Welcome one, welcome all! I have noticed around Heresy and other places that there are a growing number of people taking up pre-heresy armies. I’ve also noticed there seemed to be very little in the way or resources for them. So, I have/am writing a tactica article which will encompass all the “generic” options for a pre-heresy army. This means that I won’t be doing any of the Primarchs/special characters/legion specific units or discussing legion specific rules at this
time. I may well do a later article on those, but for now it’s just the standard Crusade army list.
However, that’s not to say we can’t have fun with your bland legion choices. Oh no, we’re going to have a LOT
of fun! With that…
Contents (to be updated as time goes on)
- Some things to note (Version 2.0)
- HQs (Version 3.0)
- Elites (Version 6.0)
- Troops (Version 2.0)
- Fast Attack (Version 3.0)
- Heavy Support (Version 2.0)
- Lords of War (Version 2.0)
Now that this tactica article is largely complete, I just thought I'd say a special thanks to those of you who have helped to inform these sections through their comments and criticisms. Since I don't quote them directly, I figured they deserved some recognition. As the article changes and more people comment, I will likely add more folks, but for now thanks to:
Some things to note (Version 3.0):
Some things to note off the bat. Firstly, in your Crusade Army List, you can have 1 more HQ and Elite than you can in the usual army list in 40K, which is nice. Secondly, the Crusade Army List has its own Warlord trait table. I personally don’t think you can bank too much on Warlord Traits to help you in the game, but it’s worth noting. Thirdly, and probably most importantly, marines in a Crusade Army List do not have ATSKNF!
That means that you can be cut down if you lose assaults, meaning you have to pick your fights carefully. They have Legiones Astartes, which means they can regroup regardless of casualties, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Wargear (Version 2.0)
Right, so it’s worth having a discussion about some new, or should I say old, pieces of tech that the Crusade Army List has available to it.
Shooting stuff (Version 2.0)
Archaeotech Pistol (Version 2.0)
It’s a S 6, AP 3 pistol, with Master-crafted and since it’s pretty much exclusively taken by BS 5 characters, you’ll rarely miss. It is only 1 shot at AP3 though. Pretty nice, but not as nice as some bits of kit you can have.
Graviton Gun (Version 2.0)
If you want to kill people, 40Ks version of the Graviton Gun is better. If you want to slow down a nasty assault unit, this’ll probably do the job pretty well.
It is a heavy weapon and a blast weapons so can’t snap shot. Hence you should probably keep it on models with Relentless or tanks/chariots/artillery/etc. However, the blast template stays and counts as difficult terrain, which is a nice addition for an otherwise underwhelming gun. It also has haywire, which can really come in handy against tooled up Spartans who seem content to shrug off your lascannons, multi-meltas, etc.
A S 2 AP 5 pistol with Rending and Poisoned. Maybe useful for shooting some big beastie, but it’s only one shot a turn, so probably not.
30Ks Napalm but worse. S 5, AP 2 with Poisoned(3+), Blast/Large Blast, it’ll clear out most things pretty effectively. Plus, wherever it lands is treated as dangerous terrain. One of the gems IMO.
If you’ve read the Grey Knight Codex, you’ve seen these. Still just as nice.
Krak missiles that half their strength in exchange for Fleshbane and whenever they wound a model, it’s toughness is reduced by 1 for the rest of the game. Perfect for making bikes/MoN/Nurgle Daemons/Wraith-things a bit easier to kill with standard weapons.
Slightly higher strength than a bolt-weapon but suffer a 3” decrease in range for it. Also have a nice rule, Deflagrate, which means that when they cause an unsaved wound, the unit suffers another his from the weapon. Sadly, these don’t cause addition wounds, but still it allows you more effectively decimate low-armour hoards.
AP 4 close-combat weapon. Nice for getting through GEQ and the like.
Not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. They’re AP -, but it does have Rending and you get +1I in a challenge. If you are strapped for points and want to give your sergeant an edge in a challenge, feel free. Also occasionally useful (if you are lucky or have lots of them) of helping your guys get through AV10-12, but otherwise there are better options if you can spare the points.
Another gem of the Crusade Army List. For a start, it’s an AP2 weapon that strikes at initiative. It also gives you +1S. Plus, any wounds of 6 cause Instant Death. Basically, whenever you can, take this.
Other stuff (Version 2.0)
Augury Scanner (Version 2.0)
Stops infiltrators setting up within 18”. Plus if deep striking reserves arrive within 18”, all Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons get Interceptor.
This is a package deal. It includes an Augury Scanner, Night Fighting plus a model equipped with it may buff a unit within 6” with +1BS instead of shooting. Pretty sweet.
Boarding Shields(Version 2.0)
Basically, Combat Shields that give you defensive grenades. It’s worth stating here for clarification sake that only one model need have defensive grenades for the whole unit to benefit. So throw a cheap centurion with boarding shield in your 20 man tactical blob or something and it’ll help you weather charges a bit better.
A unit with a Vexilla can re-roll failed morale checks, which is vital when you don’t have ATSKNF. Standard gives you a 6” Fearless bubble.
Gives you a 6” bubble of no scatter and allows the model equipped with I to draw LOS for other barrage weapons. Meaning you can park you artillery behind a building and let these folks direct them.
Now, you might be thinking “But we have Terminator armour in 40k, why are you mentioning it?” Well there are a few differences. One is that Terminator armour doesn’t give you Deep Strike in 30k. Some legions can buy it and one Rite of War can give it to Terminators, but in general 30k Terminators have to walk/be carried around.
Two is that there are actually two types of Terminator armour in 30k. One is pretty much the same as the one in 40k, minus the Deep Strike. The other is called Cataphractii and gives a 4++ instead of a 5++, but it makes you Slow and Purposeful rather than Relentless. So no Overwatch or running, but you Terminators all have Iron Halos basically.
