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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Welcome one, welcome all. This is a kind of part 2 to my Tactics of a Legion: A guide to the Crusade Army List thread. Whereas in that thread I exclusively dealt with the options available to a ‘generic’ legion, in this one I will be dealing with the options for each Legion. This includes unique Legiones Astartes rules, Rites of War, special wargear, special units, special characters and, of course, the Primarchs. Although, having said that, I’m pretty sure that even if your Primarch is crap there is an obligation for you to include them in your army. It’s like a rule or something! I won’t be covering any generic wargear these units/characters have as they have likely already been mentioned in the previous article. As a note, I will be doing these legions in the order they appear in Forge World’s Isstvan Campaign Legions So, let’s get down to it shall we?

Contents (to be updated as time goes on):

- Sons of Horus
- World Eaters
- Emperor's Children
- Death Guard
- Iron Hands
- Night Lords
- Salamanders
- Word Bearers

Special Mentions:

I will update this as I go. As with the previous tactica, I sometimes don’t consider things or, only being one person with his own biases, sometimes rate things higher or lower than I ought. Consequently, if and when people chime in and offer some advice/different perspective I have to examine the truth of what they say and often the tactica will be edited to reflect the collective wisdom of many rather than just me. This is the place reserved to mention those who have also contributed to this tactica.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Sons of Horus:

“For a warrior, the only crime is cowardice”

The arch-traitors. The big kahunas. The ones who are supposed to be running this show. This is where we start.

Legiones Astartes: Sons of Horus:

So, what buffs do our arch-villains get? Well, they get the “Regroup regardless of casualties” that everyone gets. Reserves with LA:SoH and vehicles which hold them that are held in reserves get to re-roll their reserve rolls of 1 if they like, giving you close to a 2+ for your reserve rolls. Plus if you outnumber your foe at initiative step 1, every model that has LE:SoH and has already fought (sorry powerfists and thunderhammers) gets a single additional attack. The downside is that you can’t benefit from an allied characters Warlord Trait or from an allied independent character’s leadership. So, largely speaking, there is no downside!

Special equipment:

Unfortunately the Warmaster’s own seemed to have drawn the short straw of special equipment. The only thing they have is Banestrike ammunition (18” bolters with AP 3 on a 6 of To Wound), and that is only available to their Seeker Squads (at the loss of their Scorpius ammunition, but otherwise for free) and to Independent Characters for the same as a melta-bomb. Quite bland really.

I’m pretty sure that, for independent characters, you’d be better off paying for the melta-bomb. For the seekers, it depends really. If you want to use your Seekers like tactical marines and run them forward, since the Scorpius ammo is Heavy 1, swapping it for Banestrike might be worth it. If your hope is to sit them on a roof-top and snipe the crap out of people, stick with the Scorpius, as it has longer range, Rending (so AP2 instead of 3) and Shred.


The Cataphractii Primus is the Sons of Horus unique Relic. It is one of the most expensive relics (nothing but the best for the Warmaster’s own) clocking in at the price of a bare Centurion. However, for that you get to give one Independent Character a suit of Cataphractii armour, Eternal Warrior and +1 T against all Shooting attacks. Now, since Cataphractii armour is only 15 points less for any independent character, you’re really only paying 15 points for Eternal Warrior and +1 T against shooting. Now, Salamanders have to pay 20 points for the Eternal Warrior part alone, and the Imperial Fists have to pay over double that and they don’t even get the terminator armour for it. All in all, a worthwhile relic if you were already giving your Praetor terminator armour (because who else are you put a relic on?)

Rite of War:

As it stands, the Sons of Horus’s only unique Rite of War is The Black Reaving. If you take it, your non-Deep Striking reserves gain Fleet on the turn they arrive, which is slightly pointless to me since you can’t charge when you arrive from reserves and so you lose half the benefit of Fleet right away. Plus, in my mind arriving from reserves (i.e. Outflanking) is all about turning up near their squishy rear and blowing them to pieces with firepower from an unexpected quarter. Maybe it’ll help you sprint to cover or an objective on the turn you arrive, but it’s not stellar to me. All your units also get Rage if they charge a unit that is already in assault. Reavers (a unique unit we’ll talk about in a bit) are Troops and Justaerin terminators gain Deep Strike.

As with all Rites of War (and the universe in general) there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you take this Rite of War, you have to take a Master of Signal as an additional compulsory HQ. You also have to have 3 Troops choices. You must take more Fast Attack slots than Heavy Support (effectively limiting you to 2 Heavy Support Slots) and you cannot take fortifications.

The loss of fortifications isn’t so terrible, neither is having to take a MoS or an additional Troop choice. Really, for the points scale you use Rites of War on, you should probably have 3 Troops anyway. Plus a MoS is a pretty good HQ, you could certainly do a lot worse. The thing that hurts this RoW for me is the Fast Attack > Heavy Support thing. That’s because it means that to take things like Sicarans, Predators, Heavy Support squads, etc you have to basically pay a tax of some Fast Attack unit. That is not to say that Fast Attack units are bad, but they perform (generally) a totally different role to your Heavy Supports and it can leave you strapped for anti-tank. You can repurpose things like bikes for tank hunting duty, but that means your principle anti-tank stuff will die to bolter fire and have to get really close to do any damage.

All in all, it’s not a deal breaker, but I would wary of using it when you are facing armour heavy foes and you can easily find yourself short-stacked in terms of anti-armour.

Unique units:

The Sons of Horus have two unique units, the Reavers and the Justaerin. Well, they can also take an Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod for
- Terminators
- Justaerin
- Dreadnoughts (although not Contemptors if I’m reading it correctly?)
- Seekers
- Reavers
- Command Squads
But since I already covered it in my previous tactica, I won’t go into it again here.

Justaerin Terminator Squads

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. So these guys are Cataphractii armoured terminators with +1 WS, +1 Ld, Chosen Warriors (basically anyone can accept and issue challenges), Stubborn and Furious Charge. They can’t take a plasma-blaster but they can take a multi-melta. Other than that they have the same weapon options as terminators. They can also be taken instead of command squads.

So you might be thinking “What’s the problem? They sound like better terminators.” They are, plus Forge World’s models for them look cool as all hell. The thing that kills them is their cost. For just three of these buggers, without upgrades, you are paying 30 points more than for a 5 man terminator squad. It then costs 40 points to by any addition Justaerin. So, for a unit of 5, you’re paying 110 points for +1 WS, +1 Ld, Chosen Warriors, Stubborn and Furious Charge. It’s just not worth it. They look pretty, but are sadly grossly overcosted.

Reaver Attack Squads

Here we have a squad you could more reasonably take. Reavers start as a 5 man squad, but can go all the way up to 15. If you take 10 of them and chuck jump packs on them, you only pay 10 points more than for an assault squad. For that you get an extra attack on every man, Outflank and Assassins Eye (Precision Hits and Shots, which is neat but not game changing). So if you were thinking of taking an Assault Squad, think again and take one of these squads.

Some things that are worth noting is that you can give them jump packs, but it’s just a flat 50 points for a unit, whatever its size. So making a larger squad makes this upgrade even more tenable. However, with Outflank they don’t need it as much as some units (like Destroyers) do. Also, every man can take a chainaxe/power weapon/power fist, which is pretty cool. You can also give any model a bolter with banestrike shells, a volkite charger or a combi-weapon. Also, one in five can take a flamer, melta-gun, plasma-gun or pistol.

The way I see it, there are two tenable ways of running this unit. One is as a small unit tooled up with melta/combi-weapons and Outflanking them and hunting some tanks. The other is a maxed squad with little to no upgrades Outflanking and smashing into the opponent’s rear lines and overwhelming units with their 61 attacks on the charge (plus however many for out numbering your foes as per LE:SoH). Either way, it’s an alright unit that you can put in list and feel pretty good about doing it, especially if your are using the RoW to make them your Troops.

Unique Characters:

Here we have three special characters to talk about. First up!

Maloghurst ‘the Twisted’

He’s most comparable to a Centurion, despite having 3 wounds, Ld 10 and Master of the Legion. This is primarily because he’s clad in power armour and a refractor field, with only a bolter with banestrike ammunition, a bolt pistol and a power sword to defend himself with. Interestingly he also has a Legion Standard, but his Master of the Legion lets him take a command squad. So for him and a command squad, you can have two 6” bubbles of Fearless rolling around the field. Other than that his stats are nothing to write home about. On the down-side he also can’t Run or make Sweeping Advances.

He does have two things going for him though. One is that he counts as a Scoring Unit, which means you can throw him in a unit that doesn’t and they magically will, sort of. The other thing is that if you take him both Legion Veteran Squads and Reaver Attack Squads are Troops, without you having to take a Rite of War that makes them so. This means you are more free to pick some other RoW and gain additional benefits. He does cost 140 points, but for an ok character that adds some pretty good augmentations to your army, I think you could argue he’s worth it. For sure a support character though.

Ezekyle Abbadon

Abbadon before he robbed the Talon of Horus and got blessed off of his tits by the Chaos Gods. So, how does he look? Well, he’s 45 points more than a Cataphractii Praetor armed with the same weapons. For that 45 points, what you get is Fearless (a big plus in a world without ATSKNF) and +1 WS. Interestingly, whereas a Cataphractii Praetor would have Slow and Purposeful, Abbadon doesn’t. That’s because his Justaerin Plate isn’t actually terminator armour. It’s just a suit of armour that gives him 2+/4++ and Relentless. That means Abaddon is the only terminator who can actually Sweeping Advance. Sadly that ability is lost if you put him with other terminators, which makes his other special rule (him and any terminator armour unit he joins get Deep Strike, another thing 30k terminators don’t get) a bit odd. He also has a rule that lets him re-roll permanent damage if he dies in campaigns, which is practically pointless.

So, all in all, he’s…average. With 3 wounds and a 2+/4++ he’ll probably live long enough to swing his power fist (or not if you give him the as well power sword and aren’t facing 2+ armour), but with no Eternal Warrior he could easily be gibbed by a Sergeant also with a power fist. He doesn’t really add anything to your army, he’s just a beat-stick and a slightly overcosted one at that. Not massively, but enough that you’d hesitate before picking him up.

Garviel Loken

Here we have the last Luna Wolf. He’s basically a Praetor with a paragon blade and iron halo, except that he’s only got a 3+ save. All things taken into consideration, he’s probably 35 points more than a non-unique special character with the same equipment. For that price hike you get two things. One is +1 I, which is useful as it means that he can foreseeably kill other Praetors before they get a chance to strike him (which with 3+ armour he needs). Also, the first time he dies, if you don’t roll a 1 he gets back up and keeps on trucking. So 5/6 times he has 4 wounds instead of 3. Again, he’s another unit that suffers from being over-costed. Not massively, but just enough that you could be forgiven for taking a paragon blade and iron halo armed praetor and calling him Garvel Loken.

Horus, The Warmaster

Horus Lupercal,The Breaker of Tyrants, The Favoured Son, The Eye of Terror. The list of his accolades goes on and on, but do his rules match up? Let’s see!


Starting with the cost, the big H is the most expensive Primarch so far (likely only to be surpassed by the Emperor himself), but you probably expected that. His WS is one of the highest. He had the primarch standard 6 wounds and toughness, but S 7 and A 5. All in all, a reasonably impressive stat-line. However, these aren’t the most formidable things about The Warmaster. That brings us onto his Wargear!


First up, his armour. It affords him a 2+/3++ . It also means he can negate any psychic power directed at him on a 3+ and can negate any effect that adversely modifies his characteristic profile on a 3+. Note that the ignoring psychic powers isn’t stated to be a Deny the Witch roll, so if you fail you still have that to fall back on. That’s pretty cool.

Then his weapons. He has two. One is the one we all know and love; the Talon of Horus. It appears that Abbadon ruined it though, because when Horus wears it it’s an AP 2 lightning claw. Also, if in an assault phase Horus wounds but doesn’t kill an opponent with his Talon, the opponent suffers -1 WS and -1 S for the rest of the game. This happens only once in the assault phase, regardless of how many wounds are caused. However, it stacks across multiple assault phases, so if Horus wounds but doesn’t kill an opponent in 2 separate assault phases, that opponent would suffer -2 WS and -2 S in total. Also the bolter got better. Now it’s an Assault 3, twin-linked, S 5, AP 3 bolter.

The other is his huge mace. It’s S 10, AP 2 with Master-Crafted, Unwieldy and Concussive. It’s the weapon you want if you are trying to smash tanks to splinters. Interestingly, since neither of his weapons are Specialist Weapons, he gains +1 A for having 2 close combat weapons!

Finally, he and any terminator unit he accompanies can Deep Strike and don’t scatter.

Special Rules

Some of his rules buff him, some buff his army. The ones that buff him are the fact that if he’s fighting a unit or character with WS < 5, he gets D3 extra attacks (as if he needed more than the 7 he gets on the charge). This helps when he’s fighting the underlings who had the immense poor judgement to challenge him, but it means if he can wound a fellow primarch a couple of times he can reduce them to WS 4 and then he can just batter them. Also, he and any terminator unit he joins can choose which turn they deploy from reserves on. He also can split his attacks between his two weapons in combat, which is cool.

For the army, if you are in Reserve you get Outflank. Every Son of Horus gets +1 Ld to a max of 10 (again in a world without ATSKNF that is a big deal). You can seize the initiative on a 4+. Finally, Justaerin and Veterans are troops.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Horus also gives you a once per game Twin-linked Demolisher Cannon shell with the Lance special rule.

Final Analysis

Horus offers you some pretty decent buffs for your army. Veterans being Troops without a RoW is nice, Justaerin not so much since they’re still not any cheaper. +1 Ld is really good so your guys don’t break and get cut down. Outflank on all reserves is also nice, and the ability to Seize is just a bonus.

However, the Warmaster is proud and will not be outdone by his underlings. Really, he’s the star of the show and provided you aren’t silly and run him on his own at enemy lines, he will mulch anything you point him at. Units, warlords, hell even other Primarchs will fall before the Warmaster. He costs an absolute bomb, but he’s probably worth it if you’ve got the points.

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)

World Eaters:

“Monuments are dust, tales merely words, soon forgotten but blood – blood is forever.”

In this section we deal with everyone’s psychopathic murderers. With a machine jammed into their skulls which causes them pain whenever they are not killing things, they were well on the road to butchery long before they became the Khorne Berzerkers we know today.

Legiones Astartes: World Eaters:

So once again we have the “can regroup regardless of casualties” that everyone else gets, but we’re here to see how their mad butchery is represented. To that end the World Eaters have 2 additional special rules. One is that if a unit destroy an enemy unit in assault or cause one to fall back from a victorious assault, said unit gains Furious Charge for the rest of the game. Also character get +1 WS in challenges. The second rule is that World Eaters have to consolidate towards the nearest unit they can harm. Also, if they lose combat and fail their moral check, before falling back you roll a D6. On a 1, the unit goes mental, counts as passing the moral check and gains Rage for the rest of the game.

Additionally, the second special rule can be exchanged for another one. If you do this, instead of rolling the D6, every unit just starts with Rage. It does mean that you always have to make Sweeping Advances (which you probably want to do anyway), and can never Go To Ground or choose to fail a morale check (because such instincts of self-preservation are far too sane for World Eaters).

All in all, if you are not in assault, you are not taking advantage of your Legiones Astartes rules.

Special equipment:

The World Eaters get quite a few toys to play with, again all to do with assault.

