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.

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

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)

Book 9 FAQ can be found here (March 2021)


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 new edition's Primaris lore sucks ass and want to bring back the old glory days of the Badab War's flavour and model customization? 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 led by a force no less than the Primarchs themselves? (and maybe, just maybe, the Emperor Himself, in the far distant future...). Do you think two kidneys are excessive and are happy to sell one to Forgeworld?

Well Forge World has heard your pleas and thanks to their Horus Heresy line you can reenact 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A Space Marine Legion force works in a very different way from the chapters which superseded them: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 125 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 sparse, 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 goddamned 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.

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, with plastic Spartan Assault Tanks, Deimos Rhinos, and Sicarans on the way as well. Really, at this point it seems likely that most of the common Legion models are going to make the jump to plastic at this point.

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]

When 40K moved on to 8th edition with all the sweeping rule changes that accompany it, Forge World 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. Its upcoming second edition looks like there's going to be further modifications to the ruleset, but since that's not out yet this section is still valid.

  • 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 access 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 Legions. 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. Note that these charts do not allow the use of ***Rites of War***, as any specific tactical configurations are already represented by the charts themselves.

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 your 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 many 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, presumably with the Onslaught 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 as the Strategic Raid or Cityfight scenarios designed for use in campaigns.

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 other 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]

The Age of Darkness rulebook includes the Command, Personal, and Strategic Traits tables from 7th Edition, and the Legiones Astartes Army List adds a Marine-exclusive one:

  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, so no non-spikey Drop Pods) 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, 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. Dreadnought and Contemptor Dreadnought talons must take as many Drop Pods as their are in the talons and must enter play together and must deploy like a normal talon, with Boxnoughts accessing Dreadclaws and Legion Drop Pods and Contemptors accessing Dreadclaws and Dread Drop Pods. 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 Solar Auxilia/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 (vanilla only) 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, in a Zone Mortalis mission, 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. Techmarines can buy Cortex controllers 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.
    • Given how Iron Fathers and Warsmiths count as Forge Lords while having Master of the Legion, they can take this RoW on their own in an allied detachment. Though at that point, one wonders why not take Legio Cybernetica instead.
    • 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?.
    • Let's be honest here, this is the most useless RoW in the game. Given you can take 27' Dreads in a normal list (3 in each Elites, 5 in each HQ), it's also irrelevant.
  • 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 (but not LoW) 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 (their infantry get infiltrate, and ICs can buy camo for a 4+ in the open, making this RoW arguably better than the legion-specific ones), Alpha Legion (everything with LA can get infiltrate or scout or both), 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 and finally White Scars (who get +1 to seize the initiative, and the Khan gives everyone scout). The newest FW FaQ also gives Sevatar both variants of the Master of Ambush WD trait, so himself and 3 non-vehicle units gain Infiltrate, and acute senses to any outflanking).
    • 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. This seems to have been seconded by Forgeworld in an email response, so triple recon it is.
  • 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. Good for legions that want to take lots of jetbikes or have good reserve shenanigans like the Sons of Horus, though Dark Angels and White Scars are better suited to their own legion-specific version of this RoW.
  • 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 jump infantry in the second turn gain Hit and Run. However, the only compulsory troops allowed are Assault Squads, no immobile units can be taken, no allies or fortifications are allowed, and only units that can Deep Strike or embark on a Flying Transport can be taken. Best used with melee legions like the Blood Angels to give Sanguinius and his Dawnbreakers Hit & Run, or with characters like Eidolon that excel in jump pack based lists. The Benefits of this Rite ONLY apply to the assault vanguard, i.e. half or more of your assault marine squads, so other jump pack units (including ICs that aren't attached to assault squads) won't benefit.
  • 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. Thankfully, fortifications can help to protect your dudes and provide some consistent cover while you draw the enemy in, not to mention help improve your reserves.
  • 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 characters 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, as it should be).
  • 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. Word Bearers are technically eligible for the Orphans of Betrayal Rite of War (and are included within it), but you'll probably want to discuss that with your opponent first, out of politeness rather than legality.

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 Forge World and Games Workshop)


Relics are powerful items, products 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Void Shield Harness: Yep. You can get a void shield 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 its own specific relic that can't be found in a relic hunt mission. Look in the relevant legion's section for more.


An expanded set of Relics, added in Malevolence. Many of these can only be taken by specific units, which may not always be characters.

  • Null-amp Collar: Usable by psyker Praetors, Librarians, and Esoterists. User can attempt to Deny the Witch when its unit or any other unit within 12" (including enemies) is targeted by a psychic power; if it fails the power will go off but will not affect the user. However, it reduces the user's Initiative by 1, give them an unwieldy weapon like a Force Axe and this shouldn't matter
  • Empyreal Lance: Usable by Praetors and Champions. Melee specialist weapon with S+1 AP4, which rises to S+2 AP2 against any type of psyker or daemon. Additionally, it has Psy-Lash, which causes psykers who take an unsaved wound to suffer Perils of the Warp.
  • Armatus Necrotechnica: Usable by tanks. When any unit within 6" of the user suffers a casualty, the user can recover a hull point on a 6. It also reduces the Ld of any nearby units (including allies) by 1.
  • Corpus Mymir: Usable by Praetors, Magos Primes, and Magos Dominuses. Can be activated in any of the user's Psychic Phases to perform a psychic power on the user; its exact effect is based on a d6 roll:
    • 1: Misfortune
    • 2: Foreboding
    • 3: Precognition
    • 4: Perfect Timing
    • 5: Shroud
    • 6: Self-destructs, becoming unusable for the rest of the battle and dealing a S3 AP2 Fleshbane hit to all models within 3".
  • Psi-Resonant Pentacle: Usable by any IC that can take a refractor field or Iron Halo. Grants a 5++ invulnerable save and forces all psykers and daemons locked in combat with the user to be reduced to I1.
  • The Ever-Changing Axiom: Usable by Praetors, Archmagos Primes, and Lords Marshal. Can be triggered in the Fight sub-phase at initiative step 1; when used roll a d3 and then place either a number of small blast markers equal to the number rolled with the center of each marker within 6" of the user (if a 1 or 2 was rolled) or 3 small blast markers centered on the user (if a 3 was rolled). These blasts will not scatter and all models hit by them take a single S8 AP2 hit.
  • Transvectic Generators: Usable by any Librarian, Esoterist, Moritat, Diabolist, or Saboteur who does not have a jump pack or jetbike. Can teleport 18" instead of moving normally, which is treated as using a jump pack for the purposes of movement. However, they must then roll a d6, with a 1 acting as if they had gotten the Dragged into the Warp result of Perils while also causing any models within 3" to take d6 S6 AP1 hits.
  • Aetherkine Projector: Usable by psyker Praetors, Librarians, and Esoterists. Acts like a Witchfire power whose stats are based on the number of Warp Charges allocated to it from the user's Warp Charge pool. Base stats at minimum WC2 are Assault 2 12" S3 AP2, with each extra Warp Charge (up to a max of 4) adding one more shot, 6" more range, and 2 more points of Strength. However, any hit roll of 1 triggers Perils of the Warp on the user.
  • Terminal Lucidity Injectors: Usable by any IC. When the user loses its last wound, it may either make one last shooting attack (if killed during the psychic or shooting phase) targeting its killer (or if that's not possible, the nearest enemy unit) or one last Pile In and attack even if it has already fought (if killed in the fight sub-phase).
  • Empath Bonds: Usable by any pair of psyker ICs with the Legiones Astartes rule and are in the same detachment. Both the users get Eternal Warrior as long as they're both alive (this is lost if one of them is killed by anything other than Perils), and if one of them loses a wound and is in line of sight to the other user, the second user can absorb the wound on a 3+ at the risk of both of them taking a wound on a 1. However, if one of the users suffers Perils of the Warp the other user will suffer the same result as the first one. Make your Thousand Sons Praetor completely indestructible, at least as long as he and his buddy don't get hit by Perils.
  • Sacrificial Innervation: Usable by Librarians, Esoterists, and Diabolists. Adds 1 to the user's Mastery Level (up to a max of 4) and can re-roll dice when generating Warp Charge pools, but reduces their Wounds characteristic by 1.
  • The Digittalis Arcanis: Usable by Librarians, Esoterists, and Diabolists as long as they have at least ML2. Adds d3 to Attacks and Initiative for a turn, but after that they drop to 1 for the rest of the game.
  • Divining Blade: THE SHIT. Replaces a Paragon Blade. S+2 AP1, Instant Death, Two-Handed, and the same Psy-Lash rule as they Empyreal Lance. Expensive, at more than twice the cost of a Paragon Blade, but if you absolutely, positively need to guarantee your Praetor will kill his opponent in a duel, look no further.
  • Chogorian Dreamplate: Usable by Praetors, Centurions, and all Consuls. 3++ invulnerable save against Daemons.
  • Liber Magra Veneficarum: AKA The Big Book of Heresy. Usable by Traitor ICs who are not psykers or Daemons. Grants ML1 and the Incursion power from Malefic Daemonology.
  • Icon of the Blazing Sun: Usable by one Loyalist IC per detachment. Allows the user to Deny the Witch via a Leadership test, but if the test fails the user takes a wound. If the result of the test was a double 6, the user is immediately removed from play with no saves allowed. Also forces any Daemon locked in combat with the user to fight at WS1.

Special Rules[edit]

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

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Archeotech Pistol: Stand-in 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, unless you really need to save points.
      • 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. On terminators it costs the same as a normal charged too, so the only reasons to choose a lone volkite charger is the fact that it's hard to get parts for combi-volkites and that the charger looks nicer.
  • 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 referred 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 to 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 maximize 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.
  • 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 isn't it funny 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. Its 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.
    • So what's all this boil deflagrate down to? A volkite serpenta or charger does about 63% more damage, shot for shot, than its bolt cousin. Mathhammer follows: A bolt round hit will inflict 0.5 wounds on a Marine; about 0.17 wounds will make it past the armor save. A volkite shot will inflict about 0.67 wounds and 0.22 will make it through unsaved. That 0.22 goes on to inflict 0.22 additional hits, 0.15 wounds, 0.05 unsaved; add it all up to get 0.27 wounds per volkite.

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. Its 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.
      • Another way of looking at the same problem is if you consider two Praetors with 4++, one with a Paragon Blade and one with a Power Fist (ignore things like digital lasers because they make the math take for ever and don't affect the underlying principle) the chance the Paragon Blade does the 3+ wounds to kill a Praetor it needs is ~1.62% whereas the chance the Fist does the 1+ wounds it needs for Instant Death is ~62.8% so in a duel in a vacuum a Fist is (by my maths) nearly 40 times as likely to kill its opponent as the Blade. Its not that the Paragon Blade sucks - its God Tier at massacring 1-wound TEQs - but you need Instant Death to win a Praetor duel
  • 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.


  • 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; Praevians 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). Whether it's worthwhile depends on the value of the unit you're protecting: bumping your blinged-out Forge Lord up to a 4++? Yes, please. Putting a 6++ on a 35-point Techmarine? No thanks. Sadly, the dreaded Leviathan Grav-flux Bombard isn't affected by the re-roll 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? Warmongers get these free, making them the only Centurions to have access to them. Dark Angels players can add these to a unit of Inner Circle Cenobites for 10 points.
  • 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.

Psi-Reactive Arsenal[edit]

ICs that can use these weapons can take one in addition to a Psyarkana relic.

  • Toxiferran Weapons: Weapons imbued with a freakish mix of poisons and psi-reactive matter, originally tested by the Dusk Raiders (before they were the Death Guard). Legion Destroyer Squads can exchange their hand flamers for a Toxiferran flamer, and Contemptors can swap out their CCW or twin-linked heavy bolters for a Toxiferno cannon. Both are templates; S4 AP5 Assault 1 and Poison (3+) for the flamer and S7 AP4 Heavy 1 and Shred for the cannon. More importantly, both come with the Tainted rule that removes psychic blessings on a successful wound and increase AP to 2 on a wound roll of 6.
  • Psyk-out Munitions: Apparently the Grey Knights weren't the first people to use these. Can be taken as regular grenades by Vigilators, Moritats, Saboteurs, and Destroyer Squads; the latter can also swap out a hand flamer for a psyk-out grenade launcher or take psyk-out missiles if they have missile launchers. They work the same way as they do in 7e 40k, right down to the piss-poor Strength score and ability to force Perils (and the missiles are also Pinning). That said, the Perils part will absolutely cripple the Thousand Sons.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Legion Praetor: These guys are the Chapter Masters of the pre-Heresy and Heresy eras. He packs Master of the Legion, so he'll unlock Rites of War and command squads while rolling twice on the warlord chart, but if all you wanted was MotL you'd take a cheap Delegatus instead. The real reason you'll take this guy is if you want a close-combat monster, and if you do want a monster, accept no substitutes; upgrades for Consuls quickly get into Praetor points levels for a pale shadow of Praetor effectiveness. The only real exception is if your Legion offers a special character who's better at the job.
    • The Praetor has an awesome stat-line and a huge list of wargear options (though that list gets much shorter when you ignore the options that are terrible). A basic setup tends to be an Iron Halo and Paragon Blade, bringing sweet AP2 at Initiative 5 for 150 points, but you can make him cost as much as a Land Raider through a series of decisions that each individually seem reasonable. The monster you get for that price is well suited to punching Land Raiders in the face, but he's still just one Vindicator shot away from being a wet smear.
    • You've got to keep mirror matches in mind when kitting out your Praetor. One interesting one involves whether to take a Power Fist instead of a Paragon Blade (or in addition, for +1 attack). Say, for example, a bare-bones Paragon Blade Praetor gets the charge on a bare-bones Power Fist Praetor. The Paragon will hit 2.5 times and inflict 1.25 regular wounds and 0.417 instant death. Essentially, the Paragon Blade probably won't get the kill. The Power Fist will hit twice, inflicting 1.67 instant death wounds, and probably will win the fight in the first round.
      • The above is just a single example, and the lesson to be learned is not "the Paragon Blade sucks"; it's "think about this shit".
    • 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 Tartaros 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. Good if you have no other HQ to lead Termis but there are better choices since the early days of 30K.
  • 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. Now that almost every Legion has their Honour Guard. One of their only real uses is loading them up a Dedicated Transport and use them as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX to keep the heat away from your Primarch + unique unit Deathstar. To make them last longer give them Terminator armor and kit out the Proteus for all comers. Also great for spamming Termis for those that have their own unique variants in the HQ, Elite and Heavy slots.
    • 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.
    • FAQ Feb 19 Now these can only be taken by Praetors, Primarchs and special MotL characters that are also your warlord so only one per army, via the Retinue SR, so a case could be made that Delegatus and Heralds are special enough. The latter two also have their own Rite of Command SR enabling them to take the Command Squad that wasn't changed by a FAQ.
  • 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 seventeen 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:
    • These guys can be used to fill your compulsory HQ slots.

More like a different model than a different unit, "Early Crusade Honours" 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).

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!

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. Whether you use these guys or not will likely be decided based on your points level, especially when you look at his benefits. For example, a Praetor with a Paragon Blade has +1 Attack, +1 Wound and Artificer Armour compared to a Champion. Once that Champion buys his Paragon Blade and Artificer Armour, the Praetor is only 10 points more expensive, along with his boosted stats and access to better wargear such as Digital Lasers to further enhance him. If you're playing 2000 points and want two choppy characters, stick with the Praetors, you'll have access to at least two of them. If you're playing under 2000 points and don't want to risk your Warlord in melee engagements, or you want two Paragon Blades, then this is where the Champion comes in since you can't have two Praetors anymore.

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. Vigilators are the natural choice to lead Seeker squads as they have the same ammunition. Only downgrade to Scout Armor if you plan to pair them with Recon Marines (in Recon Armor, god damn it GW), possibly with a Storm Eagle.

  • HH8: Can now take Psyk-out grenades for killing Psykers and Daemons for very cheap but only really worth it if you know you're facing them.

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 (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, 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.

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 lets Medusas, Rapiers and the Land Raider Achilles use the dreaded Phosphex pyro-chem shells for extra damage, 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. Unfortunately, Siege Breakers are stuck with the same ranged options as a regular centurion, so if you use one alongside a heavy weapons squad, there is a little lost synergy. Nevertheless, Siege Breakers can give your army a lot of extra punch. If there are vehicles that should've been dismantled yesterday or anything hanging around in barricades, use these guys.

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 has access to a unique RoW called "Chosen Duty" that's designed for smaller games like Zone Mortalis 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).

Up-and-coming captains that are always eager to lead the first wave, if they actually survive a while they get a lot of respect and this honorary title. More like an upgrade rather than a specialist, coming somewhere between Centurion and Praetor for 45 points they grant the squad they join the Deep Strike special rule and come with an Iron Halo and Digital Lasers (neither of which a normal Centurion can get). Beyond obvious applications like Terminators they're also pretty good for deepstriking in battle automata like the Iron Circle.

Like a Praevian for but Dreadnoughts. For 25 points gets a servo arm and a Corposant Stave which is S+1 AP4 Concussive and Haywire. Must join a talon of either standard, Contemptor or Cortis(no Levi-Dreads) that can be from 2-5 and don't take a force org slot. While he's alive they can ignore penetrating or glancing hits on 5+ (explicitly not an invuln) and when two or more dreads attacks the same model in CC they get Shred and Sunder.

  • Something to keep in mind is, if the Mortificator takes either Contemptor or Cortus-Contemptor Dreadnoughts as his Keeper of the Dead unit, then the dreads lose their Fleet USR (because the whole unit must have the rule and the Mortificator doesn't). Just in case you wanted to run the Cortus up the field.
  • There's also an argument that if you put the Mortificator into Cataphractii Terminator armour then any Dreadnought its with can't Run or Sweeping Advance, but talk to your opponent about whether you use that. Though why you would choose that when Tartaros armor is better is rather stupid.

Anti-daemon Consul. For 45 points you get Cataphractii, an Aether-Shock Maul which is S+2 AP4 Deflagrate, Hexagrammatic Wards which let you re-roll your invuln against demons and Adamantium Will. You can take one mastery level (which must be Sanctic) but since it's only a 5 point upgrade it's practically mandatory. Finally, they removes the 0-1 restriction on Nullificator squads who become troops with support squad.

  • His bonuses are highly situational so unless you're list tailoring its best to keep him in casual games as often he will simply play like a more expensive Centurion with a level of Sanctic. An alternate take is that with a level of Sanctic he's only fifteen points more expensive than a similarly equipped Centurion but with some psychic ability and a better Power Maul (although RAW he doesn't have a combi-bolter) so if for some reason you were planning on taking one of those anyway you might as well take him.
  • These Consuls are unable to fill your compulsory HQ slot(s). This also means they can't be taken in an allied force.

The Legiones Astartes were organised as a large-scale ground-taking force the same way that Guardsmen are organised in 40K, and that means dedicated comm specialists for maneuvering 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.

Originally invented by the Raven Guard and considered somewhat broken back in 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. "I know what you're thinking: 'Did he fire twelve shots or only eleven?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a Mars-pattern volkite serpenta, the most powerful handgun in the segmentum, and would melt your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk?"

  • 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.
  • A Jump Pack is good for getting him out of dodge. So your Moritat doesn't have to take the same damage he dishes out or worse. Even if his Destroyer Squad is riding around in a Rhino or LR Proteus. Freeing up valuable transport space to maximize your dakka. Though the Land Raider costs a lot more compared to 11 Jump Packs. The only time a Proteus isn't a point sink is if you're up against an army with a high number of vehicles or Monstrous Creatures.(i.e. Solar Auxilla, Miltia and Cults, Deamons and Ad-Mech). Where survivability and firepower will be more important than mobility.
  • 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, a Bolter or Power Weapons. Ignore the Bolter as Rapid Fire range is the same as his pistols. The Volkite Charger will be useful outside of pistol range, during Overwatch or if he is paired with a Destroyer Squad for additional firepower. The Combi-Bolter is only useful for a grenade launcher or another few shots to help his squad. While Power Weapons are useful due to not being to shoot after Chain Firing and when he or his unit 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. It might not seem like much but Rad weapons reduce the toughness value of his victims. By the time he can use his Power Axe nothing short of a Primarch, Monstrous Creature, or vehicle should still be standing after being hit with a Chain Fire or two.
  • Consider giving your Moritat the Terminal Lucidity Injectors. After your opponent sees the Moritat's unit-deletion powers, they will probably hate-kill him ASAP. The wording "as if it were the controlling player's Shooting phase" means that, RAW, you can use Chain Fire before the Moritat is removed. With decent positioning, you should be able to mow down at least two infantry squads. This anon has had excellent results by sticking a dual-plasma Moritat and a Destroyer Squad into a Termite Drill and Subterrannean Assaulting (aka Deep Striking) in the middle of an enemy gunline. If you think that's too big of an investment for esentually a Distraction/Suicide unit, then a Jump Pack Deep Strike Moritat works well, too.
  • HH8: Can now take Psyk-out grenades for killing Psykers and Daemons for very cheap but only really worth it if you know you're facing them

Unlike 40k Librarians, the Legions haven't put too much emphasis on Librarians and in fact were recently outright prohibited, 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, they get access to the regular consul gear, so they can be placed on jetbikes to enjoy mobility only Eldar Warlocks and Tzeentch Disk-riding Sorcerers normally get.

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 shenanigans) 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 Consuls, 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, especially 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 (i.e. Terminators and Jetbikes), or failing that just situations where a 1-Wound Apoth wouldn't make it.
  • 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.

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; as introduced in HH6 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 apiece. 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.
  • Dark Angels: Free Monster Hunter.
  • Emperor's Children: Free Crusader, and sonic shriekers for +5 per model.
  • Iron Warriors: Free Wrecker, and Blessed Autosimulacra for +10 per model.
  • White Scars: Free Swift Action, the White Scars special rule that lets you reroll 1s To Wound when you've moved 6".
  • Space Wolves: Free Counter-attack.
  • Imperial Fists: Free Tank Hunters and +1 BS on any boltguns.
  • Night Lords: Free Talent for Murder, the Night Lords special rule that gives +1 To Hit and To Wound when you outnumber the enemy; the automata count as 3 models. Acute Senses and Trophies of Judgement (Fear) for +10 per model, but your automata are already Monstrous Creatures who cause Fear.
  • Blood Angels: Free Encarmine Fury, the Blood Angels special rule that boils down to +1 To Wound.
  • Iron Hands: Free Blessed Autosimulacra. Blessed Autosimulacra ackchyually restores hull points, not wounds.
  • World Eaters: Free Rage.
  • Ultramarines: BS2 Snap Shots if the automata remained stationary.
  • Death Guard: Free FNP(6+), plus optional free Chem-munitions.
  • Thousand Sons: Free +1 to Invuls.
  • Sons of Horus: Free Merciless Fighters, the Sons of Horus special rule that gives extra attacks at Initiative 1 when you outnumber the enemy; the automata count as 3 models. Banestrike bolter rounds for +5 per model.
  • Word Bearers: Free Hatred (Everything).
  • Salamanders: Free Promethean Gift, the Salamanders special rule that gives +1S to your flamers and -1S to theirs. Master-crafting of one weapon for +5 per model.
  • Raven Guard: Free Furious Charge and Fleet. Forge World was probably trying to eliminate infiltrating automata. Un(?)fortunately, the Praevian himself still gets Infiltrate, the rule applies if at least one model has it, and Forge World doesn't know the rules to their own fucking game.
  • Alpha Legion: Free Preferred Enemy against your choice of Infantry, Vehicles, or Monstrous Creatures. Banestrike bolter rounds for +5 per model.

A 40pt upgrade which grants some pretty sizable buffs 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 (as 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 possibly a power fist since the Specialist Weapon downside makes zero difference. Now time for banners; all banners affect 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 Aquila: All models with LA (including the Herald) who 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) who 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.
  • Playtest Rules: FAQ Feb 19 Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. 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. Now that this has been made a thing, consider the Herald to be a super-sized version of the Ancient from a Command Squad, and actually a viable HQ choice now. If you're looking for inspiration, consider putting him in squads that aren't normally scoring that you want to be (Tyrant Siege Terminators, Fulmentarus, Quad Mortars, you get the idea) and enjoy a 12" bubble of whatever bonus you're getting based on your loyalty and a fearless pseudo-scoring unit now. Engage maximum troll-face if you throw them in a unit of Iron Circle just to really capitalize on keeping that flag safe...

Captain with a heavy weapon. Awesome in concept, fail in execution. For 20 points, you can get void hardened armour, an augury scanner, and a master-crafted heavy bolter that he can swap only for a master-crafted volkite culverin. He can't take a jump pack, a jetbike, normal bike, or Terminator armour, but gives one Legion Heavy Support squad carrying the same kind of weapon as him (so a heavy bolter or volkite culverin) 'master-crafted'. He's also Stubborn which is useful for holding your backline together. The problem is that heavy support squads with bolters or volkite is taking up a heavy support slot that is better used by just about anything else. Oh, and there's a good reason master-crafted is restricted to characters most of the time, you have to roll to hit with each one of those weapons to make sure they only get one re-roll each.

Represents those psykers no longer in the Librarius after Nikaea and messing about with things they shouldn't. 15 points plus one and up to two levels of mastery in either Sanctic or Malefic for ten each. Gets a force weapon and if not in Terminator armour can take psyk-out grenades and a Archaeotech pistol.

  • An Esoterist is an interesting alternative to a Librarian being significantly cheaper but less flexible and more likely to explode. Generally you'll want a Librarian but an Esoterist has some tricks worth considering. In Sanctic Hammerhand and Sanctuary are great buffs, the former is ridiculously lethal on a big squad of pistol and chainaxe World Eaters and the latter on a Primarch deathstar is game breaking. Malefic can be trickier to use because of its high warp charge costs and warp charges are things that Heresy armies do not generally have with some exceptions - that said the time your esoterist turns into a Bloodthirster might make it all worth it.
  • 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.
  • Legion 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.