You know James Bond’s car from Tomorrow Never Dies where it is electrified? It’s basically that.
Ignores Immobilized results on a 4+. Pretty nice
Reduces the strength of Template or Blast weapons by -2 and everything else by -1. Slap it on Spartans and laugh as most things can only glance your AV14.
Kheres Assault Cannon
Better than your average assault cannon, since it has 6 shots, not 4. But otherwise the same.
Basically an AP 1, Twin-linked Ordinance Lascannon
Basically a Heavy 4 Autocannon
A Large Blast Melta. Say no more.
Rites of War
These are basically ways you can augment your Force Organisation. Each Legion has a specific one, but in the spirit of “generic Legion tactica” I won’t comment on them. They allow you things like taking Drop Pods/Land Raiders/Storm Eagles as dedicated transports, or having Veteran and Terminator squads as troops. Beware, though they do come with limitations and so can take some forward planning/more strategic thinking to use effectively. But since you can chose them it’s entirely possible to build an army around them, unlike Warlord traits.
It is worth noting that in Forge World's most recent publication they said that unlisted legions may chose between Furious Charge and Stubborn as an army-wide USR to compensate for the fact that the listed legions have unique army-wide rules. So if you were playing a legion like White Scars or Space Wolves you might pick Furious Charge to represent their savage charges. Similarly, Ultramarines or Dark Angels might pick Stubborn to represent their...stubbornness? Or you might defy convention and just pick one on a whim. Either way, it's worth factoring in.
In Conquest Forge World followed Games Workshops suit and offered relics to the 30k armies, all of which are around the 40 points mark and can be given to independent characters. You can also only have one of each per army, obviously. Much like the Rites of War each legion has its own specific relic, but there are some generic relics that I will discuss here:
With a 12” range, S 5, AP 2 and Fleshbane you might think “Isn’t this just a slightly better Archeotech Pistol?” And you’d be all wrong and a bag of chips. That’s because of a nifty rule called Uncontrolled Replication. Basically if you kill a model, you have a 50/50 chance of it exploding in a Blast of more S5 AP2 which can make people it kills explodes too. This blast doesn’t differentiate between friend and foe so either hang back and fire it or put it on a model you don’t mind losing. However, if you are lucky it can decimate your opponent’s battle line, especially if they have had the colossal poor judgement to put his army shoulder to shoulder (Phalanx Warder squads I’m looking at you). One of the better relics in my eyes.
Warp Shunt Field
Slightly below the benchmark in terms of price and for that you get a 3++ invulnerable save against shooting attacks. Plus whenever you save a shooting attack on a roll of a 6 it’s “directed back at the enemy” provided they draw line of sight. Although in reality, it’s only ever D6 S5 AP -, regardless of whether you were shot by a Quad Lascannon or a bolt pistol. Considering some legions get 3++ in both shooting and assault for like a third of the cost of this relic, for a little gimmick that is unlikely to do anything game changing I can’t recommend it unless you have a serious thirst for 3++ on one guy in the shooting phase.
Now you can make an in-game version of that Raven Guard bloke from Angel Exerminatus. Basically, instead of your normal movement, the character you attach this to can teleport to anywhere on the table. However, there is a catch. If you can’t draw line of sight to where you want to go, you take a Dangerous Terrain test for every solid object you pass through between where you are and where you want to be. So you do run the risk of killing yourself. You also can’t use it to get out of assault, a building or a transport. You also count as having Deep Striked so you can’t appear and then assault. Maybe it could be useful for a last turn objective grab or something. All in all not that great then, especially since it’s as much above the bench mark as the Warp Shunt Field is below it. Can’t recommend really, no matter how cool it seems.
Combat Augment Array
When the rules for this were first released, everyone in 30k seemed to collectively orgasm, as it seemed to allow you to, for one turn, count every dice roll by one character as a 6. Since then Forge World have said “No, that’s not how it works.” Now we know that it allows one character, for one turn to count a single dice roll as a 6. Once the turn is over you take a Toughness test for every remaining wound you have and if you fail you get no saves, not even Feel No Pain, against it. Maybe it’ll save your bacon one time when your Praetor inflicts instant death with his paragon blade or something, but it’s just not reliable enough to warrant costing nearly 40 points. If it was like 15 then maybe, but as it stands, no.
The Raven Guard players will like this on. It does what it says on the tin really. For one game turn, your super-badass character curls up into a ball and sucks his thumb (meaning he can perform no voluntary actions, can’t be in a squad or assault) and your opponent’s feel so sorry for him they can’t shoot him or charge him. That is unless of course the person targeting him is a psyker or a daemon, who don’t care and shoot/charge him anyway. If they do so, the jig is up the rest of the army can shoot him again. Potentially useful when combined with the Phase Walker to make your guy appear behind enemy lines, disappear briefly and then uncloak the next turn and start chopping things up. Although, you’ll be paying 85 points for relics alone at that points so who/whatever you are teleporting behind enemy lines better bloody well be worth it.
Void Shield Generator
Basically you put a large blast marker over the character and anything inside is protected by an AV 12 wall that they can shoot through. Any glancing or penetrating hit will cause it to collapse and if you suffer an Explodes! result, everything under the Large Blast suffers a S 6 AP 4 hit. If the shield isn’t exploded, you can get it back on a 5+. If you put it on the Siege Breaker/Master of Signal that you’ve got with a Heavy Weapons team, you’re giving them some serious fire protection. If not, it’s always good fun to walk up the field with some unit protected by a AV 12 wall that they can shoot through and assault from. Along with the Nanyte Blaster, one of the better Relics for me.
Questions/comments/criticisms are welcome at any point