY. FOUR. ATTACKS. Even with the hammer, he can kill only so many models, and he isn't that shooty either, which means he can't go solo. He needs a retinue badly because he's one of the few Primarchs that doesn't have a reliable way of dealing with tarpits; fittingly enough the Iron Circle can do this, but they're very expensive themselves. To get your points worth you really need to be making maximum use of his special rules. You'll always get good mileage from Stubborn but you need to build a list to leverage his terminator deep striking to justify the points cost. On the tabletop he is one of the trickier to use because you're going to be a mostly shooty list. Luckily, his Cognis-signum and Tormentor are of great help when attached to a squad, and his hammer can beat anything to a pulp, but he can't be a force multiplier if you dump all the points on him.
  • Sworn Brothers
    • World Eaters: Perturabo giving the entire army Furious Charge in the enemy's deployment combines very well with the WE's higher-than-average number of attacks and rerolls. While Perturabo's FC bonus works extends to the entire army regardless of alliance level, the planet-chompers get dat dere AP4 from free chainaxes, which basically lets each 10pt Tac marine unleash four Heavy Bolter attacks on the charge, all while sharing Warlord Traits and characters.
      • Iron Warrior's specific units are very good at a distance, but not so much at close range. Attach Erasmus Golg to a Red Butchers terminator squat in order to give them Hammer of Wrath, making a deathstar unit even scarier. Factor in Perturabo's Furious Charge bonus making their axes wound T4 on 2+ while in the enemy deployment zone, AND rerolling ones to-wound because World Eater's LA rules, AND rerolling ALL to-hits because of the Red Butcher's Hatred (E v e r y t h i n g !), and you get the ultimate "I'm at ur base killing your dudes" squad. Remember however that, even though Sworn brothers can be attached to allied squads, they still can't share transports with them, and footslogging Butchers is a bad idea (unlike footslogging Tyrants). Perturabo allowing all termies to deep strike partially solves this issue (deepstrike Butchers + Golg wherever you need to...but be exposed to interception).
    • Mechanicum: Both armies bring plenty of big guns. Both armies get numerous sources of cover reduction, both bring several shooting aids (Magos Reductor and Cyber Occularis, Masters of Signals and Pert) and plenty of Pinning (Shrapnel bolts, Mauler bolt cannons), as well as healthy amounts of Tank Hunters and Wrecker. Between those two it's easy to saturate the field with lots of blast markers and reduce the table's cover saves. Not to mention Magos Reductor can help your stuff, and their artillery is better (although, because of the arrival of the new phosphex rapiers, bringing a Siege Breaker is still the better idea).

V Legion: White Scars[edit]

White scars legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The bike marines you know and love, now with Jetbikes. But they're so much more than just bikes (as always, they tie for the best bikers in the game and are much more flexible than the aforementioned), as their infantry also receives plenty of movement bonuses and they can reliably bring that one unit they need from reserves, as well as bonuses for going first. However, you gotta go fast, as the killy part of their rules only activates when moving full 6", meaning they aren't the best for garrison duty and that their heavier guns are vanilla, and the enemy could give them a surprise were they to catch them wrong footed, aka going anywhere slower than full speed.

The hunter's role fits them well, and with their rules, Cyber Hawks and Legatine-axe-tier op AP2 glaives, the Scars can do well either at a distance or at melee. Or at a distance while closing to melee.

If you want to go fast, be generally in control of your battle plans and play a severely broken legion with no detrimental biases (as of yet), then hunt with the Vth legion and show them the ferocity of your power armoured Mongolians.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Swift Action: Any unit that ends the Movement phase a full 6" away from its starting position in the movement phase - or 12" if it's a vehicle, bike, or jetbike - (this means you'll have to go in a straight line), in the Movement and/or Assault phase can re-roll failed to Wound rolls of 1 for all attacks, and they gain a cover save of 6+ or improve an existing cover save by 1, to a maximum of 3+.
      • Do note that this lasts until the beginning of the controlling player's next turn, so you get to those boosted cover saves for the enemy's movement and assault phases during their turn too. A cover save in those phases sounds useless, but can be helpful against Interceptor and Overwatch.
      • Don't take anything void-hardened or a heavy-weapon on a non-relentless platform.
    • Eye of the Storm: A White Scar Warlord adds +1 to the roll to determine turn order/Seize the Initiative, as well as the first reserve roll of each turn - Taking a Proteus' Explorator Augury means your first reserve roll per turn has 97.2% chance of success; doesn't get better than that.
    • Born in the Saddle: Skilled rider. Yes, even if you don't have a bike! - Even if they don't have a bike, Skilled Rider makes the unit auto-pass Dangerous Terrain tests. Yes, bike riding skills make them immune to flaming corridors and similar environments. None can match the parkour skills of the Vth Legiones Astartes. Unfortunately this looks to be changing with the release Of Malevolence, so make the most of your ninja mongols while you can.
    • To Laugh in Death's Face: You must take at least one Fast Attack in a White Scars' detachment before it can include any Heavy Support choices. Doesn't apply in Zone Mortalis missions. Milder version of the more common "must have more FA than HS" restriction; by no means a crippling weakness.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Power Glaive: You thought the Legatine Axe was OP? Look at this. Any character with a power weapon can swap it for a versatile glaive, which can be wielded One-Handed like a power sword, or Two-Handed as a power axe WITHOUT UNWIELDY. The Ebon Keshig (and Qin Xa's command squad version of Keshig) seem to be getting these, which is spicy. AP2 at initiative will earn you many many buckets of salty tears.
      • Unless you're going against regular marines you should always use the Two-Handed stance. Broken as hell, a full power axe with neither penalties to Initiative nor any prerequisites about charging or challenges only or what-have-you, and it's available to regular sarges, unlike some. The poster boy for overpowered weaponry in 30K since 2015.
      • Not enough for you? Independent Characters don't even pay any more points for this than a Power Sword. Give this to a Legion Champion to make it Master Crafted on a WS6 model with Precision Strikes, or a Zealotous Chaplain (note that he won't get it for free with upgrade, since it gives you Crozius Arcanum, which is a Power Weapon, and cheese mode of Glaive is two-handed). Even Praetors should consider this, as it constitutes a 10pt discount to a Paragon Blade for no drawback against single-wound models. Well, at least in a small list.
    • Cyber Hawk: A Cyber-hawk is a wargear option for any WS praetor. Basically, it can be placed anywhere on the board at the start of each turn, and infantry with LA(WS) get to reroll 1s to hit when shooting against any enemy units within 6" and may reroll charge range against said units, the cyber-hawk can not be charged or shot at, and doesn't count as an actual model, only a counter. An auto-include, but remember vehicles, including Dreadnoughts, don't benefit from it. The new sneaky lads with lightning claws are apparently getting these as an upgrade so two of these flying around is a big bonus that you really can't afford to forget about.
    • Parthinian Serpent (Relic): Oddly a Heavy Weapon relic. You get a magic bow, S6 AP2, Skyfire/Interceptor/Heavy 1. But comes with a cool rule that it ALWAYS fires at full ballistic skill, so being a heavy weapon or having Skyfire is not actually a hindrance. It even works on overwatch! It also has precision shots if you want to pick your targets and it also causes Pinning.
  • Rite of War: Chogorian Brotherhood The much awaited White Scars' Hit-and-Run biker spam RoW®. Albeit focused on bikes, nothing prevents them from bringing heavier elements, and the boosts apply to most of your units instead of only bikes, making this a quick AND balanced force without real limitations, and hands down better than Skyhunter Phalanx.
    • Ride Like the Wind: Bikes and Dickbikes become the compulsory scoring Troops. Note that unlike the Dark Angels' Ravenwing Protocol, you can actually bring other troops choices; assault marines for some choppy choppy, support squads for some hard hitting dakka, you name it. As long as you've got your bike boys, you've got free reign.
    • Lightning Strike: A few bonuses here:
      • Bikes and Jetbikes gain Hit & Run - Praetors and Centurions will do well with their I5. It shouldn't need to be said that you gotta BE THE FAST.
      • Infantry units without Heavy, Salvo or Ordnance weapons get Hit & Run and Outflank. Infantry units with any such weapons only gain Outflank instead - Yes, this means outflanking LR and Spartans. Remember how Cataphractii can barely walk? Yours can fucking hit and run. If other players ask just claim your Terminators are Keshig. Who Forgeworld thinks are bikers for some stupid reason.
      • Infantry that doesn't begin the game inside a transport begin the game in reserves. If you need your men starting on the board, give them rhinos.
      • Vehicles with more than 3 HP that are not fast must begin the game in Reserves.
      • Your heavy firepower will be late to the party and your non-infantry units don't gain Outflank to make up for it. This means dealing with big nasty vehicles becomes something of a challenge for you. Ensure your fast Jetbike squads have a way to handle vehicles themselves and use your Rhinos to block the path of Spartans and Land Raiders to frustrate their movement. Land Speeders with grav guns and HK missiles both deny movement and chip off Hull points even if they are paper thin and go some way to helping you make up for the deficit. Sicarans, predators and vindicator are all 3 HP and can start on the board to lay down some fire, with the sicarans being fast enough to keep up with the rest of the Legion.
    • The Warlord must have a Bike or a Jetbike - As if he already didn't have one. This does mean that either Jaghatai will get an option for a Bike or he can't be taken in the RoW
    • Can't have more Heavy Support than Fast Attack - Not a real limitation for true Scars. Bikes and Jetbikes becme Troops, so they can't be used to fill Fast Attack slots tho. But this only means you can now bring the things you couldn't add as FA because bikes hogged the slots, like Seekers (LR DT, Scoring) and Javelins (good dakka, AV11 immune to bolters). You could even bring Tarantula sentry guns, as, hilariously, the Rite lacks the "No Slow & Purposeful or Immobile units" limitation, unlike some other rites. Lightnings, xiphons and possibly storm eagles can all supplement the heavy firepower you might find that your army lacks.
      • You can also bring any sort of allies you want, although an allied detachment isn't a real way to hoard up on HS choices.
  • Rite of War: Sagyar Mazan Only usable in a Scar-led Shattered Legion army. It represents the faction of the V Legion that almost considered siding with Horus and thus were ordered to go on suicide missions. This Rite is somewhat similar to the Lone Wolves in that they can gain even when they're killed.
    • Death Seekers: Upon the death of any unit which granted victory points to the enemy roll a D6. On a 4-5 no VPs are awarded; on a 6 your side gets the VP instead.
    • Serpent's Eye: Every model with the Legiones Astartes rule is Fearless for the first turn of any assault. Phew, this has the potential to be really strong, especially against Legions that need to keep charging. Means that, weirdly, you can have an anvil unit for the hammer that is your melee hard hitters.
    • Must be Loyal.
    • May not have more vehicle than infantry units.
  • Ebon Keshig Terminators: Where the Keshig are already the best of the best among the terminators, the Ebon Keshig are the best of the best of the best. From what we've seen, these are full to the brim with power glaives. Emperor's Children can eat shit.
  • Kyzagan Attack Speeder: Here it is, the tastiest, snazziest speeder across the 18 Legions. For a rumoured 105pts naked you get a javelin with a kheres assault cannon and 2 Reaper autocannons, yesplease.jpg. These are the bane of more or less anything you need them to kill, from infantry to even land raiders thanks to rending. Strafing run (assuming they retain the rule) makes your shots nigh-guaranteed to hit as well (of which 6 are S6 with rending and 4 are S7 with twin linked). 3 of these bad boys putting out 18 assault cannon shots and 12 Reaper shots is a juicy volume of fire and, if the Legiones Astartes does indeed affect vehicles like it says it does, they re-roll 1s to wound as well as long as they move the full 12", which is outstandingly reliable.
  • Qin Xa: Yep, the first White Scar special character is in Terminator armour (albeit the fastest kind). Qin is good in both attack and defence with the Furious Charge and Counter Attack special rules and isn't too shabby at the tactical side of things either with MotL and his warlord trait, which lets him automatically bring a unit in from reserves without rolling once per game which could certainly come in useful. However his most useful ability is his Master of the Keshig special rule, which allows you to select a Terminator Command Squad to represent the Keshig, which means they must be deployed with Qin at the beginning of the game, but allows them to buy a power glaive for a mere 10 points each, eat your heart out Phoenix Guard. As for Qin Xa himself? He carries in two Dao blades ripped straight from Wuxia cinema called the Tails of the Dragon and much like power glaives they have two profiles attacking at +1 strength with precision strikes, or +3 strength with unwieldy both times with AP2 and master-crafted. If you can possibly bear to play a White Scar army that's not literally 100% bikes he makes a fantastic leader for your forces.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Sons of Horus: If you're looking to make a Your Dudes sort of list the rules for SoH could be used to represent the Terrans of the legion, which had a similar mindset to the Sons. But the very moment you try to play this against other Astartes, well, prepare for other players looking at you funny at best. If you have some extra white and black paint lying around you could make them Luna Wolves. This explanation also lends itself to the Sagyar Mazan.
    • Salamanders: A very literal anvil for the hammer that is the sons of the Warhawk. Use Firedrakes (or even vanilla terminators with storm shields) and breachers to pin the enemy down while your bikes put in the work. If for whatever reason you want a Spartan on the field while playing with the Chogorian Brotherhood RoW, this is a solid enough way to do it.

VI Legion: Space Wolves[edit]

Space Wolves legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Wolves of old were a lot less furry, but still maintain a unique way of warfare among the Legions. FW's interpretation of the Sons of Russ focusses on massed infantry with a diffuse command structure. The list compresses army selection to that end, with what often amounts to an HQ tax and a dedicated choppy-choppy troops core. In addition, certain Consuls are outright replaced (whether or not the Fenrisian version is better is up for debate). This can be tactically challenging for some army types, but the Vlka Fenryka wouldn't have it any other way.

The Wolves are an assault legion with a focus on heavy infantry, and although the Emperor's Children may be faster once in combat, nobody gets stuck in as fast (with an alround running bonus, some units able to run'n'charge (!), and armies rerolling both (!) with a Saga) plus some impressive bonuses to the attacks themselves, some of which are arguably game-breaking. As in 5 point power weapons.

So, if you're sick and tired of the overwolf, hate GW's overt restrictions on when you can charge or you want to join the most distinct Legion, get on a longboat and fight in the name of the Allfather and Fenris!

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Bestial Savagery: Gain +1WS if they have successfully charged, have the Counter-Attack special rule, and must perform a Sweeping Advance if they won combat after charging or being charged (there is literally no situation you wouldn't perform one of those anyway).
    • Hunter's Gait: Infantry models without jump packs or terminator armour gain +1 to run and consolidation moves. 'Not like bikes would get this anyway.' (Bikes aren't infantry so don't get this bonus)
    • Preternatural Senses: Night Vision, Acute Senses, and enemy Infiltrators may not deploy within 18" regardless of line of sight
    • Space Wolf Army Selection:
      • Only Centurions (i.e., not Consuls), Praetors, and named ICs can be Compulsory HQs.
        • Does this mean that Delegatii cannot be taken at all? Well, technically you can, with Centurions fulfilling the Compulsory slot and a Delegatus in the optional.
      • Must take at least 1HQ for each 1,000pts (1,500pts etc must take 2) Regardless of the force organisation chart being used or the maximum available number of HQ slots in said chart, so works on allied detachment too. There are no limitations as to what units can be taken as the additional HQs. An extra HQ slot opens up for every thousand points you use, with the FOC stretching to accommodate your army's evil girth.
      • Centurions may sound an intuitive fit to lead packs of Grey Hunters, but there's a disynergy to this approach, covered in the Grey Slayer's section. For many armies as such, finding a place to put Centurions, who are useful as a basic beatstick leader, can be a challenge and constitute a hard 5% tax of the force's efficacy. It can also strain with the inclusion of Russ into a force, but his Wolfkin friends are 100 points and HQ choices so they can be helpful in this regard. By RAW a Command Squad is an HQ choice in it's own right (you need to take any HQ, not "fill HQ slot" or something). Praetors may be the solution, given their greater flexibility and solo strength in role.
      • Chaplains, Librarians and Primus Medicae may not be taken - They're all replaced by Priests of Fenris in their two modes.
      • "Only Grey Slayers may be taken as compulsory Troop choices by any Space Wolves Detachment"(How does this effect Shattered Legion?), all other Troops choices from the Age of Darkness Army List gain Support Squad.
        • Some Legions still don't have any unique troops at all, so little to complain about here. If you really want to join in the Volkite or Plasma spam via Tactical Support Squads, you'll have to work them in tandem with foot-slogging melee. Emperor knows that you'll appreciate Plasma in this MEQ/TEQ heavy game. Stock Tacs are pretty redundant in any setup regardless; You won't miss Furry Fury of the Legion that much.
        • In conjunction with the VI Legion's LA rules, Breachers surprisingly rise in usefulness considerably: Their shield-derived Defensive Grenades coordinate well with Counter-Attack to make them a cut above others for absorbing charges, their intended job; furthermore, the run penalty Breacher's suffer thanks to Void-Hardened Armour is evened out with the La's run distance boost. Consider Breachers as a slightly-slower, slightly-doughier, more shooty backup to Combat Shield-wielder Grey Slayers.
        • The LA bonuses are a fair bonus to Assault Squads, inspite of the Wolves' well-documented vertigo.
  • The Sagas of Blood and Night i.e. Wolfy Warlord Traits, these replace access to both the stock Legion and BRB tables. All of these are pretty decent honestly, though the Shield of the Wolf King is arguably the weakest (but hey-ho, Stubborn is pretty nice given the lack of ATSKNF in 30k).
    • The Get of the Wyrm: Choose D3 infantry squads composed of 5 or more models to gain Fear and Defensive Grenades (so it's redundant on Breacher squads, and by extension anyone using a Boarding Shield). This isn't too shabby;it's probably the Defensive Grenades that makes this appealing as a snub to melee-heavy armies (World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Raven Guard, etc.), with the propensity to spook them silly being just gravy. Better than the standard Bloody-Handed trait.
    • The Howl of the Death Wolf: For one turn only, all Run and Charge moves the army makes may be rerolled. (Leman Russ has this in addition to his "Sire of the Legion" rules) This is all round pretty good, and if you can coordinate your army enough to allow multiple units to get usage out of it is where it'll really shine, and if the enemy is unprepared they will rue the day they pissed off the Rout.
    • The Hunger of the Void: Your Warlord has Rage. Pretty run of the mill, a little underwhelming.
    • The Waster of the Land: The Warlord and his unit gain Move Through Cover, and whenever he and his unit shoot at a target within 12" they gain the Ignore Cover rule. This latter part is seriously brutal, like insanely stronk (looking at you plasma guns), but the Move Through Cover bonus alone is pretty decent.
    • The Crown Breaker: The Warlord gains Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) and also gains Feel No Pain (5+) when fighting a challenge. A fairly solid way of gaining the upper hand in a challenge, although it pales in comparison to the trait Hvarl Red-Blade gives you.
    • The Shield of the Wolf King: The Warlord gets Stubborn and so does his unit. Compare to Paladin of Glory and weep.
  • Rite of War: The Pale Hunters - The stronger of the two unique Rites of War, this plays up the predatory aspect of the Wolves. It feels like The Black Reaving, actually useful bonuses edition. Your reduced Hit & Run movement isn't so bad, especially on Warrior's Mettle units, and this RoW done well overwhelms your enemy early on, with Outflanking Vets, Recon Squads, and Swiftclaws Outriders pincushioning units alongside your Grey Slayers. Dreadnoughts can (partially) compensate for the Heavy Support restriction. Between the WS boost and the additional attack, your enemy will be torn apart by the jaws of the Death Wolf.
    • The Circling Wolves: Units from this detachment gain +1 on reserve rolls.
    • Bleed & Harry: Infantry units not wearing Terminator Armour gain Hit and Run, but roll 2D6 for distance moved instead of 3D6.
    • The Fury of the Pack: Whenever a Space Wolves unit charges into an enemy unit already locked in combat, they gain a further +1 attack for charging.
    • The detachment may not take any kind of Drop Pod, or any Artillery or Fortifications.
    • The detachment may only take a single Heavy Support slot.
  • Rite of War: The Bloodied Claws - This RoW is meant to be a footslogging (and partially jump pack riding) wave of ceramite that utterly routs the enemy. Shooty legions who think their fortifications and artillery make them impervious to a good old-fashioned frontal assault will pay for their arrogance, and Oath of the Bloodied Claw finally gives you the chops to handle almost anything if you get the charge off. No forge org or Consul restrictions beyond your usual Legion rules are just gravy.
    • Oath of the Bloodied Claw: Grey Slayers and Assault Squads gain the Furious Charge rule, but must always declare a charge if they are able to do so.
    • Overwhelming Assault: Units in the detachment gain +1 to combat resolution scores when in the enemy's deployment zone.
    • Howl of the Death Wolf: The Warlord has this trait in addition to his existing one. If he already has Howl, (see Russ) then he can use it twice per game. *AWOO AWOO MOTHERF-*
    • The detachment may not take any Immobile, Artillery or Slow & Purposeful units.
    • You may not take an allied Space Marine detachment. You shouldn't be taking allies with Space Wolves as a rule of thumb, you're taxed enough as is.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Fenrisian Wolf: Bark. Praetors or Centurions without jump packs can buy up to two of them. Unlike their 40k iterations, these are bulky with Counter-Attack and Preternatural Senses with 4's in most stats and BS0 W1 A2 Ld5, and a 6+ save, but don't count as Beasts, which is severely daft as it limits biker-wolf fun. Cyberwolves are also changed, now being a 5 point upgrade for FNP.
    • Frost Weapons: Any Independent Character with a Power weapon (or a Huscarl with a basic CCW) can make them +1S and specialist for a few points. Some of the Legion's unique units also get access to them. Special mention given to the great frost blade, a two-handed S+1 AP2 Master Crafted sword that forces the wielder to fight at -1 Initiative, but gains +1 Attack if fighting multiple enemies. What's that, beep beep, it's the Death Guard calling, they want their rules for Power Scythes back. Seriously, Great Frost Blades are almost identical, seperated only by master-crafting and replacing normal power weapons over fists. It's a lesser version of the White Scars Glaive fiasco all over again. Also note there is no benefit to taking Frost Axes over Power Fists, as they have the same availability, cost the same or *more, are both Specialist AP 2 but Power Fists get 2 more strength. Severe fail.
    • Æther-Rune Armour: Artificer Armour that adds a *Wound* and lets you re-roll DtW. Available to Priests of Fenris and Praetors. This includes Forge Lords, Masters of Signal and Praevians, thanks to a little sidebar on the Priests of Fenris entry explaining that these high-ranked Consuls are types of Iron Priest.
    • Burning Claws (Relic): A single Wolf Claw just like out of the codex, with extra master-crafted and armourbane. Standard fare relic that does its job.
  • Forge Lords can buy Cyber-Wolves in place of the basic Servo-Automata for 15 pts each. Trades in shooting for better punching, as 30k Servo-automatas do not have Servo-Arms outside of Solar Auxilia.
  • Grey Slayers: Your compulsory troops choices, so no matter what you've taken two units of these bloods. Their special rule - "Warrior's Mettle", note that down - replaces Fury of the Legion, and it's a doozy: Grey Slayers can run or shoot bolters (act in the shooting phase in other words) 'and' charge in the same turn, at a -1 penalty to the charge distance. The rule also keeps them from going to ground voluntarily, but compensates with a re-roll for pinning tests. So Slayers are marginally less shooty that stock Tacs, in return for a better and more dynamic assaulty game. Very irritatingly, no ICs (apart from Geigor) or apothecaries have or can get this rule, so they curb your enthusiasm hard when they join Slayers; the unit can still shoot and charge as long as the IC doesn't shoot any rapid-fire (or Salvo or whatever) weapons, but that's not the rule you're really after - it's the run option that changes the game, and that's ruled right out when a character joins. Call this rules-snarl classic FAQ bait.
    • Grey Slayers start off with bolt pistols and cc weapons, and can buy bolters and combat shields, and replace chainswords with a power weapons for five measly points, across the whole pack. The power weapon option is pricey, but a unit that can run, charge, and hit at WS5 with power weapons sounds like an elite snowflake unit, this is your compulsory troop choice. One in five can take a combi-weapon, a fist, a claw or a plasma pistol or hand-flamer. Huscarl (Sergeant) mostly gets normal options, with the Great Frost Blade as a cool standout. All in all, Tac equivalent with a heavier assault bend. Needless to say, bringing this unit to the board just for bolters is a waste of potential; by all means throw a few boltguns and combi-weapons in the mix to give ranged coverage (and to make more out of Warrior's Mettle), and let other units do the shooty work - Seekers, Veterans and Terminators can provide ample fire support from other slots. Pack the rest of the Slayers with combat shields or power weapons, for both survivability and oomph. The best use for regular Tacs in the Space Wolves mileau is as a stodgy Apothecary-bound babysitter for home objectives.
    • Outside of an all Varagyr army with Russ, there is no reliable way to shift these guys from the coveted Compulsory Troops slot. Legion rules take precedence over vanilla ones, and if LA says you must do something, no RoW can cancel it - which thereby clips the range of available of RoWs for the Wuffs, like Fury of the Ancient for Word Bearers. Things are a little muddy to say the least.
  • Deathsworn Pack: Space Marines so consumed with Dionysian visions of death and destruction that only combat grants them release. Essentially Wolfy Destroyers, or a squad of Lone Wolves from the modern chapter. Each has a pistol and power axe, as well as special stasis bombs that act more like chemical weapons, what with their Fleshbane, Gets Hot, and Pinning. These bombs also count as defensive grenades and if someone flees from them, they have to roll 3d6 and take the lowest. Deathsworn are keen in melee, as they get to wield en-masse AP 2 (axe, hammer or fist), get Fearless in combat, can take Rad grenades and death won't stop them (can't stop won't stop!) - these crazy bastards get all of their attacks as long as at least one dude is alive at the point they'd resolve their attacks, dead models only being removed after they've made these attacks. So it definitely pays to splash on the unwieldy weapons (which they have base anyway) or the pretty expensive but very werf heavy frost blades (at least a couple for good measure). 'Just make sure you DON'T get clean-wiped beforehand.' These berserkers also get artificer armour, to round everything off with 2+ save goodness. Only Speakers of the Dead can join these units. These fellas are unfortunately extremely pricy, and for what functions as a one-trick suicide assault unit they are overcosted.
  • Varagyr Wolf Guard Terminators: Very expensive Cataphractii Terminators with frost weapons. Their special party trick is a S5 Hammer of Wrath attack, and any model can accept a challenge as is the tradition for champion Legion units. But to add a vicious twist to the staple, if the members of the Varagyr kill an enemy challenger, they get a +1 bonus to combat resolutions. Only the Champion gets two wounds, though the unit seems costed like they all should. Models can replace their frost weapons with powerfists, chainfists or TH hammers and any model can replace its combi-bolter with a combi-weapon, another frost weapon, a heavy flamer or a reaper autocannon if you don't mind taxing this unit even more. Although Reaper spam is delicious and precious, remember that it's melee where the specials you pay for these puppies kick in, so consider limited to 3 or 4 per 10 models as just a stinger before the brawl.
    • There's little evidence that Varagy can take Great Frost Blades, and firm precedent to the contrary. The choices presented are Claw, Blade (which Forge World often uses interchangeably, and admittedly sloppily, with Sword and vice versa) or Axe.
    • Like other Legion exclusive Terminators. Cataphractii armor makes these guys worse than they should be. (Likely Forge World knows that nobody would buy them otherwise.) As "vanilla" Tartaros Termis will get chances to grenade them, Overwatch and declare a "Sweeping Advance." So to make the best of "Implacable Advance". Buy Autocannons or Heavy Flamers. While it doesn't make up for lacking Storm Shields and Overwatch. They will keep any potential chargers away or snipe anything that doesn't stay off the objective. Hopefully they will do enough damage to move in and table the survivors. Varagyr kitted out this way can't shoot it out with Iron Warrior and Smurf Dakkanators, Aquilons or jerks with Shred and Sweeping Advance. Cleaning out Thunderwolf pens will be a less painful experience. Why your fighting Golden Bananas and not taking them as allies is a another matter entirely.
  • Priest of Fenris: Where Librarians, Chaplains and Primus Medicae go to get wolfified. There are two sorts of Priest, and although they share a statline and option set, the differences are stark enough to treat them as seperate consuls.
    • Speaker of the Dead: Wolf Priests in the olden times. These shamanic precursors get medical balms, which are better than the poultices they use 10k years later (a 5+ Feel No Pain, and unlike Narthecium those work on anything, even Custodes and Primachs), but do not have the ability to recover lost victory points from fallen units. A Power Maul as a stock weapon, and a special one-use grenade - 4+ Poison and AP- Rending at Assault d3+1 says hello. Speakers aren't as killy a precursor as future Wolf Priests, but are Fearless, grant Preferred Enemy Infantry to their unit, and with Apothecary duty on top. Together, the Speakers are one of the most useful, near-obligatory HQs you can take, solidly reinforcing their patron unit. These guys can take Deathsworn as a Command Squad.
    • Caster of Runes: The old Rune Priests. These ML1 psykers, with with the option to go ML2, have Force Weapons and the Runic Matrix, a tool that allows a single re-roll to a DtW test per turn, but in return limits the number of Warp Charges channellable when manifesting powers to 4. Casters have access to Biomancy, Divination, and Telepathy, a set ideal suited for supporting an assault rather than dealing death directly.
    • Iron Priests: Masters of Signal, Forge Lords, and Praevians taken in a Space Wolves legion force get renamed this, with slightly different wargear options. See the rest of this section for details.
  • Geigor Fell-Hand: Bjorn's predecessor from whom he inherited the title and a weapon. He's an old Praetor with only WS5 and Power Armour. The eponymous Fell Hand is a S+1 AP2 Master Crafted Lightning Claw, and Old Geig backs it up with the Grey Slayer's Warrior's Mettle. Crown-Breaker is his Warlord Trait. So if you want a normalish leader to spearhead your Slayer core, this is the guy.
  • Hvarl Red-Blade: The Space Wolve's example of the Praetor-with-an-extra-Wound special character (Sigismund et al), only now in Tartaros Armor. Hvarl's Hearth-Splitter, an S+2 Power Axe with Armorbane, and without *Unwieldy* is his main attraction; accompanying this is a Grenade Harness, a Heavy Bolter (yes! a Terminator HQ with a heavy bolter, at last? This is awesomes) and an Iron Halo. Red-Blade has Fear and the ability to give three Infantry Units Scout, while his Warlord Trait gives all allies within 12" PE (Infantry), allowing them to hold off any distracting inteference while the boss carves up the big boys.
    • If it isn't already apparent, Hvarl is awesome, especially if you're running the Pale Hunters. Conferring Outflank via Scout has great synergy with 2+ reserves and Acute Senses, and the gang's close combat game leaps from good to great with his PE bubble. He can also reliably fuck up AV13, unlike many special characters. Be wary of AP2 though; let Huscarls take unfriendly challenges.
  • Leman Russ: The Wolf King cometh... Leman stands at a healthy 455 points, equal in cost to Ferrus but MUCH killier. A Primarch-standard 6 on everything except WS9, I7, and Ld10, making him a useful alrounder at smacking things with his two melee weapons. And we emphasise two, because like Horus, Russ can dibby blows between the two via his Breaker of Shields, Bringer of Ruin rule. Varagyr WG Termies and Veteran Tacs are available as Troops under the Wolf King's auspice, and Veterans can also take Warrior's Mettle as an alternative tactic. Sire of the Space Wolves gives Russ Night Vision, Counter-Attack, Hunter's Gait, Preternatural Senses, and a Howl of the Death Wolf. The army acts as if they have +1 Ld while Russ is alive. He seems like a dedicated face-wrecker (even beating the Warmaster) over an army booster, which makes people insist on comparing him to Angron. Realistically though, Veteran Tacticals and Varagyr Terminators as troops combined with the Ld bonus and Howl (which can be the difference between getting one unit stuck in and four) combine to make him a strong force multiplier that patches some of his Legion's weaknesses (inflexible Forge Org, few morale bonuses) while improving on their biggest strength (getting into assault quickly).
    The Lord of Winter and Ruin uses the following Wargear:
    • The Armour Elavagar: A 2+/4++ suit that ups to 3++ against Flamers, Melta, and Plasma. But that's not all! Anyone in combat with Russ suffers -1 to hit.
    • Axe of Helwinter: It's a +2 S master-crafted power axe with Sunder and without Unwieldy. Completely overshadowed by the following, outside of fighting a Dreadnought or something.
    • Sword of Balenight: A Shredding AP2 power sword, with the Sever Life rule, causing any model that suffers one or more wounds from the weapon to roll 2d6 and compare to their Toughness; if the result is higher, D3 additional wounds at AP2 are incurred. 'Call it Decapitating Blow for Primarchs.'
    • Scornspitter: A gift from Vulkan. It's an AP3 Bolter-Bolt Pistol thingy with Rending and Assault 3, making it sort-of deadly at a range of 12". Maybe Vulkan knew his Fenrisian brother wasn't exactly a sniper?
    • Frag Grenades: It explodes.
  • The Wolf-kin of Russ: Russ' pets and brother wolves, these two big dawgs can only be taken alongside Russ, and count as a HQ in all aspects except they don't occupy a slot. Russ can't join the duo, but if he is within 6" the wolves do a LOS on a 2+ for him (that's 8 additional wounds there). They're both Custodes-tier in statistical oomph, with 5's across the board except for BS0 W4 A3 Ld8, AP4 Rending bites, and a slew of special rules to make fighting them in melee a terrible idea. The two are distinguished by Geri's Precision Strikes and Freki's Crusader. The drawback, and it's a real drawback, is their mere 5+ save, which counts for almost nothing in an age of bolters, volkite, and plasma. 5+ FNP ameliorates, but best stay in cover anyhow, and beware of ID or S10 weapons.
  • Sworn Brothers
    • Imperial Fists
    • Salamanders
    • Raven Guard

VII Legion: Imperial Fists[edit]

Imperial Fists legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Imperial Fists are here to demonstrate how "to be vanilla" can potentially mean "to be the best". Even Dorn writes this in stone by being armed with Bolter and Chainsword and being one of the strongest Primarchs for his points. Rightfully considered one of the top-tier Legion armies, they are comfortable at both long and short ranges. At their most basic, they have improved firepower when using bolt weaponry and their characters are almost assured some success when in challenges. On top of that, they have the undisputed BEST vanilla Terminators in the whole Heresy. While only a few legions get their Terminators to Deep Strike OR have Storm Shields, the Fists can do both at the same time and grab Assault cannons on top of that.

They also have some very powerful special characters and units and they have access to some of the best Legion-only wargear available, not to mention being one of the few legions with Eternal Warriors. Coupled with their access to shield formations, ignore pinning while in cover and relying on an Infantry-heavy army, they represent well their fluff as masters of defensive sieges.

If you want to play as "standard" space marines while being able to adapt to more complex scenarios like siege missions and Zones Mortalis, this is the army for you.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Disciplined Fire: Heavy Support squads have Tank Hunters, and all infantry add +1 BS when firing Boltguns (including the bolt part of Combi-weapons and Combi-Bolters as well), Bolt Pistols, Heavy Bolters and Quad-Bolters. This means bolter-armed Praetors, Centurions and Seekers become BS6, which isn't that better than BS5, but that means vanilla Moritats suddenly become viable and get a chance, if a slim one (on a 6 after missing, but everything counts) to resume their Chain Fire, instead of ending it with a Gets Hot! on a 1 or 2 with plasma, and it's not like Volkite Serpentas were denying many armour saves anyway. Meanwhile, your Terminators will have almost guaranteed Bolter hits. With most of your army gaining +1BS, your ranged game is effectively better than all other legions by +16.67%, which puts you as one of the best legions even before RoWs are taken into account. Vanilla Rapiers and 20-man Tactical blobs will be a frightening sight for your enemy now, especially when using Fury of the Legion.
      • Your Heavy Support squad with 5 Lascannons will now out damage Laser Destroyer Vindicators or Rapier teams. They're still expensive, but without Tank Hunters they'd have needed 2 more men (that's 80pts) to achieve the same result. Also, they can have more versatile (and cheaper) weapons than the Rapier, like flakk missiles, and they can take casualties better and embark inside buildings, unlike Vindicators.
      • Seekers with Masters of Signals are effectively BS7, but unless you had a way to reach BS8 (via an Allied Archmagos Djinn-skein, for instance) the bonus to hit might not be worth a 95pts HQ. The only place now for a MoS is attached to a non-vanilla Heavy or Tactical support squad. Destroyers become viable even without Rad missiles, but taking Destroyers without taking Rad is like going to a bar and only drinking soda - you can do better that that.
    • Blood And Honour: You can't choose to fail morale checks, Characters must issue challenges, and get to reroll rolls of 1 to hit while in them. You can decline challenges...but are you gonna be a chicken McFly? - Congrats, your characters are good both at ranged and melee combat. Positioning is key so you don't get forced to challenge a special character. Unless you're fielding Sigismund, who can bring down almost anything in a challenge.
    • Unshakable Defence: Immunity to Pinning when in cover or in fortifications/barricades.
    • The Bitter End: Your opponent (not you) may force full 6 game turns rather than rolling for random length. Just like the Iron Warriors.
  • New Rite of War: The Stone Gauntlet - A defensive stance that encourages you to let the enemy come to you. Space Sun Tzu would be proud, as would anyone with a fetish for shield-based infantry formations.
    • Phalanx Warder Squads CAN be used as Troops choices, and since they are still Fast Attack, you could get 7 Phalanx squads...if you're that points-rich, that is.
    • Resolve of Stone: Anyone with either a Boarding Shield or Storm Shield in coherency with two other models which also have shields gains +1 Toughness. This bonus can't be used if the unit the model is part of runs, charges, or makes a Sweeping Advance.
    • Shield Charge: A model which fits the criteria for Resolve of Stone also gains Hammer of Wrath. Useful for your TH/SS Terminators. With your Breachers and Phalanx, you should enjoy your T5 Resolve of Stone and let the enemy charge be minced in Overwatch. Don't forget that Breacher Hardened Armour has a -1" charge penalty, so only charge with them if you really need to.
    • Breacher Squads are the only permitted compulsory troops - Can be difficult in low-points-value games, since this effectively means your troops are 150 points more expensive and give up FotL, in exchange for better resilience..
    • No Deep Striking. You can still Infiltrate so try rolling Master of Ambush.
    • Cannot take more Elites and Fast Attack choices (total) than Troops choices. (e.g. if you have 3 troops choices, you can take 1 elites and 2 FA or vice versa, but their total number can't exceed 3). Good thing your Phalanx squads can be troops now.
    • Can only take one Consul (except for Champions, who have Blood and Honour, remember?).
      • Plot hole: Doesn't say you can't take an allied Legion, so do it! This was likely intentional, since the Imperial Fists have long been depicted as having worked together with the Blood Angels, White Scars, and other Loyalist forces in defense of the Emperor during the Siege of Terra. You can (and should) buy Fortifications, to always be immune to pinning, hell, combine with Wall of Martyrs to get your old Stubborn back.
  • Rite of War: Hammerfell Strike Force - Would you like to bring your forces down on your enemies like the Shining Hammer of God The Emperor? You'll have to look elsewhere, because this is possibly the most cock-flavoured lollipop of RoWs. The major benefit of this Rite is to get a fast in-your-face-army with your infantry. But the real catch is that you can't Deep Strike your units turn 1 like some RoWs allow, and vehicles start in reserve, with no allies nor fortifications allowed, leaving you with just artillery and infantry on the board. And for what benefits this RoW gives, you're at a serious disadvantage by being forced to keep enough infantry alive on the board to get your reserves on the field, which will likely happen piecemeal since you also don't get any benefit to reserves.
    • Teleport Array: Any infantry unit can buy Teleportation Transponders at 15pts and non-unique ICs can do so at 10pts.
    • Landing Force: Phalanx Warder Squads are troops.
    • Blinding Luminescence: Everything that Deep Strikes get shrouded the turn they arrive and every enemy within 12" and line takes a blind test. Gives your Deep-Striking infantry an improved cover save and the slim chance of blinding any nearby foes to allow them to weather a turn of shooting from the enemy.
    • Vehicles must start in reserve.
    • No allies or Fortifications for you.
    • Best way to get the best benefits of this ROW is with Alexis Polux. Keep a large squadron of vehicles in reserve, use his Master Tactician trait to bring one unit in from reserve, i.e. 1 squadron of 3 Proteus Land raiders.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Vigil-pattern Storm Shield: 3+ invulnerable save, but may never claim an attack for two CC weapons. Any legion Terminator or Terminator-armour-equipped character may exchange their Combi-Bolter for this.
      • Note that as, unlike the Salamanders, this automatically gives a 3+ invulnerable instead of increasing your invulnerable by 1, there is no point to taking Cataphractii terminators with these shields, as Indomitus and Tartaros have the exact same or more advantages with none of the drawbacks.
    • Solarite Power Gauntlet: Any IC who uses a TH can replace it with this big boy. It's essentially a Master-Crafted Power Fist with AP1, and without specialist weapon. AP1 is only useful against vehicles, and for that a meltabomb does the job much better on the other hand, a bolt pistol gives you +1 attack and MC let's you re-roll anything that isn't a one in a challenge.
    • Teleportation Transponder: Lets Terminators Deep Strike.
    • Prototype Iliastus-pattern Assault Cannon: An Assault Cannon with S6, AP4, Heavy 4, and Rending sounds good on paper, but there's a catch- rolling 3 1s when it fires causes it to jam and stop working for the rest of the game, though the odds for that happening are incredibly small (~0.39%), so you normally won't ever have to worry about it unless you've also won the lottery while a lightning struck the shark that was eating you - it's that small of a chance.
    • Indomitan Mantle (Relic): On the expensive end, but probably worth it for a brawler. It gives you Eternal Warrior and a 3+ against Melta. Feel like a Salamander. You're buying this for Eternal Warrior, really. Take advantage of the fact this doesn't use a hand so don't take a Storm shield, take an Iron halo for protection, don't grab a Paragon blade, use Sx2 unwieldy weapon instead you will be be causing instant death with every attack at strength 8 and you don't give a damn about being killed before you attack since you have Eternal Warrior. If you have the points, throw in Digital Lasers for 6 attacks on the charge. Better yet, take a Solarite Power Gauntlet for an Ap1 Master-Crafted un-Unwieldy Power Fist for: 4 + 1 (charge) + 1 (Fist and Bolt Pistol - assuming no TDA) + 1 (Digital Lasers) = 7 Attacks at S8 Ap1 Re-rolling 1's in a Challenge + MC'd Re-roll.
  • Templar Brethren: The guardians of the Phalanx's Temple of Oaths (hence "Templar") and First Company of the Imperial Fists. Also the precursors to the Black Templars. Equivalent to Honour Guard marines (WS5) with power swords and Furious Charge. They also have the option to take combat shields and the entire squad can take Melta Bombs for Vehicle hunting. The Champion has 2 wounds and is the only one able to replace his power sword with something else, being the only source of AP 2 of the squad in close combat. Also remember that they are not Chosen Warriors, so only the Champion can issue challenges.
    • The Champion with a Solarite Power Gauntlet, thanks to Furious Charge, is S9 Ap1 with 4 Attacks on the Charge. It's no Armourbane Melta Bomb but you're getting more than a single hit in (hopefully). So if you don't have the +25 for squad with Melta Bombs, he makes for a decent enough alternative. It's not like you weren't taking the Solarite Gauntlet anyways, right?
  • Phalanx Warder Squad: Souped-up, but overpriced (see below) Breacher Squads with a fun rule that if they get charged, they get +1 WS if they have at least 5 models remaining. This does affect joined characters, so add a Centurion/melee-Consul for sweet Praetor-killing WS6. This means that a unit attached to Dorn that gets charged buffs him to WS9. Why, hello there Fulgrim and Angron! They are one of the Cheaper special units starting at 10 models, with the option to add up to 10 more at 15 pts a model, though like Breachers, "cheap" still means a lot of points. Much like a normal Breacher Squad one in each group of five can take a special weapon, and while they can't take Volkite Chargers, Grav guns or Lascutters, they can take Combi-Weapons, Plasma guns, Breaching Charges and Thunder Hammers. Also, every model can exchange its Bolter for a Power Axe. Now you too can shred a single 5 man Terminator squad in about 2-4 turns. They're an atrocious, but still effective, bubblewrap/get-in-the-way unit, a great tactic being getting into Rapid Fire range and baiting the enemy to charge. That's firing two salvoes at BS5, overwatching and defending themselves at WS5 while the enemy doesn't get bonus attacks for charging because of the shields (which count as defensive grenades and also confer them a 5++ save). Troll points for fighting in a fortification (resistance to pinning), using the Stone Gauntlet for +1T and bringing flamers. Only works against Melee legions though. Shooty Legions or Solar Auxilia will just laugh as they take out half of that expensive squad with a single AP3 or better blast template. An often overlooked trait is that they can take a Land Raider Proteus or Phobos as a DT (As long as it numbers no more than 10 models) or if 10 models or more, a Spartan Assault Tank, allowing you to field LRs & Spartans without using up your Heavy choices.
    • Referring back to them being overpriced: take into account a squad of 10 Invictarus Suzerains have permanent WS5, AP2 at initiative, 2 attacks base and 6's to hit auto-wound; they also have a 2+ armour save, better rules and are 30! points cheaper than 10 Phalanx Warders with power axes. Though in this instance it may be just as valid to say that Suzerains are egregiously under-priced when you compare them to pretty much any unit in any other legion, and Phalanx Warders aren't obliged to purchase those axes in any case. A better comparison might be made to Iron Hands Medusan Immortals; a squad of Phalanx Warders costs 5 points more with equivalent gear, but the Shield Wall special rule only applies in specific circumstances whilst the Immortals get Feel No Pain all the time. So it doesn't look good.
      • However, this is only examining the three unique Breaching units at face value. Under normal circumstances Phalanx Warders are Fast Attack choices whereas the other two are Elites and generally compete with other useful units like Veterans, Terminators and Dreadnoughts. Both Imperial Fist Rites of War as well as Dorn make Phalanx Warders into Troops and provide them with additional special rules, which broadens their application. (Medusan Immortals can gain more rules and also be made into Troops, but not in the same army as their Primarch). Overall Phalanx Warders have greatest flexibility and can be built in a manner which suits your play-style. Where Medusan Immortals are tanky but mediocre in melee, and Invictus Suzerains shy away from ranged combat unless you fork out even more points, negating their price benefit. Phalanx Warders can perform either role quite comfortably and can be built as a mixed squad, rather than one or the other.
    • Playtest Rules: FAQ Feb 19 Phalanx Warders got a needed points reduction, dropping 65 points for a 10 man squad and three points per additional man. Their power axes also dropped in price by half! Additionally the Shield Wall rule gets improved so that it works with as few as three men; on top of gaining the Counter Attack rule. So they now compare fairly to elite breaching units their rivals use. Watch this space!
      • With these rules Phalanx Warders are now cheaper than Breachers at any unit size while being better or equal in every single way, which only goes to show just how overcosted that unit really is. So definitely worth taking now (and breachers absolutely aren't other than being what you need to unlock the Stone Gauntlet), as a ten man squad all with power axes is a mere 240 points and presents a wall even Emperor's Children elites would be wary of charging (though if you try it, do remember that they will get their strength and AP bonus on the charge, since your shields just take away their extra attack).
  • Sigismund: Before he was the first High Marshal of the Black Templars, Sigismund was the First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion and one of the greatest warriors of the Legiones Astartes, being nominated the first Emperor's Champion ever. He's got 4 wounds, protected by Eternal Warrior (only 3 legions get that, barring psyker abilities), the Chapter tactics style dueling rule, but with Instant death instead of Rending, while also forcing rerolls of successful invulnerable saves. 4 re-rollable attacks at WS7 and Initiative 5 (I6 on the Charge). His Black Sword is a two-handed S+2 AP2 paragon blade that causes instant death only in challenges (but not only on 6s, so it's better). He also makes Templar Brethren Troops, and gets +1 VP for killing the enemy warlord, after which all units in his army get +1 CR, pretty much a global version of Paladin of Glory. Barring characters with Eternal Warrior, and the Primarchs, very few characters can survive a challenge with him. And don't forget that character's squad he was with too! You only need one hit to effectively kill that enemy praetor. But what about the rest of the instant-death attacks that force successful re-rolls you might dare wonder? They get passed on the rest of that character's unit of course! Fantastic for dealing with those Primus-medicae'd firedrakes/justaerin (though they'll likely be with a primarch...)
  • Alexis Polux: Before he was the first Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, Alexis Polux was the Captain of the 405th Company and master of the Retribution Fleet at Phall. He's a void-hardened power-armoured Praetor with -1 BS/A (BS5 with legion tactics though and his attacks stat is redundant - see below), but with S5, a master-crafted Power Fist (with a gauntlet mounted Combi-melta, no less) and a Vigil pattern Storm Shield for 3++. You'd normally need Terminator armor for that, but he's that strong. Also, as a master of void combat he lets you teleport in an Imperial Fist infantry unit of your choice via Deep strike and he allows his unit to pass/fail morale or pinning checks at his leisure. Lastly, if he is the warlord he can redeploy one unit in his army before the turn order is determined, with the option to even put it in or out of reserves.
    • A nifty special rule he has lets you drop the Unwieldy rule from his mighty fist in exchange for dropping his attacks stat down to 1, but you still get 2 attacks on the charge! Who needs a Paragon Blade? Go around knocking characters out in one shot with his master-crafted fist, which rerolls hits in challenges. ALWAYS do this. He is the Imperial Fists version of Eidolon, but 20 points cheaper, with Power Armor, a storm shield and a lot less arrogant.
Rogal Dorn
  • Rogal Dorn: At 385 points he's the 3rd cheapest Primarch. The Emperor's Praetorian and any unit he joins has Crusader and Furious charge and allows all Imperial Fists to use his Ld for Leadership and Pinning tests, while also granting a +D3 bonus to the outcome of assault results for himself and his Legion as long as he's in play, Fulgrim style. In addition to that, he also makes Phalanx Breacher Squads and Legion Terminators Squads Troop choices. Sundering Blow acts like a powered-up Smash, halving Dorn's attacks (after adding Rampage bonus, rounding down) to boost his strength by 2 and giving Instant Death, while Unshakable defense allows you to enhance three cover-granting pieces of terrain (from fortifications to dirt mounds); these 'fortifications' will allow units hiding in them to reroll pinning tests (useful for an allied detachment only) and cover saves of 1.
    Dorn gets the following wargear:
    • Auric Armor: Made from the same alloy as the Emperor's own warplate, provides a 2+ armour save and 4+ invulnerable save. Furthermore, no attack may wound Rogal Dorn on any roll better than a 3+, regardless of Strength or any special rules it has. (This doesn't apply to Destroyer weapons.) Unless you constantly fuck up your saves you'll be damn hard to kill.
    • Storm's Teeth: An AP2 chainsword, now without Unwieldy, and keeps Shred, and Rampage, and Reaping Blow (-1 Initiative, and gain 1 attack if there is more than 1 model in base combat with him), which alleviates somewhat his only 4 attacks. With 'Sundering blow' it ends up behaving like a shredding rampage un-unwieldy Powerfist (S8).
    • The Voice of Terra: A Custodes pattern bolter with S5 AP4 Salvo 3/5 and Rending. Note that Dorn cannot shoot before charging into combat, a unique weakness among the Primarchs. Fitting for his theme as a defender, but you reckon a souped-up bolt pistol wouldn't have killed Forge World.
    • Teleportation Transporter As of the Feb 2019 FAQ Dorn can deepstrike with his termie bros, because apparently he wasn't good enough already. Make sure that you can find him some way of avoiding mishaps though, because unlike Horus/Corax he does scatter and losing your Primarch because he phased into a tree isn't fun.
    • Frag Grenades:they explode.
    • Aetos Dios: In games of 3000+ points, Dorn can take the Aetos Dios ("Sky God" in latin), a modified Thunderhawk as a dedicated transport for 700 points. The Aetos Dios is armed with a Turbolaser and also has a single void shield, IWND, and a 4+ invulnerable save against all missile attacks. Like Perturabo's Tormentor, it doesn't take up a Lord of War slot. Fun fact, the most recent 30k FAQ has changed Aetos Dios' transport capacity to 40! Its basically 10 slots away from Stormbird capacity and literally better than an equivalent regular Thunderhawk in every way.
    • 'Note: Dorn originally was 385pts because he was mainly designed to buff his Legion whilst still not being too shabby in combat BUT balanced out due to being Unwieldy. But now the fact he throws out a metric tonne of buffs to his army like D3 to combat ress, makes his entire Legion Ld10!! and buffs the crap out of his attached unit. Also he allows two units to become troops and they aren't even shabby Troop choices.
    • This exemplified by the fact that he can get up to 9 Attacks on the Charge: 4 + 1(Charge) + D3 (Rampage) + 1 (Reaping Blow) At S7 Ap2 I4 with Shred or half as many (rounding down) At S9 Ap2 Instant Death still with Shred and I4 (thanks, Furious Charge!). Coupled with his +D3 to Combat Resolution and Fearless, unless you get into a Primarch Stalemate, you're probably not losing combat anytime soon.
    • Because of his rules, Dorn is one of the few characters that can survive with your normal rank-and-file (i.e. a squad of breachers using the Stone Gauntlet RoW), where his salvo 3/5 heavy-bolter-pistol can do its job baiting the enemy into making a disorganised charge, and with his large amount of attacks he's the only beefcake you need to win an assault. With crusader and +D3 to combat resolution you'll likely chase your opponent down after they struggle to kill that meagre breacher(and hopefully apothe-carried) unit.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Space Wolves:
    • Blood Angels: You hold the back line, they grab the front. If you're playing a defensive mission they can provide a good reaction force, or a deadly bodyguard for Sigismund.
    • Ultramarines: Somebody has to save your ass. have an unjustified ego.
    • Salamanders:

VIII Legion: Night Lords[edit]

Night Lords legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The masters of Terror tactics, the Night Lords make liberal use of Fear in this ATSKNF-lacking millenium, as well as being quite nasty in CC. That being said, most squads are Ld9 and some Legions are outright immune to Fear, so this isn't an instant "I win" button. You have good mobility with hard hitting units and are one of the few Legions with access to Deep Striking Terminators in every mission, as well as more customisable assault squads and infiltrating veterans. They also capitalise significantly on Night Fight rules, so can pull ahead quickly at the start of a battle while the darkness if in effect. The catch? Insubordination amongst their ranks has made them prone to falling back themselves.

While it sounds obvious, it pays to bully your opponent with Night Lords. Minimum-sized melee units should be a no-no as you get bonuses for outnumbering the enemy and larger units are less likely to start falling back. While Night Lords make for a great anti-infantry force, you'll probably start losing most of your advantages against horde GEQ armies, who outnumber YOU and were poorer melee combatants which you would tear apart anyway, or against opponents who bring heavier vehicles/ordnance to the field, which Night Lord special units will have problems facing, forcing you to revert to "standard" space marine tactics.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • A Talent For Murder: If Night Lords infantry outnumber enemy infantry in an assault at any initiative step, all Night Lords gain +1 To Wound, and now, +1 to hit - Another reason to to buy extra CCWs for your 20-man tacticals. Bring a Chaplain and drown your enemies under loads of armour saves. Fitting for a legion whose main schtick is not playing fair, but make sure numbers are on your side before throwing down with enemy infantry. Bulky models count as 2 and Very Bulky models count as 3 so abuse the hell out of this rule with Jump packs and Terminators; note that this also applies to opponents, so focus the dogpiling on power armored units.
      • Notice it says specifically "Outnumber at any initiative step." So if you kill enough models with Hammer of Wrath to reduce their numbers, then the effect comes into play. Attached Centurion killed enough dudes with his I5? Now your I4 mooks get the bonus. Still outnumber them after the main bulk of I4 combat? Then your Unwieldy weapons are going to have quite some fun. Especially notable against high T units, like Mechanicum.
      • A usually overlooked fact is that Bikes are Very Bulky. Consider taking some outriders.
    • Scurry Away Nostraman Blood: All Models with this rule Fall Back 1" more than normal. They may choose to Fall Back instead of being Pinned. Falling Back instead of being Pinned can be useful in a few situations, such as if your opponent tries Pinning your infantry so your opponent's units can charge yours more easily, or if your units blunder just into the range of enemy Pinning weapons (especially artillery) and you can Fall Back out of their range to preserve your troops. It still might not be worth Falling Back however, if your fleeing units don't pass their regroup test in time or if they don't end up Falling Back far enough to escape the enemy's charge/Pinning weapon range.
    • Night Vision: All Night Lords EVERYTHING (even Dreadnoughts) has the Night Vision Special Rule.
    • From the Shadows: All models have a 5+ cover save on the first turn of a game.
    • Seeds of Dissent: If the army Warlord is slain, all units with this special rule must take an immediate Morale check as if they had suffered 25% casualties from shooting. This stacks with Nostraman Blood, so be prepared to have your units Fall Back further if they fail their Morale checks. Be it one or a Legion of them, sadistic bullies really do lack courage at heart after all.
  • New Rite of War: Horror Cult
    • Raptor Cult: Night Raptor Squads may be taken as troops in an army using this ROW. Sadly they're still pricey in points terms, so take one max-sized squad and then another cheaper troop option.
    • Beyond Judgement: Any unit can buy Trophies of Judgement for a flat 25 points. Situational at best when Independent characters can get them for +5points, and then confer the benefits of Fear to their unit. Can still be useful for units who you don't want joined by your ICs, or who can only be joined by specific ones that you aren't fielding, like Destroyer Squads.
    • Talons of Fear: Any infantry squad of more than 10 may take a Kharybdis for 260 points as a dedicated transport. These big boys are the final word in Drop Pod transports with a transport capacity of 20 models, so it's useful for big threatening units of Bulky or larger models.
    • All units in the detachment must charge an enemy unit they can harm if they're within 12" in the assault phase.
    • May not take fortification or Space Marine allies.
    • Traitors only.
  • Rite of War: Terror Assault - Forces you to use a highly aggressive quick-striking offensive strategy, capable of attacking from many angles, coupled with a strong emphasis on Fear-causing units. Your enemies will learn to fear the darkness and the empty eyes of your infantry's Trophies of Judgement, shortly before your enemies' own heads are added to the racks!
    • Cover of Darkness: As of the Jan 2016 Errata, it imposes Night Fighting for the duration of the first turn of any mission on a d6 roll of 2+, 2nd turn on a roll of a 4+, 3rd turn on a roll of a 6. Also, for the duration of Cover of Darkness, all LA: NL units gain 1 Initiative and add 1 to their run distances while this cover of darkness lasts. As "From the Shadows" gives you a 5+ cover save on the first game turn, and Night Fighting confers Stealth, you have a 4+ cover save in the open turn 1. Remember that you still have a slim chance of not even getting the first turn of Night Fighting unless you take Konrad Curze (and even he can only guarantee the first turn of Night Fighting), so don't count on this bonus lasting long or even taking effect at all. If the dice do roll in your favour, capitalize on this bonus as much as possible. Sadly this rule is less useful against Legions with lots of access to boosted Flamers like the Death Guard and the Salamanders, who are immune to Fear and will simply shred a lot of your charging units in Overwatch and ignore their cover saves.
    • Claw Assault: Tacticals, Vets and Terror Squads may take Dreadclaws or Drop pods. Use these to attack where your opponent least wants you to, and remember that Dreadclaw drop pods can Heat Blast for some useful anti-infantry firepower if your list can afford them.
    • Terror Tactics: Terror Squads must be taken as the compulsory troops, and may be taken as additional troops (note that this does not keep you from taking them as elites, so in this context up to nine Terror Squads can be taken per detachment).
    • Must take an additional compulsory Troops choice - Read: You bring 3 Terror squads.
    • Only one Heavy Support slot permitted - This is a rather significant drawback, since Heavy Support is normally where you get access to your big guns (and especially anti-tank firepower), and being limited to just one means it'll very likely become a high-priority target for your opponent. Try to make sure you have enough anti-tank firepower from other sources when using this RoW, or take a vehicle squadron or Deredeo/Leviathan Dreadnought for your sole HS choice. Alternatively, you could take a Praevian with Castellaxes armed with multi-meltas/darkfire cannons to make up for the lost firepower. They already wound MEQs on a 2+, so you don't need "A Talent For Murder".
    • Only one Consul is allowed as part of an HQ choice - A Chaplain to abuse 'Talent for Murder' is nice, but he won't outnumber anyone when attached to Terror squads.
    • Fortifications and Space Marine Legion allied detachments may not be used (so in theory, you're cool to use Mechanicum).
  • Unique Wargear
    • Chainglaive: +1 Str, AP3, two handed, Rending, at the same cost of a power weapon. There is no reason not to take these. The Strength bonus from these also combos amazingly well with "A Talent for Murder".
    • Trophies of Judgement: The IC gains Fear, for a measly 5 points. Can also be purchased for a Praevian's robotic squad members, but is effectively redundant since as MCs they already cause Fear, and adding the Trophies doesn't force enemy models to penalize their Fear checks like you might expect (FW editing skill strikes again!).
    • Teleportation Transponder: Terminators or Command Squads equipped with Terminator armor may be upgraded to have Deep Strike for +15 points. ICs in Terminator armor can be upgraded for +10 points.
    • Nostraman Mancatcher (Relic): Essentially a special Chainglaive, but instead of Rending, your opponent must take a Strength test in order to attack you, for each attack. The equipped character ends up being a major tarpit with this weapon, like the IIIrd Legion's own Relic, so consider giving it to a Centurion or non-melee Consul so he can tie up a big expensive beatstick IC in a challenge while your own melee infantry piles in and Sweeping Advances them off the board. A Cataphractii Terminator IC wouldn't be losing any attack.
  • Night Raptors: The predecessors of the Chaos Raptors we all know and love. That still doesn't make the Night Lords the Raptor Legion, damn it! They can all take the Nostraman Chainglaives for cheap +1S AP3 and Rending, twin Lightning Claws and, like Assault squads, one in each bunch of five can take a special weapon, but you want these guys charging, because they have WS5 and +D3 attacks when they charge instead of +1. A great squad for you to add an IC with Trophies, even more if you outnumber the enemy! They also shine in the Angel's Wrath RoW because as Jump Infantry they gain Hit and Run with that RoW and can charge again and again.
  • Terror Squads: They are even more axe-crazy than the rest of the Legion, which is saying something. They cause Fear and have the Preferred Enemy (Infantry) and Precision Strike rules so they can handle themselves in a fight. Everyone can take Bolters, Heavy Chainblade or Volkite Charger, but only one can take a Rotor Cannon/Flamer. The Sergeant can take any power weapon, including a chainglaive. With their 2 attacks base, weapon options and Fear, treat them like Vanguard Vets. They can take Dreadclaws, which fit their characterization as murder-obsessed backstabbers and ingame rules quite well, but they can also Infiltrate so you get more freedom to set them up prior to the battle beginning. Give them volkite chargers so they can take a few wounds off a marine squad giving the terror squad the outnumber advantage it needs for a talent for murder, plus with preferred enemy they can dish out a very hefty amount of damage.
Sevatar
  • Jago 'Sevatar' Sevatarion: First Captain, badass motherfucker, and the first person to utter the battlecry of "Death to the False Emperor!". Snark is sadly not included. Forge World had him live up to the reputation Aaron Dembski-Bowden gave him, as he is a literal murder-beast in close combat: WS7, causes Fear, inflicts Instant Death when fighting in a challenge and has 4x I6 S5 AP3 Rending attacks from his Master-Crafted chainglaive. Plus he's a level 1 psyker with the Precognition power (and Prescience, thanks to psychic focus), but due to his 'Repressed Psyker' rule he can only harness up to 2 warp charges per turn and counts as LD 7 if he suffers Perils of the Warp. To round it off, he is a teleporter beacon for Deep Striking Terminators. Also, like Terror Squads, Sevatar now comes with Precision Strike.
    • A good character but should be kept away from 2+ armour saves because Rending won't cut it against TEQs. Doubly important because he lacks Eternal warrior, so Power fists and Thunder Hammers are a big problem for him. Still, very killy all told, just point him at stuff he can kill quickly and he'll happily rip it into paste.
  • Flaymaster Mawdrym Llansahai: Psychopathic Primus Medicae who's so crazed he can never be the Warlord. "Even the Night Lords have their limits of toleration for madness". He's a Centurion with -1 to Ballistic Skill and Attack and a 3+/5++ save, an Archeotech pistol and a specialist-weapon power scalpel that makes him S3 with Murderous Strike (would it have killed FW to also give his scalpel Rending like the XXth Legion's Power Daggers?). He also re-rolls LoS and FNP, but even with all this he's still mediocre; his main selling point is being one of the few Fearless things in the 31st millennium. It should be noted, that he is basically a fearless Primus Medicae who doesn't take up the single consul slot of the Terror Assault RoW. This can come in handy if you were going to run a Primus Medicae anyway (maybe to join Sevatar and a maxed Terror squad?), so you can take Mawdrym Llansahai (whoever came up with that name deserves to get flayed alive)(only fitting the language of terrifying evil is Welsh, pronounced Mao-dram [lisp noise]an-sa-hi) and a consul of your choice for the third HQ slot.
  • Kheron Ophion: Captain of the Night Lords with a Power Axe, a Volkite Serpenta, Melta Bombs, Power Armor and a Refractor Field, you must be thinking to yourself "Thats just an under-equipped Praetor (he has the statline)" but that's cause he has a few special buffs that make him pretty useful, First he's got a relic (could be a shield or just his armour) called "The Bloody Aegis" which boosts his Invuln save to a 3++ in CC, additionally whenever an enemy attacks him in CC and rolls a "unmodified 1" to hit or wound him, he counts as half his WS when Kheron gets to swing at the Schmuck for that Assault Phase. His special rule "The Coward" gives him a 4+ FnP when he loses a wound, and if he loses 2 he kicks it to 3+ FnP. He has his own WT in which he makes every Night Lord within 12" Stubborn if the enemy has more VPs than you, and you get to reroll any failed rolls to determine the game continuing for an additional turn. Overall Solid, if only for the leadership bits in which the NL can be found a bit lacking. Can also mathematically tank Corax in a challenge (not on charge) for 2/3 turns.
Konrad Curze
  • Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter's abilities revolve around Fear - both inflicting it and amplifying it; although the number of Legions with Fearless makes this difficult to use in 30k, it can easily cause other armies with low Leadership (read: Tau and Imperial Guard) to turn tail and run in an instant. At 435 Points he is relatively expensive, but like all the Primarchs he can easily earn that back. With Sire of the Night Lords, a Night Lords force containing Konrad Curze gains the Fear special rule for any unit with the Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) special rule, and any units that already have the Fear special rule now impose a -1 penalty on the leadership of any enemy unit testing for fear against them. Curze's own ability to inflict Fear is supercharged by his King of Terrors rule - all Fear tests taken against him are subject to a -3 penalty, and should he be part of an assault where any enemy unit is destroyed outright, all enemy units subject to fear within 12" and with line of sight to the combat must take an immediate morale check or fall back (Note; Since the check being made from him taking part of murdering a unit is a general Morale Check instead of specifically a Fear test, his -3 to Fear tests is of no relevance, but units immune to Fear are immune to this.) Statwise, he's fairly good in all respects, and although his WS8 and I7 are his main selling points, Night Vision, Hit and Run, and Acute Senses are always nice to have. Complementing the "From the Shadows" rule, he may always elect to have the first turn of any game use the Night fighting special rule, no need to roll for it, so his legionnaires enjoy of a 4+ cover save in open ground during the first game turn (low AP weapons are common). Last but not least, Konrad is naturally a Jump infantry unit, without any assistance from wargear like a certain other Primarch. This means he WILL move 12" and then reroll the charge due to Fleet (if he goes solo), thus being one of the Primarchs that have the easiest time getting into melee. Note he has Shrouded and Stealth, and a unit only needs one model with these rules to benefit - place him with Night Raptors, go fast, be killy, and whenever Plasma appears, duck into any kind of cover for that delicious 2+++ bullshit save.
    Curze can use the following Wargear:
    • The Nightmare Mantle: Provides 2+ armour save and 4+ invulnerable save (like most Primarch Armour), plus it grants him Hammer of wrath special rules, inflicting D3 HoW hits instead of the usual one.
    • Mercy and Forgiveness: The most misnamed weapons in all of 30k (and knowing Curze, deliberately), Mercy and Forgiveness are the Night Haunter's twin Lightning claws. They have all the usual Lightning claw rules plus AP2 and Murderous strike. +1 attack for being two weapons.
    • The Widowmakers: Instead of a gun, Curze has himself a set of throwing batarangs knives as his ranged weapon. 12" Range, S4 AP5 assault 3 means they're not as good as the other ranged weapons, until you see their special rule Lethal precision: To Wound rolls of 6 ignore both armour AND invulnerable saves. Also, it inflicts Precision shots on a 4+ to allocate them on officers so the unit fares even worse when they test for Fear against him.
  • Weaknesses: He hates anything with an AV because those don't feel fear. Oh, and because His Weapons are Useless against anything with AV13 on the rear, like Land Raiders. This is a problem only when he goes solo, as anyone can bring Melta bombs to deal with that. Most other vehicles with rear AV10 are screwed by virtue of his seven S6 attacks on the charge, tho.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Death Guard:

IX Legion: Blood Angels[edit]

Blood Angels legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

Blood Angels play like a gloriously improved version of themselves in 40k ...or at least the infantry part. They get near enough all the rules that make them recognizable and then more, if you want to go deeper. But for some reason for a traditional melee army can be insanely dakka.

At their core, Blood Angels like it close and personal, with improved to-wound rolls and with a good selection of pistols and AP2 initiative weapons, making them arguably the best melee Legion. Best of all, they don't need to fulfill conditions like outnumbering the enemy or getting the charge, so other Legions need to take note.

However, their fast mechanized assault is gone, as they lack their trademark Baal Fast tanks in this millenium, and in fact their LA rule makes it troublesome to take vehicle-focused RoWs. But their access to Mega Dakka® makes up for these limitations.

With certain rites, they get their "red thirst" initiative bonus back as well as some turn 1 deep striking, so they can rival even the Emperor's Children for speed. Other rites touch upon the "black rage" theme, giving you resilient and steadfast but tactically limited options with which to throw at your enemy with abandon. Of note is the fact that Blood Angels Rites of War have no restrictions on allies, so take advantage of this as often as possible.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Encarmine Fury: Blood Angels require one less than they normally need to wound in assault to a minimum of 2+. Slightlyy as 8th Edition's Chapter Tactics, it still means you'll never wound on 6's but rather on 5's, but on all turns, not just when you charged. Congratulations, power axes become functionally the same as power fists (without Instant Death), saving you points in many cases. Remember though your tactical marines will still need to use krak grenades fighting T8 enemies like Thanatars (regular attack isn't able to wound = no roll to modify).
      • Before you start salivating about your enemy's blood pairing it with power mauls, remember it's a boost to wound, not a boost to strength (and mauls wound on 2+ anyway). You no longer need to get out your krak grenades to hunt MCs...as long as the entire squad has power weapons, that is.
      • Remember, this isn't Furious Charge...so it can stack with it. This means Furious Charge units (Veterans no longer get it) with power swords wound marines on 2+, or wound Voraxes on a 2+ when equipped with power mauls, all of it at initiative and ignoring their armour saves.
    • Without Remorse, Without Relent: You must make sweeping advances and may never go to ground.
    • Host of Angels: Can't take more vehicles units than units with the Legiones Astartes rule.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Hand Flamer: Familiar to 40k BAngels, it's a pistol S3 AP6 flamer. Anyone who can take a Volkite Serpenta can buy a Hand Flamer instead for 15pts, aka, the costs of a plasma pistol. Damn expensive. Besides Praetors and Centurions, who else can buy one? Veterans, but equipping the whole squad is way too expensive. Even 1 or 2 boost Overwatch though. .
    • Inferno Pistol: It's a Melta pistol. Anyone who can take a Plasma Pistol can buy an Inferno pistol instead for 15pts (aka, usually at the same price). It's a neat way to get around the Moritat's plasma pistol Chain Fire nerf, so bring it in pair with Plasma Pistol and go back to killing entire squads of Terminators in one round, although he'll be hampered by the Inferno pistol's measly 6" range, but second pistol lets you dance around it and with new "max 12 hits" rule you weren't making enough hits to justify 2 Inferno Pistols anyway.
    • Blade of Perdition: For 20 points, any Praetor or Consul with access to Power Fist may take a Master Crafted, two-handed AP2 sword with no strength modifier (but you do have Encarmine Fury), but each wound inflicted is doubled to two wounds which must be saved separately. Striking at Initiative with AP2 is golden, and counting it's special rule Blade of Perdition is better than Paragon Blade if you're not planning on taking Power Fist or Thunder Hammer with it. A must-have on any melee Consul.
    • Prototype Iliastus-pattern Assault Cannon: ANY MODEL with access to a Heavy Flamer may replace it with an Assault Cannon for an additional +5 points, and Predators can replace their autocannons with a TL one for free. This S6 AP4 Heavy 4 Rending weapon sounds good on paper, but there's a catch - triple 1's causes it to jam and stop working for the rest of the game, though on average it'll take one and a half games for that to happen, and if you have a Psyker it'll almost never happen with Divination on it. Now you've got a fantastic reason to buy those Rotor Cannon models.
      • You can pull some really funny shit with this one. Just say "fuck you" to the traditional 40k dreadnought setup and take Dreadnought close combat weapons with underslung Assault Cannons, it's perfectly legitimate. And for measly +10 points you increase the already devastating Dakka of Leviathan Dreadnoughts by upgrading their boob heavy flamers to boob Assault cannons. People may look at you funny, but rule-wise it's viable. The version on Forge World's website even comes with them.
      • Perhaps you might want a Predator squadron with twin linked turret Assault Cannon, Assault Cannon sponsons and pintle mounted Assault Cannon. For when you need a twenty shot 24" bubble of fuck you per tank.
      • Heavy Support Squads and a Rhino DT with Assault Cannons are just nasty, spewing 47 shots if you count the Twin Linked Bolters and one-use Hunter Killer missile. Everyone wishes they had this much firepower. Only a Volkite Heavy Squad with a Heavy Bolter Rhino reaches anywhere close and comes up one short. Naturally this excludes unsaved wounds caused by deflagration. However Culverin costs five points more than the Iliastus and lacks Rending.
        • Screw that Rhino idea, put them in a Drop Pod
      • You can do some very dirty things by upgrading tanks besides Predators, such as putting an Assault Cannon on a Vindicator to shoot down survivors. A Sicaran can be upgraded to 16 shots, ten of those with Rending for anything stupid enough to get close. Another option is upgrading a Malcador with four Assault Cannons for 18 hits on ANYTHING you want in range, because it's Super-Heavy. Just don't forget to save points for the Flare Shield.
      • Veteran Tactical Squads will need to be with 12" to get the most out of them. Thirty shots are nothing to sneeze at.
      • The only time they are a waste are Terminator Command Squads. Legion Terminators are a different story. Put them onto a Spartan, keep the stock Heavy Bolters(you can't upgrade the Twin-Linked Heavy Flamers as far as we know) than add a pintle mounted Assault Cannon for a total of three, this will up the squad to 42 shots during the shooting phase. They will have little to fear from other TEQs with the exception of Tyrant Siege Terminators, Fulmentarus and those armed with Storm Shields. (Seems Guilliman didn't have time to ripoff the Iliastus until after the Horus Heresy) The "shooty Terminators" won't be able Overwatch as they are stuck with Cataphractii armor, so make your Terminators Tartaros. Instead of Volkite Chargers, buy Combi-Grenade launchers and the Harness.
    • Note: The possibility of a jam means that you have to roll individually for each gun. Don't spam these unless you want the game to take a week.
    • Photonic Blade (Relic) : Best. Weapon. EVAR. It's an AP2 Fleshbane Soulblaze sword that also causes Fear & Blind. All with no downsides (Emperor's Burning blade, I'm looking at you). For the modellers out there: Despite its name, its nothing like a lightsaber, but a fuck-massive sword that only an Astartes could lift and its blade gets white-hot & shiny ...so any power sword fits the description. Now think of a Space marine with a Lightsaber... that's the fun of modelling.
  • Rite of War: The Day of Revelation - Specializing in what Blood Angels do best, coming down via deep strike, this biblical-themed rite is heavily invested in the turn one alpha strike.
    • Cometh the Host: All jump infantry must start the game on Deep Strike Reserve and arrive automatically on the first turn - Only Jump Infantry arrive on the first turn, so any support units you want deep striking will need drop pods.
    • With Fire & Thunder: All units that arrive via deep strike gain a 5+ cover save for the remainder of the turn, helping a great deal with their survival (you thought Deep strike wasn't viable with the availability of Interceptor? It's the Blood Angels we're talking about, child) - EVERYONE gets this, jury is still out on whether it also applies to units coming out of a Drop Pod or not. Also, because this is not Shrouded, Dreadnought Drop pods would confer a 3+++ save to their Dreads.
    • The Opening of the Seal: Infantry and Jump Infantry units that Deep Strike gain the Pinning rule on their ranged weapons for that turn.
      • Deep Striking Destroyers with 5+ cover saves and Pinning on their toughness-reducing power-armour-ignoring Rad Weapons and an attached Moritat are a pain in the ass to deal with. Very pricey and can be wiped out in one Basilisk shot, but may be worth trying.
    • The Judgement of Angels: Red Thirst by another name, Blood Angels units gain +1 Initiative on the turn that they charge into combat. Like the Emperors Children, this rule in particular is nothing short of a game-changer, giving you the upper hand in mirror match-ups. Just leave the unwieldy weapons at home.
    • By Honour Bound: Your characters must issue and accept challenges. But your characters being +1 Initiative +1 to wound AP2 monsters it's not like you don't want to get in challenges.
    • Your compulsory Troops and HQ units must be equipped with Jump Packs, restricting them to Assault Squads, who are now super cheap thanks to the red book update! Be careful though, as Assault Marines have tons of options, you'll be tempted to equip them all with your BA exclusive pistols and Power Weapons , but Encarmine Fury already helps with that, helping you save some points. Apothecary's can now take jump packs though, so your dreams of 20 Assault Marine Blobs with a 6+ Invuln (5+ in combat) and 5+ Feel no pain blobs are actually pretty achievable, if not quite expensive still.
      • Note it only says Compulsory Troops, which means once you have two Assault Squads you can get whatever the hell you want in Troops.
      • You need to figure out which unit to put your HQ into too, as only Assault Squads, Destroyer Squads and Command Squads have Jump Packs at the moment, and as noted above you are already paying a lot for just your Troops so bring that command squad along may not be the best idea. It may end up with the Jump Pack being a 20 point tax for you to bring along a HQ while you bundle him in with some Terminators, but alternatively you could turn your Command Squad into TEQs with no invulnerable save and jump packs if you're willing to invest.
    • You must take a compulsory Fast Attack choice that has the Flyer or Deep Strike rule.
      • You have the choice of Sky Hunters, Storm Eagles, Dreadclaws, Lightening Strike Fighters, and Xiphon Interceptor. Xiphons may be the best choice as they're anti-vehicle Flyers with Deep Strike & Armoured Ceramite for no additional cost.
    • Primary Detachments may not take Fortifications, Sentry Guns or any Lord of War choice other than a Flyer or the Primarch Sanguinius.
      • Every other player breaths a sigh of relief (except those who run Sons of Horus) that Sanguinius doesn't have rules yet. Nothing stopping you from taking Thunderhawks or Stormbirds except for their point cost.
      • This rite has no limits on taking allies, nor do the detachment limitations apply when being taken as an ally. So it makes a perfect allied detachment if you take a second Master of the Legion.
  • Rite of War: The Day of Sorrow - Blood Angels throwing themselves with abandon, becoming hardier the fewer of them remaining.
    • Resolute Defense: Blood Angels cannot be pinned, they are also Stubborn when within 3" of one of Objective markers in their own deployment zone - You could have a Heavy support squad as a garrison, given how you must bring more infantry than vehicles anyway.
    • Aura of Wrath: Enemies who lose combat to the Blood Angels suffer an additional -1 penalty to the Morale check, but units immune to Fear are also immune to this.
    • By Blood Sworn: When a Blood Angels unit drops to less than 50% models, it gains Feel No Pain (5+) since the start of their next turn.
    • To the Bitter Dregs: The flip side of Blood Sworn. Units that are reduced to less than 50% members can no longer be scoring units (but remain denial) and count as destroyed at the end of the game for the purposes of victory points. As such, even though your reduced squad became more resilient, it is of less value to you overall. Meaning that, from that point on they are meant to meet glorious death in battle, forsaking their former duties as battle brothers.
    • Bloody Handed: Blood Angels must always issue and accept challenges, they must also always sweeping advance.
      • More so than the other Rite, this one benefits from having an ally to hold backfield objectives while your Blood Angles kamikaze their way into the enemy. Good thing you can have some Imperial Fists as Sworn Brothers, and can rock up with toughness 5 2+/3++ Terminators to act as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX as well as providing +1BS Bolter fire or Salamanders, who will never ever run due to LA or die because 3++ Terminators or 4++ Tartaroses, while an attached BA character can help them to mitigate their LA restrictions on Sweeping Advances.
  • Angel's Tears: Legion unique destroyers who cast aside their identities and wear silver death masks into battle. They start with 2 volkite serpentas each and rad grenades. The sergeant can be upgraded to have a power weapon and any member of the squad can be upgraded to have either an assault cannon with suspensor web, a rotor cannon, or swap their chainswords with power weapons.
  • Dawnbreaker Assault Squads: A 5 man unit of artificer armored glass cannons with jump packs. WS5 and 2 attacks means you want to get them into combat, but wait until you hear what they bring. Phoenix spears. They come stock with Phoenix Spears, eat your hearts out, Emperor's Children. Can be upgraded with Sunset and Sunrise blades which are power swords with some pretty nifty abilities. One gives them +1 initiative and another gives them sunder and rending; you choose which sword you're using before you make your attacks. Sanguinius unlocks them as troops.
  • Crimson Paladins: Cataphractii-armoured Sanguinary Guard; the anvil for your hammer. These stone-cold badasses come into battle with the ability to deep strike and wield power weapons and shields that inflict a -1 penalty to the strength of incoming melee attacks. One can upgrade to have an assault cannon, and the others can swap their power weapons for a sword that has rending and sunder for when you really want to rip and tear. The sergeant can bring a Blade of Perdition and carve through enemy power fist/thunder hammer wielding dudes with his AP 2 AT FULL INITIATIVE. The real kicker is their ability to gain Feel No Pain when outnumbered, which you likely will be since they can only be brought in units 3-5 strong, which upgrades to a 4+++ when they outnumbered 2:1. Pair this ability with their Cataphractii armor and their shields inflicting -1 strength to melee attacks means they'll get Feel No Pain against weapons that usually prevent terminators from getting Feel No Pain like power fists and Thunder Hammers. Bring them with your footslogging characters to make sure they never die.
  • Contemptor Incendius Dreadnought: Dreadnoughts on Jump Packs HOLY SHIT. Supposedly a Fast Attack choice and are said to be able to start in deep strike reserve. Bring one in a Day of Revelation list to fulfill the compulsory deep-striking Fast Attack choice for maximum lulz.
  • Raldoron: Before he was the first Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, Raldoron was the First Captain of the Blood Angels and Equerry of Sanguinius. He's a fairly standard Praetor statline with +1 WS, arty armour, iron halo, bolt pistol and a combi flamer, however the real kicker here is his fuckawesome sword that's a master-crafted shredding Paragon Blade that isn't a specialist weapon and his special rule which lets him choose his warlord trait (from the legion table, you'll have to roll if you want one from the rulebook). He also comes with Furious Charge (bringing him up to S 6 on charge), wounding even Castellax on a 4+ (rerollable through shred). Taking a spot on the list of the most deadliest Praetors, right up there with Sigismund and Sevatar.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Imperial Fists:
    • Ultramarines:
    • Salamanders:
    • Sons of Horus:

X Legion: Iron Hands[edit]

Iron Hands legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Iron Hands are also considered one of the stronger Legions to play with, if only because of their sheer resistance to incoming fire. The -1 to enemy ranged weapon strength makes a significant difference against the common (eg: Bolt) weapons of the enemy, which is only exacerbated when Ferrus Manus takes the field alongside his sons, in which case you end up with something FAR more resilient than their 40k incarnation. Obviously you'd expect the Iron Hands to be excellent at mechanized assaults as well, and if you want to go all-out with tanks, there is no better Legion.

The downsides to Iron Hands are glaring however. They are stuck with very inflexible infantry-centric army builds, so you cannot create fast-moving armies of assault marines and bikers, though this might not be a downside at all depending on what models you have available, or if you are clever with army-building and make sure you bring "exactly" what you want. Not only that; their near-refusal to perform Sweeping Advances or Run moves means that the enemy has a better chance of outmaneuvering you, so you have to be careful. Additionally, unlike 'every other Legion you don't get better weapons for characters or upgrades to heavy/special weapons.