  • 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 receive a very nice Suspensor web, allowing Assault heavy weapon-calibre shots at halved range. No specialist ammunitions, however, since 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 complementary 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), the deadly Phosphex bombs and, as of Book 8, Poisoned (3+) psychic flamers with Rending in all but name. 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 bought 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, they'll 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 meatshield, they complement him; 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, as well as good Flamers as of Book 8. 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.
    • Fancy something a bit more disruptive? As of Book IX: Crusade, Termites are now available as a dedicated transport for these guys...
    • Playtest RulesFAQ 2019: Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. The Feb. 2019 FAQ buffs these guys a fair amount by dropping their points cost (both the base cost and the cost to add more models) and giving everyone +1 Attack and Hardened Armour, in return for dropping the ability to take Volkite Serpentas as well as foisting on them the movement penalties from Hardened Armour. With these changes, Destroyers can now fit into more lists than before as a more offensively-oriented assault squad (if you decide to outfit them with Jump Packs), what with their increased attacks stat and all the Hammer of Wrath hits you'll be doing, as well as permanently debuffing multi-wound models' Toughness stats with their Rad missiles, all the while being very resistant to Flamers (especially in Overwatch) and light artillery. As they are now they fit into melee-oriented legions very well, more especially so with Jump Packs in Night Lords or Sons of Horus lists. Death Guard Destroyers won't even mind too much if Phosphex blows their way either! Now if only they could drop a Phosphex bomb on some poor suckers' heads while jumping over them . . .
  • 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 the TH/SS combo, however in HH such a unit is extremely expensive and there's so much AP2 you might regret not keeping them cheap. Fortunately the Heresy era has other tricks: units outfitted with Tartaros pattern armour can make a Sweeping Advance, letting them 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. To go into more detail:
    • For armour choices, you effectively have two. If you want to kill something then sit on an objective, go Cataphractii. Their extra protection will be well worth it when the final rounds are rolling around, and unlike Tartaros they don't need a Transport as badly, and can be better outfitted for shooting (described below). Tartaros units on the other hand badly need a transport with the Assault Vehicle rule (so mostly either Land Raiders or Spartans), and they want a good melee loadout (also below) to make them a formidable Deathstar. They can handle a lot more than you might expect, even against other Legion-specific units and you'll be glad for their Sweep Advance when you win combat against Custodes and their AP3 spears.
    • When outfitting the Terminators for Shooting, don't skip straight to the heavy stuff. It's tempting to immediately go for the Plasma Blaster and Combi-Plasma, but this is a mistake. Not only does it make them more of a fire unit and cost a lot, but you'll also suffer the cost of being a one-trick pony. When you've blown your plasma load that's it, your unit is barely more threatening at a distance than a tactical squad.
      • Instead consider the following: Combi-Grenade Launchers, and a Reaper Autocannon. Yes we know what you're thinking: "Those can't kill Marines!" You'd be right in the sense that you'd be AP4 at best, however since every Grenade Launcher can fire at once (and Combi-Launchers aren't one-use), you can rain a hail of S6 shots that are much better than your Combi-Bolter at the same distance, and enough of those will go through enemy Armour.
      • We get why you'd skip the Reaper Autocannon at first glance, after all, 10,000 years later only one side still uses them (but we won't judge your loyalty, or lack thereof). It's solidly the best light armour popper in its weight class, allowing you to pen Rhino's, and to a lesser degree, AV12 vehicles, at 48" away, further messing with your enemy's movement while you sit on top of the objective they want.
      • If you're up against Mechanicum or Solar Auxilia it's even better since you'll ignore a lot of their saves, and if any of them group up you'll get even more kills with Frag Grenades.
      • If you're really worried about Assault squads coming your way, then get a few power fists, they're cheap, ignore Apothecaries and make excellent deterrents, especially if characters are hovering around and wondering if they can take on a larger Cataphractii squad, which can earn you a nice Praetor kill if he charges, is at the front of the squad and you decline his challenge (since now he's a target for some of the first allocated Instant Death wounds). Shooting squads also don't necessarily need a Transport, it'll only cut down on their shot count and you'll always reach the objective you want unless you intentionally deploy them poorly.
      • A special note for Volkite Chargers: they're useless. Combi-Weapons can be Combi-Volkite, which means they get an infinite use Volkite Charger (since they lack one-use) while keeping a Bolter for threats further than 15", so always get those instead of you're up against Mechanicum or Imperial Militia since they have the same cost. Also note that before Deflagrate kicks in, against Marines Volkite Chargers have exactly the same damage output as a Combi-Bolter at short range, while only shooting 3" further (so everyone in the unit needs to shoot about 4 times before you recoup the cost of model + gun). Their range is the real kicker, you could easily be out of range of any target worth a damn, and unable to threaten most Mechanicum 4+ save automata as effectively as a Grenade Launcher, so Mechanicum will either outrange you with Shredding + Rending weapons, or be close enough (but still out of your range) to charge you in their turn with AP2 attacks. As for Solar Auxilia, they'll always outrange you, period. If you know you're up against Cult Hordes however, then by all means, spam Combi-Volkite, you'll clear models out by the dozen.
    • When outfitting Terminators for Assault, it's highly recommended you use a mixed loadout. The reason why is quite simple: a lot of units have varying saves, so the Sergeant for example can carry an AP2 fist to deal with other Sergeants and their Artificer Armour, while some of his squad mates can carry Lightning Claws to shred the enemy's Power Armour. If you're worried about Command Squads or other units with a 2+ save by default, then bringing 3 Fists and two Claw wielders is a good way to balance a squad of 5.
      • You can also bring Combi-Plasma (and/or the Plasma Blaster) if you're not sure that'll be enough AP2, and you can take the Heavy Flamer if you're confident you've got the armour situation in hand, you won't regret it against Solar Auxilia or Mechanicum.
      • Lastly, don't forget your Grenade Harness. Yes Land Raiders and Spartans can have Frag Assault Launchers, however if you want to charge more than once then you'll want to charge from a combat you just won into another, and you do not have the turn to waste getting back into the tank, then coming out again to avoid terrain penalties.
    • 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 Grenade or Volkite spam either, and really who can resist the guilty pleasure of a little spam at this point? Nobody important, that's who.
  • Techmarine Covenant: A very unusual entry, you can take 1-3 Techmarines in a single Elites slot. Each is a separate unit, and each can take up to four Servo-Automata. Where Forge Lord Consuls are a 40k Techmarine turned up to 11, these guys are just competent enough to change your oil sacred unguents. It's very important to note that these are not independent characters, so while they have access to much of the same wargear as the Forge Lord, most of it isn't terribly useful on his subordinates.
    • So what are they good for? Most obviously, repairs. They're vulnerable on the front lines, but they'll do a fine job in the back, keeping your artillery in working order. They're particularly good when placed inside vehicles with transport capacity that you're not using; your Land Raider Achilles was probably going to stay empty all game, and a Techmarine will boost its durability considerably.
    • A second use for them involves their Servo-Automata. Those things mostly suck: they're expensive compared to other factions' tech-buddies and they don't even help repair shit. However, there's exactly one loadout that's pretty worthwhile. If the Techmarine takes Rad-grenades, his Servo-automata can take Missile Launchers with Rad Missiles. For under 200 points, you're pumping out four Fleshbane AP3 Blasts and evaporating Marines left and right.
    • Perhaps the greatest calling of 30K Techmarines combines the above two jobs. Stick a Techmarine with four Rad-automata into a fortification, for example. He can keep it repaired while his pets pump out the poison. Or make use of a Damocles Command Rhino's two fire points by taking two missile minions while the Techmarine protects your expensive investment.
  • 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-man 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 tier 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.
  • 0-1 Legion Nullificator Squad:HH8 5-10 Cataphractii armoured Daemon killers. Come stock with Stubborn, Adamantium Will, Aether-Shock Mauls (S+2 AP4 Deflagrate), Combi-Bolters and Hexagrammatic Wards which allow them to reroll their invuln against Daemons. Any model can take Power Fists, Grenade Harness and a Toxiferran Flamer which is a flamer with Poisoned (3+) and Tainted which is Rending but strips any Psychic blessings from its targets. Sergeant can take a Power Sword, Fist or Thunder Hammer. You can only take one though without the right Consul which is a shame because these dudes are awesome. Toxiferran Flamers are good for clearing out hordes. So they’re not only effective against Daemons but traitors of the Imperial Army and the Solar Auxilia, too. Just don't do something stupid like putting them up against Dakkanators and anything else that can take pot shots at them outside of their range. Also it bears repeating that their Cataphractii armor leaves them unable to Overwatch or perform a Sweeping Advance. So they are not a substitute for Vanilla Terminators.
    • For unknown reasons Power Fists are far more expensive on these guys than on anyone else, with them being even more expensive than the Thunder Hammer option that is available to the sergeant, so just ignore that option.
  • 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.
      • The Medusa may be the better source of regular 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?) "Castraferrum" boxnought design. Up to 3 for a single Elites choice, but only a talon of one may deepstrike in a drop pod. Speaking of which, this is the only kind of Dreadnought that can fit in the ordinary pod, which is a third of the price of a Dreadnought drop pod. With the introduction of Cortus Contemptors there's almost no reason to keep on using regular boxnoughts, with one major exception. Still, they have access to stuff no Contemptor can get, and we'll go over it below. 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). The Dreadnoughts have a lot of weapons to consider so we'll first cover their arm options, then their CCW upgrades.
    • Multi-Melta's are not efficient weapons for 30K. Yes your enemy can't usually afford to give Armoured Ceramite to every transport, however any transport they'll skip out on is going to be AV11/AV12, and those are best handled by the next weapon on this list. Their only good use is in walker duels. Funnily enough since the Dreadnought has access to Armoured Ceramite and the Contemptor doesn't, a Dreadnought with it and using a Multi-melta is more likely than not to kill a Contemptor armed with one, and he's a hell of a lot cheaper to boot.
    • Twin-linked Autocannons are your go-to transport poppers, they're so cheap they might as well be free, and point for point they are the most cost efficient way to kill AV11. Ideally you'll be using them to get squads out of Rhinos, then using other squads, either Assault Squads or Shooting units to finish off the passengers. In case you're curious, it is more efficient to have an Autocannon Dread pop a Rhino then let a Heavy Support Squad with heavy weapons finish off the passengers, than it is to have a Heavy Support Squad with Autocannons pop the Transport and rely on the Dreadnought to finish off its payload. An Autocannon Dread with a CCW is also a bigger threat once its ideal targets are all taken care of. Though the Autocannon can handle AV12, they lose about 50% efficiency compared against AV11. Consider Rending or higher AP weapons against AV12, as they keep better chances.
    • Twin-linked Missile Launchers are an inefficient option. They're not as good at killing armour as your other choices, and most armies have good enough armour to shrug off the Frag Missile. If you want ranged anti-infantry, get the next option.
    • The Volkite Culverin is your best infantry-killer, provided you haven't gotten close enough to use the following weapon. The Boxnaught lacks an Assault Cannon so the Culverin is the only option it has to pick up the slack. It still makes a relatively cheap unit, however you're still going to be heavily outperformed by a Heavy Support Squad with Culverins, although you're a bit tougher to kill... usually.
    • The Flamestorm Cannon is a welcome addition, and it's sure to horrify your opponent as much as it delights you when it vaporizes most of a gathering Assault Squad. A Dread with a Flamestorm Cannon, CCW and Graviton Gun (below) can be a great defensive block against aggressive enemy units, first messing with the movement of incoming squads, then slaughtering those who come close (with any luck, you'll fuck with them enough to get two shots at them). This is easily your best anti-Marine weapon just in general. This weapon can't be taken by any other kind of dread.
    • Twin-linked Lascannons The most expensive gun and they're rarely worth it. Contemptor's have much better protection against the firepower you'll receive in return, not to mention they have better ballistic skill, so skip them here.
    • With the arm weapons done, let's get through the CCW attachments. Inbuilt Twin-linked Bolters are forgettable, and the only reason you'd want to keep them is if you were going to be getting a bunch of Dreadnoughts, keeping them cheap, and sending them with 2 CCW's ahead of the rest of your army. It's more effective than you might think, even 3 of them will be less than 20% your total army's cost, take up only a single Elites slot, and they hit enemy squads like wrecking balls. This is also their main advantage over the Contemptor-Cortus, since they have WS5 and it has WS4 they'll do more with a regular charge than it can do with Rage.
    • Unless you're against Mechanicum or Solar Auxilia (who have plenty of armour it ignores), give the Heavy Flamer a pass. You're not likely to kill more models with it than you are the bolter (especially since its range is much less) and the cost is hard to justify.
    • Graviton Guns are one of the unique 30k options for Dreadnoughts, and they're a pretty good one at that. They mess up the battlefield, fucking with your enemy's movement and they have Haywire for dealing with other vehicles. feel free to laugh if you strip two HP off a tank with your Graviton Guns then they get immobilised and die in their following turn. Do remember to be careful though, if you're too close these weapons could easily backfire, either by making you charge through terrain or by scattering way too much.
    • Melta Guns have all the same problems as the Multi-Melta, and everything that was said for them goes here as well. They're an upgrade you should skip in favour of either the Graviton Guns (for dealing with armour) or the following for infantry...
    • Plasma Blasters are your most expensive choice, however they can easily be worth it. Killing just one Terminator will immediately make their points back and then some, and they also make it far easier to win ensuing combats, but this doesn't mean they're without drawbacks. You will lose HP to these things, and that will make you easier to kill in Assault afterwards. If you're not shooting at something worth it (read, Terminators or expensive Legion-specific units) either don't take these, or don't shoot them.
  • 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, increased statline, and better weapons. Contemptor Dreadnoughts have weapons for almost every situation, so we're going to go over them here, with exception to their twin-linked Bolter replacements. Those are the same as the regular Dreadnoughts above so anything that goes for them goes for the Contemptors as well.
    • Starting in increasing order of cost, Multi-melta's should be well known to players, however they're not so efficient in 30K, which might explain why they're free. The targets you'd like to wreck almost always have Armoured Ceramite, and the targets who don't, either because your opponent can't afford to give it to every vehicle, are not an efficient way of earning your points back. You can still make it work if you know or suspect your opponent is bringing walkers, since other Dreadnoughts do not have Armoured Ceramite and are thus vulnerable to your gun, just don't use it on the small stuff. You're not going to recoup the cost of the Dreadnought by trying to kill 35 point Rhinos if you miss or fail the longer-ranged penetration role, besides, that role already belongs to...
    • Twin-linked Autocannons are so cheap they might as well be free, Autocannons fill the role or transport poppers. Pound for pound they are the most efficient gun a Contemptor has for taking out AV11 and (50% worse) AV12 at a distance, and then you can have whatever other squad you brought unload on the passengers, or charge them without having to waste time on their transport in the case of Assault Squads. You can also equip the Dread with a Havoc Launcher if you find the idea of blowing up a transport and them bombarding the passengers funny, strictly speaking it's one of the most efficient combos points-wise.
    • Plasma Cannons have an obvious use, you use them to kill TEQ's and ruin the day of anyone who decides to Deep Strike near you. There's really not much more to say than that, keep them around the main force and watch as your opponent realizes using their Deep Striking RoW means they can easily lose most of a squad to a single shot, even if they're all Artificer Armoured like the Ultramarines Locutarus Storm Squad. Not only does this gun offer you one of the quickest ways to make your points back, but you'll also become a magnet for the enemy's heavy weapons, not that it's a bad thing, just be prepared for it.
    • Unfortunately not every weapon is a winner, and the Twin-linked Volkite Culverin is the sole failure of the Contemptor's loadout. It's worse at taking out MEQ's and Solar Auxilia than the Kheres Assault Cannon (below), yet it costs the same and cannot threaten medium armour since it lacks rending (it also penetrates AV11 as well as the Autocannon while costing more). The only time they do not lag behind the other weapons is when they're hitting 5+ armoured targets, which in 30k means either Adsecularis (who cost a fraction what the Dreadnought costs and are often Fearless) or most Imperial Militia, but in both those cases the Dreadnought is heavily outperformed by a Heavy Support Squad armed with Culverins who are also cheaper. Just stick with other guns, or even just the two Close Combat Weapons, since killing more people in Assault means you could get a Sweeping Advance on the unit.
    • Getting back to the good weapons, the Kheres Assault Cannon is your all-rounder weapon choice, and your best option for killing Marines who are too rude to group up for a nice Plasma Cannon shot. It also makes mincemeat of Solar Auxilia, and in a pinch you can use it to kill armoured threats since rending allows it to pen AV12 and at minimum, glance (and more often penetrate) AV13 when you roll a 6. If you're not sure which role you want your Contemptor for, or if you want it to be ready for anything, get the Assault Cannon.
    • Twin-linked Lascannons also need no introduction, however you might want to give them extra consideration. Yes a Heavy Support Squad with Lascannons will outperform the Dreadnought, however they're also much easier to kill in most matchups, and unlike the Volkite Culverin issue, a Heavy Support Squad costs more (before any other upgrades/DT you might want to give them). You also don't typically need that many Lascannon shots from a single unit, so if you want just a bit more firepower you could get it from a Rapier with a Laser Destroyer (two Laser Destroyers are about twice as damage-efficient than a Dreadnought with two Twin-linked Lascannons and they cost a lot less points - at the cost of mobility and sturdiness). The cost between the two will be comparable to that of the Heavy Support Squad, they can choose more than one target per turn, and they're harder to kill. Do note if you still want weight of fire with a harder to kill model, get two Mortis Dreadnoughts with Lascannons instead of either the Contemptor with a Lascannon/a Heavy Support Squad with Lascannons. They're cheap, durable, more accurate and can pick off more targets before going down on average.
    • Heavy Conversion Beamers Finish off their base kit, and what a price tag they carry. These are also the most iffy weapons among the bunch, partially because they're hard to use (your opponent can easily render most of your firepower moot by just moving closer, or by hiding) and partially because they take away your mobility. Dreadnoughts are best used as moving tanks, getting good angles of attack to hit weaker armour or being able to finish off units softened up by their shooting (as well as being one of the best melee options against Custodes), however you can't do that when you have a Heavy Conversion Beamer. Sure you could stick two on a Contemptor, set it in the backfield, absolutely wreck the shit out of an enemy unit in the first turn and immediately make their points back, and that's the main reason they are not entirely worthless. Custodes, 2-wound Deathstars and Solar Auxilia all die in droves when the Beamer can penetrate their armour (thankfully the Auxilia die easier than the other two) but its high cost and strict firing rules means it's very possible for it to go games without having much effect, and it has too much of an ineffective firing zone to be used for battlefield control against both Marines and Custodes. Either commit to getting two, or something like an Autocannon/Lascannon + Heavy Conversion Beamer combo to pop transports and later kill whatever's inside, or give them a pass. Also note that this means they, like Contemptors with a Plasma Cannon, will draw lots of firepower.
    • Included in book 8 is a new option, the Toxiferno Cannon, aka a weaker Flamestorm Cannon from the Boxnaught. That being said it's not bad, it's free first of all, and with Tainted (AKA Super Rending) it deals a little over half the damage the Flamestorm does (which is still just barely less than a Kheres Assault Cannon, assuming you hit four Marines) and with the added bonus of depriving Psykers of their buffs. That being said, if you want the defensive combo of a super-flamer combined with a Graviton Gun to mess with movement and burn those stuck in the Terrain, and you don't have to worry about Psykers, you should stick with the regular Dreadnought unless you really, desperately want that AV13. If that's the case consider this on a Contemptor-Cortus to keep costs down.
  • Contemptor-Cortus Dreadnought Talon: Inferior to the regular Contemptor but using the same model, Contemptor-Cortus Dreads are in an odd spot. Statwise they're worse not only to Contemptors, but also normal boxnoughts who have additional WS. They do still have uses though, they have additional armour on the front (making them functionally immune to Krak Grenades) compared to the boxnought and their keep their 5++ against shooting, so they can still be better at range, and their special rules/Atomantic Overcharge does give them greater mobility. Fleet and Move Through Cover are both boons for a melee Dread, and they 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. Unfortunately even with Rage they cause less damage then regular Boxnaughts, so if you want to use them defensively (mostly keeping them near ranged units to ward off Assault Squads) maybe you should stick with the regular Dreadnought. If you want to use them offensively, you'll probably be going between Rage and +1 Initiative, the former for doing more damage against models you'll strike before anyway (or who can't hurt you), and the later will give you a much higher chance of winning Dreadnought duels. Also note that Cortus dreads must always Sweep Advance and can never score (in the missions where Elites can score, that is).
    • Cortus Dreads have the same option as regular Contemptor Dreads, so all of the advice that goes for them goes here. There are only two things to keep in mind, the first is that Cortus Dreads are BS4, this will noticeably affect their damage output in comparison to a Contemptor-Primus (the normal variant) and they can only take one Heavy Conversion Beamer. This isn't a great loss, if anything it means they're the best fit for being equipped with an Autocannon/Lascannon + Heavy Conversion Beamer to first pop enemy transports then nuke the squads running away.
  • Legion Mortis Dreadnought: A shooty Dreadnought that always has two of the same weapon, and no melee weapons allowed. This means you should take care not to let them get caught in Assault, ever. If you're lucky they'll be stuck for the rest of the game, if you're not then the Melta Bombs/Power Fist the enemy brought will wreck your box and you'll be sad. Keep in mind it has the ability to use Skyfire and Interceptor if it didn't move that turn, and you have to apply both, according to FW email. This means you can only snap-shot non-flyers that come in from Reserve, and you'll want to always move at least a little if you want to shoot at ground targets.
    • Starting off with their weapons, dual Twin-linked Heavy Bolters are something that can and should be immediately upgraded, unless you're up against Solar Auxilia. If that is the case then keeping the Dread as-is and buying a Havoc Launcher along with it gives you a good crowd-clearing unit.
    • Multi-meltas are their first (free) upgrade, although they're not that great. Most aircraft either have access to or come with Armoured Ceramite, and when that's the case the Autocannons outshine them. Four twin-linked shots at S7 are much better at popping AV11/AV12 than two S8 shots, which happens to be the majority of aircraft in the game. As the cherry on top, Autocannons have double the range.
    • Missile Launchers are an odd pick, they're twice as expensive as the Autocannons and while they are better at penetrating aircraft, the Autocannons strip more hull points off via glancing hits. Since a number of Aircraft have only 2 Hull Points this means you're usually better off with the Autocannons, but the Missile Launchers do have the dual purpose of being able to deal with Infantry on the ground, so if you want something that does more than taking out aircraft/transports you'll probably want the Missile Launchers.
    • Lascannons are your final arm option, and they deal the same amount of HP damage to AV12 on average as an Autocannon does, while being 3x the price. This doesn't mean they're worthless though, they penetrate a lot more often which could mean the difference if your opponent brings heavy aircraft like a Fire Raptor. They can also deal with tanks on the ground, and even with the upgrade they're extremely cheap for what they offer, so get them if you need to deal with armour and want something relatively tough to crack.
    • A special note goes to the Hunter-killer Missiles, not really because of what they do, but because of what they can be paired with. Attached to either a the Missile or Lascannon toting dreads, they can burn down incoming aircraft extremely quickly. Any aircraft that have 2 HP are likely to be immediately shot down (which could fully earn your Dread's points back right then and there) and any that have more will likely be taking a worrying amount of penetrating hits. If you're especially worried about heavier aircraft, highly consider taking these alongside the Missiles or Lascannons (or even the Autocannons, they help there too) and save them for when the planes arrive. This also lets them burn through aircraft faster than even Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnoughts.
  • Legion Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought: Same as the Mortis Dreadnought, gaining Skyfire and Interceptor when it stays still, this entombed veteran is a nice piece of AA with something like double Kheres Assault Cannon or two Twin-Linked Autocannons. It can take a Havoc launcher for crowd clearing which is best used if you took a pair of Lascannons or Autocannons, or if you had the cyclone launcher bit from 40k). As above, Mortis Contemptors cannot get melee weapons so keep them the fuck away from Assault, and preferably always have something else that can intercept an enemy moving in position to charge you.
    • 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 exchange 1 WS for the Interceptor AND Skyfire rules, presenting a dynamic self-sufficient unit for damn good value. This being said, unless you have walkers to worry about, you might want to stick with the Autocannons. Many flyers have access to Armoured Ceramite (or already come with it) and four Twin-linked S7 shots are much better against 2 S8 ones when it comes to stripping hull points off AV11/AV12 (and they're more likely to penetrate), on top of having double the range.
    • 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. They're also really good at threatening Infantry and even medium armour vehicles, so if you're not sure what to bring and want a Mortis ready for everything, get these.


  • 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.
    • One 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 and the Sergent can take a 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. Plus an extra Lascannon and a Havoc Launcher or two Heavy Bolters are always nice things to have. 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. 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.
    • You can make saves against templates all day long, even they're AP3 so long as you put them on the Sergeant (2+ with re-rolls tend to do that).
    • Since Breachers are the most expensive Troop choice and the only compulsory option that can take Special Weapons aside from Rites of War and rules from certain IC's, you have to make your choice of weapons count. Lascutters are worthless so don't bother taking them (yes, Genestealers have a better version than Space Marines do for some dumb reason). Meltaguns are bit a redundant when the whole squad can take Melta bombs and their primary targets will more often than not have defenses against Melta. Flamers are great for clearing out hordes (i.e. Chaos Deamons and Imperial Militia and Cults). Volkite Chargers are only good when using a full squad and can get five (4 plus the Combi-Weapon), but this will force them to foot slog as it requires a 20 man squad.
    • Graviton Guns are the most versatile choice, making them the best option if you want to take on just about everything. At 18" they won't have to get uncomfortably close to units that can charge or out shoot them. The 3" blast it creates difficult terrain making it a pain in the pain ass to Assault them. Their best use by far is popping light armor and tabling anything their Land Raider DT can't on its own.
    • The Sergeant should always take a Bolter with Grenade Launcher as it's not one use and superior to both the Plasma Pistol and Combi-Volkite Charger. Don't bother taking a Power Weapon for the Sarge unless you know for sure he's going to need it. Though a Power Fist or Thunder Hammer is the best use of his two attacks.
  • 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 unless your Legion boosts them somehow.
    • 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 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.
      • As with tactical squads, they can take an extra CCW for 2 points a pop. Naturally this is better with some weapon loadouts and some legions than others, typically you want to consider it for the closer ranged options, flamers are a bit of a toss-up because nothing you can hurt in melee will be willing to charge a squad armed entirely with flamers, but volkite chargers have to get within charge distance anyway and will usually appreciate being able to pick off any stragglers from their target in melee, and meltaguns will definitely provoke a counter-charge if they blow up a transport. You probably shouldn't bother doing this for a squad with volkite calivers or plasma guns since it's unlikely to matter, and should never give a squad rotor cannons to begin with so there's no need to consider this option for them.
  • 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 have Shroud bombs to nullify charges. 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 though. 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 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 Raven Guard 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 low AP dakka keeps shitting down your neck. Well placed, they'll win objective games and outlive any tactical, breacher, veteran or assault squad, especially with Recon Company RoW.
  • Legion Hussar Squadron: Bikes with the Support Squad rule, so you still can't take an all bike army without taking a Rite of War, and Outriders have more options so you're likely to choose them instead, unless you're interested in getting bikers who are scoring units. Minimum squad size is five bikes with Twin-Linked bolters for 150 points, which coincidentally is the same price as five Estoc jetbikes (see below). While the sergeant can swap his weapon, the only real decision to make is whether the squad swaps their bolters for Twin-Linked Snub Rotor Cannons; FW seems to forget how Salvo weapons work, because bikes are Relentless they will never use the first profile of the weapon that only this squad has access to. The Rotor Cannons are twice as effective against MEQ's than the twin-linked bolters they start with, making them one of the few units where Rotors are a legitimate upgrade, a shame their range is only 12". At least upgrading five of them is relatively cheap, and as far as damage goes, 5 Rotor Bikes do slightly more damage than the Jetbikes, but they also cost slightly more, so which you'll use will likely come down to personal preference. If you're going for a mostly shooty army in general though, skip these guys for Sky Seekers, keep them cheap, and only use them for the Oracle Array.
    • Worth noting that, unlike the jetbikes, they have hit and run, which is pretty good for certain legions, though not White Scars, since you get that anyway with Chogorian brotherhood.
    • Note that if you bring these lads in from reserves, this song is mandatory.
  • Legion Jetbike Sky Seeker Squadron: 3-10 guys on the lighter Estoc pattern Jetbike, meaning they only get the normal 3+ save and fewer weapon options, but at least they're scoring. Starting with Twin-Linked bolters but upgrading to Grenade Launchers or Heavy Rotor Cannons that Forgeworld forgot were Salvo weapons so will only fire at full effect. If you're going to upgrade them at all heavily consider the Heavy Rotor Cannons, they're significantly better against MEQ's and Solar Auxilia. They are also better than the Grenade Launchers: more than twice as effective against Krak Grenades, and much more reliable than Frag. It's also just five points for the upgrade, making 5 Jetbike Rotors cheaper than 5 Rotor Hussars, and they're not only cheaper but do the same amount of damage as Sky Hunters with their Heavy Bolters, so consider these if you can be without the 2+ save or you want Scoring Jetbikes.
    • One cool thing though, this squad comes with something called an Oracle Array, meaning if they choose not to shoot they can paint a target within 12", granting all friendly Legiones Astartes units a +1 to hit the marked unit. So there is very little need to spend points on Sky Seekers if you just want them to provide a spotting role.
    • This squad has the Support Squad rule, so can never be compulsory as they have no support in Rites of War.

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. Almost every squad in Power Armor can take them, with the exception of units like Assault Marines and Breachers.
  • Legion Drop Pod: Again, nearly similar to the far future. Can carry a squad of 10 men, a rapier and crew or a Boxnought. Has twin bolter and can't change for missiles, though. Note that because they are exclusively a DT, the only way to field these without the Orbital Assault RoW is as a dedicated transport to a single Boxnought.
  • 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. Sons of Horus can take them for their Reavers, non-terminator command squads, Seekers, and regular Boxnoughts.
  • 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.
  • As per Book 9, Termites can be taken by Destroyer Squads as a dedicated transport

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Legion Seeker Squad: 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 Shredding AP2 Scorpius bolts make them into a perfect sniper squad provided you can stay still 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, the squad 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.
    • As an alternative, consider pairing them with a Vigilator, not only is it quite fluffy, it's also crunchy combo too. The Vigilitor will give them scout, infiltrate and stealth from his cameololine, all of which only need a single model in the unit to have it for all to benefit, combine that with Recon Company to get shrouded and you can get 4+ out in the open making it easy to line up those Scorpius shots.
    • 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.
    • With the FAQ V1.0, each Seeker (including the Strike Team Leader) can equip a combi-weapon at 5 pts each (bargain?), with a 5-man unit equipped with combi-weapons costing only 180 points (the same as a 5-man Veteran Squad with combi-weapons, just saying). This mitigates their utility against armoured vehicles, as a few combi-meltas with screw up any none-Armoured Ceramite tank while combi-plasma with discourage any Terminators attempting to close in on the unit.
  • 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.
    • They can take 1 power weapon per 3 models, and then the sergeant can take a power weapon. Consider a 9 man squad with 4 power axes; its basically a tankier fast assault squad with better shooting and better damage (hammer of wrath)
  • 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 sergeant 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 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. Land Speeders will work better if you can limit the dangers of deep strike mishap. When combined with infiltrating Nuncio Vox carrying Recon Teams or Damocles, anti AV speeders can prove to be extremely effective for their cost. They will deal the majority of their damage in the turn that they arrive. In subsequent turns, they can draw fire away from the rest of your army, make sure you jink to force your opponent to waste valuable shooting. A squadron of three multi-melta/graviton speeders comes in at around 245, not overly cheap, they may not earn back their points by decimating enemy units. Their value lies in the fact that they can't be ignored. Depending on your local meta, speeders can offer an excellent casual alternative to more expensive equivalents such as deep striking dreadnoughts, terminators or drop pod support squads.
  • 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 Speeders. 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/rotor cannons/lascannons, or a Multi-melta w/searchlight. They have forward deployment, which gives them Scout, but you can't put them in reserves (note they are artillery so only deploy up to 6" away). You can also give the battery concealment which gives them Shrouding until they fire. They have a setback in which you're 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: Now this is why people think twice when they hear "Forge World rules" (this whole list is Forge World 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's 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 pen 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 and protects its cargo better than a Drop pod - it can Jink - 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 its 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 for anything aside from Destroyers is its 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.
  • Sabre Strike Tank: A light tank which functions as a budget Sicaran without taking up a Heavy Support slot. They can be taken in squadrons of up to two and have an array of weapon options that let them deal with anything from infantry to medium tanks. However while the model is sexy as hell, it’s small and has the survivability of only a Rhino with an extra point of AV in the front. You will have to use the small size and fast movement of the tank to take advantage of cover. Base cost starting at 65 points for a fast tank-type vehicle with Auxiliary Drive stock.
    • The Sabre itself has some pretty good guns. The Stub Autocannon is a solid generalist option for all comers. For hordes the Anvilus can be replaced with a Volkite Saker. For dealing with vehicles the main gun can be replaced with a Neutron Blaster, which is a Lascannon with shorter range (24") Concussive and Shock Pulse to troll tanks, walkers and superheavies.
    • The Heavy Bolter can be replaced with a Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta or a Volkite Culverin. The Culverin is the best option here due to 45" range. So stick with that unless you know what you’re up against beforehand. The Sabre can also a take a pintle mounted weapon, which can either be a Combi-Weapon, a Havoc Launcher or a Twin-Linked Bolter. Again like the Culverin a Havoc Launcher is better because of its 40" range. Make your opponents regret trying to hide from your Sabres.
    • The final set of options are: Armoured Ceramite, Extra Armor and up to four Saber Missiles (36", str6, ap4, Heavy 1, Rending, One Use). The profile of the Saber Missiles prevents them from being a must-take. At best they are good for extra hits against flyers or finishing off stragglers.
      • While one of the main drawbacks of the Sabre Missiles are their one use profile, if you really want to conduct some form of alpha strike with them, consider taking a pair of Sabres with a full missile loadout each, alongside a minimum squad of Sky Seekers. Using the Oracle Array plus the Missile Lock of the Sabre Missiles, you'll essentially have BS 10, while 8 shots can rather easily pop some light vehicles.