The first one is Chainaxes. Any model which can have a chainsword can exchange it, for free, to a chainaxe and really you may as well because it increases the AP of you close combat attacks from – to 4 and it’s free. I mean, you have to physically represent them on the model, so it’s not free for you, but it is for the models you play and to be honest if you are already buying Forge World I reckon you can probably afford the extra expense of kitting out all your guys with chainaxes. That, or raid a Khorne Berzerker box.

The second is a set of 4 weapons collectively called the Caedere Weapons. And independent character or just plain character can take one of them. They cost 5 points more than a power weapon, are all specialist weapons and replace their chainsword/combat weapon.

The first of these four is called a Meteor Hammer. It affords you +2 S, +1 I and is Concussive. The downside is that it’s AP 5 and two-handed. IIRC a power maul is +2 and Concussive as well, so for +5 points you get a higher AP and +1 I. On balance, not worth 15 points really.

The second is Excoriator Chainaxe. Basically a huge chainaxe, it’s +1 S, AP3 and has Shred. But before you think this is a better version of a Lightning Claw, it is Unwieldy and two-handed. So, you could take this over a power axe for +5 points, but you lose AP 2, gain Shred and still strike last. If you know you will be facing little or no 2+ saves, it’s ok but again a bit too steep at its price.

The third is two blades collectively called Falax blades. They’re basically AP 5 Rending blades. Because it’s a pair of them, you get +1 A. Probably the best option of these weapons, but again not worth 5 points more than a power weapon.

The fourth is something called barb-hook lash. May as well have called it “spikey-death whip”. Again it’s AP 5, but it does have Fleshbane. Useful maybe if you had squad of them for hunting monstrous creature with sheer weight of attacks, but it’s still not worth its cost.

To rank them in order of ‘goodness’ I’d probably say it goes:
Twin Falax Blades
Barb-hook lash
Excoriator Chainaxe
Meteor Hammer

The problem is that none of them are worth what they cost, especially when you can usually only give them to one person in a squad. You’re better off sticking to giving them power weapons or that ilk.


The World Eaters relic is known as the World Breaker Trident. You throw it, then the battle field breaks apart and everyone dies. It counts as a win for the World Eaters because they don’t care that everyone died. Ok, most of that is a lie. In melee it’s basically a Specialist Weapon Power Axe, but with +2 S instead of +1. However, you actually can throw it. Only once and you can’t use it in combat after that. You also can’t pick it up either. However, it’s an Assault 1 weapon that’s S 10, AP 1, Assault 1 with Instant Death and an 18” range. Additionally, provided it kills someone or destroys a vehicle or building, you place a marker where the thing died to mark the Trident’s last position. Everything within 12” is Dangerous Terrain and buildings within 12” lose a Hull Point at the start every game turn.

So, is it worth it? Well, a Power Axe on an independent character costs 15 points and this costs as much as a bare Centurion, so we need to justify 35 points. Honestly, I don’t think it does. If you opponent has some buildings you want to get rid of then it might be useful, but most folk don’t as far as I know. Plus, if you miss or fail to actually kill or destroy anything, you’ve wasted your only shot. And even if you do kill something and get your 12” of Dangerous Terrain and building death, your Independent character now has no freaking weapon, unless you buy another one for him, which ups his cost even more. If it was cheaper, or you got to keep the weapon after you shot it then it might be good, but otherwise it’s not great. If you really want it chuck it on some bat-shit crazy centurion you’ll sacrifice for giggles anyway.

Rite of War:

Imaginatively titled Bezerker Assault. It gives every unit Hatred but you have to Sweeping Advance whenever you can (hardly a bad thing). This means after they’ve killed their first unit in assault, and assuming you gave all your units Rage, your units have Furious Charge, Rage and Hatred. Pretty nice. It also means you have to re-roll failed Pinning Checks and Run rolls of 1, neither of which are a bad thing.

The restrictions are numerous, though I suspect this is less because of informed discipline and because of the chaotic, butcher-hoard style of the World Eaters. Basically, you have to take an additional troops choice. You can only have one Consul and you can never have a Librarian. You also cannot have more vehicles with the Tank or Flyer type than you have infantry units. Finally you can have allied Space Marine legions (although it says nothing about having Solar Auxillia or Mechanicum allies) or Fortifications (because fuck building shit when you can be killing people).

Unique units:

Following what is a relatively common trend for legions, the World Eaters have 2 unique units, one is the terminator armoured Red Butchers and the other is the power armoured Rampagers.

The Red Butchers

So after Isstvan some World Eaters became even more mental than their brothers and had to be physically restrained because they had just totally lost it. Instead of euthanizing them, the World Eaters strapped them into Cataphractii armour which they could immobilize at the press of a button, pointed them at the enemy and gave the an encouraging slap on the bum to start them off.

Now, these guys cost 100 points more than regular terminators and they are only BS 2. However, they do get WS 5 across the board and have 2 Wounds. So although a 5 man unit cost 100 points than a 5 man terminator squad, to give a terminator unit 10 wounds you’d have to pay 150 points. I mean, S8+ weapons can knock off 2 wounds at a time with Red Butchers, so it probably balances out. Also, whilst they start with a power axe and combi-bolter you can exchange the combi-bolter for another power axe for free, mitigating the BS 2. It also gives each Butcher 4 attacks on the charge (5 if they have Rage I believe).

So, as it stands they balance out in terms of points. However, they also get a slew of special rules. They start with Hatred (Everything), Fearless and Feel No Pain (6+). Plus they have a special rule that lets them re-roll failed charged distances, and it still works as long as the majority of the unit have it (meaning you can add independent characters to it and it still works). On the down side, because they have lost the concept of self-preservation, everything hits them on a 3+ and they never count as scoring units.

If you want to you can give everyone Lighting Claws for 5 points each (a discount of 10 points compared their non-insane counterparts). Plus you can give the ‘sergeant’ a powerfist, chainfist or thunderhammer. A full unit of 10 of these madmen will set you back a tidy 500 points, but a bare assault squad is 400 points and they only have power armour and jump packs and power armour, whereas these guys have 2+/4++ and a 6+ FnP. All in all, I’d say a pretty good unit.

Rampager Squads

A unit comprising of those who took to the Butcher’s Nails ‘best’, although quite what best means is left open to interpretation. A basic 5 man squad cost 20 points less than a tactical squad, and a 10 man squad will cost you 20 points less than an assault squad. They are basically tactical marines who have exchanged their bolters for chainaxes. Well, I suppose that’s not quite fair. They have +1 A, Scout and Feel No Pain (6+). They can all take jump packs for 10 points, but then a 10 man squad costs you 80 points more than an assault squad of the same size. That’s 8 points a model for those extra bits. Hmmmm…maybe that’s worth it, but then again Assault squads aren’t exactly the best value for points either.

The interesting thing is they can all take Caedere weapons, but this time for the same cost as power weapons rather than for 5 points more. To me, that probably makes the Falax blades viable at least, maybe even the Barb-hook lash. Other than that, the champion has the options for power weapons, a power fist, a lightning and artificer armour. Interestingly, they are both Fast Attack and Elites choices. Also they can take a Land Raider as a dedicated transport. All in all, an ok unit which is probably more expensive than it’s worth considering what it can do.

On the plus side, you’re a World Eaters player. You don’t have to justify shit logically!

Unique Characters:

Shabran Darr

Oh brother what a crap character. He’s basically a centurion with a master-crafter chainaxe, +1 WS, Feel No Pain (6+), Rage and he gets Rending in challenges. Oh he also has Hatred, but since it’s only Hatred (Traitor Space Marines) unless you are playing the Isstvan Campaign it’s not worth anything. He can take a jump pack, but for the same +20 points as a regular centurion. The problem is that he costs over twice as much as a regular centurion, and for what? Nothing, pretty much. Don’t take him. He’s crap.

Kharn The Bloody

Now we get to our old friend Kharn, albeit before he burnt a large portion of his legion to the ground and really started getting into the whole “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!” thing. So, how does he measure up.

Well, he’s got the same statline as a Praetor, but with +1 WS and -1 Ld. Fair enough, who needs leaders anyway when you have AXES! His melee weapon is a Rending Power sword, allowing him to occasionally best his counterpart HQs with 2+ saves. He also has his trademark plasma pistol. He has rampage, which as far as I can see it only a good thing if he’s on his own/in a small unit or charging inordinately large units. He also has the same semi-useless rule that lets you re-roll permanent damage results in campagins. His default Warlord Trait is +1 to rolling for 1st turn and Seize the Initiative. Also no one but Angron can be the Warlord if Kharn is part of your army. So after all that, how does he measure up? Not brilliantly unfortunately. For his Rampage and Rending on his power sword you’re paying 15 points, which is not a great deal if I’m honest. It’s not so bad that you can’t justify taking him, but he’s not the most cost efficient way of taking the equipment he has.

A special option he has is, provided Angron is not also part of you army, Kharn can take Gorechild for 20 points. Now Gorechild is basically a Paragon Blade with Armourbane. Against vehicles this makes him a monster since he basically gets 4 melta-bomb attacks at initiative with S 5 (6 if he has Furious Charge). However, just against regular marines, he’s still 20 points more than you’d pay for a Praetor with similar equipment. Again, not so much that you can’t justify taking him to yourself, but he’s not exactly a value for money character. You take him because you want to take Kharn, not a just because you want a character whose good in combat.

Angron, The Red Angel

The Slaughterer of Nations, both practically and in title. One of the most feared Primarchs to face in single combat, Angron has got quite a lot to live up to. Let’s see if he does.


Angron is a middle of the road primarch. He’ll cost you as much as a 20 man assault squad, but he’d also murder that entire unit and then some. His Weapon Skill is the highest of any Primarch at 9. He also has impressive Strength and Initiative, both 7. He also has more Attacks than most Primarchs at 6, but that’s because he has two close combat weapons. However, he does only have 5 Wounds unlike his brothers. All in all, you can see that this guys is built for one thing only; combat


Interestingly, Angron is the only Primarch so far who does not have a 2+ armour (Corax can be down-graded to have 3+ too, but ordinarily he’s 2+ as well). His armour of Mars only affords him 3+, but he still has a 4++ invulnerable save so that’s not too bad.

He, obviously, wields Gorefather and Gorechild which are, as I said previously, basically just Paragon Blades with Melta-bombs strapped to them. This means when Angron hits vehicles he literally does hit them with a number of melta-bombs, at initiative, equal to his attacks. You have been warned.

He also carries a master-crafted plasma pistol which is just that.

Finally, his Butchers Nails grant him a rule that means for each unit or independent character he kills, he gets +1 A up to a maximum of 10 attacks. He doesn’t need to wipe out the whole unit, he just needs to land the final killing blow, although he can easily obliterate whole units by himself.

Special Rules

Angron is rather lacking in terms of special rules. He has all the rules Primarchs normally get as well as Furious Charge, Hatred (Everything), Feel No Pain (6+) and must always consolidate towards the closest enemy unit.

He also has a special rule that allows Angron to issue and accept up to as many challenges as he has attacks and he can fight them in any order he desires. He has to devote at least one attack to each challenge, but he doesn’t have to split his attacks equally. So say he charged a unit with a sergeant and a Praetor. He could give 2 attacks to killing the sergeant and use the rest to grind the Praetor to mulch.

In terms of buffing your army, all Angron does is give World Eaters within 12” Fearless. But to be fair, that’s because Angron never really cared about actually leading his legion and so didn’t tend to give much time to it.

Final Analysis

If you wanted a Primarch to buff your army, you came to the wrong place. Angron is the beatsticks to end all beatsticks. He’s S 9 on the charge, inflicting instant death on any 6s To Wound, can have up to 10 attacks, plus other things besides. Because of his crappy armour, he really needs a delivery system to the enemies front lines (something like 10 Red Butchers in a Spartan) but after that he can pretty much peel off on his own because he will tear through anything he gets into combat with. In terms of value for money, he has to kill 400 points worth of things on his own but he is more than capable of that. Hell, the dude could charge a Titan and reduce it to scrap!

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Emperor’s Children:

“Pride Go’eth Before Abandon, Vanity Go’eth Before Weakness, Vainglory Go’eth Before the Fall.”

In this section we deal with the legion that would, pretty much to a man, turn into sadistic psychopaths with hearing, visual and drug problems. Although, now that I think about it, the first two might be related to the drugs.

Legiones Astartes: Emperor’s Children:

Once again we see the same “regroup regardless of casualties” bit, but what else is new? Well, all Emperor’s Children gain Crusader. Now that might not sound like much, re-roll run move and +D3 to Sweeping Advances, but it really is. This is because remember Legions don’t have ATSKNF, if you lose combat you can be cut down. So the bonuses of Crusader are two-fold because if the Emperor’s Children cause a unit to break they are more likely to catch them and cut them down, and if they are broken they have a better chance of getting away. Also characters get +1 I in challenges which it handy because Emperor’s Children characters have to issue and accept challenges. However, if they lose, they suffer a -1 Ld penalty for being such a crap out.

Special equipment:

The first of the Emperor’s Children’s two toys are Sonic Shriekers. For +5 points and independent character can have one. What is does is gives +1 I to “a model or unit equipped” with one for the first round of combat. Now for a while I’ve played that it means that if you attach an independent character with sonic shriekers to a unit they all get +1 I, but I have recently seen on some other forums it being posted that Forge World errata’d this so that it only affects the character and for a unit to gain the benefits they all have to have them. However I can’t find a source to confirm that so until I do, I will play it as I have been but I just thought I’d make you aware of that. In any case, the +1 means you can often kill your foes before they can hit you and, combined with the +1 I in challenges, it means that Emperor’s Children Praetors can be I 7, striking before some Primarchs. Hand for ending things like Paragon Blade deadlocks.

The other is a Phoenix Power Spear, it’s basically a regular power spear but better. It’s still +1 S on the turn you charge, but instead of being AP 4 normally and AP 3 on the charge, it’s AP 3 normally and AP 2 on the charge. It’s a nice way to get some AP 2 striking at initiative. Any character who can take a power fist can have one for the same price. In general, I wouldn’t give it to a Praetor since they can already have AP2 at initiative with their Paragon Blades. However, at a Centurion/Sergeant level it’s definitely worth it.


The relic the Emperor’s Children have access to is the Lucid Blade. These are blades that seemed to possess a level of sentience which enhanced the users own ability with a blade. What does this mean practically. Well, practically it means that you have a power sword with +1 S and a rule called Master Parry, which means that you can sacrifice attacks for invulnerable save improvements. 1 attack improves your invulnerable save by 1, 2 attacks improves it by 2, etc. Now, the cost. It is one of the more middle of the road costed relics. Now, a normal Power Sword costs 25 points less than this, so to justify that with have the +1 S and the funky rule.

On a Centurion, to give him a 2++ in combat you have to sacrifice all your attacks (since it’s a specialist weapon) and buy a refractor field. Now, on the one hand this means you get no attacks. On the other hand, for 100 points (if you buy nothing else but the refractor field and the relic) you could just troll high cost characters, some Primarchs even, with a 100 point character that just won’t die. If you the put him in a really killy unit, they can take care of you opponent’s retinue whilst you stall with your bare bones centurion until finally the wounds spill over onto the character you’re challenging, or until you route them an cut them down.

The other option would realistically be to put it on a Praetor with a Paragon Blade and just swapping between the two. If you give him an Iron Halo you either get 3 attacks at AP 3 with a 2++, or 5 attacks at AP 2 with a 4++. However, that’ll run you 190 points as an absolute minimum.