But this isn't to say their weaknesses make them unplayable. You get Cyber-familiars for your characters, which synergize with Inviolate Armour to make your characters very tough for very cheap. In addition, Head of the Gorgon is one of the strongest Rites of War available to any of the Legions, especially for your tanks. Only one other Legion can Outflank a Goddamn Vindicator squadron. Not being able to go to ground is mitigated by Inviolate Armour. In summary, the relative inflexibility of the Iron Hands is offset by their ridiculous durability.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Inviolate Armour: All shooting attacks made against them have their strength reduced by 1. No ranged attack weaker than a Lascannon will be able to insta-kill you, so any FNP you have is there to stay and you'd do well to abuse 2+ save models. Be the envy of the Death Guard. Just watch out for dedicated enemy melee units, since this rule provides no protection against melee attacks, and don't forget that unless you take the "Bitter Iron" RoW you won't have melee-boosting rules of your own either.
      • This is an excellent rule that provides constant value for everyone in your force. It shouldn't be confused for a workable alternative to a cover save, but if you play sensibly this can reduce casualties by as much as a third, although S7 and higher kills them as quick as regular mehreens. Bonus consideration: don’t forget how well this works with attached Apothecaries and other units with feel no pain. By reducing S8 to S7 you are able to take FNP saves against a whole host of weapons that are normally instant death to Astartes like krak missiles, battlecannon, shatter shells etc. Abusing, sorry, utilising this to the maximum is a sign of the cold logic the Iron Tenth is known for.
    • Stand and Fight: All Iron Hands units must pass a Leadership test in order to make Sweeping Advances or Run, and cannot voluntarily go to ground. With most squads being LD9 this means you will only Sweeping Advance or Run about 82% of the times you want them to. Not being able to voluntarily go to ground could result in more losses than you'd like, especially if your infantry come up against a bunch of AP3 or AP2 guns and this rule prevents you from increasing their cover save at that crucial moment. It also means your infantry is just as susceptible to being Pinned as generic Legion marines, since it says nothing about involuntarily going to ground.
    • Rigid Tactics: An Iron Hands detachment may not contain more units of Jump Infantry, Bikes or Jetbikes, including independent characters, than it does units with the Infantry type. This only applies to units with the Legiones Astartes (Iron Hands) special rule, so take as many vehicles as you like. This restriction supposedly prevents you from taking certain rites of war, though pretty much every RoW requirement can be circumvented in some manner by taking more infantry squads, it may just mean it becomes unfeasible in smaller point games.
    • Iron-Father: A hefty points upgrade to any Praetor; gains a Servo-Arm, 6+ FNP, Battlesmith rule and may not use a bike, jump pack or jetbike. This is especially useful for when he is inside a transport, as is usual in Iron Hand armies.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Blessed Autosimulacra: For 10 points, rolling a 6 will restore a Hull Point to an equipped vehicle.
      • Ironically, 40k's Iron Hands get It Will Not Die, which is better, for FREE. Conversely, bear in mind that this roll is separate from IWND. Thus, by having Ferrus Manus in your army all your AV13 tanks get IWND included in his cost, meaning that your heavier tanks such as Sicarans, Predators & Land Raiders can get TWO rolls to recover HP, which is better than the 40k equivalent.
    • Cyber-Familiar: See Equipment. Any character (including sergeants) can take one, which can on some models such as Praetors or Cataphractii extend them up to a cool 3+ save without taking up an arm like a Storm Shield does. Not much to say anything besides "take it on every IC". Seriously, even with Boarding Shield you will have 4++ in close combat and Refractor-field-grade 5++ outside of it. May also be worth it on sergeants, but points do add quick.
    • Grav Gauntlet (Relic): An Assault 3 flame-template Graviton gun (NOT Grav-Gun), still leaves difficult terrain behind. Adds D3 to Building Damage, but being a Haywire weapon that only happens on a 6. Shreds tanks and doesn't care about Armoured Ceramite or Flare shields. AP3 means it shreds power armour quite handily as well.
  • Rite of War: The Head of the Gorgon - A no-nonsense variant of the Armoured Spearhead RoW with enhanced tanks, Mechanicum support and graviton guns. Wage to war with some really tough boys while bringing along some really cool toys!
    • Chosen Ground: Infantry in this force gain Stubborn within their own deployment zone. Feel like an Imperial Fist.
    • War Relics: Any infantry model equipped with a Flamer may swap it out for a Graviton gun at +10 points, and all vehicles gain Blessed Autosimulacra for free. Did your vehicle get immobilized in Graviton-created Dangerous Terrain? Mine just restored a Hull Point ON ITS OWN.
    • Iron Scions: Legio Cybernetica Battle-Automata Maniples (ie. AdMech's good stuff) may be included as Elite choices within the army, and any unit of 10 models or less eligible to take a Rhino may take a Land Raider Proteus or Phobos instead. Having access to some powerful robot buddies means that a Praevian is no longer as attractive a Consul choice, nor is a Cortex Controller on a Forge Lord.
    • Armored Encirclement: Vehicles with Tank type placed in reserve gain the Outflank rule. Show the Sons of Horus and Emperor's Children what a true encirclement is like, using Land Raiders.
    • Only one Fast Attack slot allowed. Given the "Rigid Tactics" rule this isn't much of a handicap unless you're looking to bring along things like Land Speeders and Seekers. You can still take a Praetor with a Command Squad and equip them all with Jetbikes for some fast-moving firepower, but doing so locks out the "Iron Father" Praetor upgrade.
      • Sky-Slayers make a decent alternative to Sky Hunters and Jetbike Command Squads but are still subject to the "Rigid Tactics" limitation. However, your options for fast-moving units don't stop there. Iron Scions combined with a Forge Lord or Praevian can and should be used to substitute for the missing Fast Attack slots. Thallax, Arlatax and Vorax are decent replacements for the various bike units. While Domitars, Castellax & Thanatars bring in heavy dakka to make up for the loss of the non-transport flyers. The only units they can't fill in for are Seekers, Anvillus Drop Pods or Storm Eagles.
    • Only a single Consul is allowed, other than Forge Lord Consuls. Forge Lord Consuls are already pretty versatile and useful, though they can get rather expensive with their upgrades. But you might as well bring one along to keep your enhanced vehicles in tip-top condition if your Praetor isn't an Iron Father or if Ferrus Manus isn't around. If you take this RoW with a Delegatus, you will restrict yourself to bringing along Forge Lords for additional Consuls.
    • Cannot take Space Marine allied detachments. But their Mechanicum Sworn Brothers can join them at any time, on top of the Mechanicum Automata they can field themselves. Imperial Armies are Distrusted Allies to you, but the Flesh is Weak anyway. Note that fortifications are fine, which has great synergy with Chosen Ground.
  • Rite of War: Company of Bitter Iron - A fairly straightforward rite representing the Legion after the fall of their Primarch and after catching a case of butthurt large enough to rival Perturabo's. Encumbers you with less restrictions than Head of the Gorgon and allows for more aggressive play, but also gives less bonuses.
    • Company of Immortals: Medusan Immortals are Troops choices. Against all better judgment, the Iron Hands blamed themselves for not enduring enough in the face of the Drop Site Massacre, and so many survivors volunteered to purge even more of their "weak" flesh and become Immortals. This rule frees up Elites choices and allows for very resilient troops, just be mindful of their points cost and their reduced mobility.
    • Immortal Hatred: All units in your detachment gain Hatred (Traitors). All the better to show the traitors how butthurt you are by shoving your Iron Fists into their faces. Allows for somewhat better close assaults.
    • Bitter Duty: Units of Immortals that are mostly in the enemy's deployment zone gain the Stubborn special rule. Coupled with the other bonuses that Immortals get, this means they'll even more resistant to melee assaults and Sweeping Advances while they are Stubborn.
    • Iron Hands using this detachment cannot be Traitors (duh) and also cannot use the "Shattered Legion" rules.
    • You cannot take any form of Allied detachment. Because being angry enough to insist on standing alone to prove your worth in battle against 9 traitor legions is somehow a good idea. With no ability to bring Mechanicum allies you'll have to bring a Praevian or Forge Lord with you to get Battle Automata support again, but thankfully this RoW doesn't have any restrictions on Consuls.
    • Your army cannot include Ferrus Manus (He's dead and missing his head.)
      • Remember that with no restrictions on Fast Attack slots, you can play with a good amount of Fast Attack units (which would normally require you to use no RoW or a generic RoW with the Xth Legion) like Land Speeders and flying units while your Immortal infantry absorbs charges and makes steady advances. Even Seekers can be useful with the right plan.
  • Gorgon Terminators: The Terminator elite of the Xth Legion, which include the Morlocks, Ferrus Manus's bodyguard, who were physically bonded to their Terminator Armour and could no longer leave it. The Sergeant has a Thunder Hammer as standard and can take a Cyber Familiar to up his Invulnerable save and reroll failed tests, and also a Combi-weapon, everyone else gets Power axes. They all have Feel No Pain (5+), are Scoring units and they also have the unique Gorgon Pattern Terminator Armour (5++) that on a D6 roll of 4+ causes a Blind test to everyone in 6" (yes, even friendly units, but they can re-roll the Blind test) at the end of any phase in which the unit has made one or more successful armour/invun save. And it counts as standard Terminator armour, so they can Overwatch too, but cannot perform Sweeping Advances. Finally, they can take Graviton guns as one of their special weapons options, and as these guys are Relentless it might be a neat idea. You can also equip them with twin Lightning Claws to mince blinded enemies, though they only possess In 3, need an LD test to run, and can't Sweeping Advance. Costing only 5 pts more than a normal Legion Terminator squad, while being as tactically flexible and gaining better wargear options, Blind, FNP 5+ and a Hammer, along with the -1S from shooting attacks all Iron Hands get, this squad is Cheese a nice investment. Who wrote the rules for these guys, Phil Kelly?
  • Medusan Immortals: When Iron Hands failed the high standards set by their Primarch, they were given another chance to prove themselves by becoming "Immortal," which involved having much of their bodies replaced with bionics and being sent to into the thickest parts of the fighting, essentially becoming Cyborg Breacher marines. You can have up to 20 of these in a squad with FNP 5+ (upgraded from 6+ by the Isstvan Legions book) and instead of carrying out a Sweeping Advance, they can instead gun down (using only snapshots) the fleeing enemy unit if the Immortals involved pass an LD test. This is not such a bad deal, as with their Hardened Armour they were already at a -1 to Sweeping Advance rolls, so this way they can just say "screw it" and shoot at the enemy, albeit with snapshots, for the same price of passing an LD test (thanks to the "Stand and Fight" rule) rather than chasing them down and taking the Sweeping Advance penalty.
    • On the face of it, it does not seem like these guys have much going for them that normal Breacher squads can't already do. As Elites they do not normally score. Their base cost is 50 points more than a regular Breaching squad, though their individual cost is three points cheaper than normal Breachers (still 20 points more for a full squad). They have a pretty decent option in that the whole unit can take Volkite Chargers, doing more damage at closer ranges and with the potential of additional hits to make up for all those snap shots you'll be putting out.
    • The "Bitter Iron" RoW turns these guys into troops (and therefore they become scoring units), ups their melee capability, and makes them less susceptible to Morale problems under certain circumstances. While it might cost you a bit more than you were expecting, a unit like this can be a rock that will absorb shooting (-1 for Iron Hands, plus 6++ shield, plus FnP remember?) and be a frightening proposition for your opponent to charge.
    • Immortals can exchange their Bolters for Chainswords, despite the fact that their shields prevent them from gaining +1 Attack.
  • Castrmen Orth: Spearhead Centurion of the X Legion and the 30k version of Antario Chronus, but actually worth it. Unlike Chronus, Orth is not a vehicle upgrade, but instead a Centurion that can be used to spend almost nothing on your HQ and invest everything in your army. 80 pts gets you a power armoured dude with a 4++ save (Refractor + Cyber familiar) and Power Maul, Tank Hunters AND Tank Crushers (such naming creativity...) that gives ALL your tanks +1 Vehicle Damage when Ramming, so buy lots of Caestus (they're flyers AND tanks) for a +2 total Vehicle damage adding the best of 2 dice to S10 and 5+ invuln on the front. Yeah, he makes killing Spartans look easy. He can only command Tanks with AV13 or better, and grants the tank BS5 AND Tank Hunters, so put him in a Spartan for 4x Twin-linked S9 AP2 or 2x Twin-linked S9 AP1 Ordnance or in a Sicaran for 6x S7 Rending & Ignores Jink. Or just put him in a superheavy and let the fondue flow. Suck on that, Chronus.
  • Autek Mor: A badass Terran from the Legion's founding and the predecessor of Smashbane, he put the MOR in clan Morragul after killing the outlaw Ra'Guln and taking over his clan; after the Horus Heresy he became the first Chapter Master of the Red Talons. He's an Iron Father with Cataphractii Terminator armor, +1S, +1T (but -1In and -1 attack), a Servo-Arm, a Paragon Blade and a Volkite Charger for gear. With Fearless, the Iron Father upgrade and Preferred Enemy (Infantry) Mor is a complete and utter goddamn beast with 3 base attacks (S6 w/ 6's to-wound causing ID) +1 Servo arm attack (S8 w/ Unwieldy). All of that at AP2. Oh, and with the Inviolate Armour and T5 he can't be ID'ed by double Toughness from shooting.
  • Shadrak Meduson: A Terran from the legion's founding and a badass survivor of Isstvan V turned de facto leader of the Iron Hands after the Drop Site Massacre, notable for staging an assassination attempt on Horus, Mortarion, and Fulgrim that left all three seriously injured. He can be played in regular Iron Hands armies but you definitely want this guy commanding your Shattered Legion. As a Praetor, he's above average, packing a master crafted boltgun, archeotech pistol and an "Albian Power Gladius" which is a S+1, Master-Crafted, Rending power sword. But his real benefit shows itself when you run him in mixed lists. His Master of the Shattered Legion rule counts him as an Iron Hand, Salamander and a Raven Guard for the purposes of Rites of War, so he can work for a large variety of army builds. Furthermore, his warlord trait grants members of those Legions the Furious Charge, Hatred and Crusader rules for one turn of the game. Note that the warlord trait can still work even if you don't use the Shattered Legion rules.
Ferrus Manus
  • Ferrus Manus: This silver-eyed badass is 455 points. The Gorgon works best as part of a mechanized army - his Master of Mechanisms rule acts like an improved version of Battlesmith which passes repair rolls on a 2+, because of his Servo arm. In addition, any vehicle with at least one armour facing of 13 in a primary detachment containing Ferrus Manus gains IWND (similar to the Iron Hands' Chapter Tactic in 40k). Sire of the Iron Hands boosts his wargear with access to Relentless and Smash (the latter of which can be used with any of his CC attacks). And shooting attacks against him suffer a -1 penalty to their strength, meaning bolters could eat shit and die. As an added bonus, all models with the special rule Legiones Astartes (Iron Hands) in an army containing Ferrus Manus gain FnP (6+).
    Fun fact, Ferrus and Fulgrim can connect model bases to reenact their duel on Isstvan V. Yes, the head also comes off, in case you were wondering.
    Ferrus can use the following Wargear:
    • Forgebreaker: Made for Ferrus by Fulgrim (and later stolen off him to be given to Perturabo, and then still later stolen by the Blood Ravens). It's an AP1 Thunder Hammer with Concussive and Strikedown. You could field Ferrus without his hammer (to represent the short period of time after it was stolen and he was still alive) for marginal point discount, which is OK, since his BARE FUCKING HANDS are AP2 with Smash, and strike on initiative. Oh, and the hammer also strikes at normal initiative, since Ferrus is so bad ass.
    • Medusan Carapace: Gives Ferrus a 2+ armour save 3+ invulnerable save. The backpack incorporates a nuncio vox and servo arm, and he may choose to fire any two of the following in the shooting phase: Plasma blaster, Graviton gun, Grenade harness (unlimited usage) and Heavy flamer. With this toy, Ferrus is by far the most effective of the Primarchs when it comes to ranged combat (well, until Lorgar starts to throw around titan-killing mind bullets).
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Emperor's Children:
    • Ultramarines:
    • Mechanicum:

XII Legion: World Eaters[edit]

World Eaters Pre-Heresy Pauldron.jpg

"Up close and personal" is the phrase that defines this psycho melee legion. The basic attacks of every unit are outright deadlier than your average legion, meaning whatever is on the business end of their chainaxes gets to Eat a World of hurt (heh), and it only goes up from there. A legion of blood-on-white contrasts, the allegiances and RoWs you choose will mark a pronounced difference in gameplay, but regardless of the bloody path you select the end result will be the same: Carnage and piles of bodies.

Being one of Horus' original Four, their Traitor version gets more options than the Loyalists; Angron and his Butchers are some examples. Caedere weapons leave much to be desired, and because they are specialized for close quarters battle their shooting phase is the same as most other legions', the same goes for their vehicles which are but transports for your men, as well as sources of anti-tank. Their tactics call for them to leave their deployment zone, meaning this legion isn't one to defend ground or man fortresses.

Deadly against anything not wearing power armour, they can still get the upper hand in Astartes vs Astartes fights by forcing failed saves and winning close combats, and their wide access to FnP will make them stand out on infantry-heavy battles (especially on ZM's close quarters...if you play that), but struggle against mechanized lists, since vehicles don't bleed. But as long as you're able to crack open their transports and get Your Dudes where you need them to be then your blades will do their red work.

If to you War is the matter of seeking out your enemies, attacking as soon you're able and with all the force at your command, rending their soldiers and smashing their fortresses, leaving only corpses behind you and moving on then join the ranks of the Bloody Twelfth.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Incarnate Violence:(ICL2) WE units may reroll 1's to wound on the turn they charge. Also, Characters with this rule gain +1 WS when fighting in a challenge - Remember that 'Chosen Warriors' aren't characters, even if they can get into challenges, so neither Command nor Rampager squads improve their WS.
    • Bloodlust: Must consolidate after assault towards something they can hurt. If they fail a morale check in assault, roll a D6. On a 4+ they count as passing and gain Rage. A nice little rule that may allow a broken squad to hold a little longer, but losing control can be annoying, and Rampage would have been better.
      • Blood Madness:(HH2) World Eaters can replace Bloodlust with this rule (only Traitors have access to it, and only after the events of Istvaan). Units with this rule have the Rage special rule, no need to fail morale tests or whatever. Also, they must always attempt to Sweeping Advance, cannot voluntarily Go to Ground or fail a Morale check and, after they win an assault, they must consolidate towards the nearest enemy unit that they can hurt. You don't need to reroll dice if your enemy is dead.
      • On the broad picture ALL your infantry gets better for assault, and if you bring means to reroll hits, like a Chaplain or use Berserker Assault (Hatred) you'll earn a kick in the powerballs from your opponent. Don't ever make Disordered charges though. 20-man tactical squads are fine and all being the cheapest option, but now with the Assault Marines points drop and the fact that Apothecaries can take jump packs, 20-man Assault blobs are the way to go with non-negotiable free Chainaxes (that have been buffed to S+1 AP4 FUCK POWER MAULS) and access to more CQC goodies, having both a much greater chance of stabbing something and less of the weaknesses a footslogging squad would have by virtue of reaching the enemy quicker. And if any of those 81 attacks @S5 AP4 squads don't convince you, Weaponmaster Veterans with power swords inflict ~19.44 unsaved wounds on MEQs while being CHEAPER, fitting in a Dreadclaw, having cheap Meltabombs, and if you pick them as Marksmen they still inflict ~15 wounds.
    • Exhortations of Butchery:(HH6) A rule added to all Traitor World Eaters Apothecaries and Primus Medicae after the Shadow Crusade in a little sidebar on Gahlan Surlak's page, so he's not the only one who gets the rule. It allows a unit with an attached Apothecary to turn their Butchers Nails up to eleven, granting them +1 extra attack in any assault phase, but you have to roll a D6 for each model that does so. If you roll a one, that model is removed from play with no saves allowed. There is no unsaved wound so FnP doesn't apply either, and the model doesn't simply take a wound but is removed from play, aka it also kills Butchers. This rule does not apply to Characters of any kind, so you can't beef up your Praetor (or Kharn) or even your squad sergeants, just the grunts.
      • It's not something to use all the time but it has uses and it's worth remembering it. This allows you to ramp up and ensure you kill a squad in their assault phase so you can immediately move on to another target and not absorb another round of shooting. Still, no one can deny the sheer power of a 20 WE squad with Blood Madness and Exhortations of Butchery: 100 attacks! ~13 enemy dead MEhQs or whopping ~65 dead GEQ (10 dead Thallax!). Against other things, remember there's no reward for overkill (Power weapon Vets already decimate 20 man squads, Butchers already kill full Cataphractii squads). Enemy blob? You mean those red chunks on the ground?.
  • Rite of War: Berserker Assault(ICL) - It improves your melee without hurting your ranged game. No real drawbacks here.
    • Berserk Charge: All models with the Legiones Astartes (World Eaters) outside of their deployment zone (and if you play World Eaters this will be a given) gain Hatred and must attempt to Sweeping Advance if able.
    • Unstoppable Wave: World Eaters must reroll failed Pinning tests and re-roll Run rolls of "1".
    • Must take an additional compulsory Troops choice in this Detachment.
    • May not take more Tanks or Flyers than you have Infantry units in this Detachment - So the few you can take make them either high capacity transports like Spartans, Kharybdis or Storm Eagles.
    • May only take a single Consul and it may not be a Librarian - Make it a Champion then. MC weapon & WS6 will make him as killy as a normal Praetor, but cheaper.
    • Primary Detachments cannot take a Fortification, nor may they take any Space Marine Legion as allies. Mechanicum are good to go, though. Nor does it stop you using this rite as an allied force to Space Marines.
  • Rite of War: The Crimson Path(HH6) - This rite increases your units survivability by a considerable margin but it does little to boost your damage potential and it forces you to take the fight to the very heart of the enemy.
    • Forlorn Hope: All infantry models get Feel No Pain or +1 if the already had it (up to 3+) while within the Enemy's Deployment zone.
      • Read that again, this RoW ONLY works within the enemy's deployment zone meaning (contrary to what the book may lead you to think) this rite isn't meant for closing the distance through No-man's-Land, but rather to endure right in the enemy's face. Take Kharn to go first, grab units that Deepstrike/Infiltrate/Scout, maybe use the LR Proteus' Explorator Augury to boost your reserves, ANYTHING to get as much of your units as you can in the enemy's deployment zone as soon as possible. "Attack as soon as you are able and with all the force at your command", remember? It wasn't just some fluffy quote, it's your ticket to make the enemy's battle-plan the first casualty.
      • Get yourself plenty of Apothecaries then so your units have 4+, don't forget "Exhortations of Butchery" either. Take Gahlan Surlak for FnP (3+) on his own squad and disposable units with FnP (5+) even without Apothecaries. Rampagers and Butchers also become 5+ without Apothecaries.
    • Unto Death: Independent Characters get It Will Not Die or add +1 to IWND rolls if they already had it (up to 4+), while within the Enemy's Deployment zone. It can be funny when your T5 (jet)Bike Centurions not only start ignoring wounds from Power Fists, but actually regenerate said wounds.
    • Your enemy scores +1 victory point if your World Eaters do not achieve Linebreaker or Attrition objectives in missions that use them.
    • You may not take any immobile units, nor may you take any unit with the Slow & Purposeful rule. Cataphractii terminators don't have S&P since the last FAQ.
    • You may not take a fortification (kek) or allied space marine legion detachment.
      • You however still be an allied detachment and considering how this RoW is all about being in the enemies deployment zone it would make a good allied detachment for a Perturabo led primary detachment
  • Unique Wargear
    • Chainaxes: NOW WITH +1S!! Any model equipped with a Chainsword (or terminator with a power weapon) can replace it with a Chainaxe for free, July 2018 FAQ provided it's represented on the model. This results in WE being very powerful in close combat as you essentially have access to free better CCW to go along with your bolt pistol. Against non-Marine armies it's excellent since basically all of your (numerous) melee attacks will ignore armour saves; against Legions it'll still be useful for the free extra attack, increased chance to wound and shredding through vs Recon Marines and Vigilators. Your Solar Auxillia and Mechanicum foes will weep. Support Squads can now be given a CCW extra, so for WE that means they can get a Chainaxe extra. Nothing will survive your army of Skalathrax pattern mad-men armed with flamers and chain axes.
    • Caedere Weapons: Any World Eater Character can exchange their chainsword or combat blade (read: Chainaxe) for a Caedere weapon for 15pts. These are uh, how shall we say it... okay they just suck for the most part. These weapons cost as much or more than a power weapon depending on if they're bought for an IC or Squad C, replace the excellent Chainaxe and generally have shitty AP or severe penalties; in most situations you'd just want a stock Power weapon instead.
      • Meteor Hammer (+2S, AP5, Specialist, Two-handed, Concussion, +1 Initiative): This ball-and-chain can allow you to attack first and with better wound and pen odds, and when fighting characters/monsters the Concussion CAN downgrade a mighty foe to Initiative 1 over a protracted fight... but unless you throw out lots of attacks, you'll never get that far because anything more armored than a Servitor just tanks these strikes. The World Eaters pinch the EC's trick of attacking earlier with this weapon, which is nice but also a little redundant with Concussive. Probably the best overall option with the new Legion Astartes rule as the reroll means they essentially have Shred; a Cheap sergeant, Centurion or Consul could use one of these to tie up much heftier enemies (where they may not be ignoring saves anyway) in a challenge, striking sooner and harder than usual anyway. Sometimes.
      • Excoriator Chainaxe (+1S, AP3, 2-handed, Specialist, Shred, Unwieldy): Stronger lightning claw that hits on I1 if you want to look at it charitably; weaker Shred power axe that's Two-handed (and costlier for sergeants) if you want to look at it accurately. Shredding makes them superior when facing MEQs, but their main purpose would be to hunt Mechanicum units...if the vanilla chainaxes weren't also +1Str, FREE and their AP4 didn't already ignored most Mechanicum 4+ saves anyway. Srsly, when a traitor Tactical squad can inflict 31 wounds on Thallax-equivalents and even a loyalist one can do 11.6 to Vorax, what need do you have for Excoriator axes, considering they still wound Castellax on a 6? In short, making Chainaxes bigger somehow does not make them better.
      • Twin Falax Blades (S as user, AP5, Melee, Specialist, +1 Attack, Rending): These big kukris rely on Rending for anything with a 4+ save or better. Better than a power sword vs Terminators, since AP3 wasn't helping anyway and unlike axes, these strike on initiative. Still, don't expect much from them with any reliability.
        • Fun fact, even though these are clearly two blades their rules are written in a way that they're a single Close Combat Weapon, so give these to a Praetor to give him one extra Close Combat attack (for using two weapons with the Specialist Weapon rule) when using his Paragon Blade or TWO extra close combat attacks when using the Twin Falax (one for extra close combat weapon and one for their special rule). It's actually cheaper than buying him another specialist weapon... but a Power Fist or Lightning Claw would still likely do better.
      • Barb-Hook Lash (S as user, AP5, Melee, Specialist, Fleshbane): This will wound, but almost anyone can still get their armour saves. This is your MC hunter, but don't use it against Death Guard marines.
      • In all earnesty, the value of the four items presented here are so poor by the standards of other Legions that it isn't even funny. We're not talking about the obnoxious examples like Power Glaives and Legatine Axes, just the balanced ones like Nostraman Chainglaives, Phoenix Power Spears and Deathshroud Power Scythes. Even the relatively weak ones like Calibanite Warblades still have utility over the Caedere bunch. The flavour for these items are awesome, but a gruesome World Eaters' assault force is almost always better served by regular Power Weapons. In terms of a bonus to the Legion, free Chainaxes are so much greater than these weapons.
    • Earth Breaker Trident (Relic): It's a trident specialist weapon that is S+2, AP2 Unwieldy in melee, so a mere Power fist is better. Its saving trait? It can be thrown once per game (and therefore can no longer be used) using the model's BS for a S10 AP1 Instant Death hit that if it kills anything in this manner, tank or person, then the trident stays where it landed and causes Dangerous terrain within 12" for the rest of the game. Buildings lose 1HP per turn, so they are pretty much done for. Be careful, however: the rules state the Trident does its thing whenever it kills something after being thrown, so, if it misses, or rolls a 1 to wound or it's stopped by an invuln save then it does jack-shit.
  • Rampager Squads: Berserkers before they were cool, Rampagers are elite Assault Squads who were violent and bloodthirsty even before they fell to Khorne. The most destructive were known as Butchers, and had to be physically restrained in between battles. They're like an alternative Veteran Tactical Squad but with fewer options, unable to perform many of the same tasks but can be given Jump Packs and with Scout do have some use as a harassing unit. They have FNP 6+ so are marginally more survivable, but more expensive, even more so after the update. Also their Chosen Warriors rule allow them to issue and accept challenges. They really come into their own against non-Marine armies, specially against targets that are slow, bad at melee that rely on high Toughness to make up for their sub-MEQ armour, so they are a must have when fighting Mechanicum - High mobility melee squad that will wound/ignore their armour saves. One good thing about them is that they can be taken as Elites AND/OR Fast Attack, so if they end up competing with your other choices you can just move them over.
    • Only the Champion can take a power weapon while the rest of the squad get the option of the Caedere weaponry. If you take Excoriator Axes they do alright as butchers of MEQ squads, but Veteran Tactical Squads all with power swords/axes could have done the same job for for way less cost and with better WS. A good way when going against marines is to have them all equipped with Meteor Hammers so your squad can pull the same trick as the Emperors Children and strike first, each with 4 attacks on the charge (with Rage), throw in a Chaplain (for Zealot) or use Berserker Assault and bury your opponent under loads of armour saves. With Surlak boosting them, a squad of 9 w/ meteor hammers & hatred will ~statistically~ kill 12 MEQ or 6 TEQ on the charge, before the enemy even gets to swing. Make of that what you will, but don't look at Palantine blades because you will get jealous.
    • Alternate take: go for the barb hook lashes. Their AP is low, but Chainaxes were already getting stopped by power armor and better anyway, and with fleshbane combined with incarnate violence almost every hit will wound anything with a toughness value. Mechanicum armies will cry oil and blood, and even terminators will buckle under the sheer amount of wounds you're causing, just stay away from vehicles.
  • Red Butchers: At Istvaan III many WE's utterly succumbed into frenzied superhumans that couldn't be controlled, so their armour was remade into an ambulatory prison so that they could be used as attack dogs ("War Hounds", if you will). 5-10 Cataphractii-Armour-wearing beatsticks with Power Axes and Combi-Bolters that can be swapped for yet another Power Axe for free (and with BS2 you are better that way). Any model can take Lightning Claws, while the sergeant can also take Fists, Chainfists or a Thunder hammer. They are Fearless and have Hatred. They also may re-roll charge distances and get around four WS5 re-rollable attacks each on the charge, but they are always struck in CC on a 3+. Still, with 2+/4++ saves and FnP 6+ they can soak most other damage they receive. The only drawbacks are they can never score, which in "Age of Darkness" games means nothing since Elite's didn't score anyway (except on some missions, or in Pride lists) and additionally, being hit on a 3+ can be a problem against enemy Terminators since Butchers cost more and their 2 Wounds + FnP will be negated by the Power Fists the enemy is carrying, which they themselves lack. So stay the fuck away from anything with S8 and don't be so stupid as to charge something that will bog them down not because you're afraid (they kill 17 Cataphractii or 43 Levies on assault), but because you want them charging again and again and again...
  • Shabran Darr:(ICL) Badass officer of the World Eaters who rose quickly through the ranks to become a Centurion but was slated to die in the Isstvan Massacre. Managed to kill hundreds of his former battle-brothers before he was cornered and killed, but not before taking several of them with him. Game-wise (and following the Character creation rules of HH4) he is comparable to a Champion: WS6 Master crafted Chainaxe that becomes Rending in a challenge (along with +1WS), and causes Fear when he's the warlord. Not too bad if you're playing against Traitors because he gains Hatred against them, but otherwise no point in taking him, as any WE gains Hatred against everything in Berzerker Assault regardless of loyalty, and Rending is better provided by Falax blades.
  • Gahlan Surlak:(HH6) Master Apothecary (Primus Medicae), his statline and gear are slightly above average for a Consul but you take him for the sheer number of buffs he can provide to a traitor World Eaters army. Firstly, any Tactical squad in his army can be upgraded to Augmented Inductii, granting them +1 Strength and FnP (6+) at the cost of -1 BS and no longer being be a scoring unit or be able to be joined by independent characters. However these Inductii squads are essentially disposable and no longer provide victory points when destroyed, meaning you've got a squad whose primary purpose is to be thrown directly at the enemy without too much loss. Equip them with pistol/chainaxes and you've got your Khorne Berserker precursors right there. In fact, you might actually gain by the destruction of your Inductii due to Surlak's Medicae Primus rule Sacred Trust which grants his side a victory point on a 5+ if he's within 6" of a friendly squad going down, and this DOES work on Inductii who do not confer it to your opponents. And if that's not enough for you (holy shit) his Narthecium Primus grants he and his squad FnP(4+) (becoming 3+ in The Crimson Path) as well as forcing poison attacks to be rerolled, so he will be part of your Deathstar, hands down. On top of his "Exhortations of Butchery" (see above) he is an extremely good character to have in your army.
    • Surlak has a very unusual wording for his Support Officer rule, whereby "If chosen as part of a Primary Detachment he cannot be taken as a compulsory HQ choice". This wording is a bit more specific than the typical Legion Support Officer rule that applies to Legion Consuls so it means you can take him as the leader of an allied detachment.
      • Taking Surlak as your allied HQ has a second, more subtle benefit. Seeing as World Eaters are “Distrusted Allies” with nine factions on the Allies chart (Y axis), ten if you also count the Alpha Legion who are even worse. Then when taken along with these armies, your units can't score anyway, so your Augmented Inductii technically have no drawback.
Kharn
  • Kharn the Betrayer Bloody:(ICL) Before he was setting his battle-brothers on fire Kharn was Captain of the 8th Assault Company. With 2+/4++ saves is more survivable than his 40k incarnation, but is slightly less killy with base 4 attacks and no bonus to hit beyond WS7, or Primarch-level WS8 on challenges. Though he does have the Rampage USR meaning he gets more attacks each turn when outnumbered. If you don't have Angron in the same force, then for +20 pts Kharn may change 'the Cutter' (His AP3 rending Machete) for Gorechild, Angron's own chainaxe which behaves like an Armourbane Paragon Blade. With The Cutter Kharn can get up to 10 ATTACKS in combat if he charges, has Rage, while outnumbered and is also lucky with his rolls, which has the potential to murder anything without a decent invun save. Taking Gorechild turns him into one of the most powerful Praetor-level characters, on par with Sigismund, Sevatar and the like. Kharn's warlord trait grants him +1 to rolls to determine first turn AND Seize the Initiative, boons extremely important for a melee legion. He's also one of the cheapest Praetor level characters (see Loken, Eidolon, Typhon, Abaddon, Autek Mor, Rhy'tan) and is only 15 points more than a Praetor with the same gear but a lot more special rules and even without paying for Gorechild he WILL get stuck in to squads, yet with Gorechild he will comfortably mince most other characters.
    • Like Abaddon, Kharn may reroll chart results relating to character injuries and casualties within the context of campaign games.
Angron
  • Angron: 400 points is a middle of the road, but a fair price for the Primarch who was nicknamed the Red Angel. Hatred (Everything) is both appropriate and useful, while his Red Sands rule lets him call and fight as many Challenges as there are ICs and enemy units in combat with him up to the number of his attacks, dedicating at least one to each of the Challenges. His Sire of the World Eaters rule gives him the benefits of FnP and Furious Charge, and also gives all World Eaters unit with the Legiones Astartes rule Fearless as long as they remain within 12" of him. It also forces Angron to move towards the nearest enemy when making consolidation moves, which can be risky if the nearest enemy is too far away for him to engage but otherwise lets him kill things even faster. However he only has 5 Wounds, so try not to go too far in over your head and if you're facing a shooty army, make sure there's a transport he can ride in so he doesn't get shot up charging at someone on the other side of the battlefield. His weapons Gorefather and Gorechild are listed as a single close combat weapon (because the bonus attack is included in his profile), combine this with the fact he carries a plasma pistol and by Khorne you have 7 attacks on the charge. (6 Base with the 1 attack for the special rules for Gorefather and Gorechild included in his profile and your attack for charging). This gets even better with every time you kill a unit or Independent character up to a maximum of 10 base attacks. So to recap, when he's fully buffed by the Butcher's Nails he gets a grand total of 11 WS9 Strength 9 attacks on the charge
    Be careful, though, because while everyone else is a force-multiplier for their army, Angron is pretty much just a beat-stick, and one that's quite capable of being shot to death to boot. His presence on the field does mean traitor WE are getting both Rage and a morale boost, while loyal WE aren't really getting either.
    Angron is equipped with the following Wargear:
    • Armour of Mars: Modified from the armour he wore on his gladiator days, it grants a 3+ Armor save and a 4+ Invulnerable save. Could be better. Defense may not be an issue when you can annihilate everything in melee range before most threats een get to swing, but if you never get there then there's a problem.
    • Gorefather and Gorechild: Angron's paired signature chainaxes grant an extra +1 to his already outrageous Attack and Strength and also possess AP2 and the Armorbane and Murderous Strike rules (a roll of 6 to wound is instant death). Good luck trying to survive against that. It is repeatedly claimed by some morons that Angron gets a further +1 attack from having his pistol. Forge World has directly stated that this is not true as Gorefather and Gorechild require both hands for Angron to wield. Anyone who tries to claim otherwise is cheating and should be called out for it.
    • The Spite Furnace: A Master Crafted Plasma Pistol. If you are using this instead of rushing into the enemy's face and tearing them limb from limb, you're doing it wrong, but who knows? A BS5 MC plasma shot before charging can't go wrong.
    • The Butcher's Nails: A souvenir from his foster-homeworld: metal probes in the RAGE-centers of his brain. This is what turns Angron from plain deadly to an unstoppable force on the battlefield. For each IC or Infantry (of any type) Angron kills in close combat (or at least makes the killing blow/removes the last model), he gets a +1 to Attack for the rest of the game, to a maximum of 10 total base attacks. Remember to call as many challenges you can with Red Sands.
    • Frag Grenades: High-rider weapons not fit for a warrior on the hot dust.
  • Weaknesses: Angron's first and biggest weakness is his 3+ armour save, and there are a lot of AP3+ weapons in the Horus Heresy, which prevents him footslogging, let alone going solo. He's also too good at melee, since if he's butchered the entire squad he's up against he often gets gunned down by all of the units around it, but he won't gain any benefit from sweep advancing them. Thus, give this beatstick a retinue of beatsticks, like Red Butchers. Also, keep him inside a transport and/or have a spare transport nearby.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Iron Warriors: Fairly obvious as to how this works- they use their Pinning HBs to lock down the opponent, and you finish them off in melee. Their Iron Havocs and Tyrant Siege Terminators can also be a big help in patching up your lackluster ranged anti-armor.

XIII Legion: Ultramarines[edit]

XIII legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The Ultramarines play as a mix of 40k and 30k, understandably so because their Primarch wrote the codex. Like the Imperial Fists, they prove that being "vanilla" doesn't necessarily mean being bad. They've got the closest thing to ATSKNF out of any Legion, and their special rules are geared towards making an army that can become more than the sum of its parts. All their unique squads have a lovely 2+ save and their unique wargear is fairly cheap for what it gives you. Said unique units are also surprisingly good in melee if you kit them out correctly, and while they're not going to out-assault the World Eaters, they can still take an unprepared opponent off guard.

On the other hand, the adage "jack of all trades, master of none" aptly sums up their vulnerabilities. They can adapt to a wide variety of situations, but they will rarely if ever excel in any one of them compared to the other Legions. Furthermore, their army is geared towards MSU spam, and that tends to be very expensive in 30k. Regardless, they're forgiving enough to be a good first army for players new to the new Horus Heresy ruleset.

Note: Ultramarine units just HAVE to be better than their copies (Invictarus & Locutarus Storm Squad) because reasons and are heavily underpointed for what they are bar Fulmentarus Terminator. Invicatus and Locutarus for around 20pts a piece (give or take) have a 2+ armour and MINIMUM AP3 since Invicatus have AP2 of pure OP rape. If any other Legion had these, they would be down right broken but since the Ultramarines Legion Tactics favour ranged fire fights, they are not as powerful.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Interlocking Tactics: Several bonuses for the Legion. First, units with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) that shoot at a unit already hit by another Ultramarine unit that phase reroll 1s on Penetration or To Wound rolls, essentially cursing a unit to suffer pseudo Tank Hunters/Shred. (Doesn't apply to blast weapons or snapshots). Additionally, units with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) that charge at an enemy already engaged in close combat with another Ultramarine unit may reroll failed charge distances. Note that the first unit that shoots/charges doesn't necessarily needs to be a unit with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) rule for this bonus to come into play, as long as it is from the same detachment and it's not a Super-Heavy, Flyer, Servo-Automata or Battle-Automata. Keep in mind those DON'T benefit from this rule, only units with Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) do. With this, it pays to pick off enemy units one at a time, as well as bringing multiple small units which can support each other, a tactic the majority of the legions have trouble dealing with.
      • Recon and Tactical Support squads excel at "painting" targets for the rest of your army by virtue of having long range, being cheap and able to score, so they can sit on objectives in the backfield while still contributing to your army. Other options may be cheaper, but only Troop choices have the slots to spare, and the heavier options are better off taking advantage of the rerolls rather than merely marking targets (eg. a few snipers setting up rerolling Volkites). The best part? You only need to hit a target to designate it, wounds aren't needed. Thus it's awesome when the marking is done by a unit that can't even hurt the target, say, Suzerains painting a Spartan so your Lascannon Heavy Support Squad blows it up. That right there was probably the most Ultramarine thing ever, your army truly complementing each other. Works best when a small unit supports a full one, though.
      • The charge range reroll greatly benefits Breachers with their sluggish Hardened Armour, and you're going to use Breachers a lot.
    • Certainty and Resolve: Ultramarines take Regroup and Fear tests at an unmodified Ld 10. Not quite ATSKNF, but it's still the closest you'll ever get to auto-regrouping in 30k. They do make the 3" move, though, with all the restrictions that implies.
    • Rigid Chain of Command: If the Ultramarine detachment loses its Warlord then every unit without an attached Independent Character must take an immediate Pinning test. Additionally, if all HQ units are killed the opponent gains a bonus Victory Point, so bring up a backup Centurion. Kinda like the Night Lords
      • The February 2019 FAQ added a separate set of conditions when you take Roboute Guilliman in your army. Namely that if he ever pops his clogs, the entire army has to take immediate pinning checks (including those with attached Independent Characters). The opponent also gains the additional Victory point no matter how many HQ units are left too. This is on top of slaying the Warlord, and the Price of Failure, so basically if Guilliman goes down, Ultramarines will be struggling hard to still try and save their game.
  • New Rite of War: The Logos Lectora - Grants your infantry a little extra versatility by making them a little more difficult to predict, but it's a very rigid formation that takes away much tactical flexibility from your army and leaves it struggling to keep up with more specialized Legions' RoWs.
    • Akin to their 40k doctrines, all models with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) rule as well as any Dreadnoughts in the detachment gain one of the following benefits each turn. Only one effect can be active at a time, but you can keep a given effect active as long as you like, choosing which one you want to have at the beginning of the turn:
      • Full March: Re-roll run distances. For closing the gap so you can Rip and Tear.
      • Hold Fast: If a unit doesn't move, it can fire Snap Shots at BS2. Not all that useful, since if you're going to get attacked you'd use Retributive Strike, there are much better alternatives for anti-air, and if you haven't moved you wont be firing Snap Shots anyway.
      • Retributive Strike: Gain Counter-Attack - For when you're about to get charged. Great if you're planning to play a space Roman legion style army with Breachers and Invictarus Suzerains.
    • Must take an extra compulsory HQ choice, and it must be either a Master of Signals or a Damocles Command Rhino - The MoS might be the better choice due to the synergy with Interlocking Tactics and the tank limit. Besides, you kinda need 2 HQ anyway.
    • Must take an extra compulsory Troops choice.
    • May not deploy more Tanks or Flyers combined than Infantry. - Remember that Independent Characters are all Infantry units, so you can take some Rhinos for your Tactical Squads and still have some nasty toys.
    • Nobody can Infiltrate or Deep Strike; any unit which has to Deep Strike to enter play cannot be used. Normal Reserves are fine, though.
      • While this rite lacks the usual "No allies" limitation, the 2 additional compulsory choices coupled with the usually high price of an Ultramarine army means you might not have the points needed to bring any meaninful allies, which is a shame because Iron Hands and Imperial army, both Sworn Brothers to the Ultramarines, could very easily add the armoured support this detachment somewhat lacks.
  • New Rite of War: Vigil Opertii Mission - A RoW similar to Sacrificial Offering in its dependency on an Allied Detachment of Imperial Militia/Warp Cults, but focuses on using them as extra infantry support and scoring rather than making them into meatshields. Using Invictarus Suzerains can be helpful given their Ld +1 bubble.
    • Vigil Auxilia:All Infantry units in the Allied Detachment gain Infiltrators.
    • Sacred Duty:All Infantry in the Allied Detachment gain Implacable Advance.
    • Overseers: Legion Recon Squads lose the Support Squad rule, and so can be taken as compulsory Troops.
    • Must Take an Allied detachment from the Imperialis Militia & Warp Cult, and this MUST take the Gene-Crafted and Warrior Elite Provenances of War. Also, it may not use Inducted Levy Squads.
      • Granted, Warrior Elite kept you from taking Levy Squads as compulsory troops choices anyway and your role is to support the Marines, not take hits for them.
    • Must take a Legion Vigilator Consul.
    • Can only be taken by Loyalists.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Gladius Invictus (Relic): Latin for INVINCIBLE SWORD, this is a +1S Rending Power Sword that has the Charnabal Saber gimmick of +1 Initiative in a challenge. It also IGNORES saves derived from having shields. This is not as fantastic as it sounds because most units with access to storm shields (Firedrakes, Imperial Fists, etc.) also have 2+ armour saves as well, which the sword will struggle against, so it doesn't live up to its name. It's not a Specialist weapon, thus it's better than a Legatine Axe for carving a path through most MEQs and the occasional Boarding/Combat shielded marines. Or for 10 pts more you could bring another Centurion, your choice.
    • Legatine Axe: The Mary Sue of power weapons and kind of cheaper Paragon Blade. It's a Specialist Weapon with no bonus to Str but who cares, enjoy AP2 on initiative available to all your ICs, not just your Praetor; particularly effective on Legion Champions. The cherry on the cake? To Hit rolls of 6 wound automatically. Yes, it isn't Murderous Strike but that's what the real Paragon blade is for. This means that 1/6 of your attacks will wound, regardless of any other factors like toughness or To-Hit rolls. So OP it's better than their own relic to kill the now common (oh, the irony) 2+ save.
    • Mantle of Ultramar: A Praetor exclusive, it gives him immunity to Blind and FnP(5+). It's no Mantle of the Elder Drake, but FnP is always nice to have and frees the Elite slot an Apothecary would use.
    • Ultramarines Breacher Squads may exchange their Bolters for Power Swords for +5 points each - Fluffy if not necessarily useful, however given how each of them has AP3 on a 3+/5++ body it could work as a riot control unit, as the enemy gains no benefit from charging you but has to to avoid you charging them, which is worsened by Retributive Strike. So stick them in the face of melee heavy legions to act as a sort of DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. Don't forget Bolt Pistols for Overwatch/Shooting before charging.
      • 10 Breachers with Power Swords cost 250pts, while 10 Invictarus Suzerains only cost 75pts more. For that, you get +1 WS/A, LD 10, a 2+ Armour Save, +1 LD for everyone within 12", Chosen Warriors, Implacable Advance (so they score as well) and AP2 on initiative with 6s To-Hit causing auto-wounds. The only downside is that they're Elites (without Guilliman, who makes them troops) so they'll be competing in a very crowded slot, whereas the Breachers can fulfill the compulsory troops requirement for your detachment.
      • Note that Breachers are an unusually priced unit, such that they become disproportionately better value per model as the unit increases in size to an extent beyond the 30K norm. 10-man Breacher squads are low value compared to 20-man no matter how you arm them. 350pts(450pts with power swords) is a lot, but the equivalent in Suzies costs 300pts (a leviathan, a spartan, almost another full breacher squad) more and eats two precious elite slots.
  • 'Invictarus Suzerains: Melee-oriented versions of the Breacher Squad that swapped their Bolters for Legatine Axes and Bolt Pistols (which can be exchanged for Thunder Hammers and Plasma Pistols, respectively) and also come with Artificer Armour, thus making them even better than TEQs in close combat due to, not being Bulky, having assault grenades and their Boarding shields counting as defensive grenades, not to mention hitting first while ignoring armour saves, all of that at WS5 (if you think that's exaggerated you ought to read their fluff; the funny part is that their role was basically those of the historical Lictores, although they are weirdly 5 to 10 instead of the Zodiacal 12 which discretly pops up passim). They don't have Hardened Armour, but they don't really need it. Implacable Advance allows them to score normally and, as Chosen Warriors, all models in the unit can issue Challenges. Additionally, all models with the Legiones Astartes (Ultramarines) rule as well as Solar Auxilia and Imperialis Militia allies within 12" gain a +1 to Ld as long as the Suzerains aren't pinned or falling back. They can also be chosen as a Command squad, one of them swapping his Boarding shield for a Legion Standard, in case Certainty and Resolve isn't courageous and honorable enough for you. As with normal Command squads, this doesn't take up a FOC slot, thus removing their one main flaw along with almost any reason to take either Command or Terminator squads ever again: you might still want a Spartan DT or have reasonably priced ranged options on your TEQ squad, so there's that. While they don't have the sheer durability of Breacher Squads, specially against AP2 weaponry (simply put, 20 dudes are harder to kill than 10) or the wider wargear selection for that matter, their buffs makes them beasts in melee, while also being a good support role.
    • Their Legatine Axes is what sets them appart from other TEQs. This means on the charge they will, on average, manage 5 wounds to your enemy that ignore armour saves, regardless of their Toughness. Unless his dudes are backed up by a decent invulnerable save they will go down. Also they can do decently well against hordes, on average taking 50 attacks from GEQs and only suffering an average of 1 casualty, while generally causing enough damage that they can force the enemy to need Insane Heroism to avoid running and being sweep advanced. Even against a charge from a WE Tactical Blob with extra CCWs, they'll kill about 8 models a turn while only taking 2 casualties. These guys will comfortably mince anything without a decent Invulnerable Save, but by the same virtue they are weak to all the same things that a normal TEQ is weak to (AP1/2) so treat them like you would a normal Terminator Squad. Just bear in mind that they'll mince most things normal Terminators struggle with.
    • It's worth noting that although they can only take a Land Raider as their dedicated transport, not being Bulky they can jack any spare Rhino (or flyer even) as a transport. In huge games it probably doesn't matter but when you're playing in sane points ranges it's actually a nice saving over Terminators, letting you get them where you want them without that investment, eg. borrow your scout's Storm Eagle DT and arrive where you need to ASAP, Assault transport and all.
  • Fulmentarus Terminator Strike Squad: Dammit Guilliman, stop stealing my stuff! Ahem, our Spiritual Liege improved Perturabo's concept, proving himself once again the master of all the disciplines of war. Srsly. This Ultramarine Siege Tyrants have BS5, Cataphractii Armor, Power mauls with option for Power fists, and Combi-bolters that the whole squad may exchange for Combi-meltas or Twin-linked Autocannons. And if they didn't take the Autocannons the squad may also buy a Cyclone launcher each, complete with the ability of firing both the Combi-melta AND the Cyclone launcher in the same shooting phase. What sets them apart, then? Their unique Peritarch Targeter ("Expert targeter" - And They Shall Know No Modesty) gives them a series of rules depending how many are present in a squad: At 2 models they get Night Vision; with at least 5 it's also Tank Hunters and with at least 8 their shooting counts enemy cover as 1 point worse. Hey, it's not like this is the first time another legion can use Siege Tyrants better than the IW themselves.
    • Given the obvious parallels in both fluff and crunch, it's worth making a comparison between them and the proper Tyrant Siege Terminators. Tyrants are better at dealing with buildings because they come with Wrecker as an inherent rule, so they can make them explode with a lucky Pen, which shouldn't actually be possible using missiles. Being granted by the sarge's Omniscope, the Tyrant's Night Vision and Split fire special rules are independent from the number of models in the squad, so unless the enemy lands an extremely lucky shot those rules are there to stay (and nope, sniper rifles wont get the job done because their Relentless Cyclone's missiles outrange them). And they have access to Chainfists, which Fulmentarii lack.
    • Fulmentarii on the other hand, are way better against vehicles, and do well against buildings too because of Tank Hunters (when at least five models) and their +1BS compared to Tyrants. And they're way cheaper to boot! But that's just the bare bones squad, and their rules depend on squad size - one lucky plasma shot and goodbye Tank Hunters, not to mention the -1 to cover will cost you 105 pts, so even with Cataphractii armor you'll want them well protected; a Deredeo's Atomantic Pavaise is as useful as it is expensive. And they still need to buy some nice weapons to make good use of those rules: while "cheap" on a per model basis, when equipped like a Tyrant they are 20 pts more expensive, and those costs add up to a whopping 750 pts squad that would need to kill a LR every turn to get its points back, all while losing almost no men to Lascannon fire. Owing to the huge cost of such a squad, the IW player can simply add Tank Hunters by attaching a Siege Breaker, who they usually do have. Last but not least, they are Heavy Support instead of Elites, so Pride of the Legion wont turn them into troops, and even though Guilliman can just order them to man up and have Implacable Advance, that only means you'd need to bring yet more Fulmentarii to make it count, nothing like Perturabo's And They Shall Know Deep Strike bonus to his Termies.
    • There's one thing Fulmentarii undoubtedly to better than Tyrants: Against flyers they are miles better: If you're taking the Logos Lectura Rite of War you could be looking at 20 autocannon shots that are BS2 TL, have Tank Hunters and maybe even reduce jink saves by 1! Your Elite choices might be saturated by Suzerains and Dreads, so Fulmentarii are a nice way of adding TEQs with big guns to such a list. Something nice to remember is the effect of Interlocking Tactics on the Autocannons and Cyclones (when firing Krak Missiles only, as the tactics don't affect blasts as mentioned earlier) these guys can lug around, which essentially gives them Shred against Astartes infantry, and those Cyclones will ensure those big scary Tactical blobs with those cheeky apothecaries can be mowed down with pretty much guaranteed wounds that ignore both their armour and their Feel No Pain.
  • Locutarus Storm Squad: Artificer armoured Assault Marines which come with Power Swords (and only Power Swords) as their stock wargear and the usual Assault Marine upgrades. Their main draw apart from the armour is their ability to fire their pistols twice on the turn they Deep Strike, along with the ability to re-roll their Scatter Dice when Deep Striking. They're no Dark Furies (but will mince them due to 2+ and ap3), but they're still a solid step up from the basic Assault Marines. Also, when taken in a group of 10, they cost only 35 points more than the equivalent Assault Squad without upgrades, meaning they're a real bargain for what they give. No, they can't be made into Jump Pack TEQs- only the Sergeant can use a combat shield. As for options, the Sergeant and one in five of the Marines can take either a Plasma Pistol or Hand Flamer. While both of these seem pointless, you really need to factor in the Opening Salvo special rule; that's 6 Plasma shots or 6 flamer templates you've just laid down, with re-rolls on the scatter dice they can reliably get into position where they can put 6 flamer templates down. Also, the Sargent can take a Power Axe for free, or a Lightning Claw or Power Fist for 5 points. Generally the upgrade is worth it, as you either gain Shred or S8 AP2, however you sacrafice one attack for this ability so you may just want to stick with the Power Axe. Running the Logos Lectora really hamstrings these guys as it doesn't allow deep strikes, which removes the 2 special rules that makes these guys stand out, so if you run the Logos regularly you're stuck with deploying them as normal which is fine I suppose because their equipment makes them fairly nice (especially if you were going to run Assault Marines anyway) and you can actually use the Counter Attack rule that the Rite gives you, which gives them some defensive staying power with 3 power sword attacks each when charged, but fielding them in an army that allows Deep Strike naturally makes them far better as you can actually use what you're paying for at full effect.
  • Honoured Telemechrus: Telemechrus is a Contemptor Dread with +1 WS, A and HP, a Kheres Assault Cannon and a Dreadnought CCW that comes with a built-in Combi-Bolter. He also has Searchlights, Smoke Launchers, and Extra Armor in his standard loadout. While he can do a good job tearing up infantry in the shooting phase with the AC, he's actually best used in melee; on top of Fleet and the D3 HoW attacks he gets on the charge, he has a similar effect to Ancient Rylanor in that all Ultramarines locked in combat within 12" of him gain +1 to combat resolution and sweeping advance rolls (note only a single model of these Ultramarine units needs to be in this 12" bubble for this rule to take effect, not the whole unit, so be confident in spreading out a bit with your melees). Hatred (All Traitor Legions) is also a nice thing to have as it allows him to hit other Dreadnoughts and the like on 3s with re-rolls, and while he's not technically Venerable his Resilient rule gives him the same benefits as Venerable and also allows him to re-roll results on the Destroyer damage chart if he's somehow unlucky enough to wander in front of a Falchion.
  • Captain Remus Ventanus: The Captain of the 4th Company and titular "Saviour of Calth". For 155 points you get what is basically a Centurion with +1 Wounds and Leadership and the Master of the Legion Special Rule, making him one of the cheaper special characters able to also allow the use of a Rite of War. While only wearing Power armour, and with a relatively uninspiring Bolt pistol/Power sword combo, Remus Ventanus utterly rocks in a support role: he modifies enemy reserve rolls by -1 and allows his own side to re-roll reserve rolls, all of which stacks with any other modifiers. Bring along a LR Proteus and a Damocles Rhino and your opponent can only bring reserves on a 6, while you reroll yours; a ! He also has a Nuncio vox, for Deep Strike and Barrage accuracy, Melta Bombs, an Iron Halo (for some personal protection) and a Legion Standard, making him and whatever squad you put him in Fearless (along with any other unit within 6" of him)! Finally, he's got Adamantium Will for some psyker resistance and his unique warlord trait gives all Ultramarines who are within 3" from objectives the stubborn rule.
    • Because he has Master of the Legion he can take a Command/Invictarus squad as a retinue, which come with a Legion Standard of their own. Because it's not mandatory for them to accompany him, you can make Remus join another unit and thus have two separate Fearless bubbles, great for assaults.
Roboute Guilliman
  • Roboute Guilliman: 400 points gets you an average (for a Primarch) stat-line and some extensive army buffing rules that make the Battle King comparable to an anti-Alpharius. Firstly, his Sire of the Ultramarines gives +1 LD to all Ultramarines units, makes his squad re-rolls failed charges, and both he and his squad gain immunity to the Concussion USR (just to be 100% sure he is able to beat Lorgar. No, srsly, he was tailored for that because reasons) while also making Invictarus Suzerains and Legion Terminators troops. Preternatural Strategy forces Seize the Initiative attempts made against the Ultras to be re-rolled and will give an entire unit entry either the Implacable Advance, Tank Hunter or Interceptor USR. (Remember, it's a particular entry in the army list, not a particular model nor the same model taken as DT- for example: he can give the benefits to all Legion Land Raider Battle Squadrons in your army, but not Land Raiders taken as other entry types.) Additionally, he gains +1 WS in a challenge every round after the first, up to WS 10 on the fourth round. It resets to default after the challenge ends or with each new opponent, but it can still give him a much-needed edge against melee beatsticks that are forced to issue and accept challenges. Unyielding Will allows him to ignore any negative modifier to his LD and re-roll DtW, which appropriately enough makes him a good counter to the Word Bearers and Thousand Sons.
    Your Spiritual Liege can use the following wargear:
    • The Armour of Reason: 2+/4++ looks like the average Primarch armor, but it has a powerful trick: the first invulnerable save Guilliman fails per phase can be re-rolled (not just "turn", so it also works in the opponent's shooting phase, assault phase, etc.) which hugely improves it's utility and improves his survival by a high margin, making him rather less susceptible to chipping off wounds from random shooting.
    • The Gladius Incandor and the Hand of Dominion: Guilliman can select which of his melee weapons he will use in each assault phase, using its profile for all attacks he makes in it. Both of them are Specialist Weapons, so he'll gain an extra attack for using two Specialist Weapons either way. The Gladius Incandor is a Shredding Paragon Blade, while the Hand of Dominion is a S10 AP1 Power Fist with Concussive. Use the Gladius against TEQs, and the Hand against anything with an AV or infantry that you want to knock down to I1.
    • The Arbitrator: A S6 AP3 Combi-Bolter with Assault 2 and Rending. Not great, but still decent as far as Primarch guns go - Suck on that, Dorn.
    • Cognis Signum: Guilliman isn't going to be doing much shooting, so that +1 BS will come into play a lot.
    • Frag Grenades: If you still need to know what frag grenades do by now, you're either a Newfag or shouldn't be playing this game.
  • Weakness: Guilliman is an amazing strategist, brilliant duelist and great support, however he suffers against hordes even more than other Primarchs. With only 5 attacks he can't do much damage to them, which could lead to him being tied up against a unit that costs a quarter of his points for the entire game. March him into the enemies toughest unit and beat them senseless, but keep him away from hordes and give him a good retinue.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Imperial Fists:
    • Blood Angels:
    • Iron Hands:'
    • Imperial Army:

XIV Legion: Death Guard[edit]

Death Guard legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Death Guard favour a playstyle for a slow moving, but very hard hitting ranged army. Just like in the fluff, their rules make them implacable. Their famous endurance comes to bear, enduring in the face of both terrain and weapons that would lay low anyone else, being one of the few things immune to Fear in 30k they will keep going forward no matter what, perfect for attrition warfare.

Their RoWs give them access to a horrific amount of slow-moving but heavy-hitting firepower and, on top of having an easier time clearing out both tarpits and high toughness units due to their access to all manner of alchemical weapons, their characters are highly resilient and fill several roles at once. Furthermore, due to both their legion-specific units being Terminators they can bring the highest amount of them amongst all legions - Orbital Assault is particularly nasty with them fielding different kinds of Terminators in HQ, Elites and Heavy Support slots, all of them scoring.

That being said, they have penalties to Sweeping Advances and movement, but such detriments never applied to Cataphractii Terminators anyway, and almost nothing will cause them to operate at anything less than peak efficiency. Furthermore, a combination of Mortarion's army-wide Stubborn and/or The Reaping's Rad grenades makes them a dangerous opponent in melee.

Tired of terrain holding you back, Pinning getting you down, and want to melt your opponents using proscribed weapons while fielding scores of Terminators and Heavy weapons that fear neither Monstrous Creatures nor Phosphex? Then join the ranks of the Unbroken Blades and let doom stalk a million worlds!

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Remorseless: Immune to Fear, automatically pass Pinning tests.
    • Sons of Barbarus:ICL2 Re-roll failed Dangerous Terrain tests (now in all terrains...hallelujah!). Also get FnP(4+) against Poison & Fleshbane.
    • Intractable: -1 to your score when making Sweeping Advance Rolls. Cataphractii Terminators don't care about that.
  • Rite of War: The Reaping - Embodies the concept of "slow-moving, unstoppable death" with mobility traded for insane amounts of firepower. The Reaper of Death may come slow, but his reach is long and his advance is inexorable.
    • Superior Firepower: Veteran Tactical Squads & Heavy Weapon Squads become non-compulsory Troops - They brought more guns than you did. You may want to bring Siege Breakers/Masters of Signals.
      • You could spam Heavy weapon squads with Volkite/Missile Launchers to demolish Green tides/Infantry Guard players, hell, even flyers! In big games with enough points to spare (~2345 for either Volkites or flakk, 1995 for just missiles), that'd be around 280 Volkite/70 missile shots (with Skyfire) per turn. Then the dick move: give every squad an Augury scanner and screw with Infiltration and Deep strikers all around the table (because models can Intercept deep strikers within 18" of ANY Augury scanner, as long as they are on range) and, more importantly, while securing objectives. It IS superior firepower, after all.
    • Implacable: Every unit gets Move Through Cover - Compensates your reduced mobility with the ability to take a shortcut through the flaming corridors and the like. Make sure to take lots of Grav and Phosphex weaponry to set up terrain your own forces can navigate with ease but will be dangerous to most foes.
    • Dark Arsenal: Any Death Guard character in the Primary Detachment (but not Mortarion since he lacks 'Legiones Astartes' rules) can take Rad Grenades for 10pts - Fucking awesome. A must-take when using this RoW. Reduce enemy Toughness when charging or being charged. Not is it only good for CQC squads (such as Furious Charge Vets, which are Troops here), but can also be taken as a deterrent to scare your enemy from tying up Heavy weapon squads, because it affects Overwatch too (says "the whole assault phase"). This is most noticeable on a unit of Volkite Culverins (S6 Heavy 4).
      • Give Rad Grenades to a Praevian with Voraxes. Now your unit of S6 MCs with Scout (so Outflank too) and MTC deals AP2 Instant Death attacks at marine-standard I4.
    • No model may make Run or Flat Out moves - Who needs speed when you can reach out and touch your enemies no matter where they are?
      • It doesn't say anything about Jump units, so you could take Assault Squads as your compulsory troops and/or take a Cortex Forge Lord to get Thallax (Optional Heavy support) for securing far away objectives, both squads benefiting lots from Move through Cover and Rad grenades.
    • Nothing may Deep Strike - No suicide Shredding-flamer/Melta squads, then. Along with no Running, your mobility will be SEVERELY limited. You can still (and should) Infiltrate, Outflank or Scout though.
    • May only take one Fast Attack choice - You could take Land Speeders with Graviton guns to slow the enemy down. Down to your speed, that is. Or a Storm Eagle transport, as there's no restriction against Zooming models. Either way, make it count.
      • A sometimes forgotten fact is that, unlike most rites, this one allows a Fortification or SM allies. And you have extra heavy weapons with Rad Grenades (and movement penalties). Like the Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists, the Death Guard can play the Siege game too.
  • Rite of Battle: Creeping DeathHH:6 - Specializes in fucking with cover, improving yours and weakening your enemy's at the same time, all while improving your already potent explosives. Let the Mists of Barbarus shroud your forces, and let your enemies quail at the the stench of their own mortality!
    • Mist-Clad: Infantry in the detachment in open ground gain a 5+ cover save as long as no enemy models are within 12" of them. It's like they all have Eldar holofields now - This can help any 20-man squad you field, given how they seldom get full use of cover.
      • Where are they? While certainly not an option that'll let you win tournaments and definitely not fluffy, if you have a Librarian who gains Shrouding you can use it every turn to give all of your Infantry a 3+ cover save while in the open, while Recon Squads near him gain a 2+ cover so long as you bought them Cameleoline (and why wouldn't you?). If you really wanted to you could also bring Typhon to get the rite and one of the powers, as well as another Librarian as Telepathy is otherwise rife with powers that're awesome for 30k (you might miss shrouding for Invisibility), however if you're not interested in Psykers or random chance then you can go for Vigilators (or Typhon and the Vigilator to get the best of both worlds), as any unit he joins will gain a 4+ Cover save in the open now. Sure it's a bit of a waste of Infiltrate, but preventing AP2 guns/artillery from wiping out your squad can more than make up for it, especially if you plant him with a group of heavy weapons (whose frag missiles are now S5).
    • Bio-Phage Bombardment: After everyone's deployed (including Scouts and infiltrators), roll a D6 for each terrain piece representing a wood or jungle. On a 4+, the cover save they grant decreases by 1 and it becomes Dangerous Terrain to anyone who doesn't have the Death Guard special rule. Simply put, a selective version of Shatter Defenses that does a better job of making cover unusable by anyone other than you, albeit restricted to trees - You could use a Praevian's Battle automata with Enhanced Targeting arrays to ignore the remaining forest cover (the real reason for the upgrade is BS5 tho), and/or Forge Lord's Thallax's Djinn sight can be turned against the enemy's remaining cover.
    • Toxin Weapons: All frag grenades and missiles are boosted to Strength 5. A flat boost, and a scary one in Zones Mortalis (if you play that) - YOU DON'T KNOW HELL UNTIL YOU HAVE LIVED THROUGH ISTVAAN III ISTVAAN V BREATHED THE POISON GAS OF LONG-FORGOTTEN YPRES. Makes missile Mortis Boxnoughts more competitive as their Frag Missiles now have much better chance of wounding infantry before armour saves.
    • Must include a Siege Breaker. If only you had some sort of Siege Breaker Chapter Master character...
    • In games with Attacker and Defender roles, the user must always be the Attacker.
    • Traitors only, and can't be used with the Shattered Legion theme, worsened by...
    • ...No fortifications or allies allowed, meaning the only AdMech units you get will be the Praevian's/Forgelord's friends.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Chem-Munitions: Any unit or vehicle with a flame weapon can take this for free. ALL flame weapons in the unit/vehicle will now have Shred and Gets Hot! Remember though that normal Twin-Linked flamers already re-roll failed To Wound and Armor Penetration rolls, so this upgrade is redundant on some vehicles. Very useful in normal and hand flamers.
    • Power Scythe:ICL2 Any character or Independent Character that can buy a Power Fist can, for the same price, take a Deathshroud Power Scythe instead, a +1S AP2 Two-handed melee weapon with Reaping Blow: -1 Initiative, but if the wielder is in base combat with more than one model at their initiative step, the Scythe-wielder gains 1 attack. This is a really nasty weapon that can strike at AP2 before other conventional AP2 weapons, while giving the wielder one extra attack (as it's fairly uncommon for a model to not be in contact with at least two other enemy models in assault).
    • Barbaran Thurible (Relic):HH:4 A stinky censer on a pole, but it's a lot more awesome than it sounds. Reduces Toughness of non-Death Guard units within 6" by 1, because to the Sons of Barbarus it smells just like home. Unlike Rad weaponry, this does NOT affect instant death thresholds, but it also causes units within that range to take morale checks for ANY shooting casualties, not just 25%. It comes handy when going against AdMech units. Combined with Rad weapons, those T5 monsters end up being T3 guardsmen.
      • TOUGHNESS ZERO INSTAKILL: Keep in mind anything with Toughness 0 is removed as casualty. Multiple Rad grenades don't stack, but you can combine it with the Barbaran Thurible and allied Mechanicum Rad Furnances (Magos Reductor or Scyllax) to inflict -3T and instantly erase anything weaker than a marine, most notably nasty tarpit units like 100 fucking Conscripts, or Thrall squads. What about the marines everybody takes? Well, if you're feeling lucky (punk) you can also try getting a Librarian to learn Enfeeble, which will then boost the toughness penalty to -4T (what marine blob?). Also, give the squad(s) some Jump packs: that's a S4 hit (or S5 for Ursarax, because you ARE bringing Mechanicum) delivered on Initiative 10 against a Toughness 1-2 enemy, making the results quite obvious - whatever they hit, they distroy. A little hard to pull because you're normally committing 2 units to combat a single squad (but Don't forget about multiple charges! Instakilling at least 2 squads by means of disordered charging multiple units will be rewarded by drinking The Cups with Mortarion). Remember, it all revolves around the Thurible. Place the Mechanicum units in front of your marines, because by virtue of killing the unit so fast you'll be shot at in the following shooting phase. But such is the price to pay for KILLING WITH BUT A MEAN LOOK. You can get Rad grenades from Typhon, Morturg, Forge lords or allied Magos, so you aren't forced to play The Reaping in order to get them and restrict your mobility in the process.
      • Modelling opinion: 40k is littered with incensers, but the one worthy of representing a relic is the flying Vox that comes with the Master of the Rites. What? You're playing 30k, you are rich enough.
  • Deathshroud: Mortarion's bodyguard of Terminators, who were personally selected by the Primarch and listed as killed in action. They carried Manreapers (Power Scythes), the only others inside the Legion who could use them beside First Captain Calas Typhon and Mortarion himself (or any character crunchwise). They were never further from Mortarion than 49 paces (the square root of which is 7, the sacred number of Nurgle). Rules wise they are two-wound models wearing unspecified "Terminator armour"Age of Darkness Army List p.133 (the models are using Tartaros, but you could outfit them in Cataphractii as long as they look different to regular Cataphractii termies in your armyAge of Darkness Legions p.73. A good use for these. This is supported by their 40k incarnations wear corrupted armour that is specified to be Cataphractii.) with Deathshroud Power Scythes and Hand Flamers loaded with Chem Munitions, with Ld10 as part of the bargain, and can also take Meltabombs to deal with vehicles. This means they are good against pretty much everything: Against general infantry, Chem-loaded Hand Flamers are better than combi-bolters, and Overwatch better (they're one of the few legion specific termies that can Overwatch). Against TEQs, when charging they can get up to four AP2 attacks each (akin to Rage) and strike first, so they aren't that afraid of Power fists, unless they're on multiple wound models--a Centurion with a Power Fist/Thunder Hammer can still ruin their day, depending on which unit the Centurion is in. They exist to rape infantry, and coupled with Rad Grenades, will wound any MEQ or TEQ on 2+ before they will use low AP weapons. Beware of Firedrakes (who cost a small fortune), charging Red Butchers/Phoenix Guard and Justaerin (or any 2W legion unit that has AP2, and especially when they can cause Instant Death). And they're only 10 points more than a normal EXTRA Terminator in 30k. Because that's totally balanced right? Just avoid being targeted by S8+ weapons and make sure you have something that will let them close the gap with the enemy (like most close combat units, they can be dealt with by having their transport blown up). The unit's starting tax is only 10pts, so small squads of these guys (2Ws remember) are still viable.
    • What sets them apart from the other Terminator beatsticks out there? That, besides being Elites, you can also field them as an HQ choice on their very own and they are very cheap at only 90 points for two Deathshroud, so if you wanted you can bring them with only Mortarion and/or Support Officers without problems (you can also use them for MSU spam if you use Pride of the Legion). Furthermore, the unit is composed entirely of Character models, so it's not only better than 'Chosen Warriors', but you would get access to a Warlord trait, fielding a scoring Terminator squad as an HQ unit while still remaining Battle forged. Being Ld10 all around, they can refuse challenges without any ill effects and everyone in the unit can Look Out Sir! Off of each other to spread potential wounds around (vastly increasing the amount of Wounds the unit can take before models start dying). Though, if you want to keep it traditional, they can be picked as a bodyguard for any Terminator-equipped Praetor (or Mortarion himself). Having them this way doesn't use any FOC slot, so you're free to have more Consuls or Elites.
  • Grave Warden Terminators:ICL2 Chemical-attack terminators pioneered by Calas Typhon's company. They are Cataphractii Terminators in the Heavy Support slot wielding Assault 2 Grenade launchers loaded with Krak and Poison(3+) AP4 grenades. 'Death Cloud' also gives the Wardens a Poison(3+) template they can uniquely use for Overwatch even though they have Cataphractii armour, and any charge against them is always Disordered (which negates most rules that apply on the charge, like Furious Charge. Suck on that, Raven Guard, World Eaters, and Emperor's Children) making them one of the most difficult-to-charge units in the game. They come with Power Fists standard (no swapping to Manreapers since you didn't pay for the Power Fists) which they can exchange for Chainfists, 1 in each group of 5 can get a Chem Heavy flamer (if somehow Death Cloud isn't doing it for you) and the Chem Master is the only one that can get a Combi-Weapon. They cost EXACTLY the same as similarly equipped Terminators, but they get far better weapons (2 shot Krak/Poison(3+) at 18" vs 1 twin-linked bolter) AND the Death Cloud. And since Cataphractii armour didn't allow them to run in the first place, neither The Reaping's movement penalty nor the DG's Sweep penalty really affect them.
    • Keep in mind that Pride of the Legion won't turn them into troops since they are a Heavy Support option, not an Elites one. But they have Implacable Advance, and that means Orbital Assault will let you teleport a lot more Terminators, and massed Terminators IS a fluffy Death Guard tactic.
  • Crysos Morturg: The "narrator" of 'Betrayal', he was a Lieutenant and Librarian in a Legion which utterly loathed Psykers, so it was no surprise he was selected to be purged during the run-up to the Heresy. Reassigned to the Destroyer Corps, during the Isstvan campaign he proved to be a true son of Mortarion as he. Would. Not. Fucking. Die. He even survived the Orbital Bombardment after Horus got bored, and was one of the lucky few to survive the massacre. He has the stats of a Centurion but +1W and I, along with Stubborn, Infiltrate, a Power Sword, a Combi-Flamer (strangely enough without chem-munitions, though if you want to you can still give him those at no cost), Hardened Power Armour and RAD grenades, all for the price of a kitted-out Praetor. He is also a level 1 psyker with the Endurance Psychic power to boost your squads in combat (because of Psychic Focus he also has Smite. A little bit of extra firepower is always welcome). As such, he can give that 10 man Deathshroud unit Eternal Warrior (preventing Instant Death, their main weakness), FnP(4+), rad grenades (so they now wound on 2+) and Infiltrate (always try to make him the warlord, more on that latter) to get a second turn charge with 10 shredding flamers vs a -1T enemy, on top of Smite allowing him to kill a fair bit of enemy terminators already. So, he's a very competitive Librarian (quite rare in 30k unless you play Word Bearers) and the best attached HQ the Deathshroud could get, since he doesn't prevent them from Sweep Advancing, unlike Typhon... Srsly Mortarion, why the fuck would you throw away one of your Legion's greatest assets?
    • Commander Asshole: His Warlord trait (Master of Ambush) is fantastic, letting him and three non-vehicle units of your choice in your army infiltrate. Sure, infiltrating a few squads pales a bit when compared to legions like the Raven Guard or the Alpha Legion, but the Death Guard can make good use of it, like infiltrating chem flamer squads (now able to do their job turn 1 without needing a transport), or any flavor of Termie you want, complete with their LR/Spartan DTs (2+/4++ 2W EW FnP4+ AP2 Meltabombs, Spartan suicide squad? No, they won't be the ones dying). Or get that combi-weapon squad into position turn one. However, he doesn't have Master of the Legion (or else he'd be even more of an auto-include), so if you want a RoW you'll need to include a model that has MotL but isn't forced to be the warlord (like a regular Praetor). Infiltrating something like THREE 10 men Deathshroud/Grave Wardens/Special weapons squads can be devastating, especially when combined with Rites of War, and it gets around the Reaping's biggest flaw: Mobility (while coincidentally also bypassing deep strike's biggest counters: AA Dreads).
      • This is powerful but very expensive. Boosted Deathshroud are seriously mean foes but cost a LOT, like 500 points for the squad without transport. They also can't take a Spartan without a rite which further narrows your options and Morturg himself is something of a pansy in combat (more on that later). It's an all in tactic and not for the feint of heart.
      • You might think to take advantage of Master of Ambush with allies, however only Sworn Brothers may benefit from WTs...and the Death Guard's only Sworn Brothers, the Sons of Horus, have 'Bitter Pride', so it's best used in a Shattered Legion. Having said that, while the Death Guard don't really care for them, the Night Lords love the Death Guard (they're the only Sworn Brothers of the Night Lords), by doing this you can defensively use Terror Squads to stop Infiltrated Heavy Support Squads from getting bogged down in combat, or put Night Raptors in a better position for the Assault Phase (why bother crossing the board when you can start on practically the opposite side) not to mention it bypasses one of the bigger weaknesses for the Night Lords, that being their unit sizes in relation to transports. If you want to take full advantage of "A Talent For Murder" you'll usually need to make squads larger than the amount their DT's can carry, however with Infiltrate you have no need for one anyway. Make sure the Death Guard in such an army are busy shooting from a distance while the Night Lords rip and tear (you can even put Morturg in a Night Lord Squad, if they manage to outnumber the enemy they all wound on 2's thanks to his Rad Grenades AND he makes the unit Stubborn just in case you lose combat somehow), it's like they were made for each other.
      • Keep in mind that even with all his talents, Morturg is by no means a combat powerhouse and doesn't have the gear (such as AP2 weaponry or even an Invulnerable save) to tough it out under heavy or concerted assault. Field him and reap (pun intended) the benefits, but give him a good retinue (like Deathshroud) and keep him away from anything with AP3/AP2 weaponry and/or Precision Shot/Strike.
  • Durak Rask: Death Guard Master of Ordnance, who fanatically supported Mortarion and volunteered to lead a vanguard assault on the Loyalists. Ironically, he was killed in that attempt by Morturg. He is basically a highly-upgraded Siege Breaker, with Master of the Legion, artificer armour, Thunder Hammer, Volkite Serpenta and +1W, that makes allies within 12" re-roll failed To Hit rolls of 1 when targeting enemies within 3" of objectives when he is the Warlord, all accompanied by the standard Siege Breaker rule 'Art of Destruction' (Tank Hunters & Wrecker for all heavy weapons in the attached unit). Arguably he allows Phosphex Medusas too (gentleman's agreement - he's the Master of Ordnance, after all). If you want a multipurpose, if Traitor Praetor for small games, this one is for you. That way you can take The Reaping RoW without needing a costly melee character that would need a transport because he cannot run while at the same time upgrading your heavy weapons teams (of which you'll have a lot, because that's why you use The Reaping). It's like he wrote the damn thing.
Calas Typhon
  • Calas Typhon: Before he was Typhus the Traveler, Calas Typhon wanted to be his Legion's Epistolary, but due to Mortarion's spite of witches he instead became the First Captain of the Death Guard. He has the stats of a Praetor and wears Cataphractii armor with grenade harness, Master Crafted Power Scythe, Hand Flamer with Chem Munitions and Rad grenades. He also has a chem-based orbital bombardment, so vehicles laugh it off (but with Ordnance 3, 5" blast, Poison(4+) and Ignores cover, infantry does not) and a nuncio vox. When Mortarion isn't around he counts as a Lvl 1 Telepath and has to be the Warlord, his trait being no enemy unit within 3" of him can claim an objective. He is expensive, but not overcosted. He's a great way of bringing a psyker, rad grenades and an orbital barrage without having to exhaust your HQ slots by bringing a Librarian, a Forgelord and a MoS. Arguably, Morturg can do something similar but lacks MotL, something to consider if you are on a tight budget. Sure, jack of all trades, master of none, but his actual job is to be a Terminator Praetor, and he does it well for a reasonable price.
    • Since he is a Praetor that wears Terminator armour, he can be given a Deathshroud bodyguard, which he compliments very well with his Telepath powers (invisible Deathshroud, anyone?) and rad grenades (so they wound on a 2+ now). However, his Cataphractii armour prevents their Tartaros armour from sweep advancing (due to mixing armour types) It also prevents him from running, so put him in a transport. Like a Spartan or Land Raider.
    • Typhon's warlord trait certainly sounds stupid, but is actually much better in practice. Since his denial radius is measured against units rather than to the objective itself this means that, unless the enemy is standing on the far side of the marker, you're denying earlier (e.g. a 20-man squad using the backmost models to score suddenly gets denied because Typhon got near the leftmost marine, even though Typhon himself is 7" away from the actual objective in this example). Even in games where you don't use the Age of Darkness rules (or 30k's City Fight missions), the wording still manages to screw up Objective Secured because he interacts with the squad rather than with the marker.
Mortarion
  • Mortarion: At 425 points, Mortarion is about average for a Primarch. If you want a motherfucker who can survive absolutely ANYTHING, the Death Lord is the one you should pick. Although his Ballistic Skill, Initiative, and Attack are only 5 each, his WS, Toughness and Wounds are a whopping 7 apiece. His Preternatural Resistance rule not only allows him to reroll failed Toughness tests and IWND rolls, but also lets him pass Dangerous terrain tests automatically and lets him ignore any weapon that wounds on a flat dice roll if it rolls less than 6, essentially making him all but immune to Rad, Poison and so on. Speaking of Poison, the Sire of the Death Guard grants all Frag Grenades, Frag Missiles and Havoc Launchers in the army Poison (4+) while also making all his legionnaires Stubborn, thus patching the legion's disadvantage in melee and enabling unheard of levels of poison spam. Psykers will be hard-pressed to do anything to him thanks to his Witch Spite rule (Deny the Witch on a 4+ against malediction powers affecting him and his squadICL2, for a total of 3+ when coupled with Adamantium Will and 5+ for all others), and his Shadow of the Reaper rule, while also granting a -1 penalty to all enemies attempting to make a Leadership test against his Fear rating, more importantly allows him to redeploy in the shooting phase, as long as he doesn't shoot, is un-engaged in combat and passes a Leadership test; he can then teleport up to 10" from his starting position, no closer than 3" to the nearest enemy and there's no scatter. Also he can still charge after his redeployment, even though he counts as doing a disordered charge. But who cares! This means his minimum charge range is 18" (28" maximum) and, like all other Primarchs, he's got Fleet to boot! This actually makes him, surprisingly, one of the fastest Primarchs, not to mention your fastest land model with The Reaping.
    Mortarion can take the following wargear:
    • Silence: A huge chainsaw-tipped scythe, previously owned by Mortarion's foster "father". It's a powered up Manreaper with Sunder (reroll armor pen rolls) and Instant Death. Reaping Blow basically negates the penalty of making disordered charges after his teleport, and helps against tarpits (but you could evade those with SotR). Funnily, with it he has up to seven attacks at WS7 S7. He only strikes at I4, though, so take that into account.
    • The Lantern: Mortarion's custom energy blaster. With S8, AP2, Assault 1 and Sunder, it's one of the better ranged weapons a Primarch can get.
    • The Barbaran Plate: Home-made battle plate that grants a Primarch-average +2 Armour save and a +4 Invulnerable save. And that's it; no extra rules like his brothers' armours. Just in case you need him to be even more indestructible.
    • Frag Grenades: Shockingly not a normal frag. His are Poisoned (and a RoW makes them S5). That being said you will never use them because he has...
    • Phosphex Bombs: Mortarion's pitcher's arm can throw them up to 12" away, and he carries an infinite number of them. Thanks to them, coupled with the Lantern, he is among the shootiest Primarchs - Given how DG auto pass Dangerous terrain tests, you should try using phosphex over the Lantern (unless there's an IC hanging around you want to instantly kill).
  • Weaknesses: While T7, 7 Wounds, re-rolling IWND and a near immunity to Fleshbane, Poison and Sniper make him look nigh indestructible, watch out for Melta, Plasma and heavy weapons. Those can be fairly common depending on who you're playing against (especially with Legion Support Squads). Unlike other Primarchs, his weapons aren't strong enough to reliably take on Land Raiders or better, but with SotR and Sunder he's not helpless either. Though Silence helps him deal with massed infantry, being able to teleport and having an Instant Death weapon alongside an AP2 blast means he's best suited for going against high points multi-wound models who lack Eternal Warrior (AdMech, Ogryns, legion-specifics, etc.) in which case he'll earn his points back very quickly.
  • Poison Spam: 30k's Combi-weapons can be combi-frags, becoming combi-poison with Mortarion's aid, as well as all other explosive weapons (even the frag grenades available to all squads), and poison weapons wound everything with equal ease regardless of toughness. Combined with The Reaping's Heavy Support squads as troops means you can drown the whole table in poisonous templates.
  • Zone Mortalis: Something that should be given extra mention is Mortarion's fucking awesome performance in Zone Mortalis games thanks to his Shadow of the Reaper rule. He can essentially treat the entire game board as if it was open ground, and unless you get him caught by support squads with plasma/meltaguns, he'll have very little threats in return since he can't be pinned down except in melee (and given his abilities, combats will end rather quickly), not to mention the fact that ZM boards are usually too limited to allow Heavy Weapons much use and his Phosphex bombs will gain Shred.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Night Lords:
    • Sons of Horus:

XV Legion: Thousand Sons[edit]

Thousand Sons legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

Everyone's favourite Space Egyptians before Ahriman fucked everything up, the Sons of the Cyclops were an astounding spell-binding powerhouse force with the schematic nuance to cast their arms in a myriad of lethal applications. As the Psyker legion, these crimson mutants can take so many Mastery Levels that no opponent will stand a chance in hell of blocking a choice Warpfire/Malediction onslaught, beyond desperate prayers for Perils on your behalf. The Thousand Sons have effectively two shooting phases in the majority of their army builds, given the sheer number of cheese mind bullets an army that can field all its HQs and Elites as psykers will produce. An abundance of Force Weapons will leave many Mechanicum Automata quaking in their rivets as you pop off Force and tear through a 5 strong unit of Castellax in as many wounds. And let's not even mention Magnus, who can drop 18" D-strength Novas.

The central Cult Arcana system is a crucial and potent mechanic, granting design nuance at which even the Alpha Legion will goggle. Each unit recieves one of five special rules, massively expanding the tailored functionality of any force. Shooty units can get better shooting, choppy units better choppy, movey units better movey, near-alrounders can get a boost to the bit they're missing and so on. It's no wonder everyone considers the Thousand Sons' crazy, with this much internal distinction you'd develop a split identity disorder (and how fitting, considering Magnus's shattered fate after the burning of Prospero).