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), 4 shots and Deflagrate (for a maximum of 8 wounds each), so its 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 your 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. Sarges 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 standard 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 damage bonuses for infantry damage bonuses.
  • 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, but this is a terrible idea as said missiles only give you a single S8 shot per tank. Not only that, but the other two are particularly suited to engaging the dreaded flare-shields since they have Barrage. 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. Since this has a 0-1 limit in a legion list, it's worth considering for RoW that restrict the amount of HS slots.
  • 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 squadrons, 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 a 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. Note that unlike with the Predator, the Armoured Breakthrough Rite of War is not as useful here: it still allows you to move at full speed without paying the points for Power of the Machine Spirit, but it won't grant you extra shots since RAW, your other BS bonus automatically goes to the combi-bolter.
  • 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 meta. 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-Grenades 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 it stands still, the weapon can be fired TWICE, so 8 shots. This tank makes 6th edition Eldar cry looking at its cheese. Penetrating hits let you roll D3 times on the vehicle damage chart and choose the highest result. It is also the best AA in a Legion army for +15pts, firing 4 twin-linked S7 AP3 rerolling successful cover saves hits, 8 hits if standing 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: this thing is freaking awesome and probably needs to be nerfed hard! It is the best anti-heavy infantry of all 30K AND one of the best anti-aircraft at the same time AND makes mech forces cry. A closest thing to auto-include in LA roster so far but you'll need to look in the mirror hard when you do. If you take more than one, you are entering That Guy territory...
  • 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 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 its Fast rule and keep an escort nearby to stop anyone trying to outmaneuver it. Also never give it side sponsons; its 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 its turret weapon has been replaced with a Punisher Rotary Cannon, which is 36" S5 Ap4 Heavy 18, and if it stands still in the Movement Phase, it can 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? As of Malevolence, it can be taken in a squadron of two.
  • Legion Sicaran Omega Tank Destroyer: The black sheep of the Sicaran family. Its 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 AP1 with twin-linked, Gets Hot! and a special rule called Plasma 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 its job better. The plasma volleys are weaker than the original Sicaran's autocannon, and the Sustained Burn is weaker than the Venator's Neutron Laser. Which means that this tank is only useful for a TAC list with heavy restrictions on the HS slot. As of Malevolence, it can be taken in a squadron of two, helping it at least excel in that niche.
  • 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 opponent's 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 targets almost every turn.
    • For a legion not known for their mobile, well anything, the Fire Raptor makes a surprisingly great unit for the Iron Warriors. Independent Tracking on the turrets allows you to potentially pin two units a turn with shatter shells while still letting you dump the Avenger and the Hellstrike Missiles onto targets you actually want killed. Envision this. Fire Raptor in an Ironfire RoW. It flies up and directly into your opponent’s line, pins two tactical or breacher squads for your own to charge, dumps two Hellstrike Missiles onto some armour or a transport for a quick kill and uses the avenger to cripple an important mid to backline unit, such as a heavy weapons squad (maybe even the same one who’s transport you just busted). Sure this is an idealised turn but it is very possible. Mathematical efficiency in war, just as Perturabo would have wanted.
  • 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". Recently nerfed by the drop pod errata, the whole pod now counts as 1 launcher, instead of having one behind each door. On its first shooting phase you still fire at each target within 12’’, only once now but at full BS. Dakkawise, you chose between 3 krak or 2 frag missiles each turn... and that’s all. Good thing the Drop Pod Assault rule is now free to release it on first turn. Finally, it forces re-rolls for pinning and morale checks. It may not be the deal of the year, but being able to drop a missile turret behind a just-deployed Contemptor talon, thus spitting 3 shots at each ass, is the kind of dickery none can resist.
  • Legion Kharybdis Assault Claw: The Dreadclaw's big brother. It is 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 its cargo. Heat blasts ensure anything in its 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 weather 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 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 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.
    • New to the Deredeo is the Volkite Falconet. If 6 S7 AP5 Deflagrate shots don't wipe out that horde, they'll be stuck firing Snap Shots if they fail the subsequent Ld test.
    • 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).
    • The Boreas Air Defense Missiles are more specialized than the Aiolos, being souped-up HK missiles that bypass Jink saves and retain Independent Tracking.
    • 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 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 chassis-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 just Shrouded after the drop pod FAQ, as you are forced to disembark on landing now.
      • 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 Porphyrion 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 its D strength 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: According to the FAQ, it is not a superheavy anymore, which totally sucks! 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 gives the whole unit Tank Hunters and Monster Hunter if they all shoot at the same target.
  • Legion Arquitor Bombard: A RAW nightmare, the Arquitor is marketed as a siege tank. With short range and worse than a Predator front AV, albeit with a chunky 4 HP, it's vulnerable as it crawls up the field, but the only weapon it currently mounts, the Spicula rocket system, will ruin parking lots and close packed armies. It fires uniquely in 30k, using a template but hitting any unit touched by the template a fixed amount of times (minimum 5). Along with being able to target the ground rather than a models base, you want to use this to clip as many enemies as possible to land multiple hits across units, especially low AV vehicles where the Sunder rockets can chip away hull points, even if S7 isn't going to pen too many things. Sadly, it lacks barrage and so will likely be destroyed once it pops its head out, but at similar points to a tooled up Predator it's not too expensive to lose. Incidentally, as it targets the ground and not a unit, it bypasses Jink saves, so Speeders will try and remove this as quickly as possible.
    • It is worth clarifying that this weapon absolutely 100% needs line of sight in its current incarnations, despite the massive amounts of arguments this things rules have fuelled. It follows all the normal rules for shooting, with the exception of the blast not needing to be placed over a models base as detailed in its special rules, aside from that it follows all other requirements (Pick a target, or target spot, I don't know...Make sure you have line of sight, fire away). You still need Line of Sight though, so watch out...
    • The Graviton Charge cannon is a 24" range, barrage version of the Graviton Cannon. AP4, toughness test to be wounded, haywire. Honestly, only really good in Iron Hands Head of the Gorgon lists and clearing car-parks. Stick with the superior rocket barrage until the Morbus comes out and blows everyone's nips off...
    • A third and apparently "Original" version has been released in the form of the Morbus Bombard. Clocking in at 140pts like the previous two weapon options, this one's weird. At 24" range with a Large Blast S10 AP2 Ordnance and Barrage, it's basically a pricier Vindicator with Barrage and 1 extra hull point but less front armour, or a cheaper Medusa with better armour and shorter range. The alternate shell this thing fires is also odd, S2 AP4, Fleshbane and Ignores Cover Large Blast.....Sure thing FW, I guess this is good for killing Auxilia or Militia but to be honest, I can't see much point in this. Overall score, 5/10 - can see some potential uses for it but really it's down to if you like the model, or hate the Medusa model.

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 in 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 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 chassis 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 a bit 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 dakka. Shame it can't get rid of its 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 Auxila 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 its 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 luxury 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!
  • 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 varients are argueably one of the strongest due to it's price; it's a sheer 80pts cheaper than the Baneblade for the same blast, +1 strength and longer ranged gun all for the removal of a Demolisher Cannon and Autocannon. Downside? Nah, this thing can sit at the back of the board and fire away unlike some of it's brothers that have a far shorter ranged gun or/and want to get up to fire the Demoisher.
  • Banehammer (410pts) The cheapest of all the Baneblade brothers but for good reason, this tank is ONLY rocking a 7" blast at Strength 8, AP3 Primary Weapon, with Earthshock (Surviving models must take a Dangerous Terrain test - *Laughs in Salamanders, Death Guard and White Scars*). Does with a transport cap of 25 though akin to a Spartan and 10 guys can fire out, so if you're bored of spamming Spartans, why not bring a Banehammer instead?!
  • 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 is still being mass produced 10,000 years after it was supposed to be phased out! 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 Baneblade's high base cost but this tank will always generally perform well.
  • Legion Fellblade Super Heavy Tank: (+525) 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 absolute 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 cover saves against a relatively small blast hurts a lot. Consider giving it Space Marine crew to keep that blast as centered as possible.
    • WHO FORGOT about the Neutron Wave Capacitor upgrade for a measly +35pts? The Space Marine Legion list now has a titan killer par excellence in form of the Falchion upgraded with the Neutron Wave Capacitor for 560 points a pop. Make sure to keep the void shields down and watch your opponent's Warlord Titan never shoot as it suffers from continual Shock Pulse D hits courtesy of those tasty twin-linked Volcano Cannons. With 12 hull points, it may survive the first turn, though you're probably still depending utterly on getting first turn instead.
  • Legion Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: (+395pts) 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: (+395) 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: (+685pts) 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 enemy's 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. Aside of 4 twin-linked heavy bolters and two lascannons, the big gun is a massive blast(!) battle cannon with Primary Weapon USR. It can be swapped out for a Laser Destroyer, turning this thing into a flying Shadowsword tank. It can carry 30 marines, 15 terminators or jump marines or 3 Legion Dreadnoughts (not Contemptors/Cortus), you are able to mix and match. Though remember: super-heavy flyers cannot jink, and damage can add up quickly. This big bird has 9 hull points and a solid AV12, but its rear is made of wet tissue paper, with AV10 so watch out for shots in the rear; a well placed interceptor shot from a Deredeo with Heavy Lascannons could down this flying brick with some solid rolls. To remedy this, you can add several upgrades to enhance rear AV and protect the sides.
  • 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: (+850) 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: (+700pts) 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? Well... it does have two Void Shields, but happens to have less hull points than a much cheaper Fellblade/Falchion, which is terrible for a transport that will be receiving fire from all over the table due to its size and its cargo. It also lacks any form of defense against being charged by something with Armorbane beyond his frontal flamer overwatch. Not even the Typhon's Crushing Weight rule, despite its massive size. 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 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 destroy 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.


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, which is dumb since the Obliterator's lore has Rogal Dorn build them to stall the traitors advance.) 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.

Of course, all of these fortifications come with their own lists of upgrades depending on the piece.

Depending on the size of the building, you'll be limited on how many upgrades from here you can pick up. A small building can only take 1, a medium building can take 3 and a large building can take 5.

  • Ammo Store: Units inside this building can re-roll 1s to hit when shooting, which is a decent enough perk. However, this doesn't mean a thing for any emplacements fired by your men.
  • Booby Traps: The first person who enters this building eats a surprise gift of 2d6 S4 AP5 hits that ignore all cover. Don't expect to kill much more than a model or two since it's a one-time deal.
  • Escape Hatch: Allows you to set up an entry point somewhere within 12" of the building, giving you an extra venue of entry. That said, using this hatch denies them the ability to charge after exiting.
  • Magos Machine Spirit: Improves the BS of any automated defense emplacements to 3. If you're going to be relying on the automated turrets, you'll be wanting this. This is especially true if you're picking the icarus lascannons, as those don't have blast to at least assure coverage.
  • Searchlights: Same searchlights you see on any vehicle.
  • Void Shield: Provides an AV12 shield for your building, which can be broken by any glancing or penetrating hits but spares the building itself from any pain. This shield can be restored on a 5+ at the end of your subsequent turns.
  • Barricades: Provides a 4+ cover save if the fortification doesn't have that already. Redundant on defense lines and the like, as they already have these rules.
  • Tanglewire: Provides a 6+ cover save. While it's uncertain if this stacks with any existing saves like, say, a defense line, it can provide something for those hiding next to a building.
  • Tank Traps: This fortification is now impassible for any vehicles that aren't skimmers while bikes count it as difficult terrain. Anyone else can still walk past the traps and it provides a 4+ cover save in the event that the structure lacks any cover of its own.
  • Ammo Dump: Models within 2" of this terrain can re-roll 1s to hit while shooting and a 5+ cover save for those hiding behind it. Odds are that you'll be relying on the cover save more often than the re-rolls.
  • Comms Relay: Provides a 5+ cover save to models within 2" of it. If you have an unengaged model next to this terrain as well, this allows you to re-roll reserves, which can be handy if you don't have other means to get that.
  • Gun Emplacement: A T7 W2 structure that houses either a quad gun or icarus lascannon that can either be fired on its own (at a pitiful WS2) or be fired by a nearby model who can also hide behind it for a 4+ cover save. An easy take if you lack any other anti-air means, though it's also quite costly.
  • Aegis Defense Line: The most basic fortification you can include. Gives you a line of walls to hide behind for cover, which also includes improving the benefits for going to ground. While it doesn't include anything else, its low price also allows you to buy upgrades for it, including the ever-iconic gun emplacement.
  • Bastion: The basic building, having space for 20 marines to hide behind and a respectable AV14 to protect them and four heavy bolters to weaponize. As with the ADL, this is cheap enough you can buy upgrades while remaining under-budget, which also includes gun emplacements.
  • Defense Line: A set of walls, seemingly separate than the ADL and costing more. This doesn't have as many options available to it, this does grant Stubborn to those hiding behind it. That alone provides a decent benefit behind all the perks of hiding behind the walls.
  • Defense Emplacement: Three emplacements connected by walls. Not only does this provide Stubborn like the Defense Line, but the emplacements also allow models inside them to re-roll to hit when firing overwatch, providing a helpful advantage for deterring chargers.
  • Bunker: Take the bastion but rip out the bolters. Instead, you can have four models fire out of those fire points, making this a much more desirable option for any long-range guns like the heavy support squads or recon squads.
  • Firestorm Redoubt: One of the big setpieces, complete with two quad icarus lascannons to shoot down any flyers though you can replace each of them with a battle cannon for ordinance. However, these guns (and any further emplacements you slap onto it) are forced to fire on the nearest target at a pathetic BS2 and thus shouldn't be relied on for very much. If you can spare it, buy the Magos Machine Spirit to make that BS a little less weaksauce. If you're still worried, your men can hide inside there and use the extra-wide firing points that allow six models to shoot out of.
  • Vengeance Weapons Battery: Provides 1-2 battle cannons to shell the enemy with, though expect a lot of scattering since these can only fire automated due to lacking any way to directly fire it with your men. These battle cannons can be replaced with quad icarus lascannons if you're more worried about shooting down flyers.
  • Aquila Strongpoint: A multi-piece network of buildings, all protected by a very formidable AV15 with a -1 to building damage rolls and plenty of storage for your troops. By default this gives you quite a lot of firing points as well as the options for some heavy bolters for additional firepower. Of course, this leaves out the main star of the show...
    • Quake Cannon: Super-heavy ordinance, providing either a large blast at Destroyer strength or an apocalyptic mega-blast that can potentially take down anything flying within the firing arc. Needless to say that this can provide serious covering fire to the extent that the scatter won't even matter.
    • Vortex Missile: You only get seven of them, but the fact that they're infinite-ranged Strength D large blasts means that each one you fire has the guarantee of obliterating pretty much anything they fire upon. That said, these missiles are also a massive risk because if this building explodes, each remaining missiles can explode while inside the building, meaning that your forces inside the strongpoint are straight-up FUCKED.
  • 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 more of a vanilla fighting force when compared to its 40K incarnation. In this era, the Legio Prima has a high degree of customisation with each unit/character being able to have his own history and special rules and they have a wide variety of cool toys both melee(unique Power Weapons) and ranged (of mostly plasma), an uncommon balance available to few others.

Each regular squad can be led by its own veteran of a particular wing and have his own special rules, and their unique units are "themed" to say the least, though time will tell how they measure up to other legions. The Legion also has some radical Rites of War which allow you to play those wings if you're keen to theme an entire force around them, 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.