Now, the really important question, is it worth the points? Maybe. As a beat-stick weapon it’s not great, but it has great potential at letting you tar-pit you opponent’s most killy character/unit for a while. If you can get FnP or Endurance on the character carrying it then he’s not going to be going anywhere for a while. My opinion is that you are better off throwing relic on a cheap Centurion (artificer armour + boarding shield [+ sonic shriekers, maybe]) and putting him in a killy unit/tarpit unit and hurling it at your opponent’s biggest melee threat and just holding it down. Sure he’ll probably die, but if your 110 point character can hold up a 150+ point character while the rest of your army kills his, I say it’s a noble sacrifice and one worth his points.

Rite of War:

The Maru Skara sounds like something out of Doctor Who. It’s also the name of the Emperor’s Children’s Rite of War. It comprises of two parts really. The first part is called the Open Blade. This encompasses all units which begin the game on the board. These units may “add +1” to their normal movement, and to their Run and Charge distances on their first player turn.” Now, to me that means your guys get +1” to their movement all game, and they also get +1” to their Run and Charge distances but only on the first player turn. Now, don’t ask me what the point of having +1” to your Charge distance on your first turn is, because I’m pretty sure the maximum Charge range a unit can have in the 1st turn is (with this Rite of War) 26” (12” move + 1”, then 12” charge + 1”) and since most tables have a no man’s land of 24”, unless both you and your opponent have deployed at the very front of your deployment zones, you won’t be getting the charge. Still, +1” to your movement over 6” gives you basically a free turn of movement for most infantry so that’s pretty good. Plus, for units that don’t want to shoot, Crusader allowing you to re-roll Run distances and then +1” in 1st turn will help you get a little further.

The second part is called the Hidden Blade. It comprises of 1-3 Elites and/or Fast Attacks held in a separate reserve to the rest of your reserves. Before the game starts you note down a turn between 2 and 4. On that turn, all the units in your Hidden Blade arrive from Reserves and gain Outflank (so obviously you pick turn 2). So yes that does mean you can Outflank 9 Contemptor Dreadnoughts if you like. That’s pretty cool.

However, the limitations are a bit of a drag. There is the reasonably standard “no fortification of Legion Space Marine allies” bit. You also cannot field and units with Immobile, Heavy or Slow and Purposeful special rules (since it says units and not weapons, you can still take heavy weapons, otherwise that’d be ridiculous), but those things aren’t too difficult to not take. However, you are forced to take a Legion Champion as a tax and if you don’t slay your opponent’s Warlord your opponent gets 1VP, which is a bit of a sod if your opponent’s warlord is a Primarch. Still, most Primarchs can’t handle 9 Outflanking Dreadnoughts I don’t think, so just mob them in that case.

All in all, a pretty cool Rite of War. Some reasonable limitations, but it doesn’t make it unusable. Just remember to Slay the Warlord and set aside 35 points to upgrade a Centurion to a Champion and your golden.

Unique units:

Phoenix Terminator Squad

Why do Forge World keep doing this to me? Why do they keep making units that look really cool but are garbage to play?

Ok, here’s the deal. Phoenix terminators are said to be “…[the] most feared, their martial skill all but unmatched across the Legions.” So you’d expect them to be WS 5 at least, maybe the Champion WS 6? No, they are all WS 4 except for the Champion who is WS 5. Fine, so do they get 2 Wounds like Red Butchers, Death Shroud or Firedrakes? Nope they are 1 Wound models. Ok, so do they have more attacks than regular terminators? Nope, they still only have 2. Can they take Cataphractii armour, since most Legion specific terminators have an invulnerable save higher than 5++? Nope, they get the standard 2+/5++. Ok well they are said to be “…serving primarily as the Primarch Fulgrim’s personal retinue” so they must get Favoured of Fulgrim (ala Favoured of Mortarion/Vulkan/Horus) right? No. Why not? Not a clue.

So what do they get? Well they get Phoenix Spears. However, they also lose their ranged weapons. They have no guns. At all. None. They also get +1 I on the turn they charge, which stacks with the Sonic Shriekers they can take. They and any unit within 6” of them can count draws in combat as wins. And they’re Stubborn.

So we have basically regular terminators which exchange their combi-bolters and power weapons for a Phoenix spear (which is only good vs other terminators if they get the charge and only in the first round of combat), gain Stubborn, counting draws in combat as wins and +1 I if they charge. So for that they are probably worth what 30 points more than regular terminators? No. 5 of these fuckers cost 90 points more than the regular legion terminators, and for what? Not a lot.
Seriously, these guys are good for nothing at all. Against TEQs they are only good for one turn and they lose out on being able to sweeping advance so even if they do win they can only watch their foes run away. If they get charged by TEQs they are fucked because they have no AP 2. And against MEQs sure if they get charged they’re not so screwed, but even if they win they can’t sweeping advance and capitalise on the fact that they count draws as wins. You are better off buying their models and counting them as regular terminators with power axes because they are 90 points cheaper and will consistently have AP 2.

Palatine Blades Squad

So, the Palatine Blades are a unit of swordsmen basically. We take a basic power armoured marine, give him +1 WS (see, they’re all WS 5, but not the elite guard of Fulgrim! #stillbitter) and +1 A, Counter-attack and a Charnabal Sabre. Also the sergeant gets artificer armour for free, although they can all issue and accept challenges. For 5 of them it’s 15 points less than a tactical squad and for 10 it’s 15 points less than an assault squad. They can also swap their charnabal sabres for power swords, power lances or phoenix spears, although the phoenix spear is twice the cost of the other two. They are able to take jump packs and are able to take sonic shriekers on the whole unit.

But the question is; are they worth taking? Well, counter attack means that whether they get charged or not, they’re getting 4 Rending attacks each in the first round of combat and sonic shriekers mean these will happen at initiative step 5. Again, that’s regardless of whether they charged or not. They are almost Genestealers in power armour. However, they about as glass cannon as glass cannons get, and will almost certainly need some sort of delivery method be it rhino, drop pod, land raider or at least giving them jump packs or they won’t survive.

If you are throwing them against regular infantry you are doing it wrong, in my opinion. The abilities of such lofty duelists are lost on killing such plebeians, their forte’s lie elsewhere. With between 20 and 40 WS 5 Rending attacks at I 5, they have a good chance of glancing to death anything with AV 10-12 (They can do 13 but a unit of 10 will only inflict 1.5 glancing hits on the turn it charges). Also, unlike the Phoenix Guard, they can reliably get a decent amount of AP 2 in combat (a unit of 10 will get 4.4 Rending hits in the 1st round of combat) meaning they are actually able of taking on a terminator squad, and since they are in power armour they can sweeping advance if they win. You’ll probably want a primus medicae with them to give them a pseudo-invulnerable save if you do run them. As I say, they are a glass cannon and you wield them more like a scalpel than a hammer, but they are at least usable and able to earn their points back, unlike some units I could Phoenix Guard…I mean menation!

The Kakophoni

The Kakophoni, to me are an odd unit, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about them. A starting unit of 5 costs 10 points more than a Heavy Support Squad, and a full unit of 10 is 60 points more than a 5 man Heavy Support squad with Volkite Culverins. I bring that unit up because it makes for a good comparison. They are both basically just tactical marines with special weapons. They both have the same stats, armour, etc. And they are both heavy support choices. So yeah, it’s a pretty good unit to compare them too.

So why 60 points more? Well, for one, you get 5 more men in a full 10 man Kakophoni squad, so they’ll die in twice the time (in theory). They also get stubborn, which is useful in a world without ATSKNF. They all get sonic shriekers, although frankly that’s a wasted upgrade since their weapon is a 36” Heavy 1 gun, so they aren’t exactly going to be charging into assault. And here we come to the meat of the matter, the guns.
Now the Volkite squad will get 20 shots with Deflagrate, which statistically cause about 4 unsaved wounds in total on a power armoured unit. Not too bad, although the effect gets even more devastating against hoards with low armour saves as I’ve already covered. The Kakophoni by comparison only get 10 shots, all of which have Gets Hot! So not only do you have to worry about the enemy killing you, but also your own gun. The guns do have Pinning, but they are basically Volkites without the Deflagrate. So they are dealing 1.8 wounds a turn on a power armoured unit. Now they do have the possibility to inflict a further D6 wounds, with AP 2, Instant Death and Ignores Cover, but that’s only if the target unit fails a moral test with a negative modifier equal to the number of wounds suffered. In my mind, the failure of a moral test is something too uncertain to bank the usefulness of a unit on, especially since a full squad will on average force a regular marine squad to take a test on Ld 7/8 (assuming the sergeant is alive) and 7 is the most likely roll between 2 D6.

Perhaps if you had multiple unit pounding one unit it would be viable but that’s where the other snag comes in. Because they are heavy support, you are basically sacrificing the majority of your options for Sicarans, Predator squadrons, Fire Raptors etc just so you can for one unit to maybe take D6 extra wounds. If they were Fast Attacks or Elites too then it might be viable, but they aren’t. Plus, their gun being a heavy weapon just hurts, since they have to be within 36” so are short on range compared to most other heavy weapons. They do have their uses and if you get lucky you can really devastate some unit, but it would be knowing putting your dice into the capricious hands of fate by taking this.

Unique Characters:

Rylanor the Unyielding

Now, technically Rylanor is a unique unit rather than a unique character, but he’s a named character and I felt he should go here. To start with a standard contemptor with his weapons is 200 points, and Rylanor is 55 points more than that. So, how does he justify it?

Well he has +1 WS, so in battles against most other Dreadnought’s (and centurions) he’s hitting on 3’s, which with his S10 from his DCCW is pretty good. He also gets Crusader, meaning he can catch what he kills which is another good thing. Then we come onto the two main things. First, Rylanor is one of the two dreadnoughts to gain Venerable, and he’s the only Contemptor to get it. That makes him quite a big mark more survivable and means your opponent is unlikely to be able to wipe him out with a lucky 6 from a lascannon. The second is a rule which means that all LE:EC within 24” get +1 to combat resolution (which can really help when coupled with Crusader) and they get to re-roll failed Morale tests. That is usually an upgrade you have to 10 points for to give to a unit and 24” is a massive range. If he’s in the middle of a 4’x6’ board, he’s giving re-rolls to your guys on 2/3rds of the board, and those re-rolls are massively important when you don’t have ATSKNF. The only real downside is you can't take him as part of a Talon, which kinda sucks. Basically, if you are planning on only talking 1 Contemptor Dreadnought in your army, make sure it’s Rylanor.

Lord Commander Eidolon

Let’s cut to the quick, is he worth it? In a word; yes. To expand on that, if you took a Praetor with exactly the same wargear, he would cost 5 points more than Eidolon, and that’s without any of the neat rules Eidolon gets. So on top of being 5 points cheaper, Eidolon gets a one use template that’s Rending and Pinning. Kind of meh, but who cares you’re already saving money. His warlord trait means that him and all units within 12” get +1” to charge distance, particularly nice when combined with the Maru Skara giving you a +3” over the 1st turn and +2” in all other turns. Also, if he charges, he loses Unwieldy on his Thunderhammer. So you get 5, S 8 attacks striking at I6 (or I7 if he’s in a challenge) and the thunderhammer is master-crafted so you are unlikely to miss between that and WS 6. He is 5 points more expensive than a Praetor with a non-mastercrafted Paragon blade (everything else unchanged) which always strikes at initiative, but if you can get the charge so are you and you are guaranteed instant death against marines and the like. And even if not, Eidolon still has a 4++ invulnerable save and is inflicting instant death. Basically, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason not to take him if you are already planning on taking a Praetor.

Captain Saul Tarvitz

Well we knew it couldn’t last forever. We couldn’t have all our special characters being good. Although, to be fair he was just a ‘line officer’ so perhaps I’m expecting too much. He basically has the stats of a praetor, except he is only BS 4 and only has A 3. That is even weirder considering his main gun is a sniper rifle, implying he’s supposed to be a pretty good shot. His melee weapons is crap as well. It’s a two-handed charnabal sabre that has +1 S, AP 5 and Rending. He’ s certainly not a character to be feared in assault. So does he add anything significant to you army? Well, he and any unit he joins gain Counter-attack in their own deployment zone. Oh and if you are playing during the heresy he gains Preferred Enemy (Emperor’s Children). Not even all traitors like Shabran Darr, just the Emperor’s Children.

To be fair, he only costs 5 points more than a Praetor with the same equipment (by that I mean valuing a sniper rifle the same as a combi-weapon and a charnabal sabre) which you could argue accounts for the buffs to his charnabal sabre, except the praetor is still B5 and A 4. But you would never take such a character because it’s such a point sink for a character who is not that great at anything really. You’ve be better off just buying a Praetor with a Paragon Blade and a Refractor field for the same cost and calling it Saul Tarvitz. Sadly another do not take character.

Fulgrim The Illuminator

Known by his legion as the Phoenician, Fulgrim is a duellist without peer. Responsible for the deaths of at least two fellow Primarchs, the prideful and mercurial Primarch of the Emperor’s Children has quite a reputation to up hold. Let’s see if it’s all idle boasts.


Fulgrim ranks in as the second cheapest Primarch, only 5 points more than Lorgar. Once Lorgar is transfigured he is officially the cheapest of all the Primarchs, less than Horus by 120 points. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an impressive statline. His WS is one of the highest at 8 and he possessed the highest initiative of any Primarch at I 8. He also has a reasonable impressive 5 attacks. Other than that, his statline is typical of a primarch, which is still leagues apart from mere Astartes.


Similar to Angron, Fulgrim’s armour is not spectacularly protective. He needs light weight armour to dance around his opponents and so his armour lacks the power generators to give him a 4++ invulnerable save. Instead he has a 2+/5++ so he is markedly more fragile once we get to the realm of AP2/1. Consider putting him in a unit with an Apothecary/Primus Medicae for a bit of extra staying power. However if Fulgrim passes an armour or invulnerable save on a 6, the unit that hit him is so stunned by the beauty of his armour that it has to take a Blind test. This only happens in assault so don’t bank on it happening too regularly.
His side arm is a master-crafted Volkite Charger with Shred. Not a terrible gun in principle, but nothing compared to what most other Primarchs are packing (See Talon of Horus, Spite Furnace, Lantern, etc).

Now we get to the swords, the really important part. And yes I said swords because Fulgrim has the option to take two swords. The first, the one you get the model with, is the Silver Blade of the Laer. It’s an AP 2 sword with Rending and nothing else of note. This is useful if you are charged/charging a Dreadnought or a Land Raider but if you are using Fulgrim to flip vehicles you have clearly forgotten what this guys does best and that’s separate heads from shoulders. The second sword is Fireblade, which is a Master Crafted Paragon Blade which inflicts instant death on a 5+ to wound. This means Fulgrims strength is buffed to 7, like most of his brothers, he inflicts instant death, and he gets a free re-roll. You should always take this sword as it’s free and much better than the Blade of the Laer.

Special Rules

Now, let’s be honest if you looked only at Fulgrim’s stats he’d seem underwhelming. That’s ok, because we’re about to talk about his special rules which is where the High Lord of the Emperor’s Children starts to make his points back.

Firstly, he gains Crusader on top of the slew of special rules Primarchs have already. He also has to accept and issue challenges as long as there is a potential challenger with a WS 5 or higher. However, as long as he is alive and on the board, every Emperor’s Children unit on the board, and Fulgrim himself, gets +2 to combat results. That means, if you couple that with Rylanor, you could lose combat by 3 and draw. Or draw and win by 3. Or just win by 3 more than you would have anyway and give your foe and even greater chance of you running and being cut down thanks to Crusader. That is a big buff. Additionally he also allows all reserves with LA:EC to re-roll reserve rolls, failed or not. So even without the Maru Skara you can pretty much guarantee your reserves coming in.