There are drawbacks; much of the stuff that makes Thousand Sons unique (i.e. Psychic Mastery levels) must be purchased for not-insignificant prices, and athough it's not enough to snub the killing efficacy of the tactic, all those mind bullets will still lead to lots of Perils, which is not good for this army at all. That said, on the whole Thousand Sons are a clear high tier army with solid crunch augmented by sharp, mature cheddar. So if any bit of this sounds appealing, waste no time in putting on your robe and wizard hat and come bask in the might of the most arcanely-gifted Legion, but never forget that, as ever, power comes at a price.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Covenant of Sorcerers: Your army's Warlord must be a Independent Character with a Psychic Mastery level of at least 1, and have the highest available Ld among such characters in the force.
      • When interpreted through RAW, this rule it makes it extremely difficult to take Thousand Sons as an allied detachment or in shattered legions, as the Warlord of the main detachment or major fellow Legion shard must be a Psychic-enough dude to save the President lead Thousand Sons. Forces lead by Primarchs other than Lorgar automatically rule out support from Thousand Sons allies, and as matters stand Questoris and Auxilia forces cannot take them at all. At least Militia may, may be able to squeeze some in.
    • Prosperine Lore: Thousand Sons psykers have access to all disciplines other than Malefic Daemonology, and any HQ independent character may buy ML1 (including Chaplains (why would the hieroglyph-pimping fanatics of the TS even care about the edicts of the Emperor?)). Those that do so can exchange any power weapon for a force weapon at a trifling 5pt cost. Note that Claws, Fists, Hammers and Paragon Blades aren't part of the deal, so ultra-choppy characters have reason to pass this up.
    • Cult Arcana: The famed scholarly Cults of Prospero, each unit in your army is assigned membership to one and recieves its bonuses accordingly. The compulsory units of the army must share the same cult unless Magnus is in the force, which in practice means having to pick two Troops and an HQ with a common theme. Each Cult corresponds to one of the stock five Psychic table of the BRB (Daemonology not being stock in any sense) and locks that unit to generating from their relevant discipline and only that one. It's worth noting that you need to pick your cults when you create your list, so no list-tailoring on the fly.
      • Pavoni: The Peacocks; turns out it's not only the EC's that get to be fabulous. Units add +1 to all Run and Sweeping Advance "distances" (so it helps your aggressive Sweeps, but not resisting the enemy's), and Psykers generate their powers from Biomancy discipline only. This is the cult your assault units want, and with spells like Warp Speed and Iron Arm that you were wanting to cast anyway recieving a boon, it's a win-win.
      • Raptora: The Hawks. Units recieve a 6+ Invulnerable save, or +1 to any other Invulnerable saves they may claim, and Psykers generate powers from Telekinesis discipline only. Makes for great Terminators and Breaching squads, as steely-eyed as they are survivable, not to mention rugged ICs in both melee and shooting roles.
        • Unlike all other, small or situational bonuses, this one here is OP, and stupidly so. 3++ Cataphractii and Breachers(if you take ZM RoW and only in CC)? Assault Marines with Combat Shields with Terminator-grade 5++ outside of CC? Damn, buy a Skyshield, hunker your Heavy supports on it, & laugh as your opponent struggles to remove marines with 3++ from it. Let's not even start with the shenangans from actual psychic Bessings. They never told us rivers of Cheese flow on Prospero...
      • Corvidae: Yes, there are four Legions with a partial Raven theme. Units that remain static reroll 1's to hit with shooting, and Psykers generate powers from the Divination discipline only. A Heavy Support squad's wet dream. Add a Master of the Signals and you are effectively BS 10.
      • Athanean: The Owls, one presumes. Units are immune to Fear and recieve Adamantium Will, and Psykers generate powers from Telepathy discipline only. Telepathy is a good lore, but not the most useful for non-casting units unless you're up against against Night Lords, Word Bearers, enemy Thousand Sons and Daemons. Wait, hold up. Squads with this are effectively Salamanders in terms of Leadership. Laugh maniacally as your Fear-resistant assault squad beats the Night Lords at their own dickery, and grin cheekily at that asshole who thought he could kill you with psychic fuckery. Still not the best choice for your main core units, though.
      • Pyrae: The Phoenixes. Units make Hammer of Wrath attacks on the charge, which stacks with any pre-existing Hammer of Wrath rules they may have for dubble-fun Jump Packs and Bikers, and Psykers generate powers from Pyromancy discipline only. Pyromancy isn't a great lore by any means, but this goes great with Assault Squads.
        • Take a ten men Legion Destroyer Squad and give them the jump packs. Now you are moving a 71 attacks unit on the active charge (20 dual pistols shoots + 20 HoW hits + 31 melee attacks) with -1 to enemies'T or 51 attacks on the counter-charge.
    • Signs & Portents: And now for the bad news (for all TS forces, not just allied blocks): Since the curse of the Flesh Change is still fresh in the minds of many of the legion from before Magnus arrived and halted its spread, seeing its recent return has given jitters survivors and fresh blood alike. This means that if ANY unit in the detachment suffers a wound from an episode of Perils of the Warp, then EVERY unit with the Thousand Sons LA rule, the LOT of them, take an immediate Pinning check. Furthermore, if all of the Independent Characters in the detachment are slain, the rest of the force takes a -1 Leadership nutbuster (and this bypasses Stubborn, like it's changing the base statline of the units) for the rest of the game any may no longer make Sweeping Advances. You can't really blame the 'Sons for wanting nothing to do with something as strenuous as a battle without the stabilising effects of leadership to keep the mind-eaters at bay; be sympathetic to their concerns, and bring up a backup Centurion to guard a home objective.
  • Rite of War: The Axis of Dissolution - Gives you a series of ok but situational bonuses that are designed to help you sit back and shoot, hopefully "dissolving" the enemy under your weight of fire. However, the constraints are quite tough - having to run all troop units at max size in particular makes list building considerably harder.
    • The Alembic of Adamant: Units with the LA:Thousand Sons rule in this force automatically pass Morale and Pinning tests if within 6" of any objective. This is actually fairly useful if you end up triggering Pinning tests from Perils of the Warp, since you should be going for objectives anyway. Doesn't provide immunity to Fear but you can always take units using the Athanean Cult Arcana for that. Adamant is actually an old word for diamond, and it fits, since we all know that DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE!
    • The Caustic of Grace: You overwatch at BS2. Especially useful for anyone using the Corvidae Cult Arcana.
    • Transition of Vitriol: Thousand sons re-roll to hit and to wound against enemies that are falling back. Situational but decent.
    • All troops have to be at max size.
    • No more vehicles than you have guys.
  • Rite of War: The Guard of the Crimson King - AKA "Pride of the Legion 2: Electric Boogaloo Super Special Thousand Sons Edition". - YES. It takes Pride of the Legion, throw in ability to take Magnus as an HQ choice (but you don't have to), who loses the rule that you essentially can't win if he dies, and adds the best bit of Orbital Assault with Terminator deepstriking. Then it boosts their survivability when deepstriking and improves upon the already ludicrous number of warp charges that Thousand Sons can throw around. The limitations are not that bad as Sekhmet are OP as fuck and Magnus can replace the loss of vehicular firepower with his D-strength mind bullets.
    • Astral Warfare: When generating warp charges, roll 2D6 and pick the highest.
    • Wreathed in Lightning, They Rend the Veil: Independent Characters and Terminators get deepstrike and on the turn they do so they gain Fear and can reroll 1s on invulnerable saves. Good for mobility and Fear is a good charge deterrent while invulnerable save rerolls boost survivability somewhat.
    • The Initiates of the Scarab: Sekhmet Cabals are troops and must be taken as your compulsory choices. Could make a good bodyguard for Magnus, not that he needs it.
    • The Bidding of the Crimson King: Magnus may be take as you compulsory HQ choice.
    • Must have Magnus, Ahriman or a ML3 Praetor as your warlord, but come on you were going to take those psychic beatsticks anyway.
    • No more vehicles than infantry, again.
    • No allies for you.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Arcane Litanies A one-use protection against Perils of the Warp. With the legion's major LA rules drawback, it's a simple choice - either paying for this, or stick to tepid one Warp Charge powers for anyone other than Magnus. An even greater necessity when up against Word Bearers when using their Dark Brethren unique RoW, given that Hell Follows With Them.
    • Aether-Fire Cannon: 10 points to add Soul Blaze to any Plasma Cannon. If this is bought, all such guns in the unit must be upgraded the same way. Um... It's nice of them to push the under-used Soul Blaze rule, but a whole squad of 5+ plasma cannons is likely going to erase or cripple anything remotely susceptible to Soul Blaze. given that a whole squad of Plasma-Cannoneers will fork out 100pts for what is basically 1-3 bolter hits a turn... You can see why Soul Blaze is under-used in the first place. If you've got a Castellax-Achea rolling around with 10pts to spare, they are better spent on 2 Melta bombs. Really, those can sometimes save your bacon, unlike even 3 bonus Bolter shots.
    • Asphyx Shells: This upgrade applies Shred to the Bolt weapons of an Independent Character for 10 points, or to a Legion Veteran or regular Legion Terminator squads for 20, and for any such unit with massed bolt weaponry (looking at you, Biker and Jetbiker Characters!) is definitely a worthwhile purchase. It can also be taken on Rotor Canno-wielding Tactical Support Squads for 25 points, which definitely does mean a lot of shredding bullets, but the increased cost of what is meant to be a cheap unit and the punyness of S3 might be a turn-off. The flat price of the upgrade means that it's cost-effective on a max-sized Rotor squad, and may put them over par with the more popular Volkite Caliver solution, since neither weapon has a useful AP value against MEQs and shredding Rotor Cannon bullets are essentially S 4.5 and with more shots outside of Deflagrate tomfoolery. Accompany with the Corvidae Cult Arcana and Divination psychic powers for keen shreddin'.
      • Legion Veterans + Marksmen Tactics + Asphyx Shells = very, very well-Sniped enemies, with even Custodes finding a disconcerting number of holes going straight through their skulls.
    • Luminiferous Resonator (Relic) - An S10 AP3 Salvo weapon that compares against target's leadership instead of toughness... it has no effect on vehicles. It has a 12" range but being Salvo means you can't assault afterwards no matter how you fire it, so its a bit iffy. Toss it on a terminator and suddenly it makes a lot more sense. Unfortunately most infantry units in the game are LD 9, so most of the time you'll find this Relic weapon to be unimpressive compared to more conventional high-strength weaponry.
  • Thousand Sons Praetors are all Psykers, and not only MUST take a Mastery level but can grab up to two more, giving them a max level of 3 Mastery levels on par of a Librarian. As Paragon Blades are still the main weapon of choice for these psychic kingpins, the extra Mastery levels are mostly for guaranteeing a crucial Iron Arm, Endurance or Warp Speed rather than pulling of a Force ID, or else donating useful dice to other units that better need it. Oh, and improving DtW against pesky Lv 2 Psykers on the enemy's side.
  • Thousand Sons Terminators and Legion Veterans can demonstrate the sacred might of their union, and become a Brotherhood of Psykers by buying a Mastery level of 1. A monumental upgrade, this really transforms either squad into effectively two more unique Legion units (As if five wasn't enough) with some disgusting combos. Corvidae Marksman Vets that cast Prescience on their own Asphyx shells are brutal (even more so if you roll up Precognition) and are incredibly cost efficient. Unfortunately sniper does not confer to their witchfire powers due to the wording of the sniper rule referencing "weapons" specifcally. Psychic powers are not physical weapons people (But what are physical weapons anyway?). On the nearer end of the stick, melee-geared Weapon Master Vets and most sorts of Terminators with Raptora buffs will comfortably strike par-for-par with the deluxe exclusives of other Legions.
  • Osirion Dreadnaught: Your Elite (thanks FAQ) Contemptors can now be psychic! This precursor to the 40k Librarian Dreadnought can be had for 50 points, and gives each dread ML1 (with access to Telekinesis, Telepathy, Pyromancy, and Divination), Adamantium Will, and a snazzy new Force Weapon and Asphyx Shells.
  • Castellax-Achaea Battle-Automata: What's different about these Castellax? A lot, actually. For starters, they add Asphyx Shells everywhere with options for a Ætherflame cannon instead of the Mauler. Then they add the Rage and Fearless special rules alongside a special self-destruct that deals d6 S4 AP- hits, like any other castellax, only differently written. IWND. And the the crown jewel, Psi-Control Matrix is a piece of hardware that might veer a little too Heretek for some people's liking; it allows anyone with at least ML1 to counter the Mindlock that so-hampers Automate from charging, running and making Sweeping Advances, which is by no means terrible, since you can still move and shoot in any target, not the closest one like Automatas with Cortex. In addition, friendly psykers can draw Line of Sight from any Psi-Control Matrix Castellax for their Malediction and Witchfire powers, but should the psyker suffer Perils the Castellax must pass an LD test as well or take d6 unsaveable wounds, if this kills them their death-splosion has a maxed radius. Achaeas have I4, It Will Not Die, Shred on the Mauler Cannon and beautiful model, all for merely 30 points over regular Castellax, what's not to like? (Hint: they are equipped with twin Power Claw aka Power fist, making em effectively +1A and S10, and priced exactly the same as a castellax equipped with paired blade and wrecker, if it is not enough they don't have Automatic shielding BUT Refractor field, for a sweet 5++ in melee.) Oh, and after all this cheese you won't need Cortex Controller to bring them to the party.
  • Sekhmet Terminator Cabal: 2 wound Terminators with a well-appreciated ability to use either Cataphractii or Tartaros for the squad. Asphyx Shells and Force Weapons of all three sorts on the wargear front compliment Stubborn and a Level-2 Psychic Brotherhood, with powers from the disciplines Prosperine Lore can offer. Not much else for their options besides, as they can't take heavy weapons, leaving Combi-weapons as their only switch-out for dakka.
  • Khenetai Occult Blade Cabal: Scholarly swordmasters as deft with the pen as the sword, these spellbinding duellists bear twin Force Swords at WS5, alongside a single Brotherhood of Psykers-based power from any Discipline. The kicker is the special boost the Khenetai recieve from the immaculate synergy of their coordinated swordplay, increasing in size with the unit: At 1-3 models the warriors each receive +1 attack, at 4-8 a further +1 WS hops on top of that, and at 9-10 models they get yet another +1 attack. The prspect of casting Invisibility or Endurance on these slicing machines is tempting needless-to-say, but at ML1 this is a risky self-cast prospect.
    • Biomancy is just brutal for these assassins. Iron Arm or Warp Speed, already popular mainstays with rightly earned accalin, apply to every member of the unit if they cast it on themselves. The Charge of the Occult Brigade with Arms of Iron at a full 10-strength will remove anything in the game, up to and including some Primarchs
  • Ammatara Occult Intersession Cabal: Don't forget the Sons had pioneering Recon divisions as well, the only Legion to do so besides the Raven Guard. A Psychic Brotherhood with Sniper Rifles and Shroud Bombs, alongside all the good-ol' stock sneaky stuff rules (Stealth, Move through Cover, Infiltrate and Scout). They also get their own unique power: Mind Killer, which lets the team re-roll any failed hit or wound rolls and ignore cover, making them the prime solution to dislodge any stubborn Fists or Death Guard you find in a hole somewhere.
  • Magistus Amon: Captain of the Ninth Company and Equerry to the Primarch, who was even his first tutor in the psychic arts. A powerful wizard with a lot of potential for lockdown - he's an ML3 Corvidae and Athanean caster with some very powerful tools. Alongside his Master Crafted Force sword, Archaeotech Pistol, and Litanies, Amon clads a special 2+ armor that gives him a 4++ cover save or adds +2 to any cover he's in and gives anyone with him a 6++ cover save or adds +1 to their cover as well. He also has a single-use attack, auto-hitting D6 times on units of 5 models or less and 2D6 on 6 or larger, Poisoned 4+ AP4 and Cocnussive. On top of all this, armies with Amon can re-roll Seize the Initiative, and enemies attempting to Outflank within 24" or Deep Strike within 12" simply fail, granting his team plenty of breathing space from any surprise assassins. His WT puts one non-flyer, non-Superheavy unit in special reserve earmarked to arrive on a specific turn after the first turn. However, Amon cannot be the Warlord of a Guard of the Crimson King RoW force.
  • Ahzek Ahriman: Before he was turning his brothers to dust, Ahzek Ahriman was the Chief Librarian and First Captain of the Thousand Sons. As one of the strongest psykers in 40k, he is not in too shabby in 30k either despite being younger and greener by 10,000 years, while thankfully not being a whole lot less meaner. While he is ML4, he can only choose powers from Divination in this millenium, so he isn't yet the mind-bullet spewer he will become. Other than that, he has a Praetor-level stat line with WS5 and rather generic wargear, comprising a MC bolt pistol with shredding shells, MC Force Axe (even if it doesn't really look like an axe) and an Iron Halo. He can give a Command Squad Brotherhood of Psykers (ML2) for 50 points, provided they adopt the Corvidae Cult Arcana and generate their powers from Divination. This is not a bad option, as Com squads are already useful in both general beatstick terms and in a TS-specific sense - their 6" fearless bubble wards off Pinning should anyone suffer Perils. Ahriman tops things off with a similar Warlord Trait to his 40k self; instead of giving D3 units Infiltrate, he gives 3 units Scout. So overall he is a very good support HQ and for 225 points he leaves room for more awesome in the rest of hte list. If you want a more directly-offensive HQ, look to ML 3 Praetors, or our Primarch for example...
    • Like the other named characters destined for a roll in the even grimmer darkness of 40K, Ahriman gets special protection from retiring injury when used in campaigns.
    • While he shines brightest as a support character, Ahriman is more than decent in a challenge should you roll Precognition; any T4 or less target without Eternal Warrior or a 3++ will likely fall to his Force Axe. Enjoy your bookworm boss putting Khârn and Sevatar in their place.
  • Magnus the Red:FAQ 2019 The Big Red One before he grew some wings and became all warpy. At 495 points, the Crimson King is the second most expensive Primarch after Horus by a mere 5 points. He has 6's in most stats, with WS7, S7, BS5, A4, and Ld10. He's also got a shitton of psychic powers at ML5, and he harnesses Warp Charges on a 3+, can roll from any of the non-special disciplines and Sanctic Daemonology in any fashion, only suffers Perils if he rolls three 6's (meaning that if he keeps his WC investment to two, he's Peril-proof) and always re-rolls a result of 1 on the Perils table - so he's pulling them off as well. Furthermore, Magnus ignores the need for LOS with these powers, and his psychic attacks ignore cover - whoe needs two eyes anyway?. Magnus shares a similiar evasive bonus with his enemy Leman, in that he forces any attacks including shooting against him or his squad to eat a -1 penalty to hit, but instead of going up over the course of a fight, Magnus instead forces any barrage weapons aimed at himself or his attached squad to scatter 1" further. This is quite broken when combined with the new Mind Howl psychic power since the affected unit hits you on a 6 in close combat and can't shoot you at all because they are BS1 with a -1 malus to hit. Good thing Invisibility is gone hmmm ?. As the Sire of the Thousand Sons, Magnus grants Fearless to any attached unit, lets the army reroll reserves if he's the Warlord, allows all friendly LA:TS to use his LD score for Morale, Pinning, and LD tests incurred from psychic powers, and welcomes Sekhmet Terminators into the Troops slot while ignoring Cult restrictions.
    • The Horned Raiment: Artificer armor with 2+/4++ saves that reduces Destroyer damage by 1. Magnus presumably has to deal with D attacks more frequently than the other Primarchs in his line of work. Situational, but good. Laugh at Shadowswords and be mildly less fucked by Eldar Wraithguard D-spam cheese.
    • Blade of Ahn-Nunurta: An S+2 AP1 Two-Handed Force weapon. Combine with his already impressive strength, and he can rest assured that anything will get hurt by it, bringing Instant Death on most infantry even if he doesn't spend some of his power into putting Force in to kill them just that much quicker.
    • Psyfire Serpenta: A special mind-bullet pistol; apparently the term "serpenta" refers to any sidearm now. It's got a short 15" range, but at S8 AP2 with Assault d3 and Soul Blaze, it'll leave a mark of any unit.
    • Downgrade Time!FAQ Feb 19 The unrestrained might of the Crimson King Magnus now has to buy his special rule Mind Wrath for a cost of 175 points, making him the most expensive Primarch in the game. For the cost of adding +2 to the Warp Charge requirement of a Witchfire power, he can double its range, and then adds a single D6 bonus Strength to the value of the power, to a maximum of 10. A big step down from the Destroyer cheese of his earlier incarnation, but still extremely powerful. Additionally, once per game the upgraded Cyclopean Giant can cancel the results of a single Perils of the Warp anywhere on the table. Useful considering that the whole army suffers when one lowly sorcerer screws up his casting roll.
    • Weaknesses: His statline is on the low side for a Primarch but its nothing he can't patch with some rolls on Biomancy. He can be tarpitted with his four attacks unless he rolls up Warp Speed, but equally he could just chill in the backfield and blast things with his colossal psychic firepower. Unlike similarly costed Primarchs, his basic rules doesn't bring much to his Legion. You have the Leadership buff, Terminator troops, and ignoring cult restrictions is good for the Sons, but it just doesn't match up to what the passive abilities other leadership-oriented Primarchs can bring to their Legion. If he wanted he could roll on Divination and Telepathy for that purpose but it would be a bit of a waste of Mind Wrath (if you buy the upgrade). Sisters of Silence are meant to be a hard counter, but if they get close enough to Magnus for their abilities to affect him, he can easily deal with them in CQC.
  • Sworn Brothers
    • None whatsoever, it appears that the Thousand Sons were not very good at making friends. That kinda contradicts their fluff about being good friends with both White Scars and Word Bearers, not to mention Solar Auxilia Spire Guard, but crunch-wise is well justified - you wouldn't want to see Zardu Layak and his Daemonfarm putting all this Warp Charges in use!

XVI Legion: Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus[edit]

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

Like the Terran wolves of their founding namesake, the XVIth legion stands above its peers in terms of vicious, shocking offense. Lightning-fast reserves close in with a plethora of close range and assault-oriented bonuses, saturating the enemy with overwhelming numbers of marines and attacks alike.

While they may be the lead antagonists (if not the most diabolical) of the Horus Heresy, the Sons have no outstanding "I win" button choices other than Horus himself. But, scratch the surface a little further, and the amount of nasty shenanigans possible with the Legion' rules and options will unfold like the wolf's claws before you; BS5 Veterans with Combi-Weapons that just remove anything within 12" of them, and in the Troops slot for every RoW alongside Maloghurst, like Orbital Assault for deep-striking cruely, alongside general reserve dickery, deepstriking Terminators with Abaddon and Deathclaws as dedicated transports. If there's a catch, it's that the Sons of Horus are as demanding as their personality would indicate. You really have to think about what you're doing with each unit - while many are highly customisable, and the Legion's special characters are right-up statistically better than counterparts in other legions, but many things are expensive for what they offer and are generally less focused and self-defining as some other Legion's selections. If you can overcome the main problem - crossing the board to get right at the enemy's throat - the SoH will show you a gratifying advantage in lethal dynamics.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • The Edge of the Spear: Units in reserve can re-roll 1s on reserve rolls. That's more significant that you would think at first, because it basically means you will be able to reroll half the reserve rolls you would have otherwise failed. It sorta overlaps with the Explorator Augury Web's relay mode, so switch it to disruption. A ~28% advantage in reserves will be noticed over a few turns, and your enemy's envious stare will confirm it.
    • Merciless Fighters: If, at Initiative step 1, there are more SoH infantry in an assault than enemies, then all SoH get to make a single extra attack, provided they have already fought (thus Unwieldy weapons don't get this bonus). Bulky models count as 2 and Very Bulky as 3, so take advantage of Jump Pack and Terminator Armour equipped models when planning your lists.
    • Death Dealers: +1 BS if shooting at an enemy within 12″ with a pistol, rapid fire, or assault weapon, but doesn’t affect snap fire, overwatch, or fury of the legion shots. Coupled with Merciless Fighters, this pushes towards a highly aggressive army, especially deadly at close quarters. This is crazy-good with things like combi-meltas/plasma as you want to score as many hits as possible at point-blank range.
    • Bitter Pride: Cannot benefit from an ally's Warlord trait or Ld stat - your allies, however, can still benefit from yours, which is nice because they're the 2nd most loved legion, with 6 Sworn Brothers.
  • Rite of Battle: The Black Reaving - Very balanced and fast close-quarters-battle-focused formation, aimed to strike where the foe is at his weakest. Sound a howl for Terra's distant moon and strike with all the ferocity and co-ordination of the XVIth Legion's original namesake, while making the Warmaster proud.
    • Encirclement: Any non-vehicle unit in reserve that enters from a board edge gets Fleet for that turn. This will only apply to run moves, you still can't charge.
    • Cut them down: Units that charge into already engaged enemy units get Rage - Be careful of disorganised assaults, and remember that it must be an ongoing combat - charging two units into a single enemy on the same turn will not confer the Rage bonus. When invoking this bonus, remember to flash a toothy smile and say the units gaining this bonus are "Clever Girls."
    • Reaver Onslaught: Reaver Squads become troops - Taking Maloghurst allows this already.
    • The Eye of the Warmaster: Justaerin may Deep strike - Bear in mind that Horus/Abaddon + Justaerin/Terminators can deep strike anyway, and if you've got more than one unit of Justaerin to play with, you've sunk way too many points unless you're playing big games.
    • Must take a Master of Signals as a compulsory HQ choice - Not that bad of a restriction, since a Master of Signals can be useful while still remaining rather cheap, and he can also serve as an entry point for deep strikers. Consider using a Delegatus instead of a Praetor to save points. The exact wording makes the Master of Signals compulsory, which goes against the "Supporting Officer" rule; so if you take Horus you don't have to waste other points in other compulsory HQs if you don't want to, for example. This is hilarious when you turn up for a game, show your opponent your list which has a MoS, Librarian and Damocles as HQ's with Horus and explain that you are allowed to do this.
    • Must take more Fast Attack units than Heavy Support units - Clearly a fluff-based restriction. Effectively means you're out one Heavy Support slot, since unlike the Iron Warriors "Hammer of Olympia" RoW you don't get an extra slot Fast Attack to allow you to take your full complement of Heavy Support slots if you get the maximum number of Fast Attack ones. Instead of seeing Fast Attack slots as a "tax" to get more Heavy Support slots, use your Fast Attack units' weaponry and speed to apply pressure where needed, and to give the rest of your army time to get into range.
      • Consider stacking on all kinds of bikes. Keep in mind though that even with Rage, Outriders & Jetbikes are not close combat powerhouses, and do not count for the purposes of outnumbering your opponent with Merciless Fighters. Rather than using them to charge into existing combats, Turbo Boost them up the board and use their inherent Toughness as an advantage, holding enemy units in place while your reserves/Reavers move into position and utilise the rage bonus more effectively. Jetbikes are also able to take Melta Bombs on every model, which can be an invaluable source of AV, and Outriders can spam plasma/melta, albeit for a hefty points cost. Formidable both at ranged and tough to budge in melee, bikes of both types are a solid choice in this RoW.
      • Since you have a Master of Signals, a Seeker squad can also be a good choice too, specially with Banestrike and a LR Proteus.
      • Perhaps your best option is to buy Storm Eagles armed with lascannons to function both as AA, tank killers and as assault transport for your Merciless squads.
      • A Praevian with Castellax armed with Darkfire/Multimeltas can make up for the lost firepower. Due to Cortex designator, Rage, Shock chargers, MC and Merciless fighters you'll be doing 2+2+1= 5 S6 AP2 Concussive & Preferred Enemy attacks on the charge (counting +1 HoW attack), never mind the option of Banestrike ammo. Costly, but with Merciless you don't need that many bodies. Be sure to equip the Praevian for close combat. Plus, Horus lets you outflank these fuckers so load up on battle-bots.
      • Remember also that Rapier platforms are elites choices, and are some of the most effective anti-vehicle choices around, even if they may not quite fit with the fast moving theme.
      • A great way to field your MoS is inside a Damocles Rhino. Not only will the Damocles give you an extra orbital bombardment, it will also prevent Deep Strike scatter within 24" and allow you to have +1/-1 to reserves (In other words, 2+ reserves that you can re-roll, thanks to your Legion special rules)
      • You don't need anti-vehicle heavy support when you can deploy Cataphractii in Dreadclaws and give them a few chainfists.
      • Primaris Lightning Strike Fighters properly armed can destroy any vehicle in 30k. Beware of anti-air from skyfire and other fliers.
    • Must take three compulsory Troops choices.
      • One of your best options is to bring 20-man tactical squads with extra CCWs and equip the MoS for melee. That's 66 attacks on the charge, not counting the ones you'll get from Merciless Fighters.
      • If you have the points, take some Jump Pack Reavers. Counting as up to 30 models not only means they'll almost always get Merciless attacks, even against tarpits like Conscripts, but also that they can take casualties and still outnumber the enemy. Reavers have the benefit of being far better for their points than Assault Squads are also, so Sons of Horus are naturally very good at running jump troops.
    • No fortifications - Unlikely to harm most players. Unlike most RoWs, you CAN take Space Marine Legions as allies. And lots of armies are Sworn Brothers to you. Bitter Pride will limit the benefits you gain, but not the ones they gain from you. Good options include good tanks like Castrmen Orth from the Iron Hands or better yet, a Tank Commander from the Solar Auxilia with Deep striking Tarantula turrets.
  • Rite of War: The Long March - An aggressive, location-dependent rite that changes the rules the models gain based upon their position on the battlefield, allowing you to get the best out of your units as long as you keep them in the right places, though it compels you to take the fight directly to the enemy and fight on his half of the table. Really embodies the old tactical adage of getting where you need to be "Fustest with the Mostest."
    • Relentless March: Infantry units gain a special rule depending on where they begin each turn on the table. They gain Relentless in their own deployment zone, Fleet in No Man's Land and Crusader in the enemy deployment zone. These rules obviously don't apply if your infantry units are in a transport, but you might need those anyway to make sure your infantry gets where it needs to go.
      • Clearly the intent is to get you to move your units forward, any Emperors Children player will tell you that Crusader in 30k is fantastic for melee units, and having fleet in the middle of the table helps you get there earlier. Relentless is also great for the heavy units you keep in the back field, allowing you to move them freely and still fire their weapons to full effect.
    • The Warmaster's Portion: On the first turn, your units in the detachment re-roll to-hit rolls of 1, in addition vanilla Legion Terminators become non-Compulsory Troops choices.
      • Obviously this is meant to encourage you to be aggressive straight from the start of the game, and getting Terminators as Troops is always good when you're trying to form an elite force.
    • This rite can only be taken by "Traitors" and cannot be used in conjunction with the Shattered Legion rules.
    • The army cannot include units with the Slow & Purposeful rule, unless they arrive via Deep Strike or start the game inside a transport vehicle.
      • 'Not really a problem since we can Deep Strike our terminators in Dreadclaws. Though it does get expensive if we go armour-heavy, or start running Horus/Abaddon Terminator stars. Actually not a problem at all anymore because no units in Horus Heresy actually have Slow and Purposeful anymore.
    • You may not take a Fortification or and Allied detachment. You wouldn't be able to take advantage of this RoW's movement bonuses sitting behind a fortification anyway."
  • Unique Wargear
    • Banestrike Bolter Rounds: "Gifted" from the Alpha Legion, Bolters and Combi-Bolters with this ammo treat to-wound rolls of 6 as AP3, but have shorter range (18"). Can be taken by Independent Characters, Reavers and the Praevian's Castellaxes, but not Terminators, which is sad because the short range leaves you within charge range.
      • Seeker Squads can exchange their Scorpius rounds (Heavy 1, Shred, AP2) for this one (Rapid Fire, Banestrike) at no cost. You will never do this, as even though it looks like Banestrike is situationally better that Scorpius, since you can still move and shoot with the bolt shells, you get far better results overall by keeping the AP2, Shred, +1S and additional 6" range.
    • Cataphractii Primus (Relic): This is the shit. 50 points for a suit of Cataphractii pattern Terminator armor that gives you Eternal Warrior and +1 Toughness against shooting attacks (along with Slow & Purposeful). Feel like a Salamander AND an Iron Hand.
      • Terminator equipment cost 35pts and comes with a power weapon and combi-bolter, this relic is just the suit and without the normal options like "Lightning claw for dirt-cheap 5 pts". Given to a Praetor is like buying a 25pts Iron halo and Eternal Warrior +Toughness for another 25. Not a bargain, but a fair deal.
  • Justaerin Terminators: The black clad shock troopers of the Sons of Horus Legion, the Justaerin were the pride of the XVIth Legion Astartes. Tasked with forming the ‘point of the spear’, their attacks were directed at the heart of an opposing target or a decapitation strike against an enemy force. In game terms, they are Terminators with the Furious Charge Rule, Chosen Warriors and with +1WS. They can also be chosen as a replacement for a Command squad for any Master of the Legion, including Abaddon, Maloghurst, or Horus, without taking up an HQ or Elite slot. Last but not least, they can take a motherfucking MULTI-MELTA as a heavy weapon. They are now reasonably costed, at 255 points for the starting squad size of five 2-wound Terminators. The maximum squad size is also 12, rather than the usual 10, and don't forget that you're Bulky. It may be more practical to consider kitting them out for Assault, since they have access to Lightning Claws and can accept/issue challenges thanks to Chosen Warriors. They'll still be a bit on the pricey side, but they get the job done.
    • Given that you'll almost never outnumber the enemy due to being both too expensive and lacking a Spartan DT, consider giving them Powerfists and at least 2 Chainfists, and put them in a Dreadclaw to get them where they need to. Due to Furious Charge, they'll strip 5 HP from AV14 on average, with plenty of Penetrating hits. Cheaper than Melta and with more hits, this will be your way of prying open Spartans and getting to its squishy insides with WS5 and S8 AP2 weapons.
  • Reavers: A Sons of Horus refinement of Despoiler squads (Chainsword + pistol tacticals), with the most infamous being the Catulan Reavers of the First Company. They are pretty much a Fast Attack version of Vanguard Veteran marines (statline wise) with 2 attacks (3 for the chieftain), come as 5-15 man units, with Outflank (which will grant them Fleet on The Black Reaving RoW) and Precision shots and strikes. Like a DLC, they don't come standard with a bolter (though fluffwise it makes sense, they are based on Despoilers after all). Their wargear is assault-oriented: Bolters/Combi-Weapons with Banestrike shells for a weaker version of Rending, or Volkite chargers for extra wounds (so your longest ranged attack is 18"), one in five can take a special weapon, and any model can buy a Chainaxe, Power Weapon or Power Fist, but Unwieldy means that Power-Fist-using models lose their Merciless Fighters extra attack and the costs stack quickly. The Sergeant can also take Melta Bombs, a Hand Flamer, and artificer armor, and the whole squad can take Jump Packs for a fixed price. At only 10 pts more than Veterans but not Scoring, they are one of the few SoH things NOT overcosted. Not like Veterans were very cheap to begin with, though.
    • Jump Packs are an amazing choice on these guys. Rather than paying per model, you pay only a set price for the entire unit, and as they are Bulky each Reaver counts as two models for the purposes of Merciless Fighters. However, remember that bringing Jump Packs on these guys leaves them highly vulnerable to enemy shooting.
    • The best way to field these guys is in 10-man squads in Dreadclaws. Bring them in Turn 1, heat blast some stuff and then Jink and use the armour to survive the enemy's shooting (always opt for Night Fighting in this case). Then, bring them out Turn 2 and assault an enemy unit of your choosing. Remember, their purpose is not to outnumber the enemy, but keep them locked in combat so your 20-man Tactical blob can come in & finish the job. Just remember to never charge dedicated close combat units with these guys, they won't last long. Use them to attack any enemy squad that isn't a dedicated close combat unit, and that unit will go down faster than you can say "Merciless Fighters."
    • Bad news everyone, with the cost drop to Veterans and their ability to take combi-weapons, Reavers are now very overpriced compared to them. The silver lining to this is that Forgeworld is considering doing an update via FAQ to bring legion-specific units in line with the new updates.
    • Considering that they are nowhere near as points-efficient as Veterans, take a look at this comparison and understand why Reavers are the unsung heroes of the Sons of Horus roster: A 15 man Assault Squad (Artificer Armour and Power Axe for the Sergeant) clocks in at 278pts. A Reaver squad with identical wargear comes in at 360pts. This leans in favour of the Assault Marines as the Reavers are nearly a full 90pts more expensive, but for that you get +1A EACH, Access to 3 Meltaguns/Plasma guns, EVERY Reaver can take a Power Weapons (Not just 3 like the Assault Marines), the best combi-weapons available (5pts for the special, 5pts for the banestrike rounds.....uhhhh YES PLEASE), Outflank, Precision shots/strikes, AND can still be taken as Compulsory Troops easily (Because why the hell aren't you running Maloghurst these days?). Yes they are more expensive than their vanilla counterparts, but they are to assault marines what veterans are to tacticals; simply better at their job. Don't discount them immediately, but also don't auto-include, just bring them to do a specific job and they'll do it.
  • Dreadclaw Drop Pods: As of the Istvaan Crusade Army List, ALL Legions can take them as Fast Attack (or Dedicated Transports for vanilla & Command Terminator Squads), but only the SoHs can take them as Dedicated Transports for Seekers, non-TDA equipped Command Squads, ordinary Dreadnoughts and Reavers too. Now has a new model. It's a drop pod that can fly after landing and burn things when they land or cross over them. Think of them as a drop pod for assault units. It's more survivable, protects its cargo better than a Drop pod, gets into combat significantly faster than a Land Raider and it's cheaper than a Storm Eagle... though is not as heavily armed, isn't an AV14 tank or assault ram and at 100 points it's not as disposable as a normal Drop Pod. Plan how you use it accordingly. Your Terminators can take them as transports, so do this since they cannot deep strike without Abaddon/Horus.
    • This guy is a nearly guaranteed turn 2 assault with an 18" + 6" + 6" + charge range"= 32-42" threat bubble.
    1. It arrives in turn 1 thanks to the 'Drop Pod Assault' rule as a Hover Flyer anywhere on the board, and since you can't assault the turn it Deep strikes, feel free to burn stuff at the landing zone.
    2. If you didn't mishap, you can Flat out in the shooting phase 18".
    3. If your Jink saves and AV12 kept you alive, on turn 2 you can move 6" (without burning anything), disembark-move 6", and then charge at some bitches.
Loken vs Abaddon
  • Ezekyle Abaddon: Before he was Failbaddon the Armless he was First Captain of the Sons of Horus Legion. Unfortunately, he is not the rape machine that he will become in 10,000 years, what with lacking his Chaos Gifts and better wargear and all. In 30k he is armed with a master-crafted Power Fist, a Grenade Harness, and a Combi-bolter that can be swapped out for a common Power Sword (you'd think it'd at least be Master-Crafted given his status as First Captain, but it isn't), which you will use if you don't like going last in combat (and that way get your Merciless Fighter extra attack). He is Fearless, for he is Fear incarnate (when he is the warlord), has Precision Strikes and he can Deep Strike with a Terminator squad of any kind. His buffs are ok but compared to a kitted out Praetor he is overcosted (like so many of the SoH unique units). Though his custom Terminator Armour doesn't actually count as such, so he can still Sweeping Advance after combat while still having Relentless and a 4++ as well.
    • In campaign games where character casualties and injuries are a factor, Abaddon can re-roll any such chart results relating to himself. It's not likely to be of much importance, but it's worth knowing about.
  • Garviel Loken: Captain of the 10th Company and later the leader of the loyalist Sons of Horus forces on Istvaan III, which he renamed the Luna Wolves to signify their break with Horus' treachery . He was thought to have been killed by Abaddon there, but against all odds he survived and was later brought to Terra at the orders of Malcador the Sigillite, presumably so he could become one of the founding members of the Grey Knights. On the tabletop he is a decent Praetor equivalent with a Paragon Blade and Iron halo who can come back from the dead - but only once. He's a Praetor with Power Armour, so he doesn't fare well against run-of-the-mill AP3/AP2 weaponry, but he does have In 6 so get him into combat with guys he can munch before they get to strike back. In 6 also works REALLY well when trying to catch opponents in Sweeping Advances too; don't forget that Morale is a HUGE thing in 30k.
  • Maloghurst the Twisted: Horus' equerry. Called "twisted" for his devious tactics, his body came to match the epithet after a crash landing left him crippled. As such, he is not a great fighter (only 2 attacks, I4) and cannot Run or Sweeping Advance. Due to his cost and stats, you could see him as a Power Armoured Praetor (he has Master of the Legion) injured to Centurion stats. Alternatively, just think of him as a Herald with additional utility at the expense of mobility. Broken in Body but with an Adamantium Will, he's more of a booster for your army as he carries a Legion Standard, is Scoring and makes Reavers and Veteran squads (but not Justaerin) Troops.
    • Due to being a Master of the Legion, he can take a Command Squad retinue, which come with a Legion Standard of their own. Because it's not mandatory for them to accompany him, you can make Maloghurst join another unit and thus have two separate Fearless bubbles.
    • As Maloghurst is unable to Run or Sweeping Advance, the best unit to put him with is one equipped with Cataphractii armour; his Fearless will make them into a solid anvil, and his disabilities will not impede them in any way.
    • If you're wondering where his model is, check the Sons of Horus command squad kit.
  • Tybalt Marr: On the middle ground between Centurion and Praetor stats, but costing more than a kitted-out Praetor. He has Preferred Enemy (Loyalists), which is a strong benefit that can confer to his squad, and Master of the Legion, as well as a unique warlord trait: By the Hunter's Moon, inflicting a pinning test on anyone within 24" (particularly infiltrators and scouts) making it sorta difficult to ambush him. However, he can't really make too much out of those rules by himself because he's only armed with a Master-Crafted, Murderous Strike, Charnabal Blade which is not terrible, but needs him to be in a challenge since most rules don't interact well with normal 1-wound MEQs, and a Master-Crafted (made irrelevant due to Preferred Enemy) Banestrike Bolt pistol. Preferred Enemy is a strong benefit which buffs any squad he is attached to, particularly when Sons of Horus shoot at BS5 at close range or get additional attacks at the end of close combat, they simply won't miss. Tybalt Marr is a better buffing character than Loken but doesn't have the deployment abilities or sheer damage potential of Abaddon, so he's a middling special character who likely outstrips an unnamed Praetor by a small margin. He won't maul incoming challengers unequivocally though he has a decent shot at all comers, but stick him in an elite or heavy support squad and watch them tear new assholes.
Horus Lupercal
  • Horus Lupercal - The Warmaster. The Arch-Traitor. The one responsible for the grimdarkness of 40k, and the really cool guy that the Horus Heresy is named after. At 500 points, he's the most expensive of the Primarchs, but he can easily earn all of it back and more. His stats may appear surprisingly low at first, but his real value comes from his powerful wargear and assortment of buffs that he can provide. Weapon Mastery allows him to distribute attacks between his two weapons at will. Sire of the Sons of Horus grants him d3 extra attacks against enemies of WS4 or lower and also allows him (along with any Terminator unit he has joined) to join at any time after the second turn if he is placed in reserves. God of War allows all of Horus's reserves to use the Outflank rule, grants Sons of Horus units with the Legiones Astartes rule +1 leadership if Horus is in the same force, and allows his forces to seize Initiative on a roll of 4+. The buffs are topped off with The Point of The Spear, which allows Horus to use Veteran Tactical Squads and Justaerin Terminator squads as troops and lets him call down an orbital bombardment once per game when in the shooting phase and not in close combat or reserve. The orbital strike has infinite range, a strength of 10, an AP of 2, and has the types Ordnance 1, Large Blast (5'), Lance, and Twin-Linked. Save it for Titans or other extremely dangerous threats.
    Horus is equipped with the following wargear:
    • The Serpent's Scale: A specially enhanced set of Terminator armor with a +2 Armor save and a +3 Invulnerable save, and it nullifies psychic powers on a 3+, which is not a DtW, so you can back it up with 5+, and do not need to spend a Warp Charge, although it only protects Horus himself, so his squad is still affected by the power. Also, on a 3+ it ignores temporary effects (such as Maledictions, Rad Grenades, etc) that would adversely modify his characteristic profile. Overall, the best Primarch Armor, after Perturabo's.
    • Worldbreaker: A Master-Crafted Power Maul said to have been made by the Emperor himself, and it shows. Although it has the Unwieldy quality, the Concussive rule can easily nullify its effects if hitting a foe at S10 and AP2 doesn't just kill them outright. Its abilities and Unwieldy nature might seem a little disappointing compared to other Primarch-quality bludgeons such as Dawnbringer and Forgebreaker, but then you remember he also has . . .
    • The Warmaster's Talon: The unique AP2 Lightning Claw wielded by Horus (and later Failbaddon) lacks the sheer force of the Worldbreaker, but it compensates with the Assault 3 AP3 Twin-linked Bolter built into it for use at long range as well as the Shred rule. But its most dangerous quality is the special rule 'Disabling Strike': Any unit who is wounded but not killed by the Talon in an Assault phase suffers a -1 to WS and Strength for the rest of the game. And it stacks. Coupled with Weapon Mastery, it allows him to beat all other Primarchs.
    • Teleportation Matrix: Horus and any attached Terminator units can Deep Strike, and will not scatter when doing so. Since Legion Terminators don't get to Deep Strike like their post-Heresy counterparts, this is a big help for them.
    • Frag Grenades: Do we really need to explain what a frag grenade does?
    • Cognis-signum: Gives him the Night vision special rule, prevents infiltrators from dropping near him and, if he didn't shoot, gives +1 BS to unit within 6".
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Emperor's Children: Horus will thank anyone who can debuff elite marines to WS 4 for +D3 attacks.
    • White Scars:
    • Death Guard:
    • Blood Angels:
    • Word Bearers:
    • Mechanicum:
    • Imperial Army:

XVII Legion: Word Bearers[edit]

Word Bearers legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

The closest thing to 40k's Chaos Space Marines in the 30k environment, which is obvious since the Heresy was more or less their idea from the start. You get access to Daemonic allies, Daemon-boosted unique units and special rules meaning you can have have a lot of invulnerable saves and Fear-causing effects, but are also subject to a degree of random chance - if you want to go down that route.

Furthermore, even when discounting Lorgar himself, the ability to make many of your HQ choices into ML1 Sorcerers makes Word Bearers the second-place Psychic force in the 30k environment, just after the Thousand Sons, and without the XVth Legion's own significant psychic drawbacks, because why fear the Warp when it gives you a good pain as it overtakes you?.

At their simplest, the Word Bearers do well as a melee-oriented Legion (against everyone without buffs to melee. EC, WE, BA, NL and even DA will give you a hard time), with their excellent morale and boosted Sweeping Advance chances. If you can bring a Diabolist (or Erebus) then they get further improved in melee wherever the "Dark Channeling" rule is applied.