The Dark Angels appear to be played however you want, although the price for such customisation is quite high. HH9: Crusade did give offer a fair amount of Awesome if you really dig deep for it, but it was balanced out by a significant amount of Fail in the broad execution. If you want to micromanage your army list or play with lots of exclusive equipment like plasma dakka and Power Weapons just like in 40K 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.
      • 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. 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.
      • This rule is rather useless against Mechanicum Monstrous Creatures and Custodes. Any unit that can survive more than one turn in Assault against them (Terminators), would be better off with Fists or Hammers.
    • Inviolate and Alone: Dark Angels may never benefit from the leadership of, or any leadership boosting rule from any model that does not have the Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) or Sire of the Dark Angels rules.
  • 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. If you use it, beware of the many Fear-ignoring and high Ld units in the game.
    • 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. Armies that rely on Feel No Pain such as World Eaters will also be devastated when they are not getting their 4+++ or their potentially 3+++, just don't rely on it to ID Praetors.
    • 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 Sergeants. So use those extras to give your Power Sword armed assault units a cheap upgrade.
    • Plasma Repeater & Burners: Any model that can take a Plasma gun or Twin-Linked Plasma Guns may instead take a Repeater for 20 points or a Burner for 15. The Repeater 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+. The Burner is S4 AP2 Ignores Cover and rerolls overwatch.
      • The critical failure of the Repeater 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 the Burner or even just a regular Plasma gun.
      • As for the Plasma Burner, the gun on average fires 3 shots at 12", one more than a regular plasma fires at 12", only it will normally be wounding on 4's whereas a regular Plasma Gun wounds on 2's. In practice this means the Plasma Burner is significantly less effective against any enemy using Invuln saves instead of cover, or which only has a 5+ or 6+ cover save and regular Plasma can handle stuff like lightly armoured vehicles and Mechanicum that the burner cannot. However, as an Assault weapon it does not hinder the squads ability to charge after firing, so has some utility with melee veterans. Unless you've got a specific use in mind for the burner (mist-shrouded Death Guard come to mind) give it a pass.
      • Despite all this, one good thing to come out of the change in wording is that Plasma Bikers are back on the menu. Repeaters and Burners are both cheaper than Twin-Linked Plasma guns on Outrider squads, and because bikes are automatically Relentless they fire Salvo weapons at full range and effect, and can still charge if they need to afterwards.
    • Stasis Shell (Grenade Launchers & Missiles): Essentially unique frag grenades/missiles that, besides their usual effects, cause all models in a unit HIT by these weapons to drop to Initiative 1 until the end of the turn. 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). Using Stasis Shells right before using a Navigator’s Lidless Stare is a great way to wipe units and become That Guy.
      • Do remember you can stack these either with AdMech allies for Thallax/Castellax, or you can include your own via a Praevian. Doing this will get you access to Photon Thrusters, which have the Blind rule which they'll now be testing at I1. Now that WS 5 squad you could've charged with a WS 4 Assault Squad is going to hit you on 5's, and be hit on 3's while striking last. If you're feeling heretical you can play Traitors and combo this with an allied Word Bearers Mhara Gal Dreadnought for its Blind bolters, though that's not nearly as points efficient.
      • While Destroyers now have the option of Grenade Launchers with Psk-Out munitions, buying Stasis Shells would be a waste of points compared to just taking two Rocket Launchers as Rad-Missiles are flat out better. There's two exceptions to this, and that only comes up if you want to get close enough to use two Psyk-out Grenades (one shot, one thrown) and then use a Stasis Shell so that a different combat squad can kill the weakened/pinned unit, but that's a very high investment for a one-trick pony and not recommended (note that while Missile Launchers can do the same thing they also cost more).
      • Important: In 30k, Combi-weapons can be Combi-Grenade launchers, however since Forge World thinks there's a difference between Grenade Launchers and Twin-linked Grenade Launchers, Combi-Weapons are in all likelihood separate weapons and therefore not eligible. Talk it over with your opponent until a FAQ (or email confirmation) comes out. Regarding Stasis Missile squads, keep in mind the upgrade is per model and, more concerningly, Stasis Missiles have a reduced range of 24", limiting their use. Keep in mind that vets with these will have Suspensor Webs, so if they move it's a sad 12" range. 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.
      • If you're running the Pride of the Legion ROW or the 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.
    • Molecular Acid Shells (Heavy Bolter): A 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 (i.e., not tanks), Heavy Bolters may be upgraded to Fleshbane. No longer the must-have it once was, the Shells are now just +1 to wound in practice against most matchups. While they can still be good against both AdMech and Daemons, you need to bring something better against MEQ's and Custodes. Don't even try them against the Death Guard, you'll cut your own damage output by almost half.
  • Scions of the Hexagrammaton: for 25 points, any character model (including both squad characters and Independent Characters) can be a Scion of one of the six Wings. This gives the model (and usually the unit they are attached to) a solid benefit and is also required for many of the Rites that the Dark Angels use. Multiple Scions of different types in a unit do stack, but it does require all members of the unit to have the LA (Dark Angels) rule, so it won't apply to the Primarch.
    • Scion of the Deathwing: the model rerolls one failed to-hit in a challenge. Straight up garbage, Scion of the Firewing gives a much better bonus and most challenges end as soon as the first Power Fist swings (and even against a 3++ that Power Fist will go through if you have Hatred, not to mention the additional casualties a Paragon Blade racks up). To make matters worse, the Deathwing Rite of War sucks too!
    • Scion of the Dreadwing: the unit can choose to move 4" through difficult terrain and rerolls dangerous terrain checks. Remember that Bikes and Jump Infantry treat all difficult terrain as Dangerous, so this can be a worthwhile upgrade if it saves a model or two.
    • Scion of the Firewing: the model and unit have Hatred (Characters).
    • Scion of the Ironwing: When rolling on the damage table, the unit causes any Crew Shaken results on the vehicle damage table to become Crew Stunned instead. Might've been nice, if Extra Armour wasn't a 5 point upgrade that completely nullifies your 25 point upgrade, and unfortunately Extra Armour comes stock on most vehicles you wanted to stun (if not cripple).
    • Scion of the Ravenwing: the model and unit can reroll run, fall back, and thrust distances. Bikes and Jetbikes turbo-boost fixed distances instead and can actually fall back quite far, so the units you'd expect to be Ravenwing actually benefit the least from it. This is probably one that will be forgotten unless you are using their specific Rite of War.
    • Scion of the Stormwing: This model and any attached unit fire snap shots at BS2. This benefit is likely lost on anything other than Heavy Support squads or Tactical support squads with Volkite Calivers, as any other kind of unit won't likely be snap-firing as often as you think they will, even with overwatch. Also consider for an Inner Circle Knights Cenobium, since re-rolling BS2 makes much more of a difference than re-rolling BS1.
  • Scions of the Hekatonystika: on top of being a member of the Wings, any independent character may also be a member of one of the various Orders of the Legion for 25 points. Clearly this can mean DA characters get expensive fast. Honestly, there isnt too much to go raving about here though.
    • Augurs of Weakness: add +1 Strength when attempting to penetrate AV11 or higher.
    • Icon of Resolve: gain +1 attack when charged.
    • Guardian of Sanctity: roll an extra D6 and discard the lowest when this model attempts to deny the witch - Great on Librarians
    • Slayer of Kings: reroll 1s to hit when facing weapon skill 5 or higher in close combat.
    • Hunter of Beasts: reroll 1s to wound vs Toughness 5 in close combat, or all failed wounds against Toughness 6+
    • Reaper of Hosts: Gain +1 attack when base to base with two or more enemy models.
    • Breaker of Witches: Reroll fails to hit and wound in close combat against any Daemon, Psyker, or units affected by Blessings.
  • Rite of War: The Unbroken Vow: If you want to play Dark Angels on hard mode, choose the Deathwing Rite of War. This is for those who like being forced to spend points for very little advantage and adding more objectives for you (and not your opponent) to worry about, this rite amounts to little more than an overcharged Pride of the Legion with strict conditions attached. Only usable in Zone Mortalis, where small elite units are more likely to shine, and the unit holding the "centre" won't be receiving a S10 AP2 pieplate every turn, or in missions using the "Ambush" set-up, where you can start the game holding the objective. Spamming Vets and all flavours of Terminators work well here. Dreadnoughts, and Battle Automata from a Praevian or Cortex Forge Lord can also butcher any unit attempting to make their way to the center.
    • Hammer of Caliban: Veteran squads and Legion Terminators may be taken as troops.
      • Compulsory Troops choices must be Veteran Squads or Legion Terminator squads, and must contain at least one model with the Scion of the Deathwing rule. In practice this is 50 points wasted.
    • Marshal of the Unbroken Vow: Independent Dark Angels characters with the Scion of the Deathwing rule gain +1 attack while within 12" of an objective. In practice this is still worse than buying them Scions of the Firewing and getting in challenges.
    • Death is not the End: Every unit containing a model with the Scion of the Deathwing rule that is within 6" of an objective gains Feel No Pain (6+) or improves it by one of they already had it. Better get those Apothecaries, or if you're going for a Librarian do your best to roll Endurance.
    • After deployment but before the start of the game, an objective marker must be placed as close to the center of the table as possible. For EVERY GAME TURN this objective is NOT held by a unit with the Scion of the Deathwing special rule then the opposing player gains a victory point. If the opposing player controls it, he gains +3 victory points. So all of the points tax you invested into elite Scions of the Deathwing units now has to spend the game holding an objective to just NOT lose, and if your characters with the Scions of the Deathwing rule die you basically cannot win. Either come prepared to deal with Primarch Deathstars or skip this RoW.
    • Your army must be led by a Scion of the Deathwing or Lion El'Jonson - Note that the Primarch doesn't actually gain the benefit of any of the rules of this rite, nor does he become an HQ choice like in "Primarch's Chosen" or Magnus in his own "Guard of the Crimson King" rite of war.
    • No allied detachment.
  • Rite of War: The Serpent's Bane: A themed force for taking out the enemy leadership, with some useful benefits for actually doing that job. Like the Unbroken Vow it gives you an objective to aim for in order to not lose, but it is actually easier to accomplish since your army should be doing it anyway. It is also less restrictive with regards to what other forces you can take in your army compared to some other Dark Angels rites. Best used against armies that get penalties when their HQ's die (Ultramarines, Night Lords, and Thousand Sons) or rely heavily on their characters (Word Bearers and mirror matches).
    • Strike Force: Seeker Squads and Enigmatus Cadres may be taken as Troops.
      • Compulsory Troops choices must be made up of Seeker Squads or Assault Squads with the Scion of the Firewing Rule. - meaning that those Enigmatus Cadres can't be compulsory Troops.
      • While most of the benefits of this rite are lost on anything not designated a priority target, having Seekers and Enigmatus Cadres as troops is still a good thing.
    • Priority Target Kill List: choose three enemy units that are either HQ, Elite, or Lords of War. All of your Scion of the Firewing units add +1 to Wound rolls or Armour penetration rolls against these three targets. If three eligible units are not available due to your opponents army selection, then any other units may be chosen as priority targets.
      • If these three targets are not destroyed at the end of the game you LOSE, regardless of any other victory conditions being played. - choose the weakest of the opponent's eligible units to clear this requirement as easily as possible, but it shouldn't be too much of a struggle unless you are left with a Primarch to defeat, but aiming for the destruction of your enemy's high value units is only ever a good thing no matter what mission you play. Do be warned your opponent will likely do everything they can to block LoS or any other number of shenanigans to save at least one of these units, like sticking it back into a souped-up Spartan which then hides out of LoS behind their entire army. If you don't plan for some heavy bunker busting you might as well concede immediately.
      • 'Remember that Seeker squads can already designate an enemy unit for Preferred Enemy, so make sure this stacks here.
    • *There is no need for your Firewing units to do the killing of priority targets, so if you need them to be somewhere else then this rite is nowhere near as bad as the Unbroken Vow.
    • Marshal of the Ever-burning Flame: Independent Characters with the Scions of the Firewing rule gain +1 Attack when locked in combat with a Priority Target unit. Finally a Rite of War that actually combo's decently with the Scion upgrade you need to take, and your Legiones Astartes rules! Assuming your characters are fighting enemy characters (which they absolutely should be) this means your Praetor with a Paragon Blade and the Reaper of Hosts upgrade will have 9 Attacks on the Charge (and 8 on the defensive), hitting on 3's against other Praetors/Champions, re-rolling misses and getting +1 to wound which happens to be enough for him to mathematically kill any other souped-up Praetor, even if they have Eternal Warrior and an Iron Halo. Thanks to Stasis weapons you can assassinate them before they get a chance to use their own Paragon Blade, and if they were relying on a fist they'll never get the chance to use it. The only thing that these characters have trouble handling are Praetors with a 3++ (you'll still insta-gib anyone with 2 wounds), Characters with a FnP save (so watch out for Apothecaries) and characters which can ignore wounds like Hol Beloth (who will kill your Praetor while probably costing 90 points less), as well as Word Bearers/Thousand Sons with Empath Bonds.
    • Forward Deployment Protocol: up to three Troops choices with the Scion of the Firewing rule may be given the Infiltrate rule, and if deployed no more than 17" from a Priority target will also gain the Rage rule until the end of the second game turn. Note that since Enigmatus Cabals are troops now you can give them this benefit for 6 attacks on the charge, which means each of them will kill 3 Marines in a Priority Target unit (or causing 4 wounds if they're attacking Characters). Before you compare them, yes a fully maxed out Assault Squad can do more damage to 2+ armour units, however those also cost way more than twice what the Enigmatus Cabals cost, so only go for the Assault Squads if you need to clear out Artificer Armour or TEQ's, the Cabal heavily outperform them against MEQ's.
    • Your army must be led by a Scion of the Firewing or Lion El'Jonson - While the Primarch doesn't actually gain the benefit of any of the rules of this rite, not that he needs a +1 to Wound anyway! he will definitely assist in clearing the priority targets
    • No fortifications or allied detachment.
  • Rite of War: The Storm of War - The rite for players who enjoy having lots of boots on the ground and employing orders like Imperial Guard players are used to doing. Also not quite as crippling to victory conditions as other Dark Angels rites, but still requires a lot of investment to get the most out of it, may work best in small/mid sized games where you won't feel the burn of the troops taxes. Best used against armies that specilize on killing valuable assests (Alpha Legion), or field durability-based deathstars that can be overwhelmed by numbers (Imperial Fists, Salamanders). Despite the Stormwing canonically using Breacher units in the fluff, they receive no benefit.
    • Masters of the Storm of War: Tactical or Assault squads chosen as compulsory Troops that number at least 20 models (squad max in any case) may add a Centurion to the unit without taking a HQ slot, this Centurion may not take Consul upgrades - due to the FOC, you are likely going to have no more than two extra Centurions.
      • The army must contain more Tactical or Assault squads than the total number of other units combined. Independent characters are not included.
      • Compulsory Troops must contain at least one model with the Scion of the Stormwing rule - essential if you want to issue orders, but with the added Centurion then you can make your sergeants members of a different wing at least
    • Marshals of the Storm: Praetors and Centurions with the Scions of the Stormwing rule may issue an order to any Tactical or Assault squad they have joined by passing a Ld test. Do note that if you fail to give an order to a squad, a second character in that same squad can then attempt to give them an order, but once an order has been successfully passed, any further orders issued to it in that turn automatically fail.
      • Hold the Line: Feel No Pain (6+) if the unit does not move. Since the FAQ, it no longer stacks with other sources of FnP.
      • Volley Fire: a Tactical squad can use Fury of the Legion even if it moved
      • Full Assault: Gain Furious Assault
      • Field Reserves: this can be issued from Reserves, granting Outflank
    • No compulsory Troops choice can have a dedicated transport - not that 21 man squads will fit in a Rhino
    • Your army must be led by a Scion of the Stormwing or Lion El'Jonson - note that the Primarch doesn't actually gain the benefit of any of the rules of this rite, so cannot issue orders.
    • No fortifications or allied detachment.
  • Rite of War: The Eskaton Imperative - This could be the dream of dream of any Dark Angels player with the potential for a whole army of plasma squads, nasty rad and stasis everywhere, and making a large chunk of the board into difficult or dangerous terrain for pure scorched earth tactics. However there are some problems inherent with this rite that make it difficult to execute effectively, like forcing all of your infantry to take transports and it costing you LOADS to gain the additional benefits of the rite. There are workarounds, but then you end up creating a fast moving Ravenwing army, otherwise it's an Ironwing army with a tabletop that hates vehicles (BUY DOZER BLADES). Just don't take it against the Death Guard, unless you like playing the game on hard mode.
    • Dread Legion: Destroyer squads and Dreadwing Interemptors are Troops choices.
      • All compulsory Troops must be Destroyers or Interemptors, and must have a model with the Scions of the Dreadwing rule.
      • All infantry units and independent characters must be deployed embarked on a transport vehicle, even if in reserves.
        • This restriction can make or break your army selection. Thanks to the FAQ Interemptors no longer need to be ten models strong exactly, but still only have Land Raider transports and no other options. You could put them in a Storm Eagle, Caestus or Damocles at smaller squad sizes to save your budget, but then you're chewing through other slots just to avoid taking Land Raiders and it still gets expensive. Unless you took a Praetor on a Bike/Jetbike/Jump Pack, your foot commander will quite often be bulky (Lion, or Marduk Sedras). No matter how you build your army, they're going to need a transport for them, so you'll need at least one big vehicle somewhere.
        • Destroyers can take Rhinos or avoid the transport issue entirely by being made Jump Infantry. This is better if you are using the 2019 playtest rules, where a basic Dreadwing Destroyer squad costs 140 points, are all veterans with 2CCW that hit WS4 on 3+ and have a lot of decent options, including psyarkana.
        • If you have Interemptor models but ran out of points for their necessary transports. Tactical Support squads can be kitted out exactly the same way (Scions of the Dreadwing and Rad Grenades included) but miss out on Stubborn and a Heavy Weapon (you'll barely notice) but can be taken with a Rhino, ten support marines ultimately being cheaper than 10 Interemptors and a Land Raider.
        • After you've filled out your compulsory slots, Hussars and Sky Seekers also work well here, since there is no requirement for them to fork out for the Scions of the Dreadwing upgrade and no need to pay for transports, you could end up with an entire army of fast units that ignore difficult terrain. Note that Sky Seekers can also take Stasis Shells for their Grenade Launchers (one of the few units in the whole list that can actually do it).
    • Marshal of the Eskaton: Enemy models within 12" and LoS of any Independent Character with the Scions of the Dreadwing rule drop their Ld by -1, unless they're immune to Fear, and the bonus isn't cumulative. - This is somewhat essential given the drawbacks of the rite.
    • Masters of the Blackened Earth: All open ground outside of either players deployment zone is difficult terrain. The Dark Angels player may also place three markers on the table more than 6" of either players deployment zone, the area within 6" of these markers are also counted as Dangerous Terrain. - This is a big one, as it essentially limits movement for about 1/3rd (more or less) of the table to your enemy, and also you, since the Scions of the Dreadwing only get to move 4" instead of rolling. With any luck this will slow your opponents progress to claiming any objectives while you can get behind him and clear out the rear units.
      • The three markers create an area larger than it sounds; each with 12" diameter so it will effectively render a good chunk of the centerline dangerous.
    • Salt the Earth and Burn the Sky: All units with a Scion of the Dreadwing may take upgrades.
      • Stasis and/or Rad grenades for 30 points each per whole unit. While this sounds epic in theory, that cost is on top of having to buy Scions of the Dreadwing with your unit, essentially spending 85 points on wargear, so restrain your urge to spend points like a madman and save it for units you really want to get into close combat, like Assault squads or Terminators. Also note that FW didn't include Stasis Grenades in their armoury, but you can still find their rules under the Lion's entry.
      • Any model that can take a Heavy Weapon can take a Plasma Incinerator for 25 pts. Remember this weapon has a short range, S4, no suspensor web, and Interemptors already have access to them, this weapon may struggle to find its place when put in Veteran or Destroyer squads, however a Terminator squad could legitimately take a Plasma Incinerator instead of a Reaper Autocannon, Relentless means it goes well in the unit in addition to offering some excellent overwatch. Dark Angels 40k players should have spare plasma Terminator arms laying about to make this an easy kitbash
    • If the enemy army has any units NOT falling back in its deployment zone then your opponent scores a victory point, if any of those units are scoring units, then they score +3 points. - Not utterly game breaking considering the Deathwing or Firewing rites, so be sure to try and go for a Linebreaker objective and cancel out the lost point if you cannot reclaim if from your opponent.
    • Your army must be led by a Scion of the Dreadwing or Lion El'Jonson - While the Lion may not take Rad grenades, he does benefit when they have been thrown into combat by a Dreadwing unit/Character. Meaning the Wolf Blade can cause Instant Death against T6 for the first phase of combat, while the Lion's Sword instakills T4, also negating any Feel No Pain benefit the enemy may be receiving. So this is one of the few Rites that benefit their Primarch, even indirectly.
  • Rite of War: The Steel Fist: In some ways a weaker version of the Ironwing Protocol as it offers fewer rules benefits. However it does reorganize your slots and choices similar to the vanilla Armoured Breakthrough rite, as well as getting you bigger transports, just like the vanilla Armoured Spearhead rite. So all together you can have more Predators, Land Raiders, and Spartans than pretty much any other army.
    • Iron Brethren: Predator Strike Squadrons (with all Turret options) may be selected as Compulsory Troops.
      • Predators become expensive if you go in with all the upgrades(a bit under 300 per tank). However they are one of the few troops that can snipe across the board from the objective if you take a Heavy Conversion Beamer and Las-Cannons. If your concerned about blobs, that's why you have Havoc Launchers. More than one squad of three should be reserved for Apocalypse level games.
    • Marshal of the Steel Fist: Independent Characters with Scions of the Ironwing grant any transport a 6+ invulnerable save when they are embarked on it, or +1 to invulnerable saves they already have. A weak, but not unwelcome benefit. Your expensive independent characters are not likely to be spending the whole game embarked, plus you will probably have so many tanks that having one or two with a 6+ save will just seem superfluous.
    • Aegis of Iron: when any unit with the Scion of the Ironwing rule is embarked on a Transport it may reroll Pinning tests or Armour saves that occur when the vehicle takes damage Another weak benefit since it only typically occurs when a transport gets Wrecked or Explodes, it's not something that will alter how you play the game.
    • Armoured Assault: non-Terminators/non-Jump/non-Jet infantry squads with the Scion of the Ironwing rule may take a Land Raider transport if they number 10 models or less, they may take a Spartan if they number 15 or more.
      • This is obviously one of the better benefits, as it gives you easier access to Land Raiders and Spartans without using Heavy slots, so you can bring more Spartans than any other player if you can actually afford them. It does neglect squads numbering 11-14 models, which is an unusual occurrence that probably won't happen often.
      • The obvious choice of of stuffing 20 Tactical Marines into a Spartan may look like a good idea at first. However Tacticals will be picked off by snipers and assaulters after using Fury of the Legion. Leaving the Spartan an easy target for anti-tank weapons and Power Fists. This makes Breacher Squads a better choice due to their superior weapon options. Four Graviton guns ,a Combi-Weapon Grenade Launcher and the Spartan's weapons makes for a shooty Deathstar on its own.
    • Infantry must begin the game deployed in a transport with with the "Tank" type with enough space to carry them, in addition half of the units in the army must have the "Tank" type.
      • Much like the Ironwing Protocol below, this is a large reorganisation of your army that needs planning. The requirement that all units start embarked at least guarantees that you will have a tank for each infantry unit to count towards the "half" rule.
      • The Scions of the Ironwing requirement essentially becomes a 25pt tax on any Land Raider or Spartan you take. The Ironwing rule isn't something that can benefit many squads not suited to dealing with vehicles (like Tactical squads) so you may be better off choosing a Rhino for squads you want in other roles.
    • No more than a single unit each of Bikes, Jetbikes, or Flyers may be taken.
      • Another heavy restriction, though this one stops you from having to think too much about covering the previous restriction, as you would need to find a Tank unit to cover each non-Tank unit that can't have a transport. This just leaves you to think about covering Dreadnoughts, Skimmers and Jump infantry.
    • No fortifications or allied detachment.
    • Unlike the other Rites from Crusade, this one does not require a Warlord who is a Scion of the Ironwing. This may be an omission that may be errata'd later.
  • Rite of War: The Seekers Arrow Probably the least stifling of the more recent Dark Angels rites. The bonuses it grants allow you to deploy your forces from odd angles and move into position more quickly; kind of like a more focused and more expensive version of the EC Maru Skara Rite of War. All without imposing restrictions that break the game with victory point nonsense.
    • The Eyes of Caliban: Jetbike Sky Hunter and Outrider squads may be taken as Troops choices.
      • Compulsory Troops must have the Scions of the Ravenwing rule. There is no actual requirement for your bikes/Jetbikes to be either compulsory Troops or Scions of the Ravenwing, essentially allowing you to take bikes from other wings as Troops after paying the Ravenwing tax on other units, like Assault or Tactical squads. Then freeing up those Fast Attack choices for bigger Speeders and Flyers
    • Marshal of the Seekers Arrow: Independent Characters with the Scion of the Ravenwing rule may purchase Hit and Run for 20pts. This should have been a free upgrade just like the other Marshal rules in other Rites, as you need to pay 45 points to get that, before spending on other wargear. However, this allows you to break from combat and pour out your special barrage of plasma and stasis one more time. Bonus points for having the Lion himself (accompanied by a Ravenwing HQ) fall back and get more chances to Blind his opponent
    • The Arrow knows the Truth: Any unit that contains at least one Scion of the Ravenwing gains the Outflank special rule and arrives from reserves on a 2+.
      • All Jetbike or Bike units not chosen as Compulsory Troops must start the game in reserve. However, those Sky Hunters Jetbikes have Deep Strike, and Outriders have Scout (so could Outflank anyway). Meaning that you were probably going to keep those squads in reserve even if you weren't required to. Yet another reason not to worry too much about making them Scions of the Ravenwing unless you really wanted the remaining benefits.
      • A Ravenwing Independent character attached to a squad without one will still confer the benefit, so you could Outflank Inner Circle Cenobiums, Deathwing Companions, Dreadwing Interemptors, or Meltagun support squads up the side of your opponents lines, and all potentially have Hit and Run allowing them to fall back if they get charged and shoot their opponent again.
    • Graceful, Unerring, and Deadly: All Scion of the Ravenwing units gain +2" when they Run/Turbo-Boost, Charge or Consolidate. A good benefit that is useful across the army, though in particular it really benefits close combat squads without transports as it applies to pretty much everything that they do.
    • Vehicles in this detachment may only be Fast, Skimmers, or Flyer types. This makes the Run bonus even more valuable, as your Infantry units won't be able to cross the board quickly without access to the standard set of Transports
    • Only one Heavy Support choice may be taken.
    • The army may not take a fortification or an allied detachment.
    • This Rite does not' require your Warlord to be a member of the Ravenwing, so you could have a Firewing Praetor leading a Jetbike squad for stacking benefits.
  • 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 knight 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. Nearly every legion had access to Mk VI by the Siege of Terra, so this would only matter if you were playing a specific campaign during the Heresy.)
    • 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: Pretty much the same as the Legiones Astartes (Dark Angels) rule. Nothing to see here.
  • 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. Best used against armies that specialize on killing infantry (Raven Guard, Blood angels), field many tanks (Iron Hands), or both (Iron Warriors). 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 and the Sabre are tanks you can take 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. Though if want to keep it cheap. You can choose a fully kitted out Rhino instead. Though a Proteus has more options for shinagains against your opponent. Just don't be dumb and equip your DT tanks with a Combi-Plasma. That goes for your other units as well.
    • Overall, the most non-DT units you will be able to take is six, 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 seven.
    • If the enemy destroys all of your tanks (ie: HALF OR MORE of your army) they claim an additional secondary objective.
      • Now you have another option to up your Spartan in the form of Inner Circle Cenobites. Upgrading their Terranic Greatswords to Thunder Hammers is mandatory for smacking vehicles. Their Plasma guns while S4 are two AP2 with Ignores Cover. While complimenting the Spartan's dakka is enough to get a few wounds before going in for "HULK SMASH!" In higher point games, you can have both normal Termis and Cenobites in the same army. But if you’re playing Ironwing, you’re already on the borderline of Apocalypse/Escalation games anyhow. It would be a decent Space Marine wood chipper if unnamed HQ's were allowed to take Plasma Blasters.
      • In higher point games the fluffiest LOW choice for this Rite of War is also one of the cheapest. A Legion Stormblade costs less than 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 no options for Plasma at all. 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 Rite 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 for another tank or Dark Fire Castellax to drown your opponent in AP2 firepower.

Unique Units

  • Dreadwing Interemptors These guys are apparently what the Lion sent whenever he wanted to make an example of someone, making them an equivalent to Destroyer Squads, albeit with weaker melee ability in exchange for more plasma. Their "Plasma Burners" are S4 AP2 Assault D3+1 that ignore cover and can reroll overwatch against -1 Toughness thanks to having Rad Grenades, so this is not a squad the enemy wants to charge against. All without the downside of blowing themselves up with Gets Hot. They also carry combat blades so can benefit from their legion tactic, but don't have pistols for extra attacks when they inevitably get into melee range. They are an elites choice, but they are still just regular marines once you take away their gun, and those guns will make them a priority target for your opponent.
    • One in five models can take either a Missile launcher with Rad and Stasis missiles, or a Plasma Incinerator. Though the incinerator simply fires more of the same plasma as the rest of the squad at potentially a shorter range (reminder: Suspensor Webs half the range when fired as assault weapons) so the better choice is easily the Missile Launcher who can debuff the target that the rest of the squad is dealing with and make them easier to kill.
    • Compared to a plasmagun support squad, these guys benefit from ignores cover, a lack of gets hot, can deal better with terrain, have much better overwatch, a rad & stasis heavy weapon, and are cheaper. A Plasma Support Squad will do more damage to T4 mathhammer wise, can be given paired Pistol/CCW for an extra attack (and Mastery of the Blade), can score, get better options for the Sergeant and Transports, and can be made to fit a different -Wing. Interemptors struggle to find their place even in their own Rite of War, with the necessity that they NEED a transport.
    • FAQ:HH9Interemptor squads can now take a Land Raider Proteus when they number ten or fewer models.
  • Inner Circle Cenobites We have such sights to show you: Cataphractii Terminators with Terranic Greatswords and a Plasma Caster which is a short ranged S4 AP2 weapon with two shots and the kickers of Ignores Cover and reroll any failed to hit rolls during overwatch (which they are allowed to do, despite being Cataphractii. Options wise they can all swap out their Greatswords for Thunder Hammers for the low, low price of free, and the Order Preceptor can grab a Grenade Harness for 5 points and Digital Lasers for 10 points after the GW and FW stealth edit. They also have Stubborn and the Preceptor has Ld10, 2 wounds and WS6, so they're not fucking off anytime soon. As with most Terminators, they can grab either a Land Raider Phobos or a Spartan.
    • Players can choose which orders they belong to, which you can at the start of the game and it's always in effect: +1S when attacking AV11+ vehicles in melee; +1 attack if they were charged; roll an extra dice for Deny the Witch (bear in mind they have Adamantium Will); re-roll 1s to hit if fighting (or in a challenge with) a WS5 or higher opponent; re-roll 1s to wound against T5 or higher opponents (Greatswords will be even more spooky for any Mechanicum or Daemons); +1 attack in a turn which they start the fight in base contact with more than one enemy; May re-roll all failed hits and wounds against an enemy unit that either contains a Psyker, Brotherhood of Psykers or is under the effects of a blessing (so Thousand Sons and Word Bearers really). Reapers of Hosts might be the best one for general use since it gives Cenobites 4 melee attacks each on the charge if they can get into BtB with 2 or more guys. Outright brutal combined with Thunder Hammers.
    • If you're wondering Pride of the Legion and Primarch's Chosen does indeed make these guys troops, making Dark Angels one of the very few (if only) Legions with compulsory troops that can take a full squad of ranged AP2 weapons and free Thunder Hammers. However, this benefit does not apply to The Unbroken Vow, making that rite even worse. With the amount of Terminator options DA have. There really isn't a point in taking vanilla termis unless you need objective holders or more Volkite spam. As those are the two things they have over Cenobites.
      • Do note they cost 55 points per model base, with +45 points per model to add more. Their base cost is more than a fucking Leviathan Dreadnought, and they are far easier to kill while often doing much less. If you're going to take them, keep this in mind, because they will likely be more than 10%-25% of your army after you buy them a transport (or more if you attach a character to them). It's also going to be very hard to make that cost back, especially since they trade very poorly in combat against 2+ units like Terminators with Power Fists (the best they offer is striking at the same time with Thunder Hammers while costing a shitload more).
      • Their ranged weapon is only 12" but the volley they unleash is insane due to the ignores cover, only Strength 4 but phew that's a lot of AP2 shots even before the combats begun, so this unit can really dictate and control favorable fights. Now let's include their Knight buff, basically you'll be picking "Rage" or Counter Attack (it's just Counter Attack but with fancy writing).
      • If you're against Thousand Sons, Word Bearers or Daemons these guys are just downright broken because then you'll pick Reroll to Hit and to Wound vs units with Blessings or just for being a Daemon (of the Ruinstorm). This unit is going to be the linchpin and the hammer of all and every Dark Angels unit! For this author, if they wasn't base 55 points per model for the first 5, they would be OP as crap, but the 50pt tax + Land Raider tax they will be purchasing makes them sit in a comfortable position.
        • Obviously a Terminator HQ that has similar options should join Cenobites. While Volkites Chargers are nowhere good as Plasma Blasters (or the Casters for that matter) have the same almost the same range and number of shots. If you need a reminder, Praetors, Champions, Forge Lords, Siege Breakers, Chaplains, Delegatus, or Warmongers can take a Volkite Charger, Combi-Bolter, Greatsword or TH combo. Primus Medicae healing is nice but the Needle Pistol only has one shot poor AP and he can only take a Hammer, so no fist to exchange for him. Praetors or Forge Lords pair best with Cenobites due to their extra attacks. FLs are better because they can buy Rad Grenades and a Graviton Gun that can reduce opposition toughness, has the Haywire rule, and creates Dangerous Terrain. Just remember to take a Land Raider or Spartan before doing so.
    • As a unit of characters that are not unique/named/special characters, every model may also be eligible for selecting one of the Scions of the Hexagrammaton, as there appears to be nothing stopping other eligible units in the army (Independent Characters) from taking one of each. This would get expensive really fast though, but even one or two Scions could make this into a true Deathstar unit unlike any other.
    • Order of the Broken ClawPDF: A slightly unique order of Inner Circle knights with some unique war gear and rules, they're nearly identical except for the fact they come with a unique order exemplar rule which gives them +1 to wound rolls when in combat with a unit containing a Monstrous or Gargantuan Creature or a Daemon of the Ruinstorm, and when you resolve the vehicle damage caused by one of these guys in melee you add one to the roll on the damage table (so that Rhino can explode in your face).
      • These guys have access to more weapons than normal Knights. The unit's sergeant can take a master-crafted Thunder Hammer for 5 points or a Paragon Blade for 25 points. The entire unit can also all take "Advex-Mors Greatswords" for 2 points each, which are +3 Strength AP 3 Terranic Great Swords with Rending and Murderous Strike instead of Instant Death.
      • Apart from that (and the Preceptor having 3 attacks) they are identical to regular Inner Circle Knights. Could be a good choice if your fighting Mechanicum and Daemons, but not really worth it if you are fighting Marines and other stuff.
      • They are counted as a separate entry to normal Inner Knights and must be modelled differently. Because Forge World
      • Rules found here
  • Deathwing Companions: Elite squads tasked with the protection of senior officers. Armed with either Calibanite Warblades or Terranic Greatswords, they all have Artificer Armour and the option of Terminator Armour (their choice of pattern) or Jump Packs if their Praetor has a Jump pack. Non-terminators can take Cytheron Pattern Aegis shields granting them a 4+ invulnerable save against shooting or a 5+ in melee and so long as there are two or more shields left in the unit, the shieldbearers can choose to not shoot or fight at all in exchange for granting the save bonus to the whole squad (this would be redundant on Terminators anyway) along with imposing a -1 initiative penalty on the enemy. Their special rules make them quite possibly the best bodyguard squad ever: they don't take up a Force Org slot (but can only be taken with a Praetor/Special Character/Primarch); they are all Chosen Warriors and are pretty much the only squad in the army where the Deathwing Scions rule genuinely functions well, since each member can issue or accept challenges and can stand in for each other in subsequent rounds even after the previous guys falls; they always pass Look Out Sir rolls and their attached character cannot be picked out by Precision Shots.
    • Although vanilla command squads have a cheaper base cost than Deathwing companions, five Deathwing are actually slightly cheaper than five Command squad Chosen with equivalent gear and are actually superior since Calibanite Warblades are essentially +1 power swords (Deathwing are still cheaper with Power Fists if chosen), the squad leader has a 5++ invulnerable save as standard, they all reroll in challenges (thanks to the Scions rule), they are actually better bodyguards (thanks to Death-Sworn rule) and can be brought in larger squad sizes. Deathwing don't have a Legion standard for a Fearless bubble though.
      • Unlike Justaerin, Deathshroud, Firedrakes, and Iron Circle units who all have provisions against it (quite possibly because they can all be taken as Elites in the alternative) There is nothing stopping you from taking BOTH a Companion squad and a vanilla Command Squad in one slot. Your character just HAS to be joined to the Deathwing squad while Chosen can go off and spread their Fearless bubble elsewhere.
    • The Shields have a neat trick, but deployment of the field is probably not worth it in the long run as it involves two guys standing around looking stoic while the rest of the squad does the fighting, and the squad isn't that good that they can afford to lose two guys for the sake of a 5++ save in melee. Stasis effects drop the enemy down to Initiative 1 and can't be modified further so would make the shields redundant, and Terminator Companions handily have the option of taking Stasis shells, pretty much spelling this out.
      • That all being said, the shield does NOT interfere with your two weapon bonus the same way as Boarding Shields do, so you get the same protection as Tartaros Terminator Armour for less points and more attacks, with the added bonus of a 4++ against shooting. So unless you really need that stasis grenade launcher and the option of free Thunder Hammers, or you intended to take a whole squad of Terranic Greatswords (and thereby removing the two weapon bonus), there are some positives for taking a whole squad of shields rather than a whole squad of Terminators.
      • On that note, there is no point taking Cataphractii armour alongside the Lion, as it hinders his ability to perform a sweeping advance and chase down enemy squads, something he is very good at. The fact Terminators can also take Stasis grenade launchers mean that he is almost guaranteed to Blind his enemy when his squad shoots the same target. Though he can't charge afterward due to the Salvo rules, but the enemy will be practically unable to shoot him back and have to make a choice of whether to charge him with debuffed WS in their own turn, and risk being blinded for even longer due to overwatch.
    • On Terminator Companions, even if you do nothing else, always upgrade the Calibanite Warblades to Terranic Greatswords, there is literally no reason to keep the +1 toothpicks since you can't claim a two weapon bonus while the +2 Instant Death swords are free.
        • FAQ:HH9Terminator Companions may now take a Spartan tank as a transport option, so they can actually fit inside their transport along with their attached character.
  • Firewing Enigmatus Cabal: an odd unit of three jump pack armed Characters each with two wounds who themselves have Hatred (Characters), and the Scions of the Firewing rule (which grants the same rule). Clearly intended as an assassin unit, they are armed with needle pistols so they have limited, but reliable shooting against everyone except Death Guard, as well as a special kind of Calibanite blade that can add Rending and Gets Hot if the player chooses, which is probably for the best as most characters will invariably have 2+ saves. They do seem a bit fragile with no room for expansion beyond three, but that's still six wounds, they can do the Deathshroud gimmick of LoS'ing off each other, they have permanent 5+ cover saves and they ignore overwatch if they use their jump packs in assault (where they'll have 5 rending S5 AP3 attacks on the charge). You could also have them be roadblocks who intentionally get charged since they can function like Custodes in that they use their I5 to butcher enemy MEQ's before they get to attack, and their Shroud Bombs ensure they don't take much damage from that charge anyway. A shame they're missing counter-attack.
    • Point for point, these guys are straight up better Assault Squads, so long as you don't run into anything that can ID them from range (watch out for Krak Missiles) but they're also not Scoring units, but they're very cheap for what they dish out so if you're going for an assault-heavy list, feel free to load up on them.
  • Ironwing Excindio Class Battle-automata: A Man of Iron. No, seriously. At a glance their statline and rules make them seem like extremely powerful combat monsters, since it's very easy to give them 7 Attacks at WS5, S10 AP2 and I4, once you factor in their extra weapon and Rampage (not to mention a bonus 2 attacks after), and including Hatred you can guarantee they'll mince enemy squads on the charge (on average they'll kill 7 2+ save Marines) but then you notice the most horrific aspect of them: their price. Apparently the Men of Stone defeated them by increasing their points cost so much that they became very inefficient on the battlefield, so you can choose to field either one of these guys or nearly 3 Castellax who collectively have better ranged weapons, more wounds, and more attacks (alternatively you can get 2 squads of Firewing Enigmatus, who do the same job way better). On top of that, Castellax don't have a chance of going rogue and ripping into your own army, you don't have to buy a specific upgrade whose sole purpose is allowing you to (hopefully) kill your own unit when the machine uprising occurs, and they don't always automatically explode (and possibly kill your own troops in the process). You might think to make them useful by taking the unique ranged options that nobody else has access to, but this has its own drawbacks. To start with, they increase they already sky-high price of your robot, they take away 2 attacks per gun bought, and soon you're going into Primarch costs (an Excindio with two canister launchers is 5 points less than Lorgar, an additional Hunter-killer misile makes it cost more) and they're also not going to make its points back. While every weapon is AP2 they don't have the quantity of shots and/or to-wound rolls needed to be the MEQ/TEQ killers the designer thinks they are.
    • If you're going to use it anyway, get the Atomantic Pulse Cannon (or two) to blow up Spartans and strand whatever Deathstar they're carrying across the battlefield, and/or get a nerve Induction Shredder to try to pin whatever squad it's going to charge. Just make sure to keep it far away from your own units (no it isn't worth it to fight a rogue Excindio in any capacity, you shouldn't do your opponents job for them) and watch the fuck out for Instant Death. You're going to look real stupid if you charge an enemy squad only to see their attached Praetor with a Divining Blade instantly kill it before it gets to attack (and even a weak human like Aevos Jovan will kill it 33% of the time (after his squad tanks the attacks), or 50% of the time if his squad charges). You can take a kill-switch if you want, it's not necessary and trying to use it to kill a rogue Excindio can easily leave you with a dead Tech Priest/Forge Lord if you roll poorly, since the range is short enough that using it means you're probably going to get charged by it and it would've been smarter to hide instead of trying to kill it.
  • Corswain: The champion of the Dark Angels and one of the greatest Astartes swordsmen in the Horus Heresy, Corswain has everything that a great beatstick should, 4 Wounds, WS7, Master-crafted, AP1 at Initiative, S6 to make him wound on 2's, and Instant Death in challenges, not to mention the Paladin of Glory trait (making it easier to win assaults). There's only one thing missing and it's a pretty big thing, he lacks Eternal Warrior, so on the rare occasions he fails to kill an enemy and their power fist goes through his 3+ Invuln he'll be turned to paste. There's very few situations you'll have to worry about this in though, so just be wary of Salamanders, Word Bearers, Thousand Sons (who can all get EW for one reason or another) and any unique character who either has EW and can ID him (like Sigismund) or is faster than him with ID (like Sevatar and Eidolon), or has some sort of BS that lets them cheat his ID so they can ID him right back (like Hol Beloth). Still, if you're looking for a beatstick, Corswain is a very good choice for his cost (and Warlord Trait).
  • Mardruk Sedras: One of the oldest Astartes at the time of the Heresy with an impressive 250 years of service and a prominent member of the Dreadwing. He's a Cataphractii armoured beatstick with a S9 AP2 unwieldy sword that reduces invulnerable saves by -1 and three phosphex bombs and a plasma burner. While this is cool, his main draw is his special rules: He has Preferred Enemy (chosen faction) which he confers on Dark Angels units who have at least half their models within 6" of him before the game starts (and they keep for the entire game), meaning he gives a pep talk to squads who then go off to do their own thing. Note that if you keep him in Reserves you don't get this ability, and Preferred Enemy is really fucking strong (especially on units with Gets Hot, which the DA have a ton of) so don't do that. Too bad the Eskaton Imperative rite forces infantry to be in transports, making this rule completely useless in the rite he's supposed to be taken with. Also instead of a Deathwing bodyguard, he may instead take a Cenobite squad if he chooses, which might be a better fit considering his load-out.
  • Farith Redloss: Master of the Dreadwing, best known for his knowledge of Dark-Age weaponry. He's not one very keen on combat, he's only got a MC power axe and has only 3 wounds, but he's got tons of grenades, including melta bombs and three phosphex bombs in case you feel like an utter dick. This last bit is especially funny because his armor gives him a 2+/4++ but has a 2++ invuln against melta and phosphex weaponry while poisoned weapons only wound him on a 6+. While he's still got Master of the Legion, he's stuck with his personal WT Master of Destruction, which gives Tank Hunter and Wrecker to all his guns and to any heavy weapons attached to his unit but unfortunately this doesn't combo well. Farith wants to be up close while his Warlord Trait wants him in a supporting role, so he doesn't do either particularly well, and him being just regular Infantry also hampers this since you need to buy him a transport to get close enough to use his better guns, and when you get in that close you'll probably want him to be with a squad that has either good Overwatch, or a unit like a Deathwing Companion Detachment that makes for a good bodyguard rather than a Deathstar. He also has Scion of the Dreadwing, which is nice.
    • Master of the Armoury: Farith's quite unique in that he can pick one of three guns. If he's the Warlord, he gets to give any of them Tank Hunter and Wrecker. The Tyrhenian-Pattern Neural Shredder Carbine is least-suited for tanks, what with Poison on a 4+, but it has AP2, Pinning and is the longest-range gun with Assault 2 that he can grab. The Magaron-Pattern Shock Pulse Pistol is your shortest-range pistol, with only a measly 6" on one shot, but that shot's S8 AP 2 with Lance and Shock Pulse, so you could potentially take down Spartans, however that leaves you at the mercy of whatever the Spartan's carrying. The Selenite Shard-Bolt Pistol's pretty similar to a base bolt pistol, but with 4 shots and Moonsilver, which makes it deal two wounds per hit against Daemons (whether classic or Ruinstorm) and Psykers. This is the obvious "totally not a counterpick" weapon you pull out when you see Word Bearers or Daemons of the Ruinstorm on the field.
    • Obviously you should take either take the Neural Shredder Carbine or the Selenite Shard-Bolt Pistol. As Astartes have better ways of taking out Tanks and Super Heavies.
    • Do note that Farith's rules were not included in Book 9, despite showing up in the preview for it. You can find him here, above Holguin.
  • Holguin: Master of the Deathwing and evil beatstick. He's stuck with Cataphractii armor, but he has an additional layer of protection from a re-rollable FNP as he loses wounds (5+ on his last two, 4+ at his final). Offensively, he's got a Volkite Charger, digi-lasers and the Viridian Blade, a nightmarish blade with S+2 AP2 that's Two-Handed and has the Sweeping Blow rule more familiar on the Death Guard's power scythes. If he's in a challenge, this has TWO re-rolls, one of them being from Master of the Deathwing. His WT's stuck at Child of Terra, which ideally makes him a good beatstick, however despite his rules making him seem ideal for duels, he will lose to a Praetor with a Power Fist since unlike Corswain, he lacks Instant Death. Keep him the fuck away if you see them, and save him for taking out TEQ's and 2-wound characters.
The Lion
  • Lion El'Jonson: Without completely rehashing his rules, the First Primarch makes for a decent beatstick with a number of surprising tricks up his sleeves. While he is not the best Primarch at shooting, he probably has the best Overwatch out of all of them, as the combination of the Fusil Actinaeus and Stasis Grenades means that he is very likely to slow and blind anyone who dares to charge him, which gives him the edge in practically every match-up short of fighting Horus (who is resistant to debuffs) and Angron (who has enough attacks and rerolls to that he really doesn't care!). This means that the Lion plays a little differently from most, since it is in his benefit to dare opponents to come and get him, rather than simply charging at the nearest high value target. Think of it like this: Four shots that hit on a rerollable 2+ with S7 AP2 that can also debuff the target can often do more for a battle plan than six melee attacks that hit on a 3+ with one or no rerolls against MEQ/TEQs that are going to immediately hit you back. Just be sure to debuff his shooting target in advance with Stasis from somewhere else in the army to ensure that Blind really comes into effect, rendering any survivors useless on their own turn. He should still charge opponents that he knows he can beat, as there is no point standing around getting shot in the face when he could be easily hacking them apart and rolling over them with a Sweeping Advance. Overall he's not a Primarch with any particular "role" or area of excellence when compared to his brothers, he doesn't have any FOC shifting tricks for making special units Troops, or game altering abilities that affect Reserves or turn sequence. His main traits are that he is mostly unaffected by debuffs, terrain, or the changing balance of characteristics. The Lion will perform mostly the same way against practically anything.
    • He is also one of the few primarchs that comes with his choice of weapon: the legendary Lion Sword is the marginally better weapon for dueling with while he's at full health and his base number of attacks, although the Wolf Blade takes over when the Lion's Choler kicks in, is more reliable against vehicles, and is significantly more likely to break non-Fearless units with the Fearsome Ruin rule and the +1 to combat resolution from the Sire of the Dark Angels rule; therefore the choice of weapon descends to what you think you'll be using him for, bearing in mind that Primarch vs Primarch fights tend to outlast the length of most games.
    • In addition to the +1 to combat resolution, his Sire of the Dark Angels rule also grants the army 3d6-drop-highest on Morale checks. While this sounds dull, it is essentially similar to rolling 2d6-2 or adding +2 to Leadership that can go over 10, unlike many other Primarchs who allow their army to become Ld10. It is not a bonus to be sniffed at lightly in an environment where a broken Space Marine squad is effectively neutralized until it recovers or swept up by a bad sweeping advance roll.
    • The Lion can take a squad of Deathwing Companions that can never leave him throughout the game and do not count towards the 25% LoW allowance. This is your choice whether to do this or not. Though bearing in mind that attaching him to something like Inner Circle Cenobites might have great synergy with guns and saves, it does hinder his ability to sweeping advance. Something that the Lion should be very, very good at with those Stasis Grenades. While the Deathwing don't get any particular buffs for being with their daddy, they still make a great bodyguard, and are able to jump in and take wounds for him with automatic Look Out Sir rolls, or stand-in for Challenges when the Lion can't be bothered by those Consuls/Sergeants that might have low invulnerable saves and get lucky, when all the Lion just wants to do is get stuck into a squad.
      • Note this is the only way to put the Lion in a squad if using a Dark Angels RoW, as bad rules writing means he can't RAW can't join any other squad in the detachment.
  • Sworn brothers: Oddly for a loyalist army. You have the least amount of Sworn Brothers. A staggering amount of one, excluding Agents of the Emperor. Even your buddies from the Imperium Secundus are Fellow Warriors at best. Don't even think about using Space Wolves. As they didn't become "friends" until after the Siege of Terra and are designated by the "Emperor's Command".
    • Salamanders: Why would you even bother taking models from a close range fire support Legion when the First Legion are already good in assault? There is a ton of overlap in what they do, as DA will usually do it better on their own. That said it might be better taking The First as allies for them. As Salamanders can't take Moritats, Destroyers or Phosphex. Besides that there isn't really anything that Dark Angels with a generic Rite of War that the bros from Nocturne can't do themselves. The only reasons you would take them in a detachment is if you want more Flamers or a unique unit such as Firedrake Terminators. Though both are rather redundant when your own unique units do the job better.
    • Talons of the Emperor: Notable because they are your only other choice for Sworn Brothers. Unlike other options they have decent synergy with the Dark Angels without stepping on each others toes. While there is some overlap such as the anti horde options. The reason you want them is for their short and long ranged Dakka. There is no shame in sticking with one of the basic Bolter squads as required troops, i.e. Custodian Guard Squads and Prosecutor Cadres. While Sword and Board do pair well with Stasis Shell armed Vets and Termis. The first do well enough at cleaning up after themselves. So it's not worth it to take their melee units. The main draw of the golden bros and sistas is for DA players are their guns and vehicles. Aquilons for hordes or vehicle popping, Excruciatus, Venatari and Seekers for crowd control, or Grav-Tanks, Agamatus and Telemons for some extra firepower.
    • Other Agents of the Emperor: Because Dark Angels players don't have many options and they were the last Legion to get rules for their characters. Nathaniel Garro, Tylos Rubio, and Endryd Haar are all decent choices. While the Nemean Reaver is a former Dark Angel. He is overpriced for what he does. The generic Knights-Errant is the best option. A Lord of War or a Leviathan Dreadnought Talon should be able to help him fulfill just about any Oath of Moment objective.
  • None of your Rites of War currently allows allied detachments, there isn't much point in taking one as the DA versions of Angel's Wrath, Sky Hunter Phalanx and Armoured Spearhead are superior to their generic counterparts. Armoured Breakthrough and Breathan of Iron are viable options in taking allies along with at least one ROW. So the Dark Angels will be going it alone more often than not until they get economic Rites of War via FAQs and Red Books circa the 2020s. However if you want to play Imperium Secundus you can do so easily by playing Shattered Legions. As Dark Angels Rites don't have SL restrictions like some others do. Neither do Blood Angels and Ultramarine own RoWs have them. Your also not restricted to fluff allies either. So you go all in with Cheese until the inevitabile updates and nerfs.