Secondly, because he’s such a Sublime Duellist (see what I did there?) his invulnerable save increases to a 3++ in combat. Also, as long as he’s fighting in a challenge, Fulgrim gains a number of attacks equal to the amount by which his Initiative is greater than his opponent. So, against most Astartes he’s getting extra 3-4 attacks. Against fellow Primarchs, that figure is 1-3 depending on his opponent, which still puts him on par, sometimes above, an un-buffed Angron. That’s pretty impressive.

Thirdly, and probably least notably, Fulgrim can pick his Warlord trait from either the standard Legion Warlord Trait or the Strategic Traits table. The Strategic Traits are all pretty decent. One from the Legion table is the one that gives the Warlord and units with Legiones Astartes within 6” +1 to combat results seems vaguely tempting, mainly because you can potentially get +4 to combat resolution within 6” of Fulgrim, virtually guaranteeing he and those units will break any unit they assault. Or the one that allows re-rolls of 1s to wound. On the whole, probably go with the Strategic Traits, but it actually means that Warlord Traits are something you can plan rather than leave out of any equation.

Final Analysis

Sure he’s not as impressive in stats or wargear as some Primarchs, but for his price I would argue that he is worth every point. He is a potent combatant, able to take on most other Primarchs with a reasonable level of confidence that he can win or at least wound them horrible before he goes down. But, unlike Angron who you take purely to kill people, you take Fulgrim because of what he adds to your army. An Army wide +2 to combat results combined with LA:EC giving Crusader helps your army to more effectively run down foes after victorious results and helps them to not be run down if things go a bit awry. All in all, he’s worth the price you pay for him and he’ll likely kill anything he gets in a challenge with, and then a few guys after that.

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Death Guard:

“Pain is an illusion of the senses, fear an illusion of the mind, beyond these only death waits as silent judge o’er all.”

Here we encounter the remorseless and intractable Death Guard. A legion famous for its tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although they were willing to accept and casualties in order to achieve victory, I think those who play them are hoping it won’t actually come to that.

Legiones Astartes: Death Guard:

We’ve got the regrouping rule everyone has, but let’s see what else we have. First up we have a kind of pseudo Fearless. Death Guard are immune to Fear (suck it Night Lords and Daemons) and automatically pass Pinning checks. That is useful since they can still Go To Ground, they just always get to choose if they do so. But, in a world without ATSKNF it’s a pretty powerful rule. They also re-roll failed dangerous terrain tests for most environmental dangerous terrain. Also, weapons with Poison or Fleshbane have to re-roll successful wounds (suck to be you Dark Eldar). However, they do reduce their Sweeping Advance rolls by 1, so that’s not great. However, all in all, semi-Fearless and resistance to poison is a pretty good set of rules.

Special equipment:

So, the Death Guard have two pieces of special equipment. The firsts is, unsurprisingly, Chem-munitions. It’s a free upgrade (yay) for flame based weapons which gives them Shred (yay) and Gets Hot (boo). So there’s a possibility it might kill you, but it’s a 1/6 and then you have to fail an Armour Save (generally, unless you’re a tank), so in general if you can I’d advise picking these up whenever you can.

The second is a Power Scythe. It can be bought for any character that can buy a power fist at the same cost. In essence it is a power axe that, if you want allows you to attack every model in base to base contact with instead of using your normal attacks. Not a bad, just don’t face down small units with it otherwise you’re paying an extra 5 points for, essentially, a power axe.


The Death Guard’s Relic is called the Barbaran Thurible. I’ve got no idea what a Thurible is, but what it does it causes units without Legiones Astartes: Death Guard within 6” to suffer a -1 T penalty and they have to take a morale check even if they only suffered one casualty from shooting, as opposed to 25%. Not bad. It cost as much as the Emperor’s Children relic. Now rad grenades are 10 points for tech-marines, but they don’t have an area affect and only last for the 1st round of combat whereas this lasts as long as the bearer is alive. So if we value that at 2-3 rad grenades, but without having to buy a Forge Lord or a tech-marine, and then throw in the morale thing it’s probably worth its points, but not so much that it’s an instant take.

Rite of War:

Now we get to what is known as “The Reaping”. Yes, we get that you like scythes and looking like the grim reaper. Still not as bad as Mr Iron Hands of the Iron Hand Legion who all also want Iron Hands. Anyway, The Reaping. Arguably one of the most powerful Rites of War. It lets you take Legion Veteran and Heavy Support Squads as non-compulsory Troops, freeing up your Elites and Heavy Support slots immensely. All Death Guard gain Move Through Cover and all characters can be given rad grenades for a paltry sum of 10 points. All very good things.

But, as we have come to expect, Forge World giveth and taketh away. So, for what you gain, you lose the ability to Run, move Flat out or deploy using the Deep Strike Rule. It doesn’t say you can’t have reserves, they just can’t Deep Strike. Besides, with the amount of firepower you can bring you won’t want to be forgoing shooting to Run or anything. Finally, you can only take 1 Fast Attack slot. If you really wanted to take Storm Ravens or Jetbikes or Outriders or Seekers then this might sting a bit, but again, you gain the ability to take such an inordinate amount of firepower you will probably be just fine. All in all, a worthwhile Rite of War that is worth considering.

Unique units:

Grave Warden Terminator Squad

Well, to start with these guys are definitely value for money. For a start they are cataphractii terminators with power fists, and they cost exactly the same amount as regular terminators with power fists. They can buy chain-fists instead for a bit more anti-tank capabilities, but unless you plan to rush them at Land Raiders/Spartans, a power fist will likely do the job, especially 20-60 attacks with them.

They exchange their combi-bolter for a far better weapon, an Assault Grenade Launcher. If firing krak shells, it’s S 6, AP 4 with 2 shots. If firing toxin shots it loses its strength characteristic, but gains Blast (3”) and Ignores Cover. However, it doesn’t ‘wound’ per say. Instead every model hit takes a toughness test for every time they were hit, which considering you’ll be firing between 10 and 20 3” blasts at a unit will be a few times. They are 18” instead of 24”, but other than that they are, in every way, superior to combi-bolters. And that’s for free.

Also for free is something called a Death Cloud. Any unit charges you makes a disordered charge (so loses its extra attacks) across dangerous terrain (so some people might die). Additionally it can be fires as a flamer with the stats as the toxin shells. Brilliant for overwatch really, getting between 5D3 and 10D3 guaranteed hits. Sure they only force toughness test, but your foe is also losing a large portion of their charge bonuses and having to pass through dangerous terrain, so it’s pretty good.

And all that for the price of a standard unit of terminators with power fists. Well worth it. The only slight snag is they are heavy support, and so take up the precious slots you have for Sicarans and the like. However, if you are taking The Reaping you don’t lose slots to heavy support squads. In that instance you should definitely take them. In any other scenario, they are just something you should strongly consider.

Deathshroud Terminator Squad

Now this is a slightly odd unit. They are an Elites choice, can replace a command squad for Mortarion or a terminator armed Praetor, and they are also a HQ unit in their own right. Yes, you can have a unit of 10 Deathshroud as your only HQ. I don’t know how they give orders given that they are supposedly silent, but oh well.

In any case, the Deathshroud are basically terminators, except that they all have Ld 10 (one of the only none Primarch units in the game to get it) and 2 wounds. They have a starting unit size of 2 and can go all the way up to 10. They have their iconic power scythes and hand-flamers with chem-munitions. They can also take melta-bombs. Interestingly they are said to be equipped with ‘Terminator Armour’ not Cataphractii armour as you might expect, which I find odd as I thought they were supposed to have Cataphractii armour. Might email Forge World about this…

So, are they worth taking. As a HQ? Yes. If you are planning on taking a vanilla Centurion, you should instead take Deathdshroud. For the same points as two Deathshroud, you can get a Terminator Centurion with a Power Scythe. Sure he has +1 WS and +1 BS, but they have +2 wounds and +1 Ld. So they are twice as survivable and the loss of BS doesn’t matter as they have flamers. As an Elites choice? Yes. A unit of 5 of them is 35 points more than a 5 man terminator unit. However, power scythes are the same points as a power fist, so really they are only 10 points more. And for that you gain +1 W and +2/1 Ld. For 2 points a model, well worth it.

Unique Characters:

Section Leader Crysos Morturg

Sigh, another character from Betrayal that’s probably not worth taking. What a shame, although at this point not unexpected. So they guy costs as much as Loken and only 10 points less than Eidolon. Is he worth it? Nope. His stat-line is basically a Centurion’s, but with +1 W. To add to that he has a Power Sword, combi-flamer and rad grenades. So for a centurion with the same weapons, we’re looking at 95 points cheaper.

There is some other stuff too. He has infiltrate, which is pretty useless unless you have another unit with Infiltrate (like Recon marines, who aren’t worth it as already mentioned) or unless you want to infiltrate him on his own, which would be madness. He also has Stubborn, which is a rule Forge World seems to think is worth the earth, but isn’t brilliant. He is also a psyker, but he only has one power which is predetermined. I mean, it’s Endurance, so it’s a pretty good power. Also, with a FnP(4+) save and Eternal Warrior, he can basically gain an Iron Halo. But it’s not guaranteed to work, and with Mastery Level 1 I’m not going to bank much money on it.

I can think of a few uses for him. Put him in the middle of a 10 man Deathshroud unit casting Endurance on them and himself, making them damn near invincible. So he’s not totally useless, but he is at best a utility character and an expensive and over-costed one at that.

Marshal Durak Rask

Hmmm…I was about to begin a tirade into why Marshal Rask is crap but the more I look at his stat and rules the more I think that’s not true I’ll explain. To begin with he’s basically a Siege Breaker with a bunch of toys any Siege Breaker can buy. If you tot all that up he’s still 20 points more expensive than a regular Siege Breaker with the same kit. However, he has two redeeming qualities. The first is that he has an extra wound. The second is that he has Master of the Legion, which considering if you paid for a Delegatus you’d pay 25 points for that rule, he actually saves you points. Not bad then.

However, he does have the rather painful flaw of having absolutely no invulnerable save at all, and that really hurts. It means if you are planning to run him as a front man you practically have to put him with an Apothecary or with a bunch of ablative wounds because otherwise pretty much and AP2/1 will see to him pretty quickly. You also have the problem you have with any Siege Breaker which is that you have to choose if you want him to run forwards, to make use of his melee weapon, or do you sit him back to take advantage of Art of Destruction and basically waste the points you spent on his thunderhammer. All in all then, not quite an instant take, but if you were already going to take a Siege Breaker, you can have access to Rites of War and command squads and an extra wound, making actually a worthwhile choice.

Calas Typhon

Mmmm…the infamous Calas Typhon. Before he got all Nurgle’d up and stuff of course. In 40k he can raise an army of plague zombies to fight for you and tank wounds like a champ. How does he fair in his 30k incarnation?

Pretty well. There are a few options you can’t give a normal Terminator Praetor, but giving him all the ones you can give him normally, he comes up 20 points shy of what Typhon costs. For that he gets a hand flamer (with chem-munitions, of course), a nuncio-vox and rad grenades (obviously). To me, that’s worth the 20 points, especially when his +1 S from his scythe plus the -1 T from the rad grenades effectively gives him a pseudo thunderhammer against marines. His warlord trait is pretty neat too, it’s basically a 3” bubble of “fuck you” to enemy objective holders.

Now, at this point he effectively breaks even. So, for free, you get a chem bombardment. Now, it might not be a low AP but it is a 3 shot Barrage weapons with poisoned and ignoring cover, so you can definitely get a fair few wounds dealt. How many of them are saved is a different matter, but it’s still a neat trick. Plus he’s a Level 1 psyker and takes powers from the Telepathy doctrine. So cross your fingers and hope for Invisibility. If pre-chaos Mortarion is on the board he can’t use it, but since it’s basically for free that’s not too bad. All in all, a worthwhile choice that is actually value for points, although not quite on the Eidolon level of value.

Mortarion the Reaper

Now we come to the Pale King himself. All Primarchs were famously resilient, even by the standards of the Legiones Astartes. However even amongst these creatures of almost mythical abilities, Mortarion embodies dogmatic endurance most of all. At least in theory. Let’s see if his rules match up.


He’s reasonably expensive guy, costing 25 points more than Angron, but 75 less than Horus. As you might expect, Mortarion gains an additional Wound and Toughness over his brothers. The Wound helps but since most Primarch’s have a strength modifier, in combat with other Primarch’s it won’t count for much. Still, puts him out of range of anything S3 or lower. So feel free to march him at gunlines of lasguns with impunity.


Lacking Fulgrim’s dramatic flair or Angron’s bat-shit crazy attitude, Mortarion’s armour is pretty good, being 2+/4++. But, as with most of the Primarchs, it all about the toys.

Silence is Mortarion’s melee weapon, and it is basically a power scythe. Well, basically a power scythe in the same way that the Talon of Horus is basically a lightning claw. It has everything a power scythe has, plus Instand Death and re-rolls Armour Penetration.

His side arm is simply named The Lantern. It’s S 8 and AP 2, also with Sunder and has an 18” range. In terms of tank hunting Primarch weapons, it doesn’t get much better.

He also has an unlimited amount of Phosphex grenades, just a little extra fuck you to anyone who gets near him.

Special Rules

In terms of buffing your army, Mortarion has two principal effects. The first is that frag weapons (grenades, missiles and havoc launchers) all gain Poisoned, which is kind of neat. The other is that he makes all Death Guard units Stubborn, making them even closer to Fearless than they were before.

His natural resilience is mainly covered in his special rules. Anything that usually wounds on a flat dice-roll instead only wounds him on a 6. He also re-rolls failed toughness tests and It Will Not Die rolls. He also doesn’t care about Dangerous Terrain. Additionally, he passes any Deny the Witch rolls on a 4+. Basically, he’s one tough cookie.

The only special rule left is “Shadow of the Reaper”. The minor effect is the fact that any Fear tests he cause are taken at a -1 Ld, but that’s not what it’s really about. The major effect is that, provided he’s not in a transport or in combat, instead of running or shooting he can make a 10” in which he ignores all intervening terrain. Sure he has to pass an Ld test, and can’t appear within 3” of an enemy model, but he can assault afterwards, meaning he has an effective threat range of 18”, minimum. However this charge is disordered so no +1 A, but with his Sweep Attack and 5 A basic all inflicting instant death, that won’t me much comfort for whatever unit he reduces to wheat.

Final Analysis

So, where does Mortarion stand after all that. I’d say pretty well. Possibly irritatingly he doesn’t gain FnP or flat out immunity to poison (like Alpharius) which my Death Guard friends are still a little bitter over, but with more wounds than any other Primarch, an increased likelihood of gaining them back from IWND. Plus, Mortarion has arguably the longest guaranteed threat range of any Primarch. Even Corax and Kurze, with their jump packs, only have a guaranteed 14” threat range, and theirs can’t ignore impassable terrain. However he won’t kill in a blitz of strokes like Angron, rather slowly and inexorably will chop through you until nothing survives and he moves onto his next kill. Nothing escapes the Reaper.

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Iron Hands:

“As iron sharpens iron, so truth cuts and, and war makes right.”

Despite being brothers to the IIIrd legion for most of the Great Crusade, the Iron Tenth paint a stark contrast. Stoic and proud, they made extensive use of augmentation and had some of the best ties with the Mechanicum. Labelled by some as callous, there was no denying their effectiveness at war.