Finally, it should be noted that Loyalist Word Bearers are nonexistent, which reflects how in the backstory the Word Bearers had 40 years to cleanse their Legion of any loyalist dissidents, see note on pg. 92 of Legiones Astartes: Age of Darkness Legions, so if you want to play Loyalists, choose another Legion.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • True Believers: Roll 3d6 for all Morale checks (but not Fear or Pinning checks for some reason) and must pick the lowest two dice.
    • Cut Them Down: Must always make Sweeping Advances and must re-roll Sweeping Advance rolls of 1.
    • Charismatic Leadership: WB Primary Detachments must take a 2nd Compulsory HQ choice, this must always be a Chaplain or a Centurion (and not any "Consul", like a Champion).
    • Traitor Word Bearers (and that's pretty much all of them) are the only Legion that can use psychic powers from Malefic Daemonology. Do remember that the Malefic Daemonology psychic discipline subjects non-Daemon models using it to suffering "Perils of the Warp" on ANY doubles rather than just 2 or more sixes, so unless you have plenty of Warp Charges, Malefic Daemonology is best saved for your Psyker models that have the Daemon rule.
      • Despite the simplicity of the Word Bearers legion rules, they are some of the most powerful in the 30k setting; such is the importance of Morale and Sweeping Advances, which can make the crucial difference between keeping and losing whole units.
      • Alternative view: While these bonuses are good, they are comparable to the Iron Warriors or Ultramarines, who don't have HQ taxes, preventing you from taking 2 support officers. Don't expect much against dedicated melee legions, like the Dark Angels, World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Blood Angels, Night Lords, or Sons of Horus. Don't expect to outshoot the shooty ones, like Ultramarines, Iron Warriors or Imperial Fists. You also won't get good unique equipment, comparable to the White Scars' Glaives or the Death Guard's Manreapers. Your bonuses are meant to be mediocre, giving a nice boost every time you suffer casualties, but little else. In this way the Sons of Lorgar take after their gene-father all too well; Lorgar was the physically weakest of his brothers, his greatest strength not being his skill at arms or his wargear, but rather the strength of his faith, and his gene-sons reflect that perfectly.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Burning Lore: Any Word Bearers Praetor, Diabolist, Centurion or Chaplain has access to the Burning lore wargear upgrade. It turns them into a Mastery Level 1 Psyker with access to the Biomancy, Malefic Daemonology (pg. 19 of Age of Darkness Army list) or Telepathy disciplines. Remember that you will get both the Primaris and another power due to Psychic Focus. Also, since it grants you an extra Warp Charge it's useful if you take a Librarian as your only non-compulsory HQ choice.
    • Tainted Weapon: Any Word Bearers character that has the option to take a Power weapon may instead take a Tainted weapon, it's a CCW with Instant Death and Specialist Weapon. While this can be awesome if you rolled up Iron Arm using Burning Lore, the lack of any AP ability means you normally won't be using it as a standard weapon, however it does have the exact same price as Digital Lasers, meaning that if you're buying a Paragon Blade for your Praetor, or a Power Fist for your Centurion, you can't really go wrong with buying it if you want that extra attack (especially if you're getting Burning Lore and putting it in Biomancy).
    • Conversion Dissonator (Relic): Once per game, for one turn only, all invulnerable saves within 12" (Friend and Foe) suffer -2 and can be negated. This can be great, but also be cautious since Word Bearers with Daemon Allies or Daemon-possessed Units can hamstring themselves.
      • This is one of those relics that can go either way. There certainly are a lot of invulnerable saves around in this era. The potential to totally strip vanilla Terminators of their plasma defense, to make expensive TH/SS Terminators into vanilla ones and make practically every HQ feel pretty exposed is powerful. But you have to put this within 12 inches and you only get one turn. Since it debuffs you too, you need to be careful to find the right situation to get value. This can allow your Paragon Blade dude to slaughter 6 Termies in one turn before they can strike but it can also get him splattered by a Powerfist straight after. It works great against Primarchs, but having a regular HQ and a bunch of expensive Plasma-toting dudes within 12 inches of a Primarch is not a good long term survival strategy, even if you can nab some cheap wounds. So be careful and have a good plan. Don't just pop it and hope.
  • Rite of Battle: The Dark Brethren - Very, very situational anti-psyker and Daemon-centric force. Cry out to the Dark Gods, Rend the Veil and bring the Darkness from Beyond to your foes! Just don't mind that your tactical options are rather restricted in return for bringing lots of Daemon allies and Daemon-possessed units.
    • Arch-Traitors: All Independent Characters get Preferred Enemy (Loyalists). You need Erebus to make the most of this, really. Master of Signals in a Support Squad with Plasma anyone?
    • Signs & Portents: After everyone's deployed, nominate one unit in your force and let your opponent know which one it is. Flip a coin. If you win the flip, the nominated unit in your army gets Preferred Enemy (Everyone), or everyone has Preferred Enemy against that unit if you lose the coin flip. - The Warp is a fickle mistress. Because the drawback of losing the coin flip can be so serious, your best bet is to nominate a unit you can afford to lose but can still make a positive difference if you win the flip. You don't want your Deathstar unit or heavy hitters to go down too quickly if they end up getting cursed by this chaotic "blessing" from the Dark Gods.
    • From Beyond: Codex: Daemons become Battle Brothers (not Sworn Brothers. RAW that means Daemons can use your transports. FW, however, does not respond on this question and answers "Bloodletters charging from Spartan are cool" on Facebook) - Fielding Erebus/Kor Phaeron already gets you this.
    • Hell follows with Them: Enemy Psykers taking Perils of the Warp suffer Instant Death - Would be great if Psykers were more common in 30k armies. It's still very useful against the Thousand Sons who are nearly all psykers, and if it ends up killing an opponent's psychic named character it means you have that much easier of a time winning. Extra troll points if this rule ends up killing an opponent's psychic Knight-Errant, because it could mean that the opponent can no longer win and can only achieve a draw!
    • Must take one Diabolist - This means all three HQ slots are taken: Praetor for the Rite and compulsory Chaplain...unless you take Zardu Layak, Erebus or Kor Phaeron (see below).
    • Only one Heavy Support choice may be taken. This is currently the most restrictive variant of this rule among the 18 Legions, since with all 3 HQ slots occupied with compulsory units there's no room to take a Praevian or Forge Lord with some Battle Automata to take up the slack. So make sure your sole Heavy Support choice is both versatile and well-protected, like a Leviathan Dreadnought.
    • No fortifications or any Space Marine allies are allowed. Any other allies except Daemons are Desperate Allies with this detachment.
  • Rite of War: Last of the Serrated Sun - Quite different from the Dark Brethren, this Rite is less focused on dicking with Fate or Psykers and is altogether something a bit more tactically rigid, with your infantry units all arriving via some form of Deep Strike, without hindering your whole army selection like some other Rites do. Beware the Serrated Sun, for it brings forth monsters and shines upon the time and place of your death - Here and Now!
    • Company of Monsters: Gal Vorbak become Troops choices and must take either a regular or Anvillus pattern Drop Pod as a dedicated transport.
      • By the Primordial Truth, don't forget that Gal Vorbak are never scoring, even when they're troops. Furthermore, since they're Bulky and you can't choose a Kharybdis for them as a Dedicated Transport, you're probably not going to have Gal Vorbak squads larger than 5 models. So, you're unlikely to have many more Gal Vorbak models running around than you could have in a normal list, and your scoring potential will be at risk in most games without other kinds of Troops selections anyway. The main difference is that if you want a Gal Vorbak-themed list, this lets you pay a Drop Pod tax in exchange for a few more freed-up Elites slots than you're used to. Still, the Pinning bonus can be pretty amazing in combination with Gal Vorbak, and in big games having a force made entirely from Gal Vorbak for getting stuck in and Terminators for scoring, plus all the usual Heavy Support and Fast Attack favorites, is an extremely potent mix.
    • Drop Elite: Any infantry unit that has access to a Rhino gets the option to take a Drop Pod.
    • Burning Sun: Enemy units within 12" of arriving drop pods must take a Pinning test. With good placement and good luck this can buy your troops breathing space while they disembark.
    • All infantry units must either start the game in a Drop Pod, in teleportation Deep Strike reserve or inside a transport Flyer.
      • Note this does not apply to tanks, bikes or jump infantry (Jump Infantry are still infantry as per 7th ed rulebook), so your army build can still incorporate other units which can deploy as you wish.
    • You may not take any immobile units (like Sentry Guns).
    • You may not take Fortifications or an Allied detachment. So if you're taking Kor Phaeron or Erebus, their ability to take Daemons as an Allied detachment (Harbinger of Chaos) is rendered moot.
  • Diabolist: Unique (and somewhat disappointing) Consul for the Word Bearers. He gains the Daemon special rule and Preferred Enemy (Loyalist), but only for melee attacks, so forget that neat Plasma Support squad combo. He may not be equipped with a bike, jetbike, Terminator armour (artificer armour is what you're looking for if you want him to be a TEQ), a Power Fist or a Thunder Hammer. If a Diabolist is present, the force has access to the Dark Channeling option. Given their equipment limitations, Diabolists are not the most impressive beatsticks around and aren't the best army-buffers either given the randomness of Dark Channeling. On the other hand, Diabolists are somewhat unique in that they are the only non-named psyker models with the Daemon rule among the Word Bearers, so if you give one the Burning Lore upgrade and pick Malefic Daemonology as his Psychic Discipline, he'll be able to cast powers from that discipline much more safely than almost anyone else in the XVIIth legion could.
    • Dark Channeling: An upgrade for Tactical, Breacher, Assault, Veteran or Terminator squads. Roll a D6 for each unit you wish to grant this bonus to at the beginning of the game. On a 1-3 the unit gains Zealot, 4-5 gains +1 Strength for the duration of the battle, and on a 6 the unit gains the Daemon special rule (no Apothecary for you) for the duration of the battle, but no longer counts as scoring (if it did before) and counts as being destroyed at the end of the game for the purposes of calculating victory points. Not a bad upgrade for an assault unit, but unpredictable as all get-out. A Praevian's Automatas can take it too, but their only benefit would be Zealot since S6 AP2 already hurts MEQs on a 2+, and they already possess 5+ Invulnerable Saves and Fear (and would rather not be counted as destroyed by just one bad pre-game roll either!).
  • The Ashen Circle: "Where one burns books, eventually one burns men" (John Milton would hate this!). The Circle of Ashes are the Legion's book burners, Iconoclasts designed to put civilizations to the torch and put culture and lore down the memory hole. They have unique Axe-Rake weapons with +1S, AP6 and -1 to enemy's fall back distance, any of which can be replaced by a dirt-cheap 5pt Power Axe. So long as at least one Axe-Rake is present in a unit, you'll be able to inflict the -1 penalty, so mix and match. As a variant Destroyer squad, Iconoclasts cannot be joined by friendly ICs. They may always use Hammer of Wrath at S5 classed as Flamer type attacks. If this unit Deep Strikes, all models within D6" take a S3 AP5 hit from their flamers. The squad leader may take Phosphex bombs and an Inferno or Plasma gun for additional AP2 goodness. However, with the price reduction to Assault squads, Ashen Circle troops are now overpriced compared to the former, as a squad of 10 Ashen Circle troops are 100 points more expensive than 10 Assault Marines but have better special rules, equipment, and +1 WS. Unless in a fluffy list, don't bother taking these until they get updated.
  • Gal Vorbak Colchisian for "Blessed Sons", the original Possessed Marines: These are the Possessed that 40k Chaos players wished they had! 2 Wounds (3 on the sarge!!!) & WS5/S5/T5/I5, they all have bolt pistols and bolters (for actual shooting! and bonus attacks!) AND GRENADES!!! Why can't 40K Possessed carry equipment again? The Blessed Sons have, surprise, the Daemon special rule (preventing them from taking an Apothecary, because, you know, Invictarus Suzerains with them are totally balanced. Up yours, FW), along with Stubborn, Bulky, Rage, Rending in Close Combat and Deep Strike. They may take one Special Weapons per 5 guys, so a maximum of 2. They cannot be a scoring unit but you really want these guys doing the choppy choppy rather than squatting on objectives.
    • Consider taking power mauls as the power weapon of choice for these guys. This will boost the strength of the weapon users to 7, which with rending is lethal indeed and enables them to mulch light vehicles and monstrous creatures. AP 4 really doesn't matter with en-masse Rending!
    • Additionally, remember that they are literally Daemons, not Space Marines. They do not have the Legiones Astartes: Word Bearers rule, and so do not benefit from Lorgar, Herald etc, but as Daemons they can be boosted by psychic powers and items from Malefic Daemonology & Codex: Chaos Daemons that would normally not affect Space Marines.
    • The Dark Martyr is probably the single best model in the game to grant a Tainted Weapon for actual use, as their default Rending and high S+I can see them gibbing off characters in challenges. They'll lose the extra attack from 2 weapons, but with 5 attacks on the charge you still have a pretty good chance against a lot of characters. But honestly, just take a Power Fist for 3 S10 attacks ( 5 on charge!) on a model that is able to tank everything barring a Paragon blade, meaning ID on any marine, penetrating dreadnoughts on 4+ and the slim chance to penetrate Warlord Titans. Your special snowflake wishes to be as awesome as this guy.
    • If you're running a lot of these guys make doubly sure you have a way of quickly taking out any Vindicators, Medusas et al, or you run the risk of your entire expensive squad evaporating from one well-placed shot. Also, never ever take them against Dark Angels. While not explicitly an Anti-Chaos force, the First Legion has had centuries of experience hunting warp-tainted beasts "strange monsters" on their homeworld, and the Dark Angels also possess the dreaded Stasis Shells and Rad Grenades which will end up nerfing your Gal Vorbak's WS and Toughness, whereupon the Sons of the Lion will just use their Weeaboo Fightan Magic and S+2 AP3 Instant Death swords to screw your expensive Daemon-possessed troops in so many ways it's not even fair.
    • Don't ever let them go below 25% of unit strength and run away: they will regroup on 2's only as they don't benefit from either True Believers or even the basic Legiones Astartes "can try to regroup regardless of casualties" rules! Have an IC join them to mitigate this, and e-mail FW to get them updated with better morale rules or make the WB's LA rules apply to them.
  • Mhara Gal Tainted Dreadnought: The result of putting a Gal Vorbak in a Dreadnought, with a bunch of new rules to go with it. Most importantly, this thing is FUCKING EXPENSIVE, just 5 points shy of costing the same as two Contemptor Mortis Dreadnoughts, about 60% more than a similarly equipped Contemptor, but can it make up for it? NOPE. The most notable difference between it and a regular Contemptor is how It exchanges Atomantic Shielding for Daemon, Adamantium Will, and IWND. In addition, all Flame, Volkite, fusion, plasma, or melta weapons aimed at it hit at -1 Strength, anything that assaults it with anything below T7/AV13 takes -1 to-hit, and if it explodes, it goes up in a Massive Blast that hits at S6 AP5 with Soulblaze, so you might think it's survivable, but that's just a false sense of security, the 5+ Invuln doesn't stop Contemptor Dreads from getting blown up and naturally it has no Armoured Ceramite, and that's not all; becoming a Daemon means a BS of THREE, so you should never give it an Autocannon or Lascannon (just get regular dreads for those), not even if this thing forces any unit it inflicts unsaved wounds on to take a morale check. If you need to put a ranged weapon on it, it comes standard with Warpfire Plasma Cannon, which fire three shots at St8, and doesn't Get Hot. Also, the bolters on its CCWs have Blind, and that's nice, I guess.
    • The biggest disadvantage of this unique unit has is how it synergizes poorly with the Word Bearer's other unique units and Daemon Allies. This is mainly because Daemons/anyone with the Daemon USR/Psykers within 6" eat a S5 AP2 hit with Ignores Cover at the end of the Turn (much like the 40k Chaos Contemptor), making him dangerous to be around if you use Gal Vorbak, Chaos Daemons allies, Dark Channeling or Burning Lore, you know, everything the Word Bearers fucking specialize in, so aside from being a huge point-sink, it's more likely to harm your own army than it is the opponents if those units are anywhere near the Mhara Gal's 6" radius of soul-sucking death. The only upside of this rule is that sending this walking psychic vacuum against Thousand Sons or your opponent's psychic Knight-Errant is going to be absolutely troll-worthy.
    • If you do really want to take one, it'll probably to get around that asshole who keeps dropping Difficult/Dangerous Terrain everywhere since it's immune to those terrain features (and it can even ignore obstacles that measure 1" across). Stick to either the Warpfire Plasma Cannon & CCW, to insta-death Marines and force them to take Morale checks (not to mention have a higher chance of hitting something), or Two CCW's to rip shit up in Close Combat. Never give it two ranged weapons, ever. If it gets charged with those, then chances are it can get tied up for the entire game, which is a huge waste. Speaking of Close Combat, Fear tests against it are at -2 Leadership, which is handy, however it's never scoring (though it can still contest objectives in Age of Darkness).
  • Erebus First Chaplain and corrupter of Horus Lupercal. Though long an established fluff character, Erebus is only now making his debut on the tabletop, and he's clearly making up for lost time: Has Zealot, Adamantium Will, Master of the Legion and Harbinger of Chaos which allows all Word Bearers to use Dark Channeling. Furthermore, he lets you take an allied force of Chaos Daemons. He ALSO is a Level 1 Psyker due to his Burning Lore, drawing from Biomancy, Telepathy, or Malefic Daemonology, but this also means his Deny the witch psychic defenses are actually pretty good.
    • He is a Chaplain Diabolist with Master of the Legion, so he fills both Charismatic Leadership AND the rite's Diabolist requirement, freeing up that 3rd HQ slot you would have to sacrifice (you still must use the 2nd HQ slot because Erebus is not 2 people, but now you can choose any officer you want).
    • As an alternative to the Telepath-Invisibility tactic that goes around; consider picking Biomancy for his Psychic Discipline. If you end up rolling Iron Arm as his power, he becomes one of the most powerful characters in the game, with T7/I5 and four>five re-rollable S10 AP2 attacks (due to Zealot, Smash & Master-Crafted Power Maul). While not enough to take out a Primarch 1-on-1, he will comfortably take out nearly every other obstacle. Yes, a 30k Librarian could roll up the same powers as well, but he won't have 3-wounds or Zealot.
    • RAW you can't take Daemons for taking Erebus, because there is no type of alliance listed. Kor Phaeron has Fellow Warriors, RoW has Battle Brothers, Erebus has nothing, though it is worth noting that he has the exact same rule as Kor Phaeron, making it fairly safe to assume the text of the rule is also suppose to be the same.
  • Kor Phaeron: First Captain and foster-father/corrupter of Lorgar. Like Erebus, Kor Phaeron is a long established fluff figure making his tabletop debut. Even though he was mocked by some as a "Half-astartes", he gives all Word Bearers +1 Leadership as long as he is the warlord, which he must be unless Lorgar is around. His Cataphractii armor confers him Feel No Pain 6+, a 1-use hand flamer and like Erebus he lets you take an allied force of Chaos Daemons, is a Lv1 psyker and a Diabolist. Unfortunately the best efforts of the Emperor's biotechnologists were not enough to truly change him into an MEQ, and as such his statline remains more like that of a GEQ's. With WS4, Toughness/Initiative 3 (so plasma InstaKills his 4W, no armor save or FnP) and 2 attacks (3 for his twin lightning claws) his major saving grace is his cheapness when compared to other 30k-era special characters and the fact that, being a Diabolist Master of the Legion, he fills 2 of the HQ requirements for Dark Brethren.
    • He also has Burning Lore, making him a level 1 Psyker with access to Biomancy, Telepathy, or Malefic Daemonology. It's highly recommended that you pick Biomancy to help increase his survivability, given his poor stats. Biomancy also gives him access to Smite thanks to Psychic Focus, which is much better than leaving him with just a one-use Hand Flamer for ranged firepower.
  • Zardu Layak, the Crimson Apostle: Like Erebus and Kor Phaeron, he is a Diabolist Master of the Legion so he fills 2 of the HQ requirements for Dark Brethren, and also gives a +1 bonus to rolls on the Dark Channeling table. The Daemon and Zealot rules compensate for a fairly low statline, and he's also a ML2 psyker that can choose any power from Pyromancy or Malefic Daemonology. As a Warlord, he unlocks Ashen Circle squads as troops but forces them to buy Dark Channeling. In addition to his Bolt Pistol, frag/krak grenades, and artificer armor, he wields the Azurda Char'is (a two-handed S+2 AP4 force staff which allows him to reroll a single failed attempt at manifesting a psychic power per game) and the Panoply of Flame (which gives all units with the Legiones Astartes (Word Bearers) rule within 12" a +1 bonus to combat resolution and Sweeping Advance rolls, and may also be used like a heavy flamer once per game). Like Erebus and Kor Phaeron, he can bring in an allied detachment of Chaos Daemons, which synergizes well with the Malefic Daemonology powers he can select (and has a much safer time using than most anyone else in this legion thanks to his Daemon rule). If he has one weakness though, it's that he only has 2 wounds, but there's plenty of ways to boost his survivability, with the Daemon rule, the ability to choose his psychic powers and with access to Daemon bodyguards, he can boost all of their Invuln saves by +1 with his powers, which can the further boosted by a Deredeo Dreadnought (up to 3++).
    • Same problem with Daemons allied detachment Erebus has.
    • Anakatus Kul Blade Slaves: Layak's pair of bodyguards, which must remain with him at all times. They're 3-wound combat monsters with Daemon, Rage, and IWND, with the only thing really holding them back being their 3+ armor save. They wield plasma pistols and the Anakatis Blades - AP3 Specialist weapons (so no +1 attack from the pistol) that gain AP2 anytime they roll a 5 or 6 to wound AND each unsaved wound inflicts two wounds that must be saved against separately (akin to Gets Hot! it's 2 autowounds that allow armor saves). However, if Layak is ever slain or removed from play they go nuts and try to charge the nearest Infantry or MC they can reach, focusing on whichever nearby unit has the most models in base contact with it - including your own units. If you go with these guys, either make sure to keep Layak alive or ensure that the Blade Slaves are closer to the enemy than they are to your own troops. The biggest downside of the Blade Slaves is the fact that you will have to fork out a transport cost for them & Layak, so while powerful these guys are going to be very expensive to use.
      • Curiosly, unlike Gal Vorbak, who are in perfect control of their transformation, minds and bodies, these quote Mindless Killers end quote do, in fact, get Legiones Astartes (Word Bearers). Does this mean Beloved Sons lost LA due to Brilliant Forgeworld Editing or that Blade Slaves gained it by mistake?
  • Hol Beloth: The Captain appointed by Dark Apostle Maloq Kartho as one of the leaders of the attack on Calth. Stat-wise, he's a Praetor-equivalent armed with a plasma pistol, tainted weapon, and master-crafted power-fist along with an iron halo, artificer armor, and frag/krak grenades. His WT is fixed to Bloody-Handed, and he can use his Exhortation of Battle ability to increase all Word Bearer units' WS to 5 (assuming it wasn't already 5 or higher to start with). Finally, his Hexaglyphic Ward allows him to ignore the first wound suffered as the result of a failed save in a game, which can act as a pseudo-EW if the wound in question would otherwise cause Instant Death... or is a 6 on Destroyer table.
  • Samus, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm: A Lord of War choice you can take, because Daemonbros. Being from the post-Daemonkin release, Samus gets to be a Daemon of Khorne that neither suffers Daemonic Instability nor summons Warp Storms on your ass. He also gets IWND, S/T 7, 6 Wounds, Hatred (Infantry), Adamantium Will and Fleet. He's only armed with an AP2 CCW with Murderous Strike (ID on a 6 to wound) and Armourbane, but his fun isn't in combat. He must begin the game in Reserves and Deep strike to the battlefield, and if any Character dies any turn before he arrives, he can choose to Deep strike without scatter within 3" of the place that model died. In addition, Samus also triggers other sorts of fuckery just by being in your army: Your enemy takes -1 from all reserves (with rolls of 1 being auto-fails), any blessings used by either side cost an additional Warp Charge (which means that they'll have to think even harder about casting Hammerhand or Prescience or something lest you deny them and waste those points) and he forces anyone charging him (and testing Fear) or in combat with him to halve their Leadership unless they're Stubborn or Fearless.
    • If you decide to ally Samus in with Daemons using your RoW, he becomes an HQ choice and automatically becomes the Warlord, giving his Daemons a d6 to re-roll when testing Instability and the ability to sub doubles on the Warp Storm table with Warp Surge (Giving all Daemons, which include your guys, +1 on their Invul saves).
    • Do note though that he does NOT have Eternal Warrior, thankfully since he's T7 this is only rarely an issue. In the context of 30k with Lords of War being used though this can be a major fucking problem. This one flaw alone means he absolutely cannot get into a scrap with some Primarchs (Alpharius, Fulgrim, Vulkan and Mortarion can and will almost certainly ID him, and luckily it's not very likely to happen with Roboute, Angron and Konrad). Even the Primarchs that don't have ID are hard bastards enough for Samus to take on his own anyway. Even vanilla dueling characters can be kitted to kill him if they're really lucky and that's kinda a problem for a bit fat beatstick. He's powerful for sure but damn his cost is so high for something so potentially fragile. If you must take on Primarch level enemies though, get a Deredeo and put it next to him, then try to use Daemonology to buff his Invuln save even more if you didn't roll doubles on Warp Storm while still keeping him away from those that have ID weapons. This will generally put him on a level where he can comfortably deal with most of the Primarchs. Alternatively with some careful positioning you can have a Mhara Gal Dreadnought in range of the Primarch with its Invuln weakening ability, and Samus outside of it, doing this will, at worst, make their Invuln saves equal, and at best take theirs away completely. Add in the Deredeo to buff him up and with a lucky roll on the Warp Storm table (or doubles) you'll have a 3++ mega-monster fighting a 5++ to No save Primarch!
  • Cor'Bax Utterblight, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm: Ruinstorm LoW Number 2, meaning he lacks Instability. This guy's a frightening one because despite being Nurgle, he gets INITIATIVE 9. I repeat, this guy can beat FUCKING ELDAR to the punch. Oh, and he also has the Slime Trail Beasts use to protect themselves. Aside from that, he's the same as a normal GUO statwise except for exchanging an Attack for Toughness 8. He can also use Biomancy and Nurgle's Plague powers, which could (at least temporarily) grant him EW, unlike Samus. In melee, he's got some vicious tricks with 3+ Poison and the ability to inflict Instant Death on a 5+ TO HIT against infantry. Add that to his standard AP2, and things are bound to die (But not enough to rely on it). He also gets d3 HoW hits on the charge, which ignores all terrain and comes with Assault Grenades, meaning he will reach his enemy that much quicker. If he dies (Which won't be TOO often in 30K, though it's still possible), he drops a Massive Blast that inflicts Poisoned (3+) AP4 hits on anyone inside that's non-Nurgle Daemon (Meaning fellow Plague Marines can still be hurt), making him a pricey kamikaze.
    • If you decide to ally Utterblight in with Daemons using your RoW, he becomes an HQ choice and automatically becomes the Warlord, giving his Daemons a d6 to re-roll when testing Instability and the ability to sub doubles on the Warp Storm table with Warp Surge (Giving all Daemons, which include your own guys with the Daemon USR, +1 on their Invul saves).
    • Like Samus he can't be used against Primarchs without some serious buffing (or de-buffing if that's your thing). Treat this living bag of pus and filth the same way you'd treat Samus, get some buffers, de-buffers, and avoid the Instant-Death Primarchs as if they were a fucking plague bath.
Lorgar Aurelian
  • Lorgar Aurelian - At 375 pts, Lorgar is the cheapest of the Primarchs (aside from Corvus Corax during the events of Istvaan V), and his stats show for it, being the lowest of the Primarchs. However the Urizen's abilities lie in buffing his sons. While he is in the table all Word Bearers may use his leadership, and all Units that can draw line of sight to him get +1 charge distance, immunity to fear and +1 to their combat resolution. Also once per game you can force a single enemy model or unit attacking Lorgar to reroll all 5s and 6s both To hit and To wound him. He can also reroll all failed Deny the Witch rolls. He is also a Lvl 2 Psyker and may roll on Divination or Telekinesis, and has been FAQ'd to work with 7th edition: Lorgar successfully harnesses warp charges only on a 5+ which is obviously a bit weak for a psyker. Alternately, you should upgrade Lorgar to Transfigured, representing his newfound favor from the Chaos Gods, which, while 75 points, is well worth the cost; if this is the case, he may select any three powers in any combination from the Divination and Telekinesis disciplines at the start of the game and upgrade his mastery level to 3 AND successfully harnesses those charges on a 3+. Due to being a high-level psyker with Adamantium Will, he also gets a DtW 3+ against psychic powers cast by level 2 or less psykers, and 4+ against anyone of equal or greater power, which, paired with his ability to re-roll failed DtWs and increased chances of harnessing Warp Charges, makes him almost invulnerable to any psychic shit.
    Lorgar can use the following Wargear:
    • The Armour of the Word - gives Lorgar a 2+ armour save, 4+ invulnerable save which increases to 3+ against witchfire, psychic-empowered attacks (meaning enemy squads under blessings?), and blows from force weapons (in case he somehow fails his DtW, though his Eternal Warrior trait makes Force Weapons wound normally).
    • Illuminarum - An AP2 Power Maul with Master-Crafted and Smash, forged by Ferrus Manus as a gift. Actually one of the best Primarch weapons, as it strikes at S8, ignores any armor, concusses anything that survives it (mostly other primarchs) to I1, and has the ability to supercharge into penetration re-rolling S10 if he gives up all his attacks, in case you really need something to be horribly crushed. It also lacks the Two-Handed or Specialist Weapon rules, so enjoy the extra attack from the pistol.
    • Archaeotech Pistol - For your shooting needs, in case you don't roll/pick decent witchfire powers or are about to charge something with decent DtW (or just for even more dakka, since you can use - potentially multiple - witchfire powers in the same turn and then shoot afterwards).
    • Frag Grenades- It goes bang.
  • Weaknesses: Lorgar's first and biggest weakness is his statline, at least compared to the other Primarchs. Upgrade him to Lorgar Transfigured; if you pick a ranged power you won't really have to worry about him footslogging it either as he'll still be able to make himself useful. And if you also choose to take something like Levitation, Prescience, or Precognition you'll be practically guaranteed to win games and make other players hate you.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Sons of Horus:
    • Imperial Army:

XVIII Legion: Salamanders[edit]

Salamanders legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

The Salamanders come to the battlefield in their best shape ever since Isstvan. Forgeworld has done honour to their fluff and, rather than 40k's pyromaniacs with MCd toys, their main themes are endurance and some of the best Legion-specific wargear available...along with their usual heat-based weapons.

Endurance in they way of holding the line with their noticeable morale buffs and being outright immune to Fear. Also, they are one of the two legions that can field TH/SS Terminators, taken to the extreme with the Firedrakes, as well as having access to the only EW-gear that isn't a relic. But wait, there's more. They have some of the most resilient vehicles and walkers in the game, tied perhaps with the Iron Hands - one of their characters being the most resilient Dreadnought ever. And they are the friendliest force in the Horus Heresy, with nine Sworn Brothers, only three Distrusted Allies, and 0 "By the Emperor's Command's", Salamanders have a rich gamut of supplement options. Nifty Palatine Blades and 'Scars Bikers? BS5 bolter fire to complement the Flamestorm? Disposable militia bodies to buy space for your Deathstar Firedrakes? All possible with Warlord traits, joined characters and Psychic powers thrown in the mix.

All of that while keeping the best flamers and meltaguns anyone can field, as well as their usual Master Crafted weapons. But not everything is a straight step up from their 40k incarnation, having the dubious honour of being THE s l o w e s t Legion of them all, both prone to being outmaneuvered and failing Sweeping Advance rolls when they win combat. Awesome transports and Wall-of-Death flamer squads help mask this problem, but their main issue remains: They are a slow force that does best at close range but fares poorly in melee. Don't let the enemy catch you by surprise.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Strength of Will: Automatically pass Fear tests, must reroll 1d6 on failed Morale and Pinning checks - The closest to true ATSKNF one can get in 30k.
    • Promethean Gift: Hand, normal and Heavy flamers (not necessarily all flame weapons, just those 3), including vehicle mounted ones, gain +1S, and all enemy Flame weapons count as -1S when used against Salamanders - A little worse than 40k's re-rolling wounds, but on the plus side your Heavy flamers, which are often the cheapest option, now wound MEQs on a 2+, InstaDeath guardsmen and have improved chances against Mechanicum and light vehicles, while ignoring most of the latters' armour saves, and flamers being weaker against you is a nice bonus. Your Dreadnought's melee game will improve because of the simple fact that fewer units will be left alive, so you could take Chainfists to deal with vehicles and so on. Consider bringing hand flamers on sergeants, command squads, assault squads etc. as they effectively become full flamers (S4) and still give you the +1 attack for CC weapons.
    • Scurry Away Nocturne Born: Add their initiative to sweeping advance rolls if they lose combat, but not if they win it. In addition reduce Run and Charge distances by 1", to a minimum of 1" - THE major drawback of the legion. You are unlikely to ever catch fleeing squads but at least the FAQ made you much better at running away. It also increases the need for transports, increasing your army's point cost. No word on whether the non-Nocturnean Salamanders (such as the first Terran recruits of the Legion, then named the Dragon Warriors) get these penalties.
      • Do note that this penalty does not apply to dreadnoughts.
    • Disdain of the Dark Age: By decree of Vulkan, Moritat Consuls and Destroyer Squads may not be taken in a Salamanders detachment, so no master-crafted Moritat pistol shenanigans. Additionally, no Phosphex weapons of any type may be taken as an option by any model in a Salamanders detachment, so no fun with your Siege Breakers' Medusas either. Rad weaponry is still good, though, because apparently Vulkan's "disdain" didn't extend to radiological weaponry that can end up contaminating landscapes for millennia.
  • Rite of War: The Covenant of Fire - Bring all the melta and flame, while being able to tank nearly all the pain..
    • Obsidian Forged: All Salamander vehicles get a 5+ Inv against Melta (INCLUDING MELTA BOMBS), Flamer, Plasma & Volkites - Read as: "Refractor field on vehicles". Gives your common metal boxes and Dreadnoughts a chance and further limits the things that can put the hurt on your Land Raiders; your Spartans are nigh invincible now. Which is good because you absolutely need transports. Don't get cocky though; some squads buy melta bombs in bulk, and keep an eye on Lascannons, Chainfists & Haywire weapons.
    • Veneration of Wrath: All Multimeltas, meltaguns and inferno pistols (not necessarily all "Melta"-type weapons, just those 3) in the detachment become Master-Crafted. Also Pyroclasts become non-compulsory Troops - Like Promethean Gift, this DOES affect vehicle-mounted meltas, so take your Land Raiders with pintle-mounted Multimeltas whenever you can, not to mention Jetbikes & Land Speeders. Suicide melta squads/Dreadnoughts become deadlier.
    • Implacable: All units in the detachment get Move Through Cover - Compensates your reduced mobility with the ability to take a shortcut through the flaming corridors and the like. And being Salamanders they'll LOVE going through the flaming corridors.
    • No Deep Striking - Good thing your transports are Obsidian-forged.
    • Cannot have more Heavy Support + Fast Attack than Troops - Good thing your Pyroclasts can be Troops now. Take lots of troops to bring lots of Obsidian Forged vehicles!
    • No Fortifications. Allies are fine, which is nice because the Salamanders are the legion with the most Sworn Brothers.
    • Can only take one Consul type other than Legion Champion - You better give him Terminator armour, since you can become a TH/SS 3++, and with Nocturne Born you weren't going to Sweeping Advance anyway.
  • Rite of War: The Awakening Fire - Preying on 30k's lack of ATSKNF, the enemy's Ld will be put to the test, patching the Salamanders' vulnerability in melee without imposing too much limitations. Honestly it's one of weaker rites of war; between lacking allies (which is one of the greatest strengths of the Legion), no fortifications (not huge, but promethium lines are fun) and being unable to take your primarch (which always sucks), it's only really worth bringing for thematic purposes. One veiled advantage this has over the other rite of war is the fact you can still deep strike, so lining up that Fury of the Salamander beam can become all the more rewarding, though other rites still offer the flexibility with more impactful bonuses.
    • Devils From the Dark: Salamanders are spooky and as such cause Fear. Bear in mind though that unlike the Night Lords, you don't have any ways of reducing the enemy's leadership against fear tests and there's a big chance you're against another army of space marines whose leadership is high (not to mention mechanicum), so don't rely on this, although some unfortunate dice rolls on the part of your opponent can help win a combat here and there I suppose.
    • Unto the Fires: If a roll is made for the game to end you can force one more turn. OK if you're making a last ditch attempt to snag that objective, but not all that brilliant especially considering the two other Legions with this ability (the Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists) get it through their Legiones Astartes, not a rite of war, so you're ultimately worse off.
    • Fury of the Salamander: Librarians can get a different Primaris for Pyromancy psychic powers: WC3 18" Assault 1 Beam with S5 AP1 and, if it inflicts a casualty, forces a morale check with a LD penalty equal to the number of casualties caused. A fun and unique ability if a little unreliable thanks to WC3, but potentially devastating. Bring a couple of librarians to really make the most of this.
    • Must have a chaplain - Because with Vulkan's presumed demise, someone has to keep the faith. Nomus fulfills both requirements simultaneously.
    • No more than 1 unit of Jetbikes, Flyers, Jump pack infantry and Skimmers each.
    • No Vulkan (lives!).
    • No allies or fortifications. Sadly this means the Salamanders throw away one of their greatest advantages as a legion.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Artificer Weapons: Characters may upgrade a single weapon to Master-Crafted, albeit for +5 pts unlike free like their 40K counterparts. It's worth noting that this applies to ANY weapon the sergeant is carrying...such as the special or heavy weapons of those in the Tactical Support and Heavy Support squads. Master Craft your Lascannon for +5pts, sir?
    • Dragonscale Storm Shield: On its own grants a 5++, but gives +1 to any other Invulnerable save the model might have, up to 3++. Takes up an arm just like modern Storm Shields. Not quite as good overall as Imperial Fists Vigil shields, but more versatile, as they can be taken by ICs without Terminator armour and are much cheaper, so TH/SS is back on the menu.
    • Mantle of the Elder Drake: Grants your Praetor the incredibly rare 'Eternal Warrior'. It goes without saying to never leave home without one, especially as so many things out there can cause Instant death.
    • Purging Flame: Any Heavy Bolter/TL Heavy Bolter in the detachment may be exchanged for Heavy Flamer/TL Heavy Flamer for free. LOTS of vehicles come with hull mounted Heavy Bolters, which you can now swap for horde defense. Some things, like Heavy Support squads and some vehicles could already do this, but Jetbikes are worthy of mention (even better on command squads!). Swap all LR's TL Heavy bolters for TL Heavy flamers, which wound MEQs on a 2+ and reroll failed to wound and amour penetration rolls. Plasma Pistols can also be exchanged for Inferno Pistols for free, which coupled with 'Veneration of Wrath' begins to make sense, unlike the general consensus of plasma pistols.
    • Zeroth Conductor Shield (Relic): NOT a Storm Shield but a Combat Shield, so only 5++ invulnerable, but you can claim the extra attack from 2CCW. The special trick this thing does is causing D6 automatic S8 AP2 hits onto incoming units at Initiative 10, after Overwatch! There will be no-one left to fight to worry about! Who's getting Sweep Advanced now, huh?
  • Firedrake Terminators: Your Deathstar unit, the Salamanders' Terminator elite. They can get Storm Shields for that 3++ Save, they also have 2-wounds and WS5 and are still scoring units, though kitting them all out with shields and hammers can become very expensive, and since the only combi-weapons they can get are combi-flamers/-meltas, it's best to think about what you're facing first. They can also be used to replace a Terminator Praetor's Command Squad. Quite nice, since that uses no FOC slot whatsoever, so bring yet moar Terminators, or Dreadnoughts. If you really want to be a dick, you can use these to great effect with one expensive, but simple way:
  1. Kit them all out with the shields and whatever weapons you want to.
  2. Add a Centurion with a Shield and Cataphractii armour.
  3. Then the dick move. Make the Centurion a Primus Medicae. Congratulations, you have made a unit harder to crack than Grey Knight Paladins, everyone everywhere will hate you.
  • Pyroclasts: The Pyromaniac Marines. They are a tactical flamer squad clad in special Artificer armor, with a 5+ invuln against flamer, melta, plasma and volkite weapons (pretty much on par with Terminators, then). They are a Heavy option (so no scoring) and thus compete with Heavy Flamer squads, but Pyroclasts are more resilient, can buy a Land Raider DT, and their flamers can be fired as S6 half range Meltas. To compensate for their sub-par meltaguns in this Armoured-Ceramite millennium, they can get Melta Bombs for the whole squad for a fixed price. They're a versatile squad, great against hordes (S5 template), TEQs (AP1) and vehicles (S6 Melta and Meltabombs), but their weapons are very short ranged and being Salamanders they're slow, so they badly need a transport to avoid being outmaneuvered. Flyers, like Caestii or Dreadclaws help them a lot, allowing them to be much more than just another suicide squad, and when they are Troops in "Covenant of Fire" they truly shine. At a range of 8" minimum these guys need to break the target in salvo as 1a and no power weapon outside of the sarge they can't afford to get in a scrap with anything designed for close combat.
  • Cassian Dracos: First Legion Master of the Salamanders (the very same up to Vulkan's arrival, remarkable) when they were still called the Dragon Warriors, and the first occupant of the Iron Dragon Venerable Dreadnought. The 30k version is much better than the 40k version: itt has AV 14 to the front, WS6, BS5, S6(10), Extra armour and is immune to all special rules that adjust armour values or add dice rolls to armour penetration. Cassian has also It Will Not Die, so he can regenerate lost Hull Points on his own, of which he has four, and if for any reason/devil-pact you manage to inflict an Explodes! on him, guess what...he's Venerable, so he's there to stay. An extra middle finger for your enemy is that, if he's your warlord (yes, he CAN be the warlord, but only if there are no other HQ choices in your army), he does not grant a VP to the opponent if he dies (he granted his VP to the orks that killed him millenia ago) and he also grants FnP (5+) to Salamanders within 3" of him. His heavy flamers are at S6 because of the Legiones Astartes rules AND if both are operational they can be fired as a single Twin-linked Meltagun (not a Multi-melta). The cherry on the cake is he has a Nuncio Vox, so is pretty much a teleport homer too! A worthy choice, especially if you already have the Iron Dragon model left over from the Badab War IAs.
    • Take him with a Praetor/Delegatus for the Covenant of Fire RoW. His 4 Vulkan-wrought-AV14-IWND-Venerable-Extra-armoured HP are now Obsidian forged. Enjoy!
    • Babysitting him with a Techmarine and using his vox to DS his Dreadnought buddies is outright mean.
    • Cassian Dracos Reborn: He was so tough he had to be knocked out with an orbital lance strike (Horus'?), but that still didn't kill him. Post-Istvaan-V, most of his rules and stats remain as is but his side and rear armor became significantly weaker (with the latter being only AV10). However, he does gain a nasty trick to make up for it - he can now use some of the Mechanicum's Cybertheurgy powers (Rite of Celerity, of Eternity and of Fury, but with Ld7) and has access to a special power that allows him to hijack enemy battle-automata for the shooting phase, and gets Bloody Handed as a WT, but can only be the warlord if the army has no other HQ besides Xiaphas and Narik. Still a powerful tool, but don't let anyone get behind him or he'll be screwed, possibly even by bog-standard boltgun fire.
  • Lord Chaplain Nomus Rhy'tan: A Praetor-level Chaplain like Erebus, but LOYAL - what's not to like? Master of Chaplaincy of the 1st generation of Chaplains in the Legion, he survived the Heresy because Vulkan ordered him to remain on Nocturne and keep the home fires burning. He comes with a good set of kit like Artificer armour, an Iron Halo and Eternal Warrior. His weapon of choice is an S6 Armourbane Thunder hammer that is NOT unwieldy, and a combi-flamer. If he's the Warlord, all friendly units within 12" of him can use his Ld10. He also lets you take a Dreadnought Talon as an HQ slot, which is fine if you've already filled up all your Elite slots and want yet MOAR dreadnoughts.
  • Xiaphas Jurr: Another Salamander Chaplain, tasked by Nomus to find what happened on Istvaan V, and who ended up rescuing the shattered remnants of the Salamanders (but unfortunately not Vulkan himself, who would have a much more difficult road to return to his gene-sons). He has Chaplain stats, +1LD, Artificer armour, MC Power maul, and the Burning Halo, giving him a 4++ (becoming 3++ due to his Dragonscale Stormshield) that also inflicts a S4 hit every time he successfully makes a successful Invulnerable save in CC. However, being the Prophet of Flame he's also a ML1 Psyker with Precognition and Prescience (although he counts as Leadership 7 for the purpose of psychic tests, which is not good if he gets hit with Perils of the Warp). Furthermore, when he is the Warlord, his controlling player can re-roll the first failed Pinning test or Morale check of each game turn, but only if he's on the table instead of in reserve or embarked inside a transport, and he can't be the Warlord if Cassian Dracos is in the same army.
  • Narik Dreygur: The Gravewalker, killed at Istvaan but put back together with cybernetics by a Legion sect, and ended up defecting to the Loyalists for unknown reasons after meeting with Cassian Dracos. He has Artificer Armor, a Refractor Field, a MC Bolt Pistol a Power Fist and +1W. He may also be included in any army with either Cassian Dracos or Xiaphas Jurr as the Warlord, being able to bring Iron Warrior Veterans that don't use up a FOC slot but cannot fill any compulsory choice and are treated as Desperate Allies by all friendlies besides Cassian and Xiaphas. He also gains Zealot and Rage within 12" of Cassian, meaning he sort of becomes a chaplain for his Battle Automata near him.

Just be clear too, Narik is part of the Traitor faction when he's with his Robot Buddies, and then can be selected by the Loyalist Faction for Salamanders (or potentially Shattered Legions) as long as the aformention HQ's are taken.

Vulkan
  • Vulkan: The Lord of Drakes costs as much as Mortarion at 425 points, and like him, Vulkan has a relatively high statline compensated by a variety of buffs and rules to make sure he never dies. Sire of the Salamanders enables all Salamanders with the Legiones Astartes rule to use the Adamantium Will USR and a bonus +1LD, while Blood of Fire enables Vulkan to reroll any failed Deny the Witch and IWND rolls. (No, he doesn't get to keep his immortality or use the teleportation function of his unique hammer - that would fuck up game balance to no end). While it goes without saying; Vulkan doesn't have the Legiones Astartes (Salamanders) rule so he doesn't add +1 strength to his heavy flamer which is already at S6, but by the same token he does use his Initiative when making a Sweeping Advance, which is a minor detail worth remembering when he wins combat.
    Vulkan can use the following Wargear:
    • The Draken Scale: The 2+ armor save and +3 invulnerability save are what you'd expect from the best blacksmith, but the main perk is that all flamer, fusion, Volkite, melta or plasma weaponry used against Vulkan has its strength halved. Laugh as your enemy's Fellglaive barely leaves a scratch on him, and wade through the battlefield completely immune to plasma.
    • Heavy Flamer: What, did you think that Vulkan wasn't as much of a pyromaniac as the rest of his legion? It has S6 like every other ordinary heavy flamer the Salamanders have. Doesn't even get a special name like the rest of his Primarch gear.
    • Dawnbringer: Originally forged as a gift for Horus, this giant (and modelled as one-handed, which is strange since its proportions make its shaft far too short to let the head hit the ground for its special attack while Vulkan is standing) hammer looks like your average S10 AP1 weapon with Two-handed, Concussive, Armourbane, and Instant Death (that's right, it's not Unwieldy), but its real usefulness lies in its Earthshatter rule. Instead of attacking normally, Vulkan can place a blast template (3") anywhere in base to base contact with him that does not cover any friendly models; all models under the template suffer a single automatic S8 AP3 hit with the Strikedown special rule. Helps when clearing out tarpits, or when a Librarian has made his Marines invisible, since Blast weapons don't roll to hit. Given the Dawnbringer's various traits and lack of the Unwieldy drawback, this giant hammer is currently the most versatile of the Primarch melee weapons, able to quickly annihilate infantry of any kind (without Eternal Warrior) or virtually any kind of vehicle. Aren't you glad that this weapon didn't end up in Horus' hands?
      • Fans of the HH novels will remember that Vulkan used a flaming sword during the events on Istvaan V, but like Fulgrim's MURDER SWORD Anathame, FW hasn't bothered to give us rules for Vulkan's own sword.
    • The Furnace's Heart: A gift from Ferrus Manus, though Vulkan didn't like it because it's a blaster, not a flamer. It's Assault 1 S6 AP2 Rending 18" Beam (the beam can't cross allied units, so you'll need a bit of positioning). This gun makes him one of the shootiest Primarchs, inflicting lots of AP2 wounds that are unaffected by his BS. This gun, along with his Blast-hammer, makes Vulkan pretty good at killing hordes.
  • Weaknesses: Vulkan is very much Mortarion's counterpart in resilience, what works on Mortarion (Volkite, Melta and Plasma) doesn't really work on Vulkan, whereas what doesn't really work on Mortarion (Poison and Fleshbane), works very well on Vulkan. While Vulkan is as mobile as most Primarchs and shootier than the average, his hammer is so good that not using it to open Spartans or Super-heavies would be a waste, and he needs a transport to get there. Getting stranded can be a problem, much more if it means getting exposed to Phosphex, Lascannons and Medusas, so consider having an alternate transport nearby.
  • Sworn Brothers
    • Dark Angels:
    • Emperor's Children:
    • White Scars:
    • Space Wolves:
    • Imperial Fists:
    • Blood Angels:
    • Raven Guard:
    • Mechanicum:
    • Imperial Army:

XIX Legion: Raven Guard[edit]

Raven guard legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.PNG

Your favorite emos before they actually had a reason to feel like shit. They are a very powerful force with great Legion units, basic infantry with Infiltration (and that shares on Rapiers) and scary jump infantry, so instead of being fast & hiding in cover like their 40k incarnation, Raven Guard legionaries either have Furious charge or appear from where you didn't expect them to. This basically makes them one of the most dangerous Legions in skilled hands due to combination of Infiltrate and RoW that allows drop pods without severe limitations.

Their bias for lightning-fast attacks and aerial deployment allows them to set up powerful Decapitation strikes, tying up enemy units only to suddenly appear behind the enemy lines and kill that pesky HQ. Which in fact is the exact purpose of their Dark Fury squads. This strategy relies on them going first, but thankfully their RoW helps them with this.

They are maybe the best IC killers, but if you're looking for mechanized warfare or troop slot shenanigans, look someplace else, such as Shattered Legions or Sworn Brothers. You could make an mechanised based RG army without allies, but than you have an HQ heavy army that allows your opponent a chance to score more victory points.