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.

  • 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.
      • +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.
      • 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, or a couple of Sabre Strike Tanks. 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 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 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.
    • 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 already.
    • Cannot take fortifications or allied Space Marine Legion detachments.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Unique Units

  • 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.
    • Playtest RulesFAQ 2019: Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. The Feb. 2019 FAQ cheapens the points costs for these guys and gives them the ability to take Artificer Armour for the whole squad, allowing you to take them as a non-Terminator bodyguard style unit (albeit with no invulnerable saves). Despite having this new option you shouldn't take it, as it's just too expensive. After giving them Jump Packs and Artificer Armour you've doubled the cost of each marine, and if you give them Power Spears they will be 10 points pricier than actual Terminators, while being equal in cost to Phoenix Guard, both of whom have at least some defence from that squad of plasma-toting assholes, whereas the Palatine's go down like a bitch to that kind of firepower (and that support squad's a lot cheaper, meaning your enemy just made their points back). If you're taking them without Jump Packs and relying on a DT then you shouldn't need the Artificer Armour anyway. Hell, with the points you save on not getting the Artificer Armour you can actually buy them a fucking kitted-out DT.
  • 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 36" 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.
  • Sun Killer Squad:PDF A BS5 Heavy Support squad that comes with lascannons by default and can swap them for Volkite Culverins, Plasma Cannons, or Multi-meltas at no cost (they can't take other heavy weapons or hardened armor and the sergeant can't take a Nuncio Vox). If they don't move, an enemy model that received a wound (including glancing and penetrating hits) from a model from that unit can't benefit from cover. Comparing their costs, Sun Killers start with two CCW's (an option unavailable to vanilla Heavy Support Squads), their Sergeant-equivalent does not need to give up his heavy weapon in order to carry a Power Weapon, and they have BS5, all for a difference in cost of 15 points to a similarly equipped Heavy Support Squad with Lascannons, 40 for one equipped with Plasma Cannons, and a whopping 65 for one equipped with Volkite Culverins and Multi-meltas, which are already iffy in a setting where the important targets have Armoured Ceramite. Also this unit can be reinforced with additional 15(!) models in comparison to 5 from the vanilla Heavy Support squad.
    • In addition, if you don't buy a transport, they can instead buy an ADL without taking up space in your fortifications slot, giving you a strongpoint in the event that you want static warfare.
    • It's worth noting that these guys can take an LR Proteus as a DT if the squad size is 10 models or less, granting them Scout/Outflank option.
    • As far as use goes, Lascannons and Plasma Cannons are the ones cover is typically used against, and they're also the most expensive for a traditional Heavy Support Squad. Volkite Culverins have poor AP, whereas Meltas rarely see use since Melta Bombs are more reliable and Armoured Ceramite exists. Suffice to say you'll likely be getting more bang for your buck by going with those options.
    • If for whatever reason you wanted to take advantage of their odd combat loadout (since on the charge each of them will have 3 Attacks, and the Sergeant-equivalent will have 4 with a power weapon), you could take the 3rd Company Elite RoW and give them Sonic Shriekers for the -1 WS debuff, although this isn't recommended. You might think you could use this as a defensive measure, but then again you could also just not allow the enemy to get in that close in the first place.
    • Rules can be found here
  • 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 survived the Heresy and lured Fulgrim into a trap millennia later, nearly killing the Daemon Primarch. 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: 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 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. He also got Precision Strike special rule. 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: 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 strengthening their damage output, 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) over-match 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.
      • Take into account that even though by shooting you're dealing less attacks that count towards combat resolution, having yourself bog-standart I4 you're also preventing anything you kill from striking back at all, wich might be beneficial if they hit harder in melee than you do or if you want to just make the combat last longer (being the grinding legion and all that). Lower chances of sweeping the enemy in exchange for receiving less damage, this is still about the math of war!
      • 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; 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 codpiece 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.

Unique Units

  • 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.
    • Another strategy is to bring a Siege Breaker consul, slap him in Terminator armour and run him alongside these guys to give them "Tank Hunters". Think about that. 10 S8 shots (20 if you splurge on a 10 man squad), all re-rolling armour penetration rolls. Dreadnoughts, artillery platforms, tanks, basically anything smaller than a Land Raider will be in very serious trouble with these guys on the table. And it isn't like you weren't going to bring a Siege Breaker to begin with, right?
  • 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 Augury Scanner the Sergeant 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 codpiece 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.
  • Dominator Cohort:PDF Otherwise known as the Tyranthikos, these guys used to be Perturabo's bodyguard until they were replaced by the Iron Circle after the Battle of Phall, making them some of the only Marines that reached the heights of bitterness felt by their Primarch. These guys are a pack of Cataphractii termies carrying thunder hammers (or chainfists, the option's yours since they're free) and combi-bolters. They're WS5 with Stubborn, and are so upset about being upstaged by robots they carry Hatred (Cybernetica Cortex), which gives them an edge in wrecking any automata they run across, which is only helped further by how one in five can carry a Multi-Melta as a heavy weapon. In addition they're all characters.
    • Of course, you can use them in their original role as Pert's command squad in place of the Iron Circle (replacing their Hatred with a 6+ FNP) and in fact forbids you from taking them. Now, why would you want that when the Domitar are literally superior in every way? It's mostly a matter of cost. You're not spending at least 800 points for these bastards and they provide roughly the same protective value and are less vulnerable since they aren't monstrous creatures.
    • Their rules can be found here
  • 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? You're 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 V 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 Charge. 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 aforementioned HQ's are taken.
  • 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 (but now also expensive as balls) AP2 glaives, the Scars can do well either at a distance or at melee. Or at a distance while closing to melee.

HH8 Malevolence hit the Legion with a couple of nerfs, most being reasonable such as balancing the once incredibly strong Chogorian Brotherhood and the skyrocket in price of the glaives. The legion's units are interesting if not auto-includes, but they could do with some quality of life changes (DT's for the Ebon Keshig for example) and the Khan is the speediest lad around in more or less all regards as you'd expect. If you want to go fast and be generally in control of your battle plans (and have a bitchin colour scheme while you're at it) 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 phase can re-roll failed to Wound rolls of 1 for all attacks until the beginning of your next turn.
      • 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 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.
      • Consider Legion Recon Company, a +1 to the roll to seize is even better when you can reroll it.
    • Born in the Saddle: Skilled rider, if you have a Bike or a Jetbike.
    • To Laugh in Death's Face: Nerfed by HH8 into the more common 'May not select more Heavy Support than Fast Attack choices' although why are you playing White Scars if you consider this a crippling weakness. Beyond bikes and jetbikes consider Storm Eagles and Xiphon Pattern Interceptors for their good guns and while your unique Land Speeder is good don't ignore the incredibly cost effective generic Javelins. Doesn't apply in Zone Mortalis missions.
  • 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) get 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.
      • As of Malevolence, Forge World has recognised how broken these things were and balanced nerfed them into a fixed 25 points for any character that can take a power weapon. This makes them cost the same as Paragon Blade for Praetors and Thunder Hammers for Centurions/Consuls while putting these things on your Sergeants can now get very expensive. In fact now that the FAQ has given Champions the Paragon Blade option its actually more expensive to give them a Glaive than that. They don't even get the points reduction for models in Terminator Armour that already have power weapons you normally get. Still an awesome weapon but now far from the auto-include it used to be.
    • Cyber Hawk: A Cyber-hawk is a wargear option for any WS praetor and Falcon Claw Champions. 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.
    • Shamsir Jetbike: New Jetbike for your ICs. Replaces the Heavy Bolter with a Scatterbolt Launcher which is essentially a Heavy Flamer with Shred and Pinning
    • 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. Very useful on a biker character, since you can jink with no downsides.
  • 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.
        • Note that Golden Keshig already get this, as does any unit the Khagan joins.
      • 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 Scimitar Jetbike - As if he already didn't have one. Note that RAW this means your warlord can't take a Shamshir Jetbike and you can't take the Khagan at all with this ROW
    • Your compulsory troops choices MUST be bikes or jetbikes. Well it's not like you weren't taking at least two squads anyway
    • If you lose all your bikes and jetbikes your opponent gains D3 victory points - Don't lose
    • Can't have more than one Heavy Support. FW decided this RoW was too powerful (which was admittedly completely true) and hit it with the nerf bat pretty hard.
      • 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 (although it might be your only choice now).
  • Rite of War: Sagyar Mazan Only usable in a Scars-led Shattered Legion army. It represents the faction of the V Legion that tried to side with Horus and thus were ordered to go on suicide missions after the Khan slapped sense back into them at Prospero. 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.
  • The Falcon's Claws: Raven Guard that got lost and joined the White Scars. 5-10 man squad with a recon marine statline, except they have two lightning claws each, the champion can swap one claw out for a list of weapons, and anyone can swap both claws out for a pistol + power weapon. Despite what this might make you think, they are pretty sneaki cheeki beakies too, with infiltrate (from recon armour), move through cover, cameoline, shroud bombs and their special rule Outriders, which lets them scout 18". They also crib the Raven Guard assassination shtick too, with Hatred (Characters) and Precision Strikes. These guys are interesting; you might think they're fairly useless considering they fill a melee niche but aren't tanky at all and lack jump packs and while this may be true, cover is not an obstruction at all and can catch an enemy by surprise very easily. They're also cheap as balls with 5 costing you a mere 90 points and will still happily slice n dice a tactical squad fairly handily. Play like a White Scar; don't let them know what you're doing, know your enemy and know your battlefield so you can plan accordingly.
    • When we say cheap, we really mean cheap. 10 recon marines with cameleoline costs 225 points while 10 Falcon's Claws costs 170, so for FEWER points you get an objectively superior unit in every way, with the only downside being that they can't take an augury scanner/nuncio-vox to help support the rest of your army.
  • 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. Can take any kind of Terminator armour, although the models previewed at the Weekender were in Tartaros and come stock with Power Glaives, FNP 5+, Chosen Warriors, Support Unit and The Kharash which means they don’t confer victory points for being destroyed but can’t capture objectives either and can only be joined by characters with this rule (which at present means none). They can swap out their Glaives for Power Weapons and Combi-Bolters in case you want some shooting from them or take Fists and Combi-Bolters for ID'ing T4 or taking on high toughness armies like Daemons or Mechanicum. Can take combi-weapons if they took combi-bolters (although this is bizarrely expensive so don't do it) and grenade harnesses. Emperor's Children can eat shit.
    • Do note they also don't have any dedicated transport options which coupled with your Heavy Support restrictions can give them a tricky time of getting into melee. This is the weirdest thing; the Keshig are the only Legion-specific Terminators to get 0 DT (not even something a bit different like a Storm Eagle). These guys are super difficult to squeeze into a Chogorian Brotherhood army because of this, so consider another RoW if you want them, which is a shame because they're quite good.
  • The Golden Keshig: Your special snowflake melee jetbikers, it seems White Scars are the only legion to know what you're supposed to do with jetbike (i.e. ram them into the enemy as hard and as fast as possible which your girthy lance), said lance strikes at Strength 7 AP 2 with sunder, murderous strike and concussive at initiative 10... on the charge, if you don't get the charge then it's S:User AP 4 with none of those rules. Oh, and you only get one attack per round with it. Luckily they come with hit and run, so you can do your one hit and run away ready to charge again. They also come with artificer armour and Scatterbolt launchers on their Jetbikes. Finally, they can buy power weapons (for if you're worried about your alpha strike glass cannons getting bogged down against MEQ) and the champion can get a thunder hammer.
    • For the love of the Emperor, stay the hell away from anything that can debuff their initiative or your super expensive elites are doomed to hit the enemy with what amounts to CCWs against marines.
    • These guys look like they might be really good at murdering TEQ on the charge but their lack of attacks and small unit size means they struggle for damage output and will have to work hard to earn back their high point cost.
  • Kyzagan Attack Speeder: Here it is, the tastiest, snazziest speeder across the 18 Legions. For 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 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. While you shouldn't completely overlook the far cheaper javelin, the Kyzagan has an incredibly volume of fire for something so mobile AND with an extra point of armour on the front so heavy bolters can fuck off.
  • Dark Sons of Death Squad: Otherwise known as the Karaoghlanlar. As with the other Legendary Battle PDFs, there happens to be a variant Destroyer squad and this is yours. These guys lack the rocket launcher or phosphex options and only carry one pistol but instead come stock with jump packs and rad grenades and come cheaper than the base Destroyers (but not the playtest variant) at 145 points. Everyone can take either the charnabal sabre or power glaive for relatively cheap while the sarge can also go all-in on the melee train by buying twin claws for melee carnage. If they break a unit, they can opt to forego their Sweeping Advance roll, instead performing a sick ritual that makes nearby enemies within 6" test Ld or suffer -1 to WS for the turn.
    • Uniquely, these guys can serve as a retinue for a jetpack Librarian since the WS were one of the few legions that still supported the concept despite the Edict, but lack Chosen Warriors. Doing so requires that you build the librarian to support these guys as they also have a once-per-game ability to trigger Fleet + Rage for the entire unit, absolute proof that you'll want that Librarian equipped to fight.
    • Rules can be found here
  • Tsolmon Khan: Awesome praetor-level character with S+1. Comes stock with artificer armour, iron halo, combi-melta and a master crafted thunder hammer and can take a jetbike. Has a couple of useful tricks, firstly he can do the Eidolon and Alexis Polux thing of dropping unwieldy from his hammer on the charge (although only with one attack) and secondly, if he's on foot, he can take an Oblivion Knight Centura from the Sisters list. If he does this they have to deploy together although they can act as separate ICs afterwards. He also doesn't lose leadership from the Psychic Anathema rule and if doing a Glorious Intervention for his Sister waifu he gets an extra attack - which stacks with his non-unwieldy attack. However, it might make the most sense to put him on his bike and let him hunt things with his mighty hammer (him in a unit of Golden Keshig is incredible on the charge). If he's the warlord his trait is fixed to Inspiring Presence.
  • 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 two AP2 Mastercrafted 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. Compared to a normal praetor he has +1 in W/I/A meaning that he can strike before them when using Part the Horse's Mane or, on the charge, tank their paragon blade behind his 4 wounds and Iron Halo and then ID them with Split the Mountain and Furious Charge. 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.
    • Consider accompanying him with a Forge Lord: not only can it help keeping the transport alive if it receives any damage, but with rad grenades it will allow you to ID your opponents at I6 on the charge, so anyone without EW or a very solid invulnerable save is pretty much fucked since you have 7A at WS6. It also gives you the hability to ID characters on bikes or Custodes with Split the Mountain, albeit at I1.
    • Unlike the Ebon Keshig, his command squad keep their combi-bolters with their power glaives, can take a variety of ranged options for sensible prices, can be joined by IC's and have a dedicated transport option. They miss out on the Ebon Keshig's FNP and Stubborn but still have Chosen Warriors and (while the Standard Bearer is alive) Fearless which is better and a squad of five with glaives is only 5 points more expensive. If you want to run White Scars Termies Qin Xa and these boys are the way to go.
Jaghatai Khan
  • Jaghatai Khan: The Khagan boosts the mobility of the White Scars to insane levels, granting every LA: (WS) model in your army Scout, and therefore Outflank. Outflanking is something he himself can do very well as you can pick at the start of the game which turn he will come in on, automatically doing so from whichever side you please! Khan and his unit have hit-and-run so you can get away from anything that might cause you problems, but hordes won't be a problem with his 8 attacks on the charge, especially with the Crusader special rule. Finally, in combat he always strikes first in the first round of combat no matter what, ensuring you'll be able to kill whatever you're up against before being hit back.
    The Master of the Ice-Blue Heavens uses the following gear:
    • The White Tiger Dao: An AP2 blade with Master-Crafted, +1 Strength on the charge and Duelist's Edge. Definitely on the weaker side of primarch weapons and while I'd like to see it get at least Murderous Strike, it's still an AP2 weapon that means the Khan can reach an epic Initiative 9 (or 8 on his bike) so it gets the job done nicely considering Instant Death won't do much against the Khan's ideal targets anyway.
      • Easy to miss but this is one of the few Primarch weapons without two-handed of specialist weapon so you do get an extra attack for having a pistol
    • The Wildfire Panoply: Grants a 2+ Armour Save and a 5+ Invulnerable Save, which becomes a 3++ during the Assault Phase (including Overwatch) because the Emperor's Children aren't allowed anything unique. It also gives the Khagan the Move Through Cover special rule.
    • Archaeotech Pistol: Good for shooting down basic marines and Angron.
    • Frag Grenades: You pull the pin, throw it and it explodes.
    • Jujitsu Sojutsu Pattern Voidbike: For +65 points Khan can grab himself a super Jetbike, with two MC heavy bolters and grants D3 HoW hits, also he ignores all dangerous terrain and his jink save is 3+ while riding it, however to use it you lose the Crusader rule for some reason, making you less likely to run down your foes while on your bike.
  • 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.
    • 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 like an intuitive fit to lead your 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. 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. Unless your rite of war says otherwise that is. FAQ 2019
        • Some Legions still don't have any unique troops at all via ROWs or otherwise, 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 best Breacher loadout are anti vehicle Graviton Guns. Don't bother with Land Raiders unless you really need the extra firepower.
        • 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, so forget about combining your WT with Prenatural Senses and Hunter's Gait. 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. Not useful for infantry unless you're running Hvarl, but can be a pretty nice boost for all sorts of bikes and flyers. Speaking of flyers, you could use Storm Eagles to transport the aforementioned infantry if you don't mind giving your wolves some vertigo.
    • Bleed & Harry: Infantry units with LA (Space Wolves) not wearing Terminator Armour gain Hit and Run, but roll 2D6 for distance moved instead of 3D6. Good to use against melee legions, since the wolves are quick to leap into the fray but could find themselves outmatched by the more bloodthirsty among the traitors.
    • 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. Great synergy with Bleed & Harry, and can give you yet another edge against melee legions.
    • The detachment may only take a single Heavy Support slot. Limits your capacity to include transports and anti-tank in your list, but since the restriction doesn't cover the LoW slot you can go around it by fielding superheavies. A Thunderhawk, or even a Stormbird might have good synergy with Circling Wolves.
    • The detachment may not take any kind of Drop Pod, or any Artillery or Fortifications. This limits the HS slot even more. The popular Leviathan dreadnought becomes a less appealing choice when forced to walk, and you cannot use your Rapiers or Quad Mortars. The RoW encourages you to take something mobile that enters from reserves, like Jetbike Sky-Slayers or a Fire Raptor.. Legion artillery tank squadron is also fine choice.
  • 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) 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 or combat shields, or replace chainswords with a power weapons for five measly points, across the whole pack. The power weapon option is pricey on ten men, 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, as well as access to frost blade (only frost blade after FAQ 2019, page 15). It's worth noting he may take a power fist at only 10 points instead of usual 15 for a Tactical sarge. 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.
    • FAQ 2019 update: This has now been patched to work with generic RoW that require you to take things that aren't Grey Slayers as compulsory troops e.g. Pride of the Legion and that therefore you previously couldn't take so that in that case the RoW overrides this rule, while the apothecaries no longer take away your Warrior's Mettle (IC's still do however)
  • 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 2d6 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 Varagyr 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. 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. If you don't get bad rolls, they will keep any potential chargers away or snipe anything that doesn't stay off the objective. Doing 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 "one of the better ones". Even Dorn writes this in stone by being armed with Bolter and Chainsword and being one of the strongest Primarchs for his points. 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 with their relic providing access to that oh-so coveted Eternal Warrior. 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. 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 helps if you want to rely on bolter-heavy squads like tacticals (although the bolter profile still leaves a lot to be desired), especially when using Fury of the Legion. Don't try to boost their BS higher than 5, a MoS consul at this point is a waste of an HQ and a Consul, instead use them to boost your heavy support squads.
      • 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.
    • 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. The rite itself is solid, the only problem is that it forces you to use two Breacher Squads, who are overcosted to the point of being more expensive than the revised cost for Phalanx Warders.
    • 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. This is still a bad idea though as that'll just lead to you getting shot off the table since your opponent will have no reason to come closer.
    • 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. With your squads you should enjoy your T5 Resolve of Stone and let the enemy charge be minced in Overwatch, only charging if you know for sure that your opponent isn't going to charge you first, and definitely don't forget that Breacher Hardened Armour has a -1" charge penalty. Stick Fafnir Rann in with them for maximum effect, since he gives an attached squad d3+3 Str 5 autohits at I10 whenever they're charged and +1WS if they do have to charge.
    • 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. Probably the biggest restriction, since it means you are throwing away one of your best advantages as a Legion. You can still Infiltrate if you're lucky enough to get Master of Ambush (though given your odds, don't count on it.).
    • 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 The God Emperor? You'll have to look elsewhere, because this is possibly the most cock-flavoured lollipop of all 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. 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. This can be partially countered by dropping Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods, but it's an expensive solution.
    • 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 lets 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 three 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.