Legiones Astartes: Iron Hands:

As usual, they get to regroup regardless of casualties. A limitation they have is that they may never have more Jump Infantry, Bikes or Jetbikes combined than they have Infantry units, which does lock out certain Rites of War for them. They also can never go to ground voluntarily, and must pass a Ld test to Run or Sweeping Advance which can hurt. However, they do get a particularly potent ability where they force all shooting attacks against them to take a -1 S penalty. Bloody hell, that makes bolters feel like lasguns, heavy bolters like bolters and so on. It also means that the few bikes or jetbikes you can take are even tougher. A very nice buff well balanced by the limitations.

Special equipment:

The Iron Hands, like most legions, get two pieces of unique wargear. Well, only half unique. The first one is a Cyber-familiar which those astute readers will realise can already be taken by other legion’s Forge Lords. The difference is that any Iron Hands character can take it, meaning your Praetors can have a 3++ and still have both their hands free for hitting stuff with, unlike their contemporaries with Storm Shields.

The second piece of tech is something called a Blessed Autosimulacra. It costs 10 points and on a 6 regains a lost Hull Point. Sure, once in 6 times it will help you, but it only really works on big tanks. On a Rhino or, I’d argue, anything built on a similar chassis it’s not worth it. It won’t survive long enough to make use of it. On something like a Land Raider or a Spartan it might be worth it though. However, it doesn’t repair damage like Immobilised or Weapon Destroyed so it can’t help you there. However, as I said, on a big tank you want to stay alive for as long as possible like a Spartan or Land Raider for 10 points it’s probably worth it if you can afford it.

Rite of War:

Imaginatively titled the Head of the Gorgon, this is the Iron Hands unique Rite of War. It gives you Stubborn while you’re in your own deployment zone. It also allows any model with a flamer to exchange it for a graviton gun for 10 points and gives all vehicles the Blessed Autosimulacra for free, which it nice. You can include Legio Cybernetica Battle-automata Maniples as Elites and all dedicates Rhinos can be exchanged for Land Raider Proteus’s or Phobos’s. Also any tanks in reserve gain Outflank.

The limitations are barely existent. You can only have 1 Fast Attack, but Iron Hands weren’t exactly taking many to start with. You also can only have one consul of any type in your force, with the exception of Forge Lords. And, as per usual, other legions can’t be taken as allies.

All in all, it’s a pretty solid Rite. Stubborn in a world without ATSKNF is a nice thing, even if it is only in your own deployment zone. The graviton exchange is nice and gives, mainly, your Legion Tactical Support Squad another option. I’ve already talked about the graviton gun in my other tactica so you can look at that if you’re interested. Free Autosimulacra is nice too. The ability to include Battle-Automata (and by that I of course mean Castallax) as Elites is brutal, especially if you then include a Praevian and a Forge Lord with a Cortex-controller. Then round that off with a splash of the Armoured Spearhead Rite of War but better, and you have a pretty kick ass Rite here.

Unique units:


The first of the Iron Hand’s unique units is an upgrade for the Praetor called an Iron Father. Iron Fathers are essentially Praetors, but they can’t take any mounts (jump pack/bike/jetbike). They do however gain Battlesmith, a servo-arm and FnP(6+), all for 40 points. In theory it sound worthwhile, since a Forge Lord upgrade is 35 points and bestows the same things, so the 5 point difference is probably the FnP, which is fair. The problem is that a Forge Lord gets access to all the options a Techmarine has, but an Iron-Father doesn’t. He also gets a free power weapon, something an Iron-father doesn’t. His servo-arm and Battlesmith help to keep his transport trucking, but it’s slightly over-costed. Not massively, but enough that I wouldn’t necessarily say you should be falling over yourself to buy.

Gorgon Terminator Squad

One of the actually decent unique terminator units (no I won’t stop moaning about Justaerin or Phoenix Guard! I don’t have a problem, you have a problem!). These guys run, for a unit of 5, at 25 points more than a unit of 5 regular terminators and then cost 5 points more for each man. They are basically regular terminators with a funky pattern of armour and FnP. If you consider that a barebones Primus Medicae (which is what you’d need to give regular terminators a FnP save) is at least 85 points and a HQ slot, then you can see that you’re getting this unit for a steal (saving between 12-3.5 points per model depending on unit size). Plus the sergeant has a Thunderhammer as standard, which is a paid for upgrade for a regular Terminator unit.

The options for the unit are a little different. You can’t have a plasma blaster but you can have a graviton gun, and the regular guys loose access to thunderhammers. However, the sergeant can have a cyber-familiar at a discount so that’s nice.

Now, the armour. Sadly it counts as “regular terminator armour” not Cataphractii for the nice 2+/4++. But with 5++ and FnP, when it comes to taking invulnerable saves you actually have slightly higher odds (1/18 if I’ve done the maths right). Plus, you get better odds when you’re taking armour saves too. Of course it would be nice if you could have a 4++ and FnP, but you can’t always get what you want. The nice little effect it has it that, at the end of any phase where you pass at least one armour or invulnerable save, on a 4+ every unit in 6” takes a blind test. Sure it’s not massively useful when lascannons are sniping you, but in assault it’s nice. There are 2 minuses though. One is that it if does affect friendly units. They get re-rolls but still you could blind your mates so you need to be wary of who you pally them up with. The second is that it makes them I3. In combat this doesn’t matter too much since all their combat weapons make them I1 anyway, but it matters for Sweeping Advances and the like.

All in all though, a nice unit that probably saves you points for what it does, but isn’t hideously over-powered. Well worth considering.

Medusan Immortals Squad

Now we come to the Iron Hands’s buffed up Breachers. To start with they cost 25 points more than their contemporaries, and cost 2 points more to upgrade. Other than that they are basically Breacher marines, with a few minor differences.

First, and most noticeably, they also get FnP. That means, for a unit of 10, you are saving 20 points (because that’s what it would cost to buy an apothecary to put in that unit) and at the full 20 men you save no points, but it does mean you don’t have to take up an Elites choice. Which is handy since they are elites.

The second noticeable difference is that every man can exchange his bolter for a volkite charger, whereas before it was only every 1 per 5 men. It’s not any cheaper, but it is nice and effectively doubles your number of shots from 15”-12” and even closer than that it ups the strength of your guns and gives you deflagrate

Thirdly they get a rule that means, instead of performing a Sweeping Advance they can Snap Fire their guns if they pass a Ld check (which you have to do to Sweep if you’re Iron Hands anyway). Honestly, whilst the rule is thematically cool, it’s also meh. If you catch your foes you’ll kill them all. I mean you do run the risk that you don’t catch them and you get to do nothing else to them, but at the same time even a full unit of 20 won’t kill that many. With bolters, on average you’re hitting 6.666666… and wounding 3.3333… and if you’re foe is in power armour you kill 1-ish and if they’re terminators then you kill like 0.5. Personally I’d rather take the risk and kill them all than basically guarantee killing one guy. Although, if only one or two guys run away, then it might be worth it.

However, there are two things I think go against them. First is they are an Elites choice, and with so many good Elites options already I just think that section is too crowded to take a unit that you can basically get through other means

The second, and less of a biggie, is that they aren’t Troops. I know that sounds like the same point again, but hang in there. That means they don’t get Objective Secured in Battle Forged armies. Plus, if you took Breachers with an Apothecary, sure you’d use up 1 Troop and 1 Elite slot, but a) you’d have 11/21 men instead of 10/20 b) you can buy other apothecaries without needing another Elites slot, whereas Immortals would force you to take another Elite slot if you wanted to give anyone else FnP.

So, what’s the verdict then? Well, they are value for money at small squad sizes (oddly for 30k) and after that about as good as an equivalent unit. If you’ve got free Elites and aren’t already taking Apothecaries, or if you want all your Breachers to have Volkites then take some Immortals. If not, then take a 20 man Breacher squad and put an Apothecary in it, then put some Apothecaries in other squads because you can and -1 S to shooting with LA:IH makes them even more hardy. Not the best unit, but also not a point sink either.

Unique Characters:

Spearhead-Centurion Castrmen Orth

See if Forge World priced the characters from Betrayal like they prices Castrmen Orth we’d be golden. To start off, he’s a centurion with a power maul, refractor field and cyber-familiar. If you bought his upgrades for a regular centurion he would be 85 points. Orth is 80. Nice.

Or is it? Orth has to start the game in a Tank that has one AV of at least 13, but it doesn’t have to have a transport capacity and he doesn’t take up any even if it does. Now, if you are smart you already own a Sicaran so that’s no problem for you. Once he’s in the tank he gives it his BS 5 and Tank Hunters, which is nice. If it dies, he is treated like any unit embarked in a tank. He can hop in another tank, but this one does have to have a transport capacity, but the wording would imply that he still doesn’t take up any transport capacity.

So, the upgrades you pay for only come into play if his tank dies or is immobilised, since he can’t leave before then. It also means you have to buy such a tank, but as I say if you have half a brain you already own at least one Sicaran or will be shortly. It makes him a bit more survivable if the tank he’s in does die, but that’s not what you really buy him for. You buy him for the BS 5 and Tank Hunters, and that in a Sicaran or similar tank is well worth 80 points for me. Plus, he’s a cheap warlord, even if his trait is garbage. +1 to Vehicle damage when you Ram. Who even rams anymore?

Iron-Father Autek Mor

So, Autek Mor. The closest equivalent unit is an Iron Father with a Paragon Blade and a Volkite Charger (which he has), and he costs 23 points more than that bog standard character. As always we have to ask; what does he have to justify that? Well for starters, he has a Cortex Controller which is a 15 point upgrade for a Forge Lord. Right, so no we only have to justify 8 points. Well, for 8 points you get +1 S, +1 T, Fearless and he and one other unit get Preferred Enemy (Infantry). Fucking hell. The only foreseeable downside is that he has to be your Warlord unless you have Ferrus Manus, but he’s a beast so why does that matter. Basically, if you are taking an Iron Father anyway you have no excuse for not ‘upgrading’ him to Autek Mor if you’ve got the points.

Ferrus Manus

Now we come to the Gorgon. Ferrus Manus is reputed to be one of the most physically imposing Primarchs, capable of forging wondrous creations with nought but his bare liquid metal hand. It was from these hands that the Iron Hands legion took its name and its member modelled themselves on their mighty Primarch. Sadly, the legend of Ferrus Manus would fall silent on the red sands of Isstvan, slain at the hand of his most beloved brother. Let’s see if his rules reveal the reason for his demise, or if they are as impressive as the rest of the legends that surround him.


Stat speaking, Ferrus Manus is probably the most impressive of any Primarch. With S and T 7, he combines best elements from Mortation’s and Angron’s stat-line. He’s also more expensive than both of them, clocking in at a hefty 455 points. He boasts an impressive WS 7, but only possessed A 4, on par with some Praetors. His I is a modest 5, not unlike several of his brothers. Overall, a pretty impressive statline that will keep him in good health against most weapons.


Ferrus could be mistake for being short changed on the wargear side of things, only having a hammer and his armour, but it’s not quite that simple. Well, his hammer is pretty simple. It’s basically an AP 1 thunderhammer. However the kicker is that it doesn’t have Unwieldy, so he’s still striking at his not-to-shabby I 5 with it, so that’s nice.

His armour is slightly more complicated. It gives a 2+/3++, so some of the best protection that Primarch armour can offer. It has integrated into it a nuncio-vox and a servo-arm. Additionally it has four weapons of which Ferrus can fire two; plasma blaster, graviton gun, grenade harness (with unlimited shots) and a heavy flamer. It’s worth mentioning here that Ferrus doesn’t come with any grenades as standard and if you’re putting him with a unit that doesn’t either, remember to shoot the grenade harness before you charge a unit that then all strike before you. I mean, you’re a Primarch so you’ll probably be fine, but better safe than sorry.

Finally, like Fulgrim, Ferrus can exchange his hammer for…well nothing really, but it does reduce his cost by 40 points!

Special Rules

Now the special rules! Obviously he has the same rules as any Primarch, so what else does he have?

First up, you may have wondered about the choice of guns Ferrus has, considering two of them are heavy weapons. You might also have wondered why you’d get rid of Ferrus’s hammer considering then he has no melee weapons. Well, good news because two of the special rules Ferrus has are Relentless (for the guns) and Smash (so even his fists are AP 2). Additionally he also has the same rule as the rest of the Iron Hands were shooting attacks are -1 S against him, making him immune to small arms fire like bolters and meaning he’s essentially T 8 in the shooting phase. Mortarion must be crying noxious, green tears!

He’s also got the Battlesmith rule and does successful repairs on a 3+. So with the servo-arm that’s a 2+. Basically, his transport is unlikely to go down unless you blow it up or he gets out of it.

For the army, his impact is…well it’s not negligible but it’s hardly a game changer either. He gives all people with LA:IH a FnP(6+), which might save your bacon 1/6th of the time, but it just makes a stoic army slightly more stoic. For vehicles, if you’ve got at least one AV 13 or higher it gets It Will Not Die, again making tanks that bit more survivable 1/3rd of the time. Still, better than Angron’s sweet fuck all.

Final Analysis

So, how does old Mr Iron Hands of the Iron Hands hold up? I’d say pretty well. His shooting is potent, he makes your army a bit hardier and will tank most shooting attacks. Even in assault he’s no slouch with an I 5 thunderhammer. However, he’ still worth taking even if you drop the hammer, since he’s AP 2, S 7 just with his fists. Sure they’re not concussive, but you also save 40 points. Basically if you want a Primarch who will relentlessly smash through things, Ferrus is your man.

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Night Lords:

“It is better by far to be an object of fear than of respect, for one is the truth of the soul and the other is an illusion of the mind”

Now we get to the ‘dark’ of the grim dark future that is the 30k; The Night Lords. These guys literally do not give a single fuck. Even before the Horus Heresy broker out they were far past the point of sanity. Wanton cruelty and torture is their calling card and it says “We have come for you!”

Legiones Astartes: Night Lords:

As you’ve probably come to expect by now the Night Lords have the standard regroup regardless of casualties malarkey, but what else do they have? Well for one thing, if they outnumber a unit (with infantry counting at 1 man, bulky models 2 men and very bulky 3) in assault, during any initiative step which there are lads fighting they gain +1 to wound, which is nice. They also all have Night Vision and get a 6+ cover save, which can be improved by stealth and the like, but can be superseded by other cover.

However, they’re all bloody cowards. So they fall back +1” further than normal, plus if they fail a pinning test you can choose to have them run away instead of hit the dirt. Also if your army’s warlord dies, the whole army takes morale checks, which since that means they might break can really scupper you. In short, pretty good rules than give you some extra survivability and capabilities in combat, balanced by the fact that they lack a spine.

Special equipment:

The first special piece of wargear is called a Nostraman Chainglaive. It’s bought for the same price as a regular power weapon, so for purposes of comparison we’ll use a power sword. A chainglaive is still AP 3, which is nice, but it’s better than that. For one thing, it gives you +1 S, but it also has Rending. The only draw-back is that it’s two-handed so you never get an extra attack which kind of sucks. However, especially for things like sergeants of cheap-skate Centurions/Consuls it’s a great deal if you were going to take a power weapon anyway. Plus, unlike Phoenix Spears or Power Scythes which you need to be able to buy a power-fist to take, units like Apothecaries can take chainglaives because they can buy power swords, which is nice.

The second is an Teleportation Transponder, which you can buy for a unit in terminator armour or a lone dude in terminator armour to give them the Deep Strike special rule, making them just like regular 40k terminators. Except 40k terminators can’t have a 2+/4++.