  • Legion Special Rules
    • By Wing and Talon: Infantry, except Terminators, gain Infiltrate and Fleet (so they can Outflank too when coming from Reserves). Jump Packs, Bikes and Terminators get Furious Charge instead - Best when used with a Strategic Genius or Master Tactician to go first or to screw with your opponent's formations, respectively. There's nothing better than the look on your opponent's face when you Infiltrate a 20-man Tac squad, use FotL and get ready to assault him (with re-rolls!). Also, a very neat way of using suicide Flamer squads. Of course, it's a viable tactic for Moritats, Destroyer Squads and all other infantry.
      • Instead of immediately grabbing Jump Packs, consider Bikes. Both Outriders and Sky Hunters have Bolt Pistols and Chainswords, and on the charge will be both Strength AND Toughness 5. For a 5 point upgrade from Jump Pack to Bike you give your Preator +1T, a Twin-Linked Bolter, Relentless and much more mobility. Combine it with a Paragon Blade for a Strength 6, Toughness 5, AP2 Monster on the charge. Add your choice of Digital Laser, Specialist AP2 Power Weapons and/or Relic for extra lulz.
      • Sky Hunters have the option of taking Multi-Meltas, Plasma Cannons and Volkite Culverins. 33 hits! per shooting phase is nothing to laugh at. Except you who just wiped out almost half of a twenty model squad.
      • Never dismiss the sheer power of scores of Furious Assault Terminators just because it's not "fluffy" of the Raven Guard UNLEASH THE DELIVERERS; CORAXS' FURY. Running straight to the enemy with an axe still counts as "assassination" if the enemy ends up dead, especially if you come from his side with the Darkwing Storm Eagle. Doing this however limits the squad number to eight. So a better choice is to instead take Tartaros Armor and give them the option of Sweeping Advances. Rather then spending left over points on Power Weapons consider a taking full squad and upgrade their Combi-Bolters to Combi-Volkite for twenty deflagration shots during the shooting phase. While they don't quite match up with the Deathstars Legion exclusive Terminators tend to be. In a Spartan they will shift focus away from your real heavy hitters. While you curse Forge World for not making rules for the real Deliverers.
      • Do note that Jump Infantry do not get both Fleet, Infiltrate and Furious Charge, despite them being both Infantry and Jump unit at the same time. The July 2018 FAQ has clarified that Jump Infantry only gets Furious Charge.
        • Trying to argue that they get both rules automatically makes you That Guy.
      • While Assault Marines have gotton a cost cut. It bears repeating the warning from the Blood Angels "The Day of Revelation" ROW. Try to avoid going crazy with their options. Until Raven Guard get their unique troops.(Players assume they will be Raptors from the Black Library books.) It would be best keep the cost of compulsory troops low. Such as two, ten model squads of just Tactical Marines, Assault Marines, or one of each with minimal upgrades to remain flexible. The load out considered a "must take" over the others are Assault Squads with Combat Shields to enhance their durability. To go along with their better mobility. While sword and board Assault Marines are nowhere near the unit erasers Elites or Seekers are. It will force your opponent to use their own heavy hitters to remove them from objectives. This will also give you leftover points for Tactical Support, Recon Squads and units with "Implacable Advance". The only time you shouldn't keep CT's cheap is if you're using a non RG ROW that unlocks other troops.
    • Flesh over Steel: May not take more Tanks than Infantry units. Technically you could still do the Armoured Spearhead RoW; if you want to take an army of infiltrating Land Raiders you can, you simply don't get to have any other tank on the table, but really, who cares about that with Infiltrating Land Raiders??! Also don't forget to put your Veterans Terminators Mor Deythan into a Darkwing Storm Eagle for an Outflanking non-tank transport, so now you can even take some other heavies. Now, THAT is an Alpha Strike! Just be on the look out for anti air. Even Terminators will be hurting if the Darkwing they're embarked in is destroyed mid-flight.
      • With the new Dreadnoughts & the absurd amount of flyers/skimmers available, including the Xiphon, you won't be missing non DT tanks that much. Sadly Whisper Cutters don't have rules, so you will be forced to take extra flyers if you choose troops that require Rhinos or Land Raiders or make them foot slog it. Assault Squads are a decent alternative but you miss out on Fury of the Legion.
      • Praevians and Forge Lords have the option to bring Battle Automata via Cortex Controllers. Both open up the option of Thallax for lightning/plasma spewing Jump Infantry, or Castellex if you need heavy amounts of firepower against vehicles/TEQs. The Praevian can take a unit of Castellex as well or Vorax instead for butchering hordes. (A Forge Lord with Cortex Control starts at 100 points, while Praevians have to take at least one Castellax or Vorax.) Know your opponent and plan accordingly.
  • Rite of War: Decapitation Strike - The Raven Guard version of Orbital Assault, sans Deep striking Terminators but also without its biggest drawbacks
    • For Whom the Bell Tolls: All Legiones Astartes (Raven Guard) gain Preferred Enemy (Independent Characters) - Combine it with Seeker's Precision shots, Sniper Veterans or Sniper Recons and shoot your way through that officer's retinue. It comes without saying you should Infiltrate right beside them. Praetors and Champions become extremely good at character hunting: the first one ensuring more Instant Death with his Paragon Blade, the latter by virtue of having Precision Strikes. Combine it with Specialist Weapons, Jump Packs and whatnot and proceed to Rip and Tear.
      • FAQ (Nov '16) states that PE applies to the entire target unit if a single model has the IC rule, which is a huge buff for this ROW.
    • Predatory Strike: Can re-roll dice for determining turn order - Incredibly useful for an Infiltrating army.
    • Fury From Above: Deathstorm Drop Pods become Elites choices, and Tactical Squads, Veteran Tactical Squads, Tactical Support Squads, Seeker Squads and Heavy Support Squads can all use Drop pods (as long as they fit inside)...although you could already Infiltrate them, this is by no means bad as it can add a lot of options and strategies to your army: the first one you'll think is probably melta/flamers suicide squads, which is good, but don't limit yourself: a second wave to cut the opponent down after distracting him on the first turn and causing havoc with your Deathstorms can also be extremely effective, as it is the option to deploy by deep strike beside a particular unit that you really want dead, but cannot infiltrate because it has an Augury Scanner.
    • Only one Heavy Support choice allowed - THE big drawback of this Rite of War. Good thing your Deathstorms can be Elites now, though.
      • You're obviously going to bring a flyer like the Fire Raptor, a Caestus Assault Ram or Heavy Support Squads for Volkite spam, all effective choices. However to make the most of your one Heavy Slot you should consider either a Deredeo Dreadnought with Plasma Carronade & Aiolos or a shooty Leviathan Siege Dreadnought. Why take a Leviathan? Because a single Levi-Dread can take Kharybdis Assault Claw as a Dedicated Transport. Yes, you take a Leviathan that has a flying DT. The changes in the LA-AOD book make this very expensive choice at over five hundred points without upgrades - so much that a Knight might be a better investment. While five model squads of Legion Terminators can also have Dreadclaw DT, squads this small can't bring as much pain a single Leviathan does and are better supported by Land Raiders or Spartans.
      • Speaking of Dreadnoughts. Spamming them may be a good strategy as Havoc Launchers are now options for those taken in the Elite slot. Since Raven Guard LA rules restrict tanks, you should equip them for vehicle hunting if your Fast Attack aren't up to job.
      • Sky Slayers are also a good choice for the heavy slot. The only downside is that the entire squad has to take the same weapon just like Heavy Support Squads, restricting them to hunting enemy armor or infantry blobs.
      • With this restriction Rhinos, Land Raiders & Spartan Assault Tanks should be taken as DTs when you have the points for them. Unless you want an Achilles why are you not using them as DTs?
    • Only one Consul allowed. Coupled with the previous restriction, consider bringing a Praevian and give him camo. Infiltrating Stealthy Castellaxes w/Darkfire cannons can cause more havoc with the same points compared to a Predator squadron.
    • No fortifications or allied Space Marine Legion detachments allowed.
  • New Rite of War: Liberation Force - A guerrilla-themed melee army with some single-use but potent buffs and the potential for good synergy with allies.
    • Freedom Fighters: Once per game at the beginning of your turn, you can give all models in the army Zealot for the remainder of the turn.
    • Slayer of Tyrants: Slay the Warlord secondary objectives give d3 VPs instead of 1.
    • Lead by Example: If you take Allies from Imperialis Militia/Warp Cults, they gain Fearless if they stay within 6" of anyone with the Legion Astartes (Raven Guard) rule. Enginseers don't benefit from Provenances but their Servo-automata allow access up to eight Phased plasma-fusils.
    • Take an allied Force Commander with Survivors of the Dark Age. You now have Fearless, Powered Armor Grenadier squads with access to Bolters, Grenade Launchers, with DT options of a Arvus Lighter(yes a flying DT with gun options), Rhinos or a LR Proteus. Coupled with Forge Lord/Praevian with Cameleoline and options of three flavors of Battle Automata. This gives you a secondary meat grinder force while Raven Guard Jump Infinity, Bikers, Flyers/Skimmers, Dreadnoughts or Troops with Dedicated Transports are free too rush for the objectives, destroy enemy vehicles or assassinate ICs. This makes trolling Konnie and his boys amusing. Just remember to shoot down/melta bomb any heavy firepower he brought with him.
    • Ogryn Brutes while good on paper cost as much as Termis and have no DT options. Pass.
    • Cannot be used by an army with the Shattered Legions theme.
    • Cannot take any Fortifications, or units with the Immobile or Slow and Purposeful (Cataphractii, and only them, had this one; be sure to discuss that moment with your opponent before the game to avoid confusion due to brilliant Forgeworld editing) rules.
      • The only downside is that you can't take Tarantulas and Drop Pods(except Dreadclaws and Kharybdis.) As for allies be aware that Castellax are now Support Units if not taken with FL/Preavian rules. If possible make sure ally Troops have either a Dedicated Transport so they can last longer or Jump Packs to reach the objectives first.
      • Since when do Raven Guard ever use/need Fortifications? Unlike Decapitation Strike, Liberation Force doesn't restrict the number of Heavy Slots. It doesn't get rid of the tank restriction though. Allied Tanks, Deredeo or shooty Leviathan Dreadnoughts, Flyers/Skimmers and Kharybdis Drop Pods can harass or eliminate enemy gun lines for you. Keep your forces mobile and fight like a guerrilla as Corax would.
      • Other good ally choices besides Cults and Militia & Mechanicum are the Solar Auxilla. They don't get the benefits Militia's gain from this ROW but they pull off tricks the two other armies can't, such as Volkite Charger armed Veletaris Storm Sections in a Demolisher Cannon Dracosan for their DT or take a Leman Russ or Super Heavy Tank as an allied HQ. Be warned though to unlock their full potential they have to be Primary Detachment.
    • Can only be used by Loyalists.
  • Unique Wargear:
    • Raven's Talons: Anyone with Lightning Claws (single or paired) can upgrade them to add Master-Crafted and Rending.
    • Infravisor: Gain Night Vision, but Blind tests are taken at I1.
    • Cameleoline: Any Independent Character can take this. Grants Stealth. Not compatible with Jump Packs, Terminator armour, Bikes, or Jetbikes - "Give it to a Praevian: now your T7 infiltrating unit of Monstrous Creatures has also Stealth
    • Fractal-Harrow Blade (Relic): Yet another S+1 Rending power sword (albeit not a specialist weapon, enjoy your +1A). Not the best, but for each wound caused by the weapon's BEARER (so all you need is to have it, FAQ confirms) is counted as two wounds for the purposes of assault results, meaning easier victories. Remember that Blood Angel OP sword of double-wounding? Well this one's just like that, but with worse AP, not master crafted, you need your opponent's permission to use it and the extra wounds are just pretending, not actual wounds. Too bad.
  • Mor Deythan Strike Squad: Elites. Veterans of the Deliverance uprising that fought alongside Corax himself, able to sneak almost as well as their Primarch. They are better Recon squads (BS+1, Implacable Advance) that have traded the Outflank + Acute senses for Stealth and Scout (because being Raven Guard, you were going to Infiltrate them anyway), and have a one-use super-shooting attack that TLs their weapons and gives them Rending (it also improves Sniper rifle's rending by one). Can take a Rhino or a Darkwing as a DT. Cost only 10 points more than a Recon squad, but come weaponless and must buy either sniper rifles, shotguns or combi-weapons and one in every three can take a special weapon; including a Missile launcher with Suspensor Web and Volkite Charger for your "I must really kill something" needs. Also don't ever forget that they come with Close Combat Weapon and a Bolt Pistol, so they have 2 attacks base and 3 on the charge! They're still shit in close combat and should always be shooting, but it could come as a surprise for a unit that charged them.
    • Speaking from experience: 10 Twin-Linked Flamers(combi) with Rending kills just about anything.
    • A 5 man unit equipped with sniper rifles costs exactly the same as 5 Recons, but additional marines aren't as cheap as the latter's. Shotgun wielding Mor Deythans are more expensive than vanilla Recons. Though why would you do that when you can have shooting at Strength 10, Krak missiles and Skyfire?
  • Dark Fury Assault Squad: For when subtle assassination is not enough and a literal decapitation strike is needed. They are pretty much a Fast attack, powered-up version of Vanguard Veterans, coming as 5-10 man units all armed with twin Raven Talons, the leader has WS5, Artificer and also Precision Strikes. They gain a 5+ cover save when arriving via Deep Strike and +1I on the charge, alongside their +1S from being Raven Guard Jump infantry. Unlike Veterans though, they can't score. If anyone ever says they aren't points efficient ask them to tally up the gear and rules. Spoiler alert: They're a steal for what you get.
    • While the Chaplain would seem to be the go-to Consul for these guys, they already get rerolls for Master Crafted on the Raven Talons. On the other hand, a Librarian with Shrouding can boost their cover save to a 3++ and a Vigilator can give them Scout (which also let them outflank).
  • Darkwing Gun Duckship: Worked up Storm Eagle with 2 Twin-linked Lascannons, one Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, Outflank and Stealth for a 3+ Jink save; it also has his own special weapon, the Vengeance Launcher, which fires 2 S4 AP5 Blind & Concussive Large Blast missiles. Extremely useful for crippling a unit you really want dead before charging or shooting it to death. Costs just 25 pts more than a similarly equipped Storm Eagle. Veteran Tactical Squads, Terminators & Mor Deythan can take the Darkwing as a Dedicated Transport if they don't exceed it's transport capacity. Which is reduced to sixteen, so no ten man Dark Fury or Terminator Squads inside it due to the Bulky rule.
    • It pairs best with Mor-Deythan Squads. A Darkwing DT can fly up to an objective than fire it's payload. Mor-Deythan can disembark the turn it Deep Strikes via the Assault Vehicle rule. Add a shooty Praetor/Centurion (I.e. Vigilator or Forge Lord) or either version of Corvus Corax himself for a Sniper Deathstar(Sniper-Star?). Than shoot anything unlucky enough still alive with Fatal Strike, while you're IC and/or Corax cleans up the rest.
  • Strike Captain Alvarex Maun: The 'Master of Descent', always leading drop assaults from the front to secure the landing zone in person, Starship Troopers style. He's basically a Praetor with a Power sword but one less WS, I and A. He is not meant to be in close combat. Instead, he gives candy to your army: first of all, he is really cheap, while still allowing you to use a Rite of War, so you can invest your points somewhere else. Also if he is the Warlord all Flyers and Drop Pods (of any type) in the army get to re-roll failed Reserve rolls and he also has the ability to either give a re-roll on Seize the Initiative, if he was deployed at the beginning of the game, or make his Deep-Striking DT arrive the very moment you start rolling for Reserves. Not enough for you? Good, for he also has the Nightfall Pattern Strato-Vox, which is a powered up version of the Nuncio Vox that prevents the scatter of Deep striking units within 18", for a 36" bubble, of him and also gives any Ravens in a Deep-Striking vehicle Counter-Attack the turn they arrive in (the closest anyone can get to assault the turn they deep strike), along the normal effect of being able to use his LOS for Barrage weapons. But he, obviously, must be on the table (and not inside a vehicle) at the start of the turn to use it.
    • You're taking him not to lead the spearhead (he's not outright bad, but he's worse than the common Centurion), but to ensure the rest of your army arrives in a timely manner. He works amazingly well with Orbital Assault, Decapitation Strike and Angel's Wrath RoWs, where he helps you deploy your whole army in as little as two turns and/or can give the massive advantage of going first. Just remember to give him a good retinue to make sure he doesn't die easily, like with camo in a Rapier battery, and don't ever put him in fight he can't win (so don't put him in almost any fight).
  • Moritat-Prime Kaedus Nex: The 'Blood Crow' was a murderer freed by Corax to help in his uprising. Compared to other Moritats, this guy is king, even more so with the new Plasma-Moritat nerf. He has +1 BS and I than a Moritat, Precision Shots, Shroud Bombs, Melta Bombs, Refractor Field and Cameleoline. Unlike Moritats, however, he lacks Scout, and his 'Lone Killer' rule gets replaced with 'Ill-omened', which means that, unlike them, he benefits from blessings and RoWs (rather nice with Decapitation Strike, as he also doesn't have the Consul rule), but loses the ability to join any kind of squad, even Destroyer squads, (despite being labeled as an Independent character...but if he wasn't, the Alpha Legion could then take him). Despite being able to Infiltrate by virtue of being a Raven Guard you'll never do that, because his 'Relentless Stalker' rule allows him to deploy within 18" of his chosen HQ/Elite target so long as he's out of sight, and by doing so he also gets Shrouded for that first turn. This must happen after all other infiltrators have been set up, but it doesn't count as one, so it bypasses Augury Scanners and allows him to charge turn one with that meltabomb. 'Raven's Vengeance' grants him Zealot when in combat against his target (which is not as amazing as you could think, as it only works in close combat, where he should not be. But could still help in a pinch) and, once he kills them (or they are killed in a phase where he caused at least one unsaved wound), scores a bonus VP. His guns are essentially beefed up Bolt Pistols with a sucktastick Strength of 4, but also AP 4, Rending & Concussive (which synergizes really well with his Precision Shots), and he can wield them in close combat (and he does gain +1 attack for 2 pistols) and with BS6 his Chain-fire ability can be the gift that keeps on giving. But he can never be your Warlord. 'Caedus' Nex translates from Latin as 'Murder and Death' which alone is enough reason to take this psychopath.
    • Combo him in a DecapStrike alpha strike list to get First Blood and bonus VP from Raven's Vengeance. For example: Target an Apothecary, drop a Plasma Seeker Squad with a Telepathy Libby in a pod near Nex and go to town.
  • Corvus Corax: At 450 points, Corax is like a Lictor but LOTS better; the Raven Lord deserves to go solo like the Primarch of an independent legion should be. Unless the unit is a psyker/daemon OR Corax is in a unit OR he is the closest unit to them, they can only snap-fire at him. (Note: this makes him IMMUNE to Blast & Template weapons, unless they hit him by accident or he's close to them, and given how far he can move you have no excuse for him being the closest unit). This makes him very easy to use in games starting at 2k points/cost effective since he doesn't need a transport and/or retinue like every other Primarch. He may also remove himself from play and return to reserves, even while in close combat. Furthermore, his Sire of the Legion gives him old-school Furious Charge (which he can put to extremely good use since he also has Hit & Run) and his entire legion get Acute Senses for Outflanking and always roll 6s on run moves (even Terminators or Jump Units, which is priceless, since they didn't get Fleet from "By Wings and Talons"). Corax is the master of slaughtering line troops; between his high number of attacks, fighting style to add d3 attacks, dual pistols, and pinions adding d3 hammer of wrath hits at AP3 he can kill up to 15 marines a turn before sweeping. Angron wishes he could cull that many out of the gate. Corax is one of a number of Primarchs with alternative gear and profiles, and his is one of the most extreme examples; his stock "fresh" profile represents him during the Great Crusade and the battle of Istvaan V that became the Dropsite Massacre. The damage he sustained to his body and gear in that theatre of death provides the second "wartorn" profile, lowering his statline to account for his unrecovered injuries and demoting and altering certain pieces of wargear, although he also costs 100 points less and gains Infiltrate and Scout (for footslogging purposes) and Hatred of all the Traitor participants in the Drop Site Massacre (for revenge purposes) - except Word Bearers for some weird reason.
    Corax can use the following wargear.
    • Sable Armour: 2+/5+ (cracked and broken to 3+/5+ after Istvaan) makes him one of the more fragile Primarchs, however he does cause Deep Strike mishaps on doubles to arriving enemies within 12" and teleport homers just don't work around him. Coupled with his blistering movement speed and his snapfire-defense, and the enemy is unlikely to ever catch him.
    • Panoply of the Raven Lord: A twinned-claw and whip (it's not often you see one on a non-slaanesh marine!) ensemble, these tools of the Raven's trade count as a single two-handed weapon with AP2, Shred and Blind. Can choose each turn to either gain D3 attacks or add +3 to penetration rolls(So S10 on the charge) and auto-wound on a 5+(with Shredding rerolls) or impose -1 to enemy To Hit rolls. Once upon a time the Blinding nature of this weapon was a big part of Corax's anti-primarch gear, but then a nerf that rule came and hit him hard. It's best now to avoid enemy Primarchs in melee, or pull out the stops and bait them hit and run+reserves shenanigans; cut them up, rapid-retreat and leave them out in the open for the rest of your army to gun them down.
    • Korvidine Pinions: Left broken and fuelless by the slaughter of Istvaan, these fancy jet-wings make stock Corax Jump infantry with rerolls to Deep strike scatter, the ability to Vector Strike and provides D3 Hammer of Wrath hits on all charges at S5, and at AP3. Should Corax suffer a DS mishap with the Pinions, he always gets the mildest "delayed" result.
    • 2 x Archeotech pistols: Same as Praetors, good for hammering a few wounds off MEQs and Angron before the charge. Wartorn Corax ran out of the weird ammunition these puppies require, so he takes to wielding a stripped-down Assault 3 Heavy Bolter instead. So long as you're shooting at targets with armour saves of 4+ or less, or 2+, or really good Invulnerable or Cover saves, this is a side-grade or upgrade really.
    • Shroud Bombs: *Poof!*
    • Frag Grenades: Really, Primarchs should just be able to chuck a brace of them at once already...
  • Weaknesses: Watch out for high-Invulnerable save multi-wound models; Iron Halo Praetors, Legion-exclusive Cataphractii Terminators and anything with a Storm Shield. You will not kill them quickly. Watch out even harder for concentrated AP 2, especially with the aforementioned defenses, because that mere 5++ is not enough to save this Raven. Charging Red Butchers, Deathshrouds with Rad Grenades and TH/SS Fists and Drakes are a real nightmare. Also, it bears repeating: don't fight other Primarchs in melee unless you can hit and run away to leave them exposed. If you're Ravenning like a true Raven Guard, you've already prepared to shoot the shit out them with podded Seekers and ScInfiltrated Fatal Striking Mor Deythan. The Raven Guard are here to prove a point about tactics, not blunt schlubbyness; Never fight fair and always exploit weakness.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Space Wolves:
    • Salamanders:
    • Mechanicum:

XX Legion: Alpha Legion[edit]

Ultramarine legion pre-heresy shoulderpad.png

??? The only thing you can say for certain about Alpha legion tactics is that they're an infantry-heavy army with more CC attacks than you'd expect, though mechanized-infantry and Deep Striking lists are quite viable, and potentially devastating when pulled off. As for what is that infantry going to do, you can't make predictions. Either moving fast, popping your tanks or CREEEEEEDing Land Raiders, they can have playstyles so different you'd think you're facing an entirely different legion. And with Alpharius and their RoWs affecting reserves and outright stealing enemy units, it might be.

However, with Mutable Tactics being their only trait, they play like normal Legion marines with a few buffs here or there, their sole non-RoW actual advantage being flexibility - if you only want Mutable Tactics to get an all-infiltrating army, you'd do better playing the Raven Guard. As such, the use of DTs is very recommended, so you can pull an Alpharius on that silly player who thought he could list-tailor against THE Unbroken Chain. At the same time, however, that just about sums it up. You have highly flexible tactics, but strategically you have to be aggressive and fast-moving. Almost all of your tactics allow you to move faster or give you deployment options you wouldn't have otherwise, and those that don't give you greater ability against one thing in particular. You still have to have a solid, core plan, and stick to it, but it is the fringe elements of the army that are flexible and more readily arranged to assist a solid core. And, especially with the Alpha Legion, short-range saturation is king. You can start up close, but your advantage is in shooting rather than melee, so infiltrate, do whatever you have to to go first, and then dakka the enemy off the board in the order that you have decided they need to go. Especially key with the huge numbers of deathstars running around the battlefields now- pop up, and carefully annihilate unit after unit in your decided order.

Firm believers that the strong are strongest alone, they treat almost everyone as Distrusted Allies, have no Sworn Brothers, and their signature operators are lone wolves. Jacks-of-all-trades, but master of none, they're difficult to play as, and kinda need their awesome unique characters to shine (good thing you are Alpharius), but their ability to mess with the enemy's reserves or Ballistic Skill and pull some serious bait-and-switch by choosing their Mutable Tactic (and Strategic trait with Skorr) means that, if you use them well, your enemy will be playing YOUR game. Hydra Dominatus!

  • Legion Special Rules
    • Mutable Tactics: Your choice of Scout, Infiltrate, Tank Hunters, Counter Attack, Move Through Cover, or Adamantium Will. Choose it when you pick warlord traits - This makes the Alpha Legion nigh unpredictable and higly adaptable.
      • Combining Mutable tactics with Veteran tactics makes for a unit with the potential to accomplish any kind of role, the true ideal of the Alpha Legion. Take it a step forward and bring a Delegatus or Praetor to reliably add WTs into the mix. Also, Laser Destroyer Rapiers with Tank Hunters are really scary.
      • This combines amazingly well with the vanilla Rites so never forget that you aren't obliged to play an RoW exclusive to the Alpha Legion. The possibilities genuinely are amazing. Pride of the Legion? Infiltrating Terminator army. Orbital Assault? Counter Attack protects your guys. You could pull the Raven Guard trick of Infiltrating Land Raiders by using Armoured Spearhead, but not having their 'Flesh over Steel' limitation you can perform a fully mechanized Hammer & Anvil maneuver. You lose out the benefits of the XXth's unique RoWs, but switching between rites and tactics is how you make sure no one can ever list-tailor against you.
    • Martial Hubris: If the Alpha Legion suffers more units destroyed than the foe, the enemy gains +1 VP. Figures that the Last Legion's main disadvantage would mirror the First's, but mercifully it's only 1 VP and not 1d3 of them.
      • While this rule places the same pressure on an army as the Dark Angel's Covenant of Death rule, in one crucial aspect it is inverted - for Alpha Legion forces, it pays to go pour your army's points into a tight group of expensive, potent units. If you go out of your way to do this, you can read this rule as "Don't lose", as there's no way to suffer more destructions than the enemy other than by losing anyway. While MSU can be tempting for Alpha Legionnaire sneaky tactics, it's setting yourself up for a fall.
  • Unique Rite of War: The Coils of the Hydra - Unlike other rites buffing your units, this one nerfs your enemy, which can stack to hilarious levels and net you map control. When your enemies' Command and Control fails them and they come across unexpected forces that were loyal to you all along, you can dictate the pace of the battle and strike them from all directions with the strength and subtle lethality of the Hydra!
    • Subterfuge: +1 to going first OR can reroll Seize the Initiative - A huge incentive to run this ROW since an all Infiltrating or Scouting force has a massive advantage on turn 1. Combine it with Alpharius to get a re-roll 4+ Seize, or roll the Strategic Genius WT in case you aren't bringing your Primarch.
    • Signal Corruption: -1 to enemy reserves. Combined with a Land Raider Proteus with Explorator Augury Web and the Divide to Conquer Strategic Trait (-1 to enemy reserves) you can bring a reserve-dependent army to tears when they can only call reinforcements on a 6+...With Alpharius, your enemy's "reinforcement" could actually be yours.
    • The Rewards of Treason: Gain the ability to use any other Legion's special units (except for ICs or unique units) as an Elites choice. They keep all equipment and special rules, but switch out their parent Legion's special rules for the Alpha Legion's rules.
      • This is THE reason you are using this RoW, hell, a very strong reason for playing Alpha Legion in the first place. You get your choice of trolling: Tank Hunter Tyrant terminators, Counter Attack Grave Wardens, Infiltrating Pyroclasts. All possible.
      • This legally allows traitor only units as Loyalists. Like Gal Vorbak.
    • Must take an additional compulsory Troops choice.
    • All infantry must possess either Deep Strike, Infiltrate, or a Dedicated Transport - Coupled with the previous point, this will make the Rite difficult to use in low point matches and is a pretty big restriction to how you can field your army.
      • Even though the rules state that Mutable Tactics is granted to your army at the point of picking your Warlord Traits (thus just before deployment) you can circumvent the "needs a DT" restriction by picking Infiltrate as your Mutable Tactic, emails from FW confirm it. This makes the Alphas extremely powerful if you build around it. Army-wide Infiltration without paying a DT tax means that you can grab control of the whole board right from the start, getting your units cover saves AND great fields of fire immediately. Add to that it providing Outflank for any infantry unit in a DT, you can ensure your reserves arrive where they can be immediately effective. It's a huge boon in any game, especially those with location-based objectives, enabling you to be ready to grab objectives from turn one.
        • This has now been confirmed in an FAQ from FW as well, so now we can use this tactic without any question.
    • Only one Consul permitted (save for Vigilator). This means limited use of Delegatii (like Skorr) and Saboteurs, which makes little sense given they are AL-specific Vigilators. Someone needs to e-mail FW about this.
    • No fortifications or allied Space Marine Legion detachments. Not like you were allying with them to begin with, almost all of your options being Distrusted Allies.
  • Unique Rite of War: Headhunter Leviathal - A low-risk RoW focusing on Headhunters and going first to achieve a decapitation strike based around deception rather than speed and fury. With the Alpha Legion, you can never be sure if your "friends" really are your friends or operatives looking to put a dagger in your back.
    • Headhunter Elite: Headhunter Kill Teams become the compulsory Troop choices. Too bad they're in bad need of an update.
    • Sudden Strike: If your primary detachment is using this RoW, you can re-roll the dice to see who gets the first turn. Important, given that it focuses on striking first. Again, you can combine it with Alpharius or the Strategic Genius WT.
    • False Flags: Any enemy that declares a ranged attack against an Alpha Legion unit in the first game turn that has not yet been fired on by an AL unit that turn must pass a Ld test first. If it fails, it forfeits all shooting attacks for that phase. It can still fire Overwatch, though. If you don't get the first turn, you get a firewall to blunt the enemy's opening salvo, but try to go first. The odds of failing with Ld9 are 1/6, and it doesn't mention enemy vehicles.
    • Failing to kill the Warlord grants the opponent D3 VPs, even if Slay the Warlord wasn't an objective. Hence the Headhunters, but don't forget that Warlords often come with 2+ armour saves, so equipping Headhunters with Combi-Melta or Combi-Plasma will work better than leaving them with their bog-standard Banestrike Combi-Bolters.
    • All vehicles in the Alpha Legion army must begin in reserve. Flyers would begin in reserve anyway and the mobility helps.
    • Cannot take Allies of any kind ("They can't afford to leave any witnesses!"). Fortifications are fine, though, but usually don't work well with your Headhunter troops because of their short-ranged weapons, so save the Fortifications for your longer-ranged units.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Banestrike Bolter Rounds: a.k.a. Poor man's Rending. Bolt shells deliberately designed to breach Astartes Power Armour, which they shared with their Sons of Horus buddies. Bolters and Combi-Bolters with this ammo treat To Wound rolls of 6 as AP3, but their range gets reduced to 18". For Heavy Bolters, however, it's a direct upgrade since the range remains the same. Seekers may exchange their Scorpius with Banestrike at no cost, whereas Veterans and Legion Terminators can get this for +20 pts and ICs for +5 pts.
      • Sadly, anyone with access to this special ammunition also has access to better weapons. Scorpius rounds after the update are better than ever, S5 AP2 offsetting them being a Heavy weapon. Veterans have access to Sniper Tactics, which are better and free of charge.Hold up now the 2018 FaQ has removed the Marksmen tactic for Veterans, but even so Banestrike is still pretty sucky for them; give them a couple of Banestrike heavy bolters with suspensor webs which gives them a little bit of bite and let your Seekers and (if you really want Banestrike rounds) Headhunters do the heavy lifting. While Legion Terminators (AKA not the stolen variants) have access to Volkite Chargers that can inflict almost double the wounds, Banestrike rounds are markedly cheaper than Volkite weaponry, so Legion Terminators could get some use out of them, and the price difference only grows the more Legion Terminators there are in a unit.
    • Power Daggers: S(User-1) AP3 Rending Specialist Weapon for your characters, all for dirt-cheap 5pts. They're the cheapest way to give an extra attack to someone with a Powerfist, Chainfist, Lightning Claw, or Paragon Blade (i.e. Praetor + Paragon + Power Dagger + Digilasers = 7x S5 AP2 Murderous strike attacks on the charge at In5). Worthy of note are Terminator Sergeants, for this is the only way for them to gain +1 attack with Fists/Thunder Hammers, or to gain an extra Lightning claw attack without surrendering their shooting attacks. Extra Troll points for giving it to a stolen Legion-specific Terminator, like Firedrake Master's WS5 MC Hammer.
      • Daggers are incredibly cheap, and that -1S is a little deceptive given the rest of the package, so they're a must-have for those Powerfist-equipped Sergeants. In the usual mirror-match, your Sgts. can forgo the Powerfist and stab the opponent at initiative (with +1A) instead of waiting until I1 for the Powerfist arm-wrestling duel. That is, as long as the enemy doesn't have Artificer Armour. Compared to a power sword, daggers almost suck ass by themselves (5+ to wound on an MEQ), but Rending is decent for TEQs, at least at mere +5pts. Still, against 3+ saves or worse, Power Daggers are twice as good as a regular CCW, and an extra power sword attack won't do much against 2+ saves anyway.
    • Venom Spheres: Assault Grenades made of poisoned crystals that grant Hammer of Wrath to their bearer. They can also be used to throw a S3 AP- blast. Praetors, Consuls, Techmarines and Apothecaries can swap their Frag grenades for this for +5 pts, and Veterans, Seekers and Destroyers get them for +25 pts for the whole squad, regardless of size. Remember HoW is on a model by model basis, so an attached IC with Venom Spheres won't mean a lot.
    • Venom Sphere Harness: As above, but it does shoot two S3 AP- small blasts, but on the turn it's used it does grant Hammer of Wrath to the entire squad. For Terminators and one-use only.
    • The Drakaina (Relic): A virus-pistol. Shoots a S4 AP4 Poisoned/Rending shot, however, a squad that suffers casualties from this weapon has to take D6 Toughness tests for the rest of the game, with each failed test causing a further automatic wound, with no saves of any kind allowed. Can only be nullified by passing ALL tests. But then you just shoot the unit with the pistol again and start the cycle over and over - The Nanyte blaster is AP2 and uses Large Blasts for extra deaths, which are better than Rending & Toughness tests. And the blaster is cheaper. But, since this is a Pistol, a Case could be made about giving it to a Moritat....
      • Been there done that, I pumped out 19(!) shots at a terminator squad; only one got past the armor, but the poison killed them off in 2(!) turns. However, with new rules for Moritat (max 12 hits) this tactics is not as viable as it was before.
  • Headhunter Kill Team: An AL-specific variant of Seeker squads. Same base price, but more points per model than the already horrendously expensive Seekers. Instead of 'Marked for Death' (PE vs 1 squad), they have Infiltrate, and exchange special ammo for Banestrike-only Combi-bolters. Like Seekers, they have Implacable Advance (Scoring) and Precision Shots. Each Headhunter can take Combi-Weapons for the same cost of Terminators, which helps to make them a lot more adaptable, and a single model can trade his Combi-Bolter for a Banestrike Heavy Bolter with Suspensor Web, so do it regardless of size. Use them as a mix of short-ranged Seeker-Veterans for when you have saturated your Elites options, and mix their Infiltrate with your Mutable Tactic of choice, whilst using their twin-linked bolters with Banestrike ammo to kill infantry. That's the role they do best.
    • They can take Dreadclaws as a DT, which helps them with their short-range anti-infantry role. Their Power Daggers, at S3 with Rending AP3 generate twice as many unsaved wounds than S4 AP-- which, coupled with Hammer of Wrath from their Venom Spheres make them unexpectedly nasty in close combat. Infiltrate or Dreadclaw DTs (which can Heat Blast) will get them close, but being armed with Bolters means you'll have to choose either to Rapid fire Banestrike hoping for the best (~6.3 unsaved wounds) or charge and hope for the best too (~5.9). You'll end up within charge range, so choose Counter-Attack as your Mutable Tactic to help with assaults.
  • Lernaean Terminators: The Elite of the elite among the XXth legion, these unique Terminators come with Cataphractii armor, Power Axes and Volkite Chargers, and are WS5, Scoring, with Stubborn, and the team leader also has 3 attacks base. And each Terminator costs only 3 points more than a similarly-equipped vanilla version, what's not to like? Instead of the standard Reaper Autocannon for a heavy weapon, they can take a Conversion Beamer for when you're sitting on a point or when you spot something in the distance that you want to blast to death with an S10 AP1 shot. It may seem a little odd that a unit with notoriously short-ranged volkites for standard weapons can get a heavy weapon that is notorious for getting stronger against distant targets, but a Conversion Beamer is a S6 Small blast at close range, so it's still an upgrade, and just like the XXth legion in general, this unintuitive-but-versatile weapons mix also allows them to remain viable at all ranges and against all targets.
  • Saboteur: The AL's unique Consul. Has a stronger sabotage attack than the Vigilator, with D6 S6 AP3 hits against things with a Toughness value, or an auto-penetrating hit with an AP 2 value against vehicles. The attack ignores cover saves either way, upping its reliability - you can't hide from the Hydra. The Saboteur's shooting attacks also benefit from Precision Shots, which is sometimes nice. In return, a Saboteur must deploy from reserves, and cannot join any units at all, making these sneaks more lonely than Moritats. Needless to say, this is an obstacle for the Saboteur, and one further compounded by his lack of stealth rules once on the board, even though he's sneaky enough to always pull off a pre-game Sabotage attack. Why he can't join squads of Seekers/Headhunters or other squads with Infiltrate is a mystery. Without the Sniper Special ammo Bolter of a normal Vigilator (but free Melta bombs, woo!), there are a lot of situations where you'd simply be better off with a Vig (or Moritat for loner fun) unless you really want that cover-ignoring guaranteed AP 2 Penetrating hit. At least Saboteurs have a few more weapon options - they take a Combi-Weapon and one or two Lightning Claws. A good example of email bait to FW...
    • In a small points-cost game, a Saboteur is unlikely to accomplish much; his ability's worth is outside the user's hands, is fairly pricey in both points and FO slots, and the Saboteur is highly vulnerable and a merely average combat threat thereafter. In a more expensive game, a single Saboteur can be seen as an insurance option; high-value Deathstar units like Spartans packed to the gunnels with lethal Terminators/Command Squads/Legion-exclusives become more of a guarantee, and a counter-guaranteed Penetrating alpha-strike is a perfectly-fitting response. The investment of points and lack of other use for the Sab diminish in scale with the overall points cost, while the benefits only become more reliable; the one time you immobilize a Spartan before the game starts will really out the silver on your spear. Giving the Sab the Combat augment array relic, guaranteeing a 6 on the vehicle damage chart, is an expensive way to guarantee an Explodes! result (with the +1 from AP2), forcing said deathstar unit to footslog its way across the table. Still, if you know you aren't going to come up against any such lynchpin juggernauts, there's little reason to take him outside of a splash-casual match.
  • Armillus Dynat: The dude who everybody thought was Alpharius on the book's preview - in fact, "Armillus" isn't his real name either, suggesting that "Armillus Dynat" is in fact a title bestowed on anyone who possesses the needed skills, possibly like other "unique" AL characters. An interesting choice that makes Alpha Legion units and Dreadnoughts in your opponent's deployment zone gain re-roll on Sweeping advance rolls and +1 on the vehicle damage chart, so take Tank Hunters to get those Penetrating Hits. He exchanged 1 attack for one more Wound (4) and has Weapon mastery (a la Horus, Tyberos, and Logan Grimnar) and a Power Sword/Thunder Hammer, along with Venom spheres, Iron Halo, a Phosphex bomb and a Cognis Signum, which ends up being +1BS to a unit because he has no ranged weapons. He has to be the Warlord, and has a unique Warlord trait that allows you to grant one infantry unit the ability to deep strike with re-roll on the scatter. Could be an excellent addition to an aggressive, close-combat oriented Alpha Legion list. Also consider combining his Deep Strike-enabling warlord trait and his Harrowing ability to Deep Strike a squad of Meltagun-equipped infantry. Even with most vehicles possessing Armoured Ceramite, your re-roll on the scatter can let you reliably get behind Vindicators, Predators, or even Sicarans to target their rear armor, and suddenly your Meltaguns are making vehicles explode on a roll of 4+. Extra extra Alpha points if your opponent spends his entire next turn shooting to wipe out just 10 guys that just killed a tank squadron, allowing your army a little more breathing room.
  • Exodus: The Assassin. He has a sniper rifle called 'The Instrument' that can be fired in two modes - Rapid Shot makes it S5 AP4 with Salvo 2/4 and Rending, while Execution Shot makes it S6 AP3 with Heavy 1, Rending, Ignores Cover, and Lethal (unsaved wounding hits inflict two wounds instead of one). To make him more effective at picking off special snowflakes, he gets Precision Shots on a to hit roll of 4+. However, he can never be the Warlord and can only join Legion Reconnaissance Squads and Headhunter Kill Teams. With Infiltrate, Move through cover, Scout, Acute senses, Cameleoline and IWND, Exodus can do well enough on his own.
    • With his ton of special rules, half of the Mutable tactics overlap. Pick Tank Hunters or Counter-attack when choosing him, given that his squad is always small (if any) and that he has Melta bombs. Psykers are not too common, unless you are up against the Word Bearers or the Thousand Sons, so if you can snipe the psyker, Adamantium will won't be needed.
    • The funny thing is that his Instrument has the Rending USR, not Sniper, meaning he has a chance to penetrate Contemptor Dreadnought or glance a Spartan, doubly so with the Tank Hunters Mutable Tactic, but this means he will struggle to wound Castellaxes and other high-Toughness Mechanicum monsters.
  • Autilon Skorr: A unique Alpha Legion Consul-Delegatus from the HH Weekender 2015, he's a basic Delegatus with Artificer Armor, a Refractor Field, and an MC Power Axe, all for 125 points. But the real reason you take him is because he gets to choose his (strategic) warlord trait (though he can still roll on the other tables) and is Ld10. This makes him a great choice either at high or low point values. He is actually one of the absolute best value for money force multiplier HQs in all of Warhammer 40k, because the ability to choose a trait from the (Extremely good) strategic traits table, coupled with the ability to force six turns, allows you to tailor your list around the sort of opponent you expect to face. That said, he has very little value if he is not the warlord, and he is outshone in larger points games by Alpharius's ridiculous level of power scaling (Preferred enemy - everything applying to 1000 points of units is a cool bonus, but not game-breaking. Preferred enemy everything applying to 5000pts points worth of units, is absolutely stupid).
Alpharius
  • Alpharius: His stats aren't too good for a unit costing 415 points (which happens to exceed the cost of quite a few Primarchs), but you won't take one of the Last Primarchs (or whomever among the legion has ingested some of their blood and is carrying their wargear) for his value as a beatstick - you'll take one of them for how badly he can fuck with your opponent. Sire of the Alpha Legion grants all Alpha Legion units Preferred Enemy (Everything) and gives Alpharius Counter attack, Move through Cover, Scout, and Crusader - but not right away. You see, after both sides deploy, he can opt out of his current position (e.g. on the table, in reserves etc.) and instead choose to hide in any Alpha Legion Infantry unit in the Primary Detachment, disguised as a rank-and-file model. Alpharius can reveal himself from turn 2 onwards (and does so automatically at turn 5), replacing any one model and gaining all of the above buffs. If the unit hiding him is "falling back" when he reveals himself, it auto-rallies, and if it's destroyed while he's still hiding (or if it is in a Transport and there is no space for him), he just goes into reserves (you must write which unit is hiding Alpharius...but if you're a true Alpha legionnaire you'd have 6 different notes, none of them with your actual handwriting). Be careful though: remember that he is Bulky and that he can only be revealed at the beginning of your own turn, so if he is hiding in a transport at full capacity he could be impossible to reveal (for example, in a ten-man Breacher squad riding inside a Rhino), so plan accordingly (i.e. disembark in advance). Armies led by Alpharius can also Seize the Initiative on a 4+, and grant units arriving via Outflank a +D3 movement bonus. Best of all, whenever an enemy unit passes its reserve roll and you happen to have a unit of that exact same type in reserve, roll a D6: on a 4+, the opponent brings in your unit instead, so list-tailoring works greatly in your favour! Combine him with his legion's unique RoWs to almost guarantee going first and largely negate the enemy's reserves, and Alpharius's reputation as a master of black ops and deception justifies itself.
    Alpharius bears the following wargear:
    • The Pythian Scales: 2+/4++ and ignores the effects of Poison and Fleshbane. Better than Mortarion's, but unlike his Barbaran brother, Alpharius has no protection against Sniper-type weaponry, so keep that in mind. This armour still makes him absolutely trollworthy against Dark Angels and Death Guard, given how the former's dreaded Molecular Acid shells and the latter's numerous sources of Poisoned weaponry cannot harm Alpharius. It also makes him immune to the highly-devastating Phosphex (which has Poison 3+ rule) from any source.
    • The Pale Spear: No boost to Strength, but it does have AP1, Armourbane, and Instant Death along with Two-Handed. Also, it's a Necron weapon. Don't ask how he got it. It can be surprisingly effective at tankbusting given Alpharius' S6 and 5 attacks boosted by Armourbane and AP1, and its rules also mean he's good at clearing out units of multi-wound infantry.
    • Venom Spheres: Grants Hammer of Wrath. Better than frags.
    • Master-Crafted Plasma Blaster: For your shooting needs. Seeing as Alphie has the best BS of all the Primarchs (at a whopping 7), this weapon's 2 S7 AP2 shots with re-rolls for to-hit rolls of two can be very handy for sniping Terminators. Sadly it doesn't have a name like most Primarch wargear, so this author suggests calling it the "Eyes of the Hydra Basilisk."
    • Cognis-signum: Provides Night Vision and keeps infiltrators away within 18", while also granting Interception within the same range. Also, if he doesn't want to use his blaster, gives +1BS to a unit within 6, such as the unit that was hiding him.
    • Nuncio Vox: To get Deep strikers and accurate Barrages where your enemy didn't expect it.
    • Cameleoline: Grants stealth, which gives +1 to the cover save to him AND his unit. Great for being a sneaky mo' fo'.
  • Weaknesses: With only 5 attacks, Alpharius cannot handle hordes or tarpits well (though he can quickly skewer small squads of multi-wound models just fine), so he needs a good retinue unless you feel that putting him in a deathstar unit will give away your attempts to hide him. He also happens to be one of the few Primarchs who shoots better than he strikes, so make sure to give him plenty of opportunities to fire off his blaster to whittle down the opposition before closing in for hand-to-hand combat once he's revealed himself. Never forget that Poison and Fleshbane attacks often have blast templates, and that his Poison/Fleshbane immunity only applies to himself, so well-aimed Poison attacks or even a lucky Phosphex artillery barrage could reduce his retinue to toxic sludge and leave him standing all by his lonesome in the open against the enemy's guns. Keep him away from other Primarchs and use his hiding ability to get him where your opponent least wants or expects him to be, while giving him a useful retinue, and he'll happily tear out chunks of the enemy force and laugh as another of his convoluted plans comes to fruition.
  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Imperial Army:

Age of Darkness Theme: Shattered Legions[edit]

If you can't decide on which Legion to go for (or Coils of the Hydra isn't cutting it for you anymore), you are allowed to mix it up and create a theme army made up of a variety of different Legions, representing the survivors of the cataclysmic battles of their times. Thus grants you some access to each of their special rules and units.