Unique Units

  • 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, artificer armour 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 points to spend on giving the squad 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 (not that you would want to give them the worst weapon in the game), 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 and Fafnir Rann 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 Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. 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).
  • Huscarls:PDF Yes! They're finally here. No! They were probably not worth the wait. They're legion Terminators who MUST take Cataphractii armour with WS5 and Stubborn. They come with Storm Shields and power weapons which you can swap out for Solarite Gauntlets if you want some stronger ass-beating potential. They've got the same Shield Wall rule as Phalanx Warders (but they only need 3 models left in the unit rather than 5) and can be chosen as a command squad for any unit with Master of the Legion or Dorn himself. For 35 points more than a similarly equipped Terminator squad, and the same cost per additional storm shield carrying model they're a steal, if completely unflexible. Also, will probably be effective in games of Zone Mortalis. They also take up a HQ slot rather than an Elite slot but don't have the Retinue rule for some reason. Instead they are "Favoured by Dorn", which means that they can be chosen as a retinue for any model with the MotL rule (or Dorn himself) instead of a legion command squad - thus they take no force org slot for themselves, since they will share it with their accompanying HQ. Alternatively they can be taken on their own, so if you're bringing lots of elites but only one HQ they are actually a decent alternative to regular Legion Terminators if you want to save an elite slot for something else.
    • RAW these guys can be taken as your compulsory HQ. Not sure why you would want to as you would miss out of Master of the Legion and you would still need to bring a support officer to be your Warlord, but you can do it.
      • Actually, this makes them great when paired with a Herald, although they won't benefit from a loyalist banner due to being WS5.
    • Their rules can be found here.
  • 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...)
  • Fafnir Rann: Before he was the first High Executioner of the Executioners, Fafnir Rann was Captain of the First Assault Cadre and Lord Seneschal of the VII Legion. Now with rules and a rockin beard, Rann is a 200PT hardened Arty armour praetor with the option of a teleportation transponder for +10 points. He does however have some very spicy rules. Firstly, anytime a unit charges Rann or his unit it suffers d3+3 Str 5 autohits at Initiative 10. His warlord trait gives Rann and all Breacher + Phalanx Warder units +1WS on the charge as well as allowing a single squad of the latter to be taken as a troops choice. When the axeman cometh to combat he can choose to use his initiative 5 axe(s) in 1 of 2 ways: a single axe with his boarding shield as a Str+2 AP2 specialist master crafted weapon with -1 Str to incoming hits on himself (suck it power fists no Instant Death for you) or he can use both axes with no shield as a Str+1 two-handed option without the -1 to incoming hits but gaining Rampage for outnumbered fights. Rann seems like a solid close-quarters praetor option, but sticking him with Phalanx Warders like his rules want you to do may be tricky unless playing Hammerfall Strikeforce (but why would you) as the min squad size means he would only be able to join in a spartan. A better option would be to give him the 10pt teleport option and shove him with some Shielded Tartaros Terminators. Or perhaps huscarls if you don't want to sweep (though with the -1 to run charge and sweep from hardened armour this may not be much of a problem anyway)
  • 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 weakness among the Primarchs shared only by the Lion. 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 and being outright fucking murderers, 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. For completeness: Death Guard, Salamanders, Custodes, Daemons and several Sisters of Silence are immune to fear, while Ultramarines and Word Bearers are buffed against fear or in morale (so 4 immune + 2 sort-of-immune factions); all other Legions, Mechanicum and Auxilia (16 factions) will be affected by fear (not counting units with special rules). 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 a Night Lords unit outnumbers an enemy infantry unit in an assault at any initiative step, the 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, Very Bulky models count as 3 and extremely bulky/monstrous Creatures count as 5 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.
      • Also note that you only need to outnumber one enemy unit. In combat with a smaller and a larger enemy unit, you still get your bonus.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Note, this Rite of War may not exist anymore, it is not reprinted in crusade and all Forgeworld literature specifies that Night Lords have 4 Rites of War. However, if your opponent objects to you using the absolute worst Night Lord Rite of War then feel free to kick them in the nuts with a newly buffed Terror Assault list.
  • 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 book nine, it imposes Night Fighting for the duration of the first turn of any mission automatically, 2nd turn on a roll of a 3 and 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. 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 or Night Raptors 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/fast attack, so in this context up to ten Terror Squads or nine Night Raptor squads can be taken per detachment).
    • Must take an additional compulsory Troops choice - Read: You bring 3 Terror/Raptor 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 (Malcador Tank Squadron anyone?!?) 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 permitted - Bring the Praevian as mentioned above.
    • Fortifications and Space Marine Legion allied detachments may not be used (so in theory, you're cool to use Mechanicum). This editor suggests using Sabre tanks as a heavy support stand-in. The fast and aggressive nature lends itself to the Night Lords, and the weapon selections give you your missing heavy weapons.
  • Rite of War: The Cross of Bone: A HQ-centric RoW that rewards ICs with some extra killing power and expands the FOC to allow for more of your heavy hitters to join in.
    • The Aristocracy of Ruin: Every non-compulsory HQ taken adds an extra Elites choice to your FOC.
    • The Strong are Strongest Alone: ICs get an extra attack if they are either alone or in a unit where they are the only IC present.
    • The Tithe of Gore: Slay the Warlord gives +1 VP if the enemy Warlord's last wound was removed by a friendly IC.
    • The Rampant Blade: Units that make consolidation moves must move their full allowed distance towards the nearest enemy in sight. If there are no visible enemies, the consolidation move must be made towards the enemy deployment zone.
    • Konrad Curze cannot be selected as a Lord of War choice.
    • One additional compulsory Troops choice must be taken.
  • Rite of War: The Bloodied Gauntlet: Sort of a Night Lords specific Sacrificial Offering, except the models you are sacrificing are more Night Lords. Although, you could always use the shattered legion rules to sacrifice another legion, which is deliciously thematic.
    • The Bloodied Gauntlet: All compulsory units start on the field or come on turn 1. They gain zealot and disposable (worth no victory points).
    • Through Death, Victory: If you lose or draw you gain an additional D3 victory points if all of your compulsory choices are dead. Laugh as your opponent loses because they were just too efficient at killing things.
    • Units entering play after turn 3 (so, turn 4 then?) gain outflank.
    • Must take 2 extra compulsory elite choices that are infantry and not terminators.
    • Compulsory units never score or hold/contest objectives, and cannot be the Warlord.
    • All non compulsory must begin in reserve.
  • Rite of War: The Swift Blade: Show those Dark Angels and White Scars how to ride bikes the best way, directly into your opponents face with lots of characters swinging Headsman's Axes madly.
    • No True Leaders: Min 3, max 5 HQ choices must be taken in this Rite of War, and they are collectively your Warlord. They gain Hatred (Loyalist) and Crusader, and must all be destroyed for your opponent to gain Slay the Warlord or for Seeds of Dissent to happen.
    • Jadhek Clans: HQs must be on a regular bike (duh), Hussar Squadrons are compulsory troops and outriders can also be troops. Tanks must be fast tanks.
    • Encirclement: +2 to unit size when calculating TFM if all your units are LA: NL.
    • Must take an additional troops choice (aka ForgeWorld's go to Night Lord limitation).
    • No models who must be the Warlord (so no Sev, Curze etc).
    • Nothing Heavy or Immobile.
    • May not be taken by the loyalist faction (weird that it says that instead of traitor only, but okay).
  • 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". The Contekar comes with a version that loses two handed alongside the S+1 to strength.
    • Headsman's Axe: Sx2, AP3, Rending, two handed. 10 points on any Independent Character who can take a power weapon. Its the Chainglaives insta-deathing big brother.
    • 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.

As of Crusade, they now can use their jump packs in the movement and charge phases, as well as each unsaved wound causing an extra auto wound with ap- after all the models have fought (these attacks can be targetted at any unit the raptors are in combat with that isn't a vehicle, not just the ones they hit first time) 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.

    • Do keep their cost in mind as a full unit with glaives can be pricey, though is now cheaper with power weapons and glaives going down by 5 points per model.
    • Gained 1 attack per model, and squad leader can now buy trophies of judgement. Also now a compulsory troops choice in Terror Assault since it seems Horror Cult was 86'd.
  • 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 Melta Bombs as well as 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. Bringing them with heavy chainblades is an option too, because wounding other Marines on 2+ with the reroll is always nice.
  • Contekar Terminators: Recruited from the elite of Nostramo, the Contekar would only fight for leaders deemed worthy of their attention. This often meant the Contekar would often be dispatched to wrest control from Night Lords whose commanders thought them unfit for the Legion. They use Nostraman Chainblades in melee (Power Swords with Rending...) and their ranged weapons can be either Heavy Flamers or Volkite Cavitors which are very short ranged Culverins (10" WTF! Basically the heavy shotgun version of the Volkite, Culverin but short ranged). 5-15 members, WS5 on all, 2 wounds and 3 attacks on the squad leader, Trophies of Judgement, Chosen Warriors and Implacable Advance. Squad leader can trade his Chainblade for a shredding Powerfist for 15 points (Escaton Power Claw) and for 10 or fewer models they can be taken as a compulsory HQ choice if no Sevatar/Curze present. If Sevatar is taken, he can take a squad of these bad boys as a command unit. So, a situational unit, with Heavy Flamers, close range Volkite Culverins and Rending Power Weapons (Fist & Sword). These look designed to support Sevatar as one of their best uses seems to be teleporting in next to him and burning-up a unit before he charges. You'll need at least two Volkite so your second rank can fire at the same thing your templates are covering. Definitely not the best Legion specific terminators, one of the worst in fact, as they don't really fit into a easy position of shooty or CC but as they can always teleport and you can engineer it so they don't scatter, they definitely have a use. Plus, the models are excellent so, on cool points alone they are brilliant as a somewhat fluffy inclusion with Sevatar; speaking of which...
  • Atramentar Squad: The elite Terminators of the first company. Their uncontrollable nature requires a strong-willed leader to rein them in and in this case that man is Sevatar. They become troops when Sevatar is named the warlord and benefit from his Master of the Atramentar rule but lose the ability to score when he dies. Each one is WS5 and comes with teleportation transponders and trophies of judgement stock but otherwise are like basic termies, except for the fact they can be taken in 20 Man Squads, for when you absolutely need them to trigger ATFM. They also have a rule that forces any enemies that try to charge them while they aren't already in combat to count as disordered charges, which gives a minor edge. Their leader can also purchase the headsman's axe, allowing him to offer some ID.
    • For what reason would you grab these when you might otherwise want the Contekar? One is if you plan on imitating a Pride of the Legion RoW but still want your base troops and want to save that elites slot for something more substantial. However, the lack of Chosen Warriors makes them a bit of an iffy option for a retinue. Rules are here.
    • Great for conversion options and not a bad unit if you're willing to invest. Never take 5, they aren't worth the additional points over a normal terminator squad, but from 10 up, they start looking more competative. Lots of chance for rending S5 I4 hits, especially if you can trigger ATFM. If you can achieve this at night they can really do some damage, although this might be unlikely as their earliest charge (after DS) is turn 3. Volkite and plasma pblasters are also a good options with Sevatar, noting you can achieve some perfect DS positioning for a heavy round of shooting. The counter charge can also be mitigated because of their special rules. But a fully kitted out 10 man unit definitely starts to rack up the points cost...
  • 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, as well as Master of Ambush, in case you wanted to set them up on the field and skip getting a transport. Also, like Terror Squads, Sevatar now comes with Precision Strike.
    • As of book 9 Sev is finally ready to take his place as a supreme badass character killer. for 35 points you can equip him with Artificer Armour and a shiny new chainglaive with the upgrades of Duelists Edge and AP2 (and yes, it is still Master Crafted). So, I7 in a challenge (I8 if in Terror Assault), with 4 base attacks, likely hitting and wounding on a 2+ (if you outnumber), rerolling to hit, wound and his 2+/4++ saves, along with insta death means no one short of Sigismund, a Primarch or a Praetor with access to EW can stand up to Sevatars Onslaught (so you only need to worry about Salamanders, Word Bearers and Thousand Sons). Don't get too cocky though, or else somebody like Hol Beloth will punch his head off (Sevatar without Precognition will lose to him, and getting Perils against him will likely kill Sevatar anyway) and your opponent can very easily decline the challenge, especially if Sevatar is up against something like Justaerin or Custodes who have multiple wounds for him to chew through, and who have access to Hammers and Fists to squash him into paste.
    • A special warning, watch the fuck out for anyone using Destroyer Squads (or any other anti-psyker Arcana for that matter). They can kill Sevatar on their own regardless of how much he tries to buff himself with Precognition by virtue of Psyke-out Grenades, and since he's only Ld 7 for the following test(s), the odds aren't exactly in his favour.
  • 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.
  • Nakrid Thole: A Praetor with +1 initiative, counter attack, and two very interesting weapons that should provide stimulating conversion ideas. The first is a Nostroman Flay-Whip, which despite being S:User and AP4 has rending to help it penetrate armour as well as a renamed concussive rule. It can also make an attack against everyone within 2" of Nakrid, in exchange for losing concussive. His other weapon is more straightforward: a +2S mastercrafted power axe with a twist, each time a model in base contact with Nakrid has their initative reduced (such as by his whip) he can attack them once with the axe. Finally, he can't be attacked by precision strikes/shots, and if he is killed then on a 3+ he doesn't count as such for the purposes of objectives.
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: If you want allies, there's none better for you than them. Have them act as a classic Anvil (Terminators/Grave Wardens) for your Hammer (Raptors/ Terror Squads). However, the Death Guard are bored of their emo-fanboy antics... "Oh you guys are so dark, tell the story again of your mother being melted by a cloud!"

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 can be insanely dakka for a traditional melee army.

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 and some turn 1 deep striking, so they can rival even the Emperor's Children for speed. One of their unique Rites touches on 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+. Similar to 8th Edition's Chapter Tactics, except it functions in all rounds of combat. 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 voluntarily go to ground.
    • Host of Angels: Can't take more vehicles units than units with the Legiones Astartes rule. This includes flyers and dreadnoughts, though dedicated transports are exempt. So be certain to take your essential tanks or get curb-stomped by your opponent's armored ceramite super-heavies.
  • Unique Wargear
    • Hand Flamer: Familiar to 40k BAngels, it's a pistol S3 AP6 flamer. Anyone who can take a Volkite Serpenta like Praetors and Centurions can buy a Hand Flamer instead for 15pts, which is the same cost as a plasma pistol. Veterans can also take them but equipping the whole squad is way too expensive. 1 or 2 could 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), and each wound inflicted is doubled to two wounds which must be saved separately. However don't think that means that you can charge your praetor into an enemy squad and wipe them all out before they can strike because excess wounds do not spill over. Striking at Initiative with AP2 is golden and its special rule makes it better than Paragon Blade if you're not planning on taking a 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 vehicles can do the same for +15 points. Predators can replace their autocannon with a twin-linked assault cannon for +5 points now. The weapon profile has been updated to where regardless of whether the weapon you're replacing is twin-linked or co-axial, it always uses the normal profile. 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 +30 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 Blood Angels 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 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.
      • If you get Sanguinius and build his model with the spear then using the sword in that kit for this is a good use of it.
  • 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 in 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 / Angels Tears 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 accept challenges whenever offered. 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, or Dawnbreakers if you bring Sanguinius. 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. Apothecaries can now take jump packs though, so your dreams of 20 Assault Marine Blobs with a 6+ Invuln (5+ in combat) and Feel No Pain (5+) 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, Angel's Tears, Command Squads, and Dawnbreakers, 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. Or alternatively you could take a ten man unit of Dawnbreakers and throw your praetor with them and an apothecary for a fast-moving, hard-hitting melee deathstar. Just make sure you get the charge off for that sweet, sweet +1 initiative.
    • 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, Strike Fighters, Xiphons, and the Contemptor Incaendius. Both speeder variants work as well due to their Deep Strike rule. Overall, 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, Immobile units (drop pods don't count since they suffer an immobilized result after they come in), Subterranean Assault units, or any Lord of War choice other than a Flyer or the Primarch Sanguinius.
      • There is nothing stopping you from taking Thunderhawks or Stormbirds except for their point cost and cash IRL.
      • 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.
    • Weaknesses: The problems with this rite is that deep striking can be risky for larger squads: have you ever tried to fit 20 models in a circle and it not take up a massive amount of space? Taking 10 man assualt squads is preferable, as well as taking a damocles as a non compulsory HQ, which will make your life so much easier with the 24" bubble of no scatter. Sanguinius doesn't scatter, so stick him with a 10 man squad of Dawnbreakers armed with spears and a jump chaplain since you want to kill what you are charging due to the lack of invul on the Dawnbreakers. The 5+ cover save won't protect you that much and being clumped together makes templates the bane of your forces but librarians with shrouding can provide the needed boost to keep your guys alive. Lastly, as your appearing right in the enemies face and can't charge when you arrive, you are at a large risk of being charged first. Blood Angels units get most of their benefits on the charge with this rite, so losing the charge can be catastrophic.
  • 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 FearlessHH8 when within 3" of any Objective markers or 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 units comprised of a majority of models with the LA (Blood Angels) rule 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+) on 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 characters must always issue and accept challenges,.
      • More so than the other Rite, this one benefits from having an ally to hold backfield objectives while your Blood Angels 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 5 marines but can be upgraded to 10 marines and come stock with jump packs, 2 volkite serpentas each, and rad grenades. The entire squad can buy melta bombs for 25 points and any marine besides the sergeant can exchange one of their serpentas for an assault cannon with suspensor web, a rotor cannon, a heavy flamer, heavy chainsword, or a grenade launcher that shoots S4 AP4 small blast grenades that have Radphage and Fleshbane. The sarge can be given artificer armor and can exchange one or both of his serpentas for plasma pistols and can swap his close combat weapon for a heavy chainsword, power weapon, power fist, a single lightning claw, or a thunder hammer.
    • Compared directly to Legion Destroyers, Angels Tears are superior in nearly ever way. Five Angels are cheaper and better than a five man Destroyer squad equipped with Jump packs. Since they come with Volkite pistols instead of Bolt Pistols they have a slightly shorter range which puts them right in the face of the enemy, but throw out a lot more hurt. Additionally since every marine can swap a weapon for something bigger rather than just one per every five. For 190 points you can have four mobile Assault Cannons (the "Arch Erelim" isn't an "Erelim"), whereas a 5 man Legion Heavy Support squad with five Assault Cannons and a Drop Pod costs 195, but without suspensor webs can only snapfire on turns they arrive and move. Definitely something to consider under certain Rites of War such as Angels Wrath or Day of Revelation. If you're feeling particularly brutal and want to throw away points, you can have 2 hand flamers per model. Due to how flamers can't hit allies, it's probably best to just take 5 guys with 10 hand flamers (bearing in mind it costs 150 points for the upgrades alone...). For a bit of Death Guard taste, Justiciar Aster Chrone might help you out by making these guys shred and rend to effectively make them strength 4 against MEQs, with the ability to melt terminator armour (sometimes it's best not to question the logic of GeeDubs).
    • The only reason that you would want to take regular destroyers over Tears is that they get access to rad missiles and phosphex bombs. If you aren't taking these options then Tears are far and away the superior choice.
  • Dawnbreaker Cohort: A 5-10 man unit of artificer armored glass cannons with jump packs that can buy melta bombs for 25 points. WS5 and 2 attacks and they come with some mean toys. They come stock with Falling-star spears which is just another name for Phoenix Spears since they are completely identical (for those of you who have forgotten they are +1S and non-unwieldy AP2 on the charge, reverting to standard power weapons afterwards, which pairs insanely well with +1 to wound).
    • They can also be upgraded with Sunset and Sunrise blades which are power swords with some pretty nifty abilities and grant a bonus attack for 2 cc weapons. Sunrise blades are power swords with shred and keen (+1 initiative in CC), so your dudes will be striking first and rerolling to wound. Sunset blades are power swords with rending and sunder. The squad Champion can also be given a Blade of Perdition in case they didn't already have enough rip and tear for you.
      • They also come with grenade dischargers that can fire frag grenades (Assault 1, S3 AP6, small blast) or krak grenades (Assault 1, S6, AP4).
    • Similarly to Dark Furies, these are INSANE value for points. Consider this: a squad of 10 Palatine Blades with the equivalent gear (arty armour, spears and jump packs) cost 450pts (with shriekers bumping that up to 470pts), the Dawnbreakers are over 100pts cheaper, have the option to mass buy melta bombs and are technically more effective on the charge thanks to Encarmine Fury (though Blades will sweep better thanks to Crusader). They can make themselves more effective at hunting power armour with the Sunset/Sunrise blades (thus gaining an extra attack) AND still be cheaper. You also get decent ranged weapons in the grenade launcher. Granted the Palatines can keep themselves cheaper with less equipment, but at that point the Dawnbreakers just leapfrog them anyway. Your sergeant can even take a Blade of Perdition, because reasons. While easy to forget, these guys also get D6 S4 AP- hits on anything within 6" of then when deepstriking, which is by no means a gamechanger but its nice icing on your Golden, Artificer Armoured and Jump Packed Cake.
  • 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, heavy flamer, or plasma blaster, up to two paladins can exchange their power weapons for power fists for a whopping +20 points and anyone in the squad can swap their power weapons for an AP3 sword that has rending and sunder for when you really want to rip and tear. The sergeant has 2 wounds and can take a grenade harness so he can benefit from assault grenades and can be given a Blade of Perdition for +10 points to 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. Bear in mind that because they are bulky they count as two for the purposes of this rule (as do enemy bulky units) so this won't kick quite as often as you would think. 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.
    • Unfortunately one of the most confused units in the new book, the sort that makes you wonder what the writers were thinking, which is a shame because the models are gorgeous. Designed to be a very tanky elite termi squad, but compared to similar legion terminators only have 1 wound and WS4. Yeah the shields are solid in combat, and the sunset blades are nasty, as is the sarges blade of perdition, but the feel no pain is so circumstantial. The 2:1 ratio rule means a 5 man unit needs to be fighting a 20 man blob for that sweet 4++, and since you are Blood Angels and will probably be going first in combat, by the time the enemy gets to strike back they will have lost models and you will have lost your bonus. You could argue that they are a bodyguard unit, but since those shields only go off in combat you may as well just buy normal termis for that, because they can shoot back. And just to rub salt in the wound the new Scars Termis from the same book have arguably better melee weapons and natural feel no pain.
    • Doubly unfortunately, the sergeant loses his shield if he takes a Blade of Perdition so he's back to being insta-killed by fists in a challenge. Which is doubtful to happen, since he can deal 8 ap2 wounds with his blade if he's lucky on the charge. So these guys want to fight people with fists and thunder-hammers but not the more elite 2-wound terminators.
  • Contemptor Incaendius Dreadnought: Jump Pack on a GODDAMN DREADNOUGHT! HOLY SHIT. Can use a jump pack once per game, either to deep strike, move 12" or charge 3d6. Still counts as a Walker for ROWs. Comes stock with Talons of Perdition, which are dreadnought-sized Blades of Perdition, heavy flamers, armored ceramite, and Fleet. They can replace their talons with normal DCCW for free and can replace their heavy flamers with meltaguns or assault cannons. They can also be given extra armor. Bring one in a Day of Revelation list to fulfill the compulsory deep-striking Fast Attack choice for maximum lulz.
    • This author suggest swapping one talon to a normal dread ccw and equip 2 assault cannons. Keeping the double-wounding talon any soft, young, innocent assault units you want. Buuut it lacks the LA rule so you might gear it to hunt vehicles (not great since it just has Meltaguns to hunt all the armored ceramite vehicles outside of melee,) or take one for lulz.
  • Judiciar Aster Crohne: 155 points gives you a WS5, I5, 3-wound moritat character with two hand flamers, arty armor, refractor field, frag, krak, and rad grenades, and a non-unwieldy AP3 power axe with rending. On top of that he has some really interesting abilities and rules to mess with your opponent and to buff destroyers and Angel's Tears. He's an IC with Legiones Astartes (Blood Angels), Adamantium Will, Counter Attack, Scout, The Ghost of Saiph, and Virtue of Judgement. Ghost of Saiph works by letting him go into ongoing reserves on a roll of a 4+ the first time he is reduced to 0 wounds. Virtue of Judgement lets him nominate D3 enemy units after deployment but before the first turn and gives his hand flamers, destroyer's hand flamers, and Angel's Tears' hand flamers Rending and Shred against those nominated units (a new contender for one of the most poorly written rules in the game, it's written that you pick units and then your destroyers and tears gain and shred rending on his hand flamers.).
  • Dominion Zephon: Before he was the first Chapter Master of the Charnel Guard, Zephon was the Exarch of the High Host, the Destroyer Marines the IX Legion. Added in the Black Library Celebration 2022, Zephon is a weirdly written praetor who actually packs an extraordinary amount of kit for his 185 points. First, you never ever want to take him as your warlord even though he has MoTL. He gets lumped with a trait that means he can only take a unit of Destroyers - not Angel’s Tears - as his bodyguard, and cannot join any other squads. The Destroyers all gain chosen Warriors, so that's uh, something?
    • Now onto the good shit, this fellow wields a Paragon Blade that swaps murderous strike for master-crafted and sweeping strike, giving him an additional attack if he's base contact with more than 1 enemy model. Losing out on potential instant death stings, or it would but lord they gave him rad grenades, so instant death to any marines as he will be doubling out their toughness thanks to his furious charge. This makes him an extremely effective character killer. And the fact that his dual volkite serpentas have blind only makes him better at this. And because the blind and rad grenades also affects his unit, Zephon is both a beatstick and buffs the squad he's in.
    • Oh and he has 5+ fnp, if he dies 4+ to stand back up with one wound, and he has an iron halo and melta bombs and stubborn. He really does pack an extraordinary amount of kit. A similarly equipped Praetor is more expensive whilst not having an additional serpenta, rad grenades, fnp, or stubborn.
    • This writer recommends putting Zephon in a 20 man assault squad, for potentially 6 ap2 + 61 chainsword attacks wounding on 2s against marines and maybe hitting on 3s if you got blind off on the turn you charged.
  • 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.
  • Sanguinius: Sangunius is by far the most expensive loyalist Primarch at 485 points, but boy oh boy is he worth it. Like Curze and Corax, the Great Angel is Jump Pack Infantry, but unlike them his wings can be used in both the movement and assault phases which is an ability he grants to all his Jump Pack wearing sons, in addition he and his squad do not scatter if they deep strike. He rounds out these buffs by making Dawnbreaker Cohorts into troops. Sangunius' stats are very high, (WS9 I7 A6), which only get even more insane as he gets +1I +1A on the first turn of combat (letting his I equal Fulgrim's), not only that but all friendly (not just Blood Angel) units within 3" get +D3 to combat res, ensuring whatever he charges dies, then loses, then gets swept. Speaking of charging, Papa Sang gets a Hammer of Wrath attack that is made at S10 AP2. Finally, while moving over a unit, the Archangel can vector strike at S6 AP2, which counts as D3 hits against zooming Flyers and Swooping MCs, which makes him the only Primarch able to take on flyers without backup.
    The Angel uses the following wargear
    • The Blade Encarmine: +1S, AP2, Shredding, Rampage. Very simple, very good, and grants the one thing all Primarchs want most of all: more attacks, potentially 11(!) on the charge. Sadly, cannot be used if Sanguinus takes the Spear of Telesto and Moonsilver Blade.
    • The Spear of Telesto: As seen in the Blood Angels novels! Weirdly, it doesn't have it's fluff ability to shoot energy blasts. Harrumph. On the charge, it's +3 Strength and AP1, otherwise, S User AP 2. Has Two-handed, which isn't important, and MC, Instant Death, and Wrath of Angels (inflicts a second wound on the target UNIT, on a 6 to wound), so you too can perform attacks that can break a Bloodthirster's back. That's...oddly specific. so this thing only does the Blade of Perdition's thing on a wound roll of six. (Unlike the Perdition, these additional wounds carry over to the rest of the unit) Can also be thrown once per game as a 12" Assault 1 S7 AP1 Armorbane Instant Death attack that also has Wrath of Angels, but since you can't use the Spear after that doing so is a very bad idea unless it's the last turn of the game or you're absolutely certain you're only going be fighting daemons for the rest of the game with...
    • The Moonsilver Blade: Sidearm to be used with Telesto. It's an MC blinding power sword with Duelist's Edge that doubles wounds against Daemons and Psykers, notable for being the only melee weapon wielded by a Primarch to not be AP2 for better. While this isn't a problem against Daemons, it will give you a headache against anyone else due to the many, many users of Artificer and Terminator Armor.
    • The Regalia Resplendent: Armour that provides the 2+ Armour Save and 4+ Invulnerable Save that's average for a Primarch, but also rerolls said invulns on the charge (better than a 3++), because he didn't have buffs on the charge already.
    • Infernus: A one use only S8 AP1 assault 2 weapon, that despite it's name and statline doesn't have the Melta rule.
    • Frag Grenades: Might actually be useful since you only have one shot with Infernus, other than that they go boom.
  • NOTE!: Papa Sang can never claim the extra attack from 2 CCWs, due to Infernus not being a pistol, and his Spear is two-handed.
  • Weaknesses: Many of Sanguinius' best buffs work only on the charge; if for whatever reason he can't charge, he'll be much less powerful than he would be otherwise. Additionally, his shooting is awful. Even Angron gets a plasma pistol, but Sanguinus is stuck with two one-use attacks (one of which is usable with only one possible loadout and even then forces him to lose a much better melee weapon) and the same frag grenades everyone else gets. Use his mobility to your advantage so he doesn't waste turns moving into charging distance. Not to mention that for whatever reason, he doesn't get hit and run, meaning he can be locked in combat where he will suffer if the opponents are fearless as he really needs to be charging in order to be effective.