Finally, and possibly least notably, are the Trophies of Judgement. Simple 5 point upgrade for independent characters that gives the guys wearing them Fear. Now, because most Astartes are Ld 8, often you won’t get a rise out of them since the most common roll on 2D6 is 7 and you’re only getting a 9 or higher less than 1/3 of the time. But since they don’t have ATSKNF, or if you’re facing a non-fearless/40k space marine army, and they only cost 5 points it’s worth taking them just in case you manage to make your foes piss themselves.

Rite of War:

The Night Lord’s Rite of War is called Terror Assault because, in case you hadn’t realised, their aim is to make sure you empty your bowels before you die, not after. One of the main bonuses it affords is Night Fighting which can potentially carry on all the way into turn 3. 5/6 times it happens on the first turn at least, and since Night Fighting gives Night Lords a buff to their 6+ cover on first turn and their Night Vision means they don’t care when shooting at their foes, it’s pretty good. Also, while Night Fighting is in effect, all Night Lords gain +1 I and +1” to their Run distances (as per Forge World’s recent FAQ). You have to take Terror Squads as your compulsory troops, but we’ll get onto their merits shortly. Finally, Tactical squads, Veteran Squads and Terror Squads can all take drop pods and Dreadclaw drop pods as dedicated transports which is nice.

Now for the limitations. You have to take an additional compulsory troops choice, meaning 3 Terror Squads minimum. We have the reasonably standard thing of no fortifications and no space marine allies. However, the thing that really kills this Rite of War is it limits you to 1 measly Heavy Support slot, which is where some of your best units are. All in all, it’s a very good Rite of War provided you can find other means of getting anti-armour but, like much of the Night Lords stuff, works best against massed infantry than massed armour.

Unique units:

Terror Squad

First up are the Terror squads. They are 25 points less than a bog standard tactical squad, but only have 5 men, lose Fury of the Legion and have bolt pistols and close combat weapons as opposed to bolters, although they can buy a bolter for the same price tactical marines can buy the extra close combat weapon, so that’s about equal. They can upgrade to a maximum size of 10, but then they are 50 points more than a tactical squad then. So, what do they have to justify this mark up? As it turns out, quite a lot.

If we compare a 10 man Terror squad with bolters to a 10 man tactical squad with additional close combat weapon, we see that the terror squad has +1 Ld, +1 A, Fear, Infiltrate and Preferred Enemy (Infantry). That’s a pretty nice combo, especially in a world where ATSKNF doesn’t exist. In terms of upgrades, you can give each man a Volkite Charger (amongst other things). That does bring a 10 man squad on par with an Assault Squad, but they are far better. Infiltrate will make up for the lack of movement, they have the same amount of attack as an assault squad if it charges them and they have almost twice as many if they charge. Plus, with Fear and Preferred Enemy they will happily mince infantry. Also, they have Precision Strike and Precision Shot, meaning they can often choose who they kill rather than allocate from the front as per normal, making them even more potent.

The problem with these guys is they are only good for one thing, killing infantry. Put them in any other role and they suck and aren’t worth it. But as infantry killers they are fantastic. Another draw-back is they are an Elites choice, a crowded arena as it is and it’s harder to justify specialists when you have other units which are more well-rounded. However they really shine when you use Terror Assault and they become Troops. All in all, a decent unit if you use them for what they are designed for. Otherwise you may as well be pouring hydrochloric acid in a plastic bathtub.

Night Raptor Squad

Now we get to the Night Raptors, the lads who practically invented being assault marines. To start with an unit of 5 costs the same as a tactical squad, a unit of 10 costs the same as a 10 man assault squad and a unit of 15 cost 25 points more than a 15 man assault squad. Go figure. So, for this purpose I will compare a unit of 10 to their 10 assault marine cousins.

So they are the same points, and what do they lose? Nothing. What do they gain? Well they gain +1 WS meaning they are landing attacks on most bog standard marines on a 3+ which is nice. Even better, on a turn they charge they gain +D3 attacks, rather than +1, which doesn’t lose you anything but can give each man up to 6 attacks on the charge.
However, similarly to the Terror Squads these guys are exclusively infantry hunters. Lacking the ability to take things like melta-bombs or more than 1 special shooting weapon per 5 men, they can’t pull double duty really. Every single man can take special melee weapons though, making them more potent in combat. Plus, unlike the Terror Squads, these guys are Fast Attack choices and so have less competition, unless you are taking Terror Assault in which case, unlike Terror Squads, they become less viable since you’ll be looking to your Storm Ravens, melta-gun bikes and multi-melta +melta-bomb jetbikes for a fair bit of your anti-armour you lose from having 1 Heavy Support slot. Basically, similar to the Terror Squads, decent value for money but can only pull one duty and so aren’t an instant take.

Unique Characters:

Flaymaster Mawdrym Llansahai

The Emperor’s Children have Fabius Bile as their resident mad Apothecary, but he can’t even hold a candle to the depths of madness Bloody Bones reaches. But, this is a tactica, not an article for discussing relative backgrounds, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty of it. He’s basically a Primus Medicae, although he has -1 A and -1 BS. What is it with Forge World and making centurion level character worse shots than random centurion No. 1453902.

However, he does have some neat tricks up his sleeve. One is his melee weapons, Red Jaqa. It’s basically a power sword, except it has -1 S but also has Murderous Strike so it’s probably about even. He also has an archeotech pistol, which is an item of wargear usually restricted to Praetors. He also has a refractor field which is nice. So, compared to a Primus Medicae with a power sword, a refractor field and a plasma pistol, he’s 10 points more expensive. Once you’ve taken into account the minus in stats, it’s probably closer to 15-20 points more expensive. And so, as always, we look to the special rules to justify this increase.

The only negative Mawdrym has is that he can never be your compulsory HQ, but since Forge World made all Primus Medicae Support Officers, that isn’t any worse than your standard Primus Medicae. As you might expect from a Night Lord, he has Fear, and he also re-rolls failed Look Out Sir! rolls, and failed Feel No Pain rolls, effectively giving him a 5/9 chance of not being wounded if he fails his armour/invulnerable. But the big thing is that he is Fearless, and Fearless transfers onto any unit he joins. In a world where ATSKNF doesn’t exist, this is a huge buff, meaning he gives any unit he joins, FnP, Fear and Fearless. Well worth the 15-20 points. However, he’s a character you only take if you’ve got points spare, since you still need to have a compulsory HQ, but still a worthwhile choice.


Now we get to the Prince of Crows himself. For reasons best known to himself, he shuns the artificer armour that all other Praetors come with an instead opts for power armour. Other than his Master of Atramentar, all his other wargear can be bought by any other Praetor. So, minusing 10 points for the artificer armour, Sevatar is 25 points more than a Praetor who takes his weapons. Once again we must search for why.

Well, to begin with his Master of Atramentar means that any models in Termintor armour who Deep Strike within 6” don’t scatter, which is a neat ability although totally useless if you aren’t taking terminators. He also has the nice +1 I and +1 WS buffs to his stat-line. Also, in a Challenge, all of his attacks gain Instant Death. Now, you might think that is enough to justify him having the 25 point mark up, or at least nearly there, but he has one last ability. Sevatar is a psyker. He only knows the Precognition power and can only use a maximum of 2 warp charges in any given psychic phase, but Precognition is a 1 Warp Charge power which lets him re-roll To Hits, To Wounds and his saving throws, giving him effectively a 2+ armour (statistically, AP 3 still ruins it) and a better than 3++ invulnerable (only failing ¼ throws) and making him even more likely to ruin people’s day in combat. However, if he suffers Perils of the Warp, any time he has to take a Leadership test he does it at Ld 7, so that kind of sucks.

All in all, well worth the mark up in points I think. Since he’s only got a 3+ armour and an AP 3 weapon, he may well struggle against 2+ armoured HQs or folks with AP 3, but his stat-line, instant death in challenges and Precognition should keep him alive long enough to ruin a fair few people’s day. If you want to, you’d be well within your rights to take him, just don’t throw him too eagerly against other Paragon Blade armoured Praetors.

Konrad Curze

The Night Haunter, the King of Terrors himself. More often than not the mere word of Konrad Curze’s approach was enough to cow their foes into submission, lest they face his wrath and judgements. However, we must ask if he is such an object of fear on the battlefield or, like children’s fear of the dark, if he is all hype and no substance.


His stat line is most similar to Fulgrim’s, with his Phoenician brother having only +1 I over him. However, that still makes him faster in combat than the 10 other Primarchs released so far, and his formidable 5 attacks (6 from his lightning claws) will surely put a dent in most of their armours. However, he costs 55 points more than the Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, and that price hike certainly doesn’t come from his stat-line. Interestingly though he has the type Jump Infantry, despite having no jump pack. I suppose he just has superhuman jump heights, not surprising since he’s a Primarch.


Konrad’s armour is known as the Nightmare Mantle. It provides him with a 2+/4++ save, reasonably par for the course in terms of Primarch armour, but is also affords him Hit and Run as well as Hammer of Wrath. Additionally, he inflicts D3 HoW hits, not just 1. Also, although no a unique piece of wargear, Konrad Curze does possess offensive grenades.

His lightning claws are reasonably unremarkable, essentially being nothing more than AP 2 lightning claws which have the Murderous Strike special rule. Not bad, and Shred helps to make up for the fact that, in terms of Strength, he’s one of the weakest Primarchs (even Fulgrim gets +1 S from Fireblade).

Finally we come to the Widowmakers, essentially throwing knives. In terms of rules they function as a 3 shot bolt pistol, which might make Konrad the worst Primarch for shooting if it weren’t for Lethal Precision. This rule is basically Rending on steroids, because when you roll a 6 to wound, not only do you automatically wound but you also ignore armour and invulnerable saves. Not as reliable as AP 2, but when it works it’ll pass clean through any armour you are shooting at.

Special Rules

So before we get onto any of his unique special rules, obviously Night Haunter has all of the rules every Primarch has. In addition to that, he also has Shrouded and Stealth, meaning even in the open he is getting at least a 4+ cover save. Not that you’ll often need it, but it can be useful for warding off lascannons by simply hiding in long grass.

His Sire of the Night Lords gives him Night Vision and Acute Senses as well. For your army he gives every unit with LA:NL Fear and to those who already have it, Fear tests against them have to be taken at -1 Ld.

Finally, being the King of Terrors, any Fear tests against him are taken at -3 Ld, really useful for making other Astartes piss themselves. Also, if he’s part of an assault where an enemy unit is destroyed, all enemy units with line of sight and within 12” have to take a morale check.

Final Analysis

Like most of the Night Lords, Konrad really shines when he’s facing massed infantry. With his -3 Ld Fear tests, forcing morale checks if he wins, 7 Attacks on the charge all at AP 2 and being Jump Infantry with Hit and Run, he is a primarch who does best when he can bully and harass the enemy’s line. He could face other Primarchs, but he’s not a beatstick primarch killer like Angron, Horus and he doesn’t have the staying power of Mortarion or Ferrus Manus. He is a weapon of mass disruption, adept at sowing Fear into the heart of the enemy, and if you use him right he will be worth every point you spend on him.

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)

“Without wisdom, skill cannot be focused. Without skill, strength cannot be bought to bear. Without strength, wisdom cannot be applied.”

Now we come to the Salamanders, a stalwart and self-less brood of warriors and with many artificers in their midst. Arguable one of the most humanitarian legions, which is interesting given most Space Marines couldn’t give two craps about the humans they were supposed to protect as long as they got to beat stuff up.

Legiones Astartes: Salamanders:

So, what do the boys in green get? Well, you guessed it; they get to regroup regardless of casualties. They get a potent ability called Strength of Will which basically means by thinking about it really hard they pass all Fearless tests they are called on to make and must re-roll a single D6 if they fail a Morale or Pinning test. Holy crap! In a world without ATSKNF that basically makes them Fearless to all things bar straight Leadership checks. They also get to add +1 S to their flamer-based weapons and any of their vehicles flamer based weapons. The downside is that they don’t add their initiative to Sweeping Advance rolls and reduce their Run and Charge distances by 1” to a minimum of 1”. So good news, you won’t be cut down. Bad news, you probably won’t be cutting anyone else down either.

It’s not technically in the Legiones Astartes part, but it is an army wide thing so I’ll put it hear. As Salamanders you can’t include Moritat Consuls, Destroyers or Phosphex weapons. Apparently Salamanders don’t like fires they can’t put out later.

Special equipment:

So two things that aren’t really unique pieces of equipment but fall under this category. Firstly, any character can make a single weapon they possess Master-Crafted for the price of a Melta-bomb. For Praetors, this is a steal. For everyone else it’s just a nice option to have. The second thing is that any heavy/twin-linked heavy bolters can be changed into heavy/twin-linked heavy flamers for free. Also, you can trade in your plasma pistol for an inferno pistol for free too. Burn baby burn.

Now, onto the actual pieces of wargear unique to the Salamanders. The first is a Dragonscale Storm Shield. Whether it’s actually made out of Dragonscale or that name is apocryphal I don’t know. What I do know is that it increases the invulnerable save of any terminator or independent character that takes it by 1 (i.e. 5++ --> 4++, 4++ --> 3++, etc). It replaces a combi-bolter of a terminator for 5 points and can be taken for non-terminator independent characters for 10 points. It has the same caveat as regular storm shields, that you can’t claim an extra attack for 2 close combat weapons if you take it, but that’s Salamanders for you. Just sit there and slowly beat you to mush.

The second piece of wargear costs almost as much as a Paragon Blade and is only available to Praetors. It’s called the Mantle of the Elder Drake and gives you…wait for it…Eternal Warrior. That’s right. You can laugh in the face of meltaguns, vindicators, Glaives, anything S8 or higher as they can only take 1 wound off. Considering that the only other people who can get Eternal Warrior are the Sons of Horus and the Imperial Fists and they both have to buy 40+ points of Relic for the privilege, Salamanders are getting a steal here.


So, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Salamanders get a shield relic. Specifically the Zeroth Conductor Shield. On the one hand it is only a combat shield. On the other hand, it deals D6 S8 AP 2 hits with Blind on any unit that charges a person wearing it. Unlike Overwatch there is no stipulation that it only affects the first unit to charge you. The wording would imply that it deals D6 hits to EVERY unit that charges you, giving you a pseudo-Overwatch against anything charging you after you’re already in assault. But it’s better than that, since it’s wounding marines on a 2+ and generally causing instant death. So yeah, it’s a pretty sweet relic, with one tiny snag; it’s price. It’s on par with Cataphractii Primus and Earth Breaker Trident in terms of cost, so it’s quite steep. However, since you don’t need a relic to get Eternal Warrior, I’d say it’s worth a look at certainly. Not an auto-include but it’s a good relic.

Rite of War:

Another strikingly imaginatively named Rite; The Covenant of Fire. Yes, we get it Vulkan, you’re a pyromaniac! Rule wise the bonuses are that all your vehicles get a 5+ invulnerable save against all volkite, melta, plasma and flamer weapons, as well as melta-bombs. Your infantry get Move Through Cover. All of your melta weapons (meltaguns, multi-meltas and inferno pistols) get Master-Crafted and you can take Pyroclasts as non-compulsory troops. All in all, some nice benefits. Not reality altering, but also not terrible.