Before you jump in head first and try to uncover game breaking combinations, be aware that the new "Age of Darkness themes are optional rules which require the consent of both players to use. Now we've cleared that out, let's get on to uncover game breaking combinations, shall we?

  • Special Rules
    • Shattered Legions are chosen from the regular Crusade Army List, ie. they're still marines.
    • The primary detachment must include a selection of units with at least two different versions of the Legiones Astartes special rule; vehicles are assigned to a legion by their paint scheme, even if they don't have LA rules themselves (aka no more unpainted stuff). Remember: not even Sworn Brothers may embark in ally's transports, only their own. Furthermore, "In order to take choices from a specific Legion" (aka Legion specifics) you must include either a Praetor, Centurion, Consul or Special Character with the appropriate Legiones Astartes from that Legion. Shadrak Meduson counts as a member of the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard, freeing a lot of space and allowing many shenanigans.
    • You may not include any Primarch as part of your force, nor may it include any Blackshields.
    • You must declare whether your Force is "Loyalist" or "Traitor", which will have rules implications with respect to what unique units you may take, or for the hatred rules of your opponent.
    • The Whole is Greater than the Sum: As long as your army's warlord is alive, units within your army with different Legiones Astartes rules treat each other as Sworn Brothers (ignoring the allies matrix, which would otherwise hurt this army). However, if the warlord is slain, units with different rules revert to Distrusted Allies instead, ejecting independent characters from units they had joined. Furthermore, when the Warlord dies, only units from his Legion can be scoring units (if they were scoring).
      • This also means that an allied detachment always begins the game as a sworn brother, regardless of the allies chart.
      • Taking Meduson as your warlord would mean the Salamander, Raven Guard and Iron Hand elements of your army would still be scoring (albeit would still treat each other as Distrusted Allies).
    • The Price of Redemption: Your units are never denial units (even if they're also scoring). A huge weakness, essentially giving Objective Secured to your opponents scoring units.
  • Rites of War: A shattered Legion can use any generic Rite of War, as well as any Legion specific one, as long as your Warlord comes from the appropriate Legion. In this case the rules of the rite apply across your whole detachment, regardless of what Legions make it up.
  • Legion specific rules: Some Legions have rules which restrict what units are available, like Iron Hands "Rigid Tactics" or Raven Guard "Flesh over Steel", while others have rules that inflict penalties on the army if the Warlord is slain (Night Lords, Ultramarines). These rules are ignored as otherwise they would create incompatible army builds. (Lists are given in the rulebook) Alpha Legion are also effectively LA-less unless the Warlord is Alpha Legion (except for Banestrike and power dagger options) so, if you're including them, the Warlord should be AL.
  • Rite of War: After Isstvan - This fluffy Rite is meant to enact bloody Retribution (ayylmao) on the Traitors by combining the strengths of the Loyalist survivors of the Dropsite Massacre.
    • Survival of the Fittest: Veteran Tactical squads become non-compulsory troops.
    • Crucible of Hate: All models with the Legiones Astartes rule gain Hatred (Traitors)
    • Blood Price: You gain D3 victory points for Slay the Warlord instead of just one.
    • You must take a Praetor/Centurion from the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions - Note that this doesn't restrict you exclusively to those three Legions, you can still add other units from other Legions not on the list, although it fills your HQ slots. Do note you can't bring Cassian Dracos: it specifies "Praetor/Centurion", not just "HQ".
      • This Rite pretty much revolves around 'Slay the Warlord'. It doesn't restrict you to use those three legions, but you can always bring Meduson. The Ravens are among the best legions to enact a killing blow, while the Iron Hands and Salamanders are characterized by their resilience. In other words, they can become a formidable Hammer and Anvil force, the Salamander's flamecraft herding the enemy to crash head on with the Iron Hands, while the Raven Guard strikes the critical points, hopefully netting you 3VPs.
    • May not take Allied, Lord of War or Fortifications detachments - That means you're not likely to play matches with the big boys, but you aren't meant to anyway.
    • You may not include more Tactical squads than Veteran Tactical squads, aka your Tactical squads have a Veteran tax (taxicals) - You could bring either Assault or Breacher squads instead of tacticals as your compulsory troops and avoid having to buy paired Tacticals & Vets, not to mention Assault and Breacher squads can be used in a more aggressive way and with numerous weapon and/or transport options (Land Raider DTs).
      • If you still want to take at least one Veteran Squad make them Raven Guard. Why? Because they are able to take Darkwings as Dedicated Transports. While expensive in both points and IRL money, Troops with flying DTs are annoying to remove from objectives and with a little luck will get there first. Take a Mor Deythan squad as an Elite choice so you can spam as many flyers as possible.
  • Rite of War: Hunter-Killer Mission - A Rite bent on wiping enemy units to the exclusion of everything else...even the exclusion of actual bonuses.
    • Masters of the Hunt: Recon squads lose the 'Support Squad' rule and Seekers become non-compulsory Troops.
      • Considering the restrictions of this Rite. You may want to use your new troops as an excuse to take as many Storm Eagle and Land Raider Dedicated Transports as possible.
    • Run them Down: Gains an extra VP for wiping out an enemy unit, or D3 VPs if the enemy was Sweep Advanced which, considering the limitations, you'll not only want, but need to sweep advance - Avoid using Cataphractii terminators, consider using lots of Emperor's Children and other melee legions. Ashen Circle may also be useful.
    • Jaws of the Trap: When outflanking, rolling a 6 lets you choose any table edge to deploy that unit from, even the opposing player's table edge.
    • Traitors only.
    • The Warlord must be an Emperor's Children - a strangely specific request, but at least ECs are pretty good at Sweep Advances. And you kinda need to.
    • The army must contain units from at least two different legions, this means that even if you take them as allies, you have to use more than one Legion. Getting around the normal "Primary Detachment" restriction on mixed Shattered Legions.
    • The army can't earn VPs from controlling either objective markers, terrain or areas of the table - Ie: not only your army doesn't deny, but it also can't score. Gotta wipe out those loyalists, too bad they don't really give you any advantages to do so.

What you were actually looking for: Legion Shenanigans

  • Death Guard: They bring a much needed element for a Shattered Legions army: scoring termies fucking everywhere. Srsly, you can field Scoring Termies as HQ, Elites (both Deathshroud) and Heavy choices (Grave Wardens). That's fucking rad. And speaking of rad (aaaay), The Reaping's Rad grenades can greatly help other legion specifics, especially ones equipped with Jump packs (because of the mobility restrictions) or S5 (to wound on 2+), like Dark Furies or Red Butchers, for example. Move Through Cover is also a huge boon to anyone with a jump pack, bike, or jetbike, as they can now go anywhere they want without any fear whatsoever of Dangerous Terrain tests or slower movement. And then you bring Blood Angel Megadakka™ or Dark Angels Acid duty Heavy support squads as Troops, and fill your Heavy choices with Iron Havocs and...well, now you understand why you need the enemy's permission to even play as a shattered legion, don't you?
    • Supreme Commander Asshole: Remember how Morturg is a very good Warlord but is hurt a lot by the Death Guard's lack of decent friends Sworn Brothers? Well not when leading a Shattered Legion, where everybody mingles along just fine, ensuing some tricks on the level of Assholetep himself. Phoenix Terminators/Palatine Blades that wound on 2+ with AP2 at I6 inside a Spartan (or with Jump Packs) in position turn one? Sure. Want to make the Night lords scarier by means of rad-equipped Raptors uncomfortably near? You can. Three squads still not enough for you? Fill the rest with Raven Guard if you feel the need of an all-infiltrating army (recommended or not, you can if you want to). Go with Iron Warriors to have pinning Heavy Bolters (stick them up somewhere high) ensuring that your enemy stays in place while you use chem-flamer spam to burn them out of whatever hole they're hiding in, or go with Iron Hands to use their grav-equipped troops to get a few easy haywire shots, or just harass enemy units while everyone in your army has Move Through Cover and with Rad Grenades on them the Iron Hands then become good at both ranged and melee combat (just grab some other DG Praetor to get the Rite if you really want it). Regardless of your choice of buddies, sneaky-sneaking and Endurance pyschic powers are massive boons to any army. No wonder why Morturg's ragtag fighters on Isstvan III were so effective.
  • Imperial Fist and Iron Hands/Salamanders/Ultramarines: Use the Stone Gauntlet RoW with IH Immortals. Congrats, bolters can now only wound them on sixes, they always get their FnP(5+) and can't be ID by shooting. The Stone Gauntlet is hilarious on loads of other legions, like T5/HoW Suezarians (as if they needed to be more broken), Ultramarine sword-wielding Breachers, or Firedrakes (T5/2W/2+/3++! Add a P. Medicae! Prepare to lose all your friends!). Be thankful the Iron Circle's Karceri battle shields aren't affected by the RoW (although they do have 5++ like Dragonscale shields and defensive grenades like Boarding shields, and most definitely look like a giant version of both, being "power field-augmented" shields).
  • Word Bearers and World Eaters: Have a very nice combo of WE Crimson Path RoW and deepstriking WB units with both the Daemon and LA rule (like Diabolists and lucky Dark Channeled units but not LA-less Gal Vorbak), as they can deepstrike and immediately gain the FnP (and IWND in the ICs' case). Forces you to play very aggressively, but it pays off more often than not. And it's fluffy too!
  • Emperor's Children and Space Wolves: While not quite the fluffiest pair out there there is an interesting combo between the Grey Slayers and the EC RoW Maru Skara. To recount, on the first turn of the game the Maru Skara grants +1 to movement, run and charge distances for all models and since Grey Slayers can do all three in one turn for +3 inches of movement! Turn one charges aren't out of the question with this set up.

Age of Darkness Theme: Army of Dark Compliance[edit]

Another themed army, built from a blending of Legiones Astartes and units from the Imperial Militia and Warp Cults list. However, it is quite distinct from the "Sacrificial Offering" Rite of War in that it does not use up your allies slot, allowing you to take allies from a third source. But it does prevent you from using a rite of War, so you cannot layer on extra special rules.

However you are still privy to the insane customisation options presented in the Warp Cults list, and you are not prevented from taking any option from your Legion list either.

Like the Shattered Legions theme, this requires your opponents permission to use, however it is a much easier theme to build an army around because there are fewer rules to take account of.

  • Restrictions
    • You build your army with units from both the Crusade List and the Imperial Militia and Warp Cults list.
    • You must include a Space Marine Praetor, Centurion or Consul to be your Warlord.
      • Do note that to take any Provenances of War you'll also need a "Force Commander" as one of your HQ choices as well.
    • Your army is automatically part of the traitor faction.
    • You cannot use Rites of War.
    • "Legiones Astartes" rules that apply to models by virtue of being in the same detachment do not apply to Militia units.
      • That means the only way to get Militia units to benefit from Astartes rules would be to attach an independent character with special rules that confer to units.
    • Unless specifically noted otherwise, all units count as being part of the same list for rules purposes such as Transports, Warlord traits and so on.
    • You cannot include more units from the Legiones Astartes list than from the Imperial Militia list.
      • This is your main restriction, which prevents you from merely dabbling in Militia units.
      • If you're concerned about real-life money or the time it takes to make a shitload of crap soldiers, it doesn't have to be such a huge investment, once your compulsory slots are filled (presumably with your better Legion units) you can fill the rest of your slots with non-Compulsory support squads like Fire Support militia squads for loads of heavy firepower. Or if you just need to fill slots to make up numbers, take five man recon squads for pennies while leaving you with plenty of points to mix elite Legion units with Leman Russ tanks, Lightning jets and Ogryns.
    • You may not include Discipline Master Cadres
  • Special Rules
    • The Warmaster's Due: "Tyrants Due" by another name, any time your Legion units are shot at which draws its line of fire through infantry militia units, you can add +1 to any cover save gained. However the militia unit then takes D3 wounds with no AP value, meaning your crap sub-flak conscript could take a hit from a Lascannon intended for a Space Marine and potentially survive it.
    • Disposable: Any Militia units in your army may be affected the the "Disposable" rule, preventing them from conceding victory points for any reason when slain. It does however prevent these units from scoring or denying objectives so be sure and have enough Astartes units to hold on to objectives for you. You are not required to use this rule if you don't want to, but you must declare at the start of the game if you do.

Blackshields[edit]

Separately from the Shattered Legions, which is a mixed force from various sources, there is the option to take a force from no Legion at all, allowing you to create something of your very own design.

Blackshields is a catch-all term for those Astartes who have uncertain or obscured allegiances and they can fight for either the Traitors, the Loyalists, or for nobody but themselves, it really depends on your back story for them. They represent Space Marines who have gone rogue or who have rejected their original Legion and obscured their heraldry, but there is no requirement to actually paint them with black pauldrons unless that is what you want to go for.

  • Special Rules:
    • Wrought by War: This is your equivalent "Legiones Astartes" rule, you may pick one from a list of four traits which defines your force's base abilities. Each trait has positive and negative qualities. You can always choose not to take a trait, but that means sacrificing Drop Pods, Praetors, Rites of War, Tactical Squads and almost all allies for Reavers, Marauders, a small bonus to getting the first turn, a different Herald, and Pariah gear (in other words, it's not worth it).
      • Death Seekers: Your stalwart Iron Warrior/Death Guard clones who specialise in charging across the battlefield directly into the face of your opponent while ignoring casualties. These guys CANNOT be shifted due to shooting. Ever. That said, your units have to get close but have zero melee buffs.
      • Orphans of War: An effective synergistic force where units do best while supporting each other.
        • Non-characters:You gain +1 Leadership and can reroll 1s to-hit in the shooting and assault phases while you are within 6" of a friendly unit of Blackshields that has more than five models in it. However, you may not benefit from the Leadership of any other model and if you fail a morale check in the assault phase, you automatically lose D3 models in addition to any other adverse effects.
        • Characters: Gain Preferred Enemy (Characters).
        • No Gods, No Masters: You cannot include Chaplains or any "Agents of the Imperium", nor may you take an allied space marine legion detachment which includes either one of those.
      • Outlanders: Your alpha strike glass cannons, able to surprise your opponent with massed Deep Strike and xenos weaponry, but if you suffer too many casualties you may find that your force dissolves into nothing.
        • Void Reavers: Up to half of your infantry without dedicated transports may be deployed via Deep Strike Reserve; however, if these units suffer mishaps, they lose D3 models in addition to any other effect.
        • Unsanctioned Weaponry: Any models with access to combi-Bolters may instead take a Xenos Deathlock for a modest cost (or replace an existing combi for a small cost) and Characters may buy Rad Grenades.
        • The Shadow of Oblivion: Count up the total number of distinct units in your army and let your opponent know. Once half of them are destroyed or falling back, every turn from that point onwards you have to take a Leadership test for each unit or remove them from play.
      • Chymeriae: Want to create your own force of fabulous Marines?, well here's your chance to really mix up what Space Marines are capable of.
        • Chymeriae Attributes: At the start of the game prior to setup, you have to choose another one of the following three "gifts" of your army's unique physiology:
          • +1 S & T, -1 I and any Charge or Run Distances, and you may never Sweeping Advance. Big dumb idiots.
            • Cataphractii with this are (un)just lethal. The loss of SA is not an issue, same with Initiative (you'll use Power Fists anyway), and if you join Primus-medicae to their squad the result will be S5 T5 monsters with FNP on top of their 4++. S10 and ID weapons will be the only thing to fear on the battlefield.
          • +1WS & BS, -2 Ld. Paranoid warrior-obsessives.
          • Gain Fear, Fleet, and Rage, but the army suffers -1 BS and must always Sweeping Advance. Blood-ferocious madmen.
        • Shunned and Distrusted: You make not take an Allied Detachment at all.
    • Strike from a Position of Strength: If your primary detachment is Blackshields, you can add +1 to the die roll to determine who gets first turn.
    • Outcasts:Unless your trait says otherwise, you may take allies and be taken as allies as normal. However, you are always "By the Emperor's/Warmaster's Command" when fighting alongside other Legiones Astartes, and you are merely "Fellow Warriors" with Mechanicum and the Imperial Army.
    • Limited Resources: Because of your lack of provisions as a rogue force, you are subject to some pretty hefty restrictions.
      • You may never use a Rite of War.
      • You may never use Praetors, Command Squads, Tactical Squads, Drop Pods, Dreadnought Drop Pods, or Deathstorm Drop Pods.
      • You may only take a single Consul (regular Centurions are okay).
      • You may never have more units with the Vehicle type than the Infantry type, although Dedicated Transports don't count towards this limit.
  • Unique Wargear:
    • Pariah Wargear: Blackshields can replace their existing Wargear like-for-like with Pariah versions of the same gear for no cost, but all models in a unit must perform the same swap.
      • Pariah Power Armour: non-standard power armour said to increase dexterity at a cost to protection. This still gives a 3+ save, and allows models with Pistol, Rapid Fire, or Assault weapons to both run and snap fire with those weapons in the shooting phase. However, the armour save drops to 5+ against weapons of S6 or higher if the weapon wouldn't normally bypass your save, so you still get your armour save against autocannons and such, it just drops to a 5+ save.
      • Pariah Bolter: 16" Assault 2 boltguns, but if you charge after firing you count as disordered.
      • Pariah Flamer: An S3 flamer you can "overpressure" to grant S4 and the Torrent rule, although it gives you Gets Hot! when you do this. Try a Tactical Support Squad with this; combine with Outriders to Deep Strike them for free and get Rad Grenades to keep the same To-Wound rolls for Overwatch.
    • Lascarbine/Autogun: You know it and "love" it from 40K Guardsmen. Available to Marauder squads for free, so if you don't take anything else, you've got your bolt pistol or this.
    • Laslock: S4 Assault 1 weapons, actually makes for a half decent alternative for a regular bolter in a melee focused army.
    • Xenos Deathlock: an option for Outlander armies, representing a variety of guns that are deadly as hell, but no one really knows how they work so they risk backfiring. This translates as S5 AP5 Assault 2 weapons, that can do an additional D6 AP- wounds if the unit fails a leadership test after taking casualties, modified by the number of wounds taken. However, the firing unit rolls 2D6; on less than the number of shots fired, the unit takes an AP2 wound, inflicted on a model chosen by the owner.
      • Anything more than three models equipped with deathlocks means that your squad will have a significantly increased chance of self inflicted casualties unless they have decent invulnerable saves (like Cataphractii), but you don't really want to waste a terminator because his weapon blew up in his face. The drawbacks are entirely eliminated if you just put the deathlock on a single model since you can't roll lower than a two on 2D6, so it makes a decent upgrade for your sergeants.
      • The Great Mathhammer (if I'm correct) tells us that an unsaved Deathlock wound leads to less than one extra wound on an Ld 9 unit, making it strictly worse than a Volkite Charger. You'd think "it helps thin out hordes!" but I'm now convinced that Auxilia and Militia got easier access to Ld buffs than some of the Legions; they also often don't care about AP5. Something Mathhammer can't tell you though is this weapon is FUN. It also supplements Pariah Bolters well and is unique enough to let that 8 spare points per unit supplement your army's identity. "No saves Gets Hot" can be brutal though.
        • Above mathhammer is correct; an Ld 9 unit needs to roll an 8 down after suffering a single Deathlock wound, which means it fails roughly 27.78% of the time. Multiplied by the average number of wounds on a failure, which is 3.5, gets a net additional wound of .9722. Due the nature of the probabilities involved, you always want to reduce your target to Ld 6 or less to make Deathlocks "satisfying", so you may want to commit to lots of Deathlocks instead of the "safe" single one, as firing more than 13 shots is no worse than firing 13 shots; once 7 models are carrying one of these, each additional carrier does not make the situation any worse. For example, a 10-man squad firing these into GEQs of any Ld which are not Stubborn shoots 20 times, hits 13.33 times, wounds 11.11 times, and ignores their saves, resulting in 11.11 wounds base followed by an additional 3.40278 wounds (since they will only pass on a 2, even starting at Ld 10), while incurring one wound on themselves - the same as if 7 models had fired. Anything that increases your odds of a wound getting through will improve your return, like a Veteran Tactical squad with Marksmen. You can also choose which model suffers the wound, which need not be a model armed with an XD, so feel free to attach Apothecaries and then take the wounds on them.
  • Unique Units:
    • Reaver Lord: Your replacement for a Praetor. With almost exactly the same profile but wearing Power Armour as standard instead of Artificer, no ability to reroll Warlord traits and at 30 smackaroos more... at least you can take more than one per 1000pts, eh? They get access to Xenos Deathlocks with the Void Reaver trait being unnecessary and get "Halo Blades" instead of Paragon Blades, which aren't quite as good: S+3 AP3 but two handed, so 5pts more than a Power Fist with less strength and AP just to get around Unwieldy.
      • Off the bat, Reaver Lords are just worse Praetors: more fragile and expensive. If you want Artificer Armour to bring their survivability into parallel that will cost you even more!
      • On the plus side, the Reaver Lord gets access to a Cyber-Familiar, which is usually for Iron Hands only, so you can combo that with an Iron Halo to grant Storm Shield-tier resilience available to few Legions. Basically, you have to invest points to make a Reaver Lord worthwhile. Careful with Terminator Armour as well: while the basic cost of the armour is the same as for Praetors with more benefit (your armour save actually increases with the upgrade), the points cost for Terminator gear remain as janky and unproofread as ever. 25pts to replace a 'power weapon with a Halo Blade, Master-crafting for 15pts, Deathlocks costing as much Volkite Chargers and Combi-weapons... the usual.
      • However! Combined with certain Wrought by War traits, the Reaver Lord can leapfrog over an equivalent Praetor with the right equipment. In a Chymeriae force that picks option 1 at the start of the game, a Reaver Lord with an Iron Halo and Familiar, a bike, a Fist or Thunder Hammer, and Rad Grenades has the sheer might to stand toe-to-toe with anyone that doesn't have the Instant Death rule on their weapons.
    • Blackshield Marauders: Your replacement for Tactical squads, getting you a 5-20 strong veteran squad which is highly customisable. The base cost is the same as Vets for slightly worse value per head, but additional models are cheaper. All models have 2 attacks base, and the chieftain (read: sergeant) has 3 and a WS of 5! Marauders come base with Chainaxe/BP standard (sure, they could just take a chainsword widely available model-wise for WYSIWYG, but it's strictly worse. Yeap, FW demands your money in not-so-sneaky way) and can buy Lascarbines or Autoguns for...er, free, which in other words means anyone who doesn't buy another weapon just gets one as long as it is appropriately modeled. Anyone can instead take a boltgun/pariah bolter, extra bolt pistol, shotgun, laslock, heavy chainsword, or lascutter for reasonable-ish costs. No veteran special rules for you, though. One model in five can take a heavy/special/melee weapon from a very broad range. (Something to be careful of, by RAW it's one "Marauder" in five, so the chief doesn't count. So if your FLGS contains ruleslawyers, you need 11 in the unit to get 2 special weapons, not 10.) Transport options include Rhinos, Dreadclaws or LR Proteus up to squads of ten models. Only the Dreadclaw is an Assault Vehicle so you may want to tailor your Marauders for either Assault or Dakka depending on what kind of DT you wish to take.
      • Consider the weapon options carefully as some of them are left redundant due to the Marauders' basic loadout.
        • Shotgun is an extra S4 shot at 12" over the standard bolt pistol for +1 point and so is the second bolt pistol but for +2 points. Yes, you gain AP5 on those 2 shots but it should hardly matter with AP4 on your melee attacks.
        • A Laslock gives you extra 6" on your single S4 shot for +2 points which IS a whole 20 points on a squad of ten, so melee units should probably go with the Shotguns instead.
        • A Bolter is as trusty a weapon as ever, but Pariah Bolters are an interesting option and you should honestly look for opportunities to get the Marauders in melee since other squads just shoot better.
        • Heavy Chainswords are too expensive for +2S -1A. You would think they do have one use: fighting the Mechanicum, but don't expect too much of them since your Chainaxes deny a 4+ save and this weapon doesn't. In fact, against a T5 4+ model they have the same chance (1/3) to cause an unsaved wound and the Axe has 1 more Attack. It's 5/12 per attack for the Sword vs 6/12 per attack for the Axe with Rad Grenades. The sword is a bit better against even higher Toughness models and actual Monstrous Creatures so you might wanna consider keeping one or two of them in a squad, since they don't take a "Special Weapon" slot. It also feels good to deny FnP to Marines (they ID with Rad Grenades). In any case, never forget you could always attack with the axe.
        • In fact, if you ever charge a Rhino or another Rear AV 11-10 Vehicle (Like an Artillery piece or a Leman Russ), 2 Heavy Chainswords are better than a Lascutter, have other uses and cost the same. Lascutter doesn't benefit from the Marauders' improved statline of A2, only hits on a 4+ and if you just had to charge that higher-AV vehicle you should've at least kept your meltabomb alive.
        • In a Chymeriae force that picks option 3 (Fear, Fleet, and Rage) these guys are amazing melee fighters. Due to the combination of free (now +1 strength) chainaxes and a frankly absurd 5 attacks on the charge, they pack a similar punch to World Eaters, trading Incarnate Violence and Exhortations of Butchery for +1 attack and Fleet. They will demolish melee oriented legions like Word Bearers, Sons of Horus, and Dark Angels very efficiently, and while somewhat outmatched, can do well against Night Lords or Emperor's Children with a little luck.
    • The Nemean Reaver: Most likely a rogue Dark Angel and a badass. Can be taken as an HQ choice for Outlander blackshield armies (his trait is pre-chosen). Comes with a "Calibanite Flammbard", which is a Two-Handed S+1 AP2 Greatsword' that causes -1 WS to your opponent in a challenge. He's hard as nails, coming stock with Toughness 5 and his warplate gives him Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will and is "Void Hardened" (rerolling failed saves against templates and blast weapons as well as zone mortalis benefits). He also causes Fear and Fearless, therefore he is Awesome and one of the few non-Primarch challenge monsters able to stand their ground against Sigismund in the game so far.
      • His Jealous Command rule means he is required to be taken as the Warlord in the Primary Detachment, so you can't take him in an allied force of Blackshields.
      • The Nemean can instead be taken by other loyalist armies as a Knight Errant for +35 points where he loses his Blackshield and Jealous Command rules and gets Oath of Moment, Implacable Advance, Preferred Enemy (Traitors), and By Falsehood Cloaked (see the Knight-Errant below for these rules). It does, however, make him one of the most expensive characters in the Heresy at 215 points total.

Allies[edit]

Agents[edit]

Agents are models useable by any HH army.

  • Expeditionary Navigator: For those people who bought the model at an open day, Forgeworld released the rules for these guys for free on their website. For those that don't have the model, you can make/proxy your own (the Imperial Guard Astropath works well). He is one of the first Agents on the allies matrix represented in Betrayal, though he can just be taken as an HQ slot. Essentially has the statline of a Conscript Guardsman, but comes with an Archaeotech pistol and the Aetherlabe staff, which allows his unit to fire snap-shots at a Deep striking unit arriving within 12" of him, or at full BS if it arrived by a Conjuration psychic power. He also causes Fear, which can be funny in crusade lists due to ATSKNF not existing. Finally, he also has Navigator powers, which are like 6th Ed psychic powers but don't use Warp Charges and can only use one per turn on a successful Ld test, failure pins himself and his unit.
    • Lidless Stare: THE SHIT - shoot the flamer template, any infantry hit by it must pass an Initiative test or suffer Instant Death. Which means most Space Marines touched are dead 33.3% of the time, Mechanicum infantry 50% of the time or better. Completely useless against bikes, jetbikes, and monsters, so YMMV.
    • Warp Prescience: Enemies shooting at the Navigator (or his unit) suffers -1BS.
    • Aetheric Disruption: All psykers on the table (friend or foe) roll THREE dice when determining what happens with Perils of the Warp and discard the lowest for the purposes of the result. Given this was written with 6th Ed in mind, it's not entirely clear whether that means any associated Ld test to mitigate Perils OR taking the two highest results of the Perils and applying BOTH, which means psykers are fucked, since that almost guarantees two wounds, unless that psyker rolls a 6 and turns into an unstoppable machine of death; it would be totally better if he discarded the highest die.

Agents of the Emperor[edit]

These are agents only usable by Loyalist players.

  • Knights-Errant: A.K.A. Build your very own special snowflake™. Straight off the bat a Knight has a 2+/4++, a power weapon which can be switch for a lightning claw or a power fist, a bolt pistol which can be switched for plasma pistol or a volkite serpenta and a paragon bolter, all master-crafted. He can take some other versatile wargear like a narthecium, or a servo-arm, or a nuncio-vox although not more than one. BUT WAIT, since a single one in your army can ALSO become a Librarian. Add in the option to swap his super-bolter for a sniper-rifle or a combi-weapon and you have a damn versatile support element. Want a psychic techmarine with a jump pack and a sniper rifle? Here, go nuts.
    • He has a few other cool rules too: like being able to Deep Strike without scatter, and cause his opponents to snap fire at him during the following turn, or count as disordered when charging him.
      • However, the wording is tricky. Your opponent may try to join him to a deepstriking squad, like assault marines, and claim they arrive without scatter, etc. RAW is your friend here: there is no mention of joined squads in "By Falsehood Cloaked" SR, and by BRB "All models in the squad must have Deep Strike SR" - Knight Errant has none. If given Jump Pack, he can opt to deploy normally using common rules for Deep Strike with a deepstriking squad, but none of them would receive bonuses from By Falsehood Cloaked.
    • One very VERY important rule is his Oath of Moment, which means he has to pick a particular objective in order to be fielded; some of the easier ones, like ending the game in the enemy deployment zone, or ensuring an allied character survives, grant his army an extra victory point if he obtains it. Other, more difficult ones include personally slaying the enemy warlord in a challenge or making sure an enemy Primarch is killed (which he does not have to do personally), which nets his side three extra points. However, failing to complete his chosen objective means the side that took him cannot win at all, and can only settle for a draw.
  • Nathaniel Garro: The first of the Knights-Errant, can be taken as a non-compulsory HQ slot in any Loyalist army but can never be the Warlord. He's got a lot of rules, but nothing which makes him particularly OP. He's got Artificer Armour, Eternal Warrior and the Oath of Moment & Falsehood Cloaked that all Knights-Errant get, while his Aquila Imperator provides him with a 4++ that increases to 3++ in a challenge. The intent was obviously to kit him out for challenges, since his Libertas counts challenge wounds inflicted as double for the purposes of combat resolution, but it's still only a Two-Handed, AP3 weapon, despite having Rending and +1 Strength; coupled with having only WS5, which is curiously negated by having Preferred Enemy (Traitors) means he might struggle going toe-to-toe with some of the bigger named characters or a dangerously equipped Praetor. But you'll get the sense that he'll be able to stick it out long enough that he might just come out on top. He can even do the Loken thing and get up from death once per game, though his is more reliable since it happens on a Ld check, rather than a flat dice roll. However Garro is NOT Fearless, so he can get swept up and removed by a badly failed combat, which will negate even his ability to get back up, since it is removed rather than losing his last wound.
  • Tylos Rubio The first recruit of Garro, got kicked out of the Ultramarines for using psychic powers, has the AA, Iron Halo, Paragon bolter and MC bolt pistol common to all Knights-Errant and the Force weapon that all all libys get (a sword in his case). He's mastery level 2 and can cast from divination and telekinesis... which is to say divination, since Echos of Fate allows him to re-roll divination tests and any un-used warp charges can automatically become +1 strength each. Aside from those two special rules, he's just a mastery level 2 KE for 35 points less than a normal one.
  • Endryd Haar: It would be too easy to put him the the World Eaters section, but he's so much more than that. He's an Agent of the Throne and former War Hound who can be taken in any Loyalist marine army, but he is NOT one of the Knight Errant and does not follow their rules. He can be the Warlord if it's a World Eaters or Blackshield (no type specified) army. And his Warlord Trait is pretty cool in that it gives three infantry units in Power Armour without a DT the ability to Scout and ignore pinning. He's a Master of the Legion for the World Eaters, which applies even if he's not the Warlord or in a World Eaters army. But that's not as great as it sounds because the rites refer to specific versions of the Legiones Astartes rule, and Blackshields can't use rites. Nor is he allowed to benefit from the Legion trait of whichever force he's attached to. So he doesn't bring much to a different Legion force other than the "one per 1000 point" restriction, meaning you probably miss out on the ability to use your Legion specific rites. He does have a unique Legion trait of his own which partially mirrors the WE trait. He gets Furious Charge when he destroys an enemy in close combat, gets +1 WS in a challenge and adds +1 to combat res if he wins the challenge. Plus his Fist is Master-Crafted, he never rolls on WE bloodlust, any unit he joins rerolls to-wound against Traitors in turn one of assault and has Toughness Five like the Nemean Reaver does. He also has an Archaeotech Pistol to shoot down at least one traitor. He's good if you want to attempt something unique with your army and in most regards he's superior to a generic praetor, especially if you only wanted a generic rite.
    • Captain Obvious: With the Dedicated Transport restriction on Haar's Warlord Trait, you will most likely use it to give Scout to Assault Marines, Jump Pack Destroyers, Tactical Support or Heavy Weapon Squads but not Command Squads because they have Artificer Armour or Skyhunters because these ones are jetbikes. No point in using it on units that already have the Scout rule.
  • The Nemean Reaver can also be taken as a Knight-Errant, so check out the Blackshield section for that.

Mechanicum Detachment[edit]

Yes, not only do the Primarchs have rules, but now the Mechanicum can finally take to the field with an official list, plus Titans. That said, you can take a Cortex Controller (available to Forgelords, Iron Hands and Iron Warriors), which will let you take any squad of unaugmented Thallax or Castellax in your Heavy support. Yeah, you could totally take a Paragon of Metal Castellax. Of course, you'd miss out on Krioae, Myrmidons and all that other fun stuff, so go see Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Mechanicum:_Taghmata_(30k).

Imperial Militia and Cults[edit]

Your cannon fodder, though most things compared to a Space Marine looks like cannon fodder. These guys are who you want to make a fluffy ally that complements your Space Marines. This is mainly done through Provenances of War. Allowing cyborg soldiers with better weapons, durable gene enhanced soldiers or to create the closest thing you'll ever get to a mutant army like Renegades and Heretics. You can even make a Squ-BLAM!.

Solar Auxilia[edit]

The 30K version of Stormtroopers, these guys not only hold the line pretty damn well, but can complement your armored list with their sweet(er) tanks and artillery, while doing things even you can't like deep striking Tarantula turrets and bringing Aegis lines and Vindicator equivalents that use no FOC. So go read http:Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Solar Auxilia (30k) and see what you can use from them.

Knights[edit]

Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Questoris Knight Crusade (30k)

Custodes[edit]

The Emperor's Guard take to the field. Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Talons of the Emperor (30k)

Building Your Army[edit]

Hoo Boy. This is literally the most expensive army to collect in all of 40k (or should we call it 30k?) Yessir. Almost every model is Forge World, so you'd have to be a drug dealer to afford to make even a moderately sized army.

However there are guides out there on how to convert plastic Space Marines into Pre-Heresy marines, so if you're serious about making a pre-heresy army, that is where you should start. Note you need a LOT of bodies to make a pre-heresy army, so plan accordingly.

Alternatively if you're playing Raven Guard or Alpha Legion, go to eBay and buy a shitton of Beakie Helmets and just make a Legion list with the MK VI (aka Beakie) armour and save yourself some pennies, while using Forge World for Primarchs, unique units and/or tanks.

THE PLASTIC HERESY IS HERE!!!! With the release of the Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero boxed games from Games Workshop you can get your 30K fix without resorting to FW. Calth comes with 30 MkIV power armoured marines, 5 Cataphractii, a terminator armour equipped centurion/praetor, chaplain and a Contemptor Dreadnought. Prospero comes with 30 MK3 Power armor marines, 5 Tartaros Terminators, 5 Custodes and 5 Sisters of silence, plus Heresy-Era Ahriman and a Space Wolf leader. The best part? Everything has a plethora of options and it's all to the quality of a standard GW kit. Due to people bulking up on models by purchasing multiple boxes, the unique characters from the Prospero box go for peanuts on eBay because no one wants more than one.

GW's sells the individual contents of the Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero boxed games on their own now too, but as with all modern GW purchases, it's a much better deal to buy the boxed sets.

At any rate, here are a few examples and tutorials to look over:

The other option, if you are okay ethically with it is to seek out Forge World recasters on Ebay (or other dubious sites) to build your 30k army. If you are ethically challenged enough, you can score a high percentage of the model line at a fraction of full Forge World prices. Doing so is pretty simple. Do a keyword search in the 40k Ebay category for the item you are looking for and find sellers of short duration "buy it now" auctions based in China. But buy them quickly when you see them, and feel free saving the seller to your favourites as even though recasters tend to change accounts every few days to keep ahead of their being deleted by Ebay they usually come back to the account eventually.

One would think that it might be kind of risky to buy from these guys, but this is not the case. Most of these sellers are far more interested in ripping off GW/FW than they are ripping off their customers. (I even had one give me a refund on an incorrect order!) Many also offer free shipping as well! The only real down sides is the shipping time from China to the civilized world might take a while, and you have to ask yourself if you are OK with feeding IP thieves that no doubt use children as slave labour. But then again Forgeworld's books are printed in China.

Army Tactics[edit]

The first and most important thing to remember about a legion is this: Everything is expensive as fuck and not worth their points.

To elaborate, using the basic list your two mandatory troops will cost you 250 points at the minimum. Most armies can get away with spending around 100 points allowing them to spend more on cool shit and usually even those two squads will be able to take wargear that makes them adaptable to just about any situation. Your two tac squads are good at one thing, and that is gunning down infantry, and they're not even good at that for their points. A Master of Signal is considered one of the best HQs you can get for a gunline and he costs 95 points for +1 BS to one unit (up until his bombardment). Synergy (and legion rules) are the keys to victory in a legion list combining those two tacticool squads with BS 5 or infiltrate or Crusader and +1 I on the charge or even effective Toughness 5 FOR FREE. Your army needs a plan and to combine your special rules and if you don't have that, your units will become horribly inefficient. Some good combinations include large tactical blobs with attached apothecaries, sergeants with artificer armor and power axe/meltabomb or powerfist (consider that many people bring AP2 weapons at the cost of initiative so artificer might turn out to be waste in a challange), Master of Signal plus a heavy weapons squad with missile launchers, autocannons, or volkite culverins for heavy, accurate fire support (season your squads with ammunition dumps to taste), or Terminators with an attached Primus Medicae in a Spartan as the hammer unit in an assault list. Forge Lord consul is one of the most versatile HQs as he can be anything from a pretty strong combat character to ranged fire support to a cheap HQ tax that you park in a spartan/storm eagle to keep it alive. You need to think beyond simple combos like that though, your entire army needs to interlock (the bottom of this page shows a good example). Combinations like these makes a legion list far, far greater than the sum of it's parts.

There are are also particular synergies with certain Legions which combined with rites of war, can be utterly devastating (Raven Guard Terminators, jump infantry and bikers gain Furious Charge!). Look for synergy with your Legion and play to your strengths. Don't think you are restricted to the 'stereotypical' army for a legion, however. The Iron Warriors weren't exactly known for their jetbike companies, but surprising combos can pop up if you think outside the box (in this case, jetbikes flying around pinning shit with shrapnel bolts for your assault dudes to mop up).

Legion forces might have a kit of cool stuff but most of the units are far more restrictive in what they can do and what you can take. Your units are highly specialized: tactical squads with bolters only, heavy support squads squad with heavy weapons only, tactical support squads with special weapons only. Each model in the heavy or special weapons squad has to take the SAME gun. In many ways the Legions list is like a Craftworld Space Marine army, just manlier on a much larger scale (and manlier), and like the Eldar you need a good mix of units to be effective.

Some of these standard units that gain from Legion rules/buffs are Heavy Support Squads with Heavy Flamers (especially if they are Death Guard or Salamanders). These can be brutally effective, the Salamanders can drop-pod in and really bring the hurt. Imperial Fists & Iron Hands can buff standard squads, but the Death Guard in certain builds can give squads in a detachment access to RAD Grenades, which can really surprise Characters when you suddenly drop their toughness by one, which make charging that 20man Tactical blob with your Praetor, suddenly a riskier enterprise.

Also, your units lack And They Shall Know No Fear, making Morale issues VERY important. Instead they have a rule that lets them regroup regardless of casualties (nice, but not NEARLY as good), plus additional rules depending on your legion. Be wary of assault dudes getting close to your guys in the backline, as a failed leadership roll means they will run off the table, so you don't even get a chance to re-group negating even this bonus. Conversely, try and get your assault dudes in the offending army's backline, as a failed leadership roll means they will run off the table, so they don't get a chance to regroup, learn your weaknesses and make the enemy bleed for them.

Because of this lack of ATSKNF Leadership matters more, but don't overspend on HQ's either. With 3 HQ slots it's entirely possible to, and it can be a big mistake. You can pile a lot of wargear on a Praetor, but unless you're Salamanders you can't give him EW (unless your opponent gave you permission to use relics in which case SoH and IF can join the fun) - and there is a LOT of S8+ shooting and melee in the HH. There will be games where he is turned into a fine, red mist floating over ruined and melted chunks of armor before he ever does anything useful. Do not spend 250 points trying to make him into a combat monster, because it will not work. One unlucky invul save and he is gone. Bring him for the right reasons and don't spend too much (the baseline being an Iron Halo, Paragon Blade and maybe some digital lasers). He's the only way to get AP2 at initiative without special, legion or character specific wargear. Likewise, consuls are great for their force multiplication, but spend too much on them/take too many and there isn't enough of a force left for them to multiply.

There are some boxes that need ticking in a list, Anti-Air, Anti-Horde and Anti-Deathstar. Since most armies will pick a theme and stick with it (a combined-arms being very expensive and unless you know exactly what you're doing, prone to having your genius plan shot out from under you (as the famous saying goes: One of something is a target, Two is a tactic and Three is a strategy)) you need to be able to handle just about anything, entire armies of planes, or land raiders, or terminators. Good AA includes bringing planes of your own (even one Xiphon causes your opponent's strike wing to crash into the ground, with no survivors) or Mortis-dreads. Entire armies of land raider might skimp out on Armoured Ceramite considering it might cost 60-100 points to give it to every vehicle in the army, so don't discount meltas immediately, grav-guns and laser destroyers are also good options. The classic anti-Terminator is, and will always be, plasma as well as basically any AP2 weapon or just drowning them in tons of bolter rounds.

Armour is plentiful, and relatively cheap. Fielding squadrons of 3 Predators is impressive and combined with certain Legion's Rites of War (Iron Hands and Iron Warriors have some good Armour related rules) can make them dangerous (Outflanking Squadron of Predators! CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!). But the ultimate is the Sicaran, for 135pts you get a Beast of a medium tank, that will spank any other Medium or light vehicle, even flyers on a good roll, and is very effective against troops with massed S7 shots. The rapid tracking helps against flyers, although it's not primarily an Anti-Unit, you can get lucky with the sheer amount of shots. fact you can field 3 of these (without sponsons or upgrades) for 405pts, which when combined with Primarch rules, Rites of war, or other characters like Castrman Orth, makes these vehicles awesome. There are other Tanks which are utter beasts, the Typhon (Vindicator on steroids) or the Cerberus (Spartan with Big ass Lasers!). Iron Warriors Rite of War,"The Hammer of Olympia" gives all your tanks extra Armour for Free (awwww...Yeah!). If you like Space Marine Vehicles and to field them en masse, there are some Brutal builds available if you choose wisely.

Synergy Example :

So taking 3 basic Sicarans for 405pts + Ferrus Manus + Rite of War: Head of the Gorgon =

Sicaran's normal statline + all vehicles gain blessed autosimulacra for free (repairs a single HP on a D6 roll of 6) + IWND (because of AV13) + If put in reserve gains Outflank rule. Oh and Ferrus can repair them (if he is close enough) on 2+. So take a Spartan as transport (gaining all of the vehicle stuff above) for Ferrus, chuck in a 200pt Gorgon Termie squad. For 2500pts you end up with a Tough Mechanised Army. You can even swap one of the Sicarans for a Venator for extra Anti-Armour goodness. Alternatively, take Armored Breakthrough for Fast Predators as compulsory Troops.