Consider using Angel's Wrath RoW - it's easy to build a fluffy list around it and it gives Pappa Sang that juicy Hit and Run which somewhat alleviates his weaknesses.

  • Sworn Brothers:
    • Imperial Fists:
    • Ultramarines:
    • Salamanders:

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. Remember that despite being a special weapon, the graviton gun's profile is Heavy 1. This means no firing after disembarking, and no suspensor web for your veteran's graviton guns either.
    • Iron Scions: Legio Cybernetica Battle-Automata Maniples (ie. AdMech's good stuff, including Domitars) 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.
      • As of HH8, you have a decent alternative to Outriders in the form of Hussars, while Sky Seekers are also an option.
    • 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.
      • A Damocles Command Rhino fits in well here, since it is a non-consul HQ that can help your other tanks outflank better, as a tank itself it also fits thematically.
    • 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. Alternatively, this RoW is to "Zone Mortalis Assault Force" what Head of the Gorgon is to Armoured Spearhead: a more powerful version albeit at the cost of flexibility.
    • 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. It won't turn your Iron Hands into melee machines, but can be very useful is scenarios like Zone Mortalis.
    • 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 an Iron Father, 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? When buying a Land Raider for them, consider the cheaper Proteus instead of the Phobos, as not only can they can overwatch and score objectives, but blinding ennemies that fire on them before a charge might be better than gaining an extra attack at low initiative and without sweeping advance.
  • 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.
    • Playtest Rules: FAQ Feb 19 Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. The FAQ reduces their base price by 45pts (though additional members for the squad cost the same as before) and gives us a few discounts on wargear, namely cheaper Volkite chargers and Breaching charges, additionally their Gun them Down special rule makes them unable to sweeping advance but gives them a proper shooting attack as if it was the shooting phase, though blast weapons cant shoot and template weapons inflict D3 hits on the fleeing unit, no need for a LD test either. I dont really have to spell it out for you, this is a real nice bump in power level for this unit, for 25 less points than their first incarnation you get a full ten men with volkites with proper FnP and a better chance of actually doing something after not sweeping advancing the enemy, they're still not cheap, but now they may just be worth it rather than just slightly better Breachers.
  • 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), 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 with LA (World Eaters) 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 with LA (World Eaters) 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.
      • Note that neither of these rules work on Angron, who might have otherwise become much more resilient when using this Rite, shame.
    • 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 ignore 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. They do look cool as hell when modeled though, so it's basically 15 points to buy a useless side-arm that makes your model look much more badass.
    • 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: Khorne Berzerkers 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, heavy chainswords, or the default chainaxe. 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. You probably won't even notice that they exist, but you could instead take heavy chainswords which are essentially meteor hammers that give up their special initiative rules in exchange for costing half as much; don't bother, if you're on a budget you're better off sticking with the default axes. As with pretty much every MEQ squad, the sarge can and should upgrade to artificer armor.
    • 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.
    • If you don’t take them with jump packs, a scouting Land Raider Phobos is an interesting and not commonly seen option. While an expensive choice that could struggle to earn its points back, you’ll probably have to accept that by fielding Rampagers at all. A 12 inch scout move creates a very large threat range for a turn 2 assault . Going full speed, they can move 42 inches by turn 2 before rolling for charge range! Don’t forget you can just drive straight through any pesky infantry in your way. Alternatively, you can also choose to outflank them in their Land Raider, rampaging (heh) through your enemy’s backlines if left unchecked.
    • Overall, Rampagers just aren’t a very good unit. They do have some niche options you can’t get elsewhere; unfortunately it’s likely another unit could be used to do the same thing better and for cheaper too. Until they get a rules update, probably left for friendly games.
  • 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 five WS5 re-rollable attacks each on the charge (or 6 attacks from the boss with chain fist), 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... Note: if for some crazed reason you play loyalist World Eaters, you cannot take this unit, despite the fact that their fluff blurb literally says they could be found among both loyal and traitor forces at Istvaan III.
    • It's worth noting that butchers can swap one of their two power axes for a chain axe. While any WE in terminator armour can do this, only butchers actually benefit from this, as it’s a straight upgrade compared to a second power axe. They gain the option to trade AP2 for AP4 and to drop unwieldy. As it has the same strength bonus, it’s straight up better against anything in less than power armour and has some more subtle benefits. If you're fighting a nasty unit that isn't unwieldy (for example a unit of Suzerains and their ultra-axes) you can squeeze out some cheeky chain axe hits from the dudes who are likely to die and do nothing anyway. Alternatively, if you want to stay locked in combat because there’s a squadron of vindicators looking your way, you can use chain axes to intentionally reduce your damage under the safety of fearless. When it's your opponent's turn you can switch back to power axes to finish them off. For a completely free alternative, there’s no reason to skip on the chain axes unless you’re going for twin lightning claws.
    • For transport options these guys can take either the Proteus or Phobos models of Land Raider (hint: one of them is an assault vehicle) or if you want to get beaten over the head with a model from your own army they can have a Spartan Assault Tank. Whatever transport you give them, make sure to buy it frag assault launchers since these guys are too far-gone to know how to use hand grenades.
  • Red Hand Destroyer Assault Squad: Can't decide between Rampagers or Destroyers to fill your elite slot? Why not combine them into one for less cost, unless you are counting the playtest rules from the FAQ. Seriously, these guys literally do everything a normal Destroyer squad can do, (except buy variant pistols or use Psyk-out weapons, but you want rad missiles anyway) and have bonus rules on top, so you'll never take regular Destroyers ever again. They all have access to Caedere weapons for sensible costs, meaning they are considerably cheaper than an equivalent squad of Rampagers too, but they can also be bought in squads if up to 15, which means they really have the potential to put some hurt on if maxed out.
    • Unlike both Destroyers and Rampagers, Red Hand squads can take 1 thunder hammer per 5 models for 20 points, which might seem expensive. Crucially however, this weapon replaces one of the models bolt pistols. Why is this good? Because a model can replace a pistol with a thunder hammer, then replace their close combat weapon with a 2 point Barb-hook lash (which doesn't have the two handed rule) giving them an extra attack due to 2 specialist weapons. Including the sarge with a power fist (who sadly doesn't have access to the same trick), this means a maxed out Red Hand squad puts out a whooping 20 S8 Ap2 attacks on the charge for almost 10 AP2 wounds (without hatred or exhortations of butchery!), deleting even custodes or bikers with ID thanks to rad grenades.
    • Beyond their wargear options. They have two special tricks. The primary one allows them to essentially claim a +1 bonus to combat resolution on a turn that they charge, meaning that even if they don't kill anyone, there is a potential that they can still win combat, but also affects enemy leadership when they actually do win. They also gain +1 to sweeping advance rolls when they win, although this really just cancels out the -1 to sweeping advance distance they suffer due to hardened armour. This combination feels like they are even giving Emperor's Children a run for their money.
    • Their second rule is a bit more iffy. They must declare a charge if able to do so when they start the Assault phase within 12" of an enemy unit.
    • As mentioned, their Caedere upgrades are actually reasonably priced. For 2 points per model each man can have a Meteor Hammer and strike at S6 with I5. Combine this with Rad Grenades means they are usually striking first, with four attacks each (using Rage), wounding on 2+, rerolling 1s (thanks to incarnate violence) and are Insta-Killing space marines with every failed save, sure these weapons might not have favourable AP, so make sure they're given Hatred (via Zealot from a Chaplain or Berserker Assault) and ideally Exhortation of Butchery (either from Surlak or an Apothecary) if they're going to be taking on anything with a 2+ save. Like Rampagers, a squad with these buffs will cause 0.607 wounds per Red Hand to TEQ's or 1.214 wounds per Red Hand to MEQ's (so a squad of 5 will kill 3 TEQ's on average, or 6 MEQ's before they can be struck back). Unlike Rampagers, their wave of AP2 attacks can pulverise pretty much anything, provided they live long enough to strike. So anything that dies to to meteors hammers before they can strike back increases the odds of your heavy hitters being able apply maximum squelch at Initiative 1.
      • Note, like Rampagers, despite having good damage output, you should be careful with your targets, because like Rampagers there's nothing really helping them beat another close combat squad that has more bodies than they do and can't easily be broken on the charge. As a quick example, if they're charged into an Assault Squad that has power axes, extra Marines and something like a Chaplain (or Terminators who don't break), your Red Hand squad can get fucked up real fast. In these cases you're going to need a character who can kill the Chaplain ASAP or you're going to want to soften them up with Rad Missiles first, if not avoid them entirely.
    • Their rules can be found here
  • 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 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: 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 even 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 most of them are not going to out-assault the World Eaters, they can still take an unprepared opponent off guard. They've also got access to the Invictarus Suzerains who are, point for point, arguably the best melee unit in the entire game (especially if you've brought Guilliman along).

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.

  • 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, Dedicated Transports like a Drop Pod or rhino painting a Spartan with their twin-bolter 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.
    • 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 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. Helps Overwatch, but if you're going to get attacked you may prefer Retributive Strike. There are much better alternatives for anti-air.
      • 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.
    • Legatine Axe: A kind of cheaper Paragon Blade. It's a Specialist Weapon with no bonus to Str, but enjoy AP2 on initiative available to all your ICs. 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..
    • 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 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 on their own.
      • 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 more and eats two precious elite slots.
  • Invictarus Suzerains: A Breacher-style Command Squad at Elites. Compared against TEQs, they only have bolt pistols and 6++ against AP2 shooting, but have advantages in close combat with Boarding shields counting as defensive grenades, while their default weapon is AP2, mincing things normal Terminators struggle with. 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. As with normal Command squads, this doesn't take up a FOC slot, thus making them a very strong choice over Command or Terminator squads; though you might still want a Spartan DT, reasonably priced ranged options on your TEQ squad, jump packs or bikes. 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 apart 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 they're 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 discretely pops up passim).
  • Fulmentarus Terminator Strike Squad: Dammit Guilliman, stop stealing my stuff! These Ultramarine Siege Tyrants have BS5, Cataphractii Armor, Power weapons 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.
    • 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. However, 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" with power weapons and combi-bolters, 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. An 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; your Elite choices may be saturated by Suzerains and Dreads, so Fulmentarii are a nice way of adding TEQs with big guns, but Pride of the Legion won't turn them into troops, and even though Guilliman can grant them Implacable Advance, you'd need to bring more Fulmentarii to make it count, nothing like Perturabo's Deep Strike bonus to all Termies.
    • Against flyers, Fulmentarii are miles better: 20 TL autocannon shots with possibly Tank Hunters and -1 to cover, and if you're taking the Logos Lectora Rite of War BS2!
    • Something nice to remember is the effect of Interlocking Tactics on the Autocannons and Cyclones (Krak Missiles only, as the tactics don't affect blasts as mentioned earlier), 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. 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.
  • Nemesis Destroyer Squad: The 22nd chapter of the Ultramarines who hung out with the Night Lords and decided that skinning people was actually pretty cool. Despite that they don't get fear bonuses but for 30 points more than a standard destroyer squad they come in squads of 10 and swap their second Bolt pistol for Bolters and get more special weapons options, making them a cross between a destroyer and tactical squad. But their main attraction is their "Nemesis Ammunition" which is 18" range, assault 2 and has the Harrower special rule, which gives them rending and forces any unit that has lost any models during the shooting phase from these guns to take a moral test as if they had lost 25% of their unit. Eat you're heart out Alpha Legion. They can also take a nuncio-vox and legion vexilla. A fairly strong unit, but they can't take jump packs so they loose some of the versatility of a standard destroyer squad. Great in zone mortalis.
  • 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 Master of the Legion, making him one of the cheaper special characters to allow 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! He also has a Nuncio vox for Deep Strike and Barrage accuracy, Melta Bombs, an Iron Halo, and 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 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.
    • Cognis Signum: Guilliman isn't going to be doing much shooting, so that +1 BS will come into play a lot.
    • Frag Grenades
  • 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: In addition to the obvious applications of Vigil Opertii and the morale rules of Invictarus Suzerains, consider taking Imperialis Militia as a primary detachment and using the Ultramarines as allies. What do your Fulmentarus terminators have? High strength and high BS. What does an Imperialis Militia primary detachment give you? Ability to choose your warlord trait from the Militia table, one of which is -1 AP to all ranged attacks on one infantry unit. RAW, this can be applied to Ultramarines infantry, as the trait allows any infantry unit to be chosen, not only from the detachment or from the Militia list. Slap it on a 10-man Fulmentarus squad and wipe entire squads of MEQ with 20 BS5 twin-linked S7 AP3 shots, or take Cyclone Missile Launchers and trade in twin-linked for S8 AP2 to remove TEQs and deny FnP. Combine with Interlocking Tactics (which you will get simply from shooting the target with a 35 pt Rhino; heck, use compulsory tacticals for this) for basically guaranteed wounds.

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 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, 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, an extremely situational 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. 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 destroy. 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.
  • Unique Units
  • 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 of 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 destroy 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. Grave Wardens are one of the more ridiculous units in the game, given they can cheerfully murder anything through sheer amount of wounds from poisoned blast markers. Be prepared to spend 20 mins doing 1 shooting phase tho... May we offer some thematic songs to listen to while you roll your dice?
    • 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.
  • Mortus Poisoner Squad: PDF The chemical warfare Destroyers. They're actually a good bit cheaper than the base Destroyers (125 vs 150) but instead get a bolter and hardened armor. Also incredibly good is that they can all swap out their bolters for chem-flamers for free, providing some really dangerous overwatch. One of five models can also pick up a heavy chem-flamer, but this replaces the bolt pistol, allowing you to lay down two different waves of fire between the bolter/flamer or heavy flamer. They lack the jump pack and pistol options (which kinda isn't a loss), but they also lose the option for rad-missiles. You're going to use them for one target: infantry.
    • They do suffer from the fact that they are both an elite choice (so you're taking these guys and losing a slot for a Terminator squad or Quad Launchers) and that other squads can do the same thing they do, at either a cheaper cost or outright better. Tactical Support squads are 25pts cheaper and can be upgraded to chem-munitions for free while also being scoring at the same time and Grave Wardens who perform a similar role but have Cataphractii armour, assault grenade launchers, can take a Heavy Chem-flamer and are also scoring on top of that. Their only real advantages over these other two units is they are cheaper than Grave Wardens and can mix fire unlike Tactical Support squads, but overall it's pretty hard to justify taking these guys over any of the other chem-flamer wielding units, and they really could do with an extra rule to make them worth considering.
      • Rules can be found here.
  • 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 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: 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, hell, take Pride of the Legion and even your troops can be psykers, which absolutely no one else in 30k can do. 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.

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 although 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. To make matters worse, other Legions have been gifted extremely potent weapons against the Thousand Sons with the advent of Book 8's Psyarkana, much of which will force Perils on your force, or have some other way of nerfing you. 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, the Warlord of the main detachment or major fellow Legion shard must be a Psychic-enough dude to save the President lead Thousand Sons. Do remember that Librarians can be the Warlord of other Legions, they just cannot be the Compulsory HQ. At the same time 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, making them especially bad at their jobs). 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 the 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 receiving a boon, it's a win-win.
      • Raptora: The Hawks. Units receive a 6++ Invulnerable save, or +1 to any other Invulnerable saves they may claim, and Psykers generate powers from the 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 the 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 shenanigans from actual psychic Blessings. 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 1s 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 receive Adamantium Will, and Psykers generate powers from the 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 double-fun Jump Packs and Bikers, and Psykers generate powers from the Pyromancy discipline only. Pyromancy isn't a great lore by any means, but this goes great with Assault Squads.
        • Take a ten man Legion Destroyer Squad and give them jump packs. Now you are moving a 71A unit on the active charge (20 dual pistol shots + 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 the jitters to survivors and fresh blood alike. This means that if any unit in the detachment suffers a wound from 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, as in it's changing the base statline of the units) for the rest of the game, and they 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.
      • The major downside of this Rite of War. You could pack them in a Spartan or Storm Eagle and than drop them on an objective. Than have it go shoot things. Though you have to be careful about the vehicle restriction. Or pick an Assault Squad or two and hope to get there first. Breachers are also quite shooty and with Graviton Guns only units with ranges longer than 18" or high Strength/AP weapons are any sort of threat to them. Or you can just take Magnus to make both vanilla and Sekhmet Terminators troops. However Spartan DTs are fucking expensive. Other than camping objectives, there is no upside to taking Tactical Marines at all here (and there are better choices for that, I.e. Implacable Advance). As using Fury of the Legion is just going to get them assaulted or shot off the table after just one volley. A smart opponent won't allow you to use it more than once.
    • Flyer or Tank vehicles can't exceed the number of infantry units.
      • Not a problem for most for the most part as you can take Assault Marines or Magnus so troops won't have to foot slog. Bikers and Jetbikes also benefit from the buffs proved by this rite. Since skimmers and walkers no have restrictions you can spam as many Land Speeders, Javelins and Dreadnoughts as you want. (Short version: You fill up slots with Osiron and Leviathan Talons). Motraits and Destroyer Marines with jump packs are also good alternatives and for giving the "Fucking Furries" the metaphorical middle finger.
      • Battle Automata that are unlocked via Contrex Controllers (by upgrading a Forge Lord or taking a Praevian) and Castellax-Achea are either Jet Pack Infantry or Monstrous Creatures. So you can take as many you want, within reason of course. However Achea don't require a Consul at all.
    • No restriction on allies. However there are not many pros to taking them because they will be Fellow Warriors at best.
  • 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 taken as your compulsory HQ choice.
      • Note that unlike Primarch's Chosen this means you can take another Lord of War, something no other legion can do.
    • Must have Magnus, Ahriman, or an ML3 Praetor as your warlord, but come on, you were going to take those psychic beatsticks anyway.
    • No more vehicles than infantry, again.
      • Since your compulsory troops can take Spartans and Land Raiders it's not that not much of a downside. Just remember to take some Bikers, Jump pack Destroyers and a few Battle Automata. It seems Forge World wants players to load up their lists with Castellax-Achaea. Rapiers also don't count towards the vehicle limit since their artillery and this ROW frees up those precious Elite slots.
    • No allies or fortifications of any kind. Since their Fellow Warriors at best while LRs and Spartans are mobile bunkers anyways you won't miss either that much.
  • 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 Cannon-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'.
    • 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" specifically. 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 Dreadnought: 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 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 Automata 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, depending on whether you want that cheesy 3++ or the ability to Sweep Advance. Asphyx Shells and Force Weapons of all three sorts on the wargear front complement 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. Combi-Volkite or Grenade Launchers are the common go to choices for Terminators.
    • But who cares about options when the baseline deal is this good: 35 points per Stubborn Psyker Terminator with 2 wounds, +1 to invulnerable and a Force Weapon, and Implacable Advance, for only 5 points over a regular Terminator. Let that sink in.
    • Oh, you thought "they only have Force Weapons, so one can easily counter them with Dreadnoughts"? Well, no, as they can take Power Fists and Chainfists for 5 and 10 points respectively (1 or 2 are an auto-take), replacing their Force Weapons, or instead take a Lightning Claw for free.
    • Do consider skipping these guys if you're worried you're up against Destroyer Squads with Psyke-out weapons, they're great for their price and role but not if they cause you to take 2-3 pinning tests per enemy shooting phase (assuming there's only one Destroyer squad shooting at them). Absolutely give these guys a pass and go with regular Terminators (not Psykers) if you're going to be up against Word Bearers Destroyers in particular, their Instant Death Perils makes a mockery of that 2-wound 3++ durability you're so proud of.
  • 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 prospect of casting 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.
    • They can take a Storm Eagle as their Dedicated Transport. However for a ten man squad it's quite expensive both cash and points wise. So use it to drop off some footsloggers before sniping things to death.
  • 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 wears a special 2+ suit 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 Concussive. 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 look a little closer, and the amount of potential nastiness will unfold before you like the wolf's claws: BS5 Veterans in a Troops slot with Combi-Weapons that just remove anything within 12" of them, endless ways to bring in units from reserve when and where you need them, deep striking Terminators and Dreadclaws 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 with higher stats than other legions, they are expensive for what they offer while being less focused and self-defining as some other Legions' 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. By default this means you get to re-roll half your failed reserve rolls.
      • Consider combining it with a Damocles Command Rhino, it'll allow you to re-roll all your reserves, meaning that you have a 97.2% chance of getting your reserves when you want them.
    • 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. Don't think this automatically means swords over axes though, as the bonus strength from the axe will even out the odds and hit at AP2. Your Praetors still do more damage with Power Fists than Paragon Blades even with the extra attack.
    • Death Dealers: +1 BS if shooting at an enemy within 12″ with a pistol, rapid fire, or assault weapon. Doesn’t affect snap fire, Overwatch, or fury of the legion shots. Coupled with Merciless Fighters, this rewards a highly aggressive army at close quarters.
      • This is crazy-good with weapons 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. A very small downside for your 6 Sworn Brothers allies.
  • Rite of Battle: The Black Reaving - This RoW isn't very good, you can get most of its benefits elsewhere and its main unique benefit sucks. It does have some useful bonuses if you don't want to take named characters, but you could probably do better.
    • 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. This sounds better than it is. To get the advantage, you need to take a charge from the enemy and survive, or charge and fail to break them in the next two phases before your second unit comes in. Suffice to say it isn't a good idea to allow your opponent to charge you or to charge into fights you can't win quickly.
    • Reaver Onslaught: Reaver Squads become troops. Useful, though also achievable with Maloghurst.
    • The Eye of the Warmaster: Justaerin may Deep strike. Also useful, also achievable with a named character, in this case Abaddon or Horus.
    • Must take a Master of Signals as a compulsory HQ choice. Not that bad of a restriction, as a Master of Signals is useful, cheap and can be used as a no-scatter point for Deep Strikers. Consider using a Delegatus instead of a Praetor to save points. The exact wording makes the Master of Signals compulsory, bypassing the Supporting Officer rule, so if you take Horus you don't have to waste points on other compulsory HQs if you don't want to.
    • Must take more Fast Attack units than Heavy Support units - Effectively means you're out one Heavy Support slot, since you don't get an extra Fast Attack slot to allow you to take your full complement of Heavy Support slots. 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 outnumbering with Merciless Fighters. However, they are tough and have formidable ranged output. Jetbikes are 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.
      • Since you have a Master of Signals, a Seeker squad can also be a good choice too, especially with Banestrike and a LR Proteus.
      • Anti-vehicle options include lascannon Storm Eagles (who can pull double duty as assault transports), Rapier platforms in the Elites slot, Terminators with Chainfists in Dreadclaws, and Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighters.
      • 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 also be doing 2+2+1= 5 S6 AP2 Concussive & Preferred Enemy attacks on the charge (counting +1 HoW attack). Expensive but powerful, especially with an Outflank courtesy of Horus.
    • 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.
      • 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 make for efficient troops compared to Assault Squads. Consider giving most of the squad Chainaxes for cheap S5 and sprinkling in some power axes/swords/fists.
    • No fortifications - Unlikely to harm most players.
    • Unlike most RoWs, you CAN take Space Marine Legions as allies, and you have many Sworn Brothers options. 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, though ultimately encouraging getting to the enemy as quickly as possible. Really embodies the Old Earth tactical adage- "The firstest with the mostest is the bestest."
    • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • Nothing in the Heresy has the Slow & Purposeful rule anymore, so this is no restriction at all.
    • 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 due to not being Heavy, you will get far better results overall by keeping the AP2, Shred, +1S and additional 6" range.
      • It can however be worth taking on Reavers, who can use their Precision shots to target special weapons bearers as well as sergeant and apothecaries who were foolish enough to not take Artificer armour.
    • 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. 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 who formed the 'point of the spear'. In game terms, they are Terminators with the +1 Weapon Skill and Wounds as well as the Stubborn, Furious Charge & Chosen Warriors special rules making them brutal in close combat. 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. 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. They come stock with combi-bolters and power weapons with options for power/chain fists, lightning claws and combi-weapons. One in five can also pick up a heavy flamer, reaper autocannon or a tank-vaporising multi-melta. Justaerin are expensive, but they'll get the job done.
      • Their special rules and weapons options give them a strong lean towards close combat with Furious Charge and Chosen Warriors.
      • Justaerin are expensive and can't get a Spartan, so they're unlikely to outnumber the foe even with Bulky. Consider giving them Powerfists and at least 2 Chainfists, and then putting them in a Dreadclaw. 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 pesky Spartans and getting to their 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're comparable to Legion Veterans with 2 Attacks base, as well as Outflank and Precision shots and strikes. Precision Shots and Strikes lets Reavers pick off sergeants, special and heavy weapons users and apothecaries, which is very useful. Unlike Veterans, they don't come standard with a bolter. Their wargear is assault-oriented: Ranged weapon choices are Bolters/Combi-Weapons with Banestrike shells for AP3 Rending or Volkite chargers for extra wounds (so your longest ranged attack is 18") and one in five can take a special weapon. Any model can have a Chainaxe for just 1pt, or a more expensive Power Weapon or Power Fist. You can also buy jump packs for the whole squad for a fixed price of 50pts rather than investing in a vehicle or footslogging. The cost of these will quickly add up though, and Reavers are still only as tough as a regular Tactical. Don't overcost your Reavers trying to make them good at everything- pick a job for them, equip them for it, and they'll do it.
      • Jump Packs will grant the unit a lot of maneuverability, and the benefits of Bulky, allowing them to easily get in range with their guns or make charges. However, this will leave them vulnerable to shooting. Chainaxes for most of the squad with a few power swords/axes/fists is the best blend of hitting power and price.
      • Dreadclaws will allow you to drop them exactly where you need them to make turn 2 charges. Drop the pod and Jink first turn, charge out second turn against a vulnerable target. Reavers take out backline units that aren't specialised for close combat very effectively.
      • Whenever you are building a Reaver squad, make sure you're leveraging their unique benefits over Veterans, as they are similar units but Veterans are cheaper.
      • When in a troops slot, Reavers can be understood as better Assault Marines thanks to their better weapons access, extra attacks, Outflank and Precision Shots/Strikes.
  • 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. 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. For maximum Dreadclaw shenanigans you can also fill your LoW slot with 3 of these: the combined wording of both the Drop Pod Assault rule and the Sub Orbital Strike Wing allows to unleash 3 dreadclaws upon the enemy since turn one, albeit at the cost of your LoW slot and the risk of handling VP to the enemy if all the claws were to be destroyed. High risk, high reward.
    • 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 Warmaster of Chaos he was First Captain of the Sons of Horus Legion. Unfortunately, he is not the machine that he will become in 10,000 years, what with lacking his Chaos Gifts and better wargear. 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). 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. 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.
    • Abaddon's main advantage in a duel is his WS7, a cut above the average Praetor, allowing him to hit most targets on a 3+.
    • Abaddon's usual place is deep striking at the head of a Terminator unit, but there can also be value in attaching him to a larger unit that he can grant Fearless to. Remember that he does not prevent Sweeping Advances when attached to a power armoured unit.
    • 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. 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 Reaver 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 or void hardened armour; his Fearless will make them into a solid anvil, and his disabilities will not impede them in any way.
  • 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 as long as that list doesn’t include Leman Russ. Or Angel's Wrath Sanguinius.
    • 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, but to understand this you need to take stock of all of their buffs (more on them later), combined 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 Channelling" rule is applied. Keep in mind however, that after HH8 Malevolence, some of their rules (Daemon allies with Rite of War and special characters) are horribly outdated.