Now for the restrictions and there are a few. For one, nothing can deploy by Deep Strike. Secondly, you can only have as many Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices combined as you have Troops, which basically puts a form of tax on your Sicaran/Spartan taking. You also can only take one Consul, unless they’re a Legion Champion (which no one takes, although with the amount of Rites that make an exception for them, Forge World seems to think you will). Finally, as you have probably guessed you can’t take fortifications. Interestingly though, it makes no mention of not taking other Legiones Astartes allies, which is nice.

All in all, an average Rite. The buffs give your vehicles a bit of extra staying power, but that’s only useful if you’re taking lots of vehicles. Meltas get a buff but, again, that’s only useful if you’re taking them. The heavy support limit kind of sucks, but since you’d got to take 2 troops minimum and one of your heavy support choices (Pyroclasts) become troops, so it’s not a deal breaker. And honestly, who takes fortifications? The one consul limit can screw you over if you use this Rite with a Deletagus, but then I suppose that gives you more points for boots on the ground. As I said, it’s an average Rite that is pretty decent if you take the right list. Like most Rites then!

Unique units:

Pyroclast Squad

Now we come onto the first of the Salamander’s unique units and the one you can take as troops if you take the aforementioned Rite. They run at 10 points more expensive than a tactical squad for 5 men, but they have a 2+ armour so are twice as survivable. Their armour also has the nice bonus of giving you a 5+ invulnerable against volkites, meltas, flamers or plasma weapons. No help against close combat weapons, but basically anything you don’t get an armour save against in shooting you’re getting an invulnerable save against. It’s like the poor man’s terminator armour. They also trade in their bolters for buffed flamers. These have 2 firing modes. The first is a basic flamer which the LE:S buffs to being S 5 instead of S 4. The other firing mode is almost a 6” melta, except it is S 6 instead of S 8.

Now those of you with working brains will probably have clocked by now that these guys are a close range only unit. A slight problem arises in that they can only take a Land Raider as their transport, and Land Raider Phobos cost only 35 points less than a squad of 10 of these guys. You can solve this problem by buying a tactical squad or something a rhino and just loaning it to the Pyroclasts, but it’s still a bit annoying. However, so is dealing with 10 flamers or 10 melta shots. Basically they need to have a transport or else you can easily see them wasting their points because by the time they’ve foot slogged the board they can easily have been gunned down before they’ve done anything. However, once you’ve got them close, they can really, really cause some damage.

Firedrake Terminator Squad

Now we come to arguable one of, if not the hardiest unit in 30k. So to start with we have 5 Cataphractii terminators which cost 100 points more than there non-unique counterparts. However, they’ve all got WS 5, Ld 9 and, most importantly, they’ve all got 2 wounds. So you pay 50 points less than for 10 regular terminators, but you get the same number of wounds. Now that might be enough for some people to take them, and indeed it might be for you. But, they can get hardier because you can give all of them Dragonscale Storm Shields for the price of a Melta-bomb each, giving them a 2+/3++. So for 25 points less than 10 regular terminators, you get the same number of wounds and a 2+/3++. Ace! You can then take 10 of the bastards with 2+/3++ for 550 points (which is 100 points less than 20 regular terminators) and laugh as your opponent tries, and most likely fails, to kill them. If you put them in a Spartan and run them at the enemy’s line they’ll reach it virtually unscathed and then god help the unfortunate sod you’re facing. Sure it’ll cost a bomb but for a nigh indestructible unit who cares really.

Now you can upgrade them to have all the melee tools that regular terminators can have, and it makes sense to because then it means that when they face Red Butchers or Deathshroud they can instant death them with S8 wounds whilst they have to chip away at your 10-20 2+/3++ wounds individually. They also can be taken instead of command squads. Plus the other nice thing is that since Salamanders suck at sweeping anyway you have the exact opposite problem Phoenix Guard have which is that you actually almost benefit from being in Terminator armour, rather than losing the use of Crusader. All in all then, if you’ve got the points to spare you really have no justification for not taking these guys.

Unique Characters:

Cassian Dracos

Now we come to the only other Dreadnought who has Venerable, Cassian Dracos. Interestingly he’s a HQ choice and can be your warlord despite having no Ld. His trait is quite nice too, since it means your opponent can’t get Slay the Warlord if they kill him and all Salamanders within 3” get FnP. But enough about that, the guy costs as much as 5 Firedrakes and 150 points more than your standard Legion Dreadnought so he better have some pretty sweet rules to justify that.

Well to start with he has two close combat weapons with heavy flamers on each and extra armour, so really he only has to justify 120 points. Also, whilst he still has both flamers he can fire them as one twin-linked meltagun. I wish all heavy flamers worked like that. He also has a Nuncio-vox, which is a generally nice piece of wargear. He also gets IWND and something that means he can forfeit all his close combat attacks to inflict a S6 AP 4 hit against everything in base to base contact at I1. Now if that were it I’d start making fun of this entry. However, as you should have noticed by now it’s only the Legions in Betrayal that got shit units, so he has two main things that make up for the points.
The first is his stats. He’s got FA 14, HP 4, A4 (including the bonus one for two melee weapons) and WS 6. Pretty sweet eh? The other thing to justify his very high mark-up is a rule called Wrought by Vulkan. This means that the Melta, Lance, Armourbane and Sunder special rules have no effect on him. Also, no rules which degrade his Armour Value or allow attacks that target him to roll more than one die to penetrate his armour have any effect on him. So no Ordinance, not thing that Chainfists have, no melta-bombs, nothing. This dude is a monster. And even if you do penetrate he’s got Venerable so he can just get you to re-roll any result he doesn’t like. Sure Haywire will still hurt, but even still he’s nigh indestructible. You couldn’t ask for a more durable walker. Is he worth his points? Again he’s pretty much exclusively a close combat unit so if you can run around him you can get him to waste his points. But if you can reach the enemy you’ll more than likely grind them to mulch.

Lord Chaplain Nomus Rhy’tan

Other than Erebus I think Nomus Rhy’tan is the only named Chaplain who gets rules, so let’s get right down to them. He’s best compared to a Praetor, since he basically has a Praetor’s statline but with -1 BS and -1 A. Now, if you bought a Praetor with a Paragon Blade, Iron Halo, Mantle of the Elder Drake and a Combi-flamer, you’d be 35 points shy of Nomus’s costs. However, he’s a Chaplain which for a Centurion is a 35 point upgrade, so you’re pretty in the clear in terms of value for money. There are only two truly unique things about this character. One is if you take him a single Dreadnough talon (not Comtemptor talon though) can be taken as a non-compulsory HQ. Nice if you want to take 1-3 Dreadnought but have run out of Elite’s choices (probably from all the Firedrakes you’re taking). The other is his melee weapon, Darkstar Falling which is S +2, AP 2, Melee, Concussive, Armourbane and Two-handed. Pretty sweet. All in all, not a wholly interesting character, but if you’ve got the points he’s worth taking.


Now in the lore Vulkan is a perpetual, an unkillable super-human who will readily lay down his life for his sons and the humanity they defend. How meaningful that sacrifice is from someone who cannot truly die I’ll leave you to argue about. What I want to know is; is that same stalwart bravery and tenacity represented by his rules?


So Vulkan ranks in at probably a middle cost Primarch. He’s 45 points more than Fulgrim, but 75 less than Horus. For that he has the Primarch standard W 6. On the plus side, being one of the most physically powerful Primarchs he’s got both S and T 7. However, his I is 5 and A are 4 and his WS is a reasonably impressive 7. So not the quickest or the most frantic punchers of the Primarchs, but you’ll know about it when he does hit you.


So the most ‘standard’ item of wargear Vulkan has is a S 6 Heavy Flamer, but you could have guessed that. However, it’s worth noting that Primarchs don’t actually have Relentless and so can’t charge if the fire a Heavy Weapon. So don’t screw yourself by firing it an then siting within gunline range of you enemy’s army.

His armour is probably one of the most impressive pieces of armour of any Primarch. It affords him a 2+/3++ (ideal for the Firedrake bodyguard you’ll probably give him) but it also halves the strength of any flamer, fusion (not sure what that is), melta, volkite or plasma weapon fired against him. Bearing in mind that’s most of the things that probably aren’t going to need 5+/6+ to wound him, that makes him tanky as all hell.

His melee weapon of choice is Dawnbringer (wow, I’m surprised they didn’t go for “Fire-mallet” or “Burny-hammer” or something of that ilk). It’s a hammer that strikes with the force of a Demolisher cannon shell at his I5. It also has Armourbane, so vehicles won’t last long against it. Oh, and in case you face anything T6 or higher without Eternal Warrior, it also has Instant Death. Now, that’s pretty brutal is it, but if you are, for example, being swarmed by small yappy bastards you can instead place a 3” blast anywhere in base contact with Vulkan and not covering friendly models and everything under that gets hit with S 8 AP 3. Nice.

Finally we get to Vulkan’s other melee weapon, the Furnace’s Heart. And the fire references are back. Awesome. In any case, it’s an Assault 1 weapon that’s S 6 AP 2. You notice there’s no range there because it doesn’t really have one. It just fires an 18” long, 1mm wide beam and hits everything under it. It can’t hit friendly models because Vulkan cares too much, but otherwise it can be a pretty lethal weapon. Oh, and it has Rending. Now, this was supposedly made for him by Ferrus Manus. Quite why his closest friend Fulgrim got a bland Volkite with Shred and Vulkan gets this monstrosity I guess is a question only the Forge World dev team can answer. My cynical guess is that it’s because most things from Betrayal are shit and stuff only starts getting really cool around Massacre/Extermination time, and even then it’s mainly the Loyalists who get the benefits. Guess we know who Forge World supports in this Civil War then!

Special Rules

Vulkan has only two rules that really change from the standard Primarch form. First we have his Blood of Fire which lets him re-roll failed IWND rolls and gives him Adimantium Will. Not bad. The second is his “Sire of the Salamanders” rule which gives all Salamanders Adimantium Will an +1Ld. Now, considering that Salamanders already re-roll one dice for failed Morale and Pinning checks and are immune to Fear, Vulkan probably makes them as close to Fearless as you can get without actually being Fearless.

Final Analysis

So his buffs for the army are minor but potent when coupled with everything else they have. However, as with Angron, Mortarion and a fair few other Primarchs, it’s all about Vulkan as an individual rather than what he does for your army. And Vulkan as an individual is one tough bastard. With re-rolls on IWND, making most weapons wound him on only 5+/6+ at best and with a 2+/3++ save, this guy is not going down easy. Throw him and 10 Firedrakes in a Spartan with a Flare Shield and Armoured Ceremite and watch your opponent utterly fail to kill them. He may be 400+ points, but I’ll almost certainly take more than that for your opponent to bring him down.

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Word Bearers:

“Mankind’s stoicism is the face of suffering is founded upon ignorance of the alternatives.”

The Word Bearers are the best argument for why the Emperor was a terrible parent. He had their unwavering devotion. They would have followed him to hell if he had asked them and thought nothing of the cost. Instead he burnt all they loved and told them they were useless. So they went to hell on their own and what they found there would lead them down the path that would set the Horus Heresy in motion and their father’s Imperium to its knees.

Legiones Astartes: Word Bearers:

By now you should have guessed that these guys get to regroup regardless of casualties. In addition to this, whenever they have to take a Morale check they roll 3D6 and pick the two lowest, meaning you can almost not bother with buying Legion Vexilla for these guys. They also get to re-roll 1’s when they try to Sweeping Advance. Not quite Crusader, but still pretty good. Finally, their drawback. You have to have a 2nd HQ and it must be a Centurion of a Chaplain. So you’re looking at a 50-85 point tax minimum to just field a basic army. Still guess that’s the price you pay for having a legion or preachers!

Special equipment:

Both of the Word Bearer’s pieces of specialist equipment are focused on Warp usage. Give them credit, when they do something they give their heart and soul to it. Literally. The first one is something called the Burning Lore. It’s available to Praetors, Diabolists, Centurions and Chaplains and makes them a mastery level 1 psyker with access to Biomancy and Telepathy. It costs 15 points less than the upgrade for a Centurion into a Librarian, but you don’t get the Force Weapon so it’s probably about even. What makes it nice is that doing so doesn’t make your characters support officers and with 2 HQ slots already taken you can’t really afford the extra slot on a Librarian in most games. Plus, although you are somewhat restricted, both Biomancy and Telepathy are good power tables so you shouldn’t hear too much complaining. All in all, if you’ve got the points it’s a neat upgrade and if you can get something like Endurance or Invisibility it’ll really help!

The second is a Tainted weapon. It costs as much as a power weapon and can be given to any character, but it’s essentially a basic close combat weapon with Specialist Weapon and Instant Death tacked on the end. I wouldn’t say don’t put it on sergeants, since insta-killing your foe’s Praetor with your cursed stick will never stop being funny, but don’t expect by doing so you are making you character a beat-stick. It’s also decent on a character with another Specialist Weapon since, even if you don’t use the weapon itself, it’s cheaper than buying any alternative Specialist Weapon or Digital Weapons if you’re looking for that +1 A for two close combat weapons. However, using as your character’s only melee weapon leaves you at the mercy of the dice gods. But then, you’re Word Bearers. The gods are on your side right?


The Word Bearer’s relic actually doesn’t seem to rely on sacrificing your first-born to the dread gods. Not directly at least. It’s one of the middle-of-the-road relics, running the same price as the Lucid Blade or the Barbaran Thurible. It’s effect is that, once a game for an entire game turn you can reduce the invulnerable save of everything (friend and foe) within 12” by -2. On the one hand, if you’re close to Vulkan and 10 Firedrakes it might just save your bacon (since that’s the moment you can fire all your lascannons at them and wipe them of the map) but it also means that, since you’re putting it on a character which may well be in a decent unit itself, you do run the risk of shooting yourself in the foot. Ultimately I’ll leave the choice up to you, but you should be very cautious if you do choose to take it. However, if it means you can stop a Primarch by using it at the opportune moment, you may well not even care what other units you lose that turn.

Rite of War:

Now we move onto the Word Bearer’s Rite. Your independent characters get Preferred Enemy (Loyalist Space Marines), which is useful about 50% of the time if you are playing 30k. If not, then it’s pointless. You can have Chaos Daemons as Battle Brother allies which is neat, plus any wounds cause by Perils of the Warp have Instant Death which is good if your opponent has psykers. If not, it only serves to bite you in the ass if you use Burning Lore. Finally 50% of the time a single Troops choice gets Preferred Enemy against your opponent’s entire army. The other 50% of the time, your opponent’s entire army gets Preferred Enemy against the Troops choice.

So far I would already say that this Rite is situational at best. However it’s the restrictions that really hurt in my opinion. The slightly obvious one is that you can’t have fortifications or Space Marine allies. However if you wanted any Mechanicum or Solar Auxillia as allies, or anything that isn’t a Daemon really, they are Desperate Allies too which sucks. Then there’s the fact that you have to have a Diabolist as a HQ. Now, for the Rite you already need a Praetor and LE:WB means you need a Chaplain too. So now that’s all your HQs gone, unless you take Erebus, Kor Phaeron or Lorgar. And if you don’t paying for those 3 HQs runs you 270 points, and that’s without all the cool upgrades you no doubt want them to have. Finally you can only have 1 Heavy Support choice and given how good that entire selection is, that really, really hurts.

So in short a situational Rite with some very big drawbacks. Maybe the Daemons make up for it, I don’t know. But, from a Legiones Astartes point of view I can’t see why you’d use this Rite unless you were facing a Loyalist who has lots of psykers or really want to include some Daemons.

Unique units:


A consul choice unique to the Word Bearers which runs as much as a Chaplain and one has to ask; why? He gets Preferred Enemy (Loyalists), but that’s not a transferable rule so it’s not worth that much. Then he can’t take a Bike, Jetbike, Terminator armour, a Powerfist or a Thunderhammer. All he does is gives your Tacticals, Veterans, Terminators, Assault and Breacher squads access to Dark Channelling, which itself is a 25 point upgrade.

Although it is a good upgrade, it has to be said. 1/2 of the time, the unit gains Zealot. 1/3 of the time they get +1 S. Both of those are good, but those of you who are good at your mental arithmetic will have noticed there is 1/6 missing. On a 6 the unit gains Daemon, so a 5++ and Fear. Now, whilst the 5++ doesn’t benefit Terminators, and Breachers already have a 5++ in combat and 6++ out of combat, as I’ve already said elsewhere Fear is a really good rule in a world without ATSKNF. The snag is that if you get that the unit can’t score and counts as being destroyed at the end of the game (where that’s relevant). That does rather suck, especially if that happens to your Terminators who didn’t gain all that much anyway. Once again we find ourselves putting our faith in the Dice Gods. Guess it’s time to break out that ritual sacrificing knife…

However, most of the time (when the Gods are kind) it’s worth it I think. Zealot on your 20 man Assault or 10 man Terminator squad for 35 + n*25 is a good deal, made better by the fact that if the Diabolist dies the unit still keeps their ability. So, in short, a decent character if you’ve got the points to give the upgrade to a bunch of units and get your money’s worth.

Gal Vorbak Dark Brethren

The Gal Vorbak are the unit I think every chaos player wishes their possessed were. The basic 5-man unit runs at 50 points more than a 10 man tactical squad, and the 10 man squad is 100 points more than a 20 man tactical squad. So a full unit is pretty expensive. However, the basic squad members, Dark Brethren, have 2 wounds a piece and the sergeant, Dark Martyr, has 3. So initially, 5 men had more wounds than your 10 man tactical squad. And it gets better than that. They have bolters, bolt pistols and close combat weapons, so really there is only 30 points between the 5 man squad and the 10 man tactical and 60 between the 10 man and the 20 man tactical squad.

To make up that difference, they have:
- Daemon
- Stubborn
- Rage
- Rending on all close combat attacks
- Deep Strike
- +1 WS, +1 S, +1 T, +1 I and +1 A
Plus for every 5 Dark Brethren you can have a Flamer, Plasma-gun, Melta-gun or a Power Weapon, and this is perhaps the only instance where you should consider taking a Power Maul because on a Dark Brethren it becomes S 6, AP 4, Rending and Concussive. It’s actually a viable weapon! The Dark Martyr can have a Power Fist, giving you a S10 Rending weapon to fight tanks with if you ever get into a brawl with a Dreadnought. All in all, this is one awesome unit and worth taking.

The Ashen Circle

It would be easy to write off the Ashen Circle as a weird variation on the standard Assault Squad and think nothing more of them, but I would disagree. Firstly they are a Fast Attack choice, not a Troops choice which means that, whilst they do have competition, you aren’t sacrificing a Troops choice to take them. A full 10 man squad runs at 25 points more than a standard 10 man assault squad, but I think they earn it. For starters they’re all WS 5. Then they all have Hardened Armour ( a 25 point upgrade for a Heavy Support Squad, just saying) and Hand Flamers (arguable more useful at close quarters than bolt pistols). They also get Axe-rakes which give them +1 S and mean and unit running away from them suffers a -1” to their Fall Back move. Now to me that says that if your opponent rolls a 1 for their Fall Back move, they don’t fall back and are therefore Swept and killed, but I’ll have to confirm that. If nothing else, it means they can’t run as far. Finally, they always get a S 5 HoW which is neat, especially if they used their Jump Packs to move.

They have some other neat options. Upgrading their axe-rakes to power axes costs a mere 5 points, and every model can do it not just 1 per 5. Also, the sergeant can take Phosphex grenades, which are always fun. Sadly they can’t be joined by independent characters, not even Moritats. They don’t have the “Wow” factor of Gal Vorbak or Firedrakes, but they’re a neat little unit that is worth a look in if you’ve got 275 points and a Fast Attack slot you’re itching to fill.

Mhara Gal Tainted Dreadnought

Now, I know what many of you thought when you saw this: “Holy crap that looks boss!” Then you probably saw its points price tag and cried. But it’s ok, time has passed and now we can look at this monster objectively.

I’m not going to lie, it’s expensive. It costs 120 points more than just a regular Contemptor with a plasma cannon. The real question is if you get 120 points worth of value from it. Well, for starters it’s got RA 11 meaning you can’t get glanced to death by a bunch of tactical marines with bolters. It also has +1 WS, +1 I and +1 HP, although -2 BS. Then there are its weapons. At face value one of its arms seems like a DCCW with a twin-linked bolter in it, but it’s more than that. For starters, its bolter has Blind. Not the best special rule, but still something. Its power claw has a rule called Ghost Razor, where you have to re-roll all successful invulnerable saves against it. Ouch! Then there’s its plasma cannon. For starters it’s S8, so causing instant death on most marines. Then it has a rule called Howling Death, where even if you only lose one model, the unit takes a Morale check at -1 Ld as if it had lost 25% of its members. All in all straight up brutal.

It can exchange its power claw for a multi-melta, twin-linked autocannon (both with Howling Death), twin-linked lascannon or another warpfire plasma cannon. It can also exchange its warpfire plasma cannon for another power claw. However, I’m not sure why you would do any of that, not least of all because Forge World doesn’t sell the arms separately.

You thought that was it? Oh no! We have a bevy of special rules yet. First up there’s the standard Contemptor Fleet rule. Then this thing has its atomatic shielding replaced with the Daemon special rule meaning it had a 5++ in and out of combat and causes Fear. Then we have It Will Not Die and Adamantium Will. Now we have 3 unique special rules; The Earth Recoils, Shroud of Dark Fire and Accursed.

The Earth Recoils means it ignores difficult and dangerous terrain and can straight up walk through walls (or any solid object) provided that it passes through no more than 1” of stuff.

Shroud of Dark Fire means all heat-, fire- or plasma-based weapons suffer -1 S, models with T<7 or any AV<13 suffer a -1 To Hit in close combat (so other Contemptors are hitting it on 5+) and if it Explodes! it explodes as a 7” S6 AP 5 barrage with Soul Blaze.

Accursed means all Fear checks against it are taken at a -2 Ld modifier, it never counts as scoring (but is a denial unit) and any daemons, psykers or members of units with a blessing power cast on them suffer an immediate S 5 AP 2 Ignores Cover hit if they are within 6” of the Mhara Gal at the end of the controlling player’s turn. Note that this happens regardless of LoS, cover, whether you could normally target the unit or whose side the affected models are on.

Now, after all that, is it worth 120 points? Potentially. If you can get it close to the enemy lines, it will wreak havoc. My issue it mainly the Accursed special rule. With so much of the Word Bearers army being Daemon or Psykers (Gal Vorbak, Dark Channelling, Burning Lore, etc) you could end up hurting yourself. Plus, if it does die near the start of the turn in your deployment zone, near your units, you could hurt a fair few of them with that 7” blast. My thoughts? Shove it in a drop pod and fire it at your enemy. Laugh when it rampages through their lines and then laugh when they blow it up and take a bunch of their own stuff with it. Plus the model is gorgeous. Although, that will run you 370 points, so probably not advisable in low point games.

Unique Characters:

High Chaplain Erebus

The original evil douche-bag. Seriously, I swear no one likes this guy. Lorgar mocks him. Argel Tal doesn’t like him. Horus rips his face off. Seriously, fuck this guy. However, rules wise, we actually have to consider him. He’s closest to a Praetor, but he also counts as a Chaplain (and has Zealot) as well as a Diabolist, so if you want to take the Rite of War then Erebus is your man. Although that doesn’t net you much since with Erebus you can take Daemons as allies anyway. However, that’s only if you take him as the Warlord, so if you take Lorgar then he’s losing out on an ability.

Now, speaking points, if you took a Praetor with his wargear you’d pay 5 points more. Sure he’s got -1 WS, -1 BS and -1 A, but that’s pretty much mitigated by the fact that you get 60 points of consul upgrades for free. He lets you take Daemons as allies (pretty much the only reason you take Dark Brethren), gives your army access the Dark Channelling and counts as both a Diabolist and a Chaplain. Basically, he’s a pretty decent character and if you were going to take a chaplain anyway then you may as well take Erebus because he offers your army so much and isn’t massively more expensive than you’ll spend on a chaplain anyway. But still, fuck this guy.

Kor Phaeron

God damn old man Kor Phaeron! Seriously, it’s so hard to write balanced reviews about characters I straight up loathe. He’s such an arse-hole and he can go fuck himself along with Erebus. Ok fine, rules and then we’ll move onto people who don’t want to make me rip my own eyeballs out.

Are his stats good? No. He’s a Sergeant with +2 W, +1 Ld, -1 I and -1 T. The dude gets glassed by Volkite Culverins for crying out loud! What does he have to protect him? Terminator armour and anything he can get from Burning Lore. He has Lightning Claws and a one use hand-flamer, and hand-flamers are pretty crap to start with. He does let you take Daemons as allies and all Word Bearers gain +1 Ld for him being there. He counts as a Diabolist for Rites of War, but unlike Erebus he isn’t actually a Diabolist and doesn’t give you Dark Channelling

Is he worth his points? Not really. I can take a Praetor with a Paragon Blade and an Iron Halo who’ll cut his head off and be done with it with 4 points to spare.

Zardu Layak

Now we get to an interesting character! One of the two from Tempest and probably the better of the two. He’s one of the other special characters whose under-costed and pretty great. For starters, he has consul upgrades worth 115 points (Chaplain, Librarian, Diabolist and Delatagus). The he gets a few more neat things. He’s a Mastery 2 Psyker who can use Pyromancy (boo!) and Malefic Daemonology (yay!). He’s got Zealot and counts as a Diabolist with all the perks. He gives everyone in 12” +1 to combat res and sweeping advance rolls. He’s a Daemon with artificer armour, so 2+/5++ and Fear. He’s only got 2 A but that’s a minor thing. You get +1 to your Dark Channelling rolls and he lets you take Ashen Circle as Troops. AND he lets you take Daemons as allies. All that for 125 points? Steal. Then there’s his command squad…

The Anakatis Blade-slaves

These two guys cost you as much as a regular command squad. You lose the Fearless banner and the 2+ armour save, but what do you get? Well, +2 S, +1 T, +2 W, +1 I and +1 A, as well as a plasma pistol, Daemon, Rage, It Will Not Die and a power sword which on a 5+ is AP 2 and every unsaved wound causes 2 wounds. The only downside is if Zardu dies, they go mad and start attacking whoever is closest. But, if Zardu’s dead, he’s probably in combat and they’ll just keep fighting on without him. If you want you can still take a normal command squad, but for their small points cost these guys are solid.

Overall, I can heartily recommend Zardu Layak!

Hol Beloth

Where Zardu Layak was fun and interesting, Hol Beloth…well I don’t hate him like Erebus or Kor Pheron. He’s just bland. However, if you bought all of his upgrades separately, you’d pay 35 points more than he cost and you wouldn’t get to ignore the first wound of the game or make every Word Bearer WS 5 for one Assault Phase. So he’s under-costed if a little boring. However, if you swap out the bolt pistol for a plasma pistol, he’s the unique centurion Forge World put out a while back.


The Golden they call him. Once a shining paragon of a dutiful son, now twisted by the fell powers of the Warp into the architect of the greatest atrocity the Imperium has ever witnessed. The heresy may carry Horus’s name, but it was Lorgar’s first. To Magnus he admitted that he was never called to war like the rest of his brothers. What we are here to find out is if his table-top abilities reflect this?


As the cheapest of all the Primarchs, we’d expect him to be the weakest and that’s exactly what we find. He’s got the same toughness as some of the other ‘fragile’ Primarchs like Fulgrim and Konrad, but unlike both of them only has 5 wounds. However, he’ll still stop an Astartes into the ground. Nothing much to see here.


Most impressively we have Illuminarium, Lorgar’s signature power maul. Except it’s AP 2 with Master-Crafted, Concussive and Smash. So he can fight his way clear of a Dreadnought, which is nice, and is inflicting instant death on marines. He’s got frag grenades, important if a little boring. He’s got an archeotech pistol, not terribly exciting but still better than Fulgrim’s sidearm. Finally there’s his armour; The Armour of the Word. It provided him with a 2+/4++ but that goes to a 3++ against psychic empowered attack. So, once again, pretty standard wargear.

Special Rules

So he gives Crusader to any unit he joins. Also, provided he’s not being transported (don’t ask why) and is on the table, all Word Bearers can use his Leadership for Pinning and Morale checks. Furthermore, they get +1” to their charge distance, are immune to Fear and get +1 to combat res…but only if they can see him. He can also choose one enemy model, for one player turn, to re-roll all 5’s and 6’s (so when he’s in a punch up with one of his brothers).

So far, so meh. Now we get to psychic powers. To start with Lorgar is only a level 2 psyker and only manifests powers on a 5+. Oh, ok then. But wait, what’s this I see? Lorgar Transfigured?

Lorgar Transfigured is a 75 point upgrade, but it boosts him to Mastery Level 3, makes him harness powers on a 3+ and can PICK his powers from Divination and Telekinesis. Not as good as when he could pick Invisibility but I’ll let you read through the powers he can get and I’m sure we’ll agree that they’re still pretty good.

Final Analysis

Realistically, you want to be buying Lorgar Transfigured. I mean, if the rest of you army are chaotic, daemon-summoning psychos you probably want your Primarch to be one too. So, that brings his cost closer to that of Primarchs like Vulkan and Ferrus Manus. In order to get the most out of him, you have to get him out into the open and beating the shit out of people. Drive him forwards in a Spartan with some Gal Vorbak, smash into the enemy lines and the rest of your army will start frothing at the mouth and follow him with furious abandon. You know, just like real Word Bearers…

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Reserved for Iron Warriors

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Reserved for Alpha Legion

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Reserved for Imperial Fists

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Reserved for Raven Guard

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First update, added the World Eaters and Emperor's Children section. Would love to hear your thoughts on them. Comments and criticisms are welcome! :eek:k:

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Death Guard section is up. Let me know what you guys think.

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Just uploaded the Iron Hands section. As always, comments and/or criticisms are appreciated :good:

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Found some time over the last few weeks and on the train home yesterday, so got the Night Lords section done. Enjoy!

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Revision was destroying my soul, so I took a break for a whole and wrote up the section on the Salamanders. I also realised I've been forgetting to talk about the Legion Relics, so I've added them to the first 4 and will do the rest at some point!

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Hi Deus,
Under Vulkan's rules, you asked about "fusion" weapons?
Fusion is the eldar + dark eldar version of melta weapons, so most of their HQ's (+ Harlequins) can have fusion pistols, whereas fusion guns are used mainly by the Eldar Fire Dragon Aspect Warriors (+ I think? dark eldar jetbikers might be able to get them, too).
I think fusion weapons might also be used by the Tau as well.
Hope this helps?

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Cheers andygorn, I was wondering!

I've been very busy of late and with Tempest coming out I had to read over it a few times to get to grips with all the new Word Bearer's stuff. That and I don't like Word Bearers :p In any case, I hope to get back to doing this more regularly with the Betrayal at Calth released and hopefully have the remaining 5 legions done between now and February when the next book is supposed to be released. Hopefully this latest installment is useful to some of you.
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