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 without using Psykarana from book 8. 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.
      • While these bonuses are simple and relatively small, the Sons of Lorgar are much more than they seem. You won't be winning games thanks to just these rules, instead you'll need to take full advantage of their wargear, Consul and squad upgrade to make the most of them.
  • 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, which in practice means in many cases you're paying 30 points for Smite or Psychic Scream, and those powers are well worth it for the cost, enough so that you should think twice about including characters who don't get Burning Lore. Biomancy is a safe bet if you're worried about which of the two disciplines you want to go for (do not go for Daemonology unless you're using a Diabolist, it isn't worth it) as 5/6 results are very helpful and Hemorrhage can be ignored for Smite. It cannot be given to special characters like Hol Beloth, but is available to unique versions of the Praetor/Centurion, such as the Limited Edition models.
    • Even if all you get this for is to try and roll off Smite from Biomancy, a successful cast of Smite will cause an average of 1.666 AP2 wounds against Marines (or 2.268 AP2 wounds with Dark Brethren). For context, a charging Chaplain with a pistol and Power Axe will deal 2.962 AP2 wounds, so you're paying 30 points to increase his damage output by 56% on a successful cast.
      • Do be aware that killing 1-2 models during the Psychic Phase can potentially make a charge harder, if you charge the unit you're Smiting, but since Smite has 18" of range finding a different target to zap shouldn't be that much of an issue.
      • Do remember that buying this makes your Praetors and other characters eligible for Empath Bonds, granting them Eternal Warrior and the chance to pass on wounds (which they might be able to heal with Biomancy). Make the Death Guard jealous of how tough your characters are and laugh at Praetors who match their Power Fists or Divining Blades against your own.
      • Finally, remember the downside of becoming a Psyker: vulnerability to Psyk-out. Those grenades, missiles, and Psyarkana with the Psy-lash rule can, and will fuck you over. It's practically a guaranteed wound that ignores LoS. As such, Destroyers should be the first thing you eliminate, because if your opponent brings them against you, it's a guarantee they have Psyk-out items on them.
    • 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). If you're using a character without access to both a Power Fist and a Tainted Weapon (Chaplains come to mind, since the FAQ took away their CCW), then think carefully if you still want the Tainted Weapon. With Iron Arm it's better than the Power Fist, but in most cases you're going to miss Iron Arm so it wouldn't do anything to help him.
    • 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 - Warp-boosted force, and unironically one of the strongest Rites in the game (provided you're playing Traitors and are fighting Space Marines, which admittedly is 90% of games). Cry out to the Dark Gods, Rend the Veil and bring the Darkness from Beyond to your foes!
    • Arch-Traitors: All Independent Characters get Preferred Enemy (Loyalist Space Marines). Much better than you might initially think, not only do you give a surprisingly large boost to all ranged and melee weapons, you'll also be combining it with Dark Channelling, ideally for +1 Strength and this also grants you re-rolls on your Witchfire powers (boosting not only Smite/Psychic Shriek, but making the Aetherkine Projector a fantastic relic). Naturally this can also be used to avoid any other Get's Hot rolls, making plasma squads a much safer prospect.
    • 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 sort of gets you this.
      • Update:HH8 - After the Release of Demons of the Ruinstorm, this RoW (meant to be a stopgag measure until Ruinstorm was released) ends up coming short of being worth the restrictions it imposes on your FoC. Demons are Sworn Brothers with all traitors now that they're Agents of the Warmaster. The only advantage this RoW gives you is an opportunity to unleash your inner Rules lawyer and start bitching about it allowing a) you as a player to use 7th edition Codex: Daemons as the rules source as opposed to Daemons of the Ruinstorm list b) the demons to use your transports and reserve roll modifiers, which in turn contradicts the Ruinstorm Demon rules. The Dark Bretheren clearly wasn't updated after Book 8, and you should discuss it with your opponents until FW decides to address the issue. Tl:dr; Forge World messed up with the rules again.
    • 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!
      • Note that you can also force a Perils of the Warp by taking Psyk-out Grenades and using them on whichever unit has the psyker you want dead.
    • 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 - 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 not going to have Gal Vorbak squads larger than 5 models. In practice this means that you will not be using this RoW to play with your unique unit like other armies can, and investing in them too heavily is a costly trap. 20 Gal Vorbak in four squads for instance cost 100 points more than 20 models in two squads, and after the cost of the Drop Pods they cost 240 points more. You could buy an extra squad with that much along with a few upgrades. With all this in mind you might be wondering why you'd take this RoW, and the answer is you do it to get them across the field in turn 1 without having to worry about your reserve rolls or Deep Strike mishaps. Don't bother trying to spam Gal Vorbak, stick to just a few units or you'll suffer not just because of points inefficiencies, but also because you'll be lacking scoring units.
    • Drop Elite: Any infantry unit that has access to a Rhino gets the option to take a Drop Pod. You'll be using this to put regular troops in pods to ensure your Gal Vorbak all touch down on turn 1 thanks to the Drop Pod Assault rule.
    • 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. Yes, Jump Infantry are also affected, and no, their Deep Strike does not count as teleportation.
      • Note this does not apply to tanks, bikes, monsters or dreadnaughts, 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 mandatory) 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. The real reason you'll be using him is so you get access to the Dark Channeling option, though in many cases you'll be bypassing him since your Unique Characters usually work as "counts as" Diabolists for the purposes of Dark Channelling. If you're still taking him, then you'll notice their equipment limitations prevent them from being the most impressive beatsticks around and without Dark Channelling they aren't the best army-buffers either. 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 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, after deployment. The point in time you know which squad receive which bonus is rather important: it's entirely possible to join your mandatory Chaplain to an Assault Squad only to roll Zealot for them. 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 (and since the roll is made in the beginning of the game, any Apothecary is already in the squad and does not leave. You still get FNP, but the Apothecary himself does not become a Daemon) 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. Dark Channelling is what makes your assault units special, with Zealot they compare similarly to most melee Legions (and in some cases outperform them) and the Strength bonus can be boosted by your mandatory Chaplain giving them Zealot. If you want to go further, put this on Assault Squads with a Chaplain and power axes to make them all S6, with Burning Lore either boosting them further or weakening your foes (Enfeeble for instance will make you ID any MEQ they fight, while Endurance will let them take on squads way above their own weight class and win). Think long and hard if you want this on Terminators though, Termies with Dark Channelling cost the same as Gal Vorbak and aren't as good, if you don't need them for a scoring role then go with the possessed instead.
      • At this point you'll probably have noticed that a hell of a lot of buffs can get stacked on Word Bearers units across the army, and it's quite easy to get to a point where you can surpass the other melee Legions. As an example, a Praetor in a Dark Channelling squad with Zealot also gets the benefit (thanks to how Zealot works), allowing him to re-roll all hits and drastically boosting his melee damage, and on top of this he can be given Preferred Enemy using the Dark Brethren RoW to boost everyone's to wound rolls in return. Even before we include the Praetor's attacks, a basic charging Assault Squad with 2 axes, a fist and these buffs deals a little over 8.5 wounds to MEQ's (5.5 of these are AP2) compared to the 5 wounds the same Assault Squad does without these buffs (of which only 3.25 are AP2). A souped up Praetor (Digital Weapons, Paragon Blade and other Specialist Weapon) deals out 4.84 AP2 wounds on the charge (so he and his squad of 10 can wipe out a squad of Cataphractii on the charge), as opposed to 3.111 AP2 wounds without these buffs. To summarize, an Assault Squad with Zealot as their Dark Channelling result and benefitting from the Dark Brethren RoW deals out more damage on its own than a regular Assault Squad with a Praetor in it. This effect becomes even more pronounced if you get +1 Strength instead of Zealot and put a Chaplain in the unit.
  • 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.
    • Playtest RulesFAQ 2019: Do remember that these rules can only be used if both players agree to use them, as they're not official yet. The Feb. 2019 FAQ updates these guys by dropping their points costs for both the base cost and the cost for additional models, giving everyone WS5, upgrading their Axe-Rakes to AP3, and changing this weapon's special ability to add +1 Initiative "for the purpose of making Sweeping Advances," and giving the whole squad Hardened Armour while restricting the Sergeant's ranged weapons to his basic Hand Flamer or an Inferno/Plasma pistol (both of which cost the same amount). They also can now by joined by Moritats or Chaplain Consuls (about damn time). About the only thing they can't do over basic Destroyer Squads is carry Rad Grenades (making their Hand Flamers somewhat less useful) or carry Melta Bombs as a group, but now they can do their anti-infantry job better than ever, making them a much more attractive choice than before, if you don't mind the fact that these guys also missed out on the +1 Attack bonus that basic Destroyers got. Field these guys and BURN THE UNBELIEVERS!
  • 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 without psychic shenanigans, as their default Rending and high S+I can see them gibbing off characters in challenges. That doesn't mean it's good, as far as odds go, the Dark Martyr is statistically unlikely to kill characters like a Praetor or anyone with a decent enough invulnerable save with the tainted weapon, and it only outperforms the Power Fist if you're fighting somebody like the Mechanicum or Daemons whose creatures aren't instantly killed by Strength 10 (and often have worse saves.
    • 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, watch the fuck out 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. These weapons won't be everywhere, so make sure you have somebody to occupy the ID weaponry (preferably somebody like a Praetor with a 2+ save and Empath Bonds for Eternal Warrior) so that your expensive squads aren't mulched up.
    • 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 S8, 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). It also comes in handy in Zone Mortalis games, since it can walk right through walls and get on vulnerable targets (aka everything that isn't a Primarch).
  • 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 Channelling. Furthermore, he lets you take an allied force of Chaos Daemons, and he fills all the necessary roles for the Dark Brethren RoW. 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 (denying on a 4+).
    • Erebus is in an awkward spot, despite having a better statline, thanks to his Maul he's worse at killing MEQ's than Kor Phaeron (yes, seriously), he costs 40 points more and he dies quicker to units that can't ID them. His special rules beg for him to be in a melee unit, but aside from boosted Deny the Witch he doesn't give them anything a regular Chaplain can't give for much less, and Chaplains can choose weapons that let them cut through MEQ's whereas he's stuck with his Maul. They can also choose options like a Jump Pack, whereas Erebus is forced to footslog it so now you're buying an Assault Vehicle so that his melee unit can go across the field and make their charge, but he still can't help much when they get there and so you'll just wish you had a Praetor/Chaplain instead (even Dark Channelling gets Erebus's buff (Zealot) 50% of the time; it costs a fraction of what he does and can't be sniped out). Ignore Erebus unless you're going up against Solar Auxilia or Militia, he's great in both of those matchups, just not so much against Marines or better.
      • Do note that while you can try to fix all of this with Iron Arm, your chance of getting it is still 1/6, which isn't something you want to gamble a Deathstar on. Furthermore a Praetor can also roll up Iron Arm/Warp Speed, in which case they still outperform him and while Chaplains (who can tie him in damage) don't have 3 wounds, they also don't cost nearly as much. If you're still using him anyway, give Biomancy a pass for Psychic Shriek (yes, even though he's only BS 4); Intimidating Presence makes it more likely the enemy will take an extra wound or two, assuming you hit, and you can spend your Psychic Phases pretending he's a weaker Librarian.
    • 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.
      • Update:HH8 This rule is now redundant, since Demons of the Ruinstorm can join any traitor army as Sworn Brothers as Agents of the Warmaster.
  • 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. This is more significant than you might think, since not only does it synergize well with True Believers, if a non-Praetor unit suffers Perils they'll now likely be testing on Ld10 which could be the difference between getting dragged into the warp and surviving. Yes this also means he increases the odds of surviving when you use a Transvectic Generator. His Cataphractii armor confers him Feel No Pain 6+, and a 1-use hand flamer. 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, all of its powers are especially useful for him; buffs are great, so are debuffs, healing works even better since he has 4 wounds to go through and Smite is a better ranged weapon than his hand flamer. He really only starts to shine when he's used in a squad with Zealot (preferably bought with Dark Channelling) so that his attacks get boosted, which combo's well with both Iron Arm or Warp Speed.
  • Zardu Layak, the Crimson Apostle: A Dark Apostle who earned the title "The Left Hand of Horus" through his service to the Warmaster, later becoming leader of the Word Bearers present at the Siege of Terra. 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 generate (as of the FAQ) any power from Pyromancy or Malefic Daemonology. As a Warlord, he unlocks Ashen Circle squads as troops but forces them to buy Dark Channeling. He can also give them a +1 bonus to the roll, but you likely won't want to do this, the Daemon result is usually the worst one so don't try for it unless you really want to combo it with Cursed Earth. 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 generate (and has a much safer time using than anyone else in this legion aside from Diabolists 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, and with access to Daemon bodyguards, he can boost all of their Invuln saves by +1 with his powers, which can be further boosted by a Deredeo Dreadnought (up to 3++).
    • Same problem with Daemons allied detachment Erebus and the Dark Brethren RoW have.
    • 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. The guys are also Chosen Warriors.
      • 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 (sadly, doesn't work against a 6 on Destroyer table as it allows no saves).
    • Like Erebus, Hol Beloth is in an odd place, but for different reasons. His buff doesn't require you to be in an assault squad he can't support well, and going up to WS5 with a lot of Zealot Squads can give you an edge, but on the other hand he doesn't have Burning Lore, which means you'll almost never use his Tainted Weapon, and Smite/Psychic Shriek can easily do more in a few phases than Exhortation of Battle (not to mention what Endurance can do for your units). On the plus side he is very cheap, having the same statline as a Praetor and if they were given the same gear they'd actually cost 5 points more, and that would be without the Hexaglyphic Ward and Exhortation of Battle rules. In addition, statistically he can take on other Praetors and non-EW combat characters like Eidolon and Sevatar in a one-on-one fight, survive their Instant Death glaive/thunder hammer/Divining Blade thanks to his Hexaglyphic Ward, and then ID them when it's his turn to attack, all while costing the least out of them. In short, take him when you want a cheap but effective Praetor, and avoid him when you want the extra bells and whistles (like Burning Lore).
  • Argel Tal: First and greatest of the Gal Vorbak and Commander of the Serrated Sun finally has rules after all this time and to top it off he's pretty... there. A supercharged Dark Martyr, with boosted stats and S6 AP3 Shredding Rending claws, with 7 attacks on the charge. He has Master of the Legion and can take Word Bearer Rites despite not having the LA rule, but you'll certainly not be taking Last of the Serrated Suns, because despite the title, rules presented depict him as a Master of the Vakrah Jal, a chapter specifically different from remains of his former one. He also can't fit in a drop-pod with his Gal Vorbak buddies. In fact, since he's Jump Pack infantry, you can't take him in any flyer below thunderhawk level so you'll need a superheavy flyer to take him. That said, if he's your Warlord he makes Gal Vorbak troops anyway, so you don't have a reason to take him in Serrated Sun anyway. On top of that, his warlord trait gives all himself and his unit FNP, provided there aren't any non-daemons in it, and being a Daemon himself, Argel Tal retains FNP even if he leaves the unit, giving you the apothecary your Gal Vorbak/Diabolists/allied Daemons of the Ruinstorm always wanted.
    • That being said he does have notable issues. Starting off, don't think you can just make an army of Gal Vorbak. Even though Argel Tal makes Gal Vorbak Troops, this does not provide a traditional benefit as they cannot be a scoring unit; instead you should think about how best to maximize this benefit in another way. Taking two squads of Gal Vorbak will allow you to use squads with the Support Squad rule without needing the traditional troops (in other words you get Tactical Support Squads, Reconnaissance Squads, Sky Seekers, and Hussars) or you can skip getting other Troops entirely if you don't care about playing objectives.
    • The second problem with Argel Tal is his gear. His claws are AP3 with rending, striking at S6 and re-rolling failed wounds which sounds great, but he's still going to lose out to characters with similar costs because Rending is no substitute for AP2. On top of this, Word Bearers can use the Dark Brethren to gain Preferred Enemy so his reroll isn't even that special. Put simply, a Dark Martyr with a Power Fist does twice as much as him against 2+ armour, they instantly kill Marines (and T5 units) and can reliably punch through tanks while having a group of 2-Wound T5 meat shields to take the damage for them.
    • The third problem with Argel Tal is he does not have access to Burning Lore. Generally it's a very useful upgrade, having a character use it under the Dark Brethren Rite of War just to get Smite increases their damage by 2.268 AP2 wounds (and they can still shoot afterwards). For context, a Dark Martyr on the charge with a power Fist inflicts 2.777 AP2 wounds, a charging Chaplain with a Power Axe inflicts 2.962 wounds, so that 30 point upgrade is like getting most of another character's damage. Even if you don't use a character to use Smite, they still provide an extra Warp Charge, and since Argel Tal does not have Burning Lore he cannot provide you these benefits. Even against AP3 units, Argel Tal deals less damage in a turn than a Burning Lore Chaplain with a Power Axe (once you add in the Chaplain's shooting from his pistol), but the Chaplain costs less, and all his attacks are AP2 instead of AP3.
    • That being said, he's not bad, just underwhelming, especially against armies that bring a lot of 2+ armour to the field (oddly enough the Ultramarines are among this group). His FnP is a huge buff to Daemon units, just avoid keeping him out in the open as he lacks Eternal Warrior and when your opponent sees him (and the unit of Gal Vorbak that you WILL attach to him) they'll unload into him with every thing they've got, so armies that like heavy guns such as the Death Guard, Iron Hands and especially the Iron Warriors (who will say "Have Faith" after they vaporise Argel with a Demolisher Cannon) will need a bit of thought when approaching to keep Argel safe. Be mindful of the Dark Angels and their ID swords combined with "I win" stasis grenades, as well as Divining Blades.
    • Rules are here until Forge World released Book 10.
  • 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).
      • Update:HH8 Demons no longer posess Demonic Instability, which means that taking him as the Warlord is waste of a WT. His Warp Surge doesn't do anything now either. Even though FW says the new Ruinstorm Samus profile does not replace this previous version, he's in need of an update.
    • Do note though that he does NOT have Eternal Warrior, thankfully since he's T7 this is only rarely an issue, but 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 big 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, get a Deredeo and put it next to him, then try to use Daemonology to buff his Invuln save even more. This will generally put him on a level where he can comfortably deal with most of the Primarchs.
  • 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).
      • Update:HH8 Same issue with the new rules Samus has.
    • 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 thermal-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 (WE, DG, TS), 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. Don't bother wasting your one Consul on a Chaplain; we have two named ones (one of which is also a psyker, which is fun and he's still super cheap for what he brings to the field) and so will bypass this restriction
  • 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 Zone Mortalis, where you are unlikely to bring vehicles and/or your Primarch. 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. You feel safer bringing a Thunder Hammer on your beatstick now, because with a 3++ (from the shield and iron halo/cataphractii armour, which you should be bringing) and Eternal Warrior, you can shrug off paragon blades and then bash em real good with your hammer.
    • 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. Consider bringing power fists over the hammers; most of their targets are either killed outright by the fists, strike at the same time or will be brought down by the number of attacks anyway. Keep the master with the master crafted thunder hammer and consider saving points on the rest of the squad, they're expensive enough as is. 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.
    • These guys benefit a lot from having a Proteus with the Explorator Web: outflank onto the board, fuck a vehicle in half with the lascannons and cook some dudes with the Pyroclasts. It's expensive but it's probably the prime way to work them as they're far too slow otherwise. Giving them the option for jump packs would be an interesting avenue for FW to go down but alas that's not an option (yet).
  • 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: it 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. Props for bringing this guy in Zone Mortalis, but only for people you despise.
    • 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 (which if you're bringing all three of these guys, there will be no other HQ). 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. Think of him as a more buff oriented Praetor who replaces the killing power of a paragon blade and number of attacks for buffing the killing power and morale of his own unit, theough Zealot.
  • 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. This guy is pretty good; he's pretty damn tanky and his unit will feel his buffs greatly (zealot, psychic powers). He's dirt cheap for what he brings to the field as well so definitely don't overlook this guy. He synergises nicely with Narik to make a hard hitting aggressive strike force.
  • 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: 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, 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: Can offer some fun things from their special tech, and bringing Interemptors is a fun way to get around the 'no Destroyer' restriction. But they currently lack unique Rite of War that can take allies and given you're already a close support legion, you can get by without the 1st.
    • Emperor's Children: A nice way to offset being slow bois, getting into combat fast and hitting even faster, a couple of Assault Squads for example can really make up for shortcomings in both speed and melee for your army.
    • White Scars: Similarly to the above, White Scars hit hard and they hit fast; plasma bikes are absolutely brutal and will easily keep up with the rest of the army.
    • Space Wolves: Tying up the enemy's big guns gives your slow, heavy units a better chance at getting to the enemy in order to burn them real good and Space Wolves can close the gap pretty quickly with their plethora of special rules. Having blocks of Grey Slayers charging in after your Flamers have done their work is a sure fire way of making most infantry pretty damn dead.
    • Imperial Fists: Can be good if you're playing defensive, BS5 Heavy Bolters can clear out chaff from a distance and tank hunter Lascannons from the Heavy Support Squads can kill off anything armoured that will threaten your transports.
    • Blood Angels: See Emperor's Children.
    • Raven Guard: Sneaky beaky bois, infiltrating marines is a good distraction from your Land Raiders and such, and like several other legions in this monumental list of allies, can fill in gaps in melee potential.
    • 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 and Jump Infantry (as per the FAQ), 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. We used to curse Forge World for not making rules for the real Deliverers, but now they're here at least.
      • 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.
      • Have your entire army go to ground one turn, and then they can stand right back up with no downsides.
    • 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 infantry, 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.
  • Deliverer SquadPDF: Originally a batch of legionaries who had served as part of Horus' entourage during the early acts of the crusade, these Terminators are more attuned to the shock assault tactics used by the Luna Wolves rather than the more tactical and stealthy methodologies Corax would espouse upon claiming his legion. Once Corax did return though, these guys were essentially shelved or assigned to guarding other fleets, leaving them to grow more than a little resentful and more than a little sympathetic to the Warmaster's betrayal. These cataphractii termies come with Teleportation Transponders and Infravisors stock, but their weapon selection is a little...stark, more reminiscent of modern-day Termies, with your heavy weapon options being heavy flamer/reaper/multi-melta with any model being able to take combi-weapons, though no volkite charges. That is to say nothing about their melee options, which are limited to Power Weapons or exchanging them and their ranged weapon for Raven's Claws. Power Axes are the only decent choice for melee weapons. It's like ForgeWorld or GW doesn't care for or hates the Raven Guard and wrote the bare minimum for what qualifies as rules.
    • As you might have guessed from the blurb above, the Deliverers gain some different rules depending on whether they remain Loyalists or become Traitors. As Loyalists, they gain +1 to Toughness to avoid most causes of Instant Death (though not affecting getting wounded by anything else) and can never be accompanied by Corax, being forced to deploy at least 18" away from him - which only forces them into their close-quarters role further. If they become Traitors, they merely gain Hatred against their Primarch.
    • While Loyalist Deliverers are very resistant to power fists by being W2 and immune to ID from S8/9 attacks, they do not have power fists themselves and can only inflict AP2 ID with rad grenades against TEQs on the charge (base strength 4, +1S from power axes, +1S from Furious Charge, thus S6 against TEQs who are T3 after rad grenade debuff). Barring multiple charges (eg. destroyers) or psychic powers, this effectively means an IC with rad grenades must be attached to ID marines, so think carefully between doing that or adding a Primus Medicae to shrug off power fists (loss of FnP conditional on ID; no ID so FnP applies). You could add both and create a death star unit of W2 terminators that can ID MEQs on the charge and get 4++/5+++ against attacks lower than S10, but why are you playing Raven Guard if you wanted a Terminator death star?
      • Unlike the VII and VIII Legions, your ICs do not get teleportation transponders and cannot deep strike with the Deliverers, which is particularly problematic as Deliverers do not get dedicated transports, full squads of 15 cannot fit in anything smaller than a Mastodon and footslogging a 1000 point unit that cannot run due to Cataphractii armor is not necessarily a good idea considering the whole unit is still a 4++ save away from being splatted by a Vindicator. With how much loyalist Deliverers in particular have to gain from attached ICs, think about a smaller squad of 10-12 with 1-2 ICs in a Spartan rather than going in full tilt with 15.
  • 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
  • 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 is your Primary Detachment and suffers more units destroyed than the foe, the enemy gains +1 VP.
      • 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 and Banestrike rounds are still pretty sucky even for Veterans; let your Seekers and (if you really want Banestrike rounds) Headhunters do the heavy lifting. Yes Legion Terminators (AKA not the stolen variants) are markedly cheaper with Banestrike rounds than Volkite weaponry, so Legion Terminators could get some use out of them, but it's very situational as anything outside of 9" (or any squad with the Sergeant in the front) would be better handled by Volkite weaponry.
    • 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.
    • As of the February 2019 Faq, these guys now have preferred enemy (infantry), So despite the lack of special ammo they now actually seem to be worth the choice over seekers.
  • 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.
    • HH8: Can now take Psyk-out grenades for killing Psykers and Daemons for very cheap but only really worth it if you know you're facing them
  • 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: 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.
  • World Eaters and Salamanders: Wanna have a character with T5, 3W, 2+/3++/4+++ saves, Eternal Warrior and It Will Not Die without any psychic chicanery? A World Eater warlord with the "Crimson Path" Rite of War can create such a monster out of a Salamanders Praetor on a bike/jetbike (with S6 heavy flamer if jetbike). Sadly can't take a jetbike riding S6 heavy flamer toting Salamanders legion command squad anymore with rules updates, but it's easier to pick ordinary biker squads or attack bike squads to combine regular medics with the Salamander Praetor (on bike or jetbike). For munchkings, loyalists might want to use a Jump Packed Knight Errant just to add Preferred Enemy (and some psychic support to boot) to the list of abilities this creature (and any accompanying squad) can get.
  • Dark Angels and Imperial Fists: Combine Dark Angels "Iron Wing" Rite with Imperial Fists tactical squads and join that unit with a Knight Errant (or if playing a rather interesting traitor force, then Tybalt Marr) for some Preferred Enemy, Ballistics Skill 5, +1 to Wound re-roll 1's to To Wound and Hit Fury of the Legion attacks... Granted, only at a range of 12" and if they have not moved, buuuut what the heck. This one's far more of a situational "Heh. They can do what now?"-combo, rather than all out OP power gaming. Still good for defensive horde removal... Let's say for those times you play Zone Mortalis-games and/or want to hold choke points.
  • Blood Angels and Night Lords: Combine "A Talent for Murder" with Blood Angel's Rite of War "The Day of Revelation". Now you can have +1 Initiative, +1 To Hit and +1 To Wound with Night Lords for some seriously brutal charges. Even if the enemy is not outright swept or destroyed, they still inflict less wounds back, thanks to not striking simultaneosly... And as earlier, get's nastier still if combined with a Knight Errants PE.

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 "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.


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 term for those bloody Astartes who have uncertain or obscured allegiances and they can fight for either the filthy Traitors, the filthy 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). The following rules are:
      • 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.
        • Immune to Pain: All of your units with the Legiones Astartes (Blackshields) rule gain Feel No Pain (6+) , are immune to Pinning and do not need to take Morale checks from suffering shooting casualties.
        • The Lure of Battle: You cannot voluntarily fail morale checks, and if you attempt to move your units further away from the enemy than when they started you have to take a Ld test. If you fail that your unit moves D6" towards the nearest enemy instead.
      • 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.
    • Probably the best overall Black Shield trait, and easily the most common so when people hear "Black Shields" they'll typically be prepared for you. To make the most of it get your guys in transports and roll them up the table to batter your opponents forces to death and don't be afraid to drop points on unwieldy weapons as you're already going to be slower than other forces, so you may as well take a Power Fist and ID that Custodes player's two wound troops.
    • 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.
    • If you want to play as Thunder Warriors take this trait.
  • +1WS & BS, -2 Ld. Paranoid warrior-obsessives.
    • A very good choice if you can build you army to deliver the punch to win quickly, as your reduction to leadership means you'll lose wars of attrition against most forces. Use the increased BS to abuse heavy weapons squads and Destroyer squads as you can put down more firepower and destroy key elements of your opponents army quickly. Volkite Culverins and Rapier batteries hitting on 2+? Yes please.
    • It's also worth kitting out your Reaver Lord or a Centurion for duelling as the +1 to WS can give you an edge in most fights. Obviously if you opponent puts Sigismund or Corswain on the table tear up those plans, but against generic praetors or centurions you can do pretty well. Now if only there was a Consul that could take a Paragon Blade, and increased their WS even further... Hmmm?
  • Gain Fear, Fleet, and Rage, but the army suffers -1 BS and must always Sweeping Advance. Blood-ferocious madmen.
    • Obviously your force is going to be melee focused with theses rules so kit your Marauders out to throw hands, meaning TAKE THE FREE CHAINAXES. Don't bother putting a huge amount of point into your shooting as you hitting on Guardsmen 4's and none of your bonuses improve it. Also remember